|The sun shone through the huge window in the girls’ bedroom and hit my sleeping face as if to say, “Good morning!” I slowly opened my tired eyes and blinked, and then I stretched up my arms and yawned. It was going to be a great day; I could feel it.
I looked around the brightly colored, warm, and homey room that I shared with the other defenders. Two of my friends were still asleep, but Emma Roseblossom’s bed was empty. I watched the other defenders doze in their beds. Sophia Rainhaven was muttering some random sentences in her sleep like, “Marleybone has dogs, not people…” or “Nightshade flowers are pretty…” Megan Ashcloud was twirling her wrists about, so I figured she was using a wand in her dream.
I decided to go find Emma, because I knew were she probably would be, and I was kinda lonely. I slowly twisted my body around and put my feet on the cool wooden floor. I wobbled as I stood. I grabbed the bed post, holding on so I wouldn’t fall.
I wobbled/walked as quietly as I could to the bathroom. Then I tugged my robe off its hook and pulled it on. It was nice and warm.
I tiptoed back across the room to the staircase and ran up quietly. I walked up four floors, making sure I held my nose going past the boys’ room. They were all snoring loudly.
As I walked up the staircase from the library, a green light slowly passed over my body. I stepped up off the last stair onto the stone floor.
I walked down rows of tropical plants, trying to find Emma in her sanctuary. I walked past plants with brightly colored petals, and some with gaping jaws, snapping at me as I went past. Finally, at the end of the greenhouse, I spotted Emma admiring one of her newest, a beautiful flower with pink petals probably taller than me. It gave off the most beautiful smell, sweet honey, honeydew, and a little bit of vanilla.
Emma was talking, probably to her plant. She was saying, “You are growing very tall, yes you are. I think you smell a bit sweeter too.”
She was right; it was stronger and sweeter today. Emma spun around, hearing my sigh of pleasure.
When she saw it was only me, she sighed in relief, a hand to her wand pocket.
“Hi, Savannah,” she said. “As you can probably see, I am an early riser, and every morning when no one else is up, I come here.” She walked over to a metal watering can and filled it with water from a hose attached to the wall.
“I see you are an early riser too,” She said, watering a plant with big purple leaves and snapping jaws at the top. I shivered, looking at the large pointy teeth in its mouth and drew back.
“You can leave if you want,” She said without looking up. “Go ahead, no one finds these plants interesting, really. Well, except me.”
I shrugged and headed downstairs.
Down a few floors was a library, which Emma said had a whole lot of books. I wanted to read every one of them, but I had to start out with one.
I walked into the room and across the well-worn carpet. I looked up what seemed like miles of bookcases. Then I saw a ladder in the corner, so I rolled it over and started climbing. I took out many books from their spots, but none looked very good. You know, nonfiction and things like that. So I kept climbing, up and up.
At the very top of a particular shelf, there was a worn book covered with dust that I hadn’t seen before. In fact, if it hadn’t been inches from my nose at the time, I would’ve completely missed it. I slid it out of the shelf carefully. It had no title, just a brown blank cover with stains and cobwebs.
I perched on top of the shelves, because if I went down, I would have to climb all the way back up the ladder to put it back where it was. I carefully smoothed out the first page. It read “The Tale of the Defenders.”
Wait, wasn’t that what Ambrose was talking about when he was dragging me into the woods, the prophecy? After moment of staring at the title page, I turned the page.
It didn’t have words, but pictures. Beautiful pictures that covered every corner and looped and curled about the page.
The first picture showed seven people. I could tell by their size that they were kids.
Wait, was it…it was us! The Defenders!
I stroked the ice defender, me, I never knew I was in a book. Then I eagerly turned the page to find out what was next.
On the next page, there were seven jewels, probably the size of my picture’s head. Even in the pictures the gems seemed to sparkle. These were the magic gems Megan told me about in her story! I was grinning ear to ear at the things I recognized.
I turned the page again. On the other side of the gem page was a portrait, a portrait of a dark wizard every one knew. Malistaire. I had recognized him for I knew he was Cyrus Drake’s twin brother, and Ambrose said they looked a lot alike.
On the next page, Malistaire was on a cliff raising the old necromancer’s staff. Around the cliff were monsters I knew, every detail drawn perfectly. They were raising their arms up like zombies in the scary movies I used to watch.
I flipped the page over. A girl, me, was running away from a hoard of these zombie monsters with a sparkling gem cradled in her arms. Oh my, was that going to happen to me?
On the next page I had tripped, and the monsters were towering over me. I quickly flipped the page over again, quavering with excitement. This page had me, my wand raised. I also seemed to be glowing. All the monsters were cowering under my gaze. On the other side was me looking out at Malistaire’s castle, my next destination.
I flipped the page, on it was…nothing? I quickly scanned the other pages, nothing. Then I saw a ripped paper, someone must have taken out the pages.
Disappointed, I put down the book. But then I realized I knew someone who would probably know what happened. Because he knew everything, for crying out loud.
I snatched up the book and climbed down the ladder, but unfortunately, I was going too fast. I slipped off the ladder and fell with a thunk so loud, I thought I probably woke everybody up.
I got up with a groan. A couple seconds later, Emma was dashing down from her greenhouse “Oh, what happened?” She hurried over and pulled me up off the floor.
“I fell off the ladder.” I said, rubbing my back.
Emma started brushing dust and carpet fuzzies off my new robe, then noticed the book in my hand. “What’s that?” She said slipping the book out of my grasp.
“Some book I found at the top shelf,” I said, pointing up the bookcase where I had found it. “It looked like it was there for ages.”
Emma looked up at me and opened the book. She gasped in wonder as she flipped over every page, smiling bigger after every turn until... “Where is the rest?” She held the book open toward me so I could see.
“I know,” I said. “I noticed someone had ripped the pages out.” I pointed to the ripped paper. She appeared awed. “I was going to see Ambrose about it,” I continued. “Would you like to come?”
“Sure,” Emma said. “I’ll meet you there. Cause I have to water the rest of my flowers, of course.” She waved and handed back the book and disappeared up the stairs.
As I headed down the stairs, I bumped into Ian. “What was that big bump?” He asked, frowning
“Oh, just me,” I said blushing a deep red like I usually do when I’m talking to him. Or any of the boys, for that matter. “I uh- fell.” I dashed past him before he could even say anything else.
In the girls’ room, all of the beds were empty, but there was a flurry of activity in the bathroom. Sophia was fixing her hair and Megan was brushing her teeth.
“Wha’ was tha’ big fump?” Megan said, trying to talk and brush her teeth at the same time.
“I fell off the ladder in the library.” I said trying at least to straighten my naughty bed head. How loud was my fall, anyway?
“Ouch.” Sophia said sympathetically, tying elastic bands around her purple pigtails. “That ladder is such a nuisance, isn’t it? I was thinking maybe we should get an elevator instead, you know?” she joked.
“Yeah, tha’ wou’ be grea’,” Megan said sarcastically. She spat out the toothpaste in the sink.
I hurried over while brushing my teeth to the wardrobe. I grabbed a purple and white, rather lacy robe and threw it over my head, careful not to get any toothpaste on it. Then I put the book in my front pocket. Or all of it that would fit.
I hurried to the bathroom and spit in the sink, then washed out my mouth ferociously. “In a hurry?” Megan asked, straightening her fur-lined hood.
“Yes,” I said, pulling on my frost-touched shoes. “I have to see Ambrose about something.” I grabbed my healer’s cowl from my bedside table I shared with Sophia, jammed it on, and ran for the stairs. I grabbed my wand where I left it last night, on the coffee table in the living room, and flew for the door.
Daniel was wandering around the yard when I sprinted past him. “Whoa,” He said, jumping in front of me and holding up his hand. “Do you know how fast you were going little lady? Seriously, where are you going so fast?” I took out the book from my pocket, out of breath, therefore unable to speak.
His eyebrows rose as I shoved the book into his chest. He slowly opened the book, preparing for the worst. And again I watched a person speed through the book and wonder where the rest of the book went.
“I am going to ask Ambrose about it,” I explained to him.
“Ok,” he said. He raised his arm and handed me the book as I went. I hurried to the door leading to the commons. I opened it, waved at Daniel, and went through.
As soon as that strange sucking sensation that I would never fully get used to ceased, I opened my eyes and dashed to Ambrose’s office. I burst through the door, and many new wizards on their first quest swerved around to see me.
I pushed through a bunch of wizards, not worrying about being polite, and whipped the book out of my pocket into Ambrose’s arms.
“Oh, young wizard.” He smiled when he saw what I had shoved in his arms. “I see you found the Prophecy of the Defenders.” He opened the tattered, worn book and smiled even wider. “I have been searching for this for so long…” His happy face shattered as he found the end of the book was missing.
“Oh, my,” he said. “Someone has taken the end of the prophecy.” But then he smiled again. “No matter, I recall that the writer is still alive. You may go see him and recover the end.”
Just then, Emma ran through the doors. “Ah, Miss Roseblossom,” Ambrose said to Emma. “Will you accompany Miss Swiftsong to Triton Avenue?” Emma dutifully nodded, although she looked slightly confused.
“And here Miss Swiftsong,” he said, handing me the prophecy and a piece of paper “The scrap of paper says where the writer lives. Now go, I have a school to run.” And he pushed us to the door.
“Number twenty seven Triton Avenue...” Emma said, counting down doors on the street “Twenty four, Twenty six. Oh, the door is on the other side.” She pointed to somewhere on the other side of the street: a door with a big, brass twenty-seven. Unfortunately, separating us from the door were several mean-looking Rotting Fodders who looked like they wanted to fight.
“C’mon,” Emma said when they disappeared behind a fountain. “The coast is clear.” We ran across the street as fast as we could.
“Okay door number twenty seven...” I said, using the lion shaped knocker. About ten seconds later a scruffy old man answered the door, he looked confused. “Err…sorry, I don’t want anything; I already get Wizard Weekly, you see.”
“We’re not selling anything,” Emma explained. “We’d like to talk to you about something.”
The old man’s face brightened. “Well, I’ll be darned. I hardly ever get visitors! What did you want to see me for?”
“Um,” I said, not knowing where to start “Did you write this?” I handed him the book.
“Why yes, I did,” He said, flipping through the pages “Funny how I got the inspiration, really. One night I have the strangest dream, and in the morning I say, ‘By jolly, I have to write this down,’ and so I made a book. Good lord, where is the rest?”
“Oh,” I said. “When I found it, the pages where gone, so we came to you to asked what happens next.”
“Ah yes,” He said, nodding “I have another copy upstairs. But for now, why don’t you come in and I will make some tea.” He held the door open for us and we entered. His house was very clean and bright, and it smelled very fresh.
“You see,” the man said “I always keep my house clean, for it helps me concentrate when I write my stories. Now won’t you sit down?” I sank down into a cream colored chair.
“Now, I will make some tea.” The man picked up a smooth looking wooden wand from a dresser next to him. He looked like a conductor, waving his wand around. As he was waving, a china tea set flew in from another room. A tiny, white and blue teacup flew into my hand, as well as a matching saucer. He waved his wand again, and two teabags flew into the room and settled into a teapot. The man pointed his wand at the teapot and a thin stream of water immediately filled it up. Then by a flick of his wand, the water started bubbling and the tea from the teabags made the water a murky brown.
“That should do it,” He said, picking up the teapot and filling our cups. “Cream or sugar?” He flicked his wand, making two tiny teapots levitate.
“Sugar, please.” Emma said, holding her cup out. The man flicked his wand again and one of the little pots poured some of its contents into her cup.
“I’ll have both, uh, please.” I stammered as I held my cup toward the man. He waved his wand and both pots poured their contents into mine. We took drinks out of our cups. I never knew tea could taste this good.
“Anyway,” The man said “My name is Angus Fireblade, please to meet you. It’s always a pleasure to meet young wizards so interested in my books.”
“Hi,” I said. “I am Savannah Swiftsong.”
“And I’m Emma Roseblossom.” Emma said.
“Now hang on a second,” Angus said, his brow furrowed in confusion. “Two of the characters in my story are named that.”
Now it was my turn to be confused. “You mean you made a prophecy and you didn’t even know it?” I asked.
“Prophecy?” said Angus. “What are you two talking about? I’m a writer, not a prophet.”
Emma took a deep breath. “Well, we have the same names of the characters in your story because…I think…we are the characters in your story. We’re the Defenders.”
Angus looked at the book lying on my lap and also breathed in deeply. “So there really are magic gems that channel our magic?” Emma and I nodded
“And Malistaire is really trying to come after them?” Emma and I nodded again, and then Emma held up her wand and waved it. The familiar picture of seven glistening gems appeared over the tip of Emma’s wand. Angus’s eyes bugged out, well, you know, like a bug.
“And our mission is to protect them,” I said proudly, “so, as we are saving our magic, we’d appreciate it if you kept this a secret. We don’t want other wizards trailing us.”
Angus nodded slowly. Then he stood up. “Are you sure you aren’t pulling my leg, here?”
“No,” said Emma. “We’re not kidding.”
“In that case,” he said, “I am going to go get the other copy for you. You’d probably want to know what happens next, if you’re the Defenders.” Smiling at us, he headed off to a staircase and went up, muttering something like, “Imagine…me writing a prophecy!”
“Well,” I said sinking lower into the chair, “what do we do now?”
“Wait for Angus.” Emma said, looking off in another direction. “I think he seemed nice, don’t you?”
“Yeah,” I said.
So we waited, and by the time I was balancing my stirring spoon for my tea on my nose, we heard a loud crash and a yell coming from upstairs. We both pulled out our wands and raced for the stairs. By the time we reached the top, Angus wasn’t among the stacks of books and boxes of his attic. The only thing that was moving was a curtain blowing in the breeze of a shattered window.
Surveying the damage, we suddenly heard laughter from outside the window; loud maniacal laughter that could only belong to one person.
“Ambrose! Ambrose!” Again I was pushing my way through other wizards to get to the old headmaster. When I was standing before him, I didn’t even wait for him to address me. “We went to his house, and he let us in and we had tea! And the he went upstairs to get the other copy and then we heard him scream and h-he…gone…Malistaire!”
“Um, Savannah?” Emma had just caught up with me. She was pointing to the crowd of wizards staring at me.
“Uh,” I said quickly, thinking of an excuse, “it’s just a joke between Ambrose me. So when I said all that I said to Ambrose, I really said, ‘Why did the chicken cross the road..?’” I smiled a sheepish grin.
“Ah,” Ambrose said, helping me out. “Miss Swiftsong, why did the chicken cross the road?”
“Uh,” I said not knowing what to say. “Because he was running away from Malistaire…?” I was surprised when some wizards chuckled a bit. Wow, I didn’t think that would work.
“Miss Swiftsong,” Ambrose said gesturing toward his office. I walked in, Emma following.
“What are you saying Miss Swiftsong?” Ambrose said, closing the door behind him.
“I am saying,” I said, “that we were having a lovely time. And then he went up to get the other copy, and boom he was gone! Completely vanished!” I ended my sentence with jazz hands.
Ambrose was slightly confused. “So are you saying he just disappeared, no sign of clues?”
“Well yeah, there were clues.” I said holding out yet another copy Emma and I had found. “And the end pages here are ripped out too.”
Ambrose took the book and pushed his spectacles further down his nose to see better. Without looking up he said, “Go on and do your quests, I will investigate.”
Emma grabbed me by the arm and requested that we should go. With a small wave to Ambrose, we disappeared out the door.
“I don’t get it!” I shouted throwing an incredibly powerful thunder snake at an unexpecting fire elf. As he vanished in a cloud of smoke, I went to sit with Emma on the sidewalk.
“What don’t you get?” Emma asked, twirling her wand about. Little leaves fell off the tip.
“Well,” I began “Angus goes upstairs and disappears. Why?”
“Um…” Emma said, pausing swirling her wand in circles “I suspect Malistaire doesn’t want us to read the rest of the prophecy, so he sent someone to rip out the rest of the pages.”
“Well,” I said “How does he do it? He can’t just go out walking out on the streets saying, ‘Oh I’m Malistaire, I am going to rip out pages of a book in someone’s house after I break into it!’ Duh… Wait, Emma how did you know that?”
“Well,” she said staring off into space “When I sleep, I see things, and it so happens that happened in one of my dreams, but that happened a long time ago.” I stared at her like she was crazy.
“Well, when my dreams started happening,” Emma said “and the exact things happened a day or so after, I went to the library and looked my issues up. It so happens that people who do that are called seekers.” She stared off into space for a moment then happened to glance at her watch. “Three hours left…” she muttered. Then she looked up at me and gasped.
“Oh! Savannah, I completely forgot to tell you! Did you know this year; Ravenwood is celebrating its one hundredth year?”
I gaped at her. “Ambrose started Ravenwood,” I began “so he must be over one hundred years old!”
Emma shrugged “No one knows how old he is. Well, except him. But we are having a party to celebrate! Eeek! This is going to be so much fun, your first party here! You will have so much fun! So, why don’t you finish your quests here and we will go get ready.”
I nodded, Emma grabbed my hand and dragged me over to the next type of monster I needed for my quest.
Emma and I returned gasping for breath to the sidewalk. We had defeated all the monsters I needed, but we had accidently gotten in a battle again with some angry looking magma men. We had returned to the street as fast as we could afterward so we wouldn’t get into any other battles.
“Oh, my, gosh,” Emma wheezed. “That was hard work!” She flopped over backwards onto the pavement.
“I know,” I gasped, joining her on the ground. “Those Magma Men played it hard.” We lied there on the sidewalk gaping like fish without water. After a couple minutes, Emma sat up, clutching her stomach.
“Well, we better go if we want to get to the party. It starts in…yikes! Less than an hour!”
I nodded and sat up, groaning. We slowly got to our tired feet and wobbled around. We grabbed hands and teleported home in a shower of sparkles.
Emma and I walked up to our forested mansion, laughing for no reason. When we entered, Megan, draped in golden jewelry head to toe, was there waiting
“Where have you been? We have a party to attend! You don’t think I don’t want to be fashionably late do you? Oh, no! If we don’t leave soon I won’t be fashionably late, I will be late-late! Hurry up and get changed! Please!” She went around behind us and pushed our sweaty bodies toward the stairs. I could feel the ten gold rings on my back.
“I will be down here waiting.” she said, crossing her arms, as Emma and I rushed up stairs.
“Ok, ok, ok,” Emma said, pulling open our wardrobe. “Uh, you wear this…” She tossed me a tie dyed-ish gown in a pretty periwinkle color. “…and I will wear this.” Emma swept out a green gown with sets of criss cross strings with a bow at the top.
We struggled to get out of our sweaty, singed robes we wore to fire cat alley, and pulled on our party robes.
“Ok,” I said hurrying over to our bathroom. “Uh, Megan got me this newt juice; she said it would help our hair curl.” I looked at the instructions, and put a drop of the greenish liquid in the palm of my hand.
“EW,” Emma began. “Anyway, are you sure that will help curl your hair?”
“I do not know,” I said, taking the stuff in my hand and rubbing it all over my hair, “But it is worth a shot.” I walked over and sat on my bed, looking at my hair the best I could. Immediately, my hair shot out into long luscious curls, draping all over my shoulders.
Emma’s jaw hit the ground. “Oh. My. Gosh. You look so pretty.” She grabbed the bottle, and put a drop in her hand. She didn’t bother to take off her hat while rubbing the stuff all over her hair.
“Hey,” I said, taking the bottle out from her hand. “It says: Take off all hair accessories before applying to hair…” I looked at her and without a second thought dove behind the bed just in time. I emerged after hearing a crash, and giggled when I saw her. Her hair did look beautiful, but could do without the plaster; her hat had gone through the ceiling.
Laughing, I walked down the stairs watching Emma remove parts of the ceiling from her hair. Megan laughed too when she saw her. Emma grimaced.
“It is not funny!” She said, rolling her eyes. But of course, Megan and I kept laughing. We laughed for a couple of more minutes. Then Megan stopped and stared at us.
“You guys look great!” She walked around us, straightening one of our gowns or moving a curl around to in front of the others, “You used my newt juice didn’t you?”
I nodded and pointed at Emma, “She forgot to take off her hat and it went through the ceiling.”
“Oh,” said a voice from the stairs, “that’s what I saw come through the floor of the training arena.” Sophia walked down the stairs, dressed for the party, her hair in the usual pigtails, only curlier. She held up Emma’s fairy cap, it looked like it was dipped in grey flour.
“I was finishing off a clockwork golem, and it burst through the floor. I knew it was Emma’s because it was green, and I came down to ask her why a flying hat of hers came busting through the floor!” Emma gave a sheepish grin as Sophia handed it over.
“Where are the boys?” Megan asked, stroking her undone hair. “If we don’t leave soon, we will be definitely late!”
Sophia shrugged, just as Daniel poked his head out from around the stairs. As Emma told me, he was probably going to make an entrance.
“Ladies and…uh…ladies,” he began, “give it up for the dudes who are ready to party!”
The boys came down rolling their eyes at Daniel, who was walking across the floor in his party robes like he was on a catwalk. All the girls, including me, giggled.
Daniel walked up to us and swept his arm forward. “Ready to go, ladies?” All of us nodded. “Alright then,” Daniel said. “Let us all leave in style!”
All the girls linked arms and walked sideways out the door, Daniel marching out behind us. Ian and Galen grimaced and joined us out the door.
Music blasted my ears as I entered the commons, and a spectacular sight met my eyes. What seemed like all the wizards in Ravenwood were over on the flashing dance tile set up over the pond. Yes, it was actually floating over the pond! There was also a big concession stand with all my new favorite foods: honeysuckle ice cream, Greyrose’s cookies, and my absolute favorite, dragon legs.
I spun around, taking in the party. I spotted Ambrose in a white, sparkly Elvis suit wearing a huge black afro on his head. I giggled watching him doing the conga with a bunch of other students.
Sophia put her hand on my shoulder. “Isn’t it great?” She said, shaking along to the music.
“Yeah!” I said, grabbing her hand and dragging her up to the dance floor, were we danced with other students.
I was doing the jitterbug when Megan joined us. “You should try Dalia Falmea's fire-hot rocks.” She put a handful of small red rocks in my hand.
I dumped them all in my mouth at once. Big mistake! They burned my mouth more than the time when I accidentally swallowed that spicy jalapeño pepper. And get this, fire blasted from my mouth. I cupped my hand over my mouth when the flames receded.
“Oh don’t worry,” Megan said, doing the backstroke. “That’s normal for the first time you try them.” She dumped some more in her mouth, and coughed up a little spark.
Just then, Daniel joined us, munching on one of Greyrose’s cookies. “Hey guys,” He said, swallowing his last bit of cookie. “Let’s party!” And he danced off with a bunch of girl novices following him, batting their eyelashes.
Just then, Emma showed up. She was licking a honeysuckle ice cream treat. I didn’t bother to tell her she had it all over her face.
Daniel danced by again still being followed by the girls. Suddenly, Ian appeared and folded his arms over his chest. Noticing that he looked too grumpy, I grabbed him and pushed him out further into the dance floor.
“Hey! What the—?” he sputtered.
The girls that were following Daniel came over and swarmed over Ian instead chirping in their high-pitched voices, “Let’s dance!” “Please be my friend!” and “You look so cute!” I heard Ian cry out in anguish as he broke away from the girls and ran around the dance floor screaming as the girls chased him.
Galen walked up the stairs to the dance floor very properly and watched us dance like goofy chickens with slight distaste. “C’mon Galen!” Megan said, doing the cha-cha, “Dance your heart out!” And with that, she grabbed a bemused adept and dragged him out to the center where they danced up a storm.
Galen wrinkled his brow, but stayed still, watching us goof off. Apparently, he was not one for crazy dancing.
“Wizards,” Ambrose was now trying to get through the crowd of crazy students. “I have an important announcement to make.” He burst through Megan and the adept and raised his hand. All the students quieted down. Not completely, but as much as wizards in a crazy, floating party could get.
“In exactly thirty seconds, Ravenwood will be one hundred years of age.” Some students giggled excitedly. “Let us raise our wands.” Ambrose pointed his wand toward the sky. Most students did the same, including me.
“Now we begin the countdown. Ten… nine…eight…. seven …. six…. five …. four … three … two… one!”
All the wands lit up in the midnight sky, shooting up balls of light. They glittered in the sky; I bet they could be seen from miles around. From around the dance platform, the teachers had there wands raised and made sort of a dome of color. I grinned as all the balls of light made the number 100 in the sky. The 100 exploded into thousands of fireworks, raining little sparkles on everyone. Daniel, in particular, stood out from us all, looking as though Tinker Bell had threw up all over him. I grinned at all the smiling giggling students, some trying to catch little balls of light in their hands.
Ambrose waved at us, dancing across the now sparkle-littered dance floor in a novice conga line. I laughed and ran toward the end of it, grabbing onto Emma, who had joined before me.
While dancing and partying my heart out, I heard a slight rumbling from the platform that was almost lost in the blaring music. I ignored it, thinking it was all the students rushing to get on the conga line.
The floor rumbled again, I halted to hear it, making all the other people behind me crash into one another.
“What’s up?” Daniel began shaking my body, for he was right behind me. “Come on, get moving!”
“Hmm,” I listened carefully. The rumbling appeared to be growing louder. “It’s just that I think I hear somethi—”
Just then, the platform jolted, and some of us fell to the floor. I tripped over Daniel’s foot and fell flat on my face.
The colored flashing lights on the floor flickered out. I looked around, scared. What was happening?
I held up my wand, lighting my tip since we had no light from the dance floor. I scrambled to my feet, and walked around the huddled groups of novices to the other Defenders.
All the teachers were staring up in horror. Just then, the paper lanterns over the snack table started exploding, one at a time. And then, the banner blew up in flames. The teachers split up and started watering the flaming objects. The screams of the students were nearly drowned out from the roar of the flames.
I down under the dance floor at the pond, expecting it to, I don’t know, freeze or something. Nothing happened. Then I walked back over to my bug-eyed friends.
“Maybe a novice who didn’t attend the party is trying to crash it.” I suggested. I sat down with them and squeezed Megan’s shoulder.
Then the floor jolted more wildly this time, nearly knocking off a journeyman looking over the side. We looked around in horror, and then, when we least expected it, the floor sank down to earth. We plummeted down to the pond.
Now all of us were screaming, gripping the ground, it must have been a fifty foot drop. I almost flew up into the air, but Sophia grabbed my hand, keeping me down.
I looked up at the sky flying past us, and also saw some novices who weren’t grabbed by their friends, a couple feet off the floor. I looked over the side of the floor, the ground was just a couple feet away… SPLASH! The floor landed in the pond with a big wet splash, sending up water spray. I screamed as water ran all over the dance floor soaking my clothes, and the water spray soaking the upper part of me.
A couple seconds after we had landed, Ambrose shouted, “Off the floor! Hurry!” We obeyed, scrambling to our feet and dashing out of the pond.
After I had emerged, soaking, I ran over to Emma and flopped down on the grass.
“Some party.” I said staring up at the smoky sky. She nodded quickly, a look of terror on her face.
BOOM! The dance floor exploded. Balls of fire erupted from the pond. More screaming. I grabbed Emma and scooted back farther as bits of debris flew around in the grass.
Ambrose and the other teachers, who were also soaked, rushed up to put out the fire. Dalia Falmea’s hair was soggy, it would take a lot of time to gel it back up again. It had also lost its fiery glow. Greyrose’s wings were so wet, she kept flying in a lopsided sort of fashion. Moolinda Wu’s bun had fallen out. I don’t know why she didn’t wear her hair long this way more often; it looked pretty.
I looked at all the shivering students with droopy party hats. Most students were shivering next to their friends, while others were trying to act brave when they weren’t.
“What happened?” Emma asked, her teeth chattering. “Under Ambrose’s control, nothing like that would happen! Ever!”
“I know,” I said, “Ambrose would never let that happen.”
Daniel, however, was taking this very differently. “That was awesome!” he cried, squeezing his hat and walking over to us. All of our jaws dropped.
“That was the scariest thing that ever happened to me!” I screamed, waving my arms. Daniel was definitely the thriller type.
“What?” Daniel shrugged “I thought it was fun.”
I shook my head and turned toward the Ravenwood tunnel. Hang on. There was a figure crawling through the night, out of Ambrose’s office. A sudden suspicion seized me, and I jumped to my feet, grabbing my wand from my pocket.
A moonbeam hit the item the supposed criminal was carrying. I saw the outline of a pair of glasses, Gamma’s glasses. Why would the guy run off with Gamma’s glasses?
I ran after him anyway, my wand pointing to his back. Thievery was still thievery, no matter what the item.
The guy turned around and swept his staff toward me. A yellow songbird burst from the tip, singing the most beautiful song I’d ever heard. My eyelids started to droop.
No! I realized what was happening and struggled to stay awake, but the song was too powerful. I slumped to the ground. But right before I did, I saw the guy, chuckling evilly, vanish in a puff of smoke.
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