|I looked up at the few wispy clouds drifting through the crystalline sky and sighed. It was going to be hot today. Hot and dry. Probably tomorrow too, maybe for the whole week. I sighed again, I hated hot weather.
Allow, me to explain. My name is Liam. Yep, I know what you're thinking, it probably goes along the lines of, "Just Liam, what no last name?" and yeah, I don't have a last name, but I don't really care.
I have always been in the orphanage, and during my thirteen years of imprisonment there I have never had a friend, not one. I've always been different somehow, all the teachers at the cheap public school that I go to describe me as "Cold", and in a way it's true. I have always been somewhat detached from the other kids, and a bit... different.
I mean, it wasn't my fault when the swimming pool at the Swimming Carnival completely froze just as I dived into the water, and how was I supposed to explain about the time when I had gotten really angry and a blizzard started outside.
Anyway, it was going to be hot. Annoyed, I started walking inside.
"Oy! Liam!", came a nasal voice from somewhere behind me. I turned around slowly and there he was, my favourite person in the whole world, Simon McFlorren. He jumped casually out of the tree and walked towards me with an arrogant smirk on his face. "Where you going, Freezer boy?"
I turned around and walked back into the orphanage, ignoring him completely. I slumped through the blue tiled kitchen and over to my room on the first floor. Wrenching the door open with my eyes half closed, I stumbled through and slammed it. I walked over to my bed slowly and froze.
My room was completely blue. Everything was blue fringed with white. I glanced down at my cup of water on the pinewood desk. It was frozen solid, spiderwebs of lighter colored ice crisscrossing the top of the surface
It was then that I noticed it, the temperature inside was cold, freezing in fact. Why was it cold? I sat down quietly on my bed when a sudden flash of light burst through the room, searing my eyes.
The light vanished and I opened my eyes, not remembering closing them. I was in a small rectangular building, with a single person sitting at the desk in front of me. He was an old man, with a long wispy beard snaking its way down his chest. He wore long flowing robes, with a pointy purple hat on.
"Well hello there, are you Liam IceStaff?", he asked in a friendly voice.
"Liam yes, IceStaff, no idea.", I replied shakily, "Um, not meaning to be rude or anything but what is going on?"
"No idea?! Good lord, you mean you have absolutely no recollection of what happened?"
"Well, in answer to you're first question I have teleported you from that dull planet Earth to here, Wizard City!"
I stared at the old man in shock, clearly he was insane, I wondered if I had somehow gotten to a mental institution. I could have been knocked unconscious somehow and been taken to an Asylum, YES that was it, they must have locked me up for doing all that strange stuff.
"Wizard City, teleportation? I think you must be slightly crazy.", I said in a small voice, not truly believing what I was saying.
"Hmm, you don't believe me... very well," he said in a business like voice, "I will prove it to you but you must not tell anyone of what I am about to show you!"
"Ok, but I still think you might be slightly crazy."
"Most people do to tell the truth," He got up, brandishing a staff, "Move back please!"
I scurried back hastily, backing onto a desk with a crystal ball occupying most of the room.
He straightened, a fierce look of determination and concentration coming over his face. He held the staff aloft and a yellow tinge started to glow around the tip of it. He started tracing an obscure symbol in the air, and the yellow solidified behind where the staff went. A triangle emerged with an eye in the center of it, and I gasped, now believing everything he had said. He was a Wizard! And this was real magic!
He suddenly flicked his staff upwards and the symbol exploded forward, yellow motes of dust scattering onto the carpet. The air around us started glowing yellow and twisting inward.
Seven beams of bright yellow light emerged form the haze, winding around and around like a whirlpool, all the while getting closer the the center of the disturbance.
They met in mid air and flowed upward and downward, creating a body very quickly. The light dispersed and I gasped, for there in the middle of the carpet in front of me was a creature out of myth, a Gorgon.
The lower half of the beast was a snake, while the top half was the body of a woman with two arms protruding out of the torso. The exquisite face was framed by her hair, made of living snakes.
She twirled her hands, a green sphere forming between them. She threw it forward suddenly, and it whistled quickly through the air before it struck a wooden dummy, shattering it instantly.
She then thrust her face forward, eyes glowing green and a dummy that had been behind the previous one suddenly turned to stone, completely encased in granite. Then, she simply faded away into nothing, leaving no evidence she was there except for the shattered remains of the first dummy, and the second dummy encased in stone.
I turned to gape at him, a new-found respect for him blooming inside of me.
"Does that prove it for you young master Liam?" he asked in his scratchy voice.
"Ye-es-s," I stuttered quietly before regaining my senses and asking ,"Why did you call me Liam IceStaff, sir?"
He looked delighted at this question and his single blue eye twinkled in euphoria,"I'm glad you asked that question of me." He moved over to a window I hadn't noticed before and hooted loudly out of it.
I was about to ask what that was for when a large barn owl flew through the window.
"What is it, I was just starting dinner?" The obviously male owl screeched impatiently.
I felt my mouth threatening to open again but I stubbornly locked my muscles in place, if this man could conjure up a Gorgon then why shouldn't owls be able to talk.
"Ah Gamma, I have finally found him." The old man said with delight.
"Why, the lost IceStaff of course!"
Gamma fell of the table be was perched on in astonishment.
"The lost IceStaff, Liam IceStaff?!" He screeched in amazement,"The IceStaff that vanished when the Death School got blasted of Bartleby by Malistaire ?!"
"Well what other lost IceStaff is there? OF COURSE ITS LIAM ICESTAFF!!!" The old man yelled at Gamma the Owl.
"What are you both talking about?!" I butted in.
They both looked at me with impatience.
"YOU!" They both yelled at the same time.
The old man slapped his forehead suddenly. "We haven't told Seth and Jessica yet!"
"Seth and Jessica?" I asked as Gamma fell off the table again.
"Your parents of course!" He cried.
I stared at him in shock. I had parents. A family. Maybe even brothers and sisters. "A family..." I whispered in amazement. "When can I meet them sir?"
"Just after you have looked in the book to find out what school you belong to and after you have meet your professors." He muttered, rummaging around under his desk for something. 'Ahh, here it is!" He pulled out a great book and thumped it on the table. "Now just answer these questions."
I looked at the book where the questions were and touched my answer softly. The question faded and another appeared. I answered each of them patiently, waiting for the answer to finally appear.
The page turned blue, and some small snowflakes drifted from above the page. I was Ice! The book knew me well.
"Ice, is it?" He asked, "No surprise there." He pulled out a blue wand and a deck of cards and gave them to me. "These are yours now," he said.
I looked curiously at the cards, each one was different. "Um, sir?" I asked gently.
"Yes what is it?" He replied from under the desk, putting the book back.
"What are these cards for?"
He straightened up suddenly, banging his head on the underside of the table. "Oww! The cards you say?" He said coming out from the desk gingerly, rubbing his head. "Why, you cast magic with them!"
"But you didn't use any cards when you cast that Gorgon thing..."
He looked at me strictly, "Liam, that is one of the things that you must not mention to anyone unless I give you permission, do you understand?"
I nodded meekly. He suddenly flicked his staff and a flurry of snowflakes surrounded me.
"Meet all your teachers young wizard!" Came his voice from the small blizzard, "And then teleport back to me!"
The snowflakes vanished, and I was staring at a giant tree. I looked around. There were dozens of wizards hurrying around, going into buildings and talking to trees, all seemingly oblivious to me. I hurried over to a big dog man on two legs.
"Excuse me!" I said to him, "Are you one of the professors?"
He looked down his long snout at me. "Why yes!" He cried in a friendly voice, "I am Arthur Westfield instructor of balance here at the Ravenwood School of Magical Arts, and who are you?"
"Liam, Liam IceStaff," I said offering my hand to him.
His face went pale when I said my name, but he shook my hand anyway and ushered me off quickly. I went to the other instructors and got the same reaction from them. Puzzled, I finally went into my school, the School of Ice.
A small blue fairy hung behind the lectern, chubby and grandmotherly.
"Hello dear!" She said in a pleasant piping voice, "I am Lydia Greyrose, your Ice professor!"
"I'm Liam IceStaff, Professor Greyrose," I replied to her, and waited for the grey faced reaction.
"IceStaff you say? This is a wonderful day indeed!" She piped with delight, "I have taught the IceStaves for generations!"
I looked at her, this wasn't the reaction I had been expecting.
"What's wrong dear?" She asked, troubled.
"Well all the other instructors sort of deflated and went pale when I told them my name," I told her, "And I wasn't expecting you to be really pleased about meeting me."
"Hmm, that is very odd child... oh well, I'm sure we will have a great time together, we are distantly related you know! Come back tomorrow for class at six o'clock sharp!"
I teleported, enjoying the light feeling as the snowflakes brushed against my skin. The old man (who I realized hadn't told me his name) was waiting for me in the commons.
"Sir, what's your name?" I asked politely.
"Great Gobblers, I haven't told you yet? Well, I am Merle Ambrose, Headmaster of the Ravenwood School of Magical Arts."
I stared at him impressed, this was the Headmaster of Ravenwood?!
"Well, I'll teleport us to your home!" He murmured quietly. Everything flashed before we were standing on a glacier, a chateau made of ice in the center of the plateau. Tall evergreens surrounded the house, snowmen dotted the grounds, sliding quietly, holding knives made of a blue metal.
We walked up to the house and Professor Ambrose knocked on the door, standing back politely. The door was flung open by a small girl with freckles and snow white hair.
"Hello Professor! Hello strange person! What can I do for you?!" She asked in a high squeaky voice.
I looked down at myself and suddenly noticed I was still wearing my jeans and a blue t-shirt from earth, no wonder lots of other wizards had been staring at me.
"Hello Sarah, can we speak with your parents please?" Professor Ambrose asked.
"OK," she disappeared and yelled out "MUM, DAD, PROFESSOR AMBROSE WANTS TO TALK TO YOU!"
The sound of running people filled the house, and two adults dressed in white and blue robes the same as Sarah's appeared.
"Hello Professor! What can we do for you..." the woman trailed off as she saw me.
I felt it in my bones, a deep yearning to be with them, and I knew without a doubt that these were my parents.
"Ah, you seem to have worked it out Jessica. For the benefit of Seth, this is Liam IceStaff, your long lost son." Said the Professor in happiness.
I ran over to them as the started running over to me, and I was enveloped in the soft clothes of my family as they embraced me.
The noise of more running people filled the air as two boys and another girl ran down the stairs.
"Did someone say Liam's back?"
"I wanna see Liam!"
"I knew there was something about him that reminded me of Liam!"
I removed myself from the warm embrace of my parents and looked to see my four siblings (including Sarah) skid to a halt and stare at me.
The oldest came over to me and we hugged warmly.
"I'm Jason," he said "Seventeen."
Sarah came over and joined in the hug. "I'm eight!"
The other two came over, and I could tell that they were twins.
"Quinn," said the boy, "Thirteen."
"Lucy," the girl butted in, "Thirteen, and we are triplets!"
Triplets! I had a twin brother and sister and we were triplets!
"I think I'll leave now," Professor Ambrose said quietly and vanished with and poof.
We all hugged together, I had a family.
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