Now you may be thinking that Kastaspella is being affected by Vandabar’s spell, but she is not.
All he is doing is slowing Kastapella’s vengeance spell down. Beads of sweat are gathering on his forehead. His mouth feels as dry as the Gobi desert. And he hopes that Mistress Oliviana Castor-Fiber has reached The Tower with Clarissa because he is not certain how much longer he can keep Kastapella’s conjuration at bay. Vandabar is a powerful wizard, but Kastapella has created pure energy with vengeance at its core. And that is what makes her spell unbreakable.
The headmistress had led the friends and her field mouse cousin to a tower high above the academy. Clarissa could not remember seeing it when they looked at the building from the outside. This is because it was shielded by protective magic conjured by all the best witches and wizards the academy has ever taught. Before each graduating student leaves the academy they are brought to this room and told its secrets. Then they swear an oath to protect the sanctity of magic and never ever to use their magic for evil. To seal this oath the witch or wizard must add a layer of protection to the spells already there.
These spells link the magic makers to this place for ever more and when called upon to do their duty they will instantly know and come to the aid of anyone inside the room as quickly as they can.
The headmistress only hoped that there was enough protection on the room to prevent Kastapella’s magic from affecting Clarissa until the conjuring cavalry arrived. She leaned against a wall of the tower room talking in a low voice with her cousin. “When the spell hits her it’s going to be…” she lowered her voice even further, “…unpleasant, not just for her, but for us too.”
“How so Oliviana?”
“We’ll have to watch knowing we can do nothing at all to help her.”
Clarissa leaned back into an armchair. She didn’t say anything. But she had heard everything. When grown ups used words like unpleasant you could feel the more nasty word which was not said just lurking in the room like a great big cobra waiting to strike.
Tears began to trickle down her cheeks. But she made no sound as she cried. She had learnt this method of crying after her mother died. If she cried loudly it upset her dad. Clarissa didn’t like upsetting her dad. He was sad enough about mum dying.
Brueberon sat on the arm of the chair. “I’m so sorry Clarissa. I wish I knew what to do.” He hopped onto her dress and hugged her as best as he knew how. He’d never hugged anyone before so this was an experiment.
Because his intentions were heartfelt Clarissa felt a cuddle glow by her bottom-most right rib. The warmth of it grew and began spreading up each rib bone.
“Dear sweet Brueby.” Clarissa dried her tears. “My lovely friend. I’m so glad I finally got to meet you. It is what I’ve always wanted ever since I started coming here.”
Brueberon forgot he was meant to be hugging and stepped back. Looking up at her he smiled the happiest smile he had ever smiled. “Do you really mean that?”
“Of course I do you great big… little… ninny. I’ve always wanted to be your friend.” Brueberon’s scales were glowing like the coals in a fire on a cold day.
They both laughed.
There was a corn kernal popping noise.
Clarissa twisted her head and frowned. “Brueberon, I think you’re growing.”
Brueberon looked down at himself. If he was not mistaken he was now the size of a Chihuahua. He hopped to the ground.
The popping noises began to increase in volume and speed. With each pop Brueberon’s size increased.
“Oh, no!” Clarissa’s hands covered her cheeks. “He’s never going to fit in this room.”
But Mistress Castor-Fiber was not the least bit concerned. She knew the wonderful properties of the tower. She knew that it would keep them all safe no matter what magic was taking place.
And of course she was absolutely right in her belief. As Brueberon grew, so did the room.
When Brueberon reached the size of a fully grown bull elephant the popping noises went crazy -just like popcorn trapped inside a pot, then stopped. The silence was incredible.
The magical tower which had seemed only big enough to house about fifty people was now large enough to contain all of the resized Brueberon without him having to duck down at all.
A great big rumbling sound filled the space. It was Brueberon’s laughter.
Clarissa forgot all about her own problems in the light of this wonderful outcome for Brueberon.
Mr Fieldmouse looked confused.
His cousin patted his shoulder. “She declared their friendship openly you see.”
“Oh, right. I see. I think.” Mr Fieldmouse shrugged his shoulders. Magic was much too confusing for him. He was glad he didn’t know anything about it.
But the excitement in the tower had to be put to one side as witches and wizards were materialising in the room and it was filling up fast. None of them asked silly questions. The first group to arrive listened to the headmistress’ explanation. As soon as they knew the facts they then told them to each new person who arrived. And without needing any direction they sorted themselves out according to their magical strengths and abilities.
A soft buzz, like bees working away in a hive, began to fill the space.
Brueberon looked at all the mental and magical activity in the room and knew that he had to help somehow. “I’m going back out there to see if I can help Vandabar in any way.”
“Don’t leave…me!” Clarissa began, but the dragon had already blinked his eyes and disappeared.
“His blinking magic’s not on the blink anymore.” she whispered to herself.
Mr Fieldmouse appeared at her side and patted her hand. “You’re in the safest place ever. With Oliviana at the helm you won’t come to any harm my dear.”
Clarissa tried to smile, but she was not feeling very optimistic.