Original Works

Glamour [12 Genre Months]

“Glamour,” she said. “That’s how they got out.”

“Glamour,” I echoed with a frown.

It had come down to this—banned magic that would have me expelled from the academy—magic that was forbidden since the Dark Ages. Alas, it was the only option left—if I wished to return home and see my family, it was a risk I had to take.

“Do you know where they got it?” I prompted.

Her lips parted—she knew. Unfortunately, hesitation kept her answer at bay.

“Are you sure about this?” she asked. “I mean, you can always stay until they find a vaccine.”

“Vaccine?” I shook my head. “What difference will a vaccine make with that thing on the loose?”

No vaccine nor miracle cure could undo what had been done—even if the greatest scientists could put a stop to the plague, the real monster had been unleashed. A dark and malevolent creature—that fed off fear and paranoia—had resurfaced, and there was no escaping its vengeful presence.

“Once everything returns to normal, the Court of Magicians will bind the creature,” she said. “We just have to be patient.”

“No, I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as that,” I replied. “I don’t think we can just put it back.”

Upon the announcement of the city lock-down, the nesting creature broke free from its spellbound chains. Once restrained by the facade of peace, it now roamed the streets—its shadow latching onto any soul that it deemed as a perfect host. With growing dominance, none of us were spared from its curse—either as a vessel of it’s evil spirit or a victim of its influence.

“This isn’t the first time,” she insisted. “The court knows what to do.”

“Yes, but it’s stronger now. Can’t you feel it?”

The new plague had granted the creature more power than before—unforeseen strength to reach across borders and swallow the earth whole. Unlike its previous escapes, it stirred discord and animosity on a grander scale—feasting on even those who had encountered death from the plague itself. Hence, I had to resort to the Glamour.

“But that-”

“Just tell me where they got the Glamour,” I interrupted.

I knew that she cared for me—that she didn’t want to lose yet another friend. Unfortunately, she failed to see my reality. Despite guarding her youthful soul from the creature’s dark influence, she couldn’t fully grasp the predicament I was in.

“You don’t even know how to cast a Glamour,” she replied.

“I’ll find out how,” I stated.

She grunted in exasperation. “Okay, fine, let’s say you successfully cast a Glamour—at most, it’ll get you across the border. It’s not going to last long enough for you to get home.”

“That’s all I need—I just need to cross the border.”

Truthfully, I hadn’t thought the idea through—it was the first time I had a feasible plan. Hence, I intended to solve any hiccups along the way. After all, I was the top of my class.

“And then what?” she asked. “If the authorities catch you, you’ll be quarantined. You’ll be worse off than you are now.”

“Well, they can’t keep me for long. They’ll have to let me go soon enough,” I stated.

“They’ve kept people on ships… for months.”

“Well, that’s because they were infected—I’m not infected. So they will eventually let me go,” I replied, withholding not my growing irritation.

“Fine. But what are you going to do once the academy finds out, huh?” she challenged. “You worked so hard for the scholarship, casting the Glamour will have you expelled with no appeal.”

“Then, I won’t get caught.”

“No,” she huffed. “I won’t let you do it. I’m sorry, but I don’t know where they got the Glamour.”

“You’re lying,” I replied, as I narrowed my gaze. “Do you know what it’s like to be here—where the creature has its claws in almost everyone?”

She frowned before turning away from me.

“You don’t,” I continued. “You don’t know what it’s like to be accused of being a carrier, to be called derogatory names, to be afraid of being assaulted simply because of your origins. So if I have to cast a spell to change my damned appearance, just to get home and be with my family, I will.”

She cleared her throat. “I’m sorry. I-”

“I’m going to do it whether you help me or not,” I interrupted. Surely, with a little digging, I could find the source of such magic. If only… I didn’t have to do it alone.

“Fine, do it,” she said. “But… I’ll get the Glamour for you.”

“You will?” I raised a brow.

“Yes. And I’m coming with.”


12 Genre Months © 2020 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for the list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 32

Taking his hand, Joanna felt an immediate surge of energy as Tom brought her along in an apparation. A few seconds later, they appeared in front of a mansion.

“What is this place?” Joanna asked.

“My place. Supposedly,” Tom answered, as he led her through a door which entered a dusty kitchen.

“If it is your place, why are we entering from the back?”

“It is supposed to be mine, but it isn’t.”

Tom pulled out his wand and brightened up their path out of the kitchen, pass the dining room, and into the hall.

“Whose is it then?”

Tom did not answer as they started up the curving steps to the first floor.

“What if we get caught?”

“You’re still afraid of being caught?” Tom asked in reply.

It was Joanna’s turn not to answer him.

Finally, they entered a huge reading room. Tom started a fire by the fireplace while Joanna examined the room. There were tall bookshelves, a grand piano, and three sofas that sat by the fireplace. The house looked abandoned for several years, as the dusty carpets and cobwebbed ceilings made the air so stale and difficult to breath. However, this room was an exception.

“You live here?” Joanna asked, settling down on a sofa.

“This is the Riddle House. It’s mine by default.” Tom took a seat across her before he continued, “I don’t use the front door because it’s booby trapped. I’ve put spells around the house so no muggle would dare enter. Their fear of the dead is an advantage.”

“Fake ghosts?”

“Fake ghosts of my dead father and grandparents. Even their loyal gardener is afraid of entering the house after their deaths.”

“I see.”

“But this is not what I wanted to show you.”

Tom smiled before he whispered in parseltongue. A few seconds later, Joanna heard a hissing reply.

“Should I close my eyes?” Joanna immediately asked. The last time she met one of Tom’s pets, it was a killing machine.

“No. Nagini is not a basilisk. She’s a rare crossed breed snake I acquired when I was travelling.”

To Joanna’s surprise, the snake that entered the room was not at all huge. It was merely 4 feet long and half a feet wide.

“She’s still a baby. But she’ll grow,” Tom said, after he saw her slight relief.

The snake slithered up the sofa next to Tom, and rested its green head on his lap.

Tom said something else in parseltongue and the snake turned its head to look at Joanna. With its tongue flicking in her direction, it slowly stood up.

“What did you say?” Joanna asked, watching the snake closely.

“I introduced you to her.”

The snake slowly slithered onto the wooden table in the between them and Joanna reacted by standing up immediately.

“Relax. I told her you’re not dinner.”

Was that a joke? Joanna asked herself as she turned to Tom.

“She’s just being friendly,” Tom continued. “Give her a pat on the head, so she knows you’re not hostile.”

Joanna shook her head in reply.

“Nagini won’t bite. She’s a baby and she’s friendlier at this stage. In a couple of months time, it would be impossible to befriend her.”

I don’t want to befriend a snake, Joanna thought.

“If she knows you now, she won’t attempt to kill you later on.”

Looks like I don’t have a choice then? Joanna thought.

Slowly, she reached out towards the snake. It was watching her hand as she watched it, and Joanna had a bad feeling about it. Quickly, she touched the top of the snakes head and pulled her hand back. The snake then lowered its head, before returning to Tom.

“That wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Joanna sat back down cautiously.

“I just wanted you to meet my new friend. Nagini has been accompanying me for some time now and she sort of reminds me of you.”

“I’m not a snake,”Joanna immediately responded.

“Of course not. But you’re a friend.”

Tom’s reply made Joanna smile. He never stopped taking her as a friend. That was good, she thought.

…..

Throughout that one month break, Joanna had been catching up with many of her old friends during the day, and spending the nights with Tom in the reading room. One evening, while Joanna was reading a book on dark magic, which was one of the many that rested on the tall shelves, Nagini entered the reading room.

Tom was not around that evening as he said he had an errand to run. Joanna was fine being alone, but certainly unsure on how to react when his snake decided to be her company.

“Hi,” Joanna said, as she lifted her legs off the ground and folded it on the sofa.

Nagini headed up to her and hissed.

“What is it?”

Nagini rose higher off the ground, hissed at her, and turned to look at the door.

“What do you want?” Joanna asked, pushing herself against the sofa. She had to admit that she was still afraid of the snake, baby or not.

Nagini dropped to the ground, slithered to the doorway, rose from the ground and hissed at her again.

Does it want me to follow it? Joanna asked herself.

“Do you want me to follow you?” Joanna then asked Nagini, which she knew did not understand English.

Like a puppy trying to hint for something, Nagini slithered back and forth with its head turning to the hallway outside the room.

Joanna was now certain it wanted to be followed. Yet, Joanna was not so sure if she should. God knows if Nagini intended on attacking her somewhere else.

To Be Continued…

(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should follow after Nagini!)