10 December 2016

The Chronicles of Starfield book 1 // chapter 1

This story is a bit of a spin off of Harry Potter. It's a collaborative novel written by my friend and me, Dorothy Jane.  Enjoy!  I'd love feedback.


Chapter One
Liesl Arundel



It was early morning on Saturday the 31st of August. In a small house situated in the outskirts of London the sky just beginning to lighten into pastel pinks and blues, and even an occasional streak of gold.  As the sun began to peek his blazing head over horizon, the sky all the sudden darkened and became filled with dark rainclouds.  Liesl jumped out of bed, threw open the window, and stuck her head underneath the heavy floral curtains to look outside.  The air was thick and smelled of a soon-to-come rain shower while the sun hid desolately behind an enormous raincloud hovering directly over Oxford Green.
“Drat!  Double drat!” exclaimed Liesl, and flung herself backward as hard as she could onto her mattress to get a good bounce.  
Life before Starfield Boarding School was anything but exciting for Liesl Arundel. Liesl’s fourteenth birthday had so far started off like all of her past birthdays had. She awoke to yet another of London’s cold, rainy mornings, saw that the weather was going to be just as bad as the rest of the days in the year, and made her way downstairs only to find the same green kitten birthday card she had gotten from her parents four years in a row.  Steaming on the table next to it was the same birthday breakfast her mother made her every year: two rubbery over-easy eggs and a slice of buttered pumpernickel toast.  She gulped down the dull-tasting breakfast as quickly as possible to be rid of it.
“Farewell, my beloved,” sighed her overly-dramatic father, Dr. Wilhelm Arundel, Ph.D., giving her the same peck on the same cheek as always. “Happy birthday.”
She watched him rush out the door, with the usual polkadot umbrella tucked under his arm.  He was off to the local college, where he taught the juniors accounting.  Boring, moaned Liesl silently, but she attempted a smile.  Today was her birthday, and she should try to be excited, for her parents’ sake.  After her father left, her mother presented her with six shillings.  “To get some of those storybooks you been wanting from that horrid shop,” she explained.  Mrs. Arundel was just as eccentric as her husband.
After helping her mother wash the breakfast dishes, Liesl mounted her rusty bike, l’Hirondelle, meaning, “the Swallow,” from the garage and set off quickly, bumping over the uneven cobblestones.  She wondered for a moment when someone was going to bother to fix the streets, for quite a few of the cobblestones were out of place, and she had swerve this way and that way to avoid a crash.  She knew, however, that nobody ever paid attention to the small town of Oxford Green.  The odds of someone fixing the cobblestones were about as low as her life suddenly becoming as interesting as those of the characters in the books she read.
She was headed for Boggle’s Corner Bookshop, a dusty, run-down book store at the edge of town.  It was her favorite place to be because the man who owned it didn’t mind a bit if she read book after book after book without buying them.  However, he would get a bit feisty when his customers read new books in his shop before he did.  
It wasn’t long before she spotted the bookshop ahead, the broken glass on its front window greeting her like an old friend.  She dismounted l’Hirondelle and leaned her against the brick wall of the shop, then scooted around the familiar moldy cardboard box of free calculus books.  Father would just adore those, she thought scornfully.  The bells attached to the door handle jingled and banged up against the door’s glass window causing Mr. Boggle, the man behind the desk, to look up from the book he was reading and raise his eyebrows with interest.
“Back again, Miss Arundel? And on a Saturday, I see,” said Mr. Boggle knowingly, his sweeping grey mustache twitching.  As Liesl closed the door behind her, she thought about how she had never seen any other customers in the shop and puzzled again over how he managed to stay in business.
The smell of old books, pipe smoke, and dust was almost overpowering.  She sneezed twice before she walked over to her favorite shelf in the shop, one stocked heavily with all sorts of books about dragons, mythical beasts, dashing heroes, and magic.  She tilted her head sideways to read the titles. The Castle of Lies, Turnabout Mansion, A Biography of Turtle Hawkins: Witch, The Dragon’s Egg & The Griffin’s Tail Feather . . .
Liesl had read all those titles dozens of times.  Her favorite had been Turnabout Mansion and she had ached to buy it, but had had no money with her at the time she finished it.  She wondered if she should buy it now with her birthday money.  Just as she was about to remove it from the shelf, an extremely fat book bound in red leather caught her eye.  She didn’t remember seeing it the last time she was in the bookshop.  She cautiously eased it out from between the other books.  The spine and the cover were both unmarked and peeling with old age.  Holding the book carefull, she walked to her favorite squashy chair by the bookshop hearth and sat down.  She carefully unwrapped the leather thong that was meant to keep it from folding and ruining its many pages and opened to the first page.  The paper seemed to be made of some sort of skin and it was curled and turning brown with age.  In the corner of the first page, she saw a small sign.  It could only be described as a crescent moon, tips downward, with four small diamonds arching over it curved top.  A tiny diamond hung suspended off the center of its inner curve.  With the slight touch of her fingertips as she turned the page, the corner of the page where the symbol was drawn fluttered to the ground.  Liesl flipped the page and continued reading.

The Legend of Starfield

Many years ago, in a land far from here, there was an evil wizard.  He wanted to be the most powerful wizard and so one day, he made a single star fell from the heavens so that he could catch it and make the potion to help him rule over all.  Only, his spell went wrong somewhere.  The star fell in a large grassy field and thousands of other stars fell with it.  Above the field, in the sky, it was pitch black and not a star could be seen for miles.  The fallen stars swirled around in a tall column and when they parted and their light faded forever, up from the ground rose a castle.  It was made of dark gray stone and had six tall towers, two of them sticking straight out from either side.  Since then the field has always been called Starfield or The Field Of Stars and the castle, Ravens Down Castle because of the constellation named Ravens Down that used to be directly over the field and was destroyed by the wizard.  As for him, no one ever saw him again.

-----

The rest of the pages following the story were entirely blank except for a few randomly positioned smudges of ink.  As she began to close the book, a voice behind her murmured something, but before Liesl could turn around to locate the source of the voice, she choked on the cloud of dust that flew into her face from the book like an explosion in a flour mill.  She sneezed into the crook of her arm.  When she looked back up, the mysterious book was gone, replaced by four folded sheets of paper.  This is what she read:


Starfield School
for the
Specially Gifted
༺༻

Dear Miss. L. Arundel,

     We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Starfield School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Enclosed is a list of all required books, supplies, and additional information about the school.  All items requested for students can be purchased at Boggle’s Magical Supplies located on 12th st., Oxford, London.  The Starfield train, the Grey Griffin, leaves at fifteen o’clock a.m. sharp on September 1 from Platform 5 at North Star Station.
The school term begins on September 2.
Reminder to parents, guardians, and students:
-Students will change into appropriate school robes once on the train to Starfield.
-Be sure to read the extra letter and choose your classes (choose 7-9 classes) for term one at Starfield promptly so that we may reserve you a spot in those classes. Please send a list of the classes your student/s wants to take to Starfield School for the Specially Gifted, 173 Queens Ln. Wolvercote, EN 42520.
-At the front doors of the school, all students are required to show themselves and this letter complete with a parent or guardian’s signature on the line at the bottom of this page. Please have a parent or guardian read through all the pages included in this letter before signing.  
   If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by owl post.

Yours most sincerely,

B. Norris
Bathilda Norris
Deputy Headmistress


I have read and agree to these terms and conditions.
 _____________________________________
(Parent or guardian’s signature here)


-----

   The rest of the pages listed other information and the available classes.  As Liesl looked up from the papers, something caught her eye.  In front of her was a case of sleek looking wands. Her eyes widened in surprise.  Wands?  Then, remembering that she was still sitting, Liesl stood up only to find that she had been sitting on a three-legged stool, not a squashy chair in front of the bookshop hearth.  She whirled about to look at the desk where Mr. Boggle usually sat expecting to see someone different, but there he sat, casually smoking his pipe as if nothing had happened.
She saw that the shop had been entirely transformed.  Its walls were now stacked to the ceiling with all sorts of things.  Blue bottles and glass jars filled herbs, colored liquids, what were supposedly newt eyes, and other unmentionable things.  There were cats running wild throughout the shop, animals in cages, tottering piles of spell books, quills, rolls of parchment, rack upon rack of robes, cauldrons, miniature replicas of the solar system, and golden scales.  In one of the corners of the room, behind the desk where Mr. Boggle sat, multiple broomsticks leaned against the wall.  The floor of the shop was covered with a thick, tasseled, red carpet with little orangey-yellow designs on it.  Liesl counted nine clocks hanging on the walls all ticking methodically.  Above the sound of the clocks, she could hear owls hooting, frogs croaking, and the call of a hawk or some other bird of prey.  Then, Liesl heard something else; a different sound and one that was all too familiar to her.  It was the tinkling of the bells attached to the door of the shop.  She turned to see the door opening and the shadowy silhouettes of two large figures and one smaller standing behind the glass.

4 comments:

  1. AHHHHHHH! I LOVE IT! SUCH a good job, Sophie! Great plot-line---and, for future reference--just because Harry Potter was a great book, I personally think this is way more....not-spin-off than some peoples'. (I once knew a girl who was writing a SEQUEL to Harry Potter! A SEQUEL!)

    Amelia xxx
    <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so so much!!! <3 That means a ton to me!
      Aww, that's sweet of you to say. Wow, a sequel?! That crazy awesome! I don't think I'd have the courage to do that. ;)

      Delete
  2. I love it! I do hope you post more of it.
    ~Mira

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, thank you, Mira!! I hope to post more soon. <3

      Delete

I love feedback! Please let me know what you think! Why, if you don't comment, I will never know that you stopped by my little space and will never get to meet you. <3