There were secrets in Fourthen school about to be revealed, dark secrets too mystifying for anyone to imagine… this is the book; the book of magic, the book of wonder, the book that made everything bad happen.
"No way mum! I can't wear that, I'll look like a two year old." Derik whined.
"Well you sound like a two year old whining away like that." Dad laughed. "You know I dislike that habit immensely."
"But look, I am not wearing that blue stripy top anymore."
"It looks cute!" His mum proclaimed indignantly, brandishing the blue stripy chocolate stained t shirt in the air in panic.
"I don't want to look cute, I want to look cool and like me."
"Well we can dress you in a suit instead?" Dad laughed, doing his favourite tactic, trying to pour oil on troubled water by making a terrible joke. As always, it didn't work and the joke was brushed aside. Derik groaned inwardly. Why didn't his parents let him do what he wanted to do?
After a heated debate, Derik finally got his own way and clambered into the car wearing his trainers, a red and blue shirt with jeans. He had a cool kit bag with a map, some sweets and his phone in.
They stopped off at Harry's house and then a couple of minutes later, Millie's house and then they were travelling in their car to the shops of Fourthen street.
Millie, Harry and Derik were going to a secondary boarding school called Fourthen Castle. They had all come from their primary school called Setnu which was in France. They were all English but their parents had agreed that it would be "good for their education". Millie, an eleven year old girl, had straight auburn hair, with green eyes and pink rimmed glasses. Harry, an eleven year old boy with scruffy black hair and laughing brown eyes . Derik an eleven year old boy with strange sea blue eyes and soot black hair combed back neatly. Derik's dad and mum were taking them all out to Fourthen street which was where they were getting their uniforms.
“Ummm right, mum, dad, why don't you go to costa coffee to have a drink whilst we go and get our uniforms by ourselves” Derik suggested hopefully.
“Oh my little baby boy all grown up. Ahhh smoochy woochy coochy coo! Although I'd love to go to costa, I'd love to go on a little expedition with my little baby dumpling!” As she said expedition, she did a pathetic mumsy boogie and then smothered him with kisses whilst he squirmed uncomfortably. His dad rolled his eyes but laughed loudly as he watched his son trying to eascape from her arms.
Millie and Harry giggled behind their backs. They promised not to go inside the uniform shop with them but they insisted on accompanying them to go in a café next to the shop.
“ Bye bye, little dumpling!” Deriks mum cooed, tears dripping from her face as she left her son to fend for himself.
“Yes, bye bye. It's not like I'm going to a boarding school for six years and I'm not even going to say goodbye or not write to you.” Derik huffed, strutting into the shop without another word. Millie and Harry lagged behind laughing.
“Shut up Mills, shut up Harry!” Derik joked. “ I told you that we shouldn't of brought mum with us! She's a nightmare. An absolute embarrassment!”
“How could you say that!” Harry exclaimed in disgust staring at Derik in horror tinged with amusement. “What kind of person would dare treat their mother like that!”
Before the arguing between the boys could get any worse, a guttural voice echoed out from the shadows.
“Hello children” The peculiar voice said. Harry jumped in fright and clung on to Millie, who sprang behind Derik.
“Wha… what…was…that…”Harry squeaked.
“A voice.” Millie replied sarcastically. “What else could it be?”
“Of course I know that. “ Harry laughed sheepishly, appalled at his own utter wimpiness.
A strange dishevelled old man emerged from the shadows.
“Aaaaahhhhh!” Harry whispered in a rasping voice behind Millie and Harry. “Mad professor alert! Quick! Run for your lives!”
“Shut up! Be polite.” Derik hissed behind his back to the trembling Harry. Indeed this strange man did resemble a mad proffesor but Millie and Derik were polite enough not to mention it because of their manners, unlike their shaking friend behind them.
“Aaah, I might look like a mad professor to you but actually I am an extremely wise man. Now can I help you?” He asked.
Millie snorted when he boasted about being a "wise old man", but quickly found her manners. “Ummm, well we were looking for the shopkeeper, you see.” She replied.
“Well what are you talking about! I am the shopkeeper. And welcome to my wonderful shop," the children concealed chuckles as the shop was far from wonderful with dusty wall and work surfaces. "I see you are all new year 7s from Fourthen Castle coming to buy my wonderful uniform. Well, I'll tell you that Fourthen Castle is the best school for miles around as is my shop. I went there myself as a young lad, and it was the best school. The corridors…
“He he, yes how lovely, can we get our uniform now please?” Derik asked awkwardly.
“But don't you want to hear more about fourthen castle?” He asked indignantly.
“Yes. But you see, I'm on a extremely tight schedule.” Millie said.
“And why is that?”
“Because erm… I have a… um … puppy at home and um when I get in too er...late he uuuuummmmm …. Bites my ankles and...er yeah... it hurts???” She replied. Millie was a bad liar as was clearly shown.
“Very well.” Said the disgruntled shopkeeper.
“Derik? Mills? Are you seriously going to let this mad professor shopkeeper person dress us?” Harry squealed.
“You! You with the black hair and brown eyes” (Harry shrank further back) “can go first.”
“No! Are you serious you mean hag.” Harry exclaimed his big brown eyes filled with fear. “What are you going to do to me?” He shrunk back even more when he realised what he had said.
“Are you scared of me?”
“Well what do you think?” Derik interrupted. “He's an utter wimp.”
“No,” replied Harry stepping forward as if he hadn't a fear in the world. “But you are a hag! Who knows what you could do to me!”
“Oh just shut up and go you complete and utter scaredy cat !” Millie commanded shoving Harry forward. “Show a bit of fearlessness for once. That would be a surprise and brilliant entertainment for us all.”
“Why thank you kind, sir. Now if you could just stand on this lovely handsome wooden stall then that would be my way of getting you fitted.” He said.
“Okay umm.” As Harry stepped up on the stall, his trembling legs knocked it over. “Aaahhh! It's alive! It's possessed!” He jumped backwards in fright.
“Oh my… oh my… god!” He yelled screaming.
"My goodness, I'm so glad there's nobody else in here." The shop keeper muttered to himself just loud enough for Derik and Millie to hear. "Nobody would ever come back if they thought these were the type of customers I get."
“Listen I'll go first and you'll have to go after me. Deal?” Derik asked trying to get into the shop keepers good books again.
“Deal.” Replied Harry, shaking his hand.
“Promise?” Derik persisted.
“Promise.” Harry replied solemnly.
The shopkeeper smiled warmly at him, probably glad that someone was actually being sensible.
Derik stepped on the stool and then the most extraordinary thing started to happen. The pale turquisey blue velvet tailcoat jacket fabric suddenly flew from the giant reel it was attached to. Scissors, hovering in mid air, cut the fabric to Deriks size. The crisp white shirt was on him along with the turqoisey blue and orange coloured ascot. Pale grey trousers were fitted perfectly. A black hooded cloak finished it off.
“What house are you in?” The shopkeeper asked the awestruck Derik who was staring at him with his mouth opening and closing like he was doing an imitation of a goldfish.
“Hem hem, excuse me young man?”
“Oh er yes sorry, geography house .”
A sewing box flew out of the wall and sequins of blue and green erupted out of it, magically sewing themselves to the black hooded cape and turquisey blue tail coated jacket to form the picture of the earth. After all the commotion of Deriks uniform had finished, each child managed to utter a few words of praise all too dumbstruck to go all out with excitement.
“Wow.” Millie gasped.
“That was pretty awesome.” Harry admitted.
“THAT WAS AMAZING!” Derik squealed stepping smartly down in his new uniform.
“Me next!” Millie begged. “Pleeeeeeaaase! Meeeeeeeee?”
“Okay fine.”the shopkeeper replied.
“Phew! I'm happy to go last.” Muttered Harry shuffling further backwards.
Once Millie and Harry had both been fitted and dressed, they went into a musty bookstore with shelves heaving with the weight of books that were lied upon it. In every available space, books would fill it.
“Wow, this place is book city, I love it!” Laughed Harry.
“This place could not get any cooler, I love it even more!” Millie cried.
Derik just stared around speechless admiring the cramped room. A young man with bright purple hair, rang the bell at the till to let his customers know that he was there.
“Can I help you.” He asked
“Yes, actually, you can. “ said Derik taking the lead. “We’d like to place an order for the books of three year sevens in geography house that are going to fourthen castle.”
“Righto then, your order should be with you in a few days time then, cheerio!” He ushered them out of the shop using polite words of goodbye.
“That man certainly means business then” Millie exclaimed after a rather rude push out of the bookstore.
“Where are we going to next Derik?” Asked Harry peering over Deriks shoulder. Derik, who was always well-equipped with everything due to his doting parents, took out the map that lay untouched at the bottom of his bag.
“Well according to this, we should go to the stationary shop.” Derik replied stuffing the map back into his bag.
“Wait, do we have to? I've already brought my year 6 pencil case with me.” Harry moaned.
“Yeah same .”
“Well, I'd like to go and have a look around in there.” Derik replied a matter of factly, marching off in the direction of the stationary store.
They actually ended up nearly buying the whole shop- it was amazing. There were pencils with sweets on the end and glow in the dark rubbers and pencil cases with LED lights fastened on and pencils and pens with flashy lights on top, a 6 foot rubber costing£100 displayed in a shining glass case with the printed letters of:
How many mistakes can one make in a day???
Millie laughed at the rubber as she walked past admiring anything and everything she could see. They exited the stationary shop with bags full of colour changing pencils and lots of other stationary delights.
“If we have to walk any further, I'm sure I will die!!!!!!” Screeched Millie.
“Well we have to keep on walking otherwise we’ll never get home.” Replied a determined Derik who was the only one out of the three who hadn't got achey legs and feet.
“Why where are we going???” Millie asked curiously her head suddenly perking up.
“To costa silly, to get mum and dad.”
"Well perhaps we could quickly nip into that nice pastry shop opposite first to get a few delicious looking pastries?" Harry asked hopefully.
"Ok Harry, ok we get it, you're hungry." Millie said kindly, actually showing some sympathy for once.
"Pastry shop it is then!"
“Yes, bye bye mum, stop crying otherwise you'll flood the whole station with tears."
"Yes I'll write to you."
"Yes I'll be good."
"Yes I will remember you!” Derik kissed his mother before climbing quickly onto the train. Millie hopped on with him as her parents hadn't come because they both had full time jobs at the hospital. Harry's parents said a discreet goodbye before Harry also jumped onto the train with his friends.
They took a carriage facing the station and blew kisses out of the window (well Millie didn't).
“Finally we’re on the train this feels like my dream come true. I was shaking last night just at the mere thought of going to fourthen castle” Harry explained.
“Oh yes, well, who would have thought it?” Millie replied sarcastically rolling her eyes. Harry gave her a playful punch and before long, all of them were wrestling with each other on the floor of the train carriage.
“Lucky we've got a compartment to ourselves otherwise we would have looked like right idiots.” Derik said. He took off his velvet turquisey blue coat and shoved on his new jumper which was pale grey with an orange stripe round the collar bit. He sighed at the heat of the September day.
“This uniform can get really hot but that's the only downside to it.” Derik said.
“Well I love it out and out!” Millie decided and then stared out of the window. “How long is this journey really going to take because , tell you what, I'm bored already and we're only 5 minutes into this journey."
“Yes I agree there's nothing to do.”Derik replied staring into space.
“You guys have no imagination, of course there's things to do.” Harry told them scornfully.
“Yeah I'm gonna draw smiley faces on the window the whole journey because that really occupies my time.” Millie replied sarcastically.
“No, different things like taking photos.” Said Harry impatiently taking countless photographs with various angles and positions.
“Yep good idea Harry but I'm not really into photography.” Derik replied awkwardly.
“Suit yourself.” Harry shrugged his shoulders.
“Oh come on Derik there's nothing else to do.” Millie said picking up her camera that was on the table.
She took careless photos until flinging it down and announcing she was bored.
“And apparently everybody needed to know that” Derik had replied smugly.
“For goodness sake this is the worst train journey of my life, there's absolutely nothing to do!” She proclaimed.
"We've only been on here 5minutes!" Derik replied.
“Yes there is.” Harry whispered mischievously raising one eyebrow and giving a sly smile.
“And is that supposed to look cool?” Millie asked, unimpressed but she only said that because she knew that ideas by Harry never had a good result.
“No.” said Harry resuming to his usual self. “We can party!!!!!!”
He opened his suitcase to reveal a disco ball and some portable lights.
“NO! Not that thing again. The only thing oozing out of that is pure embarrassment!” Derik cried.
“No it doesn't “ said Harry patting the disco ball fondly.
“Remember in Setnu? Remember that talent show? We were a complete and utter laughingstock.” Millie agreed.
Harry laughed and thought back to those good old times whilst they had been in year 6.
“He he well now I'm really glad I'm was the DJ because everyone loved the music!”
Millie made a peculiar squealing sound-of annoyance. The thought of the talent show made her cringe considerably.
“Only because you made us have the roles of the dancer and the singers.”
“Also you know that we hate the song all about the base and that my voice cracks at every high note so you made me sing it in mousey mode resulting in even more stupidness, ridiculousness, patheticness and embarrassment.” Derik furiously pointed out the unwelcome memory still jabbed inside him angering him at the thought.
“You jolly well know I can't dance street dance… it's not funny!!!!” Millie complained angrily whilst Harry spluttered with laughter.
“Okay, okay” said Derik feeling that things had gone a little too far now and he knew that Millie could sometimes have a ferocious temper.
“You can dance Harry.” He said.
“Yes, whilst we keep our sane minds to ourselves and pretend nothing is going on behind our backs." Millie hissed.
“All right then. You do that, though I bet you'll regret it though, there's nothing better than to have a good old dance.”
“Yeah right.” Millie rolled her eyes.
So, Harry set up his portable disco set and started the music, doing incredibly idiotic dance moves that Millie and Derik, never even in their wildest dreams would imagine him doing.
“No offence but…” Millie began but before she could finish, a teacher burst in the compartment furiously and his name was Mr rock. He had been walking through the corridor of the carriages listening in at the door to eavesdrop at what his former students were talking about when he'd seen flashing lights and ear-piercingly loud rock music and a shadow posing in different movements. Curious, mr rock flung open the door just as harry was doing an incredibly rude dance move, a dance move I will not describe.
“What in the great wide world are you doing young man.” He roared so loudly in the petrified Harry's face, who was so frightened and taken aback that he felt like crying. His eyes were positioned into angry slits, his mouth a straight and accurate wide isosceles triangle. Saliva was spat into Harry's red face until Mr Rock heard some footsteps, straightened up and turned around.
“Good day to you.” He said in his amazingly posh accent.
“I was really wishing he wasn't a fourthen castle teacher… that was until I saw the logo on his jacket and guess what, he's the head of geography house!” Derik exclaimed.
Harry was curled up miserably on the sofa chair.
“At least we're all even with that damned disco thingeymaboby.” Millie replied with a grim smile.
“Hey that's not very funny." Harry replied trying to sound as polite as possible but through gritted teeth.
“Oh lighten up Harry it was only a joke to cheer you up.” Millie replied and she turned away from him crossly.
After about ten minutes of awkward silence, they arrived at the school station and Derik broke the silence by exclaiming in delight. “Oh my gosh! We're here we're actually here! By the looks of it this place is already fantastic.”
Mr Rock came into the geography carriage and called for his students of year 7 starting in fourthen castle to emerge. The year 8 teacher called the year 8s out and so on and so on.
“Right year sevens here we will sort you into your houses when you get into the dining room. Now I want you to do this as quickly and as efficiently as possible because it an extremely boring element of our lives especially mine as I'm the year 7 geography master.” Mr Rock droned on and on.
“No!” Whispered Harry.
"I did warn you." Muttered Derik.
“And young man if you would actually let me finish what I was saying, it still wouldn't be greatly appreciated though then you wouldn't be wandering around the hall doing nothing. I have made the signs of your house very clear as you will see when you get there.” Harry only looked up and took something in when he heard mr Rock say: “right we're going in now.” Everyone swarmed in and the other fourthen students looked at them in amusement as they flitted about, trying to find their seats on their house tables.
About ten minutes later, Harry was the only person who still hadn't found his house table and no one looked like they were going to help him.
“It has become clear to me, young man, that you hadn't been listening to a thing I had been saying. Now geography house table is over there now shoo.” Mr Rock hissed.
A red faced harry sat down in a seat next to Millie.
“Idiot.” She whispered giving no comforting or helpful remarks.
There were four leaders of fourthen castle. A leader of geography, a leader of history(the second house of fourthen), a head of sport(the third house of fourthen) and finally a head of literature (the last house fourthen). Mr Rock lead them to the year 7 table and the 15 new year 7s milled nervously around him.
“Why are there so little of us in each year?” Millie asked curiously.
“Fourthen is a very rare school with specialised houses for the talented ones, therefore there is a very small spaces available.” Mr Rock replied in his cutting voice and a small plump girl who was standing next to her grimaced at the sound of his guttural voice.
“Aren't there other schools like this though.” Millie asked again. Once again The plump girl grimaced.
“No there's not, as I clearly explained that it is one of the few in the world. And you standing next to her are you ill??” He remarked.
“No.” She replied in her frightened timid voice.
“Come to the front.” He ordered. As she crept to the front gently pushing everybody else out the way. A tall ginger girl over exaggerated and pretended to fall to the floor and was caught by an identical tall ginger boy. They were obviously trying to test their acting skills and were not expecting it to go this far but mr Rock picked on The small plump girl who shivered as his ice-cold voice rang through her.
“What did you do that for????” He bellowed at her. She burst into tears and ran to the back. Millie ran after her followed by Harry and Derik. They all comforted her. Mr Rock really was a horrible teacher.
“Thanks.” She said gratefully in her small shaking voice when they were all at the table feasting on spaghetti bolognese and drinking chimota which was a special drink to worship the head teacher.
Harry turned nastily on the ginger twins. “And I think you two have some explaining to do.” The twins looked upset.
When they didn't reply, Harry rudely tipped he chimota over the boy( as he was closest to him)
“Hey!” He cried out and burst into loud noisy tears clutching his leg and moaning that it was burning his leg. His sister was panicked making harry feel panicked too.
The embarrassed Millie had her head in her hands and Derik muttered,
“Here we go again.”
Mr Rock rushed over and gave Harry a shake on the shoulder. “If you weren't a new year 7 I'd give you an instant detention.” He hissed.
Only when mr Rock resumed to his seat the boy dried his tears and grinned wickedly at the three. Millie, Harry and Derik gawped at him and his twin.
“Acting skills” he smiled.
They gawped more; he hadn't been crying at all!
The other twin (girl ) did a brilliant imitation of their amazed faces. It was then that they realised that they'd got enemies, real sworn enemies that hated them as much as they hated them.