And so, unknowingly, for once the Custodians were one step ahead
of Alther Mella. As a ghost, Alther could only go to the places he had been to
in his lifetimeand, as a well-brought-up young Wizard, Alther had never set
foot in a Ladies' Washroom in his life. The most he was able to do was hover
outside waiting, just as he had done when he was alive and courting Judge Alice
It had been late one particularly cold afternoon a few weeks
previously when Alther had watched the Custodian Committee take themselves into
the Ladies' Washroom. The heavy door, with ladies still visible in faded gold
letters, was slammed behind them, and Alther hovered outside with his ear to the
door, trying to hear what was going on. But try as he might, he was not able to
hear the Committee decide to send their very best spy, Linda Lane, with her
interest in herbs and healing, to live in Room 17, Corridor 223. Right next door
to the Heaps.
And so neither Alther nor the Heaps had any idea that their new
neighbor was a spy. And a very good one too.
As Alther Mella flew through the snowy air pondering how to save
the Princess, he absentmindedly turned two almost perfect double loops before he
dived swiftly through the drifting snowflakes to reach the golden Pyramid that
crowned the Wizard Tower.
Alther landed gracefully on his feet. For a moment he stood
perfectly balanced on the tips of his toes. Then he raised his arms above his
head and spun around, faster and faster until he started to sink slowly through
the roof and down into the room below, where he misjudged his landing and fell
through the canopy of Marcia Overstrand's four-poster bed.
Marcia sat up in a fright. Alther was sprawled on her pillow
"Sorry, Marcia. Very ungallant. Well, at least you haven't
got your curlers in."
"My hair is naturally curly, thank you, Alther," said
Marcia crossly. "You might have waited until I had woken up,"
Alther looked serious and became slightly more transparent than
"I'm afraid, Marcia," he said heavily, "this
From Magyk: Septimus Heap Book 1 by Angie Sage. Copyright Angie
Sage 2005. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of the
publisher, Harper Collins. No part of this book maybe reproduced without
written permission from the publisher.
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