Lucy Potter and the Gem of Wonder

Lucy Potter and the Gem of Wonder

A Story by Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
"

Lucy - Cousin of a Hogwartz Wizard - her story from an alternative universe - http://jkrowlingfanfiction.angelfire.com

"
Lucy Potter and the Gem of Wonder 



by 
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly 

Prologue 

Lucy Potter was a bright, sensible and devoted young witch to the principles and laws of magic, and after meeting her cousin Harry for a great encounter in which they battled Voldemort and won a fortune, Lucy was now starting to look even greater into learning her crafte with skill and adeptness.  And so, with permission from her mother Caroline, and with the newfound wealth she had won, she did the boldest of things and applied for entrance into Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry in England, to undertake her fourth year's magic studies. 
  
The past few years had been quite an intense rush of magic and mayhem.  First she had battled Lucifer Malfoy, who had ultimately dishonoured her, fought Voldemort and his death-eaters, and then uncovered the mystery of the missing hammer of the Chakolan sprites.  All in all, a quite and very busy time for young miss Lucy. 
  
And then, Redaxxiel, and the time of her life in New York. 

But now a new challenge beckoned - Hogwarts - perhaps the most esteemed magic school in the world. 
  
She knew she would meet new friends, make new acquaintances, and have new challenges - but that was the exciting thing about being a witch.  You never exactly knew just what would happen next. 
  
And so, faring Madalene, her best friend, and all her family fare well, she came about the aeroplane at Canberra airport, en route to Sydney, and then off to Heathrow in England.  And then, Hogwarts, and a new beginning for Lucy Potter. 
  
Chapter One 
  
Lucas Malfoy sat in his chair, on the flight from Sydney to London, thinking over his latest meeting with his brother Lucifer.  They were triplets, Lucas, Lucifer and Lucius, proud bastions of House Malfoy.  Of course, Lucius had disgraced himself recently with the vanquishing of Voldemort, who had inevitably returned, and Lucifer was as bad as he had ever been.  It seemed it had always been down to Lucas to be the redeeming member, somewhat, of the Malfoy clan. 
  
He resided, usually, in America, with his wife and children, but occasionally visited his other family members in the vain hope of passing onto them valuable lessons in morality and decency, seemingly forgotten by the family over recent generations.  Too much black magic is all he ever thought on that subject. 
  
They were a few hours out of Sydney, enjoying a meal, when he noticed the young lady seated next to him with what could only be a magic book of spells. 
'Hello, fair maiden. What, may I ask, are you reading?' 
'Oh, gosh. Hello. I am sorry I didn't introduce myself. I'm Lucy. Lucy Potter.' 
'Mmm. Well. Small world. Lucifer mentioned you.' 
Lucy looked at the stranger more carefully, and suddenly noticed he was the spitting image of Lucifer. 'Oh, God. You look exactly like the freak.' 
'We're triplets. Myself, Lucius, and Lucifer. I am Lucas Malfoy. Hopefully the redeeming member of the Malfoy clan.' 
'I forgive you,' she said smiling. 
'What is the book?' 
'Oh, one of Shelandraghs. It's on magic.' 
'Shelandragh May?' 
'You know her.' 
'Again, small world,' he responded. 
She laughed a little. 'Its on Gems. The power of Gems. I'm studying the Aquamarine. That's my favourite.' 
Lucas smiled. That was his favourite as well. 
'Do you know her?' he asked. 
'Who?' she responded. 
'The elemental. Aquamarine.' 
'Who is Aquamarine?' 
'The elementals are one of the powers of this universe. And there are a number. A great number. They teach ascension.' 
'What's ascension?' she asked him innocently. 
'A far better way of life as far as I am concerned,' said Lucas, looking up at the inflight TV reporting on a religious terrorist groups recent activity.' 
Lucy looked at the TV. 'I've noticed that. Why can't we just get along, you know. Have love for each other. Have grace for each other.' 
'The Earthmother teaches such things,' said Lucas. 
'Who's she?' asked Lucy. 
'Someone who I would love to introduce to you one day,' responded Lucas Malfoy, and gazed once more up at the TV set. 
* * * * * 

'Yenwah has consistently been bugging me, Daniel. Isn't it about time you talked to her.' 
'Him, you mean,' responded Wizard in training, Daniel Daly, from house Hufflepuff. 
'HIM!!!' 
'Well, actually, an hermaphrodite if you want to know the truth. Yen is a craazy lady. I listen. She tells me about Aurora all day long, and that my Yahweh obsession has gone on far too long as far as civilized members of the Ascended ones are concerned.' 
'And you don't agree with them' 
'My spirit man from the realm of understanding ascended when I was 16, ok. I am well aware of advanced Ascension knowledge. Gabriel fills me in constantly.' 
'Reptillian servant,' she commented. 
'Perhaps. Perhaps Yahweh is a magnificent delusion the world is under.' 
'They are only muggles,' she said. 
'So was I,' he responded. 
'Yes. But the Golden Torc around your neck has awoken your truly magnificent abilities. You always had unbridalled power. You were just too conditioned by your upbringing to recognize your gifts. You need to express yourself and your heart. Not repress yourself.' 
'Yes Madonna,' he said sarcastically. 
'Huh?' she asked him. 
'Nothing,' he replied. 

They sat their quietly, returning to their magic books. Daniel, when he had recently purchased a golden torc from an ancient magic store in the heart of Sydney, had put it on, and suddenly come alive to magical power. And then Yenwah had started speaking to him, and she hadn't shut up since. He was bugged. A faithful Karaite Noahide and then, suddenly, overloaded with a new faith, and endless emails from Lucas Malfoy on why he should first get to Hogwarts, and then visit him in America and come to Earthlove, where thousands were following Ascension. He was trying to avoid it, he was faithful to God, but a stronger spirit had become involved, and he knew he was losing the battle. 

'Your a bright spark,' said Yenwah suddenly. 
'Very funny,' responded Daniel. 
'Hello Yenwah,' said Lucy. 
'Do you want me to manifest. Your old enough in the gifts now.' 
'If you must,' responded Daniel. 
For the first time Yenwah apeared. And the long hair and feminine looks seemed to settle the issue. 
'A MAN?' she demanded. 
'Uh, sorry,' said Daniel. 
'So you should be,' she responded. 

'Are you ready for a challenge? Both of you?' 
'Uh, sure,' said Daniel. 
'What is it?' asked Lucy. 
'Find the Gem of Wonder. You'll know what I mean if you do a bit of digging.' 
'Will do,' said Daniel sarcastically, not looking up from his book. 
'Seeya, PUNK,' said Yenwah,' and just as soon as she had come, she was gone. 

'Now what was all that about?' asked Lucy Potter to her fellow Hufflepuffite. 
'Beats me,' responded Mr Daly. 

* * * * * 

'Magenta is the Architect of Magic,' said Daniel, reading through a tome of the Earthmother's. 
'What?' asked Lucy. 
'Magenta. The Architect of Magic. It flows from the power of Magenta. One of the 45 Architects of Creation.' 
'Oh,' said Lucy. But after a moment she was curious. 'There are several forms of energy which run through the universe. I have been told by somebody that the Force exists in galaxies a long way from here, and that they govern their principles of life.' 
'It likely flows from one of the other Architects. The Architect probably influenced Mr Lucas in forming his saga, to retell old legends, probably.' 
'Fascinating,' said Lucy. 'Real Jedis.' 
'Possibly,' said Daniel. 'But the book also mentions the Gem of Wonder. It was created by Magenta. It was placed on earth a long time ago to govern the Faerie creatures of earth. It is the central orb of the power of Magic.' 
'But its lost,' she said. 
'It doesn't really need to be found. Its indestructible and is probably on some Illuminati shelf, as an object of curiousity. A trinket he looks at and, funnily enough, probably wonders upon.' 
'Any clues to where it might be?' she asked him. 
'Merlin owned it once,' he responded. 'Morganna Le Fey claimed it from him, when she seduced him, and it was reclaimed by the Magicians of Avalon. Its probably hidden down with Excalibur and the Lady of the Lake.' 
'Very funny,' said Lucy. 'But I have an idea. I know from Harry a few secrets about Merlin. He still lives. Harry has met him. He told me not to tell anyone, but I can share it with you.' 
'So, if we find Merlin,' began Daniel. 
'He might be able to give us clues about where the Gem is,' she responded. 
'Mmm,' said Daniel. 'Where is Harry now?' 
Lucy bit into an apple. 'New York. He is teaching at Redaxxiel, a school of magic.' 
'Then we go to New York,' said Daniel. 
'We go to New York,' responded Lucy 


Chapter Two 

Harry Potter, wizard extraordinaire, honorary title holder of 'Champion Wizard of the House of Gryffindor', a posthumous award Hermione Granger had invented after he kissed her recently, daring the wrath of Ron, who had been at the canteen buying popcorn just before they went into watch the movie at the huge Manhattan Cinema Googolplex, was, most extraordinarily, drunk. 
He was blotto. 
Lying on his bed in his Redaxxiel dormitory, where he taught ethics in the use of magic, Harry had been involved in a drinking session in a seedy part of New York, in an even seedier tavern, where angels feared to tread, with a dwarve who, quite obviously, had a large genitalic endowement, and was boasting to all and sundry he could 'drink em under the table' or he was not the biggest stud in New York City. Harry took him on. He lost. 

Strangely, although Harry was enjoying the sensation of the cool rag mopping down the slight sweat on his head, for it was a hottish day in New York, and the cooling system of Redaxxiel was temporarily on the blink, he still felt no obligation to rise for his guests, and just fobbed them off, waving his hand at them, telling them he would be up later on in the evening. 

They went downstairs. They sat in the guest lounge. They waited. 

'How long has Harry been teaching here, then?' asked Daniel to Lucy. 
'Oh, a while now,' responded Miss Potter. 'He finished up with Hogwarts and then did some things of his own for a bit, but he is here now. Loves the work, so he wrote me. Everything he wanted to represent in magic it offers him, so he claims.' 
'It's always useful to find your niche,' responded Daniel. 
Lucy looked at Daniel Daly momentarily. 'Do you think you have found your niche? In life I mean?' 
'I dare say I will have to ascend to the glories of heaven before I ever find my niche in things.' 
'Heaven, huh? You really think that is how the universe works?' 
'I have a crazy feeling, call it instinct, call it faith, call it logic, call it reason, that God Almighty runs things in the end. Maybe he did in fact create all these 45 Architects and set them up to run the Ascension cult, sorry, religion. Maybe its his idea of humour. Don't know really. I know there is indeed a lot of power in Ascension, and that unexplained things often happen within it. But this is true of many religions, you know. Unexplained encounters.' 
'You don't really believe it then?' asked Lucy. 
'Stuff happens in it. Ok. I acknowledge that. But the Ark and the Flood, were God redeemed Noah and his family. That is my faith. The Rainbow is the sign of my covenant with God. Those things will never really change in the end, you know, Lucy. Never really change. Sure I'll have fun with Ascension. See what wisdom on life it teaches me. See what truths it contains. But I'm sold to Yahweh who the Earthmother calles a reptillian overload or some such being. He is God to me. Elohim. I don't think I will ever really change my views on that.' 
'Fair enough,' said Lucy, and reached down into her bag, picked out one of the magic tomes she had bought with them and, as Daniel started on an orange, set her mind to study and the life of magic. 

* * * * * 

'Serpent Tower?' asked Lucy. 
'And it's deadly,' said Harry. 'He doesn't want any visitors at the moment, and its tougher to get into then one of the towers of the Vale of Aldur.' 
'Huh?' asked Daniel to Harry. 
'Just a joke,' said Harry. 'Its high up in the Andes. Here are the longitudinal and lattitudinal co-ordinates. But good luck getting in. Even with a plug from me at the perimeter gate, he will still tell you to fob off, and you will have to find your own way to the tower. Its tough, though. Filled with all sorts of weird creatures which guard Serpent tower. And then you will have to get inside. It took me months of planning, and while I got to the base of the tower, he came out to greet me, smiled and cast a relocate spell saying, 'I'm busy Harry.' 
'Well, hopefully we'll have more luck. We're on a quest, after all.' 
'What quest, Lucy?' asked Harry. 
'To find the amazing Gem of Wonder,' said Daniel Sarcastically. 
'I've heard of it,' said Harry. 'I think it is probably just a myth in the end, but Merlin will point you in the right direction. If you can contact him.' 
'We'll get to him,' said Lucy. 'Right Daniel?' 
'Sure,' said Daniel. 'And we'll end up dragonfood as well.' 
'Probably,' said Harry honestly. 
'Oh, poobum,' said Lucy, now looking at the coordinates to Merlin's Andean sanctuary. 

The bus, with fading and blistering green paint, steadily, and nervously, crawled along the dirt track high in the mountain range, hitting an endless supply of potholes in the road every second metre it seemed to Lucy Potter. They had their backpacks with them, passports and id as well as their finances with cards and things, but Daniel had ensured they'd gotten cold hard cash for dealing with the country dwellers, who were 'Less likely to be that Visa friendly', in Daniel's own opinion. Lucy didn't argue much. They'd been at it three days now, getting deeper into the mountains, and they were now not far from their stop off point, a track not far short of a small village. 
'Do you think they are telling us the truth?' asked Daniel. 'Merlin? Real? I mean, come on. They are just sending us on a wonder quest for a bit of fun. I mean, its just all old legend. Myths and fables.' 
'Is that what you believe Daniel?' asked Lucy. 
He looked at her seriously, and pulled out his book of magic. 'No. No, he is probably real. I think that now. But a rationale mind probably shouldn't. Seen stuff, now, though. Stuff hard to explain.' 
'So read your book of spells and leave me to worry about us finding Merlin,' smiled Lucy, taking a sip of her bottled water. 
Daniel shrugged, opened his book, and began reading. 

Half an hour later, the base winding its way along the ricketty track, it pulled to a halt by a track going off along a craggy and densely forrested valley, and the bus driver signalled to Lucy. 
Daniel had fallen asleep, so she nudged him awake. 'Wake up, sleepy head. We're there.' 
Daniel looked out at the track, and grabbed his backpack. 

They thanked the bus driver, got off on the road, promising the driver they would be at the same place next week in the afternoon, when he came back that way. 
'It looks ok,' said Lucy, staring down the excuse for a road. 
Some sort of buzzard suddenly floated down from the sky and landed on a tree nearby the track, seemingly staring at them. 
'It sure does,' said Daniel. 'Totally welcoming.' 
'Shutup,' she said. 'And let's get moving. 

And, as they set off, along the track to find Serpent Tower, Lucy Potter was full of confidence, but not unduly nervous about what she just might be getting herself into. 


Chapter Three 
It was evening the following day. They had spent the last half of yesterday walking along the track and then, around dusk, they set up camp, shared their rations carefully, and slept in the cold mountain wilderness. Daniel was worried somewhat about wild Puma's coming upon them, but Lucy assured him she would watch out for him. Who would watch out for her was another question, but she was brave enough. The following day they had continued on again down the track and, coming to the end of a mountain range on their right, the view opened up into a valley nearby, were the spotted Serpent Tower. It was obvious - a tower on top a mountain cliff, shaped like a Serpent riding into the sky. Very intense Mr Merlin, Lucy Potter thought to herself. It was about half a day's march from where they had set up for camp that evening, and Lucy was in the tent, in her sleeping bag, thinking. Just thinking about life. Daniel was next to her, in the other bag, trying his best to sleep, again worried about rogue puma's and buzzards and all sorts of things. But they were safe - they were mages in training - they should be able to handle themselves. 
'Daniel. Are you married?' 
'Jesus, what a question,' responded Daniel to Lucy's inquiry. 'Well, if you must know, no. No I'm not actually married at this moment.' 
'What does that mean? Have you been?' 
'There was a lady called Kirsty who I was intimate with not that long ago. I thought I loved her, for a while anyway. We had a kid together. But it wasn't love. It was attraction. She was very good looking. I thought, God I love her. I told myself that a lot. But she was just very attractive, and pleasant, and soft and humble and beautiful. But, I don't know. She came into my life, and then she left it, and I never really missed her much afterwards. I told myself often, don't you love this lady? But, no. The connection just wasn't there. She was too - perfect. Just too damn perfect. And Daniel Daly needs a lady with flaws if you expect him to be at his best. Someone to argue with and complain about my behaviours. Not too much, mind you, because mum certainly takes care of that. But I need a lady who is sharp and wise and can keep me on my feet.' 
'Oh,' said Lucy, taking mental notes. 'You don't want Barbie then, I take it?' 
'I don't think we're compatible. She's too damn perfect for me. Too pretty. Too precise. Give me a witch any day. Not that I mean that literally, Luce. Just an expression, you know.' 
'Sure,' smiled Lucy Potter to herself. That was like Daniel, though. Offbeat. Perhaps just like herself. Perhaps just like she was - by nature. Different. At odds with the mainstream. Not boring. Not predictable. 

'Tomorrow we have a busy day, Dan. We come to Serpent Tower.' 
'And the elusive Merlin.' 
'Yes,' said Lucy. 'So brush your teeth, and sleep tight.' 
Daniel laughed. It had been a few weeks since he last brushed teeth. Not tonight Josephine. 
And so they slept, and Daniel dreamed about wild Puma's licking his toes, while Lucy dreamed all sorts of dreams of Barbie mocking her and saying 'Witch my butt.' 
They walked, steadily, the following morning, finding the path going to Serpent Tower but, as they walked, Daniel kept on looking behind himself all the time. 
'Whatever the hell is the problem?' Lucy finally asked. 
'Nothing,' he said. 'Come on, lets keep moving.' 
So they continued on, up the track, getting nearer and nearer their destination. 
And then, there he was, doing it again. Looking behind himself constantly. 
'I'm sure there are no bloody Puma's Daniel.' 
'That's not what I'm worried about,' said Daniel. 'Those things are,' he said pointing. 
Lucy looked. She wished she hadn't. There, now emerged from the forest by the track, 3 serpents. But not ordinary serpents. Large ones. Very large one. Bloody very large ones. In fact, on the scale of snakes..............well, you get the point. They were, in fact, bronze coloured, and not Serpents at all. They were created inventions of Merlin, fixed with camera's, spying out those approaching his abode. But Daniel and Lucy didn't know that. 
'What do we do?' asked Lucy. 
'They have been following us a fair while,' said Daniel, as he continued marching along. 'I think, if they wanted to attack us, they would have by now. And something's not right about them.' 
'What do you mean?' asked Lucy. 
'Come on. Look at them. There not - real, in some way.' 
Lucy looked back and, while the Serpents looked real enough, she listened as well. A whirring and ticking sound came from their direction. 
'Their machines,' she said triumphantly. 
'That's what I concluded,' said Daniel. 'I think they are just monitoring us.' 
'As we get near Merlin's abode,' said Lucy. 
Daniel looked at her. 'I guess so.' 

So they continued walking all that morning and then, when they finally came to the front gates of Serpent Tower, the Serpents following them slithered right up to them, through a section of the gate they went through, and on into the mysterious grounds of Serpent tower. 
'I guess he has a sense of humour,' said Lucy. 
'Hilarious,' responded Daniel. 

With the threat of the Serpent's now resolved, they looked around to get their perspectives. Through the gate, up the mountain somewhat, for they had climbed a fair way already, they could see the tower, which seemed to be at the end of the track. The large grated gate, through which they could probably slide right through, marked off the entrance to a large perimiter of what appeared to be pine trees which, so they had fathomed in their approach to the place, likely surrounded the entire grounds of Serpent Tower. 
Daniel pointed. 'Its the intercom,' he said, pointing to the boxed radio looking thing. 
'We use it I guess,' said Lucy. 
'Why not,' said Daniel. 'We've come this far. May as well go all the way.' 
Lucy approached the box, and it seemed easy enough to use. A microphone, with a button on it. 
'Push the button,' said Daniel. 'And talk into it. Oh, and say 'Over' when you have finished speaking.' 
'Very funny,' responded Lucy. 
'No, seriously. The best way to use the thing. Say over every time you are finished. Standard thing they do with radio communications.' 
'Oh. Ok then.' She picked up the microphone, pushed the button and said 'Hello. Merlin. This is Lucy Potter and Daniel Daly. We are wizards in training from Hogwarts in England. We need help finding the Gem of Wonder. Can you help us? Over.' 
She finished, put down the microphone, and waited. No response. 
'What do we do now?' she asked Daniel. 
He looked at her, perplexed, but the microphone was suddenly issuing static. 
'It's him,' said Daniel. 
'Yes, hello,' said a voice suddenly. 'Look, go away, whoever you are. I am very busy, and only receive certain visitors. That isn't you, is it Harry Potter again?' 
'Close,' said Lucy, pushing the button. 'I'm his cousin. Lucy Potter. With my friend Daniel Daly. Over.' 
'By my own long beard,' said Merlin. 'Go away. Or I will come down and turn you into cockatrices.' 
'But we need to see you about the Gem of Wonder?' persisted Lucy. 
'Oh, fiddlesticks,' said Merlin, and the static suddenly went silent. 
'He's had enough,' said Daniel. 
'What now, then?' asked Lucy. 
'We take on Harry's challenge,' said Daniel. 'And brave the grounds of Serpent Tower.' 
Lucy peered in through the gate, up through the long walk way up to the tower. 
'I mean how hard can that be,' said Lucy. 
The Serpents suddenly came again into view, slithering across the track inside the grounds to the other side. 
'Exactly,' responded Daniel. 
But she was on her quest. And no mechanical serpents would deter her from getting her answer. No matter how cleverly designed they were. Not a chance of deterring her at all. 
Hopefully. 

Chapter Four 

They had slipped through the grates and were 100 metres up the track. 
'It looks about 5 kilometres,' said Daniel. 'To the tower. It shouldn't take us forever.' 
'You are remembering what Harry said to us, aren't you?' asked Lucy. 
'I haven't forgotten. Beleive me, it is perfectly on my mind.' 
The response to that came immediately. Storks. 3 of them. Predictably enormous, as they had gotten used to from Merlin. Coming from the west, emerging from a thicket of trees. As they hopped along, they seemed to have spied Daniel and Lucy. 
'Oh no,' said Lucy. 
'Stork food,' said Daniel. 
'What do we do?' asked Lucy. 
Daniel quickly pulled out his book of spells, as the storks, who had obviously seen them, drew closer over the green lawn between them. 
'Hurry, Daniel,' said Lucy, who had her wand ready. 'I don't think I want to end up in a stork's belly. I'm far too much of a lady for that.' 
Daniel grinned. 'Yes Barbie,' he said smiling. 
'Oh, shut up,' she said. 
'Right, I think this one is ok. I have prepared for it a while ago. We'll see how it goes.' 
Lucy just glared at him, as the storks approached. 

Daniel came and stood next to Lucy, his spellbook now back in his backpack and had his wand raised as the distance between them and the storks diminished rapidly. 
'What's the spell?' she asked. 
'Don't worry about it. You can handle the next challenge.' 
'If we get out of this one,' she gulped, as the storks were nearly upon them. 

When someone is confronted with giant storks, perhaps the natural thing is to run. To run bloody fast. And Daniel Daly was the kind of fella who usually did those natural things. But he had a spellbook now, and a number of weeks meditation and concentration on initial spellcasting and, with the energy he had built up, which would get them through a few of these encounters but nothing more, he was somewhat confident he knew what he was doing. 
And then he cast the spell. 
'Maximus!' he yelled, pointing his wand at the storks. All of a sudden they tripled in size. The looked at each other for a moment, and gawked, surprised obviously by their new stature. But shortly they returned their focus to Daniel and Lucy. 
'That was your idea?' yelled Lucy. 'Brilliant, Daniel. Eaten by bloody 100 foot storks.' 
'Shaddup. I read the latin wrong. Just a sec.' 
He pointed the wand again and yelled 'Minimus!' 
The storks, this time, shrunk right back down to the size they had been to start with, still too much for them to handle. 
'Do it again!' yelled a concerned Lucy, as the storks continued to menacingly approach. 
'Oh, God. I'm exhausted somewhat,' said Daniel, but managed to point his wand, yelled 'Minimus!' again, and the storks, dutifully, shrank down to normal size. 
'Thank the Architects!' exclaimed Lucy, looking at the now normal size storks coming up to them, hopping around at their feet. 
She looked at Daniel. He was on the track, laid down, exhausted. The three spells had taken it all out of him. He was not an experienced magic user, and could only handle so much. She came over to him, and knelt down. 'Well down, hero,' she said, and kissed him on the cheek. 
'Thank's. I'll need a few minutes to recover, but you'll have to handle whatever comes next. That's the best of me, I'm afraid.' 
'My hero,' she said, and kissed him again, and sat down next to him, waiting for him to recover. 
They had handled their first challenge successfully, albeit at a cost. Time would tell what would challenge them next. 

* * * * * 

'What's wrong with the track?' asked Lucy. 
'I.........don't know,' said Daniel. 
'It's like every step forward we take we are taking two steps back?' said Lucy. 
'I think we have passed through some sort of portal,' said Daniel. 
Time had passed, they had rested a bit since the encounter with the storks, and now they had continued their journey up the track to Serpent tower. 
'Look,' said Lucy, pointing back the way they had came. 
A shimmering doorway, slightly lighter in appearance, was behind them, about 50 metres back. They seemed to have entered a twilight world. 
'I'd noticed the change in the sky,' said Daniel. 'It's subtle, and I thought it was just clouds or something, but we've entered a zone.' 
'So we go back,' said Lucy, 'And get out of it.' 
'I think I have a theory on that,' said Daniel, as they started backwards. And, no sooner had they walked 10 metres, than the portal entrance seemed even further away. 
'Clever, Merlin,' said Lucy. 'We could be stuck in this forever.' 
'That's the idea, I suppose,' said Daniel. 
'Let's think about this,' said Lucy, and the two of them sat down next to each other on the road, brainstorming. 

Time passed. 

'I'm hungry,' said Lucy. 
Daniel passed her and orange. She munched away for a bit. 

Lucy was lost in thought, about their adventure. It had been somewhat that, an adventure. She'd found that finding this Gem of Wonder was not going to be any easy undertaking, but what was life without a challenge? She'd had a few of them, now, especially the quest of the golden sovereigns as they had now called it, but it was better to have a life full of excitement and drama rather than being bored out of one's mind, wasn't it? She liked to think so. 
She considered her company. Daniel was an old friend in some ways now. She'd known him well enough for a few years, uncle to Madalane, Georgia and Jayden. He was always a kind and thoughtful uncle, and Maddie liked to talk about his sarcasm and lack of female friendships. But Lucy knew, now, that wasn't completely the case. Just the impression Maddie had about him. He was a mysterious sort in some ways, and while they shared the same basic religion of Karaite Noahide faith which she had adopted from him some time ago, there was more than that in the life of Daniel Daly. For he'd taken up, now, as a wizard. Perhaps inspired by her. For it had become apparent he'd had magic within him, and the friendship which had been between them had grown even closer. It would be horrible for it to end stuck in this Twilight Realm. 

'What do you think we should do?' Lucy asked Daniel. 
'I don't know. Fly through the portal, I guess.' He was being sarcastic. 
Lucy sat there, and munched down the last of her orange. 
'Mmm. Well. Ok Dan. We'll try that.' 
'I was joking Lucy.' 
'What harm could it do?' she asked him. 
He looked at her in unbelief, and then shrugged. 'May as well then, he conceded.' 
'Bring out the tent,' said Lucy. 'And place it on the ground.' 
Daniel did as instructed and Lucy motioned for them to board it. 
She pointed her wand at the tent beneath them and yelled 'Levitatis'. They rose from the earth, and Daniel was amused. 
'Now what?' he asked. 
'Use a tent pole,' she said. 
Daniel shrugged, but did as told, and with an extended pole as their steering device, he pushed them toward the portal door. After a few moments it became obvious - they were getting close to it. 
'Well I'll be a monkey's uncle,' said Daniel. 'It's working.' 
'Keep going,' said Lucy, a victory smile on her face. 

Daniel continued poling and, shortly, they were at the portal entrance and, gliding carefully through, they landed a distance back away from it, and celebrated. 
'Brilliant,' said Daniel, and kissed Lucy on the cheek. 
'Steady on soldier,' she said, but she didn't mind the attention. 

Daniel pointed. 'Can you see? It's sort of visible if you look closely. It goes all around here, and about 100 metres in each direction.' 
'So we go around,' said Lucy. 
'Righto,' said Daniel. 

They went out on to the vast green lawn to the west of the track and, bypassing the twilight realm, came back on to the track after a while. 
'Remember, keep your look out for this in the future,' said Lucy. 'We don't want to be caught by the same trick again.' 
'Will do captain,' said Daniel, saluting. 

Lucy was pleased. They had come this far, now, and Serpent Tower was looking closer all the time. Soon enough they would be talking with Merlin. 
So, two challenges down, and they would see what awaited them. 
She grinned at Daniel, who smiled back, and with their backpacks firmly on their shoulders, they set off once more up the road, waiting to see what would happen next. 


'Is that a giant?' asked Lucy. Daniel watched as, thundering towards them in a sudden rush, a huge figure of an ogre. It cornererd them, and the giant swallowed them both whole, right down his throat, into his belly, and duly laid down and went to sleep to digest his meal. 
In the bellly of the giant, Lucy had brought out an 'Everlight' and lighted up their predicament. They were just about in the stomach, and a small pool of stomach acid had started forming. 
'Aw, pong,' said Daniel, holding his nose. 'What does this fella eat?' 
Suddenly a rotten deer head surfaced amongst the stomach acid, and Lucy said 'Don't ask.' 
'What now?' asked Daniel. 
'I think we have two ways out,' said Lucy. She quickly rummaged through her purse and brought out two packs of tablets in foil. 
'What are those?' asked Daniel. 
'Alka Seltzer, to help vomit,' said Lucy. 
'And the other?' asked the dubious Daniel. 
'Constipation tablets,' responded Lucy. 'Sorry.' 
'Oh, brother,' said Daniel. 
'Choose,' said Lucy. 
'The Alka Seltzer will have to do,' said Daniel. 'I don't think we'll last the other way.' 
'Thank God for that,' said Lucy, and holding the tablets, pointed her wand and said 'Multiply' and, as the tablets started literally multiplying before them, she threw them into the pool of stomach acid. 

10 minutes later, the belly started rumbling, and they had climbed up the throat as much as they could. And then, the Giant suddenly siezed with a sick gut, retched and retched, and out came Lucy Potter and Daniel Daly, covered in gunk and goo too horrible to mention, spewed up in front of a thicket, to which they duly escaped. The giant was no longer interested in them. 
'There's a stream here,' said Lucy. 
'Thank God for that,' responded Daniel, and they started washing. 

10 minutes later, somewhat cleaner, and at least somewhat wiser for the experience, if somewhat embarrassed, Lucy pointed to the tower. Only about 100 metres to go,' she said. 'This was probably the last challenge.' 
'Don't be too certain,' said Daniel. 
'Lead on then, cautious soul,' said Lucy, as they got to the feet and braved the last, final, yet what would prove to be the most difficult part of their challenge so far. 

Finally, the reached Serpent Tower. The place was open, and as they worked themselves upwards through the labyrinth, they found a room at the top, and, entering, an ancient looking wizard sitting at a desk. 'Merlin?' asked Lucy. The old wizard turned to them. 'I do blieve it's Lucy Potter,' he said. 
'I have come about the Gem of Wonder. Apparently you know where it is.' 
Merlin looked at the inquiring young youth thoughtfully. 'You wish to find the deepest hearth of Avalon, I see. That is very interesting. It's all about balance in this universe, dear Lucy. Balance. Like life and nautre. When one species of animal becomes too dominant, they tend to die out for lack of food from the others they have oppressed too much. The same if they overgraze. And the same is very true in human society. Empires, especially in Europe, balanced themselves against another. If one became too powerful, another would have to rise up to challenge them to keep the peace, ultimately. America could have ruled the world, but Communist Russia had been born. Christendom could have conquered all by now, but Islam has just about matched it. As I said, competing forces need something to balance them out. To keep everyone in check. Ironically, Divided we stand, United we Fall.' 
'So what are you saying?' asked Daniel. 
'If you find this Gem. Do you really, in the end, think you should? The faery folk are now at peace. Do you really want to go exciting them very much? A gem of wonder will only stir things up which will take forever to resolve. Are you sure you want that on your conscience, young master?' 
'The deepest hearth of Avalon, then?' asked Lucy to confirm what Merlin had said. 
'Yes, the Gem of Wonder lies in the deepest hearth of Avalon,' sighed Merlin. 
'Then we are off,' said Lucy, and smiled, gave Merlin a hug, and tugged at Daniel, who was still considering the old man's words. 
'Come on danny, time to leave,' said Lucy. 
'Uh, sure,' responded Daniel, giving the concerned and ancient face of Merlin the Wizard one last cautious look. 


Chapter Five 

A year later, Yenwah popped up in their Hogwarts room, and started bubbling away. 
'You took your time getting back. I take it you found the Gem of Wonder?' 
'We looked everywhere,' said Daniel 'Avalon mystery was rich and alive in all the witchery culture throughout Britain, but we couldn't actually find Avalon.' 
'It's been very frustrating,' said Lucy. 
'And what is Avalon?' asked Yenwah, mysteriously. 
'The heart of witchery,' said Lucy forthrightly. 
'So if Avalon is the heart of Witchery, where is the hearth of Avalon?' 
Lucy looked at Daniel, perplexed. Daniel returned the look. 
Just then another student came in, and performed a new magic trick for them. It was something wild and alive and new to Lucy and Daniel, and when they got caught up in the new thing, Yenwah softly said 'You'll work it out.' 
And then the angel was gone, back to its own world, and Lucy Potter and Daniel Daly had found the Gem of Wonder. 

The End  

© 2017 Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly



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Added on January 5, 2017
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Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia



About
My full name is Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly. I was born in Kingston upon Hull in England on the 20th of November 1972. My fathers name is Cyril Aloysius Daly (1922 - 2007), and my mothers name is Mary .. more..

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