Magic in America
The wide-bodied airplane shuddered to a halt, and the sound of unclicking clips filled the cabin. Randy tugged at the overstuffed backpack grimaced while thinking a flick of his wand would take care of the problem. NO MAGIC in the non-magical world he'd been drilled before leaving Peckfort School of Wizardry.
Tugging at the bag wasn't getting anywhere until two long arms appeared over his shoulder and pulled on the straps. The backpack tumbled into his arms.
"Thank you, Sir."
"Not a problem." A man with a deep voice responded.
Randy didn't have time to look at him as the people in front of him hurried toward the door. He passed the gate and headed to the baggage claim.
Standing on the escalator, he searched the crowd on the other side of the glass doors for someone holding a sign with his name on it. He'd been told a car would be sent to meet him. No familiar name on a card or iPad. He turned to the baggage claim.
Still, no one looking for him. Pulling a bulging suitcase, he headed outside. He walked up and down the waiting area looking for someone. After a good forty-five minutes, he punched in the number he'd been given for contact. The phone rang and eventually went to voicemail. He found a taxi and gave the hotel name he'd been sent.
"Good evening Sir, I'll take your bags to your room. There is dining down the hall." The porter smiled as he pulled a cart with Randy's bags on it.
"Sir, You have a message." The woman behind the counter pushed a square envelope toward him. Randy tucked it into his pocketed and headed to the restaurant. I'm not in Cheshire anymore. He frowned at the menu and wasn't sure what to choose. Gabby told him the food was the same but called something else. No bangers and mash. He'd kill for a good sausage roll. He chose a burger to be safe.
In the elevator, he stepped to the back whilst others boarded. The door shut, and a young boy stared at him, "Are you a wizard?"
Randy grinned when the mother tried to shush the boy. "It's Malfoy." The boy told his mother.
He did have long, blond hair, and he was wearing a long, black trench coat. Being compared to a character in the movie wasn't all that bad. The boy had no idea how close he was. The box stopped, and the doors opened. The boy hung back behind his mother, "Do you have a wand?" he whispered.
Randy smiled and pulled a wand a couple of inches out of his pocket. The boy's eyes widened. His mother grabbed him, preventing the doors from closing on him.
The light on his phone blinked at him. He pressed the numbers to retrieve his message. "Mr. Tremayne, I apologize for your inconvenience. Our driver went to the wrong airport. When we discovered the mistake, you'd landed and phoned the office. Have a good night's sleep, and we'll send a car for you tomorrow morning at eight am. I guess I'd better introduce myself. I'm Richard Blake administrative assistant to the Minister of Magic in the United States."
The following morning he rose early due to the time difference between the UK and the USA. Randy decided to take a walk. Taking the New York City map from his pocket and headed to the entrance of the nearest subway. Randy felt a sensation. Someone near him was using magic. Standing on the platform waiting for the train that would take him to the school. He didn't want to wait for a car to take him. Arriving unannounced would give him a better idea of the set up without them "setting up" a showing.
The crowded platform seemed to move in slow motion. The people blurred as they entered and left the cars. Down the narrow walkway, a black cloud formed and moved from the tracks to the platform and coalesce into a form. The head formed with black hair spreading out in the air, skeletal teeth protruded from the head. Black robes flowed from the body never touched the ground. A hand extended toward him, holding a glowing globe. Shards of light pierced the air surrounding him. His body lifted from the ground, and the swirls held his arms down, hindering him from reaching for his wand.
The scene whirled, and he felt sucked into a tornado. In just seconds, his feet touched the ground, and the air around him cleared. He stood on the lawn next to the school. The body that has formed in the subway now stood in full form before him.
"Welcome to Baltmoral School of Wizardry." The woman spoke.
"Couldn't you have just sent for me?" Randy folded his arms and raised his eyebrows at the figure.
"You weren't going to wait for a car, I see." She turned to look at the castle.
Randy didn't speak. He didn't want to tip his hand.
"Why are you here?" The woman asked.
Randy turned to the woman. "I came here to learn from the teachers here. You know some of the great minds have come to this school."
"You were sent here to check up on the school. To spy on us."
Randy turned to face the woman and shrugged. "Why would you think that? Are you hiding something?" He laughed. "By the way, I don't even know who you are. What is your name?"
"Thelma Thorogood. I'm the headmistress of the school. I will find out what you are doing here."
"I'm curious." Randy looked over the rolling hills around the school. "How do you explain this castle to the ah-um locals."
"This isn't here. This is a mountain of heavy brush. No one comes out here." She motions for him to follow her.
Randy follows her, jogging to keep up with her. The drawbridge lay open and closed behind them.
"I need to get back to get my cases from my hotel room."
"You will find them already in your room." Ms. Thorogood continued through the hall, turning into a room. "Lucas, thank you for waiting. This is Randall Tremayne. He'll be sharing your rooms."
The tall thin man glared at Randy, "Yes, Ms. Thorogood." He left the room.
"What are you doing here? Go after him." She pointed to the door.
Randy ran out the door just in time to see Lucas turn the corner at the end of the hall. He ran, dodging other kids in the hall. At the corner, he stopped. There was no sign of Lucas. Walking down the near-empty hall except for kids running into classes. Doors slammed, and Randy stood in the hall alone.
"Hello," a whisper spoke from a locker. "Can you let me out?"
"Which one are you in?"
Randy flicked his wand at the locker, and the door popped open. A thin, small boy fell out into the hall. "Hello." Randy reached down and helped the boy up.
"Hi, I'm David Stout." He held out his hand.
"Why are you in the locker?"
"It's Carlton Stanton. He and his buddies like to harass me." He pulled his books from the locker. "You're new."
"Yes. I'm Randy Tremayne. Lucas was supposed to take me to his rooms." He looked around, not knowing what to do next.
"I can show you. We're in the same house. You're British." David started walking down the hallway.
"Yes, I just transferred." Randy didn't offer any more information.
"In here." David jerked his head at a metal door. Randy followed him.
Pegasus House. A voice spoke in the small room.
"Hang on." David held to a strap hanging from the ceiling.
Randy grabbed a matching strap as the box sped upwards then swung sideways. It slowed to a stop Pegasus House watch your step. Randy followed David, and the metal door closed.
"Now that is a ride. How did it know where to take us?"
"It knows. I'm scanned into the system, and the system knows everything about you."
Randy wasn't sure he liked that. "So, no one has secrets."
David laughed, "Everyone has secrets here. No QUE, that's what we call the system, only knows what's on your entry form. Here you are. This is Lucas' rooms." David stood next to the door allowing Randy to stand in front of the door,
Randy pressed his palm on a pad, and the door opened. There were two doors off the entry. One had Lucas Sinclair on one and Randall Tremayne on the other.
"I guess this one is mine. He opened the door. His suitcase lay opened on the bed, and everything inside was pulled out and strewn around the room. The one case with his books and papers lay dented. Blackened circles stained the box.
"Wow, someone wanted to get into that case. What's in it?" David circled the case being careful not to touch it and to keep his blue robe clear.
"My personal papers. I put a spell on it so no one could open it."
"Can you show me that spell?" David's green eyes widened with hope.
"I'll see. Now, who would want to do this to me?"
"I hate to say it, but Lucas doesn't want to share his rooms with anyone. The last boy who had to share with him ended up leaving the school with a permanent stain all over his body." David shrugged.
"Lucas did it?" Randy didn't like what he was hearing.
"No one could prove it. There is an empty room across from me." His voice rose with hope.
It wasn't a double room and was more like a cupboard. He smiled and waved his wand. The room changed into a proper English bedroom with small sitting and study areas. Colorful rugs and a thick curtain divided the sleeping area from the other areas.
"Cool, how did you do that? We can't do that to our rooms." David's expression showed his awe.
"Go out the door and come in again." Randy smiled at his new friend.
David walked out shut the door then opened it again. The room looked just at it did when they first entered. "What happened?"
"If anyone but you or I or anyone I trust, this is what they see. Blink three times." David did."Now it looks like it did after you changed it. Why can you do it and we can't?"
"I don't know. Just don't tell anyone about it."
"Promise. I'll help you get your stuff packed." He turned to the door.
"Already done and put away." The door to the armoire opened to show his clothes hanging.
"I'm going to be in trouble if I don't get to my class." David trudged to the door.
"Help me manage the transporter box and show me how to get back to the main office." Randy followed David to the metal door. He stepped in and clung to the strap.
"Main Floor," David spoke. The box sped to the destination.
"I hope you won't get in trouble." Randy offered as they walked toward the main hall.
"It won't be the last time. I'll manage it. See you at dinner." He stopped and looked at Randy then at his feet. "I know you won't talk to me after this, but thanks for showing me your room."
"David, you're my first friend here. Save me a spot at dinner. Maybe stop by and get me. I may lose my way."
David gave him a thumbs up.
Randy headed to the main office to see about his schedule and tell them he changed rooms. Just as he turned into the office a bolt flew from the doorway and knocked him across the hall. He had the wind knocked out of him and his vision blurred.