Charmed, p.1
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       Charmed, p.1

           Jen Calonita
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Charmed


  Also by Jen Calonita

  Flunked

  Copyright © 2016 by Jen Calonita

  Cover and internal design ©2016 by Sourcebooks, Inc.

  Cover image by Mike Heath/Shannon Associates

  Sourcebooks and the colophon are registered trademarks of Sourcebooks, Inc.

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission in writing from its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.

  The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

  Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc.

  P.O. Box 4410, Naperville, Illinois 60567-4410

  (630) 961-3900

  Fax: (630) 961-2168

  www.sourcebooks.com

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data is on file with the publisher.

  Source of Production: Worzalla, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA

  Date of Production: January 2016

  Run Number: 5005562

  Contents

  Front Cover

  Title Page

  Copyright

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Who’s Who in Enchantasia

  Acknowledgments

  About the Author

  Back Cover

  For Elpida Argenziano, the strongest, bravest princess I know.

  Sometimes it’s good to be bad.

  Official Decree of the Enchantasia Dwarf Police Squad*

  WANTED

  Alva the Wicked Fairy

  Reward for the capture of Alva, better known as Sleeping Beauty’s dreamcaster

  Alva was last seen fleeing Fairy Tale Reform School. The fairy’s dark magic makes her dangerous in any form. (She can transform herself into a fire-breathing dragon and an old hag.) Alva is rumored to be recruiting an army to help her take over the kingdom of Enchantasia. You can make sure this does not happen! If you hear of her whereabouts, alert the Dwarf Police Squad immediately.

  REWARD: 10,000 gold pieces

  *This message approved by the Royal Court

  Happily Ever After Scrolls

  Brought to you by FairyWeb—magically appearing on scrolls throughout Enchantasia for the past ten years!

  Where Is the Thorn in Sleeping Beauty’s Side Hiding?

  by Coco Collette

  It’s hard to believe that it’s been two months since Princess Rose, our favorite sleeping beauty, found out that her evil fairy, Alva, is not only alive but has been plotting to take over Enchantasia. Alva reappeared at the fifth anniversary ball for Fairy Tale Reform School, the school for wicked or criminally mischievous fairy-tale students. While Alva was unsuccessful in her takeover (whew!), she was able to turn Professor Harlow villainous once more. (Guess we can start calling her the Evil Queen again.) Harlow was taken into custody and is being held in the dungeons at FTRS, but Alva escaped.

  “I thought I had seen the last of that fairy, and now she’s back to torture not only me, but also my beloved kingdom,” says Princess Rose. “I won’t stop ’til Alva is brought to justice and my citizens are safe once more. We’re lucky Gillian Cobbler was there to help save us.”

  Gillian, an FTRS student and the daughter of village shoemaker Hal Cobbler, rescued a ballroom full of students, royals, and citizens from Alva. Praise for Gillian has come from villagers and princesses alike. Neil at Combing the Sea says Team Gilly shirts are flying off his shelves. “A comb plucked from my shop got Gilly thrown into FTRS in the first place,” says Neil proudly.

  The royals were so pleased that they gave Gilly’s father his job back making glass slippers for the royal families. Ever since, orders have flooded into Hal’s shop from as far away as Parrington and Captiva. “I just ordered a pair of Hal’s brand-new glass-slipper high tops,” says Rapunzel, who plans on wearing them in an ad for her new hair-care products. “They’re comfortable yet stylish. What more could a princess ask for?”

  How about safety? Sources say Princess Rose has been unsettled by Alva’s reemergence and feels the royal court has not been doing enough to find the evil fairy. The sleepy princess is said to have fled the castle in a huff and is spending time at FTRS as a mentor to the famed Royal Ladies-in-Waiting Club.

  Keeping checking your Happily Ever After Scrolls for more coverage on Alva!

  CHAPTER 1

  Charm School

  Miri’s voice crackles through the magic mirrors in Fairy Tale Reform School. “Let the first annual Wand What You Want hour begin!”

  Wands begin popping up in kids’ hands as we walk through the halls, and we all cheer. Pop! My wand arrives in my hand—long, dark gray, and nicked like it’s seen a few battles. Hmm…what to try first… I’m just about to test the wand out when I feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Instinct tells me to dive out of the way. When I look up, I see a classmate spelling the troll next to her. The girl turns into an ice sculpture. Geez, that was close. I better stay alert.

  Pop! Pop! Pop! Kids begin casting all around me. The crowded hallway is suddenly full of talking woodland creatures, toads, fireworks, and a pretty impressive cloud raining licorice. Kids are cheering and fighting, and the sound of all those wands working is enough to give me a headache. I hurry away from the spell zapping, looking for somewhere to practice alone.

  Slurp!

  The chaotic hallway disappears behind me, and a new empty hall arrives in its place. I happen to know this hall leads to the school courtyard so I hurry down it and head outside. Ahhh…this is more like it. The warm sun is shining bright high above the castle walls, making me wistful for adventure. I can never sit still for long.

  “Pardon the interruption! We hope you are enjoying your wand experience, but remember, all wands disappear at the hour mark so choose your magic wisely,” Miri says. I’m relieved to find no mirror in the courtyard, which means she can’t see what I’m up to. That magic mirror is forever tattling on students for bad behavior. “As a reminder, flying is not advised.”

  “Not advised, but she didn’t say it was against the rules,” I say to myself. I flick the wand over my stuffy, uncomfortable pale-blue uniform and turn it into a comfy peasant shirt and pants. I swap out my ugly school shoes for my beloved lace-up boots. Now that I’m comfortable, I get to the task at hand. I’m sure an actual spell would work better, but since I don’t know one, I just imagine myself flying and—bam! I’m slowly floating up, up, up in the air. Score!

  A Pegasus flies by me pulling a coach with four students in it.

  “Hi, Gilly!” they shout and wave.

  When you save your school from a wicked fairy, people tend to remember your name. Even if you don’t remember theirs.

  “Hi!” I say, lying back like I’m floating on a cloud. Wow, this is relaxing. I stretch my arms wide and—oops!

  My wand falls from my grasp. Uh-oh. I begin to plummet, spinning faster and faster with no sign of stopping. Before I can even think of a way to break my fall, whoosh! I feel my body hit a blanket and bounce up, then land again on a magic carpet.

  “Ten minutes into
Wand What You Want, and you’re already having a near-death experience?” my friend Jax asks. His curly blond hair looks white in the bright sunlight. He casually waves his own wand in my direction with a glint in his violet eyes. “You’re getting sloppy.”

  “I’m not getting sloppy!” I’m seriously offended by that statement. “How’d you even know where to find me?”

  “I thought to myself, ‘What would Gilly do with wand access for an hour?’ and I knew right away you’d try to sneak home for a bit,” Jax says. “Let’s give it a go, shall we?”

  My usual partner in crime steers our magic carpet over the castle walls and across the vast school grounds. Below I can see students fanned out on castle rooftops, in the garden mazes, and near the lake, all casting away with various results. Jax flies the carpet faster, the wind whipping our hair and making it hard to see. I push the hair away from my eyes and strain to see home.

  There beyond the silver turrets of Royal Manor, where the princesses who rule our kingdom live, is my small village of Enchantasia. Somewhere down there, my family is working, playing, and hopefully missing me as much as I miss them. The carpet is nearing the Hollow Woods—which separates us and the village—and I lean forward. It’s going to happen. We’re going to leave school and see them! Closer we fly to the treetops…closer to the forest filled with ogres…closer to leaving school grounds when—CRACKLE!

  Our magic carpet is suddenly stunned by an invisible wall that keeps us from escaping the school grounds. A magical scroll drops from the sky into our laps. “Leaving school grounds is forbidden!” it says in sparkling script that glows red like a warning. “Please return to the castle at once!” It’s signed “Headmistress Flora.”

  “Smooth, Flora,” Jax says. “Putting a barricade in the sky during wand training was clever.”

  “Leaving was a long shot, but maybe I could wave my wand and at least see what my family is up to,” I say and gasp. “My wand! I need to go get it.”

  “Lose something, Gilly?” Our friend Maxine pilots a small flying swan boat I recognize from the Mother Goose carnival that was at school this past weekend. How does Maxine have one of those boats? Hmm… Bigger question: What’s she doing in midair? Ogres don’t usually like to be off the ground.

  Maxine’s right eye spins in its socket as she makes her way toward us with a crooked smile. Her thick neck is covered in layers of necklaces and the jewels she used to like to steal. (That’s how she got thrown in FTRS. My offense was pickpocketing and shoplifting.) Maxine tosses the wand toward me but it’s snatched away.

  “Come and get it!” Jax’s roommate, Ollie, shouts. He’s flying on the back of a black baby dragon, which does not seem smart. Ollie dives back toward the courtyard and Jax, Maxine, and I follow, landing seconds later in the courtyard I left only minutes before. I jump off the carpet and grab my wand from Ollie before his baby dragon can eat it. But I don’t need to worry because—poof!—the dragon disappears.

  “A baby dragon on school grounds?” My roommate, Kayla, waves her wand in the air dangerously, and I worry about what she could zap next. Her wings pop out of her back and she flutters to Ollie’s side. As a fairy, Kayla can shrink to the size of a teacup, but at the moment, she towers over Ollie, white-blond hair whipping in the wind. “That thing could burn down the whole school.”

  “We’ve already had that almost happen,” Jax jokes. “Let’s not do it again.”

  “Fine,” Ollie says dejectedly. “I really wanted a pet.” His eyes light up. “Snack break!” He waves his wand at the ground and conjures up an apple pie as big as the magic carpet I was just on. Poof! He also creates a supersize ice cream sundae and a plate of cookies as big as Maxine. He waves the wand again and a picnic basket, blanket, and plates appear on the grass beside it. “Let’s eat!”

  “We could use some ambiance,” says Kayla who quickly transforms a dead rosebush into a beautiful plant with eye-popping roses in shades of fuchsia, electric blue, and lime green. Kayla flutters over to the blanket to help Ollie dish out dessert. He’s using his wand as a cake knife and slicing pieces as big as my arm.

  “Don’t forget the music,” says Maxine. She waves her wand in the air, and a flock of birds appears on a tree above us. They begin to chirp and hum in harmony. “Yes! It worked!” Maxine trudges over to the blanket happily, her ogre feet leaving deep footprints in the grass.

  “Flora must have lost her mind to let a bunch of reform-school kids use wands for an hour,” Jax says, flashing me a smile so blinding that I wish I had shades.

  Poof! I use my wand to conjure up a pair. Sweet! I wish we could use wands every day instead of just in How a Wand Works 101. Madame Camille, our uptight fairy teacher, never lets us sign them out for homework, and every time someone screws up by zapping off their pinkie or growing their nose to three times its size, she says, “This is why Enchantasia doesn’t allow wands ’til you’re twenty-one!”

  If I’d had a wand when I lived in the village, I wouldn’t have had to steal food to help feed my brothers and sisters in our overcrowded boot. I could have just conjured up the finest treats Gnome-olia Bakery had to offer with a flick of my wrist. Then I wouldn’t have been sentenced to Fairy Tale Reform School. From the outside, this place looks like your average school. But inside we have hallways that move every time you use them, a talking magic mirror who tattles on you if you step out of line, a class taught by a mer-teacher inside a giant fish tank, and professors who all are former villains. How do you like them poison apples?

  FTRS is nothing like that snooze-fest shoemaker trade school I used to attend and will have to go back to when I prove I have transformed my villainous ways into upstanding ones. Some days—when villains aren’t trying to kill me—I’m bummed about being sprung from this joint. Especially when I think about leaving this crew.

  “Look, I get Flora disappearing to help Professor Wolfington suppress his wolf side again, but where has she been since he came back?” Jax continues. “We never see her around school, and now she’s letting us take wands out for a spin? Something’s up.”

  “I’m with Jax,” Maxine says, apple oozing down her chin as she chews. “My mini magical scroll has been showing me weird messages like ‘She’ll reappear when you’re all distracted’ instead of articles from Happily Ever After Scrolls.”

  Ollie gives me a look. Maxine swears her mini magical scroll is sending her messages, but mini magical scrolls only report the daily Enchantasia news. She seems to think her scroll is magical. Okay, more magical.

  “Yesterday it said, ‘Prepare. She is coming soon.’” Maxine cuts another slice of pie for herself that is as big as her head. “Who is coming? Flora? I quickly hid my scroll since I was supposed to be doing homework.”

  “I think Flora is just trying to give us some freedom,” I say. “If they don’t give us freedom every now and then, how are they going to see whether we’re reforming?”

  “Yeah, Maxine. Can’t you just be happy we have an afternoon off from Villain to Hero: How to Make the Switch?” Kayla asks.

  Maxine frowns. “I actually kind of miss Dragon Slaying 101, but sometimes learning about a dragon’s weak spots is enough to make me want to breathe fire.”

  I sit up. “That gives me an idea.” I begin to aim my wand but Jax stops me.

  “I’m serious, guys,” Jax says quietly. “Alva’s on the loose, someone is spilling royal secrets, and Flora keeps disappearing. Don’t you want to know what’s going on?”

  Jax is an undercover royal at a reform school. Of course he wants to sort things out and go back to being all royally. (He is secretly Rapunzel’s brother, not that she knows that. She thinks he’s off at boarding school, and Jax’s dad had the royal court’s memories bewitched so no one recognizes him.) And yes, I want to go home to my family, but in the past two months I’ve saved royals, kept our school from burning down, and had T-shirts made with my name on them. I need a short recess to relax.

  “Can’t we take an hour off from being
good guys and enjoy doing something a bit wicked?” I conjure up Jax’s favorite pie—figgy pudding—and his eyes go wide. “Let’s eat before we plot!”

  My friends and I begin slicing up the desserts in front of us when poof! They disappear right in front of our eyes.

  “Hey!” Ollie’s fork hangs in the air over a now-empty plate. “Who did that?”

  I look around the courtyard. Through the stained glass windows inside the school, I can see flashes of light every time a wand is used. Some hallways are filled with water where mermaids swim with ease and students have transformed into sharks and octopuses. Other windows show students dressed like princesses and pirates, while another set of windows shows mischief that could get those kids detention for a week with Madame Cleo. But I couldn’t see a single person pointing a wand our way.

  Then I hear a sinister laugh. I exhale sharply and look closer at my surroundings. I point my wand directly at the black gargoyle statue near the courtyard door that I don’t remember seeing earlier. The statue starts to spark and then it transforms into a girl with long, dark hair in a black dress covered with stars and moons.

  “Ouch! That hurt!” Jocelyn rubs her butt, which has a burn mark on one of the half-moons. “You singed my dress!”

  “You stole our dessert.” I wave my wand, wondering what I could do to Jocelyn next. Turn her into a toad? Make her wear a pink princess dress since she’s allergic to any color but black? Lock her in a tower to keep her from casting any more spells?

  “Sorry for the interruption, students,” Miri’s voice is back over the magical loudspeaker system. “Headmistress Flora would like me to remind you that illegal use of magic—such as escape attempts, turning your roommate into a toad, or using wand work for monetary gain—is not allowed. Today’s Wand What You Want experiment is to see how you handle having a bit of wand freedom. Remember that. Thank you!”

  Fiddlesticks.

  “Did you want to join us?” Maxine asks awkwardly. She may be slightly afraid of the Evil Queen’s little sister, but I’m not. Professor Harlow is now tucked away in the FTRS dungeons. Why Headmistress Flora allowed Jocelyn to stay in school is beyond me.

 
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