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All posts for the month February, 2014

Freda’s Journal

Published February 28, 2014 by Annie Oliver

old diary

Today I have mostly been gadding about and tending to my garden. My garden is most important because ’tis there I grow the herbs and plants that I need for my spells and hexes. Let me tell you a little about the garden of Thistle Cottage…

A creaking gate leads to a twisted path which is surrounded by the largest, pinkest thistles you ever saw. They wave in the wind as though to greet you, which is quite pleasant when you return from a busy day godmothering to spoilt brats. However, just lately they have been taking liberties and creeping out over the path. Growing like wildfire, they are. So, this morning I simply took out the garden shears and waved them at the Thistles while Glaring. By tea time they were in their rightful place again. Even gardening can be done with the right kind of Glare and a threat.

From the front path, Thistle Cottage gives you a crooked smile, with its oversized front door and lopsided windows. It is made of stone which Edna and I collected ourselves from the Enchanted Mountains of Aurelia. ‘Tis no normal stone, as it moves and changes according to the mood of the house. You see, my dearies, Thistle Cottage is as alive as you or I. But more of that later…

Around the back of Thistle Cottage the garden really comes alive. The garden is not a wide one; rather it winds and turns like a crack in the Earth which has been filled with flowers and grass. A tunnel of whispering trees leads to stifling darkness. Beyond the tunnel has never yet been explored. ‘Tis rumoured that dark enchantments lie there. Folks that have journeyed there have never returned and ’tis rumoured that one tree grows for every person that has been lost there. If you look closely at the trees they do appear to have faces, and they do seem to sigh a little… All I know is that standing at the edge is like facing a dark abyss. It makes my head itchy. There are some secrets that even Thistle Cottage cannot share and I am not about to start being all nosey about them. That would be asking for trouble.

Mind, I can’t keep my goddaughter Scarlett away from the tunnel of trees lately. What with the night-time whispering I am hearing from her room and the strange atmosphere around Thistle Cottage I am fair worried about her. I have told her to stay away from the trees but something keeps drawing her there. Three times this week I found her at the bottom of the garden, staring into the darkness. I shall have to watch out for her. One day I might have to find out what lies beyond, but for now I have far too much to do to be ending up a tree if it doesn’t work out.  I don’t trust Edna to unhex me, either. She couldn’t even unhex her way out of  the mobile phone contract that some smarmy salesman signed her up to. There are worse hexes in this world than in mine and they are called ‘contracts’. From what I have seen, they are used to perform great evils and place people in never-ending binds.

To the left side lies my snail farm, which I have to feed with leaves once a day. Snails are a rare creature in my homeland of the Shade so imagine my delight when I came here and saw all the snails slithering around in broad daylight. ‘Tis wondrous for trade and I often slip into the secret portal that lies beside the snail farm to my own land, to barter the precious snail silk I collect.  You call them snail trails and find them fairly worthless, but they are an essential ingredient in many potent spells.

We also have a spider farm in an old lean-to. Cobwebs are most useful for spinning into a fabric we in The Shade call spingleweb. ‘Tis the fabric used in many a magic cloak or fancy ball gown but it only lasts a few hours before turning to dust. This is why a certain spoilt princess should have listened to her fairy godmother when she told her to be home by midnight…

Well, I’ve rambled quite enough for today and the frogs feet won’t pickle themselves…

Freda x

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Ask Freda – Is my Stepmother Wicked?

Published February 23, 2014 by Annie Oliver

evil-queen-snow-white

Another letter from a Freda fan seeking my no-nonsense advice…

“Hi Freda,

I hope you can help. My dad got married last week after being on his own with me for a long time. I really think that my stepmother might be evil. She has a thin mouth, beady eyes and she has this habit of sneaking up on you when you least expect it. She is always trying to be my ‘friend’ and cooking me big tasty dinners. You may think this is nice, but I suspect she is fattening me up to be eaten.

She must be some kind of witch, as my dad seems bewitched and is constantly walking around with a soppy smile on his face. I just want it to be me and my dad again. Can you tell me how to find out if she is evil so that I can tell my dad and we can both be rid of her?

Rebecca, 11.”

Well, Rebecca. This is quite easily solved with a ferret, some moondust, newt’s spittle and a yard of twine. Most people think ferrets are only good for sniffing out rabbits but ferrets are excellent at sniffing out anything at all, particularly evil stepmothers and bad intentions.

Infuse the newts spittle for three days with a hair from your stepmother and a dash of her ear wax. Catch a wild ferret by the tail and sprinkle it with the moondust. Wrap the twine around the ferret’s ankle – taking care not to let the teeth near you – and recite thricely thus:

‘Ferret’s nose, remove my doubt; Ferret sniff the badness out; Is she wicked, is she wise? Ferret, clear my clouded eyes’

Then wait until your dad is sleeping. A-creep upon him and dab him on the nose and trouser hem with the newts spittle. Then loosen the twine and release the ferret. If the ferret clings to his face, he is bewitched and your stepmother is evil. If it runs up his trouser leg and around three times, you can rest easy.

If you cannot catch a wild ferret, or have no moondust, then try talking to your dad. It may just be difficult to have someone new in the house, and if she is not an evil witch fattening you for the cauldron, chances are she could just be trying to be a good mother to you. Give her the benefit of the doubt, but if she does turn out to be evil let me know and I shall send an unhexing charm and a witch-slayer at the earliest opportunity. For a small fee.

Freda x

Freda’s Almanac

Published February 22, 2014 by Annie Oliver

I have consulted my Almanac today and feel led to share the pitfalls and promises that the week ahead may bring…

– Never sweep your front path in the week in which March begins, unless you wish to lose a tooth and gain a wart.

– Do not buy oranges from a woman in a silver shawl on Tuesday. She is a disguised witch who will entrap you as her familiar and then you will have to spend the rest of your life as a cat, parrot, or some other such animal. Consider this a most serious warning and don’t dare come scuttling to me to unhex you when you are a newt.

– For unrequited love, Wednesday eve is a fortuitous day to cast the following spell;

Make an ointment by grinding together the following –  two parts boiled turnip, one part caster oil and ten inches of freshly harvested snail silk (you call it slime, I believe). Wash your hair thricely in the light of the moon using a rinse of rainwater infused with peppermint leaves. Retire to bed, placing the turnip skin in the shape of your beloved’s initial beneath your pillow. By morning, the object of your affections will not like you any better,  but they will  certainly have a nasty ear fungus and the foul breath of a sea witch, which should at least make you feel better and also ensure that your competitors in love do not find them desirous. (Do not, as my sister Edna did, ‘accidentally’ eat the turnip skin as a tasty midnight snack lest you want the hex to come back on you at three times the potency).

– For good luck, wink four times and shake the paw of every one-eyed black and white cat you see, for chances are it is a famous witch’s familiar. It has escaped from her to this land by great magic, and it will be bound to grant you a wish lest the magic be undone and the furious witch find it.

Good days for Glaring – Sunday, Tuesday, Friday.

Good days for Grimacing – Monday, Saturday.

Excellent days for Spell casting and Hexing – Wednesday, Saturday.

Freda x

Freda’s Journal

Published February 19, 2014 by Annie Oliver

Yesterday, my God-daughter Scarlett took me out to the cinema. My sister Edna had to be left at home, for she is greatly a-feared of the giant screens, believing them to be bewitched by real Giants. There is no use telling her otherwise. Edna is a bit of a sop at times. You should have seen her the first time she used a telephone to speak to Scarlett – as soon as Edna heard her voice, she began a-hooting and a-hollering that a dark wizard had shrunken Scarlett and entrapped her in the telephone.  It took me two hours and ten cups of nettle tea to calm her down.

We went to see Disney’s Frozen and it was fantastic! I had to remind myself it wasn’t real. I was so incensed at the twist at the end that my poor old wand was twitching in my handbag to unleash spells onto the screen.  I’m not a popcorn fan so I took my own snacks – some crispy dried newt skin and a few dandelion bon-bons. The weasely ferret of a manager tried to take them off me, telling this wizened and wise Godmother that she wasn’t allowed to take her own snacks in. How rude! A sharp Glare soon put paid to that. Likely he has woken up this morning with unexplained warts and terrible flatulence and doesn’t quite know why…

In the evening, I spent some time back at Thistle Cottage with some good wizards who were a-visiting from my homeland, The Shade. I cooked them a nice nettle and grub stew and showed them Emmerdale and Eastenders. They were quite impressed with the televisual machine, although I kept them away from Jeremy Kyle, who Edna calls ‘the Dark One.’ I returned yesterday to find her counter-hexing the screen every time he said ‘wind your neck in’, which she believes to be a curse of the highest potency. I also managed to sell the wizards a fair few jars of peanut butter, which has revolutionised nut-eating in a land where a full set of teeth is detrimental to any self-respecting witch or wizards reputation.

I am still worried about my Goddaughter Scarlett, though. She is in my care and I may be over-anxious with her, but after everything that has happened in our little family, I need to keep an eye on things. She has dark blood running through her veins, you know. We thought we had it under control but just lately I see that glint appear in her eye and then I hear her whispering late at night. Is she whispering curses, or even worse…talking with a Soul Thief again? I consulted with the Magic Mirror but all was cloudy – although his allegiance is to Scarlett anyway he would not tell me what she is up to. Even the cat is keeping quiet.

Hmmm…I’m going to need help. Time for a trip to The Silver Jug to see my old frenemies Septicus and Lavinia Newt, I think, and I’m going to need lots of false teeth and cheese ‘n onion crisps for bartering…

 

Freda’s Journal

Published February 17, 2014 by Annie Oliver

Today has been a most busy day.

After being rudely awoken by my sister Edna choking on her false teeth (She left them in and was a-dreaming of eating Pork Scratchings) I performed a quick upward thrust on her gullet, went downstairs, put a handful of nettles into the brewing cauldron for my morning tea and went into the garden to harvest some snail silk. ‘Twas a beautiful moonlit morning, which meant that the silk had dried most pleasantly. Snail silk, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is an essential ingredient in most spells and hexes and for that end, I keep a small snail farm at the far end of the garden, right next to the portal to my homeland which lies betwixt the rose bush and the compost heap.

I then set about getting my God-daughter, Scarlett, up for school. There is no spell in the land strong enough to wake Scarlett from a slumber so I opened Edna’s door wide. Edna’s snoring is enough to wake the long since dead. Following this, while Scarlett was still a-stomping about, I polished the Magic Mirrors. If you don’t polish them every morning they get huffy and refuse to talk, which is not at all useful when you need to find the location of a hidden amulet or the secret antidote to a deadly poison-curse.

After Scarlett went to school, I slipped over to my homeland of The Shade to do some bartering. Some items you have here are incredibly useful there. Take false teeth, for instance. It took me over two hundred years to grow a gapped-tooth smile that the ugliest crone would be proud of. No self-respecting Fairy Godmother would be seen with a full set of teeth. It just wouldn’t be done. However, fearsome reputations of ugliness do not help when you are trying to eat toffee or peanuts, do they? That’s why I’m doing a roaring trade in false teeth over in The Shade. Gums for day time…False teeth for night-time snacks when no one is looking. Although, I do have terrible trouble getting hold of the false teeth. Scarlett says I should start a website called webuyanyteeth.com.

On my return, I spent most of the afternoon starching my girdles and polishing my best wand, ready for any trouble, because it’s been quiet for a while and I’ve got a churning feeling in my gut that something or someone is coming to spoil my peace. Plus, Scarlett is getting awful bad tempered again, and if you read the story that my writer friend Annie told for me, you’ll know that this means trouble.

And now I’m in bed ready for it all to start again the morrow. Me and Edna sleep in twin beds and although her snoring, gurning, chop-slapping and grunting of a night do not make for the best nights sleep, we are sisters and that’s how it always has been and always shall be. Fairy Godmothers do work best in pairs – though ’tis said there is always one Good and one Wicked of the pair. If I am not the Wicked one I shall be sore disappointed.

Freda x

Scarlett and the Soul Thief – first chapter.

Published February 16, 2014 by Annie Oliver

Well I thought I’d give you all a taster of what Annie has conjured up. This is her first chapter and I don’t mind it at all. Even the folks at youwriteon quite liked it, naming it the CHILDRENS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2011. Mind, she’d be nothing without her old Aunty Freda…

Chapter One.

The top of Bramble Towers blotted Scarlett’s window-view, cutting through the skies a like a grey shark fin. Dismal. She was about to turn back and think about attempting her homework when…

“…You stringy little ferret! I’ll pox you, my lad! Come back here!” floated through the air.  The towers shook with a tremor that sounded just like a wheeled shopping bag, narrowly missing a small head.  Freda, Scarlett thought, with glee, craning her neck to get a good view. Freda and Edna Crabbefoot lived next door.  They were family, of sorts.  Her Mum called them the ‘Aunties’ and never seemed to question their presence, yet they looked at least one-hundred-and-two, and talked of no other sisters but each other. Scarlett stuck her head as far as she could out of the eighteenth floor window. Her raven curls brushed against the condensation on the windowsill.

“I’ll fettle you, my lad,” Freda was saying.

Fettling was bad.

Freda had once fettled a lady who would not stop talking during bingo. The lady had, according to legend, woken up the next day with a case of weeping warts and incurable halitosis. Freda had also fettled the building’s caretaker when he would not fix her leaky tap. After the fettling, a large green toad had camped out on the caretaker’s doorstep, croaking and blinking at Scarlett with bulging eyes each time she walked past. A few days later, the caretaker had returned, fitting Freda and Edna a whole new set of taps, and a walk-in shower.

The grey blocks of concrete that characterised Bramble Towers appeared to quiver amid the damp mist which cloaked the buildings. Freda’s red anorak blazed like a bunch of poppies amongst the dull surroundings, matching her face. She was furious, gripping her shopping bag with white-knuckled glee, her index finger twitching like mad. Scarlett stifled a giggle. They called it the ‘Freda Finger,’ because if she wagged that crooked forefinger at you, something bad would likely come your way.

“I’ll skin your gizzards boy!” Freda screeched. Scarlett leaned even further out of the window, craning her neck.

Tall and skinny, Freda leaned over the boy with a nose that could etch glass, and a pair of eyes which were constantly on the roam for anything or anyone trying to sneak past her. She was just about to unleash the finger when she stopped and sniffed the air, her chin jutting skyward as she cast her gaze up to the eighteenth floor. Scarlett whipped her head back inside, just in the nick of time. She quickly jumped down from the window, praying that Freda hadn’t seen her.

“Come onand get your dinner, Scarlett.” Edna shouted. Now, she was nothing like her sister, being warm and chubby, with at least six chins and five ankles. She shook her head despairingly, her chins wobbling in a flurry of blancmange as Scarlett entered the kitchen. “Come on,” Edna said through a mouthful of fried egg.  Edna ate a lot, which was why she always smelled a bit like cooking oil. A bit of yolk dribbled down her cheek, landing in her third chin and disappearing. She put a plate in front of Scarlett. Scarlett shook her head and pushed it away.

Edna lowered her voice, “come on, lovey. If you carry on like like you’ll end up mal-flourished.” She wolfed down another huge mouthful of sandwich, more runny yolk escaping into her folds of neck flesh.

Scarlett stifled a laugh. “Did you mean malnourished, Edna?”

“That’s exactly what I said,” said Edna, looking all disgruntled, “mal-couraged.”

“Shut up and put your good teeth in, you daft old bat,” said Freda, barging into the flat, “you’ve egg on your chins…and you,” she pointed her crooked finger at Scarlett, “cheer yourself up. You’ll turn the milk sour with that miserable face. What’s the matter now?” Scarlett knew she was up against it. The last time Freda had shown anything like sympathy was the time that she had swabbed Scarlett with a nettle to take her mind off a bee sting, but Freda was the barometer. If she could pass the Freda test then her Mum would keep her off school.

“I don’t feel well,” Scarlett said, in her best sick voice. “My stomach hurts and I’ve got a headache.”

“Hmmm,” said Freda, putting a hand on Scarlett’s head, “you do feel clammy.” She looked deep into Scarlett’s eyes, “and you don’t look right. Open your mouth” she ordered. Scarlett opened wide. “I knew it!” said Freda, “it’s the worst case of trying-to-skive-school-tomorrow-itis I’ve ever seen.” She gave Scarlett a look that said she’d better not argue. Scarlett sighed. Freda was right. It was only a few weeks into term, but already Scarlett had been tripped over, prodded, had her phone flushed down the toilet, and wore her dinner. She had also cut about five pieces of gum out of her hair. However, the words were definitely the worst. Whoever made that rhyme about sticks and stones had never met Jemima Bloom, the most evil child to ever step into the gates of Grimsfield comp. Just lately, Scarlett had been hallucinating omen-style soundtracks every time the girl entered a classroom.

Freda narrowed her eyes, but her voice softened a little, “come on now, lovey. We’ve talked about this before. You know what I really think of school. Load of rot! Complete rubbish! I could teach you more in an hour than you’d learn in a year there, and I’m talking proper lessons that will actually be useful in life.”

During the summer, Scarlett had enjoyed many of Freda’s lessons, being forced to indulge in the art of Glaring and the skill of Haggling. Just lately, she had even begun to develop proficiency in one of Freda’s favourite talents, Finger Pointing with Malice. Aside from that, the two of them had spent many hours adding to Freda’s bulging home remedies book, hunting down wild plants and rare spices for Freda’s strange recipes and cures. “However,” Freda continued, “according to your mother, this here school thing is important and so you have to go.”

“But, Freda…”

“No ‘buts’ Missy,” said Freda, “do what you’re told, or else! No more running off and no more skipping lessons, do you hear?” She wagged her finger at Scarlett, her eyes glinting. Scarlett ignored the pointed finger. Being a friend of Freda, she enjoyed immunity from its curses.  Freda glared, her eyes shining into Scarlett’s. “Stop the smirking, madam. Just because I don’t have my own teeth doesn’t mean I can’t bite. I’ve told you before. You let me go down to your school and I’ll sort that little madam out and all her so-called friends.” Scarlett could just imagine the kids faces at school when Freda turned up, wearing her plastic rain hat and checked apron, finger waggling and giving them all what-for.

Her Mum walked into the kitchen, shaking out her white-blonde hair. “I heard that and the answer is no. No time off,” she said sternly, “you can sleep in a bit later tomorrow, though, Scarlett. Martin’s giving you a lift.”

“No way, Mum” said Scarlett. “I’m not travelling with it.”

“Come on, Scarlett.” Maggie gave her a look. “He’s alright, you know.”

“Alright for keeping you out of disaster, you mean,” said Scarlett, laughing. Maggie needed a butler, not a boyfriend, given that she found it impossible to function in everyday life. She floated about the world like a leaf in the wind, forgetting to pay bills and getting distracted by the colour of a flower when she should have been picking Scarlett up from school.

Maggie laughed and rolled her eyes, “look at me Scarlett,” she said. “I’m getting no younger, he’s got a good job and a car, and he’s kind…”

“…and his trousers have fallen out with his shoes,” said Freda, looking up from the Grimsfield Herald with a macabre smile.

Edna choked on a bit of bread and began to guffaw loudly, “true that is, sister!” she said, as Freda slapped her on the back.

“…and he spends long periods of time in an imaginary world inhabited by other geeks who all cast spells on each other over the internet,” said Scarlett, giggling.

“It suits me if he spends all his time on the internet,” said Maggie, wrapping her slender fingers around a mug of Freda’s nettle tea.  She lowered her voice “It wouldn’t do to have anyone get too close, Scarlett.” She nodded around the room at Freda and Edna. They all hushed and held their breath and looked at Scarlett with excitement and anticipation. Scarlett knew they were waiting for her to ask the question that had been unspoken for years. She nodded and looked away from their questioning gazes, clearing her throat and blinking away the idea that Freda and Edna were anything but normal aunties. Freda grimaced with disappointment at Edna as if to say ‘that’s that, then’ and then they all went back to slurping and munching – although Edna was looking at her tomatoes with a lot more suspicion – until…

“Good evening, fellow aliens,” Martin said in a robotic voice, peeping his head around the flat door. Without knocking. This infuriated Scarlett in a way that normal verbs, like ‘exasperated’ or ‘incensed’ could not adequately describe. He sat down at the table, clearing himself a space amongst the clutter – the likes of magazines, crystals, snowglobes and books – that Maggie liked to hoard on every surface. Edna gave him a smiling grimace and plonked a plate of dinner in front of him. As Martin picked up his cutlery, Scarlett waited.

He brandished his fork at her. “May the fork be with you,” he said, nudging Scarlett, “eh? Scarlett? Eh?”

“And also with you,” said Scarlett dully, clanging her fork against his. My life, she thought, is actually tragic.

“Big day today,” said Martin, wiping the steam off his black-rimmed glasses, which Scarlett was sure had clear glass in them.

“Not really,” said Scarlett, “it was the same as always. I sat learning irrelevant stuff while people I don’t like threw things at me and buried stuff in my hair.”

Martin looked at her blankly. “Oh, school!” he said, “noooo, I’m not talking about that. Today is the day I got my badge.” He brandished a small badge in Scarlett’s face, which was blatantly a ‘school prefect’ badge, except someone had super-glued ‘Level 7 Mage’ over the word ‘prefect. “What do you think?’ said Martin, “eh? Scarlett?” He beamed proudly. “No-one has ever got this far on MERP before. Level seven wizard…who would have thought?” He proudly pinned it onto his checked polo shirt which was, as usual, snugly tucked into his navy trousers.

Freda snorted and spat a bit of nettle tea out. “Never thought much of wizards,” she muttered, “but I have to say you’ve got the look of one.”

“What was that, Freda?” said Martin.

“Oh, MERP,” said Scarlett, quickly changing the subject, “the game.” MERP was an acronym for the online game Magic Enchantment Role Play. When he wasn’t playing MERP, Martin loved to talk about MERP more than anything. He probably dreamed about MERP too.

“What do you think then, Scarlett?” said Martin, still looking slightly quizzically at Freda. “One more level and I’ll be a sorcerer. Amazing isn’t it?”

“I truly am lost for words,” said Scarlett, dryly. Freda chuckled and Maggie gave them both a warning glare.

“Yes I’m going to upload all my new spells today,” he said proudly, “and edit my online world. There’s so much to do, it’s going to take me ages, so I’m sorry, Maggie, I can’t do dinner tomorrow night. Can we put off until the weekend? I’ll call and change the table.”

Maggie waved her hand dismissively, but Scarlett could tell she was more than a bit huffed. “Fish fingers for dinner again then Scarlett.” She laughed, although there was a trace of the furious Freda about her smile.

“Unless,” said Scarlett, hopefully, “you don’t take me to school tomorrow. That’ll give you at least an hour head start.”

Martin’s face briefly lit up until Freda swiftly batted him around the head with the Herald.  “Not likely,” she said, pointing to the front page.

Maggie leaned over and grabbed the Grimsfield Herald from Freda. “Ooh, more girls gone missing,” she said. “That’s awful.”

“Another three,” said Freda, and her and Edna exchanged a look. The kind of look they gave each other when they were trying to sneak out to bingo without old Mrs Robson from flat 10B finding out and tagging along with them, because Freda believed the old lady to be cursed where bingo was concerned.

“I’ll be fine,” said Scarlett. “There’ll be lots of other kids walking to school. I’m hardly going to get kidnapped, am I? Not at that time of day.”

“No, ducky, you’re not walking,” said Freda . “I’ve got a bad feeling about these disappearances, so we’ll all come with you. I need to go into town anyway. My big toe’s been throbbing like mad so I’m going to pop into the bingo hall. It always throbs when I’m due a big win.”

“Fine,” said Scarlett, knowing when she was beaten. She slipped into her room, and sat in the cool and cluttered silence for a while, praying that she could slip into school unnoticed tomorrow. Or that Martin had traded in his bright yellow camper van ‘Bessie’ for something much less embarrassing since she had seen him the day before.

As she emerged, Martin held up a bumper sticker. It read “IF YOU CAN READ THIS YOU’RE TOO CLOSE TO A LEVEL SEVEN WIZARD!”

“The perfect shade of yellow to match Bessie!” he said. “Eh? Scarlett? Eh?”

Truly, truly tragic, thought Scarlett.

Freda’s Almanac – Guidance for today

Published February 16, 2014 by Annie Oliver

I have consulted with my trusty almanac, and here are my tips for today…

– Under  no circumstances talk to a man walking a ferret, unless he is offering to sell you pears, in which case this is a good omen and you will likely find that you wake up tomorrow with one less problem than you went to bed with.

– Do not wear red, for the almanac states that those who wear red on a Sunday in February shall surely meet themselves coming backwards.

– ‘Tis a Waning Gibbous moon tonight, so wash your hair at your own peril.

–  For excellent luck, Glare deeply and malevolently at any red-haired passer-by you see wearing shabby velvet trousers and a green cravat. This is not from the almanac, you understand. This is Septicus Newt, the proprietor of ‘The Slug and Newt’. He owes me ten Tack from a hair-enhancing spell I sold him last Friday, and I don’t want to waste my good Glares on him.

And don’t forget to practise your finger-wagging. You never know when you might need it.

Freda x