Molly Miggins is a junior witch who is given important tasks by the Magic Council. Molly is sent to the land of Splat to recover a magic jewel from a sulking dragon.
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Magic Molly, book three, The Yellow Eye
Molly Miggins is a junior witch who is given a place at the Witches Academy a year early. Molly is being fast tracked through the witch grades by the Magic Council who send her on a series of tricky tasks.
In The Yellow Eye, Molly is given a new task by the Magic Council. Molly is sent to the land of Splat to find a long lost jewel called the Bloodstone and return it to its owner, a sulking dragon called Fireshower. She must then persuade the dragon to hand over another jewel called The Yellow Eye which the Magic Council desperately wants to get back.
All magic has been removed from the land of Splat so Molly must find a way to complete the task and outwit a sniffing witch and a pair of crafty goblins, without the assistance of her trusty wand, Wonky.
By the time Molly got home, all of the cauldron-warming party guests had arrived. Molly dropped the scroll into the pocket of her coat in the hall and headed for the kitchen. As Molly walked in, thirteen old witches raised their wands in the air and cheered. Molly went red and looked at her boots.
One of the guests, a witch called Gretel, crouched down on rickety, cracking knees and pointed to Molly’s yellow tunic. ‘Ooh look at this girls, isn’t it gorgeous?’
The witches leaned forward to get a better look. ‘Ooh,’ said Dora, a witch with a green wart on the end of her nose. ‘Isn’t that pretty? You young witches are so lucky; we only had a choice of black, or black.’
The witch cackled at her own joke and tweaked Molly’s cheek between her bony fingers. Molly forced a smile and looked at her feet again.
‘Do a twirl dear,’ said another old crone. ‘Let’s have a proper look at you.’
Molly looked to Granny Whitewand for help but she just made a circling motion with her hand. Molly gave in and slowly turned around.
The coven remarked on everything from Molly’s boots to her hat with calls of, ‘ooh, look at that.’ And, ‘isn’t she cute?’
‘I love that flop over hat,’ said a witch called Freda. ‘I think I’ll get one of those.’
‘I don’t think you can buy them like this,’ said Molly. I sat on it in the changing room, that’s why it flopped over.’
The witches laughed as if they’d just heard the funniest joke in the world. Molly looked around in amazement.
Eventually the cackles died away and Granny Whitewand stepped toward the stove. She picked up Molly’s cauldron and lifted it above her head.
‘Do we accept the witch Molly Miggins into the coven?’ she asked.
‘We do,’ chanted the witches.
Granny Whitewand took a stick of chalk, drew the shape of a bat on the side of the cauldron and held it in the air again.
‘To finish the inauguration we must make the junior witch a special potion. Who wishes to add to the spell?’
Twelve ancient witches screeched ‘ME!’ as Granny Whitewand placed the cauldron back on the stove. They crowded round and began to sprinkle ingredients into the pot from the jars on the table. The witches chanted silly rhymes about the things they were tipping in. Molly could hear bits of the whispered chanting ‘Leg of bat and toe of bear, eagle’s beak and monkey hair…’
When the witches were happy that all the ingredients had been added, Mrs Miggins called on Granny Whitewand to light the gas. The old witch stepped forward, pointed her wand at the cooker and fired the heat spell. The gas burst into flames and the cauldron began to simmer almost immediately.
The witches grouped together and held a whispered conversation. Now and then, one of them looked towards Molly and sniggered. Before long, they were giggling like schoolgirls as they decided which potion would be presented to Molly to cast a spell over.
When the cauldron began to boil the witches looked at Molly with thirteen pairs of narrowed eyes. As Molly stepped forward they began to chant. ‘Spell, Spell, Spell Spell.’
Molly pulled Wonky from the secret pocket in her cloak and addressed her wand. His happy little face appeared about three quarters of the way down the shaft.
‘Hello, Molly Miggins,’ he said. ‘This is exciting isn’t it?’
‘If you say so,’ whispered Molly. ‘Which spell do I use?’
‘You’ll need the special words that came with the cauldron,’ explained one of the witches. There should have been a card with a chant written on it. You use the same words every time you cast a spell over the cauldron.’
‘Ah,’ said Molly. ‘I didn’t see a card. I’ll have another look.’
Molly picked up the box from the kitchen floor and placed it on the table. She rummaged around in the packaging and found a small white card and a folded piece of paper lying in the bottom. Molly took the card and turned back to face the coven. She walked back to the stove and pointed Wonky at the cauldron. The witches could hardly contain their excitement.
‘Made in China,’ called Molly.
The witches looked at each other, then at Molly.
‘Made in China… What sort of spell is that?’
‘I think you just read out the place where they made the pot, Molly Miggins,’ said Wonky. ‘There must be something else in there.’
‘Bother,’ said Molly.
She went back to the box and pulled out the folded piece of paper. Molly turned back to the stove and pointed Wonky at the cauldron again. The witches held their breath in expectation.
Molly took a quick glance at the paper, planted her feet and called, ‘Doner Kebab.’
‘Doner Kebab?’ The witches looked at each other again.
Molly looked at her mother then back at the piece of paper. The writing was really tiny. She squinted at it and shrugged her shoulders. ‘That’s what it says here,’ she said.
Mr Miggins took the paper from Molly and read it. ‘You nearly got it right, Molly, but it’s Dohnar Kebaht. You pronounce it, Doe nar Key bart.’
The witches cackled again. Molly addressed Wonky and pointed him at the cauldron. The witches grouped together and grinned. Molly wondered what they had planned.
‘Dohnar Kebaht,’ called Molly.
Wonky fired a blue flash at the cauldron. For a second nothing happened, then there was a loud bang and a huge trolls head with sharp yellow teeth shot into the air. It flew straight at Molly and hovered in front of her face where it bared its yellow teeth and growled.
Molly screamed, jumped backwards, fell over the empty cauldron box and landed on her backside. The troll boomer circled the room twice, gave a low groan and disappeared up the chimney. The witches rolled around on the floor in fits of laughter.
‘Very funny I’m sure,’ grumbled Molly.
‘Ooh, that was a good one,’ screeched Gretel. ‘It made me jump and I knew it was coming.’
When the laughter died down, Mrs Miggins took a small glass phial and filled it with the potion. She bowed and handed it to Molly.
‘Here you are, Molly. This is called the BoomTroll spell. You should treasure it. I still have my first cauldron spell on the shelf in my study.’
Molly put the phial into her secret pocket and smiled. ‘It might come in handy one day; you never know when you might need a troll’s head.’
The witches formed a line and one by one, touched Molly on the shoulder with their wands. Gretel stepped forward and bowed to Molly. ‘Welcome to the coven, junior witch, Molly Miggins,’ she said.
The rest of the witches applauded politely then Molly was forgotten as the witches tucked into sandwiches and lemonade.
After the food, the witches began to play party games. Molly stood at the back of the kitchen as the old hags threw themselves into a game of Pass the Spell. Six witches sat on a line of chairs while a seventh cast a spell into a paper bag and passed it to the witch at the end of the row. The bag was passed along the line while the watching witches chanted, ‘pass the spell, pass the spell.’ After a minute or so, the bag exploded with a flash of light and a loud bang. The witch holding the bag when it exploded was out of the game. The old witches squealed with laughter every time the bag popped. When it came to Granny Whitewand’s turn to cast the spell, she hid the bag under her cloak and tipped some powder into it from a small bottle in her pocket. She winked at Molly, cast a spell and passed it to Gretel who was sitting on the end of the line. The standing witches chanted as the bag was passed along the line. When it reached a witch called Penny Pimple, the bag exploded covering her in green coloured goo.
The witches howled with laughter, even Penny Pimple thought it was hilarious. She called up a quick, Clean spell to get rid of the gunk, then fired a Mini-Blast spell at Granny Whitewand. Granny Whitewand ducked too late and the spell knocked her hat off.
Granny Whitewand’s knees cracked like shots from a rifle as she squatted down to pick her hat up. Penny Pimple punched the air and yelled, ‘Gotcha.’ Granny Whitewand crawled behind the kitchen table before leaping into the air to fire off a Black Tooth spell, which whistled past Penny Pimple and hit Gretel in the mouth with a loud SPLAT! Gretel grinned to show off a set of broken, black teeth. She turned her back for a second before spinning round to fire a Curly Eyebrow spell at a witch called Hilda. Hilda stroked her new, foot-long curly eyebrows and aimed a Triple Chin spell at a witch standing near the stove who already had two chins.
Molly ducked as a wayward Clown’s Shoe spell headed her way. She crawled under the table as the kitchen door was thrown open and the spell battle spilled out into the rest of the house. Molly sneaked through the door on her hands and knees and crawled across the hall. She hid in the coat rack as Gretel slid down the banister firing off a volley of Donkey Ear spells. When it was safe, she ran down the hall and slipped out of the back door. She found Mr Miggins sitting on a garden chair reading his paper.
‘Have you seen them, Dad? They’ve gone mad.’
Mr Miggins laughed. ‘It’s always the same when the coven gets together, Molly.’
‘I hope they tire themselves out soon, Dad. There’ll be nothing left of the house.’
Mr Miggins laughed again. ‘I bet Granny Whitewand started it, she usually does. She has to get Penny Pimple one way or another. They were at school together.’
‘If we behaved like that at school we’d be up in front of the headmistress,’ said Molly.
‘I know, but they don’t get many opportunities to let their hair down.’
‘Some of them don’t have any hair,’ said Molly.
Just then, the back door burst open and Granny Whitewand staggered onto the garden.
‘Have… you… seen… Penny Pimple?’ she puffed.
‘She hasn’t come out here, Granny Whitewand,’ said Mr Miggins. ‘Have you looked in the cleaning cupboard? She hid in there last time.’
‘So she did,’ cackled Granny Whitewand. ‘She’s got a big fat Wobbly Knee spell coming her way.’ She took a couple of deep breaths and went back inside.
For the next two hours, the elderly witches ran up and down stairs, locked themselves in wardrobes, crawled under beds and climbed in and out of cupboards. The smell of magic and frazzled hair, hung in the air. At six o’clock, the witches had finally had enough. They sat on stairs or chairs to get their breath back while Mrs McCraggity and Mrs Miggins began to tidy up. Granny Whitewand limped into the kitchen and sat down heavily at the table.
‘Anyone seen Penny Pimple?’ she gasped. ‘I’ve been looking for her for ages.’
The witches shook their heads. No one had.
She was found, fast asleep, in the cupboard under the sink when Mrs McCraggity opened it to get a cleaning spray.
Granny Whitewand stamped her foot. ‘Drat it, that’s the one place I didn’t look.’
Penny Pimple grinned. ‘I always used to win when we played hide and seek at school.’
‘That’s because you used to cheat,’ grumbled Granny Whitewand. ‘You hid in the academy pig sty once.’
‘That was smelly,’ said Penny Pimple. ‘I had to have three baths a day for a week to get rid of the pong.’
As the guests began to leave, Molly caught Granny Whitewand’s eye. She pointed to the cauldron. ‘Is that stuff still potent?’
‘No,’ said Granny Whitewand. ‘The potion is only potent if it’s collected at boiling point. If you allow it to cool, it loses its power. The mixture in the glass phial will stay fresh for years, but the stuff in the cauldron is useless now. You may as well tip it down the sink.’
Granny Whitewand followed her friends out of the kitchen and joined Mr and Mrs Miggins and Mrs McCraggity on the doorstep to say goodbye to their guests.
Molly emptied the cauldron down the big sink and rinsed it out with clean water. As she dried it with the tea towel, she noticed the jars of ingredients on the draining board. Molly tiptoed to the kitchen door and closed it quietly. Then she ran to the stove, poured some water in the cauldron and lit the gas.
What should I make first? Molly had no idea which spells and potions she could make herself, but she was determined to find out while she had all those ingredients to hand. It might be a long time before she got another chance. Molly put her own ingredient jars next to the larger bottles and tipped a little of each into the cauldron. She didn’t know what she was supposed to chant, so she made up her own.
‘Ear of cat and toe of bat, skin of bear and badger hair… Um… Claw of frog and spots of crow, into my cauldron you must go.’
The cauldron began to bubble. Molly took a sniff and decided to add a few more ingredients from her own collection. Then she pulled Wonky from her secret pocket.
‘Dohnar Kebart,’ she called.
Mr and Mrs Miggins turned away from the front door as the explosion ripped through the kitchen. They reached the door just as a wide-eyed Molly opened it. Her face was covered in what looked like brown grease; her hat was perched precariously on the back of her head. Her yellow tunic was covered in thick black goo. She looked up at her parents then down at her shoes.
‘I think I used too much Marmite,’ she said.