Kate Witch

The Stolen Sceptre

A magical exploration of science

Kate's super excited to finally start at Pope & Bear Magical Academy, that is until she's framed for the theft of Baron Avicenna's priceless sceptre. Now Kate finds she has to prove her innocence and prevent a war, all while hiding the fact that she's only half human.

At the end of many chapters you'll also find fun, real experiments to do that mimic the magic Kate is learning as she battles the intrigues of Popebear's. If Kate makes crystals or starts a volcano erupting, so can you.

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meet the Steins

They're delicious, these blissful moments when you're not quite awake, yet somehow still aware that you're cocooned in a soft, warm duvet. Vivid dreams entrance and entertain as you teeter on the edge of waking. Kate lay, caught in the eddies of her dreams, wandering through vistas of blueness and butterflies, her own place of magic.

The thought of magic shocked her awake like a wave of cold water.

Her eyes snapped open. Instantly awake, she found herself nose to nose with a furry, moon-round face. Schrödinger, their enormous tabby cat, always slept with her and usually got cuddles and hugs first thing, but today, Kate literally threw the poor feline from the bed in her haste to get up.

Magic! Today was going to be magic!

Today was her first day at Messrs Pope &...

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let the magic begin.

Pope & Bear Magical Academy sat in the ancient town of Dollop, which was located at the borders of both the human and Faerie realms, just a hand-span away from Avalon and a leisurely walk from Tír na nÓg. It was so close to Faerie that, as Mathylda mentioned as she spiralled into the town, the more tolerant Faerie Folk sometimes came to trade goods.

Mathylda alighted before the Academy with a whoosh of great wings, setting the longship gently to the ground. Then, seemingly oblivious to the activity around her, she tucked her head under one wing, wrapped her tail around the other and fell asleep, perched like some sort of giant flying dinosaur vulture.

As the children filed from the longship, passing apprehensively under the shadow of the resting dragon, they foun...

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things crystalise

Excited — there was no help for it, Kate was beyond excited, and that was bad because when she was excited she tended to babble and become incredibly annoying. Oh, and then there was the really loud, deliberately off-pitch singing…

It was two weeks since Kate had started at Popebear’s, but you’d have thought she started yesterday. She enthused endlessly about everything that happened at school, often while practicing circular breathing so she didn’t actually have to pause.

Sera lost her cool a number of times, sending Kate up to her room to calm down. Sylphs were not known for their patience and could be quite scary when angry. Kate would storm off with the practiced cry of "I hate you!" slamming doors on the way. There’d be fifteen minutes of calm, then she’d be ba...

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then start to bubble

Number 4 Dirac Place had a certain routine. Their house was comfortably certain that the day started at 7am when Bernard Stein meandered sleepily downstairs in a heavy silk dressing gown with a huge golden Chinese dragon embroidered on the back, flicked the switch on the industrial looking coffee machine, drank a glass of water, collected the paper, and returned to bed for 15 minutes of leisurely scoffing at the terrible state of the world.

At 7.15 Bernard would return to the kitchen to make coffee while Sera Stein gently opened the door to Kate’s room, lay down beside her daughter in bed and started singing Sylph morning songs until she woke, after which she joined Bernard for coffee while Kate prepared for school. That was normal…

But this morning was anything...

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enter a strange smell

It was the end of October, and the summer that seemed determined to linger through to Christmas gave up the fight and fled with a breath-frosting suddenness. The air became chilled overnight, the trees quickly turned golden, and the light shining on the white drunks of the silver birch took on the icy clarity of winter.

On the first of these truly cold mornings, Kate woke to find that she couldn't move her legs.

Schrödinger, her sort-of-cat, was lying on them. Possibly purring, if you could call the subliminal rumbling emanating from her 33 kg body purring.

What was she to do? The flowers had lasted a week before finally dying off. The spots began to fade, only to be replaced by large, spine-covered creepers that made Schrödinger look really scary,.

She'd...

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