Eddie drove her home.
‘I’ll have to leave now, in case they’re following us,’ Eddie said. ‘Here, if you need to contact me, here’s my phone number.’
Valorie took a small, jokey-looking business card from Eddie.
‘Thanks,’ Valorie said.
Eddie merely nodded before driving off. Valorie slumped back to her house. She found both her parents inside, watching some new gameshow.
‘Hi Val,’ her dad said. ‘That was a long walk, you were gone for an hour and a half.’
‘Really? Didn’t really notice.’
‘You could’ve rung us, we were starting to get worried.’
‘I know.’ Valorie sat down at the end of the sofa, curling her feet up under her.
She wished she could talk about her concerns with her parents. What would happen to Charley? Attacking a Government Official was a serious offence – and the fact that he was a Wizard probably wouldn’t help.
But he was provoked. She saw how O’Hanlon had taunted him – but how could she prove it to anyone? Why would anyone believe her?
‘Look at this prat,’ her father said, pointing to the man on screen. ‘A grown man wearing a nappy – pure senility.’
School the next day was dull. Mr Faulkner droned on and on about some stupid powm about potatoes. At least Amrita had forgiven her for her behavior on Friday. She was still sitting with her in English.
‘Play consequences with me,’ Amrita moaned.
‘Charley met Superwoman at the Supreme Court. He said ‘Ketchup is for losers.’ She said ‘I find you guilty of attacking a Government Official, and sentence you to twelve years imprisonment.’ Then they went fly fishing. And the moral is ‘The Mortals always win.’ The End.’
‘What the hell is this?’ Amrita said. ‘You’ve made it all… depressing.’
‘That’s because I’m depressed,’ Valorie said, slumping down on the desk. They didn’t speak for the rest of the lesson.
When lunch time rolled around, Valorie and Amrita went their separate ways. Valorie grabbed a library computer, and checked her Thoughts.com account.
When the page flickered up onto the screen, she wailed in dismay. Her ‘Wizards Unite’ group had been deleted. All the comments, the messages, everything was gone. In its place was written a single sentence.
‘This group has been terminated due to innappropriate content.’
Valorie found another message in her Thoughts.com inbox.
‘To whom it may concern,
Your group has been deleted by the department of Magical Management, as it was flagged as innappropriate. We are sorry for any inconvinience this may cause. If you attempt to recreate this group, there will be serious consequences. Please do not reply to this message.
Sincerely, Derek Williams, Head of department of Magical Management.’
Valorie made an exasperated sound and repeatedly hit the keyboard. A few people looked at her, but she didn’t care. She didn’t care about any of them. Bloody Mortals! Damn them. They were horrible people. Why couldn’t they just leave Wizards alone?
Well, that was it. Valorie had to recreate the group. It was her only choice – how else was she supposed to contact other Wizards? She had to recreate it. She had to Mortal-proof it. She had to… she swallowed. Get her dad to fix the computer.