Barely ten minutes later, Charley stood back in the computer room upstairs, while Mr Morse sat on the chair. Valorie hovered by the door, curious to see what they were going to do.
‘I’m afraid I don’t have much experience with computers,’ he said.
‘Makes sense,’ Mr Morse said, smirking.
‘But apparently you have some sort of natural gift with them, so, I hope you don’t mind taking the wheel for a few minutes.’
‘Not at all.’
Valorie watched as her father logged into the computer – Francophile Namesakes – and then opened up the Internet.
‘What’s the name of the site again?’ he asked his daughter, turning round.
He typed it in. The website appeared.
‘OK Val, do you want to log in then?’
Valorie obliged, stepping forward to type her username and password. Once she was finished she looked at Charley.
‘What are you going to do exactly?’ she asked.
Charley paused. ‘I’d like to, sort of, you know, send a message to everyone, but I’m not entirely sure how it’s done. That’s why I needed your help – you and your father.’
‘I see. So you’re going to gather all the Wizards together.’
‘Yes, finally.’ Charley sounded serious. ‘I am worried that Adam Quinn, once he has tracked us down, plans to use us to gain control of the Government, and for that reason he’s becoming dangerous.’
‘Are you sure? I mean, he hasn’t actually done anything yet…’ Mr Morse said.
‘He’s attacking civilians. Valorie and I both saw him levitate a charity collector and whirl him around. I don’t know how serious his injuries were, but it just goes to prove what Adam can be like when he’s angry.’
‘We should have helped that man,’ Valorie said softly.
‘I said, we should have helped that man he was spinning around,’ Valorie repeated, looking upset. ‘I mean, I know he had that rod thing out, but we could have called the police or something… he could have broken his leg or something…’
Charley didn’t answer. The room was very quiet for a few minutes, and then he asked Mr Morse, ‘Now, how do you send a message to everyone?’
Valorie’s father explained. ‘You click on group settings…’ he clicked, ‘then you go into this bit here, where it says ‘group descriptions. And then you just change the text. Valorie, I see you’ve already changed it a few times… Alright, what do you want it to say?’
Charley cleared his throat.
‘Wizards of the World,’ he began, and Mr Morse started to type. ‘This is a message from Charley Aether, teacher and considered entomologist.’
‘What an entomologist?’ Valorie asked.
‘Someone who studies and keeps insects.’
‘Ah. I could have worked that one out myself.’
Mr Morse looked at Valorie. ‘He collects insects?’
‘Yeah. He’s really interested in them, and they help guard his house from burglars as well. They’ll attack anyone they don’t recognise, so Charley’s careful to introduce me to every new insect he has ordered. He told me about that the first day I went to his house.’
‘He’s got some really interesting ones, Dad. He’s got moths, and praying mantises, and, er, fireflies, all sorts. He even had a stick insect called Greg, but it died. It got this tumour thing, we couldn’t work out what it was.’
‘Your friend Charley is a bit weird.’
‘A bit, yeah.’
Charley cleared his throat, ending the conversation. ‘OK, did you type that last bit? Thank you. Er, …and it concerns an individual called Adam Quinn, whom I believe the group founder has already told you about. Adam Quinn has been threatening the Government with persistent phone calls about the Wizard Watch List. Now he has been trying to contact myself and the founder of this group…’
‘You don’t have to keep calling me that,’ Valorie said. ‘I have a username.’
‘Yes,’ Charley admitted. ‘But your username is silly.’
Mr Morse took a few seconds to finish typing this last bit of speech.
‘OK, got it. What do you want next?’
‘…Myself and the founder of this group, asking us to help him fight the Government. Whilst Adam shares a dislike for the Wizard Watch List with this group, it is imperative that he does not -’
‘Slow down,’ Mr Morse said, panicking. Charley paused long enough for him to catch up.
‘- That he does not overtake the Government. Adam Quinn is very angry, and very dangerous, and could wreak his anger on the entire country. Who knows where it could go from there?’
‘That’s pretty good,’ Valorie commented.
‘Thank you. OK. We want to stop Adam but we need your help. If you want to help fight Adam, please meet us on Friday 17th of November, a week from now, at…’
Charley stopped, wondering what to say next.
‘Your house?’ Valorie suggested, but he shook his head.
‘Adam Quinn has access to this group page. If we announce it publicly, he’ll turn up there and then and ruin everything. How can we keep this a secret from Adam?’
Valorie thought. ‘Well, I see two options. Either we ask my Dad to Adam-proof the group page, which could take hours…’ Mr Morse suddenly looked quite ill ‘… or we send a private message to everyone in the group, telling them the place and the time.’
Charley thought. ‘Well, the latter sounds easier. How do we contact them individually? There must be at least a hundred people in this group.’
‘We just visit each of their profile pages and send them the message. It’s a bit long and slow, but at least it won’t put my Dad into a coma for two days. I’ll just write all the names down, and we’ll tick them off as we go along.’
‘OK. Where do you want to meet them?’
‘We need a popular landmark, easy enough to get to, but big enough to hold at least one hundred people. Is there anything like that round here?’
Valorie’s father spoke up. ‘There’s a big field known as the Common, on that stretch of road near the church. Would that do?’
Charley thought. ‘That,’ he said ‘sounds ideal.’
Mr Morse completed the message. ‘Please meet us on Friday 17th of November, a week from now, at the address forwarded to your inbox.’
Everyone nodded. ‘I think that just about does it. Now all we have to do is send the address to everyone. Valorie, you write all the members’ names down. Mr Morse, you can send the messages.’
Valorie’s father stood up and let his daughter have the chair She took a piece of paper and a pencil that had been worn don to the nub, and began to write down all the usernames one by one.
‘Charley,’ she said. ‘Do you really have to end our sessions?’
‘Yes, I do. Adam knows where I live, and I can’t let him find either of us until we’re ready to fight him. Until then, no more training. I’m sorry.’
‘Well, what about you? Where are you going to stay?’
‘I’m going to stay at Eddie’s for a while. I’ll go back to my house every day for half an hour to feed my insects, but that’s it.’
Valorie nodded. Charley was right - it was probably for the best. She didn’t much fancy being captured by Adam and spending the rest of her life spinning round and round at head height like a basketball.
‘Yeah, I guess you’re right. Well, here’s the list of names. I’ll leave you to it, shall I?’