Resus held a transparent hand up in front of his face. He could still make out the outline of his body, but he could see right through it, as though he was made of glass. “You are banned from doing anything with magic wands from now on!” he shouted at Cleo.
“But that was definitely the right spell,” Cleo insisted. “I checked.”
“Well, obviously not closely enough,” said Resus. “Not only am I not a vampire, I’m not even alive any more!”
“We can’t be dead,” said Luke. “I doubt Everwell’s Emporium would sell spells that could kill you.”
“He’s right,” said Cleo. “This must just be the way it works.”
“It feels weird,” said Luke, peering through his legs. “Do you think we can walk through walls and things like that now?”
“Of course we can,” said Resus. “Cleo’s turned us into ghosts – we’ll be able to do everything ghosts can do.” To illustrate his point, he turned, strode towards the lamppost he’d recently been talking to – and crashed straight into it. “Ow!” he cried, rubbing his nose.
“The spell doesn’t really turn you into a phantom,” said a mournful voice. “It just lets you talk to us. Not that anyone ever wants to for very long.”
The trio turned. Now clearly visible, the phantom from Luke’s bedroom stood behind them. He also appeared as though he was made of glass. And he looked utterly miserable.
“You sound like you’ve done this before,” said Luke.
The phantom shook his head. “I’m not important enough to be allowed to use magic,” he said. “But I did see my boss speak to someone using the spell years ago. It didn’t go very well, but then I didn’t expect it to, really.”
“What’s your name?” asked Cleo.
The phantom looked surprised. “You want to know my name?” he asked. “No one ever wants to know my name.”
“Well, we do,” said Luke.
The phantom removed his top hat and bowed his already stooped body. “Henry Horatio Harper,” he said. “Although I don’t expect you to remember it. No one ever does.”
“We remember you throwing things at us in Luke’s bedroom,” said Resus.
“I’m sorry,” said Henry. “I was just practising.”
“Practising?” asked Luke. “What for?”
“My exam,” Henry replied. “I don’t often get the chance to practise in front of people. And even if I do, they don’t really notice me.”
“Well, we did,” said Resus, rubbing the bruise on the back of his head. “Although I can’t imagine what sort of exam would need you to chuck stuff at kids.”
Suddenly a deep bell boomed out across the square. The ground shook, and Luke, Resus and Cleo were forced to clamp their hands over their ears. “What is that?” cried Cleo.
Henry sighed. “That’s the end of my lunch hour.”
Be sure to check out the next chapter over at Spine Chills!