Gary Trotter and the Portal Of Pleasure is the serialised story of a boy wizard’s journey from childish pranks to grown up magic as he , with his friends Don Beesley and Briony Buggle learn the craft of wizardry at Swimemoles Academy. The story has nothing to do with the Harry Potter saga at all, nothing OK? It examines in a realistic way what might go on when adolescent gilrs and boyes are housed together in a completely unnatural environment. In this first part Gary encounters Legless Len the drunken ghost who haunts the first year dorm, and makes an exciting discovery.
Despite several years having elapsed since Garry was first enrolled at Swinemoles Academy for Supernatural Studies, because Wizards usually are subject to arrested development due to the fact they live for a thousand years, the hero is just experiencing puberty, sprouting hairs in unexpected places and embarking upon the wild adventures such developments bring. Now read on.
It was almost dawn of a summer day, a pale light crept through the boy’s dormitory window and over the sleeping forms of the pupils as Arianrhod, goddess of the sunrise spread her silver skirts across the horizon. Dawn was a magical time of the day and the boys of Swinemoles had been told that as they matured into young men strange things would happen to then as Arianrhod danced, bare breasted, across the sky. One pupil was not sleeping however. Garry Trotter opened his eyelids just enough to let in a tiny sliver of light, enough to let him look down towards his feet. Garry could not see his feet because some mysterious force was holding up his bed cover as if it were a tent.
In the pale light Garry could just make out the hands of the clock. It was four fifteen a.m. Most people would sleep for another two hours at least. Looking towards the next bed, ready to panic but half expecting to see all his dormitory — mates suffering a similar affliction, Garry was reassured to see the carroty hair of his best friend Don Beesley, the only part visible above the quilt. The whole dorm was silent and still. Garry was just about to lift up his quilt to get a better look at what was going on when a sudden noise made him duck down and pretend to be asleep.
The noise became louder and Garry lay very still, wondering if the thing under his quilt was some strange creature from another dimension or simply a magical force — field caused by his arch enemy Batto Bellfry.
The noise was very loud now and sounded like the distress call of a terminally wounded bull Buffalo.
“Heeeewwwww hna hnuzane
Hghugh guh eeeeeooooowwwwwmmm Hhhhhyyyynnn mzgmiyappy” the noise sang
Gary heaved a sigh of relief. It was only Legless Len, the Swinemoles drunken ghost trying to find his way back to his dungeon before sunrise. Len’s story was the most tragic of any of the ghosts of long dead wizards that roamed the halls and corridors of Swinemoles. Like Gary, the ghost had been born into Wizarding nobility when being noble meant a man could wear very silly trousers and nobody would dare laugh. at him. Due to his parents having totally underestimated the secular powers of that caste of buggles knows as Ye Olde Beancounters, when the King’s revenue men had called to ask how Len’s father, Ippisimus Crowley, could afford to wear the silliest trousers in Avalon, sillier even than those of the King of England, a country that occupied the same space as Avalon but in a different dimension, Len’s mother Sal had cheekily replied, “Oh ‘ee’s proper clever my Ippy, he conjures it out of thin air.”
Sal was not noble by birth but had impressed Ippy with her cheeky wit and other attributes while working as a barmaid at his favorite buggle pub, The Old Cock Inn. Thus Sal, which was short for salacious, had not learned as a child that even a Lady cannot charm a revenue man, they have no imagination and even less humour.
The revenue man was outraged by Sal’s cheek and reported the matter to Faithful-Unto-Death Golightly, the Witchseeker Incumbent, who had a 100% success rate in locating witches and wizards mainly because if any accused person probuces evidence of their innocence Faithful-Unto-Death woul point out to the jury that the accused had asked The Devil to blind jurors to the truth, thus proving beyond doubt they were witches and warlocks.
After Len’s parents had been hanged, beheaded and burned at the stake, (Faithful-Unto-Death Golightly liked to be sure he’d don things properly and you couldn’t take chances with The Devil,) the young wizard had been fostered by Sal’s Uncle Harry, the owner and head brewer of The Old Cock Inn.
Legless Len inherited from Uncle Harry a fondness for sampling his products and unfortunately the stuff Len produced, aided by his supernatural powers, were a thousand times more potent than Harry ale. Len’ habitually legless by lunchtime due to a surfeit of sample sips of the stuff that dripped from the distilling apparatus he had invented, had fallen into a tank full of experimental product he called Djin and drowned a very happy man, but a man who had unfinished business with Faithful-Unto-Death Golightly.
Gary and the other pupils had a lot of sympathy for Len. It must have been terrible to live in a time when such prejudices could influence the legal process. Now it was easier, nobody believed in magic. They woukd laugh at anyoone whi claimed to b e a witch or wizard, and call their doctor a food when he could not explain why their head had turned into a cabbage.
“Hleeeesea-heleeeesemi-halemmeguuuuha,” sang Len as he wobbled down the dormitory.
“Goodnight Len,” Garry called, wordering if being a certified engineer might be a better career choice as the ghost passed his bed.
“Hnnnuggite Meestair Grrrryyyy,” Len answered incoherently.
“You should keep off the spirits Len,” Garry said, as he had on many other nights.
“Hohoho, kp‘ff ha spiriz, hahaha, vuuury gd. Hahahahahohoho, spiriz.” Len laughed as if it was the first time he had heard the joke, which in a manner of speaking it was as ghosts have no past or future but only now.
When Len had gone on his way Garry looked at the quilt again. It still looked like a tent. The thing had not gone. Perhaps it was a snake with rigor mortis, he thought, or somebody had left him a new wand. Most likely it was a spell gone wrong. Garry half remembered a dream about Briony, the girl who had come from a muggle family and befriended him and Don on their first day at the school. It had been a rude dream, Briony had had no clothes on. It had been a disappointing dream too, the dream Briony had had no rude bits. All the boys in the dorm. talked incessantly about girls’ rude bits but nobody seemed to know what these bits looked like.
But why had he dreamed about Briony. She was his friend but she wasn’t like Madam Frottage the teacher of French alchemy. Even the way Madam spoke in her French accent made alll the boys in the class wish they knew the spell for making her clothes fall off.
Of course, Briony was doing a project on extra sensory perception so she must have caught him dreaming about her and this was a trick to get him back.
Cautiously Garry lifted the quilt to see what Briony had done. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness he let out a gasp of horror. The thing was not a creature of wizardry at all. It was him. Well, part of him even if it did look quite like a new wand. Whoever had done this to him was a very powerful wizard and obviously was on the dark side. Had Volauvent found a way back from the twelfth dimension and come looking for revenge? Garry reached down and touched the thing that had grown where his willie had been. He expected it to be rough and scaly or cold and slimy but it was warn and smooth. It did not feel magical or frightening in any way, in fact it seemed to enjoy being touched.
Thanks to Briony’s remote control spell Gary had been given a grown up Magic Wand.
With a faraway look in his eye the young wizard started to stroke the wand and immediately understood it really was magic.
Soon he was fast asleep again.
IN THE NEXT GRIPPING INSTALMENT THE PRINCIPAL, PROF. HUMBLEBORE LEARNS OF GARY’S AFFLICTION.