the Ghost of Sir Herbert Dungeonstone ((Dragon Slayers' Academy, No.12)

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9780448435305: the Ghost of Sir Herbert Dungeonstone ((Dragon Slayers' Academy, No.12)

What are those strange noises coming from the dungeon at DSA? Wiglaf and his stalwart cohorts Angus and Erica decide to investigate and inadvertently free the long-imprisoned ghost of the school founder?Sir Herbert Dungeonstone. Overjoyed to be on the loose again, Sir Herbert wreaks havoc, threatening to spoil the greedy headmaster?s plan to turn DSA coed.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Kate McMullan is the award-winning author of more than seventy-five books for children. She lives in Sag Harbor, New York.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 2

"Toads and toadstools!" shouted a voice.

Wiglaf knew that voice. "Zelnoc?" he called. "Is that you?"

A white-bearded face topped by a pointed hat appeared high in the branches of a gnarly tree.

"Could be," he said. "Who wants to know?"

"Wiglaf," said Wiglaf.

"You again!" cried Zelnoc. The wizard floated down toward the DSA students. His star-speckled robe fluttered in the breeze. "How was my roar?"

"Loud," said Erica.

"Scary," said Angus.

"Ah, good." Zelnoc smiled. "Roaring is wonderful for a wizard's soul. Makes us feel powerful." His face fell. "And I could use some extra power. I'm in a bit of a pickle." He skidded to a halt in front of them, pinwheeling his arms to keep from losing his balance.

The wizard didn't look so good. Wiglaf saw that he had dark circles under his eyes, as if he hadn't slept in weeks.

"Zelnoc, what's wrong?" asked Wiglaf.

Zelnoc sighed. "Oh, a little spell went wrong. Nothing I can't undo, given time. And a really, really powerful spell-reversal spell."

"What spell went wrong, wizard?" asked Erica.

"The Young Again spell," said Zelnoc. "Zizmor's been working on it for ages. I happened to see his notes lying around his tower the other night. I started messing around, making improvements. When Ziz came in, okay, maybe I shouldn't have tried it out on him. But I wanted to impress him. He is my boss." Zelnoc shook his head. "Now I've got to do a spell-reversal spell. That's the trickiest kind! But if I don't do it--and soon!--the Wizards' Committee will take away my wand!"

Wiglaf's heart went out to the troubled wizard. Zelnoc always tried to help when Wiglaf summoned him.

"We need a spell, Zelnoc," said Wiglaf. "I'll bet you can help us."

Erica elbowed him. "Wiggie!" she whispered. "You must be jesting. A spell from Zelnoc is the last thing we need."

"We need to get to Hermit Harry's Hut," Wiglaf pointed out.

"Do you know where that is, wizard?" asked Angus.

"Doesn't everyone?" Zelnoc pinched his nose as though something smelled really, really bad.

"We know it's south of Nowhere Swamp," said Wiglaf. "But that's all we know."

"You don't need a spell." Zelnoc sighed. "You need directions. Head south. If you cut through Nowhere Swamp, it'll take a day off your journey. But watch out for the quicksand. And the crocs. They're very hungry this time of year."

Wiglaf swallowed. "Crocodiles?"

Zelnoc nodded. "If you come out of the swamp alive, walk south to where two roads meet. You'll come upon the Crone of the Crossroads. If she's in a bad mood, that's the end of your journey. Buh-bye! But if you make it by her, veer left, past the graveyard--I don't recommend cutting through that --you'll come to the Tower of Mysterious Light. There, take a right--"

"Wizard, stop!" cried Angus. "Please! Put a get-there-quick spell on us. Can you?"

"Do warlocks have warts?" replied the wizard. "Do damsels have distress?"

"Oh, do it!" said Angus. "I don't want to spend the night in the Dark Forest."

Erica folded her arms. "No need. We can get there ourselves."

"Off you go, then," Zelnoc said. "Oh, and keep to the path. Fewer poisonous snapping turtles there."

Erica sighed. "You win, wizard. Do your spell. But it better work."

"Worry not!" cried the wizard. "You're going to like this one." Zelnoc pushed up the sleeves of his wizard robe. "They're going to beg me to speak at the next Wizards' Convention after they get a load of this spell. Close your eyes, kiddos. Here we go."

Wiglaf closed his eyes. He heard Zelnoc singing:

"Flies have 'em,

Bees have 'em,

Even itchy little fleas have 'em.

Now, presto! You'll have 'em, too.

Ring-a-ding-a--wings!"

As Zelnoc sang, Wiglaf felt his shoulder blades growing. He heard a ripping sound. Was that his DSA tunic? He began to feel dizzy.

Zelnoc sang on:

"Ducks have 'em,

Hens have 'em,

Even funny little penguins have 'em.

Now, presto! You'll have 'em, too.

Ring-a-ding-a--wings!"

Wings were sprouting out of Wiglaf's back! He was sure of it. He opened one eye just a crack and saw Zelnoc twirling as he belted out:

"Vampire bats in their caves have 'em,

Scaly dragons do, too.

Wings, baby, you've got 'em,

Oh, what Zelnoc can do!"

"Wizard!" cried Angus. "Stop!"

Suddenly, a terrible dizziness overtook Wiglaf. His head whirled. He felt sick. He felt his whole body growing. RRIPPPPP! He felt as if he was bursting through his skin. He felt his neck growing longer. Teeth pushed up out of his gums. His eyeballs felt like inflating balloons. And what was that growing out of his backside? Dizziness took over. Wiglaf felt as if he was falling, falling.

Then all was quiet.

Wiglaf opened his eyes. He glanced over his shoulder at his back. Yep, he had wings. Not feathery little birdie wings, either. Huge, silvery, scaled wings.

"Angus?" he called. "Erica?"

No answer.

Wiglaf looked around. Everything was a blur. He blinked. He thought he saw Angus and Erica. But, no. Those weren't his friends. He blinked again. Now he saw that standing where Angus and Erica had been were two dragons!

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