Magic in London: Recovery – Part Ten

Catch up on Magic in London here:

Fiona thought that Chuck looked really rough, like he was ready to drop dead on the spot, but she was still relieved that he was properly awake for the first time.

“How are you feeling?” she asked.

“Not good,” Chuck said with a raspy voice. “I feel like I’ve been hit by a train.”

“I think that’s to be expected with what’s happened. I’m glad you’re awake though. It’s been two days since all that happened.”


Chuck started to think about his job, friends, family. Everything that he’d missed. People would be so worried. How would he even try to explain it all to them.

“Don’t panic. I just wanted to let you know so you are prepared for when you go back to the normal world. I’m not able to find Arthur, so I think it’s best that you get back home for now. I don’t want to push you though, so if you don’t feel up for walking, don’t.”

“I don’t know what you mean?”

“What’s wrong?”

“I just don’t understand what’s happening.”

“I know this is a lot to take in. I’m sorry that you’ve been dragged into this. If I knew this was going to happen, I would have never brought you back here. I only thought that Arthur would want to meet you.”

“I just want to go home,” Chuck said laying back down and letting the tears start to flow.

His head was pounding in pain and the rest of his body ached more than it had every done before. He kept his eyes closed and wept as Fiona looked over him.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “Genuinely I am. I never expected any of this. I thought that Toby had ran away because he was scared of being here, but that wasn’t true. He’d known that George was going down to the basement. He’d been going for the last few days to speak to The Shadow Man, and he’d been tricked by him. That monster is the biggest threat to the universe. Arthur captured him and we keep him here to keep everyone else safe. The children should never go down there, but George managed to get passed our magics and he was lured in by the promise of power. Once Toby knew what was going on, rather than telling us, he fled and hoped that we would follow him. He just wanted to keep us safe, but because of that The Shadow Man was able to divide and conquer. The worst thing is that I don’t know where Arthur is at all. He’s been missing for the last few days, and no one knows where he went. I wish I had better news to share with you, but it’s a bit of a mess all round. Do you have your phone with you?”

“What?” Chuck said through the flowing tears.

“Your phone, do you have it with you?”

“Yes. It’s in my pocket I think.”

“No, it’s over here. I emptied his pockets,” Millie said. “I didn’t want it to get damaged. I’ve kept it charged for him.”

“Thanks, Mills. So, who would be worried about you?” Fiona asked Chuck.


“Who will have been trying to contact you? Just let me know and I can take the phone to the surface and text them. Let them know that you got caught up with a friend and will be back in a few days.”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m sorry, I don’t know. I can’t think right now,” Chuck said through the tears that were steadily streaming down his face.

“Well, I tried. When you’re well enough you can go up there and tell them yourself.”

Fiona placed the phone back on the table and walked out of the room. As soon as she was out the door she practically collapsed against the far wall, just out of Millie’s sight. Her whole body was on the verge of giving up. She wanted to scream, but the others would see how much of a mess everything was, so she pulled herself up and walked away heading back to Arthur’s room just in case she found something new.

Chuck spent the rest of the day either sleeping or laying in pain and wishing he could wake up from the nightmare that he’d found himself in. Millie continued to perform rituals, hoping to speed up his progress, but was unsure if it was working. No one had been hurt by The Shadow Man in over a century and there wasn’t much information on what could be done to heal from his attacks. At the same time Millie was worried about George. He was still breathing, but he showed no signs of progress. She didn’t think he would make it but didn’t want to say that out loud.

The next day Chuck was able to stand up and get off the bed. It hurt like hell, but he was able to move from the medical room into the hallway and then into a communal space near the dorm rooms for the students. Toby was sitting in there watching something on TV. He looked surprised and happy to see Chuck as he walked in, with Millie close behind.

“You’re better,” he shouted.

“Not quite,” Chuck said as he dropped into a seat thinking his whole body was about to burst.

“Don’t get too close,” Millie said to Toby as she watched him jump up and move towards Chuck. “He’s still got a long way to recover.”

Toby stopped in his tracks and stood by watching Chuck.

“You’re healing faster than I thought,” Millie said. “But I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave just yet. I’m sure people are worried about you, but we don’t have anyone who can get you back home until we find Arthur. Fiona has put a call out to bring everyone back to Whistling. At the moment there’s five guardians and four students. Not a lot, I know, but they’re all heading back here until we can find Arthur.”

Over the next few days Chuck slowly improved and got better. He was able to walk around the building, learning about the different rooms, normally with Toby as his guide. The day after his first trip to the communal room he was able to eat without throwing up almost instantly. Then shortly after that he started speaking without a painful scratching in his throat. The whole time he was thinking about back home. He’d missed a few shifts, his parents would be worried, as would be he friends.

Chuck was given a dorm room to live in while he recovered. It was one that hadn’t been used in almost ten years. It wasn’t much but a little privacy while he was getting better. It was also somewhere that they could keep an eye on him. They didn’t know the long-term effects of The Shadow Man’s attack. He would spend his days playing games with Toby, or walking through the building with Millie. Even Horrick, who hadn’t said a word to Chuck, would sometimes sit with him in the communal room and share silence. Others arrived and would avoid him at all costs, but he was okay with that. After almost a week of living in Whistling Academy, Chuck started to feel back to his normal self and decided it was time that he reappeared in his actual life. He told Fiona, who said she would take him back to London and try to help him find a way home. They walked through the tunnels back into the underground and Fiona led the way as they made their way to the nearest platform and exit up to the surface. Just like before, no one could see them, and they moved through the crowds easily.

“I guess this is goodbye,” Chuck said as they reached the escalator leading to the exit.

“Yeah, I suppose it is. I don’t think Arthur will be looking to speak to you after everything that’s gone on.”

Chuck wasn’t sure how to reply to that, so he looked forward and upwards.

“Sorry again for bringing you into everything. And thank you. If you weren’t there we would have all died.”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“Thanks anyway.”

As they reached the top of the stairs his phone started to vibrate in his pocket. Tons and tons of calls, texts, emails, messages on various services. He closed his eyes and realised just how much explaining he would be doing in the following few days, if not longer.

“I’ll leave you to it then,” Fiona said. “Take this and get home. I’m sure everyone misses you.”

She held out an envelope, inside of which was a train ticket and a few hundred pounds. Chuck took it without asking what was inside, his mind focused on the buzzing phone that was filling up with contact from everyone he’d ever known. He looked up briefly as Fiona gave him a half smile, turned away and walked down the street, leaving him by himself for the first time in over a week. He’d hoped that she would help him get back to the train station at least, but he wasn’t surprised she left quickly. He unlocked his phone and dialled his mum, who picked up as soon as it started ringing.

To Be Continued…

Part eleven is available here:! Don’t forget to subscribe to never miss a post:

About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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