Concept Contributed By: Misheal, KT, and Jack Blanton
As Merlin reached the thrilling moment in his story when he and his companion Rigel were sealed
into the Pit in the depths of Gringotts Wizarding Bank, a deep, sonorous voice called out from
the corridor outside the little parlor: Is there a wizard ere named Albus Quirky? Everyone in
the parlor jumped. I say! the voice continued, passing by the door. Albus Quirky!
Do you mean Albuquerque? said Joe of that name, poking his head out the parlor door.
Thats what I said, the growling voice replied, and at once the proprietor of the bar and two
burly figures shoved their way into the cramped parlor. Between them they were carrying a limp
figure swathed in robes. When we found him, he was barely awake an askin fer yer honor, the
grimy publican added as he squeezed past Joe.
Good heavens! Endora squeaked. Its Spanky! What happened to him?
The unconscious wizard was unceremoniously rolled onto the table, scattering full and empty
goblets, and causing an unopened packet of crisps to explode and shower Merlin with crumbs.
Seems to ave been run down by summat, the proprietor observed grouchily. This ant an
'ospital. If he needs moren a warm goblet of Nuclear Punch, youd best take him to St. Mungos.
Mind you, ours is a pay fireplace, an the floo powder ant free. And with a whirl of long gray
hair and whiskers, he departed.
What a fine citizen, Harvey remarked quietly.
Spankison, Joe Albuquerque muttered, alternately pinching and slapping the cheeks of his
supine friend. Spanky. Hello?
Look at his robes, Sadie gasped. They were covered in muddy tread marks that criss-crossed him
in parallel groups of three. Its as if he was run down by a lot of tricycles!
What? Those toys Muggle children drive around on? Merlin whispered. In Hogsmeade? Wizarding
kids these days! I wonder what their parents think they are doing?
Shush, said Joe. Hes starting to come around.
Thats good, said Harvey. In another minute I was going to turn this table into a portkey
straight to the artifact-related injury ward...
Dandelionel Ethelbaldricson, muttered Spanky, his eyelids fluttering. Detective Inspector,
First Grade. RMB Agent Number Disjuncto Engorgio Six Eight Four Five Five One Four. Age 38.
Attached to the British Region, Blokebury-on-Rye Office, Magical Theft Division. All classified
knowledge has been secured in a pensieve prior to this assignment. I will cooperate fully with
He began repeating this statement over and over.
As he went into the third repeat, Merlin snapped his fingers. Dandelionel Ethelbaldricson must
be his real name. No wonder he went by Spanky instead!
Ive never known him as anything but Spanky, Joe remarked. And Ive known him since the
Penguarts Affair all those years ago.
I think the name Spankison suits him better, said Endora, huskily, as her fingertips poked
from under her invisibility cloak to smooth Spankys mud-spattered hair away from his face.
Sadie smacked her hand away.
Hes a married man, the veiled witch hissed.
I was only...
Shush, Joe said again. Spanky had stopped repeating his name, rank, and serial number and was
blinking up at everyone in a dazed way.
Do you know where you are? Harvey asked calmly.
In a puddle of firewhisky that is slowly dissolving my knickers, Spanky replied.
After everyone had a relieved chuckle, Harvey asked, Do you know where the puddle is?
Its on a table in the back parlor of the Hogs Head, said Spanky. Hogsmeade, County of-"
Thats all right, said Harvey. Hows your head? Are you in pain? Can you sit up?
Spanky slowly sat up. A few moments later he was hunched over a corner of the table, inhaling
the fumes from a goblet ofno, not firewhiskybutterbeer that Harvey had conjured up.
Can you remember what happened? Joe asked, trying to keep the eagerness out of his voice.
I think so, said Spanky. But it seems so strange, Im not sure it wasnt all a figment of my
Well, it had to get bruised somehow, Sadie snapped, emphatically rapping her pipe on the table.
Glowing bits of ash flew out of it and caught in some of the spilled firewhisky, resulting in a
few moments of frantic slapping and flapping to put the flames out.
Yes, well, get on with it, Joe said, when the commotion had died down.
Well, said Spanky, no longer seeming to care that the hood had fallen away from his lean face.
I was coming out of the Three Broomsticks after completing my business there, and I heard a
strange noise coming from the end of town near the edge of the forest. I decided a quick look
wouldnt cost me too much time. As I came out of the circle of light from the town, I shined my
wandlight into the woods and--well, its ridiculous...
Go on, said Merlin. You know anything is possible in that forest!
Spanky nodded thoughtfully, grinned, and went on, It was hard to see, but I thought it looked
like a beaten up old Ford Anglia...
A what? Sadie coughed, choking on her own smoke.
A Muggle-made automobile, Merlin explained.
I know that, Sadie replied irritably.
It was motoring around in the woods without a driver, covered in scratches and dents and
streaks of mud, with all its windows broken out. It reminded me, somehow, of a large feral cat
that had been chewed up in a lot of fights. Then, just when I was about to follow it to see
where it went, it stopped. I quickly dimmed my wandlight, hoping the wild car hadnt noted my
presence. And then I saw a huge motorcycle...
Sadie went into another fit of coughing. After waiting until she calmed down to only an
occasional hack, Spanky continued:
The motor bike moved up alongside the car and then moved backward and forward, so that they
rubbed against each other with a horrible scraping noise. I thought it was some kind of attack,
but then I realized the two vehicles seemed to be enjoying the contact. Then, as they moved off
together, I saw a crowd of little tricycles following them...
Harvey covered his face and murmured, Oh, no...
And before I could take a half-dozen steps back toward the town, they spotted me and chased me
down. I think they were only playing, but they tripped me up and the last thing I knew, their
pedals had snagged on my robes and I was being dragged over cobblestones...
Very well, Harvey said with sudden decisiveness. Tonights tale-telling has gone on long
enough. Joe, you will take Mr.erSpankison back to his flat and tuck him into bed. He needs his
rest more than any of us. Shall we adjourn?
Now wait half a mo, Merlin cried. I want to know what those tricycles had to do with...
Catch, said Harvey, and he tossed a delicate, painted china egg at Merlin. The latter caught
it and disappeared with a pop. Portkey, said Harvey.
I did that trick once, Spanky said, blinking.
I know, said Harvey. I thought it was a good one. Now off with the rest of you, unless you
want to see what else I have learned from Mr. Spankison.
A series of pops echoed off the close, grimy walls of the parlor, until only Harvey remained
behind. He tugged the handkerchief off his face with a sigh, finished Spankys half-empty
butterbeer, and disapparated.
What happens next? Send us your idea in 150 words or less, and tune in
next week for another installment of the Magic Quill.
Discuss this installment in the forums.
If you'd like to contact Robbie (or the Magic Quill itself), you may do so