The Magic Quill #140: Persephone’s Yak

by Robbie Fischer

Contest winner: Quercitron

“Dad, there’s a yak under my bed.”

“Very good, dear. Go back to bed.”

“I said there’s a yak under my bed!”

“I heard you. Since it’s not on top of your bed, you should still fit. See you tomorrow.”

“I can’t sleep with a yak under me!”

“Persephone, yaks live at high altitudes and extreme cold. I’m sure he is no happier about this situation than you. Do I see him coming in here to complain?”

“Mum! Dad says I have to sleep with a yak!”

“Spanky, I’m sorry that I must do this, but…”


“Yow! What happened? Who’s on fire?”

“You were, dear. I’ve put you out.”

“Is that Persephone there? What do you want, girl?”

“I’ve already told you, there’s a yak under my bed.”

“Well, let’s have a look at it, then. Let me lean on your shoulder. My whole leg is pins and needles.”

(Long pause.)

“Persephone, there’s a yak under your bed.”

“I know, Dad.”

“It’s awfully big. How did it get there?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t do it!”

“I’m not saying you did, but…did you have a fight with that Tibetan kid at school?”

“What Tibetan kid? Stop kidding around, Dad. There’s a yak in my room and I don’t know why and the smell is incredible and I’m scared!”

“There, there, girl. Not to worry. I think it’s dead.”

“Eurgh! Daaaad!”

“Er, why don’t you sleep next to Mum tonight? Dad’ll have this sorted by first light.”


“Desk of Agent Dalrymple, RMB. Oi, Caspar!”

“Agent on du-… Oh, it’s you, Spankison. What gives?”

“A dead yak under my daughter’s bed, that’s what.”

“Good! It’s been a boring night till now.”

“Happy to serve. I need the body transferred to forensic augury right away. Also, I could use your help tracing the spells that brought it here.”

“Spellprinting in a witch’s bedroom?”

“She’s underage, and a good girl. There shouldn’t be too many latents in the room. Oh — and here’s something that should give us a push in the right direction.”

“What is it, then?”

“It’s the knife sticking out of the yak’s throat. It’s the same design as my knife.”

“But it isn’t yours, I collect?”

“No, I’ve got mine right here in the pocket of my pajamas. It’s not a common design, though. I knew the man who made them – long dead – custom-designed for fighting werewolves – ”

“Ah, yes. Zichri Goode’s ‘Ounce of Prevention.'”

“The very same.”

“It so happens I have an open case involving one of his knives. Hard to forget. Unknown male, mid-twenties, found naked with an Ounce of Prevention stuck in him. Might have been a werewolf, since the only wound on him was the deathblow. Rather the pound of cure, what?”


“Well, I thought it was a good…”

“The crime scene wasn’t a train?”

“No less than the Hogwarts Express. How did you know?”

“Get your team out here immediately. I have another call to make.”

You can help decide what happens next in The Magic Quill! First, go to the forums, or send Robbie feedback. Then, in 250 words or less, answer the following Survey and Contest. The survey answer with the most votes, and the contest answer that Robbie likes best, will turn up in the chapter after next.

SURVEY: Persephone’s yak is a message of some kind – but from whom? A) The person who committed the Murder on the Hogwarts Express (see Chapter 109). B) Someone who blames Spanky for the murder. C) Somebody who blames the RMB for not solving the murder. D) A werewolf or werewolves. E) ________ (write-in candidate).

CONTEST: Describe a magical use for music.