Fall Semester Edit
Four days later, Alex was picked up by the Charmbridge Bus and taken to the Charmbridge Academy campus. To access the grounds of the school, the students had to cross the Invisible Bridge, which allowed every to pass except for Alex and Washington. When the pair of sixth-graders attempted to cross, the Bridge disappeared; Alex and Washington plummeted into the valley below, but were saved by Charlie after Alex engorged the bird to an enormous size. Most of their school supplies fell into the valley half-a-mile below.
At Charmbridge, she roomed with Chu, while Dearborn and Devereaux roomed in the dorm that shared their bathroom. Over dinner, she, Chu and Washington discussed joining a school chapter of ASPEW. The next day, she attended an assembly concerning school policy before she, Washington and four other students sat for the writtern portion of their placement S.P.A.W.N. tests. That afternoon, she completed the practical portion of the placement test with Professor Grue, Professor Hobbes, Professor Newton, and Professor Shirtliffe, and Professor Newton admonished her use of "doggerel verse" rather than incantations.
After finishing her practical exams, Alex visited the library before meeting up with her classmates at Delta Delta Kappa Tau Hall and heading to dinner. After dinner, she received her S.P.A.W.N. results – "Muggle" in Wizard History, Arithnomancy and Geomancy, and Alchemy and Herbology; "Hocus Pocus" in Magical Theory; "Underperformer" in practical Transfiguration and Charms; "Hocus Pocus" in practical Alchemy; "Average" in Basic Magical Defense – and schedule – Practical Magical Exercise, Remedial Basic Charms, Remedial Basic Transfiguration, Remedial Basic Alchemy, Remedial Principles of Magic, and Remedial Wizarding World History. The next day, she was called to Dean Grimm's office along with Washington, Chu, and the Pritchard sisters concerning the fight at Grundy's. Chu and the Pritchards were dismissed, while Quick and Washington were assigned to serve two weeks of detention, write letters of apology to Grundy's, and compose essays on the subject of how their behavior reflects on Charmbridge.
After being dismissed, they collected the supplies they had lost on the Invisible Bridge from the Lost and Found closet. In Basic Charms with Newton, she learned the Six Basic Wand Movements and Seven Basic Wand Positions. In Basic Transfigurations, she worked on changing matches into needles and rocks into candy, as well as reviewing Militades's Elementary Transformations. In Remedial Alchemy, she was singled out by Professor Grue before the class began studying Beginning Potions. After lunch, she attended Basic Principles of Magic with , in which the class read passages from their textbook aloud.
In Wizarding World History, Professor Grinder spent most of the class bemoaning the sexism of the wizarding world as exemplified in their textbook, Wizards and Warlocks in the Ancient World. In Practical Magical Exercise with Professor Bludgeleg and Miss Gambola, she played plunkball with Washington and the Pritchard sisters, before having another confrontation with Albo when he mocked her for placing in five Remedial classes. During dinner, the Pritchard sisters recited an Ozarker rhyme about a folklorish girl named Troublesome, and the nickname stuck with Alex.
She and Washington, along with Albo and the Rash brothers, served her detentions with Ben Journey, supervising his Clockworks while they performed custodial and groundskeeping duties. After her first week, the taunts of Albo and the Rash brothers inspired her to approach Dean Grimm about moving out of her Remedial classes. During a Magical Exercise class, Professor Shirtliffe visited and challenged the class to move an enormous bronze statue; while the rest of the students met with only the barest of successes, Alex used a doggerel verse to shrink the statue to knee-height and carry it. Shirtliffe commended Quick's ingenuity, but chided her use of doggerel verse, threatening her with another essay.
After class, Alex made an appointment to see Dean Price concerning her classes, then headed to detention. On Monday, she met with Price, who refused to allow her to retake her S.P.A.W.N. tests, and later learned how to fly on a broom in Magical Exercise. On the final day of her detention, she enchanted Albo and the Rash brothers' Clockworks to attack them with mops and sponges, which led Larry, Benjamin and Mordecai to fly recklessly near her in Magical Exercise. Alex retaliated by hurling a at them, inciting Albo to chase her until she outran him in a game of chicken.
Alex and Albo were assigned three additional months of detention, as were Washington and the Rash brothers, and had transfiguration jinxes placed on them that would turn them both into rats if they got closer than ten feet from each other. Both were banned from sports and flying for the remainder of the semester. Alex served her detentions while reading up on Clockworks and continuing to study for the S.P.A.W.N. tests that she would take again the next semester. As word of Grimm's transfiguration jinx spread, students pranked the two by forcing them into proximity, but Dearborn, Chu, Devereaux and the Pritchards helped to keep Alex away from Albo.
In October, Alex and Albo were forced into proximity by Torvald Krogstad and Stuart Cortlandt, and again transformed into rats. They were later assigned to clean out the Academy's attic in preparation for an anti-fumigation; Alex got lost in the labyrinth of rooms, closets, stairways and corridors, and chanced upon Albo, turning them both into rats. Soon after Galen, found them and toyed with them, and they were rescued by Charlie before Journey located them and reversed the jinx. After returning to her dorm, Alex confinded in Chu that she believed Grimm was trying to kill her.
In November, Alex first learned about the Dark Convention and the Governor-General, and lent her support to the A.S.P.E.W. Journey assigned her and Albo to supervise their Clockworks as they raked leaves from the grounds, and oversee the burning of the leaves in a large bonfire pit. Two weeks into the month, Alex was attacked in the firepit by her Clockworks, who picked her up and prepared to throw her into the fire before Albo arrived and deliberately approached Alex to turn them both into rats. Journey assured her he'd talk to Grimm concerning the Clockworks, and when Alex told Chu about the incident, Chu agreed that someone was trying to kill Alex.
The next morning, Alex was called to the Dean's Office, where Grimm reassigned Albo to kitchen-duty and Quick to library-duty while the Clockworks were inspected. On detention, Mrs. Minder taught Alex the tergeo and [Scouring Charm|scourgify]] charms in order to clean desks. The following night, Alex met the elves Bran and Poe, and learned about the nature of elf-service; the next morning, she explained what the elves had told her to the A.S.P.E.W. students. Over the next week, Alex persuaded Bran and Poe to help her find books on the Dark Convention, including American Warlock Lore: Tales of the Dark and An Inquiry Into Death Eater Activity in America.
The Thorn Circle Edit
Her interest in Dark Magic became a school rumor; she was taunted by the Rash brothers over it, and later confided in Chu that she thought perhaps her father had been a Warlock. Alex learned from Ms. Grinder that the Dark Convention conspiracy in the mid-1990's went by the name of The Thorn Circle, and Alex shared with Chu her theory that Dean Grimm might have been a Death Eater. That night, she searched the library, finding three books that mentioned the Thorn Circle, all of which were currently on-loan, and had Bran and Poe send out book-owls to request the books from other libraries.
Her increasing preoccupation with the Dark Convention led to her being targeted with hexes and jinxes by older students. During her last Alchemy test before Thanksgiving, Alex misbrewed a batch of Blister Tincture which exploded, sending her to the infirmary. She was treated by Mrs. Murphy and visited by Chu, as well as Bran and Poe who informed her that her books had arrived, and was released the next morning. During a Charms quiz, Alex was summoned to the Dean's Office where she explained the Tincture mishap to Grimm, including her casting of an Undoing Charm.
Grimm informed Alex that any further recklessness or inappropriate behavior would result in severe punishments for Chu, Washington, Devereaux, Dearborn, and the Pritchard sisters, but no consequences for Alex herself. She obeyed Grimm's edict, and made a concerted effort to stay out of trouble. Alex attended the Thanksgiving Feast with Chu, Washington, Devereaux and the Pritchard sisters; that night, Chu privately admitted that Alex was her best friend. The next morning, she was again summoned to the Dean's Office where Grimm lifted the transfiguration jinx from her and Albo.
That evening, Alex visited Bran and Poe in the library concerning the books they had ordered, but when she saw them punishing themselves for planning to break library policy, she instructed them to return the books; instead, they offered to let her read them in the library, which was not a violation of the rules. Alex spent the next two days reading Dark or Demented? The Case Against Abraham Thorn, The Thorn Circle: Warlocks in Hiding, and The Darkness That Threatens Us All!, and discovered that the photograph in her mother's locket was that of Abraham Everard Thorn. After telling Anna about Thorn, Alex determined that her name may have appeared under her father's surname on the Registrar's Scroll.
In December, Alex sat for her midterms and scored well before heading home on the Charmbridge Bus for the Christmas break. Back in Larkin Mills, Alex met Billy and Brian again; Billy mocked her for attending a "special" school, and Billy calls her a "freak." After the confrontation, Alex fled home and inadvertantly conjured a "ball of energy" that "crackled with malice and spite." She diffused the curse with an explico charm, but the released energy caused the Christmas Eve Blizzard of 2007, which dropped more than six feet of snow over the Midwestern United States.
During the blizzard, a burglar broke into the Green House and ransacked Alex's room, immediately after which a fire started that quickly consumed the house. Alex and her mother escaped through an upstairs window, and Alex was drawn away from the house into the storm by a "bobbing green and yellow glow." She was found by Archie nearly a mile from the house, and spent the rest of her vacation shuffling between the houses of her parents' friends.
Spring Semester Edit
In January, Alex returned to Charmbridge and told her friends about the house-fire. At the start-of-term assembly, the students were introduced to Allan Thiel, and informed that Governor-General Hucksteen would be presiding over commencement in June. Alex was then called to the Dean's Office to recount the events that led to the house-fire, and in turn asked Grimm if Thorn was her father and if Grimm was trying to kill her. Grimm showed Alex the Registrar's Scroll, which listed her as "Alexandra Octavia Quick" and not "Thorn," and explained how each of Alex's brushes with death were unfortunate, but unintended, accidents.
The next day, Alex and Washington sat for their second round of S.P.A.W.N., and Alex scored Average in all subjects but Basic Magical Defense, in which she scored Excellent. Alex transferred out of remedial classes, joining Basic Charms and Basic Transfigurations, as well as Professor Middle's Wizard Social Studies class and Professor Shirtliffe's Magical Theory class. Through January, February and March, Alex studied diligently and avoided trouble, until she and her friends were confronted by Albo, Ethan Robinson, Wade White, and the Rash brothers. Albo dared Alex into spending a night in the forest surrounding the Academy, where he claimed a hodag resided, and the two swore an oath on the wager.
Alex later found Journey and Thiel clearing a freezing charm out of the 11th-grade hallway. Alex and Chu attempted to fulfill Alex's end of the dare, but were ambushed by Albo, Robinson and White, who petrified Chu before a creature attacked the group and the five fled. They were caught by Journey returning to the dorms, but he let them go without reporting them; Alex and Chu headed to the infirmary where Mrs. Murphy tended to Chu's cold.
In the third week of April, Alex attended a sixth-grade field trip to Chicago as part of Muggle Awareness Month. The class visited the Territorial Headquarters Building, where Alex snuck away from her class and searched the records in the Territorial Census Office. She was nearly attacked by the vampire Thomas Bagby, but managed to find a file on her mother that included photos of Alex and Claudia, with Alex's father blotted out, and Diana Grimm listed as the interviewing officer. The class later attended a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.
After returning to Charmbridge, Alex confronted Grimm about her mother's file and learned that Claudia had been interviewed because it believed that Alex's father was a member of the Thorn Circle. When Grimm denied knowing who Alex's father was, Alex called her a liar, and received a vicious magical whipping across the back of her hands. She was further assigned to write a letter of apology to Bagby, an essay, and to serve a week of detention degnoming the campus with Thiel. While writing her apology letter, Alex learned the Editing Ink Charm from Anna, and realized that the Registrar's Scroll may have been altered. She also learned from Journey that the Registrar's Office needed to be cleaned for Hucksteen's visit, but was instructed by Thiel to stay away from the Office. She resolved to break into the office and see the Scroll, and Chu agreed to help.
Through May, Alex and Chu planned the break-in; Alex learned from Bran and Poe that the Charmbridge elves lived in the basement, where she headed and met Em. The elf refused to reveal the location of the Registrar's Office and trapped Alex with a sticking charm before leaving to retrieve Journey, and Alex was magically strangled into unconscious while alone in the corridor. When Em, Journey, Thiel and Chu found her, Alex explained her plan to break into the Registrar's Office as another dare from Albo. Alex and Chu were released by Journey without punishment.
The Secret Thorn Edit
The following weekend, Alex woke up at three o'clock in the morning to sneak past Miss Marmsley's portrait while the secretary slept, finding the Registrar's Office on the second floor of the administrative wing. She was discovered by Galen before she could attempt an unlocking charm, and returned to the sixth-grade dorms. She was confronted the next day by Washington and the Pritchard sisters, who warned Alex not to get Chu into trouble. Alex spent the next week meticulously planning the break-in before learning that Hucksteen's security detail would be visiting the Academy the upcoming weekend.
That night, Alex and Chu used whisperphones to keep in contact while Chu stood guard and Alex broke into the Registrar's Office using an [[Unlocking Charm|alohomora] charm. She found the Registrar's Scroll and cast an editing ink reversal charm to discover that her name had, in fact, been changed from "Alexandra Octavia Thorn." She was magically strangled into unconsciousness again, but was rescued by Chu, who used a Bubble-head Charm to avoid the garroting gas that had nearly suffocated Alex and Galen. The girls were confronted by Thiel, who Alex disarmed and Chu petrified, before they were caught by Journey, who stupefied Chu before Grimm appeared and struck him with a revulsio spell.
Grimm and Journey fought until Journey took Chu hostage, despite claiming that he was after Alex, and escaped on a flying carpet. Following the fight, Alex was escorted back to her dorm by Thiel, who she learned was an undercover agent of the Wizard Justice Department, and received a note via crow from Journey instructing her to meet him in the forest surrounding the campus. Alex escaped Thiel's surveillance by jumping from her second-story dorm window, breaking her ankle on impact. At the edge of the forest, she found a carpet, and rode it to a location deeper in the forest where Journey had Chu tied to a tree.
Alex agreed to accompany Journey in exchange for Chu's freedom and he bound her, but as they took off on the carpet, Grimm arrived by broom to pursue them. Journey escaped by commanding the murder of crows in the forest to attack Grimm, then explained to Alex that she was the Secret-Keeper for the Thorn Circle, and that her father had placed a powerful Circle of Protection around her in the form of the gold bracelet that Alex had found in her mother's closet. Journey showed Alex the broken bracelet, which he'd stolen on the night of the fire, and prepared to kill her before Grimm arrived. Journey shot Grimm off her broom with a revolver, then turned the gun on Alex and pulled the trigger.
The Circle of Protection continued to shield her, however, causing Journey to suffer the effect of the gunshot, which killed him while merely knocking Alex to the ground. Grimm sheltered Alex while they awaited rescue, and both were treated by Mrs. Murphy back at Charmbridge, and Grimm explained that the Circle of Protection was not Alex's bracelet, but the members of the Thorn Circle itself, to which Journey had belonged. By betraying Alex, Journey's actions had both led to his own death, and simultaneously broken the circle that had protected Alex from his attempt on her life. Alex was released on crutches after three days in the infirmary, by which point most of the school was aware of her paternity.
That Friday, she sat for her end-of-year S.P.A.W.N. tests – she earned Averages on written Magical Theory, written Alchemy and Herbology, written Arithnomancy and Geomancy, and practical Alchemy; Underperformer on written Wizard History; Excellent on practical Transfigurations and practical Charms; and Superior on practical Basic Magical Defense. She also received an invitation to the Mors Mortis Society's year-end party, which Krogstad and Cortlandt seemed to think was an honor for a sixth-grader. She later attended senior commencement, after which she was interviewed by Governor-General Hucksteen regarding her knowledge of her father. Alex reassured Hucksteen that her father had never contacted her, neglecting to tell him about the locket, and was given a magical business card through which to contact Hucksteen if her father should communicate with her.
She burned the card before returning home to Larkin Mills, where she received a raven with a letter from her father. After reading the letter, she ripped the parchment into tiny shreds, which she then threw in the trash.
During the Fall semester, Alexandra was required to take several remedial classes.
- Basic Charms (Remedial level) (Mr. Newton)
- Basic Transfiguration (Remedial level) (Mr. Hobbes)
- Basic Alchemy (Remedial level) (Mr. Grue)
- Basic Principles of Magic (Remedial level) (Mr. Adams)
- Wizarding World History (Remedial level) (Mrs. Grinder)
- Practical Magical Exercise (Ms. Shirtliffe)
In the Spring semester, she got out of remedial level, and joined her friends to take regular sixth grade classes:
- Basic Charms (Mr. Newton)
- Basic Transfiguration (Mr. Hobbes)
- Basic Alchemy (Mr. Grue)
- Basic Principles of Magic (Ms. Shirtliffe)
- Wizard Social Studies (Mrs. Middle)
- Practical Magical Exercise (Ms. Shirtliffe)
Alexandra Quick's education