Oliver Moon and the Dragon Disaster

Oliver Moon was soaring on his broomstick, high above Magic School. All his friends and teachers were down below in the playground, watching him. “Oooh,” they chorused as Oliver loop-the-looped twice in a row.

“Wow!” they breathed as he zipped backwards, both hands high in the air.

“Hooray!” they cheered, as he zigzagged through the tanglebranch trees, his eyes tight shut.

Oliver was just about to perform his most daring stunt yet – a full-circle spin, while juggling six spell books – when he felt hot breath on his face.

“Ollie! No sleep!”

Oliver groaned and stirred. Oh, no! He’d been enjoying himself so much. Was it really only a dream?

He opened one eye a crack. His sister, the Witch Baby, was in front of his spiderweb hammock, bouncing a silver plastic teapot off his head.

“Ollie! AWAKE,” she ordered bossily.

Oliver shut his eye quickly, hoping he could finish his brilliant dream.

The alarm on his toad clock had other ideas though. “Eight o’croak,” it burped, flicking a cold, wet tongue out onto Oliver’s cheek. “Eight o’CROAK!”

Oliver groaned. Eight o’clock already! He pulled his bat-blanket over his head. He’d just lie here for a few more minutes…

“Ouch!” yelped Oliver, sitting up once more. The Cacklewick Chronicle, the local newspaper, had just materialized on top of his head. The Chronicle was meant to magically appear on the Moon family’s doormat every morning, but it had the annoying habit of turning up in strange places all over the house.

Oliver rubbed his head crossly. No chance of getting back to sleep now. How he hated mornings!

“Cup tea,” the Witch Baby said. She sloshed green slime from her teapot into a pink cup, and shoved it into Oliver’s face. The slime splattered right into his mouth. Ugh! It stank! And it tasted vile!

Oliver grumpily reached for his dressing gown. As he did so, he caught sight of the Chronicle’s headline: Cacklewick’s Festival of Magic – details inside!

“Cool!” Oliver breathed, forgetting his bad mood in an instant. The annual Festival of Magic was one of the most fantastic days of the whole year. He pulled on his dressing gown and rushed downstairs. “Mum, Dad!” he cried. “Come and look at this!”

“Ooh, have you seen who they’ve got lined up for the magical performances?” Mrs. Moon clucked, minutes later. She, Oliver and Mr. Moon were at the breakfast table with the Chronicle spread out in front of them. “Cecily Quicksilver and her Sea Serpents, Wizard Wormhead, the Great Gorindo, and…oh!”

“What is it?” Oliver asked, trying to see what his mum had just spotted.

His mum jabbed a finger at the newspaper, which promptly began to speak. “Rumour has it, there will be a special-guest appearance by the one and only Eliot Enchantrum!” the newspaper announced in a prim voice.

“Wow,” Oliver breathed. Eliot Enchantrum was his hero – and the best wizard in the whole country!

“Eliot Smellipot,” the Witch Baby commented loudly.

“A broomstick display by the Black Arrows, too,” Mr. Moon read aloud. “Wonderful!”

“Firefly fireworks after dark, and live music from the Ravin’ Ravens,” Oliver added, feeling his skin prickle with excitement. The Ravin’ Ravens were only his favourite band in the whole world!

“Nearly half past eight,” the bearded grandfather clock suddenly warned, and Oliver jumped. He was still in his pyjamas!

Oliver ran upstairs and pulled on his school uniform and cloak. Then he grabbed his favourite wand and pointy hat and ran back down for breakfast.

Today might not have started off well – but with the magic festival just around the corner, things were definitely looking up!