“Stop!” Wiglaf cried. “I can’t breathe!” Had he escaped death by 3,683 dragons only to be crushed by a baby?
“Let go, baby!” cried Erica.
“No!” cried baby Ziz gleefully. “No! No! No!”
Suddenly, a column of blue smoke appeared. Out of it stepped Zelnoc.
“Warts and moles!” he cried. “What timing! I was just getting ready to do the spell-reversal spell on Ziz when you summoned him.” The wizard drew a big red lollipop from the pocket of his robe and held it out to Zizmor. The baby grabbed for the candy, dropping Wiglaf.
Wiglaf shook out his wings and straightened his crest. “Can you do the spell on all of us, Zelnoc?” he asked. “We’re in big trouble here.”
“Why not?” said the wizard. “Stand next to Ziz. I’ll do you all in a batch.”
The dragons scurried over to stand next to baby Ziz.
Zelnoc extended gnarly fingers in their direction and began to chant:
“As you were before my spell, so shall you be again,
When I finish counting down from the number ten.
Wiglaf felt the dizziness overtake him.
He felt his body growing, changing shape.
Wiglaf felt a jolt. He looked down. He had arms. Hands. Legs. Feet. He was a boy again. Angus and Erica were back to normal, too. Beside them stood an ancient, tall, white-bearded Zizmor.
“Ah, I’m me again!” cried Zizmor. He slapped the lesser wizard on the back. “Zelnoc, at the next Wizards’ Convention, I want you to—”
“Give a speech, Ziz?” said Zelnoc eagerly. “Tell how I did a spell-reversal spell?”
“Be in charge of cleanup,” said Zizmor. “And any other nasty jobs I can think of!”
Zelnoc’s face fell. “Yes, Amazing One,” he muttered. “Whatever you say.”
“I say we shove off,” said Zizmor. “Ready, Zelnoc?”
“Ready, Chief,” said Zelnoc.
“Wait!” cried Wiglaf. “Hold it! You have to get us out of here!”
But he found himself shouting into thick red and blue smoke. The wizards had vanished.
Through the fading smoke, Wiglaf saw a slice of light. The henhouse doors creaked open and in ran Sissy.
“Okay, guys, here’s the plan,” she whispered.
But before she could say another word, Madam Dragonova rushed in. She eyed Wiglaf, Erica, and Angus. “Puny little things, aren’t you?” she said.
Behind her, through the open doorway, Wiglaf saw that the DSA castle yard was filled with thousands of dragons. Seetha’s children!
Madam kicked the door shut. She eyed the three small dragon slayers-in-training. “Dragon slayers steal hoards of dragon gold,” she said, keeping her voice low. “Tell me where yours is. And quick! Before those ruffians out there break down the door to get you.”
“We—we don’t have it on us,” said Wiglaf, eager to talk or do anything to keep from going out to the castle yard. “But before a wizard’s spell changed us into dragons, we were on our way to Hermit Harry’s Hut. We’re supposed to fetch our headmaster a Jiffy-Gold.”
“Jiffy what?” said Madam.
“It’s an alchemy kit,” added Erica.
“Turns common household items to gold,” said Angus.
Madam Dragonova’s scaly eyebrows went up. “To gold?”
Wiglaf nodded. “You can get a Jiffy-Gold kit free, this week only.”
“It’s a special offer,” said Angus.
“After a week, if you aren’t satisfied,” Erica said, “you can return it, no questions asked.”
Madam Dragonova looked thoughtful. “I wouldn’t mind having one of those kits myself.”
“We can get you one,” Wiglaf offered.
“Really?” Madam’s eyes lit up.
“We’ll set off right now,” offered Wiglaf.
“Sissy,” said Madam. “Give them a ride to the hermit’s hut. And hurry! Before the offer expires. Go on! Why, just think, in a week, I can Jiffy-Gold this whole castle!”
Wiglaf, Erica, and Angus straddled Sissy’s back. They held on tight as she winged over mountaintops. Wiglaf thought he liked riding a dragon better than he liked being one.
On they flew, until Angus said, “What stinks?”
Wiglaf looked down. Way below them was a little hovel with a long line of people outside.
“It’s Harry’s,” he said.
The dragon came in for a landing.
“You know, guys, I can’t go get a kit myself,” said Sissy. “Everyone would panic and run away.
Sissy waited on the edge of Nowhere Swamp while Wiglaf, Angus, and Erica stood in line. The closer they got to Harry’s, the worse it smelled.
At last, it was their turn to stand before the dirty tangled-haired hermit.
“What’ll it be?” asked Harry. He nearly knocked them off their feet with his breath.
“Two Jiffy-Gold kits, please,” Wiglaf managed.
“Here’s one,” said Harry. Angus carried the box to Sissy while Wiglaf and Angus waited for Harry to bring back another. But just as he was handing it to them, a gong sounded.
“Ah, time’s up!” said Harry. “The Special Offer has expired.”
A loud wail went up from everyone still standing in line.
“You can still get a kit!” Harry yelled over the wails. “You just have to pay for it.”
“Mordred wants a kit,” said Wiglaf. “But he won’t want to pay for it.”
“Oh, he can pay for it out of the gold he makes,” said Erica. “We’ll take it,” she told Harry.
Wiglaf and Erica walked over to the edge of the swamp. Angus had managed to strap Madam’s Jiffy-Gold kit to Sissy’s back.
“So long, guys!” said Sissy. “Will you come back and see us someday?”
“It would be very dangerous,” Wiglaf pointed out. “Earl is out to get me.”
“Hey, maybe Taxi and Stickley and I can come visit you guys!” said Sissy.
“That could be dangerous for you,” said Wiglaf. “Our DSA is Dragon Slayers’ Academy.”
“Okay, guys,” said Sissy. “Guess I’ll see you when I see you!” She waved, then rose up into the air. Wiglaf, Angus, and Erica watched her until she disappeared from view.
“Rats!” said Angus. “We should have gotten her to give us a lift back to school.”
Erica groaned. “Why didn’t we think of that? Now we have to walk.”
Wiglaf picked up the kit. It was surprisingly light. “Off we go,” he said.
Night fell as they trudged through the Dark Forest. The three walked all night. At daybreak, they reached their DSA. Wiglaf was tired and hungry and, oh, so glad to be back.
How small the castle yard looked! When they reached Mordred’s office, Angus knocked on the door. “Uncle Mordred!” he called. “Here’s the Jiffy-Gold kit!”
The door swung open. “What took you so long?” the headmaster growled. He grabbed the box from his nephew’s hands and tore open the lid.
Wiglaf had been curious to see what a Jiffy-Gold kit looked like. He watched as Mordred lifted a large tube and a pouch from the box.
is the Jiffy-Gold?” cried Mordred.
Wiglaf saw that the tube was labeled
. And the pouch,
. Mordred loosened the pouch strings and poured a few sparkles into his hand.
“This isn’t an alchemy kit!” Mordred yelled. “It’s worthless humbug! And what’s this?” He pulled out a piece of parchment from the box. “Why, it’s a
His eyes bulged scarily as he read it. “It says I owe Harry three pieces of gold, and if he doesn’t get it by the end of the week, he’ll set his pack of hounds on me!”
Mordred glared at the three dragon slayers-in-training.
“You three will work off that gold!” he shouted. “Get to the kitchen. On the double! There’s a mountain of pots waiting to be scrubbed. Go, go, GO!”
Wiglaf, Erica, and Angus turned and ran from the headmaster’s office.
“At least we’re just in time for breakfast,” said Angus. “I bet I’ll get there first!”
“Not a chance,” said Erica, breaking into a run.
Wiglaf put on a burst of speed. For the first time ever, he couldn’t wait to take a bite of Frypot’s scrambled eel.Our Headmaster
Mordred de Marvelous
Mordred graduated from Dragon Bludgeon High, second in his class. The other student, Lionel Flyzwattar, went on to become headmaster of Dragon Stabbers’ Prep. Mordred spent years as part-time, semi-substitute student teacher at Dragon Whackers’ Alternative School, all the while pursuing his passion for mud wrestling. Inspired by how filthy rich Flyzwattar had become by running a school, Mordred founded Dragon Slayers’ Academy in CMLXXIV, and has served as headmaster ever since.
Known to the Boys as
: Mordred de Miser
Piles and piles of dragon gold
Yet to see a single gold coin
Mud wrestled under the name Macho-Man Mordie
Plans for the Future:Trustee
Will retire to the Bahamas ... as soon as he gets his hands on a hoard
Lobelia de Marvelous is Mordred’s sister and a graduate of the exclusive If-You-Can-Read-This-You-Can-Design-Clothes Fashion School. Lobelia has offered fashion advice to the likes of King Felix the Husky and Eric the Terrible Dresser. In CMLXXIX, Lobelia married the oldest living knight, Sir Jeffrey Scabpicker III. That’s when she gained the title of Lady Lobelia, but—a!as!—only a very small fortune, which she wiped out in a single wild shopping spree. Lady Lobelia has graced Dragon Slayers’ Academy with many visits, and can be heard around campus saying, “Just because I live in the Middle Ages doesn’t mean I have to look middle-aged.”