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    [FE-GRM] EABK-01 Urban Magical Education

    Dodging bullies and gang members in the big city isn't always easy, but when Baxter Knightmane and his friend stumbled upon a mysterious book store at the end of a dead end alleyway, they thought they had found the perfect hiding place; but sometimes things which shouldn't be can lead to fantastic adventures.
    Eldritch Academy - Pocket Dimension

    [FE-GRM] EABK-01 Urban Magical Education
    By Darrel Vanwinkle (Lord Pouchlaw)

    Chapter 01 - Getting Out of the Rain.

    December 23, 2007; a rainy Sunday;
    A library like book store located down an alleyway...

    The adventure began in a big city; it could have been any big city where narrow alleyways often led to dead ends due to a corporate conglomerate purchasing a lot that would seal off the once passable alleyway between the buildings and connecting one street to another. Two young men were running down a major street as they sought to escape from a street gang of ruffians whom one of the young men had humiliated. Perhaps they wouldn't have given chase had the one young man hadn't gloated over their stupidity over falling for an obvious con. The other young man couldn't believe that his friend had been so brave as to take a verbal pop shot like that. So now, the two ran seeking to put distance between their pursuers and themselves. As the two young men darted into an alleyway that was known by the gang members to lead into a dead end, the sky suddenly opened up and it began to rain in heavy torrents. The gang's leader said, "We got them now... That alleyway is a dead end. Mr. Loud Mouth finally made a mistake."

    As the two young men reached the end of the alleyway dodging old crates and bags of garbage as they went, the braver young man about freaked out when he saw the new building in the way. The second young man thinking to hide himself behind a large empty box at the end of the alleyway, That was when he found that the brick wall in the building seemed to be a door of some sort. "Rafael! In here! I found a way through this wall!" He pulled his friend behind the tall empty crate and they forced open the brick door and entered the space beyond as they pushed the door back into its former closed position.

    It was at this point that the two noted that they seemed to be standing in the entryway of a lost and forgotten book store. "Where are we, Raf? I didn't even know this city had a book store like this." The mouthy friend replied, "I really don't know, Bax. But at least we can get dry in here and hide from the stupid gang jerks at the same time. But shouldn't there be someone guarding the cash register?"

    The young man called Bax, or Baxter Knightmane rather, looked behind the counter and said, "The cash register is empty, Raf. The till is open and there is nothing in there at all. Let's explore this place and see if we can find anything that explains what this store was."

    As the two boys walked through an aisle of book shelves, Raf was verbally reading book titles that he was seeing. "A Hundred and One Ways to Collect a Witches Tit, The Complete Toad Cook Book, A Complete Guide to Treasures That Aladdin Could Have Found - Open at Your Own Risk. You know... I don't think this was a normal book store."

    Baxter had been reading off book titles on his own side of the aisle. "The Laws of Escaping a Trapper, How to Avoid Getting Dragon's Knots up Your Butt, A Guide to Moon-Touched Manners. Yeah, I think you are right. Some of these books seem more fantasy than non-fiction. Wait a minute... I hear someone chanting just ahead of us. Someone else is in this wacky place."

    As they looked around at the old shelves and dusty tomes and scrolls, they soon came upon a large open pentagram circle in the back of the shop where a black cat and a European raven watched a slender boy in black garb as he finished up an incantation of mystical qualities. "There... the protection barrier has been restrengthened." The European raven said, "Clumsy cat." The black cat retorted, "It wasn't my fault! That Hellhound caused it!"

    Baxter blinked his eyes as he thought, What have we walked into?

    Raf was less polite as his voice was rather quavery with excitement, "T..t..talking....a..a..a..animals....." He looked a little woozy before he fell over with a loud THUD into one of the shelves. Though, honestly, it was hard to tell if the shock was a good one or a bad one.

    The black clad teen aged boy and the two animals turned and saw the two young men nearby. "Guests," said the black garbed youth. The raven said, "The large one seems to be in shock. You better help him." The slender youth nodded his head and lifted his hand in a magical manner, which caused Raf to levitate in mid air before vanishing from sight from the back chamber.

    Baxter briefly said in response to he levitation, "Magic..." followed by the mental statement of, I always hated Harry Potter, but this is fantastic! but when his associate disappeared, his fascination turned to anger and fear. "What did you do with my friend?!"

    The slender youth calmly replied, "He had a head injury so I teleported him back to a clinic that I saw in his mind where he could get treatment. Fear not, for magic is never used to harm people regardless of what Hollywood tries to make it seem like people are supposed to do with magic."

    Calming down, Baxter asked, "So... how did you do that? I mean, it was clearly magic, but are you a normal boy?"

    The slender youth replied, "No, hardly normal; I am a Witch boy, simply put."

    Baxter blinked his eyes over that statement. "My friend Raf is likely freaking out or will be when he wakes up in the clinic."

    The Witch Boy then said, "Your friend will remember colliding with the brick wall at the end of the alleyway, which is the best thing for him to recall in truth." The cat then said, "Meow." And the European raven commented with, "Caw!"

    Baxter remarked, "Now wait a minute... I heard them talk when we arrived. What's going on now?"

    The Witch Boy stated, "The Universum spell must have worn off again. Please give me a moment to fix this."

    End of Chapter 01

    Chapter 02 - Further Explanations.

    And then the Witch Boy chanted some mystical Latin while rubbing on both of the animals throats with his hands. As he finished, he stepped back again as the cat said, "I'll be glad when you learn the Permanency spell, Magnus. Having to do that every 24 hours is annoying. Though I do like getting petted." The European raven said, "You are a spoiled cat."

    Baxter said, "Um, what's going on here?"

    Magnus replied, "Like I said before, I am a Witch Boy. Somehow or another, you and your friend both found your way into the city's school of magic. It is supposed to be well hidden. But if you saw the entrance, then perhaps you are supposed to be here after all. My name is Magnus Arcane."

    Baxter says, "School of Magic? Down an alleyway? Odd name."

    Magnus says, "As I said, it was supposed to be well hidden. Yes, my name is an odd one. This used to be a busy institution until the day the masters abandoned this school saying that they were opening a new branch somewhere near England. I didn't want to go there, so I stayed here; I have teachers who have agreed to come here to teach me things. Non-human teachers."

    Baxter blinked his eyes as he looked around again. "It was raining outside and I initially saw the shop door at the end of the alleyway and I brought Raf inside. Before I showed him the door, he didn't seem to see it."

    Magnus said, "Yes, that is the main entrance to the school. Since you saw the door and your friend didn't, then you must have The Spark."

    Baxter then said, "My manners, Magnus... my name is Baxter Knightmane. Just call me Baxter. My friend whom you sent to the clinic was Rafael Stargazer. I don't know why he didn't see the door, but if this Spark has something to do with it, I guess that explains it. Um... you said non-human teachers.. Like what? Elves? Centaurs? Naga? Pixies? Fae-kin?"

    Magnus replied, "Yes, all manner of non-human teachers. One of my most favorite teachers is a messenger Hellhound. He works part time in Hell and is a Lord down there. Lord Saberfang is one of the nicer Hellhounds. And clean too. The one that was just here about an hour ago disrupted the protection barrier around the school. I just reset it when you and your friend came inside. You said it was raining out. You don't have to leave, if you don't want to. Let me give you a tour of the school. Think of this place as more of a private academy than an actual school building. Come on..." He motioned for the young man to follow as he began walking with his two animal companions.

    Baxter shrugged his shoulders and he followed the Witch Boy. The tour took them through the central courtyard, which was like a hidden central park with a view of a clear dome above, through which it could be seen that rain was still falling, and then within another building where a large board with numbers and keys were displayed. "Housing for the students when we had students here," Magnus explained, and then he continued to show Baxter around. Then they went to the cafeteria building where a fancy kitchen was housed; almost like a restaurant, and menus displayed for each day of the week. "Unseen Servant Chefs. Saves us from having to cook," explained Magnus. Then, they crossed the courtyard again and were in a gymnasium of sorts. "Recreation lounge," he said. And then, he took Baxter back to the main building where the registration office was located. "The classrooms are like any other classrooms you have likely seen, so I didn't show you those." Baxter said, "It's a nice place. Hard to believe that the masters simply abandoned it."

    Magnus stated, "I think money had a lot to do with it."

    Baxter said, "So it's just you, the cat, and the raven?"

    Magnus replied, "Oh no!" He then smiled. "There is another boy attending classes here, but he's out on a field assignment with his drake friend. In fact, when you two showed up, I almost thought that he had returned."

    Baxter said, "Did you say drake?"

    The Witch Boy remarked, "That's right. Dragon relations."

    Baxter said, "A school of magic. Real magic with real non-human teachers and stuff. I am actually... impressed. I never thought I would ever see something like this."

    Magnus remarked, "There are several dozen available classes. Thankfully, I don't take them all. But the other boy does take quite a few, yet still not all of them. When the school was in full attendance, we even had non-human students attending. But now, aside from me and the other guy, we rarely see a lot of traffic here, save for the accidental just passing through guys and the teachers who still come around."

    Baxter then had to ask, "Um... how hard is it to learn magic?" Magnus replied, "It is not hard. Registration is first, then the assistant inoculation to ensure that your Spark can further develop to become necessary for advanced spell casting. Then the classes themselves occur. It's almost like private tutoring around here these days." Baxter hummed... "What is this inoculation made of? I mean, what's in it? And can it be dangerous?" Magnus then began an important explanation. "Students whom already have the spark need to have a Pixie Drake Honey patch applied to either your upper arm or the side of your neck. After having the patch on for twenty-four hours, you develop the ability learn advanced magic. For people who do not have the Spark, then the student to be needs to drink the fluids of a magical creature, whether it is blood, semen, spit, or even liquid excrement. Some people are allergic to the Pixie Drake Honey which can make them extremely ill and they could die unless they got immediate treatment from our apothecary instructor. Typically, we are not supposed to enroll anyone incapable of developing the Spark. Also... your familiar helps you learn magic when you're not in classes. I am lucky enough to have two familiars. I can talk to them mentally regardless of distance, but I prefer to hear their voices, which is why I cast the Universum spell on them every day." Baxter asked, "Do you get to choose your familiar when you first get one?" Magnus smiled. "But of course."

    End of Chapter 02


      Chapter 03 - Registration.

      Baxter said, "I am not about to drink magical liquid excrement... but I do want to learn magic. I think it would be useful. Where's the patch?"

      Magnus remarked, "Registration first, then the patch. We have to do things in order around here. Order means better magic. Chaos means bad magic. I am sure you have heard of the Wicked Witch of the West and what happened to her in the end..." He winked. "Come on, I'll help you with the paperwork."

      Baxter said, "All right, let's do this."

      The paperwork appeared to be simple, at least, the first page was simple enough: name, age, personal information, etc. Then the second page asked for weird preferences, starting with color, then animals, mythics, weird powers, spell affects, favorite seasons, what you like to dress up as on Halloween, and other weird stuff, including a question asking what the scariest thing you could think of. Baxter wrote down that the scariest thing he could think of was to accidentally walk into a bathroom and see his own sister naked. The most horrifying thing he could think of. Then the third page delved into personal questions about the student in question. Very personal questions, sex questions especially. Finally the last page was simply the rules of the school and a line at the bottom to sign ones name and write in the current date. Baxter was grinning as he filled out his forms; he thought that most of registration was actually amusing.

      Magnus used a mystic stamp to notarize the registration form, then he pulled out a box with the Inoculizer within it. It appeared to be nothing more than a band-aid with a small thick bulb of sparkling fluid in the center of it. Magnus then took one of them and applied it directly to Baxter's neck securely. And then he placed a wide snug school leather collar over the top of the patch to help it to remain unseen. "You can remove the patch tomorrow morning. By then, the bulb will be empty."

      Baxter asked, "This was an inoculation?"

      Magnus smiled. "I suppose you were expecting a needle."

      Baxter remarked, "Well, yeah..."

      Magnus said, "That would be barbaric. You will have to spend the night here. By tomorrow morning, you'll be inoculated. Then we focus on getting you a familiar. I think if your friend learned what he would have to go through to learn magic, he would have cited to let you try it first to see if you grew Lampwick's tail and ears."

      Baxter laughed a little. "That sounds like how he might react. I think he might expect me to say Hee-Haw."

      Magnus said, "No gang people can get in here. If you can see the door, you're capable of learning magic. Simple as that."

      Baxter said, "I saw the door but Raf didn't; I had to pull him through the door."

      Magnus said, "Come on. We will get you assigned to your official dorm. There are five levels to the dorm building. Seawolf/Otter, Unicorn/Donkey, Werewolf/Were-Kangaroo, Dragon/Drake, and Phoenix/Digimon. You can choose the floor you wish to have a room housing on. We have Lots of available space."

      Baxter hummed to himself as he thought over the choices. "Okay. Seawolf/Otter is on the bottom floor, Phoenix/Digimon is at the top."

      Magnus nodded his head. "That's right. Glad you remembered that from the tour."

      Baxter said, "I think I will choose the Unicorn/donkey floor. Although if allowed, I might visit the moon-touched and the Digimon if permitted." He then giggled.

      Magnus chuckled as well. "I think you made wise choices. The other boy sleeps in the dragon dorms when he's around. Of course, I've caught him sleeping with his drake on more than one occasion."

      Baxter inquired, "Really? Isn't that a little dangerous?"

      Magnus replied, "The books on familiars say that it can be, but nothing has ever happened yet. There is a whole library on nothing but Familiar knowledge."

      Baxter said, "It sounds very interesting, Magnus."

      Magnus leads Baxter in to the dorm building and grabs the key for the unicorn/donkey dorm, then he took the human boy downstairs where he unlocked the unicorn/donkey dorm floor and inside, it appeared to be lush meadows, quiet streams, and a pristine forest To one side was what appeared to be a barn with stables a few small cabins facing the meadows. "You have seen the dorm; so what did you think? And you can hit the library day and night at your leisure whenever you like."

      Baxter was a little shocked at how the dorm floor was magically spaced to encompass its own private world. "Yeah... pocket dimensions for dorms; I should have expected it but yeah." Magnus said, "We like them. They make good study areas, too." Baxter said, "Does anyone else live in the unicorn/donkey dorm?"

      Magnus replied, "Well, there is the farm; a rather large kangaroo teacher teaches there. Aside from that, a few non-human students live in the dorm. I am sure they will all be friendly as long as you are open minded enough to make an effort at making friends."

      End of Chapter 03


        Chapter 04 - Dorm Assignment.

        "Kangaroo Teacher?"

        Magnus explained, "He is one of the non-human teachers I told you about. Were-Kangaroo, for the record."

        "So is he, you know, contagious?"

        Magnus replied, "He says that he isn't. But as far as I know, no one has ever slept with him either. He teaches herbal magic and potion research. He has an apothecary, as well."

        Baxter hummed. "Potion research."

        Magnus further explained, "The Marsupial has two apothecaries; one is on the Moon-touched Dorm floor where his Outback themed main homestead station is located. The other is within the Unicorn/Donkey Dorm floor. The one there is his classroom. He has a ton of Joey children whom sometimes act a lot younger than they are in reality. I'll introduce you to him after I show you where his farm is located. Just remember that all of his naughty joeys will be at the actual living homestead; not at the classroom."

        Baxter said, "I get the feeling that my friend Rafael will try to find me later. And when he can't, he may attempt to use a pick axe to break the wall where he last saw me. Not to mention, you never removed the memory of some of the book bindings he read out loud, or of the ones I read to him when we were in the book store originally. Overall, he isn't a bad friend, just a bit stubborn, despite his taunting the bullies that he had conned before we ran into that alleyway."

        Magnus hummed. "So you think I should bring him back inside with us?"

        Baxter replied, "It might be safer that way; otherwise he would tell anyone that would listen that I disappeared down a dead end alleyway until someone whom might have hated the school before admits that the alleyway does lead to this place. And I like this place so far."

        Magnus looked to his two familiars. "I better retrieve Baxter's friend and test him to see if he is capable of acquiring the Spark the alternate way. Regardless, Baxter saw the door so we know he can learn magic."

        Baxter remarked, "If you offer my friend the liquid excrement, don't tell him that's what it is; he might learn a valuable lesson from it. When I originally moved to the big city, most other teenagers didn't care to want to know whom I was; Raf was the only one to give me a chance at a friendship. Later I found out why. He wasn't well liked by the popular crowd. He said that outcasts like us should stay together and form our own friendship group since no one else would make the effort. The teachers in the normal school were different; one said he could tell that I had the ability to puzzle out clues to complex puzzles and I could do better with friendship with anyone other than that crooked Rafael. But until today, Raf never gave me any reason to doubt his sincerity."

        Magnus said, "So a normal teacher could tell you had the Spark, but he didn't want to call it that. Give me a moment, I'm about to summon your friend back to this spot next to the barn we are standing beside. The story is that we brought him into one of the Dorms to get some fresh air to help him recover. I'll undo the forget magic I placed on him so he isn't angry upon awakening here. I just want to protect the school we are in; I care about this place. Once you make some non-human friends in the Eldritch Academy and learn some real magic, then you might start liking and caring about this place as much as I do." He turned to face the ground at the base of the barn and he wove his magic toward an open grassy spot. Rafael appeared propped up against the barn wall. He looked as if he was just waking up.

        Rafael blinked his eyes and asked, "Where are we, Baxter? Where did the book store go?"

        Baxter calmly explained what had happened when Raf fainted over hearing and seeing the talking animals, whom were granted speech via magic and how he and Magnus had moved him into one of the dorms to give Raf some fresh air.

        Rafael glanced around. "This is a dorm? A little world of it's own inside the building we were in? I know you said you originally came from a farm; what other dorms are there?"

        Baxter replied as he could tell that Magnus was relearning the spells he had cast. "There are five levels to the dorm building. Seawolf/Otter, Unicorn/Donkey, Werewolf/Were-Kangaroo, Dragon/Drake, and Phoenix/Digimon. Magnus said that I could choose the floor I wished to have room housing within. While you were out, I filled out a registration form and accepted the inoculation so I could learn some magic. I chose the Unicorn/Donkey level which turned out to house these farm lands. One of the non-human teachers has a classroom within one of the buildings here. He teaches potion crafting." Baxter chose to leave it at that to prevent Rafael from fainting again from hearing of a giant Were-Kangaroo boomer with a pouch. "Magnus implied that we could make friends with some of the non-human youths in the dorms."

        He then asked, "Do any of the dorm levels catch your attention, Raf? I know you aren't fond of farms, so maybe one of the other areas?"

        Rafael replied, "I've always liked Dragons ever since I saw that cartoon Flight of Dragons on TV. That smaller mere dragon, Secoh, was certainly mistreated by the main dragons. You just had to feel sorry for him. Are any students in that Dorm level?"

        Baxter stated, "Magnus mentioned a boy with a drake familiar staying up there. When we entered the book shop, he thought the other boy had come back from an educational outing he had made."

        Rafael said, "I would have someone to talk to if that was the case. I know you like farms but since your parents moved you into the city, you don't get to see too many open parks and meadows around here. Does anyone else live in this dorm?"

        Magnus saved Baxter some embarrassment at that point. "There are some non-human citizens and students on every level; once Baxter starts meeting with them, they will come out of hiding and be friendly to him. If you want to sign up to learn magic here yourself, we can get you started with one of the alternate tests to see if you are capable of learning magic at all. Otherwise, you would only be around as a support friend for Baxter and Medivh. He is the other boy on the Dragon/Drake level. His familiar is an enlarged Fire Drake whom looks like a small dragon; Karazan hates getting wet. On the other claw, as he would put it, Medivh is a lousy cook."

        Rafael stated, "I am game to learn some magic if you give me the chance. I knew Baxter had to be someone special if you found that he could learn magic. That one teacher in school said he was a puzzle and calculations expert."

        Magnus said, "Some people are allergic to Pixie Honey; that's why I said we might have to test you with the alternate methods to give you the ability to learn magic. Baxter passed the initial examination easily. And don't lie if the Pixie Honey makes you sick. You could die."

        Baxter remarked, "That would be like saying you want the bullies to smile at your agony and gloat over your getting sick."

        Rafael growled a bit. "Not on my watch! Sign me up; those bullies won't be gloating over me!"

        End of Chapter 04


          Chapter 05 - Testing Rafael.

          Magnus showed Baxter to a nice looking cottage near a meadow and a babbling brook close to a nearby grove of trees and within sight of the Were-Kangaroo's classroom building. Leaving Baxter there to get settled in, Magnus took Rafael back to registration and had him fill out the registration forms, exactly as Baxter had. While Raf was doing this, he prepared a series of spoons in various colors, each dipped in a light coating of the alternate inoculation fluids and one dipped lightly in Pixie Drake Honey. A spare was simply dipped in sugar water.

          If Rafael liked the sugar water the best, then he would have to be sent away. It was a stupid test, but an honest one.

          Rafael soon said, "Those were some weird forms, but I am all done. What's next?"

          As he had with Baxter, Magnus used a mystic stamp to notarize the registration form before he had Rafael take a drink of ordinary water. "That is to neutralize the fluids in your mouth before the final test. We have a barf bucket right here just in case. Now one at a time, pick up a colored spoon and suck on the light coating of fluids that I placed on each one. When you stick a spoon in your mouth, there will be some kind of flavor to it; try to ignore that. The test is to see which one you can stomach. A word of warning, I've added a decoy spoon which only has sugar water on it. If you choose that one over the others, then you fail and I'll have to send you home with no memory of this place nor of Baxter. After each spoon, tilt your face over the bucket before swallowing and waiting a minute or two."

          Magnus then said, "If you start to feel sick at any time, throw up in the bucket. Don't just suffer through it to ensure your being able to stay. Sugar Water equals instant fail. If you are able to stay healthy on any of the others, then you get to stay and receive the full inoculation."

          Rafael began the test. Each spoon had the taste of something unusual on it. "Number two is the Sugar Water spoon. Number Three is rather tasty. Don't know what it is, but I taste the tingly in it." And after spoon number four, he had to throw up. It was the Pixie Drake Honey Spoon. Number one had been the Dragon Blood Spoon. Number Three had been the Dragon Cum Spoon. Number Five was the Dragon Spit Spoon. And the last spoon was the Dragon Manure Spoon. "That last one is manageable, but nasty." he took a drink of the water, gargled with it and spit out any of the nasty taste still in his mouth. "Now what do I do, Magnus?"

          Magnus said, "You scored the same as Medivh. Rather strange that you had the same reaction he had. That doesn't happen very often. Would you want the Dragon variety of the inoculation or the Drake Variety? The dragon version is going to taste the same but be more acidic; the Drake version will have a smoother and more mild sensation as you receive it. And before you ask, Medivh chose the Drake version of the inoculation. He had a bad reaction to the Dragon version. Still, it is your choice. You are capable of learning magic, but you will need more than I gave Baxter. He's a natural while you are capable of being charged up permanently."

          Rafael said, "I'd like to try the dragon version first. There has to be something I am different in than Medivh. I've never heard of the guy so I know we shouldn't be related."

          Magnus summoned a jar containing a clear filmy liquid and handed it to Rafael. "Open and drink all of this slowly until the jar is empty. It contains what you tasted on the Third Spoon. If you succeed, then you will prove that you're different from Medivh. And the inoculation will be complete. I need to watch you in case you have a bad reaction to this version. You might just surprise us all. If you can do this, I will speak on your behalf to the dragons here at the school. Drinking this entirely will impress them and they will see you as an ally that they will want to assist during your learning. Once this is done, I will show you to the Dragon/Drake dorm level. It is two floors above the level Baxter is settling into."

          Rafael carefully opened the jar and touched his tongue to the liquid. "Yes, this is what was on the spoon all right. Let's do this." And he tipped the jar up to his mouth and began to drink the fresh Dragon Cum down his throat. At first, all seemed to be okay. But as Rafael finished drinking the last drop of the dragon fluids, His eyes glowed and a dragon like tail began to grow out of Rafael's tail bone. His eyes had taken on the slitted dragon eye appearance. The slight bulge in his pants seemed to flatten out as something unseen occurred within the pants themselves. And then, after Raf set the jar down, he found himself nearly bent over as the back under his shirt bulged unexpectedly as a pair of small dragon wings ripped out of his shirt into full view. And then his skin began to covered in fine scales. "What's the...?"

          Before Magnus could cast a spell to undo the effect, Rafael's face formed into a dragon like snout. Overall, the young man looked like a humanoid red dragon. Then Rafael straightened himself back upright. "There was a little pain, but it went away. Why are you looking at me like that? What happened just now? I won't be mad, Magnus. You said magic was commonplace around here. Please tell me." When the Witch Boy didn't reply right away, Raf lifted his scaly claw-like hands and felt of his face/snout only to see the fine red scales all over his hands. "I changed species? Is this what happened to Medivh?"

          Magnus said, "We can teach you the spell for changing yourself between this form and your human form whenever you like. And no, this isn't the effect that Medivh had. When he tried what you just did, he accidentally torched himself when he seemed to catch fire."

          Rafael said, "And I didn't erupt in flame, so I succeeded where he couldn't. This is sorta cool. The bullies would never recognize me. I really want to learn some magic now." Raf didn't seem upset by this outcome; he was more excited than ever.

          Magnus said, "Baxter won't recognize you either. Let's get you up to the Dragon/Drake dorm level. I'll need to grab the keys." And he went to fetch them.

          The European Raven remarked, "If the instructors saw this result, they would be giving Magnus a lecture on safety."

          The cat said, "And how! I remember the last lecture Magnus got when the school was full of students!"

          Rafael asked the animals, "Will something like this happen to Baxter?"

          The raven replied, "That depends upon whom he meets. Since Magnus is helping you there is no telling whom he might encounter on the Unicorn/Donkey dorm level. He could even meet the apothecary instructor though I doubt it since today is bath day at his homestead."

          The cat grinned. "Those unruly kids of his hate getting baths; you would think they were Karazan with how they react about soap and water."

          The raven smirked. "Agreed. Although they do like to see naked human boys."

          Rafael smiled. "Baxter is rather modest about being naked in from of other people of our kind. I've only seen him naked during dress out in the school's locker room during P.E. He had quite the erection then. Made my cock look small."

          Magnus returned with the keys. "I finally found the right keys. I guess Medivh was the last to mess with the keys. Let's go, Rafael. Eventually, your clothes won't feel good on your current body. I am glad you didn't rip your pants when your tail grew out. Sorry about the shirt."

          Rafael asked as he walked with Magnus, "What happened to my shirt? It looks fine in the front."

          Magnus replied, "Your small dragon wings ripped right through the back of your shirt. You don't feel the draft back there? Anyway, we can get you new clothes after we teach you the species reversion spell. Come on, it's this way."

          End of Chapter 05


            Chapter 06 - Unicorns, Donkeys and Were-Kangaroos.

            Baxter had removed his pants, shirt, socks and shoes and he was outside and sitting brook side enjoying the warm weather and letting his feet soak in the water. It was while he was enjoying himself that a donkey and a unicorn poked their heads out of the woods on the other side of the brook. When they saw the nice boy, both males smiled as the donkey asked, "New student, kid?" The unicorn commented, "I hope so; he smells good. We live here on this dorm level. I'm called Clipper and he is called Dripper. His sire gave him that poor name."

            Dripper said, "I am just glad that Clipper is my friend. We are study aids for students around this area. We sometimes help Lord Rook with his alchemy class, but we can assist in any subject. Whom are you? And are you enjoying the nice feeling water?"

            "I am called Baxter Knightmane, but most people don't bother with my surname, so you can just call me Baxter. I just signed up today. Magnus took my friend to test his spark ability. What were you guys doing on the other side of the stream just now?"

            Clipper smiled. "We were watching Rook's son Rony collecting Pumice stones for his father. The Quintet hid the supply they had at the homestead the next dorm level up from here. They use the pumice in their bathing sessions to remove nasty smells."

            Dripper said, "Rony took his bath first so he got the privilege to come collect the pumice stones. We told him we would come see whom was enjoying the brook while he collected the stones. And I am very glad we did. Clipper suggested that you were still virgin. True?"

            Baxter smiled and nodded his head. "I am not versed in sex as yet, but I've already developed quite the large cock; Rafael Stargazer is actually jealous of my goods. I know he's no longer virgin; he was raped when he was younger, he said."

            Dripper said with a smile. "Would you like to walk with us on this side of the brook for a while? You won't meet any other humans in here. You could remove your underwear and leave them in your cottage, if you wanted. We aren't wearing anything."

            Baxter got up and he removed his underwear and placed them inside his cottage, then he came back and walked with the donkey and the unicorn directly between the two as they traveled through the quiet woods.

            After crossing what seemed like three more streams and traversing another set of meadows and woods, they arrived at what seemed like a field of smooth clay mud and there were more donkeys and unicorns around the field with a inflated reddish brown rubber ball. Clipper said, "This is our gaming field. Hey guys! Our dorm level got a new student whom is a pretty nice guy and open-minded enough to let us see him naked! We asked him to come with us so he could watch one of our games on the back side of the dorm level! His name is Baxter Knightmane! His friend was going to be residing on the Dragon/Drake level. Magnus went to get Rafael Stargazer settled in!" Then mentally to the playful herd, he added, {In truth, we will likely never see the other boy again. We got the jackpot for Baxter choosing our dorm.}

            Baxter picked up the game ball and said, "So how does this game work?" The scent of the ball made his anus feel as if he needed one of their cocks inside of it.

            Clipper said, "Being fair to each side, you throw the ball into play to each side. Then we kick the ball across the field between the four metal poles until the ball comes to a stop within the center of the poles. The side that made the ball cross the center position the most times wins that round. As the referee, it is your job to fetch the ball to start the next round. We usually have Rony helping us with this game, but since he is gathering pumice stones, we are glad to have you here. There are ten rounds per game. If the ball goes out of bounds, simply fetch it and throw it back to the side that made the ball go outside the court. Then play resumes as normal until the ball stops near the center. We get pretty excited during play sessions. We bathe in the closest streams after a game ends. And if you get a little dirty, same story."

            Baxter smiled. "That doesn't sound so hard. As an incentive to win, the winners can get a kiss from me and the losers will get a hug. Let's get this game going. Try not to kill each other, okay?"

            The players took their positions on either side of the clay mud field and then Baxter through the ball into play. The kick play was fast and furious; the offer of the winners getting a kiss apparently made the donkeys and the unicorns play a lot better than usual. Baxter had to fetch the ball when it stopped which in truth wasn't all that hard and the ball did exit the field a few times and Baxter retrieved the ball to get it back in play. During the last round, the unicorns were ahead by one; if the donkeys could win the last round then it would be a tie and a tie breaker would have to be played to determine the final winning side. At least that's what Baxter had thought.

            The donkeys kicked the ball one last time and the ball struck the central post on the Unicorn's side of the central zone before bouncing off of a side post and landing directly in the center of the neutral zone. Clipper said, "And that's the final point. Scores will be tallied."

            Dripper said, "Baxter, fetch the game ball for us. The last time we left it out here, the Quintet stole it and tried to have sex with it."

            Baxter was waiting for the tallies to be counted, so he would know whom got the kisses and whom got the hugs; but when Dripper mentioned the game ball, Baxter headed out to fetch the ball for the nice hoofies.

            As he arrived in the middle of the clay mud playing field, he bent down and grabbed the ball and as he was about to stand up again, he suddenly felt the clay mud under his feet break swiftly and fast as he sank straight down into the soft sticky and gooey field; this action made him throw the ball toward Dripper and the others. He took a deep breath just moments before he sank under the surface of the clay mud over his head and before he could resurface, he felt something prehensile and nice feeling enter his anal hole followed by what felt like a soft yet firm and sticky canine like knot which almost made him release the breath he took. He jerked a few times to get free of whatever had him stuck under the surface of the clay mud. Then he felt a sensation inside his rump that he never felt before as fluids flowed into him.

            He then felt two hands grab a hold of his shoulders and they began to haul him up out of the clay mud, which naturally dragged whatever he was stuck to up out of the clay mud pool with him.

            Topside, Dripper and Clipper watched as Rony the Were-Kangaroo son of Lord Rook hauled Baxter out of the sticky clay; but what surprised them more was the shape of what got pulled out along with Baxter. Rony wiped the clay mud off of Baxter's face and eyes and away from his mouth. "'ow are yas feeling, mate? Clipper called for me the moment yas sank into the field Ah'm Rony, Lord Rook's son. Ah am sure dad will forgive me for getting my paw-hands dirty so soon after a bath especially when 'e learns that Ah saved a sexy cute 'uman boy from drowning in the clay mud field. But what is this shape connected to yer bottom-side? Good thing Ah am powerful enough to pull the both of yas out of this clay or Ah'd never 'ave gotten yas free of this. Yas know... this blob is in the shape of an adult unicorn."

            Transporting the boy and the blob of clay to the nearby stream, the clay was washed off of the two, revealing just how sexy Baxter really was in the nude; but once the clay was removed from the blob, it revealed a unicorn instructor that both herds recognized.

            Clipper exclaimed, "Lord Purehorn! I thought you left with the others when they migrated to the United Kingdom to set up a magic school over there! How did you get to the bottom of the clay mud field where we like to play Clay Ball at?"

            Lord Purehorn slowly came out of his meditative suspended animation and he calmly worked on freeing himself from Baxter's backside. "Rony, help the boy to get the unicorn egg out of his rump that he accidentally caused me to induce him to create. I can cast a cleansing spell to clean your arms and paw-hands afterward. I will speak to Rook on your behalf. As for your question, Clipper, when I disagreed with the other instructors' reasoning for moving the school to Scotland, they knocked me out and sank me into your playing field under the stipulation that if a sexy human boy fell into the same spot they put me in, his bodily contact with me would free me of the spot I was stuck in. Therefore, Baxter saved my life just now."

            Baxter now saw how handsomely sexy and erection inducing Lord Purehorn was. "What will become of the egg you accidentally caused to form up my butt? Magnus was supposed to help me to learn how to claim a familiar after I signed up here at the Eldritch Academy."

            Lord Purehorn smiled. "I will raise the young unicorn myself; you will have visitation rights, of course. And knowing Magnus, he got distracted by the other boy that I sense you arrived with. His familiars are more focused than he is."

            End of Chapter 06


              Chapter 07 - Setting Up Rafael's Castle.

              At the Dragon/Drake dorm floor, the door was unlocked and within was multiple caverns, castle ruins, and dismal dark swamps. All ideal dragon lairs. Magnus then said, "Word of warning, a place that looks like ruins or a crumbling tower will most likely get used by dragons as a fly-by-night toilet. The more intact a place is, the safer it is from nasty surprises. Are you ready to meet the dragons and drakes on this dorm floor?"

              Rafael asked, "Wouldn't they be asleep at this hour?"

              Magnus rolled his eyes. "Goes to show you where my mind went! You are right. I am just excited to get new students in the school. A few dragons and drakes may be awake as some have day jobs and every dorm floor has a non-human instructor living within it somewhere."

              Rafael said as he looked across the landscape, "Oh my gods above.... It's.....amazing in here. I like the castles tho.... They look really cool." He then pointed at one with a tower still intact. "Think I could set up a room there?"

              Magnus replied, "You will see several like that. Medivh has one like that, but I am sure it isn't that one. If you want it, you can go claim it. Just remember that towers like that sometimes have multiple rooms or even bedrooms in them."

              Rafael asked, "Are the tower rooms guaranteed here on this dorm level?"

              Magnus remarked, "Clean and furnish them yourself, or make do with what you find there. I remember Medivh complaining about how filthy the tower he cleaned up was. I think he had to clean something off of his feet and legs, if that gives you a visual." He winked.

              Rafael said, "I'm not afraid of hard work...." And then he told Magnus a little about what _HE_ had to do less than six years ago with the animals on his father's 'farm' before he got the Hell out of the South. "As for Medivh, sounds to me like he stepped in something in the tower... something soft or worse... Something deep."

              Magnus said, "I remember he smelled like turpentine and vodka after he was done bathing."

              Rafael giggled.

              Magnus stated, "I believe he said it was the vodka that helped clean it off the best. I know he lost a whole suit of clothes in whatever he stepped in."

              Rafael replied, "Damn... That's rather....extensive. But... I'm going to go see what's what." And he started off for the castle and tower.

              Magnus said, "Watch your step, Rafael. I need to go check on Baxter and get his familiar acquisition training started. And he departed the Dragon/Drake dorm level to head back down below.

              Rafael set off across the pocket dimension landscape toward the castle and tower he had spotted. The whole pocket dimension had an odd drake/dragon byproduct scent, along the ground itself. Rafael tilted his head, "Weird..." Then there was the obvious 'being watched' feeling to the place. He looked around... Trying to find the source as he headed toward the castle, curious who else might be there. Rafael was wondering why he's being watched tho. He plodded on toward the castle, thinking about how to clean it up. The 'being watched' feeling doesn't go away, as Rafael closed in on the castle. But right as he reached the tower itself...

              "New student? I don't see an Inoculation Patch."

              Rafael irked! as he quickly looked around.

              Sitting off to the side in a near cloak of shadows is a large red dragon with wire frame glasses and a clipboard. He's also wearing a lab coat.

              Rafael looked way up ('true dragon' to 'anthro dragon'?) at the dragon, "" A bit of both, but hard to tell. Mainly looked anthro with that lab coat on. Rafael's eyes were staring holes through the scales almost. But at least he didn't pass out this time. The moment was probably going to last a while. But when the long moment had passed, he walked over and asked, "Can.... I touch you?"

              The red dragon replied, "If you don't think you'll burn your hands, you may."

              Rafael said, "Are you... That hot? If you were burnable, I would have expected the lab coat to be singed..." Rafael was quite ... observant usually. "Of course it could be a fire-resistant fabric but the slight fraying and wear patterns seem to indicate natural fibers like cotton."

              The red dragon stated, "I just returned from the labs where I teach a class. I saw you walking across the landscape and noted that you didn't have the patch and I didn't recognize you as a local student or local drake."

              Rafael said, "Well, I am a new student actually... I chose to accept the alternate inoculation."

              The red dragon stated as a matter of fact, "I was going to say that you won't be able to learn any magic without the patch. But the alternate method works. I hope your changed form doesn't get you stuck that way. I would like to see your human form some day."

              Rafael nodded his head. "That is what Magnus said. Anyway, I was looking to claim a room or two in this tower but Magnus didn't say it was already occupied."

              The red dragon said, "And no, this tower isn't claimed, although I wouldn't step in there even if paid to. By the way, I am the dragon instructor in this dorm level called, ready for this? Gyrtharuragothovaeros, but for the students ease, that can be shortened to Gyr." {Gear.}

              Rafael raised a brow. "What do you mean that you wouldn't go in even if paid to?" He walked over to take a little look. Gyr replied, "It means that all of the internal structures have something left over that is deep and yucky to deal with." He made the ew-yuck face and shuddered. Rafael looked inside. The floor inside looked okay in the gloom. Then he pulled out a flashlight from his waist pack and shined it around to look better. The floor just looked too uncluttered to be real. He sighed a little, "This is gonna be a work." He shook his head and looked at Gyr. "How could I get some supplies to get started?" Gyr replied, "Janitorial Supply Building. North side of the courtyard. You will find all you need in there. I am glad you were smart enough to not just step in there."

              Rafael then said, "Well, I will have no choice when I get back but... I wanted this castle." He smiled at the Dragon, "Thanks for the directions, Gyr." He headed off to get the stuff. And he didn't complain even once. Gyr wouldn't be standing there when Rafael returned.

              End of Chapter 07


                Chapter 08 - Learning About Friends.

                When Magnus located Baxter sitting in the stream with all of the donkey jacks and unicorn bucks around him as well as Rony and Lord Purehorn, he thought he had come upon the unicorn instructor giving a lesson to the hoofies. But then Rony went over and explained to Magnus on how Baxter inadvertently saved Lord Purehorn from the sticky clay where the other instructors put him when he disagreed with those going to Scotland. He then explained that Baxter laid an egg for Purehorn and how the joey had to help get the egg out of boy.

                Magnus said, "So there isn't a class going on like I thought. Where are Baxter's clothes? He only has one set of clothes here at the school. If he ends up permanently naked, he might be too embarrassed to be seen around the school."

                Rony said, "'e removed them and left them in 'is cottage when Clipper and Dripper asked 'im if 'e would go with them to referee a game of Clay Ball, since Ah was doing a task for my father. Pure'orn contacted Rook and vouched for my assisting 'im. Dad is still trying to bathe my brothers; yas remember 'ow much they 'ate getting baths, don't yas?" He then grinned. "Ah got mine out of the way first and Ah was staying clean until Ah 'ad to 'elp Baxter and Pure'orn get out of the clay field's soft and sticky center. Ah 'ad paw-'ands and the 'oofies didn't. So they 'ad me 'aul the two out of the clay mud. Turns out that Baxter is only nervous about being naked in front of other 'umans. As long as we're non-'uman, 'e doesn't mind our seeing 'im naked."

                Magnus said, "I hope Baxter remembers that I told him that I am a Witch Boy; not a human at all like he and Rafael are. Raf got transformed by using the alternate inoculation method. I offered to teach him the polymorph spell later so he could switch between his forms."

                Rony grinned. "What did 'e end up as?"

                Magnus replied, "A slender human-sized Red-scaled Draconian; snout, tail, wings and slit. I personally don't think Rafael noticed his cock becoming a slit under his pants."

                Rony giggled. "So the bloke became a cunt joey! Baxter will feel sorry for 'im when 'e learns of the accident!"

                Magnus said, "There wouldn't have been an accident if the patch didn't cause an allergic reaction in the boy; just like Medivh. But Medivh didn't change forms by taking the drake alternative. Rafael drank the dragon alternative and never looked sick once."

                Rony escorted Magnus over to where Purehorn was seated as he listened to current events from the jacks and bucks. "Lord Pure'orn, Magnus came to fetch Baxter for the follow-up lesson involving gaining 'is first familiar. 'e was surprised as we all were that yas were 'ere."

                Purehorn looked to Magnus. "You haven't changed a bit, Magnus Arcane. I was getting an update from my fellow hoofies; I hope to get back into teaching magic basics around here. Lord Rook will need to witness the new students getting their first familiars unless you have been telling people that the old rule isn't in effect anymore; and you know that is illegal among magic users. I am a stickler for Eldritch Academy rules, Magnus. If you were planning on letting new students mess up just so you could have a good laugh, I'll have Rook bend you over his knee as he would any of his brood."

                Rony was keeping his muzzle shut about what the Witch Boy had told him earlier. But mentally, he told Purehorn everything. He was a GOOD Were-Kangaroo joey.

                Magnus looked pale as if he had been caught with his hands in the cookie jar.

                Baxter had Clipper and Dripper help him sneak out of the stream and back to his cottage so he could get dried off and get his clothes back on. He told the two that he would undress again when the Witch Boy wasn't around. The magical pointy eared young man just made him nervous to be around the magic user with two familiars whom didn't seem to be around all the time. "I don't mind being naked around you guys and your brothers. But Magnus makes me uneasy to be around him. I think Rafael likes Magnus more than he presented himself to me. If there were other magic users around for me to pal around with, I might get settled in better. Don't get me wrong; I really like the two of you. Magnus just seems to like the idea of watching new students mess up more than a few times."

                Clipper remarked, "He didn't used to be that way; but after the school nearly emptied out, his manners really changed."

                Dripper added, "Magnus' familiars have better manners than he does currently. If you have trouble talking to Magnus, direct your messages through his familiars. You will have better luck that way. Just remember that Magnus is not the Dean, nor is he an instructor."

                Clipper said, "He is a student like you and your friend; and Medivh as well. The most powerful Instructor would make for the best Dean of the school. He is a Kitsune in the top most Dorms. Zune has seven sexy fox tails. He specializes in Illusion Magic and you won't find a more honest instructor at the school aside from Purehorn. The others tend to fib now and then. Here is the name list for Instructors for each dorm level: Phoenix/Kitsune Level: Zune, Illusionist Specialist; the Phoenix instructors' names are almost never mentioned. Dragon/Drake Level: Gyrtharuragothovaeros, shortened to Gyr for the students, Element Lab specialist. He is a red dragon; Krysm, Divination Specialist; she is a Diamond Drake. Werewolf/Were-Kangaroo Level: Logan Apollo, Night Magic Specialist, Werewolf; Rook, Apothecary Specialist, Were-Kangaroo with ninety some odd kids. More than half are unruly and naughty. Rony and Rolan are the most trustworthy. Unicorn/Donkey Level: Purehorn, Purification Specialist and basics of magic as he told you already, Snow White Unicorn buck; Gamewick, Recreation Magic Specialist, Donkey jack. He created the Clay Ball for our game. Seawolf/Otter Level: Rovina, Storm Specialist, Seawolf bitch; Lutros, Para-Elemental Specialist and sex therapist, male Otter. Rabbit/Hare Level: Cadabros, Advanced Magic Specialist, buck Rabbit. Magnus doesn't mention the advanced magic section of the school. Not to mention, the rabbit level is the yiffiest dorm level in the entire school. If you were to move in there, you'd be getting gay sex every night. But they would also keep you well fed. They are excellent cooks, but they tend to sleep in one big mass in the communal quarters. Otherwise, you could get a private room for study purposes."

                Baxter said, "So Magnus refrained from mentioning all of the Dorm Levels; sounds a bit underhanded to me and that's another strike against him. I expect honesty from my friends if they want to retain that friendship with me. Rafael learned this during the last few years. He almost lost my friendship early on and he made with the apologies and asked for another chance to be a real friend. I almost said no, but then the razzers in school made comments about his act that they have seen many times before. And then just before we found the school's entrance, Rafael taunted a local street gang after he had conned them; he told me it would be fun to put bad people in their place. I got us into the book shop and closed the door behind us. The gang had no idea where we went. Initially, Rafael couldn't see the door."

                Dripper made a face on his muzzle. "Sounds to me like he was leading you along in the belief that you would be a good friend for him to use any time he needed a distraction for his own safety. Others tried to warn you about him and you blew them off since they also did not want to be your friend. Then the normal school's counselor told you that you could do better in friends than being with Rafael; a second confirmation on what the others were saying; and you took that to mean that you should give Rafael a chance. But when he taunted the gang members and you guys had to run; it might have been better to split up because the gang could only follow one of you. Entering the dead end alleyway leading to the magic school was whose original idea? Think about it."

                Baxter replied, "Rafael told me to hang a right at the next corner and we could lose these guys down the alley, but then we saw that the alley didn't go all the way through. I know I heard the gang stop at the entrance to the alleyway saying that 'loud mouth' made a mistake."

                Clipper said, "As in he had taunted and escaped from that gang before. He doesn't sound like a good friend for you to be keeping in your circle since if you hadn't found the school, the two of you might have landed in the hospital. And now he chooses a separate Dorm."

                Dripper stated, "And according to the information I am getting out of Magnus' mind, Rafael was going to ask you to room with him at the Castle/Tower that he was going to claim on the Dragon/Drake level after you had already made your Dorm choice."

                Baxter was upset at this information. "Time to see about getting my initial familiar. If you guys are right about Rafael, then I should stop defending him since he is just using me. And he had been in trouble with that gang before, apparently. Let's go see what Magnus has in mind."

                End of Chapter 08


                  Chapter 09 - Reporting in to Rook.

                  Magnus took Baxter to the farm near the back side of the Werewolf/Were-Kangaroo dorm region. Also known as the Moon-touched Dorm. It was a wonderful looking homestead with a wooden fence around the place. And the gardens looked well taken care of, too. But the thing that would get the most attention were the shouts of young joey voices and of the older voice growling about their getting in the bath tub now... or else.

                  Magnus knocked on the homestead door with Baxter standing close by. "Lord Rook? I realize you are giving baths, but we have a new student who chose Donkey as his dorm. May we come inside?"

                  Then quietly to Baxter, he added, "He was quite the breeder when he was the joeys' age. Who knows now."

                  Baxter said, "Maybe Rook didn't hear us, Magnus."

                  Magnus grinned. "He hears everything. But those kids are loud today."

                  The door opened and a teenage joey said, "Maggie? 'ello... Dad's _all_ the way in the back." Then he grinned. "And it's super slippery and super wet all over the back. One of the other joeys broke a Jar of Rook's Rooer. Be careful."

                  Magnus said, "Hi joey boy. This is Baxter. He's chosen the floor below for his dorm in the school. We are here to get your father's assistance in helping Baxter in acquiring his first familiar. Wait until you hear what happened to his friend upstairs."

                  The joey nodded his muzzle. "Sure." He poked Magnus at that point. "I'm Rolan. You always forget me from Rony." He smiled at Baxter with a grin. "Yer nice looking; unlike some Witch Boys. Both of yas come with me and watch your step... unless you want to be a roo!"

                  Baxter said, "Thanks, Rolan." He and Magnus started to follow Rolan carefully. "Are you a regular joey or a student of the school?"

                  Rolan laughed. "I'm Rook's oldest son!" He is a rather bouncy person but then he's a roo; a rather Americanized roo though. Not as much of an accent as you heard from his father. "But I get out." He shot a wink at the nice boy. "I'm not a 'regular' student. But I do take a few private lessons from some of the teachers. And the human disguise spell I learned, I use quite a bit." He giggled cutely.

                  Baxter looked around the floors and walls as they walked. "Why is everything so wet and sparkly? Is that Rook's Rooer you mentioned?"

                  Rolan said, "I'm also a teacher, sort of... I teach a Kick boxing sports class on your Dorm Level. And I'm not even sixteen yet!" Another giggle, although he looked _very_ adult though. As _cute_ as a joey but as big and strong as an adult; a real 'catch'. Rolan said, "No that's cause we were cleaning it up with a magic remover." He pointed to some _big_ wet spots of roo brown furry looking spots. "That's the rooer." And he hops across a big swatch of it and said, "The bathing chambers are down this hall."

                  Magnus and Baxter carefully step around the stuff, following Rolan. "I am almost afraid to ask how many joeys are in this homestead. Never a dull moment, huh?"

                  Rolan grinned back. "_Never_ a dull moment."

                  Magnus remarked, "Even though he isn't mentioning it, Baxter, the exact number of siblings counting himself is ninety-four. Purehorn told me that you expect honesty from people, so that is the answer to your question."

                  Rolan showed the two into a large landing with a sturdy railing overlooking the bathing tubs below where absolute chaos was the order of the day. "'ere we are, mates! Dad! Magnus and a new student whom actually has manners are 'ere to see ya!"

                  Baxter smiled and gave Rolan a small hug and a nose kiss. "Thanks, Rolan. I suppose you will be returning to the front to get back to the cleaning. Maybe I will see you later."

                  Rolan grinned and kissed back with a fond lick! "Students with manners are a rare treat for the Instructors at the Eldritch Academy. You keep that manner of act going and everyone will like you."

                  Magnus looked over the railing and soon he spotted Rook holding a sud covered, though fighting back, joey directly under an open spigot of hot water. "I see Rook over there. We should just stay out of his way or we might get dragged into those wash tubs by the others."

                  Baxter glanced over where Magnus was indicating. "Wow, he is a big one. I wonder how he fits down his own hallways in this homestead?"

                  Rook grinned as he lifted his voice in a reply. "The 'allways and rooms are a lot bigger than they appear to yas; magic, of course. As yas both can see, Ah am busy with the monthly chore. Ah wouldn't 'ave to do this if they cleaned themselves after an outing. What yas need?"

                  Baxter said, "We saw Rony down on the Unicorn/Donkey Level gathering the pumice stones. I offered to bring what he had gathered up here for you. Magnus will tell you the rest." He held up the pumice sack within full view of Rook.

                  And the sack disappeared and reappeared to a spot next to where Rook was standing. "Now maybe Ah'll get these joeys clean!"

                  Magnus loudly said, "Purehorn was located and he reminded me that when new students get their first familiar, a trusted instructor should witness the new student's effort! I almost forgot the rule since it's been a long time since we have had anyone new sign up!"

                  Rook said, "Take Baxter back down to the Unicorn/Donkey Dorm Level to my Apothecary classroom farm! We will conduct the exercise there. Let 'im look over the familiar choices book. Each page 'as pictures and information about every interested species that wants to be a familiar! When Ah finish cleaning these mud pies, Ah'll come down to witness the summoning attempt! Tell Rolan that Ah am giving 'im permission to go witness Baxter's first attempt! Rony can watch, too! If more of my joeys be'aved themselves, then they would get that privilege too! But since they love to make messes, they get to be in gilded canary cages tonight!"

                  A collective "NO!!!!!" was muttered loudly by all of the joeys where ever they happened to be!

                  Baxter looked to Magnus. "Let's get back to the Dorm below. You didn't mention there was a book to look through. Just like you didn't mention all six Dorm Levels. Clipper and Dripper told me about it as well as the names of the instructors still at the academy."

                  Rook arched an eye. "Seems that Baxter learned about some things yas forgot to mention or chose not to mention! Don't plan on 'iding from me after the familiar summoning because Pure'orn told me about yer activities! Ah 'ave a paddle with yer name on it!"

                  Magnus gulped as he took Baxter away from the Were-Kangaroo homestead. "Instructors often mentally tell each other information that makes you feel an inch tall. Figuratively not literally. But around here, that's possible."

                  End of Chapter 09


                    Chapter 10 - The Basics of Getting a Familiar.

                    Arriving at the apothecary farm building that Rook held his classes in, Baxter, Magnus, Rolan and Rony went inside where the large book of familiars was located. Baxter was glad that the book had visible tabs sectioning off all six dorm levels. Sadly, the rabbit section was quite thin; barely ten pages. The seawolf/otter section was the largest one provided. The unicorn/donkey section had double the number of the rabbits. The moon-touched section was as thin as the rabbit section. The dragon/drake section was numbered at triple the rabbit section. The phoenix/kitsune selection was as big as the unicorn/donkey section. A name was shown at the top of the page, along with the full color picture and a profile detailing the familiar to be. Thumbing through the book didn't impress Baxter as he read over each entry. He wondered if this was the only familiar book in the apothecary. He closed the book and went to the back of the chamber where more bookcases were located and he started looking over the titles of the other books.

                    Magnus was glad that Baxter was not interested in the boring selection of familiars. "Check bookcase number five, Baxter. I think Lord Rook keeps the other familiar books there."

                    Rony asked, "What was wrong with the familiar book that Rook keeps in the open, Baxter?"

                    Baxter slowly made his way over to bookcase number five. "Those in there have very stuffy and not-so-fun profiles. Read one and you'll see what I mean."

                    Rolan and Rony opened the familiar book and read a random entry quietly. It was Rony whom first made the expected remark of, "BORING!" Rolan smirked. "Ah can see why yas said stuffy now. Under likes, they listed the most yucky interests."

                    The two Were-Kangaroos both in unison said, "Boring familiars for boring mages! None of our brothers would choose any of these Emmy award winners!"

                    Magnus remarked, "If that is the book I am thinking it is, then this is the one that Rook uses to punish unruly underachieving students. The real one should be bookcase five or if you have to go further, bookcase six. But I'd be careful in that section. There are shortcut books in there as well. The pictures are dimensional gates to the realms the subject is sitting in. Movie ratings for shortcut books range from G to Triple X. The action in the portal pictures will be animated, so whatever they are doing, you will see and hear. And if they look up, they will be able to see and hear you, too. You can even go through a portal picture both ways as long as the book stays open. That's why you should be careful with books of that nature. You could get really lost by going in. Some realms have visitor rules before you can leave."

                    Since Baxter had his backpack with him, he stashed away three of the shortcut portal books that attracted his attention. {A Guide to Mice and Rabbits of the Planes}, {A guide to Hoofies of the Planes} and {A guide to Hybrids of the Planes}. This would be reading material later after hours, he figured. Then he found the Fun Familiars book and he brought it up front and showed everyone the title on the cover. Magnus said, "That's the better to use to find a good first familiar. You don't want a boring stuffy familiar as your first." Baxter opened the book and he said, "Now these profiles have a much better more interesting description tagged on to them. And the pictures are so interesting too. Now to see what's available."

                    Turning back to the Rabbit section of the book, he found a picture that seemed out of place. It was a horned jerboa (kangaroo mouse with long rabbit ears. The profile looked okay and then Baxter saw the statement line. [I'd be a familiar if it meant getting to see the surface world once again. But whom would want a boy turned Devil Jerboa all because I fucked up a wish to the wrong creature?] The name over the picture read a Jakra (Jake Rayne). Baxter was thinking, {If I made him my familiar, then maybe I could help to restore him to normal; I'd be his only hope of having that happen. And I might make a new friend out of this deal. I hope Rook doesn't veto my choosing this guy for this purpose. Where is Rook, anyway? An instructor is supposed to witness my getting a familiar.}

                    Baxter said to Magnus, "I found a cute creature I want to have as my familiar; but I need an instructor to witness my doing this." He poked his head out the door and saw Rook and Purehorn standing there having a quiet conversation. "Were you going to wait to see if I messed this up, Rook? We've been waiting for you. I found a potential familiar I want to claim under a one-year trial basis and let me explain as to why." He showed them the picture in the Fun Familiars Book and he pointed out the statement made by the individual. "My idea is this: he serve me as my familiar for a year and as long as he does what is to be expected of him and doesn't try to get me into some sort of trouble, then with the instructors' assistance, we change him back into his normal human self and if he wants it afterward, send him home."

                    He then added, "After that, I select my real familiar with one of you as my witness. Is this permissible or am I missing something?"

                    Purehorn arched an eye as he examined the picture in the rabbit section. Rook remarked, "Since he wasn't born that way, Baxter. There are some warnings and rules I need to instruct you in if you really want to do it this way. The reason you need this explanation is so you don't end up in the same quagmire he got into it. Since he wasn't born as that species, he cannot grant wishes as other Devil Mice can. Therefore, the underworld lord whom changed him might still be listening through his ears and can grant those wishes as if the kangaroo mouse is granting them. And if you accidentally make a wish in Jakra's presence and the wish gets granted, then you end up owing that lord a debt; same with saying you'd do anything to get some sort of outcome. The school prevents finders fees from accumulating."

                    And then Rook instructed Baxter in the specifics for how underworld lords love to entrap unsuspecting surface worlders, especially naive magic students. "Now that you under the risks of choosing him, do you still want to take a chance on him. I know you want to help him, but making him serve you isn't necessary." Baxter asked, "How can we help him without performing the Familiar link on him? He is listed in the familiars book." Rook hummed loudly. Purehorn then said, "One of us Instructors will call IDM services and ask them about this particular case. If the lord whom did this is dead, then the familiar linking might be possible. Otherwise, it is a nasty trick to play on new magic students to watch them get into the same nasty trouble the former victim is in." Baxter sighed. "Do it."

                    Purehorn called out, "Information Devil Mouse, Law Imp and Financial Imp, please!"

                    Three poofs occurred and the three underworld informants were floating in mid air in front of Purehorn. "You rang?"

                    Purehorn said, "Show these professionals the profile in the familiars book, Baxter. We need specifics on this victim's case in the underworld. It implies he used to be human, yet he is listed in the potential familiar's book. Is his Lord still alive? What are the details of this case?"

                    Baxter held the book open for the three underworld cute creatures. "I am Baxter Yale Knightmane, a new student here at the Eldritch Academy. I was to get my first familiar today and when I found his profile in the rabbit section of the book, his appearance and the statement given got my attention. I got to thinking that if I granted him the status of being my familiar for a year, he could earn his humanity back, if he was actually a human in the first place. Then he could be restored by one of the instructors and be free; afterward, I would get a new and real familiar. But Rook and Purehorn implied that I didn't have to make him be a familiar if I wanted to help restore him; and Rook warned me that the lord whom changed him could be listening through the victim's ears. And um... the devil mouse is good looking."

                    He then added, "You imps have a very smooth appearance; almost oily and shiny. I can't tell if that is sweat or real oil."

                    The IDM giggled. "Good looking after a thorough cleaning; and they are covered in oil. Now let's see what the imperial records have to say about this Devil Jerboa victim. I'll scan his picture and profile into my information finder." And he did so.

                    The Financial Imp said, "Darek Imp Kisume will get a kick out of this boy's description of us imps. Some people say we are nasty looking to be coated in lube."

                    Baxter arched an eye looking lost. "What's lube?"

                    The Law Imp smirked. "Way to go, dick for brains... This teenager has never heard of lube until your mentioning it." He leaned in close to the human. "It's a slimy fluid to help a human boy's penis fit better into a woman's pussy or a guy's tail hole."

                    End of Chapter 10
                    End of Episode One.

                    Stay tuned for the next episode, Fantastic Adventures.