“Fred, Fred, Fred, I’m sick of hearing about him!’ snapped Jess’s mum. ‘He rang the other day, and straight away you were off out to meet him. Haven’t you got any dignity? Any pride? Or will you just run off out at the beck and call of any Tom, Dick, or Harry?’
‘Well, I wouldn’t cross the road to see Tom or Dick, but if it was Prince Harry, well, now you’re talking!’ she said. Granny laughed. Mum looked cross and ran her fingers through her hair in a tragic and fatigued way.
I looked up and saw that Luke was shaking his hair out over the lake and tea was dripping out of it.
‘Oh my God, are you OK? I’m so sorry.’ I almost reached out and touched him, but managed to stop myself in time. ‘I prioritized the tea. I’m sorry.’
‘I prioritized the tea’ He started full on laughing which made me laugh, too. ‘Good to know you value me less than some tea.’
“The vampire bible, bound in human skin, written in blood, and full of prophecies that were never wrong. Trouble was, if you read the thing too long, it drove you nuts. Not “I’m having a bad day and feel bitchy” nuts or PMS nuts. “I think I’ll commit felony assault on my friends and rape my boyfriend” nuts.”
However, this was a library unlike any they had ever seen before. It was nothing like his school library, Jonny though, which – on a good day – may contain a couple of books about the agricultural revolution and an encyclopaedia about growing up (with suitably patronizing ‘anatomical’ illustrations, including several pop-up bits).
No, this library was absolutely crammed with magic books. Tall books, zigzag-shaped books, books as small as playing cards; illustrated books, theoretical books; books about billiard balls, books about balloon animals, books about illusions, books about other books, books on books on books about other books; books stacked upright, books stacked sideways, upside-down books, books with fancy tassels – a proper hodgepodge of conjuring books; a dry-stone wall of books, all interlocking perfectly, filling every possible space.