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In the previous Katie story, somebody stole her spell book and started doing bad spells all over school. Naturally most people assumed that it was Katie who was to blame. The head teacher has discovered who the real culprit is – and it’s not Katie. But Katie still does not know the identity of the thief. In this story, we will find out who stole Katie’s spell book.

Story by Bertie.

Read by Natasha. Pictures by Tia. Duration 16 min.

Proofread by Jana Elizabeth.

Art Class

Katie was in the clear. The head teacher knew for a fact that it was somebody else who had been doing all the bad spells around school. But not everybody knew that she was innocent. In fact, as far as most people were concerned, Katie was still the Number One Suspect. This unpleasant state of affairs became home to Katie when somebody stuck a horrid poster about her on the classroom pin board. It showed a picture of a witch with a pointed hat and a broom, and beneath the picture was written:

Dead or Alive
For Black Magic
Katie The Witch!

Katie did not notice the poster at first, but then Isabelle said: “Hey Katie, you’re notorious.”

Katie wasn’t quite sure if notorious was a good or a bad word, but when she saw the poster she realised that it was definitely bad. She ripped the poster off the wall and tore it up. Then she saw that Isabelle, Mandy and Judy were smirking at her.

Mandy said: “Ooh Katie. I put up the poster. Are going to turn me into a toad?”

And Katie felt ever so tempted to do just that. But she held back because that would be doing Black Magic. And that really would be bad.

Katie knew that almost all the girls in her class were gossiping about her. Isis remained her only loyal and true friend. The boys didn’t seem to care if she was a witch or not, but the boys didn’t talk about anything much anyway, apart from football and action movies. Except for one. And that was Paul.

You might think that Paul would be more wary of Katie than most. He had been acting the lead role in the school play that had gone embarrassingly wrong when somebody put a spell on it. He was good looking, and clever – so Katie thought – and the school play was the first time he had ever been in trouble.

But Paul didn’t seem at all cross with Katie. In fact, he was really nice to her. For example, on Friday afternoon in the art class, when Katie was painting a black cat, Mandy whispered that it was a witch’s cat.

But Paul said that the eyes in Katie’s painting were just like his own cat’s, and that he really liked his cat because she was mysterious and did her own thing.

“Well, Paul likes weird things,” said Mandy. “In fact, he likes Katie.”

And Judy asked, “Hey Paul, why do you talk to Katie? She put a jinx on your bid for stardom.” And the girls sniggered.

And Jemma, who had also been in the play with Paul, and who was still crushingly embarrassed about saying all the wrong lines in front of all the parents and governors – not just any old wrong lines – but really stupid ones – was furious with Katie, and she said:

“Look Paul, don’t you ever learn? Stay away from Katie. Witches are bad news.”

And Paul got really heated and said:

“All you girls ever do is gossip and whisper nasty things. You don’t know everything. You just think you do. It wasn’t Katie who did those spells. Somebody stole her magic book.”

“Oh yeah, if you believe that you’ll believe anything,” said Jemma. And then they all had to be quiet because Miss Stripes the art teacher was looking at them.

And for the first time in a week, Katie felt really happy. In fact, she felt especially happy because Paul was sticking up for her. She knew that Jemma was particularly peeved because she really liked Paul. And that made her feel even more pleased, though perhaps it shouldn’t have done.

In fact, if there was any boy in the class who was ok, it was Paul. He was so nice that he was almost like a girl, only he was a boy. In fact, he was perfect.

But perhaps Paul wasn’t quite as perfect as he used to be. The next week he was late for school on Monday, and then on Tuesday, and then if he was late on Wednesday, he would be in serious trouble.

It was 9.30 on Wednesday morning. Miss Vile was taking the register. And Paul’s chair was empty.

Miss Vile said: “Imran – “Yes, Miss Vile.”

“Jemma” – “Yes, Miss Vile.”

“Katie” – “Yes, Miss Vile.”

And Katie thought: “Shall I, just this once, do just a little spell to help Paul out?”

Miss Vile had reached Matthew. Next it would be Nathan and then it would be Paul.

Katie wasn’t supposed to do spells at school, but then on the other hand, she really did owe Paul a favour, and she really didn’t want him to be in trouble, because that wouldn’t be fair, because normally he was so good.

“Paul,” said Miss Vile. And before the teacher could look up at Paul’s empty chair, Katie quickly said a spell and made it look like he was sitting there and saying:

“Yes, Miss Vile,” in a voice that sounded almost like his real one.

But just as the magic Paul was answering the register, the real Paul walked into the room. So if anyone else looked up, the would see two Pauls. And that really could cause double trouble and confusion. Katie quickly said another spell to make the real Paul disappear for a moment while she sorted out the mess. Fortunately everyone was quite sleepy because it was first thing in the morning, and nobody seemed to notice the strange comings and goings of Paul’s likeness.

Katie was pleased because she had helped Paul, even though he didn’t know that she had – or so she thought. Just before the first lesson, Paul said:

“Thanks for helping me out Katie. But there was no need. I don’t want you to get into trouble for doing magic.”

And Katie was surprised, because she didn’t think he could see through her magic.

“Oh really it was nothing,” she said. “I owed you.”

But Paul kept on getting into more trouble at school, and Katie wasn’t always there to help him. He forgot his homework, he lost his text books, and pretended to be feeling poorly when the class had to go on a long run around the playing fields when it was raining. Mr Sadie, the games teacher, didn’t believe him and made him run twice as far as everyone else. On that occasion, Katie gave Paul just a little help, and said a spell to make him run faster.

“Thanks once again,” said Paul later on.

“Thanks for what?” asked Katie.

“Thanks for making me run faster.”

And this time Katie asked him how he knew that she had done some magic, because most people wouldn’t have noticed. And Paul let her into a secret. He told her that his grandfather had been a wizard. But his family were really embarrassed about it, and they hushed up this chapter in the family history and made Paul swear never to do any magic. His mum and dad thought that magic was something you should be ashamed of.

“That’s ridiculous,” said Katie. “But then, they aren’t the only ones who think like that. There’s a lot of prejudice against witches. People are afraid of us because they don’t understand us. That’s why it’s supposed to be a secret that I’m a witch.”

“It’s not a very good secret,” said Paul. “Everyone knows it.”

“And everyone blames me when things go wrong.”

“Yes, I’ve noticed,” said Paul.

Although what Paul had told Katie was a secret, she shared it with Isis because she was her best friend. And when Isis heard, she said:

“Now it all makes perfect sense. It was Paul who stole your book. That’s why he’s sticking up for you. He feels guilty that everyone is blaming you for his naughty spells.”

And at first Katie couldn’t believe that Paul would do something bad like stealing her book. But then she thought some more, and she had to admit that whoever stole her book seemed to have a talent for magic. Because it was one thing to read the spells in a book, and it was another to actually do them. In fact it was really only supposed to be witches and wizards who could do them.

“It’s obvious,” said Isis. “You can’t see it because you’ve got a pang for Paul.”

“I have not.”

“Yes, you have.”

“Well, perhaps just a bit,” admitted Katie.

The next week Paul did something really, really bad. He sneaked out of school at lunchtime and went for a walk around town on his own. And then some rough boys started picking on him. A police car was going by and saw that there was a fight about to happen. They stopped to help Paul and that was how they found out that he was playing truant from school. Now he was in big trouble. Like getting excluded from school kind of trouble. Miss Hepworth, the head teacher, called his mother in for a chat. The word was out that Paul was going to get the Big Push.

Paul wasn’t in school, but Katie really wanted to talk to him. She had never been to Paul’s house, and she didn’t have his phone number or email address. But that didn’t stop her. Her mum had a magic phone that knew everyone’s number in the entire world, even the numbers of people like the Queen, or the President of the United States, or Sir Paul McCartney. Mum never used it to call people like them, because she said they were busy, and in any case, they didn’t need any help or advice from a witch because they had their own kind of magic. But the phone was incredibly useful when you lost a friend’s number, or didn’t have it in the first place. Katie picked it up and just said:

“I’d like to call Paul please,” And the phone understood which Paul she meant and it called him right away.

Paul’s mum answered and she heard her call up the stairs: “Paul. There’s a “Katie” on the phone for you.”

And a bit later Paul picked up the receiver and said: “Hello Katie. Or perhaps I should say goodbye. You know they’re going to kick me out of school.”

“I’m so cross with you,” said Katie. “Why have you been acting so bad recently? You’ve always been so well behaved. In fact, up until recently you were Mr Perfect.”

“Well, I suppose I got bored with being Mr Perfect,” said Paul. “Being bad seems like more fun. And besides, I’ve got something to confess. It was me who stole your spell book.”

“I figured that out for myself already,” said Katie. “But now I’m going to save you one last time. I’ll do a mind wipe on Mrs Hepworth so that she forgets all the bad things you’ve done.”

And Paul said something that really surprised Katie: “No don’t do that,” he said. “I forbid you. I don’t want to be saved by your magic. I’ve got to face this myself.”

And although Katie argued with him, and she meant to ignore what he said and do the spell anyway, later that evening she decided to call Isis and ask her advice. And Isis said that yes, Paul had to take his lesson. It would be good for him.

And so Paul was expelled from school. And before he left, Paul told his friends that it was he who had stolen Katie’s spell book, and people understood at last that Katie really was innocent of doing all the bad spells around school.

Katie was really sad that she wouldn’t be seeing Paul at school anymore. But she had one compensation. She did have his telephone number. And now all she had to do was think of a reason to invite him round in the holidays so that her mother could explain to him the difference between good and bad magic.

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