Wow…I can't believe I'm here at last. It seems like only yesterday I was writing a Prologue to this story…well, here's my very first fanfic finished at long last! Thanks to everyone who reviewed it!
What happens now?
John Mandrake waited outside the door to the Council Room, wondering. Mr. Devereaux had asked to see him yet again, but he was running out of time; he had a hunch it had something to do with the death of Marmaduke Fry, the Foreign Minister.
It was all Mandrake could do not to forget his dignity and wriggle with excitement. Despite the minister's unfortunate demise, his position was absolutely open for a new contender. It was his chance at last!
Mandrake had done very well over the last year or so, his djinni overcoming each new obstacle to the government. If only he could something about the American campaigns…they still weren't going very well. His thoughts turned, not for the first time, to Gladstone's Staff…would a place in the Council mean he would finally be able to use it?
Of course, the Staff also brought with it thoughts of the girl, Kitty Jones…that was rather unfortunate, and he found it even harder to turn it from his mind then usual. This wasn't helped by the fact that Bartimaeus insisted in appearing in her form whenever possible.
He had certainly in the year or so since he had permanently summoned Bartimaeus; he was less thin and much healthier-looking. His immense workload had had the fortunate effect of tiring him enough to sleep very well every night, and he was no longer troubled by strange dreams of two people waving at him from the middle of a field of white flowers…
Mandrake still didn't understand what those dreams were about, but he was relatively glad they had stopped. He didn't need that sort of thing preying on his mind! Still, the memory of them seemed to cause him almost a pang of sorrow…
He shook his head. There were more important things to worry about; he was almost seventeen, now, and was almost guaranteed a spot among the most powerful in government. It was a chance, perhaps, to get back at Ms. Whitwell or the Assistant Police Chief, Ms. Farrar…not to mention Carl Mortensen and all the others who had disliked him for years. He could bide his time, now.
The doors opened and admitted him into the presence of England's Prime Minister.
"Hello, John!" said Devereaux brightly, as he always did because of Mandrake's apparent "fascination" with the theatre. "I simply had to speak with you…you know how it is…"
I do indeed, he thought to himself. Please get on with it.
"I have liked you for many years, my boy, what with your success in the Lovelace and Duvall affairs…not to mention that situation with the Anarchist and that Oyster…"
Mandrake winced in painful recall, but tried to keep his expression normal.
"I have decided, in simpler terms, to offer you a place in my own Council…as Information Minister, to be precise. Ms. Malbindi shall take over the Foreign Ministry, but I think you will do an admirable job in her place."
"Yes, sir." Mandrake tried hard to control his mounting excitement. He was to be a higher minister! Finally, some recognition for his talent!
Mr. Devereaux bent close conspiratorially.
"As for your previous post," he said quietly, "well…I daresay you could continue there as well?"
Mandrake masked his astonishment well. So this was the kind of power he had!
"Indeed, sir. It shall most likely work out commendably."
"Good!" Devereaux clapped his hands together. "Well, that really is all, John…I daresay you've heard about the premiere? Only three months away! Quentin shall outdo himself this time!"
"I daresay he shall. Thank-you sir, thank-you, I must be going now. Should I be present at the Council meeting tomorrow?"
"Of course! Best to jump right in. Thank-you, John."
"You saved my life."
"I suppose. Time I paid you back, you know."
A kiss in the sunlight of a strange world…
"I say, John, are you quite all right? You had the strangest look on your face…"
"I assure you I am quite well, sir."
John Mandrake grinned in spite of himself.
"So, Mr. Hyrnek, any more packages for me to deliver today?"
"In fact, there is, Kitty…I mean, Clara. Or Lizzie…I daresay you have no preference, really?"
"Not really…I'm only ever Kitty to myself, you see. Well, let's see."
"One moment, I'll get them…"
The small man went into the back room to fetch the packages of books. Kitty was glad that she had this job: it was interesting to wander around London in search of magician's houses or even small libraries that had ordered books from Hyrnek and Sons. Not that she didn't miss…but that was ages ago.
The number of people who gathered at the Frog Inn, where she worked at night, was growing, but all they ever did was talk. Once or twice she imagined whacking the speakers round the head with the empty beer bottles, but she knew it would not help the revolution along in the right way.
How could they all just…wait all the time! It was as if there was no one to take her place as the leader of the rebellion. Sometimes Kitty even considered starting up a third Resistance, but she knew it would crumble as quickly as the last one. It was an endless cycle of strife in itself.
If only they had more people on their side! And not just people, magicians as well…the proprietor of the Inn was in contact with the Czechs, but so far they had given them nothing useful…small weapons of no use against the horde of demons the government could raise if there were collective rebellion. And yet in the streets every day, children could see demons and resist their magics…perhaps Bartimaeus' calculations were wrong, and the magical British Empire was well on its way to its demise.
Bartimaeus…she did wonder, sometimes, what it would be like if they somehow got demons on their side. Would they feel less imprisoned if it was the commoners who summoned them? What if they learned to work together and trusted each other enough to work collectively to overthrow the hated magicians?
The idea had obsessed her for over a year now…if she could only get into the libraries and find out more about Bartimaeus! But that was impossible; commoners weren't allowed inside, and she rather liked her life as it was: quiet and solitary. Kitty was willing to bet she wouldn't enjoy prison; now she was eighteen and old enough to be thrown into the Tower.
The Tower…someone else had tried to put in there. And then she had saved his life…without warning, a strange memory floated to the front of Kitty's mind.
A dance with an enemy under the light of thousands of fairies…a night to remember on a strange island…
"May I have this dance, Ms. Jones?"
Kitty was startled out of her mystifying reverie by the return of Mr. Hyrnek.
"Here we are, Kitty…just the one today…to Mr. Harold Button, a magician."
So, she thought to herself, grinning, what happens now?
To Be Continued…turn to page 1 of Jonathan Stroud's Ptolemy's Gate
God, I've been busy today. It's finally finished! Now, my author's note…
This story came to me about three months after I read Golem's Eye, before I had ever really considered fanfiction. I found myself often wondering what had happened to Nathaniel's parents…why would they have given him up like that? This idea rapidly became an obsession for me and I decided to write a story about it.
First, I needed an artefact, since it seemed all the books' titles were artefacts (remember, I hadn't read Ptolemy's Gate yet). I chose an amulet. Next, I needed some faraway place; I created an island where dead sprits went, because I felt like giving entities like Bartimaeus a heaven.
Now, to name that place…that was tough. I wanted something catchy, but not too overused, and that meant making up my own name. I chose the Latin translation of Dead Spirits: Phasma Mortuus, as you guys saw. I named the amulet after the island and – voila! A title for my story.
The last element I needed was something that had also become an obsession of mine: NatKitty. I was really disappointed with the end of the second book, but quickly convinced myself they would be together in the end. I didn't really think about whether they would both be alive…but never mind that. If you want my thoughts on Nathaniel's death, read The Last Page.
Anyway, I started writing and writing…this story was my sole goal in life for most of Christmas vacation (pathetic, I know.) I updated as quick as I could, because I LOVED getting reviews from people! I'm really happy right now because I reached fifty. Next time I'll aim for a hundred.
So…15 sections in about three months. Pretty amazing for me. Anyways, thanks to everyone who read this story, and especially those who reviewed afterward. You guys made life interesting!
So, what's up next for me? I'm planning on continuing with my Bartimaeus obsessions, and maybe thinking up another story to do with Nathaniel's parents, or maybe some other members of his family. I have to finish my other fic, The Last Page, first, but I'm gonna get right on. Also planned is a songfic from Twisting Again…I'd appreciate it if more people reviewed that, by the way.
Well, that's all for now…once again, thank-you all for your support and reviews!
Love, Musica Diabolos