Disclaimer: I don't own Septimus Heap. Everything belongs to Angie Sage.
Author's Note: This is my first ever attempt at writing fanfiction. I hope I don't insult anyone's intelligence with this story. Not all of the chapters will be this long, this is just my introduction.
Hello everyone! I think it is no secret that I've been gone a long time and these stories have as well. I was very depressed and I didn't care about these stories anymore. I thought they were horrible and just wanted to get rid of them. I said I'd put them up again and had no intention of ever doing so. Now, though, since people write me about it often, I have decided to repost my fanfictions. I am still not in the best place in my life but it has been some time since I wrote these stories. I am ashamed of the silly plots and typos but I will honor my promise and repost. Thank you to all who have supported me over the years. There is some OOCness. These ar basically the canon versions of the characters with a few twists. The moto of this site is "unleash your imagination." I feel I can do that here and be a little liberal. Please. No flames. I'm just here to have fun. They don't help me or you.
There was much excitement in the Castle. The ExtraOrdinary Wizard's apprentice Septimus Heap was graduating from his seven year apprenticeship. He was a seventh son of a seventh son, and therefore, possessed an unbelievable magykal gift. Many people speculated that he would be the next ExtraOrdinary Wizard after the current one, Marcia Overstrand, retired or passed away. Unfortunately for the citizens who desired to see Septimus take over for Marcia, it did not seem as though she was planning on retiring anytime soon.
Marcia was the kind of person who could easily fill all the space around her and then some. She was the definition of vain and often a little moody. Lots of the Castle inhabitants disliked and feared her for these personality traits. They felt that anyone who had as much money and power as Marcia should at least essay to be in a good humor and they found it hard to believe that she could really have anything difficult going on in her life. Of course, she had a lot to do as ExtraOrdinary Wizard, but she was also one of the most important individuals in the Castle. As a result, people were constantly showering Marcia with respect and she didn't seem even slightly grateful. As a result, quite a few of the Ordinary Wizards found Marcia distasteful. They didn't believe she could truly sympathize with them because they didn't think she would be able to understand a life without riches.
Despite what the citizens of the Castle believed, Marcia's life had not always been luxurious. Before she had become the ExtraOrdinary apprentice herself, she had lived with all the rest of the lower middle class. That life had never suited Marcia, though, and eventually, she had worked her way to the top. Her parents had not been the most magykal sort. Her mother had not been a wizard at all and her father had been no more than a simple minor Wizard, but they had supported her talent. When Marcia had been a child, her father had been very fond of telling his various enemies that his daughter would freeze them if they treated him or his wife badly. In spite of her somewhat pleasing childhood, Marcia eventually began to argue with her parents on a frequent basis. This had less to do with Mr. and Mrs. Overstrand, who were a relatively mild mannered couple, and more to do with Marcia herself who seemed to like arguing with anyone she could, just for the sake of it. As a teenager, Marcia had finally gotten into an enormous fight with her mother and consequently had decided it was time to leave her parents' home on Snake Slipway and move into the Ramblings, where many Hopeful Wizards lived, waiting for the chance to become apprentices. After she had finally become ExtraOrdinary Wizard, she had waited ten years to take on an apprentice of her own. There were many talented hopefuls that Marcia had never really given a chance because they just weren't exactly what she was looking for. In fact, Marcia was so picky that many Hopefuls who had once had huge dreams of becoming successful Wizards were convinced that they weren't ever going to be good enough and had stopped trying. So when Marcia at last took on apprentice after a decade of doing nothing but rejecting people, no one could really believe it. But as the word got out that her apprentice was the seventh son of the seventh son, everyone realized why she had chosen him. It was just like Marcia Overstrand to pick someone who would be incredibly easy to teach, someone talented who would catch on very quickly. No one believed Marcia had the patience to teach anything less than a seventh son. Septimus was indeed extremely talented. Most of the citizens of the Castle had their fingers crossed that grouchy Marcia would retire in a few years and she would allow the kinder, more understanding Septimus to take her place. Of course, not many people believed this would actually happen. Marcia had too much pride to give up the position she had worked so hard for just yet.
For the most part, Marcia's appearance matched her personality. Her facial expressions were often enough to make Castle citizens, squirm uncomfortably if she ever directed on at them. She was tall, with thick, curly dark hair. Marcia's hair was one of her more attractive traits and many of the women in the Castle attempted to emulate Marcia's haircut. It didn't usually work out. Marcia's body was, as the men the men in the Castle often said, "wide where it needed to be and thin were it needed to be." She was voluptuous and, in her younger days, she had attempted to conceal her figure because she longed to be notcied for her abilities and talents, not her physical apperance. In spite of these attractive features, Marcia's face left something to be desired. Her nose was slightly pointed and whenever she wore an expression of distaste, which was a regular occurrence, her pointed nose and somewhat sharp jaw caused her to look even haughtier than she usually did. Whenever she saw something she did not approve of, she looked as if she had smelled something bad. Marcia Overstrand would not have even come close to making the Castle's "Top Ten Friendliest People List" that was released every year. However, that might have been because Silas Heap was the man writing the list each year.
Even though most everyone disagreed with his opinion, Septimus rather liked Marcia. She had practically raised him the last seven years of his life and, even though he didn't like to admit it, had been more like a mother to him than his own mother, Sarah Heap. It wasn't that Sarah hadn't tried to be a good mother, but she had been separated from Septimus for the first ten years of his life and he had spent the last seven years as Marcia's apprentice. As a result, he didn't get to visit his home very often. He barely knew his older brothers at all, apart from Simon and Nicko. All the rest of his brothers were far too interested in their own lives in the forest to care what Septimus was doing. Septimus hadn't seen Simon in more than three years either. Simon and Lucy Gringe had run off together when Silas Heap, Septimus's father, had refused to bless their marriage. Silas and Gringe actually got along quite well now, but Silas still didn't like the idea of his son marrying a Gringe. That was too big a step for him to have to think about. So even though Marcia had finally allowed Simon to return to the Castle, he did not end up remaining there for very long. Just weeks after Septimus had returned to the Castle on the Cerys, Simon had had enough of his father and family and had decided that the only person that truly understood him was Lucy. Lucy had been glad to leave the life she had known in the Castle behind if it meant she could be with Simon. She had loved him deeply since she was fourteen years old and had never stopped. After Simon left, Sarah had become completely depressed. She was convinced that nothing was going to go right anymore. She was thankful that she still had Nicko, Septimus, and her adopted daughter, Jenna, but she couldn't help missing her other children too. Besides, she saw Nicko about as often as she saw Septimus. He had just graduated from his apprenticeship to Jannit Maartin, who ran the boatyard in the Castle. Nicko was now running a huge portion of the boatyard which was very time consuming. The only child Sarah saw on a regular basis anymore was Jenna.
Jenna was busy too. In a year's time, Jenna was going to be crowned Queen. Many Princesses of past times had looked forward to becoming Queen with open arms. Jenna, however, was dreading it with every fiber in her body. She was not looking forward to having to govern the Castle and thought running a country sounded like one of the dullest things in the world. If there was one thing Jenna hated, it was when things were dull. She had spent much of her childhood accompanying her adoptive brother Septimus on his adventures. Another thing Jenna was dreading about inheriting the throne was marriage. Marriage was something Jenna couldn't even begin to wrap her mind around. Even though she was not yet Queen, many men who she had never even met were already proposing to her in hopes of becoming the Queen's consort. Jenna couldn't imagine being stuck with one person for an entire lifetime because wanted to belong to herself and herself only. Well, that wasn't exactly true. Jenna wanted to have many men in her life, she wanted to experience all kinds of people. Being stuck with one individual from age eighteen until death did not sound like Jenna's idea of a good time, not at all. The only people she could ever really picture having a future with were her family members, namely her mother, her father, Nicko, and Septimus.
Although she was closer to Septimus than any of her other siblings, Jenna felt that she no longer completely understood her relationship with him. At first, she had not thought much of her feelings about him. She figured her affection for him had increased because she was older and more able to understand love. But after a while, she had begun to have dreams about him. Septimus had been in Jenna's dreams before, but never like this. Once, she had a dream about Septimus which had begun with a quiet conversation between the two of them and had ended in Jenna's bedroom. That was the final straw. Jenna understood that these thoughts were extremely wrong and therefore, she mentioned them to no one. She decided she was going to have to put an end to her feelings and the only way she knew how to do that was by separating herself from him. She had started by telling Septimus that she was busy every time he visited, even though she longed to be with him. After a while, Septimus had taken the hint and no longer visited Jenna as often. Even though it was Jenna's idea to detach herself from Septimus, she was extremely saddened when he stopped coming to the Palace on a frequent basis. Jenna couldn't help but wonder if Septimus had become enamored with Syrah Syara once more, like he had been a few years earlier when they had been trapped on the Isles of Syren, and had forgotten all about Jenna. Just the thought of Syrah Syara made Jenna want to dry heave. For the first year or so after Syrah had arrived in the Castle, she had spoken to no one, not even Septimus, and had spent much time in the Wizard Tower sick bay. For six months or so following his return to the Castle, Septimus had spent nearly every moment he had off by Syrah's side. Now Syrah resided with Hildegarde, a kind hearted sub Wizard, on the bottom floor of the Tower. Although Jenna usually tried to be pleasant toward Syrah, she still felt threatened by her. Even though Syrah wasn't beautiful, she was mysterious and magykal which were two things that Jenna knew probably had drawn Septimus to her in the first place. And aside from that, she had become healthy now that she was no longer possessed and therefore, had put on some healthy weight which had made her more attractive. Still though, Jenna was not unaware of the fact that she herself had grown quite striking over the last few years and she intended to use her exquisite beauty as a weapon. Not many women could compete with her. Still though, there was something about Syrah Syara that made Jenna uncomfortable even though she knew she shouldn't be. She had to admit, if only to herself, that the reason she disliked Syrah was because there was a chance that Septimus liked her romantically, at least a little bit. Jenna was beginning to face the fact that she desired Septimus in a romantic way, even though she knew it was horribly wrong. So, naturally, Jenna was a little nervous about attending Septimus's apprenticeship graduation. She knew she would have to see him there and probably talk to him. She wasn't sure that her emotions could handle being alone with him, but she knew she didn't have a choice.
Jenna was just about the only person who was not looking forward to Septimus's graduation. Silas Heap couldn't have been more excited about it if he had tired. He himself had been the ExtraOrdinary apprentice once, but had given it up so that he could raise his sons. He was very excited about getting to watch his son finish the apprenticeship. Aside from that, Silas was also looking forward to having Septimus home more often. Silas had always felt that Marcia made Septimus work too hard, and Silas would be glad to give his son a break for a little while. Sarah was also overjoyed. She was going to get to spend as much time as she wanted with her beloved Septimus who she not gotten to see nearly as often as she wanted to. Now, he would be hers. Never again would she have to share him with fussy Marcia Overstrand. Sarah hoped that she might be able to finally be happy once more when she had Septimus with her. She also knew that when Septimus graduated, Silas would have no reason to visit the Wizard Tower anymore, which was good because Sarah wasn't entirely sure what he did at the Wizard Tower while he was there, or if she even wanted to know what he did there. All of a sudden, the previous fall, Silas had started going to the Tower on a very regular basis. He had told Sarah he was going to visit Septimus, but when Sarah had asked Septimus about his father, Septimus claimed he hadn't seen him in ages. It was too peculiar for Sarah's tastes. She had tied to push it out of her mind lately, but it kept coming back. She didn't want to ask Silas about it, but she didn't know what to do if she didn't. It was all so puzzling.
The morning of Septimus's graduation was a hectic one. Marcia was trying to get herself ready to make the huge speech she was going have to make. Septimus was looking in the mirror, trying to comb his unruly hair. He couldn't believe he was graduating. It was so strange to think about moving back in with his parents…and Jenna. He missed Jenna and hoped that she wasn't angry with him. That was the last thing he would ever want. Little did Jenna know, Septimus had come to adore her in the same way she adored him. The only difference was that Septimus was not afraid of his feelings, he just let them happen. Septimus had seen his brother, Nicko, lose the only girl he ever loved, Snorri Snorrelson, two years earlier and it had made Nicko into a nervous wreck for a very long time. After that, Septimus had vowed to himself that if he loved someone, he would do his best to never lose her, no matter what he had to do. He was beginning to recognize that he loved Jenna. He was actually more nervous about seeing her than he was about his graduation. He wanted to explain his feelings to her, to make her understand that he wanted to be with her all the time. He knew that she was going to be at the feast that evening. Practically everyone in the Castle would be there. That would be his chance to talk to Jenna. He didn't want to wait.
Meanwhile, Marcia was in her bedroom, preparing herself for the ceremony. She wasn't sure how she felt about the whole thing. She could barely imagine life without Septimus. It was going to feel very strange to go back to living alone, very strange indeed. It hadn't really hit her until just then that Septimus was really leaving. Tomorrow, he would no longer be her apprentice. She couldn't even admit to herself how much she would miss him. Marcia had considered getting another apprentice, but not very seriously. She could never imagine having an apprentice as a good as Septimus had been and she knew she would be always holding her new apprentice up to Septimus. Just as Marcia was pondering this idea, she heard a knock at the door. "Septimus?" she asked.
"Yes, it's me, Marcia." responded Septimus, "May I come in?"
"Just a minute." Marcia took one last look at herself in her adjustable mirror. She sighed. She wasn't exactly looking young anymore. She could definitely see a few gray hairs today. A moment later, Septimus had entered the room.
"Septimus!" gasped Marcia. "What have you done to your hair? It looks atrocious!"
"I..er, cut it off. It was getting to straggly and I thought you'd like it better this way." It was true. Septimus had cut his hair, but not very well. It looked as though he had had cut it with a fork. Marcia was horrified. There was no way he was going to the ceremony looking like that.
"Septimus, your hair hasn't looked this bad since you came back from that ghastly alchemist's Time."
"Marcia," said Septimus, "Marcellus is not ghastly! And he certainly likes you." Marcellus Pye had indeed become very fond of Marcia Overstrand. When he had first met her, he had found her irritable and unpleasant. But he believed that she truly had a good heart underneath all of her bossiness and had become intrigued by her quirkiness.
"I don't care what he thinks of me." snapped Marcia, "I will never respect him. Now, let's get a move on, Septimus. We've simply go to fix your hair."
Two hours later, everything was ready for Septimus's graduation. Marcia had managed to fix Septimus's hair, but not without having to use a considerable amount of magyk, which annoyed her, but not as much as normally would have. She was still having trouble comprehending that she would not be responsible for Septimus anymore. Marcia decided to go to Septimus's room and see what he was doing during his last few hours of apprenticeship. Septimus was sitting on his bed, looking at all his belongings. He would have to move them to the Palace the next day. Some part of him was excited, but much of him was sad. He would miss this life he had lived the last seven years more than he ever could have imagined. When Marcia entered his room, Septimus suddenly started spewing out words. "Marcia, I can't believe it's already been seven years. Thank you so much! You were the best teacher I could have asked for. Without you, I wouldn't even know who I am. No, I would have died in the snow that day I was standing sentry. Don't you remember that day? It seems like so long ago. I owe you so much. I'm gonna miss you more than you'll ever know. I'm going to come and visit as often as I can."
Marcia was more than a little touched by Septimus's words, but she didn't exactly know how to react. Marcia didn't often show her affection for others, but because it was Septimus's last day, she decided to make an exception. Wordlessly, she pulled him into a warm embrace. It felt good to hold Septimus for what might be the last time in a while. When they finally separated, Marcia had to look away. Her eyes were feeling suspiciously heavy, as if tears could start at any moment. That was the last thing she wanted. Marcia had never cried in front of Septimus and she wasn't about to start now. She pretended to being looking at her pixie pots on the window ceil until the feeling passed. Then, she turned to Septimus and said, "You're an incredible Wizard, Septimus. I couldn't be happier with you. I.. I'm going to miss you. Quite a lot."
"Marcia, I'll make you proud." promised Septimus.
"You already do. Now, the ceremony starts in an hour. Are you completely ready?"
"Actually, yes." replied Septimus. "Oh there's one more thing."
"What?" asked Marcia, suddenly sure she was going to hear that Septimus had forgotten something really important. Instead, Septimus admitted something that totally unsettled her.
"I love you." Septimus said in a quiet half whisper. He had never told Marcia this before, and she had never told him. His love for Marcia was an emotion he had always felt went without saying. Of course he loved her, he trusted her more than anyone else. Marcia, though, was a little shocked. She had never expected Septimus to say that. In many ways, she wished he hadn't said it at all. It would have made it much easier for her to control her emotions if he had refrained from being so personal.
Before Marcia could respond to Septimus, there was a knock at the door. It opened to reveal Catchpole. "Er..Um Madam Marcia?" he asked timidly. "May I help with anything?" For once, Marcia was glad Catchpole was there. She didn't know what she would she would have said to Septimus. Of course, she could have told him she loved him too, but that sounded cliché and wrong to her. Besides, she hadn't said those words in years, and the few times she had said them, they hadn't done her any good at all. It was true, she did love Septimus, but she still felt awkward admitting it.
"Yes, Catchpole," replied Marcia, quickly. "You can help me by cleaning out the loo n the Great Hall. I imagine that many of the Ordinary Wizards will have to use it after the ceremony tonight and I want it spotless. Am I clear?"
Catchpole gulped. "Perfectly, Madam Marcia." Catchpole hated cleaning the bathroom more than anything else, and he was sure Marcia knew that, and had given him this job just to stress him out. He was getting very sick of Wizards in general.
Just as Catchpole was thinking about how great the world would be if the Custodian Guards were still in charge, Marcia interrupted his thoughts. "Well, stop starring into space! Get a move on!"
"Oh, all right, Madam Marcia, dreadfully sorry." Catchpole made a quick exit. Then, Marcia turned to Septimus.
"Septimus, I still have some last minute things I want to check on before the ceremony. I'll see you there."
"Oh okay." Septimus answered, a little distracted. His thoughts had already turned to Jenna. He was going to see her that evening. He was both excited and nervous. He didn't know if he was going to have the courage to explain his feeling to her, but he was going to try. He practiced what he might say in his mind. "Jenna, I have something to tell you." "Jenna, I really don't know how to say this but…" "Jenna, I love you." He didn't really know where to begin.
Less than an hour later, Septimus and Marcia were standing in the middle of the Great Hall of the Wizard Tower. Septimus still couldn't believe he was graduating. He caught Jenna's eyes in the crowd, and his heart jumped. There she was, and she looked beautiful. He wasn't sure he was going to be able wait another moment to greet her. But he knew he would have to make it through the ceremony first. Despite what often said to the contrary, Marcia was one for long speeches. Septimus sighed. It would be a long time before he got to speak to Jenna.
Meanwhile, Jenna was taking in every detail of Septimus. She tried to stop herself, but found she couldn't take her eyes from him. Then, out of nowhere, she heard someone's voice behind her. "Princess Jenna!" The voice exclaimed. Jenna rolled her eyes. It was Septimus's best friend, Beetle. Jenna had always liked Beetle, but lately, he had begun to get on her nerves. At one point, when she had been about thirteen or so, she and Beetle had been good friends. However, time had put a bit of distance between them. There wasn't any particular reason Jenna had seen so little of Beetle during the last few years, she had simply grown busy and he had as well. Still, even though years had passed, every time he saw Jenna, Beetle followed her around like an obnoxious puppy. It was unsettling.
"Princess Jenna!" shouted Beetle again, oblivious to Jenna's feelings toward him. Jenna tried her best to take her eyes of Septimus and take Beetle seriously.
"Yes, Beetle?" she asked, hoping she didn't sound irritated.
"Princess, it's so good to see you. I was hopin' I'd see you here. Can you believe Sep's graduating? It seems like yesterday we were just kids runnin' around causing trouble. Now he's gonna be a full time Wizard." Beetle whistled admiringly, "I don't know anyone who works harder than Sep.' Bettle continued, "You've got to love him."
"I agree." Jenna said quickly, eager to get away from Beetle and see her family. "Um, Beetle, I see my brother, Nicko, over there. If you'd excuse me, I'd like to go and speak with him."
Beetle looked disappointed, but he said "Sure thing, Princess. Whatever you want to do is fine with me. But before you leave, I have something I want to give you."
Jenna felt guilty. She had not been very kind to Beetle and he had gone out of his way to get a gift for her. She felt wretched.
"Close your eyes." Beetle instructed. Jenna did as she was told. She felt Beetle place a small object in her hands. "Now you can look."
Jenna gasped. In her hands was the most beautiful necklace she had ever seen. Jenna couldn't believe Beetle had gone to the trouble of getting it for her. It appeared to be terribly expensive. It was golden with little red gems imbedded in it. "Oh Beetle!" she exclaimed, "It's simply marvelous!"
Beetle blushed with pride. "You deserve nothing less than the best, Princess. The necklace is not nearly as lovely as you."
"It's Jenna, Beetle. Call me Jenna. How many times must I tell you that? But you are too kind. Truly. Did you make this necklace?"
"Yes, as it happens, I did. None of the ones my uncle made were good enough for you, Pri..er, Jenna." Beetle's uncle had moved to the Castle a few years back. He was an accomplished blacksmith and had taken Beetle on as his apprentice after Beetle had gotten fired from the Manuscriptorium. Since then, Beetle had become very skilled with his hands. Jenna had not known he was skilled enough to make something as complicated as the necklace seemed to be.
"Well, thank you, Beetle, thank you very much. I'll put it on right now." She placed it around her neck and Beetle looked at her, a grin playing across his face.
"What is it?" asked Jenna.
"It's just that you look just like I thought you would look wearing that." Jenna sighed, she didn't want to hear Beetle tell her how beautiful she was anymore. She wanted to hear these kinds of compliments, but she knew deep down that she wanted to hear them from Septimus.
"Listen, Beetle, I've got to go see Nicko, but thanks again. It's more than I deserve."
"That's where you and I differ." Beetle said, quietly, but Jenna didn't hear him. She had already gone to find Nicko.
Nicko was standing in the corner of the room, talking with Rupert Gringe. When he saw Jenna, he smiled brightly. Jenna was relieved to see him smile. He hadn't been happy much since Snorri had left him to return to the North Country.
"Hey Jen!" he exclaimed. "What's up?"
"Not much." Jenna answered, turning her eyes back to Septimus who was still in the center of the room. Jenna noticed that Septimus seemed to be staring directly at her. She felt her stomach flop inside of her.
"Hello? Anyone home at Jenna's?" Nicko's voice brought her back to reality.
"Oh yes, Nicko, very funny." Just as Jenna was about to ask Nicko about the boatyard, the entire room became silent. Marcia cleared her throat and began to speak. The ceremony had begun.
An hour or so later, Septimus was standing in the center of the Hall of the Wizard Tower with his family. "Congratulations Septimus darling!" shouted an enthusiastic Sarah Heap as she threw her arms around her son.
"Thanks Mum, it means a lot. Really." Septimus was somewhat overwhelmed. Everywhere he looked, people were congratulating him. It was nice, but he was running out of things to say to them. He was also getting rather hungry. The feast was starting in ten minutes and he couldn't be more ready for it. First, though, he had to fight his way through the crowd and find Jenna. This would be no easy task with everyone trying to stop him every three seconds. Finally, Septimus saw Jenna. She was standing in the back of the room with Nicko. He darted in that direction. A mob of Ordinary Wizards decided to follow him, but then, the caught sight of Marcia, and crowded around her instead.
Jenna saw Septimus coming. She tried to compose herself and keep herself from acting too excited, but she couldn't help it. "Hello Jen." he said, softly.
"Oh..Hi Sep. Congrats I knew you could do it." Jenna was beginning to become uncomfortable. How would she explain why she was ignoring him? How could she tell him she didn't want to be alone with him? That she had strange dreams about him? But luckily, Septimus ended the silence between them very quickly.
Septimus was nervous, but he was going to tell Jenna how he felt. "Jenna, I have to talk to you for a minute. Do you have time?"
"Sure." Jenna replied, a little too eagerly.
"All right. It will only take a second. Come into the Courtyard with me." Jenna took Septimus's hand and followed him outside.