The lonely, misanthropic pilot who heeds the call of the wild - and an insidious, irresistible sum At last the fabulous exploits of Captain Aleister Gaspard, the not-quite-King of the Buccaneers, can be told! Compiled from the horribly misspelled journals of his biographer at tremendous expense and no end o For almost twenty years, the Bogeyman has been snatching chil Read about the traps men and women make for themselves in the name of love: But what will they do get it?
When fabulously wealthy General Kingsley throws a coming-out party for his staggeringly beautiful but not overly bright daughter Julia, all the local predators swoop in for the kill: Seven tales of terror, to play havoc with a good night's sleep. The tortured composer's hellish last work - haunted by a seductive yet destructive spirit of wrath and lust. The ghastly thing lurking in the anci Wizard of Earth's End - 6.
The obsessed alchemist whose dead love he must re Huddled deep in the primeval Maine forest, the sleepy village of Foxblood Falls has a dark secret. Zacharias Corbitt, one of its founders, kidnapped young women he fancied and offered them up as blood sa What makes a man into a monster? Prince Dracula, Scourge of the Turks, is a gruesome enigma to his subjects, as well as to his enemies and the spies of his "allies" at his court.
His nickname, Vlad the Impaler, is well earned. However, even the most Ancient legends whisper of the demonic strigoi, a Bloodthirsty creature that once plagued the earth. For centuries, the last of the strigoi race was confined to a hellish limbo - until master o Wizard of Earth's End - 8. Wizard of Earth's End - 4. The cosmic balance between Light and Night has somehow been upset, causing a sudden, inexplicable escalation of old hatreds between humans and Starborns - bringing the two races into brutal, bloody conflict that can only end i Wizard of Earth's End - 3.
There he must learn a vital lesson from Kharet When a covert government agency enlists a vampire as an operative, they gain more than a star agent. They also inherit her centuries-old feud with Charles Oliver Haddon, an immortal sorcerer who is currently behind a sinister plot to replace all gove Wizard of Earth's End - 2. Far across the sea, in the frozen wasteland Wizard of Earth's End - 5. When a magical experiment goes disastrously wrong, it precipitates the final confrontation between Albaric Corwen and Urzoth, Lord of Demons.
Before the final battle, Albaric must undertake an infernal odyssey a Wizard of Earth's End - 7. He'd even learned of something called parkour during a commercial break while Dudley was watching one of his favorite TV shows, and thought it was something he might enjoy doing when he was older. The boy did not actually see anything, since the TV was in the living room and impossible to see through the small crack of the door to the cupboard in the hallway. Harry had very good hearing.
He'd learned to listen to his relatives' footsteps and now woke up at the lowest creak of the stairs. Simply because he preferred it over being scared awake by aunt Petunia sharply banging on his door at 6 in the morning to get him started on breakfast and the rest of his chores. Then there was his reputation. The neighbors had been warned not to have anything to do with him, since he always got up to mischief and vandalism whenever people turned his back on him.
Once, the boy tried to defend himself and rightfully blame Dudley and his gang. His cheek burned for an hour because of uncle Vernon's backhand, and it ever went slightly blue, so his relatives locked him in the cupboard until he healed, so that no one would see it. The latest person to frown when hearing his relatives talk about him was a nice-looking man with long black hair, black eyes and the best-looking goatee Harry had ever seen.
He was visiting the neighborhood and its inhabitants because he was thinking of buying a property in the area and wanted to see what the community was like, and if he had the right idea about how to decorate the interior. Harry rather thought it strange that his aunt and uncle spoke ill of him so blatantly after the man broached the issue of him since Vernon and Petunia seemed to pretend Harry didn't, in fact, exist , but didn't even notice when the stranger started snooping around their home.
It happened several times. Harry once came in from weeding the garden, to get some water or the like, and came upon the man looking around the house. Once he could even have been said to be snooping around the stairs, looking strangely at the cupboard door, but the man noticed him, smiled, said something pleasant and went back outside to listen to Aunt Petunia gush over Dudley who was at the park, terrorizing poor children in a loud enough voice that the whole street could hear.
Once Harry even caught the man watching him through the window, actually looking at him through some sort of object that he quickly moved out of sight. It was a bit creepy really. He thought of raising the issue with his aunt and uncle, but he couldn't scrounge up enough energy to care about the problem, especially when there was a very high chance of getting yelled at for telling lies.
And getting locked in the cupboard without food like last time. It wasn't that bad, truth be told. At least he was excused from chores while he was locked up, and he only had to contend with boredom since there wasn't much to do in the tiny cupboard. He couldn't play during the day with the small damaged action figures he'd "rescued" from Dudley's trash pile, since he wasn't allowed to make any noise, especially while neighbors were visiting.
He also didn't have any books to read, not that the thought crossed his mind that often before school. So he mostly lay on the tattered mattress and stared at the dusty boards above, having whispered conversations with the two spiders and imagining himself as a baby in a cosy home, with pots and pans that could cook on their own. A feeling of warmth and a lullaby whose lyrics he could never seem to grasp. But the biggest reason why the boy couldn't possibly be considered normal, even bigger that living in the tiny cupboard under the stairs, was what happened on the first day of school.
He'd been enrolled in the same class as Dudley, which wasn't really relevant though it was still something the boy didn't appreciate. The strange thing was when the teacher made the roll call and eventually called Harry James Potter and the boy thought it was someone else. It had been a shock to learn that was his name, and that he even had a middle name on top of it. Harry had always been called "boy" or "freak" so he didn't know what his name was. It made the first day of school awkward, made the other children wary of him. The few who considered being friendly were scared off by Dudley and his "friends" who were very quick in setting the ground rules that Harry was off limits except to him and his goons while playing "Harry Hunting".
School life had quickly proven to be no better than home life, especially when he had his first tests and got yelled at, shook by the front of his baggy turtleneck and locked in the cupboard for cheating and beating Dudley's score he'd gotten an A despite not having time to study much because of chores, while Dudley got a C- in spite of cheating off the person in front of him. The routine had quickly been established: His first year of school had ended with him scraping off an overall C on his test sheets because Dudley couldn't be bothered to try for more.
It left Harry feeling absolutely miserable and disappointed. He'd hoped school would be a refuge, he hoped he'd make a friend or two even The one good thing that he managed to gain was an acquaintance with the school librarian. He didn't get a pass. He knew better than to ask aunt Petunia or uncle Vernon to arrange for one.
Besides, the whole point of going to the library was to stay there as long as possible, since it wasn't the prison known as the tiny cupboard under the stairs, Number 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey. Since it was summer and the library stayed open even then, he could go there more often and stay longer than during the school year.
His relatives seemed to want him away more than they wanted to see him home, even if he was doing chores, so they reluctantly let him be as long as they didn't get complaints about freakishness, like when he suddenly appeared on the rooftop of the school when running away from Dudley's gang and made the school officials inform his aunt and uncle that he'd been scaling the buildings, thus enabling them to enforce his reputation as a delinquent and lock him inside the cupboard without food for two days since it was right before the weekend.
So the library was where he was now, on July 30 of He was leafing through a huge Star Atlas, drinking the incredible sights of the constellations.
Apparitions and Other Dark Doings - Wizard of Earth's End (Paperback)
He'd been doing this every couple of days for a few weeks. He'd been dreaming of flying motorcycles a lot lately. The dream always had him lying on his back on something soft and seeing the night sky. It was kind of sad that it was his only memory of it, if it was even that. He'd never been allowed outside of the house late at night for as long as he could remember. He'd only seen real stars a few times during autumn, when days were shorter. Winter, and really the rest of the year too, didn't really have very clear skies.
Harry had actually researched that learned it was probably because they were close to London which made lots of air pollution. That was the definition in the dictionary he had on the table. Harry always had one nearby when in the library. That's what the dreams were, he knew. Whoever was in them probably didn't exist. But he still wished so hard to know who they are, just like he wished he knew more about his parents, even if they were drunks who died in a car crash.
Well , Harry thought drily, I can always trust the dictionary to be honest with me at least. He'd known Sandy the librarian was coming ever since he heard her walking out from behind her reception desk. She always came to exchange a few words with him half an hour into his visit. She was a blonde 20 year-old, with a heart-shaped face, brown eyes and eyebrows that almost met in the center, making her look as though she was always frowning. Somehow, though, she never made him feel uneasy in spite of that.
He looked at her and gave a lopsided grin. She always started a talk and he spelled then quoted the meaning of whatever word seemed most interesting in whatever she said. You'd wipe the floor with everyone there. She had her arms crossed in front of her rather ample bosom not that Harry was actually paying attention to such trivial details. She held a large roll of paper in her right hand. He was comfortable enough with her to know she wouldn't mind him multitasking. The third brightest star in the constellation Orion.
A cool star, but not his favorite. If he was ever allowed out after dark, especially if he ever got a chance to look through a telescope, he knew exactly which star to look for, and it wasn't Bellatrix, though it was on his list. He looked up sharply, almost giving himself whiplash. He hadn't forgotten, but he'd never had anyone acknowledge the occasion so he forgot that it was even possible for other people to learn about it, let alone care. The one exception was when his aunt and uncle gave him one of uncle Vernon's old pairs of socks, as if to reinforce the point that he wasn't worth spending money on and should be grateful they even kept him.
Harry didn't trust his voice. He meekly and with no small amount of hesitation reached out to accept that large roll of paper. Specially-painted like really important maps. Carefully, harry unfurled it on top of the table and gasped. It was a map of the night sky. It had both hemispheres and showed all the important stars, and a lot of the unimportant ones.
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It was the closest thing to an actual view of the sky he could ever have asked for which he wouldn't have. There was even a transparent sheet that was rolled and affixed to the edge. It could be spread over the map and added the lines connecting the stars of the various constellations together. There were the Ursa Major and Minor, Orion, the zodiacal signs Swallowing an unusual lump in his throat, he politely thanked the librarian. Well, that wasn't quite correct. He profusely thanked her and she eventually laughed and left him to get over his embarrassment.
By the time he got over his shock, blinked away the tears awe mixed with gratitude , he realized it was getting late. He returned the books to their proper sections and was about to leave when he realized his conundrum. The map was too large. Even if he rolled it up as it was, he couldn't hide it, and if his aunt and uncle saw him with it they would yell at him, accuse him of stealing, confiscate it and maybe slap him or hit him with the Smelting stick Vernon still had before locking him in his cupboard again. With great remorse, Harry folded the special paper several times, wincing at each crease in the flawless star map, until it was small enough to hide in his baggy shirt.
Dudley's oversized cast-offs were good for that much at least. He entered the house and called out that he was back and managed to get to his cupboard without his relatives even acknowledging him, except for aunt Petunia's sharp order to go clean up making it sound as though he'd come from doing janitorial duties or something, instead of visiting the library. The reprieve made him regret damaging his map like that, but he reasoned it was better safe than sorry. He stuffed the map, the first real present he'd ever received, on the other side of his mattress carefully and immediately set about doing his chores.
By the time he turned in for the night, it was around 10 PM. He turned on the lone light bulb, shooed the two spiders to their dark corners and took out the star map. He looked up and reasoned it was just the right size to stick to what passed for a ceiling, so he did just that, using the glue his aunt had bought him because it was on the list of school supplies so she didn't have much choice. After several mishaps, he managed to get it to stay up on its own, so Harry Potter lied down on his mattress and stared up at the exquisite star map for hours.
He tried not to notice the obvious creases from where it had been folded, and thanked the higher powers that his favorite star hadn't been cut through by them. There, the brightest star in the night sky. Almost twice as bright as Canopus, the next brightest star.
Sirius, derived from the Ancient Greek: It was actually a binary star system, a white main-sequence star termed Sirius A, and a faint white dwarf companion called Sirius B. Harry had memorized the details without even trying. He'd read about the star a whole bunch of times since he discovered the fascinating world of Astronomy. He also knew the star was so bright because it was very close to Earth. Harry wasn't exactly superstitious, but he'd learned about the habits of making wishes on a star, of making a wish on your birthday before blowing the candles on a cake, of making a wish on shooting stars on other events that actually had no effect on real life.
Harry also knew that number 7 was a special number for some reason, and he mourned the fact that he'd lacked all this knowledge of wishes last year. Still, he reasoned, he could try to make a wish this year. He didn't have a cake, so he couldn't blow on any candles.
He'd, at one point, considered using stars as candles, but decided he wouldn't want to put out the stars even if he did have that power which was impossible anyway, not to mention ridiculous to contemplate. He couldn't see the real sky, so he couldn't wish on a falling star. He could wish on a patron star though. He didn't know if he had one, but he'd already decided to use Sirius, since it was the brightest, closest and, thus, most likely to hear him. Harry almost snorted at how downtrodden he sounded in his head. He knew he should be satisfied with what he had.
He knew there were kids that had it worse than him, that it was selfish to want for more, but he was a kid himself. In a mutinous moment, a brief episode of self-entitlement, Harry decided he would just be selfish and be make a wish for himself, just this once. Harry almost changed his mind when he realized he'd been constantly wishing for things ever since he could remember.
The episode of childish selfishness as Harry saw it hadn't passed though, so he figured it was okay if he just wished for something he hadn't wished before. It wouldn't do to come across as nagging after all. So yes, he would wish on the Sirius star on his birthday. But what to wish for? He'd wished for parents, but they were dead and never coming back. He'd been wishing for a long-lost relative to show up and take him away for just as long.
He would keep wishing, futilely, for those things in the morning and afterwards, but not tonight. What was left though? Harry looked at the electric clock that showed Better decide quick then. So what should he ask for? That would be within reason, wouldn't it? Even for a freak. If his relatives wanted a normal life, surely they would realize they couldn't let him parade around dressed in those hideous castoffs? People would start talking. No, that was unrealistic. Besides, they'd find and take the "stolen" star map if he had to move his things, however few they were, and that was unacceptable.
Not a new room then. Even he knew these were no good. Not just because they were held together with tape, but because he didn't exactly see very well with them. He thought of wishing for just that, a positive change, but his bright intellect decided to assert itself for once and point out that he'd already had that wish fulfilled. He'd gotten his first ever birthday present!
And when the clock finally turned to He fell silent again and eventually began to hear the harsh snores of Vernon and Dudley upstairs. It had been one of Harry's favorite words ever since he found it in the dictionary by accident. He had a full day tomorrow. He was going to have to do all his chores as soon as possible because his relatives were going to have someone for dinner.
A representative was coming, from a company interested in a contract with Grunnings, the company uncle Vernon worked for, which made drills. It meant no library time tomorrow. He may as well get as much sleep as he could. Or about the big stag man and the woman with red hair waving a stick at the big deer and making Christmas lights appear all over his antlers The thought suddenly wormed into his mind to paint the dog, stag and laughing lady for his next arts assignment at school. Harry smiled in the dark as he drifted off to sleep.
If wasn't an answer to the question of what to do with his life, but it was a start. Few people know what happens in the Department of Mysteries, deep within the bowels of the building belonging to the British Ministry of Magic. All everyone knows is that top secret research takes place there, that those who work there are called Unspeakables, and that no one knows who each unspeakable is.
Even the Unspeakables themselves seldom know each other's identities, just like each department stays out of the business of the others. The research and experiments pertaining to each sub-department happen in large halls separate from one another. The Door Room links them all together. It is an odd contraption, where the doors always move around like roller coasters whenever someone wants to go somewhere.
It is a way to ensure only Unspeakables know how to get around. Anything and everything pertaining to magic is studied in the Department of Mysteries, from normal spells to the deepest and most secret magics. Yet one room has always remained the most mysterious, housing a force that wizards, in their arrogance, thought they were able to contain, to isolate to assuage their curiosity.
Few can stay in that room for any length of time without being changed forever, not because of the force itself but because of its intensity. All four who went in during the past century came out, but they were not the same. One entered a permanent state of euphoria and began to see and speak of creatures that did not exist, one lost his magic, one collapsed into sobs and was admitted into St.
Mungo's long-term ward, and the last one simply exited and refused to speak for the rest of his life. Everyone who knows of the room's existence assumes the force within is love, for what can charge the nature of a man so completely but that? What else is as deep a mystery? As it happened, love was a partially correct answer, but only because it was the only side of that force that incarnate humans could directly interact with.
The truth of that chamber was far deeper, unknowable, yet not inaccessible. Definitely not unresponsive to the call of a son of the Father, one with no karmic burden but subjected to much toil. The Universe is fair. Wrongs always get compensated, in this life or the next.
Regardless of what people believe, how much they wish to surrender to bouts of self pity by refusing to even consider debts left from past lives when bemoaning ill tidings, existence is not unfair even if one life out of many could be. What humankind forgot long ago was that they had the right, no, the responsibility to choose how to balance their existential debt and rise above their current condition, as long as they did it. The sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
It held an access point that tapped into the ley lines and permitted all levels of reality to cross over and be One.
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The aspect of something regarded as the intrinsic and central constituent of its character. The most perfect or typical example of a quality or class. The only success that the Unspeakables ever had in harnessing the power in the Unlabeled Room was the invention of the Patronus Charm. And even that was more of an arithmatic discovery inspired by the effects of proximity to the ethereal conflagration rather than some sort of release of cosmic energies.
The presence of the dementor in the area had been a complete accident.
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The head Unspeakable had had to file a long report about why a dementor had become no more than a piece of black scorched cloth. The sun shut in the room did not lose its potency. It was as bright, golden and all-pervading as ever, yet it did not prevent the spectre from being completely distinguishable against the backlight. An immaculately white humanoid apparition silhouetted against the ethereal glow. Seven vortices of different colors flared on his form, a vertical array before fading from sight again. Existence was realized, and so the first prerogative of being came into play.
Variable but overall mild climate. Mild inclination of the planetary axis. Sharp divide between the spiritually encumbered and the mystically aware. No difference in the level of wisdom of either group. It might once have been a thickset warrior. Not that anything was visible on his figure except the white outline against the golden light. Something akin to armor and a robe, or long coat fluttering against nothing. A white scarf was testing the air, like a snake. Touching the floor at last, the man stretched as though moving after lying still for a long period of time.
Then, it faced ahead. The voice was now unmistakably male and powerful, yet not loud. He fleetingly considered blasting the door and causing some mayhem.
The Silk Merchant's Daughter : Wizard of Earth's End
It would definitely get things moving, but he decided against it. With a thought he was on the other side of the door, walking down the hallway and banishing the gloom with the pure light of his existence. Soon he was in front of another door, then he was suddenly past it, strands of white mist dissipating in the air wherever he appeared and disappeared. He strode past a man dressed in a blue-grey cloak. He was looking at a pocket watch, and so he remained, frozen in the moment. The illusion shrouding his face like a pool of dark water.
Time only carried you forward when you existed on the same wavelength as the dimension you inhabited. The apparition strode past two more doors, turned a hallway headed straight for a dark double entrance beyond which was the first reason why the plea of anyone on this planet would resonate through the universe clearly enough to suggest that direct, proactive intervention was needed on the part of the Ascended. Here he was at last, standing in front of the abomination.
The so-called Veil of Death. Had the knowledge of the Veil's creation still existed, there would have been reckoning. Willingly allowing such a thing to exist would have demanded swift judgment. A doorway to the Astral plane. The realm of emotional projections. The plane most corrupt, most disease-ridden and dark that surrounded Terra. Where all the miasma, all the misused super-planar energy gathers and infects the lives of everyone on Earth.
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To sentence them to an even worse existence than dying and potentially reincarnating according to their outstanding debts. On a planet like this one, tossing someone in the Astral plane was like burying them alive in a pit of spiders, only they couldn't die once there. Their successful creation of Time Turners was worthy of note. He'd yet to see devices such as them anywhere in his "travels," especially not ones capable of actual consistency in the temporal displacement of their users.
It was obvious they were trying to push a higher volume of the "sands of time" in a small medallion, hoping to make a Time Turner capable of going back farther in time than a few hours. The white specter translocated to the adjoining surveillance chamber and began leafing through the parchments of notes. Apparently, the men weren't sure how much time the theoretical Time Turner would be able to jump, so they tried to see what the highest limit was, for the four of them at least.
The white man chuckled, seeing a scene in his mind's eye, of a man's head constantly going back and forth between infancy and old age while his body stayed unaffected. He reappeared right in front of Number 4, Privet Drive. The one who'd chosen and had the potential for destiny was in there. Then he was sitting, cross-legged, on the lone shelf in the tiny cupboard under the stairs.
Harry Potter's school books were neatly stacked on his right, the English text book alone was twice his size. One of the two spiders was lounging on its web up in the darkness. The other one was dangling on a thread, inches from the small boy's nose. With a thought, the spider was wrenched from time and was outside the normal flow, hovering right in front of a disapproving ascended one. The creature quivered in fear, despite being as large as the man's whole head. A moment later the spider fell in the middle of a garbage dump on the outskirts of Budapest. After a brief mental deliberation, the shining guest sent the second spider to keep the first company.
Time resumed, and the boy began to breathe softly enough that a less observant spectator would have thought time was still frozen. Finally, he could actually look at him. The seven vortexes of light shone on him, and gold light seemed to emanate from his skin. Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide. The Silk Merchant's Daughter: Born to luxury and idleness, Seralya Torrell is torn from her safe and comfortable life by a horrific family betrayal. Enslaved in a harem and framed for the murder of her lover, Seralya fights her way to freedom - only to find herself lost in the vicious streets of the criminal quarter, where Seralya has a temptingly high price on her head.
Seralya survives these dangers by reinventing herself as a streetwise, glamorous thief and warrior, whose motto, "Never start a fight, but always finish it," becomes a byword of terror to the skulking predators of her lawless world. For awhile, Seralya has the world balanced on her sword-point. Then past entanglements and current crimes enmesh her in a fatal web of betrayal and vengeance.