Disclaimer: I do not own Fablehaven. It is the creation of Brandon Mull.
Chapter 1 - The Adventure Continues
It was a beautiful summer day throughout the New England countryside. The sun was shining down brightly upon the forest that surrounded the preserve of Fablehaven. Small birds zipped between the foliage of the trees, while rabbits, squirrels and other small critters scampered around on the ground.
Sitting on an inflatable recliner in the middle of the pool near the house was Kendra, who was wearing nothing but a magenta bathing suit and dark sunglasses. As the shades concealed her eyes, it was hard for one to detect that she had, in actuality, dozed off and was currently taking a catnap. A few fairies were even resting with her. Some were scattered across her body, others were lying down on areas of the recliner that her body did not occupy.
Life was perfect. The Society of the Evening Star had been abolished, peace had been restored to the magical world, and everyone was now free to live their lives. Coupled with the warm sunlight and the calmness of the pool water, Kendra felt as though she was enclosed within a bubble of pure bliss.
Suddenly, without any warning, Kendra felt something shake beneath her, although it wasn't strong enough to properly awaken her from dreamland. However, a few of the fairies took heed and fluttered into the air. Another shove gave way, turning the entire recliner onto its side, dunking Kendra and the rest of the fairies into the water.
The sudden shock of the water to her body filled Kendra with an immediate feeling of rage. Coughing out the water that she had accidentally swallowed, Kendra quickly surfaced and spotted an all-too-familiar figure trying to hide itself underneath the surface of the shallow water.
"SETH!" blared Kendra, glaring fiercely at her submerged brother. Bubbles surfaced above Seth, which Kendra and the fairies could sense were from the boy laughing whilst underwater. Kendra took a few steps over towards Seth, who was laughing too hard to pay her any attention, and simply ignored her and the fairies that followed.
Kendra reached into the water, grabbed Seth by his arm and pulled his upper body above the surface. Still in mid-laughter, Seth practically displayed zero reaction to his sister's anger.
"You think you're sooooo funny?" asked Kendra, as dozens of fairies from the garden gathered around and swarmed near her head. She awaited a response, but Seth was laughing too hard to even give one.
"You… You…" snapped Kendra, as she fiercely smacked the water with her hands, yielding no response from Seth as he got splashed.
Without any warning, the fairies that had gathered around Kendra shifted themselves over to where Seth was. They began spiraling around Seth's body, even diving underwater to reach his lower section. Kendra gazed in awe as colorful sparkles emitted themselves from the fairies and surrounded Seth in a cocoon of fairy dust.
After only a few brief seconds, the fairies flew away from Seth and allowed the dust cloud around him to dissipate. Floating where Seth had just been was now a walrus. Instantly, the fury that had built up inside Kendra was overrun with glee, as she burst out laughing at Seth's appearance.
"What did you do?" asked Seth, as he splashed around in the water with his flippers. "Am I a… walrus?"
"Yes!" giggled Kendra. "But a real walrus! Not just a mutant!"
"Kendra!" snapped Seth, whose mind was reminiscing on the time he had become a mutant walrus two summers ago. "Change me back!"
"It wasn't my doing! It was the fairies!"
Seth poised his tusked face into the air and gazed at all the fairies that were pointing and laughing at him. He felt embarrassed, but at the same time also helpless. He then grabbed his bathing suit with his flipper. It had burst open due his transformation and was now torn.
"Get them to change me back or you're going to be in a lot of trouble!"
"Okay, I'll try," said Kendra, as she looked upwards at the floating fairies. "Change my brother back to normal!"
"Do we have to?" asked a fairy who sported green hair and wings that resembled the tips of two peacock feathers.
"Yes. I order all of you fairies to return Seth back to his proper self."
The fairies all snickered to one another before swarming around Seth and stirring up another magical cloud. When the cloud disappeared, it revealed that Seth had now been transformed into a donkey.
"Kendra," asked Seth, who was now treading water with his new body, "What'd they DO to me?
"My brother is not a… jackass!" shrieked Kendra, who was trying her hardest to hide her laughter. "Turn him back into a human being right now!"
"You didn't say the magic word!" cried a fairy.
"Fine. I order you fairies to turn Seth back into a human being!"
The fairies grumbled, spawned a third cloud of dust around Seth and this time properly restored him to his human form. By this point, many of the fairies let themselves plunge into the pool. Seth wasted no time in swimming over to the ladder and climbing out of the pool.
"That wasn't funny!" he shouted, as he grabbed his towel off of a wooden patio chair, wrapped it around his naked waist and marched back to the house, drying himself off. "I'm telling!"
"Like they'll care!" said Kendra. "Besides, it wasn't my fault! Plus, you started it!" Looking away from Seth, Kendra looked down at the nearest of the fairies that were floating on their backs in the pool. "Are you fairies okay?"
"We'll be fine!" gasped a fairy, who panted softly. "All that magic took a lot out of us."
"Just try not to do that to my brother again. All he did was push some of us into the water. Mind you, it was funny what you did to him. Wish I'd taken a picture, though."
"Understood," said the fairy. "We just wanted to teach him a lesson. There was just this urge, if you know what we mean."
Kendra climbed out of the pool, grabbed her towel and dried her body off before running back to the house after her brother, who had already beaten her to the back door due to his head start.
"Mom!" shouted Seth as he dashed into the kitchen while several droplets of water rained onto the floor behind him, "Kendra rallied the fairies against me!"
"I did not!" snapped Kendra, as she made her entrance through the back door after Seth.
"Would you two kindly settle down?" asked Mrs. Sorenson, who was in the middle of preparing several sandwiches at the kitchen counter. "First change back into your clothes, then come back down and we'll talk."
"Look what they did to my swimsuit!" growled Seth, holding up his torn suit.
"I said I was sorry!"
"You are soo busted!" cried Seth, as he raced Kendra out of the kitchen and upstairs to the second floor. He then made his way over to his bedroom, while Kendra proceeded upstairs to the attic. Feeling that the children had matured since the incident at Zzyzx, and because the society was no longer a threat, Seth had been given his own bedroom, which had previously belonged to Lena, while Kendra opted to remain in the attic.
Seth hurriedly changed out of his towel and into his summer clothes before scurrying back down to the kitchen. As Kendra's room was now the attic, Seth had an easier time getting between his bedroom and the first floor.
"Now, what's all this commotion about?" asked Mrs. Sorenson as her son sat down at the kitchen table and she presented to him a plate with a ham sandwich on it.
"Kendra got her fairy friends to turn me into a walrus, and then a donkey!"
"Oh, did she?" asked Mrs. Sorenson, who had a hard time believing what her son was telling her.
"It's true! We were playing in the pool! All I did was splash her a bit and she went berserk! She really can't take a joke! So she got all whiny and ordered the fairies to turn me into a walrus! Then they all laughed at me! And then-
"Mom, that's not quite what happened," said Kendra, now wearing her clothes, who was standing at the entrance to the kitchen with her hand pressed against the wall.
"Seth claims that you got some fairies to turn him into a walrus."
"It's true!" added Seth, "I'm not making this up!"
"Seth, the fairies did that without my influence!" exclaimed Kendra.
"And what about the donkey?"
"Donkey?" asked Mrs. Sorenson.
"Let me explain!" began Kendra. "You see, Mom. Some fairies and I were relaxing in the pool when my darling brother tipped over the recliner I was on. The fairies got really mad and-
"They're back," said Dale, who had entered the kitchen.
"That's wonderful," said Mrs. Sorenson, as she held up a hand at Seth. "They're just in time for lunch."
"All right!" exclaimed Seth. "What'd they find?"
"You might want to try asking them directly, cause I'm afraid I don't know yet."
"Now, what was this about walruses and donkeys?" Mrs. Sorenson asked Kendra, as Seth hopped out of his seat and ran towards the front door.
"You don't wanna know," answered Kendra.
Mrs. Sorenson rolled her eyes, while Dale smirked in Kendra's direction before going back towards the front door.
A minute later, Dale and Seth led Warren, Tanu, Vanessa and Elise into the kitchen, where Kendra and Mrs. Sorenson greeted them all with smiles and open arms.
"Welcome back!" exclaimed Kendra as she extended her arms out and gave Warren a hug.
"Looks like someone's happy to see us," laughed Warren, as he returned a hug to Kendra.
"I bet'cha found lots of cool things!" exclaimed Seth, as he made a beeline to the foyer where the travelers' suitcases were lined up. He started to unfasten the straps on one of the suitcases when Dale startled him by placing a hand on Seth's shoulder.
"Seth," said Tanu sternly. "Please settle down. We will discuss the matter of our findings after we all sit down and have a nice lunch."
"It's just a bunch of dirty clothes!" remarked Seth, as a pile of unwashed laundry spilled out of the suitcase. "Not even a shirt that reads "My friends went to Living Mirage and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!"
After everyone in the house had eaten lunch in the dining room, they then gathered around in the living room, taking seats on either the couches or armchairs. Warren, Tanu, Vanessa and Elise had taken center stage, and revealed their many findings to the others.
"And this here is a scorpion-lizard figure", said Tanu as he displayed a small, pewter figure to his small audience.
"What does it do?" asked Seth.
"Nothing," replied Tanu, handing the scorpion lizard figure to Seth, "It just appears to be for decorative purposes only."
"That's the story of your trip?" said Seth disappointedly, as he returned the figure to Tanu. "I've seen cooler figures at Toys R Us!"
"Seth," said Kendra. "All you've done is complained since they got back! This trip that they took didn't promise anything!"
"That's right," said Warren. "We went to Living Mirage to excavate anything suspicious that the Sphinx or his accomplices might've left lying around. The whole journey was an exhausting chore, not a vacation to Disneyland!"
"There's also this tome we found," said Elise, as she presented an old book bound in a thick cover to Grandpa Sorenson. The cover of the tome was light brown with a tan star outline on the front. Of note was a metal seal that was used to lock the covers together much like a diary. Although the seal was still locked, it had apparently been ripped open along the middle.
"You'd think the owner lost his key or something," remarked Warren. "We couldn't find it anywhere. Not that I'm complaining. Puzzles are so much easier to do when the problem is already solved."
Grandpa began skimming through the tome; a baffled look appeared in his eyes. "These are just a bunch of poems. Limericks and such! A few pictures here and there, but no rhyme or reason to any of it."
"That's what we didn't understand," said Vanessa. "There has to be some deeper meaning to this tome if it had a lock."
"It can't be a secret message," said Grandma. "They probably would've just written it in a fairy language or something. Not in plain English."
"I've theorized that if there even is a message, it's probably hidden within the poems," said Tanu.
"May I see?" asked Kendra.
"Sure," said Grandpa, handing the tome to Kendra. "Even if these poems have no real meaning, they're still interesting, I suppose."
"Contained within these pages," began Kendra as she read the first page aloud, "are directions to the five hidden instruments of eternal power."
"No," gasped Grandpa, who looked as though he had just seen a ghost. "That's impossible. It can't be!"