Greetings, from Dogpatch (Skin Deep #3)

Image result for greetings from dogpatch skin deep book cover

 

This isn’t a mistake. I wasn’t thinking about whether there would be novels for the first two, so I’m beginning my review with the third, but the fact I’ve read this many should warm anyone else who hasn’t heard of this STELLAR online comic, and I may even perhaps go back eventually and review the first two for funsies. The bugbear Myra, Eustace, a fox spirit, Marshall, the raven spirit, and Gabe, the angel are currently driving into Arkansas in May, this being 2005. Myra is quite annoyed by her passengers and complaining about the reason Gabe is even along for the ride when he could fly, Eustace unable to shed light on his reasons, nor why he took the skull which had been given to a demon by Myra (this all being explained, here). Their next conversation has to do with whether Gabe is male or female, until he/she puts a stop to it, and they continue on their ride to Dogpatch.

When parking, Gabe notes how they had to get down there in an odd fashion, Eustace explaining how a tram used to be lowered down to the theme park when it was still open, a dryad currently keeping the place well hidden, even though it was right off the highway. After Myra points out how a Bigfoot was currently watching their movements, Gabe steps up to get the attention of whoever lived there, wanting to speak to the big kahuna, a chickadee, Hank with a shotgun sporting a trucker hat popping out near his feet. Myra’s had enough and states how Bigfoot let them pass, even though Hank was confused by how the group hadn’t been stopped, she then telling of only being there to pick something up and would be out of there quickly, since the place didn’t seem right. Marshall then steps up to vouch for Gabe being cool and they wanting to speak to Old Ivory about the guards.

Hank takes Gabe’s word when showing him the “nightmare” he was attempting to weed out the owner of, so Hank leads them all to where Old Ivory is, Marshall and Eustace then discussing how they agreed with Myra’s instinct about Dogpatch being out of the ordinary. The two then get into the last time Michelle and crew had run into the nightmare which was then related to the demons which were setting them up (Orientations and the One Eyed Bear being reference, the links, above). Hank then can’t stop himself from gabbing at Gabe due to not having ever been in the presence of an angel before and deciding to relate the communities history of where they traveled and how they picked up their guards. Then, before Hank could get into it, Gabe shuts down any questions he may have on religious topics and so Hank instead goes in to inform Ivory, a woodpecker of his visitors.

Gabe then interrupts to toss the nightmare into Ivory’s hands, he not knowing how the skull could’ve gotten to Missouri, nor how the demons picked it up, they having been searching for “her” for some months. Ivory then states how he’d been training some animals to take over his jobs when he was no longer there, Gabe inquiring into how he’d believed spirit animals were incapable of death, but Ivory’s case was due to most of the specific sort of woodpecker he represented had been dying out, and he was on the verge of being done, so he’d been having the other animals take care of the daily tasks whilst he trained them for the long-term workload, and Ivory didn’t have any hard feelings for humans causing the death of his species due to his long lifespan and curiosity of what came next.

After Ivory calls over the two who had been handling the responsibilities, but only one, Ricky arriving since the other, Obi was taking care of some specific sort of task, he apparently not being responsible for her disappearance, and they figuring she’d run away. Gabe asks a few pressing questions which suggested they hadn’t done much to aid the recovery of the nightmare, but Ricky makes clear how they’d been quite worried, and was annoyed when learning Gabe had found the nightmare a little while ago and hadn’t brought her back sooner, they then hearing a scream, Ricky believing Obi was in trouble and hoping the Howler didn’t have him. When they approach his yells, they see Myra looking pissed and relating how Obidiah was the cause of everything being off, and was getting ready to let the Howler out on them all, they thinking she’d gone crazy, but she adamant of Obi’s intentions being ill and making clear, bugbears were impossible to deceive.

Gabe questions further on Obi’s attitudes being odd recently, the critters confirming he’d been acting ill when the nightmare had left, but was working even harder as of lately, Obi agreeing he’d been getting too tired from work and pled to be released from Myra’s grip. Gabe then agrees Obi should be let down, but surprises everyone by bringing out his own weapon, Damien the demon then showing himself and looking pissed. As Gabe attempts to learn more about why Damien was turning up and seemingly trying to get closer to Michelle, Damien’s smart ass answers are getting on Gabe’s nerves, he making him pay for it with more pain. When Damien finally gives him a reason for the “Dark Lord’s” reason for tracking Michelle, Gabe is again thwarted by Damien’s resistance in divulging more. Gabe then tears Damien out of Obi, Gabe turning on the group of creatures to learn whom had figured out their close friend had been infested and no one stepping forward, Gabe properly pissed, and when inquiring if Myra had sensed any other demons about, she confirming there were none.

Then Obi describes how he hadn’t any control over himself and what it had felt like, not recalling much of anything whilst he’d been overtaken. Hank then elaborates about the caves nearby when Gabe considers how quickly the demons seemed to be able to return upon his sending them to hell, and demands Obi show him to this “not much sink” cave. Gabe then explains how hellmouths work and the one in the cave being shut could waylay a demon fairly well. After Obi shows where the cave was, he meekly asks to go, since he didn’t want to tempt another demon with his bod, Gabe agreeing to this, he then divvying out tasks for the other creatures whilst he dealt with what was within the cave, the one for Eustace being hilarious and adorably simple.

Marshall notes his tone to Eustace, but Gabe dismisses him what with not feeling he should have to keep an eye on him for he not being a fighter, Marshall and Myra following him deeper into the cave. Soon they approach an orange oozing mess from their high vantage point, Myra stating of it most likely being part of the cause for the odd senses she’d gotten from the place. Gabe then suggests Myra help him deal with some demons whilst Marshall brought along some buddy birds to draw attention, a view of an oddly shaped hole with what look like teeth coming out of the ground shown, which then reveals why a hellmouth is named as such. Myra is hella happy to do her duty and Gabe encourages her to do so, since some demons were currently taking the opportunity to crawl into the world, Marshall using his birdy friends to distract them as Myra walks up, big bear form ready to do some damage.

As Myra baits one of the creatures, Gabe stabs the other and takes a smoke break, the crows, meanwhile, do their job of flying about, but many also get too close to the teeth and are smushed. Gabe then steps up to attempt another phrase in whatever language which is shown, chopping at the hellmouth head right after another demon comes out, whom apparently was a bunch of other demons’ distractions, but fortunately, Gabe commands Marshall to continue his attack at the mullet demon and Myra informs Gabe of their coming,  so he begins saying some more magic speak. Damien had returned once more, and his buddy Mikhail upon seeing Myra, ditches the crew when one of the others suggest they attack them, but Myra gets up in Mikhail’s face as he explains how he didn’t want to fool around with her or Gabe. As Myra has the demon in a bear hug, another demon is looking irritated about their hellmouth dying, but as Gabe is fighting another, the little demon pushes Gabe into the hellmouth as it makes one last roar of defeat (to be fair, I’m feeling a little badly for the hellmouth, it didn’t do nuffin’ and Gabe takes him out easy as lemon meringue).

This new development pauses Myra and Marshall, but they then see Gabe’s spear pierce through the hellmouth, and when he emerges looking grim, one out of three of the demons have booked it, the other two standing and staring in shock. This definitely doesn’t help the two though, since Gabe lets out his anger and envelops them in holy light, Myra properly impressed. Gabe turns on her and notifies of the demon she’d been cuddling had escaped, Mikhail still sprinting for freedom, and feeling close to success when seeing the outside, but upon climbing the rock face out, realizes his strolling out into the world won’t be so cut and dry. As Gabe, Marshall, and Myra rush off after him, Eustace is looking pleased and gives props for Gabe having thought to give him his coat to hold, this being the item which had recaptured Mikhail (who has a multiple way of spelling his name, apparently), and Eustace not catching the look of surprise on his face. As Mikhail pleads for Gabe to let him stay, the latter gives him the opportunity to make himself useful with the need for information, but Mikhail has none to offer, so Gabe takes him out. He then relates now the hellmouth was closed in the area, the demons would have a more difficult time coming back, and wouldn’t be able to do so anywhere near Dogpatch. Eustace and Marshall also inquire if Michelle was still in danger, Gabe’s answer not a comforting one, and when Myra states she still didn’t understand Gabe, he was cool with it.

Another interesting episode, and onward I go!

 

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Diggers (The Bromeliad Trilogy #2)

Picking up where the first left off, months have gone by, the nomes lulled into feeling safe, when Winter hits and the “Great Battle” with a Dragon, Big John occurs. Then, as the first, the story backs up to the beginning where a significant storm is described. The Book of Nome relates how confused the nomes were by the change of weather. Masklin attempts to warn how serious Winter could be, Granny Morkie putting in her two cents, but they not hitting home with Gurder and Dorcas, the meeting ending. Then some information on the new government of the nomes, there no longer being Departments, the factions absorbed, and it becoming about who was a Driver and who were Passengers. Masklin then takes the Thing out to update it of current events, he believing it could hear even if it couldn’t talk back for not being near enough electricity. He speaks of Torrit passing of old age and shared how Granny Morkie was now on the Council due to being eldest nome and no one having the balls to inform her she couldn’t since she’s female, so it stuck. One thing he didn’t share was his argument with Grimma, Masklin now thinking she shouldn’t have learned to read since it seemed to be spurring their argument, this about Masklin believing they needing to get married and Grimma uncertain, she not about to do it only for being commanded. Masklin then worried about the nomes getting too comfortable again, but Masklin knowing it was their “density” to get to their ship. He then slowly realizes he’d been watching a truck drive up the road to the Quarry, Masklin berating the two who were supposed to have been handling the watch, they viewing the human messing with the fence, then Masklin sending a nome down to get what was left.

The Book of Nome mentions this note bearing bad news. Gurder, whilst understanding the words on the page, couldn’t decipher the meaning. The part giving him trouble was stating of the quarry’s reopening. Grimma is able to shed more light on the details since she’d become a better reader than Gurder, to his annoyance. She learns the humans planned on extending the highway by the command of Order. Now, nomes were starting to stress over the possibilities of having to leave already, Angalo one of them since he had started a family. Gurder decides a meeting would be the best way to proceed, when doing so, Angalo mentions a back up in case they had to move quickly, being a barn, but when Gurder responds by reminding they shouldn’t get too excited and trust in Arnold Bros (est. 1905), Angalo finally brings up the questioning of his belief, he only remembering how they’d helped themselves and Arnold Bros (est. 1905) hadn’t done anything. His words eventually have the two digressing into a theological argument which Masklin attempts to end quickly, and after resorting to threat, is finally acknowledged. Masklin then has to mediate the two, the meeting breaking up, and he having to refocus the two dopes, Masklin agreeing another look at the barns would be fruitful, the three walking outside, and then as if by way of divine message, Masklin is toppled by a piece of paper relating to Arnold Bros (est. 1905).

The Book of Nome speaks of when the nomes had asked for a sign which signified Arnold Bros (est. 1905) was worth believing in, they getting it, but then debating whether a sign was the same as a “Co incidence”. Masklin was open-minded and tolerant of the belief in Arnold Bros (est. 1905), and so when Grimma read aloud an article about the grandson of the co-founders traveling to Florida, the deciphering of this came difficultly, due to the words used being hard to grasp. Grimma is first to figure out what the article meant, everyone looking for Masklin’s opinion, but he not present for getting the Thing. He puts it near electricity sufficiently enough to wake it, Masklin asking the meaning of “communications satellite”, the answer a bit complicated, but Masklin getting to an understanding of it to where he suggested the possibility of the nomes being able to hitch on a launch to space so the Thing could get them to their Ship, the Thing stating how difficult this would be, especially with how ill-prepared Masklin was, but he says the right response of one not ever truly being ready and ordering the Thing to help.

The Book of Nome relates of how Masklin decides they should go Home, confiding to the Thing and also wanting this to stay secret for knowing how people would find flaw in the task. Masklin had returned to see Angalo and Gurder fighting over the reality of Arnold Bros (est. 1905), when he’s noticed and brought into the argument, he suggesting perhaps they should go to the airport to have a look, surprising Angalo, but Masklin also suggesting they have teams check the barns in the meantime in case those who were staying behind had to move. Grimma confronts him about how wild of a plan he was attempting, he hoping she’d reveal some inner feelings she had for him, but being let down, and staying strong with his potentially deadly plan.

The Book of Nome gives a dialogue between a nome inquiring about frogs, the other stating to the first, he wouldn’t find the description comprehensible, the first agreeing. The hike to the barn would take many hours, and the few foxes around learned to not mess with the nomes due to their numbers. The first trip would be to store some food, Masklin locating Grimma to announce he was readying to go, she then mentioning what a bromeliad was, and she not looking forward to going back to non-electrical living, Masklin seeing the upside of the community togetherness it had brought, and strengthening them, she not giving in to this, and Masklin going off to speak with Gurder about his choice of spiritual leader being a tad untrustworthy for his excitability, Gurder agreeing, but compromising with having allowed Masklin the physical well-being of the nomes, so should allow him control of the metaphysical, the nomes then getting on their way, debating skipped for time-saving purposes. Then two nomes on watch at the gate, after a great lull, saw and heard a human attempt to open the reinforced gate, relaying this to Dorcas, no one understanding the words of the sign left, but sensing the human would return. Dorcas setts off to share the news when the two on watch interrupt, excitedly reporting of the human being back, everyone hearing an engine getting nearer. After the human came into the shed everyone had currently congregated under the floorboards of, and left, Nisodemus, the new spiritual leader, began speaking against Dorcas, and all those who had gotten them to the quarry. He also laying doubt of the Store actually being demolished, no one appreciating the Outdoors, and the barn not having electricity or floorboards, a big concern. Dorcas asks one of the security guards where Grimma was, she being better at debate. It didn’t matter though, after the rant ended, sleet began to pour, putting moods to an even darker setting. Dorcas beginning to hope for Masklin and Gurder to return, it being three days since they left.

The Book of Nome mentions Big John the Dragon. Dorcas having discovered Big John, keeping him to himself. He locates Grimma to inform her of the unrest Nisodemus was causing, she aware of this, and Dorcas admiring her reading and comprehension skills, she then breaking down due to how long Masklin had been gone and how she’d treated him before he’d left, no one ever having stayed out longer than three days. Grimma then discusses the book she was poring over was pretty difficult to understand, it being about human beliefs, then thinking of the possibility of being able to study humans more closely before the alarm bell was rung again, this time by Nisodemus.

The Book of Nome relates what Nisodemus claims of the nomes having been tricked into believing, and they having been abandoned by their leaders right as Winter came, Nisodemus then stating of having a solution, Grimma and Dorcas in time to hear, but Nisodemus’ plan, whilst being flawed, still spoke to the common, as well as the lesser powerful nomes. Nisodemus planned on building a new Store. More details showed Nisodemus meant they’d put up signs, partially erect a Store, and Arnold Bros. (est. 1905), if pleased, would take care of the rest. Some of the nomes weren’t completely buying it now, and Grimma attempts to push people to their senses. In the end though, the nomes were swayed by Nisodemus. Dorcas was unable to calm Grimma with why they’d preferred Nisodemus’ idea. Dorcas soon enlisted to help make the signs since he had paint, the two security nomes informing him of more signs having been left, he instructing them to bring them back to show Nisodemus. He was happy by the signs, everyone setting about making more (misspelled) signs of their own, Dorcas even adding a chain and padlock from Big John’s shed, but when a human came, the signs were ignored, and even torn off, Nisodemus blaming Dorcas for adding the chain. Dorcas then realized Nisodemus was insane and couldn’t be reasoned with, Nisodemus commanding no one would leave when Dorcas suggested they should do so for safety. Dorcas planned on trying to get the nomes to the barn as he left Nisodemus’ presence, he eventually noticing the bad development of the weather getting worse for snow.

The Book of Nome quotes Grimma on the choices they had being between running or hiding, when asked which they’d act upon, she replies, they would fight. Granny Morkie explains the snowfall occurring was only a sign of Winter having arrived. As she demonstrates to the noobs by walking in it, she relates how this wasn’t nearly as bad compared to what she’d seen. This also meant they wouldn’t be traveling to the barn, since the snow barred anyone from entering the quarry. Dorcas is shown contemplating the half luck they’d had by the snow protecting them, Grimma then coming in to announce how Masklin wouldn’t be able to return even if he’d planned on it, this marking eight days, she having spent much time waiting at the gate lately. She states how once the snow fall finished, the humans would most likely set up camp there, she then suggesting they should fight against the take over, explaining how they had the upper hand since “the element of surprise” was on their side. Gulliver’s Travels is again mentioned due to tiny people overpowering a human, Dorcas concern being the humans fighting back, Grimma stating they’d have to prepare for the possibility straight from the start. Dorcas contemplates they should fight only in self-defense, Grimma agreeing, she then partially sharing her idea on how they’d go about it with the help of Dorcas’ group and the requirement of nails. Grimma then offers another piece of odd information of humans writing about them, referring to Nomes as pixies, she then vowing the fight was so Masklin had a place to return.

Dorcas then goes to Big John’s lair to talk over his concerns, he then thinking of repairing Big John (making it sound like he’s gas-powered). The human returns, as expected, with two trucks. When they stop, it’s shared how the nails came to use, the humans still able to break the padlock, and Dorcas sharing how if they do go to the manager’s office to use the telephone, as one of the protégés suggested, the call wouldn’t go through for the cut wires. The humans look around before all returning to their other vehicle, Grimma planning how to extend their traps for their inevitable return. Dorcas then begins having the group set about removing the battery so the truck couldn’t be moved, he having a plan to use it for Big John, as well as the fuel, which continues to confuse Grimma on the reason they were saving the two items. As Dorcas and she walk back to the bush, they moving in time from being squashed by the battery, he suggests she manage the team, but as she reprimands them, she realizes Dorcas was definitely planning something. She returns to Dorcas, whom was looking at the engine, almost explaining his plans for the items, but back pedals when Grimma thinks he’s planning on driving the truck. Then Dorcas notices the door was a little ajar, he deciding to have a look inside. When his team informs him of the fuel close to overflowing, Dorcas decides to let it do so, Grimma giving him a hard time with his excuse of letting the gas hit the road being dangerous, Dorcas having enough and telling her to “shut up”, explaining how he was helping her, not the other way around and getting a please or thank you once in awhile making it easier to want to assist, Grimma at first angered, then turning red, Dorcas demonstrating his point by asking the boys nicely to locate a large stick, they quickly off to do so.

The Book of Nome then relates young nomes asking Dorcas what it was like on the truck, he replying of the fear. When the young nomes and Dorcas see inside this truck, Dorcas has a flash of memory of the first drive, instructing one nome to grab the keys whilst the others looked around, but one nome became too curious whilst mentioning how a knob could be pressed, Dorcas desperately commanding not to touch it, but Grimma could see the results from outside, the truck now slowly moving. Dorcas was shouting at them from inside, they having released the hand brake, and now unable to put it back, the ground looked like the truck was moving a bit too fast to jump, so Dorcas had them all wait for the eventual stop. When it does, the young nomes get out as instructed so they could catch Dorcas, the only girl noticing they could be in some trouble with a light flashing and a rail vibrating, Grimma seeing the train coming down the track and connecting with the truck.

The Book of Nome includes how Nisodemus doesn’t have the verbal support of the nomes about his ability to stop the Order. As other nomes came out to see what had happened to the truck, Nisodemus babbles about how he’d stopped the truck, Grimma setting him straight and making him livid, she sharing the seriousness of Dorcas and groups fate could be, distracting Nisodemus from himself and focusing on the probability of humans coming because of where the truck started from, suggesting the nomes would be able to get to the barn in the current weather. Nisodemus attempts to deflect her words which nomes had trouble ignoring since she wasn’t yelling, like usual. When Nisodemus continued to yell for the nomes to believe and Grimma didn’t argue, they began to look to her for confirmation, she supplying only uncertainty, walking off, and as the car approached, more nomes running away. Afterwards, Nisodemus was the only one missing, they writing of he only being too ashamed to return, what they actually thought divulging a darker, different story. As expected, many humans, including those from the truck turned up, the coming days dark ones since the humans began fixing all of Dorcas’ rewiring and nomes resorted to hiding in fairly plain sight. The nomes started working together again, Grimma suggesting when they could, they needing to move to the sheds, and when it was light enough, hunters needed to be sent out for food for the extreme young and old.

The Book of Nome states of all nomes appearing and the humans regretting this. Then the perspective of a human is given, being distracted from reading by noises coming from the floor and walls, then sees his sammies being transported across the table by little beings, the human showing surprise by getting up, then realizing his ankles were bound to the chair, falling over, his arms getting tied whilst he, at human-speed, determined what was happening. Then nomes feasted on food and drink they recognized from the Store, they then deciding on the fate of the human, discovering a box, and Grimma determining after reading, it was poison. Grimma made clear the box was meant for rats, but they having no conflict with rats because of Bobo, Angalo’s pet rat, deciding to put the box where it’d remain untouched. Grimma then convinces them to show the human mercy, and leave when day broke. The human’s pockets were emptied, the nomes sitting around the human and eating, discussing the possibility of torture, Grimma again resulting to agreement, putting the nome suggesting it on the spot, Grimma then relating how uncivil hurting a prisoner was, the group then feeling sorry for the big lug.

Grimma was considering how unlikely it was for humans to not ever having seen nomes, she then realizing nomes hadn’t attempted communicating before, she being then called to read an article in the newspaper about Grandson Richard, 39 which had to do with a satellite being launched. Grimma then considers this and the unknown messages transmitted, could mean Masklin, Angalo, and Gurder were alive and had gone to Florida, the other nomes sharing looks of skepticism, but no one brave enough to doubt her. Granny Morkie sympathizes and suggest she sleep, Grimma having a dream of Masklin climbing a tree, yellow eyes below him, she then woken (this having to do with Masklin’s gift to her at the end of the story). She was in the middle of planning their next move when Sacco returned, insisting Grimma come with him because Dorcas had hurt himself. Sacco, completely spent, instructs Grimma where to locate the rest of the group with Dorcas before passing out, Grimma then trying to get some nomes to go with her to find them, she working with cowards, but then a few detecting their sense of do-goodery, Granny Morkie among them. By the time they were readying to go out they got more to come through for feeling shame. The group stays together, then decide the most likely place to look was down-wind (or down-A/C if you’re a Store-nome), so they walk to where the field was, Grimma half-seriously praying to Arnold Bros (est. 1905), when noticing a hole in the snow.

The Book of Nome then relates how the nomes realize they had nowhere to stay and must go. Grimma is then shown mentioning to Dorcas she thought his hiding place may be a warren, Dorcas showing appreciation for her deduction, and one of Dorcas’ protégés explaining how he’d noticed the rabbit hole, they believing they’d have to spend the night. Granny Morkie informs Dorcas his leg was only sprained, whilst the other nomes looked around with satisfaction with the quarters, Dorcas group detailing of their rabbit roomies residing further inside, Grimma considering they should leave A.S.A.P., despite Granny Morkie and Nooty smelling fox around. Dorcas then backs Grimma up after Granny Morkie makes going out again sound like a bad idea. They fashion a seat for Dorcas to be carried by four nomes, Grimma thinking how the world did seem the right size for humans, nomes living in their corners. She then thinks of how the nomes may soon have to rough it, giving up electricity, books, and fine dining, she also concluding she’d still wait for Masklin’s return even if they did move. Grimma loses hope and breaks down after this thought, the nomes not knowing what to do, since this was unusual for Grimma, Dorcas the only one trying to show support, Grimma stating how hard she’d worked to keep everyone together and cooperative, but nothing going right, their return Outside not bringing them luck.

Grimma then declares they may as well accept defeat and drop dead, Dorcas bringing to her attention how likely this could happen since a fox, not one of those having seen the nomes before, wasn’t fleeing and seemed keen on eating them, Grimma responding with a growl, she swiping Granny Morkie’s walking stick and hitting it across its nose before it moved, after a second whack and being yelled at, it decides rabbits were an easier meal and runs off. Grimma regains her composure and optimism, the group starting for the office again. Meanwhile, a disk zoomed far overhead, it responsible for the satellite messages and seemingly searching the globe. The nomes waiting in the office were begrudgingly about to send a second search party, they relieved when everyone returned, shouting in celebration. Grimma is distracted by the enthusiasm, even whilst knowing they weren’t safe, yet. She was listening to Sacco’s account of what Dorcas had done to escape being hit by the train, she thinking their bravery was for a useless mission, quoting a Proverb after Sacco learns there wasn’t food left, she having to explain the Devil as best she could, but then Dorcas, looking agitated, confesses they needing to follow him to the dangerous sheds near a cliff where he’d been working on a project. Plus, the sheds themselves lent secluded shelter, but before setting out, Grimma has an idea and asks for paper and Dorcas’ pencil, she proceeding to write a message which conveyed how the human could have lost his life and to stay away from them. Dorcas was now waiting for all the nomes to get safely inside before showing his beloved secret pastime, Grimma getting impatient to learn what was hidden underneath a large sheet. Dorcas finally relents after commanding his workers to retrieve the battery they’d saved.

The Book of Nome then relates Dorcas having introduced Big John and if they must, they should drive. The unknown Narrator (the beloved author) then mentions how books should have soundtracks (Hello, Scott Pilgrim). When Grimma sees Big John’s mouth and convinces herself she wasn’t scared whilst getting over the truck looking like it was going to bite her, Dorcas babbles about Big John’s potential to be driven. After he notices Grimma’s lack of speech, he asks if anything is wrong, Grimma asking what Big John was, Dorcas pointing to the name on the truck: John Deere, he then showing her his teeth, mentioning how it should work, Grimma irritated why he hadn’t told her sooner, he saying it was because there wasn’t a reason, and everyone needed something for themselves. Dorcas then says how he wanted Grimma to warn the others of Big John’s intimidating first impressions before enlisting the others to help get the tarpaulin off. Grimma warns the group and they get the tarpaulin removed, but there was still a panic before two of the nomes climbed atop Big John, everyone slowly coming back to look. Granny Morkie mentions how her father had described a digger, but hadn’t seen one before, she thinking he’d been joking. Grimma began thinking how it was possible the world had been constructed by humans, which was why everything was human-sized for easy use.

As Dorcas is directing the nomes where to place extra bits needed, Grimma is asking him how likely it is he’ll be able to drive them away, he now quite positive, even though he was also uncertain about his assumption about the levers for the mouth getting in the way. He also considered how most would need to hang on where they could due to limited seating. Grimma then offers her help, Dorcas requesting she read the instruction manual since he understood the mechanics, but didn’t know the procedure. Grimma studied the book and wondered if Dorcas actually knew how to drive the digger already and was only giving her busy work, but she got to her task anyways, marveling how nomes banded together when times were likely to become worse. Meanwhile, when morning was breaking the human awoke, freed an arm, and was able to maneuver back into a sitting position, these actions surprising to any nome watching. The human then notices the piece of paper on the floor before calling someone on the phone. Dorcas is now attempting to get the battery to work properly, whilst nomes were designated on steering wheel duty or pedal-pushing. Then Dorcas succeeds to get Big John running, the noise deeply reverberating and loud, until he got one set of the pedal-pushers to stop pushing, then it became a milder vibration. Dorcas breaks to Grimma how she’d be the one instructing the drive since the youngins would have them speeding along, Dorcas wanting the female touch since he’d rather have a leisurely ride. Grimma is thinking of how much better this would go if Masklin were there, Dorcas noting her thoughts after she mentions how they should’ve sent a search party to the airport, he regarding this with the reality of not having nomes to spare, and when Masklin returned, he’d understand. Grimma gets them slowly moving with minor issues at the start, she not caring the doors weren’t open since it was Big John and it could handle it.

The Book of Nome relates of no object able to upset their course, since Big John pooh-poohed all blocks. Big John took down the shed door at six m.p.h. and carried it halfway across the quarry before coming off, Big John stopping soon after. Grimma wonders why they weren’t moving still, Sacco apologizing for misunderstanding the speed requirements, and Grimma attempting to adjust her next order when seeing humans approaching Big John. Grimma commands they drive forward, Dorcas halfheartedly arguing to dissuade her, but Grimma unphased since the human had ignored her note, she ready to show them what a real nome can do. As Big John moves, the humans retreat, Grimma aiming for them and instructing Sacco to use the levers for Big John’s jaws since the humans had gone to the office for shelter, Grimma successfully collapsing the structure, and  the humans escaping to view Big John’s teeth as they ran away, close to nome speed. Dorcas informs Grimma where the last human had run, she aiming there next, Dorcas pleading to leave, but Grimma on a mission to avenge all nomes who had been hurt by human ignorance, more humans fleeing from the truck as Big John smashed it, Dorcas not approving of truck-maiming, anything hard to assemble being held at high value, Grimma using nomes again as being more important, but Dorcas not impressed since nomes weren’t difficult to create. Grimma then directs them to the barn according to Dorcas’ memory. The see a cop car coming up toward them, but their turn gets them out of the way. The policemen walking after them, Dorcas impressed by the area they were going being even more open than he’d seen so far. Grimma had them on a steady course in view of the barn, when another cop car began to approach them, so they change course, heading through the fields, but when reaching another road, more cop cars were aiming to box them in, Grimma having the team stop as the sky darkened, and a humming sound grew louder, sheep running away, stopping the cars, and nomes becoming terrified, Grimma is first to decide the darkness was a shadow and they should calm down and get out of Big John, she sharing how she thought they should make themselves more visible to someone, she smiling happily.

The Book of Nome states how their trek had ended with Big John and the nomes ran away, not looking back. Dorcas looked after Big John’s condition after everyone had exited, since he couldn’t grasp what he was seeing outside. Eventually Nooty and Sacco fetch him so he could hopefully explain the machine they saw, Dorcas unable to say, but believing it was what Masklin had been looking for, Nooty stating how a plant-like thing had exited from the flying machine, Dorcas giving in to having them lead him out. Grimma and Dorcas knew what it was whilst the others ogled, it being a branch with a flower with water in it which contained frogs: bromeliad. Dorcas believed Masklin had gotten Grimma flowers, he now only tired and happy, wondering what Masklin had been doing in their absence.

The story continues to be entertaining, the nomes consistently coming together in hard times being another good learning tool, helping one another, even if uncertain and standing up for those whom need it. Final installment, I approach!

Bone: Trilogy Tour II – Rose

trilogy-tour-ii

For the sixth volume. I found this story should probably be read after the 7th volume, but doesn’t really hurt anything, only makes the flashbacks of Rose flow a little better. This seems to be a background story for Rose which has us start with seeing her coming back for her dogs who are glad to see her, she being pleased they’d obeyed her orders to stay where she left them and giving them a treat, the Red Dragon appearing to tell her she must get back to what she’d been originally meant to be doing with her time. Rose gives in after defending her reason for being out, the dogs sad to leave their bones behind, but the three going off, Rose wondering why she was sent on this quest by her mother, she then seeing Briar, her sister going up the side of a mountain and deciding she should follow her to see where she was going, even though Briar was supposed to be attending a class with Rose. Rose is noticed before long and chases after her despite the terrifying omen of shouting for her to flee which she ignores and is soon overcome by locusts, deciding she’ll continue forward to discover what was going on and this being where the story ends, but most likely will continue in another volume. Before completely finishing the side-story, we get a two page throw-away of Phoney Bone and Smiley in which Phoney asks why the townspeople don’t like him and Smiley believing it had to do with his unabashed love of greed and Phoney and Smiley coming up with ideas of how they could get the townspeople to admit they either loved greed or at least could warm up to it, the two believing a political party or religion centering around greed would work, but abandoning the idea in the end leaving us with the idea of the irony of their plan.

Castle Waiting is a separate comic, beginning with a nun on a picnic visiting a grave and being interrupted by an imp from Hell masquerading as someone she’d known, until she’d figured out it was a trick, the little demon going on to argue how similar they were, and she shouldn’t be so up in arms around him, whilst she offers a type of cookie not common in his fiery home. After being certain there wasn’t anything holy in the ingredients, he munches gladly and then offers to walk her to her vehicle, the nun then wondering how the creature could be walking on hallowed earth, the imp stating how it wasn’t as off-limits as it seemed and could even foot through her church if he so desired, she wondering why he didn’t then, and upon the imp learning he wasn’t barred, getting a wink as she bikes away, he calling it “a date”, and poofing into nothingness. Iiiinteresting, I may have to look further into this.

Scary Godmother begins with a little girl, Hannah Marie, her scary godmother, and the two hosting a tea party, a little boy, Orson, spying on what they were up to with a bear called Harry. Orson wanted to join in, but Harry holds him back for believing it was only for the females, since his mother had stopped him from eating the finger sammies she’d been preparing, Harry left to fend for his own tummy. Then, upon Orson hearing about the best shrimp puffs and the one man allowed to attend having arrived, he insists they figure a way to get invited, Harry not wanting to miss the “boo-fay”. Hannah Marie is then prompted to share a story as Mr. Pettibone grabs the door, Harry and Orson masquerading as exterminators and offering a limited time offer to dust the bugs, but Pettibone declares it’s unnecessary, due to another attendee having already taken care of this. The two resort to attempting to get through an outside window, but fail to make it, Orson greeting his father as the two sat, forlorn under a tree to admit their want. His father suggest he ask, Orson going for it, and Mr. Pettibone immediately allowing them entry after sprucing up their outfits, Orson now more interested in the party games then the snackies, but Harry staying focused on the plentiful variety of yum-yums. As the two sit and listen to Hannah Marie’s story though, their resolve fades a bit with boredom along with the constant story-telling and chat, but Harry finally gets his mouth full, which keeps him content. Orson is bad mouthing the state of the stories he’d had to listen to, not realizing until too late Scary Godmother was listening, she unphased and offering he share the next story, Orson down for this, but then walking in to Harry getting into the story of a series, and starting with the first one, since Hannah Marie hadn’t heard of them, Orson dreading how long this would take, Harry successfully boring everyone to sleep, then contemplating his plan for pizza and if Scary Godmother had a running bill he could take advantage of, since the party hadn’t covered what they would do for supper. Weeks later, Scary Godmother is asking Skully if he remembered ordering a multi-hell-layered pizza, he denying able to stomach it. Entertaining, but not my cuppa, which was also covered at the tea party! Har Har!

Akiko was mentioned being a stand-alone, so those who didn’t know of it could be properly introduced to the main characters (hooray for me!) It begins with a child, Kiko and an oddly looking super-hero whom looks like Neil Gaiman, called Spuckler, in search of a Mr. Beeba, they discovering a path of books where he’d been, a robot, Gax bringing this to their attention. Kiko is certain he’s been kidnapped, but Spuckler isn’t sure Mr. Beeba had the foresight to unload such a perfect plan for them to locate him so easily, Kiko not arguing, only certain they needed to get to him quickly, running off. Mr. Beeba is then shown caught in a web and attempting to sweet talk a “monster” out of harming him. Kiko and Spuckler arrive outside a cave where the book trail ends, Spuckler insisting they needed a game plan before rushing in to a place where a large creature was mostly likely lurking, he having seen massive footprints. Spuckler relieves Gax of a sharp looking implement upon his robot-hood (near his neck, pervs!), and leads them inside, he warning them to hang back a bit, and rightly so, as he’s attempting to threaten the big fella into releasing Mr. Beeba, but instead getting entwined in the creatures tongue. Mr. Beeba confesses how much entertainment he’d gotten from Spuckler’s failure, they fortunately saved by Poog, a round face which sings unintelligible words, the creature lulled to sleep and everyone returning outside, Spuckler grateful, but relating how he’d like to discuss further a way to implement Poog’s talent upon requirement, so he didn’t look a fool next time. Not bad, I believe I’d read more if I had the means or was quite bored.

Usagi Yojimbo is about a ninja rabbit, Usagi, whom also guest appeared on The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show. Usagi is in this episode called, The Guardian, and immediately has to choose which path he will go down, allowing a butterfly to make the decision, and he following complacently. He walks on to see a samurai, he greeting him pleasantly, but when the fully armored samurai stays in his way, he learns of his leader preventing any “enemy” entry. When Usagi denies being an enemy, the guard relates of anyone not under the rule of his master was an enemy, and Usagi properly disgusted by this, decides to announce of locating another way to cross, unfortunately, the guard denies him this idea, since he could be going back to inform his friends of his leader’s defenses, Usagi confiding he was a ronin and traveled alone. This guard was on guard though, and declared of all enemies dying, Usagi backed into his metaphorical corner to the point of having to teach this fool a lesson, readying to fight. Usagi pulls a fast one, and jumps over the samurai into the water, believing his armor would prevent him quick pursuit, Usagi correct and slicing him, but as he’s retreating, the samurai returns a blow and states of not failing his leader again. Usagi next wakes to a couple of monkeys (literally a couple, they referring to each other as “husband” and “wife”) wondering if he had survived, soon learning this to be so as Usagi opens his eyes. He’s shocked to see he hadn’t been killed, and then can’t believe the bridge which had been guarded was years older and broken, the couple sharing how the civil wars had brought the bridge down, a samurai having caused enemies to get through and gave the general such a good fight, he almost lost, and in his rage, trashed the bridge and the ghost unable to leave his failed mission after death. The couple then asked why he hadn’t taken the newer bridge across the way and must have gone down the wrong path, Usagi blaming the butterfly and attempting to cut it down in anger, the two monkeys regarding him with confusion as he continued to attempt to split the butterfly. Now this is entertaining, I could definitely see myself reading more of these, if I can find them.

The final comic is a two-page Bone throwaway, Smiley and Phoney discussing why Phoney was so despised in the village, Smiley figuring it was because of Phoney’s blatant selfish greed. Phoney doesn’t buy this though, since in his mind, people understood greed and only couldn’t come to terms with it. The idea of if they were able to convince people they truly did love greed, they’d have them wrapped around their little finger, Smiley building on this by suggesting he turn it into a political party, so the people would love him because they’d be voting for him, Phoney taking it a step further and thinking a religion would work much better, then almost drooling with the thought of combining the two and having an uber-greed dual politico-religion. In the end though, disbelieving it could work and going back to washing dishes whilst Smiley dried. I loves ’em! Next is the cross-over of Castle Waiting and the Bones!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Year One)

My first experience with this story must have been colored by the fact I wasn’t reading it in paperback form, but on my computer at the time; I knew my feelings must have been harsh for a reason since this time around I am reading it in the way I’m most comfortable and it happens to be more enjoyable.

We begin with Mr. and Mrs. Dursley being introduced and how they’re quite normal, then going over Mr. Dursley’s career and Mrs. Dursley’s pastimes of snoopery, as well as their perfect son, Dudley. They also harbored a secret, it being Mrs. Dursley’s sister and her husband, the Potters who were no longer visitors of the Dursley’s and shunned as being family at all. We then learn the day the story truly begins being a normal one, but an owl passes their window and none notice, proving otherwise. Mr. Dursley is the first to notice, but not accepting the oddness of the day, as he’s driving and seeing a cat looking at a map and then reading the street sign, he going along and looking forward to setting drills for himself.

The next thing Mr. Dursley notices was the excess of people in cloaks, which seemed unnatural and invaded his eyes, but when the light turns, he again forgets about it for having arrived at work. He goes to his office where he sits away from the window which helped make his morning quite normal, but if he had looked out the window, he would’ve noticed the surplus of owls swooping down and it wasn’t until he goes off to lunch does he notice the cloaked people again and overhears their conversation of the Potters and specifically of their son, Harry, Mr. Dursely almost pausing to say something to them, but deciding against it and continuing on his way.

Mr. Dursley is ready to call his wife about the hearsay, but again decides against it, knowing his wife would become upset and when leaving work for the day, almost knocks an old man down, who also is in a cloak, the old man not phased and speaking to Mr. Dursley of how he should be happy You-Know-Who has departed and he, as a Muggle, should be glad of it and then getting a quick hug, which completely puts him off and has become so unsettled, he gets home as quickly as he can. When he reaches his drive-way, he notices the same cat on his wall and he tries to shoo it off, it not being bothered by his loudness and so leaves the cat be, entering to be greeted by his wife who’d had a normal day, he watching the news after Dudley is put down to bed.

The news announces of the strange owl behavior and how their seemed to be a meteor shower rather than the rain the weatherman had reported, the man again promising rain, after which Mr. Dursely succumbs to his notion of needing to ask his wife whether she’d heard from her sister recently, she reacting badly as expected. They both then prepare for bed, Mr. Dursley still noticing the cat on the ledge and wondering whether all the strange happenings had anything to do with the Potters. Before he goes to sleep, deciding regardless of the signs proving otherwise, his family couldn’t be affected and we being told of the reality of his belief.

We then see the cat, seemingly waiting for someone, an old man in a robe appearing, he being introduced as Albus Dumbledore and not noticing the cat at first, but being amused upon seeing her, he proceeding to put the lights out of all the nearby lamp lights and then sitting next to the cat and speaking to her presence there, naming Professor McGonagall. She transforms and begins to rant of how obvious some were being as to how they were celebrating and the Muggles noticing, Professor Dumbledore being exceptionally reasonable about it all. Professor McGonagall questions whether You-Know-Who’s disappearance was true, Dumbledore believing it was. As Professor McGonagall tries to continue speaking of him, Dumbledore dissuades her from continuing not saying his true name, Voldemort. Professor McGonagall acquiesces to his familiarity and tries to confirm the rumors of Lily and James Potter being dead, Dumbledore’s reaction to her mention of this proving the rumor to be true.

Professor McGonagall continues to wonder aloud how Voldemort could have been overcome by their son, Harry Potter and being unable to kill him, Dumbledore asserting they may not uncover the answer. Dumbledore then checks his strange watch and declares Hagrid being late and how he planned on leaving Harry with his Aunt and Uncle, Professor McGonagall aghast at such a thought since she’d surveyed them the whole day. Dumbledore insisted, though and told of a letter he’d written to them explaining his reasoning of they being the best placement for Harry and how he must be told of his past when he got older. He going on to explain it would be better for Harry to grow up in an environment which didn’t suggest of his fame at such an early age.

Professor McGonagall accepts his reasoning and wonders why Dumbledore had entrusted Hagrid to spirit Harry to the Dursley’s home, they then hearing a loud noise getting louder until a motorcycle drops from the sky in front of them. Dumbledore makes certain everything had gone accordingly and inquires as to where Hagrid had gotten the hog, he having borrowed it from Sirius Black. Dumbledore then gets down to the business of leaving Harry at the Dursley’s doorstep, Hagrid giving the boy a tearful farewell which scares the bajoolies out of Professor McGonagall and tries to comfort the giant man. We see the trio leave one by one and watch as Harry has a few more hours of blissful sleep, to be woken later by a screaming Mrs. Dursley and unknowing of all the toasts to his survival.

We then go forward ten years, the only signs of time passing being the pictures on the walls, none of which showed Harry existed, he then soon being awoken by Mrs. Dursely’s shrill voice. She wanted Harry to keep an eye on the bacon for Dudley’s birthday, Harry getting ready and going into the kitchen where Mr. Dursley barks at him to fix his hair. When Dudley walks in and counts his presents, he’s on the verge of throwing a fit for not having the amount he thought proper, his mother alleviating the rise to tantrum-mode by bargaining there would be many more later on. After, Mrs. Dursely gets a distressing call which will make it so Harry won’t have a sitter during the time of Dudley’s outing. Dudley tries to get his parents to keep Harry from going, but in the end there isn’t any other choice and Mr. Dursely makes sure the threat of Harry doing anything odd is going to have dire repercussions. Harry was determined to have the day go correctly for wanting to be able to enjoy himself at the zoo, as well.

When they arrive, everything works out fairly well and Harry even gets a few treats inadvertently from the Durselys since Dudley was being a picky brat. After eating, Dudley goes in search for the biggest snake in the reptile room, when it doesn’t move even after the demand of pounding on the glass by Dudley to his father, Harry steps up and communicates, to his surprise with the snake, Dudley’s friend being first to notice the snake was moving and calling Dudley back over, he knocking Harry to the ground and the upcoming incident beginning. Harry is, of course blamed by Mr. Dursley who promptly sends Harry to the cupboard with no meals upon their return home. As Harry waited in the cupboard for the Dursley’s to fall asleep so he could sneak into the kitchen for a meal, he remembered confusing images from his early childhood which he believed must have been part of the car accident his parents were killed in and then he remembers the odd people who would sometimes display respectful gestures in the street, they vanishing before he could get a good look at them.

Harry ended up getting his worst punishment which left him in his cupboard until summer, Dudley then getting ready to go to a private school and Harry going to the local public school. He also wasn’t as tortured at the house of the old lady who had broken her leg since she didn’t suffer him through cat pictures anymore and Harry had a great time seeing Dudley in his school uniform which could make any boy look like one of the characters in Blandings or an eccentric person going fishing. Then Harry is sent to fetch the incoming mail where he notices a letter addressed to him, but dazedly brings them all with him into the kitchen, it being taken from him before he could unfold the paper to read it, Dudley and Harry both getting thrown out of the kitchen where the Dursleys discussed what to do about it, Mr. Dursley deciding nothing being the best policy.

Harry then gets a visit from Mr. Dursely inside his cupboard to inform him he’ll be using Dudley’s second bedroom from then on instead of the cupboard as a sleeping area, Mr. and Mrs. Dursely believing they could be spied somehow due to the specifics of how the addressed letter to Harry had been written. The stakes slowly get higher as the amount of letters increases, finally breaking the record when a torrent rain down the chimney on a Sunday pushes the family packing up and going to a hotel, but even there not being left alone, Mr. Dursley then taking them on a road trip which concluded to a hut on a rock a bit of a ways at sea. Everyone’s asleep but Harry, who is awaiting his birthday-to-be in a few minutes and when he’s on the last second, someone has knocked on the door.

Mr. Dursley soon comes in after the crash of the door, threatening the intruder with his rifle, but Hagrid having entered, decided he would take the rifle out of the game by bending it, he then greeting Harry, introducing himself and giving him a slightly sat-on birthday cake. Hagrid then explaining his job at Hogwarts, surprised to learn Harry hasn’t heard of it. Hagrid then having to confess the story which had made Harry and his parents famous. Hagrid shares how know one knows how Harry had saved himself, but the possibility it had weakened Voldemort somehow has excited conversations amongst the wizarding world since it happened. When Hagrid circles around to Harry going to Hogwarts, Mr. Dursley makes another attempt of stopping Harry, but doesn’t win and withdraws himself and his family from the room. Hagrid then dodges a question from Harry about how he’d gotten expelled from Hogwarts, he giving Harry his coat to keep warm in response.

When Harry is conscious the next morning, he doesn’t want to open his eyes for thinking last night was a dream, but then believes his Aunt was tapping his cupboard door to get him up so when he looks to glimpse an owl at the window, tapping and Hagrid asleep on the couch, Harry is pleased to realize it was all true and goes to open the window for the owl, Hagrid advising him to pay him for bringing the newspaper with coins in his coat. They then get on their way to first stop at Gringotts to pick up something for Dumbledore and some cash for Harry’s supplies for school. When they go through the Leaky Cauldron and are stopped by everyone within so they could greet Harry they also meet one of Harry’s soon-to-be professors, Professor Quirrell, a stuttering man who taught Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Harry and Hagrid move along after everyone had their chance to meet Harry, then going out the back so Hagrid could uncover the archway which connected to Diagon Alley. Harry was fascinated by all the shops, but their first stop still being Gringotts they don’t stop to window-shop, getting to the bank and entering to see a second door with an inscription to any thief and then Hagrid directing Harry to one of the goblins so they could get inside the vaults for Dumbledore and Harry, we not being privy to what Hagrid needed to pick up for Dumbledore. They stop at Harry’s vault first and get enough money to last him two terms, they moving down deeper to Dumbledore’s vault to pick up the package requested, the trip making Hagrid sick.

When they exit Diagon Alley, Hagrid leaves Harry for a revitalizing drink at the Leaky Cauldron whilst Harry got his uniform, his first stop. He meets another student whom he grows to dislike the more he speaks to him and when his fitting is finished, is glad to go out to meet Hagrid who’d brought ice cream. They next pick up his quills, parchment, school books, and all the while Hagrid explaining Quidditch and the school houses, which were brought up by the boy in the uniform shop.

After going to a couple more shops for his supplies, Hagrid decides before they continued on to get Harry’s wand, he’d get a birthday present for him, insisting he’ll buy his animal after which, they go to Ollivander’s, Harry being a bit unnerved by the man’s eyes since he didn’t seem to blink. Once they begin the search for Harry’s wand, though (it taking longer than the movie made it seem) Mr. Ollivander detects Harry’s wand was the brother to the one which gave him his scar. They get burgers before Harry’s train leaves to take him back to the Dursley’s, Hagrid giving Harry some security with the words of being there for him if he needed help with the Dursley’s, giving Harry his ticket for when the start of school begun and Harry watching Hagrid as his train left the station.

Harry is treated differently by the Dursley’s after this, which made Harry’s last month there a conflicting experience for him since the family essentially ignored him, a bit of an improvement, but left him feeling more isolated, as well. The day before Harry is to go to the train station, he asks for his Uncle to give him a ride, which he allows only because they were heading in the same direction to get Dudley’s tail removed. When Mr. Dursley takes Harry inside, he becomes his old dreadful self again and leaves Harry to locate his platform himself, he trying to figure out where his platform was and not getting help from the guard, instead noticing a family talking familiarly and following close enough to hear them, but still couldn’t see how they were getting to the platform desired. He eventually asks the mother of the boys, she informing him how it was done, he surprised after discovering she was right, seeing the platform and the train he would be taking to Hogwarts. As Harry is trying to get his case on the train, the twins who he’d seen go through the barrier to the platform asked if he needed help, he accepting and they noticing his scar and going back to their mother to let her know who they’d all had met.

When the train leaves, Harry is visited by Ron, one of the boys he’d gone through the barrier with and his twin brothers, George and Fred Weasely introducing themselves as well, they going off to see what the hairy animal one of the other boys had brought and Ron sitting with Harry, the two talking of concerns of Harry’s about school and the two then sharing Harry’s newly bought stash of snacks. When Ron is about to test out turning his rat, Scabbers yellow again Hermione walks in with Neville who had already stopped by to ask if they’d seen his toad, she staying to watch Ron try his hand with the spell and it not working again. Ron was in the middle of explaining the game of Quidditch when Draco Malfoy introduces himself with his cronies, he being the boy from the robe shop and disbelieving Harry Potter was in the compartment. Harry makes it clear to Malfoy he knew what kind of people he wanted to be friends with and before the train gets to Hogwarts, Ron and he change into their robes and are escorted with the other first year students by Hagrid to the door of Hogwarts.

Professor McGonagall then takes over, leading the students to a small room where they would soon enter the Great Hall, the place they would dine and be sorted into their houses. All the first years were nervous of this process, but soon found it would be easy enough to take part in, Harry having to wait awhile before his turn came up, but ultimately pleased with the results, Ron soon seated next to him and everyone beginning to make conversation as their dinner plates filled with food. Hermione was conversing with Ron’s older brother Percy who was a prefect, about what they’d start learning in class and others were getting background on who came from a Muggle family. When their meal ended they had a few words from Dumbledore of what was forbidden on the grounds and a warning to stay away from a particular corridor for it being dangerous, then the houses were led to their dorms.

Harry now was dealing with students gawking at him and doubling back to get a good look at him whilst he tried to navigate where his classrooms were, the halls changing and doors not being doors all of the time as well as having certain requirements to open. We then get a background of the kinds of classes Harry had and how Professor McGonagall was impressed with only Hermione’s ability to change her toothpick into a needle-like shape, no one else having succeeded. Harry gets a message from Hagrid setting up tea for later in the afternoon and also learning how Professor Snape hated him when he’d gotten to his Potions class. Harry ended up losing two points for Gryffindor, but Ron saves Harry from making it worse when goaded by Snape, the two then going to Hagrid’s after class. Harry is reassured by Hagrid as well, of Snape not liking most students and Harry then read an article about Gringotts break-in which brings more questions to Harry’s mind.

Harry then likens Malfoy to Dudley with the similarity of they seeming to be equally hated by him, going on to mention how they only shared one class until learning to fly being added, the only other class which Gryffindor and Slytherin both would be learning together. When the class starts, Malfoy gets a sobering taste of reality which Harry and Ron both savor whilst Neville, scared at even trying to fly, is first to get off the ground and come back down quickly with an injury. When their teacher had left with Neville in tow, Malfoy takes the opportunity to make more trouble by going off to throw Neville’s fallen Remembrall into a tree, Harry following with skill he didn’t know he had and Malfoy making it a little more difficult for Harry to retrieve the item, but doing so with grace, tumbling to the ground when he lands, Professor McGonagall calling him out when he does and Malfoy with cronies have a good smirk at his expense as he’s led off by McGonagall, he thinking he’s surely about to be expelled and instead both going to collect another boy from a class to confide to both privately of Harry being perfect as the new Seeker, which confuses him.

When Harry reports the news quietly to Ron and is congratulated by Ron’s brothers a little time after, Malfoy comes to taunt Harry a bit and they both end their conversation with a meeting later which would involve a duel, Hermione showing up to notify how risky it was to be accepting something so blatantly against the rules, Harry and Ron both ignoring her. Later during the night they get caught by Hermione on their way out, she informing them she’d tattle to whomever caught them since she was stuck with them now, the Fat Lady from the painting having wandered off leaving her barred from the dorm with them, Neville turning up also having been locked out for not knowing the new password, the two following Ron and Harry.

When they reach the destination agreed upon and Malfoy not being seen, they do notice Mr. Filch nearby, Hermione taking the opportunity to disclose what Malfoy’s plan must’ve been all along, the group runs off only to be given away by a mischievous ghost, but being saved begrudgingly by Hermione who used magic to open the locked door they’d stopped at and learned after was occupied by a humongous three-headed dog, the bunch running out and not spotting Mr. Filch, he having gone to look for them elsewhere once being strung along by the ghost, everyone making it back to their common room in one peace, Hermione being the only one to notice the dog had been standing on a hidden door in the floor and Harry thinking he’d discovered where the small package Hagrid had withdrawn must be, the group then going off to bed.

We see Malfoy has been watching Ron and Harry, they having stayed at Hagrid’s all night discussing if the secret package which had been stolen was dangerous or valuable in some way. After this, they all agree they desired only to pay revenge upon Malfoy, which comes a week later when the mail arrives with a package and letter for Harry. Ron and Harry ascertain the package held his new broomstick which Malfoy was ready to out Harry for in front of a professor outside their dorm, but is thwarted by the chosen professor for already knowing the circumstances Harry was allowed the broomstick, Harry giving Malfoy the credit for having the opportunity, Ron and he getting a good laugh out of it once walking off. Their good spirits are interrupted by Hermione breaking her vow of silence to question whether Harry believed the outcome of his breaking the rules was a reward, the two essentially ignoring her.

After their classes Harry finally unwraps the Nimbus, Ron and he properly impressed by its awesomeness. Harry prepares for his evening practice and first good look at the Quidditch field. Since Oliver Wood hadn’t shown up yet, Harry gets some flying in and when Wood appears and Harry lands, he then realizes Harry’s talent, they then focusing on the rules of Quidditch which Harry picks up fairly easily, getting an example of how the Bludgers and then the Golden Snitch acted once released from their bonds. When the rules were explained and understood, the two then practice with tennis balls in lieu of the Snitch since darkness was falling, Wood pleased with Harry’s performance, the two calling it a night after they’d finished.

We then go two months into the future when Harry had been practicing Quidditch with the team and not noticing time passing for being so busy, then seeing their Charms professor pairing everyone off to finally try making physical targets fly, the students all excited at the prospect. Hermione and Ron were a bit peeved to get paired with each other though, since she’d not spoken to them since the broomstick debacle and Harry getting paired with another student. Hermione puts Ron in his place when she tries to fix his pronunciation and then demonstrates successfully once he goads her, but after class Ron speaks with Harry loudly enough for Hermione to hear his hurtful words which Harry makes him aware of as Hermione pushes him out of the way, he noticing the look on her face, and Ron ill at ease once he’s told. The two then hear of Hermione crying in the girls restroom from another student, but the boys are distracted by the Halloween decorations to go alleviate the situation yet.

Once they are ready to eat though, Professor Quirrell comes in with unsettling news of a troll in the castle which Dumbledore then orders all Prefects to guide their Houses back to their dormitories and as Harry and Ron are walking back with the others, Harry remembers about Hermione’s whereabouts and informs Ron, the two then going back to warn her. They don’t get far when they hide behind a stone griffin, seeing Snape rushing past and then smelling nastiness and seeing a large shadow heading towards them, the creature moving through a doorway before reaching them and the boys locking the door behind the monstrosity, happy to have the troll trapped until realizing it was in the girls restroom and the boys needing to return and unlock it once hearing Hermione scream.

The two try to distract the troll from Hermione to give her time to escape, but she is by this point too terrified to move, the troll now going after Ron who has trapped himself in a corner which is when Harry goes after the troll and sticks his wand up the troll’s nose, giving Ron a chance to try the levitation charm, it working and having the troll’s club knock himself out, the teachers soon coming to investigate and Hermione taking the blame, they all returning to their dormitory with five more points for Gryffindor and the three, now friends after undergoing such a dangerous fiasco.

We then make it to November when the chill is quite clearly frosting everything including the broomsticks, Quidditch season starting and Harry playing in his first game on Saturday against Slytherin. Hermione was a great help to Harry, for homework and history on Quidditch which he actually found useful and interesting. The trio are seated outside on the benches near the Quidditch field when they see Snape limping past and notice the three huddling together, they trying to hide a jar of flame they’d been using to keep warm, but he looking for a reason to get them in trouble, spotting the library book in Harry’s hands and not only taking points, but confiscating the book as he limps off, Harry not shocked taking a book outside was truly against the rules.

Later, as Hermione checked the boys homework, Harry decides he’s going to try to get the book back, going to the staff room and knocking, then due to not receiving an answer and thinking Snape could have left the book inside, opens the door for a peek, seeing Snape and Filch tending to the former’s wounded leg. Harry tries to shut the door again, but isn’t quick enough before Snape notices him, Harry asking for his book anyways and Snape shouting at him to get out. When Harry informs his buddies of what he sees and his thoughts on what Snape was up to, included his theory of Snape having something to do with the troll getting into the school, Hermione believing he may be getting ahead of himself, but Ron thinking Harry could be on to something.

Harry is riddled with questions which impedes his sleep, but also the look of Snape when he saw Harry, kept him pretty well rattled as well, the next morning bringing only more dread to him in knowing the Quidditch match would begin soon and not having the stomach to eat anything. Next we see Harry and his team-mates prepare to go out on the field, he still plagued with nerves until he sees his friends sign for him and the game starting, Hagrid joining Hermione and Ron once the Gryffindors had scored, wanting a better view of the game. Harry still wasn’t doing much for following the game plan, which was to be inconspicuous so he wouldn’t get attacked, waiting until he saw the Snitch. When another Bludger is followed, Harry then notices the Snitch and goes after it with the other Seeker following, the Slytherin team leader blocking Harry and making him go off course, Gryffindor getting a penalty shot.

Harry then notices something odd was happening with his broom, he realizing not long after, he couldn’t control it and it began to take him higher in to the air and buck him, Hagrid being the first to notice, before the whole crowd sees as well, Hermione taking Hagrid’s binoculars and seeing Snape whispering to himself, she believing him to be the culprit. She goes off to deal with Snape and once her plan is completed, Harry regains control and rides to the ground, spitting up the Snitch and winning Gryffindor the game. When Harry, Hermione and Ron get together after the game with Hagrid and discuss what they’d seen, Hagrid doesn’t believe for a moment Snape would jinx a student, Harry deciding to confide in Hagrid what they’d seen, Hagrid letting the information of “Fluffy” being his pet and accidentally revealing to the three whatever Fluffy was guarding was between Dumbledore and Nicholas Flamel.

Christmas was (Bill) nigh and the snow was getting thick and the hallways at Hogwarts were suffering as well, but Harry was fairly happy, even though Draco had gone back to taunting Harry about having no family since no one seemed to agree with his insults about his obviously skilled playing of Quidditch; Ron and his siblings would be spending Christmas at Hogwarts like Harry since their parents were off to visit one of their brothers in Romania. After their class with Snape in the dungeons and Ron costing Gryffindor five points for becoming exacerbated by Draco mouthing off, Hagrid invites he, Harry and Hermione to the Great Hall to see the progress of the Christmas decorations, they being impressed until Hermione reminds them of their date with the library books, Hagrid getting a surprise by what they were looking up.

After a search leading nowhere, they took a break for lunch, promising Hermione they would continue searching over the holidays. Ron also tries teaching Harry wizards chess, Harry borrowing pieces from another student which made the chessmen distrust him and would shout advice to him during the game for his lack of knowledge. The next morning being Christmas, Harry knew it would be a fun day, but didn’t consider the presents he’d get, they appearing at the end of his bed in the morning.

Ron and Harry opened presents from Ron’s mother and Harry gets a mysterious gift as well as one from his Aunt and Uncle before George and Fred burst in wearing their gifted sweaters and attacking Percy with his sweater when he comes in to investigate the noise, leading him away and talking of how despite Percy’s position as Prefect, he would be sitting with the family for meals, it being the holidays. The dinner was unbelievably impressive, as usual and even the teachers and Hagrid had loosened up for the festivities. Harry also got party favors which included his own wizards chess set which he and Ron, after having a snowball fight, play in the common room and Harry losing, this time blaming the bad advice he was given by Percy.

When everyone was ready for bed, Ron passes out almost immediately, whilst Harry couldn’t sleep for the mysteriously gifted present, realizing this was his chance to try the item out, letting Ron sleep. At first he couldn’t decide where to go until he remembered the library, heading there and getting into the restricted section, but when opening a book getting a terrible scare which got Filch to come, Harry fleeing and not paying attention to where he was going, soon hearing Filch behind him speaking with Snape, the two conversing about whomever had gotten into the library and locating them, Harry moved backward as they came toward him, due to the narrow passage, detecting an open door and being fortunate to not getting noticed, realizing he was in an abandoned classroom.

Harry then noticed a mirror in the corner of the room and made his way over to take a closer look at it, determining not only did he see himself, to his horror and surprise, but a crowd behind him as well, he looking around and observing he was still alone. It took him a few moments to come up with a feasible reason why he was seeing these people, believing perhaps they were invisible, at first. He then came to realize he was staring at his family, unable to tear himself away until hearing a sound which made him remember he couldn’t stay there much longer and promising himself he’d return.

In the morning he catches Ron up on his adventures of the night before and promises he’d be taking Ron along in the evening to see his family, Ron a little peeved Harry hadn’t woken him, but excited to see Harry’s family, then confessing to Harry how peculiar he looked. Later, Harry almost can’t locate the room again, but as Ron is complaining about turning around for literally having cold feet, he discovers the spot and shows Ron the mirror, Ron viewing a different sight from what Harry had seen, the two arguing about who got to look in the mirror after only a short time, then leaving when Mrs. Norris comes in to look around. When Ron sees Harry’s face the next morning he knows what he’s thinking about and tries to dissuade him from going back again, Harry ignoring him and again going to the room, this time Dumbledore there awaiting his arrival and making himself known when Harry goes straight to the mirror and sits in front of it, Dumbledore then confiding to Harry what the mirror actually did and how it wouldn’t be in the classroom anymore, telling Harry not to go seeking it out since he now understood it’s purpose.

Harry made good his promise, not using his invisibility cloak for the rest of the holiday season, but he having nightmares about his parents disappearing due to the experience of having seen them in the mirror. When Hermione comes back from break, she was shocked and disappointed at Harry breaking the rules and the boys not having figured out who Nicholas Flamel was, everyone continuing their search on breaks between classes, Harry having to juggle Quidditch practice on top of everything, which is where he found out the terrible news of Snape refereeing their next game.

After practice, Harry discovers Ron and Hermione playing chess in the Gryffindor common room, one of the only skills Hermione didn’t excel at. After Harry mentions Snape’s new position as referee, Neville joins them due to having been cursed by Malfoy, Harry comforting his looking a fool by giving him a chocolate frog, Neville returning the card, knowing Harry collected them which Harry then realized why he’d remembered seeing Flamel’s name, Hermione running off to get a book where she found an entry with Flamel listed, Harry and Ron reading the details. As the Quidditch match gets closer, Harry gets more nervous of Snape’s role and becomes paranoid of Snape following him and running into him in hallways, waiting for Harry to mess up, class being no picnic either.

Harry makes it to game day in one peace, though and is relieved to learn Dumbledore has decided to watch, knowing Snape wouldn’t do anything to him with the professor there, the game starting and Hermione and Ron sitting next to Neville, the two having practiced a spell in case Snape tried anything on Harry. Malfoy soon joins them and starts poking fun at everyone in his vicinity, getting on Ron’s nerves until he can’t take it anymore and jumps him, this happening right when Harry dives for what is presumably the Snitch. The stands erupt with shouts of happiness, Harry having caught the Snitch in what would seem to be record time, the game lasting barely five minutes.

As Harry was getting ready to leave the locker room, he spots Snape briskly walking toward the Forbidden Forest, Harry not being able to let it go and deciding to follow him on his broomstick. When he uncovers Snape had met Quirrell in the forest, he began overhearing talk of the Sorcerer’s Stone and threats to Quirrell if he didn’t help Snape in getting past Hagrid’s dog. Harry gets Hermione and Ron alone to share the news, they realizing the graveness of Quirrell being the only person between Snape and getting past the dog, regardless of the other enchantments protecting what they assume is the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Meanwhile, Quirrell seemed to be holding it together, but though his outer appearance seemed to show a slowly weakening bravery, he’d surpassed what would’ve been assumed his normal capacity. As this was happening Harry, Hermione, and Ron were checking periodically to be certain Fluffy was still present at his station and Snape was in his usual mood, which was presumed to mean the Stone was safe. Harry now tried to show his support to Quirrell with a smile of support whilst Ron started sticking up for him if someone found amusement in his stutter.

Hermione though, was too busy coordinating schedules and organizing her notes to spare any attention on the Sorcerer’s Stone, which Ron and Harry could have overlooked if she hadn’t been hassling them to follow suit. She maintained the upcoming exams were too important not to have begun studying for them earlier than she already was and the boys believed there was still plenty of time, but the professors were reacting similarly to Hermione, so the boys began to have no other choice, but to fall in line. Ron was the first to break since he protested loudly of the impossibility of remembering all which would be required on one of the first nice days they’d had since winter began.

Harry wasn’t paying attention until Ron acknowledged the presence of Hagrid and why he would be in the library, he hedging an answer and inquiring why the three were studying, thinking it was to do with Flamel, Ron easing his mind by confirming they’d figured the secret out long ago as well as what Fluffy was guarding, Hagrid trying to hush them for speaking too loudly and offering the group to join him later for a possible explanation, Hermione wondering what Hagrid had been trying to hide behind his back. Ron decides to investigate the section Hagrid had come from and comes back with books on dragons. Harry remembers how Hagrid had mentioned wanting one whilst Ron informed it was against the magical world’s law to own one due to the danger and being an obvious eye catcher  which would counteract staying under cover from Muggles as Hermione continues to wonder what Hagrid could be planning.

An hour after they go to Hagrid’s place and are immediately greeted with a fire blazing in the little room on the still warm day, Harry gets straight down to the topic of who else besides Hagrid was helping Professor Dumbledore keep the Sorcerer’s Stone safe, Hermione playing on his ego to get him to share. Harry is then comforted by the fact no one but Hagrid and Dumbledore knew how to get past Fluffy, Harry then noticing the egg near the hearth and after, asking to have a window opened, being shot down forthrightly. The three then began wondering how Hagrid would be able to keep his secret, whilst Hermione was now making homework schedules for the boys besides herself.

The one day Harry receives a message from Hagrid confirming of the egg hatching, Ron wanting to skip class to see, but Hermione keeping them in line regardless of the rarity of it. Harry tries to shut the two up for seeing Malfoy trying to overhear them and not liking their odds of succeeding in keeping their conversation between the three of them. The two continued arguing until agreeing to all go on their break to meet with Hagrid and he greeting them, flushed and excited at the door, updating them on the hatchling’s progress. The four gathered around the table to continue the watch of the dragon’s struggle into the world. The dragon made a quick exit from the egg not long after, Harry unimpressed with its features, but Hagrid gushing like a new mother until noticing a face in the window looking in, then running off.

Harry goes to look and identifies Malfoy, whom has a smug look on his face which makes he, Hermione, and Ron uneasy. Harry then tries to convince Hagrid to set his new little adopted son free, but Hagrid staying strong, believing the dragon was still too small to look after himself. Soon after, Hagrid comes up with a name and Harry continues his campaign to prove to Hagrid he must make a move soon for not knowing when Malfoy will out Hagrid’s (for now little) secret. Harry then remembers Ron’s older brother, Charlie could possibly look after Norbert the dragon until he’d be ready to go back into the wild, Ron excitedly agreeing to set it up with Hagrid’s blessing, he sadly acquiescing.

At night, Harry and Hermione were hanging out in the common room when Ron bursts in to report of his new bite given to him by Norbert, showing off and reporting of Hagrid defending “little” Norbert’s chomp, Hedwig then tapping the window for having brought the return letter from Charlie. They learn Charlie had agreed, but would need to have friends pick up the dragon discreetly due to the legality issues, the three coming up with a plan to deliver Norbert successfully. The next morning, Ron had a problem which he struggled whether to search for help at the nurses office regarding his hand and the possibility of Norbert’s bite being poisonous due to the affect of it changing Ron’s hand drastically, soon not having a choice but to take his chances with the nurse.

When Harry and Hermione go to visit him, Ron remembers through a conversation with Malfoy, he had taken a book from Ron and it had been a book which had the letter from Charlie within, the two now having to figure out how they were going to stop Malfoy from thwarting their plans. The night they planned on implementing their plans started late due to a hiccup with Peeves and his game of tennis on a wall, Hagrid taking his separation from Norbert hard and the two not as sensitive as they usually would be due to the gravity of the situation they were about to willingly walk.

Hagrid had Norbert properly prepared for the trip and the duo couldn’t figure out how they’d made it back to the castle in one piece with the crate between them, when they run into Professor McGonagall dealing with Malfoy in the hall, the group silently retreating toward darkness and once the professor had led Malfoy away, got to the roof without issue and made their hand-off to Charlie’s friends. Harry and Hermione going back down, believing all couldn’t get any better when they see Filch materialize to inform them of their true state, they having left the invisibility cloak on the roof, the goofs.

The two are immediately led to Professor McGonagall’s office where Harry tried to come up with a cover story and failing miserably. Harry realized the magnanimity of their situation and kicked himself for not remembering the one item which would’ve kept them under cover, the professor having every reason to expel them. Professor McGonagall was leading Neville out of her office and Neville, upon seeing the two, burst out with what Malfoy had tried to do, but was stopped due to the way Harry reacted and the professor noticing and stating how she couldn’t believe the story was true and they needing to explain the reasons for their actions for being out of bed at such a late hour, but upon not receiving an answer, trying to fill the blanks and after still not getting a response, gives the four detention as well as taking a significant amount of points from their house, leaving them in last place. Harry didn’t sleep at all as he listened to Neville’s sorrow from his bed and dreading what the other students would make of the terrible news.

It didn’t turn out well with either their classmates nor those from two other houses. Harry was so ashamed he vowed not to interfere in affairs which didn’t concern him and offered to resign from the Quidditch team, but Wood didn’t accept for the possibility of not being able to make up the points without Harry, and due to his terrible part in losing the points, the team was barely acknowledging him, making practice no fun. Hermione and Neville weren’t having an easy time either, but Harry took the brunt due to his celebrity. Meanwhile Harry, Hermione, and Ron instead focused on studying for the upcoming exam, which kept the two’s minds off their new statuses as pariahs.

Harry then had a moment which would test his recent vow to not get involved in situations which didn’t concern him a week before exams. Harry heard Quirrell inside a classroom sounding upset, rushing out and seeing his face was matching his voice, he not noticing Harry, whom looking in the classroom and detecting no one but a slightly ajar door on the other side of the room, had the opportunity to investigate when remembering his resolution and instead going to see Ron and Hermione in the library to express what he’d heard and believed whom Quirrell had been talking. Ron was getting caught up in the possibility of adventure when Hermione suggests the safer route of confiding in Dumbledore, Harry talking down the idea as well as getting involved at all and instead focusing on studying.

The next morning the two received notes detailing the time, place, and person they’d be meeting for their detention. Hermione and Harry go to the designated meeting place and join Neville, Malfoy, and Filch, they being led out into the night and Harry soon realizing Hagrid would be joining their group, thinking his detention may not be as bad, but Filch killing his spark of hope when coming out with where they were headed: the forest. Neville and Malfoy’s reactions were on par with what Filch expected: fear, but Hagrid was now taking over as their detention leader, Filch stating he’d return in the morning. Malfoy then refusing to step into the forest, but Hagrid listing why he would if he wanted to stay at Hogwarts. Hagrid then going into what they’d be doing, which was to spot an injured unicorn, splitting them into two groups to search.

As Hagrid, Harry, and Hermione walked down one path, Neville, Fang, and Malfoy go down another and both follow a trail of unicorn blood, Hagrid soon having Harry and Hermione hiding behind a tree for having heard something slither close by. Hagrid then considers what it could have been and knowing it shouldn’t be in the forest, Harry thinking it could be a werewolf and Hagrid declining this as a possibility, then seeing something come out from the shadows and revealing to be a centaur. Hermione and Harry are properly in awe whilst Hagrid tried to unearth anything about unusual happenings in the forest, Ronan the centaur speaking cryptically. When another centaur comes up and gives similar answers, Hagrid gives in and simply states if anything is seen, for them to let him know, leading the two away from the clearing and explaining how unhelpful centaurs can be. Then Harry notices the sign of trouble and reports what he’s seen to Hagrid who commands the two to stay put whilst he ran to investigate.

When he returns with the other group to announce Malfoy had caused the spark to go up because he’d scared Neville, Hagrid changes the groups so Harry would now be with “the idiot”, Malfoy and Fang, they heading off again and following a trail of blood seemingly getting thicker, both trail as well as the blood. Harry is first to see the unicorn in a clearing, holding Malfoy back to observe, they soon hearing a slithering and then a hooded figure approaching the creature to drink its blood, Malfoy letting out a scream, taking off, Fang doing the same and Harry being left transfixed in fear, the creature approaching him and his scar, searing pain. Harry then noticing a centaur jump over him to fight the hooded figure, the creature having disappeared by the time Harry could see through his pain. The centaur whom saved him didn’t answer Harry’s question as to what the creature was, but instead advised he return to Hagrid and offering Harry a ride, it being the quickest way back and being met by Ronan and the other centaur before taking off, they indignant he’d offered Harry to ride on his back and wondering what he could have told him due to he being a Potter.

After hearing their intolerant words for as long as Firenze, the centaur could handle, he defends his reasons for helping Harry and whisks him away. Harry then inquires about why Bane was angry and what the creature was once more, Firenze not responding until further along and then asking Harry if he knew how unicorn blood could be used, he only learning of how the tail hair and horn could be applied in his Potions class. Firenze then hints to whom could possibly want to drink unicorn blood and what it could do for the user, Harry putting it together and then being approached by Hermione and Hagrid. Harry shares where Hagrid could locate the dead unicorn and Harry and Hermione, once returning to the common room and waking Ron, he listening to Harry’s story of what happened to him. Through his explanation, Harry discovers he’s shaken from the experience and what he believes the centaur’s half answers meant about his fate, making Ron nervous as to Harry repeatedly saying the “V” name. Hermione puts in her logical explanation as to the centaur’s words and when they all retired to bed, light was coming out and Harry found his invisibility cloak folded within his blanket upon his bed with accompanying note.

We learn Harry doesn’t remember how he got through his exams in the future, what with Voldemort looming around every corner and Fluffy being ready at his post. We then learn of how the exams were given, some being the normal way of testing and others being “practical” testing, the student needing to perform the spell requested. Harry, in the mean time, was still having physical pain from the after effects of his experience in the woods, Neville thinking it was jitters caused by their exams, but then revealing Harry was having nightmares related to the hooded figure covered in blood. By the end of the last exam, Harry showed his exultation with the rest of his classmates, knowing they’d have a week to rest before receiving their test results. Harry is still troubled by the pain of his scar and confides in Ron of his worry, Hermione suggesting he should see the school nurse. Ron then tries to talk sense of Harry not having anything to worry about with Hagrid protecting Dumbledore and the Stone being safe after Harry voices what he believes his throbbing scar meant.

Harry then remembered something the group had to go see Hagrid about urgently, since Harry remembered how convenient it was Hagrid had found someone to sell him a dragon’s egg; the trio seeing Hagrid sitting outside his house. Harry gets right down to asking where Hagrid had met the dragon dealer and what he’d looked like, Hagrid being unable to answer due to the stranger wearing a hood, shocking the kids and then goes on to mention how they had spoken about Hogwarts and details of Fluffy which the kids now knew more of, Hagrid trying to make sure they kept their mouths shut about, the group heading off from Hagrid’s and discussing the need of approaching Dumbledore with this new found information.

Harry and Ron stake out the third floor corridor which doesn’t go accordingly, running into Professor McGonagall who by this point loses her patience, threatening to take more points away from Gryffindor if she discovers they’ve gone anywhere near the corridor again. Harry and Ron go back to the common room and run into Hermione who doesn’t have good news either, Snape having confronted her and calling her bluff about she waiting for Professor Flitwick, he going to retrieve him and she taking off, not following Snape as planned. Harry then decides his only course of action is to go after the Stone himself. Hermione and Ron try to dissuade him, but Harry is set and certain if he doesn’t locate the Stone before Snape, it’ll get into Voldemort’s hands and he’d be dead once Voldemort caught up with him, Hermione being the first to relent, then Ron adding they’d have to join him in order to aid his success.

The three sat apart from each other after dinner, Hermione focusing on looking up enchantments and the boys thinking of the night they had ahead of them. Once all their classmates began heading to bed, Ron suggests Harry grab his invisibility cloak and once returning to discuss how they should see if the cloak could cover them all, Neville appears from behind an armchair and calls them out on their plans of sneaking out, Hermione trying to convince him it wasn’t the case and Harry aware of the time they were wasting. Neville was now readying himself to keep them from leaving, threatening to put up a fight against Ron, whom had stepped forward first, Harry asking Hermione to step in, she apologizing to Neville before putting a spell on him and leaving the room, cloaked. Along the way to their destination they run into Mrs. Norris and then Peeves the ghost, whom felt their presence, but couldn’t see them, so Harry pretends to be the Bloody Baron so as to intimidate Peeves from calling Mr. Filch, which seems to work, Peeves leaving the hallway as requested, the group reaching the door to Fluffy, and seeing it slightly open.

The trio go inside to notice Fluffy awake and growling, a harp abandoned on the floor. Harry whips out the flute and immediately tries a tuneless note, they seeing an immediate affect on Fluffy, eyes drooping and dropping to the floor, asleep. They approach the guarded door cautiously, Ron opening it and relaying it was too black to see how far down it was and no steps being seen, Harry motioning he’d go first and ready to give the flute to Hermione to continue playing. They make the switch and Harry makes the drop blind, landing softly and shouting to the others it was safe to jump, Hermione coming last and noticing first the plant which had begun to entangle them all, she escaping safely to a wall, Harry and Ron not so lucky.

As the boys struggled, Hermione identified what the plant was and tried to remember how to kill it, Harry making a suggestion which reminded Hermione and then getting the boys released with another of her handy dandy spells. They continue down a passage, Ron hearing something rustling up ahead, the group approaching carefully and stepping in to a room filled with birds. Harry makes the first attempt across the room to the door on the other side, not being attacked, but discovering the door locked, soon realizing the “birds” were keys and the three having to scan around to detect the right one. After getting the broomsticks leaning against one wall, they searched through the bird-keys more closely, Harry spotting the one they were after and yelling a game plan to the others which is executed sloppily, but works in their favor since Harry did the snatching.

Harry quickly unlocks the door and the three continue onward, being surprised to notice the next room looked like a large chessboard. Ron was first to voice the obvious way they were meant to get to the next door, his thoughts being confirmed by the black knight, whom nodded his agreement. Ron designated where Hermione and Harry would stand and awaited the white pieces move. Seeing what happened to a piece when removed from the board was violent enough to make the others a bit nervous in losing, but Ron expected to lose the piece, although still unnerved about how it played out, having Hermione capture the opposing team’s bishop.

Ron matches the other team in pieces taken until he realizes he had to sacrifice himself so Harry could win the game, insisting if Harry wanted to catch up to Snape this would be the only way. So upon making his move, Ron is bopped on the head (which I found entertaining), leaving Harry able to go on as directed, winning, and the next door cleared for the two to continue forward. Hermione advised what professors spells could be expected ahead and they then go through the next door and perceive a fight had already taken place letting them pass unhindered to a room with a table and bottles lined up.

When the duo reach the table their path is blocked with magical fire, Hermione seeing a paper with hints on how to pass, taking a few more moments to work out the puzzle and after Harry makes sure she’s certain, plans to have her drink the bottle which would allow her to return to Ron so they could send an owl to Dumbledore whilst he continued forward to try and hold Snape off until reinforcements arrived. Hermione complimented his efforts, making him feel awkward, she drinking first as requested and leaving. Harry readies himself for what may be ahead and drinks the bottle, moving to the next room and identifying the person within was neither Snape nor Voldemort.

We then learn Quirrell is the shocking reveal and his demeanor being surprising as well since he completely changed to someone quite sure of himself and didn’t stutter or seemed nervous whatsoever. Harry is in such denial, Quirrell also reveals whom had actually been trying to kill him not being Snape and how Hermione had helped Harry, but not by setting Snape aflame. Quirrell then confides Snape’s true intentions toward Harry and how it had completely backfired on him, then binding Harry with a spell and sharing how he’d be killing him due to his nosiness. Whilst Quirrell proceeded explaining his failed plans (the obvious evil villain mistake), he then notices the Mirror of Erised behind Harry and goes to have a closer look. Harry tries to keep Quirrell talking to distract him from getting any closer to the Stone’s whereabouts, Quirrell not as interested anymore upon examining the mirror more closely.

Harry states how Snape had seemed to dislike him and Quirrell agreed, but it not including Snape wanting him killed. Quirrell partly disclosed his relationship to Voldemort and Harry began remembering the moments he’d seen Quirrell when he was first shown Diagon Alley, then coming up with a plan which involved he thinking of something to have the mirror reveal, but due to his hands and ankles being too tightly bound, fell over, still being ignored by Quirrell, but not for much longer since after Quirrell seemed to be asking for help from Voldemort, Harry heard an answer and it consisted of using him to solve the mirror’s puzzle. Harry steps forward, believing he’d have to lie about what he saw, but the image of himself and then realizing where the Stone was hidden took him off guard, he coming up with a lie which Quirrell believed, but the voice he heard coming nearby stating it was untrue, requesting to speak to Harry directly, Quirrell acquiescing and unwrapping his turban.

The sight Harry saw was horrifying and so overwhelming he couldn’t move nor speak, even upon being greeted by the terrible growth. What gets Harry moving is the statement which disparages his parents, stepping backwards and then dashing away, but not before Quirrell gets a hand on his wrist. Harry feels a searing pain from his scar, Quirrell seeming to be affected by this as well, letting go for a moment until being commanded to kill Harry, Quirrell knocking him down, but again not long enough, for the pain being so great. When Harry realized Quirrell couldn’t stand contact with him, he tried to keep him in his grasp, but passed out before understanding where the other voices he was hearing was coming from.

When Harry regained consciousness, Dumbledore’s face slowly came into focus, Harry was soon getting too excited, believing danger was still near, Dumbledore advising he calm himself or the nurse would kick him out, Harry soon being updated to the happenings after he’d lost consciousness. Harry didn’t realize how close to death he had been, but Dumbledore also assured him of the Stone having been destroyed before being used. Harry inquired after Flamel, Dumbledore sharing the fate of he and his wife, Harry surprised, but Dumbledore rationalizing why they were agreeable to their impending fates. Harry then inquires to what could have happened to Voldemort, Dumbledore predicting the possibilities of Voldemort not succeeding to gain power. Harry then goes on to ask Dumbledore questions concerning areas he still wanted answers to, some being given, others needing to be passed, Dumbledore noting it wasn’t the time to reveal some of them yet.

Harry uncovers why Snape hated him though, Dumbledore shedding some light as to the relationship Snape and Harry’s father had so long ago. By the end of their conversation, Dumbledore decides to try an all-flavored bean, it not working out as well as he’d hoped. Harry then had to plead in order to be allowed five minutes with Hermione and Ron, who upon finally being able to come and visit, immediately began asking what had truly happened with Quirrell.

Hermione and Ron then reported what Harry had missed when they finally made it back to the owlery and then told Harry of the feast to come the next day and he should definitely attend at least for the good food, after which Ron and Hermione are directed to leave for having stayed well over five minutes, leaving Harry to rest and he feeling much better the next day. Madam Pomfrey confirms Harry had been given permission to attend the feast and then informs him of his next visitor, Hagrid, whom upon sitting, bursts in to tears for guilt of almost getting Harry killed. After Harry sets him straight, Hagrid remembers he brought Harry a thoughtful gift, which upon opening, Harry realizing the trouble Hagrid had gone through so he could have an official family album.

We then see Harry walking to the feast and everyone upon seeing him, hush and then go back to normal conversation until Dumbledore enters a few moments later, he starting a speech regarding the past year. He then gives the final total of all the houses points, but then lists last minute points being given to Ron, Hermione, Harry, and Neville the latter’s points pushing Gryffindor ahead of Slytherin for the house cup, each announcement receiving more cheers than the last. After the change in decorations and Harry seeing Snape and knowing their relationship wasn’t going to change, was looking forward to the future “normalcy” of attending Hogwarts next year and the best night of his life being the feast.

Everyone also received their grades for exams, everyone passing and Hermione getting the highest of the first years. The students then prepared for their return to their homes and Ron expecting Harry and Hermione to come over during summer, the three stepping through the gate and first Harry and Ron being greeted by Ron’s family whilst Harry’s Aunt and Uncle stood and looked perplexed at his appearance. After Harry’s Uncle Vernon snubs Mrs. Weasley and begins walking off, expecting Harry to follow, he lets everyone know he would have some fun during summer since his relatives didn’t know he wasn’t allowed to use magic and would be able to use their lack of knowledge on Dudley whilst he was with them.

I quite enjoyed my second reading of this book, which confirms reading on one’s old computer doesn’t make for an enjoyable experience. I’m looking forward to starting the second.

Adventure Time Vol.1 Playing With Fire

This volume is in black and white starting with Jake playing ‘Never have I ever…’ with Finn. Then NEPTR has his turn, making it a bit weird with his subject-choice. Then Finn calls Flame Princess over in a special way so she can join their game. Finn’s next turn brings out how little F.P. knows of a place called Carnival Kingdom, surprising the boys. Jake almost ruins the atmosphere with an insensitive question about F.P.’s childhood, but they turn it around with talks of cotton candy, going off to Carnival Kingdom. When they arrive, Finn gives F.P. a choice as to what prize she’d like him to win and she gets all goo-goo-eyed over a cute stuffed animal. Finn then proceeds to annihilate the game, before the game-keeper even has time to finish his line of questioning. Finn is all set in valiantly giving her his winnings when she is so taken with the game, she ignores him and tries it herself, failing immediately, she then goes flame-y after being sweet-talked by the attendant, Finn and Jake watching on, a bit embarrassed by her display of anger, but Finn also reverting back to his undying awe and anime-style serious liking of her. During Finn’s explaining her awesome side, she calms down and is distracted by another area involving someone playing a fire flute.

Then F.P. fakes Finn into believing he’s about to get a smooch when in fact she’s getting ready to tell him of the free fortune-telling. Then there’s a bit of questionable grammar said by F.P. (not sure if it was a joke or not) and she goes in for a reading. At first the fortune is bright, but then it takes a turn, whilst Finn waits with happiness at being referred to by the teller as F.P.’s boyfriend, then he gets grabbed without the princess noticing until the fortune-teller is leaving and she sees his form stuck to the back of his pack. Jake isn’t sweating it, at first thinking Finn will bust out, but then Jake and F.P. track Finn to a forest with trees filled with peeps in bubbles looking like baubles on a Christmas tree, upon realizing Finn wasn’t going to get out of this one without some help. F.P. angrily calls out the dragon who masquerades as fortune-teller and blasts Finn loose from the tree he’s hanging from. Jake marvels at Finn’s diminished size and F.P. seems like she’s going to get personal, but Finn cuts her off and spurns her affection without a thought. Then Jake asks if they should go save the other tree baubled peeps and Finn declines without feeling, which begins to tip them off. F.P. decides they must return and get the real, awesome Finn back. Jake is kewl with little Finn, but F.P. describes all the great qualities Finn has including one which mystifies her. Jake’s about to follow her, but tries one last time to see if little Finn wants to save his soul and confirms his insouciance, so Jake plops him in a skin pocket and is off to catch up to Flame Princess.

Jake discovers her puzzling over some game pieces and trying to figure out what she’s to do. Jake finally figures out what the game they must play is all about with obvious rules. Jake isn’t as good at playing at first, though and F.P. is getting impatient. Jake tries to reason with her, but F.P. figures another way through to the next area whether it’s cheating or not, which Jake decides is the former option. She continues on her “rampage” going through the puzzle cave in a way which is suited to her nature, until she reaches a water area they must get through. Jake tells her she should stay in the cave whilst he and Finn explore the underwater area, she not liking this idea and deciding she’ll do what she wants and follows them down into the water, which doesn’t do her much good so Jake catches her before she drifts off. When Jake resurfaces he, distressed to F.P.’s condition of possibly being dead, which still doesn’t affect Finn at all, he then realizes how terrible little Finn actually is, but F.P. does wake eventually, in a bed, with her father coming in soon after she wakes. F.P., through conversation with her father then wonders how she even got back to Fire Kingdom, her father explaining she willed herself back, something she didn’t know she could do. Her father then tries to explain how F.P. should try to give in to her evil side more than any other trait she may have and then gets distracted by his servants and through his conduct towards them, F.P. decides she doesn’t truly want to be there, then waking again on a shore side.

After a bit of frustration by the water being everywhere, F.P. happens upon a hollowed castle looking bucket and begins making an enormous castle, but rain soon stops her after she’s struck how little time it took to get the castle so large, then locating a wooden opening above her head. She gets helped through by Choose Goose, who is burned with his efforts, but soon tells F.P. how he got there and his mission in getting his pack back from the dragon. After F.P. exposes how the rooms being puzzles worked, Choose Goose shows her all he’d found was a key, which F.P. is able to figure out must go to one of the doors which is hidden by the dark, which she’s of course able to uncover. Choose Goose suggests she flame up the place, but F.P. goes with the patient way and starts trying doors. Soon she uncovers the right door in an unapparent place, going through with difficulty and landing in a strange place, the door disappearing before her eyes. Soon she’s despairing over how she’ll ever locate Finn in such a vast place, but after shouting his name, she hears hers in return and is led by it, luckily.

We have an ethereal moment with Finn’s spirit when F.P. somehow releases him from his little pod. We then get a sign the dragon had been watching close by the whole time, touched by their little display. After the dragon explains why he’d done what he did, he told them his debt to her and can grant one wish, she bursting with something trivial mentioned at the beginning, but Finn reminds her of how they should help the trapped souls, he included. So, in agreement they choose the wish which everyone is uncomfortably put back in their bodies. Finn gets a kiss from F.P. which doesn’t hurt him and is impressed by her control, however recently practiced it may be. They are then all given prizes by the dragon since he’d been planning on releasing everyone anyways also unloading his burden of them onto the trio in returning them to their homes; they do it, though and end the last return with a camp-out. Finn compliments F.P. on her heroic ways and after the boys are sleeping, she’s still thinking of how unheroic she feels, she then sees her father who tells her she shouldn’t be bothered feeling this way anyways and being evil will get her everything and anything she wants, her form changing in the water.

Finn and Jake are then awakened by screams from someone in their town caused by a fire. Finn tries to invite F.P. along, but she plays unconscious and the duo run off to help, with F.P. trying to optimistically believe perhaps she could be a hero in the future, ending the story. I wasn’t impressed at first, also I truly get bored with black and white, but the style was Adventure Time and it was a catching story once I began following it more closely; all in all, a good addition. Then we get a story with BMO beginning with him being left a note not to touch the wall of weapons, but BMO can’t resist a brush mohawked helmet, soon revising the note and adding some sword action to his game-play, but gets the sword stuck and falls trying to release it, falling into Finn’s underwear and at first being surprised, then using them, sumo-wrestler-style in a fight with a worm. BMO doesn’t win this fight though and walks off looking for items to build a kite, making a big ka-boom which one sees shake the whole tree-house. BMO test drives his flying implement with himself attached to it, like a hang-glider. Then notices the worm on the ground, worryingly close to where his kite is attached; and rightly so; BMO goes with the wind into we know not where, being called and seen looking like a felled warrior when someone opens the door to his knocking. A cute one, not a bad way to end the volume.

Bone Vol. 1: Out From Boneville

For the first appearance. The first book and issue #1 called The Map begins with Phoney, Fone, and Smiley looking out for the townspeople and Phoney looking wiped out. Apparently they’d been chased out of Boneville a couple weeks before and Phoney hadn’t gotten over it yet. Whilst he pities his lot in life, his cousin’s try to lighten his mood, unsuccessfully. Smiley tries to show him how money hasn’t affected his happiness in the least, not having any. Phoney dismisses his happiness quickly to see if Fone Bone has figured out their current whereabouts and subsequently realizes they’ve gone off the map and won’t be able to figure out where they are, which is when Phoney figures out Smiley is drinking all their water and begins to most likely hyperventilate into exaggerated dehydration, which is when Smiley discovers a map of the area they’re in and tries to bribe a dollar out of Phoney for it; they convince him to do it and then get swarmed by locusts.

Fone Bone falls into a gully and is separated from the other two, but soon is too distracted by dissecting the map he’s found on the ground to see two big eyes peeking out of a cave, he then climbs back out of the ravine; whilst climbing he’s talking aloud and complaining about Phoney’s incompetence and need of his help for every little thing when he realizes he’s climbed up the wrong side of the cliff and panics, then yells for Phoney’s help; ha-ha. Fone then sees the cigar butts Smiley is known to dispose of and follows them, Hansel and Gretel-style up a mountain, still hoping to catch up before night falls, doesn’t happen, but falls asleep. After, we see from the rat creatures pondering to Fone’s being the chosen one and once realizing he isn’t, deciding he’ll be supper, but the Red Dragon intervenes, saving his life and asking for a light when Fone wakes up, believing what he half-heard was a dream, being startled when seeing the Red Dragon upon lighting the cigar and then confused when the Red Dragon disappears after he lights a second match. When Fone believes he’s lost Smiley’s trail and questions the map’s validity, he wanders into the most beautiful green mecca sort of place with the waterfall shown on the map. Fone soon picks up Smiley’s cigar trail and almost takes out Ted the bug and after a misunderstanding is talking with Ted’s big brother about whether he knows where Boneville is, which he doesn’t. When the big brother goes on his way, Ted helps out Fone by taking him to Thorn.

Then the rat creatures show up and once they spot Fone walking by, try to lure him into a bush and Ted scurries off, taking no part of it, which sets an alarm off for Fone and so he tries to run after him, at first getting caught, but then being released since the two were arguing about the first rat creature’s conduct toward the second and then not agreeing on how to cook Fone, asking Fone to return in an hour; good one. Then we see Fone calling after Ted and running into water, enjoying quenching his thirst and hoping to reunite with his cousins. Then he gets whumped by winter, not getting out in time, which was some advice from Ted’s big brother, making a simple camp with some woodland creatures, ending the first chapter; this is much more interesting than I expected, I’m quite enjoying it.

Chapter and issue #2 starts with Fone still camping out and dressing as warmly as he can, which isn’t much. Fone is visited by a Miz Possum who’s been helping him get along whilst in the forest by himself during the cold winter. After giving Fone more essential items for his comfort she asks him to watch her kids whilst she goes to see Miz Hedgehog. When he gets the kids into his little house-hut he’d been finishing, he hears them crashing around and trying to calm them with suggesting a story, the kids swiftly decide a game of what they’re best at would be better, which Fone concedes. Soon though, their game includes going outside, which is when they get captured by the rat creatures and Fone needs to swipe them back and retreat, which he does, but now must figure out a diversion so they stop putting up a chase. Fone collapses, shouting about his ankle and distracts them over the one rat creature’s breath, which gives him time to tunnel away through the snow, which they realize too soon, following him again. He tries to lose them by stowing himself on a tiny branch, but doesn’t keep them away and they all fall into a lake. When Fone tries to get away again, he hurts his ankle in earnest and with perfect timing, the Red Dragon is present. Fone Bone doesn’t act properly thankful and starts to shout about letting them get away, what with they also going after the kids he was babysitting, arrogantly thinking because the dragon hadn’t used his ability to throw flame at them, he didn’t have it, which the dragon proved wrong by demonstration.

After, the dragon moves along and Miz Possum shows up with her kids, relieved Fone was alright and when expressing to them he’d hobnobbed with a dragon, their mother doesn’t believe his story, but the kids were excited to learn of it. Fone is a bit peeved Miz Possum didn’t take his sighting seriously and seethes about booking it as soon as the smallest sign of spring is noticed with or without finding his cousins. He then hears a noise and sees a young lady crossing a stream and humming to herself and sees her undressing, visibly burning Fone up upon sight and once noticing his fiery scalp, yelps, falling backwards, which alerts the girl and when she sees him, offers him a place near her in the pool. When Fone gets closer, it takes but a moment to realize he’s completely smitten and immediately supplies her with his name instead of answering her initial question. When she introduces herself, Fone recognizes her name from when Ted was trying to lead him earlier. Thorn seems dubious once hearing he has cousins and had contacted a dragon, but once she learns he’d seen two rat creatures, she starts to take him more seriously. She asks him to take her hand and he’s completely oblivious to her instructions after and soon she’s walking him through the forest back to her home whilst he forgets the reason he’s trying to get back to his own home.

Issue and chapter 3 starts with Phoney Bone looking irritable, walking through the forest and then showing Fone Bone being awoken by Thorn and not remembering where he was and recognizing Thorn enormously until after she mentions his breakfast of cakes and tea and he breaks his fast, soon circling back to his realization of love. After he eats, Thorn gives him the task of doing dishes whilst she chops firewood, but Fone decides it’s a man’s job and makes himself look a bit foolish when he tries to get the axe out of the stump. She then decides the wood can wait and they go to get water instead, which is where she gives him advice on what to say and what not to when her Gran’ma Ben comes home later, not mentioning the dragon he saw, for instance. He tries to convince her of the dragon’s reality and when she moves away from the well, still not believing him, the dragon pops out, seemingly to rub it in Fone’s face, he not taking it kindly, at all.

When Fone heads back towards Thorn, she’s found his knapsack and he shows her the books he’d brought for entertainment, showing her some comic books he’d stored for Smiley, which she’d not seen before and then when he trying to summarize what Moby Dick is about, she pretends to fall asleep, which he doesn’t take well. She then detects the map Smiley had found and ponders over it for a few moments confiding in him it reminded her of a dream, but wanting to move along since her Gran’ma will be home soon. Then we move to the scene where Phoney Bone is grumping out of the forest and the first appearance comic begins. Phoney is still griping about his life when he runs into the Red Dragon. After he’s started to make the Dragon start to smoke a bit from his arrogance, Ted comes to save him from getting toasty. Phoney is still surly, due to his nature and Ted soon leads him to Thorn’s Gran’ma. They see her heading back home and Phoney makes his usual impression before she takes him to her home.

Then we see Thorn is making her special apple pie for her Gran’ma when she hears her coming back. Soon they see Phoney is riding the back of a cow and his speedy entrance into the house. They see he’d landed in the fireplace on top of their dinner, Gran’ma rushing to get him out of it, before he ruined it. Gran’ma Ben is already saying no to Thorn’s trying to get her to let Fone and Phoney stay, but then she smells the pie Thorn had been baking. Meanwhile Fone and Phoney are trying to figure out where they’d both seen Smiley last and then Phoney asks to be introduced to Thorn, since she’s so good-lookin’; after which, Gran’ma Ben doesn’t argue their staying, only they’d have to sleep in the barn. Thorn asks to speak with Fone so they can figure out how to keep the dynamite from going off between Phoney and her Gran’ma and after, Fone tries to put Phoney straight when he sees he’s gotten into the apple pie which was for Thorn’s Gran’ma, which Phoney shoves the rest of into Fone’s face when Thorn is sure to catch him in the act and denies even having seen it when she asks about it; it’s whereabouts being pretty obvious, ending the third chapter. These are so much fun to read, I now get why they would be one of the classic graphic novels.

The 4th chapter begins with Fone yelling at Phoney for spilling the milk again and aggravating Phoney to quit. Fone tries to keep his priorities in check by reminding him Gran’ma Ben is letting them stay there and feed them, but Phoney doesn’t believe sleeping in the barn is much worse than staying in the woods, if the food wasn’t as good as it was, he’d take his chances. Fone then, in the middle of Phoney making him aware of his bad luck again, right when Fone reminds him he isn’t as completely broke as he’s saying since he’s got a wad of cash still, which upon being reminded of, Phoney pops out of his pocket, confessing how it comforts him. Then Fone reminds him to try and stay out of trouble for a bit longer so they have a chance to encounter Smiley before getting kicked off the farm, which Phoney agrees. Fone goes off to help Thorn churn some butter as Phoney continues to seethe about his manual laboring plight when Gran’ma Ben passes Fone on the way back to the house. After Fone admits what Phoney is up to and how he’s about to help Thorn with the butter churning, she gets a feeling which bodes a bad omen and warns Fone to keep an eye on Phoney.

Fone goes back to Phoney to ask about Gran’ma Ben’s missing some undergarments to realize Phoney was the cause which Phoney doesn’t take well, reminding him of his status in Boneville, but Fone prompts him to remember how they’d all gotten into the mess they were in because of Phoney, which in turn makes Phoney more keen to get out of there as soon as they can rather than wait for the next day to accompany Gran’ma Ben to the spring festival, but when Fone mentions how Smiley may have heard about the cow racing with Gran’ma Ben and the bets involved, Phoney changes his tune, since he’s interested in making an extra buck and promises to not make anymore trouble. Fone only has a moment of suspicion until Phoney distracts him with possible calls from Thorn for Fone and then proceeds to swipe some of Fone’s belongings to make his way to town right then. Meanwhile Fone is accompanying Thorn to the springs whilst she lists all the good times he’d have at the festival, describing the splendid activities. Fone is surprised when Thorn’s reason for going to the springs is for them to bathe; oo, la-la. Fone gets distracted by the nakedness of course and disposes of the soap in an interesting way. Meanwhile, Phoney is getting lost in the forest when he runs into the three hedgehog kids in a tree, they, thinking it’s Fone for a minute, ask him to play.

Phoney soon helps them realize their faux pas and one of the kids help direct him to the town, leading him into an even darker and scarier part of the forest. As he is thinking of his plans when he gets to town, he begins to smell something foul, soon seeing the rat creatures napping. Phoney hides when another, larger rat creature, Kingdok appears to wake the two to update them of a meeting being held with their summons by the Hooded One. Kingdok discloses he has more information about the creature they seek with the star on his chest. After hearing the conversation which revealed they were looking for him, we move on to Thorn, Fone and Gran’ma Ben who had been searching for him when they noticed he was missing, guessing what his plan was. They decide due to Gran’ma Ben feeling like it was going to be a bad night, Fone Bone should gather his sleep items and stay in the house with them for the night. We then we see the rat creatures gather in a valley for the high council meeting.

The two rat creatures are questioned about why they haven’t found the “one they seek”, yet. They supply they haven’t seen him, but have run in to a creature similar to him, naming Fone Bone. When the rat creatures then detail the reason why they haven’t captured Fone Bone as of yet was caused by the Red Dragon, the Hooded one is silent, but then comes up with a diversion for the Red Dragon to follow whilst a second party would go after Gran’ma Ben’s farm and Fone Bone, to be acted upon later at night. We see the rat creatures quickly moving to do the Hooded one’s bidding and then see Thorn being woken from a dream with Fone informing her of the rat creatures outside and Gran’ma Ben waiting for them downstairs. When they hear what her plan is, she takes on a persona of the Fairy God-Mother in Cinderella; great last panel. Gran’ma Ben, then shatters through what looks like a wall, to grab a hold of one of the rat creatures on the other side, calling for the kids to run. With a bit of coaxing by Thorn, she pulls Fone along, running through the forest with rat creatures chasing them. When Thorn finally stops, she has a second thought of going back for Gran’ma Ben, believing she wouldn’t know the woods were scoured with rat creatures, but then one comes up right in front of them. In the adrenaline-laden moment, Thorn conks Bone’s head against the rat creature’s, knocking it out, apologizing for the reflexive defense against Fone. Then more rat creatures come at them and Thorn runs some more, carrying Fone along.

Thorn reaches a clearing and rat creatures surround them. We then see Phoney has reached the Barrel Haven Tavern. He calls for a beer from the bar-tender and is given one by Smiley. Phoney can’t believe his eyes for a moment and then greets him properly. Soon they get to talking of Gran’ma Ben and both being there because of the cow racing betting which will be going on. Then the owner of the bar begins to yell at Phoney he better be able to pay for the beers he’s been downing, with Smiley pretending to not know him. Phoney gives him the cash, believing it to be viable tender, when the owner sees it, he tears the money up and commands Phoney hit the dishes to work off his tab, to Phoney’s angry surprise. Smiley explains of the barter system they utilize in the town and Phoney gets more angry of Smiley not expressing to him properly how the trading worked before giving him the beer. We then see Thorn and Fone still in the clearing, surrounded. When she asks what they want and they admit they are there for Fone, she relates to them they won’t be taking him and then Fone smells the Red Dragon. Fone begins acting more reckless, but soon loses the smell and the rat creature he’d approached attack, Thorn pulling Fone back out of the way.

Then the Red Dragon comes out of the darkness with Ted the bug with him. Ted bringing Thorn and Fone away from the confrontation between the Red Dragon and one of the rat creatures, talking it out about how the Red Dragon’s conduct might be different if Kingdok were there, but also how the rat creatures had violated their agreement. When the one rat creature begins to feel like he must up the ante, he calls for his “comrades” to kill the dragon, the Red Dragon commenting on what “comrade’s” he referred to, the rat creature then realizing he didn’t have anybody watching his back and so runs away. Thorn takes the Red Dragon’s existence in stride, relating to him she needed to check on her Gran’ma and so he gives them both a ride back to the farm. Thorn sees the house has gone up in flames, though, believing them to be too late.

Thorn tries to rush to the charred house, but the Red Dragon stops her. He warns her to be careful of any hidden rat creatures before she rushes off anyways, Fone following her, she calling out to Gran’ma Ben. Gran’ma Ben soon walks out from behind a side of charred house, glad to see Thorn is alright. Thorn describes how they were almost overtaken but were saved by the dragon, he coming up behind her and getting a closer look at Gran’ma Ben and vice versa. We soon uncover the Red Dragon and Gran’ma Ben must have known each other since he called her by Rose and she was answering with short replies, the Red Dragon soon deciding to move off with Gran’ma Ben’s agreement. Thorn asks why she’s treated him like she has and Gran’ma Ben diverts answering by changing the subject about she needing to have a “chat” with Fone and Thorn should go put the fire out on the roof whilst they pack up their belongings to head for town so they can search for Fone’s cousins, she relenting and goes to do her bidding whilst Gran’ma Ben tries to get the skinny on how he or Phoney have ended up on being wanted by the rat creatures, Fone not knowing the answer.

Soon Fone is sharing the story of how Phoney got run out of town and Smiley and his part in helping him to escape with the help of bad prunes being part of the reason for the townspeople’s anger toward Phoney. Then we are back at the Barrel Haven Tavern where Smiley is keeping Phoney busy by making him continually wash cups after one round of drinks exchange the hands of the men buying them. Smiley shares of how he’s setting up the rumor of the cow which can’t be beat and asks Phoney why he still cares since none of the townspeople use money, Phoney making it known it might be a bit disappointing, but he wanting to get whatever they bet anyways; greedy little sucker. When Phoney sends Smiley back out to the front with the demand of not transporting so many dirty dishes to the back, he’s called by his full name by the Hooded One from outside the window. The Hooded One conveying how lucky Phoney is by having been contacted and states Fone will die for contacting the Red Dragon. When Phoney tries to threaten the Hooded One and fails, the Hooded One comes closer to contribute his reason for having business with Phoney, being interrupted by Smiley clonking more dishes down next to Phoney and the Hooded One disappearing. Phoney now realizes the danger they’re in and then we see Gran’ma Ben and group heading down the road.

Fone is entertaining himself and, so he believes, Gran’ma Ben with a retelling of Moby Dick when Thorn rides up next to them, waking her Gran’ma due to some trees blocking the road and a local standing nearby. We see the Hooded One lurking nearby as they approach the fallen tree and get around one end of it. Fone takes the opportunity to thank Thorn for sticking by him and helping him escape the rat creatures, Thorn replying it seeming natural since she thought they were friends, bowling Fone over backwards off of his cow with the knowledge. We then determine the bar owner is Lucius when Gran’ma Ben and duo reach the town and he’s there to greet Gran’ma Ben, with a little gift he’s been saving for her. Then Smiley comes out and he and Fone have a warm reunion. They then call Phoney out from the kitchen and all three get together, but the Hooded One is still watching with words of foreboding for Phoney. We then see Fone is throttling Phoney soundly, whilst Smiley plays on his guitar-like instrument, ending the first book of the volumes. This series is quite fun and I’m going to enjoy reading the next.

Bone – First Appearance (Cerebus the Aardvark)

I haven’t read Bone before and so starting with the first issue, we see Phoney Bone walking out of a forest and complaining about his cousin, Fone Bone who may be at Phoney’s home now eating his food and ditching him to make his way back alone. In Bone’s opinion he’s the wealthiest of Boneville and pities his predicament when he runs into a dinosaur-seeming creature and asks if he knows about his cousin’s whereabouts, which doesn’t get answered, until a little guy gets his attention and tries to get Bone to move further away from possible trouble, Bone not paying him any mind and asking the same question of him. When he doesn’t get any real clues though, he then demands to be taken to his leader, which the bug supposes the closest to a leader would be someone called Thorn’s Grandma. So they head off to uncover her where-abouts and then run into her coming back somewhere down the road.

The Grandma then threatens bodily harm to Bone when he doesn’t take her kind offer of riding one of her racing cows, kindly, where we then see her grand-daughter is in her grandmother’s abode and Fone Bone is with her, seemingly love-struck as they wait for her return to see if she’ll agree to Fone Bone’s being able to stay there. Then they first hear and then see the cows and her grandmother running beside them, with Phoney Bone taking the cow for a ride as they come back, to Fone Bone’s surprise. Phoney Bone does not making a graceful entrance, since the cow seemed to have gone out of control and threw Phoney through the front door whilst the grandmother yanked the tail of the cow to keep it from slamming through the door as well. Then the grandma meets Fone Bone and whilst they seem to get along better, she deduces why her grand-daughter had brought him over and squashes the thought straight from the start and then Phoney Bone is trying to get out of there as quickly as possible whilst Fone Bone believes the grandmother can help them get back to Boneville.

Phoney Bone is then introduced to Thorn and he embarrasses Fone Bone, but first they’d discuss whether either had seen the third in their party, their other cousin, Smiley, who neither knew the whereabouts of. This is when the grandmother relents to the two staying, but in the barn and Thorn and Fone discuss the plan of trying to keep their relatives calm until they can go to town together, which is when Fone goes to powwow with Phoney, but finds him dismantling the delicious pie Thorn had made for her grandmother, due to hunger and Thorn discovers them both sitting there, with the rest of the pie shaping Fone’s head with Phoney sitting pretty claiming not to know anything about it, ending the first issue. I understand now why this is entertaining at least. I’ll be interested in seeing where it goes.