The Sugar Quill
Author: Doctor Cornelius (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Prelude to a Curse  Chapter: Default
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How did the Killing Curse originate? And why does it sound so much like "Abracadabra"?

  "All right, now, boys and girls… it's playtime!"


"And guess what we're going to play today, children!"

"What?" "I don't know."

"Well, do you know what day it is?"

"I know, Miss Bessie! It's Hallowe'en!"

"Very good, Mary! And because today is Hallowe'en, we're going to play Witches and Wizards!"


"And everybody gets a pointy hat and a magic wand!"

"Ooh!" "Hey, I want that one!" "No, gimme!"

"Children! Don't fight! …"

(Much commotion, finally settling down)

"Okay, children! Does anybody know what wizards say when they wave their magic wands?"

"Ooh! I know, Miss Bessie!"

"Yes, Bobby?"

"They say… 'Hey, everybody, I'm a wizard!' "

(Much laughter and further commotion, finally settling down once again)

"Noooo, Bobby, I think you're being silly. It was a good guess, though! But what witches and wizards say when they wave their magic wands is, 'Abracadabra!'  Can you say that? Try it, boys and girls!"




"Very good, children, very good! Now, next, let's try… But wait a minute… Where's Tommy? Have you seen him, Jane?"

"Oh, he's probably off sulking again. Shall I look for him?"

"Yes, please do, Jane. You seem to be the only one that can handle him. Sometimes I worry about that boy…"

"Well, Bess, we do see a lot of troubled children in this line of work…"

"Yes, I know, Jane, and I've seen a lot of them over the years, and so have you, but Tommy… I've never seen such an angry little boy. It frightens me to think what might become of him someday, it really does."

"Yes, well, I'll go look and see if I can talk him into joining the group."

(A couple minutes later, a woman finds a small boy in a corner, looking defiant.)

"Tommy? It's Miss Jane. Come with me, please."

(Grumpily) "Why should I?"

"Come along with the other boys and girls. We're all playing Witches and Wizards!"

"THEY'RE not witches and wizards. I hate them. I hate them all!"

(After a few minutes of cajoling)

"Okay, Tommy, now here's your wizard's hat…"

"Don't want a hat."

"Tommy, don't stomp on your hat! Tommy, that was bad! Do you hear me?!"

(Glowering) "Yes, Miss Jane."

"Now here's your magic wand, Tommy. You can wave it and say 'Abracadabra'!"


"Say 'Abracadabra', Tommy!"


"Tommy, won't you please say 'Abracadabra'?"

(A moment's silence, then…)

  The Daily Hanging
Hangleton, Nottingham

November 3, 1931


Jane Wright (1879-1931)

Miss Jane Wright, Deputy Headmistress of Saint Athaliah's Home for abandoned children in Little Hangleton, passed away on Tuesday afternoon in the playground of her beloved orphanage. She is survived only by her aged parents, James and Lydia Wright of Bristol. Miss Wright never married, choosing instead to devote her life to the less fortunate children of Hangleton and its environs.

The cause of death was at first thought to be a heart attack. However, autopsy results were inconclusive and found no apparent cause of death whatsoever. Orphanage officials had no further comment.

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