Harry, Pun, and Hildegarde soon found themselves standing in the front office of the school. They had some questions for Professor Snibblepore, questions that no teacher or staff member was willing to answer.
"Come in, children," said the headmaster upon seeing them at his door. The children walked into his office. The office was decorated with anything and everything magical-related. Professor Snibblepore said, "I believe that I am meeting with Harry Moffer, Pun Teasley, and Hildegarde Lamer."
"That would be correct," said Harry. He felt nervous over how the headmaster could have known his name. Did he find out about the debacle in the library or the incident in the Sand Dunes?
Professor Snibblepore continued, "I have heard that you caused a bit of a disturbance in the school, something that you did not intend to do. I have also heard that you were pushed down the hill by a janitor and ended up in the Sand Dunes when I specifically said that no one was to go into the Sand Dunes. There is also the matter of your little crusade against the Larry Dobber series to consider."
He stared at the children and said, "Normally, I would have you all suspended for this kind of behavior, but for some reason, I feel the need to stay my hand. However, Professor MacFordlepad will want to have a word with you regarding your missing classes."
"So what is your policy on the Larry Dobber series?" Hildegarde asked as she stared at a poster for a non-Larry Dobber fantasy book.
"It's just a book, and I don't mind if the kids read the Larry Dobber books," said Professor Snibblepore.
"But there was the restricted section, where all of the non-Larry Dobber books were kept hidden," said Pun. "What do you make of that?"
"Well, I am ashamed to say that I had no knowledge of that incident until recently," said Professor Snibblepore. "In fact, I had questioned Mrs. Pocher about the section and she claimed that she saw Marpus Silch setting up the wall in the library. When that happened, students stopped coming to the library altogether."
"I knew that Mr. Silch had to be up to something," said Pun. "He must be some kind of book-hating nool who hates kids. Why can't you just fire him and hire someone else, like say Tafrin?"
"I would," said Professor Snibblepore, "but there are some people out here who actually like Mr. Silch and what he's doing for the school, so I can't fire him. However, I can demote him and give him an extra workload. Will that satisfy you?"
"My mother wants him fired or I'm not going back," said Hildegarde. The boys nodded in agreement. "She is also wondering about your ability to actually run this school. She wonders if you should be fired."
"Understandable," said Professor Snibblepore. "I find that many people question my ability to run Warthogpox High, but that makes it all the more amusing. Anyway, I'll be investigating Mr. Silch's office and the closets all over the school for evidence that he planned this incident. Now, off to class with you."
As Pun and Hildegarde left the office, Harry turned to Professor Snibblepore and said, "Regarding the clown car accident that killed my parents...what really happened that night?"
Headmaster Snibblepore said to him, "Now that is a mystery that we have yet to fully solve. As for your survival, I was convinced that you were the only baby in that car. Little did they know that there was another baby in the car. Everyone was so busy fussing over you that he was ignored."
"Hey wait a minute," Harry cried out. "I have a brother?"
"I never said that," said Professor Snibblepore. "I said that there was another baby in the car beside you and your parents. Whether or not they had a second child is debatable... "
Harry shook his head, wondering how on earth Professor Snibblepore could have known about that. That cursing liar just lied to me by telling a lie, he seethed to himself. How can I trust him?
He stormed out the office in a rage, determined to break a big rule and get his revenge. No one lies to Harry Moffer and lives!
That night, Harry, Pun, and Hildegarde left their homes and returned to Warthogpox under cover of darkness. They were planning to go into the third building and find the Magician's Crystal.
Pun stood up for the first time since before his brutal spanking. He was forced to use crutches since Professor MacFordlepad yelled at the Teasleys for making him lie in a wheelbed. Pun was sure that his legs were feeling completely useless by now.
Hildegarde said, "You know, this goes against everything that they taught me in wealth class."
"Indeed," said Pun. "How do we break into the third building?"
"You could ask me," said Jill as she stood by the door. She was swinging a skeleton key that she had pilfered from Mr. Silch's desk a few hours earlier. "I know what you guys are up to. You're going to steal the Magician's Crystal, aren't you?"
"Well," said Harry, "in a matter of speaking... "
"You can't take the crystal if you don't know what it looks like," said Jill as she held up the drawing of the crystal.
"Hildegarde gasped as she saw the drawing. "Where did you get this drawing?" she cried out.
"Professor Dibble had it on his desk," said Jill. "While you guys were in the Sand Dunes, Neramill and I snuck into Professor Dibble's classroom and stole the picture. Now it's only a matter of time until we get our hands on the crystal and expose your nefarious plans to take over the school."
"How did you know about the clown car accident?" cried Harry in terror. Jill glared at him. "I mean, no one was supposed to know about that!"
"My grandpa was killed in that accident!" Jill screamed in anger. Everyone stared at her. "No, it's not funny, no matter how great you tell the story. My grandpa is dead because of HIM!!" she pointed to Harry as she screamed.
"Well, that's a story to share at parties," Pun teased. "Geez, I wonder why that car just kept getting bigger...and then it hit me."
"Well, that's really funny," said Jill. "But seriously, though, I am going to hurt you. To be fair, though, I'm giving you all a five minute head start before I come in there, eliminate you all, and get the crystal. Are we clear?"
"Crystal!" said Pun. Everyone stared at him. "What? I just said that we were all crystal clear."
"Nice one, Pun," said Harry, giving out his first compliment of the day. "Now can we get going?"
"Right," said Hildegarde. "We must leave now."
They found themselves running into the building and up the stairs. There were no actual floors or rooms, save for one that was located at the top. Harry had guessed that the third building had rotted itself out a few years ago.
After climbing the flight of stairs, Harry looked around and saw the door that led to the only room in the building. "I guess we made it," he said to Pun and Hildegarde. "We're safe now. There's no way that Jill--"
"...has beaten you to the room?" Jill responded as she set down the sandwich she was eating and smiled at the Grim Trio. "Yeah, you should have known that I'd beat you all here," said Jill. They all gaped at her. "I took the elevator."
"But...but...that's not fair!" Harry cried out. "You said you'd give us a five minute head start. You must have cheated!"
"I did give you a head start," said Jill. "I did the calculation and determined that it would take you five minutes to reach this room if you took the stairs. It only took me 15 seconds using the elevator. Now you know." She frowned as she said, "and you want to know something?"
"What?" cried the trio.
"I have the crystal, which is a freaking FAKE!!!" They all turned around and saw Professor Wom Dibble waving the crystal around like it was a toy.
Because it WAS a toy!!!
"Of course it's fake, Gourd Maldycart," said Professor Snibblepore as he came into the room. "Jill's grandfather had the real magician's crystal, which he gave to me on the night of his death. I hid the crystal in a Swiss bank box. The crystal belongs to the Roseberry family, not you, Maldycart."
"But that's not fair!" cried Maldycart in anger. "I lost everything in that accident. I lost my hair and my nose is forever ruined. I had to give up my stage magician days and get married and have children!" He turned to Harry and said, "Do you have any idea of how much your parents and those clowns ruined my life? I could have been the greatest stage magician in the world, but then all my dreams went up in smoke."
"Ahahahaha, he made a punny," said Pun. The others glared at him. Just then, Jill shot him with a foam arrow. Pun fell over, crying, "I wanted to be a great comedian, but I took an arrow to the knee!"
"How could you..." Hildegarde began her tirade, but the words died in her throat when Jill ripped off her gold chains and tossed them into the trash. "Chains are degrading. Next time, wear regular jewelry like everyone else."
Hildegarde ran off crying as Jill turned to face Harry. He gasped as he said, "Look, Jill. I didn't have anything to do with your grandfather's death. If anything, blame the clowns. Better yet, blame Gourd Maldycart. He's the idiot who caused all of this."
"Well, I do seem to recall Professor Pate telling me that Hames Moffer was one of the worst bullies that the school has ever produced," said Jill. "I believe that Hames is your father, right?"
"Where are you going with this?" Harry cried out.
"I always knew that you were a complete douchebag, and with the fact that your father was a bully, I'd say that you're just a chip off the old block," said Jill.
Pun burst into laughter. "You just made a punny!" he laughed even louder.
"And you, Pun, are a tease, since your last name is Teasley," Jill continued, much to Pun's delight. "And Hildegarde isn't as lame as her last name suggests." Hildegarde began to laugh. "But Harry, I can't say anything good about him. Moffer, really? I bet it rhymes with smother, which is what Hames had tried to do to Professor Pate," said Jill.
"How did you..." Harry began, but Jill said, "I read the entire history of Warthogpox High during the 90s and I found out that your father was a fool and a bully. Our hero, a child of a bully who hurts innocent boys and causes clowns' cars to crash. What kind of person do you want as a role model for your kids?"
"We'll deal with that later," Professor Snibblepore said as he approached them. "For now, we must leave this building and return to my office."
They all left the building as Gourd Maldycart said, "Well, I'm just going to have to do what I should have done a long time ago..."
"And that's when I have to put my foot down," Jill snapped as she stomped her foot. The impact of her stomping broke the foundations of the third building and the entire structure broke apart. Everyone gasped as they watched the building crumbling to the ground.
"Well, I think that Jill should be an actress," said Pun. "She really does bring down the house!"
Everyone laughed as Hildegarde said, "So that's why we couldn't go into the third building. The place was falling apart."
"Now you know," said Professor Snibblepore. "I'll have Mr. Silch clear away the damage tomorrow. Don't think that I haven't punished him for sending you to the Sand Dunes."
He walked away as the children watched with awe. Wom Dibble/Gourd Maldycart turned to Harry and said, "You may have won this battle, but you and your parents ruined my life. One day, I'll make you pay for this. You may think you're safe, but I'll be watching you."
He walked away as Harry, Pun, Hildegarde, and Jill watched.
"Well, that was fun and I have most certainly enjoyed myself," Jill said. "But you still owe me for that incident in the library. I'm also watching you, Harry Moffer."
Harry nodded as Jill walked away from the Trio. He realized that one day, he would have to face the former stage magician and somehow defeat him or die trying. Plus, Jill had yet to forgive him for her grandfather's death. He was no true hero; heroes don't intentionally "rock the boat".
Just the thought of him being an anti-hero made him uneasy.