Harry and Tafrin left the little neighborhood of Ilva and went to the train station. Soon, the city of Branford, Coggnetigut was far away. The train took them deep in the state of Pencilvarnia to a huge town called Wyvernwing. The town was located on the plains and had a fairy-tale look to it. It was well-known for having a haunted house, a tumultuous history, and its friendly inhabitants. Also, rumor has it that many of the town's citizens are involved in some sort of secret project.
Harry frowned as he looked upon the town. Everything seemed to be normal enough, but there was something about the town that he though was a bit...off. He had no idea of what it could be, as he had spent his entire life being exposed to the Dourfeys and their twisted version of "normal".
He saw that the park was empty, as if there were no kids allowed to play outside at all. There were no basketball or tennis courts, and there wasn't even a swimming pool. What kind of town am I moving to, Harry thought to himself as he thought of the happy, well-adjusted children living normal lives in Branford. He would eventually find out the answer to that question and he wouldn't like what he discovered.
The taxi carrying Harry and Tafrin soon pulled up to a house. The house was small and it looked very old-fashioned despite its excellent condition. The interior was done in colors that remind you of a black and white film. The yard was tiny and looked very formal, almost like an English garden.
Tafrin went to the door and rang the doorbell. A man came to the door. He was described as a busy bee, with deep-set brown eyes and straight, ash-gray hair. He was very tall, had a broad-shouldered build, dark skin, and a wide chin. He said, "Have you brought him?"
"Yes," said Tafrin. "Here is Harry Moffer. You remember his parents, Hames and Linny Moffer?"
"Well, I try not to talk about them," said the man.
"Anyway, I'm here to bring you Harry Moffer; the poor boy has been mistreated by his relatives," said Tafrin. "Small wonder that he didn't lose his sanity while he was with them."
"Indeed," said the man. He stared at Harry and said, "You may not know me, but I know who you are. You're Harry Moffer. I'm Joe MacLean. My wife, Dianna, has cleared out the back room for you. Our kids, however, aren't too keen on having you over, so, it's necessary that you stay out of their way as much as you can."
Harry frowned as he wandered through the house until he reached his new room. The room was tiny and stuffed with a tiny bed and a chest of drawers, and there was a table and chair in a corner of the room. I have somehow traded one weird family for another, Harry thought to himself as he prepared to settle down. And I thought that Tafrin claimed that the Dourfeys were weird and abusive. How did this come about?
Tafrin came to him and said, "I'll be back tomorrow to help you get your school supplies."
Harry said, "Why did you bring me here? I was doing just fine with my relatives. They never beat me or abused me. Why did you lie to him?"
"I had no choice," said Tafrin. "Snibblepore ordered me to fetch you from the Dourfey family; he was the one who placed you with them when he should have contacted social services, which would have placed you with a decent foster family and not the Dourfeys. But we should have read the will closely and realized that Linny didn't want you with her sister at all."
"And I suppose that Snibblepore knows about how and why my parents died," Harry snapped at him.
"The matter of your parents' accidental deaths is no laughing matter, no matter how well you tell the story," said Tafrin. "They were hit by a clown car while on their way home from a party. You were sitting in the back seat with your mother. The clown car was on fire and even though your dad tried his best to avoid the crash, the crash was determined to get him. The car your family was in caught on fire and exploded, leaving you alone and orphaned, lying by yourself on the streets of Wyvernwing with nary a thing to your name."
"Then what happened?" said Harry with a strange look on his face. "How did I get that ridiculous scar on my face?"
"You were hit in the face by a burning candy-striped cane," said Tafrin. "That cane left a mark on your face that today resembles your infamous scar. On the contrary, you weren't the only survivor of the accident; the magician known as Gourd Maldycart was also severely wounded in that accident. In fact, he lost his hair and his nose was burned. By all means, both of you should have been dead, as no normal person would have survived such a catastrophic crash as the clown car that mysteriously caught on fire. But it's a miracle that you two are still alive."
"Whatever happened to Gourd Maldycart?" Harry was curious as to the fate of the second survivor in the crash that killed the clowns and Harry's parents.
"Who knows," said Tafrin. "He simply dropped off the face of the earth after the accident and no one has seen him since. Now enough about that; I'm sure that you would like to settle down and rest after what happened last night. Like I said already, I'll be picking you up tomorrow to get you your school supplies. See you soon."
Tafrin left the house, and Harry was now all by himself. He had no idea of what to do with himself. He had spent the last 13 years relying solely on himself, as he didn't even trust the Dourfeys with his needs. He assumed that they wouldn't provide for him despite that fact that they were his only living family.
He saw Dianna and the children 11-year-old Lars and 6-year-old Sierra, but the children weren't exactly in a welcoming mood. Dianna had olive skin, Long, wavy, graying dark brown hair, and large green eyes. She was very short despite the fact that she was quite muscular and had an average build. The children were a mixture of their parents, though they inherited their mother's height. Harry wondered if Tafrin had made a mistake in removing him from the Dourfey family. Despite their faults, Vilmon and Pritimia kept out of his way as much as they could.
Then again, the MacLean family was nothing like the Dourfey family; in fact, Joe and Dianna tried hard to be like the other neighbors and not to even remotely be "normal". Harry wondered how am I going to survive living in this crazy place? He could understand that Vilmon and Primitia were not Joe and Dianna and Dillon was not Lars or Sierra, but that was only the extent of what he knew about the Dourfeys.
For starters, Mr. and Mrs. MacLean were thinner and nicer than Mr. and Mrs. Dourfey, and Lars and Sierra were also thin and nice. In fact, no one wanted to play with Dillon Dourfey, but Lars and Sierra had scores of friends. Harry also remembered that most of the time, the Dourfeys had left him alone.
He also recalled that he had lost faith in the Dourfey family after they failed to interact with him as a baby and instead showed excessive love upon their fat and disgusting son. Harry realized after his third cry that the Dourfeys were never going to give him love and affection, so he became cruel and bitter.
He had recalled the times that family night happened at school and he went alone. He knew that the Dourfeys could never be trusted to take him on vacation or accompany him on various school field trips. Harry had grown to distrust the Dourfeys by the time he turned eight years old and they never showed up to his Christmas play.
Well, enough about the Dourfeys. Let's move on to the MacLeans.
"What's he doing here?" Sierra snapped at her parents as she stared at Harry.
"This is Harry Moffer, and he's going to be staying with us for a while," said Mrs. MacLean.
"Well, I don't like him," Lars yelled as he too stared at Harry. "He's an orphan and I hate orphans. Please send him away."
"We can't send him away," said Mr. MacLean. "He has to stay with us. His relatives have rejected him and forced him to live in the basement instead of treating him as a son." Harry wanted to yell out "that's not true", but he decided to stay down and wait it out. There was plenty of time for him to dispute the claims of abuse later.
After dinner and dessert, Harry went off to his room to turn in for the night. Lars MacLean approached him and said, "Now listen up here, Little Morphan Ennie, don't you dare think that just because you live here that we're going to get along. You better stay out of the way if you know what's good for you."
"Yeah, stay away, Tinderella," said Sierra. "And if you even try to get involved with our family, we're going to make your life miserable."
Harry sighed and went to his room, completely ignoring the two younger children and their absurd warnings. He had other things to worry about.
The next day, Tafrin arrived at 9:00 A.M. and took Harry to the shopping center to get his school supplies. The MacLean family was gone for the day. He said, "I take it that you've adjusted here?"
"Uh, no?" Harry cried out.
"Well, that's too bad," said Tafrin as he and Harry walked in and out of the various shops, each of them carrying bags filled to the brim with school supplies and clothes and whatnot. Harry frowned as he saw scores of people staring at his scar. He was imagining the things they were saying about the scar, mainly the words "abuse" and "pathetic". None of them felt sorry for his parents' deaths at all.
"What's the deal here?" Harry frowned to himself as he caught a glimpse of the scar on his head in the mirror. The scar was twisted and ugly, and it had earned him a few humiliating nicknames in school, mainly the name "Scarface". He had often imagined himself showing up at school with a water gun and shouting the words "SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND" as he sprayed his classmates with pig's blood.
"They think that you are incompetent," said Tafrin as they picked up some clothes. "Your father was the worst sort of bully and your mother was no better. If it were up to everyone else, you would never even set foot in this town. Nevertheless, Snibblepore wants you to attend his school and because he's a poncy brat who threatens to zap people when he doesn't get his way, I had to bring you here."
"So, all those stories about me being some sort of famous wizard...they're all lies?" Harry mused. He had once picked up a children's book series that appeared to be written about him and read the seven-book series in one summer. Let's just say that he was none too impressed with the books.
"Exactly," said Tafrin, "and as such, we are still searching for K. P. Tipling, who wrote the Larry Dobber books and is trying to force Honnywood to make them into movies. I've read them and found out that they are the most tasteless books that I have ever read. Even the Blightnight Snaga is much better than Larry Dobber, and that's saying a lot."
Harry was about to respond when a girl approached them. She was very short, had gray eyes, a pale complexion, and long dark brown hair. She said, "Hi, I'm Jill Roseberry and I too am going to Warthogpox High." Harry stared at her outfit and said to himself is this chick for real? There's no way she's going to fit in at high school looking like that! He noted her skintight dark clothing and dyed hair tips, which was the color mauve.
Jill said, "I thank you kindly not to stare at me. Now, are you going to tell me your name or will I have to scare it out of you?"
"N-no," said Harry with a wary look on his face. "I'm Harry Moffer."
"Oh, really?" said Jill. "What a disappointment. You're just some plain common boy, not a great hero. Shame what passes for heroes these days."
"So, I take it that you've read the Larry Dobber series?" said Harry curiously, hoping that she would say no.
"Yes, and I wish that I hadn't," said Jill. "I was three years old when the series first came out and now I'm 13 years old and the series has ended. Reading those books was a dumb decision and that's hours of my life that I'll never get back."
"Indeed," said Harry as he stared at Jill. He was wishing that this annoying little girl would just go away, but she continued, "Enough about Larry; I'm here to tell you what to expect when you enter Warthogpox High."
Harry shifted uneasily in his spot, but Tafrin raised an eyebrow at him. Jill continued, "Now, Professor Snibblepore is the headmaster of the school, and he is strict, so you better not get on his bad side. I knew a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy's brother who got on Snibblepore's bad side last year, and I tell you now, it wasn't pretty. So, I think that it's best that you keep your mouth shut and do whatever he says. Plus, I must warn you now, don't rock the boat."
"Like how?" Harry frowned as he stared at Jill. The boy had the personality of a loser in one of those YA fiction stories, such as being easily duped into doing stupid stuff, having no friends, and always spending way too much time playing Rock Star Wannabe and watching viral videos on MeVids. "Rock the boat how?"
Jill shook her head and then said, "In other terms, don't change the status quo. Don't question anything that goes on in the school. Also, don't make friends with anyone who will cause you nothing but grief. Warthogpox High School has been touted as the best school in Pencilvarnia, but in reality, that is a lie. There's so much blatant crap going on here and I'm not even sure how or why Professor Snibblepore persuaded my mother to send me to Warthogpox instead of Barth Gall Academy, but there you have it."
"So, you're telling me that Warthogpox is the worst high school in Pencilvarnia?" Harry cried out. "Are you cursing with me?"
"No, I'm not cursing with you, you dimwitted noodle-brained noogmonkey," said Jill. "You'll know it when you see it. Anyway, I have to go; my mother doesn't like it if I'm away from her for more than an hour. See you in class, if you survive the entry."
Harry frowned as he watched Jill run away from their meeting place as if it was a crime scene and Harry was a serial killer. Tafrin said, "Jill Roseberry's mother, Inagime, still blames Snibblepore for her father's death, and for herself, she is right. As for the rest of us, we believe that Paumer Roseberry accidentally walked in front of a huge bus on the night that Jill was born. Inagime hates Snibblepore and wishes nothing but harm for him. Who knows."
He noted the strange look on Harry's face before continuing, "Anyway, let's continue with the shopping, shall we?"
Harry nodded and they left the area. He thought about Jill's warnings regarding Snibblepore and the things that went on in Warthogpox High School. He found himself feeling quite uneasy and wondered if fate had decided to turn his life story into a messed-up live-action version of the popular-but-suckish Larry Dobber series.
If anything, his life was already messed-up to begin with due to his years of living with the Dourfey family, but who was he to argue with fate?
On the night before he was to enter Warthogpox High School, Joe, Dianna, Lars, and Sierra were much too busy preparing for school themselves, so Harry was left to his own devices.
He used that time to go over his class schedule, which went as follows:
Algebra with Professor Athira MacFordlepad
English with Professor Damuos GiXus-Bowes
Science with Professor Celevus Pate
History with Professor Wom Dibble
Gym with Madame Forch
Home Economics with Professor Conoga Clout
Harry frowned as he prepared to go to bed, after making sure that his clothes were extra cleaned and his bag was extra packed. He tried to ignore the chaos that accompanied the night before school began and get some sleep. He was going to need it for when he faced the chaos of Warthogpox High.
He also thought about Jill's warning, which was "don't rock the boat." What boat was she talking about? Surely Warthogpox High wasn't an actual boat, so what could Jill mean when she said "don't rock the boat"?
Harry was going to crack that mystery whether the students and teachers of Warthogpox High School liked it or not.