‘No good attempting to look invisible Mr S,’ Professor Bagriel said, ‘I know for a fact that Miss Astonishing has not yet put you through your paces on that particular skill.’
Tiberius looked up. Professor Bagriel looked extremely serious for a moment. Then he smiled, grabbed the instrument on his shoulder and said, ‘Anyone play the electric harp?’
Ambrose put his hand up. ‘I’m well good at it, sir.’ he said.
‘Well good, are you? Let’s see.’
Professor Bagriel pulled a golden chord from his thick silver belt, stretched it out and plugged the loose end into the instrument. Then he threw the harp suddenly towards Ambrose, who caught it with a terrified look on his face.
‘Know any of the greats?’ asked Professor Bagriel.
‘The greats sir?’
‘Yes, Mr G, the great tunes. The Hallelujah Chorus, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, Angels with Dirty Faces.’
‘I know a few hymns, sir. Oh and Swing Low Sweet Chariot. My dad taught me. He plays in the band.’
‘Does he now?’ Professor Gabriel stroked his huge, smooth chin. ‘Grey… Grey… not Magnus Grey?’
‘That’s him, sir. Lead harp.’
Gabriel nodded. ‘I’m impressed, let’s see if you’re a chip off the old block.’
‘Let’s see if you’re anything like your dad,’ Professor Bagriel said, and he waved his hand to hurry Ambrose on.
Ambrose strummed a few chords and plucked a few strings. There was a tune in there somewhere.
‘Hmm, a work in progress I’d say,’ he punched a rapid sequence of buttons on his belt and the harp flew back to him, the cable spooling back into his silver belt as it travelled through the air. Otto Breeze ducked as it flew past his ear. ‘Now anyone like singing?’
Petrona’s hand shot up. Ocacia ummed and ahhed, put her hand up then changed her mind and pulled it down with her other hand. Tiberius groaned. Normal grinned at him and punched him on the arm.
Bagriel strummed a couple of chords. He snapped his fingers towards his desk and muttered, ‘Saratoga.’ A flurry of books fluttered around the room, a copy landing on each desk.
‘Sir, I thought Miss Astonishing said that you weren’t supposed to use miracles as magic,’ said Tiberius.
‘Yes well, there are times when a little er… ‘help’ does no harm and comes in useful. And eternity’s too short for endlessly handing out songbooks – unless of course you’d like to hand out all the books yourself, Mr S?’
Tiberius shook his head quickly.
‘Thought not. Anyway, the not-overusing-miracles rule is mostly for when you’re on earth, and by the looks of it getting you to sing Mr S will be miracle enough for me today.’
Professor Bagriel smiled but Tiberius just shrugged.