Sophie Stone is a 2010 fantasy film written and directed by Sam Raimi. It is a film that concerns a bored and miserable teenage girl who learns that she has magical powers and begins to coexist in the magical elements of her world, until she is faced with a personal and dangerous enemy. It stars Georgie Henley in the title role, alongside Matt Smith, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Angelina Jolie, Freddie Highmore, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Julia Winter, James Earl Jones, Karen Gillan, Sophie Turner and Willem DaFoe.
Production for the film commenced in 18th January 2010, and the film was released on the 28th September that same year to critical success and a box office triumph of over four times its original budget. Praise for the film went to the film's special effects, CGI, action sequences, plot, score, direction and the performances and charisma of Henley and Smith. It received several award nominations, and won twelve of them.
(Camera travels across the city of London as if from a bird's view, honing in on London Zoo)
*Sophie: I'm going to be honest with you. I used to believe that I was mad. I used to believe that I was going crazy, with the strange things that kept happening to me...scratch that, the strange things that kept happening because of me. But, trust me, I had no idea I could do it. I had no idea how I filled my neighbour's shed with wasps after I fell out with my mum. I had no idea how, after my row with my mum and I rushed out into the streets in a fit of rage, the car that hit me bounced over my head and landed on my mum when she tried to chase after me. I haven't the foggiest clue how, when they tried to choose my guardian, I accidentally set his head on fire. You see where I'm going with this, do you? That's important, because what you're about to see right now is the one time that I did it on purpose. The one time.*
(Camera pans on Sophie Stone, a girl walking through London Zoo, curiously observing the animals. She is followed by a black haired boy and three other teens his age. Sophie turns and sees them, and immediately looks the other way.)
*Sophie: That's Kyle Gardner. He's a jerk. A first-class, five-star jerk. He's been picking on me since we started school, and the teachers have never really tried to stop him - his dad heads the PTA, you see. And here's the one time he got what he deserved and it didn't have the happy ending that I'd thought about before.*
Kyle: Hey, Sophie. (Sophie ignores him) Hey, Sophie, I'm talking to you!
(Sophie turns around slowly, and faces him.)
Kyle: (Points at the parrots in the cage in front of her) Look at the parrots. Pretty, don't you think. Pretty little things with big mouths and tiny minds, and dull black eyes. Why don't you go say hello?
Kyle: See. He says hello, why don't you say hello back? You're being rude.
Sophie: Fair point, Kyle. Look over there (She points over at the warthog enclosure). Youre brothers are calling to you. What do you know, they've got noses bigger than a parrot's big mouth.
(Kyle looks back at her furious, then punches her in the stomach. Sophie buckles, looks up furiously and then slamming into him, knocking him to the ground. Kyle struggles to his feet and glares at her)
Kyle: Filthy little bitch!
(Kyle runs at her, but Sophie swipes her hand for his face. Just as her hand passes over his face, Kyle screams and recoils, covering his face)
Kyle: Arggh! Jesus! What the hell have you done to me?
Sophie: What the hell are you talking about?
[Tense music starts]
(Kyle lowers his hands and looks back at her, and Sophie screams - Kyle's eyes have gone completely white)
Kyle: I can't see! I can't see! What the hell have you done to me?!
(Kyle charges at Sophie, but runs several inches to her right and slams into one of the enclosures, collapses and starts sobbing)
(Camera focuses on Sophie's face as she contemplates what she's just done)
*Sophie: I will never forget how horrified I was when I saw what I'd done to him. The worst part wasn't his screaming, or the look in his empty eyes, or the fact that it got me kicked out of school. The worst part was that I had no idea how I did it. Two years ago now, and he's still yelling. He needs a guide dog now, and his family's rich and vain enough not to want a scandal, so they didn't say what I'd done to anyone. What would they have said anyway? People would have laughed at them. They would have laughed at me. Who are we kidding, people laugh at me anyway*
(Scene changes to Sophie, two years later, walking through the rain to her house. She notices that a group of boys playing football nearby are glancing warily at her)
[Colours in the Wind by Vanessa Williams starts playing on Sophie's MP3]
*Sophie: Nowadays, I'm home-schooled by Charlie Essex, my guardian. He's a nice guy, I suppose, and I've lived with him for five years, but I can't fathom the fact that he keeps giving me advice on how to live my life. It's like everyone thinks I'm still seven years old.*
Sophie: 'Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon, or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned. You need to sing with all the voices of the mountain'...hi, James. Didn't see you there.
(James appears, jogging over to meet her. Sophie laps a hand around his shoulder and they walk over to Sophie's house)
James: Missed a fight in school today. You know, Kate threw a punch at the janitor. There was this whole scuffle over the astroturf, until the sixth-forms broke it up.
*I always miss on fun stuff like that. She doesn't feature in this story, but I never liked Kate. Never liked how she'd tell on me whenever she thought I'd cheated on a test. Still, would have killed to be there. Can't, though, that's what expulsion does to you.*
(As they enter Sophie's house, Sophie peripherally notices a tall, trench-coat-clad man standing in an alley over the road to her. She turns to look at him, but finds that he isn't there. She follows after James)
*Sophie: Life's not all bad. James is a great guy. He's my boyfriend, to be honest. He won't agree with you on the subject if you asked him, but he is. We've dated, we've kissed the odd time, and his friends even tease him for being with me. 'Careful, James, don't get too close to Sophie or she'll be the last thing you see', I heard one guy say. As if he knew what happened.*
(The man reappears, watching them, and then turns and walks away. Meanwhile, Sophie and James are having coffee together, while Charles talks indistinctly behind them)
[Music piques as Sophie looks at James and they toast with their cups of coffee before drinking]
James: Happy half term, Sophie.
Sophie: That's not even a thing.
James: I don't care. It's something to toast to, and it's raining outside - try to be a bit more optimistic.
(They laugh, and Charles watches the two of them)
James: I was wondering if you wanted to go to the movies tonight. My treat, you pick the film if you want.
Sophie: Erm... (She looks up at Charles, as if to ask permission)
Charles: Sure, you guys go ahead. I'm working late, anyway, so you may as well.
Sophie: Shall we say, seven o'clock?
*Sophie: The first film we went to see together when we were kids was Finding Nemo. Since then, it's been a thing. We've always loved it. Except, tonight, there was something else entirely about to happen. I wonder what I would have thought if I could see it coming.*
[I'm So Excited by the Pointer Sisters playing in the background]
(Sophie's room is a mess, and Sophie is lying on her bed reading. She gets up and the screen shows a montage of Sophie dressing up attractively for the night, including thin lipstick and combing her hair back. She collects money from a safe in her cupboard, dresses in a leather jacket and leaves the house. Sophie walks across several streets, heading for BFI IMAX cinema. However, behind her, something slithers into the darkness and she freezes. Slowly, she turns around.)
[Music sharply stops]
(She paces on her way slowly, her eyes wide with caution. A figure detaches itself from the wall behind her and approaches, three others joining her. Sophie, turns around, just as something invisible slams into her and she is thrown into a cluster of bins. The four figures come into the light, shown to be four tramps. one of them brandishes a knife, which alerts her.)
Tramp 1: Hello there, girl.
(Sophie turns around, sees them, and backs away)
Tramp 2: She looks scared.
Tramp 3: Is it the knife. We can put it away if you like.
(Tramp 2 lunges at her with the knife, and she yells and rolls to one side. Tramp 4 grabs her from behind and produces another knife)
Tramp 4: We're not going to hurt you, girl. That is, if you don't struggle. We just need to leave you with something. (He stuffs something into her jacket pocket) And now, give us your wallet and phone, just for keepsakes.
Sophie: Let me go, please...
(The three other tramps encircle her)
Tramp 4: Boys, take her wallet and her phone for me. Careful, that's a nice jacket she's wearing, don't want to tear it.
(The camera takes a the POV-point of Seamus, who appears behind Tramp 4)
Seamus: Nobody wants that.
(The tramps, startled, see him and freeze. Sophie wimpers as Tramp 4's arm digs into her neck.)
Seamus: Let her go, please. This doesn't have to end badly for you.
Tramp 3: Fancy accent, he's got.
Tramp 2: Smells funny, too.
Tramp 1: Who the hell are you, buster?
Seamus: You clearly weren't listening? I asked you, very politely I might add, to let. Her. Go.
Tramp 2: You asked for it, mate.
(Tramp 1 lunges at Seamus, but instead of slamming into him he lunges right through Seamus and breaks his nose when he crashes into a lamppost behind Seamus. Sophie gasps at what she saw, and Seamus snaps his fingers. Tramp 4's feet suddenly sink into the concrete as if it's wet, and then the concrete hardens and Tramp 4 is ankle-deep in the road)
Seamus: (Telepathically) Now!
[Exciting music plays]
(Sophie drives a knee into Tramp 4's thigh, pushing herself away from him. Seamus flicks his hand and Tramp 4 is thrown, his feet coming clean out of the concrete scattering debris, and hits a wall hard, sliding down and lying still)
Tramp 2: What the hell!
(Tramp 2 claps his hands, which suddenly catch fire, and Tramp 2 grins, pacing towards Seamus. Seamus seems unmoved, and when Tramp 2 throws a fireball at him, he raises an elbow and the fireball blazes against his sleeve and dissolves. Seamus snaps the fingers of his other hand and the coat that Tramp 2 is wearing transforms into a large black snake that hisses fiercely at him. Tramp 2 shrieks, and the snake lunges. Tramp 2 hits the ground and starts wrestling with the snake, and Sophie cannot help but giggle.)
Seamus: (Pacing around Tramp 2 as he writhes) And, in seconds of being attacked by his own item of clothing, a skilled man becomes a madman rolling on the pavement wrestling with a reptile. How the mighty have fallen.
(Tramp 3 appears behind Seamus and picks up the knife. He brings his knife-hand back and lunges.)
Sophie: Look out!
(Seamus turns calmly around and glances at the man, before spreading his trench coat and suddenly a swarm of bees erupt from inside his coat. They envelop the man, who recoils and starts howling, flailing his arms and staggering out of sight, his screams still audible from far away)
Seamus: Well, that went smoothly, don't you agree?
Sophie: There were four of them...
(Tramp 1 pounces out of nowhere and Seamus flicks his wrist at him, and suddenly the nearby stop sign bends down and swats Tramp 1 in the face, knocking him several feet back, where he lies unconscious. Sophie gasps.)
Seamus: I do so hate the kind of people who lunge from behind as if they think they have the upper hand, don't you? Oh, I'm sorry, I've forgotten my manners. Are you injured.
Sophie: Not badly.
Seamus: That is very fortunate. I do hope I did not startle you as much as those very rude men did.
Sophie: Who were they.
Seamus: Judging from their attitude, very rude men.
Sophie: They threw fireballs at you.
Seamus: Correction. Only one of them threw fireballs at me, really. The others either didn't know how to, or knew how to and were too hot-headed to think about it.
Sophie: What are you talking about?
Seamus: I'm sorry, you probably haven't understood anything that has happened in the last five minutes. Put simply...do you believe in magic?
Sophie: What kind of a question is that?
Seamus: Dear lord, you are a belligerent one. Well, you'd best be on your way, and we will continue this little conversation tomorrow morning. Actually.. (He approaches Sophie too fast for her to react, and places a hand on her forehead. Sophie's eyes roll to the back of her head and she slackens, and he catches her.) until tomorrow, you will forget that what has transpired in the last few minutes. You will go and see this boyfriend of yours, and you will enjoy the movie - I have seen it, and enjoyed it, so I hope that you do too. You will come to the Starbucks cafe by Victoria Station, and we shall discuss it from there. Tell nobody where you are going when you do. Until then, Miss Sophie Stone...cheerio. (He removes his hand an Sophie stands bolt-upright for a moment. Seamus flourishes his cloak over his head and disappears from sight where he stands. Sophie suddenly blinks and shakes away her dizziness, before picking up her bag and walking onwards, ignoring the scene of the fight around her. The scene cuts to Sophie and James sitting at the back of a cinema, with big boxes of popcorn between them, grinning broadly and clearly enjoying the film)
*Sophie: I did forget. To this day, I still can't believe he made me forget. And I did enjoy the film, like he said. That part was definitely all me. And, the next day, I can remember thinking 'I really have to go to Victoria Station today'. Don't ask me to explain why, I just felt like that.*
(Scene shows Sophie sitting on the Underground train, which stops at Victoria station. She exits the train and walks up to the open, where she finds the Starbucks cafe. Seamus stands by the window, awaiting her)
Sophie: What the hell did you do to me? I couldn't remember...until now...a man nearly set you on fire!
Seamus: Keep your voice down please, Sophie. How was the film?
(Sophie pauses, caught off guard by the question)
Sophie: Really good.
Seamus: You kissed?
Sophie: None of your business.
Seamus: I should probably explain myself. My name is Seamus. I'm two hundred years old. And I'm a sorcerer. Please, follow me?
(Seamus turns and walks down a dark alleyway. Sophie, dumbfounded, rushes after him)
Sophie: Sorcerer! You mean, like Harry Potter?
Seamus: I love those books. Best thing to be said about magic since The Lord of the Rings. In answer to your question: in a sense.
Sophie: You mean, like 'pull a rabbit out of a hat' sorcerer?
Seamus: Yes, but with more dignified practises. And, by the way, it's cruel to pull a rabbit out of a hat if the hat is its home.
Sophie: A sorcerer!
(They come to a fire exit and Seamus smoothly moves his hand over the lettering on the door. The door shimmers and a handle appears on his right. He opens the door and bids her enter. Inside is a huge, black-walled stone cave lined with bookshelves and stands lined with potions and one large, square space in the middle. Torches that sprout large, blue flames line the walls, illuminating the place beautifully)
Seamus: Welcome to my humble abode.
(Sophie looks at the place, stunned)
Sophie: Wow...you live here?
Seamus: I live here, yes. And I work here. I've been living here for a hundred years of my life now. And now, this is your new school. Now, that thing that one of those very rude men put in your jacket pocket. Could you please give it to me?
Sophie: What? (It is clear from her expression that she originally forgot she had it. She pulls out a ten-centimetre wide silver disc split into two halves by a black line. Mesmerised, Sophie stares at it.)
Seamus: Could you please give that to me?
Sophie: What is it?
Seamus: Doesn't matter. Please, give it to me?
(Curious, Sophie tosses the disc to him, and he catches it in one hand. He throws it at one of the bookcases, which opens to reveal a small compartment where the disc lands, and the bookcase closes and conceals it.)
Seamus: Now, let's begin with a little introduction. Sorcery, magic, it is all real. All true. Magic exists in this world, and there are people who can wield it. (Seamus circles Sophie, who steps closer to him, drinking in every word) I myself am something of a...conoisseur, I believe the word is. I've studied magic all my life, and I've taught people magic all my life...I personally was taught by my father, and his before him...
Sophie: Wait, slow down. Why have you brought me here?
Seamus: I've been watching you, Sophie. I've been watching you, ever since you survived that car crash.
Sophie: I don't want to talk about it. What are you saying?
Seamus: Isn't it obvious?
(Sophie stares at him, mouth open)
Sophie: You don't mean?
Seamus: Based on what you saw last night, and what you did to that boy...it seems like it.
Sophie: I have magic?
Seamus: (Nodding) And very powerful, I might add.
Sophie: How? I've barely used anything like it.
Seamus: You filled your neighbour's shed with wasps. That's pretty good magic for a beginner, I say.
(Seamus gestures, and a wooden chair creaks over towards him and he sits down)
Seamus: I'm about to teach you a few basic spells. We'll start with some simple telekinesis...I need you to do precisely as I say. First, Cain!
[Tense music starts]
(Something moves behind Sophie and she yells as a huge, reptilian creature lurks over her. As it comes into the light, she sees it is a huge, orange dragon with deep green eyes, two hind legs and massive batlike wings. The beast rears its head and suddenly speaks with a smooth, calm voice)
Cain: Good morning, my dear. I am very pleased to meet you.
(Sophie stares at Cain, her jaw shuddering with amazement.)
Sophie: I can't....that's not....my God!
(Sophie faints and slumps to the ground. Cain shakes his head, closing his eyes. Seamus sighs and reaches under the chair, inexplicably pulling out a cup of tea and saucer)
Seamus: At least she didn't shriek. Remember the last one, and how she screamed?
(Scene cuts to Sophie standing with Cain watching, and Seamus instructing her inaudibly)
*Sophie: He taught me how to use magic. He was a good teacher. I remember, to use magic, I had to just reach out with my mind and will for something to happen to something in front of me. We started with having me move a cup of tea towards me, and it took me four tries - I spilled the tea over Seamus's trousers on the third try. (Shows Sophie levitating books into a neat pile, with Seamus voicing instructions) I couldn't help but love it. Love how he taught me things. Within an hour, he'd taught me to move objects with my mind, turn the torches on and off, and even dial a number on my phone with a flick of my hand.
(Sophie sits down with Cain hovering over her)
Cain: I've seen better.
Sophie: Is that a fact?
Cain: I'm five hundred years old, child. I've seen a lot. I've definitely seen better.
Seamus: Tone down the pomposity, Cain. She's new.
(Scene cuts to Sophie sitting by a bookcase with Seamus)
Sophie: Where are all the other sorcerers. And all the other dragons? You'd think people saw more of these things?
Seamus: You would, wouldn't you? See, non-magical people perceive things differently from us. Similar to Muggles from Harry Potter, they see things differently - they don't see dragons at all unless something really major happens. And they don't usually see magic, depends on the situation.
Sophie: But, shouldn't there be more of you?
(Cain looks down at Seamus, growling. Seamus pauses, a look of regret on his face as he sorts through a book)
Seamus: There were. Dragons became rarer by the decade, the more sorcerers kept killing them. Sorcerers never really liked dragons because dragons are usually stronger than sorcerers in magic. Sorcerers became arrogant. There was one of them, he did this one thing, this one stupid thing...he triggered a magical civil war between sorcerers. The war was over whether or not sorcerers should be the superior power in the world. I fought, and so did Cain. Eventually, nearly all of the sorcerers who weren't skilled enough were wiped out, and those who were powerful enough were betrayed by their most ambitious of students. Today, sorcerers called it the cleansing. I'm one of the last surviving sorcerers from the Cleansing. And Cain is one of the last dragons. There are more of them out there, and most of them are descendants from sorcerers who fought in the Cleansing. But, there were more of them, and there was a bigger meaning to sorcery. Nowadays, these people are out doing party tricks. And some sorcerers go through their entire lives not knowing what they are, thinking they are mad or unfortunate or unnatural. (Seamus looks at her) Dragons can sense magic in people. He sensed it in you, and made me watch you. You are unnaturally powerful, Sophie, for one so young an completely untrained.
Sophie: What did this sorcerer do, the stupid one? What triggered the Cleansing?
Cain: It matters not. What is done is done, and the sorcerer is gone.
Seamus: He is.
Seamus (Sighing): Come back tomorrow, Sophie, and we'll train more.
(Scene cuts to Sophie leaving the cave and walking home, and then to Seamus and Cain standing in the cave).
Cain: They gave her the disc.
Cain: Why her?
Seamus: I don't know. Cain, keep an eye on her. I have a terrible feeling about this.
(Cain growls and turns around, before launching into the air and flying into the darkness. He emerges out of the cave through the Thames, exploding through a horus of water and spiralling in the air. As he does so, his eyes blaze and he suddenly turns invisible, before turning and flying across London. The scene cuts to Sophie, at home with Charles. She is deep in thought, until she speaks.)
Sophie: Charles...I've got a part-time job for half-term.
Charles: Fantastic. Where?
Sophie: Starbucks, by Victoria Station. It pays quite well and its for most of the day, on weekdays only.
Charles: Not bad. You're moving on, Sophie.
Sophie: Yep...I sure am.
(Scene cuts to Sophie and James sitting and talking in a park)
Sophie: So...I'd got a job the other day.
James: Charles told me. Nice going, by the way. I'm still pining for one.
Sophie: I got it by luck, I suppose. It's not as easy as you'd think.
(The conversation is broken up when a basketball narrowly misses Sophie's head by an inch. She looks to see a tall and attractive girl approach her, flanked by three girls and four boys, all dressed in shorts and basketball shirts)
Lily: Hi, I'm Lily. I was wondering, since it'll even up the numbers, if you'd like to play some basketball with us. Girls versus boys.
James: Well, I'm game if she is.
Lily: Fantastic. So, first to three. Usual rules apply...
(They play a lengthy game of basketball, during which the girls gain the upper hand, but at one point Sophie notices that Lily is unnaturally strong for a girl her build and appears to elude the other players very easily. They continue playing, until Lily and Sophie lock eyes while passing to one another and she sees a slight glint to her eyes and, when she throws the ball to be caught, Sophie staggers back, taken off guard by the power behind the throws. They eventually win the game, and Sophie leaves to find a public toilet. On her way out, Lily appears and follows after her.)
Lily: I've seen you around here a lot, Sophie. Mostly on your own. Do you like being alone?
Sophie: I get used to it.
Lily: That's terrible! You should always have friends, Sophie.
Sophie: I suppose...
Lily: It's a shame you don't have many right now.
(Sophie freezes and glances at Lily)
Sophie: What did you just say?
Lily: I didn't say anything. It's just a shame you don't have many...
Sophie:...right now. What do you mean by that?
Lily: I know about you, Sophie Stone. I know who you are. I know where you've been going. It's just you and me now, kid. It's just you and me, and the things that we can do.
Sophie: I don't...
(Sophie tries to step forward, but finds that her feet have suddenly gone inches deep into the pavement. Recognising Seamus to have done a similar trick, she stares at Lily)
Sophie: Lily, are you...
Lily: Lily isn't my name, kid. Lilith. That's the name I took. Lily is just the name that sounds more normal if you don't want to catch unwanted attention.
Sophie: What do you want?
Lilith: I want only one thing. A couple of my friends gave you something a few nights ago...and I want it back.
Sophie: What are you talking about.
[Suspenseful music starts]
(Lilith twists her hand and Sophie buckles and screams with pain, clutching her heart and scrunching her face up.)
Lilith: Where is the Eternity Disc. Where is it?
Sophie: I don't know...please, stop...?
Lilith: Oh, I'm terribly sorry. Am I hurting you? Would you prefer something like this? (Lilith clenched a fist except for her forefinger and wiggled her forefinger. Sophie, the pain gone, suddenly buckles tighter and starts writhing on the spot, giggling hysterically and swiping at her belly as if to knock at invisible hands) Is that better. You're laughing a lot, so I suppose it is. Now...(She snaps her fingers and Sophie stops laughing and bends over, fighting for breath and wiping sweat and tears from the tickling)
Sophie: I...I don't have it. (Lilith twists her hand and Sophie buckles, shrieking with laughter) I don't!
Lilith: Then where is it? Answer me!
(Sophie whispers something and Lilith leans closer. Meanwhile, Sophie wills a duplicate of herself to appear behind Lilith. The duplicate sneaks closer to Lilith as she whispers again to bring Lilith closer. At the last second, Lilith turns and the duplicate strikes her in the face. Rocked, Lilith hits the ground and snarls. Sophie clenches her fists and, after considerable effort, wriggles free of her shoes. She turns and faces Lilith.)
Lilith: Good trick...
(Sophie raises her hand, but Lilith emits a stream of electricity from her fingertips, which throws Sophie against the wall of the public toilet. Sophie recovers slowly, just as Lilith sends another bolt of lightning her way. Lilith snarls and prepares to launch another bolt, but Sophie surprises her by hitting her with a telekinetic fist that launches her through the air. Lilith stops herself in midair and floats to the ground, reaching out magically and seizing Sophie by the throat. Sophie grabs at invisible hands and chokes, and Lilith draws her closer).
Lilith: I'm going to ask you one last time, Sophie Stone. Answer me, or I swear I will kill you in the worst possible way you can imagine. Worse, perhaps. I haven't used my magic in thirty years, it would feel good to have a little more practise.
Sophie (Warring for breath under the telekinetic strangling): I don't know...I don't...I...(She looks up and Lilith follows her line of sight a second before Cain bursts in on the scene from above and roars, a blast of blue flames spearing from his mouth. Lilith raises a hand and only just creates a shield of energy around herself, blocking the flames. Cain floats down and roars, and Lilith lets Sophie go.)
[Exciting music begins]
Lilith: At last. A challenge. A dragon!
Cain: Lilith. I've heard too much about you. Far too much.
Lilith: I'm flattered. I've never killed a dragon, actually. Your head will look terrific as a trophy, I think.
(Cain launches another flame at her and she dodges it, and Cain swipes his tail at her, wrecking a fence and narrowly missing Lilith. Sophie, meanwhile, rises to her feet and screams, swiping her hand at Lilith, who is thrown clean off her feet, smashing through the window of the public toilet and disappearing. Cain turns to Sophie.)
Cain: Run, Sophie! She'll be back. Run!
(Cain launches into the air and vanishes into the distance. Sophie retrieves her shoes from the pavement, places them on, then turns tail and flees, vaulting over a fence and darting into an alley. When she is sure she is safe, she walks back to her house. She finds Charles watching the TV when she gets back.)
Sophie: Hi. How long have you been back.
Charles: Half an hour. You're quick home.
Sophie: Got an early train back. Have we had any calls?
Charles: None that I heard...are you alright, Sophie? You seem exhausted!
Sophie: I...I felt it start to rain. Forgot to bring a coat...
Charles: Fair play. There's some pizza in the oven if you want it...
(Scene cuts to her lying, face-up, in her bed, rubbing her ankles from being buried in concrete, when she finds her phone has two voicemails.)
Phone: First voicemail.
James: Hey, Sophie. It's James. You disappeared after the game. Can't understand why, you won. Have you heard? Lily's been hurt. Says she's been mugged. From the looks of her, she's been mugged something good. Anyway, I was just wondering if you'd got home safe. Catch you later.
Phone: Second voicemail.
Seamus: Sophie. I just heard from Cain about the attack on you. I need to hear it from you tomorrow. You need to tell me what happened between you and Lilith. In fact, I'm kicking myself I didn't see this coming. Lilith is pretty powerful, and from what I heard from Cain she really wanted something from you. Come to the cave tomorrow, Sophie. We'll talk there. Until then...
(Sophie sighs and turns on her side to go to sleep. The next day, Sophie walks towards the fire exit at Starbucks cafe and swipes her hand over the lettering. The lettering shines and the handle appears, and Sophie enters the cave. Seamus is waiting for her, and Cain is curling near the darker side of the cave, watching them intently.)
Seamus: Are you alright.
Sophie: She didn't hurt me that much.
Seamus: It could have been a lot worse.
Sophie: Who was she?
(Seamus stands up and walks towards her.)
Seamus: A very powerful sorceress. Not old enough to have been in the Cleansing, but old enough to be around the time when sorcerers believed they were superior. Old enough to have learned a few tricks, and to want to use them at the earliest opportunity.
Sophie: Her name was Lilith. She knew who I was.
Seamus: She did. Sorcerers of enough power can read the minds of other people. That, or she's been following you for a while.
Sophie: She said she wanted the Eternity Ring, or whatever it was.
Sophie: That was the thing that those thugs put in my pocket when we first met, wasn't it?
(Cain looks at her, suddenly cautious. He looks at Seamus, who looks at him for a while.)
Cain: I suppose she needs to know.
(Cain levitates a chair towards where he was sitting, and invites Sophie to sit. She does so.)
Seamus: The Eternity Disc is a prison. I have no idea what it contains, and I haven't heard tell of it for decades now. People who own the Eternity Disc become unbelievably strong with magic, so much that it takes several sorcerers to stop them.
Sophie: How can you not know what is inside it? You've never opened it.
Seamus: Because, in recorded history, every single time someone wears the Eternity Disc, they open it and then they go mad. The last time someone opened the disc, they caused the Great Fire of London.
Sophie: You're joking.
Seamus: They couldn't control it.
Sophie: But...why give it to me?
Seamus: Who knows. Maybe they didn't know what it was, or didn't like it and wanted to get rid of it. Either way, we have to keep it here, out of sight, where it can't hurt anyone. Now, we have to move on with your training.
(He stood up and walked Sophie to the middle of the square space. Seamus turns to face Sophie.)
Seamus: Now, today we're going to move on to elemental manipulation. Namely, fire. For this particular exercise, we're going to focus on generating flames in your hands. (Sophie looks excitedly at him, rubbing her hands together) Now, what I want you to do is snap your fingers and, using the same principle as telekinesis, generate energy in the point between your fingers. Go on...
(Sophie snaps her fingers and a small shower of red sparks distinctly ignites, but no flame. She snaps her fingers again, and again, and again, but only sparks. She snarls in frustration. Seamus laughs.)
Seamus: You're rushing it. You have to relax, you have to focus. You can't conjure fire very well if you are frustrated. Watch this.
(Seamus casually snaps his fingers and a ball of flame erupts in his hand. He motions his hand, and the fire trails in a ribbon behind him. Sophie gapes, awed at what she is seeing. She tries the same thing, and finally manages to form a fireball the size of an apple. Sophie laughs and toys with it, waving her hand and making it trail a figure-of-eight.)
Seamus: Not bad for a beginner. Now, throw it at me?
Sophie: I beg your pardon?
Seamus: You've got a pretty good flashlight on you right now, but what's the use in having flames in your hands when you can't launch them?
(Sophie flicks her hand at Seamus, but the fireball bounces back and continues to bob on her palm. She draws her arm back and throw like a baseball, and the flame hurtles at Seamus, who catches it in one hand and juggles it to the other.)
Seamus: The better you get at this, the better your concentration, the bigger the flame. You can even make blades out of these. You can even learn to defend against flames by dissolving them, like you saw me do the other day.
Seamus: Now, Sophie: show me again.
(A montage follows, with Sophie playing with the flames she creates, drawing her name in bright fiery letters, swiping bright circles around her, creating ribbons of flame and even duplicate her own hands with fire. She continues to create bigger flames, until she manages to make one the size of a pumpkin and throw it across the cave, and it explodes in a disc of light.)
Seamus: Now, for something a little trickier: Conjuration - as you put it, pulling a rabbit out of a hat, that sort of thing.
Sophie: Sounds fantastic.
Cain: Yes. Pulling a rabbit out of a hat! That's amazing - dragons like me can breathe fire and read minds, but pulling a long-eared rat out of a cone of felt is considered amazing. What is the world coming to?
Seamus: Stop your moaning, Cain. Sophie, we are going to start with what is probably the easiest thing to do: Conjuring cards. Now..(Produces a deck of cards from his pockets and makes a fan out of them in one hand.) With the same principle, again, as telekinesis, draw energy around you to create these cards. I have each one in my hand, and I want to see them disappear into yours without you levitating them. Do you understand?
Sophie: A bit...why does it always boil down to telekinesis.
Seamus: Magic is energy. Energy cannot be created, or destroyed, as you know - it is completely infinite. But it can be manipulated, which is what sorcerers do. Telekinesis involves the manipulation of raw energy - if something can be manipulated, it can be changed. Like moulding clay, so to speak. I shall show you. (He tosses her the cards and she catches them. He removes his coat and shows that all of his pockets are empty. Then he rubs his hands together and splays his hand, and suddenly the deck of cards materialise in his hands - Sophie realises that the cards have vanished from her hands.) I just collapsed the energy that goes into the shaping of those cards, and reformed it in my hand. Now, you do the same...
(Sophie rubs her hands together and tenses her hands. After a few seconds, she snaps her hand up and the cards vanish from Seamus's hands, but scatter from her sleeves, littering the ground. Sophie curses, but Seamus laughs.)
Seamus: Not bad. Could use a little bit more control, of course, but otherwise a good start at simplicity. Let's try this again.
(Shows Sophie conjuring the cards from Seamus's hands in a perfect deck, before then conjuring one of the books from the nearby shelves. Seamus shows off by conjuring her phone from her pocket and then throwing it back at her. Sophie laughs and begins to conjure more quickly. Cuts to Sophie leaving the cave, before turning and looking back at the bookcase where the Eternity Disc was hidden. She turns to face Seamus.)
Sophie: Lilith's going to show up again today, isn't she.
Seamus: It's possible.
Sophie: And if she does.
Seamus: You've learned new tricks today. Use them, they'll keep her back for a while. That being said, I suggest that you send me a message. (Seamus pulls out a small red cuboid and throws it to her.) You know how to conjure. If she shows up, the first thing you do is conjure that cuboid into my pocket. Then, I'll come myself, quick as I can.
(Sophie smiles and leaves the cave. She walks back to the station and catches the first train. The camera briefly takes the point-of-view of Lilith, who approaches the train one coach down from Sophie. She boards, and Sophie tenses, recognizing her from nearby. Lilith poses as a normal passenger, and then slowly approaches her. Sophie turns, but suddenly Lilith materialises right in front of her and lashes out with both hands, knocking her off her seat. Other passengers yell out, and Sophie turns around and finds that the cuboid has fallen from her pocket. She reaches for it, but as passengers move to avoid her they kick the cuboid away from her.)
Lilith: We meet again. You really ought to try and mind your environment. I could have easily broken your neck if you weren't careful...
Sophie: I don't have the Eternity Disc, Lilith, so just leave me alone! (Sophie gropes for the cuboid, as people start to back into the other coach. Lilith paces, the camera briefly viewing from behind her high-heeled boots. Sophie gets up and faces Lilith, but Lilith waves her hand and Sophie is thrown against the window, faceplanting against the glass and sliding down. Lilith giggles and Sophie snaps her fingers, conjuring a flame and throwing it at Lilith. Lilith weaves underneath the fireball and stares at Sophie.)
Lilith: You've learnt quickly, kid. I know you don't have the disc on you, Sophie. I'm going to have a little fun with you, and then I'm going to twist its location out of you.
Sophie: If that's how it's going to be...(Sophie pushes out with both hands and Lilith sways backwards, bending painfully back but remaining standing. Lilith arches upwards to face Sophie and clicks her fingers. Sophie shrieks as five pigeons erupt from thin air in front of her. She flails her hands at them, and Lilith surges forwards, grabs her by the collar and throws her into one of the supporting bars of the train. Sophie rebounds and instinctively throws her hands at Lilith, throwing her against a seat and pinning her there. She turns and sees the cuboid and reaches out, screwing shut her eyes and tensing her hand. The cuboid appears in her hand and she imagines seeing Seamus's coat pocket. Sure enough, the cuboid vanishes again and she knows it has gone to Seamus. However, the effort has cost her the advantage and, just as the train stops, Lilith screams and claps her hands powerfully, sending a shockwave rippling through the train. Sophie is hurtled off her feet and hits her head against the roof of the train. Her head bleeding, Sophie struggles to her feet. The train doors open and people rush from it, screaming. Lilith ignores the screams and twitches a finger, pinioning Sophie to the window of the train.)
Lilith: It's entertaining how much you've improved in order to try to match me, Sophie. I wonder...how long will your brain last before I break it...from the inside.
(Lilith clenches her fist and Sophie shrieks - the camera zooms in on her eyes and suddenly Sophie is standing inside a vast, fog-coated forest, and she turns around frantically.)
Sophie: Where the hell am I?
(Lilith materialises behind her, smirking)
Lilith: Welcome to your mind, Sophie. Rather small, isn't it?
(Sophie spins around and Lilith raises both hands. The roots of nearby trees tear from the ground and wrap around Sophie's wrist, pinning her against the tree behind her. Lilith rotates her hand and Weeds wrap around her neck. Sophie thrashes free and lunges, but Lilith moves right through her and telekinetically lifts her into the air as she thrashes. Lilith throws her against a tree and she slides to the ground.)
Lilith: Even in your own head, you are no match for me. You haven't been trained. You've no hope. Now, tell me, where is the Eternity Disc...or, how about I find out myself. (A large oval of light appears next to Lilith, showing a vortex of red mist that suddenly solidifies into Seamus's cave.) Interesting...
Sophie: Get out of my head!
(Sophie launches off the tree head-first and smashes into Lilith. They hit the ground and Sophie sits over Lilith, pounding her face with her fists. Lilith cackles at her efforts, and reaches out with both hands, which suddenly turn from skin into solid steel, and Sophie reels back under the blows she delivers.)
Lilith: In the mind of sorcerers, only the strongest prevail. As if there was ever a contest.
Sophie: Do you ever shut up?
(Lilith throws back her head and laughs, then suddenly chokes and is picked up by an invisibly force, lifted off the ground.)
Lilith: What on earth?!
(Sophie's eyes fill with ferocious white light and Sophie flinches, and suddenly she's back on the train. She collapses against the seat and Lilith recoils, screaming. Seamus stands a few feet away, his hand burning with vicious white light. The light extinguishes and Seamus calmly approaches.)
Seamus: Lilith. It has been far too long.
Lilith: Seamus! I thought I'd heard the last of you!
Seamus: I've heard that too many times. I wonder...why now? Why search for the Eternity Disc now?
Lilith: It's in your little cave, isn't it?
Seamus: You probed that poor girl's mind to find it. You little spider!
Lilith: I try.
(Lilith lifts a hand to attack, but Seamus swipes his hand so sharply that the blaze of energy that follows erupts through the train and illuminates the entire station in white light. As it fades, Lilith soars backwards, screaming, and hits a film poster in the station outside. When the light fades completely, Seamus turns and scoops up Sophie's barely-conscious body.)
Seamus: Sophie! Sophie, wake up. That's it...
Sophie: What happened...
Seamus: Astral combat. Takes a serious toll on you if you don't know how to handle it. Come on, let's get you out of here.
(Seamus carries Sophie's body out of the train, just as a throng of police officers arrive and find Lilith's body. Scene cuts to Seamus carrying Sophie's towards her house. Charles opens the door and sees Seamus. He gasps when he sees Sophie's body.)
Seamus: Hello, Charles.
Charles: Seamus. It's been a while.
Seamus: A long while. Sophie isn't badly hurt. She just needs to sleep.
Charles: You should probably come in, Seamus. Bring her up to the room.
(Seamus carries Sophie up to her room and pulls the covers over her. The scene cross-dissolves to Sophie waking up and flinching as if from a headache. She turns and sees Charles standing by the windowsill.)
Charles: Seamus just left.
(Sophie gasps at the fact that he knows Seamus and moves to get up.)
Charles: Don't get up, Sophie. He brought you here, says you've been attacked. I can't believe you never told me you'd met him.
Sophie: You know Seamus.
Charles: I've known Seamus my entire life. He knew your mother, your father. He thought your mother could use magic...he was wrong.
Sophie: I'm sorry...what? He knew my father. How do you know him?
Charles: Sophie, your great-grandfather trained Seamus. He feels he's owed your family a great deal since then. He's tried to protect his teacher's family since the Cleansing, and he's been examining them all this time. He's been trying to find a sorcerer as powerful as your great-grandfather for as long as I've known him - at first, he and I used to have drinks together...until your mother died. Then, he disappeared. Haven't seen him since, until today...I hoped I'd never see him again.
Sophie: You know about this? Why didn't you tell me?
Charles: When Seamus left, I'd hoped I'd never see him again because, if I did, it would mean he's become interested in you, just as he had your mother. He'd think you were this big-shot sorcerer and he'd ruin your life. He turned his interest to someone else, he told me...you have to understand, I never wanted him to get involved with you.
Sophie: I had a right to know. You remember what I did to my mother.
Charles: It was an accident...
Sophie: She was my mother! I thought I was a freak...Seamus could have explained everything better than you, or any damn counsellor ever could. You could have brought him over sooner. Instead....
(Sophie curls into a ball and starts crying.)
Sophie: I need some air.
(Sophie rushes out of bed and storms downstairs, slipping on a jacket and charging outside. She charges towards the nearest park and moves behind a fence, before sinking to the ground and covering her face with her hands. She hears footsteps nearby and looks up to see James standing over her.)
James: You okay, Sophie?
Sophie: I've been better.
(James sits next to her and puts an arm around her.)
James: Fell out with Charles, did you?
Sophie: Sort of...James, I'm going to ask you a question...it'll sound a bit strange, but I just want an honest answer.
James: Go for it.
Sophie: James...is it a good thing to be really, really mad at someone...but to have no right to be so?
James: Well...that's a tricky one. I suppose, you have a right to be mad at someone, regardless of the situation. It's just a question as to whether or not they deserve you being angry with them, I suppose. Do you want to talk about it?
Sophie: Not particularly. You wouldn't understand.
James: You want to bet on that?
(Sophie bolts to her feet and angrily confronts him.)
Sophie: I do, actually! I want to bet that you know what it's like to have your whole world upturned by something that's been kept from you your entire life, that you have a right to know all about. It would have kept you from a lot of pain, a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of people thinking you're crazy. There's my bet. Show me what you've got?
(James closes his eyes and raises one hand. He snaps his fingers, and a small plume of flame dances in the palm of his hand. Sophie stares at him, then covers her mouth.)
Sophie: Charles said that Seamus had gone on to train someone else...
(Seamus folds out of the shadows and approaches her from behind.)
Seamus: I'm dreadfully sorry, Sophie.
Sophie: You...what happened to Lilith?
Seamus: She'll be back. Right now, we've got some more things to be worrying about. You're recovering from an astral attack - an attack on your very mind, your very soul. You aren't thinking straight, it's making you rational. The effort to fight Lilith off at all, inside your mind, has strained your mind. Just calm down and listen.
Sophie: You're sick! That's what you are! How the hell can you be alive long enough that my great-granddad taught you to use magic?
Seamus: Magic, when used properly and extensively, slows the ageing process for the user. Lilith is seventy years old, but uses her magic so well and so strongly that she looks like a teenager. I'm two hundred years old...it took me fifty years under your great-grandfather to get me to use it right, you see. When your mother died, I knew I couldn't introduce magic to you just yet, so I turned to the next best thing: James, here. But he abandoned magic to focus on his relationship with you.
(James stands up and stands next to Seamus. Sophie backs against the fence.)
Sophie: James...you knew about me?
James: Not until you disappeared after that basketball game, and I saw Lilith get up as if someone had really trashed her about something nasty.
Seamus: We can't talk about this here. Now, come, there's someone we need you to meet with. (Seamus and James turn and move to walk away.)
Sophie: Answer me one thing, though. (Seamus stops and turns back to face her.) The Eternity Disc. Why does Lilith want it so badly?
Seamus: Follow us. You'll find out, Sophie. No more lies, I promise you.
(Sophie follows them down to a small shop with the name 'Miss Neryalax's Enigmatic Emporium)
Sophie: That's subtle, that is. Nobody will think that's fantasy for one minute!
Seamus: Trust me on this, Sophie.
(They walk in and, on the other side of the door, is what appears to be a packed pawn shop, littered on all sides with a variety of objects. There is a counter, behind which sits a tall, black-haired pale woman in red voluminous robes.)
Sophie: I take it you're Miss Neryalax.
Miss Neryalax: I am. Good afternoon, Seamus.
Seamus: Miss Neryalax. You, of course, know James.
Miss Neryalax: Indeed. And this is....
Sophie: I'm...I'm Sophie Stone.
Miss Neryalax: Sophie Stone. Interesting name.
James: We're here because...
Miss Neryalax: I know precisely why you are here, child. You had best come through.
(Miss Neryalax leads them through behind the counter, through a curtain a into a circular, dark room that is walled with floor-to-ceiling mirrors. There is a square table in the middle of the room, with four chairs in place around it. Sophie stops and looks sceptically at Seamus.)
Sophie: You've brought me to a psychic!
Seamus: She's not a psychic. She can't tell your future. She can only answer questions...though, if I were you, I'd be careful what you ask her.
Miss Neryalax: Everyone comes to me, begging for answers to so many strange questions. In every situation, they ask about their future - they want to know their future, so badly...until, of course, they know their future.
Sophie: Yes, very dramatic, very well done - why am I here?
Miss Neryalax: So belligerent.
James: Sophie, sit down.
(Sophie nervously sits down and the others join her. Miss Neryalax sits in front of Sophie and cups her hands together, positioning her chin over her fingertips. She glances at Sophie.)
Miss Neryalax: Three questions. Three answers. Those are the rules. You can ask me any question you could possibly think of, and I will answer any way I know how. Three questions - three answers.
Seamus: Go on, Sophie. Ask.
(Sophie pauses and looks curiously at Miss Neryalax. She clears her throat and lean in.)
Sophie: What is inside the Eternity Disc.
Miss Neryalax: Eternity. Eternity is inside the Eternity Disc. Two questions.
Sophie: Wait! I need more than that? What is in the-
Seamus: No! Sophie, you ask her another question and you'll only have one left.
Sophie: Fine. What is Eternity - to elaborate, the 'Eternity' inside the Eternity Disc, not the term 'eternity'?
Miss Neryalax: Very well. Enigma, if you please.
(Sophie glances around and suddenly a woman appears in one of the mirrors- reasonably tall, red hair, draped in a vast black gown. Sophie bolts to her feet.)
Sophie: What the hell!
(Sophie notices that the woman in the mirror is mimicking her moves. She stares at Miss Neryalax, then thinks and looks at Seamus instead.)
Sophie: Who the hell is that?
Seamus: She's Enigma. Centuries ago, she was trapped in every single mirror in existence - though, nobody knows how or why. People think that she's Eternity. She isn't...
Enigma: I opened the Eternity Disc. I opened the Eternity Disc, and burned London to the ground trying to destroy the abomination inside it. It cost me my own existence in the world you tread upon right now, but I succeeded. I trapped Eternity inside the disc around my neck when I transported myself into a mirror - Eternity wanted to stay in this world, it ensured that the only thing left of me on the other side of that mirror was the Disc.
Sophie: How is that possible? Who is Eternity?
Enigma: Eternity is eternity. He is the quintessence of change and destruction - he brings power to his host, but the host will become dangerous and erratic - eventually, Eternity will corrupt the host and become a force for destruction. I trapped Eternity, for Eternity is energy and energy...
Sophie: Cannot be created, or destroyed.
Enigma: Just so.
Sophie: And why does Lilith want it?
Miss Neryalax: You haven't figured it out yet?
(Sophie glances blankly for a moment, and then realises.)
Sophie: She just wants to be powerful.
Enigma: Precisely. Lilith, while smart, only cares about the thrill that magic brings her. She wants power, and the joy that it will bring her to have that power.
James: But...that's insane.
Seamus: Lilith is essentially untrained. The only incentive that she's had is to become better. If she were trained, then she would have learned magic for the purpose of learning it, not to become stronger than everyone else.
Sophie: Which is why you asked me to come train with you when you saw those thugs give me the Eternity Disc.
Miss Neryalax: You have one last question.
(Sophie turns to look at Miss Neryalax. She thinks for a moment, then leans in.)
Sophie: How do we beat Eternity when he comes out?
Miss Neryalax: Well...that's a good question. You see, it's not something that can be taught at full length.
(Camera focuses on Seamus as he looks up at Miss Neryalax. It is clear that he knows what she is talking about.)
Sophie: That doesn't make sense...
Seamus: Yes it does. It makes perfect sense. Thank you very much for your assistance, Miss Neryalax. (Tips his hat to Enigma.) Enigma.
(Enigma smiles at him. Seamus signals for Sophie and James to go with him. Sophie rushes after Seamus, who keeps his back to her as they leave.)
Sophie: What was that about? What did she mean, something that can't be taught at full length...
Seamus: You've already done it before, Sophie. It nearly killed you! Astral combat is so complex that it cannot properly be taught. It all depends on the strength of will of the person in question, and how much they've done it before. You've only done it once, and it wiped you out!
Sophie: In my defence, I didn't have a clue what was happening to me!
James: Exactly. You don't know how to fight astrally....
Seamus: Which is why you'r going to have to learn. Starting now, I'm going to start teaching you astral combat.
Sophie: But...how? Don't you have to, like, attack my mind. Isn't that.
Seamus: Trust me, I won't enjoy it.
Sophie: And what if I have things I want to keep to myself?
Seamus: Then keep them from me - I'll teach you how. James, I'll take it from here.
(James turns to Sophie and kisses her on the cheek.)
Sophie: I'll see you later tonight.
James: Sure. See you then, I suppose.
(He turns and walks away. When he's gone, Seamus leads Sophie back towards the entrance to the cave.)
Seamus: You two make such a great couple.
Sophie: Shut up!
(Seamus laughs. Scene cuts to Sophie in the cave with Cain hovering over her.)
Sophie: So...you're 500 years old?
Cain: I am.
Sophie: How does that work? For how long do dragons live?
Cain: They can live for centuries on end. There has never been a definite record for their limit.
Sophie: So...how old were your parents?
Cain: I never found out. I never knew my parent.
Sophie: What? I thought you just said that dragons live for centuries.
Cain: The parent, male or female, always dies before the egg hatches. There can only be the new dragons in the world at any one time, I suppose.
Sophie: I can't imagine living like that. Never knowing my parents.
Cain: You knew yours. Most humans on this planet know their parents for the early part of their lives. I envy humans sometimes.
Sophie: How? Humans can't fly or breathe fire...
Sophie: And we can't live for centuries!
Cain: Dragons normally live lonely for most of their lives. I am one of the last dragons on this earth. I know there are some out there...but I will never know. The Cleansing killed most of them.
Cain: There were theories that magic came from the presence of dragons. So many sorcerers tried to take dragons prisoner, and when the dragons fought back...
(Cain bows his head. Sophie glances at him.)
Sophie: I'm sorry. That's the worst thing I can think of.
Cain: It's not the worst thing that I can think of. If there were other dragons, and they survived the Cleansing and didn't hatch from eggs after the Cleansing...they will never know what it's like to properly be like the dragons of old.
(Sophie glances from Cain and looks at the camera, with Cain looming in the background.)
Sophie: I remember when I was a kid. I wanted dragons to be real. I wanted to have one as a pet, like a puppy with wings. I even asked for one for my birthday when I was five, and everyone laughed. Everyone except my mum....my mum didn't laugh. She just smiled at my imagination. I remember dreaming of riding on a dragon, with a saddle between my legs, high above the clouds, the wind howling in my ears...everything underneath me looked so small, so beautiful. Like in that film, Eragon...and the much better books. Except, my dragon stayed the same - black scales, four legs, with electric blue eyes and pupils straight-up, like a cat. And then I'd wake up, and I'd be in my bedroom, weighed down by gravity...when I'd spent all night dreaming of flying. (Sophie closes her eyes and a thin string of tears run from her eyes.) I'd always dream of what I wanted. I never focused on what I had, that I had a mother and a life and happiness...and then I lost my cool with my mum this one time, and it killed her. No, I killed her!
Cain: Calm yourself, Sophie.
(Sophie rises to her feet and turns on Cain.)
Sophie: What do you know about it, Cain? You have no parents.
Cain: I am part of an endangered species, Sophie. I've killed dragons in the Cleansing when they turned on each other. I know exactly what it's like to feel alone in this world. The Cleansing did what the name suggests...it cleansed me of my happiness. Now, all I have is Seamus, and all he has is me...for now.
Cain: I am about to show you something that you cannot tell Seamus. He must see it for himself.
Sophie: I promise.
Cain: Swear! Swear on it!
Sophie: Okay, I swear! What is it?
(Cain turned and lifted a wing, gesturing for Sophie to go underneath it. Sophie goes underneath his wing, and Cain nudges his snout against a jutting-out piece of the cave wall. Immediately, that part of the cave fades away and Sophie gasps.)
Sophie: Is that...
Cain: Yes. It most unfortunately is.
(The camera shows a large egg, the size of a watermelon, studded with golden scales, resting in a bed of twigs and leaves. Sophie paces incredulously towards it and moves to touch it. She moves away.)
Sophie: How long ago...
Cain: Two weeks.
(Sophie backs away, shocked, her face stretched in horror.)
Sophie: You have to tell me.
Cain: The last time I saw a dragon tell the sorcerer he'd laid an egg, the sorcerer sought to destroy it in the belief that it would revoke the dragon's death. The dragon killed him to protect the egg, in the end. I have no idea how Cain would react. If he destroys the egg, or even tries to, I might kill him. Otherwise...I cannot bear to think about what it would do to Seamus.
Cain: I have no idea how it will happen, Sophie. A dragon knows he or she is destined to die somehow the moment they lay the egg...they never know how. Most of the dragons who died in the Cleansing were proud that they would die fighting one they'd laid their eggs. I remember one who faced three other dragons with a smile on his face and the ferocity of a thunderstorm, because he knew he would die and wanted to make a show of it.
Sophie: That's crazy.
Cain: That didn't even...crack the top ten, I believe the term is.
(Cain and Sophie laugh, when suddenly Seamus walks in from behind them and Cain strokes his wing against the cave wall, reactivating the hiding place for the egg.)
Cain: So...let's begin.
(Cuts to Lilith, sitting on a bench in a busy Tower of London, throwing corn to pigeons and humming to herself. Four people loom over her and she looks up, her eyes turning cold and grey. The four tramps who had attacked Sophie are standing in front of her, looking terrified.)
Lilith: You...are late.
Tramp 2: We couldn't find you....forgive us, Lilith, but it is extremely hard to find you after that fight in the train...
Lilith: Do you think that I came here, in broad daylight, to listen to your excuses? Tell me...why did you steal the Eternity Disc from me?
Tramp 3: We...the Eternity Disc....it's powerful, missus. It spoke to us in our sleep. The...the thing inside it doesn't like being cooped up, if you catch my drift. And then we knew you'd come after us, so...
Lilith: So you stuffed it into the pocket of some girl you'd assaulted. You thought, for reasons that escape me, that she not knowing what it was would mean that I wouldn't think of pursuing her, or you, is that it?
Tramp 2: We took it from you on an impulse, missus.
Lilith: Excuses, again! (Lilith stands up and circles the four tramps, who stand bolt upright, visibly terrified of her.) And all it took was one two-hundred-year-old fool in a black coat to beat you. He didn't even use lethal magic! Do you know how questionable that makes your value to me, boys?
Tramp 1: The...the 'two-hundred-year-old fool in a black coat' beat you too, Lilith.
(Lilith turns violently towards him and the other three stare at him too. The tramp, from expression, realises the mistake he's made and straightens up.)
Lilith: I beg your pardon.
Tramp 1: I'm sorry, missus. It's just...he did beat you. And you were focusing on the girl as much as we were.
Tramp 2: Stop talking...
Tramp 1: I'm just saying!
Lilith: Stop talking!
(Silence. Everyone around them is moving along, completely not noticing what is happening between the five people.)
Lilith: In fact...stop breathing!
(Tramp 1 falls to his knees, his hands to his throat, and starts making hoarse, hacking noises, as if he is trying to but not allowing himself to breathe. He falls to Lilith's feet and Lilith smiles. She lets the three others look at him suffer, before snapping her fingers, and he returns to breathing normally.)
Tramp 1: Yes, missus.
Lilith: Good. (Lilith raises one hand and tenses it for a moment, before snapping it around. Tramp 1 opens his mouth to scream, before suddenly dissolving into soil, which splits and pours into the grass around them and disappears. Lilith turns to the other three.) Any other takers?
Tramp 2: Lilith...Miss Neryalax has told them about Eternity. Sophie Stone knows what's in the Eternity Disc...she won't give it to you.
Lilith: Fair point. (She snaps her fingers and Tramp 2, who yells as he erupts into a flock of pigeons, who spiral around them, shrieking, and then scatter into the air, desperate to get away from Lilith.) Either way, he'll always be a pest. And now, there's you two. (Lilith stumbles suddenly and blinks hard, as if she's suddenly become exhausted. Tramp 3 notices that this happened right after she used her magic. She recovers quickly, though, and glances at Tramps 3 and 4.) Sophie Stone knows what's in the Eternity Disc. She has another trainee sorcerer, a dragon and Seamus on her side, and her own naivetee with magic that could prove dangerous. She knows we'll becoming back for her, but she cannot anticipate where we are. Does anyone know how we are going to do this? Anyone?
Tramp 3: No, missus.
Tramp 4: Not a clue, missus.
Lilith: I shouldn't be surprised. The answer: We take them apart...from the inside. Here is what we do...
(Camera cuts to Sophie, who is standing in the vast forest similar to the one that she fought Lilith in. She turns around, surprised by her surroundings, until Seamus materialises behind her and clears his throat. Sophie spins around.)
Seamus: Welcome inside your own head, Sophie. This is the astral realm inside your head, the space where your mind can be explored, advanced, influenced...you recognise it, of course.
Sophie: Lilith brought me here on the train.
Seamus: Yes. She did that a lot more brutally. Some sorcerers can do it cleanly, so that the victim has no idea that their minds are being entered. Some of them, the more serious or sadistic, they would do it so that they frighten their victims - people like Lilith. This place is a forest, because...forests are beautiful. They are peaceful. They are the place where you are used to. Some people have volcanoes, because they are so used to violence or chaos that it becomes a part of them. Some of them, they are standing on clouds because they believe they are higher up than others. And so on, and so forth.
Sophie: So...how do we do this?
(Seamus stands opposite her, hands by his side. He then weaves his hand upwards a little and Sophie looks down to see that the earth beneath her has suddenly travelled up to cover her from the waist down. She tries to move her legs, but the earth has hardened like stone.)
Seamus: Astral realms are extremely dangerous, because inside them any inhabitant can access unpredictable, unimaginable capabilities. They can enhance their own strength, become cleverer, manipulate the ground beneath their feet so that they fly through the realms...they will become much stronger than they actually are in their own bodies. For this reason, astral combat cannot properly be taught so that you become better. It's your mind...you make the decisions. You, and your opponent, can bend reality to your will in here...until one of you loses focus, at which point the other one wins.
Sophie: I can't move!
Seamus: That's a basic trick. It's your head, Sophie. Think about what you want to do, and then give it a go.
(Sophie glances sceptically at Seamus for a moment, before suddenly Sophie explodes out of the earth beneath her and swipes her hand down, bringing a tree crashing down on top of Seamus, who back-flips out of the way. Sophie snaps her hand forward and the tree surges after him. Seamus is knocked against another tree, and laughs.)
Seamus: Not bad at all. My advice, don't use up too much magic too quickly here. You move too hastily and your opponent could outsmart you in the blink of an eye. Now, let's try something a little more creative. (Seamus spreads his arms and suddenly gladiatorial Roman armour shimmers into shape on his body, and he is wielding a sword and shield.)
Sophie: What the hell!
Seamus: I know. (Seamus lunges with the shield, and Sophie ducks desperately out of the way. Seamus cuts back to strike again, but she dodges behind a tree and the sword gets stuck in the trunk. Seamus wrenches the sword out and charges, but Sophie splays her hands in front of her and suddenly she's carrying dual machine-guns. Seamus gasps and throws up his shield to deflect the flurry of bullets, before Sophie claps her hand and a string of electricity knocks Seamus off his feet. He hits a tree, his armour and weapons dissolve, but he then floats back to his feet. He laughs and claps at Sophie, who circles him.) Getting the hang of it already!
Sophie: Well then. (Sophie conjures a huge fireball and aims it at Seamus, launching a stream of fire at Seamus, who raises his hand and conjures a huge, circular shield of ice which vaporises the flames. Sophie changes tactics and places her hand on the ground in front of her, which violently ruptures and cracks net towards Seamus, causing him to stumble and fall on his side. He laughs and Sophie lifts him up with one hand, drawing him closer to her.) Not bad for a beginner?
Seamus: Just so.
(Sophie grins, but suddenly the roots of the trees behind her latch around her wrists and slam her against a tree. She hits the ground and the place fills with light, which blazes through the forest and suddenly Sophie is staggering against a bookcase, her hand to her head as if from a headache. Seamus stands, unfazed, in front of her.)
Seamus: You let your guard down, Sophie. Remember - your opponent will always be pining to penetrate your mind, and the easiest way for him to do that is to distract you.
Sophie: That wasn't...
Seamus: Fair? It rarely is. There are no rules in astral combat, except, perhaps, that the winner can take all.
(Montage shows Sophie and Seamus training in astral combat in so many ways, all the time Sophie eventually losing and, upon returning to the real world, Seamus running her through the boundaries of the combat.)
*Sophie: We trained in astral combat almost constantly after that. I had to practise other magic privately - switching my bedroom lights on and off from time to time, turning pages in a book, even cooking a pizza from the adjacent room. I got to feeling that I was getting better, but I knew that I'd have to improve a lot more. If Lilith faced me again, she'd have to deal with someone a lot stronger than the person she fought in that park, or back on that train...or inside my own head. I remember how exhausted I was after every single session of astral combat. It took a hell lot out of me. Any immense use of magic did, actually. One night, I tried to lift every bookcase in the cave and I almost passed out. Seamus says that using magic is like cross-country running - you surge off too quickly and you'll run out of power real fast. But I just wanted to continue, to learn. I wanted to be better. I didn't care if it was going to be enough.*
(Shows Sophie alone with James at night in her room. Sophie is sitting, cross-legged, on the bed with James sitting by the window.)
Sophie: So...how do you know Seamus?
James: He knew my dad. Or, at least...before my dad was arrested for fraud. Then, I ended up with a foster parent that I hate - and I mean hate, she doesn't even know about you. I keep saying I'm out with friends, and she falls for it.
Sophie: If you hate her, then why don't you...
James: Just in case I end up with someone worse. Or I have to move away from here. Away from you.
Sophie: And Seamus...he trained you?
James: He did. He showed me what he could do, and showed me the things I could do. I could do the same things as you before I knew it was magic - I was turning my bedsheets into locusts when I was six years old every time I had a bad dream.
(Sophie stares at him, and starts laughing.)
James: Shut up!
James: It's not funny!
Sophie: Then why, may I ask, am I laughing?
(James swipes his hand at her and Sophie shrieks in surprise as the bed upturns and she's thrown, the blankets breaking her fall, on the floor. James gestures with his hand so the bed lands in its original place softly.)
Sophie: Okay, you win. Sorry. But, locusts. Even I couldn't manage that!
James: Magic manifests in different ways for different people. Who knows how it manifested for Lilith or Sirius.
To be continued