Study Guide

The Alchemyst Chapter 17

By Michael Scott

Chapter 17

  • When Sophie and Josh sit down to eat dinner, Flamel delivers some startling news. 
  • He tells them that the twins themselves, their family, and even Bernice are not safe. 
  • The twins would like to leave it all behind and never tell a soul, but unfortunately, that's not exactly an option right now. 
  • They've come too far, and Flamel says that it's unrealistic to escape now. 
  • What's more, now they stink. Okay maybe we're being a bit harsh. But the smell of wild magic is on them, because Hekate touched them (remember that scent they smelled when she did so?).
  • Apparently, every magician has his or her distinctive scent, like "a magical fingerprint," and Hekate is no exception.
  • From this day on it will never fade—it will only get stronger. Seriously, they're going to smell like a crazy woman who lives in a tree for the rest of their lives
  • Suddenly the Goddess with the Three Faces arrives at dinner, except she doesn't look like Hekate anymore. She looks like an old lady.
  • The servants, too, are a bit strange. They look like primitive humans, but they're actually Torc Allta, Sophie notices. 
  • Josh murmurs that their red hair and piggy faces gave them away. 
  • Flamel quietly scolds him for insulting them; he warns him not to speak carelessly without knowledge of magical creatures.
  • The Goddess of the Three Faces tells the twins and Flamel that they've gotta hit the road. She has no intention of helping them whatsoever.
  • Desperate, Josh tries to appeal to her. He says that her daughter, or granddaughter, just this afternoon wanted to help them. 
  • Bad move, dude. Hekate finds this insulting, and tells them that she has no daughter or granddaughter. 
  • The Torc Allta ready themselves to fight and a standoff occurs. This Hekate sure has a quick temper.
  • Scatty pulls a bow and arrow taut and says something in the ancient language, reminding Hekate of the ancient rules of hospitality.
  • Well that cools her off a bit, and everyone stands down. Phew. 
  • When they are alone, Flamel and Scatty explain that Hekate is called the Goddess of the Three Faces for a reason—she is cursed to be a girl in the morning, a young woman in the afternoon, and an old woman at night. Oh, so that wasn't her relative—it was her!
  • Plus, Scatty mentions, Elders get nervous in the presence of iron. That's why she uses iron arrowheads. 
  • Flamel says they should all get some rest. 
  • Tomorrow he hopes to convince young Hekate to awaken the twins' magical potential so that they can become magicians.
  • Sweet.