Nothing ever went quite right for Hoo. It had been that way since he’d been born, sixteen summers earlier, shooting out of his mother, Marta, so quickly that he gave the midwife a concussion.
She’d still been a little addled when she’d asked Marta to name him.
“Who?” asked Marta. Did the midwife mean the child, or the man responsible for her predicament?
And so ‘Hoo’ was recorded in the register. Marta never revealed the name of his father. The villagers came close to the truth of his parentage when they enquired, “Who done it?” It was, however, unlikely that Lord Dunnit would ever have claimed the child of a milkmaid as his progeny.
Hoo’s early childhood was spent hiding in the woods from his peers. It was there that he was discovered, on his thirteenth birthday, by Master Wizard Rissole, who took on Hoo as apprentice.
On Hoo’s sixteenth birthday, Rissole said, “You are of age now to choose your wizard name. You must think long and hard about this. You will live with it for many hundreds of years. Think of something that truly gives you inspiration.”
Hoo thought long, and he thought hard. He liked sausages and Betty from down the lane, but neither of those inspired him, or suited an important personage like himself. He stared at the night sky. This was his favourite time of day. It came to him then; Nocturne. That sounded sophisticated and wizardly.
His naming ceremony was to take place during the village ‘festival of light’. A famous pyromancer, Firedancer, would be in attendance, only adding to the excitement.
“Now, Hoo,” said Rissole. “At midnight I shall shout ‘wizard, name thyself’. Remember, the words you utter after this shall be your name forever.”
At midnight, just as the naming ceremony began, Firedancer set off some of his finest fireworks. Hoo was enthralled by the wonderful sounds.
“Wizard name thyself,” called Rissole.
“Whizz bang!” shouted Hoo, still in raptures.
And that is how a boy named Hoo gained, not the dignified name Nocturne, but was, for evermore, known as the wizard Whizzbang.