Six Short Stories About Magic
S3E08 05 Victoria and the gang
Original Air date February 28, 2018
Written by Sera Gamble
David Reed
Directed by Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Episode Navigation
Preceded by
Poached Eggs
Followed by
All That Josh

Six Short Stories About Magic is the eighth episode of the third season of The Magicians, and thirty-fourth episode overall.


Julia and Fen investigate a dangerous group of Magicians as Eliot and Margo's reign is challenged.



Penny drops out of a book chute, onto the floor of the Library of the Neitherlands' Underworld branch. He walks the corridors, where there are many other librarians, dressed in suits like he is. He's clearly not an astral projection, he can touch things. He gets to the outside of the building, climbs the fence, and walks away.

He finds a tent city, with a few hundred people living there. A park ranger sees him and begins what seems to be a "new resident to temporary housing" speech and checklist, but Penny derails him into finding Benedict Pickwick. He finds Benedict, who wants badly to be gone from this place, and he is anxious for Penny to be his friend and get him out. He says the Library took the key from him, so they will have to sneak back into the Library. Penny says he needs to find someone else but will be right back.

Penny climbs the fence back into the Library back entrance and finds Sylvia (who died but doesn't blame Penny). Sylvia shows him some pages from Penny's book and says he's about to do something stupid. But his best help would be the person who writes peoples' books.

Sylvia leads him to an office inside the Library, where there is a woman who looks just like Alice, but Sylvia introduces her as Cassandra, who's been there working for thousands of years. She sees the future, and she is the one who writes the books of people, so surely she is writing about the people on his Quest. Cassandra crumples up a page and discards it, and Penny reads: it's a sex scene between Quentin and Poppy Kline, for Quentin's book.


Quentin, Alice, and Poppy are planning. Poppy says that Victoria can travel them to the Library, Travelers are really magical creatures, so their DNA is enough to power things: Victoria can make a mirror bridge from here to the Library. Alice knows of mirror bridges, they are often used by hedge witches for short distances, but is very uncertain they can even figure out how to do the calculations to make one that works successfully. It takes some doing to convince Victoria that a mirror bridge can be done, aided by a book of notes on mirror bridges that Poppy steals from Alice.

Victoria uses cuts on her arm to get blood to power the mirror bridge, and Quentin, Poppy, Kady, and Harriet go through it to the Neitherlands Library. (Victoria must stay on the bridge to power it.) Harriet and Kady go one way, and Quentin and Poppy the other.

Quentin and Poppy find the Bookworm's drop box, and there are books piled below it. They expect to find a book in which Penny has hidden the key, but they don't find it. They feel their time is up, and start to leave, then run into Alice in a Library hallway. Quentin stops to talk with her, while Poppy gets out and crosses the mirror bridge back to Earth.

(Penny with Sylvia and Cassandra complains that, at this point in the story, there's no key, and also exclaims: What's Alice doing in a satellite branch?)


Poppy and Alice are arguing about getting the calculations right for a mirror bridge; without Alice's help, there's no chance of getting it right, and Alice isn't willing. (At this point, we can tell this story is going over the same material portrayed before, but from different points of view.) Harriet tells them both, the Library collects knowledge, but buries it so only the people they choose get access to it. She says the Library has an immense battery in the Library, and if Alice helps they can use it to help Penny. Alice is still not convinced.

At the Cottage, as Alice studies, the Clock opens and Fen falls out. She needs a break from Fillory, to recover from losing her daughter. Alice counters with how she knew everything as a Niffin, and has forgotten it now. Fen says that while her own loss of her child is permanent, Alice's loss of her niffin knowledge is not. Since the knowledge is still out there, Alice should go find it again.

Alice is outdoors throwing rocks at an outdoor book drop. A Librarian appears and tells her, whatever she wants, no. Alice says she has something his boss will need; he extends a hand and they Travel to the Library.

Alice asks Zelda Schiff how Gavin could move them both without Wellspring magic; she is sure the Library has a battery. The Head Librarian reveals nothing. Alice says she's working on a Grand Unified Theory of Magic, and wants access to their books; the Head Librarian agrees and also is curious about a Quest for seven keys. Before she goes on, the Head Librarian is drawn away by a helper. Alice turns around and sees Quentin and Poppy. (A meeting seen before from Poppy's point of view.)

After Poppy leaves, Alice asks Quentin what he's doing here, and he asks the same of her, further, he asks if she's working with the Library. Alice says he has to leave, which he does, without her.

(Penny and Sylvia read another sheet from Cassandra.)


Eliot Waugh and Margo Hanson are on trial in Whitespire. Eliot says, yes, he wants to make a final statement: He hates Fillory.


At the Cottage, Fen awakes, and watches unnoticed as Julia welcomes Irene McAllister, who to Fen's eyes seems to have a Fairy servant with her. Irene tells Julia she wants to collect on the favor she asked for earlier; Irene has damage to her abdomen, and needs healing, and requires Julia to do so in her office. Irene and her fairy leave.

After Irene leaves, Fen explains to Julia about seeing the fairy; Julia says she's never made a fairy deal, so she can't see fairies, but she remembers that Penny said he saw things at the McAllister house. Fen is alarmed at the idea of fairies being on Earth. Julia thinks the fairy was a slave and is upset about that.

At Irene's office, Julia does the spell to heal Irene. Fen walks around nearby and finds a fairy named Skye. Skye says the McAllister's keep their fairies safe from bad magicians. Skye suggests they talk the next day when the McAllisters are out.

Outside the McAllister house, Julia and Fen sneak into an outbuilding and find Skye lying on a table, with her leg cut off and a saw nearby. Julia sees a table with white powder dust and the same kind of bottles Irene gave her earlier.


In 1952, Harriet was a young girl as she entered the Library. Her mother, the Head Librarian, complains that she was outside the Library: time moves differently outside, and she could have come back all grown up. Harriet is carrying one of the Fillory books, and she was trying to find the fountain to Fillory; the Head Librarian is concerned that outside the Library is not safe, and has Harriet promise not to go looking for Fillory.

In 1985, Harriet, a young woman now, enters the Library and complains to the Head Librarian: What's the point of a Library if no one can read the books. The Head Librarian explains that the Library has dangerous books. Harriet is a student at Brakebills, and wants to share Library books with her classmates. The Head Librarian says it was a mistake to send her to Brakebills, and wants Harriet to stay in the Library and be part of the staff, but if not her Library card is suspended. Harriet says she's going back to Brakebills.

In 2007 Harriet is now ten years older than her mother, and comes to the Library for the first time in a while. After they hug, Harriet asks for Principles of Conjuring Elementals. She gets it, but the Head Librarian still wants to convince her to stay and be part of the Library. Harriet would stay, but only if the Library opened itself to outsiders, which the Head Librarian dismisses.

In 2018 Victoria and the others cross the mirror bridge. As before, Harriet tells Quentin and Poppy to find the book drop. She and Kady go to Priceless Artifact Storage, to find the battery they're sure the Library has. As they search, another Librarian enters, and they hide; the Librarian opens a briefcase full of little bottles of white powder. Kady knocks the Librarian out, and they examine the powder; after sampling some, Harriet can now do a simple flame spell. They take the briefcase.

They run into the Head Librarian; Harriet has Kady go on back to the mirror bridge. Harriet asks what the powder is, and the Head Librarian says she doesn't want to know. Harriet dashes to the start of the mirror bridge, and another Librarian pops into existence. He grabs the briefcase, pushes Harriet through the mirror into the mirror bridge, and smashes the mirror. The entire bridge, with Harriet and Victoria inside it, breaks.


Cassandra gives Penny another sheet, and it's the sex scene between Quentin and Poppy again. This time Penny notices something Poppy says: she can only go so long feeling alone and worthless before she does something stupid. Penny calls himself an idiot.

Outside again, Penny gets to the tent city and finds Benedict; he apologizes for not getting back to him but asks Benedict not to be stupid. Benedict admits he just buried the key, but he's spent his life alone and wanted Penny to stay around and be his friend. Penny says that they are friends, Benedict was the only person who cried when Penny died. He has an offer: get me the key, and Sylvia will take you to the Underworld Library map room, where you will be very popular.

Now with the key, Penny puts it into a book and puts the book in a book elevator to the Neitherlands Library. He's about to project himself into the book, when Sylvia slams shut the elevator door, and hits the button, stranding Penny in the Underworld Library. Two other Librarians come and haul Penny away.

For the third time, we see Poppy and Quentin running into Alice in the Neitherlands Library. Again we see Kady running from the Head Librarian, leaving Harriet behind. This time, Quentin and Kady meet and hear the sound of the Bookworm dragon depositing a book. They get the book and the key, run to the mirror, and cross the mirror bridge.


In "The Girl Who Told Time", when Kady and Penny first met Harriet, it was to get back Principles of Conjuring Elementals, which was ten years overdue.



Guest Starring

Special Guest Star







Bee and Key Transparent
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