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O. Beetle Beetle, typically known as simply Beetle, is mentioned to be three years older than his best friend Septimus Heap. He worked as the Inspections Clerk, in the Manuscriptorium, inspecting the Ice Tunnels under the Castle, and later he works and lives as a transcription scribe at Larry's Dead Languages. He becomes a very young Chief Hermetic Scribe, and possibly the first in many years to be Picked without traces of Darke affecting the Pick. This is also remarkable as Beetle was never officially a scribe in the Manuscriptorium, nor was he in service when Picked, though he had proved his passion for the Manuscriptorium and the knowledge and history it holds several times.

Beetle often finds himself as a second choice when Extra-Ordinary Apprentice Septimus is not around, but being fairly humble and level-headed, this only darkens his happiness in doing important things slightly. He learns a good deal of history and factual knowledge while working at the Manuscriptorium, some things which he may not have been meant to know, and others which he doesn't speak of. Marcia Overstrand, Extra-Ordinary Wizard (who quite likes Beetle, after his help in a difficult situation in Flyte ) mentions that he always seems to know much more than she ever expects him to. Beetle knows basic Magyk, but has very little power and seldom uses it as makes him uncomfortable.

Rather than being an annoying know-it-all, Beetle is instead loyal and a great help to his friends, keeping a cool head in tough situations, using quick thinking and logic. He has quite an optimistic outlook and a generally cheerful, and relaxed but purposeful attitude. As the series moves on, he becomes more and more involved in the plot. Beetle is quite a likable character, and it is hinted in several situations that he has romantic feelings for Jenna Heap. [1] [2] [3] In the last book of the Septimus Heap series it is hinted that they form a romantic relationship.


Early Life

Beetle was raised in the apartment directly below the Heap family. His father, Beetle, died before he even saw his son. It is said that Beetle was named when his mother moaned "Oh, Beetle, Beetle!" when the Registration of Names asked for her son's name. Taking his mother's lament as her child's name, the registration recorded his name as "O. Beetle Beetle".

His fondest and oldest memory is his mother banging on the ceiling and yelling at the Heaps to be quiet. Since Beetle's mother did not approve of the Heaps, her son was not permitted to associate with them. Despite this, Beetle became good friends with Septimus Heap when he returned to the Castle.

Being a very intelligent and mature boy, Beetle was the youngest person ever to pass the Manuscriptorium's Entrance Exams.


Angie stated on her Ask Angie blog on the 31st October 2012 that in Magyk Beetle has to remove a Grula-Grula.


Karte beetle.jpg

"Excuse me, your grandad's a tree!?"

Beetle made his debut in Flyte as the clerk in the Castle Manuscriptorium, and Septimus' best friend. He made an entrance as he and Septimus helped with a rowdy spell at the Manuscriptorium. Septimus and Beetle then had FizzFroot while Septimus explained the situation to Beetle. Closer to the end of the book, Beetle escorted Septimus to the Wizard's Tower through the Ice Tunnels, of which he was very familiar with from his Manuscriptorium job, as he was the Inspection Clerk who checked up on the Ice Tunnels. Beetle went up to the ExtraOrdinary Wizard's rooms with Septimus and Jenna and helped Marcia and the others stop the Placement (rebuilding and bringing to life of bones by use of Darke, in this case using DomDaniel's skeleton) and witnessed the defeat of DomDaniel. He watched Septimus and Jenna accompanying Spit Fyre on the dragon's FirstFlyte.


"Not Toffees"

Beetle's debuting line of dialogue in Physik was not exactly dialogue, but a squeak out of nervousness. In this book, it was revealed that Beetle was quite fond and very much in awe of Jenna. Beetle assisted Jenna by giving her a toffee tin full of charms for dragon navigation, which he had gathered from the Manuscriptorium. Shortly after Jenna and Wolf Boy left, Beetle contracted the Sicknesse from Queen Etheldredda's Aie-Aie. At the end of the book, Beetle became the first victim of the Sicknesse to be saved by Septimus's cure. As he was unconscious for much of the plot, he saw very little action.


"oh pigs, pigs pigs pigs"

Beetle had one of the main roles. He met Marcellus Pye in his home and saw the map from Nicko Heap and Snorri Snorrelssen before it was accidentally destroyed by water. He helped Jenna to gather and carry the delicate pieces and took the map to the Manuscriptorium specialist, Ephaniah Grebe, but the specialist was unable to repair it as one very key piece was missing.  After the disappointing meeting with the specialist, Jillie Djinn, Cheif Hermetic Scribe (one of the three most powerful positions in the Castle: the others being Queen and Extra-Ordinary Wizard) found him leading Jenna out and fired him. Her reasoning was several counts of lateness, sharing of small Manuscriptorium secrets, and UnSealing an Ice Tunnel, all of which happened while he was helping Septimus and/or Jenna with one of their important issues. Nonetheless, he blamed only himself and also Jillie Djinn's strangeness, although he was heartbroken after losing his source of pride. Beetle assisted Septimus in removing Jenna from the Wendron Witches' camp when she was kidnapped. He met Heap brothers Jo-Jo, twins Edd and Erik, and Sam in their camp in the Forest. Beetle also goes along to the House of Foryx and was left behind along with Nicko, Snorri, and Jenna to wait for Septimus and his dragon to return for them, as there were so many people the Spit Fyre could not possibly bring them all home in one trip.


Beetle in Darke.

"Wotcha, Sep!"

Beetle again takes on one of the main roles. He is reintroduced with Princess Jenna, Nicko Heap, Snorri Snorrelssen, and Ullr at the Trading Post, where Septimus finds them aboard Milo Banda's ship, the Cerys. There, he acquires a blue and gold admirals jacket, which very much suits him and he grows quite attached to it. He convinces Jenna to accompany them on the ship and later rides with Jenna and Septimus on Spit Fyre. When Spit Fyre is hurt in a storm and the group is forced to crash land in the Isles of Syren, he finds himself in a nearly-deserted place with Jenna, to his delight, as he still harbors feelings for her in his quiet and thoughtful way. He and Jenna were the first of the party to see the light from the nearby lighthouse taken down and moved to The Pinnacle near "their" island. Beetle goes with Septimus first to assist onboard the besieged Cerys, and then to find and aeSeal the Ice Tunnels to the castle. (Before he goes, he gives Jenna his beloved Admiral's jacket, just in case.) Unfortunately, in the tunnels, the cold proves too much for him, he and Sep make a quick exit to avoid freezing. Beetle celebrates on the beach around the campfire with Jenna and Septimus after their victory over Tertius Fume 's diabolical plan against the Castle. Later, after the party realizes that Jim Knee can defeat the warrior jinn easily, he helps to locate the last jinnee. He returns to the Castle at the end of the book.


"Wotcha, Foxo!"
Beetle begins Darke working at Larry's Dead Languages. Beetle lives at Larry's shop and has to put up with Larry's irascible temper, lack of hygiene, and poor treatment of his customers. Jenna asks Beetle to help her investigate the Palace after Septimus, obsessed with his Darke Week preparations, snubs her. He bought them each a sandwich for lunch at Wizard Sandwiches and he and realized that Jenna might have had a Darke Domaine in her attic. Acquiring a boomerang Charm from the new Chief Charm Scribe, Foxy, Beetle investigated the attic and was lured into what was indeed a Darke Domaine caused by the growing power and stupidity of Merrin Meredith. Narrowly escaping both Merrin and Jillie Djinn (for Beetle was Returned to his old workplace the Manuscriptorium), he ran to find Jenna and told her what he found. When Jenna was caught by a group of witches and Beetle has lost her completely, he ran to the Wizard Tower to tell Marcia, only to be recruited into Marcia's effort to contain the Darke Domaine. Marcia quickly decided to evacuate the Palace and contain the Darkness within, using Beetle's help. To his slight annoyance, Beetle knew that he was only of such importance because Septimus was unavailable, but relished confronting Jillie Djinn and releasing the Manuscriptorium Scribes for duty. The Darke escaped the Palace, quickly growing to engulf the entire Castle. Beetle had Marcia Seal him into the Hermetic Chamber to guard the Manuscriptorium's old Magyk and history, risking his life (6 Chief Hermetic Scribes had done so, only 3 had survived) as the current Chief Hermetic was muddled by Merrin's Darke and perhaps not entirely sane. However, when Beetle attempted to retrieve the Suspension Charm to survive the lack of clean air, he found it lost after Merrin ransacked the Hermetic Chamber. After the Great UnDoing of the Darke Domain, he was found still alive in the Chamber, having barely survived. After Jillie Djinn's death at the end of the Darke Domaine, Foxy put Beetle's pen in the picking jar without telling him and Beetle became the Chief Hermetic Scribe much to his surprise and pride, suiting his growing confidence.


Beetle begins the book as the new Chief Hermetic Scribe, inspecting the Live Plan with Romilly Badger and Colin Partridge. Beetle notices Marcellus Pye sneaking through the Ice Tunnels en route to the Great Chamber of Fyre, but the map doesn't reveal his identity.[4]
Beetle, with Romilly's help, also notices a series of puddles popping up around the Castle, which is unusual given that the winter would have frozen all the puddles. Beetle informs Marcia both of the puddles' appearances and of the disorganized state of the Manuscriptorium papers. Together, Beetle and Marcia correctly conclude that Marcellus' preparations to revive Alchemie in the Castle are the cause of the puddles and that the Alchemist is not telling them the full story. However, when Marcellus is summoned to the Wizard Tower for Marcia and Beetle to interrogate, the Alchemist explains the puddles away as Spit Fyre's dragon's blood, although Beetle later realizes that one of the hot spots is inside a building which Spit Fyre has never been inside.
Later on, Septimus talks to Beetle about his feelings for Jenna after the two of them discuss Marcellus. Beetle tells Septimus that he realized that Jenna would have said no had he voiced his feelings, and that since he became Chief Hermetic Scribe his thoughts on her have faded. [5] Beetle attends Jenna's Welcome Back Party along with Foxy, Romilly, Moira Mole, and Partridge, and later walks Marissa Lane home (much to Jenna's displeasure, as she was watching them). [6]
Septimus brings Beetle to a crisis meeting after Edmund and Ernold Heap steal the Two-Faced Ring. There, he and the others learn from Simon that the Two-Faced Ring has DeNatured and the wizards that were once imprisoned within it, Shamandrigger Saarn and Dramindonnor Naarn, have been freed and are now InHabiting the elder Heaps. After the Ring Wizards attack Septimus, Jenna, Nicko and Simon and flee to the Castle through Smuggler's Bolt, Beetle, with Marcia and Septimus in tow, forces Larry out of Larry's Dead Languages so that the Wizards can gain access to his backyard, where the end of the Bolt supposedly comes out. When the ghost of Julius Pike meets Beetle for the first time, he reprimands the Chief Hermetic Scribe for not securing the true entrance to the Bolt, which is in fact in the back of the Manuscriptorium. [7] Beetle watches Jenna attempt the Committal with her circlet, but as she does not know the key phrase, the effort fails and they flee. Later, Beetle turns down Jenna's offer to come with her and Septimus to the House of Foryx to find Hotep-Ra, saying he must protect the Manuscriptorium. [8]
After Jenna and Septimus find the pyramid Keye to the Committal, Beetle informs Marcia, Simon, Rose, and Julius Pike that the Ice Tunnels are flooding. Beetle is present when Septimus, Jenna, and Marcellus anchor the Purple Tube below the Wizard Tower and hears Jenna through the Armed Seal on the Wizard Tower cupboard, despite Julius Pike's belief that it is a Darke trick. He joins Marcellus, Milo, Jenna, Syrah, Rose, Julius, Septimus, and Marcia in the moving chamber to the Great Chamber of Fyre from the Wizard Tower. Before Jenna prepares to perform the Committal, she apologizes to Beetle for not remaining with him when he was freed from the Hermetic Chamber following the Darke Domaine, and a surprised Beetle accepts.
Beetle is present for both Jenna's coronation and Hotep-Ra's return to the House of Foryx. Beetle gifts Jenna a golden heart engraved with the True Crown, believed to have belonged to a Queen long ago. Jenna considers it the best gift she received for her coronation. It is revealed later that Jenna invited Beetle for dinner one day at the Palace.


Physical attributes

Beetle was depicted as a boy with black hair and eyes who is three years older than Septimus Heap. He tended to wear a navy blue and gold admiral's jacket and a scarf. He had non-Magykal eyes and a listening face. The Chief Hermetic Scribe's robes of dark blue and gold matched him very well when he wore them, although he still put the beloved admiral's jacket on underneath.

Personality growth

Beetle grew from a very humble but intelligent boy into a more confident and proud young man, always having been brave but growing more so. Beetle was quite loyal, having helped his best friends and accompanied them on their antics and rescues, sometimes begrudgingly. He always looked out for them, particularly Jenna, who he is hinted to have had special affections for. Beetle did not usually find himself in a leadership position but he was very proud when he was, and as he grows older he became more of a leader and less of a follower, standing tall in his admiral's jacket and later his Cheif Hermetic Scribe's robes. He began as very much in awe around powerful figures like Princess Jenna and Extra-Ordinary Wizard Marcia so he acted shy, but later he grew more at ease with them and became friends with them. Beetle was a hard worker, but not uptight, he does work which he is quite proud to be doing. He grew more strong-willed with time, but was never one to create an argument or burst out in anger. One of Beetle's defining traits is his care for his mother, who put in extra work so that Beetle could pass his Manuscriptorium Exams, and he talks often about her, not caring if he is mocked for it.

Abilities and interests

Beetle had an affinity for navigating the Ice Tunnels and worked as a scribe at the Manuscriptorium. He was very mature and intelligent for his age, having been the youngest person to complete the Manuscriptorium's Entrance Exam. He almost always had something helpful to say or banging around in his pockets and had a passion for learning, which fuelled his love for the Manuscriptorium even when he was fired from his job there. Working for Larry's Dead Languages, he also learned quite a bit of history, gossip, and languages including Latin which he found interesting, even though it was probably not useful. He loved racing through the Ice Tunnels on his sled and enjoyed a good FizzFroot drink with Septimus afterward.

Beetle has a great deal of arcane knowledge, coaching Septimus through the introduction process of his jinnee. Although he cannot use more than Basyk Magyk such as Unseens, he understands the workings of magic, though like Jenna he considers it weird and prefers the Manuscriptorium to the Wizard Tower. As General Dogsbody and Inspection Clerk, Beetle was well-tuned to his boss Jillie Djinn's obsessive need to be perfectly timed, and was comfortable anywhere in the Manuscriptorium, whether it was in the Wild Book and Charm Store or with Ephaniah Grebe. All of these traits serve him well as Chief Hermetic Scribe, and he is considered the best Chief Hermetic Scribe ever by many, including Marcia Overstrand.[9]


  • Timepiece: Found in the Manuscriptorium and repaired by Ephaniah Grebe.
  • Admiral's Jacket: Bought by Milo Banda and given to Beetle.
  • Scribe's Pen: Green, given to Foxy after Beetle loses his job, put into the Picking Pot, which leads to Beetle's becoming the Chief Hermetic Scribe. The pen, like all scribes' pens, has his name written in elaborate swirls.
  • Ice Tunnel Sled: Not technically Beetle's but the Manuscriptorium's, used when Beetle goes on inspections of the ice tunnels, including racing and experimenting with stunts and tricks.
  • Chief Hermetic Scribe Robes: Worn only by Chief Hermetic Scribes.


  1. Queste
  2. Syren
  3. Darke
  4. Fyre, chapter 1
  5. Fyre, chapter 14
  6. Fyre Chapter 20
  7. Fyre Chapter 36
  8. Fyre Chapter 38
  9. Fyre Whatever Happened To: Beetle