Phillip "Phil" North is the twin sibling of Poppy North, and one of the major characters of the novel Secret Vampire. Despite being raised as a human, he is ultimately revealed, through his father, to be a lost witch.
Phillip is described as a good-looking young man, with "Viking blond" hair and "questing" green eyes that are a match for his sister Poppy's. He is also depicted as tall and athletic, as well as "classically handsome".
According to his sister, Phillip is a "straightlaced" young man, a straight-A, talented student and a star athlete. He is often practical and calm, though he reacts overprotectively when James Rasmussen is around, hating the other teen and correctly sensing the lamia vampire's feelings for Poppy, but mistakenly believing James will break her heart as he does with his various other girlfriends. When it is discovered that Poppy has cancer, he reacts with an even greater protectiveness for her, angered at her illness and truly devastated at the prospect of her impending death.
When informed of the Night World's existence by James, Phillip reacts with repulsion, feeling that such creatures are "unnatural", and is appalled by what his twin intends to become, even though it is the only way to save her life. He eventually warms to James, but is still unnerved by Poppy's transformation, even though he still loves his sister. Phillip's rejection of the Night World and its people also prompts him to reject the revelation that he is a lost witch, and he chooses instead to live life as a regular human rather than accept being a witch.
Phillip is introduced as Poppy's fraternal twin brother, first seen eating cereal and reading the morning paper. He comments to Poppy, when she enters the kitchen, to eat something before their mother comes in, and to "put some clothes on" upon seeing her in only a tee-shirt. They are interrupted by the arrival of James; the two young men share a look of mutual hatred, with Phillip sarcastically questioning James about his most recent two girlfriends. However, they are interrupted first by Poppy and Phillip's mother, and then by Poppy doubling over in pain as she reaches for some milk.
Phillip is instantly concerned for Poppy, asking if she's all right. When their mother sends Poppy to go get dressed, Phillip follows James to be certain he remains outside her room while she changes, untrusting of the Rasmussen youth.
Phillip later arrives at the hospital, kindly bringing Poppy's favorite music and stereo, having been informed that Poppy's stomach pains were actually pancreatic cancer, and his sister was not expected to live past 3 months at best. However, he is angrily shocked to find James in a strange embrace with Poppy (in truth, Poppy had been informed of James's vampiric nature, and the two had commenced sharing blood, initiating Poppy's conversion into a vampire). James tries to use mind control on Phil, but without success. Strained, Phillip forces James to leave, confronting Poppy's best friend outside and insisting he leave Poppy alone for her own good; Phillip's true worry and anguish over his twin's condition is clear.
However, in order to calm Phillip enough into letting him leave, James lies to him, telling Phil he is only faking affection for Poppy to make her feel better, although this is far from true. Phillip accepts it, but warns James to stay away from his sister, or he will be sorry.
The next afternoon, coming to check on Poppy, he finds James in her bed with her, having just taken more of Poppy's blood. Furious, he reveals James's words to him last night to Poppy, who is angry and heartbroken as a result. However, when she mentions doing "other stuff" with James, Phillip, getting the wrong idea, explodes and attacks James, but he is easily overpowered by the brunette teen. When Cliff and Poppy's mother try to break up the fight, Phil uses the opportunity to elbow James in the stomach, prompting James, in reaction, to throw Phillip into Poppy's dresser before being forced to leave by Cliff.
Phil is disturbed later on by the change in his sister; Poppy looks significantly weaker and closer to death, and continually requests him to buy her "red and semi-liquid" items to consume; due to not getting any of James's blood in the last exchange, she begins acting erratic and animalistic, as she needs more of the lamia's blood.
Going to the store to buy Poppy some cherry Popsicles, Phil is cornered by James, who reveals his true vampiric nature. Phillip is predictably repulsed by James's vampirism, believing him "unholy". He is further stunned and antagonistic to James's claim that Poppy asked to become a vampire as well.
James launches into a narrative about what could happen to Poppy should she die now without James's blood: he tells Phil about his childhood nanny, Miss Emma, and how through his parents' mechinations, Miss Emma ultimately became a mindless ghoul. Although Poppy's twin is sympathetic to this story, he still denies Poppy's request to become a Night Person, and warns James to stay away, threatening to tell everyone about the Night World, but James warns him in turn about the omniscience of the Night People and what they will do if Phil carries out his threat.
Phil returns home, after a second trip to the store, and brings Poppy her Popsicles, but she finds the taste disgusting, apologizing to Phil for the inconvenience. Phillip questions whether James's claim was true and, in a brief moment of clarity, she confirms her wish to convert to vampirism, as she "didn't want to die". With this knowledge, Phillip reluctantly goes to James's apartment, and, after an internal struggle, asks him to help Poppy.
James and Phillip go back, and, to Poppy's confusion, her brother sides with James, trying to convince her to listen to the lamia boy. He politely leaves when James offers his blood to Poppy, returning after they finish. At this point, Phil realizes James cares deeply for Poppy, his former nemesis even admitting he has fallen in love with her. The three of them plot the next evening, which will be the final blood exchange and Poppy's "death".
Phil and James make a display of reconciling before Cliff and Phil's mother, convincing them to go out to dinner. Once they have gone, James, Poppy and Phil prepare Poppy's bedroom for the final blood exchange, lighting candles and placing pillows around the room. Phil leaves the room, upset and fearful at the idea that, although she'll be in a slumber, his sister will look dead, but returns as James finishing giving Poppy the last of his blood, Phil's twin beginning to fall into a slumber.
Poppy thanks Phil for his help, calling him "a good brother"; telling Poppy she is a "fighter" and emotional over her transformation, Phillip and James hold Poppy's hands when she asks, falling into a deep sleep. However, due to appearing to be dead, Phil temporarily loses his sanity, trying to shake Poppy awake, but is stopped by a furious James, who will not let Poppy's brother interefere with the process, as it would put the girl in serious danger. Irrational and convinced his sister is truly dead, Phillip succumbs to a destructive despair, attacking James and destroying the living room, only ceasing when James finally subdues him, threatening to kill Phil if he endangers Poppy by interrupting the transformation.
Phil calms when James reaffirms his love for Poppy, and they begin clearing away the candles and pillows from Poppy's room. However, when discussing if Poppy will awaken as planned or not, when James mentions committing suicide if Poppy fails to make it, Phil becomes angry with him, insisting Poppy would want him to live; the two truly come to an understanding on this note. James goes to call Phil's mother, the blond teenager in anguish and crying against Poppy's bed.
When they arrive home, Phil is devastated at the sight of his mother in so much pain, "wanting to comfort her". When James explains that they cannot let paramedics do an autopsy on Poppy or let the funeral home embalm her, Phil is sickened by the thought and throws up. Phil again becomes disturbed by the sight of Poppy in a body bag, but James comforts him before departing.
During the funeral, Phillip starts to actually believe Poppy had died permanently, his mind abandoning the truth of James being a vampire. However, he hears Poppy shouting in his dreams one night, and his birthfather, who manages to come to the funeral, mentions that he had also heard Poppy, disturbing Phil. His memory of what is really happening is restored when James comes to collect him, as they need to unearth Poppy's coffin and awaken her.
At the cemetery, they dig Poppy out, the two bonding once again through small jokes. Luckily, after digging up the casket and opening it, James successfully wakes Phil's twin. However, now a vampire, Poppy initially doesn't recognize Phil and nearly feeds on him, but is restrained by James. Her brother reacts with terror at what she has become, thinking her a monster, despite still loving her. This opinion is solidified upon witnessing an oxygen-starved Poppy dart from James's car and feed on a stranger to alleviate her pain from bloodlust. Phillip's assessment of her hurts Poppy, and James sharply calls him a "jerk" for wondering if it hadn't been better to let her die naturally. After driving her to James's apartment, the lamia youth tells Phil coldly to leave and forget everything that's happened, claiming he is no longer involved.
The next evening, Phil senses the lamia boy's car approach and, emerging from the house, he encounters a murderously angry James. As Phil gets into the car, James explains that Poppy was taken by his notorious cousin, Ash Redfern, who intends to toy with Poppy and, once done with her, take the girl in to Night World authorities to be executed. Fortunately, with Phil's help, James drives the pair of them to Las Vegas, having figured out through discussion with Phil it's the most likely place Ash would go.
After Thea Harman confirms to James that Ash had taken Poppy to Thierry Descouedres' summer solstice celebration, James and Phil drive to the mansion, James warning Poppy's brother not to go inside. However, hearing Poppy's mental shouts and attacks on Ash, Phillip climbs up to the balcony; seeing him, Ash muses on the presence of "a human in an Elder's house". Phil disregards Ash's veiled threat, claiming he intends to "knock [his] head off". Ash, stunned by Phil's boldness, loses his antagonism and asks James if Phil "understand[s] about vampires", earning a chuckle from his cousin. Ash allows the three to leave, promising not to tell the Night World authorities.
On the ride home, provided with Ash's hint, James joyfully realizes that Poppy and Phil are both lost witches and Nightpeople after all, figuring out this to be the reason James could not use mind control on Phillip. However, Phil reacts to this news with shock and exasperation, admitting he has had premonitions but not wanting any part of it, also deducing that they are witches due to their father, who is also a lost witch. After giving them the address for Poppy's father, Phil acknowledges that perhaps vampires and other Nightpeople aren't as terrible as he had assumed, earning gratitude from James.
When Poppy and James share in their elation, Phil becomes uncomfortable, able to hear them through his own power, and admits his newfound approval of James to Poppy, although he won't state it concretely. He allows Poppy into the house one last time to say goodbye to their mother, and then says farewell to his sister and her soulmate after they both thank him for all he'd done for them.
Strange Fate (preview)Edit
Phillip returns in a short preview of the tenth book, Strange Fate, as Poppy and James are faced with a dragon. The couple, acknowledging they are doomed, bid one another goodbye but, as the dragon is about to incinerate them, Ash appears by helicopter, along with Phillip. The twins quickly begin a psychic assault on the dragon, termed as a Synergy Yell; Poppy and Phillip telepathically unleash a wave of telepathic power at the horns, as Poppy had remembered their significance. This action, ramped up by Poppy from a yell to a "shriek" is powerful enough to stun the dragon, allowing Poppy and James to escape up into the helicopter. However, the effort involved in the Syngery Yell, as he was not trained as Poppy was, causes Phillip to become overwhelmed and pass out.
As the dragon is too stunned to follow, the helicopter is ordered by Ash to return to Circle Daybreak; Phillip is wrapped in a shock blanket while Poppy is given tea for comfort.
The brother of the well-known made vampire Poppy North, Phil is a psychic who discovers his witch heritage. Linked to the Night World through his father's family, Phil is glad to learn why he can telepathically communicate with his sister - but he has no interest in exploring his witch powers.
- Phillip is the third witch overall introduced to the series, and the second lost witch, after Poppy.
- Phillip is the only lost witch of the series thus far who never comes to accept his true heritage as a witch, though in the Strange Fate preview he is willing and able to conduct a telepathic attack with Poppy.
- Similarly to many witch names, Phillip's name is Greek in origin, and translates to mean "lover of horses" or "Noble". Many famous historical figures, including King Phillip II of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great), share this name. Technically, after his death, Phillip of Macedon was worshipped by some as a minor god, which would make Phillip fit the traditional deity names of most witches.