I quickly realized after the sip that it was poison. The tea tasted normal, but the way he was holding back a smirk gave me an uneasy feeling. I immediately spit it back into the cup.
“You’re trying to poison me,” I say, wiping the excess liquid off my lips.
“The only way to find out is to keep drinking it,” he says and rests his head on his interlocked fingers. His green eyes are itching into my brain.
“You bring me down to your little hideout so you can kill me?” His hideout is actually quite impressive. It has shelves of old spell books nobody can find anymore and hundreds of his own secret journals.
“Oh calm down, Agatha. It was a test,” he says pulling the tea closer to himself and mixes it around. That’s Professor Grangscott for you. Fiddling with actual poison.
“You are a psychopath,” I say and get up to leave.
“Agatha, wait! It’s can’t kill you! It just makes you pass out for a couple hours. I actually need something else.”
“What now? You need me to try another weird herbal concoction?” I ask plopping back down onto his worn-out couch and play with the loose threads on the cushion.
“You should be a bit more optimistic. I have a job for you.”
“Really? What is it?” I hope it’s something exciting this time.
“Go pick me some dungleberries. I need them for … a new recipe,” he says and hands me a basket. Another boring job. I roll my eyes and start to head for the woods.
I start to pick berries from the closest bush in the woods. I grabbed a few and plopped them into his basket. There is a large crowd in the town. The market insanity is one thing I dodge when I do Grangscott’s work.
All of a sudden, something jumps down from the tree next to me with a big thump. “Hey, Agatha!”
I screamed and dropped a handful of berries. “Otis! You gotta stop doing this!”
“It’s not fair! You are always doing work for Grangscott and I just sit bored in a tree. I want to hang out with my best friend again!”
“Me too, Otis. But I’m stuck collecting berries for a crazy wizard so he can make potions that might kill us all one day.”
“Are you kidding? You’re lucky! My parents have been struggling to find me any kind of mentor and you got the best one!”
“You have no idea what I have to go through. He tried to poison me today.”
“That’s so cool!” he says.
I have filled up my basket, and I know Grangscott will get impatient. “I don’t have time for this, Otis. I have to get this to him.” I say and run off to his hideout.
I climb down the mossy steps back to Grangscott. The musty smell seeps into my nose and overwhelms me. I have been his apprentice for six months, and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I search the hideout and see that he is sitting at his desk writing in his journal.
He slammed the journal shut and turned around. “Agatha! You’re back!” He said with a burst of enthusiasm.
“I got your berries,” I say in my most monotone, unamused voice.
“That’s splendid. You can leave them here,” he says and puts his journal away. I walk over to his desk and see a sleeping rat on it.
“Professor Grangscott? Why is there an unconscious rodent on your desk?” I ask calmly. I didn’t want to wake it up in case he turned it into some kind of mutant that would bite me.
“I had to try the potion on somebody,” he says. He pokes the rat with a pen on his desk.
“Why can’t I do fun stuff like that? I’m supposed to be learning how to do wizard stuff not how to pull berries off a bush!”
“Picking berries is wizard stuff. And I find it quite fun,” He says, still poking his rat.
“Anybody can pick berries, but I want to know how to make the poison. I also don’t want to be the person you test it on!”
“Calm down about that. I think this rat will wake up shortly, so it wouldn’t have done too much to you.” He pokes it once more with the pen, and it flips over on its back. “Oh gosh. Yeah you were smart to spit that out.”
“Can you stop playing with the rat and listen to me!” He drops the pen and looks up at me from a slouched position, “I want to learn how to be a wizard. That’s what I’m here for.”
“You are learning. What do you think I had to do when I was an apprentice? The exact same thing. And if the job was so simple, then how come you picked the wrong berries?” He shows me the basket.
They are the wrong berries. I start to blush and the words I once had were gone. Luckily, he has more to say.
“Agatha, you are smart. That’s why I chose you as my apprentice. But when you don’t put effort into things you think are simple, I can’t give you anything harder. And it makes you look stupid.”
“I’m sorry. I’m just excited to know how to make potions and perform spells. I want to know what the stuff I’m collecting is actually for,” I say, still trying to stop blushing.
“If you get the right berries you can make a potion with me. I think it’s time,” he says and hands me another basket from under his desk.
“Okay,” I say, beaming, and start to run off. I know I have a long way to come, but the journey will be even longer if I don’t take it seriously. If I take on one job at a time, I will become the wizard I am supposed to be.