|“Professor Drake! Oh, Professor Drake!” the conjurer calls, galloping into the Myth School and skidding to a halt. Her chest is heaving and strands of her pearl-colored locks are plastered to her sweaty face, but her turquoise eyes twinkle with suppressed laughter.
“Fallon StarBreaker. I sent you on a quest.” Cyrus Drake snaps in response. He deliberately sent her to retrieve the leaf of the fictional “Truffela tree”, just so he would be out of his…scalp. He had assumed his student had run into trouble. Perhaps she had been digested by a troll. One less amateur to deal with. But she was here now, in front of him, triumphantly presenting a viridian-green leaf.
“Is that…” he gasps, for once showing some form of emotion. Fallon bobs her head up and down eagerly.
“Uh-huh! I mean, yes, sir!” she trills. Cyrus takes the leaf from her grasp with slightly-trembling fingers. “It can’t be…” he murmurs. “Impossible…”
He can’t tell her it was a fake, that the whole tree was a fake. Because then he’ll have to share that the whole quest was just to get her away. She’s such an eager student (sometimes, perhaps TOO eager), and although it seemed unbelievable, he does have a heart. Granted, this heart is much smaller and darker than the average wizard’s, but still.
“Erm…thank you, Fallon. …Here.” The professor hands the conjurer a small sack of gold and hesitantly teaches her how to use the Mythblade spell. Brandishing her wand happily, Fallon waves good-bye and skips out the door. Cyrus then sinks into his chair and places his hand on his forehead.
“It just doesn’t make sense!” he shouts to himself. “THERE IS NO TRUFFELA TREE!!” And yet, the proof stares him in the face. Proof that looks almost exactly like…
“One of Ivan’s leaves?” Cyrus asks himself. He turns the “Truffela” leaf over and over in his cold hands. The texture and shade were remarkably similar….
But he dismisses the very notion. The idea that Ivan, one of his most trusted acquaintances, and Fallon, a mere Initiate Conjurer, would ever team up and fool him. He was, after all, the most intelligent of the Ravenwood professors. Perhaps even more so than Headmaster Ambrose. But, of course, he would never tell the old man in person. Ambrose DID sign Cyrus’s paychecks, after all.
Cyrus sifts through the piles of parchment on his desk and finds the one he is searching for: a letter to all of the professors, from Ambrose, asking for the names of any extraordinary students. He did express the fact that “each wizard is extraordinary in their own way; these students, however, have a defining quality to themselves that sets them apart from the other students of their age.
Dipping his quill into the coal-black ink, Cyrus began to write.
Taking a mere glance at the Myth students I have been sent this year would give any onlooker the idea that it would be impossible to produce any students at the minimum level of expectation here, let alone any “notable” or “spectacular” students. Quite honestly, this particular group of wizards may be the most incompetent batch of Conjurers I have ever had thrust upon me. They are immature; they don’t follow orders; that one student Jimmy DirtThorn has a particular habit of chewing on the tip of his wand. (Last week, he accidently transformed his tongue into a frog.) And with all of the things occurring throughout the Spiral…
With my knowledge and expertise, however, I have managed to influence determination and confidence onto most of the students. And still, these wizards simply confound me with their behavior! The StarBreaker girl managed to retrieve a leaf from the Truffela tree. For the life of me, I wouldn’t have said they exist! I have no clue who would have ever given a promising young wizard such an aggravating and hopeless task [At this point, Cyrus coughed to himself]. I will admit, though, how striking the resemblance of this Truffela tree leaf and one of Ivan’s leaves was…perhaps our dear friend is in fact one of these Truffela trees.
Now, I AM capable of giving praise when it is earned - and frankly, there is none earned here -, but I will (begrudgingly) admit that this group is…shall we say…determined. Yes….very determined.
Satisfied with his response, Cyrus rolls up his parchment and ties it to the outstretched talon of an owl. He makes his way over to the window and stares at Ivan. The professor thinks for a moment, shakes his head, and returns to his desk, ready to scold the next wizard to track mud on his freshly-mopped floors.
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