The young beanish child watched the witch closely, gasping in delight when a small flame appeared from seemingly nowhere in her hand. He clapped and chattered excitedly, "Mistress, mistress! How are you having the doing of that?"
The witch banished the flame and patted his head. "That, my apprentice, was magic."
"Magic? Have explaining."
"Well, it's a little difficult to put into words. For most people, anything that they don't understand is basically magic to them. But that's a stupid, foolish notion, because you can learn how anything works with hard work."
Fawful nodded. "I have the seeing. So how does the magics have happening?"
"Eyehahaha! It happens like so!" She held out her hand, palm up. "Somewhere within you is a reserve of energy. All you have to do is tap into it, concentrate, and will it to do what you want." The flame reappeared.
Fawful's eyes widened. "I have some understandings…but perhapsing I should be trying for myselfs?"
Cackletta nodded, rubbing her chin. "Yes, yes, let's see what you can do."
Fawful nodded, then proceeded to concentrate so hard on his hands that it looked like his glasses were going to fly off his face. Cackletta found it almost cute, but didn't say so of course. "No, no, no!" she stopped him. "You're trying much too hard. Loosen up, and feel for it."
"Okaying! I will have more looseness, Great Cackletta." He adjusted his glasses and tried again. And again. And again.
Slowly, his smile turned into a frown, his brow furrowed, and tears of frustration sprang into his eyes. Finally, he stopped and turned to her. "I-I have sorries, oh Great Cackletta… I am having the disappointment of you…"
The bean witch snorted. "Honestly, I would have been surprised if you'd gotten it so quickly. Most magic users have to practice for a long time before they can even do something basic." She patted his head again. "So don't worry too much about it. The most important thing to remember is to keep trying."
He smiled and nodded, wiping his face. "I am seeing. I will have the much practice, and I will be the toady of bestness ever!"
"Good. When you get something to happen, tell me before you accidentally do anything stupid."
"Now, I have some important work to do, so don't go bothering me in my study…or else!" Electricity crackled threateningly around her fingers, causing Fawful to scurry away with a quick "Okayo!"
So he went to practicing. And trying. And scowling till he sweated. Days turned into weeks, then a month, two months. No matter what he did, no matter what advice Cackletta offered, he just couldn't do it. It quickly became apparent that Fawful had absolutely no magical talent whatsoever.
Cackletta had no idea what to do with him now. As she watched Fawful mope about the hideout, she considered throwing him out. But she didn't really want to send him away, since he had only her and nowhere to go. Besides, he was almost like her…nephew twice removed or some such. He might be annoying, but leaving him alone and abandoned for the second time was cruel, even for her.
But she needed someone to pass down all of her skills to. With no magical potential, what could she really teach him?
One night, there was a soft knocking at her study door. "Haven't I told you not to bother me when I'm working?!" she snapped at the small green head poking past the doorframe.
Fawful flinched reflexively. "P-Please do not have zapping of me! This is being of importance…"
Cackletta sighed, turning her chair to face him. "Alright. What is it?"
He shuffled inside slowly, hands folded behind his back. "I have had the disappointings of you…"
Her expression softened. "That's hardly your fault, Fawful. It's not like you didn't try."
The little bean child didn't look any less sad. "I am knowing that this has not the sameness, but… If-If I cannot have the shooting of lighting from the fingertips of mine like you when you have fury, then…"
He looked up at her, then carefully pulled out a small, oddly-shaped gun from behind his back. "Then I will have the lighting shooting from this."
Cackletta blinked. "Did you make that yourself?"
"Yesing. It had taking me many nights…"
"Well, that's cute, but I have things I need to do."
"Wait!" He rushed over to her. "Have waiting! I will have the showing you!" He pointed the device in front of him and pulled the trigger, blowing a sizeable hole in the wall with a deafening zap! He was lucky nothing important had been there.
Coughing, Cackletta waved away the dust, stunned. "Let me see that," she said after a moment. Fawful handed the invention to her with caution. She turned it over in her hands, examining what he'd done. It was ingenious, really. Slowly, a big grin took over her face.
Fawful began to inch away, unsure if he was in trouble for damaging his mistress's private study. "Fawful." He jumped to attention.
"Forget about magic. I think you're going to be a better toady than I even imagined."
He smiled proudly as she gave back the ray gun.
"If you can make something like that now, just imagine what you can do in the future!" She ruffled his lone tuft of hair excitedly and began to pace. "Why, with my magic, your inventions, and both our evil plotting skills, we can do anything!"
"So it is being okay that I am not having the magics?"
She surprised him by pulling him into a rare hug. "Yes, Fawful! I think you've got something even better." She held him by the shoulders, a mischievous glint in her eyes. "You get good enough with that stuff, and you've got your very own brand of magic!"
"Oh-ing! I will have the learnings right away!"
The bean witch let go of her apprentice and started to root around in her many piles of books. "Yes, yes, I'll see what I can find to help." She turned to him and held up a finger, stopping him from leaving. "But first, you need to patch up that hole you made in my wall."
Fawful drooped. "Yesing, mistress…"
It would have taken him forever to fix by himself, so she helped him out for the sake of making her study private again, or so she said.
Cackletta watched his progress with his inventing, feeling increasingly proud and fond of him. He was a natural technological savant.
He didn't need magic after all. He never really did.