The Magic Tester
By: Robin Gagnon
Martin didn’t hate his job, but he didn’t particularly enjoy it either. Being a part of the magical item test department, he constantly found himself in some sticky situations, sometimes quite literally.
Being a Magic Tester, it was his job to make sure wands and other magical items worked accordingly or to test what magic certain wands that were confiscated from criminals could do. It was a fairly dangerous job, but it paid quite well. Just last week, his best friend, Freddy, had accidentally turned himself into a fly and had to be taken away so that he could be tested on to figure out how to turn him back to normal.
You weren’t meant to test the items on yourself, but Freddy had accidentally turned the wand the wrong way around when he had used it. The wand had belonged to a wicked witch in the outskirts of a bog and her name had been Arachne. With that, it wasn’t too difficult to figure out what the witch used the wand for and why she had been arrested.
“Here you go,” Ms. Babblesworth muttered, dumping a new box of wands on his cluttered, wooden desk. “These just came in.”
“Can’t you go easy on the wands?” Martin asked the elderly woman in irritation. “With Freddy not here, it’s too much work for me to keep up with.”
Ms. Babblesworth stared into Martin’s blue eyes with a bored stare and replied, “Just get it done, Martin.”
He sighed, as the wrinkly lady left the stone room. It had been set up for two people to work and had a desk on either side. Freddy’s desk was empty and cluttered free, while Marin’s side of the room was filled with boxes and boxes of wands.
Getting up out of his desk with a swish of his long jacket, Martin grabbed a wand out of his desk and pointed it at a dummy in the middle of the room. Fire burst out of it and he went back to his desk to write it down in his log, then put it in a canister with a paper detailing what magic it could create. Shoving the canister into a tube above his desk, it was sucked into it and disappeared into the ceiling to be sorted and sent to the elemental department.
Grabbing a fire extinguisher, he put out the fire on the dummy and moved onto the next wand. This went on for a few hours and by the time lunch rolled around, he had grown bored and tired.
“Wand number 183,” he mumbled to himself. “Can produce deadly snakes.”
A cobra hissed at him from the other end of the broom that he was using to hold it down with. Putting the snake it a bucket, he secured it and decided it was best to take it to the wildlife department. Looking at the time, he realized that it was nearly lunch. Picking up the last wand out of one of the boxes that littered the room, he noticed that it seemed a little cracked and jumped when it sparked. He wasn’t supposed to test broken wands and put it on his desk to send it to the dangerous magic department.
While he was writing, the wand sparked and zapped towards him. Martin was enveloped in a white light and when all settled down, he was left fearing that something terrible had happened to him.
Looking down, he saw that he still standing and that he still had two hands. He breathed a sigh of relief, before realizing that his hands seemed a bit stranger than before. They looked like they were a bit smaller and thinner than he remembered. He felt strange.
That’s when he realized that his normally short hair was cascading down his shoulders in long, blond waves. His eyes widened with the realization that the wand had made his hair grow. Carefully putting the wand into a canister, he left for lunch, taking the canister and the container with the snake with him.
He decided that first he would go to the wildlife department and drop off the cobra, and then he would take the defective wand to the dangerous magic department, before going home for lunch and cutting his hair.
Walking down the corridors of the castle he worked in, Martin began to notice that something was bothering his chest. It seemed heavier somehow. Brushing it off, he made his way to the wildlife department and knocked on the door before heading into the room.
“I have a cobra,” he announced, putting a hand to his throat when he heard the sound of his voice. “I’m just going to leave it here.”
The wizards of the wild department looked up at him in surprise. He regarded them for a moment, before realizing that they were checking him out. His face turned beat read and he slammed the door shut on them with an angry look.
“What was that all about,” he muttered, as his eyebrows furrowed together at the sound of his voice again. “Why is my voice so high pitched? I sound so girly.”
Suddenly his eyes widened and he ran into the nearest bathroom and straight to the mirror. He could not believe his eyes, as a woman with long, blond hair and blue eyes stared back at him. He screamed and so did she.
“Oh, no,” he exclaimed feeling the features on his face. “I’m a woman.”
“Yes, you are,” a male voice broke in, as a man walked out of the bathroom. “How did a beautiful young lady like yourself find her way into the men’s bathroom?”
Martin’s feminine face scrunched up in disgust, as the man with carefully slicked back black hair walked up to him and looked his womanly body up and down.
Clutching the canister in his thin hands, Martin wacked the man in the side of the head with it and exclaimed, “Get away from me you slimy jerk.”
Martin stormed out of the bathroom and eventually made his way outside to head towards the other part of the castle that contained the department for dangerous magic. He needed to find a way to fix this. He might not have turned into a fly like Freddy, but turning into a lady had never been on the top of his to-do list either. He was only twenty years old and had never even dated a woman, never mind tried to become one.
Halfway across the walkway, he stopped and looked down on himself. He thought for a moment, before grabbing his own chest and moving his newly acquired breasts up and down.
“They’re not like sand bags,” he muttered thoughtfully, before looking up and noticing a groups of male wizards walking by and staring. “Hey, my eyes are up here!”
The group hurried by with confused expressions and Martin continued on. When he finally reached the department of dangerous magic, he was out of breath and frantic.
James, the head of the department, was standing in the middle of the room, as he wrote something down on a clipboard. When he looked up and saw Martin, he began to comment, “Hello, there.”
“Save it,” Martin spat at him. “It’s me, Martin. This stupid wand changed me into a woman and I need you to help me.”
He held up the canister that contained the wand and James laughed, “I don’t know. I like you better like this Martin. You make a very attractive woman.”
“Just help me,” Martin muttered to the older man with glasses, as he handed him the canister. “The wand was slightly cracked when it zapped me.”
“Sounds like a simple gender changing wand,” James commented, carefully opening the canister. “If I can repair it to work just long enough to change you back, you should be fine.”
“What if you can’t fix it?” Martin asked nervously. “Can you still change me back?”
“I’m sure there’s a spell somewhere that can do it,” he replied thoughtfully, putting the wand inside a glass case so he could fix it without zapping himself. “If not, you may have to wait until they find another wand that can do it.”
Thoughts of the male staff members checking him out invaded Martin’s brain and he looked at James desperately and muttered, “Please change me back.”
It took a few moments, but eventually, James had fixed the wand well enough to use it at least once. Martin stood in the middle of the room nervously and waited for James to get ready.
“Alright,” James smiled with the wand in his hand. “Are you sure you want to change back? I mean, you haven’t experienced all the wonders of being a woman yet…”
Martin shot him an evil glare and replied in a voice of warning, “James…”
The man laughed, adjusted his glasses, and pointed the wand at Martin, enveloping him in a bright light. When all was said and done, he looked down to see that he had been changed back to normal.
“Thanks,” he sighed with relief, as James put the wand in a weird looking machine. “It’s great to be back to normal.”
“It couldn’t of been that bad,” James commented with a glance at the clock. “Looks like your lunch is over too. You’re the only one in that department right now, aren’t you?”
Martin sighed and nodded before replying, “I think it’s about time I asked for a transfer though…”