It was a typical day in Brooklyn when Tony Wyzek was walking home after meeting his friends, when he spotted a shop he’d never seen before. It was called Magical Mysteries and it drew Tony’s attention because it had so many strange things in the window. Tony walked into the shop and then noticed he wasn’t the only one who’d been drawn into the shop by the curious window display. Two other boys had been drawn in as well. The shop was filled with strange and mystical objects, but what attracted all three boys was a large locked book in a shadowy corner of the shop that seemed to glow as they approached it. When they drew near enough, Tony reached out a hand to touch it and the book opened with a rush of air, the pages blowing as if moved by an invisible wind! Just then, they saw a figure in the shadows, and when she came out, they saw she was an old woman wearing a long black dress. “Oh my gosh! You’re a…” Tony started to say. “No, don’t say it!” the woman cried. “…witch!” Andrew and Jason finished.
The woman screamed and began to shrink, transforming into a tiny green blob. She informed them that the only way she could be changed back into her regular form was for them to become witch apprentices (witchlings) and train to become full-fledged witches so they’d have enough magic to transform her back. The woman introduced herself as Maia, the shop’s owner, and asked them their names. Tony introduced himself and learned the other boys were apparently Jason and Andrew. Maia said she’d never seen such strong magic present in three boys before. Tony, Andrew, and Jason all denied having any magical ability, but Maia told them she’d noticed the way her book reacted to them when they touched it and was astounded, stating that she’d never seen such strong magic present in three boys before. Despite their disbelief, Tony, Andrew, and Jason agreed to become her apprentices and reached into the box Tay-tay brought out, retrieving three objects from it.
Maia explained that the objects were called taps and they would allow the user to transform into a witchling, but they would only work for their designated owner. To use it, the user had to press the musical note in the center and get the uniform that appeared on before the music stopped, otherwise it would disappear and they’d have to try again. The boys pressed the note on their taps and managed to get their uniforms on. Tony was in red, Jason in green, and Andrew in orange. Then Maia instructed them to tap out a melody of their own on the colored spheres around the edge, one unique to them, which would allow the tap to release their wandawhirl and/or broomstick. Each of them did and received a wandawhirl that looked like a long hollow tube with caps on both ends filled with colorful spheres Maia referred to as spell drops. Each spell cast with the wandawhirl used spell drops, and they weren’t cheap to get, so she warned them not to use them frivolously. The spell drops could only be purchased in Witch World and could only be bought by an apprentice using money earned from selling things they made themselves or by their witch teacher.
In total there were nine exams, but they could only be taken at evening until they reached their last (which took place during the day and must be completed before sunset), and Maia described the tests as follows:
LEVEL 9: Mota and Motamota will request an item, usually an unusual food combination. For completing this test the witch apprentice receives a fairy.
LEVEL 8: With a time limit, the witch must take their flag and place it at the right location. Before this they are forced to answer a questionnaire about their must hated object. Said object or thing will appear before them to cause problems they must solve.
LEVEL 7: The apprentice must complete task in order to find, or receive colored rings. The map they receive will vanish when the time limit is up. For completing this exam the Apprentice can talk to plants.
LEVEL 6: The witch apprentice has to somehow get magic beads after they runs out of them. After passing, their wandawhirl will upgrade by combining it with her personal music instrument.
LEVEL 5: The witch must sculpt something out of clay but is only given vague hints as to what they must make.
LEVEL 4: The witch races in an obstacle course against the tortoise and hare. They are tied to their fairy in its clone form but will only be allowed to pass if both are beaten. The obstacles include a big wall, a sleeping portion, and running.
LEVEL 3: The witch apprentice must complete a courage test. For passing this exam they gain another acknowledgement bead.
LEVEL 2: They had to figure out the source of a problem and solve it, earning them another bead.
LEVEL 1: The witch must help someone with magic and earn a thank you. If they complete it they will gain their crystal ball, which allows unlimited magic.
Any apprentice or witch strong enough could be offered to skip an exam and just receive the upgrade, and upon completing Level 6, the apprentice would gain his Apprentice Certificate (Certiwand in the dub). This would be used to collect Spheres of Achievement (Certisphere in the dub) and the apprentice would start to collect them for each good deed they did or whenever they passed an exam. The apprentice must gain eight before they could gain full access to their Witch title. After this, they would gain their Crystal Ball (Orball in dub), but only if the Queen believed them to be ready.
So Tony and the others began training immediately for the fairy test, and when the evening came to take it, Tony had the toughest time staying awake and keeping his mother from finding out. He and the others passed and earned their fairies. Tony’s was named SoSo, Jason’s was Tata, and Andrew’s was named Coco. They passed the next several tests and earned the ability to talk to plants and when they passed their Level Six exam, they gained their Apprentice Certificates and brought their most treasured musical instrument to the Witch Queen in order to fuse it with their previous wand. If one of them lost their status or stopped with magic, the items would return to their original states.
When they came to Witch World to do this, a great many of Witch World’s prominent witches were gathered to see it and Tony noticed a rather pretty young witch looking at them with a fond look in her eyes. Tony asked about her and learned her name was Talia. For some reason she looked familiar to him, and when he asked the other witchlings, they admitted the same thing, but none of them knew why. They saw her again when they came to take their Level Four Exam, which involved the witch racing in an obstacle course against a tortoise and a hare. The apprentice was accompanied by their fairy and was available for assistance throughout the race. The first obstacle was a large, vertical wall. Halfway through the course, they were tied to their fairy (in its clone form) in a three legged race. The final obstacle contained a dream portion that was required of the witch apprentice to obtain a rare butterfly. Once the witch apprentices and their fairies crossed the finish line, the apprentices passed the test. They then got another Sphere of Achievement and closing ceremony.
For the next test, the witch apprentice had to enter three different realms and areas through three different doors. Within these rooms, the witch apprentice had to get from the door they entered from to the door that led to the next area. After an apprentice passed through the third and final area, they passed. However, there were a number of conditions: The witch had to complete the test within an hour, and they could only use their magic up to two times. For passing this exam, they gained another Sphere of Achievement. Then they had a test that required them to figure out the source of a problem and solve it, earning them yet another acknowledgement bead when they passed. Their final exam involved helping someone with magic and earning a thank-you. This was particularly hard, as they did many good deeds throughout the day, but some weren’t done with magic, others were unseen by anyone, and still others backfired badly. Just as they were beginning to give up, they spotted a cat drowning in the East River. Tony didn’t even think about the fact that he was almost out of spell drops. He just cast a spell to conjure some flying fish to carry the cat out of the river. Then Andy conjured a towel to dry the kitten off, while Jason conjured a fire to warm the shivering fur ball. The cat mewed at them, which they later discovered counted as thanks. They earned their crystal balls and were full-fledged witches at last!
At the ceremony that night, they saw the mysterious woman again, and after the ceremony, he and the others went to talk to her. The woman told them a little about herself, including the fact that she was a mother to three sons who’d been taken away from her and Witch World when they were babies. She learned they were in the human world and made Maia promise to train them if she discovered them showing signs of magic, then had gone back to Witch World out of grief. She couldn’t believe it when she discovered that they were being trained anyway after turning Maia into a witch frog! At this, Tony realized she was referring to them as her children! After Maia came over to congratulate them, Tony asked her about what Talia had said and Maia revealed the truth: Tony, Andy, and Jason had been born in Witch World, but because of the divisiveness between wizards and witches, they’d been taken away from her as babies. Talia had made her promise to train the boys if she found them and they showed signs of magic. Years had passed before the boys walked into the shop and Maia’s spell book had opened for them, revealing their innate magical potential, so she’d been about to offer to train them when they denounced her as a witch and accidentally turned her into a witch frog. At this, Tony remembered and turned her back.
Eventually they realized how late it was getting and they knew they had a lot to do tomorrow. It would be the boys’ first day as witches and the first day with their knowledge of their mother. Talia decided to move to the human world for the time being to keep an eye on her sons, with the boys telling their adoptive families that she was a woman they had befriended and were helping from time to time. They were able to stay close to their biological mother and hoped that one day humans would be allowed to know about magic again and they could tel their adoptive families the truth. In the meantime, they would keep up the appearance of normal kids until that day came.