Author Note: Hi there! This here is my first Sorcerer's Apprentice fic so hopefully I do it justice. I saw the Sorcerer's Apprentice at the cinema a couple of weeks ago and sorta fell in love with it so it was only natural that as soon as I got home I decided to check out the fanfiction on it :)
So this will be a fic based on the prompts for the Balthy 100 Challenge. It will be one whole continuous story in the sense that each chapter takes place some time after the previous one but at the same time each chapter could also be considered a one-shot. I will be trying to complete all the prompts in order but in some cases I've had to swap a few of the prompts around to make the story flow better. Either way I hope you enjoy reading it and would love to hear what you think!
Chapter 1: Arcana Cabana
Dave was used to the eccentric ways of his master but he would be lying if he said he wasn't confused by the address Balthazar had given him earlier in the day. If he was not mistaken the address he was currently heading towards was the address of the building formerly known as the Arcana Cabana. Last time he checked the two-story shop had been a Nokia store and why Balthazar would want to meet there was completely beyond him. Then again, the master sorcerer rarely did things without good reason, so if he wanted to meet at his old store then Dave was happy to humour him.
Shoving his hands deeper into the pockets of his jacket, Dave rounded the corner onto the street the store was found only to come to a sudden stop. He blinked a couple of times, as though to make sure what he was seeing was actually there. What had been the run down Nokia store was once again the mysterious Arcana Cabana, complete with dusty windows and gold lettered sign.
"No way," Dave breathed, standing in the middle of the path with his eyes locked on the storefront. It wasn't until a disgruntled businessman bumped into him and shot a glare his way that Dave actually began walking again. It was somewhat hesitantly that he climbed the stairs to the door, remembering the events that had occurred in the store just over eleven years ago. When he pushed the store's door open Dave found he really wasn't that surprised to the see a grand assortment of magical items lining the walls and taking up almost all the available floor space. It was almost as many objects as the very first time he had stepped into the store. Almost.
"Dave, you're early."
Dave looked up to see Veronica making her way down the stairs and once again found himself admiring the ability of the sorceress to adapt to life in the twenty first century so easily.
"Well, you know how Balthazar gets when I'm late." There was a moment of silence before Dave blurted out the question that had been on the edge of his tongue since he saw the storefront. "When did this happen?"
Veronica's brow furrowed slightly as she walked towards the stores cluttered counter. "Pardon?"
"When did all of this," Dave gestured at the shop around them, "happen? I didn't know Balthazar bought the shop back and where on earth did you collect all these things from?" Veronica just smiled as Dave reached out to pick up a silver locket lying on small table by his side.
"Don't touch that!"
Dave withdrew his hand as quickly as though he'd been burnt and glanced sheepishly towards Balthazar who stood halfway down the staircase Veronica had descended only moments ago.
"You'd think after eleven years you would have learnt not touch things when you don't know what they can do, especially in this store," Balthazar said with a slight smile as he continued down the stairs.
"Old habits die hard I guess," Dave said with a nervous laugh as he made his way towards Veronica and Balthazar while being vary careful not to knock anything over. He was doing quite well until he tripped over the bottom of a hatstand and went tumbling forward. His face was saved from hitting the floor when Balthazar, who apparently had the reflexes of a cat, grabbed the back of his jacket with one hand and hauled him back to feet. Dave scowled a little at Balthazar's smug smile, the same one he wore whenever he swooped in to save the day, but thanked the older sorcerer anyway.
"So," Dave said, watching with curiously as Balthazar rounded the counter and began to search for something, "When did you buy the Arcana Cabana back?"
"About a month after you defeated Morgana," Balthazar said as he rummaged through a draw.
"And how come I didn't know about this?" Dave asked, leaning over the counter to try and get a better look at what Balthazar was doing. Veronica stood to the side calmly turning the pages of the Encantus.
"Dave," Balthazar replied, drawing the name out as he did whenever he felt the younger man wasn't listening or understanding something, "I don't have to tell you every single thing I do, and besides, where did you think Veronica and I have been living all this time, hmm?"
"Well, I... uh... I mean... well..." He stopped trying to answer when he realised he couldn't. Now that he did think about it though, he realized that every time he saw Balthazar or Veronica it was out in the streets or at his underground lab. Sure, he assumed that they must have been living somewhere but in a life filled with school, Becky and sorcery it had never even crossed his mind to ask where exactly were they living.
"Found it!" Balthazar suddenly exclaimed and both Dave and Veronica's eyes snapped towards the small box Balthazar now held in his hands. " I knew I put it somewhere," Balthazar said to Veronica who had left the Encantus to get a closer look at the box Balthazar had placed on the counter.
'May I?" Veronica asked, reaching out for the box.
Balthazar nodded. "Go ahead."
The sorceress opened the small wooden box to reveal a number of rings, each varying in colour, size, shape and the type of gem it held. A flash of familiarity ran through Dave's mind and he absentmindedly ran his thumb across the finger on which his dragon ring used to be found.
"What are they?" Dave asked. He wanted to reach out and pick one up but Balthazar's warning from before managed to quell his curiosity.
"Right now they're nothing more than jewellery," Balthazar said, "But I think you know what they'll become."
"Yeah, they're like my ring just not, well, magical yet," Dave said.
"Very good," Balthazar continued, "a good memory can be a sorcerers most useful tool."
Dave filed that small tidbit of information away in his mind under 'Balthazar's spontaneous pieces of advice'. It was something he found the master sorcerer did often, giving Dave random hints and pieces of advice that he was expected to remember for later training. Veronica had picked up one of the less extravagant silver rings which held a deep purple stone and walked back to where the Encantus lay open. She flipped a few more pages before turning back to Balthazar and Dave who were busy examining the remaining rings.
"I think it's finally time," Veronica said, "to begin our search."
Balthazar made a noise of agreement while Dave glanced between the two.
"I think I may be out of the loop here," he said, "What exactly are you searching for?"
"An apprentice," Balthazar answered, picking up one of the rings that took his fancy.
"An apprentice for Veronica?" Dave asked.
"An apprentice for Veronica and myself," Balthazar said.
"But, I thought I was your apprentice?" Dave said with a hit of misery in his voice, though he would never admit it. Balthazar's chuckle in response didn't do much to make him feel better either.
"Balthazar and I have decided that from this point forward it would better if your training as the Prime Merlinian was overseen by both of us," Veronica supplied, "And a sorcerer or sorceress is not restricted to simply one apprentice, Dave, and we have decided it is time for us to find the first of our apprentices."
"Find the first of your apprentices?" queried Dave, leaning one arm on the counter, "How does that work?"
Balthazar placed the ring he had been examining back in the box only to take out another, this one gold with a shining red stone at it's center.
"As you should know, almost all sorcerers need an object through which they can channel their powers. Most opt for a ring; others may choose a different object. Where a person gains this object is from their master, much like you got Merlin's ring from me." He paused to make sure Dave was following before he continued, "If you had not gotten that ring from me you would have never have known that you were a sorcerer and it is like this for all other potential sorcerers and sorceresses."
"Okay," Dave said slowly, "that's all well and interesting but it doesn't explain how you're going to actually find these other apprentices."
"Sorcerers and sorceresses are responsible for bringing those with the potential for magic into our world as an apprentice but they can not choose simply anyone. Each sorcerer and sorceress has what are called true apprentices, those with who they share a magical connection, and they are whom a sorcerer or sorceress must find. These apprentices are charged with carrying on their master's legacy, just like Veronica and I continue the work of Merlin," Balthazar finished.
Dave mulled this all over in his head for a moment before voicing another question. "Why true apprentices?"
"You remember Drake Stone?" Balthazar asked.
"How could I forget?"
"Well, Drake Stone acted as Horvath's apprentice yet he wasn't his true apprentice."
"Drake Stone's magic was awoken by a different sorcerer, his true master, and though Stone and Horvath had a master apprentice relationship it wasn't what we sorcerers would consider true."
"So," Dave said, "You and Veronica are going to be looking for true apprentices but I can be trained by either of you because I'm the Prime Merlinian?"
The corner of Balthazar's lip quirked upwards. "You're a special case Dave."
"You know, I actually think that made sense," Dave said.
"Good," replied Balthazar, "Because I'm not explaining it again."
"And I take it the rings will help you find those true apprentices?" Dave asked.
"When infused with some of our magic," Veronica said in her musical voice, "They will indeed help us find our apprentices."
Dave nodded his head. "That's pretty cool then. I guess. I should probably be leaving you to concentrate on that." Dave turned to leave the store but was stopped when Balthazar placed a firm hand on his shoulder. He turned back to face the older sorcerer with a question in his eyes.
"I forgot to mention, Dave," Balthazar said with a smile, "We've got a new assignment."
"Okay," Dave said, not liking the look his master was giving him, "What is it?"
"Well, when I said we were going to be looking for our apprentices I didn't just mean Veronica and I..." Balthazar let the sentence tail off as Dave sighed deeply, accepting that he wouldn't be lucky enough to get the week off.
"So," Dave said, clapping his hands together, "What can I do to help?"