It was a beautiful spring day about two years after Empath had left Psychelia for good. Papa Smurf had left Empath in charge of the village for a few days since he had some important business with Homnibus the human wizard. Empath assured Papa Smurf that he would keep things in the village under control while he was away while Polaris served as his chief of security. Papa Smurf was certain of his son's ability, but nonetheless told him that he will return promptly should there be any emergency that would require his assistance.
It was during Papa Smurf's absence from the village that Empath saw Smurfette carrying a canvas on a wooden holder along with a paintbrush. "Morning, Empath," she greeted with a kiss.
"Salutations, Smurfette," Empath greeted back. "It looks like you're going to do some painting today."
"Painter is smurfing us out into the forest today to smurf me and a few other Smurfs some painting lessons," Smurfette explained.
"This smurf would be honored to see the final results of your efforts," Empath said. "Just be careful out there in the forest."
"I will, Empath," Smurfette said. "Smurf you later."
Empath and Polaris both watched as Smurfette walked away. Then Polaris turned to Empath and said, "This one senses some apprehension in you that you fear something terrible might happen to Smurfette while she is the forest, Empath."
"Just because Gargamel is gone from the forest does not mean that we are completely out of danger from anyone who intends to capture Smurfs and use them for their own ends, Polaris," Empath said. "Especially not since Severus decided to pick up where Gargamel left off in that area."
"This one is curious to know more about this Severus character that has now become the new threat to our existence, Empath," Polaris said.
"From what little this smurf had sensed in our brief first encounter with him, Severus is a professor of magical arts at the Sorcerer's Guild, Polaris," Empath answered. "He apparently heard about the legend of Smurfs and is seeking to capture us in order to extract our Smurf essence, which could be used to extend human life beyond its normal span of 70 years."
"So instead of using the Smurfs to make the Philosopher's Stone, he's using your people to discover the secret of immortality," Polaris surmised. "It's rather disturbing that these humans would use lesser creatures than themselves for their own personal gain."
"This smurf shares the same sentiment, Polaris," Empath said. "Nevertheless, this smurf will do anything to keep Severus from achieving that purpose, even if we'll never be completely rid of him or anyone else like him in our forest."
"This one understands and acknowledges, Empath," Polaris said.
Then they heard, "RUN, MY LITTLE SMURFS, BUT YOU'LL NEVER GET AWAY FROM ME! HA HA HA HA HA HA!"
Then the two of them saw Sassette, Slouchy, and Nat running towards them. "Help, Empath, it's that terrible wizard Severus!" Sassette cried out. "He's coming for us!"
"Where did you meet this Severus, Sassette?" Empath asked.
"Over there, Empath," Sassette said, pointing in a certain direction. "He's big and creepy, even scarier than Pappy Gargamel."
"Look, he's coming," Nat said, sounding fearful.
Empath and Polaris both looked, but instead of a giant human being, they just saw a tall costumed being at least six apples tall, according to the size of Smurf measure. He was moving in a rather threatening manner with his arms stretched out in front of him, his face in a very immobile expression of fierce terror.
Empath sensed and realized what it actually was. "Snappy Smurfling!" he exclaimed, sounding displeased.
Snappy emerged from the robe of what was apparently a costume design. "Oh, I had you Smurflings on the run with this costume," he said with a devilish laugh.
"Snappy, how could you play such a trick on your fellow Smurflings by dressing up in the costume of an evil wizard that's preying on the Smurfs?" Empath asked.
"Oh, lighten up, Empath," Snappy said. "It was just for fun. I really didn't mean to hurt anybody with this."
"This smurf is certain that you had good intentions, Snappy, but nevertheless you shouldn't make light of such a danger that exists in our forest," Empath said. "What if Severus did find his way into the village?"
"Then I'm pretty sure that you would smurf good care of it, Empath," Snappy said. "Severus surely isn't going to smurf against you."
"Nevertheless, we're not going to take any chances here, Snappy," Polaris said. "You should put that costume away and stop scaring your fellow Smurflings with it right now."
"Aw, gee, you grown-up Smurfs really aren't much fun," Snappy groused as he walked away with his costume, sounding rather upset.
"Heckling hedgehogs, I feel sorry for Snappy, even if he was trying to smurf some fun with us with that scary costume," Sassette said.
"Well, he should be careful smurfing something like that, Sassy," Nat said. "Who knows if we have to deal with Severus someday invading our village like that?"
"Why there has to be another wizard in the forest like Gargamel is totally beyond me," Slouchy said.
"We won't let Severus do anything that will harm any of us, my fellow Smurflings," Empath said. "We're going to remain vigilant in our safeguarding so that evil wizards like him don't have a chance of ever fulfilling their desires upon us."
Painter took Smurfette, Jokey, and Clumsy out as far into the forest as they could safely go, each of them equipped with portable handheld easels and special magic paintbrushes.
"Don't lose that track," Painter said. "This is the perfect day to teach you how to smurf art in motion."
"Golly, I never smurfed art in motion before," Clumsy said. "Come to smurf of it, I never smurfed art standing still either."
"I'd like to see if I can paint a zipper on Brainy's mouth," Jokey said, laughing at his own joke.
"So what's going to be our first subject to paint, Painter?" Smurfette asked.
"We'll find out once we smurf across it, mademoiselle," Painter answered. Just then, a smurfberry bird landed on a nearby branch, attracting Painter's attention. "To catch nature on the move, you must paint fast, fast, fast."
The group stood still and then watched as the smurfberry bird took off again. Painter painted as fast as he could on his canvas, capturing as much of the bird as he could on the canvas. "See?" he said as he showed the finished result.
"Wow, that was a really fast painting, Painter," Clumsy said, sounding impressed by the result.
"I could only hope my first effort would be just as smurfy," Smurfette said, also seemingly pleased.
Then suddenly Painter noticed something. "Quickly, my fellow Smurfs, paint the bunny!" he called out as they saw the bunny scurrying right before their eyes.
"This is fun," Jokey said, laughing as he, Clumsy, and Smurfette painted as fast as they could to capture the likeness of the bunny with the same skill. The three of them showed the results of their efforts to Painter afterward.
"Avant-garde!" Painter exclaimed, sounding aghast at what he saw.
"Uh, what do you think, Painter?" Clumsy asked.
Painter sighed. "I think maybe the next time, we should try to smurf a still life."
Suddenly they could hear the voice of a young female crying. "Uh-oh, Painter, I don't think your attempt at a joke really smurfed with somebody here," Jokey commented.
"No, Jokey, that smurfs like our friend Brenda the little witch," Smurfette said.
"Brenda? Gosh, what's happened with her?" Clumsy asked, sounding concerned.
"I don't know, Clumsy," Smurfette answered. "Maybe we should find out."
They watched as a young girl with short black hair, wearing a purple witch's hat and robe, while carrying a broomstick in one hand, came closer. Her eyes seemed to be filled with tears.
"Oh, Brenda, what's wrong?" Smurfette asked sympathetically.
Brenda opened her eyes to see who was talking to her. "Oh, Smurfette, it's nothing," she answered before she broke out in another outburst. "Nobody's taking me to the Broomstick Ball at the Sorcerer's Guild Academy, and all the other witches are going."
"None of the young wizards have asked you?" Smurfette asked.
"Sacre bleu, I can't believe it!" Painter exclaimed. "Why, you are so absosmurfly enchanting, if I may smurf so for a young human girl like you."
"But I don't feel enchanting," Brenda said sadly. "In fact, I feel so plain and ordinary. How am I going to go to the ball looking the way that I do?"
"Well, we'll change that," Smurfette said, trying to sound encouraging. "Smurf back to the village with us and we'll show you how to be beautiful and charming."
"And funny too," Jokey added, laughing.
"Golly, you're going to be the hit of the Broomstick Ball," Clumsy said, sounding excited.
Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, two humans and a black cat were traveling through on foot in search of something important. One of them was an adult male in his late thirties, with long hair that covered his ears, an angular beak-like nose, and a black robe adorned with a dark red cape. The other was a young man in his early teens, nearly bald and wearing yellow clothes. The older man had a very serious look on his face, while the younger man looked rather mischievous.
"Confound that wretched Broomstick Ball," the older man snarled with great disdain. "Not only do I have to be the chaperone to a bunch of little brats, I also have to bring the stinkberry bunch."
The black cat stuck out its tongue, repulsed at the idea of being anywhere near stinkberries.
"You said it, Rascal," the young man said. "This isn't exactly how Jeanty the Great intends to start his career as a future sorcerer. But all the same, Master Severus, why don't you just tell them no?"
"Because, you idiot, if I do a good job, the head witch will help me get into the Sorcery Society," Severus replied. "Then I will have influence again with those teachers who laughed at my studies on those creatures called Smurfs."
"There was once a wizard in this forest who tried to do the same thing, and he didn't last that long, Master Severus," Jeanty said.
"We're not going to make the same mistakes he made, even with his pupil in tow, Jeanty," Severus said, who then stopped to take a look around. "Now, where are those..." And then he saw it right in front of him. "Ah, there it is. Stinkberries. A whole bush full of them."
Jeanty and Rascal turned their faces in revulsion. "They sure smell like their name," Jeanty said.
"Well, what are you waiting for?" Severus said, sounding impatient. "Let's get to work gathering as many as we need for this regretful night of youthful frivolity."
"Yes, Master Severus," Jeanty said, sounding like he would rather be anywhere else than gathering stinkberries.
Meanwhile, Brenda was giving a ride back to the Smurf Village to the four Smurfs. They were holding onto the broomstick as tightly as they could because of its bucking.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Smurfs," Brenda said as loudly as she could over the rush of the wind. "I'm not used to carrying passengers."
"And we're not used to riding broomsticks," Jokey said, sounding fearful.
Then Smurfette noticed that they were flying straight into a tree. "Brenda, look out!" she cried out.
The birds in the nest watched fearfully as Brenda headed straight for them, out of control. "Hang on!" Brenda cried out.
Then at the last second, Brenda veered off to the right, but the sudden turn caused her to lose control of her broomstick, and also caused her to drop the Smurfs from her broomstick.
Meanwhile, Severus was ankle-deep in murky water, having taken off his cloak before entering, holding his nose at the putrid smell of the stinkberries. "Pew, picking stinkberries straight from the bush is certainly a waste of my time," he muttered as he picked each berry from the bush and put them in the sack that Jeanty was carrying.
"Yeech!" Jeanty's cat Rascal said in disgust.
"If anything, I would rather be picking those Smurfs and extracting their essence from them," Severus said as he continued to pick the stinkberries.
"What makes you think you'd ever catch them, Master Severus?" Jeanty said in a mocking tone, holding his nose as he held his sack open. "I bet you couldn't catch a Smurf if one should even fall on your head."
"Why, you ungrateful little...," Severus began to say before he felt something hit his head -- or rather, four somethings. He turned to see what had fallen. "Smurfs...from heaven?"
"Severus!" the four Smurfs cried out together after they had landed on the ground and saw who they had fallen upon.
"Well, what are you waiting for, you little urchin?" Severus said to Jeanty as he got himself out of the murky water and onto dry ground. "Get after them!"
Jeanty just stood there and watched as his master Severus chased after the four Smurfs. "Oh boy!" he said, rather amused at the sight. "What would my master do if he couldn't chase..."
Then Jeanty heard another voice that was nearby. "Smurfs! Oh, Smurfs, where are you?" a female voice cried out. Then he saw a young girl about his age dressed in a witch's hat and robe, hovering over the ground on a broomstick.
"You're looking for Smurfs, too?" Jeanty asked the young witch.
The young witch turned around and her eyes flashed wide when she saw Jeanty. "Oh!" she exclaimed, finding herself enraptured by his appearance.
"Hey, I said are you looking for Smurfs?" Jeanty asked, raising his voice a little louder to get her attention.
"No, I mean, yes," the young witch answered, finding herself feeling a bit ashamed staring at the young boy. "I'm Brenda, from Witch Haven Conservatory. Are you from the Sorcerer's Guild Academy?"
"That place?" Jeanty said. "Well, actually, I'm on an apprenticeship with one of its teachers, a Master Severus."
"HELP! HELP!" the Smurfs were crying out.
"Oh dear, my friends are in trouble," Brenda moaned. "I'm sorry, but I'll have to talk to you later." With that, she flew off on her broomstick.
Jeanty looked at Brenda as she flew off. "Well, might as well see why she wants those Smurfs as much as Master Severus does," he said as he chased after her.
The four Smurfs found a hole in the tree that they could hide themselves in and escape from Severus chasing after them.
"So, you think you're safe in there, do you?" Severus said as he and Rascal stopped at the tree that the Smurfs hid themselves in. "Come out, you puny little pests, and I will promise you a merciful death."
Brenda stood a short distance behind Severus as he and Rascal stared into the hole of the tree, daring for the Smurfs to come out. Whatever this Severus wanted with those Smurfs, she wasn't going to let him harm them.
She pulled out of her robe a magic wand. "Strike like lightning, cut like knives, break the branch and save their lives," she recited as she waved her wand in the air.
Jeanty was behind a bush watching Brenda as she used her wand. Suddenly a bolt of lightning came from the top of her wand, breaking off a thick branch that was on the tree and causing it to fall on top of Severus' head, felling both him and Rascal. They both groaned in pain as the four Smurfs left their hiding place, running right over their heads.
Jeanty was mesmerized by the sight. "Wow, what a magic wand," he said, sounding pretty amazed.
"Hold tight, Smurfs," Brenda said as she and the four Smurfs got back upon her broomstick as it hovered in the air. Then suddenly she and her friends flew off.
Severus lifted up his head from the ground and noticed Jeanty just standing there staring. "Well, what are you gaping at?" he said, sounding displeased. "Go pick some more stinkberries."
But Jeanty wasn't listening to his master. He just continued to stare off into the distance that the young witch flew off in. "I've got to get my hands on that magic wand," he said to himself, rubbing his hands together in anticipation.