Part 3

In Hogatha's castle, the evil witch took a look at herself in the mirror with Smurfette's youth and beauty now transferred to her. She was delighted and ecstatic to see that, instead of the short dumpy old witch she once appeared as, she was now a gorgeous tall orange-haired woman that looked every bit like the woman Hogatha always wanted to be.
"Ohhh, thank the forces of wickedness that that Spell Of Syphonia works," Hogatha said as she continued to look at herself. "And what's the best part is that, as long as that little bluebell lives, her youth and beauty will always be mine. Harlequin will surely like what he sees now when I arrive at the Wizard's Ball looking the way that I am now. Of course, I am going to need something more decent to wear, since I can't appear at the Wizard's Ball wearing this old thing."
With a wave of her arms, Hogatha caused her old dress to transform into a beautiful evening gown, which made Harold squawk with surprise.
"And of course, this run-down old place is going to need a little sprucing up, since there's no way he's going to visit me in my own home looking like this," Hogatha said with a sigh as she looked around the main room of her castle. "Oh, it's so hard to find good help these days in tidying things up, being the busy witch that I am."
With a wave of her arms, Hogatha brought out a mop, bucket, and broom to start tidying up the place to make it more presentable.
"And now, I'm going to need to find suitable transportation in order to get to the Wizard's Ball, since getting there on an old beat-up buzzard isn't going to do it for me," Hogatha said as she looked around for something she could use as transportation. And then she saw one of her old tapestries hanging on the wall which just got the dust beaten out of. With another wave of her arms, the tapestry came down from the wall and now floated in the air like a flying carpet. "Ah, that should do me nicely. I could only wonder how Smurfette is doing, now that the poor little girl doesn't look like she used to anymore."
Hogatha cackled and snorted at the thought of what Smurfette must be going through.

Back in the Smurf Village, Smurfette was confined to her house where Papa Smurf and Empath examined her to see what could be causing her to age so quickly. Outside her house, the other Smurfs had gathered around wondering.
"Sacre bleu, how are we supposed to finish the contest now with Smurfette smurfing inside her house smurfing the way that she does?" Painter asked.
"Are you afraid you're going to ultimately lose this contest, my dear brother?" Sculptor asked.
"I am not going to lose this contest, espèce d'idiot," Painter retorted. "But without Smurfette, there isn't going to be a contest for any Smurf to win."
"Then let's hope that Papa Smurf and Empath could find out what's wrong with Smurfette and find a way to resmurf her," Scribbler said, sounding worried.
Meanwhile, Tapper was with the Smurflings trying to comfort them. "Holy hickory nuts, Tapper, why is Smurfette so afraid of being seen now?" Nat asked out of curiosity.
"I have nary a clue, my fellow Nat," Tapper answered. "All we know is that something terrible has happened to her while she was smurfing on her break outside in the forest. And I feel in my spirit that it's someone who's behind this change of appearance that has smurfed this to her."
"I bet it's that ugly old witch Hogatha," Snappy said. "She's always looking for a way to make herself beautiful, and I think she may have smurfed a way from one of her spell books."
"For once I'm smurfing to agree with you, Snap," Slouchy said.
"Please, Tapper, I hope this doesn't mean that Smurfette's going to smurf away from us anytime soon," Sassette said while she was crying.
"There, there, my little Sassette," Tapper said. "Empath and Papa Smurf will find the answers to what's causing Smurfette's loss of beauty, trust me. They won't rest until they smurf across something that could keep her among us for a little while longer."
"Just hang on there, dear lassie," Duncan said as he joined Tapper and the Smurflings.

Smurfette was resting in her favorite chair, feeling herself getting older and older. "What's happening to me, Papa Smurf?" she asked, her voice becoming as aged as she was physically. "Why am I smurfing old before my time?"
"This smurf senses that someone is using a magic spell to drain you of your youth and beauty, Smurfette," Empath said. "We're not sure who's responsible for this, but we'll find out who it is and force them to remove the spell so that you can be restored."
"Homnibus should have the answers that we need, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said. "I'll try to smurf in contact with him through my magic mirror, but in the meantime you should try to rest and smurf it easy, and I'll have the other Smurfs come and smurf you whatever you need."
"Please, Papa Smurf, I don't want the other Smurfs to see me like this," Smurfette said. "I just want to be smurfed alone with you and Empath."
Papa Smurf sighed. "I understand how you feel, Smurfette, but some of your closest friends may not be totally understanding. I'll let the other Smurfs know that the contest will be postponed until we can find a way to restore you."
After Papa Smurf left the house, Smurfette spoke privately with Empath. "I feel so shameful, that this is all my fault for wanting to smurf myself without any clothes on," Smurfette said woefully.
"You shouldn't blame yourself for an action that you didn't even cause to happen upon yourself, Smurfette," Empath said. "This is simply a work of magic, and whoever's behind it is most likely using it for their own selfish purposes."
"I would smurf anything that this is the work of Hogatha, that she wants to be as beautiful as I am...or as I was before this," Smurfette said.
"It's possible that Hogatha could be behind your current troubles, Smurfette," Empath said. "Right now, though, we need to find what spell is being used on you to do this and how we can counteract it before something terrible happens."

As the other Smurfs tended to their businesses while Empath kept Smurfette company in her house and Papa Smurf went inside his laboratory to do research on the spell that was draining Smurfette's youth and beauty, Tapper was in his tavern preparing a hot soothing beverage for Smurfette when Hefty came to pay him a visit. "Greetings, my fellow Hefty," Tapper greeted. "What smurfs to be on your mind that you would want to smurf to me about?"
"I feel terrible for what's happened to Smurfette, Tapper, but I don't like that she's not letting any other Smurf besides you, Gutsy, Baby, the Smurflings, Papa, and Empath come to visit her," Hefty said. "Is she really that ashamed of herself that she wouldn't have any of her other close friends around to smurf her?"
"I can't speak for the reason that she may not want you to come smurf her in her time of despair, Hefty, but I feel that most of the other Smurfs just love her for her beauty and not for the Smurf that she really is on the inside," Tapper said.
"So you think that's the only reason that I love Smurfette, is that it?" Hefty asked, sounding displeased.
"I'm not here to smurf any judgments about you, Hefty," Tapper said. "I'm sure that your feelings for Smurfette go beyond just what you smurf on the outside, but Smurfette herself may not think that's what you really feel of her."
"Well, that's real smurfy...for all the times I smurf out of my way to rescue her, she still doesn't smurf me as being anything more than some Smurf with more muscles than any other Smurf here, especially Empath," Hefty said.
"You are a smurf in progress, I will smurf you that," Tapper said. "Whatever Smurfette likes you for, you shouldn't smurf that as a total rejection of you as someone she might want to marry someday. She needs to have her time to get used to Empath being one of the Smurfs in her life so that she could smurf up her mind about who she's going to smurf her heart to completely."
"I don't feel comfortable letting Smurfette have any time to get used to that star-smurfed showoff, if you know what I mean, Tapper," Hefty said. "For all I know, she could only be interested in wanting to smurf under his hat and nothing more."
"We just can't smurf those kind of assumptions about either Empath or Smurfette and their interest in each other, Hefty," Tapper said. "For now, we should be patient and allow the two Smurfs to smurf all the time they need to smurf their own decisions about what they're going to smurf with each other."
"I would love to smurf my hands on whoever's responsible for making Smurfette feel like this right now," Hefty said, clenching his fists as he was feeling his anger start to rise.
"This may be one battle that physical action won't be able to resolve, Hefty," Tapper said. "I'm putting my faith in the Almighty that we will smurf the answer and bring Smurfette back to how she was before this happened to her."

Sometime later, Papa Smurf paid Empath and Smurfette a visit at her house.
"I think I know what's causing you to age, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said as he was allowed to enter. "According to Homnibus' research, it is a magic spell called the Spell Of Syphonia, which is used as a beauty treatment for wizards and witches that have lost their youth and beauty due to accidents. This spell siphons the youth and beauty from one person and transfers it to the other person, which causes the person that the spell is cast on to start aging at a faster-than-normal rate."
"The Spell Of Syphonia?" Smurfette said.
"Is there a way that we can reverse the spell so that Smurfette can return to her normal state, Papa Smurf?" Empath asked.
"Homnibus says that only the caster of the spell can remove it from the victim, so as long as the spell is active, whoever is having their youth and beauty being drained will age until the time smurfs when they are no longer living," Papa Smurf answered.
"No longer living? You mean, I'm going to die if this spell isn't removed?" Smurfette asked, sounding fearful.
"If Hogatha is behind having this spell being cast on Smurfette, we've got to find a way to get her to remove the spell before that happens," Empath said.
"That may be difficult, if not also impossible, Empath, given how vain this evil witch is with wanting to become beautiful," Papa Smurf said.
"This smurf is willing to take a chance of finding out how if she is willing to do this, Papa Smurf, if not for Smurfette's sake, then at least for herself," Empath said.
"Then I will allow you to smurf to Hogatha's castle with a few other Smurfs to see if you can get her to remove the spell, Empath," Papa Smurf said. "But whatever you do, be careful that you do not let the evil witch see you or your companions."
Empath nodded. "This smurf understands and acknowledges, Papa Smurf."
"Oh, Empath, I wish you didn't have to go to smurf this for me," Smurfette said as she touched Empath's hand.
"Hogatha needs to know that what she's doing to you is wrong and will not benefit her in the long run, Smurfette," Empath said. "This smurf will do everything possible to help you recover from this unfortunate happenstance that has befallen you."
Smurfette looked into Empath's eyes and saw the sincerity in them. "I know that you will, Empath. I will be here waiting for you no matter what happens."

Meanwhile, outside Smurfette's house, Duncan saw Brainy approaching Smurfette's house with a stack of books he was carrying. "Hold it there, laddie, where do you think you're smurfing with that?" Duncan demanded.
"Well, I figured that Smurfette might feel a little better about herself and the loss of her looks if she smurfed herself to a series of self-affirmation books that I have smurfed up, Duncan," Brainy answered.
"Self-affirmation books," Duncan snorted. "I bet my smurfs they are nothing more than the usual useless words of wisdom that you try to smurf to your fellow Smurfs, which makes it surprising that Empath even finds them interesting at all."
"I am only trying to prove to you Smurfs that there is more to beauty than just the outward appearance," Brainy said. "A well-educated and informed mind can be just as beautiful to behold as the appearance of a beautiful spring flower."
"I can only imagine who would ever find you and your words to be 'beautiful', laddie," Duncan said.
"That's the problem with you, have no interest in smurfing ideas that are far beyond your comprehension and yet smurf the power to illuminate your life," Brainy said. "This village would be smurfing in the dark ages without the likes of me smurfing you the ideal ways of how you should be smurfing."
"Yeah, just keep believing those words that you smurf to yourself, Brainy...someday you might even believe them to be true," Duncan jested.
"Now you're just smurfing a mockery of me and my role as a philosopher and an intellectual," Brainy said. "It will be a sad day for you when you get to smurf how far behind you really are on the day that I get to be the..."
Suddenly Empath came out of Smurfette's house, accidentally knocking over Brainy and his stack of books. "Excuse this smurf, Brainy, but this smurf must find some Smurfs to accompany me to Hogatha's castle," Empath said.
"Hogatha's castle?" Duncan asked. "You think that the evil witch is behind what's happening to Smurfette?"
"She is the one who most likely cast the Spell Of Syphonia on Smurfette, and unless we can get her to remove the spell, Smurfette may not have much longer to live," Empath answered.
"Well, you've got yourself a companion, laddie," Duncan said. "We'll smurf Hogatha together and force that old witch to remove the spell."
"I think you're going to need a Smurf who is likely to reason with Hogatha before you resort to smurfing anything physical to her," Brainy suggested.
"Then this smurf chooses you to join this smurf as well, Brainy," Empath said.
"Me? But what about your friend Tapper?" Brainy asked, not liking the sound of that.
"Tapper will stay behind and keep Smurfette company for whatever she needs, Brainy," Empath said. "Now let's get going to Hogatha's castle before it's too late."
"Well, it smurfs like I'm going to be watching out for you when we start smurfing after Hogatha, Brainy," Duncan said.
Brainy gulped. "I have a feeling that I'm not going to like this."