“Do you like tea, Schwarz?” Mr. Magi asked as he poured two cups and sat one in front of Schwarz.
“Yes, okay, maybe not,” Schwarz Tauptinker answered.
Mr. Magi raised one eyebrow quizzically. “Answer the question with a straightforward answer, young man. Don’t get in the bad habit of saying all the possible answers at once. How can anyone tell anything at that point?”
Schwarz laughed. “What I meant to say is that tea is not nice, chickit.” Then Schwarz drained the whole cup.
“You’ll burn your throat out!” Mr. Magi cautioned, but it was too late.
“Nah. I can take it—tell you what.”
And Mr. Magi seemed surprised that Schwarz could indeed drink a whole cup of very hot tea all at once without any ill side-effects. (It might be a power that the professor is working on.)
“So, tell me why tea is not nice,” Mr. Magi said.
“It’s always so hot,” Schwarz explained. “It’s almost as if it’s trying to burn your throat, chickit. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.”
Mr. Magi squinted one eye and then the other eye. And then he did it all over again, starting with the left eye. “That’s quite odd, Schwarz. The tea is hot for that’s how we make tea. It must be hot.”
“You mean you make the tea hot on purpose?”
Mr. Magi nodded. “Yes.”
“What?!” Schwarz wasn’t happy. “You purposely try to burn my throat? What?! No, what?!”
Mr. Magi waved his hand. “Young man, you’re still not understanding. In order to make it tea, you must make it hot. That’s how it works. No one is trying to hurt no one.”
“I hate No One, then, since he’s trying to hurt No One.”
I believe Mr. Magi may have choked here. “What do you mean by that? I need to think about what you just said. Say it again, please?”
“No,” Schwarz said in a high-pitched voice.
And then Schwarz said it: “Tea conversations are weird, chickit!”