Nathan came upon Josiah sitting on the steps to one of the watchtowers. The wizard looked like he'd lost his last friend. "Are you okay, Josiah?"
"I've made a terrible mistake. I'm just trying to figure out how to make it right. Ezra..."
Nathan snorted. "You try getting him to learn magic from you again? Maybe you should just give up. Find yourself someone who'd really be grateful to have a teacher like you."
"Nathan. It was my fault. I didn't realize how much he hated the idea of using magic..."
"Ezra hate magic? Where did you get that crazy notion? His mother was a sorceress. He was brought up around magic his whole life. Ezra probably thinks you don't have anything to teach him he doesn't already know."
"Have you ever seen him use magic?"
"Well, no, but..."
"Have you ever seen him anywhere near my workroom, to use my magical items or borrow something for a potion?"
"Have you ever seen him with herbs, scrolls, wands, or magical items except for that bewitched amulet of Morgan's that we destroyed?"
"Neither have I, yet I thought the same. But he's afraid to use magic. I assumed Morgan taught him something at least. Now I think she deliberately kept him ignorant so he could never be a threat to her. Someday he might need some teaching to control his power if it gets too strong, but I went about it all wrong."
"What do you mean?"
"I tried to force it down his throat. All his life his mother terrorized and controlled him with her magic. It must have seemed to him that I was doing the same. You should have seen his face earlier. He was angry, but... I think he was a little afraid of me, too."
Nathan sat down on the lower step. Had he misjudged Ezra that badly? Ezra was hard to understand. Maybe Nathan wasn't trying hard enough. With the childhood Ezra'd had, no wonder he was a mess.
He tried to put himself in Ezra's shoes. How would the healer feel if one of his friends kept pestering him to do things he'd been forced to do when he was a slave, things that he didn't like doing? And how would he feel if they didn't take no for an answer and wouldn't leave him alone? He'd probably be angry...and maybe a little afraid, too. Nathan hung his head. What had they done? "Josiah? We need to talk to Ezra. You're not the only one that's been pushing him. I was just pushing on different things. He's got to know we aren't like her."