Pantou is a tiny kitten, but he’s just right for his sorcerer. Riley has been looking forward to meeting his familiar for years. They quickly become best friends as they spend all of their time together. The first party of the school year changes things for them, becoming the tipping point that makes them both grow up. For Pantou, he’s able to become human after that night. Riley is forced to come to terms with how he really feels about his familiar. One thing that will never change though is their bond as sorcerer and familiar.
Pantou woke as he always did, with a stretch that worked out every muscle in his tiny kitten body and a meow shrill enough to wake anyone unfortunate enough to be sleeping nearby. He blinked at the bright sunlight streaming in on him from the open window under which he’d fallen asleep the night before. It had long been his favorite sleeping spot ever since he’d come to live with the old sorcerer along with the other cat familiars a few months ago. At least he thought it had only been a few months.
Time mattered very little for familiars since they neither aged nor grew until they met the sorcerer they’d be spending the rest of their lives with. There was that one little time that they could choose to leave, but he’d never heard of a familiar doing that so he usually ignored that information. It sucked though, in its own way that he wasn’t any bigger than a tiny kitten.
They lived in the largest house in a little forgotten town in the western mountains. The size of the house was important not just because of the history behind it, which he’d always found interesting since it was practically a mansion that was built in the early 1900s by one of the town’s first lucky prospectors, but because it had to hold so very many different familiars at a time. The lone human, an elderly sorcerer, was the only permanent fixture in the house and though Pan liked the old man, he was eager to start the next stage of life with his own sorcerer. If only the boy would turn fifteen already and Pan could go out into the world and meet him like he was supposed to. Though the elderly sorcerer had been tasked with caring for each generation of familiars before they found their own sorcerers and sorceresses, the man had never found his own lifelong companion.
The tale had saddened Pan, who had spent most of his first day at the house trying to find the man’s familiar until he’d learned the truth. Because it was far too rare to hear of someone losing their companion through misdeeds, and even rarer still were those that had never found them altogether.
Pan’s sorcerer was a constant thought, taking up much of the space between large black ears that seemed too big for his little head. He wondered about the boy daily. Not about what he’d look like, that wasn’t important to the little familiar. But what they’d do, where he would take him and what kind of trouble they could get into together. Those thoughts were all there, trotting through his head as he made his way across the well-worn wooden floor.
What would his sorcerer like for breakfast? What did humans eat? He certainly did not eat the tasteless highly nutritional gruel that was fed to them every day. He scampered in between the other, much larger, feline familiars and did his best to ignore a fly that begged to be chased and eventually caught from the windowsill above his head as they all made their way into the kitchen for breakfast. He wasn’t sure how non-magical cats did things but he was fairly certain that they didn’t lumber up into chairs and sit crouched, their long tails hanging out the back of the squeaking chairs as they put large paws on the table in front of them to help themselves balance.
He used his tiny claws to climb up the leg of a jaguar’s chair and found himself panting and very nearly out of breath as he took a moment to settle before he attempted to somehow get from the seat of the chair to the table at least two lengths above his head.
Sometimes it really sucked being the smallest of the familiars.
He curled his little toes and hunched his shoulders, his short black tail twitching as he prepared to leap. He could do this. His claws would catch the edge of the table and he could pull himself up the rest of the way. He looked down and then shook his head. It wasn’t too far down if he did happen to fall. It wouldn’t be pleasant but at least he’d live.
He tensed, preparing to leap, his every muscle poised and ready for the jump. And then a warm, wet mouth grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and he went limp in the jaguar’s gentle jaws as she lifted him onto the table with practiced ease.
She set him down lightly and then gave his black hair a long swipe with her tongue, trying to get the wet spikes to lay down in some kind of order. “There you go, Pan. Wish you’d just ask for help though. A little kitten like you could get hurt just trying to get up to the table for breakfast.”
If he could have blushed, he would have. It was just that embarrassing. “Thanks Tasha,” he said as he quickly bounded away. He didn’t mind the help. Not really anyway. It just sucked being so small, especially when the larger cats started talking about him as he trotted across the wood table. Would his sorcerer mind that he was so small? Certainly boys preferred big, powerful cats like Tasha. Well, not like her exactly since a boy couldn’t have a girl familiar. But still, something big—and powerful.
Something unlike him.