The Witchling's Familiar

When you first met her, running to catch the bus on a crisp autumn day, you hardly thought to notice her. Just another artsy witchling walking to the park to sketch the sigils falling leaves trace and listen to the world's voice.

Good fashion sense.

Way out of your league.

Heavens know that the city is full of witchlings just like her.

(You've read that the archetype has power, that conforming to a mold makes some magic easier, but that always seemed silly. Surely divergence is a better way to get attention? Maybe that's why you're no witch.)

You didn't really notice her, but she certainly noticed you–the slapping of your shoes on the brick sidewalk, the way your scarf flailed in the breeze, your little gasp of relief as you reached the bus at the very last minute.

She noticed and remembered, as witchlings do.

Much later you learned that she sketched you, pinned your image to her page right in the middle of a step, toes barely touching the ground. Not enough to work any magic, just charcoal and cheap paper, but enough to hold you in her mind.

The second time you met was a week later; you ordering your daily coffee at the Entirely Normal Cafe, her standing off to the side waiting for her tea to be ready. She lingered, waiting, as you poured sugar into your mug and stirred it in; and she caught you as you left.

It didn't take much to catch you, truthfully. Her obvious interest was more than enough, confusing and unfamiliar as it was; she left you no chance to guess at her interest and simply assumed that you would reciprocate.

She was always like that, and it usually worked.

At first she drowned you in a torrent of words, but once you found a way to respond, once you both were on the same topic, the conversation flowed beautifully smoothly. The walk from the cafe to your job seemed to pass by in a moment, ended far too soon.

She left you there with her number written on the back of your hand and a slightly overwhelmed expression. Because, like. It's really not every day that a witchling hunts you down like that.

Especially not one as beautifully confident as her.

But life goes on, right? It's famous for doing that.

You texted her on your break, got a reply back just like that. Set up a date. Ate perfectly delicate salmon at a restaurant drifting just above one of the city's many waterfalls, and hardly noticed the view.

More dates followed, your lives slowly knitting together, meeting friends and family. Everyone always said you looked so happy together, you and the witchling who caught you!

You even learned enough of magic to help her with her studies, with her final tasks.

Not that you ever had the aptitude to cast spells of your own, nor to be hollowed into a perfect servant; but you'd hang around and ask leading questions when something seemed not quite right, sometimes even point out a stray sigil or incomplete assertion.

It was always a cozy way to spend an afternoon off.

So when she started her own practice, drawing a door on a tree and filling it with enough scattered memories of places she'd loved to make its secret spaces blossom into a home, it seemed natural for you to go with her.

She had more than enough space, after all! And a good part of her tree was close enough to your own old apartment to be perfectly cozy.

And when she asked you to join her, to leave your job and work with her as her practice grew, it seemed natural for you to say yes.

Your friends had already joked about you being her familiar, but those jokes only intensified after that, especially as she helped you make your body more comfortable–and it's not exactly easy to deny such a suggestion while your tail is wagging away!

But you didn't formalize it until your wedding, a simple civil affair to tie you together in the eyes of the law followed by a much more involved ritual to tie you to her in the eyes of your more magical friends, the city's many gods, and your witch's own goddess.

To bind your essences into one.

To weave you together, to comingle your souls.

To link you to her as her familiar,

and her to you as your witch.