Spirit: The Familiar

Chapter Seventeen

Carina shifted nervously in her seat. The class was full of older-looking students, with a couple here and there that were of her age. She knew none of them, so she sat by herself in one corner of the room. The professor was not yet there.

She thought of getting up and leaving, but knew that such cowardice would not benefit her in the slightest. Carina was here for more than just the classes anyway. The Grand Elder was being annoyingly vague, and her possible familiar hadn't led her all the way out here without reason.

When the professor finally arrived, she apologized for being late, and then introduced herself for Carina. After she introduced Carina to the class. Mumbled greetings filled the room to which Carina waved awkwardly, and tried to sink further into her seat as if that would help hide her.

The professor then dove right into the lecture, appearing to be continuing off from a previous day. Carina followed along as best she could, though that wasn't hard to do. Most of what the professor was explaining to the class was something Carina had already read from the text book. With bits of the professor's own experiences thrown in; the lecture would be no good if it was completely from a text book.

It was when the professor pulled something out from a drawer in their desk that Carina's attention was truly caught.

"This here, does anyone know what this is?" the professor asked as the pink object dangled from two of their fingers. Every had in the room shot up immediately to answer. "Of course. We're all familiar with things like these: collars for your pets. But this is no ordinary collar. This is a special kind of collar, one to be used when capturing your Familiar. And it is the only kind of collar that will work. It helps to deepen the bond you'll have already formed with your Familiar."

All the hands in the room fell back down, but Carina kept hers up. The professor's gaze landed on Carina. Carina felt her heart waver, but she kept her hand up.

"Yes, miss..." The professor looked down at a notebook on their desk, and then looked back up to her. "Miss Carina?"

Carina glanced around the class nervously. All eyes were on her. The situation felt very familiar, very unreal, very unwelcome. But she had a question that needed an answer.

"I've already been seeing my Familiar," she said. "At least, I think I have. I mean, that's why I'm here. That's why a lot of us are here, I think."

"Get on with it," the professor said.

"How- how do I get her to approach me?" Carina asked.

The professor set the collar down on the desk, and then picked up a stick and a piece of chalk, and began to write on the board. After they slapped the stick against the board, right under the writing.

"That is, in fact, why you are all here in this class," the professor began. "To get your Familiar to come close enough to you for capture. Really, there is no special way to go about doing it- no right or wrong way written in your books. Each Familiar will have a different comfort zone to breach, and will approach you once they feel comfortable with you."

Carina's hand shot up again. The professor stared at her, their mouth a thin line. They slowly pointed the stick at Carina, a movement that told Carina she could speak. All eyes in the room were on her again.

"Well, mine has been- showing up to guide me, when I've been unsure of something," Carina said. Attention turned back to the professor.

"Yes, I have heard of that," the professor nodded. "The Familiar will show up in the beginning mostly as a guide, as that is their main purpose: to guide you. I'm sure you've all already learned this."

The professor dove into their lecture again, and as they weren't giving the answers that Carina sought, Carina spaced off and doodled in her notebook again. She did still take notes, but none of them were helpful to her. She was ready to advance, ready to take the next step. She was ready to capture that cat with the beautiful eyes already.