She hated this place. She hated the white walls of this simple room, high like it wanted to touch the sky. She hated the three witches sitting in golden thrones at the back. She hated the light in the middle, bright and cold, floating above a staff made of glass.
And most of all, she hated her shadow. Growing on one of those stupid spotless wall because of that stupid floating light.
Then the stupid three witches would examine the shadow and would say these stupid things she hated too. She wanted to run away but the only way out was the door, guarded by her teacher and her classmates. They were laughing at her. She hated them. She hated this place. She hated her shadow.
This shadow, with long ears.
When the examination was over, she scampered through the school, through the field, through the forest. She whipped her brown skin with her own hair that she forgot to bind, but she didn't stop running, and running, and running again. She hated them. She hated them and she hated h...
She tripped on a root she didn't see, she forgot to ask for glasses she didn't want to wear, the poor girl fell and decided to stay on the floor.
"Why are you crying, minha criança ?"
She looked next to her to see who talked to her with such a soft voice but saw no one, until she looked up and discovered the most beautiful creature she had ever seen. She didn't care if the creature was a spirit or a deity, she couldn't stop staring with awe at their skin which seemed black like obsidian, but was actually a starry night, galaxies running on their two knees, stars shooting through their two arms. Their hair seemed white like ivory, but was actually northern lights reflected on the snow, with blue and violet and pink glows. The hair was flying like they were swimming underwater. And their eyes... their eyes were green, not like an emerald but like every leaf of this planet was captured into those eyes, shinning thanks to the sunlight.
They seemed ancient and ageless, and so so kind.
"So, minha criança, why are you crying ?"
And they had those words that reminded her of her family, so she couldn't help but trust them.
"Because of the evaluation."
She felt stupid, to cry in front of a being who probably didn't care about a thing as simple as an evaluation. But they floated lower and lower until they were on their knees next to her and she swore the grass went greener under their legs and their feet. Some flowers even bloomed.
"What happened ?
- It's my shadow. Something is wrong with it.
- How so ?"
The light in the middle of the room had the power to reveal the inner magic inside every witch. At every Sabbath, you had to show yourself in front of your class or your coven. The bigger your shadow, the bigger your magic. But the thing with her shadow was...
"It has ears. Long ears.
- It is rare for a witch ! And rare magic means potent magic. And you're going to have a familiar ! Why should it be wrong ?
- It's... normally familiars are for wizards..."
They tilted their head and their hair followed, like a wave crashing on the shore.
"That's not why it's bothering you, am I right coraçaozinho ?"
She tried not to cry again but the tears rolled on her cheeks anyway when she said :
"It's... so ridiculous ! It's tiny, and harmless, and... cute ! Magic isn't supposed to be cute, it's supposed to be powerful !
- And you can't be powerful and cute ?"
She thought of every time classmates were mocking her by miming her long ears, by throwing carrots at her, by saying things... Every time she wanted to scare them, to destroy their desks, to conjure their fears, just so they could leave her alone.
"Listen to me, anjinho. Magic is wildness. Witches connect with magic thanks to plants, trees, rocks and rivers. Wizards connect with magic thanks to animals, and fire, storms and words. Magic is all around us, magic doesn't care. Magic doesn't have a body, a gender, a face even less a cute or a terrifying one. The only thing that matters with magic is if you have enough strength to hold it. Do you have enough strength, minha criança ?
- I hope so."
They crossed their arms, showing that this wasn't the answer they expected, and she realised, neither did she.
They smiled, little pieces of moonstones between two full lips with nebulae, under a constellation of freckles.
"You remind me of someone, they said. A young boy who is bullied by his classmates because his familiar is a cat.
- But I thought cats are the greatest familiar ?
- They were, a long time ago, but for witches. Now the men have birds of prey like hawks, vultures, falcons, crows, owls and sometime reptiles as familiars. So it's not well regarded for a wizard to have a cat.
- Boys are stupid, said the little girl."
At least it made the being laugh.
"Maybe. I have to go now, pequena. It was a pleasure to meet you.
- Do you really have to go ? I... I don't want to be alone.
- Don't worry. You'll never be alone."
Then, they flew through the tree nearby and disappeared between the leaves.
The girl was sad to see them go, but this conversation gave her enough courage to go back to her school. Except that there was this path. This path she didn't see before, surrounded by a lot of flowers like the plants she loved to draw. And there were so many colours. She wanted to follow the colours, to follow the scents, to see where it led. She walked a few minutes before she reached a valley and she saw... her familiar.
It had to be her familiar.
White like a cloud on a sunny day, tiny but shining. The little animal turned around and when their eyes met, she felt her heart getting warmer, joy sparkling through her entire body and power like she never believed before as they recognised each other. Her familiar. Her familiar. Her familiar started to approach her and she wanted to touch it so desperately, like her life depended on it. That animal was her life from now on, that she would love and cherish until they both died. Her light, her hope, her heart. The witch knew. The familiar knew. Inseparable, forever together, because they are one and the same. Complete because they had each other.
And when the pet jumped into her arms, she saw a tiny star on its forehead and a tide of pure magic wrapped her and she never felt so good, so absolute, so free. She knew who she was. She loved who she was. And with her familiar, she would never be alone, she would never need someone to save her. She would save herself.
She, the powerful magician.
She, the Witch Bunny.