"Just a Wisp of Hope" by Lukewarm_Yeti

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I figure I should make this a 3-part act, so I'll be finishing it up in the next chapter!
This one's mage cried when they met this one. The mage cried very hard, yet this one felt no sadness, only relief and happiness. This one was delighted to be held so tightly from the beginning, but this one's mage did not maintain this happiness. This one tried to follow this one's mage through the room and through the home, but the mage stopped this one from leaving the room or from being seen by what this one could only assume was the mage's attendant. The attendant was often through the room, cleaning the floors and picking up waste. This one was taught by the mage that this person could not learn of this one's presence, for fear that this one would be discovered and thrown away with the trash.

This one did not want to be separated from the mage, and so did as this one was told. One day, however, the attendant looked beneath the bed, and brought out a great deal of waste and garbage, but also took out this one. This one was terrified of what this meant - was this one going to be taken to wherever the waste was taken? Was this one going to be sent away? If so, would this one revealing itself be the best option, or would that only serve to distress the attendant?

This one decided not to move. This one tried very hard to separate from the vessel within which this one had been residing, and the effigy of the yellow-eyed animal was thrown into the container with the garbage. This one waited for several hours for the mage to return - as was usual - and once they did, this one felt great fear and pain coming from the mage. They searched frantically for this one, but was unable to find the vessel where this one resided. The mage became very angry, their face flushing red, and they stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind them. This one heard great anger from the mage, this one still feeling fear coming from them. The great anger came in asking where the effigy had gone - the mage's "cat, my stuffed cat, you had to have taken it!" - and a much quieter response from the attendant, along the lines of - "under the bed so it was trash" - and the mage screaming again, "Why would you do that?" The mage returned to the room very hastily, incredibly sad and afraid and angry. This one did not much care for the feelings the mage was displaying, so this one tried its hardest to become that which it had been seen as in its vessel - a "cat." This one's ethereal form began to take some sort of shape, the feeling of weight bearing down on this one as it had in the effigy, though this one did not fall to the ground as before. This one wished to draw closer to this one's mage, and this one slowly floated to the ground, where this one was able to feel the floor on this one's... paws?

This one had grown paws! This one attempted to make sound, and the mewling came forth as before. This one had made a voice! This one found bodily sensations once more, yet was not restricted by the forces the effigy had been! The mage heard this one's short mewling and looked up to see this one walking towards them. This one leapt up onto the bed and began rubbing against the mage, the feeling pleasant and warm. The mage's sadness and anger fell away into happiness and confusion, once again hugging this one tightly. This one longed that feeling of home-ness. This one longed that feeling of wholeness.

As time went, this time there was great progress for this one in regard to words - without the restrictions of this one's physical form, this one could more easily articulate words, though doing so did still take a great deal of work. This one still needed to hide so that the attendant would not throw this one out once more, but this one also grew more accustomed to this one's surroundings. As such, this one often found that following this one's mage in ethereal form to be possible - though reshaping into a "cat" remained difficult at first. This one was able to follow this one's mage to many places, such as a great building labeled a "SCHOOL" that was filled with more humans. The mage would go to this "SCHOOL" with the rising sun and leave as the sun set each day, and would spend the entire time sitting at a small, personal table in lines and rows of other humans seated at similar constructions, all while writing with long sticks on white sheets as another - adult human - professed to the group. This one's mage seemed to do so with vigor, though this one knew the mage felt quite annoyed with the materials or with the other humans, or with the ones speaking, or simply at the entire place. This one knew that this one had to do something. When this one sensed the greatest level of frustration from this one's mage, this one took form within the bag by the mage's side. This one mewled at the mage, from whom this one sensed a short bit of relief and then immediately panic. The person at the front of the room stopped and looked about as this one returned to ethereal form, and the mage felt even greater annoyance. This one knew not to do such a thing again.

This one loved the mage, though it was often difficult for this one to know what should be done at any given time. Things were much easier for this one when the people would see a familiar and immediately know that the familiar was connected with a great and powerful mage. But then again, not many of this one's kind even made it to the mages' realm any more. This one knew that there could be nothing done for it except to make this one's mage the happiest they could be.
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