|Once and Always|
|Book: Once and Always, Chapter 4|
Chapter 3: A Bond of Friends
Chapter 5: A Heavy Heart
Chapter 4: Familiars, and a Date
The following day came as the "day of judgement". Suzuka, Guiche, Drako, and the rest of the second years were to summon their familiars. Once again, the ceremony was overseen by Drako's father, Jan Colbert. Hermione and her mother, Siesta, were also in attendance.
"Alright class." said Colbert to the second years "As you know, you will summon your familiars. The animals that will be your close companions and guides for life."
"Knowing how 'small' Hiraga is, she likely to get a 'small' familiar." Erlea whispered to a friend. Suzuka heard her, and clenched her fist tightly, and Guiche noticed that she looked tense
"Mommy, how does Summon Servant work?" Hermione asked watching from the academy wall
"I couldn't tell you Hermione." said Siesta, who was now wearing glasses "But I can say, that the students usually get fine familiars."
"Now, who would like to go first?" Colbert asked the students
"Allow me father." said Drako raising his wand
"(sigh) Very well Drako. Proceed."
Drako stepped forward, cleared his throat, created the portal, and chanted his incantation. "My name is Drako de Colbert. Energy of the flames, reach across time and space. Bring forth the familiar that will aid me in my magic." Within a few seconds of the spells completion, Drako's familiar emerged. It was a large bat.
"A bat?" said Drako as it hung from his arm "You have got to be kidding me."
"Rest assured my son, bats can be quite useful familiars." said Colbert, and Drako returned to the crowd
"I guess I expected more of Drako." said Hermione
"Worried about his development?" Siesta asked
"Next student please come forward." said Colbert
One by one, the second years summoned their familiars. When it was Guiche's turn, he summoned a Water Python. Erlea on the other hand, summoned a toad, her worst fear. And Suzuka managed to have a good laugh about this. Finally, with only a handful of students left, it was Suzuka's turn.
"Please let me get something good." Suzuka thought to herself as she opened the portal "My name is Suzuka Henrietta li Bala de vi Hiraga. My enchanted guide that exists somewhere in the void, come forth and be my familiar." Suzuka held her breath with suspense as a shadow appeared in the gate. A few seconds later, a magnificent white female Winged Unicorn appeared out of the portal, leaving almost everyone in awe.
"I don't believe it." said Suzuka with joy as he familiar came close to greet her. Suzuka patted the creatures face in greeting as well.
"It's beautiful!" said Hermione
"I expected nothing less." said Siesta, catching Jan Colbert's eye, as Hermione ran to congratulate her. They both remembered that this was the same familiar that Suzuka brought with her when she came back to the past. They never knew what happened to it after the former Suzuka passed away, but didn't exactly care anymore. What was done, was done.
"Well done Suzuka." said Guiche with his Water Python, now named Lanayru, hanging around his shoulders
"Enjoy the nag." said Erlea
"Ah, is someone jealous that someone got a great familiar, while they got what they despised?" said Drako, with his bat, now named Koba, riding on his shoulder "By the way, it's right next to your foot."
Erlea looked down and saw that her toad was right next to her foot, and backed away in fright. Causing Suzuka, Guiche, Drako, and Hermione to laugh
"What are you gonna call her?" Hermione asked as Erlea walked away
"Ro." Suzuka answered
"Will you let me ride her sometime?" Hermione asked
"Of course. How 'bout right now?"
Despite Ro not having a saddle or reins yet, Suzuka helped Hermione onto Ro's back, and Ro gave a quiver "It's OK girl, she's a friend." Suzuka then got on herself right behind Hermione.
"Uh, Suzuka." said Guiche
"Yes Guiche?" said Suzuka from up on Ro's back
"I... was wondering... uh..."
"Spit it out. What is it?"
"Alright then." Suzuka, Hermione, and Ro then took to the sky after a short run into the wind. Hermione seemed to be enjoying herself immensely
"You wasted a perfect opportunity." said Drako frustratedly
"I had it all planned in my head, but I just couldn't get it out." said Guiche "Maybe I'm not cut out for this." He walked away with Lanaryu still around his shoulders
"Do I have to do everything myself?" Drako asked, and Koba answered with a chirp
The following evening, Drako brought Guiche to the Fairy Inn for a drink, and to hopefully get him alone with Suzuka so they could talk.
"Why are we going to the Inn during Suzuka's evening shift again?" Guiche asked as they walked to the Tavern
"Because I fancied an nostalgic atmosphere tonight." said Drako "And you could use one too. What's going on over there?"
"And, stay out!" they heard Jessica shout as she and Suzuka threw a squat little man from the building
"What was this about?" Guiche asked them as they got close and the man ran off
"The man Suzuka was serving yesterday tried to get her breasts again." said Jessica
"The pervert!" said Suzuka angrily "This time, he actually managed to touch them. If he ever comes back, I will..."
"You will hold your temper." said Jessica "I only threw him out because you weren't the first person that guy did that to. I've been receiving complaints from the other girls that that guy was doing it for more than a month now."
"How despicable." said Guiche
"Like you're one to talk." said Jessica "Haven't you tried to get at Suzuka's breasts in the past?" at this comment, Suzuka gave Guiche a look of disgust, covered her chest with her arms, and went back into the Tavern.
"I'm leaving." said Guiche, and he turned to leave
"No you're not." said Drako, grabbing Guiche's shoulders "You go in and grab a table, I'll be in a second." he shoved Guiche through the door, and Guiche made for an empty table
"Miss Jessica." said Drako "I'd appreciate it if you didn't sabotage my attempts to get them together tonight."
"Guiche has been wanting to ask Suzuka out for a while now, and I can tell she's getting tired of waiting." Drako explained "So please, tonight, help, or stay out of the way, please."
"You got it." said Jessica, smiling and giving as thumbs up
Inside, Drako sat with Guiche to make sure that they could be alone at the best time, but things weren't going well because Suzuka seemed to be avoiding Guiche's table.
"This isn't going well." Drako thought to himself "I have to get Suzuka over here." he raised his hand to call for drinks "Suzuka! Suzuka! Drinks over here please!"
"Drako's calling for you." said Jessica to Suzuka over at the counter
"So?" Suzuka asked
"'So', bring them some drinks."
"Do it!" Jessica said sternly
"Here." said Suzuka to the boys a minute later "Some drinks."
"Well don't be shy, sit down." said Drako
Suzuka sat, rather reluctantly.
After Drako finished his second drink
"Excuse me." he said and got up, supposedly to go to the restroom
"I should get back to work." said Suzuka as she made to get up
"Wait, Suzuka." said Guiche, and he grabbed Suzuka's wrist to stop her from going
"What is it?"
"Th-there's a ball coming up." said Guiche
"Yes, I know." Suzuka replied
"Will you... will you go with me...? Please?"
Suzuka looked surprised at his sudden request, but then said with a smile "Of course I will. What took you so long to ask?"
Guiche looked relieved, and happy that Suzuka said "Yes", and let go of her wrist.
"Well... lets look forward to it." said Guiche
"I will." said Suzuka, and she resumed helping customers, just as Drako rejoined him
"Thanks." said Guiche
"Don't mention it. Just call me cupid." said Drako