Harry stood in a tree looking down at his prey. It was a warthog. If he managed to put his makeshift spear through it then it would be dinner. If he didn't, then Nala would knock him on the side of the head and tell him how much of an idiot he was without actually speaking.

He waited until the creature was right under the branch he was perched on. He held his breath and jumped down from the tree. His wooden spear came down and Harry aimed it for the creature's neck to hopefully kill it instantly. As Harry landed on it, he brought the creature down and heard a 'shlick' noise of his spear entering its body. As they both landed on the ground, Harry tucked into a roll and moved off the creature before spinning and looking back at it. He grinned at what he saw.

The spear had gone through exactly where he wanted to and the warthog laid on the ground unmoving. A moment later and a shadow fell from the tree and looked at him, 'About time.' It seemed to say. Harry just smiled.

"You're not going to make me feel bad this time. I got that perfect and you know it. You couldn't do it better yourself." Harry told the panther as it looked over his kill.

It had been two weeks since he had bonded with Nala. It was clear quite soon that they had a familiar bond. Harry hadn't had one since Hedwig and he must admit, that it felt rather good to get it back. He was actually glad to see the bond could still existed as it confirmed to him that he did actually still have his magic. He had always believed he did but he could not help the doubt that had been festering in the back of his mind at the thought that he may have been wrong. Nala actually reminded him of Hedwig in many. She could easily fall into a habit of mothering him and scolding him when he did something stupid but Nala herself was younger presence and seemed more like an older sister in Harry's mind.

Over the past couple of weeks, Nala had been teaching Harry multiple methods of survival in the jungle. He learned how to hunt and stalk from her. She also showed him how to find water by tracking other creatures to it.

Of course, there was some things she couldn't teach. Harry had to learn how to make a spear on his own which he really only did by sharpening a long stick with a sharp rock. Since he wasn't very strong, Nala had been teaching him how to drop down on opponents to take them down quickly. Nala herself preferred a chase but there was no way in hell Harry was going to be able to mimic that. Every time he would chase after her she would smirk at him in amusement for being so slow. It definitely grated on his nerves.

Harry also had to learnt how to make fire on his own. That actually didn't take as long as he thought to learn but it was still something valuable. Raw meat tended to give him stomach aches where cooked meat seemed to go down much easier. Nala couldn't care less what form her meat came in as long as she got to eat it.

The last thing Harry had learned how to do was make some makeshift clothes. Well that wasn't quite true. He didn't have a knife yet to skin animals so he just tied leaves together with a plant-based twine and formed a makeshift loincloth with it. It wasn't exactly durable but it helped keep his tic tac from the elements. His feet had eventually gotten used to the jungle floor so he hadn't even bothered with shoes.

Nala started biting into the warthog while Harry started to gather some wood so he could cook his portion. A few minutes later and he had a small fire going next to the warthog. Nala was still eating but took some time to rip off a huge chunk and gave it to Harry so he wouldn't have to cut it.

"Cheers." Harry said in thanks as he mounted the raw meat chunk on a stick and started cooking it over the fire. After what felt like an eternity, the meat gained the overcooked look Harry was accustomed to. He always over cooked his food in an attempt to get anything dangerous out of it. Didn't taste great but it was better than eating it raw. Harry looked over at his lounging companion who seemed to have stuffed herself.

"You're going to get fat if you keep overeating you know." Harry told her. Nala twisted her head to look at him with a glare. She then stretched one of her front paws out and smacked his arm with it. His small body meant that it actually hurt.

"Ow! You can hit me all you want you overgrown house cat but the truth isn't based on whether you like it or not." Harry shot back as he rubbed his arm. With those words, Nala fully got up and pounced on top of him.

"What the shit!" was all Harry managed to get out as he was brought to the ground. Nala then just laid down on top of him and refused to get up. Harry pushed her body to no avail. Harry estimated she was probably double his weight at least. Most of the weight she had actually gained in the last two weeks.

When Harry was younger, he had no idea about familiar bonds or how they worked as they were rather rare except among powerful wizards since the bond sapped some magic away from the wizard to improve his companion. It was probably how Hedwig became so intelligent over time.

With Nala, the first noticeable change was the size increase. She was probably double the size she had originally been when they met. She was probably the biggest panther alive or close to it. Sadly, she was also packed with muscle which meant she wasn't moving.

Harry pushed as hard as he could but Nala didn't seem to even notice as she started to calmly clean herself. Harry finally got tired and just gave up. He glared up at her as she continued to bathe herself.

"You're real mature you know that. You see something you don't like and you just sit your fat ass on it." Harry said to the panther. Nala didn't acknowledge his words she just kept licking herself clean for the day. Harry just laidback and looked up at the stars that had started to come out.

Over the last two weeks, Nala had been walking in a certain direction. Harry hadn't noticed until three days had passed. He was pretty sure normal panthers didn't stray this far from their territory. He wasn't quite sure where she was taking him but he trusted her so he kept following her.

Eventually, Nala got off of him and went back to laying on the ground. Harry groaned from the soreness of having a hundred-pound panther lay on him. He crawled over to her and laid his head against her side.

"Come on, you can't just lay your problems away. I mean it was just a joke, you know you're not fat right? You have more muscle on you than I have weight. Don't be so sensitive." Harry murmured as he closed his eyes and started drift to sleep with his companion next to the flickering flames.

He didn't have any dreams that night, just a peaceful darkness that enveloped his mind like a blanket. He didn't know how long he had slept either but he didn't wake until sun rays started shining in his face. He blinked a few times to clear the sleep out of his eyes before getting up and stretching. Nala was up as well and seemed to be chewing something, showing she had already been out hunting. Harry wasn't hungry so he grabbed his spear and got ready to move out. As soon as Nala finished eating they were off.

They weren't walking long before the trees started to become fewer and fewer. After an hour, they had finally reached the jungles edge. There was now what appeared to be miles and miles of plains in front of him. He looked down to his side at Nala.

"Are the plains where we have been going for the past two weeks or are they simply another stop on the path to where we are going?" Harry asked. Nala simply gestured her head in front of her at the horizon. Harry looked in the direction but saw nothing. Perhaps she meant they were going to continue in that direction then.

"A stop then? Alright well continue to lead on then and I will follow." Harry told her. With that, they were back to walking. Harry had to admit that he was a little concerned about food and water out in the plains. In the jungle, there was food and water everywhere once you knew where to look. The plains had watering holes but the food was much more spread out and tended to run away rather quickly. He might have to let Nala take care of him again.

Harry shook away the thoughts. Nala hadn't failed him yet and he doubted she would now. They walked through the plains for hours that day with Harry being unsure of where they were going. Sometimes Nala would suddenly change directions and start walking in a large semi-circle. After the third or fourth time she did this, Harry finally noticed that there was usually something movie in the tall grass near where they had been about to walk through. Sometimes he would catch a glimpse enough to identify them as other big cats but they were usually too low to the ground.

Harry stuck closer to Nala any time he noticed she did that from then on. Nala seemed to find it amusing but Harry didn't share her thoughts on the matter.

They must have walked for miles before Harry finally saw something on the horizon. That they were walking too. A few more hours of walking and the image became close enough to identify mountains covered in jungle plants. They seemed to expand in both directions of the horizon and Nala was walking straight towards it. Was this their destination or just another stop on the way? It started to get dark out and they needed to hunt. Nala gestured to a lone tree in the plains and brought him to it. She tapped the ground with her front paw twice. Harry had learned that this meant she wanted him to say there.

Harry nodded and watched as she turned and walked away. She was probably going out to hunt them some food for the night. While she was gone, Harry got to work on gathering some of the fallen branches from the tree. He cleared a wide circle around the fire and used some dry grass to help get the fire started. With that he started rubbing a stick of wood on a chunk of wood. He moved his hands rapidly for a few moments until smoke started to arise. He blew on the smoke gently until he had a few burning embers. He then dumped those burning embers onto the fire pit he made. Soon it lit up and he had a full-fledged fire.

Harry sat down by and simply looked out to the horizon in boredom. Nala was a skilled hunter so she probably wouldn't be gone for long but that didn't stop him from being bored. He was also rather nervous. He had seen a lot of other big cats today and he somehow doubted they would be as friendly as Nala was.

After about half an hour, Nala finally came back dragging with her the carcass of an antelope. Harry raised an eyebrow at seeing her dragging the whole carcass behind her. She dropped it to the floor and immediately started biting into it. Once opened, she tore off several pieces and, once again, gave it to him. While gratefully taking them, Harry suddenly realized that the behavior between the two of them would suggest that Harry was Nala's pet. What a weird thought. He shrugged his shoulders though and kept on cooking his part of the meal. Technically, he kind of was her pet since he was almost totally reliant on her for survival.

He started chowing down once the meat was cooked and sat next to Nala. He watched the sunset and he had to admit, it was one of the most beautiful he had ever seen. He hadn't looked at sunsets on purpose in years. It had never really been interested in it to be honest. He knew others who loved looking at sunsets but he never really saw the appeal.

Now though, as he looked at the sun while it dipped slowly beyond the horizon, he could see why others enjoyed it so much. It was so beautiful to look at. One of the few things he could actually enjoy. He didn't feel the need to think about if he was going to survive until next week or wonder if a lion or tiger was going to creep up on him while he was asleep. It was just peaceful.

"It's pretty isn't it. Well I guess you're probably used to it. You've lived here all your life. Must've been nice… except the whole 'every day is a test of survival' thing you have going on." Harry told her. Nala just made a noise in her throat but not a true response. Harry smiled anyways.

"I'm going to have to figure out what to do with you if I ever get out of here. I have some big properties that you could probably live on all around the world. Or I suppose we could come back here and make a little area just for us. The view is pretty nice. It would be much nicer here if I didn't have to struggle to keep myself alive." Harry said to Nala. Again, his companion said nothing and Harry was almost sure she had fell asleep.

He knew it wasn't easy for her to switch her sleeping habits from day to night. He went up to her and gave her some petting and combed her fur with his fingers try and show his appreciation. Asleep or not, Nala loved it and would always purr for his efforts. After ten minutes, Harry fell asleep against her side as he usually did and drifted off into darkness.

The next morning, Nala led him to a water hole so he could get his fill of water again. There seemed to be antelope there as well but they didn't bother with them and didn't even concern themselves with Nala. Harry thought it strange but perhaps they knew how to tell when a beast was hunting them and when it was minding its own business.

Harry drank lots of water as he probably wouldn't get to drink again until tomorrow. His body seemed to have adapted slightly to better store water in his time so far in the jungle. He wasn't sure if it was magic or simple biology, either way he was grateful. It was the only way they were able to travel so far without having to worry about water.

Nala clearly knew where they were and had an idea of where they were going. She never failed to find them water when he absolutely needed it in the last two weeks. She must have had the entire area mapped out in her head.

Harry soon finished drinking and turned to Nala. She was done quicker than he was and had waited patiently for him. He nodded at her to signal he was done and she immediately turned and started walking. Harry soon followed right behind her as they started heading to the mountains. They would probably make it there in the late afternoon

The rest of the day was dull. Nala just trotted along easily and Harry walked next to her always keeping an eye out for trouble. It's not like it would matter of course. Almost all Nala's senses were better than his so she would probably know of any danger long before he did.

Africa had so far been rather peaceful to Harry. Nothing had really attacked him and food was easy to get once you learned how or had a panther teach you. Of course, he had no idea if the ease came simply from being around Nala. She was a powerful predator especially for a panther and most must've thought twice before coming near her and, by proxy, him.

The only thing was the bugs. Nala could do nothing to help him with bugs that loved to feed on his flesh. It had him cursing to hell whoever forced him into this devolved state. He couldn't count how many times he simply wanted to light the very air around him into a blazing inferno just to get rid of these damn bugs.

Nala found it amusing to say the least but that might be because the bugs didn't seem to bother with her. Harry just growled and ignored them but made a mental note to one day kill all bugs when he got his magic back.

The long trek through the plains soon came to an end as the approached a more mountainous region covered in a jungle canopy. Harry looked at it with suspicion, he couldn't help but get a small shiver up his spine and an ominous feeling as he looked at the jungle. He looked at Nala who was looking back at him.

"You sure this is the way?" Harry asked cautiously. Nala gave him a look that seemed to say, 'You doubt my genius?'

"Alright, alright. I was just checking. I suppose we should get started to finding a place to sleep and dinner. Shall I help or would you like to solo hunt again?" Harry asked Nala. She walked over into the trees with no answer and Harry followed. The sun had already set past one of the mountain tops which meant it would get dark down here fast.

Just like the night before, Nala tapped the ground twice to indicate that Harry was to stay while she went out and hunted by herself. Harry nodded and set to work. He didn't get far when he heard a loud rumbling noise. He looked up and saw gray starting to cover the sky. He grimaced. It was going to rain so there would be no point to starting a fire. He started to look around to find a place up in the trees where they would be able to get the most cover.

It wasn't long before the rain started coming down, Luckily, Harry had been able to tie several leaves together of trees that were close to each other as a makeshift roof and it seemed to be able to keep him dry for the most part. He was sure Nala would be pleased to have a place to dry off when she returned.

Speaking of her return, Nala still wasn't back yet. It had already been an hour and a half and she still had not found anything. It was strange. She was an excellent hunter and had never usually had any problems finding food.

Harry looked around the forest and the foreboding feeling he had felt earlier had returned. Nala was taking too long, if she didn't return in another half an hour he would journey after her. He had seen the direction she had gone and although the tracks would be gone, the closer he got to Nala, the stronger their bond should feel.

Thirty minutes came and went and Harry was really starting to get worried as he stood up, grabbed his spear, and started out in the pouring rain to look for his companion. He tried to use their bond as a compass and it sort of worked but she seemed farther than he originally thought. That, or she was moving away at a similar speed that he was moving to her.

The rain blocked his vision especially at night and made him feel like he was freezing but he pressed on anyway. He was starting to get close despite the foliage slowing him down, he could feel it.

Sadly, the closer he got the more the bond seemed to be expressing itself to him. He could feel panic and pain coming through it which caused him to panic and start moving faster. Their bond was still fairly new so things like emotions coming through it shouldn't be happening so soon. The fact that they were was a sign of duress.

Harry was now running towards Nala as fast as he could. His progress kept getting interrupted by the fact that he kept tripping on branches and other things as he couldn't see on the ground. God, he hated being small and having no access to magic.

Ten minutes of running and he finally came to a spacing in the trees to see Nala standing in what was clearly a defensive stance and growling into the trees. Harry looked but could see nothing through the rain and darkness but something was obviously there. He stayed back for a moment and readied his spear. To jump in to help. For a moment, nothing happened, the only sound was the rain pouring down and slamming into the ground.

A crack of thunder and all hell broke loose. A black shadow leapt from the darkness and right at Nala. Harry looked on in shock as his eyes identified the assailant. It was another black panther. It was smaller than Nala though and even seemed slimmer. Did she injure herself before running into this beast, why did it cause her such trouble?

Nala was fast and immediately roared and slammed her paw hard into his head before leaping down onto its downed form. It was at this moment, Harry understood why she was having trouble. Just as she moved to bite into the other panther's neck, another shadow sprung from behind her and landed on her back. There were two black panthers and both were attacking her. Harry felt her pain through the bond and even if he didn't, her roar as the one on top of her bit down on the back of her neck was enough of clarification.

Harry couldn't stand still anymore, he charged with his spear straight into the pile fully knowing he probably wasn't going to get out of this without a few scars. He approached and slammed his spear straight into the side of the one biting into Nala. He didn't have the momentum of dropping down and the limited muscle that his child-like arms had were working on overdrive to get this sharpened stick as deep as he could.

The panther let go of Nala and leapt off her in pain with a pained roar. With the panther no longer on her back and biting her, Nala finally buried her teeth into the panther under her body's neck. She buried it deep to. The panther's esophagus most definitely was punctured. So, engrossed with watching Nala make the kill, he didn't notice the other panther creep along the edge of the clearing behind him.

Harry roared in pain as he felt a heavy pain rake across his side and tackle him from behind. He didn't even have time to process that pain fully when he experienced what felt like a bunch of tiny knives wrap around his shoulder and dig in as deep as it could. Harry screamed in pain again before gritting his teeth.

"Get off me you over grown carpet!" screamed as he started flailing wildly. That started to be a mistake as it just caused its teeth to tear through more and more flesh in shoulder. Harry looked up and watched Nala running full sprint at them. She pounced and Harry suddenly felt the other panthers mouth yanked off his shoulder which didn't exactly come out clean with how deep it was embedded.

Harry immediately gripped his shoulder and rolled onto his back. He pulled his hand back it was completely covered in blood. He tried to look down at his shoulder and saw blood pouring out of it. He then looked down and saw blood pouring out of three claw marks on his side. His vision was getting darker already. A shadow appeared over him and Harry saw Nala standing over him. He looked her over and saw red droplets falling off her stomach from a wound that she probably attained before he arrived. It looked deep.

He panicked, he was probably going to die to be honest. Blood was pouring out of him at an alarming rate and no matter how smart she was, Nala couldn't even bandage herself, much less him. If it wasn't raining, he may have tried to get up with the last of his strength to start a fire to cauterize the wounds to maybe delay long enough to find some way to heal or hopefully get wherever Nala was taking them.

Nala laid down and pressed her head softly against him. He raised his hand and pressed it against her head and ran his fingers through her fur. She was dying too.

"I'm sorry Nala. I'm so sorry. Had you never met me you probably wouldn't be dying right now. I should've never let the bond form between us. I should have convinced you to let me die on that jungle floor. I should have… god I'm so sorry." Harry said through the tears blurring his vision. This was like Hedwig all over again.

Most people never even got a familiar in their lifetime. Sometimes people would get one if they were lucky. He had gotten two and he was the cause of death for both of them

A soft rumbling came from Nala and she opened her eyes too look at him with her tired expression. Despite death approaching, he still saw fire in them. He still could hear the mental scolding she was giving over saying something so moronic. Something about undermining and not appreciating what she had made with her life.

Despite the tears still coming out, Harry smiled at her. He pressed his forehead against hers for what would probably be the last time.

"Despite the short time we knew each other, you were one of the few beings I would ever consider to be my family. I hope the feeling was mutual my overgrown house cat." Harry finished. A soft lick pressed against his face as his vision faded almost completely to black. Soon, his other senses joined his vision into oblivion. Was THIS death?

… It was emptier than he thought it would be.