Title: Conjuring Pain

Author: Ailendolin

Rating: T (PG-13) … just to be sure.

Disclaimer: I do not own cats and do not make any money with this story. I only own the little plot bunny.

Summary: Being a conjuring cat isn't a gift. Quaxo should know. All magic ever brought him was pain, loss and loneliness. It started ruining his life when he was a kitten. Will his broken spirit be mended when Tugger and Munkustrap stumble upon him?

Word Count: 1838

Warning: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, but mainly Fluff – a lot of it.

Author's Notes: Welcome to the new and hopefully improved version of this story. More info on that in the A/N of the new chapter (chapter 7).
English is not my first language (German is), so there are bound to be some mistakes.
Also, I think of Quaxo and Mistoffelees as the same cat. Whenever Quaxo uses magic, his appearance changes and only later will he adopt the name of Mistoffelees.

Chapter 01: The Box

It was dark in the empty park but that did not bother the little black-and-white tom. He was excited. It was the first time his mother took him outside of their home and showed him the world. Every blade of grass seemed funny under his paws and he stumbled over the smallest of stones. Everything was new and looked like a smaller version of the whole world to the little cat. Behind every corner wonders waited just to be discovered and he was eager to see all of them this night, especially the ones his brothers and sisters had told him about.

His mother only shook her head. It was obvious how much her son loved to be outside and she had waited a lot longer to take him here than she had with his siblings, knowing how clumsy he was even though he could see in the dark as well as the light. This clumsiness was paired with a good sense of curiosity and the queen was sure that it would lead him into trouble one day or the other.

"Be careful!" she quietly hissed at him, knowing full-well what kind of effect this had on the little tom. He stopped dead in his tracks and looked fearfully up at her, not knowing what he had done wrong. "It's dangerous out here," she continued. "You can't go fooling around thinking everything will be fine. We're not at home where it's safe. Look where you go and be quiet!" she scolded him while walking past the young tom who had lowered his eyes to the ground.

"I am sorry, I won't do it again, p-promise!"

The small cat turned around to follow his mother but slipped on one of the wet stones. He cried out when he landed painfully on the ground making his mother turn around hissing at him again to be quiet. Carefully, she observed the area around them, listening intently for any uncommon and dangerous sounds. When she was sure there was nothing nearby she went over to her son. He had not moved from his position on the ground, too frightened of the world around him and his mother punishing him for misbehaving. Suddenly, the happiness he had felt about finally being outside diminished and he found himself liking the world with its wonders less and less.

His mother's gaze was furious when she looked down at him and not for the first time in his young life he was scared of her.

"Do you by any chance know what you just have done?" she hissed, quietly but vehemently. "We could be dead by now! There are pollicles out there who eat little kittens like you for breakfast. This is not fun, Quaxo! Everytime we go outside and walk on the streets we have to be careful. One wrong step and we might end up dead. Do you understand that?"

He nodded quietly, not trusting his voice to work. His mother had never been this angry with him before. He knew he was rather clumsy and tended to get into trouble but never before had his mother scolded him for simply being himself.

"Let's go home," his mother finally said with a sigh. "I don't think it was a good idea to take you with me."

She went to turn around when her ears picked up a low growl in one of the bushes across the path. The queen froze on the spot, not making a sound. Her kitten fearfully looked up at her with his dark eyes wide with fear. He did not know what was wrong and she prayed to the Everlasting Cat that he would not move or make a sound.

But it was already too late. A second later a huge pollicle jumped out of the bush, baring his teeth and growling at his victims. The queen hissed at the dog and scratched him in the face. After a moment of watching him growl angrily in pain she ran away from the predator and her son, hoping that the dog would follow her instead of going after the easier prey. And it did, but way faster than she had imagined. She ran for her dear life, all the time hearing the desperate cries of her son who now stood on his feet watching her anxiously.

The queen screamed for him to run home and cursed under her breath when he did not move from his spot. She could feel the foul breath of the pollicle on her tail and knew that he was about to bite her and tear her apart. Looking back over her shoulder she saw him opening his snout, and then everything went white.

A second later she opened her eyes to find the pollicle running away yelping. The air smelled of burnt fur and she needed a moment to realize what had just happened. With shock written all over her face she looked warily towards her son who lay a few feet away from her. Yellowish white light emitted from his front paws and one of them had turned from white to black just like the other one had always been. The same went for his other two feet. Both of them were now black and his coat seemed to glitter in the faint moonlight.

Slowly and carfully she crept to her son as if he were some strange creature she did not know.

"Mom?" she heard him whimper. "What happened? My paws … they hurt," he said quietly, too tired to even lift his head to look at her. She hissed at him and a hostile look was in her eyes when she sniffed at his paws. The yellow light began to ebb away and she could see that both his front paws were burnt. In any normal situation she would have licked them and brought him home to tend to them. But this was most definitely not a normal situation. She knew what her son had done and what he had become. There was no doubt: He had been the one who had shot those bright lightning flashes at the dog and made him run away.

"Stand up!" she commanded in an almost steady voice, not even bothering to give him a nuzzle.

Confused, he looked up at her. "Mom?"

"I said: Stand up!" she repeated harshly and he looked at her with bewilderment written all over his face. This was even stranger than her behavior before. He could understand that she was angry with him for calling attention to them and being loud, but she had never ever screamed or yelled at him like this before. He wondered why she did not come and cuddle him, making the pain in his paws go away. Hurt and tired, he began to sit up only to fall over again. His paws burned.

"Mom, I can't!" he cried, tears filling his eyes. She huffed and picked him up. The queen started to run out of the park and onto the streets of London. She had to get him as far away as she could from herself and her family. Her son was evil and abnormal and would only endanger the rest of the cats in the house. All motherly feelings she had held for him until this night were gone. She did not see her son anymore in the kitten she carried, but a sinister creature which held no place in her heart.

Suddenly, she skidded to a halt and looked around. This area was far enough away from her home for him to find his way back on his own. She walked into a nearby alley and sat him down.

"Go into that box there," she commanded.

With a whimper he crawled over to the box made of paper, uncertainty and fear plainly visible in his eyes the whole time. Slowly, he went inside and turned around just in time to watch his mother leave. Horror and panic filled his mind.

"Mom! Wait for me!" he cried. Ignoring the pain in his paws, he stumbled outside. The tall queen turned around with a scowl.

"Into the box! Now!" She pushed him harshly backwards. "Stay there and don't follow me! I won't put up with you anymore. You're wrong and I don't tolerate someone like you in the vicinity of my family."

"But … but I am a part of your family," the little tom said confused.

"No, you're not," she said coldly. "Go back into that box. You're not worth my time."

"Mom, please don't leave! I'm sorry for being a bad boy. I will do better next time, I promise!"

"No, you won't!" she hissed and scratched his leg, forcing him to back away from her.

"But, you are my Mommy, and, and I love you," he whispered.

"Well, I don't love you back!"

With that she turned around and ran away into the pitch black night. Clouds now hid the moonlight and without streetlamps it became dark in the narrow alley. Scared, the little cat tried to make out his mother in the darkness, calling her name. He did not understand why she had left. She was his mother and mothers were supposed to care for their children. Mothers did not willingly leave their kittens alone in the streets at night.

A raindrop fell onto the ground in front of him and soon more followed. The small kitten hurried back to the box like his mother had told him to do. His paws hurt even more than before but it was nothing compared to the pain he felt in his heart.

"Mommy will come back," he whispered into the darkness as he laid his head on his front paws. Slowly, tears began to fall from his eyes as he looked outside into the rain hoping to see his mother coming back to get him and telling him that she did not mean what she had said.

Minutes went by and the rain softened the paper-ceiling of his hiding place and, after a little while, tiny droplets of water began to fall down and vanished in his black fur. The young cat shivered from the cold and the rain but remained obediently inside the box. If his mother came back and he was not there she would be very angry with him and he did not want that.

More tears cascaded down his face and mingled with the raindrops. He wanted nothing more than to be home and held by his mother. He wanted her to tell him a goodnight story so that he was not afraid anymore. But deep inside his heart he knew that that would not happen, that he would never feel the safety of her warm fur again. He had been left alone, forgotten on the streets. Kicked out of his family as if he were despicable.

'Maybe I am," he thought sadly and shuddered. Without much hope he kept on calling for his mother to come back to him.

TBC