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Magic Contract Romance
In fantasy, it is a recurring feature that mages would summon a familiar, usually a demon or an owl. But wait! What if the being they entered a Magically Binding Contract with is a humanoid or of their same species and at least one party develops romantic interest in the other? Then, this is a Magic Contract Romance. In many cases, the contract between the contractor and his/her contractee would also grant greater spiritual bonds between them, often furthering their relations with one another—often romantic feelings. In many cases, weaker heroes would also enter into a contract with a stronger being for protection.

A common plot regarding this trope would usually involve the breaking down of the contract—forcing the couple apart— in order to test the two's strength of their love.

A subtrope of Rescue Romance and Magically Binding Contract, the contractor and the being they summoned would generally admire the qualities of one and other as they travel through a journey between life and death, gradually till they fall in love. If the contracted being was originally disgusted by the weakness of his/her contractor, then the protagonist would usually gain affection of his/her contractee through bravery, his/her inner kindness or other inner qualities.This trope is common in both anime and manga. When this trope is present, expect a lot of action. Why in the world would one summon a guardian unless in grave danger? Note, if the contractor is as powerful as his/her contractee or increased his power then this trope will usually lead to a Battle Couple situation.

See also, the sister trope: A Magic Contract Comes with a Kiss, Merlin and Nimue, and Bodyguard Crush.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Zero no Tsukaima has Saito contracted to Louise as her familiar and they later fall in love with one another.
    • This trope is somewhat deconstructed in the novels, where it's revealed the contract alters Saito's thoughts so he'll stay with Louise through suppressing his feelings about home as well as "conditioning" him into servility causing him to act fearless along with other compulsive behavior even though he's scared out of his wits and/or wouldn't have done them normally. Once the Mind Rape from the contract is undone he gets all the feelings of homesickness back in a large burst. As for the servility part he's trying to cope with that. They're dealing with both of these though Louise is making the first problem worse because she Cannot Spit It Out.
    Saito: “Listen you! How long can I keep telling ‘I love you’ to a girl who does not return my feelings?! I should be getting a medal for this!”
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, because mages are generally vulnerable to attacks as they conjure their spells, they form 'Pactios' with a guardian they trust to protect them. The master is called the Magister Magi (Magistra Magi if female) and the servant a Minister Magi (Ministra Magi if female). The easiest way to form a 'Pactio' is through a kiss. It is widely known that usually, the Magister/Magistra Magi usually contracts a Pactio with one of opposite sex and end of marrying each other. Through the manga, this trope is most famously seen between Negi and his students. At present, Negi has formed a pactio with almost half his class!
    • It should be noted that there is a great deal of evidence suggesting that forming a Permanent Pactio requires the Magister to have sex with the Ministra. This could explain the tendency of Magisters to marry their Ministras.
      • Also of note, when Asuna first talks to Negi about forming a permanent pactio, he freaks out.
  • In the world of 'ships, Oh My Goddess' Keiichi/Belldandy is the U.S.S. Constitution... And it all started way back when Keiichi thought his wish from the Goddess Relief Agency was just a hoax.
    • Then comes the rather dark twist: The system that enforces the contract has also messed with Keiichi's mind to keep him from having lustful feelings for Belldandy, since Heaven wants to keep mortals and deities separate. And Belldandy knew about this all along.
  • Alice and Oz of Pandora Hearts.
  • Tomoki Sakurai and his Angeloids in Heaven's Lost Property.
  • A major element of Sekirei, especially for Minato and his harem. With a few exceptions, all bonds involve Love at First Sight and are referred to as marriages or engagements by the Sekirei.
  • Sora and her Princesses from Shitsurakuen.
  • The main plot of Kamisama Kiss is Nanami falling in love with her familiar Tomoe, a Little Bit Beastly white haired Bishōnen Kitsune.
  • Sister Rosette Christopher and Chrono from Chrono Crusade. Years before that, Mary Magdalene and Chrono.
  • Used rather darkly in Shamanic Princess. The fact that beautiful young women are summoning sometimes handsome young men to be their "Partners" which, despite the name, are distinctly subservient to them doesn't always work out too well. Clear examples are Leon's Unrequited Love for Lena, and the very tempestuous deal between Graham and Tiara.

    Comic Books 
  • In Relative Heroes in The DCU, superheroine Allure was enchanted by the god Eryx with mystic pheromones and other powers of persuasion in return for her hand in marriage.

     Literature 
  • In Codex Alera the Marat bond with an animal, gaining the ability to communicate with it and acquiring some of its abilities, e.g. Dorogo, bound to an immensely strong gargant (giant ground sloth) is even stronger than he looks. Kitai bonds with Tavi, which doesn't seem to do much until he finally comes into his Furies, at which point she can use them too.

    Tabletop RPG 

     Video Games 
  • In the WarCraft universe, it is implied that this can happen with a warlock and his/her succubus. The succubus will often grow attached to her master, even to the point of being uncontrollably in love with him or her, though the succubus is prone to fits of jealousy.
  • In Disgaea 2, Adell and Rozalin end up falling for each other after Adell accidentally summons her while trying to summon her father. Though technically, she WAS the one they attempted to summon, considering the target was the Overlord, which she actually is, even if she can't remember it.
  • In Duel Savior Destiny Rico and Taiga enter one of these in her route. Though they've already entered the contract before that through fun times for Taiga, it's not really a romance until then.
  • Often possible in the Summon Night games.

     Visual Novels 
  • Shirou and Saber from Fate/stay night.
  • Shiki and Len from Tsukihime. As a Really 700 Years Old familiar without a master, Len needs to form a contract with someone to survive, and Shiki agrees to do so. It just so happens that the most convenient way to do so is through sex (Len being part-succubus might have something to do with that). There isn't suggested to be much actual romance between the two: Len is certainly fond of Shiki afterward, but Shiki doesn't seem to consider her a romantic partner.
  • In Demonbane, this sort of dynamic rises between Al Azif and Kurou Daijuuji. It's noted to be extremely rare: a sorceror needs a grimoire bound to him to be considered a true sorceror, and a grimoire has very limited power without a master. Usually, the grimoires and sorcerors treat each other as tools for their respective purposes, but Kurou treats Al like an actual person, which throws her for a loop and causes her to fall in love with him. Whether he reciprocates depends on the route. Curiously, the only other major grimoire character is also in love with her master, but he doesn't reciprocate at all, being pretty much incapable of love or affection in any form. Until they are both dead, after getting smacked with The Power of Love courtesy of Al and Kurou.

    Webcomics 
  • Nancy and David from Ow, my sanity.
  • Also Kit and Nigel from Feywinds'. He's forced to follow her through orders of his last master because she's the embodiment of an all powerful god-like thing...well, a golem really.. making her his new master...yeah.

    Web Original 


Magically-Binding ContractServant TropesMistaken for Servant
Mad LoveLove TropesMagnetic Girlfriend

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