Title: Venom, Tears and Potions
Author: Knife Hand
Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated
Spoilers: Nothing Specific, general for first few books.
Disclaimer: I do not own Hermione, or Luna, or Ginny, or Cho, or... I would buy them all but I am broke.
Summary: Events during Second Year have far reaching consequences that no one could have foreseen.
The blood curdling scream awoke Hermione from her fitful slumber. Only hours earlier she had been revived from her petrification by the Mandrake Draught, but Madam Pomfrey had insisted that she and the other revived students stay in the Hospital Wing overnight for 'observation'.
The second the scream actually registered, Hermione was out of her bed and moving towards the scream. She knew that scream. It had torn itself from her own lips early in the year, what only seemed like weeks ago to her. She tore open the privacy screen and saw Madam Pomfrey, Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall and, what she assumed was, a St Mungo's Healer all trying to restrain Harry.
"No!" she yelled, trying to pull them off Harry. "Not like that. You're hurting him."
"Miss Granger!" McGonagall said, pushing Hermione back.
"You are hurting him!" Hermione growled.
In her anger the Glamour that had been cast on Hermione broke. Naturally Madam Pomfrey and the two professors knew about the Glamour but with Hermione petrified for months and everything else that had happened, they had forgotten about it.
Hermione was still clearly recognisable as herself, but there were some major changes thanks to the Pollyjuice incident early in the school year. Her hair was no longer an uncontrollable bushy mess, in was sleek and smooth and the uniform brown was now layered with natural highlights and lowlights that gave the impression of random stripes. Her eyes were still a rich chocolate brown, but now had vertical slit pupils and were refecting the sparse candlelight. Her figure was now more toned than before, with her muscles well defined under her robes and her skin with the same subtle random striped pattern of slight darker and lighter streaks. She moved with effortless balance and grace far different than her previous stooped plodding. These were only the most visible changes of a transformation that went down to the genetic level.
The shock of seeing the Glamour fade made everyone pause for a second, giving Hermione a chance to explain.
"You need to bind him at wrists, ankles and waist, but give slack to the bindings, otherwise his rearranging muscles will tare." Hermione stated, remembering her own extremely painful transformation.
Madam Pomfrey and the Professors got to work immediately adjusting the restraints while the Healer was still mesmerised by the flashing of Hermione's new cat fangs as she spoke.
"What's his influence?" Hermione asked.
Harry arched his back, the new restraint configuration allowing him some motion off the bed but preventing him from rolling off the bed to the side.
The Cat hair that had gone into the potion had not been from a cat, or even a half Kneazle, but from a Bast Kneazle, one of the most ancient and magical breeds of cat that had been worshiped by the ancient Egyptians. That had been her influence.
"He was bitten by a Basilisk and healed by Phoenix tears." Dumbledore replied.
"Well, this should be interesting." Hermione replied.
By this time, Harry's eyes had started to change, turning a sickly yellow with the iris becoming slitted like a snake's, his mouth was bloody from his teeth being replaced with sharp fangs and his skin thickened and turned a dark shade of green. He lurched forward, bent over at the waist and his arms pulled back by the restraints. Blood sprayed from his mouth as he screamed from his back bursting into flames, which caused his skin to go, in a wave from the ignition point, from green to a golden brown and then back to normal but a few shades darker.
When the flames erupted, all the adults hurriedly stepped away from the bed but Hermione leapt backwards, nimbly twirling in mid air and landed almost ten feet away, in a stable crouch balanced on all fours by splayed fingertips and the balls of her feet.
The flames slowly melted away the skin around Harry's shoulder blades, not spreading to anything else in the room, and a series of sickening cracks was heard as his shoulder blades broke and began to reform. The fire extended out behind him and as it did, new growths of bone, then flesh began to cover the new extremities before the flames died out. Then came the rapid growth of what at first appeared to be long hairs, until they unfurled to reveal charcoal grey feathers.
Harry's head snapped up so fast that for a second it seemed like he was going to break his own neck. His eyes shot open, they were now back to being green but with larger, circular irises and they almost seemed to glow. His hair had faded from black to charcoal grey, matching the feathers on his wings, and now extended half way down his back with a fringe that would cover his eyes if he lowered his head. A final blood curdling scream revealed that his teeth were mostly back to normal, apart from elongated incisors.
His wings automatically folding up behind him, Harry slumped back onto the bed and passed out.
Harry sat up in his bed, and then grabbed his head as he swayed.
"Hold it, Harry." Hermione said from a chair by his bedside. "Your centre of gravity is off. It will take a few days for you regain your balance."
"Ouch. What the hell happened to me?" Harry groaned, and then he noticed something odd. "What happened to my teeth?"
"It's called Zodiac Apotheosis." Hermione said.
Harry turned and looked at Hermione sitting by his be and noticed her new form. Harry's eyes ran over her sleek hair, slightly dappled skin and her slitted eyes.
"Wow!" Harry said, almost speechless.
"Yeah, my Zodiac Apotheosis was from the Pollyjuice incident." Hermione replied. "But at least I don't have wings."
"What?!" Harry said, trying to turn to see what his best friend was talking about.
Of course in his slight panic, he flapped his wings. The strong force of the stroke was powered by a whole new set of muscles which were intended to lift his body off the ground. Unfortunately, seeing a he was sitting, the powerful force pushed forwards and drove his body sliding back until he hit the headboard of the bed, which still sitting up, and came to an abrupt, and slightly painful stop.
"Told you. Wings." Hermione said between giggles. "And they appear fully functional."
"Ok. Freaky." Harry commented. "So what the bloody hell is going on?"
"Like I said, it's called Zodiac Apotheosis. Best translation would be Ascension to Godhood through Animals." Hermione explained. "It is rare, but it is where a Witch or Wizard takes on attributes of Magical Animals. You were bitten by a Basilisk and healed by a Phoenix. I saw your transformation myself. It looked almost as painful as mine felt."
Harry thought about this for a second, then a look of horror flashed across his face and he snapped his eyes closed.
"What are you doing?" Hermione asked.
"Basilisks kill with their gaze." Harry said, squeezing his eyes tight.
"Harry." Hermione said with an overly patient voice. "You have looked me in the eye several times in the last few minutes. Not dead, not petrified."
"Maybe you are immune due to the Mandrake Draft." Harry replied.
"Madam Pomfrey, Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall and a St Mungo's Healer have all looked you in the eye since your transformation." Hermione countered.
"You sure?" Harry said.
Harry cracked one eye open slightly. When he saw Hermione's look he opened both his eyes but looked down. It had been her 'Are you really questioning my knowledge' look, only enhanced by her new feline eyes.
"Sorry." Harry whispered.
"Ahh, awake I see." Professor Dumbledore said as he walked into the Hospital Wing.
"Yes Professor." Harry replied.
Professors McGonagall and Snape were with the Headmaster. When Harry saw the Potions Professor, he could not resist staring straight into the Slytherin's eyes for a few seconds, before looking away. A second later Hermione smacked him over the back of the head.
"Blimey Hermione." Harry complained.
"Told you so." She retorted, shaking her hand to dispel the sting from the smack.
"Am I missing something?" Professor McGonagall asked.
"Despite my assurances otherwise, Harry seemed to fear he had acquired the Basilisk killing gaze and just decided to test it." Hermione replied.
"Did not." Harry said petulantly.
"That will be all, Severus." Dumbledore said.
The Potions Master simply nodded, glared at Harry, and then left.
"Mister Potter." McGonagall began. "Given recent events, we have two options for the holidays. First is to apply a Glamour, as we did to Miss Granger earlier in the year."
"I wouldn't recommend it. It is not comfortable, especially when your form does not match to the Glamour. Like your wings, or my tail." Hermione said.
"Uncomfortable huh? And I assume I would have to go back to the Dursley's. Wait. You have a tail?" Harry asked, wiggling his eyebrows.
"Do I need to hit you again?" Hermione threatened.
"I'll be good." Harry said quickly, with a slight smile.
"You are never good, Mister Potter." McGonagall said, getting grins from both second years. "Now your second option would be to stay here at Hogwarts over the Holidays to get used to your new body."
"I think the second option would be better but…" Harry began.
"If he stays, so will I." Hermione interjected.
Everyone saw Harry's eyes light up at this.
"Very well. It is settled then." Dumbledore said. "Mister Potter, I will inform your relatives."
The two Professors left and Harry turned to Hermione.
"What about your Parents." He asked.
"Well…. My parents died four years ago." Hermione said quietly. "When I got my Hogwarts letter I was able to get Professor McGonagall as my legal guardian as no foster family or orphanage wanted to take a part time child."
"Oh Hermione." Harry said, for the first time initiating a hug.
Hermione unconsciously purred in enjoyment, especially when Harry's wings slowly wrapped his wings around her, deepening the hug.