Disclaimer: What can I say? I don't own it.
Summary: Harry decides he wants to try Animagi, and persuades Hermione to help... this changes them... a lot.
-- Chapter 1 : It Started In The Restroom --
Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had always been a strange, mysterious place; its very founding had been surrounded and impeded by secrets, arguments, and rivalries that had never quite died down. One of those very 'secrets', a nasty surprise left for the future by one of those very founders would, centuries later, come back to bite a certain student in the shoulder, quite literally as it turned out. The Chamber of Secrets, as it had been dubbed, was Salazar Slytherin's final hurrah to his former friends and the school that they would then, in turn, run without him; the Basilisk he'd left behind would be used by his heir to bring death to the school, and nearly tore down the very work that the legendary wizard had helped to build up.
Harry Potter, however, had put a stop to that; though the animosity between Salazar's house and that of Godric Gryffindor would remain to the end of time, Harry had placed a final nail in the coffin of Salazar's mighty surprise. The Basilisk was dead, and he, his friends, family, teachers, and entire world could move on with one more bit of darkness long gone.
Which, of course, allowed Harry and his friends to go back to what they really ought to have always been: children. Children with ulterior motives, with wants and desires and, perhaps, just a bit too much brains between their ears for their own goods. For outside of the Chamber of Secrets another secret had been brewing, a secret much more in tune with the present, and no-where near being something from the past.
Hermione rubbed her arms a bit to restore some of the warmth they had lost over the last few minutes, "I'm telling you, I don't like it one bit." She cast a worried, fretful glance about the restroom stall, as though expecting Peeves to burst out of the wall at any moment.
Ron refused to scowl, he didn't like it much either, but they had to stand firm, "I know, but we don't have any choice; they're shipping us back home in only a few days, and we can't exactly take it home with us, can we?"
Harry shook his head, "My aunt and uncle would probably toss it down the drain, if they didn't dump it out before we even got to the house." He gave a wary glance to the object of discussion as Hermione poured over a book, one with which the lot of them had gotten very familiar over the previous months.
A fourth voice drummed in with a lilting, almost teasing tone, "Oh come now," It was Myrtle, the ghostly girl best known for her long, bemoaning cries, "What's the worst that could happen? You could die, right? Like poor Myrtle? Poor Moaning Myrtle?" Contrary to her normal tone, in this instance the normally forlorn ghost seemed normal, almost teasing.
Ron huffed in exasperation, "Well at least we'd have company, wouldn't we?"
Hermione snorted as Harry chuckled nervously, "Honestly Ron, I'm trying to concentrate, we can't get this wrong! There's a reason that doing this illegally is.. well, illegal."
Ron shrugged, "Right, right.. don't know what good it'll do yeh' though, you've already got it memorized."
Hermione didn't say a word, instead merely settling for giving Ron a withering stare before turning back to the book one last time.
Finally, their attention was turned back to the cauldron; it was small, nondescript, and just looking at it would have given no one, short of Snape (the school's potion-master) any idea of what might have been brewing inside it.
Indeed, no one knew what the three (sometimes four) of them had been doing in the locked-off and unused girls' restroom, what they had started doing only a couple of months after the start of what had been only their second year at Hogwarts' School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
It had started off simply enough, with an idea to spy on the Slytherins with a shape-shifting drought called the 'Polyjuice Potion'. The Polyjuice Potion was incredibly advanced, something that no one, even a fully qualified wizard should have been attempting to do unsupervised, and which would have likely gotten them expelled if it'd been discovered prematurely.
It had led from there to something that Harry had almost positively insisted upon, something that he almost couldn't help but to insist upon. It had simply been that, ever since having seen the school's Transfigurations professor change shape in front of her class, before Harry's very eyes, his heart had sung with the want, the need to do much the same.
Hermione had remembered bringing the topic up, recalled reading about it once upon a time and with that one vague memory, in which not even one straight mention of a spell or potion name had been uttered, she had discovered and brought together all the information available on what was rather informally dubbed 'the Animagi Potion'.
Unfortunately, it took a bit longer for this second potion to properly set, requiring so many happy coincidences in timing, coincidences that did NOT work in their favor, such that it had not been ready in time to help Harry in determining the cause, and the solution, to all that was going on in and around the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets.
That snake had already slithered on, but now they were on a new time limit; the end of the school year was drawing close and they would be leaving soon, and since they couldn't covertly take the potion with them they now had to decide whether to throw it out altogether, or to risk it and go all in.
Harry and Ron trusted Hermione explicitly, with the stakes as high as they were only she had the smarts to make any more sense of things than had already been made; unfortunately, that trust seemed to have turned her into someone that was nearly as close to the edge as the strangely smiling ghost floating overhead.
Finally, with one last inspection Hermione sighed, closing her book and rubbing her temples, "Alright, Mercury should be with us, and Mars is out of the way, and I don't even Know why the Moon was giving us trouble, but the Wolfsbane should have set up the way it's supposed to, which will make it either more effective or more lethal. I still say we're really stupid to even be trying this, this is far over our heads!"
Ron's eyes lit up, "So are we trying it?"
Hermione sighed heavily, "Only if you're dead set to it, because if we're wrong, we will be dead."
Ron gave Harry a meaningful look; this was it, do or die time. Harry nodded slowly, grimly, "Yes, I'm going to do it."
Ron nodded back, inflating himself up with what was likely false bravado, "Let me go first... to try it; if it doesn't work then you two won't follow me. Got that?" Ron gave both of his friends meaningful glares before he gave Hermione an additional helpless look, to which she sighed with exasperation, ladling a single dose into one of three small cups that they had procured for exactly this moment.
Ron took the cup with a grimace, then with one final gulp of fear and a shake of trepidation, he downed the contents all in one go.
Outside of that room it was two in the morning; it was dark and cold, and even most of the ghosts had gone to sleep. Which, of course, meant that one Albus Dumbledore was also asleep, and thus not available to notice the sudden spike of energy, the likes of which he would only have two more chances to feel that night.
Of course, since he hadn't been able to notice the first one, he wasn't likely to notice the other two, was he?
Ron opened his eyes, gasping widely as he looked at the wide-eyed faces of his two best friends; his two very, very best friends. "A lion, some kind of lion! It was roaring in a field of fire!"
Harry was the first to react, grinning widely, "Hah, should have known, it suits you just fine I think." He then turned to Hermione, "Do you want to go next Hermione? Or should I?"
In response Hermione thrust a goblet into Harry's hands, "If I don't wake up right away don't worry, just let it go. If I start foaming red foam pour this in my mouth, but if I foam green foam you'd better lop off my head, because I'm liable to explode if you don't."
Ron's eyes flashed, "You're joking, right?" He looked with utmost desperation into Harry's eyes, "She's joking, right? She never said anything about exploding! And I can't lop off her head! That's crazy!"
Harry had to agree, but silently decided not to allow himself to think too much about it; sure, perhaps naively so, that things would turn out just fine.
So the two boys and one ghost set to watching the living girl fill a cup with the stuff, then quickly swallow it.
The teachers, having just finished with the single greatest threat that any of them had seen in many, many years and still fresh into the relief of no longer having to worry about the Chamber of Secrets being open and killing off all the students, were in no mood to notice even this second pulse of energy, which even if they'd been alert would have been largely indecipherable.
Hermione opened her eyes and looked about, breathlessly relaying the entirety of her thoughts in a single sentence, "Some kind of dog, I think; I didn't get a really good look at it through all the different colors, but I know it was brilliant." She was smiling with a gleam she'd rarely ever had before, leaning back as though she didn't have a care in the world; she was obviously pleased.
Ron grinned, "Now what was all that about exploding then? Nonsense!"
Harry didn't think it particularly funny, especially now that he was the only one left who had to worry about that sort of thing happening, especially with Hermione apparently indisposed and unable to do her magic, literally.
Uncomfortable, Harry cleared his throat, snapping Hermione out of her minor trance, "Oh! right, here you go Harry." She prepared the third cup, and placed it in Harry's hands, replacing the previous goblet of whatever.
Harry gulped down one last lump in his throat, taking strength from his friends, his much braver, smarter friends, before quickly downing the foul-tasting, slimy bit of nastiness that...
Harry noticed that the world had gone partially white, not that he could see what lay beyond that anyway.
For a moment he was concerned, several questions going rapid-fire through his mind. Had it not worked? Did he not have an animal? If so, what might it be? Could it be too small to be seen? Would he even be able to pull off the change in the first place?
The first indication that something might be happening was a sound, small and melodic, and seemingly off in the distance; it was laughter, a high-pitched, almost girlish laughter that Harry was oddly drawn to, a sound that brought a smile to his lips.
Then, out of the milky darkness it came, head first, and Harry was hard-pressed to understand what he was seeing.
'What? A rat?'
It was thin almost like a rat, but much too large. Though perhaps more than the size, the color struck him as odd; Harry could think of no animal that was quite this shade of pink.
It looked up at him from its position on the ground, bright green eyes staring into his, a bit of fur ruffled between its adorable triangular ears. Harry, in that moment, was too concerned about his hair always being messy to think too much on what he might be looking at.
Then it smiled, and stood. No longer on all fours, it had pulled back to stand on its hind legs, which had the appearance of being short, curved and powerful with long, thin feet. Its legs were attached to a body that was almost teardrop shaped when standing, with a finger-thin tail nearly twice again as long as the rest of its body, adding up to a total of three feet, for a body of no more than a foot from head to tail, or about a foot and a half with the feet included.
For a moment Harry entertained the notion that he was looking at a Kangaroo, and was on the way to being disappointed before he shook his head at being silly and stupid, 'I'm a cat.'
He frowned, where had that thought come from? Still, he couldn't deny its truth, 'A very odd looking cat, certainly. I've never seen any cat like this before.'
The cat, practically a kitten, he somehow knew, smiled brightly up at him before waving with one of its strangely hand-like paws before suddenly floating up into the air.
'A magical cat, then.'
Again it smiled at him, its mirth filling Harry up with mirth of his own as it twirled a couple of times, leaving him with a sound that he would carry for the rest of his life.
It disappeared, and Harry found himself looking up at the concerned and curious faces of his friends.
His best friends. His very, very bestest friends, "I'm a cat. I think the best in the world."
And there was no more that needed to be said. They cleaned up the evidence and got back to their rooms before they could be missed.
The next day they all claimed to have had nightmares, such that their being tired all day could be explained, and from that point there was no more discussion about what happened just outside of the Chamber of Secrets. It was a secret that they would take all the way home with them.
But it wouldn't stay secret forever. Fate had other plans, and she would not be denied.
-- End Chapter 1 --
This was more of a drum-up than anything else, the background as to how the rest of the story came about.
I'm not sure, exactly, what gave me the idea. I almost always have a liberal mixture of several (dozen) different things running about in my mind at any one moment, and one day I thought it might be entertaining to have a Mew at Hogwarts. Originally I thought I might have a student have a Mew as a familiar, it technically being a cat, but then this idea popped out of nowhere and I liked it. I liked it a lot.
So, I started fleshing it out, and (obviously) writing it down.
One thing I want to say is this: This fic isn't really meant to be taken entirely seriously. I'd like to keep the quality up and all that, but this story will likely lean more on the innocent feel of Pokemon than on the Heavy feel of Harry Potter, though I'd rather simply have a mix of the two such that neither is truly overshadowed. (Too much.)
Past that I just want to say right now that this was a one time deal, no one else will be turning into Pokemon (unless I later decide to break this rule, which I suppose is possible).
Showing Version Edit Notes: I was just going through this, pouting and complaining at how short it had turned out to be, being only three pages at my usual nine-point, rather than eight. I was, and am willing to allow the shortness since this was more of a prologue than an actual chapter, but that wasn't really got me tied up in the head, but rather it was my realization that over the years I had become somewhat preoccupied with one thing, one small, innocent little bit of punctuation that a lot of other people probably don't give all that much mind to: The Comma. I spent nearly as much time playing with the commas in this one chapter as would have taken me to write it in the first place. That sort of obsessive behavior, while good for making quality writing I'm sure, it can't be good for my overall mental health. (Not that my mental health is in a good way to begin with, mind you. I suppose we're all a tad dismembered in the head from time to time, but I seem to be taking it with a similar fervor as Professor Dumbledore, except without the hidden power the old wizard has to back up his dementia. Hehe.)
Alex Ultra: Dementia Is Natures Way Of Saying 'Lighten Up'