Hogwarts School, Scotland, Sunday, June 12, 2016
Can you come out to play? Andy asked through the blue chalcedony statue in the likeness of her dragon animagus form that she had gifted Miranda two years ago for her birthday.
Now that graduation is nearly upon you, time has suddenly become available for the lonely fiancée to spend with her fabled dragon animagus?
Grinning at Miranda's teasing words, Andy thought of how best to entice Miranda away from her home office, where she was no doubt up to her ears in notes about dragon behavior. It's Sunday, Love. Come have some fun with me. After this week the school will be closed, and we will not have the luxury of flying around these lands until September.
Where is your partner in crime? Miranda asked cheekily. Smiling, Andy took a moment to wonder where Hermione was. No doubt with Aunt Minerva, perhaps sleeping late. Andy could tell by Miranda's teasing that she would be joining her shortly. No doubt she was getting ready as they mentally conversed.
I am unsure. Probably in bed.
Hearing the floo activate, Andy watched Miranda step out of the fireplace, brushing the powder from her charcoal-gray robes. Andy opened her arms in welcome, sinking into the kiss Miranda offered. Their lips brushed together once, twice, before meshing into a heated kiss. Smiling against those bewitching lips, Andy sucked on the bottom one affectionately before letting go. "Good morning," Andy said tenderly.
"It does seem to be getting better by the moment," Miranda said, her lips curved in an attractive smirk. Andy chuckled.
"Come sit down for a moment. Would you like some coffee?" Andy asked.
"Never mind that," Miranda said as she sat on a loveseat, pulling Andy onto her lap. Andy shivered as she felt Miranda's lips gliding up her throat and sucking lightly behind her ear. "I've missed you."
"Mmm," Andy hummed. "I've missed you, too. Just two more weeks, though, and you know you can stay with me at the school before then."
"Yes. Next week my schedule will be more flexible. Are you ready for our trip to the Bahamas with the girls? Three weeks can't come soon enough," Miranda said, her hands stroking Andy's back just the way she loved.
"More than ready. I know they are excited. They've already planned out all the activities. Snorkeling, parasailing, kayaking, and sunset cruises," Andy listed.
"That sounds lovely," Miranda said before capturing Andy's lips with another, more passionate kiss.
"Oh, God! Miranda, you are driving me nuts," Andy said breathlessly.
"That is the general idea," Miranda murmured, her hands gliding down Andy's back and settling on her waist.
Groaning, Andy pulled back. "I haven't turned into my animagus form today, and it's so nice out. Come fly with me, Love." She looked at Miranda through her eyelashes, using her best tried-and-true puppy-dog look.
"Very well, but we will return to this later," Miranda said.
"Yes, we will. I have plans for you, Dragon Whisperer," Andy agreed, batting her eyes. She rose, offering a hand to Miranda and taking the opportunity to hug the woman close to her. She had truly missed her. They made sure to talk every day, and they visited each other as often as possible, but toward the end of term, it was hard to find time to spend together.
They left her rooms and walked toward the Grand Staircase. Hearing a familiar voice call her name, Andy stopped and looked back. Hermione was walking toward them. "Going flying?" Hermione asked after greeting them both hello.
"Yup. Why don't you come with us?" Andy invited.
"I think I will. Minerva is dealing with some school business and will be tied up for a bit," Hermione said as they descended the stairs, nodding to students in passing.
Used to the students' attentions as she walked through the castle, Andy smiled inwardly as she heard words bandied around such as dragon, animagus, whisperer, phoenix, and her favorite: most powerful witch. Andy had enjoyed many entertaining conversations with her aunts and Miranda over who that phrase applied to. In Andy's mind, Aunt Minerva, Hermione, and Miranda all deserved that label, but not her. She was a serial student, one of those witches that kept learning and tallying up the titles. That did not necessarily mean she was powerful, though. And, yeah, she could turn into a dragon animagus, but that didn't mean she was powerful, just fortunate. The others emphatically disagreed.
Once they entered the courtyard, Andy walked across to the center where she'd have plenty of room to transform. She turned around and noticed the crowd of students watching her. For some odd reason, people liked to watch her transformation. Shrugging, Andy allowed the feeling of immensity and potency to fill her. She tipped her head back as her body became larger and larger, surging up and morphing into her dragon form. Andy opened her maw and roared with satisfaction. Looking around she saw Miranda reach her and felt her hop nimbly onto her back.
You are magnificent, Miranda's voice floated through her mind. I love you.
And I love you. Ready?
With another gleeful roar, Andy took to the sky. To her right, Hermione flew next to her in her phoenix animagus form. It was a glorious day, and Andy twirled lazily, knowing that Miranda would not fall off thanks to the adhesive spell they utilized for such flights. When we get back, if you are willing, I have a new spell in mind I'd like to try with you.
Really? Another spell from your book of sexual tricks? Miranda's thoughts rang through Andy's mind.
No. Hermione told me about it last night after several drinks. It sounded intriguing.
What does it entail?
Watching through her window as Andrea, Miranda, and Hermione enjoying the sunshine, Minerva sighed. She wanted to be outside, too. Hearing Hermione's sweet voice singing on the breeze, Minerva made her decision. After finishing the letter before her and adding her signature, she quickly moved to the bedroom and donned a lighter robe. Feeling the urge to hurry, Minerva changed into her cat animagus form and sprinted across the room. It felt wonderful to stretch her legs and jump through the air. She playfully swatted at the service bell near the living portraits, attracting the attention of several former Headmasters and Headmistresses as she performed a neat flip and meowed archly.
"There's my Tabby. Go have fun. Enjoy the day," Albus said.
Cocking her furry head at the former Headmaster, Minerva meowed once more in agreement and pranced through the small cat door off to the side. She scampered down the stairs and through the halls until she reached the inner courtyard. Once outside, Minerva turned back to her human form and smiled at her own antics. She felt energized.
It was becoming apparent to others that she was no longer aging. That, in fact, she was appearing younger. She and Hermione had discussed this development at length. Hermione would not allow her to renege on their agreement by ceasing to drink the phoenix tears daily. Yet, they did not want the Ministry to investigate the reasons for her youthful transformation too closely. During their last conversation, Minerva had introduced the idea that she retire from Hogwarts at the end of next year. She had given enough of herself to future wizard generations, and as selfish as the sentiment was, she wanted to enjoy some time to herself.
Not that she expected Hermione to leave Hogwarts. On the contrary, Hermione was a wonderful professor, and if she wanted it, she could become Hogwarts' Headmistress in the future. Minerva was confident, though, that she would find more than enough activities to fill her time. She had projects at the Manor just waiting for her attention, people to visit, books to write, research to complete, and lectures to give. Perhaps it was time.
Hearing Andrea roar, she looked up into the picturesque blue sky, smiling at the tableau. Sun glinted off Andrea's silver underbelly as Hermione swooped under and around the dragon animagus, singing a melodious tune, full of fun and elation.
Minerva wanted to be with them. She wanted to fly near them, feel the air sift through her hair, delight in their apparent freedom. She took solace in their happiness, though, not allowing herself to begrudge their pleasure.
A prickling sensation began to invade Minerva's limbs, and she wondered what was pushing her into her animagus transformation. It felt different, though. Glancing at her body, she noticed immediately that it was taking longer for the transformation, and her body was not becoming smaller. In fact, she was widening, becoming taller and broader. Tilting her head back, she let out a piercing cry.
Transformation complete, several students pointed at her, talking excitedly. She heard the word griffin repeated over and over. She realized she was crouched and took a moment to check in with her body. She felt strong. Supple. Immense.
Flexing her shoulders, she felt her wings spread behind her head. Turning her head, she noticed that her wings were golden, blending in with her tawny body. Her front legs were light and muscular, ending in finely honed talons. Around the ankles sat a ring of pure white feathers. She figured her head consisted of the same striking plumage. Her back legs felt extremely strong. Looking down, she confirmed that they consisted of a lion's musculature. Swishing her tail, Minerva pushed off the ground while flapping her wings and sped into the sky with a shriek of pride issued through her razor-sharp beak.
As she got closer to Andrea, Miranda, and Hermione, Minerva wondered how to let them know who she was. She let out another piercing cry and heard a questioning trill. Hermione. Of course, she would be able to communicate with her since they were both magical birds—well, Minerva was only on the upper part of her body, but that included her communication abilities.
"It's Minerva. I have a new animagus form, it seems," Minerva said as she circled well underneath Andrea.
"Minerva?!" Hermione answered.
Minerva sighed with relief. The phoenix animagus approached, eyes staring at her fixedly.
"It's me, Hermione. I am a griffin animagus. I had no idea," Minerva said, her words communicated through a string of short and long shrieks and tweets.
Hermione flew around Minerva and landed on her back. She turned back into her human form, her legs settling around Minerva's flanks as a loving hand sifted through the white feathers on her head. "This is phenomenal. You never cease to amaze me!" Hermione's words floated on the breeze, warming Minerva. "Fly closer to Andy. They'll see me on you and know that you are not a threat."
Flapping her eagle wings, Minerva angled so that they would intercept Andy's lazy flight path. When they got closer, Miranda saw them and yelled out Hermione's name questioningly.
"It's Minerva! She has a new animagus form!" Hermione shouted.
Minerva could see Miranda's nod of understanding. A moment later, Andy roared her approval as she turned her head and stared at Minerva, who screeched in reply. Minerva approached her niece and began flying off of her right wing over the Black Lake. They turned back toward the school, and Minerva noticed the crowd of students and faculty watching them. With her eagle eyes, Minerva could easily distinguish the looks of pure amazement and wonder on their upturned faces.
After flying for an indeterminable time, Minerva felt herself tiring. Turning toward the courtyard, Minerva landed softly and folded her wings. Hermione dismounted and positioned herself next to Minerva's head. She watched as Andy landed next to her and Miranda dismounted. After Andy transformed back to her human form, Minerva took a deep breath and transformed back to her human form, feeling weakness overtake her body. Hands caught her and gently lowered her to a sitting position on one of the side walls.
"That was incredible, Aunt Minerva," Andy said excitedly.
"Quite impressive," Miranda added sincerely.
"Mo Gràdh, that was phenomenal. You are phenomenal. Tha gràdh agam ort," Hermione said as she joined her on the wall, one arm supporting Miranda around the back.
Smiling tiredly, Minerva said, "Thank you. I had forgotten just how tiring it can be when assuming an animagus form for the first time."
"I was under the belief that a person could only have one animagus form," Miranda said.
"That is normally true. It seems, however, that my body has decided to gift me with another form. As a matter of fact, I turned into my cat animagus form while in the castle. I do not recall any written accounts of anyone being able to transform into more than one form," Minerva admitted.
"It seems I am surrounded by magical animagi masters," Miranda said, her voice filled with admiration.
"If you are ever interested in becoming an animagus, you only need to say the word," Hermione offered. Miranda tilted her head in thanks.
"Well, I must admit I am rather worn out. Hermione, would you mind apparating us back to our rooms? I would like to rest," Minerva said as she stood up slowly.
"Of course. Enjoy the rest of the day," Hermione said to the others before transforming into a phoenix and chirping sweetly.
"See you later, Aunt Minerva," Andy said as she leaned in and delivered a kiss on Minerva's cheek. Minerva smiled at Andy and Miranda before grasping her wife around the middle.
"Why don't the two of you join us for dinner at the Manor on Saturday? Your daughters, too, if they are available, Miranda," Minerva said, smiling at Hermione's agreeable tweet. Once Miranda and Andrea nodded, Minerva said, "All right, Love. I am ready."
As she felt the tell-tale pull of the apparation transporting them to their bedroom, Minerva mused that she lived in a wondrous world, surrounded by magic, and love, and adventure. Smiling, Minerva admitted to herself that she looked forward to experiencing the next chapter of her life, regardless of what that might mean. All that mattered was that she would be experiencing it with Hermione by her side.
Author's Notes: Well, that's all she wrote (she being me). I want that everyone who has taken the time to leave encouragement, feedback, comments, and reactions. You kept me honest throughout the process by making sure I could explain my choices and provide an entertaining story. You also kept me motivated. Also, thanks to those who normally do not read one of these fandoms for trusting me enough to take the leap...I hope you felt it was worth it.