A/N: This story was my February, 2012 entry for the "Daily Deviant" comm on Insane Journal. Each month features a list of kinks; for this month, I chose "ceraunophilia," or "arousal by thunder/lightning/storms."

- / - / -

Tasting the Tempest

by Kelly Chambliss

- / - / -

The animals always feel it first. The unicorns begin to paw the ground in their pens; the crups circle and whine; the owls flutter on their perches. In the shadows of the woods, thestrals stomp and whinny.

Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank watches from the stable door, the evening's feeding schedule and stall-cleaning forgotten. She stands unmoving, listening to the beasts and waiting for her less-acute human senses to register what the animals have already told her: a magical storm is coming.

She knows that she'll feel it first against her skin, a sensation of heat and chill at the same time, so intense that she always sneezes with the strength of it.

She waits, and. . .ah, here it comes: that first tingle of magic as the breeze picks up, the air becoming almost palpable, so that Wilhelmina likes to fancy that she could open her mouth and take a bite of the wind itself. As a child, she had been certain she'd know exactly how it would taste: like the spiciest of candied ginger, like burnt sugar, like honeyed lemon.

It hadn't, of course; that had been just a child's fantasy. Yet she had not been wrong about the burning sweetness of the storm. The child Wilhelmina may not have eaten the air, but the grown-up Wilhelmina has found other ways to taste the tempest.

The sky darkens. Black clouds roil along the horizon, flashes of magic zigzagging from their undersides like lightning, except that it's not quite the same. This is no ordinary Muggle storm, though the Muggles in the neighborhood may soon be unfurling their umbrellas against a sudden squall of unexpected rain. A brief downpour, perhaps a roll of thunder and a gust of strong wind, but nothing more.

But for those magical folk like Wilhelmina, those few who have the storm sense, the world is about to crack wide open.

The wind begins to eddy beneath her robes, tendrils of magic chasing themselves over her ankles, along her calves and up her thighs. She's wearing sturdy boots and the thickest of black lisle stockings, for the evenings can still be nippy this far into the highlands, even at the approach of summer, but she might as well be naked, so powerful is the magical current against her skin.

Wilhelmina steps out further into the stable-yard, her crups yipping excitedly at her feet. The unicorns, too, have become more agitated; their hooves send sharp golden flakes of magic into the air as they beat the ground.

The first time she'd seen unicorns during a magic storm, she had thought they were frightened. They're timid creatures at the best of times, and Wilhelmina, who had just been starting her training as an apprentice animal healer, had entered their pens to try to calm them.

Her mentor had stopped her. "Nay, lass," Master Greenwald had said. "Leave them be. It's their element, don't you see? Look at them."

Wilhelmina had looked. The unicorns, she had realised, were not frightened at all, but excited. They'd been bleating eagerly, their hooves sending out fire just as they were tonight; they'd been nudging each other with their horns, which Wilhelmina's textbook had told her they did when they were about to mate. . .

Oh.

They were mating. All of them. She'd watched as buck mounted doe, and buck mounted buck, and doe nuzzled doe with a mutual rubbing of horns. Their pleasure had been obvious.

She had known, of course, that unicorns were pansexual, but she had never seen them in action; they were notoriously shy about such things around humans. It had been an amazing spectacle; Wilhelmina had been moved, and definitely aroused, though needless to say, she had concealed that fact from her mentor.

Master Greenwald had nodded approvingly. "You've the gift, lass. You're a storm-catcher; that's rare, you know. But the beasts know you. They always know."

Yes. He'd been right: they always know. Tonight, as the storm grows, their ardent bleating begins, and Wilhelmina feels her own arousal begin to build.

She turns away from the unicorn pen to watch the horizon again. The storm has drawn nearer.

The clouds are piled high now, pulsing like a living thing, magic stlll flashing jaggedly underneath. The slashes of light dazzle with colour - red, vivid purple, a green ten times brighter than any killing curse. Bolts fork from the clouds to the ground, the colours running in rapid, fiery streams along the landscape.

The lightning is following veins that run deep into the earth, the bloodstream of the magical world. Occasionally a streak will reach a pocket of pooled magic, and it will ignite; the night air turns brilliant with blue fireballs and the muffled boom of explosions. Sparks shower down onto the earth, which glows with enchantment re-absorbed, the elements reclaiming themselves.

Wilhelmina breathes deeply, inhaling the sharp ozone scent of magic. She feels the rush of it to her very core; arousal throbs deep within her, and she begins to hum softly with the pleasure of it.

To her left, a small bush near the paddock fence flares blue, the cold fire doing no damage to the wood. But the residue of its magic reaches her, and she shivers, the hairs on her neck rising as the storm fully breaks over her at last, not with rain, but with raw energy that she can almost taste, almost see, almost. . .

She flings off her robes and underthings, baring her breasts to the metallic air and planting her naked legs wide. The swirling magic cools the damp thatch between her thighs at the same time that it heats her. With her eyes closed, she can feel the enchantment like a lover's fingers inside her, thrusting and stroking.

The light behind her eyes is golden, and the sounds of storm and animals reach her like music and the rhythm of the elements is pounding within her, and Wilhelmina is coming, coming, and it feels, somehow, the way sweetness tastes, and she's coming, shouting, throwing back her head and adding her own voice to the howling untamed thunder that is magic.

- / - / -

Its power spent, the storm passes quickly. Wilhelmina feels the softness of ordinary air settle around her once more as she gathers her robes from the ground and slips them quickly over her head. It won't do to catch a chill; at the moment, her boarding kennels are full to capacity with various magical creatures, and she needs to be fit and strong to look after them all.

The unicorns are milling placidly about their pen now, waiting for her to serve their interrupted supper. Her crups, Wilhelmina notes with a smile, are also standing near their food bowls, looking at her with forked tails wagging hopefully.

"All right, greedies," she says, laughing, and heads towards the storage shed with its chow barrel. She knows she won't be eating any dinner of her own; she's full to bursting with new magic.

By the time she reaches shed door, the clouds have disappeared, and the evening sun once again slants into the stable-yard.