A/N This could best be described as gender bending creaturefic. The animagus form for Bellatrix is something I had wanted to use for a while. It was something from one of my favorite episodes of Buffy (that was the episode that got me hooked). When I did more research on the animal I found out quite a few facts I did not know and it became the perfect form for Bellatrix.

I will give this story a gigantic A/U and OOC (pretty much as always.) This story is rated M for sex, violence, more sex, some freaky sex, some bad words and then a little more violence for good measure. I am trying to get the rest of Captured Hearts up but Fanfictionnet seems to be resisting so I figured I would start with the first chapter of this story. Hopefully the site won't fight me on it. It is still a work in progress but I am hoping that it goes smoothly and their should be relatively regular updates.

I want to thank Asher Henry. She is my beta, she is my king and she is the reason the stories make it to paper. If you are not reading her work you need to do so immediately.

Disclaimer: This story is not for profit and no copyright infringement is intended. These characters belong to J.K Rowling and I promise to put them back once I am done playing with them. This is merely a writing exercise.

Apparently there is an Animal Instincts that is currently a WIP that is Draco/Hermione. I changed the name to avoid confusion.

Primal Instincts

Chapter 1

It was something she had to learn to control. She thought learning to be an animagus would be easy. Everything came easy to her. The animagi training did come easy but the rest was hard.

Most animagi could exist in their human form or animagus form but every once in awhile a witch or wizard would become a primal animagus. Primals could channel parts of their animagus form in their human form. They could move faster, had the heightened senses of their animal forms and had their animal's skills and traits.

Bellatrix's personality made the strange laughter that would come out easy to hide. Her secret was not kept for long however. She was discovered when her mother walked in on her during a bath. Her daughter's eyes were black as night and she was stroking a new protrusion furiously. Her mother screamed and Bellatrix returned to her full human form, mortified at her mother's discovery.

She was beaten severely and underwent the cruciatus curse for hours. Her parents had locked her in the basement for over three weeks. Her sister tried to sneak her food when she could. Little Cissy was only eight and not as adept as Andy at sneaking around but she braved their parents wrath for Bella. Bellatrix didn't want her punished for helping her but she was so hungry.

Cygnus Black was an imposing and cruel man under any circumstance and when he was furious it reached unimaginable heights. The night he caught Narcissa he was livid. He grabbed Cissy by her hair and dragged her down the stairs.

"She shouldn't have been helping you. You will never leave this basement if you don't get yourself squared away. You have a month until school starts. You will hide what you are if you want to return. You are no use to us as a freak. No man will marry you. You will never show your animagus form in that aspect again. If you fail she will pay with you."

He hit Narcissa with the cruciatus. The little girl shrieked and cried. The beatings of both of them continued for hours. Bellatrix didn't care about her own pain but watching her baby sister suffer and cry for her was too much.

"Please Bella!"

"Ok. I will do anything you want. Be anything you want. Just leave her be."

Bellatrix spent every day after that doing as she was told. She repressed the animal within and became the perfect Black child. Her father swore her body to Rodolphus Lestrange and her fealty to the Dark Lord. She accepted both giving up the person she was and becoming the witch they needed her to be.

She spent years serving loyally. The animal struggled to come out when she was in battle but she only showed small pieces. When she went to Azkaban the animal came out to fight the dementors' power over her. When she was freed her parents were gone. She could no longer control the animal within nor did she want to.

Her first night of freedom she spent holding Cissy in her arms. When Rod came to see her she sent him away with the promise he would never touch her again. The next night she ran with Fenir. She made a pact with the wolf to protect her secrecy.

The two ran through of the woods taking down whatever crossed their path. It was a strange sight to see them through the forest; of course those that saw never got the chance to tell.

Bellatrix didn't know what was to come but she knew that she would no longer live her life according to Cygnus and Druella's rules. They were dead, she was alive and she was going to live.

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Hermione sped through the course, easily leaping over the obstacles. She hit a large incline made of logs. She leaped and used her newly formed claws to push her body up and over gracefully landing on her feet. Climbing was one of the more difficult things for her and it took combining her human and animagus forms to do so well. She fully transformed into her animagi and sprinted to the end in seconds.

She transformed back.

"That was amazing!"

"You have done well. It is so rare to see a primal animagus. You have been exceptional controlling your primal instincts and truly using your powers. You are ready to leave. Congratulations."

"Thank you Professor McGonagall" Hermione had been locked in Hogwarts for almost a month and a half. The Order had learned after the battle at the Ministry that her trace was gone and had been for months.

The Ministry had investigated why her wand use hadn't activated the trace like the others' wands had. Once they discovered her trace was gone and had been for some time they were ready to start an inquest in to the discrepancy. Fortunately the current administration was under fire and headed out the door due to their actions against Harry and hiding Voldemort's return.

Pettigrew's body had been found in the Ministry so the new Minister had no choice. Sirius was pardoned. Unfortunately the Death Eaters had escaped and not a one of them ended up back in Azkaban, including Lucius Malfoy. Their testimony wasn't enough for the new administration who seemed to dislike the Order as much as they disliked the Death Eaters.

The change of administration had made some drastic changes to the Ministry. Hermione's time turner use being covered up was one of the positive effects. Dumbledore quickly countered the accusation claiming discrepancies with muggle birth certificates.

The Ministry thought so little of muggles they believed it. Hermione didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the fact that they really thought her mother couldn't track when she gave birth. Sure she once forgot to make it to a piano recital Hermione had when she was eight, but she was pretty sure her mother noticed the whole labor thing.

Her time turner use had aged her almost a year and she would be turning 18 now instead of 17 in September like she was supposed to. Without the trace Hermione spent every second after she healed up learning as many skills as possible.

She taught herself offensive and defensive spells, she started learning occlumency and legilimency and she trained herself to apparate. Dolohov had gotten the edge on her in the Ministry and almost killed her. Sirius, Mad Eye and Luna had all been wounded. Sirius would have been dead if Dumbledore hadn't intervened. They were completely unprepared and she needed to make sure it would never happen again.

She also decided to teach herself how to become an animagus but unlike the other things she was teaching herself Hermione had trouble with this one. Hermione started to lose control of herself almost immediately.

Her animagus form was a cheetah and she became dangerous as her more animalistic side took over. She had no idea what was happening. None of the books had mentioned these occurrences. Parts of her body would change without warning and she started reacting like a cat. She hissed at one of her neighbor's dogs much to her surprise. Fortunately neighbor already thought she was mad so it was just confirmation.

Her senses were frequently enhanced but she had no control of them. She had to wear sunglasses to breakfast so her parents wouldn't notice her suddenly feline irises. She sent a patronus out to Professor McGonagall after she shredded her sheets one night. The next morning she found Professor Snape and Professor McGonagall at her front door. They lectured her for practicing on her own, told her parents she was doing an intership and brought her to Hogwarts immediately.

They explained the concept of primal animagi and the upside and downside that came with it. They were not happy with her training on her own and the results.

"You foolish girl. Leap first just like your housemates. Do you have any idea what you are? You are a primal mage. Primal mages are extremely rare and extremely powerful once trained. It isn't just the skills you gain from your animagus…your magic increases overall. You have significant power and no control" Severus hissed. Hermione stood and the two were standing toe to toe.

"So I am going to be more powerful now. I can feel that. I already excelled here and I have mastered every task you have given me. What are you so afraid of?"

"This is more than that. For such a swot, you know so little. There are four types of magic..."

"I have learned that Sir. It's in Danister on Magic. The four types are iconic, elemental, ethereal and primal. That still doesn't answer my question."

"You are so good at reciting maybe you should try being silent and learning" he snarled.

"Severus please." Dumbledore interceded, "Miss Granger, as you know wizards and witches use primarily iconic magic. The manipulation of magical items, typically wands, is the most common magical trait. Ethereal magic generally only presents itself in witches and wizards when they apparate. It is rare any other traits show up in humans. The veil at the Department of Mysteries and the dementors are both forms of ethereal magic."

"Ethereal deals with other planes sir?"

"Exactly. The next is elemental, something in which Tom excels, specifically the control of fire. Control of wind, water and earth are also traits that some wizards develop. Primal energy is one of the rarest and most volatile powers but also one of the most powerful. Being a parselmouth is one of the primal powers. Although anamagi like Sirius and Minerva use primal power it is minimal. They only use it for transformation."

He looked to Minerva who transformed to a cat and then transformed back. "Miss Granger, they cannot manifest there animagus traits in human form. You already can and your skill will increase significantly. Right now your power extends to your animagus form and unlike most animagi communicating with cats will probably develop soon. Have you had any luck with your kneazel?"

"I haven't been able to understand Crooks but we have gotten closer. He seems to feel my moods even more now."

"Figures she would end up a bloody cat!"the Potion's Master sneered.

"Enough Severus! You will probably be able to understand him soon. Unlike Minerva who would only understand a cat in cat form developed fully, a primal will be able to tame, talk to and potential control all types of animals. Even channel the traits of multiple animals. Primal powers are highly sought after. It is an extremely rare trait and fully developed you will be an extraordinarily powerful witch."

"Albus, what are you thinking? I don't like that look" Minerva said.

"Hermione, we need to train you to control this. You know that animagi are registered with the Ministry. It is different with primals. You will not only be registered, your treatment at best will be akin to a werewolf. You will be highly monitored. With the events at the Ministry last year they may just lock you in St. Mungo's or Azkaban. We will teach you how to control it and maximize your powers."

Both Snape and McGonagall shouted "No" at the same time. Each for a different reason.

"Hermione go on up to your dorm. You will begin your training in the morning."

He had dismissed her. She left more confused than ever. Whatever arguments the two professors had clearly were ineffective. She had spent the rest of the summer in Hogwarts training with the Headmaster, Remus Lupin, and Professors McGonagall and Snape to control and then use her newly learned skills.

Her mornings were spent learning to control the animagus, her afternoons were spent on her overall magical training and infusing her new powers with her magic and her evenings were filled with either theory or occlumency training. Hermione could say she no longer sympathized for Harry as she was subjected to both Dumbledore and Snape attacking her walls, frequently at the same time.

By the end of the summer she was a decent occlumens but she no longer had any secrets from either of the men. They had seen every embarrassing, personal and painful moment of her life. They went for the memories she guarded the most which meant they saw all of the mischief they had gotten into at Hogwarts and they both knew she had slept with Viktor Krum, Fleur Delacour and with Alicia Spinnet.

"You have been busy Granger I am surprised!" Snape sneered.

"I was experimenting. I know the odds of me living long enough to receive my diploma are minimal, I just wanted to experience life." She panted as she was given a break between attacks.

"And the results were?" Severus couldn't argue with her logic.

"I like sex and prefer the company of women."

"Clearly, if your memories are any indication. I wasn't aware ice could be used like that. Again! Legilimens!"

The occlumency training sucked the life out of her and made her control of her primal more difficult. That was the point, she needed to learn control at all times.

The worst part was learning that she would experience everything a cat would. Remus helped her work on controlling her new emotions and the animal within. He had become a good friend and the two bonded. He understood losing control and changing into a beast. Minerva comforted her as best she could but Remus understood her.

Hermione had insisted to the Headmaster that Tonks be told. He fought her on it but she went behind his back. Remus was suddenly spending all of his time at Hogwarts with Hermione and they also had spent time together off grounds. Tonks had finally convinced Remus to let go of his fear and be with her and their relationship was still in its early stages. Now she was seeing him run off to meet another woman.

She needed to know that Hermione was kindred spirit and friend, not a rival. Especially since she would be part of the guard of Aurors assigned to Hogwarts by the new Minister for the school year. It was only fair that she know why Remus was swinging by so often. Tonks was growing suspicious and finally confronted Hermione one day in the library.

"Wotcher Hermione. You and Remus have been spending a lot of time together. You taking an interest in wolves?"

"It's not like that Tonks. I promise. Remus only has eyes for you. He is just a friend."

"He is a friend spending more time with you than me."

"I knew they should have told you. Fuck Dumbledore's plans…will you take a secret keeper oath?"

"Oh this has to be good. Absolutely."

She gave the oath to Tonks and filled her in.

"A cat? What is it with you Gryffindors? Well now I know what to get you for your birthday, a scratching post." Tonks took it very well and besides making numerous feline themed jokes she ended up being an even better confidant than Remus. Having the witch around gave Hermione some solace. Hermione's other trainers were male or Professor McGonagall who was more of a mother figure than someone she could confide in. She could talk about more sensitive things with Tonks.

Dumbledore was not pleased but Hermione didn't care. She was not interfering with true love for the sake of secrecy, especially when it was Tonks who was being kept in the dark. Hermione had always been fond of the witch. Dumbledore relented and Tonks was soon included in Hermione's training and the meetings.

Having tea with the five of them while they decided what to do when estrous hit was officially the most awkward conversation she had in her life. Discussing her going into heat didn't seem to be a particularly comfortable subject for any of the men either but it was a genuine concern. They needed to make plans for the inevitable. It was one of those moments she was the most grateful for Tonks' friendship.

It was decided that a potion would be brewed for when estrous happened that would help minimize the results. Snape took the time to teach her the potion and before she left he gave her several vials.

"Carry these on you at all time. Since we won't have a warning, do make sure to take them as soon as the symptoms hit. We wouldn't want you jumping Potter or one of your dorm mates." The sarcasm dripped from his voice.

"Sir, it won't be a problem, they aren't my type."

"The ginger girl then. She is always underfoot with you lot."

"Ron is like a brother to me. You know Harry likes for Ginny and she is Ron's little sister. I have more discretion than that sir."

"That is to be seen. I have to know…what is it with you and cats anyways? Gryffindor, the incident second year, that familiar of yours?"

"Sir?"

"You are a walking cliché Granger. Typical Gryffindor, nothing subtle. Here are your potions. Do try and keep yourself under control."

Even after training with him the man was still sarcastic and at times cruel. Hermione took the vials from the surly professor, grabbed her things from her quarters and headed to McGonagall's office to leave Hogwarts.

"Hermione, I know you will be tempted to tell your friends. I caution you against this. If this comes to the attention of the Ministry you will be treated as a magical creature not a witch. They will monitor you if you are lucky or more likely send you to Azkaban. Do not share what you are. It is far too dangerous."

"Thank you Professor. I won't." She hugged her goodbye and stepped in the floo to The Burrow.

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Lying to Harry and Ron was easy. Neither was particularly interested in her summer. They easily accepted her story of recuperation with her parents and never pressed further. She couldn't take it personally. Voldemort was back and the wizarding world was at war. Lupin came by a few times just to check in on her.

Hermione enjoyed the downtime. Her training would begin again in the school year. She was taking an 'apprenticeship' with Professor McGonagall. The time would be used for training. Harry and Ron weren't happy when they heard.

"We need you to help us prepare for Voldemort." Harry yelled.

"Why'd you get an apprenticeship and we don't? What's that about?" Ron whined.

"You mean you need me to do your homework for you and now you will have to study on your own Harry? Ron you know why I have been offered one and you haven't. Guys, I will still be around. It isn't like I am leaving the castle. I am just going to have to spend a few hours every night helping McGonagall and learning Advanced Transfiguration. I might occasionally teach but it will be the firsties if I do. You will just have to do your own work this year"

"I still don't like it." Ron pouted. Hermione had enough. She rolled her eyes and walked up to bed.

"He is just jealous and pissed he will have to crack a book this year." Ginny mumbled.

"You heard?" She sighed.

"The whole house probably heard. You guys weren't quiet. Congratulations. He is just mad because you are getting more attention than him."

"He really is an idiot sometimes."

"Sometimes?" Ginny snorted and rolled over.

"Good point."

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"I can't believe you are doing this Albus."

"Minerva, she needed to be trained to control her power. A primal mage only appears once every few generations."

"She has been trained to control her powers but what we have been training her for and what you have designed as her 'apprenticeship' this year is well beyond that. You are preparing her for war Albus."

"This is ridiculous old man. Hermione is being trained for the Order. You want us to trust her with our lives. If you didn't let her run rampant Albus we wouldn't be here." The man sitting next to Minerva grumbled.

"If she hadn't run rampant, as you put it Severus, I wouldn't be here right now."

The dark man looked confused.

"I was about to do something very foolish when Miss Granger sent her patronus. Her little emergency saved my life. If Harry had heeded her warning they would have never been at the Ministry. It's not your life I am trusting her with. She has been responsible for the boys for the last five years, I am merely giving her the skills to do so more effectively. She has the power. We need to use it to our advantage."

"You mean we need to use her to our advantage." Minerva crossed her arms.

"This is war Minerva. She is a muggleborn and one of Harry's closes friends. She will be fighting this war no matter what we do. This is for the best."

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Things had gone relatively smoothly for the first few weeks of school. Her apprenticeship was announced to the applause of the Gryffindors and the boos of the Slytherins. After that she found a good rhythm. She would do her school work in the mornings before breakfast. She would go to classes and then report to her trainer during the evening.

The boys were initially angry about the time she spent away from them but they had found other things to occupy their time. Harry had discovered a Potion's book he was obsessed with and Ron had discovered Lavender Brown. Both boys were so absorbed they even forgot her birthday. She spent the evening ducking spells from Snape. Fortunately Tonks was nice enough to bring her an ice pack and a cupcake with a candle afterwards.

Her training lessons wore her out nightly. They met in a small practice room off of McGonagall's office. The room was always the same but her instructor changed from day to day. Lupin, Tonks, Snape and McGonagall rotated the sessions each teaching her different lessons and working on different skills.

For weeks she couldn't communicate with Crookshanks but each day she made a little more headway. She finally had a breakthrough one day. He had shredded one of her jumpers. Instead of scolding him like normal she hissed at him. It was pure instinct.

"Why did you ruin my jumper?" Lavender and Parvati looked at her like she lost her mind.

"Why are you hissing at your cat Granger?" Lavender asked.

She held up the jumper. The girls rolled their eyes and headed to the common room.

"Because it's hideous and makes you look fat." The cat meowed back.

"I talked to you?"

"You are doing it now. Best watch yourself…don't do it in front of the others. They already think you are stark raving mad."

"Is the jumper really that bad?"

"Oh yeah. That thing is hideous. I could pee on it and it would be an improvement."

"This is not what I was expecting our first conversation to be like."

"I think saving you from making a serious fashion faux pas is a great way to start this new chapter in our relationship."

After that she had a new friend and a fantastic source for all the school gossip. Everything was going perfectly. With the exception of one lost jumper her life had a complete order to it and now she had a new friend in Crooks. It was perfect. Her life was perfect. She should have known it couldn't last.

...

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