Let me out! Please! Ple-
You…you hear me?
Yes… I don't know what's happening. It's weird to hear you in my head like this. Am I mad?
You? I thought it was me. You're in my head as well, or at least it's so dark in here, It feels like you're in my head.
Really? What does that mean, I wonder.
I dunno…Can you let me out please? It's awful in here, cramped and lonely, and dark. So dark… It hurts.
It hurts me too, I just can't figure out how to let you out.
Well how hard can it be, really? Just find the key and open the door.
Well that's just it… there is no door.. it's me… you're inside me. At least I think that's right.
What? That's crazy. Impossible.
But is it as crazy as being locked away your whole life?
Fair point. How does this work?
I haven't the foggiest.
Well that's unfortunate. Will you try though? To let me out… Will you try? You won't just keep me locked away anymore will you?
No. I'll do my best. It hurts to keep you locked away… At least that's what Malfoy says, that keeping you trapped is what hurts so bad. He says I have to let go but I don't know what that means.
Well. Thank you for trying at least. Will you tell me what's out there? I want to see what you see. Will you describe it to me?
Yeah I suppose it's the least I could do, right? Hermione opened her eyes and looked around the room.
There's a fire going and Dumbledore and Malfoy are sleeping in chairs by the door.
Tell me about this Malfoy. He's the one that told you I was trapped?
Yeah he did. He's an ass. It's unfortunate really that someone so devastatingly beautiful could be so mean, so rude.
What do you mean?
He spent the better part of his life hating me and my friends. He's said awful things to us, done awful things.
Yet he sits and watches over us?
Yes but I don't see what meaning that has. Dumbledore probably put him up to it anyway. In fact I think I remember him saying Dumbledore would kill him if anything happened to…us.
What does this Malfoy look like?
He's our age. He's tall and strong, got a beautiful face, like white marble. His eyes are silver and it's truly annoying how they seem to see absolutely everything. He's blond but in the right light it's almost-
White. How odd. Such a description, so accurate, yet so pale in comparison.
You can see him?
Yes, I see what you see now. He is beautiful.
He also happens to be evil.
Right… And the old man, that's Dumbledore?
What's he do?
He's the head master here. He's brilliant; the greatest wizard in the world in my opinion.
So this is a school?
Yeah, a school for witches and wizards.
Well isn't that exciting! Do you think since I can see what you see, I can get out now?
Well yes but I think you'll have to find your way out, I'm not trying to stop you so if you can't I don't know what to do but of course I don't want you to be trapped. I can only imagine how horrible that must be for you!
Ok. I'm going to try to come out. If I'm inside you… it might hurt, and I'm sorry if it does.
Hermione took a deep breath. I'm ready, I think.
Draco and Dumbledore woke with a start as the dying embers in the fireplace roared to life. Hermione was scream again. The two rushed to her side and immediately knew something was different as the dragon on her wall settled behind her with watchful eyes. There was a popping that was so loud it could be heard over Hermione's screams and Draco recognized the sound as soon as he heard it.
"She's coming out, Professor. The other one, Hermione's letting her through."
Dumbledore's eyes widened just a bit as he watched. "And there's nothing we can do to ease this for her?"
"No, sir. This is odd."
"What's that Mr. Malfoy?"
"You asking me what to do. I'm the student after all, I should be coming to you about this."
"Ah, yes. Indeed it's odd for me too."
The screaming and the popping grew louder. "What's happening?" Dumbledore asked.
"Her bones are breaking. Her body has to change to make room for the other one. She's not human after all. Hermione's body wont fit her so it has to change.
Let me out, Draco, I want to see the birth. I can help her transition. We creatures have to stick together after all.
"You won't fit in the room, Dante."
We won't make the change then, just let me speak to her. Give me your eyes and your voice.
Dumbledore watched curiously as Dracostood up and took a deep breath. His eyes shifted from silver to deep sapphire blue and his voice became deep as he growled softly. He sat again at Hermione's side and put a hand on her head.
"Settle, girls. You're trying too hard. You're still fighting each other for control. The more you fight it the more it will hurt."
"It hurts already!" Two voices hissed from Hermione's mouth.
"Shh… this should be a blissful experience for you both. Hermione you have to stop fighting against the pain. And you, what is your name, darling?"
"Absolutely beautiful." Hermione settled a bit as the creature inside of Draco spoke to the creature inside of her. "That's a girl, you're both doing well. Just breathe and let it happen. Don't deny the pain. If you stop fighting the pain it will go away."
Dumbledore cleared his throat. "I don't mean to interrupt but am I correct in saying that you are not Draco Malfoy."
"I am Dante, Sir."
"And am I correct in saying that you can see her? The Creature inside of Hermione?"
"Yes. She is quite magnificent."
"Yes and I believe I also heard Draco say you wouldn't fit in the room?"
Dante smiled to himself. "Yes, Head Master. It is true my full form would break these walls apart. But not to worry, Analisse is not much bigger than your Hermione here. The wings may get a bit tricky though. Might want to sit her up actually. It may get messy when they come out, in fact, you may want to get the clothes off her back before she destroys them."
"I see. Could I have Draco back please? For a moment?" Dante bowed and in the blink of an eye Draco was in control again. "Mr. Malfoy, I need you to send for Madam Pomfrey. I've been warned this may get messy and I don't think it's for us men to witness. She needs a lady's support I think."
"Yes, Sir." Draco turned and ran to the infirmary and within minutes was back with the healer.
"Head Master," She said. "I've told you before I don't know what you think I can do for her, I've never seen anything like this."
"You can at the very least protect the girl's modesty, Madam. I've been informed that she may need to be free of her…restraints. If you gather my meaning."
"Oh, well, yes of course, shuffle off then, leave me to it."
"Sir, I think it best if I stayed with her. I know what's happening to them, I may be a comfort." Dumbledore looked at Draco to see Dante's eyes looking back at him.
"Absolutely not! How inappropriate!" Madam Pomfrey snapped.
"So bare her back and cover her front, Madam please I could help!"
Madam Pomfrey looked to Dumbledore in shock. He nodded and turned to the common room of the head's tower. "Get me when it's over." He mumbled and walked away.
"Fine then but you'll have the decency to turn your back until she's situated."
They went into the room and Dante turned to face the wall until Hermione was sitting up clutching an over sized pillow to her chest, breathing heavy.
"You're doing well." He told them. "Just keep breathing."
Hermione nodded, closed her eyes, put her head down, and took deep calming breaths. The popping came again and Hermione winced but never stopped breathing. Her legs jerked in front of her as her joints popped out of place and reformed, becoming slightly longer under the blankets. Her arms were next, the skin becoming stretched as her fading tan peeled like a snake skin, revealing shining golden skin with diamond shaped scales in places just like on the dragon she created. There were clusters of them, some large, some tiny, around her wrists and knuckles and all along her spine and collar bone. She let out a moan as her vertebrates all popped apart, making room for a few new ones to grow as her torso lengthened, revealing more of her ribs. She moaned again and stretched almost in pleasure as her neck popped a few times. She began to panic again when her hair started falling out onto her pillow and blankets.
"Shh, it's okay, this is normal. This is not the time to be self conscious." Dante said.
It grew back quick enough, silky and black as night. It stopped short though, spiking out close to her scalp like a pixie. Her nose flattened a bit and her lips became thicker. Her eyes were the color of honey. They were brown before, but now they glowed with the same shade of gold as her new skin and her nails grew in as black as her hair.
Analisse sighed in relief and looked up at Dante. "Is it over? Am I free?"
Dante tilted his head and studied her. "Not quite I'm afraid, love. Brace yourself."
"Wha-?" Her face contorted in pain as the skin over both shoulder blades split apart and blood spilled out. She cried out and a black fluid mingled with her blood as it seeped from beneath her skin. It flowed freely down her back and over her sheets then seemed to dry instantly. One by one, soft black feathers broke free of the mess. She gasped at the weight of the enormous expanse of wings picked themselves up and spread, the full mass of them nearly reaching from wall to the other.
Dante smiled at her. "Welcome to world, love. How do you feel?"
"So much better! But so exhausted. I don't want to ever go back there."
"Now now, you have to share. Hermione went through I great deal of pain to let you free."
Analisse looked down in shame. "Will it be like this every time? Will it be this hard and hurt this much?"
"No no. It will get easier. It won't take as long next time either."
"How long did it take?"
"Nearly a full day, love. Next time probably only an hour. And now that you know what to expect, it won't hurt like this again. The two of you will learn to share your space and live together. Draco and I have found great comfort in each other. I'm sure it will be the same for the two of you. The Head Master will be wanting to know you're here."
"The old man?"
"Yes, " Dante laughed "the old man."
Neither of them noticed the Madam Pomfrey had already gone to get Dumbledore and he came to the door just as Dante got up to leave.
He bowed to Dumbledore and went to his side. "How was it? Is she- are they alright?"
"They are doing well now, tired is all."
Dumbledore nodded. Madam Pomfrey motioned for them to turn their backs as she helped Analisse stand and dress as best she could.
When they turned back they both took a full account of her changes. It wasn't until then that they noticed she also had the feet of a lion and her entire body was dangerously slender yet extremely well toned. She was also a great deal taller than Hermione was. It also wasn't until then that they noticed just how massive her wings were; so massive in fact, that she had no choice but to fold them over her back. She looked back at them waiting for their response.
Dante looked at Dumbledore. "perhaps I miscalculated slightly on her size."
Dumbledore's eyes were wide as he answered. "Yes, I think so."
"What was that word you used, Draco? Glorious? Yes, I think that fits. Absolutely glorious."