Hermione gagged as the world swam around her, her throat and stomach seemed to be warring with which was burning and twisting in on itself the most. Every other part of her body she swore was in agony as she heard the other two shuffling about. Something was wrong, and she couldn't let them see it. Putting her hand against the stall door she nearly gasped as her vision cleared enough to reveal claws where her nails should have been and tawny orange fur sprouting out of her arm.
"Are you ready, Hermione?" Harry called from outside with a soft knock she could feel, and a scent of uncertainty floating under the doorframe.
"I'll... I'll catch up." Hermione replied shakily as her body was washed in another wave of horrible pain. She heard the exit door open and shut before turning to the toilet and throwing up her last meal, probably a few beyond that, as well as what seemed like blood and some bits of bone. "Not good..." she moaned softly before a click alerted her to the fact she wasn't quite as alone as she thought.
Doing what any rational woman in her position would do at the moment she slammed her body against the door to the stall, letting out a bit of hiss as stabbing pain tore through her gums. The transformation, whatever it was, was slower and agonizingly painful compared to the one she was expecting. Finally a howl of pain escaped her lips as she couldn't hold it back anymore, the sound echoed in the enclosed room, drawing a startled gasp from the other occupant of the room. As new and powerful instincts ripped through her mind, she found herself fading away.
When Harry and Ron returned a little more than an hour later, they found one of the stalls shattered, a window utterly destroyed, and a toilet filled with blood and bile. "What the fuck happened?" Ron exclaimed, "I'm not taking the blame for this..."
"Ron! Hermione's in trouble!" Harry scolded as he looked over the destroyed stall. She was attacked by something, I think it might be the Slytherin monster. Look, the claw tracks lead to the windows..."
"Why did we have to use the very toilet it prowls around?" Ron wondered aloud.
"We don't know if it uses this one or another..." Harry stated as he looked out the window, frowning as there was a distinct lack of something important, "Ron... do you see any claw marks on the ground down on the ground?"
Looking up, he pointed where a section of roof had been disturbed by something landing upon it, tearing up the shingles heading down towards the edge. "What's over there?"
"Don't have a fucking clue," Ron grumbled, "I'm going to get a teacher, make my excuses, you go get yourself killed."
"Ron! She's our friend!" Harry scolded as he pulled the redhead out of the bathroom, heading towards the building that he saw from the bathroom. "Let's go."
In a small room, a blonde girl was hugging her knees to her chest as she fought off the tears. She couldn't let them see her break, her mother wouldn't have broken like this, she was so much better at using her gift of foresight.
"Get back, you creature! Get away from the library!" Flitwick was heard to yell, as spell fire shot past her doorway, "It's wearing a Slytherin uniform, I think... Might be the Slytherin beast, Go get McGonagall and Sprout, we'll need help dealing with this werecat."
The blonde's head whipped up as something entered the room, looking at it she couldn't fully believe what she was looking at. It was like a Slytherin student who had grown fur, claws, and a set of pointy ears. But what caught her attention was that the eyes weren't savage and animalistic, instead they were filled with fear and pain. "Hello there..." she offered softly, drawing the bestial form's attention.
The werecat whirled around on her in confusion, pulling back timidly as a hiss escaped her throat. "No... I'm not going to hurt you..." the girl stated soothingly as she held out a hand carefully. "I'm Luna Lovegood... are you alright?"
The odd feline seemed to pause, looking thoughtful, "Not Alrrright, Hurrrt, Pain, Pain in all of me." it growled in broken English as though her mouth wasn't her normal one.
"Come lay down, I'll take your pain away..." Luna offered as she patted the ground in front of her. "Mommy taught me a good spell for that..."
McGonagall and Sprout arrived a short while later to find Luna stroking the strange creature, as Flitwick stood guard at the door, one eye on his little Eaglet and the other on the hallway. "She tamed the creature in seconds, Minerva, I think you may want to talk to her. You might be able to get through to her as it seems to be felinoid."
"You don't need to do that." The creature declared, McGonagall's eyes going wide, "Now can you explain what I'm doing being petted by a Ravenclaw?"
"Oh my... I recognise that voice..." McGonagall stated, as Harry and Ron came hurrying in, "Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley, Hermione's in there, she apparently had a bad reaction to a transfiguration."
"Hermione!" Harry shouted as he pushed past the teacher, kneeling in front of the werecat without a lick of fear as he looked her over. "What happened? We came back and thought the creature had gotten you." While Harry acted the part of the brave Gryffindor friend, Ron hid behind the teachers.
"The transfiguration work we were revising got me instead." Hermione declared sheepishly, "Mind if I get checked out by Madame Pomfrey?"
"Let's go... it'll be nice to not have to be the one in the bed for once," Harry offered as he held out a hand for Hermione to help her up. "Your new friend can come with us too if you'd like."
"Flitwick, how is Ms. Lovegood fitting in with Ravenclaw?" McGonagall asked, drawing a frown from the diminutive professor.
"I've seen her use more Gryffindor bravery than Ravenclaw intellect." Flitwick muttered back before sighing heavily, "Would you agree, Pomona?"
"No, she has a great deal of intellect, but it is stunted by others," Sprout corrected as she saw the three students talking casually among themselves as the teachers discussed them. "My little badgers have expressed concern over her..."
"Would you say that a unofficial resorting might be in order? Well, they seem to be a incredibly close group within moments of meeting," Flitwick asked, cottoning on to McGonagall's comment.
The deputy headmistress sighed as she turned her head to look at Ron's quivering form behind a pillar halfway down the hall, "We have to wait until the end of year, but I think it is something to keep in mind. For more than just her. For now, I would like Ms. Lovegood's trunk delivered to the Gryffindor dormitories, so that she can help Hermione through whatever caused her problem. Mr. Weasley, Mr. Potter, as Ms. Granger has suffered enough, she is exempt, but you two will have detention. Mr. Potter, you are with me. Mr. Weasley, Hagrid will be expecting you tomorrow after dinner."