I woke up early the next morning to find sunlight peaking through the small opening in the curtains around my four-poster. I threw back the curtains and blinked until my eyes became accustomed to the light. I quickly pulled on my black robes, and turned to rouse Travis who was snoring gently. The other boys had already gone to breakfast.
"wha--?" Travis asked groggily. I rolled my eyes.
"Get up!" I said. "We have class." Travis rolled over, and pulled himself slowly out of bed. I sighed and left the dormitory. Breakfast was a dull ordeal. The sky had been covered in clouds overnight, and the ceiling was a murky grey. Kaylie was sitting at the far end of the Gryffindor table yawning over her toast. I sat next to her and put an arm around her shoulder. She closed her eyes and rested her head on my shoulder for a few moments, before Professor Leighton came up to us with our schedules.
"What have we got today?" I asked no one in particular, withdrawing my arm to take Kaylie's paper, and compare our two. "Herbology, first period together," I started to say, but then Travis plopped down next to me, and stretched so that I had to lean away to avoid being poked in the eye. Marcie arrived with him, sitting on the opposite side of the table and stealing my schedule.
"I was still looking at that," I told Marcie irritatedly, reaching across the table to snatch it back. Marcie held it behind her, out of my reach.
"Well now I'm looking at it," she told me. I sighed, and continued to eat me breakfast. Only when the bell rang to signal the start of class,did she finally give it back to me. Fully refreshed from breakfast, Kaylie, Marcie and I headed outside to Herbology, while Travis had a free period. As we walked I continued to look over Kaylie's and my schedules, we had all the same classes today, including a free period after Transfiguration. Kalylie and I were both taking more classes then Travis and Marcie, and most of them were the same, but I had Care of Magical Creatures, and Kaylie had History of Magic instead. However, if we were going to go to Beauxbatons this year for the Tournament, it didn't really matter that much.
Professor Hollins was waiting for us in green house three. On the table was five sets of three different plants, I recognized all of them. They were plants from our first year, Devil Snare, Puffapods, and Bouncing Bulbs.
"To prepare for the N.E.W.T. tests this year, we are going to go over all the plants,"Professor Hollins said "Every one pick a group of plants and get to work on them." Kaylie, Marcie and I gathered around a set of plants and began trying to kill the devil snare. In minutes, it was surrounded by the flame, and we began working on the Bouncing Bulbs. Alia Thornburg, Joanna Ortiz and Eddie Nesbitt were the first to finish their plants, and Professor Hollins sent them to get another set of plants. We finished soon after, and he pointed out the plants for us too. There were Leaping Toadstools, Mandrakes, and Shrivelfigs. We each grabbed one of the plants, and took them back to our workspace.
By the end of class, we had all finished four sets of plants, the three of us were sweating, and there was a bruise forming on my cheek where a Bouncing Bulb had smacked me. Professor Hollins had also assigned us an essay on the correct way to deal with a Venomous Tentacula.
"Ready for Transfiguration?" I asked Kaylie, once we were outside the green houses, grabbing her hand and taking a deep breath.
We met up again with Travis in the Great Hall, and we all walked towards the Transfiguration class room, getting there with five minutes to spare before the bell. We all sat in seat beside one another. I bent down to find my Transfiguration book, which was unfortunately buried at the bottom of my bag. I had pulled out half of my other books, several bottles of ink, and two crumple quills before I finally found it. I put the book on my desk, and pulled out my wand to put next to it. Then I dumped my books back into my bag, and carefully placed the ink bottles in with them. By that time, the rest of the student's had come in, and Professor Rutledge had begun to call roll.
There was about twelve people in the Advanced Transfiguration class this year. The only other Gryffindor was William Epstein. But the only Hufflepuffs were Vincent McCann, and Spencer Shea, and the only Slyhtherin was Gabriel Valerio. The rest were all Ravenclaws. I only knew them all because they had been in the class last year.
"Today we are going to be learning about human transfiguration, and over the next few weeks we are going to learn the theory, and practice on each other." Professor Rutledge said when he had finished calling off names. He then proceeded to talk about human transformation for the next twenty minutes. "Okay, find partner and start trying to turn them into a dog." Kaylie raised her hand. Professor Rutledge nodded to her.
"What if we can't figure out how to change them back?" She asked.
"That's what I'm here for." Rutledge told her. Kaylie nodded and then turned to me.
"You can practice on me first, if you'd prefer that," I told her. She nodded. The first time she tried to no effect. She tried again.
"Averte Canem," she said. I was still a person
"That's okay--" I started to say, but it came out as a yelping bark. Kaylie failed to stifle her laughter and Marcie didn't even try. I coughed. "That's good," I said. My voice was hoarse, but back to normal.
"Averte Canem." Kaylie said again. I felt a weird tingling sensation pass through my body. Kaylie's eyes widened, and she started to giggle again.
"What?" I asked.
"Nothing," Kaylie said through fits of giggles. But her eyes betrayed her, she was looking at my head. I brought my hands up, and found furry ears sticking out of my hair. I took one by the tip, and tried to look at it. It was black, and triangular. Behind me Travis was trying to laugh silently, but it wasn't working very well. I turned around. Then Kaylie snorted loudly. I turned my head back to her, and that was when I saw it. A large black tail was protruding from the back end of my robes. I sighed.
Kaylie tried again and again, and soon, a snout had joined the tail and ears, and my hands were curling into paws.
"Averte Canem!" She said for about the thirteenth of fourteenth time. (She had also said the spell several times non verbally to considerably smaller results.) The now familiar tingling feeling swept through me. I felt something in the back of my mind slip away. The color of the objects and people around me became murky, and dull, lifeless.What was I doing here? "Averte Canem!" There was a girl in front of me. Was she my master? I dropped to all fours and let out a welcoming bark. But then I felt as if my body was contracting painfully. I was getting smaller. I whimpered, and barked again. Was it something this girl: my master was doing? But then the feeling faded. Some one, not my master, picked my up. I growled, this person was male, and he was squeezing me. He also smelled like smoke.
The man put me down on a smooth surface. It wasn't the floor. It was slimy and cold on my paws. I laid down and let the cool surface touch my belly. I made a soft noise of content. But now the man was speaking. He had a rough voice, and I couldn't understand what he was saying. But I was growing again, I could feel my tail shrinking slowly. The toes on my paws were elongating, and my fur appeared to be shooting backwards into my skin. Words poured into my head, my limbs felt like they were stretching. Kaylie's face swam before my eyes. The painful edges of the desk were digging into my stomach. I slid off. At first my legs didn't seem to want to work; I felt unbalanced, and my knees shook. I collapsed into the desk. That was when the bell rang. My ears, still sensitive to sound, magnified it, making me clasp my hands over them and fall to my knees on the floor.
"Wow," I said raspily, when Kaylie had helped me back to my feet again. "So that's what it feels like to be a dog.
"Class dismissed!" Professor Rutledge said. "And congratulations to Miss Call for being the only one to transfigure someone else into a dog.
"Good job, Kay," I said, putting my arm around her to us as a light support until the rest of the strength in my legs came back. We had a free period until 11:45. The four of us chatted merrily all the way up to Gryffindor Tower. I described the feeling of being a dog to my friends.
"Phoenix," Marcie said when we reached the portrait of the Fat Lady. She opened up, and I finally pulled my arm away from Kaylie, my legs working properly again, to climb through the portrait hole into the common room.
"I don't know about you two,' Kaylie said, indicating me and Marcie. "But I'm getting started on that Herbology essay. I rolled my eyes.
"Kaylie, it's the first day back."
"Better to finish it now, when I have all the time I need, then to have to finish it later when I might not have time. Come work on it with me. Besides, if we finish it now, we'll have more time to spend together later."
"Fair enough," I said, sighing dramatically. I dug a roll of parchment out of my bag, a quill (unbent), and a pot of ink. Then I pulled up a chair and sat next to her. Together we worked through the essay, paragraph by paragraph. Marcie seemed slightly annoyed that we had left her to do the work on her own.
"I'll help you," Travis offered.
"Yeah, you're going to be useful, seeing as you didn't take the subject last year either." Marcie replied sarcastically.
Forty-five minutes later, the three of us had finished our essays, and were looking for something to do. I suggested Kaylie try the Averte Canem spell on me again.
"How will I change you back?" She asked.
"What spell did he use?"
"Redire Normalis, but what if it takes me longer then fifteen minutes to get the spell right? I think it's safer to just wait until the next transfiguration class, so that Professor Rutledge can change you back if we need him to.'
"Okay," I said. "If you want to play it the safe way." Kaylie rolled her eyes at me. But instead, we spent the rest of the period flying random objects across the room, to the annoyance of the people around us. I apologized hastily as a flying bottle of ink hit a fifth year girl in the head, and it broke, spilling the scarlet contents all over her. The girl glared at me while her friend tried to clean up the ink with her wand.
When the fifteen minutes was over, I reluctantly grabbed my bag, and followed my friends to Defense Against the Dark Arts. By dinner, we had been assigned another essay from the potions mater, Professor Kilnger.
Quite surprising me however, when we got back to the common room, the potion's essay was not the first thing Kaylie wanted to do. (Although she did point out how grateful we should be that we finished the Herbology essay so that we didn't have that hanging over our head too.) She wanted to take a walk with me on the grounds. I immediately agreed, and allowed her to take me outside.
"I wanted to practice the Transfiguration spell again," Kaylie confessed, when we had gone behind the green houses, and I had asked her what was up.
"You don't know the theory to change me back though," I said.
"I know, but I think it's similar to the theory to change you in the first place, and like Rutledge said, it's easier when the person of thing's mind is blank. I'm guessing your mind will be a lot emptier as a dog." I couldn't argue with that, so I let her try it. It took her only five or six tries this time, non verbally, to make me a dog. Now it was the moment of truth. I sat in the grass wagging my tail unconcernedly.
"Redire Normalis!" Kaylie said. She tried again, non-verbally, then she muttered it under her breath, then went back to saying it normally. It took her several tries, but she finally managed to change me fully into a human again. We moved over to the lake, as we waited for the side effects to wear off. Kaylie lay her head on my shoulder, and we both stared at the glassy surface of the lake. I was starting to get dark by the time we went back inside. Kaylie wanted to stay up a little longer to start on her potions essay, but I wanted to go to bed. I didn't like being behind Kaylie in homework, but being a dog was extremely tiring. I climbed the stairs to the boys dormitory, and dropped almost immediately to sleep.
Chapter 3 is coming WED. September 3, 2014