Slowly, I start to feel my body stretch, my skin being ripped apart, replaced by coarse tufts of fur. My nose is lengthening, whiskers are sprouting, and painfully my rough, sharp claws emerge. My limbs stretch out and I twitch my neck, feeling the muscles tighten.
I roar, hearing it echo in the lonely forest. It rumbles through my chest and I lift my head up, howling to the full moon; a shrill, piercing sound that resonates throughout the whole grounds. The clamorous beat of the birdsí wings. The trees rustle, leaves whispering in the starless night. There is the sound of my breathing, heavy and unsettling.
My sight becomes clearer; I notice the little things that I usually miss. The Whomping Willow has thousands of intricate designs in the trunk; I can see each and every single indent. I can see the bottom of the Black Lake, the mermaids swimming, flicking their tails and chasing other sea-creatures. Birds in the sky, flying as fast as they can, trying to escape.
Then I can smell them, their scent of fresh blood. I growl, the sound making a low noise in my throat and bend my limbs before jumping in the air, snapping my teeth at them, hearing the hollow noise that emerges from my jaws. I smell other animals, ones I am familiar with.
I see a black dog, pushing through the bushes and I push myself to get to the fresh meat. He barks at me; taunting me. I roar again, saliva dripping from my mouth and leap onto him, digging my sharp teeth into him, tasting the life within him. The blood hits my tongue with a taste that I cannot describe.
The dog wrestles me and I scratch him across his face, feeling the way his skin tears when my claws slash his snout. I relish in the feeling before a stag knocks me over with his antlers. There is a pain in my ribs for a few mere moments but I get back onto all fours, ready to attack him.
My heart is pumping loudly and furiously, the sound reverberates in my ears, creating the sense of adventure and terror I lived for. The stag started running, and I followed, pushing down on the damp soil, feeling the dirt stick to the arch of my claws.
I hear another sound of footprints behind me and the dog has returned, running after me with a wicked glint in his eye. I recognise this glint and when I look back to the stag, I see his familiar hazel eyes, twinkling with mischief. Next to me is a rat, squeaking; and I remember who they are.
I stop chasing them for the thirst, instead I start running with them; discovering, making memories. The stag hits me in the side and I snap at his ankles, far enough to make it playful yet close enough to scare him and make him back off.
After all, I am still a monster.
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