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I Just Can't Help Myself... by Hazel Bludger
Chapter 15 : I Just Want It
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 4


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Look at me, updating quickly. I'm so proud of myself. Unfortunately, this robably won't last very long. But hey. At least it happens sometimes, right?

Let's get on with it. :)

DISCLAIMER: *examines self* Nope, still me.






Chapter Fifteen: I Just Want It




“I’m really getting sick of this wooing thing,” Fiona grumbled about a week later as she popped another chocolate into her mouth. She peered inside the red cardboard heart to find it empty, and tossed it aside with a mumbled curse. “Fucking Potter, making me gain weight as a means to winning your heart.”

Dorothy rolled her eyes and laughed good-naturedly. “Oh, yes, Fi,” Hope began mockingly, “I’m sure you eating the equivalent of your body weight in chocolates James buys for Dorothy was a crucial part of his plan.”

“Exactly!” Fiona exclaimed. “What a wanker.”

“Maybe you should go whack around a Bludger to work off the extra calories,” Hope suggested with a smirk. Fiona responded with an irritated huff.

Dorothy snorted at the two of them as she twisted her blonde hair up at the nape of her neck and secured it with a simple charm.

“What are you getting so dressed up for?” Fiona asked as she sat up in her four poster for the first time in over an hour. The motion resulted in a large avalanche of candy wrappers to tumble off of her chest and bed. She pulled a remorseful face, placing her hand over her stomach.

“Oh, nothing,” Dorothy said softly.

“Got a hot date?” Hope grinned.

Dorothy laughed. “No, definitely not,” she said as she stashed her wand in her cloak and straightened her robes. “I have a meeting. I’ll be back in a few hours, probably laden with more gifts from James.”

Fiona frowned. “With that in mind, I probably will hit the pitch,” she muttered thoughtfully. “I haven’t seen Reed cry like a first year girl in a while.”

“You’re making Kyle practice with you?” Dorothy asked.

“Course I am,” Fiona replied. “He’s still a wimpy little bloke. Figure we can do a bit of core work, then get up in the air and work on our rhythms.”

Hope smiled fondly, falling back onto her four poster covered with Quidditch plays on parchment she’d doodled in lessons. “I’ve raised you well.”

“Eh,” Fiona grunted noncommittally as she swung her legs off of her mattress and stood then pushed her pajama pants over her hips to the ground. “Bollocks, real clothes,” she grumbled.

“Well, I’ll see you lot later, then,” Dorothy said with a small smile.

“You’re welcome to come out to the pitch when you’re done,” Fiona said as she adjusted her practice shorts on her hips. Reaching for the rest of her practice kit, she continued, “Reed could use some target practice.”

Dorothy laughed. “I appreciate the offer, Fiona, but I’ll have to take a rain check.”

Fiona grinned toothily at her. “Suit yourself.”

Chuckling, Dorothy said, “Bye!” and bounded out of the dormitory.

***

Dorothy and Professor McGonagall were waiting for the Ministry official to finish reviewing the written examination Dorothy had just completed. “Are you sure you feel ready for this, Miss Longbottom?” McGonagall asked.

“I think so,” Dorothy responded, trying not to glance over at the official. “I’ve been studying all week, and Madame Whittle approved me for the actual transformation.”

“I know,” Professor McGonagall said. “But do you feel strong enough?”

Dorothy nodded. “I’m ready.” She stole a quick glance at the official who looked to be tallying up her final score. “Provided, of course.”

“Alright, Minerva, Miss Longbottom,” the official said, standing.

Professor McGonagall and Dorothy turned to the official and walked towards her. “Well?” Professor McGonagall said, curiosity evident in her tone.

“Perfect written examination,” the official said, grinning. Dorothy felt like a large weight had just been lifted off of her chest as she smiled, shocked at how well she’d done. “Brilliant job, Miss Longbottom. Before we continue to the practical portion of the examination, I have a few questions for you.”

“Of course,” Dorothy said.

“Firstly, have you ever attempted a full transformation before today’s examination?”

“No.”

“Secondly, have you ever received unauthorized assistance with the partial transformations you have practiced?”

“No, of course not.”

“And thirdly, are you completing this examination under your own will for the reasons you stated earlier, that you,” the official referred back to Dorothy’s application for the examination, “quote, ‘Wish to be the best possible candidate for the Auror Academy to help and protect the Wizarding World?’”

Dorothy nodded. “Yes.”

The official smiled. “Right, then. Let’s get on with it, then. Remember, the first transformation is always the slowest and most draining. After this, transformation into your Animagus form will be a split second act of Transfiguration. You will always form the same animal you do today, and there will be a marking on your animal form that makes you recognizable to witches and wizards in the human form.

“As you complete this transformation, don’t forget that you must fully experience each step of the transformation to properly set your Animagus form. This is very advanced magic, Miss Longbottom, and I would rather not have to take you to St. Mungo’s. Are you ready?”

Dorothy took a deep breath. “Yes, ma’am.”

The official nodded. “You may begin at anytime.”

Dorothy nodded, gripping her wand tightly and closing her eyes, mentally running through the three steps. Spell, size alignment, transformation. She repeated the mantra and waved her wand, silently performing the nonverbal charm. She felt her body begin to shrink down as it had done so many times before.

Concentrate, she thought to herself. She knew if her concentration broke for even one second, she would be damaged beyond repair magically. She felt the switch in her mind, animalistic thoughts flooding her brain. Still, the magic was hard at work as gold light swirled around Dorothy’s body, until finally, left standing in her place was a fluffy white blonde cat with curled ears.

Dorothy opened her bright blue feline eyes and saw Professor McGonagall above her, tears rimming her old eyes. Dorothy looked down at herself to see small white paws and a large, poofy tail curled around herself. She stood, padding around in a circle to explore motion in her new form.

“Phenomenal,” the official said. Human voices sounded strange in Dorothy’s animal brain. “Before you change back, Miss Longbottom, Minerva and I need to document your form. Now, where is her distinguishing mark? Could you possibly climb up onto the table for me, Miss Longbottom?”

Dorothy made her way over to a chair, leapt up on it, and then leapt onto the table, turning to face Professor McGonagall and the Ministry official.

“There,” Professor McGongall said, her finger brushing along Dorothy’s side. “A scar.”

The ministry official took a closer look at Dorothy’s side, noting the line wrapping around from her side across her stomach that lacked fur. “Wonderful.” The official flipped the page on her clipboard and nodded. “Alright, Miss Longbottom, you can change back now, though I recommend you do it while on the floor.”

Dorothy jumped down from the top of the table, skidding slightly across the smooth stone floor a bit as she landed. Dorothy once again performed the nonverbal charm, and felt herself changing back into a human. Once, fully transfigured, she fell forward slightly, leaning on the table for support. “Oh, wow,” she said, blinking her eyes rapidly to keep them open.

“Are you alright, Miss Longbottom?” the official asked.

“Yes, I’m just,” she paused a moment, sitting in the chair Professor McGonagall had pulled out for her. “Weak.”

The official nodded. “Perfectly normal. The first transformation is always the most draining. It gets easier with time. Soon, it won’t affect you at all.”

Dorothy nodded, frowning as her head felt like it weighed three times what it usually did.

“Now, there are only two more things I need from you,” the official said. Dorothy looked up, waiting. “I need to see your scar, just to confirm your distinguishing mark.”

Dorothy nodded and stood, lifting her shirt, revealing an angry red scar that started low on her hip and curved across her stomach. It was still surrounded by dark purple bruising that had just began to turn a sick green as it finished healing.

“Oh, my,” the official breathed.

“Madame Whittle said it should fade from red to pink in a few weeks, when it’s had more time to heal,” Dorothy said, a blush blooming on her face from her discomfort.

“It was a very deep gash,” Professor McGonagall explained. “You can lower your blouse now, Dorothy.”

Dorothy quickly dropped her shirt, wishing that ugly scar wouldn’t permanently mark her body the way she knew it would. “What else do you need, ma’am?” she asked softly.

The official pulled a piece of parchment from her clipboard. “I just need your signature, Miss Longbottom. To finalize your registration.”

Dorothy nodded, taking the quill and parchment from the official and scrawling her name along the bottom line.

The Ministry took the parchment and magically created a copy of it for Dorothy. She smiled. “Congratulations, Miss Longbottom. You are officially a registered Animagus with the Improper Use of Magic Office in the Ministry of Magic. This is a very impressive accomplishment, especially for someone of your age. You should be very proud.”

“Thank you very much,” Dorothy said with a tired smile.

“And I hope to hear your name in the applicants for the Hallows Program when passing through the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Miss Longbottom,” the official said. “I think you have the capability to accomplish great things.”

“Oh, um, thank you,” Dorothy said, watching as the official stepped into the Floo and was gone in a flash of green flame.

Professor McGonagall looked over at Dorothy curiously. “The Hallows program?”

“Professor Finch-Fletchley gave me an application after our meeting. I’m not sure if I’ll apply yet or not. I doubt I would get accepted,” Dorothy said.

Professor McGonagall chuckled. “Oh, Dorothy. You have no idea how talented you truly are. What’s the harm in applying? You don’t have to say yes, and it does not affect your normal application to the Academy. I think you would regret it if you didn’t.”

Dorothy nodded. “I know. I have all my forms filled out, including the Hallows Program. I just needed my registration form, which I now have.”

Professor McGonagall smiled, summoning an envelope from her desk. “And this,” she said, handing the envelope to Dorothy.

“Professor, what is this?” Dorothy asked.

“A letter of personal recommendation for your application,” Professor McGonagall said firmly. “You may not be able to see your potential, but let me assure you, I can.”

Dorothy looked from the envelope to her professor and hugged her tightly. Professor McGonagall let out a chuckle of surprise before wrapping her arms around her pupil. “Thank you for everything, Professor.”

“It was my pleasure.”

***

Dorothy stumbled her way back to the Hufflepuff Common Room, using the stone wall for support as her physical exhaustion began to overtake her. She clutched McGonagall’s letter and her confirmation of Animagus registration tightly in her hand as she opened the entrance to her Common Room and crawled through.

She managed to make her way to the Seventh Year Girls’ dormitory and clambered through the round door. The warmth of the room enveloped her and she smiled. Placing the letter and confirmation on her bedside table, she kicked off her shoes and looked longingly at her four poster.

“Just a cat nap,” she muttered, knowing she had to be at Quidditch practice in a few hours. Suddenly an idea struck her. She grinned. “A cat nap indeed.”

***

“Did Dorothy get a cat?” Hope asked as she and Fiona entered the dormitory.

“Not that I know of,” Fiona said. “Why?”

“There’s a cat sleeping on her bed,” Hope said, pulling out her practice kit. “A really cute cat.”

Fiona looked over at the animal and grinned. “Aw, it is cute.” She then gasped loudly. “Oh, Merlin, what if James got her a cat?”

Hope furrowed her brow in confusion. “What?”

“James!” Fiona cried. “To woo her or whatever shit he’s doing.” Fiona quickly kneeled beside Dorothy’s bed to more closely examine the animal. “Please tell me James bought her a cat, I think I would die.”

“There is no way James bought her a cat,” Hope said laughing.

Fiona looked up and glared at her best friend. “How do you know?”

“Because that’d be insane!”

“Remember who we’re talking about here, Hope.”

“Oh, Merlin, James bought her a cat.”

Fiona reached out and petted it, rubbing its head between its ears. The cat purred softly, its bright blue eyes slowly opening. “Oh, she’s so pretty,” Hope said smiling.

“How do you know it’s a girl cat?” Fiona asked, continuing to pet it.

“It just looks like a girl,” Hope said.

Fiona looked at the cat’s face and pursed her lips. “I guess.”

The cat stood, stretching itself out with a soft meow. “Merlin, cats are cute,” Fiona said, with a smile.

Suddenly, the cat was gone and Dorothy sat in its place. Hope and Fiona both jumped back with a shout.

“Where’s my cat?!” Fiona demanded.

Dorothy yawned, looking at Fiona in confusion. “What?”

“There was a—a cat there!” Fiona demanded. “And now it’s gone!”

“Oh, Merlin! You passed your Animagus examination!” Hope cried.

Dorothy smiled and nodded. “What?” Fiona asked lamely.

“I was the cat. That’s my Animagus form,” Dorothy said.

“You’re adorable!

***

Dorothy stood in the center of the owlery, staring upwards. “Hope and Fiona said I’d find you here,” a voice said from behind her. Dorothy turned to see Freddie standing at the entrance of the room.

“Hi, Freddie,” Dorothy said softly.

Freddie walked over to her, wrapping his arms tightly around her shoulders. Dorothy sighed, relaxing into his broad chest. As she breathed him in, she thought about how he was much larger than James was. While James was only an inch or so taller, Freddie’s shoulders were broad and his chest and waist was thick, every part of him coated with hard muscle, while James was much leaner and less defined. Being hugged by Freddie was like being wrapped up in a blanket of warmth, and he made her feel impossibly small and fragile. With James, his long arms clutched you like you were so valuable, he could never let go. Dorothy couldn’t determine which she preferred. Her arms snaked around Freddie’s waist and squeezed him tightly, letting her cheek rest on his chest.

“Are you nervous?” he asked softly.

“Yes.”

“Don’t be.”

Dorothy sighed, pulling out of the embrace. “Freddie, this is my whole future. I don’t have a backup plan. If I don’t get accepted, I don’t know what I’ll do.”

“If you don’t get accepted, then the Academy is bloody stupid.”

Dorothy cracked a smiled. “Freddie…”

“It’s true!” he said, smiling at her. “You’re the best applicant they’ll have ever seen. You’re an Animagus at seventeen for Merlin’s sake.”

“Who told you?”

Freddie rolled his eyes. “You did. You told me you weren’t going to send in your application without the confirmation.”

Dorothy blushed. “Oh. Of course.”

“Now, come on,” he said, holding out his arm so his owl would land on it. “Let’s take the first step of your future, together.”

Dorothy nodded, securing the application to the owl’s foot. “Take this to the Auror Office, would you?”

The owl took off with a soft hoot. Dorothy let out a breath she hadn’t even realized she’d been holding.

“It’s out of our hands now, Dor,” Freddie said as they watched his owl flying off into the distance.

Dorothy nodded. “Yeah.”






Well, not too much drama in there. But how are you feeling? There was a nice Freddie/Dorothy moment in there for you all. :) And how about Dorothy, Hope, and Fiona's friendship? I promise there's WAY more drama in the next one! (Also, if you're wondering, the cat breed is the American Curl Cat. It's behavioral characteristics seemed fitting.)

Thanks for reading, as always, and I love to hear from you! Please rate and review!

Peace, Love, and Potter,

~Becca~


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