In hindsight, revealing my Animagus form so soon probably wasn't the most strategically sound move, but when else was I going to be able to watch Professor McGonagall jump, transform in mid air, and go tumbling over an armrest? I could probably sell the memory for more than my weight in gold.
She quickly gets back up, staring at me in wonder. My parents are trying really hard not to snicker after seeing that the aged woman isn't any worse for wear.
"Mr. Johnston! Wha- how? How did this happen?" Seeing as I'm still too busy laughing to answer- as much as a lion cub could do either- my mom jumps in to explain.
"Nick was always able to turn his limbs and face and things into animal parts. Then when he started trying lion parts he said it was 'more natural' and he seemed to be able to do them easier. Took him about six months till he was flopping around, tripping over his own tail as a baby lion." she says proudly. By now my parents have pretty much stopped being weirded out by stuff I do and settled into a state of mild pride and bemusement.
"This is simply amazing! Never before have I had a child simply stumble onto their Animagus form! Usually it takes many months of meditation to find it." she takes a studying eye to me and I feel the need to stop laughing. My form has similar-ish coloring to Scar from the Lion King, though that movie hasn't come out yet. It's still much lighter than his though, dark brown mane instead of black and lighter fur everywhere else. I'm still pretty small, probably no bigger than a corgi. Made sense, since I was an eleven year old again. And on my right leg is a large amount of scar tissue that looks like a bite mark. Yeah. Almost forgot about that.
"Mr. Johnston if you could change back, I would like to ask you some questions."
My body went through the familiar and yet not shift from cub to boy and I ended up sitting cross legged on the couch.
"What you wanna know ma'am?" I ask, because of course I'm going to be respectful to McGonagall, she fucking badass. Falling off furniture aside.
"For one, how exactly you came upon your form?"
"Well, pretty much what Mom said. When I was like five or six I decided that dinosaurs were lame and having scales made me really itchy so I decided to try giving myself a mane. All my other animal shifts were kind of hard to do but that one just felt… I dunno, better some how. Like I'd always been meant to have it. Took me about a month to be able to make myself turn into it fully. I've never been able to go that far with other animals. Other cat type things seem to be a bit easier though." I shrug.
"And, ah, if I may ask. What was that scar on your leg?"
"Oh that. Me and dad went camping like three weeks ago and some weird mutant, hairless dog thing attacked me. Dad had a gun though so we chased it off. Something about the scar won't let me heal it all the way though."
McGonagall stilled and stared at me, a sort weird look on her face. Yeah, I don't think I'd know quite how to react to some kid dropping three gigantic bombs like that.
"Did this… attack, happen at night?"
"Yes it did. Why, do you know something? Was it some sort of magic beast?" asks my father.
"... I believe it may have been. If you would allow me to cast a diagnostic spell on your son, I could be certain."
"What would the spell do?" asks my mother.
"If I'm wrong nothing, but if I'm right it will alert us to the problem. It is much better to know of these things now rather than to… find out down the line." I force myself not to shudder at the thought of just waking up one day not knowing where I am… covered in blood… not being able to find my parents, or rather, not wanting to… yeah, calm yourself down Nick. We don't need a panic attack over something that's about to be fixed.
"Nick, it's your choice. Do you wanna do this?" my mom asks me.
"Yeah. Better to make sure, right?"
"Alright Mr. Johnston. This won't hurt at all, at most you'll feel a slight tingle." she takes out her wand and points it at my leg. "Ostende lupis!"
The area around my scar lets out a red glow, easily seen through my pants and McGonagall lets out a sigh.
"Oh, I'm so sorry Nick."
"What? What is it?" my mom asks, beginning to get really worried.
McGonagall takes off her glasses, rubbing the area between her eyes.
"Your son suffers from lycanthropy, a magical disease which induces a transformation from the form of a human to that of deform canine three times a month." she says, slumped forward.
"... a werewolf. You're telling us our son is a werewolf." my mom says flatly.
"Yes, that is the common term for it, though they're technically called lycanthropes. I must tell you Mr. and Mrs. Johnston, this disease is a terrible thing. The transformations are very painful and when transformed the affected lose most of their mental faculties, retreating into the primal mind."
"And there's nothing we can do about this? No-no treatments? Is my son gonna be like this forever?" my mom is descending into a full on panic and my dad is trying his best to calm her.
"There is a potion one can take, called the Wolfsbane potion. It lets those who use retain their minds and lightens the pain, though it does wear one out even more than just the transformations alone would."
"But there's no cure? No way to stop these shifts?" my father asks, visibly trying to keep himself together for my mom.
"No, I'm afraid not. Many potioneers and quite a few alchemists have attempted to cure the disease. The closest anyone has gotten is the Wolfsbane potion. In fact, one of our professors, a young Severus Snape was the one to develop it. If you were to come to Hogwarts we would be able to supply you with the potion for the next 7 years, by which time you would have been taught to brew it yourself."
After that we settle whether or not I'm going pretty quickly. My parents desperately wanted to spare me the pain these involuntary shifts would cause and I sure as fuck was pushing for it. That, plus McGonagall's oddly intensive argueing for me to go, had me and my parents planning for an outing to Diagon Alley tomorrow. It takes us a while to sort out the details, just stuff like what kind of classes they taught and what rules there were, most of which I tune out.
No, I am far too busy looking forward to what comes next. The moment she leaves, promising to be back the next morning at around the same time, I race up to my bedroom and lock myself in the adjoining bathroom. So loving the wealth choice right now. I hop up onto the counter and stare at myself in the mirror. Time to put those transhumanist tendencies to their first true use. First of all, skintone. Right now my skin is noticeably darker than your average white guy's but not dark enough that I couldn't be mistaken for someone who'd spent a long time tanning. Time to fix that. I up the melanin concentration in my epidermis and watch as it grows to deep chocolate color. My sisters have a skin roughly the same shade and I've always been a bit jealous of them for it. I was the only one in my family with any real need for sunscreen. Not anymore though.
Next, hair. Twisting the strands a bit I bring the curls a bit tighter, just cause I like the look and go through a few quick hairstyles before settling for about three inches of hair on top and then close shaved on the sides. I also darken it a tad since I'd always liked my mom's pure black hair rather than my own dark brown.
Eyes. I'm pretty happy with them as they are now, but I do add a few flakes of gold among the brown just to make them a bit more striking and remove any bags I have from staying up late.
I thicken my nose a bit since I'd always had a bit of trouble regarding nosebleeds and I'm hoping the extra few layers of skin will help with that. I also add in a few elements of my lion form to get a better sense of smell, doing the same to my ears at the same time while I'm at it. This doesn't have all that much of a visible effect, other than once again making both appendages a bit bigger. Nothing noticeable to someone who hasn't met me, and my parents are already used to me messing with my looks.
My mouth I just straighten a couple teeth which had always bugged me since they were just out of line with the others. I also fiddle with my lips a bit since they were always getting chapped. I fix this by routing a few extra veins to them to keep them better hydrated. This has the side effect of making them a bit thicker but that's fine. Better than having flakes of lip fall into your mouth.
Before I move on from the face I go the final step and make everything completely symmetrical. Most of how we perceive beauty is based on symmetry and being handsome will definitely serve me well. Plus, who doesn't want to be prettier than they are?
Moving down to my body as a whole I remove any hair below my neck. It's not much now but it'll save me a crapton of time later on. I even removed it from my legs and oh my god so smooth. Fiddling with my scar a bit more, I still can't make it disappear but what I can do sort of… compact? And move it down to my foot where it'll be less noticeable.
The last thing I do is push back my cuticles and then turn the finger nails into something more like my lions claws. They get about a half inch longer and much stronger, with the added additions of a sharp point and retractability. This makes them much darker, but I solve that by turning them blue and calling it nail polish. I look fabulous in blue, by the way.
I tool around with adding a tail but decide to save that for Hogwarts.
God I love magic.
I enter back into my room and sit down on the floor after lighting some incense. Time to figure out this Occlumency thing.