Black smoke billowed from Sean’s nostrils, his labored breath echoing through the cliff like a worn-out bellows.
By the lake, the cat-leopard Pudding, who had been observing him, meowed in annoyance.
Sean’s breath had ruffled its otherwise smooth fur.
“This Transfiguration is quite draining…” Sean shook his head, sensing he couldn’t sustain this state for long.
Ordinarily, an Animagus didn’t require mana to maintain their form.
Sean hadn’t sensed any mana drain during his earlier Transfiguration into a fire dragon.
However, after expending a significant amount of mana, he now felt the familiar pain creeping in.
“It seems my current form requires a certain amount of magical energy to maintain normally…”
Understanding this, Sean soared back to the sky.
He stood upon the massive fire dragon’s body, closed his eyes, and concentrated on visualizing his human form as vividly as possible.
A peculiar sensation washed over him again, and the Fire Dragon on the ground rapidly diminished in size.
Sean, clutching his wand, reverted to his human form.
“Huff… huff…” Sean gasped. Even though he had silently supplied most of the magical power required, reverting back still left him feeling utterly drained.
He wiped the sweat from his forehead and cleared his throat.
Even after the exhalation, transforming back into a human had left his chest and throat feeling scorched.
“Breathing still burdens the body, it seems…” Sean mumbled hoarsely.
He inspected his body, relieved to find nothing abnormal.
“Though I didn’t expect it, I’ve finally become an Animagus,” Sean exclaimed, clenching his fists excitedly. “And I’m a Dragon Animagus!”
He surveyed the rock that had taken the brunt of his fiery breath; the magma had cooled, forming a twisted and grotesque black stone.
The pain he endured during Transfiguration had finally paid off.
But Sean worried if the next Transfiguration would bring a similar ordeal.
The mere memory of it sent shivers down his spine.
“Well, next time I attempt Animagus, I’ll borrow the Obscurus’ magical power…” Sean decided.
Raising his wand, its elm wood surface still smooth and familiar in his hand, Sean pondered another possibility.
At first, he turned into a dark Dragon, but soon he transformed into a Hungarian Horntail, the owner of the wand’s core.
What if he picked up other wands with dragon heartstring cores?
Welsh Green Dragon, Chinese Fireball Dragon, Ukrainian Iron Belly, Antipodean Opaleye. Could he become various types of Dragons?
One thing to consider, however, was the close connection between his wand and himself.
Other wands might not work as effectively.
Still, the notion of his Dragon career becoming colorful and versatile excited him.
He could transform into various types of Dragons, make contact with their respective species, and employ human intelligence to deceive them.
He could convert to one if he needed a fast and versatile Dragon.
If he is in danger, he could convert to another as well. That would boost his defense by a lot.
The same thing could be said if he also wanted to go on a rampage, although he would not like to resort to such things in the end.
The prospect overwhelmed Sean with excitement.
Would he need to acquire a collection of wands?
Lost in thoughts of his promising future, Sean felt much of his fatigue dissipate.
He stretched, petted the cat-leopard, and then ascended the vertical ladder to exit.
Hermione appeared to have been engrossed in examining the ring during his absence.
As Sean knocked on the trapdoor, she opened it, and Hermione and Daisy quickly grabbed his hands.
Their combined strength, surprising for their delicate appearances, tugged Sean out, making him feel somewhat like a stuffed doll.
“How did it go?” In the dimly lit underground classroom, the eyes of the two girls sparkled.
Before descending, Sean had made a promise to them.
If anything went awry, Pudding would knock on the door to alert them.
Sean’s safe return now proved that he had successfully become an Animagus.
This time, Sean skipped the joking and opened his arms, falling onto a cushion, his voice weak but filled with joy. “From today on, I’m an illegal Animagi.”
“Yeah!” Hermione and Daisy cheered, embracing each other in celebration.
They appeared even happier than Sean, and Hermione hadn’t even lectured him on the term “illegal Animagus.”
Both girls genuinely shared Sean’s joy, which in turn made him even happier.
“However, Sean, you look quite tired,” Hermione noted, her concern was apparent.
“I don’t recall any data mentioning the symptoms of the first Animagus Transfiguration. Did it consume a lot of magical power? Do you need rest, food, potions, or tonics?”
“I’m fine, just a bit drained from the magical power expended. Rest will do,” Sean replied, managing a smile.
Relieved, the two let out a sigh. Daisy, squatting on the ground, wrinkled her nose and looked at Sean.
“Daisy, don’t worry. I’m okay now, no half-human, half-animal… well, not half-human, half-animal,” Sean corrected himself in time before he almost said he was a monster, remembering Daisy’s painful experiences with the blood curse.
Daisy hadn’t caught his meaning and thought he was simply feeling weak.
She pointed her finger and said in a sweet voice, “I just wanted to see if you had any fur or scales or something.”
“Then you can simply ask me what animal I’ve become,” Sean chuckled.
“Oh, that’s not allowed,” Daisy responded seriously.
“My father told me you can’t inquire about an Animagus’ form without permission. Even though the number of Animagi is small, there have been cases of illegal Animagi over the years.”
Sean touched his nose. He hadn’t been aware of this taboo until Daisy mentioned it, but upon reflection, it made sense. Some secrets need to be kept. However, in front of these two people, Sean had no intention of hiding anything.
Friends needed to confide in each other, and Hermione and Daisy were highly trustworthy. Though, they might think he was joking.
“Alright, I’d love to share my secret with you, but I’m not joking. Listen…”
Sean revealed his ability to transform into a dragon, leaving Hermione and Daisy looking at each other in astonishment, their heads close together.
“Can Transfiguration cause brain damage?”
“I haven’t read anything about that.”
“Should we go to the infirmary or see the Professor?”
“How about both?”
Sean’s mouth twitched, and he watched as the two girls earnestly debated whether they were experiencing some kind of mental issue.
“Stop being silly, I’m telling the truth.” Sean rolled his eyes and slumped onto the cushion, a hint of annoyance in his tone.
Hermione approached him, crouching by his head, and Sean noticed white fluff sticking to her black leggings from Daisy’s plush hat.
“Aren’t you happy with a little teasing?” She playfully stuck out her tongue at him.
“I’m not unhappy,” Sean replied with a smile, “But do you two actually believe me?”
Hermione’s face displayed an unusual expression. “I believe you.”
Daisy nodded in agreement.
This left Sean momentarily speechless. He had been preparing himself to explain, but it seemed he didn’t need to.
“Um, don’t you find it, well, unbelievable?” He finally voiced his confusion.
Hermione crouched beside him, resting her chin on her hands.
Sean saw the white fluff clinging to her leggings from Daisy’s plush hat.
“While it did sound unbelievable at first, I relaxed soon after,” Hermione explained.
“Professor Dumbledore said there are many things in the magical world that we don’t understand. Who can claim to comprehend all knowledge? Besides, there are very few recorded cases of Animagi. I even wondered if someone had turned into a magical animal or something…”
She paused, her voice tinged with helplessness and disbelief. “On the other hand, a guy who can improve a spell in just two hours, a guy with a ‘little pet’ that bullies senior students, I’m not surprised by what you can do.”
“Oh, do I have that image?” Sean blinked. “Can I interpret that as a compliment, Miss Granger?”
“That depends on the thickness of your skin, Mr. Wallup,” Hermione replied with a shake of her head.
Daisy observed the scene with her head tilted. She pursed her lips and whispered, “So, can Hermione and I transform into magical animals?”
“I can’t guarantee that,” Sean answered. “I haven’t fully grasped the nature of Animagus Transfiguration.”
Daisy blinked and asked, “Then can I ride on your back?”
“That shouldn’t be a problem,” Sean replied with a smile.
Several people discussed Sean’s Dragon form in the basement for a while.
At noon, Sean, too exhausted to move, remained in the classroom while Hermione and Daisy went to the auditorium for lunch.
They brought him food.
As Sean lay down, trying to recover his lost energy, the classroom door unexpectedly swung open.
“You’re back so soon. Oh, Mr. Grindelwald?”
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