September 1st 1993
Harry sat on the floor leaning against one of the bench seats, his ears still ringing with the echoes of someone’s screams. He watched as Professor Lupin left, absently taking another nibble of the chocolate the older man had offered him but it wasn’t helping; he was feeling worse.
He felt like he was getting sick, which was odd because he rarely got ill but he couldn’t think of what else could have him feeling this horrible. He was sweating, it was becoming difficult to breathe, his heart was thudding so rapidly in his chest he thought it might burst out. He was shaking all over and his skin felt too tight.
Could the dementors make you ill?
“Harry mate, are you sure alright?” Ron asked leaning down on one knee next to Harry. “Hermione I don’t think this is normal, d’you think he’s having another fit?”
“I don’t think so Ron, it looks like he’s going into shock…” She drifted off as she put her hand against Harry’s forehead, her teeth worrying her bottom lip. “He’s burning up Ron.” She whispered to the red head.
Harry starred at his best friends, unable to speak, maybe the dementor really had done more damage than they’d thought and he was dying. His neck pinched and he tried rolling his head but there was a sort of pressure there keeping him from doing so, he tried again but still nothing brought relief. The pinching turned into a stabbing pain.
“Why is he twitching his neck like that?” Hermione wondered out loud.
“What did you say?” Ron asked the girl, suddenly serious.
“Well, look at him Ronald, he looks like he keeps trying to turn his head but can’t… I should go find that professor…”
“NO!” Ron shouted suddenly, “I mean, no, Hermione. You know Harry; he doesn’t like people fussing over him… Just go get him something to drink. I’m sure he’ll be fine soon.” The redhead pleaded.
“Fine, but if he’s not better after that I’m getting that professor.” Hermione huffed out, not happy about being yelled at. She had a feeling Ron was hiding something from her but now wasn’t the time, Harry needed them.
The muggleborn witch spun on her heals and left their compartment after throwing another worried look in Harry’s direction.
Ron rose from the floor, rushed to the door and locked it before heading back to kneel by his best friend. He looked at Harry closely; the sweating, shaking, hyperventilating and the constant attempts at turning his head were all signs of a first woge. He’d always thought Harry was a regular wizard… No one had ever said anything about the Potters being wesen… By the looks of it, Harry had no idea what was happening or what he was.
“Harry, I need you to tell me, have you ever heard of wesen…” Blue eyes stared intently, hoping the answer would be yes.
“Vessan?” Harry breathed raggedly, “Ron what are you getting on about?” A violent tremor shook him from head to toe. “Merlin, I think I’m dying.”
Ron panicked and felt himself woge, Harry shouted and tried to ram himself further into the corner.
“Relax Harry, it’s alright.”
“Relax?! You’ve got fur Ron! Y-you look like a giant beaver! How is that alright?” Harry’s panicked tone pitched his voice higher than he’d ever care to admit.
“I’m wesen Harry, an Eisbiber, you can see me woge because you’re wesen too.” Ron tried to calm his friend despite his own rising panic.
“Are you saying I’m turning into a beaver?” Harry asked with a hysterical laugh.
“Mate, if you don’t know what you are neither do I. There’s loads of different kinds of wesen, even squib ones.” Ron backed away to let Harry have a good look at him. He still had his “baby teeth” -as his mum called them- which meant they were larger and more cumbersome then those of an adult Eisbiber. He hated them but at least his coat was a nice dark brown and surprisingly soft. As a child he’d always been afraid his coat would turn out red like his hair.
Harry studied Ron as best he could despite the small tremors that shook him. He had so many questions yet the pain was keeping him from clearing his thoughts long enough to actually voice them. “This is mad.” He gasped as another tremor shook him. “Merlin, how long is this going to take?” Harry whimpered, the pain was becoming blinding and the pressure in his neck made him feel like he’d been set aflame.
“You gotta stop fighting it mate, j-just let it happen. I know it hurts but Hermione is not wesen and she’ll be back soon.” The young Eisbiber begged, his natural nervousness becoming more obvious as he paced the compartment.
“Right.” Harry ground out through clenched teeth, just let happen, just let happen, let what happen? No, focus, just relax, breath Harry, breath. He felt another tremor begin and let himself go limp, his head rolled to the side, snapped back forward and the pain vanished.
Ron screamed and squished himself up against the door, as if he was desperate to get away from Harry.
The Eisbiber’s fuzzy face was frozen in horror and Harry wondered how it could be so bad if he felt so great. He breathed in deeply, feeling what he could only describe as rush of power course through him. “Ron?” Harry paused at the slight distortion in his voice; there was subtle yet coarse quality to it. He pushed himself up from the floor, Harry was surprised that despite the pain he had just felt and the strain his muscles had been under he now felt none the worse for wear. Quite the opposite actually. “Ron, what’s wrong?”
Ron closed his eyes and shook his head; he couldn’t bear to look at Harry. He moved away from the door and slumped on the bench. “Look.” He mumbled weakly as he pointed towards the window. Desperately trying to calm himself down Ron tried and succeeded in retracting his woge.
Harry turned and jumped back at his reflection. “Is that really me?” He removed his glasses and stepped closer to the window, studying his new face with morbid curiosity.
Ron whimpered a sound of affirmation.
Harry knew he should feel some kind of disgust at his appearance; he looked like something out of a horror movie. The skin on his face had a thin and stretch-to-far look to it, his lips were mostly gone, his teeth had sharpened into ragged points and his eye sockets were dark empty voids even though he could see perfectly despite not wearing his glasses.
Perhaps the most striking change of all however was Harry’s hair. He ran his fingers –which he noticed had also taken on a corpse like quality- through the now dark silver strands. It should have been disturbing, nauseating even but for some reason all Harry felt was pride in his appearance. A feeling he had never truly experienced before.
“What am I?” Harry asked in wonder, turning back to look at Ron who had gone back to looking like his wizard self.
“Bloody hell Harry! You’re a Zauberbiest!”