transfiguration (n.) 1a: a change in form or appearance: Metamorphosis. 1b: an exalting, glorifying, or spiritual change
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Revised Edition
How much of it is it my fault? she wonders.
The question is purely academic, she understands; there’s nothing to be gained by answering it, even if anyone could. Still, it’s diverting to contemplate as she watches yet another group of eleven-year-olds try and fail to Transfigure hedgehogs into pincushions.
Which is another academic exercise, she reminds herself.
Later, as she attaches the Head Girl badge to Cho Chang’s letter, sealing it with an efficient swish of her wand, Minerva thinks about power and desire.
The desire for power is innate, she thinks.
Even infants at the breast scream with impotent rage when the object of their milky desire is denied them. It is natural to want the power to control the events of our lives. How, then, does that natural desire tip over into yearning for power over others? Are some of us born with it, like a latent disease in the blood, waiting to erupt into fulminant life? Or does it require careful nurturing and feeding?
These questions are not academic; they are the stuff of life.
“What are you doing here at this hour, Tom?”
It was well after midnight, and a Slytherin had no business being in Gryffindor Tower at that hour.
“You’re not on the roster, tonight, Tom.”
He smiled and shrugged. “Maybe I was looking for you.”
His insouciance was infuriating. Minerva had a healthy respect for rules and little but contempt for those who believed they were made to be broken.
“Maybe I should turn you in to Slughorn for being out of bed after curfew.”
“Maybe you should. But you’re Head Girl. You can do whatever you want with me.”
It was clearly a proposition, but coming from Riddle’s mouth, it sounded more like a threat. Or maybe it was the way he stuck his arm out, blocking her path, that made it seem so.
He was very close now. At sixteen, he had not yet gotten his full growth, and she was tall girl, so his eyes did not quite come up to the level of hers. He had to crane his neck slightly upward to look directly into them.
“Do you want to, Minerva?” he whispered.
Yes, oh, yes.
She said nothing, but turned on her heel and walked briskly down the corridor. Tom followed.
They did not touch one another that night. When they got to her room, she closed and warded the door.
“Undress,” she commanded him. He did so, the infuriating smile never leaving his face.
Once he was naked, she spent several minutes looking at him in silence. She had never seen a nude man before—not in the flesh—and her interest was as much clinical as it was carnal. His body looked hard; not in the bony way hers was, but the flesh itself seemed as if it would not yield at all to the touch.
She stared intently at his penis—cock, she corrected herself; in this context, it is surely a cock—which twitched and began to grow and stiffen under her gaze.
Once she had satisfied herself with looking at his genitals, she instructed him to turn around. She nearly gasped at the beauty of his arse. Smooth and round, she thought, just like the statue of David she had seen in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence when her parents had taken her there on summer hols two years ago.
No wonder Michelangelo was obsessed with adolescent males, she smiled to herself. There is nothing so beautiful in this world as a bare, pristine pair of boyish buttocks. Like a blank canvas, she thought.
How did the artist feel when he took his chisel to the virginal, white marble to create those exquisite globes?>/p>
Like a god, no doubt.
The following night, he came to her rooms again, and once again she ordered him to strip. When he was naked, she removed her own clothes and stood in front of him.
“Minerva, you—“ he started, but she stopped his breath and his words with her wand and a whispered “Apneo,” releasing it only when he saw his eyes begin to widen with the tension.
She watched his cock harden, and after a few minutes, she told him to get dressed and get out, and he obeyed.
On the third night, she made him watch as she touched herself. When he moved his hand to his cock, she immediately stopped and put her clothes on. Thus, he learned not to make a move without her direction. He was a quick study.
She touched him on the fifth night, running her hands inexpertly along his shaft and squeezing the head and his balls gently until his legs were shaking, but when he allowed the ghost of a moan to escape his lips, she quit and made him leave without letting him come.
It was the sixth night before she spoke more than a few words.
“Do you want me to fuck you?” she asked him after they were both naked.
He wasn’t sure if she would toss him out if he answered aloud, so he simply nodded.
“I’ve never done it before,” she said bluntly.
There was nothing to say to that, so he just nodded again and cocked his head at her bed, as if in question.
“Lie down,” she said. As he did, she picked up her wand and conjured four long, silk scarves. She tied two around his wrists and secured them to the posters at the head of her bed. She used another to tie his ankles together. The last she used to blindfold him.
He heard the bed groan, then he felt her knees on either side of his thighs. A cool, firm hand wrapped around his cock, and he felt something warm and wet sliding tantalizingly against the head. Her hand moved him harder against her clit, and he could hear her breath start to come faster and heavier. When he felt the head of his cock pressing against her entrance, he couldn’t help rocking his hips a bit. For a moment, he was afraid she’d call it off then and there, but she was breathing hard and she was so wet, he guessed she wouldn’t.
She was trembling with anticipation, desire and fear as she positioned herself over his cock. Lowering herself onto it, she wondered if she’d have the courage to go through with it. As she felt the tip inside her, she knew she wouldn’t turn back. She slowly pushed herself further down, gritting her teeth at the increasing pain, until she had taken him fully inside her.
When the pain had subsided, she began to move slowly up and down on him, watching his face with curiosity. She was not going to climax—not this time—so she wanted to see what he looked like when he came. After a minute or two, his face contorted in what looked to her like a rictus of pain, but that she knew was intense pleasure, then she felt him shake beneath her as he bucked his hips up to meet hers. She felt more powerful than she ever had when doing the other sort of magic.
When she had released him, she allowed him to touch her for the first time. He ran his hands over her breasts and down to stroke her wet, sticky sex. As he moved his fingers over and inside her, she lay back and allowed herself to be swept along by the river of sensation. There was nothing in the room—nothing in the world—but his fingers and her cunt as she hurtled toward orgasm.
When she opened her eyes again, his fingers were in his mouth. She saw the blood on his lips, and watched in fascination as his tongue flicked out to lick it off. She shuddered, and a frisson of recognition overcame her.
She almost lost him among the tangle of legs in the High Street. She caught sight of him just in time, as he turned the corner into the dingy dirt alley that led to an even dingier row of storefronts.
Ignoring the way the dust tickled her whiskers as she sped down the lane, she arrived at the door just in time to slip in behind the slightly unsteady steps of a large, smelly person of indeterminate gender. She spied her quarry at a dark corner table, seated with a group of five other men, none of whom she recognized. She edged herself into a spot underneath a barstool to watch and wait.
When he rose from the table and sauntered to the back of the saloon and up the stairs, she followed, padding along silently on her paws. As he turned the key in the rusty lock, he was surprised by a “pop” from behind him and whipped around, wand drawn.
“Hello, Tom. What are you doing here?”
“The same as you, I would guess.”
She raised an inquisitive eyebrow.
He said, “You are here to apply for the Transfiguration post, aren’t you?”
Her eyes narrowed at this. “How do you know that?”
“Simple deduction. Dumbledore placed the Transfiguration advertisement along with the one for Defence. You left the Ministry last month.”
There was the insouciant smile again, like an old friend.
She didn’t ask him how he knew about her leaving her post. “You applied for the Defence position?”
“I never would have guessed you wanted to teach.”
He ignored her comment. “Why did you follow me, Minerva?”
“I was curious.”
“You know what they say about curiosity and cats.”
“Of course. I also know what they say about satisfaction.”
He smiled and opened the door to his room, signalling an invitation to enter.
She hesitated, then stepped decisively over the threshold.
As soon as the door was closed behind them, he began to unbutton his robe.
“Did I tell you to strip off?” she asked, annoyed at his presumption.
His hand immediately stilled, and she suppressed a smile. She approached him and slowly finished removing his robe. She was standing very close, just inches from him. He was taller now; her eyes were level with his neck. She could see the arterial pulse of his carotid through his nearly translucent skin.
“Do it,” she said.
He continued undressing, his hands brushing the front of her robes as he moved them to the buttons of his shirt. She was so close that he could not bend to remove his shoes and socks, so he let his trousers and shorts pool around his ankles, waiting for her next instructions.
She had been staring, her eyes fixed on the pulsing artery. After a moment, she dropped her eyes down his body and felt a familiar rush of heat through her own. Stepping back a few feet, she commanded, “Take everything off and face the bed.”
He did as he was told, and she noted with satisfaction that his arse was still smooth and unblemished—even now a perfect canvas. Looking around, her eye fixed on a quill that lay on a small table in the corner. She Summoned and Transfigured it into a bundle of long, birch twigs, which she swished briskly through the musky air, ensuring he could hear it. She could almost hear his cock rise at the sound.
He did so, the cleft between the globes beckoning her.
This is new, he thought. She had never made him count before. She’s been studying, he realized with a small smile that he was glad she couldn’t see. He wondered if someone had instructed her in the fine art of birching. His questions were soon answered.
She had, indeed, learned some technique. In just four strokes, she built a delectable mille-feuille of insistent heat evenly across his arse that had him biting his lip to keep from crying aloud. As his count neared double-digits, he could feel the ends of the twigs barely tease the secret sluice of flesh between his buttocks, and his cock jumped in sprightly response.
When his voice quavered on “twelve,” she Transfigured the birch back into a quill. She stepped back to admire the chiaroscuro of welts she had created on his skin. Using the feather end of the quill, she traced each delicate line of pink, causing his breath to hiss slightly in response. When she moved the feather down his cleft to tickle the bundle of screaming nerves at his perineum, she saw him clench his cheeks in response.
She was barely able to control her breathing as she told him to straighten up. “Get on the bed, face up, but close your eyes; don’t look at me,” she ordered.
When he was in position, she used a Sticking Charm to secure his arms and legs spread-eagle to the bed. She would have preferred to do it manually, but the bed had no posters, and she couldn’t be bothered to Conjure any; she was trembling with need. Climbing on the bed, she straddled his head, hoisted her skirt and shoved her hand into her knickers. She thrust three fingers swiftly in and out of her slick passage, then, spreading the moisture over her clit, she rubbed herself furiously—almost viciously—but she couldn’t make herself come.
Eyes still closed, Tom could feel her heat and smell her arousal. He heard her increasingly desperate gasps, and it made his cock tingle with excitement. He heard her pause, then whisper a spell. The room was suddenly frigid, and he shivered, wondering what she was up to.
They stayed like that for several minutes, until she saw that his flesh had taken on a bluish hue from the cold. She Summoned the feather quill and Transfigured it into a razor-sharp lancet.
The first drops felt as if they would burn the flesh of his chest, so great was the contrast between the cold air and the moist heat of her blood. The droplets formed tiny rivers of warmth that ran down his sides, and he couldn’t suppress a moan. Gods, how he wanted to taste it!
It was not until she saw the blood stain his skin that she found her release, rubbing again until she was shuddering and spasming, leaving her limp. Afterwards, she amused herself with making steaming patterns on the smooth canvas of his chest and abdomen as he shivered, the crimson forming a pleasing contrast against the flesh, so pale as to almost be refractive.
She stanched the wound with her wand and Banished her clothes, then said, “You may open your eyes.”
He did so and looked down at the design she had made rather than at her body.
“You may fuck me now,” she said, releasing him from the bed.
He pushed her down against the mattress and flung himself on top of her, relishing the sticky membrane the blood formed between their bodies as he thrust and pumped into her. He came swiftly and silently, and when he withdrew and knelt over her, licking the tacky, salty blood from her body, she did, too.
When he was finished, she rose and silently Scourgified herself, dressed, and transformed back into her feline form.
Back in her own room at the Three Broomsticks, she opened the letter that was waiting for her.
The next day, she moved her things into her new rooms at Hogwarts and took charge of the 75 children she was to instruct in the art and science of Transfiguration.
She did not see Tom Riddle again.
In this room, time relinquishes its power. They are simply borne along on currents of pleasure and pain, and she is the one who stops and starts it.
She could do either with a flick of her wand, or even a wandless spell, but there is a proper way to everything, as her mother had taught her, and Minerva was nothing if not an apt pupil and dutiful daughter. What her mother had not taught her, but that she knew instinctively, was which things were best done by the touch of hands. Flesh to flesh.
Colour is a necessary element. Red, pink, and white predominate.
First there is the red of the coverlet: carmine, as befits the Head of Gryffindor. It frames the beautiful, white expanse of unmarred skin as it is stretched across the bed like a canvas.
Soon—but not too soon—pink joins white and red. Subtle patches of light coral rise from the smooth, round globes. They turn, eventually, to bright Persian pink as she changes her medium from palm to flogger.
Only when bright, fuchsia pink welts threaten to obscure every inch of milky flesh, and her partner is gasping and moaning, does she release the restraints and turn him to reveal a fresh canvas of white skin punctuated by the deep violet tip of his straining erection.
She fucks him then—or lets him fuck her—but she knows she will not be fully sated.
One essential colour—alizarin crimson—will be missing. She will feel bereft and breathless, but will deny herself that final release, as she has for the past half-century.