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Title: Transformare (1/10)
Author: iulia_linnea
Pairings: Snarry, others
Rating: Hard R
Warning (Highlight to view): For (non-main) character death.
Word Count: 1507 (27,101 total)
Summary: In the face of loss and transformation, Harry learns that, however ill-expressed, "love is an ever-fixed mark."
Disclaimer: This piece is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers, including, but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Written for the 2006 reversathon under the name of Miss Euphorbia Sidlewize for Miss Penny Wagtail/reddwarfer and originally posted on 17 July 2006. Thank you, calmingshoggoth, eaivalefay, quite_tasteful, rhiandra, stasia, and yarn_girl, for beta'ing. Miss Wagtail requested: "Snape/Girl!Harry. Please. I want something where Harry becomes a girl willingly for whatever reason, remains one. Dealing with why he wants that for whatever reason." You may find all parts of this story by clicking the Transformare tag.

Transformare, Part One

Ron and Hermione walked out of the Three Broomsticks hand in hand, lightly humming the campaign-cum-victory song that their friends were still riotously singing inside the pub. A mild May evening, it was the third anniversary of Voldemort's defeat, the second anniversary of their wedding, and the first-month anniversary of their having received some welcome news.

"Molly knows," Hermione said, after they had walked as far as the Shrieking Shack.

Ron squeezed her hand. "Mum's like you. She knows everything."

They stopped their progress before their builders' sign—"Longbottom-Lovegood: Construction, Deconstruction, and Reconstruction"—and gazed up the hill at what would eventually become their home.

"I hope they can meet our revised time-table."

"I'm sure they can, Professor Granger-Weasley," Ron teased.

"Does it bother you?"

"Don't let Fleur's comment bother you," Ron said, turning toward Hermione and pulling her into a hug. "She was only needling you the way she does everyone."

"'Ow modern of you'," Hermione retorted, mimicking her sister-in-law. "You'd think she'd have got over it by now."

"If she had kids . . . ."

"It's sad, isn't it? How hard she tries to be a 'proper' wife because she can't be a mother?"

Ron pulled back and smiled sadly into Hermione's eyes. "It is that, but Bill doesn't mind. We should try not to."

"What we should try to do is find someone for Gabrielle. She was practically falling into poor Harry's lap tonight."

"Harry never notices that sort of thing."

"Well, something made him leave."

Ron took Hermione's hand and led her toward and through the rickety gate that marked the edge of their property and then continued up the hill. "Let's get a better look at what's been done."

"Shouldn't we go after him?"

"What for? D'you want to get snapped at?"

"We could tell him," Hermione suggested, stopping to look at a pile of lumber. "It looks as though Neville and Luna are planning to rebuild the entire house from scratch, doesn't it?"

"They very nearly are—Bundimun damage is an ugly thing." But not as expensive to fix as buying a new place. "I thought you wanted to wait to tell people."

"But this is Harry, and it's an awful time of year for him. I think it would help him, hearing some happy news."

Ron snorted. "It would help him to get laid instead of taking out all his frustration on the dart board. I thought that last round would have him aiming at Snape's head."

"Civility might be too much to hope for there," Hermione replied, turning her head to examine the boarded front door. "Did you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

"Shh. Listen."

A low slow creaking was emanating from the Shrieking Shack.

Ron drew his wand. "I think someone's inside. Go back down the hill while I—"

Hermione grabbed Ron's wand arm and protested, "Oh no you don't—it could be the foundation. Luna says that the strengthening charms take days to set, and I'm not having you crushed by our new house."

"It could be thieves, and I'm not having any of the supplies nicked," Ron replied, striding around to the back and grumbling about his inadequate Auror's salary with Hermione in tow. Looking over his shoulder, he asked, "Got the de-warding key with you?"

"I don't think we'll need it."

Startled by the fact that Hermione now had her wand out, Ron turned to find that what had been the back door was strewn over the step in splinters.

"Wait here," Ron hissed.

"No!"

"Hermione Weasley, don't argue with me!"

"I knew it bothered you that I hyphen—"

CRACK!

"What the hell?" Ron yelled, seizing Hermione by the shoulders and dragging her away from the shack as a loud cry of "Fuck it!" rang out from within.

"That sounded like Harry!" Hermione exclaimed, jerking out of Ron's grasp and rushing headlong into the house.

"Hermione, don't!" Ron called, sprinting after her.

~*~

Harry regained consciousness to find his body limned in the magic that had prevented him from being crushed by two storeys of Shrieking Shack. Beyond the barrier of his power, he could see nothing for the dust motes swirling thickly in the air—but he could hear a faint moaning.

Perhaps it's just me, he thought, rubbing his head and attempting to concentrate on the sound despite the vague disorientation that always accompanied the swathing of himself in his reinforced aura.

He had never got used to the sensation, even though he had employed the technique on many occasions since absorbing it from Voldemort's mind.

Too bad I wasn't faster with it, Harry thought, straining to hear what was making the noise amidst the wreckage. Ron's going to kill

"No!"

"Ron?" Harry called, his sense of alarm making him careless as he threw off his protection and struggled to sit up. "Ron! Where are you?"

A choked sort of wailing was the only response. It led Harry over fractured timber and chunks of plaster toward what had been the front of the shack. There, he found Ron curled up around Hermione's limp body, stroking her hair.

A jagged board was protruding through Ron's torso.

Harry felt his gorge rise at the sight, and he froze as he realized that Hermione's limbs were bending in too many places. "No one has that many joints."

"H—Harry?" Ron asked, gurgling his question more than asking it as blood bubbled out of his mouth. "Harry, he—elp us."

As it often did in moments of crisis, time slowed for Harry and his vision became hyper-focused: he could see every cut, scrape, bruise, gouge, and break that marred his friends' bodies, every smear of dirt and blood, every line of pain, and a screaming filled his mind that perversely separated him from the horrific reality with which he was faced.

I was just working on the strengthening charms. I was just trying to help. I didn't mean to lose control. I didn't mean to—oh, God. Is that a board sticking out of

It took less than a second for Harry to think these things, but that was time enough to permit him to begin processing his shock. He had learned the technique on his own during the war.

"H—help."

"Fuck!" Harry yelled, quickly digging through the bits of house toward Ron and Hermione and throwing detritus behind himself as he went.

"Take her," Ron ordered, visibly paling. "Get them . . . out of here."

"Not yet!" Harry exclaimed, trying to arrange his hands around the board jutting out of his friend's stomach in a way that would stop the bleeding until Ron, with surprising strength, seized one of Harry's wrists.

"'M dead."

"Don't say tha—"

"Dead!" Ron snarled, his fingernails breaking Harry's skin. "I'm dead, but . . . Her. Mi. O. Ne's not," he wheezed. "Our
baby's . . . not. Hospital."

"Hermione's pregnant?"

"Pre—pregnant," Ron affirmed, releasing his hold on Harry. "Please . . . save my . . . save her. Save baby," Ron pleaded, gasping out the words while Harry scrambled to uncover Hermione.

"I'll Apparate her to—"

"Pregnant."

"Shit! Right. I'll Apparate you fir—"

"No time."

Harry already knew that he was going to obey Ron, but that did not stop him from saying, as he lifted Hermione, "I can't leave you. I won't."

Ron grazed Hermione's forehead with his lips as she left his arms and promised, "If you . . . let them die, I'll . . . I'll hate you."

Harry was suddenly straddling his broom.

"Neat . . . trick," Ron said, smiling weakly and fumbling next to himself in the wreckage.

Physically adjusting Hermione into a more secure position because he did not trust himself to use any charms, Harry begged, "Just hang on. You just—"

"Justine, yeah—nice one."

"What?"

"Justine. Good name. Hermione would've . . . liked it," Ron said, shakily pointing his wand at Harry's broom.

"No! You're too wea—"

Ron's spell hit the broom and sent it flying almost too quickly for Harry to control without dropping Hermione, and Harry knew that Ron had cast it because his friend and partner had thought it was the only way he could force Harry to move quickly enough to save his wife and unborn daughter—but wizards near death who used magic almost always died from the strain of it, and Harry also knew that he would never forgive himself for having forced Ron into the action.