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So maybe Dean was right that I was excited, but… Not for the reasons he thought. I wanted nothing more than to get out of this place, I had no desire to steal anything, the only reason my heart was thumping was because this was the closest I’d ever gotten to alchemy.

Unfortunately, as much as I didn’t want to become a thief… If I played smart, I could take a potion and avoid being caught. But wimping out and attempt to avoid the three kids awaiting me on the other side of that window? Fat chance. I’d rather a minuscule chance of getting in trouble with the police than being guaranteed to come home beaten and bruised. For as much as I hated my bullies, I’d tried countless times already to get the adults in my life to make it stop, and nothing had come of it. One more occasion wouldn’t have changed anything, so there was no point in expecting any repercussions for them if they beat me up.

I glanced at the room I was in. A cozy couch and a chair circling a glass coffee table, an intricate carpet on the ground, and full bookcases on each side of the room. I silently made my way to the door, cupped my ear against it to make sure there wasn’t anyone on the other end, and opened it.

I arrived in a simple corridor, giving onto a landing and a wide open kitchen on my right, and stairs spiralling up on my left. I started mapping the place to the disposition of the manor I’d seen outside. My highest chance of finding the alchemy lab was upstairs.

I went up a floor, looked around, then went up one more, both times only finding living quarters at a glance. Guess I only had to search more thoroughly now.

...Actually, I’ll spare you some of the details. It took me twenty minutes of bathrooms, bedrooms and various entertainment rooms before I found what actually looked like not only a workshop, but an alchemy workshop. And one that, according to my limited knowledge, seemed incredibly traditional. No overpriced scientific equipment in sight, just jars upon jars of ingredients, a cauldron, and a shelfful of labelled bottles containing fully stabilized potions. And on the work table in the middle, a single flask. I wasn’t expecting it to be the strength potion I was looking for, of course, but that’s where I started my search.

And the label on that bottle stunned me.

In regal handwriting, it said, “Gender Change”.

The bottle had a very peculiar design. Instead of the usual flask, it had a shape more like you’d expect a Djinn to pop out of.

I could never forget the way I saw the purple concoction swerve and move around even at rest. Sometimes it would split into a light blue and a dark pink, weave into one another for a moment, then merge again, all the while a powder-like thing glittered in the substance.

It was mesmerizing, and that’s where my trouble began. Because I spent very long, very complete minutes, a dozen of them, just looking at it, at the bottle, at its content, at its label. Like I’d forgotten my mission, there was something about the potion that was near otherworldly.

I should’ve had thoughts. I should’ve asked myself why I even cared about it that much in the first place. But in the moment my heart refused to beat, my brain refused to think. I just saw it, and it was like I had found something I’d been searching all my life without knowing.

It took all my courage for me to lift the bottle up from its resting place, and just hold it for a minute. Examine it under all its angles. I glanced at the cork like my eyes could make it disappear if I just looked at it intensely enough. But it was forbidden. I didn’t want to steal. Did I? Of all the things that could have kicked my brain back in, it was Dean’s words that I was a troublemaker like them. I imagined myself pocketting this potion for my own usage, and it weirdly didn’t seem that strange. I didn’t even know what I would… do with it. I had no plans to force someone else to drink it. And drinking it myself… The idea made alarms in my brain blare.

It all went from bad to worse in that single moment: I heard footsteps. Someone was coming back and I had to abscond to the stairs quickly. I hightailed it and ran, without having found Snake’s strength potion because of my dumb mind having glitched out over seeing that other one. Guess I was due for a beating now…

I managed to make my way downstairs and into the living room unnoticed. There was the window I’d came in through, and all I had to do was go back out. My feet stammered for just a moment while I prepared myself for what the bullies were gonna do to me, and I slipped out.

I would at least get to say I tried, I thought and hoped.

My feet hit the ground while I sported a scared expression on my face. I was surrounded by sharks, and I’d come in empty handed.

Snake approached me slowly, shooting me a menacing grin. I was sure he was looking forward to beating me up for failing. I closed my eyes for a moment… And received a slap on my back. “Good job, Jamie. I knew you were usable for something, even if it took you so long.” I looked back up, confused, and just had the time to feel something slip out of my hand.

And.

I.

Froze.

He was holding the gender change potion. When did he…? Had I not dropped it? ...Oh my god, I hadn’t dropped it. I’d kept it so tight in my grasp I hadn’t even noticed I departed with it. Dean and Lukas snickered.

“Let’s take this bad boy for a test drive!” He said as he uncorked it effortlessly, despite the tremendous mental energy I would’ve expended in his place.

“No, don’t!” I tried to call out, but too late. He’d already brought it to his lips and drank from it.

He shot me a glance with his always confident smile. “What, you think I’m stupid? I ain’t gonna down the whole thing, gotta keep half of it for the actual class, y’know.” His gaze then dropped down to the potion, to the label on it. I grimaced, my teeth grinding against one another, as I saw his smile drop instantly. We both shot a glance at his body in apprehension...

But nothing happened.

He quickly hid the bottle in his jean pocket, a weird pink tinge to his cheeks. He turned around, almost mechanically, and prepared to leave.

“Wait, where ya going, Snake?” Lukas asked, confused.

“I, uh… I don’t feel so good. I’m gonna talk to you two tomorrow, okay?” He replied, before touching his neck with the palm of his hand, and being seemingly disappointed by what he found. He caressed it a few times then dropped his hand again.

“But what about testing the potion?” It was Dean’s turn to ask a question. “Aren’t you gonna rough Jamie up?”

“NO.” He snapped his head back towards us, before realizing how uncharacteristic of him that had just been. His gaze stopped on me for a minute. “Just… Consider it your lucky day or something, twerp. No beating today. Scram. Let’s all scram.”

Lukas and Dean exchanged a glance, then followed their leader’s order, though Lukas did take the time to punch my other shoulder anyway.

“Think the potion made him sick?” I heard Dean’s voice mutter to his friend as they walked further away, leaving me behind.

I rubbed my arm, looking up at the slowly darkening sky. A storm was approaching, so I rushed home, my head full of questions, the primary one being - if Snake had drank a gender change potion, why hadn’t he turned into a girl?

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About the author

Taxouck

Bio: I write the LGBTQ gender bending stories I wish I had when I was a teen, and all the internet had was cis gaze erotica. I write so that future trans kids have better stuff to look at to figure themselves out than what I had.

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