There was a lot that was wrong with our plan. According to the internet, body changing potions were also restricted to medical situations only, and making them permanent required to take special versions of them for years. But with the overwhelming dysphoria we both had right now, it was our best shot. Even if we’d only manage to loot a single temporary potion, we felt a need so strong it would still be worth it.
The manor looked even more menacing under the storm.
We trudged in the muddy pathway surrounding the manor, and found the window from yesterday still open. I did my best to give Snake a leg up, who then pulled me in by grabbing my arms.
“Okay, where’s the lab?” Snake asked, taking in the room.
“Upstairs.” I simply replied while removing my shoes. I didn’t want to dirty the floor and make it clear we’d passed by again. Seeing me, Snake copied my action.
I mimicked my path from yesterday, making sure the coast was clear before going upstairs and directing us to the lab. Knowing where it was made it much easier the second time around, and Snake seemed to put as much effort as possible in staying silent. The stakes were genuinely that important to both of us.
I opened the oak door and slipped inside the lab once more, and something caught my eye - there was a new bottle on the table. Snake followed me in and pulled out the gender change one, to put it back in its place.
I pointed at the table and Snake placed the potion down, then took a glance as the label of the other one. “Holy crap, Jamie, it’s-”
We were interrupted by the door of the lab slamming shut behind us. Snapping my head around, I saw an irate, tall woman with long pink hair glaring at us. She wore jeans, a white t-shirt and a witch’s hat.
Snake and I froze.
“I hope you’re happy with yourselves, kids. Bet that potion you two drank really messed with your heads, didn’t it? Came back to grab another one and revert it?” She said, an authoritative aura coming out of her gaze. “Well too bad for you! I don’t have the ingredients to make another one right now!”
“I-I didn’t drink from it…” I stuttered out. Snake nodded in confirmation, hugging the potion he’d found on the worktable.
The alchemist’s expression went from angry to confused. She stomped over and grabbed the gender change flask, taking note of its half-fullness. She then threw me a glance, then another to Snake, before switching back to me. “...Didn’t take it to get back at your bully?”
I shook my head, looking down and awkwardly shuffling my feet. “I thought it’d change my body, then Snake took it from me…”
The woman paused for a minute, then pinched the bridge of her nose and furrowed her brows. “God dammit. Okay. I see the picture now.” She turned the gender change potion in her hand for a moment, then glanced at Snake. “Why didn’t you just drink the other half of it?”
“I don’t fucking want to, okay?” Snake replied, the grip he held on the other potion tightening. “I don’t… Wanna be changed back into a boy’s mind…”
The alchemist cracked a pained frown. “This is why I didn’t even wanna make the damn gender potion in the first place. Drop the body change one back on the bench, we have some talking to do, you two and I.”
“Body change?” I asked, now suddenly understanding why it interested Snake so much, and sharing the desire to hold it.
“One thing at a time kid.”
The alchemist sat us down at the table in her kitchen, filling an electric tea pot and starting to boil the water. “Name’s Lucille. You two’s?”
I twiddled with my thumbs. “I’m Jamie.”
“Snake.” My friend said, head resting on his hand and looking off in the distance.
“That’s not a very name-like name.” Lucille replied as she opened cupboard and grabbed three cups.
“It’s a nickname.” Snake muttered, a bit of anger slipping in his tone before grimacing.
The alchemist nodded, putting the cups on the countertop. “Alright. Bet you have even less of a desire to be called by your name now, too.”
Snake threw her a glance, before going back to staring at the wall.
She dropped a tea bag in each cup, filled them with hot water, then brought them to the table and gave one to each of us before taking a seat. “Okay, girls.” Snake’s head almost slipped off his hand, and I felt butterflies in my stomach. “You’re probably experiencing a lot of gender dysphoria right now. So how are you holding up?”
“Did you just call us girls?” Snake asked.
“Sure did.” She said with a smile. “Felt good, didn’t it?”
My friend blushed and went back to his brooding. I decided to reply for him. “Yeah…”
Her smile turned into a self-satisfied grin, and she straightened herself into her seat. “Anyway. Gender dysphoria is distress relative to being treated as your-”
“We know what it is. We looked it up on the internet.” Snake cut her off with a grimace on his face.
Lucille paused and looked at me for confirmation, to which I nodded. “I see. You got luckier than me at your age, that’s for sure.”
“You’re a transgender too?” I asked, my thumb twiddling stopping instantly.
“I’m trans, yeah -It’s an adjective by the way, not a noun-, it’s what got me into alchemy in the first place. It’s just the most effective transition method we have available right now, you know.”
I paused for a moment, my brows furrowing as I thought of something. “Is… Is liking alchemy a transgender thing?”
My question got a giggle out of Lucille. “Well not exclusively obviously, but yeah, for some totally mysterious reason it’s something a lot of us connect to. It might just be a hunch, but the idea of having something to easily shape your body readily available sounds enticing, wouldn’t you say?”
I dug my face into my cup of tea to avoid having to reply, my cheeks red beet.
“Hey, Snake, ever felt like changing your body before drinking that potion?” Lucille asked, turning her attention back to my friend.
“Nah. Never. Having muscles…” He grimaced. “Having muscles and being manly felt good. Wouldn’t have changed my body for nothing.”
“And what about now?”
Snake’s uncomfortable expression got worse, and tears started trailing down his face. “Get me out of this body, fucking please.”
I’d never heard Snake say please before.
The alchemist sipped on her tea, giving us appraising glances. She dropped her cup back on the table. “That potion wasn’t intended for being stolen, you know.”
I looked up, curious where she was going with this.
“I have a friend. They started questioning their gender, realised maybe there was a mismatch between their brain and their body - their gender and their sex.” She threw us glances to make sure we were following. “So, you know, do as usual, make the body match the brain, right? ...It wasn’t that simple. They have a wife, you see, and their wife… She’s gay. So if they went ahead with their transition…”
The room was silent for a moment.
“They simply decided they cared more about their marriage than their gender. So they asked for something to make the brain match the body instead. Broke my heart, but I… I eventually caved, you know. It’s a tragedy I had to. Minds are supposed to be sacred.”
Another moment of silence.
Lucille finished her cup of tea, then looked at Snake dead in the eyes. “I’m telling you all this as a warning. Being trans isn’t easy right now. So, Snake, you have a one in a million chance to get out of it. Sure you don’t want to take it?”
Snake produced a sound midway between a guffaw and a groan. “Ain’t you just said minds are sacred?”
The alchemist smiled warmly. “You’re a good kid, Snake.”
“I think I should object to that…” I muttered, and received a punch on the elbow from my friend in response. Though… It was different from usual. Less mean, more playful. I gave them a grin.
Lucille stood up from her chair, towering over our slouched selves. “Alright, I’ve got a plan to ease your family and friends into it. But just before that, here’s something important you need to know. You’re part of the unlucky trans folks that experience gender dysphoria. There’s some that don’t. Doesn’t make them any less trans. I want you to say ‘Good for them’. You got that?”
“Good for them.” I repeated.
Snake glanced at Lucille a bit confused, before shrugging. “Okay. Good for them, yeah.”
With that motto internalized, Lucille directed us back into her alchemy lab.
Right as we traversed the door, Lucille threw herself into a monologue. “Alright girls. You two know pretty well what’s going on in your heads by now, so at least we can skip convincing yourselves. Trust me, a lot of folks have a harder time at that step than you.” She approached the table on which the potions had been left. She put the gender one aside, then pulled out a second body change from her shelf. “So next step is convincing your friends and families. Problem is, cis people, they’re bad at visualising the end result of a transition. If you listened to them, you’d be thinking you’ll be spending your whole life looking like guys in dresses and that’s straight up just ignorant bullcrap. I mean, just look at me.”
We looked at her, and, uh... she was right. Snake coughed and glanced away.
“Yeah I guess that’s the second thing.” She said, flicking her wrist and pointing towards Snake. “Your sexuality and your gender ain’t linked, so, you could totally turn out to be lesbians, maybe even date each other, and anyone who’d judge isn’t someone you should care about.”
“Can we just get on with it?” I pleaded, now unable to look at my friend without feeling the usual awkwardness having come back.
“Right, back to the topic.” She extended towards each of us a body change potion. “This is to give your folks a headstart in shaving off their stupidity. You drink this in front of them, focus on your desired bodies, and once the effect settles you tell them that’s what you wanna be. They’re gonna struggle way less to imagine what you’re gonna look like in a few years with that memory to start off of, and that’ll make it easier for them to accept and support your transition.”
Snake went to grab their potion, but she pulled her arm away.
“That’s on one condition though.” Lucille said, her tone incredibly serious. Our eyes were attentively staring at her face. “No more stealing. And you’ll be doing your transition completely legally under my guidance. There’s a time to stick it to authorities and a time to listen to your elders.”
I glanced at my feet and followed with a nod, finding little drive to object. I guess I wasn’t a troublemaker like Dean had said, as much as someone that had lived in trouble.
“Do we really have to tell my parents…?” Snake asked with a defeated tone.
“I will literally adopt you if it goes bad.” Lucille blurted out with an intense gaze.
“Wait, seriously?” I found myself asking in confusion.
She tried to wave my concern away with a flick of her wrist. “Well not literally literally, don’t think that’s quite legal, but you’re definitely welcome to come live here ‘til you’re eighteen.”
Snake interjected. “How the fuck…? How loaded are you?”
“Alchemy pays well.” Lucille replied with a shrug. “You might’ve noticed I’m pretty alone for such a big house, that’s because I keep empty rooms for friends in need to crash in. Speaking of, please stay here until the weather clears. You’ll find some stuff to play in the next room over, just make sure you don’t wipe my saves.”
Snake and I exchanged a look.
She turned her attention to her phone as she pulled it out of her pocket and checked the time. “I’ve got a call to make for a friend I’m enabling the mistake of, now that their potion’s back, so if you’ll excuse me...” She hurried out the door, leaving me in Snake’s company once more.
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- Princess Alchemist Catgirl
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.