Zeelo is a third grade magic student who brews potions on a fifth grade level! And he’s decided that he wants to brew a motion to turn himself into a weremouse. Why? Cause turning into a mouse for one night a month would be fun! But, it’s a complicated potion, and he might have more trouble than he thinks with the results.
A Botched Weremouse
The sun was setting, moonrise would be soon, and Zeelo was hiding underneath a table in the potions lab and running out of time. Apparently, his Potions Teacher had decided to work late tonight, thwarting the brown haired third-grader’s plan. When he had come in here to complete it the teacher had been away, he had not expected him to come back to grade exams. Thankfully, Zeelo’s little project was on a counter that was out of sight of the teacher’s desk, but if the guy didn’t leave soon it wasn’t going to be possible to complete.
Zeelo wondered if he could sneak out from under the desk and get to the counter. He should have worn darker clothing. His bright blue sweater and tan shorts didn’t exactly blend in with the classroom. Well, at least he was wearing sneakers.
At long last, the elderly teacher rose from his desk, fiddled around with his pockets for a few minutes, and then finally left. Zeelo waited a few seconds to ensure he wasn’t going to come right back, then climbed out from beneath the desk and rushed over to the counter. There was where his incomplete potion laid in a flask, currently a purple liquid with faint glow. Zeelo was thankful he only had a couple more ingredients to add then it’d be done. He quickly dropped the crumb of gouda he had stored in his pocket in and stirred until it dissolved. Then, he added the pouch of moonflower seeds. He quickly stirred again, and as they dissolved the potion changed colors to red. IT WAS READY!
There was no time to get it into a proper container, he’d have to drink it from the flask. Zeelo lifted up the potion. For a moment he questioned his decision. If this worked, it’d be a lot of fun… But…. This was a college level potion; really complex. He had been working on it in secret for three weeks now. Was he absolutely sure he got everything right? If there were any side effects he wouldn’t be able to go to the nurse’s office without revealing he had broken at least seven school rules. Well, his teacher had told him he was brewing potions on a fifth-grade level. Yeah! He was ready for this. Zeelo looked out the window and watched. He timed himself and drank his potion right as the full moon appeared in the sy.
The changes started immediately. Zeelo began to shrink down into his clothes. In hindsight, he should have taken those off in advance… But he had also hoped to take the potion back to his dorm where there was much less risk of anyone walking in on him. Still, it was what it was, and as the folds of his sweater fell atop him leaving him in darkness, he realized climbing out wouldn’t be that bad. The real problem would be if someone found his discarded clothing here, and any conclusions they might draw.
In the dark beneath his sweater, Zeelo couldn’t see the changes, but he could feel them. His ears becoming far larger and rounder, a tail protruding from the end of his spine, fur growing over his entire body. Well, most of his body. His tail, hands and feet were left furless. He did however grow a short claws on all four feet. Ah, he had four feet now, or paws to be more accurate. He felt his spine snap as he was forced into a quadruped stance. This was exciting! It felt like the changes had stopped, so Zeelo squirmed his way out from beneath his clothes and onto the classroom floor.
“Squeak!” Zeelo was delighted to hear that he couldn’t speak. It meant it had worked exactly as described in the book. He quickly ran over to where the flask had dropped to the floor when he shrunk. He could just make out his reflection in it… He was just a small brown-haired mouse.
It had worked! He had actually done it right! Zeelo squeaked in delight, but then remembered he had a time limit. Had to make the most of tonight before he changed back. Though, he should get to transform again on the next full moon, and every full moon for his entire life. It was a Weremouse Potion after all. He had considered other animals… But realized something as small and quiet as a mouse could easily move around the school without being seen.
“Squeeeak!” Zeelo climbed up the side of a wall, amazed at how easy it was as he leaped onto the window seal. He had thankfully had the foresight to open the window just a bit, and that was enough for him to slip out, and fall downward into the grass of the school grounds.
Here Zeelo had to be careful. Regardless of how cool this was, he couldn’t forget that he was a tiny mouse, and would face the same threats all tiny mice face. This was why he planned to mostly explore inside the school… But sadly he didn’t know of another way out of the classroom. He’d just have to use the grass as cover as he moved across the grounds until he found a way inside another segment of the building.
It actually didn’t take long. As Zeelo crept through the grass, whiskers twitching in excitement, his ears suddenly picked up the sound of the groundskeeper humming as he worked. Zeelo poked his head out of the grass, and saw the man heading for the school’s main entrance. He had a mop in one hand, a bucket in the other, but most importantly a pair of headphones on his head. Perfect! He was distracted and off in his own little world.
As the groundskeeper approached the front door, Zeelo quickly skittered behind him. He looked around into the sky, somewhat nervously, feeling exposed standing on the sidewalk leading up to the door. As soon as the door opened he broke into a sprint running straight past the groundskeeper and into the safety of the halls. The man was so caught up in his music he didn’t even notice.
“Squeaaaak squeak squeak.” Zeelo giggled to himself. Now he should have free reign of the school and could enjoy the night as he pleased. He simply needed to find a way back to the potion’s lab before sunrise so he could change back into his clothes, sparing himself possible embarrassment and removing all evidence of him being there. Now… Where to explore first? The cafeteria obviously! There was a giant chocolate chip cookie with his name on it.
Hours later, Zeelo awoke from a light nap up on rafter just outside the cafeteria. He hadn’t meant to fall asleep… But even with the excitement of his new form it looked like he wasn’t capable of pulling an all nighter. And stuffing his belly with a cookie almost as big as he was hadn’t helped. He would have to make sure he slept during the day before the next full moon.
Wait? What time was it? Zeelo didn’t know how long he had been asleep after his little food coma. He might be running out of time! He had to get back to the potion’s lab now before he changed back into a human right in the middle of the hall! He ran across the banisters, heading towards the potion lab, aware of the fact it was on the opposite end of the school. As he passed by a window he could see the first glimmer of sunlight starting to appear. He wasn’t going to make it. It was simply impossible.
Time for a Plan B.
Zeelo changed directions and headed for the dorms. They were closer, and he could grab a change of clothes there and then rush to the lab to fetch the others. He reached the hall leading to the dormitories, and sprinted down it. He was very thankful his dorm was on the first floor. Once outside his dorm he ran down the post as he mentally thanked himself for leaving the room unlocked just in case. Then he stopped before a giant door the size of a mountain as he realized a small problem.
He was far too small to reach the door handle.
Ok, there was no reason to panic. No self-respecting magic elementary student was going to wake up at the crack of down. He’d just change back to human right here, then simply slip into his room before anyone saw.
The sun rose, and Zeelo began to change. The fur receded back into his skin, and he felt his spine snap back into a bipedal position. He stood up as he forepaws became hands again… And then the changes stopped.
“What?” Zeelo looked down at himself. Oh hey he could talk. But… Why wasn’t he changing back further? He was human… Sort of. But he still had mouse ears and a tail! Was only a couple inches tall and… He looked at his hands and feet. They weren’t paws anymore, but they still had short claws on them. What was going on? Shouldn’t he be getting bigger by now? Maybe the sun wasn’t fully risen yet?
Zeelo sat down and slumped against his door. That had to be it. He’d start growing and lose the tail any minute now. Just had to wait. Any minute. Any minute.
He wasn’t going to change back.
Zeelo realized he had screwed up the potion. This was a problem. Was he stuck like this? He stood up and frantically began to scratch at his door. He had to get inside before someone saw him! He could figure out what to do later. He dug his claws into the wood, triggering a realization that he could still climb just as well as a mouse. Well, as he started his way up, maybe not as fast, but still pretty easy. He quickly scaled all the way to the door handle, climbed onto it and then paused.
“Now what?” Standing atop the knob, he had no way to turn it and open the door. He just wasn’t strong enough. He could get the knob to turn a little bit, but there was no way to push the door open. Zeelo tried putting his pack to the door and feet on the knob, pushing as hard as he could with his legs. Nothing. All he had done was wear himself out. He’d have to find another way in. Maybe a window! He had time before anyone saw him.
“Zeelo?” A young boy’s voice asked.
“SQUEAK!?” Zeelo let out a terrified chirp. At the same time it made him realize he could still squeak like a mouse. That was actually neat. “Squeak squeak squeauk.” Easy to do too and… Wait! Person! “Uh.. Um… Yes?”
“What happened to you?” The owner of the voice was another student Zeelo attended classes with. He was a red-haired kid with glasses named Ryan.
“Uh.. Nothing happened.” Zeelo forced a grin as he took a step back on the doorknob so his back was against the door. He suddenly found himself very conscious of the fact that not only was he currently tiny and part mouse; but was also standing naked in front of one of the other students.
“Seriously?” Ryan raised an eyebrow, and then he reached forward and pinched Zeelo’s tail between two fingers, lifting him off the doorknob and dangling him upside down.
”H-hey!” Zeelo objected as he suddenly found himself dangling upside down. He tried to squirm away, but Ryan kept a tight grip, and eventually Zeelo came to a stop, just hanging upside down with his arms crossed. “Oh… You meant this. Well uh… You know I’m really advanced in potions… And just thought I’d try out the weremouse look.”
“You botched the potion.” Ryan understood at once.
“I did n-“ Zeelo started to object, but realized it was pretty impossible to argue out of this given his current state. “I botched the potion.”
“You’ve gotta tell one of the teachers so they can fix you.” Ryan said with concern in his tone.
“Are you crazy!?” Zeelo waved his arms wildly. “I’ll have detention for the next two grade levels if I tell them! Off the table! Not an option.”
“So what… You’re just going to stay like that?” Ryan grinned slightly.
“What? I like it.” As soon as Zeelo said that, he realized it wasn’t actually a lie. He wouldn’t have tried the potion in the first place if the idea of being a mouse hadn’t appealed to him. Having a tail was a nice feeling… And it was kind of amazing to see the world from this scale. Maybe this was a blessing. He would never have triggered a permanent transformation like this, he simply wasn’t bold enough. But since it had already happened… “I think we can just, not tell the teachers and continue on with our lives. I doubt any of the teachers will notice.”
“I’m pretty sure they’re going to notice one of their students is two inches tall and has a tail.” Ryan spoke dryly.
“You don’t know that!” Zeelo objected. “Look it’s fine! Probably!” He was trying to convince himself more than Ryan.
“Well okay then.” Ryan knelt down and gently placed Zeelo on the floor. “Good luck with that.” And with that he started to walk off.
“W-wait!” Zeelo ran after him, he wasn’t as fast as a mouse boy as he had been in full mouse form. Luckily for him, Ryan stopped and turned around. Zeelo halted in front of his shoes panting, and then looked up at him with a sheepish smile. “Do… Do you think you could give me a ride to class?”
“Fiiiine.” Ryan knelt down and gently grabbed Zeelo around his chest and stomach. Zeelo kicked his legs as he suddenly felt himself pulled up from the ground again. It was as if suddenly being pulled to the top of a mountain in mere seconds. He didn’t have long to think about it though, as Ryan opened the sided pocket on his cargo shorts and dropped Zeelo into it.
“H-hey!” Zeelo objected as he squirmed around for a bit, then stuck his head out of the pocket. “I didn’t say in your pocket.”
“You want me squeezing you the entire way?” Ryan asked.
“Point taken…” Zeelo muttered as he retreated into the pocket. At least it did let him travel without the rest of the student body seeing him like this. Though… He supposed that was inevitable at this point.
First period was Conjuration, Ryan entered the classroom filled with wooden desks and approached Zeelo’s desk. He quickly slipped Zeelo out of his pocket, sat him down on the desk, then quickly retreated to his own desk as fast as possible. He didn’t want to be anywhere near him when the teacher reacted.
The classroom fell silent immediately. Everyone turned and looked at Zeelo and he felt himself blushing as he tried not to think about how many pairs of eyes were on him. From the front of the room a loud bang sounded as a heavy book dropped onto the teacher’s desk. His conjuration teacher, Mrs. Clapham had arrived. Suddenly, all the students were looking away from Zeelo, acting as if they were way too busy not being involved in whatever was about to go down.
“Zeelo.” Mrs. Clapham was an elderly woman. She appeared to be in her 70’s, but she was actually closer to 700. She dressed in traditional mage attire, blue robes with silver trim. She had an air of authority, and there wasn’t a student in the school that wasn’t terrified of crossing her. “Is there something you’d like to tell me?”
“Uh… Well… The thing is…” Zeelo looked down at his desk. He refused to look at the teacher in fear of making eye contact. They said that she could steal a misbehaving student’s soul just by looking into their eyes. That… probably wasn’t true and just a playground rumor… But why take chances? “Nope… Nothing at all.”
“Oh, nothing at all?” There was a predatory tone to her voice. “So everything is fine as is?”
“Yes.” Zeelo closed his eyes and felt himself tense up as he knew something terrible was about to happen.
“Very well.” The conjuration teacher flashed an impish smile, that though Zeelo could not see, he could somehow feel. “Well then class, let’s get started. Open your books to page 378.”
“Eh?” Zeelo opened one eye and looked around the room. He was still alive… And she was just letting it go? What just happened!?
“Zeelo are you waiting for an invitation to join the rest of the class?” The teacher had that grin again, and it terrified the little mouse boy. “Open your book.”
“R-right!” Zeelo squeaked as he quickly ran over to the textbook at the corner of his desk. It was a heavy tome, the type with a fancy cover full of images of magic sigils. Zeelo tried to lift the cover. It felt like it weighed a ton! He managed to lift it just a bit, but not enough to get it open. He realized he was going to have to climb under the cover to push it open. He made a silent prayer, hoping the book wouldn’t close on and crush on him, and climbed up the pages to stand beneath the cover. Now, he could push against it with his back, moving the cover further. However, the further open it moved, the lower he had to push on the cover, and the heavier it felt. Zeelo felt his muscles screaming as it reached the halfway point…. And then finally after getting the cover standing straight up, gravity took over and did the rest for him.
Okay, all that was left was to get to page 378. That was a lot farther ahead than they had been yesterday. What was the reason for the skip? Either way, turning pages was a lot easier than the cover. But it was a tedious process. They weighed nearly nothing, but they were big and his tiny hands couldn’t hold more than a few pages a time. He felt the entire class waiting for him to catch up with them. Finally, he made it to the proper page and he could rest. He collapsed atop the page and waited for the lesson to continued.
“Today we’re doing a bit of independent study.” The teacher continued. “I’d like you to read the entire chapter about animal summoning. Then I want a two-page written response from each of you about the practical applications of the spell.” The words struck Zeelo like a blow as he realized what she was doing. He was going to have to use a pencil nearly three times his size to write anything!
“Squeak…” Zeelo squeaked beneath his breath as he realized what a pain this was going to be. He couldn’t even see the entire page all at once, so had to walk back and forth along the book to read each sentence. Then of course he already knew turning the pages was a pain. And then… That essay.
“Once you finish your essay you are dismissed from class.” The teacher continued. “But no one will leave before they finish their paper… Even if it makes them late to their next class.” And there it was. She was clearly doing this just to make things harder for him.
After Zeelo finished reading, he turned his attention to how to do his essay. His pencils and paper was inside his desk. He walked over to the edge and ducked his head down to look inside. The paper was easy, since it was so big it within easy reach. Awkward to hold as it was, it didn’t take much effort to pull two papers up onto the desk.
Now the pencil on the other hand… Zeelo tried to reach under the desk again but couldn’t get any of the pencils from there. He realized he was going to have to put his claws to work and climb down. Getting into the desk itself was easy enough… But as he walked up to his collection of pencils he started to worry about how to get them back up. He lifted up one. It was like lifting a log. Well, maybe not quite that heavy, as he could get it above his head. But he felt unsteady because of how long it was. He went back to the edge of the desk and tried to heft the pencil out and onto the desk. Unfortunately, pencils are rigid objects and don’t bend, so his attempt to push it around the edge of his desk and up on top only succeeded in tossing it onto the floor.
For his second attempt he decided to try to climb while holding the pencil. However, climbing required the use of both hands. When he reached the edge of the desk he clutched the pencil between his legs and coiled his tail around it for extra leverage. Then he sunk his claws into the wood and began to climb. First sideways out of the cabinet, and then up towards the top. Climbing with only two sets of claws was difficult. He felt like his arms were going to come off trying to lift his body and the pencil. Then the pencil itself kept wobbling as he tried to hang onto it with his legs and tail. He came close to dropping it at least four times before he finally got it to the top of the table.
His task completed, Zeelo collapsed onto his back to catch his breath. Being tiny was fun, but it really turned some routine stuff into real chores. At least now he was done.
Oh right. The essay.
Zeelo got back up, went over to the pencil and lifted it again as he tried to figure out how to write with it. Eventually he settled on hugging it with both arms to hold it steady. Like this he could drag it across the paper to make letters. It wouldn’t win him any awards for penmanship, but it would work. He started his first sentence, but paused as he realized the letters he was making were tiny in comparison to the paper. That wouldn’t be a problem if the teacher had just asked for a word count like normal… But she specified two pages on purpose. She was messing with him.
He made an effort to draw his letters out larger. This made things take longer, but he was making gradual progress. After about two hours, he was finally able to finish the essay. Everyone else in class had already left.
“It’s about time Zeelo.” The teacher was still smiling when she took up his paper. “Have a nice day with the rest of your classes.” And with that she returned to her desk.
“Uh thanks?” Zeelo muttered as he walked to the edge of his desk. He was able to climb down on his own and quickly made his way for the door. Since it was between classes now the door was already open. Zeelo had missed second period but could still make it to third. However, as he started to walk through the halls he could hear all the people whispering about him. It turned out his new ears weren’t just for show. There was a lot of mockery about his situation, more curiosity about it, some who were more concerned with his lack of dress than his new form, and a small few who were wondering how they could accomplish the same thing. Well… If everyone was paying attention to him at least it meant no one would accidentally step on him.
Still, all those voices and eyes made him uncomfortable. He wanted to disappear from sight. When he walked past a post he remembered how he had gotten around the night before. Zeelo quickly ran to the post and used it to climb up into the rafters. While everyone saw him go up there, no one could actually see him once he was atop a rafter. It let him slip away easily to get away from the gossip.
“Huh…” Zeelo muttered to himself as he traveled along the bannister. “It’s actually really peaceful up here… And no bigger students. I could easily use these to get to all my classes.”
As Zeelo got closer to the third period classes he noticed a familiar red-headed student with glasses beneath the bannister. Ryan!
“Squeak!” Zeelo leaped from the bannisters, landing in Ryan’s hair with a soft thud.
“GAH!?” Ryan dropped his schoolbooks and flailed his arms above his head. Then, as he remembered Zeelo’s existence he froze. “Zeelo?”
“Yup.” Zeelo grinned. “If it’s okay with you… I think I prefer it up here than in your pocket.”
“So… You’re still a mouse.” Ryan didn’t sound too disappointed.
“Mouse Boy.” Zeelo corrected.
“… So you didn’t tell the teacher what you did.” He seemed amused.
“Nope!” Zeelo grinned. “Looks like I got away with it.”
“I don’t think you did.” Ryan crossed his arms. “It’s pretty obvious she was messing with you. It’s going to be pretty hard to do all your schoolwork that small. She’s probably talked to the other teachers already too. I don’t think they’re going to change you back until you confess about what you did… And in the meantime they’re still going to expect you to do all your schoolwork while being so tiny.”
“So… If I never confess…” Zeelo grinned. “Then I got away with it!”
“But you’ll be stuck like that forever!” Ryan was confused.
“Yeah well, you tell me. If you had a choice between being turned into a mouse, or facing our Mrs. Clapham’s brand of discipline… Which would you choose?” Zeelo asked snidely.
“Well…” Ryan closed his eyes as he imagined the situation for a few moments. Zeelo had no idea what was going on in his head, but it was clear it disturbed him, as when Ryan opened his eyes he spoke again. “Yeah, you made the right choice.”
“Told ya.” Zeelo responded smugly… Then spoke in a more timid voice. “Hey… Uh… Could I ask you a question?”
“What’s up?” Ryan tried to look up at Zeelo, and then he immediately looked quite sheepish as he realized that wouldn’t work.
“Well… Just…” Zeelo was hesitant. “Just… Writing that essay made me realize how small I really am… And well, it got me thinking about how I’ll handle other things and… My room is really, really big. I don’t really need that much space! I mean no one does am I right?”
“Sure.” Ryan sounded unconvinced.
“So… I was wondering if… Maybe you would be interested in a roommate? Especially since you can open and close doors.” Zeelo held his breath as he waited for a response.
“Well…” Ryan dragged out his reply just to tease Zeelo. “I suppose I have an empty desk drawer you could convert into a second bedroom. What the heck, it’ll be fun. I’ve always wanted a pet.”
“I’m not a pet!” Zeelo squeaked.
“Keep telling yourself that.” Ryan chuckled as they headed for third period.