As we headed into the bathroom, Teresa turned and went into the kitchen.
"Almost forgot," she said. She returned holding a banana. "Eat this,"
I was a bit confused. "Ok..." I answered, peeling it. "Why exactly?"
"We're not sure why," she answered, "But Potassium seems to enhance magical abilities. It's just a small boost, but it's best to be on the safe side. I always eat one before I transform,"
I ate the banana. It was good - a little mushy, but not too much.
"Ok now," said Teresa, "Let's go,"
It looked like a perfectly normal bathroom. It was a little odd that the bathtub was filled up. I walked over to it. Looking closer, I could see it was filled with ice. Also, there was a large piece of metal on the back rim of the tub, leaned up against the wall.
"Strip and get in," said Teresa, "I'll look away if you like,"
"That water's freezing!" I protested.
"Exactly," she answered, "Silver dragons can withstand incredibly low temperatures - and breathe under water. Submerge yourself in there for a little while, and your body will realize it has no choice but to transform,"
"You're certain about this?"I asked
"It's safer than what they made me do," she answered, "At least you can't suffer permanent burns,"
"I could get hypothermia," I argued.
"Look," said Teresa, somewhat frustratedly, "Do you want to do this, or not? It's dangerous, ok? We never said it was safe. But your mother, your grandfather, and five Brimmers before that all went through the same thing. This is probably one of the least dangerous parts of your training. If you want to back out, now's the time. You understand?"
I did. You couldn't do something like this without risking your life. I took off my shirt, then noticed Teresa still standing there.
"Would you mind looking away?" I asked
"Of course not," she said. She turned her back.
I undressed the rest of the way and climbed into the water. Or at least I tried to. As I dipped my toe into the tub a shiver went through my body and I quickly pulled it out again. Then I tried going in hands first. It was worse. I couldn't bring myself to put more than a finger or a toe in - it was just to cold. I stood there, balanced on the edge of the tub, looking down into the icy water, pondering if my mother and grandfather had gone through the same thing. Or was I just too weak to face this? Was this stupid little test going to bring down the Brimmer family? This is what I was thinking about when Teresa pushed me in. Before I could pop out she had slammed the slab of metal over the tub like a lid.
It was frigid. Immediately my whole body was filled with stinging pain, like being poked with lots of little needles. The everything starting to go numb. At the same time, I realized I was drowning. I hadn't had time to get a breath of air before I'd been pushed in. I hadn't even been able to close my mouth to save what oxygen I did have - it had all been exhaled before I thought to.
Suddenly I was in severe pain, and I couldn't quite figure out why. The cold had numbed me already, and drowning didn't cause pain in my neck, shoulders, and butt. Where was that coming from, I wondered. Then something very odd happened. Feeling started returning to my extremities - first my legs, the my arms, then - what was that? Something I'd never felt before - as in, a limb I'd never felt before, almost like a third leg, but with no foot. And two extra... arms? No, too wide to be arms. Very wide. In fact, they were feeling quite cramped in here. They need to....
As I extended my wings to their full size, they threw the slab of metal off of the tub. I stood up and looked around. The bathroom looked different somehow.
"Congratulations," said Teresa, "You've taken the first step,"