"Ah, uhm, I-I don't-"
"Shh," purred Adagio, "just relax, Aria, I'll take good care of you..."
"Th-that's kind of what I'm worri-EEP! S-stop that!"
"You're so soft-"
"Aahm! Q-quit it!!"
"And so... hehe, shiny!"
Adagio had moved to the couch as she admired her new appendages, paying particular attention to the lovely, gleaming luster of their scales, the way the light reflected off the curves of their sharp, but soft fins, and those deep, piercing eyes! This wasn't even accounting for their flappy little ears or touchable little antennae, cute little details that just made her want to squeeze them! She couldn't, because they were her arms now, but she could nuzzle them with her face, and nuzzle she did! Judging by her squirming and the blush (even through her scales), Aria didn't like it very much, but she was always a little shy when it came to affection.
"Uh, h-hey," muttered Sonata as she watched the cuddly spectacle from Adagio's left, "could I get some of that too?"
Turning around, Adagio would have complied even if Sonata's flappy little ears weren't down as part of a pitiful, puppy-dog stare. "Oh, of course, c'mere!"
Released from her torment, Aria hung back as she watched the disgustingly intimate spectacle of Adagio tenderly nuzzling a giggly, welcoming Sonata-serpent. There was a joke she wanted to make, but not while she was one of Adagio's arms too. Instead, she looked at the book, which had been set on the nearby coffee table. Sonata hadn't made any kind of face when she picked it up in her teeth, but Aria was still a little anxious about the prospect of having to actually work as an arm. That in mind, they probably needed to look through it to get a better idea of what they were now, so she hoped to cajole one of the others into moving the pages for her.
"So, Adagio, looks like your scratches healed up after we merged."
This won Adagio's attention from her new favorite teddy-snake. "Scratches? What?"
She didn't even notice?! "Ehh, nevermind." Her eyes darted to the book. "Shouldn't we, like, be reading that now?"
"Oh, right." Adagio leaned forward a little before remembering she had no hands. She blinked twice, glancing back and forth between Aria and Sonata. "Umm...?"
Sonata smiled. "I got it!" She craned her neck outward, flipping the book open with the tip of her snout. Adagio practically squee'd, but quickly regained control of herself to begin reading.
"Hebi No Onna... Demonic snake-woman... Powers of manipulation? Well, I'm sure we'll find some way to use such a thing." Her arms giggling with fiendish delight drew a little smile as she went on. "Hypnosis, lesser invulnerability spell, may be useful, chaos and confusion, paralysis, ray of -turn the page, please?" Sonata acquiesced, making Adagio smile again. "Thank you. -ray of enfeeblement, seems redundant... ooh, teleportation!"
"Sweet," Aria said with a grin full of pointy teeth, "let's test some of this out!"
Adagio's enthusiasm was more tempered. "Most of these spells are for use on other beings, and I'd rather keep it that way. Invulnerability would be fine, but I'm less than eager to test it."
Sonata tilted her big, scaly head. "Why?"
As usual, Aria answered first. "Because we'd just be getting hurt for nothing if it didn't work, stupid."
As usual, Sonata scowled at her. "You're stupid!"
As wasn't always the case, Adagio broke it up. "Quiet! Teleportation may be the least risky," provided that I don't get melded into anything, "so we'll try that first."
Adagio stood up, took a few steps to the center of the room, and focused on the area of empty air in front of her... just a foot or so off the ground. She didn't see anything about incantations needing to be said, so she just focused. Closing her eyes and taking a slow breath, she felt the impact of a short fall on her feet as Aria and Sonata gave sudden cries of alarm, nearly stumbling with the unfamiliar weight of her disoriented snake-arms as they wavered about. She opened her eyes and grinned.
"We did it! We can teleport!" And then she noticed the others were looking away from her. "...What?"
Sonata was the first to face her, smiling sheepishly as her scales tinted pink. "Uhh, Dagi? I don't think teleport works all that great."
"Oh?" She looked back at the spot she'd teleported from, half-expecting to see body parts left behind. Instead, she only saw her clothes lying in a heap, not unlike Aria and Sonata's had been. Glancing down at herself, she found that there were apparently limits on what was included with the spell. She shrugged. "Acceptable losses."
Aria looked at her more out of shock than anything else. "WHAT?!"
"I'm fine like this. It's not too cold out, so-"
"Ohh, Hell no," the purple serpent said with a defiant head-shake, "you are not running around naked while we're attached to you!"
Sonata was suspiciously silent.
Adagio rolled her eyes, but chose to comply. It was probably too early to go drawing attention to themselves as going native inevitably would. Plus, y'know, snake-arms. "Alright, but I'm going to need help getting dressed again."
"...Well," Adagio thought aloud as she stared at the shredded remains of the bra on the floor, "to be honest, I'd have been amazed if you could put it on me properly the first time."
Aria looked squarely at the ground in shame. "Sorry..."
"It's fine," Adagio said with a chuckle, "not like I need to wear the damn things, right?" Even on her petite chest, bras were uncomfortable anyway, but she made the mental note that she probably wouldn't be wearing any of her more exquisite outfits any time soon.
"Still," giggled Sonata, "I didn't think you'd get it stuck in your teeth like that, Aria!" That won her a glare.
"You were supposed to hold it still, dammit!!"
A little later, they had settled on leaving Adagio in just a pink bathrobe (tying the sash nearly got Aria and Sonata tangled, but they worked through it) with her hair down, neither sapient limb willing to challenge that wild mane of hers with just their mouths. Adagio frowned when she noticed that her sleeves partly covered the gleaming scales, but Sonata brought something almost as important to her attention.
"Hey Dagi, I think you might be hungry."
"Is that what that is?" Aria craned her head to follow her own neck down to Adagio's torso. "We share a stomach now. Freaky."
Their host couldn't help agreeing a little; the idea of someone knowing how she felt without her telling them was unsettling. Just the same, she headed to the kitchen, where she looked over their options for dining without fingers. Cereal was fine for the early evening, right? It was while going through the motions of grabbing the nearest cereal box and fishing through the drawer for a spoon that Adagio noticed the muffled sounds of surprise from her new arms. Looking back and forth at them, the box between Aria's teeth and a spoon between Sonata's, she found that both of them were looking back at her, eyes wide with alarm before both dropped their respective burdens.
Aria looked somewhere between scared and angry. "What the Hell, Adagio?!"
Not particularly bothered by the spoon or the small spread of cinnamon flakes on the kitchen floor right now, she blinked twice. "What?"
"Y-you, you made us move!"
"It wasn't on purpose."
"That does not make it better!" Aria wasn't exactly enjoying this to start, but having what little of her body was left hijacked like that? By Adagio? She wasn't sure those snake-lady powers were gonna be worth it.
Adagio gave Aria and Sonata appraising looks with a hint of a smirk. "I can exert direct control over you two? That would have been useful when we had our own bodies."
Aria scowled. "Bite me."
"And risk leaving a mark on these scales?" She gave Aria an affectionate nuzzle, her voice equally gentle. "Never."
Blushing again, Aria glanced around for a distraction and quickly found one. "Uhh... Sonata? Are you eating off the floor?"
She was, but the kitchen floor looked pretty clean to her and it was a shame to let perfectly good cinnamon flakes go to waste, so much so that she didn't stop even as the other two stared at her in silence. If Adagio had any objections to raise, she kept them to herself in favor of watching with an almost adoring smile.
She's even using her little tongue! So cute!
It was at this point that Aria might ordinarily have facepalmed, but, well... Anyway, as long as Adagio didn't start making them eat out of bowls, she was alright with this. She got her turn to eat with her new mouth by stretching her neck out to the fridge, biting the door open, and seizing one of those juice-pouch things in her teeth. Gripping it delicately, she tilted her head backward and bit down just hard enough to puncture the skin of the pouch. Drinking the juice as it bled from the pouch appealed to something in the back of her head, something primal that made her think of a mighty beast draining the blood from a lesser animal it had caught. When the pouch was dry and her(their?) thirst quenched, Aria spat the remains at the trash can, smiling with satisfaction as it landed neatly inside. She looked back to the others to find Adagio giving her a wide, starry-eyed grin.
"That, was, magnificent!"
Even with a maw of sharp fangs, Aria found herself capable of proud smirks. "Hah, thanks." A thought struck her. "So, if we've got magic now, any chance you can fix the gems?"
Adagio chuckled. "Doubtful. Power or no power, none of what I saw in the book related to mending fractal, crystalized glyph-networks, and without fingers with which to do the delicate work, I may actually be in less of a position to repair them."
Sonata, looked up to comment, but had the cereal box she'd been eating from stuck on her head. "...Little help?"
Rolling her eyes as Adagio giggled merrily at the sight, Aria nabbed the now-empty box in her jaws and flung it off her idiot sister's head. She was slightly annoyed that that one only ricocheted off the rim of the trashcan. Regardless, Sonata smiled.
"Thanks. Anywho, it doesn't really matter now, right? 'Cuz we've pretty much got our old magic plus instant-sexytime-teleport?"
Again, Aria would have facepalmed.
"We may be able to work something out with what's left of the gems some day," answered Adagio, "but for now, let's focus on what we've got." She glanced at the nearby clock. "Starting tomorrow morning."
And with that, they headed to bed in Adagio's room. It was a big, round bed, so they had plenty of room for the three(?) of them.
Pressure. Deep, crushing pressure, the feeling of being flattened under an unbearable burden, of one's very soul being tightly compacted in pitch darkness. Soft, fuzzy darkness. This was what Aria felt until she shook her head to throw off the fluff that hung over her eyes while her new form lay in Adagio's bed. Looking around, she found the reason to be that she was pinned behind Adagio as she lay on her side, trapped under Adagio's hips, barely able to move more than a foot of her serpentine neck.
Did she roll over on me in her sleep? Her bed's still soft, but I think I'm losing circulation here.
"Adagio. Pssst! Adagio!"
She couldn't see if Adagio even stirred from this angle, nor could she move enough to get a better look. She squirmed and struggled for another minute before groaning with exasperation.
"Hey, Adagio! Sonata! Either of you awake?"
Neither responded and the pressure really was getting bad. Aria had woken up to be met with that needle-y, tingly feeling that came when you slept on a limb before, and didn't want to find out what that could do to her brain. Increasingly desperate, she got Adagio's attention in the only way she knew how at the time: Craning her neck around, baring her new set of sharp, pointy teeth, and introducing them to the nearest bulge.
Adagio was jolted awake by a prickly pain in her posterior. "OUCH!!" Sitting up and glancing about in a daze, she could barely make out her new arms looking back at her in the dark.
"Whuh," muttered Sonata, her eyes barely open "wuz happen...?"
Aria, however, looked very sheepish, hesitant to meet her eyes.
"Aria? Is something wrong?" Looking as though she were expecting to be punished, her answer came all at once.
Taking a second to decipher that, Adagio chuckled. "Aww," she said with a sympathetic smile, "poor thing. Was I too heavy?" She didn't get an answer, but she leaned over to kiss Aria's forehead anyway, which drew an adorably plaintive little noise. Even with what little light came in through the window, she was sure Aria was blushing again. "I'm sorry. I'll try sleeping on my stomach from now on, alright?"
A little later, Aria found herself lying next to Sonata in the big, super-soft, tangerine-scented heap of orange hair Adagio presented as she lie face-down. This didn't fully eliminate the chance of being crushed in her sleep, but there were, Aria conceded, possible advantages to sharing a bed with their excessively fluffy leader.
...But not like that! Ugh, why brain, why?
Not helping at all was when Aria noticed the fact that Adagio didn't complain about the method used to wake her...
When morning came, Aria felt a flash of panic, a number of thoughts hitting her in a quarter of a second.
Work!! I gotta be there by seven! I can't wear the uniform like this! Does Adagio know where to go?! What'll my supervisor say when he sees this?! He's such an uptight jerk I just wanna tear his throat out!!
Then she remembered that they had magic of some kind again, and probably wouldn't need the money that much. Her stress alleviated, she contentedly sank back down into Adagio's fluff until it started to stir. Aria moved herself upward to get out of rolling-over range when Adagio shifted, spastically shaking for a few seconds in what may have been a hypnic jerk, then quickly sitting up and looking around as though confused.
"Uh... You okay there, Dagi?"
Her head whipping in the direction of the voice, Adagio realized that getting out of bed was just slightly harder with snake-arms. "I'm... fine? Just..." She glanced at Sonata, who continued to doze limply on the bed. Adagio tried to exert enough control to shake her awake, but couldn't get more than an odd, heavy, numb sensation out of her. She snorted, which quickly shifted to quiet giggles.
"What," inquired Aria, "she gone more brain-dead?"
"No," chortled Adagio, "j-just, hehehe! My arm's asleep!"
Even if she smiled a little, Aria rolled her eyes. It was time to get this freakshow on the road, so she leaned over, positioned her mouth by Sonata's head, took a deep breath, and shouted. "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE UP!!"
She was rewarded with Sonata letting out a startled shriek and flailing upwards as though Adagio were uppercutting an invisible ninja, though it quickly devolved into erratic shaking as Sonata's brain warmed up.
"Man," muttered Sonata as she blinked the sleep from her eyes, "worst alarm clock ever."
Shortly after, the Dazzlings (Dazzling?) were up and heading to the living room to continue with the book, but Adagio suddenly stopped at the same time Aria and Sonata felt a weird little jolt.
"Uh, h-hey, Dagi? What-"
Not letting her finish the question, Adagio bolted to the living room, seizing control of her arms to quickly, but carefully flip through the book herself, despite the muffled protests as she scanned each page. Aria took her opportunity at the first pause.
"Hey, what gives?!" It was then that she noticed the panicked look on Adagio's face, in addition to the beads of sweat.
"Change back," she said without taking her eyes off the page, "I'm trying to find how to change back, help me look!!"
"Why? What's the big-" She and Sonata felt that little jolt again, Aria's eyes widening as she realized what it was.
Aria joined the reversion-spell search with fervor. "Index, ch-check the index!!"
"I tried, this book doesn't have one!!"
"What," Sonata asked with a head-tilt, "what's going on? And what's this funny gut-tingly mean?"
Not looking away as she turned the next page herself, Aria glared at the book like everything was its fault. "I don't see anything!" It wasn't a very thick book, and they were quickly running out of pages to frantically skim over.
While they were at it, Sonata angrily pouted. She did NOT like being ignored! She craned her neck around, rested the tip of her muzzle against the side of the book, and flipped it shut, which won her a noise of alarm from Adagio and a glare from Aria.
"What the Hell are you doing?!"
"What the Hell are you guys doing?! What's the big dea-ack!" They felt the jolt again, at slightly greater intensity than before. Sonata frowned at Adagio. "What's going on? What's wrong with us?"
Adagio shrunk down, attempting to hide behind her hair as she muttered under her breath.
"What?" Maneuvering her head to see around the fluff, she found their host flushed crimson.
"I, said, I-I have to pee!"
There was a short silence as Adagio sat with tightly crossed legs. Sonata blinked slowly. "So?"
Aria groaned. "Think about it, stupid!!" She got a scowl back.
"What, she just has to go to the bathr-" The last fish-horse-snake crossed the finish line. "Oh. Ohhhhh... Hoo, boy."
They looked through the book as best they could over the next fifteen minutes, but didn't see anything about how to undo the transormation. There was plenty on how they changed in the first place; a blood sacrifice from one of three high-born sisters (lucky them!) to merge their bodies and create the snake-woman, but nothing whatsoever on how to turn them back. Eventually, Adagio stood up, swore, and charged off to the restroom.
When they stepped out, it was in a tired, defeated trudge. Aria and Sonata's heads hung low to avoid looking their host in the eye, if only to give her what space they could. Mortified, Adagio stood in silence, just trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered dignity. It was while racking her brain over how she'd ever command the respect of her sisters again, and make it clear that she still respected them, that Aria spoke up.
"So," she said in surprisingly casual tones, "that was pretty awkward, huh guys?"
Sonata blinked, then let out a short laugh of surprise. "Yep! That might be pretty hard to get used to!"
The two of them giggling together over what was arguably the most embarrassing, most uncomfortable moment of her life, Adagio remained silent. Despite the luminous blush that accompanied her wounded pride, she started to smile. She'd have thought they'd at least be angry or indignant with her for a while after that, but if they could shake this off so easily, maybe she could too. Still...
"Don't sweat it," Aria cut her off, not letting Adagio dwell for another second, "can we get back to the book? I think I saw something about servants in there."
"Oh? What page?" Her shame hadn't vanished entirely, but for now, she tried to focus on the benefits of their new status as they went back to the living room.