Exactly! That's how a human-to-animal transformation is supposed to work - painful, and a real stretch of the mental abilities to maintain personality/sentience while transformed. I agree that way too many fanfics give Harry powers in a checklist fashion. (Unfortunately, I think I may be guilty of this sin.)
A jaguar, eh? And yet another prophecy to boot! Harry can't catch a break, can he?
I like the young teen angst/sex thing. I especially liked how Harry handled the situation with Lauren, and the reconciliation of Lauren and Thundercloud. Those are the kind of scenes that keep me reading.
Will we get to see how the b*tches and a&&wipes at Hogwarts are doing in Harry's absence? Damn Weasley females! And that Bookworm from Hell! How could Remus allow James' son to be brainwashed and used? How can Tonks (an Auror) and Moody (an ex-Auror ) justify those actions? Or is there strife in the Order of the Peacock?