The Patronus Charm

I release him and stagger backwards, embarassment flooding over me as my cheeks flush.  Apparantly, he's at a loss for what to do too, as he just stands there, feet glued to the spot, and his eyes blank.  I look at him from under my fringe, "So..." I blush brighter as this comes out as a small squeak, and try again, making it look like nothing happened, "So... We do another spell now?" I ask, trying to discard my embarrassment.

"Huh? Oh, right, yeah... Another spell." Malfoy says, shaking his head. I can't help but smile at how confused he looks. Obviously, as much adoration as he recieves from a certain Miss Parkinson, he's as new to this as I am.  He looks at his watch, "Well, we've got half an hour until lunch, so at the rate you're going, I'd say we can learn another three or four spells, and then practice them." He checks his watch again, "Yes, half and hour. That's what we'll do." I nod, and look at him expectantly. "Ah, spell... Um... I think a stunning spell would be good." He says, regaining his composure.  He shows me the wand movement, which is like throwing the wand overarm, but stopping at shoulder height. I copy him, and throw my wand at him, hitting him squarely on the forhead, "Oh, sorry.." I say, cringing as he bends to pick up my wand. He sees his, and retrives that too, "It's fine." He says, rubbing his head and handing me my wand. I can't help but smirk as he looks at me and starts laughing. "Try again, and don't let go this time." He says, and I notice that he moves next to me to avoid being hit again. After throwing my wand twice more, I get the movement eventually.

"Right. We'll practice on a cushion, to avoid any injuries." He throws a cushion in front of me, still smirking, "And the spell is 'Stupify'.  Got that?" He asks, I nod. "When you're ready then." He says, standing back.

"Stupidy!" I yell at the cushion, and then throw my wand, keeping hold this time. I glare at the pink fluffy pillow as it doesn't do anything, and then turn my glare to Malfoy as he bursts out laughing.

"Good, but next time say the spell and do the movement at the same time, and it's 'Stupify', not 'Stupidy'" He says, smiling at me. Irritation rushes over me. I got the other spells all right, why can't I get this one?  "Listen, you've really got to focus. Too little conviction and all the opponent will recieve is a slight knock, but too much, and nothing will happen at all." I nod, and point my wand at the cushion again, "Remember, 'Stupify'." Malfoy says, a hint of a smile to his words.

"Oh shut up." I snap at him, and throw my wand, shouting "Stupify!" louder than before. I groan loudly as the pillow scoots a couple of inches across the floor and I storm over and kick it hard.  Before I can stamp on it for the 6th time, I feel Malfoy's hand around my arm, pulling me away. I glare at him, but then realise that there are tears of anger in my eyes, and I flip my hair over my face, hurrying to wipe them away.  "What's wrong?" He asks me, but I ignore him, intent on covering my face. After several more attempts at asking from him, I slump down onto the pile of blankets and cushions we made earlier, and let my face fall into my hands. More tears trickle down my cheeks, and it certainly didn't help that I hit my coccyx as I fell to the floor. I hear Malfoy kneel down next to me, not slouching on the pillows this time, but upright next to me. He gently, hesitantly places a hand on my shoulder, "Amelia? What's the matter?" I don't answer.  "Listen, Amelia. You're doing amazingly well. Certainly better than I did when I first learnt.  This is a tough spell, you've got to have patience, okay? You'll get it eventually." I nod, unconvinced, and sneak a glance at him though my fingers, he looks concerned, and if possible, even paler than he normally does.  I look up at him, and he smiles. "Come on, cheer up. You want to try a different one?" I nod and mutter "A happier one."  I don't know if I'm just being stupid, but that last one seemed angry. I didn't like it.

"I know just the thing. A Patronus Charm." Malfoy says, dropping back onto the cushion. I look at him blankly. "A Patronus shields the user from Dementors." Again, seeing my expression, he elaborates. "A Dementor is a creature that feeds on happy memories, leaving you with only bad ones. The charm acts as a kind of barrier, with the Dementors feeding on it as opposed to you. Although it's a hard spell, it's fun to try, and it's incredibly useful whenever you're faced with a Dementor. If they get the chance, they won't hesitate to Kiss you." I frown at him, "The Dementor's Kiss is when they suck your soul from you. They leave you alive, but with nothing. Just a shell." I stare at Malfoy, both horrified and intruiged by these creatures.  "So, the good bit. To form a Patronus, you've got to find a memory. A happy one.  You've got to let it fill you up, overwhelm you. You got one?" He asks, smiling softly at me. I think, reliving my past. I close my eyes and watch happy scenes play before me. They are happy, but something tells me that against creatures like Dementors, they won't make a scratch.  I relive my latest memories, and smile as I remember my first view of Hogwarts.  Malfoy sees me smile, "You've got one." He says, and it's not a question. He takes my arm and pulls me into the middle of the room.

"Focus. Let it fill your mind. There is no wand movement for this, just do what feels right." I nod and close my eyes again, focusing on the memory of the cold night air whipping through my hair, my hands clenched around the wood of the broom handle, and the sight of the castle, so beautiful in the moonlight. I hear Malfoy gasp, and I open my eyes and grin. A silvery white substance is flowing from the tip of my wand, swirling around me, neither gas nor liquid, making my hair wave gently in a small breeze, and my robes fluttering gently. I hear three loud knocks on the heavy oak doors, and the silver mist evaporates as quickly as it came. I look at Malfoy, whose smile has also gone, and frown. He walks quickly over to the door, and lets out a sigh of relief as a small man walks into the room. I wander over, looking from Malfoy to the man.

"Ah, yes, Mr Malfoy, I was told I'd be able to find you here." Says the man in an incredibly squeaky voice.

"Erm, yes, Professor, can we help you?" Malfoy asks, confused as to why he's here.

"Oh no, I was just hoping to introduce myself to Miss Nelksy." He shuffles over to me, surprisingly quickly considering the length of his legs, "Hello Amelia, I'm Professor Flitwick. I teach Charms here at Hogwarts." I smile at him, and then look back to Malfoy.

"Charms. Didn't we just do a charm?" I ask him, and Flitwick's face lights up. I smile and look back to Malfoy. He's looking ecstatic, and makes me immediately suspicious.

"Of course! Professor, I wonder if you could guess what Amelia can do." He thinks, then adds in an offhand sort of manner, "I don't suppose you're familiar with the Patronus Charm?" I frown as Flitwick's eyes grow wide. He turns to me,

"You can produce a Patronus?"

"The silver mist? Yeah, I guess so..." I say, not realising why Flitwick's so astounded.

"A corporeal one?"  I look at Draco, not knowing what he means by this.

"Not yet, but a very impressive attempt for a first try." He answers for me. I smile and look down, embarrassed, but find Professor Flitwick standing there, looking up at me, I avert my gaze.

"I- I don't suppose you'd mind me witnessing such a rare event?" Flitwick asks me, still smiling.  I look at Malfoy, doubts suddenly rushing over me, but he nods encouragingly.

"Um, okay then." I say. Flitwick squeaks and waves his wand, producing a chair that he sits on so close to the edge, it's really quite pointless using a chair at all.  Malfoy takes my hand and leads me back to the centre of the room, "What if I can't do it again? What if it goes wrong?" I whisper urgently to Malfoy, feeling my palms growing sweaty. I'm consoled by the fact that he has the good grace not to let go of my hand and wipe his own.  Instead, he squeezes mine encouragingly, "It'll be fine. Flitwick'll understand.  Besides, I'll talk you through it again, if you want?" I nod.  "Okay then. Close your eyes, and find your memory again. Let it flood through you, to every fi-"  I shut out Draco's soothing voice, as comforting as it is, and concerntrate on my memory, trying desperately to ignore Flitwick's penetrating glare.  I remember the castle's glowing lights again, the wind rushing through my hair so intensly it feels like I could be there right now. I remember the wood under my hands, feel the grain of it. The soft puff of warm breath against my neck, contrasting with the coolness of the night air. Malfoy's arms wrapping around my waist, keeping me on the broom. My personal saftey belt. I smile as the sensations rush through me, and I feel my skin prickle as I feel a softness on the back of my hand that I reckognise as the silver mist. I try to ignore Flitwick's soft footsteps coming closer and repeat the memory.  I open my eyes after a while, and see Malfoy smiling at me. I flush delicately, knowing that he's part of my happiest memory, and smile back. I look down at my Patronus, and gasp in shock and joy that it now has a form. A silver-white serpent is slithering through the air, coiling around my waist. I lift my arms slightly, and it winds around my back and towards my neck. I smile widely and look at Professor Flitwick. On seeing his expression, my snake fades in a glittering of mist.

He's looking curiously at me, but there's fear in his eyes, or dread, at the very least. "Professor?" I ask, frowning, wanting to know what I did. Surely I didn't do anything wrong? He wanted me to produce a Patronus, and I did. I can't have done it wrong, could I?  "Pr-Professor? What did I do?" I ask, suddenly fearful for myself. What if I did do something wrong? Something against the rules?  But he offers me no answer.  I'm desperate for an answer now, and I'm only just resisting going over and shaking him. "Professor Flitwick?" I nearly shout at him, and this seems to bring him back to his senses.  He walks quickly over to the door, shooting backwards glances at me.

"I-I er, have to go... teach... Yes, teach." He says, practically running through the door, leaving it to slam closed and me standing there on the brink of tears again. I turn to Malfoy,  searching his cold grey eyes for an explanation.  "Malfoy? What did I do? What went wrong?" I ask quietly, the first tear rolling down my cheek. He walks towards me slowly, deliberately, not smiling. Not showing any emotion at all. I take a few steps back, but he shakes his head and I stop.  He's closer now. About a meter away. "You did nothing wrong." He says, taking another step towards me. I stare ahead, at his chest, not wanting to meet his eyes. Afraid of what I'd see there.  Never have I felt more alien. More alone. More like I didn't belong.  "Amelia look at me." Malfoy says, cutting off my thoughts. Reluctantly, I do, and without me realising, he's gotten much closer.  He reaches up and gently wipes my cheeks dry, although more tears fall to take their place.  I open my mouth to ask again, but he cuts me off, "You did nothing wrong." He says again. "Amelia, you just proved yourself.  The Slitherin mascot is a serpent. You just showed everyone you belong here." I sniff and again he wipes my face. I drop my head and close my eyes, forcing out more tears, making my eyesight blurry and unclear. I feel a hand on my face. Not wiping tears this time, but lingering. It gently moves me so I'm looking into Malfoy's eyes again, but they're softer this time, understanding even. I blink hard, then close my eyes again, wanting to walk away, but his other hand is wrapped firmly but gently around me. He moves my face up again, although I keep my eyes closed. Fear must still be rushing through my veins because my heart seems to be racing.  I feel Malfoy's warm breath on my face, and I push against his hand, wanting to cry alone, but he keeps me facing him. His breath becomes more refined, closer. I start to open my eyes, but stop when I feel his lips touch mine gently. I put one of my hands around his waist, and the other on his shoulder, standing on tiptoe. After a while, I fall back down, pulling away softly, slowly, and I rest my head on his chest, crying ot myself quietly. He doesn't  seem to mind that I'm making his robes wet. He rests his head on top of mine, his white-blonde hair brushing against my skin, pulling me closer.

~~~oOo~~~

Sorry for going all mushy there... I'm kinda sad today, d'you reckon it showed, what with all the crying and romance?!  And annoyance was added to the list. I already wrote this once, and my laptop had to go and die...

The End

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