Chapter 8 : Transfiguration
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The boys headed down the corridor, on their way to the Transfiguration classroom, in a heated discussion.
“Transfiguration hands down. Not only is it the most spectacular topic with bright and flashy magic, but you can do almost anything with it.” James stated forcefully.
“Defence Against the Dark Arts is so much better though, you learn how to protect people and fight for what you believe in. What’s the point of being able to transfigure something if you aren’t living to do so?” Remus contradicted.
Sirius just rolled his eyes “Don’t get too carried away there Moony. I love DADA and everything, but Transfiguration has just got that extra something. Plus Vanagh teaches Defence, and he’s a slimy git, where as McGonagall teaches Transfiguration, and, secretly, she loves us.”
Remus snorted, “Secretly being the key…”
“I like Astronomy the best; it’s relaxing in the middle of all the complicated topics. Sort of like a free period…” Peter supplied with a shrug.
Teddy froze and the Marauder’s turned back to see what was wrong.
“Astronomy, is that one of the essential classes I’m signed up for?”
“Uhh, no, why? Do you like it? Always seemed sort of like a sissy topic to me…” James mumbled.
“I just don’t want to take it.” Teddy shrugged as he continued walking, brow still furrowed.
“Oh really? Or is Teddy scared?” Sirius joked as he caught up with Teddy once more.
“Ah, don’t worry, Teddy, we’ll protect you! What are you scared of exactly, heights, the dark, or maybe both? Tall towers at night can get a bit spooooky!” James added a ghostly drawl onto the end as he wiggled his hands around Teddy’s head.
Teddy snorted, “Definitely not. Only thing I’m scared of is a scorned woman.”
Sirius laughed, “Here, here!”
“What do you like then? Transfiguration or Defence Against the Dark Arts?” Remus asked as they neared the Transfiguration classroom.
“Defence; gotta be prepared for what’s out there.” Teddy answered confidently.
“I say we take a vote.” Sirius demanded.
“What’s the point of that? We already know what everyone’s going to vote for.” Teddy pointed out.
“That’s the way we do it; Marauder law. Any disagreements are settled in a vote.” James continued walking offhandedly, yet sounded firm.
“Okay, so a vote to find the best class, anyone who votes for Transfiguration…” Remus took authority, as James and Sirius both said “I”.
“Anyone for Astronomy…”
Peter nodded, as Teddy half-glared at the passing wall.
“And Defence Against the Dark Arts…”
Remus raised his hand and Teddy grunted.
“Right then, that’s a tie between Defence and Transfiguration, both with two.”
This seemed to please the Marauders as no one argued or even said anything.
Finally Teddy spoke up, “So, that’s it?”
“Uh yeah, it’s a tie.” Peter said as if that answered it all.
“Okay then…” Teddy had to resist rolling his eyes as they came to a stop outside the Transfiguration classroom.
At the other end of the corridor, Teddy spotted Lily and Lesley leaning against the wall.
He caught Lesley’s eye and winked before turning back to the Marauders, “Say, what happened to Frank?”
“He takes Herbology now, along with Jamieson.” Peter explained.
“No coincidence there…” Sirius muttered.
Teddy laughed and turned to James, “And where is your fair maiden, Potter?”
James turned and looked down the hallway, towards the girls. Lesley half-waved but Lily didn’t notice the boys watching.
James sighed before turning back, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Lucas.”
Remus laughed, “He hasn’t even been here two days and he already knows of your thing for Lily.”
Teddy grinned, “Don’t worry mate, Lesley had to clue me in, and girls always notice that sort of thing.”
James frowned, “No they don’t, at least Hogwarts girls don’t… Or else they would have said something…”
Teddy laughed, “Just because they haven’t said anything doesn’t mean they haven’t noticed.”
“Oh no… Merlin’s beard…” James ran a hand trough his hair.
“Don’t worry, I was only kidding, James. I’m sure they only know a little bit.” Teddy teased as the classroom door opened.
James still looked worried as the boys waited for everyone to enter before them.
“No point being the first in there when our seats are already reserved…” Sirius explained.
Slowly the boys made their way into the classroom and then froze.
Teddy hadn’t noticed their sudden change of demeanour and looked around the room, “So where are these seats?”
The only empty seats were in the very front and there were only two. Then Teddy spotted five seats next to where Lesley was trying to persuade Lily to sit, in the back.
“Oh, I see them.”
Teddy led the way over as the Marauders followed, almost in a daze.
When they reached the girls Lesley had her hands in the air. When she spotted the boys she slowly lowered them and raised her eyebrows, smirking slightly, “Oh, so these are your reasons.”
She turned to the boys and her smirk seemed to grow as she spotted the Marauder’s dazed expressions, “Hello boys, you wouldn’t mind if we sat here would you? Lily’s insisting that we sit in the front, which I refuse. Then she says that these seats are already taken, I’m guessing by you five.”
Remus was the first to regain his composure, “But Lily always sits in the front. It’s like tradition, ever since Second year.”
Lesley sighed, “Ah yes, Second year… Well times change, so can we sit here or not?”
Remus was about to answer when McGonagall entered the classroom, “Everyone, take their seats please.” she looked pointedly at the group in the back.
“Right, looks like you’re stuck with us, then.” Lesley plopped herself down in a seat one from the end, and Lily reluctantly took the seat on the end.
The boys all sat down as McGonagall passed out text books.
“Your sister is amazing, mate.” Sirius whispered to Teddy as he took the seat beside him.
“Oh yeah? Why’s that?” Teddy asked as he looked sideways at Lesley, who was quietly conversing with Lily.
“Jamieson has been trying to get Evans to give up the front of the class for years, and your sister does it in the first class sitting next to her… That’s some amazing persuasion skills.”
Teddy grunted, “Yeah, just wait until she uses it against you…”
“This is your first Transfiguration class joining your second NEWT year.” McGonagall started, capturing everyone’s attention. “You have all managed to continue in this area of study, but do not assume that you will not need to work extremely hard in order to pass your NEWT exams. We will study spells and theories that many grown wizards and witches have failed to comprehend. It will be completely different than any other year of your education. Many of you have found this class easy in previous years; do not expect the same now.”
“She always says that…” Sirius muttered and Teddy grinned.
“We will start with some hands-on material, to give you a taste of what’s to come.” She continued.
The Marauder’s sat up straighter, “She’s never said that.”
“We will start with an extremely difficult spell that only a handful of fully trained wizards and witches can produce. Some of you will be able to successfully produce this charm, where as others will not be so lucky.”
McGonagall walked around her desk until she was standing directly in front of her students.
“It may also come up in your Defence Against the Dark Arts class, but it is a breathtaking example of extraordinary spell work, so I have chosen to attempt in teaching it to you as well.”
With the flick of her wand two words appeared on the board, causing wide grins to spread across the Marauder’s faces and Lesley and Teddy to freeze.
“The Patronus Charm is a defensive charm; can anyone tell me anything else about it?”
Just off the top of his head, Teddy would have been able to tell McGonagall a minimum of twenty facts about the Patronus Charm, excluding significant dates in history on which it was used. But he could not even blink let alone initiate a conversation surrounding the spell his godfather had taught him and his sister by the time they were ten.
As Teddy recalled his excitement the first time he had produced a corporeal Patronus, using Harry’s wand, the image of it flooded his mind, then came the memory of McGonagall assuring them that they would not need to use it if they traveled to the past.
Harry had reminded them that if they produced it while there, they would surely upset a fair number of people, if not immediately giving themselves away. Now, here Teddy was, being taught how to produce it all over again.
Teddy couldn’t believe that McGonagall could let such a crucial detail slip her mind, when informing them of the past. He sat quietly, listening to some Hufflepuff at the front rattle on about the animals that were produced from a corporeal Patronus.
Teddy hoped that they wouldn’t be asked to actually attempt the spell before he was able talk with Lesley.
McGonagall asked for someone else to contribute, and Teddy saw Lesley yank Lily’s hand from the air.
Lily looked like she was about to protest when Lesley whispered something to her which caused her to frown and turn away, but keep her mouth closed.
Lesley then turned to Teddy, wide eyes. “What do we do now?” She urgently whispered.
“Ah, Ms. Lucas, would you happen to know something about the Patronus Charm?” McGonagall asked, thinking that Lesley wasn’t paying attention to her lesson.
Teddy almost snorted as Lesley raised an eyebrow, “Well… when casting it you have to think of a happy memory. But it has to be the happiest you can think of, not just some ‘first kiss’ thing,”
A couple of people snickered but Lesley continued, “It has to be the most amazing experience, like being reunited with a loved one,” She looked pointedly at Teddy, “or finding out you were magical,” She turned to Lily, “or finding the love of your life.” She carefully looked from Lily to James and back again, before turning to McGonagall, “Other memories will create some type of the Patronus Charm, but in order to produce the best form you can, it must be your most wonderful memory.”
McGonagall looked slightly surprised, but regained herself quickly, “And I suppose you have something to add as well, Mr. Lucas?”
“I just might…” Teddy stalled, trying to buy time before they would have to actually attempt the spell.
Lesley snorted and McGonagall frowned, so Teddy ploughed on, “The incantation for it is Expecto Patronum.”
McGonagall frowned slightly, “Yes, that is correct.”
She looked like she expected Teddy to continue but he kept his mouth shut so she drew her wand, “I have been able to achieve a corporeal Patronus. After I demonstrate it, you may each stand and push your desk against the wall before attempting it yourself.”
With one fluid motion, she stated the charm confidently and a silver tabby cat appeared before her. Where Teddy and Lesley’s Patronus’ ran and explored their surroundings, McGonagall’s sat perfectly still at her feet, starring intently at all of the students. After a moment of “ohhs” and “ahhs”, McGonagall swished her wand, and it disappeared, almost making Teddy doubt if it had ever been there.
“You may start now.”
Everyone jumped up excitedly. Lily pulled Lesley up with her, and Teddy grudgingly followed. All the desks were pushed to the edges and friends started eagerly yelling the incantation loudly.
Teddy shook his head; almost none of them would be able to perform the charm. They didn’t mean it; they were just throwing the words into the air, not actually thinking about them.
Lesley seemed to be thinking along the same lines, a smirk sitting comfortably on her features as she scanned the room, but once Lily urged her to try first, she turned anxiously towards Teddy.
“What now?” She asked quietly.
“Just wait…” Teddy nodded towards the Marauders. They too were looking around the room, examining their classmates’ efforts, not yet attempting the spell. Until they began to try, Teddy and Lesley would not be doing anything suspicious.
Lesley nodded, understanding, before turning back to Lily, “Let’s just watch for a bit.”
Lily looked around before leaning back against a desk. Lesley joined her, somewhat anxiously, and they continued to watch the class for a long time, no one yet able to produce even a wisp of the charm. Finally it looked like the Marauders were going to begin attempting the spell.
“Why don’t you go ahead and try first?” Lesley asked, turning away from the boys.
“Oh, alright.” Lily said hesitantly as she stood and tightened her grip on her wand. She shifted slightly so that she was in a confident duelling stance. The Marauders seemed to notice what she was doing, and turned to watch along with Teddy. Lily closed her eyes in concentration and exhaled deeply. Slowly, they opened again and she raised her wand.
A thick, glowing pearl mist emitted from the tip of her wand, looping and swirling before disappearing.
The boys clapped as Sirius complimented, “Nice job, Evans, didn’t know you had it in you.”
Lily grinned broadly as she turned to Lesley, “Nice job, Lily. Try a happier memory and you’ll have it perfectly.”
Lily gave her a surprised look before McGonagall came up behind them. “Good work, Ms. Evans, 10 points to Gryffindor. Try using a slightly happier memory next time.”
Other students had turned to watch and some complimented Lily as well.
The Marauders each tried next. All creating a mist similar to Lily’s, except for Peter, whose was considerably thinner.
They turned to Teddy and Lesley who pretended not to notice.
“Mr. Lucas, Ms. Lucas, would you like to try for us as well?” McGonagall asked pointedly.
“Not really…” Lesley muttered.
McGonagall glared at her and Lesley quickly raised her wand. She shot a nervous glance at Teddy who also, reluctantly raised his wand.
“Together…” He muttered before sending a weary look at McGonagall, “This is a terrible idea.”
Before McGonagall could respond, Lesley and Teddy had both swished their wands and shouted the incantation. Teddy quickly thought back to the day on the train that he had first seen his father. Never having used the memory before he wondered slightly if it would work, hoping it wouldn’t, but subconsciously knowing it would.
Two creatures flew from the twin’s wands, running over the heads of the students, spinning in the air before soaring off in opposite directions.
“Great,” Teddy heard Lesley mutter, “they’re in a playful mood…”
If he wasn’t so scared, Teddy would have snorted at Lesley’s useless comment, but instead he stood rooted to his spot, watching the Marauders out of the corner of his eye.
The students oohed and ahhed, some reaching up to try and touch the Patronuses, but never managing to as they moved too fast.
McGonagall turned and watched the twins intently as Lesley shook her head, distressed by the situation they had gotten themselves into.
Finally the twin Patronuses seemed to calm, as they came to stand, each beside their respective caster.
The same Hufflepuff girl that had described the animals before called out excitedly, “Ohh, their wolves! That means you’re inquisitive and playful, yet dangerous and savage below the surface.”
“Those aren’t wolves.” Remus said quietly, as he stood rigid between James and Sirius.
“The shape of the snouts…” Sirius wandered.
“The pupils are all…” James trailed off.
“And the tufted tails…” Peter added.
Comprehension seemed to dawn on Lily as she stared wide eyed at the twins, “Those are werewolves.”
The class immediately silenced many taking steps away from the twins. They had all heard Lily, even though Teddy himself had barley heard her.
McGonagall didn’t move, having realized that this was jeopardizing their story of coming from home schooling and creating even more interest in the twins.
The silence thickened and Teddy realized one of them would have to say something before it got even more suspicious.
Lesley scratched her neck and bit her lip, “Funny story really…”
No one laughed and McGonagall turned swiftly, “Return to your seats please, we will begin discussing invisibility spells, in preparation for next lesson.”
Only a few moved as everyone continued to watch the twins and their Patronuses.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Mr Lucas, Ms. Lucas, you can excuse your Patronuses now, we will be moving on.”
“Wait.” Sirius commanded.
“Mr. Black. Take your seat before I take House points.”
Sirius ignored her though as he approached the twins, “Why have you got werewolf Patronuses?”
“You can’t choose your Patronuses…” That same Hufflepuff girl supplied, this time with fright clearly showing in both her eyes and her voice.
Teddy looked down as the Marauders and Lily continued to examine the twins.
“Very well, thank you Ms. Dobson. You can all take your seats now.” McGonagall said briskly from the front of the class.
Each student slowly took their seat as Teddy and Lesley released their Patronuses and sat down again.
No one in the back row spoke for the rest of the class. Teddy and Lesley sat nervously, not knowing what would come next.
As the bell rang, Sirius leaned over and whispered, “We’ll talk about this later.” before disappearing with the rest of the class, Lily walking along with Remus.
“Shit.” was all Teddy could say as Lesley led the way out into the corridor.
The twins started their way towards the Great Hall for lunch, each step committed to memory from previous trips. This came in handy, as they were distracted by the many small knots of kids that formed as they passed. The hallway full of noise one moment silenced the next as Teddy and Lesley became present.
Teddy narrowed his eyes as kids split, clearing the way for him and Lesley to walk down the middle, untouched.
This certain type of attention had only been given to them once before, when it first became common knowledge they were Harry Potter’s godchildren.
It seemed that news spread just as fast here as it did thirty six years in the future.
A/N: Okay, rather longer wait for this chapter... I'm really sorry, I just got really busy with homework and such all of a sudden, and it doesn't help that my last 7 weekends have all been taken up with tournaments. But now I have a 3 week break so the next chapter might be up sooner... I hope. Well enough of my excuses, please review, they always make me smile and are really helpfull. = )! -xo Reggie
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