Chapter 12 : Soaring Through the Sky
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Wisps of silver sprung out of the tip of the magical tool, faintly forming the image of a horse until it became nothing more than a memory in a few mere seconds. "Very good, very good," cried the Professor as the Sixth Year student blushed deeply.
Today was once of those rare instances that the Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor decided to gather all the Sixth Year students from every House to review N.E.W.T. level topics, despite the fact that we would be taking the stress-inducing exam at the end of next year. Thus, all the students who met the level of requirement to be able to continue onto N.E.W.T.-level DADA groaned as they gathered in the empty Great Hall.
"I know you all have the ability to conjure a full Patronus, so do not give up just yet," the Professor said with false excitement.
Memories of the days I spent in frustration attempting to learn the wearisome charm flooded back to me. All night and all day, hour after hour, I would point the wand at the empty space before me and concentrate on the memory that made me happiest. But it wasn't until I realised that you had to have more than just the memory of the moment, you had to feel that same emotion again.
Anger had pulsed through me after my mother left making it nearly impossible to be able to conquer the charm. For every happy memory I had seemed to always have her in it. However, after an entire year spent in frustration, I was able to perform the charm with a simple flick of my wand.
And then came the next challenge.
Becoming an Animagus.
Day after wretched day was spent for more than two years in attempt to overcome the obstacle. After a year and a half of hours spent of concentrating to become the desired animal, I was on the border of throwing the challenge in an imaginary drawer. My hopes were lost, my schoolwork became worse by the minute as papers marked in red were returned, and I thought well, maybe I am not a capable witch.
That's until Professor McGonagall taught us a lesson on the process of becoming Animagi, topped off with a demonstration. I was in awe by the end of it, burning with the desire to do exactly what my Professor had done moments ago.
And I did.
But to this day, if I don't keep practising the acquired skill, I know I will lost that ability. I know that those days spent would have gone to waste. And I wasn't able to lose two years of my life.
I jerked out of the process of my thoughts, students yelling the incantation that I had once repeated one too many times all those years ago. "Oh, I'm sorry," I quickly said, heat appearing in my cheeks. "Would you like some help with the charm?" he asked.
"I'm fine," I replied immediately.
"I can assign you with a student to help you," he said, unconvinced.
"No, I'm all right," I insisted, glancing at the students he was gesturing at.
"Miss Liddell please don't be shy to request for help."
"But I can do it," I said faintly only to earn a raised eyebrow from the Professor. I blushed once more before lifting my wand and losing myself in the emotion of one of my happiest memories.
The faded sound of French music recorded in the 20's echoed through my mind as I remembered the uncontrollable laughter that had bubbled up our throats. Before we had known it, we ended up in a tangle of limps, clinging on to each other and to our friendship that we had once thought would last for years. The memory didn't seem to be part of my own timeline but I knew it was.
"Expecto Patronum," I said, firmly yet quietly, hoping that it would work. But I knew that the moment I felt the trickle of sadness seep into my veins that I would open my eyes to find nothing but silver wisps.
"I see. Miss Liddell, why don't you join Miss Evans?" he said, insulting every second that I had spent learning the charm.
With reluctance, I trudged towards the direction of Lily Evans's laughter as she recalled a memory that she had plucked out from her past. I couldn't bring myself to say the words once I halted in front of her. "Professor sent you here?" I looked up to find the sparkling green eyes of Lily Evans who but a comforting hand on my shoulder as she pulled me off to the side.
"Don't worry, nobody has to know," she said with a subtle wink.
Relief washed through me. I appreciated every ounce of Lily's ability of understanding. "The odd thing is that I do know the charm and have been able to perform it before but for some reason..."
"It's always during the worst times that our abilities fail on us," Lily said with a sympathetic smile.
"That is very true," I said with a small smile tugging at my lips as I watched the wisps from Olivia's wand form that of a hummingbird that flitted around the empty space before her.
"Here, why don't you give it another try," Lily said, pushing me forward. I closed my eyes, choosing another memory but all that could come to mind was the moment my mother left. Forcing that moment aside, I chose the first time I was able to morph into my Animagus.
However my mind was distracted by the shouting of the same incantation around me, I attempted drain the noise out and replace it with the emotion of pure bliss. The moment I uttered the words, I opened my eyes to see the familiar sight of a translucent raven stretching its wings to its full lengths as it soared through the Great Hall.
"Oh wow, you're a raven. That is really quite fascinating," Lily said with a grin stretched across her face. "I suppose it is and what is your patronus?"
Lily's grin grew even wider if that were even possible as she whispered the words and flicked her wrist. An elegant doe sprouted from the tip of her wand and galloped across the room, students staring at the mystical creature.
"It's beautiful," I said.
"Before I was questioning what my patronus would be and when I found out I thought well, what else would it have been?" Lily said.
"Evans, we are meant to be together," the familiar voice of James Potter called out, immediately wiping the smile off of Lily's face and instead replaced it with annoyance.
"For five years now, almost every day of my life has been filled with the irritating voice of that incompetent prat," Lily said to me, not daring to look behind her.
"Perhaps he really does like you though?" I suggested feebly.
"Oh no, if he did then he wouldn't embarrass me every day I am here. He wouldn't insult or anger me with his inconsiderate words," Lily said, fuming as James slung an arm around her slender figure.
"Were those lovely words about me, dear Lily?" he asked with the wide eyes of a child.
With a glare that could result in a death, James continued on about how Lily and him were meant to be a couple. It was only destiny, of course. "What makes you think that I would ever be with an arrogant prat like yourself?"
"Well, because Lily flower, other than the fact that I love you and am incredibly handsome, have you seen our Patronuses?"
Before another word could slip out of Lily's lips, James had shouted "Expecto Patronum" resulting in the silvery wisps forming that of a proud stag that stared straight into Lily's eyes before galloping into the unknown. "My Merlin," I breathed at the sight before me.
"That's just a coincidence," Lily said, shaking her head.
"Coincidence or not, it still means something," James said with a grin.
That was it for Lily.
Whispers buzzed in the corridors.
If one listened closely they would here the names James and Lily in the midst of the string of whispering. Eyes stared at the two as the fiery redhead angrily stomped through, refusing to listen to a single word anyone said.
"I don't care though because I know that James and I are supposed to be together. Our parents are good friends you see," said a girl that looked no older than thirteen said proudly to her friends who listened intently.
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes as I squeezed through the gaps. Students hung around the corridor outside the Great Hall as they waited for the very last minute until classes began.
"A doe and a stag, that's adorable," squealed another girl who was most likely a First Year as the people around her nodded in agreement.
She would never stop being the topic of discussion would she? Between James's antics and her involvement in all school activities, her name would always be brought up at least once in a conversation. Whether it was to discuss James's latest idea to ask Lily to Hogsmeade or her high scores, she wouldn't get a break.
"Oh Alice," Lily cried to the Alice Prewett with perfect waves of brown hair and a sweet round face that was now scrunched up in concern for her friend.
"Don't worry, they will soon stop talking about it," she soothed.
"Not if Potter doesn't stop first or else I swear I will hex him into oblivion," Lily said. I stayed silent, engulfed in the group of younger years behind me.
"But is that really what's bothering you?"
Lily paused, glancing at her patient friend as they steadily walked towards classes. "Well, I just can't get it out of my mind why our Patronuses would be similar."
"It doesn't mean that you two are meant to be together because they are the same animal just of different genders. Perhaps you two are actually more alike than you may believe," Alice said with the air of a wise elder.
Lily immediately scrunched her face in disgust and said, "To think that Potter and I are similar? Bleh."
A knowing smile lit the round face of Alice Prewett as she looped her arm through Lily's, not bothering to continue on with a conversation that would lead to no acceptable conclusion.
"Move aside, Mudblood," drawled a voice coated in steel at a young Second Year dressed in the Slytherin house robes who was attempting to catch a glimpse of the Gryffindor Quidditch practice.
"Let's see what new pathetic plays they have come up with now," said another emotionless voice that came from the lips of Mulciber.
A light drizzle began to douse the grounds as the current Quidditch team captain for Gryffindor, Henry Lancaster, began barking orders at his team mates who looked drained of energy. "Doesn't seem like there is going to be much of a competition this year," said one of the spying Slytherins with a smirk on her face.
"When was there ever?" said another.
I slipped my way past the small gathering, hoping that I would pass unnoticed to avoid a meeting with the older Slytherins who were bound to say insulting words that were not very much desired. "Excuse me?" said the strict voice of Olivia Baker, Head Girl, who had just came from the opposite direction.
"What is going on here? Some sort of party?" she said in a voice that could be put into competition with Professor McGonagall's. The younger years scrambled out of the corridor, not wanting to be put into detention.
"What does it matter to a piece of scum?" said Avery. I watched a scene that could possibly have a terrible ending, unfold before me.
"Twenty-five points from Slytherin for abusive language," she said, unfazed.
"Oh really?" asked Mulciber in a threatening voice. Before I could blink, he had raising his wand and with a simple flick, Olivia had dropped to the floor. My head screamed to run to the security of a more populated area but my heart refused.
I dropped to my knees beside Olivia's idle body. To my relief, her chest was still steadily moving rhythmically, a clear sign that she had simply been stunned. "And what is this? More waste?"
My hand immediately went to my wand, tucked safely in the folds of my robes. I glanced up to see Mulciber twitching his hand and before he could even raise it, I immediately send a disarming spell in his direction. The wand went flying to the other end of the corridor as I patted Olivia's cheeks, hoping to wake her.
"You filthy piece of flesh."
My heart pounded against my chest as I screamed the same charm again in hopes that someone nearby would hear me. "Who do you think you are?" said a voice I couldn't recognise. But before I could glance up at the source, the person had disarmed me.
"Now, I think someone is in need of a lesson here," said the voice of a Slytherin I was not able to recognise. A wand was pointed at my throat as he said, "Don't you dare lift even a finger at us again or else you will have to face a more severe punishment."
The wand jabbed me in the throat before being tucked securely into his robes. They turned around, a flash of black robes, as they hurried to pick their misplaced wands and leave without another trace. "Oh, please Olivia, wake up," I whispered. There was no sign of her leaving the trance she was in so I glanced around at the empty corridor and pulled off my cloak.
After lifting Olivia's head delicately and sliding the velvet cloak underneath, I rushed down the corridor to grab my wand which had been stripped out of my careful hands. In the distance, there was a blur of scarlet and gold robes as the figures came closer to the entrance. Within a few moments, the sound of water dripping down onto the stone floor occupied the silence.
"Alice, what is going on here?" James asked with a tone of concern upon noticing Olivia's resting shell.
"Well there were a group of Slytherins here but then Olivia came. She tried to pass out detentions but they had stunned her," I said, struggling to put the story into short sentences.
"Bloody Slytherins," muttered Sirius.
The Quidditch players stared at me, exhausted of their practice but willing to help their Head Girl. "But I don't know whether to take her to the Hospital Wing, the Headmaster, or to some sort of couch since it is only a stunning spell," I said exasperatedly.
"I think it is best to take her to the Head Boy so that he could take her to the Heads' Quarters until she wakes," said Maggie Jones, Gryffindor's Seeker.
"That sounds good," I said, nodding and whispering, "Locomotor." Olivia's peaceful body rose a few inches above the ground, defying the laws of Muggle science, as I quickly snatched my cloak from beneath her.
Before I parted ways with the Gryffindor Quidditch team, I asked if any of them would know where to find the Head Boy. Sirius and James shared a look that seemed to be a silent conversation. "Well..."
"Wait a minute here," James said quickly as Sirius ran off in the other direction.
A few moments later, he came jogging back in his drenched Quidditch uniform. Breathless, he said, "In the corridor surrounding the court, fooling around with some of his mates probably."
Without bothering to question his suspiciously specific information, I thanked them and hurried towards the direction of the Head Boy with the Head Girl floating beside me. Her blonde hair hung from her scalp as the black robes scraped the ground.
As I continued on with my journey, I imagined the Head Boy's reaction upon discovering Olivia in her state. Hoping that he wouldn't suspect me, I turned the next corner. Students stared at the sight, two blondes except one was surprisingly unconscious.
Then the final corner.
I turned my gaze to William Churner, Head Boy, who had been laughing at a joke one of his mates had said at a window by the court before noticing Olivia's body. The words were lost in my throat as the hold on my wand grew unsteady.
"What did you do to her?" he said sternly.
My eyes grew wide with surprise and faltered to say, "But...-It wasn't... There were a group of Slytherins and they stunned her but I happened to be there so I tried to help her."
His stare softened as I allowed her body to rest on the floor once more. William knelt down before flourishing his wand and repeating the same incantation that had carried her all the way to where she now slept.
"Thank you but I'm afraid that I will have to ask you to explain the story in full detail for I must report this to the Headmaster."
I nodded, my eyes tracing the outlines of the floor.
"Come along," he ordered.
Our silent procession was greeted by whispers and accusing stares. Of course the girl with the curtain of blonde hair covering her face must be the one who was guilty. I wanted to scream at them that it wasn't me who committed the crime but I sewed my lips close.
This was going to be a long day.
I'm publishing another story, "My Name is Violet", which is a Sirius/OC. But, back to this story, it has changed a lot. So far I am quite fond of how it has turned out but due to indecisiveness being a fault of mine, I might be editting again in the far future. Although as of now, this is going to remain. I am also trying to focus more on James and Lily's relationship unlike the chapters that I had before. Also instead of being cliche, I decided to exclude the part about her being a part of Remus's transformation. Besides, it honestly isn't something anyone would actually do for I know that most people would run on first glance of a werewolf. Thank you so so much for all of the reviews and views!
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