BETA NEEDED

Ok first off, thank you all so much for the reviews you left and I apologise for how long I left this. Because this is all new to me and I was a little overwhelmed by the number of people that took interest in this I thought my second chapter wasn't good enough and the longer I left it the more guilty I got and the more I procrastinate... It's just a vicious cycle really. Won't happen again I swear.
As one reviewer said my spelling and grammar needs a little work and any tips on how to improve my writing is valuable so message me if you are interested in becoming my beta. I was a little embarrassed at some of those mistakes.


It had been snowing the night before, and Hogwarts students awoke to a frosty layer of white, sprinkled across their school. The young Whomping Willow shivered and violently shook its branches sending snow and ice flying in all directions; god knows why they decided to plant the awful thing there. Outside of the castle people were using their magic to carefully mould the small snowballs into exploding bombs of frost, not that Santana Lopez could witness any of this from the Slytherin dungeons. It was freezing but people were still trying to make their best of their winter Saturday morning. Everyone but her of course, she had locked herself and Quinn in the dormitory room until she could figure out how to resolve the problem that she had somehow found herself in.

What the hell am I going to do?" Santana muttered anxiously for the seventh time that morning.

"It's your own fault Santana" Quinn stated unsympathetically.

Santana had spent a good few hours pacing in between the beds and worrying whilst Quinn unhelpfully sat on her bed finishing her potions essay. Even though she and Brittany had set no official time to do something, Santana knew that the weekend would be a perfect opportunity where she hadn't the excuse of classes to avoid it.

"I didn't even know what I was doing, I was under a charm" she explained irritably.

"How much sneezewort do you think I should add to the mix?"

"How should I know Princess, I failed potions remember?" Santana growled.

"Look what are you even concerned about, just tell her you can't go" Quinn muttered in between chewing her pencil thoughtfully.

It was the simplest answer. Telling Brittany she wouldn't go was a perfectly reasonable way to respond to the situation. She knew it would work. She knew that if she did, then Brittany would catch on to what was happening, she knew Brittany wouldn't propose an outing again.
Somehow though it just didn't sit right with her, it would be rude and though it wasn't something that Santana normally cared about, she didn't want to upset her.

"No she'll just keep pestering me" Santana retorted continuing her restless walk back and forth across the room.

"Then just avoid her or if it comes down to it then go study with her and make it unpleasant" Quinn sighed "I'm so glad I'm not you, I would hate to spend a day babysitting that moron"

Santana opened her mouth to snap something at Quinn but stopped herself quickly. Why defend a stranger over her friend?

"I don't even know why you suggested it in the first place" Quinn shrugged throwing her essay to one side and sitting upright on the bed.

"I don't know, it's kind of..." Santana sat down next to the only girl that even came close to being a best friend and struggled to put it into words "What do you even want to do when you graduate Quinn?"

For a moment Quinn gazed out the window wistfully, her green eyes drifted to a place far from where they were now.

"I'd like to work in the ministry maybe, I don't have a clue what department" she answered honestly "But I know that that's what I want to do in the future"

"What about a relationship?" Santana pressed.

"Well yeah I'd like to get married and maybe have a couple of kids" she shrugged.

"The man that you marry, what will he be like?"

"I don't know Santana where are you going with this?" Quinn huffed.

"But that's the thing Quinn, you do know, you already have a perfect image of who you're going to marry in your head right now" Santana ranted heatedly "He'll be wealthy, he'll be powerful, he'll have connections within all sorts of branches in the ministry, he'll be a pure blood and he might even be a death eater, and though you would prefer he wasn't you would have no problem with it either!"

"What is your point Santana?" Quinn growled through her teeth.

"My point is that that is all we're are getting, both of us are expected to enter a loveless marriage for the sake of our bloodline!"

"What do you suggest then? That we both become dirt poor and marry muggle borns? That we poison our children's blood and probably cause them to turn out a squib?" Quinn said coldly.

"No, that's not what I'm saying" Santana sighed wearily "Don't you feel like we have almost no control over it? Don't you get tired of the predictable bullshit?"

Quinn didn't answer. She stood up, searched through her wardrobe and pulled out a thick coat and her uniform green and white scarf.

"I'm going out."

"What, where?" Santana moaned, "You're supposed to stay with me until I figure this out!"

"Do whatever you want Santana, I really don't care" Quinn drawled tiredly "Just remember that your C.M.C assignment is due Monday."

With that Quinn slammed the door and left her completely alone. Santana flopped back onto her bed and skimmed through the pages of her text book, she was fully dressed, ready to go out and tackle the day. She was too unsure of how to tackle the issue of Brittany though, so she instead opted to hide in the dormitory until dinner time. Santana Lopez never thought she would see the day when she would hide in her own school.

Then suddenly she glanced down and screeched, shooting up in fright. Sitting beneath her feet was a duck. What the fuck was a duck doing in the Slytherin dormitory?

Santana inspected it further to see if it were a ghost, can animals even be ghosts? Even though it had the strange silver colour it seemed too solid, it wasn't transparent like the bloody baron or Peeves. God forbid that duck be anything like Peeves. It was looking up at her expectantly like it was waiting for something, then it waddled towards the door and waited patiently.

"Are you fucking serious?"

The duck nodded and even gave her a small quack. Santana rolled her eyes and decided, why not? Why not follow a duck around the school; it wasn't like she was doing much else. She stood up and opened the door and the duck scampered through, it was a rather amusing sight, seeing the clumsy bird so excited to take Santana wherever the hell it was they were going.

It took her through the common room and out of the Slytherin dungeon; all the while most people who saw the silver duck ignored it, like it was a common thing to see silver ducks wandering the halls, though she did manage to catch one or two glimpses of people who gazed in awe or whispered elatedly to their friends. Maybe this was the prophecy of the silver duck, and she had been chosen to finally defeat the Master Embassy of the Ninth Tuna Abyss and her prize was a castle made of gold and breadsticks.

. . . Merlin she needed some fresh air.

"Hey!"

'Why would you follow a duck and expect good things to come of it?'

Brittany was waiting by the foot of the Grand Staircase, wearing black tights under a pair of shorts and wrapped up in a jacket, considering it was snowing outside it seemed to be the most ridiculous thing anyone could choose to wear. Still it looked kind of cute, her cheeks were a little flushed from the bitter cold but she was smiling brightly none the less, she looked thrilled that Santana had finally turned up.

"Is this yours?" Santana asked, pointing at the silver duck which seemed to slowly fade away once its mission was complete.

"It's called a patronus charm; me and some of my friends learnt how to use it so we could talk to each other from a distance sometimes at night ..."

The charm was familiar to Santana, they had learnt about it on their brief study of the dementor and lethifold in her defence against the dark arts class last year, though she was surprised to remember it considering she had only attended half of her classes with Professor Sylvester. The normally eccentric teacher had waved away requests for the charm to be either taught or performed; she said she didn't have the necessary requirements to execute the extremely difficult spell. Santana was surprised that Brittany had managed to master it when she was aware that very few qualified wizards were able to.

"Maybe I could teach you sometime" Brittany offered cheerfully.

"Yeah maybe" Santana replied uncertainly "So do you need some assignment help or?"

Brittany's excitement dulled and she looked a little disappointed.

"How am I supposed to get to know you if we spend the day doing school work" she protested "I thought maybe we could go out"

"Umm . . . Sure I guess"

'Going out was never part of the fucking plan here'.

"Great, there's a trip to Hogsmeade planned for today, we might make it if we run"

"Okay but don't you want to put on some jeans or something" –

"Awesome let's go!" Without waiting for another word Brittany grabbed Santana's hand and started to run down the staircase, pulling the startled witch along with her.

Being several inches taller than her Brittany's long legs raced through the hall weaving in and out of the students that had just gotten out of breakfast, leaving the much shorter Santana to be dragged and knocked into various other people.

"Whoa slow down a little!" she panted but the blonde just laughed and ignored her shattered plea, continuing to run until they found themselves outside the Hogwarts castle. Before Santana had any time to catch her breath Brittany once again took her hand and sprinted as hard as she could past the great lake and towards the Hogsmeade station. As soon as they stopped in front of the coach Santana collapsed with exhaustion onto a seat and Brittany happily sat beside her, she hadn't even broken a sweat.

"I thought Quidditch players were supposed to be fit?" She joked well naturedly.

"Yeah well you don't do a lot of running with a broom stick" Santana gasped, too exhausted to make it sound as mean as she intended.

"You look pretty fit anyway."

"What?"

"I hope I'm not keeping you from a date or anything, I bet people on the Quidditch team get asked out a lot" she mused casually whilst fiddling round in her pocket to count the galleons she had managed to scrape out.

It made Santana smirk a little, because she was quite proud to admit that she did get asked out a lot. Not as much lately because Noah Puckerman had gotten suspended for putting a philtre in Professor Sylvester's drink, he had only done as a joke but somehow the stupid bastard had made it too strong and she was unconscious for a week. Santana didn't really care if he made it back at all. She was enjoying her time of not being bothered and having to reject the crude Gryffindor's advance daily.

Not that anyone actually interested her, but the Slytherin keeper Americus Faxon had been giving her the eye lately at practice and he was from one of the most influential, pure-blood, wizard families in Britain. It wouldn't hurt to flaunt him around the school a little.

"Well when you look like this it just comes naturally I guess" she said arrogantly.

They exchanged a bit of trivial gossip until the coach slowly scraped along the path and halted at the village, Santana realised she was quite relieved she had chosen to go out today. For a Hufflepuff Brittany wasn't bad conversation.

"Wow everything looks so Christmassy" Brittany exclaimed stepping off the coach and twirling around in the falling flakes of snow.

Santana had only ever been to Hogsmeade once, in her third year and had not returned because she lacked any interest for it what so ever. Then again it's really supposed to be a trip you visit with your friends, where as Santana had gone alone. Just like the last time she had visited Hogsmeade was a charming picture of the perfect Christmas holiday.

"Let's have a look around San!"

Santana's head snapped up at the unfamiliar way Brittany had addressed her, she wasn't sure if it was normal to have a nickname this early. It wasn't like she had ever had one before.

"Where did you want to go?" she asked gruffly pulling the cloak tighter around her freezing body and suppressing a shiver.

"Let's look around the shops a bit, I wanna see if Zonko's got some new stuff" she suggested linking her arm in the reluctant Santana's and pulled her along once more, oblivious to her lack of enthusiasm for the popular joke shop.

The place was in complete chaos when they squeezed through the door, students were madly rushing everywhere to snatch the latest products up for grabs, the colourful assortments on the shelves buzzed, clapped, shined, jumped and snarled. It was like a twisted mix of a children's store and hell. Brittany easily pushed through the crowds and a single glare from Santana's dark; paralyzing eyes forced the mob to part with terror. Sometimes being a bitch had its uses.

"What do you think about this San?" Brittany cupped a small black cube in her hands with the label 'Demon Box' in big blood red letters across the lid. There was an illustration of a small bogey green imp like creature smiling dementedly on the front.

"Don't let out at midnight, they tend to savage people!"

"What would you want one of those things for?" Santana asked, the tiny demon illustration gave her the finger and the box rattled viciously.

"Don't you think it looks cute?" Brittany said adoringly.

". . . Not even a little"

"I suppose it wouldn't be fair on Lord Tubbington" she sighed putting it back on the shelf and continuing her search. Soon enough her blonde hair bobbed back up once more and requested Santana's opinion.

"Brittany I can't think for any reason why you would want an 'Out to Lunch Fake Moustache'" Santana laughed, Brittany pouted slightly in confusion.

"But I would look so cool don't you think?" she insisted holding the picture up to her face to demonstrate her point.

"Keep looking" Santana snickered; she decided to join Brittany in her search for something worthwhile amongst the crazy or just plain dangerous items on sale.

"Ooh I'm definitely getting these" Brittany said ecstatically bagging a small blue bottle as if it would jump from her hands and escape. Maybe it would.

"What is it?" Santana asked curiously.

"I'll show you later, but it's all I can afford if we want something to eat" Brittany shouted over the rising noise of the growing crowd that had entered the shop.

Brittany paid three galleons for the mystery bottle and they left Zonko's quickly.

"I almost f-forgot what fresh air actually w-was" Santana stammered once they returned to the icy, blustery weather of outside.

"We still have a lot more shops to look at!"

Fuck

Compared to Zonko's, it was no different to the sweet shop Honeydukes in terms of insanity. It may have even been worse. This time there were children of all ages, not just Hogwarts students but residents of the village too that had grown fat on the sweet delights they had access to all year round. Santana found it a little revolting. There was every sort of sweet, toffee, lolly, gum, chew or sugary indulgence that the world had to offer, Brittany made some comment about it looking like a small Willy Wonka factory (Santana had no idea what she was on about) but they also had some more unsavoury things on display. Santana had to discourage Brittany on numerous occasions away from the exploding bon bombs, cockroach clusters, fungus fudge or acid pops.

Brittany just bought some ice mice that they shared on the way to the owl post so that Brittany could drop off a few letters to her parents and then they paid a visit to Dominic Maestro's music shop.

"Do you play?" Brittany asked innocently, casting her gaze over the once renowned music store known for its most finely crafted instruments.

"No." Santana lied, she looked contemplatively around at the worn out beaten instruments collecting dust on the floor. "No I don't play anything"

"Oh ok, I used to be able to play rock around the clock on piano but I forgot" she recounted thoughtfully.

"We should go before we suffocate from the filth in this place" Santana sneered shooting a nasty look at the elderly shop owner.

"I know the perfect place to go!" Brittany led the way out with a slight tug on her company's jacket.

Santana couldn't get out quick enough. Old Dominic Maestro himself leered as he watched the two leave.

"We can get a butter beer at the three broomsticks, have you ever had one before?"

"Yeah I've had a few, do you have any cash left though?" Santana asked, noting that Brittany's once bulging pocket of jingling coins was now flat and silent. In an almost comical fashion Brittany's eyes popped wide open and her mouth formed a distinctive 'o' shape, like a little light bulb had suddenly lit up in her mind. She stopped and rummaged around in her pocket and pulled out a few spare knuts and sickles.

"Looks like I'll have to go without," she muttered forlornly.

Santana rolled her eyes and yanked Brittany by the sleeve into the warm comfort of the busy but quietly pleasant pub.

"What are you" –

"I'm paying for you" Santana said firmly pushing Brittany down in a seat and calling up the waitress before she could protest. Only because she wanted a drink though, and it would be weird drinking when someone else isn't. That was understandable. . .

"What can I get you girls?" The young blonde waitress drawled tiredly, then looked up at Brittany and grinned, lightening up noticeably "Brittany, I haven't seen you in a while"

"Hi Rosmerta, we've been busy studying for exams and stuff so I haven't had a chance to visit as often" Brittany replied cheerfully, Santana frowned at the unwelcome company.

"Well you know what I say, your brain will turn to mush if you don't live a little, no use for exams then eh?" she laughed heartily "Who've you brought over this time?" she asked gesturing over to Santana who was becoming rapidly annoyed by the waitresses presence.

"This is my friend Santana Lopez," Brittany introduced her affectionately with a small nudge "we're both taking a break from school work"

At the mention of her name Rosmerta stiffened and the muscles in between her eye brows tightened though it was obvious she tried to hide it. Santana felt a low snarl rumble in the back of her throat from the anger; she didn't try to hide her disgust. She was quite aware of the waitress's feelings towards her.

"Would your father happen to be Agustin Lopez?" she asked frostily.

"Yeah, that's right" Santana growled back. She glared at the appalled Rosmerta and challenged the waitress with her sharp eyes to say anything else. She dared her to take it further.

"Right, I see" she muttered coldly then looked back to Brittany with a worried glance. A look Santana was quite sure said 'what are you doing with this?' "How's Delilah?"

"Oh she's good I guess" Brittany said shifting uncomfortably in her seat "I haven't really had the chance to see her"

"I hope you know what you're doing Brittany" she said giving a final glance back at Santana who was quite close to telling her to fuck off. She gave a forced smile and pulled out her notepad "What'll it be, whatever it is, it's on the house"

"Thanks but I'll be paying" Santana cut in brusquely "two butter beers, keep the change" she tossed a few galleons into Rosmerta's hands who gaped at the sheer nerve and rudeness that the younger girl had given her. She shook her head and decided not to say anything, in case her emotions become too strong. Brittany just smiled obliviously as if the whole exchange hadn't existed.

"Who's Delilah?" Santana questioned more out of desire to keep a conversation than actual curiosity.

"Delilah Tamah, she's a Ravenclaw, you wouldn't know her" Brittany dismissed the question and changed the subject "I didn't go out today to talk about her; I want to know about you San."

Santana paused for a moment and wondered what there was to know? Why did it matter anyway?
Taking Santana's moment of thought as discomfort she cocked her head to the side slightly, almost like a confused dog and gave an amused smile.

"You don't mind if I call you that do you?" She teased, "You did get to call me Britt yesterday."

"No, call me what you want; like most people do," she muttered offhandedly "it's just that I'm a little...Well what you see is what you get"

"I know; that's what I like about you"

Whoa, someone liked that she said and did what she wanted regardless of anyone else's feelings? Nice one Santana, you pick them well.

"What about your family, how did Rosmerta know your dad? Does he work for the ministry?"

'Oh her innocence' Santana thought.

"Yeah, you could say that" she replied dryly.

"That's pretty awesome, how about siblings?"

"A brother, he graduated ages ago" she tried to keep her answers concerning family short as possible and hoped Brittany would catch on to her reluctance towards speaking about family.

"I have a little sister myself, Cassie" Brittany said "she's still back at home though"

"Where is home for you?" Santana asked, as it was obvious that like her and many other students at Hogwarts, she was not from the United Kingdom.

"I'm Dutch" she said proudly "it's always a travel to get here, but I didn't really have much choice..." she trailed off looking as if she had said the wrong thing.

"But you're from the Netherlands?" Santana said "you could have gone to Durmstrang Academy"

Brittany paused before deciding to answer and locked her eyes with Santana, her expression darkened into seriousness and she took a deep breath, Santana could see that she considered what she was about to say a risk.

"No Santana, I couldn't have gone" she murmured, her voice barely perceptible "Durmstrang wouldn't have allowed me to attend."

"Why not, was there some stupid entrance exam you didn't pass?"

"No Santana, they don't allow muggle borns to attend."

It took a while for Santana to process the words through her mind. Maybe she had misheard her.

"Sorry, what?"

"I couldn't go to Durmstrang. Because my parents are muggles" she whispered.

Santana just stared. Then she scowled angrily and tried to say something, but the words kept getting caught in her throat or dying when she opened her mouth. Eventually she just shook her head in disgust and got up from her seat, leaving Brittany alone – in such a cliché fashion – in a bar.

Once hit by the blast of bitter cold she thought how stupid it was.

Too god damn good to be true.