A/N: A very short one-shot for a scene that I had planned to go in my story Through Muggleborn Eyes: Year Five but could never fit in. Hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize as JK Rowling's.
"Yes, I'm coming, just let me go grab my broom."
Fifth Year Bryt Watkins watched as her boyfriend sighed and told her to hurry up before he turned and headed out of the Gryffindor Common room, his own broom resting over his shoulder. They were in for another bad Quidditch practice, they both knew it, but they had to go through with it. They were part of the team—though the term didn't quite fit. More like an ensemble of random people who just happened to wear the same team colors and play in the same game. Not the best thing when the final Quidditch match of the school year was barely a week away.
Bryt sighed, knowing there was no point in complaining about the Gryffindor Team shortcomings as she turned and made her way up the stairs to the room she shared with several other girls.
"Why can't I get this right?"
"I don't know, maybe you're not concentrating hard enough?"
"I'm concentrating plenty hard enough, thank you very much!"
Bryt stopped short outside her room's door, the unmistakable voices of Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown drifting from inside. Bryt wasn't sure if she should intrude, not wanting to interrupt whatever was going on.
'But I need to get my broom,' Bryt thought. She took a deep breath, hoped the girls were in a forgiving mood, and headed inside.
The second the door opened, Parvati and Lavender both jumped and Bryt saw a silvery peacock for half a second before it vanished instantly, leaving Parvati looking oddly darker from where she sat on her bed.
"Oh, thank Merlin, it's just you," Lavender said with a sigh of relief.
"Nice to know I'm welcome," Bryt said, rolling her eyes, though she felt quite proud of her roommates as she realized what was going on. "Who's got the peacock patronus?"
"Me," Parvati said proudly, grinning. Lavender frowned at her.
"We've been practicing up here whenever we can," she said, straightening herself up and setting her chin, "We're not about to let that horrible woman keep us from learning how to defend ourselves. We may not have meetings anymore, but we're still members of the DA."
"So you've been training yourself," Bryt finished, coming over and leaning against one of the posts of her bed. She had a good feeling Harry'd be just as proud as she was about this fact, "How's it coming along?"
"I still can't manage a patronus," Lavender said, almost sounding whiney, "I don't know what I'm doing wrong."
"I keep saying whatever memory she's choosing isn't happy enough," Parvati said, "But she insists it is."
"And I just can't get it right!" Lavender cried.
Bryt stared at her roommate, admiring her determination. After a second, she straightened up and went to sit on the opposite end of Lavender's bed that Lavender was on.
"I can help," she said, "Let you know what helped me finally get through this."
"Oh, will you?" Lavender asked excitedly, "Please!"
Bryt grinned, staring at the excitement on Lavender's face. Parvati grinned as well, though she also looked amused.
"Yeah," Bryt said with a nod, "I've got a couple of minutes before I have to be down at the Quidditch pitch. I can help."
"Thank you, thank you!" Lavender said, straightening up and holding her wand ready, getting the same look on her face when she soaked in Harry's instructions during DA meetings, "Okay, what do I do?"
Bryt paused, feeling a bit odd. She'd talked with others to help them through situations before, but she'd never had to try and teach someone to do something. Unless teaching her brothers to ride a bike or where the best hiding places were when their mother was angry. Talking her brothers through something was very different than teaching a friend. She wasn't sure how Lavender would react or if she would take the same advice in the same way her younger brothers did.
"Well, first, you can't let yourself get frustrated," Bryt finally said, remembering back to that final DA meeting, "The more frustrated I got, the worst I became at the spell."
Lavender frowned at that. It was obvious frustration was a big problem she had been dealing with.
"Second, really focus on the memory," Bryt said, "But not just the memory itself, focus on that feeling. I had gone through every memory I could think of, but could never get my patronus to work. Finally, I started focusing on feelings." Bryt felt her face growing warm as she continued. "I thought about how happy I am when I'm around Ron, how I feel safe with him. It's not so much a memory, just more feelings. That's what did it for me."
Parvati perked up at that.
"Now that I think about it, I did the same thing," she said, "Well, not thinking about Ron, obviously. But thinking about the feelings instead of the memory. Why didn't I realize that before?" Parvati turned to Lavender. "I could have helped you long ago if I realized that."
"It's okay," Lavender said, then looked back at Bryt, "Will any happy memory do? What if I think about my family instead?"
"It should work," Bryt said, closing her eyes and imagining her own family. Her brothers laughing at lame jokes her father makes, her mother's smile when Bryt helped her with meals...
"Yeah, thinking about that would work great," she said, looking back at Lavender, "Go ahead and give it a try."
Lavender nodded, frowning as she closed her own eyes and let out a long, slow breath. Bryt watched as her brow wrinkled in concentration and she seemed to be deep in thought. After a minute, her face seemed to relax, her frown forming more into a grin. Her eyes still closed, she lifted up her wand and called "Expecto Patronum!"
A silvery form burst from the end of Lavender's wand, landing on the bed next to Bryt and quickly taking the shape of a very recognizable animal.
"Lavender, you did it!" Bryt said.
"I did?" Lavender asked excitedly, opening her eyes, then frowned instantly as she stared in front of her almost in horror, "A...A badger?"
"Your patronus is the Hufflepuff mascot?" Parvati asked, obviously confused and disappointed. She had apparently expected something else from Lavender.
"I think a badger's a great patronus for you," Bryt said to Lavender.
"It's a badger!" Lavender cried out, staring at Bryt as if she'd grown another head, "The Hufflepuff mascot! What does that say about me?"
"There's nothing wrong with Hufflepuff, my brother Drew is in that House," Bryt said defensively, then when Lavender didn't seem convinced, Bryt added on something she'd only told two other people before, "The Sorting Hat nearly put me in Hufflepuff."
"What?" Lavender and Parvati asked together, both looking as if the idea was more unbelievable than Bryt suddenly developing a massive obsession with fashion and gossip.
"The Sorting Hat nearly put me in Hufflepuff," Bryt repeated, "There's nothing wrong with being associated with that House. Besides, a badger is not only about friendliness, loyalty, and fairness. Even though I think you have all those traits as it is, Lavender."
"And what other traits are there to a badger?" Lavender asked, obviously still not believing Bryt.
"Determination, for one," Bryt said, listing things off on her fingers, "They're bold and expressive, and extremely passionate. I think all those things suit you quite well."
Parvati and Lavender were both quiet as they looked at each other, apparently trying to take in what Bryt had just said.
"I think she's right," Parvati finally said. Lavender frowned at her.
"Just think about it," Bryt said, standing up, "Sorry, but I have to get down to the Quidditch pitch before they send out a search party."
Bryt grabbed her broom, giving her roommates a quick goodbye, then started for the door.
Bryt stopped, turning towards Lavender, who was sitting in the middle of her bed and still frowning slightly.
"Yeah?" Bryt asked.
"Thanks," Lavender said, and slowly started to grin, "Maybe you're right."
"I know I am," Bryt replied with her own grin, "And anytime you need help, just ask."
With that, Bryt turned and headed out of the room, wishing Quidditch practice could go as well as her time with Parvati and Lavender just did.