A/N: This story was written for the Second Day of Brittana week, about the theme "HP Brittana". I want to point out that the Patronus idea is inspired by an amazing drawing by afterlaughs, on tumblr. I liked the idea so much that I took the liberty to write about it. All the credits go to her for this wonderful idea!
Also, I initially read all the HP books in French, so I hope I won't make some big mistakes concerning terms specific to the Harry Potter universe. If so, I'm really sorry!
I hope you like this story, and tell me what you think !
7 years and 50 days
1st year – The Sorting Hat
When the owl finally shows up at the Lopez house to announce that Santana is going to Hogwarts, the first thing she does is running to Brittany's house. She is greeted by an equally excited blonde, blue eyes shining with happiness and pride, a letter similar to Santana's clutched into her hand.
They're going to Hogwarts.
When the excitement starts to fade away, a few days later, it is quickly replaced by apprehension. The more Santana thinks about it, the more she realizes that there's no way she ends up in the same house as her best friend. All her family has always been in Slytherin, and she knows she'll be sorted out there too. Brittany, however, is more likely to be sent in Hufflepuff. Or Ravenclaw, maybe. Maybe she could even be sorted in Gryffindor, for all she knows, but there's no way she ends up in Slytherin with Santana.
Sure, there are stories that say that the Sorting Hat takes your preferences into consideration. People say that Harry Potter, Hogwarts' new headmaster, really didn't want to be a Slytherin and was instead sent to Gryffindor.
But Santana can't ask to be sent in the same house as Brittany. Because as much as she wants to be with her, and as much as she's afraid of being away from her best friend, she also knows her family would never forgive her if she weren't a Slytherin. Her mother hasn't stopped repeating her that she has to make them proud and follow her family's tracks… She doesn't have the choice.
They never talk about the Sorting Ceremony, but Santana knows Brittany is as scared as she is. She can see it in her eyes, and on the way her best friend clings to her in the Hogwarts Express. She holds her pinkie a little tighter to hers, hoping it shows her concern and support, but doesn't say anything.
When the moment finally comes and Professor McGonagall calls her name – she still teaches at Hogwarts even after all these years, and it kind of feel like seeing a myth come true – she stands up with her head high and tries not to shake too hard when she walks to the Sorting Hat. The voice that seems to come out of her head surprises her at first, but she soon gets used to it.
Mmm… I see you're confused, little one. All your family has always been in Slytherin, and that's where you belong too, but you're torn. You don't want to be in there if it means you have to do it alone. In the back of your mind you wish you could be in Hufflepuff, but that wouldn't match your character very much… Mmmm… Let me see… Gryffindor, maybe? I see great courage in here, but also a good intelligence… Ravenclaw wouldn't be a bad choice either... But I bet your family would never accept it if you didn't follow their path. So…
When he finally shouts Slytherin! and the green colored table erupts into cheers, she both feels relieved and totally terrified. Relieved because her parents are going to be proud of her, for once. Terrified because she has never had to do anything without her best friend since the first time they met at the park when they were 4, and she doesn't know if she can make it without her.
She walks to the Slytherin table, passing by Brittany who gives her a small smile but looks totally terrified by now. She finds a seat at the table, right between one of the prefect she knows is called Jesse St-James, and a loud small brunette.
"Hi! Nice to meet you, I'm Rachel Berry!" the girl says with a large smile, extending her hand.
Santana takes it, not knowing if she likes this girl or if she's already annoyed by how excited she seems to be. By literally everything.
When the Sorting Hat calls her best friend's name, Santana's head shots up. She sees Brittany walking and sitting on the stool, and the Sorting Hat remains for a very long time on her head, almost as long as it rested on Santana's. Brittany's eyes are hovering between the blue and the yellow tables, and it's enough for Santana to know that they won't be together for the 7 years to come.
The yellow table starts clapping and cheering, and Brittany beams at them before realizing what it means. Her smile disappears, and her blue eyes seek the green table for Santana's brown eyes. Santana gives her a weak smile, and someone pushes Brittany towards the Hufflepuff table, where she is warmly greeted by the others.
Jesse St James starts talking to Santana about how great Hogwarts' new choir is, and her eyes leave the table where her friend seems to already be taking her marks in order to focus on the current conversation. Brittany will be fine.
They'll figure something out.
2nd year – Friends
By the time second year starts, Brittany and Santana have already found a way to elude all the curfews and laws that should separate them. Everybody knows that they're friends, and nobody's surprised any more when they sit next to each other at lunch, once at the Slytherin table, once at the Hufflepuff one.
They don't have all their classes in common, but a sufficient number not to feel lonely. Santana has become friends with a Slytherin guy named Noah Puckerman, and hates Rachel Berry with all her guts. Brittany has found a good friend in Hufflepuff in Sam Evans, a tall blonde boy with a huge mouth; but he's nice, and even Santana kind of like him.
They've got some good friends from different houses. Since Harry Potter became headmaster, the concurrence between the four houses is much less important, and friendships between people from different houses are highly encouraged.
Quinn Fabray, a smart Ravenclaw with blonde hair and hazel eyes, has become one of their friends after Santana helped her get off a crazy broom – that would have probably killed her if no one had reacted – during their first Quidditch lesson in first year.
Mike Chang, a Gryffindor Asian boy, also entered their circle of friends when Brittany and him started a dancing face-off one day in the courtyard.
Classes aren't exactly easy, but they're doing fine. Santana loves being in Hogwarts.
She might be starting to feel a little bit more than friendship towards her best friend, but that's not something she's ready to tell anyone yet.
3rd Year – Hogwarts' Prom
For prom in 3rd year, the only person Santana wants to go with is Brittany. She knows however that it's impossible, so when Puck asks her to go with him, she says yes. She doesn't even like him, but he's a good friend and it's better than going alone, when you know that you can't go with the person you want to.
They're talking about prom at lunch with Quinn, Sam and Mike a few days later. Sam wouldn't stop talking about that Gryffindor girl, Mercedes, who he finally got the courage to ask out, and said yes. Quinn and Mike are going together, and Brittany is surprisingly silent, playing with the food in her plate.
"And you girls, who are you going with?" Quinn asks.
"I'm going with Puck," Santana promptly answers, trying to show as much fake enthusiasm as she can muster when really, she isn't too thrilled about that.
Brittany's eyes shoot up, and Santana is almost sure that she looks sad and disappointed, her blue eyes shining with something Santana can't really put her finger on. Could it be jealousy?
"And you Britt?" Sam asks, curious.
Brittany's eyes scan the room quickly, like she's looking for a suitable answer to give.
"I… I was planning to ask Artie Abrams out." She finally answers. "You know, that cute Ravenclaw."
"Really? But… That kid can't even dance." Sam says.
"Sam!" Quinn shouts, punching him in the shoulder. "Artie's a nice guy, you should definitely ask him, Brittany."
Brittany doesn't seem too thrilled by the idea, but maybe Santana's imagining things again.
It's prom night before they even have time to realize how fast time is passing by.
Brittany looks so beautiful in her green dress that Santana can barely take her eyes of her. Puck is making jokes besides her, but she's not even paying attention. She knows it's not really nice of her, especially since he made an effort to match the color of his prom suit to her dress – which is a big step for Puck, considering how much he hates red; he says it reminds him of these damn Gryffindors' colors.
She feels a pang of jealousy in her chest when Artie wheels besides Brittany, a huge smile on his face and a look of utter adoration for the beautiful girl beside him. She should be the one standing beside her. She should be the one holding her hand. She should be the one taking Brittany to prom. But she knows it's impossible.
The music finally starts, and Puck takes her to the middle of the dance floor, making her twirl and move around. He's a good dancer, but not nearly as good as Brittany. She can't help but keep glancing at the other girl, dancing around Artie's magic device that permits him to twirl and dance, without having to stand on his feet. Brittany's smiling, but Santana can see that her eyes are sad. It makes her wonder why, and worry that the blonde might not be having the great night she's always dreamt about.
They've been dancing for about 2 hours, with only one small break in order for Puck to get them two drinks, when Santana sees Brittany excusing herself from Artie and quickly making her way out of the room. She frowns, and separates herself from Puck at the exact moment when he starts lowering her head in order to kiss her.
"Sorry Puck, bathroom emergency." She says with a weak smile.
He frowns but lets her go without arguing.
She finds Brittany crying on the steps leading outside the castle, her beautiful green dress spread out like a sun around her on the floor. Santana approaches slowly, trying not to step on the dress, and sits next to Brittany, taking her hand in hers.
"Britt… What's happening?" she whispers softly. "Why are you crying?"
Brittany's eyes meet hers, and she uses her free hand to wipe away the tears.
"Nothing. It's just… It's stupid."
"Brittany, stop it. You know you can tell me anything… Tell me why you're crying."
"I just…" Brittany starts, and then she sights. "You promise you won't make fun of me?"
"I would never make fun of you." Santana says solemnly.
"It's just… I don't know, I hadn't pictured my first prom like this. I… I wanted it to be special."
"Isn't tonight special?" Santana asks, tucking Brittany's hand in hers.
"Not if you're not with the person you wanted to." Brittany whispers, her eyes lowered. It's so quiet that at first Santana wonders if she really heard it or if she imagined it.
"Who… Who did you want to go with?"
There's a long silence, and Brittany finally looks into her eyes.
"I wanted to go with you."
Santana's heart stops, and she stops breathing. She doesn't even have time to realize what's happening that Brittany's lips are already on hers, kissing her, and she wraps her arms around Brittany, answering to the kiss.
When their lips break apart, Santana looks deeply into Brittany's eyes.
"I really wanted to go with you too."
Brittany smiles, and they start kissing again.
This prom finally ends up being the best party they've ever had in Hogwarts.
4th year – Sneaking out
In 4th year, Santana is so used to sneaking out of her bedroom at night that even Rachel doesn't make a comment about it anymore. She knows the Hufflepuff password by heart, and always ends up in Brittany's bed at night. The other girls don't even seem to realize or care, and anyway, Santana is a professional at casting spells around the bed to hide it from the others and make the sounds inaudible.
Professor Flitwick would be so proud of her.
5th year – Prefect and Quidditch Captain
Brittany becoming prefect in 5th year and Santana being named head of the Quidditch Slytherin team gives them a whole lot of new advantages.
First of all, Brittany has the right to wander in the hallways at night, under the excuse of checking the hallways for sneaking out young Hufflepuffs. And Santana's status gives her so much power and respect amongst the other students that nobody asks her what she's doing out of her dormitory at night.
Second of all, their new statuses give them both access to the prefect bathroom. Which is like an amazing, hyper-great and comfy bathroom, where they can spend long afternoons taking baths together. Awesome.
5th year also marks the year when they finally find the Room of Requirement, filled with candles, a king sized bed, and a lot of fluffy pillows.
No need for spells around the bed anymore.
6th year – Expecto Patronum
The Charm and Defense Against the Dark Arts classes with Professor Flitwick – who is really getting old by now, but still manages to run both classes efficiently – are some of Santana's favorite. She loves casting spells and learning new tricks to show Brittany in the Room of Requirements when night comes. Plus it's a common class between Slytherin and Hufflepuff, so Brittany and her are together.
Today, they're finally learning how to do the Patronus. Brittany's very excited, and can't stop cheering every time someone succeeds in casting the spell.
Rachel is the first one to succeed, making a canary appear. "I've been training to do it since I was 2." she says proudly, while her bird flies around her, singing. Santana can't help but make a face.
When Sam successfully makes a trout appear, the whole class cheers and laughs, and Noah Puckerman even punches him in the shoulder playfully. Sam blushes, but he smiles and spends the rest of the class making the trout appear again and again.
Puckerman's Patronus is, and they shouldn't even be surprised, a shark, and it soon starts swimming around, chasing Sam's Patronus around the class.
Santana is so nervous that it's the first time she actually doesn't get the spell at the first try. Her family's Patronuses have always been scary or majestic ones, like a tiger or a panther, and she doesn't want to disappoint her parents by having a stupid Patronus like a mouse or a duck. Not that ducks are stupid - Brittany loves them - but yeah. Nothing majestic or scary in ducks.
Her palms are sweating, and she's becoming frustrated at herself for not succeeding. Brittany must be sensing her anxiousness, because she keeps glancing at her and misses her spell every time too.
Brittany finally comes closer to her and puts her hand on Santana's arm, whispering quietly. "What's happening, San?"
"I can't do this!" Santana shouts out, frustrated. "The damn thing just wouldn't appear!"
"Hey, calm down. It's just a spell, you'll figure it out. Take a deep breath, and we'll try it together, alright?"
Santana nods, and closes her eyes to take a deep breath like instructed. Brittany's presence close to her soothes her, and when she opens her eyes again, a new light of determination is shining in them.
"Ok, let's do it."
Brittany smiles, her blue eyes soft, and comes even closer, her hand soft on Santana's arm. She raises her wand with her free hand.
"Together. One, two, three."
Their voices mingle, and a bright light finally appears at the tip of their wands. The light seems to run around them, to swim really, and they both gasp when two similar forms seem to take shape in the light. Surprise makes them both lower their wands, and the two light forms vanish in the air.
"Was it really...?" Santana whispers.
"I don't know." Brittany answers in the same tone.
They don't even have to concert each other before raising their wands again and pronouncing the formula together.
The flashes of light seem brighter and stronger this time, and they don't lower their wands when the two shapes appear and begin to swim around them. Exclamations of surprise and awe erupt in the room, where everybody has stopped in order to look at the two Patronus swimming around the tall blonde and the small brunette.
"Holly shit!" Noah Puckerman whispers, mouth open in awe.
Professor Flitwick takes off his glasses and puts them back on his nose. Sam doesn't say anything, and even Rachel seems to be speechless.
Brittany's eyes are wild open and a smile slowly appears on her lips.
"Dolphins…" she whispers, looking at the two Patronus swimming and playing with each other around them.
All Santana can think about is that time when Brittany has told her at the lunch table that "Dolphins are just gay sharks." her heart swells with pride and love, and even if nobody officially knows about them yet, she can't help but squeeze Brittany's free hand.
"It's amazing" she whispers, and only Brittany hears her.
When the dolphins move away from them and finally disappear, the whole room is left silent. The rest of the 6th years are looking at them in awe, and Professor Flitwick is the first one to snap out of it.
"Well, this class is over for today. We'll take it over from here next week. You can all leave!"
Silence is soon replaced by the sound of students gathering their stuff to leave; Brittany and Santana are the last ones to leave the classroom.
When they pass in front of Professor Flitwick, they hear him talking to himself, frantically looking through the piles of books and papers that cover his desk.
"Incredible, really. It's been years since the last time I witnessed that. That's amazing."
He raises his head when they pass in front of him, and gives them both a bright smile. They're reaching the door when Santana distinctively hears words that make her heart explode.
'That's it. These two are true soul mates."
7th Year – Just The Beginning
It's their last year in Hogwarts, and on the last day of school, even Santana is a little emotional. Everybody's packing their bags to leave, and the laughs and excited sounds of the dorms don't make her feel any better. She doesn't want to go. Hogwarts has been more of a home to her than her house could ever be, and she isn't ready to leave it yet.
She gets out in the hallways, wandering around the empty classrooms, remembering all the great moments she has spent here with her friends. With Brittany. She knows they're going to be together for the rest of their lives, and it's the only thing that keeps her from breaking apart right now.
She's approaching the next corner when a big, fluffy ball of fur races to get past her. She easily picks the overweight cat up, holding it in her arms, and raises her head when she hears the voice of the person she loves the most.
"Lord Tubbington! Come back! I know you don't want to leave but we have to… I'll give you some fondue when we come back home, I swear! Please, stop!"
Santana smiles, and turns around the corner to see a disheveled blonde running in her direction.
"Santana! Have you seen Lord Tubbington, I… Oh."
She stops right in front of Santana, panting, and looks at the small girl smiling at her while she tries to regain her breathe.
"Hi Britt" Santana says with a smirk, holding the cat out to her. "I don't know what you would do without me."
Brittany smiles, and takes Lord Tubbington in her arms before kissing Santana.
"You're right, I don't know what I would do without you." She says when they break apart.
Santana smiles, and holds out her hand for Brittany to take it. "McGonagall and Potter want all the 7 years to meet them in front of the school, they want to give us a speech or something."
Brittany reaches for Santana's hand, and they start walking towards Hogwarts entrance. Everybody knows about them by now, and nobody really seems to care. Professor Flitwick even seems like he's going to melt or start cheering every time he sees them together, which confuses Brittany and makes Santana laugh.
They finally reach the front door, where they join Sam, Quinn, Mike and Puck. When Professor Potter starts to speak, all the student become quiet and start listening intently.
"A long time ago, I was myself a student at this school, just like you. Times weren't as positive as they are today, but we always found something to hold on to and to make us see the world in a more beautiful way. Sometimes it was friendship, sometimes it was love; sometimes, both at the same time. I hope you had an amazing time here at Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and that you were able to encounter at least one of these two beautiful things. May your life be beautiful in every way, and may you become amazing and talented adults."
The crowd of students erupts in cheers, and fireworks are sent from hundreds of raised wands. Quinn's eyes are shining with tears of both happiness and sadness, Puck punches Sam in the stomach playfully, Mike pops up some dance moves, and Santana is almost sure she hears Rachel sing the first lyrics of the "Hogwarts School Song".
But she's too busy looking into Brittany's eyes to care about the rest of the people who surround them.
"And that's where everything starts" Brittany whispers.
"Yeah. It's just the beginning." Santana answers, before kissing Brittany in the middle of the crowd of students.