A/N: Greetings! First off, thank you for all the wonderful feedback for Something Like Magic. I was definitely not expecting such a great response to that story. So to show my thanks, here it is: the Sequel! Secondly, since this is the sequel, there are many references to both Something Like Magic AND the character profiles. The story may be very confusing if you have not read the other parts. Please take the time to visit them, for it will make for a much better read (as well as explain a few things). You can find them on my tumblr master fic page (smallfrost(dot)tumblr(dot)com/fanfiction). I have also decided to make this a series entitled 'Something'. This story fills the spot for Part 3 because there will be a Part 1, prequel to Something Like Magic (Part 2). Timey wimey, you know how it is.

Anyway, I must express my thanks to my wonderful beta and all her hard work and I hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer (because I forgot last time): I do not own Glee or Harry Potter.

"The Patronus Charm! Knowing the correct way to conjure this charm may be the difference between life and death, as was the case for Mr. Harry James Potter," Professor Martinez announced to the class from where he sat on the front edge of his desk.

Santana shifted in her seat, craning her neck to peek over to the other side of the classroom where the Ravenclaws sat, Brittany amongst them. One look from the blonde confirmed Santana's silent question. Brittany had been practicing after all.

"So much so," Professor Martinez continued, "that the Ministry of Magic now requires all educational facilities across Great Britain to teach the charm to advanced students. Yes, Ms. Fitch, you have a question?"

One of Santana's fellow Slytherins, Katie, lowered her hand as the class turned to face her. "Uh, yes, but why is it necessary to learn it now? It's not like there are Dementors running free anymore," the girl said.

"Ah, but of course. I'll answer a question with a question. Why not learn it, Ms. Fitch?" Professor Martinez answered, tossing the girl a smile. When she didn't answer, he continued, "This is a Defense Against the Dark Arts class, is it not? Now there may not be a dark lord or wizard roaming about every day, but that does not mean that the Dark Arts still don't exist." His words were calm but to the point.

"Dementors are dark creatures. And while they are currently under the authority of the Ministry of Magic, they might not always be that way. Would you chance running into one unprepared?" He asked, letting the question hang in the air for a few short moments. "Or would you rather learn one of the most powerful protective incantations known in the wizarding world?"

Professor Martinez smiled when he was met with no further objections, his point obviously made. He quickly stood and walked over to the chalkboard. "Now, who can tell me the exact function of the Patronus Charm? Yes, Ms. Fabray," he said, with his back still turned to the class.

Santana couldn't help but snort and watch as Quinn slowly lowered her raised hand, the other blonde nudging Brittany when she gave her a knowing smirk.

"The Patronus acts as a sort of shield," Quinn started, "A Dementor feeds off of your memories, filling you with a sense of dread. The Patronus is a positive force that the Dementor can feed off of instead of you."

"Excellent! Five points for Ravenclaw!" Professor Martinez shouted and Santana rolled her eyes. It's not like Ravenclaw needed anymore points, they already solidified the House Cup by winning the match a few weeks ago. "There are two different types of Patronuses, does anyone know what they are?"

Santana glanced over her shoulder at her girlfriend once more and watched as Brittany slowly raised her hand next to a confused-looking Quinn.

"Uh, yes. Ms. Pierce," Professor Martinez said. He sounded surprised to be calling Brittany's name and Santana felt the need to bite her tongue. After all these years, no one believed Brittany was actually intelligent.

"Corporeal and non-corporeal," Brittany said with ease.

"Yes, that's right. And the difference between the two?"

Brittany cleared her throat and sat higher in her chair. "A corporeal Patronus is your spirit animal, while a non-corporeal one is sort of shieldy-like."

Professor Martinez smiled and returned to sit on the edge of his desk. "Well, you can put it that way. Five points to Ravenclaw. But what I think Ms. Peirce is trying to say is that a corporeal Patronus is one that is strong enough to manifest into a full-bodied animal, which can do more than just the shield version of the Patronus."

"That's what I said," Santana heard Brittany mumble from behind her and she had to bite back a snicker.

From then on, Santana couldn't help but sneak little glances over her shoulder at her girlfriend. Professor Martinez went on to lecture about finding a happy memory but Santana already knew hers would include the blonde. She began to flip through the memories, some of them making her smile and others forcing a down-right blush. When Brittany winked at her the next time Santana stole a glace, she knew the blonde had probably guessed what was on her mind.

"Alright!" Professor Martinez announced after finishing his lecture. "Break off into groups. I want you to focus as hard as possible. Make sure you hold the memory in your head, and don't let it go. Remember to practice proper wand technique!"

Rolling her eyes, Santana slid off her bench. Her wand was already grasped tightly in her hand but she was caught off guard when strong arms enveloped her from behind, almost knocking her over.

"Jesus, Britt. Don't break her," Quinn's voice wafted from behind her as Brittany clung a little tighter.

"You make it sound like I'm a twig, Q," Santana said, removing Brittany's arms from around her.

"Well you kind of are," Quinn joked, giving Santana a once-over.

"Hey! Eyes off!" Brittany growled, glaring at Quinn.

"Ladies!" Professor Martinez called over to them. "Practice!"

"Yes, Professor!" Quinn called back. "Come on you two, stop being cute and let's work.

"I'm not a twig," Santana mumbled causing her to recieve a tight squeeze from her girlfriend.

"You're my twig," Brittany said teasingly.

"Whatever," Santana replied but only half-heartedly. She could never argue with Brittany. She straightened her back and raised her wand. "Let's see what you got, Fabray."

Brittany chuckled from her spot behind Santana as they watched Quinn attempt the first incantation. Needless to say, it failed miserably. Santana had to bite her tongue from laughing at the way Quinn cursed as she was barely able to produce a silver mist before it dissapeared into thin air.

"Don't laugh yet, Lopez," Quinn snapped, Santana having accidently let a snort slip as Quinn looked around the room at the other students' progress. "Let's see what you got then," she raised a perfect eyebrow in challenge towards Santana as Brittany looked on curiously.

Santana shifted anxiously in her spot, having obviously been called out on an unintentional bluff. She gave Brittany a quick glance, hoping her girlfriend would provide her with some sort of guidance. The small nod she got in return was enough to give her the confidence to at least try, so Santana closed her eyes and searched her memory for the perfect moment.

Every moment with Brittany was perfect, but that only made the task more difficult. Which one was her happiest? Her cheeks flared slightly when her mind drifted to the first time they made love after confessing their feelings for one another. That night had incorporated a mess of emotions, from nervous to exuberant. She focused on remembering every detail, every contour of Brittany's body against hers before raising her wand steadily, eyes closed to hold the image in her mind.

"Expecto Patronum," slipped from Santana's lips and she opened her eyes. She felt her wand twitch slightly in her hand before a slight mist seemed to spew out of the tip. It wasn't unlike the first few times she had tried the spell while practicing with Brittany. But the pitiful result and not-so-subtle chuckle from Quinn behind her caused her memory to flicker and fade, the Patronus following suit.

Quinn broke out in a fit of laughter beside her as Santana dropped her wand hand. The brunette gritted her teeth before spinning on her heels to face the shorter blonde.

"Shut it, Fab-GAY, before I knock your teeth out," Santana gritted through her teeth. She was sure she saw red sparks starting to shoot from her wand tip.

"Santana." It was Brittany's voice that brought her back down, slim fingers gingerly wrapping around the wrist of her wand hand. She instantly melted into the feeling and turned to face the taller girl.

"I suck," she pouted to her girlfriend.

Brittany laughed lightly, "You don't suck, Santana. That was good for a first try. What memory did you choose?"

Santana felt her ears grow hot in embarrassment, "I uh… our first time," she mumbled under her breath.

"What?" Brittany asked and Santana realized she had probably spoken too softly for the girl to hear over the loud commotion of the room.

"Our first time," Santana spoke slightly louder and this time Brittany definitely heard it, evident by the way her ears grew red just like her own. Quinn had heard it too because she had burst out into another fit of laughter.

"Too much! Too much, I do NOT need to know that, I'm scarred enough as is," Quinn panted out, clutching a stitch in her side.

Santana felt her fists clench as she turned to face the other girl again, "Yeah well, shut your mouth or I may just happen to forget the silencing charm next time I stop by your room."

Quinn choked in her attempt to stop laughing but that shut her up for the time being. Santana's attention was brought back to the task at hand when she felt Brittany move against her from behind.

"Well, I like that memory too," the blonde purred into Santana's ear, turning her slowly. "But I don't think it's good enough."

Santana scrunched her eyebrows. "What? Why not?"

Brittany shrugged in front of her, "It was amazing, yes, but we were also nervous, scared even." Santana nodded in understanding. "It wouldn't hold up against a Dementor if your mind slipped to how you felt before instead of after."

Santana glanced over at Quinn who was silent but had an eyebrow raised in subtle defiance. She straightened her back a little before returning her attention back to her girlfriend. "True," she said, "You have a point, Britt."

Brittany nodded down at her, "Give it another shot."

Santana nodded once firmly before slipping her eyes shut again. She flicked through memories of summer vacations and broomstick rides, Quidditch matches and strolls down by the lake with Brittany. She search and searched until she remembered one in particular.

"Got it?" Brittany asked.

"Yeah, I think so," Santana replied, opening her eyes again to meet Brittany's eyes.

"Go for it," Brittany gave her a nudge forward.

Santana raised her wand a second time and focused on the new memory, recreating the day in her head by remembering the smell of the trees and the feel of Brittany's lips against hers. She held it there as she muttered the incantation again.

This time her wand responded with much more vigor, a splash of silver smoke erupting from it and filling the small area of the classroom the three girls were occupying. Santana watched as the incantation flickered and danced for a few more seconds before dying out again. She furrowed her eyebrows in frustration.

"I can't do it, Britt," she said.

Brittany walked over to her and wrapped her arms around her from behind. "Not true," the blonde spoke into her ear. "It's never expected for anyone to get it right on the first time. That was amazing, Santana."

Santana felt herself sink into Brittany's touch, enjoying the simple way Brittany was holding her and reveling in the fact that they could do it openly now.

"You guys are seriously sickening," Quinn called over to them and Santana felt her muscles clench. Brittany just squeezed her reassuringly.

"Maybe the memory isn't powerful enough? Why don't you try another? Something different." Brittany whispered against her ear. "Here, I'll help you."

Santana felt Brittany move her left hand down until it enveloped her own, still holding her wand as the other wrapped securely around her midsection. The slight squeeze from her girlfriend and the hot breath against the side of her face was definitely making the room feel warmer.

"Start with the most recent thing, any moment no matter how small," Brittany spoke into her ear, just loud enough for Santana to hear and no one else. She slipped her eyes shut. "It could be something you never expected, and move backwards. Look around every corner and under every gnome." Santana chuckled slightly and felt Brittany hug her tighter. "Every little touch and how they made you feel. Every muttered word."

Santana shivered as Brittany's lips brushed against the shell of her ear. She listened deeply to every word that her girlfriend uttered, letting the memories wash over her.

"And keep searching, back to when your memories began and maybe you'll find it where you didn't even realize. That one memory that changed everything and seeded a happiness deep inside you, one that would eventually bloom and grow. Like a big, old and beautiful tree. Just think of that one something, and hold it with you."

Brittany's words died against her ear, leaving traces of warmth against her skin as Santana dove deeper into her memories. She searched and searched until she found one. She knew it was the right one because when she thought about it, she felt that same warmth she felt when she was with Brittany blossom in her chest, warming her to the core. She nodded slowly against Brittany's front.

"Good," Brittany murmured. "Now don't forget it." Brittany slowly lifted Santana's wand hand with her own, guiding her into proper position.

Santana swallowed before clearly reciting the spell. Her eyes jumped open at her wand's immediate response, the memory growing and burning into her chest as she watched the silver mist leap out of her wand and swirl before gathering in front of her. She felt Brittany's breaths against her ear grow deeper and for a split second she swore she could see the spread of wings form amongst the silvery-blue smoke before the feel of Brittany's breath against her skin caused Santana's mind to slip back to the present. Whatever had been starting to form was gone.

"Shit," she mumbled before turning to face her girlfriend. But she wasn't expecting to be met with such dark blue eyes upon doing so. Santana immediately felt her throat run dry as she stared into the dark orbs.

Brittany ran her tongue over her lips before speaking, "No, it's okay. That was brilliant, Santana. You almost have it." Brittany was still holding her wand hand and gave it a small squeeze.

"Okay, that's it," Quinn broke in, stepping between them. "Besides the fact that if I have to be witness to anymore of your lovey-dovey bull crap, I might actually get sick, what gives you the right to be instructing her like that, Britt? You haven't even tried to cast a Patronus yet, so what makes you better than us, hm?" Quinn stood firmly, arms crossed over her chest and head held high, but she was still shorter than Brittany.

"I uh," Brittany started, glancing over towards Santana over Quinn's head. Santana merely nodded her head, encouraging her to pull out the big guns. "Fine, I'll show you."

Brittany stepped from around Quinn, moving to an open space before raising her wand. Santana met her eyes in a quick glance before they slipped shut in concentration. She watched as complete focus riddled over Brittany's face. Soon Santana realized that her heart was beating faster than normal, as though it was anticipating something she was unaware of. Her eyes followed every movement of her girlfriend's body, from her heaving chest to the way her wand hand raised slowly. A slight smile appeared on the blonde's lips and Santana couldn't remember a time when Brittany looked so happy and at ease.

"Expecto Patronum," Brittany spoke clearly with a flick of her wrist.

The flash of light that filled the room was enough to gain the attention of all the other students in the class, including Professor Martinez, but Santana didn't care. All she cared about was the sleek panther that came spilling out of Brittany's wand. It sat in front of them regally for a second before turning to face Santana fully. It was strange, locking eyes with such a beautiful and mystical creature when Santana wasn't even sure she could call it a creature. But she felt something when she looked deeply into the feline's silver eyes, something that made her heart flutter. The gaze was held for only a second and then the Patronus was off, leaping about the room gracefully, dancing and diving in and out of chair legs and students. Everyone watched on, enchanted until it flickered and dissipated into a silver mist.

Santana didn't see that part though, because she was too busy holding her gaze with Brittany's, watching as the deep blue flickered with some sort of knowledge Santana felt Brittany was trying to tell her.

"Brittany, that… that was amazing." It was Quinn who first broke the spell that had settled over the room.

Santana watched as Brittany blinked, breaking their eye contact and turning her attention to Quinn. She could just make out the red blush that was making its way up Brittany's neck. Brittany smiled at Quinn before turning her attention back towards Santana.

"Outstanding work, Ms. Pierce! Ten points to Ravenclaw!" Professor Martinez shouted from across the room.

Santana stepped forward until she had completely entered Brittany's personal space. "That was brilliant, Brittany," She gasped quietly, reaching out to entwine their fingers.

"Thanks," Brittany said quietly.

"Why didn't you show me before? I didn't know you got it!"

"I…" Brittany paused and Santana saw her worry her lip between her teeth. "I wanted to surprise you."

Santana nodded up at her girlfriend, eyes flickering over her features, uable to help the way she stared longingly at Brittany's lips. There was nothing more that she wanted than to kiss the girl in front of her at that moment.

"Hey, hey, break it up. We're still in class after all," Quinn called, patting them with a roll of parchment.

Brittany took a step back, "Sorry, Q. Couldn't help myself," she said, throwing a wink in Santana's direction. Santana definitely felt her heart flutter.

Brittany hadn't actually planned on today turning out the way it was. It was a mere coincidence that Professor Martinez had decided to have them work on the Patronus Charm. To tell the truth, she was nervous when the words had slipped out of his mouth. Nervous but excited in a scared way. She hadn't shown Santana her Patronus yet but only because it confused her - it had been the reason behind her deflecting her girlfriend's question the night before the match, even when she still hadn't managed to maintain the corporeal form by that point. Yes, Santana knew she was practicing and she was certain her girlfriend had figured that she had completed it when Santana had thrown her that knowing look at the beginning of class, but how would Santana react when she finally saw it?

She also hadn't planned on somehow initiating this game of sexual tension in the middle of class. Although, now that she thought about it, it's not at all bad. Santana had been playful and flirtatious ever since the Quidditch final. It was almost like the brunette had escaped her cage and spread her beautiful wings. Brittany loved having an excuse to be close to the other girl. Anywhere, anytime, as long as she got to discretely trail her hand up Santana's arm, she was happy. Brittany knew the affect she had on her girlfriend, but also wasn't beyond admitting Santana had the same affect on her.

The way Santana's stomach had clenched when she had wrapped her arm around the smaller girl had caused a definite increase in her heart rate. She had to refrain from licking the shell of Santana's ear when she whispered into it. But even with all of that, what really made her breath catch was the Patronus her girlfriend had managed to conjure. Sure it had only been there for a split second, she was probably to blame for that, but she had seen it nonetheless. The long arching neck and the immense wingspan had given it away: a swan.

The shape Santana's Patronus had taken had sparked Brittany's curiosity even more than the way the shape of hers had. She had done a lot of reading and researching about the charm and had always been curious as to why people's Patronuses took on the forms that they did. Some books said they were your spirit animal. In fact, that's what most said, so Brittany had not been beyond musing that hers would be a Unicorn or some other fabulous or weird animal. But a panther? No, Brittany hadn't been expecting that. Sure, maybe she considered herself to be cunning at times but not enough for it to be embodied in her Patronus. Panthers were sleek and keen yet ruthless. From the distance they were regal and downright enchanting but up close, they had a bite: something that would cause most people to avoid them, but only made Brittany more curious.

Brittany didn't think herself to be a panther at all. She figured someone dark and mysterious was more deserving of the powerful creature and that was when it hit her. The next time she saw Santana walk into the Great Hall and plop down next to Puck, she couldn't get the thought out of her mind. Santana, her Santana, could also be her Patronus as well. Sure most of the books had made conjectures that your Patronus was your spirit animal etc., but one passage had stood out, it was message engrained in her head: its form may represent that of the person whom you love.

It made sense; of course Brittany loved Santana, probably more than anything. But regardless, this revelation scared the crap out of her. She wondered how her girlfriend would react to such a thing. But then Santana's Patronus had appeared and Brittany had felt something swell in her heart that was so big, it pressed up against her lungs and made her knees buckle. And when the panther that had seeped out of her wand-tip locked gazes with her girlfriend, Brittany knew there was more going on than she had ever expected.

It had gotten her heart beating a lot faster than necessary as the class period weaned on. As the minutes ticked by, Brittany couldn't help the sudden urge to be close to her girlfriend. She found herself sneaking more touches and more glances, aching to just reach out and hold the smaller girl. Santana didn't seem to mind either. In fact, she seemed to be feeling exactly the same way, always purposefully leaning against her or tickling her fingers whenever they lay limply by her side. Brittany was certain it was safe to say that by the time Professor Martinez had announced the end of class that they could barely keep their hands off each other. Actually, they probably had been touching in some way for the last ten minutes of class anyway.

Quinn hadn't been too happy about it, or so she seemed. It wasn't like Quinn wasn't happy for them and it wasn't like their intimacy bothered her at all. In fact, it was probably the exact opposite because Quinn was super cool and accepting and supportive. But Brittany was pretty sure Quinn just liked to tease Santana about it. Kind of like she was doing right then.

"God, why don't you two just invest in an invisibility cloak before we all choke and drown on your waterfall vomit of gleeful gay glitter," Quinn said as she purposefully walked between them, breaking their clasped hands.

Brittany couldn't help but giggle at that and she felt Santana huff in frustration.

"Cut the crap, Q. You're just jealous you don't have a gorgeous and talented girlfriend like mine," Santana spat over to where Quinn was packing up her school bag.

"Yeah, no. I'm not really that into that, sorry," Quinn chuckled, rolling her eyes.

Brittany gave Santana a sad parting look before making her way over to her desk next to Quinn's to pack up. Santana looked like a kicked puppy and Brittany had to do everything in her power not to drop her things and run over and kiss her girlfriend in the middle of the classroom. Quinn made a whipping noise next to her which instantly hardened Santana's face. The brunette turned with a pout, also moving to pack up her bag.

Brittany made a point to roll her eyes at the shorter blonde before scurrying back over to her girlfriend, not even caring that her quill probably got smashed at the bottom of her bag in her haste to throw her books into it. She didn't resist resting her chin on Santana's shoulder from behind and placing a sweet kiss against the edge of her ear.

"Hey, babe," she cooed. She felt Santana smile and lean back into her. "Quinn's just kidding."

"Yeah I know," Santana said, newly packed bag swung over her shoulder as she turned to face Brittany.

Brittany smiled down at her, "Walk you to next class?"

Santana nodded. It was one thing Brittany kind of hated about being an older student. After their OWLs last year, they were able to start taking advanced electives. Which really only meant one thing for Brittany: fewer classes with Santana. Like right now, Santana was supposed to go off to Alchemy while Brittany herself was going to head to Divination, a subject Santana deeply hated. She didn't want to go, though, so Brittany was set on taking the longest amount of time possible to walk her gorgeous girlfriend to class before heading to her own. Maybe she would even be able to steal a quick kiss. And maybe she would be able to convince Professor Pillsbury to get her a Time Turner, that way she could be doing other things with Santana while they were both in class. Brittany liked the sound of that.

She smiled at the way Santana's hand immediately found hers after they left the classroom and entered to crowded hallway. They walked slowly, thumbs gently caressing the skin they found under them and shoulders touching. They didn't speak though and Brittany figured it was because they were both thinking about what had taken place earlier. Brittany had the sudden urge to just hold Santana and trail her hands everywhere they could reach. She wanted to lean down to whisper sweet nothings in her ear and conjure a small flock of songbirds and have them sing to her. But most of all, she wanted to kiss her. Oh, how she wanted to kiss her more in that moment than any other and it was causing her heart to beat harder against her sternum.

It was Santana who broke the silence, right after they started their descent down into the dungeon where the Alchemy and Potion classes were held. Her voice was quiet but it seemed to echo around the nearly empty corridor. "I don't want to go to class."

Brittany gulped. The hoarse dryness of Santana's voice sent a shock wave straight to the pit of her stomach and Brittany immediately felt her body heat rising. There was so much implication behind the sound of Santana's voice, she couldn't help but feel suddenly excited.

"I don't want to go to class either," she responded, just as dryly.

Brittany had barely taken another step before she felt her body jerk to the side of the hallway and be thrown behind a gargoyle statue. Santana's body immediately pressed up against hers, lips instantly claiming her own.

"Fuck, I've wanted to do that for forever," Santana mumbled against her lips. Brittany hummed her appreciation.

"Me too, baby. Me too."

Brittany's hands slipped under Santana's collar, gripping at the base of the shorter girl's neck to bring her in closer. It felt like ages since she had kissed Santana and now it was like she couldn't get enough. She felt Santana fist her sweater and it only made her current situation worse. She loved it when Santana did that, gripped at her collar to pull her forward.

The pointy edge of the gargoyle wasn't very comfortable, but Brittany didn't care. As long as Santana kept kissing her the way she was, she could be lying in a bed of Mandrakes and it wouldn't matter.

Santana whined against her mouth, hands suddenly slipping from her collar and traveling quickly to where her shirt was tucked into her skirt. Brittany gasped slightly when Santana ruthlessly tugged the shirt tail out only to quickly find her way under the fabric. She shivered at the feel of Santana's strong hands against her stomach and had no choice but to tilt her head back against the statue in effort to calm herself. Santana took advantage of the new position, gladly latching onto her neck just above the pulse point.

"Ugh, Santana," Brittany groaned, now fisting the dark locks of hair that trailed down her girlfriend's back. "Santana, that's not fair. We have to go to class."

"But I don't wanna," Santana whined, nipping at the skin of Brittany's neck.

"I know, but we have to," Brittany said. She gasped when she felt one of Santana's hands slip higher and cup her over her bra. This was getting out of hand way too fast. "San! We're in the middle of the hallway."



Santana paused, resting her forehead against Brittany's shoulder and making a sound Brittany was certain was a growl. The sound of the bell in the clock tower rung, echoing through the castle and down into the dungeons, signaling the start of the next class.

"We're late," Brittany said, laughing slightly as she ran her hands up and down Santana's back. It was rising and falling deeply with the breaths her girlfriend was taking to try and calm herself.

Santana chuckled against her shoulder before shaking her head back and forth slowly.

"Santana," Brittany said, speaking softly into the short girl's ear causing her to shiver.

Santana pulled her head back and looked straight into Brittany's eyes. The girl's brown eyes were dark, almost black in the dimly-lit corridor and her pupils were dilated. Brittany felt a breath catch in her throat but she wouldn't have been surprised to know her eyes were similarly dark. It was like there was an animal magnetism between them at that moment. Not like there wasn't always an ungodly attraction between them, but for some reason it was mystically strong today and Brittany couldn't help but think it was because of what had happened earlier in class.

"Fuck it," Santana said and Brittany barely had a chance to ask what Santana was saying before she felt herself being pulled away from the gargoyle and down a separate corridor that led to a different part of the dungeons.

"Santana, but your class is that way!" Brittany squeaked as she tried to keep up with her girlfriend. Santana was practically sprinting.

"Not going," Santana said and the commanding nature of her voice sent shivers down Brittany's spine.

"Then where?" Brittany started to ask only to stop when they reached a very familiar stretch of wall at the end of a staircase. "Oh."

Santana grinned at her before turning to face the wall, "Bloodroot."

They barely waited for the passage to appear before Brittany found herself being dragged into the familiar Slytherin common room. She hadn't been there for a while; the last time was before the Quidditch match between their two houses. It wasn't like Brittany was scared to be there but she respected the wishes that some of Santana's house-mates weren't too fond of their relationship. And they still weren't by the looks on their faces when Brittany followed Santana into the green-tinted room. At least it wasn't too crowded thanks to the classes still in session - just a few late-risers lazing about the common room.

One particular boy who Brittany was never fond of was on his feet by the time they got halfway across the room. She could tell he was about to say something when Santana stopped in her tracks and raised her wand directly at his face, a daring glimmer in her eye. The boy didn't say anything and it only made the heat in Brittany's stomach flare a little more.

Santana didn't speak until they finally entered her dormitory with a loud bang.

"Out!" Santana shouted, catching the still shocked girl in the room to flinch.

"Santana, what?" The girl started to ask.

"OUT, Becky, I don't want to have to hex you," Santana threatened.

"Okay, okay, I'm out," Becky mumbled, grabbing her cloak and wand. "You're a bitch when you're horny."

Santana growled and pushed the girl the rest of the way out of the room, "I'm a bitch always!" And with that, Santana slammed the door behind the retreating figure.

Brittany stood in the center of the cool, dungeon dormitory, breathing heavily at the actions of her girlfriend. She didn't hear the small mumble that came from Santana's lips but she did hear the sliding of the lock in the door as it echoed around the stone room.

She hadn't liked the room the first time she had been in it, Brittany preferred the natural light and brightness of her room in the Ravenclaw tower. She had felt cold down in the dungeons. But then Santana had explained how much and why she liked it down there and the place suddenly didn't feel cold anymore. Like right now, it was far from dank and damp. It was hot and heady and it wasn't because of the small fire that was burning in the fireplace against the far wall.

When Santana turned, the flickering light from the silver lanterns caught in her eyes making them shimmer with want. They looked black, like her hair and when she began striding forward to where Brittany still stood, Brittany felt her jaw drop slightly at the way her locks fell in sleek sheets, highlighted with silver.

And then Santana was there, pressed up against her in the best way as their bodies fit together. But Santana didn't kiss her. Instead, Brittany felt her hot breaths tickling against her neck. She held her breath as Santana slowly ran her hands up her back before gripping the collar of her Ravenclaw robes. Santana's breathing increased as she lifted the fabric off of Brittany's shoulders and let it fall to the ground. That task done, Santana's hands found their way instantly into Brittany's hair before yanking back slightly to greater expose Brittany's pale neck.

Brittany's hands went flying into Santana's hair the second her girlfriend claimed her neck in a heated fury. "Ugh, Santana," Brittany whined, slanting her head further to the side to allow the shorter girl better access.

Strong hands found her hips just before Santana took the first step towards the four-poster in the corner. The one furthest from the door made the journey seem much longer than either of them wanted at that particular moment.

Santana's robe joined the floor a few steps away from Brittany's, forgotten without a care. Brittany sighed when Santana finally pulled back from her neck and watched as the shorter girl licked her full lips as dark eyes drifted down to her mouth. Answering her silent plea, Brittany gladly reached forward to pull Santana's mouth hungrily against her own.

They tugged at each other's sweaters as their mouths worked in tandem; teeth claiming and tongues searching. When they had to break to pull the grey material over their heads, it only took a single heartbeat before their lips were locked together again.

The trail of clothing was getting longer, their shoes having been kicked off along the way, but when Brittany felt her knees hit the edge of Santana's bed and the familiar green silk hangings against her cheek, Santana had just started tugging her shirt out of her skirt. Brittany could feel Santana's hands trembling as she tugged at the white fabric. They broke the kiss only to have Santana lean her forehead against Brittany's clavicle as her hands pulled at the fabric, trying to undo the buttons.

"Santana," Brittany moaned, trailing her hands up and down her girlfriend's back, trying to calm her racing heartbeat.

She heard Santana whine briefly as she gently pulled the brunette's shirt tail from her skirt with ease. The whine turned into a growl and before Brittany could take a step back and aid her girlfriend in unbuttoning her shirt, there was a strong tug and a ripping sound filled the room. The white buttons of her blouse went flying, hitting the stone floor and walls with a soft melody that echoed around them. Brittany felt her knees buckle when the strong hands that had torn her shirt instantly found their place against her skin.

Santana's mouth was on hers again, open and ready as her hands trailed up, over Brittany's chest and to her shoulders to push the white material down her arms. It was easily flung over Santana's shoulder to join the rest of their clothes on the floor. Her tie was left to fall against her chest and tickle the skin there as Santana's hands began to explore. Brittany moaned at the combined feelings.

Needing to feel Santana's skin against hers, Brittany reluctantly pushed back on Santana's shoulders. The brunette stumbled slightly and looked at her with confused eyes. Brittany just sucked her bottom lip between her teeth and looked straight into Santana's eyes before moving her hands to the first button on Santana's shirt. The tie was in the way, but she didn't mind as her fingers worked easily at the tiny buttons. She was pretty sure she was holding her breath the entire time but nonetheless, Brittany's fingers traveled gracefully over each button, popping them open as she went. The white shirt didn't take long to remove and it too was dropped gracefully to the floor.

The second their lips were together again, it became a race to see who could remove the rest of the other's clothes first. By the time Brittany was being pushed down to fall back onto Santana's bed while her girlfriend reached down to pull the rest of her uniform off, Brittany didn't really care who won, just that Santana was trailing kisses down her thigh as the fabric was removed.

She reached up to grip at the one thing remaining on her body, slowly working at the knot.

"No," Santana's voice was deep and mysterious. "Leave the tie on."

Brittany gulped and snuck her tongue out to moisten her almost chapped lips. She was about to question why when the words were lost in the back of her throat. A now equally naked Santana was crawling her way on to the bed, slowly working her way up Brittany's body, the green and silver tie swinging tauntingly between Santana's breasts and she knew why there had been a request to keep hers on.

Brittany slid further onto the bed, pushing herself up on her elbows slightly so she could get a better look at Santana climbing over her. She swallowed, probably audibly at the way Santana seemed to stalk towards her. She could see the Latina's shoulder blades jutting out in the most delicious way as her back rippled with each movement. The brunette's now black-looking hair trailing down her back and falling over her shoulders, tickling the sensitive skin of Brittany's inner thigh as Santana continued to crawl up her body.

Brittany's legs fell apart on instinct as Santana settled between them, rolling her hips down perfectly to gain some of that glorious friction before claiming Brittany's mouth with hers.

"I wanted you so bad," Santana hissed against her lips, "before, in class."

Brittany moaned against her, rocking her hips a little harder. Their skin slid against each other and Brittany nodded her head best she could as she sucked Santana's tongue into her mouth.

"I don't know how you do it," Santana continued to mumble, "Oh god, I love you so much, B."

"I love," Brittany hummed into her mouth, "Mmm, I love you too."

Brittany held Santana close against her as she traced her tongue over her girlfriend's lips. She needed to taste every inch of Santana's mouth, of her body, and she shivered at the thought. There was a tightness in her stomach that only the girl on top of her would know how to relieve. She needed Santana more than anything at that moment.

She felt Santana rock her hips down harder, felt the shorter girl's hands grasp at whatever skin they could; she knew Santana felt the same way.

"San, I need you." Brittany whined, pulling Santana down by her shoulders until the Latina had latched onto her neck.

A bite just above her shoulder made Brittany arch her back and drag her nails down Santana's spine. "Santana, please."

The trailing hand down her stomach left a glorious path of heat and excitement. Her legs stretched open as far as possible as Brittany felt her wetness leave a trail on Santana's abdomen. It was always a mystery to Brittany how Santana managed to rouse that response from her body. She had barely even been touched by her love and she was already dripping with want.

"Touch me. Please, Santana. Touch me."

It didn't take long for Santana to answer the command. The brunette instantly moved her hand down, over Brittany's ribs, eliciting a shiver before scratching at the soft skin of Brittany's inner thigh.

"I love you," Santana whispered, just before gently sliding two fingers in, making Brittany moan and squirm.

"Uhn, San," Brittany moaned back, reveling in the sudden feeling of completeness that had taken over her.

Her girlfriend's movement on top of her was fluid, perfect and unbreaking as her small, lithe body rolled over her like waves. Brittany moaned and lifted her legs higher, bringing her knees up to her chest. Her hands slid down Santana's back, pulling her in deeper as they rocked together at a steady but quick pace. She felt her body shiver at the new sensation.

Santana arched her back allowing Brittany to slide her hands lower down the gloriously tanned skin on her girlfriend. They came to a rest just above the dimples on her lower back, digging in slightly as Santana pushed in further and harder than before.

Brittany swallowed a moan at the way Santana's hair fell over her shoulders, black in the dimly lit room. It tickled against the skin of her chest but only made everything better. She rocked her hips harder, suddenly needing her girlfriend even more.

Maybe it was the way Santana trailed her tongue over her pulse point, or the way she grazed her teeth against the skin of Brittany's neck. Or maybe it was the subtle but deep growl of possesion that left her lips just before Santana entered her with a third finger, but at that moment, Brittany couldn't comprehend how some people didn't believe in magic. It was primal, hungry and beautiful the way Santana was working into her and this, with their hearts beating in sync and their bodies moving together, this was magic. And Brittany certainly didn't need a wand to create the galaxy this time.

Brittany's voice broke as her body trembled, Santana collapsing against her chest. The brunette panted lightly against her slightly damp skin, the muscles in her shoulders trembling visibly and Brittany didn't even mind the sticky wetness left where Santana gripped at her hip. Santana traced kisses against her chest, almost purring as she did so. It was confirmed by the slight vibrations that ran down her spine when Brittany ran her hands down Santana's back. It caused a craving to brew deep with in and she mustered all her remaining strength to shift their positon and toss Santana onto her back.

"Britt," Santana started, only to be silenced with a kiss.

She rolled her body against Santana's, making a point to arch her back just the right way so their hips clicked together. Brittany moaned when she felt the strong hands of her girlfriend trail up her arms before slowly cupping her neck, pulling until it was stretched perfectly to bring their mouths together.

But Brittany needed more, she needed to taste all of Santana. She pulled away from Santana's needy kisses, against the whimpering protests of the smaller girl, to drag her tongue down Santana's neck.

Brittany could feel the beat of Santana's heart as blood pulsed through her veins and as the drumming beneath her breast increased under her palm. She loved Santana's body: the way her skin grew goose bumps at her touch, the way she arched her back longingly, the way her hips twitched as she got closer to her destination and the way she tasted against her lips when she darted her tongue out to probe her wet folds. To Brittany, Santana's body was perfect.

Her head was getting lighter as it normally did when Brittany was intoxicated with Santana's taste, but this time it was more. She didn't know if it was because of he way Santana's fingers pulled tightly at the hair on her head when she sucked on her clit or if it was the way Santana's thighs clenched together, trembling when she slipped her tongue inside as far as it would go, but whatever it was, Brittany felt herself take off. She was flying, diving and sliding in time with her tongue as it worked on her girlfriend's body. And Santana was right there with her, soaring through the sky, climbing and climbing to the apex of their flight until she teetered on the summit.

Brittany's name fell from Santana's lips as she flew, diving and quivering from something great. And Brittany's arms were there, spread and ready to catch her as they explored the contours of Santana's body. Brittany felt Santana's hands reach over her shoulders, scratching and tugging, begging her to make her way back up to Santana's mouth until one finally wrapped around the blue and bronze tie still hanging loosely from her neck. Santana tugged urgently on the fabric, pulling Brittany higher and Brittany didn't deny her, crashing their mouths together instantly and swallowing a moan at the way Santana squeaked at the taste of herself on her lips. Brittany slid their bodies together until they clicked perfectly, allowing her to perch between her girlfriend's thighs and lovingly stare down at her once their lips parted.

Santana was breathing heavily underneath her. Brittany could tell by the way her lips were still slightly parted and the heavy movement of her chest against her own. Each deep, quivering breath Santana took pushed their torsos closer together. Brittany only pushed down harder, trying with all her might to mold their bodies into one being.

There was something sparkling behind Santana's eyes; a light that Brittany couldn't quite put her finger on. She had seen something similar to it before but for some reason, this time, that little light was brighter than she had ever seen it before. She leaned down to kiss Santana, just for good measure.

"I love you," Brittany mumbled against full and swollen lips. Santana only nodded in return, still having a hard time breathing. But Brittany didn't need to hear the words. The burning light in Santana's eyes was enough to tell her she was loved in return so she shifted slightly and rested her head against Santana's chest where she could hear the smaller girl's heart thumping underneath her ear.

She sighed when Santana gingerly ran her fingers through her slightly matted hair, pulling out the knots that had formed there from Santana's grip earlier. Brittany couldn't help but laugh at the slight, almost purr-like sound of contentment that was coming from deep within Santana's chest. She allowed herself to doze off slightly at the hypnotic sound, paired with the fingers gently combing through her hair.

The slight shifting of Santana's body managed to rouse her enough to lift her head and Brittany was met with a dopey smile beaming up at her. Santana's breathing had returned to normal but the grip she had on Brittany's back made it obvious that she had no intention of moving from their current position anytime soon. They stared at each other for a few seconds before Brittany's smile broke out into a small fit of laughter. She dropped her forehead to the valley between Santana's breats as her shoulders shook in the light laughter, her own laughter coaxing some out of Santana.

"What's so funny, Britt?" Santana asked between laughs.

"Nothing," Brittany said as she sobered slightly. It didn't last long before her smile grew again. "Just thinking about what we're going to tell our professors… about why we missed class?" Brittany added for clarification.

Santana giggled underneath her, holding her close. "We could just tell them we were too busy practicing our own magic to come to class," she said, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively up towards Brittany.

Brittany faux-gasped, slapping Santana playfully on the shoulder before nuzzling her face into the side of a deliciously tanned neck. She mumbled against the skin there, causing Santana to squirm at the tickling feeling.

"What was that, B?" Santana asked, giggling.

Brittany lifted her head slightly so she could just look into Santana's eyes, "I said, or we could say we were making new happy memories for our Patronuses."

Santana's smile matched Brittany's at the statement but it didn't take long for her smile to turn into a look of concentration and confusion.

"What is it, love?" Brittany asked cautiously, suddenly very aware of Santana's change in demeanor.

She watched as Santana sucked her bottom lip between her teeth in thought, glancing up into Brittany's eyes every so often. She opened her mouth a few times but stopped herself in reconsideration. She glanced away briefly and Brittany felt her heart begin to race at the idea of Santana feeling suddenly uncomfortable. She was about to reach forward and say something when Santana finally spoke in a rapid flutter.

"What was your memory?"

"I'm sorry?" Brittany asked, uncertain of what Santana was asking her.

"Well, what is. What do you think of, what memory do you use for you Patronus?"

Brittany felt her heart relax slightly only to flutter in her own sudden shyness. There was a slight tug that remained, having an inkling that the question wasn't the original one Santana had wanted to ask but Brittany didn't linger on it. Instead she felt her cheeks grow hot and she had to duck her head against Santana's chest to hide the obvious blush that she could feel spreading over her cheeks.

"Brittany?" Santana's voice was soft and curious.

"The match," Brittany said, forehead still plastered on Santana's chest. She felt the shorter girl beneath her shift indicating she was having difficulty hearing her. Brittany sighed before finally lifting her head to look at her girlfriend.

"That day… the one of the match," Brittany said softly, playing with the fabric of Santana's tie.

Santana visibly swallowed. "What about that day, Britt?"

Brittany sighed before pressing the side of her head against the soft and expanding skin of Santana's chest. She trailed her hand along Santana's skin until she could trace shapes into the soft flesh of Santana's breast. "Just… everything really. It was perfect."

Santana ran her hand up along Brittany's spine, tensing slightly under her, urging her to continue. "It was?" she asked in disbelief.

"Yeah," Brittany sighed, drawing a heart around a hardening nipple. "What you did after the match; Santana, it meant the world to me. It was just so… unexpected and perfect. I think I fell in love with you all over again that day on the pitch." She felt the muscles in Santana's chest tighten at her words so she snuggled closer into her girlfriend.

"Really?" Santana's voice was small, almost as though she was afraid to let herself believe Brittany's words.

Brittany smiled against the skin of Santana's chest before shifting so she could fully look down at her girlfriend, her blonde hair enveloping them in a canopy of gold. "Really really," she said with a smirk. "Why, what was yours?"

It was Santana's turn to blush as the Latina turned her head to the side, avoiding any form of eye contact. "It's silly," she said in a small voice.

Brittany cocked her head to the side slightly, trying to meet Santana's eyes with her own. She finally just reached up and gently turned Santana's head with her hand until they were staring at each other again. "Santana, it is not silly! You conjured a Patronus! It can't be that bad."

Santana searched Brittany's eyes and the blonde could see a twinkle forming deep within the chocolate orbs. A full bottom lip was pulled between teeth before Santana had the nerve to speak again.

"The first time… The first time you told me you loved me," Santana said in a whisper.

Brittany's heart swelled at the words and she felt the grin grow across her face. She beamed down at the beautiful girl beneath her as she ran through the memory in her head. But after a few moments, Brittany scrunched her eyebrows in slight confusion.

"Wait, Wasn't that before, you know… our first time?" Brittany asked. "I mean I know I told you to try something else, but don't you think that was too similar to your first memory? I thought that one didn't work."

The color in Santana's cheeks increased tenfold as Brittany looked down at her in question. She cleared her throat before speaking, "Um, no. Not that time, Britt. The first time."

Brittany furrowed her eyebrows in confusion, no longer understanding what Santana was talking about. She ran through the memory in her head over and over again. The day she had finally told Santana she loved her. She was almost certain it had happened on that summer day, just after the end of last year, when Brittany couldn't hold it in any longer and had let it slip from her lips. But now she tried to think if she had said it before then, maybe on the day of their first kiss? Or maybe that time down by the lake when they had managed to sneak away for a bit, just to be alone and explore their new relationship.

"The Unicorns?" Brittany asked, suddenly feeling extremely dumb for forgetting such an important moment in their relationship, especially when it meant enough for Santana to use it to cast a full-bodied Patronus.

Santana shook her head slowly back and forth and Brittany felt her heart sink. How could she not remember the one thing that made Santana the happiest she had ever been?

Santana must have seen the sadness that had begun to pool within her eyes because she soon felt the warmth of Santana's palm against her cheek, soothing her and bringing her back down. Brittany's eyes flickered to lock onto Santana's, searching for the answer.

"The first time you ever told me you loved me, Britt. I don't even think you realized you had said it but I could never forget it," Santana admitted and Brittany waited for her to continue. "Do you remember when we were sorted?" Brittany nodded and Santana took a shaky breath before continuing, "you looked so sad over at the Ravenclaw table. I didn't want you to be sad, so I snuck into the Ravenclaw common room."

Brittany smiled. She did remember that. It was one of her favorite memories, one she thought of often. She felt herself blush because deep down, Brittany had always considered that day to be the day she fell in love with her best friend. She nodded for Santana to continue.

"That night… you told me you loved me," Santana stated.

"I… I did?" Brittany's voice cracked slightly in disbelief. There was no way she didn't remember that, not with the memory of her feelings on that day so prominently etched into her brain. She suddenly felt guilty for not even realizing it.

Santana nodded. "I don't think you realized what you had said, almost as though you let a secret slip out that you weren't supposed to tell," Santana explained, tracing her hands up Brittany's spine. "It caught me off guard but after the Head Boy gave me the lecture about 'Ravenclaws only' you just gave me this huge hug and told me you loved me." Santana laughed lightly.

Brittany blushed.

"Just those simple words, so innocent back then, lit a fire in my chest. They made me so happy, Brittany, just knowing that you loved me," Santana explained. "I don't think I've ever been happier than in that moment."

Brittany let the words sink in for a moment, mulling them over in her head. She had always been scared to admit when her feelings for Santana had started. She felt as though maybe it had taken Santana longer to make the change from friendship to relationship. But now, in that moment she realized that maybe that wasn't the case. Maybe it had just taken Santana a long time to realize there was love between them just the way it had taken a while for Brittany to figure it all out. Her eyes searched the brown ones below and she saw that strong glimmer growing deep within them again.

"Britt-Britt?" Santana asked, shyly as though she was afraid for the answer.

"I meant it," Brittany said. "I meant what I said that day. I may not remember saying it but I meant it." Santana looked at her quizzically. "I've always loved you, Santana, but I think that was the day. That was the day I realized what I felt was love. I didn't know it then, but I know it now so I meant it then." Brittany scrunched her nose slightly at the confusing statement but instantly smiled at the hearty laugh that came from Santana's throat.

"Me too, baby, me too," Santana said before reaching up and pulling Brittany down for a slow, loving kiss. "You're still better at casting a Patronus though," Santana chuckled when they pulled apart.

Brittany grinned down at her, shrugging her shoulders slightly until she saw the smile begin to fade from Santana's face again. The spark in her eyes was still there, curious as ever but Brittany could tell there was something the other girl had on her mind, something that had confused her.

"San?" Brittany asked, scrunching her eyebrows in wonder. "What is it?"

Santana visibly bit the inside of her cheek as she searched Brittany's eyes. "Your Patronus," she started, almost a question but not quite, "it's a panther. What do you think that means?"

Brittany stopped mid breath at the words coming out of her girlfriend's mouth. She felt her heart begin to beat just a little faster. "I…" Brittany was speechless. "What do you think it means?"

Santana shrugged lightly beneath her, playing with a stray strand of hair. "It looked at me," she whispered so quietly that if it weren't for the close proximity of their bodies, she wouldn't have heard it. "It looked at me and I looked at it."

Brittany blinked a few times before answering, "Is… is that even possible?"

"I was going to ask you that," Santana said.

"What was it like?" Brittany asked in a quiet curiosity.

Santana glanced over to the curtains hanging from her bedposts, eyes narrowing in thought. Brittany waited for her to respond and watched her think, shivering at the rhythmic feel of Santana's fingers stroking over her lower back.

"San?" She asked quietly after several minutes of silence. Her voice must have broken Santana's train of thought because the brunette quickly turned her head back towards Brittany and smiled dimly.

"It was… it was as though I was staring at myself. Into my soul," Santana said. "I can't explain it. Brittany? Say something?"

But Brittany couldn't speak. In fact, she could hardly breathe her heart was beating so fast. She felt her arms begin to tremble where they held her above her girlfriend as she registered Santana's words. That light, the glimmer in Santana's eyes now seemed more familiar than ever. She was looking at her, finally looking at every bit of Santana, almost as though the puzzle had been completed.

"Brittany?" Santana asked quietly again.

"It's you," Brittany finally managed to break out, her earlier suspicions now suddenly making all the sense in the world. She had been right about her deduction. And now she was no longer afraid to reveal it to the girl beneath her. "You're my panther, Santana."

Brittany watched as her girlfriend processed the information, her eyes growing wider in understanding as she pieced it all together.

"Then mine…" Santana trailed off, glancing to the side momentarily. "What was my Patronus, Brittany?" Her voice was quiet.

"You didn't see it?" Brittany asked.

"I… I'm not, maybe? Maybe a bird? I'm not sure," Santana said. "A duck or… Oh, Britt." Her voice halted, almost in realization as she looked up at Brittany.

The blonde instantly leaned forward, crashing their lips together with a sudden need. They panted together after the kiss broke, foreheads resting against one another as blues eyes searched brown. A second later and Brittany was rolling slightly off of Santana's body. The brunette was about to protest but Brittany quieted her with a quick kiss before reaching over the edge of the bed to free their wands from their discarded robes.

Brittany took a deep breath as she rolled slightly to the side, draping a leg over Santana's toned thighs. She closed her eyes before raising her wand ever so slightly and murmuring, "Expecto Patronum."

The panther came jumping out of the tip, just like it had earlier in the classroom, but this time with a new sense of life as it sailed above the bed. It stayed there, hovering just above their naked bodies, like a regal guardian watching over something extremely precious.

"I'm your panther," Santana said, lifting her wand slowly to match Brittany's. She mumbled the incantation then, quiet but strong and sure as they watched the graceful bird erupt from her wand and join the majestic feline just below the bed canopy. They watched as the two incantations danced, their entities intertwining as though they had been created with the sole purpose of complimenting one another. "And you're my swan."

A/N: I am very curious about your opinion on this story! Do you agree/disagree with their Corporeal forms etc? There are so many HP!Brittana head canons that I'm just curious about what other people think since this is mine. So let me know what your interpretation is! Thank you for reading, stay tuned for the next part in the series.