Aug 09, 2020 4:08 AM
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Classes resume, as they have been known to do. Come Saturday morning, Professor Reed is waiting in the Ravenclaw common room at nine, as promised.

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Miranda meets her there. "I'm all ready to go," she says.

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Professor Reed smiles. "After you, Miss Swan."

The anti-Apparation spells around Hogwarts complicate the trip a little, but ultimately not very much. As soon as they're off campus, Professor Reed puts a hand on Miranda's shoulder and Apparates them both to the Ministry entrance hall. There are a surprising number of people there for a Saturday, but that's still a very small number of people in general. For the most part, the hall is large, marble and almost entirely empty.

"Have you been to the Ministry before, Miss Swan?" Professor Reed inquires, looking around.
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"No, never. Not the British one - I came along when Mum got her teaching credentials transferred over in Australia."

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"I've only been the once," Professor Reed says, looking around. "It's... changed."

No more Magic is Might statue, for instance. Someone finally got rid of that particular eyesore.

Fortunately, they are spared attempting to find their way around when a harried-looking wizard hurries over. "Tamara? Are you Tamara?" he asks her.

"...yes," Professor Reed says slowly. She manages to not take a tone with him, but really. How many other women do you see with an eleven year old standing around?

"Good, good, so nice to meet you both, this way please," he says in a distracted rush, turning right around and heading back the way he came.

Professor Reed looks at him strangely for a second, then shrugs and follows.
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Miranda goes after her, not hurrying because that's a guarantee to fall over her feet.

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They're led through rather a maze of hallways, lifts and offices until they arrive at a room that is, if not actually a classroom, has at least plausibly been repurposed as one. It's hardly full- Aurors are in short supply nowadays, and on top of that it's still a Saturday morning- but there's four people waiting for them.

"Here you are," their guide says, checking his watch. "Right on time, too, very good. Today's just to see if anyone else can learn the Silverlight spell, we asked for only volunteers who already have a working Patronus, hopefully at least one can pick it up. Do you two need anything?"

Professor Reed shakes her head- what would she need, really, she's not the one teaching the spell- and looks inquiringly at Miranda.
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Miranda shrugs and reaches for her wand -

then claps both hands to the bundle of braids at the back of her neck.

"My chimaera wand. It's - this is only my regular one -" She pulls it from her hair and braids tumble over her shoulders. "It's - I can still make a Patronus with this one but it's not big and I don't know if it can kill Dementors -"
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"Did you leave it at school?"

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"I remember putting it in my hair this morning. It never falls out - I didn't hear it hitting the ground or feel it on my back or anything -"

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"I'm sure it fell out somewhere on the way here," Professor Reed soothes. She takes out her wand. "Accio Wand!"









*crickets*









When it's clear the wand is not forthcoming, Professor Reed puts her wand away and frowns. "We can try again when we return to Hogwarts," she says, "Accio does have a range limit."
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"O-okay. I can still show the spell with this one, it's the same procedure..." Miranda clutches her ordinary wand. "It's just like I read in the book, like this." She waves it in the prescribed manner, focuses, incants, "Expecto patronum!"

Glowy person is glowy.

"I don't know why it's a person or whether the little person can still kill Dementors though."
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"We already know how to cast a Patronus," one of the watching Aurors points out. "Do you know what you're doing differently?"

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Miranda thinks. "I'm not focusing on a memory," she says slowly. She waves away the glowy person. "It's more - I couldn't do it before I'd looked at a real Dementor, have you all seen real Dementors before?"

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Professor Reed snorts quietly with laughter, and shakes her head. All but one of the Aurors nod.

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"Okay, so - sorry, I don't really know how to explain it, but you know how they're sort of - death-y?"

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"...yes?"

It's not clear if this Auror has a lot of force of will, or is very polite, or is just extremely good at poker, but they do somehow manage not to imply the 'duh' at the end.
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"And - well, instead of a memory I think about how they are not allowed because death in general is not allowed, I don't know how to stop any kinds of it except Dementors yet but I want to. I think you might have to want that."

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This earns her a couple dubious stares, and a request to repeat it. After they've heard the explanation again, they murmur among themselves until they have selected a sacrifice volunteer to be the first to attempt the spell.

"Expecto Patronum!"

Nothing happens.

"Wait, what the- where's my Patronus?!"
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Miranda sure doesn't know. "...What is it usually?"

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"A frog, like Amata!"

"...you named your frog Amata?" One of his colleagues asks, laughing.

"Ugh, not the point, where's my Patronus?!"
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"...Frogs don't think about death, I think. They probably can't decide it's not allowed very well."

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"Okay, but- it's not a person, either, it's just gone."

The remaining three Aurors try their own.

Nope, nope, nope.

"It's a good thing we didn't have everyone here- we'd be totally defenseless- what did you do?!" demands an Auror.

(It appears he is being mostly rhetorical.)

"What about you?" another one asks Professor Reed. "How's yours?"
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Professor Reed looks at him tiredly. "I don't have one," she says. "I'm American, we don't need them. We outlawed the things."

And it's a difficult spell she never actually mastered, but she's annoyed at him and that tidbit seems optional.

"Just to humor you." She pulls her wand back out. "Expecto Patronum!"

Noooooooope.
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"Maybe you can get a person eventually?" says Miranda in a small voice. "I'm - I'm sorry. I didn't know it would do that."

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