Sit down and read. Educate yourself for the coming conflicts.
Mary Harris "Mother" Jones (May 1, 1837 – 30 November 1930) was an Irish-born American schoolteacher and dressmaker who became a prominent organized labor representative and community organizer. She helped coordinate major strikes and cofounded the Industrial Workers of the World.
Thank you for asking! I’ve been thinking about this idea for a multi-chapter fic I’ve been writing, so it’s been good to practice. Sorry if it gets shaky at the end, my writer’s block is really quite terrible lately. :/
She had always been something of a morning person, and often rose before the rest of her dorm mates, meaning there was a peaceful ten minutes or so in the morning where the Great Hall was filled with no-one but herself and other like-minded people, sipping mugs of coffee and tea, relishing in the silence that came with being in the Great Hall at its opening for breakfast at 7:30.
Lily knew that the alarm in her dorm went off at 7:45, and at approximately 2 minutes past 8, Marlene McKinnon would join her, followed by Mary Macdonald, Dorcas Meadowes, and Hestia Jones. If Lily was lucky, no one else would bother her before then. If she was unlucky, someone else (most likely James Potter) would interrupt her morning cup of strongly brewed coffee.
However, this was not one of those mornings, and Lily’s friends appeared right on cue, as the tables of the Great Hall were starting to fill out. Marlene flung a flimsy magazine onto the space of table in front of her best friend, and then flung herself down next to Lily.
‘Witch Weekly is the biggest pile of dung I’ve ever read.’ She lamented, tucking her blonde hair behind one of her ears.
‘Says the girl who forks out for a monthly subscription to it.’ Mary Macdonald takes her usual seat across from Lily, taking a sip from the redhead’s mug.
‘Why, what’s in it?’ Lily asked.
Dorcas Meadowes, who had dark purple rings under her eyes and hair that looked like it had seen only a pillow for eight hours, snatched the mug from Mary with as much strength as she could muster and gulped some of the of the bitter liquid inside down.
‘That’s my coffee, Doe!’ Lily complained.
‘I need it more than you, ginger, trust me.’ The brunette told her plainly, and preceded to take a nap on the breakfast table. Mary preceded to take the aforementioned coffee and continue to drink it.
Lily was about to repeat her question about the problem with Witch Weekly when they were interrupted by Hestia Jones.
‘Has anyone seen Professor Rydell?’ She asked.
‘Is she not at the teacher’s table?’ Marlene asked, glancing over her shoulder.
Hestia shook her head, pointing towards the empty chair where the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher usually sat.
‘I need to give her my homework assignment from last week… why would she ask us to write about our happiest memory? This isn’t primary school.’ Hestia motioned to a sheet of parchment she held.
The rest of the girls shrugged, sharing her confusion.
‘I’m going to go look in her office. I’ll see you after breakfast.’ Hestia said, and, plucking Lily’s mug out of Mary’s hand, rushed out of the Great Hall.
‘Alright, well now my coffee’s gone. So could someone tell me the problem with Witch Weekly?’ Lily asked the table again.
‘Marlene has an inkling what Professor Rydell is doing with this whole ‘happiest memory’ kick.’ Mary said, picking at a piece of toast.
‘What’s that then?’ Lily poured herself another mug of coffee.
‘Well, I can’t be sure… I mean, I was doing some research for Charms the other day, and looking through some spell book… and, well, just for fun, I decided to look at the charms ranked as ‘Extremely Difficult’…’ Marlene said.
‘Only you would do that for fun.’ Hestia, who had since woken up, added.
‘… And I came across one that really caught my interest.’ Marlene continued, glaring at Hestia. ‘There’s something called a Patronus charm… apparently only very, VERY advanced wizards can produce one. It’s a defense against dementors, according to this book.’
‘And what does that have to do with happiness?’ Lily asked, stirring cream and sugar into her coffee.
‘Well, to produce a patronus charm, you have to think of the happiest moment of you life. And I’m not talking about ‘6 O’s on your N.E.W.T’s’ happiness. I’m talking ‘wedding-day-birth-of-your-first-child’ happiness. You think about your happiest moment, cast the charm, and a glowing animal will come out from the end of your wand- the animal is a reflection of your soul.’
‘This spell book sounds like it was written by a teenage girl.’ Hestia said, piling bacons onto her plate.
‘The whole happiness assignment makes sense then… do you think we’ll be doing it in class?’ Lily clutched her mug.
‘Oh, absolutely not.’ Marlene said, spooning fried potatoes onto a plate. ‘It’s extremely difficult- far too difficult for us. It’s beyond N.E.W.T level- some Aurors can’t even do it.’
‘So what does Witch Weekly have to do with this?’ Lily picked up the offending magazine and flicked through it.
‘This issue just so happened to have a quiz that tells you what animal you are… so I decided to take it. And guess what I got?’ Marlene grabbed the magazine from Lily and flipped to the quiz page. The charmed page quivered with the answer Marlene had been given- a donkey.
Lily stifled a laugh. ‘A donkey?’
‘Apparently I have a ‘good sense of curiosity’ and am ‘slightly stubborn in my ways, which makes me a donkey. A donkey!’ The blonde’s voice raised dangerously.
‘Marlene, I promise you’re not a donkey. You’re not that much of an ass.’ Mary said. Hestia laughed heartily, her mouth full of bacon.
‘Some kind of friends you are!’ Marlene said, snapping the magazine shut.
‘Mar, why are you worried about this? I thought you said Rydell wouldn’t teach us the Patronus charm?’ Lily placed a reassuring hand on her friend’s shoulder.
‘Well, she is quite liberal in her ways, isn’t she? She was in the Freedom for Giants in Bars Protests in 1954. Apparently she was quite a leader in the politics of letting giants have a pint.’ Mary told them.
‘And she’s a Muggleborn.’ Marlene said.
‘So?’ Lily asked.
‘Well, she knows about the stuff that’s being said about Muggleborns currently.’ Marlene shifted uncomfortably in her seat. The whole group remembered how only a few weeks earlier, anti-Muggleborn posters had pitched up all over the school and three Muggleborn Aurors were killed mysteriously on a mission.
‘So you think she’ll teach us the charm in case Death Eaters send dementors after every Muggleborn in school?’ Lily asked, her eyebrows raising.
‘Just as a precaution! You know how things are right now- the Ministry is a mess, Muggleborns are disappearing all over… we won’t be safe in Hogwarts forever.’ Marlene said. Her voice seemed to get quieter as she finished her sentence. She was a Muggleborn, same as Lily, and both Mary and Hestia were half bloods.
‘Merlin, Mar, don’t be so depressing and existential. You get any trouble from anyone, you come to me. The name ‘Hestia Jones’ strikes fear into pureblood hearts across the land.’ Hestia said, wielding her fork like a sword.
‘What, are they worried you might exhibit bad table manners or refuse an arranged marriage?’ Mary joked, referencing to the many escapades Hestia had recounted from the multiple occasions her pureblood family forced her to go to. Hestia kicked her under the table.
‘Marlene, even if we do the Patronus charm, which we won’t… I doubt a donkey will come out of your wand. What does some stupid magazine know anyway?’ Lily said, picking up the magazine and shoving it in her bag.
‘You’re right, you’re right. Anyway, we should get going. It’s nearly class time.’ The blonde stood, glancing at her watch. The other girls followed suit, and the four of them exited the Great Hall, with Lily snapping her back shut on the issue of Witch Weekly that had caused so much strife.
A few hours later, the Defense Against the Dark Arts 7th year class was in full swing. Professor Rydell had told the class they were to do something rather unorthodox that day, and requested that they push the tables and chairs to the sides of the room to make space. The students obliged, and the teacher proceeded to explain the intricacies of the Patronus charm, referencing to their ‘happiest moment’ assignment as an introduction to the subject.
Marlene gave a knowing, pointed look to Lily, Mary and Hestia.
Immediately after finishing her explanation, Professor Rydell was berated with questions.
‘Is this in the syllabus?’
‘Why are we learning it?’
‘I think it would be a very effective-’
‘Does Dumbledore know about this?’
The teacher smiled. ‘He does, actually. In fact, he put the idea of you all learning it forward.’
The students exchanged looks, either of amusement, excitement, or disgust.
‘So, shall we get to it?’
Within fifteen minutes, the students were scattered around the room in small groups, attempting to produce a Patronus.
Professor Rydell circled the groups. ‘Don’t be disappointed if you can’t get it. This is an extremely hard piece of magic, and some older wizards can’t even produce one. Your memory has to be very potent, and you may be took young to have a memory like that.’
‘Expecto patronum!’ Just as soon as the Professor had finished speaking, Sirius Black’s wand erupted. Out the end of it bounded a silver wolf, which dashed around above the heads of teenagers, until eventually curling up on a windowsill and disappearing into thin air.
The whole room erupted into applause. The Marauders all exchanged a look. James Potter pretending to be cleaning his glasses to prevent himself from laughing out loud.
‘Well done, Sirius!’ proclaimed Professor Rydell. ‘I can’t seem to recall your essay. What was your happiest memory?’
‘My first shag.’ The 17-year-old said. The rest of the class burst into laughter.
‘Alright, alright! Everyone calm down. Very funny, Mr. Black. See me for a detention after class.’ The teacher attempted to harness control over the group. ‘Back to work.’ She said.
Lily was losing faith in herself. The class was nearly over, and she had been trying in vain for over an hour to produce anything more than few wisps from the end of her wand. Mary had supplied a swan sometime after Sirius demonstrated his own Patronus. Hestia’s silver lioness had scared the various animals the rest of the class had produced, shaking its large mane and dissipating. Marlene, who’s earlier fear of a silver donkey clomping its way out of her wand, was instead gifted with fox, which slunk around the room before running into Sirius’ own Patronus (which he had recast in order the impress the various girls in the class fawning over him) and chasing it around the room, much to Marlene’s amusement. Lily turned away from the commotion.
‘Screw you, McKinnon!’ The boy had shouted from across the room.
‘It’s not my fault your Patronus is scared of mine.’ Marlene replied, grinning triumphantly.
‘It’s not surprising that it’s a fox. You always were a bit of a vixen.’ The boy countered.
‘Jealousy doesn’t suit you, Black.’ Marlene said, twirling her wand.
‘Alright, alright, enough.’ Professor Rydell silenced the two with a raise of her palms. ‘Now, class, some interesting facts about the Patronus charm…’
James was losing faith in himself. He’d been trying for almost the entire class to create something – anything- out the end of his wand. His predicted stag had yet to appear- Remus had gone incredibly pale as a giant wolf appeared above him, snarling at the rabbit to his left and horse to his right. Peter was still making a feeble attempt at producing something as well, but James would be damned if he would be the last in the Marauders to conjure up a Patronus. This was meant to be one his best classes. James turned away from the commotion.
‘… seeing as a Patronus is a reflection of your soul in form of an animal, legendary ‘soulmates’, who share the male and female counterparts of an animal have existed. Lance and Mary Crockerman each had the Patronus of a stallion and a mare, respectively. Other examples include…’ Professor Rydell told the students.
Lily closed her eyes. Happiest thought, she told herself.
James closed his eyes. Happiest thought, he told himself.
Images flashed before Lily’s eyes. Her stomach flip-flopped as she remembered her first day at Hogwarts, how her 12-year-old self had hardly kept it together as the magnificent castle came into view for the first time, as the floppy hat atop her head shouted, ‘GRYFFINDOR!’, as she had encountered ghosts and moving painting and owls, and as she finally felt at home. She smiled despite herself.
Images flashed before James’ eyes. Although he had told the rest of the Marauders that his happiest memory was being appointed Quidditch captain, it really lay with the family holiday he had taken with his parents when he was eight. The seaside, endless ice cream, and time with his usually-busy parents was heaven for young James Potter, and he involuntarily grinned at the image of his parents lifting him off the ground as they strolled along the beach.
‘Expecto patronum.’ They said in unison, from opposite sides of the room.
‘… boars and sows, roosters and hens, and…’ Professor Rydell continued to orate to the room.
From James’ wand came a proud stag, it’s antlers presiding high above its head. It galloped in a circle above James’ head, then seemed to have been distracted from something across the room, and rushed towards it. James turned.
From Lily’s own wand came a doe, it’s large eyes unblinking as it circled her, then caught sight of something over Lily’s shoulder and moved towards it. She whipped round.
The two silvery animals met in the middle of the room, circled each other, and then nestled together, suspended many feet above the rest of the class and the unassuming teenagers who had cast them.
‘… a stag and doe.’ Professor Rydell finished, smiling at James and Lily in turn.
There were a few moments of silence. Lily’s mouth fell open in shock as she looked from her Patronus to James, then back to her Patronus, over and over.
Finally, James cracked a smile. ‘Soulmates.’ He said. ‘How about that, Evans?’
In Lily’s green eyes were a mix of anger, astonishment, and something James couldn’t quite place. For a moment, he could’ve mistaken it for fondness. Suddenly the school bell rang, and, in a flash, it was gone.
‘Absolutely ridiculous.’ Lily said, turning on her heel and stalking away from the discourse happening above her head.
‘Class dismissed!’ Professor Rydell called, and the group broke apart. Lily’s friends followed her out of the classroom. As soon as she was out of sight, her Patronus disappeared. James’ stag, seemingly now lost, looked for his companion. When he was unable to find her, he bowed his antlered head and disappeared as well.
The last of the students trickled out of the classroom and into the busy halls. The Marauders lagged behind, waiting for James as he packed up his wand.
‘Boys,’ he addressed them, ‘I hope you won’t be insulted, but I have to choose only one of you to be my best man, unfortunately.’ He said, running his hand through his hair.
‘Is it me?’ Sirius asked, leading the rest of them out into the hall.
‘Of course, Padfoot. Though, I’ll need all of you at my side at my wedding to Lily.’ He told Remus and Peter.
Lily and her group, who weren’t far ahead due to the business of the halls, heard this conversation unfolding.
‘Shut up, Potter, I am NOT marrying you!’ The redhead shouted above the commotion.
‘We’ll see, Evans.’ James replied cheekily.
‘Oh no, we won’t.’ She turned to face him. The rest of the students in the hall passed by them.
‘Soulmates, Lily, remember?’ James tapped his temple knowingly.
‘That doesn’t mean anything.’ She said, turning to walk away from him. The halls were starting to empty as the ringing of the school bell neared.
‘Oh, I beg to differ!’ James called after her as she continued down the hall. ‘I’m thinking a deer theme for the wedding. You know, the stag and the doe and all. And yellow for the bridesmaids’ dresses. Do you think that’ll clash with you hair?’
‘Screw you, Potter!’ She turned for a moment, and James caught the fondness in her eyes again, before she turned the corner and was out of sight.
After the war, Harry once asked Hagrid where he got the photos for the album because he wanted to thank whoever sent them. Hagrid started crying & told him about how Lily’s friends, Dorcas Meadowes, Mary McDonald, Alice Longbottom, & Hestia Jones had been the ones to gather the photos & come up with an idea for a album. Hestia gave all the photos & the album to Hagrid because she worried that she’d never have a chance to finish it. Harry got into contact with her & she told him about his mum.