Chapter 29 Patronus's
Fred watched in amazement as George's fully formed patronus jumped around the older twin. He was sure the look on his brother's face mirrored that of his own.
As the patronus tapered off, the boys turned to Draco, who was leaning up against the small kitchen's table, his arms crossed and wand held in one clenched hand.
"Was that what that was?"
Draco scoffed and shook his head at George's light-hearted comment. Fred thought he heard something about "Stupid Weasleys" and he chuckled.
"Well, since you seem to know all, all knowledgeable one, what exactly does that mean for my personality? Don't patronus's reflect that?"
Draco looked thoughtful for a moment, seeming to not care that George was teasing him. "I think the hyena fits you really well. They represent a sense of humor, which everyone knows you have, but they also don't take themselves seriously," at this, George grinned, "and if I recall, there's something about being happy with what you have, and not wanting what you don't have. And that particular character trait, I have observed, will fit anyone in your family, well, maybe apart from Ron, that is…"
Fred raised an eyebrow. "Well, thank you so much for that lesson on patronus meanings, Professor Malfoy."
This time, the scoff was directed at him.
"C'mon Freddie, lets see if you can finally get yours!"
Fred took a deep breath. He felt somewhat nervous now. George had gotten his, but what if he fell short? What if he wasn't as good as his twin?
No! I can't think like that. That is exactly how not to make a patronus.
Fred took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and began searching for his happiest memory. Back when they'd been in Dumbledore's Army, he'd used the memory of the first Quidditch match he and George had gotten to be beaters in, but at the time, it hadn't worked.
Something really happy…
Fred was almost afraid to open his eyes, but when he heard George say, "You did it!" he couldn't help himself.
Before him stood some sort of wolf. From what Fred knew of wolves, this one seemed smaller than normal.
The wolf seemed to look him in the eye, and then it disappeared.
Draco's voice sounded surprised.
"What's so special about that?" Fred was feeling a little down that his patronus was so different than his twin's. But as Draco explained what it meant, he understood.
"The coyote is a symbol of humor, cunning, and survival. It's often portrayed as the 'wise fool', helping people to see the truth in difficult situations…" Draco's voice trailed off. Fred was pretty sure he was thinking of himself being that "person in the difficult situation."
"It also means that you're adaptable. You see the humor in even the worst situations, and you cope with the toughest things life can throw at you."
George looked sober, which was quite different than usual. "Well, looks like you have me beat." He offered Fred a smile. "It suits you."
And Fred felt good about it.
"What did you think of?" George asked.
"Oh. Well, I thought of how I felt after I saw you, and then the rest of the family back after being brought to the Hogwarts infirmary. I didn't think I'd ever see you guys again, and seeing you then, well…it worked."
After a moment of silence, the twins looked expectantly at Draco.
"I don't know if I can do it."
Draco looked incredibly insecure. It wasn't a look that was often on the Slytherin's face, and Fred was pretty sure that not many people had seen it before.
"I tried last night, after we decided to do it, and I didn't get anything. I-I just don't think I have any happy memories…"
Fred suddenly felt stupid. Of course, after thinking about Draco's life, and realizing that he'd never heard of a Death Eater with a patronus before, Draco might not have the capability to make one.
"Oh, nonsense! There's got to be something. I mean, if anything, you can use one of the times I pranked Ron at school and you got a kick out of it."
Draco smirked, and then frowned. "I don't think it quite works that way."
"You have to have something," Fred said, but he felt unsure. What in Draco's life had ever been happy? Truly happy?
When Draco closed his eyes, Fred and George grew silent, waiting with bated breath. They dare not speak, because they knew how much doing this would mean to Draco.
Fred wondered if Draco had thought about the Death Eater's not having a patronus as well. It could very well change the way Draco thought of himself if he managed it.
A few wisps of bright blue erupted from his wand, but then tapered off. Fred was about to offer an encouraging word, as he'd seen Draco's face fall. But almost immediately, it was replaced with a look of sheer determination, and again, he said it.
This time, a full bodied patronus appeared, and Fred felt like cheering.
A small, furry animal ran around Draco's feet. At first, Fred almost laughed, thinking that it was a ferret.
Ron would just love that, now wouldn't he?
But upon looking closer, after the animal slowed down enough to see properly, he realized it was some sort of fox.
When it dispersed, Fred looked back up at Draco's face, and was happy to see the younger beaming.
"I did it," he said, sounding awed.
"So, oh patronus encyclopedia, what does fox mean for you?"
"Arctic Fox," Draco automatically corrected, and then flushed. "Sorry, I just did a lot of reading up on them a few years ago because I wanted to know the difference. Their fur is white, but you can't tell that here," Draco absentmindedly brushed his own white blond hair out of his eyes. "Their ears are a little smaller and less pointed than a regular fox."
Breaking out of his awed reverie, Draco shot George a really annoyed look.
"They mean cunning, stealth, and persistence. They're adaptable, living their lives in extreme climates. They tend to be sly, and graceful."
"Well, I can't say I've ever seen you be graceful before, but I get the rest of it."
Draco gave one of his rare smiles.
"Hey, what was your memory?"
Draco blushed, and mumbled something.
"What was that?" George asked.
"Kissing Ginny!" Draco said.
"Oh, bloody Merlin...why did I ask?"
It was several weeks later that anything really happened. Fred, George, and Draco hadn't been able to open the shop, due to how dangerous it was to even be out in Diagon Alley, with all the Death Eaters roaming. But they hadn't been idle.
Draco continued to badger Fred about the headless hats. "The charm you put on them only makes the head invisible," he'd said.
"That's the point…"
"What if you could make it make your whole body disappear? Like Potter's invisibility cloak?"
Fred had been intrigued.
So, Fred started to help Draco on his project. Draco had been able to modify them enough that only an arm was left visible, but with the other boy's help, it could end being a great asset in the war.
And it wasn't like they were doing anything else. Sure, they attended Order meetings, and listened to Potterwatch, and Fred and George actually got to help with Potterwatch at one point, but they were getting restless.
Sometime right before December, word finally came from Snape.
His Patronus, surprisingly a doe, came through their window, and examined the room. The three boys had waited while the doe apparently looked around the room for any other people who might be present.
And then finally, they heard Snape's voice.
"I need you to deliver something to Potter for me. I will need you to lower you wards at exactly 10:00 this evening, and I will apparate in."
"Are you sure we can trust him?" George wondered after the doe disappeared, apparently fearful of a trick to attack them.
"Yes," Draco said firmly, and after that, it wasn't questioned.