A couple days had passed and Severus was so kind as to get me some new clothes and personal things for my stay here. I was grateful. Very grateful. But I couldn’t help but frown and cry every moment I was alone. And after a while, that feeling drove me mad. I decided to stay close to Severus so I could feel something. Yes, for some reason he made me feel happier. Even in his cold shell, I felt warmth. It was difficult for me to keep this attachment hidden. Severus noticed almost too soon for me to be able to find an excuse. “Why in the world do you follow me everywhere? I’m lucky you don’t follow me to my room,” he mumbled with displeasure.
“Sorry,” I smiled up at him. “I just like your company.” I hadn’t lied yet. He didn’t say anything. “Well, could you follow me a lot less often?” he finally growled. My heart sank a little, “As you wish.” I walked into the kitchen so that he could read in the living room in peace. Every now and then I’d look up from the kitchen table to see if he was still sitting. Then I’d go back to looking at my hands and thinking. I never really thought about much. Just about how I wish life would be.
I’d be with loving parents, I’d have a sweet older brother and sister to look out for me and help me whenever I’d need it. An older sister would be especially helpful. She could be my own best friend. Someone I could tell anything to. I had never had anyone to tell anything to. Finally, after an hour or so, Severus looked over at me. My eyes met his.
“What did you do this whole time I’ve been reading?” he asked plainly. “Thinking, I guess.” “You guess you were thinking?” I opened my mouth, but closed it since I couldn’t think of anything to say. “I suppose we can begin lessons again,” he sighed. I smiled. We have been working on a little bit of everything. I had been waiting all day for the moment he’d say he would begin teaching me more again. I walked over to him waiting for him to give me something to do. “Let’s work on something difficult. How about a patronus?”
A patronus. I have watched my mother perform it. I could never get it right. No matter how hard I tried. But the spell I wanted to learn the most was this one. I had wanted so badly to know what mine would take the form of. “Alright, all you have to say is “expecto patronum” and flick your wrist.” I tried but failed to produce but a small bulb of blue light. Severus shook his head, “Don’t flick your arm. Flick your wrist. Like this.” He demonstrated as if I didn’t know what a wrist was. I clenched my jaw and tried again, this time flicking my wrist. But, once again, there wasn’t anything coming out. “I’m sorry,” he sighed, “I forgot to say. You must find something happy to think about. Something that is very worthwhile. A memory that made you very happy.”
A memory that made me happy? Surprisingly, there wasn’t a single one of them. I suppose when my mother made brownies for the first time made me a happy little three-year old. I felt a searing pain. Tears began to form. I pushed them back. I had to have something. I forced my memories to rush to the front of my head. My childhood was nothing but work, going hungry, and wishing my parents would stop yelling. “Brownies. My mom made brownies for the first time when I was three. Is that a happy memory?” I asked trying to smile.
“Brownies? Well, did it make you very happy?” “It was food. Can food make a person that happy?” I nervously laughed. “You can try.” I tried, focusing on the joy of putting a warm brownie into my mouth. There was a bigger blue light than before but after three seconds it faded away. “Well, I think we should find something else to work on,” I said. Was I ever going to be able to find out what my patronus was? “What’s your patronus?” I asked Severus. “Go to your room or make yourself some lunch. I don’t wish to be bothered.”
My room? He said it was my room. Did that mean I would get to live here forever? A smile formed upon my face and I felt warm once more. I was finally able to put a real smile on my face again. I had a home. Somewhere to come back to whenever I left. “My room?” I asked smiling. He looked over my face trying to figure out what was it that made me so happy. “Well, this is where you will be living from now on, unless you wish to go somewhere else,” he tried to smile, but seemed to fail. So he gave up. “Alright, I’ll go to my room.” I walked into my room and looked around. It hadn’t changed physically, but to me, it was a whole new room. It was my room. It was something I could come home to. Home.
This is what I was calling it now. This is my home. I lay down on my bed and for the first time, I was alone without a single tear even approaching my eyes. The next day we focused more on studies. It seemed as though I learned two years worth of lessons in one day. Not only that, but Severus actually looked proud. “Well, Miss Kale, it looks like you have learned ten times more than any fourth year I know,” he grunted, “and that’s no lie.”I laughed, “Please, call me Izzy.”