Someone online drew this image a while ago-
As much as I absolutely love some of the ideas on there just for themselves, like Tyrannosaurs, mantis shrimp, and dementors, seeing this again on Tumblr suddenly inspired me to write… I don’t know. It’s not really a full story, even short. It’s more like a semi-narrative idea, or wondering. Anyway, it was lengthy enough I figured I’d post it-
A shy, self-conscious muggleborn who still isn’t sure about whether they can match up to their magic-born classmates. When they’re first taught how to cast a patronus, their happy memory is learning about being accepted to Hogwarts—learning about Hogwarts at all, really.
There are lots of people there-people who’ve had wonderful lives full of wealth and love and opportunity to experience all kinds of things the muggle-born can only dream of, people for whom Hogwarts is an escape from a life of poverty or neglect or abuse.
But they’re just… average. Their parents are solidly middle class muggles. Money isn’t hard, but it’s not surplus, either. They’ve got clothes, they don’t go hungry, they’ve even been taken for vacations a few times. They know they’re lucky to not know true hardship, but they don’t know what it’s like to excel. Even before Hogwarts, at their muggle school, they sat and watched and heard about their classmates who got to go on special trips and such because they had good grades. Their average grades seemed to just further the curse of mediocrity they felt they lived under.
The only real bright spot in their life—before Hogwarts—was their beloved Pokemon games. Even if they couldn’t experience real adventures, they could experience virtual ones.
So when they got that letter, and the strange man showed up and conjured a tea kettle and said it was all true, it was like their wildest dreams had fallen out of the glowing screen of their game boy and into their lap.
But they were still just average. They knew they were supposed to be “inferior” (because no one who cared about blood purity said much of the otherwise famous Hermione Granger), and they never knew what potential they had.
So when they lifted their wand in trembling grasp, and shouted those words, “expecto patronum!” in a halting voice, all that happiness welled up inside them, coursed down their arm, and then- dribbled out the end of their wand in a weak spout of silvery light, solidifying into a well-known, and much maligned feebly splashing form before them- A magikarp.
Other muggleborns tried to cheer them up, and remind them of magikarp’s powerful evolution, to tutor them, but at the end of the day, the best the young muggleborn could do was pick up their patronus and swing it. That’s actually what they quietly resolved to do if it ever came to it, right before turning and running for their lives as the dementor hopefully was taken by surprise.
They never could dream that one day they’d be the lone witch standing between their exhausted friends and a horde of dementors, wand hand trembling not in doubt, but carefully mastered fear, defiant in the face of the physical manifestation of death. They’d well learned of Hermione Granger, her legend taking it’s place alongside the legends of Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley and Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom and the other heroes of the Second Wizarding War. Their mind strayed to that thought, and the story of Neville cutting the head from Voldemort’s pet snake while still aflame from the latter’s fell magic right as they raised their wand. They closed their eyes for a moment, breathing in deep, before opening their eyes again as the foul creatures neared, and shouted, clear, loud, unwaveringly- “EXPECTO… PATRONUM!!!”
They knew that all they could do would be to pick up that weak, but rock hard spectral fish and swing with all their might, but if that was all they could do, then by Merlin’s saggy left nut, they’d do it for her friends.
And then, the silvery sparks and light emerged, not in a pitiful spout landing at her feet, but in a mighty torrential blast, a graceful serpentine form coalescing from it, twisting and writhing in the air, before letting loose an earth-shatttering roar in the advance of the dementors.
Their heart soared as they opened eyes they didn’t realize they’d closed and saw their patronus wasn’t a flopping magikarp, but a gargantuan, awe-inspiring and fierce gyarados, pursuing the now fleeing dementors and tearing great holes in the horde with it’s enormous maw.
Thanks for the inspiration, Alicia_mb!