"What's going on Moony" Harry asked his surrogate uncle.
After Harry got released from the hospital wing, he had quickly started gathering information on Pettigrew. The only issue was that the Ministry was very tight-lipped on it. Seeing as Lupin and Pettigrew used to be friends, Harry decided that he would be an excellent source of information.
"I only know what Dumbledore told us and that isn't much" Lupin told him "The Ministry never found Pettigrew when Sirius was declared innocent since the evidence for his innocence wasn't related to Pettigrew. They did try searching for him but it never amounted to anything. After a year, he was declared dead and everyone stopped caring. Now, the ministry is worried about him going after you and as such, placed dementors here."
"Why couldn't they place aurors" Harry asked "The dementors could hurt us."
"Fudge said that the dementors are under Ministry control and wouldn't hurt a fly" Lupin snorted "No one could change the man's mind."
This got Harry angry "So what, they're going to let the dementors run all over us? This is ridiculous!"
"Easy there pup" Lupin said "I can help. Have you heard of the Patronus charm?"
Harry shook his head so Lupin continued "It helps combat dementors. I'm willing to teach it to you during Christmas break. I have too much work to teach it right now"
This caused Harry's face to grow a happy grin "Really? Thanks Moony!"
"My pleasure pup."
The days seemed slower than usual until Christmas. Harry was anxious to learn the charm and spent time reading many a book describing the charm until he had it ingrained in his brain. So when Christmas break rolled around, Harry was more excited than he had ever been. Rishi noticed when Harry skipped down from the train "Damn, you seem happy."
Harry rolled his eyes "You know why. Now come on."
Rishi held up his hands in surrender "Okay, okay."
They came over to the Gopals, who apparated them back. When they got back, Harry quickly dumped his stuff off and began waiting for Lupin and Sirius to come. He got so bored, he was even willing to play Rishi in chess, a game which Rishi was much better than Harry in. Seeing his friend's excitement, Rishi decided to tease him a bit "How long do you think it'll take you to learn it?"
Harry thought about this "Lupin decided on 1 session per day so my core doesn't get tired out. Since break is about 14 days long, I'd say take me the entire time if not more."
Rishi shrugged "I could learn it before you."
Harry's eyes left the board and looked at Rishi "Would you like to bet?"
"What are the terms" Rishi couldn't resist a bet. He found them fun.
"If you manage to cast a incorporeal patronus before me, I'll fake propose to Ron Weasley" Harry grinned "If I win, you tell your parents that you're dating Parvati."
Rishi's eyes widened. His mom was a big matchmaker. Rishi shuddered, thinking about what his mom would do if he told her. Then, he thought about Harry proposing to Ron. The guy was a bigot and heavily prejudiced like his mother. That could extends to gay people as well. After weighing his options, Rishi decided "Why the hell not? I'm in."
The two friends shook hands, agreeing to the bet. And both prayed that they wouldn't lose.
"Are you two ready?" Lupin told the two of them. He was surprised when Harry asked if Rishi could join. But, once he thought about it, teaching Rishi was a good idea. Rishi was almost always with Harry so if Harry was unable to cast, it would be good for there to be someone else to help. Plus, there was the bet and as a former Marauder, Lupin found it hillarious.
In the room with them was Sirius, who wanted to see who would win. Their bet reminded him of himself and James. They would make bets like that all the time for the even most mundane tasks.
Both boys nodded so Lupin began "The Patronus charm creates a projection of your happiest memories and feelings. Using that happiness, it's able to repel the dementors since they feed on negativity."
"How do we cast it" Harry asked.
"The incantation is Expecto Patronum" Lupin answered "The incantation works only if you concentrate, with all your might, on a single, happy memory."
"Really?" Rishi said.
Lupin nodded "We won't get to casting for now. Today, I want you both to look through your memories to try and identify your happiest memory."
The rest of the class was spent in silence.
Rishi and Harry soon realized that producing a patronus was very hard. They were in 8 days into Christmas break and neither had gotten anything to work. But, both had their suspicions why.
Rishi had tried all the memories he could think of. Going to Hogwarts. Becoming a starting beater. He even tried the moment where Parvati kissed him which caused the tip of his wand to glow brighter than usual but nothing more. He was starting to think that he wasn't strong enough.
Harry's theory was that he didn't want to learn it. Hearing his mom's voice was great (he even tried that as his memory) and he wasn't sure whether he wanted that to stop. He also attempted his first time on the broom, humiliating Ron and his family, winning the House Cup and leaving the Dursleys.
Both were starting to give up when, they thought of another memory. A memory, that they passed up. That could've been the most important moment of their lives, but was often forgotten.
Rishi and Harry each decided to use this memory for today's session. So when the time came, they readied their wands, and thought of that day.
"Need any help" Harry heard a voice say.
"W-what" he responded.
Harry looked and saw a boy his age standing before him. The boy was tall and lanky, with his black hair in the shape of a buzz cut.
"Are you okay" the boy asked "I saw that oaf pushing you around."
"Y-you should go" Harry said.
The boy laughed "I'm not scared of that idiot. Now, come on. I'll get you cleaned up."
Harry's eyes widened in shock "Really?"
The boy smiled "Really."
Rishi saw a boy. Bruised, and beaten. A boy who's cousin called him a freak. And no one was a freak in Rishi's eyes. His mom told him that everyone was unique in their own ways.
"Need any help" he told the boy.
"W-what" the boy responded.
Rishi got a closer look at the boy. He looked around his age but was small with messy black hair.
"Are you okay" Rishi asked "I saw that oaf pushing you around."
"Y-you should go" the boy said.
He laughed "I'm not scared of that idiot. Now, come on. I'll get you cleaned up."
The boy's eyes widened in shock "Really?"
Rishi smiled "Really."
"Expecto Patronum" both boys yelled together. And instead of seeing nothing emerge from their wands, a shiny mist came out of Rishi's. And for Harry, he got to gaze upon is corporeal Patronus.
Harry found himself face-to-face with a panther. It was 6 feet long, taking up almost all of the room's width. Harry suspected that it would be black in real life, but this one had the typical silver Patronus color.
"Holy shit pup" Sirius gaped "Good job."
Lupin glared at Sirius for his language but agreed "Well done Harry. As to you, Rishi."
Harry smirked "I guess I win."
Remembering the best, Rishi decided to improvise "Well, technically, we tied since it was incorporeal."
"Didn't we agree that if we tie, whoever produced more wins" a happy Harry asked with fake confusion "So wouldn't I win?"
Rishi realized this "To quote Sirius, 'fuck'"
The Patronus training continued on. Lupin told Harry to practice using the Patronus to send messages. According to Lupin, Dumbledore taught his Order of the Phoenix this strategy. Normally, Harry didn't agree with Dumbledore but had to agree that using a Patronus as a messenger was a smart idea.
Lupin tasked Rishi with trying to create a corporeal Patronus. Lupin was confident that by the end of break, Rishi could manage to do it. Also, in accordance with their bet, Rishi (and Parvati, once she found out) informed their parents of their relationship. That gave Harry a good laugh.
"Well" Harry smirked victoriously "Best of luck. Hope to see you again."
Parvati shook her head "Don't listen to him. You'll be fine."
"I certainly hope so" Rishi sighed "Let's do this."
Rishi and Parvati walked over to their parents who were discussing something. Harry walked over to Sirius and Lupin who were nearby. Harry wanted to hear every word.
"Hi Amma. Hi Nanna" Rishi said "Hi Arjun uncle. Hi Lakshmi auntie."
"Hello Rishi" Mrs Patil said warmly "What brings you by?"
Mr Gopal knew his son well and could tell that something was up "What's going on?"
"Um" Rishi began "You see... uh..."
"Me and Rishi are dating" Parvati told them.
Harry quietly chuckled "He was that scared?"
Sirius nodded gravely "I can see that. You do not know how many times Deepa has tried to set me up with someone."
Mr Patil looked at Rishi "Really?"
"Yes uncle" Rishi responded.
Mr Gopal shrugged "Okay then. Don't do anything dumb."
Mrs Patil looked like all her dreams had come true "I knew you two would be a good match! Ever since Parvati returned from her second year, I could tell that..."
"Mom" Parvati said, embarrassed out of her mind.
Mr Patil sighed "I know you're a good lad. But if you hurt her, I swear that I will hunt you down."
Rishi nodded "Don't worry. Padma already threatened me. And I'd never hurt her."
Parvati gave him a smile at that which coincided with the final adult speaking "This is good to know."
She only said one sentence but Rishi was still frightened with what was to come.
Harry was very happy with how that went. He even now, Rishi's face after his mom's words made him laugh.
Harry was on his last day of vacation so Sirius and Lupin went all out. Sirius tested Harry on his Patronus messenger while Lupin helped Rishi with his Patronus. They doing longer distance messages when Lupin came running "Rishi got his Patronus."
Eager to see, they ran back to see. When they arrived, Lupin gestured for Rishi to do the charm.
"Expecto Patronum" Rishi said. Out of his wand came a silvery coyote. The coyote was nowhere near as big as Harry's panther. It was about 4 feet long. Even still, it looked powerful.
Sirius gave Rishi a grin "Congrats!"
Rishi pumped his first, tired "Yay. I'm gonna take a nap now."
Rishi walked over to the couch in a daze and within seconds, was asleep. Harry was worried "Is he okay Moony?"
"Creating a Patronus is very hard" Lupin conceded "The more he practices, the less tired he'll be. I'll help you guys practice in school."
"This was fun guys" Harry smiled "Thanks. What else can you teach us?"
Sirius looked mischievous "Lots, lots more."
Thanks for reading. Please leave a review.