(1939-04-05) The Light Within
Details for The Light Within
Summary: Rena meets with Graham at his home to work on learning the Patronus charm.
Date: 1939/04/05
Location: Cohen Residence

It is mid-day and the house of Cohen (well, the only house of Cohen) is in full swing. Graham moves about preparing things. He makes a bit of lunch - more than for just one person - and also returns to the living room, which has been moved about. Furniture has been shifted, and mats laid down. The outside work moves about as it always has as he stands back to make sure everything is in good shape before moving back to the kitchen a moment.

Rena arrives in the more conventional way today. However, she doesn't bother with knocking on the door like a polite guest. After all, when one has permission to apparate into another's house, the formalities of knocking can usually be foregone under the circumstances.
Waltzing into the room like she owns the place, the petite redhead is apparently ready and raring to go. "Ello, Graham. See you've got all the breakables out of my way," Rena jokes, setting her hat aside on a chair and unbuttoning her suit jacket.

Graham peeks his head back from around the kitchen at the sound of Rena's appearance. So few have such access to his house that it can be only one of two now. He smiles as he spots the other, and he chuckles: "Oh, hello Rena, hows it going? I am just about done with lunch. I thought a quick bite before practice would be good. The spells's a tad trying." He is still lighthearted though, as he moves out to look at the living room. "I've been giving Rhyeline defense lessons - so had the setup all in place. Think it is good enough?" He will ask

"'Ard to say," Rena replies dryly, looking at her surroundings with a sweep of her dark-eyed gaze. "Since I 'ave a reputation for leaving an unintentional path of destruction in my wake. And that's when I'm unarmed." Again, she's kidding… mostly.
"If you think it's for the best. I'm not sure food's going to 'elp it go down any better. At least it ain't like apparition where something goes wrong and leaves you feeling sick to your stomach for a while." Rena chuckles, coming over to the table and tugging the sleeves of her blouse straight with her fingers.

"Yeah, it isn't like that's more mentally taxing than this one is," Graham will say. He moves back towards the kitchen and is gone for only a moment before bringing two plates and some drinks. He will move into the living room and plop down on his sofa, now a bit away from where it normally is. He will offer the other plate and a drink to her. "Lets keep our destructive path to my house though, eh?" He teases in return. "So first part of the lesson while your eating, as I'm sure you know since you passed NEWTS.. the words alone aren't good enough for this spell. It requires a powerful positive thought behind it for it to work, so try to think of something." He says easily, giving a smile as he thinks she will be brilliant.

"Peter Pan," Rena offers with a smirk, looking at Graham curiously as she begins to dig into her food. She can't help but wonder if he knows anything about it. Just in case though, she explains: "In this lovely Muggle play about a magical boy who can fly… 'e teaches other children to fly so that they can come with 'im to Neverland - where nobody 'as to grow up. First 'e has to throw fairy dust on them; but then, they /'ave/ to think lovely thoughts to lift them up so that they can fly."
Smiling a bit wistfully, Rena returns to her food as she ponders what thought she might focus on. Perhaps a bit oddly, she comes to a stop and casts a furtive glance in Graham's direction when she seemingly strikes the memory that would serve her best. "I… think I know what I should use."

Graham looks a tad quizzical, but he has at least heard of it before. He smiles, getting a bit more information: "Yes, something like that. Except it has to be a positive and powerful thought. And if YOU are flying after you cast, then you've done something wrong." He says, giving a wink as he eats and drinks a bit himself. It is a moment which goes by in silence while he lets her think before she does. "Excellent." He will set the food and drink on the table. "Okay, so practice first with no wand.. Expecto Patronum." He says the word carefully making sure each syllable can be heard.

Rena giggles at Graham. She may be clumsy and insecure with her magic at times, but she's not /usually/ that terrible at it. Still, it's hard to put anything past this girl…
"Well, at least it 'asn't got any Hayches (H's) in it," she remarks a bit wryly. "Barring that, there's little I can do to mess up the pronunciation and destroy the building." But still, that being said, she says the words very carefully. One syllable at a time, at first; then graduating to blending the syllables together; and then onto fully pronouncing the words as they should be: "Expecto Patronum."

"You will do fine, I'm sure. It takes practice is all," Graham says. He will push back so he can stand up. Once more, he isn't sure exactly where else to start as he listens to her speaking the incantation. "That's good. Just like that." He says with a smile as she speaks it clearly. "So, I suppose we should try it with the wand now, so focus on your powerful thought and give it a try." He will step back so he can watch her closely.

Again, Rena gets a sort of funny look on her face when the powerful thought is mentioned. Her cheeks tinge with a blush, and she avoids looking directly at Graham as she also rises to her feet. It's not an unhappy look… just a little flushed and possibly shy.
Withdrawing her demure little Rowan wand, Rena runs her hand along the smooth curve of it for a moment. Then taking a firm stance, she closes her eyes briefly, drawing in a slow, calm breath. A gentle smile begins to form on her lips… and then, her eyes open again with a confident glint: "Expecto Patronum!"

A blue-ish white vapor seems to blossom out from the tip of her wand, spraying outward, like a shield of light. Although Rena doesn't move, she absolutely beams at the sight.

Graham will stand just to her side, watching her. The expression on her face and the blush gets an odd look, but if the thought works then so be it, whatever she is thinking of. He will watch as her wand is drawn and keep his silence until she's ready: "Keep your thought focused." He will encourage as she speaks the words and her wand obeys. The form isn't solid, but even this can repel monsters long enough for getting to safety. "Well done Rena! That is great, really!" He will reach out and squeeze her shoulder lightly.

Bright and sunshiny, Rena can't help but feel pretty proud of herself for her first try being so successful. Focus is hard to keep in check, and she finally drops her wand back to her side, allowing the Patronus charm to fizzle and dissipate: "I did it, Graham! I did it!" She exclaims, scarcely able to contain her excitement.
In the moment of wild enthusiasm, Rena turns and pounces her friend with an exuberant hug. Realizing she's probably FAR too excited about the whole thing, she drops back with a slightly embarrassed half-smile: "S-sorry. I just didn't believe I'd do so well on a first try is all."

The older Auror watches her and the vapor patronus as it stands. She seems to be able to hold it for a good long moment before she finally lets it dissipate. Graham will turn towards her more fully now to speak but he is tackled first but he's not angry instead laughing and even returning the hug a brief moment "You did great, you should be proud of yourself. It is okay." He says after a moment.

Of course, the spell is an almighty energy sink, but Rena's joyful exuberance just seems to gather momentum instead of falling away. "I guess I managed to think of the right thing," she laughs, trying to pull herself back together and come back down to earth. "Truth is, I know you said I'd be making a mistake if I wound up flying - but when I think about it, I feel like I /am/!" She exclaims, her dark eyes shining with emotion.
Then, seeming to remember herself, Rena looks slightly abashed once more and lapses into silence. Quickly looking away, she clears her throat and asks in a smaller, more controlled voice: "I should try again, yea?"

Graham will listen, and he cannot help but continue to smile himself. "That is good. That means its a powerful thought. Whatever the thought is." He of course wonders what it is, looking curious to her a moment. But he isn't sure if he should ask as these things can be very personal. "Yes, take a moment or two just to refocus and than give it another go, see if you can match or even perhaps better that first try." He smiles.

Rena had been going to give it another whirl right away, but Graham admonishes her to wait another minute or two. And so, the young, over-eager woman lowers her wand with a faint smile. Her glance catches Graham's expression briefly, and her own falls a little.
"I… You know I care a lot about you as a friend and all," Rena says timidly, now holding her wand in both hands. "I don't like to hurt your feelings by bringing up things that might make you un'appy, Graham. Especially when it's something that makes /me/ so glad I could bust. Suppose I feel like it's a bit selfish, is all." She lamely tries to explain herself a little better.

"I know you do, and it goes both ways." Graham says to the first part, though he watching and wondering what has brought this on. He only realizes she might mean the thought she had been using when she continues to speak of things. "It is appreciated really, Rena but I think.. I am okay - or at least much better. I cannot hide from such topics forever. I've got multiple weddings to go to after all." He says with a chuckle, though he looks to her more fully: "I was going to ask.. I mean about your thought. You don't have to tell me of course, but I enjoy seeing you so thrilled. You were practically bouncing." He grins, not teasing but serious.

Rena watches Graham with cautious concern. She wants to be absolutely sure that he means what he's said, and isn't just trying to be kind for her sake. The last thing she wants to do is rub salt in the relatively fresh wound of his breaking up with Sorcha.
Reassured by his words, Rena can't help but smile. Graham, more than anyone else, knows how rocky things have been in the background of her relationship with Takeshi. After all, he not only brought them together with his meddlesome matchmaking, he also saved Rena from making a serious mistake. "Bouncing is right enough. It makes me want to dance," she admits, keeping her voice level with some effort. "I've been so worried for so long that Takeshi didn't want anything to do with …with children. And I was too stupid and afraid to ask… And just out of the blue 'e tells me that 'e does want to 'ave children with me. 'E really does… Oh, Graham, I don't think I ever knew what real happiness felt like before." She finishes breathlessly, tears shimmering in her eyes - the happy kind.

Graham falls silent, just wishing to watch and listen a moment as she speaks. He will nod as she starts, and his smile only grows as she continues on. "I am so glad he spoke to you, that is a big thing to decide on. And I somehow knew you'd want children." He says warmly towards the other. Seeing the tears in her eyes, he cannot help but reach over, giving her another hug: "No wonder you did so well. That is very good and very strong. You keep hold of that, hm?" He then steps back. And figuring it would be wrong of him to not speak in return, he says "I haven't tried my patronus since the split." he starts but it isn't a sad talk just a truth. "The memory I used was of Sorcha and I it was just before I went to Azkaban actually, and I was paying my dues for winding up in the hospital by helping her pick lavender." he smiles the thought isn't ruined for him at least though the current time is odd. "I think she knew that I needed a happy thought to be safe, it was the first time we kissed I mean proper kissing not pecks on the check." he smiles

Still positively beaming with a warm glow that just stands out all over her, Rena returns the hug warmly. It's a joy that she just can't keep tied up inside. If she ever does manage to create a corporeal patronus from that feeling, it'll probably dance across the sky when (and if) it happens.
Still, her expression softens a great deal as she listens to Graham's story. It seems to sadden her to know that the memory he used is now rather poignant, although still happy enough. She rubs his arm fondly with her hand, giving him a truly sympathetic look and smile before getting herself into position again. Just as before, she relaxes and concentrates before firmly stating: "Expecto Patronum!"

Once again, the silvery-blue shield of misty light flows out from the tip of her wand. It isn't quite as strong or large, this time, but it's still a success.

"It is okay, really Rena, I have good friends by me and things will be better." Graham says giving the other a true smile yes it still hurts a bit and that particular memory is strong and so also amps up the emotions behind it but if they are no longer happy that doesn't seem to be known. He reaches to his sleeve removing his wand but pauses watching her work the spell again. "It is tiring, but still it worked and no unhappy flying." he chuckles.

This time, it isn't distraction that causes Rena to lose her grip on the spell, but mild exhaustion. It begins to kick in quite soon after the light begins to glow at its fullest. All too soon, it fades away like a breath of smoke.
Chuckling a little breathlessly, Rena smiles at Graham and moves over to the chair where her hat is sitting. Moving it aside, she drops onto the seat to regain a little of her lost stamina: "Still, not bad for a first lesson, yea?"

Graham will watch her closely as she holds the spell for as long as she can before it tires her out and she moves to sit down. He will move along with her in case she needs help but she doesn't seem to "It was brilliant, most people don't even get wisps their first try and you got way more - and twice." he says he will walk to the kitchen coming back with a proper glass of water offering it over. "It will get better, promise and you'll know what animal form it takes." he says smiling.

Accepting the glass of water from Graham with a grateful smile, Rena's features show that she is plainly tired, but extremely happy with what she's just accomplished. "I couldn't 'ave done it without you, though. Credit where it's due, Graham," she says warmly between sips. "I…wouldn't be anywhere I am without you right now, luv." She adds more seriously, looking up at her friend with genuine gratitude in her eyes. "Maybe I never said it before, but I'm saying it now with all my heart: Thank you."

"You must also give credit to your mind, it is very strong to hold a powerful memory and to so quickly learn to channel it into that spell. Many witches and wizards cannot pull that spell off even in the slightest." Graham says to her in truth though he listens to the rest of her words and cannot help but smile "I'm quite glad to have run into you at the ministry that first day as well." he says sincerely "Your welcome, i'm glad to be of help and hug of course having a great friend is always nice."

Rena and Graham spend the rest of a very pleasant afternoon together, enjoying each other's company. These are dark times in the world… well, both worlds. On either side of the veil, there are a lot of shadows and deep uncertainties. But, one thing does stay quite certain in the face of such shadows, and that is friendship. If that isn't a bright little light to poke a few holes in the darkness, nothing is.

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