October 16th, 2003, 11:09 pm
Please post Feed back Here Please! (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=622181)
Disclaimer: I am not the creator of any characters or places or anything else... Except Eliza!
October 16th, 2003, 11:11 pm
“Dear Elizabeth Potter,
I believe that Remus has sent you an owl concerning Sirius’s death. We all miss him greatly here, and hopefully we will soon have you among our number again. You should remember the promised you gave to come and teach if we couldn’t find anyone to teach, after Remus and Alastor taught and after a ministry official taught and completely disrupted the school, Voldemort had returned and we still didn’t have any one to teach? Well, Elizabeth. That time has come. Hogwarts needs you. Here in England and Scotland. Voldemort has returned and there is no one here to teach the students proper Defense Against the Dark Arts.
Sincerely, Albus Dumbledore”
Elizabeth sighed as she reread the letter. So Remus and Moody have taught and left. Well, she knew Moody hadn’t really taught, but it remained the same to her.
She groaned as she placed her head in her hands. “Here in Scotland” Dumbledore had written. Elizabeth knew what he meant. He meant that trying to recruit foreigners for the Order wasn’t what he needed her to do. But that meant she had to return to Hogwarts. Returning to England would be hard enough, but Hogwarts? The place absolutely reeked of memories she would rather not think of. Not that they weren’t pleasant. Just every thing that had happened since then hurt.
Elizabeth took a deep breath to steady herself, then she whispered, “I don’t have a choice, besides, I’m a Potter, born and raised. I’ve practically been bred to face this, it seems. Well, that’s the way James always put it, ‘Just because it hurts, Eliza, doesn’t mean I won’t face it. Stand strong, my dear sister. Stand strong until we meet again.’”
But that had been the last time they’d seen each other. Two weeks later, James was dead and Elizabeth had sent the letter to Dumbledore promising that, not thinking it would happen, half hoping it wouldn’t.
But now the time had come for Elizabeth to return. She couldn’t very well take back her promise to Dumbledore, she owed to much to him. Her reply to Dumbledore was:
“Dear Professor Dumbledore,
I’ll take the position as Defense Against the Dark Arts, as I promised many years ago. I can’t promise that I will turn the pupils in to Aurors and dueling champions, but I will teach them to the best of my ability, I can promise you that.
That looked about right. Of course, it didn’t hold much feeling in it, but she wasn’t a brilliant writer, so it was the best they were going to get.
Dumbledore’s reply came quickly.
Excellent. I had hoped you would keep your word despite everything else. I will need you in Hogwarts by August twenty-ninth. Do not stop at Order headquarters, unless you wish to meet your nephew. You may if you so wish, but he’s there until the beginning of term.
At the bottom, there was a post script, “As you are to be a teacher at Hogwarts, we should be on a first name basis.”
Despite herself, Elizabeth had to laugh at that, as she sat in her dimly lit kitchen at the small table. Dumbledore had called Elizabeth Elizabeth since she had first spoken to him, and Remus had sent her a letter explaining how Dumbledore had finally gotten him to call him Albus.
“I don’t call Professor Dumbledore Albus all the time, still now, but it seems to amuse him quite a bit, I’m not the only one, Hagrid doesn’t often call him Albus either, he doesn’t quite find it respectful enough, and you know Hagrid, he’s quite protective of the man.”
Elizabeth slid out of her thoughts and looked around the small room. It, like the rest of the house was small and rather shabby. Elizabeth didn’t lack money, she just never wanted to place down a permanent home down until she was married, but that wasn’t likely as she didn’t get close to anyone since her brother and sister-in-law’s death. She had left the country shortly before then, as James had sent her away, afraid that if she didn’t leave, she was going to be endangered.
She had left reluctantly, looking back all the while. Now, nearly fifteen years later, she sat holding the letter sending her back. It wasn’t from James, as he’d promised to write to her to bring her back and now he wasn’t living.
She thought of her job. The position had been rumored to be jinxed for as long as she could remember, but at the times of the war, the position had been harder to fill than it had been in the gap between the war because people had been afraid that if they were filling that position, they were in more danger than if they weren’t. Of course, Elizabeth knew that, and now that it came time to be the one filling that position, she found she didn’t care.
November 1st, 2003, 10:58 pm
Elizabeth looked around the old pub. She was looking to see if there was anyone familiar. No one, except the bartender was. She pulled both of her trucks out of the fireplace all the way and set them to the side of it. She went over to Tom and got herself a room for the night as she gazed around the pub. It hadn’t really changed since her last visit. Even the atmosphere was the same, a sort of wary casualness to it that often accompanied the war.
She walked up to Tom, the bartender and got a room. He glanced up at her oddly when she told him her name to put on the register.
“Potter, eh? Haven’t seen you in a long while. In fact I’ve seen your nephew several times since you left and he was getting his school things! You left before James and Lily...”
“Yes,” Elizabeth answered quickly, not wishing to discuss it already. She was trying to adjust, and she had just gotten there a matter of moments before.
The old bartender nodded, “Will you help me get your things up to your room? That way you won’t have to worry about anything happening to them.”
Elizabeth nodded as she eyed the pub quickly once more. “Yes, I will. You don’t have any employees?”
“We have three doing the food and one serving it. What with magic, you know we don’t really need many. We also have two freed house-elves here, cleaning . Good thing that they’re free or we might lose them do to people leaving their clothes behind.”
They went and took her trunks to room six quite quickly as both of them had levitated the trunks.
Back in the noisy pub, Elizabeth ordered shepherd’s pie. She ate slowly as she looked carefully around the pub and listening to the conversations going on around her.
“I knew Fudge was lying to us all. He’s always been protective of his position,” said a brown haired wizard at the table to the right of hers.
“Well, I’m surprised he hasn’t lost his job, now that everyone knows that Fudge has called Dumbledore senile,” said a sensibly dressed witch next to the wizard.
The slightly older man at their table sighed and said sadly, “I suppose that Fudge won’t be able to get us through the up and coming war, now will he? But I doubt he’ll retire and allow someone more suited for the job to come forward.”
The brown haired wizard laughed softly, “You see that’s his fear.”
Elizabeth bit her lip as she listened, an old habit that she had had for nearly as long as she remembered. She diverted her attention to the table behind her, which she didn’t dare glance at as she was afraid to let anyone know that she was listening.
“I spoke with Molly this morning at the meeting, she said that he’s very quiet,” said the soft voice of a man.
“Quiet? He was quiet last year!” said a young woman’s voice quietly.
A deep voice answered, saying, “Yes, but now he’s very quiet.”
The woman’s voice said, “Was he always like that?”
“No,” answered the soft male voice, “He wasn’t ever this quiet. He does have reason to be.”
Elizabeth raised an eyebrow at her plate. She didn’t know who they were talking about. She quickly finished her food and stood up to go to her rooms for her key to Gringotts. She found it in her trunk in her money bag which had a few spare sickles in it. She had had just enough money in her pockets for the meal and the rooms.
She started down the stairs after locking her door behind her. At the foot of the stairs, she came face to face with someone. She eyed them closely and gasped.
November 9th, 2003, 1:11 am
The person stared at her for a few moments, and then gave her a startled smile and said, “Elizabeth Potter?”
She raised an eyebrow at the formality of this greeting and answered as calmly as she could muster, “Remus Lupin.”
Remus stared at her, apparently startled, then, “Eliza!”
“Remus!”, she replied, enthusiastically and hugged him tightly as she had when they had last seen each other.
But, things were different now. Remus looked a lot older than Elizabeth herself did. He had a couple of premature wrinkles and some gray hair. His eyes were sadder, and his face looked as if it had been arranged in a more solemn expression then it now held.
“So, now you’re back to England, and you didn’t owl me?”
“I’ve only been here less than an hour,” she protested as they walked toward her table.
“Yes, but no warning of it?”
“I- oh, sorry, I was kind of overwelmed about coming here and it kind of slipped my mind,” she said as she sat down at her table, and he sat at the table that had been behind her. She looked at the others there, realizing that it had been Remus’ voice that was the soft one. Also at the table was a young women with pink hair and a heart shaped face, and a black man with a gold earing.
“Why were you here, then, now?” she asked as she studied the strangers.
“Dumbledore said you would be arriving around this time, and he wants you to come with us, unless your going straight to Hogwarts. Besides, he thought I might want to see you again.”
“Dumbledore, he tends to do that type of thing, doesn’t he?”
He nodded and then jumped, “I haven’t introduce you all, have I?”
The young woman laughed and grinned, “No, you haven’t, but we can do it ourselves since you’ve forgotten your manners. I’m Tonks, just call me Tonks,” she said firmly.
“Nice to meet you Tonks. Wait, is your mother Andromeda?”
Tonks grinned, “Yes, she is.”
The other man grinned, “And I’m Kingsley Shacklebolt. You are?”
“Oh, I’m Elizabeth. Elizabeth Potter.”
“I see, are you related to young Potter?”
“Yes, she is,” said Remus, “He’s her nephew.”
“He doesn’t know you, does he?”
Elizabeth shook her head and studied the chair she was sitting sideways in, “No, I left before... that night, and this is my first time back. I’ll be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts.”
“Good luck,” said Tonks fervently.
“I taught and I lived,” Remus pointed out.
“Yes well the past few years haven’t been so lucky! Last year, Umbridge got attacked by centaurs. The year before that, Mad-Eye was stuck in his trunk for ten months and the imposter was Kissed. Before that, Remus taught and resigned. Before that, Lockhart lost his memory, and before that, Quirrell died.”
“Comfort her, why don’t you, Tonks,” said Kingsley smiling slightly, “But, of course, I agree with one part, good luck.”
“Eliza, are you going with us or are you going straight to Hogwarts?”
November 17th, 2003, 11:57 pm
A/N: I just realised I hadn't posted in a while, so here it is, if only it's half. Please post feedback!
Chapter Four: Part One
Elizabeth looked down and carefully examined the floor, “I’m going to Hogwarts, Remus. At least after I pick up a few books from Florish & Blotts. I’m going to get my office set up. Besides I-I have a few boxes to look through,” when she looked up, she noticed Remus looking tired.
He sighed, “Liz, we can’t do it alone.”
She gave a half-groan and said stubbornly, “I can.”
He smiled at her faintly, “You may, although I doubt it, Liz. But we can’t.”
“Who is we?” she asked, emphasizing ‘is’.
“Better not be me.”
“Oh, it isn’t. But of course, he’s managing better than I had hoped. Or at least he’s pretending to. But his friends must be helping him. At least with Sirius.”
She understood and looked back down and whispered, “I’m not ready. Sorry, I’m just... not.”
“That’s okay, but eventually he’ll find out who you are, or he’ll have an idea. He seems to have that talent.”
“I’ll tell him Remus, and I’ll tell him as soon as I can. But I have to adjust, Remus. I have to. I can’t do anything like this before I do. You should know that,” she said, seriously, emphasizing each work slowly.
“I do Liz, but really, he needs someone.”
“Why not you?”
Remus shrugged and gave her a sad smile, “Because it’s your obligation. If not to Harry, then to James. And if not to James, then to Lily.”
She stared at him as though he grew a second head.
“Honestly Liz, they wouldn’t have wanted either of you to stay alone.”
“I’m not alone, and neither is he.”
“Technically, you are.”
“But, technically, we aren’t.”
“You’re being difficult.”
“I know I am,” she replied calmly.
November 21st, 2003, 12:17 am
A/N:Here's the second half. Please post feedback!
Remus sighed and stood up, followed by Tonks as she brushed her pink hair lightly with her hand, and Kingsley. Elizabeth stood up quickly.
“Well,” Remus said quietly, “If you won’t come to...er, I mean, with us, then will you come sooner or later?”
“I’ll come later,” she said firmly.
“Really? Well you probably don’t want to wait to meet Sirius’ mum, do you? I mean you could come with us, meet her, meet the lovely houself ,you wouldn’t believe his manners, and a few others. Then you could go to Hogwarts,” said Tonks cheerfully.
Remus snorted and Shaklebolt hid a grin with his hand. Eliza crooked an eyebrow at her, and answered rather sarcastically, “Oh, that sounds like a wonderful proposition, but I must pass. I’ve heard about the elf and Mrs. Black, and I must say, I need to get adjusted first, before I meet two such interesting people. Sort of.”
Tonks glanced at Remus who said quickly, “ I didn’t tell her about them that much, but she heard plenty at school about them, and at her home when Sirius went to live with them. She’s also heard about Kreacher’s partial responsibility with... with what happened with Sirius.”
Tonks nodded. Eliza grimanced and said, “I’ve got to get my books before the shops close, I suppose. So, goodbye.”
Tonks grinned, “’Bye.”
Remus gave her a smile and hugged her, saying, “Keep out of trouble, Liza.”
She rolled her eyes at him and grinned saying, “I’m a Potter, that’s impossible.”
Remus laughed, slightly sadly, “Don’t I know it.”
Kingsley Shacklebolt shook her hand a said, “Goodbye,” rather solemnly.
She waved to them and went into the empty back of the pub, out side, then up to the stone wall and stared at it for a moment. This place reminded her of one thing that had happened when she was young. Here she had been when she first heard of Lord Voldemort. Then, people didn’t fear the name, but that didn’t last very long. She had been here, about to go in during the summer before her first year, and then her father had tapped her mother on the shoulder and whispered, hoping the children did not hear (although they did), “A man has just murdered a large group people just outside of here, a dark wizard, who said he was ‘Lord Voldemort’.” But today, there was no shouting, no father running to see if his wife and children were okay, just her, alone, staring at a wall she had stared at many times. She took out her wand and tapped the wall. It became an entry way, and she went in, looking around.
November 27th, 2003, 8:38 pm
The cobblestone street, with all of the shops on either side, the people jostling to get to their destinations, the talking, the laughter, all brought Eliza out of her memories. She made a beeline for Gringotts, for her vault still held her gold, and the amount she had was not going to be enough for her books and her other shopping.
She passed Flourish & Blotts, cauldron stores, the apothecaries, the ice cream shops, the quidditch shops, the menageries, what looked to be a joke shop called Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, the robe shops, Ollivanders, and several other places, as she glanced at each of them and noted where she was going to stop at.
Once she got to the white marble building of Gringotts, she stopped a goblin to take her to her vault. Through the wild ride she went, and stopped at her vault, which the goblin unlocked. Through the gloom, she peered in, and gathered a bag full, which she stuck in her pocket. And with a parting glance, she got in to the cart, and enjoyed the ride back up.
Squinting through the sunlight, she quickly found a robe shop. She got three robes, as her robes were rivaling Remus’s in condition. Next she stopped at the joke shop she had earlier spied. She had shared her brother’s love of pranks and had been in the other joke shop she had seen, but had never seen this one in her life, so decided to stop in.
The joke shop had a few people in it, two red-haired young men who were identical to each other, one behind the counter and one roaming among the customers with a grin on his face; a red haired girl, about fifteen years of age, apparently their sister, was helping them; a red haired women over seeing the customers; and a father and his daughter looking at a package labeled “Canary Creams; two sixteen year old boys, one black and the other sandy haired gathering up packages under a signed labeled “Skiving Snack boxes” and a rather round-faced sixteen year old boy talking to the fifteen-year old girl helping her brothers.
As Elizabeth closed the door behind her, a bell tinkered, and the twin that was roaming around turned to her, grinning, saying, “Welcome to the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes! I’m Fred!”
Elizabeth smiled back and said, “Thanks,” and looked at the nearest packages to her.
They were fireworks, and it said on the sign slightly beneath them that they could last for several weeks, even months, unless properly stopped, but that they would multiply when being hexed. She picked up a package and examined it. She turned to Fred, and said, “Do these truly work?”
But, it was the sixteen year old boy, talking to the girl, who answered, “Do they ever! They used them to drive out last Defense Against the Dark Arts out!”
Elizabeth stared. “Just the fireworks drove her out?”
The boy shook his head, “No, but that was just one of the things. She was driven out by centaurs, the poltergeist, the twins,” he gestured to Fred and his brother behind the counter, “and their pranks.”
She raised an eyebrow at Fred, who said, “She was trying to take over Hogwarts and we had to act!”
Elizabeth grinned at him and said, “Well, if these work the way that they’re supposed too, I wish my brother and his friends could have seen this.”
“Who’s your brother? And why can’t he see this?” piped up the girl.
Elizabeth sighed, “He’s dead.”
Fred looked at her sadly, “I’m sorry.”
Eliza smiled sadly, “You didn’t kill him. Unless your Voldemort, you didn’t kill him.”
Fred winced and Elizabeth gave him a look.
She began to wander some more, and came face to face with the woman.
“Hello, I’m Molly Weasley.”
“Hi! I’m... I’m Elizabeth.”
Molly gave her an odd look and smiled, “I’m Fred, George and Ginny’s mum.”
Elizabeth nodded, “Apparently they like to cause trouble.”
She laughed, “They do.”
Elizabeth picked up one of the sheets of parchment, which apparently was bewitched so that the person writing on it’s ink would not ever dry and would smear. Then the names of these people registered.
“You know Remus, don’t you?”
Molly looked startled. “Yes.”
“Well, did he say he had to meet an Elizabeth today?”
“Actually, yes, he did.”
“Oh! Welcome home, then!”
“You’re welcome. Are you coming with them?”
“No, I’m going straight to Hogwarts tomorrow.”
“Are you? Well, that’s nice. Good luck. I mean, the Defense teachers never last long.”
“Thank you, I’m sure I’ll need it.”
Molly smiled, and said, “Are you stocking up so you can fight the students back?”
“No, I’m stocking up for defense. The need for pranks runs in the family.”
A/N: Please Post feed back! And also, this will start picking up very soon, trust me! :p
November 29th, 2003, 7:11 pm
Molly smiled slightly at this proclamation, “Does it?”
“Yes, it does.” Elizabeth’s hazel eyes were dancing.
“Well, then I won’t question that.”
“You best not, I mean, you never know when a pocket full of jokes and pranks will save your life,” she said solemnly.
“Truly?” asked Molly, suddenly looking startled.
“Ask your children.”
Molly stared at Eliza for a long time before she turned and called Fred to her. She replayed what Elizabeth had said to her, and asked what she had told her too.
“So, is it true?”
“Mum, what’s gotten into you? You’re acting... odd.”
Molly sighed, and said looking at Elizabeth and Fred, “Yes, I know. It’s just... all that’s going on, I’m allowed to be worried.”
Elizabeth left the shop ten minutes later with a sack full of jokes and a grin on her face. Neville, the boy who had been talking to the girl called Ginny, had accidentally set of a package of firecrackers. How he had managed that feat was beyond Elizabeth.
Elizabeth’s next stop was Flourish & Blotts, where she picked up the books she would need.
After that, she went back into the Leaky Cauldron and collapsed on the bed, tired, but full of thought.
It took her over an hour and a half to fall asleep, as she was thinking of all that had happened that day, starting from when she dragged the trunks into the fire, ending with her watching one of her future students accidentally set of a group of firecrackers.
The next morning she woke up at eight. It was later than she usually did, but not too late. As she dragged her self out of bed, there was a knock on the door. When Elizabeth got to the door, Tom gave her a tray of tea and toast and a grin.
Elizabeth set the tray on her bedside table and took a piece of toast off the plate. As she ate it, she walked to the window and stared out, into muggle London.
After she had finished eating, she put on one of her new robes and put away her old, worn one, and put her shopping into the emptier of the two trunks. She levitated one, and dragged the other down, out of her room and down the stairs. She checked out with Tom, and dragged the trunks back to the fire.
“Will you need any help, Miss Potter?” he inquired softly.
“No, thank you Tom. I managed to get these half way across the world, nearly, I can get these to Hogwarts.”
“Very well, Miss Elizabeth, stay safe.”
“You too, Tom. You too,” she took a pinch of the floo powder out of a small pouch in her pocket, and whispered, “Staff Room, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” She stepped into the fire and was gone.
When she got out of the fire, she dragged her trunks out and dusted herself off quickly. The ash came off freely. She straightened up and gazed around the room. She was alone, so she left the trunks by the fire, and opened the door and stepped out.
“Well, well, well,” said one of the statues, peering at her.
“Where have you come from?” asked the other.
“A place you will never go,” said Elizabeth, slightly annoyed.
“Ah, you’re probably right. They won’t let us leave. We’ve been here for about 976 years.”
“Is that when this was built?” she asked excitedly.
“Oh, no! We replaced these two dimwits who let in a large group of rowdy students.”
“Oh. Well, I’d better go. Goodbye,” and with that she walked down the corridor. Those statues were rather odd, she realized. They seemed rather bad tempered to a point, but bored also. She had encountered them once in her third year, but they had been arguing so much that they barely noticed her.
When she got to the gargoyle blocking the headmasters office. She stared at it for a moment and then looked down the corridor one way, then the other. Standing there, was Dumbledore.
“Professor!” she gasped in surprise.
“Hello Elizabeth, I presume your trip was fine?” Dumbledore asked smiling. He turned to the statue and said calmly, “Chocolate Frogs.”
As the gargoyle jumped to the side, revealing a moving spiral staircase he said, “I was going to do one of the Weasley’s creations, but I’ll wait until next year. They’re so new, and just causing a ruckus, it’s best not to remind anyone just yet,” he winked at her as the stepped on to the stairs. They were spun slowly until they reached the door.
They went into the office. Dumbledore sat behind the desk and gestured to a chair, “Please sit, Elizabeth.”
She met his eyes as she sat down.
He looked at her carefully for a moment, in one of those penetrating stares Elizabeth had gone through several times.
“Well, I see your taking this job,” said Dumbledore.
“What choice did I have? I promised I would.”
“Yes, but the conditions you gave were rather...different.”
Elizabeth met his eyes and said, calmly, “Remus promised he would teach as soon as the danger became more clear, that the Dark was growing stronger. Alastor Moody promised he would teach after Remus did, and after the signs that the Dark was about to rise to power. I promised I would teach after they did. I also set the condition that you had to have a year when the ministry had to send you a teacher first. I preferred to clean up their mess than not.”
“You always preferred to prove the ministry wrong,” observed Dumbledore.
“I did and I had reason to.”
“Well, now we’ve established that, next order of business. Your cat.”
“My cat?” Elizabeth stared at him for a moment, the realized, “Oh! My cat!”
“Yes. Your cat had kittens shortly after you left, after the caretaker’s cat died.”
Elizabeth grinned, “Miss Petulina died?! Wonderful!”
Dumbledore raised an eyebrow at her. She blushed, “I-I mean, how sad.”
“Well, Mrs. Figg gave him one of the kittens, who he named Mrs. Norris.”
“Did he? He always had a weird sense in names for kittens.”
“That would be a matter of opinion,” said Dumbledore sternly, “But, never-mind. Mrs. Figg has become quite attached to your cat, but will be willing to give you a kitten of one of her other cats.”
Elizabeth nodded, “I might as well.”
“Good, I’ll send her an owl, letting her know, so she can bring the kitten up to Hogsmeade.”
“Next order, your name.”
Elizabeth looked up in surprise, “What about my name?”
“Elizabeth, you know as well as I do, that you can’t go around as Professor Potter.”
She raised an eyebrow, “And why not?”
“You can’t because Mr. Potter is unaware of your existence and he would be rather shocked to hear of you in such a way. Also, you know the gossip it would cause.”
“Gossip? That’s why you don’t want me to use my real name?”
“No, not just that. It’s also that, the Death Eaters and Voldemort would be rather interested to know that Elizabeth Potter is back in Hogwarts. You’d be used as a lure for Harry, and you’re wanted for other reasons besides you know of what I speak.”
Elizabeth looked at the desk, remembering all that he was talking about. “Who should I go as? By what name, I mean.”
“Your mother’s maiden name. Smythe.”
“Yes, Smythe. Will that be okay?”
“I would prefer... yes. That would be fine.”
“Also, only Professors McGonagol, Flitwick, and Sprout know who you really are. Hagrid knows also. I would prefer if you told Severus Snape yourself.”
“Snape?” Elizabeth stared at him in surprise.
“Yes. He needs to hear it from you.”
“All right. Anything else Professor?”
“No, Elizabeth, you may go if you wish.”
And she did.
December 4th, 2003, 10:30 pm
A/N: Please post feedback!
Elizabeth went straight to the staff room, where she saw that her things were no longer there, so she went to check to see if they were in her quarters, which they were. She began to unpack, which she had already reckoned would be a long process, and as she hadn’t gone through one of her trunks in years, five, actually, when she had gone in quickly to pull something out and put it back in, it was likely to be rather memory provoking. She started with her smallest trunk, which was very quick and rather easy to go through as she had just packed it yesterday.
It was mostly robes and things that she put away rather quickly. Then she turned to her other trunk and glared at it. This would take a while.
She knelt down by it and lifted it up onto the bed. After she had down that, she unlocked the trunk and undid the buckles and clips. Then, she opened it. Most of the things were wrapped with brown paper, which had her handwriting scrawled on it. She picked up the small round package on the top, and opened it. It was a rememberall that James had given to her before she had left, when she was running around thinking she had forgotten half of her things.
Next was a large envelope filled with parchment. Letters. Tons of them. She pulled one out. It had Lily’s handwriting, and it was dated the thirtieth of October. She unfolded it carefully, and read:
I’m glad to hear you found a place to stay so quickly. After you left, James was pacing back and forth and wouldn’t relax for about an hour. He kept muttering something about how he shouldn’t have made you leave, but then he would say how glad he was you were gone. He was rather relieved to find that you were just fine. I hate to say it, Liz, but you have an over-protective brother. Stay safe, don’t let the muggles mug you (that’s from James, in case you can’t tell), and gah (from your nephew, who keeps repeating that).
Lily & James
Elizabeth smiled despite of herself. She remembered receiving that and laughing, but getting another letter and day later telling her that they were dead. Eliza swallowed and slid the letter back into the over filled envelope, when another short note slid out. She glared at it, but then picked it up and unfolded it.
Lily and James are dead! Sirius has obviously turned on us and I can’t find Peter! If he’s done anything stupid.... I’m sorry Elizabeth, can’t write much more, Dumbledore’s just come to get me and I’d prefer to post this before I go, just in case.
It was hurriedly written with blotches of ink all over. There was what looked like spilled ink on one corner.
Elizabeth slid that back into the envelope with it’s partners, determinedly not thinking of what had gone on when she had received this letter, but it didn’t work to well. She had stared at the letter, leaped up, and run to the fireplace pulling her cloak along with her, when she had gotten a letter from Dumbledore telling her to stay there until further notice, where she had nearly lost it.
Elizabeth quickly conjured a small wooden box and placed the envelope in it, closed the box and set it on a shelf.
She turned to the trunk and pulled out a messily rewrapped package. Eliza carefully unwrapped it and revealed a photo album and a box of photos. She grinned slightly to herself. She had gotten these out about five years ago, answering a plea for letters from a certain Hagrid. She opened the photo album and found a display of baby pictures of her, and of James. She flipped through the earlier pictures, as she had no recollection of these, there wasn’t really any pain along with them until she flipped to a page with her brother, James having his hand on her shoulder as she smiled shyly at the camera. They had been close, especially when they were young. When they got to Hogwarts, they were distanced a little more, but not too much.
She closed the book and set it on the shelf, with the box of pictures on top of the box of letters.
She found a gift from James she had gotten when she was fifteen, a book titled, “Everything You Had to Learn for School, but Never Wanted to Know. Sixty million utterly useless facts never needed in real life.”
She laughed softly, and placed this on the shelf. She continued, stopped only a few times by her memories, but she finally finished.
As she was putting her trunk away, there was a knock on the door. She went over and opened it to see a long nosed, greasy haired, sallow skinned man.
“Who are you?” he demanded.
“Snape?!” she asked in surprise.
“Are you really?!” he asked in horror.
“You’re Severus Snape!”
“Yes, I am. And I don’t feel like talking to a relative, so good bye,” Severus Snape shut the door, looking bewildered.
Elizabeth stared at the door, trying to figure out what happened. Then she realized, “Oh, come back here!” she shouted out the door.
The man glared over his shoulder, but came anyway.
“I am not a Snape. I was asking if you were. Honestly, your people skills are obviously limited!” she exclaimed in disgust.
“Well, you don’t see me throwing people out Miss....”
“Professor,” she corrected sharply.
“Fine, Professor who then?”
“I’m Professor Smythe.”
“You’re the one he took on for this job instead of me?” he asked coldly.
“I am. Anything wrong with that?”
“Perhaps. Do you have a first name?”
“Yes I do. Why, are you suddenly Hogwarts high inquisitor?” she snapped.
“No, that was Umbridge,” he said raising an eyebrow coldly.
“Really? Hogwarts had an inquisitor? I thought I was just making that up,” she said thoughtfully.
“Yes, where have you been?” he said staring at her.
“A different country, for several years.”
He nodded, and then said, “You’re not a Smythe, are you?”
She stared, “I beg your pardon?”
He studied her carefully for a moment, “Dumbledore told me you weren’t who you are going by, on his orders. So who are you?”
“Elizabeth, and must I tell you the last name, Mr. Snivellus?” she asked calmly.
He gaped, “Potter?” he asked when he was finally able to speak.
“Yes, that would be me. Any problems?” she asked, sweetly.
He looked at her carefully, “I don’t suppose.”
“Good, then. I’ll see you later, Professor Severus Snape.”
“Unless I see you first,” he muttered.
She smiled sweetly. He glowered.
As Elizabeth closed the door, she smirked. Snape had always disliked her, just for the fact her brother was James Potter. But they had ended up in a spot of trouble, about sixteen, seventeen years ago, together, during which they had nearly been killed, but even though they had been forced to not fight for a while, they had been glad to resume their rivalry immediately after the incident.
December 13th, 2003, 12:28 am
The next weeks flew by quickly. She alerted Professor McGonagol on what books she wanted for her students, and she began her lesson planning. She organized her office and quarters and took care of her classroom. She wandered the hallways, lost in thought and memories. She met Remus in Hogsmeade once and spoke with him for a long period of time.
On September the first, Professor Dumbledore alerted her that he would want her at the Order meeting that day, which started at ten-thirty. Elizabeth had nodded and said that that would be fine with her, but fifteen minutes later, she was pacing her office, half scared to death. She may have to meet Harry, and a confrontation was too soon, especially now. Of course, she would only have about fifteen minutes if she were to talk to him, and those would be in the Order meeting. Still.... she paced quicker.
She prepared for the trip and eventually stepped into a fire as she said, “Number Twelve, Grimmauld’s Place!”
It was ten fifteen. She was a bit early, but she had wanted to get the arrival over.
A red headed boy of about sixteen ran into the kitchen yelling “Mum!”
Elizabeth turned to face him, and she watched the utter surprise register on his face.
“You’re.... Who are you?”
Elizabeth raised a calm eyebrow and said, “I’m Professor Smythe.”
The boy stared at her, “Oh,” he said quietly.
Liza smiled slightly, “Yes, and you are?”
The boy blinked, “Ron Weasley.”
“Pleasant to meet you, Ron.”
The boy nodded and glanced toward the door and back at her.
“You can go find your Mum,” Elizabeth told him.
“Err... Goodbye, then.”
When Ron had left, Elizabeth looked around the kitchen. It was the way Sirius had described it. Exactly. She sighed and left the kitchen, looking around. She got to the dining room next, where a black and messy-haired boy sat, talking with Remus.
Elizabeth swallowed and stepped out of the shadows as Ginny walked into the room. She saw Elizabeth first and smiled at her. Remus and the boy turned to look at her when they noticed this.
“Morning, Liz!” Remus said in surprise, checking his watch, “Your early!”
Despite her conscious awareness that the boy was looking at her curiously, Elizabeth smiled, and nodded, “I had everything all set up for tomorrow, and I was rather.... restless so I came here early. Do you mind?”
Remus smiled at her response, “No, I don’t as a matter of fact. This is Ginny.” He gestured to her as he spoke.
Elizabeth smiled at Ginny, saying, “We’ve met.”
Remus nodded thoughtfully, “You have, haven’t you. Ah, well. This is Harry. Harry Potter,” he gestured to Harry.
“Good to meet you, Harry,” Elizabeth smiled, feeling nervous, “I’m Professor Smythe, I’m going to be your Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher this year.”
She could feel Remus’s stare and she turned her head slightly to look at him. She raised an eyebrow at him and he sighed and looked back at Harry, who was looking slightly startled. Elizabeth suddenly realized why. He wasn’t used to people he never met to act as if he were simply normal, not famous at all. She smiled reassuringly at, or at least she tried to, but she wasn’t so sure that it worked out right.
“He should to quite well in your class, Liz, he’s quite talented, like his parents,” Remus was saying, smiling at Harry as well.
Harry colored slightly and studied the ground, glancing at her.
Elizabeth studied him for a moment before answering. He met her eyes once more as she did this. She noted James’s black messy hair, the she also possess. She ignored his scar. His face was thin, like James and hers, but it was a bit thinner, due probably from lack of food. He didn’t have James’s nose, but a nose which was a bit like Lily’s father’s had been. His eyes were a replica of Lily’s, only sadder. They weren’t his father’s and her’s at all. He was as tall as his father had been. She noted that he didn’t hold himself with the confidence James had held his with, and took that as a good thing, as her brother’s over-confidence had been very annoying at times. Even so, he looked so much like his father it hurt, and she looked away, trying not to let tears come.
She looked back at Remus who looked back at her evenly. She checked her watch. 10. 28.
She cleared her throat, swallowing the beginning of a lump there, “Remus, the meeting will be starting real soon.”
Remus gave her a slightly disappointed look, “Well, if you wish. Good-bye Harry, ‘bye Ginny. Stay safe.”
Elizabeth nodded, smiling at the two before her, “I’ll see you at the feast I expect. Good-bye.”
“Good-bye,” the duo answered, echoing.
Elizabeth followed Remus to the next room, “Chicken, chicken, chicken,” he whispered, “We’ll be having the meeting in here.”
Elizabeth did one of the more juvenile things she had done in the past year, she stuck out her tongue and rolled her eyes.
Remus sighed when he spied this, “Come, my little friend, do not despair.” They walked through the doors between, and Liza glanced at the two behind them, they were looking surprised and amused at Liza’s childish behavior.
December 27th, 2003, 10:47 pm
A/N: Sorry about the long time since my last posting. Please post feed back!
As they joined the others in the Order, Liza looked around at the group before them. Molly Weasley was hustling out a girl with bushy brown hair, and Ron. When they passed her, she whispered, “Welcome, I’ve got to take them to the station, but I’ll be back shortly.”
The meeting was brought to order, and a few members gave updates on their work for the order. Elizabeth didn’t exactly understand much as she hadn’t been to any Order meetings for fifteen years.
Tonks grinned at her from across the table. Snape was down near the end, and when Eliza glanced at him, he met her eyes and glowered. Remus was sitting next to her.
A woman across from Snape look suspiciously at Elizabeth, and when she finally spoke up said, “Who’s that ?”
Professor McGonagol spoke up quickly, “Elizabeth is going to be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. She was a member of the Order during the last war.”
“Was she? I don’t recognize her from the photograph that Alastor passed around last summer,” the woman said disbelievingly.
“She was already sent out of the country when that photograph was taken.”
“Was she? Well, then, carry on,” the woman waved dismissively.
The meeting was short, and rather empty feeling for Elizabeth. The last Order meeting had been like this, a bit subdued, yet there had been joking around from her brother and Remus and Sirius. Peter had been noticeably absent. Lily had let Elizabeth hold Harry, who had chattered unconcernedly and incomprehensibly.
As the meeting cleared out, the suspicious lady approached Elizabeth.
“Well, Elizabeth, will you be coming to the future meetings?” she asked stiffly.
Eliza’s answer was just as stiff in return, not that she had any grudge against this woman, but someone who speaks stiffly does not usually react well to normal talking, from her experience.
“Yes, I believe I will be,” Elizabeth nodded, and followed Minerva out of the room.
Remus sighed, “Well, I’m not sure why Dumbledore thought it was important for you to come to this meeting, of all of them.”
“I suppose he was trying to get me back to the meetings. I think he chose today in hope of a family reunion.”
Remus glanced at her, “You know, Liza, that’s not a bad idea.”
She rolled her eyes at him, “Time Remus, that’s all I want. Time.”
Remus laughed, “Good luck keeping him from finding out. Or one of his friends. Hermione Granger, you know, the girl with Molly when we got into the order meeting? Well, she found out I was a werewolf. She’s bound to find out something about you. Especially if you prove to be a mysterious character.”
Elizabeth spun around and looked at him sharply, “And do you consider yourself a mysterious character.”
Remus smiled, “No, Liza, I don’t, but she did, apparently.”
Elizabeth groaned and looked out the window.
“You do know, you can’t wait forever.”
“I wasn’t planning on it.”
Professor McGonagol picked up her cloak, “Elizabeth, we need to head back to Hogwarts. The students will be there shortly.”
With a jolt in her stomach, Elizabeth picked up her own cloak. Remus grinned and said softly, “Good luck,” as he hugged her.
Good luck with everything, Elizabeth knew that it meant. And she knew, she’d need it.
January 3rd, 2004, 10:43 pm
Elizabeth and Minerva used floo powder to reach Hogwarts. There was a staff meeting before the students arrived that would open the year for the teachers. As Minerva brushed herself off, and Elizabeth shook her robes, Snape , who apparently had preferred to floo to his office before walking up five stair cases, down one, and through four portraits instead of going with Minerva and Elizabeth, and the rest of the professors filed in through the door. Minerva took her seat next to Dumbledore, and Elizabeth took hers beside a rather disgruntled looking Trelawny and a cold looking Snape.
Dumbledore beamed at the teachers as if he were overjoyed at their presence. “Well, welcome, my dear professors. A new year is before us!” A few professors exchanged glances, some anxious, others amused. “We have a new professor among our ranks, Professor Elizabeth Smythe.” He gestured to Elizabeth, who gave a slightly sad smile. “Is there any business? Anyone?”
“When will we be getting out class schedules, Albus?” asked Elizabeth.
“Minerva,” said Professor Dumbledore, “I believe you possess them?”
Professor McGonagol nodded and stood, “I’ll hand them out,” she said quickly as she pulled out a small packet of papers.
When Minerva handed hers to her, she gulped. Her first class on Monday, tomorrow, was the Sixth year NEWTs. It was a double period. She glanced up at Dumbledore who gave her a look. So she bit her tongue and looked at the rest of that day. She’d also have the 1st year Gryffindors, the 7th year NEWTs, and 6th year Gryffindor and Ravenclaws.
Professor Dumbledore spoke just as she noticed the odd thing about her schedule, “Due to current events, Defense Against the Dark Arts will be taken by all students, including those in sixth and seventh year who will not be in NEWT Defense.”
Snape snorted, “Well, looks like you won’t even get to lose the idiots, Potter,” he whispered.
Elizabeth glared at him, “It’s Smythe,” she hissed, “ and I bet you’ve only got Slytherins in your NEWTs, idiots or no.”
Snape's eyes glittered, “Wrong there. I have students from every house. Including your insufferable nephew,” he said softly. He glanced at her schedule, “I see you have him tomorrow. He’s probably in your NEWT class, despite his idiocy. He’s always been a favorite.”
Elizabeth raised an eyebrow at him, daring him to continue. He must have noticed the look in her eyes, because he fell silent, with a smug smile on his face.
A/N: The next chappy will be up soon, promise. Please post feedback! :D
January 5th, 2004, 11:56 pm
A/N: Here's an update!
Elizabeth watched as the students flooded into the Great Hall from her seat at the Staff Table.
Professor Sinistra looked at her carefully, “Nervous, are you?”
Eliza jumped and glanced at her, “A little,” she admitted.
She nodded, “I was too,” she said tiredly, “But, I was okay, and I’m sure you will be fine, even with...er... past difficulties.”
Elizabeth grinned at her colleague, who smiled in return.
Elizabeth looked over the bustling crowd. As student found their seats, Eliza found herself reminiscing over her past. She would always sit near her brothers and their friends, along with hers, especially Alice. Lily and her friends were always on their other side, close to them, but not so to the marauders. She remembered when James had dropped a bucket of paint over Lily’s head one year on accident. Lily had gotten extremely mad, and James had been extremely embarrassed, and everyone else couldn’t stop laughing.
As Elizabeth smiled at the memory, her eyes fell on a small group of Gryffindors she recognized. There was Harry, silent and drawn looking, while Ron Weasley and the brown haired girl. Ginny sat with them, as did Neville.
Neville looked up and met her eyes, apparently feeling her gaze. Elizabeth was suddenly struck by how familiar he looked. How much he looked like Alice. Of course, she thought, he must be her son. Poor boy, his mother in St. Mungos, along with his father.
Elizabeth gave him a small smile. Neville returned it. Just at that moment, the doors banged open, and the hall fell silent. Minerva led a group of anxious looking first years down the middle of the hall, toward the hat on the stool.
The Hat opened it’s rip-like mouth and began to sing.
Elizabeth didn’t noticed the song as she studied the group. No one too familiar, she thought, but maybe the names. She dwelled on this thought, and the noticed that the hat was singing:
“ And having that all said and done,
Let the sorting begin!”
Minerva unrolled her scroll and gave out the first name, “Archenbald, Claidissa!”
Claidissa stepped forward. She was a pretty girl, with long black hair and golden skin, as she sat on the stool, she studied her hands, until the hat blocked her view of them. Silence, then, “GRYFFINDOR!”
Gryffindor table erupted, all cheers and clapping. Claidissa looked immensely surprised as she leaped up and ran to the table, a smile on her face.
“One,” Elizabeth whispered, out of habit..
She counted every student sorted until she got to six. When she reached this number, she stilled and tensed up. Nothing. Then she realized she had taken up her old habit, that was no longer needed here. On the sixth student being sorted, her brother, his friends, and her would usually cause some sort of mayhem. But this year, it was just her, and there was no reason for her to do something. In her last year, James had whispered to her to set off the certain fireworks he gave her, but this year, all that happened was the sorting hat cried, “SLYTHERIN.” Elizabeth felt that something had to happen, so with her wand under the table, she conjured a large fireworks and set it to explode in the middle of the hall with out any trace of its origin. It did so, and a shower of green sparks rained down on the students and staff.
Professor McGonagol searched the hall. Ginny, Neville, Ron, Harry, and the girl, all exchanged amused glances. Minerva caught them at it, and she began to yell at them, in the middle of the hall about their lack of “decorum”. Elizabeth decided that they shouldn’t be in trouble, and the fireworks hadn’t been enough, so she shot up another one. As purple sparks rained down on them, Snipe raised an eyebrow at her, and shook his head. She heard him mutter, “Once a Potter, always a Potter.” Elizabeth gave him a sweet smile. He glowered at her.
Confused, and rather angry, Professor McGonagol continued the sorting. As she did, Elizabeth thought.
Well, the fireworks had been her way of.... honoring, perhaps, James and Sirius. It had just seemed like, to her, to continue the tradition had been natural. And of course, she had a sort of habit to make complete mayhem and mischief where ever she went. She had gotten that habit off of her brother.
Dumbledore stood up at the end of the sorting, “I believe that we have waited long enough for this feast, so let it begin!”
The food was marvelous. As the food appeared, and the noise level shot up, Elizabeth put the things nearest her on her plate. Mash potatoes, steak, and stew, gravy. All was delicious, and gone much to soon. Dessert was the same. Elizabeth let tarts and ice cream round our her meal. At the end of the feast, Dumbledore stood up, and beamed to the students, “How wonderful it is to see you all here, once more, or, in some cases, for the first time. Another year awaits us. Our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is Professor Smythe.” The staff began to clap, and the students halfheartedly joined in. Elizabeth looked around the Great Hall during this. She noticed that everyone was eying her suspiciously. She didn’t exactly mind, as she had a feeling that her position was filled and refilled so often, no one really cared anymore.
“The forest is off limits to everyone,” said Professor Dumbledore rather sternly, “A few older students should be reminded of this,” he looked pointedly in the direction of Harry and his friends. Elizabeth grinned at that. There were a few other announcements, but nothing really important. He dismissed the students. As the students filed out, Snape yawned.
“Well that was a waste of time,” he muttered.
She looked at him sternly, “School functions are important,” she said despite her own lack of confidence on that subject, “and it’s best you participate.” Snape rolled his eyes.
When Elizabeth headed down to her office, she noticed a dark figure following her. She turned around, and called to Snape, “Is there some reason you’re following me?”
He glowered. “I’m just making sure you don’t get lost. It’s dangerous to walk these halls at night.”
“Oh, ha.” She said sarcastically, “Like you’d care if I got eaten by a snake or something.”
Snape studied her, “Well, no, I wouldn’t, really,” he admitted, “But, I must point out that Potter and his friends do wander around at night, and despite how likely you are to favor them...”
Snape grinned at that, “Just to warn you, they have Potter’s father’s cloak, and all, so be careful.”
She caught what he was going at, “Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind.”
Snape nodded, and turned around and left. Just then she noticed a red haired girl hurrying in the direction of Gryffindor Tower.
January 18th, 2004, 12:48 am
Elizabeth yawned and stood up, running her fingers through her hair. She looked out her window to see a misty morning, with the wind stirring the branches of the trees, and yellowing east sky of the nearing dawn.
Elizabeth got dressed in plain, black robes and pulled a brush through her misbehaving hair. It always was messy and untamable. Elizabeth usually didn’t try to do too much with it, and just left it down. When I start working on dueling with the students, Elizabeth thought, then I’ll have to pull it back. For now it will be okay like this.
Elizabeth got to the Great Hall rather early, before most of the students and over half the staff. Minerva was there, eating her porridge tiredly and scanning the hall for any mischief makers.
Eliza sat beside her, smiling slightly. Memories of breakfasts past slid past each other, each far different than the last. Minerva looked up.
“My,” she said, stifling a yawn, “You’re up early, aren’t you?”
“What about you?” Eliza said, rather amused.
“I hand out the schedules later, so I have to eat now, if ever.”
Eliza smiled at that.
Minerva looked her way, “Why are you up now, anyway? I would have thought you’d be down in something more like a half-hour.”
Elizabeth paused, then said, “I couldn’t sleep anymore.”
Professor McGonagol nodded, “Oh.”
Elizabeth glanced down.
Professor McGonagol spoke up suddenly, “Elizabeth, after you left, what did you do for your job?”
Elizabeth sighed, “I worked in their ministry, their wizard one.”
Minerva choked, “You- you what!?”
Eliza laughed, “Yes, I worked for a ministry.”
Minerva shot her a look, “Well, that was unexpected of you.”
Elizabeth smiled reminiscently, “Yes, it was. I couldn’t exactly find any other jobs at the time. I quit after a year, they were getting too curious about my origins for their -and my- own good.”
Minerva nodded, “Then?”
“I worked for one of the schools for five years.”
Minerva shot her a look.
“I was teaching Defensive Skills and Charms. That’s what they called it. Then I worked in the equivalent of Zonkos here, for three years. For the last six, I worked in a muggle inn.”
Minerva stared at the last one.
“I had to cover my tracks,” Elizabeth explained, “And working at Lotches & Snorts was too.... reminding.”
Minerva frowned at that statement, “You know, Eliza... You’ve got to face it sooner or later, you can’t hide from it,” she lectured.
Elizabeth felt her temper attempt to rise in her, “I’m not hiding from it,” she said in a sharp whisper. “If I was, would I be here, of all places? That all wasn’t my only reasons for quitting that job. The man who owned it was too...” Elizabeth puzzled for the word.
“Too... up close and personal.”
Minerva blinked, “Could you explain?”
“Oh, in the last year, he continually asked me on dates, and tried to find out who I was, where I was from, and that sort of thing.”
Minerva nodded. “Did you go by your name?”
“Nope. I used Scuplter for it.”
She nodded, "I see," she said as Professor Sinistra sat down near them, "Well, Elizabeth, it's good to know that you do have some experience in teaching." Then, Minerva sighed and stood up. “I have to pass out schedules.”
Elizabeth nodded and looked out into the growing group of students. At the Slytherin table, the hard faced, vicious looking students glowered at most people that went by. The Ravenclaw’s were chatting merrily, and a group of Hufflepuffs were laughing about something. Over at the Gryffindor’s table, Elizabeth could see Ginny, Ron, Harry , and the brown-haired girl talking. They were at the end nearest the staff table, extremely close to where Elizabeth was sitting. Elizabeth listened to their conversation, a talent that had been very useful when she had helped the “Marauders” with their pranks.
The brown-haired girl was speaking, “Well, we shouldn’t drop to conclusions, just because-”
“Hermione,” interrupted Ron, “She knows about the cloak. That’s just... weird.”
“She’s friends with Lupin,” spoke up Ginny.
Harry frowned at the table.
“What terms is she on with Snape?” asked Hermione.
Ginny bit her lip, “I’m not sure. The way they were talking, it seemed like they didn’t like each other at all, but he followed her up there to tell her about the cloak. He said something strange too. It was something about her being likely to favor us.”
Ron looked bewildered, “Why would she?”
Ginny shrugged, “I’m not sure. She knew Harry’s father I think, the way Snape put it.”
Harry spoke up suddenly, “Well, if she was friends with Professor Lupin, she probably did know my dad. I wonder how she knew about the cloak.”
Hermione bit her lip, “ We have her first hour, Ron, Harry. This should be interesting.”
They all exchanged looks. Elizabeth looked at her watch as she took her concentration off of her pupils. They would debate all they wanted, and they probably wouldn’t draw anything too revealing from Snape and her conversation. She had ten minutes, so she finished her breakfast and left the Great Hall. She talked to a painting for a couple minutes, then hurried to her classroom, where she pushed open the door and went in.
A/N: Please post feedback. I'm hoping the next one will be up soon, but I can't make any promises!
January 29th, 2004, 11:41 pm
A/N: Sorry that I didn't get to post as soon as I'd hoped. A few things came up, but here it is! Please post Feedback!
The room fell silent as she stepped in, and there was a flurry of motion in a few places as the students took their seats.
Elizabeth walked to the front of the class and picked up the scroll of parchment on her desk and began attendance:
Ron Weasley,” She called attendance without a pause or a blink, surprising enough. Many of the students had parents she had gone to school with, or knew, and many were spitting images. The count was per each house: 2 Slytherin, 4 Hufflepuff, 3 Ravenclaws, and 6 Gryffindors.
Then she looked up to the class. All of them were looking at her suspiciously, sitting at their desks, there wands out, and books on their desks, all watching her, as though they were waiting for her to make the first move so they could see if they should attack her or no.
She opened her mouth to speak and began, “W-” but as soon as her mouth began to form the first word, she was cut off abruptly.
“Who are you?” asked Malfoy looking curious.
“I’m Professor Smythe,” she said, startled.
“I’ve heard the last of your family died five years ago. The ones with the name of Smythe, anyway.”
Elizabeth was surprised, his questions were far to close to the mark already for her liking, and she was about to continue what she was going to say when he cut her off again.
“How pure is your blood?”
Elizabeth gaped, “You do know that it’s impolite to interrupt adults when they’re talking, Mr. Malfoy? I doubt your father, Lucius, would approve. Now, this year we will be study-”
Malfoy spoke up again, “How do you know my father?”
Elizabeth raised an eyebrow, “Mr. Malfoy, that would be fifteen points from Slytherin for interrupting me three times. Do it again, and I believe you will have a detention. This year, we will be studying the things you should have studied last year and some more complex spells than you’ve studied yet. I understand that last year, you didn’t have much actual teaching of Defense Against the Dark Arts. Correct?”
There was a general murmur of agreement around the class. Malfoy took her pause for breath as an advantage, “My father doesn’t know any living Smythes.”
Elizabeth was getting irritable, “Well, who said I’m living? Mr. Malfoy, I’d advise you to keep your nose out of places it shouldn’t be. It will get bitten of one of these days, or worse.”
A few students laughed, and Eliza continued her speech, mentally kicking herself for letting her student get the better of her, “Because of the lack of training you got last year of all years, this year will be doubly important to be paying attention in class, especially because of Lord Voldemort’s returning last year,” there were a few gasps and flinches from her students at that, “I understand that you went over the Unforgivables in fourth year?” Murmurs of agreement reached her ears, “Excellent. We’ll be going over them again this year, just to refresh your memories. You’ve seen them, so I don’t need to show them to you again. Please read the section in your books on page 82 to 86 and write a summary of it for class. It will be going over the Unforgivables, but we need to discuss them right now,” Elizabeth swallowed and eyed the class.
“Some people know about certain curses more than others, due to their witnessing of them and some from the fact that they’ve been victims. Now, who, out side of class, have witnessed the Cruciatus curse?”
An uncomfortable silence fell, then Harry, Neville, Justin, and Nott raised their hands.
Elizabeth nodded, “Have any been victims of it?”
Neville, Harry, and Nott raised their hands.
Elizabeth sighed, “Who, outside of class have witnessed the Imperious curse being cast?”
Malfoy and Lisa raised their hands.
“Outside of class, who have been victims of that?”
Reluctantly, Harry and Malfoy raised their hands.
Elizabeth bit her lip in slight surprise, “Who have seen, out side of class, the Killing curse?”
Silence. Then Harry raised his hand.
Elizabeth nodded, and didn’t ask who had been victims of it, so she continued, “As you see, some of you have experienced more with these spell than others. As dangerous as these Curses are, they can be over come. Overcoming the Killing curse less likely than,” she paused to think, then smiled slightly, adding a touch of humor to a serious subject, said, “Professor Snape willingly doing the hula in the Great Hall tonight, with out any bribes or anything.”
Soft laughter greeted this, then the humor died away. A bell rang as distance away.
“The summary will be due next week, at least six inches!” and they were gone. Elizabeth leaned against the wall and rubbed her eyes. It was going to be a long day.
February 9th, 2004, 11:55 pm
She was right. Her next class was an anxious looking group of first years Gryffindors, to whom she explained how vital this class would be to their lives, accidentally scaring one girl into hysterics.
That class wasn’t to difficult as the students, as first years, were easily impressed, and as Gryffindors weren’t as bratty as others could have been. But, the class was slightly trying as the children had not known much about Voldemort's previous reign, as they hadn’t been there for it, and were mostly innocent and ignorant of most of the trouble on the outside world. That was, they knew of it, but didn’t understand very well.
After that, was lunch. Eliza was almost as light hearted at the prospect of a nice hour of lunch and rest as the students she taught, but refrained from skipping until the corridor was completely empty, with the exception of a few bemused portraits, watching a professor, an adult, skipping down the hall like a little girl.
When Eliza got to the Great Hall, she placed her self in her seat between Snape and Sinistra.
“What are you so,” Snape swore, apparently not as cheerful as his colleague, “Happy for?”
Elizabeth smiled cheerfully, “Now, Snape, you do know that you should be setting a good example for our pupils, correct?”
Snape glared at her, barely holding onto the discipline that kept him from dragging her from the Great Hall and sticking her head down an unflushed toilet.
“Besides, it’s lunch! We get a break from our lectures and practical workings and get to enjoy ourselves!”
Snape paled, his eyes cold, “Why would I enjoy having to eat my lunch with a disgustingly cheerful person such as you?”
Elizabeth gave him a look, still extremely cheerful and said, “The exact same reason I would enjoy having to eat my lunch with a pathetically morose person such as yourself!”
Professor Sinistra watched these proceeding, looking far more interested in their conversation/argument than her cooling food before her.
Snape finished the contents in his goblet, then placed the last fork full of food in his mouth, wiped his mouth calmly, then stood up with a severe “Good day to you,” and swept out of the hall like a bat.
Eliza sipped from her goblet, and smiled at Professor Sinistra, “So, how was your morning?”
Professor Sinistra sighed, “Well, on the whole, not bad at all. They were rather restless, but as it’s the first day of school, I didn’t mind much. Yours?”
Elizabeth smiled reminiscently, “Mostly the same. It was rather interesting.”
Professor Sinistra laughed, “I heard you made one of the first year girls cry.”
Elizabeth’s smile turned sad, “I honestly didn’t mean to. I believe she’s a rather excitable creature.”
Professor Sinistra nodded, “I think your right. You don’t strike me as the type of person who would make someone cry, on purpose or anything like that. I’ve also never seen a student cry on the first day of school, except for the youngest and most excitable, so I think you’re right.”
Elizabeth smiled, “I am.”
Professor Sinistra laughed, then picked at her cold food with her fork.
“Maybe if you had been eating instead of eavesdropping, that food would be gone,” Eliza teased, making her fellow professor blush.
“Sorry,” her new friend whispered.
Elizabeth smiled cheerfully, “Oh, no you aren’t, but it’s okay.”
They talked for mostly the rest of lunch, eating. Professor Sinistra proved to be an interesting person, and great fun to talk to, even though she was a couple years older than Elizabeth, but most of her friendships had been with those older than her, and that proved not to be much of an obstacle.
At the end of lunch, they parted, with a laughing “Good luck!”
Elizabeth walked down the hall, cheerfully, before Professor Dumbledore appeared, turning a corner in front of her, and said, “Elizabeth, I need you in my office, right now.”
February 14th, 2004, 10:58 pm
“Sir, you do know that I have to teach the 7th year NEWT class, right?” Elizabeth asked as she followed the elderly man down the corridor.
“Yes, Elizabeth, I’m aware of that,” came the answer, “Sir Nicholas will be keeping the class in line.”
Eliza’s level of confusion increased as they stepped onto the turning staircase, ‘What is this about?’ she thought.
When they reached the office, Dumbledore opened the door and led the way in. He sat at his desk and met her eyes.
“Elizabeth, I’m going to need you to help me with something.”
“Elizabeth, I’m going to need you to assist me with teaching Harry Occlumency.”
“What?!” Elizabeth stared.
“You heard me.”
Eliza blushed and glowered at the desk in front of her, “Why, then?”
“You’re one of the more skilled Legimens and Occlumens I know, and you can teach it well, despite the fact they come nearly naturally to you.”
Elizabeth’s blush heightened at this word of praise, but then demanded, “Why can’t you do it?”
Dumbledore sighed, “Harry needs to be prepared for different types of attacks. You can do one of the more complicated and most destructive types. He also needs to notice how individuals differ in their attacks in more basic Legimens.”
Then Elizabeth bit her lip, “Sir, you do know that I have the most classes in the school?”
Dumbledore nodded, “I’m aware of that. This can also be your position for the order.”
Elizabeth raised an eyebrow, “Sir, are you purposely keeping me out of the actual fighting and danger.”
Dumbledore smiled slightly, “I wasn’t aware that you were still foolhardy enough to want to be in the thick of battle and adventure.”
Elizabeth groaned, “Sir, I’m not, but you seem to be purposely keeping me out of it.”
The headmaster met her eyes steadily, “Elizabeth,” he said, his voice gentle, “I swore to James that I would keep you in the safest of places if he died. He’s dead, and I’m left with that oath to contend with.”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes, “Sir, you swore that along time ago. Besides, you broke the ties that kept me away from here.”
Dumbledore sighed patiently, “Only after you swore an oath of your own to teach here. This one can not be avoided.”
Elizabeth groaned again, “Sir, James was simply overprotective, can’t you take that into account?”
“I could, but Sirius made me promise to keep you as safe as your nature would allow you to be and be happy.”
“The old overprotective busybody... How is this happy?” Elizabeth muttered, but Dumbledore ignored her.
“Due to the charms James placed on you, I won’t be able to let you out of Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, Headquarters, or Diagon Alley until this year is over. School year, I mean.”
Elizabeth glowered around the room.
“Elizabeth, there’s really no choice. You’re the best one for this, due to your abilities, so live with that.”
Elizabeth regarded Albus carefully, “Does he know about this, sir?”
As if to answer this question, there was a knock on the door. Dumbledore smiled, “Elizabeth, would you get the door, I believe that is him.”
Elizabeth strode across the room and opened the door, and sure enough, there stood a messy black haired, gangly teenager that had been in Elizabeth’s first class. Eliza gave Harry a kind smile and let him in, her heart pumping.
Harry paused, standing there awkwardly, looking at Elizabeth, asking her why she was there with his expression. Elizabeth smiled slowly, then stood at Dumbledore’s shoulder, waiting.
“Sit down, Harry,” Dumbledore said kindly.
Harry obeyed, but didn’t look an inch more comfortable. Dumbledore looked sideways at Eliza, who raised an eyebrow at him.
“Last year, you took a few Occlumency lessons with Professor Snape, before he... er... refused to give them to you again, correct?”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. Snape? Teach Occlumency? The man has no patience, and he holds a grudge over Harry that would make his patience even less.
“This year, I’ll be teaching you most of the time. I’m rather busy with the work for the Order, and the basic running of this school, so when I’m unable to, Professor Smythe will be teaching you. When I’m not busy, then she will be assisting. Any questions?”
Harry was now eying Elizabeth anxiously, but he mumbled, “No, sir.”
“We will be meeting on Thursdays after dinner. Does that suit?”
“That is all, Harry. You may go.”
Harry nodded, cast another look at Elizabeth, then hurried out the door.
“Sir, could I go to my class now? I have seventh year NEWTs.”
As soon as she got out, she slowed her walk and rubbed her head. Due to this, Harry would start asking questions earlier. That was probably one of Dumbledore’s intentions. Eliza yawned, and hurried to her class room.
February 16th, 2004, 3:38 pm
Chapter Fifteen: Part One
Class went by rather quickly, as her teaching was similar to that of the sixth year NEWTs. There were less interruptions too, as no one really seemed to question her identity at all.
After that class was the Gryffindor 5th years, who trooped in before the bell rang, looking slightly apprehensive.
Elizabeth took attendance, which did not take long at all as there were few 5th year Gryffindors.
She worked with them on their lesson, and gave them an assignment, avoiding the curious looks she was getting from Ginny Weasley. At the end, when the students left, Ginny studied her Defense professor carefully, then fled.
Elizabeth cleaned up the mess from the day, organized her desk, and put the scrolls and books in the drawers, and headed for dinner. She was tired, and as she headed off to the Great Hall she could feel her head drooping and her eyes closing, but she got to the hall with out any great accident. Dinner was quieter that Lunch had been at the staff table, and seemed longer too. Snape and she only got into one argument, and Professor Sinistra was rather tired too, so the pair of them didn't talk much.
Finally, Elizabeth got to bed and fell asleep, quite early, but she had gotten up extremely early, and hadn't had much sleep the night before. When she fell asleep, the connections with other people in the castle, she could feel with her mind, and shedded all but one lone one, when she began to dream, the dream being a the memory it was:
A/N: Sorry that’s so short, but this is what I can get up right now. The next part will be much longer, and that will be up soon.
February 22nd, 2004, 1:52 am
A/N: Here it is! Not as soon as I'd have hoped, but it's here all the same! Enjoy and feedback!
Chapter Fifteen: Part Two
Eliza yawned and sat up, brushing her hair out of her face. She couldn’t sleep, and after tossing and turning for several hours, she got up. She put on her slippers and robe, and made her way downstairs, sneaking past her brother James’s room, and slid down the stairs silently.
When she reached the kitchen, she lit the lamp in the middle of the table and began to make some hot cocoa, making about three times as much as she needed with out noticing. She took out a mug, and waited for the liquid to heat.
She sat on a small bench and stared out the window, trying to see past the reflection of the fifteen year old self. She kicked at the air like a three year old and waited, watching for something, anything, to happen. The old clock in the other room struck three, and Eliza poured the hot liquid into her mug and looked out the window again. A shadow was standing at the end of the lane. A familiar shadow.
Almost dropping the pot, Eliza gasped in surprise. She set down the pot and her mug, and ran for the door, unheeding of her slippered feet, nor her manner of dress. She ran out of the cottage, down the lane, right at the shadow.
“Lizzie! What are you doing up at this time?” asked a shaky voice.
“Sirius!” Eliza said sharply, “What are you doing here?”
Sirius shakily replied, “I ran away. I couldn’t stand them anymore. I take it I’m at the right place?”
Eliza nodded, and her sharpness softened, “Come in,” she said, taking an end of his trunk as he took the other, “You can have some cocoa.”
Sirius smiled weakly at that, “Cocoa? Beth, it’s summer!”
Eliza rolled her eyes and answered, “Of course it is, but it’s also freezing!”
They stepped into the light of the kitchen. Eliza got out another mug and poured cocoa into it, as she studied him.
He was pale and shivering, looking younger than he was. His face was anxious, and he was looking around the kitchen nervously.
Eliza handed him his cocoa, and they sat down at the table.
“So,” Eliza said tiredly, “What are you planning on doing?”
Sirius took a deep drink of cocoa, and looked thoughtful, “Well, Liz, I was planning on telling James, this was the first place I came up with, but I didn’t really have a plan.”
Eliza raised an eyebrow at his nickname for her, she never did like the names Beth, Liz, Lizzie, and others like that. Sirius insisted on calling her them for that reason, to irk her.
“Well, what happened this time, that made you actually run away?”
Sirius studied the grain of the wood of the table, “They were being worse then usual, talking all about how Voldemort was going to make this world better, by scouring the muggle blood out of it, and how I should be proud to be a Black, practically royalty.
They were going on about how I should stop being friendly with ‘mudbloods and blood traitors’ as they put it, and how I should spend my time with those of ’pure blood and strong families’. Well, they usually do that, but this year they were worse about it, talking about it every moment. I’m just tired of having to be stuck in a house full of Dark Wizards, when I don’t want to be like them!”
Eliza nodded. Now, more than ever she was glad of her family. They were fully against the Dark Arts and the “purification of blood” and weren’t afraid to admit it.
“So, should I get James up?”
“Don’t bother him yet. You know how he likes his sleep.”
Eliza looked at Sirius, he was looking very miserable and uncomfortable, “Well, what else is going on?”
Sirius sighed, “Nothing really. I’m just tired.”
Eliza sat forward, “Sirius, it’s not your fault that they don’t understand you. It’s just, what you value, they hate, and what they value, you hate. It’s not your fault for this. Mum and Dad’ll take you in here, don’t worry about that.”
Sirius glared into the cup of cocoa, “It’s just that, even though I hate them, it’s still....” he broke off sharply, his face angry.
Eliza sighed patiently, “It’s not your fault, Sirius, just don’t worry about it, there’s nothing you can do, honest. As for them, don’t worry, there was going to be this sooner or later,” she said gently.
“Is it okay if I get James up?”
Sirius grinned, “Yes, go ahead. Beth.”
Eliza smiled after her back was turned. She tip-toed up the stairs as quietly as she could. When she got to James’s room, he was snoring. She went around the mess the best she could in the dark, only stubbing one toe, and running into the bedside table. Swearing, she shook James awake.
“Was gone on?” James asked groggily.
“Shush. Sirius is in the kitchen. Get up. Quickly. Don’t wake Mum or Dad.”
James obeyed reluctantly and stifling yawns. His hair was messier than it usually was, if that was possible, and he was pale. He found his glasses and fixed them on his face clumsily. Then he found himself following his sister down the narrow flight of stairs, into the dimly lit kitchen.
Sure enough, sitting there was none other than Sirius Black. All signs of exhaustion disappeared, as he whispered, “Padfoot! What are you doing here?”
Sirius smiled tiredly at his best friend and answered, “I left home, Prongs. And came here.”
It took some explaining, and a couple mugs of hot cocoa to get it all explained, but at four-thirty, in came a woman with neat black hair and hazel eyes. Mum.
Eliza took out the fourth mug out of the cupboard and pour the tenth mug full of that night.
Mrs. Potter sat down and looked around at her children and Sirius, excepting the cup of cocoa with a “Thank you, Liza.” She took a sip and smiled at the taste. It was from she whom Eliza had inherited her love of chocolate.
“Hello Sirius,” she said kindly.
“Hello Mrs. Potter.”
Isabelle Potter looked at James and Liza expecting. James explained Sirius’s presence. Their Mother only needed a few seconds of explanation before she silenced her son with a small gesture. She turned to Sirius.
“Well, Sirius, I don’t think you’ve had any sleep, have you?”
Sirius shook his head.
Mrs. Potter nodded, “Then come on up, you can sleep in the spare room now. I’m sure my husband won’t mind.”
Mrs. Potter stood up, and steered Sirius upstairs with a gentle hand.
James and Eliza exchanged surprised looks and grinned.
Elizabeth woke. She yawned and rubbed her eyes. Then her stomach plummeted. There had been someone connected with her during the dream. Someone who had seen it from her perspective.
March 4th, 2004, 11:07 pm
That day Elizabeth ran through her classes with out thinking. The classes didn’t go too badly.
Lunch was the only time Elizabeth didn’t attempt to figure out the one who had connected to her mind so firmly. Professor Sinistra and Elizabeth made fun of Snape behind his back, moving his silverware and flatware from place to place, making him extremely frustrated.
They had a difficult time not laughing as he stood up and leaned all the way across the table for his fork. Elizabeth knocked the chair aside a bit, just enough to give him a jolt. He nearly slipped off the chair when he sat down, but he grabbed Elizabeth’s arm and pulled her almost on top of him.
Students and professors alike were shooting the three of them odd looks. Snape finally gave up trying to eat and swept out of the Great Hall, apparently fuming.
The two professors exchanged looks and fell into gales of silent laughter.
The rest of the day passed rather the same as the first half had.
Professor Snape sat on the edge of his seat at dinner, wary of the two Professors to his left.
Professor Sinistra turned to Eliza when she was a little over half done with her shepherd’s pie.
“I just had the first year Gryffindors,” she said, laughing.
“Did you? When exactly?” Eliza looked up interested.
“Late yesterday, but I forgot to tell you,” she said hurriedly.
“So how were they?”
Professor Sinistra laughed, “Well, a little girl with brown hair was sitting on her stool, and when I explained what we would be working on, she asked why it would be so dark, and began to wail.”
Elizabeth stared, “You’re not kidding, are you?”
She shook her head, smiling, “Not at all. She actually did. I have a feeling she has done that a lot, as when she did it, the others began to give her rather disgusted looks.”
“Well, why’s she being like that?”
“I really don’t know. Either she’s doing it for the attention, she’s weak, or she’s frightened rather easily. I thought Gryffindors were supposed to be bold and brave. My mistake.”
Eliza smiled as she stared out into the group of students. She saw a flurry of moment at the Gryffindor table that immediately proved to be five Gryffindors turning around quickly, one of them over turning a full goblet of milk, causing a bit of disruption.
Dinner ended and as the students and teachers left, Professor Dumbledore caught Elizabeth and Snape while Professor McGonagol followed him.
“Order meeting,” he said softly to them.
Eliza stood by the door looking further in. A moth-eaten hanging hung before a rectangular opening, it looked. The gas lamps appeared to be flickering, and the hall was dingy. It was a bit cleaner than it had been as of last time, but not by much.
Tonks came running out of the kitchen, followed by the slower placed Remus, tired as ever. He gave Eliza a smile as Tonks attempted to lead them into the kitchen, but tripped over something, and toppled over with a crash.
There was the sound of a curtain opening, and an ear splitting scream, erupted behind them.
“BLOOD-TRAITERS! BEEEEEINGS OF FFFFFILLLLLTH!!! LEEEEEEAVE THE HOME OF MY FAAAATHERS!”
Elizabeth and Remus leapt forward together and pulled on the curtains. They wouldn’t budge. Elizabeth threw her wait into the movement, and with a snap, they shut.
Eliza exchanged glances with Remus, who was straightening his robes and breathing deeply.
They followed the group into the kitchen. As everyone sat down at the long wooden table, Remus laughed softly and whispered in her ear “Lovely, wasn’t that?”
Elizabeth smiled in reply and turned her gaze over to a serious looking Dumbledore.
“I know it isn’t customary, having two order meetings so close together as these, but some important things have come up.”
March 13th, 2004, 3:11 am
Elizabeth leaned forward, propping her elbows on the table, and putting her head on her chest height fists as she listened.
“Lord Voldemort,” there were collective flinches across the room, “has grown increasingly active. There were the attacks in a muggle neighborhood in Bristol, and there have been some suspicious accidents in Belgium.”
The head master straightened his spectacles and went on, “But I have reason to believe he is growing interested in a few wizards and witches whose background is unknown to him. I do not think he’s use to have powerful wizards popping up out of no where.”
Remus stepped gently on Elizabeth’s foot, and they exchanged anxious glances.
“As in who?” asked Tonks, her expression startled, “Who’s come that doesn’t have a known background?”
“A few witches and wizards. Four, actually. Two witches and two wizards have shown up in the past two months.”
“What do you know of them, Dumbledore?” asked Emmeline Vance from Eliza’s left.
“All four seem to have extensive Defense Against the Dark Arts training. The two wizards seem to be brothers,” Dumbledore looked around the group, meeting their eyes. When he met Eliza’s eyes, she felt her stomach plummet. She was one of the witches, she knew, but she could feel from his gaze that Voldemort was most interested in an unknown professor at Hogwarts.
A wizard from the shadows asked, “What of the witches, eh, Dumbledore?”
“They know each other, I’m sure. I have a suspicion on who each of them are, but only that. They would be interesting additions to our war.”
Eliza furrowed her brow. Who was the other? Who could it be? It had to be someone she knew, from Albus’s tone, but who? It couldn’t be Alice, she was in St. Mungo’s, nor any one who had been in her year, all were dead or alive and known. Those to whom she was closest to were unreachable, dead or mad, except Remus, but he was male, and sitting right next to her. He was known too.
Snape spoke up from across the table from Elizabeth, “The wizards, they are brothers you say? Do you know who they are?”
Professor Dumbledore shook his head, “I believe they are foreign, but untraceable. They may have had contact with one of the witches for quite a time.”
Dumbledore shook his head, “I think we need to move on to different matters. Professor Snape, do we have any new information?”
“I’ve discovered that the Dark Lord will be doing random attacks on muggles for the next couple of weeks. Then, I believe he will attack the wizarding world in various places. I do not think he himself will be at these attacks. He prefers to let others do his work.”
There were a few other small matters that were quickly taken care of afterwards. When the meeting ended, Eliza approached Dumbledore and whispered, “Who?”
Dumbledore met her eyes, “You will know soon. Be patient.”
Remus, who had followed her, laughed at this.
Elizabeth gave Remus a tight hug, whispered her parting words of, “Be safe,” and followed Minerva out of the room. He watched her as she left, she could tell. She told Tonks goodbye, who was energetically talking to Eliza about quidditch. How the subject came up, Eliza wasn’t to know.
When Elizabeth the professors got to Hogwarts, they bade each other good-night and separated for their chambers.
As Eliza climbed the staircases, she thought over the day. She paused on a landing to stare out the window out onto the grounds. A last quarter moon shone brightly over the dark grounds. The lake shone and appeared to be glass. The Forest was shadowed and gloomy.
As she gazed, she remembered the woman who had tutored Eliza on her mind. She had been elderly even then, but sharp and full of energy. She was long dead now, but then she had briskly told Eliza one night, “With your talent, your dreams are your own, but you can bring guests into them, to watch with you. Those who come uninvited will see it from your point of view. When you are called by name, they will hear there own. When you see your image, they will see theirs, ect.
Remembering that, Eliza let out a sigh, and a know in her chest loosened. She longed for her own bed, so ran up the rest of the stairs and down the corridors, ignoring the complaining portraits.
When she reached her chambers, she was out of breath. She put on her nightgown and slid under her covers. She stared at the ceiling, daydreaming, until at last, sleep claimed her.
April 1st, 2004, 11:21 pm
A/N: Sorry for the wait. What with spring auditions, tryouts, and everything else, I didn't get the time, but here it is!
On Thursday evening, Elizabeth found herself climbing the steps to Professor Dumbledore’s office fifteen minutes early, as planned. She was anxious about the Occlumency lesson, for more reasons than one.
Dumbledore was at his desk, going through a stack of parchment, looking slightly worried. It suddenly struck Eliza how old he looked and how weary. Dumbledore had always been old, but except on very few occasions he never looked it. Now, maybe it was the light, but Eliza began to doubt it, he did look much older, and more tired.
“Good evening, dear professor,” Albus said as he looked up.
“Good evening, sir,” Elizabeth looked around the room. She had seen it plenty of times, but she never tired of seeing the whirling instruments and the portraits of sleeping old headmasters and headmistresses.
“How’s your day been?”
“Well, I suppose.”
“I hear you didn’t make a student cry today, Elizabeth. Quite and accomplishment on your part,” he said, his eyes twinkling.
“Not today sir,” then, “Sir, have you spoken with the three?”
Dumbledore smiled faintly at her sudden energy, “I have made contact with them. The foreigners will be coming on Saturday, and the witch will becoming next Thursday. Forgive me, but it was the soonest available time for her. Would you give Harry the lesson that night in your office?”
Elizabeth bit her lip and nodded, playing with a lock of her rather messy black hair.
“Thank you, and-” but he was cut off by a hesitant knocking on the wooden door.
“Come in,” Dumbledore called.
Eliza gripped her wand that was in her sleeve, but when the door opened to reveal the expected teenager, her grip relaxed, and her hand left her sleeve, empty.
“Good evening Harry,” Dumbledore said.
Elizabeth smiled and nodded to him from her place by the headmaster’s desk.
Harry nodded and looked around the room at the instruments, the pheonix, and the portraits.
“Have a seat,” Dumbledore instructed. When the boy took his seat, he continued, “Professor Snape wasn’t very precise when he told me how far he’d gone with you. I’d like to go over a few basics with you, just so I can understand how far you’re at, the same with Professor Smythe.”
Harry looked up at Elizabeth, his eyes uncertain. Elizabeth read this expression quite easily. He wasn’t sure about her.
“Harry, would you clear your mind?”
Harry uncertainly obliged, Elizabeth couldn’t quite meet his eyes to tell, but it seemed he was struggling. She looked at Dumbledore who was looking slightly uncertain.
“Harry.” The word was simple, quiet, but effective, Harry broke his concentration and looked at Professor Dumbledore.
“I see that clearing your mind wasn’t taught to you fully, and as that is the foundation that defending your mind is built upon, we have our beginning place to start,” commented Dumbledore thoughtfully.
Harry nodded anxiously. Dumbledore turned to Elizabeth and said calmly, “Professor?”
Elizabeth felt her energy flow around the inside of her as she answered, “Sir.”
Dumbledore nodded and turned to Harry, “If you will, Harry, Professor Smythe can see how you clear your mind, and how long it takes you. Once you’ve done that, she will try to bring out memories, and test you. She’ll do it with more and more energy each time, to work on your defense against this. Eventually she’ll do this to you before you’ve cleared your mind, and do it regularly. She’d have to enter your mind for this. Will that be fine?”
Harry nodded, looking as if he wasn’t sure if he could refuse if he wanted to.
Elizabeth sat down on the floor, cross legged. She motioned for him to sit opposite her. He complied, pale.
“Meet Professor Smythe’s eyes.”
Eliza cleared her mind, feeling rather young, she met the boys eyes, and entered, carefully making sure not to bring any memories out of him or herself as she did this.
Harry struggled to clear his mind as she sat, patient, in his mind. Once the stray memories had been shoved out of the way, she attacked. Easily, she pulled out a memory from far back. Harry was sitting in an office, being yelled at by a muggle man, his headmaster from his primary school, no doubt. Next, Harry was standing alone in a large room, being watched by two equal groups of children. A muggle woman with a whistle, waved him into one group. He was running down the street, being followed by large children. He was.... Eliza was working slowly, giving Harry enough time to try to block it. She slowed down a little, and gave him more time. He could block that. She sped up, little by little. Trying him, and testing, going further and further back...
Elizabeth broke out of Harry’s mind, and the bond that kept the minds in each other.
Dumbledore looked at her expectantly, and she nodded.
“Given practice and proper training, you should be able to block your mind sufficiently quite soon,” she began, “However, Dumbledore wishes that you be trained beyond that. The point he wishes to reach can be fulfilled by the end of the year, given your cooperation.”
Eliza smiled gently at him, “Good. You know how useful this can be, how vital it may become.”
Harry looked uncomfortable and he looked around again.
Dumbledore smiled his approval, than said, “That might be all today. In the future, it won’t just be Professor Smythe doing this, but myself, also.”
Elizabeth stood up and said, “Work on clearing your mind. Especially at night, when you’re less likely to be interrupted.”
Harry nodded and answered, “Yes, ma’am.”
Dumbledore added, “Next week, you’ll just be working with Professor Smythe. Meet her in her office this same time and day next week.”
Harry nodded, “Yes sir. Goodnight,” and he hurried from the room.
Elizabeth ran her fingers together, “My, he’s quiet.”
Dumbledore looked thoughtful, “Perhaps it’s because of the end of last term. I told him of the prophecy, and there was Sirius’s death.”
Elizabeth nodded, “Goodnight, sir. See you in the morning.”
“You, too, Professor.”
Eliza made her way out of the office and into the corridor, and yawned, then ran towards her own office, cheerfully, past staring students.
April 3rd, 2004, 2:40 pm
Chapter Nineteen, Part One
The next morning, Dumbledore cheerfully said to the staff, “There will be a staff meeting tonight, after dinner! Don’t be late” before tucking into a bowl of porridge. Elizabeth felt that he was being overenthusiastic, as usual, but it seemed almost assuring, familiar. Familiar in a sense she hadn’t felt for a very long time.
Thus, the staff room was filled with about fifteen occupants. Elizabeth sat on a couch, next to Professor Sinistra and Professor Sprout. Strange, she notice, the three of them were in alphabetical order, Sinistra, Smythe, Sprout. She laughed softly at that.
Professor Dumbledore beamed at them all, before saying, “I think we can safely begin. The next Hogsmeade weekend will be scheduled for November 3. Are there any issues that need to be dealt with?”
Professor Sinistra smiled slightly as the professors exchanged glances. She spoke up saying, “I did have a Gryffindor first year become hysterical the other day.”
Professor Snape shot a look at her before asking shrewdly, “You mean that Florence girl?”
She nodded, and Elizabeth followed suit, “She started crying in my class.”
There were a few murmurs of agreement from the others in the staff.
Dumbledore looked thoughtful, “I believe she comes from a family who were attacked by deatheaters this summer. This may be way. If she doesn’t settle soon, then we may have to act. Anything else?”
Professor McGonagol looked up, “You remember the owl from the minister an hour ago?”
Dumbledore’s face became slightly shadowed, “Oh yes. Elizabeth? Apparently the minister isn’t going to let go of his interrogating of the staff here. As you are new, I think there will be a ministry official to see your teach techniques and get some background information from you.”
Elizabeth felt her stomach lurch slightly. Great. Exactly what she needed. A ministry official getting into her business.
Dumbledore shot her a warning look, as if saying be careful.
Elizabeth looked down into her lap. Oi.
Nothing happened for the following week, and she found herself sitting in her office on the floor across from Harry. He was clearing his mind faster than before. Elizabeth had a haunting feeling that the reason it hadn’t been mastered by him with Snape was his grudge for Snape and Snape’s grudge for him.
Elizabeth nodded, “You may use your wand for this. Keep in mind that by the end of the year. I will expect you to be able to do this with out it.”
“Don’t you need yours, Professor?”
“No, I won’t. Professor Snape needed his, because despite his abilities in Occlumency, his ability to actually get into the mind and pull up memories is less accomplished. He can tell when one is lying, but he needs the actual spell to do this. Mind, he’s actually far more accomplished in legimens and occlumens than many, and in a good many of things as well.”
They worked on it. Little by little, Harry was improving. Until Elizabeth hit on the memory of the Department of Ministries. Harry grew weak in that memory, and she heard him moan, at the same time hearing Remus’s voice say, “It’s too late Harry...”
Elizabeth pulled out, pain sliding through her. Remus’s voice... she had read his letters, the ones he had sent shortly after many horrible things, but to hear his voice in that time... was worse.
She blinked and then looked at the matter at hand, “Harry,” she said sternly and gently at the same time, “you need to control your emotions. A memory this painful, is simply a weapon against you. You need to keep from these being a weakness. Let’s continue.”
Harry raised his wand, back to a ready position. Then, a voice came from the door.
“Well, this is interesting,” the voice said softly.
Elizabeth spun around. Standing in the doorway was a black clad figure, a slight smile playing on the figure’s face.
April 5th, 2004, 2:44 pm
Chapter Nineteen: Part Two
“Excuse me?” Elizabeth asked, her heart hammering.
The figure entered the room, pushing back a black hood, “You heard me, Lize.”
Curling red hair spilled down a woman’s shoulders. Her eyes were amused, in an unnerving way, “Of course, I heard from my meeting with Professor Dumbledore, there was a certain Professor Elizabeth Smythe I might be interested in meeting. I believe he was correct.”
Elizabeth noticed Harry watching the woman warily. The woman looked casually over towards him, a fleeting glance at him, before turning back to Eliza.
“Was he?” Eliza asked, her heart hammering.
“Of course. Lize.”
“I see. Joan.”
Joan’s smile widened. She stepped forward, hugging Eliza tightly.
“I haven’t seen you in forever! How long has it been? Fifteen years?”
“Around there. Joan, could you hold on, I have a lesson.”
Joan nodded toward Harry, “Dumbledore said you should be done by now.”
Eliza checked her watch. It was true.
“Harry, keep working on clearing your mind.”
Harry nodded, watching Joan warily.
“You don’t trust me, do you?” she asked.
Harry looked slightly startled, “I.... I....”
“It doesn’t matter. Your father didn’t at first. Not that I blame him. Your mother did, quicker.”
Harry stared, “You knew them?”
Joan nodded, “Of course. If I hadn’t, I would never have left the country for these years. Had I not, I doubt I would still be alive.”
Eliza smiled at that, “That’s true.”
Harry looked as if he wanted to ask much more, but wasn’t sure what to ask. Joan looked at him steadily.
Harry looked toward the door almost longingly, before saying, “Goodbye,” rather hurriedly. Once he was answered, he walked out of the room. As soon as he was out, running footsteps echoed down the hall.
Liza glanced at Joan, who was watching after him rather fondly, “Nice boy, isn’t he? Bit quiet, though. Shame,” she turned to Liza, “So. Apparently you aren’t dead or some mad deatheater as I’ve heard.”
Eliza blinked, “I haven’t heard that.”
Joan smiled, “Oh, you wouldn’t have, but after you disappeared, people began saying that. James, Sirius, Remus, Alice, Frank, and Lily all wouldn’t tell where you were at. I had a feeling they knew. Peter didn’t seem to know, either. Apparently we were the only ones in the dark, eh?”
Eliza studied the stone floor, “Yes. James thought it was best if a minimum of people knew where I went.”
Joan snorted, “He called,” she paused to count on her fingers, “Seven, including you, minimal?”
Liza nodded, “Yes, I suppose he did. But, it was James who sent me away, and Lily’s his wife. Sirius and Remus found out the day before, and we had to have somewhere for me to disappear from. Somewhere a bit less obvious than their home. That’s where Alice and Frank came in. I made them not tell Pettigrew, you know how I disliked him.”
Joan nodded, “I noticed. I left soon after Sirius was convicted. Lily and James were gone, Sirius some mass murderer, I thought. I made Alice watch over Remus for me, and I left. The echo of war, ended at such a cost as this. Too many memories of yesterday. I just... left.
“I ran away from my identity, making up my own, changing places, names, and jobs often. More than once I spent a couple months in woods, keeping my changing of people from being obvious,” she rubbed her head.
“I started to see the Dark beginning to grow and pull back together. I saw signs of it years ago. Last year, I expected. I had to bide my time. I guess I waited to long. Sirius died, and I still had no clue of where you were at. So, I came back. Dumbledore found me out after a couple months. I think he wasn’t positive of who I am at first, but now he’s sure.”
She looked rather tired, before looking up, “Have you told Harry who you are?”
Elizabeth smiled ironically, “Have you?”
Joan looked amused, “No. I haven’t. Of course, now I can’t feel guilty for not. I don’t plan to for a while.”
Eliza laughed, “Oh, I’ll tell him soon enough. I’m just waiting for the right time.”
“But will you see it when you do?”
Liza flashed an arrogant smile, “Of course!”
Joan raised an eye brow calmly, “Well, Professor, you are aware that you never act like that. Only your brother did.”
Liza shrugged, “I am.”
Joan considered her for a moment, “You’re acting a lot different. More calm, more... “ she shook her head.
Elizabeth looked up, “That’s what living like this has done to me. I can’t act as I would, because, well, I’d be found out to easily. It’s hard, but the second I can, I’ll act normal. For me, I mean.”
Joan nodded, then stood, “I have to go. I’ll see you at the next Order meeting. I’m back in it now. Good night.”
Elizabeth nodded, and brought her to the door, “See you, then.”
Joan covered her head with her hood. Her face in shadows, her body but a mass of black, she nodded.
Elizabeth watched her go. Some things never change, and I’m glad that’s one.
April 8th, 2004, 12:43 am
Chapter Twenty : Part One
Friday went well. Elizabeth only had 4th and 5th year Hufflepuffs, 2nd year Ravenclaws and 1st year Slytherins. She had two full hours of nothing. Well, she actually had to plan the next lessons, and correct a few papers, but those were done after an hour.
Dinner was a quiet event. Professor Sinistra fell asleep in her pie, and Professor Snape hardly had anything to eat at all. Dumbledore was thoughtfully silent, and Professors McGonagol, Sprout, and Flitwick were just staring into the mass of students. The only thing that really happened was that Eliza accidently knocked over Snape’s goblet when reaching for the bread.
On Saturday, there was an Order meeting. Elizabeth got there a half hour early, and wandered around the house, in one room, there was a tapestry with the title The Ancient and Most Noble House of Black . Elizabeth rolled her eyes when she read that, and went to the next room. In one room, there was a muttering house-elf, in another, a hippogriff, eying her. Elizabeth backed out of that room quickly. On the way back down, she found Remus heading down also.
“Hello, Liza,” he said, tiredly.
No wonder he’s tired, it was full moon two days ago. she thought.
“You’re here early,” he commented when they reached the kitchen.
“Of course I am. I have all of my plans set, and the papers graded. Of course, I didn’t have any papers to grade, not yet,” she added.
He nodded, as he made a cup of tea, “Want one?” he asked, looking up.
She shook her head, “Not really, thanks.”
A slight smile flicked across his face, “I hear you have an... examination coming up.”
Eliza made a face, “The interfering little...”
Remus cleared his throat, “Make sure you don’t let anything slip. I’m sure they’re curious as to who you are, just don’t make them more so.”
“I’ll try, but really, hiding is not my favorite way to live.”
“I don’t imagine it is,” he commented, mildly, “I’m surprised you lasted this long. Sirius was only in hiding for two years, and he was cracking. You’ve been at it for over fifteen years, and you seem fine.”
“Well, Sirius is one person, I’m another,” Eliza pointed out.
“True, but your characters are similar.”
Eliza raised an eyebrow, “Yes of course,” she said sarcastically.
Remus grinned, “It’s not an insult, you know.”
“Sure, but it’s not a compliment, either.”
Remus laughed at that, “Think what you may.”
They sat down at the table.
“Of course,” Remus added, “you’ve always had a worse temper than him.”
Eliza rolled her eyes, “It’s in my blood, idiot.”
“Of course it is, James was frightening when he was in a temper, and Harry could bring a house down around your ears,” he said calmly.
“That would be interesting,” she said mildly.
“For you, maybe. You always handled Snape better than Sirius,” he commented.
Eliza rolled her eyes, again, “Of course, but that was due to a few... odd circumstances.”
Remus smiled reminiscently, “Well, that it was.”
Eliza traced the wood grain with her fingers, “I worked with Harry on his occlumency Thursday.”
Remus looked up from his tea he was studying, “Really? How did it go?”
“Interesting, I guess. He’s improving, already.”
Remus nodded, “That’s good.”
“It is. I dug into a few memories. I came across the one from the Department of Mysteries.”
Remus went back to studying his tea, “Oh.”
Elizabeth nodded, “Yes. It was only part of it, the one with Sirius’s death in it.”
Remus nodded, staring at his tea.
Elizabeth found her voice again, “It was horrible.”
Remus nodded, then asked, his voice wavering, “Did you see the part when he ran after Bellatrix?”
She looked up startled, “He didn’t.”
Remus nodded, “He took me by surprise, I had though he wasn’t going to go running, so I loosened my grip, then he saw her, and chased her to the fountain.”
Elizabeth shuddered, “Not good.”
Remus nodded, “Not at all. I couldn’t follow him, I had to help round up the deatheaters.”
Elizabeth squeezed his arm in silent remorse.
The door burst open, and in came Tonks, singing some nonsense, “Da da, dee, da, doooooo!”
She spotted Eliza and Remus, then said, “My, we’re all sad looking aren’t we?”
Elizabeth smiled, and said, “Oh, I suppose.”
The door opened again, and in came Joan. Remus looked up, then stood, followed by Eliza.
“Joan!” he hugged her.
“Remus!” she laughed, hugging him back.
She turned and hugged Eliza, “Lize!”
Liza laughed and said, “Joan!”
The rest of the order filed in, and the meeting began.
April 9th, 2004, 3:32 pm
Chapter Twenty: Part Two
The Order kept shooting Joan suspicious glances during most of the meeting, before Dumbledore cleared his throat, and spoke:
“I see you have all noticed the new comer,” he gestured to her, “She is one of the witches I told you about. Her name is Joan,” he nodded to her, and she stood, looked around at them all, her hair glowing in the dim light, her face shadowed.
“Does she have a last name?” asked Tonks, curiously.
Joan calmly raised an eyebrow, and Dumbledore answered, “She does, but that’s not to be revealed. She’s one of the people Voldemort wants to know more about, thus she is important for us to keep away from him.”
Joan smiled and whispered in Elizabeth’s ear, “Wow, I feel special.” The women exchanged looks and continued to listen.
Dumbledore changed his business, “At our next meeting, we’ll have to place some of us who have the time to be stationed at various places in Hogsmeade.”
Tonks smiled, and asked, “Including that one coffee shop? If you ask me, after last time, I don’t think that we’ll need anyone there. Harry looked glad to get out.”
Dumbledore said, “We’ll need someone stationed along that street, just in case, but we’ll discuss this next week. Anything else?”
There were general murmurs of declining. The meeting came to the end, and one by one,the members slowly trickled out until Remus, Elizabeth, and Joan were alone sitting at the table in the semidarkness.
Remus smiled at her, “It’s good to have you back.”
Joan looked around the room, before smiling at him and answering quietly, “It’s good to be back.”
There was a rather companionable silence for a little while before Joan whispered, “I would have come back, really I would have. Earlier I mean, but I couldn’t get myself to. I’d be half way through writing a letter to you, Remus, but then I’d burn it, just because I had written I was coming home. I couldn’t convince myself to. When I found out Sirius was innocent, but on the run, I nearly came back, but I convinced myself that I wouldn’t be able to see him. When he was stationed here, I decided he was going to be angry with my abandoning him, but when I convinced myself to come back, I found out he died the night before.” She stared at the table.
Remus watched her, as Eliza hugged her old school friend, and said, “No, no, I feel the same way. Don’t worry. There isn’t anything we can do about it now, so don’t cry. He wouldn’t want you to, I know,” soothingly.
Joan shuddered, than sat up, her eyes cold again, an expression on her face she only used when she was trying not to express any emotion for fear of breaking down or losing her composure. She looked up at Elizabeth and Remus, her face rather expressionless and pale, then spoke to Eliza.
“Have you been to see Alice yet?” she asked, softly.
Eliza shook her head, “No, not yet. I haven’t been able to, and seeing Alice and Frank like that is bound to be terrible.”
Joan nodded and answered, “I left right before that attack on them. I told Alice to look after Remus and left. When I found out, I couldn’t leave already, so we sent letters back and forth for a long time. He never did tell me where you are, or if you were alive, or anything.”
Remus nodded, confirming what she said, watching Elizabeth who kept her expression guarded, “So, did you think I was dead, or were you jumping to the favorite conclusion of most, I was a traitor death-eater along with my old friend, Sirius Black, out to get everyone else?” Her voice sounded tight.
Joan looked at her an nodded, “Yes, I did,” she said, “I didn’t think you were dead, Remus would have told me. I had trouble believing the death-eater story, so it was easy not to believe it now.”
“But you believed Sirius to be the murdering traitor everyone thought him?” Her voice rose angrily.
“Liza! Lize! What could I believe. I saw it from the corner. Sirius just started laughing, and it all seemed... true. It didn’t make sense, and it was difficult to believe, but that was the only possibility. I.... it....What else could I do?” Her voice sounded desperate.
Eliza’s eyes hardened and she opened her mouth to speak, but Remus placed a hand on her arm and said firmly, “It’s in the past. We must put all of this behind us. Everything. I know that’s hard, it is, but we have to stick together. Especially you two. Voldemort wants to discover who you are and destroy you. Listen, Joan, Liza: Calm down. Please.”
Remus’s face was hidden in the shadows, but his eyes glowed from where he was. Eliza and Joan exchanged glances and whispered their apologies, not meeting each others eyes, but watching Remus.
Remus sighed and put his hand on the back of his neck. “I think we have to catch up with each other. It’s been too long, there’s so much that’s happened, and we can’t tear each other up because of things not that went on that we haven’t gotten over. I’m not planning on tearing up anyone, it’s wrong time of the month,” he smiled slightly, “But, you two could end up killing each other with your tempers. I know, they’re terrible. So calm down, listen, and sit. We have to tell everything that went on here. We can’t leave anything that’s important undiscussed, because I’m not living with you two at each other’s throats because of it, Okay?”
Joan looked amused, “Aw, Remie’s taking charge,” she said.
A/N: The next part should be coming soon. After this week, the updates will be slowing back down again, as school will be starting back up, so don't get used to this everyother day thing, I'm just making up for other times when there are only a couple updates a month, but I'll try to do it at least once a week. *crosses fingers for luck*
April 17th, 2004, 10:13 pm
Chapter Twenty One
Joan looked amused, “Aw, Remie’s taking charge,” she said.
Remus gave her a look, and Liza and Joan giggled like two teenagers. Remus gave up and laughed along too, sitting down.
“Well, then. Where should we begin?” asked Remus, “About when you left?”
“I already told her that,” Eliza pointed out.
Remus shrugged, “So? We can go over it again, just to be sure.”
Elizabeth sighed and nodded, “Okay then. Why don’t you begin?”
“Why don’t you?”
“Okay, fine. Well, you remember the run-ins I had with those death-eaters? Well, when James and Lily found out that Voldemort was after him, James wouldn’t let me just sit around while all of this was going on. So, he decided to send me away.”
Remus motioned for her to go on.
“Anyway, Lily pointed out that they didn’t have a floo network when they were in hiding, so they sent me through Alice and Frank’s.”
“Weren’t they also in hiding?” asked Joan slowly.
“Yes, but they hadn’t become disconnected yet. There was less urgency for them than James and Lily. So, we planned on going there, but Remus and Sirius found out and demanded to come, so they did. I made sure that Peter didn’t come. He was the last person I would want to have had at my departure. You know how I despised him.”
Remus sadly smiled, “It’s a shame none of us shared that intuition of yours, Iza. Shameful how we didn’t believe you.”
“Well, I didn’t want to leave, but James insisted. I wasn’t exactly happy about that, but I made sure I didn’t leave with bad feelings between us. Who knew when I’d see him again, if ever. I didn’t want either of us to left with that. So I left. I worked for their Ministry of Magic for a year.”
Joan snorted in surprise, almost choking.
Elizabeth continued doggedly, ignoring Joan’s reaction, “I worked as an Auror there. I’d had the training here, so I passed all of the tests. No one knew exactly who I was, I went by a different name. I can’t remember to well what it was. I think it was Johnson or Johannson, or something similar. Everyone wrote me. When everything happened... well, Remus, maybe you should tell this part.”
Remus nodded, his brow creasing as he thought. The dim light made the lines in his face seem deeper and his face more shadowed. Then he took a deep breath and began, “I sent letters to Liza explaining things as they happened. When I sent the letter after Lily and James’s death... Actually, it was the one after that, I was to shocked on the first one. In that first letter, I expressed that I couldn’t believe that Sirius had backstabber us and proved to be a deatheater. I couldn’t believe that he’d betray Lily and James. I couldn’t believe that he’d place his own godson into the hands of his sworn enemy. I couldn’t believe it, but I did, and I was furious.
“The reply to that letter was.... explosive. Not literally, Joan, but it left me about as surprised as it would have if it had been. Eliza’s letter was quite angry, and to my surprise, it was angry at me. She obviously didn’t believe what was apparently the truth, pushed in her face.
“The letter was just plain parchment, it wasn’t a howler. Liza couldn’t exactly send one due to the circumstances, but the letter was expressive enough. She was stubbornly defending him, and scolding me for believing otherwise.
“She was angry at me for believing that he would turn on his friends, the closest thing to be his family, his values, and destroy it all for power. She said that he wouldn’t have done it, that he’d rather have died.”
He rubbed his forehead, tiredly,“I had thought that before this happened, before this changed my mind. I shouldn’t have changed my mind, but you remember how it was, Joan.”
Joan nodded, pushing a single curl from her pale forehead.
“After several letters, we stopped arguing about it. We had decided to agree that we could both disagree about this even though we were sure we were right and the other was wrong. So, we sent letters, replaying events and asking advice. Sometimes it was just remembering. In the past few years, we had to revert to code, but we’d used codes so often in our school days, that that seemed as natural as writing it out in plain English. When I finally realized that Sirius was indeed innocent, I sent Eliza a letter, an apology. She thankfully excepted it. At the end of the year after I taught, Sirius and I moved into the place where he grew up, his parents house, due to Voldemort’s rebirth and the reorganization of the Order. Sirius started to write Eliza, also. That’s her story. Do you need mine?”
Joan considered for a moment, “Well, what don’t we know?”
“Not much. I told you both most of it in my letters,” Remus replied.
Joan bit her lip, “Then, I suppose we don’t need it. Mine is next, I suppose, isn’t it?”
Eliza nodded, watching her friend carefully.
Joan closed her eyes for a long moment, then took a breath. She let it out, and began to speak:
“After, or nearly after, everything happened, I left. I couldn’t stand it anymore, and I needed out. I made sure Alice would keep an eye on Remus while I was gone, we didn’t need him doing anything rash, and he seemed rather shocked. So, I went. I worked for different places, under different identities, leaving the second I began to be examined or I was placed under spotlight. I suppose I became paranoid, but that’s to be expected, I imagine. If I was mentioned in an article in the newspaper, I was gone the next day, in the dead of night.”
Her eyes had a nearly glazed look. It was apparent she wasn’t seeing the dim, dingy room, nor her friend’s faces, but the places she had been. and the lives she had led.
“I wrote to Remus and Alice and Frank. Well, Ali and Frank before they were attacked at least. Yes, I did believe the rumors about you, Lize, but forgive me. I believe them about Sirius, also. There were a few about me floating around, but the ones about you were more than mine, and Sirius’s were so plentiful, it seemed to be fact. I hadn’t a clue that you were actually doing the exact same thing as I. I never thought of it, either. Except, sometimes, I would pass someone in the street who reminded me strongly of you. Once I visited a school, and I thought one of the professors had a similar face to yours, and in a joke shop, I was struck by the shop-keeper’s frame.”
Joan smiled, and Eliza stared at her.
“Of course, I see the possibility now that it was you, but then, they were just jolts of the past I was trying to escape. After the.... thing after I left, I couldn’t convince myself to come back. At first, it was because Harry wasn’t going to be in our world yet. When it was time, I was in a job that I was comfortable in. When I fled from that, Sirius was on the loose. I didn’t want to be anywhere near him, as I thought him to be a backstabber. When it was discovered he was innocent, I believed he’d be angry at me. When Voldemort returned, I didn’t want to go near where he was. When Sirius died...”
There was silence before Joan whispered, “I saw I should have come.”
For several minutes, no one spoke. Elizabeth’s watch ticked, and she discovered how very old she was feeling. It was as though she had aged twenty years in twenty minutes. Remus’s chin was in a hand, and he was studying the wood grain on the table. Joan was regaining her composure, the composure she rarely lost.
Finally, Elizabeth whispered, “It’s late.”
Remus stood up, nodding, “So it is. Eliza, you best head to the school. You’ll need to be awake for... Monday. Remember when you’re examined: don’t lose your temper, although I’m sure you will; don’t frighten them, although I’m sure you will; keep focused, although I’m sure you won’t. Good-night.”
Joan smiled weakly at Remus’s speech and stood. She stepped forward and hugged Liza hard, who returned it. Joan turned to Remus and hugged him hard, also. Remus returned it, then turned to Eliza and hugged her before kissing her lightly on the top of the head.
Their farewells were bid, as Remus led them to the fireplace. Joan disappeared with a whoosh. Eliza smiled at Remus and stepped into the fire. Remus swung out of sight.
May 13th, 2004, 11:54 pm
Liza yawned as she entered the Great Hall the next morning. A little over half the school was in there, but as it was Sunday, a vast majority were not. As she headed to the staff table, she noticed the looks on the other staff’s faces. Most were frowning, looking solemn, but Dumbledore, McGonagol, and Snape looked amused.
“What’s going on?” she asked as she slid into the seat beside Professor Sinistra.
“A new Death-Eater on the loose, aparently,” she said, setting down the paper.
“Really?” asked Eliza interestedly, “Hmm... can I see?”
“Go right ahead,” she answered.
“If you dare,” Severus said darkly.
Eliza stared at him in surprise before reaching for the face-down paper. She flipped it right-side up and stared.
There was a large photograph of a witch about twenty years old. She had messy black hair, and glaring hazel eyes hidden behind glasses. Her expression was level and cold. She barely moved on the paper. Swallowing, Eliza looked at the headline and article:
Elizabeth Potter: Death-Eater on the Run
Elizabeth Potter has been discovered to be among us once more.
After she disappeared fifteen years ago under suspicious circumstances,
she appears to be among us once again.
She was been close friends with Sirius Black. She helped him and
He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named plot her brother’s, sister-in-law’s,
and nephew’s deaths. She’s been close to several dangerous beasts,
including a giant, and a werewolf, who is supposedly her husband.
She was put on trial as a young adult for a series of charges for
behavior and lack of courtesy. As well, Potter was a known enemy
of the hero Peter Pettigrew.
Indeed, as a teen she was an interest to the Death-Eaters and
He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. She has been a Death-Eater since
a rather young age, about 15 or 16.
Elizabeth Potter is extremely dangerous. She has a talent for the
control of minds and dreams. She is quite definitely in You-Know-Who’s
Potter has been gone, but has apparently returned, heralding the
rising of her master.
Eliza stared at the article in her hands, “Wow,” she whispered.
Her colleague nodded, “I know. It’s rather frightening isn’t it?”
Eliza shook her head, “It’s not that, but,” she turned to include Snape, “It rather sounds like the paper’s trying to convince us on how horrible she is. I mean, it’s all straight forward. Too straightforward.”
Snape nodded, “It does seem like that, but Dumbledore thinks the Ministry believes all of this. There are her trial records, of course.”
Professor Sinistra whispered, “What were the trials on?”
Snape smiled thinly, “Nothing major. Nothing that is very horrible. Just a few mistakes she made landed the wrong way with the ministry.”
Sinistra stared in bewilderment, “Like what?”
Snape scowled, “She was a rather close friend with Black, she was friendly with werewolves and other creatures of the like... Besides, she was outspoken against several things dealing with the ministry.”
“Oh. That must account for the ‘lack of courtesy’? Am I right.”
“Pretty much. She also stood up for some accused Death-Eaters. That rather marked her in an unsubtle way.
Elizabeth sat silent, staring at the paper. She felt horrible. Of course, she had been in hiding for fifteen years now, and was used to hearing things about herself and her friends.... but to see it in print was... worse. But of course there might be hope: Maybe it wouldn’t be taken very seriously. After all, the past year did show that the paper lied several times and didn’t print the important things such as Voldemort had returned as powerful as ever.
She gazed out to the students who were eating. She saw a few students crowded over a paper, but most of the students were giggling, so there was a rather high chance they were looking at the fourth page It had something about a muggle telling the police that his neighbors were wizards. Apparently the muggle had been sent to an insane..... something.
‘They would be laughing at that, wouldn’t they? Of course, it’s not that funny, but I guess to them it is... especially as there’s a picture of the muggle running around screaming....’ Elizabeth thought tiredly.
She gazed around some more and her eyes fell on Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Ron and Hermione were reading the paper, and Harry was slightly pale and had a peculiar look on his face.
A/N: I’m sorry for such a long wait! I’ve been busy with the spring things that go on as well as a rather strange way of spring cleaning... :D
May 25th, 2004, 10:40 pm
Ministry Official Part One
Professor Smythe was uneasy. There was only fifteen minutes before her first class of the week. Normally, that wouldn’t be a time nerves kicked in, but today, what with the ministry official coming, the nerves were going full blast.
Elizabeth slowly sipped from her shaking mug of hot cocoa. That wasn’t on the table everyday, but Elizabeth supposed the elves were giving the staff table two steaming pots of it to sustain the defense professor. Minerva glanced at her colleague and smiled reassuringly at her.
“You’ll be fine, Elizabeth. Honestly, the only thing I’d be worried for right now is the one that will be examining you. Poor man won’t know what hit him.”
“Man is it?” Elizabeth asked anxiously.
“Yes, don’t you remember from the note? Anton Lamberg,” she looked thoughtful, “Of course, it just goes to show you. I was always surprised he knew what end of the wand to hold.”
Eliza stared, “Professor?”
Minerva sighed, “Yes, he was a bit of a fool, but I suppose that was too harsh. If given specific instructions, he could do nearly anything. That always concerned me.”
Elizabeth stared into her mug. The cocoa was rich and creamy, and it calmed her enough to think straight. Eliza’s memory soared away from her present conversation to a few years previous.
She was standing behind the counter, looking over the shop full of fireworks, Dungbombs, trick sweets, and other supplies needed by practical jokers.
She picked up a wet-start firecracker and licked her finger. She touched an end of the firework lightly and released it. It sizzled and popped as it danced across the room trailing gold and green sparks. As “Isabella” watched it’s progress, it flitted across the window. Her stomach flipped. Staring in the window was a pale, pointed face, topped with white-blonde hair.
“Isabella” dropped her gaze to the money box before her. She placed a hand on it, and glanced back to the door where the manager’s office was. His fiery hair seemed to burn as he spoke to the fire, sounding faintly annoyed.
“We don’t have the order in, Gustav. No, I’m sorry, we don’t...”
A bell tinkled, and “Isabella” looked up to the door. Lucius Malfoy stumbled past the sparking bit of the room, swaying.
“Where is this place?” He slurred imperiously.
“Lotches & Snorts, sir,” she said, toning her voice up a note.
“No, the village,” Lucius slurred, blood shot eyes on hers.
He swore, “This not Britain?” His imperious voice was thick.
“No, sir, it isn’t.”
“Thloo powder.” It wasn’t a question.
“On the mantle. Only take enough for this trip. A pinch, sir.”
He made his way slowly to the grate. A pinch, a murmur, a whoosh, and he was gone. “Isabella” collapsed against the wall in relief, nerves still jangling.
Elizabeth stood in the corridor next to the one leading to her classroom. The less time she spent with someone of the ministry, the better. She watched as her students flowed past the portraits, and waited.
Finally, it was a minute until class began. Reluctantly, she wove her way between some statues and entered her room. It was tense in there, and a few students were craning their necks to view the ministry official.
Anton Lamberg was a short man with dull brown hair, and bored gray eyes. His face was slightly pale, and his lips were pursed, as if he were tasting a lemon. It seemed to be a permanent expression. In one hand, he held a falcon feather of a quill, positioned for notes on his piece of marked parchment.
Elizabeth coughed, and said calmly, “Good morning, class.”
There were murmurs of good morning, and Elizabeth took a deep breath.
May 29th, 2004, 2:15 am
Ministry Official- Part Two
“Today, we’re going to review about dement-” She was abruptly cut off.
“Excuse me, Professor Smythe?”
“Yes?” Elizabeth felt her temper begin to burn.
“Did you receive the letter about your examination?”
“As I haven’t questioned your presence as you are not on the attendance sheet, you should assume that I did. Now I need some facts about dementors.”
Hermione Granger’s hand popped up. Blessing her student at this moment, “Hermione?”
“Dementors are tall and wear cloaks. Their faces are hidden, and are only shown when the dementor is abou-”
She, too, was cut off.
“Professor Smythe, this is your first year teaching is it not?” Anton asked.
“Raise your hand, and I will call on you. Miss Granger, kindly continue.”
Looking startled, she obeyed, “Their faces are only shown when the dementor is about to Kiss someone, or, in other words, is about to suck out a persons soul through their mouth.”
Shudders went through the class room.
“Correct, five points to Gryffindor. Any more? Yes, Mr. Lamberg?”
“Will you answer my previous question?”
“Will you wait a few more minutes? Then, I will gladly answer that and others,” he opened his mouth to argue, “But remember, raise your hand.” Elizabeth smiled sweetly.
“Does any one have anything more? Harry?”
“They feed on the good emotions people have. They are... were the guards to Azkaban. They can be repelled by a patronus.”
“Excellent! Five more points to Gryffindor. Now, what do you know about patroni? Yes, Mr. Macmillan?”
“They are the opposite of dementors. They are of a good force, of hope and happiness.”
“Good! Five points to Hufflepuff! Now, who here can produce one, not a corpeal, but at least a mist.”
Everyone who had been in Dumbledore’s Army raised their hands.
“Who can produce a corpeal?”
Nearly all the DA raised their hands.
“Wonderful. We’ll work on them next week. Next Monday, you have an essay due.”
There were groans from the class. Elizabeth smiled before continuing.
“Yes, I know. Horrible, isn’t it? It must be ten inches and about how to produce a patronus. I suggest you begin working, unless anyone has any questions.”
None came, so Elizabeth sat down on her desk and raised an eyebrow at Mr. Lamberg.
“Now for my questions. This is your first year of teaching, is it not?”
Aware her students were listening, she smiled slightly, “No, it isn’t. It’s my first year at Hogwarts, yes, but I worked at a smaller school for five years.”
“I see... where was that?”
“How am I to know? It was Unplottable.”
“Fine, then. Are you aware that the last living Smythe died a few years ago?”
“I was told that by one of my students. Your point?” she glanced over the class room. Hurriedly, students stuck their heads back in their books, or pretended to right several lines. Some didn’t have ink on their quills, and some of the quills didn’t touch the parchment.
“It simply was a comment.”
“Truly? If you ask me, it sounded a bit like a question,” she said, meeting Harry’s eyes as she continued her look over the class. He gave her a small smile that she returned.
“Do you know about the whereabouts of Malfoy?”
“No, I do not.”
Draco looked up at that.
It went on for a while....
Harry’s head shot up, his eyes livid. Elizabeth wasn’t much happier.
“He’s dead,” she spat, pain flooding her.
Nobody in the class room was bothering to pretend to be doing their work.
“Potter?” Elizabeth echoed.
“Oh, she’s a Death Eater?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact she is.”
“And you have proof?” she raised an eyebrow, trying to stay calm, but her hands rolled up into fists never-the-less.
Her better judgment was flying through the window, her temper was building, as was the pressure against whatever lid was pressed down to keep it under control. The lid burst open.
“Well, of course the ministry doesn’t need proof. They twist up truths to make them lives and feed it to the press. They make Death Eaters out of good people, and murderers out of heroes. They claim the truth is some boy’s plea for attention, and some old man senility. They only think for the good of themselves. The good of the people? Why should they care?”
Silence. A heavy silence. Silence. Silence pressing on everyone’s ears. Silence. The silence of the shock of a professor’s rant. The bell rang. No one moved.
“I see,” Anton said, making a flourish on his piece of parchment.
Elizabeth’s stomach hit the floor, and the students began to file out. Harry stood for a moment, seeming reluctant to leave. He met her eyes, questioning, and she nodded to the door. He left, and nerves jangling, she raised her eyebrows at the man before her.
He went back to his desk and sat down in it. Students flowed into the room.
Elizabeth sat back down on the desk. She didn’t remember standing up, but now, all she could think was, “This is going to be a long week.”
June 12th, 2004, 4:09 pm
Discussions and Potions
And that it was. In her class with the first year Gryffindors, Anton caused the little girl to cry again. How, Elizabeth wasn’t sure. All she knew was that it gave her another excuse to shout at him, this time about how he should not upset her students.
At lunch, Elizabeth took the opportunity to vent her frustration on Snape. Prank after prank was cast onto him until he said, “If you want to kill me, why don’t you do it straight out?”
Professor Sinistra just laughed and said, “I doubt it’s you she wants to see die, rather that ministry official. I’ve heard you gave him a talking to in your sixth year class and another one in your first year Gryffindor class. Hopefully you won’t lose your job. Not that I think you will,” she added hastily as Elizabeth glowered at her.
“He’s a brainless git,” Elizabeth stated calmly, sipping more hot cocoa. She seemed to be depending on it for life support or something, today.
“That he is,” Severus said softly, “But is your blood chocolate yet? That has to be your fifth cup this meal. Not to mention your eight during breakfast.”
Elizabeth raised an eyebrow at him, and calmly knocked a bowl of whipped cream into his lap after adding a liberal amount to her cup.
“You were always rather immature for your age,” Snape said as he pulled his wand out to clean up the mess.
“Rather,” she sipped from her mug.
Professor Sinistra watched in astonishment. No doubt she had never seen professor behaving that way, and she had never seen Snape take something similar so calmly, specifically as it had been done literally.
She decided to leave. She still had thirty minutes until her Seventh year NEWTs class, but she wanted to walk and try to collect her scattered nerves. Getting up, she left the hall, pushing through a side door, she wandered aimlessly down the corridor.
Halfway down, she heard footsteps echoing from behind her. Turning, she saw a figure with billowing robes, bat-like. She sighed and leaned against the wall, waiting.
“I need to talk to you,” Professor Severus Snape said silkily
Elizabeth resumed walking with her unaccustomed companion, “Fine. What about?”
“Do you honestly want to lose your job?”
She turned and stared at him in surprise, “Of course not! Why would I?”
He answered, “You have to tread carefully around the ministry. Especially now. It’s rather unstable, at the moment.”
“And that’s unusual?”
He looked at her, waiting.
“Fine. What else do you need to say?”
“Just be wary. The wrong information in the wrong hands, even if it’s false, or just assumed, could lead to danger. Not only for you, but for a good deal of the people with in these walls.”
Elizabeth rubbed her head, “I know that, but-”
“Don’t lose your temper. If anything, don’t. If you lose your temper once more, you may lose your job. You have to stay here, I’ve been told, due to the doings of your-” Elizabeth coughed pointedly “-and the ministry will be suspicious if you remain here after being fired.”
“Thanks, but I’m aware of that.”
“Then do that. Ignore them, do something, but don’t lose your temper,” he brushed a greasy lock of hair from his sallow face and grimaced. He reached into her pocket, and handed her a vial, “Drink that.”
She stared at the bottle, “What is it?”
“It’s a potion that will make you stoic. You won’t have your temper to deal with, anything that would make you sad wouldn’t and so on.”
Elizabeth swished the bottle around. The glass was green, but as far as she could tell, the contents were white. It was thick and had some globs in it, “When do I drink it.”
“A mouthful before each class should suffice. Any more than that, and you won’t be able to feel anything. You won’t acknowledge anything around you, and you’ll be in a dream state for half the day.”
Elizabeth nodded, “What would it react negatively to?”
Snape met her eyes, “Doxy droppings, ferret saliva, and merpeople hair.”
Elizabeth stared, “And how was that discovered?”
Snape smiled grimly, “In all honesty Smythe, you don’t want to know.”
“I figured I wouldn’t. What are the side effects?”
“Questioning every bit about it, aren’t you? You’ll have a headache after it wears off, and trouble walking for a half hour after ingesting it.”
“Not as bad as some of the other potions you’ve given me. How long does it last for?”
“It’s in full power for an hour and a half and it’s completely worn off after two hours. Give or take, so you best take it on the hour.”
“Thank you for this,” she wiggled the bottle.
“You’ll need it, and I don’t want you fired,” his voice was low.
“Really? I thought you’d avoid working with me until it was a life or death situation.”
“I would, but if you’re fired, Dumbledore will make me help teach the id-” he stared down at his knee in surprise as it buckled. Elizabeth calmly pulled her foot back in to underneath her robes, “I mean, the boy Occlumency.”
Elizabeth nodded, and the pair turned their separate ways. Eliza noticed at the end of the hall, a red-haired girl pulling herself quickly into that shadows. Pretending not to notice her, Elizabeth swept past the suit of armor the girl was behind.
“Professor Smythe is rather.... odd, isn’t she?” Hermione asked.
“What I don’t get is why she’d trust Snape of all people. Is she in the mood for a good slow death?” Ron asked.
It was after dinner that day. Elizabeth was sorting through the books in the old defense corner of the library. None of it was deemed dangerous, and it kept her completely hidden from anyone’s view that didn’t go into the invisibility section.
“She seemed to trust him. She said something about the potions he’s given her before,” Ginny said slowly.
“She trusts Snape?” Harry asked, looking surprised.
That had been the first time he’d spoken in the entire conversation. Neville, who was also with them, hadn’t spoken at all.
“Well, she doesn’t seem to like him very much, and I’d say the same’s for him.”
“Where do you suppose she’s from?” asked Neville, suddenly.
Everyone looked at him.
“I mean, she said that she used to work at a school earlier, and Hogwarts is the only school in Britain. She’s definitely British, if you ask me.”
Harry looked up, “She’s friends with Lupin.”
Hermione stared at him, “How do you know that?”
“The day we left Grimmauld’s Place, she was talking to him. They knew each other, that was obvious. They were acting like old friends.”
Hermione nodded, “And she did start to lose her temper when that man accused Sirius of being a Death Eater. Maybe she knew him as well.”
Harry bit his lip and looked down.
Ginny looked interested, “Is there anyway to find out if she went to school with them?”
Hermione jumped up, “Yes, there is! There’s a section with the school records in it over by the histories.”
Quickly, Elizabeth checked to make sure she wouldn’t be seen. It was fine.
As Hermione came back, she sorted through a thick book that appeared to be falling apart. It wasn’t put together very well.
“Hm.... does anyone know how old Lupin is?”
Everyone but Neville shrugged, who looked up, “Gran told me that he went to school with my parents, he was a little older. Maybe... thirty six?”
Elizabeth looked up. That was very accurate. In fact, it was exact.
Hermione flipped through the book, and nodded, “Here’s his years list.... there isn’t a Smythe. I’ll try younger... she’s not here... but, Neville, your parents were just a year younger... they must have known Elizabeth Potter. She was in the same house and year... No, she’s not younger than him; she’s not on any of these class lists. I’ll try older.... she’s not here!” She snapped the book shut.
Everyone exchanged looks. Elizabeth flipped through ‘Defense from Death.’ The whole book was too old to be of any use. It was completely illegible, and what was legible was foolish.
“Then how does he know her? Harry, was she on the Order picture Moody past around last year? I didn’t get to see it.”
Harry furrowed his brow, “He didn’t mention her.”
Elizabeth finally found a useful book. Despite how much she wanted to, she decided not to spy any longer. She went up to Madam Pince and showed her the book, “Can I take this out?”
The students spun around, she glanced at them and smiled at them.
As she checked out the book, they watched her. She turned around, and suddenly someone was speaking to her. Hermione.
“I was wondering, how do you know Professor Lupin?”
“I went to school with them,” she said simply.
“You’re not on the class list, though,” Hermione said, in surprise.
“Yes, I am. I was in Gryffindor. I wasn’t in the same year as him,” and with that, she turned around. Give them something to chew on. After all, she wasn’t going to tell Harry who she was until he’d figured out it for himself. It’d be much better that way. She wouldn’t have to prove it to him at all. In the mean time, small hints would suffice.
June 30th, 2004, 2:58 pm
Chapter Twenty five
That night, Elizabeth fell asleep rather early. At first, the dreams were what a couple people in Hogwarts were doing, nothing out of the ordinary.
Eliza stepped through the mist into a new dream. She stood in a cold, stone room, watching as a tall thin man sat on a tall backed chair before a groveling lump on the floor.
“What have you learned?” came an icy voice.
Elizabeth shivered as the presence of a person came near her. They were obviously dreaming this, too. She was familiar with the presence, but it took her a few moments to realize. Harry.
“Master...please...” whined the lump.
“Wormtail! I have stationed you in Hogwarts. You’re ability to transform is the only reason I gave you this privilege. Do not disappoint me. What have you learned?”
“A bit, master,” Pettigrew said, breathless, “The woman, this Professor Smythe.... she is familiar with Snape.”
“Familiar with that traitor... go on.”
“She’s training the Potter boy in Occlumency.”
“Is she now?”
“Yes, sir. She’s using a different way than Snape. It’s a far more subtle way, I can’t quite tell what it is. I believe she just uses her mind for that.”
“There is only one living being that can do that... hmmm.... she might be... but, then how....”
“Continue, filth. This needs some thinking over.”
“She has been been.... secretive, with her identity.”
“Secretive???! Wormtail! It’s your job to find out secrets. Are you so incompetent I must send you to help Lucius with the Dementors?”
“No... No, my lord,” stammered Pettigrew.
“What else have you learned?”
“The Stanson woman has returned. Joan Stanson.”
“Has she? Well, that is some news. When she heard that Black was innocent, I had thought she would have returned then. What else?”
“She, too, is familiar with Smythe. She’s also spoken to Potter.”
“Is that all? My other spies stationed at Hogwarts are not nearly so uninformative.”
“My Lord, I...”
“I tire of your lack of intelligence, Wormtail. Crucio!”
Screams pounded Elizabeth’s head as pain shot through her. She fell out of the dream and into consciousness.
Elizabeth sat bolt upright. Her head ached, and her arms throbbed. She stumbled out of bed putting on her robe and pulling her hair into a bun to keep it a bit neat. She had to keep up her disguise even now.
Dashing out the door, she realized exactly who the trespasser in her dream earlier had been. Harry.
Down the corridors she ran, all the way to the entrance to the headmaster's office. She quickly gave the password and ran up the moving staircase. Into Dumbledore's office she sped.
Dumbledore was examining a silver object in his hand as Elizabeth slowed to a stop. He smiled and looked up, “Yes, Elizabeth?”
“Albus, Voldemort has spies in Hogwarts,” she said calmly.
Dumbledore sighed and set down the object, “I’m not too surprised about that.”
“Pettigrew is among them.”
“Not to surprising with his ability to become a rat is it? Of course-” he was cut off as the door burst open. Harry ran in.
“Professor, there are spies at Hogwarts!” He looked up and stared at Professor Smythe, obviously surprised to see her there in her nightgown.
Dumbledore nodded thoughtfully, “Elizabeth, was there a... connection?”
Harry looked positively puzzled.
“Not to me, sir.”
“But to Voldemort?”
“Yes, but it was weak.”
Dumbledore frowned, “And that means for Harry, what exactly?”
“He’s about as far along with his Occlumency as to be expected. The fact he woke up is surprising in itself, but the fact he remembered and thought on it enough to come tell you is rather astounding.”
“Were you aware he was there?”
All this talking about him as if he wasn’t there seemed to be making Harry rather uncomfortable. He shifted on his feet.
“Yes sir, I was.”
“Did Voldemort notice?”
“He was a bit to preoccupied. Besides, the connection was so weak, he’d have to have been feeling for it with out any distractions to find it.”
“Sir?” Harry spoke up, suddenly.
Dumbledore blinked, and looked at Harry, “Elizabeth, could you kindly go wake up Professor Snape? We’ll need him to figure out some things. Besides, you’ll be able to get there quicker than even the portraits.”
Indignant murmurs went through the office.
“Yes, headmaster,” Elizabeth answered obediently, leaving the room.
Elizabeth dashed down the staircase, down the hall. She tapped on the portrait of a young woman in her garden, picking flowers.
“Yes, professor?” the woman asked in surprise, “No one has spoken to me for years, not since the last of the trouble makers from twenty years ago graduated. Not even the most recent pair spoke to me, as I had been sure they would have.”
“I’m sorry about that Ella, but can you let me through? I need to head down.”
“Let you through? No one has used this passage for years. How are you aware of it? And how do you know my name?”
“How do you think? Let me th-”
“Just let her through, Ella,” mumbled an old man in the painting above her.
“Fine, I will, but you’d better speak to me again before you leave for good.”
“I will. Thank you.”
She hurried down the hall. Ella had always been rather.... odd. She was disgruntled at being the painting to hide a little known passage way rather than a passage that was used daily. Of course, if she had it that way, she would always complain about never being left alone.
Eliza unlatched the trap door, and gripped onto the pole that was the only way to go down rather than free falling. She slid down the pole, her hands getting hotter by the second. The second she could hardly stand it any more, she hit the stone floor. She poked the bottom brick at the corner three times. It snored, but then shifted, bring the rest of the wall with it.
She slipped through the gap. In the dungeon behind the wall, it smelled of potion making; there was the smell of smoke, and vinegar.
She crossed the dungeon and tapped on a door. No answer. She rapped on the door harder. Still no answer. She knocked several more times, her knuckles getting sore. She kicked the door hard, and it groaned as if threatening to fall over. Finally, Elizabeth heard some movement. She tapped thrice more, and the door opened.
“What do you want?” Snape asked, sounding tired. He wore a faded dressing gown, pajamas, slippers, and a scowl.
“Dumbledore needs to speak with you.”
“Now? At this time of night?”
“If this is a hoax, P... You’d better-”
“It’s not a hoax, you idiot, so come on.”
Rubbing her raw knuckles, she led the way down the passage, glowering back occasionally.
“Where are we going?” Snape asked, for once sounding confused.
“To the headmasters office. Now shut up.” She was annoyed. It had taken far too long to get him to the door, now he was dragging along like he had all night to get up there.
“Grab this bar, here,” she took his hands and placed them on a slightly indented part of the bar, “hold on tight, I’m not coming back for you if you fall.”
His hands tensed. She gripped the bar slightly above his hands, and murmured, “Horse feathers.” Their hands moved steadily up the bar. It was impossible to tell whether the whole bar was moving, or just their hands. James had tried to figure it out once, but doing so he had fallen off and gotten a concussion. He’d been in the hospital wing for a week. Finally, the bar stopped, and Eliza stepped onto the platform. She made sure that Snape got through before pushing the portrait forward.
“You are back!” Ella said, feigning excitement.
“Yes, I am,” she watched in amusement as Snape stared at the portrait.
“Now, talk to me.”
“Not now. I never said tonight. Later, Ella,” she turned and went down the corridor, Snape at her heels.
“Where was that passage you led me down? How did you find it? Did you know it’s impossible for us to be here after just doing that?”
She spun on her heel to face Snape. Annoyance had changed to temper, and her temper was reaching a peak, “How did you think I found it, Snivellus? After what my history here is? After my friends’ history? What do you think?”
Snape’s eyes narrowed. He had tried to stay calm. He owed it to her not to retaliate, but this was enough. Then there was the point of their old rivalry. He opened his mouth to speak, but Eliza spun around once again. She walked quickly up to the entrance of the headmasters office. She muttered the password and stalked up the moving stairs, Snape sweeping up behind her.
Snape swept past her when they reached the door, going through the door. He obviously didn’t see Harry, but didn’t even glance at him.
“Headmaster, of all people, why did you have to send such an insufferable witch to get me?”
Harry blinked and turned to look at his Defense professor as she gripped the door frame, wishing it was the Potions Master’s neck.
Dumbledore looked from Elizabeth to Severus. Miss Potter to Mr. Snape.
“I had thought you two had gotten over your old differences,” he said quietly, “Or I had hoped.”
Elizabeth laughed softly, “Us, headmaster? He and I? As what we are? Especially you should have known better.”
“Any way, has Elizabeth informed you about the situation we’re in?”
“No, she hasn’t. I believe that information simply bounced off her thick skull.”
Eliza bristled at that. Her wand was rather close in reach... she should just-
“Severus, I do not want the news that you’ve hung her out the North Tower by her hair again. As well, I do not want the news that Elizabeth has tied you up and hung you from the ceiling of the Slytherin common room while she plays Greensleeves on the flute.”
Harry stared between Snape and Elizabeth while the latter rolled her eyes.
“Headmaster, I haven’t done that since my second year, and she did hers a week later,” Snape argued.
“I’m well aware of that, but I’m sure the student population here would be rather amused to find out that two of there professors had detention with Argus for brawling.”
“Sir, the spies?” Elizabeth asked quickly.
“Yes, Severus, there are spies at Hogwarts.”
He leaned forward, but as he did so, someone caught his eye, “Potter! What is he doing up at this time! Headmaster, you cannot allow one student to break the rules, and one to not! He should have detention! Twice over!”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes again, “Severus, can’t you keep your mind on one thing at a time. If Harry’s here, in Dumbledore’s office, he has to be here for a reason.”
Snape ignored her, turning to the headmaster.
Albus nodded, “It’s best if he goes to bed now. Quite scowling, Severus. We have more to do tonight than to punish a student. Elizabeth, could you take Harry up to Gryffindor Tower? It’s not safe for anyone to be in the corridors alone now.”
She stood up, raising an eyebrow, “I suppose I’m the errand girl, aren’t I? Just as well, I suppose. I’m useless for everything else, aren’t I Severus?”
Dumbledore regarded her calmly, “But, we’ll need you back here when you’re done. I’m afraid that given the time, we won’t go to the Order, but I’ll contact whoever is at headquarters now, and tell them we need them here. The ministry isn’t watching the Floo Network nearly as closely any longer, and we have to stay here just in case.”
“Do you want me to wake up Minerva, or get Hagrid?”
“No, Minerva’s doing Order business, and no one should be crossing the grounds at this time of night. Especially you.”
Elizabeth nodded, and beckoned to Harry. He stood and followed her out the door.
July 10th, 2004, 3:25 pm
Chapter Twenty Six
“Professor?” Harry asked the moment they were in the corridor, “Did Snape really hang you out the window by your hair?”
“Professor Snape, Harry, and yes, he did.”
Harry blinked, and he grinned, “Why did he?”
“He... erm.... he was rather angry at your father, and hung me out the window to get him back,” she laughed lightly, “Of course, the next day he had mushrooms coming out his ears. Idiot.”
Harry looked at her, “But why’d he pick you? Why not someone else?” Suspicion lined his voice.
“I really don’t know. Of course, it’s probably because I didn’t know who Professor Snape was yet, and he thought I was easy meat. Not to mention, he knew I knew your father quite well.”
“Oh. How did you know him?’
Elizabeth bit her lip, “I’d met him a few times, that’s all.”
“Did you know Elizabeth Potter?”
Elizabeth looked at him. They had stopped walking. His face was lit up from the window nearby.
“Yes. I did.”
Harry nodded slowly, “And?”
“And what? She was an interesting person to know. Far too much like her brother in some ways, but completely different in others, I’ve heard. I can’t really say much, though. It’s not really my place, or rather, I’ve a biased opinion. You might want to try asking Remus. He knew her well.”
“Is she married to him?”
“You read the article, didn’t you? Well, no, she isn’t. She’s never been married, but there’s quite a bit of proof against that. All of it is false , though. There are some pictures, even. Of course, those were really taken of her, at real events, but they aren’t what they appear to be,” Eliza gave a short laugh.
Harry was quiet.
They reached the portrait of the Fat Lady.
“Clear your mind, Harry. Or try to at least.”
Harry nodded as he gave the Fat Lady the password.
“Goodnight,” he climbed in and the portrait swung shut.
“Well?” the Fat Lady demanded, “Anything else?”
“No, thank you, ma’am.”
Elizabeth slid back into the now slightly full office. Kingsley stood in the corner, alert. Tonks was sitting on a chair, yawning. Dumbledore was behind his desk. Snape was sitting in a chair near the desk, his face unreadable. Remus was sitting near Tonks and an empty chair, his face serious. Elizabeth sat down in the empty chair and grinned at him. His face relaxed into a smile before he turned his attention to Dumbledore.
“ Elizabeth, is Harry back in to the Gryffindor Tower?”
“Good. Now that Elizabeth’s here, we can begin. There’s a lot the Order needs to discuss as a whole, so I won’t go over all that until Saturday. Now, onto business. We have discovered that there are spies in Hogwarts.”
The others all nodded, serious.
“We know that Peter Pettigrew is among the spies. Other than that, I’m not sure. We all have to keep an eye and an ear out to see if we can’t find any others. I’ll alert all of the Order members stationed here at Hogwarts. They will have to be the most wary. You who aren’t will have to be doing your best out on the streets to see if there is anything you can learn.
“Kingsley and Tonks, you will need to be alert at the ministry. Find out all you can. There is possibility that the spies will be careless. It’s not likely, but we can hope, can’t we?”
“Remus, I want you to get anything you can from the streets. Enlist Mundungus. He’ll be helpful in that area. I also want everyone to report to you what they’ve learned. That is, except for the ones here. They’ll report to me.
“Even if you doubt the information you collect, turn it in anyway. False information with the truth mixed in is better than a small portion of information without anything we can work with. Any questions?”
A cat mewed.
Dumbledore turned to the source of the noise, “Oh, Elizabeth, your kitten.”
“My what?” Eliza was puzzled for a moment before realising, “Oh, my kitten. Well, let’s see... then.”
“Her,” Dumbledore bent and lifted up a kitten.
Elizabeth hastened forward, and took her. She was a small bundle of striped gray fluff. Green eyes stared at her. She stroked the kitten gently, and she purred.
The members there gave a general laugh before turning back to topic.
“I have a question,” Tonks stated, “How did you discover that? Did you catch Pettigrew, or what?”
“Unfortunately, Tonks, no. Harry came forward with it from dreaming it, and Professor Smythe confirmed it.”
“Well, if that’s it, Dumbledore, then I suggest we go get some sleep. It’s two in the morning, and I’m tired.”
“Easy for you to say, Kingsley. You at least got some sleep. I haven’t had a wink. Mad-eye’s still asleep. He hexed Remus when he tried to wake him up.”
Remus laughed, “And I still have the marks from it,” he pushed up his sleeve with a welted hand to show welts up his arms.
Eliza sighed, “Come here, Remus.” She took his arm and tapped it with her wand, murmuring. The welts faded, and she did the same to the other arm.
“Thank you, Liza. Tonks, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I haven’t had a bit of sleep, either, and I’m not tired in the least bit.”
“Well, you’ve taken to being nocturnal,” she retorted, tucking a gold lock behind her ear.
Snape stood up. He nodded to Dumbledore and swept out silently. Everyone else stood, and Dumbledore shook hands all around. Liza shook hands with Kingsley and hugged Tonks and Remus. Tonks patted the kitten on the top of the head and laughed. Remus stroked her quietly while Tonks left. Kingsley followed her shortly.
“ ‘Night,” Elizabeth whispered as she took her kitten back.
“Goodnight,” Remus answered.
Elizabeth went down the spiraling steps for the upteenth time that night. She was tired, and wanted to go to bed more than anything at the moment. She stumbled back into her chambers. She sat the kitten on the floor. She promptly began exploring, poking her paw into the nooks and crannies of beneath the desk.
Elizabeth began preparing the kitten’s things, including food and water. The kitten went straight for the water before exploring her bed, and scratching at it. She immediately leapt onto a bookshelf and knocked a pile of books over. Laughing, Elizabeth picked it up.
“Mischief, aren’t you?”
The kitten purred.
Eliza blew out the light, and fell asleep with out bothering to get beneath her covers.
Upon waking up the next day, Elizabeth groaned. She hadn’t had much sleep the night before, and yesterday had been long. Besides, that was only Monday.
She got up, got dressed, and tucked the vial into her pocket. Her wand went up her sleeve. She fed the kitten, who purred the entire time she was eating.
Breakfast was difficult. The food was good, and the hot cocoa was excellent, but she could hardly keep her eyes open. Looking at the Gryffindor Table, she noticed that she wasn’t the only one. Harry appeared to be nodding off. Hermione and Ron had to keep waking him up, and weren’t doing a very good job of it.
After lagging as much as possible, Eliza headed slowly down to her classroom, talking detours and such. Just outside the door, she pulled the vial from her pocket and took a mouthful of the potion. As she headed into the room, all she could tell was that the potion tasted like a very strong soap.
Nothing happened at first, but half-way to her desk, the tiredness in her was unnoticeable, she could feel little, but didn’t feel numb. As the sensation spread through her body, the sounds of the class seemed to fade. She could still hear it the same, but the noise seemed to gentle. The colors in the room faded softly, and Eliza felt like she was sitting in a thick fog.
Teaching her lesson was rather strange, too. She couldn’t tell if her voice was too soft or too loud, but she was trying to keep her voice and speed normal. It was complicated as nothing seemed to work properly. She couldn’t move quickly, and she had a feeling that she should make them do homework. She’d save anything interesting for next week when she wasn’t in a cloud and when the ministry official wasn’t breathing down her neck.
When Anton’s questioning came, she calmly answered, half the time not knowing what she was saying. She was probably babbling, but she heard herself giggle, and made a mental note to stuff Snape’s head down the nearest anything she could find next time she saw him. Of course, that thought was slightly dreamy as well.
Time with the third year Gryffindors was similar. They all stared at her the entire time, and she had a feeling half of them were about to doze off. She told them to read on a select number of dark creatures and be ready to answer questions next week.
The questioning was similar, except much shorter. Anton seemed like he was beginning to think this was how she normally was, but got up on the wrong side of the bed the day before, or something. Half-way through the class, her head began to ache, and the mist began to clear, so she quickly excused herself and took some more potion.
This time around, she got used to the feeling of it. She had taken a slightly smaller mouthful this time, and was more aware of what was going on.
She taught the fifth year gryffindors a few spells. They were simple and small, but when they looked about to comment, she nodded to the back, and they nodded.
Questioning was longer this time, asking what background she had with the Dark Arts.
“What NEWTs did you take?” he asked making notes.
“Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, Charms, Transfiguration, Herbology, and Care of Magical Creatures.”
“What further training do you have?”
Eliza bit her lip for a second, inclined to lie, but finally she answered, “I’ve passed and gone through Auror training.”
She could feel Ginny’s eyes on her. Eliza glanced at her, and she buried herself in her notes, peeking over at times.
“What did you teach at the other school?”
“Defensive Skills and Charms. That’s what they called Defense Against the Dark Arts.”
“How much other experience do you have?”
“I was in quite a few of the battles last time,” she shrugged, “What more do you want?”
Anton was watching her carefully, as if she were a dog known to bite, and he wasn’t sure if she was about to or not.
The bell ring, and the class filed out. Anton stood and nodded to her before following the students out the door.
Standing up, she headed out to lunch.
July 17th, 2004, 8:07 pm
Chapter Twenty Seven
By the time Eliza was down to the Great Hall, her head was throbbing. Walking up to the Staff Table was a challenge, what with the floor spinning. She sank into her chair with a moan. She was shaking. Snape took a glance at her before pouring her a goblet of water and handing it to her.
Gratefully, she drank from it, watching Snape scoop some of the stew onto her plate.
“Eat,” he ordered, pushing it towards her.
She sucked down her water, raising an eyebrow at him.
“If you don’t, you’ll end up fainting in class. It’ll help the headache, trust me.”
She nodded, and put down her empty goblet. Snape filled it up, before turning to Professor Sinistra.
“Help her,” he ordered before standing up.
The two women watched him go.
“What’s going on with him?” asked Sinistra, taking a bite of bread.
Eliza shrugged, watching him brush past Hermione and Ginny who had been talking to some one at the Ravenclaw table.
“You must have kept your temper today, I didn’t really hear anything about it, and you know Hogwarts, something interesting happens, and everyone knows, including student locked in a closet, and sometimes, he’s the first to know.”
“I haven’t heard that phrase for years,” Eliza said, relieved her headache was receding.
“It’s not said very much anymore,” the other woman said lightly, “Besides, you haven’t been back here in a long time, so you wouldn’t have.”
“At the school I used to teach, they always said, ‘If less than a hundred people know, it’s a well kept secret. If two hundred people know, it’s a secret. If the whole school knows, it’s rather unknown.’”
They both smiled at that.
Saturday evening found Eliza stumbling into the kitchen at 13 Grimmauld Place.
She sat down tiredly beside Remus. He looked up from his sheaf of papers and smiled at her.
“How’s your week been?” he asked, quietly.
“Awful,” she said lightly, “Yours?”
“Busy, to say the least. Some muggle jumped on my last night. Dung got him off and in the ditch. He shouldn’t really remember anything. There wasn’t much to remember, for him.”
“We don’t have any cocoa here, but I think you’ll want water.”
Eliza looked up, raising an eyebrow.
“You don’t want tea, do you?”
Eliza laughed and shook her head, “Not really.”
He got up to go get two glasses. Elizabeth picked up the sheaf he’d been sorting through. They were obviously the reports that Dumbledore had asked for. Elizabeth herself hadn’t found anything newsworthy and told Dumbledore that.
“Just keep looking. Search in your dreams. You may come across something the rest of us can’t.”
She set down the papers, and buried her head in her arms. She was barely aware when Remus set down the glass beside her.
“Is that Professor Smythe?” asked a soft voice.
“Yes, it is, but don’t wake her. She’s better off asleep. She gave Sirius a scar once when he tried to wake her.”
“That’s because he was trying to tickle me in order to wake me up,” answered Liza as she sat up, “If you don’t do that, you’re usually safe. Unless I’m woke up at wand point. Then I’m not so happy.”
Remus smiled at that, and Harry raised his glass to his mouth.
“Usually, you say,” teased Remus.
Eliza shrugged, “I can’t make any promises, of course.”
Remus nodded, “Harry arrived right after you dropped off. I put your glass down, and he was in the fireplace.”
“When was that?” she asked, giving Harry a kind smile. He looked rather startled that she wasn’t scolding him for having come here, as if it wasn’t her that told him to come.
Remus checked his watch, “Oh, five minutes ago. He still hasn’t told me why he came.”
“Oh, I wanted to ask you about.... about Elizabeth Potter,” Remus gave Eliza a glance.
“I told him to ask you,” Eliza said calmly, “Do you two want me to leave?”
Remus glanced at Harry. Realizing they were waiting for his answer, shook his head, “You can stay.”
Remus took a drink of his water before asking, “What do you want to know?”
“Well, she’s my aunt, isn’t she?”
“Yes, she is. She’s your father’s younger sister. His only sister, at that.”
“What was she like?” Harry was gripping this table in front of him, his knuckles white.
“She was quite a bit like your father. She caused quite a few pranks, despite hardly anyone blamed them on her. She came up with quite a few ideas that we stole. She didn’t ask for as much attention as her brother did, and in turn, didn’t get it. She was the Seeker for the Quidditch team.”
“She’s not really a death eater, is she?” It was more of a statement than a question.
“No, she wasn’t. She’s probably the last person that would become a Death Eater.”
Harry nodded. He didn’t say anything further.
After exchanging looks with Eliza, he said, “I haven’t seen her for ages. I thought I caught a glimpse of her in August, but I may have been mistaken,” he said honestly.
Eliza stared at him. He wasn’t lying, she could tell by the look on his face, but what was he going on about. Then she realized what he was doing. He was planning on using a discreet form of symbolism that had been perfected in the days the mauraders reigned the school.
“I haven’t seen her since she left,” Eliza commented.
“It may be a while until we meet her again,” Remus said, “Until she comes out of hiding.”
Harry hadn’t said anything at his Occlumency lesson. He had been preoccupied about something. Dumbledore had been at this lesson, and hadn’t gotten much more out of him than direct answers.
She had a feeling it had been his Potions lesson earlier that day. Snape had informed him he was just like his father, a pig and an idiot, as well as saying a few other things. Eliza hadn’t managed to get the rest out of either of them. He was quiet still.
Finally, he broke the silence, “Professor Smythe?”
“Er... you said the other night that you knew my father before school, or something like that. How?”
Eliza fell silent, trying to figure out her answer, “His father and my mother grew up together. They were very good friends. My father and his mother got along pretty well, too. His parents did a bit of raising me, while mine did some raising of him. I doubt either parents really succeeded in raising us, but what could we do? We were difficult children, I think. All of us.”
Tonks chose that moment to waltz in.
“Wotcher, Harry, Eliza, Harry!”
“Hello Tonks,” they chorused.
“How’s your kitten?” she asked.
Eliza laughed, “Oh, she’s just fine. She managed to trap herself underneath my bed with a pile of books. How she did that remains a mystery.”
“What are you naming her?” Remus questioned.
“Mischief. It fits her.”
“The meeting is starting in ten minutes,” Tonks said.
Harry stood up hurriedly, “I think I have to go.”
Eliza stood up, “I’ll go with you. I forgot to get something.”
Elizabeth got Harry safely out to the Defense Against the Dark Arts corridor. She grabbed a sheaf papers from her desk.
Mischief tried to climb onto Elizabeth’s shoulder, but she sat the kitten on her bed, with an order to look for rodents. The kitten just purred.
When she made it back to Headquarters, Joan and Remus were sitting with a space saved for her between. Tonks was opposite them, and Mundungus was beside her, smelling of stale drink.
When she sat down, Dumbledore began the meeting. He asked for any business, and Arthur Weasley immediately took it up.
“This Elizabeth Potter, is she truly a Death Eater, or is this rubbish? I’m more inclined to believe the latter, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
There was a general murmur of assent, and Dumbledore calmly answered, “I know the woman quite well. Considering what type of a person she was, and the proof against her, she’s no more a Death Eater than Sirius Black was. I have a good idea where she is at the moment, and I can tell you that she will reveal herself when she deems it necessary.”
Tonks winked at her. She shrugged.
“Excuse me, but how do we know for sure she isn’t a Death Eater? What proof do we have?”
Joan turned to the woman, and coolly said, “What proof do we have you aren’t a Death Eater? What proof do you have that she is? We don’t have proof, we have to trust Dumbledore. Is there a problem with that?”
The woman flushed, “Well, no, of course not. I was just saying... I mean.”
Kingsley interrupted, “Albus, do we know when we will make contact with those foreign brothers?”
“I’ve made contact with them. They will visit me next Thursday. That means, Eliza, you’ll have to work with Harry alone that day again.”
“I hope they will help us. They’re young but well trained. They would make excellent additions to the Order.”
Dumbledore explained about the spy problem, and collected the reports from Remus. Several members were assigned work in various places, including Hogsmeade and the Hogwarts grounds.
The meeting adjourned shortly after that. Joan and Eliza sat watching the members file out.
“That article was awful, wasn’t it?” asked Joan.
“Rather, but I’ll live.”
“I couldn’t help but laugh at some parts. To some, I suppose you sound frightening, but to those that knew Sirius was innocent, you sounded like a rather wonderful person,” she laughed.
Eliza shrugged, “I suppose. I’m dead tired, so good night.”
Joan gave her a quick hug, “To you too. Stay safe.”
Eliza nodded. She went to say goodbye to some of the members of the Order before taking Floo Powder back to her office. She changed and collapsed on her bed. She was asleep as her head hit her pillow.
A/N: I was going to split this up into two parts, but I couldn't find a good enough breaking point, and no, I didn’t add anything because of what a someone said. You know who you are. :p I had that part planned out for a while.
July 24th, 2004, 11:26 pm
Monday was there before she knew it. She sat eating breakfast with Professor Sinistra, not drowning herself in the hot cocoa for the first time in a week.
“Ready for an unsupervised week of teaching?” teased her colleague.
“More than ready,” Eliza answered fervently.
“I can’t say I blame you. When Umbridge was the one on me, I was freaked out. Of course, there’s not much in my line that you can teach in a way the ministry finds dangerous, but with them, there’s always a chance. It’s not like yours where the ministry is convinced you’re training an army.”
Eliza laughed, “If I were training an army, then they should be scared, but I’d be more worried for my army than I would for them.”
She joined in the laughing, “I would be worried. Poor kids. Under a commander like you, they should all scatter and flee.”
Breakfast continued with that tone. When it was done, Eliza headed down with a lighter heart than she had had for a long time. The weather was good, a little cool, but it was good late September weather.
She started her class by telling them to get out their Patronus essays. They obliged, but suddenly the grounds seemed appealing. Too appealing.
“Everyone, put your essays away. Get packed up, but keep your wands out.”
A murmur of interest went through the room. The students all obeyed, some hastily, some more relaxed.
“Now, everyone has to stay together. If anyone wanders away from the group, it’s detention. I know that sounds harsh, but I’m serious about this. Bring your bags and follow me.”
She led the group of teenagers down the stone corridor. Light poured out of the windows, and the portraits wandered from frame to frame, calling out greetings to the group. Eliza returned them, as did a few of her students.
She led her class out the large oak doors out into the outside. Leading them, she found a nice secluded, level place. It was large enough for her students to sit down and for her to do what she needed to do.
“Today, we’re going to work on the art of dueling. How many of you have participated in a mock duel?”
All hands were raised.
“Good. I’m aware a few of you have also participated in real ones, and I heard about the dueling club in your second year. I hope I’m more able to teach you to duel than that, but it might not happen that way. I need you to split up into two equal groups. One group, sit lined up up front from here to here, the other ones, on this other side,” she indicated what she meant with her hands and pointing, “Good. The spot in the middle, here will be used as the dueling bounds. Everyone, put your bags behind you, you can get them after this.”
The students obeyed surprisingly well. Some seemed excited, others just interested. Malfoy was acting bored as usual. He was the first of his group. The first of the group was none other than Mr. Potter. With a sigh, she gave her next orders:
“The first of both groups would be Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Potter. Come here, bring your wands, both of you. The rules of our dueling are these: No illegal or dark curses; wands only, no physical contact, that includes throwing things, or spitting; no animals, this isn’t a petting zoo; keep a civil tongue; no hanging each other from the air or anything; when one person kneels down, places his wand in front of him, and holds up his hands, stop using your magic. That’s the sign for a forfeit. If you curse them after it’s obvious you’ve seen them do that, then you’ll have detention for two nights. When I blow my whistle, stop what you’re doing.”
She made sure her class understood.
“Now, the proper way to do a duel is to bow to your opponent, wait for the count down from three, then begin your spells. When the whistle is blown, you freeze. Don’t lower your wands unless you’re told to. When the duel is pronounced over, put your wands away and bow to each other. Understood?”
The class nodded.
“Good. Bow, both of you. Three. Two. One.”
Harry used the disarming charm.
Malfoy hissed, “Protego!”, before shattering his own shield with the stunning curse.
Harry dropped and rolled, before hitting Malfoy with another curse.
It went on and on. The spells grew steadily more advanced. Eliza was rather impressed. Harry was good for his age, and Malfoy was an interesting match to his skills. The hatred between them made the air seem static. The class was staring, some more awed than others.
After a few more minutes, she stopped them, and told them to head to the end of the line. Next was Miss Granger against Mr. Nott. They, too, were matched for skill.
They went after each other, using similar spells to Draco and Harry’s. Neither had hatred for each other, just dislike. It went on, and finally, Eliza stopped them. She sent them to the opposite lines they had come from, unlike the earlier pair.
Soon groups began to cheer for one or the other of the duelers. They all varied in skill, and it soon became obvious who the top duelers in the class were: Hermione, Harry, Nott, Malfoy, and to several’s surprised, Neville.
Neville stepped up against Harry on a different time around. Both of them grinned at each other, bowing. When they began, Eliza noticed the differences in their skills. Both of them were excellent and similar in skill, but it was apparent Neville had to try harder than Harry did. Their duel wasn’t necessarily a fight the way Harry’s first one had been, but rather a challenge for them. Eliza stopped them.
No one gave up to anyone, except when Hermione went against Harry on the next time around. They both seemed similar in skill, and at first it seemed it would stay that way, but amidst the gasps of some, the pair of them had spells flying quickly. After a little while, Hermione grinned at Harry, before forfeiting.
Harry stared at her before putting away his wand and pulling her up. They separated into their other lines.
After that, there were a few more forfeits, and everyone seemed worn out. Eliza called an end to the dueling. She led them up to the school before dismissing them.
She had similar class periods with the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh years. She did hands-on projects with the first, second, and third years dealing with some Dark Creatures, much to their delight. The days went on like this, and Eliza began to relax into the swing of things. She had taught before, and the similarities with this and the other school were rather unnerving, but it was comfortable and familiar, at least.
A/N: I'll be posting this once a week on Saturdays. It might slow down again in the fall, but I'm trying to hoard as many updates as I can so that I will be able to post more often as my writing time will drop considerably.
July 31st, 2004, 4:23 pm
Chapter Twenty Nine- Part One
This week went by much quicker.
“I’ve heard some very good things about your class,” commented Professor Sinistra.
“Really? That’s a surprise considering I sent two boys to the hospital wing, covered in boils an hour ago.”
“That must mean that you’re doing a good job. Last year, no one got sent out with any injuries... well, not until the Weasley twins started handing out those sweets of theirs.”
Eliza grinned at her, “Well, that hasn’t happened to me yet, and hopefully it won’t come to that.”
Her colleague laughed, “Hopefully not.”
Thursday night found Eliza and Harry sitting on the floor, staring at each other. They had gone through the exercise of clearing their minds, and calming themselves. With a clear, calm mind, Eliza slid into Harry’s mind and began pulling out memories.
A young Harry, standing on a roof, looking scared.... Harry being chased down the street by a group of large boys...... Harry staring at Peter Pettigrew, revulsion obvious on his face.... a house-elf bowing to him.... James hanging Snape upside down in front of the lake.... Eliza did a double take, and her defenses slid from her grasp.
Trees whizzed by as she ran, panicked through the Forbidden Forest before colliding into someone.... Frank handing her a tiny bundle of blankets, showing her the infant inside of them.... A baby boy with a tuft of black hair crawling into her lap, cooing... She and Sirius were walking through Zonkos, hand in hand... A young woman, bound, her gag slid off, raised her eyebrows at a cloaked young man with greasy black hair who had his wand pointing at her..... Voldemort’s face peering out of the darkness, hissing, ‘join me, and-’ Eliza finally found her defenses, cleared her mind, and pulled away.
Harry’s eyes snapped open. He blinked in the light until his eyes adjusted.
Eliza swallowed, took a deep breath, and nodded, “That was.... excellent, Mr. Potter. Very excellent. You still need to close your mind quicker, but that was an improvement from last time.”
Harry nodded. He was watching his professor curiously.
Eliza stood up, and walked over to her desk. She took a candle from the inside of a drawer, and lit it. A soft glow emanated from the candle.
She set it a foot in front of Harry, before sitting on the other side of it. Harry met her eyes over it, his glasses glinting in the light, his expression questioning.
“This is an exercise I learned. I want to teach it to you now, because you’re at the point in your learning that you need to master this. Not to mention, you have your father’s temper, so it’s imperative that you learn some form of this.”
Harry blinked at her mention of his father before he nodded.
“Some muggles know of this exercise, or of a similar kind. They write down things that they don’t like or are mad about, and throw it away, or burn it. This is more subtle. It involves the mind, and is a good way to clear it. Now, how do you feel right now?”
Eliza laughed, “Burn it. Give your confusion away. We don’t want it, and it’s hampering us.”
Harry shot her a questioning look.
“Just try it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand it all, and the confusion is keeping us from accepting it. Burn it.”
She slipped into his mind, and guided him through it the best she could. She couldn’t do it for him, but she could make him more familiar with the process.
“How do you feel now?”
“Unsure,” came the reply.
She guided him, and they repeated it. They repeated it again and again, until Harry was silent.
She leaned over and blew out the candle, she stood, and took it to her desk, leaving him sitting on the floor, still. Walking back, she touched him on the shoulder, before pulling him to his feet. He blinked from his reverie, his face still emotionless.
“Time’s up, apparently. Clear your mind before you go to bed, or do this exercise. Good job, and good night,” she smiled at him, and he grinned back before heading out the door.
A/N: If I'm lucky, we'll have an update next Saturday, but I'm not making any promises. I haven't had time to write, and I won't at all next week, but if I can write Saturday night next week, I'll put the next updated up!
August 8th, 2004, 1:42 am
Chapter Twenty Nine-Part Two
Eliza corrected some essays, and went through her lesson plans. Tomorrow was short, she had two class periods free for her planning for the next week.
Mischief leaped upon her bookshelve, walking up and over boxes, and past worn Defense Against the Dark Arts books. From her position in the office, Liza could only see the tail of the kitten as she stalked imaginary mice through the books. At least, she hoped they were imaginary.
A timid knock came at the door. Eliza pulled herself up, checked to make sure her wand was in reach, and openned the door.
Hermione and Ginny stood outside. Hermione was chewing her lip, and Ginny was pulling a lock of hair, twisting it.
“Well, what can I do for you?” Eliza asked in surprise.
“We wanted to talk to you,” Ginny said, slowly.
Hermione was busy looking around the office, but she paused long enough to nod. Eliza openned the door the rest of the way, and drew up some chairs from thin air for them.
Sitting down herself, Eliza studied them. Hermione had quit chewing her lip, and had tucked her legs beneath her. Ginny was now looking around the office, her hands away from her hair.
The room was neat enough, the bookshelf lined with boxes and books, a couple of stacks of books from the library near her desk. The room was vacant of personal belonging to describe who she was, purposefully. If one looked in the boxes, one could find letters and photographs, which would immediately reveal Eliza’s identity. Of course, they were charmed with a spell to keep out anyone with bad intentions.
“What is it you wanted to talk to me about?”
Hermione and Ginny exchanged looks, before Hermione started, “Professor, you see, we were wond-”
A quick tap came to the door. Hermione started, and turned in her chair to look to the door.
“Who is it?” Elizabeth called.
“Me,” came the muffled reply.
Eliza raised an eyebrow at the door, before standing to open it, her hand by her pocket in case she had to pull her wand out. She peaked out the door before openning it.
There stood a tall, burly young man with dusty blond hair and gray eyes. His face was golden brown, and lightly freckled.
“Professor S-Smythe?” he asked, sounding out the word slowly as if it was unfamiliar.
Eliza crossed her arms and inspected him, “You’ve grown, John. Quite a bit. Come in,” she motioned him into the room.
The young man looked around the room, taking in everything from the kitten to the two girls sitting down. He cleared his throat,“Please, Professor, I’m not John. He’s dead. Its Jacob.”
Without turning around, she rolled her eyes, drawing up a chair for him too. She sat down, facing him, and said matter-of-factly, “If you were Jacob, you wouldn’t have knocked, but you’d come bursting in here, chatting about something before you were even in the door.”
Hermione and Ginny glanced at each other for a moment before smiling sightly.
John or Jacob, whoever he was flushed and said, “You see, Professor, he...”
“Did Dumbledore have you stick with that story, or is that something the two of you decided on?”
“Um, actually, it was Headmaster Rogers....”
Eliza laughed, “He would think that was a good cover, wouldn’t he? It’s actually okay for him, but...” she broke off, shaking her head, “Where’s your brother?”
“He’s in Fitch’s office... wait, no, that’s not his name. What is it again?”
“It’s Filch,” Hermione said quickly.
John nodded, “Yes, that’s it. Filch. Jacob stepped on his cat’s tail. I never saw anyone that upset over a bruised tail. By the way, who are these two ladies?” He grinned at the girls.
“This is Hermione Granger, and this is Ginny Weasley. Ginny, Hermione, this is John Dawson. He was a student of mine a few years ago.”
They exchanged their greetings, and Eliza sighed, “Knowing your brother, Filch will have quite a bit of trouble letting him go with our forcing him into detention despite the fact he’s of age.”
John grinned, “Of course he will, but I’m sure Jacob will enjoy annoying him.”
“He should keep a low profile. Once your excepted as a threat, you’ll be added to the list of the most wanted dead with the Death Eaters and Voldemort.”
John’s smile faded at that, “Are you on it, Professor?”
Eliza smile humorlessly, “Of course. I’m in the top ten.”
John winced, and Ginny and Hermione exchanged glances.
Eliza bit her lip, “John, do you know where you two will be staying?”
“Actually, yes. Someone named Remus Lupin will come and take us to Order Headquarters. He should be here soon.”
“I’m sure you will like him. He’ll be a good person or you to meet. Now, if you’ll excuse us, John, Ginny and Hermione need to talk to me about something.”
“Actually, Professor, we can talk to you later. It would be best if we got to our dormitories now. Goodnight.” Both girls left hurriedly.
“I have a feeling they were spying on you,” John said calmly.
Eliza laughed, “So do I, but that’s fine. Let them.”
“If only you were so understanding when you were my teacher.”
“Circumstances change, John. You’ll realize that.”
“I know, Professor. I think I’ll go rescue my dear older brother now,” John laughed, wickedly.
August 17th, 2004, 4:14 pm
Chapter Twenty-Nine: Part Three
Joan and Remus were sitting at the kitchen table when she walked in, pouring over a piece of parchment. They both looked up when she sat down.
Joan whispered a greeting, and Remus smiled.
“What are you looking at?” Eliza asked.
“It’s a list of possible spies,” Remus said heavily, “All of the Order got one, and we’re supposed to keep an eye on these people.”
Eliza raised an eyebrow, “I don’t remember getting anything,” she said dryly.
“I suppose you wouldn’t have,” he admitted. At Eliza’s look, he hurried on, “I mean, you’re supposed to be lying low, you aren’t supposed to attract any attention. Especially with the spies.”
Eliza scowled, “And for that reason I should be treated as if I can’t handle knowing the same thing the rest of the order knows?”
Joan touched her arm, “You have to stay safe. I know you don’t like it, but you’ve been in hiding long enough that a few more months of lying low shouldn’t harm you.”
Eliza sighed in defeat, “Fine, I see that point, but I can’t say I’m happy about it.”
Suddenly the door burst in, and two young men with very similar appearances came in, one appearing to be excited, and the other calmly strolling in.
“Professor!” Jacob said cheerfully, hugging the person he was addressing.
Eliza laughed, “Hello, Jacob.”
He grinned, “I haven’t seen you in forever! I mean, after you disappeared, nearly everyone thought you were dead, and then here we are, sent to fight in this war, then summoned by one of the greatest sorcerers living, and then here we find our professor! It’s a surprised I didn’t expect!” He spoke quite quickly, not pausing for breath.
John smiled, “Honestly Jacob, jump on her, why don’t you?”
Compared to his brother, John was calm, quiet, and easy mannered.
A voice floated into the room through the open door, “Where did those two go?”
Both boys jumped. They nodded in parting and ran out the door.
Eliza watched them go, her head beginning to ache and her smile sad.
“What is it?” asked Remus, turning to her.
Joan started, and looked at both of them before smiling at her surprise.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Liza answered slowly, “I guess it’s just that, well, the two of them... I taught them for five years. From when they were eleven until when they were sixteen. Nine years ago. They had struck me as very clever and quite brave. And a bit reckless, I guess. I knew it would just be a few years before they became... involved in this. I mean, they were safe from this where they lived, they’d only heard the rumors of war.
“But, they were so fascinated with it. I accidentally let things slip, and they soon realized I had actually been in the war. I don’t know... I’d hoped it wouldn’t come to them actually being here, but it didn’t really work out that way, did it?”
Remus sighed, “I guess that’s what we get for being involved in this. It’s a shame they got caught up with this, but I talked with both of them. They have good heads on their shoulders, Lize. Don’t worry too much about them.”
Eliza admitted, “Well, I can’t say I’m not glad to see them. They’ve both grown up quite a bit, that’s apparant.” She bit her lip, as the headache slowly filled her head.
The Order filled the room, and the meeting began. After the opening buisness, and a few other details were cleared up, Dumbledore introduced Jacob and John.
“You remember the foreign brothers I spoke of a few weeks ago? They have been found fit to join us. This is Jacob, please stand,” he obligued, “And this is his brother, John.” John stood as well. They nodded, went pink, and quickly sat back down.
Next, the members gave a report about what they had learned. It wasn’t much, and was quite obvious that they were scraping at the bottom of an empty pot for something to say. A few, however, had some more interesting things to say. After much talk, it was concluded that the spies were near discovery on something, or that something was going to happen, and it wasn’t necessarily good.
When she got back to Hogwarts, she found Peeves wrecking havoc in her classroom. She chased him out. He bounced out, singing a crude song and throwing Ink Pellets at passing students.
She cleaned up the classroom, cursing Peeves, erasing the words on the board, setting desks rightside up, rescuing a Red Cap from the chandelier, and clearing up the ink splattered on the window frame. When she was done, she was tired and hungry.
After getting food from the kitchens, she sat on her bed, stroking Mischief. Slowly, she drifted off and fell asleep.
A/N: Sorry for how late this update was, and sorry for how short it is. The one on Saturday will be much longer, and yes, it will be coming on Saturday. Trust me, it’s written!
August 21st, 2004, 10:44 pm
Chapter Thirty- Part One
October seemed to fall out of the sky with a plop and the crunch of first frost. The first years were finally discovering how to navigate their ways through the castle with more ease, and Eliza was finally accustomed to the familiarity of Hogwarts.
The first full week of October dawned cold and clear. Eliza sat by her fireplace, wrapped in her quilt. The past week had been surprisingly easy, and had passed by quickly. She couldn’t help but feel grateful for all of the teachers piling on homework.
The certain students trying to figure out who she was had been in the library all week, but all they had been looking up was just bits they needed for their assignments. Eliza contributed to the load, yes, but she wasn’t giving out nearly as much as McGonagall and Snape were.
She finally shook herself out of her reverie and ran around, pulling on her robes. She attempted to master her hair, and some how managed to succeed. Into a tight braid it went, and out the door she hurried.
When she arrived in the Great Hall, she sat down beside Sinistra and Snoops empty seat. Pouring herself a cup of cocoa, she asked, “Where’s the sourpuss?”
Sinistra smiled and shrugged, “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him since yesterday. I’m sure he’ll turn up sooner or later.”
Eliza nodded as she spooned into her porridge. She hadn’t seen him since then either, but she remember him leaving quite early from dinner, saying he had business to attend to. Perhaps he was doing something for the Order. She pursed her lips, and kept eating. All she could do for the Order was train Harry and stay out of trouble.
Suddenly she was uneasy. She set down her spoon, and shut her eyes tightly. Something was happening. Cautiously she sent out her awareness. Whatever was happening, it was quite far from here... but it concerned people under Hogwart’s protection. She pulled herself back in, and checked to make sure her mind was blocked.
She felt a hand on her arm, “Are you all right,” asked her colleague, her face worried, “You look rather pale.”
“I’m fine,” she assured her friend. Immediately she turned to look toward Harry. He was staring at the table, pale, rubbing his forehead.
Eliza fought to ignore the sensation in her stomach that told her it was trying to turn out it’s contents. She swallowed repeatedly, sipped some water, taking deep breaths through her nose, her mouth clamped shut.
The feeling stayed with her for the rest of the meal. Along with it, anxiety grew. What ever was happening, it wasn’t good. Harry seemed to agree.
“He’s happy about something. I think he learned something he wanted to know, and it’s good news,” he said as Eliza passed him.
Hermione grew pale, “But Harry, you should be learning how to block these things out!”
“He can’t,” Eliza said.
Hermione blinked and looked up, “Why not? I mean, this has to do with his connection with Voldemort, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t he be learning to block it out?”
“He is, to a point, but he’s inherited talents that make it so that he could feel this without the connection between him and the Dark Lord.”
Hermione scrutinized her at her way of naming Voldemort. Harry blinked. Eliza sighed.
“I only put it that way because Ron looks...” like he’s about to wet himself, she thought, “like he’s rather uncomfortable with his name,” she finished.
Hermione gave Ron an exasperated, but fond look. Eliza smiled and excused herself.
Her first class of the day was the Sixth Year Newts as it was Monday. They were practicing and, for some, learning how to create one. She had the ones who had corpeal patroni working with those who didn’t. The nearest group was Hermione, Ron, Harry, and Neville with Hermione and Harry working with Ron and Neville, who had patroni, but not corpeal.
Part way through the double hour, the door opened, and a man slipped in. Snape. His usually sleek robes were dirty and wrinkled, as if he’d slept in them, and he was covered with a fine layer of dust.
Eliza blinked, and looked him over, “Well, you’re a sight,” she informed him, raising an eyebrow.
Snape just glowered at her, and quickly whispered to her, “He knows.”
Eliza clenched her fists, her fingers twined into her robes, “Really?” she asked steadily, not bothering to ask who ‘he’ was or what he knew, “How so?”
“A certain rodent squealed, apparently your cat needs more practice,” Snape said coolly.
“Thank you for informing me,” she said calmly.
“There’s an emergency meeting tomorrow night. Dumbledore will want to speak with you tonight, though,” he breathed in her ear.
Eliza nodded. He straightened, turned around, and slid out.
Hermione, Ron, Harry, and Neville watched him go before turning towards Elizabeth in confusion. It was apparent they hadn’t understood a word exchanged and Eliza wasn’t about to enlighten them.
As the bell chimed seven that evening, Liza pushed open the door with the Griffin brass knocker open. Inside Dumbledore sat at his desk, shuffling through papers. Snape leaning against the wall on one side, looking bored. McGonagall sat, her arms crossed, her lips thin with worry. Hagrid stood, looking awkward inside, and too large to be allowed.
“Eliza, come in,” said Dumbledore tiredly.
Minerva nodded to Liza in greeting. Hagrid winked, and Severus just watched her. She sat in an armchair near Dumbledore’s desk, nervously. She wasn’t sure how she’d really made it through the day. It had been years since she’d been in this position. Voldemort knew exactly who she was and where she was. It was generally believed that he was still after her, even if she had dropped on the list for her nephew to take her spot.
“I’ve called an Order meeting for tomorrow night. We’ll need to deal with this immediately. We as well need go over what’s happened separately and as soon as possible. I couldn’t very well call a quick meeting any other time than now, as people would wonder if we weren’t at certain places at certain times. Severus, could you tell us what we’ve learned?” Dumbledore nodded to Severus.
Apparently Voldemort had found out from a series of spies who Eliza was. He hadn’t been informed her name or anything, but several clues as to who she was appeared, such as her manner, her speech, and her talents. They were small things that Eliza had kept cover on for all of these years, but had burst through in this recent relocation to Hogwarts.
Voldemort’s planning something was something implied by Snape. He seemed to be sure that he wasn’t going to do something that would be obvious. There was something about keeping her hidden from the ministry and the rest of Hogwarts for his own purposes.
When he was finished, Dumbledore took the floor again.
“I’m afraid that we can’t reveal who Eliza is to anyone. We’re telling the Order, yes, but no word goes to any of the students. Especially Harry.”
“Why ‘especially Harry?’” Eliza asked, startled.
“Voldemort will use him to get to you, or you to get to him. Letting Harry know at this point of time is just like placing a weapon into Voldemort’s hands. That’s exactly what we don’t want to happen,” was the reply.
“What if he finds out on his own?” Eliza asked slowly.
“If he finds out now, come to me as soon as you know. We’ll try to figure out something, but I’d prefer not to have to.”
“Good, now I need you all to be wary. Eliza, don’t wander by yourself. Keep near as many people as possible. You all should help with that. Eliza, I’ll work with Harry for Occlumency on Thursday on my own.”
August 30th, 2004, 5:51 pm
Chapter Thirty- part Two
Eliza found herself being led to the Staff Room by Professor McGonagall.
“He said you aren’t to go off by yourself, so you’re not going off by yourself. You’re staying in the Staff Room with me,” she said sharply when Eliza tried to go to her office.
Eliza sighed, but submitted. She’d much rather not have a battle of wills with Minerva in the middle of the second floor corridor. Too much attention would be drawn, and she’d prefer to stay in shadow, especially with everything that was going on.
Professor Sinistra came wandering in a bit later. She and Eliza played a game of wizards chess while Minerva corrected her essays and Professor Vector read over her charts, marking them occasionally.
An hour later, Eliza beat her colleague with a grin. The woman who lost, threw up her hands, and laughing began to correct papers. She didn’t have as many as some of the other professors. It had been an entertaining match, due to a few bizarre comments between chessman, and the poor playing ability displayed by both opponents.
After a little while longer, Professor Smythe was taken to her study by Professor McGonagall.
“Have a good night,” Minerva said kindly, bidding her farewell.
“Likewise,” Eliza answered.
The next day was torturous. Liza was becoming increasingly paranoid about being watched, and found herself looking over her shoulder every few moments. Chiding herself, she tried to calm down by remembering that nothing like she feared would be tried under Dumbledore’s nose, but she was beginning to doubt that.
She got a few strange looks from students as they noticed that their professor was unusually quite and drawn. She took her lessons as planned and watched them as they handled what they needed to with little difficulty. The fifth years were working on dueling, while the younger classes covered various Dark Creatures. She enjoyed the class well enough, but she felt captive.
She was awarded worried glances by her friend, who noticed the changes in her behaviour easily.
“You’re sure you’re fine?” asked Professor Sinistra anxiously, “You don’t look well at all. You haven’t since yesterday.”
“I’m fine,” Eliza assured her, “Honestly, I’ll be fine.”
After dinner, Eliza wandered around her office, unable to settle to planning her lessons, straightening her bookshelves, or anything else. The stone room seemed confining, and never before did Eliza fully realize how much she was held to Hogwarts by her brother’s charm. The long to run was over powered by the nausea that came along with the thought of having to leave. She was limited to Hogwarts, the village, and bits of London. Anything else was as unreachable as the distant stars.
Finally, Eliza took a handful of Floo Powder and threw it into the fire with much more force then needed. The flames immediately roared from the red coals they had been into emerald green flames that reached the mantle.
She gave the name of where she was going, and stepped into the flames.
Shaking the ash from her robes, she stepped out into the dimly lit kitchen. John and Jacob sat at the table, playing wizards chess, talking to Remus, who was looking over a peice of parchment.
They looked up as Eliza smiled sheepishly at her earliness.
Jacob gave a huge grin, and loudly hailed her arrival. John gave a smaller grin, and nodded. Remus laughed.
“You’re early. Again,” he teased gently.
Eliza shrugged, feeling her face burn.
Remus blinked, and raised an eyebrow, “What’s going on?” he asked, curious.
“About what?” she asked, innocently.
“The emergency meeting for one, and you’re acting odd, for another,” Remus frowned thoughtfully.
“It boils down to the same thing,” Eliza said carefully, “You have to wait and see.”
An hour and a half later, the room held a large amount of chattering people. Many of them were introducing themselves to John and Jacob, who were grinning and talking cheefully. John had beat his brother spectacularly at chess, and Jacob was slightly put out, so their manners were about the same. That would be potentially confusing if Jacob hadn’t quickly returned to his normal manner.
When Dumbledore called to order, the room fell silent, and a hidden tension filled the air. Eliza twined her fingers into her robes, the material straining against her twisting.
“I suppose,” Dumbledore said quietly, “many of you are wondering exactly why I called a meeting for today.”
A murmur of assent filled the air.
“That is because one of our members has been discovered to be someone that Lord Voldemort would dearly love to get a hold of.”
Everyone exchanged concerned looks. Eliza’s fingers twisted on the cloth harder. The snap of a thread was audible. Remus glanced at her lap and gently disengaged her fingers from the cloth. She gripped onto his hand instead, grateful.
“You remember our discussion about Elizabeth Potter? I said she would reveal herself when we found it necessary. As Voldemort has learned who this woman is pretending to be, it is necessary to inform you. Elizabeth Potter has taken on the guise of Eliza Smythe. If any of you would remember, Elizabeth was never referred to as Elizabeth, but rather Eliza. I selected her surname to be Smythe as that was her mother’s maiden name and would be easy enough to remember.”
Eliza was fully aware of the stares she was received. She felt her face grow red, and studied the table in front of her.
“She’s been in hiding for fifteen years since her brother sent her away for her safety with a charm to keep her away until Voldemort was dead, James sent for her to return, or if neither of those had happened for five years, Eliza would have to set conditions for which she would return to Hogwarts for a year before she was free to go as she pleased. The conditions she gave were fulfilled, and here she sits.”
“What were the conditions?” asked John faintly, surprised evidenton his face.
“I would have trouble getting defense against the dark arts teachers for years. Remus would teach, Alastor would teach, and a ministry official would teach when I hadn’t anyother choices. She would come the following year.”
Silence reigned for a few minutes. Then, “I knew there was something funny about that woman,” muttered the woman who had shown dislike for Eliza the first day she had been at a meeting.
Eliza rolled her eyes, and exchanged looks with Joan.
After the meeting, John and Jacob came up to her, sitting across from her and Remus, Remus still gripping her hands.
“We never knew,” said John softly.
“I couldn’t tell you, could I? Accused of being a Death Eater? On the run? That’s not exactly the type of person people want teaching their kids, is it? Besides, our ministry was after me, any actual Death Eaters that caught wind of where I was... I’d be dead or in prison. It’s a fact of life I’ve learned to deal with. I worked in a joke shop after I taught you, then I lived as a muggle for a few years, changing my identity each time.”
Jacob grinned, “We knew there was something strange about you. Now we know,” he laughed, “I wonder what’s up with the headmaster, then.”
Eliza laughed, “I doubt we want to know,” she said, rolling her eyes.
September 4th, 2004, 9:44 pm
Chapter Thirty-One, Part One
Eliza spent her evenings for the next fortnight in the staff room. She spent some time correcting papers, and some on planning lessons, but when she was done with that, there was a lot of talking and discussing on various subjects, ranging from news to Quidditch.
One night Eliza came back, thinking. Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore had been summoned to the ministry. None of the staff knew exactly why, but there had been much speculation on the topic. All Eliza knew was that she had had a rather bad headache and a sore stomach. What ever it was, Eliza was rather anxious about it.
Wandering in, she blearily thought something was different about her room. Mischief wound around her ankles, purring, before leaping up into her arms. Then she noticed. There was a note on her bed, and a rose on top of that. For a minute she eyed eyed them warily before carefully picking the rose and note up. She unfolded the note and read:
I’ve made arrangements that this has made it to you safely. I’m hoping you can remember a conversation we had fifteen years ago to this date. I’m unable to forget. I remember we made a promise, that when the conditions have become right, we’ll marry. I’m still holding to that promise, and I hope that you are. If you wish to be released from it, please return the note. I hope you are well, and I beg for you to stay safe.
It was unsigned
Eliza stared at the note before falling back on her bed, laughing. Mischief leapt off immediately and stared at Eliza in reproach. Yes, she could remember. How could she forget? The memory rose through her as she sat up.
She looked back at the note. “The conditions,” he’d written. Eliza smiled. When Voldemort was dead was when they’d planned. That’s what they had planned before James sent her away. Then was when they’d promised.
She grinned, leaning against her pillows. They’d never told anyone when they had courted, but Lily and Alice had figured out, and told their husbands of their suspicions they in turn mentioned it to Sirius. The memory of James’s face when he had found out was hilarious.
She smiled, staring out the window to the full moon, with the rose in her hands. Slowly, she fell asleep.
Then next morning, Tuesday, Eliza passed the open doors into the Great Hall. The rumble of students talking filled her ears. Some were enjoying a carefree breakfast, while some seemed feverish about homework. A select few were pouring over the daily prophet. Passing the Gryffindor Table, Eliza noted that Harry was pale, and Hermione, Ginny, and Ron were exchanging worried looks.
The staff table was filled with professors looking over the paper as usual, but their faces ranged from grave to mildly interested. Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall were in a serious conversation. Neither of them noticed her passing them to her spot between Sinistra and Snape.
Eliza poured herself a cup of orange juice as soon as she sat down.
“Have you heard?” asked Sinistra, indicating her paper.
“What about?” Eliza asked, serving herself some porridge.
“This,” she said, pushing it to her.
Eliza took a drink, took one look at the paper and choked, knocking over her glass.
“Scourgify!” Sinistra said, quickly, cleaning up the orange liquid as Snape pounded her on the back.
In big, bold letters, write on the front page it read: “Accused Death Eater, Elizabeth Potter, Found Dead.”
The rather alive subject of the article scanned it quickly, “Body confirmed by Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall as Potter’s,” and “no sign of the victim’s killer,” were a few of the lines stated. Paling, Eliza stood up quickly and hurried over to Dumbledore and McGonagall.
“Is this true?” she asked, “Did you really confirm the body?”
Albus and Minerva exchanged looks, “Yes,” Dumbledore said finally, “We didn’t have a choice. We’ll discuss this tonight in my office. Be there tonight after dinner.”
Eliza shakily taught the rest of her classes that day. The younger classes, all but the first years, who working on extremely simple creatures, were working on Boggarts.
It was rather interesting, especially when the Boggart burst out of the desk drawer in the middle of her fifth year Gryffindor class, and then again in her first year Hufflepuff class. The fifth years had easily got it back into the drawer, but with many grins. When it broke out again, this was more chaotic, and there were several shocked students afterword.
After she prodded a howling werewolf into the drawer as a boy stared at it, transfixed and terrified, where it peacefully turned into a headless corpse, Eliza informed the now pale class that that was a Boggart and ordered them to read about them in their books.
A/N: I'd like to note that there will not be an update coming this week, and that there may be weeks where updates don't arrive. I'm terribly sorry, but my schedule is packed to the point that I might not be able to have time to write, let alone be able to get on the computer to post an update.
December 7th, 2004, 11:25 pm
I am very sorry for the horribly long wait. I promise this won't happen again, at least for a long time. I have part of the next update done, so I'm praying that the next update will be up soon!
Chapter Thirty One, Part Two
Eliza knocked lightly on the door, looking around the tower tiredly, taking in the moving spiral stair case.
She was tired after spending the day as a bundle of nerves. She was too tired to really even think straight, but if she had had any chance to sleep, she wouldn’t have been able to stay still long enough to sleep.
The door swung open, revealing a small group of people.
Eliza nodded and made eye contact with most of them. There was McGonagall, Dumbledore, Remus, Tonks, Mad-eye, John, and Jacob. In the corner sat Snape.
Joan beckoned her over, and Eliza took her seat between Remus and Joan. Remus gave her a shadow of a smile, and Joan gave a shaky grin. Jacob prodded her lightly, and John nodded, his face serious.
Dumbledore brought everyone to silence when he stopped writing on a scroll of parchment and set down his quill, looking up.
“Thank you for coming,” he said, quietly.
He looks tired himself, Eliza noted mentally, rather old, actually.
“You all should know what this meeting is about. I believe you all have read the paper today, and if not the whole paper, at least the front page,” a general murmur of assent passed through the office, “The paper has reported the death of Elizabeth Potter. As we all know, this isn’t true. However, we know that an explanation for this is needed. Minerva and I were called by the Ministry shortly after dinner. After taking several precautions, we arrived at the ministry. What we found was this: a dead body had been reported, and the ministry had an idea as to who the body belonged to, but they needed someone to confirm. Apparently, they chose us. It was the mirror image of Miss Potter with several flaws, but accurate enough to have fooled me if I hadn’t seen her so recently, knowing exactly what she looked like now.
“I suspected something about the body, and so made several conclusions that I had to act upon. I confirmed the body as Elizabeth’s and left.”
He paused, looking around the group.
“Your conclusions sir?” someone asked quietly.
“I suspect that by Voldemort or his orders, this body was planted. He has reasons for him to wish for people to believe her dead. It could also serve as a double-edged sword for if I denied that being her body, getting the Ministry’s attention and a rather uncomfortable circumstance. For now, we don’t have much of a choice than to play along.” His face was serious.
“But, why would Voldemort want people to think she’s dead? I mean, why?” Jacob asked in confusion.
Dumbledore watched Jacob for a moment, a puzzling frown on his face, “I have only my ideas, and nothing more,” he said after a moment.
“Would it be so that people weren’t on as much of a look out for her anymore?” Joan asked slowly, “ I mean, if people are watching for her, wouldn’t it make it more difficult for him to actually get a hold of her?”
Dumbledore just nodded slowly, his face still dark, “Something to that point, I think. If anyone doesn’t have anymore questions, then we should dismiss. Will Severus stay for a bit?”
Mostly everyone stood up. Everyone was puzzled, by the looks on their faces, and slightly surprised at the shortness of the meeting. Eliza noted as Joan stood that McGonagall hadn’t moved a bit.
Remus exchanged looks with her. The pair of them stood. Eliza hugged Joan goodbye and Remus gave his goodbye as well.
“You’re staying?”Joan breathed, asking Remus.
“For a bit,” he answered, equally as quietly.
People left the room, through the fireplace, mainly. Snape, Remus, Liza, Dumbledore and McGonagall remained.
“I received the body from the ministry,” Dumbledore said quietly to his companions, “I asked for it so that I could give it a ‘proper burial’.”
“Is it really a body?” asked Eliza, “I mean, is it someone else?”
Dumbledore nodded, “Yes. Severus, I need you to find out who that person was. Their family should receive the body. It would only be proper.”
“Thank you, Severus. You may go.”
He nodded once more, cast a look around the group, and swished out of the office.
Dumbledore watched him go before turning to the three left in his office. There was silence as he regarded them carefully.
Minerva was the first to break the silence, “Albus,” she started.
Dumbledore’s eyes slid from regarding Remus, sitting in his chair with a hand on the arm of the chair, to Minerva, sitting straight in her chair with a solemn expression, “Yes, Minerva?”
“What are your ideas? Why did Voldemort stage Elizabeth’s death? Surely, Albus...”
Dumbledore sighed, as he lowered a hand from his chin, where his head was currently resting, “He’ll have his reasons. One of my ideas is that Elizabeth can not properly teach Harry unless she uses methods that have been passed through the family for centuries, or at least, she can only teach him the basics, correct, Eliza?”
Eliza met his eyes, “That’s true, sir. I can’t teach him anything very advanced with the methods we’ve used, without him finding out we’re related. It’s simply not possible.”
“And Harry and his friends should not come to the conclusion of this while they think you’re dead, I dare say,” Dumbledore said quietly, “That would make them more suspicious than anything to find out they had a teacher who supposedly died. They’ve had enough from Pettigrew with that to not be suspicious.”
“He’s probably also thinking that if the Ministry and the rest of the Wizarding World are no longer on the look out, Eliza won’t be so careful,” Remus said softly.
Eliza exchanged looks with him, “Of course, that’s not the case. This would make me more alert than anything.”
Dumbledore nodded, “It’s more likely more than one reason than just one.”
Silence came over the room, with the exception of the soft sounds of the portraits snuffling and the soft clicks of the whirling objects on the tables.
“What shall I do then?” Eliza asked, breaking the silence.
“Teach,” Dumbledore answered, “teach, and when Harry finds out, deal with that the way you think you should. If that causes to much of a problem, come to me with it. In the mean time, teach and be careful. Minerva, keep an eye on her, would you?”
Both women nodded.
“That should be all.”
Remus stood, shook hands with Dumbledore, nodded to Minerva, and whispered as Eliza gave him a quick hug, “Be careful, and don’t torment Harry to much.”
Eliza nodded, smiled at him, nodded to Professor Dumbledore, and allowed Minerva to lead her out of the room.
December 22nd, 2004, 3:18 pm
Eliza didn’t sleep well that night. She had gone to bed at about ten, but a half hour after midnight she gave up on normal sleep. She lay in her bed, her eyes wide open, her mind turning. Coming across a memory she gave a slight sigh, pulled if forward for a dream, closed her eyes, and watched.
The room was dim. It was the sitting room of a nice house. In an armchair closest to the fire sat a young woman with red hair and bright green eyes, holding a small baby in her arms. On her face she wore a weary expression as she watched her husband.
Her husband had dark untidy hair and hazel eyes hid behind a rather battered pair of eyeglasses. Beside him, sitting on the arm of his armchair was a woman who seemed to be the female version of him. Black hair struggled from her braid that hung down her back. She wore a worn cloak hung over her shoulders, and her glasses were perhaps even more battered than her brother’s. With her worn cloak and her weathered boots, she held a great contrast between the well furnished and the warm fire.
Laying before the fire was a handsome young man with black hair falling before his eyes and a quick grin not quite yet faded. His clothes were nice, but wrinkled, and not all together grand.
In an armchair in a corner sat another young man with a pointed face and liquid eyes. His mousy brown hair was rather unkept, and he fidgeted with a lose thread on his robes.
“So Dumbledore thinks someone’s betraying us, Liza?” asked Lily, the woman with the baby.
“Yes,” answered her sister- in-law tiredly, “I just finished talking to him. He said it’s probably someone close to us... or just to you. Somebody to keep tabs on us....somebody,” she yawned and pulled the cloak tightly around her.
“But who?” demanded Eliza’s brother, James.
Liza placed a hand on her brother’s shoulder tiredly, “That’s the question, isn’t it?”
“Remus...” came the quiet input.
The dark haired woman sat up, “What? Remus? You’re kidding right?”
“Remus!” Sirius, the man on the rug snapped, “Who else?” he paused as the woman stiffened. His voice grew gentler, “Listen, Lizzie, who else? He’s the one who we haven’t seen all week! He’s the one who’s been avoiding us lately! He’s the one that won’t answer when we ask him about where he’s going! Beth, please.”
“Sirius, what do you expect? Remus has been working all week, unlike some people I could name! And how has he been ‘avoiding you’ as you so put it?”
“He’s been quieter than usual!”
“Full moon’s in a couple days,” the woman by the fire put in quietly.
“Women... always sticking together, I tell you,” Sirius said comfortably.
“At least we don’t attack each other,” Lily pointed out.
“Beth attacks anyone who looks at her crooked,” he cheerfully replied.
“So would you, what with all her auror and Order work.”
“It’s made her paranoid... next thing you know she’ll be sniffing her food and carrying around her own drink,” James joined in.
Eliza aimed a punch at her brother.
“If she’s so paranoid, why isn’t she worried about what Remus is up to?”
Eliza’s grin faded.
“Padfoot,” James said, quietly.
“What? She acts as if we’re crazy to suggest that her beloved Moony is a Death Eater!”
There was a stretch of silence, broken only by the crackling of the fire.
Eliza stood up. She stared down Sirius. When he looked away, she shook her head and allowed the hem of her cloak to fall to the ground as she strode out of the room. The door creaked open then shut with a bang.
“What’s her problem?” Sirius asked cheerfully.
“Sirius,” Lily answered quietly, “ She would have acted the same way if it had been Remus suggesting you were the Death Eater, or someone calling James, Joan, Alice, or Frank Death Eaters.”
“But not me,” came a reply from the corner.
Everyone glanced over at Peter, who was staring at the wall over the fireplace.
“Wormtail, you know she’s always been weird about you,” James pointed out.
Sirius nodded, curling himself up in a rather dog like way.
Eliza walked from her position beside the door that she had just slammed, she walked down the small passageway, away from the sitting room, and apparated.
It was early January, and the snow swirled around her. Liza pulled her hood over her head and looked around. She was just out side of a pub with the sign, “The Leaky Cauldron.”
She slid her way to the bar and said to Tom, “A hot chocolate and some shepherd’s pie, please.”
The man with his missing teeth gave her the amount due, and she dropped coins into his awaiting palm. She looked around in effort to find a table. There was one, in the corner, where one red haired woman with an icy expression sat, wary.
“Hello, Joan,” she said quietly as she sat down across from her.
“Greetings, Liza,” Joan answered, glancing over at her.
“What are you doing here?” she asked, puzzled.
“Post,” her lips barely moved, and the answer was so quiet, Eliza had trouble making it out.
“I see,” Eliza stirred her cocoa.
“What about you? What are you doing, I mean?”
“I got a bit... mad at Sirius and stormed out. Now I have to buy my dinner.”
“Do you have any jokes on hand? Tricks? Firecrackers?”
Liza looked up, startled, “Of course, why?”
“You may need them. There’s supposed to be some unwanted company here in a bit.”
Eliza groaned quietly. She stuffed a large forkful of the pie into her mouth before feeling her pockets. Ink pellets, a few Dr. Filibuster Firecrackers, Dungbombs, Stink pellets, and a comb. The comb wouldn’t be much help...
She ate quickly, checking to make sure she knew what was in what pocket and where her wand was.
Joan checked her watch, “Three,” she said quietly, “Two... One.”
The door burst open, seven figures in hoods came in.
Joan’s wand slipped out, and Eliza’s was drawn from the inside of her left sleeve.
For several moments there was nothing, but then all of the sudden, flashes of light lit up the room, and people screamed. Woman herded their children towards the back of the pub, toward Diagon Alley.
“Stupefy!” Eliza launched into the chaos.
“Expelliarmus!” She heard Joan shout behind her.
A couple Death Eaters turn their attentions from the scattering wizards, a few falling dead as they ran, with the Killing Curse striking them between their shoulder blades.
“Crucio!” a man’s deep voice shouted pointing his wand at Eliza.
Eliza dropped to the floor, rolling beneath a table.
“STUPEFY! STUPEFY! STUPEFY!” Eliza shouted, narrowly missing the man’s legs.
“Reducto!” came the sharp reply as the table above Eliza blew to pieces. Eliza slipped out, narrowly missing a huge chuck flying to her head. She shoved a chair at the man, and lit a firecracker that she threw at him, hitting him square in the face. He stumbled back and Eliza shouted, “STUPEFY!”
The man stumbled back and fell to the ground. She sent robes his way that bound him tightly to the chair that he landed on.
“Expelliarmus!” came a woman’s voice behind her.
Eliza’s wand flew from her hand, and there was an awful moment where she spun to face the female Death Eater. Her heart thudding, Eliza pulled out a hand full of Ink Pellets and a Dungbomb.
The woman screamed, rubbing ink out of her eyes as she dropped Eliza’s wand. Eliza launched herself at it, shoving the woman to the ground as she did so.
“Petrificus Totalus!” she snapped, and the woman, smelling strongly of dung with ink running down her face fell to the ground as stiffly as a board.
The door of the pub burst open again, and the fireplace lit up. Instantly, there were twice as many aurors then Death Eaters, and Sirius and Frank stood beside Eliza and Joan. The three that were left disapparated, and the two that were unconscious by Eliza were instantly taken up. Joan’s two were either crawling around, sobbing, or staring dumbly at the wall.
“What’s you do?” Frank asked, staring at Joan.
“Memory charm and befuddlement,” Joan answered tiredly.
Sirius put his arm around Eliza.
“You can’t storm out and go to a pub without getting into a fight, can you?” He said, laughing, “Come on, let’s take you to your brother’s house. Good night, you three.”
Eliza waved as she was steered out by Sirius.
A/N: Merry Christmas! And if you don't celebrate Christmas... well, this is my gift to you because I feel like it! :D
January 16th, 2005, 1:37 am
Chapter Thirty- Two, Part Two
Before Eliza knew it, Wednesday had flashed before her eyes and left. She was tired and withdrawn, but she knew that she could allow that to be traced to the ‘death’ so she didn’t keep it secret. The death of an old friend, she had said, or at least one who once was one before she went and joined the Death Eaters, the fool.
Yet, after such a quick day, the night was long, and it stretched out into a dark expanse, despite her exhaustion.
After a half-hour of tossing and turning, Eliza once again turned to her memory. Memory.
“Your House will be like your home. You will eat as a House, and study in your Common Room. For your rule-breaking, you will lose points that go toward the House Cup awarded at the end of the year. For your good deeds, you will be awarded points. The House with the most points will be awarded the House Cup,” Professor McGonagall informed the pale, small first years that shivered before her.
Then she checked her watch and nodded, “It’s time.”
She led the first years through the doors into the Great Hall. As Eliza passed her brother and his friends, he grinned, nudged the boy beside him, pointed, and laughed.
All Eliza could do was turn her head and continue walking. What was that boy’s name? Serious? Now, seriously.... She hadn’t really liked him that much. After all, he’d called her Lizzie and Beth!
That other boy... Renus? No... that wasn’t it... She didn’t set much in store for him, either. He was horribly quiet, and spent nearly the whole time with his nose in a book. Besides, he wouldn’t look at her, but she had an uncomfortable feeling that he was watching her when she wasn’t looking. Creepy.
That last boy... Petrus... no, more common... Peter! She automatically disliked him. He had an annoying voice. It squeaked, and she had already dubbed him (mentally) Mouse-boy. He also picked his nose.
Eliza was suddenly knocked back to reality by... applause? She realised that they were clapping for the hat placed on a four legged stool. Why? Thinking back, she vaguely remembered song... maybe it was a singing hat...
“When I call your name,” Professor McGonagall began, “I will place the Sorting Hat on your head. It will then place you into a House.”
McGonagall placed the hat on a blonde boy’s head. The Hat was still before opening a rip by its brim and shouting, “RAVENCLAW!”
Applause exploded from one of the tables as they welcomed Christopher into their ranks. Eliza stood, dozing. A couple more sortings went by. Then, BOOM! A shower of sparks rained down onto the students. McGonagall jumped before craning her neck to peer over at the Gryffindor Table. The first boy... Sinus? had his lips pressed together and his eyes wide, clearly feigning innocence. Eliza smiled to her self. Maybe he wasn’t so terribly bad. Just a little.
Professor McGonagall shook her head, her thin lips twitching, “Johnson, Alice.”
A round faced girl ran up. Eliza noted she was the girl who she’d had a good conversation with. She seemed to be all right. “GRYFFINDOR!”
Several more passed. A dark haired boy stepped forward when the professor called, “Longbottom, Frank!”
After him came two Hufflepuff, and one Slytherin, then came, “Olson, Adam” who grinned at the professor as she set the hat on his head. “GRYFFINDOR!”
Eliza realised she was coming up, and that she had only been committing the Gryffindors to memory. That wouldn’t help her if she was put in Ravenclaw, or Hufflepuff. Especially if she was in Slytherin. Slytherin? She’d probably kill half the house then run away...
Professor McGonagall’s eyes flicked from her to her brother as she approached the stool. Her stomach twisted, and she sat down. The hat was placed on her head, and it covered her eyes. She closed them anyway, and a small voice seemed to speak into her ear.
“Interesting... there’s cleverness, and bravery, and clearly ambition... let’s see...”
Eliza screwed her eyes up and waited in anxiety for the verdict.
“Hm... not Hufflepuff, and I suppose not Ravenclaw... Slytherin?” Eliza’s heart dropped, “No, best be GRYFFINDOR!”
Eliza pulled off the hat, her heart pounding. She walked calmly to the Gryffindor Table, her head spinning. There was a spot across from her brother, between a girl with long red hair and bright green eyes and Adam Olsen, who sat next to Frank Longbottom. She slid into that spot, smiling slightly.
The girl beside her turned to her, “Hello! I’m Lily Evans! This is Joan Stanson,” she gestured to the girl on her other side, a girl with dark red hair and a cold expression.
“Hi, I’m Eliza Potter.” She said that to both Adam and Lily.
Adam grinned back at her, “I’m Adam Olsen.”
Frank leaned back and said cheerfully, “I’m Frank Longbottom!”
They all laughed at his enthusiasm. James grinned at her, “Congrats, Lize!”
“Yeah, Bethy! Congratulations!” The boy, Sinius said.
“She’s not related to you, is she?” Lily asked, surprised.
“Yes, she is!”
“I’m sorry,” Lily whispered. Both girls laughed.
Eliza opened her eyes before rolling over to look at the clock beside her bed. 2:36. She groaned. For some reason, she just couldn’t sleep. As she sat up, her stomach rumbled.
Eliza twisted her hair up, slipping into her shoes. She pulled on her robes over her pajamas and checked for her wand. She opened her door and slipped out. She tread lightly on the stone floors of the corridor, slipping down staircase after staircase, until finally, she found herself at the painting of a bowl of fruit.
She tickled the pear until it squirmed and giggled. She pushed open the painting to reveal a bustling kitchen. One of the house-elves gasped and bowed to her, his hands holding an orange in both hands.
“What does Professor Smythe want? What does Mistress wish for Dilly to get her?” the elf squeaked.
“Some hot cocoa and a plate of biscuits, please, Dilly,” Eliza answered as another house-elf herded her to the small table.
Almost instantly, three house-elves came running over with a huge pot of cocoa and a platter of biscuits. Eliza suddenly remembered the lesson she had learned young, ask for far less than you truly want. You’ll get far too much anyway. Too late now, she thought, pouring herself a mug of the cocoa.
She sat, lost in her thoughts as she helped herself to a biscuit. It had been years since she hadn’t been able to sleep once a memory cut itself off... not since... she shook her head, as the painting opened again. In walked three teenagers.
“Honestly Hermione, you’d better not start any of that spew rubbish here,” complained Ron Weasley as she followed him in.
“It’s not spew, Ron, its-”
“Harry Potter, sir! Harry Potter!”
A clothed house-elf had his arms wrapped tightly around the young man’s midriff.
“Hello, Dobby,” gasped Harry.
Eliza settled back and kept her mind clear in effort to keep the teenagers from noticing their professor watching them as she drank cocoa.
Ron informed a waiting house-elf as to what he wanted as Dobby led them to the table. Suddenly they noticed their professor as she took a sip of cocoa.
She tried to give them a stern look, but her lips kept twitching, so she covered her mouth with her mug, taking a drink, giving them that stern look.
Hermione started, before trying to recover with a, “Good evening, Professor.”
Eliza smiled, her face calm, and answered, “It’s more morning, that evening, is it not, Miss Granger?”
Hermione went pink, and Harry watched her, an odd look on his face.
Eliza motioned them to sit down, “Go on, but mind this, next time I find you wandering about at night, it’ll be detention.”
Hermione blinked, before sitting down. Harry nodded, and Ron gaped.
“Are you serious?”
“No, that’s-” she broke off, not finishing the worn out joke. She was suddenly overwhelmed with the remembrance that one of the last times she had been in the kitchens was when Adam Olsen, Frank’s best friend had chased her from the Great Hall, all the way up to the owlery before chasing her to the kitchens. They had then helped themselves to a hand full of tarts each and spent the rest of the night laughing and eating. She smiled slightly at the memory before realising the three before her were staring at her, “Never mind, but next time, you will be in detention.”
Hermione frowned for a moment, watching her, before saying, “Thank you, professor.”
February 21st, 2005, 9:56 pm
A/N: Once again, and probably not for the last time, I am sorry for the wait! Thank you for being patient people and keeping your pitchforks away from me until I came out with this update. :p Feedback is appreciated!
Chapter Thirty-Two Part Three
Eliza leaned back, allowing the three teenagers to have their own conversation. Or rather, the two teenagers to have their own conversation. Harry hardly said a word the whole time, staring into his cup of tea and chewing on a biscuit. He’d murmur something if a direct question was posed to him, but he never paid any attention.
Eliza turned her attention to Hermione for a few seconds, dipping a biscuit into her cocoa. Hermione was clearly struggling to carry a conversation, exchanging worried looks with Ron, and both of them glancing at Harry every few seconds.
“Well, how do you think the Quidditch Game next week will go?” she asked, clearly not interested in Quidditch nearly as much as getting Harry to talk, “Harry? Harry!”
He jumped, “Sorry, what?”
“How do you think the Quidditch match will go next week?” she repeated.
“Oh... I don’t know. We have a good team, I suppose, it’s better than last year’s, but our beaters are hopeless,” he answered distractedly.
“Ginny’s good,” Ron added, “And we have Harry back on the team.”
“Yes, of course,” Hermione answered, allowing Ron to take over, discussing Quidditch to himself. She watched Harry worriedly, frowning, as he stared at the table, his biscuit hovering between his mouth and the plate it had been on.
“-We’ll be fine if we can just stay focused. I mean, once the game’s in motion, we’ll be in our element, but if-” Ron broke off, shoving another biscuit in his mouth. He glanced over at Harry, his biscuit still not in his mouth yet. He nudged Harry, who started and stared at Ron in surprise.
“Are you going to eat that, mate?” Ron asked.
“Eat wh- Oh... sorry,” he bit into it, chewing slowly.
Hermione glanced down to her plate, then up to her professor who was watching Harry, an odd expression on her face.
Eliza glanced over to her student, “Yes, Hermione?”
“Good night, I think we should go. I’m feeling a bit tired. Good night.”
“Good night, Hermione, Ron. Harry, I need to talk to you. Harry! Potter!” She barked the last words. Harry jumped, and she said more gently, “I’d like to talk to you. If you two get caught, I am not taking any blame, and I will not vouch for you, so don’t get caught. I’ll take Harry up when I’m finished talking to him.”
The three paused for a moment, glancing between Eliza and each other.
Hermione slipped over to where Harry was. He whispered something to her, handing her a small silver bundle of cloth.
“We’ll wait for you in the Common Room,” Hermione whispered.
“Don’t bother,” Harry replied.
Ron and Hermione hesitated, looking at each other. Hermione finally shook her head, “Good night, Professor, Harry.”
She led the way out of the kitchens, Ron paused, grabbed a handful of biscuits and went after her, catching up easily.
Professor Smythe waited until Hermione and Ron were gone.
“So, how are you, Harry?” She asked, studying him closely.
He shrugged, “Fine,” he mumbled, studying the worn grain of the table.
She nodded, calculating quickly, “Good. Have you been practicing Occlumency?” she asked, giving a small hint of sternness.
He looked at her for a moment, and nodded uncertainly.
“Then work on it tonight, Mr. Potter. You look as if you could use it. Let’s head up,” she stood, wondering in her mind how it had come to this. It had seemed like only the day before when she had first held her nephew, convinced that she would be able to watch him grow up. Of course, not even two years later, everything had changed, and now she stood before her nephew. She was watching his reaction to his aunt’s death, and she had to treat him as a student. She could let him know she was his supposedly dead aunt.
Harry followed her through the kitchens, and though the passage. When they were half way up the narrow staircase he spoke for the first time in a while, “Professor?”
Eliza stopped and looked back towards her student, “Yes, Harry?” she prompted, watching him carefully in the dim, almost nonexistent light.
“Is she really dead? I mean, my aunt?”
Eliza swallowed, thankful he wouldn’t be able to see her expression in the dark, and answered, “Dumbledore and McGonagall confirmed the body to be that of your aunt’s. Beyond that, I wouldn’t know,” she answered, trying rather unsuccessfully to keep her voice from catching.
“But... if she was supposed to be a Death Eater... why would he kill her? I mean, was she really a Death Eater, or...?” he trailed off, clearly uncertain.
Her insides were squirming, and it was all she could do not to spill everything, but she knew she couldn’t. Time for that had come and gone, and now, she had to keep her secret silent, “Harry, listen to me. I took your aunt to be a good person, and very against everything Voldemort stood for. So did everyone else. Why she was accused as a Death Eater, I don’t know, but I do know this. Voldemort wanted her dead for a long time. There isn’t anything anyone could do for it. Don’t tear yourself up, okay?”
Eliza couldn’t see Harry’s face, but she could see the outline, of it, and his glasses. She waited. Finally he spoke.
“I never met her... no one ever mentioned her... but as soon as I find out she’s alive, she dies...” anger slowly became evident in his voice, but then he fell silent, and the two stood in the dark staircase.
Eliza turned, her insides burning, and her throat coated thickly. She slowly walked the rest of the way up the stairs. They came to the Entrance Hall, and a smooth voice came from the opposite side of the hall.
“Well, what do we have here? Students after hours?” the voice was velvety, and coming nearer. Soon, the figure it came from came into view.
“Honestly, Severus,” Eliza cleared her throat, “If you can’t tell the difference between a professor and a student, then you clearly aren’t doing a very good job of patrolling the halls.
“And what are you doing after hours, Eliza?” Severus asked, clearly suspicious.
“And what are you doing after hours, Severus?” she mimicked
“Who’s that with you? Oh, it wouldn’t be the Potter boy, would it?” Harry came even with Eliza. Eliza could tell, even in the dark of night, that he was tense, ready to spring if necessary.
“I’m taking him back of to Gryffindor Tower, is that a problem for you, Severus?” she asked, cooly.
“What have we said about favoring students, Smythe?”
“Oh! You’re a fine one to start talking about that, Snape!”
“Oh, am I? Well-”
“Yes you are! You and your Slytherin students!”
“You know very well why I do! That doesn’t give you an excuse to let Potter off the hook just because he’s Potter!”
“And you should know very well why I do what I do! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll get out of your way, and you can go search the corridors for some other-”
“This is why you shouldn’t be allowed to be here! You’ve always just toed lines, swapped sides, and followed your own lot. Let on your own, you’re just some thick woman without-”
“Yes! I am just some thick woman! Just some thick woman who was some thick girl who got you, just some thick man out of some trouble because you were too thick to see how to get out!”
Harry followed this argument, his mouth slightly open, looking from one professor to another, clearly surprised.
“I... you...” his voice was thick with anger, “Just go to bed, and I’ll deal with you in the morning,” he finished, waving his hand in a dismissive gesture as he walked away.
Harry turned and stared at his professor. She sighed, shook her head, and smiled, laughing slightly, “I’m sure the first thing you’ll say to Ron and Hermione is that I got in a row with Snape,” she started to laugh.
Harry paused for a moment before answering, “I suppose.”
Laughing, Eliza led Harry toward the Gryffindor Common room.
March 14th, 2005, 9:32 pm
A/N: *gasp* an update! Enjoy & give feedback! :D
The next morning, Eliza slipped into the Great Hall. After her short amount of sleep, she was surprisingly very awake.
“Good morning,” she said pleasantly to her colleagues as she sat down.
Professor Sinistra gave her an odd look, “You seem too lively for your own good,” she informed Eliza, she paused for a moment before adding in a whisper, “Severus is in a worse mood than usual.”
Eliza grinned broadly, “Is he? Wonderful!”
Her friend groaned softly, “It’s too early for this... whatever you do, don’t get me into it. I’m too young to die!”
Eliza laughed softly before taking her seat and pouring herself some juice.
Severus glowered at her.
Eliza smiled cheerfully at him.
“You know,” he hissed, “You honestly should-”
“Don’t tell me what I should honestly do or not do,” she answered lightly, buttering a piece of toast.
Snape ignored this, “You know what you almost did last night? Listen to me. If you slip, or if something else goes wrong, and someone hears of it that shouldn’t, it won’t only mean death for you and yours, but it will also put everyone in Hogwarts in danger. You hear me?” he whispered, “I don’t care how mad you get, or how right you are or think you are, do not, I repeat do not slip. You’ve been told, do not tell anyone, and this includes Potter, especially Potter, because you know what can happen, and-”
“Severus, I understand what you’re saying. All right?” she hissed back.
He opened his mouth one more time, paused, and answered, “Fine.”
“Good,” she replied, taking a bite out of her toast, now with marmalade spread on it.
“Wonderful,” Professor Sinistra put in. When she received surprised glances, she shrugged and answered, “All I heard was ‘fine’, then ‘good’ so I decided the next step had to be wonderful,” she shrugged, and Eliza laughed. Severus scowled.
Eliza sighed, checking her watch as she shuffled through papers. It was getting near the time for the Occlumency lesson.
The day had gone through fairly quickly, but Eliza was still drained by the end of it. After all, it was one of her busiest days of the week.
A couple minutes late, a knock came at the door. Eliza checked her wand, inside her sleeve as always, and called, “Come in!”
The door opened, and Harry entered, looking around the room with one quick glance.
Eliza smiled at him, standing up, “How are you?” she asked.
“Fine,” he answered, rather automatically.
Eliza nodded, “Are you ready?” she asked, walking towards the cleared spot in her office.
Harry nodded, following, his feet shuffling against the stone floor.
Eliza sat cross legged on the cold floor, and Harry followed suit silently. As he did so, she examined him carefully. Beneath his messy black hair, his green eyes were to be found behind his round glasses.
‘Lily’s eyes,’ Eliza thought, not for the first time, ‘Only older.’ Yes, older seemed to be the right way to describe it. At Harry’s age, Lily’s eyes had always glittered with some unspoken mirth, or in a gentle kindness. Only, Lily’s eyes never held the look Harry’s now held. Harry’s were more mature, but they still contained the same glimmer his parents’ eyes had, the same look that threatened a joke or a trick. Except now, that look in Harry’s eyes was more subdued.
“All right, Mr. Potter, are you-” she reached into Harry’s mind, “read?” she finished seconds after she had done what he needed to be ready for.
She hit resistance, and a surprising about of that, as well, but she easily broke through.
Merpeople were rapidly rising through the water... the Dark Mark erupted into the sky over a forest... Eliza pushed farther and farther back into his mind, protecting her own mind as she pushed through. She met more resistance than usual as she forced her way through, but she kept digging. ... letters come spilling out of the fireplace... a small boy sits, staring at a box of dog treats... but Eliza doesn’t pause. Suddenly, she finds her reflection in a mirror, the reflection of a fifteen-year-old girl talking to a wet sixteen-year-old boy. She starts for a second, barely lowering her barriers, and she felt a slam go through her mind, leaving her fumbling.
...James holds up a mirror, laughing as he talks to it... Eliza ducks as a pot of stew goes whizzing over her head... a circle of Death Eaters closes in... a Quidditch game in the middle of a blizzard... a young round faced woman smooths the skirt of her wedding gown... Eliza, pale, kneels before Voldemort... a stag becomes a pale young man... Harry attempted to push forward more, but Eliza quickly pulled her defenses up as he made for another lunge.
Her vision cleared as she blinked rapidly, and she looked up to see Harry blinking in the same manner.
Eliza shook her head to clear it, and said quietly, “That was very good.”
Harry looked up, meeting her eyes evenly, waiting.
“Yes, definitely an improvement, but you need more resistance faster. What you did was enough to slow me and catch me off guard, but you’ll need more than that to do the same to Voldemort.”
Harry nodded, still silent.
Eliza shifted on the cold stone floor, and said quietly, “Again, then.”
Harry nodded, and the mental duel went on. Eliza met a fair amount of resistance, but it didn’t last too long, and soon she was watching Hermione and Ron gripe at each other.
“You need to hold out longer, but I’ve seen worse. Let’s try this again,” and for the third time, the fight went on.
Each time, the resistance was a little longer, but this, like the resistance, didn’t last long. After a little less than an hour, the time shortened with every attempt.
Eliza lifted herself off the floor and nodded to Harry.
“It seems we got a lot done,” she said, smiling, “You did very well today.”
Harry gave her a slight half smile in reply before speaking, “Professor? I was wondering...”
Eliza, who had walked to her desk and picked up some parchment lowered it and prompted, “Yes?”
“Well... I was wondering if you could tell me about this,” he said awkwardly, pulling something from his pocket and holding it towards her.
Eliza stepped forward and reached to take it. It was a photograph, and a worn one at that. A small group of teenage wizards were crowded around a table in the Gryffindor Common Room, making faces at the camera and laughing.
Eliza pointed to each witch or wizard in turn from left to right, explaining, “This is Frank, Frank Longbottom, Neville’s father. Next to him is Alice Johnson, Neville’s mother. This was fourth year for them, and fifth for your parents. Above Alice, here, is Joan Stanton. You’ve met her once before. She was the woman who came barging in here a month or so ago, remember? Here, next to Joan, is your mother. I don’t know what was so funny, but she only laughed like that when she was about to die of laughter. Let’s see, your father is next to Lily, he purposely must have placed himself beside her. He must have made her laugh, that’s why he’s so pleased looking. Here’s Adam Olsen, a friend of Frank’s, and here’s his friend Trent. Then here is Remus, Sirius, Peter, and your aunt.”
“Where are you?”
“Taking the photograph, probably,” she lied, “I’m surprised it wasn’t Joan. She hated being in them. She’d rather take it than be in it. That’s most likely why she’s scowling this much. She usually doesn’t scowl that bad unless she’s really upset,” she suddenly looked up, “Where did you get this?”
“I found it,” he answered awkwardly.
Eliza nodded, “Yes, but where?”
“In a book,” he mumbled.
Eliza raised an eyebrow, and he blushed.
“In one of the library books. It was marking a page about disillusioning small things,” he finally answered.
Eliza thought for a moment, and reasoned to herself. That had to have been when the Marauder Map was in the planning... Quickly, a few things clicked into place, and she nodded, “What else do you want to know about it? Anything in particular?”
Harry paused for a moment, then shook his head, “No, I just wanted to know who those people were. Good night,” he answered slowly.
“Good night,” Eliza replied, watching him go.
March 16th, 2005, 9:56 pm
A/N: I hope you don't get too spoiled because of two updates in three days, but I'll risk it! :angel:
Snape took the front. A silence fell over the group as he cleared his throat. He had a stake of reports that Eliza eyed anxiously. The meeting so far had not been pleasant, as, given the reports of her death, she was watched carefully by mostly everybody. They peered at her from the corners of their eyes, trying not to catch her attention.
Well, it could be worse, she decided to herself. They could be doing... much more than look.
“...Dumbledore has ordered me to identify they body,” Snape informed the group, continuing on what he had begun to talk about, “Eliza has been kind enough to provide what is needed for the potion on her part.”
‘Wait.... when was this? She wondered, calmly raising an eyebrow at Snape, whose eyes ordered her to stay silent, ‘we’ll talk about this later’.
‘Fine’ she thought, leaning back. Of course, him having said that, she couldn’t refuse to ‘provide’ what was needed, with out sparking the suspicions of the others more.
“Those, mixed into the potion, will help us identify the body and let us know how to take care of it,” he continued.
“What if it’s her body? What if she-” a woman in the corner demanded. When she broke of, she nodded to Eliza and fell silent.
Eliza looked over at the woman, eying her carefully. She tried to place her, and after a bit, she succeeded. She was the woman who had initially shown distrust for her.
Severus paused, looking at the woman, his face darkened in the flickering light, “Then we will know, and she,” he nodded at Eliza, “Will be interrogated.”
“Why should we risk it?” She demanded, “Why should we risk her possibly passing information to someone?”
Severus leaned forward, a sneer showing on his face, “And why,” he asked smoothly, “Should we risk the possibility of you doing that?”
The woman drew herself up, unabashed, “Why would I spy?”
“And why would she?”
Eliza watched this exchange, fighting the desire to either laugh or defend herself, she wasn’t sure which.
Remus, who was watching Eliza, leaned over and whispered to her, “Dorothy seems a little agitated, doesn’t she?”
“Who is she?” Eliza whispered back.
“Know one knows for sure, but Dumbledore said she would be useful to the Order...” he trailed off, whispering.
“And what has she done to be useful?”
Remus just gave her a half smile and a half shrug before turning back to the meeting.
Snape looked around, “Any other questions?” he asked, in a soft, half-threatening way.
No one spoke, so he sat down, and let the next person take his place for a report, that being Kingsley.
As he gave his short report, Eliza stared out into space, not paying attention. She stared into her lap, thinking.
She thought about the potion, some lessons she needed to plan, some she needed to teach, and wondered exactly what slimy surprise she could place in her colleague’s bed to get back at him for this. Perhaps some half-pickled frog intestines. Or pig... or cat... or whatever else she could get her hands on.
She was roused out of thought as everyone began to stand up. She followed suit, looking around for Severus. She craned her head, trying to look around some of the taller men’s heads. She couldn’t find him.
Remus stood, and she turned to him, “Where is Snape?”
“He left the second the meeting was over,” he sounded puzzled, “Didn’t you see him leave?”
“Must not have,” she replied.
Remus smiled, “You’re rather unobservant for someone in your position,” he informed her.
Eliza made a face at him as Joan came up.
“Well, what do you think?” she asked, quiet.
“What about?” Remus and Eliza asked at the same time.
Joan gave them a look, “Don’t do that. I mean, about Snape’s report, and Dorothy.”
Eliza sighed, “I’m not sure what I think. I have to go find him and talk to him about it.”
Joan grinned, “Just don’t kill him.” At Eliza’s surprised look, she explained, “You sound like you will.”
Eliza sighed, “I’m thinking about it,” she replied.
“Did he not tell you about your supplying materials?” Remus asked.
“Exactly. I have to find out what he volunteered me to give. I should probably go do that,” she frowned, “Well, good bye. Have a good week.”
Remus sighed, “I’ll try,” he said doubtfully.
Eliza, giving Joan a hug, raised an eyebrow, before realizing, “Oh, it’s full moon this week, isn’t it?”
Remus nodded, and Eliza hugged him, “Well, I hope you don’t have a horrible week, how’s that?”
Remus smiled, “Okay, ‘Bye Lize.”
Joan nodded, “’Bye! Go give Snape a piece of your mind, and don’t let him make you donate a vital organ, okay?”
Eliza laughed, “That’s what I have to find out. Good night!”
Eliza walked down another flight of stairs into the Entrance Hall. As she stepped down, she looked around, feeling as though she was being watched. It was not yet ten o’clock, but it was getting near to that. Eliza had left a bit earlier than usual in order to find Snape.
She had Flooed to her office, fed Mischief, locked up her office, checked her pockets, and left. Now, she puzzled to herself, wondering if she was really being watched. Of course, she had learned to trust those feelings after years of punishments for not doing so.
She walked across the Entrance Hall, careful not to make any noise so she herself could listen. Nothing, or nothing that she could hear. She shook her head and made her way into the dungeons. She walked quickly down the passageway, trying not to look at the damp stone walls carefully.
She finally made it to Snape’s office, grimacing at the stale air. She lifted her hand to knock, but the door swung open before she could touch the door.
“I thought you’d be down here sooner,” Snape said, raising an eyebrow at her.
Eliza gave him a look, “I came down here to ask you-”
“What materials you needed to donate?”
“Yes,” she replied impatiently, crossing her arms.
“Tell me, Severus.”
“Just some blood and some hair.”
She thought so much, “How much?”
He gave her the amount.
She stared at him, “Are you planning on killing me in the process?”
“I’ve talked to Professor McGonagall, and we talked to Madam Pomfrey. It’ll be fine, you just need to take a potion for blood renewing before hand.”
“What, so I’ll explode?” She demanded.
“I hope not. You won’t, Madam Pomfrey hasn’t let that many die, has she? What are the chances the next one will be you?”
Eliza glowered at him, “Fine, then. What else is needed?”
“Tooth of a werewolf, your blood and hair need to be taken at full moon, some unicorn horn, and some other things,” he said vaguely.
“Where are you getting the tooth?”
“Minerva is taking care of that.”
Eliza leaned back against the doorframe, “Remus?”
“Wouldn’t he rip her to shreds?”
“No, we’ve taken care of what will happen,” he answered, smoothly.
Eliza glanced around his office while she interrogated him, looking for the perfect thing to place in his bed. There were so many slimy things, it was so difficult to pick, so she lightly took a jar of what looked like slimy spaghetti, and slipped into her pocket, keeping it hidden behind her back.
Eliza sighed, “So when will we take care of this?”
“Full moon. Tuesday night,” he gave her an odd look.
“Am I going to be able to teach Wednesday?”
“You should be,” he answered, “The question is, ‘Will Poppy allow me to teach?’”
“Well, will she?”
Snape shrugged, “Perhaps.”
Eliza rolled her eyes, “That’s comforting,” she told him as she walked away.
“I thought so.”
Eliza left, and instead of going the direction she should have, went another, fingering the flask in her pocket carefully.
March 28th, 2005, 9:17 pm
Chapter Thirty-Five, Part One
Sunday morning dawned bright and clear. Frost coated the grounds lightly, and and sky deep blue.
Eliza, sitting at breakfast, decided it would be a good day as she watched Severus enter the Great Hall. He wore a deep scowl, and he glowered at Eliza the moment he saw her. He made his way directly towards her, and some students looked up as he stalked by, Harry and his friends included. They gaped as he came around the table, sat gingerly, and instantly started ranting. Eliza smiled politely the whole time, trying hard not to laugh.
“You little arrogant-” he tried to begin.
“Are you talking to me?” she asked, innocently.
“Don’t start that!” he snapped, “I can’t see how you could do that!”
“Do what?” she asked, sipping some juice.
“You know what!”
“I know what, exactly?” she lowered her goblet of juice to the table slowly.
“Quit playing games! You put those pickled tentacles in my bed!”
“Oh, is that what they are?” she asked, as if making polite conversation.
“Yes! And if you were a student, I’d expel you! If we were still young, I’d hex you into the next century!”
“But I’m not, and we’re not, so there’s not really a point in doing anything, is there?” she asked, smoothing out her napkin, smiling innocently.
“Don’t give me any of that-” he broke off, scowling even more deeply, if that was possible.
Eliza just smiled a bit more widely, and stood, taking the last of her toast off her plate. She nodded to Snape, and said, “Have a good day.”
He cursed her softly, and she grinned back, “Same to you, my friend,” she laughed.
With her toast, Eliza walked away from the Staff Table, and through the Great Hall. When she reached the doors, she went through, and finished the rest of her toast as she ran up the stairs to her office to get her papers.
She spent the rest of the day grading papers and planning lessons, taking short breaks to chase students through the hallways and once to take a walk on the grounds to visit Hagrid. She had hardly visited him at all in the year, so he was happy to see her.
The rest of the day ended without major mishaps, much to Eliza’s relief, and that night she absentmindedly drew a memory from her mind...
Eliza sat in the old Order Headquarters. She was wearily going over a report, stifling yawns every few seconds. She shifted in her seat, uncomfortable, and looked around the room.
Alastor Moody sat across the table from her, shuffling through a large stack of reports, sorting them, stacking them, and restacking them, looking agitated.
The Prewett brothers, Fabian and Gideon, played Wizard’s chess, scowling at the board.
The room was dimly lit, except for the gas lamps placed every so often around the room.
The silence was tense, as it was too often these days. This silence only broken by the crackle of papers, or the soft commands coming from Fabian and Gideon.
“Rook to E4,” Fabian said, almost silently.
“Knight to E4,” Gideon replied, smiling slightly as the knight knocked the rook to the board.
“Pawn to A6,” Fabian whispered.
“Queen to A6,” Gideon answered lightly.
Fabian groaned, “Honestly, if you do that once more-”
“You’ll lose. Check.”
Fabian sat up straight, “What?”
“Just-” Gideon broke off, turning quickly a certain spot of the room where their had just been a flash of fire.
As the fire roared upwards, Moody leapt up and caught something from the air by the fire, “It’s a letter...” he trailed off, scanning the letter quickly, before swearing, “Gideon, get everyone up and down here. Make sure they bring their cloaks. Eliza, go help him, and grab yours as well. Fabian come here-” his voice faded away as Gideon and Eliza raced upstairs, where they quickly sounded the alarm that would wake those in Headquarters up.
Eliza banged on all the doors and shouted, “Move! Grab your cloaks and wands!” over and over.
Order members, few as they were, seemed to pour out of the rooms. The doors opened with a series of bangs, and everyone ran downstairs. Eliza ran into one of the rooms to grab her cloak and was greeted by Sirius.
“What’s going on?” he asked, staring at her blearily, rubbing his eyes.
“Dumbledore sent a letter. Moody had Gideon and me sound the alarm. Get your wand and cloak and get moving,” she called as she ran down the hall. She ran half way down the stairs before jumping the rest of the way down. Sirius tumbled down beside her, looking as if he’d fallen the whole length of the stairs.
Moody was making an announcement, but Eliza couldn’t here it over the coughs and yawns of the Order members, but grabbed the portkey along with everyone else as they reached forwards. Moody nodded to her as he counted, “Four, three, two,” and she felt a jerk around her middle as they flung into a blur of color.
They slammed into the ground moments later and instantly scattered, weaving paths, as the group was too big of a target together. Eliza found herself faced with a Death Eater shorter than her, and smaller.
“Stupefy!” the Death Eater cried, and Eliza recognized the voice as she deflected the curse with a flick of her wand.
“Expelliarmus!” Eliza replied lightly, keeping focus on her target, her opponent, Bellatrix Black.
Bella whispered a spell that Eliza couldn’t make out, which broke through Eliza’s shield spell, sending her tumbling to the muddy ground. Rain splattered her glasses as she leapt back up, chanting hexes as quickly as she could.
Bella squealed with the delight of an infant as she broke out with boils and tumbled to the ground with Jelly Legs.
“Finite Incantatem!” a male voice cried above the din of the field.
Bella rolled to her feet, sending a fury of curses at Eliza. Eliza dodged as many as she could, and blocked the others, but one broke through.
“Curcio!” Bella hissed, her aim steady. Eliza dropped, but not fast enough, and pain shot through her.
As Eliza struggled with the white-hot knives that seemed to stab her, Bellatrix triumphantly spoke another hex, and everything went black.
A/N: To be continued.... I'm trying to keep good posting habits... :D
April 28th, 2005, 9:43 pm
Chapter 35 part two
It hurt...she was sore... and lying on a cold stone floor...she heard someone nearby pacing... once in a while they kicked her on their way by.... why would they do that? Why was she on the floor? Why...
The memory of what had happened flashed through her mind, and she nearly groaned, but stifled it. She wasn’t sure if she wanted the someone in the room to know she was awake until she could think straight.
With barely any movement, Eliza checked herself for her belongings. Her robe was on her, her cloak uncomfortably twisted around her, her boots and socks were on, and her glasses were smashed against her face, but still in contact... Her pockets, which usually had an odd assortment off tricks... empty. No sign of her wand.
Cursing mentally, she looked around the room the best she could without moving her head. It was a stone room, with a stone floor. It had the look of the dungeons in Hogwarts, only this room was mustier, dirtier, and had a much lower ceiling.
“Is the girl awake yet?” came a business-like voice from around, presumably, the door.
“Not yet, but I think she’s beginning too,” came an almost familiar voice.
“If it was just a Stunning Spell, she should have been awake hours ago,” Mr. Business-Like stated stiffly.
“If it was just a Stunning Spell, you would have been able to wake her up, wouldn’t you?” Retorted Mr. Familiar.
“Don’t get cheeky with me, Severus,” Mr. Business-Like replied, bored.
“Of course not, Lucius,” Severus replied.
“You wouldn’t want the Dark Lord to hear about it, he might think you’re rebelling. I’ll be back in a few hours to check to see if she’s awake. When she does wake up, remember...”
Eliza stared at the wall... Severus... who? Snape... Wait... Snape??? Severus Snape?
‘It makes sense,’ Eliza reasoned, ‘We always knew he was into the Dark Arts, so following Voldemort would be good for him...’
She heard Snape mutter something under his breath, and hit the wall with a smack. There was silence, before a hard kick hit her on the side.
Eliza gasped and kicked out in reflex. She caught his left foot with her right and brought him to the ground.
Not moving from his spot on the floor beside her, he took out his wand and sent her flying across the room. She hit the wall in the corner, and her air went out of her body with an “Umph.”
“You stay quiet,” he hissed, “You don’t want to face the Dark Lord sooner than you must, do you? Someone else will come down when the Dark Lord has time to deal with you again.”
Eliza hesitated, but opened her mouth and whispered, “What do you want?”
“With you?” he hissed back, “Me, nothing, personally, but the Dark Lord wants you-”
“To join him, is that it?” she snapped softly.
“Yes, that would be it,” he answered.
Eliza sneered, “I’m not weak enough to want to crawl up to him and call him Master before licking his feet. Not when he’d sooner torture me than anything.”
Snape just watched her.
Eliza calculated quickly before whispering, “The way you do. I didn’t think you were as weak as that, but you joined Volde-”
“Don’t say his name!” he hissed.
“Before you joined a man that had you so terrified you hated to hear his name. You let him and others treat you like trash, for what? Glory? Power? He’s powerful enough right now, but have you seen any of that? Have you?”
“Keep your mouth shut, Potter,” he snapped, “And maybe you’ll be allowed to live.”
“And whose judgment is that?” she asked, cheerfully.
He kept his face stony, replying, “The Dark Lord’s.”
“And do you like living like a slug to do his bidding,” she whispered, slipping into his mind.
His guard was down, surprisingly, so Eliza slipped in without much trouble.
He opened his mouth, and Eliza gently pulled out some of his memories. Lightly inspecting his memories for ones that would be helpful in her getting out, she shuddered at some of them as she drew them out.
She waited as these memories came into recollection, and he scowled, “Why would you think we live like slugs?”
Eliza shrugged, surprised at how many gaps he’d left for her to slip in, “ Oh, perhaps the way you were treated just then,” she nodded her head, “Or the fact that you never liked to be bullied, yet here you are-”
“And what are you suggesting?” he breathed, still somehow managing to snap, “There wouldn’t be anyway out but death, if I wanted it, and-”
“Dumbledore,” she answered softly.
Snape gave her a sharp look, blowing air gently through his teeth, “Shhhhh,” he whispered quietly.
“Hush yourself,” she drew herself up, “Dumbledore,” she repeated, barely breathing the name.
“What about him?” the man across from her asked, looking around as if expecting figures to appear in the corners of the room.
“Talk to him, follow his lead, not-”
“I told you, there’s no way but death!” he hissed.
Eliza stared at him, surprised at how easily he was cooperating.
“Dumbledore’s a trusting man,” she said softly, echoing what she had been told before in her life.
“But would he trust a Death Eater?”
Eliza nodded, hiding her uncertainty, “I have no doubt,” she lied.
Snape looked at her, clearly thinking.
Eliza let him think a bit, before saying, “If you help me out of this, I’ll help you. Three days after I get out, meet me in the Hogs Head. I’ll take you to Dumbledore. Only if you help me out, mind.”
Snape looked at her, suspicious, “How do I know it won’t be a trap?”
Eliza bit her lip, thinking, “I’ll wait alone. You can come out to meet me. I won’t trap you if you help me. On my honor.”
He wasn’t completely convinced, not even with her sifting through his mind for help, “How do I know you have any?”
“How do I know you won’t go straight to Voldemort with this, seeing as he’ll kill me in a second if he finds out?”
Snape stared at her, “True...”
The memory blurred, and cleared to reveal a different room. It was a different time, a different room, but clearly the same building.
Eliza knelt in the middle of the room, her head down as she stared into the stone floor, trying to keep her thoughts steady.
“Don’t twitch, stay still, admit no weakness, but keep you head down and your defenses up,” she mentally schooled herself, echoing what Auror training had given her.
“This is my last offer,” a cold voice said in a tone that implied that it was more of a command than an offer, “Join me, and you will have power.”
“I-I...” she said, not completely acting out her shaking voice, “My Lord... I... I am not worthy to be your servant,” she said, hesitantly.
“Then we will make you worthy!” Voldemort’s cold voice broke through the air, “Crucio!”
The memory blurred once again, before clearing to reveal the cell.
“Here,” Snape forced parchment and a quill at her.
Eliza took them, confused, but obedient still the same. Her face was pale, and there was a lump on her forehead.
Snape peered out into the empty corridor, “Write a letter,” he breathed, “To your brother. He needs to rescue you. I’ll tell you where and when. Just write the beginning,” he moved to stand at the door where he could look down the corridor.
“ Dear Prongs,
It’s been a long time since I have seen you. I miss you, and it would please me if you came to visit ,” she wrote trying to keep it in code. Who knew if Snape really would deliver it, and who knew what a plain letter would bring? James would understand exactly what she said, while others, not knowing the circumstance, might not, “If you are to come, which I hope you will, I need you to come,” she paused, before hissing, “Snape! When?”
Snape gave her the information, and Eliza copied it down, before adding, “The house might be a bit full, at thirteen to fifteen guests, so I hope you prepare for the tight fit,” she wrote, her hands shaking as she finished the short letter, “Please, my friend. With love, Lize” Eliza folded the letter, before slipping it and the ink bottle to her guard. He took them, slipping them into his pocket.
Eliza slipped into waking. She glanced at her clock. Four in the morning. She rolled over, wide awake. She remembered the battle the next night.
James had arrived with about 20 members of the Order. Snape fought against them, with the Death Eaters, but Eliza wasn’t worried. He had delivered her letter, and that proved he was willing to work with her. And three days later, he met her in the Hog’s Head. Eliza took him to Dumbledore, who barely looked shaken as Eliza led in her foe from her school days.
After that, Dumbledore let Snape work as a spy for him, and after a few months, he brought Snape into the Order secretly, clearly realizing that Snape’s acceptance of Eliza did not extend to her brothers or friends. Why Dumbledore brought Snape into the order was never known; that was between Severus and Albus. Of course, the mauraders were mad.
June 20th, 2005, 2:36 pm
A/N: I'm horrible when it comes to updating... sorry!
Chapter 36 Part One
Eliza stifled a yawn as she walked down the third flight of stairs. She paused, checking her watch, before pushing open a door. She went down another narrow passageway, opened another door, and found herself in one of the back dungeons. It was Tuesday night, and the moon was full.
“Good to see you could make it, Eliza,” Professor McGonagall greeted her, nodding.
“I’m not late, am I?” Eliza asked unconcernedly, straightening the hem of her sleeve.
“I told you nine thirty. It’s nine forty-five,” the elder woman replied severely.
“She isn’t needed till ten,” Severus spoke suddenly, “I just told you nine thirty to make sure she’d be here in time to get the ingredients from her.”
Eliza glared at him, but Severus just tipped something into the cauldron, pretending he hadn’t noticed. The potion hissed, and began to shimmer in a purple color.
“Well where’s Poppy then?” Eliza asked, fighting the desire to hit him over the head.
“I’m right here, dear,” came the answer from the far corner.
Eliza peered through the darkness until she saw the nurse’s figure, bending over a bulky bag, shuffling through its contents, “Sorry, Poppy. Good evening,” Eliza said, feeling her face going red.
Idiot! she thought, Do you really expect to live through this war if you can’t even notice who’s in the same room as you are?
The door swung open to reveal Dumbledore, “Is everyone here? ” He asked cheerfully, but didn’t wait for an answer to reply to his own question, “Excellent.”
Eliza sighed, steeling herself before asking reluctantly, “What do we need to do now?”
Poppy hurried over at that moment, carrying a goblet of vile smelling liquid, “Drink this,” she said firmly, “All of it.”
Eliza took the goblet before tipping the contents into her mouth. She swallowed quickly, trying to get it all down before she could process the taste. She almost succeeded, but the taste hit her on the second to the last swallow, so she plugged her nose before she could gag and finished it.
Madam Pomfrey took the goblet, peered inside of it to make sure it was empty, and pulled out a vial. Eliza sighed and rolled up the sleeve of her arm, “Don’t even explain what you’re going to do. Just do it.”
Poppy and Albus exchanged amused looks, and she heard Severus laugh from the cauldron.
Minerva, on the other hand, took a pair of scissors from the table, and untied Eliza’s hair. She sorted until she found an unnoticeable part on her head, and began clipping at the same time Poppy began taking blood. Eliza held herself as still as possible, waiting for them to finish.
When they were done, Eliza allowed Poppy to take care of her arm. Poppy applied some ointment before prodding her with her wand to heal it. Minerva bound up the hair and handed it to Severus, along with the vial that Poppy had given her.
Eliza watched as Severus poured the vial into the potion along with powder. He then cut the hair in half, then again, before sprinkling it into the potion. There was a flash, and a thick steam began to come from the cauldron.
Eliza tried to stand, but Poppy pushed her back down. Eliza, who had an attack of nausea as she was pushed down, sat without complaint.
“Here,” the nurse said firmly, pushing another potion into her hands, and some food, “Drink the potion first, then eat. All of it.”
As Eliza followed the nurse’s instructions, Severus tipped the last of the ingredients into the potion.
“It needs to simmer for a half hour,” he said, stirring the cauldron, “And then it can be applied.”
Eliza looked up, “Is the body here?” she asked, swallowing the last of the potion.
Albus nodded, “It’s in the back of the room,” he answered, gesturing.
Eliza swallowed again, even though there wasn’t any food in her mouth. She covered her surprise by taking a bite of one of the bits of food on her plate.
They sat in silence for awhile, as Eliza finished the food. Her head felt a little better.
Minerva took the torch from beside where Eliza was sitting, and went to light a torch in the back of the room. As it flared into life, Eliza noted a figure lying on a board on on of the desks, covered in a white sheet.
A couple minutes later, Snape started to pack away his ingredients. As soon as everything was back in a case on the table, he moved the potion from the fire before filling a large flask. Then, he walked towards the body, and Dumbledore pulled out his watch murmuring, “Alastor should be here any-” and he cut off as the door opened.
Alastor peered into all of the corners of the room before entering, his large electric blue eye twirling about in his head. Suddenly, Eliza didn’t feel much better at all.
“Some bloke followed me half-way across the country. I had to make a few detours until he got off my tail,” Moody said, gruffly.
Eliza rolled her eyes into her goblet as she pretended to take a drink, in effort to hide her amuse. To no avail, as Mad-Eye said, “I saw that Smythe.”
Eliza grinned at him. Paranoid as always, Moody was. He would never call her Potter where anyone would hear, or even where they wouldn’t.
“The potion’s ready,” Snape announced.
Dumbledore walked over to Snape who sealed the flask, and together, they moved closer to the body.
Eliza felt a something in her stomach tighten, as she was suddenly anxious for this to happen. McGonagall and Poppy nodded to her, and she stood. Together they walked closer to the body.
Dumbledore took the flask from Snape, unsealed it, and waited for a moment. He removed the shroud that covered the body. Eliza felt chills as she saw her own face, haggard and pale as death. She closed her eyes for a moment, swallowed, then opened them, waiting.
Dumbledore carefully poured the potion over the body, covering it. Seconds seemed to stretch into years as they waited... waiting for something to happen.
And finally, it did.
July 6th, 2005, 2:34 pm
Chapter 36 Part Two
At first, Eliza didn’t notice the change, as it was too subtle to see. As it gradually changed more and more, Eliza realized that the body was shimmering. This light grew brighter and brighter, until everyone had to shield their eyes.
And suddenly, everything went dark again.
Eliza, with her night vision ruined by the bright light, blinked and blinked until she could see again.
Dumbledore held the torch close to the body’s face, in order to examine it.
“Who is it?” Eliza asked, moving closer.
The body was that of a woman, middle aged, with blonde hair. The woman’s hazel eyes stared, her mouth slightly open in shock.
Dumbledore’s face was unreadable, but when he put the torch back into the bracket, his movement was decisively heavy and slow.
“A muggle born by the name of Kallie Shaw. She was sorted into Ravenclaw, and married a half-blood man. They never had any children, since her husband disappeared shortly after their marriage, before Voldemort’s downfall. She worked as an Unspeakable in the ministry for twelve years, but she disappeared three months ago.”
McGonagall nodded, her lips tight, “Her brother-in-law should be notified that Kallie’s body was found.”
“If she was an Unspeakable, might she have information that Voldemort would want?” Eliza asked, ignoring Snape's hiss at the name.
Dumbledore regarded Eliza carefully, “It is possible, but the ministry has their ways of sealing the confidential information so those who know, can not say it to anyone who is trying to force it out of them.”
“But, there’s always the possibility that he can get around that,” Eliza pointed out.
“Yes, there are always possibilities,” Dumbledore nodded, looking tired, “Severus, would you escort Eliza up to her chambers. It wouldn’t do for her to pass out in the middle of the Entrance Hall.”
Snape’s mouth twisted sourly, but he nodded and led Eliza out of the dungeons.
Eliza scowled at Dumbledore as she walked out, but bit her tongue.
“You shouldn’t do that,” Snape said quietly as soon as they were out of the dungeons.”
“Do what?” Eliza asked, confused.
“What you just did to Dumbledore. He’s already thought about it, and you know-”
“And I know that he can defend himself better than you can defend him, Severus.”
“We have enough trouble without you adding to it,” Snape snapped.
Inwardly, Eliza groaned, Not here. Not now. We don’t need to row in the middle of the Entrance Hall. But she spun to face Snape, standing with her face three inches from his.
“Without me adding to it? Snape, do I have to remind you that I’m the one who’s teaching Harry Occlumency? I could leave, and then you could train him,” she smiled as Snape glowered at her, “Or I could just stay, cause trouble, and keep you from an assignment that you would dread.” She turned on her heel, and led the way up the dark staircase towards her rooms.
When Eliza finally got to her rooms, and after she’d sent Snape on his way (which he cheerfully did), Eliza laid on her bed, staring at the ceiling. Despite her aching head and tired body, her mind was on the move.
Kallie Shaw’s face seemed to be suspended in the air before her eyes. The woman who had died for no reason but perhaps information and to play the part of another woman’s body. Eliza closed her eyes, guilt filling her. The death may not be her fault directly, but indirectly, it was. Perhaps if she wasn’t in hiding, that woman would have still lived. If she’d been more firm with James, to stop him from putting her in hiding, a life would have been spared.
There’s no point in dwelling on the past and what could have been, her sensible side told her sharply, Besides, there was more than just one life relying on it. It’s not up to you to dwell on the could-have-beens.
Wednesday passed unnoticed by Eliza. Due to the events of the night before, and her lack of sleep, Eliza trudged through the day, trying hard not to fall asleep. When she finally managed to collapse on her bed, it was Thursday before she knew it.
She had the seventh years of Hufflepuff and Slytherin, then of Gryffindor and Ravenclaw that morning. She spent those hours working on the Patronus with them. Most of her students were dismal at it, and at first rather unwilling to cooperate with her, so she had spent half of the hour a couple weeks before pointing out that with Voldemort (they flinched) back in power, they may actually have to face dementors, and if that happened, they would need to know how to protect themselves. Now they worked a bit harder, and a bright haze seemed to hang in the Defense Against the Dark Arts room during those classes.
Next she had a couple hours with two groups of third years, where she taught them about the properties of Red Caps and showed them how to thwart them. Those weren’t very difficult hours, except for when one girl lost her head when the boy sitting behind her put his and his partner’s Red Cap on her shoulder. With the girl’s screams still echoing in her ears, Eliza headed down to lunch, chuckling to herself. James had done similar things to Lily. She had her suspicions on those students’ future.
She had two more hours after that, both of which passed uneventfully.
“Please pass the salt,” Eliza said to Professor Sinistra, who grinned and handed it to her with a flourish.
“I see you survived the day,” she said, grinning at Eliza.
“I see you did too,” Eliza said, gesturing with the salt to the other professors, “And they did, so I suppose that calls for a celebration.”
Eliza nodded, “How far away is that?”
The other woman laughed, “Next Wednesday, where have you been?”
Eliza grinned sheepishly, “Not paying too much attention to the calender, clearly.”
“No, never too much, but obviously not enough,” her eyes twinkled.
Eliza rolled her eyes into her pie.
There was a quick knock on Eliza’s office door, as Eliza scooped up a large pile of books and parchment.
“Come in!” Eliza called as she shifted the pile in her arms in order to check to make sure her wand was within reach, just in case.
Harry pulled open her door and came in.
“I was just putting this away,” she informed him, “Go ahead and take a seat.”
Harry sat down, on the floor, grinning, “I’ve met very few people who call taking a seat, sitting on the floor,” he remarked lightly.
“Don’t be offended by it,” Eliza grinned back, arranging the pile on a shelf, “I’m not most people. It’s a fact I’ve had to learn to except.”
She slipped to the ground herself, and wordlessly, they began.
Eliza attacked sharply, putting more force behind it than normal. She caught sight of Harry’s cousin before she was shoved back and out.
Eliza’s vision cleared, and she blinked at Harry, “You’ve been practicing, haven’t you?” she asked, approval thick in her voice.
Harry nodded, and Eliza smiled, “That was very good. I shouldn’t have been able to see anything at all, but that was a definite improvement. Let’s try again.”
They did, and again, and again, and again. There was a marked improvement on Harry’s work. He successfully kept her from seeing anything three times in a row, but he grew tired and less focused as the night went on, allowing her to get further in each time.
Eliza pulled off, nodding, “That’s enough for this week. However, what I do want you to practice on is lying.”
Harry stared at her, clearly surprised.
Eliza grinned, “Just to me, though. This week, I’ll ask you questions. Ones with obvious answers, such as ‘what color is the sky?’ and similar. I want you to give me a false answer, for example, you answer my question with ‘orange’. I want to not see the actual truth behind your eyes. Just do what you do here. Clear your mind and set a defense. Also, a nice image of an orange sky would be very good.”
Harry nodded, “So you just want me to lie to you?”
Eliza grinned, “Just about that. I expect honesty for everything else.”
July 18th, 2005, 5:00 pm
That Saturday, Eliza brushed herself off as she stepped out of the fireplace of 12 Grimmauld’s Place. Yawning, she tucked some stray hairs behind her ears, where they immediately slipped out again.
Remus was the only one in the kitchen, and he looked up to smile at Eliza as she slipped onto the bench beside him.
“You look about what I feel,” Eliza confided tiredly.
Remus, having suffered through full moon a couple of nights previously, laughed. He looked extremely tired, and his hand was shaking slightly as he shuffled through the reports.
“I actually don’t feel too bad,” he admitted, looking a her closely, “Long week?”
“You could say that,” she said, propping her chin up on her hand, “That potion took it out of me, and I haven’t slept too well besides.”
Remus nodded sympathetically, “It’s not your fault, Lize.”
Eliza blinked, sitting up, “What do you mean?” she asked, innocently.
“Don’t do that, it really isn’t. You shouldn’t beat yourself up about this woman’s death. She wasn’t dead just to play you; Dumbledore thinks she died because of information she may have had.”
“Dumbledore thinks,” Eliza muttered, studying the worn table top.
Remus grinned at her, “And he’s most likely right. She was an Unspeakable, remember? I wouldn’t be surprised if Voldemort’s trying to find another copy of the Prophecy. There isn’t one, of course, which he should know by now, but he probably wanted to find out.”
Eliza sighed, “You’re probably right, but I keep thinking that if maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t in hiding, then would she still be alive?”
Remus put a hand on her arm , “You don’t have a choice. You know that, and I know that. James would never have let you not go in hiding. He was too protective of you. In fact, you, Lily, and Harry were the only ones he would have protected that fully. Don’t get me wrong, he would have protected the rest of us with his life, but you three were the ones that he’d rather die than have any of you harmed at all. Besides, he was very stubborn.”
Eliza nodded. There wasn’t a point in arguing, so she’d let it pass.
Remus, accepting this, changed the subject, “Speaking of Harry, how’s his Occlumency going?”
Eliza propped her chin in her hand again, and answered, “He’s doing very well. He still has a lot to learn, but he’ll have the basics mastered by Christmas.”
Remus gave her a sidelong glance, “And then?”
Eliza bit her lip, “And then he’s going to have to learn what my mother and her mother taught me.”
He nodded, “So that’s what you think it is?”
Eliza laughed, “Yes, it has to be, but I’ll explain it to him when he...”
“When he finds out who you are?”
Eliza nodded, “I’ll have to. I can’t explain it till then because it’s up to him to find out who I am now.”
He smiled, “Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hermione already knew.”
She grinned, “Neither would I, but I think she wait until he finds out. It shouldn’t take too long.”
After that, they sat in a comfortable silence while the rest of the Order members filtered in. Joan sat beside Eliza, and John and Jacob sat across from them.
The meeting was called to order, and Snape stood up to present his report about the body. Every so often, a member or two of the Order would glance across to Eliza, watching her expression. Eliza kept it determinedly blank, watching Severus speak as if she were enthralled in it.
Severus finished his bit, and Dumbledore stood up to explain Kallie Shaw’s possible significance to Voldemort.
“We will need some more information about Ms. Shaw,” Dumbledore concluded after explaining what he had explained to Eliza, Severus, Poppy, and Minerva a few nights prior to the meeting.
“So, the body was not Elizabeth Potter’s body?” Dorothy asked, distastefully.
“No, it was not,” Dumbledore acknowledged, politely.
Jacob made a face at Eliza, mimicking Dorothy’s question softly so none but those closest could hear, “So, the body was not Elizabeth Potter’s body?” His voice was so similar to hers, it was uncanny.
Eliza struggled to keep her face straight as she turned back to Kingsley, who was reporting something about Fudge.
“Elizabeth, could I have a word?” Dumbledore asked, after the meeting.
Eliza, startled, nodded.
“Meet me in my office, then, in five minutes.”
“What’s that about?” Remus asked Eliza, turning from his conversation with John.
Jacob, John, and Joan turned to look at Eliza, who shrugged.
“I’m not sure. I should probably get going.”
Eliza stood, watching the walls spiral away and towards her again, waiting for the Headmaster’s door to come into her vision. When the staircase halted, Eliza took a deep breath, stepped off, and knocked on the door with the brass knocker. The heavy door swung open, and Eliza went in.
“Ah, Elizabeth, I’m glad you could make it,” Dumbledore’s voice came from behind his desk.
Eliza bit back a smart remark, and instead replied, “What was it you needed to see me about, Albus?”
The headmaster lifted a piece of parchment from his desk and wordlessly passed it to Eliza.
Dear Headmaster Albus Dumbledore,
You will remember the inspection that your Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Elizabeth Smythe, went under. We are sorry to report you that Professor Smythe has not received a satisfactory report. However, the Ministry questions whether or not that inspection was conducted competently. As such, with your permission, we request to reinspect Elizabeth Smythe. The Inspector that will conduct this inspection hopefully will receive more reliable information. The Inspector’s name is Jeremiah Yonders.
Thank you for your time, and have a pleasant evening.
Eliza lowered the letter, and raised an eyebrow at the headmaster.
“The Ministry questions whether or not that inspection was conducted competently?” Eliza quoted incredulously, “Then why did they send that.... if they wanted to have a competent inspection?”
Dumbledore smiled faintly, but pretended as though he did not hear Elizabeth’s remark, “The Ministry Official, Mr. Jeremiah Yonders, will be arriving Monday morning.”
Eliza scowled at the letter in her hands, “Does that mean I need to ask Snape for some of that potion?”
“Hopefully, that will not be necessary. Given the state of things, you will need a clear head. That also means you need to keep your temper. If you fail this inspection, that means you will not be able to teach any longer. You need to stay a professor in this school, Elizabeth.”
Eliza sighed, “Fine. I won’t argue that point. I just hope Mr. Yonders is more intelligent than that Anton man. By the way, Professor, who is Jeremiah Yonders.”
Dumbledore handed Eliza another sheet of parchment, “This is all the information I could get. I do not recognise the name, but he is your age and was born in Bristol. He couldn’t have gone to Hogwarts under this name.”
Eliza read the parchment slowly. There was nothing more than his date of birth, the location of birth, and his parents’ names.
“If he’s British, he would have gone to Hogwarts,” Eliza thought quickly, “Is it possible he changed his name after getting out of Hogwarts? Do you have a list of wizards my age who have disappeared?”
Dumbledore smiled, and passed Eliza yet another piece of parchment, “Of course.”
Eliza scanned the list it was short, with only five names, but three of them being female, and one of those three being her own, it left her with two names. One of them was very familiar, the other not so much.
“Alec Blatan, and wait... Adam? Adam Olsen?” Eliza raised her eyebrows, “When did he disappear?”
“Three years after you did. Here’s a picture of Mr. Blatan,” Dumbledore passed her another piece of paper, this one a picture of a thin wizard, about eighteen. He had curling brown hair and bright blue eyes. The image of Adam Olsen in Eliza’s head hung. He had blonde hair and eyes that changed from bright green to bright blue to hazel, depending on his mood.
Eliza bit her lip, “So, will it either be Alec or Adam?”
Dumbledore replied, “Most likely. We will not eliminate the idea of another wizard.”
July 31st, 2005, 3:00 am
Chapter Thirty-Eight Part One
Eliza sat in her class room, correct papers. It was Monday morning, and after having had a quick breakfast, she had run to her class room, hoping to be able to get some last minute work done before Mr. Jeremiah Yonders arrived.
She woke up early, used the candle exercise, and chased Mischief across the castle, hoping to locate her cat so the kitten wouldn’t show up in Eliza’s classroom halfway through class, mewing for food.
Now she waited, trying to keep her mind clear except for her task. Despite her efforets, anxiety still rolled through her stomach. There was a tap on her door, and Eliza looked up, and nerves flooded her. Eliza took a deep breath, put the feelings of anxiety and nervousness out of her firmly, and called, “Please come in!” and checked to make sure her wand was at hand.
The door opened, and Harry stepped in. Involuntarily, Eliza smiled. “What is it, Harry?”
“I thought I should talk to you now,” Harry said, glancing over his shoulder, “Since I heard that you had an inspection again this week. The inspector’s down talking to Dumbledore, so I thought...”
“You could catch me until I had a semipermanent shadow?” Eliza asked shrewdly.
Harry nodded, “I was wondering about Occlumency lessons,” he hesitated.
“This one on Friday will be with Dumbledore. He thinks that if I’m being shadowed by the Ministry, it would be best.”
Eliza studied him carefully, “Is that all, Harry? Or did you need something else?”
Harry hesitated, “Well, I was also wondering-”
Eliza wasn’t to find out what he was wondering as a firm tap on the door rang in her ears.
“Later, then,” Eliza whispered before calling out, “Come in!”
As the door opened, Eliza turned back to Harry, “I hope that answers your question, Mr. Potter,” she said pointedly, “Do you have any more questions on the essay?”
Harry, understanding answered respectfully, “No, Professor. Thank you.”
Eliza nodded, and stood up, turning to the man who stood at the door, “Hello,” she said politely, extending a hand, “Professor Eliza Smythe.”
The man had dark brown hair and hazel eyes, “Jeremiah Yonders,” he said, returning the hand shake, “I’m very pleased to meet you.”
I’m sure you are, a voice in her head muttered darkly, and Eliza smiled, “Pleased to meet you as well.”
Harry, who had moved over towards his desk during the introduction, rumaged in his bag, pulling out his wand and books slowly and deliberately. He shot Eliza a puzzled look, and Eliza returned it while Mr. Yonders’s back was turned.
“I’m sorry for the inconvenience,” the man said, studying the room, as if looking for clues as to what information he needed on the walls. The room was rather plain. There were books with Defense counter-jinxes and jinxes in them, a couple of beat up Dark Detectors Eliza had run into, and nothing more than what had been here when she’d come.
Eliza didn’t reply, biting back a retort she would have given normally, clearing her mind as she turned back to her desk. A couple students slipped into the room, staring at Jeremiah Yonders as he prowled the room. The rest of the class trickled in, and finally, Mr. Yonders took his seat in the very back of the room.
After class, Eliza would admit that the class was rather dull, but she had decided that having the students work on duelling might not be the best idea with a ministry official present. Instead, Eliza had them read about a chapter about blocking Dark jinxes, and sent them to writing a fifteen inch essay about it.
Mr. Yonders got up and quietly began talking to different students as they finished reading and started to get out their parchment and quills.
“Do you think that Professor Smythe is a good teacher?” he asked Ernie as he started to uncork his ink bottle.
With the eyes of the class on him, Ernie nodded firmly, “She’s one of the best we’ve had,” he said stoutly.
Mr. Yonders nodded, and moved on to Hermione, who had already started her essay, “What has Professor Smythe taught you this year, so far?”
Hermione not even setting down her quill replied, “All sorts. She’s taught us about defending ourselves against Dementors, about the Unforgiveable Curses, and some about dueling.”
Making notes, Jeremiah Yonders moved through the entire class, asking all of them something or another about her. Eliza kept her eyes on the essays she was correcting, although she gave some of the students half-smiles.
That’s how the rest of the day went.
“So, how’s your inspection going?” Professor Sinistra asked through a bite of Shephard’s pie.
Eliza shook her head as she poured herself a mug of hot chocolate, “The sooner it’s over with, the sooner we can move on, right?”
Sinistra laughed, “That’s not so bad, is it? I mean, if I asked you that question last time, you would have bitten my head off and eaten it in place of your pie!”
Eliza smiled feebly. It was true, that these inspections weren’t nearly as bad as the last ones. For one thing, dealing with Yonders wasn’t anything like dealing with Anton. Anton had, frankly, been an idiot who should never have been let anywhere away from home without his Mum to hold his hand. Yonders, however, was actually intelligent and knew what he was talking about.
Severus, who had been listening in on the conversation commented, “So you don’t need any potion?”
“No, I don’t,” Eliza replied, stabbing a peice of meat viciously.
“Good, because that potion needs three months to sit, and you used up my stock,” he continued, seeming slightly disappointed she didn’t need it.
“You are as helpful as always, Snape,” Eliza replied dryly.
It was Tuesday night, and all of her lessons had gone just as her first. She’d teach, and when the students were working, Jeremiah Yonders would walk around, asking questions to each student. All things considered, it wasn’t too horrible, but the fact that Eliza didn’t know who this man was, or what he wanted, was irksome.
“Tomorrow’s Halloween,” Professor Sinistra announced cheerfully.
Eliza blinked, she had forgotten again.
“Oh,” she replied; it was all she could think of.
In truth, Halloween had once been one of her more favorite holidays, besides Christmas. Of course, it would always be marked with a dark shadow, considering what had happened fifteen years ago, but she still enjoyed it when she pushed past the memories. This one would also be marred by the fact that she was being followed around by an unidentified ministry official with a clipboard.
Understanding part of her friend’s silence, Professor Sinistra smiled, “Maybe if we can get you away from Mr. Yonders, you might be able to enjoy it a bit. There’s always the feast, of course, and all that goes along with that.”
Eliza nodded, grinning at her friend, more for Sinistra than for herself.
As soon as she left the Great Hall, Eliza found herself being cornered by that one ministry official with a clipboard.
“Good evening, Professor Smythe,” the man said, nodding kindly.
“Evening,” Eliza replied, stiffness creeping into her voice.
However, Mr. Yonders wasn’t fazed, “Good, good. I’ve been hoping to get a chance to talk to you. Between your classes, and working on lessons, it’s no wonder that there hasn’t been a chance to talk to you.”
Eliza nodded courteously, finding that the effort hurt slightly, “Of course not, Mr. Yonders.”
Jeremiah beamed, not seeming to notice Eliza’s coldness, “Of course, indeed,” he said agreeably.
Eliza forced a smile as Jeremiah led the way to her office. Eliza walked a step behind him, studying him. His walk was familiar... but was he really Adam? Shaking her head, Eliza followed him through the corridors.
They stopped at her office, which Eliza opened. She lit the lamp, sat behind her desk, and then conjured up a chair for him to sit in. In her opinion, it was her way of controlling the meeting. It wasn’t much, but Eliza had a desire to prove to him that he was the one entering her territory, and she wouldn’t be controlled in her own office.
Mr. Yonders beamed as he sat down, “Well, Professor Smythe, let’s see.”
A/N: Feedback (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=622181) is more than welcome! :P
September 4th, 2005, 12:56 am
Chapter Thirty Eight Part Two
“Let’s see,” he repeated, pulling his clipboard from the inside of his cloak. Mischief slunk from behind my desk and leapt up onto his lap, purring. We both stared at my kitten, in surprise, but he reached over and stroked her head.
Unwillingly, Eliza relaxed slightly. As Yonders turned back towards Eliza, she met his eyes squarely.
“Your name is Elizabeth Smythe?” He intoned, running his quill across his clipboard.
“Correct,” Eliza said stoutly as he checked something off.
“You taught at a Wizarding school a few years ago for a few years?”
“Yes, I did.”
The questions continued like that for sometime, the only other noise than the questions and answers were Mischief’s purring and the ticking of the clock by Eliza’s desk.
“Why did you choose to take this job, given its history?”
Eliza gave him a hard look, to which he smiled slightly, “Surely you’ve heard of it?”
Eliza straightened, brushing the wrinkles out of the material across her legs, “I promised Dumbledore that I would take the job for him a few years ago.”
Yonders studied Eliza for a moment, and Eliza felt the tension creep back into her shoulders, “I see. And where were you last year when Dumbledore had to turn to the Ministry’s help for someone to fill the vacancy?”
Eliza twisted a stretch of material around her fingers, “I told Albus that I would take the job this year, and not earlier. I had other business to attend to last year.”
Eliza stared at him levelly until his face tinted red and he muttered something about not needing the answer.
Finally, he stood up, setting Mischief down gently. He reached across Eliza’s desk and shook her head, “Thank you, madam.”
Eliza nodded, and led him to the door, which she opened, “Sleep well,” Eliza said politely. As she watched him go, a thought crossed her mind It really is Adam. But what is he doing here?
Shaking her head, she turned back into her office and shut the door.
Halloween morning dawned bright and clear, with the smells of a feast in production rushing through the hallways.
Eliza decided that had there not been a ministry official in the back corner of her classes, she would have had a bit of trouble keeping order. She had a little trouble any way, but Mr. Yonders, coughed anytime the class began to get out of hand, sending most of them starting, glancing back into the corner, and clamping their mouths shut.
That night was the feast, which meant that as soon as classes were over, it was a time for celebration. Eliza, who had always loved Halloween, with the exception of one particularly dark one fifteen years prior, had always thoroughly enjoyed them. She tossed the ungraded essays into a drawer and swung it shut, let Mischief out to explore the castle, as she always did, then dashed down to the Great Hall, a wide smile on her face.
When she reached her seat in the Great Hall, she slipped in it, only to be given a disgruntled look from Severus Snape.
“Yes?” Eliza asked, pouring herself a goblet of Pumpkin Juice.
He glowered at her, and she smiled, pouring him a goblet of the juice as well, “Rough day?” she asked teasingly as she forced the goblet into his hand.
“No thanks to your-” he lowered his voice “-nephew.”
At that, Eliza laughed, “You let a boy his age ruffle your feathers that much, Professor? Why, I must say, that in my day-”
“Shut up Potter,” he hissed quietly.
At that, Eliza jumped, Potter? What is he playing at? “Yes, sir,” she muttered, turning away from him. If he wanted to be bad tempered, let him be bad tempered.
They were some of the first ones to arrive at the Head Table, but soon their colleagues began to fill in the chairs surrounding them, as the students filled their House Tables. Eliza spotted Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, and a few others as they sat down at the Gryffindor Table. She saw Harry shoot Snape a dark look, but give Eliza an innocent smile when he saw her watching. Eliza’s face relaxed back into a smile, and she nodded at him.
“I haven’t been to a Hogwarts feast in years,” a male voice said cheerfully as the man belonging to it slipped into the seat beside her. It was Yonders. Adam.
“That is Professor Sinistra’s seat,” Eliza said automatically. Dumbledore would have invited him to the feast, wouldn’t he? But, if she could help it, she would not be the one to sit beside him.
“She’s sitting over there,” he replied, gesturing over to the seat between Flitwick and Hagrid.
Eliza looked, and sure enough, she was sitting there, Eliza raised her eyebrows, and her friend grimaced and mouthed “sorry.” Eliza winced, and nodded, excepting the apology, now resigned to the fact that she was trapped sitting between the two men that she would prefer to be a few thousand miles away from: the ministry official who was inspecting her, and a rather grouchy Severus Snape.
After students had finally stopped trickling into the Great Hall and to their seats, and when all the staff were seated in their places (or in the places they had adopted for the feast), food filled the tables, and Eliza found herself distracted by the wide array of food surrounding her. After filling her plate with pumpkin bread, mashed potatoes, some type of meat, and some other foods, Eliza glared at her plate, not looking at the men on either side of her. The fuller she became, however, the more she relaxed. The same held true for Snape and Yonders (or Olsen).
“It really is amazing, isn’t it?” Yonders asked, leaning back.
“Sorry?” Eliza asked, ripping off a piece of her bread.
“Hogwarts, I mean,” he said, grinning as he lifted his goblet to his mouth.
“Of course,” Eliza said, keeping her voice stiff.
He eyed her carefully and sighed, “Look,” he said quietly, so the professors surrounding them couldn’t hear, “I don’t mean you any harm. I’m just doing my job.”
“As am I,” Eliza flatly replied, taking a drink from her goblet.
As the desserts replaced the rest of the food, Jeremiah shook his head, and replied, “You’re only stuck with me in your classroom tomorrow, and then I’ll be gone. If I ever see you again, I expect you to hold no animosity against me, okay?”
Liza blinked, “You believe that I’m holding animosity against you?” she asked, drawing her eyebrows down and together.
The man shrugged, “It would be only natural. I expect nothing less. It’s nothing personal.”
Eliza pursed her lips into a straight line, schooling her face, and trying not to laugh, “Of course not, Mr. Yonders,” she said politely when she had recovered her voice.
A/N: *ducks head* I know, it’s a horribly short update that took me a horribly long time to post... sorry... If you post feedback (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=2907043) you'll get a longer update, sooner! :angel:
September 13th, 2005, 9:21 pm
Chapter Thirty-Eight Part Three
It was Friday afternoon, and Eliza, taking full advantage of her break, was passing the time grading essays. Mischief padded through the room, jumping on shelves and stalking shadows. The clock ticked, and Eliza’s quill scratched across parchment in between the shuffling of essays.
The morning had passed relatively uneventfully, with the exception of Snape (to quote Sinistra) who was acting as if someone had forced him to eat doxy droppings.
Eliza paused, her quill suspended over one of her N.E.W.T.s student’s essay about Dementors, listening intently. She seemed to have heard, nearly just felt... something...
And her office door opened. Eliza resumed scratching on the parchment, writing a neat “E” on the top of the paper, pretending not to have noticed the disturbance. She shuffled for papers, peeking at the intruder over her glasses. Jeremiah Yonders stood, leaning against the doorframe of her office, watching her.
“Lize,” he said quietly.
Eliza’s stomach tightened, and she scribbled an “O” on the top of her nephew’s essay.
“Liza,” he repeated.
Eliza moved to Hermione Granger’s essay, scanning the neat writing, trying not to grasp her wand and point it in the man’s face.
“Eliza,” he shut the door, and his voice lowered, “Potter.”
Eliza, her face hidden behind Miss Granger’s essay, squeezed her eyes tight. Opening them, she lowered the essay and squarely met Yonders’s eyes.
“Adam Olsen,” she said, a fist tightening under her desk.
Adam smiled, “You would have recognised me, wouldn’t you?”
Eliza frowned, “It would have been easier if you had not been under an assumed name.”
Adam grinned, sitting on the chair beside Eliza’s desk, “And you have room to talk, m’dear?”
Eliza, choosing to ignore this, shot, “Do you make it a habit to inspect old school mates posing as a ministry official?”
“I am a ministry official.”
“You’re name is not Jeremiah.”
Adam smiled, tossing back his head, his green eyes catching the firelight, “No, it is not.”
“Does the ministry know about this?”
Adam laughed, “It honestly depends on how you define ‘the ministry’. The head of my department knows, and a few above him know.”
Adam’s face grew serious, “My school mates were gone. Frank was in the hospital, so was Alice. You had disappeared, labeled as a Death Eater. Trent had an accident working for Gringotts. I was never friends with Remus. Everyone I’d ever cared about was gone some way or another. So I left. And when I came back, I didn’t want to return to my life as Adam Olsen.”
Eliza glared at him, “So you ran away! You thought the world had turned on you, so you ran away!”
“And what do you call what you did? You were gone when everyone you loved was as well. What about Remus? You left him to rot in a flat, living as a werewolf without a solid source of income, and you loved him!” He sneered.
“I didn’t leave because I wanted to! Believe me, if I could have stayed, I would have,” Eliza felt her temper rising.
“If you had truly wanted to stay, Elizabeth, then you would have stayed!”
“Don’t call me that!” Eliza shouted.
“Then I won’t, Liza,” he replied, his voice soft as his smile.
Eliza then became aware that she was standing, holding her wand, pointing it at Adam’s chest.
“You’re still under Dumbledore’s wing, aren’t you?” He asked, tilting his head, considering her.
“Yes,” Eliza said, her voice cool.
He shook his head, “You’re only in more danger there than if you’d step away from the war the best anyone can.”
“I’ll always be on the front line in this war, Adam,” she said softly, smiling as their old argument took root. Adam had always thought her a fool to stand in the line of fire in this war, fighting Voldemort face to face. It wasn’t that he sided with Voldemort, but he’d rather try to remain completely out of it. Not that that ever worked. “My nephew is stuck in the line of fire, and if you think I’d abandon my family to that, you don’t truly know you.”
Surprisingly, Adam didn’t argue back but sighed, “So that’s that, isn’t it? You’d never abandon family to that, but you’d abandon the rest of us to life without you if you died?”
Eliza smiled, “Exactly.”
Adam smiled, “You passed your inspection, Liza. Hopefully we’ll meet again soon.”
Before she could stop him, he put his arms around her and kissed her on the cheek.
Eliza poked him with her wand, leaving a burn mark on his cloak, “Goodbye, Adam,” she said firmly, prodding him out the door.
Shaking her head, she shut the door firmly.
Feedback (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=2991938) is welcome!
October 27th, 2005, 9:41 pm
A/N: It seems like I'm endlessly apologizing for the gap between each update... Please post Feeback (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=19387&page=9&pp=25)
Chapter Thirty Nine Part One
The next morning, Eliza was to be found in her room, searching the wardrobe for her cloak. She pushed through her new robes only to find her old robes. Way back in the corner, on the floor, sat her ragged cloak. It was patched and darned beyond recognition, and was so stained and darned so that it was difficult, if even possible, to recognised the previous color (which was grey).
She threw the cloak over her shoulder, checked on her kitten (who was once again stalking invisible rodents), locked the door, and left.
She moved quickly down the corridor, down the stair cases, and across the Entrance Hall, only to be stopped by a harrassed looking Argus Filch.
“Name?” He snapped the question, not even looking at her.
“Elizabeth Smythe,” she said, amused, raising an eyebrow at the caretaker.
“Your not on the list, go back to your dorm,” he said abruptly.
“I teach here.”
Filch eyed her warily, and finally waved her off.
Trying not to laugh, Eliza slipped through the doors and across the grounds, wrapping her cloak around herself.
Upon entering Hogsmeade, Eliza breathed a sigh of relief, shaking off the feeling of being caged. She hurried down the street, letting herself take in everything. In truth, she felt like a student again, wanting to run everywhere at once. Silently laughing at herself, she slipped into the packed Three Broomsticks.
She scanned the packed room, as she moved forwards. She saw a certain figure sitting in a rather unnoticeable spot. The man inclined his head, barely glancing at her.
Eliza grinned and slipped up to the bar to order two butterbeers. Madam Rosmerta smiled at her as she passed the drinks to her.
“How is teaching?”
“Very nice, thank you,” Eliza replied, smiling back, but before either woman could say anything else, Eliza was swept down and away by the pushing customers.
When she reached the table where the figure sat, she found him surrounded by Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Hermione shot her a mistrustful look, Harry grinned at her, and Ron gave her an awkward half-smile, clearly unsure whether or not he was happy to see her.
Eliza sat down, slipping into the only empty seat, one between Remus and Hermione. Hermione looked away from her, and Remus smiled.
“Hello, Lize,” he said, quietly.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Lupin,” she replied lightly, passing him a butterbeer.
She could feel Hermione’s stare as she smiled and said, “Hello, Ron, Hermione, Harry.”
“Hello Professor,” they murmured in unison.
Remus and Eliza exchanged looks, and Eliza settled back, sipping the warming liquid.
There was silence for a moment, before Remus smiled warmly and said, “I’ve heard you had an interesting week.”
Eliza groaned, and the trio laughed, “I suppose you could say that,” Eliza said hesitantly before shaking her head, “It was very odd, but we can talk about it later.”
Taking the hint, Remus nodded, and said, “As long as no one is dead.” Laughter, “I’m hoping anyway.”
“Don’t worry about that,” Eliza assured Remus. Turning to Harry, she asked, “How was your lesson with Dumbledore?”
Harry shrugged, “It went pretty well. Dumbledore said he’d have to talk to you. I’m not sure about what, but he said that I’d gone far.”
A sinking feeling dipped into Eliza’s stomache and she sighed, “Good.”
She was all to aware of Hermione and Remus watching her carefully, Hermione suspicious, Remus supporting.
Eliza and Remus left the pub not too long afterwards, after Harry and his friends had left.
“What happened?” Remus asked when they touched the streets.
“I’ll talk to you about it tonight,” she said, her control not as complete as it had been earlier, and her voice wavered slightly. Just slightly.
Remus shot her a quick look, but then changed the subject. Eliza found herself in a very quiet Zonko’s joke shop. Only a couple students came in and out, most of them without purchases.
“The Weasley twin have taken the joke market and made it their own,” Remus murmured in her ear.
Eliza blinked, and nodded in agreement, “Clearly,” she murmured back as she made her way to one of the shelves.
With the shop owner watching her intently, Eliza found herself buying several objects of various uses just to get him to stop glowering at her before being hustled out of the shop by an impatient Remus.
Eliza glanced at him, and Remus, not looking at her, breathed, “Just don’t ask.”Feeback (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=19387&page=9&pp=25)
December 21st, 2005, 9:59 pm
A/N: It's been too long, I realise, and this is too short, I realise that too. What with the holiday, I should be able to get you an update before the new year. I say should. Please post Feedback! (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=3383813)
Chapter Thirty-Nine part two
Eliza shook out her robes after being thrown into the darkened room. Ashes spilled from them and fell to the floor, where she vanished them. She slipped locks of her rebellious hair back into her bun, scanning the empty room. Which was just that. Empty.
Slipping easily across the room, she moved silently into the hall, down into the kitchen. This room was occupied only Remus.
Remus glanced up as she entered the room, looking puzzled.
“Evening,” she said, slipping onto the bench across the table from him.
He shuffled the parchment tiredly, sat it down beside him, and asked, “So?”
“So what?” she asked, watching the fire in the grate dance merrily, “Why did I come through the other fire?”
“They’re playing with our Floo system... I’m not entirely sure why, but Albus decided it was needed.”
Eliza laughed softly.
“So, Eliza? Adam?”
Eliza started. She had nearly forgot.
“Liza?” He gave her a strange look.
She bit her lip, thinking, “I suppose it begins with this... Dumbledore called me to his office that night, remember? It was because I had a ministry inquisition. Again. Anyway, he warned me that the ministry official’s identity was not entirely correct-”
She recounted the entire tale, watching Remus’s still face carefully.
At the end of her story, Remus’s face darkened, even with Eliza omitting what Remus didn’t need to know.
“Did he touch you?” He asked, his eyes searching her face.
Eliza stared at his serious face, and finally cracked up.
He blinked, and he relaxed slightly.
When she stopped laughing, she wiped her eyes, “You sounded like James just then.”
A smile started on his face, which he pushed away, “Don’t insult me!”
They both laughed.
“But seriously, Eliza, are you sure?”
Eliza shook her head, “It’s fine Remus. He is a decent person, despite what you like to think.”
Remus gave her a questioning look.
Eliza bit her lip, “Are you feeling well? You’re not acting normally,” she said flatly.
Remus sighed, suddenly acting more normally, “It’s just... Eliza, look at it this way. We haven’t any way to tell if he’s actually trustworthy. He has too much of an advantage over us. Over you. He knows the truth, Eliza. How much of an effort would it take him to turn you in? Not much at all. That could land you in Azkaban or worse.”
Eliza stared at him, “So you want me to be a good little girl, and not do anything to annoy poor Adam?”
“Something like that.”
December 23rd, 2005, 9:19 pm
A/N: Suprise suprise! Another update so close to the one previous? *everyone faints* Enjoy and please leave Feedback! (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=19387&page=9)
The next week dragged by. In comparison to the week previous, it was quite uneventful, even for Hogwarts. The worst that happened was the two Quidditch teams of Gryffindor and Hufflepuff contended hotly with each other, in light of the upcoming match on the approaching Saturday. The professors were tired of trying to sort through the small insidents.
Eliza, however, enjoyed it slightly. In her mind, it was one of the many things in this school that would never change. Besides, she was eager to see Quidditch played for the first time in fifteen years. They had not played it at the wizarding school she had taught at in her exile.
“Are you going to the game today?” Those were the first words out of Professor Sinistra’s mouth.
Eliza paused for a moment, took a drink of cocoa and took a bite of toast before answering. For a moment she chewed thoughtfully before nodding, “Yes, I suppose I will.”
Sinistra laughed, “You don’t sound too enthusiastic there, Professor.”
If you only knew, Eliza thought amusedly as she pondered her next answer, “It’s just, I haven’t seen a Quidditch game for so long, I wonder if it’s as... exciting as I seem to remember it.”
Sinistra smiled, “Well, I’m sure it won’t disappoint you too horribly. I must admit, we do have some rather talented students in this school.”
Eliza smiled, “I hope so”, she replied as Snape sat down beside her.
“Are you prepared for the Quidditch game, Smythe?”
Eliza smiled, “I do hope so, Snape,” she said graciously before standing up, “Now, if you will excuse me, I’ll go make sure I am prepared, thank you.”
Sinistra stood with her, “I’ll go with you,” and they walked away. As soon as they were out of ear shot, Sinistra whispered, “I just didn’t want to be left with him.”
Eliza smiled, “I can’t say I blame you. He did seem slightly testy, didn’t he?”
“Quite,” and the women laughed.
A couple hours later, Eliza found herself sitting in the stands, by in a large group of staff. A few of the staff were sprinkled out among the students, like Hagrid for example, but a majority of them were here, where she was.
Eliza relaxed, perhaps more than she had in several years. Just seeing the Quidditch field, being at a game, even if she wasn’t playing, was better for her than a large cup of hot cocoa on a winter morning.
The captains shook hands, the snitch was released, and the game began. The announcer began in a booming voice, which Eliza, immediately blocked out. The Quaffel passed hands, switched teams, went through goal posts in an acceptable speed while Bludgers pelted threw the air, changing directions when hit with a club with a resounding CRACK!. But Eliza, having been trained as a Seeker all those years ago, kept a silent watch for a tiny ball with wings, just as the two seekers were.
Harry hovered over the game, his poise alert, his head constantly moving, his eyes presumably searching every inch for that small glint of gold every seeker knew so well. Eliza switched her search for the Snitch to watch Harry carefully. She had been told for years, ever since Harry had come to Hogwarts, that he flew just like his father and she had. Watching him, she realised this was correct. He flew easily, looking as if he had been born on a broom.
After nearly an hour of just observing, Eliza allowed herself to get caught up in the game. She knew she wanted Gryffindor to win, that much was clear, but Eliza cheered for both, as every professor should. No matter who made the goal, Eliza cheered. However, Eliza always kept one eye on the Seekers and another on the Chasers, with the Beaters sneeking in to her gaze once in a while.
Then a glint of gold. Both Seekers sped for it, and the entire game seemed to stop but for this one bit. Everyone stood, the anxiety tight. Despite herself, Eliza grinned. This was why she had always loved Seeking. As a Seeker, you controlled the climax of the game. The two shapes, one scarlet, the other yellow drew closer to the flitting glint of gold. Yellow pulled ahead, then Scarlet... and they both pulled out of the dive, the Scarlet figure with his arm up, his hand clenched into a fist around a small glint of gold. The stands were instantly chaos, half cheering, the other half shaking their fists.
“That was a good performance last Saturday,” Eliza congradulated.
Harry grinned, nodding, “Thank you, Professor, you went?”
Eliza laughed, moving through the stone room, “I wouldn’t miss it. I’ve always loved Quidditch. It’s a shame it’s been so long since I played. It was a good game.”
Harry nodded, looking thoughtful, “What position did you play, Professor?”
“Me? Seeker. And I loved it.”
Harry nodded again, still looking thoughtful.
“I suppose we should start our lesson, Mr. Potter,” Eliza said quietly, sitting down across from Harry.
“Yes, I think we should.”
The Occlumency lesson went well, Eliza decided. Too well, perhaps. Harry was improving quite a bit, and while Eliza was proud of this fact, it also made her anxious. It wouldn’t be too long, and Harry would have to know.
June 27th, 2006, 4:05 pm
A/N: Please don't hurt me. I will be updating regularly for the next few months. :D You know how the drill goes. Read and review!
Chapter Forty, Part Two
The next several weeks passed, and November slipped away as December made itself prominent. Eliza slipped back into the cycle of teaching, grading, eating, and sleeping without much thought. Naturally, she wondered about Harry’s growing quietness and whether or not Adam was going to turn her in, but other than that, she let herself mostly relax.
Then again, relaxing wasn’t the best word for it. For the last several years, Eliza had been on her toes. Now wasn’t much different. For one, the Occlumency lessons had been improving at a marvelous speed. Harry had been spending a long while in the archival section of the library, sometimes with the help of Hermione.
One night, however, Eliza found herself being tugged gently into a dream.
She was crouched behind a peice of furniture. Beside her was Harry,who didn’t seem to notice her. He was too intent on the scene, and if he did notice her, she realised, it would be very possible that he wouldn’t recognise her as his professor. Despite the alterations on her appearance in the physical world, they didn’t apply here. Except, he might recognise her still. As either herself, or the professor.
She shook this out of her head and began to watch this scene. Death Eaters. The room was full of Death Eaters. She craned her neck around the furniture and her breath went out of her body in a soft hiss. Voldemort.
They were discussing something, but the conversation at first was muted, and then, like the volume slowly being turned up on a radio by it’s dial, the conversation became more clear. An attack... somewhere, on someone. No, it was on a group of people... Muggles.
“Silence!!!” came the high pitched voice. Voldemort.
The room became dead silent as the Death Eaters stopped in midword. No one dared to breath, and the two behind the sofa, Harry and Eliza didn’t move. Harry still seemed to be oblivious of her presence.
“I feel the boy!”
Harry jumped, and reached for his wand.
“And... someone... else...”
Eliza closed her eyes and reached for a void, trying to force every emotion and thought from her being. Not soon enough.
“Both of the Potters!”
Harry started again, and turned, to stare at Eliza. Eliza met his eyes. He searched her face, as if trying to comprehend her prescence. From his face, he didn’t recognize her as his Professor, but Eliza knew the work was done. Sooner or later he would recognize her as herself. She wanted to protect him from that but...
“She seems to be trying to protect him,” he sneered, “Oh dear Lizzy-” Eliza felt anger rise in her. She took a deep breath as the connection fuzzed. “Silly girl, who are you trying to protect him from? You’re own identity?”
Eliza reached within herself, the anger sliding from herself, draining away. He seemed to be feeding on it, through her connection to Harry, and Harry’s connection.
What did he despise? She knew she had to get herself and Harry out of here, before more was said, and more damage done. Not just to her secret, but to either of them. He despises love and everything similar, Dumbledore had said to her when she was a girl... That she burned with, she filled herself and transfered it to Harry. The connection between Harry and herself with Voldemort blurred. Voldemort sent pain to them, and the connection broke.
Eliza woke screaming.
Shivering, she sat up as Mischief jumped off her shelf with a hiss. She brushed her sweat soaked hair with one hand as she reached through the dark to her alarm clock... it was five in the morning. Eliza sighed. There would be no more sleep for her tonight.
She reached towards Harry with her mind gently, probing. He was awake, as was the rest of his dormitory. She sensed unrest in that room and withdrew, back to herself. She threw back her quilt and pushed her legs over the side of the bed, slipping on her slippers. She needed a bath. A long one. And then some nice hot chocolate.
She shivered again, and walked to her window. She looked across the grounds and saw that it had snowed that night. A blanket of thick snow draped and muted the grounds, softening the slope of the mountains around them.
Turning away, she caught her face in her mirror. After all the years that had passed, she seemed unable to recall her face. She hadn’t seen it for a long time. Someday she would. Maybe after the school let out for summer holiday. Maybe not even then.
Three hours later, Eliza slipped into the Great Hall. She kept her face serene, trying to look as if she’d had a full night’s peaceful sleep. She glanced around the hall as she sat in her chair. Harry sat with his friends, looking as exhausted as she felt. Ron and Hermione were exchanging worried glances, which Harry studiously ignored. He looked up at her. Eliza nodded to him before reaching for the pitcher of hot cocoa. She could feel his eyes on her face, and she filled her cup. Reaching for it, she lifted it up to her mouth. She shot a glance back to Harry. He seemed to be trying to figure out something as he watched her. As if he was very close to making a connection Eliza wasn’t sure she wanted him to make.
She swallowed the warm liquid and looked away from him. She looked instead down the staff table. Dumbledore was, once again, looking rather ill and tired. Concern filled her and she instead, turned to Snape who was lowering himself into the seat beside her.
“Look who’s finally decided to join us,” she said dryly.
“It’s not my fault a couple misbehaving fools decided to cause a bit of a fiasco last night,” he replied without blinking. Then, taking a piece of toast, shot her a sharp look.
Eliza looked down, feeling slightly abashed, “How much damage did they cause?” she asked, trying to keep her voice light.
“Nothing more than usual,” he said, his voice surprisingly gentle.
Eliza’s head snapped up at his tone, You’re more tired than you think if he can make you react that easily, she chided herself.
“Good,” she replied, feeling slightly embarrassed.
He laughed softly, “If anything, the damage was necessary. He thinks that you will never let him know.” There was no question of who “He” and “him” were. Or that they were separate identities.
She nodded, biting her lip.
“He needs to know,” he said quietly.
“I KNOW!” she hissed.
“There’s no need to release all forms of civility,” he replied, smirking at her loss of serenity.
She glared at him.
His smirk grew, “That’s better. We can’t have your students thinking there’s something majorly wrong with you. Everyone knows you cannot remain polite and civil for long.”
She reliquished the glare and forced a polite smile on her face, “And everyone knows that you are nothing more than a slimy git,” and she stood and turned away.
Snape then did something he very rarely did, and smiled out of humor.
July 4th, 2006, 1:15 am
I'm keeping my promise.
Chapter Forty-One Part One
That morning was Monday morning. That meant sixth year NEWTs. That meant she would be teaching Harry.
And that meant a double period of trying to keep from yawning.
She shook her head and sat on her desk with her defense book in hand. She sat cross legged on the desk, and nodded to each student as they trickled into the room. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were among the last to file in, moments before the sound of the bell gonged through the corridors. Bracing herself, Eliza slipped off her desk, went to the door, shut it, and turned to the class.
She laughed at the dead expressions on half of their faces. Harry was among them, but his eyes were alert.
“Good morning! It’s lovely to see how awake you are,” signal the eye rolls.
“Because of how awake you are, you wouldn’t mind taking out your books and turning them to page 295, correct?”
Groans filled the room, and Eliza smiled. She turned away from them and stifled a yawn as she walked to the board. With a flick of her wand, the chalk immediately lifted and began to write instructions on the board.
“After you’ve read pages 295 through 297, pair up and begin practicing this jinx and its counter jinx. Remember to pronounce it correctly. I know that’s a very elementary thing to remind you of, but it’s very close to a transfiguring jinx.”
A boy in back raised his hand, “What does that transfiguring jinx do, Professor?”
“Let’s hope you won’t have to find out. But if you want to become a bit of sewage, be my guest.”
The class snickered.
The class went on with their assignment. When they began pairing up, Eliza walked around, correcting them. She approached Harry and Neville, who were both catching on with the spell quite quickly.
She probed Harry’s mind gently as she corrected Neville on his wand movement.
He immediately snapped her probing and turned it against her. Eliza threw up her defense, but not before an image of the dream floated to the surface. Harry paled and backed away from her. Right into one of the torches, which fell off the bracket. Harry rolled and missed the burning torch. Eliza’s hand snapped forwards and she caught it before it hit the ground.
He stared at her as she placed the burning torch back on it’s bracket.
“Professor,” his voice was pinched, “I don’t feel well, may I have permission to leave?”
Eliza nodded, knowing that there would be nothing to gain by detaining him.
Neville, who was completely befuddled by the entire exchange, stared at Eliza in complete confusion.
“Professor?” he asked.
Eliza smiled gently, “Miss Granger doesn’t appear to have a partner yet. You may work with her.”
Hermione, who had been staring at the door in utter shock, came to her senses.
“Yes, yes , of course Professor,” she said haltingly.
When the end of class had finally come, the entire class quickly threw their books into their bags and their wands into their pockets before hurrying out the door. As they passed Eliza, Ron and Hermione, who had been conferring with one another, each shot Eliza their own puzzled/contemplating looks. She sighed, and threw her head back once the door slammed shut behind the last of her students.
Mischief slipped out of her office and bounded up onto the desk where Eliza was perched. She mewed, demanding to be petted and stepped onto her lap. Stroking her absent mindedly, she looked around the silent room.
So he knows, she thought, Or at least he has some idea that I’m his aunt she amended. She turned her head to watch her kitten stalk around the desks. But it’s only the beginning. Who knows how much I’m going to have to explain to him for his acceptance? He knows Occlumency well enough. He needs to learn Legimency, and the rest of that Art. She closed her eyes, and rocked slightly until her next class began to trickle in.
That night, at dinner, Professor Dumbledore told her to meet him in his office at eight o’clock, after dinner. She agreed to the meeting, and turned back to her food, her eyes automatically searching Harry out from the Gryffindor Table. He wasn’t their, and Hermione and Ron, sitting in their usual places, looked semi-concerned.
She bit her lip. Then she bit her steak.
“I had a visitor this morning,” Dumbledore adjusted one of the instruments on his desk.
“I can’t say I’m surprised,” Eliza replied.
“He was concerned about-” he stopped, “I’m sure you are quite aware as to what he was concerned about, are you not?”
Eliza smiled tightly, “Quite. But does he know? I mean, has he made the connection between me and the dream? And the memory of the dream?”
Dumbledore smiled, his eyes twinkling, “Mr. Potter is a very bright young man, Professor, I assure you he can make connections as quickly as many others. Yes, he has made the connection. Whether or not he has accepted that it is the truth, or whether he has truly identified you... that remains to be seen. If you ask me, which you did, I would expect that he will be most reluctant to have your next Occlumency class with you. I will send him a note encouraging him to attend. But, yes, Eliza. Soon enough he will know. Whether tonight, or not until Thursday, that remains to be seen.”
“Thank you for your time, Professor. And remember,” as Eliza stood up, “He’ll be going through quite the shock this week. Don’t be too hard on him.”
July 10th, 2006, 1:58 am
Chapter Forty-One Part Two
Eliza slipped into the library during lunch the next day. She nodded to Madam Pince who scowled in return and nodded.
She wandered between the rows of books, which towered above her, making her like an ant beside a human. A very small ant, and perhaps a Hagrid sized human.
“Why weren’t you at lunch?” A girl’s voice whispered behind the bookcase.
Eliza paused, touching the spine of a crumbling book titled, “The History of Unicorn Hair in Potions.”
“Wasn’t hungry,” a young male voice grunted, and the sound of pages of a book being flipped ensued.
“Harry! You said that at breakfast this morning and dinner last night! And lunch, come to think of it...” the girl pleaded. It was Hermione.
“Are you ill or something?” another girls voice asked, in a no-nonsense tone. Ginny.
“It’s just not like you to not eat for 24 hours,” Hermione said, disapproving.
“I’m not hungry! I’ve told you that too many times!” he hissed.
Eliza could almost sense the girls’ exchange of looks.
Eliza turned away from the bookcase she was pressed against. Too obvious if one of them decided to come around. She pulled a book with the title “Common Owl Maladies.” She flipped it open.
“What are you reading?” Hermione asked, distinctly casual.
“Nothing,” he muttered.
“No, not nothing...” the sound of a book being snatched from the table, with a rustle of pages...
“A Multiple Biography of Aurors: Those Who Disappeared in 1980 and 1981.”
Eliza nearly dropped her book, What? Who would write a book like that? Or a better question, who else disappeared?
As names began to tick through her head, she realized, yes, there was a story behind the amount of names. Ten Aurors disappeared that year.
“You’re reading about your aunt?” Ginny asked quietly.
“ ‘Known for her seer-like intuition and pockets full of bizarre weapons, Elizabeth Potter was among the last of the Aurors to disappear without a trace, disappearing only days before the triumph of her nephew, The Boy Who Lived..’ Where did you find this?” Hermione asked.
“It was stuck in back of a shelf over by the biography’s,” Harry muttered, “Are you done with that now? I wasn’t reading it because I didn’t wish to.”
“Well, is there anything in there that we don’t know?” Hermione asked, slightly testy.
“I’m not sure. Well, the book says that she was a very skilled Occlumens and Legimens...”
Hermione was quiet for a second, “Harry, are we even sure she isn’t dead?” She asked softly.
“I think so,” he said quietly, “I think Dumbledore would have said something by now. Or McGonagall... someone. Lupin, maybe,” Eliza waited for him to say more, but he never did.
“Do you think she’s in hiding then?”
“Yes, in hiding, in disguise....”
Ginny broke in, “Like as someone we know?”
“I don’t know... possibly.”
“We never know, she could be Snape or something. Maybe she got cursed, or just became really ugly, and that’s why she never came forward. That would explain why Snape’s always in a bad mood. If she came forward... can you imagine Snape in a dress?”
Harry and Hermione laughed, “Remember our third year?” Harry asked, “I think we could... Thanks Ginny, but I don’t think so.”
Ginny laughed softly, “I don’t either, but you needed something to make you smile. You look like death warmed over.”
“But, honestly Harry, what’s wrong?” Hermione questioned, anxiously.
“Harry, you went running out of Smythe’s class. That’s not normal behavior for you? And she didn’t even blink. Harry, what’s going on?”
“Nothing. I just didn’t feel well, that’s all. Besides, Smythe’s a weird enough professor... do you honestly expect normal behavior from her?”
“Oh, never mind. Don’t get so worked up about it. Besides, we have Potions in ten minutes. We’d better get going if we expect not to be late.”
Eliza jumped, realizing that if they came around to shelf, she’d be in plain view, and hustled towards a different book shelf, one consisting of spell books for defense.
The following days went by rather quickly. Students were beginning to get restless, waiting for Christmas, which was only a few weeks away, to come.
Thursday night arrived with a howl of wind and a good blizzard underway. Once her last class was finished, she summoned a house elf, and asked for a very small snack to be sent up to her room during dinner.
She corrected papers after building up a large fire in her fireplace, with a huge mug of cocoa, and her stew in its large bowl. House elves decided a very small snack would consist of a good size meal, whereas a good size meal would have been more than even Hagrid could eat.
A small owl, tapped on her window. Eliza got up, shuffled across the stone floor, and opened the window. With a blast of bitter cold air and snow, the owl came tumbling in, landing directly on top of one of the student desks.
Laughing quietly, she picked up the owl and untied the letter. She looked carefully at the unfamiliar handwriting on the scroll, which clearly read “Eliza.” She broke the simple wax seal and unrolled the small scroll.
I hope this finds you well. Christmas is coming up, and I was hoping that you would join us for the holidays. We’ll be staying with mutual friends, and I’ve been asked to make sure this invitation is extended to you, to stay with us for the holidays. I do hope you’ll come and join us, considering what little family you have in the area, and it would simply not do for you to be alone for the season. I do not believe saying no is optional, but if you absolutely must refuse, please notify us immediately. If we do not hear from you, we will assume you will be joining us.
Hoping to see you soon,
Eliza stared at the scroll, a slight smile growing on her lips. Christmas? With mutual friends... that would have to be Order Headquarters. She rolled up the scroll, smiling. No was not an option? Well, then it would be easier to go. Christmas with Joan and Remus... when was the last time she had that? Yes, she would go. If not, Remus might have to-
Knocking interrupted her thoughts. Eliza immediately stowed the scroll in her pocket, as she checked her wand.
“It’s open,” she called.
Harry was standing at the door, looking slightly nervous, but very determined.
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August 6th, 2006, 6:56 pm
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Chapter Forty-One Part Two
Harry stood stock still, looking at her.
Eliza took a sip of the stew sitting in front of her before fishing out chunk of beef with her spoon. Before putting it in her mouth, she gave him a sharp glance.
“Come in, Mr. Potter,” she said, managing to speak normally despite the constriction of her chest.
He strode in, and stopped at her desk, an odd expression on his face.
Eliza ripped off a bit of bread from the small loaf provided her and dipped it in the stew. She consumed it, then gestured, “Please, sit. How may I help you this chilly evening?” The attempt to act normal fluttered in the wind. Fluttered? No, it was blowing away, despite how much she tried to cling to it.
Harry glanced at the chair she gestured at and chose to ignore it.
“Who are you?” his voice was hoarse, and his gaze sharp. His hand was near one of his pockets, where Eliza assumed his wand was.
She sighed, “Who do you think I am?” She asked, keeping her voice steady. She marked a paper on the side of her desk and flipped it over.
Harry blinked, then his eyes narrowed slightly, “Are you Elizabeth Potter?” He asked, sharply.
“Yes, I am,” she was gazing at the next essay.
The tip of Harry’s wand entered her view. It was never safe to have an angry Potter stick their wand in your face. “What?” his voice was quiet and semi-deadly.
“Yes,” she repeated, “I am,” she looked away from the essay and met his eyes.
And saw complete shock and disbelief fill them.
“You’re a liar,” he was shaking.
Eliza gave him a sad smile, “I fear I am not. What reason would I have to lie to you about this? It would be a good way to get killed.”
“You’re not my aunt,” he was decisive, but his voice was shaking, and he was deathly pale.
Something in Eliza crumpled and curled up into a tight ball.
“You couldn’t be. You’re just an.... an impostor!!!! I trusted you, and it just turns out that your an impostor! Or worse, a Death Eater.”
He glowered at her before turning around and running out the door.
Eliza stared at him before reaching out and touching the trail of thought he’d carelessly let glide behind him. He was going to try and contact Remus.
Reaching her mantel, she scooped up some Floo Powder, threw it into the fire as she stuck her head into the fire, “12 Grimmauld’s place.”
Her head spun and twirled and flipped threw the fiery grate. Finally, it came to a halt, and she could clearly see the dining room. Which was empty.
“REMUS!!!!” she shouted into the silence.
Immediately, footsteps came into the room, and Remus entered, looking pale and thin, as usual.
“Harry’ll be here in a bit. He insists I’m an impostor,” she said with as much calmness as she could muster.
Remus blinked and nodded, “He found out?”
“And he didn’t take it too well, apparently.”
“No. But he’ll be coming here soon. Just try and calm him down. And don’t tell him I was here.”
“Don’t worry about that. Did you get Molly’s owl? I told her just to wait until the weekend, but she insisted....”
“Yes, I got it.”
Eliza smiled at the frown on his face, “I’ll come if Dumbledore can spare me.”
“I’m sure-” he was cut off by the sound of someone stumbling out of a fire, at least, that’s what Eliza assumed it was, correctly.
A deep voice called from the other room, “Remus! The Potter boy’s here to see you!”
“Just a moment!” he called, then glanced down at Eliza, who nodded and extracted her head from the fire.
She sat down on the cold stone floor of her classroom. She sighed and leaned against the equally cold stone wall. Then something rubbed against her side. Eliza jumped, then looked down and laughed, “Mischief,” she rubbed the top of the kittens head. She purred.
“He didn’t take it too well, did he?” she asked, stroking the kitten’s gray fur.
Mischief’s tail swished, and she watched her reproachfully.
“Don’t look at me like that,” Eliza teased, “Yes, I know it’s my fault.”
“Some say the first sign of insanity is talking to yourself. In my opinion, it is speaking to animals who have no chance of replying,” came a voice from the doorway.
Eliza looked up, and saw her sallow colleague, “Good evening, Severus.”
“Evening, Eliza,” he replied curtly, before giving her a slightly odd look, “is there any reason you are seated on the floor?”
“Back problems,” Eliza replied.
“Charming as ever, aren’t you? On to other matters, however, are you aware that a young student, by the name of Harry Potter has left the premises of this school?”
Eliza gave him a dull look, “And are you surprised he has? I should think this is a common occurrence, considering his... lineage of troublemakers.”
“Going to the headquarters of an organization that shouldn’t be named?”
“Maybe he had to talk to someone.”
“Did you encourage this, Eliza?” his voice was sharp, and Eliza merely looked at him.
“Eliza? Did you?”
“Why would I encourage him to leave? As a member of staff, or as a worried... professor?”
“He found out. And he then he doesn’t believe me. He went to talk to Remus about it.”
“Potters. All of them so-”
“Do you really want to finish that?”
“Perhaps not. I will be resuming my patrol. If I catch him, I’ll punish him, but if I see no sign, I will let it pass.”
Eliza blinked in surprise, “Thank you, Severus.”
Without a word, he left.