“Bonfire Night!!” Tunia and Rose yelled while bouncing up and down on Eliza’s bed.
She rolled over groggily and watched then for a while. “I’m awake you twits.” She pondered quickly about Guy Fox; the man who had tried to blow up Parliament. It hadn’t meant much to the wizards, but because of muggle-borns, the tradition of bonfires had caught on at Hogwarts.
Rose stopped bouncing and lay down next to Eliza, “Good, because we’re going to be late for classes, you slept in.”
Eliza’s eyes jumped out of her head, “OhMyGosh!” She started scrambling around getting dressed and brushing her hair quickly. She pulled on different coloured socks, one red, the other blue, a skirt, blouse and her thick winter robes. “Let’s go on then.”
Tunia looked at her incredulously as she began to walk out with Rose, “You look ridiculous. Just sayin’.”
The three walked to Transfiguration and grabbed a seat in front of Alistair and Jack. Tunia wandered off and sat beside Oliver, but spent most of the class staring after Jack, making him blush repeatedly.
“Good morning lady’s, I trust you slept well?” Alistair smirked looking Eliza over.
Rose giggled uncontrollably while Eliza replied, “Yes I slept very well thank you.”
“Anyway, is everything set up for tonight?” Rose asked Alistair.
The four of them leaned in closer, “Yeah, we’ll all meet at the edge of the Forest around seven. Jack will go on ahead of us to prep the fire, and Eliza darling; we’ll need you to place wards so that no one sees.” Alistair finished.
“Great, I’m so excited!” Rose exclaimed.
“Shush, Professor Abram is staring” Eliza hissed. Rose snorted while Jack and Alistair saluted her smartly, and then made faces as she turned to face the front.
Eliza began to take notes on his lecture, but her mind soon wandered and she began to doodle on her paper. She drew stick figures flying on brooms. She labelled one as Albus and drew him flying upside down, only to fall off the broom and land in the lake with a ‘splash’ which she wrote in big cartoon letters. She leaned back and reflected her master piece for a moment before pulling out her wand and animating it. She smiled, nudged Rose and showed her.
Rose glanced over and began to laugh quietly so Professor Abram wouldn’t notice. She then dipped her quill and began to doodle on her own page. Eliza watched her intently waiting for what she would draw. She finished with a satisfied grin, tapped the paper with her wand discreetly and passed the paper. It was another stick figure in the lake labelled Oliver being attacked by the Giant Squid who was named Bob. Eliza laughed loudly and wrote “Bob would never go for Oliver, he’s very gentle you know.”
Just as Eliza finished writing she heard a cough from above her and Jack and Alistair snickering from behind her. She looked up slowly and saw Professor Abram staring at her and Rose, “Ladies, I’m sorry to inform you that this is NOT art class. However since you are so interested in the subject you won’t mind joining me tomorrow night at seven sharp.” He said vanishing their papers.
Eliza and Rose nodded solemnly and studiously paid attention to the Professor for the rest of class. The bell went the foursome left quickly, once out in the hall Alistair hugged Rose and Eliza tightly.
“Ermph, I think you’re squeezing the life out of me!” Rose breathed.
“Opps,” Alistair let them go, “Haha, you girls are hilarious, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so mad.”
“You have no idea, I think I saw steam coming out of his ears,” Jack added.
“Well I’m glad you’re amused, but you’re going to be late for your next class.” Eliza commented already walking towards the library.
“Oh yeah? Where are you going?” Alistair asked.
“To the library, Rose and I have a free period.” She said waving goodbye dragging Rose with her.
The girls climbed the stairs to the next floor and made their way towards the doors. They could still hear Alistair’s chuckles.
“He’s loud isn’t he? I didn’t think it was that funny.” Eliza commented.
“You wouldn’t, you hate getting into trouble.” Rose mumbled quietly.
“Did you say something?” Eliza said sitting down at a table by the windows.
Rose smiled innocently, “Just that we better start reviewing for exams.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right. However, while sketching my beautiful art, I remembered that I never asked you about your date with Scorpius. Now while I don’t really care about the details, I’m still your friend and am very curious as to what he’s like.”
Rose perked up a bit. “I thought you’d never ask! So we walked up there and we went to Honey Dukes and the Three Broom sticks. I talked a lot about myself, told him about the family and everything, I think he’s scared of Dad though.” Rose babbled happily.
“Who wouldn’t be, clearly he’s a smart guy though. Now, did he tell you anything about his family?”
Rose grinned wide, “Oh yeah. He talked a lot about his Dad. He doesn’t sound at all like what my parents-- well what dad says he’s like. He sounds really kind and like a really cool dad. Apparently he’s still got a bit of prejudice towards Muggles, but Scorp says he keeps it to himself usually, says ‘Old habits die hard’ or something.”
“That’s really interesting; I think I’d like to meet him someday. I think Dean would have a heart attack though.” Eliza’s heart sank a little when she thought of Dean. Dean probably wouldn’t care anymore, he’s got Raine. Eliza regretted the thought, but she couldn’t stop it from eating away at her mind.
Rose watched as Eliza’s face fell, it killed her to see Eliza so upset, “Has he written to you?” Eliza shook her head slowly, “Have you thought about writing him?”
Eliza thought for a while, “No, I wouldn’t know what to say.”
“Well I’m sure he’s worried for you Eliza. He loves you.” Rose tried, it was hard to know what was going on behind Eliza’s eyes. This was a subject that was always locked up in Eliza’s heart.
Eliza was quiet and then said happily, “You know, Scorpius is quite dreamy, you certainly know how to pick them.”
Rose smiled meekly, but let Eliza change the subject and continued to babble about Scorpius until the end of the period. As she parted ways with Eliza she hugged her tightly and said “I’ll meet you in the common room later and we can get ready for the bonfire.”
After classes, Eliza was sitting on her a chair in her dorm room. Her arms and legs were tied down to the chair with her multi-coloured socks. Tunia was scrounging around in her closet for an outfit for her to wear while rose was fixing her hair.
Eliza exclaimed, “Is this really necessary? It’s dark out for heaven’s sake. Besides, who am I trying to impress? Oliver?!”
“You know he’s not as thick as you think.” Tunia commented holding up two jackets covered in frills and lace.
Rose snorted, “You just think he’s hot.”
Tunia smiled, “Perhaps. Rose what do you think, white or red?”
“Definitely red, she’s too pale for white.” Rose suggested.
Tunia glanced at Eliza for a moment, “You’re right.”
“I’m right here you know.” Eliza harrumphed.
“Hmm, sorry, I forgot,” Rose said her mouth blocked by something.
“Is my hair in your mouth!?” Eliza protested.
Rose and Tunia burst into laughter, “I- ran-out of—hands.”
Eliza settled for not talking and being mad at her friends. It didn’t last for long. She was excited for tonight. Celebrating Guy Fox’s treason had been a tradition of theirs since second year when Tunia insisted that they do it; apparently it was a huge thing back in her little village. It was a secret in their year. Each year, Jack, Alistair, Oliver, Graham, Rose, Tunia and Eliza would sneak outside into the Forest and create a bon fire and shoot fireworks.
“Right I’m done, now get dressed!” Rose said pulling Eliza out of her reverie.
She glanced at her bed and frowned at the clothes, she still didn’t understand why she had to get dressed up. “Fine, but you need to untie me.”
“Opps, here you go.” Rose laughed. She and Tunia began to get themselves ready.
Eliza walked to her bed and began pulling on the clothes. A pair of dark jeans that were a little too long given that Tunia was four inches taller than Eliza, and a simple black long sleeved shirt. Eliza pulled on the frilly red jacket and was surprised to find that it was rather warm. When she looked into the mirror she was even more surprised. Rose had made her hair wavy and bouncy, but it still flowed graciously over her shoulders. She had applied mascara and some blusher to her cheeks that made her wide eyes pop out from beneath her glasses.
Tunia whistled, “You look hot Eliza!” She then proceeded to high five Rose.
Eliza blushed a little before dragging them out of the room. “Come on we’re going to be late.”
The girls quietly made their way out of the castle and began running across the lawn towards the edge of the forest. Once there they looked at each other grinned stupidly and lit their wands and walked through the forest.
“After six years, this still creeps me out.” Tunia whined.
“No kidding, you should hear some of my dad’s and Uncle’s stories. Giant spiders, giant!” Rose exclaimed.
“Shush, you’re gunna make her cry again.” Eliza muttered into Rose’s ear.
Tunia heard, “Hey, that was four years ago!”
Eliza smirked, “That was last year.”
As they drew closer to the spot they could hear laughter and see the glow of a small fire. Rose grabbed the others hands and began running to the spot.
Alistair and Graham were drinking butter beers watching Jack build up the fire. Oliver was on the other side looking through the box of fireworks. Alistair looked up when they entered, “My my, Eliza, you look great!”
Eliza smiled and sat down in between him and Graham. “I didn’t have a choice.” She said glaring towards Tunia who was now chatting with Jack.
“Well I’m glad you didn’t!” Graham said winking at her.
“Keep it in your pants Graham,” Rose laughed passing Eliza a butter beer.
Eliza sighed and stood up pulling out her wand. She began to set up some wards to protect the forest from the fire and cover up the light and noise. She smiled to herself watching her house mates laughing and bickering. Tunia was now sitting very close to Jack, who had a very red face tonight. Rose was currently flirting with Graham who was very good looking, but definitely a player and permanent bachelor.
Eliza sat back down on a log on the far side of the fire where no one was sitting and began sipping her second butter beer.
Alistair came and sat down beside her. “Hey, how are you?”
Eliza looked at him curiously, “I’m alright, why?”
“Oh you know, I just heard ‘bout your dad you know, an’ I was just checkin’ to see if you’re alright.” He shrugged opening his arms out wide. Eliza laughed out loud and leant in for the hug, as she did so he whispered I her ear, “I’ve seen you lookin’ at Potter you know.”
Eliza pulled back in shock, “So-so what?”
“So nothin’ but I hope he doesn’t hurt you Eliza, I can tell you’ve got somethin’ buried deep inside yeah.” He finished pointing his large index finger at Eliza’s heart.
Eliza looked deep into his eyes, “I’ll tell you all about one day Alistair, but tonight, I think we should enjoy the fireworks.”
He grinned, shook her hand, downed his drink and replied, “Aye!”
Eliza looked up into the sky where the bright bursts of fire were exploding and gave a toothy smile laughing her heart filling with joy. She knew that whatever happened, it would all end in love.
It was getting very close to December and the rain had finally stopped, making way for snow. It was the last weekend of November and the students of Hogwarts were hard at work finishing assignments and getting ready for exams
“Rosie posy, where on this wide and wonderful planet are you taking me!” Eliza whined tugging at the scarf tied around her eyes.
“Shhh, it’s a surprise, we need some time away for a bit I think.” She said and then stopped walking, letting go of Eliza’s hand, “Okay, look.”
Eliza pulled the scarf off of her eyes and looked around the room. It was small but three of the four walls were all windows and the carpet was thick shag covered with pillows and blankets to keep out the cold November air.
Rose jumped into a pile of pillows dragging Eliza with her. Laughing happily she said, “We can stay here all weekend, food will appear when we’re hungry and none of the professors will bother us!”
Eliza snuggled into a furry blanket and sighed, “What is this place, and why won’t the Professor’s bother us?”
“Ah, you see, I’m a Weasley, I just pulled some strings, and this is the Room of Requirement.”
“Ohh, I should have known, I must be frying my brain with all my studying.”
“What studying? You haven’t started studying yet.”
“What do you think I’m doing when I’m at the library?” Eliza said innocently.
“Kanooodleing with my cousin!” Rose accused looking at Eliza hard, trying to keep a straight face.
Eliza was stunned for a moment but recovered quickly throwing a pillow at Rose, “I’ve been helping him study, he’s rather hopeless at potions.”
Rose was now sitting on the pillow fixing her hair, “Yeah I’m sure, OHMYGod, I haven’t told you the biggest news EVER!”
Eliza laughed at Rose’s silly face and felt her heart fill up with joy, “What is this news my darling Rosie?”
Rose leaned in barely able to contain herself, “I kissed Scorpius Malfoy!” She squealed throwing herself back into the pillows.
Eliza sat patiently smiling at Rose, “Was he any good then?”
“Oh, he was bloody amazing, it was so romantic! You know the first snowfall?”
“You mean when it snowed over night?” Eliza asked suspiciously.
“Yeah that one! Well Scorpius sent me a note asking if I wanted to go for a night fly. I did of course. So there we were flying in the air, on the same broom, the snow was flying everywhere, it was so beautiful, and when I said as much he said, ‘You’re beautiful Rose’ and then we kissed, it was perfect” Rose cooed dreamily.
Eliza closed her eye imagining the scene, “It sounds heavenly Rose. Has Tunia had any luck with Jack?”
“Mmm, yeah actually. I’m surprised you haven’t seen them, they spend two hours in the library everyday doing homework before coming to the common room where they’ve been getting quite cozy by the fire.”
Eliza blushed, “Well Albus and I sit in the back, he erm doesn’t want to be seen or something.”
Rose’s cheeks flared red, “That jerk! What do you mean, doesn’t want, to be seen?”
“Oh calm down Rose, I can take care of myself. He just doesn’t want people to stare, and you know they would.”
Rose nodded reluctantly, “Maybe, do you want to play chess?”
“I’d love to,” Eliza smiled.
The two girls played chess well into the night gossiping and giggling about nothing in particular. When Eliza finally fell asleep it was restless and full of clashing dreams.
Eliza was running down a hallway somewhere in the depths of Hogwarts. She was chasing the fleeting figure of Dean, but she couldn’t catch him. There were green eyes staring at her out of the faces of all the portraits that she passed and the same voice repeating the words “I want my family to be happy... Make Dean happy”.
No matter how far Eliza ran she could never catch him and the words were deafening in her ears. The walls surrounding her began to melt into darkness and she was alone and there was a different voice, a girl, repeating, “I’ll never forget you Eliza, Eliza, ELIZA”
Eliza sat up straight crashing into Rose, she was sweating all over. She began to calm down when she noticed the sun peeping over the mountains in the distance through the windows. She looked at Rose for a second, “Oh, I’m sorry, I was having an awful dream.” She mumbled quietly.
Rose sat up and manoeuvred herself so that she was sitting beside Eliza, “I know, I’ve been trying to wake you up for a while. You need to talk about Dean now; you can’t keep lying to me anymore.” She said sternly reaching for Eliza’s hand.
Eliza nodded, she had ignored every letter he had sent her and had stealthily been avoiding Neville for a month. It had been easy to forget when she had been so consumed with spending time with Albus. He had thankfully never brought up that night in the rain, but she knew it was always at the edge of his mind. Rose had also been very good about it, but Eliza felt like talking now.
“It feels like he’s abandoning me Rose, it won’t be the same anymore.” She said quietly staring out the window. Rose nodded but didn’t say anything. “I know that sounds stupid, but it’s the truth, and I’m scared.”
“Eliza, I can tell you that Dean would never abandon you anymore then my dad would leave me. He loves you so much Eliza. I think you should write to him.”
Eliza sagged a little and muttered a small “Okay.”
“Good, I’m going to leave you alone in here and you can write your letter in peace, it sure is a beautiful view.” Rose said getting up slowly gazing out the window a moment before leaving.
Eliza sighed and summoned the ink and parchment that were sitting near the other side of the room. Once she began to write she couldn’t stop. She talked about how much Dean meant to her and how he was her family and then couldn’t think of anything else. She stared out of the window all day long, and for a few hours she stared at three Slytherins tossing a quaffle back and forth in the snow.
Albus was bundled up in his warmest jacket and thickest jeans running around in the snow with Scorpius and Damien. They were tossing a quaffle and catching up on each other’s lives.
Scorpius was twirling the quaffle on his finger tip, “Damien, how’s Julie?” he drawled, passing the quaffle to Albus.
“Look, you already know the answer to that, if she was unhappy my nads would be gone and you would have helped her to do so.” He smirked. “What about the Gryffindor Princess?”
Albus snorted at this, Rose was no princess. Scorpius blushed a little, “Oh you know... she’s great,” he grinned goofily.
Damien groaned while Albus smiled, “You’re such a ham Scorp!”
“Oh yeah whatever, Julie gives me the little details about you no one is a bigger suck than you!” he retorted back resulting in laughter.
“Enough about me, Al, what are you doing with Prat?!” Damien asked pointedly.
Albus didn’t say anything for a while before replying, “Nothing, studying.” It was partly true, she mostly helped him with his potions assignments and they never talked about anything personal or romantic. His understanding of how to make potions had certainly increased, but he still wasn’t interested, not like Scorpius or Eliza. Albus began to think about a conversation he had had with her a few days ago. It had been late and they were in the back of the library, Madam Pince was letting them stay late, apparently she loved Eliza.
Albus had closed his books exasperated, “How can you like potions so much?”
Eliza giggled, “Oh you know, you can make anything with potions, and it’s always very precise, yet you can always tweak it, always improve something.” She sang, and then she looked pointedly at Albus, “Why do you make fun of me?”
Albus felt very uncomfortable under her stare, and had no idea what to say, “I er, I guess that old habits die hard.” He finished lamely staring at the floor.
She peered at him for a while, “You’re lying.”
Albus sighed, “You’re different Eliza.” He watched as her face fell as she began to leaf through her potions book, “I-I like it though, it’s funny sometimes, the things you say and do, it’s never the same, it’s a good thing.” His heart glowed a little when she smiled broadly.
Albus was knocked back off his feet when the quaffle was thrown at his head. “Oomph, what was that for?” Albus said rubbing his head.
Scorpius and Damien were on the ground laughing, “You’re such a dork, he was totally day dreaming about her!” Scorpius said to Damien.
“Yeah, so Albus what’s she look like under those wild socks? Does her underwear match?!” Damien began to howl louder.
Albus just shook his head and joined in the laughter, he wasn’t sure what to think anymore when it came to Eliza.
Monday morning, the Gryffindor tower was woken up by a loud girlish scream, followed by several other girlish screams. It was coming from the seventh year dorm. Several students were poking their heads from behind their doors looking around wondering what was going on. Rose Weasley popped out of her room wearing pyjama shorts, a Chudley Canons jersey, fluffy slippers, they were Eliza’s, and ran down to the common room. She stood in the middle of the room, pointed her wand at her throat, “Eliza got invited to join the Wizengamot!” and then proceeded to bounce back into her room.
Many of the upper year girls had packed their way into their room and after some urging, Eliza was about to read her letter out loud to everyone.
“Um okay, Miss Prat, it is with great pleasure that we offer a position with the Wizengamot to such a young witch. You have made quite a mark on the Wizarding community so far. Your strength and wisdom as well as your youth will be an asset to our High Court.
Sincerely Tiberious Ogden II
The Chief Warlock”
There was a chorus of ooos and ahhs and a mixture of congratulations. When all the girls had left the room to gossip and spread the news Eliza fell back into her bed. The entire school would know by the time she finished her breakfast.
“So, what are you going to say?” Tunia asked curiously sitting at the edge of the bed curling her hair.
“It’s pretty impressive, most people don’t get asked until they’re much older.” Rose commented preparing to have a shower.
“I think it’s a bad idea to make decisions on an empty stomach.” Eliza said hopping out of bed, the girls giggled and continued with their morning routine. Eliza pulled on her long johns and undershirt before putting on her Hogwarts Uniform and cloak; it was cold in the castle.
She waved good bye and crept out of the Gryffindor tower and headed down the stairs to the Great Hall.
“Now who are you cowering from?” Albus drawled from behind her.
“Morning Albus,” She replied happily and continued to her seat in the Great Hall. She bit into her muffin an looked up, Albus was sitting across from her.
“You see Eliza, I’m rather determined when I want to know something, so you should probably just tell me.” He added a wink.
“Every Gryffindor, and Neville.” Eliza admitted taking another bite.
“Why is that?” He persisted.
“I received a letter this morning regarding my future, and a lot of people are likely to bother me about it and offer stupid advice, especially Neville.”
“I doubt Neville would give stupid advice,” Albus suggested, “But I’m pretty sure you’re avoiding him for a different reason.”
Eliza blushed slightly but said nothing.
“Now what was in this letter of yours?” Albus asked sincerely.
Eliza leant close to him and whispered, “I got invited to join the Wizengamot.” She sat back and watched his reaction.
He sat back and whistled lowly a look of shock plastered on his face. “That’s really impressive Eliza, well it’s awesome!” Albus gushed.
Eliza lit up immediately; it meant a lot coming from him. “Do you really think so? I’m not sure I’d be very good.”
Albus shook his head immediately, “No no, you’d be really good. Like you’re so smart and you get things about people that most don’t.” He stopped suddenly.
Eliza peered at him. This happened a lot. Every time Albus relaxed around her and stopped being the ‘cool’ Albus who didn’t care and laughed at her, he would suddenly snap out of it and change the subject. She said something before he could, “Thank you Albus, it means a lot to me know what you’re really thinking.”
He smiled for a second before smirking, “Yeah well, I’ll see you in class, bye.”
Eliza watched him walk away; he was becoming rather odd around her, and she liked it.
“What were you doing talking to him?” Jack questioned as he sat down.
Eliza looked at him startled, he never sat with her, well up until this year the only person who sat with her was Rose, everyone else sat with Rose. “I help him with potions and stuff, how are you?”
“I’m alright, Oliver’s got PMS or something, he’s off his rockers today. He was freaking about not having any socks and throwing things around the room, it was nuts!” Jack said waving his hands around.
Eliza laughed, “Oh I’m sure you didn’t have anything to with his missing socks.”
He shrugged sheepishly and began dishing up some oat meal as the mail came.
Orion landed neatly on Eliza’s shoulder and snuggled against her ear. Eliza giggled softly and untied the note from his foot and watched him fly away. She glanced at the letter. It was from Dean, but today, Eliza opened it:
I know you haven’t read any of my letters, I have Neville watch you and write me after breakfast, go ahead, look up. -- Eliza glanced towards the head table and saw Neville grinning foolishly-- The thing is, I’m dying without talking to you hearing all of your silly fantasies and adventures. You’ve become my life over the past seven years and though I didn’t create you, you are more my daughter and family than anyone else I know. You know that. So it’s time for you to grow up a little and talk to me about it instead of running away.
Needless to say I’m looking terribly forward to seeing you for the Christmas break. I have all sorts of things planned. The boys, Lysander and Locran are home this year so the family is coming over Christmas. Neville, Hannah, and Oscar will of course join us for Christmas supper. The pond’s frozen over too so we could very easily go skating, and I have some new sketches to show you, I know you’ll love them.
Think about it logically Eliza.
The ache that had been swelling in her heart deepened, she missed her father, her Dean. It was going to be a good Christmas; she just had to get through Exams first.