Author's Note: This is the last chapter of Wildflowers, but not the end of Elsa's story. Stay tuned for the sequel: Black Orchid. Thank you so much to all of you who have read and supported me through this endeavour. I love you all!
The air in the dormitory was warm. Elsa sat on her bed, her eyes damp. It had been two months since Damon's death. The end of term had brought no closure for Elsa. Everything was packed and ready to go. But she still didn't know where she was going. Home was not an option. Damon was gone and there were too few people she trusted to take care of her.
Sirius had promised they would find somewhere to go; somewhere safe. But where was safe when there were two crazy men after her? Dumbledore had said he had a plan. Elsa wasn't sure she wanted to know what that plan was. Who else was she supposed to turn to if not her Headmaster?
The plan was simple: Elsa would head to Hogsmeade with the rest of the students. Everyone else would board the train. She would remain on the platform with Dumbledore before he took her to a secure location. Two weeks later, wherever she was, her friends would join her. It seemed simple enough. Except she felt lost.
All Elsa wanted was to curl up in her bed and forget about everything that had happened over the school year. She had lost so much. Their world was slowly being destroyed and there was nothing anyone could do about it.
“Ready?” Cordelia called from the doorway, giving her friend time to herself.
“No,” Elsa admitted, but stood up anyway. What choice did she have? She couldn't stay at Hogwarts over the summer.
With one last look around the room, Elsa sighed. Even though she knew she'd be returning in two months time, it felt like she would never see her dormitory again. Hooking her arm through Cordelia's, the girls made their way down to the common room. Vera and Tabitha stood leaning against the couch while they waited.
“Sirius is waiting outside the Common Room with Remus and James,” Vera said softly.
“Are you sure you can't tell us where you are going?” Tabitha asked, pushing off the couch and walking toward them.
“I can't tell you what I don't know. Dumbledore hasn't told me a thing. Plus, I think that is the point. No one is supposed to know where I am. It's safer that way.”
“But...” Vera's voice cracked. “We're your friends.”
“I know.” Elsa forced a smile to her lips and took her friend's hand in hers. “I promise I'll write as often as I can. Dumbledore promised me I'd still be able to keep in touch with you.”
There wasn't much else Elsa could say to make her friends understand. They were at least going home to their families. They'd be safe for the summer, or so she hoped. Who knew what the summer would hold for any of them. Elsa could only hope and pray that Vera and Tabitha would be out of harms way, that You-Know-Who wouldn't target them simply because they were her friends.
“Let's not keep the boys waiting,” Elsa said finally.
She wasn't ready to leave. As she turned to take one last look around the Common Room, a cold chill swept over her. I'll see the common room again, Elsa promised herself.
Sure enough, Sirius, Remus and James were waiting on the other side of the door. Together they left Hogwarts, with promises of happier summers. Cordelia, Lily, Sirius, James and Remus had promised they would come spend the summer with Elsa. Her summer was already looking brighter despite the sadness Elsa still felt over the loss of Damon. Somehow she knew that their summer wasn't going to be one of hiding. She could almost guarantee it.