Chapter 5 : Days of Summer
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Elizabeth Evans was a feisty little girl. She had short, wispy black hair, and beautiful grey eyes. Remus couldn’t believe how much she was like Lily. Not physically, but her personality. Elizabeth was a stubborn one, and she knew how to get what she wanted. This was why Remus was letting her stay up to watch the meteor shower tonight. Elizabeth had always loved stars, and her favorite part of every summer was lying on the grass in the yard with Remus and watching the Perseids. The showers happened every year for quite a few days, but they always stayed up on August 13, it was supposed to be the peak. It was truly amazing.
Remus smiled as he thought about the nine years that he had spent raising Elizabeth. They were good years. They had become extremely close. Elizabeth knew that Remus was not her father, her mum and dad died just after she turned two, but she still considered him as good as any other father. He’d raised her. Remus sighed and thought about the plans for tomorrow. They were going to Diagon Alley to get Elizabeth everything she needed for her first year at Hogwarts. He was going to be sad without her here, and lonely too, but he knew that she was ready for that adventure.
“Moony! Wake up!” Elizabeth complained, “Remember we said we’d meet everyone at 12?”
“Yes” he groaned, “and it’s not twelve yet” he tried to roll back over but Elizabeth had pounced on him.
“No, it’s not twelve yet, but it is eleven-thirty!”
“Okay, okay. I’m up. Go get your cloak and your letter.”
He sat up in bed and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. Though he was only thirty-two he felt much older. Most of that, he figured, was due to his “condition.” A bit of it though, he attributed to raising the daughter of Lily Evans. He let his mind wander once-again to how Harry Potter would be doing. He had become quite the celebrity since Voldemort’s downfall, and the wizarding world was abuzz with gossip and rumors that he would be attending Hogwarts thisyear. Remus knew that this was fact, but it wasn’t his place to stand around gabbing with bored housewives and old men.
He sighed as he pulled his cloak over his shoulders, today was going to be fun.
Elizabeth grinned and ran over to where she saw the Weasleys standing.
“Hey!” she chirped.
Ron blushed and gave her a halfhearted wave, Ginny smiled widely and Molly scooped her up into a crushing hug.
“It’s been too long darling since you’ve been over” she said poking Elizabeth in the nose.
“It’s only been 2 weeks Aunt Molly! Plus I’m coming over tonight for dinner!”
“I know, dear, but there are just too many boys in my house. I need more girls.” She smiled. “FRED AND GEORGE! Don’t you even think about that!” she yelled catching the twins in the midst of trying to sneak rat dung into the purse of a very snobbish looking lady with a fur collar on her cloak. They looked down sullenly and traipsed over to their group.
“Hey Lizzie!” George beamed.
“What’s shakin’ bacon?” Added Fred.
Elizabeth laughed, she loved the Weasley twins, they always made her day brighter.
Remus and Molly were busy plotting out which stores to hit first so the kids sat down on a bench across the alley.
“So Eliza, why weren’t you at Hogwarts last year?” Fred moaned. “We could have caused so much havoc!”
“Because Fred, I didn’t get my Hogwarts letter until this summer, and besides, I wasn't even eleven yet.” She stuck her tongue out at him.
“But he’s right Lizzie! You’re turning twelve in September, and you’d definitely be smart enough for second year by now.” George piped up.
“I don’t know… I figure Dumbledore must have his reasons right?”
“I suppose so…”
“Well I’m glad you’re in my year Elizabeth, at least I’ll know someone besides my brothers.” Ron said quietly.
“I’ve told you Ron! Call me Eliza, everyone does! Well, almost everyone…” she shot a look at George, who had just found a very interesting pebble to examine closely. “Elizabeth sounds so—so formal.” She shuddered. “So anyways! What’s Hogwarts like! Tell me everything!” She asked eagerly.
The twins told them so much about the school, but Elizabeth was smart enough to know that they were lying when they said that you’d be hung up by your feet in the dungeon if you were late to class. Ron, however, looked terrified. The twins exchanged mischievous glances. That’s all that they were trying to do. Terrify the first-years.
“I wish I could go to Hogwarts with you guys.” Ginny huffed. “I’m going to be the only one stuck here with mum and her blubbering about how you’re all grown up now.” She kicked George’s pebble sending it skittering over the cobblestones.
“Don’t worry Ginny, you’ll be there next year.” Eliza assured her.
“Come on kids!” Molly called, “We’re going to Gringott’s, then Flourish and Blott’s.”
The five of them rushed over, Ron and Eliza excited to get their first set of school supplies, the twins on lookout for some sort of prank to pull, and Ginny just excited to be included.
Eliza let out a huge puff of air as she flopped onto a chair at the Burrow, it seemed like they had been shopping for years. They got her schoolbooks, robes, quills, parchment, potion ingredients, cauldron, everything really. It was a busy day. The first stop they made was to Gringott’s to get some money, and then they had gone to practically every store in the Alley. Fred and George collapsed onto the couch and Ron just sank to the floor. It was a tiring day.
Molly had made them a wonderful dinner of ham and green beans and potatoes, and then they had lazed around playing exploding snap in the twins’ room. Eliza would be staying over in Ginny’s room tonight. She worried about Remus and hoped he’d be okay, she was always scared for him around the full moon, ever since she found out that he was a werewolf when she was seven. She was never scared of him, he didn’t ever frighten her, and she didn’t change her opinion of him when she found out, but she was never fully at ease on her monthly sleepovers at the Burrow. Sure it was fun hanging out with Ron and the twins and Ginny, but she didn’t want Remus to be alone either. The last thing she did before she went to sleep was to look at the bracelet he’d given her on her last birthday. It had been her mother’s, it was really the only thing she had of her, and Eliza fell asleep, dreaming of what her parents would be like if she were to meet them.
The sun rose at the Weasley house with Molly getting the children up bright and early to help with the household chores. Eliza didn’t mind helping, she was practically family. Ron and the twins de-gnomed the garden, while Ginny and Eliza did the dusting. Molly made them tomato soup for lunch and afterwards they went outside to play two-a-side quidditch. It was Fred and Eliza against Ron and George.
“C’mon Lizzie, you’ll never beat me!” Taunted George who was playing keeper this time.
“Oh yeah?” Eliza replied as she tossed the makeshift quaffle through the fork in a tree they were using for goals, “How about now Georgie?” she sung.
“Okay, alright, you got past me. But only because I was going easy on you.”
“Sure George, whatever you say” called Fred as he high-fived his teammate. “I think 100 to 10 means that this game is over.”
“Only because Ron’s a crap chaser!” George laughed.
“Hey!” said Ron defensively, “I’m not that bad!”
The rest of the day passed quietly, playing games and talking about going to Hogwarts, Arthur got home from work and asked Eliza how her summer was going she told him about watching the meteor shower and her excitement to go to Hogwarts. Arthur was a nice man, he truly cared what his children thought, and talked to them like adults. Eliza liked that. After dinner Arthur took Eliza back home and she ran inside eager to tell Remus about her day.
“Moony!” she cried, giving him a flying tackle hug. “I missed you! Are you okay?”
“Yes, Eliza, I’m just fine.” He chuckled. She was just like her mother, always worrying about people. “Tell me about the Burrow” he said.
Eliza launched into an account of her time with the Weasleys and he smiled.
Eliza was asleep, tired out from her day of fun with Ginny and the boys, and Remus took the opportunity to talk to Albus Dumbledore.
He stuck his head into the fireplace and found himself looking into Dumbledore’s office.
“Ah, Remus. I was wondering when I might be getting a call from you.”
“Albus, I need to talk to you about Elizabeth.”
“Yes, I knew this conversation would come. How is she Remus?”
“She is wonderful Albus. Such a bright girl, so much like Lily, kind, funny, smart…stubborn”
The old headmaster chuckled. “Ah yes, Lily was a fiery woman wasn’t she?”
“Albus, what I wanted to talk to you about was Harry Potter. When does she get to know?”
“Remus, I’m worried about how she might take it, and how he might as well. They are both essentially orphans. Am I right in assuming that Elizabeth still does not know about Severus?”
“No, she doesn’t.”
“Good. I would like to get a chance to observe her, and find out if she is capable of handling that news.”
“She’s strong Albus. She needs to know eventually, and I’m worried that if we wait she’ll resent me for not telling her sooner.”
“Remus, if she is anything like Lily, she is full of love, and will forgive you.”
“But when Severus—“
“Severus might surprise you Remus, though I don’t know how he’ll react when he hears her name called at the sorting.”
“I don’t want him treating her any differently than a normal student Albus, I don’t want her near him at all.”
“I will make sure that Severus knows how he must behave, but he is the potions master, and so, will teach her potions class.”
“I understand. Thank you Albus. Please though, I need to be the one to tell her. Possibly Harry too, just don’t wait too long.”
And with that Remus pulled his head out of the fireplace, it took him a moment to stand up off his knees. He sighed. This wasn’t what he wanted to hear, but it was what he had expected.
The last two weeks of summer passed in a jumble of excitement, nerves, and questions, from both Eliza and Remus.
“Moony, what was Hogwarts like when you went there?” Eliza asked the morning of September 1st over breakfast.
“It was wonderful,” Remus sighed, “Unlike anything else in the world. I got into so much trouble with my friends.” He grinned.
“You mean my mum and dad?” Eliza asked shyly, she didn’t ask about her parents often, because she didn’t like the sadness that crept into Remus’ eyes when she did.
“Yeah,” he said slowly. “Though your mum, she was always the one catching us. Your dad was the ringleader. We probably have the biggest detention files of anyone in the history of Hogwarts!” He laughed.
“What kind of trouble did you get into?”
“Oh all sorts, one time we even—now don’t you go thinking this is a free pass to cause mayhem, because if you do, you know what Molly would do.”
Eliza grimaced. “Yeah, and I definitely do not want that!”
“No, you most certainly do not.” He laughed. “Now come on, finish your breakfast, we don’t want to be late today!”
Eliza nodded and gulped down the rest of her orange juice, shoving the last bit of toast into her mouth. Then she ran upstairs to get her trunk.
The station was busy, it took them a bit longer than expected to get to the wall between platforms nine and ten. Eliza looked at the wall for a moment, she knew that you were supposed to run straight through it, but those bricks looked pretty solid to her. Remus gave her shoulder a squeeze,
“Just run right through.” He said, “I’ll be right behind you.”
She gripped her trolley tightly, here goes nothing, she thought. When she looked up she was through the barrier. Platform 9¾. The scarlet Hogwarts Express was being loaded full of kids eager to go to school. Remus walked through the barrier right behind her and smiled. He hadn’t seen the platform since he got off the train at the end of seventh year. He had missed the familiar hustle and bustle of parents fussing over their kids for the last time until the holidays. He even recognized a few from his own days at school, they were dropping their own kids off, and, he supposed, so was he.
“Okay Eliza, it’s time for you to board the train” he said, passing her trunk to the young wizard helping with the luggage. “Don’t worry, you’ll fit right in, and you’ll have the Weasley boys. Have a great time, and write to me whenever you like.”
Eliza lunged forward and hugged him tight.
“Goodbye, I’m going to miss you so much.” She said “I will write you every week” She promised.
Remus laughed, and nodded. “Okay. I’m going to miss you too, but if you don’t hurry, you won’t find a spot on the train!” Suddenly she hugged him again.
“Remus” she whispered, “just promise me that you won’t stay home all alone without me.”
Remus smiled, “I promise I won’t.”
“Good. You should go see Molly. She’ll call you skinny and try to fatten you up with third helpings of dinners.” Remus laughed, Molly did have a tendency to do just that.
Eliza climbed up the steps and waved to Remus, “Bye Moony! Love you!” She called and then she disappeared aboard the train and out of sight. Remus sighed, and turned back to head home.
“Remus Lupin Is that you?!” He paused as he heard his name called.
“My goodness, I haven’t seen you since seventh year! How have you been?!” He was being approached by an extremely loud woman with shockingly pink lipstick. Behind her was a mousy looking man with thick glasses and a receding hairline.
“Margaret Blythe, we were in Gryffindor together! Or at least I was Margaret Blythe, until this dashing fellow stole my heart! Now I’m Margaret Brown!” She announced elbowing the small man in the ribs.
“Ah, yes, Margaret! How nice to see you, really though, I must be going, busy day!” Remus said hastily, making and excuse. He turned on his heel and walked briskly back towards the barrier into the muggle King’s Cross.
“Oh that’s too bad! Nice to see you though! We’ll Have to catch up soon!” The woman yelled across the platform. Not likely, Remus thought, she had been enough of a terror at school. Always chasing after him batting her eyelashes and pouting her lips at him. He shook away the mental image and began the journey home.
Eliza poked her head shyly into a few compartments on the train, and promptly pulling it back out again when she saw all of the bigger kids. They seemed somewhat intimidating, not like Fred and George at all. Eventually she found a compartment with only one small boy sitting in it.
“Mind if I sit down?” She asked
“Uh, yeah—I mean no, I mean I don’t mind” He stumbled, looking sheepish.
“Is this your first year at Hogwarts too?” Eliza inquired
“Yes.” The boy replied looking down at the fat toad he was holding in his lap.
“Well, uh, I’m Elizabeth, but everybody calls me Eliza. What’s your name?”
“M’names Neville” He mumbled.
“Nice to meet you Neville!” Eliza smiled, “I’m sure we’ll be great friends.”
Neville nodded and stared determinedly out the window.
“Neville? You know we haven’t left the platform yet…the scenery’s not likely to change” She added helpfully.
Neville’s face flushed with colour, the tips of his ears turning pink.
Just then two boys walked into their compartment, one of them was trying to explain football to the other.
“No, everybody stays on the ground! I’ve already said that!”
“Well it sounds ruddy boring if no one gets to fly. And they can only touch the ball with their feet? ” The smaller boy asked.
“Yes, it’s called football for a reason. Oh, hello you two. I’m Dean.”
“Neville” He identified, looking up.
“And I’m Seamus” said the sandy-haired Irish boy.
“Hi! I’m Eliza!” She chirped happily. “Are you both first years as well?”
“Yep” They replied together.
“This is great! I thought it would be tough making friends, but I’ve already met you three!”
The train chugged to life as they started leaving the platform, kids were hanging out of the windows waving goodbye to their families, and some of the younger kids on the platform were running alongside the train trying to keep up. Eliza smiled a sad smile, she’d always wished she had a younger sibling. Even an older one would have been nice. That was what was so great about the Weasley family. Plenty of kids.
A few minutes later there was a shy knock on the door, and two girls stepped in.
“Hi!” Eliza grinned. “Do you wanna sit with us?”
“Yes thanks” said one of them, the one with the dark hair. “I’m Susan, and this is Hannah.” The other girl waved shyly.
Not ten minutes later all six of them were laughing and chatting, telling each other silly jokes and talking about the most exciting thing they could think about. It was their first year at Hogwarts. What would it be like? Would the classes be fun? What about the teachers? Would they have lots of homework?
Suddenly Neville jumped out of his seat.
“TREVOR!” he shouted.
“What?” said Dean.
“Trevor my toad! He’s gone!” Neville cried, “My Gran’s going to kill me!”
“Don’t worry Neville, we’ll help you find Trevor” Eliza reassured. “Let’s check the corridor.”
Eliza slid the door open and ran straight into a bushy haired girl with her face buried in a book.
“Oh! I’m sorry, excuse me” Eliza blurted.
“Oh no, really I shouldn’t read and walk, there’s just so much to learn about Hogwarts before we get there!” She exclaimed enthusiastically.
“Oh, where are my manners. I’m Hermione Granger. Who are you?”
“Elizabeth Evans, but everyone just calls me Eliza”
“Shouldn’t you be getting changed? We’re nearly there” Hermione hinted.
“Yeah, I suppose I should be, HEY! Have you seen a toad? My friend Neville’s lost his somewhere on the train.”
“Umm, no, I haven’t” Hermione said slowly,
“Well keep your eyes out for him!” Said Eliza turning back into the compartment.
“I didn’t see him out there guys.” She reported, “Sorry Neville, I’m sure he’ll turn up.”
The train came to a stop and the prefects directed the students off of the train.
“Firs’-years! Firs’-years over here!” Eliza heard a booming voice call out. The source, she discovered, was a huge man with a massive black beard. He was at least twice as tall as she was. She cautiously made her way over to the large man, who was currently engaged in conversation with a skinny black-haired boy.
They followed the man, who had identified himself as Hagrid, through a narrow path through a thick forest down to the edge of a massive lake.
“Four to a boat, and no more’n that!” He called out to the group of kids.
The children clambered into the small vessels, which began to steer themselves towards the incredible castle on the other side. It truly was beautiful, silhouetted against the darkening purple sky. There were lights in all of the windows, glowing bright orange against the night. Eliza wondered how it might look in the daytime, impressive, she decided.
Eliza had ended up in a boat with Dean, Hannah and a girl whose name she didn’t know, and didn’t ask, due to the girl’s nose being so high in the air that she was almost looking backwards. Seamus and Susan had gotten into a different boat with two girls who looked like twins. Neville, Eliza had lost in the confusion, but she knew that they would meet up at the school so she wasn’t worried.
The boats moved effortlessly through the dark water, they had to duck under some ivy that was covering the entrance to a tunnel. The tunnel was even darker than it was outside, and it seemed like forever until they reached the end. They disembarked onto a rocky underground shore and followed Hagrid up a path to the surface. They came up right by a pair of massive doors leading into the castle. Hagrid knocked three times on the huge door and it was immediately opened by a strict-looking woman in emerald-green robes.
“Here’s the firs’-years Professor McGonagall.” Hagrid said to her.
She nodded and led the children into a small empty room. Here she explained what was going to happen. They would enter the Great Hall and be sorted into their houses, and she named the four houses. Eliza already knew what they were called, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin, but she supposed that maybe there were a few muggle-borns who might find the information useful. Eliza had already heard all of this from Remus, and also Fred and George. She looked around at her fellow first-years, everybody looked nervous. Some were fidgeting, some scuffing their shoes at the floor, and some nervously whispering to their friends.
“TREVOR!” Neville exclaimed as he leapt forward to catch his toad, which was making one of his frequent bids for freedom. Professor McGonagall looked down her nose at him and tut-tutted. They followed Professor McGonagall into the Great Hall and stood in an awkward line. A three-legged stool was brought to the front of the room, and sitting on it was a battered-looking wizards hat. A rip near the brim of the hat opened up like a mouth and it began to sing. The hat described each of the four houses and the attributes that were associated with it. Gryffindor with courage and daring, Ravenclaw and a thirst for knowledge, Hufflepuff’s loyalty and truthfulness, and Slytherin, with its cunning and ambition. To be honest Eliza didn’t know where she would fit. Only one way to find out she sighed.
The first person to be called was Hannah. Eliza watched eagerly as her friend sat down hesitantly on the stool and McGonagall placed the hat on her head. The hat was silent for a few moments, and then shouted
There was a great cheer from one of the tables in the hall and Hannah smiled and bounced over to join her new housemates. Next was “Bones, Susan” and Eliza could see Hannah’s excitement when their friend was sorted into Hufflepuff as well. The sorting continued and soon it was her turn.
“Evans, Elizabeth” McGonagall called. Eliza walked slowly up to the stool and sat down. The Sorting Hat was placed on her head. ‘hmm’ said the hat and Eliza jumped, it could talk to her? ‘interesting, you’re a clever girl, loyal, and you know how to get what you want, but yet I think…….GRYFFINDOR’ the hat announced. Fred and George cheered enthusiastically for her. Susan and Hannah’s faces fell, Eliza had almost been hoping to be in the same house as some of her friends, but she knew the Weasleys, and Remus was a Gryffindor she noted Eliza smiled and jumped off the stool, eager to sit down and be out of the spotlight. . She was proud to be in this house.
Seamus was the next to be sorted, he was also a Gryffindor, and he came and sat down next to Eliza. She grinned at him
“I’m glad you’re in Gryffindor!” He said
“Me too!” Eliza agreed.
“I was kind of worried that I wouldn’t know anyone.”
“Yeah, so was I, but it’s not like we can’t still talk to our friends if they’re in a different house. Hannah and Susan are both in Hufflepuff.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” Seamus relented.
They turned to watch the sorting, clapping whenever a student was sorted, and clapping especially hard when they got a new Gryffindor. Neville ran over and sat down with them once he was sorted, a look of relief plastered on his face. “Potter, Harry” McGonagall called, and the hall was silent. Then there were whispers, “Harry Potter?” “He’s here?” “The boy-who-lived? He’s at Hogwarts?” The small black-haired boy that Eliza had seen talking to Hagrid when the got off the train shuffled nervously to the stool. The Sorting Hat certainly took its time with Harry, finally shouting out “GRYFFINDOR!” and Eliza’s table erupted into cheers. Fred and George chanting “WE GOT POTTER! WE GOT POTTER!” Harry looked embarrassed by all of the cheering and sat down next to a ghost in a high ruff.
They were nearing the end of the sorting, and students were more subdued in their cheering, eager for the feast that was to follow. Dean joined their table and so did Ron, sitting down next to Harry. Eliza wasn’t surprised; every single Weasley had been sorted into Gryffindor since before anyone could remember. Finally after “Zabini, Blaise” had become a Slytherin Dumbledore stood up. Eliza had met him once before, when he had come to talk to Remus about something. She was only a little girl then, and hadn’t been interested in what the grown-ups were talking about. Dumbledore looked very much the same, with his long silver beard tucked into his belt and his half-moon glasses. He made a few announcements, mostly about the Forbidden Forest being forbidden, which Eliza guessed was directed at Fred and George. After those few announcements had been made the feast began. Food appeared out of nowhere at the tables and everyone started cramming food into their mouths. She spent the rest of the meal talking with Dean and Seamus, and Ron and Harry as well, Eliza thought that Harry seemed like a pretty average kid, despite his famous past.
After the feast Ron’s older brother Percy, a prefect, led the first-years up to Gryffindor tower to the portrait of a very large woman called “The Fat Lady”.
“Password” She prompted.
“Caput Draconis” Percy replied with an air of authority.
“You may enter.” She said, swinging aside.
They stepped through the portrait hole and into a warm, comfortable room.
“This is the common room. Everyone in Gryffindor shares this space so please be respectful.” Percy droned. “Boys, your dormitories are through this door, girls, through that one.” He directed.
Eliza and the other first-year girls made their way up the spiral staircase until they found their room. There were four four-poster beds set up in the room, with red hanging curtains on each one. Eliza would be sharing a dormitory with Lavender Brown, a girl with shoulder-length brown hair and a colourful headband, Parvati Patil, one of the twins she had seen getting on the boat with Seamus and Hannah, and Hermione Granger, the bushy-haired girl she had met on the train. They all seemed pretty nice, it didn’t look like they were going to have too many problems. Eliza changed quickly into her nightgown and flopped onto the bed beside the window. It had been such an exciting day, but she was exhausted. It looked as if the other girls were feeling the same way as they crawled into bed and fell straight asleep too. Eliza smiled, it had been such a good day.
A/N So this chapter is obviously much longer than the first four. It was originally chapters 5, 6, and 7.... but now it's all chapter 5. Looking back I realize that while 1200 words may sound like, well, 1200 words, it really isn't very long. So I will be doing my utmost to keep making chapters this legnth.
Also, after reading through the first four chapters again, I realized how much of a hurry I was in to get the prologue done with. I'm not entirely happy with them, but I will leave them for now, because all of the needed information is in them, I'm just not happy with the rushed-feeling and writing quality of them. I will eventually get around to editing them and re-publishing them.
The names of my chapters are all songs on my ipod, I press shuffle and choose the seventh song....somehow it almost always fits** and the title is from Robert Munsch's Love You Forever. I love that book.
Massively long author's note ends here!
**except when I get one of my Russian lessons, or a song about Doctor Who.
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