The Triwizard Tournament
At the beginning of term supper, Harry looked up to the staff table and noticed, for the first time, Elizabeth sitting beside Professor Sinistra, talking to Snape, who sat at her other side. Catching her eye, she smiled and waved Hagrid-like from her place at the table.
Noticing where Harry was looking, Hermione followed his gaze and scanned the staff table. 'Where's the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher?'
'Maybe Elizabeth's doing it, since they couldn't find one?' Harry suggested, glancing around the table again.
'No, no, she's still in training, remember? She was working to get into Transfiguration.' Anxiously, she suggested, 'Maybe they couldn't get anyone!'
Shrugging, Harry went back to observing the teachers, and counting the minutes until their supper appeared before them.
When they had had their fill of the delicious Hogwarts food (minus Hermione, who had adamantly scoffed, 'Slave labour – that's what made this food, slave labour!'). Dumbledore stood. Harry, full and content, only really started paying attention when he heard Dumbledore say, '… the Inter-House Quidditch Cup will not take place this year -' ('What? Harry gasped, whilst his teammates mouthed wordlessly at the Headmaster) '- This is due,' Dumbledore continued, 'to an event that will be starting in October, and continuing throughout the school year, taking up much of the teachers' time and energy – but I am sure you will all enjoy it immensely. I have great pleasure in announcing that this year at Hogwarts –'
Elizabeth jumped at Moody's entrance, and did not settle again until Dumbledore continued, 'As I was saying – we are to have the honour of hosting a very exciting event over the coming months, and event that has not been held for over a century. It is my very great pleasure to inform you that the Triwizard Tournament will be taking place at Hogwarts this year.'
Laughter filled the Hall as Dumbledore continued, 'I am not joking, Mr Weasley, though now that you mention it, I did hear an excellent one over the summer about a troll, a hag, and a leprechaun who all go into a bar…'
Professor McGonagall cleared her throat and glanced over at Elizabeth, who had snorted into her pumpkin juice. Her thin lips attempted to hide a smile as she watched Elizabeth struggle to keep her giggles contained.
'Er – but maybe this is not the time… no…'
Dumbledore continued his speech, McGonagall muttered quietly to Elizabeth, 'He told me that one during the Professors' Supper – it is most certainly not the time.'
Thankfully, Elizabeth's burst of laughter was drowned out by the sound of benches scraping against flagstone. 'Minerva!'
She smirked, and moved to stand. 'Ensure you are in the Transfiguration classroom by nine thirty tomorrow morning, hmm, Elizabeth? Class begins at ten.'
'I can't wait,' Elizabeth replied, moving to join her.
'Elizabeth,' Dumbledore called from his place at the head of the table, 'Would you join me, please, for a walk around the lake?'
Smiling, Elizabeth followed him out through the back door and onto the castle's battlements.
'I believe congratulations are in order, my dear,' Dumbledore smiled as they looked out over the lake.
Blushing, Elizabeth replied, 'Thank you, Albus.'
'Although I must say… after the way you two were always together, I'm not particularly surprised.'
'We did spend a lot of time together when we were here, didn't we.'
'How you two got any work done is still a mystery to me.'
'It was all me, I assure you,' she told him, linking her arm through his. 'Between Quidditch and all the time he spent with Hagrid and Professor Kettleburn, it's a wonder he got most of his essays done.'
'And, I'm sure, between that and spending time with a certain young witch…?'
'Most of that was spent writing said essays, I'm afraid,' she laughed. 'If he had had his way, we would've spent our time doing… other things.'
She blushed, and Dumbledore laughed. 'Ah, young love! Such a feeling of freedom and possibilities and passion.' He paused, and continued, 'And you're sure he's the one?'
'I love him.'
'He makes you happy?'
She nodded, and they stopped at the edge of the water. 'It's so beautiful out here, Albus. I can see why you've never taken up the offer to become Minister for Magic.'
He was silent a moment, and then replied absently, 'Yes. Yes, I could never leave Hogwarts.'
'Are you okay?'
'…alright.' They stood in silence until the mood had raised high over the mountains, and Elizabeth realized Albus was far away, dreaming of some long remembered past, or a long imagined future. Kissing his cheek, she left without a word, leaving him to remember his own young love, and the moments he wished he could have made it an old one.