Goodbye, and Good Luck
'He's back. He's back. Voldemort.'
Harry had appeared, clutching the body of Cedric Diggory in one hand, and the cup in another.
Dumbledore and Fudge had jumped up to Harry's side, but Severus had stopped Elizabeth from joining the crowd.
'No, Severus, let me go – I need to see him – '
At that exact moment, a chorus of, 'He's dead!' rang out from the pitch.'
'What!' Elizabeth struggled against Severus' grasp. 'Severus, I have to – '
'But Harry – '
'It's the Diggory boy, Elizabeth.'
'Doesn't mean I don't want to be near him! Where is he?' Breaking free from Severus' grasp, Elizabeth pushed her way through the crowd that had formed to where the Triwizard Cup stood. Harry was nowhere to be seen.
'Where did he go?'
Pushing through behind her, Severus grabbed her arm. 'Elizabeth, come, you can see him in the hospital wing.'
'Where is he? Severus, where did he go?!'
Indeed, the boy had gone.
'But Severus - !'
'I said, wait here. I'll fetch the headmaster.'
Elizabeth stayed, attempting to glance around the grounds, looking for him.
Tapping her on the shoulder, Albus said into her ear, 'I need you to stay in my office. No, Elizabeth, I will have no objections. Go to my office and wait.'
'But, Albus – '
Shocked, Elizabeth transformed, but did not do as she was told.
She waited, more calm than could be expected, in the darkness of Severus' office. She knew he would have to come down here to retrieve any potions that the headmaster might need for the excavation of the truth, and so she would persuade him into allowing her to listen in. She could be something as small as a mouse in his pocket – the headmaster would never know.
Eventually her patience rewarded her, because after only a few minutes, Severus appeared, and began searching his desk. It was not until a minute of searching did he see the cat curled up on his chair.
'Elizabeth. Did not the headmaster tell you to wait in his office?'
She transformed back into her human form, and replied, 'Technically, yes, but really, he just wanted me to be somewhere safe. What's safer than sitting as a cat in a darkened room?'
'Sitting as a cat in the headmaster's office. Would that not have been more comfortable?'
'Perhaps…' she began sweetly, 'but if I were in his office, I wouldn't be able to – '
'I said no, Elizabeth. If anything happened to you, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself. You will make your way to the headmaster's office and stay there. Do you understand?'
She sighed. 'Severus, I could go up to Moody's office alone, or I could go hidden in your robes. It makes no difference to me, except I'm sure I would be safer under your protection.'
'Elizabeth, please do not do this to me.'
'Put me in this situation.'
'Well, then, just say yes, and Albus will never be the wiser, I promise.'
'Yes, he will.'
'… I'll lie and say I snuck into your robes?'
'And you think he will believe that?'
'You can be my corroboration.'
'I don't have time for this,' Severus muttered. 'Get in. And if you make so much as a squeak, I shall feed you to Mrs. Norris, do you understand?'
'Yes, sir!' she saluted, and, transforming into the form of a mouse, waited for him to pick her up.
He did so, but before she knew what he was doing, he placed her under an aerated vase, and charmed it to ensure she did not transform again. 'You will stay, Elizabeth.' She squeaked in protest. 'You will stay, and I will retrieve you soon.'
At that, he left her, trapped in a bell jar jail, entirely cheesed off.
It was hours until Severus returned, and Elizabeth was not impressed.
'What in the world, Severus?'
'I am sorry, Elizabeth, but there has been much going on and – '
'Well, I would have known that if I wasn't trapped in a bloody bell jar for four hours!'
'Elizabeth, please. I let you out eventually, and Potter's waiting. I, on the other hand, must go.'
'But why - ?' He gave her a look, and her anger melted away. 'You're rejoining them, aren't you?'
'Yes, on Dumbledore's order.'
'I will be back at earliest convenience.'
Knowing she would never dare even express concern for his following such an important order, she simply put her arms around his neck, and pecked his sallow cheek gently. 'Be careful, and I will see you soon.' She let go quickly.
'Potter is waiting for you, Elizabeth. You had better go.'
She nodded, and glanced back only once as she exited his office. He was facing away from her, and holding his Death Eater's mask with an almost fearful look upon his face.
As Harry pulled his trunk off the overhead compartment, he heard a soft voice behind him.
'Harry, I don't have much time.' She looked tired and haggard, and seemed ready to fall asleep where she stood.
'Where have you been, Elizabeth?'
'Don't ask,' she replied. 'I just had to make sure I saw you before you went to the Dursley's.'
'Do you know what –'
'Yes, I do.' She looked close to tears. 'I'm sorry, Harry, I'm so sorry. I didn't… Albus needed me to… I didn't mean to not see you.'
'Where've you been during the train ride? You could've sat with us, at least.'
'I literally just flew in. Well, on. Onto the train, that is.' She took a breath, and continued. 'I know you've probably heard this about five billion times, Harry, but if you need anything… I know you don't feel okay, I know I wouldn't, but if you need anything…'
'I… no, Elizabeth. I'm fine.'
'Are you sure?'
'Oh.' Shocked by his abruptness, she stood again. 'Well, if you need me over the next few weeks… just… you know. Hedwig will find me.'
'Yeah. I know.'
Looking confused, she stumbled over her words. 'Oh-ohkay, then.' She moved as if she were going to go in for a hug, but perhaps thought better of it. 'I'll see you soon, Harry.'
Nodding, she turned away, transformed again into the golden phoenix and apparated to who knew where.And Harry, for once, could not care less.