Through the Veil
'What's the matter?'
Elizabeth had strode into the kitchen of 12 Grimmauld Place to find Sirius and Remus reading off a hastily scribbled note which, she could see, bore Severus' seal. Neither of them looked especially pleased.
Lupin turned, and replied slowly, 'Don't be too concerned, Lizzie. But it's Harry… he had a vision of Sirius, we think, kidnapped and brought to the Department of Mysteries – how he finds out all he does is a wonder, but… and don't be too worried, Lizzie, please… he was caught earlier in Dolores Umbridge's office, and they went out into the forest together and… well, they've not been seen since.'
She was mute with shock for a moment, and Sirius took the opportunity to close the gap between them. 'Lizzie, listen to Remus. He's going to be fine. We're going to – '
'What?!' she screamed, going into full planning mode. 'And we're just standing here? You've got to be kidding me. It's a trap, Sirius – he's trying to get Harry to go to the Department of Mysteries!'
'Yes. And now we're going to go make sure he's alright. Or, rather, I am – ' Remus began, but Sirius interrupted, 'Or, rather, we are. That's my Godson, Remus, I'm not letting you go by yourself – Merlin knows what You-Know-Who's doing.'
'I'm coming with you,' Elizabeth added, summoning her cloak. 'I'll be able to find him faster – I can fly through the departments.'
'No,' Remus told her cautiously. 'You're going to stay here. Moody, Tonks, and Kingsley are on their way, and make sure you get ahold of Dumbledore, and tell them to meet us there. Then, I need you to go to Hogwarts, and search the forests again with Severus.'
'But, Remus, you can't! It's Harry's life that's in danger, I can't just – '
'For all we know, Elizabeth, he's just lost in the forest with Umbridge.'
'I somehow doubt that,' Sirius muttered. 'Why not let her come? She'd be useful.'
'No,' he replied, and then turned again to Elizabeth. 'I want you to stay safe. As your Godfather, and as your friend, I won't let anything happen to you, Elizabeth. Nothing. Promise me you'll do as I say.'
Adamant at first, Elizabeth nodded. 'Fine. But the moment – the second – you are coming back, tell me. I want news. The moment it's safe, I expect to be informed. Is that clear?'
'As crystal,' Remus nodded, embracing her. 'Now, get started. We'll see you soon.'
'See you soon,' Elizabeth replied, 'and be careful.'
'Careful?' Sirius barked, grinning, and pulling her into a tight hug, 'It's the Death Eaters who'll have to be careful. I've got a bone to pick with one or two of them…'
Winking, Sirius followed Remus out the door and to the Apparition point, leaving Elizabeth to rally the rest of the troops.
They'd searched the forests, and now all she could do was wait, hidden in Poppy's office, for news of Harry and the others. It seemed as if weeks had passed for Elizabeth when Severus strode up the alleyway between the cots to where she sat.
'Potter's alive,' he answered, before she had even voiced the question. 'Tonks, the Weasley children, Granger, Kingsley, Lupin, Dumbledore, Longbottom, and the Lovegood girl are all alright. A little worse for wear, perhaps, but alive.'
'And Sirius?' she asked as she stepped towards him, not missing a beat. 'And what about Sirius, Severus?'
He was silent a moment, and then replied, 'Bellatrix Lestrange sent him through the Veil.'
Her face whiter than the hospital sheets, eyes wide, she pleaded weakly, 'No… no, he can't be – Severus, there must be some mistake, he can't – '
'He's gone, Elizabeth.' At his words, she began to fall, and he quickly caught her up in his arms. Her eyes were still open, and tears were beginning to fall.'He can't be, Severus,' she muttered weakly, not letting him release her. 'He just can't…'