She must have fallen asleep at some point because she was woken up by a knocking on the front door.
Even the slightest noise could wake her up, but this was probably because of nearly ten years of living with the Dursley’s.
There was another knocking louder this time.
She heard an irate Uncle Vernon going to answer the door.
“Alright alright I’m coming!” he shouted, “have some patience will you!”
She could hear a muffled conversation through her cupboard door.
“Who are you?” snarled Uncle Vernon.
“I am Professor Minerva McGonagall.”
“And I’m the Queen of England,” said Uncle Vernon trying to shut the door in her face.
“I have just received a very strange letter from your niece Miss Elizabeth Potter.”
“I don’t have any niece, now please leave my family alone.”
“What is going on Vernon?” asked aunt Petunia coming out of the kitchen, she had been making dinner for two, Dudley was at one of his friends for tea.
“This stupid old woman seems to want to want to talk to the girl,” he sneered.
“Only five seconds ago, you tried claiming there was no girl,” said McGonagall pursing her lips.
“What do you want?” asked Aunt Petunia stiffly.
“I wish it talk to Miss Potter about the letter she sent me this afternoon.”
So they had got the letter! She tried opening the cupboard door but it was locked.
“What in the blazes are you talking about?”
“I am the Deputy Headmistress at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”
“What utter jibberish,” said Uncle Vernon trying to shut the door.
But Professor McGonagall put her foot in front of the door to stop it from closing.
“You are an extremely rude man Mr. Dursley,” said Professor McGonagall pushing her way past Uncle Vernon who was still blocking the doorway.
“How do you know my name?” he asked gobsmacked.
“Of course, I know your name you jabbering idiot, you are Elizabeth Potter’s guardian.”
“Now, will you please tell me where Miss Potter is?”
“Leave our family alone, we don’t want anything to do with your freak school!” said Aunt Petunia.
“Don’t you point that thing at my wife!” screamed Uncle Vernon.
“Then get out of my way,” said McGonagall calmly.
“Fine,” muttered Uncle Vernon.
Professor McGonagall headed upstairs to check the bedrooms but couldn’t find any young girl, there wasn’t any sign that another child lived here at all, but this was the correct address.
Elizabeth didn’t know what was going on, this woman was looking for her searching through the house. Half of her hoped that they would find her and take her away from the Dursleys, the other half of her was scared because she was a stranger.
As Professor McGonagall came back downstairs, she noticed that Mr. and Mrs. Dursley were still standing outside the door to the cupboard under the stairs.
She hoped that her suspicions were incorrect, surely even they wouldn’t make a child live there.
“Move aside!” she whispered her voice full of malice.
“Make me!” said Uncle Vernon threateningly.
Elizabeth heard Uncle Vernon whimpering for some reason. Maybe she was better with the Dursley’s if this woman could scare Uncle Vernon quite this much.
She tried to steady her breathing and clung Boris the teddy bear close as she heard the soft click of the cupboard door.
She closed her eyes tight shut as she was assaulted by the bright light from the end of a wand. It had been pitch black in the cupboard and there was now a bright light shining in.
Professor McGonagall stared as she dropped her wand in shock. This child who was not even quite eleven years old was being forced to sleep in a cupboard.
Cowering nervously at the back of the cupboard on top of a thin mattress was the savior of their wizarding world.
Professor McGonagall was a tall imposing witch who at the moment was wearing an emerald green muggle dress and had her hair in a neat bun.
As Professor McGonagall tried to recompose herself, sparks flew out of her wand she made Elizabeth even more nervous.
McGonagall snapped her head around and glared at the Dursley’s.
“Explain,” she spat looking at the trembling Dursley’s.
“Nothing to explain,” shrugged Uncle Vernon finding his voice back, “she just seems to like it in there.”
“If she was in there by choice,” seethed McGonagall, “why was the door locked? And if this isn’t her bedroom, why is there a mattress if you can call it that.”
Uncle Vernon opened his mouth as if trying to find something to say but closed his mouth again deciding against it.
McGonagall shook her head and decided to come back to this later.
“Miss Potter,” said McGonagall poking her head around the door, “I am the deputy headmistress at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”
“The letter?” she whispered.
“Yes dear, I received your letter,” nodded McGonagall, “but I was confused by it, you seemed to think you are not a witch.”
“Because she’s not,” interrupted Aunt Petunia.
“She’s not a freak,” she spat.
“Miss Potter is certainly not a freak,” said McGonagall, “but she is a witch like her mother before her.”
“My Mum was a witch?” asked Elizabeth finally stopping cowering against the wall and coming out of the cupboard her curiosity overpowering her fear.
“As was your father,” said McGonagall smiling slightly, “one of the best witches and wizards of their age.”
“If they were a witch and wizard why did they die in a car crash?”
“Don’t ask questions girl,” snarled Uncle Vernon clenching onto her arm again.
“She’s not going anywhere!”
Uncle Vernon pushed her back into the cupboard again and locked the door.
“That is where you are wrong,” said McGonagall calmly moving Uncle Vernon away from the door.
“Pack your things, Miss Potter,’ said McGonagall standing in the doorway, “we are leaving, you won’t be coming back.”
Elizabeth nodded frantically as she clamored around her mattress. She put her book in the shoebox with the drawings and carefully folded away her clothes into a shopping bag, and put Boris on top.
“Is that everything you have Miss Potter?”
“Um yes,” she muttered nodding slightly.
“You aren’t taking her anywhere!” called Uncle Vernon blocking the front door as Elizabeth came out of the cupboard with her things.
“If you don’t get out of the way right now!” threatened McGonagall pulling out her wand, “you will regret it!”
Uncle Vernon gulped and moved away from the door.
Elizabeth couldn’t believe her luck; she was going to be getting away from the Dursleys and they weren’t trying to stop her.
She clutched firmly onto her few things as she walked slowly towards the door almost shaking in case, they changed their minds.
“Come on dear,” said Professor McGonagall gently holding out her hand as Elizabeth left the house.
She clammed up as Professor McGonagall reached for her hand.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” she said gently.
Elizabeth nodded slightly and took hold of the woman’s hand nervously. She moved the shoebox under her arm and carried the clothes bag in her free hand.
“Would you like me to take your bag?” asked McGonagall.
Elizabeth shook her head nervously, this shopping bag and shoe box contained everything she owned in the world.
“Hold on tight then,” said McGonagall, “we are going to apparate, it is a very fast form of travel, but you need to hold on tight to my hand.”
Elizabeth nodded and secured her shoebox under her arm before they spun away.
They were whisked away from Privet Drive; she had never felt so strange. It was almost as if she had been sucked away and she was spinning at a thousand turns a second.
Soon they landed in a village in the Scottish Highlands.
Elizabeth had to swallow down some sick as they arrived in Hogsmeade.
“You alright?” asked Professor McGonagall.
“Hmm,” she muttered getting her breath back.
“We are in Hogsmeade”, Hogwarts is just a mile up the path.”
Elizabeth let go of her hand as they walked along the path up to the school and soon they arrived at Hogwarts.
The school was magnificent, she could almost imagine it being part of her book, next thing she knew Lancelot and Guinevere would be walking around one of the corners, and she could swear she could see Merlin looking at them out of one of the tower windows.
They walked into the school and Elizabeth looked around at the tapestries in the entranceway.
A man with a long white beard and even longer hair, who she had thought at first glance was Merlin, had just come to greet them.
“Hello Minerva,” he beamed, “And who is this young lady?”
Elizabeth looked at him curiously but didn’t say anything.
“Albus, this is Elizabeth Potter, Elizabeth, this is Professor Dumbledore.”
“It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Potter,” said Dumbledore kindly holding out a hand.
Elizabeth flinched away again.
“Minerva,” said Dumbledore looking at Elizabeth’s bag and shoebox, “I thought we agreed that Elizabeth was going to stay living with her aunt and uncle for the time being.”
“You didn’t see what I saw Albus,” seethed McGonagall through clenched teeth.
“I’m sure it can’t have been that bad,” said Dumbledore.
“She was sleeping in a cupboard under the stairs, those meager possessions she’s holding are everything she owns in the world, and I think that her Uncle has been hurting her.”
“Elizabeth is all this true?” he asked gently.
Elizabeth bit her lip slightly but nodded.
“I still think she should go back to her aunt and uncle,” sighed Dumbledore.
“Are you mad Albus!” she screamed.
“She didn’t even know she was a witch! For Merlin’s sake Albus, they told her Lily and James died in a car crash!!”
Elizabeth trembled slightly as Professor McGonagall screamed with rage.
“You are right Minerva, but at least she is safe,” he admitted.
“Safe!” she screamed again getting more shrill.
“They’ve been throwing her around like a ragdoll, the man is a thug!”
“Mr. Dursley has been hurting her?” he asked frantically.
“You saw this Minerva?”
“I saw him throw her in her cupboard, and she flinches away every time anyone tries to touch her.”
Elizabeth was now terrified, she had clearly done something wrong to make Professor McGonagall this upset, maybe this meant she wouldn’t be able to school here.
“Minerva calm down,” said Dumbledore firmly, “I believe you.”
“Are you going to send me back?” stammered Elizabeth, talking for the first time, she had known all of this was too good to be true.
“No, of course not,” said Dumbledore smiling.
“Minerva, if you could take Elizabeth to your office, I’m sure she has many questions, I’ll go contact Remus.”
“She should have been with Remus in the first place,” said McGonagall shaking her head as they went up the stairs to her office.
“You’re very quiet for someone who’s just found out about Hogwarts,” said McGonagall chuckling slightly.
“I’m not supposed to talk to strangers,” said Elizabeth.
“That is very true, but firstly you have already talked to me, and secondly we know each other’s names and are therefore not strangers.”
“I’m not supposed to ask questions.”
“Of all the ridiculous things I’ve ever heard,” she muttered as they reached her office, “well go on fire away.”
Elizabeth thought for a moment.
“If Mum and Dad didn’t die in a car crash how did they die?”
“That is a very good question,” sighed McGonagall as they sat down, “but I’m afraid there is no easy answer to it.”
“Are you hungry dear?” she asked.
Elizabeth shook her head.
“Well then as you don’t know anything I’d best start from the beginning. There was once a very ambitious young wizard called Tom Riddle, but not all wizards are good.”
“Tom Riddle or,” McGonagall gulped, “Voldemort as he later became known was one of the worst wizards there have even been. He didn’t like muggleborns like your mother, witches, or wizards from non-magical families.”
“Is that why Aunt Petunia called Mum a freak earlier because she was magic but not from a magical family?”
“Yes,” McGonagall nodded
“Well your parents along with many other witches and wizards including Professor Dumbledore and myself tried to fight against him.”
“Is he still alive now?”
“No, he died nearly ten years ago. On Halloween night when you were a baby, Tom Riddle came to kill you and your parents.”
McGonagall struggled for a moment.
“We still don’t know why, but he managed to kill Lily and James, but he couldn’t kill you.”
“What?” breathed Elizabeth.
“He tried, but it didn’t work, he ended up dying himself.”
“So,” Elizabeth stuttered, “my parents were murdered?”
“Yes, and you survived which is why you have that scar. You saved our wizarding world.”
“And I was sent to live with my Aunt and Uncle who hate magic?”
“Professor Dumbledore thought it was safer, he was sorely mistaken.”
“So where am I going to go?” she asked nervously.
Did they even have children’s homes in the wizarding world, or would she get shunted from house to house to families who didn’t actually want her?
“Remus Lupin, he was good friends with your parents, he is also your godfather.”
“So why didn’t I go with him ten years ago?”
“People were upset,” sighed McGonagall, “Tom’s supporters were searching for you everywhere, Albus thought it best to hide you with muggles.”
“I suppose that makes sense,” she muttered pulling at a strand of unraveling wool on her jumper.
She heard rushing and yelling out in the corridor.
“Where’s my Beth!” a man called breathlessly as he came rushing into the office.
He had mousy brown hair, which was greying slightly, and chocolate-colored eyes. He was tall and skinny, and his robe was slightly patched.
“Beth,” he sighed in relief running his fingers through his hair as he saw the tiny girl in the oversized clothes. She didn’t look like Lily or James, but those were his goddaughters’ grey-blue eyes.
Without a second thought, he walked towards her for a hug.
“Don’t touch me!” she screamed flinching away from him.
“I’m sorry,” said Remus getting back up looking confused, most little girls didn’t flinch away from hugs.
“I didn’t mean to scare you, sweetheart.”
Elizabeth tried to resteady her breathing as Remus looked at McGonagall confused.
“She’s been physically abused Remus,” McGonagall tried to explain, “I don’t know to what extent yet, I suggest you take her into St. Mungos.”
“Are you trying to tell me,” said Remus trying to keep as calm as he could, “that Albus has kept her away from for nearly ten years so she could be safe, only for that rotten family to hurt her anyway?”
“Yes,” sighed McGonagall.
“I’ll bloody kill them!” he seethed his eyes lighting up with rage.
“No Remus you won’t,” said Dumbledore calmly, “because if you do, you’ll end up in Azkaban whereas right now Elizabeth needs you.”
Remus turned on Dumbledore who had just come in.
“I’m sorry Remus, I should have listened to you ten years ago.”
“Your apologies Albus are ten years late,” said McGonagall as Remus tried to calm down, “what matters right now though Remus is getting Elizabeth home.”
Remus took a steadying breath and looked at the little girl who was close to tears, there had been so much shouting today and she never liked shouting, she was pretty close to finally breaking down.
“Are you ok sweetheart?” he asked gently crouching down to talk to her.
“Hmm,” she muttered pulling at the loose strand of wool again.
“Do you want to go home?”
Elizabeth smiled slightly.
“That does sound nice,” she muttered.
Elizabeth got up from her chair and picked up her things.
“Is that all you’ve got darling?”
“Hmmm,” she nodded picking up her shoebox.
“Well then sounds like we need to go shopping,” he whispered his eyes wide with excitement as he took her bag.
Elizabeth stopped for a moment before holding out her hand.
Remus beamed as he took her hand in his bag free hand.
“See you in September Elizabeth,” said Dumbledore as they left the office.
They walked to the apparition boundary together hand in hand.
“Ok now sweetheart, hold on tight, we’re going to apparate, I’m taking you home,” he beamed.