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The swans floating serenely on the garden pond transfixed the young woman as she watched them from the comfort of the bench that she occupied. Her life had changed so much in the previous months and, although she still lived where she had her entire life, she knew that yet another large change would come in the not too distant future.

Elizabeth Blackwell-Potter glanced up at the sound of wings overhead and then watched as the dark plumed owl landed next to her to deliver an expected envelope. She reached into her pocket and withdrew a nugget, hoping that Stormy didn’t notice the trespassing raptor and the treat that it was receiving. The young witch watched as the bird took wing and then rapidly disappeared as it flew towards its next delivery before opening the envelope that she had received.

As she had expected the letter informing her about the start of the new term unfolded itself to give her the news before wishing her a good day and then refolding itself. The other piece of parchment was her list of needed items for the classes as well as the necessary volumes that she needed to visit Flourish and Blotts to purchase. She had already received the letters from Professor Bellins that guaranteed that she was still a part of P.E.T.S. and that the ministry would be footing the bill for the things that she needed for school.

What she had not yet received and was beginning to bother her, was the letter naming the Head Boy and Head Girl for the new term to come. It would be someone from her year and, although she was very certain who the Head Boy would be, the name of the Head Girl was still unknown. The competition was fierce for this coveted position and she knew that she was still in the running for it, the fact that she had given up her post as a Prefect for the post of Teaching Assistant having no bear on the decision.

Elizabeth didn’t necessarily want to beat out her friends Lily and Beatrice, they were too close for that sort of thing to come between them, but there were other girls that she didn’t want to see with that crowning pin. She and her friends had spent much of the summer talking about the honor that each of them hoped for.


She turned to see her mother at the door to their home and rose to walk up to the house that was still home. Her parents had, although she was married to Albus Potter, refused to allow her to move to the home that he owned. She was still seventeen and they didn’t think it proper that she do so until her final term at Hogwarts was ended and she was a full adult. There had been a few arguments and it was only when her grandparents agreed with her mother and father that she had acquiesced and remained calling the house home.

When she arrived at the house her mother rushed to usher her inside.

“What is it, Mother, why are you so excited?”

“You have to wait until you are in the parlor to find out,” Victoria Blackwell answered.

Confused and more than a little concerned by her mother’s attitude, the young witch walked with her parent to the indicated room and stopped short when she saw Professors Leeds and McGonagall standing in the room talking to her father and grandparents. They turned with smiles on their faces as she entered the room and then stepped forward to hug the trembling girl.

“How have you been, Elizabeth?” Tobias Leeds asked.

“I’ve been more than a little bored. I can’t wait until we get back to school.”

“This is definitely the Elizabeth that I remember from the last five terms,” Minerva McGonagall added as she hugged the girl again.

“Why are you here, Professor Leeds, Professor McGonagall?”

“Well,” Professor McGonagall began after Professor Leeds had nodded to her, “we wanted to let you know the results of the decision about Head Girl. You probably have already guessed who the Head Boy is, haven’t you?”

“Benjamin Randolph?”

“Exactly correct, you’ve noticed exactly what we as staff and the Governors of Hogwarts have. The decision about the Head Girl was not so easy, however, as there were several very qualified applicants, but a decision has been made.”

“And that’s why you’re here, to tell me who it is?”


“Elizabeth, two of the candidates for the post were equal in points and it was only the fact that one of those candidates stepped aside that allowed us to come to the decision that we have,” Professor Leeds said slowly.

“I don’t understand Professor Leeds. Who stepped aside and in favor of whom?”

“Elizabeth, Lily Potter stepped aside for you.” Professor McGonagall answered. “She claimed that she would not accept the post, that you had earned it more than she.”

“What? She can’t do that, she earned this just as much as I did, it’s not fair.”

“Are you saying that you don’t want the honor that Miss Potter has allowed you to have,” Tobias Leeds questioned.

The young witch turned to the wizard who towered over her and then spoke with clear, crisp tones.

“I wanted it, yes; I mean who doesn’t want to be named Head Girl? It’s what we all hope for the entire time we are in school, to end our seventh year with that honor. But Lily is my friend, my best friend, and I don’t know if I can accept the honor if she stepped aside so that I could have it, I just don’t know if I can do it.”

“Elizabeth,” Minerva McGonagall began as the girl sat down in a chair, “Miss Potter knew that you would react this way. She told us exactly how you would respond and she was incredibly correct. Lily Potter is a true friend, and you know that, which is exactly why she said that if you did not accept it then neither could she. It would go to the next person on the points standing.”

“And who is that?”

“Abigail Shoman.”

“Abigail Shoman, the Prefect from Slytherin? How did she get enough points to even be in the running?”

“Her actions during the last term managed to overshadow what had occurred before then. She is still several points behind Miss Potter and yourself.”

“What about Beatrice Campbell, she has to be close!”

“She was ten points behind Miss Shoman, definitely in the running, but she was not close enough to prevail.”

“Has she been informed?”

“Yes, Elizabeth, we talked to her just a short time ago, she was understandably upset but she was happy that one of her friends was receiving the accolade.”

“I really don’t want it this way.”

“Then we need to inform Miss Shoman of your decision?”

Elizabeth looked up at the headmaster and then shook her head.

“I accept the honor, but I’m still not happy about winning it this way.”

“It is settled then, Mrs. Blackwell-Potter, I wish to congratulate you on being named Head Girl for this new upcoming term.”

Elizabeth sat quietly while the others in the room watched her carefully. All knew that she had been under near constant assault by a number of Legilimens that were allied to the Dark Lord. As a result, the girl had become very temperamental and at times volatile, something that worried them. They knew that she was under assault at that very moment and that she had inadvertently let her guard down during the stressful moments of the revelation about her new status.

‘Let me in, Elizabeth, let me in and all of this will come to an end!’

The young witch trembled for a moment and they watched as the expression on her face became pained before it hardened once more and she responded with a vengeance against the person that wanted control of her thoughts.


In her mind, through the breach that his attempts had created, Elizabeth saw Marcus Beales-Armstrong hurled backwards to fall atop several other wizards that she dimly saw in the room that he occupied. She saw his angered face as he attempted reentry only to have the door slammed shut and forcibly locked against his attempts. Elizabeth settled back into the chair, pale and trembling, as her family and the professors hurried to her aid.

“Elizabeth, are you okay?” Victoria asked as she knelt next to her stricken child.

“It was him again, Marcus Beales-Armstrong, he wants me to give in! He wants me to surrender to his will,’ the girl replied with a trembling voice.

“Are you okay?” Victoria repeated.

“Yeah, but it was a bad one that time. He almost got through on this attempt. I was distracted and he took advantage of it.”

“I am so sorry, Elizabeth, we had no idea,” Tobias Leeds apologized.

“It’s okay. I just never know when they are going to make an attempt. They have even tried at night while I am sleeping and its terrible then. I usually wake up screaming.”

“But you’re able to fight them off, aren’t you?”

“Oh yeah,” the girl responded as the fire returned to her eyes, “they take a lot more damage than they give. They still haven’t figured out who they are dealing with when they try to get in.”

“You actually have fun with it, don’t you?”

Elizabeth looked up at Professor McGonagall and nodded as a grin crossed her face.

“It’s great seeing the look on their faces when I give them a headache that a bottle of Pain-B-Gone couldn’t cure. I can actually sometimes see the pain that the backlash causes them before they break the connection.”

The girl, having rallied, rose to her feet and to her full height as she looked the professors in the eyes.

“I guess that if I’m Head Girl I need deputies, don’t I?”

“That is rather traditional,” McGonagall answered.

“Then I want the three of them as such with Lily Potter being my chief.”

“You’re going to include Miss Shoman?” a stunned headmaster stuttered.

“If I don’t there will be more dissension. This allows them to save face while also making an attempt to heal old wounds.”

“I understand your point, Elizabeth, and it is a very wise thing to do.”

“Then I wish them informed of my decision and their status.”

“This will mean that Miss Campbell is going to be elevated above the rank of Prefect. Are you certain that you wish to do this?”

“Why not, she’s kind and helpful and I often seek her thoughts on a problem.”

Tobias Leeds nodded as he realized what the girl was doing; she was surrounding herself with people wise enough to serve as counselors. The headmaster reached into his pocket to pull forth a pin and then stepped forward to attach it to the robes of the girl.

“Congratulations, Elizabeth, you are the Head Girl at Hogwarts for this term with all of the rights and responsibilities that come with the post. I assume that you shall continue to serve as a teaching assistant in Transfiguration?”

“That was my intent.”

“Most excellent, I shall look forward to seeing you in the halls once more. Your new robes denoting your status shall arrive momentarily, making it unnecessary for you to purchase robes for school unless you want to.”

“Thank you, Professor Leeds. I shall do my best to make certain that I am the person for the job and to allay any misgivings that Lily has about her decision. I still wish that she hadn’t done it, though.”

Minerva McGonagall stepped forward to hug her student and then stepped back to vanish with a POP a moment after Professor Leeds had. Elizabeth noticed something and realized that a parcel from Hogwarts had arrived at the same time as their departure. She stepped closer to it and watched as it opened to reveal her new robes, complete with a badge that proclaimed her as Head Girl. The girl looked at it for a moment before looking at her mother and speaking.

“Pinch me please.”

“Why in the name of Merlin should I do that, Elizabeth?”

“Mom, I want you to do it so I know that this is real and not something in my mind.”

The girl yelped a moment later as the pinch to her arm registered in her mind. It was all really happening, she had become Head Girl at Hogwarts. It was all rather painful, though, as she realized just what Lily had given up so that her friend could have. She looked down at the robes once again before reaching to touch them. The badge that proclaimed its wearer as Head Girl shone in the light that was filtering into the room and she admired the intricate Hogwarts crest that took up much of it.

“Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma, can we go to Diagon Alley today? I really want to get my books before the new, nice ones are gone.”

“You want to go today?” Victoria asked.

“Please, Mom, I really want to go; besides Lily will probably be there with her family and I can’t wait to talk to her. I need to thank her and then strangle her for doing what she did. What was she thinking?”

“She was thinking that you are her friend and she wanted you to have it,” John answered.

“I would never really strangle her, but she might end up pink with feathers!” Elizabeth added with a giggle.

John reached forward to ruffle his daughter’s hair and she stuck her tongue out at him before racing up to her room to retrieve her traveling cloak. The adults watched the girl vanish and then reappear with the cloak a moment later to descend the stairs with it fastened at her throat. Her mother looked at the girl critically for a moment before speaking.

“You could have done that with a wand, you know. It would have been much safer than running up and down the stairs.”

“I just wanted to experience what a Muggle girl might when she finds out that she is going shopping and wants to grab something from her room.”

“And possibly break her neck when she trips and falls down the stairs on the way,” John added.

“I guess since our daughter is ready to go shopping, and will likely go on her own if we don’t hurry, we should get ready to go to Diagon Alley,” Victoria finished.

“You stay here, young lady,” Amanda announced to her granddaughter and Elizabeth looked up at her grandfather while he waited patiently.

“Excited about the new term, Elizabeth?”

“I am, Grandpa, I can’t wait to get back to school and teaching classes.”

“We are so proud of you and everything that you have accomplished.”

“Thank you, Grandpa,” she answered as she threw her arms around him. Then she looked up at him mischievously and he knew that something was coming. “Can we go ahead and go, you know, just the two of us?”

Artemis chuckled as his grandchild looked up at him with wide blue eyes and then responded.

“Oh, so you want me in trouble too? But why not, I haven’t had much time alone with you lately. Let’s go before they get back,” he answered conspiratorially as he hugged her.

A moment later, as the others were approaching the room where the pair were, Elizabeth and Artemis vanished with twin POPs. Victoria looked up at her husband and smiled at the sound as she realized what her father and daughter had done.

“You knew that she was going to talk him into doing that didn’t you,” John asked.

“Well, she is a grandpa’s girl.”

A few minutes later the wizard and pair of witches vanished to travel to Diagon Alley where they knew that the girl and her grandparent were already busy shopping.

Elizabeth was walking down the street with her grandfather as the remainder of her family appeared and was about to step into Flourish and Blotts when a familiar voice spoke to the girl.

“Hey Beth!”

The girl turned at the sound of the voice and smiled as she watched her husband emerge from a shop. They hurried to each other to hug and then kiss tenderly. Elizabeth’s grandfather discretely turned away to examine the items in a shop’s front window while the young couple embraced.

“I’ve missed you so much, Albus! Don’t you know how to send an owl?”

“Sorry, but the training is really time consuming and I try to write as often as I can. Beth, I don’t know if I will make it through the initial training, it’s really tough and four people have already been washed out.”

Elizabeth looked into the eyes of her husband and could see the worry that filled them. She knew that he was right to worry as she also did. Auror training was widely known to be tough and only top candidates made the cut. Many more candidates entered the training than finished it. Only once a candidate withstood the trials of the training could they wear the robes of an Auror and have something akin to bragging rights at having accomplished what they had.

Victoria, her husband and mother appeared in the street and immediately saw the girl in the arms of the young wizard that was now a part of their family. As they watched, the young couple walked away towards Flourish and Blotts and the shopping that the girl required there.

The crowded bookshop brought a smile to Elizabeth’s face as she remembered shopping here before. All of the books that she had ever used in school had come from this place and she knew approximately where to look to find what she needed. Albus kissed her gently on the side of the head before speaking to his young wife.

“Why don’t you let me help you find the books that you need?”

Elizabeth pulled the list of needed texts from her bag for him to examine and he grinned as he read the titles.

“I remember some of these from my seventh year.”

“Then you know exactly what to look for. Please get me new books when possible.”

“New books? You do know that they can be kind of expensive.”

Elizabeth smiled as she pulled out one of the P.E.T.S. letters for him to read. His eyes widened as he read it and then looked at her.

“So this is how you always had brand new text books?”

“Yep,” she answered with a grin.

The pair split up to gather the needed texts and soon were walking toward the counter and waiting clerk. The old wizard smiled at the young witch and the wizard that stood next to her.

“I understand that congratulations are in order. The news that you two had married was widely publicized.”

“Thank you,” she answered.

“I see that you are preparing for your seventh year, considering the books that you have selected. I assume that you have a letter from P.E.T.S. for me?”

“Right here,” she answered as she handed over the letter.

“And I have brand new books to replace some of these,” the clerk answered as he examined the stack of volumes. He turned to walk to the back room just as a terrifying scream erupted from it. The older man paused as a door suddenly burst open and a younger clerk emerged, his shirt in tatters, wrestling with a book that was very familiar. Elizabeth and Albus watched as the Monster Book of Monsters was soothed by the older clerk and then was handed to a boy that was waiting for it, with more than a little trepidation.

“Thank Merlin I don’t have to take that class this term,” Elizabeth remarked. “Please don’t get me wrong, I like Hagrid, but some of the creatures that we studied were rather dangerous.”

“You were scared of some of the beasts?”

“Albus,” she answered while fixing him with an exasperated glance, “I wasn’t scared, more like worried. When you have people that don’t take the proper precautions things can get more than a bit interesting.”

A moment later the clerk reappeared with a stack of brand new books to replace the rather dog-eared copies that Elizabeth had found. The old man looked at her with surprise as she rather stubbornly refused to relinquish an old copy of the Transfiguration text.

“I’ll pay for this one on my own,” she informed him. “This is an older edition and, since I am a Teaching Assistant, I have found that sometimes there are useful things to be found that were penned in by former owners.”

“You are quite right about that, Elizabeth. I completely understand why you were selected as a Teaching Assistant by Professor McGonagall.”

“I cannot believe all of the books that people write useful things in and then sell them knowing that they have lost everything that they have saved for future use.”

The clerk nodded again in agreement at the statement of the young witch as the books were wrapped. The letter was stamped and handed back to her as the Galleon traded hands. She slipped the package into her bag and then the couple turned to leave, just in time to nearly collide with Lily and Beatrice. Elizabeth hurried to hug her friends and, while she had her arms around Lily, whispered into the girl’s ear.

“We need to talk and I mean it.”

“You already know, don’t you?” Lily asked as she realized what her friend meant.

“Yeah, and I wasn’t happy about it.”

Elizabeth and Albus waited while the girls paid for their books before the group left together. This gave Elizabeth a chance to look around the shop and therefore collect a few more books for her personal use. She hurried to the counter to pay for her latest acquisitions and then tucked them carefully into her bag alongside the others. Albus watched his wife and shook his head.

“Just how big is that thing inside?”

“Well,” she answered, “let’s just say that you could put a house inside it and still have room left over. It’s like the Room of Requirement, whatever I need I get.”

“So, you could hide in there?”

“Exactly,” she responded.

The remainder of the day was spent shopping with her friends and husband and only when the shops began to close did Elizabeth finally bid them goodbye to leave with her family. The happy group vanished and didn’t see the old wizard that watched them from inside a vacant shop building.

“Soon, Elizabeth, very soon,” he muttered before vanishing himself.

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