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She cannot stop. Though, her mind is driving her inane with it’s senselessness, she cannot cease. Her head is trapped in vertigo, she feels flustered, and still her mind spins with ideas. Some of which make her want to projectile vomit across the room. She would like a moment’s peace, but even then she doesn’t know if it’s too much. She wishes that minds came with on and off switches so that she could shut her mind off, and slip into the slumber that her husband has so easily fallen into. She wishes that it were that simple. Sweat has drenched her hair, her forehead, and her cheeks despite the fact that it’s one of the coolest nights they’ve had in a long time. Nothing could surfeit her mind into silence. The worries that burden her seemed to slip seamlessly off her husband’s shoulders and she envies him for it. Though, it did not make things easier for her. In fact, it made them all the more harder. Her husband didn’t seem to grasp the seriousness of the situation, and as much as she would like to beat logic into him, she knew that she couldn’t very well do that. She twists and turns in her bed, almost afraid to wake him, but she cannot help herself. Her fears are very real. She wishes that he wouldn’t dismiss them. Maybe he worries, too, but he doesn’t trouble her with his worries because he knows her mind is fraught with monsters. Yet this isn’t her fault. Memories whisper like the smoke that billowed about her in the streets earlier that evening, jarring her. She sees her son’s mangled body and she wishes nothing more than to stamp away that flashback, yet she cannot. Outside, a streak of lightening flashes momentarily through the sky before disappearing into oblivion. An oblivion she wishes her nightmares and worries could descend to, but they will not. She intuitively knows this. But with every deafening crack, she will still try to will away the memories of blood. The memories of heartbreak. The memories that are driving her slowly and increasingly toward insanity. She cannot focus on her job properly as of late, she cannot seem to get her mind to cooperate in any venture. It is insistent upon replaying the horrid thoughts she would rather dispel from her mind forever. She wants it to stop.

Marianne Montgomery cannot understand why her husband can sleep so soundly. Their five year old son is dead, barely a month ago, and yet he isn’t lying awake with her. He isn’t an insomniac. Does he even worry about their daughters or about that monster coming back? This she doesn’t know. He will not confide in her.

She wonders how he goes on because she is so close to crashing and burning that it seems quite inane. He will work in the morning, without batting a lash, while she’s falling apart at the seams. Her precious Derek was gone. Did he even care? Tears streamed down her cheeks. She would hope so, but she couldn’t make his heart bleed as hers was. She wanted to shake him from his dreams. She wonders how her daughters feel or if they are safer at Hogwarts or at home. She doesn’t know what to do, the whole world is topsy turvy, and yet he continues to snore softly. It inflames her, and she runs her hands through her hair in a continuous motion. She is so confused as to why he shouldn’t be in the same paralyzed state that she’s in. She can’t understand why her husband shouldn’t care that their son is dead at the hands of a mangy mutt. Closing her eyes, she tries to will the images of her son’s dead body from her eyes. She tries to erase the remembrance of his shrieks in the night, begging for his mummy and daddy to help him, when she could not. When her husband could not. The thoughts lingered on, and she sank further into despair. She could not believe that her husband could remain so composed. Yes, she knew that people dealt with grief differently, but had he cried at all? He was so stoic. She hadn’t seen him cry since the funeral. Did he even think about Derek? Their precious Derek? He had been so innocent, so sweet, so kind, and full of such hope. Now that was all taken from him, and she could barely stand it. No parent should have to go through the horror of burying their own child. She resented her husband for being able to hold it all together when she was falling to pieces.

What the hell was wrong with him?

What was wrong with them, her mind added indignantly? It was so like the Death Eaters to wage wars with butterflies. To do something innately wrong and feel no remorse. To crush the life and marrow out of little boys and girls simply in an effort to try to cause morals to waver, and people to do the unthinkable. It disgusted her.

While they were waging wars with butterflies, her husband slept. She didn’t know which one made her more furious. People were dying, England was crumbling like Rome, and a vicious monster threatened innocent lives. Lives that were sacred and shouldn’t be disregarded so egregiously. Yet with death all around them, so many candles were being extinguished. She could understand why some might be overlooked, but it didn’t make it right.


She turned to her husband, pursing her lips to voice her displeasure without words. What did he want? She was irritated that now, of all times, he chose to wake up. Now, he wanted to talk? She was so ready to spit nails, that she didn’t quite know how to answer his question.

“Are you all right?”

“Of course, I’m not, are you daft?!” she demanded. “Our —.” She trailed off when he held his hand up to speak. She didn’t know if she wanted to give him that permission or not, but what choice did she really have? She just hoped it were something intelligible.

“I’m not blind, Marianne. I know that you’re having a hard time coping since Derek —,” he trailed off, and for the first time (since the funeral), she could see tears in her eyes, and she suddenly felt guilty. His tears made her feel like some repulsive monster for thinking the worst of him, and comparing him to a death eater. Merlin knew that her husband was better than that. “A harder time than me and the girls. I was hoping you’d have the sense to tell your employer that you couldn’t work, but since you don’t, I’m telling you. Please take some time off. I see you dizzied by your sadness. No one can cope through life like that,” he protested.

“I,” she began, choking on her voice. Tears streamed down her porcelain cheeks. He cared! Of course, he did. She hadn’t married him because he was a callous curmudgeon. What in Merlin’s name was wrong with her? She really had to stop assuming the worst of him. She brushed strands of short tangled blonde hair from her eyes. “I love you,” she murmured. “I’m so sorry for snapping at you. I just, I didn’t even know if you cared for a while. You were so stoic.”

“I was trying to be strong for you,” he insisted, grabbing for one of her hands. She liked the feel of his calloused fingers against her smaller, smoother ones. “I could see you were already breaking, I didn’t want to let you down. I didn’t want you to think that you couldn’t turn to me for support.”

“I know, I’ve been stupid,” she sniffed, burrowing her head into his shoulder. “I’ve just been worried. About you. About the girls. About all this darkness and destruction. I don’t know if I want the girls in school,” she remarked.

“Marianne, you know that they need their education. Pulling them out prematurely will only make them more unprepared for the ugly world raging around them,” he reasoned.

“You’re right, Ralph,” she frowned. “I can’t help but worry, though. What if that monster goes to the school? What if he goes after the girls?”

“The coward wouldn’t go alone, and he wouldn’t get that far. I’m sure there’s plenty of safeguards against Death Eaters and their supporters. It wouldn’t be easy for them to break into Hogwarts, Mary.”

She nodded solemnly. The Death Eaters were waging war against the butterflies, it was time for the butterflies to decimate their strongholds. They may not be flowers, but they were flesh and blood. They would crumbly just as easily as the innocent when it was all said and done. She had never been brave, but sometimes one had to take a stand against things that were wrong. “Don’t you think it’s time that we did something? Put up some charms around the house, maybe help Dumbledore?” she suggested, hating how nervous her voice sounded.

“We can’t join the Order, Mary, that would just make Jessica and Isobel walking targets. We can’t do that,” he insisted.

“Yes, but we must do something then,” she frowned. “I’m not going to sit here, Ralph, afraid of those cowards. Fine, we don’t join Dumbledore’s forces. . .that doesn’t mean that we can’t help. I’m sick of sitting here, awake all night, wondering whether or not we’ll make it another day,” she protested, her voice rising in volume. “I want to do something. Not because I feel it’s necessary, but because it’s the right thing to do. If we do nothing, it sounds like we’re supporting the scum that killed our son, and I definitely don’t want to give them that impression.” She wrung her hands. “We have to do something. If not for the Wizarding World then for Jessica, Isobel, and Derek.”

Her husband kissed her hands. “We’ll see what we can do.” He gazed into his wife’s eyes. “Now, however, I think we both need sleep. Especially you. You haven’t been sleeping well.”

She nodded, though she had no intention of sleeping. An excited energy flowed through her veins replacing her doubts and fears. Sure, they were still there, niggling her brain, but she couldn’t justify sitting there. Simply trying to save the skin of herself and her family when there were so many families that were under siege out there. True, it would be safer to only worry about themselves, but it was also very selfish. She couldn’t justify being so cruel and self-centered. She knew that she would probably never be a great aid to the Order of the Phoenix, but at least when it was all said and done, she could say that she helped. In some small way, and to her that would make all the difference in the world.

She would redeem herself. She wouldn’t be that cat that turned and clawed it’s way away from the dog. She would be the one that threw itself, claws outstretched, yowling. They would never know what had hit them.

Just like her little boy couldn’t have known that he would die that night.

But it was no more than what they deserved. Waging war against the butterflies? Whom did they think they were? God. Well, that was stupid. Their leader was a man. A monstrous man, but a man none-the-less. And all men died. He was not immortal, he would one day fall, and she would not complain if she had a hand in that happening. Because of him and his regime, her innocent baby laid slain. He would never be that astronaut he had once talked about, he’d never be that healer, he’d never be that astrophysicist.

Because he was reduced to a corpse.

No, that wasn’t right, and it would never set well with her.

So, as her husband slept, she thought of ways she could help the Order. And she pondered what revenge she could possibly take on a red eyed man that called himself an immortal beast when he was nothing more than a cowardly man.

Finally, her mind stopped whirring, and she closed her eyes. She hadn’t realized just how tired she had been. Wiping tears from her eyes, she gazed outside, watching a flash of lightening light up the room before the night fell silent for a moment. Rumbling thunder growled softly, as her head fell back into her pillows. She glanced at her snoring husband, looking at him proudly. Together, they would make it through this heartache.

They would make Derek proud with their gallant efforts. They would hold lofty achievements humbly, and they would be awe-inspiring to their daughters. Sometimes, she had felt brave. . .it had taken a tragedy to draw out of her the woman she was always meant to be.

But by Merlin she would do it, and she would make her son see how very much she loved him. Even if she could no longer hold him in her arms.

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