Evie was tired, so tired. It had hit her the moment she’d walked through the door leading into her and Casey’s room at the castle. Her shoulders had sagged, and suddenly, she’d felt as though the weight of the world was upon her shoulders. Her chest felt tight, and her breathing was ragged.
Evie took a few steps forward before she had to grab the wall and lean against it. Evie sobbed.
With the sound, all the emotion she had been holding in for the past few days seemed to come flooding to the forefront, and she sank to the ground. Mr. Weasley had been taken. He’d been taken three days ago, yet to her knowledge, no one had yet searched for him. Why?
Evie could only imagine how Mrs. Weasley and everyone else were holding up. She wasn’t even blood-related. She hadn’t known Mr. Weasley from birth—only since she’d dared to defy her father and go visit the family over a summer break. Since then, they had become like her flesh-and-blood, but she doubted the pain she felt compared to what they must be experiencing. Their father taken by you-know-who. Their father held captive by merciless men and women. Would he even survive this?
Angrily, Evie wiped the tears from her face and sniffled as she allowed herself to sit with her back against her wall, her knees pulled and held firmly to her chest. She needed to go to the safe house and visit them. She needed to let them know she was here for them, but how could she do that if she could barely contain her emotion?
Evie held her breath, trying to hold back the sob threatening to break free, but it was too no avail as she gasped for air and the floodgates opened once again.
Why did this have to happen? Mr. Weasley was a determined man. He would tell them nothing, and he would encourage Quinton to do the same. But as such, he would be punished harder and with much more fervor.
Casey had said nothing the countless times she had asked if Mr. Weasley was still alive, if he had seen him. He’d tried to remain stoic, but Evie could see the fear in his eyes. He was afraid and without hope. How could he expect her to feel better if he couldn’t even at least say the words, “He’ll live”? He didn’t have to say he’d be fine or unharmed—just that he’d live. That was all Evie cared. That Mr. Weasley would live and be returned to his family, to her
Evie brought her forehead to rest in the crook formed between her knees, but found it hard to breathe in that position and sat back up, her head resting back against the wall and eyes upward. “Please…” she begged, though she had no idea whom she was speaking to. “Please, just let him be ok!”
It felt good to speak, but it did not quell the urge to scream, to yell, to hit, to break. But she couldn’t break things. Casey would notice. Hitting something could work, if she quickly followed it up with a healing spell, but if she broke said something, wouldn’t Casey notice? Maybe Reparo
could work if the item was small enough. Screaming? The thing she wanted to do most? Someone would hear her, and she would be kidding herself to think she could cast any spells with any accuracy right now to block out the sound, to repair something, to heal herself. Maybe a pillow could be enough for the screaming. She had to try. She had to try. She had to get these feelings out somehow. They were eating her up inside.
It was more than just Mr. Weasley. Evie realized this as she pushed herself up and took a moment to rest against the wall before heading to her bedroom. She wasted no time throwing herself down into the bed and scooting so her face was in a pillow. As she inhaled, she realized it was Casey’s. The smell was familiar, comforting, yet not comforting enough in this moment. She needed him. She needed his arms around her, holding her and making her feel as though she were safe and everything was right in the world.
But nothing is
, she thought as she brought her arms up and held the pillow in place as she screamed. Once, twice, and again.
Evie had no idea how long she had laid here or if she had even slept when her eyes finally brought the clock on Casey’s bedside table into focus. Four a.m., and there was a blanket on her. Casey was here. Casey was home. Evie dared a small smile at that thought and reached her foot back to rub Casey’s leg, only her foot was met with cold nothingness. Her smile quickly turned to a frown. Where was he? Evie threw the blanket back and quickly stood from bed—a little too quickly according to her body, which protested with a wave of dizziness and…Oh, shit!
Evie rushed to the bathroom and fell to her knees as she pushed the lid up just in the nick of time.
Once she had finished, Evie sat back on her feet, still feeling as though she might need the toilet again. Evie stood a few minutes later then walked back into the bedroom. Casey still wasn’t there. Maybe in the living room. Maybe he was grading papers or had been reading and had fallen asleep. There had to be a reason for him not being in bed that didn’t involve ugly skull masks and dark robes.
Walking out to the living room area of her and Casey’s magically-expanded dormitory, Evie held her breath but hoped against all hope she’d see his peacefully sleeping face. Hell, she’d take even a troubled, fitfully sleeping husband at this point. Just so long as he was here with her and in one piece. But she was met with no sight of him.
A few graded papers sat in a small pile next to the much-larger pile of essays he had left in here after dinner before he’d gone out to spend some time with John. She walked over, noticing a different name on the top of the pile. So, he had come back from John’s hut. He had been here. But how long ago? And where was he now? Had there been an Order meeting she’d missed the call for? Evie reached in her pocket for the small, charmed coin. No, there was no sign of a missed meeting. That left one other choice in her mind. A meeting, another blasted Death Eater meeting where he could be taken from her for good.
It was honestly a miracle Casey had come home to her after as many meetings as he had thus far. There was no way you-know-who didn’t suspect him and his motives. The story for his turn from the Order hadn’t been that compelling, and he had only begun practicing occlumency a couple months before joining rank. There was no way he was that convincing.
Evie shook her head forcefully. She always had those thoughts, those doubts, every time she discovered he was gone, but there was little she could do about it. They came unbidden each time, and each time, she felt guilty for having so little faith in her husband. But could Casey fault her for worrying?
Evie walked from the desk to their couch and sat down noticing the book that sat on the end table: The Beginner’s Guide to Overcoming Boggarts.
Next to the book sat Casey’s lesson planner and a quill. It seemed boggarts were on this week’s class agenda, and he’d been taking notes on it.
- Keep Calm.
- Think Happy Thoughts.
- No matter what, do not panic.
There were a few more notes that seemed more aimed on teaching the lesson itself, but Evie set them aside and picked up the book. Evie didn’t know how many times she had tried to read the first page by the time the clock struck 5:00 a.m., but she finally gave up and set the book aside, too consumed with worry to focus.
Where is he? Is he ok? What if he’s dead? What if Voldemort finds out? Why didn’t he say goodbye?
Those were only a few of the questions which had consumed her thoughts over the past hour. They had spiraled into many horrific what if?
scenarios each time before she would redirect her focus to the book, but none of it had helped.
Evie brought her eyes from the clock to the book as she set it back in its place atop Casey’s lesson planner. Maybe she needed one of Mrs. Weasley’s clocks with the hands that showed those away from home and those in the house and their danger level. That would be useful right now, though she was sure Casey’s would at least be amplified from “safe.” He was never safe when he was out, and she knew it, which was why she couldn’t bring herself to fall back to sleep. What was the point? She’d only have nightmares then wake up again and find she’d slept ten minutes, if that.
Sighing, Evie put the book down beside her and brought her knees up to rest in front of her and hugged them to herself. What would it take?
Evie wondered. How could she possibly convince her husband to abandon the mission? He was so stubborn! She’d tried asking him, had even tried using her womanly wiles, but nothing. He said it was too dangerous. What could possibly be more dangerous than being in Voldemort’s presence? Either way could result in death. Leaving was the only option to hope for safety. Maybe she was “stupid” to think that as Casey had so kindly put it, but she needed to hope and the only way she could hope was if she believed it.
Maybe she should go for a walk, Evie thought. It would keep her from sitting here near tears fearing for her husband’s life and it would help with the anxiety. Ha! Who was she kidding? Evie had a feeling if she were to stand, she would fall right back onto this couch. Nope. She’d stay right here and wait like a good little worrying, doting wife. She felt weak.
The sound of a loud pop just to her left caused Evie to jerk her head toward the door as she jumped off the couch and ran toward the source—her husband, dressed to the nines in his finest Death Eater garb. But Evie didn’t care even though she knew after four months of this that he would want to strip down out of those clothes immediately. In fact, he was working on the mask when she came and threw her arms around him and, unable to help herself, began sobbing.
“I’m sorry,” she wailed as she buried her head into his robes. She’d promised herself she wouldn’t cry. She’d communicate her worry more effectively than that, she’d told herself. Maybe then he’d listen to her, she had thought.
Casey was stiff for a moment after she first hugged him then relaxed as he threw the mask out of his way then wrapped his arms around her. “For what?” he asked, his voice tense.
“For this!” Evie sobbed. “For crying!”
Casey pulled her a little closer. “Don’t apologize for caring.”
“Bu-but you hate it when I cry! And I told myself I wouldn’t.”
“It’s what you do when you’re stressed, Evie. Relax. I’m here now.” Casey swayed a little with Evie in his arms, and she remained silent, her body stilling as she fell into numbness. A few moments later, Casey stepped back, gently prying her hands. “Let me go burn these then we’ll cuddle, ok?”
Evie could do nothing more than nod. Part of her was afraid he would vanish again if he disappeared into that bathroom, but she moved to the bed and laid down, softly crying to herself yet stubbornly wiping the tears away as they came.
Evie sniffled as she felt Casey get into bed next to her and scoot up behind her. She felt relieved as he wrapped his arm around her and she moved so she fit flesh against him. He kissed her neck and gave her a hug then kissed her neck again a few times. She could feel stirring against her hips. Why was it always this? Why did he always want this when she cried? Couldn’t he just hold her? Anger momentarily flared, but it softened as he laid his head down on his arm behind her and didn’t try to push. He never did, not really. It was almost as though he was saying, “I’m here, however you need me,” in his own way. Yet it still was distracting in the wrong ways to feel something poking against her.
Evie sighed and hugged her arms closer to her, causing her to push against him a little. The motion revealed tension she didn’t even know she had. She cursed her body for so easily being affected by his. Casey stilled behind her as though uncertain then relaxed as she repeated the motion more purposefully. She needed him right now. She needed him to know how worried she’d been, how much she needed him…everything. And if they discussed it, it just wasn’t going to work. They’d argue, and she just couldn’t handle that right now. No, she needed this.
Evie moved back against her husband a third time, and he moaned, burying his head in her shoulder as he bucked against her. Their motion became more fluid before Evie turned to him after a few moments. That wasn’t enough. It wasn’t intimate enough. She didn’t want a random fuck. She wanted to make love. She wanted to see him, and she wanted to make love.
As soon as Evie turned, her lips found Casey’s, crashing into his with urgent need, the previous desire for taking it slow and communicating suddenly overcome by a desire to be as close as possible as soon as possible. Tears spilled down her cheek, and she tried to subtly move her hand from his shoulder and wipe the tears away before he could feel them. She wiped her hand on her shirt then gripped Casey’s shoulder again. If he knew she was crying, he didn’t make it obvious.
Frantically, she moved her husband’s hand to her chest. Kissing wasn’t enough now, though despite his obvious need, Casey seemed content. Yet, as soon as his hand was where she wanted it, she could tell. He was waiting for her lead, and that had been all the permission he had needed.
Afterward, they lay there, legs intertwined and Casey’s arms around Evie’s body. Evie rubbed her face against his chest, feeling the exhaustion settle in. But she wouldn’t sleep—not tonight. Tonight, her mind was racing.