I have to admit, the Dolohovs are impressive, in their own way. Their skill at secrecy, double-talk, deniability, and coded communication should be studied. In the past few days, we've had a wrong-address floo call that was a signal for a meeting, a hang-up on the ansaphone that turned out to have a coded message inside about travel arrangements, two letters from cousins tucked into junk-mail owl deliveries, and four one-sentence updates on family in the area delivered, respectively, in mist floating past our window at dawn, steam from the tea kettle, embers from a blown out candle,
and smoke from burned toast.
I'm not supposed to know about any of this. Either Marik doesn't mind me knowing, or he thinks I don't notice, and either one makes me uncomfortable because we're not talking about it.
Of course I notice. I'm an Auror. And, ok, maybe when we first met I missed every single one of the signs that I was falling in love with an art thief from a Dark family, but I know better now. I know that family. I know their motivations, and the hierarchy and their methods. They threw Marik out, but came to the wedding. We send them pictures of the twins and they refuse to acknowledge them, but they also send tiny gold spoons and two icons of the Theotokos with the babies' names embossed on the frame.
I'm angry that I can't go with my husband. The plan wouldn't work if we were both there, and we couldn't bring the children. But I want to go anyway. That's possibly the craziest thing about this, crazier even than this plan to make him into a spy. He'll be good at it; it's in his blood. But there's something that feels wrong about him returning to his family. They love him, and he loves them and I was the reason he left them in the first place. So if he's going back, it must mean he's leaving me. We'd made a family, the four of us, for a little while, and now it's all falling apart. And I know it's only a ruse, only a trick, but is it, really? What's going to happen when he is welcomed back to September House?
I'm going over to Lake Cottage at lunch to see how Van and Katya are doing, and no one's talking about anything over there either. Draco looks devastated at the mere mention of Marik's name, as if he newly remembered this insane plan, and Severus looks steely and determined, like a hedgehog with its spines out all of the time, and Harry knows that if he says "this is the only way" one more time I'll hex him. And so we all just stand around and talk about how pleasant the tea and crumpets are.
I'm surrounded by silence, and secret messages, and it's driving me mad.