Where: Madam Edgecombe's flat
When: During the storm
Why: Again, why not?
Downstairs in the flat I had lived in for the majority of my nineteen years, Louisa, Mum and I sit together as we watch the clouds get thicker and thicker overhead. Louisa is on Mum's lap, one fist clenched around a rattle she received in Brown's gift giving extravaganza, and the other attempting to pull at Mum's hair as she babbles along. Mum seems better at staying calm, and Louisa seems less upset with her at the moment. Not that Mum's any less upset than I am about the coming events, of course, but years of practice have made her better at concealing her fears, I think, and so Louisa doesn't sense near as much tension coming from her as me.
Rather, I'm sitting cross legged on the floor flipping through my journal. It's more depressing than anything, looking at the last words people have to say, knowing they'll soon be gone and there's nothing to do. Nothing I can do. I've ended up in this Order – me Marietta Edgecombe, something I'd never imagined, or even wanted for myself. And yet there I am – supposed to help save the world and instead here I am with the rest of us, cowering on the floor of the place I grew up, unable to even give comfort to my own daughter.
"Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba," Louisa says in a sing-song voice before sticking the rattle in her mouth. Mum brushes back the sparse hair on her head.
She's been spared once before, on accident. I'm not expecting that by some miracle it will happen again. Maybe I ought to try holding her again, then. I'm about to close my journal when suddenly, an Otter Patronus flashes inside the room, leaving a message only I can hear, telling me that there's maybe, possibly a chance - that we know where You-Know-Who is. I can't help but wonder if that chance really is there, or if this is just setting up for another failure like all the ones we've had before.
I glance over with a start. It doesn't seem like Louisa's normal babbling somehow and my daughter's blue eyes are looking straight at me.
With a flash, it's almost like I'm eleven and at my Sorting again, and I hear the words the Hat told me right after it informed me that it would be putting me in Ravenclaw like my mum, and her family as far back as we could remember, and not in my Dad's old House. "While I may be placing you in Ravenclaw, don't forget your Gryffindor roots. There's a tiny bit of Gryffindor in you there, and it could stand to be nurtured as well. It can only make you a more well rounded person, working on all your strengths."
"I'm going to go to battle against You-Know-Who," I say abruptly, standing.
"What?" Mum's grip slackens on Louisa, and she falls forward until I grab her and lift her up.
"That was a message from Hermione Granger. She says they know where he is. I'm going to go fight him."
"But Marietta," Mum protests, "Think about your daughter."
"I am," I say evenly, shifting the baby, "If it was me, Dad would have done the same thing and you know it. I don't know if this will do any good. I don't know if Louisa will survive the night, or Cho, or this will just be some folly. But I have to try to save her. What kind of mum would I be if I didn't?"
I can see tears glistening in Mum's eyes as she says, "All these years I wanted you to take after your father and you finally choose to at the worst time. It wasn't any easier when he sacrificed himself, either."
Merlin...I wouldn't want Mum to go through that again, either. I don't remember as I was too young, but I certainly know how she had been after Dad died. In some ways, I couldn't bear her to go through that again – I don't think she'd manage. Not with Grandmum gone, too, and if Louisa... Still.
"I'll try not to get killed," I say. Hah, some comfort, "I know my skills are...lacking, and I'm not really a fighter and it seems like a suicide mission, but...maybe I can help on the sidelines," I muse, "They'll need people to give healing potions to the injured. But I need to help, Mum. Somehow. I need to do this. I can't sit back this time. Too much is at stake."
Mum is silent for another long moment before standing and wrapping her arms around Louisa and me, tears pouring freely from her eyes now and my own joining them.
"Have I even mentioned that I'm proud of you?" she whispers, voice heavy with emotion as she holds her arms out to take Louisa again.
I grin amongst my tears. "I think I knew. Love you, Mum."
And with that I close my eyes and take several deep breaths, before I reach for our Floo Pwder so I can head to the Ministry to meet Granger and the others.