#01 – Ring
The diamond glistened in contrast with the dark velvet of the ring box, calling to Eileen, filling her with joy beyond imagining – and a sense of dread she could not explain.
#02 - Hero
Eileen had always wanted to be strong like her mother, confident and bold, but enduring Tobias's blows required a different, quieter sort of strength.
#03 - Memory
Eileen's wedding dress swirled as she and Tobias waltzed, her head resting on his shoulder, as he whispered to her, "I'll make you the happiest woman on Earth."
#04 – Box
"Such are promises – all lies and jests; still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest," Eileen sang along with the Muggle radio as she cleaned house, picking Tobias's discarded beer cans from the floor, wondering how Simon and Garfunkel had managed to summarize her marriage in one simple verse.
#05 - Run
"Go" she told her son as Tobias rose from the table, an all-too-familiar gleam in his black eyes.
#06 - Hurricane
Eileen treasured the stormy weather that brought them together, huddled in their dim and grey basement in an hour or two of contented, sober silence, until the skies cleared and the sun shone bright to reveal the misery of her life.
#07 – Wings
"My angel," Tobias told her with a gentle smile, caressing her face and ignoring her bruises.
#08 - Cold
His arms around her as they walked through the winter, the snow catching onto her fine black hair, the warmth she felt despite the chill – how had it all vanished?
#09 - Red
Tobias's jersey was red and gold, and Eileen thought of how much it suited him – so loyal he'd never leave her, so brave he'd never back down from a fight.
#10 - Drink
They once entertained guests, had wine-tastings, in the days before Tobias drank straight from the bottle.
#11 - Midnight
The nights were the worst – sitting up, waiting for him to come home, some part of her hoping that he never would.
#12 - Temptation
It would be so easy to leave, to walk away, to start a new life, but Eileen knew better than to try: he would find her, somehow; there was no such thing as escape.
#13 - View
Eileen clamped her eyes shut and bit her lip, too tired, too worn, to gaze upon the all-too familiar sight of Tobias passed out on the couch.
#14 – Music
Her voice was whispery and hoarse, but still she sang lullabies to the little halfblood growing in her womb, the hope, the new life, quiet enough that Tobias couldn't hear.
#15 - Silk
He could be so persuasive even when his words slurred, his words rippling like silk as he murmured apologies, swearing he'd never raise a hand against her again.
#16 - Cover
"Working late" was the official story; why he bothered to cover for himself after all these years, Eileen would never know.
#17 - Promise
"A promise I made to stay, and I've stayed true," Tobias mumbled as he cradled her in his arms, and Eileen remembered her vows, remembered the one that cursed her: "as long as you both shall live".
#18 - Dream
Little Severus reported his dark nightmares without a flicker of fear or concern, and Eileen's stomach sank as she realized no nightmare could compare to the sounds he heard when his father came home.
#19 - Candle
The power out again, the electric bill unpaid: Tobias struck a match and watched the strange shadows the candlelight cast against his wife's bruised skin.
#20 - Talent
Their son was gifted, but in all the wrong ways, and it made Tobias angrier, the way Eileen pulled him into this magical world he'd never comprehend.
#21 – Silence
It wasn't the yelling or the bellowing or even his raised fists that scared her: it was the silence before the storm, Tobias's quiet rage, the furious look in his eyes.
#22 – Journey
What a long, strange trip her life had been, the way her world had moved so casually from bliss to destruction.
#23 - Fire
She'd loved him once, loved him with a burning passion that consumed her, that set her heart aflame; she loved him still, in spite of everything, although the fire was long gone.
#24 - Strength
It took all the strength that Eileen could muster to leave the house for mundane tasks like shopping for food or clothes, aware of the way people stared, of the whispers that followed her.
#25 - Mask
She must appear happy, she must appear calm, for her son's sake; she had to pretend her marriage was a happy one, although all evidence pointed to the contrary, although young Severus saw through the façade.
#26 - Ice
Eileen tread carefully around her husband, skating on thin ice, always fearful the that it would crack and she'd drown in the cold water.
#27 - Fall
"You fell down the stairs," Tobias told her in the mornings, and Eileen dutifully repeated it when her neighbors began to express concern: "I fell down the stairs."
#28 – Forgotten
Each morning was a new start: Tobias forgot his rage, felt guilt when he saw his wife's wounds, swore to himself that it wouldn't happen again – later, with the alcohol flowing through his system, how easy it was to forget.
#29 - Dance
It was a strange little dance they did, the rhythm and beat of Tobias's violent advances, the way Eileen ducked and shied away.
#30 - Body
Eileen had always thought of herself as brittle, as frail; it surprised her and Tobias both to see how much her body could endure.
#31 - Sacred
Even after everything, there were some things that remained special to Tobias, things he'd never destroy: ther family heirlooms, their wedding photographs, their son.
#32 - Farewells
Eileen knew as she said goodbye to her family for the final time that she'd never see them again, that by marrying a Muggle she was committing an act they would never forgive – but for Tobias, for the man she loved, it was worth it.
#33 – World
She was the world to him, the sun and the moon and the sky; his life revolved around her soft hair, her pale skin, her smile.
#34 - Formal
Tobias was too informal, too coarse to be liked by her family: his poverty, his blood, and his upbringing left him unprepared for the courtly life Eileen's family led; she had never minded, but they did, and his perception of the magical world was shaped by their snobbish reception.
#35 – Fever
Tobias couldn't explain why or how his rage controlled him so fiercely; it was burning, feverish, all-consuming, something he couldn't control.
#36 - Laugh
Tobias had loved to hear her laugh in delight, a sound not unlike the tinkling of bells: she never laughed like that anymore; she didn't laugh at all.
#37 – Lies
Tobias had never meant to lie to his wife: he truly meant what he said as he promised her their life would be happy, that he would treat her like a queen, that she'd never regret abandoning her family for him.
#38 – Forever
Always and forever, until the day she died, Tobias would haunt her; always and forever, she'd flinch at the sound of his voice, wince when he touched her, shiver when he came near.
#39 – Overwhelmed
An owl sat on the kitchen counter, a letter from some far off school in its beak, and Tobias saw red, torn between anger and fear: what kind of freak had he and his wife produced?
#40 – Whisper
Eileen never used to be afraid; she'd speak boldly, confident and self-assured: now her words came out in a whisper, as if she was afraid the mere sound of her voice would push him over the edge.
#41 – Wait
She'd wait it out, patient and steadfast as her marriage carried on: Tobias could only live so long.
#42 - Talk
She tried arguing with him once, tried to make him see reason in one of his fits of rage, tried to talk him out of hurting her: the blows only came down harder, and she never tried again.
#43 - Search
Even now, Eileen searched for some redeemable quality in her husband, something that would make her love for him more reasonable, more logical, more explainable.
#44 - Hope
Eileen was ever the optimist: even though, deep in her heart, she knew that Tobias would come home angry or drunk or both, she held out hope that he'd come home as the man she'd fell in love with.
#45 - Eclipse
Her love for her son overshadowed everything, even her love for Tobias, and Tobias hated him for it, hated the freakish halfblood for taking away even a smidgen of his wife's love.
#46 - Gravity
Tobias had swept her off her heels, and she'd felt as though she was flying whenever he was near: but all that rises must come down.
#47 – Highway
Like a car on a highway, barreling at high speeds, Eileen's life had sped past her, until the speed she'd once enjoyed caused her to crash.
#48 – Unknown
Blue roses – symbolizing the unknown, the unachievable: Eileen was surrounded by them.
#49 - Lock
There was a lock on Severus's door, to which only Eileen and he had a key: it was the only way she could protect him, the only way she knew how.
#50 – Breathe
The first time he'd hurt her, the first time she'd seen his rage, she'd cried afterwards, arms wrapped around her body, panting with fear as her heart raced against her chest.