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time and tide may change (but darling we are forever)

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Nights for Ben are endless. He stares at the walls of his room as hazy images sit on his mind. Faces he doesn’t recognize, unfamiliar feelings of love and warmth, a life that isn’t his.

It started with dreams at first but now with each waking moment, the betraying thoughts endlessly flood in and Ben knows he’s forgotten something important. But what, he cannot say. He’s kept up at night just trying to find the one thing that will make it all clear. Instead, he’s only left with more questions until the morning light comes spilling into his room.

And what else happens, well, Ben can’t decide if it’s any better or if he’s just battling with a lost cause.

He can’t close his eyes for even a moment before he’s engulfed in a strong hold, a worn voice saying how much he’s loved. Ben feels it’s exactly where he should be but as soon as he reaches out towards the embrace, he shakes himself awake, terrified of its familiarity.

Tonight, Ben grimaces as he remembers the last thing whispered to him before he tore away from the hands that gripped him so tightly.

“My name isn’t Oliver,” Ben whispers into the dark.

~

Marcus can hear Oliver humming in the kitchen and a bitter smile forms on his face. It shouldn’t have come down to this. He wonders if there could be another way, turning the wand over in his hand as if the solution will magically come to him. Then, he reminds himself why he’s doing this. Marcus knows what the Dark Lord is capable of and with his family so intertwined, he doesn’t want to take that chance. Not when he finally has something so good in his life.

With a final breath of resolution, Marcus emerges from the bedroom. Once in the doorway of the kitchen, he watches as Oliver pours them cups of tea. His body aches to hold him one last time, but he decides against it. Swallowing, Marcus grips his wand and takes a step forward, only to falter when Oliver looks over his shoulder with a bright smile.

“Big plans for the day?” Oliver jokes and it breaks Marcus’s heart because Oliver has no idea how right he is.

Oliver turns back to the cups, mixing in just the right amount of milk, and Marcus raises his wand uttering a single word as his hand shakes.