The house was small; there was no doubt about that.
A tiny hallway that led into a tiny sitting room; ahead, a tiny area where they ate. A tiny kitchen barely fit to contain two people at once, upstairs two tiny bedrooms, one barely larger than the other.
But it was hers. It was theirs.
Tobias was a hard worker. It may not have been glamorous, but it was noble and decent work. It put a roof over their heads and food in their belly… she loved him for that. She loved him for everything he was. He was nothing like… them. He never questioned her decision to renounce her ties with the Princes; this was a quite convenient stance on Tobias's part, as she never cared to explain. What good would it do? That part of her life was over and he husband was the replacement. She would have to cope with it. She couldn't bear the thought of crawling back to the wizarding world again.
She had, by now, almost completely immersed herself in the Muggle world – though, still remaining weary of it, managed to maintain a distance. Enough to get by, but nowhere near enough to thrive. She would feel lonely sometimes, especially those long hours spent by herself in the crammed little home, while her husband worked to keep them. She was not adept enough to sustain a Muggle job and she was certainly too proud to return to a wizarding one.
She had no Muggle friends, and all her old school colleagues were all but forgotten. She resided, in many ways, in her own world – caught in a diving line.
Sometimes she would cry. Then the door would creak open and he would be there… and it was forgotten.
"Hello, love." She called from the kitchen on such a night. She heard Tobias's harsh footsteps coming through the hallway door.
"Bloody bus was quarter of an hour late," Tobias started, "hope you didn't start dinner too soon."
"No, I-" she stopped momentarily to learn forward towards him, encouraging him to face her and kiss her lightly on her cold lips (she closed her eyes for just a split second and savoured the feeling). "-waited to see what you wanted. I have some left over soup and some bread from last night, or I think we have some fish fingers somewhere…"
"Well I can' bloody well have them by themselves, can I?"
"I'll cook them both then."
After dinner was finished and Tobias had had his bath, they would settle down for bed. It was her favourite time of day. They would usually make love and she would settle in his arms, just like the first time they ever did. It was simple and it was good and it was all she needed.
Until Eileen Snape began to want just that little bit more...