Chapter 1: The Moth.

It was the moth that had caused the tears. He'd been weeding the border in the back garden when he'd come across it. Total accident. Complete surprise. Brushing some of the grasses aside, he'd been stunned by its … unexpectedness.

He remembered this one. What was its name? The Elephant Hawk Moth.

It was a beautiful range of pinks, reds and purples mainly, lying, it seemed, at rest – deep in the grasses, hidden in their gathered green – a shock of beauty to him, in a time of little beauty. Well, at least for him, anyway.

He'd stared at it for a long moment and then the tears just came, slowly dribbling down his cheeks, as he kneeled down on the edge of the border and lawn. God, he must look like he was bloody praying or something! The tears dribbled – it was the only word he could find then – as if he did not want to let them go: inch them out, bit by tiny bit, not too much – he couldn't let himself go – couldn't release himself, not in this world where there was no hope or love or future – just cruelty and lies and all a bloody, great stinking sham. Rubbish, his mother would have thought and told him so in no uncertain terms but she was miles away at The Burrow and he was here, staring down at something in his garden border, something that shocked him by its sudden beauty, surprised him – where? In his heart? What heart? When did he feel things now?


He hadn't moved. He hadn't noticed her walking down the steps from the back of the house.

'Dad? Mum says dinners's ready and to get that famous behind inside.'

His daughter. His wonderful, amazing, funny, kind, rude, brilliant, infuriating, honest-as-hell daughter. No. There was more beauty in the world. Rosie and Hugo.

'Okay; I'll be right in.' He hadn't moved. She can't, musn't see the tears but … she will know something, anyway. Bloody nosey; intuitive. She'll just know. Just wipe the face clean with your hand and turn and say…

'Yes, fine; I'm done.' He let the grasses slip back into their original place, and moved his hands away, pausing slightly with his right hand as if he was giving a blessing as he'd seen a Muggle priest once give at the end of a wedding they'd attended. Be safe and beautiful there, in the grasses, for me, he thought.

He was facing her now as he knelt and he saw the look on her face.

'I'm fine, okay? Nothing to your mother – she'll only worry. No, don't give me that look, Rosie. Nothing, understand: not - a - bloody – word – or I will be seriously pissed off.'

His daughter said nothing in reply, didn't need to. The half-smile of resignation was enough for him, as he clambered to his feet and followed her inside.