Do you think the animorphs could have win the war if Eva had not been taken by the Yeerks?
Eva’s right about Marco: he’s a sweet kid, even to the point of delicacy, and he has no understanding of the vileness of the world. He’s never tasted death, never watched one parent disappear while the other decayed. The world has not yet made him hard, has not honed the sharp edges of his mind into razors and armored spikes.
This time around, when they’re all standing around arguing in Cassie’s barn, Marco becomes first the one to agree with Tobias. “Think about it, man,” Marco says, grinning at Jake. “Turning into animals? Saving the planet? It’s like something out of a comic book.”
“Our parents would kill us if they knew,” Jake says slowly.
“That’s why they’re never gonna know,” Marco says, laughing. “How about it, huh? We rescue Tom, we kick butts, and depending on how that goes we’ll talk more later.”
After the mission goes more wrong than they ever could have imagined, after they learn what hell looks like and lose a fight against the being who rules that hell, Marco misses nearly a week of school. His parents are worried, of course, but neither of them can get a straight answer out of him. Marco keeps his trap shut, because he knows this much: if Tom could be a controller, then anyone could be.
Still, Marco loves his friends, and he can’t let them face danger alone. He helps them infiltrate Chapman’s house, and the construction site afterward. He goes with them to take down the yeerks’ supply ship, grumbling the whole time about how they’re all gonna die. He rescues Ax, and does his best to stifle the nightmares that follow their encounter with the sharks. Each time he gets home, he’s met at the door of his house by Eva, who is growing steadily more concerned and doesn’t know what to think of his increasingly-flimsy lies.
He says to Jake, “This is going to be my last mission,” and this time he means it. They barely make it out of that mission alive, and even then only because of the grace of Visser One (whose human host is a young engineer named Allison Kim) and her ongoing conflict with Visser Three.
Marco quits; Jake doesn’t try to stop him. Marco agrees to stop morphing entirely, and so he walks home—and straight into an intervention.
Eva and Peter don’t know whether Marco has joined a gang, started taking drugs, fallen in with the wrong crowd, or what. All they know is that the withdrawn silences, the nightmares, and the free-falling GPA are all recent developments. They have questions, and they’re not letting him get away without answers. They tell him that they’re here for him, but also that they are going to leave town to go spend some time in Eva’s sister’s cabin in the woods for the next five days, and he doesn’t have a choice in the matter.
“Actually,” Marco says, “five days in the middle of nowhere sounds like the best idea I’ve heard all year.”
Even this kinder, gentler version of Marco is still Marco: he watches both his parents carefully for the next seventy-two hours, and can hardly believe the relief he feels when they go that entire time without leaving their tiny corner of nowheresville long enough to access a yeerk pool.
When those seventy-two hours are up, Marco sends a mental apology to Jake (who, although Marco doesn’t know it, is starving out a yeerk of his own at that very time) and then starts answering his parents’ questions. He tells them where he’s been going lately. Why he and Jake have missed so much school in the past two months. What the nightmares are about.
Eva and Peter think he’s crazy at first, because they’re God-fearing suburban Americans who have never once considered the possibility of aliens outside of sci-fi. They start to listen a lot more closely, however, once he morphs a wolf in front of their eyes and then changes back.
When the entire family gets home and Marco discovers that his best friend spent three days as a controller in his absence, he immediately rejoins the team. Peter disapproves sharply of Marco continuing to fight. Eva asks Peter, tears in her eyes, what choice they have in the matter. It’s not like the human authorities are doing anything to combat the yeerks. It’s not like they can fight back themselves. And so they get in the habit of sending Marco out the door (or a window) any time Jake or Cassie calls, always begging him to let them know he’s safe the instant he can.
Funny enough, though, they do find ways to fight back.
Eva listens to their description of the Veleek in careful detail, then she loads Jake and Cassie and Marco into the back seat of her sedan and instructs them to take turns morphing. For nearly six hours she barrels up and down Highway 1 at speeds which leave Marco shrieking in terror at the turns, playing keep-away with the tornado monster until at last Visser Three calls it home in exasperation.
Peter simply hands over his laptop to Ax and asks for help in “fixing” his code for the long-distance communications array. Ax does one better and helps him design a program which gets them a permanent connection between the andalite home world and Marco’s own living room. He stops by to call his parents twice a week, and once a month gives carefully-edited reports on the resistance to the andalite high command.
At first, Eva nudges Ax into staying for dinner after his twice-weekly calls home, on the grounds that she’s never in her life seen someone eat her cooking with that much enthusiasm. However, it’s not long before she convinces him to bring Tobias by as often as he can. It does them a lot of good, even though neither one of them will admit it outright, to have a safe place to get inside when they need it.
Eva doesn’t love it, but she starts doing a lot of the kids’ homework as well. She always does her best to quiz them on Algebra concepts or history dates when there’s time, but she also understands that sometimes the war has to take priority.
Peter installs an air mattress on Marco’s floor on a semi-permanent basis, and gets in the habit of lying to Jean. Because Jake’s just a kid, at the end of the day, and there are a lot of times at the end of the day when he’s too wrecked or exhausted from yet another mission gone bad to face the thought of lying to his family.
Eva dislikes David right from the moment Marco first brings him home, but she keeps that opinion to herself. She sits patiently through the entitled little brat asking her where she’s from (implying, of course, that “San Diego” cannot possibly be the full truth) but also tells him that if he even thinks of borrowing their phone without permission she will make him regret it for the rest of his life. With effort she ignores his repeated attempts to undermine her authority (she’s not his real mom, as he feels the need to remind her constantly) but when she catches him stealing money from Peter’s wallet, she snaps and grounds him on the spot.
David immediately morphs into a lion, unsheathing hooked claws as a growl builds inside his throat. It takes a force of will Eva didn’t even know she had, but she stares him down without flinching. Cold sweat is running down her back, but there’s not even a trace of a tremor in her words when she orders him to demorph now, young man, in her best Mom Voice.
Miraculously, he listens. He sulks about it all afternoon, whining to Peter and to Marco (neither of whom is remotely sympathetic), but the fact is that he can’t bring himself to kill a human. Not yet, anyway.
When David disappears two days later, Eva asks Marco only once what happened. He tells her in two or three halting sentences, and afterwards she hugs him until he finally stops shaking. She explains what happened to Peter, and neither one of them ever brings it up again.
Marco’s house becomes the natural convergence point for all their meetings. It’s only three doors down from Jake’s house, a five-block walk from Rachel’s, and close enough to Cassie’s usual bus route that she has little trouble getting there. They don’t really converge there for the location, though. They come for Peter’s willingness to cobble together a fake Bug fighter distress signal on the fly, for Eva’s no-nonsense questions about whether they’re sure it’s a good idea to attack Joe Bob Fenestre’s house before they know what they’re getting into. They come for the cinnamon cookies that Ax eats by the trayful and the links to forum discussions about the latest yeerk activity.
It might be a cliche, but the truth is this: at Marco’s house they are safe. And in that small bubble of safety, they have freedom. The freedom to talk openly about new morphs without fear of being overheard. The freedom to come and go through the sunroom skylight that Eva leaves open at all times. The freedom to be vulnerable and scared and not sure where they’re going with this war. The freedom to be kids, and to ask an adult for help.
Eva talks to Rachel for nearly three hours about her own parents’ divorce, and what it was like to realize she’d probably never see her dad again. Peter keeps a stock of paperback novels in the living room, never minding when Tobias tends to return them with talon marks in their spines. Eva teaches Ax how to cook cinnamon cookies and churros, chicken fajitas and western omelettes. Peter becomes ever more convincing when assuring Walter and Michelle on the phone that Cassie is simply a delight to have around as she and Marco help each other with homework.
Marco kills Visser One, and Allison Kim along with her, one sunny afternoon in May. Visser Three witnesses the whole thing, not lifting a finger to intervene. The kids have gotten in the habit of telling Peter and especially Eva absolutely everything, but this is the one thing Marco can never bring himself to tell.
The war ends eventually. Maybe it’s not better, or worse, than it would have been if Visser One had chosen a different host. They take longer to figure out how to defeat Visser Three without Eva’s insight to the way yeerk leadership works, but they get there in the end. Tom dies. Rachel dies. James and Kelly and several thousand humans and hork-bajir and taxxons die. Seventeen thousand yeerks meet a terrible icy death in the vacuum of space; Eva finds out about it later and can’t bring herself to disapprove.
One week after Rachel’s funeral, Eva is watching Marco’s latest NBC segment when she hears a knock on the door. Muting the TV, she goes to answer it and finds Jake on her doorstep once again. This time he’s got a backpack over one shoulder and a worn duffle bag with the name of a basketball team that rejected him tucked under the opposite arm.
“Hi,” he says softly, voice hoarse as if from tears. “Things with my parents are kind of a mess right now, and I was just wondering…”
Eva pulls the door open all the way. “Of course, honey. Stay as long as you’d like.”
in the entire emotionally devastating hellscape that is the Visser companion novel this is the only part that makes me laugh, and it’s not even that funny. just the absurdity of having to remind the evil alien overlord trying to take over your planet that she’s Not Your Real Mom.
Definitely a morning person: Lucy Weasley(you now the golden light at sunrise is perfect for painting)
Morning persons: Peter Wood, Molly II Weasley, Victoire Weasley, Louis Weasley, Scorpius Malfoy, Roxanne Weasley, Lysander Scamander, Wendy Wood, Eva Krum, Caleb Dursley, Ivy Dursley
Not morning persons:Teddy Lupin, Dominique Weasley, Fred II Weasley, James II Potter, Lily II Potter, Lorcan Scamander, Alice Longbottom, Frank Longbottom, Emma Wood, Katerina Krum, Nina Krum
DEFINITELY not a morning person: ALBUS SEVERUS POTTER. In the Wotter Clan the task to wake up Al was the biggest punishment from all the possible ones existing, yes including the adults. The first spell Al learned was Reparo, because it was necessary, you have no idea how many times he broke his alarm clock. During Scorp’s first sleepover at the Potters, Scorp went to wake up his best friend(let’s not forget Scorpius is in Slytherin and he didn’t share a dorm room with Al,thankfully like he learnt later that day, so he didn’t know Al’s sleeping habits thinking what Rose and James and Lily and Hugo and well all the others where just exaggerating,oh how he was wrong). Albus cast that day on Scorpius the Stunning Spell, the Levicorpus Jinx and the Bat-Bogey Hex, in this order, in a matter of seconds and went back to sleep. Scorp was transferred to St Mungo’s and Al didn’t even remember he did that. And that’s why you DON’T wake up ALBUS SEVERUS POTTER.
Lily sleeping late in her room at Potter Manor
Taken by James who proceeded to jump on the bed after that(Spoiler Alert: He got hexed). Summer 2022