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Chapter 1: Mugshot
Another one-shot, this time centering around Bellatrix and her time in Azkaban.
This was (respectably) challenging to write, but I think it's turned out alright. Please, let me know what you think.
For Sam and Nelly.
"It was night, and the rain fell; and falling, it was rain, but, having fallen, it was blood."
(Silence – A Fable, Edgar Allan Poe)
“an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
welcome to Azkaban, Bellatrix. may the Lord have mercy.
but you know nothing of God.
and you think, ‘Mother, Mother...’
bone and earth, flesh cooling in the ground.
(how can you endure it? how can you take breath?)
you can hardly bare the candour of it. Bellatrix, her Mother’s daughter, is dirty.
and you can’t help but think of Andromeda.
(who had been a good, clean – if peculiar – girl. she was warm in your hand, burned against the cold.)
you slide your eyes shut.
“pretty,” you whisper. a tiny spider scurries between the stone, cracked with age.
and you pull her apart, piece by piece, and then crush her against the ground.
and you can’t help but think of being a girl again.
dreaming is a dulcet thing, and you do it for days on end.
your blank eyes glitter between bars, your hands weak.
you don’t make a sound. you listen; you can’t help but think of Alice Longbottom. the
air is thin with ice and rainwater, and the screaming rattles your bone.
it eats, Azkaban. it’s steadily greedy, it takes you morsel by morsel.
but he’ll come, he’ll find you, he’ll see. it has yet to swallow.
you do tremble sometimes, when you think on it. even though your throat is stale with vomit, something on your fat, numbing tongue tastes sweet.
you think its sunlight, tantalising you.
and you can’t help but think of Cissy, her hair is gold just like it.
(delicate and dove-like, cold like the marble in the parlour.)
years, it’s been, but you can barely comprehend it. the sea, thick and dark around you, beneath you, drags away the granules of stone and stand. time goes with it. the screams and the cold go with it.
Rodolphus is somewhere. somewhere screaming.
funny, funny how it makes you stop and still - for just a moment. you don’t think on him, much.
you were fond of him, yes.
and that was fond enough for marriage.
(you made love – it was not quite that, but there was no better evaluation of it – once, on your wedding night. the memory of it is flimsy, fluttering. it was nothing, in particular. it was bland.)
“the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout,”
the spider scrabbles around in your hand.
“down came the rain,”
you pick off another little leg.
“and washed the spider out,”
“then out came the sunshine,”
Cissy, Cissy like sunshine.
“and dried up all the rain,”
the spider slows, slips.
“and then the itsy bitsy spider cli -”
you stop on the last strained, squeaking note.
blood, you think, is a very pretty thing. It looks garish against your yoghurty-white skin... a sort reassurance there’s a little life.
you grind your knuckles, hard, against the cracking stone and gnash your teeth. you need to know.
you need to feel there’s still something hot inside.
at night, wheezing, pain riddling your chained wrists, you whisper, “Andromeda, you were always my favourite...”
“A ministering angel,” you spit, bitter regret, “a ministering angel my sister shall be...”
you can hear her laughter, somewhere, in your head, and you almost smile.
longer, longer, swaying, rocking, the gulf between yourself and reality widening.
a few weeks later, Andromeda’s laughter is almost gone. it’s imprinted on your flesh, red and raw, like the lacework of a tight dress.
you cannot take it. there’s one thing, one tiny little thing, keeping you here; it is your memories of Master, with slow, steady eyes.
and you won’t allow them to have it. Azkaban won’t have you, it won’t take you.
you’ll shake it one day.
“do you know,” you say to the spider you’ve found scuttling around your toes, “I wish I could be a girl again.”
you push her, slow, gentle, crush her between your forefinger and thumb.
the sleepworld is a golden place. dreaming is a dulcet thing.
you whisper, over and over, one word.
you wake in mad ecstasy, with tears shimmering on your skin.
and then, when you’ve squeezed another spider like an orange, it happens.
The Mark bloats, burns, shrinks and swells, moves against your veins...
and you swallow.
Thank you for reading. :)
Please R&R - and feel free to speak your mind!