Author’s Note: I hope you enjoy this story because a lot of time and effort went into this. And lots of credit goes to Elivania, for giving me loads of information on the Scottish witch-hunts. Without her, I don’t think Wicked Children would ever have been good enough for me to publish it, so thank you! Please be aware that this story is RATED MATURE for mostly strong language and especially for STRONG VIOLENCE. I just want to warn you guys because this time period wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. Do not say that I didn’t warn you. On a happier note, let’s get on with the show! Also, the foreword below is based off of real events.
I would also like to point out that this story was first written before the publication of JK Rowling's Deathly Hallows, and it doesn't take canon from the sixth book. So technically, this is AU now, but please don't be deterred by it. My story is only set in the 1990s for so many chapters overall. The majority of it will take place in 1595. Thanks!
Everything you know is property of Ms. Rowling. Everything you don't know is either a creation of mine or taken directly from history.
January 29th,1591: Hawick, Scotland
It was a very chilly evening in the small village. Rain had started to pour, drowning the muddy streets with its dark, cold, waters, and washing away the cheery white snow almost as quickly as the snow had come. The wind howled into the night, making the bare trees creak like a rocking chair as it oscillates. When most of the little village of Hawick was asleep, dreaming of sweet things, there was one man who lay awake being tormented by a nightmare he couldn’t escape.
The room was dark and dank and had a strong odor of various foul smells, mostly the scent of his excrement. Four chilly stone walls and a floor made up the barriers of the room, and the elderly man lay on the ground, curled up with his insomnia only hoping this hell of his would end. His eyes itched with sleepiness, but he couldn’t sleep for the watchman outside the prison was always looking at him, making sure the pain the man felt still held a strong grasp. Anyway he knew better not to sleep, because he would get flogged if that happened...or worse killed. The man could hear the soft scuttle of rats crawling around the room, their squeaks cries for a little food in their starving bellies. As a doctor, he was used to being around the sick and dying, used to the stench of bitter death. He never dreamed he would be playing the role of the wan patient, hanging on to life only on a thread, and shivering on the grimy stone floor all alone where he thought even God had forsaken him.
The dungeon door slammed open, letting out a raging roar as it banged against the wall. Loud footsteps marched into the room, ricocheting off the walls and ringing in the doctor’s ears.
“Bring him,” a man’s voice ordered, his tone silky with cruelty. And then two pairs of hands grabbed hold of the prisoner, thrusting him on his feet and dragged him, as if he was a little child’s plaything away from his prison.
They hauled the man into another room, one which looked identical to his other only there was a small table with a chair tucked into it, and plenty of instruments that decorated the walls alongside a fireplace, whose embers were glowing rosy red as a man toyed with the fire stick. The prisoner realized, through the dim of his mind, that he was in an interrogation room.
The brawny men holding him upright shoved him into the wooden chair, and he could feel the agony rattling his bones, and he rasped out a cry of pain.
The man who was poking at the fire embers turned to face him. His face reminded the doctor of a hawk, a hawk that was hunting for prey. He had a sharp nose and pale skin that almost made him look like he had suffered from an illness of sorts. The man had thick ebony hair and brows, with matching eyes. The doctor thought the man would have been handsome for his age if it weren’t for that spark of darkness in his gloomy eyes. That spark gave the prisoner a chill that ran down his spine.
“Good evenin’ Dr. Fian,” the man addressed the other in the chair, sitting helplessly. “Or should I say Dr. Cunningham?” he asked, in a cool, pleasant way. It sounded like the man was talking to an old friend; one he hadn’t seen in years and no longer had any similar interests.
“Me name is Caleb MacFallon. Now I’m going to ask you a few questions and you will answer them with honesty, and I promise you, you will be forgiven of your sins. If you do not, well I’ll just have to force it out and we don’t want that do we?” he asked once again in that disturbing tone. This time however, Dr. Fian sensed the malice behind that cover of Mr. MacFallon’s. Dr. Fian shook his head in answer to the man’s question, for he knew that was what the interrogator wanted to see.
“Good. I’m glad we understand each other,” Caleb said quietly, returning to his normal tone of silky cruelness. “Are you or are you not a witch?” Caleb questioned, with a spice of hostility, dropping all manner of friendliness.
Dr. Fian widened his eyes, petrified. “No! I swear to you on me mother’s grave I’m a good person!”
“If I were you I would say a prayer because I know you are lyin’,” he said threatening, as if he had God’s power.
Still, the poor man was protesting. “I swear I’m pure! I go to church frequently, I’m a good Catholic! Ask anyone!” he begged, his Adam’s apple quivering with weeps.
Caleb MacFallon loved these parts. He loved the smell of desperation when they knew they were in a corner. His favourite part however was toying with their minds, like putty and making them believe things that would never happen in their lifetimes. He thought himself a holy man, even though he wasn’t a priest, but he figured he performed the same work as any other man in priesthood, which was to rid all evil in every form it took. And at the moment evil took the form of those who could perform magicks, and Caleb would use all his power to vanquish those Impure of God’s eyes.
He grabbed the closest instrument to him, a pair of Pilliwinkes and glided over to Dr. Fian. The Pilliwinkes was a device used by plenty of nobles so their daughter’s fingers would be elegant, but that wasn’t how they were used in this place. They were used to crush the fingers and toes of one, in order to pry out an answer. Caleb loved using these for it brought out the demon in those who have committed unholy deeds.
Dr. Fian screamed out in anguish as a new wave of torture crushed and pulled at his fingers out of their sockets. What had I done wrong to deserve this? He thought through the blinding pain.
“Are you ready to tell the truth before God?” Caleb growled, preparing to crush the last one of the scum’s fingers.
“Y-yes!” Dr. Fian rasped out through his tears. Maybe if I tell this man a name, he’ll leave me be, Dr. Fian thought hopefully, the pain taking a toll on his body and health. “I’m—I’m a w-witch,” he stuttered the lie. At this Caleb released his hold on the Pilliwinkes. He knew the truth would come out sooner than later; pain never did go well with those tainted by the Devil. “I-I got na-ames,” the man whispered hollowly. This caught Caleb’s attention. More cretins to abolish, how delicious.
“Pray do tell,” Caleb, ordered, curiosity overpowering him.
“The Earl of Bothwell,” Dr. Fian panted with a fool’s optimism. “He was the leader of me coven.”
“The Earl, you say?” Caleb pressed. The doctor nodded fervently for a man who had just undergone torture in one of its worst forms.
This was disappointing, as the Earl couldn’t be put to the death, his status his saving grace. But Caleb thirsted for more information like a dying man hanging onto life with all his strength.
The doctor shook his head.
Caleb looked into the blushing flames of the fire. They danced on the walls and they spit sparks as they crackled in the pit. A small smile spread across his pale lips. Just because he couldn’t get the Earl, he would enjoy watching the doctor scream and burn.
He walked silently to the wooden door. “Prepare the pyres, by mornin’s light there’ll be a burnin’,” Caleb ordered one of the burley men standing guard outside. Dr. Fian heard this, and horror had begun to start choking his thought, and new cold, numb tears started sliding down his withered cheeks, the pain intensifying.
“You said I’d be forgiven!” he screamed, rage and horror dousing his soul.
Caleb was relishing the moment. “Only God can save your immortal soul now,” he finished darkly. He opened the heavy, wooden door and walked outside, leaving the elderly sick man alone in the darkness, begging for mercy.
Author’s Note: Updates shall be served as soon as this is validated :D
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