This story is rated mature for a reason. If you are uncomfortable with the concepts of murder and suicide, I suggest you don't proceed any further.
Ok, this story is purely a work of fiction. It was written for the Reflections challenge posted by Elysium at the forums. It was designed to explore the character and attempt to explain his motives. Thanks for this story goes out to DandN, who besides providing fantastic support, also encouraged me to write it in the first place, to Seanos for his wonderful suggestion and to Ellarose C for betaing. Thanks again guys!
The Itsy, Bitsy Spider
He wanted to scream, wanted to lash out against the world. He was tired of hiding his frustration, tired of concealing what he was going through. Controlling his emotions took a great amount of effort, effort which he no longer felt was necessary to expend.
He was sick of living in this happy, cheerful world – a world where the sun was bright and everyone was smiling, sickened by everything bright and joyous; rainbows and lollipops, unicorns and butterflies. He wanted darkness, sorrow and depression. He wanted everyone else to be going through the same thing that he was. It might have been a selfish thought, but he didn’t care.
He’d put up with enough, and he couldn’t take this anymore.
He wanted the clouds to come, to block out the light. Some thunder and lightning would be great, he thought sardonically. It would really help to enhance the mood. Perhaps some sleet, mingled in with the frequent hailstone.
Yes, he thought despondently, that would be great. If only I could control the weather. Growling, he stared out the window, cursing the bright rays of light that illuminated the happy, smiling, laughing Hogwarts students down in the courtyard.
He frowned, wondering what would happen if he spat from the window – then realizing that it wouldn’t matter, for he was too far away to see the look of disgust that would be etched upon his intended victim’s face.
Of course, would they even realize it was spit? He doubted it – people were annoyingly ignorant, or oblivious. Actually, judging by the state of the world, they were a combination of both. That was certainly a cheerful thought.
Yes, he thought sarcastically, this is the future generation. These are the people who will be in control of the world. And suddenly, suicide was sounding like a good option.
Of course, while suicide might make a statement, he wouldn’t be alive to see it. And he would no longer be able to inflict his dour mood upon the others, which would drag them down into his level of depression.
Although, he reflected, suicide would mean he would never have to put up with the unnaturally cheerful people ever again. Unless...was everyone in heaven cheerful? And what did it matter? The way he was going right now, he would certainly be a prime candidate for admittance to hell.
The best question was why did he care? He was already living in hell – at least that was what it felt like to him. Hogwarts was supposed to be a wonderful place – the best seven years of his life – but to him, it felt like a dark, confining prison. That was all that it was – a prison.
Sure, it might have nice grounds and sunny corridors, but it was still a prison. He could not leave – could not escape. The professors were his jailors, the ones that oppressed him, forcing him into their subordination. And the students – the miserably cheerful, overwhelming students – that he was surrounded by were his punishment. Hogwarts didn’t need bars or dementors in order to confine – it in its entirety was prison enough for him.
Again, he looked out the window, this time calculating the drop. It would be enough to kill him, he realized, contemplating his course of action.
The look on their faces would be suitably distraught, he decided, thinking of the pale, timid girls who wandered around in large groups - grinning and giggling - shooting each other covert looks that they foolishly thought were secretive.
He could cause them to rethink their cosseted, light hearted, easy existence. He could shock them – perhaps even haunt them. He could picture it now, the frightened expressions on their wild eyed, flushed faces, as they woke from yet another nightmare involving a slim body falling from the tower.
Yes, that would certainly cause them emotional anguish – just like the anguish which he, himself, had, and was, suffering from. That could be the mark he left upon the world.
A slight motion near his arm caught his eye; he glanced over, catching sight of a large spider. He stared at it, his eyes transfixed by the long, delicate legs protruding from the spider’s plump body.
Eight legs, he realized, that’s eight times I could torture the thing. Or would it die before it lost them all? He hoped it wouldn’t, as that would remove some of the pleasure of the deed.
The spider had frozen; it seemed to be wary, as if it could understand his thoughts. Or perhaps, it had simply caught on to the murderous glint in his eyes and the hungry expression which had crossed his face.
He remained still, his mind envisioning the ease with which he would slowly, deliberately, remove each limb from the spider.
Something in his expression must have alerted the spider to his intentions – it suddenly spun around, scuttling towards the corner of the window.
No you don’t, he thought, moving with the speed of a wolf. The spider stood no chance; within the second it found itself clutched within his firm grasp. Pausing dramatically, he slowly turned his hand around, admiring the spider – whose long, thin legs were waving frantically – from all angles.
You aren’t that pretty, he thought cruelly, glancing at the spider’s chubby body, before silently informing it that the world would do better without its presence.
His mind made up, he began to work out his plan for making the spider’s death as painful and drawn out as possible. He would start with the left side, nearest to the head, and work his way to the back, before proceeding to the right and working his way from back to front.
Yes, he thought, smiling evilly as he brought his other hand towards the spider, I will enjoy this.
He savoured the delight of severing the first limb, approaching the task with controlled patience and deliberate speed. Slowly, he took the leg between his thumb and forefinger, hesitating for a second just to feel the increased way in which the spider struggled against its sudden increase in confinement.
Then he took a deep, relaxing breath and gave a gentle pull. The leg came off cleanly, although he swore that the spider shuddered beneath his grasp. Holding it up to the light which was still streaming through the window – about the only good thing that the light was good for – he admired the slim, delicateness of it.
And he took great pleasure in the ease with which he had removed it.
The spider, he discovered to his satisfaction, had been submitted entirely to his will. It might be unwilling, terrified beyond means, but that did not matter, for it was wholly under his control.
He was dominant – the future of the spider was in his hands. And for the first time in his miserable existence, he felt the strong surge of pleasure that he immediately connected with the delight of being in control.
No longer was he forced to be the subordinate, now he could be the master. During this moment in time, he was liberated from his sorrows, his concerns and his depression. Right now, he was free. Free to do what he desired. And what he desired at the moment was the removal of another seven limbs.
He removed the next three limbs with the same patient deliberance.
Like the first leg, he would pause after the fact, eyeing the limb – one which would be straight at first, before turning limp, going lifeless with in his very hand.
Spiders didn’t bleed, he reflected, as he stared at the left hand side – one which was now free of legs. Or, they didn’t bleed enough - either way - it was the same to him. He was slightly saddened by this discovery – the thought of the fresh blood which he could manipulate to his discretion held a great appeal to him, but he was pleased nonetheless with the changing appearance of the spider.
Now lacking four legs, the spider looked oddly lopsided – mutated. A freak, he thought with a smirk, taking pleasure in his change of the spiders design. Something that stood out, he added thoughtfully, just like myself, he realized, feeling the depression that had been so recently pushed from his mind come crowding back.
He saw the return of his depression, viewing it with anger and disgust, and realized that he needed to distract himself again.
Returning to his contemplation of the now mutant spider – whose remaining limbs were still waving feebly in its weak attempt at escape – he found it suitably distraction.
For a moment, he considered letting the spider go, wondering how long it would last in a world that was cruel and unkind – one that liked to pick on those who were different, unique, or weak. The spider wouldn’t live long, he knew, not with its crippled legs. Immediately it would become a target for those whom sought the weak, desiring to eradicate their existence. Still, he would be giving it a few more hours to live.
A stinging pain bit into his hand, he flinched and looked down, surprised to see a small, yet already inflamed red mark forming on the web of skin between his thumb and forefinger. He glared at the perpetrator – apparently the traitorous spider was attempting to make one last ditch effort at escape.
Any remorse that he had possibly felt for the mutated being had been erased, wiped from existence by the puncture wound caused by those two tiny, yet painful, fangs.
Taking a firmer grip on the spider – he felt is contracting as his hand squeezed around it, he took his other hand, ready to begin the removal of another four legs. And then, he thought, a twisted smile crossing his face, he would take the creature’s life.
He took these four legs off faster than the first four, his motions more abrupt, more savage. The simply pleasure of causing the spider pain had faded, now he was hungering for the next step – the kill.
Despite his newfound urgency, he still found that he wished to take a moment to view the stripped body, noting that all that remained of a once delicate creature was a fat, furry blob.
He now knew that he felt no sympathy for the spider that already lay dying in his outstretched palm. An overwhelming urge to kill had taken over his body, controlling his emotions. It fuelled his desire and instigated his next motion. Moving quickly, no longer feeling the need to savour the moment, he closed his hand, crushing the spider between fingers and palm.
His hand was damp where it had been sprayed by the guts of the now dead spider. Opening his palm, he revealed the crumpled corpse, and allowed himself an evil grin. Then, cold and uncaring, he swept the remains from his hand, sending the spider unceremoniously onto the dusty corridor, where it would either remain to rot, or be snatched up by another creature as an easily attained snack. His hand was stained by the spider’s guts – he lazily wiped his hand on his robes, removing the worst of the stains. Then he turned, striding away from the scene, feeling a lot calmer now than he had been when he arrived.
10 Years Later
He had her trapped, bound tight against the chair. He was in total control, his dominance had been established. She was watching him fearfully, her eyes wide open and red, her face paled by terror.
He could see the beads of sweat rolling down her forehead – his eyes fastened to them, watching delightedly as each droplet dripped steadily down.
His senses had been heightened – he could see every minute detail, hear every slight rustle of clothing, taste the combination of excitement and fear that clung to the heavy air that stifled the room.
He remained calm as he surveyed his prey. Gone was the need to torture through physical pain – it was not necessary; the mental fear was more than enough to cripple even the strongest of souls.
He no longer needed to draw blood, to slowly sever limbs. He could simply wait while the victim struggled futilely against their bonds, trying to escape the inevitable. Eventually they would break – all of them would – and that was when he would strike. One simple motion that was all that was required.
A simple motion and he could end a life.
His heightened senses heard her submissive gasp; a twisted smile crossed his face.
He looked at her, forcing her to meet his gaze and upon seeing the desperation and the pleading in her eyes, he immediately knew that the time was right. Nearing her, he reached down, withdrawing the silver knife from his robes.
She watched, wide eyed and panicked, as he raised it to her throat. He saw her throat bob as she swallowed, could feel the heat rising off of her face.
Then he moved in with one straight, clean swoop, dragging the knife across her flesh with practiced precision. A single moment and it was done. He stepped away from the sagging body, wiping the knife on his robes.
All that had been required of him was one simple motion – a simple motion that defined his life.
One of Voldemort's leading Death Eaters, Antonin Dolohov left his mark upon this world. Convicted of the murders of nearly fifty muggles and wizards alike and suspected to have been guilty of three times that number, he would be remembered in the minds of the survivors of the wars as a cruel, sinister, apathetic killer. He had created a name which was to be feared, a persona that resonated with darkness. And it all started because of an Itsy, Bitsy Spider.
A sequel to this, Broken Shadow has now been posted.
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