"Stop there,” grumbled a man's voice, just as Harry's foot landed on the front step of his house, and Harry looked up at the man who owned it.
"Put your hands behind your back-,"
"Is this really-," Harry tried to reason.
"Now, please!" snapped the shaggy-haired Auror, whom Harry knew was still a trainee.
Sighing, Harry obediently put his hands behind his back, and felt the cool silver handcuffs fasten around his wrists. He grunted in pain as it tightened on his already delicate right hand.
"Nasty injury you got there mate," grumbled a blond man Harry didn't know. Harry didn't answer him, he knew it was more of a stab than an actual statement.
"Just take this easy, don't want to make a scene, okay?"
A hand on either side took Harry's shoulder and gently shoved him to get him to start walking. They walked down the garden, the ground crunching loudly under their feet.
Without warning, and before they got to the bottom of the garden, they apparated, startling Harry to stumble backwards and step on the toes of the Auror behind him, who hissed and shoved him forward.
When they landed, Harry stumbled forward, and was grabbed from the back to stop his fall. When he regained his balance, Harry looked up at his surroundings and his heart sank even further, he had a good feeling that they were heading to this place, but a little niggling part of him still hoped they weren't...
Standing tall and as menacing as ever, with dark thunder clouds looming around the top most peak of the building, Harry's blood ran cold. Of course he'd been here before, on his many jobs as a brief Auror, and on those occasions he felt like running a hundred miles from the place, now he didn't have a choice but to walk towards the large front iron doors.
The Aurors' grips loosened slightly on Harry's upper arms, as they walked forward, the thousands of unnamed gravestones visible to their right, while to their left boulders lowered down to the crashing waves of the North Sea against the small island.
Nobody spoke, their breaths blowing over their heads in clouds of cold frost, and Harry's body started to shake, whether from the coldness or the panic that overcame him, he didn't know.
Trying to keep himself together, the large doors started to swing open as they passed by, letting them into the large entrance hall, completely bare with only a small square opening in the wall straight ahead of them.
Harry was startled at the deep voice that came behind the gap and a withered and grey hand pushed a piece of paper on a pad out to them.
The shaggy-looking trainee Auror stepped forward, lifting the hand with his wand and did a small flick over the pad. Harry saw the scribble of his signature dart across a line at the bottom.
An eerie silence followed as the person's hand took back the pad and they waited. Harry's heart hammering painfully in his chest so that he felt like he was about to vomit. Gulping down hard, he watched the shadow of the person move as he got up from his seat and walked away.
A few bangs and clangs later, he pushing out dark grey bottoms, jacket, white shirt, black runners and a small bag.
Harry watched as the trainee Auror took them without questioning, and with a shove he followed the blonde man and woman through a door into a separate room.
He felt the handcuffs loosen as he stepped into the room, and with a 'pop', they disappeared in a puff of smoke.
“Stand over there,” and Paul pointed to the wall to their left. Harry walked over and turned to watch as the man flicked his wand over a piece of board now in his hands.
The girl Auror stood at the door they'd just come through, while the big blonde one stood behind him..
“Here,” and he handed it to Harry, who took it. “Just hold it in front of you,” and Harry did, looking at the trainee Auror now holding the camera, and with a bright flash, and a puff of smoke, his first mug shot was taken.
“Turn to the side,” Paul ordered, and Harry did, another flash and cloud of smoke followed.
Harry handed the board back over.
"I'm sure you know the proceedings Mister Potter," came the smart remark from the large blonde bloke. Paul glared at him.
Knowing it was completely pointless arguing, as he'd seen it at least two-hundred times before, Harry began to undo his clothes, by first kicking off his trainers, and Paul picked them up. Harry watched as he waved his wand over them with a mumbled 'Aparecium', and when nothing showed itself, he settled them over at the side.
Harry then continued to pull his jumper, along with his shirt over his head, goosebumps instantly breaking out onto his skin as his muscles started to involuntarily shake with the coldness. He handed his garments over.
Trying not to let his teeth chatter, Harry unbuckled his belt as his hands began to shake uncontrollably, and pulled off his jeans and boxers. When they were off he kicked them over to the side. He was now completely naked in the middle of the room and freezing.
There was a mumble behind Harry and his whole body instantly felt prickly as the same spell used on his shoes was used on him. Paul stood in front of Harry with his prison clothes in his hands, looking over Harry's shoulder at the man behind to get a confirmation, and when the spell lifted off Harry, he handed the clothes over.
Harry took them gingerly, and started to dress himself as quickly as he could so as to get the heat back into him.
“Here,” and Paul held out the shoes to him. Harry took them without a word and slid the white socks on before slipping on the shoes that were two sizes too big for him.
“Which one is he going into?” Paul asked.
Paul nodded “You can go, I'll take him up,” he replied, looking over at the girl who was shrinking Harry's belongings into the small black bag.
Taking a gentle hold on Harry's arm, he maneuvered him over to the side door and just as his hand landed on the door's handle a shout rang out.
They both snapped their heads around to the girl who had been packing the bag. “Give it to me,” she stated, holding out her hand to them. Harry's heart dropped, he knew instantly what she meant, and he bit back the tears as he looked down at the beaded bracelet wrapped around his wrist.
“I need to take it off you, for safety reasons,” she explained softly, but the smugness in her tone was visible. Harry nodded, knowing his voice was going to fail him if he tried to talk, he untied the back of the string, and painfully held it out to her. Harry watched as her fingers came inches from making contact with it...
Paul snatched it, before either knew what had happened.
“Get down off your high-Hippogriff Jess!” he snapped, Jess eyes widened in shock at being told off.
“What are you doing?” she snapped.
“It's a bracelet, it's not like he's going to be able choke himself with it,” Paul retorted.
“He could swallow the beads!”
Paul's face dropped in disbelief, and it took him a bit longer to get over the shock of her answer.
“You are joking?” he asked, Jess didn't reply, a red flush creeping onto her cheeks. Paul shook his head, “You know what? I'm not even going to answer that ridiculous statement you've just made!” and he threw a dismissive wave towards her, “go home Jess,” and he turned back to face the door.
“You can't tell me where to go!” she barked, and Harry was starting to feel awkward.
“Who's senior?” Paul growled.
“Case closed,” he stated plainly. Turning around and continuing through the door with Harry. As Harry followed him, he glanced back at Jess, who was glaring at the back of Paul's head, her face scrunched up in fury.
Harry turned around just as he stepped over the threshold, to find himself standing in a little opening, between the door he'd just walked through and a solid steel door.
“They're going to try and make you think that this is the same as before, but don't listen to them, it isn't as bad as what it was back then,” Paul whispered, unlocking the steel door with a flick of his wand and letting a silent Harry through first.
They entered into a small dark corridor, that was lined by cells on either side and lit only by little globes of light that floated few and far between.
Movement caught the side of Harry's eyes and he looked into the first cell on his right.
Two women were inside it, both of their attentions focused on him. One was a skinny, black-haired girl, who sat hunkered on the ground, directly in the tiny strip of moonlight that came in through their window, so it landed on her dark locks. While the bigger, and blonde-haired one stopped her walk around the cell, and turned to him, tattoos lining her arms and showing him a pierced eyebrow.
“Come on,” and with a wave Paul indicated for Harry to keep following him.
“Here you go,” and he stopped mid-way down the corridor. Harry peeked into the cell he'd stopped beside, it was empty.
“It's only for tonight,” Paul explained, pushing the cell door open with a clang.
Harry gingerly stepped into it, his body feeling numb. No emotion came to him as he surveyed the room, it was bare, nothing but large, cold stone walls on all four sides and a cot.
The door clanged, and Harry jumped around in fright, his breath catching in his throat, to see that Paul was standing in the cell with him. The man looked like he was thinking hard, the crinkles in his brow deepening as he looked over his shoulder to check that they were alone. He then turned back around and looked down at his hand, and Harry followed his gaze to see that he was still holding onto Albus' bracelet.
Harry stood rooted to the spot, watching quietly as Paul strolled over to the cot and sat himself down.
“Come here, sit down,” and he patted a spot on the bed beside him. Without a word, Harry walked over and sat down, not dropping his gaze from the beads.
Paul didn't look at him but twisted the beads between his fingers, and Harry had the sudden urge to snatch them from him.
“I know I'm not suppose to talk to you, but I'm going to give you a heads up,” he began to speak, and handed the bracelet out to Harry with a sad smile. Harry took it, and stared down so he wouldn't have to make eye-contact with him, “just keep your head down and don't make conversation with anyone. Only when you're spoken to,” he whispered, leaning towards Harry so he wouldn't be overheard.
“Got it?” he asked. Harry just nodded, not looking towards him.
“They'll transfer you to the bigger hall tomorrow,” he added, “this” and he looked around at the stone walls surrounding them. “It's only so they can get papers and legal stuff sorted.”
“When you go out for exercise, stay away from the other groups,” Harry looked towards him, and the panic must of been visible on his face, as Paul quickly added “Don't worry, you won't meet any ex-Dark Lord followers or anything, they're still locked up twenty-four seven,” he explained, with a tap on Harry's leg. “Just keep your head down and don't get yourself mixed up in the wrong crowd, okay?”
Silence fell between them and slowly, Harry nodded again.
“Don't worry, mate. You'll be out of here before you know it,” and he showed Harry his feeble attempt of a reassuring smile. Harry watched as Paul stood up from the bed and made his way towards the cell door, pulling out his wand, he tapped the tip against the steel and it slid open.
With one final glance back at Harry, the rails clanged shut and he disappeared down the corridor, leaving Harry by himself.
Harry concentrated on his breathing, listening to the mumbles of the two girls down the corridor, and that was when he heard the horrible sound, the sound of faraway screaming. Standing up slowly, he walked towards the small window and looked out at the twinkling stars that escaped down to him through the clouds. They were the screams of Death Eaters, he was sure of it.
After a few minutes of just listening to the screams, mixed in with the gentle sound of the waves, his attention turned back to himself and his situation, to the fact that the wizarding world and newspapers were going to have a field-day with this- the great Harry Potter locked up in Azkaban. He could already see the headlines stretching across all the front pages of the Morning Prophet tomorrow. With this running around in his head, and with no more tears left to cry, he sank himself down onto the cold, damp floor, underneath the rays of silver moonlight...
Slowly, he lifted up his bandaged hand and stared at the bracelet still clutched in his purple-coloured fingers.
A piece of string and plastic was all he had left of his children.
“No, Harry. Don't think that,” he hissed to himself, as the tears started to blur his version. It was pointless telling himself that, because he knew deep down...It was true.
Rubbing away the tears, he bit on his lower lip and rested his head against the stone wall beside him.
Everything was just memories now.
Harry sat there in silence, just staring at the bracelet, until a voice broke through his thoughts.
“Oy! Potter,” came the slurred whisper. Harry turned towards his door, he didn't know there was another person with him and the girls. “I'm sure your listening,” the voice continued to slur, “you deserve to be in here,” he mumbled, his voice getting louder “You know why? Because everyone knows you have a nasty temper and you're just a ticking-,”
Before he could finish, there was a flash of wand light.
“Yo. SHUT UP!” yelled the officer, who, by what Harry could see from the outline of his body on the stone floor was standing outside the cell just across from him. “Get to bed,” he growled.
There was ruffling of fabric and footsteps, followed by a squeak of a bed, then silence, and Harry turned back to look at the wall ahead of him.
He blinked as a ray of bright wand light filtered into his small cell. Harry squinted his eyes to look past it and at the Auror.
“Potter,” he grumbled with a nod of his head, “nox” he whispered, and the darkness ate everyone up once more. Harry listened to the footsteps fade away and the loud bang of the door.
Harry sighed, his breath escaping in a chilly wisp, and he moved his legs tighter to his chest to try and hold in the little heat he could.
Slowly, and still huddled in the same position, his eyes closed over and he could feel himself drift off to sleep...
His arms loosened around his body...
Harry's eyes snapped opened, and the darkness disgruntled him for a second as to where he was.
“NO! NO! PLEASE PLEASE!”
Without realising it, Harry was on his feet, breathing heavily as his heart hammered at his chest, the man's yells echoing around the building.
Two other voices huffed and mumbled stuff under the bellows of the man, but were too quiet that Harry couldn't make out what they were saying.
“NO I'M BEGGING I CAN'T BE HERE!”
Harry gingerly stepped forward, his body still shaking with the fright of the sudden awakening as he walked across the cell. Taking hold of the bars in his hands he peered down the corridor.
There was a mass of three men just inside the door, one was down on the ground, while two suited Aurors gripped tightly onto either side of him, their faces contorted with the effort of moving the boy.
The boy, at this thought, Harry's eyes snapped back to the screaming and wiggling person, he looked young enough to sit his NEWTS, the veins in his head and neck strained as he screamed.
In a flash, one of the Aurors had tugged him and flipped him onto his stomach flat out on the ground.
“Just to make this easy on everyone!” he barked, ropes erupting out of the wand now gripped in his hand, and they wrapped around the boys hands and feet.
“NO, PLEASE PLEASE!” the boy continued to plead, but neither of the Aurors were listening to him.
The Auror who had conjured the ropes, indicated to his mate to take his legs, and the two of them carried the still yelling boy down the corridor. Harry heard the cell next to him cling open and the three bundled themselves into it.
That was when Harry caught site of the bloke across the hall. He was short with dark brown eyes, with a moustache and a goatee, he watched on silently and didn't speak a word as the two puffing Aurors exited the cell and the cell's door slid closed.
Harry stepped back, watching as the Aurors left through the steel door, and everyone seemed to be on tender toes as they waited for the kid's outburst, but it never came.
There was only the sound of sobs...
Harry eyed the man across the corridor, waiting for him to shout something, as he stared at the sobbing kid, and Harry had himself ready to lash back at him for when he did say something smart.
But he didn't say a word, with a glance at Harry, he turned his back to them, and rubbed his hands through his medium brown hair and silently sank himself down onto his cot.
Harry knew he was thinking the same thing as him- the kid didn't have a chance, and that was the worst thought of all.
Silently, Harry walked back over to his bed and sank down onto it. His hand still clinging onto the bracelet.
He listened to the gentle cries coming from the other side of the stone wall...
Unsurprisingly, Harry got no sleep that night, the boys cries died to sniffles at about six in the morning, as the orange sun began filtering in through the windows. The loud snores of the other bloke sounded at around three, and Harry knew it was pointless even attempting to get a bit of sleep- the snores sounded as if he'd put a Sonorous spell on himself.
Harry jumped in fright at the sudden shouts, fixing his glasses that he hadn't been bothered taken off, he turned his head to see two Aurors standing facing his cell. When the hell did they get there?
“Get dressed,” said one of them, just as the man who owned the loud shouts strolled passed, peering in to make sure he was up.
With his bones aching from the lumpy mattress he'd been lying on, Harry groaned as he sat up and pulled on his shoes, just as his cell slid open.
“Come here,” ordered one of the Aurors, and Harry obediently walked over to them.
“We need to bind your hands, just as a precaution for now.”
Harry didn't reply, but held out his hands to him. He watched the silver rope slide slowly out of the Aurors wand, and move snake-like around his wrists, when it was sealed tightly the end of the spelled rope broke away from the Aurors wand and tied around the man's raised arm instead
Without warning, the Auror Harry was now tied to, turned, forcing him to stumble out of his cell and stand beside him in the corridor.
Knowing it was a part of their job, to not make conversation when not needed, Harry couldn't help but still mentally curse at the Auror, and forced his mouth to remain shut.
Harry looked to his right, to see that the white-faced kid was already standing outside his cell, his skinny, hunched body shaking violently. He looked pitiful standing beside the bulky man who he was tied to.
Everyone's attention turned to the man who stood at the end of the corridor.
The man, whom Harry presumed was just another regular Auror, as he didn't know he was, scanned over everyone before he turned on his heel and pushed open the two doors.
“Come on,” mumbled the Auror attached to Harry, and Harry started walking, falling into line behind the kid.
They passed through the doors, into a dark corridor and turned left.
“Will you walk properly, please,” hissed the bulky Auror in front of Harry, as the kid stumbled on every second step he took, his shoes getting caught in his over-sized overalls. He let off a tiny squeak, so small, that Harry was sure that his two Aurors didn't hear it.
They then filed through a door to their right and into a large cafeteria, where food was already laid out on a counter at the side.
As they walked up to get their trays of a breakfast, which consisted of a choice between porridge or all-brain, the ropes vanished from their wrists, but they were kept in reaching distance of at least one of their Aurors.
Harry stopped at the counter, looking at the selection, and picked up a tray of porridge along with a glass of orange juice. He followed one of his Aurors through the seats.
“You expect me to eat this crap?!” Harry turned to look back, the two girls were glowering down at the bowl of porridge in their hands, pure disgust written on their faces.
“Nope, but if you don't, you go the whole day without anything to eat,” came the smart reply of one of the female Aurors.
“Sit,” and a hand landed on Harry's shoulder, forcing him to snap his head around to just barely seeing the table before he was shoved onto the bench.
“Do not move from this spot.”
Why the hell would I? Harry thought bitterly, looking down at the porridge he'd just picked up, it looked like puke, and along with it having a weird grey colouring- didn't help his first thought of it...it was puke.
Looking around to see some of his fellow newbies prodding their bowls, 'kid' hadn't bothered to pick up his spoon, but his large blues eyes just stared down at it, his face holding no expression.
Feeling a rather nasty lump forming in his throat, Harry rubbed his hands over his unshaven chin, just as his stomach let off a loud grumble. Great, he was hungry and this was all he had to eat.
Harry picked up his spoon, and prodded the lumpy porridge, watching as the steam swirled up from it, well at least it was hot.
A loud gagging and spluttering sound, and Harry turned to see the loud-mouthed man wiping up his sprayed porridge from the table, a look of pure repulsion written on his flushed face.
Harry had a feeling that he was just being dramatic and over-reacting just to get attention, and he lifted up his spoon and watched as the porridge plopped back down in lumps, or maybe he wasn't. Taking a deep breath he scooped up a spoonful and shoved it into his mouth.
All that he could think was thank god it was hot, it was lumpy and had the funny taste of salt and something rather odd that Harry couldn't figure out. He forced himself not to spit it out and gulped it down while his body and brain wanted to throw it back up. He had no choice in the matter, he had to get use to it...
When everyone had finished their cereal, or had the amount their stomachs could keep down, the Aurors started to walk towards them, and ordered them to stand up.
“Come on,” said the deep voice of Harry's Auror. Harry took hold of his plate and stood up, he walked over towards the pile of trays waiting on the counter, with his Auror a step behind him.
“Hurry up,” and a hand roughly grabbed Harry's biceps, just as the tray landed on the counter and shoved him. Gritting his teeth, Harry followed the rest of them through a new door.
They walked down another dark corridor, and the door at the end slowly opened as the kid and his Auror came up to it, allowing sunlight to flood into them. Harry, along with most of the people in the corridor, shielded his eyes from the glare, and he squinted through it. To see the kid's expression, and for a split second Harry had to make sure that the boy hadn't wet himself, as the terror on his face told Harry he was on the verge of doing so.
Cheering and loud wolf whistles erupted as the kid stepped out, and Harry got the sudden terrible idea that they were being sent in with the other inmates. But as he stepped outside, to the overcast grey skies, relief flooded through him, the other inmates were in a different enclosure, blocked off by a walking space for Aurors. Thank god.
“Potter!” was yelled as they caught sight of him.
“You ain't going to make it out of here!”
Harry didn't give them a second glance, and just kept on walking towards the bench over at the far side of their own enclosure, turning his back against the loud shouts and insults that were being thrown at him.
He settled himself down on top of the wooden bench, turning to look at the crowd of calling inmates.
That was when his eyes landed on a scruffy-looking, shaggy haired man.
Ian Bradshaw; caught jinxing a Muggle girl.
Harry thought, remembering back to when he'd arrested him, the bloke tried to bite off his finger, forcing Harry to knock one of his front teeth out.
Then his eyes landed on a red curly-haired woman standing silently near the back.
Fiona Shaw; caught trying to sell baby dragons as exotic, tamed lizards.
Harry's eyes scanned over them, and saw at least twenty other people who were in here because of him.
Trying to conceal his smile, he looked down at the ground and rested his banging head in his hands.The reason why he smiled was because if he didn't, Harry knew he'd burst into tears. He was not looking forward to being mixed with them later that day.
“Shut up!” the shout made Harry look up, to see that the 'loud-mouthed' man couldn't keep quiet any longer as a group insulted him. “Yea what you going to do about it!” he asked, stretching out his arms. The other ones yelled back at him all at once that Harry couldn't make out what they were saying.
Harry couldn't believe the stupidity of some people of not knowing when to keep quiet, sighing, he looked around to find how the others were coping.
“Kid” was at the furthest point he could possible get to the inmates, hunkered down on the ground and, to Harry, seemed to be crying, with his hands covering his ears in an attempt to block out the shouts. Harry knew he shouldn't feel sorry for anyone, but this kid wasn't up for it and they were going to eat him alive. If he was any other place, he would have gone over and talked to him, but not here.
Harry pulled his gaze away from him and towards the two women who now stood at the end of the compound, talking to another group of women on the other side, looking like they were chatting over cups of tea and not through two steel fences.
That was when a single shout bellowed over the other screams, so that it rang around the hollow opening and echoed on in Harry's head for ages after it was first yelled...