When I finally came to, it was dark outside. Anne was sitting by my head, waiting for me to awaken, a slightly mournful look on her beautiful face. I tried to open my mouth to reassure her that I was fine –which I wasn’t- but I found myself unable to do so and she sighed, Causing a small rag from my clothing to tear and soak in warm water. I took it from her and tried to wipe whatever it was on my face off, but let out a noise of agony as the water seeped into my wounds.
“Dear,” She said softly, “He ruined your face.”
And I knew, at her tone, that it wasn’t just a petty insult. With a heave of air, I sat up and slipped my hand under my mattress, pulling out a tiny shard of mirror I’d found I peered into it and gasped softly.
My face, where the shadow had consumed me, had raw, red burn-like wounds that looked as if I’d been attacked by some twisted version of a roped fiendfire. There were red gashes all over and I could barely recognize myself behind the marks that were sure to scar.
Call me superficial, but, the pain aside, the sight of my mauled face grossed me out just a little bit.
I carefully stripped my prison shirt off of my body, leaving me in just my tattered bra, as I slowly lowered myself into the near-freezing water, letting out a small cry of pain every time the water touched one of my sores.
I couldn’t heal them; they were a kind of magic I did not know. But Anne had told me, quietly, that when Voldemort had finally left, the black haze that had enveloped my face had spread, covering my entire body.
The wounds that marred my entire body oozed, raw and red, the blackness that had seeped into my skin. I knew the Darke was reacting strangely to me, and it hurt even more than it should.
This water that I was bathing myself in wasn’t ideal, but I needed to get rid of the blood and everything else before I could even try to bind the more-serious ones.
Anne floated near me, watching wordlessly as I tried to clean myself with my left arm, my right one dangling uselessly, smashed and also blood-covered. I moved my left arm up, as best I could and tried to wash out my hair, which was greasy, limp, and stiff, also with my own blood.
Looking at my reflection in the water, I saw that, aside from the burn-like sores that I was covered in, there were more than a couple gashes from other various curses I’d been hit with.
“I can’t do this anymore,” I whispered to her, giving up when I saw that I couldn’t very well bath myself with a dead arm and a severely wounded arm to add to my severely wounded everything else. But it wasn’t the only thing I was talking about. “Anne, I want to die. I refuse to go back to my past. I’ve done horrible things in my life, dying would be an honor.”
She continued staring at me for a moment, before Causing my shirt to fly into the water, cleaning itself and drying, before laying back on the frozen grey grass. Everything here was frozen and grey. “You must not give up,” She murmured, doing her best to Cause me into my shirt. Ghosts can’t do much for people, but spirits can Cause things to happen, usually minor, like a door closing, or a breeze picking up. She was rather good at doing slightly more major things, like dressing me. “It will be alright in the end.”
“You sound like my cousin,” I snapped at her, my anger passing as suddenly as it came. Slowly, I eased myself out of the water and slipped my pants on as best I could, before beginning the painful trek back up to my cell, Anne following behind me like a servant.
I felt dead. It was an unusual feeling, the numbness that had overtaken me when I’d seen the mark still on my left forearm, the complete defeat that surrounded me in a cloud of despair. I didn’t even know why. I’d had a reasonably okay life. People idolized me, though that would be because they didn’t know the truth. Not even Lucy knew the entire truth. I’d been respected and spoilt and all that other shite that you think matters until the truth begins to shine through.
“Miss,” Another voice sounded, the familiar spirit of Cleopatra floating in front of me, her head bowed low in respect. There were loads of historical spirits here; muggles and wizards mixed far more back when than now. “You must hurry; we have just been informed that you are to expect visitors today, in one hour.”
They’d instantly seen me as one of their own, a Queen. Except my title was not crowned, it was only fabricated. I’d never wanted it, but I’d gotten it, and I abused it. I didn’t deserve to be called a queen. However, I was alive and they were not, and the respect was given to me. I was in charge, and if I were naïve and in school, I’d be thrilled and malicious, but I wasn’t. I wanted to die.
“I do not wish to have visitors,” I murmured, more to myself than anything else, as if my opinion mattered. It seemed to escape them that I was in prison too.
“Let’s go,” Anne said softly, not moving until I did, and following respectfully. The entire similarity of everything slammed into me again, and it felt like I was in school again, in the Elite, raising my minions to be perfect, malicious, spoilt little robots.
It took longer than it should have, my getting back to the cell. Getting the wounds I had wet, while it made me feel just that much fresher, had not been the loveliest of ideas.
I pulled my shirt around me tighter, when the cold of the prison chilled me, exposing slightly my ribcage, covered with a thin layer of very pale skin. It was unhealthy, living in a prison. Most snuffed it after a few months, but I’d been here for nearly a year. Time passes agonizingly slow when you’ve got nothing left to do but think about the mistakes you’ve made. Luckily (or, not so luckily, depending on how you view it), I’d made loads of mistakes, so I had plenty to think about.
“Here we are,” Cleopatra said unnecessarily, but I did not comment on it. She ducked her head slightly before gliding away. Anne watched me again, her eyes wide. She was beautiful, beyond so, but so much like me that it hurt sometimes.
Vaguely, in the darkest part of night, I wonder if I am to have a fate of the ones all of these spirits I’d met gotten.
“Now,” Anne said quietly, “We must work on your posture. Miss Rose, you look defeated. A Queen must never look as if she’d given up.”
My mind flashed back to the day when we’d learned about her in History of Magic. Even when she was walking to the axe, her head was held high, and right before they beheaded her, she told them that she was innocent and that Jesus would know.
It was amazing.
I sighed inaudibly and straightened my posture, sitting the way I’d drilled it into Lucy’s head, so many years ago. My hands were folded primly in my lap and I stared out the window as Anne jabbered on about something, trying her best to keep me calm. I didn’t really feel stressed at the moment. I knew that Anne and Cleopatra and everyone else would prevent me from dying anyway, and looks aren’t everything. I’ve got things to do, and they are happening soon.
Here you lot go, a nice longish chapter(: I hope you liked it, even though there wasn't much going on. SEVEN left to go! Not eight, seven. Sorry, I miscounted *blushes*.