Chapter 1 : A Heavier Price
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It is the victors who sing the songs of glory. Never the vanquished.
The walk is long, and it is tedious. But our King is not feeling boredom, or pain, or defeat, as the vanquished do when they take this same walk of death.
Now, the Chosen One has chosen another to save. He may be a victor, but he has not sung his song… until now.
Now, as he walks through the barren lands of Azkaban, where the slain lie hissing in their pits of frozen fire, he feels like a puppet prince, shoved on a pedestal and instructed to lead. He has always felt this way about his battle, but it didn’t seem to matter when it was won.
As he passes his old enemies, bound to their deaths by the vows of a rebellious youth, he cannot look them in the eyes. It is his fault, all his fault. He has helped who he can, and he is here again to help one more.
The dark princes; young warriors at the heart of the war.
His feet slap painfully against the stone. The evil that guards is a living, breathing beast, sucking at his soul as it breathes. In, out… in, out… but it is not yet woken. The guards have moved away, but even as they inhale hungrily at the passing band, the chosen king sees the images of his bright-haired warriors flash before his eyes, before blurring and fading with the fog.
Good fights evil. It is not always clear which has won.
Up and up they climb, higher and higher as the walls press in, until it is so dizzying that all he wants to do is throw up. But then again, that might not be a side effect of the climbing. Most likely, it is the smell of rot and decay and hate that smothers each surface like a long-festering parasite, dripping thickly off ledges and gathering like infective slime in the corners of the cells.
Harry had thought that both hell and dungeons were under the ground, buried for no-one but the damned and the dead to see, yet Azkaban is a contradiction to both of those naïve assumptions. Azkaban is a festering wound, a slain beast with ulterior motives, a pathogen in the newly-born and glorified world where the equal revel, and the less equal are ingested and vomited into this pit of blackened life-preservation.
But then, at last, he finds the prize he was searching for, the one he will save. The golden twin Malfoy, whom the knights kidnapped and tied up, ruling by the law that they wrote, and who spat out his pride onto the infectious slabs long ago.
Green eyes clash on grey, but there is no challenge.
King Potter is here to lay down a flag of peace for the filthy, festering fallen. A shining jewel of a key, glinting in glory, is produced.
The vanquished must sing the songs too, or pay a heavier price.
A/N: This is written for Violet’s Figurative Description Challenge & Ilia’s Every Word Counts Challenge.
It’s very different to my normal writing style, but the Azkaban theme was inspired by AC_rules’ wonderful story, “Azkaban.” Anyone that read this far should go and read it right away :)