Disclaimer: I am only borrowing from the world of J.K. Rowling.
Chapter Six: All I Ever Wanted
Harry tried to wet his lips, the dried blood leaving a metallic taste in his mouth. He tried to get up, but found that both of his feet and hands were bound. His wrist binds were attached to a wall while his feet had weights on the end of the chain. The pit of his stomach hurt from hunger, making it even harder to move. The place seemed similar. As if he had seen it in a dream once, or perhaps the style of architecture was popular in other buildings. He tried to remember what had happened, but there wasn’t much.
He had been captured and the moment that they had gotten him, he had heard several voices yell Stupefy and now, he was here. The movement of his head showed that they had beat him up while he wasn’t awake, for the soreness was new. He was sure that he had broken a rib. His shirt was gone, and the low lighting made all of the injures look even worse.
“So he’s awake.” A voice said. “The Chosen One lives on.” The door had opened and after the last statement, there was lots of laughter, but as the man raised his hand it grew silent. So this, Harry thought, was the new leader.
“Who are you.” Harry said his voice raspy from not drinking anything.
“Oh, wee Potter wants to know my name. I’m,” The man said and spit on the floor, “Herstrong. That’s all you get.”
Harry stared into his eyes. He didn’t recognize him and had never heard of him before. As the other men began to fill to room, there was about thirty of them in all. This, Harry thought, was a problem. He wouldn’t be able to fight his way out of the room, even if he was healthy. “What do you want?”
“I don’t think you are in the position of making demands.” Herstrong said. “But I’ll tell you because I’m bored. I do hope you enjoy your stay in our master’s father’s home.” Herstrong said then started to walk across the room. “You,” he said staring straight at Harry, “Are the problem. You go up to our master and you each start a single spell, and then he’s dead. You made each of us look like fools, our leader was killed in a single spell by a seventeen year old.” He spit again, and the men around him began to jitter excitedly. “So, we bided our time. We knew you would be alone, unsuspecting, at some point, and when you were we got you. We are going to make you pay. For all of the things that you’ve did to us.”
“You did it to yourself!” Harry said. “You followed Voldemort, and he got it wrong. You should know this. And now, you pick again. You should repent, and your sentences will not be as harsh.”
The man laughed. “Oh dare you insult the Dark Lord’s name!.” Herstrong said his eye’s narrowing.”But, you are naive.” He said. “We will all face life sentences whether we like it or not. We don’t have a choice, and quite frankly, I don’t think I want to spend anytime in Azkaban. I want to see the Ministry crumble and decide whether or not muggles or good or bad. They are terrible, I might add.” Herstrong said. “You are naive.”
Harry shook his head. “You’ll never win. Even if you kill me. There are thousands of witches and wizards out there that will be able to take on the thirty of you.”
“If we kill you then there will be thousands that join our side.” Herstrong said and approached him. He took Harry’s arm and Harry couldn’t move because of the binds. Turning it hard, Herstrong showed everyone Harry’s scars. “What you trying to do? Make a Dark Mark?” Everyone laughed and Harry fumed.
Harry bite his tongue and then remembered a saying, “Then who’s the bigger fool? The fool, or the man that follows him?” He addressed this to those that were now shuffling nervously behind Herstrong. A few of them were Death Eaters, that Harry recognized, but he was sure that they didn’t have to stand behind this man. “And who appointed you as leader. You don’t seem very menacing, with a name like Herstrong? Does that mean your girl strong?”
Several of the men looked as though they’ve never thought of this before, and Herstrong cast a silencing spell on Harry, and then turned to the men.
“You didn’t even fight in the Final Battle!” One man said.
“You just wanted power!” Another added
“Yeah, and you didn’t even make your beliefs clear until after Voldemort was running the Ministry.”
More conflicts were voiced and Harry looked around. These, Death Eaters, he thought, they were not the smartest ones. These were the ones that weren’t important enough, Harry added, to actually be on a watchlist or to actually be in the inner circle, but they were capable of very bad things.
“Shut up!” Herstrong said. “Enough of this. This scrawny little boy is just trying to get us to turn us against each other.” So, Harry thought, this guy did have a brain. Even if it was just a small one.
“What do we do boss?” One of the man said, a slight fear quavering his voice.
“Well, he insults the Dark Lord’s name.” Herstrong said, and gave Harry a swift kick. “I think we just leave him there. Let him feel the pain of hunger for a little longer.” Harry’s vision had began to fade, and everyone filed out of the room. Herstrong stayed there, and then whispered into his ear after everyone was gone, “You’ll pay for that one.” Herstrong released the silencing charm, but was out of the room before Harry could think of anything else to say.
The next day Harry woke up, and he hurt. But this time, it wasn’t so much from the bruises and the fact that he couldn’t find a comfortable place to lay down while his hands were tied behind him, but the hunger. It had been a long time ago when he had an actually good meal. Unfortunately, Mrs. Weasley had not tried to stuff food down his throat. The gnawing pain in his stomach was going to make him thinner than he ever was, and remembering some of the pictures of starving people he had seen in school long before he knew he was a wizard were coming back to him. He looked down on his chest, and saw that his ribs were already easy to see, but he still had some amount of nutrients on him. He could probably last another day, before it was just impossible for him to keep awake, and he didn’t want to think about that.
“So, I see you’re struggling.” Herstrong said as he swung open the door, “Just the way I like it.” He had come alone this time. “But we do need you alive.” With a wave of his wand, he summoned a small slice of bread and a glass of water. “Open wide.” Herstrong said and Harry, knowing that he didn’t have a choice opened his mouth. Herstrong stuffed the bread in his mouth quite forcefully, and then placed the water on the ground. “When you’re thirsty, you can drink.” He then left the room, with Harry still chewing the stale bread hoping that it would provide him with the strength he needed to not give up. He needed to try and stay alive. As the bread traveled down his throat, he looked at the glass.
The only way for him to drink out of it was to lap it like a dog. This, Harry thought, was precisely the effect that Herstrong was going for. He wanted Harry to look like a mutt that was begging food off of people so that it could survive. Harry looked around, and then did his best to drink it. The water ran through him, awaking his body slightly, and as Harry tried to get more, it spilled. Now he was sitting in wet jeans that they had forced onto him when he had been knocked out. Knocking the cup away with his head, he leaned back up. Of course, he was wearing denim, and of course, denim didn’t dry very fast.
Harry sat there, with no recollection of time running, and just a blank room to be sitting in. He thought about Herstrong’s words the day before. He had said something about their master’s father’s house. So, did that make it Tom Riddle Sr.? He had heard from his lessons with Dumbledore that the Riddle’s were quite rich, and just by the wallpaper in this room, it represented that. There were ornate designs drawn into them, but all of the paintings had been removed and a slight change in the coloring of the wallpaper at some points represented them. There were no windows, so they were in the middle of the house, and the slight patter of feet above him placed him under a floor. He could also be in the basement, but the way the room looked just made him feel as if it was above ground.
The door creaked open again, and this time Herstrong was with a couple of his men. “Oh, our little hero had an accident.” He mocked and Harry just sat there staring ahead. All they wanted was a fight, something to give them a sport, if I don’t respond they’ll lay off. He then thought, and if they get bored, they’ll kill me. This thought didn’t help Harry’s resolve and he whispered, “Precisely, an accident.”
“Sorry, I didn’t catch that.” Herstrong said. “Can you repeat that.”
“It’s just an accident, there’s nothing more that I can do.” Harry said smiling. “But it does keep one cool in these hot summer day’s.”
“Oh, the boy has a sense of humor. No wonder our Master loved him so much.” Herstrong said sarcastically. “Isn’t that right boys.” He said and the others laughed along and Harry joined in, even if the laugh was rather forced.
Herstrong raised his hand and the other’s grew silent but Harry kept chuckling. “Your like him you know.” Harry said, “In certain aspects, but you still have things to work on. And you haven’t done anything. But you command the same level of pigheadedness.”
Herstrong seemed to have taken enough of Harry and kicked him in the stomach. Harry felt like he was about to lose his meager lunch, but he kept it down. “You.” he said and spit. “Are a miserable little twit.” He left and his cronies left with him. Harry sat back. There had to be someway that they were going to be able to find him. He said a silent prayer and sat back before he fell into a state of unconsciousness.