Chapter 1 : The Final Testimony
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That I’d rather die than listen to him suffer.
No, they’ll never understand. They have babies too but do they care? No, why would they?
They are Death Eaters.
It comes to you suddenly and engulfs you strongly. It transcends through shifts in space, shifting and resurrecting, through the stars in the sky. Yes, that’s what you see when you look up there, that’s what you see when you look in here. It doesn’t feel, it doesn’t hear, it can only fill. Fill what? You may ask. What can’t it fill? I may reply. Yes, it can fill anything, even the darkest space I’ve been trapped in. What is it? You may ask, look deep inside your heart, I may reply, for it is in the deepest treks of our flesh that it is born, fed and sent fourth. It is our soul companion at all times.
I wait for the moment. I hear him screaming too but no, he’s strong. He can take care of himself. Right now he’s taking care of all of us, facing all those wands, drawing their attention away from me and our baby. No, he doesn’t need help. My baby does.
His screaming draws the attention of the death Eater that’s holding me down. He has been trying to avoid it and keep to his job but Barty Crouch Junior is only a kid. He cannot resist the temptation. I’ve known this from the moment Bellatrix handed me over to him, to “take care” of me later. But I saw something which she didn’t. I saw Junior’s eyes.
Hunger filled eyes.
Yes. It is born in our flesh at our darkest moments, born from the blackness. It feeds on the empty space, filling it up as it grows, and it flies forth, breaking the boundaries, all the trapdoors that keep it locked.
It flies forth, breaking our hearts.
He loosened his grip on me a little, turning towards the ongoing show. He raised his wand towards Frank, joining in Cruciating him along with the others.
And I grabbed the chance.
I slipped slowly and ran towards the door. I could hear Junior coming after me but I ran, throwing ornament after ornament in his way, trying to delay him. I turned around the corner and ran into the room, bolting the door behind me.
My baby was sitting on the floor, in the middle of a ring of fire. I jumped into the fire without hesitation. I felt my night gown catch fire but I didn’t break a step. I lifted my Neville into my arms and reached inside his babygro back pocket. I took the baby alarm out just in time…
Before Bellatrix blasted the door out of its sockets.
It frees the flesh of pain and existence as it breaks forth all the trapdoors. It’s free now, free of seclusion, free of the fight. But isn’t that good? You may ask, Is it? I may ask back, for it was only free from one contraption. It was given access to more. Now you tell me, is that good?
I pressed the red button and took a sharp turn, turning my back on them and hiding Neville from view. I felt the Cruciatus curse hit me hard in my spine. I closed my eyes, picturing the result of my actions. I’ve pressed the button. Now the rest of the Order will know that we’re under attack. They’d apparate right away. We’ll be safe. We’ll all be safe.
Tell me James. Is it good that it’s making its way to the rest of my existence, bit by bit, bidding its time, teasing me, and taming me? Only, I will never be tamed and it will press against me harder, pulling at my blood, at all my cells. It will engulf every crook of my ship, but I will not be tamed. No James, I will not, for our Harry is all alone.
Unable to contain the pain, I fell on the floor, hitting my head hard, but I didn’t recoil. I curled into a ball protecting Neville from the fire and the curses. I can hear Frank screaming from the living room, demanding that they let us go. But there’s no point now. There’s no need. I hear Bellatrix screaming at me, asking me where we’re hiding the bastard. I close my eyes in content. Even if he was still alive, neither Frank nor I would have given in to their threats. We would not have begged for mercy. We are the Longbottoms and we will stand strong to protect our baby, from pain and humiliation. He will not be remembered as the son of the Aurors who fell at the wand of Bellatrix Lestrange. No, Neville Longbottom will be remembered as the son of the Aurors who fought and resisted Bellatrix Lestrange and three other Death Eaters until the very end.
I feel it worsen as the Dementors draw closer, powered by its ascend. I feel it James. I feel it cracking the very element of my blood, every atom of moist. I feel it engulf every cell in my body, I feel it enter. I feel it break forth, just like it did to my heart. I am falling apart. No you are not, you may say any amount of times as you wish, yes I am, I may reply to each time you do so. For I am truly falling apart.
I see it all now, bright and clear, only brighter and clearer than when it really happened. I see the day I first saw Frank. He was losing a battle to Malfoy, near Hagrit’s hut. Oh yes I see it now. He’s on the floor bleeding, surrounded by a mocking set of to-be Death Eaters. He sees me, oh he looked at me and all I could do was smile and he winked. I hear myself laugh over the screams of Bellatrix’s. Is this how people go insane? No it can’t be. Losing sanity can’t feel so right. Not when one’s been subjected to so much pain. Speak of the bastard. I feel another Cruciatus curse join Bellatrix’s. The pain is excruciating but I don’t care. This is the way it should end. This is the way I want it to end.
It is born in our flesh at our darkest moments, born from the blackness. It feeds on the empty space, filling it up as it grows, and it flies forth, breaking the boundaries, all the trapdoors that keep it locked. What is left of me no longer has sense. What is left of me no longer has no purpose. What is left of me suddenly wants it to end. I want to join you.
But why are you feeling lonely Padfoot? You may ask. Don’t you know? I reply. What would I not feel lonely James? What have I got to hold on to? I’ve lost you… Forever.
I see the moment. Oh yes, this is the moment. I’m storming out of the Great Oak doors, fuming. How dare they attack him from behind when he was minding his own business and not stepping in their way? The bitch Black and her little gang! Attacking h-him from behind! Ha serves her right. The stun caught her right on the nose. I turn back, planning on hexing her more but I stop, seeing him storm out of the doors. He looks very angry. He’s storming towards… me! I take a step back in fear as he walks right up to me. He has never looked so angry… What have I done to him? Wha- Ohhh His lips crashes down on mine, tripping me off balance. His lips don’t move as he cradles an arm around my waste, stopping me from falling. His other hand reaches for my face, cupping one cheek in it. I hear people clapping and wolf-whistling all around us. I don’t care. Merlin how can I? The fireworks are just too much.
Where is Harry? Did they find him? Or did Hagrid find him before them? Is he safe now? Who’s looking after him? Is he crying? Is he looking for Lily? Is he hungry?
Is he lonely?
My spine arch backwards as the word strengthens it. I can hear its mockery as it makes it way to rest of what’s left of me. I feel another cell giving up, I feel it crack, I fell it die. But shouldn’t death cease all pain? Then why does the dead part of me burn? Why does is burn more and more as it kills more? Why James? Have you not forgiven me?
It is not your fault, you say. It is definitely my fucking fault, I reply. It is my fault that you’re dead. It is my fault that I’m burning in this eternal damnation. It is my fault that I’ve lost you forever.
You haven’t lost me…
I see his face. My baby is out in the world looking into his first light. He squirms in my arms, lashing out in this sudden alien heat. Frank’s head is lying on my shoulder, looking at out new little miracle. Baby Neville, he whispers in my ear. I turn my face slightly, bringing my lips inches away from his ear and whisper, “Baby Neville Frank Longbottom.”
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. Love is the soul that stays behind. Love, Padfoot, is the anchor to life when even life deserts you. Love has brought me here beyond lifetimes, beyond worlds and beyond possibilities. You haven’t lost me.
I see nothing now, except a cold dense blackness. I hear footsteps and screams. I hear Bellatrix fall and I laugh. I laugh so hard that I roll into the fire. If it is fire, then why does it not burn me? If it does not burn me, how do I know that it is fire? Have I lost it already? Have I lost the battle?
I writhe and scream as it makes its way to the final bit of me, my brain. I feel the Dementors draw closer as it wraps its existence around mine. I feel myself give in, I feel myself lash out again. What’s happening? How did I escape? Or did I escape at all? If I did, then it only lasted a mere moment for I feel it creep around my head again, dancing and mocking me. It’s creeping around to get a better hold of me. I feel myself drown again. That’s when I hear you whisper in my ear. Was that what helped me escape earlier? Will I escape again? But what’s the point James? I’ve lost you forever.
I hear familiar voices all around me. They sound panicked. Why are they panicked? My baby is safe. He is… Isn’t he? I feel familiar hands reach out for Neville but I don’t protest. I know these hands. I know them. But who… I feel my body being dragged out of the fire, and yet I didn’t feel a thing. How was that possible? Have I left my body behind already? Am I drifting upwards? Where is Frank? Is he coming as well? Questions, so many questions, but only one is being answered. Only one will ever be answered.
“He’s alright Alice. He’s fine. Neville is safe.”
Love is the hand that grasps the falling water from a fall and places it in the river below. Love is the only strength in a bloodless body. Love is what drags all darkness from the depth of all treks and throws it into the sky at night. Love is what sheds the darkness at dawn. Love Padfoot, will never let you lose me, for it does not depart but descends, does not dissect but divulges in the only living link left below. You are the link Sirius and you will survive, or I will die with you forever.
You whispered in my ear all night, on that first day in hell. The Dementors closed in, the loneliness lashed out, but I grew stronger in your words. You will never leave me, and I will never let you die. You will keep me alive in the long years to come, rotting like the rats in this hell. But you will be ever so bright and lovely, unaffected and untarnished by the stench around us. You alone will keep me alive James and you will somehow get me out of damnation, for now I know…
I will never lose you.
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