Chapter 3 : Taste of Terror
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AN: As you are aware, this is an M rated story and this chapter is no different.
Chapter 3 – Taste of Terror
Ailie had decided to take a nap. She wasn't sure weither it was the visit to her old place and it's memories or her sudden freedom that caused her to feel exhausted, but as she lay on the couch, reading the Prophet, she felt her eyelid slowly get heavier and before she knew it the newspaper fell out of her hands and onto the floor as she fell asleep.
She awoke slowly as the echo of voices approached her. She opened her eyes slowly. The smell of mold and dirt filled her nostrils. Her skin felt stiff and she realized there was caked blood down her legs and probably on her face too. Her head was pounding painfully and her joints ached.
The voices came closer and there was a rustle of keys. She heaved herself up from the dirty matress with shaking arms, but failed to get up and within a few seconds the sound of boots against the wet stone floor hurried towards her angrily and she was slapped across the face with a cold, gloved hand before she was pulled up by her hair.
She thought to herself someone must be through hell screaming like that before she realized it was her screaming.
She hadn't even noticed when her hands went instinctivly to grab her hairbelow the gloved hands in fear of her scalp ripping. She was soon on her feet, her legs shaking.
"Look at you, filth" the voice growled. "Just as dirty as your mother".
Ailie had learned not to cry as it would cause her more pain, and a part of her thought that if she taught herself to become emotionless, she would forget what pain felt like all together.
"Time for a shower" another voice yelled, a dark laugh followed and then she was drenched in icy water. She gasped, closing her eyes as a cry from the shock escaped her throat. The men laughed.
"Scrub yerself clean" one of the men ordered and a ball of wire wool was thrown at her feet. She bit back a sob before she reached for it with shivering hands. It felt cold and rough against her skin as she squeezed it in her hand. The men were watching her.
Her hair was plastered against her face, dripping with water so cold it burned her. She began to rub the wire wire wool up and down her legs, as gentle as she could as brown water flooded the floor.
"Scrub harder" one of the men ordered her and she bit her lip, eyes squeezed shut. She sobbed silently as blood trickled down her legs. The men were laughing.
After a while the burning pain disappeared and she stared out into the air, as if in a trance as she rubbed her limbs clean, dirt and caked blood replaced with glistening red drops slowly rolling down her pale skin. She was just about to move on with her face when a strong arm grabbed her rist.
"Ah, ah, we wouldn't want to scratch up that pretty face, would we?".
She slowly shook her head.
"N-no, Mr Dallox..." she whispered, her throat sore and her mouth dry. Her tongue felt like a piece of parchment between her teeth and her lips cracked from the sudden movement. His cold leather glove against her jaw sent shivers down her spine. She couldn't see him through the dark, but in her mind she told herself she was staring into his cold eyes, as if it would make him stop, make him find that fragment of humanity if she just kept her eyes locked with his. She heard his zipper being pulled down and she didn't move. She knew it wouldn't make a difference.
"Ailie...". She heard the voice in the distance, muffled, but she knew that voice. "Ailie, wake up!"
Her eyes shot open and she sat up, panting in cold sweat.
"It's okay, it was just a nightmare".
She turned her head and saw kind eyes looking at her with worry. It took her a moment to realize it was George. "You alright?" he asked.
"Just a... Just a nightmare" she whispered and ran her fingers through her damp hair. "I should take a shower".
He didn't move from his kneeling position beside the couch. He placed his hand on her arm and she flinched, still terrified from her dream, her memories.
"Do you want me to wait here for you?" he asked. In her fragile state she could really tell the difference between his and Fred's voice. His was deeper, and somehow sweeter. She shook her head.
"No, I'm okay, really. I bet Fred needs you in the shop".
He hesitated for a moment, but got up, mumbling a silent okay.
"I'm going to make some lunch, I bet you're hungry too" he said. She wasn't really that hungry. In all honesty she felt sick to her stomach, but she couldn't refuse George's cooking so she nodded.
"Thank you" she whispered and got up, quickly heading for the shower.
She let the hot water wash her poisoned mind away. The steam filled her lungs and she enjoyed the heavy and yet so refreshing feeling in her chest.
You're safe now, Ailie. Don't let the past haunt you.
She kept repeating it in her head but it made no difference. The dreams would take her right back there and there was no way for her to escape. Her otherwise sweet and gentle persona now wanted revenge, if not for her own but for her mother and she felt anger build up. Her father hadn't been captured afterall. He had left. Fled to let his wife and daughter suffer and he would've known about it too. The Dark Lod would have made sure he knew it somehow.
She punched the tile and couldn't stop her sobbing.
Her father had fled to save his own life, no matter the price. A true Deatheater afterall.
She turned the water off and stepped out of the shower. She stared at the clouded mirror for a moment, before she wiped the steam of with her hand. Before her was a broken, bony creature. It's pale face would have been mistaken for dead if it wasn't for the glistening, silver eyes framed by smudged mascara rolling down her cheeks. Heavy drops of water trickled down her naked body, over the scars and bruises, up and down the defined lines of her collarbones and ribs.
She took her time tracing the faded scars and recent cuts. The patches of black and purple and yellow. She found the old, rubbery mess of skin on her left hip. A scar that was healed but would never go away, where the evil Bellatrix and pressed her wand each and everytime she used the Cruciatus curse and eventually it had burned a hole, a perfect round wound from her wand.
She remembered the foul breath of her mouth in her face, her black, curly frizz stinging as it fell into Ailie's eyes. She had faced her, laid on top of her and watched her squirm and quiver as the curse shot through her body. Bellatrix had laughed, enjoyed it with every fibre of her being.
Ailie washed her face and wrapped the towel around her before she headed to Fred's room and dried her hair, got dressed in whatever comfortable clothes of her own she found and walked quietly out of the room towards the kitchen.
Fred had just entered the appartment when she got to the livingroom and he greeted her with a smile.
"Now I get why you ladies need such a big closet" he joked when he noticed she had changed her clothes again and it made her smile.
"And almost as colourful as yours" she said and he winked.
They entered the kitchen together. George had just gotten a pie out of the oven and seeing him in a brown and orange flowered apron with matching oven-mittens made Ailie giggle.
"You're just afraid to confess how charming you find me" he said and placed the pie on the table before he removed the mittens and apron.
"Oh no, you look spiffing" she joked back and Fred snorted as he took a seat by the table. Ailie followed and sat down in the same spot she had that morning. "Smells equally too" she said. George placed his hand on his chest, wiping a fake tear from his eye with his other hand.
"Oh, you're far too kind".
They ate and Ailie was silent, listening to the twins talk about the day at the shop so far. Even though there was a war out there, some customers never failed them and it amazed her how many people actually still seemed to come by. When they had been quiet for a while, she broke the silence.
"So... Fred. What was it you wanted to tell me earlier? Y'know, outside?"
He chewed for a few seconds, as if he was lost in his thoughts.
"Uhm, I don't remember. Can't have been anything important. It rarely is with me" he said.
"So very true" George filled in. "Very rarely, pretty much never".
"Awe" Ailie cooed. "George, I thought you were the nice twin".
Fred seemed a little put off by this. George nodded and pointed his fork at her.
"Also very true, and with kindness comes honesty".
She just shook her head and cut another piece of her pie. She glanced over at Fred who was still looking a bit offended.
"Don't be like that Fred" she said softly. "Pouting doesn't suit you. Besides, girls like bad boys anyways"
A smirk spread across his face that for some reason made her blush and quickly return to her food.
"By the way" George said quickly. "Got an owl from mum today. They're having a dinner with the Order this evening and she wanted to know if we'll pop 'round".
Fred nodded and glanced at his brother for a second before turning to look at Ailie again.
"What do you say, Ailie? Ready to meet the ginger horde and company?"
She couldn't help but giggle. She thought about it for a moment.
"If they won't mind" she said. Fred let out a pfft and waved away her silliness.
"Just make it clear you're not my secret girlfriend or she'll make plans for both a wedding and grandchildren within the minute" Fred said. Ailie smirked.
"And if I make her believe I'm George's secret girlfriend then?". George was about to speak when Fred quickly interrupted with a shrug.
"She'll just be thankful he didn't turn out to be a pouf afterall".
George slapped him on the back of the head.
After lunch, Ailie insisted on taking care of the dishes and after several minutes of debating it with George he gave in and they went back to the shop, leaving Ailie with her mind spinning with thoughts about what that evening's visit to the Order's headquarters would bring.