Chapter 1 : Torture and Insanity
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 10|
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Frank Longbottom was on fire.
And there was not a drop of water in sight.
“Where is he?”
They always asked the same question. Frank couldn’t answer. They didn’t understand. He didn’t know where he was. They didn’t understand. They wouldn’t listen. ‘He had to be alive’ they said. He wasn’t, he was defeated. They still questioned him. Not that he would tell them even if he knew. Not even on pain of death.
The curse lifted and Frank was given a reprieve to answer.
He used it wisely.
He spat upon Rodolphus Lestrange’s face.
He received a backhand to the cheek in return, more painful than a normal hit due to the gold rings bearing the Lestrange crest. But still Frank didn’t utter a sound, he wasn’t about to give any of the four the satisfaction of knowing that he was in pain.
Frank was doused in flames once again.
A snap of fingers and Alice Longbottom was carried over to her husband, her form sagging, dead weight. Rabastan Lestrange dumped her unceremoniously on the ground and yet she didn’t stir.
Frank’s knuckles turned white, his face ashen. Alice. Alice. Alice. He called out thrice with his mind. Nothing happened. Frank trembled. His lip quivered. An earthquake coursed through him, tearing his world down.
Frank closed his eyes, ready to welcome the onslaught of fire. The pain from the torture was incomparable to the pain within his soul.
It never came.
The walls reverberated with resounding shrieks. Shrieks of pain. Shrieks that never escaped Frank’s lips.
Alice was on fire.
And Frank couldn’t put her out.
Frank pushed his hands against his ears and rocked back and forth in a foetal position. Tears sprung unabated from his eyes, his breath came in short, ragged spurts, guttural snarls emitted from deep within his chest.
He was a man possessed.
He was a man broken.
He was a man with nothing left to lose.
He was a man unable to do anything whilst his wife was tortured before him.
“Where is he?” Barty pushed and Frank toppled. He was falling. Falling.
Bellatrix cackled, her wild hair shaking with mirth.
“No! Frank, no, don’t! DON’T TOUCH HIM, HE DOESN’T KNOW!” Alice. Good sweet Alice found her voice. It was sore and Frank wanted nothing more than to soothe it.
Alice received a slap for speaking out of turn. Frank wished she knew how it worked. ‘Hasn’t she learnt by now?’ he thought bitterly. Defiance is rewarded with pain. Silence with fire. ‘Take the fire Alice’ he pleaded. ‘The fire can’t last forever; soon, we’ll be burnt beyond repair’.
“Where is he?!”
The fire raged on.
Alice clutched her worn teddy bear in her left hand. One of its eyes was popped out, an ear was ripped off and its right leg was hanging on by a few loose threads. It was a damaged teddy, just like her. Her right hand held a purple crayon, which she ran along the white walls of St Mungos. The line of purple was crooked, imperfect.
Alice liked the colour purple.
The broken girl reached the broken boy, their beds beside each other. She dropped her crayon, favouring to finger the frayed hem of her hospital robes.
Frank sat cross legged on top of his covers. His hair had grown, it flopped into his eyes.
He liked it floppy. He could play with it floppy.
Alice opened the top drawer of her bedside table. A multitude of bubblegum wrappers was hidden inside, green, red, blue. But they were mainly purple.
Alice liked purple.
Alice handed Frank a purple wrapper.
Alice liked Frank.
Frank accepted the wrapper tentatively. He added it to his collection of purple wrappers from the broken girl.
Alice held Neville in her arms awkwardly. The warmth from the baby was different to the warmth of the broken boy next to her whom she had known for a few weeks. The baby was a stranger to her.
So why did she feel an affinity to him?
Did he like purple too?
Frank took down one of his prized purple wrappers from his wall and gave it to the baby.
The baby accepted the wrapper happily, squeezing it in his chubby fist. He gurgled an unmistakeable laugh.
Healer Joyce replaced the flowers on Frank and Alice’s bedside tables. Alice smiled at the middle aged woman. She had replaced the white lilies with purple lilacs.
Alice liked purple.
Frank liked purple too.
And apparently, so did Neville.
A tear fell. Why did Alice feel so...forlorn?
As if she had lost something great. Something palpable, visceral.
Alice looked to the broken boy.
Frank looked to the broken girl.
Two broken children, steeped and joined in misery.