Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
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“Please,” he whispered hoarsely, his voice barely audible in his own ears. “Release me. I…I can’t stand this any longer. Mercy…,” Blood was pumping in his head, applying a great amount of pressure on his temples from the burst of effort he submitted his body to, and his chest burned with the weight of all the tears he never let spill. He was Lucius Malfoy. He would not cry. They could try and break him, make him beg for his freedom but they would never make him cry. Not cry. Never cry.
He rattled the bars desperately, the surge of adrenaline giving him enough force to pull himself to his feet and slip a hand through the tight iron bars. He didn’t quite know what he was trying to achieve with this, but anything was preferable than idly waiting for his death…or worse.
Lucius considered himself to be pretty lucky, despite the current condition of his existence. He had yet to be visited by Dementors and that was more than anyone who was imprisoned in Azkaban could ask for.
He couldn’t account for the time that had gone by since he first set foot in this dirty, damp cell. It was hard keeping track of time when he had no window, not a crack in the wall, not even torches in the wall to shed some light on his surroundings. Seconds melted into minutes and minutes into hours, until time was all but an endless blur and a cruel jape you could only laugh at, or else go mad.
“I hereby sentence you to life imprisonment in Azkaban!” Cornelius Fudge’s voice boomed in the trial room. In a fleeting second he remembered all the stares, the laughs, the pointing and gasping as he was escorted out of the room by two Ministry officials. He could see the contempt in their eyes. He could taste their malicious joy at his misfortune. And he couldn’t stand it..any of it!
It had grown difficult keeping these kind of memories at bay in the past couple of…days, he supposed. The shame of being disgraced in front of the whole Ministry of Magic, of finally being exposed, was greater than anything else he had ever experienced. It burned deeper than any scar he had ever acquired while fighting in the First War. He, Lucius Malfoy would not accept that his time was over. Would not accept it, could not accept it. If he did, it would be the end of him and he would crumble under the weight of his own failure.
No one was coming. He was alone. At first, when they first brought him to what was to be his new home, he had been certain that his fellow Death Eaters would attempt something – anything to release him. That his Dark Lord would not leave him to rot in the Azkaban cell, for what was Azkaban to one as powerful as the Dark Lord? It was nothing. But no one came, and it was becoming more and more difficult to imagine – to hope that someone would. He was abandoned. Forgotten. Forsaken.
No one was coming, not even the guards. Despite his best efforts to rattle the bars, to make a commotion, they remained stubbornly in place. He opened his mouth and tried to scream, but no sound came out. Fear tightened his stomach with an iron grip. He took a gasp of air and looked around desperately, trying to adjust his eyes to the dark gloom of his surroundings. The cell was dark and warm and damp, as was to be expected on an isle such as the one Azkaban was built upon, where the sea was never too far away. And there were rats, forever present, squirming around his legs in the dark. He could not see them properly but he could hear them. He could feel them when he lay on the ground. And it make his skin crawl in disgust.
Tears threatened to overflow his eyes, but he willed himself to hold them back. Lucius was determined not to cry, no matter what would happen. A futile effort if the Dementors ever came, he knew. But he had to hold on to something. He had to find some determination to cling to, or else he was doomed to lose his mind in this complete solitude.
They would come. He know it in his mind, he sensed it in is gut. The fact that they hadn’t visited him yet could only be a foreboding omen, a sinister joke played on his already weakened nerves, and the anticipation only made it worse. At night, he would wake with a terrible start at the faintest sound, covered in cold sweat, his mind’s eye painting horrible images of grotesque shapes hidden in the dark, lurking just outside his cell watching him…never sleeping…just watching him, biding their time. That’s why he was afraid of losing himself to the sweet venom that sleep had become. He didn’t think he could take more of those terrible dreams he dreamed, but he could not lay wake forever either.
Sometimes, unbidden, old prayers bubbled from his lips, prayers he had learned when he was just a child but had never thought of since. They brought some degree of consolation even if the feeling never lasted long enough for Lucius to fully allow himself to hope.
Wiping an unshed tear from his eye with the back of his dirty hand, he slid his arm back inside and allowed himself to fall to the ground with a soft thud. He felt exhausted. He felt like years upon years have passed since he was in this cell and the end was nowhere in sight.
As he allowed his aching muscles to relax, his thoughts drifted to Narcissa…his Narcissa. How it must pain her to think of him in this place, alone, with no one to talk to, no one to share a word with. Lucius closed his eyes and tried to remember the first time he kissed her. The first real kiss they shared (because the very first had been a stolen kiss that ended with a slap) was one of the happiest memories he had yet. That and the birth of his son Draco.
It had happened during their last year at Hogwarts. A smile tugged at his lips as the memory flooded his being with the warmth that happy remembrances always bring. He remembered creeping up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist and turning her around to face him. But what he saw instead of her beautiful, soft features was enough to turn his blood cold. A hideous monstrosity took the place of Narcissa’s head. The head was a solid sphere, its mouth open wide in a silent, invisible snarl and inside his mouth were rows upon rows of yellow, decayed teeth that loomed closer and closer. Despite his best efforts to disentangle himself from the tight iron grip that the woman’s hands had become, he felt himself pulled closer and closer into a repulsive embrace. The smell that escaped the being’s mouth was unbearable. He felt his stomach lurch.
“No,” he moaned, flailing his arms in a frenzy. The monstrous mouth was letting out a foul stench of rot that made his head swim, but he mustered all the strength he had left and wrenched himself free, tumbling to the ground in the process. However, that didn’t stop the monster from approaching him. It floated in mid air and glided towards him, extending its arms in front in an attempt to snatch his legs once, twice, thrice, always failing because Lucius crawled back with savage efforts.
“Help me. Someone help!” he tried to scream but no sound escaped his throat. The torch lights that filled the Slytherin common room flickered in the freezing wind that had suddenly erupted in the room, painting the walls with deformed creeping shadows. He kept pushing himself backwards until he felt his hands touch a cruel, solid wall behind him. Fear had turned his feet to jelly. He could not get up again. He felt a warm liquid dribble down the front of his robes and he stifled a gasp as he realized he had wet himself. Tears burned his eyes and blurred his vision of the advancing horror. He closed his eyes in a futile attempt to block it from advancing any further. If only it were that easy. If only closing your eyes could erase everything from existence, or stop time…
A scraping sound grated his ears as the monster drew nearer with every drift. With trembling hands he fumbled around his robe pocket for his wand until he remembered that the Ministry had stripped him of it, leaving him utterly defenseless against the prison's dangers.
He could hear the scraping of the floor so very loud now, as if the being was just in front of him, at the end of his legs. He willed himself to open his eyes, but they refused any command and instead stayed shut against the monstrosity that spread chills down his spine. The image of that faceless entity would haunt him for eternity.
Ice cold fingers suddenly grabbed his left leg and his whole body convulsed involuntarily. Lucius tried thrashing around, tried to pull his leg free but it was held firmly in place by the grip of the Dementor. His head jerked to the side and he opened his mouth to let out another noiseless scream. His hands wrapped themselves around his throat and started squeezing, moving of their own accord.
Lucius’s eyes open wide as he struggled for air, a burning sensation searing his lungs. Tears fell freely from his eyes at this point and he woke with a start. He stumbled to his feet and turned around the empty cell lightheaded from the nightmare he just had. He must have dozed off without realizing. He raised his right hand and gingerly touched his neck as if expecting it not to be there anymore. The taste of blood made his stomach give another lurch. He probably must have bitten his tongue during his thrashing around the floor.
Shaking from every joint in his body, Lucius moved away from the cell bars closer to the wall. He placed a shaky hand against the damp wall and bend over in the corner, retching all over the bucket placed there. It took him a while to realize that he was in fact freezing. Over the past minutes it had become increasingly cold inside his cell, up to the point that his breath came out in puffs of steam now. His heart skipped a beat as he snapped his head towards the cell door. A massive figure, cloaked and dark dark was standing in the frame of the entrance, silhouetted ominously against the bars.
With mounting terror, Lucius heard a click and the bars slid sideways with a sickening screech, allowing the Dementor passage in his hollow chamber. He backed into the wall and his eyes followed the Dementor with a sick fascination as it drew nearer.
And Lucius screamed. And then he cried.
Author's Note: The inspiration for this story came after reading a chapter from Game of Thrones where a character is imprisoned and is musing on his life and what is to become of him. Also, I've always been curious what could be Lucius Malfoy's breaking point and the first thing that came to mind was: Dementors. So here is what came out of the combination. Hope you enjoy! I appreciate anything you have to say <3
A few honorable mentions: thank you MissMdsty for beta-reading this for me. Also, thank you apondinabluebox for helping me choose the summary. You guys are amazing!!