Chapter 2 : Vincent Crabbe, Jr
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The cold pressing in on him was making it hard for him to breathe. His lungs felt like they were filled with ice and he no longer had any feeling in his arms, legs, hands, feet or face. He felt nothing but the cold. He forced his eyes open and was confronted by the blackest dark that he had ever seen.
None of this made any sense. Where was the fire? Shouldn’t he be hot? He remembered being in the room of requirement trying to kill that blood traitor Weasley and then not being able to get his wand under control. The fire wouldn’t stop coming and he forgot how to cancel the spell. He remembered throwing his wand and then trying to climb the stack of desks to get away from the fire when he had lost his balance. The heat had been unbearable but it had all ended so quickly. He had waited for the pain that should have consumed him, but he had felt nothing.
He must be dead. He knew that he should have felt sad but he felt nothing. It was probably for the best since he couldn’t bear to have heard the disappointment in his father’s voice when he tried to explain how he’d failed him. He’d never had much pressure from his parents to be much of anything is his life until his father had been imprisoned after the fiasco at the Department of Mysteries. His father had placed the responsibility of reclaiming the Dark Lord’s good graces entirely in his hands after he had been sent to Azkaban.
Getting Voldemort’s attention hadn’t been easy. It had been a situation that required an incredible amount of caution considering how angry the Dark Lord had been about Malfoy’s father losing that stupid prophecy. It actually wasn’t until Professor Snape took over at Hogwart’s and hired Amycus and Alecto Carrow that he was truly able to shine.
He had picked up the curses faster than any other students in the class and his delight in torturing the first year students quickly thrust him into the attention of the Carrows. Finally when they had taken the break for Christmas holiday he had been granted permission to have been sworn in as an official Death Eater. His father had been there for his branding and his pride for his son was not easily concealed.
Now look at him. He hadn’t even been able to make it six months before he had gotten himself killed. The worst of it was that he hadn’t even died in battle. He had died because of his own stupidity. He wondered if Malfoy and Goyle had made it out. He didn’t see how they could have. The fire had consumed the whole room so fast that it probably took down the entire castle. He hoped that word would get back to Voldemort that it had been he who had taken down the castle and most likely Potter as well. He was certain that his family would be rewarded heartily by the Dark Lord thanks to his contribution to the effort.
The extreme cold was making it harder and harder for Crabbe to think. He needed to find a way to get out of this place. He tried to reach out his arms in the darkness to try to feel for where he was but found that he could not move his arms. Or was he moving them? There was absolutely zero feeling in his body. He had no control over his limbs and found that he could not sure if he was sitting or standing, or if he was flapping his arms or holding them down to his side. Crabbe forced himself to try to keep from panicking.
When the buzzing in his ears began, he had, at first, been able to recognize that it was nothing more than his brain playing tricks on him as a result of the crushing silence. He tried to push it out of his head as he tried to concentrate on what was happening to him. The more he struggled to ignore the buzzing, however the louder and stronger it became.
Maybe the buzzing wasn’t coming from inside of his head. Maybe there was something in the dark with him. As he tried to attempt to determine what kind of creature could make such a consistent buzz, he began to see a violent shaded light off in the distance. The light wasn’t too incredibly bright, but it seemed as though it was flickering or shimmering. It was changing shades from soft pastel lavender to a vibrant royal purple. The light grew bigger as it got closer to him and seemed to light up the darkness around him. When he tried to look around him however, in an attempt to determine where he was, the light would disappear leaving only bright light spots dancing in his vision. He began telling himself to focus on the light. He didn’t want it to keep disappearing so he had decided to focus on the light thinking that it would eventually reach him and he’d be able to prevent it from going out.
The light came closer and closer and as it did the buzzing grew louder. Out of the corner of his eyes Crabbe thought he saw an insect about the size of a large butterfly flying around his head. Its wings beating against its body struggling to keep itself airborne were flapping so fast that they were barely visible. This was, he decided the source of the buzzing. The insect flew straight at Crabbe’s head and he wanted to swat it away. Of course having no control or feeling in his arms he was powerless to do anything about it.
As the insect continued to fly around his head he saw it begin to change shape into a large bat-like creature, which didn’t make sense to him. How was a bat making that buzzing noise? Even as he thought about it the buzzing noise turned into a high pitched squeal. The purple shimmering light, at this point, had become a series of bright multi-colored flashing lights that seemed to circle him. The bat seemed to be flying frantically around trying to avoid the lights, while the head of the bat began to slowly enlarge. As he watched the expanding head began to take the semblance of vaguely familiar faces. At first it was the defeated grimy face of his father as he had been when he had been imprisoned. Then it slowly morphed it the taunting bony face of Draco who wore an eerie grin. Finally the face changed into the laughing pale redheaded face of the youngest Weasley that he had been chasing with the fiendfyre.
There may have been a small place in Crabbe’s mind that knew that what he was feeling, seeing and hearing was nothing more than the result of the depravation of his senses, but that small part quickly became buried. The fear that Crabbe felt as a result of the dementia that was taking over his mind consumed him completely. He opened his mouth wanting to scream at the visions that were forming in front of him, but was met with only silence.
As his brain slowly collapsed upon itself the tortured Crabbe would never have the capacity to fully understand that the eternal madness he suffered was only a fraction of what he deserved from his life of cruelty and hate.
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