Chapter 4 : I.M.
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When Irving Mulciber heard stories about Azkaban, he heard about the dark cells and disgusting food, but more emphasis was placed on breaking out – on the glories of finally tasting freedom after being trapped inside, and how beautiful it was to know that the Dark Lord appreciated all the suffering you went through in his name.
No one told him how horrible it really was.
Just like he had been drawn to the seeming beauty and honour of fighting in the war for Voldemort, he had initially been drawn to the beauty of Azkaban – suffering for what he knew was right, doing good by the Dark Lord, being looked up to for being a martyr of the cause.
Little did he know that once he entered the thick walls of Azkaban, that appealing trap would clamp its jaws down on him.
Those walls held him in, compressing him tighter and tighter each day. Each time a Dementor floated past, the walls got smaller, almost like they sucked the air out of the room as they sucked away his happiness.
There wasn’t any glory in this suffering. The Dark Lord was gone, perished, by a seventeen-year-old boy whose only notable value came from the lightening shaped scar on his head and his ability to “love.” Now, he was imprisoned – but he wouldn’t die a martyr, or a war hero. He’d die a prisoner – his number still written across his chest, buried in an unmarked grave on the island that no human soul ever wanted to go.
He still didn’t understand what he’d done wrong; he thought he had fought on the right side, the side that would cleanse the wizarding world of the dirty souls and recreate the society as a better one – a purer one.
After all, that was what he’d always heard. From a young age, everyone around him said that Mudbloods really were dirty, that they’d stolen their magic from deserving souls. It was all he was ever taught, and he never questioned it because he never heard anything different.
He was Sorted into Slytherin, the most noble of houses, led by the most valiant and forward-thinking man of the time – Salazar Slytherin. He’d been one of the first to realize the dirtiness of muggle-borns, but his ideas were poorly received because of the backwards thinking of the time.
Gradually, more people began to cling to Slytherin’s ideals – those that were intelligent enough to understand it, at least. A large section of the population couldn’t comprehend that the magic was clearly stolen – it couldn’t just appear at random in people who had no magical history whatsoever.
In Slytherin, he was surrounded by people who only confirmed what he’d been taught – purebloods were superior, and anything else was unnatural and evil. They taught him different magic than what he learned in class – Dark Magic, a revolutionary style of magic that could be used to defend the purity of the wizarding race.
His personal favourite was the Cruciatus curse – it forced the victim to undergo terrible pain, the physical version of the emotional toil they forced innocent people to undergo when they stole their magic. He couldn’t practice it on his friends though – so he had to find some other way to do it. That opportunity had come in the form of Mary McDonald, a half-blood who had been wandering the corridors by herself. He had loved watching her scream – so much so that he committed to the Death Eaters that night.
From there, his life plan had been set out. His parents beamed with pride when he told them what he did, and in that moment, he knew he had done the right thing.
He fought in both wars, eluding capture after the first and reappearing for the second. From there, though, his life had taken a sharp downturn. His master was killed, his cause was abandoned, and he was arrested.
On the boat ride to Azkaban, he had held his head high, proud of what he did and what he stood for. But after one pass from the Dementors, he wasn’t so sure anymore.
He was weak – he let the creatures toy with his soul, the one had taken such delight in pleasing his parents and dedicating himself to what he believed. Now it was broken, falling apart piece by piece, taking bits of his mind with him.
He’d heard of people going insane in Azkaban, but he wasn’t prepared for it when it came.
First, he started blacking out when the Dementors came by. He’d wake up hours later, his fingernails bloody and rubbed raw, the walls lined with scratches, and his body covered in scars that he didn’t remember getting.
Then, his failing mind began to affect his waking hours as well. He jumped at any miniscule noise and found that his fingers and eyes would twitch unconsciously.
Next, his cell began to shrink while he slept. It was in tiny amounts, but Irving’s keen eyes caught the tiny changes in the room – the mere inches that had been cut off of the room, making it smaller and smaller. He felt as though he would gradually suffocate as a result. He stopped sleeping – watching the walls closely to detect any changes as the place gradually shrunk. The walls still closed in on him – but slower now, as he could keep a watchful eye on them.
The walls started whispering to him – taunting him. They told him that they were going to crush him, going to shrink until he no longer fit in the cell and was squeezed until the last breaths of life left him, and he would be forced to endure every second of it. They would scream at him that he was trapped, that he had no hope of escape. Each warning would bring about a fit of madness in Irving – he would scream and wail at the walls until the tears that streaked down his dirt-covered cheeks were dried out and his voice was hoarse and cracking, each word painful.
Occasionally, he would run at the walls full-force, trying to get them to move out a little, but this only sent sharp pains flying out of his shoulder, and when one of his attempts resulted in a loud crack of bones, he was forced to give up on the endeavour and be satisfied with only keeping a close, watchful eye on them. The room only continued to get smaller, until Irving was forced to curl up in a corner because of how little room was available.
The walls began to push down on him, to crush him. Although they shrunk daily, it was never tight enough to break bones, or bust organs. He was trapped in the constant pain, with no escape coming soon. He cried for help from the other prisoners, from anybody, but received no aid at all. He was going to endure the captivity of the walls forever.
It had only been six months, and Irving was sentenced to a lifetime.
A/N: Okay, so technically the third chapter was supposed to be the last one, but I saw that there was a challenge especially for Death Eater stories, and just had to write one, and hence tacked it onto this little short story collection. And just to clarify, the walls weren’t actually shrinking – Irving was going insane. :) (Okay, taking a moment to ask ‘what kind of person puts a smiley face after saying someone was going insane?’ … Me apparently.)