I've got to say, this felt great to finally be able to write something that I felt inspired to write. I've had such a long period of writer's block for mostly everything, and when I got this idea (original prompt on Hogwarts Extreme website), I jumped with joy. This was so much fun to do, and my huge gap between posts is finally gone! :D Hope you enjoy!

The voices in my head had finally dulled to a roar.

I sat on my stone bench, waiting.

The Dementors were making their rounds, and we were supposed to go to the bars and wait for them, but no one did. Anyway, it wouldn't keep the Dementors away for any longer than if I walked right up to the bars and presented myself. The cells were so small and empty that the Dementor had nothing to take from except the prisoner.

The hair on my arms and the back of my neck stood up. My breath became visible as I exhaled, the air capturing it and creating a small hanging cloud. My insides shook, and with every breath my lungs grew colder and colder.

"Mum!" I heard a voice, screaming inside my head.


And after what felt like eternity, the screams turned into screeches, then a high-pitched whistle, and then…

I came to after a half hour. The recovery time was getting longer each visit. I recovered slower and slower, and I knew that eventually I wouldn't be waking up between visits.

I've only been in here for a few weeks, and I was surprised that my sanity lasted this long.

The inmate on my right, a thirty-four year old woman, had gone insane on the third day of residing here. Anna Wilkerson, her name was. During the first day, when she was still mentally stable enough to hold a conversation, we talked quietly about our lives before Azkaban. I learned that she had helped with her uncle's muggle tea shop business. One day, before she knew what was happening, two Death Eaters had entered and started tearing the place apart. Her uncle was doing inventory at the time, while she and her grandfather were in the back playing backgammon. Her uncle had been able to stun one of the intruders upon his entry, but the other killed her uncle almost immediately. The chaos in the front had grabbed her grandfather's attention and he told her to hide – she was not to interfere in any way, just avoid being seen. So she hid in a closet full of boxed pots, tea sets, and tea leaves.

The second Death Eater had entered the back and attacked her grandfather. After trying to block out her grandfather's screams for five unbearable minutes, she couldn't keep herself out of it any longer. Anna burst out of the closet and cast the Imperius Curse on her grandfather's attacker. She held it, whether knowingly or not, for more than enough time for her grandfather to recover and subdue the Death Eater. The Death Eater, despite being tied on the wooden floor, was a witness to the event. Anna was sent to Azkaban five days later.

I could hear her mumbling about money, tea, and measurements constantly, only ceasing to succumb to the Dementors.

There was a man across from me, and I was most surprised by my endurance compared to his. The second week I was here, two Aurors dragged him in, screaming and kicking the whole way. I watched from my stone bench. The guy across from me didn't stop crying until after the third visit from the Dementors. I listened carefully to him and realized I would be satisfied if I couldn't see his face every day.

Cillian Carson was a born and raised Death Eater. His mother was a Death Eater, his father was a Death Eater, his two brothers were Death Eaters, and he followed right in step. It was normal to him, killing and torture; he was perfectly content with living a life of evil. It appalled me, but I tried to keep my face expressionless. I wondered how long he had gotten away with this life, and then he told me he was only nineteen. He was barely old enough to have a life of his own, have a girlfriend, have his first kiss. He was only a kid and I found myself feeling sorry for him, for an upraising he had no control over. With all the willing slaughters in his past, I really thought he would last longer than me.

He was sane two days longer than Anna.

Sometimes I saw his hand grasp at his side, searching for his wand – his constant life – that he would never get back.

Here I was, reminiscing on others' lives because it kept me distracted from what I'd done. I wasn't as ruthless as Cillian, but I wasn't as innocent as Anna, either. I couldn't get rid of my guilt I felt for casting the Killing Curse on my dad.

I was twenty-six years when I did it. I was visiting home. Mum and I were watching Beauty and the Beast, and my dad decided to pay us an unwelcome visit. They'd been divorced for about a year at the time, but my dad still hadn't come to terms with it. He came in the front door, yelling and throwing things, and I didn't have time to cast spells because my dad threw a stunner at me. Mum didn't have time to grab her wand from the coffee table, and all I could do was watch as he kicked her, over and over again. He never went for the fatal blow to the head, but instead beat her everywhere else. I couldn't do anything from where I was laying, but I remembered a voice in my head, screaming, "Mum! Mum!"

Slowly, I felt the spell wearing off. My dad's back was to me, and he was still too busy hurting my mum to notice me roll onto my side and raise my wand. Everything he was saying was getting into my head – "You don't deserve this life!" he spat at her. "You were always taking from me! Taking, taking, TAKING! Well now, I'm gonna take something from you, you arrogant, little—"

The front door opened.

He stopped mid-sentence—

And fell dead.

My whole being was shaking to the core. My wand suddenly felt like it was burning my hand, and I dropped it onto the floor.

The kindly neighbor who heard the fight cautiously walked in but I ignored him and crawled over to my mother, who was groaning and holding her abdomen. Ribs were broken and she was having trouble breathing. The doctor said she was going to heal, but the neighbor had seen me cast the Killing Curse – an Unforgivable Curse, and I was called for a hearing the next day. I didn't regret casting it then, but regret was on its way.


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