AN: Greetings and salutations. Hope you enjoy!
Chapter one: Azkaban
It was of course dark.
The full moon hung above a rambunctious sea and all he could hear was a whisper of water hitting rocks. His eye peered through the crack in the wall and he squinted, the light hurting him. But what he saw was nothing in comparison to what pain he was feeling.
They'd arrived; they were here, marching along a bridge that had been crafted only moments ago. There were three of them; walking behind a tall man he had never had the misfortune to lay his eyes upon before. And for a second, one measly second, he could have sworn he looked over at him.
With a gasp he fell to his knees, the fabric providing him with minimal warmth ripped and tore at the edges. He exhaled sharply. Glancing at the bruise that was quickly forming, he groaned and stood to his bony feet. He scraped his nails across the aging wall, adding yet another line to the long list that might as well be ingrained upon him.
For every line had cost him a little more strength each day.
"Lestrange," his hoarse voice called out to the crouched man in the cell opposite and he found himself stumbling forward into the bars that separated the two of them.
Yellow eyes flashed his way in acknowledgement and he nodded.
"Here," his throat rasped. "Ministry. . . here."
Lestrange grabbed at the bars too and pulled himself up; with a grunt he nodded again and tilted his head to the right.
There hovered a cloaked figure with bonier arms than he and an energy that pulled life toward it.
The two men fell back further into their cells before it could get to them, cursing in grunts and puffs of pain. The dark entity closed in on Lestrange and the other man tried to call out but found that he couldn't move.
He felt trapped, scared; trapped and scared – like he was petrified but that couldn't be so. His mind called back for something happy. Anything. Nothing. Something. Anything damn it.
He swallowed hard and held his wand arm out in front of him, as it to shield him from monster. "E-expecto patronum!"
And then a blinding bright light cascaded down the halls and into the cells, swallowing everyone whole. Everyone had flinched and the dark entity had been cast aside.
The man sat down with a huff and caught sight of Lestrange's wide yellow eyes staring right through him.
"My, my, my." There was a feminine chortle. "Minister, who is this man?"
The three people he'd seen earlier had managed to slip in without his noticing and he felt sick and tired; his leg was bleeding and his heart was pumping slower and slower.
"I'm afraid I do not know, Doleres." The minister seemed troubled. "You there! What name belongs to you?"
He glanced over at Lestrange who was still staring through him before taking one last breath and muttering "Harry" before the darkness too him.
Ever since he was a boy he knew he wasn't a happy person, and the only two people that truly cared about him had up and left. He'd been heartbroken, wishing away the memories he shared with them. The amount of firewhisky he had drank astonished him even now but he supposed he'd do it all over again if he could.
His heart still yearned after all.
But alas, those times were no more and for the past ten years he'd been locked away. He had no recollection of what had happened, why he had been taken, what he'd done – none of it made any sense to him. But what he did know was that he was a wizard and he was in wizard prison.
He was in the worst one of them all; that much was clear. He was fed once a day, sometimes not even that. Wands, clothes, any belongings he'd happened to have at the time were taken from him and he couldn't even remember what they were.
He'd been shoved in a cell five doors from the entrance to another block of cells where he knew other wizards and witched lay suffering also. When he'd been pushed into walking along that particular corridor which would be his next home for many years, no one had recognised him. He remembered that clearly. But he'd recognised them.
Rodolphus Lestrange, a man he'd become quite close with had been there seven years prior to him. Next to him was an empty cell where people came and went. Off to get the kiss, he'd often thought.
He'd seen many familiar faces go through there, some including a lady called Bellatrix and man called Karkaroff. There was another man he had recognised in the cell on his right, Lucius Malfoy. But he couldn't be sure; it had been many years ago. The thought of long blond hair and skeletal face haunted him when he wasn't thinking.
Some of the people had gotten visitors, a family of blonds visited Lucius and he found himself quite envious. There was no one coming for Rodolphus though. He and Rodolphus only had each other.
But he had known each and every face that was housed in that corridor. They were Death Eaters. On some nights he even imagined The Dark Lord himself coming to collect what was his and he'd be whisked along with them. His saviour, he'd thought. The man that had wreaked havoc among the entire wizarding world.
"Tom Riddle," he had pleaded. "Save me you bastard."
But he had never come.
Back in the days where he and Rodolphus could talk normally, he'd quite enjoy their conversations. They talked of the dark arts mostly but every now and then a snippet of Rodolphus' life before all that popped up. Those talks were what kept him up all night.
Memories that weren't his were what had become deeply intertwined within his mind and he used those as his own happy dwellings.
Images of Bellatrix and Rodolphus dressed up to go to a ball, words of true and genuine love flitting across to each other, talks of starting a family and raising a child. A beautiful baby girl they had planned to name after a star – a tradition in the Black family household he had learned.
On many nights he had imagined all this and he too was in pieces when Bellatrix had gotten a place in their corridor. When she had left, he had cried alongside Rodolphus and the two shared in comfort.
He had never understood why Rodolphus was in there. Sweet and kind Rodolphus, the guy that didn't utter a word when he wanted silence, yet the guy that could talk your ears off when he was feeling particularly happy.
Seeing Rodolphus slowly lose himself over the years had been the most antagonising thing of all. He'd learned that he didn't care about himself anymore and all he cared for was his friend. Rodolphus' eyes had glazed over and his speech slowed, and after a while he was sure Ralph was struggling to think too.
It was their fault: the Dementors. They targeted his friend too much. The others had thought it was weird how they would circle him; they claimed a Death Eater who relied upon happiness was strange. But Rodolphus did The Dark Lord's bidding so they left him alone.
They used to circle him too and because the Death Eaters didn't know him either, they had nothing to say.
Now they leave him alone too, but on nasty days they would go straight for him. It was like they knew he was still fighting somewhat. He didn't have many memories and of course all that was left were mostly bad. But he'd had managed to save his memories of Ralph.
He would rather do the unthinkable than destroy what he remembered of Rodolphus with a glint in his eyes and the man who could both talk you to death and excite you.
The first time a man from the Ministry came, he felt angry and scared. But the man had taken someone else and left shortly after, never returning for a number of years to that block of cells. But then they had come and taken four people, Bellatrix included and now they were back again.
He feared they would take Rodolphus from him.
And he couldn't have that.
When he came to he couldn't see his friend anywhere, just the backs of three people. They were mumbling and muttering about him until the Minister turned and realised he was awake.
"Ah, Harry." The man put on a tight lipped smile. "We've brought you to a room off this corridor. Now, we'd like to have some words with you if you don't mind terribly."
He tried to size up the Minister and the two people he had brought with him but he couldn't move. And that's when he saw that his hands were bound with familiar shackles that prevented him from doing magic.
"Just a precaution," a woman giggled to his right.
He looked over at her and saw she was wearing the most hideous shade of pink. He scrunched his nose and then she immediately looked down at him and her eyes hardened.
"A bit of respect –!"
"Now now Delores." The Minister interrupted. "The man has been through many years of being tormented by the Dementors."
The woman sniffed and turned away completely.
Another man offered him a glass of water and the two stared at each other, he could have sworn he knew him but he couldn't pinpoint who it was. He was a tall man with chocolate skin and he wore a blue had that matched his robes. He carried about such an atmosphere that he thought the man should have been in charge instead.
Reaching out for the glass of water, his shackles clanged together causing him to flinch and nearly drop the cup but when he realised it wasn't going anywhere he immediately brought it to his lips.
And he drank for what felt like the first time in years.
His eyes welled up.
"Now Harry, I've asked my top researchers to look into you and they can't find a single thing." The Minister looked wary. "Tell us who you are and why you're here."
He thought for a moment. Why was he here?
"Potter," he mumbled. "I don't. . . know why I'm here."
Three heads turned to him at once and a heavy silence fell upon them. The pink lady was gasping and the Minister looked like he had seen a ghost.
"Have I done some. . .thing wrong?"