Chapter 1

Life has a way of turning for the worst when you're at your best. And in the wizarding world during Lord Voldemort's rise, this often meant pain and death.

Two boys in particular found this out the hard way, and their lives have been forever changed because of it.

XX

James POV

Time and again, I ask myself how we ended up in this mess. I ask myself what either of us did to deserve this. I keep coming up blank.

Okay, so I know how we ended up here, actually. We were kidnapped by Death Eaters when my parents went out Christmas shopping.

And I suppose picking on the Slytherins didn't put us in high favor with the Death Eaters. But I would have thought something like that would have been beneath their notice.

Still, we're in what I like to call the Hell Hole. It's a closet at the base of a flight of stairs. We-Sirius and I- have about four feet by six feet to make ourselves comfortable. And the ceiling isn't that high either, not to mention it's slanted with the stair case. There's a single light at the top of the stairs, right by the door. It barely lit anything down here. And on top of all that, it's stone, so it's nearly impossible to be either comfortable or warm.

The first few days of our captivity, Sirius and I planned an escape. We figured we could over take anyone who came down to get us or to bring us food. Unfortunately, the Death Eaters just sent a house elf down with food. Attacking a house elf would gain nothing, so we couldn't do anything. And they had yet to actually come get us for anything.

This is surprising, because I figured they would have taken us for a reason. All they're doing so far is wasting food on us. (It's surprisingly good food, like they want to keep us alive).

"Do you think we could scrape off the cement around the blocks and make a hole that way?" Sirius asked as he stared intently at the wall opposite him. I sat across from him and slightly to his right so we had room to stretch out a little.

"Even if we did, wouldn't we just hit ground? What would we do then?" I asked. I didn't mean for it to come out as harsh as it sounded. But when you're in this kind of situation, you lose hope fast. Sirius frowned. I sighed and leaned my head back against the wall.

"Maybe we could bribe the elf into getting us out of here…I could offer my shirt…or my shoe…do you think my shoe would work?" Sirius asked. I looked over at him.

"Feel free to try," I told him. It's not that I had resigned myself to die in Hell Hole. It's more of just I didn't see a way out without being rescued, and I couldn't see anyone finding us to rescue us.

Hmm. Maybe that does mean I've resigned myself to die. Well crap.

Light suddenly spilled down into Hell. Sirius and I blinked and raised a hand to block it as we looked up to the top of the stairs. All we could make out was the person's silhouette.

"Oi, Potter. Get up here. It's time for your interrogation," a distinctly feminine voice said. Sirius groaned.

"If it isn't the lovely cousin Bellatrix," he said. I frowned. I'd heard a lot about Bellatrix from Sirius.

This was going to be painful.

"James, if you get a chance, then run. Get out. Save yourself," Sirius said. I turned to glare at him. (I still hadn't moved from my spot).

"I am not leaving you," I told him.

"Well you'd come back with help, obviously," he said. I would have retorted, if not for the fact that something pulled me to my feet none-too-gently, smashing my head into the ceiling, and hauled me up the stairs.

Belltrix had her wand out and pointed at me.

"It looks like we'll have to teach you some obedience," she purred. Her face seemed happy at the prospect.

"Good luck mate," Sirius called as the door slammed behind me and Bellatrix.

I'll need it, I thought bitterly as I was forced into the center of a large room.

"Now, we'll start off easily for you," Bellatrix said. "Tell us what your father does."

My father? My father is an auror. Almost everyone…in the…wizarding world…Shit. That's what this is about. They think I know something my father knows about them. They've kidnapped me and Sirius because they want information, and two sixth year Hogwarts students were easier to kidnap than a fully trained auror.

Looking back, I think this is where I resigned myself to die.

Because my father had never told me anything about his findings, so I couldn't tell them even if I wanted to.

"He's an auror," I said quietly. They already knew. That information was useless to get hurt over. Bellatrix smiled as she circled around me.

"Good, good. Now, does Daddy ever tell you anything? Any…secrets?" she whispered into my ear. I involuntarily shivered.

"No. He never told me anything," I said. Inside I was mad at myself for all the fear in my voice. Bellatrix frowned. She took a few steps away, her wand at the ready. I kept my eyes focused on it.

"That's a shame. Are you sure you can't remember anything? Not even the littlest tidbit?" She didn't give me a chance to respond. "Crucio!"

It was fire all over my body. I tried not to scream, but as she kept going, it became harder, and I was forced to cry out or lose my sanity.

"Nothing!" I screamed. "He didn't tell me anything!"

And just like that, the pain was gone. I lay on the floor curled into a ball, fingers clenching and unclenching against the floor. I took deep breaths while I had the chance.

Bellatrix's face was soon inches away from mine. "I don't believe you," she whispered. From the corner of my eye, I could see her wand in her hand, sticking out right above where it rested on her knee.

I've had impulsive moments before, and this was no exception.

I reached for her wand.

End Chapter

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