~~Pull the Curtain~~
~by Weaving Radiance~
Disclaimer: The lyrics used in this song are not mine and belong solely to the band Sum41. I am not making money off my usage of them, nor claiming them as my own
~To those who live life with regrets~
Where'd I go wrong?
Something's wrong because
I find a glamour
In the dark side
In the dark side.
Where'd I go wrong?
falling victim to the debt still
unpaid in my mind.
The one and only day has come
I'll pay for all the bad things I've done
It's gonna take me
you don't know tragedy
I'm been to hell and back
can you tell it?
Despite himself, he couldn't help but feel resentful. Angry. Even a little jealous. He had forgotten, of course that it was his entire fault.
He kept demanding to himself, Why are they free and I am not? He spoke aloud then. "Why are they walking the streets free, while I sit here and rot in this hell hole and WAIT TO DIE?" He suddenly began shrieking, jumping to his feet and aiming his yells to the ceiling. Lucius Malfoy then stumbled backwards, as if struck, and then sank against the wall, head in his hands. He, of course, had forgotten that he had not even been convicted yet.
But I doubt the pain would have been any less if he'd remembered.
Lucius Malfoy had always been an angry man. A man easily taken in by the things poisonous to the soul, a man who easily blamed his misfortune on others and easily let his hate simmer in his already damaged heart.
It was really quite sad, honestly.
I don't mean a pathetic sort of sad, though Mr. Malfoy's situation was that, as well. It was a depressing, melancholy sort of sad. It reminded you of all the sad (this time I do mean pathetic) saps in the world that were ever so unfortunate, and you couldn't help but feel sorry for them even though they brought their misfortune on themselves.
Mr. Malfoy was a wretched sort of man, though, one that no matter how hard you tried, no matter how much you wanted to, you simply could not find it in your heart to feel sorry for him. He was despicable and unlikable, a fact that I think made his existence in Azkaban so much more unbearable.
When people talked about Azkaban, they often spoke of how the dementors in that horrible place sucked up every squick of happiness one ever felt. And that's perfectly true. Dementors definitely did that. But many people also neglected to mention how the dementors reminded every prisoner of every terrible deed they'd ever done. They acted like a filter, almost; they took away every single feeling and memory you've ever had, kept the good, cheerful or contented ones, and then tossed the not-so-good ones right back in your face.
And sometimes the dementors would throw in some freshly-brewed guilt into their own metaphorical fruit punch of doom and eternity.
All in all, not a pleasant experience.
This is why dementors made such brilliant guards. They made all of their prisoners lose hope in themselves, made them question their worth as a human being, and completely incapacitated them and locked them up in their own personal, emotional, and mental hell hole (though the building itself wasn't so pretty either).
And now you say, wait, didn't the dementors betray the ministry for Voldemort, and when he fell they were banished from civilization?
Very true, very true.
But when you take a particularly nasty bag of rubbish from the rubbish bin, to the curb, that God-awful smell still lingers for a bit afterwards, right? That's how it was in Azkaban. The prison was the rubbish bin, the Dementors the rubbish. And their horrible "scent" still clung to the walls of Azkaban. Only they didn't go away in a few hours. The "scent" plagued the prison for a good decade afterwards.
Let's get back to Mr. Malfoy now, as much as it might pain you to do so. Like I said, he was a horrible man.
There were many terrible things that he had done that I'm sure he regretted now, and maybe even a few that he didn't regret, but anyway, he did them. He had tried handing Harry Potter over to Lord Voldemort. He had given Ginny Weasley Lord Voldemort's diary. He returned to Lord Voldemort after he had risen four years ago. He had kept the prisoners Dean Thomas, Mr. Ollivander, Luna Lovegood, and the goblin, Griphook, in his basement. But his most darkest deed that caused the most painful regret, I am sure, is that Mr. Malfoy did all of these things and dragged his family down with him.
He probably wasn't feeling too regretful while he cursed his son and his wife for staying out of Azkaban while he, the patriarch of the family, was rotting from the inside out, but deep down I'm sure he felt the deepest of regrets. Perhaps by cursing said family, Mr. Malfoy was avoiding the compunction that he knew would eventually destroy him; or, at least, destroy him much more painfully than the way Azkaban was setting out to do.
Honestly, I truly believe that Lucius Malfoy loved his family. He had a hard time expressing it, and sometimes would deny it, but I really think he loved them as much as any respectful father should. However, I think that Mr. Malfoy loved himself much more, which was eventually his downfall.
Eventually, two days later, Mr. Malfoy sort of came to his senses (more or less), waking up that morning and simply remembering everything; why he was there, what he had done, all the little details that make life so much more… painful. He remembered them all, returned to (partial) sanity, and was able to come up with more… sane thoughts on his predicament.
"God-damnit," Malfoy muttered. What would my parents say if they could see me now? he continued in his mind. Locked up in this God-forsaken, freezing hell, waiting for the end of my life.
Later that day, a man came by to tell him that his hearing was scheduled tomorrow.
Thanks for the warning in advance, Malfoy sneered to himself as the man turned away and left. Lot's I need to prepare for.
You know, Malfoy, you really should, whispered another, much more annoying voice that had settled in his mind a far while ago.
Prepare something. Something for yourself. You've got a wife and a kid, still, don't you, Malfoy?
Now the voice was taunting him. Reminding him of his wife and son, who he had drug down with him into this world of darkness and hatred and greed and now, ridicule, pity, and shunning from the rest of the world. To add to the guilt, Lucius Malfoy now a painful reminder of the fact that they were walking free while he was—
"DECAYING IN THIS GOD-DAMNED PRISON!" Malfoy suddenly howled, standing up and banging at the door wildly. It was as if all the awful bees buzzing inside his head had finally noticed that they were being shaken, and they were not very happy about it. The thumps of his fists against the wood made a sound like canon-blast that exploded through his cell and the hallway outside.
Quickly realizing what he was doing, Malfoy shrank back from the door, as if it were going to retaliate for the terrible injustice his fists had done to it. He collapsed miserably on the floor of his cell, not sure whether to start screaming angrily again or sob uncontrollably.
"Look what you've been reduced to," he whispered bitterly to himself. "Harassing the door of a prison while wailing like a banshee. You're a pathetic excuse for a man, Lucius. You might as well kill yourself now, while you've got the chance," he continued, his resentful whisper turning into half-crazed mutters. "Kill yourself now, Lucius," he advised himself. "Before the dementors do! Before the memory of Narcissa and Draco do!" Malfoy was now screaming at himself again, nervously tugging at his long, now matted hair. Again, he seemed to have lost himself, as he had forgotten that there were no longer dementors in Azkaban.
At the end of a dark, dank hallway in an infamous prison, there was a young wizard by the name of Bartholomew Ryder. A half-blood, but quite a gifted wizard, if nervous and twitchy at times. This was his part time job, having just come out of Hogwarts and still looking for a full-time one. Perhaps at the Ministry, as an Auror. He had passed all his N.E.W.T.'s for the job. Or in Magical Law Enforcement, catching petty crooks selling on the black market if he was feeling less ambitious.
Any way, this was a start, and Bartholomew Ryder was determined not to screw up. This was an easy job, nearly menial, and he could get through these last two months before he earned enough money to find his own place. He had been relocated a week earlier. Mr. Ryder was sure that this job would come and go in a flash, and then he'd be out and able on his own.
That is, until the screaming started.
There were rumors going around the break room as to which hallways and cells held which Death Eaters. Some claimed to have Yaxley their hallway. Others, Antonin Dolohov, the Carrows, or Augustus Rookwood. But most of the older guards seemed to agree that Lucius Malfoy's cell resided in Bartholomew's hallway. At first, he'd thought that they were pulling his leg; joking around to stir up the youngest and least experienced of the guards. But after hearing those terrifying screams coming from one of his cells—screams mentioning the names "Narcissa" and "Draco"—Mr. Ryder was quite convinced. It was known to everyone who the Malfoys were and what they had done.
Just my luck, Bartholomew thought to himself one day, leaning against one of the damp walls of the prison, twirling his wand between his fingers, that I get one of the most well-known, infamous Death Eaters of all time. Everyone knew that Malfoy Manor had housed Lord Voldemort for a short time during the Second Wizarding War, as it was now called. One of these men in one of these cells actually saw He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named with his own. Two. Eyes.
Suddenly, another wail broke through the previously silent afternoon.
"Narcissa! Draco! Forgive me! Forgive me, please…" The desperate sob was disgraceful and terrible; it seared through Bartholomew's chest, sharp as a dagger, not just pulling but slashing at his heartstrings. What a poor, pathetic soul, he thought pityingly.
"I did what I HAD TO DO!" The cry turned into a roar, and young Bartholomew wanted to cover his ears. "You know what he was like… He would have killed us all…" Back to the sobs. "I tried, Narcissa," Malfoy pleaded with some apparition. "I'M SORRY!"
Mr. Ryder winced. Azkaban was surely tearing this man apart. The horrible part was that he probably deserved it.
Lucius Malfoy awoke the day of his trial as if magically sobered after a drunken rage. He remembered sanity, he remembered falling out of it—or, rather, diving out of it—but could not remember what happened afterwards. It frightened him, a bit, realizing how quickly he could pass through the sane to the insane. It's this damn prison, he thought. It's eating at me from the inside out.
Malfoy sighed, the whistling sound of defeat weaving through the puff of air flowing from his lips.
"Today is your trial, Malfoy," he said quietly to himself. "Time to make you look pretty for the cameras." Because, obviously, reporters from every magazine and newspaper in all of England would be there to cover the Malfoy Trial. He meticulously picked the dirt from underneath his fingernails, and then ran them through his long blonde hair. After, he inspected the blonde locks as close as he could without a mirror, and grunted with acceptance. It no longer quite as luminous as it had been, the dirt and melancholy of the place dimming the glow, but it wasn't tangled or matted anymore, which was admittedly better than nothing. He rubbed the filth off his face as rigorously as he could, and used what came off on his palms and fingers to best judge whether his face was clean or not.
"There; much better." Malfoy murmured.
A moment later a lone guard came in, brandishing his wand. "It's time, Mr. Malfoy," he said.
Ha, Malfoy thought to himself. They still grace me with the title of "Mr."
"Yes, I know," he replied, lowering his eye-lids and lifting his chin arrogantly. After all his raving, the eldest Malfoy was determined to walk into his trial cool and confident.
"Well, alright then, let's go," the man said nervously.
Malfoy allowed himself a wicked grin as he let the guard charm his wrists together. You've still got it, Lucius, he thought to himself contentedly.
"Let's head out then," he said impatiently.
The poor confused guard led him out of the cell and Lucius Malfoy felt a strange sort of contentment now. All the past week's lunacy had fled his mind, and a heavy, almost drugged-like calm replaced it. He was going to be convicted of all the accusations against him; that much he was sure of. This was just a new chapter in his life; a new scene that he would have to playact through until the next one. He scolded himself for not expecting that some scenes were going to be worse than others.
Pull the Curtain. Scene the last. Enter Malfoy.
A shortie I've had floating around in my head since before I joined fanfiction; I'm glad I've finally gotten to writing it and posting it. Thanks for reading!