Interlude – Fourteen years later
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Bellatrix cracked an eye open, irritated at the source of the dripping. It was raining, as it usually did here. She shut her eyes again.
It was uncomfortable sitting in this corner now. She needed to move, stretch her legs for a while. She giggled to herself as she thought of what that meant. Five paces towards the toilet, five paces towards the bed and five towards the door.
The corner was where she felt safe though. It was far enough away from the door that she didn't feel so icy when the dementor guarding her swept past. It was far enough away from the window that she didn't get cold and wet by the wonderful weather provided by the north sea.
As she moved, she felt her cough rattling around in her chest.
"That's another reason that we don't move, isn't it, Tom?" she said, her voice raspy and unused. She couldn't recall the last time she spoke, even to herself.
For a sweet, delicious moment, an image of her lovely husband Tom came into her head. He was smirking, but his red eyes were looking at her in such a way that she felt so happy and safe with him. Then the dementor had sensed it and was there instantly, sucking that memory from her mind.
She snarled at it, crawling away from it as fast as she could. She wheezed, coughing roughly, wishing there was something there to cough up and make it go away.
Bellatrix looked down at her hands, suddenly noticing how bony her wrists were. She'd always been thin, but this was disgusting.
Then she remembered that she had been in here for so long she didn't know how long it was. She remembered that she had done some terrible things and this was her punishment.
That made her cough more.
For a long time after the coughing fit had subsided, she lay down on the floor, staring out of the window. She wasn't thinking of much, just watching the stars begin to come out. They were so pretty. She loved anything pretty.
She lifted her arms into the air, swinging them around to stretch them out a bit. As she did so, she noticed that the very faint outline of the dark mark that had appeared, she thought probably a few months ago, was beginning to look quite dark now. As she sat up and examined it, she suddenly realised it was burning.
Her mark was burning.
This could only mean one thing. A laugh escaped her lips, a mad, happy, crazy and loud laugh. Two dementors came to suck the happiness from her, and then there were three and then four. They couldn't stop her from laughing.
The Dark Lord had risen.