• User avatar
  • User avatar
  • User avatar
User avatar
by: Justin McDowell
#2213
Tuesday, 7 March, 2012
1800

It had been a month since they'd been arrested, a month since Justin had seen any glimpse of Lissa. One long, torturous month--and a day, he thought as he marked one more tally on the stone--stuck in this gloomy place. Justin had lost weight--not that he had had much to lose to begin with. More worrying was the fact his muscle tone had started to fade. He didn't want to know what he looked like in a mirror. He hadn't been afforded that luxury. For that, he was quite thankful. Perhaps it was also some strange, twisted blessing that Lissa hadn't seen him to his knowledge. Who knew what duplicitous things they were doing all in the name of torture, all in the name of getting information and names out of him for his alleged affiliation with the illegal anti-slavery group, SAVIOR.

Justin snorted despite himself. If they only knew they were asking him about the wrong group, maybe the fact the Veritaserum "wasn't working" after a month of torture to wear him down would click and they would understand he was telling the truth. He had told them as much on many occasions.

"Because I'm telling the blooming truth. Ask me the right questions, and maybe you'll get somewhere, douchebag."

Justin shuddered and pulled his knees up to his body at the memories that flooded into his mind at the thought of that. They had covered his face and poured water over him for what seemed like days after that, but that hadn't been the worst of it. Neither had the sleep deprivation, the lack of food, or the sensory deprivation with dementors hanging about.

Justin swallowed, wondering how Lissa was faring. She had only just begun gaining the weight back that she had lost as a slave. She had only just begun getting better. Were they subjecting her to this same mess? Was she still alive? Was she dead? The things they had done to him.... What had they done to her? He didn't want to know or ask, but the thought made him sick to his stomach.

Suddenly, Justin stood and walked to the bars. "Let me see her!" he screamed, though it hardly sounded as loud as he would like. His voice had gone somewhere in the process. "Let me see her, damn it!" he sobbed.

"Quit yer whining!" The voice was unmistakably Sark's.

Justin cowered, backing up quickly to the back corner of his cell and squatting, pulling his knees in and putting his arms up as though that would protect him from any spell or blow the man decided to throw at him. After a few moments, Justin realized the stall had opened, and Sark had not stepped inside. He hadn't moved either, and he hadn't harmed him.

Justin dared to lower his arm slightly, looking up at Sark with confusion.

"The boss wants you out. Says yer not eatin' enough. Says we're never gonna get something without giving something. Get'up!"

Justin scrambled up, knowing better than to stay still when told to stand. The more he complied, maybe the more he'd get.

"You look like hell," Sark said as he used a modified spell to put shackles on Justin.

No retort came from Justin nor did one even come to mind. There was no point to it. Being himself would only get him more pain in his experience. Granted, being silent and subjective didn't typically get you treated much better.

"Well, out of the cell with you," Sark said. "I 'aven't got all day."

Justin stumbled toward Sark and followed him. He wasn't sure what "out" meant, and it scared him. But out ended up meaning the corner of what appeared to be a mess hall. "Sit. Your food will appear shortly."

Justin did as told, watching as Sark walked away to take up a post and feeling utterly perplexed.
User avatar
by: Melissa McCarthy
#2218
At what point did you stop feeling cold? Or pain? Or terror? Or loneliness or... Everything?
Because Melissa felt it all - all at once. Her shivers had become so violent they shook her awake, her bare bones, only thinly covered by overly stretched wafer thin skin, banging and thundering against the damp, clammy stone. Every so often she would hit a bruise or gash left by her captors and aches and stabbing would start again, along with the tears in her eyes. Even when the shivers didn't keep her awake, her imagination did.

Justin in chains.

Justin being beaten.

Justin's screams. Justin begging for the pain to stop.

The same clear liquid being forced down his throat, no amount of gagging closing his throat to the truth serum.

Justin cracking... A confession on his lips.

A flash of green light, Justin crumpling in his bonds. Dead. The fulfilment of the unbreakable vow.

He was probably dead. He had to be dead. The truth serum would have forced an answer and the unbreakable vow would have stopped his heart as sure as any killing curse. She'd just been lucky, she never been forced into swearing and her questioners hadn't known the correct questions to ask to get the answer they'd sought.

He shouldn't have even been there... Justin should have been at school, or home, or... Not a fugitive! Not in chains surrounded by criminals. Not...
But he was dead. He had to be dead and it was her fault. She'd done this... She'd tugged him into this illegal life, outside the law. She'd done this.
Justin had loved her and she'd... She'd got him killed.

Wait... There was the numbness... Another shiver ripped through her. Surely that was the appropriate response when you realised you were a murderer?

"Up!"

Melissa didn't move. Had the door opened? She hadn't noticed. Her cheek stayed pressed to the stone floor, her hip bone aching from yesterday's swift kick, coupled with a night unmoving on the floor.

"I said UP!"

When she didn't move Melissa felt strong hands grabbing at her shoulders, fingers biting into the fatless area, surely leaving fresh bruises as she was hauled to her feet.

"Apparently we're to get some food in you. Don't want you dying on us."

Dying... Like Justin... She was a murderer. Melissa shivered again, this time it had nothing to do with her feet on the cold stone floor.

Without complaint Melissa allowed herself to he sheparded through the maze of corridors, not bothering to catalogue each left and right, until she was pushed into the mess hall. The noise of people overwhelmed her after so long in solitude. Her foot took a step back, only to meet the strong chest of a guard.

"Sit."

But Melissa felt like she was drowning under the roar of footsteps and cutlery and... beaten down life. Her breath congealed and stuck to the insides of her throat until she choked, her chest constricting as her body pressed back, away from the noise.

"I said SIT!" The Guard raised his arm and Lissa cringed away, waiting for the explosion of pain.
User avatar
by: Justin McDowell
#2220
There was something about being around people that had once invigorated him and made him feel the need to perform, to be loud, to be heard, and to be seen. It was the appeal of a crowd when you were a natural prankster and enjoyed joking about. However, that longing was not here as he looked around at the people who sat at their various tables, all of which were bigger than the one he was at. This one was small, set up for clearly no more than four people. Justin had to force himself to pay attention to the grooves in the metal--each little etch, a grouping which seemed to be from someone's nails--to try to keep from hiding. The buzz of voices talking--at least the few who seemed to dare or bother with it--was too much. He was used to a handful of people about him, all silent except the one or two who were busy tormenting him. This? What was this?

So unexpected was the appearance of his food that Justin jumped upright as it appeared and stared at it, his palms against the edge of the table, his fingers curled to rest against it. Whatever it was didn't look or smell appetizing in the least. If anything, his stomach protested at the sight and smell. Looking around, it was clearly more gourmet than the other prisoners, and it made Justin feel uneasy. Were they trying to make his death look like an uncontrollable accident? Make the other prisoners jealous and then let them attack? Perhaps his imagination was wild, but still, he couldn't help but worry.

Justin's eyes didn't make much sense of the scene with the girl and the guard until the guard suddenly raised his voice. The entire room went completely silent, and a shiver went up Justin's spine. His eyes settled on the brunette skeleton, and after a few moments, he felt pain tug at his chest and his eyes as warm tears welled inside them and he let out a sob. He knew that skeleton. He knew her. It was Lissa. She looked different. She stood differently. She acted differently. But it was Lissa. And she was not well. All at once, he wanted to run the short distance to her and take her in his arms and cower under the table for fear they'd see his emotion and use it against him. Instead, he sat there helpless, unable to stop the wave of emotion that overtook him.
User avatar
by: Darius Nott
#2221
Rubble and riff raff...Darius held himself regally despite the prison greys he was currently disguised in. He was 'escorted' into the mess hall like his current targets were. He was, by far, the oldest of the men in this accursed prison. Well, necessary, but how many of his fellows had been housed here before the Death Eaters liberated the government from the control buffoons? Only his cunning and skill had kept him from joining the ranks of the incarcerated. That, and nobody expected the head of the hospital to be a Death Eater. Well, he had been, and his support had helped forge the legacy that the nation now enjoyed. His reward had been retirement...a bitter reward, if he were to admit that much to himself.

Miko was at home in the manor, expecting him to be off on a business trip. In a way, it was true. Nott had retaken his role as an interrogator. One particular couple had proven themselves resistant...or the current team of questioners had proven themselves incompetent. Either way, the old man was called in. The pair was at the same table, but they'd not yet seen each other. Nott was placed between them, closer to the boy, but still several places down from the girl. All he needed to do now was gain conversational access and begin slithering into the lives. Yes, he missed this.

In character, Darius slid a gaze down the table to the boy. Jason? No...Justin. That was his name. The old man put on as much of a friendly smile as he could.

"Alright then? Here I was thinking that I was the youngest one in this hell hole."

Jokes were unexpected, off putting, ice breaking. Hopefully the boy wasn't so beaten as to be unhearing. Pain and apathy could do that...that's why Darius tried to avoid them.
User avatar
by: Melissa McCarthy
#2225
The back handed slap struck across Melissa's face, jarring her back into reality, or at least partly. The pain burst out across her cheekbone, a gasp dripping from her lip.
The guard glanced down at her, eyes blank with disinterest, and pushed her forward again. This time Lissa didn't resist. Her feet crossed the short distance to a nearby table and obeyed as rough hands pushed down on her bony shoulders. She sunk into a chair.

"Now was that so hard?"

A muttered curse saw Melissa's wrists shackled, the added weight dropping into her lap. Tight and cold, just like always. She didn't flinch as a platter of what she supposed should be food appeared on the table in front of her. There was nothing tempting, on the plate or in her mind. Melissa made no move to eat. Why should she get to when Justin was...was...

With the pain in her cheek receding, despite the red mark along her pale cheekbone, Melissa felt herself slipping back into her own mind, into her own thoughts. Her eyes stayed fixed on her shackled hands as the world kept spinning around her.

"Alright then? Here I was thinking that I was the youngest one in this hell hole."

Someone in here still had a sense of humour?

That seemed impossible...
User avatar
by: Justin McDowell
#2227
Justin's eyes did not move from Lissa through the entire ordeal. Even as someone spoke to him, his eyes didn't budge for he figured surely the person was talking to someone else. The sobs had stopped now. Tears remained on his face, drying and causing the skin to feel semi tight where they had managed to dry. His eyes were still brimming. If he blinked, he would lose it again. He had dreamed of this moment, of how happy he would feel to see her again, yet there was no happiness here--only anger and pain. Anger. That's what had been there at first. It's what had fueled his defiance. He remembered that distant memory of a feeling now as it began to come again. He wanted to say something encouraging to her, to tell her how good she looked. But that would be a lie, and he didn't want the first thing out of his mouth to her after a month to be a lie. In fact, he didn't want to tell Lissa any lies at all. Perhaps it was better not to speak. Perhaps it was best simply to act, but what would that gain them? More pain? More tears? The opportunity to see each other dashed right before their very eyes? No, anything but that. Yet why would he want to see her like this? How could they be so cruel?

"L--" Justin began before realizing how dry his throat was and how cottony his mouth felt. He cleared his throat as though that might help. "L--," he tried again then shook his head and angrily reached for the paper cup that he hoped contained water. He found it did as he put it to his lips and began to drink as though he had not had water in years. Some slopped out of his mouth, down his throat, to his jumper. He didn't care. He kept drinking a while longer, glad that magic apparently was seeing to it that he had plenty to drink, before setting it down and gasping for air. "Lissa..."
User avatar
by: Darius Nott
#2229
Darius followed the boy's gaze to an equally starved and beaten girl. Shameful, the way these prisoners were being treated. Didn't the administration know that pain and suffering on the front end only made for resistance and defiance? Surely, pain had its place, but Darius preferred the slow turning of the screw instead of the blunt hammer fall of immediate torture.

He addressed the girl, then, if the boy was going to be an egghead.

"Lissa...is that you? I'm Derrin...long time resident, first time mentor. You'll both have to buck up if you're going to last much longer. Eat. Even if they've poisoned it, there's no use in starving to death. At least the poison will off you quicker, right?"

He smiled again, fueled by gallows humor. To underscore his poont, he ate and drank of his own bland meal. Did the dementors cook this slop or was there a crew of lazy wizards who didn't know butter from bacon? It didn't matter. He had to keep reminding himself of that fact. The realization that he'd become pampered in his retirement was pushed away. Even if that was true, and it was, he was back in mission mode. He would use deceit and kindness to get from these youngsters what veritaserum and torture failed to reveal. The boy was nearly broken beyond usefulness, but the girl...she might be the one to talk if it came down to it.
User avatar
by: Melissa McCarthy
#2232
Her name was called out twice, two different voices. One could be easily ignored a a stranger but one... One was.... It couldn't be. It couldn't because, because...
Melissa's gaze snapped up to her two table-mats. He wasn't... Wasn't possible! Justin couldn't be alive. There was no way he could have survived this long without the unbreakable vow activating and -
But it was him. Justin, her Justin. He looked sick, thinner and pale but that was him - Justin.

Something broke inside Lissa. It wasn't a loud shatter, she didn't fall apart in cries and shudders. She didn't scream or fling herself across the table towards him. Something just cracked, silently, inside her. A tear dripped down onto her cheek, causing a clean streak to appear between the grim and dirt which covered her skin.
"Hi..."
There was so much more to say, but it was like everything was trying to come out a once. The tiny, insignificant word seemed the only one to make it out of her brain into the air around her.

But the other man was still talking. Lissa forced herself to listen, although she couldn't force herself to look away fron Justin incase he disappeared. Eat..?
Oh... Right...
Obediently, and clumsily, Lissa reached both hands out to awkwardly grasp her spoon. She shoved a half sized measure and forced herself to swallow. It felt like she had to remind herself how such a motion happened.
There. She'd done what she'd been told. What now?
User avatar
by: Justin McDowell
#2234
The ghost of a smile tugged at the corners of Justin's lips but it never fully formed. It didn't match what he was feeling inside. Inside, he felt... Well, he wasn't sure what entirely. He was exhausted. He was a living, walking, breathing shell. There were emotions in there, certainly, but most of the time lately there were so many it was hard to tell what was what and so he simply felt...numb. He recognized anger. He recognized the twinges that remained from the moment he had first seen Lissa. He remembered the twinges of the outburst it had caused. He couldn't tell you if he had felt anything other than anger. He couldn't tell you if he'd felt sadness, guilt, or pity. He couldn't tell you much at this point. It was like whatever part of his brain was in charge of making him feel things was broken or had up and quit without permission. Except it kind of had been necessary to get this far. If he didn't feel most of the day, it was easier to survive and exist. Somehow. Except for the outbursts of pain and sorrow that threatened to explode from inside him sometimes when he was tired enough. That outburst of sobs had been similar yet different.

Justin blinked, ignoring the feeling of tears that came out. He wasn't crying. Not anymore, but his eyes had not yet dried. Lissa looked away then toward someone near him. He looked over in that direction, seeing an old man. Oh. Someone had spoken to him after all. "Sorry?" Justin said, not quite sure if he was saying it for ignoring the older man earlier or in an effort to get the man to repeat what was being said. He looked back to Lissa, realizing she was eating. Oh, was that what the man had said? To eat? What if he didn't want to eat? What if he wanted to give all his food to Lissa because she was so thin. She needed it more than he did. She needed to break free and to survive and to be happy. She'd been through hell the past two years. She'd gotten free, found the Syndicate, and then he had come down there. She'd been so close. So damn close. And then Gideon had had to go and find her mother and not be careful enough about setting up the meeting. He should have learned from the kiss. He should have learned that nothing good could come of Gideon!

There it was again. Anger. It was strongest now. He shoved himself up and his tray shot across the table. Whether it hit the floor or not, Justin didn't register. He was still trying to register how he'd stood or why there were two guards suddenly so very near him. "Nothing to see here," he told them, staring at the table again and sitting down, his hands clasped in his lap.
User avatar
by: Darius Nott
#2238
Darius grumbled about youth and started to dig into his own slop when the boy had an outburst. The undercover Death Eater flinched away from the boy's angry outburst. So, he wasn't broken yet? Good. Good, he'd need that fight to survive. Nott made a mental note to have the guards relent on the beatings, perhaps spread the rumor that the head torturer was called to London...give the sprats a reason to think that the beatings would be postponed.

"I said ya gotta eat. Damn'd truth poison they put inta you is gonna burn your inside out if you don't eat food to soak it up. So...what group got you lot in here...the Order?"

Darius had studied theater as a passing aristocratic past time. it was fitting of someone in his social strata to peruse. He'd picked up enough to hide himself during the Good Old Days of the Death Eater rise to power...the first time, in the seventies and eighties. As a result, his quiet whisper, touched with a bit of northern burr, lit up his eyes when he mentioned the Order. Let the kiddos think him an old broken warhorse hoping for a glimmer of hope. He knew they were not of the Order...but the idea of a fellow rebel might make them more loose lipped if they could get their minds off of themselves.
User avatar
by: Melissa McCarthy
#2257
Oh Justin... Oh no... Melisa saw the flash of emotion in his gaze and realised what it was only moments before he turned over foot tray onto the floor. The clatter sent her flinching back from the table, cringing as the metallic clang reverberated round the room.
"Justin, don-" But then the guards were bookending Justin and the words died on her lips, throat suddenly shutting down. Her eyes snapped to the her hands, watching as they began to shake of their own accord.
Don't... Please don't...
The guards wouldn't need much of an excuse, far less than the ruckass Justin has made to punish an inmate. Her heart thundered against her chest, hammering out a beat of panic against her bones. She didn't manage to calm until Justin settled back into his seat and the guards disappeared back into the woodwork.
"Please don't..." Lissa whispered, her voice vibrating against her chest as if she was screaming.

The question from the stranger rolled over her again, forcing another flinch from Melissa. It might have been phrased differently, gently even, but that question had brought nothing but pain for the young woman. Why should now be any different?
"It was just us. It has always been just us..."
User avatar
by: Justin McDowell
#2265
Justin heard the man but was silent as he sat there, his fists balled as he stared at the now-empty spot on the table. It might be his own fault there was no food there, but what did it matter? If he didn't eat, there wouldn't be much longer that he'd have to put up with this, and they couldn't force him to eat. That was the one freedom he still had in this awful situation. Maybe it was stupid, and maybe he'd rethink it later but he didn't care right now. Why should he? His stomach was beyond hunger pains, his head pounded loudly enough as it was. What little provisions they'd given him over the past month had been enough to keep him alive but barely. Why should he hang on for this? What hope was there? The government was established now, and not enough people cared about anything going on in it that was rotten and corrupt that there was no bloody hope.

As Lissa spoke, Justin's eyes sparked and he looked at the man. "Quit your digging. Leave us be." He didn't like this. He did not like this old man one bit. Why did he give a damn what was going on with them and why would he care who got them in here? Besides, who the hell said resistance group members were the only ones in Azkaban. It was common knowledge people were arrested for lesser crimes. Perhaps most of those weren't carted off here, but this hellish place was certainly one way or another to ensure whatever time they spent under arrest scared them enough not to repeat the behavior. He would be willing to bet there were a good number in here who weren't resistance members. Surely.
User avatar
by: Darius Nott
#2286
"Just tryin' to make conversation...don't get enough of that here...ain't meaning no harm..."

These two would be hard to break. Darius didn't believe them for a moment that it was just them. Two teenagers were not able to accumulate the experience or the resources necessary for this length of time. Especially an escaped slave like the girl. Still, he could t tip his hand yet. He shut up and focused on his food, for all observation seeming to be put off by Justin's harshness.

The girl was the weak point. She'd started to talk before the boy had snapped at him. Perhaps he could have the boy shifted to a different lunch schedule. He'd need to get the girl's trust, but that may not be hard to do. He'd have to think about that more carefully.
User avatar
by: Melissa McCarthy
#2290
Conversation? Where did this man think he was? People in here didn't want to talk, this wasn't some kind of social event. No body chose to be here, who on Earth would you? The wizarding prison seemed to suck the life from it's inmates, the happiness and hope and... Any motivation to thrive. This place made you want to curl up and just wait for life to be over...

Her hand reached up carefully, feeling the small bruise on her cheek bone from where the guard's knuckles had caught her. The purple wasn't overly dark considering some bruises which had been left after the questioning, but the discolouration stood out against Lissa's pale sun-starved complexion. It hurt, but it was nothing unmanageable.

It took an effort, but Lissa forced her gaze up from her plate and over to Justin, hoping to catch his gaze if he allowed it. A smile seemed out of the question, but apparently looking slightly less terrified was possible.
"It's..." Melissa's thumb ran over the course edge of the table feeling the ridges under her touch. There was something calming about it, something grounding.
"It's good to see you. When they refused the first time I... I thought..." That thought seemed difficult to finish with the stranger still in ear shot. Instead she just let the words hang, an unspoken link between them. Justin would know what she meant, he always seemed to know
User avatar
by: Justin McDowell
#2346
Justin met Lissa's gaze when he felt her eyes on him. The anger in them softened slightly at the rudimentary contact, yet it returned as he realized he would likely get them both in trouble if he reached out to try to awkwardly ask for Lissa's hand--doubly, if she took the offer. He missed her touch. He wanted to feel her hand in his, to feel her body in his arms, yet that was out of the question and likely would be just as infuriating even if it were allowed for the simple reason that she would feel different. Even though it was Lissa, she would feel different. They had robbed them of even the comfort that human touch could provide.

Justin swallowed as Lissa implied what she had thought and nodded. "I thought, too..." he replied. He wouldn't admit he'd hoped she was for her sake. It would mean she wasn't suffering, wasn't being tormented the same way he was. Even if the thought hurt, he'd had it, and he hated himself for it all the same. "I'm glad...." Justin closed his eyes, his shoulders slumping forward and his head falling back in defeat. This was too much to handle. They couldn't even speak privately. They couldn't offer each other the words they both needed to hear, couldn't whisper the sweet little lies to keep each other going. He wanted to go back now. He wanted to go back despite the fact his stomach was churning, hungrier than it had felt in forever with the smell of food so near.

Justin jumped as a tray clanged against the metal table as a guard unceremoniously dropped it in front of him. "See ya don't lose this one," the guard barked.

Justin stared him down before starting to eat. His hands were shaking with hunger, and it took all his willpower not to shovel bite after nasty bite into his mouth. He had to be reserved, seem less eager to eat than he was.

https://files.jcink.net/uploads/fod[…]

Under a Cursed Moon (open)

Eben heaved himself up and hugged the wall. Urgenc[…]

Wolf Out! Affiliation :)

Hey :) We need new affiliates since the tinypic cl[…]

Eben's Journal

(Content warning: graphic description of a burned […]

AFFILIATES:

Use PHP in HTML files
RPG-D Relashio! Black Sun Rising