Lucius' Happy Memory
It was cold. So cold in fact that one could see one's breath puff up into the air with every inhale and exhale. But it wasn't the time of year that caused this bitter cold. Oh no, it couldn't be blamed on something as simple as the weather.
No. It was the constant presence of the Dementors that made Azkaban one of the coldest places on the face of the earth. But it wasn't the natural cold that merely made your nose red and your skin freeze; it was the kind of cold that entered the heart and sucked everything inch of warmth from the soul. It was Hell.
Most people have the very wrong perception that Hell is a place where you burn- all fire and brimstone and a little cloven hoofed devil poking you with a pitchfork in your rear at random intervals for the rest of eternity- but this is a lie. Hell is far crueler than that and all the prisoners of Azkaban knew this, for they lived in the wretched place.
Hell is cold. Hell is the place where you relive your worst thoughts and memories for all time, over and over again until you finally are driven insane and it all starts again. Hell is Azkaban.
In this Hell, the prisoners were kept separated at all times, confined to their singular cells, where they resided day in and day out. The only sounds to be heard in Azkaban were the screams of the prisoners as the Dementors feed on their souls, and the wails of the brokenhearted and dying.
It was a place of boredom and broken dreams, where everyone was lonely.
So lonely in fact, that if death had offered them company, the prisoners would have accepted his offer gratefully. At least with death they would have had someone to talk to as they finally left themselves slip into oblivion.
Such was the life of the prisoners of Azkaban. Such was the life of the damned.
A figure sat on his cot, crying softly into himself. He was a pitiful sight to behold. His once beautiful white blond hair was now a matted, horrific mess, coated with dirt and god knows what else, and his skin was so pale that he could have passed for a corpse.
He had been a man of dignity and purpose, but now he was reduced to nothing. He wasn't even a shell of what he had once been, but even so, he still remembered. He remembered himself as he had been before Azkaban . . . Before he had lost himself. . .
"Draco, what are you doing?"
The small boy of five smiled up at his father, his eyes shining bright despite the lack of light in the room, and held up a small piece of parchment.
"I made this for you," Draco admitted shyly, holding it out to him.
Lucius took the piece of parchment in his hand and studied it for a moment, his light blue eyes searching every inch of the paper.
"What is this, Draco?"
The boy smile grew even bigger as he explained, "It's us! That's mother on the right, me in the middle, and that's you father on the left. Do you see?"
Lucius looked at the picture his son had drawn again, this time knowing what he was looking at. The multicolored magical chalks Draco had used had somewhat made the picture smeared, but after some intent observing, the man could see that the picture was indeed of his small family. The boy had done rather well, or at least, well for his age. And though Lucius wouldn't tell him as much, he was quite impressed by it.
"That's very . . . interesting, Draco."
The boy's face instantly sunk. "Don't you like it?"
Lucius met his child's eyes and he smiled. It was a very rare thing for the man to truly smile, but he did now.
"Yes Draco, I suppose I do 'like' it."
As the little boy smiled Lucius couldn't help but feel proud. His son would do great things one day, of that he was sure.
"Go now Draco, your mother needs you." He said in the stern tone he always used when he wanted to be obeyed.
The little boy ran over to his father and wrapped his arms around his middle, hugging him tight. "Alright," he mumbled from where his face was pressed against his father's robes. "Love you, father."
Lucius felt a single tear leave his eye as he hugged his son to him and heard the simple phrase uttered from the innocent youth.
"I love you to, son," he said calmly, before he pulled Draco an arms-length away. "Now, go. You don't want to keep your mother waiting."
The little boy smiled as he ran off leaving his father alone with the picture he had drawn, not knowing that the second the door closed behind him, Lucius began to cry.
Lucius writhed, crying out in agony as the Dementor sucked at his soul. He fought with every ounce of strength that he possessed to keep the picture of Draco in his mind, but ultimately failed.
Finally after what felt like a lifetime, the Dementor stopped and left him alone in his cell once more.
It had become a daily ritual now for Lucius that a Dementor would come into his cell and feed on him, taking away all of his remaining happiness. And the man feared that soon, there would be nothing happy left for the Dementors to take away from him.
Curling into a ball on his threadbare cot, the man silently cried, praying that one day he would be able to go home.