Solitary confinement is by no mean a pleasant experience. Solitary confinement cells in the wizarding prison Azkaban are pure hell. No prisoner wants to go there, and most won't.
Of the three cells located deep under the water line, one has been occupied for the last decade. Its tenant, by her reputation only, makes the guards uneasy when they hear the name, and going to work there is considered as a punishment for the guards. Although they are allowed to cast a Patronus in the guards room located at the entrance of the isolation corridor and almost never leave their post, they always feel the cold and the despair coming from the said corridor, as there is always a Dementor patrolling the hallway.
Except for its current tenant, the solitary confinement corridor does not keep it's prisoners for long. Most are being punished for a few days then go back to their usual cell. To be in one of these cells means a grave offence AND very bad behaviour in the upper levels. And still...
It did not take long for Bellatrix Lextrange to be transferred down there after she arrived more than a decade ago. Everybody here knows why she is in Azkaban, and while many guards are wary of her, she is revered by many fellow prisoner. During her first year, she is transferred from an aisle to another every other month, mostly because of her behaviour, and after less than a year she is transferred to her current location. At first, the head-guard thinks a few days there will break her. He is wrong,so wrong. The days turn into weeks, then into months, and years.
Now she is the permanent one, the one they scare the newcomers with. She was not exactly in her right mind at the time she arrived (had she ever been in her right mind since she was born?), with her hysterical laugh that sends shivers down the spine of anyone that was in hearing distance, her semi-constant mumbling that would turn into yelling, her haunted eyes. The guards will trade their turns down there for favors, even money, with their colleagues so they can avoid hearing her (and avoid the nightmares that comes with Solitary). Some day,s the ramblings almost sound coherent. Other days, only hight pitched, demented screams can be heard.
"..My Lord...let me rule with you..."
"...alone... Without you... Isolated from the world"
Most of the time, she seems lost into her mind, then, as if she was back as a child, she starts reciting poetry, as all young pureblood ladies from a noble house should have memorized before starting their formal schooling. Tidbits of classics make Bellatrix almost sound normal, as normal as she could ever be.
"... Desolation, devastation, isolation..."
"... Kingdom of isolation..."
For months, she only speaks of the Kingdom of isolation, devastation, desolation. And of her Lord, of course. Then she goes back to screaming hours at a time, and the guards wish she'd go back to poetry.
After a few years spent in there repeating over and over the same cycle,the solitary confinement aisle of Azkaban gets a new unofficial name and becomes the Kingdom of Isolation. One of the guards, a distant cousin of hers, shares secretly the same views as her, and suggests that they use the name to supposedly scare the other inmates, which works, while he secretly considers it as a tribute.
During her sixth through ninth year in her cell, less than twenty other prisoners ends up in solitary, all badasses. The guards usually put them in the closest cell to Bellatrix and examine their reactions to her and place bets on how much time it will take for them to beg to be farther for her. Some last a few days before breaking, one dies, one spontaneously combusts, one goes barmy and pulls all of hair out and tears off his ears so he can't hear her anymore. The survivors, the one who live to tell the tale, when they go back to their cells on the upper levels, their screams speak of something different than before their not so distant (yet in another cell) encounter. They confusedly scream about the Kingdom of Isolation, of it's queen, and of the torture that they have been subjected to. And like a trail of dust, the word spreads all around the prison that inmates are tortured in Isolation, that the Queen breaks the weak minded.
And secretly, in a dark corner of her mind that has not been consumed by the madness of Azkaban, Bellatrix Lestrange (née Black) smiles. Her long term plan is working.
The Kingdom of Isolation is hers, and she is its Queen.
Written for the Disney Lyric Prompts Competition at HPFC. My prompt was : "A kingdom of isolation, and it looks like I'm the queen."
I don't know why I write Bellatrix, she is far from being my favorite character, but she is the one coming up in my mind when ther are prompt challenges/competitions. And I like writing her.