- Fairytales Assignment #3: Sleeping Beauty - Your task this week is to write about twins (or triplets, etc)! Easy enough, right? Here's the catch: You may not write about Fred and George. Prompts used: (Food) Apple, (Dialogue) "If only..."
- Fairytales #3 Extra Credit: In Sleeping Beauty the Princess is always cursed to sleep for 100 years. Write about what it would be like to wake up after those 100 years.
- Chocolate Frog Card Club: Babayaga (Challenge: Write about someone who actively dislikes children to the point of verbal or physical abuse.)
- February Event prompts: (object) Cherubs, (word) Infatuated/Infatuation
- Writing Club: Word Prompt Express: (word) Horror
Word Count: 4,574
A.N: Thanks to 3cheersforidiots for beta services :)
An Unceasing Legend
"I am the ocean; so deep and so full of unnoticed things. But people only see my surface and think that's all that's left of me."
Every Carrow child who has ever been born knew about the Legend of Alecto.
She was a girl born over a hundred years ago, in 1870, to Galene and Markos Carrow—the first girl to be born into the family for many generations. The birth of the daughter didn't initially bother Markos, until it was discovered that her birth had caused Galene severe complications, and she would no longer be able to bear any children.
The news came when Alecto was three, after her parents had been attempting to make Galene fall pregnant for eighteen months. As soon as it was learnt that Galene was barren, Markos turned a sudden distasteful eye on his daughter, and everything went terribly wrong from there.
Galene, suffering immensely from her inability to provide Markos with a son, fell into a deep depression and withdrew away from the family, choosing to spend all of her time locked up in her private chambers. Alecto was left to the care of the nanny, but when she wasn't around, she became the object of her father's hate.
Markos turned to drinking as soon as he realised that he was most likely going to be the end of the Carrow bloodline. He became a cruel, reckless drunk, and without any friends or the company of his wife, he directed his attention to Alecto.
"Child," he would snap as soon as Alecto entered a room. She was around seven or eight when she truly began to feel her father's wrath. "Do something useful, and pour me another drink," he waved his glass at her, and she would quietly take it from between his fingers, and use the crystal decanters, which were always full of amber-coloured liquid, to refill his cup. On more than one occasion, her nervousness around her callous father would cause her to stumble on the same frayed edge of the rug, and she would plummet to the floor, the glass of whiskey tumbling along with her.
Of course, an accident like this could have been easily rectified with magic by a kindlier man, but Markos was no longer such a man. This was merely another excuse for him to take out his anger of being unable to have a son on Alecto, who he ultimately blamed for tainting Galene's womb.
"Stupid girl," he would snarl, forcing himself out of his armchair and staggering over towards her. Alecto would cower and try to scramble away, but Markos, even in his drunken state, would be faster. As she started to crawl towards the door, he would grab the back of her legs and pull her body flat, before throwing up her skirts and smacking the backs of her thighs until her skin was red as lobsters. "I hate children," he would hiss as he continued his attack on his daughter, and she would do nothing but muffle her cries into the whiskey-stained rug.
Markos's attacks on his daughter only grew more violent as she got older, but she thought that maybe, life was beginning to look up for her as her eleventh birthday approached. Markos had sought solace with another woman earlier in the year of 1881. She was a fitting wife for Markos; a woman named Elladora Black, who was the prized princess of the House of Black's main bloodline. He only wished that he had met her before proposing to Galene.
Knowing that Elladora's straight-edged parents would refuse to allow Elladora to marry him, should they know about Galene and Alecto, Markos hatched a plan. He shipped Galene out to an old, unused residence that belonged to the Carrows. It was a secluded, empty house by the name of Homestead Manor, and was located deep in the Welsh valleys, where Muggles would be unlikely to stumble upon it. Having no more interest in the welfare of her own life, Galene accepted her fate without protest, and Markos had the marriage annulled and the evidence wiped clean.
Alecto was another problem. It would be all too easy for him to send his daughter to live out the same fate, but Markos had grown slightly attached to her over the years - which meant, he had grown more attached to the misery he was inflicting upon her. So he sent Alecto to go and live downstairs in the basement, along with the nanny and the House Elves, where she no longer wore her expensive clothes and enjoyed the seclusion of her private quarters. She was to act as a servant to Markos and his new family, and be seen as no more than a House Elf, like her new roommates.
Luckily, her fate as a servant didn't last long. When Alecto's Hogwarts letters first started to appear, Markos burnt them, having no interest in sending his daughter to a school where she would no doubt blab away their secrets. However, after several visits from staff at the school, he was forced to allow her to get her magical education—but not without a severe warning as to what would happen to her if she decided to tell any of her classmates about how she was treated at home, and about how she was his daughter.
When questioned as to what she should do about her surname, Markos told her that she would take her mother's surname. She went to Hogwarts as Alecto Flint, and was forced to convince the staff that she was most certainly not Markos Carrow's daughter.
But Alecto didn't care what she was supposed to do. She was going to be away from her father's clutches for seven whole years, as she planned to spend her summers in Homestead Manor with her mother. So, without any guidance from her father or new stepmother, Alecto ventured out to King's Cross alone on the first of September, and boarded the train to Hogwarts.
Not long after she was gone, Markos would manage to successfully impregnate Elladora with twin boys, Theodore and Nicolaus. The marriage wouldn't last long, but Markos didn't care. He had the sons he needed to procure his family name.
When Alecto was sixteen and spending her summers in the solitary Homestead Manor, she didn't expect a visit from the man she was no longer permitted to call 'father'.
Markos was aged, but just as angry and drunk as she remembered him from six years ago, if not worse. He babbled on about how Elladora had left him, taking their two sons with her—though they still bore the Carrow name. He went on to insist that his lifelong misery was all Alecto's fault.
She had been born with that thing between her legs instead of the bulge of a man, and her birth had ruined Galene, subsequently ruining his marriage as well. It was all down to Alecto, that Markos was forced to seek another wife, and she had turned out to be a no good bitch either.
"I detest you women," he snarled, his voice laced with bitterness and venom. "Galene, Alecto, Elladora. You are all repulsive, abhorrent, good-for-nothing cu—" he was cut off as Alecto slapped him sharply across his stubbly cheek.
"Don't you dare insult Mother," she hissed, narrowing her eyes. Markos momentarily rose his eyebrows in shock, before pursing his lips.
"How dare you," Markos whispered. His hands trembled angrily, as though he was mortified by how Alecto had the gall to stand up to him. Alecto reached into the sleeve of her robes and snatched her wand, pointing it at his throat. "How dare you talk back to me in my own house!"
"This is Mother's house," snapped Alecto. "She told me it's never really belonged to the Carrows. It was her grandparents' house."
"Everything your mother owned became mine when she married me," Markos responded viciously as he aimed his own wand at her. "Including her womb, of which you were born from. Now, show me some respect, child!" He raised his hand as he spoke, and brought the handle of his wand down on Alecto's head, causing her to stumble and fall to the ground, her own wand falling out of her hand and clattering under the table. "That is the last time you disrespect me, girl!" he continued, swirling his wand over his head. "Avada...Kedavra!"
"No!" a voice screeched, and a blur of something grey darted in front of Alecto. Galene took the full force of the Killing Curse, and slumped over where she stood, falling to Markos' feet.
Markos collapsed to the ground, seizing his ex-wife in his arms. "No...no...Galene..." he whispered, pushing back the lank tendrils of dark, silver-streaked hair from her face. But it was too late. She was dead.
Alecto pushed herself into a sitting position, rubbing her head, and her eyes widened when she noticed her mother, limp and unmoving in her father's arms. "What did you do?" she hissed, her voice wavering. "What did you do?!"
"She's...she's dead," Markos continued, sounding strangled. "She died to protect you. She sacrificed herself for you." He shot a sudden resentful, dirty look at Alecto. "You've killed your mother!"
Six years ago, Alecto would've whimpered and dashed away, desperate to escape her father's clutches. But she had matured in those six years. She wasn't about to let her misogynistic father continue his rule of terror.
"Don't...you...dare..." Alecto snarled, scrabbling around to search for her wand. "You tried to kill me...and mother jumped in front of me. You killed her!" She spotted her wand just underneath the table, and reached for it.
She was just a little too late. "Stupefy!" Markos yelled, and a jet of red light hit Alecto squarely in the chest. She froze, staring ahead for a few moments, before falling forwards on her face. "Your mother died to protect you, girl. Her death will not be in vain."
When Alecto woke up, her head was pounding and her stomach was rumbling. She sat up in her bed at Homestead Manor, looking out towards the window that was situated next to her bed.
Something was strange. Through her heavy, sleep-ridden eyes, she could only see cracks of light streaming through the window. Alecto had never hung curtains while she spent her summers here—she preferred to wake up to the bright sunshine. She rubbed her eyes viciously, and looked around the room.
There were wooden planks nailed up in the window from the outside, preventing her from seeing the other side. She ran towards the window pane frantically, trying to search for a gap. She found one, and pulled at the wood desperately, but it was of no use. The planks had obviously been secured by magic.
Magic. Looking around, Alecto scanned the room for her wand, even though she knew it was pointless. Her memories were starting to come back to her slowly now—her father stunning her, right before she fell unconscious. She had lost her wand under the table in the kitchen. If Markos had locked her up here, there was no way that he would be so stupid as to place her wand in the room with her.
Panic flooded Alecto, and she sat down on the bed, trying to catch her breath. What was he playing at? Was he just trying to scare her? It was working. Her stomach rumbled loudly again, and she clutched at it, trying to remember the last time she'd eaten. She had no idea how long she'd been unconscious for—it could've been hours, days, weeks.
Something red and shiny caught her eye, and she noticed a large apple sitting on her bedside table. It was an apple grown from the large tree that stood in the middle of the garden. Galene had enjoyed picking the apples in the summer to bake crumbles of them. Alecto's heart lurched at the thought of her newly deceased mother, and she picked up the apple.
Galene often left apples or oranges on the side of Alecto's bed for her to wake up to. Perhaps this had been something that Galene had done prior to Markos' intervention. As a tear prickled her eye, Alecto bit into the apple, relishing the crisp, cool juiciness of the fruit.
All at once, she seemed to experience various states of paralysis. First, her feet grew cold and unresponsive, then her hands stiffened, the apple falling out of her fingers and hitting the wooden floor, rolling away under the dresser. Her spine seemed to lose all of its strength, and her upper body collapsed onto the bed.
The last thing she saw before her eyelids slid shut, was the shadow of a man in the doorway. Her father.
"Flowers grow back, even after they're stepped on. So will I."
For a century, Carrow children were told about the Legend of Alecto, and it was eventually became a story glamorised and exaggerated so much that not many members of the family any longer cared for the tale. Markos Carrow had left no records of the location of any such daughter or wife. As far as anyone was concerned, he had only ever married Elladora Black and fathered twin sons.
Alecto became just that—a legend. Even if Homestead Manor had ever existed, the Welsh valleys had naturally been searched thoroughly, and no such manor could be found. As the years wore on, she was talked about less and less.
No one had shown much of an interest until Amycus was born. He was told the tale by his grandmother before bedtime when he was seven, and from the moment he heard the story, he was obsessed with the idea of her. His parents thought that his infatuation with the romantic fairytale of a girl locked up by her father would wear off, but it never left his mind. Finally, when he turned seventeen and graduated from Hogwarts, he made it his first priority to take a visit to Wales, in search of Homestead Manor.
The Carrows always believed that Homestead Manor, should it have existed, belonged to Markos Carrow. However, after a little thorough digging and a meeting with members of the Flint family, of whom Galene Carrow was born of, Amycus discovered that Homestead Manor did exist, but the Carrows had been searching in all the wrong places. It never belonged to the Carrows—Markos just assumed so when he married Galene and took mental possession of everything she owned.
So, with some help from the Flints, he discovered several possible locations for the lost manor. It took him several months of careful combing through the marshy Welsh valleys, but he finally located a secluded swamp, which was made to look to any unsuspecting Muggles as a dangerous, uncrossable sinkhole. Amycus only stumbled across the swamp by taking the risk to attempt to cross the sinkhole.
He discovered the abandoned, old house about half a mile into the swamp, situated on a more sturdy piece of land. It seemed as though the gardens of the house had gradually became more and more marshy as the time had gone on, as there were panels of white picket fence that had sunk into the swamp and splintered, leaving debris in the murky water. The manor itself looked like it had once been a grand, ivory building, but it now seemed to have blended into it's marshy terrain; the bricks had become dirty with sludge and grassy with moss, and yards of ivy and weeds swirled up the walls and around the boarded up windows. A sign by the cracked pathway read 'Homestead Manor'.
Amycus couldn't believe that he had touched upon this place—he had always been told that Homestead Manor and Alecto were no more than a fairytale. He felt excitement bubbling in his abdomen—of course, Alecto's existence could still be nothing but a legend, but he was feeling lucky so far.
Homestead Manor was protected with magic, but spellcasting had evolved since the nineteenth century. It didn't take Amycus too long to break into the house.
If Amycus had been a few years younger, he would have probably ran away in fear of the spooky old house. There was no natural light shining into the building aside from a few streaks that gleamed through the cracks in the boarded up window and illuminated the eerie, dust-filled air. The furniture around the house was crumbling and moth-eaten, and the carpets were frayed and several shades duller than their original. In the kitchen, he discovered a pile of bones and a skull, covered in a dirty blue material that looked like a dress. Amycus paled, wondering if this was Galene Carrow.
He made his way further through the house, finally reaching the topmost floor and the only room there. The door had more panels secured to it than any other window or door in the house, but Amycus managed to easily break his way through. In the dark room, he flourished his wand in the direction of the ceiling, and a glowing ball of light soared up to illuminate the room glumly.
There wasn't much in the bedroom. The only window was boarded up, and the furniture was sparse, just a wooden dresser in the corner and a faded loveseat by the door. Aside from that was the bed; a single, concrete based bed with a thin mattress on the top. The wall above the bed was adorned with paintings of cherubs and angels and stars.
Amycus gasped as his eyes travelled further down the wall, until he settled on the woman, who was laying neatly on the bed. He wandered closer, taking in her appearance.
She wasn't conventionally pretty. She was a little too pale, more sickly looking, and she had a stockier frame than what most people would consider appropriate. Her hair was beautiful, however; a gleaming, shimmery shade of light auburn that was only illuminated further by the wandlight. She had big eyes, though they were closed and had heavy shadows around them, and she was clasping her hands at her breast.
There was no one that this could be beside Alecto Carrow, and Amycus knew that he had to be the one to wake her up.
"I was too precarious, removed as a caesarian."
As Hestia and Flora Carrow walked through the halls of Hogwarts towards the Great Hall, they clasped hands. It was their first year, and they had just stepped off the boats for the first time. However, they weren't as excited as the rest of their peers.
They remained silent as they were led through the halls, and didn't chatter as they stood in line in the hall. They were called to the Sorting Hat one by one, and sorted into Slytherin respectively. They were smiled at and greeted by their peers, but neither looked at anyone but each other.
The truth was, Hestia and Flora weren't meant to be where they were, and they had known that for a long time. It wasn't so much a fact, but more of a feeling. They didn't feel like they were supposed to be where they were.
The world had moved too quickly for them. They felt as though they were supposed to belong to a time about a hundred years before now, not in the nineteen-nineties. The words of their teachers and housemates didn't make sense. Their actions didn't seem to register. They belonged to a different century, and every day they spent in this world, was a day too long.
The Carrow twins were anachronisms. They just didn't know why, yet.
Interruption of Fate
"Never trust a person that has let you down more than two times. Once was a warning, twice was a lesson, and anything more than that is simply taking advantage."
When Alecto finally woke up, at first, she didn't think any time had passed whatsoever. However, it wasn't until she realised that she wasn't in her bedroom at Homestead Manor, that things began to register with her.
She had bitten into the apple that had been left beside her bed, stupidly. She had fallen right into her father's trap, and been poisoned. She sat up in the bed she was in, looking around the room wildly. A sleeping man sat in the corner of the room—a strangely familiar man.
"Get away from me!" she shrieked in horror, diving out of the bed and rushing towards the door. The nightshirt she was wearing got caught on the bedpost, and the man in the corner woke up suddenly, noticing Alecto's distress. He climbed up groggily and made his way towards Alecto, while she screamed even more.
"Calm down, Alecto—" he started.
"Don't speak to me!" she howled. "Don't come near me, Father! I won't call you that—you're no father of mine. Don't come near me, Markos!"
The man froze where he stood, and slowly held up his hands as if in surrender. "Alecto, wait."
She hissed at him and snatched at her nightdress, trying to release herself from the bedpost. Her eyes fell on the man once again, and she sucked in a breath. This man wasn't her father—even though he had his classic Carrow features; thick black hair and distinctively high cheekbones. However, this man's face was less lined, and he was several inches shorter than Alecto remembered. She narrowed her eyes, folding her arms around herself. "Who are you?"
"I'm Amycus," he said slowly, keeping his hands facing her. "Amycus Carrow."
"Amycus...I don't know any Amycus. And I know everyone from my father's side of the family."
"Alecto, why don't you just sit back down for a minute?" Amycus replied carefully, gesturing back towards the bed. "We have a lot to talk about."
It took a while for Amycus to finally get through the whole story. The first part, Alecto could have almost understood. Her father had cursed her with a hundred year sleep, during which her body had been preserved perfectly, and she hadn't aged a day. It was the kind of dramatic thing that her father would do to issue punishment—he didn't have the guts to actually murder his daughter, so he went with the next best option: keeping her out of his life until long after he was dead.
Things would probably have gone on as normal, if Alecto had just been allowed to wake up in Homestead Manor, where she was supposed to. However, Amycus had found her eleven years ago, and just couldn't leave well enough alone.
This was where the story had taken an even more sinister turn. Amycus delicately explained how he had become infatuated with her almost porcelain form. "...I couldn't help it," Amycus told her, almost through sobs. "I was...I wasn't in my right mind back then. I was sick in the head, and stupid."
"What did you do to me?" Alecto replied calmly, though she already knew the answer.
"I raped you," Amycus whispered gravely, burying his face in his hands. "I know...I'm a terrible person, and I can't make it better, nor can I make you understand. But...but you are so beautiful, and no one has ever paid me any attention, or care, or love...oh, Merlin...if only...if only I could make things right."
Alecto's face remained stoic. She didn't care about Amycus' feelings or why he had done what he did—she was disgusted in him. The men of the Carrow family hadn't changed over one hundred years, this much had been proven. "Is that all?" she stated quietly. "Or is there anything else I should know?"
Amycus licked his lips slowly before speaking. "You had children. My children."
Alecto's eyes widened in horror. "What? Who? Where are they?"
"Twin girls. Hestia and Flora. They turned eleven three months ago, and set off for Hogwarts just last week."
Alecto stood up from the bed again, clenching her shaking fists. It was one thing to rape her and disturb the fate that had been laid out for her, but to bring children into this? Children, who would no doubt be confused about their placement in the world. Amycus had destroyed her, and brought two lives into the world who would no doubt be destroyed, too.
In The End
"The moon reminds me of you. So beautiful, so bright and so far away."
Alecto tried to continue her life after waking up from her one hundred year sleep. Amycus fabricated a lie that she was his sister, and for a while, they lived in monotonous harmony. She loved her daughters, and Amycus loved her, though she was repulsed by him.
She no longer cared about her own wellbeing, but she wanted the best for Flora and Hestia. The girls had surprisingly not taken too harshly to the discovery of their mother and just when she came from. Alecto could not help but notice a unique strangeness about them—they had a different kind of power that just wasn't recognised in any other witch or wizard just yet. They spoke to no one but each other and their mother.
It didn't take long for Alecto to register that the girls weren't happy. They were depressed, as was she, and no matter what she or Amycus did, they couldn't make the girls happy.
Alecto never explained it to Amycus, but she knew why the girls couldn't be happy. She felt it too, but she was better at masking her feelings. Hestia and Flora weren't meant to be living in the nineteen-nineties—they had been taken from a womb that was made to provide children in the nineteenth century. They were artefacts from the past that weren't intended to live here.
When Alecto confirmed her fears with her two daughters, she knew that she couldn't make them continue the wretched life that Amycus had forced upon them.
It was a Saturday evening when Amycus discovered them. He walked into the silent house that he shared with his 'sister' and daughters, hearing nothing but silence. This wasn't unusual, but he was accustomed to the quiet murmuring of Flora and Hestia, accompanied by the pitter-pattering of Alecto mooching around the kitchen. This deathly silence, however, shook Amycus right through to his core.
He made his way silently through the house, searching for his family. Every room he came to was empty—every room besides the one on the top floor of the house. As he climbed the stairs, Amycus was overcome with a strange sense of Deja Vu.
His worst fears were confirmed when he pushed open the door to Alecto's private bedroom. The picture in front of him was like a remake of something that Amycus had seen before—about twelve years before.
Alecto was laid on her bed, with Hestia and Flora on either side of her, their heads on her chest. Alecto had her arms wrapped protectively around her two daughters, and the three of them had their eyes closed. As Amycus moved closer, he noticed an apple on the bedside table, alongside a small vial of potion.
Alecto had laced the apple with the poisonous mixture, and the three of them had each taken a bite.
Amycus sat down on the edge of the bed, looking mournfully at the family he had practically ripped out of a painting from a hundred years ago.
This time, they wouldn't wake up.