For the Drabble Game Challenge (Barty Crouch Jr, "I don't regret any of it.", requested by Maisie)

The Polyjuice Potion has worn off, and Barty no longer wears the face of his mother. His body is still weak, so very weak, but at least it is his own.

He knows that his freedom won't last long. His father looms over him, wand clasped tightly in his hand. For a moment, he wonders if the bastard has only rescued him from the prison just to kill him.

No…. His father didn't rescue him. He's never even cared for Barty. It was his mother, the marvelous woman who may as well be a saint. Judging by the look in his father's eyes, Barty guesses that the man wanted no part in the ordeal at all. Barty laughs at that.

"You said you were innocent," his father says quietly. "Is it true?"

Barty snorts. It doesn't matter what he says. His father has always been so cold, so unloving. Barty could lie and keep up the illusion that it was a misunderstanding, that he was merely the victim of unfortunate circumstances. He could tell the truth, tell his father that he enjoyed every second of watching the pathetic Aurors writhe in pain. He could describe his disappointment in realizing that were useless, that his master would not be found.

But he keeps quiet instead.

"Answer me boy!" his father snaps, and Barty can't help but flinch at the tone. "Answer me! Did you do it?"

Barty laughs. He's heard rumors of the scandal his imprisonment has caused. His father has been disgraced. He's been painted as a cruel man who sent his own begging son to rot in Azkaban until the end of time. It's beautiful, really. Barty wonders if it's ever crossed his mind that he could have prevented all of this by being more of a father to him.

"Tell the truth, Barty."

"You want the truth, Father? I'll tell you," Barty says at last. "I don't regret any of it."

He throws his head back, consumed by another laugh.


Barty's laughter dies as a haze consumes his mind. Everything is blank and quiet, and all he hears now is his father's voice.