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For The Quidditch League Fanfiction Competition
Holyhead Harpies, Beater 1
Mandatory: Write about a Truth that is hatred.
Optional: 2. Scared. 3. "You don't have a choice. It's do or die." 11. Regret.
Wand held firmly in hand, mask covering his face, Barty followed Bellatrix and Rodolphus up the path to the Longbottom house. Bellatrix was practically vibrating with anticipation in front of him, and he barely refrained from snorting in amusement.
They were here to do a job, to find out what had happened to their Lord, and to discover if the Longbottoms did actually have the information they needed to find him.
"You'd think it was Christmas, the way she's behaving," Rabastan murmured from where he was walking, a pace behind Barty.
Barty could hear the fondness for his sister-in-law in his tone.
"To Bellatrix, this is Christmas," Barty retorted.
Rabastan fell into step beside Barty. "You actually answered. That's an improvement."
Barty scowled. "I don't know what you're talking about, Lestrange."
"Well, since Reg-"
"Don't mention that name to me," Barty snarled.
"I thought you loved him?" Rabastan taunted. Barty ached to make him scream for daring to bring the topic up.
"I did. And now I hate him."
"Can you believe it's our last night in the castle?" Regulus asked, leaning slightly into Barty, resting his head back against the taller boy's shoulder.
"We're on to bigger and better things though," Barty murmured, running a comforting hand down Reg's arm. "And at least we'll be able to be together properly when we leave here. No more separating to different dorms."
"Definitely a plus," Regulus agreed, tilting his head back to accept a kiss. "It will be nice to finally sleep in your arms."
Barty smiled, hunching over slightly to rest his chin on Regulus' shoulder. "I love you."
"I love you too."
Barty slipped through the door, taking in his surroundings quickly. Rodolphus had already quietly dismantled the wards. They'd agreed beforehand that they couldn't afford to be interrupted before they'd been given the information they needed. This wasn't the time for loud bangs and gruesome spectacles.
With a quietly cast spell, Bellatrix confirmed that there were only three others in the house; Auror Longbottom, his wife, and their child. Creeping upstairs, they passed the child's room silently; none of them were particularly interested in harming a child.
Barty cast a silencing charm over the door. There would undoubtedly be screaming in the near future, and it would be hard to concentrate with a baby crying at the same time. A child's cries didn't hold the same satisfaction as a torture victim.
He'd always loved the sound of someone in pain; especially when that pain is coming from the end of his own wand.
"I don't understand how you find it so easy."
Barty frowned at his boyfriend. He knew that Regulus was struggling a little bit with some of the orders they'd been given since taking their marks, but this was the first time Regulus had outright said anything.
"You knew what we were signing up for, Reg. You knew even better than I."
Regulus sighed. "I know that. I just… Hearing about it, and participating in it are rather different experiences. The torture… I don't know if I can keep doing that, Barty."
"You don't have a choice. It's do or die. The Dark Lord will not take a refusal well, Reg, and you know it. Don't give him a reason to take you from me."
Nodding, his shoulders squaring as he stood from the bed he'd been sitting on, Regulus straightened his robes, and smiled tensely.
Barty kissed his cheek. "You can do this, Reg, I know you can. I love you."
"I love you too."
"I suggest you tell us what you know, Auror Longbottom. You're wife doesn't look too comfortable under my lovely wife's spell," Rodolphus said flatly, his eyes boring into the horrified Auror. Barty was itching to cast his own spell, but he knew he must wait.
They had a plan.
The screams of Alice Longbottom were music to Barty's ears though, and he smiled behind his mask. Bellatrix really was the best at prolonging agony. She let the spell up with a cackle.
"Leave my wife alone!" The auror shouted, though it only served to make Bellatrix laugh further. Even Rabastan chuckled at her exuberance.
"Where is the Dark Lord?" Rodolphus asked over the woman's sobbing.
"We don't know! Why would you think we'd know something like that? Please, just leave her alone!"
"Where is the Dark Lord?" Rodolphus asked again, raising his wand slightly so it was pointed directly at the Auror's chest.
When Frank didn't answer, Bellatrix flicked her wand once more.
Barty had had enough.
"Crucio," he growled, stepping around Rodolphus so he had a better aim. Frank Longbottom tried to hold his screams, but as the pleasure of the dark curse flowed through Barty, it didn't take long for Frank to give into the pain.
Rabastan gripped Barty's arm. "Enough."
"Enough, Barty! Merlin, she's dead. Enough!"
Barty blinked, surprised to see Regulus looking at him in horror. The filthy Mudblood on the floor had indeed stopped screaming, but in his haze, Barty hadn't noticed. Stowing his wand away with satisfaction, Barty turned his attention to Regulus.
He didn't like what he saw.
Regulus watched him, horror evident on his face. Barty ignored that. The fear in Regulus' eyes drew him in, confusing him. What was Regulus scared of? Surely he wasn't fearful of Barty? Surely he knew that Barty would never hurt him?
"What… what's wrong?" he asked, stepping closer to Regulus, pausing when Regulus stepped back.
"I… nothing. Nothing, I'm fine."
"Don't lie to me," Barty pleaded. "You've never lied to me before, don't start now."
"What are you so scared of?"
"I'm scared of what's happening to you," Regulus whispered. "I'm scared that you're losing sight of who you are. I'm scared that you're not my Barty anymore."
Ignoring the look on Regulus' face, Barty crossed the room, the body on the floor forgotten, as he gathered Regulus into his arms.
"I'll always be your Barty. I love you."
"I love you too."
"Get your hands off me," Barty snarled, pushing Rabastan away. He cast the curse again, his hatred of Regulus fuelling it. Barty knew that Rabastan was wrong. It would never be enough. The Auror didn't hesitate in his screaming this time.
"They don't know anything," Bellatrix said, calming her husband and his brother. "Let dear Barty have his fun. We all know that he's been but a shadow of himself since my dear cousin disappeared."
"Don't. Talk. About. Him!" Barty shouted. In his mind, Regulus watched him disapprovingly, but it only spurred him on.
Within minutes, the Auror was a drooling mess on the bed, his wife in a similar state.
"Let's go," Rodolphus ordered. "We've already been here too long."
The power of the dark spells still thrumming through his body, Barty followed the others back down the stairs and from the house.
Rodolphus was, however correct. They'd been there too long.
Regulus clung to him. Barty didn't know what was going through his boyfriend's mind, but he was worried. He knew he should try and find out, knew he should pry into Regulus' mindset, but it had been too long since Regulus had touched him that he didn't want to ruin it.
He would regret that later.
"I love you," Regulus whispered. "I do. Please always remember that I love you."
"Barty. Remember that I love you. Promise me."
"I promise. I love you too."
Barty sat on the floor of his cell, his hair in his hands. His throat was wrecked from screaming, but he knew as soon as the Dementors arrived, he'd be unable to hold it in.
Regulus was in his head, the memories swirling, the last moment, the first moment, all turned into his worst nightmare as soon as he realised that Regulus had abandoned him.
He felt the chill first.
"No. No," he whispered. "Not again. Not yet."
I love you, Regulus.
Merlin, Barty, she's dead. Enough!
"No. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you."
You're not my Barty anymore.
I don't understand how you find it so easy.
"I hate you, I hate you, I hate you."
Barty. Remember that I love you. Promise me.
"I hate you. I hate you. I love you too."