- QLFC / Round 4: Captain - Write about the Carrow family.
Word Count: 1,146
Amycus Carrow was the eldest twin, by four minutes. The minute he was expelled from the womb, his father snatched him up and clutched him to his chest; a boy! He soon whisked his new son out of the delivery room, leaving his wife alone with the mediwizards.
Mrs Carrow screamed blue murder as she pushed out the second twin; the smaller twin. A mediwitch caught the little girl as she tumbled into the world, ruddy in the face and crimson with her mother's blood. Although Mr Carrow had happily cut the cord to separate his son from his mother, he had no interest in performing the same action for his daughter.
Mrs Carrow barely spared her daughter a second glance, allowing the medic to dispense her into a nearby cot once she was clean and dry. They had their son, their progeny. That was all that mattered.
Alecto knew from an early age that she wasn't as important as her brother. It seemed, that in the Carrow family, women weren't all that important at all. She rarely saw her mother. Mrs Carrow spent all her time shut up in her private quarters, embroidering or sobbing quietly—and sometimes both. As a child, Alecto didn't know what caused her mother to cry so often.
As she got older, she would begin to understand.
When Alecto was old enough to walk and talk, she longed to learn things. Mr Carrow took Amycus into his study and showed him how to cast spells with his wand, read to him from dusty old tomes and scriptures, and helped him practice brewing potions and draughts.
Alecto would trail after her brother and father, begging Mr Carrow to allow her to join in with the lessons, but her father would shun her as though she was a family pet. Desperate to learn, Alecto found a way around the regime. Knowing by heart the times of day that Mr Carrow would bring Amycus to his study, Alecto would sneak in there before them, and crouch in the closet with a sheaf of parchment and a pencil. Once the lessons began, she would watch through the crack in the closet door and take hasty notes.
When Amycus came into their shared bedroom late at night, boasting with tales of his latest lessons with their father, Alecto would smile quietly into the darkness. It was easy to let Amycus believe that he was far superior to her. In reality, Alecto was learning just as much as him.
Alecto and Amycus both received their Hogwarts letters when they turned eleven, but only Amycus was celebrated for his achievement. When Alecto dared to act excited and flushed by her letter, Mr Carrow snatched it out of her hand and threw it on the fire. "Did you really think you were going to Hogwarts with your brother, child?" he sneered, his lip curling. "Education isn't for girls."
"That isn't strictly true, dear," Mrs Carrow murmured into her teacup. "Many girls go to Hogwarts. They always have."
Mr Carrow shot his wife a dangerous look, and she went on sipping her tea, saying no more.
Several months later, Alecto was forced to watch mournfully from the platform as Amycus bustled onto the Hogwart's Express. Many other girls swarmed around them, with red cheeks from laughing and bright eyes filled with excitement, but even their presence couldn't sway Mr Carrow's mind at the last minute. The train puffed away, along with Alecto's hopes and dreams.
Mr Carrow provided no lessons for Alecto while Amycus was at Hogwarts. Instead, Mrs Carrow showed her how to do meaningless, useless tasks that her father insisted were 'women's jobs'. She became an expert at household charms and cooking spells, but it was the kind of pointless knowledge that he didn't care to know.
When she was in her teens, she was given permission to go into Diagon Alley alone, and would spend her pocket money on the books that had been bought for Amycus, hiding them in her bedroom at home to continue learning by candlelight. Before long, her mind was swimming with new spells and charms, and her parents were none the wiser.
But she was still bitter about her situation, no matter how much she learned in secret. While Alecto was hiding under the covers to read her books, and practicing spells in the early hours of the morning, Amycus was making friends and memories at Hogwarts. He was learning things properly, with teachers giving demonstrations and involving lessons.
She never thought of herself as much of a socialite, but as she got older, she longed for someone—anyone—to talk to. She only spoke to her mother during their dire domestic lessons, and Mr Carrow rarely gave her the time of day. When she went shopping to Diagon Alley, she felt like a ghost amongst the other shoppers. No one paid her any mind, just like at home.
Alecto was fifteen when he came to her.
She was a whirlwind of raging hormones and fluctuating emotions, a sharp tongue and a built up anger at everyone around her. She abhorred her parents and her brother, choosing to stay locked up in her bedroom at all hours of the day, never coming down to dinner with them.
At night, she would stand by her window and glare at the moon that taunted her every night with its freedom.
Every night, until suddenly, she wasn't alone anymore.
He passed through the glass with ghostly gracefulness, dressed in all in black. His dark hair hung over his pale complexion, but the glitter of his blood red, serpentine eyes shone through. Although he held himself with an air of fear and authority, he interested Alecto more than he scared her.
He reached out with a long-fingered, spindly white hand, and ran his knuckles along her cheeks. "Lonely little girl," he murmured with a strange, hoarse voice. "Filled with so much...useless rage."
"I hate them," Alecto replied bitterly. "They think I'm a waste of space just because I'm a witch and not a wizard."
"I think nothing of gender," the strange man continued. "I care only about power. I sense a great deal of strength within you, and an urge to prove yourself."
"What are you saying?"
"I have a group," he went on. "A group of only the most powerful, loyal and knowledgeable witches and wizards. Ones that I can trust. You could come with me, join us. You could do great things."
"I'll do it," Alecto said quickly. She didn't need to be asked twice. This was her ticket to the freedom she so longed for. "I'll join you."
Lord Voldemort smirked back at her. "I'll teach you great, wonderful things." He held out his hand to Alecto, and she took it. Straight away, he sucked her into the night.