TITLE: Extraction

AUTHOR: Sharkbait

RATING: R

CHARACTER: Rabastan Lestrange

WORD COUNT: 650

DISCLAIMER: Harry Potter and all associated characters, places, situations, etc., belong to J.K. Rowling. Who is not me, incidentally.

WARNING: Violence, torture, and generally disturbing content (why can't I write happy things? I like bunnies and puppies - why couldn't I ever have to put a bunny-and-puppy warning in?)


He's always careful.

Mustn't touch Mummy's things

He washes his hands before, and uses a new pair of surgical gloves, from a little sealed, sterile box kept in the cabinet. He wipes the chair down with disinfectant that smells like oranges, and rubs conditioners into each leather restraint. His tools are clean, maintained, laid out meticulously on the tray.

Like the black satin box in the back of her drawer

Chisel. Hammer. Pliers. Gauze. A cloth for the blood. His needs are simple. He doesn't require very much at all.

with secret treasure inside, a secret that's cool and gritty against his teeth (test if they're real, like Grandmere showed him)

It's difficult to get a firm grip on their slick, irregular surfaces. If he's not clever enough, the pliers will scratch, will gouge their smooth enamel, and that's not allowed. Flawed is not acceptable. He realizes it would be easier to use his wand for this part of the procedure, but it wouldn't be the same. Art should be done by hand.

Not supposed to touch, but he does while she's away

And it is an art.

Mummy's gleaming secret like beads of milk, pretty maids all in a row

The right amount of pressure, applied here, just so, and they will give, mostly. Sometimes, particularly in back, they grow wrapped around bone; he has to use the hammer and chisel to chip them free. When they come out, there's a wet vacuum pop, a sound like pulling bound plant roots apart. He hears it in his sleep.

The strand breaks one day, and pearls clatter, scatter, disappear

The other sounds, too. Moans and sobs and squeals, gasps, gurgles. Choking.

into the spaces between floorboards

There's tiny flutterings under his elbow, of a heart trying to pound itself to death inside its vulnerable Muggle shell. It tickles a bit. He's good and ignores it, because this is important and he has to concentrate. If only It would stop wriggling so much...

where his fingers won't reach

"Keep still," he says to It very reasonably, but It doesn't and his pliers slip again. He tightens the restraints, and packs more gauze around Its tongue to absorb the excess blood and saliva. He wipes his hands, then tries again; his grasp holds this time, but it's precarious. Delicate, sensitive work, and he starts to sweat.

It's Mummy's necklace, isn't his to touch, and he must fix it

Knuckles white under latex, from squeezing the grips so hard. He pulls, and twists, listens to the crackling. Just a little more, a little, a very little -

She comes home while he's still trying to put it back together, in the bathroom with blood and little ivory fragments in a puddle on the sink

And It would choose now of all times to thrash, tossing Its head to the side in just the wrong way. He tries to salvage it, but it's too late. The crackling changes to snapping, which is suddenly overwhelmed by a sharp, crisp pop, which turns his stomach because he knows it means the worst.

He's trying to make it better, Mummy, but they've all fallen to pieces, and his pocket knife is broken now

The tooth comes out effortlessly, now that it's cracked in two. There is a truth, there, that aches in his blood, behind his breastbone. Ruin is always easier. He sighs, and discards the broken remains, wipes his hands with an unstained portion of cloth. "Look what you've done," he swabs Its gums with antiseptic, and the Muggle begins to whimper. "Didn't I warn you not to move?"

"There, there," says Mummy, and brings him a set of pliers from the gardener's shed. "These will work much better."

Rabastan reaches for his chisel and hammer. The void of his empty sockets is like dead stars, humming with black noise. "Now I have to start all over again."


Extraction, n: 1. The act of extracting or drawing out (as of a tooth). 2. Origin, lineage; properties attributable to.