Screams Part One
Standard Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all characters are property of J K Rowling, Warner Brothers, Bloomsbury Books, Arthur A. Levine Books, Raincoast Books and Scholastic publishing and are used without permission. This work was written purely for noncommercial entertainment; no money is being made.
WARNING: This is a dark horror fan-fiction containing graphic violence, gore and major character deaths.
The final year of the war had not gone well; first Dumbledore was murdered, then Harry, Ron and Hermione disappeared without a trace. Many people died when the most feared dark wizard and his followers sacked Diagon Alley. Dozens were murdered or worst over the next few months. All hope for the light seemed lost.
But then, a few months after Dumbledore was buried, all Death Eater activity ceased completely. The Ministry tried to find out what had happened, but they couldn't find any Death Eaters. It was as if they had all disappeared off the face of the earth.
For a few months, all seemed peaceful and people were happy. Then, witches and wizards started to disappear mysteriously again. First Dolores Umbridge vanished and a day later, the former Minister, Cornelius Fudge, went missing. Shortly after that, Percy Weasley disappeared and then followed a score of other wizards and witches.
Everyone feared that You Know Who had resurfaced once more and was striking from the shadows. Rumors spread like wildfire and the public was on the verge of mass hysteria.
Neville tried his best to ignore the fear. He realized that if he gave into the fear, then the enemy would win. So Neville bravely carried on with his life, in defiance of that threat. Every once in a while the dread would grip him and his hands would shake, but he forged ahead. Sometimes, his hands shook, but it had nothing to do with fear. This shaking happened every time he had to write a letter or post.
He made a decent living for himself as a herbologist after he finished his seventh year at Hogwarts. He grew exotic magical plants for potions and other uses in his family's back garden and earned a good amount of gold doing so.
One night, after a long, hard day of toiling in the garden, Neville retreated to the parlor. He used his wand to light a fire and sat on a cushy armchair and began to read a new book he had gotten. It didn't take long for his eyelids to become heavy. Too tired and too comfortable to leave his comfy chair, Neville closed his book and let sleep claim him.
The house had become very quiet after his Gran passed away a few months before and Neville never had any callers. So the noise of someone giggling raised him from his slumber like a shot.
It took a few moments before his eyes were able to focus. The dancing light from the dying fire hindered his vision even further. Slowly, his eyes focused on a large lumpy shape on the floor in front of the fireplace.
His hand went to grab his wand, but his fingers dug in an empty pocket. He could've sworn that he had slid his wand in there after he started the fire in the hearth. A hand rose up from the form in front of the fire to display his wand. The lump asked, "Looking for your wand, Neville?"
His blood ran cold at the familiar voice. Gulping, he stammered, "Y-y-you're d-dead."
"Nearly." A pale, husk copy of Hermione slowly raised her head so that she could face Neville. Great garish streaks of white marred her brown hair; they looked like skeletal fingers gripping her head. Her face was deathly pale and gaunt. But her eyes, her sunken and dark rimmed cold eyes made Neville's heart skip a beat.
"Nearly dead, but not yet," she continued. She had a confused and curious look about her face. "Ron did die though, and he didn't die well either..." Her voice was airy and her tone light, as if her comment was inconsequential. "Then again, how does one die well? In the end, you're just dead."
Neville's belly twisted into a tight knot and his legs felt numb and lifeless. Hermione sat up; her posture perfect and proper as she sat on the floor. After placing Neville's wand on the ground she made a fist. She held the fist in front of her face and made a "Thump" sound with her throat as her hand rapidly opened. Another thump sound emanated from her lips and her fist quickly clenched closed. She repeated this process several times, opening and closing her fist while she muttered thumps. It took Neville a moment to realize that the witch was imitating a heart beating.
Hermione watched her hand curiously as it opened and closed rhythmically as if fascinated and surprised by the motion. Then her cold eyes began to grow wide as the thumping slowed. It slowed even further until it stopped completely. Hermione eyed her now open fist, waiting for it to move once more. After a very long and silent moment, she dropped her hand into her lap and repeated; "In the end, Ron was dead. It didn't matter if he died well or not. He was just dead."
Neville wiped the sweat from his brow.
"I guess you're wondering what happened to us? Ron, Harry, and me?" Hermione asked Neville, staring through as if he was a window. Then, in the same light tone, she added; "Oh, wait you do know what happened; we were tortured."
She paused to let out a long and shuttering breath. Her confused and curious expression melted into a pathetic mask of sorrow. "Tortured endlessly; day and night, night and day. And they didn't solely rely on the Cruciatus Curse either. There was hours of raping, cutting, strangling, beatings...
"All I had were screams, Neville," Hermione said like a frightened and lost child. "First mine, Ron, and Harry's screams. Then Ron's stopped because he died. It took a while for Harry's to stop; day after day, night after night he would scream. I thought his throat must've been torn and bloody by his screams." Her brown eyes were fathomless pools seeing past Neville.
"But once he stopped screaming, all I was left with was my own screams." Pain and fear coated her words. "I had no other thoughts or feelings besides pain. Every single moment I had was filled with screams. It was all I had, nothing else. No thoughts, no emotions, just screams.
"Then I too stopped screaming; I wasn't dead, as you can clearly see. But I was left with nothing," she added and tilted her head as if she found this topic odd and intriguing. "I was empty inside, nothing left, just a shell. Not even thoughts. No pain... no screams... no thoughts... no Hermione… just empty.
"Even though I stopped screaming, the Death Eaters still used the Cruciatus Curse on me. And they continued to rape and beat me but it didn't affect me anymore... I had nothing left inside of me. Just a shell."
She suddenly looked at Neville. Her once cold eyes now were on fire and they burned into him, piercing his soul. Her lips twisted into a snarl and she screeched, "I was so empty and alone... nothing!"
Neville watched in stunned wonder as Hermione's burning eyes softened and slowly grew cold once more.
"That was when Harry gave me something to fill that emptiness; more screams" she said lightly. "More screams."
Pausing once again, she sighed; touched by the memory of what she was describing.
"You see, Neville, Harry didn't die like Ron had. No, Harry broke free," she said and her eyes lost focus once again, clearly reminiscing happily. "I don't know how he did it, he doesn't talk much anymore; it's hard to do so since they cut out his tongue. Not that he was much of a talker before. But he did break free! He made those Death Eaters writhe on the ground at my feet. Their screams filled me up; made me whole. But then they stopped screaming and I was empty again..."
Hermione's petite shoulders slumped and her head fell. She sat there in front of the dying fire like a discarded rag-doll. She dug her fingernail into the grout between the floor tiles. "So very empty... nothing at all... no Hermione…"
"I...I'm..." he began to stammer guiltily. With a trembling hand, Neville reached out, ready to give his friend a comforting gesture.
Without warning, she shot up like a bolt. He recoiled as if she was a poisonous snake. A bright smile graced her face. "But then Harry brought me more screams. He was always so thoughtful, Harry was. He dragged some Death Eater kicking and begging for mercy into my cell. Harry threw him at my feet and made him scream and scream and scream. It made me warm. Then Harry brought me Voldemort; he was fun, his screams were so very shrill; when Harry emasculated the snake, he even got higher," the brunette touched her bosom lovingly. "So warm and happy..."
Once again, sadness descended on her like a heavy blanket. "But they didn't last long... once they stopped screaming I was left with nothing and I was cold and empty again."
She shivered for a moment, and then her mood visibly brightened yet again. Her rapid and unpredictable mood swings set Neville even further on edge.
"Harry is such a wonderful friend," she said with another happy sigh. "He knew what I needed and he made sure I got it. He carried me from place to place like how a father carries child or the way a husband carries his wife over the threshold. First, we went to Umbridge's cottage; she lasted a good long while. I think Harry enjoyed her screams almost as much as I did. Then came Fudge's screams, then Percy's, and so on and so on.
"Soon, I was able to walk on my own and I started to think again." Hermione pointed at her head with both forefingers in an exaggerated fashion. Her fingers then slid into her hair and began to twist and curl around her kinky hair. "Not like before... I used to be filled to the brim with such brilliant thoughts... I could go on without the screams filling me... mind you, screams still make me warm and happy, but we'll get to that in just a bit."
Repositioning herself, Hermione stretched out like a lazy cat lying on her belly. She absently began drawing random shapes on the floor with the tips of her fingers. "Like I said, I started to think again. I began to remember what happened; how Ron, Harry and I started searching for Voldemort's Horcruxes. And how we were very cautious not to accept posts from anyone that we didn't trust. You see we were afraid that Voldemort would send us a cursed post or setup some form of trap if he knew where we were."
"I-I'm s-s-so sorry," Neville blubbered. Fat gobs of tears fell from his eyes.
"Lo and behold we get a post from our dear friend Neville!" She rolled onto her back and spoke as if she was repeating what she had said when she and her friends had first received Neville's post. "Look a note from Neville! He's trustworthy. He'd never hurt us."
"He promised me Bellatrix," Neville wailed. Guilty tears streamed down his round cheeks. "He said he would give me that bitch!"
"Boy, were we surprised at what happened when we huddled around Harry to read Neville's letter," Hermione said, not caring about what Neville had just admitted to. "Pop! Whoosh! Death Eaters all around. Zap! Bang! We all fall down!"
"He gave me Bellatrix, I could have my revenge," Neville croaked between his sobs. "I was able to pay her back for all the pain she had given me."
"You know nothing of pain," Hermione said to her friend and she held up one of the stark white strands of hair. "But you will. You will learn everything there is to know about pain."
Neville could not speak. He had no defense for his actions and he knew he was about to pay for them. You Know Who offered him a deal he could not pass up; Bellatrix for Harry and his friends. Whether she had outlived her usefulness or He Who Must Not Be Named valued getting his hands on Harry more than Bellatrix's services did not matter to Neville at that time. Vengeance blinded him.
All Neville had to do was write a letter on a piece of parchment with a Tracking Spell on it and the bitch was his. He had felt dirty after doing it, but the pained look in face of the bitch who had tortured his parents made up for his guilt... for a while that is. Shortly after Bellatrix bled out, Neville realized his error, but it was too late to do anything to correct it. His friends were already in You Know Who's clutches. So he decided to put it behind him and move on. He buried the guilt and fear deep down. But the memory of what he had done always resurfaced whenever he had to write a post.
The sound of a foot crunching a piece of parchment lying on the floor behind Neville alerted him to another person in the room. He didn't need to turn around to know that Harry was standing behind him—he could feel it.
Hermione rolled over onto her belly and propped her head up on her elbows like an excited child about to hear a fairy tale. Her once cold eyes sparkled with anticipation and Neville felt the tip of a wand press against the back of his head.
"I'm so looking forward to listening to your cries, Neville," she said with a sparkle in her eyes. "Please fill me up and give me a lot of wonderful screams."