Black Thoughts

Day 1

I arrived on a boat. It didn't fly, didn't glide, it just floated across the rolling sea. At the time I didn't know why, but now I think I do. They were trying to distance us from magic, trying to make it slightly easier.

They'd already destroyed my wand; what else could they do?

Barty didn't stop screaming the whole time. He cried out for anyone: his father, his mother, his kneazle, his friends. No one could hear him. No one came for us.

I didn't scream though. I sat in the prow of the strange muggle boat and watched the spray leap up around me.

I was thinking of him. I knew I would do it many more times over the next few years. My master, the Dark Lord… Voldemort…

He's not dead. I know that in the core of my being. We were closer once, closer than anything, and he wouldn't leave. I know him. A soft laugh escaped me. He doesn't feel love, no, but everyone has needs.

It appeared on the horizon, a huge looming structure of black stone reaching for the sky. My new home.

Barty let out one last, long scream when he saw it then dived out of the boat and began to swim furiously. I watched him with curiosity: he was already a hundred metres out. Another Death Eater leapt after him and was caught by the current. We heard her body slam into the side of the boat.

When we looked over the side again, all we could see was Barty's head in the distance.

The cell was small, as I had expected, the bars close and covering one wall. No windows; we'd left them behind long ago – just black walls, a straw pallet, a hole in one corner. No one needed to ask what it was for. One wall was made up of a long mirror. I tried to ask why but was answered only by a cold smile. I examined my reflection for a few moments then decided maybe I was better not knowing.


The door slid shut and there was a soft click. Who knew when it would unlock again? Surely not until he came for us.

Nobody escapes Azkaban alone.

A Dementor stepped into the corridor ahead of me. I closed my eyes, repeating a rhyme Cissy had taught me once, so long ago.

A happy thought, a happy dream

To keep to glow, to keep the gleam

A dance, a song, a simple tale

Your happy hopes can never fail

Even now a smile came to my lips when I remembered singing it with Cissy, Regulus and Sirius. We'd danced around and everything was good. I turned my back to the Dementor and focused on those times when the Blacks were a family. I closed my eyes and ignored the screams of my fellows, ignored thoughts of the future, ignored everything but those few years of happiness. After a while the screams faded to cries and the cries faded to whimpers. Finally silence echoed through the prison.

Until, a few hours later, we heard screaming again, louder and more desperate. I stood up slowly, turning to look through the bars.

Barty Crouch II was being dragged through the lines of cells, hair and clothes soaked… screaming.

I closed my eyes and turned away.

No one escapes Azkaban.

Day 5

Repetition has always bored me. If I have only one thing to occupy my mind I quickly become bored. That was why I was so useful to him: I could block my mind, plan, curse, torture and listen to him all at the same time. It was a joke among his followers. Multi-tasking. We laughed about it together.

I shivered slightly and all the memories suddenly faded. I could almost feel the black cloaked wraith gliding behind me. I never face the bars anymore; try to kid myself that if I can't see them they don't exist. I stare at the back wall with its numerous scratches engraved by fingernails… or teeth… we're given nothing else.

But all these thoughts cannot distract me for long. Within moments my worst memories are surfacing again, as always. I hear a scream and it might be my own. The voice sounds scratched, dragged across broken glass.

It's strange how easy it is to distract yourself from what you know you must be thinking. Maybe occlumency helps. I was always good at occlumency.

I heard the scream again and it made me shudder slightly. Then there was a swish behind me and the cold feeling faded ever so slightly. The Dementor had passed. There would be another for another stretch of time. I would be more precise, I'm sure they were, but we had no clocks.

We had nothing.

I turned to the bars once, briefly, this morning. Saw a man fighting at the Dementor with his fists, trying to escape through the small gap they pass food through.

No one escapes Azkaban.

Day 10

I think I must be going mad. I've analysed all the other options and that's all I'm left with now. Well… part of me's going mad; the part that screams when the Dementors come, with the scratched voice.

But now I'm thinking maybe the rest of me's going mad too. There's a man in the cell opposite me and sometimes he meets my eyes and he looks like Sirius, like my old cousin who we would play with and who secretly fancied Terra at Hogwarts despite her being older and in Ravenclaw.

Except often its not Sirius and that scares me too. Often I look over and I see nothing or I see a huge dog, maybe the Grim. They say you see the Grim when you're going to die.

I don't want to die.

But Sirius would never end up here. He was always too clever, too bright. He never got caught. He always escaped from everything, from Mum, from Aunty Black, from the teachers, from detention. He always escaped.

No one escapes Azkaban.

The Day With No Number

It has no number because it's not a proper day. The Dementors didn't come so it couldn't have been a day. You get into a rhythm. You wake up and they're there. They visit three times then come with food. Then, after two more times, more food. One more time then you sleep.

You're woken a few hours later from nightmares. Eventually, you fall asleep again.

When you wake up the second time the Dementor stands, or hovers, watching you for a long time. Then eventually it leaves.

And everything begins again.

But there were no Dementors today. We had nothing to eat and our stomachs were crying out. The Grim in the opposite cell hissed a name at me but I wasn't sure who he meant.

"Bella… Bellatrix."

The name felt like it should've meant something… but it didn't.

I turned my back on the strange man/dog/Grim and closed my eyes. For the first time my dreams were peaceful.

I dreamt of a circle of faces in black hoods and masks. I knew who they were anyway. On my left hand side he stood: tall, swathed in black silk, eyes red and face pale but still handsome. He was talking about something irrelevant, some boy who had to be killed based on Severus's information. Part-way through talking he sent me a small, secret smile.

No one else saw.

I woke in my cell in Azkaban, warm and… not depressed? There was a word for it… I couldn't remember. Hippy? I turned to the bars of the cell. All I would have to do would be to get really thin. No one was bringing food anymore. They wanted us to escape. I just had to get thin then I could walk out.

I pushed my hand between the bars and it got stuck a short way in. I smiled.

Just a bit thinner and I could escape.

It was later on when I heard clangs from down the corridor. A chill crept over me again and I heard my cell door open and something placed down on the ground. I moved over to the tray and ate ravenously while the Dementor looked on.

No one escapes Azkaban.

The Day I Stopped Counting

There's another woman in this cell with me. I only see her occasionally, usually by the glass-wall. I think she's on the other side of the glass because when I try to touch her I only touch the cold pane. It's strange; she always reaches out to me at the same time. She does a lot of things at the same time as me.

She scares me.

When the Dementors came she was screaming. Screaming and screaming and screaming and running her fingers through her hair and falling to her knees and screaming.

I tried to talk to her, tried to tell her that it wasn't proper decorum to scream and yell like that but I couldn't make a sound. It was as though I'd used up all my voice.

Screaming doesn't help anyone.

No one escapes Azkaban.


I remembered new things today when the Dementor stood outside. He sucked all my happy memories and drove me into a strange state where all these flashbacks just played over and over and over.

Crucio… crucio… crucio

I writhed on the floor from the memory of the pain.

A high cold laugh.

I shook and cried; how could he… how could he…

Imperio. Take off all your clothes.

"No! No no no!"

More laugher, from the people standing around.

But I focused this time, on the tall dark figure who was watching me… admiring me.

The curse broke.

I was left, staring into his red eyes.

I will always come for you.

I turned in my cell and met the eye of the Dementor. More memories surfaced but I simply focused on the main figure, the black swathed demon of the night.

"My lord! I'm coming."

The Dementor turned away.

"To the Dark Lord!"

"The Dark Lord," came a few answering voices, none as vivid as my own.

The Grim in the cell opposite looked at me for a moment, then shook his head and turned away with a sigh.

I curled up on the floor and whispered. "My lord… I'm waiting for you. Save me!"

No one escapes Azkaban.

The Day After the Day Before This Day.

I was watching the woman in the glass today. I spoke to her too; told her my thoughts. I said she should try to comb her hair. It looks wrong all knotted and twisted dragging down her back. No one would look twice at her. I told her I've always been careful with mine. I told her I knew a spell that would clean it then she would just have to spend a few hours with a brush and it would be fine again.

I just need to find my wand…

She also needed to wash. I can smell her scent vividly from where I'm standing and sometimes it makes me cough and gag. No human should smell that bad. I told her she needs to wash more often, if at all.

It smells like she hasn't washed for months.

She can't have been in here longer than I have though and I'm only stopping for the night. I have to go and meet my Lord in a few hours. I need to find the key to the door.

And I need new robes. The ones I'm wearing are almost as tattered and dirty as the woman in the glass. I need my makeup too. Proper foundation not like the mud the Woman has all over her body.

She still screams when the Dementors come. I would never sink that low.

I would never give up.

No one escapes Azkaban.

Another Day

I looked at my arm this morning. It was black from grime and mud and other things I didn't want to guess at. I licked the back of my other hand and began to wipe the dirt off slowly.

To my surprise part of it didn't go. Uncertainly I cleaned the rest of my arm just to check and it revealed a strange design which was dark against the rest of my white skin. I wasn't sure what it was supposed to be. It was like a strange, warped circle with a twisted ribbon coming from its mouth.

"The Dark Mark."

I wondered who had spoke and looked up slowly. The Grim was watching me.

"The symbol of your master." He made a strange choking noise. I thought I knew what it was called but I wasn't sure. Larthter? "Don't you remember?" he asked.

"Who are you?" I thought it was my voice but I wasn't sure. It was a harsh whisper. Not my usual voice.

"He burnt it into your skin, into the skin of all his followers. I bet it hurt, I bet it hurt a lot." His voice dropped slightly. "You remember the pain, don't you Bella? You remember the pain every time it burned."

I drew back slightly from his voice, clutching my arm to my chest. I summoned the most crisp voice I could. "I have no idea what you're talking about Mr Grim, and if you continue to harass me I will be forced to inform the Ministry."

He made the strange choking sound again. "You've gone mad." When he next spoke he sounded slightly sad. "I suppose everyone does."

"I don't know what you're saying."

"I'm saying you're insane."

I put my fingers in my ears and sang loudly. "I can't hear you."

"Of course you can't." There was silence. I took my fingers out of my ears slowly, drawing back to the back of my room and watching him warily.

"I'm sorry, Bella," he said softly, before turning away from me.

I wondered who he was talking to. Maybe the glass-girl.

"I'm going soon," I told the Grim loudly. "You won't be able to harass me for long."

He turned back for a moment, eyes gaunt and digging into me.

"No one escapes Azkaban."

The Day After the Day Nothing Happened

Nothing happened.

No one escapes Azkaban.

I can't remember…

I can't remember anything anymore. Names, places, the day before, the moment before. Everything just slips away.

Slips and slides like a sledge down a slope.

I remember sledging… I lay on a tray and zoomed down a white hill into a tall black tree. My body hurt for three months and I remember every moment.

I can't remember my parents… my friends… my lovers…

I remember a tall figure dressed in black who curses and tortures me. I don't know his name. He mustn't be named. If you name him you're not scared of him, and you have to be scared. You always have to be scared.

I can't remember my bedroom, my school rooms, my lessons, my dorm-mates.

I remember a teacher who looked old even then with long grey hair. He'd just been promoted to headmaster when I arrived. Another old man… Dippet… passed away, and now he was there instead. But he was never nice to Slytherins. We lost points and went in detention and we hurt and we cried and I'd like to hope we held together as a House.

All I can remember was the pain.

I can't remember anything anymore. The robes I'm wearing aren't mine and I don't know where I got them. I don't know where I am and I don't know what I'm doing here!

… I'm scared…

I can remember one phrase repeating itself over and over in my head.

No one escapes Azkaban.

A World in a Day

I was leaning against the back wall on my cell today. My mind wasn't clear; it was just empty. I was leaning back and my mind had gone somewhere else.

I hoped it was good.

I've found that if I lean to one side against the back wall and cup my hand over my ear I can just about hear the sea roaring outside. This raises my hopes: if I can hear the world outside maybe they can hear me. I turn to the wall and call out for him, for my master. The Grim makes the choking sound and I think it's at me but I'm not sure. Never sure.

I take a deep breath and I can smell salt. At least… I think I can. A Dementor comes and stands outside the bars. The woman in the glass starts screaming again. I want to yell at her to quiet down but my voice isn't working. I think she stole it.

I can't hear the waves when she's screaming.

My face is wet. When the Dementor leaves I touch the drops and taste them. They're little piece of the sea, come to rescue me. They taste of salt. I lose myself to a dream where the whole sea rises up to get me out. There's a figure controlling it but I can't see him clearly.

It's only a dream.

No one escapes Azkaban.

Dead Days

They dragged his body past me. Withered. Broken. I saw the Grim in the opposite cell shaking as it passed by him. He switched from strange human to giant dog and back again. I remember the corpse had been screaming every day until not long ago when he stopped suddenly, as though he knew he was going to die and had finally accepted it. It was strange.

From nowhere a memory hit me; a memory of a tall, handsome boy diving off a boat in the middle of a roaring ocean. Despite the tides and the currents he swam with a powerful stroke, cutting through the waves. Someone shoulted something strange.

"Go for it Barty! Get out of here! Escape!"

It made no sense at all in my mind. Why would anyone shout that?

No one escapes Azkaban.

Pain Day

One word keeps coming back to me, over and over as though I heard it many times in the Before. Before Azkaban; before I went mad.


Again and again it tears through my thoughts leaving pain and destruction in its wake. Even as I think the word, I flinch.

The woman in the glass is laughing, high and cold. I shout at her to shut up, to leave me alone!

She ignores me. She always ignores me.


Pain… screaming… I try to tell myself it isn't real… I fail… I cry…


A pair of red eyes, vivid in an impossibly pale face, bore into my own. A high cold laugh.


"My lord, have mercy!"

"I need no mercy."

"My lord!"

Pain. Burning. Driving. It saps my will and I fall into the corner of my cell.



No one escapes Azkaban.


A cloaked man came and stood outside the door to my bedroom today. He stood there and watched me for ages. I tried to tell him it's improper to stand outside the room of a distinguished young lady. I tried to tell him it's rude.

Someone's installed windows in my bedroom door too. Huge ones with strange bars across, probably for my safety. But it means he can see me, if he can see at all under that huge hood.

He must be a powerful wizard too. He's hovering at least half a foot above the faded carpet. Even the Dark Lord couldn't stay that steady for such a long time. I pull back slightly, aware of what he can do.

His eyes follow me. It's improper, it's wrong.

"You haven't got permission to be here!" Even my own voice shakes as I look at him. "This is a lady's chamber and men aren't allowed up. I'm still too young; still at school." Going to Hogwarts again in September. Seeing Regulus and Sirius again. Maybe I should tell Sirius about the man who's still standing outside my door. Sirius will know what to do. Sirius always knows what to do…

I think I'm going mad.

The Dementor turns and floats away.

No one escapes Azkaban.

The Girl in the Glass

Today I realised. I hate her. I hate the woman who stands behind the pane where I can't reach her to throttle her throat. The woman who steals my voice when I want to shout at her for screaming and screaming and SCREAMING!

The Grim's eyes shoot up and I realise I spoke the last word aloud.

"Bella," he whispers.

"I hate her," I reply softly.

And I know what to do about it now. I can shut her up for good, I won't have to look at her stupid, ugly, filthy face ever again.

I'm surprised it's never occurred to me before.

I stand up slowly, leaning against the wall of my room for support. She stands too, eyes fixed on my own. For a moment I just look at her, fixing her image in my mind.

She watches me back. I wonder if she knows what I'm planning.

But she can't; no one knows. Even I'm not sure.

I just know one thing. The glass is keeping her from me so I have to smash it, have to break the barriers. As though in a dream I raise my elbow, drawing it back. She gives an animalistic cry of rage which makes me hate her even more.

Then my elbow drives into the glass. It hurts, of course it does, I imagine the hundreds or sharp glass spines driving deep into my arm. The girl gives a cry of pain and anger. I've hurt her; that's good.

And I see her arm in front of me. The ugly black mark, smeared with grime, that only moments before I was staring at. It's still moving; she's still alive. I can't find my wand but there's a long glass shard on the floor before me, sharpened to a point. I grab it and drive it deeply into the arm I can see, dragging it across.

I can hear the girl screaming, screaming so loudly my head threatens to explode. I hear the Grim crying.

"Help! Someone help her!"

The shard of glass falls from my hand and I can feel my strength fading. I raised my arm to my face and can see an angry red line down it. She must have hurt me when I wasn't paying attention.

I fall back, looking at the ceiling. It's very plain…very grey… In the distance somewhere I can hear running footsteps, frantic noises.

"What happened?"

"She broke the mirror, attacked herself with a shard."

"And you saw all this?"


"You seem remarkably… lucid."

"She's a rabbit."

"Ah." The footsteps came slightly closer. There were hands on my body but I could barely feel them.

"Did I win?" My voice is hoarse. "Is she dead?"

"Almost, she will be if we don't get her to the infirmary quickly enough."

"Remind me why we're bothering to save this one. She has a life sentence."

"And the torture will be more if she stays alive in here than if we let her die. Did you hear what she did to the Longbottoms?"

I feel soft touches on my wrists and ankles and next moment I'm flying, dropping in and out of awareness.

"The Cruciatus Curse you say… horrible, horrible… still can't believe that little boy… no, not so little anymore I suppose."

There was something hard underneath me and I wasn't flying anymore. Something small pricked into my arm and I was falling unconscious. I heard two lines briefly.

"I see what you're saying then; death would be an escape for her."

"No one escapes Azkaban."


I still see her sometimes, usually in the shards still remaining at the edges of the glass. There's a wall there now, the same as all the others.

The Grim watches me more than ever now though. As always, I ignore him when he tries to speak to me. His eyes look sad and occasionally he seems to be trying to apologise for past wrongs.

I can't remember any of them.

Sometimes he says he prefers me this way. He tells me never to return to 'Voldemort' and to, if I ever get out, go somewhere quiet.

He said I always liked the countryside.

There's a white line down my arm where the girl attacked me. It was red for a long time but now its white, slightly raised above my skin. Sometimes I run my fingers across it and it makes me feel alive despite the fact that it almost made me dead.

But maybe in death I could escape?

I laugh at myself when this thought arrives unbidden. It's a fantasy; foolish, ridiculous.

No one escapes Azkaban.


I'd been watching the Grim for the best part of that week. Ever since the strange figure with the green head had come and given him something he had been strange. Pacing up and down the cell. Switching repeatedly from Grim to man.

And over and over again the same line.

"He's at Hogwarts."

Finally, after days had passed, he looked up at me and for the briefest of instants his eyes met mine. His teeth were bared for a moment with a strange expression I couldn't give a name to.

"Revenge, Bella," he said coldly but still with the strange expression. "Everything's about revenge." He turned to look down the corridor and almost instinctively I followed his gaze. The Dementors were coming with trays of food.


Then the man was gone and the Grim was sitting in its place. I watched, dazed and confused, as the Dementor unlocked his door to slide in a tray. The Grim seemed to ignore it completely, just stepped out past it.

I could've sworn it winked at me on the way out.

Does that mean I'm going to die?

I watched it all the way down the row until it turned a corner at the end. Then I waited for the inevitable screaming; the opening of the cell to throw him back in.

It didn't happen.

I waited and waited and waited.

No one escapes Azkaban…?


Bellatrix sat at the edge of the camp, staring into the flames. Of all the people He had rescued from the prison, she was still the most rational, still the most human. It was only at times like this, when she sat in one position for hours on end, eyes dark and unseeing, that you could see what the prison had done to her.

And at night, of course, when none of us could sleep through her screaming. For some reason when she woke she would look around, panicked and afraid. She would ask us where the 'glass girl' was. Said she had heard her screams and knew she was coming to finish what she had started.

She never spoke about what happened to her. We asked about the girl but she simply stared at us as though she had no clue what we were saying. There is a long white line down her arm now, the result of some fight or possibly self-inflicted. Who knew? Very occasionally we saw her run her fingers across it.

Usually she acted as though it wasn't there. When we drew her attention to it she seemed to think it didn't exist.

The others He had rescued were useless. Many seemed to have lost both the ability and desire to torture, to hurt, to kill. They just ate what they were given and sat, staring into the distance, repeating over and over again.

"No one escapes Azkaban… No one escapes Azkaban… No one escapes Azkaban..."

They scared us and we kept away. Only the Master ever spoke to them. Only he could make them listen.

"Bella," I called softly and she turned from the flames. Her face is pointed towards me but she doesn't see me. She sees something else; something I couldn't ever imagine.

"Don't have permission to be here," she mutters. "Ladies room, no men. No floating men."

"Bella, it's me. It's Cissy."

"That's what they all say." She laughs and turns back to the fire, lost somewhere I cannot follow.

I feel a tear fall down my cheek as I see what she has been reduced to: a shell, lost in memories.

No one escapes Azkaban.