Prologue

This story begins with an ending.

At first they were defiant. While the Dementors patrolled outside of the cells, she tried to think about happy memories. At first she knew that at least he was alive out there somewhere and that they would be saved. It was only a matter of time.

But the days passed and nobody came.

Chained to the stone walls they all spoke of rescue- great wizards, the chosen one, the Order. But she had seen good people try to fight He Who Must Not Be Named, she had seen good people fail and she had seen good people die.

So many good people.

The dead spoke to her in the night. There was cracked blood in between her finger nails and her ribs started to jut uncomfortably from beneath her skin as the days became weeks.

In the end she stopped believing that anyone would come.

The only thing to do now was pray that they wouldn't bury her within the prison walls, that they would throw her body out to sea instead and let her find her own way home. It was a small thing to hope for and the only hope she had left.

Until finally, out of the darkness, they came for her.

They tapped their wands viciously against her cell bars and it was the first time she'd seen light in weeks. The smell of human sweat and urine was thick in the cells- the Dementors had reduced them to little more than dogs- and she gasped as the fresh air streamed in.

"Up," they barked, grasped her by the under arms and pulled her to her feet. Shaking, she could barely make them out. A voice in the back of her mind told her to kick at a shin, to spit in someone's eye. She found she didn't have the strength.

She was unchained, gasped as heavy metal bonds which had melded to wounds in her skin were removed. She started to bleed all over again.

"Walk," they said. But she couldn't. They didn't care and she didn't have a choice.

Feeling the tip of a wand prickle at the base of her neck she heard a gruff voice mumble 'Imperio' into her ear. At once she felt her back straighten and the pain in her limbs subside. Her face did not sting as it always did and the pangs of hunger all but disappeared. "Walk, they said again.

And without fear or worry she did.

Walking outside of her cell, she watched her neighbors do the same.

More than a hundred emaciated, battered and bloody figures shambled through the bleak stone corridors to the centre courtyard where the dead prisoners were buried. She searched among the bedraggled masses for her friend, the one she'd been arrested with- but each hollowed out face looked the same.

"Stop," they said and in the centre courtyard the prisoners did. She noticed that there were less human guards than usual (and less dementors too) and those that were seemed more agitated, afraid even.

They were more dangerous to the prisoners afraid.

Most of them had guessed what was coming.

Await the command.

When they had been arrested, or on their admittance to Azkaban each of the assembled had watched the Death Eaters who guarded the island prison snap their wand in two. Because of this, some prisoners had spades, some had large shovels and others had gardening trowels.

She knew what the command would be.

"Dig!" they shouted into the crowd. And under the curse the prisoners were all to happy to oblige. She didn't fight it; there wouldn't be much point.

Quietly, along with the rest of them, she dropped to her knees and began to dig her own grave.