Disclaimer: Not mine.
This is my second story for the Descriptive Challenge on the HPFC Forum. Prompt given was 'storm', and the story was to be without dialog. Hope you enjoy.
White frothy waves crashed at the base of the black tower as dark clouds swept in from the north bringing freezing air and rain over its cracked and already weathered topmost pinnacle. Sleet pelted the black marble surface of Azkaban's infamous walls until they were unable to repel the assault and turned white with a heavy coating of ice. It was destined to be a perfect storm. The storm of the millennium, the guards had called it as they doled out double rations and extra blankets. The confluence of high and low centres, the rising temperature of the oceanic currents, and the stalling of eastern airflows, all threatened to bring the worse the North Sea had to offer.
Bellatrix strained to see the ocean from her prison bars, fought to smell the salty arctic air, and feel the moisture that rushed from the Norwegian Sea. Something was coming. Something in the storm that was hidden and close. Closer than the others knew, if they knew it was coming at all. She recognized it, recognized Him. Even through she could not see Him, she knew it was He that hid in the tempest.
She closed her eyes and felt the hair on her arms rise, not due to the icy cold, nor from the electric charge that dissipated in a flash of lightening only to build again, but from anticipation. He was coming. He would come and with Him salvation. Bellatrix opened her eyes and dropped the blanket from her shoulders. Grasping the metal bars with both hands and shook them as she screamed laughter into the night needing Him to hear, needing Him to find her.
Her hands quickly turned white, as her blood was unable to warm her flesh. With cracked and filthy fingernails, she scraped at the bars, as if keeping them clear of ice He could more easily find her. She giggled and called to the others, telling them that He was coming, that He would gather them up and take them home, that they should prepare. She did not feel the cold, the sting of the snow on her face, the wind as it ripped at her clothing and whipped her hair into a mass of confusion around her head. She only felt the ache of longing in her chest and heard the sound of the rushing waves and howling wind that brought Him closer.
Her already ashen pallor turned paler as her body temperature fell, her blood thickened and turned sluggish, her hands tinged with deep purple patches as her legs gave up their fight and allowed her to slump to the stone floor of her cell. The icy sea spray reached even the upper most levels of the prison, damping her tattered clothing, and rendering even the forsaken blanket unusable.
Curling on her side, she turned to peer into the back of her cell, smiling to see her feeble attempts to mark the time in uneven lines hacked into the rough hewn stone. Once she had counted the passing of her days. She had counted each by its sunrise and had marked them with a deep gouge scratched into the stone walls. It was possible, she had thought, and had come to believe, that the guards were tricking her. The days had lasted too long, the nights too short, the numbers of days too high, for her to believe that He had forsaken her for so long.
Having discovered the ruse she had counted her monthly cycles until underfed and malnourished, they too had stopped. The guards had pushed food into the slot at the bottom of the bars, only to have her spit on the plate and push it out again, refusing to eat. Not that they cared, not that they bothered to report her refusal or to call in a Healer, for Azkaban was a place of Dementors and death, a place to die in and in the dying to first find ones insanity. It was not a place to worry after a witch's lost cycle, a witch's weight loss or a witch's insane delusions.
She stared at the far wall, unable to count the marks or to remember when she had stopped her count. She only remembered that each night she had cowered in the back corner of her dank cell and waited. Waited in the dark and slept through the day, knowing that when He came in would be on wings of moonbeams and black velvet skies.
Now, she realized her mistake.
He would never come to her like a thief, creeping up the winding stairs, quietly on calm still night. No, her Lord would come in a flash of lightening, the thunder announcing His arrival. He would bring the downpour with Him. He would hold its force in the palm of His hand as He destroyed the black tower and plunged it into the sea.
A pair of hands turned her over and pulled her up to a sitting position, a pair of dark eyes peered into hers. She heard a voice as the buzz of a gnat that she tried to wave away when it distracted her from her search of Him. Her eyes darted beyond the wizard that knelt down in front of her, calling her name, imploring that she respond to him, that she answer, that she be alive.
Rodolphus looked back over his shoulder to see what she saw, only to see his brother hurrying towards them. Giving Rabastan a sad shake of his head, he yanked the blanket from his own shoulders and wrapped it around his wife, then picked her up and carried her to a place of shelter in the stairwell. Holding her to his chest, he willed her warm, wanting to give her the heat from his body to revive her, knowing that she needed more than he had to give.
Bellatrix laughed. Her husband's strong arms engulfed her, protected her, his warmth helping her find her own. She tilted her head up to the sound of apparation and knew that she would soon be free, and would soon be with Him, not with the one that held her now.