By Captain Patch
The room was dark. Three spotlights focusing on the three photos the only light.
All black and white wizarding photos.
The exhibition was called 'Pain'. It had been included in the War Memorial exhibitions, but no one knew why as it was the work of a Slytherin, Blaise Zabini. Someone on the wrong side of the war.
This was the opening night.
The first photo was called 'Emotional' according to the plaque at the bottom. It was a self-portrait by Blaise Zabini.
It was shot from far away with Blaise on the left, in mainly darkness, at a small table by himself. On the right was a large table, brightly lit with a huge family gathered around it.
By the similarities in the features it was safe to assume this was the Zabini family.
The family were all laughing and eating and celebrating, having great fun. Blaise had no expression, sitting straight-backed at his single table in the dark, looking straight at the camera.
Every so often he would get up and go stand at the edge of the light hopefully until someone at the table noticed him. Ugly expressions would come over the faces of those at the table and harsh looking words would be aimed at Blaise, whose face would crumple into its expression of nothingness and he would go back to his isolated and dark table.
Other times he would stay at the table but turn and say something in response to someone's comment. The ugly expressions would again make their appearance and one of the younger members would throw a glass or tray at Blaise's head. He would duck and look down.
Or, most rarely, Blaise would look down at the table and the most heart wrenching expression of pain and self-hate would come over his face for a second or two.
Then he would wipe his face with a hand and by the time he looked back up, nothingness would again be reflected in his eyes.
The second photo was called 'Sexual'. It was apparently a self-portrait by Pansy Parkinson.
Again, it was shot form further back. It was of a room with a white bed in the front of the photo. Slightly to the left, sitting on the bed, was a young looking Pansy, with only a white sheet wrapped around her. She had a fading bruise high on her right cheekbone and she was sitting straight, facing the camera, again with no expression.
Behind her and the bed, slightly to the right and slightly out of focus, was a darkened doorway, in front of which were two men talking and gesturing towards Pansy.
Sometimes one of the men would point at Pansy and pass the other man a bag of money. Other times Pansy would carefully tuck her hair behind her left ear and ever so slightly glance back over her shoulder at the men, as she turned back her face would crumple into fear and self loathing then she would shake herself and stare at the camera with no expression again.
And other times, both men would look at Pansy, one with clear features and a rapacious look on his face and one with shadowed and blurry features. The one with clear features would bark an order at Pansy and she would stand and turn to the men, away from the camera and open the sheet and drop it until it was only just covering her bottom. The men would look for a minute then turn back to each other and Pansy would cover herself and face the camera once again. A single tear would track down her bruised cheek.
According to the plaque at the bottom of the photo, Eric Parkinson, Pansy's father, was also in the photo.
The final photo was called 'Physical'. It was the most graphic and confronting for most of the viewers. It was a self-portrait of Draco Malfoy. Taken straight in front of a mirror with Draco dead centre.
He stared straight into the camera. His chest and left shoulder were heavily bandaged. Another bandage was wound around his right forearm with blood seeping through. The right side of his face was a mass of bruises ranging from the darkest black of a recent injury, to the light colour of a two-week-old bruise. There was a gash on his cheekbone, in the midst of the bruises, just under his eye, which bled sluggishly. His hair was a tangled mess with matted blood dried in. there were more bruises up his arms and one or two shiny places that looked like old scares or recent burns. Neither of his forearms had the Dark Mark.
The sink under the mirror was half full of bloody water while bloody bandages and cotton balls sat next to it. In front was a row of potion vials, some tipped over, all empty. On the ones which labels could be read was 'Blood Replenisher', 'Pain Reducer' and 'Skelegrow'.
Sometimes Draco would grab something from out of the camera shot and swill it then add the vial to the row. One end of the row would fall to the ground, out of shot.
Other times he would turn so his back faced the camera and strain his neck over his shoulder to see the dark smudges of blood seeping through the bandages covering his back. Then he would turn back. His expression never changing.
The only time it did was when Draco would obviously hear something off screen and his mouth would tighten and panic would show for a second in his eyes, then he would blink and a glamour was cast. After, the Draco shown in the mirror still had bandages wrapped around his chest but they were clean with no seeping. His hair was neat and brushed, shining dully; his face was clean of bruises with no cuts. There were no bruises or scars showing on his arms either.
He would smirk at the mirror and hold it as he turned away to answer who ever had called. The smirk would still be there as he turned back then he would flinch, presumably as a door closed. And the glamour would be dropped along with his expression.
His eyes looked dead.
Finally on the wall next to the photos, before the exit into the other exhibitions, was a simple brass plaque that caught the leftover light from the spotlights. It read:
"We fought because we were told we didn't have a choice."
And then underneath were the photographers' names.
Blaise Zabini (1980 -)
Pansy Parkinson (1980-1997)
Draco Malfoy (1980-1997)
No one who saw the exhibition questioned its inclusion in the War Memorial again.