fractures on your coffin by patchworkteddy
Daphne is a scar in this brave new world. She is the girl that chose the wrong side, and she lost. They hide her in blacked-out glass jars and whisper behind her back, their mouths opening and closing like crazy fishes. Daphne spends half her time hating them all.
The rest and more, she spends hating herself.
She hates this empty apartment she comes home to every night, with her parents in Azkaban and her sister struggling to find her place in this world again (Daphne has given up, given up, given up). She hates it because it is hollow and empty and is haunted. She hates it because her screams and moans and desperate sobs echo without an end here. But mostly, she hates it because it is a metaphor for Daphne Greengrass—empty and dark and forgotten.
Yes. She is haunted, and she knows it.
Behind her eyelids skulk the dead, with their yellowed, papery, peeling skin and eye-less sockets, ready to eat her whole, sink their hungry jaws into her, devouring every morsel so they can drag her down to the same fate. There is little Colin Creevey, screaming and writhing as Bellatrix Cruciates him, laughing madly. Then a flash of green light blankets him, and Colin gets up, walks over to Daphne, and forms a noose around her neck with his rotting hands. There is Tracey, her arms shattered beyond repair, wide eyes empty. There are so many.
They want her bones.
Mirrors—she breaks every one of them, blowing them up with her wand. The shards cut her as they whiz past, but she just doesn't want to look at herself—Daphne Greengrass, with the haunted eyes that sought to live even when others did not, with the hands that killed and shred and tortured, with the sick red syrup that clings to her skin like paint on canvas, no matter how thorough she washes herself, with the stench of death and war wrapping around her.
But whatever she does, the ghosts crawl out from the cracks in the walls, the gaps in the floorboards, and seep through her skin, an infestation. They scrape their fingernails across her skull, twist her guts and knot them up, curl the words coward and war and numerous others that she would rather forget beside her ear, and stroke her bones with their chipping off fingernails. They infiltrate her sleep and create dimensions of nightmares, themselves twisting into ethereal wraiths with clown mask faces.
Leave me alone!, she screams, yells, begs. But they don't, because they seek retribution and will not leave until they have it. So she craves a distraction—a block of meaningless text for her eyeballs to drink in so she won't have to look into the Basilisk's eyes, a cacophony of screeching, jumbled notes so she won't hear the scream of a Mandrake—but nothing works. The letters on the page rearrange themselves when she opens it, becomes Tracey died, Creevey died it's all your faultfaultfault and they burn her eyes like acid and the music twists and convulses before it stabs at her ears as people's screams.
But then she finds something that works.
It begins with the sleeping pills those Muggles use, much more effective than Dreamless Sleep. They chase away the nightmares and flood her in darkness.
So she goes to the ghosts' candy shop to buy different varieties—they whisper to her in fairytale voices, promising to bring happiness and freedom from the ghosts. She buys them all.
She demolishes them in dozens; prettydeliciouscolourful crazy candies that make her feel better. Euphoria claws its way into her ragged, pulsating heart and she feels so alive, laughinglaughinglaughing as the psychedelic fireworks blast away the ghosts and drown out the white static screams and the guilt and everything else. What does it matter that she's sealing her own coffin, digging her own grave and turning herself into a corpse, if the bad things leave her alone for a while? She laughs it all off.
But then the bottle is emptied of her happy pills, and she finds the ghosts hiding at the bottom. They smirk and grin maliciously before swarming up to crowd her head again.
She buys another, and another, and another, and the ghosts grow stronger.
Voices screech in a never ending loop in her ears, biting and gnawing and scratching. She claws at her face until scarlet spills out and stains the white carpet. More ghosts rise up from the flood of red, and charge at her, wrapping heavy chains around her body. She screams and moans and begs and whimpers again, but they pet her and whisper omens of death.
With shaking hands she gulps down another handful of lovely drugs. They fizz and crackle in her stomach, working their magic. She laughs maniacally, an out-of-control sound, and collapse in a heap of blood and bones on the carpet. The room spins around her and distorts, and the ghosts start to sing, falling into the tune of a funeral march. The cacophony of notes drop bread crumbs to lead the circling vultures to her.
Daphne vomits all over the floor, stomach churning. She dumps more and more sweeties down her throat, and they build her a castle to keep the ghosts out, and it is only when the structure closes in on her, that she realises it is a coffin.
The euphoria has turned into poison rotting her soul.
Her lashes flutter against her cheek, loud as thunder. Her heart beats wild and fast against her ribcage, like a hummingbird's wings. It wants to fly away, escape from the cage that is her body. The drugs have made it grow feathers and have drained away its weight. Cold sweat rolls down her spine like fingers. Her own fingers, trembling and pale, map out her pale skin. Her eyes are bloodshot. Her hair is tangled and matted, coming out in clumps. Her body has thinned, all sharp angles from lack of food. Her bones rattle and creak and sometimes they freeze completely. Her brain is sluggish, chugging along dazedly, inching towards eternal hibernation.
She can't breathe properly, like there is mud clinging to her nostrils, water flooding her lungs. She wills her body to move, but the synapses have burned out. Nausea hits her like a wave. A stereo crackles by her ear, counting down to her death.
The ghosts laugh at her failure. She has tried to get rid of them, but now she will be joining them. She tried to escape, and has now reached a dead end.
Daphne is a ghost in this brave new world.
A/N: Written for OCDdegrassi's Controversial Challenge at HPFC forum. I chose topic twelve, drug addiction. You know, I think I drifted off-tangent a bit. And Daphne... Urk. Not how I planned... Um, don't own Harry Potter or any other affiliated material. Review please ^^