A/N: Written for Reilly Jade's "Ready...Set...Write!" Challenge, in which Scabior was my /male/ character and wind, jacket, and ground were my /prompts/. I wonder if most people know Scabior was in Azkaban, but he was, so you'd know.
Scabior would've liked to believe that Azkaban hadn't changed him. Hadn't twisted his insides, curled up within him, and charred them black and dark like it had for so many others. But the reality of it was that it had changed the mechanics of things. On a molecular, biological level that most normal people didn't think about. In a way, he tried not to remember; funny how the things you wish to forget are the ones that stick in the back of your head, dripping ominously so that you can't ignore it, but you can't change it either.
There was nothing scary about Azkaban. Nothing he couldn't handle, more like. See, there were a lot of things that were scary- that went bump in the night. The cobwebs that hung themselves, residing in the broken down corners of the room, and the spiders that sometimes made their presence known by creeping out in the most unwelcome of times. Those flimsy, almost weak bars of Muggle metal, taunting you with their fragility, being the only thing standing between you and the outside world. The distant howls of the ocean, treacherously lapping against the stones far below, reminding you just how isolated and alone you really were. And sometimes, those howls combined with the actual cries and shrieks of other ghosts (real or elsewise), and that had been scary. But not unmanageable.
Azkaban had taught though, and Scabior had been an avid pupil. It changed his view of the Wizarding World. It bettered him.
When he'd first become a Snatcher, that had been why. Life... was uncertain. And the next day it could be snatched out from beneath you. So he was the Snatcher, just so that life could never be taken away from him again. The predator never became the prey. The perpetrator- always the upper hand.
Azkaban had taught him flamboyancy too. Be unreasonable, and loud, and dress like a member of the Weird Sisters. Be the outcast that no one can afford to be, just because you can. So he had, to prove that he was for and by no one, so that he was in his own and that no one could keep him prisoner to those conformist Ministry ideals. Speak because it's possible. Rebel because it's allowed. Unpredictability at it's highest degree.
Voldemort was just a passing fad, one which Scabior had latched onto because it held some merit. It wasn't meaningful, Azkaban had taught him that. He knew the difference between what meant something and what was just a filler.
But the desire to be someone- the proof, the purpose. He still could be a person of his own, and all he needed was to matter in his efforts.
Azkaban had shared with him the importance of simple things, things that people took for granted and broke down with their hateful vision and bent opinions. Stuff like the wind at night, how it rustled through the trees in the forest, and shook their great leaves and forced them to sway at the base of their trunk. How it picked up, rising and falling, as if it possessed a life of its own- emotions and feelings of its own. And the howling wasn't like the Azkaban howlings. It was important because it was truly real, and not just the frayed figments of a shattered imagination, not really knowing whether or not you knew yourself.
And being grounded, instead of being suspended high above the water. Earth was just as important, especially with a job like his, where he had to be in tune to his natural side, let the primitive nature of himself take over just for a night. Just a night when he could make the most significant discovery of his life. A night he could find, say, Harry Potter, and claim the prize, and succeed because of it. A night where he could make himself known amongst the ranks, but not be frozen there, for he travel forward. Still continuing on, where he'd like to go.
He wasn't fake, he had ideals. He had hopes, and aspirations and dreams. He was a believer, and he believed he'd get out of this and move on, it was only situation. It was only what Azkaban had taught him. It was (almost) all he had left.