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Sirius Black stared at the roof of his cell and waited for the dementor to glide past. He could see James and Lily, broken, dead, could hear baby Harry's cries for his parents. He swallowed and waited for the glimmer of relief that came with the dementors passing. He shuddered and sat up. His hollow eyes stared at the wall and he found himself listening intently. There were footsteps. Hurried ones, footsteps that spoke of someone un-used to the gloom of Azkaban. He rose and moved to the cell door. He could hear Bellatrix laughing to herself. The madness within finally had spilled out of her, the madness that she had carefully hidden from her family. Sirius ignored her and peered into the fog.
"Minister." He drawled as the over-weight man paused in front of his cell. "How pleasant to see you."
Cornelius Fudge swallowed and he stepped back from the cell door. "Black." He sneered. "You are still sane. Such a pity that the person who murdered and betrayed his dearest friends is the last of them to be alive."
Sirius stiffened. "Last one?" He mocked. He could feel the cold of the approaching dementor and dread gripped his heart. Remus. Remus was alive. What had happened to Remus?
"Oh, well, I suppose there was the werewolf." Fudge smiled coldly. "But you can hardly count that."
Sirius' hands clenched. The dementor was coming closer and he could feel dread creeping. "What have you done to him?" He whispered. He was driven to his knees, images of Remus lying bleeding, dying filled his mind.
A newspaper was thrown at him. The pages spilled across the floor and Cornelius Fudge turned and walked away. Across the hall Bellatrix began to laugh even harder.
"Dead! Dead! Dead!" She laughed wildly. "The half-breed is dead. Dead! Dead! Your half-breed is dead!"
Sirius clawed for the paper. He refused to believe it. It was impossible. His eyes searched the pages desperately. The front page headlines screamed up at his and the pounding in his head increased. Remus. Remus. Remus.
MINISTER OF MAGIC VOWS THAT WEREWOLVES INVOLVED IN REVOLT WILL PAY
Cornelius Fudge has vowed that the werewolves who were involved in November 1981's uprising against the ministry will pay. The minister, who is planning to visit Azkaban where the eight werewolves are being held, explained that these particular beings are a danger to not only the wizarding and muggle communities but to the werewolves in the containment facility that was opened in November of last year.
The revolt occurred when the Ministry collected the male werewolves first, they being the greater threat, after Fenrir Greyback's viscous attack that killed six people at the November full moon. The six beings involved launched a vicious attack on the Aurors involved in their transfer to the colony that had greatly improved living conditions for werewolves while protecting the wider community.
Sirius stared at the newspaper with growing horror. The idea of containment facilities for werewolves had been spoken of before that night. That Halloween. James had sworn Remus would never set foot in one. Lily had promised they would hide him if the ministry searched for him. Sirius… Sirius had thought he was the traitor.
"Moony." The moan broke through chapped lips. "What have they done to you?"
He flipped to another page and his eyes widened as the headlines caught his attention.
Containment Facility Ensuring no Werewolf is Harmed During Full Moon.
The ministry has been satisfied with their unique system that was placed in the commune that is specifically run for werewolves. Special tattoos imprinted on the werewolves skin, a mis of ink with minute traces of silver to ensure permanent wear, is placed on their left shoulders. Each number is different and the ministry is thus able to ensure that no werewolf is mistaken for another, lost, or is in any way disfigured. One such werewolf, who remains un-named, was badly disfigured when a silver goblet was thrown at him when groups of werewolves were moved to the colony. He was a friend of the late, James and Lily Potter and is believed to have ties to death eater Sirius Black. His face, now unrecognisable, makes the need for these tattoos imperative and thus, the decision has been well founded.
Sirius could feel the cold fingers of the dementors twining around him as his world spun crazily. He had thought Remus was healthy, grieving for his friends, for Harry. But the fact that he had been incapacitated by the full moon the night his best friends had been killed, then he had been yanked to a commune where he had been openly mocked. Sirius wrapped his arms around himself and struggled to stifle the sobs that tore from him. The friend he had doubted, the friend who had loved James, Lily, Harry, himself and that rat unconditionally, the friend who had been left alone in a world that hated werewolves. That friend that, according to Cornelius Fudge, would be better off dead.
Sirius transformed from his animagus form back to his human version. He could hear the familiar steps of one of the gaurds and he felt bile rise in his throat. They visited twice a day. Threw food at the prisoners, mocked them, and left. He hated it. Hated them. He remained on the stone slab that passed as a bed as the footsteps drew closer. He could hear the contemptuous voice of the guard as he passed cell doors until he finally drew even with Sirius cell.
"Black." A hunk of stale bread was thrown at him and Sirius caught it easily. He placed it beside him without a second glance. His calm, deliberate movements always enraged the gaurds. He was meant to be mad like Bellatrix. He was meant to fall upon his food with desperation like Rudolphus Lestrange.
"Minister seemed right friendly to you last week, Black."
Sirius didn't reply. Had it already been a week? Time was blurred here. The date on the newspaper had read May 1985. It had been almost four years since that night…. It seemed like yesterday. It seemed like an eternity.
"Generous of him really, telling you about the facility for werewolves. Course, the newspaper was painting it right and proper. After all, wouldn't want any bleeding hearts catching wind of what it's really like."
"Worse than Azkaban I reckon. Monsters everywhere. Crying, screaming. It's no wonder they need to use silver chains."
Sirius was at the bars of the door instantly. "What do you mean?" He snarled.
The guard smiled coldly. "Oh, silver cells they are so there is no escape, and the ones who are wild, well silver shackles will do them. Get less food than you do. Once a day if they are lucky. And beatings. Well, bones cracking when you kick them. Hours of amusement there." The guard smiled and Sirius wanted nothing more than to reach out and strangle the animal.
"Your friend, Lupin. He's one they watch. Always in a silver cell. Course he's mute now. Doesn't speak. Just lies there and takes the beatings. He screams of course. And the tattoo, well, silver leeches into the muscles. Your werewolf will die painfully, that's if, a rib doesn't get his lung. Broken ribs are tricky things. He's a crafty one. You have to watch him. His eyes never leave you and he's a right horror to look at. Serves him right, should have been killed. Silver injection into the vein. Most painful way for a werewolf to go." The guard smiled as Sirius stumbled backwards. He laughed softly and walked away from the cell. Sirius' legs buckled under him. They were killing Remus. Killing the most loyal friend that James and Lily had, killing the quiet boy who had practically dragged his three friends through an education. Killing his best friend.
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