Everyone goes to Azkaban by boat. Whether you are a visitor or a prisoner, you travel by sea.
The waves toss, the boat rocks, and the passengers sit stiffly, faces like stone.
My hands grip the edges of my seat, staring out across the North Sea. It’s dark and unforgiving- a maelstrom of howling wind and driving rain. I am soaking wet, cold to the bone and tired. But I’m still angry.
“Georgie!” I hear the shout from downstairs and try to ignore it. I pull out my old Charm book, and flip it open. I always was awful at Charms, and consequently I hated it, but it helps to concentrate fully on something when he’s being this way.
I try to focus on the page, but the words swim before my eyes as they fill with tears. I can hear him lurching up the stairs, his bottle tapping against the banister as he uses it to pull himself up, accompanied by animal-sounding grunts.
I flick my wand at the door, and it locks shut. I don’t want to see him.
He reaches the landing, and I can hear him leaning heavily on my door. “Georgie,” he says heavily. I can imagine him swaying slightly. “Georgie, I’m sorry.”
I bite my lip so I don’t say anything.
“I’m so sorry, and I swear I’ll make it up to you, I swear. We’ll go to the park together tomorrow, yeah? And there’s a fair in the next town, we can go have candyfloss and it’ll be great,” he says, sighing heavily.
I turn the page in my book. The time is long gone where I can be won over with candyfloss and swings in the park. I grit my teeth as he half-heartedly bangs on the door. He doesn’t even remember that he lost his Apparition license last week, and the car has been gone for months.
“Georgia!” he half-yells suddenly, sounding alarmingly close. “Why won’t you let me say sorry?”
I want to reply to that, to tell him why, but I breathe deeply and try to ignore the voice that seeps through the cracks in my concentration.
“GEORGIA!” he shouts. “Open this door right now!”
I stay sitting on my bed, my knees tucked underneath me and my book on my lap. I’ve reached the chapter about self-defensive spells, and I read, focusing only on the old, yellowing pages. It was dad’s book before it was mine.
He pounds on the door, and then, abruptly, the cheap lock snaps. He lumbers into my room, accompanied by that familiar stink of Muggle pubs- cigarette smoke and alcohol. “Georgie!” he says, opening his arms and spilling Firewhisky onto my carpet.
I can no longer stare at the book. I pick up my wand from next to me on the bed, and turn it over once in my hand.
“Georgie,” he says slowly, almost crooning my name.
And then suddenly, I snap. I can't deal with it any longer, the drunkenness and the guiltiness. I can't cope with the endless apologises and the broken promises that he'll get better. I just can't. The emotions I've tried to hard to suppress boils inside of me, the bitterness and anger and hatred.
“Expelliarmus!” I spit, putting everything I can into the word.
As the jet of red light hits him, his mouth opens in a surprised ‘O’, and then he topples back – he is already unsteady on his feet. As if in slow motion, he falls back with a ragged yell; falling out of my sight, down the stairs. I shut my eyes, and when I open them, it is silent.
I go to the top landing, and look down. A broken heap at the bottom of the stairs, smashed bottle and sightless eyes, staring right at me.
I suddenly twist around, leaning over the side of the boat, retching violently. No-one moves to stop me. They don’t care if I try to throw myself in, or if it’s merely an accident.
But I don’t fall. I stare down at the grey-green waves, salty froth spattering my face. It churns below me, looking like an angry God has stirred it up in rage. I turn back around, resuming my original position. I clamp my hands to the wooden bench, the only thing in this rushing, watery world that can keep me anchored.
“I get seasick,” I tell nobody in particular, wiping the corners of my mouth with my grey robe.
But none of the other prisoners in the boat is watching me. They are wrapped up in their own lives, their own disastrous lives. I briefly wonder how they got here, if their lives were a downwards spiral or it was one wrong choice, if they have regrets, hope or any future at all. If it was a mistake, or a planned commitment. Did they know this would be where they ended up? On this tiny, silent rocking boat in the middle of a storm.
Or if it was an impulsive decision that they still can't tell whether it was right or wrong.
The prison looms ahead of me, the black jutting stone rising up from the sea. My stomach churns, and I lean back over the side of the boat, bile burning my throat.
A/N: okay, well this is a lot different to what I usually write, so I hope you liked it, and it would be a massive help to me if you could tell me what was good, bad, okay, or needed work on. Thank you.
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