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Samara did the usual thing she did every morning. She stayed in her cell reading one of the many books that Sirius gave her before leaving, this one being his journal. She read a few entries from when he went to Hogworts since she would be having visitors from there later in the afternoon. She was about to put it away – thinking of him brought tears to her eyes and a burning sensation from the previous night that she didn’t want to relive – when she heard a voice coming from the cell across from her own. A voice all too familiar and she wasn’t in the mood to hear it. “Hello Samara sweetie, heard the cat let go of your tongue, let me see?” The voice belonged to a woman in her late forties. She was six foot two with short graying brown hair and green eyes. She was extremely pale, thinner than a rail and her voice was shrill.The woman’s smile revealed several crooked and stained teeth with a few gaps from fallen out ones. This sight was enough to scare most small children; Samara had never been afraid of her, she was more deadly than that sorry excuse for a woman. “Hello Rachel, don’t you have better things to do than bother me?” She looked to Rachel for the smartass remark that she was famous for, but only saw her looking around the cellblock, seemingly making sure no one was there that could hear her. “You hear about those Hogwort’s students that be coming after midday?” She looked anxious, something Samara had never seen in the six years she had known Rachel. Well looky here, Hell has frozen over… “Yeah, I’m one of the ‘lucky ones’ that gets to be visited by them.” She looked around to see that the Worden from this morning was walking down the cellblock, stopping at various cells and saying an assortment of words to each prisoner. She was now heading for Samara. Rachel took this time to whisper from across the hall, “Me too.” She then looked at the Worden with hateful eyes as she came up to the girl. The Worden smiled her devilish grin and waved at Rachel, then gave the same greeting to Samara. The young girl stared at her blankly, as if saying ‘what could you possibly want to say?’ The Worden looked down the hall and spoke a simple, but frightful phrase. “Try anything funny with them young students, and it’s off to The Hole.” Then she walked down the row to the holding cells of other prisoners who would be visited. She heard Rachel gasp after the Worden was out of earshot, or maybe it was hers? Or Both? She didn’t know. All she knew is she didn’t want to be put in The Hole again for as long as she lived. Anyone who had ever been placed there would state the same as she. ‘The Hole’ is a three-story building separate from the prison. As punishment, they set you loose there for days on end, with only the Dementors for company. Inside the walls of Azkaban, the Dementors are monitored and watch, so they don’t attack anyone without reason. In The Hole, they can do as they please. It’s the worst possible disciplinary action given to the prisoners. Samara herself had been there twice. The first time was when she began her sentence in Azkaban, being questioned about You-Know-Who and what she had to do with him. The second was after Sirius escaped, being asked where he went and how he escaped. She didn’t know who You-Know-Who was, nor how Sirius escaped or where he went. She was placed in The Hole for a week both times. She heard Rachel crooning to herself, “Not again not again not again…” Samara looked across the hall and saw Rachel on her bed rocking back and forth, repeating that sentence over and over. She felt sorry for her, but didn’t think she could do anything to help her. She walked back over to her own bed and put the journal away. She returned her gaze to her favorite view, the water and sky outside. “Same here Rachel,” She placed a hand on her barred window. “Same here…”
Harry was boring down at his uneaten plate of food. His Advanced Charms class was long and uninteresting, mostly reviewing previous years work. He had fallen asleep and dreamt of Sirius. The same dream he had had every night, Sirius falling through the veil, and Harry jumping in after him. Before he could see what lies beyond it, he was awakened by Hermione’s sharp elbow in his ribcage. He absentmindedly rubbed the sore spot while daydreaming. His thoughts where interrupted by a waving hand and snapping fingers in his face. Ron was staring at him, shaking his head. “You alright mate?” Ron wasn’t looking at him now, but at Hermione who was next to him. She looked worried and concerned. Harry nodded and glued a fake grin on his face that he had grown accustomed to using. “Yeah. Just nervous, and worried…about the visit.” He didn’t have to look at them to know that they understood. He just wished that they wouldn’t look at him that way, they way you look at a limping stray cat. Pity. “Yeah. I just hope we don’t get Draco’s dad. Wouldn’t that be fun?” Hermione slapped Ron upside his head for that comment, but Harry did genuinely giggle. He felt sorry for whoever got Lucious Malfoy. That will be one interesting biography, I’d like to read that one day… if I live long enough… Ginny seemed to pick up on his train of thought and put her hand over his. He looked at her, and she suddenly looked much wiser and older than sixteen. “Don’t think on it Harry. Not even for one minute, that’s not the way to live.” He looked away quickly, trying to avoid her gaze, but only came across the faces of his two friends. They were nodding in agreement. Harry sighed and nodded himself, making a silent promise; one he wanted to keep, but couldn’t stop himself from breaking. His friends knew he couldn't keep it, but wanted the hope that his agreement implied. That one day, the war would be over. Voldemort would fall, Harry would be victorious, and life would go on. Little did they know how close the beginning – and the ending – of that tragic, cursed day was coming.
Samara was being walked back to her alcove when she felt that frequent feeling of knowing. She entered her six by eight foot cell and sat on her bed. The sliding bars closed with a jolt. That sound made goose bumps cover her skin. She stared at the walk as she felt that sensation grow stronger. She started to hum a tune she heard Terri singing earlier. She smiled as the sound of her haunted voice bounced and echoed along the cellblock. Welcome… welcome to Azkaban, Harry Potter…
Harry, Ron and Hermione shared a compartment on the train as usual. They didn’t say much. Mostly the silence was comforting rather than uncomfortable, at least for Harry. The ride was short, and when they reached the waters that surrounded the prison, they got their first glimpse of what Sirius had endured for thirteen years. My God, it looks like Hell, and it is for them… it is… The prison was at least twenty-stories, and as black as pitch. They could faintly see the barred windows, and even though it wasn’t an overcast day, clouds loomed over the Island and rain bored down on its evil head. The penitentiary seemed to be grinning at them. Grinning at them and saying ‘you haven’t been truly terrified if you haven’t been behind my closed doors and barred windows’. Oh but I have… I have… Harry thought back at the murderous looking building. “Now is where I leave you. Get into the boats in threes, and your new Professor will be awaiting your arrival on the other side by the entrance.” Dumbledore had taken it upon himself to escort the sixth and seventh years to the boats and see them off. As the old Headmaster departed on the train, Harry could have sworn he saw him wink at him. When the train was out of sight, He followed Hermione and Ron to a boat close by. “Well, well, well. Look, it’s Potty, Weasleby, and the Mudblood. Who would have thought you three would be allowed here, especially after last year.” Harry’s blood was boiling. He turned around to see Draco and his two goons on either side of him. Smirk permanently attached to his pale face. His bleach-blonde hair – no longer gelled back – hung loosely in his piercing blue eyes. He took pleasure in catching them off-guard and moved closer. “Leave us alone Malfoy, don’t you have a relative to visit? Your father perhaps?” Hermione’s tone reminded Harry of that day third year when she punched him for getting Buckbeak sentenced to death. He hid a grin and saw Draco’s smirk wiped clean off his face. It was immediately replaced with lividness. “No thanks to your precious Saint Potter.” He walked up to Hermione, just within inches from her face, and glared at her. “You should watch what you say, Mudblood.” She stood her ground, in fact, she took one step closer to him. Her eyes seemed to be gleaming with hatred. “What are you going to do about it, Draco?” With that, she pushed him violently backwards. He landed hard on the ground. While his goons helped him up, she turned and walked toward the boats. Draco screamed. “Watch your back Mudblood, Potter won’t always be there.” Harry ran to catch up with her and Ron. “What happened to violence isn’t the answer Mrs. Prefect?” Ron asked, trying to hide the fact that he was impressed. She looked at Ron and gave him a grin and giggle. “When have I said that? Besides, I didn’t push him that hard.” Harry looked at her like he’d never met her before, and it was part true; he had never met this side of her. “Hermione, if there had been a wall behind him, there would only be rocks left!” She laughed out loud at Harry’s statement and shrugged. “I guess I underestimated my strength.” The got into the boat and sailed across the stormy waters with caution. Soon they reached the other side they departed from the boats and went to the main entrance. There, a man was waiting for them. Just about everyone gasped with surprise and joy at the person they saw before them. “Remus?!” The trio questioned in unison. Remus Lupin smiled at them as they ran up to hug him. Harry was overwhelmed with joy. He hadn’t seen Remus since Kings Cross station at the end of last year. He was very happy to see him; he was the only family he had now. “Harry, my boy. Come here.” Harry hugged Remus tightly –afraid if he let go, he would leave him too – and silent tears appeared in his eyes. Lupin held him just as tightly, and rubbed his back. “I’m sorry Harry. I don’t think I got a chance to say, but, I’m sorry.” “Me too…” Harry pulled away from him and wiped away the traitorous tears that fell. Remus smiled at the rest of the students and bade them to follow him inside. When they entered, they were asked to hand over they’re wands. “For your protection more than theirs.” The Guard said. They did as ask. Remus read off the groups. Harry, Ron and Hermione were in their own group. After that, the guards escorted them to the cells of the prisoners. Remus walked with the trio. “You will have the pleasure of visiting Samara Walker, our youngest inmate. She has been found guilty of having ties with You-Know-Who.” The Guard said as they walked down the many corridors of the facility. “You-Know-Who? How old is she?” Hermione asked with a hint of fear hovering in her voice. The guard looked at her up and down. “Oh, I recon the same age as you there.” Harry looked stunned. Seventeen? “How long has she been here?” Ron was hoping she was a new inmate, but his hopes where dashed as they rounded the corner and started to slow down to a cell on the left side. “She’s been here six years boy, six long years. But she doesn’t look it.” This information was making Harry very uncomfortable. “Wait here.” They complied with the guard as he opened the cell door and with his wand, made three chairs appear inside. “She’s all yours kiddies.” As they walked in they saw her. Unbelievable… She was sitting on her bed, staring at the wall. She was paler than fresh milk, which made her full red lips seem even darker than they were. Her blonde hair was hanging just below her shoulders and her eyes seemed to be shining like blue diamonds. The guard was right; she didn’t look like she had been here for six years. Remus decided to say with their group and entered the cell with them. The door slammed shut, startling all but the girl they were to study. As the trio sat, she finally turned to look at them. Her eyes darted over Hermione and Ron, lingered a bit on Remus, and stayed locked on Harry. She smiled as she eyed his scar. His breath was caught in his throat. She spoke in a sweet yet mysterious voice, eerie even. “Hi there…”

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