Characters/Pairing: Ferrol Nott, Amalthea Nott
Word count: 969
Summary: Ferrol has trouble getting the day's events from his mind.
A/N: Written for the hc_bingo prompt table. Characters are technically original but belong to an HP RP and so exist in the HP world.
Ferrol stood under the hot spray of the shower, eyes closed so he couldn’t see the water pinking with blood as it swirled down the drain. He didn’t want to see proof of what he’d done that day.
Punch him again.
The dispassionate order rang in his head, louder than the spray of the water. His hand cramped as if feeling the impact of flesh against flesh again.
Ferrol reached up and twisted the knob further, increasing the pressure of the spray as well heat of it. Steam swirled, and he fought briefly the urge to cool it down. His skin stung under the onslaught.
Well, if he won’t talk, then break his teeth. Keep at it until he changes his mind.
His torn knuckles stung, too. He felt it all the way up his arm, pain more than the current scalding water. He wished it would drown out today’s memories, but all it did was cleanse the evidence from his body and hide it down the drain. It didn’t erase what he’d done.
Enough. Maybe a little Cruciatis will loosen his tongue.
His nerves tingled like an echo of the curse he’d had to cast. Loyalty always had its price, and he was paying it. Not that Nathan appreciated the fact. He thought Theo might, but Theo was safely off at school. But it kept them all safe, so Ferrol kept doing it. His other family members remained untouched by the Dark Mark.
It didn’t mean he didn’t regret his actions. He did. But he did them anyway.
Oh, well. Dispose of the body, then. He’s of no further use to us.
Ferrol forced his eyes to open, to make sure no blood or dirt lingered under his nails. At least no one had seen him dig the grave and lay the body out with care. He had been able to do that much for the wizard. Not that a proper burial made up for the blood on his hands.
He finally climbed out of the shower, bright red from heat. His muscles were still tense under the skin.
Good job. You’ve done the Dark Lord proud today.
Sleep refused to come to him. It replayed in an endless loop in his head. Again. Again. Again.
He rolled over, burying his face in a pillow. He wondered if screaming into it would help. Probably not. Finally, he was driven from the bed by flashes of memory. He wandered around the Nott manor aimlessly, trying to tired himself out enough to get at least a little sleep. He was so very tired.
“Ferrol?” a small voice said, and Ferrol nearly jumped out of his skin. He turned and found his young sister standing in the doorway of her bedroom.
“What are you doing up, poppet?” he asked.
“Can’t sleep,” Amy told him. “Nightmares.”
Ferrol was very familiar with nightmares. That his little sister suffered them made him want to hurt something. But he knew she’d had them for many years, with a marked increase as the war came into full swing. “I know how that goes,” he told her quietly. She peered up into his face, brow pinched with worry.
Amalthea shuffled her feet, toes bare on the cold floor. She was a teenager now, if only barely, but despite that she bit her lip and mumbled, “Will you sit with me until I fall back to sleep?”
It was something she hadn’t asked in years but had used to with frequency. She, like Theo, was a worrier, and as a child it had given her many nightmares. Ferrol and Theo and their father had often sat or lay with her until she felt safe enough to go back to sleep.
He nodded and followed her back into her room, settling into a comfortable chair at her bedside. Amy crawled under her covers and closed her eyes, but Ferrol could see that though she tried, she wasn’t falling asleep. Finally she rolled over and looked at him with eyes that reminded him of his own, years ago before he’d lost the last of his innocence. “I know it’s silly,” she said, “but could you just lay down like you used to when I was little?”
Ferrol gave her a faint smile. He couldn’t help indulging Amalthea, since she asked so little of all of them. For being the baby of the family, she didn’t make many demands. They usually spoiled her without having to be asked. “Sure, poppet, if you think it will help.”
He stretched out next to her on top of the covers, fluffing a pillow and putting it under his head. Amy curled up next to him, reaching over and pulling his arm around her. “Sleep well, Ferrol,” she said softly. He almost snorted, and then for a moment he wondered if she hadn’t been able to sleep because she was worried for him. Ferrol kissed the top of her head and settled in to wait for her to fall asleep. It was sweet, that she thought he needed comforting, but that wasn’t her job. He’d leave as soon as she drifted off.
Slowly, she seemed to drift off. Ferrol waited in the dim room, wanting to be certain he wouldn’t wake her by leaving. With only the light sound of her breathing, Ferrol wouldn’t think that the scenes in his head would be banished. And yet, the constant Again and Again faded under the sound, and Ferrol found himself nodding off before he could climb out of the bed.
With his sister tucked next to him, Ferrol fell asleep as well—and there were no nightmares, only restful sleep, for both of them. Perhaps later he’d feel guilty for using his sister like a living teddy bear, but for the moment, he didn’t care.