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The Last Chance

This was written for a contest on HOL when I was younger (probably 16 or so). We were asked to write a story about our character and given guidelines and such.

My character, Alexia Malfoy, had her father thrown in Azkaban during her first year at Hogwarts and was framed for something (can't really remember to be honest). It was a one off, so it's a bit dodgy, but it worked for me.

Alexia sat in her room on the muggy, rainy, summer afternoon. She was looking at the picture of her, her Father and her brother, tears slipping down her cheeks. She missed her Father so much.

“Lex, get a move on!” yelled a voice from downstairs.

She quickly looked up and over at her bag next to her. She sighed, lifted it, and set off down the stairs.

    In the kitchen, Gavin, her older brother, sat at the table. He looked over at Alexia.

“You ready?” he asked.

“No,” she muttered.

Gavin rolled his eyes.

“I’m the only one who ever goes to see Dad,” Gavin explained, “He’d like some company. He’s always really lonely.”

Alexia nodded.

“But I can never step inside those doors,” she said miserably.

Gavin stood up and walked over to her.

“I know it’s hard, but just try,” said Gavin, “Okay?”

Alexia looked up at him and nodded.

“I’ll try,” she promised.

    After checking their bags, they set their things by the fireplace and Gavin removed a flowerpot filled with powder. Alexia grabbed a small pinch and took her bag with her into the fireplace. She sighed and looked at Gavin.

“I’ll leave first,” he said.

With a loud crack, Gavin disappeared. Alexia threw down the powder.

“Azkaban!” she shouted.

    She whirled around in circles and before she knew it she caught herself before falling out of the fireplace of a dark, stone room. Gavin stood several feet away, waiting. As he walked over to her, she dropped to her knees. Alexia felt very cold and shuttered as Gavin pulled something out of his pocket. He handed her a chocolate frog and she ate it quickly. Gavin helped her over to a man sitting at a desk behind a glass panel. He looked up at them.

“Names?” he asked.

“Gavin and Alexia Malfoy,” said Gavin.

“Business?” the man asked.

“We’re here to see Brent Malfoy, our Father,” said Gavin, “We had also arranged to stay the night.”

The man looked up at Gavin and blinked.

“Are you serious?” asked the man.

“Of course,” he said, “We arranged it months ago.”

The man shuffled through piles of paper. Alexia was now standing on her own, her hand deep in her pocket, clutched around her wand. She hated this place.

“Okay, Gavin, I got it right here,” said the man.

He handed them each a small name tag that they pinned to the front of their shirts. The man pointed up the stairs.

“There’s a bedroom up there with one bed,” he said, “Afraid that’s all we have.”

Gavin nodded and thanked the man, who had just handed him some keys. Gavin turned to Alexia, who looked disgusted.

“It won’t be that bad,” he said, trying to sound positive, “Just for the night.”

They climbed the spiral staircase for several minutes. On the stone walls were torches every so often but otherwise it was completely bare. They reached the door ten minutes later and Gavin pushed it open. The room was small, the floor was stone, and the curtains by the small window had several small holes in them, and molded ends. There was a small twin size bed with gray sheets that had dirt on the ends and an old worn out couch near the small lamp, which looked as though it had been there for ages. The walls were stone and bare and the room was overall very dismal looking. Gavin set down his bag and sighed.

“It’ll hafta do,” he said, pushing it into the corner.

“It’s disgusting,” muttered Alexia, looking at the grime around the windows, “You honestly can’t expect me to sleep here.”

She dropped her bag down next to Gavin’s and sighed.

“Look, it’s just for the night,” he said, “It’s not like we’re gunna spend a ton of time here.”

Alexia wrinkled her nose.

“Can’t we just come back tomorrow?” she asked.

Gavin shook his head.

“We’ll be fine,” reassured Gavin, “Now c’mon, let’s go see Dad.”

Alexia gulped and then nodded.

~***~

    Gavin pushed open the door and took Alexia’s hand. It shook in his, but he smiled down at her and held his wand in his free hand.

“It’ll be alright,” he muttered.

Alexia nodded and they walked back down the spiral staircase. Before she knew it they were back by the guard.

“Going to see him?” he asked.

Gavin nodded.

“Right through here,” said the man, “Wait, you don’t have your wand on you?”

“Why does it matter?” asked Gavin, getting defensive.

“Well, it’s just we don’t allow wands back there,” said the man, “One of them could get a hold of it and use it against you.”

Gavin gripped his wand tighter.

“It’s for my sisters protection,” he said, gesturing at Alexia.

She looked up, her eyes full of tears and what little color was in her face had left. The guard sighed and nodded.

“Okay, just be careful,” said the man, “He’s in cell number 10.”

“Thanks,” said Gavin, sounding a bit bitter and stepping through the door, pulling Alexia behind her.

    Inside the doors stood two dementors. Alexia’s insides ran cold and Gavin pulled her forward. Their gray robes hung silently and she could hear their rattling breath coming from just beyond the black opening where the head should have been. She wanted to just lie down right there, all the happiness had been sucked from her, but Gavin pulled her forward. A few meters away they found his cell. Gavin looked over at Alexia.

“This is it,” he muttered.

Alexia nodded and they moved closer to the bars and Gavin looked inside.

“Dad?” Gavin asked, in a timid voice.

Alexia heard movement in the back of the cell. She could see a figure moving around, struggling to get to his feet.

“Gavin?” asked a harsh voice.

The figure moved into the light and Alexia’s jaw dropped in shocked.

    She had not seem her Father in nearly two years and his appearance now was so shocking from how it had been. His hair was no longer red, but gray with tiny flecks of red, his eyes seemed dead, and his skin seemed to be stretched across his skull. He was a lot thinner than she remembered and his voice was raspy, as though he had not used it in a while.

    “Is that really you?” asked Brent, moving towards the bars.

Gavin nodded and Brent reached out and touched his arms. A tear fell down Gavin’s cheek and he hugged his Father.

“I miss you,” Gavin muttered.

Brent nodded.

“It’s been so long, son.” He said rather weakly.

    Brent moved his eyes over to Alexia, who was standing there, now visibly shaking with tears dripping from her face.

“Alexia?” he asked.

She nodded, walked closer and Brent touched her face.

“You’ve grown so much,” he muttered.

“I miss you, Daddy,” Alexia whispered, hugging her Father.

Brent kissed her forehead and held her as close as he could.

“I’ve missed you so much,” he said, “Every night I’ve dreamed about getting out of this horrible place, and returning home to you. Everyday I pray that I’ll get released.”

    Brent sank down to the ground and started to cry. Alexia was shocked; she had never seen her Father cry like this. He sat there, dirty and unkept, sobbing into his hands, muttered incoherent things.

“It’s all my fault,” he said, “I haven’t raised you properly, Alexia.”

“Waddya mean?” she asked softly, as she and Gavin sat down.

“I’m not there for you,” said Brent, “I’m never home, and I can’t send you owls…it’s depriving you of how much I love you…both of you.”

“We know that, Dad,” said Gavin firmly, shaking his head, “It doesn’t matter if you’re here or not, we know you love us. But that doesn’t change the fact that we miss you.”

Brent looked up. The tears had subsided and he nodded.

“It can’t be helped,” said Alexia, trying to make him feel better.

“Of course,” he said, nodding and searching for a safer subject, “So, how has school been for you, Alexia?”

“Fine, Quidditch is the best,” she said smiling, “We’ve won our last two games.”

“Wonderful,” said Brent, the old smile they knew so well returned to his face, “Are you classes going well?”

“Mostly,” she said, “I got lots of O.W.L.s.”

“What career are you thinking about?” asked Brent, sounding extremely interested.

“Well, I dunno,” she said.

“She’s got a lot open to her with all the O.W.L.s she got,” said Gavin, “Never thought you had the brains, Lexy.”

“Bite me!” spat Alexia, “I was thinking about something for the Daily Prophet, or maybe in the Ministry.”

“Ministry work is very hard,” said Brent seriously, “Are you sure you’d be up to it?”

Alexia shrugged. They talked like this for the longest time, discussing things that had happened until the sun started to fade from the corridor. At one point Alexia began to felt sleepy and she must have dozed off because the next thing she knew she woke up in a dark, empty hall.

    For a few moments she wasn’t sure what had woken her, until she heard it again. Loud screams and cries were echoing through the hall. Alexia looked around and then heard screams coming from her Father’s cell.

“No! Maureen! You can’t take them! They don’t want you! They belong with me!” he screamed, “No! They don’t love you! They belong with me!”

Alexia crawled closer to the bars.

“Daddy?” whispered Alexia.

“Not Lex! You can’t take her!” screamed Brent as he thrashed around on his bed, “She doesn’t belong with Muggles damn it! She belongs with her own kind, in the wizarding world!”

Alexia heard a loud rattling coming from behind her. Everything was very cold and suddenly she turned around. There stood a dementor, looking down at her. She let out a small cry and backed against the bars. It was about to reach for her neck, when suddenly she heard a voice.

“EXPECTO PATRONUM!” yelled the voice.

Something silver shot towards the dementor and it retreated. Gavin walked forward and stood in the light of the silver thing, which looked like a hawk. He turned to Alexia.

“You all right?” he asked.

She nodded, tears running down her face. She could still hear her Father’s screaming behind her. Gavin looked and nodded.

“Unfortunately that happens to them the longer they are here,” said Gavin, taking his sister’s hand, “C’mon, let’s go upstairs.”

    They climbed the stairs and Alexia looked at him.

“He was yelling about mum,” she muttered, “That he didn’t want her taking us.”

“Because that’s Dad’s worst nightmare,” said Gavin simply.

    Alexia slept very uneasy that night and in the morning they went down to see Brent again. He looked very tired and even ill.

“Good morning,” he muttered, his eyes looking much sadder than the previous day.

“We’ve just come to say we’re taking off again,” said Gavin.

Alexia stood close to her Father, holding his hands.

“I want you to come home,” she said.

“Don’t worry,” he said, smiling slightly, “I’ll be out of here soon. It’s all a big misunderstanding.”

He hugged her and kissed her forehead.

“Take care, Lex,” he said.

“You too,” she said, moving away.

Gavin hugged Brent.

“I’ll try and come see you again,” he promised, “Although…”

Brent’s eyes drifted to Alexia who was looking away.

“She doesn’t have to come,” said Brent, “She’s too young to be here much.”

Gavin nodded.

“Take care of yourself,” he said.

“You too, and watch out for her,” said Gavin, looking at Alexia.

    They left Azkaban the same way and once they got home Alexia looked at Gavin.

“You really think he’ll be back soon?” she asked.

“It’s all a misunderstanding,” Gavin stated simply, “He’ll be back in no time.”

He smiled at his little sister and she smiled back. Maybe life could be perfect again.

The End

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