|Ink Smudged Fic (smudged_fic) wrote,|
@ 2011-10-06 00:08:00
|Entry tags:||character: amycus carrow, pg-13|
Clean (Amycus Carrow)
Summary: Each morning Amycus Carrow begins his own personal ritual.
Word Count: 1,251
Notes: This story is set in the Roadmaps verse which is an AU MWPP game and you should all consider joining. This was one of the memes over at the game and I wanted to repost.
Along a forgotten corridor where the treads of the students of yester-year lie half in shadow and dust, there is a bathroom which has become a second home to the small boy each morning. He wakes up earlier than his dorm-mates, sneaking out of the bed he can barely believe to be completely his and leaving the others behind as they sleep off another late night or an extra pumpkin pasty after lights-out. Some snore whilst others slumber in silence, the only give away to their being the rise and fall of those childish forms as dreams control them.
It is dark when his feet first hit the floor, wincing at the chill from the stone flagstones that he can never quite prepare for. No matter how much the sun shone the night before or how clear the sky promises to be, it is always dark and cold for him in those stolen moments in the morning as he sneaks out, white thin cotton nightshirt giving him the fleeting image of a ghost as he heads towards the bathroom - the sanctuary. The tiles are white, no longer gleaming or smelling of pine and it is the faded beauty that pulls at something inside of him, an expression he cannot quite find the words for at the age of thirteen.
When he is older, much older and time has passed to leave him feeling more than his years he will look back and think of the phrase but on the cusp of adolescence all Amycus knows is that there is a comfort in the fact that the bathroom isn’t perfect and is almost entirely his. The time he has in the bathroom is never quite long enough and the routine is always the same, the pressing grumbles of his bladder taking precedence over everything else as he stands pissing the nights liquid into the chipped urinal. He does not linger over this task, washing his hands quickly before stripping off the nightshift and folding it neatly next to his smuggled haul of clothes and uniform. In the half-light of the room he turns this way and that, examining his body and looking for any signs of change. He has put on weight but is still too thin - lacking in the hints of muscles that his house-mates have. His body is pale and skinny, marked with fading bruises and scars that remind him that he doesn’t always win every tussle for food and space in the Carrow household, the bumps of his spine he counts twice to check they are the same as the morning before. When he is older, when he is older he will be stronger, taller, smarter than the others.
The words have become a mantra for him, whispered as he leans forward to wet the wash cloth and begin to clean himself. One day he will be better than those who tease and call him names. He scrubs until his skin is red - a reflection of the anger that gets stuck between his tongue and lips. One day is the day he is constantly waiting for.
As he dresses himself, dark eyes flicker from the mirror and the door. He is torn between wanting to check everything about him is perfect, straight, faultless and the need to double check the exit. Finally, and only when the urge is so great that it bubbles out of him with a harsh giggle that sounds foreign in the still of the room, does he move to check and recheck his charms. The doorknob turns smoothly in his hand but the door does not open. His charms have held. He is entirely safe.
And yet, even that is not enough for him and there is the look of a trapped animal etched across his features that no amount of good food and oversized beds will shift. Twisting the taps, he winces slightly at the inkstain which mars the pale skin before relaxing his shoulders at the gushing of hot, clean water as it fills the stone basin which is in the middle of the room. His ritual has held.
He begins with his hands. It is always the hands, first the left and then the right. The soap scratches slightly as he lathers up, using his fingernails and pads of his thumbs to clean and massage the liquid deep into his skin. Only when the water runs clean and clear does he step back and begin working from his head downwards, brushing his hair with vigorous strokes until it gleams in the light. As he does, he hears the sounds of the Castle rising - voices hoarse with sleep mumbling along the corridor as they head towards the Great Hall, following no other impulse other than the desire to fill their bellies.
Amycus works from a different set of values, cleaning, fluffing and fussing with his appearance in a way that would have drawn taunts from others had they seen it and ignored the look of determination in his eyes. This was something he could do, a small part of his life that he could control until his appearance was as pure (if not purer) than the blood which flowed through his veins. The fire in his skin had appeased, hidden by the Hogwarts uniform which hung from his slight frame. Straightening his tie and spine, he cast one more glance around the sanctum which he’d claimed that week in first year, chased into it by fate and the sounds of ‘Dirty Carrow, Carrow can’t wash himself’ from his so called friends. He’ll never be able to rise above the poverty and taint of his roots but the learned fastidiousness of his behaviour and appearance, the pause before choosing the right words will follow him into adulthood. As he steps out into the corridor, washbag banished back to his room he squares those painfully thin shoulders and heads out for another day. Today is the day he will become Amycus Carrow and though he can’t escape the taunts and mocking whispers of his classmates he can start to count down the hours until he graduates. One day, he tells himself over and over again, one day he’ll be more than the poor Carrow, the younger twin.
One day he’ll make someone proud.