The Sugar Quill
Author: Norwegian Blue  Story: Something to Worry About  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

            Author’s Note: I wrote this with the intention of writing something disturbing. Please take that as an appropriate warning.


            Disclaimer: None of this belongs to me.





            “You are technically dead, you know.” The voice floated down to him and Benjy felt himself propelled upward, as though he had been swimming in a deep lake and had suddenly kicked off from the bottom.


            He felt as though he had suddenly awoken from a deep sleep. He tried opening his eyes only to discover they were already open and that everything was mostly in focus. Odd. Of course, the voice that had woken him up should have tipped him off right away that something wasn’t quite right. He tried in vain to remember what he had been doing before he blacked out, but his memory didn’t seem to want to be cooperative.


            He tried to look around for the speaker, but discovered that neither his neck nor his eyes seemed to be capable of moving. It wasn’t that they seemed to be paralysed, though it wasn’t as though he was an expert on that sort of thing. It’s just that they didn’t move, nor did it seem like they should move. Sort of like how some people could wiggle their ears. Some people did it, some people didn’t and those that didn’t couldn’t see how ears could move. He wished the speaker would move into his line of vision. As of right now, all he could see was a ceiling with wooden beams across it that was seemed to be lit dimly by light coming in from a window that would be from his left and some flickering orange light that probably came from a fireplace, though he didn’t feel any warmth.


            “I wonder if you remember anything.” The voice continued. “We tried to bring you in relatively undamaged. Out of the kindness of our hearts, you see,” the Speaker added as a sarcastic afterthought. “It really is too bad that you can’t talk. We would like to know exactly what is happening. This is the first time we’ve tried this sort of thing, and we would like to be scientific about it, after all.” 


            Benjy, upon hearing this, tried to open his mouth and protest but found that he couldn’t. He thought about lifting his arm to see if he was gagged, and then found it odd that he couldn’t tell where his arm was, nor could he feel whether or not if there was a gag in his mouth.


            He couldn’t feel anything, come to think of it. He wasn’t numb, exactly. When your arm was asleep, you still knew where it was. His hands could be rubbing the top of his head and patting his stomach as far as he knew.


            It occurred to him that this should be something to be worried about.  But his emotions seemed as far away as his hands did. The only emotion he really felt at the moment was a mild curiosity, as though he were remembering a friend from long ago and wondering what he was up to these days.


            “As far as I know, Benjy,” the voice sneered. “You could very well be very dead and I could be wasting my breath talking to a corpse. It is only my trust in the Dark Lord’s abilities that I know you are awake and listening. Still, it would be nice to have some confirmation.”


            Benjy panicked at this. At least, he thought he did. It was rather like being separated from the panic by a glass wall. He knew the panic was there, he just wasn’t being affected by it at the moment. At least he could say with relative certainty that he hadn’t let his emotions take over. Mad Eye would be proud. Still, it wasn’t exactly comforting to hear someone call him a corpse, and know that they could very well make him a corpse.


            “Perhaps I should tell you what is happening. No doubt you are curious. I think I will. You are after all, already dead. Should your group figure out what is going on and try to rescue you, it is too late, after all. You cannot tell them anything, and the Apparation Wards are closed to all but me. And yourself, of course. I had to have a way of bringing you in here.”


            The voice was very confident. Benjy had the idea somewhere that this may be good news. During the summers growing up, he had watched those James Bond movies, where the villain had always explained exactly what he was going to do, and why he was going to do it, and exactly how he would do it, thus insuring Bond would be able to escape. Of course, Mr. Bond usually knew where his limbs were and didn’t have a voice waking him up by telling him he was technically dead.


            Benjy realised that he couldn’t blink. He couldn’t remember having done so since waking him up.


            “I will assume that you do not remember what happened. One of the Lestranges, may have been Rudolphus, began behaving rather stupidly and began shooting Stunners in every which way should one of you lot had been lurking about under an Invisibility Cloak. It was just luck that you were hit and not one of us.


            “You were Stunned, the cloak slid off in the process. And we killed you.”


             It was said very simply and Benjy idly wondered if anyone else had ever heard that said to them.


            “It was very clean. You needn’t worry about that.  A variation of the Impedimenta curse. Of course Impedimenta doesn’t kill,” he added, as though he were reading Benjy’s thoughts. “But we modified it so that it went right at your heart, which, of course, stopped moving.”


            “You should be honoured, Mr. Fenwick. You may have heard that the Dark Lord cannot be killed. He used one of the spells we cast on you. A combination of the charms they put on Time Turners and Impedimenta and even a binding spell. To bind the soul to the body, I suppose. The other two work together to stop the body’s moment of death.  But the Dark Lord used many other spells, and we wanted to know if this spell was reliant on other spells. If you can hear me, obviously this spell worked. And since your body shows no signs of rigor mortis, I can assume it does work.”


            And just like that Benjy’s emotions rushed into him. He tried to find himself, so that he could bolt upwards and see whoever was taking such a sadistic pleasure in telling him all this or so that he could Apparate somewhere. The Death Eater did say that the Apparation Wards would have let him through. He tried to find his legs so that he could run towards the window that was probably on his left. He was sure adrenaline was pumping through his veins.


            At least he hoped there was.


            The sound of someone faintly wheezing came from very close by, and Benjy was absurdly relieved to realise that it had come from him.


            The Death Eater was delighted by this. “Bravo, Mr. Fenwick! You are there! I do wonder how you managed to do that? I suppose you still had some air in your lungs. Thank you, Mr. Fenwick. I will be sure to make a note of that. You have done a great thing today, Benjy. You may have helped to eradicate death. We will be sure to notify all the healing journals as soon as is convenient.”


            There were some bumping noises off to Benjy’s right, and he thought for the first time that there was probably at least one other Death Eater around besides the Speaker.


            His Death Eater also heard it. “Don’t worry, Mr. Fenwick. Just a precaution. Only one of my associates. Either Crabbe or Goyle. . . Just one of the members of our... ‘Brute squad.’ It does not matter that I’m telling you. I’m sure you already know, and even if you did not, you cannot tell anyone.” The voice became, if possible, more mocking. “You do understand that it would put a strain on our relationship should I tell you who I am. We’ve developed such an easy repertoire in the short time we’ve known each other. I feel perfectly comfortable speaking as your friend over your dead body.  Though it does occur to me that we had better finish up. We can’t leave you in this state for all eternity. Would become dreadfully boring, I imagine.”


            Benjy heard some more shuffling, though it came from closer by this time, and Benjy assumed it was from the Speaker. “You cannot see this, of course, and I imagine it is better for you that you don’t. You see? Another kindness on our part! Regardless, I must tell you that your body does show significant signs of spell experimentation. Don’t worry, I imagine Miss Vance would recognise you. I will be sure to give her your regards when I see her.”


            Emmeline’s profile floated around in his mind. If Benjy had been in control of himself, he would have vomited. It struck him quite suddenly. He wasn’t leaving. He wasn’t sure why he was so certain of this, but he wanted scream. He wanted to…He didn’t know what he was supposed to do. He couldn’t move. He may very well be dead. If he wasn’t, it didn’t matter as he would be very soon. But he wanted to see her again. They had all been prepped on this. If the people they loved knew they were in the order, they had better know that they loved them. If their loved ones didn’t know, well, make sure they did anyway. But just one more time. He wanted someone to break in, to save him. He wanted her to be there, just so he could see her one last time. Maybe he could tell her--


            “You see, Mr. Fenwick,” the voice continued, though he wished it would bloody well shut up. He didn’t recognise the voice, so it could be one of the newer recruits, though the Speaker sounded too self -assured. Though who wouldn’t be, in this situation? “We have to make an example of you. The Dark Lord loves making examples. And you’ve been making a right pest of yourself. I’m sure this thrills you, that you actually caused problems for us. But in the end, I’m sure you’re realising, it just makes things that much more difficult for yourself.


            “So, in order for us to make an example of you, we have to let people find the--your body. But on the other hand, we can’t let people find out what sort of spells we did. Don’t worry, Mr. Fenwick, I imagine your soul will leave after I perform this spell. We can’t have you hanging about as a ghost, after all.  And we’ll put the pieces right where people will find them. Don’t worry about anyone forgetting you, Mr. Fenwick.”


            The voice paused for a moment, and Benjy heard him back up a few steps. Then he heard the Speaker one last time.








A/N: Many, many thanks to Beth, my beta-reader, especially for pointing out a gaping plot hole. You may find it strange that a three page fic can have a gaping plot hole, but thus is the extent of my talent. If there are other plot holes or other errors, it is because of me, and not a reflection on Beth’s most excellent beta-ing skills.


Also, many thanks to MissDaisy, Genesse, Spasmodic Dust Bunny, and Kit the Brave for their support and confirming that I was, indeed, disturbed.

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