She sat in the corner of a small, square room, resting her head on the cold stone wall. Her dark hair was matted with dried blood, her pale skin was hardly noticeable through the dust and dirt that covered it, her body was so frail that it looked one touch could break her in half, and the bright shine that her blue eyes once held had turned to little more than dull cobalt.
Her hand reached up to cradle her aching head, a deep look of sadness upon her face, but she was not crying. No, it had been long since she had last shed a tear; her eyes were dry and empty. Crying would only entice her captors, show weakness, and she wouldn't give them the satisfaction.
As though she had shouted for them to come, the lock on the door clicked open and three men in long dark robes entered the room.
“Still breathing?” taunted the taller one, but Keighlyn simply glared in response. “Not going to fight? Going to give up, are we?”
Keighlyn spat at his feet, earning a swift kick to the head. She fell over hard onto the stone floor, cradling her searing head with both arms now, fresh blood seeping into her hands.
“Get up, girl,” shouted one of the others, pulling her painfully to her feet. “Are you ready to tell us yet, or do you need some more persuasion?”
“I’ll never talk,” she said defiantly, her throat protesting against her vocal cords.
Once more she hit the stone, but she forced her face upward to stare into the eyes of the youngest Death Eater, the one standing off to the side, the one she knew to be her brother.
“Quiet, girl! Rookwood, I think another round of the Cruciatus Curse would do her some good, don’t you?”
!” yelled Rookwood, and Keighlyn writhed and screamed in pain. After what seemed an eternity, he moved his wand upward and lifted the spell.
His companion laughed. “Well, girl, ready to talk yet? Where is the Zabini boy?”
“I don’t know,” she answered hoarsely.
“Give it up, Keighlyn. Just tell us what we want to know,” her brother ordered, walking forward to join his peers.
“You would do well to listen to your brother. Give us the information and we’ll let you live, right Avery?” asked Rookwood, motioning to the tallest of the three, who nodded.
“Go on, tell us, Keighlyn,” Reed insisted. Keighlyn glared at him darker still.
“You’re a coward, Reed.”
“Stop resisting us! We haven’t got time for games, girl. Tell us where he is or die!”
It was Keighlyn’s turn to laugh now, however badly it hurt to do so. “You’d better just kill me then, because I’ll never tell you. But if you kill me, you’ll never find him, and I suppose your boss wouldn’t like that much, would he?”
Two more slaps and she was lying facedown again, her head threatening to burst open, but they were retreating toward the door. She had delayed them once more.
“We’ll be back soon to see if you’ve changed your mind,” said Rookwood as he and Avery departed, but Reed turned back to his sister.
“Just tell them what they want to know, Keighlyn, please,” he said quietly, staring down at her broken form.
“I’d rather die,” she replied.
“Well, that’s what’s going to happen if you don’t give in soon,” Reed said coldly. “Please, Keighlyn, I don’t want to watch my only sister die,” he added softly.
“The hell you don’t. I hate you.”
She turned away from him as he stood gaping at her, before he turned sharply and swept from the room. As she placed her hand to her throbbing head once more, she allowed the flood of tears that had been threatening to escape her eyes to break free at last.