Muddle-headed Kay (mhw) wrote,
Muddle-headed Kay
mhw

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Ficlet.

Oh my. All the way back from my GP appointment I was running this through in my head. reparo people should be advised that this isn't (yet) canon, and it probably won't make much sense to anyone who doesn't read Reparo, but I just couldn't help putting it here. People who like that sort of thing may have fun tracking down literary references and stuff :)


He didn't know which was worse, the waiting or the tests.

Yes, he did. The tests were worse. No matter how the time crawled between the tests, and it did crawl, which was a test in itself, he was sure, sitting in this pitch-black room with the sweat dripping off his body; no doubt someone was watching him with night vision, so he made a rude gesture in what he hoped was the right direction, but there was - there seemed to be - no response. It crawled, and then that voice would come, carefully modulated, nothing personal left in it, almost like one of Sparky's synthesised voices. Orders. Or questions. Sometimes both together.

So far he'd floated motionless in icy water for hours, swum blindfold through something that sucked like porridge and smelled a hundred times worse, run on a treadmill in the dark while someone shot at him - he could only hope the stickiness was paint, not his blood - with a silenced weapon, climbed ropes, scaled walls, flung himself between blasts of flame. Sometimes he'd had mechanical puzzles to solve at the same time, or lists of meaningless words to memorise, and then repeat, backwards, forwards, every third and every fifth word...

Examination papers. Papers on things he'd never heard of, let alone knew anything about. Translation - or, more usually, guessing - tests. Vector mechanics. Essays. Auditory sensitivity tests. Identifying plants by scent, animals by touch; quizzes on Potions, Transfigurations, Charms...

They'd starved him for a week, then run more tests. Kept him without water for a day, then more and more tests. Then the interrogation started. What is your name? who was your partner in Potions classes? How many fingers am I holding up? I'm going to show you a familiar shape from an unfamiliar angle. What is it? Tell me your earliest memory. How many fingers am I holding up? Put your hand in the box. Do you feel your flesh crisping? There's something in there. What is it? Correct. I'm going to show you a familiar box from an unfamiliar finger. What is the purification of our motive? Do you remember an inn? Never mind. What lies at the end of the road not taken? Does the word BARBELiTH mean anything to you? good. Count your blessings. What is the worst thing in the world? consider your answer carefully. What is your name? Can you hear the mermaids singing? How many stagecoaches am I holding up? What is your name? Where did you come from? Where did you go? Have you ever been tempted to use an Unforgivable Curse? When? Why? Did you? What is the worst thing in the world? correct. You must answer the question. Have you recently considered the lilies? Which is more valid, a rainy day or a blow to the head? think more carefully. 1, 5, 23: complete the sequence. I'm going to show you a familiar spirit from an oblique dimension. Who is it? Is that your final answer? What is the worst thing you have ever done? What is the worst thing you have never done? Why? What were the works of Ozymandias? What is to be found in Office Nine? Who are Caput Draconis? What is your name? How many knives am I holding up? Incorrect. There is always one more knife. Is it better to reign in Hell? What is the justification for this process?

It took weeks, and yet it also took an afternoon, that time 'Elsewhere'. Most of it he couldn't remember now. He remembered her, though, even though he'd not been able to see her clearly after the ordeal. As he stumbled along Diagon Alley, fire in his heart, he remembered those words: "You'll do, Mr Weasley. You'll do." He'd never thought it would demand so much to become a file clerk.
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