Bellatrix in Azkaban, as the Dementors remember her.
The crystal black of the January night had not yet turned to gray in the east when the keening started. It came from the north tower, resonating off the black stone as more inhuman voices joined in the sound. The remaining prisoners in Azkaban shivered from more than the cold, more than the usual dread of the Dementors' presence. The sound shuddered down spines, raised gooseflesh, jarred heartbeats. In time the high wail of the Dementors was joined by the dull thud of flesh on stone, as the more determined captives tried to beat themselves unconscious against the walls.
She has just arrived, with her brother-in-law and a sickly pale boy who won't last out the year. Her husband is already there. There is still fire in her eyes, and flesh on her hips, and the stone walls ring with her laughter. Her lips are full and red, and she licks them as she crawls across the cold floor like a panther, tossing back her black hair, and straddles her husband, whispering a greeting that is nothing if not obscene. Her warmth seems to spread to him, life flowing back into his chilly limbs, his graying skin, as the guards observe. Their hunger presses in as she rides him, and still her eyes shine.
How many years later? None of the ones remembering is certain; they rarely bother themselves with counting time. The prisoners from that time are growing pale, and thin to the taste. The life is leaving them. They lie still for more of the time, fighting less, cursing less, fucking less. They have reached the stage of waiting-to-die. But their guards, unexpectedly, find this distressing. These captives are -- were, in the first gray days -- so rich, so filled with unexpected flavors, with strange pleasures. After some wordless deliberation, the guards move them all into a cell together. Perhaps she can revive them. Her eyes have remained bright, after all.
Azkaban has made her thinner. Her robes hang off her bony shoulders, and her ribs and spine are visible through the tears. Her hair is tangled, a black mane around her now-angular face, and her lips have lost their color. Only her eyes have not changed. She holds her own, in with the men, badly outnumbered. Her nails and teeth are sharp, and the first time she lets blood from the long-faced one, tearing his mouth when he tries to kiss her, the smell and color rouses them all.
The guards know this is not the proper distribution of genders to really maintain them. The pleasures and flavors they gain from this move might be short-lived. Once, her husband and his brother come to blows; bones are broken and angry, half-effective wandless curses tried. The hate and lust and envy are potent, and the guards drink deeply, savoring the renewed richness she has provided. She always tastes the same, one cold intense fire, just like the one that lights her eyes.
She divides the men, turning them against each other, keeping them uncertain. She gives favors to some of them for protection from the others. Her favorites take her, two, three at a time, her burning eyes wild and her claws marking them in primitive red runes. She has fingermark bruises on her hips. They murmur to her as she lies with them, telling her that her hair is like ravens, that her skin is like clouds. She licks their fingers to distract them, to stop their words.
The Minister of Magic comes to tour the prison once. He suggests that it might not be such a good idea to keep all those prisoners together -- might they not be dangerous? Might they not be plotting? When he walks by the cell, she throws herself at the bars, reaching for him, laughing, and something in her glittering eyes makes him stagger back, a bright crisp wave of fear coming off him. The guards lap it up for the treat it is, the flavor of a soul they don't know.
She becomes restless sometime after that; how many seasons, the guards do not recall. She pulls at the thin flesh of one arm, staring at it in the dim light. The others pick up this malady as well, to varying degrees. There is a new feeling to their cell; a sense of restlessness, a prickling taste that anticipates the coming of some other thing. She stands in the center of the cell, her robes falling from her gaunt body, breasts withered and hips gone, staring with fixed eyes at the mark she wears, and she whispers, over and over, "The Master is returning. He will come for us."
"It's like... Like they're in mourning," the younger of the two Aurors on duty whispered. His face was set and pale, his teeth chattering.
"Don't humanize 'em like that," his superior warned. "You'll never last here if you think they feel like we do." For all his brave talk, he also looked tense and ill. "If anything, they're frustrated at having lost some good meals. No more than that."
The Aurors clutched at their wands, staring up from the guardhouse toward the north tower, listening to the hollow wails that echoed down. Dawn was coming, gray and cold and heartless. The Death Eaters were gone.
Ravens land upon her hair
Clouds adrift on her skin....
And if you ask me how I know
What she looks like, I will tell you
She left yesterday.
- Voltaire, "Ravens Land"