Students of the newly developed Magic & Psychiatric department in St. Mungo’s sat in a small lecture theater. They were studying the techniques of dealing and treating mentally deranged patients through the collaboration of muggle science and magic. Today, they were shown a unique case; case study number 65.
Right in front of the class was a pensieve. It was no ordinary one as it had mirrors around the wide glass bowl. Smoke was also puffing excessively from the liquid within, and a thick cloud had gathered a feet above the bowl. In the cloud itself was a memory, playing out an interview.
“Does it make you feel good to watch people suffer?” The interviewer’s voice echoed throughout the small lecture theater.
“Great pleasure,” the subject replied.
“And do you think what you did was right?”
The subject merely laughed in reply.
“So, you think it was right?” the interviewer asked again.
“My right and wrong is defined by you isn’t it? You are here to call me crazy, to justify my actions, to… help me?”
“Yes, I want to help you.”
“I don’t need your help doctor. I’m not your patient, so you don’t have to test your patience on my sanity.”
Slowly, the dark room started to fade away within the cloud, and that was all with the short memory.
“At the age of six, the subject had already showed intense sadistic, brutal and violent tendencies. Subject was also highly intelligent and could learn quickly. Interestingly, subjects personality is claimed to be hereditary. Both aunt and cousin were also short tempered and easily distracted,” read Dr. Batred, the senior lecturer of the first badge of students.
“For today’s class, I would like you to go back and write a one thousand word discussion on whether you believe the subject had been born or nurtured with such traits. If you have no questions, class is dismissed.”
Once Dr. Batred had turned his back against his students, he expected to hear them leaving, but instead, one of the asked, “Sir, I’m afraid you have not given us enough information to write on, if you do not mind showing us the other memory bottle you have with you?”
Dr. Batred took a quick glance at the two bottles of memory sitting on his desk. He had earlier planned on showing both of them, but thought of saving one for the next class.
“I was actually planning on showing this one in our next class,” Dr. Batred picked the bottle up as he spoke. A label pasted onto the bottle read, ‘1st Interview’.
“Sir, as much as you would like to chase us off, we would like to know more,” another student added in.
Chuckling to himself, Dr. Batred felt rather happy at his students’ response. Such keenness should be credited.
“Very well. If you are all so very keen.” Dr. Batred headed to the pensieve and retrieved the earlier memory before pouring in the new.
As he did so, he briefly mentioned, “This was an interview conducted by a family friend of the subject. The subject’s parents were rather worried of their child’s state and decided to call for help. It wasn’t easy getting this memory, but thankfully for us, I knew the interviewer. He thought this memory would come in useful one day, so he decided to sent it to me with an invitation to his funeral.”
The class chuckled along with uncertainty of the premise of the statement. Thankfully, the awkwardness of the supposed joke dissolved when the memories in the bottle rose into the cloud above the pensieve.
“Hello,” the interviewer greeted the child.
They were seated in a cozy living room. The fireplace was burning brightly, casting flickers of light on their faces.
“Hello sir,” the child replied politely.
“How are you today?”
“Rather fine, thank you.”
“I would like to ask you a few questions. I hope that it is alright with you?”
“Does it have to do with me hurting my sister?”
“There is a question or two on that.”
“If you must know, I don’t like my sister. Father and mother pays too much attention to her, and she’s rather stupid if you ask me.”
“Is that why you have tried to suffocate her?”
“Yes,” the child answered expressionlessly.
“Why do you do that?”
“I want her to die.”
“Do you want your youngest sister to die too?”
“Cissy? No. I like Cissy.” An expression crossed the little girls face as though the interviewer was asking a ridiculous question.
There was a short pause as the interviewer tried to decipher her expression. But not being able to conclude anything, he continued.
“How old is Andromeda, Bella?”
“What a stupid name,” Bella replied as she stared right into the interviewers eyes.
“She’s four am I right?”
“She’s four. And Cissy is two.”
“Do you know why your mother locks your bedroom door at night?”
“Because she’s afraid I might kill Andromeda in her sleep.” Bella paused before she continued, “They think I might kill Cissy too, but I love Cissy.”
“I see. Is that why you left dead baby birds on Cissy’s crib?”
“They are presents. So Cissy know’s I love her.”
“And did you kill those baby birds?”
“Yes. I squeezed them with my hands,” Bella answered proudly.
“Don’t you think it’s more meaningful when a gift takes effort, rather than just going to a store and buying one?” Bella interrupted immediately.
“Do you think Cissy would know the difference?”
Bellatrix shrugged in reply. As the interviewer looked to her parents the memory slowly disappeared in the cloud.
“Now, a one thousand word discussion wouldn’t be a problem, would it? Nature versus nurture; get on with it!” Dr. Batred ended that evening class, wondering to himself if he actually thought Bellatrix Lestrange was crazy or just a highly intelligent person with a lack of remorse.