[A/N: About the names of the characters…well, don't blame me, I'm a Directioner:p]

Trois Frère

Niall looked at the freshly tortured prisoner with a constipated sort of smile, humourless but strangely satisfying. His heart felt trapped in a transparent glass box; he could see horrors all around him but nobody could hear him screaming in agony at the sight he witnessed. Cold and cruel, it was so easy, especially since it was the expectation from the First Estate. Cold and cruel…that's what Niall did.

He couldn't see the face of the prisoner, all gore-smeared and buried in his hands but he was trembling violently, most probably with rage or fear or both. A whip descended upon the prisoner with astonishing speed. 'No!' Niall's heart cried out in harmony with the high-pitched plea for mercy. Injustice! he thought. It wasn't fair! The poor boy had only been trying to get some bread from the dustbin of a Second Estate diner. He was probably starving for days; you could count each of his ribs individually.

Niall turned to look at his mother. Marie Antoinette's mouth was set in a straight line. Shadowed, were her eyes, from the abuse before her. Her shallow thoughts, as Niall knew them to be, circled her like a halo that spelt one, simple word without a single letter – "BAD".

The prisoner was sobbing, shaking with each hysteric hiccough, screaming sentences in French:

'I pay taxes twice a month! No money, no father! Three sisters to feed, mother, gone! Vanished! So hungry! No food for two weeks…' Marie Antoinette's eyes stung. Niall noticed it though she covered soon enough. Something else was flashing in her eyes indefinitely. Guilt…?

Niall's best friend, a boy from the Second Estate, Liam, laughed pitilessly beside him. Niall could've punched him. Hard. But he was too busy getting over the nausea. The prisoner looked positively repulsive.

Suddenly, there was pandemonium. A single, dangerous battle cry went up from the hordes of Third Estate commoners waiting in the Royale Assembly Hall for their not-very-awaited trials, causing the resultant chaos.

Niall looked at Liam, terrified. The terror was reflected by his friend in blue eyes so very similar to his own. They looked at the prisoner in the eye. Blue! The colour jumped out at him, muting all other sound, dimming all other sight. Blue!

After that, all that the Prince remembered were disoriented images that didn't quite make sense to his blinded-by-the-blue brain. Marie Antoinette – the Queen, mother, whatever – had been taken outside, half-dragged, half-carried, to the guillotine. The lethal weapon rang clearly as it fell, jerking Niall back to reality. He rushed outside.

He found his mother, part by part.

A small, ragged girl caressed her head in her arms like a doll, oblivious to the gravity of the situation. She was so innocent, so overjoyed on possessing a doll. An actual doll! It was probably her first. Niall felt a surge of pity mixed with higher levels of grief erupting inside him.

A slow, overwhelmingly slow, pace took Niall to the guillotine, where his mother's limped body lay like a carcass of worthlessness. He took her hand and felt, surprisingly, a rough parchment in it.

He could feel Liam breathe on his neck, his hand on Niall's shoulder, but nothing mattered. Tenderly, he unfolded the parchment. A group of words, incomprehensible from patches of splattered blood. He made out barely anything, but he made out enough. He felt a tinkling of excitement, or anxiousness, rather, in his chest. Few words jumped out at him from between windows of gore.

"Blue eyes, like father, three sons, Niall, Liam and Zayn."

He dropped the parchment; he was sure that Liam had read it too. They scanned the horizon, still tinted red with bloodshed before resting eyes on the boy who had formerly been the powerless mess of a prisoner, now being acknowledged as Zayn, their brother. He was looking at his palms unbelievingly.

He must've felt their gaze pinning him down: one glaring, one studying with practiced intimidation. He looked up at them, fear clouding his face.

A tear fell unanimously from three identical pairs of eyes – they all knew. "Trois frère." It echoed silently between them. "Three brothers." And one of them had just killed their mere, their mother…