Darkness fell over him. Darkness. . .and then terrible, terrible pain. And a high pitched laugh - Voldemort. But this was no nightmare. This was so real.

He could see now. He was in a black place. He was bound and gagged, and the rustling beneath him implied that Nagini was prowling around.. Again, he heard that terrible laugh, that spoke of death and torture.

"I have you now, Harry Potter. Killing you physically - now that was nigh on impossible, due to some unforeseen protection or sheer luck. But here, here I can break your mind. You will go slowly insane, and there will be nothing anyone can do about it. And soon, you will just be nothing. Breathing but not living; watching, but not seeing. And nobody will be able to do anything about it.

'You see, Potter, I am a formidable wizard. Look what I can do. . ."

He held out his wand, and images of James and Lily appeared. James was holding Lily down, an ugly look on his face, as he brutally raped her. Her scream carried far. And then. . .Sirius, being kissed by a Dementor. . .and Lupin, stabbed with a silver dagger. Harry couldn't help himself. Over the sound of Voldemort's cackling, he screamed as though screaming would make it go away, and tried to pull himself back into consciousness. But he couldn't. The darkness was unyielding, and Voldemort just kept on laughing.


Snape was trying to brew a potion, though he couldn't really concentrate. He was too worried about Harry. And then the screams started, screams of pain and torture which he had never heard before. The vial fell from his nerveless fingers and shattered on the floor, and that sound jerked him from his stupor. Ignoring the corrosive acid which would burn a hole in the stone floor, he sprinted through to the other room in a flurry of black robes. Harry was writhing on the bed as though he was trying to escape from bindings, screaming piercingly. Snape tried to touch his son's face, but didn't want to wake the boy. Just in case it made things worse. . .

Eventually, he decided that nothing could be worse than the pain-filled shrieks, and laid a hand on Harry's forehead.

"Harry. . .Harry. . .it's ok, everything's going to be ok. . ."

He felt incredibly stupid, speaking such kind words, but the boy did seem to calm a little. His breathing was ragged, and he whimpered in pain occasionally. Snape continued to stroke him gently, and was just thinking that maybe Harry was calming down properly when he started to twitch and scream again.


Just when Harry felt like he was going to die from the emotional pain, he felt something cool touch his head. Shocked, he stopped screaming, not even realising he was whimpering. Wondering for a moment if he had woken up, he opened his eyes slowly. But it was still black, and Voldemort began to laugh again. Finally Harry snapped.

"Go away, Tom Riddle" he muttered. Voldemort stopped laughing and his red eyes narrowed.

"Do not presume to call me that, insolent boy!"

"Bastard" hissed Harry, and to his astonishment Voldemort gasped and fell back, his face twisted in pain. Harry had spoken in Pareseltongue. . .Voldemort had been in pain. . ."CRUCIO!"

The stabbing pain rent through Harry again and again, and Snape tried desperately to calm the wild boy.

"No! No! Stop it!"

Snape frowned as the boy started hissing, when suddenly his arm began to burn with such a fury it might fall off - stars danced in front of his eyes, he was aware of the tang of blood in his mouth and a pain in his lip, and then still holding onto Harry he fell into unconsciousness.

Trying to fight his way through the pain, Harry began screaming in Parseltongue; words that didn't really make much sense. He was aware that he was calling for Tom Riddle to come out. And then. . .he did. There was a hideous cracking shriek, and Voldemort diminished until he became a man not so different from Harry. He was stockier than Voldemort, and had Harry's messy hair.

"Tom Riddle" hissed Harry, his eyes watering from the pain. "Avada Kedavra!"

There was one short flash of green light; and then all that remained was a limp body, gazing sightlessly at the ceiling.

"I killed him!" whispered Harry. "I did it! I killed Voldemort!"

And then he blacked out.


Snape woke up suddenly, feeling that something was amiss. On consideration, several things were amiss. For one, he was asleep with his head on his knees, which made his neck very painful. For another thing, his throat hurt, perhaps from screaming, and he wasn't really prone to nightmares. And even more oddly, the pain from the first two reasons was actually noticeable. Which meant that his mark wasn't hurting. His mark wasn't hurting!

He held his wrist out in front of him and looked in amazement. The tattoo was slowly fading, the serpent's metallic black colour dimming to a murky grey, and then a dull silver, and then colourless. And it was gone.

The shock of not having constant agony touching his nerve cells was almost enough to make him weep with pleasure, and he might have, had Harry not started screaming and thrashing around on the bed. Sweat poured off his forehead, and with a thrill of foreboding Snape realised that the famous scar was bleeding heavily. He didn't touch it for fear of hurting Harry more, and sat, utterly helpless, next to his son. However the screaming passed relatively quickly, and Harry went silent. Too silent.

Snape shook Harry and a green eye opened blearily.

"He. . .he's dead" he whispered, shaking. Then the colour left his cheeks, and Snape hastily held out the bowl again.

"Feel. . .fell ill. . .dad. . ."

Snape froze, halfway through stroking Harry's back. His conscience screamed at him in jubilation, waving little flags and playing fanfares on the trumpets.

Dad! Dad! He called you dad! Dad!

He didn't notice that in the silence Harry too had gone rigid.

"I'm sorry" he muttered, and turned away. "I misunderstood. . .I thought. . .so ill. . ."

He turned away and closed his eyes in clear dismissal and with horror Snape realised that he had made it seem like he was upset, maybe even angry at Harry's familiarity. He put his hands on Harry's back.

"Harry. . ."

"No, I understand." Harry's eyes were cold and flat at the same time. "I understand perfectly. I am sorry for having misunderstood. I'm sure someone will come by soon. Petrificus Totalis!"

Snape's eyes widened fractionally before he went rigid and fell over backwards. He heard shaky steps, and a small groan, and rustling, then the door opened and closed with a creak, and it was silent. Silently he cursed the boy. Where on earth was he going?


Harry felt like his heart had sunk to his feet. He was so embarrassed, and so tired. . .he didn't know where the energy to stun Snape had come from, but he did, and got to his feet, unable to suppress a groan at the pain it caused him. Every nerve ending felt like it was on fire - as did his skin. He didn't remember ever having felt so ill. Maybe it was Voldemort; he had leached off his power for so long that he didn't have strength of his own. He quickly put on one of his robes which was on the chair, and left.

Unsure where he was, as the dungeons seemed to have changed, he wandered in a stupor for a long time, until his legs finally gave out beneath him. He didn't notice Draco following him until he collapsed to the ground, sweating and shaking, trying not to cry out with pain. He felt hands on him, and pulled away, trying not to scream hysterically at the contact. All he wanted was Severus. . .


Draco tried to touch Harry, but the Gryffindor flinched away. Further attempts resulted in Harry lashing out at him, and immediately curling into a ball. Finally deciding that he was getting nowhere, Draco tried to stun Harry, but the spell only panicked him and he managed to dodge it, and took off in the other direction, weaving from side to side. Whether it was due to his illness - it was obvious he was unwell - or just trying to dodge hexes Draco didn't know. However he managed to hit him with a body-bind and then levitate the body back to Snape's chambers. When Draco knocked, there was no answer, so Draco gave the password and entered. As he did so, he gasped. Snape lay motionless of the floor.


A glittering black eye glowered at him, and Draco realised the man had been stunned. No wonder he was in a bad mood. A quick flick of the wand lifted the spell and Snape got to his feet. Then he realised that Draco was levitating Harry, and all traces of anger left his face to be replaced by worry. Harry was soaked from the damp of the dungeons, and even through the body-bind his breath was coming in ragged gasps.

Snape sharply told Draco to get out of the way, unbound his son, and carried him through to the bathroom. He didn't even pause to wonder where this side of him had come from; he just knew that a hot bath was the quickest way to warm Harry properly - a spell would only be temporary - and if Harry didn't warm up he would go into shock. His fingers were already icy to the touch.

He quickly stripped Harry, starting to feel a little awkward, and lifted the seriously underweight boy into the bath. Harry visibly relaxed in the hot water, and his shivering ceased. After checking that he would not slump underwater, Snape turned and cast heating charms on the towels, and summoned a thick robe which Harry could wear as a night-shirt. When he felt the water going cold, he lifted the still unconscious boy out with gentle arms and wrapped him in towels, drying him as carefully as he could. He had thought Harry was asleep until a green eye looked suspiciously at him through a towel.

"Trying to kill me, now Voldemort's gone?"

Snape flinched.

"Harry, I'm sorry. I was amazed. . .amazed you wanted anything to do with me. I didn't mean to look upset, if I did. I was just totally shell- shocked."

It cost him a great deal of pride to say those words, but the look of joy on Harry's face made it worthwhile. The emerald eyes were already closing as he tried again.

"'Night, dad"

Snape felt something long lost stir in his chest and he cradled the skinny body to him protectively.

"'Night, Harry."


Voldemort having caused Harry's illness, combined with the fact that Harry hadn't been eating or sleeping well enough, meant that he was still ill on Christmas Day. To his amazement, all the people and staff staying at the school came down to Professor Snape's rooms to give Harry his presents and eat Christmas dinner.

The look on Dobby's face was quite comical when he realised who Harry was staying with, but he was soon placated by a pair of Green and Silver socks that Snape gave him with a sneer. Dobby tried to wrap his arms around the Potions Master, but quickly stopped when Snape began to growl.

Harry ate a little, savouring the delicious slices of turkey and the crispy and golden roast potatoes, but Snape wouldn't let him eat too much in case he became ill. Obviously most of the staff couldn't give Harry presents, but from Colin he received a camera so he could take photos of himself with Snape and his friends. He got a small potions set from Snape, with instructions to brew rather amusing potions that could keep the whole of Gryffindor amused the next year. Draco had bought him a new broomstick care set, which was exactly the same as the one Harry had got Draco, much to the amusement of all the staff.

And so they sat for hours by Harry's bed, laughing and talking, underneath the little glowing balls that Flitwick had put around Harry's bed, and there was a big Christmas tree decorated with tinsel and baubles. Finally midnight fell, and at Harry's stifled yawns Snape hustled everyone out of the room. When they were all gone, he ran a hand over Harry's head and told him to get some sleep.

"Night Dad" whispered Harry, a note of hope still in his voice.

"Night son" whispered Snape back, and he gently kissed the top of Harry's head, feeling the ice on his heart finally crack, and melt, and disappear.

"I love you."

************** THE END *************

Woooh! I finished it! And I'm not going to write a sequel. Well, actually, if lots of people ask for one then I might. But I honestly found it so hard to do this one AND end it without self harm, anorexia, bulimia, suicide etc etc. . .are you proud of me? A light and fluffy fic!

I just finished exams, so hopefully updates on 'Ill Words' will be more frequent, and I am also writing a Raped!Harry story which stemmed from 'The Warmth of Life' by Skye. It's just going to be a 1 chapter thing, so it'll be a while. But it IS coming!

I think that's all. Thanks for all the great feedback, please let me know what you think of the final chapter and the story as a whole. Feedback helps my ego and means that I will update 'Ill Words' more quickly (hint hint!)