Hello dear readers,

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your wonderful comments. Thank you so much. They mean a lot to me. I am so sorry for keeping you waiting such a long time. But you see, I am a private school principal and have lots of work to do all the time.

I will update again as soon as I can.

Thank you for bearing with me.

Here is my 10th chapter.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did when I was writing it.

Please do not forget to let me know what you think.

Cheers.

Nickka


CHAPTER 10 - SAME OLD NIGHTMARE

It was a metallic sound. Something kept hitting somewhere and making that eerie sound to his ears. Severus opened his eyes. The room was dark. He swore under his breath when he noticed Lily fallen asleep in his arms.

"Oh, you promised, you stubborn woman!"

He slowly and very carefully got up, paying extra attention to his gentle movements; and without making any sound he took Lily in his arms, gently carried her to the comfortable and empty bed. He kissed her forehead and covered her with the blanket. Slowly backing away from the bed, he stopped when his back touched the wall. For a little while, he kept looking at her peacefully sleeping form with mesmerized eyes. But something was wrong. He couldn't stop the peculiar feeling inside him. He suddenly felt the urge to see Harry. He needed to see him and make sure that he was alright. Severus rapidly turned to the door in order to rush out of the room and go check on Harry, but he was stopped dead in his tracks as he saw Lily entering the room from the other side of the only door with a glass of water in her hand.

"Hey Sev, you're awake! I just needed to get some water," she smiled, "Would you like some?"

Severus' black eyes grew wide with fear and panic. Hadn't he just laid her on the bed a few seconds ago? Wasn't she asleep? But now the same Lily was standing before his eyes, wide awake and smiling as if nothing had been wrong. With a quick movement, Severus swiftly spun his head back to look at the bed and flinched as he saw his worst nightmare, his filthy father looking and perversely smiling at him.

"Thank you for tucking me in, son!" he said.

"NO!" This was Severus' breaking point, "NO!" he shouted, "STAY AWAY FROM ME!"

He grabbed Lily by her arm and hurried out of the room into the living room, yelling hysterically to wake Harry:

"HARRY, WAKE UP! WE HAVE TO LEAVE!"

He shook Harry and when he slightly woke, Severus put a light blanket around the boy's weak shoulders and with one hand, he urged him to the front door. His other hand was holding Lily's faint one with such force that their hands were all sweaty.

"We have to go!" Severus declared again as he reached for the door and opened it. But when he opened the door, instead of the dark view of Corwal Forest, he saw his old, scrappy bedroom. Severus was puzzled. He turned around, searching for an explanation but he realized that he was alone at that door. Where were Lily and Harry?

Suddenly a bitter hand pushed him inside the room causing him to stumble and fall. Severus moaned with pain as his face hit the hard wooden floor.

"What do you want from me?" he asked.

"You know what exactly I want from you, boy. Don't you?" his father's rusty voice replied.

The word "boy" echoed in Severus' mind over and over. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to calm his pounding heart which had been drumming in his throat for a while and now was choking him.

"Boy... Boy..."

"..."

"Hey boy!" Wake up, boy!"

"..."

"Wake up! Sev?" This was not his father's voice!

"What?"

"Sev, wake up! You're having a nightmare."

It definitely was not his father.

"Lily?" he asked, horrified. He forced his eyes to open but they were being stubborn.

"Are you alright, Severus?" Lily asked.

"Yes, I think so. What happened?"

"We were sitting on the couch and you fell asleep."

"No, we were not sitting on the couch, Lily." Something was wrong, "We already went to the room to sleep. Don't you remember?"

"No, we were on the couch, Sev!"

Severus was still struggling to open his eyes and now the fact that he wasn't succeeding was beginning to get overwhelming.

"What's wrong, Sev?"

"Lily, I can't open my eyes!"

"What?"

"My eyes! They won't open!" Severus repeated.

Lily started laughing defiantly. "Of course they won't, Severus."

"Why not?"

"..." There was no answer.

"Why won't they open, Lİly?!"

But this time the voice which replied was not Lily's soft and caring one. It was harsh and vicious. It was Voldemort's vulgar voice:

"Because you're blindfolded, Severus!"

Suddenly there was a snap and Severus felt a sharp pain in his back. His bareback. He realized he wasn't wearing anything. Anything but that dirty blindfold tied around his head, pulling his hair roughly.

"I didn't do anything!" Severus rebelled with a voice full of anger.

"Yes, you did, Severus!" Voldemort hissed as he kept slashing his flesh, "You did a very very bad thing."

"NO!" Severus moaned.

"You called her mudblood, Severus."

"What? Y...Yes, but I was forgiven!"

"Were you, really?"

"Yes!"

"NO, YOU WERE NOT!" Voldemort shouted as the whip bit into Severus' skin one more time.

"I was forgiven. We got married. She loves me!"

"NO, SHE DOENS'T!" The whip slashed for the thousandth time.

"Yes, she does! And I love her!"

"NO, YOU DON'T!" Voldemort cracked the whip again and again and again... and again...

"I DO!"

"DON'T TALK BACK BOY! STOP SCREAMING! SHUT UP AND TAKE IT LIKE A MAN!"

Who was that? Voldemort or his father? Where was he? He was extremely weak and dizzy, confused, muddled and hurting. He cried again as the whip slashed his skin one more time and his own cries woke him. He opened his weary eyes. He was in the living room, lying on the floor beaten and broken, but surprisingly he was alone.

"Nightmare..." he sighed. Slowly he picked himself up and stood by the fireplace. He has to be sure. Hesitantly, he walked to his old bedroom and put his hand on the doorknob. Taking a deep, nervous breath, he spun the knob and opened the door widely with a swift movement.

"Oh, no no no!" he groaned, his eyes were fixed on the old, little bed. Now, Severus was desperately watching a vulnerable ten-year-old version of himself violently being raped by his own father.

"NO, STOP STOP!" he shouted, pinned where he stood.

"SHUT UP OR I'LL KILL YOU AND YOUR MOTHER!"

His father raised his hand and for a moment he thought he was going to hit the little boy on the bed, whom this time happened to bear a ridiculous resemblance to Harry. But instead, he grabbed Severus' long hair and slammed his face down on the floor again. That was when everything went black.

"Severus, wake up."

And he woke one more time, sitting up shockingly fast. He was on the floor but not in his old bedroom. Instead, he was sitting on the old blanket which was laid on the corner on his father's room. Lily was sitting on it with him, looking at him with worried green eyes. Severus felt dizzy as he stared blankly around and tried to figure out what the hell just happened.

"Sev?" Lily spoke, trying to make an eye contact with him.

"Am I awake?" he asked with a scared expression on his face and cold sweat on his forehead, "Is this real? Am I awake now?"

"Sev, are you alright?"

"Am I awake?"

"Severus?"

"AM I FUCKING AWAKE?!"

"Y...Yes! Yes, you are awake! Sev?"

"Am I? Are you really sure? Severus cried. His pleading eyes touched Lily's heart.

"Oh, Severus," she cooed, pulling him closer and took him in her arms, "It's alright. It was just a bad dream."

Severus leaned his head against her shoulder as he closed his eyes and exhaled slowly with a soft groan for one brief moment of much-needed relaxation.

"Would you like to talk about it?"

"No. No, I really wouldn't!" Severus replied. But his voice betrayed him.

"Sev, are you crying?"

"No!" he denied first, but then he gave up, "yes, I'm sorry. It was just... so real. I can't help... I'm sorry if I scared you, Lily."

"It's alright," Lily answered with a soft voice, "Are you sure you don't want to talk about it?"

"First it was my father, chasing us. I tried to get you and Harry out of here, but I failed," Severus paused for some air. His breathing was labored, his nose was clogged, "...and then it was Voldemort," he hissed, "torturing, yelling. I...I couldn't... stop... He said you didn't... and I... My father... I couldn't stop him..."

"Shh... It's alright. It's over now, Sev."

"Hmm..."

"Severus?"

"Yes?"

"Maybe we shouldn't have come here..."

"No, we didn't have a choice. We had to come here."

"But, look at what it's doing to you."

"It's alright. It's not a big deal. We had to come here to protect you and Harry."

"But, what about you?"

"I'm not important, Lily."

"Oh Sev, of course, you are! You are important to me. And obviously, you are important for Harry, too."

Severus didn't say anything. Instead, he simply wrapped his arms around her waist, clinging tightly to her. He was grateful for Lily's concern but he really was not that important. Harry was sticking with him only for his mother's sake. And Lily sooner or later will remember everything. So, this was absolutely temporary. Everything was temporary. Severus knew that he had a limited time. He had to do everything in his power to protect them in this limited time. So he had to stop feeling sorry for himself and start acting as he was expected to. Yes, he knew that. But just for tonight, Severus let himself go and kept crying in Lily's arms as she rocked him gently and reassured him that everything would be alright.

Without making any sound, Harry was watching them through the crack of the door.

Next morning, Harry and Lily were preparing breakfast together when Lily finally asked what was bothering him.

"It's just nothing, really," Harry replied.

"Come on, Harry. Talk to me." Lily demanded.

"I... I'm worried about Severus. This house is... it's haunting him."

"You heard what happened last night, didn't you?" Lily asked understanding sinking in.

"I did," Harry answered as he pulled one of the chairs and sat, "..and I don't want to stay here anymore."

"I don't want to stay either, Harry. "But Severus thinks this is our only option."

"We will find other options then." Harry suggested raising his voice, "We should leave immediately."

"No!" came the strong answer from Severus who had been standing at the bedroom door for a while.

"Severus? You are awake. How are you feeling?" Lily was surprised to see him this early hour of the morning.

"I am quite alright. Thank you for asking." Severus replied with a cold and stern voice, "But I will feel better if you stop treating me like I'm an invalid. I will appreciate if you terminate your mission of reminding me that I am emotionally unstable."

"Severus, we were just..." Harry started to talk but was silenced by Severus' crisp hand movement.

"No, listen to me," Severus demanded as he walked to the kitchen table, grabbed a chair and settled, "I was raped by my father... In this very house... and returning back here after a long time has affected my emotional level. I accept that. I've had a weak moment. But I'm done with crying, panicking and distressing myself over it. I am having a battle here, and if I leave now, I will lose it. I don't want that."

With that, Severus reached out his hands to Lily and Harry. Earnestly grabbing one of his hands, Lily and Harry smiled reassuringly at Severus.

"We're in this together, Sev."

"Indeed we are." Harry replied, looking at Severus right in the eye. They shared a silent moment, both of them thinking about Harry's secret and how to tell that to Lily.

"Ahem... Uh... If you'll excuse me," Harry started getting up awkwardly, "I'll go take a quick bath."

"Yes, sure Harry." Lily replied and Severus silently nodded his head.

Harry left the two of them in the kitchen and walked in the small bathroom. Hurriedly taking off his clothes and letting the hot water run, he sat on the toilet lid and accioed his wand from the shelf. Slowly but firmly, he started to slashing the flesh of his left forearm with parallel cuts. At first, his wand resisted harming its owner. But Harry was a strong wizard. He forced his wand even harder, causing the cuts to be deeper. He didn't know why he was doing what he was doing. But he was doing it anyway. Maybe to release the pain, maybe to feel the pain, or maybe to punish himself... Whatever the reason was, it definitely made him feel more alive. He got up from the toilet, slowly getting into the tub and letting the warm water envelop his weak and bloody body. This was only five minutes before he finally lost consciousness.


To be continued...