Thank you to the betas of this chapter, icedawn12193, and Willofhounds.
Chapter Nine - Entering a Damaged Mind
Severus was cold, colder than the last time he entered Harry's mind. It seemed that Harry's mind was shutting down as a way to protect himself from all the pain he was forced to endure this past month.
Severus looked around to see different sets of doors in front of him. One in particular that caught his eyes, it was a black door with fairy lights dancing around it. Slowly making his way over, reaching his hand out and twisting the handle, afraid of what he might find. The last time he took a walk through Harry's mind it wasn't a pleasant one.
He slowly opened the door and walked through, finding himself in Harry's bedroom.
"Again? I just finished" Severus spoke, closing the storybook he was reading to Harry.
"Again," Harry shouted, tapping the book with his hand.
"Alright, one more time but then you have to go to bed," Severus told before flipping the book back open to the beginning.
Severus smiled at the memory that played before him. That was the first full bedtime story that he read to Harry, the first time Harry managed to stay awake long enough to finish a story. He stepped forward just as the memory changed. Harry, Poppy, Minerva, and himself sat on the floor next to the Christmas tree.
"I'd be careful with those," Poppy spoke with a chuckle as Harry opened up a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, popping a bright red one into his mouth.
Harry scrunched up his face, saliva pouring out of the sides of his mouth as he chewed on the bean.
"Spit it out," Severus told, holding out his hand for Harry, with Harry quickly spitting the chewed bean out into Severus' hand and accepting the drink that Minerva gave him.
Severus wince as the bean was spat out into his hand, quickly throwing it out as the memory changed once again. Severus found himself back outside of Minerva safehouse, standing in the snow as he tried to get Harry to play in the snow.
"Cold...inside." Harry cried, pulling off the mittens that Severus managed to conjure along with a complete snowsuit for Harry.
"Alright, alright...inside," Severus spoke softly, picking Harry up and taking him inside.
It finally clicked for Severus as he watched the memories play by, all the memories were him and Harry. Severus smiled at the thought that Harry's mind made a special place for the memories of the two of them, that Harry thought he was good enough to have his own part of his mind.
Severus wanted to stay longer, to watch the loving memories of the two of them but he knew he didn't have a lot of time to rest. So, with one last look of the memory of him and Harry having dinner together, he left the room and closed the door.
The next door was a navy blue with a fuzzy texture, kind of like one of those baby blankets. Severus knew it wouldn't be this door that showed him the memories that he wanted to see but something compelled him to open the door and step through.
Lily bounced Harry on her hip, wrapping him up in a navy blue baby blanket. Lily's mouth moved as if she was speaking but no words could be heard, clearly, Harry couldn't remember that part of the memory. But Lily was as beautiful as ever, with her long red hair and piercing green eyes...just likes Harry's.
Lily bounced Harry up and down as she pointed to the skies, Severus figured she was telling Harry about the stars, Lily always liked to talk about the stars, saying that angels were always looking down upon us and the ways they let us know is through the stars.
Severus walked up to Lily and tried to run his fingers through her hair only to see them go right through her as if she was a ghost.
"I miss you Lily" Severus whispered as a lonely tear fell down the side of his face.
"I promise you, I will get Harry back," Severus spoke before he left the memory through the same door that he came in.
The next door is what Severus was looking for, the door was rotting from the inside, out and a black ooze was dripping from it, those are the memories that Severus wanted to see. Taking a deep breath, Severus made his way through the door having to cover his ears from Harry's inner screams.
All the memories were jumbled up together into one, Severus could only pinpoint a few memories out of the mess of Harry's thoughts.
He watched as a group of Healers held Harry down on the bed as another group of Healers restrained Harry to the bed as his boy screamed out and did his best to fight off the Healers.
Another memory flashed by as a Healer forcefully opened Harry's mouth as she poured a potion down his throat, not even bothering to help Harry as he started to choke.
He watched as one of the Healers dragged Harry to the shower, the water turned up as hot as it could go, burning Harry's skin as he cried out in pain.
Black smoke filled Harry's memories as the images flashed by faster. A Healer forced Harry out of his chair by his arm, pulling down his pants just below his bottom before she started to land hard smacks. The image quickly changed to two Healers holding Harry down as another Healer forced a feeding tube down Harry's nose.
"STOP!" Severus yelled making the flashes stop, taking a moment to pull himself together before he continued forward.
As Severus moved forward, Harry's memories got worse to understand. Severus watched as Harry got the bowtruckle to open the door just in the way he thought Harry did it.
He watched as Harry walked up and down the halls of St Mungo's, going into other patient's rooms. He saw that Harry didn't use the floo, he waited until someone else did and stole the flame before it disappeared, landing him in Hogsmeade.
Severus watched as Harry trembled, no one even noticed that a child was in Hogsmeade. Harry managed to pull himself up, hugging the wall as his boy slowly made his way to what was known as Knockturn Alley,
finding his way in the abandoned building in an effort to get out of the cold and in the cabinet which he stayed for the next two days.
Severus kneeled down next to his son, watching as Harry curled in on himself, watching his body shack, out of fear or the cold he didn't know. Severus reached out just as he heard Poppy call him out, his time was out.
He exited Harry's mind to still find himself on the couch, holding Harry in his arms, finding that his cheeks were wet from the tears that he had been crying.
"...Not now...I just want to spend time with Harry." Severus spoke seeing that Minerva and Poppy were looking for answers. Both Poppy and Minerva understood.
"I'll be back tomorrow to check on him." Poppy said, standing up with Minerva and leaving Severus chambers to give him and Harry some time alone.
Severus held his son in his arms as he cried, feeling the pain that his son was forced to endure this past month.
"I'm so sorry I didn't come sooner...I will never let you again." Severus spoke.