A/N: I don't own anything Harry Potter (wish I did) I am writing for fun, and do not seek to profit!

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He had the distinct sense that a thunderstorm was playing at the edge of his consciousness once again. Of standing many nights in the summer rain, soaked robes clammy against his skin. Sheet lightening flashing the heavy black skies pewter, every illuminated raindrop seeming to stall just for a fraction of a second, twinkling and star-like. Then darkness returning.

He waited for the resulting booms of thunder, childishly counting them down each time, careless of the driving rain pounding against his body.

The skies lit up again, momentarily revealing acre upon acre of recently harvested fields, the bare silvery stubble bristling up from old, ploughed mud. Fields he hid in as a small child. In the distance tall blots of darkness betrayed a dense copse of trees. Its enchantments still hiding a damp and rotting house.

Devia Nemorosa

The thunderstorm waned after a short while, a stiff breeze thinning and tearing holes in the cloud cover, revealing a full moon hanging sickly pale in the sky. It seemed much closer this time. As did the stars. Intrigued, he reached up a hand, and took in a sharp breath as his fingertips touched the orb; it was smooth and pleasantly cold as marble. He curled his hand around the moon and confidently plucked it from the sky.

He shivered as its chill cut through him. It was almost too cold, as cold as a freshly rolled snowball would be clasped between bare hands. But he knew, just like fresh snow, it could never hope to stay pure for long. And thus, when the change came, he was barely surprised.

It appeared as silver spots on the milky surface, before growing into larger blotches, which bled into one another like spilled unicorn blood. The orb was growing heavier with the discolouration. The silver deepening to grey, the grey finally speckling with tar black. Diseased. Tainted.

His arm was now quivering under the dead weight. It was as heavy as lead, and getting heavier, and colder. He needed to put it down.

He glanced around before spotting his desk nearby. He needed to reach it.

Just as he reached it, he felt the orb slip from his fingers.

Looking down in horror, he found himself standing in a large pool of silvery liquid. A pool of spilled pensieve memories, dripping from the desktop onto the floor.

NO!

He grabbed for the falling orb frantically.

Too late. The orb plunged into the surface with a splash, setting off a huge circle of ripples. He fell, trying to get away. But the liquid was beginning to swirl and funnel. The ground tilted as the centre of the whirlpool began to rise up. He felt himself beginning to slide across the surface. Faster and faster.

Then the ground flipped. And he was falling alongside the funnel, reaching downwards like a tornado. Hurtling down toward the stars.

'Accio Broomstick!' he tried to cry, but it felt as if he had no breath. The stars became brighter and closer. Streets, houses, roads.

He shut his eyes in terror as the ground sped toward him.

And then there was a horrible wrench as something stopped his fall. A hand had grabbed his arm. Startled and wincing with the pain, his eyes flickered open to look up into a familiar sneer. He knew that sneer. But he could pretend he didn't. But still after years of indifference, he had never forgotten it.

'Severus - how is it you like this loneliness?'

The old hatred flared inside him. 'Leave me be!'

'Father says he wants to see you downstairs. His study,' came the taunting whisper.

'But - I thought I was supposed to be invisible!' he sneered bitterly.

'No little brother. Not when he needs something. You know what has run out.'

'Run out?' he hissed. 'Run out, has he? Already? That he hasn't had enough to drown in!' Severus became enraged. So enraged he felt as if his entire body was churning and boiling in a horrible pool of seething hate, every muscle in his body threatening to go into spasm.

Every night. Every night it would be the same. Pandering to the sunken, self-pitying shadow that used to be the parading display of strength and pureblood arrogance.

His father had been a terrible and formidable role model. Severus remembered how his mere presence in the street used to cleave the crowds in two. Feared and respected, unshakeable. Indomitable.

And with a sense of awe and pride, his sons had followed him.

And now? This was not their father, this immobile wreck. Their father wouldn't just give up. Wouldn't weep like a child when he ran out of drink. Wouldn't ever leave them like this.

This was not his father.

The angry gaze gleamed, the voice sinisterly cruel. 'And he has the nerve to think I would give a damn now? After everything, to crawl - TO ME?'

With a sudden shudder of rage, he lunged up and bit hard into one of the arms holding him.

There was an angry yell, and Severus felt himself falling again. Once again, the ground was hurtling towards him. They were streetlights, house windows, car headlights.

A vicious crack of lightening split across the sky, and Severus found himself suspended in the air once again. This time, though, he was helpless, and there was no one to be seen.

He heard his breathing, and a ripple of robes long before he heard the taunting voice whisper into his ear.

'Even idiots know it's dangerous to apparate during thunderstorms.'

Snarling, Severus threw out his arms, and managed to get a hold on the invisible material. He gave it a vicious yank.

A mouth curled cruelly as its owner was unveiled sat astride a broom, hazel eyes alight with malice.

'You!' spat Snape viciously.

'So you finally got Padfoot did you, Professor?' the man whispered lowly. 'Reduced him to nothing did you?'

Snape went pale with rage. 'Oh, yes!' he hissed, 'he got...exactly...what he deserved!'

The scruffy-haired, young man loomed closer, glowering. 'Still quite the begrudging fool then? Pity...' The corners of his mouth twitched upwards in a smile. 'But seeing you hanging around like this does remind me so much of the good old times... '

Severus' eyes glinted before spitting spitefully into his enemy's face.

The man on the broomstick hissed and backed off. 'Don't worry Snivellus,' he whispered, watching Snape's face twist in fury. 'Black won't haunt you for it. His hero's memorial has already attracted more attention than your unmarked grave ever will. He has already won. Will always win.'

James Potter's hazel eyes glinted triumphantly, and in that second Severus was certain they had also flashed emerald green. . and an intense, glowing red.

Snape sat bolt upright, breathing heavily. It was pitch black. He coughed, and was relieved to hear the noise echo familiarly off of stone wall.

Only a dream, you idiot.

Only a dream...

Maybe it was time to increase his dosage of Dreamless Sleep.