Scene from GSFI Chapter 35

Harry's Nightmares

A/N: Ok I reposted this because I thought I should explain some things and correct a mistake, which a kind reviewer pointed out to me. Thanks for doing that, by the way, I hadn't even noticed I'd called Albus the Ice mage instead of the Light mage.

The other thing is that this is a story that came from reading Ankha's wonderful "Gold and Silver Fire and Ice", so it can only be fully understood by reading that story. I wrote this little ficlet as a response to a challenge, which Gil-Celeb (a very talented writer) and I set.

Hope you enjoy it and thanks for the reviews.

DISCLAIMER: JKR owns all.

PART 1

Albus Dumbledore brought his little grandson into the bedroom and laid him in his cot. The child was sleeping so soundly that he did not stir.

*Hardly surprising, * thought the Light mage, *He had a busy day, with all his antics. *

His mind drifted to Severus. His son had been so tired tonight. Though Harry was a wonderful little boy, he still required a lot of energy and Severus was new to caring for a young child. There was also the matter of Kitiara's wedding, which had both Serenety and her sister anxiously preparing. The plans were making the already exuberant Kit almost manic. Small wonder Severus wanted duct tape!

The old mage smiled to himself as he climbed into his warm bed. He was delighted to be looking after Harry for the next day or so. He had forgotten the joy of having a young child in his care. Indeed the last time it had been Severus, de-aged to the age of two by his Gryffindor rivals. That had been quite an experience. Harry was proving to be every bit as mischievous as his father had been, and every bit as sweet. Lulled by these pleasant thoughts, he drifted into slumber.

HARRY'S DREAM

"Nuisance boy!" Petunia Dursley pushed 2-year old Harry roughly out of her way, as she strode through the back garden.

"Duddlykins, Duddlykins! Time for lunch, " she called in a sickly-sweet voice.

A large, round boy waddled over to her. He was the same age as Harry but looked almost two years older. Petunia scooped him up and carried him into the house.

Harry pulled himself shakily from the ground. He had cut his knee when he fell but he knew better than to cry about it. His aunt would only shout at him.

Looking around the large garden, he spotted something that made his eyes light up, Dudley's red tricycle. He knew he was forbidden from touching it, but there was no one here. Carefully, he looked around again and still saw nobody. He trotted over to the shining toy and climbed on. A quick push on the ground with his feet and he was off. How wonderful it was to be zooming around the garden so fast, until.

"BOY!" a purple-faced Uncle Vernon appeared in front of him, "What have I told you about touching Dudley's toys?!!"

"Sowee," said little Harry quickly.

"Not half sorry enough, you rotten little freak, but you will be," and evil smile spread across the pasty face and the little piggy eyes gleamed.

Vernon Dursley grabbed Harry, none too gently, by the arm and dragged him through the kitchen, into the hall. He smacked the boy hard, several times, before opening the cupboard under the stairs.

"Noooo! Pwease, Vewnon?!!" Harry begged, tears running down his face. His uncle ignored his pleas and tossed his nephew into the dark space as if he were a rag doll.

"This will teach you a lesson, brat," Vernon smirked as he slammed the door shut.

DREAM ENDS

It was dark, so dark. Little Harry was afraid of the dark. He wanted out of the cupboard. He tried not to scream. Vernon would be angry and that would mean more pain, but he couldn't stop himself.

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The silence of the Headmaster's bedroom was pierced, suddenly, by a high pitched shriek, worthy of any banshee. The Light mage did not even have the luxury of waking gradually. He was jolted sharply from his dreams.

"Oh Merlin, Harry!" he thought, "Not now. Can the poor child have no peace?"

The onslaught of unhappy memories, so devastating for the baby, and, indeed, the family, had begun much earlier than expected.

Albus wasted no time. He waved on a few candles and rushed to his grandson's side. Even for a man so old and wise, who had seen so much, the sight that greeted him was harrowing.

Harry was huddled in the corner of his cot. He had covered his head with his hands in a gesture of despair and he was rocking back and forth, whimpering.

"Harry?" asked Albus softly, "Can you hear me, little one? It's Grandpa. It's just Grandpa."

There was no response. The child continued to rock and moan. Dumbledore tried again.

"You are safe now, my darling baby. It will be all right, Fireling, Grandpa's here."

This time, Harry looked up. On seeing that it was his Grandpa, with the kind blue eyes, and not his portly uncle, he tentatively crawled forward.

"That's it, my Harry," the old man coaxed, relief flooding his mind, "Come to Grandpa. Yes, that's a good boy."

The small child came closer and, very carefully, Dumbledore reached into the cot and took him out. The child was almost drenched with sweat, and he was shivering. Albus summoned a blanket from his bed to wrap around the little form.

"Gandpa," Harry sobbed, burying his face in the man's long beard.

"Yes, love. It's Grandpa. You are safe. I won't let anyone hurt my little Fire baby."

He clutched Harry tightly to him, as he cried, and swayed back and forth to soothe him.

"Vewnon cwoss," Harry whispered.

Albus was shocked. Harry had never discussed his dreams before. Of course, all the family suspected them to be about the Dursleys, but the child had never said a word when he woke from them. He had only cried.

"Why was Vernon cross, Harry?" Albus asked carefully, as he ran his hand through the damp raven locks.

"Hawee not 'lowed. Hawee fweak."

Albus used all his energy to block his feelings of anger. *What has that monster of a man done to my grandson? * Forcing himself quickly back to calmness, he spoke softly again to the child he held.

"What were you not allowed, Fire Child?" he asked.

"Wed Twike," Harry murmured.

Albus now understood perfectly. Harry's spoiled cousin, Dudley, had been given all the toys. Harry was considered unworthy to have them.

"Sowee, Gwandpa," Harry's small, shaking voice startled Dumbledore out of his thoughts, "No big dark, pwease?!"

*Big dark? What on earth could that be? * Dumbledore mused. All of a sudden realisation hit, almost winded, him.

The cupboard under the stairs! Again the waves of anger threatened to engulf him. This time, he clamped his anger down with an iron will. Harry would think the feelings were directed at him. Instead, he concentrated on the love he felt for his family, and, especially, the little one he now held.

"Oh, my precious baby," he crooned to the child, continuing to sway him and stroke his hair, "I will never put you in any dark cupboards. You are such a good boy. My best little boy. I would never hurt you."

"Wuv Gandpa," said the child softly. Dumbledore's eyes shone with tears as he kissed his grandson.

"I love you too, Harry," he said thickly, "We all love you very much. Papa told you that, didn't he?"

He felt the little boy nod.

"Why don't we run you a nice, warm bath," Dumbledore whispered gently, "Then we'll put some dry clothes on you and you can sleep in Grandpa's bed. Would that be all right?"

Harry nodded again and Dumbledore carried him into the bathroom. He waved his wand over the taps and the bath began to fill. He then waved some calming bath hers into the water, with a few toys. All the while he spoke in low tones to the frightened child.

"There we are, Childing. Your little yellow duck is in the water. You love to play with him, don't you? And, oh my goodness! Look at the bubbles (Harry peeked over Dumbledore's shoulder). They are very pretty, aren't they? All different colours. Let's get these wet clothes off you, hmmm?"

The Headmaster proceeded to prepare the child for his bath. Harry looked at him all the while, with a trusting gaze, while Albus spoke quietly.

"Now, we're all ready," cooed Dumbledore as he carefully lowered Harry into the bath. For the next ten minutes or so Dumbledore gently washed the little boy and encouraged him to play a little.

"Gandpa!" Harry cried after a time, his eyes dark with fatigue.

"Yes, my darling. I know you are tired. Out you come," said his grandfather tenderly. He dried and dressed the child and then called for Dobby.

He requested a little cup of warm milk for Harry and a hot chocolate for himself. That done, he climbed back into bed with Harry cradled in his arms. Dobby returned quickly with the drinks and he managed to get Harry to finish his. He rocked the child and stroked his cheek, singing to him softly in phoenix. The heavy eyes slipped closed and soon the toddler was breathing evenly in slumber. Dumbledore finished his chocolate and lay down. He would contact Severus first thing the next morning. Wedding plans would have to wait. Harry needed them all, now.

TBC

A scene with Severus will complete this.