Disclaimer: HP isn't mine.

Beta'd by dress-without-sleeves, because she rocks liek whoa, yo. Erm.

oo00oo00oo00oo00oo

Red hair and pale skin and a soft loving smile; strong hands, hazel eyes, a proud grin and a comforting voice; gray eyes and a twisted smile and a harsh, barking laugh.

He'll wake soon and they'll fade away, but for now he has this much - a patchwork dream stitched together from memories, stories, and conjecture; a shimmering, distorted reflection of what he'd once had, what he'd still have if only fate had been less cruel.

But for now, as he sleeps, Harry is with them again - Sirius and his mum and dad - and it's wonderful, as perfect as anything in his life can be.

Yet even perfection falters in the bright morning light.

There are Christmas afternoons warm with love and belonging, and he gets presents, not harsh words and a padlocked door. There are birthdays spent bantering with Sirius and smiling under his parents' loving gazes, and no one shoves him into a cupboard or tells him to pretend he doesn't exist.

He'll wake and the dull ache of truth, of reality, will settle back into his chest, and he'll have lost them all over again.

But at least he'll know he can see them again, whenever he sleeps. After all, dreams can be forgotten, pushed aside, left behind...but they never die.

When he's awake, his heart will always be full with red hair and hazel eyes and twisted smiles.

And when he sleeps, he has his dreams.