As Long as You Love Me

dream

"Boy! Here. Now."

"Yes Uncle Vernon."

"What is this?" Uncle Vernon asked, gesturing to the unweeded garden.

"I.."

"This was supposed to be done by the time I got home boy."

"I know sir, I was just about to..." he was met with a slap across the face. Harry stumbled back into the house with the force of the blow. Before he could regain his composure, he was met with a knee to his mid-section. He fell to the ground, gasping for breath.

"I'll teach you your place boy!" Uncle Vernon roared. Harry felt a larde metal buckle striking across his back, and laying open the skin accompanied by a searing pain. Again and again his body was wracked in the painful spasms brought on by his punishment.

"No, no. Stop. Please." Harry pleaded.

"Shut up boy!" he felt his uncle shaking him. Then, another voice cut through the dream.

"Harry, Harry. Wake up."

End dream

Harry shot up in bed, breathing heavily and drenched in a cold sweat.

"Back off, give him room." the voice said. There was a hand on his shoulder. He fliched away from it.

"Harry?" Ron said.

"I'm fine." Harry said.

"No you bloody hell are not! I mean damn Harry, what was that? Thrashing and screaming like a banshee you were mate." Seamus said.

"It..it was nothin'. Just...just a nightmare."

"Some nightmare Harry." Dean said. Harry nodded. In an attempt to get off that subject, Harry asked the time.

"Umm, 3:30 am." Neville said, looking slightly frightened.

"I'm sorry for waking you guys." he said, mentally kicking himself for forgeting his silencing wards. Damn, he needed that potion.

"Its not your fault Harry. Nightmares happen."

"Whatever. I'm going back to bed." and, ignoring the other Gryffindors, Harry pulled the hangings closed and rolled over.

But Harry did not go back to sleep. He lay there, wide awake for the rest of the night.

------------------

As Harry decended the stairs to the Common Room, he was met by the worried gazes of his friends.

"Morning." he said in a falsely chipper voice.

"Alright Harry?" came a yelled question from the boys staircase behind him.

"Fine Collin." Harry said, not even bothering to turn around.

"Well he hasn't changed a bit." Ron said as they climbed through the portrait hole.

"Obviously not." Harry sighed.

"Are you feeling alright Harry? Get enough sleep?" Hermione asked.

"You told her!" he exclaimed, stopping in his tracks and turning on Ron.

"Actually Neville told me. That's not the point." she said.

"As I told everyone last night, I'm fine. Just a nightmare."

"About the Ministry?" Hermione asked, sympatheticly.

"Yeah." Harry said, hoping Ron hadn't been paying attention to what he'd said. As it turned out, he hadn't. In truth, Harry had those nightmares too but he didn't want to talk to Ron and Hermione about what brought on last night's episode.

"Its ok to grieve Harry but you can't let it take over your life." Harry nodded, not even really listening. He was brought out of his thoughts but Ron.

"Watch out, Snape!" the three of them, not wanting to come in contact with Snape this early in the morning, detoured into a nearby classroom. They could hear voices outside the door.

"Josi." Snape said.

"Hello Severus."

"Its the new DADA teacher." Ron said. Hermione kicked him.

"Shut up." Harry hissed.

"And how have you been since you married that Ministry half wit little sister?" The trio's jaws dropped.

"Sister?" Ron said. Hermione cast a Silencing spell on him and was met with an indignant look.

"Why do you think I took this job Sev? To get away from him."

"What did he do this time?"

"Oh just focus on everything but me. His job is his mistress. So I took the job here. Your presence will keep him far away from me. He's been terrified of you since you threatend him with a painful death that Christmas."

"He didn't deserve you. I only warned him if he hurt you he'd get what was comming to him. No one hurts my little sister and lives to tell the tale. You are all I have left since mum died."

"I know Sev. Come on, we'll be late for breakfast and I don't want to teach on an empty stomach."

"Yes, don't want to teach those infernal dunderheads without food." they heard laughter and footsteps.

"So that's why he was so calm last night." Ron mouthed something. Hermione giggled and removed her spell. Ron glared at her and then repeated what he said.

"What do you mean?"

"When she was announced I thought he'd be pissed as usual but he was just sitting there, cool as can be."

"Really, I didn't notice."

"Well Ron, you were to busy drooling." Hermione said.

"I was not!" he said, indignantly.

"Oh yes you were."

"Oh, come on you two." Harry said, stopping them before the arguement progressed. "I don't want to miss breakfast."