Disclaimer: not mine
A/N: This is my first attempt at HP fan fiction. Being a Snape lover and having defended him for a few years now. . .and converted some in the process. . .I thought it was about time to try my hand at a story.
Summary: This story takes place in Harry's first year at Hogwart's and will be an AU though some of the events told by J.K. will be included, just with a new twist. There will also be corporal punishment in some later chapters. These will be labeled when it does show up, so if you don't like that sort of thing, skip it.
Dedicated to TrustSnape, who has finally seen the light. At least as far as Snape is concerned. I still have work to do about Draco. grin
Dreams and Denial
A blinding flash of light and then a searing pain had the occupant of the bed bolting upright, heart pounding. Black eyes scanned the room as the rapid breathing was forced under control. Damn it! That made the fourth time in less than two weeks. What the bloody hell was going on??
Oh, he knew well enough what the flash had been. Merlin knew he had witnessed the curse before in his waking moments. He knew the full terror of watching it. But why, why was he now dreaming about it? And why this particular victim?
Snape climbed from his bed and walked over to stare in the mirror above his bureau, absently rubbing his left forearm. Of course his reflection revealed nothing, not a single answer to the horrific nightmares that had begun to plague him. And he wanted answers. Needed them. Had to have them! Yet the Potions Master had none, no idea what was going on. And that unnerved him, which in turn angered him. Severus Snape liked control, was used to being in control. Now he was not and he found it totally unacceptable.
Turning from the mirror, Snape took a deep breath and began to change out of his night clothes and dress. It mattered not that is was the middle of the night, he well knew that there would be no further sleep for him this night. He might as well use the time constructively. Constructively, a part of him sneered, hardly. He would sit in his comfortable arm chair in front of the fire and stare at the flames, just as he had two nights ago, replaying the dream again, reliving the feelings of horror, then intense loneliness and sadness, the inner cry for help as loud as a piercing scream to Severus.
This had to stop!! Seeking answers on his own had failed. It was time to turn to the only one that would likely be able to provide what he sought. Once dressed, Snape bypassed the chair and headed out the door, his steps leading him to a stone gargoyle and the one who had always been able to explain things in the past. . .Albus Dumbledore.
The Headmaster had been at his desk, waiting for Snape, and had looked at the dark haired wizard with that knowing look that the younger man found so annoying, not to mention disconcerting. At the polite question of whether he would like some tea, Snape nearly exploded. No, he didn't want bloody tea! He wanted answers!
Allowing himself to be led to the cozy sitting room off from the main office, however, Snape found himself installed in an overstuffed chair with a cup of tea in his hand as Dumbledore questioned him as to the nature his visit. As if the old coot didn't know, Snape snorted.
"And so this is the fourth time it has happened. The dreams seem to be occurring more often now as well," Severus concluded his story.
Albus took another sip of his own tea before placing the cup on the small table beside his chair. "The meaning seems clear to me," he stated with a smile.
Snape ground his teeth together in frustration. Well would you like to expound on it so that it's clear to me? he wanted to snap. Instead he held the damn cup firmly and answered. "Oh, and what might it be, Headmaster?"
"It might be any number of things, my boy," Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. The older wizard was well aware that Snape was getting agitated. "But I believe there is a most logical explanation. As you know, dreams can reveal subconscious thoughts or in the case of some, especially those with magical talents, create an emotional tie, a bond that. . ."
"Joins two people together," Snape cut in. No, that couldn't be it. He had thought of that as well and rejected the idea totally. Now Dumbledore was telling him he thought it was one of Snape's worse fears. "But, Headmaster! It's Potter! Potter of all people! No! I will not have a link with him! I will not!"
Albus chuckled. "I am very much afraid that this is not always something we are allowed to choose, Severus."
With a growl, Snape all but slammed the cup down and stood up, pacing to the fireplace and back to the chair, hands clasped behind him. "No! It's just not possible! Why me??!" After a few moments of ranting, the younger wizard turned back to look at Dumbledore, the black eyes almost pleading the older man to fix things. "There has to be something that can be done."
Shaking his head, Dumbledore looked back at the young man. "There is nothing. Once a bond is established one can not just simply cut it asunder. Not without great trauma to all parties. And even those that have tried it and survived have still always had a slight feeling of still being connected." The blue eyes regarded Snape lovingly as Dumbledore asked quietly, "Would it really be so horrible, child?"
"Yes!" Severus spat out. "It's Potter!" he repeated as if the headmaster hadn't caught that earlier.
The silver head nodded. "Yes, I realize that."
Black eyes narrowed. "Then you shouldn't even have to ask, should you?" the tone was petulant though Snape would never in his life have admitted it.
"Sit down, Severus. Drink your tea and calm down so that we may talk about this."
"I don't want the bloody tea! Tea doesn't solve every ill known to mankind!" Snape raged as his hand dashed the cup to the floor.
The one word cracked like a whip in the air and Snape looked directly at the older wizard for a split second before dropping his eyes and swallowing. Damn it! The man could still make him feel like a ruddy first year caught out. "Sorry, sir," he offered quietly. Withdrawing his wand, Snape had the mess cleaned up in a flash and then returned to his seat, still not looking fully at Dumbledore.
The tense silence lingered for a few moments before Albus spoke again. "Are you quite finished with the display of the legendary Snape temper now?" A nod was his only answer and so he proceeded.
"I realize that this is a shock to you, Severus, as well as something that you do not want."
Master of the understatements there aren't we, Severus thought sulkily.
"However," Dumbledore continued, "it is also something that can be beneficial to both you and Mr. Potter."
Snape snorted. "And just how precisely do I benefit from this arrangement?"
Dumbledore's voice became stern. "If you will stop interrupting and open yourself to the idea then I could explain."
"Open myself? Isn't that how the whole bloody mess started? Somehow I was open enough to have a bond with that. . .that. . .BOY!"
"Enough!" Dumbledore's voice was sharp. "Do not make me put a silencing charm or any other hex on you to make you sit quietly and listen, Severus."
Crossing his arms with a glare and the nonverbal equivalent of 'Fine!', Snape sat back in the chair and with a slight nod acknowledged Dumbledore's words and the right for the man to continue.
"Thank you," Albus commented. "Now as I was saying, a bond between you and Harry would help you both. The child has only learned a few short months ago who and what he really is. He needs someone to guide and reassure him, a mentor of sorts. He is still very uncertain and very much alone and scared."
"He has all his slimy little Gryffindor friends," Snape pointed out. "And if he is in need of a mentor, then let McGonagall do it. I am not the type to play nanny to a spoiled brat."
Choosing to ignore the slight to the house of Gryffindor and the children in it, Dumbledore responded, "It is not Minerva that the link chose. And you will not be a nanny as you say, merely someone who cares. Someone who understands."
"That's where you're wrong, sir. I don't understand. And I certainly don't care about Potter," Snape stated and stood up. "As this is getting us nowhere, if I may, I will take my leave now, Headmaster."
Albus sighed. Merlin's beard but this child was stubborn! Perhaps it would be best to go with the route that had worked in the past. He would let his headstrong young one learn things the hard way. "Very well, child, have it your way. Continue on as though there is no bond. Try to ignore it if you will. I am here if you have need of me. As always."
Too thin arms wrapped around skinny legs as the little figure sat in the middle of the bed. Green eyes, still a bit bright with left over tears, shone from behind the glasses as Harry Potter peered through a small crack in the bed curtains. Morning light was at last filtering in and he heard his dorm mates stirring. The eleven year old had just time enough to finish composing himself, shoving his thoughts and fears of the night to the back of his mind, before a red head poked through the curtains.
"Mornin', Harry," Ron greeted brightly.
Harry gave his friend a smile back. "Mornin', Ron."
"You're already awake?" Ron questioned. "Don't tell me you got up early to study." He snickered.
"Study? Why would I do that?" Harry responded with a more sincere grin.
"Well. . .we do have our best class today." The red headed boy made a gagging sound.
Part of Harry's grin slipped. He had forgotten about having Potions first thing after breakfast. Great, that was just what he needed after a sleepless night, Snape breathing down his neck.
"Cheer up," Ron gave Harry a nudge at seeing his friend's look. "Granger will spout out the answers like always. It won't matter if you've read the book or not. Come on, let's get dressed. I'm hungry!"
Harry shook his head as Ron retreated to get ready. Sliding from the bed, the dark haired little wizard also began to ready himself for the day, but Harry couldn't stop his thoughts from going back to last night. Well back before that really.
It had been a shock to the eleven year old to learn that he was a wizard and not only that but one that was well known, by name at any rate. After two weeks here at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the young boy wasn't so sure if he fancied the change in his life. For starters there was the castle itself. Harry had already been lost half a dozen times and that had resulted in being told off by everyone from a sixth year Ravenclaw, to an angry pipe smoking sea captain in a painting that he had grabbed hold of to stop from sliding along the hall he had been running down, to his own Head of House, Professor McGonagall. He had already made enemies with Malfoy and his cronies, not totally intentionally, even though he thought Malfoy was a worm, but enemies none the less. And all of that didn't begin to touch on what Harry considered the worse part. Snape.
The man hated him it seemed and the boy couldn't fathom way, other than the fact he happened to be Harry Potter. Snape had picked on him since the first day and when he wasn't berating him in class, Harry could almost swear the man was watching him at other times if they happened to be in the same vicinity.
Ron clearly hated the slimeball back and the thought that he at long last had a friend that hurt when he hurt and would be righteously angry on his behalf warmed Harry's heart. It was another new experience for the child.
And then the dreams had started. Harry had ever been plagued by nightmares and as a small boy had cried himself back into an exhausted sleep many times after awakening in fright. So the dreams were nothing new per se. The intensity was however. As was the frequency with which they were happening. And the faint image of someone watching from the shadows. But what could he do? He couldn't tell anyone. He sure wasn't going to tell Ron and be laughed at for getting upset and scared over a dream. And there was no grown up that he would talk to about something like that. Well, maybe Hagrid, but he wasn't sure how the huge man would react other than perhaps pat his shoulder and nearly take it off in the effort to be kind. No best to stay quiet about them, Harry firmed his decision as he pulled on his robes and along with Ron headed out the door to breakfast.