Disclaimer: Everything related to Harry Potter belongs to J.K.
Giving Them What They Deserve
A dark haired witch in her early thirties who wore long emerald robes appeared with a harsh crack in the small neighborhood of Privet Drive. She instantly glided towards the darkness to blend in so no Muggle accidently saw her. Her coal-like eyes narrowed on the house in front of her. The lights were off and there appeared to be no movement. The corner of her mouth slowly upturned at her realization that her marks were asleep. She glanced once towards the left and once to the right before casting a simple color-changing spell on her robes.
The majestic emerald robes quickly morphed to sable. Walking silently across the lawn sticking to the shadows, she put her hood up so that no part of her showed. She looked the equivalent to one of the most feared Death Eaters as she lurked the residence. The second her foot touched the front step she flicked her hand towards the front door. In response, it silently opened to her mere presence. She crept into the deathly quiet residence. It didn't take long for her to hear the sounds of loud snoring from the occupants who slept soundly upstairs. She glided up the stairs taking two steps at a time. She made no sound as she did this.
The usual sounds at night in the residence were absent. There were no creaks from the stairs or the floorboards as she made her way to the master bedroom. It was as if the structure knew why she was here and approved her next course of actions. The master bedroom door opened soundlessly to her presence as the front door had earlier. A silver wand quickly slid into the witch's hand as she stood at the foot of the Muggles' bed.
The witch glared at the unsuspecting Muggles while they without a care in the world slept peacefully in their king-size bed. The fattest Muggle the witch had ever seen before took up the majority of the bed while his wife only had a sliver. The witch's eyes then darkened until they were black as night. Until it was ice cold, the room's temperature plummeted. Seconds later, small pockets of steam came from the witch's mouth, but it didn't look near enough air for a person to survive on. She watched them from the shadows as the Muggles shivered. It wouldn't be long before the cold forced them awake. The temperature then dropped even more. Icicles promptly formed around the large bedroom.
Vernon Dursley gruffly grunted before yanking the covers from his wife, which caused her to yelp from the onslaught of the bone-chilling air. It wasn't as if she really needed the covers as bad as he did or that she even deserved them. He worked hard while she sat at home doing nothing, which in his mind was a woman's proper place. After all, there was only a few jobs a woman could do and those included child rearing and satisfying his needs. Lately, she had been lacking in both of those areas.
Prior to going to bed, he had always set the temperature to be near 30° C, but now it had to be near 0° C and still was falling. His first guess was that the fire had to have gone out so he growled knowing that would cause him to get out of bed. As soon as he had wrapped himself up in the warm blankets, he attempted to get out of bed. However, a strange light quickly struck him in the chest forcing him back down on the bed. He tried to move again, but found that he couldn't. His eyes widened as the realization dawned on him.
"When I get my hands on you, boy, you'll just wish I only used the—" Another jet of light struck him, which caused him to roar with pain. It felt as if every bone in his body was separating from their sockets. The pain only lasted two seconds, but those two seconds lasted a lifetime in his mind. The lull caused him to hear himself panting heavily. He knew the vein in his temple was throbbing while he gritted his teeth. "I'll kill you, you goddamn worthless piece of—" The pain roared back to life within moments. His back arched in efforts to escape it. He howled as if a dog, but nothing helped. It then vanished again. He was just about to fire off another round of hatred-filled words when the lights around the room suddenly flared on.
"Perhaps, Mr. Dursley, you should keep your mouth shut before you learn the real meaning of pain and I do not mean the pain you inflicted upon your nephew," a woman in long black robes drawled. "After all, I would hate to hear what the neighbors would think if they learned that they lived next to a child abuser. I mean, such a good upstanding citizen as you are, Mr. Dursley, well, it would spark outrage I believe."
"Who are you?" Vernon growled as he drew in a few shaky breaths.
"Why I thought you'd never ask, Mr. Dursley," the woman replied amusedly. "I'm a WITCH, someone who can use MAGIC. However, you don't believe me. Do you, Mr. Dursley?" she asked before laughing lightly. "Should I show you a trick then? Ah, yes, you and your wife look like you could use a trick or two of mine." Her eyes glistened in the soft amber light as she stared at them. "I call this one 'Blood upon the Walls'." She then extended her hand from underneath her long sleeves to show them her fingers. Where there should have been fingernails now were long, thin protruding sharp claws.
"NO! OH GOD, PLEASE NO!" Both Muggles cried as they held one another and trembled in fear. It was a rather pitiful to see the way they huddled together.
"I wonder if you ever listened when your nephew begged you to stop," the woman calmly said. Her breathing was controlled and her face showed no emotion.
"Please…please don't. We…we're sorry," Petunia Dursley cried.
"I see," the woman softly replied. "Yes, well, that makes everything better than, does it not? You are sorry for causing so much pain to your nephew. You are sorry for making him believe he is worth nothing. You are sorry for starving him. You are sorry for beating him, and lastly you are sorry that you didn't show him the love that he deserved. Am I right?"
"Now, listen here, woman," Vernon growled while wagging his finger at the dark haired intruder. "We took that boy in and fed him, clothed him, even gave him a place to stay. Just because the little bastard is telling you lie after lie now, don't insinuate anything differently. We took him in."
"Telling lies, Mr. Dursley? Is that the best you can do? Here I thought you were a great man. I see that only is true in how big of a build you are."
"Witch, yes, well, I thought we had already established that, Mr. Dursley. I am a full-grown WITCH." The woman laughed loudly when the Muggles winced at the word. "And you, Mr. Dursley, are a sadistic monster who terrorized your nephew for years without a hand raised against you. Tell me, Mr. Dursley. Did it make you more of a man to strike him or was it just for some sick pleasure of yours to make him bleed as you did?"
"You don't know anything, woman," Vernon snarled.
"Oh, you'd be surprised, Mr. Dursley, of just how wrong you are. I know the depths of the depravity that is in your mind. For example, I know how dissatisfied you are with your wife's current ability to service your needs."
"That's private, lady!" he bellowed.
"Not to me, Mr. Dursley," the woman replied before glancing towards Petunia. "And you, Mrs. Dursley, wish only that people see you as the rich old bitch you are. You hated magic because it separated you from your parents. They always loved her more than you, didn't they, Mrs. Dursley?"
"Get out," Petunia said with her eyes ablaze. "Get out of my house!"
"She was ten times the woman you ever were, Mrs. Dursley. That was why they loved. They knew you'd grow up to be the shriveled old shrew you are today. I must say there couldn't have been a better suitor for you than the bastard you married. I wish you the best."
"HOW DARE YOU!" he roared.
"No, Mr. Dursley, how dare you! He gave you one job, and you royally failed at it, both you and your wife in fact. You both did your best to destroy your nephew, and I am here right now to tell you that you lost. You won't succeed in making him feel less than worthy. You won't succeed in breaking him. You won't ever harm him again…or anyone else for that matter. I believe you have a son?"
Petunia instantly drew in a sharp breath before the tears streaked her cheeks. Neither she nor Vernon responded, but they didn't need to. The woman already seemed to know. She stared at the woman wishing to speak without the courage to go along with it.
"Well, you need not worry about him suffering your fates. I believe he still can be redeemed."
"If you touch a hair on my son—"
"You'll do what, Mr. Dursley?" the woman asked rather amused. "You'll hit me? I think you'll find me to be a bit more sadistic than you are. However, I must say that it has been awhile since I fought anyone as large as you are. I relish in the opportunity." The woman's eyes then glanced towards Petunia. "We won't need you anymore. Say goodbye, Mrs. Dursley." With a flick of the woman's wrist, Petunia Dursley disappeared from the bedroom. "Now, Mr. Dursley, where were we?"
"Bring her back! Bring her back I say!" he bellowed as his face turned a deep purple.
"Now, why would I do that, Mr. Dursley? Especially since it is you asking?" the woman replied.
"You bring her back right now!"
"No." The woman's smile widened as Vernon leapt from the bed towards her. She easily sidestepped him, which sent him crashing onto the floor. "It seems as if you have trouble with spatial recognition, Mr. Dursley," she said mockingly. "I know just the spell for that." He instantly scrambled to his feet and swung his open hand towards her. The slap too fell short of her. "My, my, Mr. Dursley, you are just terrible tonight. Can't hit a broadside of the barn, can we? Perhaps I'll allow just one then."
"Bring her back or I'll make you so bloody you only wish you were dead."
"I very much doubt that will occur, Mr. Dursley," she calmly said. "But do your worst."
Vernon swung a punch towards the woman and missed again, which this time was intentional. As soon as he noticed her let her guard down slightly, he swung his other fist. This time he connected with the side of her face. He smiled wickedly as she crumpled to the floor. If she thought for a second that he, Vernon Dursley, would take this kind of crap from anyone, less a woman, she was dead wrong. He leaned over to grip her face to force her to look at him when a jet of light struck him hard. He flew backwards and slammed hard against the opposite wall. A terrible pain raced up his spine before silence.
Nearly ten seconds later, Vernon found himself rising to his feet without his knowledge of doing it. His eyes glanced towards the woman and watched her hold out her hand. She was casting another spell on him. He knew it. The minute he was able to break her hold on him was when he was going to kill that witch. His eyes, however, then noticed the blood flowing freely down the woman's pale face.
"Goodbye, Mr. Dursley. I hope you enjoy your own personal hell."
Darkness instantly settled behind his eyes. He tried to fight, but it did no good. Within moments, the first wave of memories she intended to impose upon him took over. He screamed and wailed as he experienced every single injury that he ever inflicted on his nephew, his wife, and his son. The way the memories slashed, burned, kicked, slapped, punched, beat him made him think the memories had come to life. He felt the hard kick to his ribs that he had done to his nephew years ago when the boy had burned his bacon. He smelled the acrid scent of his burned flesh as he experienced a burn he caused intentionally to his wife while she was cooking. The memories had started out playing one at a time, but soon rapidly fired behind his eyes. He was helpless to the onslaught.
Vernon was huddled into a small ball on the floor. In his mind, he saw the blood that stained the bedroom carpet. He saw the broken bones and felt the pain left behind. He smelled the horrendous scents that filled the air choking him with its vileness. He howled, screamed, and cried for it to stop. Just to stop for a bit so he could rest awhile. It didn't, though. They continued playing in his mind.
"Worthless," a harsh voice whispered in the darkness near him.
"Freak," another voice hissed.
"Better off dead," said another.
The three various voices then chanted slowly together. With each repetition of the phrase, the speed increased. "Worthless, freak, better off dead, worthless, freak, better off dead," they chanted. Soon the words were together. "Worthless freak better off dead, worthless freak better off dead," they hissed.
His screams were chilling now as he howled from the pain. He tried his best to drown the words out, but he couldn't be loud enough. He never could be loud enough. More pain on top of more pain, more chanting on top of more, and more coldness on top of coldness greeted him.
"I'M SORRY! OH GOD, PLEASE! PLEASE STOP!" he begged. "I'M SO SORRY," he cried.
"Sorry doesn't count under duress, Mr. Dursley," a voice whispered. "Unlike you, though, I do stop when asked." The pain instantly ceased. "Count you and your family lucky to still be alive, Mr. Dursley." The darkness slowly receded and allowed him to look around his bedroom. The first thing he noticed was that the woman wasn't in the room anymore. The second thing he noticed was that he had no wounds when he was sure he should. He glanced around the room before sighing heavily.
"Vernon," Petunia's soft voice said as she walked into their bedroom. "Are you all right?"
"I'm sorry…so…so sorry, Petunia." Warmth filtered in the room. However, it was lost on them.
After ending her spell on the sadistic Muggle, the dark haired witch left with a harsh crack as she apparated to the gates of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She briskly walked towards the large castle looming ahead of her. She briefly wondered how much trouble she would be in when the Headmaster heard about her latest stunt, but frankly, she didn't really care all that much. She did everything tonight with her conscience, and she would do it again in a heartbeat.
The castle was still a good eight hundred yards ahead of her when the harsh rain started to fall. She quietly sighed in annoyance, but she had to admit that the cool crisp rain felt good against her badly aching face. She easily could heal the injuries the Muggle left to her face. However, she didn't see the need to waste magic on it. It was her stupid fault for allowing him the cheap shot after all. Thus, this was her punishment. She glanced up at the sky to see if any stars were peeking out from behind the storm clouds. There weren't any. Shaking her head, she glanced towards the castle again.
Lightning streaked across the sky bathing her in a flash of bright white. She knew she had to look rather ghostly right then in the light. The pelting rain fell angrily against her as she made her way and soaked her to the bone. She amended her earlier thought of looking ghostly. She probably looked more like an albino rat or something than just ghostly. She could only imagine what her hair would do the second she was indoors.
It took her ten minutes to reach the castle. She was rather grateful when the castle's front doors opened. As she stood in the little entrance hall, she quickly dried herself off with use of a drying spell. She tried her best to ignore how badly her hair had frizzed due to the rain. When she was convinced she wouldn't leave any puddles, she headed towards the stairs. She thought better seconds later, though. Altering her path slightly, she headed towards the small archway and headed down the spiral stairs. It didn't take her long to reach her destination.
"Dear Merlin, what happened to you?" the portrait of a wizard exclaimed as he gazed at her.
"Why, thank you, Salazar, I'm fine. How are you?" the witch replied sarcastically.
"Who has done this to you?" Salazar responded with still the outraged look on his face.
"It does not matter, Salazar. I am fine. Now, permit me entrance."
"Not until you go to the Hospital Wing," the Founder said as he stared at her. "I will not have you entering looking like that. That boy already has enough bad things said about him without adding you entering his quarters late at night and coming out sporting that lovely mark."
"I'm sure Severus would love to hear you protecting his honor, Salazar, but allow me in or you force me to use my locket." The portrait instantly swung open, which allowed the witch to enter the rooms by means of the hidden door.
Darkness hit her immediately, but she navigated the obstacle course of the rooms like a pro. It wasn't the first time she had snuck into Severus's quarters, and it definitely wouldn't be her last. She quietly crept down the narrow hallway until she reached the last door, which surprisingly was open. He didn't usually leave his door open.
After walking into his bedroom, she noticed that there were two individuals in bed. The second thing she noticed was that one of those individuals appeared to be a student. Her dark eyes instantly narrowed on this shocking development. That was until she noticed the division in the bed that separated it into two beds so each one had their own. Her dark eyes darted towards who she guessed was Severus, though. He appeared to be suffering from another nightmare, which made her softly sigh. His dreams were getting worse. Beyond her comprehension was why the man didn't just take a dose of Dreamless Sleep before going to bed. He was the Potions Master after all. It wasn't as if anyone would truly notice if he used some on himself. Merlin only knows that it would do wonders for Severus's health. She wasn't sure how much longer he could last suffering from his frequent nightmare, which she knew she was the main character in, unfortunately.
Shaking her head, she focused on him. It didn't take long for her to slip past his Occlumency barriers, since the nightmare was wiping out all his energy. She found the memory she was looking for and viewed it to learn why there was a student in his quarters. After she viewed it, she instantly smiled before glancing at both of them. Two broken boys who were ages apart, but so similar. She briefly allowed herself to reminisce about her past.
She had found him lying huddled in a ball on the dark couch of the common room. The soft sounds from his lips woke her up. She didn't really know why she was the only one who could hear him, but she couldn't just leave him there to suffer like that. Even if he was a year ahead of her and acted like a bastard to her every chance he could, no one deserved to suffer like that, not even him.
Slowly, she crept closer to him. She could tell by the pain in his face that it was a bad nightmare. Sighing quietly, she reached out to shake him gently. However, she pulled her hand back at the last moment. He'd kill her if she woke him up. After all, she was a lowly first-year, and he was a second-year. She knew his reputation. All the girls had told her about him in efforts to warn her probably. How he was only ever interested in the Dark Arts.
While she maintained her image that she too was into the Dark Arts, she really wasn't. The only thing that interested her about it was how to block the spells. Blocking was extremely complicated, which thanks to her classmate Regulus she learned. He too disliked the Dark Arts. However, due to family obligations, he couldn't allow anyone to know. She was rather glad she was semi-friendly with him, but she knew she was only using him to get to the boy who was currently in front of her.
Gripping her long silver wand tightly in her hand, she tried again to wake him. This time her hand did connect with him. However, it had a rather explosive result. A series of images flashed through her mind the moment her hand briefly brushed his face. She quickly shook her head to force them back
"What do you want?" the second-year boy sneered as he pointed his wand towards her.
"You sounded like you were having a nightmare," she quietly replied. She hated when he was angry. He always let off so much of that hatred of his that it nearly always felt like it was choking her. When she felt his anger grow stronger, she took a precautionary step back. She was a bit too late, though. He roughly pushed her away from him with his eyes ablaze.
"Get out of here," he snarled.
She made no sound to signal her surprise when he pushed her. However, she did hold her ground with him slightly. She stared at him for a few moments, which only angered him even more. Deciding it was best if she left, she turned to walk back to her dorm. She turned back before she reached the door, though. He hadn't moved from where he stood glaring at her.
"Sorry about your mum," she quietly said. She turned back to head in. She was just about to step into the dorm when she felt a strong fetching spell yank her back. She bit her bottom lip to keep from shrieking. Roughly, the second-year boy spun her around and forced her to look at him.
"What do you know about that?" he demanded. His dark eyes were pitch-black and his long black hair fell into his pale face. She didn't respond right away, which caused him to grab her upper arms and roughly shake her. "What do you know about that, Sinistra?" he snarled.
"I…I don't know. I just saw it." She watched his eyes narrow on her in disbelief. "When I touched you I mean. I just saw your mum in a hospital. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you, Severus."
"Stay out of my head," he said in a low voice. He then sighed heavily before sitting back down on the couch. His head went into his hands as he leaned forward. "I don't want anyone to see that. Least of all you," he spoke. His anger had left again, making him sound drained emotionally.
She glanced around to ensure they were alone before she sat down next to him. She caught his look towards her, but she ignored his annoyance. He needed to talk to someone. Racking her teeth against her lip, she attempted to figure out how to start. She finally decided just to be blunt with him.
"Your dad hurts you, doesn't he?" she whispered. "You don't need to answer, Severus. I already know." She heard his soft growl next to her. "If you want to talk or anything, I'm here. I'll always be here for you." She then stood up and walked to her dorm. She'd allow him to make the next move.
"Sin—Aurora, stop," he quietly said calling her back. When he met her gaze, he sighed. "Since you already know I can't sleep properly and part of the reason why, maybe you could stay?" His voice was barely above a whisper. She nodded and walked back. "I need the dreams to stop, Sinistra."
"Well, Mum says that being near someone when sleeping wards off bad dreams. Want to try?"
He stared at her before sighing heavily. "Can't be any worse than the dreams themselves," he muttered. He then glanced around the common room. "Not here, though, somebody's bound to notice you and me down here together. Hate to ruin my reputation, you know," he said sarcastically.
"Oh, yes, hate to ruin that," she drawled. The two slowly walked towards the boys' dorm. She had to admit that she felt rather excited to know that she was going to be with him for the whole night. Not even Lily Evans was this special. However, she knew that she couldn't take advantage of him because of this nightmare thing of his. It wasn't the proper thing for her to do. She could wait, after all.
They quietly crept in the dark towards the empty bed. She immediately noticed that all the boys had closed the curtains around their bed, which made things a bit more relaxing. However, it wasn't as if the other boys would see her and Severus anyway. It was too dark. She kept walking until she felt Severus lightly touch her arm. She stopped and tried to squint so she could see him. It didn't work, though, but it was worth the shot.
His hand then grabbed hers before he attempted to navigate her away from something. She hadn't a care what that certain something was since his hand was now holding hers. She could feel her cheeks burning red as she blushed. Then warm breath against her cheek made her heart race instantly.
"You go first and slide to the edge," he whispered in her ear.
She only nodded before doing as he asked. If her mother knew she was consorting with a boy, especially this boy, she'd be receiving a Howler first thing in the morning. However, she knew it was worth it. It didn't take long before he joined her. The curtains instantly closed around them. She had to admit that she thought it'd be extremely uncomfortable to be near him, but it wasn't really. Maybe it was uncomfortable for him since he held her awkwardly, but it felt right to her as if she was supposed to be in his arms. She smirked as her cheek rested against his chest. He was trying to fall asleep. She could tell that by the way he was trying to even out his breathing.
"Good night, Severus," she whispered as she snuggled into him more. He drowsily murmured it back. She was convinced then that he hadn't known he said it since he quickly fell asleep. She remained in his arms until just before dawn. She gently lifted up her head and glanced at him as the soft light caught his face just right. He looked peaceful. She smiled before lightly kissing his cheek. He didn't wake, which made her sigh contently. She then slipped out of his bed and headed over to the girls' dorm. It was the perfect morning, and the start of a series of perfect mornings for her that he never knew.