All characters, settings, etc, belong to JKR. The premise of the story is taken from Owlsaway's brilliant story A Place For Warriors. I own nothing.


He was standing - was he standing? Yes, there was a feeling of cold stone beneath his feet - in a murky darkness, the sort that was almost dense enough to be palpable, like a sort of inky black cloud. It was thick enough to choke the life out of his emotions, leaving him strangely detached. The darkness surrounded him on all sides, pressing in on him, threatening to smother him with its heavy presence. Harry passed a hand experimentally in front of his face, and, as expected, saw nothing. The fog was swirling about him, although he couldn't see it, but as a scene took form through the miasma, he realized he was wrong - there was room for emotion here, and at present he was feeling nothing more than pure terror.

Harry forced the emotion to the back of his mind, and concentrated on making out the forms in front of him.

Snape was standing there, a snarl on his lips, and Harry watched as a book left the Potion Master's hand, flying through the air to impact with a painful crack upon his - the other Harry's - nose. He watched as the scene changed, and the two figures were falling, twin expressions of savage determination spread across their faces.

And then the scenes were coming thick and fast, and Harry could only watch in rising confusion and terror as everything that had happened in the Room of Requirement was played out before him.

Two wands, and then there was echo of pain as burns appeared on the other Harry's hands. A brief flash of light as the afternoon with Severus and Lily came to the forefront, and then a deep-seated ache in his chest, and raging pain as he forced himself to Obliviate them - for their own good, a reason that still sounded too close to some of Dumbledore's reasoning for comfort. Flashes of Snape's features - twisted with anger, buried in his hands in Severus' room, looking at him, something akin to pity in his eyes, and then Snape was lying, cold and still, on the floor, and Harry was cradling him, begging him - screaming at him - not to die, not to leave him, when he knew it was useless, they all died, they all left him alone in the end.

And then there was no change - Snape didn't start his ragged breathing, but continued to lie there, so still, on the cold floor, and Harry shook his head in mute terror even as he thought, this isn't what happened, this isn't real, this isn't real, Dumbledore would've intervened, this isn't real.. But Snape just lay there, not breathing, and the other Harry cradled him, silent tears running down his cheeks, and the real Harry could feel the hitch in his own breathing as his terror mounted..

And then he was sitting bolt upright in his bed in the Gryffindor boy's dorm, panting as if he'd just run a marathon, panic pushing all rational thought out of his mind. Swinging his legs out of bed, Harry swung his invisibility cloak over his shoulders, pulling the hood over his head as he set off on the trek to Snape's quarters.

It was only when he'd raised his hand to knock at the door to Snape's rooms, that he finally paused, some semblance of logical thought returning to his mind. He pulled the cloak off slowly, giving himself time to think. What was he supposed to say - Sorry Sir, I had a nightmare, just here to make sure you're really alive and didn't die after all?

Harry shrugged, deciding it didn't matter, and knocked anyway. It was a minute or two before the door opened, revealing a less-than-pleased Potion's Master. Snape regarded him for a moment from beneath lowered lids.

"Potter, it is two in the morning."

Harry gestured nervously, "I know - I mean, I didn't know, but I do now. I- I just - "

Snape closed his eyes briefly, holding up a hand to stem the flow of words. He looked Harry over before stepping back and gesturing him inside. Harry made his way inside, draping the cloak over the back of the couch before sitting down and curling his feet up under himself. Snape took the armchair opposite, resting elbows on knees, hands clasped lightly together. He leant forward, regarding Harry with some measure of weariness.

"Nightmares?"

Harry glanced up, surprise flashing across his face before he recalled himself - this was Snape, of course he knew something was up. He nodded, dropping his gaze to the carpet.

Snape looked thoughtful and vaguely self-mocking. "And so you came to me. Of course."

Harry shrugged miserably.

A sigh gusted through the air above his head.

"Lie down, Harry."

He obeyed, thankful that there was someone to make decisions for him when his head was this fuzzy. A cushion was placed beneath his head and a rug draped over him. Harry's mouth quirked softly at colour - a deep, rich red, surprisingly comforting in the circumstances. His eyes slid closed as a hand clasped his shoulder briefly, and then footsteps retreated as he sank into darkness and sleep overtook his weary mind.


The next chapter will be longer, I promise. ^^