Harry's head popped off his pillow, and he stifled a scream that was trying to erupt from his throat. His lungs burned and his body was covered in a clammy sweat that he could taste on the palms of his hands, covering his mouth. In his chest, his heart throbbed and pounded, as if desperately trying to escape. After a moment, he realized he had just woken, and his heavy panting soon slowed to prevent himself from hyperventilating.

I should be used to these nightmares by now. But that one was so...real.

He knew for sure another would happen if he tried to sleep again. Normally, he would look out his window and imagine how different his life would be as someone else, but he didn't see any light indicating there was a window nearby.

Where am I? My room with Ron at the Burrow has a window, and at Hogwarts as well. So if not the Burrow or Hogwarts, that means...he sighed inwardly. Crap.

He raised his hand, trying to feel for the ceiling of his tiny room under the stairs that his horrid aunt had forced him back into. Apparently, Vernon had decided to turn it into some kind of sitting room, but Harry knew they just loved to make his life a living hell. Sure enough, the ceiling met his hand. He growled and cursed under his breath.

After lying down again and staring into the darkness for what seemed like hours (but was only actually minutes), Harry heard some shuffling above him and a familiar creak of the squeaky step on the stairs. He figured his pig of a cousin was craving a late-night snack or something. The shuffling continued around to the front of his door, then stopped. Harry's heart hammered in his chest once more and blood rushed to his ears. He quickly laid back down and pretended to be asleep.

His door opened and moonlight spilled onto his eyelids, making the darkness in them brighten into a deep purple. Suddenly, a hand grabbed his shoulder and pulled him up roughly, as if he were a rag doll. His eyes shot open and widened at the man he saw before him: his uncle, half-dressed with only his sleeping pants on, a familiar look in his eyes as he stared into Harry's fear-filled green ones. Vernon cracked a wicked smile as whispered words fell off his tongue, but never made their way to Harry's blood-rushed ears. Harry could just make out the words on his lips.

I'm using you, Harry. You know what I need.

Tears erupted from Harry's eyes and his breath hitched. His hands came up to frantically try and pry Vernon's large fingers from his shoulder, to no avail.

No. it can't be. Not again.

With disgust and white-hot fear in his heart, Harry squeezed his eyes shut and screamed for someone to help him, but no voice came.

Harry's head shot off his pillow once more, another scream threatening to burst from deep within his throat. Instead, he gasped as air rushed into his lungs, tears streaming down his face.

Damn. Another bloody nightmare.

He didn't remember falling asleep again, but he obviously had. Or, maybe he hadn't woken up in the first place. Regardless, he checked his surroundings once more to verify that he wasn't back in that hell-hole. The window across the room was filled with the vague pale light of the sun that would soon rise. He realized he was, thankfully, at the Burrow, and Ron was still fast asleep on the bed next to him. How his best friend could manage to stay asleep through his nightmares, he would never know.

With his breathing back to normal and his nerves somewhat calmed, Harry laid his head back on his pillow and awaited the day.


Far away from Harry, a man was halfway asleep when he felt it: a little tingle of panic right in the back of his head. It was small and insignificant, but he was a light sleeper. He let out an irritated growl, knowing he would not get back to sleep unless it went away. This tingle was about as irritating as Pettigrew's whining, and that was wholly intolerable, though it caused him no great problems.

With a roll of his eyes, he turned over in his bed. The little tingle seemed to calm just a bit. Hoping it would continue to further calm, he decided to try relaxing himself enough to reach sleep once more. He did what he usually did: closed his eyes and ran through his day in his mind. It's not that his day was particularly riveting, but he always figured that one could notice things one maybe typically skip over while actually living. He had discovered, more than once, that review is quite helpful to a dark lord.

After he had started his morning and finished his breakfast, Lucius entered with Narcissa and Draco to say greetings before they went along with their day. Of course, he knew it was just an attempt to get into his good graces, but he couldn't help but feel like the Malfoy family relied on him to begin their day. An evil smile came onto is face.

They worship me as a part of their daily ritual.

Taking a closer look, he discovered that Draco's proper business face showed a hint of fear. He smiled to himself, knowing the effect he had on people, but also noting that he would have to be sure not to scare him too much. When followers became too scared, they weakened their loyalty. A weakened loyalty led to them going behind his back to feel safe again.

As the Malfoy clan left, he could see Draco exhale in relief. Yes, he would be sure to fix that...

Later on, he was in his study, brushing up on some ancient spells he thought would be useful and practicing them wandless and/or wordless. One that had particularly caught his eyes was Vivamus intercessiones. It apparently sent electrical currents through the victim's body. While he originally thought it did not sound like much, especially considering it doesn't hurt at all when one is hit with the spell, he discovered that, theoretically, an oh-so-talented-and-practiced caster is supposed to be able to control their movements and brain functions with it. Obviously, it would take more practice than he had time for, but it was nice to watch someone lose control of their motor functions, if only for a few minutes. Looking back, he supposed it sounded like a more complicated version of the Imperious Curse.

No matter. It was the fun that counts.

After that, he had another meeting with his Death Eaters that was oh-so productive. They had discussed and revised most of the attack plans...again. It was uneventful, if not purpose-less...

At that moment, the tingle returned. Voldemort opened his eyes and huffed.

Just when I thought the irritating sensation was gone for good...how terrible inconvenient.

He wondered what could be causing it, but the answer came shortly after: Harry Potter. He closed his eyes once more, cursing the day he went to murder that child in Godric's Hollow. With a deep breath, he concentrated on the part of his mind where the tingle was coming from. He could feel something there, so he gave it a slight, mental nudge. It pushed back, and from that, a thought squeezed out.

Damn. Another bloody nightmare.

Yes, it was definitely Potter, that insufferable brat. But at last, the sensation was gone. Turning over once more, Voldemort finally settled down and drifted back to sleep.