Chapter One: Memories of a Monster

He woke with a start from his sickeningly vivid dream, his heart racing, his sweat drenched sheets tangled around his feet. He always felt as though the heavy darkness of the dorm room was pinning his limbs to the bed, he was unable to move, and barely able to breathe. He had these nightmares every so often, he'd had so many he could hardly remember when they had started, but they were always the same.

Since coming to Hogwarts it had gotten a little easier though. Waking up from a night terror here was so much better than waking from one under the stairs, in that dank, confined space – where the threat of real monsters didn't dissipate once you opened your eyes.

But at Hogwarts it was better, not that there wasn't a certain type of peril at Hogwarts – but it was one Harry revelled in, and actively sought out to be honest, he'd be willing to do pretty much anything to take his mind off the past – though in his heart he knew he would never be able to forget.

He lay awake, steadying his breathing, though he'd relived this horror so many times, it didn't get any easier. He tuned in to the sound of Ron snoring and the rain tapping lightly against the panes of glass and he let the feeling of safety sink in, this was Hogwarts, and Hogwarts meant Ron and Hermione, and Hagrid, and magic, and Quidditch, and Dumbledore. Somehow, in knowing that Dumbledore couldn't be too far away he found that he could drift back to sleep again, leaving the terrors of his past to the deeper recesses of sleep.