He felt as if he were buried alive as the darkness pressed in on all sides. Harry felt something hard in his hand and looked down- his wand. He turned in a circle as he tried to gain his bearings in the blackness, and paused when a small light appeared in the distance. He walked forward, unable to feel the ground beneath him and feeling as if he were floating across the space. As he moved the light came closer, much faster than it should have for he wasn't walking that quickly. In a few moments time Harry was forced to squint his eyes as the brightness engulfed him. As the light began to ease he looked around, gripping his only means of defense in his hand tightly. The place looked familiar, but also strangely different. As he looked closer Harry realized he was at Hogwarts, standing right outside of the main entrance. The castle looked worn and beaten down with large areas of the stone walls missing or cracked. Vines traveled up the side of the walls, slowly taking over. The ground was no longer a bright healthy shade of green, but instead rocky dirt and clumps of clay. The clouds in the sky looked as grey and ominous as the castle. This wasn't the Hogwarts Harry remembered.
"Come to visit me, Harry?" He spun around at the sound of the voice, lifting his wand. His eyes widened. About 30 feet away stood the Dark Lord- tall and looming, his deadly red eyes trained on Harry. The serpentine man wore a sadistic smirk, as if he had been waiting his entire life for this moment. "Now now, you look terrified. Don't be so scared. We both knew this day would come."
Harry could feel the terror on his face as he clutched his wand tighter, trying to bring to mind the most volatile curses he could remember… but something was wrong. Voldemort was speaking as he began to move forward, but Harry didn't hear a word as he frantically racked his brain for an offensive spell, even a defensive spell, anything… but nothing came to mind. He couldn't remember anything, couldn't remember any form of magic at all. His mind was blank with terror.
"-as you can certainly understand. Is something the matter Harry?" Voldemort asked with feigned concern. He had cut the distance between them in half.
Once more Harry tried in vain to remember anything. He swallowed and tried to steady his shaking hand. His heart was pounding as his breath came in short intense gasps. He knew this was it, the one thing he had been destined for- to duel the Dark Lord. But it was as if all the magic had been taken from his body… he felt empty, completely mindless, he had nothing. He dropped his wand, it was useless to him anyway. Maybe Voldemort would take it at as sign that he wasn't willing to fight… that he couldn't fight… and show mercy on him. He felt small and vulnerable… scared. Harry begged the murderer of his parents, "Please don't hurt me."
Voldemort broke into a loud laugh. "Oh dear boy, I'll make it quick and painless, just like I did with your father." Harry's face paled. "Your mother on the other hand… I offered to spare her, told her to leave, but no, she chose to disobey me. You won't make it difficult for yourself will you Harry? You're smarter than she was."
"Please don't, I'll do anything."
Voldemort finally raised his wand towards the boy. "Oh no my boy, I'm not letting you go again. The only thing you can do for me Harry Potter is succumb to me, once and for all. I'll make it quick, for you never truly had a choice in fighting this war."
Harry could see the green light engulf the very tip of Voldemort's wand before the incantation had even been spoken aloud. He closed his eyes tightly and screamed…
He was awoken by a panicked scream. Harry's eyes shot open as his hands clutched tightly to the fabric of the sheets. He was lying on his side in a puddle of sweat as he heard his name being spoken, suddenly someone was blocking his vision. Eyes that so much resembled the Killing Curse that just took his life glanced up and met red crimson. Harry let out a strangled cry and shot up in bed, quickly backing away.
"Harry, wait, what's wrong?!"
Harry paused for the briefest of moments when he heard the familiar voice. It was the same voice he had heard in the dream, but yet it was different… it lacked the hatred, the cruelty. Instead it was confused, concerned, kind. He sat staring wide-eyed at the man before his world came settling back down around him like a blanket.
He was in his room, Hedwig was looking at him curiously from her perch, Nagini somehow still asleep by the fire, and Voldemort stood silently watching him.
His breathing was slowing as he placed his hand against his face, feeling the heat and sweat.
"Are you alright?"
Harry swallowed hard, "Uh, yes. I think I um, I think I just had a bad dream."
"I'd say so."
Harry stayed where he was on the large bed, still keeping a safe distance from Voldemort, and could feel himself shaking.
"Why don't you come back over here?" Harry jumped as Voldemort extended his hand. The man paused, understanding, before pulling his hand back. "Ah… I see." The two sat in silence for a moment. "Can I assume I was in the dream?"
Harry sat feeling awkward as there was really no reason to have a nightmare about Voldemort, at least not anymore, but sweet Merlin it had felt so real. "Yeah… sorry," he said.
"Harry, I hardly think you have need to apologize. Have you had these dreams before?"
"Not for a while." Harry admitted as he looked down to the silk sheets still tangled in his hands.
"As I said, I hardly think you need to feel bad about this. I'll return to my work." Voldemort said simply as he quickly spelled the sweaty sheets clean. Harry felt extremely guilty as he watched Voldemort return to his desk. The man understood that Harry couldn't control his dreams but the boy still felt terrible, he should have just lied. Voldemort had taken care of him for almost two months and apparently some part of Harry's subconscious still saw the man as a threat.
He slowly lay back down onto the bed, trying to relax his adrenaline filled body. Minutes passed as the boy's breathing returned to normal and he shifted on the bed. He closed his eyes but opened them immediately when he saw his father's body on the ground, his mother weeping at his side. He tossed and turned, desperately trying to fall back asleep. He closed his eyes once more, relieved that all he saw was darkness. He took a deep breath and settled in. Only moments passed before he felt a terrible nagging behind him, he tried to ignore the feeling but it only grew stronger. It felt as though someone was coming up behind him, and Harry's body tensed as he waited for something to touch him. The anticipation grew to be too much and Harry whirled around in the bed, quickly looking behind him for any signs of danger.
Finally sitting up, Harry looked to Voldemort, who was expertly ignoring him. "Can you-" Harry sighed and stopped, but Voldemort looked up from his work.
"Can I what?"
"… can you come over here?"
"For what? I can speak to you just fine from here."
"Yeah I know but- can you please just come over here?" Harry said slightly exasperated. Why won't he just get his butt over here?!
Voldemort stood from his desk and made his way towards the bed, looking down at Harry. "What do you need?"
"Look, I'm sorry. That's the first dream I've had like that in a long time, actually since I've been here. It was mostly about my parents anyway." Harry said quickly, his words running together a bit in his haste. "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."
Voldemort smirked, "You didn't hurt my feelings. I am not angry, I cannot blame you for having nightmares about the past."
Harry sat quietly for a moment, suddenly extremely embarrassed. Was he really going to ask Voldemort this? "Can you um, sit with me?"
"I can't get back to sleep. Can you just sit here until I do?"
"Are you that scared?"
"I'm not scared." The boy replied stubbornly.
"Alright alright," the Dark Lord said as he sat down upon the bed, leaning back against the headrest and situating himself before crossing his legs at the ankles. "You're not scared." Voldemort smirked knowingly.
Harry laid back down and got himself situated, pulling the blankets up to his chin as Voldemort conjured another blanket and placed it upon the boy. Harry buried his head in the pillow and closed his eyes. He could feel the warmth from Voldemort's body beside him, but soon he felt the eerie sensation creeping up behind him once again, the feeling that someone was about to attack from behind. He knew it was ridiculous, but he nevertheless turned his head and looked over his shoulder. A pale white hand blocked his vision and gently pulled his face back around.
"It's ok Harry, do not worry. You're safe."
"Yeah, I know." Harry scooted closer to the Dark Lord, pressing his face into the side of the man's leg. "I used to have bad dreams a lot, back at the Dursleys."
"About what?"Voldemort asked as he brushed through Harry's hair.
"I don't know, things. Bad things. My parents, being punished… mainly being punished."
"By your uncle?"
Voldemort's hand tightened in Harry's thin t-shirt. "What would you think if I told you I have plans to personally visit your uncle and aunt?"
Harry lifted his head, "Really?"
"Yes, they deserve much worse than they are going to get for hurting you for so long."
Putting his head back down Harry said, "I don't know how I feel about that."
"Understandable. My only concern is if you will turn from me because of it. I won't do it if it will make you unhappy."
"Oh… so it's up to me?"
A few quiet moments passed, "I'll think about it. Will you be mad at me if I say no?"
Voldemort chuckled lightly, "I must confess that I will be disappointed." Harry inhaled deeply, taking in Voldemort's calming scent. "Sleep now, my little snake. I will keep you safe."