Hours, days, or minutes could have passed as Harry repeatedly fell in and out of consciousness. For those short moments when he knew he was awake he didn't know where he was. Once he tried desperately to open his eyes but was repeatedly unsuccessful. It was as if his body refused to listen. He was exhausted and all his shocked body seemed to want to do was to fall back asleep and hide from the world. Harry whimpered, feeling confused and frightened, and felt something around him tighten. He was suddenly aware that he was being held. Whatever was holding him felt so warm… flashes of the frigid air attacked his mind. Half awake, Harry snuggled into the warmth, desperately trying to ward off thoughts of the attack… thoughts of the woman screaming. He buried his head into the warmth in an attempt to fight the cold that he could feel creeping back into his body.
The next time Harry woke, he was slightly more aware of his surroundings. He could hear sibilant hissing around him as he opened his eyes for a brief moment before they forced themselves shut once more. He moaned, feeling exhausted and sore. The hissing stopped. "Shhhh…." A voice said to him. Harry perked up for just a moment before falling asleep once more, almost certain he recognized the voice.
Harry was sitting against a stone wall, eyes closed. He felt at peace, just relaxing against the stone, his thoughts quiet. Then he heard it. The rattling breaths that instantly shook him from his reverie. His eyes popped open but he saw nothing. He closed his eyes quickly before opening them again. Blackness. Why couldn't he see? The breaths were quiet, as if they were from a distance, but Harry could hear them slowly becoming louder… coming closer. Harry tried to stand up but found that he couldn't move his upper body. Becoming frantic in the darkness, he used his legs to try to push himself upwards, but his upper body seemed frozen against the wall. The breathing was becoming louder and Harry started screaming.
"HELP ME! SOMEBODY! HELP ME!"
The stone wall was becoming colder by the second, the rattling growing nearer. Harry screwed his eyes closed in the darkness in an instinctual effort to fend off what was coming for him.
"SOMEBODY HELP ME! PLEASE!
Aside from the rattling there was silence. No one was coming. Harry continued to fight to stand, adrenaline pumping through his veins. Why couldn't he move?!
His eyes shot open. Somebody was out there! "HELP ME!"
Harry shook now, both from terror and from the all-consuming cold. That's when Harry saw it in the near distance… a dementor, just as dreadful and terrifying as it had been in the playground. It was coming closer.
"PLEASE!" Harry desperately shouted into the darkness, the dementor almost within reach now.
"HARRY!" Someone shouted, panicked. The wall behind him vanished and he was suddenly able to move. He clamored backwards, desperately trying to get away from the dementor.
"NNOOOOOO!" he screamed and covered his eyes with his hands in a childish attempt at escape. He was hyperventilating, absolutely terrified. Something touched him.
Harry's entire body lurched forward and he fell, landing on the ground with a thud. He stood again in an attempt to run, only to take a few steps and trip over his own quivering legs.
He lay on the stone ground, legs curled into his body, arms covering his head. He began sobbing.
"P-please don't hurt me… ple-ease. I'm sorry, please d-don't hurt me!"
'Master… what's wrong with him?'
'I- I don't know, Nagini.'
Cowering on the ground, tears running down his face, Harry had never been so terrified in his life.
"H-Harry…" The boy hardly heard his name above his sobs.
"Help… me…" he whimpered.
A few moments passed.
Harry…. little one….
Harry jumped. Was that…?
The voice! It had come for him! Dumbledore had come for him! Timidly, Harry's eyes opened. It was no longer dark, Harry blinked through the tears that were still falling. He was lying on a rug in an unknown place, no longer caught in the darkness… no longer staring into the face of a dementor.
There was silence in the room… but he was sure he had heard…
Still breathing heavily from fear and crying, he pushed himself up onto his side and quickly looked around the strange place. He had heard the voice, he was sure of it. It had saved him… again.
Harry? He heard the voice louder and clearer than ever, even felt its presence… as if right behind him.
Harry Potter turned over, half raised onto his elbows. Emerald eyes locked with crimson.