Severus was walking among the sleeping students, listening to their quiet breathing, thinking about him. Thinking about that traitor, that bastard who surrendered to Voldemort and gave him Potter's name, bringing death upon… Lily.
His fingers tightened around his wand as he continued to wander among his students. The light moonshine cast enough brightness that he could recognize the faces around him, however he wasn't watching them. The picture of Sirius Black was floating in front of him; he wanted to kill that man with all his heart. He would kill him no matter what. That son of a b…
He saw a face next to his right leg, which was way too familiar. He knew every millimeters of that face by heart. He stopped and stared at the closed eyes, hoping that they would open up, showing their sparkling green color to him. That boy… and his eyes.
Harry moved under his blanket, his hand clenched, his closed eyes frowned. He was still sleeping but he murmured something in his dream. He threw his head from one side to the other, then back. Severus couldn't force his legs to move, to walk away and let that kid suffer in his nightmare.
He looked around; no one was near them only the sleeping students, so he kneeled down at the boy's head. Harry murmured something again and this time, he understood it.
"Mom…" Like an icy dagger, the word slashed into his heart. Harry clearly was having a nightmare about his mother.
Severus reached his hand over Harry's chest, but hesitated. His fingers clenched and unclenched for seconds right over the dark blanket not daring to touch, to calm the frightened boy. Did he even have the right to do it? Did he…
Harry moaned again, this time louder and with more fear. He even must have kicked with his leg, because his blanket slid a foot down. Severus lowered his hand immediately; his warm fingers stroked Harry through his blue shirt but it wasn't enough for the boy. Another scared moan escaped him as he threw his head to the other side again.
"Don't…kill…Mom…" He groaned and his hand tightened on the top of the blanket.
Severus, not hesitating any longer, laid a hand on Harry's face, his thumb stoking the boy's white, pale skin. "Harry… It's alright…Shhh… Everything is alright, Harry…" He murmured in an almost inaudible voice.
Suddenly, Harry's eyes shot open and he sat upright. His arms quickly went around Severus, pulling him in, pressing their chest together. His fingers dashed into Severus' robe, as he buried his head in his professor's neck, panting heavily.
Severus' dark eyes opened up widely as the boy grabbed onto him. His hands stopped in mid-air for a second before sliding gently over Harry's back, caressing him. His right hand slithered into the raven hair, soothing the shaking boy. "Harry…" He murmured almost silently.
For minutes they remained in that position; Harry, grabbing onto his professor, Severus, holding the boy.
"Sleep now." Severus whispered in the darkness when Harry's trembling elapsed and his grip loosened. Carefully, he laid Harry back on the ground before placing a feather like kiss on his forehead. For a few more seconds he watched the closed eyes and calm, peaceful expression on the boy, and then he stood up. He looked around and his gaze met with a wide open, piercing blue pair of eyes.
What did he just do?
When Harry woke up, everyone was still asleep around him. He put on his glasses and looked at his friends. Ron's light snoring from his left made him smile. Lying down on his back he looked at the magical ceiling. The rising sunshine broke its way through the rose and orange clouds, however it was still very early. He looked at his watch: 5:13. Very early indeed.
He heard footsteps approaching him. He turned around to see if maybe it was Dumbledore. Maybe he might say something about Black's whereabouts. Maybe they found something during the night.
But the man coming towards him wasn't the headmaster but another professor: Severus Snape. His black robe was floating after him like black wings. A dark memory came up to the surface from the bottom of his mind.
A terrifying nightmare about the death of his mother…
Her scream, tearing a hole into his heart…
A warm hand…
A cool voice calling for him, saving him from the wild dimensions of the dream.
A dark man, his scent, his hard grip…
His eyes widened as Snape looked at him. Still looking at the professor, unconsciously his fingers rose to his forehead.
A gentle kiss on his forehead…
Couldn't be… It must have been another dream. Just a dream, a crazy, messed up, foggy dream, surely not reality.
'Are you absolutely sure?' A quiet voice spoke up in him.
Walking through the dark corridors he couldn't forget last night. Was it a dream and only his mind was messing with him? Or was it reality? The most unbelievable reality?
When he looked up from the ground he almost bumped into the man who inhabited his thoughts recently.
"Watch your step, Potter." Snape said sharply.
'Sleep now…' said the man in his cool, calming voice.
"Excuse me, Professor Snape." Harry replied, looking into the dark eyes. For seconds neither of them moved, they just stared at each other and Harry realized, it wasn't a dream. He wanted to ask all of the questions which filled his mind, however one question was more important than all the others: why? But he didn't dare speak up, and then suddenly he was out of time. Snape moved.
Looking at the ground, Harry whispered two words to Severus walking by him.
Severus stopped for a second and Harry closed his eyes. He didn't even know what he was hoping for. Then he heard footsteps moving further away from him.
Though he was left standing alone in a dark, empty corridor, he was smiling. He could swear he heard a gentle "You're welcome" just a second ago.