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Nightmare by BLONDEbehaviour
Chapter 1 : Nightmare
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 27

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August, 1997

“The only thing stronger than fear is love."

In the dark and desolate depths of the dungeons, Hogwarts Headmaster Severus Snape woke with a start, heart pounding in his chest and sheets clammy with sweat. He had been having the same dream, no, nightmare, for several weeks now, and it always ended with a sickeningly sweet voice whispering those enchanting words to him. And he was terrified.

Severus was not a man that could be scared easily- he had endured too much throughout his life for that. There was too much blood on his hands to be washed off, and he knew this. Fear no longer touched him as it had when he was a youth.  

But this nightmare, it was different. Once he had awoken, his conscious mind could not remember any more than the unfamiliar voice speaking those eight words that had painfully burned themselves into his mind. But his body remembered, and had begun to etch fear into him; there were nights when he would wake up screaming, but what it was that scared him, he could not recall...

He tried everything to stop himself from dreaming. Even brewing his own, more powerful, version on the dreamless sleep potion which, coincidently, did not relieve him of his nightmares. Rather, it made his arousal from sleep painful. Each morning waking with an ache in his chest, as if being stabbed my hundreds of small blade.

In the dungeons, no one can hear you scream.

Several weeks had passed, and the nightmare still held its grip on Severus’ mind. He couldn’t shake it, and it was beginning to take a physical toll on his body. He became gaunt and thin, dark circles under his eyes from lack of undisturbed sleep. He had a short tolerance for anything and anyone.  Those who had the misfortune of being in his classroom or getting in his way were dealt with wickedly.  If he was feeling horrid, he would sure as Merlin make sure others did as well.


These weeks, however, were different from the rest. Severus could not distinguish what he was doing that triggered the sudden change, but he was beginning to get flashes, of what he can only determine to be the nightmare, continuously invading his conscious mind. He began to see the silhouette of a woman. She would appear ghostlike throughout the day. Whether in the background of a busy classroom or walking past as he wandered the castle, he would clearly recognise the woman by the only clear feature that he could see; her vibrant red hair, the shade of fresh blood.

It was infrequent at first, her shadow alluding him and only appearing once or twice a week, but the less he slept, trying to stop himself from letting his mind roam in the unconscious, where the nightmare haunted his nights, the more she would visit him in daylight hours.

As the woman’s apparitions increased, he began to get more flashes of the nightmare. These scenes were always of himself in a dark room, but the words, rather riddles, differed. Severus began to write down the cryptic riddles that were spoken, trying to string them together in a way which could help him understand what was going on.

Hogwarts made you friends

The emptiness will haunt you

Her blood is on your hands

Regret is all you hold now

Severus now had another unknown nightmare haunting him; the death of this mysterious woman.

These flashes now had him failing to ignore the pangs of regret that echoed through his mind. He began to lose his focus on reality, concentrating wholly on this woman, and the nightmare that was cleverly alluding him. The flashes and riddles given to him was only beginning to confuse him further; he was not able to connect the messages.

Her blood is on my hands. If only I could see her face, maybe then I would sleep at night.

The longer that these unconscious encounters continued, Severus began to realise that it wasn’t only his sleep that the mysterious woman and nightmare was robbing him of- it was his life as well. It had begun to a mental and physical struggle for him to leave his dungeon chamber. But he did not ask for help, or advice. No one would answer, anyway.

In the dungeons, no one can hear you scream.

Halloween, 1997

Severus was in his bed, eyes fixed to the ceiling. It was Halloween, and he was terrified of falling asleep. He knew that his time was close to the end, life had been draining from him daily, and he had to put McGonagall in charge as Deputy Headmistress.

In one last hopeful thought that his life would pass quietly, Severus fell asleep.

And dreamt.

There were flashes of black, and Hogwarts castle stood proudly in front of Severus. But that was not what interested him. He was in fact watching a younger version of himself. His younger self looked up at the castle solemnly. Next to him stood a red-headed woman, her face darkened. She turned to face his younger self. “Come Severus, we must return to the castle now” she said. As she walked, she turned to him as she walked past him, with the younger Severus following behind her.

He pursued her, but as she walked through the large oak doors, she disappeared. Not wanting to lose sight of this mysterious woman who could give him answers he ran after her. However, once he walked through the oak door, he did not find himself in the Hogwarts foyer, but in his potions classroom, watching himself have a conversation on the other side of the room; he was smiling, enjoying the conversation. When his younger self turned, he was speaking with the same red-headed woman, still obscured to his sight. Trying to walk closer, he was abruptly stopped when the woman turned to face him straight on. She knew he was there, so why didn’t the other version of himself acknowledge this? He heard her last spoken words “the only thing stronger than fear is love” carry down to him. He was shocked.  It did not make any sense, that this unknown woman would speak such compassionate words to him. Unless…

The woman walked past him once more, and out the door. Severus contemplated not following, but the pull was too strong, the mystery so close to being solved, and soon enough he was walking briskly out the classroom door…

And straight into Malfoy Manor.

Something cold against his neck woke Severus from his nightmare, but he was not currently concerned about that. He was overjoyed with the fact that he could remember some of the nightmare that had been haunting him for so long! He was sure the answer had something to do with Malfoy Manor, and in the hopes of regaining some more information, he tried to settle himself back into sleep. Unfortunately, the cold on his neck would not budge, and he could not get comfortable.

Trying to see if he could get rid of the cold himself, he brushed his fingers against the cold on his neck.

He was not expecting his fingers to come away dripping with blood.

Eyes open in shock, he looked up into his room.

And into the eyes of Charity Burbage.

Her red hair flowing, she stood above him, hand out, knife against his neck.

“Ch… Charity?”

“The only thing stronger than fear is love, Severus. And I love you, as your friend. So I’m here to take away your fear”

As Charity positioned the knife above his chest, those stabbing feelings he had previously felt as he awoke, became real.

In the dungeons, no one can hear you scream.


Authors note: Hi everyone! This was my first ever stab at a somewhat scary-ish story! Its purpose is to keep the fear in your mind, it is up to you to interpret the outcome.

The quote “The emptiness will haunt you” is from Alesana’s song The Curse of The Virgin Canvas.

I’d love to know what you think! Good, bad, blah. Anything.




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