Harry Potter and the Daemon Sidhe


Story Summary:
In the aftermath of the events of the Ministry, Harry is in dire need of help. That help arrives in the form of six mysterious people, along with his friends and even foes, who give him the strength and support he will need to defeat Voldemort. Written post-OotP but will take some factors of HBP into account.

Chapter 01


Chapter 1

Privet Drive lay silent and dark under the inky, star-filled sky. The only sign of life was a small light glinting in the window of a first floor bedroom in the house at Number Four. The room belonged to a fifteen-year-old boy named Harry Potter who was currently screaming, his body arching off his bed in pain. Although his room was filled with the sound of his agonised screams, no one else knew of them. Anyone looking into the room from the door or the window would only see what appeared to be a pantomime of pain.

After what seemed to be an eternity, Harry slumped back down onto his bed, exhausted and soaked in sweat. He lay gasping and swearing for a few minutes then he slowly pushed himself into a sitting position. He ran a hand through his sweat-soaked hair and let out a shuddering sigh then swung his legs around and pushed himself rather painfully to his feet. He swayed for a moment then staggered over to the door. He opened it to be greeted with the sounds of his cousin Dudley's snoring. He walked slowly to the bathroom and washed his face then looked at himself in the mirror. He stared flatly at the vision in the mirror. His eyes were red-rimmed and bloodshot, his face was pale and drawn and his hair, when not wet like it was now, was even more of a mess than ever. Harry snorted at his reflection and returned to his room. He shut the door and slumped down in the chair at his desk. He turned his dull eyes towards the desk where schoolbooks lay open and parchment was scattered. His eye was caught by a letter that had arrived on his first morning here.

Dear Mr Potter,

After consultation with Headmaster Dumbledore and given the events of last summer, the Ministry of Magic has agreed to exempt you from the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery.

It is expected that you will not abuse this unprecedented privilege. The exemption has been granted for your safety and not for frivolous purposes. You will still be monitored and any flagrant abuse of this exemption will result in you being subject to the Decree again.

Hoping you are well,

Yours sincerely,

Mafalda Hopkirk

Improper Use of Magic Office

Ministry of Magic

Harry had never been so relieved to receive a letter from the Ministry before. His first night back at the Dursleys had been disturbed by nightmares of Sirius and the Department of Mysteries and his resultant cries had woken his Aunt and Uncle. They had still been sufficiently cowed by their meeting with the Order at King's Cross to do anything more than yell at him but Harry had not been expecting that to last for too long if he continued to wake them up at night. Receiving the letter and the subsequent ability to now cast silencing charms on his room had gone a long way to ensuring a quiet summer. The fact that he rarely left his room except to attend sporadic meals and to shower also helped.

Harry sighed and tapped his fingers against the letter. He knew he would struggle to get back to sleep after the vision he had just had. He grimaced and pulled a clean piece of parchment towards himself and reached for his quill and ink. He had promised to inform Dumbledore if anything happened with his scar. There hadn't been much to report so far; Voldemort had been unusually quiet. His sleep had been largely disturbed only by ordinary nightmares but tonight had been different. Voldemort had been very angry tonight and had taken out that anger on those around him. Harry rocked his head from side to side and listened to his neck crack slightly. He dipped his quill in the ink and began to write:

Dear Professor Dumbledore,

You asked me to write if anything happened with my scar; well tonight I had a vision. Voldemort was extremely angry. It appears he has been looking for a way to get his people out of Azkaban. He sent some of his Death Eaters to try to infiltrate the Ministry since now that Lucius Malfoy has been locked up he doesn't have that source anymore but they nearly got caught. He was pretty annoyed at them and started cursing them. I woke up after that. Sorry it's not much.


He looked the letter over. Okay, he hadn't exactly told the truth about the cursing and when he woke up but he didn't want to go into that in a letter and really, there was nothing that Dumbledore could do about it anyway. Harry stood and walked over to where Hedwig was sleeping with her head tucked under one wing. He gently stroked her until she woke. The snowy owl snapped her beak together a little irritably but soon perked up when she saw Harry had a letter for her.

"Can you take this to Dumbledore?" he asked softly.

Hedwig clicked her beak together and held out her leg. Harry tied the letter onto her leg and stepped back as the owl spread her wings and took off out of the window. Harry sighed as he watched her go; he'd miss her, she was the only creature around here who wanted to see him. He watched out the window for a moment then sat back down at his desk. He pulled the topmost book towards him and began to read. It was an advanced potions text that he had owl-ordered; not in preparation for sixth year but in the hopes that he could find out how to prepare the Dreamless Sleep potion. If it wasn't insanely difficult he was hoping to attempt to brew it; with any luck it might allow him to get a decent night's sleep for once.

He sat and read for a few hours before he was forced to put the book down. His eyes were sore and scratchy and he was tired. He looked over at his clock; it was 4:47 in the morning. He rubbed his eyes and looked rather sourly at his bed. He supposed it wouldn't hurt to try and get some more sleep. He wandered over to the bed and slumped down onto it before lying down and pulling the sheets and blankets over him. He closed his eyes and his sheer exhaustion soon had him asleep.

His sleep was destined not to be peaceful though. He quickly slipped into REM sleep and from there into nightmares once again.


The six beings walked through the swirling Void. They looked around but they did not see the Void itself but instead saw the world that moved through and around the Void as though it didn't exist. They had been awakened and it had not taken too long to see why. Darkness was engulfing the world; war was imminent; their time had come. All they needed to do now was find the one who would lead them. They had been searching for some time and they believed they were getting close. The man in the lead frowned and pointed.

"There," he said quietly.

The others looked and nodded in agreement. They walked over and leaned down to examine the person they could see through the Void. It appeared to be a young man and he didn't look very well. He appeared to be thrashing around on the bed on which he lay and shouting. The man who had spoken frowned and waved his hand. Suddenly the dreams of the young man appeared in the minds of the six beings and they all flinched. They were terrible dreams; dreams of people standing in front of the young man and admonishing him. Clearly these people were dead and they all appeared to be accusing the young man of killing them. The six beings could clearly hear and feel the young man's anguish and terror at these dreams.

"Oh no," one of the women said softly. "No wonder he looks so terrible. Look in his mind; these dreams are a regular event and it looks like there are worse ones too. We've got to get him out of this. I could do it easily."

"No!" the first man said firmly. "I'll do it. Look in his mind. He feels guilty about this; smothering him with sympathy isn't going to help. Besides you can see as well as I can that he knows what he has to do. Something about a prophecy it seems but he is definitely the one who will lead us." The man paused and raised an exasperated eyebrow. "He's not even trained. All the more reason for me to be the first."

"You're right," one of the other men said. "He'll probably listen to you. You take the lead this time."

The first nodded and reached out with his hands.


Harry moaned in his sleep. In his dream he stood on a smoking battlefield while the dead bodies of his friends and teachers rose and walked up to him. When they reached him they spat words of accusation and spite at him, accusing him of causing their deaths. Harry flinched at the hateful words and desperately tried to tell himself that it was not real.

It's just a dream, it's just a dream, it's just a dream, he chanted to himself.

Suddenly the smoking battlefield disappeared and around him a large, square room came into existence. It had wooden walls and floors and a wooden ceiling. One wall was completely taken up with mirrors with benches in front and on another wall was rack after rack of weapons. On a third wall stood racks of various types of armour. The fourth wall was empty except for a door. Harry blinked as he took all of this in then he heard a voice.

"Yes, this is just a dream but all dreams do not have to be bad."

Harry whirled around. Behind him was standing a tall, muscular man with short sandy hair and dark brown eyes. His face was harsh and craggy though somewhat leavened at the moment by the friendly smile. He wore the kind of clothes that Harry imagined people had worn hundreds of years ago; black leather breeches and long knee-high black boots, a white shirt covered by a black leather tunic and leather gauntlets. Altogether he presented a picture of a man who was both intimidating and extremely competent. Harry goggled at him for a moment before finding his voice.

"Er, who...who are you?" he stammered.

The man smiled again and started to walk towards Harry. "My name is Devante and I have been looking for you for some time."

Harry swallowed and looked startled. "Er, me?"

Devante chuckled. "Yes, you, Harry Potter."

Harry blinked. "Why? And how did you know my name?"

"I know your name because we are in your mind. This is, after all, your dream." Devante shrugged. "I just hijacked it, that's all."

"Oh," Harry said a little blankly.

Devante watched the young man in front of him with some amusement. He actually thought Harry was handling this rather well. He was clearly surprised but had recovered enough to ask some pertinent questions. Devante decided to try and divert the young man; explanations and long talks could wait. From what he had seen in Harry's mind, he rather thought the young man could do with some stress relief. He gestured over to the racks of weaponry.

"Want to learn how to use some of those?"

Harry blinked. That was a bit of non-sequitur but as he eyed the variety of weapons he found the idea of whacking something inanimate with a chunk of metal was rather attractive.

"Um, okay."

Devante grinned. "Excellent! Have you used any sort of weapon before?"

Harry frowned. "Er, well, I used a sword once to kill a basilisk but I didn't really know what I was doing. I just got a lucky opportunity and kind of took it."

Devante raised an eyebrow. "You killed a basilisk and you didn't know what you were doing? Well, either you're a very, very lucky young man or you found a particularly stupid basilisk to fight."

Harry grinned wryly. "Well, a phoenix did blind the basilisk for me. I suspect that made it a little easier."

"Yes, it would have," Devante said. "But you were the one who killed it. Well, let's try and rectify that lack of knowledge, eh?"

Harry nodded and Devante led him over to the racks of swords. He handed swords to Harry until he found one he was comfortable with then the older man cast a small spell on the sword.

"That spell'll blunt the sword so you can practice with real steel but not have to worry about hurting yourself or damaging the blade."

Harry nodded and Devante took him over to the wall with all the mirrors. With a wave of his hand a tall wooden pillar appeared and Devante positioned Harry behind the pillar so that he was facing the mirror.

"Now, grip the sword with both hands for the moment," Devante instructed as he made a couple of marks on the pillar, "and hit each of these marks in turn. Keep going until I tell you to stop."

Harry took in a deep breath and started swinging. At first it was hard to coordinate his actions but after awhile he began to get into a rhythm and he was able to speed things up and get some more force behind the blows. Soon his muscles were burning with the effort but he kept going, his breath starting to come in gasps. He found the physical effort required wiped out all other thoughts in his mind and all he could concentrate on was the rhythmic action of the blows.

Devante watched Harry carefully. He'd rather expected this; that Harry would throw himself into the exercise so enthusiastically. He knew from experience that this particular exercise was a good way not to think. It was rhythmic and mesmerising. If Harry's dreams were any indication, the ability to not think about what had happened to him and what was going on now would be a welcome relief. He considered using Harry's preoccupation to delve a little more into the young man's mind but eventually decided against it. If he had read Harry correctly then the young man wouldn't appreciate it and would be unlikely to trust him. So, he would have to do this the hard way and get Harry to open up to him naturally.

After about a half-hour of this exercise, Harry began to falter. His blows became more and more inaccurate and his rhythm began to stutter.

"That's enough, Harry," Devante said and Harry stepped back with a relieved sigh and dropped the sword to the ground.

"What do you think you are doing?" Devante demanded angrily and Harry looked up at him in surprise. The older man's face was dark and stormy and his eyes were angry.

"W...what?" Harry stammered.

"Pick up that sword," Devante said, enunciating each word clearly.

Harry swallowed and obeyed.

"Never drop your sword in that manner," Devante said sternly. "Your sword is not just some chunk of metal that you can throw around carelessly. It can save your life and you will treat it appropriately. You never drop it, you never throw it away and you never sheathe it without cleaning it properly. Now, go and put your weapon away correctly."

Harry walked over to the weapon racks and thought about what Devante had just said. He winced as he realised that the older man was right. When he had racked the sword he turned around.

"I'm sorry, sir. I didn't mean to be disrespectful," Harry said quietly.

Devante nodded. "I know you didn't but you must learn these things now." He smiled slightly and clapped his hands. "Right! Run laps of the salle until I tell you to stop."

"The salle?" Harry asked.

"Yes, the salle," Devante said with slight exasperation. "This room. It's called a salle."

"Jeez, how was I supposed to know that?" Harry muttered under his breath as he began to run. It was at this point that he realised that he was wearing clothes very similar to what Devante was wearing. Odd, he thought, I don't remember wearing this when this started. Then he shook his head and concentrated on his running. He found it much harder to not think while doing this. You had to stay more aware of things when running and that meant that your brain had time to work.

Devante chuckled under his breath; he had heard Harry's last comment and was pleased to see the show of spirit from the young man. He might be tired, demoralised, run down and plagued by terrible dreams but he still had the spark and spirit that a boy of his age should have. He watched with some sympathy as Harry's expression began to grow weary; he knew it was more than just physical tiredness. He could almost feel the young man's mind starting to tick over and he had no doubts that whatever was causing those dreams was now rushing back into Harry's mind for him to think about. Nevertheless he let Harry run until he began to slow considerably then he took some pity on the boy.

"Alright, you can stop running now but keep walking so that you can cool down a bit," Devante said as he walked over to match paces with Harry.

They walked silently for a moment then Devante asked softly, "Do you want to talk about it?"

Harry said nothing for a while then shook his head. Devante nodded. "That's okay."

They walked silently for a while longer then Harry turned his head slightly. "You said at the beginning that you were looking for me. Why?"

Devante tucked his hands behind his back and was silent for a while. "Well, it's kind of a long story and I don't think you and I are really ready to talk about it. Does that make any sense?"

Harry looked thoughtful then nodded. "Yes, it does. You don't know me, I don't know you and I guess whatever the reason is, it's pretty big."

"Yes, it is," Devante said contemplatively. "It's very big and not something that should just be lumped onto you right now. But I can assure you, I will tell you."

"Well, I'm glad someone is going to tell me things," Harry muttered under his breath.

Devante looked down at him and raised an eyebrow. "What does that mean?"

Harry flushed. "Er, nothing really. Okay, well it does mean something but I...don't really want to talk about it just now."

Devante chuckled. "That's alright."

They walked silently again though the silence was companionable rather than uncomfortable. Harry found that he rather liked Devante. He wasn't really sure why the man had hijacked his dream but found that he didn't really mind. Honestly, a dream spent doing hard physical activity and having slightly obscure conversations was far better than dreaming of people dying or accusing him of killing them.

Finally Devante laid a hand on his shoulder. "I think it's time you were going. It's morning and you should get up and stop moping about in your room. Go outside and enjoy the sunshine. Do some work in the garden. Go for a walk." He smiled wryly. "Anything really. Just stop doing your impression of a vampire. You'll find you'll sleep better if you do."

The wry comment startled Harry into laughter and he nodded. "Okay but how do I get out?"

"Just think about waking up," Devante said with a smile.

Harry did that and was a little surprised to find his eyes opening to see the ceiling of his bedroom at the Dursleys. He felt more refreshed this morning that he had at any other time these holidays. He blinked as he remembered the dream and snorted a little. He wasn't sure if it had been real or something his mind had manufactured. He breathed deeply and sat up. Muscles in his body tightened and almost cramped and he let out a startled yelp. He slowly hauled himself to his feet and hobbled around the room until his muscles began to loosen up. As he stretched out his muscles, his mind ran around in circles.

It was just a dream, wasn't it, he thought to himself. So why do I feel like I've been whacking at something with a sword and then gone running. He frowned and shook his head. He slowly hobbled out of his room and down to the bathroom, his Quidditch experience telling him that a hot shower would do wonders.


Devante reappeared in the Void when Harry awoke and looked over at his companions. "Well?" he asked.

"That went as well as could be expected," one of the men observed. "Why didn't you find out what was wrong from his mind?"

"It would have been the worst possible thing to do, Kolos," Devante said. "He would find out what I did eventually and he would then never trust me again."

"Hmm," Kolos grunted. "Good point. So what do you think of him?"

"I think he feels like he's got the world upon his shoulders," Devante replied wryly. "I'm not sure its really that bad but that's certainly how he feels. He's a good lad though. He's smart, he's enthusiastic and I think he's got a lot of promise."

"You could have told him about the rest of us," one of the women scolded.

"Ah, no, I don't think that would have been a good idea, Asa," Devante said with a smile. "He was having enough trouble coming to terms with my sudden appearance. Dumping you lot on him would have probably sent him running. Besides you wouldn't have been able to help yourself. You would have wanted to coddle him and I don't think that's what he really needs right now."

"Well, I suppose you might be right," Asa grumbled. "Still, the poor boy appears to be having to deal with far more than he ought to have to."

"Of course he is, sister dear," one of the other women said. "But we can do nothing about that right now. We have time."

Asa sighed. "I know, Malini, but I don't like to see him so worn down."

"Asa, you don't like to see your worst enemy so worn down," the third man said dryly.

Asa sniffed primly. "Of course not, Gwydion. That's my nature."

The six chuckled; both Asa and Gwydion were right in their comments. The third woman, who had been silent up till now, suddenly spoke.

"He will walk his own path, this one. We are in for an interesting time with him."

Asa looked over at the woman with interest. "Why is that, Awena?"

"He is far more complex than any of the others who have lead us," she replied. "His life has been difficult and that has impacted on him far more than he thinks. It shall be interesting."

Kolos snorted. "Isn't it always interesting when we are woken?"

The other five chuckled. That was a true enough statement.

"So now we wait for the night and the next time he dreams then?" Malini asked.

"Yes," Devante replied. "I think it will be best to do this via Dreamtime for now. Besides there just isn't enough magic in this place to allow us to become corporeal."

Malini nodded and the six settled in to wait.


Harry got out of the hot shower feeling much better than when he went in. He wrapped a towel around his waist and headed back to his room where he got dressed. In the cold light of day it was hard to work out whether the time spent with Devante was dream or...reality. His mind said it was a dream but his body was insisting quite emphatically that it was real. Harry shook his head and went downstairs into the kitchen. His Aunt was in there cooking breakfast for Dudley who was sitting at the table watching the TV. For the first time since he had been at Smeltings, Dudley had not brought home a letter from the school nurse regarding his weight. This was something of a relief for everyone in the house as the diet was no longer necessary. Dudley hadn't really lost that much weight but he had grown about six inches so what weight he did have was better distributed. He had also continued with his boxing training so a lot of the fat had also been replaced with muscle. When Harry walked into the kitchen, his cousin and Aunt looked over at him. Dudley grunted and turned back to the television.

"Did you want some breakfast?" Aunt Petunia asked with painful politeness. She was still very intimidated by what had happened at the station and had been treating Harry much better than any other time in his life.

He nodded. "Yes, please, Aunt Petunia," he said politely.

His Aunt sniffed but cracked a couple more eggs into the pan and started cooking more bacon. Soon she was sliding a plateful of eggs, bacon and toast in front of him.

"Thank you, Aunt Petunia," Harry said. He had decided that as long as his relatives were polite, it wouldn't kill him to return the favour. It seemed to be working so far. Admittedly he hadn't ventured out of his bedroom too much this summer but whenever he had the politeness that had reigned had seemed to suit everyone.

Harry dug into his breakfast. The training he had done with Devante had given him an appetite for the first time since the events in the Ministry of Magic. He wasn't quite sure how doing training in his dreams could make him hungry in the real world but he eventually decided that trying to work that one out would only give him a headache. He quickly finished his breakfast and took his plate over to the sink. He hesitated for a moment then decided that if he really wanted to be polite then doing the dishes was probably a good idea. It wasn't like he had done anything around the place since he had got here. Aunt Petunia brought the other plates and the pans as Harry allowed the sink to fill. She looked at him for a moment and nodded and left the kitchen. Harry watched her go then turned his attention back to the dishes. It was a matter of a few minutes to wash, dry and put them all away. He hung up the tea towel and paused, considering what to do with himself now. While he was tempted to go back to his room, he rather felt that Devante had a point about getting out and doing something.

He dashed back up to his room and grabbed his wand. He shoved it in his back pocket and pulled his shirt over the top of it then he went back downstairs. He paused in the hallway then slowly stuck his head into the living room where Aunt Petunia was dusting.

"Erm, I'm going out for a walk, Aunt Petunia," he said hesitantly.

The thin woman sniffed. "Very well," she said stiffly. "Be back before six for dinner."

Harry nodded and quickly left the house before she could change her mind. He walked down the front path and paused by the gate. He looked around to make sure no one was watching.

"Is anybody there?" he said softly.

"Yes, Potter," came the snide reply. "What are you planning on doing?"

Harry paused and a flash of anger went through him. Snape, it would have to be Snape on duty on the first day he actually felt like doing something. He took a deep breath and pushed the anger down.

"I'm going for a walk, sir," he said flatly as he determinedly walked out of the gate and turned towards the park.

"You are meant to stay within the house," Snape said acidly.

"No," Harry said stiffly. "I am meant to stay within the wards which extend as far as the park this year. Professor Dumbledore told me that before I came home."

There was silence from Snape and Harry continued walking. He made his way down to the park and sat down on a seat that was tucked away in one corner under a couple of overhanging trees. He put his elbows on his knees, rested his chin on his hands and stared into the park. His thoughts turned back to the strange dream he'd had about Devante. The older man, Harry was sure he was a warrior of some kind, intimated that he had been looking specifically for Harry. He groaned quietly; why him? Harry gave his head a small shake. The whole thing had been odd. His dream had been hijacked so that he could whack a wooden post with a sword and go running. Weird! Still it had been better than what the dream had interrupted and Harry found himself hoping that Devante would mess with his dreams again tonight.

He then turned his thoughts towards what had happened as he had been walking and cooling down. Devante had seemed to want him to talk about what was bothering him. Harry frowned; why would a complete stranger who had invaded his dream want him to talk. An unnerving thought wended its way through his head. What if Devante was actually Voldemort? Harry considered this for a moment then snorted. Nah, that didn't seem possible. His scar always hurt when he had Voldemort-related visions and it hadn't hurt this morning. In fact the only thing that had hurt this morning had been the muscles he had used in his dream. That was something he still didn't have an answer for; why had his body been sore from something that had happened in his dream?

He would have considered this further but he was interrupted.

"Well, well, if it isn't the juvenile delinquent."

Harry looked up in surprise to find Dudley and his gang standing around him. He looked at the group of boys calmly. Most of the boys had expressions of malicious glee on their faces but Dudley was looking decidedly nervous.

"Hello boys," Harry said calmly. "Hi Duds!"

Dudley scowled as the other boys laughed menacingly.

"Look who's the big brave criminal," Piers said mockingly.

Harry ignored the thin boy and looked over at his cousin with a raised eyebrow. "Hey Big D, want me to show them my...thing?"

Dudley paled and his eyes widened. He turned to his mates. "Come on, guys. H...he's not worth it. I...it's too boring to go after him."

His friends turned and scowled at him but Dudley glared at them. The other boys grumbled but seemed too intimidated by Dudley to put up much of an argument. The boys slowly shuffled off with Dudley bringing up the rear, shooting frightened glances at his cousin. Harry watched them leave the park and snorted in disgust. He couldn't believe that Dudley actually thought he'd pull his wand out in the middle of a public park. He shook his head and turned his thoughts back to the puzzle of Devante.

Severus Snape watched the young man sitting on the park bench in front of him with some surprise. He had been half tempted to involve himself in the confrontation he had just witnessed. Not out of choice but because he was fairly sure Albus would not be happy with him if he allowed Potter to get beaten up on his watch. He scowled; his credit with Albus was fairly low at the moment. The Headmaster had insisted on seeing the Occlumency training he had given Potter in his pensieve. Apparently it was in response to something Potter had said after the debacle in the Department of Mysteries. Albus had been singularly displeased with the way the lessons had gone and Severus had received a considerable lecture on appropriate teaching methods and the dangers of teaching something as important as Occlumency in such a manner. Which was why Severus found himself on Potter-watch duties; Albus had assigned it as a punishment detail; although the interfering old bat had had the gall to call it 'an opportunity to gain some insight into young Harry'.

He watched Potter carefully for a moment. The young Gryffindor had settled back into what passed for thought with him and Severus was free to consider what had happened. Potter had diffused the situation fairly quickly and without any problems by the threat of using magic. Severus' eyes narrowed; he knew the Ministry had given the boy an exemption from the Decree but he was fairly sure that even someone as idiotic as Potter wouldn't use magic in a public place such as this. Clearly there was more to this than he could see. He turned his attention back to Potter. The boy was still deep in thought, a small frown on his forehead. As he watched the boy's eyes cleared and he looked around the park carefully.

When Harry was sure that there was no one in the park other than himself and the invisible Snape, he spoke up.

"Professor Snape?" he asked carefully, unsure if the man would answer him.

"What is it, Potter?" came the irritated reply.

"Does the name Devante mean anything to you? Er, sir," Harry asked.

Snape frowned. The question was certainly unusual and he was rather surprised to find that the name was oddly familiar to him. "It is familiar, though I cannot place it."

Harry frowned and nodded. "Oh, okay."

Snape frowned as well. "Why do you wish to know this?"

Harry shrugged. "It's just a name that appeared in one of the books I've been reading this summer." He paused and took in a deep breath. He wasn't sure if he should ask this next question. "Professor Snape? Would it be possible to...to get some...Dreamless Sleep potion?" He swallowed and waited for the reply.

Snape scowled and glared at the boy in front of him, something which he rapidly realized was completely ineffective considering he was invisible. "Dreamless Sleep? And why would you need that, Potter?"

Harry sighed. He should have realised that Snape wouldn't make this easy. He decided that the truth might work. "Because I haven't had a decent night's sleep since..." He winced, "...since the Department of Mysteries. I'm lucky if I get a couple of hours sleep before the nightmares start and when I wake up I usually can't get back to sleep."

Snape stared at Potter in shock; he hadn't realised that the boy was sleeping that poorly. He looked carefully at Potter and grimaced. Now that he really looked, the boy's eyes were bloodshot and he had some truly spectacular bags under his eyes. His face was drawn and pale and his expression was weary. He scowled when he realised he was starting to feel...sorry for the boy. He shook his head and turned his attention back to Potter's request.

"Does the Headmaster know about this?"

Harry shifted slightly on the bench. "Er, well, he knows about the couple of visions I've had but not about the nightmares. I mean, they're not that important, I'd just like to get a decent night's sleep for once, that's all."

Snape's lips thinned; he was fairly sure the boy was lying about something but he couldn't quite put his finger on what exactly.

"Very well, Potter," he said finally. "I will send some Dreamless Sleep to you when I return to Hogwarts along with instructions for its use." His voice became suddenly menacing. "You will obey those instructions, Potter. Dreamless Sleep is dangerous if not used correctly. If you damage yourself in any way, it will be your own fault."

Harry rolled his eyes and nodded. "Yes, sir," he said flatly and turned back to his thoughts.