Chapter Two - The Dream
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As Romany slept the night away on the uncomfortable, hard bench within her little park, terrible dreams came to her once more. Every night since the death of her father, her sleep had been broken with visions and memories of the things she tried so hard to forget when awake. After the incident with Seth, her dreams had become even worse. Tonight she dreamt about meeting Seth.

She had only just become homeless when she met Seth Snape. After the death of her father, she had been sent to stay with a little known Aunt and Uncle. The Aunt was terrible to her, treated her as a personal slave and the Uncle was even worse, he made passes at her all the time and she lived in fear that one day he might hurt her. After a month, wrapped in the grief and horror of her fathers untimely death and worn down with her Aunt and Uncles constant demands, she ran away. Became homeless, but at least to some degree, she had found peace and even a little contentment, something she didn't believe she could have again after her father died.

Romany had not been very street wise however and living on the streets proved much harder than she ever could have imagined. Night after night, she had to try to find a safe place to sleep, where no one would hurt her, or lock her up. When she wandered into Seth Snape's park, she had thought that being homeless, like herself, he might show her some compassion.

Things had started off well enough. She had shook his hand, smiled to show that she was friendly and explained a little about herself. Not too much of course, just that she was homeless. Seth had seemed quite sorry for her and rather charming.

'Ah so you are now homeless like me! You must be feeling very unsure, life on the streets is hard isn't it?' he had said smoothly, eyeing her curiously.

'Its terrible, I never realised how much people on the streets really suffered. I haven't ate in three days!' she had replied, feeling as though she could trust this friendly young man.

'Well you are in luck, I have just caught a minnow from the pond, if you are any good at cooking, we could share it, if you like?' Seth had replied.

Romany, won over at the thought of hot cooked fish, was delighted and had started to cook the minnow then and there, over Seth's little fire.

They had ate together, huddled around the little warmth the tiny fire gave out. As they ate, the had talked about each other.

'How did you end up homeless?' Romany had asked.

'My mother died when I was eight. I had no other family to care for me, my dead beat dad didn't want to know. I was thrown into care and farmed out to various foster families. I got tired of it all in the end and decided to go it alone. I ran away one stormy night and here I am, thirteen years later,' Seth had stated, his voice very factual, as if he was reading from a book.

'Oh I am so sorry you lost your Mum,' Romany had replied, her voice sorrowful. 'I too lost a parent, my father. He was the most loving, kind man. When he died, I was sent to live with an Aunt and Uncle I had never met. They were terrible to me so I ran away and here I am,' She had shared.

'Looks like we have similar stories,' Seth had said gently, winking at her. Romany had smiled. She had felt safe with him. So much so, she had asked him tentatively, if she might stay over, on one of the benches.

'Sure!' Seth had replied merrily. 'I don't charge rent, be sure to tidy up after yourself though!' he had joked.

Romany had sighed with relief. She had gotten the impression he was a bit of a loner and wouldn't want her to stay long. He was a little odd, that's for sure...occasionally mumbling to himself and going on about mastermind plots to do this that and the other...but on the whole she had thought him perfectly lovely.

'If you are going to stay though, it would be good to know your name!' Seth had laughed.

'Its Romany, Romany Pike,' she had smiled back.

'Pike? PIKE?!' Seth had stuttered.

'Yes, Pike!' Romany had confirmed, a little surprised. She had wondered if Seth knew of her somehow.

'That's a ridiculous name! Romany Pike! Perfect for a homeless pathetic tramp like yourself!' Seth had growled at her.

Romany had been stunned. Where was the nice charming man that she had been getting to know? Why had he decided to turn nasty?

'That's a nasty thing to say! Why are you being so horrible? I suppose you have a wonderful name, all posh and charming, just like you!' she had thrown back at him, sarcastically.

Quick as a flash, Seth had leaned forward and slapped her hard across her face.

'Its Seth, Seth Snape, you cheeky, dirty little tramp and don't you forget it! In fact, I think you need taught a lesson, to make sure you don't!' Seth had roared at her.

Romany, utterly terrified and her face a hot, aching wealth of pain, had tried to crawl away, shouting for help. Seth was too strong for her though and getting her in a head lock, he had beaten her senseless.

It was always at this part of the dream, that Romany jolted awake and she did just that, with a silent little scream. She was breathing heavily and tears were on her cheeks. She would never forget how frightened she had been and how much Seth had hurt her. She touched her face. Her scar.

After he had beaten her unconscious, she had come to the next morning, in terrible pain and covered in blood. She had dragged herself to the pond and tried to wash away the blood. It was there she saw what he had done to her. Cut her, right across her face. So she would never forget his 'lesson.

And she never had.

For the reader: any guesses at Seth's Trait? I will give you one..mean spirited.

Click Next: Chapter Three - Googles and Rocks to continue...

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