Length: 415 words
Book or TV verse:TV
Characters: Bob, Harry (briefly)
Summary: The inside of your mind is the scariest place of all.
Author's Notes: Done for _medley_, who asked for Bob, regret. It ended up being more angst than regret, but I think it all amounts to the same thing in the end.
Ghosts didn't dream. Or, at least, Hrothbert of Bainbridge had never dreamed during his existence as a ghost. That didn't mean that he didn't have nightmares, though. Living, awake nightmares. They tended to happen when he was in his skull, which was the intent of the curse. To put him face to face with his own mind for all eternity. He didn't think that Harry knew exactly how bad it got in there, when he banished him to it. Previous owners, Harry's uncle included, knew however. They used it to punish him.
The worst nightmares were about Winnifred, of course. They were the worst because they weren't nightmares invented by his mind, they were actual events he was reliving. Bob had an excellent memory, but after several hundred years some things started to fade. Winnifred never did. He could remember everything about her. Her hair, her voice, her laugh. He remembered the day she died. He remembered how fast he ran up the stone stairs to reach her. How much blood there was on her dress. How scared she looked before her eyes glazed over. He remembered that burning, overwhelming anger he felt. How easy it was to use that anger and transfer it into power. Seductive, addictive, terrifying power.
What he remembered the most, though, the thing that would never leave him, was that final look on her face after he brought her back the last time. The exhaustion that was there, the look that was asking him just to let her go. It was that look that finally brought him down from his high. In that moment, the whole world closed in on him in brilliant clarity and the guilt was utterly unbearable. The regret from that moment burned, every time he was trapped in his mind. That's when he usually forced himself out, if he could. When he started to calculate and draw in the air, turning his thoughts to pure academics. No more feelings, no more humanity, no more regret. Until he was faced with himself again.
"Mornin' Bob," Harry mumbled, opening the door to the lab. He ran a hand through his messed up hair and blinked with bleary eyes that either had just woken up or never been to bed.
"Good morning," Bob returned.
Harry squinted at the symbols in the air. "You plotting world domination again?"
"No, just a simple spell I'm working on," Bob said, with a slight smile.
Harry nodded. "I need your help. We have a case."
Bob's favourite words. "I'm all ears."