"No! No! Get away from me!" Tori screams. I come into her room, seeing if she's okay.
"Tori? Are you okay?" I whisper.
"No!" She screams again. I run over to her, holding her hand.
"Tori? Tori, what's wrong, hun?" Yes, I do call her hun. But she's my sister, who cares?
"Harry?" She whispers softly, a nice contrast from her loud screams.
"Tori? I'm right here. Are you okay?" I ask her again.
"Y-yeah. Just had a bad dream. That's all."
"You wanna talk about it? I'll be happy to listen," I smile.
"Dad. He found us. He killed you. And was coming for me. I don't like seeing you dead. It's scary," she whispers, holding back tears.
"Hey, hey it's okay Tori. I know it's scary, I know. But it's okay. If Dad ever did come for us, I'd be here to protect you. He won't hurt you, not even lay a finger on you. I promise," I say softly, sitting next to Tori on her bed. I kiss her cheek gently, patting her head and hugging her.
"Ugh. H-Harry. You hug me too much," Tori giggles.
"I only do it to show you that no matter what happens, I still love you because you're my favourite sister."
"I'm your only sister."
"I know," I smirk, laughing and playing with her hair.
"Do you remember that drawing I made? Like, two years ago?" She asks suddenly.
"Which one? You draw a lot... Was it that one..?"
"Shut up so I can tell you!! Okay, do you remember the drawing of you and me I made? The one that says 'best big brother ever' right next to you?"
"Oh yeah! I remember that. You gave it to me and I have it in my room."
"It's in a drawer, with all of the other drawings you've given me since you were 4."
"Really? How many pictures have I given you?"
"Well... I have probably about 45. Or more. I know I have a lot. You wanna see them or something?"
"Yeah. And you have to tell me which is your favourite."
Tori hops up and runs across the hall into my room, jumping into my bed and rolling across, over to the dresser. I walk in right after she rummages through each drawer, looking for the drawings. As soon as she finds drawings, she pulls them all out, holding them up and bouncing up to jump back onto my bed. She spreads out a few of them on the bed, studying each one. I take the pile from her and pull out one that had 'My First Drawing' printed in pen on the back.
"Hey Tori, you remember this one?" I hold it up and smile as her eyes get wide.
"Oh my god yes. I remember that. It's got me and you, and Mom. All together as a happy family."
"Look. You drew Dad too," I say, biting my lip to keep from laughing.
Tori looks down at where my finger is pointing and presses her lips together, fighting the laughter as well. "He's in jail!! In an orange jumpsuit!! Oh my god am I good or what?!" Tori exclaims, laughing so hard she almost starts crying. "Orange is sooooo not his colour. When he finally does go to jail, I hope he gets made fun of for looking horrific in that outfit."
"Ah god Tori. You can make any situation a good one."
"Thanks," she says, looking down at more drawings. "Remember this?"
I nod, taking it and looking at it. I trace the intricate lines of my hair that she drew so carefully. "I do remember this. You truly are talented when it comes to drawing," I smile, looking up and slinging an arm over her shoulders.
"When did I draw this?" Tori takes the picture from me, flipping it over and reading the date scrawled on the back. '12/04/13'. "Hmm. Last year, I don't really... Remember... This...."
"Really? This was one of my favourites from you," I say, smiling down at her. "I mean, it's a really realistic drawing and you made it look fantabulous."
"You aren't an 'it' Harry. The drawing is of you. And don't call yourself an 'it'. I don't like hearing that either. You're so much more than an 'it'. Haz, don't call yourself that."
"Tori, what's wrong? I wasn't talking about me...." I trail off, looking at her, her eyes sparkling in the dim light, tears forming small puddles in the chocolate colour of her eyes.
"It's-it's nothing. Just something that happened at school."
"Tori, it can't be nothing if you just told me not to call myself an 'it' and you look like you're gonna cry. Now, I don't have any idea how many times I have to tell you this, but I'm here for you and you know you can tell me anything and I won't be mad. So, you don't have to tell me, but you can if you'd like." I kiss her forehead gently, wiping her tears that haven't fallen yet.
"It's just this girl at school. It's only 'cause she's a popular girl so she thinks she has the right to say mean things, which are completely untrue, about you and me."
"Oh," I say, not much emotion in my voice.
"She always calls you an 'it'. And me, she calls me a whole lotta stuff. But I don't let that phase me. Only when she talks about you. That's when I take it personally because she doesn't even know you so what makes her think she has the right to say what she has about yo-"
"Tori it's okay. Calm down. Trust me, she could say worse things about me. But it's fine, I don't care what she thinks of us. Next time she says something, don't listen to her. It's not worth your time."
"I know, Harry, you're my big brother. Can't I feel like I need to protect you? I can, can't I? Because in all honesty here, I do. You're my only brother and just because I'm younger doesn't mean I can't take care of you either. I have to too. It's basically my responsibility as your younger sibling. Okay? I'm sorry, but I care about you too much to let her say what she has about you and I'm gonna stand up for you. She's said way too many horrible things about you and I'm not gonna stand back and let her call you what she has. I can't let that happen any more, and I'm going to tell her to knock it off and if that doesn't work, you'll have to come pull me out of school and take me home. I will not deal with her if she's gonna bad-mouth my brother."
"I know Tori, I know. Believe me, because when my friends say mean things about you, it's never okay. I protect my baby sister," I smile, squeezing my eyes shut and baring my teeth.
"Harry, you know, if there was an award for the bestest big brother, you'd surely win it. Because you are just like the best and you're so good at taking care of me and I love you because you're my brother and you're amazing. I'm so super proud of you and I never tell you enough. You really are the best and I love you so much."
"Tori, hun, you don't need to tell me this. Because I already know."
"I do have to tell you though, because then, if I don't I feel like you don't know that I care about you and that you're the only brother I'll ever want," Tori says softly, looking up at me, hugging me tightly with her arms wrapped tightly around my waist, her head on my chest.
"I love you too Tori. You're the best sister I could ever have and I'm blessed to have you as that sister."