What if......

            'But, Headmaster, you know how I feel about the boy! Why send me?'

            'Because, it is how I want things to be. Just trust me Severus!'

            'And the stone?'

            'You know how to get it. Here is the key. Please take good care of yourself, and have a nice trip.'

            'Hmpf.'

******

            Harry Potters life wasn't the greatest. His uncle was currently going mad, and had been driving the whole family around for what seemed like eons. Finally the car stopped, Uncle Vernon got out, and left them with the doors locked. Dudley whined for a while, but eventually shut up. Uncle Vernon came back a little while later, and they were told to get into a boat, which Uncle Vernon rowed out to an island with a ramshackle shack on it. He told them that was where they were to spend the night, gave them each a bag of potato chips, and then went off to bed.

            Harry was on the floor, but he could read his cousins watch, who had taken the tiny couch, and whose butt was more than half hanging over the edge. About ten minuets to midnight, Harry heard, over the racket the storm outside was making, a small tap on the door. Harry got up and opened the door to see a man walking away mumbling to himself what sounded something like, 'Well, gave it my best....'

            'Excuse me! Mister!!' Harry yelled over the storm.

            The man turned around and glared at Harry. 'Yes.' He said in a deadly voice.

            'Did you just knock on our door?'

            'Yes, I did, but no one answered, so now I am leaving.'

            'I answered the door, but you were already walking away. Please, come inside so you can tell my uncle and aunt, who are currently huddled on the stairs with a shot gun, why you came.'

            'Why sure! Sounds fun!!' Snape skipped into the hut, just loving the thought of seeing muggles try to kill him with a shot gun! 'Hello! My name is Prof. Severus Snape. I work for Headmaster Dumbledore at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry where Harry will attend like his parents, to lean how to be a wizard!'

            'I'm a what? My parents...Huh?'

            'He's not going! I will not pay to have some crackpot old fool teach him magic tricks!'

            'Oh, sir, I truly agree with you, I wouldn't pay for the runt to go either. But, unfortunately, if he doesn't go, I lose my job. So I'm afraid he's going with me!'

            On the couch, Harry's cousin Dudley suddenly jerks up. 'Huh....what? Who's there? ....My daddy has a gun!....I'm warning...you.....*snore*.....'

            Professor Snape looks at the boy with disgust, and with a swish of his wand gives him a tail. 'There, now he really does look like a pig!'

            'He's not going!'

            'Yes he is!'

            'No he's not!'

            'Yes he is!'

            'Don't I have any say in this?' Harry says, very quietly.

            'No!' Both Professor Snape and Uncle Vernon yell at the same time.

            'Well, I guess we agree on something. Want a smoke?' Uncle Vernon says, and hands Professor Snape a package.

            'Why thank you. Now if you don't mind, I'll be taking Harry now.'

            'Oh, you mean we won't have to see him until next summer?' Seeing Professor Snape nod his affirmative, Vernon continued. 'Well, then! I'll give you as much as you need!' He took out his checkbook, and began writing. 'How much do you think?'

            'Oh, how about 1000 galleons.'

            'What!!!'

            'Here, let me.' Professor Snape took the check book and wrote down a sum. 'I'll take this.' He pockets the check.

            'All right, off you go Harry with the creepy looking man.' Uncle Vernon said gleefully.

            'But...What...Who...Why?' Harry stuttered as he was led out the door by Professor Snape.

            They got in the boat, and it zoomed back to the shore. 'I think I'll just leave this here.' Said Professor Snape, and he walked away from the boat. Harry followed, looking dumbstruck.

            'So, I'm guessing they didn't tell you anything?'

            'About what?'

            'Ok, lets do it this way. Mr. Potter, Your parents were killed by an evil wizard named Voldemort. He tried to kill you, but couldn't. Your parents were wizards, and you are too. You are going to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I am Potions Master there, and also Head of Slytherin House. The four houses are all different. Hufflepuff is the lazy house, Ravenclaw is the nerdy house, Gryffindor is the stupid house, and Slytherin is the all-around house. We have smart, fun people who all go far in life.'

            'Ummmmm...Ok.' Harry said, looking up at professor Snape as they walked along. 'Professor?  I was just wondering, what if I'm no good?'

            Snape looked torn. 'You will never be anything but....good.' He said, then sighed. How he hated helping the little brat, but he had to, or he'd lose his job. Damn Dumbledore!

            'Where are we going, Professor?' Harry asked.

            'We are going to the Leaky Cauldron, and don't ask questions.' Professor Snape was getting cranky.

            'But-'

            'What did I just say?'

            'I wasn't going to ask a question, I was going to make a statement.'

            'Well, let's put it this way, then. Don't talk.'

*****

            Professor Snape and Harry had been walking for a while when Professor Snape finally broke the silence. 'Don't say anything. Just take hold of my sleeve and hold still.'  Harry did as he was told and Professor Snape bent down and picked up a can. Suddenly Harry felt a yank behind his nose, and was soon on the ground in front of a pub. Professor Snape was standing and looking at his watch. 'Ah, good, right on time!' He walked into the pub, leaving Harry on the ground, moaning.

            After a few people had passed, looking at Harry like he was some sort of freak, he stood up, and walked in, very cautiously. Professor Snape was at a table, eating something. Harry walked over to his table, and practically begged for some food. Professor Snape nodded his head, and a waiter came over carrying a plate of pancakes. Harry devoured the whole thing. Then Professor Snape stood up, and walked away. Harry quickly followed him after he finished licking his plate.

            'Where are we going, Professor?' Harry asked.

            'I am going to my bedroom; you are going to sleep in the common bathroom. Just down the hall, third door on your left. Oh, and here's a blanket for you.' Professor Snape conjured up a fuzzy blue blanket and waved the boy away. Harry walked down the dark hall, and went into the bathroom. It was small, but the bathtub looked more comfortable that his cupboard under the stairs, so he lay down, and soon was fast a sleep.

            Severus Snape however, was not sleeping so well. He was tossing and turning in his bed. 'No, I won't!........ Potter........Awful......Potions Accident........Lose job........Better than...this....'

He finally drifted off into a restless sleep.

******

            Harry woke early the next morning to see a fat, naked man shaving at the sink. 'Ah!' Harry yelled. The man turned and looked at Harry, then continued to shave making no move to cover himself.

            Harry bolted out of the bathroom, and slammed the door behind him. He leaned against it, taking in deep breaths. Professor Snape came walking down the hallway a few moments later, all fresh from his beauty sleep. He looked at Harry and scowled. 'Go downstairs boy, and get us a table for breakfast.' Harry ran down the stairs and sat in a booth. Snape sighed as he watched the boy go off. 'He runs away from me like he doesn't like me. I think I might cry.'

            'Ah, don't cry, Professor. I might puke.' Snape looked around trying to figure out where the voice had come from. 'Right behind you, Professor!' Snape turned around, doing a nice little pirouette, and glared at the mirror.

            'If you tell a single person that I have...feelings for the boy, I'll smash you on the floor!' The mirror started to say something, but Snape cut him off. 'And I don't care how many years of bad luck I get!'

            With that he stormed into the bathroom. A very girlish scream was heard, and soon Professor Snape was back in the hall, shaking and quivering. 'Oh, thank Merlin that I have that appointment later today with Madame Pomfrey! She's right, I do have some major issues to resolve!'  He ran off down the hallway, and back into his room.

            After fifteen minuets had past, Harry was getting a bit antsy. Finally, Professor Snape came down and sat at a different table. Harry started to move towards him, but Snape quickly called out to the bartender. 'I'm eating ALONE today. Just the usual.' Harry sat for a moment, dumbstruck, then walked over to Professor Snapes table.

            'Professor? I'm hungry.' Harry whined.

            'So?' Professor Snape didn't even look at Harry.

            'Can you order me something?'

            'Only if you sit at the other table.' Snape looked disgusted as his food came. He looked at the bartender, and gave him a wink. 'I'll need another special at that other table.'

            'Yes, sir!' the bartender was off, and in another couple of minuets was at Harry's table, giving him a bigger platter than Snape himself had received. But Snape only smiled.

            Harry began to dig in to the feast, but within seconds of his food arriving, people began to swarm around him. They demanded to shake his hand, give him a hug, receive an autograph, or grope him. And they all wanted to it to him at the same time. There was a pile of people on top of Harry five high and three across.

            The bartender went over to Snape's table. 'Was that what you wanted, Professor?'

            'Precisely.'

******

            After Snape had finished his breakfast, he called over to Harry's table. 'Oh, Harry! Time to go.' Snape stood up and left the Pub.

            Harry quickly pushed his way out of the pile, and ran after Professor Snape. He caught up with Snape just as he was entering Diagon Alley. 'Dang, I thought I might have lost you!' Snape hissed at Harry.

            But Harry didn't seem to even notice Snape's presence.  He was staring, open mouthed, at the sight in front of him. All the people, all the colours, all the smells! Harry was amazed.

            'Close your mouth, boy! We need to go to Gringotts.'

            'Yes, sir. What's Gringotts?' Harry asked, closing him mouth, but still staring.

            'Do I have to tell you everything? Gringotts is the bank. You need money to buy supplies, and robes, and your wand, and a broomstick.'

            'Oh.' Was all Harry could manage. 'I thought Uncle Vernon gave you money.'

            'Here's your supply list. Read it over, and stop staring at people!' Snape glared at Harry as he handed him the letter, but ignored his last comment.

            Harry took the letter, and looked at it intently, as if he didn't want to even see the people passing him with his peripheral vision if he couldn't stare at them. 'Oh, so those letters really were for me! I thought that Dudley might have taken out a library account in my name and kept all the books!'

            'Oh course that's what it is! Just keep reading, and don't look at me like that!' Harry had looked up at Snape, as if to say "I'm sorry, dada!"

            They made it to Gringotts soon, and were climbing the stairs when Harry stopped.

            'What's the matter, Mr. Potter?'

            'Wh-What's that?' Harry pointed, very obviously, causing the Goblin to look at him strangely.

            'Stop pointing.' Professor Snape whispered in a deadly voice. 'That's a Goblin. They run the place.' Snape continued walking, and after another couple moments Harry ran to catch up with him.

*****

            Snape and Harry were soon being hurled to what seemed to be the bottom of the Earth in a tippy cart. Snape was shoved up against Harry, who felt like the metal edge of the cart couldn't possible cut any father into his side.

            Eventually they came to Harry's vault, where he was told to grab some of the gold ones, and get back into the cart. Then Professor Snape got out of the cart, and went into the vault. With his back turned to Harry, he did some quickly little movements that Harry couldn't see very well, and then jumped back into the cart.

            On the ride to the next vault Harry felt something lumpy from Professor Snapes pocket poking him in the side.

            The goblin stopped the cart at a dusty looking vault, and Professor Snape stepped out.

            'Harry, you are not to tell anyone about this secret vault that holds a secret item that was created by a secret person that could help a secret someone come back into power to destroy a secret school.'

            Harry looked a bit cross eyed after this non-explanation. 'O...K..?'

            The goblin opened the door, and Snape quickly rushed in and grabbed a grubby looking package. 'You didn't see that.'

            'Yes I did.' Said Harry.

            'No. You didn't.'

            'Yes. I did.'

            'Let's pretend that you didn't.'

            'Isn't that kinda like lying?'

            'Not this time.'

            'Then how can I tell when I should and when I shouldn't?' Harry was getting confused.

            'I'll tell you when you can and when you can't.' Snape rolled his eyes.

            'Ok.'

            Snape hopped back into the cart, and they were off!

*****

            Snape stopped at the counter on their way out of Gringotts and cashed the check Uncle Vernon had given him. He talked in a hushed voice with the goblin, and then on their way out told Harry that while his account hadn't been used in a few years, the money would be put into there.

            They walked down Diagon alley, stopping every once in a while to quickly enter a shop and grab what ever Harry needed. They got to Madame Malkin's, and Snape abandoned Harry to go look at the newest shipment from the 'Grumpy Potions Master' collection.

            Another boy was getting fitted at the same time. He was blonde, and looked a bit stuck up, but Harry didn't mind.

            They talked for a while. A few things that Harry didn't know about he just played along with. He said he wanted to be sorted into Slytherin as it seemed like the best choice, that he loved Quidditch, what ever that was...oh, and that he really only liked Professor Snape, and didn't think the other teachers were worth his time. The other boy seemed very impressed, and wanted to talk more, but Harry's robes were soon done and he left to go find Professor Snape.

            They quickly went through the rest of the shops, and eventually Harry walked into Ollivanders, makers of fine wands.

            Mr. Ollivander was very creepy, not unlike Professor Snape when Harry had first met him. Mr. Ollivander took forever making Harry swish one wand and then another. Eventually one emitted a bolt of lightening, and Harry paid for his wand, and left with Snape.

            'Are we done shopping yet Potter?' Snape snarled at Harry as he looked at all the weird flavours of ice cream.

            'If you want us to be done, Professor.' Harry straightened up and walked out of Diagon alley, thinking of a way he could hold the Professor's hand.

*****

            Snape told Harry to grab his hand again. They were back in the Leaky Cauldron, and Snape had arranged for another portkey. Harry didn't know this though, and was happy, and surprised. But soon he felt the pulling sensation and was disappointed. They landed on a hard floor and Harry thought he might have bruised his leg.

            He stood up and looked around him. 'Welcome to Hogwarts.' Snape said from behind him.

*****