The Heir to Prince Manor

Prince Manor series


An Unexpected Visitor

Severus Snape had always known the risks when he agreed to be a spy for the Order of the Phoenix. He had always known that someday there might come a time when his cover as a loyal Death Eater and servant of Voldemort might be blown to pieces and he would have to run for his life.

He just hadn't expected that time to be so soon, or that his pursuers would be so determined to end his existence so quickly. But Lucius and MacNair were determined to put him in the ground, permanently, for what they called his "traitorous actions and perfidy against the most loyal followers of the Great Lord Voldemort." Snape wanted to sneer at that utter rot, it was so typical of the Death Eater mentality. Only by proclaiming their mad master as a visionary perfectionist who would bring all glory and honor to them and make them rulers of the world, only by saying they were better than the rest of the world and those in it could they justify the atrocities they committed-the murders, the thefts, the rape, the Unforgivable Curses. A myriad of sins could be covered by the words-"Do this because the Dark Lord orders it, he is the Way and the Right."

That was how the others slept at night, without the horrid nightmares that plagued those with consciences and souls, such as the spy Severus.

Well, now that was finished. He could no longer be Dumbledore's eyes and ears, no longer atone for the sins of his youth, when he'd foolishly followed the charismatic Lucius Malfoy down the lefthand path into darkness. For now they knew that he was a supporter of the Light, since he had refused to torture and rape the little seven-year-old Muggle girl. Instead, he'd let her go, sending her back to her home, which he'd seen in her thoughts using Legilimency.

No true follower of the Dark Lord would have turned down the chance to play with a Muggle that way. Such was meat and drink to a Death Eater, their evening entertainment, after the meeting. Severus had been caught off guard, he hadn't been expecting Lucius to give the poor child to him, and hadn't been able to manufacture a good enough lie, nor to dissemble well enough to make them think he'd enjoyed her "favors", and he'd reacted with his true feelings-disgust and horror and anger at the beasts who could do such to an innocent child.

It was a momentary lapse in judgement, but one lapse was all it took.

Now he fled for his life, across the Highlands of Scotland, into the moors of Yorkshire, Apparating one step ahead of Lucius and MacNair. He was injured as well, Lucius had cut open his shoulder with a well-timed Cutting Curse. In a way, he was lucky he was so quick, otherwise the curse could've cut open his throat.

As it was, he was growing steadily weaker from blood loss, he'd bound the arm as best he could with strips of his robe, but the curse had cut deep and he could not stop to mend the damage, or the two would catch up to him and finish what they had begun.

His first instinct was to go to Hogwarts, but the school was no sanctuary for him now, and the one man who could help him was absent, since it was the summer holidays. He didn't dare risk going to Spinner's End, either, that was his residence and they'd look there first.

There was only one other option, he must go to earth like a fox and hide in the one place no one would ever think to look.

A home of Muggles. Number Four Privet Drive, Surrey.

The home of one Petunia Dursley, sister to Lily Evans, whom he had once loved with an undying passion that had filled the nights with joy. Petunia, her husband Vernon, their son and their nephew, Harry Potter.

Dumbledore had put wards about their house that would keep out Voldemort himself, were he abroad now. Severus knew they would protect him as well, since he was a sworn member of the Order and one of the Potter brat's guardians.

So he concentrated, ignoring the awful pounding in his head and the dizziness, the sick nauseated feeling in his stomach, and using all the discipline he possessed, Apparated himself to Privet Drive.

He appeared in the living room of the well-to-do home, in front of a fireplace that looked like it had come out of one of those fancy home decorating magazines, with pictures of the family on the mantle. He glanced at them, noting in an odd detached manner that there were no pictures of James's son present.

His head was spinning and he just managed to catch himself on the edge of the sofa, which was a brown suede affair with lots of plush pillows. He teetered on legs that were suddenly folding beneath him, sank to the cushions, pulled out his wand and intoned a Blood-Halt spell before collapsing into a blood-stained heap on Petunia's sofa.

Harry normally awoke first at Privet Drive, the better to get a shower that wasn't ice cold and sneak some food from the fridge before starting his usual round of endless chores for the day. Beginning with making breakfast for his aunt, uncle, and Dudley, all of whom ate like ten Hagrids and never once thought that other people were starving in Africa. Or right in front of their noses, for Harry usually only got leftovers when they were about, though occasionally Petunia would slip him an extra piece of toast or bacon, or leave some of her breakfast untouched. It was rare, but sometimes his aunt did commit random acts of kindness, Merlin only knew why. Harry never questioned them, he just took what was given.

He'd learned the hard way that the wrong questions brought only smacks and scoldings and sometimes worse, if Uncle Vernon were in a mood. Though Petunia usually got wind of it before he did and sent Harry to his cupboard or outside to weed the flowerbeds before Vernon saw him. Unless she were annoyed with him, then she let him suffer his uncle's heavy hand or, once or twice, his belt. Though that hadn't happened since the summer after his first year at Hogwarts, when Hagrid had given their precious Duddy a pig's tail. It had been awful funny then, but once Vernon got hold of his nephew when he'd finally come home . . .Harry's behind had gotten blistered something awful and he probably had a scar or two to match Dudley's where they'd removed the pig tail.

But all that had been years ago, he was thirteen now, almost fourteen, and this morning he was up ahead of everyone, the lazy slobs. He quickly showered and dressed, then slipped downstairs to see what he could scrounge from the fridge when he caught sight of a strange black bundle on Petunia's new suede couch.

Huh? What the hell's that? Looks like a bundle of rags.

Drawing closer, he could now make out that it was a man lying on the couch, a man he recognized, a man who always dressed in black from head to foot, a man who he knew disliked him but never knew why-his most feared potions professor, Severus Snape.

Harry peered down at Severus in utter bewilderment. What was Snape doing here? Asleep on the couch?

A moment later, Snape groaned and stirred, and Harry saw the unmistakable splotches of blood on the other wizard's clothing, he knew it was blood because the professor was bleeding onto the couch as well.

Oh, Merlin! I've got to get him out of here. If Aunt Petunia or Uncle Vernon sees this . . .they'll birth a litter of kittens, and Petunia'll go postal seeing blood on her brand new couch. Harry thought quickly. But did he dare wake the professor?

As he chewed his lower lip nervously, Severus opened his eyes.

And the sound of footsteps was heard coming down the stairs.

A/N: this story was previously posted on DaughterofAres' account a long time ago when I didn't have an account of my own because she gave me the plot idea and beta'd it for me. She has since taken it down so now I may post it here, as it really belongs here with the other stories in the series. I apologize for any confusion, but was not informed of this occurrence and discovered it myself when I realized the link no longer worked to the story on my profile page. I shall be posting the rest of the story as I have time over the course of a few weeks.