Hey guys! So, I have been thinking about writing my own story for a while now, and to be honest with you I have been scared to start! I am going out on a limb and just doing it!

This will be a Severus/Harry: mentor/adoption fic but other than that I have no idea where this will lead. It IS safe to say that characters will appear OOC and that the events will unfold differently than the books. (Snape is going to be strict but kind hearted).

Also, Harry will have been abused by the Dursleys- I won't go into much detail about it but it will be mentioned.

Also, I hope to have a nice blend of happy/bonding times with action/adventure times as well.

Obviously I am just playing around writing this for fun… do I really need to say that everything you recognize belongs to J.K. Rowling?

ok….here it goes!

Chapter 1: No More Hiding

Harry Potter had already experienced so many new and exciting things, and it was only his second week at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Finding out from the friendly half-giant Hagrid that he was an honest-to-goodness wizard and that all of his apparent 'freakishness' was actually accidental magic did wonders for the boy's self-worth and self-esteem.

He was always led to believe that he was a freak of a boy. His aunt and uncle made that point very clear with their hateful outpourings towards him. They acted as if the very presence of him in the same room as them would contaminate the very sterile lives that they sought to build for themselves. Harry learned early on to keep his head down and respond with a simple "yes ma'am" or "yes sir" and never was he allowed to ask any questions about his parents. Aunt Petunia hated his mother, he knew this. He was keenly more aware of the hatred that his only living relatives felt towards him for they made it abundantly clear with their words, or in his uncle's case, his fists.

Many nights were spent huddled in his small cupboard under the stairs with silent tears making tracks down his cheeks. His too thin arms wrapped around his bony legs as he sat rocking himself back and forth, trying to soothe himself as he pretended that his mother and father were there holding him, comforting him, loving him.

The boy in question now sat in a similar position at the window overlooking Hogwarts grounds. It was very early in the morning and the sky was clear and afforded a crisp view of the constellations. Harry loved to look at the night sky and he relished the feeling of no longer being treated like a slave at the hands of the people who were supposed to love and protect him.

Bed coverings rustled behind him and he looked over his shoulder to see his best friend Ron Weasley squirming about in his slumber. A small smile crept on Harry's young face. For the first time in his young 11-year old life he finally had friends. True friends that enjoyed his presence, and he no longer had to fear that his cousin would beat them up and poison them against him.

Harry spent a little while longer gazing at the window, watching the sky begin to lighten in anticipation for the sun rise before he resolved himself to getting up and showering before the other boys woke up.

He had been doing this every night since he arrived. He was used to keeping quiet during his night terrors but he could never go back to sleep afterwards. Normally they were not this bad but right before he left the Dursley's to come to Hogwarts his Uncle decided to give him a 'preview' of what would happen if he came back during the summer and started causing even more freakishness to occur now that he was going to a wizarding school. Uncle Vernon had never before used his belt on him before, and for that he was relieved. It was a little over two weeks ago that the event in question took place and he still had red marks on his back and bum.

Not wanting to take the chance of one of the other boys seeing him naked, Harry proceeded to the showers to get ready for another exhausting day. He brought his robes into the bathroom and proceeded to gingerly remove the ratty and extremely large pajamas he was wearing. His school uniform was the only thing that he own that fit him correctly and wasn't previously worn by his whale of a cousin. In the past he was embarrassed with the clothing he was forced to wear, but now he got to the point where he was almost grateful for their overlarge size. Baggier clothes helped to conceal the bruises he typically had on some part of his little body and the more he could keep them hidden the less chance he had of someone seeing them and asking him about it. He hated trying to come up with a feasible lie that would keep him safe from further questions.

Turning on the shower he stepped in and allowed the warm water to run over his face, hoping that it would serve to invigorate him a little bit. He really hoped that he would be able to get some sleep eventually because it was really starting to catch up to him. No one took too much notice about the drawn look on his face or the little bags under his eyes, and he was good at hiding his ailments from years of training. Today, however, would be different entirely.

Harry entered the potions classroom that afternoon followed by Ron and Hermione who were arguing about something that Harry didn't care to get involved in. Ron was not the nicest person to Hermione, and Hermione had yet to learn how to be intelligent in class without seeming like a know-it-all. They took seats towards the back of the classroom in the hopes that they could escape the potion master's ire for once. Every since the first day in class where Professor Snape had accused Harry of not paying attention in class the trio learned to remain as quiet and subdued as possible for these classes. Harry wasn't all that surprised by the fact that it appeared as if his Professor hated him. He was not naive enough to believe that everyone would love him all of the time. Quite the contrary actually, he was used to people treating him with varying degrees of hate and loathing.

All the students were sitting quietly, waiting for class to begin when the door slammed open with a loud bang, causing many of the children to jump in surprise. With a flick of his wand meticulous handwriting appeared on the blackboard.

"You will be brewing the Burn Salve that was the topic of our last lecture. Surely at least some of you will prove to be intelligent enough to follow these instructions. You will work individually and in silence. Once you are finished, put your sample on my desk and clean your stations...you have one hour." Snape silkily said in his chilling tone before turning his famous Snape sneer to the students to get them moving.

He had perfected his 'snarky git' facade over the years. Students feared him and his preferential treatment towards those in Slytherin was well known. Under the surface though, Snape really was playing a role. He knew that should the Dark Lord return he had to keep appearances up so that his position as a spy would not be compromised. Many throughout the wizarding world believed Voldemort to be permanently decimated, but Snape knew better than to believe that they have seen the last of him.

Severus, despite his brief idiotic phase in his younger years that led him to taking the dark mark, was firmly fighting for the Light and would stand by Dumbledore's side until Britain was once again free from evil. He had given up so much for this cause, more than a majority of people would ever come to realize or appreciate. He did not seek praise or recognition. No, he would fight even with his last dying breath to protect those innocent and he resigned himself long ago that to accomplish his task effectively he would have to be despised by many who questioned his allegiances and intentions. It was of no importance to him though. He only really ever loved one person… Lily. After their falling out they did not speak for sometime, until after he had already taken the mark. They did make amends eventually though they had to keep their regained friendship tightly under wraps for fear of Severus' life. He even got around to no longer completely despising James Potter. Severus would always see him as his childhood bully who was too arrogant for his own good, but even Severus had to admit how truly happy he made Lily. Though it pained him to see Lily engaged and married to someone who was not him, his deepest desire was her happiness, even if that happiness was not brought about by him.

The class went smoothly until, five minutes before the end of the period, Severus heard glass shattering on the stone floor. Burn Salve was the easiest potion that there was to brew and there was no way even the most dunderheaded of students could botch their potion enough to cause any sort of harmful reaction.

Quickly seeing where the chaos originated from Severus made his way towards the back of the class, robes billowing as per usual. He stopped in the aisle where shards of glass now lay strewn about and Harry's burn salve now lay in globs.

"Potter! How can you possibly be so clumsy? This is the easiest day of potions that you will have in your entire career at Hogwarts and you cannot even manage to get through it without causing havoc!"

Harry's bright emerald eyes looked up into Professor Snape's obsidian ones for the briefest of moments before he quickly averted them. He was terrified. A memory of the time he broke one of Aunt Petunia's fancy dinner plates flashed through his mind and his fear doubled. He stooped down while stammering incoherently and made to pick up the shards of glass off of the floor. Harry was quaking slightly and the first piece he picked up cut his finger deeply.

"Stand up Potter. Do not touch that you foolish child! Evanesco!" Snape said and the mess vanished instantly. He looked down at the scrawny first year and had to fight hard to keep his hard hearted mask in place. Harry's eyes were exact replicas of Lily's and it was truly hard for the man to act so cold towards him.

"Follow me, Potter. That cut needs to be properly sanitized and healed. The rest of you turn in your salves and clean your stations. After you do so you are dismissed."

Severus made his way to the door at the front of his classroom that led to his office with Harry nervously following. Hermione called after Harry to let him know that they would take his backpack with them and meet him in the Great Hall for lunch. Not able to form words Harry nodded to her and forced a small smile to reassure her that he would be fine even if he really didn't know if that was true at the moment.

Once inside the carefully organized office Severus closed the door with a click. Harry stood in the middle of the office, unsure of what to do with himself. His eyes found the rug and remained glued there for a few tense moments before Severus spoke up.

"Come sit here Mr. Potter," Snape motioned towards the chair in front of him. His deep voice softening from his earlier harshness. Harry looked up, puzzled. Severus stood in front of his desk with a vial of antiseptic solution and a sterile cloth. The look he had on his face was softer than any Harry had witnessed and he was truly confused. Was he acting nice so that Harry would let his guard down, making the ultimate humiliation more painful?

When he was smaller he used to fall for such tricks from his Uncle. When he was five and fell down the concrete steps leading to the back garden his Uncle Vernon saw the blood running down his shin and in a comforting tone told Harry that he would clean his leg for him. He held his hand out to the small boy who was trying his very hardest not to cry from the sting of his scrapes. Harry was desperate for comfort and lifted his small hand to reach for the meaty one, only to have it smacked away, his Uncle laughing at his foolishness and telling him that freaks don't deserve to be taken care of.

Snape waited patiently for the boy to come close enough and he saw the little mind running a mile a minute. The way Harry was so jumpy and his lack of appetite as meals had been a concern for him since the welcome feast. Snape was resolved to get to the bottom of things today.

Harry swallowed his fear and squared his shoulders. He walked a few paces towards his Professor and sat down in the chair he had indicated to. Holding his still bleeding hand in front of him he slowly brought his gaze up to meet his Professors. Snape poured the antiseptic solution on the cloth and grasped the small wrist in front of him.

"This will sting a little bit but it is necessary." He watched as the boy's eyes narrowed with the pain. Making quick work with cleaning his cut, Severus then took a small jar of healing salve from the cabinet and kneeled down in front of Harry's chair to liberally apply it to the child's hand. Once the cut was healed Harry squirmed in his chair slightly. He was unsure of himself and wanted to run away.

Snape leaned against the edge of his desk calmly, his hands supporting himself behind him.

"Why do you look so extremely exhausted Mr. Potter? Is that why you were overly clumsy today? Were you roaming about the castle last night, too good to adhere to the rules?"

Harry shook his head before clearing his throat slightly, hoping his voice would sound more confident than he felt.

"No sir. I'm sorry. I was walking up to your desk to turn in my salve and tripped."

"You tripped...likely story. Alright Mr. Potter, answer my other questions then. Why do you look like you have not slept for weeks?"

This question was a lot harder for Harry to answer. The answer he could give would be to lie and say that he was sleeping fine, which would undoubtedly lead the Professor to believe that he was out breaking curfew, or he could admit that he was not sleeping well and that had the potential to get too personal. Harry did not want to feel the wrath of an even angrier potions master, especially for something that he did not do, so he decided to tell him the truth.

"I haven't been sleeping well, Professor. It's not that big of a deal sir."

"I think it IS a big deal if it is interfering with your school work. Honestly Potter you have bags under your eyes! Are you homesick? Is that why you're not sleeping?"

"N-no sir….I'm not homesick."

When Harry didn't offer up any additional information Severus took the lead and prodded a bit further.

"What is it then? Are you roommates keeping you awake?"

To this Harry didn't answer verbally but simply shook his head slightly. He was embarrassed about his frequent nightmares and he had a feeling that, like it or not, Professor Snape was going to find out about them.

"Are you having nightmares?" Snape asked, his voice softening more.

A flush of embarrassment swept over Harry's cheeks and he could feel his ears burning, which was confirmation enough for Snape.

"You don't have to be embarrassed, Harry. You are not the only one to suffer from nightmares." At the use of his first name Harry's head shot up to see the stern Potions professor looking at him with concern. An unknown warmth spread through Harry's chest as he was fairly certain no one had ever looked at him like that before. Well, he guessed his parents probably did when he was a baby.

"Do you have them every night?"

"Not normally. Well, at least I didn't before….." Harry quietly admitted, breaking his sentence off before he revealed too much.

"Before what?" Snape asked as he sat in the chair next to Harry's, leaning forward with his long arms resting on his knees, face full of concern.

Harry honestly did not know how to continue this conversation. No one had ever shown him this much concern and he was not used to answering these types of questions. His breathing started to come in faster, shorter bursts. His hands were gripping the sides of the upholstered chair that he was sitting in and his chest began to burn. Despite his rapid breathing his lungs felt starved for oxygen.

Severus, seeing the boy begin to suffer from what was most likely a panic attack quickly summoned a calming draught. Uncorking it he pushed the vial to the boys pursed lips.

"Harry, you are having a panic attack this will help! Open up for me Harry!"

Severus used the vial to part the boy's lips and tilted his head back. The potion made its way into his mouth and Snape gently massaged the small boy's throat to encourage him to swallow. Once the vial was consumed Harry felt immediate relief sweep through his body and he began to relax. The burning sensation lessened in his lungs, though it did not disappear completely. He felt even more exhausted than before as he had been tensing every muscle in his body.

Snape rested his hand on the boy's shoulder while he regained control of himself, all the while reassuring the boy that he was going to be alright. After a few minutes Harry turned his head upwards to look at Severus.

"Sorry…" Harry murmured, silently criticising himself for once again causing himself embarrassment in front of his Professor. How many more times would he have to be thoroughly embarrassed in front of this man?

"No need to be sorry Harry. We do need to get you up to the Hospital Wing though. Panic attacks are not typically serious but you need to get evaluated by Madam Pomfrey"

"What? No...I'm fine, sir, really. I don't need to go to the hospital wing, honest. I'll be perfectly fine after I eat lunch, don't worry!"

"You will be perfectly fine, Mr. Potter, but after you get checked out by Madam Pomfrey. I will escort you to the hospital wing and will have a house elf send up a lunch tray for you."

"No! Sir, please! I don't need to go! Please!" Harry was getting desperate. If he went to the hospital wing and they did a scan on him he knew what that scan would reveal. He could not handle having everyone find out just how much of a freak and a burden he is.

"This is non-negotiable. You will follow me to the hospital wing this instant. You can either come willingly or I will drag you there." Snape's tone becoming more strict, more out of deep worry than anything. It was not normal for a child to put up such a desperate fight against getting a medical evaluation. He had dealt with his share of Slytherin students who came to school suffering from physical abuse and he himself knew the signs from his own childhood. He had a fierce protective side, especially for children who suffered at the hands of people who were meant to love and comfort them.

Harry knew he was stuck. He was going to be found out and there was nothing he could do about it. Unshed tears were clinging to his long dark eyelashes as he stood up to follow his Professor out the door. He knew that after today he would not be able to hide any longer.


A/N: Ok, hopefully that wasn't too bad for my first chapter ever. PLEASE let me know what you think!

Is there anything you really want to see in this story? Like I said, I have a general idea of where I want this story to go but nothing is set in stone. I will write and see where the story itself wants to go.

Thanks for reading!