Disclaimer: I do not own anything from the Potter Universe. It all belongs to the amazing J.K. Rowling, who, I might add, is a genius! I only like to force the characters to do things they would never do without the assistance of chemical substances!!!!

Pairing: Harry/Severus …. If this freaks you out, then PLEASE don't read any further, I don't really appreciate reviews telling me how sick I am, okay? P.S. Harry is underage, even in the U.K. okay? He's in his 5th year in this fic, but don't worry, it doesn't get really heavy for a while…maybe not ever, because I don't have much confidence in writing naughty scenes like that. -

Summary: Harry tries a blood magic potion to better understand his summer potions homework, but mixes up the name with another potion that binds the drinker to his or her most compatible match in ability(not necessarily romantic, for instance, siblings are often bonded). Guess who Harry gets bonded with?

Spoilers: All the books, especially the 4th one, so if you haven't read it, well, you'll find out what happens.

Author's Note: Yes, I know there are several fics out there just like this one, but I just wanted to write my own and maybe get a few nice reviews, so give me a break okay?  

Chapter 1: Summer Homework

Harry glared at the assignment sheet he had received from his Potions Master on the last day of classes. He had enough on his mind at the moment, and certainly no time to be researching how human blood is used in potions. It was the second week of summer vacation; Harry was trying to distract himself from the events of June by doing his homework; not only had Voldemort returned at the end of June, but Cedric Diggory had died. Harry was feeling the guilt from this every time his head hit his pillow, which was pretty often considering there wasn't really anything to do in the house besides sleep, eat, and do homework, and the Dursleys would never let him outside. 

            Besides all of the extra weight of dread that the rise of the Dark Lord had caused, Harry was also experiencing troubles at home, or #4 Privet Drive (he hated thinking of this place as his home). Uncle Vernon hadn't met his quota last year for the number of drills he had wanted to sell, and was under major pressure from his company president. Grunnings was very close to selling out, and the Dursleys no longer had money to spare. So Aunt Petunia was forced to find work; she couldn't simply be hired by Uncle Vernon because the company couldn't spare to pay any more employees at the moment. Every morning, night, and most afternoons, Aunt Petunia could be found at the kitchen table with the job ads section of the newspaper spread out in front of her, clutching a red pen in her bony hand and biting her tongue between her teeth. She was extremely prone to snapping at anyone who disturbed her, including her precious Dudders. Harry was often at the receiving end of these explosions.

            "It's your entire fault, you know that don't you?" She would hiss every morning from behind a rustling paper. "If we didn't have the extra cost of you under our roof, we wouldn't have this problem!"

            Harry didn't bother setting her straight. His aunt was impossible to reason with. Even Uncle Vernon was easier to handle, as he was much more predictable than his Aunt (all Uncle Vernon would do was shout a lot and occasionally threaten to beat him with a broomstick; Aunt Petunia usually wouldn't get mad, but when she did she would actually beat Harry with a broomstick, although that hadn't happened since Sirius had been mentioned). Harry often wondered if this unpredictable nature had to do with the fact that Aunt Petunia was a woman, but that was a different matter.

            That was another thing that had been bothering Harry lately. He wasn't sure if it was because the women he was surrounded by were not the type he would consider being involved with, or whether he didn't want to become involved with any woman at all, because he had caught himself staring at several of the men on the television programs that his Aunt Petunia watched. She called them Soaps, which Harry didn't understand at all, because soap was never involved with what the characters were doing. They were either plotting to kill each other's spouses, or having crazed, mindless sex in their parent's beds. Harry's favorite character was an older man called Leo; Harry told himself that he only liked him the best because he was so clever at discovering the evil plots against his clients, but it could also be because he strutted around with his shirt off an awful lot. For some reason, Harry found that he paid extra close attention when Leo began to unbutton his white silk shirt after a long days work at the office, where he worked as a lawyer.

            Harry shook his head, trying to dispel the image of a wet Leo sliding into a bubbling bath. He thought vaguely that soap was indeed involved in that scene before glaring back at the sheet Snape had passed out to all of them.

Summer Assignment: Read Chapter 14 of Magical Drafts and Potions and write a 3½ foot long essay on the use of human blood in Potions. For extra credit on this assignment, you may research your topic in other sources or conduct your own experiment. To receive extra credit, you must list your sources and have your parent or legal guardian sign that you have actually done as you have said.

            Harry sighed when he read the 'legal guardian' part. Like he would ask Uncle Vernon to sign that he had actually conducted his own experiment. He could just imagine how that would go.

            'WHAT?! You made a bloody potion?! IN MY HOUSE?' Then his Uncle would turn from a huge man into a huge deranged walrus and promptly slice Harry in two. Harry chuckled at the image of Uncle Vernon with two long tusks protruding from under his mustache. He wished he had someone to share that thought with. Harry laughed again at the thought of a walrus with Uncle Vernon's mustache, when he heard hushed giggling. He quickly stopped and strained his ears to hear what was being said.

            "Is he laughing in there?"

            "Yeah, the freak's probably talking to himself!"

            "Do you think he's hearing things?"

            Harry scowled. He knew exactly who those voices belonged to: Dudley, Piers Polkiss, and some new friend of Dudley's called Rex Christiana. He had never met Rex, but had heard from Dudley that he was a rich boy who went to Smeltings. When Uncle Vernon had heard the word 'rich', he had immediately encouraged Dudley to get to know him. Supposedly, Rex came over every day after school during the year. And now, he must be coming over to laugh at 'the freak'. 

            Harry silently picked up his books and parchment and put them in his desk drawer. He padded softly to the door, paused to make sure they didn't know he was there, and then wrenched it open. He was greeted to the sight of three boys, one short and skinny with a pointed face (Piers), one tall and fatter than the average fat person (Dudley), and one tall, blonde-haired, attractive boy. Each of them had identical looks of stunned horror on their faces, like the look of a five-year old caught with a stolen cookie from a cookie jar.         

"Hello," Harry said pleasantly. "You must be Rex," Harry held out his hand with a smile on his face. "It's a pleasure to meet you, truly." Rex shakily extended his hand and shook Harry's.

            "Piers, old chap! It's been a while!" Harry sported a huge grin as he shook Piers' small hand with both of his own.

            "And lastly Dudley, my beloved cousin! You should have just knocked, you know, if you wanted me to come out to meet your friends." He said sternly. Dudley looked exceptionally nervous and shuffled his feet guilty. Piers was looking at Harry with curiosity, no doubt noticing the change from the meek little boy he used to help beat up to the teenager who was reprimanding his cousin. Rex was looking at Harry with a bit of hesitation, as though unsure whether to look or run away. He had obviously heard stories of Harry's 'criminal record'. 

            "Er...we were just, um…" Dudley began to step back from Harry. Piers was looking aghast at his friend's behavior. He had always thought that Dudley beat Harry senseless, but instead, he was witnessing his friend backing away! Obviously, Harry was more dangerous than he thought.

            "Leaving, right?" Harry said sharply. If he cared to listen to himself, he might have laughed at how much he sounded like Mrs. Weasley telling off Fred and George. 

            "Erm, yes…"

            "Good! I'm trying to work in here, you know. All that work from St. Brutus's…they really pile it on, especially for us more dangerous criminals…" Harry trailed off, and inside, he cheered at the looks of terror on the three boys faces.

            "Now, I don't want to hear anymore from out here, is that understood? If you have anything to say to me, say it to my face! If you dare…" Harry growled. He hoped he was doing a good job of acting like an Incurably Criminal Boy.

            Dudley squeaked and turned around as fast as he could, which wasn't saying much considering Rex and Piers were already at the stairs by the time Dudley had turned around.

            Harry slammed the door and smiled when he heard the clear tenor of Rex's voice.

            "I thought you said he was ugly…" 


            Harry rolled over in his bed and looked at the alarm clock on his bedside table. It read 3:28. He groaned and pressed his face into his pillow. He had just awoken from a nightmare. Harry tried to think of something else, but the details kept repeating themselves in his mind. 'Strange,' he thought 'how when you want to remember a dream, you can't, but when you don't want to remember, you can'.

            The dream had been one of Cedric. Harry had been on what appeared to be a battlefield. It had been dark, and there was fog obscuring the faces of the dead on the ground. There had been a thin beam of light coming through the clouds in the sky. The sun was shining on one particular body, and Harry had stumbled over to it. He heard scuttling sounds, but paid them no attention. The body was on its back, and Harry stared into the face. He didn't recognize it. Suddenly, the face cleared; it was Cedric, staring unseeingly in front of him. The clicking sounds became louder, and Harry let out a horrified scream when he saw what was making the noise; thousands of tiny cockroaches, backs glossy and hard, scuttling over Cedric's body. They were fast approaching his open mouth and Harry tried to beat them away. They clung to Harry's hand and began to climb up his own arms and Harry screamed. That's when he had woken up.

            Harry let out another groan and turned over on his back. At this rate, he'd have to pay a visit to the now familiar toilet; he'd been throwing up in it almost every night. Harry had lost an alarming amount of weight from that. If he went to the doctors, they'd probably pronounce him to be bulimic. 

            A soft hooting distracted him from his thoughts. Hedwig was back! She must have returned while he had been having his nightmare! Harry hastily reached for his glasses and put them on. Hedwig was sitting on top of her open cage, her jewel-like eyes twinkling in the moonlight.

            "Hey girl," he whispered, as he slid out of bed. He reached out and stroked her feathers. She hooted in response and gently nipped an offered finger.

            "Did you have fun out there?" he asked softly. He received a dignified hoot in response and he smiled. Hedwig always made him feel better. Suddenly, Hedwig began flapping her wings.

            "What's wrong girl?" Harry asked, surprised at her sudden outburst. Hedwig hooted apologetically and stuck out her leg. There was a letter tied to it.

            "Mail?" Harry immediately began to panic. His birthday wasn't for another two weeks and there was really no reason for anyone to send him a message otherwise. Had something happened? Had Voldemort gathered his forces? Was he going to attack? Harry hurriedly untied the message and turned on the lamp beside his bed. He blinked his eyes at the sudden light, and stared at the envelope, waiting for his vision to clear.

            It was indeed a Hogwarts letter. It was small, not like the ones he got with his book lists and everything. Harry sat down on the bed and ripped at the seal. Hedwig shuffled closer to get a better look. Harry reached in a pulled out one piece of parchment and unfolded it. His eyes widened as he read.

Dear Mr. Potter,

            It has come to our attention that the residence that you are now residing in may no longer be appropriate for your needs. We regret to inform you that you must return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as soon as possible. We apologize for the short notice, but we feel that it is necessary for a Hogwarts representative to come and collect you tomorrow afternoon to ensure your safety in traveling. The code word will be 'sour milk'. If you have any doubts whether the person who comes to collect you is the right person, ask them for the code word. Further explanations will be divulged on your arrival. Have a safe journey and we will see you soon.


                                                                                                Hogwarts Staff

            Harry let out the breath he had been holding. What was going on? '…no longer appropriate for your needs…'  Bullshit! The Dursleys had never been appropriate for his needs! This was obviously an excuse for saying, 'we think you are not safe.' Why don't they just bloody say it?  

              And what was this 'sour milk' shit? Dumbledore had obviously had a hand in thinking up that one. And who was the representative coming to get him that Harry might not trust? Would Snape show up at his door for Christ's sake? Harry stifled a laugh, imagining Snape, in his billowing black robes, at the doorstep. Uncle Vernon would have a fit! 'Oh wait,' Harry thought. 'Uncle Vernon!' His uncle would probably give birth to a cow if he saw a wizard on his doorstep! Well, there was no time to cancel this…he'd just have to hope for the best.


            Harry sat on the bottom stair, chin resting in his hands, waiting for the 'Hogwarts representative'. He had told his aunt and uncle of the arrival that morning, and they had been furious. Dudley had shut himself up in his room, petrified in fear of a repeat of last year's encounter with wizards. Harry didn't blame him; he would be nervous too. Especially since Harry had a pretty good feeling that it was Snape who was coming to get him. After all, who else was part of the Hogwarts staff that Harry might not trust? If Dudley met Snape, he'd no doubt shrink into a puddle of gloop at the sight of him.  

            Uncle Vernon was acting much as he had last year. Except this time, he had not boarded up the fireplace, nor did he pretend to be reading the paper while really listening for a car. He had his best suit on again, and had smoothed his hair down with gel, but it was sticking up in the back because he had kept rubbing his neck, which he did when he was nervous. Aunt Petunia was reading the want ads in the kitchen; she wasn't planning on greeting the wizard.

            Harry sighed and stared at the fireplace along with Uncle Vernon. The letter hadn't really specified a time, only saying 'afternoon'. It was exactly 12:30. Harry had already eaten a meager lunch of one half of a bagel and one tiny slice of butter, and he was ready to go; the tension in the room was starting to make him feel claustrophobic.

           The sound of a car pulling up, an engine turning off, and then a door slamming brought Harry back out of his thoughts. No way had the wizard driven…? Uncle Vernon leapt up from the sofa and stomped to the window. He peeked out through the holes in the lace curtain and inhaled a sharp breath.

            "Boy! Is that him?"

            Harry stood up and was about to look out of the window, when he heard someone knocking on the door.

            "Answer that!" his uncle hissed.

            Harry walked to the door and opened it cautiously.

            Severus Snape stood on the doorstep.

            "Sour milk." He said, voice dripping with mock courtesy. 

TBC? Hey, by the way, I consider Snape to look kind of like the guy who played Lucius Malfoy in the second movie, but with black hair. Don't get me wrong, I ADORE Alan Rickman, but when I read the books, I thought of Snape as a tall, thin man with long black hair and a deep voice. I imagine Harry looking like…well, go to www.rhysennmorethanart.org, go to the fanart section, and check out the picture done by impshie, called Blinking Harry. I know he looks girlish, but that's how I imagine him!!! Anyway, review!!!!!!!!