DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended
To anyone walking by, Professor Severus Snape would appear to be his normal, nasty self. He walked quickly and quietly towards his dungeon sanctuary with a scowl on his face.
But Snape had many things on his mind. He recalled his recent conversation with Remus Lupin, with whom he had made some sort of truce. He recalled Lupins' statements about the boy's upbringing. After Severus' meeting with the Dark Lord, during which the cruciatus curse had been applied liberally for his failure to join the other death eaters in the thwarted attempt to retrieve the prophecy, Snape had pondered the information Lupin had given him. The boy had told someone of what he had seen in the pensieve. But not for the reason's Snape had expected.
Snape had expected the boy to gloat. It's what his father had done. But as much as he didn't want to admit it, Harry Potter was not his father. Other than telling his godfather and Lupin, it appeared the boy had revealed what he had seen to no one. Snape had been forced to think back on the memories he had retrieved from the boy during his former occlumency lessons, and had come to the conclusion that perhaps Lupin had a point. In the memories he had seen, the boy had been treated badly at his relatives.
And then, he had been called into a meeting with Albus Dumbledore. Snape had heard that the boy's relatives had been confronted, but it had been a week and Lupin was frantic because he had not heard from the boy. Upon entering Dumbledore's office, Severus witnessed Lupin arguing with the headmaster, demanding that someone be allowed to contact the boy. To top it all off, in the middle of the conversation, Potter's owl came in with a letter for the headmaster.
Albus did not reveal the letter's contents, but insisted that Severus be the one to retrieve the boy. Snape had tried to object, but Albus had been adamant, stating that he would be the best one to help Potter. Once Albus had instructed him to take along a few particular potions, Snape had understood why.
He looked up. His feet had automatically brought him to his living quarters. He uttered the password, and made directly for his workroom, gathering the potions, before stepping in front of his fire. He took a pinch of powder, and threw it into the flames. "Arabella Figg." He stepped into the green flames, and was gone.
Mrs. Petunia Dursley was beside herself. The boy had only been home a week, and she expected a troupe of wizards to come barging through the door at any moment. If Vernon ever found out, he would be furious. But he wouldn't. Vernon could never find out what she had done.
She had expected the boy to gloat after those freaks had accosted them at the station. But he hadn't. In fact, the boy didn't talk at all. The only time he left his room was for meals, and even then she had to call him two or three times before he came. Once downstairs, he would take a couple of bites, and sit staring at his plate until everyone had finished, and walk straight back up to his room. She had walked past his room several times, to hear him sobbing. No, something was very wrong with the boy.
And then, last night at dinner she noticed the cuts all along the boy's wrist and arms. She had noticed that a knife had been missing a few days before, but thought perhaps Duddikins had taken it to eat something in his room and forgot to bring it back. But when she saw the boy's arms she knew she had to act.
She had thought about it all evening. When they had received the letter with the boy all those years ago, they had been told of a way to contact their world. But since Vernon had destroyed the letter, as he did with any that arrived during the boy's whole life, she had no way of contacting them.
Then she remembered. Lily used to use her owl to write to those freaks when she would come home for the summer. It was Petunia's only hope. She composed a letter, waited until everyone had gone to sleep, and then snuck in the boy's room to give it to the owl. She wasn't sure exactly how to do that, but the owl just took the letter in his beak and flew off. She hoped the owl knew where to go, as the only thing she told it was 'get help.'
So here she was sitting, waiting for someone to come. She was brought out of her musings by a knock at the door.