Unhinged

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Potter characters, not being paid, just having a little fun with my take in the world and adding my own little bit of flair to it.

Authors note: This story does not have a beta. So be forewarned. Take a seat and sit back and I hope you enjoy the ride. The story stalled so long ago that I am in the process of revamping it. Please be patient with me because some things are changing.

Summary: WIKTT Challenge: Daddy Long Legs. Hermione found herself in a difficult position. Orphaned. School and friends are the least of her worries. Now she has to figure out who her benefactor is. While still trying to deal with everything life has thrown at her.

Chapter 1

She couldn't stop staring as she sat at the window seat leaning up against the wall. Her arse had fallen asleep some time ago. It was a condition that happened when one sat for hours on end without moving. She reread the letter once more – it was the same – the words had not changed, no matter how much she wished it; it would not change what she felt inside.

Anger.

Angry for all the times she had called him father. In her hands was the proof that he wasn't that man she had been raised to believe. He wasn't the person she wanted to return home to ever again. She didn't want to go home this summer. No matter what was written on the page.

Shame.

Shameful, for what had happen between them last summer, after her mother had died in her fourth year. She shuttered at the thought and willed the dark memories back inside the clouded mist inside her head. It had boiled over into her schoolwork. Into her friendships even. This year, her fifth year, had been the hardest. The first year she really felt alone, so much like the first year at school, until she bonded with two best friends.

Fear.

Afraid to go back home. Afraid it would happen again, even if she wasn't his blood, it still didn't help. She knew what he made her call him when he was doing things. She was afraid of him.

Overwhelmed.

The worst feeling she felt. Not knowing what the future held. Not knowing whom she could turn too. Who would believe her? Who would believe a Gryffindor could have lost all courage and bravery that the house stood for? She couldn't help but feel if she went back now, he was going to kill her.

X-X

The staff sat at the table in the teacher's lounge. 'The War Room', as it was aptly dubbed. This was not an ordinary school, Hogwarts Witchcraft and Wizardry, was one of the wizarding schools across the world. One of the most to stand out for attracting its fair share of mystery and danger. The only teacher that was not present was Umbridge having escaped from the school's infirmary the night before.

"I don't like it. Her grades have slipped further than beyond expected, as well as Mr. Potter's and Mr. Weasley's." Professor Minerva McGonagall stated. She sipped the hot green tea in her cup, and sat it back down by her grade book. Her beady eyes looked at her colleagues through the square glasses she wore.

The snort was clearly heard from across the table.

"There is nothing funny about this situation, Severus." Professor McGonagall reiterated.

"On the contrary, Minerva. It is at that." Professor Severus Snape leaned forward on his elbows. The gloat in his black eye's betraying just how much enjoyment he was feeling from seeing the 'Golden Trio' fall at last. "Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves on it."

Professor McGonagall slammed her wrinkling hands on the table disturbing her tea that sloshed on her grade book. "That is uncalled for. You know as well as I do that, that child is suffering. Her mother was murdered during her fourth year. Her grades started slipping then, even worse this year. This was something she didn't do on her own."

"Must you always include the insufferable-know-it-all with the other two Gryffindor brats? For once it's kept her out of harm's way. She's not tagging along after Potter and Weasley. They aren't copying her work. I told you at the welcoming feast that we'll see the real grades for Potter and Weasley this year."

"Must you always blame Harry and Ron for everything, Severus." Professor McGongall's eyes narrowed at him.

The other staff around the table sat back, this had been a common occurrence for them to watch. The two always bickering and fighting over three students since they had first started at the school in their first year.

"Yes. I can, and I will."

The meeting broke up, with the only resolve setting in - that each of the three students would be assigned tutors to help them through the summer to pull their grades back up. Professor Snape had groaned about this, seeing that Harry and Ron were included. As far as he was concerned it had been their own fault for not studying to begin with. Severus had often told Albus if Harry was to get away from Ron, things would improve. He knew which of the three was the laziest and it still effected Potter.

Severus walked down with Albus to the Great Hall.

"So you are really not opposed to the tutoring?" Albus asked.

"Only with one of them. I don't see how Weasley rated for one." Severus said.

"Minerva made her points and we agreed." Albus said.

"Of course, anything for the trio." Severus growled. "I won't do any of the tutoring."

"I wasn't going to ask, Severus. Finding a tutor for Harry is going to be rather hard and well pressed with the Dursleys."

Severus groaned, this was the reason for the Headmaster walking him to the feast. "I would advise to move Mr. Potter before he starts his tutoring. Preferable not to the burrow, if he gets around Weasley he won't do anything but lay off of what he needs to learn."

"I was thinking of sending him to Remus after two weeks of the summer." Albus said.

Severus glanced at the Headmaster. "That has merit, Lupin could also tutor him as well. Are you still intending to bring him back to teaching next year?"

"Yes Severus, that hasn't changed."

"I'll start the potions." Severus said. As they entered the hall and sat down.

Snape watched as the students came into the Great Hall for the leaving feast. He noticed one student was not there. After the speech from Dumbledore, Snape slipped out the back door and started walking the halls. Looking inside classrooms for the missing girl. He found her sitting alone, in one of the classrooms on the third floor, clutching a letter and staring off in space. He was standing directly in front of her; she had yet to even see him.

Reaching out he pulled the letter out of her hand.

"That's mine." Hermione said coming out of her trance.

"Really, Miss Granger." Snape read over the letter narrowing his eyes.

Hermione,

I can't wait for you to return home to get some normalcy back for the summer. I have missed you deeply. You helped me so much last summer after what happened with your mother. You have become dear to me as she was, my adopted daughter.

Love Daddy

"One would think this was some sort of death sentence in the way you were staring." Severus said silkily as he watched her. He didn't know she was adopted, that was a shock.

He watched as Hermione pursed her lips together and stood only to reach down and rub her legs as she hissed at the pain. Severus watched closely as she worked the circulation of blood back into her legs, he had a feeling she had been sitting here since she had gotten the letter.

"You should be in your dorm room now, Miss Granger. I suggest you go find it." Snape turned and left, his robe billowing behind him. He flicked the letter to the floor. She had reacted too harshly to the words and deep down he didn't like them either. It was time to pay a visit to that house and he would make sure Miss Granger never found out it was him.

X-X

The next day Hermione sat at King's Cross waiting to be picked up. She had by passed the Weasley family and avoided them at all cost. It was now going on midnight and no one had come. The uniformed police officer stood in front of her.

"We got a call stating you've been sitting here for four hours," His voice was soft as he knelt down in front of her. "Did someone forget to pick you up?"

Hermione shrugged, "I called the house, but I didn't get an answer."

"What's your name?"

"Hermione Granger." She then proceeded to give him her home address and phone number and soon found herself sitting in the squad car outside the train station. Hermione listened to the code language coming over the police scanner not sure at all what they were saying.

The police officer was talking to another one who had pulled up. She wasn't sure what was going on. She knew her adoptive father wouldn't have forgotten to pick her up. She saw the officer turn and come back to the car.

He opened the door. "I can't take you home for the night, and well, I need to take you to the station."

Hermione turned her now frightful eyes on him. "What's going on?"

"There was a murder earlier at the address you'd given me. I'm sorry Hermione, but your father is dead." He reached for the car key and started the ignition.

Hermione didn't know whether to shout for joy or cry at the situation she now found herself in. Either way, she knew she wouldn't be staying with him, and that left her feeling a little better. It was still frightening. She felt even more alone now. Hermione turned and stared out the window as the raindrops traced trails down the glass, she wouldn't cry for him, and cursed the sky for doing it for her.