A/N: This is my first attempt at a Harry Potter Fic. Please be gentle ;)
I also decided this chapter was WAY too short (with a helpful suggestion from Fan). Thanks for taking the time to read my story!

Disclaimer: I own nothing save the shirt on my back.

Chapter One-Potter's in Trouble

Simply put, Professor Severus Snape is one of the most despised teachers at Hogwarts' School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...and that's just the way he likes it.

Snape let out a heavy sigh as he corrected the final Potions exams from the recent term. The students just seemed to get worse and worse every bloody year. They never seemed to realise the practical and useful aspects of being able to make a proper potion, let alone the consequences of making an improper one. The only exception he had seen in recent yearswas the Granger girl, who irritated the Potions master to no end.

"Wonderful, Longbottom," Snape announced to no one in particular, his words echoing as a loud hiss in the recesses of his empty dungeon.

"You've just managed to wipe out half the school with a simple healing potion."

As he marked a fantastically large 'F' on Neville's paper and was surveying his work - and anticipating the expression it would put on the nervous boy's face - he heard the distinct sound of large wings beating against his door. He grudgingly unlatched it and swung it open with blunt force. He waspoised to verbally destroy whatever had dared to disturb him when a large snowy-white owl swooped frantically into the dark chamber, almost permanently removing Snape's left eye.

"Blasted bird! JUST what is it that you think you are doing?" Snape howled.

The beast finally settled down enough for the Professor to be able to remove the piece of battered parchment currently tied to its leg. It was tattered and completely unreadable save a messy, scrawled signature at the bottom.

"You cannot possibly be serious!" Snape exclaimed, eyeing the owl suspiciously. "Why on Earth would Potter be sending anything to me?" The owl hooted loudly. Snape guessed that this was a response. He was never very fond of owls, preferring cats instead. "Let me venture a guess...the Golden Boy did yet another idiotic thing and needs assistance?" The owl hooted again. "Wonderful." Snape scowled. He quickly retrieved his wand from its usual spot and headed toward the Headmaster's office. Hedwig - which Snape finally recalled was the name of this insufferable creature -began to beat at Severus with her large wings.

"That boy is no concern of mine, owl. I will let Albus deal with it."

As Snape heads for Dumbledore's Office, let's check in on Harry, shall we...?

Every time Harry thought things could not possibly get any worse at the Dursleys, he found out he was wrong. Very wrong.

Uncle Vernon's company had gone bankrupt, leaving his Uncle with no one to boss around during the day. The man seemed determined to make up for his loss by dreaming up the most ridiculous chores imaginable for Harry to do. Today, it was cleaning in between the tiles in the bathroom with a toothpick. Yesterday, it was cleaning out the gutters with a cotton swab. It took Harry six hours in the hot sun on the roof, and he had the sunburn to prove it.

"BOY, WHAT IS IT THAT YOU'RE DOING? I EXPECT THAT TILE TO BE SPOTLESS WHEN I RETURN!"

Uncle Vernon's manic yelling snapped Harry out of his reverie quickly. He looked up to find Vernon glaring at him from the doorway. Aunt Petunia was giving Harry a practised look of disgust just over the beefy man's shoulder. His Cousin Dudley was there, too, and wearing his usual smirk. Harry began to scrub with such force that his swab snapped into two. Luckily for him, Vernon was too busy cooking up threats to notice.

"We are going to the beach..." Vernon began menacingly. Harry had a sudden image of Vernon and Dudley as beached whales and choked back his laughter just in time.

"You are not to answer the telephone or the door under ANY circumstances. Do not touch ANY of our belongings, including food. If you do ANYTHING, and I mean ANYTHING remotely out of the ordinary..." Vernon trailed off in midsentence, choosing to finish his threat with his patented Harry-Potter-Stare. Harry stifled back a sigh.

"I will not do anything but my chores, Uncle Vernon." Harry said, resignedly. With one final glare, Vernon turned on his heel and headed out the door with Dudley and Aunt Petunia trailing in his wake. With a final idiot grin from Dudley, the door slammed shut and Harry breathed his first sigh of relief since summer break had started three weeks ago. However, something was troubling him. He just did not feel right.

Probably just that old Living-With-The Dursleys' paranoia, Harry thought. Living with lunatics for so long must be bound to do that to a person. I suspect it's just...

However, Harry never even had the chance to complete his thought, as someone or something had just crashed through the Dursleys' living room window..