The woman's voice cut through his nightmare. Harry snuggled deeper into the pillow, burying himself in the ghost-like mirages of Death Eaters to avoid confronting the cold morning.

"Harry, dear, wake up." The voice was soft and tender.

Strange. Harry's eyes crept open. Above him loomed his aunt's blurred form. A white splotch of teeth—was she smiling at him? In disbelief, Harry snatched his glasses and shoved them back onto his face, expecting to see that blur of white dissolve into his aunt's usual scowling face.

The smile remained, looking decidedly odd on her overlong face. He couldn't remember ever seeing her smile from this angle—she'd have to be smiling at him to give him a dead-on grin like this.

Holy shit, she was smiling at him!

"There you go, sleepyhead! Don't want to spend such a lovely day in bed, do you?" she murmured, eyes graced with a warm twinkle that rivaled Dumbledore's.

Harry stared at her; his eyes narrowed suspiciously. Why was she being so nice?

"Is something wrong, Aunt Petunia?" he asked warily.

A frown creased her brow. "Why don't you tell me? You haven't been eating nearly enough, Harry." Her voice was layered with concern. "Your uncle and I are worried about you."

"Uncle Vernon? Worried?" Harry sputtered, fear tightening like a coil in his chest. Something was very wrong. This wasn't his aunt. Who the hell was this woman?

She didn't seem to notice how he plastered himself against the far wall. "We made you a special meal. I hope you like lasagna—"

Harry's eyes shot desperately towards the floorboard concealing his wand. He had no chance to retrieve it. He was at the mercy of this Polyjuice'd fiend.

"… so why don't you wash yourself up and come down for supper, okay?" A smile with the sickeningly sweet degree of fondness she normally reserved for her 'ickle Diddykins' flashed across her face, and then she left Harry to his room.

It took a good degree of effort to pry himself from the bed, and several minutes to fish through his trunk for his wand. His body shook beneath him with a foreign degree of weakness and not a little fear. In the three weeks since the Department of Mysteries, he'd barely eaten, seldom climbed out of bed, much less stepped out of his room. The visions of Voldemort—constantly assailing him thanks to his disastrous Occlumency lessons—strained him mentally when asleep, but the sheer oppressive horror of an existence without Sirius made him wish for the refuge of those visions when awake. He'd discovered a nice compromise by remaining in bed, drifting in and out of a half-sleep that left him neither fully awake nor fully exhausted, visions of Death Eaters just creeping into his mind without fully immersing him in their horror. They were just enough of a distraction to pull his thoughts from Siri—

New train of thought, he admonished himself silently.

He was acutely aware of his own stench. Unwashed, wrapped in sweaty covers several sweltering summer weeks on end, he was hardly in a state for civil supper discourse. Not that the Dursley's had ever required him for such.

He left his wand propped up in easy reach of the shower and balanced a soap-holder on the door to clatter down in warning in case anyone forced an entry. Harry scrubbed his body clean in a rough, uneasy manner, all the time waiting for the foe who looked like Aunt Petunia to bust down the door and 'Avada Kedavra' him.

Several minutes later, he realized that he'd survived his shower, and crept down the stairs to find Uncle Vernon smiling at him with a cherubic grin that might have been endearing when the man was still in grammar school, but appeared horribly out of place on his bloated, middle-aged features. His fat red face and flabby cheeks twitched in an expression of delight upon spotting his nephew.

And he was cooking.

Harry gaped at this strange phenomenon. His selfish, indolent uncle, so fond of forcing others (Harry) to work and then bellowing at them (Harry) about their ingratitude as they labored… He was performing an actual household task.

"Ah, Harry!" he cried merrily. "How have you been, my boy?"

'Harry'? The-Boy-Who-Lived tightened his grip on his wand, now tucked unseen in the pocket of his pants. His uncle always called him 'boy'. Or, 'ungrateful runt', or some colorful choice of insult. Never his first name. He knew now for certain both his aunt and uncle were imposters.

He just wasn't sure if he should care.

"I'm just finishing up here," the man who looked like his uncle continued blissfully. "I've told your aunt and cousin you all could start without me. So, dig in, sport!"

As if on cue, Dudley looked up from the table and smiled beatifically at Harry.

"Sit next to me, Harry!" he called out, grinning, patting the chair directly beside his own.

Aunt Petunia watched Harry take the seat with a fond smile, eye shining with affection.

Harry picked at his food cautiously, wary of poison, and tried to calculate the quickest escape route. It was obvious that Death Eaters had infiltrated Privet Drive.



This will shape up into a Harry & Snape story