Chapter one

For as long as I can remember I've been keener on watching other people live their lives than living my own. This was brought on by the way I was raised, but I have to say that it has its advantages. It's who I am, the Watcher.

I grew up at the Dursleys. That should explain why I became who I am now. At an early age I learned that keeping your mouth shut was the best way to avoid punishments. Later I learned all the little expressions on my relatives' faces and what they meant. It wasn't that hard to determine their moods and act on them. I suppose it was the only thing that kept me alive in those first years of my life.

The Dursleys taught me the first and most important lesson of my life.

And then came my 11th birthday…

Harry Potter stood in the middle of the kitchen listening to his uncle rant on about a letter that had been sent to Harry that morning.

"Those damn freaks! How dare they contact us NOW! He is not going to go anywhere near them or any of that freakishness! MY family has nothing to do with them, and they have nothing to do with my family!"

Harry stood quietly and examined his uncle's reactions. Something in that letter had pushed Vernon Dursley over the edge, but Harry wasn't one bit curious. Later on he could use the information and avoid the subject, but at the moment showing any interest toward the letter or its sender was suicidal.

"And YOU boy! Go to your cupboard and stay there! And don't you dare make any noise!" Harry obeyed his uncle immediately. He was relieved to get away from his uncle to the safety of his cupboard.

About 5 hours, and many strange and unsettling noises later the door of his cupboard was opened and his even more furious uncle stepped in.

"Put something on and come to the living room, we are leaving NOW!" Harry shrugged quietly and obeyed as fast as he could. His only wish was that both the day and his uncle's bad mood would come to an end quickly before he would have to bear the consequences.

"Ah, my dear Severus! It's good that you could come so quickly. Want a lemon drop?" Severus Snape glared at Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

"I suppose you want to know why I needed you so urgently. Well, the problem is that Hagrid was injured this morning while taking care some of his... er… pets." Dumbledore explained and leaned back in his chair. Then he turned his piercing eyes to look directly at Snape and waited.

Snape stayed silent for a while thinking about what that piece of information had to do with him. He was currently the only professor at the school; all the others were on vacation and wouldn't be returning until next week. It seemed he was the only one available to take over the mission Hagrid had been going to do.

"It's the Stone, isn't it? I will get it tomorrow when I'm going to be picking up some ingredients from Diagon Alley." Snape finally answered and turned to leave the office. He was stopped by Dumbledore's voice.

"It's not the stone, I already had it picked up and transferred to a safer location, somewhere even safer than Hogwarts. I need you to go and pick a student up; it seems he's unable to get a hold on his letter." Dumbledore stated calmly but the obvious humour in his voice betrayed him.

'That damned old fool! How dare the headmaster do this to me!' A student unable to get a hold on his letter had to be a muggle-born and thus definitely not Slytherin. Any child outside his house didn't deserve his attention.

Slowly Snape regained control of himself and forced his muscles to relax. Without turning around he asked in a strained voice: "Who is he and where can I find him?"

"His relatives took him away from their home and I'm not sure of his current location. You will have to use The Quill. Recognizing him shouldn't be a problem… his name is Harry Potter."

I can only hope that you liked it. But, no matter whether you liked it or not, I would love to hear some kind of comment/review. And then I'll know if it's worth continuing

21.9.2005: Thank you Min for betaing this :)