I am still alive and still writing. Again, feel free to pester me, you'll get better results that way.
It was early in the morning when Remus was woken by pounding on his room's portrait. He rolled out of bed, yelling a quick, "keep your pants on!" as he stumbled to the door.
The strained face of Severus Snape met his as he swung open the portrait. "Let's go, wolf," the man nearly snarled.
"It's four in the morning Severus! Harry will still be asleep, you don't seriously want to wake him up, do you? I suspect that he's going to have a hard enough time with this awake, let alone startled from his sleep at what a teenager would consider the middle of the night."
"Imbecilic wolf. Use your head for once in your life. My son lives with Muggles. He has just gone through a very large change, and there will be physical effects. Do you sincerely believe the Muggles will be sanguine about the radical shift in his appearance?" The look the potion's master sent Remus was cold, and layered with disdain.
"Well then, let's go." Remus was suddenly in the lead on the way out of the school. The two men hurried out of the school's wards. They apparated to Surrey nearly at the same instant.
The two wizards hurried through the predawn silence. As they turned onto Privet Drive, their path was blocked by two shadowed figures. Drawing closer, the figures resolved into Arabella Figg and Albus Dumbledore.
"My friends, it is very good of you to want to bring Harry to where he'll be happy, but you must allow him to stay here. The blood protections are very important —"
Dumbledore was cut off by Snape beginning an argument on the blood protections. Remus was stunned that Severus would waste time like that, until he noticed that the potions master was indicating that Remus should continue on while he kept their employer busy.
Remus knew Arabella could still stop him, but she had always been just a bit leery of his lycanthropy, so he felt somewhat secure in his slipping away from the arguing pair and their audience. He made his way quickly to number four and opened the door with a whispered unlocking charm.
Scents assaulted his nose the moment he entered the house, both from the people living there and the Muggle cleaning supplies they used. Shaking off the myriad odors, he hurried up the stairs, taking only the time needed to assure that his assent was silent.
Once he took his attention away from the stairs and the rest of his mind away from Severus and Dumbledore, Remus realized that he could smell blood and vomit, and that he heard screaming. Cursing his inattention under his breath, he ran to Harry's room just in time to see Vernon throw a battered child across the room. The shock of the brutality as well as Harry's appearance froze him for just a moment, but the movement of Vernon to kick the child freed him and he cried the stunner at the obese Muggle.
Remus tore off his cloak and wrapped it around the unconscious boy. As gently as possible, he lifted the tiny child into his arms and laid him on the bed. A quick 'accio', followed by the packing spell got him all of Harry's things. He shrank the trunk, pocketed it, then plucked Harry from the bed again. Trying desperately not to hex the still stunned Muggle into next year, he ground his teeth as he carried Harry from the house for the last time.
Severus was still arguing blood wards with his employer when Lupin reappeared carrying a small bundle. The potion's master would have thought that it was a bundle of rags, but he could see long black hair which led him to believe that his son was the undersized burden in the werewolf's arms.
"Don't even tell me that's my heir, Lupin," he said, mostly to cover his dismay, because he already knew that it was true.
"Unfortunately, Severus, I must tell you that it is. I'd say that we should return and hex the muggles into the next life, but Harry needs Madame Pomphrey's skills immediately."
Severus looked at Dumbledore. "Safe, was he?" he snarled, then pulled his emergency portkey from his pocket. He'd had a direct way to the hospital wing ever since he returned to spying on the Dark Lord, and it had saved his life more than once. A quick jerk to their navels and Severus, Lupin, and Harry were in the hospital wing.
Madame Pomphrey bustled over, quickly taking charge of the situation. She shooed the men from the room while she healed Harry to the limit of magic. Several hours later, she exited the hospital wing and stood before two very worried men.
"Sadly, there was no way for me to heal him completely. He has been mistreated and malnourished for too long. The scars will remain, and he is unlikely to grow any taller. His body doesn't know how to store fat, and isn't very used to having nutrients to work with. He'll be on a special diet for at least a few months, if he doesn't respond to treatment he'll be on it the rest of his life," she told the wizards.
Remus closed his eyes in pain. "You're sure about the height? He's barely the size of a first year!"
"He's lucky to be alive, Remus. The treatment he's received in his life... well let it be said that your transformations are less stressful for a body."
Snape didn't look up, or say a word. His mind was slowly wrapping around the fact that his heir was permanently damaged by muggles. The very idea that this could happen, to any child, let alone the 'savior of the wizarding world', nauseated him. It almost made Voldemort seem like a forward thinker.
The wolf in Remus wanted blood. Muggle blood, to be precise. He could almost feel the bones break under his hands as he imagined dealing the Durselys the treatment they so richly deserved. He took several deep breaths before speaking, fighting the urge to growl and snarl.
"But he will live, right?"
Poppy nodded. "Oh yes, he'll live. He's never going to be strong and tough physically, but he will live, and I expect that he may even be strong enough to play Quidditch, hideous game."
Severus breathed a sigh of relief. His heir would live. The Snape line wouldn't end. Soon, his heir would leave the hospital wing and he could begin his education. At least it wouldn't be hard to hide the fact that he was Harry Potter, after his transformation, the boy looked nothing like Dumbledore's Golden Boy.
Madame Pomphrey allowed the two men in to see Harry, though she warned them that he was asleep and unlikely to wake for several hours, if not days. Snape and Lupin didn't care, they quickly established themselves on either side of Harry's bed, neither looking like they could be budged by anything short of Merlin's return.
Albus Dumbledore entered the hospital wing silently. There was no twinkle in his blue eyes, and he looked every one of his one hundred fifty years. He could admit it to himself, and would have to admit it to Harry and Severus, he'd made a horrendous mistake leaving Harry with the Muggles.
Severus glanced up as his employer approached his heir's bed. The look on the old wizard's face enraged the Slytherin Head of House further than he'd thought possible.
"Get out," he hissed, unwilling to disturb the gravely injured boy on the bed. The tone certainly conveyed his feelings, sending a visible shiver down the Headmaster's spine.
"Now, Severus, my boy, I firmly believed that Harry would be safer at his aunt's home," the old man began. He hurried on at the black look on his Potions' Master's face. "I was wrong, I do see that now."
Remus chose that moment to break in. "Yeah, you see that now. After Harry is lying in this bed, permanently scarred and stunted from those useless excuses for human beings. You are as responsible for this as they are. Did you never think to check on him? And even if it slipped your mind, how did he ever return to that house? You knew when Hagrid went to fetch him that things were not well in that household, and I flat out told you he'd been abused at the start of his third year."
Snape's head snapped around to the werewolf. "What do you mean, you told him?"
"I mean that I told the Headmaster of this school, as a teacher, that one of his students not only smelled of blood, but that I had seen bruises on the boy that could not be explained. Hand shaped bruises."
Dumbledore nodded sadly. "You did. And I did not follow up on it. I was so secure in the protection of the blood wards, I ignored the fact that there are other threats besides Death Eaters."
"Go away, Albus," Snape snarled. "I cannot deal with you right now."
The headmaster sighed and left the hospital wing. Perhaps Harry would be more forgiving than his father. He winced at the thought, remembering the fit Harry had thrown in his office over Sirius. This was likely to be much worse.
There you go, one update... and it only took since July. sigh Oh, well, I'll try to do better. Hey, I need some ideas... What should I name Harry?