Disclaimer: However much I wish, I don't own Harry Potter, or anything from it. It all belongs to J.K. Rowling (the lucky bitch).

Harry watched as the Hogwarts Express slowly glided away. Away from him, leaving him to another lonely summer. The summer was what Harry always dreaded, because he was forced to stay with the Dursleys, at Number Four Privet Drive.

Why he hated coming back to this place, no one knew for sure. Everyone thought he was treated like a prince over the summer.

After all, he was the Boy-Who-Lived.

There were only two people who knew just how wrong this assumption was. Harry's two best friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, were the only ones that knew the Dursleys were anything but kind to Harry. They did not know, however, that the Dursleys physically, even mentally, abused Harry. So, when they waved goodbye to Harry, they didn't realize they were allowing him to be harmed.

After all, it was Dumbledore who had said Harry was safe at the Dursleys.

Two hours after the train had departed, Harry was still waiting for his uncle to pick him up. He was terribly bored, but he knew this was going to happen. His uncle never showed up on time to take Harry from the station. Hedwig was hooting beside him, attracting curious looks from passer-bys.

Deciding that his uncle wouldn't be coming any time soon, Harry started wandering around the station, looking at all of the people. At one point, he saw a father giving his kid a piggyback ride. When he saw this, Harry's stomach ached because he knew he'd never get that kind of attention.

It was getting dark now, and Harry started worrying that his uncle really wouldn't be coming.

I might as well start walking home. He thought, knowing it would take hours at the least to get there. He picked up his things and started to walk out of the station, when he noticed something peculiar. There was a strange person sitting on a bench outside of the station wearing dark green robes. His hood was pulled over his head. A wizard. Harry thought anxiously. What would a wizard be doing here, at this time of day?

Harry couldn't let this bother him, he needed to get home. So, he picked up his things and Hedwig's cage, and headed out. He tried to ignore the strange wizard, but when Harry passed him, the wizard caught his arm, much to Harry's surprise.

"Where do you think you're going, Potter?" Asked the wizard. The voice seemed awfully familiar.

"Home?" Harry answered, trying to keep calm. The wizard knew who he was. Then again, most of the wizarding community knew who he was, but this didn't bother him. It was the fact that the voice was so familiar, but that he couldn't place it, which was bothering him.

"I don't think so. It's getting dark, wouldn't want anything to happen to our Golden Boy, now would we?" The stranger said, his tone getting harsher.

"Erm…may I ask who you are, sir?" Harry said, apprehensively.

"My name is not of importance at the moment. You are to follow me. You cannot stay here. It's too dangerous; people know you're here. People who you don't want to be around in the dark. Especially when you can't use…that." The stranger said, pointing at Harry's wand, which he had unconsciously brought out because he feared the wizard was a threat.

Before Harry could respond, the man took his arm and led him out of the train station. They walked for what seemed like forever, and the stranger's grip was starting to hurt. Finally, they reached an empty field at the top of a hill. The stranger let go of Harry's arm, and turned to him to speak.

"I don't know what I'm supposed to do with you know, it seems as though the one who was supposed to be retrieving you has left. Unfortunately, I do not have much more time to spare, as I have more important things to do, so I must take you back to Hogwarts for the headmaster to deal with you." The stranger took Harry's arm again (Harry flinched, the stranger's grip must have already bruised him), and apparated them both back to Hogwarts.

It seemed the same as when he had left it. Once the stranger led him inside, however, the emptiness of Hogwarts gave Harry an eerie feeling. He had never seen the castle this empty before. The strange wizard kept leading Harry through the castle, when Harry finally figured that they were going to see Dumbledore.

He had been right. He followed the wizard up the spiraling staircase and gave the gargoyle the password to get up to Dumbledore's office. The green-clad wizard rapped on the door three times, then waited. A small "Come in" was heard.

"Hello, hello! What do I owe this lovely visit to? Oh! And you've brought Harry with you. My, I suppose this must be important." The headmaster smiled warmly at the two. He motioned for them to sit in the chairs across from his desk.

"Hello, headmaster. I've brought Potter here because is seems as though he had nowhere else to go, and we all know we can't let him be on his own through the holidays, sir. I was merely bringing him to you, knowing you'd surely have my head otherwise." The strange man said stiffly.

"I see…Harry, why weren't you at your uncle's house? You know that you're supposed to go there every summer. I hope you weren't hiding from them, were you?" The headmaster gave Harry a gentle smile.

"No, sir, I had waited out in the open for my uncle to pick me up, and when he never came, I decided to go ahead and start walking to his house on my own, when this man," he pointed to the stranger, "stopped me and brought me here." Harry explained.

"Well…that was unkind of your uncle to do, but I cannot keep you with me. I do suggest, since this man was gracious enough to bring you to me, then he may kindly watch over you during the summer." His eyes flashed over to the hooded stranger.

"B-but sir! You know as well as I that I cannot have a child following me around! I-I have important things to take care of this summer! You can't mean to-"

"Yes, yes. I remember. If you cannot take him, maybe you could leave him with your cousin. I think that should do." The headmaster's eye twinkled. "Well, I must be off, I have a family waiting for me in Tuscany, I daresay I haven't seen them in nearly twenty years! See you when school starts, Harry, and it was nice seeing you again, Asper. Enjoy your summers!" He said, and then walked out of the room, leaving the two other men alone.

"Alright, Potter, come on, we may as well go now. I don't know if you'll be happy with the new arrangements, but your family seems too irresponsible to take care of you." And with that, the man named Asper led Harry out of the castle and through the gates.

"Erm…where are we going?" Harry was getting irritated at the thought that no one wanted to tell him anything.

"My cousin's house."

"Who is your cousin?"

"You'll see." The wizard said with a smirk.

After apparating again with Asper, Harry was staring at the black door of a huge mansion. He wondered who lived here and if it was someone he knew.

"Where are we, sir?" Again he asked the wizard.

"You, Potter, are at my house. Asper, please explain to me why you and this boy are bothering me? It's not even two days into vacation and I didn't plan on seeing Potter until September." Harry gasped at the voice. This can't be happening. I must be having some sort of dream. He couldn't believe it. It was Snape, his potions professor. Now he knew why Asper's voice had sounded so familiar, because it sounded like Snape's. He stood gaping at his professor.

"Yes, well, cousin, I found the boy on his own at the train station, hours after he should have been at his home, so I took him to Dumbledore. When Dumbledore couldn't take Potter, he suggested I do, but we all know that I have more important things to have taken care of, so Dumbledore proposed the idea that you should be the one to take Potter in over the summer." Asper explained. A pained expression came across Snape's face.

"Asper…you know where I'm going this summer. I cannot take Potter there. It'd be a disgrace." Snape groaned, but it seemed as if Asper didn't hear.

"Well, I'll be seeing you around, dear cousin, have a marvelous summer." Asper's farewell was dripping with sarcasm. It looked as if the two cousins didn't have a very good relationship.

"Potter!" Snape barked. Harry flinched when he saw the look on his professor's face.

"Y-yes, sir?" Harry was suddenly nervous about being alone with a man who had deeply hated him since he was born.

"Since you seem to be too bloody stupid to…" he paused. "Come take your things inside." He finished. He saw Harry still gaping at him and just sighed. "Potter, just bring your things in." And he disappeared into the great mansion.

Why is Snape acting so nice? Where is he going, and why can't he take Harry? How is this story? It'll be lovely to have some feedback