AN: I'm so sorry for not writing for so long! It's been almost half a year! I'm so horrible But all I have to say to redeem myself is that the computer I used to write on had some sort of malfunction and stopped working mid-December, so I had to wait until I got a new computer to write and upload. Thing is…all my chapters were on my old computer, and with school, I've just gotten this done. Plus, I have 10-hour school days now. I'm so sorry!
So, on with the story!
(Oh, right, and everything associated with HP is Rowling's)
Unfortunately, there was no sleeping that night for either Snape or Harry. Harry was too nervous. Knowing how bad Snape could be, who's to say his aunt will be any better? And she had kids? They could be just as bad! And how many kids were there going to be? Snape didn't say anything about that. What if they were like Malfoy or something like that? Harry was just too worried to let himself sleep.
Snape wasn't having it any better. Not that he was worried about his aunt or her kids. He was more concerned with surviving the week with his aunt. He never really got along with her; why did she want to see him now? And what were her children like? Snape had never met them before, but he knew his aunt had four of them. How would they treat Potter? Not that Snape cared how they treated the boy.
By the time morning rolled around, Harry had been able to doze for a little while, but before long, Essi came in and woke him up.
"Sir, Master Snape wants you in the kitchen, and Master said to hurry," she told him.
"Okay, thanks, I'll be there in a minute." Essi disappeared after Harry said that. Then, Harry went into the bathroom and cleaned up a little. He put on a nice pair of his school robes, hoping Snape wouldn't be mad. They were the only decent clothes Harry had.
When he reached the kitchen, Harry saw Snape at the table once again. This time, it seemed as if he'd been waiting for Harry.
"How was your night, Potter?" Harry was glad Snape was still acting a bit kinder to him, even though is was weird.
"Fine." Harry was too tired to say much more.
"I see. Why are you in your school robes?" Snape eyed him.
"I thought…they're my only decent clothes." Harry looked away from Snape. Snape sighed.
"Those muggles never bought you clothes?"
"You couldn't have worn your school robes all summer, what did you wear?"
"My cousin's old clothes."
"That whale of a boy? Was your family insane?"
"They just…never wanted to spend money on me." There was a tone of distress in Harry's voice; he wanted to drop the subject. Snape either didn't get the hint, or chose to ignore it.
"They saw me as someone who wasn't worthy of things like that. Is it time to go?" Harry tried to change the subject. Snape ignored it.
"Someone who wasn't worthy? They starved you, abused you, Harry Potter, the saviour of the Wizarding world. You're damn well worthy enough to have clothes that fit you." What was Snape getting so worked up about? It's not like he cared. But this Potter was so different from the one he had always seen.
"Look, it doesn't matter! I'm still living, aren't I? Just leave it!" Harry did not like talking about this sort of thing with Snape.
"I don't think you understand, Potter, but it does matter. You do realize if those muggles were to kill you, and there is a good chance they could," he was obviously referring to the starvation and abuse Harry went through, "Then where would the Wizarding world be? Their Golden Boy would be gone-"
"Don't call me that! I hate that! I don't care that I'm the Boy-Who-Lived or the Golden Boy or whatever else they call me! I just want to be Harry! I want to be normal!" Harry was tired of everything, he didn't want to talk about this, but he couldn't bring himself to leave.
"You will never be normal, Potter." Snape said calmly. "You, as long as you are Harry Potter, will always be singled out, whether it's for good or bad."
"Then I don't want to be Harry bloody Potter!"
"Watch your language, Potter."
"And you! What about you? You were calling me Harry before! What's happened to that? And what's with all of your bloody mood-swings? One minute you're all nice to me, the next you're acting like a huge git!" Harry knew he was pushing it, but he just didn't care anymore.
"I said watch your language, Potter! Do not assume things have been easy on me either, Potter. I didn't plan on having to babysit the Golden Boy at my aunt's house."
"Well then why didn't you just leave me at my uncle's house? I'm sure it would've been much easier on you!" Harry was glad Snape hadn't left him, but he wasn't about to say that.
"I may not seem like I care, but I don't think you would last another summer with those muggles. It may be more for me to handle, but I'd rather have you alive than dead, contrary to popular belief," Snape admitted. Harry was about to respond, but then thought about what Snape had just said.
"But…I thought you hated me?" Harry was confused. What did Snape mean?
"I never hated you. I hated the person I thought was you. Just recently that opinion has been dissolved after hearing and seeing how you've lived," Snape stated simply. This shocked Harry. Could Snape really not hate him now?
"Enough of this," Snape cut him off. "We'll have to make a quick stop for clothes before we reach my aunt's house, and we've already wasted enough time. There will be more time for this later. For now, hurry and eat your breakfast." Snape flicked his wrist and a plate of eggs, toast, and bacon appeared in front of Harry. Harry sighed and sat down to eat.
"Potter! Are you quite done? We only have half an hour!" Snape yelled at Harry from the other side of the dressing room. He had taken Harry to a rather nice store in Diagon Alley to buy some new clothes.
"Well, yeah, but sir, I don't have enough money for all these clothes!" Harry yelled back.
"That's why I'm buying them, Potter! Now hurry up!" Harry walked out of the dressing room.
"But, sir, those clothes aren't exactly cheap…" Harry didn't want his teacher, especially Snape, buying clothes for him.
"And my aunt is quite picky when it comes to what clothes are acceptable. I'm buying these. You can pay me back by being a well-behaved guest at her house." Snape smirked.
"No buts, Potter."
Snape paid for the clothes and they packed them in Harry's trunk, but left out a robe for Harry to change into. Then they found a bathroom Harry could dress in.
"Now be quick, my aunt doesn't approve of tardiness." Snape said and walked away, letting Harry change in private.
When Harry came out, he went to find Snape. He found him sitting at a nearby bench. Snape caught his eye and nodded approvingly.
"Much better. Now come, we'll have to apparate just outside my aunt's wards. You'll be safe there, no worries, her wards are almost equal to those at Hogwarts," Snape noticed Harry's sceptical look. "She likes her privacy." He took hold of Harry's arm and Harry quickly grabbed his trunk and Hedwig.
After being unpleasantly apparated, Harry looked up at Snape's aunt's house. It was a Victorian-style two-story house on land that looked to be almost as big as the grounds at Hogwarts. The house didn't seem big enough to hold Snape's aunt, her children, Snape, and Harry. Which reminded Harry, what was he supposed to call Snape's aunt?
"What is it, Potter?" Snape asked, seemingly anxious.
"I was just wondering…what am I supposed to call your aunt?" Harry asked timidly.
"Madame Prince. And stop dawdling, Potter, we need to get there as soon as possible." Snape started walking relatively quickly. He obviously didn't want to be late.
"Right." Harry said and struggled to carry both his trunk and owl and keep up with Snape.
Snape turned around when he realized Harry wasn't keeping up and saw his dilemma and sighed.
"Locomotor trunk." Snape waved his wand and alleviated Harry from his burden. "Quickly, Potter," he reminded Harry.
They arrived at the front of the house in just over ten minutes. Snape knocked three times in hasty succession. The door opened to reveal a boy who looked about Harry's age.
"Severus, welcome. I'm glad you could make it." The formal greeting from the boy surprised Harry. The boy saw Harry and asked, "Uncle, who is this?"
"Hello, Michael, this is Harry Potter, he is in my care for the summer." Snape replied indifferently.
"Famous Harry Potter? Doesn't he have his own family? Why is he with you, cousin?" Michael glared at Harry. Clearly Michael wasn't going to be Harry's friend during Harry's stay.
"Harry had to be relocated after a few events earlier this week, and I was the only one available. Where is your mother?" As if on cue, Snape's aunt appeared behind Michael and smiled a large, fake smile at Snape.
"Michael, why haven't you invited your cousin in?" She then noticed Harry. "Oh my, is this who I think it is, Severus?" She asked in a too-sweet voice.
"This is Harry Potter, Aunt Elladora. He is staying with me for the summer." Snape said dryly.
"How nice of you, Severus. Isn't that nice of him, Harry?" She looked at Harry.
"Y-yes." Harry stuttered, taken aback at her sweet tone.
"Oh, how forgetful of me, my name is Elladora Prince, Severus's aunt. Please excuse my terrible manners, Harry." Elladora said in her faked sweet voice.
"It's alright, Madame Prince." Harry said, remembering what Snape told him earlier.
"Yes, well, come in, we don't want you standing outside all day, do we, Michael?"
"No, mother." Michael said stiffly.
"Now, be a dear and help Severus with his things." She said, smiling, while she went to help Harry with his trunk. "I'll show you your room, Harry." She smiled at him.
Harry's room was at the end of a hallway on the first floor. The house turned out to be larger than the outside would have you believe. Elladora opened the door to the room and walked in. Harry followed with his trunk and Hedwig.
"This will be your room, Potter. Don't think of leaving it and exploring the house. Famous or not, you're still a bother and a burden. Lunch will be promptly at 1:00. Don't be late." She spat at him, and then turned to leave. Harry was taken aback by the sudden change. Was she only going to be kind to him when Snape was around? Harry was meeting more and more of Snape's family, and was beginning to think that there was no chance anyone related to Snape would like him, in secret or not.
Okay, now I promise to update as soon as I can, but maybe if some of you could tell me some of what you'd like to see?