Summary: Severus has never done anything for anyone, but what will he do for one small boy named Harry.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the plot
A/N: Of course it is AU. In this fic nothing happened after book 1
All was quiet on Privet Drive that night. No one suspected the turmoil that went on inside Number four, nor did they know the tears that were shed each night by one child. Harry Potter knew better than to ask for anything, for that only got him locked inside his cupboard. This night however he was so tired he did not think he could was another dish.
As usual the Dursley's had demolished the kitchen, eating their dinner, dropping small things on the floor now and then, and not bothering to pick any of it up. Petunia had leaned over to grab her napkin from the floor, but Vernon had quickly informed her that the boy would pick it up.
Harry however didn't want to pick it up. Harry didn't want to do anything but sit down and rest. For two days now he had gone without meals for things that were not his fault. That on top of his chores had worn him down to a frazzle. His head started to spin everytime he leaned over to mop up another spill, so he sat down on the floor to keep from falling on it.
"Boy, this floor is far from clean!" Vernon bellowed.
"Yes Uncle Vernon. I am trying. I am just so tired. Can't I go and lay down for a bit and then I will finish, I promise?"
"You want to go and lay down before your chores are through?"
"Yes, please. I am just so tired. Maybe if I could have a bit of food then I will be able to finish," Harry pleaded.
Vernon Dursley's face turned a beet red, and he snatched Harry from the floor by the scruff of his neck, dragging him to his cupboard. "Get in there!" he yelled and Harry moved to the furthermost corner he could inside the cupboard.
"Oh no, you are not staying in there. Grab your things boy. You will be leaving this house tonight!"
"Vernon, what are you saying?" Petunia asked from the sitting room.
"What I am saying Petunia is that we have sheltered this waif for seven years now, and I don't intend to do so any longer. He is ungrateful for the generosity we have given him."
Petunia was startled, and yet she too was almost elated that the boy would be going. No more looking over her shoulder, wondering if someone saw him. No more wondering if any of those people would show up asking for him. No, this would be much better now. Standing up she went into the kitchen and gathered a few scraps from dinner and tossed them into a bag. Once she handed it to Harry she felt her job was done and she went back to staring at the television show.
Harry couldn't believe it. Ten minutes ago all he asked for was food and rest and now his Uncle was shoving him towards the doorway. "Please Uncle Vernon. I won't ask for anything else ever again. I'll stay in my cupboard for a week," Harry begged as Vernon opened the door.
There was no remorse in Vernon Dursley's eyes when he spoke next. "It is time you fend for yourself. This is no longer your home." This is when he slammed the door in Harry's face and left him standing outside Number Four Privet Drive.
The tears were real, just like the cool night air, and Harry shivered. He didn't have a coat, and only a thin blanket that was left with him as a baby. He wandered past house after house, staring inside the windows at families sharing meals, or laughing amongst themselves. That was all he had ever wanted, a family, someone to care whether he existed or not.
The end of the road came and Harry continued on walking. It was dark outside and the noises of the night scared him. What had scared him more was the man offering to give him a ride. The man had smiled at Harry, but something did not seem right about him. Harry promptly refused the ride, and ran into the woods nearby.
Harry found himself wandering along the edge of the woods till almost morning. He couldn't bring himself to fall asleep though he was exhausted. Fear kept him awake till the sun rose, and then in was lack of a place to lay down.
It was odd that no one questioned an eight year old boy walking alone down the street, but nary a soul stopped Harry, and for that he was grateful. His stomach was cramping, and his legs felt like lead weights were attached to them. Harry left the safety of the road, and crept a few feet into the woods. There was no shelter to be found, but Harry did notice a very old oak tree, its base at least twenty feet round. The tree was wonderful all by itself, but even more so was the hollowed out area at its base. It wasn't large enough for an adult, but to Harry it was a place to hide.
Harry crawled inside and peered around. It wasn't very big in there, but there was enough room for him to lay down and that was all Harry cared about right now. Stretching out Harry laid his head down on his arm and pulled the small blanket over his shoulders. Harry was asleep in minutes, the twittering of the birds in the tree lulling him to sleep. He had no home, and yet for the first time Harry felt almost safe.
A/N: Yes, this chapter is short but I promise the next won't be. See you Next Thursday!