Harry looked at the green light numbers on his cousin's watch. It read five minutes till midnight and the day of Harry's eleventh birthday. Harry looked at his cousin's watch counting down the minutes to his birthday with mixed feelings. It had been a strange few days that was sure what with these strange letters he had been receiving but had not yet managed to obtain, open, and then read. He wasn't sure why he had an eager sensation in the pit of his stomach, it wasn't as if he was going to get anything, the Dursleys would probably act as if it was simply another day. That pessimistic thought was, as would be obvious to a normal person, depressing. However Harry couldn't place why it was depressing, as it wasn't any different from any previous birthday.

Harry heard a popping sound that pulled him out of his mental revere. He hoped it wasn't the wood giving warning that it was going to give out. Harry looked at his cousin's watch, three minutes left now. Harry heard a faint cough, he thought it came from outside but he had to be mistaken. It was definitely his uncle he thought but wasn't very convinced by his own attempt at fooling himself.

Dudley's watch read one minute till midnight now. Harry began wondering if they would be staying here much longer. He couldn't see that happening as his aunt nearly had a conniption fit when she saw the place.

Harry watched as the numbers counted down to midnight. As soon as it hit midnight Harry whispered, "Happy Birthday to me" and at that same moment a light knock was heard on the door. Harry started at the door thinking he was hearing things. He stood up slowly wondering who could possibly be there at that time of night. Harry jumped at the next sound, which was a rapping upon the door. The sound of the knocking was louder this time and somehow purveyed a sound of annoyance the way only knocking can. Not wanting to keep the unknown visitor waiting any longer than was necessary Harry opened the door.

Harry's eyes widened as nothing could have prepared him for what met his eyes. A tall man with a narrow scowling face was standing at the door. The man looked to Harry exactly what he would imagine a vampire to look like. He had sallow, sunk in skin characteristic of those who rarely see the suns rays. He stood with a sort of air that made you not dare to show disrespect and Harry stood up a little straighter and swallowed as if the slightest imperfection would bring down this strange man's wrath. He had an aristocratic nose and midnight black hair that was curtaining slightly over equally black eyes. He spoke in a voice that spoke nothing of kindness, "Well potter are you going to stand their gapping at me or are you going to allow me in." Harry hurriedly complied and allowed this strange man passage into the shack.

Harry struggled to find his voice but when he did he asked, "Excuse me but how do you know my name?" In response the man handed him an envelope, it was another of the letters. Harry was elated, finally he had got a hold of one and Uncle Vernon was fast asleep and couldn't take it from him. "Does this mean-" Harry began but was interrupted.

"Yes, yes you are going to Hogwarts." The man said impatiently.

Harry was confused and allowed it to show on his face and in his voice. "I was going to ask if you were the one sending me all these letters, and what is Hogwarts I have never heard of it."

It was the strange man's turn for confusion to shine on his features but he hid it quickly and Harry didn't notice. "What do you mean What is Hogwarts"? He sneered, " Thought your parents were just born with the knowledge do you humph they had to learn it too just as everyone else does."

Harry was becoming increasingly annoyed with this man, "Learned what? And just who are you."

The man was also quite obviously becoming annoyed and their voices by now had risen considerably though neither Harry nor the dark man had noticed. "Feigning ignorance are you. Very well then I am Severus Snape, Potions Master at Hogwarts School of-"

By this point Harry's Uncle Vernon had walked into the room and shouted, "No! I will have none of this rubbish under my roof!" This sufficiently interrupted Snape. This awoke Dudley, with a grunt, who was looking quite confused and Harry's Aunt Petunia walked in and after seeing Snape her eyes widened in shock.

Unfortunately for Harry's uncle, Snape did not like to be interrupted. Snape glared an icy glare that made Harry shiver; he was glad that Snape wasn't looking at him with that look. Snape spat, "Shut up you stupid muggle if you had sent a response to the letters I wouldn't be here now would I." Vernon turned red in anger until he noticed something in Snape's hand that Harry couldn't see; at that point he turned quite pale. Snape then continued, "As I was saying until that muggle so rudely interrupted me, I am Severus Snape, Potions Master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

Harry wondered if that was supposed to mean something to him. "But… everyone knows magic isn't real its just smoke and mirrors and…" Harry trailed off at the look Snape was giving him. It was the sort of look that makes you feel that the person looking at you is seeing everything you ever did or thought lay bare with perfect accuracy, and Harry didn't like it at all. It made him feel very exposed and vulnerable.

Snape suddenly turned on Harry's aunt and said quite smoothly, "What would Lilly say if she knew you were keeping such a secret from her only child." Petunia shivered and Harry wondered what was going on. Harry found some consolation in the fact that Dudley looked even more confused than him as he didn't know where Snape came from. Snape was circling around Harry's aunt and uncle, "Tsk tsk tsk, he doesn't know anything. While I may not disagree with you description of the boys father on many levels you were supposed to tell him about us." Harry would have protested against the statement that he didn't know anything but somehow it didn't seem like such a good idea. Snape suddenly stopped terrorizing Harry's aunt and uncle and walked toward the door. "If you desire to know the truth about your parents, Hogwarts, and magic come with me if not stay here with the rest of them." As he said this Snape walked out the door. Harry looked at the spot where Snape had been standing and then back at the Dursleys. They were standing looking angered his uncle muttering the word freak. Harry didn't know what this man could tell him and offer to his life but he knew it couldn't be much worse than the Dursleys. With that thought to give him strength he walked out of the shacks door after Snape.