Disclaimer: I don't own HP.

AN: Because of the long time between updates, mistakes are more than likely going to be made. Also, I forgot where I was going with the plot, so I'll be winging it for a bit until I remember. This will also account for the writing style and the continued short chapters. I will attempt to make them longer as I go, but since I am in the last semester of my degree, it will be a tad difficult. So, enjoy it or hate it if you want. If you must flame, so be it, but please constructive flaming only.

Chapter 11

"Can I help you?" The pretentious tone of the clearly anorexic woman at the door immediately set his teeth on edge. With her perfectly overly dyed blonde hair and her expensive dress underneath a freshly pressed apron, she appeared to be the perfect housewife. To Severus, used to the often illogical wizarding world, this sense of total order was nauseating.

"Yes, Mrs. Dursley?" he inquired, resisting the urge to adjust the tailored dress pants and shirt, black of course, that clung to him quite closely. "I am Professor Severus Snape at your nephew's school. I believe you received my owl?" The door slammed in his face. Severus arched an eyebrow, surprised at the action. He had expected a much warmer welcome for the 'famous' Harry Potter, but he had been denied even that. Well, this meeting was going to occur one way or another, whether the woman liked it or not.

A quick wordless spell let him in the door and had it closing silently behind him. Instead of immediately searching the woman out to continue the confrontation, who by the sound of it was in the kitchen, he took a moment to inspect the home of the Boy Wonder. As with Mrs. Dursley, or Petunia as his childhood memories recalled, the house was spotlessly clean. Ugly matching furniture with floral patterns decorated the nearby parlor and pictures of the family littered the walls.

Unlike wizarding portraits, which often portrayed a small entirely interactive memory of the occupant, Muggle portraits were motionless and entirely boring. Severus stepped closer to get a better look; at this point he was in no hurry to subject himself to the vitriol of the woman once again. Each portrait was eerily similar. Either alone, or in a group, the occupants posed in a formal manner that reminded Severus of a pathetic attempt to resemble the nobility. It was pathetic in that the occupants strongly resembled a whale, a walrus, and a giraffe.

That resembles the beginning of a very bad joke, he mused absently. Or a very good one depending on the punch line. Curious, he reached up to finger the edge of a portrait. A few flakes immediately fell off at the touch, revealing the cheap frame underneath. Except, of course, that this is no joke. Obviously middle class with ambitions far beyond their reach. Crass manners, as evidenced by the display earlier, and not a single sign of the Boy-Who-Lived in the house. Even thinking of the ridiculous moniker bestowed by the public made a sneer appear on his lips.

Something, he mused, was not quite right. It was up to him to discover exactly was not as it appeared to be in this household. Drawing himself up to his full height, Severus stepped into the brightly lit kitchen. "You! What are you still doing in my house?"


Hermione Granger was a complete nutcase. After only an hour of valiantly attempting to study, while fending off her increasingly intrusive questions, Harry was finally ready to strangle himself. Or her. If she asked him one more time, whether or not he remembered what the killing curse felt like, he would make sure she found out for herself.

He'd taken off for the Great Hall mid-sentence, in hopes that it would deter the bookworm, so that he could wait for the arrival of the students in blessed silence. You would think that she would be happy to have her spot back and would leave me alone, but I'm definitely not that lucky. Instead, however, she had followed him step for step down the hallway, despite the fact that he was pretty sure his scowl was scaring even the paintings.

"Harry, wait!"

The almost desperate plea made him turn and look, despite his deep misgivings. Even with his fast pace, Harry saw that she was only a few meters behind him, frantically trying to keep up with him. Harry sighed. No matter how much I dislike her, I can't be mean. I'd be like Dudley and if there's one thing I know, it's that I don't want to end up like that bully.

He stopped and waiting, idly tapping his foot as he waited for the bushy-haired girl. Thankfully, within seconds, she had caught up to him, and while she was attempting to breathe once again, Harry relieved her of the insanely heavy book bag.

Oh, thank goodness. I can breathe…and…did he just take my bag? Hermione had found it difficult to keep up with the boy, but she'd done it out of stubbornness, like she tended to do so many things in life. She had even been prepared to carry the bag with her, since no one had ever offered to help her carry anything. So, it was shocking that he had taken it.

Hermione looked up, finally able to slow her breathing, and saw the edge of his robes just disappearing around the Great Hall door. "Harry! Wait up! I have more questions!" Since he had her bag and all, she might as well use it to her good advantage.

Once in the Hall, she headed straight for the lone boy sitting at the Slytherin table. Bravely, she went to sit down across from him, only to receive a very nasty glare. Now, Hermione wasn't the brightest bulb in the box when it came to social cues, but she was pretty certain that Harry Potter was one step away from murder.

He is awfully moody, she thought. Completely different than what the books said. Maybe I'll just bother him later…Grabbing the strap of her bag, that had conveniently been left in the middle of the aisle; Hermione beat a quick retreat to the Gryffindor table and seated herself at the end.

It wasn't more than ten minutes later when the entire student body arrived in the Great Hall, eager for lunch after the exciting match. Harry gave a small sigh as the other first years gathered around him, a few giving nods while others shot him disdainful looks. As per the headmaster's advice, he chose to ignore the upper years. They were apparently all being monitored now and he had no further reason to worry. Whatever. He'd believe that when they had all graduated.

"Missed a good game, Potter," Draco remarked, his pale blonde hair and silver eyes gleaming in the sunlight from the ceiling.


"Yes, I can see why you chose not to come, however. The realization that you would never even be able to come close to that sort of skill must have been intimidating," Draco prattled.

Harry chose to just nod and smile. Draco wasn't bad, for a pureblood and all, but if he got on the right subject he could talk forever. It was easier just to smile and nod. Passive aggressive all the way and all that.

Most of lunch was spent that way as his picked and chose from a variety of platters. No matter how plentiful food was, there was no way that he would become like Crabbe and Goyle. Did they even chew?

It wasn't until the end that a certain question gave a whole new interesting turn to Harry's day. In quintessential Malfoy discretion, Draco, at the end of the feast, took not of an important absentee at lunch.

"Hey, where's Professor Snape?"

Where indeed, thought Harry.

Privet Drive.

"Well," Severus drawled, highly amused at the sight before him. It wasn't often that he was allowed to do a good bit of Muggle torturing and he fully intended to draw this out as much as possible. "Now that you have calmed down, shall we continue?"

The woman, outraged, struggled once more against her invisible bonds that bound her to the kitchen chair. When no give was to be found, she slumped against the back, seething.

Ah, those were the days. Severus reminisced. Curse a Muggle here. A Muggle there. What a shame those days are gone. He'd so rarely participated in such pastimes, of course, but when he had the adrenaline rush had been unforgettable.

"Just tell me what you want and get out freak!" she hissed, blue eyes flashing.

Severus leaned back in his chair, purposefully shifting and settling to emphasize how comfortable he was in comparison to the woman across from him. "Gladly," he agreed. "I would like to discuss your nephew and some inconsistencies found in his medical report."

Petunia snarled and bared her teeth at the mention of her nephew. The abominable waste of space. "I do not have to discuss anything with you! Especially about that freak."

She'd hated the burden ever since he had been left on their doorstep years ago. It had been clear to her from the method of delivery that the wizards had felt the exact same way. Why else would they drop an infant, on a cold night no less, on a doorstep in the middle of the night?

Severus arched an eyebrow, almost impressed at the amount of vitriol practically spewing from Petunia. She had always been a difficult and hateful child and apparently walking the path to adulthood had not tempered her any. "Well, if you do not wish to discuss this important matter, I have no issue waiting."

Silently, he conjured last month's Potions Journal, of which he was both author and avid reader, and a cup of black tea that absently floated in midair beside him, the steam wafting gently into the air. His dark eyes glittered in amusement as he benevolently chose to ignore Petunia's pale face at the use of magic, as well as the dratted snitches and bludgers pattern on the cup.

"I am sure your husband would not mind coming home to a full grown wizard," he pointed out. "No need to worry about any poor manners. I have heard that I am a wonderful supper guest." He found the play of emotions on Petunia's face especially amusing."

I can't have him here when Vernon gets home! Then I'll never hear the end of it! What if the neighbors see? Scowling, Petunia sighed and nodded her head in what she deemed to be a dignified manner. Unfortunately, it only emphasized her strong resemblance to a horse-faced giraffe. "Fine then. Ask what you want."

Strongly resisting the urge to roll his eyes, he dealt with juveniles, he was not one, Severus began with the most pressing question. "Why is there no sign that your nephew resides in this house?"

End Chapter. Please review.