Disclaimer: Anything you recognize is JKR's. Severitus Challenge belongs to Severitus. Both are pure and utter geniusness. And I don't care that spell check is telling me geniusness is not a word. It's a real word in my head.
A/N: I like to name my chapters after songs. This first one comes from the incredibly talented Jonas Brothers!
Chapter One: S.O.S.
"Boy!" Vernon Dursley boomed.
"Yes, sir," his small fifteen-year old nephew said meekly. Vernon's wife, Petunia, and their son, Dudley Dursley, watched with interest. Vernon's nephew crept forward fearfully, and Vernon's eyes flickered with great interest.
"It's time to teach you a lesson, boy," Vernon growled. "A lesson you won't forget." The boy's eyes flickered with fear for a second, then returned to their normal miserable green.
The boy had been deprived of food since he returned from his boarding school one week before. His eyes hadn't shone like they used to in a long time-- his dreams were constantly plagued by his godfather, who had been killed weeks before, and he wasn't sleeping all that well. He'd been absolutely miserable since the incident at the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic.
Petunia and her son watched eagerly as the portly man continuously beat the boy senseless. Satisfied with the boy's screaming and pleading for help, he tossed his nephew into the cupboard under the stairs and promptly padlocked the door behind him.
"Why did school have to end," Harry Potter thought miserably as he nursed several broken bones. "Why did Sirius have to die?" He'd only awaken from his beating minutes ago, and he already had the urge to scream out in pain, although past experience told him to keep silent.
At around this same time, an owl by the name of Hedwig was squirming to be let out of her cage.
"All right, Hedwig, all right," one Ron Weasley grumbled. He let the bird out, and she hooted her thanks. She soared out the window into the night.
"Hedwig!" Harry whispered, wincing against the pain. "I don't think I can make it much longer." Hedwig hooted indignantly.
"Okay, okay," Harry wheezed, ignoring the pain. He tore a sheet out of one of Dudley's old comic books that was mostly white, and he wrote "HELP" and his initials. He shakily shoved it in between the wrought iron bars of the window, and the owl took the page in her beak.
"Take this to any of the professors at Hogwarts," Harry wheezed, then doubled over. "Quickly!" Hedwig nodded as only an owl could and soared out of sight. Harry shivered and laid down in his blood-soaked bed, hoping help would come. He wasn't sure how much more of this he could take. It turned out he could take a lot more- he got two more beatings the next day.
Hedwig hooted angrily. Where were the professors when you needed them? She'd been flying around the school searching for someone, anyone, since she'd gotten the note from Harry the day before.
"Severus?" the aging headmaster called through the Floo.
"Yes, Albus," the black-haired Potions master said, not looking up from the cauldron.
"Could you come to my office, please?" Dumbledore asked.
"Give me five minutes," Severus Snape said as he added some ingredient the headmaster couldn't make out to the cauldron. "The Wolfsbane for our precious werewolf will be ruined if I come now."
"Very well," Dumbledore nodded, then extracted his head from the Floo network. Several minutes later, Severus Snape strode into the headmaster's office via the Floo network.
"Make this quick, Albus," Snape said wearily. "I'm a bit busy."
"I'm sorry to have to ruin your evening plans," Dumbledore said apologetically, "but I am afraid it cannot wait. Remus has voiced his concerns over Harry's well-being with his Muggle relatives. He doesn't seem to think they take very good care of him. He wouldn't say why he thought this, but he thought I should look into it. I'm busy tonight-- I have to go to a meeting with Cornelius Fudge-- but I would dearly appreciate it if you would make check up on number four, Privet Drive."
"This is not so much a request as an order, is it," Snape said dryly. "Yes, I shall visit Surrey tonight." Snape sighed in defeat, growled deep inside his throat, and left the office. Dumbledore chuckled as the young Potions master left, and settled in with his paperwork.
"Who is it?" Vernon Dursley boomed as someone knocked on the front door. He opened the door to reveal one black-robed Severus Snape, who held his wand in the man's face.
"Allow me entrance," Snape said dangerously, his eyes glittering threateningly, "or I will force you to allow me entrance." Vernon made some sort of awkward grunting noise and opened the door wider. His eyes flashed with anger. It had to be the boy's fault, he thought. The boy was cause for all the problems around the place.
"BOY!" Vernon Dursley roared as Snape held him at wand-point. A feeble mumble issued from somewhere in the house.
"BOY, GET OUT HERE!" Vernon Dursley shouted. He was getting more and more angry at having a wand pointed at his throat. Vernon Dursley, upon hearing no noise, rolled his eyes and muttered, "Insolent brat." He waved his hand in the direction of the stairs.
"His room's over there," Vernon said carelessly. Snape narrowed his eyes calculatingly, and stalked over to the stairs. He was just starting up them when Dursley corrected him.
"Not upstairs," Dursley said meekly.
"Where, then, pray tell?" Snape said exasperatedly. Dursley pointed at the locked cupboard door.
Snape growled in anger and stalked over to the locked cupboard door. He muttered a simple "Alohomora" and the door flung open. He was not at all prepared for what he saw in the cupboard. He recoiled in horror and gasped involuntarily at the sight that met his eyes.
Lying on a blood- and vomit-soaked bed, barely recognizable under all the physical damage, was fifteen-year old Harry Potter.
"Potter," Snape coaxed. Merlin, was the boy even conscious? "Harry!" The boy's eyelids fluttered, and he squinted against the light of his professor's wand.
"P-Professor?" he croaked. He attempted to move, and hissed in pain. Snape cursed under his breath at the sheer stupidity of the boy's relations.
"Don't move, Potter," Snape said calmly. He turned and threw Vernon Dursley a death glare, then gingerly collected the boy in his arms. It startled him how light the boy was. Snape cursed under his breath-- they'd probably starved him on top of these beatings.
Harry screamed at the pain, and Snape winced. He cursed loudly in several languages at all three Dursleys and Disapparated to the outskirts of the anti-Apparation wards. He ran up to the castle at full speed, the front doors blasting open before he burst through them.
"POPPY!" Snape bellowed as he gently placed the mercifully passed-out boy on a bed. The mediwitch ran out and gasped at the sight of the Gryffindor.
"What in the name of Merlin happened to him?" Madam Pomfrey exclaimed.
"He- never mind what happened! Just get fix him!" Snape snapped, interrupting himself. Pomfrey set to work, and evaluated his injuries. A sheet of parchment appeared in front of her, and a long list of injuries wrote themselves down.
"Holy mother of Merlin," Pomfrey whispered. Snape whistled softly as he gazed at the list over the mediwitch's shoulder.
"Good gods," Snape said softly. Pomfrey set to work, and Snape retrieved several Potions, gently pouring one after another down the teenager's throat.
"Welcome back to the land of the living," Snape said dryly. The boy's eyelids fluttered and he attempted to focus on his professor.
"Professor," Harry croaked. He shakily shoved his glasses on.
"The one and only," Snape smirked. "Does anything hurt?" Harry nodded.
"My head," Harry wheezed. "And my legs. And just about everything else." Just then, a snowy white owl flew in the window.
"Hedwig!" Harry said hoarsely. She gave an apologetic hoot and dropped the piece of Muggle magazine.
"It's okay," the teenager said reassuringly. "Snape came anyway."
"What is this you're going on about, Potter?" Snape asked confusedly.
"I told Hedwig to bring this to someone here, but I don't think she could find anyone," Harry wheezed.
"Yes, the castle is rather empty during the summer holiday," Snape agreed. He grabbed a couple of potions vials off the side table next to the boy's bed.
"Here, take these," Snape said harshly, "or I will force you to take them." Good old Snape, Harry thought to himself, and lifted an arm to take it and shakily swallowed the contents of the three vials.
Just as an uncomfortable silence settled on the room, Madam Pomfrey bustled in.
"Oh, good, you're awake," Pomfrey said, obviously relieved. "You've given him the potions, Severus?"
"Yes, Poppy," Snape said crisply. He suddenly stiffened, and grabbed his left arm. Harry knew that was where the Dark Mark was branded into his skin. Snape stood quickly and left the room.
Poppy Pomfrey sighed.
"He'll be back later, with injuries, no doubt," Pomfrey said wearily. "Honestly, I don't know who spends more time in here, Potter, you, Professor Snape, or myself." She cast a healing charm on the teenager and left him to sleep.
"Another Death Eater meeting?" a woman in a portrait in Snape's quarters asked sympathetically as he raced in to grab his Death Eater robes.
"Yes," Snape snapped as he threw on the disgusting Death Eater robes. "Is that not obvious by the way I hold my arm?"
"Lay off her," the man in the portrait said angrily. "She's just trying to be nice."
"Would you guys quit it!" the woman shouted. "Honestly, you're worse than Remus at the full moon."
"Thank you so very much for reminding me," Snape muttered, thinking back to his encounter with Remus Lupin in his werewolf form more than two years ago.
"Be careful, Sev!" the woman called after him. Snape growled and left.
"Albus, I'm leaving," Snape said as he poked his head into the headmaster's office. "The Dark Lord awaits." Dumbledore nodded.
"Good luck," Dumbledore said gravely. Snape nodded sullenly and left. He walked to the edges of the anti-Apparation boundaries and Disapparated to Riddle Manor.
"Oh, Merlin," Harry moaned, clutching his head. His scar was starting to burn, and he was submerged in a vision.
"Good evening, my Death Eaters," the Dark Lord hissed, his voice barely a whisper. Harry looked around and found Snape's cold, black eyes. It wasn't hard to pick him out, even though he had on his Death Eater robes and mask, as did all the Death Eaters in the room.
"I have decided to plan an attack," Voldemort said, his voice nearly a whisper. "There, the traitor will perish." For a fraction of a section, Harry thought he spotted fear in the Potions master's eyes, but just as quickly as the fear came, it left, leaving Snape's eyes a stone cold black.
"Severus, do you have any news for your Lord?" the snake-like man (if he could even be considered human) asked.
"The old codger has told me of no defense systems, yet, my Lord," Snape said, his voice rock steady. "However, he has informed me there is another meeting Thursday night, in which he intends to tell me his plans, my Lord."
"Excellent, Severus," Voldemort hissed.
"I'm glad you think so, my Lord," Snape said faithfully.
"You do not, however, have any news for me tonight, and that angers me, Severus," Voldemort said softly. "I'd been hoping for news so I could formulate my plan. Crucio." Harry watched the Potions master sink to his knees, but the man refused to scream.
"Potter! Potter, wake up!" Pomfrey commanded sharply. The boy was laying on the bed, writhing and screaming in pain. Slowly, the boy regained consciousness.
"Get Dumbledore," Harry panted. Pomfrey nodded quickly and rushed to her Floo. Moments later, the headmaster strode into the hospital wing, followed by Pomfrey.
"What is it, Harry? Another vision?" the old wizard asked.
"Yes, sir," Harry said, trying to regain control of his breath. He began to shake.
"Get the Post-Cruciatus Potion, Poppy," Dumbledore ordered. The mediwitch nodded and left for her supply.
"Have some ready for Snape," Harry said after he downed the potion. "He's been under the Cruciatus longer than anyone else tonight."
"I will," Madam Pomfrey promised. Just then, all three heard a thump in the hallway. As Dumbledore ran out, Harry jumped up, intending to follow him. He ignored the pain in his body.
"Not so fast," Pomfrey said sternly, standing in front of him. She pointed to the bed he'd been lying on seconds before. "Get back in bed."
"But Madam-" the Gryffindor began to protest.
"No, Potter," Madam Pomfrey cut him off. "You will stay in bed until I deem you well enough to leave." Just then, the doors to the hospital ward flung open, and Dumbledore came in with what looked like Snape on a conjured stretcher. Harry began to panic, as he couldn't tell whether the man was alive or not.
"We have our Potions master back," Dumbledore said grimly.
A/N: Dun dun dunnnnn! I am sooooo evil! Poor Snape, what have I done to him! Oh, and I just thought of this-- I was reading OotP yesterday, and they spell Apparation differently than I always have! I've always spelled it Apparition! Oh well) I just thought I'd let you know that I'm not spelling it wrong! Make my day and review, please!
Just as an aside, this is my first fanfic. Please be nice and leave constructive criticism. If you are just going to leave negative reviews, just close this window and never continue reading it again. I'm not really sure if this is even good, but I'd like people to tell me what they think. Convince me to keep writing, people!
Also, I need a beta, if anyone is interested!