Albus Dumbledore sat at his desk looking through the stack of mail. More anxious letters from Molly, Hermione and Ron. It seemed that Harry had not been in contact with any of them since the summer started. Albus had thought Harry was just upset that his godfather had been forced on the run right after he had found the man, and he had been forced to go back to his relatives for the summer. He was busy with the preparation for the tournament this year to be baby-sitting the boy but he needed to get them off of his back.
Severus walked into his office. "You sent for me Albus."
Albus motioned for him to sit. "I need you to go and check on Harry for me."
Severus groaned. "The boy is fine. He's probably just busy sun tanning to write back to his friends."
Albus nodded. "I agree but I want to get the others off my back. I just want you to go there and make sure the boy is okay."
Severus sighed. "Why not send the werewolf or some member of the order that the boy actually likes?"
"I don't want you to make contact unless necessary. It would put the boy in danger." Albus said.
"And if the boy is in danger, am I to remove him?" Severus asked.
Albus shook his head. "No. He's safer there. The school is busy preparing for next term. You'll just have to ensure Harry continues to be safe there."
"Like I said that spoiled little brat is just being lazy in not writing but I'll check on him." Severus grumbled.
He had no desire to travel to Surrey and check on the spoiled brat but he owed his freedom to Albus, and now that only a few weeks ago he had been outed as a spy to the death eaters, his life as well.
Harry was sitting in bed staring out the window in his tiny bedroom in Surrey. He had been locked in the bedroom except when let out to do chores, since his return here nearly three weeks before. He had hoped that when he found Sirius he would be able to live with his godfather but his dreams had been crushed.
He heard the locks on the door rattling and the door bang open. "Get up you lazy brat and get downstairs to make breakfast for us now."
Harry scrambled to his feet, his body aching from the bruises ribs. "Yes Uncle."
As he ran past his Uncle his Uncle kicked him hard in the ass. "And if you burn the bacon again I promise no food for the next week."
Harry ran downstairs into the kitchen where he started making breakfast. The last time he had burned a single piece of bacon because Dudley had demanded he bring him some orange juice and had been gone when it needed to be flipped. His Uncle had pummelled him so bad all of his ribs were mass of bruises.
His Aunt looked up from her tea. "Get ready, we've been waiting."
Harry wanted to say something about having been locked up and not able to come cook but just nodded. "Yes Aunt Petunia."
Dudley who came down still in his pyjamas sneered at his cousin. "Make sure that my bacon is extra crispy, and I want scrambled eggs this morning."
Harry said nothing to his cousin as he went to cook until his Uncle slapped him up side the head. "What do you say to your cousin boy?"
Harry turned to look at Dudley and mumbled. "Yes, Dudley."
Harry managed to make breakfast without burning the food or getting anything wrong and his only thank you was being permitted to a glass of water and the end of the loaf of bred.
His Uncle shoved him a copy of the chose list. "Have these done before I get home from work today boy or you will regret it."
Harry took the list and walked towards the door to start on the work. He went outside where he had to go to the back shed and grab the paint because he was to paint the shed, the back fence and kitchen door as well as mowing the lawn and washing the windows that day.
Harry was out in the beating sun all day. His Aunt Petunia came to the back door and shouted. "Boy. Get your lunch or you don't eat."
Harry rushed to the door to find a plate with the other crust of bread, a carrot, and a glass of water. "Thank you Aunt Petunia."
He sat down next to the shed in the little light he could get and ate the food but he left some water, knowing he would need some later. He knew what would happen if he got caught drinking from the hose.
He was still painting the back fence when his Uncle came home, nearly two hours early. "Boy. What is this? You're not even half done your chores."
Harry stuttered. "Uncle, I'm sorry. You were early coming home. I swear I have been trying to complete it."
Vernon reached out and slammed his fist into Harry who felt as if his cheekbone shattered and could feel blood in his mouth. "Don't back talk me boy."
Harry shrunk away from his Uncle but his Uncle grabbed him by the collar and remembering he was out in the yard and not wanting any of their neighbours to see what he was doing he dragged his nephew back into the shed. Harry cowered at his Uncle's feet waiting for the beating he knew was coming but it never came.
Severus arrived in the afternoon and put a disillusionment charm so that no one would see him. He had no intention of having to interact with the spoiled brat . He went into the house and saw a child watching TV but saw it was some fat whale who he guessed to be Harry's cousin. He went up stairs in search of harry and found two rooms with toys, the master bedroom and one with locks. He assumed Harry of course had one of the rooms with the wall to wall toys.
"Probably out with some muggle friends." Severus said to himself.
He was about to leave when he noticed Petunia standing at the door of the kitchen glaring outside. He went to look and saw Harry outside. To his shock the boy was painting the fence. He thought it odd, the boy was skinnier then usual and he looked like he was ready to drop. He stayed and watched.
'A little bit of chores won't kill the boy. It will probably knock some sense into him.' Severus thought but he stayed.
Then he saw Vernon come home and watched in shock as the man grabbed Harry and punched him. He could hear the crack of the bone in Harry's jaw as the fist had connected with his face.
Harry was whimpering and Severus heard "I'm sorry Uncle."
Severus followed as the man dragged Harry into the shed and before he could think he grabbed Dursley by the arm when the man went to hit Harry. Dursley whirled around trying to find out what had stopped him. Severus removed the charm.
"You freaks. Get out of my house." Vernon yelled.
Severus snarled "I'm not going to allow you to pummel your nephew like this."
Vernon sneered. "Now you guys care? I have been left to care for this useless whelp. I'll treat him any way I see fit."
Severus was not sure what he was going to do but he knew he couldn't leave Harry here. Without really thinking he cast a spell that created a doppelganger of Harry who was no more then a ghost really but would walk, talk and even act like Harry. Pushing past Vernon he scooped up Harry who had passed out, and walked out of the shed.
"Dam. I can't take him to Hogwarts. Dumbledore will send him back." Severus snarled.
He was not sure why he cared what happened to the brat but he knew he had been wrong. Harry was obviously not a spoiled brat. If for nothing more then Harry's mum who had been his first love. Not knowing what he was doing he disapparated and reappeared at Spinner's end. The home was under a fidelius charm and not even Albus could find it.
Harry groaned as he came to. He was not sure where he was. The last thing he remembered was being dragged into the shed by his Uncle to be beaten and then the beating had not come. He had passed out from the pain. The only thing he knew was that he was laying in what felt like a soft bed.
A pair of hands pressed his glasses into his hands. Harry put them on and gasped. "Professor Snape."
The man was sitting on the end of the bed. "So it seems Mr Potter that I was wrong about you being a spoiled brat. How long has this been going on?"
Harry was shaking. "Nothing's going on sir. Nothing happened."
Severus shook his head. "Mr Potter I found you being about to be beaten by your Uncle. I have healed you while you were out and noticed many old injuries. Tell me the truth Harry."
Harry was fighting back the tears. "It doesn't matter. You're just going to send me back there."
Severus was reminded of his own childhood. "Harry, you're not going back there. Now tell me why you haven't told anyone about this before?"
Harry shrugged. "I told Professor Dumbledore some but he says I'm safer there. Doesn't matter any way, no one other then Sirius cares and he is on the run."
Severus sighed. "Harry, I'm not going to take you back there. I know that the werewolf cares about you and so do your friends."
Harry tried to nod but the pain was bad. "Am I going to Hogwarts, or can I go to the Burrow?"
Severus shook his head. "Albus ordered me to keep you there for your safety. I have left a double. You're going to have to spend the summer here with me."
Harry was nearly speechless. "With you professor? You're going to allow me to stay here with you?"
Severus hid his own groan at the though. "Yes. There will be rules for you to follow. And you'll have to do your homework. But you will stay here with me."
Harry smiled a bit. Even staying with his hated professor was better then going home, he told himself. "Are you sure sir? I don't want to be a burden."
Severus nodded. "You're not a burden. There will be rules, and chores, but I promise you won't have to fear that I'll beat you senseless."
Severus handed him some potions as he noticed Harry was still in extreme pain. Harry slowly drank down the pain reliever he had been given but before he took the dreamless sleep potion he had a few questions.
Severus sighed. "I know what it's like, my father beat me as a child. And partially because your mum was a huge part of my life and I feel like I owe it to her."
Harry was amazed, Snape had never spoken of his mother before. "What is going to happen?"
Severus just motioned for harry to take the other vial. "We will discuss the rules and everything else when you 're better. For now you need sleep to heal."
He watched as Harry slowly drifted off. This boy was in obvious need of an actual parental figure. His disobedience and reckless behaviour had obviously stemmed form not having a father figure in his life all of this time. He knew the double would only last so long and he'd have to let Albus know but for now he would concentrate on getting the boy back to health.
He called his personal house elf Wally. "Look after the boy if he wakes. I will be gone not long."
The little house elf nodded and Severus returned to Privet drive so he could collect Harry's school things and his owl. He was shocked to learn though it seemed explainable now, that the room with the locks had been Harry's and other then his school things and Hedwig, there was nothing to collect.