The small boy was running. He didn't know where he was going, but he knew he wasn't going back to where he was.
The mop of black hair was flying around the small face, going across pain filled emerald green eyes. The thread-thin shirt rubbed over the many welts caused by his uncle's belt. Not stopping, the boy was able to make it out of Little Whinging, going to the next town over to get onto the bus with his small amount of money he took from the house.
Sitting on the bench waiting for the bus, the small child wept, wondering why his family couldn't love him. And wondering what he would do once he finally got to London.
An older woman came to also wait for the bus. The boy wiped his tears, looking at the woman.
"Why, what lovely emerald eyes. What are you doing here, child?" The woman looking at him thought the boy shouldn't be here by himself. He didn't look any older then six.
Thinking quickly, the boy answered that he was going back to his mother after visiting his aunt.
"What is your name child?"
Not wanting to remember his short past, the boy answered, "Emrys." And that's how eight year old Harry Potter became Emrys, citizen of London.
Three Years Later...
Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall was doing her favorite part of her job; sending out the Hogwarts letters. This year was especially exciting because Harry Potter was supposed to be coming this year. Thinking back to the joyous fifteen month old she had last seen, McGonagall finally reached his name on the list. She said to the self-addressing quill, "Address Harry Potter." Waiting for the scratching of the quill, she was astonished when the quill froze, then flopped down on the desk in front of her.
"Address Harry Potter." Again, nothing.
With a sinking feeling in her chest, the teacher rushed to the Headmaster's office.
"Albus, something is wrong with Harry Potter's letter," McGonagall exclaimed.
"Oh? What's wrong," Dumbledore asked, eyes twinkling.
"The letter's not addressing itself. It's like he's gone."
Now Dumbledore was panicking. Harry Potter was supposed to be downtrodden from his relatives care so the boy would look up to him. Now, it was obvious something went wrong with his plans.
"You and Severus go and talk to his relatives. I will try a locating charm. We have to find the boy.
Five Hours Later...
Professor Severus Snape was grumbling. Why was he sent to the Golden Boy's home to fetch him? Why not Minerva, or that oaf, Hagrid?
"Come now, Severus. You can use Legilimancy on the boy's relatives to find him," he mocked, imitating the (in his opinion) barmy Headmaster.
Reaching Number Four Privet Drive, the frustrated Potions Professor reached out to manipulate the wards to allow him entrance. Reeling back in shock when he encountered nothing there.
Running (no, not running. Walking fast) up the sidewalk, he rang the doorbell. Waiting impatiently, he tried to think of why the wards would have disappeared.
Hearing loud thuds on the other side of the door, he braced himself for the door to open. When it did, the biggest boy he had ever seen appeared where the door had been.
"Are your parents home? I must speak to them."
The boy blinked before slamming the door and shouting, "Mum! Someone's at the door."
Cringing at the loudness and rudeness, Snape stood there and waited for someone to come. After a few moments, lighter footsteps were heard before the door re-opened.
Even though it had been many years, the two had no problems recognizing each other.
"Snape," Petunia Dursley snarled. "What do you want?"
"I want to see you as much as you do me. Where is your nephew?" Snape sneered.
Looking around and seeing a couple noses pressed against windows from the neighbors, Petunia sighed before beckoning him inside.
Snape did so, raising his eyebrow. This was a situation he was not expecting.
"Dudley, go upstairs, would you? You can play your computer."
"You are no longer grounded. Now go upstairs before I change my mind."
Watching the monstrous eleven year old with disguised disgust, Snape turned to Petunia, eyebrow still raised in question.
"You want to know where the boy is? Well, he's gone."
Snape blinked once in surprise. "Gone?"
"He ran away three years ago. Granted, I don't completely blame the boy..." she trailed off, lost in thought.
"What, did he not get seconds with dessert?" Snape sneered, not looking forward to informing his employer about the loss of his golden boy.
Petunia snarled. "Dessert? He'd be lucky to get his dinner! I may not have liked the brat's mother or his magic, but I wouldn't want a child to be hurting in my home!"
Feeling a sinking sensation in his stomach, Snape was only capable of breathing out, "What?"
Petunia sighed. "I may not have been fond of Lily, but I wasn't going to take it out on a child. Especially since Harry has Lily's eyes, therefore having our father's eyes. I love Dudley, but he looks more like a Dursely then an Evans. Harry grew more to be like Lily in appearance before he disappeared.
"Unfortunately, my husband didn't share this idea. Vernon wanted to 'beat out' the magic." Petunia sighed. "I told him the more he beat Harry, the more magic would come out. When Harry was four, Vernon made his learn how to cook. At five he was mowing the lawn and gardening. Not sure what that had to do with ridding the boy of his magic," she said, rolling her eyes.
"Soon after Harry turned three was when the first magic was shown around Vernon. I had seen it a few times when he was hungry or uncomfortable. Vernon had been thinking Harry didn't have magic until Vernon rose his voice one day when we were arguing and startled Harry, so Harry...silenced my husband until some people came to lift the...charm, was it?
"That was when Harry was moved from 'Dudley's second room' to the cupboard under the stairs. Soon after was when Vernon paid more attention and identified more cases of magic. Each time, Vernon...punished him...when Harry ran away at eight, Vernon was practically straight out beating and starving him. When I tried to stop it, Vernon smacked me. Vernon also threatened to take both boys and rid the world of 'one more freak.'"
Snape was in shock. What happened to the girl whom he and Lily annoyed and annoyed them back, sometimes worse then they had done in the first place. He didn't think Petunia realized there were tears running down her face.
After many moments, Severus grew furious. What right did that bastard have to do what he did? "Do you have any idea where he may be? Or any objects that only belonged to him?"
Petunia smiled grimly. "I have answers to both. In the attic is a box of things of Harry's directly from his mother that he was to receive when he came of age. Some were things from Lily's school days, but there's Harry's baby blanket inside that I kept from Vernon's rage. I'll go get that." Quickly going upstairs and grabbing the box, she came down to find Dudley studying Severus and Severus doing the same to Dudley.
"Anything else? Oh, yes, Harry's location. Well, in the box is his third year school picture that was sent home. You can see how he has Lily's eyes, nose, cheekbones, and mouth. Their dental records even matched. Now, Harry was small for an eight year old, but that's from Lily or Vernon withholding food. When I went to London...oh, maybe a year ago, I would have sworn I saw some kid that looked two years older then when I saw Harry last. I imagine if he lived for two years on the streets all right, he could make it until someone came looking for him. Will you take care of him?"
Severus looked at Petunia carefully, seeing her sadness at not being able to see and raise her nephew properly. "How about I talk to some people who can take care of you husband and find your nephew? And take off the charms on your son?"
"What charms?" Petunia demanded.
"Mummy, who is this? What is he talking about?" Dudley asked, deciding the man was okay to talk around.
"I'll explain later, Duds. This is an old...acquantince," Petunia answered, not wanting to tell the truth about who the man was so Vernon wouldn't know about the Wizarding World getting in contact. "Tell me about them...;ater."
Severus nodded. "I will get back to you. Good bye, 'Tunia."
"Good bye Severus. Good luck."
With that, Severus Snape walked out the door, gaining momentum for his showdown with Dumbledore and the escape he would have to make. Over a child he was prepared to hate.