Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Nothing, Nadda, Zilich.
Chapter One: A bat goes to meet the brat
Severus Snape was not a happy man. Of course, one could argue that Severus Snape was never a happy man, but today it seemed so much worse.
Oh yes, Snape was not happy.
And it seemed that his current problem included two people: one a miserable old goat who liked to suck lemon drops all day, and the other a small, messy haired boy of six, who, Severus was quite certain, was determined to make his life Hell…even if the little boy didn't even know the scary bat-like man who was now proceeding to chew out the aforementioned goat for giving him perhaps the worst possible task one could ever even suggest to Severus Snape.
Go out and tackle a fully-grown dragon, unarmed, sure.
Throw himself in a barrel then 'float' down the Niagara Falls, fine.
Check on young Harry Potter, however…
"Albus you insufferable, senile old fool! Why can't you send Minerva to check on that damned boy?!"
Albus Dumbledore (whose full name was almost as long as his silver-white beard) sat across from the fuming Potions Master, sucking on one of his wonderful lemon drops and smiling benignly at Severus with that damnable twinkle in his blue eyes.
"Why Severus, don't you know? Minnie is away visiting her sister for the week! I'm afraid it just has to be you."
Severus Snape (whose full name was not as long as his greasy black hair) resisted quite admirably the feral urge to throttle the smiling Headmaster right then and there.
"Then why not send that oaf, Hagrid!"
Dumbledore gave another awfully cheery smile, again making Severus fight down the urge to hex and/or bodily harm the old man.
"I'm afraid Hagrid would draw simply too much attention if he were to venture out into the muggle world."
Fuming, the temperamental Potions Master settled back in his chair, trying (and failing quite spectacularly) to contain his temper.
"…Fine. I'll go check on the brat."
Harry Potter was not a happy child. One could argue whether or not Harry had actually ever been happy in his short life, but today it was much, much worse.
Why? It was fairly simple: today the teachers had sent home report cards.
And because the Dursley's were quite unfortunately Harry's 'guardians', they received the small boy's report card, along with their son's, Dudley.
Now, most parents/guardians would be ecstatic with the grades that Harry had received and praised the boy's intelligence. These same parents/guardians would also be disappointed in the grades that Dudley had achieved and perhaps given him tutoring or some other such thing.
The Dursley's however, were different (however normal they would proclaim).
At the moment, poor Harry was being yelled at by his enraged uncle Vernon, whose face was flitting between an interesting shade of red and an almost bluish shade of purple.
Now, Vernon Dursley worked at a company called Grunnings, which made drills, and he was a very large, beefy man with barely any neck at all. With his rather large mustache, one could almost mistake him for a walrus that had been taught to walk and speak.
While this could be quite amusing in some situations, right now, it was an awful fact.
Because you see, Harry had never been fed properly and as such was a very small and very skinny six-year-old boy, who had no hope of ever dodging the flying fists that smashed into his frail, malnourished body over and over again.
"Freak! We feed you, cloth you and this is the thanks you give us! Cheating off of Dudley and feeding lies to the teachers!"
Harry cowered before his uncle.
"I never cheated!"
This comment was met with a harsh slap to the face and another furious bellow.
"Like hell you didn't! How else would you get these grades!" here Vernon brandished the crumpled report card at the shaking boy. "How could an idiot Freak like you ever get these grades without cheating!!"
From the stairs, Harry's cousin Dudley snickered and jeered, enjoying the beating that his father was dishing out to his 'freaky' cousin. His mother, Petunia was in the kitchen, reading a magazine, occasionally glancing over to where Harry cowered and sneering at the child.
"Now get in your cupboard and stay there!" Having finally finished with Harry's punishment, Vernon lifted the scrawny boy by the scruff of his neck and tossed him into the dark cupboard under the stairs, slamming the door shut and locking Harry in his prison.
And it was at this exact moment that the doorbell rang.