Disclaimer: I am brunette and Canadian so I obviously don't own Harry Potter.
His first clue had been the fact that Aunt Petunia was nowhere in sight when he had arrived home from his 4th year at Hogwarts. When his uncle picked him up from Kings Cross station he was alone, and since he had arrived at his so called home his life had been a blur of chores and beatings from his uncle, and every night he was plagued with nightmares of the death of Cedric Diggory.
When Harry Potter had awoken that morning though he knew something was different. He awoke to the pounding of the stairs above his cupboard that only Dudley could make. That day seemed normal, he made breakfast, weeded the garden, made lunch, painted the shed, made dinner, and then returned to his cupboard. well All except for the fact that Dudley kept staring at him as he went about his chores, but didn't say anything. However it was the familiar fear of his early summer vacation that returned to him that evening when Vernon Dursley returned home.
"Freak" Vernon slurred as he pulled Harry out of his cupboard where he had been hiding, "It's all your fault boy." Harry didn't know what his uncle was referring to, not that that was unusual when it came to Vernon, but he knew better than to question. The scent of alcohol was overpowering and Harry just hoped his uncles rage would abate soon, not that that was at all likely. He attempted to brace himself for the first burst of pain, but like always even though it was expected it still hurt unbearably. He took it stoically for as long as possible, but soon enough heard sobs and pleading in his own voice. Still Vernon didn't let up, but Harry realized he was about to lose consciousness and the last thing he saw before blacking out was the frightened face of his cousin Dudley.
"Come on Harry, you have to wake up" was the first thing Harry Potter heard when he came to, but the world was blurry and he realized he didn't have his glasses. It sounded like Dudley, but Dudley would never sound that worried about Harry. "I'm sorry Harry, it's all my fault. Dad blamed you for my getting expelled, but it was all my fault" the sobbing voice said, and Harry was shocked at the realization that it was definitely Dudley.
"Dud" he said weakly, "Where are we? Where are my glasses?" Harry felt truly unnerved without his glasses, but oddly enough felt his wand in his hand. The last time he had checked Vernon had had it locked up somewhere, and Harry hadn't expected to see it ever again. He herd a sigh of relief from above him and looked at the blur that he assumed was Dudley.
"I, um don't really know where we are. After Dad went to bed I stole you out of the house, you couldn't stay there. He would've… would've… I doubt you would've made it back to school" Dudley stuttered, "and erm, well Dad broke your glasses, but I got all your school stuff, so you can just do some ma, well the m word and fix it right?" Harry sighed realizing how little Dudley knew about magic and wishing he knew where they were.
"Did you manage to get Hedwig out" Harry asked Dudley his mind whirling. Without his glasses he would have to rely on Dudley, though his cousin didn't seem to mean him any harm he was still weary. He knew if Hedwig was there he could write a letter to the Order and they would come and get him, if they could figure out where they were that is.
"Yeah, and I wrote a letter saying what happened and sent her to someone who could help" Dudley told him, "I'm not sure if I trust the owl to get the letter to the right person, but I couldn't see any other option." Dudley was breathing hard and Harry could tell he was nervous, this was probably the only rebellious thing his cousin had done in his whole life and so Harry tried to sit up to reassure him, but met with only blinding pain. "Go back to sleep Harry, those people should be here soon" Dudley said, but suddenly Harry realized just how much Dudley had given up to help him. Dudley wasn't a wizard, but he had given up his loving, muggle family to help one. Harry didn't know what would happen when someone from the Order did get here, but he knew he couldn't leave Dudley behind.
Severus Snape was not in a good mood, a snowy owl had been tapping at his window since the previous night. God forbid he get one summer vacation off, the first time in all the years since he had been teaching that he chose to go on vacation and within hours he was being bothered. He didn't even know how the ruddy bird had found the house. He had chosen the manor in Canada because of its strong wards, and a bird could not even get through them unless it was an emergency. Despite the fact that he realized that it had to be an emergency he had studiously ignored it's tapping for hours.
Finally after breakfast he decided he had had enough and opened the window for the now irritated bird. It hooted angrily and nipped his large nose much to Severus' unhappiness. He pulled the letter off the bird and was confronted with the worst penmanship he had ever laid eyes on, even the dunderheaded first years that he taught had better writing skills. He finally managed to piece it together and paled as he realized it was a plea for help for Potter, he may not have liked the child, but he knew immediately that he should not have ignored this. The writer claimed to be Potter's cousin, and he said he had stolen Potter from his relatives house and he was in dire need for medical attention. Why the owl had come for him and not someone else he did not know, but unfortunately it had and it said that Potter and his cousin were hiding out in a park near the relatives house. He stood and apparated to the park and began to hunt the two boys down.
A/N: I know it's short, but I had to set some things up. I'd love some reviews with constructive criticism since this is my first time writing fan fiction. Hope you enjoyed and I promise a longer chapter next time.