A/N: Some abuse in this chapter. Oh, and I noticed some mistakes in these chapters, so I am working on them. Some of the chapters need to be re-edited.
Severus entered the Headmaster's office why he had to wonder why he was summoned to Hogwarts in the middle of the summer. What could Dumbledore possibly want?
"Ah Severus, so good of you to have come on such notice," Albus Dumbledore said who was seated at his desk.
"So what is so urgent?" he asked.
Dumbledore's office always amused him; there were so many odd magical items in the room. He walked over to one of the chairs in front of the desk and sat down. He was reminded of being a student at Hogwarts as he sat. There had been a few occurrences when he had been sent to see the Headmaster in those days.
"You'll remember about four-years-ago I told you that Harry Potter would need to be protected. I've had a letter from Abarella Figg; she is very worried about him. She doesn't think he is being treated properly-"
"Oh, he doesn't get a toy he wants? His aunt and uncle don't always worship the ground he walks on? I expect he thinks everyone should treat him as if he is a king," Severus interrupted.
He didn't care about the offspring of James Potter. If it wasn't for the child, the Dark Lord wouldn't have even gone after Lily in the first place. He had never met the boy, but he hated him. He knew he looked like James but with Lily's eyes, he also knew he would be even more arrogant than his father. He'd think that everyone should bow down to him just because he got lucky and survived just because Lily was a good person.
"On the contrary, she believes Harry is neglected. Of course she has never met him, but she has seen him from a distance a few times, she reports that he is too small for his age. I've had people look into it since she wrote, Harry was not registered for school last year and hasn't been for the upcoming school year but his cousin Dudley has. The child had his fifth birthday a few days ago, if he didn't start last year, he should be going this year," Dumbledore answered. "Harry is only seen outside if he is doing chores, but other than that, people never see him."
"Maybe Petunia home-schools him. Harry is an underage wizard and she'll remember what it was like with Lily," Severus said.
And she'll be embarrassed as well he thought to himself. Petunia was always jealous of Lily, but she had called them both freaks and embarrassments. He knew that she had wanted to pretend that her sister didn't have magical powers. She probably did what she could to make sure her nephew didn't show people what he was. However, she probably spoiled him, she'd love the fact that he was famous, she had always loved gossip and had spent her teen years reading up what she could about celebrities. Of course she'd feel good about having a famous person living in her house, even if he had what she called 'freaky powers'.
"That could be it but I would like to find out for sure just what is going on at the Dursley's. I've asked the rest of the staff if they could help me, but they are all busy, I left you for last… knowing your feelings. I would like for you to check their place to make sure he is being treated right."
"Yes because if The-Boy-Who-Lived isn't being treated right it's illegal, right?"
"You would recognize the signs of abuse better than anyone would Severus, I would check in myself, but I'm very busy. Minerva would have been perfect for the job as she is Animagus, but she is visiting her daughter for the month. I know you are very good at disguising yourself," Dumbledore answered.
Severus sighed, the last thing he wanted to do was check on the famous and likely spoiled Boy-Who-Lived, but what choice did he have? He was working hard at trying to keep a secure job, and in a way, he was curious. As long as he only saw the Potter brat from a distance, it wouldn't matter. The child was still really young anyway.
"And if I find out that he is being neglected…?" Severus asked. "Which I doubt."
"You will tell me and then I'll have to decide what to do, you can start tomorrow."
Privet Drive was one of those annoyingly perfect looking neighbourhoods. Severus could bet that there wasn't a weed in any of the gardens. He had seen enough muggle dwellings to know this was one of those places where if something was amiss, it would be gossiped about.
He was disguised as a middle aged man; it had been Albus' idea to transfigure his facial features to look like someone different. As a child, he had worn odd outfits not knowing what Muggles usually wore, but as he grew up he'd learned that their clothes matched. As he looked around this neighbourhood, he decided that the suit he had chosen was perfect, even if it was uncomfortable.
He found the place Harry Potter was supposed to be living in. It was the kind of place he expected to find Petunia, everything about the place suggested neatness. What surprised him was to see a child about two-years-old by the garden wall, trimming the grass that grew long beside it with scissors. Surely a boy that young shouldn't even have scissors. He pretended to examine a lamp post near the house while he watched. Every now and then, he'd pretend to write something down in the notebook he carried. He must not have looked suspicious; anyone who walked past didn't give him a second glance.
The front door of number four opened and a fat blond boy who looked about seven-years-old waddled out. Did he have the right house? Sure the blond could be Petunia's child, but didn't Albus say that her son was the same age as Harry? The small boy had black hair, but he wasn't five-years-old.
"Hey freak, my mummy says you should hurry up if you ever want to sit down again. She says she'll tell daddy to spank you and I hope he does," the boy said as he approached the garden wall.
Then he spotted Severus who was still pretending to be surveying one of the lamp posts. He hoped that the baby boy wouldn't really be spanked though. Wasn't he too young to get more than a scolding? Of course, he of all people knew that some parents could be too rough with small children, but he knew his father hadn't ever beaten him when he was a baby.
"What are you doing mister? Never saw you before. Are you one of those people who fix the street lights?"
"Yes, I am. I was actually looking for Petunia Dursley's place. I just wanted to make sure her electricity worked."
He didn't really understand 'electricity' too well except that it helped with the lights in a house. Muggles apparently needed it or their appliances wouldn't work. Lily had explained it to him when they were children, but he hadn't really listened. This boy had to be little Dudley Dursley, even if he was really big for his age.
"That's my mummy!" the boy exclaimed but then looked very worried. "But maybe I shouldn't tell you that… I'm not 'uppose to talk to strangers."
"That is a very good rule, you shouldn't talk to strangers. However, I am just checking your electricity so it's okay. Also, I need to know how many people live in your house, just so I know how much is used in your house. There are four members in your house, am I right?" Severus said.
He wasn't sure where he was going with this, but he remembered something Dumbledore had said to him the day before.
"Of course she has never met him, but she has seen him from a distance a few times, she reports that he is too small for his age"
That small boy trimming the grass couldn't really be five could he? The child looked up at him from his position by the wall. He had started to trim quickly at the fat boys words, but now he paused for a moment. He had the messy black hair and Lily's eyes. He was also very battered up. There was a cut on his cheek, he had a black eye, he also had a large bald spot on his head, and the clothes he wore were much too big.
"There's my mummy, my daddy, me and Freak," Dudley answered. "But Freak isn't allowed to use the elekticity he not allowed to do anything."
The tiny boy quickly ducked his head and started to trim at a fast pace.
"Why do you call him Freak?" Severus asked.
He knew though since it could only come from Petunia Dursley who had always called him and Lily that. Did she abuse her nephew as well? The fat boy just shrugged. The front door opened again and a blond woman stepped out now. It had been years since Severus had last seen her, but there was no mistaking who she was.
"Dudders, who are you talking to?" she asked as she crossed the yard.
"The elektic man."
"I'm just checking to see if your electricity is working," Severus answered.
He hadn't been expected to be confronted by Petunia herself. He wasn't even supposed to talk to any of the Dursley's. Now he had spoken to two of them.
"Your son was just telling me that it works fine. I also have to make sure the lamp posts are up to date. Am I correct when I ask that there are four members in your household?"
"Yes, there is me, my husband, my son and nephew," Petunia answered. "Surely you would know if our electricity wasn't working though? You just sent us a bill not too long ago. Also, why does it matter how many household members we have?"
"Just to see how much an average family uses per month," Severus answered quickly. "It is just to help us that is all."
"Hmm, well we don't use a lot, but I'm sure you'll know that. Dudley, come on inside, let the nice man continue his work," Petunia said.
She took her son by the hand and gripped his hand and pulled him toward the house quickly. She looked over her shoulder anxiously at him a few times. Severus could guess why, she didn't like her son talking to strangers, and he could tell she was suspicious about his story. What intrigued him was that she didn't even give her nephew a second glance. She just left him to continue trimming the grass.
Severus decided to leave, but he would be back that night.
He used a disillusionment charm so he could peer into the windows. He saw the three Dursley's sit down to eat dinner that the tiny boy served them. He could understand why Dudley Dursley was overweight because his father was also on the large side. Harry was so small that he could barely put the plates onto the kitchen table for the Dursley's.
The windows were open so Severus could hear every word that was said. Petunia was telling him her suspicions about the man who claimed to be checking their electricity.
"Sometimes they come around to check," Mr. Dursley answered. "Although, in the future, I don't want you to talk to strangers Dudders."
"He wanted to know if mummy lived here, he said he was looking for her," Dudley answered.
Harry had dropped one of the plates on the floor and it broke. In an instant Vernon had a hold of him. Severus watched in horror as Dursley punched him in the nose hard. Blood streamed out of his nose quickly, the little boy started to wail while Dudley laughed. Then Vernon had the small boy over his lap, he had pulled down the boys pants so that his bare bottom showed. He began smacking him as hard as he could. Harry started to scream loudly, blood from his nose splattered on the floor.
He started to smack Harry even harder, and Severus couldn't stand it. He circled around the house quickly; he took off the charm and broke down the front door. There was another scream from the kitchen, but the little boy's was the loudest. Severus charged down the hall and through a door where he could hear the screaming.
Vernon didn't seem to notice him, he was too busy spanking Harry but Petunia and Dudley did. Petunia was the other one who was screaming. Quickly, Severus pulled out his wand and pointed it at her, she was quiet immediately. Finally, Dursley noticed the intruder; he looked up at him, still smacking the boy as hard as he could.
"Stop, right now. I'll curse you into oblivion if you don't," Severus said in a cold voice.
"Petunia?" Vernon asked, he stopped in mid slap. "He's not one of them is he?"
Petunia nodded. "Yes. He's the one who told her about that world."
"Put that child on the floor this instant, gently," Severus said; his wand was still on Vernon.
The man did as he was told, he looked scared. Perhaps he had heard enough about magic to know what to expect. Harry lay on the floor sobbing loudly. Dudley stared at him with an open mouth.
"Harry, come here," Severus said in a gentle voice, he didn't care what Dumbledore said, the boy was leaving with him.
The child continued to cry. He didn't even respond. Was he insolent then? Did the Dursley's hit him because he disobeyed a lot?
"Who is Harry?" Dudley asked.
"Your cousin," Severus suggested as he pointed to the small boy on the floor.
"His name isn't Harry. It's Freak," Dudley said with obvious confusion.