A Helping Hand ~ By Moon-Ying

Disclaimer: me don't own. R.J. Rowling owns **sniff**

Author's Note: At first this story seems AU. Sorry if that a turn off. ^^' Anyway, um, mostly Harry and Snape bonding. (Not in that way, you strange peepz! ~_^ Get ye mind out of the gutter!) I thought they both needed to reach the same level of understanding. (And I wanted Harry to insult Snape a couple of times without Snape taking off points) **laughs** Well I Hope you like it. J (There might be Snape bashing. Though I love him dearly he needs to have a good bashing) ^_^ Enjoy!

~*~*~*~

Severus,

Don't ask why I'm writing to you. Just find Harry for me. He is in trouble. Hedwig has flown to him with a broken wing. Go to Private Drive and get him. Get him out of that house. I think they are hurting him.

Black

P.S. HURRY!

~*~*~*~

Chapter 1

Nightly Visits

It was too quite to sleep that night. Harry lied awake for what seemed hours in his bed with out sleep and without dreams. He was either too confused or terrified to let himself rest. He didn't have a clock in his bedroom so he didn't know what time it was. If his gut was right, it was a little passed midnight.

On his bed, he turned his face to the open window. His left temple screamed in pain. Harry sighed and gently placed his fingers on his throbbing temple. He winced at the dull torment his touch invoked, feeling wetness and an ugly swelling. He bared his teeth and hissed softly, removing his hand he was the blood glittering in the moonlight on his fingertips. It wasn't much but just enough to send fear through him. Was he going to bleed to death before the night ended? For a moment he wished he would. No one would really care if he died.

He sighed once more before carefully sitting up in bed in the darkness. His window was open a little, letting in a warm summer breeze that made his moth eaten curtains dance and his hair stick up on ends even more than before. For a moment, Harry closed his eyes, allowing the wind to whisk him off to a peaceful place like a Veela's song. He was peaceful for that moment. More peaceful then he ever had been.

'You stupid boy!' Uncle Vernon seethed in anger into Harry's pale face. His uncle's fat body was trembling in anger. 'Look what you did!!!' Moments before Harry was being tormented by his cousin and before he knew it, let his anger was out of control. He had no idea what happened. One moment the living room was clean and pristine, the next it looked like a bull was let loose inside the room. It scared Harry. Had he done that? How?!

'It wasn't my fault!' Harry yelled at his uncle though the sobbing of Aunt Petunia and Dudley. Harry pointed at his cousin. 'He made me!'

Uncle Vernon slapped his hand down. "DO YOU EVER POINT YOUR FINGER AT MY SON!' He roared.

'But I-'

A hard smack across his face brought tears to his eyes. The next moment he was weightless as his Uncle shoved him hard off his feet. For a moment nothing happened. It felt like he was flying. Then the pain came and Harry passed out.

Harry's eyes snapped open. His face was wet. When had he been crying? He frowned. He didn't need to cry. He just needed some answers and crying didn't solve anything! Why were his powers acting up? First it just had been some little things like letting that snake go. Now it was bigger and scarier stuff, stuff that terrified him. If he wasn't so nervous he should have written to Dumbledore or someone like that. Still Harry didn't want to make more trouble for himself. Like always.

Harry shook his head, pulling his legs up to his chest. He wrapped his arms around his legs and closed his eyes. He had never once been hit in his entire life. Although life at the Dursley's was far from perfect, and his uncle was always yelling at him, he never laid a finger on him. Harry should have been glad for that fact. Why had Uncle Vernon hit him tonight? A messy living room was nothing. His uncle probably panicked because the neighbors might have saw Harry performing magic in the living room.

He shuddered and closed his eyes harder until her saw stars. Still the river of tears came. He wanted to go back to Hogwarts and soon. He wanted it so badly that he could taste it in his mouth. There he was safe from everything, Voldemort, his Muggle family, his nightmares. At Hogwarts he was surrounded by his friends and safety, his mind occupied with sweets and Quiddtich.

He didn't have much to worry about yet once he was in the station for summer vacation, worries fled back into his mind. He found himself wandering about Sirius, how Remus Lupin was doing; thinking of how he'd keep himself safe from Voldemort and keep up on his Quidditch practices. He would think about if his friends would miss him over the break or not, if he needed new robes or another truck to keep his things in. He worried what kind of terror would find a way to torment him next year.

He wondered briefly what life would be like if his parents were alive. Of course he'd be able to practice spells and not smuggle out his books to study. He'd be as safe at home as he was at Hogwarts. He'd get a hug everyday, good things to eat. He'd live in a home far away from Muggles and like just like Ron with a clock just like his in the living room. He'd get to fly on his firebolt and chase gnomes out of his garden. He'd have a mum and a dad that loved him.

Finally Harry opened his eyes and saw the cold moon laughing back at him. Immediately his thoughts vanished and returned black worries.

When Harry had came to he was locked up in his room. It was dark but he could hear his uncle and aunt fighting downstairs. Hedwig cage was empty and the wires were bend in a strange direction as if someone had kicked it. Harry had suddenly felt sick and exhausted. Downstairs his aunt was telling her husband not to throw Harry's things away. Fear and panic coursed throughout his body. He wanted to shove open his door and rescue all his things but he knew his door would be locked. In the end they decided to kept Harry's things and keep them locked inside the closet under the stairs until the end of summer. Harry finally started to breathe again.

Harry had wanted to cry. Why were they doing this? Didn't they fear his godfather, Sirius Black, or the letters from the Wesley's asking about Harry? It was like throwing caution to the wind and Harry didn't like it. He wanted out. But he felt something in his bones telling him it was going to be hard getting his freedom. He had just written to Ron and Sirius. It would be another week or two before he got letters from them again. Where was Hedwig? Did his uncle let her go?

Siting in his bed in the moonlight, Harry knew his uncle did free his pet owl. It was almost three in the morning and she hadn't returned. He prayed she was all right and for the safety of his well being.

Still, at any case, he was bleeding. With a grimace he turned around in his bed and looked down at his pillow. Speckles of blood were clearly evident on the white pillowcase. Great. He needed to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. His hand reached out for his glasses and quickly placed them on his face. He blinked until everything was perfectly clear. Then he swung his legs off the edge of his head and stood up very slowly. His whole body ached as though he had been running for a mile. He supposed that when he fell he fell hard.

Harry crossed his room through the darkness to his desk, shivering slightly at the night's chill. In the bottom drawer he rummaged though old papers and spiders to find a lock pick at the very bottom. He held it up and inspected it. It was given to him by the twins, Fred and George, last summer. The memory brought back a small smile on Harry's pale lips. Pushing back dreams of last summer, he moved to his door and paused. Dudley coughing in his sleep made him freeze.

Please go back to sleep, Harry prayed, eyes squeezed shut. As soon as he said that, the coughing stopped. An unearthly silence filled the air.

Please don't let my magic doing that, he continued. Most likely the Ministry of Magic had already been contacted about his unhindered wizardry performance that day. They were so quick about admonishing unchecked magic that it was actually scary. In his gut Harry knew he was going to be in trouble. But it wasn't his fault! Ron's dad would believe him. He was sure of it.

Licking his lips apprehensively, Harry lowered the end of the lock pick to the old rusty lock on his door. A good kick would have no doubt forced the door to open but that would cause too much noise. Anyway picking a lock didn't seem that hard. Watching Fred to it made the task as easy as cake. Harry stuck the pick in and began moving it around.

At three-thirty Harry was still trying to open the door. His patience was thinning and he was about to do something really drastic, like kicking open the stupid door. Then he heard it. The soft click that made his ears ring and the door slowly, and silently, swung open. Harry stood there, amazed for a moment.

"Oh…" he murmured almost in a daze. Then he placed the pick in the pocket of his very baggy pajama bottoms.

Harry paused for a moment before entering the hallway. He wanted to be absolutely sure that no one was doing anything but sleeping. No one coughed and no one was saying something in their sleep. Which was odd since Dudley had a cold and his aunt had the habit was talking in her sleep. It was all too quite. Still Harry wasn't about to waste the chance of freedom. He ought to just get his stuff and leave. He would stay at Diagon Alley like he did the last time he ran for his life from this place.

It was tempting but Harry was suddenly reasonable. It was the beginning of summer. It he stared at the end until he left for Hogwarts he'd be out of money. Staying at a placed were room and bored was free was the best choice.

Harry held his breath and moved over the threshold and into the dark passageway. Behind him his door shut automatically but without a sound. Harry would have given anything to freak but he held it in. Now he knew his magic was acting up again. But what could he do? He didn't even have his wand!

No it was just the wind, he told himself. It's drafty house. It was just the wind.

He moved slowly and quietly as possible down the hallways to the stairs, barely breathing. Each little noise he made caused his heart shudder. It was going to be a pain trying to get down. All the years his fat cousin walked down the steps, the wood was given to creak. Harry held his breath, summoned his courage, and took his first step downwards. He promptly fell down the flight. Of all times to be clumsy and trip over his own feet.

Harry laid there at the bottom of the stairs in the darkness waiting for his uncle at yell at him. A minute passed then a couple more. It was the cruelest torture. Waiting in the darkness felt as bad as the pain in his head. Nothing was happening. No one was waking up. He slowly opened his eyes and let out a shuddering breath.

It's my magic, Harry told himself. No, no! Probably his aunt's casserole had knocked them all own for a deep sleep. Maybe she had mistaken the wine in the cabinet for oil? He was feeling a little woozy at dinner.

Still in pain and fearful, Harry sat up, wincing again. He stood up slowly and pulled the lock pick from his pocket. He walked around the stairs and to the little locked cupboard under them. Before it made a chance to get any closer, he froze. The chain and the lock on the door began to wiggle and turn as though some invisible person as shaking them. He stood there, mesmerized. Before he knew it the lock opened and the chain unraveled itself, flouting in midair like a coiled metal snake. The chain and the lock lowered itself to the floor as the door of the cupboard opened and out flew his wand. It automatically glided over to his hand.

Harry was officially freaked out.

I didn't do it, he told himself. I didn't do anything. They will believe me. I'm innocent. It's my magic.

Harry glanced down at his wand suspiciously. His eyes widened as it began to do a little dance. He grabbed it quickly and began to think. He needed to find a spell to stop them bleeding before he passed out because of lack of blood.

Harry held up his wind and murmured, "Pardonia Betteruno." That did the trick. He felt as warm sensation enter his body like a wave and envelop him like a mother's hug. Thanks to Mrs. Weasley he knew what that felt like. The pain in his body stopped at once and his head felt clearer. Harry sighed and lowered his wand, looking at it with almost a smile.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT WIT-THAT STUFF!"

Bloody Hell!

Uncle Vernon's booming voice made Harry levitate a good feet. Harry turned around and looked up with wide eyes. There on the top of the stairs was his Uncle, mad as a bear and wearing a gray bathrobe. Harry was too stunned to do anything. His ears rang like mad and before he knew it, his uncle all but flew down the stairs and grabbed Harry's wand in a blink of an ear. For such a fat man he was sure quick when he wanted to be.

The look in his uncle's face was frightening. It was twisted like a screw and red as a beet. Harry took a quick step back, pallid and wide-eyed. His heart began to race as his uncle raised his wand in the air as if preparing to strike him with it.

"ANSWER MY QUESTION!" he roared straight into Harry's face. "WHAT WERE YOU DOING WITH-"

Harry cut him off. At this rate he was going to be deaf. "I needed it!" he screamed. "Now give it back! It's mine!" He made a feeble attempt to grab for his wand but his uncle was bigger and slapped his hand away.

Harry winced in pain and pulled back.

"It's mine!" his uncle repeated, twist his face as though crying. "I need it to do more magic! Oh poo-hoo!"

Harry frowned, blood boiling. "I wasn't! I was going to put it…"

"IN YOU ROOM NO DOUBT!" Uncle Vernon shouted once more. "You think you are so smart. Trying to fool us. Well I have just about had it with you, you damned boy! Next summer don't even think about coming back here! Stay with your wizards and you bloody magic! Stay with that poor family with 8 kids. STARVE with them! I don't bloody care! JUST DON'T COME BACK HERE!"

"SEVEN!" Harry shouted, his shoulders shaking in anger.

"What?!"

"There are seven kids in the Weasley family!"

"Whatever! I'm they would love to have you over! You and your damned magic. Just like your pathetic parents. Selfish and ignorant. Magic was their death warrant! I PRAY THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM WILL HAPPEN TO YOU!"

Harry gasped in outrage. "Don't talk to my mum and dad like that, you big fat muggle!" He yelled. Uncle Vernon was caught off guard but Harry's anger. His mouth hung open and his eyes had a vacant glow to them. "I hate you! If I could I'd put a curse on you and run away! I'd never come back! I hate you! I HATE ALL OF YOU! You are just a bunch a bloody, pathetic, stupid barbarians! I wish I had never been brought to live with you! I wish Voldemort would have killed me instead of letting me live and stay with you!"

His uncle turned beet red again and stumbled towards Harry, raising the wand. "You stupid boy!" He roared. "You will not…Of all things to say…Run off….hahahha…." His anger seemed to make him stutter. But still he was crossing over the small passes between them, advancing upon Harry. He had no choice but to back up, again and again until he was flat against the Kitchen door with his uncle's crimson face snickering in his face. "I'll show you a curse!!!"

Harry closed his eyes, preparing the blow from his wand.

"Petrificus Totalus!"

Suddenly Harry opened his eyes. His uncle was frozen right where he stood, the wand inches away from his face. Harry drastically paled. His legs buckled from underneath him and he slowly fell to the floor, suddenly very weak and tired. In the doorway stood a man dressed his black, his black eyes aflame. But he was not just any man. It was Professor Snape.