A/N: It's been way to long since I've updated and I'm sorry but life got in the way. Anyways, I still don't own Harry Potter no matter how hard I wish to….
Severus Snape was a feared man; some would call him the most feared man in Hogwarts. His subject was the most feared and hated. There were reasons for this, the number one being that his students were working with potentially deadly ingredients and he was not a person to take student safety lightly. He was in the Leaky Cauldron eating lunch before going to deal with business for Dumbledore when a chief annoyance caught his attention. Potter was here. He had left his relatives and disregarded his safety for his own personal gains. Typical of the attention seeking brat, he thought.
"Stupid Potter brat," he muttered under his breath, "the boy will be the death of me yet." He followed him into Diagon Alley and quietly disappeared into the darkness, subtly placing a tracking charm on the boy. He followed Harry on what seemed to be a shopping spree. The child clearly had no sense about money or he would not be spending his entire bag of galleons on frivolities like dress robes and a new wardrobe. Wearing rags, like he needed new clothes. No, Prince Potter probably had a ton of clothing in his house; he would have spent every penny he could on new clothing; though the signs before his eyes, which he refused to see, clearly said otherwise.
Surprisingly, Harry went into the Apothecary. Severus followed and cancelled his Disillusionment charm. Harry turned around, seemingly surprised to see the feared professor. His reaction spoke of something other than a fear of running into him at the Apothecary. Something was not right with Potter. He was avoiding eye contact and turned away far too quickly.
"Potter, what are you doing here? You're supposed to be with your Aunt in Surrey." He spoke with as much disdain as he could, however he could not stop the caring that came through his voice. Lily's son; the thought suddenly rang in his head. Unexplainably it was almost as if he could feel her nearby. That wasn't possible.
"Sir, I'm here because I needed to get away from them. I couldn't stand the lack of food or horrible company of Petunia so I figured I'd spend the day in Diagon Alley. Is there a problem with that?" Harry replied, still sounding shaken and perhaps a bit angry and bitter.
"As displeasing as the company of Petunia Evans and Vernon Dursley are, the Headmaster wishes that you stay with them. It would not do for him to find his favorite student missing without prior knowledge. However, as it is, I have to take you home unharmed and unnoticed by anyone as dull as that sounds to an attention seeking child like you." Even to Snape his words weren't as full of malice towards Harry as he desperately intended them to be. It seemed as though Petunia still hated wizards and their "freakishness."
"As soon as I finish my business here, I'll escort you home. No ifs ands or butts Mr. Potter."
"Fine." Harry replied. With a measured look at him he began to speak, "Just so you know Professor, I'm not my father. I may look like him but I'm completely different. I didn't ask to be the Boy-Who-Lived, I'm not arrogant and I don't go around cursing people for the fun of it. I would most certainly never brag about my fame as the only reason I'm famous is because I lost my mum and dad. I do have a question for you, when brewing an antidote for an uncommon poison that is unknown, how do you start? I don't understand the concept of how one would begin."
Snape opened his eyes wider and raised a condescending eyebrow. The boy actually seemed genuinely curious about the answer. He didn't seem like a thirteen year old either. His speech had wisdom and self control that he never thought Potter could achieve, certainly not in the two weeks since term had let out. Snape studied the boy. He held himself with more confidence and an awareness of his surroundings that he knew was not present a few short weeks ago. What had happened in that time? And, loathe though he was to admit it the boy was unlike his father. In fact after this question, he was rather like Lily; more than just having her eyes.. "Mr.-Pott, Harry, if you've read your potions text, chapter 13, it explains the basics. If after you've read it and still don't understand it you can owl me with your question," Snape began to look through the Apothecary stores for boomslang skin. He was standing in peace for mere moments before a voice interrupted him.
"But I have read the book sir, it still confuses me. When you know nothing, how can you start to make an antidote? It says to look at the properties to determine how to begin but how would one look at the properties of a poison without taking it? When it talks about properties, does it mean things such as color and texture or smell? I understand how to construct an antidote to a potion when you know the ingredients." Harry said this all very fast and in one breath.
Snape looked uneasy. He would have expected that sort of a question from a sixth year student or Miss Granger, but Harry Potter? Never. He again stored this in his mind. He seems to have knowledge beyond his three years at Hogwarts.
"I-you would have start with the basics of an antidote. The one you learned first year would be an excellent example of a base and modify it based on the size of the person, amount of poison ingested and the time between ingestion and brewing. It also helps to know the color, texture and smell indeed because some poisons are given away by their distinctive smells, textures and vapors. If you'd pay more attention in class, perhaps you would understand the different properties of the ingredients and how they work together." Snape smirked as he said the last part. He carefully picked out his potions ingredients and went to the counter.
"Sir, honestly I try to pay attention in your class, but it seems like you hate me and that doesn't exactly put one in the mood to pay attention." Harry chased him to the counter.
Snape at least had the decency to look slightly ashamed before speaking. Lily would never forgive him for that. "It's time we take you back to your home. We don't want anyone to be getting worried about the Little Prince." With this, money was flung on the counter and he grabbed Harry by the arm and apparated them to the park in Little Whinging. They were near a set of swings when Snape waved his wand and cast what Harry recognized as Muffliato.
"Harry, your mother, she was my friend at school until I did something stupid and lost her respect. She refused to speak to me for over two years after that. Your father," Snape ground out in a voice still filled with a vestige of childhood hate, "he was not a good man towards me…" Harrys mind flashed to the scene where Snape had called his mother a Mudblood. He saw the genuine remorse and longing in his eyes during that memory.
"Professor Snape, it wasn't your fault. It was my dad's and Lupin's and Sirius'. They should have known better than to do something that stupid." He replied without thinking.
"They should have. But Harry, how did you know about that?" Snape asked pensively, looking Harry in the eyes. Another little thing he should not know.
"Lu-Lupin and Sirius told me. You knew my mum?" Harry asked, desperately changing the subject. Snape let him get away with it. Let him think I do not know.
"Yes. We grew up together. We played together in this very park. Tuney never liked it, me or magic. She thought we were freaks because of it." Snape muttered, venom in his voice as Petunia colored his thoughts. Harry nearly smiled.
"Professor Snape, if you don't mind my asking, why the sudden change of heart in your opinion of me?" Harry asked, seemingly curious.
"Your mother; she was excellent with potions. It was one of her favorite subjects. We used to collaborate on every project in Potions. We had quite some ideas back in the day. You reminded me of her in that Apothecary. You're more like her then you know Harry." Snape said, looking at Harry with a new emotion. He did know always really that Harry was Lily's son. It was so easy to see him and think of James though. Now that he had looked, and really seen Harry he knew they were not that different.
"Thank you sir" Harry smiled, seemingly happy about some unknown thing to do with him. Harry looked towards Privet Drive and he seemed to deflate.
"Now, come, I'll return you to Petunia." Snape smiled an evil smile, the one that promised pain to the one whom he was talking about. Before they left Harry suddenly stopped.
" Professor, I'm leaving on Saturday to go spend the summer with Hermione. She invited me over today." Harry said, smiling.
Snape saw the look on Harry's face as he mentioned Hermione; the boy was in love. It reminded Snape of his school days with Lily Evans, before that dreadful day when he'd uttered the one word that would change his life forever. He'd never tell Harry, but Lily and he had been a couple at one point during their Hogwarts careers and for a while afterwards; even before Lily had married James. James had done quite some damage to her one day. Only a handful of people even remembered now, namely Lupin, Sirius and himself.
"Dumbledore won't be happy when he hears about this." Snape said, smirking to himself.
"But you won't tell him, will you?" Harry asked
"Of course not." Snape said silkily.
"Thank you." The rest of the walk to Privet Drive was silent as Harry and Snape were both thinking of the recent conversation and what it meant for their relationship. He was curious about Potter's sudden maturity. Time would tell perhaps. His musings ended as they reached the house at number 4, Privet Drive which looked to be almost empty when Harry and Snape returned. Neither Dudley nor Vernon was home.
As Harry was about to enter Snape rang the doorbell, and patiently waited for Petunia to answer. He had a smirk on his face that did not bode well for his aunt. The door opened a few seconds later revealing a nervous Aunt Petunia. As soon as she saw Snape, her face whitened and her eyes got bigger with shock.
"You!" she snapped at Severus, fury evident in her voice. "What are you doing here?"
Without a second his wand was waved, and he saw what he needed.
"So Tuney, thought you could get away with the treatment of Harry for so long. Surely you knew I was at the school." His cold voice revealed no emotion. To those who knew Snape well though, that was when real fear began.
"I fed that BOY as much as we could afford to. He doesn't deserve as much as Dudley because we never asked to be landed with him." She replied, trying to sound dignified.
"You could have asked Dumbledore for more money woman! I'm sure that we'll find Dudley just as thin as Po-Harry then. Or did you feed him more than Harry, just to state that HE was better than Harry for the mere reason that Harry was your SISTERS son. Or did it have to do with the fact that you couldn't go to Hogwarts as well?" Snape was speaking each word with deliberate precision, a sure sign that he was beyond mad; furious was more of his mood now. The thoughts and memories Petunia was repeating had done no calming. They infuriated him.
"I-I," she sputtered, "You have no right to be here!"
At that moment, however, the phone rang, causing Aunt Petunia to run back into the house. Snape watched as Harry hurried after and he entered closing the door behind him.
"Hello?" she called into the phone, her face tensing as she heard the speaker. "No one by the name of Harry Potter lives-" She stopped, frozen as she tried to hang up the phone. Snape had a grim smile on his face and nodded at Harry.
Harry quickly walked to the phone and picked it up. "Hello?"
"Hermione?" Harry exclaimed, now grinning like an idiot. "How are you?"
"Fine. Fine. No, she didn't. So, why are you calling again?"
"Oh-okay! I can't wait! Should we expect you around dinner then?"
There was something wrong there, Severus was sure. If Harry had, as he told him, plans with Miss Granger, then why was she calling again to confirm. It felt off to him.
"Mr. Potter, as much as I'd like to stand around here all day, I've got more important things to do. If you would please be so kind as to get off the phone we can straighten this all out and I can leave this disgusting muggle hovel." Snape drawled silkily.
"Err. No, I've got to go. I'll see you on Saturday Hermione." Harry hung up.
"Sorry sir. I quite forgot-" he replied, feeling slightly stupid.
"Thank you. Now that the savior of the Wizarding World is done we can get to business. Tell no one you're leaving most certainly not Weasley of Dumbledore. As much as I hate to say this, Black ought to know." Snape spat, now turning to Petunia, "You treat him better or I shall find out. You won't like what will happen if you don't." Snape replied, flicking his wand and wearing a murderous smirk on his face.
"Goodbye Mr. Potter." Snape now had work to do. Miss Granger was at the forefront of his mind. Someone had made her forget, but whom? He had an inkling of suspicion that involved the meddling old fool.
A/N: So yeah, there is the next chapter. I should have another one up soon because Snape won't leave me be. He wants to get his time on stage…. Please review.