So this is a Snape Adopts Harry story. Learn to love the sweetness, although that will be awhile. This also has mentions of rape and other nasty things. Hope you like it!

Harry sped down the hallway and around the corner. He had to get away. He had to run as fast as his short legs would get him. Three bigger boys, sixth year Ravenclaws by the look of them were chasing Harry down. With whoops and shouts they had all but caught up to him when Harry hit the floor and rolled under their feet, effectively tripping them. Scurrying to his feet Harry turned down a different hallway that led to the foyer. He was at the beginnings of the dungeons when Professor Snape came into view. Harry smiled, never happier to see his most hated professor. He knew the man hated him, but he also knew that he wouldn't let the group of boys hurt him. No, if anyone was going to hurt Harry it would be Snape himself. Strangely Harry was okay with that. He opened his mouth, and felt hands on his shirt hauling him back. He screamed, "Professor Snape!" And the boys whipped him around the corner and slammed him against the wall.

"Shut up you little filthy little Slytherin," A boy with dirty blonde hair growled slapping Harry hard on the cheek.

"I'm not a Slytherin," Harry growled kicking the boy only to be hit in the stomach by a big burly boy with a twisted nose and long brown hair. Harry groaned and bent over.

"No but you should have been." The third boy hissed, slapping Harry on the other side of his face, "But you fooled the sorting hat, didn't you? Just like a nasty little Slytherian."

"Leave me alone!" Harry yelled desperate to get away from these goons. He was having Dudley flash backs, and between those memories and the actually present Harry was about to have a full on panic attack. He saw the blonde boy pull his arm back, ready to sock him in the nose, when a tall thin man with a hooked nose and shoulder length greasy black hair growled, "What do we have here? A bunch of unruly Ravenclaws, beating a poor defenseless Gryffindor second year?"

Harry heaved a sigh of relief as the boys let go. He slid gratefully to the floor clutching his stomach. Harry coughed suddenly, blood soaking his lips and hands. Professor Snape's eyes widened in shock and he growled at the gang of boys, "Thirty points from Ravenclaw and detention with Flich for two weeks." Looking at Harry with concern he growled, "Get out of my sight!" The boys were gone in a flash not even wasting time with looking at Snape over their shoulders.

Narrowing his eyes Snape kneeled in front of Harry and snapped, "What happened boy?"

"They ganged up on me as soon as I left the library," Harry replied with a groan. His stomach hurt so much.

"Why?" Snape asked with a sneer, "Why would anyone gang up on the Golden boy of Gryffindor?"

"Haven't you heard Professor," Harry answered with a sneer of his own, "I talk to snakes. Oh the horror!"

Snape glared at Harry and bit the inside of his cheek. He would not laugh. He did not laugh in front of students. It would imply that he was human, and he did not need anyone claiming that.

"Watch your cheek Potter," Snape growled as he helped the boy to his feet, "Where are your things?"

"I don't know," Harry replied with a groan, "I dropped them somewhere along the way. They just held me back. Those boys have almost caught me a bunch of times."

"Well come on then," Snape sighed irritably, "I'll get you to the Hospital Wing. Then I'll find your things. No doubt Flitch has them by now."

"Thank you sir," Harry said gratefully leaning on Snape for support. His stomach really, really hurt, "Those boys coulda killed me."

Snape grunted trying to hide the shock that Potter actually thanked him. The boy had never done that before. Harry was trying to hide the pleased look that was growing on his face, but he couldn't. For some odd reason Snape, the man that hated Harry for some insane reason, made him feel safe. Safer then Harry had ever felt. Or at least safer then Harry had been feeling since he realized he was a Parslemouth.

Ever since the Dueling Club fiasco Harry had been jumped several times; it had gotten so bad that the twins were taking to escorting Harry everywhere, even to the loo. Hufflepuffs would glare at him. Gryffindors would tease and make fun of him. A few older boys had caught him in the loo and threatened him. Ravenclaws and Slytherins were jumping him. It was really out of hand; so out of hand that the Hufflepuffs were actually winning this year's House Cup since they were the only ones not actually tormenting Harry. The only people willing to be seen with him were the twins, who thought talking to snakes was a big laugh, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Wood, and Ginny when she was around. Nobody else particularly liked Harry anymore. The team put up with him because they wanted to win the cup, and they were afraid that Wood would kill them if they ignored Harry like they did last year. Plus the twins would beat them with their beater sticks if they did.

If all of that wasn't bad enough Lockheart was starting to become weird around Harry. He would stare at him for long moments with the most curious look in his eyes. It was almost a hungry look and Harry was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable with it. He never did it in class. Oh no, he was too busy preening for his fan club. It was when they were alone, during detentions, which for some reason he kept getting from Lockheart, that he was creepy. Harry wondered if he wasn't the one that was petrifying everyone. Still he knew to keep on the look out. All in all, this was turning into a horrible yea, even worse then the last one.

Snape winced as he saw a huge bruise forming on Harry cheeks. He didn't particularly like the boy, but he knew better then to think that he was the Heir of Slythern. All of this was nonsense. Nonsense that wasn't going away, no matter how hard Dumbledore was trying to make it, and to be fair he wasn't trying very hard. He left all of the hard work up to the teachers, Snape even had to take away points from his own House to make sure they would not play this new game called, "Harry Hunting" that Mr. Malfoy wanted to play. He knew only bad could come from that. Severus always said that Potter could use a lesson in humility, but he never wanted the boy to learn this way. No…this was cruel even for Snape.

"Poppy!" Snape hollered as they came into the Hospital Wing, "Potter!"

"Again!" Poppy hollered stomping toward them, "I swear if I catch who ever keeps doing this…" She trailed off when she saw how white the boy was.

"Where does it hurt love?" Poppy asked helping him into a bed. She was in instant Healer mood,

"My stomach," Harry replied coughing up some more blood.

"I need to go and get Potter's things," Snape replied with a sigh. Potter was starting to make him feel uncomfortable. "He discarded them in a mad dash from the gang of boys."

Poppy nodded not really listening and Snape growled to himself, he hated being ignored.

Later Snape trudged back to the Hospital wing, he had managed to find all of Harry's belongs, he hoped, and was going to drop them off. He was actually starting to feel sorry for the boy. He wanted the boy to stop basking in the glow of his celebrity, not beaten to a bloody pulp.

He walked in the Hospital wing trying to be quiet so as not to startle Poppy or the boy. He tried not to focus on how much his attitude had changed toward Potter. He was actually feeling something other then hate and it was disturbing him. He halted suddenly when he saw Lockheart hovering over the boy. He was looking pinched and worried and Harry was faking sleep. He rolled his eyes at Lockheart's apparent worry, but then something flashed across the blonde's man face that made Severus uncomfortable for Harry. He couldn't pinpoint that look though and he made a lot of commotion.

"Get out of here Lockheart," Snape growled as he stalked towards the boy's bed, "I don't want to have to save you from Poppy when she sees that you are disturbing one of her patients."

Lockheart jumped and gave Harry a guilty look before he all but ran out of the Infirmary. He never even said one word to Snape. Severus found that he liked it that way.

"I know you are not a sleep boy," Snape growled as he laid Harry's things down, 'I have your things. You need to make sure nothing was taken."

Harry nodded quietly and went though his things. Faintly Harry said, "Everything is there."

"Good," Snape growled. Seeing the boys pale face Severus growled, "What happened?"

"Nothing," Harry replied glancing at the door, "I don't think Professor Lockheart was in his right mind. You might want to check on him."

"What did he do?" Snape asked. God, the boy was having a hard enough time from the students; he did not need the teachers to gang up on him too.

"Nothing," Harry replied suddenly, uneasiness written all over his features. Taking a breath he said, "It was nothing. Don't worry about it Professor." Giving Severus a shy smile Harry said, "Thanks for getting my things for me. I hope it wasn't that much trouble?"

"It wasn't," Severus found himself saying. This new Harry was hard to swallow. Why didn't he just yell at the boy for getting into the scrap in the first place? Why didn't he make a fuss about the bag? Glaring at the boy who, he found, was making him go soft he snipped, "Next time I hope you remember to stay with your bodyguards." Harry just nodded and Severus stalked out of the hospital wing without another word. Okay so maybe he wasn't as soft as he feared.

Harry watched his safety net leave the infirmary and felt his stomach drop. He would be staying the night, and while he knew nobody dared attack him in the infirmary he was still nervous. Snape was the only teacher other then McGonagall that could get the students to leave him alone. Strangely though Snape was the only teacher that inspired such safety within Harry, he was surprised and confused to admit. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that despite Snape's obvious dislike he would never mean Harry physical harm, unlike the people around him. Plus he was tall, scary, and mean. Nobody would mess with Harry while Snape was around, including Lockheart.

Harry was sure that there was something wrong with the blonde man. He had seemed so worried and was mumbling about Harry being important to him and that he was worried. He wasn't talking to Harry though; Lockheart had been talking to himself. There had been something in there about him not telling Harry something…it had been weird and Lockheart had been looking at him in that way. Maybe he would tell Snape about it and let him sort the blonde man out. He knew that Snape would, he had seen the oddness for himself. Harry knew that above all else Snape would protect Harry, even if he didn't like him. Sighing Harry rolled over and went to sleep, hoping that tomorrow was a better day.

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