A/N: so yeah…this is a Severus/Harry mentor/guardian/protector fanfic…So it takes place right after Harry finishes first year and is dreading the return home. Severus (who, by the way, is very observant) sees that something is upsetting Harry and is extremely determined to find out what's troubling him. By the way, I only did first year just cuz no one ever really does first year…it's always 2nd or 4th ….ok so here we go. NO SLASH! Oh wait...there it is: /

A New Beginning

Harry headed upstairs to the boy's dormitories. He only had a week left until the summer holidays, but, even with everything he'd been through in his first year at Hogwarts, he still would've rather gone through it all over again than have to face two months with the Dursleys.

"Hey, mate!" Ron said, whisking into the boys dormitories almost as if he owned the place.

"Hi, Ron," Harry replied glumly.

"What'ssa matter, Harry?" Ron asked, seeing that his friend was upset about something.

"Oh, nothing, Ron," Harry replied. He couldn't risk Ron finding out about the Dursleys; because if other people knew what they did to him, then his uncle would do Merlin-knows-what. And even though Harry was a wizard, he still had very good reason to fear his uncle.

"Well, allright, mate, if you're sure…" Ron said, looking uncertainly at Harry.

"Yeah, yeah I'm fine," Harry replied.

"Allright then, let's start packing," Ron said, and they did just that.

Severus Snape sat in the Great Hall that evening at dinner. But his attention wasn't on his food; it was on a certain skinny first year Gryffindor with black hair, green eyes, and glasses who was sitting next to his two best friends. Normally, he would've cared less about Harry Potter, but tonight he was curious, for something seemed to be troubling the boy; even from this distance, Severus could see that.

"It's good to have order back in the school now that both the stone and Quirrell are gone," Minerva said, trying to start up a conversation.

"Oh, yes, Minerva, it is quite nice if I do say so myself," Albus said, the usual twinkle in his eyes.

"Oh, but poor Harry Potter, having to face Voldemort all over again. It'll be good for him to get a summer break if you ask me," Minerva said, looking mercifully over at Harry.

"Yes, quite true, Minerva. Lemon drop, Severus?" Albus asked, his eyes twinkling as he glanced at Severus.

"No thank you, Headmaster," Severus replied in his smooth, waspish voice.

Albus frowned at him. "You always refuse my lemon drops, Severus. Lemon drop, Minerva?"

"No thank you, Albus," she replied, frowning sternly at the Headmaster.

Severus looked back over at Harry. He simply had to find out what was troubling the boy, or it would drive him mad.


Harry walked into Potions the next day, knowing that he was going to dread every moment of it. He took his usual place next to Ron and Hermione.

"Today, you will be making a Calming Draught. The directions are on the board; the ingredients are in the cupboard. Start," Severus hissed quietly, his voice echoing around the dungeon walls.

Harry looked at the board and frowned; the potion looked extremely complicated.

"Bloody hell! It's just like Snape to go and give us one of the hardest potions on the last week of school," Ron growled angrily as he looked up at the board.

"Oh, honestly, Ron, it's really not that hard," Hermione scoffed smugly as she began to brew her potion.

"Mr. Longbottom, I don't recall writing in the instructions that the potion should be green after you put in rat spleen. Did you stir it three times clockwise and five times counter-clockwise? No? I didn't think so. Throw it out and start again. Five points from Gryffindor," said Severus twenty five minutes later as he walked around the room checking on the potions. He walked past Hermione's cauldron and stopped at Ron's. "Mr. Weasley, you've forgotten the frog's legs. Throw it out; it's useless. Five more points from Gryffindor."

He stopped at Harry's cauldron and raised his eyebrows. Harry's potion looked exactly as it was supposed to. After glaring silently down at Harry for a moment or two, he continued on, deep in thought. Something was troubling the boy, he'd seen it, but how was he supposed to get it out of the boy? He sighed, sitting himself down at his desk. Why did he care anyway? The boy was just like his father: selfish, popular, and cared about nobody but himself. But something told him that he was very wrong. Perhaps it was Albus's words at the beginning of the year that had struck something inside him, or maybe he was going soft, or maybe, just maybe, the look in Harry's eyes meant that there was something he was hiding, something that he wouldn't tell anybody else. The clock struck two, bringing Severus out of his thoughts.

"Class dismissed. Put your potions in a flask and leave it on my desk. Mr. Potter, stay behind. I'd like a word with you," Severus said without giving Harry a chance to argue.

"Sorry, mate. Good luck with Snape," Ron said, and hurried out; he didn't want to stay in Snape's dungeons anymore then he needed to.

So Harry was left alone with perhaps the most frightening teacher of them all: Professor Severus Snape.