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Chapter 1 – Privet Drive

After weeks of pestering the headmaster, Minerva McGonagall had finally been granted permission to observe Harry Potter and determine whether he was a happy and healthy child. After all, she hadn't been happy with his placement at all. Of course, this hadn't been a regular check up. No, she had been in her animagus form and observed the boy from inside and outside the house. To say she was livid was an understatement.

"I'm sure you are mistaken Minerva," Severus Snape drawled lazily at the transfiguration professor and headmaster, "knowing Potter, he will be treated like a spoilt prince. I doubt there is any real need to worry about him. Petunia will treat him adequately."

The headmaster nodded. "I agree with Severus. I'm sure Harry is perfectly content with the Dursley's…"

"So beatings are acceptable are they? No food or water? Cleaning and cooking and weeding the gardens when the boy is merely seven years old?" Minerva raged, her face flushed and her usually uniform bun had started to come loose.

"I refuse to believe Potter is being neglected. After all, he is the boy-who-lived." Severus sneered.

"If you don't want to believe me…that is fine. See for yourself!" Minerva stormed over to the fireplace, grabbed some floo powder and threw it into the hearth calling out "Arabella Figg's home!" and disappeared in a flash of green flames.

"Should we follow?" Severus asked the headmaster.

Dumbledore had never seen his deputy so irritated before so nodded to Severus and moved to the fireplace with the Potions Master at his heels.

Albus Dumbledore never really checked on one Harry Potter during the years since the defeat of the dark lord Voldemort after his defeat at Godric's Hollow. He had hoped that Petunia Dursley would treat the boy the same way she treated her son, but the accusations delivered to him by Minerva McGonagall worried him. What if they are right and I was wrong to allow him to stay there? He wondered silently.

When they appeared in Arabella Figg's living room she glanced up. "I just saw him outside," she said. "I think he was weeding the garden again and had no sun lotion or cap to protect his head. It's very hot today!"

Albus peered out the window in time to see a small boy that looked to be five years old, tugging weeds from the ground and handling sharp gardening clippers before heading back inside. "He looks so small," he said frowning slightly.

"That is because the boy is hardly fed by his relatives like I said," Minerva said curtly. "That is nothing compared to what usually happens." She grumbled.

Albus glanced at the transfiguration Professor. "Let us check this out for ourselves," he said before he watched as Severus and Minerva cast disillusioning spells. He then cast a Notice-Me-Not charm on himself and followed the shimmering forms out the door. They hurried out of the door and over the road, watching intently.

Harry Potter was back outside picking up the large clippers and started to trim the front lawn. An angry shout from the doorway of the house startled the three wizards.

At that moment, the door opened and Petunia and Vernon Dursley walked out of the house with Dudley Dursley just behind them.

"We're going to the store, boy," Petunia said curtly. "You're going to stay here and finish cleaning the house."

"I already finished, Aunt Petunia," Harry replied timidly, lowering his eyes to the ground.

"Well clean it again and make sure dinner's ready when we get home," Vernon growled, guiding his pudgy son towards the car before sliding his overly large self in also.

"Yes Uncle Vernon." Harry whispered.

Albus was a bit surprised at the timid way Harry spoke as if the boy was terrified of his uncle. Vernon glowered at the small boy as Petunia and Dudley joined him in the car and backed out of the driveway.

Harry went to the door, and kept it open for a moment to look out before biting his lip. He cast several glances around the neighbourhood and wrung his hands. He seemed to be looking for someone. Did Minerva promise to remove him from the Dursley's care? Albus wondered.

Soon enough Harry shut the door and they watched him leave the hall. Quickly, they slipped into the house – still disillusioned – and looked around. Albus examined the house curiously; the walls were covered with pictures of Petunia, Vernon and Dudley but there were no pictures of Lily or Harry. It was odd to find that Petunia did not have any pictures of her nephew or her sister up on the walls. He glanced at Severus's taller shimmering outline as he was led by Minerva to a cupboard door under the stairs.

"Albus you will want to look at this." She murmured, barely audible.

The cupboard was cramped. Albus examined the small space, his eyes widening as he took in the small mattress, the broken toys, the written words upon the wall in crayon that declared this the place where Harry has been sleeping for the past six years.

But this only proves some of Minerva's accusations, Albus thought glancing Minerva who was red with rage, and then to Severus who was scowling angrily at the space. It was clear he did not like everything that he discovered so far about the boy.

Albus smiled faintly and sadly, knowing full well that Severus and Minerva could not see him. He decided that if Minerva's accusations are as bad as he insists they are then he will take matters into his own hands.


Harry managed to finish cleaning what he missed on the first and second floor and finish cooking dinner by the time his aunt and uncle came home. He was tired, hungry and very, very nervous.

You see, Harry Potter had been waiting for someone. A very special someone. She had promised to come and take him away from the Dursleys for good, and he would never have to worry about them ever again. She said that he could have his own room, his own toys and as much food as he wanted to eat. How could he turn down such an offer, especially when the woman claimed to have known his parents. He had never met them, he had never seen pictures of them, but for some reason he believed this woman.

Then, the sound he dreaded, the front door slammed and the rustling of coats could be heard, the Dursley's were back.

Vernon, in all his waddling walrus glory stomped into the dining room-come-kitchen to find him putting the dinner plates on the table with practiced ease. Harry felt Vernon's angry gaze burn into his back. "At least you finished dinner on time you little urchin," he said angrily as he stalked into the kitchen and Petunia and Dudley followed him. Harry walked after him but, naturally, Dudley tripped him and he went sprawling into the china chest, causing several dishes to fall to the ground.

"You clumsy, stupid boy!" Petunia shrieked giving Harry a sharp slap around the face that sent his head snapping back. He felt the sharp sting in his cheek trigger tears that stung his eyes. He knew those dishes had been an expensive wedding gift from a one friend or another, but Harry knew they never used them, and the people who had bought them never visited.

Vernon glared at him. "You're cleaning that up and you're not getting dinner tonight," he said. Harry felt his stomach give an answering rumble. Hopefully, he would have some dinner, if they didn't lock his cupboard first.

He hoped she would come soon.

Rather than argue or try to tell the truth he simply nodded slowly in reply, knowing that if he tried to tell them that it was Dudley's fault, he would get in more trouble than he was in already. "Yes Uncle Vernon," he said quietly before he began serving his relatives. Naturally, Dudley wanted to get Harry into trouble and so he stretched out a leg and tripped Harry just as he was delivering Vernon's plate to him. The plate of hot food went flying into Vernon's chest, ruining an expensive – and rather horrid – maroon coloured shirt. He yelled angrily as he got to his feet, swiping the roast dinner and hot gravy from his shirt onto the newly cleaned cream-coloured carpets.

"You clumsy little freak," he yelled angrily. "How dare you spill food on me?" Vernon's gravy covered fists were clenched at his sides as he stalked towards Harry.

Harry felt himself step back with terror, praying for someone to help him, save him from the beating he was likely to get for this mistake. "I-I'm sorry, it was…it was an accident," Harry protested shakily, trying vehemently to get his uncle to understand. Harry backed slowly through the door to the living room, Vernon still advancing and Harry's breathing coming fast and quick.

"How dare you!" Vernon roared, pulling back his fist, ready to strike Harry.

What neither of them noticed were three shimmering outlines standing by the fireplace ready to cast spells to protect the boy.

Just as Vernon brought his fist forwards, ready to slam into Harry, three bright lights shot from nowhere and swirled in front of the boy, making Vernon's fist bounce back and smack him in the face.

"What the…? Why you little FREAK you did that on purpose didn't you?" the spells had disappeared and the bright light had left Harry disorientated. He shook his head but it made him dizzy and he fell, hitting his head on the side of the coffee table. Harry contained the moan of pain, used to much worse from his relatives. "And you deserve much more than that you little freak, I'll deal with you later! Get to your cupboard now!" Harry quickly scampered toward his cupboard before closing the door behind him. "There'll be no food for you tonight!" He was scared and shaking and wondering desperately when she would be here.

She had promised!

He didn't know how long he had sat in his cupboard, rubbing his head gently in an attempt to soothe the pain. But there was something that was troubling him. What was that bright light? Did he do that? She had explained a little bit about magic to him a few days ago, early in the morning when she had snuck in whilst the Dursley's were asleep. She had asked him whether he trusted her, and he replied with a yes; she had asked whether he wanted to leave here, and he said yes, and finally she had asked him whether he had wanted to come and live with her, and he had said yes. After that she had given him a hug with tears in her eyes and said that she would be there as soon as she could, two days time to be precise and told him that he didn't have anything to worry about. It would all be taken care of.

But where was she?

It was true that she hadn't given him an exact time, but, it was getting late now and he could hear the television announce the seven o'clock news. And then…he could hear voices.

"There are several families that would take him…"

"An old Order Member perhaps?"

"We need to have Poppy check him over,"

"It's settled then, we'll take him to Hogwarts."

He didn't recognise the voices.

It wasn't her.

The door to Harry's cupboard clicked open, and knowing that he was trapped inside the cupboard, lunged forwards, and tumbled through the door to the living room where Vernon, Petunia and Dudley sat watching the television. Harry heard the a voice gasp behind him and he whipped to his feet, stumbling back further into the lounge where Dudley shouted, "LOOK HE'S OUT OF HIS CUPBOARD!"

At which point Vernon, who was listening intently to something on the news whipped his fat head in Harry's direction and glared at the boy, beady eyes narrowing and walrus moustache fluttering as his skin colour started to turn purple.

"DID I SAY YOU COULD GET OUT? NO? WELL WHAT ARE YOU DOING THEN YOU FREAK?"

Harry couldn't say anything at all.

Standing in the hallway were three shimmering outlines, which promptly turned into people.

The first was a man, he was tall, had a long lank hair that brushed the top of his shoulders, eyes as black as obsidian and a prominent nose all set in a rather thin pale face. He wore all black, looked rather angry and intimidating, and Harry felt his heart beat a little faster in his chest with fear. Next to him was a woman. She had black hair pulled in a tight grip at the back of her head, long green clothes (or what he had been told were Robes a few days earlier by 'her') and her lips were set in a rather thin line. The last person was a man, a very old man. He had a long beard that looked as though it could be tucked into his belt, purple starry robes and a crooked nose where half-moon glasses were perched. They observed him as he stepped back, shaking their heads as he did so. Just as he took another step back he felt a meaty hand clench around his arm.

Gasping at the sudden pain Harry tried to get free, wishing with all his might that his Uncle would let go.

Then, there was a crash.

Vernon was sent flying into the armchair by the window making it capsize. His fat legs waved and arms flailed as he struggled to get to his feet. Petunia let out a shriek and Dudley yelled and went to help Vernon. Harry meanwhile was looking to where another crash had sounded…The kitchen.

Darting through the door he raced to the kitchen. A window had been broken and several plates had smashed on the floor.

And there she was.

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Okay, so what do you think? Like it so far?

Who do you think is at the door?

What's going to happen next?

I'd love to read what you think in a review *hint hint*

UPDATE! - Thanks for all the reviews, I've switched a few things up with this chapter and mainly changed his age. Just to clear any further confusion. Harry looks to be about five years old but is actually seven.

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