Hey this is my first story on here. Hope you like it.

I am willing to take input on pairings and whatever you suggest will be taken into account to effect my decisions.

WARNING: This story contains graphic abuse and violence. Proceed with caution. Don't like it? Don't read :D

Quick plot-line: Harry Potter was left with the Dursley's when he was only 1 year old. He suffers major abuse and neglect at their hands and by the age of 7 he feels that all is lost. What will happen when one Severus Snape decides to check up on his best friend's son?

Disclaimer: I do not own the fantasmagorical workings of J.K Rowling.

Chapter 1

The Dursley's were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

And in the Dursley's perfectly 'normal' house a thin, short, dark haired and green eyed little seven year old lived in his own personal hell. Having been systematically beaten and neglected since the age of one, the boy was drastically underweight and littered with scars.

The child in question, Harry Potter, cringed as his uncle's foot crashed down onto his leg, snapping a bone, the obese man laughing as he worked. Harry had bitten almost clear through his lip to hold in the screams since the beating had started over an hour ago.

It never would have happened if Dudley had just let him back into the house after he'd finished the garden.

He'd been weeding and planting in the garden and then watering and mowing the lawn as Aunt Petunia had ordered. He'd had no breakfast or lunch and had to drink water from the garden hose. The sun was beating down on him and no breeze swept through the yard to even slightly cool him. He worked straight through from 10:00am until 3:00pm before even trying to be let in. Aunt Petunia shook her head and gestured towards the garden again and Harry forced himself to continue the task. Once he'd finally finished the daily back-breaking job of tidying the garden and cleaning the shed he had headed for the back door once again to go inside and hopefully wash off the grime that lingered on his body. He tugged on the handle of the French doors but it wouldn't give. Harry pulled harder and then tapped lightly on the glass to gain someone's attention.

Dudley waddled into view, his thin wisps of blond hair wafting around his piggish face as he gleefully slurped at an ice lolly from inside the house. Harry tapped urgently on the door, making a pleading face with his cousin to try to get him to let him in. Dudley just grinned at him and made a mock sad face before waddling out of sight again.

Harry sighed and was balancing the odds on whether he would fall if he tried to scale the wall to get in upstairs when Dudley came back, holding the clock. He held it flat up against the window and grinned maliciously at the horror-struck look on his thin cousin's face as he saw the time.

4:45pm.

Uncle Vernon would be home in half an hour. It would take Harry at least twice that amount of time to finish cooking the meal for the businessman coming round today, iron Uncle Vernon's suit and set the table before hiding in his cupboard.

Dudley smirked at his cousin's despair before moving away from the door, still slurping away at his ice lolly.

Harry sank to his knees in horror. He knew, God did he know, how angry Uncle Vernon became when Harry's chores went unfinished.

He cringed at the thought of his last punishment. He had been thrown into his cupboard as a bruised and bloody mess, his head aching and ribs feeling battered and cracked. He had spent one week in his cupboard, Aunt Petunia giving him half a cup of soup once a day and leaving a cat bowl of lukewarm water just inside his cat flap. He wasn't sure if his uncle would be so lenient this time.

Aunt Petunia finally opened the French doors for Harry when he had only 15 minutes until Uncle Vernon arrived home. He sprinted into the kitchen and pulled the huge slab of beef out of the oven along with the potatoes, artfully arranging the roast vegetables around the slab of meat. He placed it in the centre of the table, quickly bordering it with asparagus and broccoli.

Why his relatives decided to have a full winter meal for this meeting when it was the middle of summer confused him but he dared not question it. That was the first rule to a relatively routine life with the Dursley's. Don't ask questions.

He had learnt that when he asked Aunt Petunia about his mother. She had hit him in the head with the frying pan and then held his hand over an open element, leaving a nasty scar on his palm. It wasn't the only scar he had by a long shot, but it was one of the worst.

The only scar he liked was the thin, lightning bolt scar that was emblazoned on the right side of his forehead.

He rushed upstairs from the kitchen to Uncle Vernon's room and snatched up the grey suit that lay over the back of the chair, dashing for the laundry downstairs and flicking on the iron.

Just as he'd finished with Uncle Vernon's pants he heard the tell tale sound of Vernon's car pulling into the driveway of Number 4 Privet Drive. His heart froze before beginning to beat in rapid time as he heard the front door slam.

"Petunia, Dudley! I'm home!" Uncle Vernon bellowed. He heard Aunt Petunia's shrill voice as she welcomed her husband home. He cringed as he rushed to try and finish his Uncle's suit. If he could just get the jacket of it finished then he could probably manage to set the table and possibly even get something to eat for that night.

All those hopes were shattered when he heard his Uncle, "BOY!" Harry quickly placed the suit over the back of the arm chair and sprinted downstairs until he was standing in front of his Uncle, head bowed.

"Yes Uncle Vernon," he was careful to make sure that his voice betrayed none of the fear he felt.

"Why is the table not set, boy?" Vernon yelled, leaning down into Harry's face, "Did I not ask for the table to be set to perfection? Have you at least finished my suit you worthless little freak? Or are you too much of a freak to do that huh?" By this point he had grabbed Harry's thin jaw in his pudgy hand and was holding the seven year old tightly.

Harry whimpered as the pain from his uncle's grip set in. His whimper turned into a small cry of pain as Vernon grabbed Harry by the hair and dragged him towards the cupboard under the stairs.

"There will be no food for you boy. And you'll get what's coming to you when the Morgan's leave, freak!" the obese man shouted before roughly throwing the boy into the cupboard and locking each one of the 7 locks he'd placed on the outside of the door.

With one last kick to the door Vernon stormed up the stairs and into the master bedroom, taking his time to change into the perfectly ironed suit his nephew had lain out, not even caring that Harry had done it for him.

Harry's body shook in the dark of his cupboard. He knew what his Uncle would do. Vernon would yell and hit him as hard as he could in Harry's ribs and then proceed to hit his legs. He rubbed up and down his arms, feeling the cool sweat that was slowly chilling him to the bone, praying that Vernon would go easy on him. He heard the Morgan's arrive and the laughter around the dinner table as they all dished themselves up to the food that he prepared. His stomach grumbled and ached with hunger at the sound of knives and forks scraping across the plates.

Harry knew that he would get no food tonight, or for the next few days for that matter. He sat up quietly on his bed when he heard the Dursley's cheerfully fare-welling the Morgan's and then the heavy footsteps as Uncle Vernon stalked as well as his large frame would allow him to. The locks clicked out of place with a rasping snick and next thing Harry knew he was being pulled out of the cupboard by the collar of his ragged shirt.

Uncle Vernon threw the malnourished boy onto the ground in the middle of the living room and stood in front of him, legs spread and hands clasped behind his back like a dictator as Harry scrambled into a kneeling position, "I gave you a simple list of chores boy. And you couldn't complete them. You need to remember Potter, you are just a freak. Just like your drunken good-for-nothing parents. You need to work to earn your keep in this house. We are good to you aren't we? You are fed, clothed and given shelter. What more could you want? Nothing boy, that's what you want and deserve isn't it?" Harry nodded his head frantically, hoping to be spared. His small flare of hope was snuffed out with his Uncle's next words, "Now, for your disobedience, I think it only fair that you pay for it with the body we support."

With that, Vernon threw a kick at the young boy's stomach, grinning in delight at the sickening crack and resulting cry of pain as Harry was sent reeling backwards from the blow. He continued to throw punches and kicks, watching with glee as the boy slowly became less and less aware. He stamped on Harry's legs and almost giggled in sick glee as the bones snapped beneath his feet. Harry felt the pain less and less but instead felt an overwhelming urge to vomit as the beating progressed.

Harry wished that for once he would just die instead. This was the worst that Vernon had been in months. Stuff having to take this. He knew he was a freak but it was not fair to have all these bad things done to him. Before Harry could lose consciousness Vernon had dragged the boy over to the staircase and tied the thin wrists to the banisters.

"Now you will learn some manners, freak," he muttered, sliding off his belt before proceeding to rip off Harry's shirt and beginning to leave a new set of scars behind with the thick belt and silver buckle. The boy didn't cry out once and this displeased Vernon but as it was getting late and he didn't want Dudley to come down in the night and see Potter in that state Mr Dursley unceremoniously bundled up the tiny, unconscious boy and threw him onto the thin mattress in the cupboard. After locking each lock tightly he waddled upstairs to go to bed.

The next morning Harry lay sprawled out on his front, in too much pain to do much else. Petunia had long since left the house to go to some House-hold exhibition, Dudley had gone to hang out with his little gang and Vernon had left for work sometime around 7:00am, whispering through Harry's cat flap, "You won't be coming out of there for a while , boy."

Potions Master's office, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Severus Snape was tired. Usually he would have been out of Hogwarts as soon as possible but for some reason he was still there, in his office, grading mind-numbing reports on the use of Willow Bark in potions.

"Third-year dolts. How can they not realise that Willow bark is the prime ingredient in pain-relief potions?" he muttered to himself before swiftly sketching a T on the paper before him.

He laid his black quill in the ink pot before leaning back in his chair. Something felt wrong. All day Severus had felt as if he was needed somewhere but could not bring himself to figure out where.

As he glanced around his desk his gaze rested on one picture in particular. The moving image was of himself and Lily. It was in their seventh year at Hogwarts after she had finally forgiven him for calling her a mudblood two years before. They were both smiling and hugging in the picture, laughing occasionally and waving at the camera which had been held by Severus' mother, Eileen.

Severus sighed. Eileen was dead now, as was Lily; his best friend. He was left as the sole heir to the Prince fortune and secondary godfather to Harry Potter, the boy wonder.

"I wonder..." he muttered to himself, before swiftly rising from his chair and making his way to the floo, throwing on a cloak as he went.

It was time to pay his godson a visit.

Severus stepped gracefully out of Arabella Figg's fireplace, artfully avoiding a slumbering cat. He quickly cast a revealing spell and found that Mrs Figg was not in the house. Smirking, he swept through the hallway and out the front door, locking it behind him.

Quickly casting a Notice-Me-Not charm around himself he strode towards Number 4 Privet Drive, sneering as he took in the perfectly manicured garden. As far as he could tell the house was empty, but he cast a charm to check, even as he opened the front door. The spell revealed that there was one magical person in the house.

The potions master was quick to cast a Point-me spell and found himself confused when the spell directed him towards the heavily padlocked cupboard under the stairs.

"What the...?" he muttered to himself, even as he shifted towards the door.

The door swung open at a quick 'Alohomora' and Severus gagged at the sight before him.

A small and bloodied form was lying on a thin mattress. Their body was curled in a foetal position and the Professor could tell that at least one of his legs was broken, if not both. There were thin lines running down the child's back that were encrusted with dried blood. The room stunk of urine and filth, the door having blocked the smell from the rest of the house.

Severus couldn't bring himself to go closer. Instead he backed away from the door, falling to the floor as he tried to quell the growing anger within him.

Harry James Potter, the supposed Saviour of the Wizarding world, was merely and abused and neglected child. His upbringing was almost a mirror of what Severus had gone through in his youth.

Harry Potter.

Lily's child.

"Lily!" Severus breathed. If she were watching from the afterlife her heart had probably broken one million times over.

Severus took a deep breath before rising and moving forward again, reaching into the cupboard and carefully plucking up the child, shocked at how little he truly weighed. "Snips!" he called. With a loud *Crack!* a small, misshapen creature popped into existence beside the potions master.

"Yes Master Severus. What can Snips be doing for Master Severus sir?"

Severus managed a small smile, "Snips I would like you to find Poppy Pompfrey at Hogwarts and apparate her to Prince Manor. Take her straight into the blue guest room. I will be there. Make sure that she has all of her equipment with her."

With a short nod the house-elf disapparated with another crack and Severus followed, spinning quickly on his heel and holding Harry close to him.

When they arrived at Prince Manor Severus quickly moved through the hallways until he reached a large door on his right. With a wave of his hand the door swung open and he swept into the room towards the soft bed in the centre of the room, depositing Harry in the middle. He wandlessly removed all but the child's underwear and cast a light cleaning charm on him.

The full extent of the damage was difficult to look at and Severus turned away quickly, looking to the door to await Poppy's arrival.

Within moments the medi-witch was apparated into to the room by Snips, who promptly left again before returning with a large basin full to the brim with warm water. He placed it on the bedside table and lay some cloths beside it.

Poppy rushed forward with a gasp as she saw the scarred and beaten child lying on the bed. Within seconds she had whipped her wand out and was casting diagnostic charms left and right.

"Who did this Severus? Who is this child? Where did you find him?" she shot off the questions quickly and Severus quickly moved to answer, "This child is Harry Potter Poppy. He was beaten by his Uncle but there is evidence to support the idea that his Aunt both supported and helped with the abuse. He is severely underweight."

Poppy paused in her spells and looked up at him, "But surely Albus knew. H-he would have got Harry out wouldn't he?"

"Poppy-" Severus tried to speak but was cut off.

"Wouldn't he?" She sounded desperate to believe that the Headmaster wouldn't do something like this. Leaving a child to an abusive and neglectful family.

Severus sighed wearily, "Poppy I'm afraid that it looks like Albus didn't look after Harry as well as he should have."

Madam Pompfrey sighed before moving back towards Harry and plucking the parchment list of injuries from the air. She scanned down them, her face growing darker at each line. She looked up to Severus, her hand clutching the parchment in a death grip, her eyes like ice.

"If I ever get my hands on those muggles I will kill them slowly and painfully. That's a promise." Severus nodded at her words before they both set to work on the boy, setting broken bones and staunching the flow of blood from numerous places on his body.

They worked non-stop for three hours to bring Harry back from the brink before they both stepped away from the bed, exhausted.

As they sank into chairs by the fire Poppy turned to Severus, "I take it that you don't want me to mention this to Dumbledore."

Severus smirked at her, "Indeed. It would be most beneficial to all involved if you not only promised not to but swore and oath."

Poppy pulled out her wand and held it in front of her, "I, Poppy Pompfrey, do so swear on my magic that I will not tell Albus Dumbledore about the events in regards to Harry Potter or Severus Snape."

Gold and green sparks shot out the end of her wand and encircled her before fading away as she lowered the wand.

"You know what Severus?" He turned towards her, "We may be exhausted, but we did bloody well."

First chapter done. Sorry for the kind of stilted ending but I couldn't decide where to end this and it seemed a bit long for a prologue.

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HufflepufflikeSlytherin