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Harry woke up feeling overly cramped due to the extended time in his cupboard. His uncle had been furious the day before and had locked him in there. The incident at the zoo had been interesting to say the least. The experience of talking to a snake had been well worth the day and night of no food or bathroom breaks, and the look on Dudley's face when he fell into the snakes' cage, priceless. Harry supposed he got off easy since Vernon had just locked him up instead of hitting him a few times before hand.
After getting out of the bathroom Harry noticed the mail had arrived. Looking through it he was shocked to find one addressed to him. In all his life Harry had never received a letter. He racked his brain trying to think of who could had sent it to him. There was no return address so it was unclear to him how it was even sent. Harry handed the rest of the mail to his uncle and began to open the letter only to have it rudely ripped out of his hands by his fat pig of a cousin.
"A letter! Harry's got a letter," he shouted.
"Hey that's mine," Harry pleaded.
"Oh please," Vernon chuckled taking the letter from Dudley. "No one would be writing to you."
Harry watched as his uncles face fell flat at seeing the address. Aunt Petunia's eyes widened as she too saw the letter. Harry felt a dull feeling of foreboding as the couple looked up at him with a mixture of fear and disgust. This was not going to be good for him.
Lucius Malfoy was busy doing paperwork in his study as his son read a book in a nearby chair when a small pop caught his attention. Doby approached them looking around nervously. He was probably worried Narcissa was with them. Fortunately the horrid woman was rarely around anymore. With any luck Lucius would soon catch her with another man and have a valid excuse to divorce her and kick her out of his house (since apparently hating your spouse isn't considered a valid reason in the pure blood society).
"What is it Doby," Lucius prodded.
"Mister Snape is here masters. He says that it's urgent," Doby explained.
"Send him in."
Draco looked up from his book at the mention of his godfather. It didn't take long for the man in question to come in with his usually stoic face tight with worry and his hair uncombed. Lucius frowned at his friends appearance.
"What has you so frazzled," he cooed.
The look on Severus' face told him that he wasn't in the mood. The man glared down at him, silently telling him that he would not put up with any jokes or innuendos.
"I need to talk to you," he finally growled. He sent a look over to Draco. "Alone."
Draco, being the smart boy he was, took the hint and walked out without a word.
"Okay. What troubles you my friend."
"Something's going on at Hogwarts and the ministry, and it stinks," Severus stated.
"Then open a window."
"I'm being serious! Listen yesterday I went to the school owelry to send out a letter when I noticed a house elf sending out Hogwarts letters," Severus began.
"But weren't those all sent out last week," Lucius asked looking confused. Severus nodded.
"Yes but sometimes when parents, particularly muggle parents, refuse to give the letters to future students we send more out till they end up drowning in them and have to accept them. So I didn't think much of it until I read the address."
Severus pulled out a letter and handed it to his friend. Lucius looked at it and felt his eyes widen. This was Harry Potters letter. Why would Potters' guardians refuse his school letters? He was even more shocked when he read the address.
"The cupboard under the stairs," he read. This couldn't be right.
"You can see why I grew suspicious. Those letters are designed to be sent to where the children sleep and according to that envelope there is something very wrong in that house."
Lucius nodded in agreement and finally looked up from the letter.
"Have you talked to Dumbledore or Magical Child Protective Services," he asked trying to keep calm. Severus shook his head.
"Potter was treated as a special case. Dumbledore handled pretty much everything and at this point I'd rather not discuss anything with him."
"Understood. Let me see what I can bring up. In the mean time I suggest go to Diagon Alley and pick up your own owl so you don't have to keep stealing one from your work."
Hagrid passed back and forth. Dumbledore was going to be so disappointed with him. There was no way he could fix his motorcycle in time to pick up Harry from his relatives and help him get his supplies. He needed help and fast.
"Excuse me," came a smooth voice. Hagrid turned to see Professor Snape trying to move around him. He was probably making his way to use one of the school owls again.
"Professor," Hagrid called before the man could get away. "Do you have time? I need a favor."
Snape turned around and scowled but he seemed to be waiting to hear him out. Hagrid explained how Dumbledore asked him to take care of young Mister Potter and how he couldn't go because his motorcycle's engine was acting up. For some reason the professor seemed very eager to help him out. Hagrid couldn't help but feel touched when Snape said he would gladly help him out. Maybe Snape wasn't as mean as he seemed. Then again he and Hagrid had never really talked before.
"Here's where his family took him," Hagrid said handing Snape the paper with the address on it. Snapes eyes widened.
"Where they took him? What do you mean," he asked.
"I guess the muggles are having a hard time excepting that young Harry is a wizard so they're trying to hide. That's why we need to go there ourselves," Hagrid explained.
Without another word Snape took off for the gates. Not even bothering to say goodbye to the blundering half giant. Something was definitely wrong here and he was going to get to the bottom of it. How could none of this seem suspicious? For a family to go to such lengths to hide from the school. It wasn't like they didn't know anything about magic. Severus had met Lily's sister a few times and she seemed to know quite a bit about the magical world, even if she wasn't pleased about it.
Severus vaguely remembered the horse faced girl who his friend was so proud of. Lily would often talk about her sister who she had loved so dearly. He also remembered having to comfort her numerous times when Petunia would call her a freak in a jealous rage. Hopefully that jealousy hadn't extended to the child whom she was supposed to be caring for now. Severus took a second look at the address the groundskeeper had given him and apperated as soon as he passed Hogwarts' barriers.
It took all of Harry's control not to sob in relief when he saw the Dursleys start settling down for the night. His whole body ached from the daily beatings he was receiving. It seemed that every time those letters came his uncle would fly into a rage. Harry thought he was going to be killed when hundreds of them had appeared at once and filled the entire house. It was a relief that they were now at a secluded place where there was no way they would be receiving mail of any kind.
Now Harry could get at least some sleep before Aunt Petunia would wake him up to make food again. They would probably make him clean the house too. The floor was covered in dirt and dust. Harry let out a sigh as he laid down on the cold floor with only a small pillow and a thin sheet to cover him. He supposed he should be grateful though. At least it was something. Harry shivered as he closed his eyes to sleep.
A knock at the door seemed to forbid him from sleeping. Harry sat up and stared at the door. Who could possibly be here? Perhaps someone got lost and needed directions? Harry got his uncles attention.
"What the bloody hell do you want boy," he raged from his and Aunt Petunia's bed.
"I think someone's at the door," Harry informed.
"Don't be silly boy. No one can find us here."
The knocking came again but louder this time. Uncle Vernon quickly got out of bed and grabbed his shot gun.
"Whoever's there better leave now," he warned. Aunt Petunia was cowering behind him and Dudley was hiding behind the couch where he had been sleeping. They all jumped when a deep, smooth voice answered them.
"The knocking is only a courtesy. I can come in whenever I want."
"You just try," Uncle Vernon spat.
Everyone was shocked as the door unlatched itself and a tall man walked in. He wore a long black robe with buttons down the front. His shoulder length, black hair was dripping wet from the rain and his black eyes seemed to study everything he saw. His hooked nose seemed to only add to his mysteriousness.
"Ah Petunia I wish to say it was nice to see you again but truth be told I never cared for you," the man drawled.
"Sweet heart, you know this freak," Uncle Vernon asked. Aunt Petunia gulped and nodded.
"He's Severus Snape…a wizard."
AN: Thank you for reading! Please review! Constructive criticism is appreciated until it turns into a flame. Please no flames. I'll get burned and cry.