Disclaimers: Read carefully because this is the only disclaimer you're getting. I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters, and I'm not making any money. This goes for all chapters. Thank you
Warnings: Non-graphic mention of child abuse, possible homosexual mentions but none at the moment.
Now Beta by Emerald Ashes, Thank you so much!
Harry Potter would never know what convinced the Dursleys to let him return to Hogwarts when the long and horrible summer finally came to an end. Perhaps it was their fear of what might happen if he didn't show up or maybe they were simply tired of having to push cold soup through the cat flap Uncle Vernon had installed after the disastrous pudding incident. Either way, Harry had never been so happy to see Kings Cross station. It didn't matter that his homework was incomplete or that he didn't have any school supplies for the new term. He didn't even care that Uncle Vernon made sure to run over his foot as he drove out of the station. All that mattered was that he was going back.
A weak smile split the thin, almost gaunt face. Nearly a month of living on one meal of can soup most days—and even then Harry had given most of the solid parts to Hedwig—had taken its toll. His normally thin frame was skeletal, and he was far too pale. Grasping the handle on his trunk, Harry was dismayed to find he could barely drag the thing along to a nearby cart, and it was only with the help of a friendly station worker that he managed to get the trunk loaded.
"Ya sure yer gonna be alright, kid?" asked the man in a gruff voice that reminded him of Hagrid. Harry smiled.
The man didn't look convinced but, thankfully, didn't press the issue. The cart, laden with his trunk and Hedwig, was far heavier than Harry remembered. By the time he arrived at the barrier between platforms 9 and 10 he was sweating profusely.
Pausing for a moment to catch his breath, Harry could feel his head pounding from the lack of food which was only made worse by the hustle and bustle of King's Cross. After a month and a half in a locked room Harry found the noise of the station overwhelming.
As Harry swayed dangerously a voice he recognized, but hadn't heard since summer began, rang through the station.
Turning, Harry smiled weakly at his red haired friend.
Ron Weasley hadn't changed much, other than to grow taller; he was still red-haired and freckled. Behind him, Harry could see a gaggle of red-heads. Fred and George waved enthusiastically while Mr. and Mrs. Weasley beamed.
"Boy, mate, you sure look peaky! You sure you're all right there?" asked Ron as he steered the smaller boy over to his waiting family.
"Yeah, just . . . long summer, I'll tell you about it on the train." Harry murmured.
"Come along boys! If you don't hurry, you'll miss the train" called Mrs. Weasley. She pulled Harry into a hug, startling the stressed boy.
"You'll have to come visit us next summer, or perhaps your relatives wouldn't mind you staying for a few days over the holidays," she told him as they quickly neared the barrier.
Harry smiled at her "No, I don't think they'll mind at all."
She squeezed his shoulder, causing Harry to suppress a wince. He still had bruises from Uncle Vernon. By now Fred, George and Percy had already gone through the barrier.
"We'll go through with Ginny and you two follow behind," said Mr. Weasley.
Nodding, Harry and Ron watched as the group disappeared onto the hidden platform.
"Not much time left, best take it at a run if we don't want to miss the train," said Ron.
They hit the barrier at the same time, except, instead of passing through, a resounding CRASH! rang out. Harry sat stunned, staring at the very solid brick wall in front of him. Why hadn't they gone through? His heart rate sped up as he heard the ringing of the clock, signaling the hour and the departure of the Hogwarts Express. They'd missed the train.
"Harry, Harry!" He realized Ron was trying to get him to move because they were attracting quite a bit of attention.
"Ron, the train . . . your parents . . . the barrier, why can't we get through the barrier?" Harry hissed as he gingerly stood and quickly gathered up a squawking Hedwig.
"Calm down Harry we'll just go wait by the car . . ." Ron trailed off, a look on his face not unlike Hermione figuring out the answer to a difficult question.
"Harry, the car!"
Harry stared at him. "Car? What car? Your parents have a car?"
Small shivers racked his frame. He could not go back to the Dursleys; he wasn't sure how much longer he could survive in that cramped room.
"Look, it's a long story I'll tell you on the way there. Just follow me."
He led Harry to an old, blue Ford Anglia and quickly opened the boot. It was only with Ron's help that Harry managed to get his trunk into it.
"Ron, you do realize that we can't exactly drive to Hogwarts?" Harry asked, reluctantly climbing into the front passenger seat. Tapping the dash board with his wand, Ron shot Harry a grin.
"We're not driving to Hogwarts," he told Harry as the car began to float, "we're flying."
Harry looked down in shock at the ground below where Muggles stared up at them. Muggles.
"Erm, Ron, you do realize that most Muggles aren't accustomed to flying cars?"
"Oh right, no worries." The red-head said pressing a button on the dash board, "Invisibility booster."
Satisfied, Harry relaxed against the seat.
"So, you just happen to have a flying car?" he asked Ron. The other boy grinned at him again.
"Nah, it's one of the things Dad tinkers with. He likes to take apart Muggle things, enchants them, and then put them back together. The car's one of them. Actually, Fred and George and I were planning on coming and rescuing you with it, but Mum caught us, threw a right fit about it too," –he sighed dramatically – "went on about the dangers of flying cars, then grounded us for the rest of the summer."
Harry stiffed at the word "grounded." He had a distinct feeling that what grounded meant for him and what it meant for Ron were two very different things. At least, he hoped it was. Even so, Harry decided not to ask. He was far too tired to try and puzzle out what was normal punishment for him as opposed to everyone else. Closing his eyes, Harry allowed sleep to overtake him. His last thought before drifting off was that there were so many ways that flying a car to Hogwarts could go wrong.
". . . Arry, Harry."
Harry awoke to someone shaking his shoulder. He immediately went rigid, unused to anyone touching him in such a way except for his Aunt and Uncle, and that was hardly pleasant. As he became more aware of himself, Harry remembered that he was in a flying car heading to Hogwarts.
"You okay mate? Sorry to wake you but we're nearly there" said Ron, keeping his hand on Harry's shoulder.
Harry licked his dry lips, realizing that he must have slept through most of the trip, which was a good thing because now he could feel just how thirsty he was.
"'M fine" Harry croaked, swallowing thickly. Ron squeezed his shoulder.
"Harry . . ." Ron began and Harry braced himself for the awkward questions. Suddenly, the car spluttered and jerked. Ron let out a curse Harry was sure Mrs. Weasley would have washed his mouth out for. For several heart-stopping moments Harry was sure they would crash into the Black Lake. Ron pulled out his wand and hit the dash board frantically.
The car pulled up enough to miss the icy water, but not the tree. And the tree fought back.
In the end Harry vowed to never follow Ron into any kind of transportation. The tree left them battered and bruised, the car was gone, Ron's wand was broken, and Harry wasn't sure he could get his trunk into the castle. All in all he really didn't think his situation could get much worse.
"Mr. Weasley and Mr. Potter, I suggest you follow me," came an oil voice behind them, and Harry felt his heart plummet. He should have known. Never assume that the worst had happened; something will always prove you wrong, especially if you're Harry Potter.
Slowly, the boys turned to face the most hated professor in Hogwarts: Professor Severus Snape.
Well hello Harry Potter fans, and welcome to my first Harry Potter fanfic! Of course this is a classic Harry-gets-adopted-by-Snape fic, but, honestly, I had to write one. I hope you all have enjoyed the first chapter and will take the time to listen to me babble.
First off, I am normally a very consistent updater and update once a week. However, that was before I started college, so updates might be closer to two weeks or even a month. I do promise that I will try to get them out as fast as possible; I know how frustrating it is to be waiting for a fic to update.
Next, I encourage my reader to please review and tell me what you think, flamers can go ahead and review as well; I'm always in need of a good laugh.
Once again I'd like to express my deepest gratitude to Emerald Ashes for beta-ing this story
Until next time,