Harry threw himself onto his bed sobbing so hard that he would wonder afterwards how he managed not to suffocate. The new term at Hogwarts began today and Uncle Vernon had refused to take him to King's Cross. When Harry had argued the whale in mans' clothing slapped him so hard that he was thrown into a wall and it wouldn't surprise him much if he had a concussion from it.
But that was not anything that was unprecedented before his year at Hogwarts but it had been the first time that he was hit since coming back. He supposed that this would be his life again. He had missed the train and that would be taken as a sign that he was dropping out and he just knew that nobody would even bother to check.
That thought made him sob harder than before. Soon the sobs angered his Uncle and the man came up to his room to slap him once more. The twelve year old hit the wall again and the last thing that he was aware of was his Uncle telling Hedwig to shut up because she screeched loudly as the monster hit her master.
Severus Snape also known as the Bat of the Dungeon watched as the students filed in to the welcome feast and to his utmost shock he was unable to see Harry Potter. Sure he might not like the boy but due to the fact that he was a professor here he was duty bound to protect the students and it didn't help matters that he had sworn an oath to Dumbledore that he would watch after the boy.
After the feast Snape talked to the youngest Weasly and Granger and found that Potter had not been on the train and that neither of them had heard from him since the beginning of summer.
After he dismissed the two of them they scampered off quickly so that he wouldn't find some excuse to deduct points from their House.
Sighing, the Potions Master got up and walked out of the castle. He sent a note to the Headmaster to tell him where he was going not bothering to see him in person because he knew that he would be told to go anyway.
Soon he was walking down the street and stood in front of number four Privet Drive.
Harry blinked slowly. He didn't feel so well. But he looked on the bright side at least if he did need to toss his cookies nothing would come up because he hadn't had any meals lately. Merlin did his head hurt though. It most likely had something to do with the head on collisions with walls that had left his glasses broken and his black hair caked with dried blood.
Harry tried to stand up. Nope not a good idea he thought as he collapsed back to the floor because of the overwhelming dizziness that had consumed him as he attempted to stand.
Suddenly he heard the doorbell sound through the house and boy did it make his head hurt. He cradled his head in his hands and balled up in the fetal position maybe if he pretended that he was an inanimate object it would fool his pain receptors.
The doorbell sounded again and the pain increased. Tears streamed down his face because of the pain. His plan had failed.
Severus Snape was not a patient man and he was even less patient with Muggles. He had pressed the bell twice and they had the nerve to make him wait. Just as he was going to alohamora the lock the beefy muggle opened it.
"I'm here to collect Potter," he said without preamble. The sooner he could leave the better.
"He's not here," the man said attempting to shut the door on the former Death Eater.
Suddenly Severus heard a loud screech from the upstairs that sounded annoyingly like Potter's owl. He pushed pass a stammering Vernon and walked up the stairs to the room where the owl was screeching as an ear-splitting frequency. The door was locked but he had no qualm about making it open.
The sight that greeted the former Death Eater was enough to make anger appear on his usually sneering face. Potter was lying in the middle of the floor curled into a ball so small that it should have been impossible for him to contort into. Even though he was curled in upon himself Severus could still see that there was blood on his head. There was a smell of vomit in the air but from the lack of puddles and the fact that Potter's wand was not here he could tell that the boy had had nothing to throw up and as a result there was only bile and that had sopped into the carpet at some point.
The bucket in the corner that was presumably used for waste was empty save a few drops of urine and owl droppings.
The owl was not looking to well either but she was better than her owner. If he had to guess he would say that she just needed to fly a bit. But he knew that her restrictions were not Potter's fault. For the first time in his life the Potions Master felt something other than disgust for the boy.
The owl eyed him pleadingly.
"Potter," Snape said in a low voice. Had it not been for the small whimper that came from the boy he might have thought him dead.
"Gather his things." Snape growled at Vernon in a voice that had made many a first year wet themselves.
For the first time in his adult life Vernon Dursley did not argue and went down to the cupboard under the stairs to pull out Harry's belongings.
Once Dursley was gone Snape made his way over to the owl cage and unlocked it setting Hedwig free. After that he bent and scooped up the boy form where he lay on the floor. He was angered further when he felt how light the child was. He weighed no more than one hundred pounds and that was a high estimate.
Slowly Severus made his was down the stairs with Potter cradled in his arms. Dursley had finished getting all of the boy's belongings so he whipped out his wand and shrunk them so that they fit easily into his robes.
"I'll be back for you," Snaped hissed at Vernon venomously as he walked out of the door.
"Potter," he called gently.
Harry's eyes cracked open the tiniest bit and when the meager light hit them he closed them again and began to gag. His stomach was so empty though that nothing at all came up.
Snape knew then that he would need transportation. Potter's health was far too weak to even try transporting by magical means.
"Hedwig," he called to the owl. Quickly he wrote a note to Dumbledore and sent the bird on her way.
After sending the owl off Severus walked slowly ever conscious of the boy in his arms and the fact that he was injured. It took a few hours but he was able to walk to the house that belonged to the Order. It wasn't much but it was connected to Hogwarts via the Floo network and when Potter was well enough he would take care of him in his own quarters.
It struck Severus as odd that Potter would be the one to bring out this protective streak of his. He guessed that it may have had something to do with the fact that he was feeling guilty because he had bought into the opinion that Potter was extremely privileged like other people had and until now he had never had reason to believe that the muggles cared for him as much as the people in the wizarding world.
Shaking the thought Severus examined the boy and found that he definitely had a concussion and he was sure that the shoulder was dislocated. The boy was also starved to a point that he had nothing left to expel during his gagging fits. He was probably dehydrated as well.
Severus shook his head and took a breath to stop himself from going to murder that muggle. Concentrate on Potter he told himself. He took off the boy's clothing a washed him down quickly. That finished he dressed him in pajamas and went to brew a few potions that would hopefully improve his health to a point that he'd be comfortable with letting him travel.
When Harry awoke he was very warm and the throbbing in his head had muted to a slight pain that was easily pushed away. He knew that he was in Hogwarts but he didn't know where he was exactly. That was until Snape- dressed in pajamas with little moving potions print on them no less- walked in the room.
He blushed hard he must be in Snape quarters.
"You're awake," he said and if Harry didn't know better he would think that there was some relief in the normally cold voice.
"I really should deduct points for this."
"What!?" Harry said wincing when his voice hit his ears.
"You scared me Potter." He said as evenly as if he were mentioning an ingredient in a trivial potion.
At Harry's look of disbelief Snape felt a sudden unwelcomed pang. "Am I really that much of a prick that you think me unable of human emotion?" he asked with a vulnerability he hadn't felt since he was a student here. He attributed it to the fact that Potter's heart had stopped twice in the last two days in his room.
For the first time Harry realized that while Snape was mean and nasty those feeling had been born out of circumstance and underneath it all apparently Snape was a human as surprising as it was. Then again it wasn't that surprising if he was a teacher here he'd probably go nuts specially in the dungeons.
"Not a prick. Now if you had said an old bat I might have agreed." For a moment Harry pondered something. "Does this mean that you don't hate me anymore?" he asked.
"I'm not allowed to dislike you anymore seeing as I have apparently been named your legal guardian." Snape said.
Harry's mouth opened in slack-jawed surprise. Sure anything was a step up from the Dursley's but Snape.
"Why?" he managed to choke out.
When he saw the anger flash across Snape's features he amended the stamen. "Why would you want a no- good Gryffindor like me? You never liked me from day one and you hated my dad."
"I may have been laboring under the misapprehension that you were a privileged youth and when I got you here I may or may not have flew into such a protective rage that nobody else save Madame Pomfrey dared to touch you when I was around."
Harry burst out laughing. Who know that under the mean façade Snape was such a softy?
Getting up from the bed Harry walked over to his new guardian and hugged him. To his surprise Snape hugged him back. To his amazement the man that often seemed so cold was really quite warm. Reluctantly Harry pulled back. "Thank you." He said.
"This doesn't mean I'll go easy on you in Potions though." Snape said. Harry groaned. He took it all back the man was a cold monster no doubt about it.
A/N This was my first Harry Potter fic. I'm re-reading the books for one of my classes and I have been reading quite a bit of fanfiction, I wanted to contribute and thus this was born. It's kind of rushed a bit OOC but hey that's why it's fanfiction right. Reviews are as always loved and wanted. Until next time.