An Unlikely Family

Chapter 1

Hello everyone! I'm sure a few of you will notice it's a story I posted before, I decided to take it down to change things, add new parts and really find my passion for writing it again as it was my first ever story. I'm really sorry for vanishing but I had to focus on myself for a few months. Of course I don't own these characters and it doesn't follow the same storyline as the Harry Potter books. I am aware that I have left out the Triwizard Tournament, that Snape lives in Spinners End as well as many other things that I changed but it's just for fun and not meant with any disrespect.

Harry sat on the cold, hard doorstep of number 4 Privet Drive. He looked at the freshly groomed garden he had spent all day mowing, shaping and cleaning in the summer heat, although it still wasn't to his Uncle Vernon's standards, he closed his eyes at the thought. It was late summer and the breeze was refreshing on his aching face. He rubbed his hand softly across his cheek and looked at the blood 'at least it's bleeding less' he thought to himself as he sighed heavily. He closed his eyes and relived the afternoon's events.

"I've finished the garden, sir" Harry said politely knocking the kitchen door as he entered. His enormous uncle rose from the table and barged past Harry to inspect the garden. The garden was perfectly mowed with not a strand of grass out of place, the flowers had been watered and weeded and the bushes had been trimmed.

The large man made his way back into the house watching Harry venomously "You call this complete!" Uncle Vernon hissed turning back to Harry who stood blankly with his back to the front door. Harry just stared at him blankly, his dark, tired eyes never leaving his uncles. "Answer when spoken to, boy!" he shouted and hit Harry hard across the face. He fell to his knees with a thud and held his face.

"It is complete, Sir" Harry whispered and instantly regretted it as he felt his uncle pick him up effortlessly and throw him against the wall, he gasped in pain as the doorknob stabbed into his back.

"You call this complete! Is this a joke? After everything I have done for you, you still can't complete one simple chore? Well I've had enough" His uncle spat kicking Harry several times in the ribs before opening the door and throwing him outside. "Since this garden is complete, you won't mind sleeping in it" His uncle hissed before slamming the door. Harry picked himself up off the hard slabs and dragged his grazed and bruised body to the steps, he held himself tight and thought of Hogwarts, only seven more weeks and he would be back he told himself, he was nearly fourteen now and going into fourth year and he couldn't wait to get back

A laugh snapped him out of the unpleasant memory and back to the present, it was cold and now raining lightly. He heard his 'family' laughing in the dining room, cutlery clattering off plates and the occasionally hiss of a new bottle of fizzy juice being opened, he realised then how hungry he was. He opened his pocket and found a single piece of ham he had stolen from Dudley earlier when he wasn't looking, he sighed putting it back into his pocket deciding Hedwig might need it more, the poor bird had been locked in her cage on rations all summer.

The door swung open and Uncle Vernon was there standing over them. "Get in and clean up the mess in the kitchen, then go to your room" he spat before grabbing Harry by his already ripped t-shirt and pulling him inside. Harry almost sighed with relief at being out of the cold but remembered not to make any noise unless spoken to. He caught a glimpse of himself in the hallway mirror, his face was bruised and stained with dry blood around his mouth and nose but he didn't complain.

The kitchen was piled high with dirty dishes and the table looked as if it has been occupied by at least 8 toddlers with food and crumbs smeared all over it. He began cleaning realising how long a night it was going to be, the smell of the food made him feel sick he was that hungry. 'Seven more weeks to go' he told himself over and over in his head, his body throbbing from his latest beating.

Two hours later he had finally finished cleaning the kitchen and it looked like a model home once more. He was careful to make sure every last crumb was taken care of to not anger his uncle any further. His uncle came in and almost looked surprised and how much the kitchen was sparkling. "Go to your room, boy" he said and Harry quickly scurried from the room.

Harry sat on his bed as quietly as he could and the amount of pain he was in finally hit him and tears formed in his eyes, he quickly shook it off, crying was a sign of being ungrateful his uncle had told him and he believed it. He took the slice of ham from his pocket and fed it to Hedwig who hooted with excitement.

"What do you think you're doing, boy!?" His uncle roared and Harry saw his red face in the doorway. Uncle Vernon had caught Harry giving Hedwig the ham and he wasn't too happy about it. "First you steal food from us and then you give it to that freaky bird of yours!" he roared entering the room fully.

"I found it on the floor, she was hungry" Harry tried to lie but his uncle was having none of it. He quickly ripped off his belt and Harry knew what was coming, his uncle threw him face first onto the bed and started beating him from his shoulder blades all the way down to the backs of his knees. 'Don't cry, don't cry' Harry told himself over and over in his head at the pain became unbearable. The beating went on for about twenty minutes before his uncle, too tired to throw another hit left Harry exhausted and quivering on the bedroom floor. "You'll spend tonight in the cupboard" he hissed as he left. Harry nodded and dragged himself downstairs.

He sat on the blankets on the cupboard floor. It was dark and cold in the cupboard with only the light from the hallway outlining the shape of the door giving him any form of light. He brought his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around his small, aching body 'just seven weeks' he told himself in his head, too scared to speak even to himself.

. . .

At Hogwarts the next morning Snape arrived through the floo in Dumbledore's office clearly unhappy about being summoned during the holidays, the teachers still weren't due back for a few weeks and he had been enjoying the break. Dumbledore rose from his desk and greeted Severus with a warm smile. Snape instantly threw a glare back at the old man who chuckled. Severus had been intently brewing potions when his house elf disrupted him to go and see Albus.

"Lemon drop" he asked and Snape rolled his eyes wondering if the older wizard even noticed when he offered sweets.

"What is it, Albus?" He asked getting straight to the point sitting down on one of the large seats opposite the older man's desk, he never had time for muggle sweets.

"I need your help, Severus" Albus said sitting next to him and Snape already knew he probably wasn't going to like what the man had to say. "I need you to check on Harry" Albus said with a weak smile, he knew Severus wouldn't be too happy.

Severus scoffed and stood "That's Minerva's job" he said waving his arm in dismissal and Albus sighed.

"I know" he replied calmly. Severus went to interrupt but Dumbledore raised his hand to silence him, Severus instantly scowled but decided to hear his reason "She has taken unwell with muggle flu and needs to recover. Please Severus, you don't have to speak to the boy, he doesn't even have to see you, just make sure the muggles are treating him well" he said.

"So make sure your pampered golden child is being spoiled rotten over the summer holidays?" Snape scoffed and Albus instantly rolled his eyes.

"Well check for signs of you-know-who" Dumbledore said trying to twist his reason to convince Snape to go, he had known It was never going to be easy to get the younger wizard to help.

"You know my position, I don't need to go to Privet Drive to know what the Dark Lord has planned" he said standing up instantly dismissing the conversation.

"Put an old man's mind at rest, Severus?" Dumbledore asked and Snape stopped letting out a small sigh, he knew Dumbledore wasn't going to let it go. The blood wards were strong enough to protect him and Dumbledore didn't feel the need to spy on other children's home lives, so as ridiculous as he found it to check on Potter every week he finally agreed to help.

"I'm sure he's fine, Albus, but I'll check on him when I'm on my way back from London later if it helps you sleep at night" He snapped before heading back to the fireplace.

"Thanks, my boy" Albus smiled but Snape just rolled his eyes and with a puff of green powder he was gone.

. . .

Back at Privet drive Harry was making brunch for his family, smells of bacon, eggs, toast, waffles and freshly brewed tea filled the room, he served them all large helpings of food before taking a small box of dry cereal, he sat on the floor at the other side of the large counter and out of sight ate the little box of cornflakes, this was his breakfast and his lunch.

After he had cleared the dishes and cleaned the kitchen he was instructed to go outside and start work on the back garden, he started by painting the large 6 foot wooden fence. The sun burned against the back of his neck but he didn't complain, he was just happy to be away from his Uncle.

Three hours later he had finished the fence and was sitting having a moments rest when his uncle appeared from the back door. Unknown to Harry Snape had arrived at the front of the house and was quietly listening although he couldn't see the boy he could tell he was there.

"Did I tell you that you could stop boy? Get inside" His uncle hissed and dragged Harry by his collar back into the house slamming the door. Uncle Vernon lashed out at Harry who fell over too exhausted to stay on his feet anymore, this summer had been more torturous than any before as his Uncle grew more paranoid he had to 'beat the magic' out of him to protect his family "get in that cupboard you ungrateful brat!" he spat and Harry almost cried.

"Please, no more cupboard" he whimpered, every time he got put into the cupboard he was growing more and more claustrophobic. He cried out as his uncle threw him against the cupboard wall and slammed the door. Anxiety filled his entire body and after a five minute battle with himself he threw up over his clothes and the floor before breaking down and crying, the small boy couldn't handle it anymore.

. . .

Snape felt satisfied the boy was being give chores and structure and after his uncle had taken him back into the house he began to walk down Privet Drive to find a secluded place to leave. He looked around at all the houses, they were all identical without a hint of individuality, he began to wonder if all the families were are prim and proper as their homes suggested but then he remembered everybody has skeletons in their closet. 'You never really know what's going on behind closed doors' he thought to himself and he felt an uncomfortable feeling he hadn't felt before and he didn't know what was causing it but in that moment something didn't feel right. He began to wonder if anybody had actually checked inside the house to see what conditions the boy was actually living in.

He rolled his eyes knowing he wouldn't be able to relax under he had seen Potter for himself so he made his way back to the house and knocked on the door firmly, Vernon Dudley answered. He suddenly realised he hadn't prepared what he was going to say. "I'm looking for Harry Potter" he said and Vernon looked at him coldly.

"Who?" Vernon asked simply, his tone composed but Severus could sense his anger bubbling inside. Alarm bells started ringing, why would he deny he knew the boy Severus heard him talking to in the garden 10 minutes before. Vernon finally took a good look at Severus noting the robes and scoffed "Oh you're one of them" he hissed "you don't get the boy back for seven weeks now get off my property" he spat defensively.

Vernon tried to slam the door but was stopped by Severus who was a lot stronger. "Show me the boy" he threatened stepping into the house, although Vernon was larger Snape was still a lot taller and stood threateningly over the man. Dudley appeared from the living room and with a high pitched scream he ran upstairs. Snape rolled his eyes 'idiotic muggles' he thought to himself.

"You!" Petunia sneered appearing in the living room door "What are you doing here?" she asked and Snape stepped forward to get a good look at the woman who hadn't changed a bit. She instantly stepped back her eyes widening, she had always feared this particular wizard and she still blamed him for 'corrupting' Lily all those years ago.

"Hello Petunia" he said sarcastically "show me Potter" he snapped and she flinched pointing instinctively at the cupboard door, his eyes widened instantly looking at the cupboard door. "You put him in a cupboard?" he hissed, Snape barged by Vernon who quickly scurried over to his wife and he threw open the door, nothing could have prepared him for what happened next.

Harry had heard the door open and was snapped back to reality realising he was covered in sick and his uncle would be angry he began to panic, he had never truly panicked before but after a summer of torture he didn't think he could take another beating. "NO!" He screamed scrambling towards the wall. "NO! Please stop! I'll stop!" he whimpered crying. "I didn't mean it!" he screamed. Snape looked in horror at the small boy, who today seemed even smaller; he was curled up against the wall covered in blood and sick.

With the boys cries ringing in his ears Snape looked back at Vernon and Petunia who didn't look phased, he threw a curse at them that shot them into the living room and slammed the door behind them, he knew if he had to look at them a moment longer he would end up in Azkaban for doing something he'd regret. "Potter" he whispered touching the boys knee gently and Harry let out one final scream before passing out.

Snape was frozen for a moment as he took a good look at the teen, his mouth open in complete disgust. Finally he wrapped the boy in an old blanket and picked him up quickly, they needed to get out of there so he could treat any injuries. He scowled at how light the boy felt and how bony he was against his considerably larger self. This wasn't the same Potter that left Hogwarts earlier in the year; he had dark circles around his eyes and he was pale. He muttered a few words and they appeared to Snape Manor the boy dangling limply in his arms.

He put Harry on the sofa still wrapped in the blanket. "Dolly!" he shouted and a small house elf appeared.

"Master Snape?" she asked.

"Return to 4 Privet drive and retrieve Potters possessions, the bird too" he said remembering Hedwig must be somewhere, he only hoped the bird hadn't suffered the same neglect and was still alive "Don't get caught" he ordered at the Elf who nodded and vanished, Harry was never going back there.

He got a small basin of warm water and a cloth and moving Harry gently to see his face he began wiping away the dry blood 'how could anyone do this to a child?' he thought to himself but remained silent and composed. Harry stirred at the damp cloth and his eyes flew open. He let out a whine of confusion and fear and instinctively pulled away from Snape.

"Potter" Snape said sternly, he wasn't really too sure what to say, especially to Harry Potter. "Are you okay?" he asked stupidly but Harry didn't reply he just stared back down at his hands. "Answer me" he ordered sternly and Harry nodded quickly trying to ignore the pain radiating through his body, he knew how much Snape hated him and he didn't want to anger him knowing he couldn't fight back.

"You're not okay, Potter" Snape sighed, he cast a diagnostic charm over Harry, no broken bones but a lot of bruises "We need to wash all the blood and dirt off you and then I can treat you better, do you think you can manage that?" he asked and Harry shook his head.

Snape sighed lightly as Harry watched him warily; it was obvious the teen was exhausted but also completely terrified. "I'll do my best not to hurt you" he reassured him and finally Harry nodded, but he still didn't speak, he couldn't speak, his mind was beginning to completely shut down and he didn't have the energy to fight back.

With a wave of his wand Harrys clothes where off and he was left sitting in his boxers, he wrapped his arms around himself and blushed, he was convinced he was dreaming, or maybe in hell but either way he didn't want his hated potions master seeing him like this whether it was real or not. Snape on the other hand didn't seem phased, maybe he's enjoying this Harry thought to himself.

Within half an hour Snape had cleaned up Harry and he was in new, fresh PJS Snape asked one of the house elves to make. "Drink this" Snape said passing him a disgusting looking potion "It will help with the pain" he explained and Harry didn't hesitate he was so thirsty.

"Do you need anything?" Snape asked not entirely sure about what to do next, he sighed as Harry remained completely silent "Potter, you have to answer"

"I want Dumbledore" Harry mumbled.

"Professor Dumbledore is asleep as it's late but you can see him tomorrow" Snape replied, if he woke the older wizard up now he would be here all night keeping the boy awake fussing and right now Potter needed sleep.

"Okay" Harry replied simply hoping Snape was telling the truth.

"Do you need to eat?" Snape asked.

"I'm not hungry, Sir" Harry said simply and Snape nodded.

"I'm going to get changed, I'll be back in a minute" he said softly before briskly leaving the room, the robes he was wearing were covered in Harry's sick and blood and it was about time he put some PJS on anyway, he also needed a moment to just breathe.

He returned a few minutes later, in all black PJS to find the boy fast asleep on the sofa. He let out a sigh, it would have to be him that found the arrogant Potter child yet in more trouble but for once he couldn't blame the boy. He looked around the large living room, although it was comfortable enough he didn't feel happy leaving the boy this far away from his own room. Rolling his eyes he picked up the small boy who didn't even stir and carried him to a spare bedroom on the same hallway as his.

Harry looked tiny in the large four-post double bed, he sunk into the soft pillows as Snape put the covers over him. He looked around the room and scowled, it was green and silver and as much as he despised the boy he didn't want him to feel any more uncomfortable than he clearly already did. With a swish of his wand the room was filled with Gryffindor colours and posters and the small snake shaped teddy at the bottom of the bed turned into a cuddly lion, he picked it up and tucked it in next to Harry, with how small and fragile the boy looked he'd forgotten he was a teenager. 'I'll change it back when I give him to Dumbledore' he thought to himself and he turned the light off and closed the door. He instantly heard the boy whine and stuck his head back into the room to see what the problem was. Harry instantly calmed as the light from the hallway lit his face "The infamous Harry Potter is scared of the dark?" Snape mumbled to himself as he stepped back into the room, with another flick of his wand a small floating light appeared at the bedside table, it changed colours every few seconds, again he closed the door and finally went to his own bed.

. . .

The next morning Harry woke and flinched in pain but strangely he felt rested. He looked around the large, almost familiar room and although he wasn't familiar with his surroundings he was instantly distracted admiring the posters, he and Ron had the same ones in the dorms and he smiled, he couldn't wait to see Ron. He soon realised although the room looked familiar he had no idea where he was. The entirety of yesterday had been a blur and he was almost convinced he had been with Snape, but the Gryffindor room only made him doubt this theory.

There was a tapping on the window and it startled him, he quickly turned to see Hedwig, unbeknown to Harry, Snape had let her out to hunt last night. He opened the window and let her in "Hello Hedwig, you look happy" he smiled at the bird that tweeted happily. He looked out the window at the fields that seemed to go on forever, he wasn't at Hogwarts and he wasn't at Privet Drive.

"Good morning, Potter" Snape said sternly appearing in the doorway, he was back to being his composed, passive aggressive self and Harry's eyes widened with confusion. Harry instantly stilled as he slowly started to remember the night before, Snape had taken him from the Dursley's to some unknown location.

"Professor" Harry whispered stepping back until he was against the wall.

"It's time for breakfast" he finally snapped before turning and walking down the corridor, Harry remained in his room with Hedwig, his uncle told him he wasn't to eat with other people because during the holidays freaks like him should eat alone and stay out of the way. He sat underneath the window and stayed as small as he could and continued to pet the owl.

Snape turned when he couldn't hear the boy following him, he rolled his eyes and stomped back to the room, "Still as disobedient as ever" he grumbled to himself "Potter!" he snapped and the boy jumped and wrapped his arms around himself "it's time for breakfast" he repeated again glaring harshly but Harry didn't reply, he wasn't sure what he was meant to do, his heart was beating so heavily he thought it might explode.

"I don't understand" Harry finally whispered. Harry reached for his wand but it wasn't in his pocket, it was still in his trunk since he couldn't use it during the holidays, he instantly felt more vulnerable "Don't hurt me" he pleaded.

Snape's eyes widened, as much as Potter irritated him he had always vowed to protect the child and he would never hurt him, he had also noticed the boy obviously reaching for his wand to defend himself and he inhaled slightly shocked, no student should ever be that scared of a professor. He scolded himself for not being softer on the boy especially after yesterday. He looked at Harry who was now crying quietly into the lion teddy he had left him with the night before and he felt a pain in his chest from the guilt. Harry Potter was damaged and he wasn't helping.

He dropped his old exterior and sat next to the boy on the floor to Harry's surprise. Harry quickly shuffled away from him. "I'm not trying to hurt you Potter" he said softly as Harry's eyes met his, his bright green eyes looked dead with fear and pain "I'm trying to give you breakfast…" he said waving his arm in defeat and Harry smiled softly at him but didn't move. Snape took a tissue from his pocket and offered it to Harry who wiped the tears from under his eyes.

Snape finally got the boy off the floor and down to the kitchen for breakfast, after feeding him potions for the pain and bruising he directed him to a seat at the table. Harry reluctantly sat at the table and watched as Snape sat opposite him. He poured Harry a large glass of orange juice and put the jug down on the centre of the table. Snape wasn't crazy about orange juice, it was a muggle drink and he thought it was bitter but considering the boys relatives he thought he might prefer this to something else. Harry looked at it, as thirsty as he was he knew this trick too well, his Aunt Petunia was always disguising disgusting liquids as nice drinks and tricking him into drinking them, they once gave him kitchen cleaner and after that he spent two days sleeping and throwing up in the garden. He pushed the glass away to Snape's surprise.

"I thought you would be thirsty?" Snape asked confused, Harry only nodded in agreement and Snape's face grew more confused as Harry stared at the glass of juice. "Do you like orange juice?" Snape prodded and Harry nodded quickly still not looking at him. "Why don't you drink it then?" he sighed and Harry shrugged.

"I'm not that stupid" Harry finally said glaring defensively at the professor, he had quickly reminded himself this was Snape and he was going to have to defend himself.

"What are you babbling about, Potter?" Snape sighed matching Harry's glare, he never was patient. For a moment they both stared at each other waiting for the other to speak.

"I know you've put something bad in it to hurt me" Harry finally said breaking the silence.

"Why would I do that?" Snape asked.

"Freaks like me don't get muggle drinks, we just a glass of water at night" Harry said, his tone quoted that of Vernon Dursley and Snape's face grew angry.

"That bastard" he hissed under his breath and Harry's eyes widened as he jumped out the chair, he instantly regretted being defensive about the orange juice knowing it had probably only made Snape angrier. "No Harry" Snape said quickly in a gentle voice "I'm not mad at you, just your uncle" he said and Harry stopped. "Please sit" he said gesturing to the seat and Harry sat back down. "Let's get one thing clear Harry, I would never do anything to intentionally hurt a child" Snape said coldly and Harry looked at him, his eyes full of questions "even you" Snape finally emphasised answering the boys unspoken question. Harry looked back at the orange juice, he didn't trust Snape and he wasn't convinced. Snape sighed picking up the glass, as much as he hated orange juice he had to prove a point. Quickly he drank enough so that Harry could see the liquid had gone down a few centimetres. "Now do you want the rest or do you want pumpkin juice?" Snape asked thinking he might have more luck with a wizard drink but Harry shook his head and within a second finished the glass of orange juice.

"Don't rush too much it won't run away from you" Snape joked and Harry smiled at him again, he realised in that second how little the boy actually smiled. Within a few minutes the elves brought through bacon, toast, eggs, beans, cereal and some pancakes. "Okay I have to go see Dumbledore, eat as much as you want, for now you can go in the living room, kitchen, library, your bedroom or your bathroom but nowhere else until I tell you what is and isn't safe" he quickly told Harry before leaving through the floo, Harry was almost sad to see him go, he was enjoying the company of another wizard, even if it was Snape.

After a slice of toast, three pieces of bacon and a boiled egg Harry was full, he began clearing the plates when Dolly the house elf stopped him "Master Harry, you don't have to do that" he said offering him a smile.

"Please just call me Harry and I want to help" he said stacking a few plates.

"It is my job to do that" she said but Harry didn't listen, he wasn't used to doing nothing and didn't want to start getting used to it now, if Snape was good enough to give him food he wanted to be as useful as he could. Harry and the Elf worked quietly together clearing the table, Dolly washed the dishes and Harry dried and put them away, he was surprised at how much quicker this was to do with two people instead of one and he smiled to himself.

Once the kitchen was spotless he made his way back to his bedroom and got started on his homework, he had been working on it secretly over the summer and only had one essay on potions to finish, the only reason he wasn't finished it is because he was stuck on it, he couldn't work out why it was 7 and a half frog legs and not 8.

. . .

"Albus!" Snape snapped as he appeared startling the older man.

"Severus what a pleasant surprise" he smiled ignoring the harsh tone. "How is Harry?" he asked.

Snape rolled his eyes angrily "Tell me, Albus, what does Minerva do when she's checking on the boy" he hissed and Albus shrugged.

"She stays out of sight, listens for anything unusual and then leaves, why? What did you do?" Albus asked turning the conversation onto Severus, he was growing concerned, what had Snape done?

"What did I do!?" he shouted angrily "I rescued a beaten boy from a cupboard and took him to my house, they've been abusing him, Albus! How has nobody noticed?" Severus said, his glare piercing Dumbledore who was now looking utterly confused.

"Abusing him?" he finally asked in a whisper knowing Severus wasn't one to overreact or joke.

"They've been locking him outside, beating him, mentally torturing him, the boy was too scared to drink orange juice this morning till I convinced him it wasn't poisonous and he's terrified of the dark…god knows why?" Severus said but words failed him as he began to think the unthinkable.

"Where is he now?" Dumbledore asked growing more and more concerned.

"In my kitchen eating a proper meal for the first time since the Hogwarts farewell feast I presume" Snape said almost casually and Dumbledore's eyes grew wide.

"You took him to your home?" he asked almost happily.

"Well I wasn't leaving him with those monsters for another second and it was too late in the day to take him anywhere else" Snape explained.

"I bet he's loving the Slytherin Mansion" Albus said almost jokingly completely forgetting the seriousness of the situation.

"I changed the colours in his room, I'm not that cruel" Severus spat "Now when will I bring him to you?" he asked and Dumbledore looked confused.

"As much as I love the boy Severus he can't stay here, I'll be travelling between here and the ministry from now until school starts preparing for the next term" he explained, Severus knew this was true, he would be signing contracts, appointing new teachers and comforting muggle parents, it was no place for an abused child.

"Where will he go then?" Snape asked concerned.

"He'll have to go back…the blood bond is what protects him" Albus explained sighing heavily.

Snape clenched his eyes in horror "They're killing him Albus!" he shouted making the old man jump.

"Then I'll have to contact the ministry" he replied.

"He needs people he's familiar with right now, Albus, not officials that are only interest in the scar on his forehead" Snape replied bitterly "he's completely terrified of people".

"Well who do you suggest powerful enough to keep him safe?" Dumbledore prodded growing irritated. "I'm unsuitable and Minerva is sick…that leaves you" Dumbledore said and his face broke into a smile, his intentions were now clearly written all over his face.

Snape shook his head "I am not looking after the Potter child" he said sternly and Albus shook his head.

"He needs you" he said and Snape looked down.

"I'm not having James' son running ramped all over my home" he said dismissing the ideas.

"You don't have to, but you can have Lily's little one to keep you company" Dumbledore said twisting his words against him and Snape's eyes grew wide with pain. "You vowed to protect him, this is your chance" he said.

"Only for the summer" Snape spat and Dumbledore smiled.

"Lily would be so proud of you" he said as Snape began to walk towards the floo.

"Come over as soon as you can, he needs your reassurance right now" Snape said simply before leaving.

. . .

Snape entered the large kitchen to find it totally spotless and the boy not in sight, he checked the living room but it looked untouched. He sighed 'well done, Snape, you've left the Potter child loose in your home he could be anywhere' he scolded himself as he began looking for the boy. He swung the door open and walked into the boy's room. He found Harry slightly startled lying on the bedroom floor surrounded by textbooks and parchments.

"Hello, Sir" Harry said quietly, almost to himself.

"What are you doing?" Snape asked looking confused, he was half expecting Harry to have set the house on fire or trashed his room. Harry sat up quickly and started looking around the room for a place to hide if he needed it.

"Just homework, Sir" he replied and to his confusion Snape smiled, he didn't think Potter would even remember he had homework.

"I'm surprised you've started it this early, there's still seven weeks left, Potter" he said raising a brow.

"I'm not starting it, Sir, I'm just proof reading it and finishing one essay" he said as confusion echoed throughout his face as he looked back at the potions text book.

"Are you stuck?" Snape asked noticing the slightly glare directed at the potions textbook, it looked well used which made him smile to himself, at least Potter was trying even if he was useless at potions.

"No" Harry quickly said shaking his head, he didn't want to look stupid in front of Snape, he was still too emotionally drained to handle a Snape insult.

"It's okay to be stuck" Snape said sitting on the floor next to him, Harry looked at him with confusion, his much feared potions master was sitting on his bedroom floor next to him, except this wasn't his bedroom, it was his Professors spare room but he was more than comfortable in it and he began to feel sick, he would probably have to go back to the Dursleys soon then there was no chance of finishing this essay. Snape could tell by the boy's face he was completely overwhelmed with the past twenty-four hours and he stayed quiet allowing him to process his thoughts.

"I don't understand why it's 7 and a half frog legs" he whispered so quietly Snape had to strain to hear him, he found Harry again looking at his hands and realised it must be an anxiety thing.

"If you use 8 it will interact too heavily with the caterpillars and cause the potion not to reach the right temperature" Severus explained and Harry looked into his eyes, he didn't look mad or disappointed, he looked almost content to teach.

"Because of the different types of acid, they react and make it too hot?" Harry asked and Snape smiled and nodded "And then it will explode" he added and Snape laughed lightly.

"Not quite explode but it could get messy" he said as he watched Harry continue to write his essay.

For the next half hour they both sat on the bedroom floor side by side as Harry finished his potions essay while Severus took it upon himself to check over the boys other homework and answer the occasional potion related question. Harry grew slightly more talkative when he realised he wasn't going to be punished for asking questions

and Snape was surprised the boy knew more about potions than he'd let on.

"Well Mr Potter, your homework is up to scratch I can't find any immediate corrections" he praised and Harry smiled. Harry's homework was perfectly printed and even his punctuation was perfect, he must have put a lot of time and thought into it.

"Great!" Harry said excitedly finishing his essay.

"Why is it done so soon?" Snape asked and Harry looked down.

"I can't fly at all during the summer and it means while everyone is correcting their messy, rushed homework I can practice for quidditch and catch up" he said feeling stupid but Snape smiled at him.

"Well you've given yourself plenty time to practice this summer" Snape said again standing up and stretching, his body had become stiff from sitting on the ground, Harry was confused but didn't say anything, he just assumed the Professor hadn't been listening because he'd grown bored of him, he couldn't fly at Privet Drive.

. . .

Soon after Snape left to go mark some essays while Harry stayed in his room. He was finally taking in how big his room was. It had a large 4 post bed with Gryffindor colours and more pillows than he'd ever seen before in his life. He had a huge fireplace that Snape had lit this morning and it was still quietly burning and above it there was a large painting of a snowy owl – just like Hedwig. The room had dark oak floors with a huge red rug that covered a large middle section of the room. He had a large walk in wardrobe that he hadn't been inside yet, his bathroom and three huge windows that looked out onto acres of grass and trees, large red curtains draped down the sides of the windows. He also had a large chandelier that he didn't like very much, mainly because he was scared it was going to fall off and squish him. He opened his case and began properly unpacking, he took a photo of him, Ron and Hermione and put it on his bedside table along with the photo of his parents by the water fountain "I miss you guys" he whispered at both the photos. He folded his few pairs of jeans and PJS into the large chest of drawers and then put his homework down at his large desk, although he did prefer doing his homework on the floor it wasn't safe to keep it there.

Finally he looked towards the large wardrobe and back at his robes and shirts, they shouldn't be folded and should be hung up but he couldn't face going into the tight space. He left them in a folded pile by the cupboard door and retreated to looking out the window, unpacking properly didn't matter too much because he knew he'd be sent back to the Dursley's soon enough, he didn't truly know why he had even bothered in the first place.

Harry was quickly lost in his own thoughts, he was surprised at how huge Snape Manor was and how elegant it was, he always thought Snape just stayed in the dungeons all year round thinking up insults to bark at students and avoiding people. He smiled at how wrong he was, the man hadn't thrown an insult at him since he got here and his home was beautiful, but he also knew Snape despised him and this wouldn't last forever, he just felt bad for Harry because of what he saw but that would soon fade when the bruises did.

He crawled onto his bed and held the photo of his parents, he missed them so deeply that it hurt and a single tear rolled down his cheek. He just wanted somebody to help him feel safe. Snape appeared in the doorway and watched the oblivious boy staring at the photo of his parents, he looked around to see the boy had started unpacking but had given up, judging by the pile by the cupboard door.

"Get bored?" he asked pointing at the clothes on the floor, Harry jumped and dropped the photo before climbing to his feet.

"No…I'm sorry, I didn't get bored. I just…" he said but he couldn't think of an excuse, he looked down at his hands and shut down.

"Well why don't you finish putting the clothes away?" Snape asked gently, confused by the boys overreaction.

"I forgot…" he mumbled still not looking at him.

"It's okay, do it now" Snape insisted whilst moving across the room to check on the fire.

Harry looked at him with fear, he was convinced the second he went into the cupboard the Potions Master was going to slam it shut and leave him there. He quickly remembered a time he'd refused to get into the cupboard Uncle Vernon had beat him as a punishment before he ended up in the cupboard anyway. He sighed to himself before picking up the clothes but he still couldn't bring himself to enter the cupboard.

"Please don't make me" he pleaded looking right into Snape's eyes.

"Make you do what?" Snape asked confused.

"Go in there" he cried pointing at the cupboard, he now had tears streaming down his face.

"Potter it's just a clothes cupboard" Snape said rolling his eyes lightly. "What's the problem?"

"I don't want to be locked in, please" he begged.

"Why would I lock you in?" Snape asked.

"For not putting my clothes away, I didn't mean to be bad!" he said through sobs.

"I'm not going to lock you in and you weren't bad" Snape reassured him, he quickly realised cupboards were a twisted punishment back at the Dursley's as he quickly remembered finding Harry locked under the stairs, he didn't realise the damage it had done. He took half of the clothes from Harry and walked into the cupboard. Harry watched with wide eyes as his potions master started hanging up his clothes. "I could do with some help" Snape encouraged softly and Harry cautiously made his way into the cupboard passing the clothes over to Snape who kept hanging them. Harry watched as the man confidently placed everything neatly without a hint of fear. Harry hadn't noticed but he'd grabbed the side of Snape's robes for comfort. Snape on the other hand noticed right away but didn't reject the small boy, he just pretended he hadn't noticed and continued hanging up the clothes. It was a weird sensation being someone's comfort instead of the thing they feared most.

Within a few minutes Snape had finished and ushered Harry out of the cupboard, he looked relieved and almost proud of himself. Snape smiled briefly but then stopped himself remembering this was Harry Potter.

. . .

Later on they were both sat at the table eating dinner. Dolly had prepared roast chicken, with Yorkshire puddings, vegetables and the best gravy Harry had ever tasted. To Snape's surprise he finished everything on his plate. It was a wonder the small boy could eat so much. "What are you doing?" Snape asked as Harry began helping Dolly clear the table.

"We do this together" Harry explained smiling at the elf who offered Severus a shrug, they had picked up the same routine at lunch time as well. Harry had settled in fairly quickly in the past few hours as he grew comfortable with Snape and he was really fond of Dolly. He tried to explain to Harry he didn't have to clean up but Harry wouldn't listen, in the end Severus just rolled his eyes and left them to it. He could hear them both laughing from the living room where he had retreated to the large sofa with a book. He reflected on the day, Potter was extremely obedient and polite, not what he was expecting at all, listening to the boy talk away to the elf he began to think he could get used to the boys company, the Manor was huge and it was nice that for once it seemed slightly full, he quickly realised he was going soft and shook the thoughts from his head and started reading.

Harry was happily cleaning with Dolly, he had quickly grown comfortable with Snape and surprisingly he didn't feel threatened, his homework was finished and Snape had told him it was to a very high standard so he was content knowing he could fly as soon as he got back to school without any issues. He began to wonder when he would be sent back to the Dursleys and felt slightly sick, especially after how patient Snape was over the cupboard he knew the man wouldn't hurt him. He couldn't explain why but he wanted to just be near Snape, it might have been because he saved him but he just felt safer in the same room as him. He wandered quietly into the living room. The older man was flicking through the plain black book with his legs casually crossed. Snape finally noticed Harry and put the book down, he looked at Harry confused. "Aren't you coming in?" he finally asked and Harry smiled the same innocent smile he had smiled earlier and Snape smiled lightly. To his surprise Harry rushed over and sat right next to him on the same sofa.

"What are you reading?" he asked pointing at the book.

"Werewolves by Day" Snape said opening the book so Harry could see and to his surprise the boy who wasn't keen on people in his space moved closer to see.

"What's it about?" Harry asked and for a second Snape instinctively went to call Harry ignorant, it was obviously about werewolves and how to spot them during the day but he stopped himself last minute, the boy was looking at the book in awe and he realised for the first time the look was one of innocence and not ignorance and suddenly he felt guilty for all the times he'd cursed at him.

"Well it's about werewolves" he still said sarcastically but he made sure the boy knew he was joking.

"No I mean more specifically" Harry asked obviously curious.

"It's a study on ways to spot a werewolf when they're not in werewolf form but are just normal human beings"

"Like Professor Lupin?" Harry asked curiously .

"Yes" Snape nodded gesturing to some of the pictures in the book. Harry smiled, 'Professor Snape reading a picture book' he thought to himself and Snape clicked almost instantly at why Harry was smiling "It's a book you will all be studying this coming year in more detail, it's why I'm reading it" he said and Harry nodded in understanding.

"Can I read it with you?" Harry asked, his huge green eyes meeting Snape's. He had the same questioning and curious look in his eyes Lily had years ago when Snape would show her things from the Wizarding World, his heart clenched as he began to realise how much this boy was like Lily. Snape nodded and the boy sat next to him, his feet up to his chest and Snape began to read out loud while Harry listened.

Harry smiled happily to himself as he continued to listen to Snape intently, his eyes started watering and he quickly began blinking and panicking 'crying is a sign of ungratefulness' he told himself over and over in his head but it worked him up even more. Snape noticed something was wrong and stopped reading. "What is it, Potter? Do you need another pain potion?" He asked.

"No…I'm sorry" Harry begged wiping the tears away quickly.

"For what?" Snape asked confused and Harry shook his head.

"Crying…I'm not ungrateful I promise…I'm really grateful…that's why I'm crying" Harry tried to explain but Snape's eyes grew more concerned. "Uncle Vernon says if you cry it means you're ungrateful and you deserve a beating" he finally whispered explaining himself and Snape grew angry, he clenched his fist without noticing and Harry gasped.

"No I'm not mad at you" he said reassuringly "I'm mad at your uncle. Harry if you want to cry you are more than welcome to cry, of course I would like it if you came and got me or someone else, I don't like the thought of you crying on your own" he reassured realising how often this boy has probably sobbed silently, terrified. Harry just nodded but didn't speak, Snape finally wiped the tears away.

"Why are you grateful?" he asked softly, hoping the slight change in subject would help. It made Harry cry more, now he realised he wasn't going to be hit he cried more with relief and upset and confusion and it got to a point he didn't even know why he was crying. "It's okay" Snape said simply wondering if he should comfort the boy further

"I'm grateful because nobody had ever read to me before and I liked it" he finally said answering Snape's earlier question.

"That's not true" Snape said and Harry looked up at him confused. "You won't remember it but your mum used to read to you all the time. One day we were finishing an order meeting and your mum was outside with you, you were about 6 months old and she was telling you a muggle story, one her parents told her and you looked so content, you loved that story" he said softly and Harry nodded, he loved hearing stories of his parents.

"What was the story?" Harry asked.

"It's a kids story I doubt you'd find it interesting now" Snape said.

"If it's to do with my parents I'm interested" Harry said and Snape could tell by the look in the boys' eyes he really was interested and this was more than just a story, it was a part of his life that had been cruelly taken for him. His thoughts turned to Lily and he knew how much she would want him to tell Harry.

"Once upon a time…" he started, he then smiled to himself realising nobody would ever believe him if he told them he'd told the Potter boy a bed time story. "Once upon a time, there were three little pigs, they were finally being sent out to find their own fortunes and build their own homes. They all excitedly decided they wanted to build their own homes and they began gathering materials. The first pig was lazy and didn't want to carry anything heavy so he decided to build his house from straw. Later that day a wolf came along 'Little pig let me in'" Snape said almost getting lost in the memories of Lily himself "Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin" Snape continued looking down at the content boy. "The house blew down and the wolf ate the little pig. Further down the path the two other pigs continued, the second pig found a man carrying sticks and decided this would do, he quickly built his house and settled inside. Later that night, again the Wolf appeared and when the pig wouldn't let him in he blew the house down and gobbled up the little pig. The third pig walked for miles and miles until he finally reached the man selling bricks, he spent days building his large brick house and cosied up inside for the night. Of course, the Wolf appeared but no matter how much he huffed and puffed he couldn't blow the house down and the pig lived happily ever after." He finished and looked down at the boy who was fast asleep.

He scooped the boy up gently and carried him upstairs to his room. "I hope I did the story justice, Lily" he whispered to himself as he placed the teen on the bed for a second time.

Okay so this is my first ever story! I've been adding to it for quite a while and I'm right now breaking it down into chapters, this is chapter 1! I hope you enjoyed it and will stick around for the other chapters where a few more characters get added to the story including Hermione, Ron and Draco!

Please review and have a nice day!

And of course I don't own these characters