I do not own the Harry Potter World or any of its characters. If I did I would not have to eat cereal with a fork to save my milk or pick up loose change in the store yard parking lot. This wonderful world belongs to J.K. Rowling.
To all it appeared to be just another quiet day in Little Whinging, but to one Harry Potter it was another day of servitude, neglect, and abuse. Harry was left on the front steps by none other than the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Albus Wulfric Percival Brian Dumbledore when he was but one year old on that fateful Hallows Eve Night. Yes, the prophecy in the forefront of Dumbledore's mind when the little Potter was left at the wretched muggle home of Vernon and Petunia Dursley. Dumbledore's intentions were simple, leave them with blood because the blood wards would be erected and Harry would be best protected. With Harry protected, he would live to fulfill his destiny and the Boy-Who-Lived would become the Savior of the wizarding world for the final time.
Dumbledore never suspected Harry's safety would be endangered inside the very home he felt would protect him. In fact, there were wards in place to notify him immediately if anyone attempted to breach the wards. I had been ten years since Harry was left with his "family" and Dumbledore needed someone to deliver his Hogwarts letter as he had been informed by Professor McGonagall, Deputy Head Mistress and Head of Gryffindor House, there had been no response from the letters to Harry.
"Letters, Minerva? You mean you have sent more than one?," Dumbledore asked with a hint of concern in his voice.
"Yes, Albus. Letters. As in more than one. I am more than concerned there has been no response. I told you the night you left Mr. Potter with the Dursleys they were the worst sort of muggles," retorted McGonagall.
"I see," Dumbledore stated moving uncomfortably in his chair. Fawkes sensing the tension in the room began humming a calming tune. "Minerva, I believe it would be best to send someone to check on Harry if we have heard nothing by weeks end."
McGonagall snorted, "Albus, I suggest you let me go check on him immediately! I began sending the letters to the Dursley residence last week, and I have sent no less than fifteen. Certainly you agree with me that fifteen letters are not going to be lost with owl post. That thought is absurd!"
"The boys birthday is Wednesday and he will be eleven. Perhaps his aunt and uncle are saving the letters as a surprise for him," even as Dumbledore spoke he doubted his own words. He knew he could not send McGonagall to check on Harry's well being. If she even suspected something purposefully unpleasant had happened to Harry while in the care of the Dursleys she would hex them into an oblivion without a second thought. She didn't survive the first war wasn't Head of Gryffindor House because of her lack of abilities to wield a wand. No he could not send her to check on the boy and deliver the letter. He could plainly remember the night Harry was left with his aunt and uncle. McGonagall had wanted to take Harry and raise him for herself, but he convinced her Mrs. Figg would be able to keep an eye on the boys well being and would report to him anything unsettling. Dumbledore also reminded her of the blood wards and the dangers of him living in the wizarding world.
Dumbledore spoke again, " If we do not hear word from the Dursleys or Harry by Wednesday, I will send Severus to take Harry his letter and check on his welfare." Dumbledore held up both hands as McGonagall began to protest. He knew she would want to go but he could not risk his long time companion ending up in Azkaban for a game of 'go hex the muggles.'
"Minerva I know you desire to check on Harry yourself but you know the many tasks we have to complete prior to the opening feast. As Deputy Headmistress your duties are overwhelming enough without adding to it. Severus is more than capable of handling this task, and I am sure he will do it without protest." Dumbledore inwardly smirked at his own joke. Severus Snape not protest at going to check on the well being of Harry bloody Potter.
McGonagall conceded, "You are right. There are many things left to prepare before the beginning of the school year. I will go to the dungeons and tell Severus you wish to speak to him."
"Thank you Minerva," Dumbledore inclined his head in appreciation, and she exited his office leaving Dumbledore to his thoughts.
Sitting behind his desk he began contemplating the upcoming discussion with the Potions Master. Dumbledore knew Snape would not be happy with being asked to do this task, but he knew he would not have to force him to do it. Snape would do it out of respect for him because he saved him from Azkaban when he was just a young man and gave him a second chance. He had given Snape a position at Hogwarts allowing him to continue with his love of experimenting with potions with almost any potion ingredient he needed at the tips of his fingers. Dumbledore had never used this "favor" to Snape as any means of blackmail to try and force the man to do as he wanted, and for that reason Snape would do whatever he asked without question.
Well… without too much question anyway. Yes Severus was known to grumble, at times rant and rave, and come up with every reason to excuse him from what he was asked to do if he did not want too. However, as Dumbledore did see Severus as an adopted son of sorts, he accepted this response with a twinkle in his eye which would usually enrage Severus further. As of late, in passing Dumbledore would hear Severus mumbling under his breath something inaudible with the exception of "Harry bloody Potter" or "just like his father" or "Prince Potter." Dumbledore chuckled at Prince Potter as Prince was his mothers surname prior to marrying a Snape. Kind of ironic huh.
A knock on his door disrupted his thoughts, and Severus in his usual black billowing robes entered the Headmaster's office. "You wanted to see me Headmaster?" Severus inquired.
Coming out of his thoughts still with a twinkle in his eye, Dumbledore turned his attention to Severus. "Ahh Severus, yes my boy I did wish to see you. I hope I am not interrupting anything too important. Lemon Drop?"
Severus politely declined the Lemon Drop, the same one he had refused for the past ten years and he knew the Headmaster was going to ask him to do something he did not want to do. Many years of working closely with Dumbledore he could read the man's actions. You see Dumbledore had that damn twinkle in his eye, a soft smirk on his face, referred to him as 'my boy,' and placated him with by briefly apologizing in advance if he was disturbing his brewing which he certainly had known he would be doing from now until the beginning of term. At least Dumbledore had not complimented him. That is never a good sign.
"No. Well one day maybe you will develop a taste for them. You see I have something I need to discuss with you Severus, which requires your exceptional expertise."
Oh great, now with the compliments, Severus thought.
Dumbledore continued, " It is a matter involving Harry Potter in which I need your assistance."
No, Severus thought to himself, No this does not bode well for me at all… Harry Bloody Potter! And he has not even made it to Hogwarts yet!