"Clear your mind, Potter! Empty yourself of all emotions! As I mentioned previously, fools who wear their emotions on their sleeves- weak people like yourself- Voldemort will eat alive!"
Harry thought of the last time he had succeeded at emptying his mind of emotions - that horrible, horrible night in the cupboard when Dudley - Harry was numb, dissociated at the thought he had remembered, but his mind was not clear when Snape shouted "Legilmens!"
Images of Harry as a child locked in his cupboard swam past him. "Oh hoho, it appears the Gryffindor Golden boy is not as spoilt as the world thinks. One would think living in cupboard might have made you less arrogant, but it appears you are incapable of learning from experience." Snape's taunts dragged Harry's memories through the experiences he had learnt from, Harry darting out of his uncle's reach before he could end up in a choke hold, Harry getting hit by Petunia's frying pan, Harry learning that trying to get another ten minutes of sleep would end in Petunia holding his arm over the stove, Harry learning that he had a name and must respond to it in primary school, despite the fact that at home he was only ever 'boy' or 'freak'.
"Ah, your ineptitude at occlumency is overbearing. I assure you, Voldemort will do much worse than your relatives have." Snape's final jab brought out the memory that started it all. Harry was ten, and he had spent the day at Mrs. Figg's, and he had wanted nothing more than to get to his cupboard and sleep. Unfortunately, it was Dudley's birthday, and he had been given a lock-picking set from Pier's. Harry could hear his cousin picking the various locks the cupboard held, and then-
Harry had had enough. Snape only got glimpses of the fat boy, pants down, hovering over Harry, before Harry finally succeeded in getting the greasy git out of his mind.
"I believe we are done for today. Do not allow your unsavory memories of your relatives to distract you from your task in the future, or else I may actually sign you up for Remedial Potions. Now leave!"
Harry did as he was told, running from the dungeons all the way to the Gryffindor common room. Ron stopped him before he could get to his bed, asking how it went. Harry sighed, saying "I'd take Umbridge over Snape at this point."
Harry's dreams that night were filled with memories of his cousin raping him, the intense pain from the encounter feeling so real Harry forgot it was not currently happening. He had been called 'boy' throughout the encounter, a sign that Dudley saw him as less than human, unworthy of his name when he was desperately trying to fight the heavier boy off of him. Harry woke up at around 3 am, Snape's words ringing in his mind. "Weak people like yourself" Harry was weak, wasn't he? He had never even asked anyone if what had been done to him could warrant getting him taken from the Dursley's. Harry wondered. It was late, but he found himself walking towards McGonagall's quarters anyway. Harry knocked, knowing the witch had a habit of staying up late grading on Friday nights. McGonagall sighed, figuring it was a first year dealing with a bout of homesickness. "Come in!"
"Professor, I'm sorry to bother you so late but I had a question and I thought that you, as my head of house, might be able to answer it. "
"Mr. Potter, I'm glad your independence streak is not too long. How may I help you?"
"Well I know in the Muggle world, if a- an adult in charge of a child se- violates said child, the child gets taken away. Is that true in the wizarding world as well?"
"It depends on what you are referring to by violate. Adults in the wizarding world are allowed to, for instance, go through their children's belongings and diaries in a way that in the Muggle world would likely be unacceptable."
"No, I mean - violate as in - y'know the concept of personal space?" McGonagall nods. "If someone touches a child in a way that is -" Harry struggled for the word. "Inappropriate."
"Harry, has anyone in this school done such a thing to you? Because, yes, that treatment of a child would get an adult sent straight to a high security ward."
"Not-no, nobody in this school. I just was wondering, if a child violates another child in such a way, what- what happens? I haven't done anything like that, I was just-"
"Harry, do you know what Legilimency is?" Harry nods. "Do you mind if I use it on you? This conversation is making very little sense to me and I want to understand what you are talking about."
Harry floundered on what to do. After Snape, he was not at all fond of giving someone the power to go into his head again. But if it could remove him from the Dursley's... "May I use a Pensieve instead?"
"Certainly Mr. Potter." Harry took out his wand as McGonagall led him to a vial. "It's not as fancy as Dumbledore's, but it'll serve our purposes." Harry put his wand to his temple and thought about the entire event at Snape's lesson, the memories, the snide remarks, all of it. If he could get Snape sacked, all the better. He included his dream-memory too, as that was why he was there.
McGonagall cast what Harry presumed was a reverse Engorgio, as she got very small, and jumped into the vial. Harry was standing there alone for a good twenty minutes before McGonagall came out again.
Harry was nervous. He had never gone to an adult for help since the TriWizard Tournament fiasco, and was scared McGonagall would refuse to help him. "Well?" he asked, fidgeting with his pajama top.
"I will go to Dumbledore and see if he can get you removed from that house right away. I will also inquire about a Mind-Healer, as getting hit that many times by a heavy object may have caused you some concussion-induced brain damage. For now, go to sleep." And with those words, the Professor flooed off to Dumbledore's office.
Harry's sleep for the rest of the night was fitful and he found when awoke on Saturday that he had missed breakfast. He figured he'd wait until class on Monday to ask McGonagall about his future.
The weekend flew by with Dumbledore's Army training and many games of Exploding Snap with Ron. On Monday, Harry suffered through History of Magic before rushing off to Transfiguration to talk to McGonagall before class.
"Professor, did Dumbledore say he would remove me from the Dursley's?"
"Why the devil would he do that? You're safe there, aren't you?"
It appeared McGonagall had no recollection of the conversation they had had two nights before.
Harry somehow survived the year without getting expelled, but he never had the chance to confront Dumbledore before he got sacked. This, however, also meant that Dumbledore had no way of contacting the Weasley family before the summer holidays.
Harry asked Ron if he could spend the summer with him, claiming his relatives had said he could. Ron looked dubious, thinking of the flying car incident, but seeing his friend's fear of returning home written onto his face, agreed. Mrs. Weasley swallowed the lie that Dumbledore had decided their house was safer than Privet Drive easily. Harry was technically a runaway now, as he had no plan for where to spend summers once the war started, and likely would never be allowed back to Privet Drive because the protection stopping Voldemort from attacking the Dursley's was gone, but Harry would let them get attacked. Harry was free, and he was finally safe enough to start attempting to recover from what his cousin had done five years ago.