Severus Snape comes into his rooms one day and finds a package with a card saying "read me". Upon reading the title "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", he puts it aside and grabs a potion text to read. Only the writing in every book (or student essay) he tries to read has been replaced with "Chapter One, The Boy Who lived". Giving up, he sits down to read the book and learn and few truths about the son of his schoolyard enemy.
Note: dullastacks now seems to have withdrawn from fanfiction, but the story, chapters 1-22, can be found [[http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/23355117/24845021/name/A+Little+Light+Reading.doc here]].
!!This fanfic contains examples of:
* AbusiveParents: There are references to this in regards to Snape and his father. Snape finds that Vernon was emotionally/mentally abusive to Harry and is not happy. Even less so when he finds implications of physical abuse.
--> '''Vernon (Book):''' ''I'm not having one in the house, Petunia! Didn't we swear when we took him in we'd stamp out that dangerous nonsense?''
--> '''Snape:''' "Stamp it out? STAMP IT OUT? So help me, Dursley, if I find one mark on that boy that was put there by a hand larger than your son's..."
--> '''Harry:''' ...or whichever slimy Slytherin snake told you I did something.
* BeneathTheMask: The story goes into quite a bit as to what Snape is like under his "Greasy Bastard" behavior.
* BornUnlucky: Snape apparently sees Harry as this.
--> '''Snape (mentally, about Harry):''' ''It was as if he'd been hit with some sort of counter to the Felix Felicis at birth.''
* CallingTheOldManOut: Snape is outraged that Dumbledore left baby Harry with the Dursleys, not to mention leaving him on the doorstep all night.
* ClusterFBomb: Snape's imagined letter by Ron telling his mother about [[AbusiveParents the Dursleys' abuse of Harry]].
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Snape and Harry. Implied to be Neville too.
* TheDarkSide: Many of the old Pureblood families, weakened from generations of inbreeding, turn to the Dark Arts for power. They don't seem to realize that it's corrupting their bloodlines and magical cores, weakening them further and destroying them from the inside out.
* DeadpanSnarker: Snape while reading. Quite frequently.
--> '''Snape:''' No, whale-spawn, your father's not gone mad, he's simply an imbecile.
* FridgeBrilliance: In-universe. Snape finds many reasons for Harry's behavior in Hogwarts, based upon the book. For example, he doesn't ask questions in class, because of Vernon's "Don't ask questions!" rule.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Quirrell. See NotSoHarmlessVillain below.
* HypocriticalHumor: Snape while reading. Frequently.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Snape has to pour himself a drink by the time he gets to chapter 2 to cope with what he's reading. He needs another upon discovering that Harry was forced to live in the cupboard under the stairs despite there being two extra rooms available.
* IllKillYou: When Snape read that Harry slept in the cupboard under the stairs, he recalls similar memories from his own childhood and is so enraged that he wants to kill Petunia. He soon feels the urge to kill Vernon too. The urge doesn't go away.
--> '''Book!Ron:''' ''[to Harry]'' Don't push it, I've heard Snape can turn very nasty.
--> "Well, I was going to give that point back, Weasley, but now you can forget it," Snape said nastily.
* IAmNotMyFather: Snape comes to realize that Harry isn't just like James was.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: He went out of his way in the middle of the night to have Pomfrey check Harry for abuse and stayed with him while he was asleep.
* LawOfInverseFertility: At one point Snape muses on the "Pureblood Curse" of barely being able to conceive one child per couple and a wizarding population crisis arising from it.
* LikeFatherLikeSon: Snape initially believed Harry to be this. The book quickly disabuses him of this notion.
* NobodyPoops: Snape lampshades this as he notes that "the book hasn't mentioned so much as a bathroom break."
* NoodleIncident: Professor Binns's death, unlike the boring "got up one day and never noticed he was dead" tale told to Harry, is actually a sordid affair somehow involving his preoccupation with the goblin wars and pineapples. Only the other ghosts know all the details, but they're not telling.
* NotSoDifferent: Snape starts to see Harry as this, noting many parallels between his own troubled childhood and Harry's.
--> He'd felt that way many times as a youth, when Lily would take him by the hand and pull him into her house for a meal or kind words. Basic human compassion made no sense to someone made to feel guilty for their own birth. And somehow, he'd missed that same shadow in Harry.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: Snape knows that there’s something up with Quirrell. He’s just not sure what. Either way, he sees Quirrell as potentially one of these.
--> "Nervous. Incompetent. Useless. Highly suspect in his qualifications... Quirrell is many things, Potter, and none of them good. You'd do well to stay far away from him." Snape was more convinced than ever that he needed make sure the two were never alone together, and that Quirrell didn't have any more easy access to Harry until he'd sorted exactly who and what the man was about.
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: How else could the Dursleys get away with treating Harry so horribly for so many years? Especially when Harry is locked up in his cupboard for weeks, missing school, and somehow nobody notices.
* TearsOfRemorse: Snape, while reading the first chapter:
* TheyJustDontGetIt: Dumbledore to a degree.
* WhamLine: To Snape, the line "Harry was used to spiders, because the cupboard under the stairs was full of them, and that was where he slept." It's what jumpstarts his CharacterDevelopment in-story, and also happens to be the first of a number of moments that he realizes that he and Harry are [[NotSoDifferent not so different]] after all.
* WouldntHurtAChild: Snape doesn't intend to take action against Harry's bullies personally, but he's fine with "accidentally" letting the Weasley twins find out just who make his home life so unpleasant.