Ginger Snaps

Author's Note: This work started as my 2013 NaNo attempt. I wanted to try something a bit different. You may be thinking, doesn't this author always try something a bit different.

Now, at the time I had in progress several Harry Potter stories. There was Ritually Yours, which was working it's way through first year. There was Honor to Serve which was handling the summer after the fourth year, and there was Take no Umbridge which was handling the fifth year. In order to keep the ideas apart, I decided that I would not work in any year I already had a story in.

This left second, third, sixth, and seventh year. I started looking around for ideas. It may not surprise you, given Honor a Hufflepuff, that I was looking for things that should have been done, but didn't. In this case, treatment of a certain young girl who was possessed by a dark lord. I, of course, can't make it easy, and I was unwilling to do a Harry Potter story without Harry Potter. Fortunately a solution presented itself to that issue, and along with the addition of Snape, I had a plot to work with.

Many of those who reviewed the first draft of this work found the change of Snape to be too much, which resulted in a second and third full draft of the first three chapters. It made the work a lot better, in my opinion, so I would like to thank many members of Caer Azkaban for their responses. As this is getting long, I won't be naming them here.

I'm going to be posting parts of this story as I finish editing them, but each part will be posted no sooner than a week after the last story chapter I post, of any story. So if the muse gives me some Take no Umbridge II next week, for instance, you won't get the first full Chapter until December.


Prologue

Albus Dumbledore sat at his desk, nibbling at a lemon tart. The 1992 - 1993 school year was over, and he had a lot of leftover paperwork to complete, even though the Hogwarts Express had departed an hour before. As he nibbled his tart, he decided that he could put the staff evaluations aside for the day. He was going to have to do something about Severus and the just completed second year Gryffindors, though.

Dumbledore had not enjoyed this year. With the Chamber of Secrets having been opened, the Board of Governors temporarily sacking him, and his Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor not only turning out to be a fraud, but a rake and a memory rapist. If it his use of Ronald Weasley's broken wand hadn't backfired on him, making him unable to contribute to his own defense, Dumbledore would have been convening the Wizengamot to sentence him to the veil through which no one returns.

He shuffled the papers on his desk, looking longingly at the Potion's journal article on an innovative suppression transformation potion that he kept getting interrupted when reading. Work before pleasure, though. Dumbledore picked up the report from the Hospital Wing regarding the lingering issues for students, with special attention on those that had been in the chamber.

Ronald Weasley looked to have managed the least damage, though he'd apparently caught a little of the nimbus of the spell that backfired on Lockhart. He'd been mostly unharmed, and unfortunately had not been in a position to help Harry in the final confrontation. Then again, sometimes the hero had to go it alone. Dumbledore was well aware of that.

Harry Potter had been cast by fate and prophecy to be the hero of his generation. As usual, his medical report was voluminous for the year. A good portion of it could be blamed on the now revealed nitwit that Dumbledore had been forced to hire do to lack of other applicants. This year, Dumbledore intended to go recuiting early and often to find a decent professor for that class. Of course, his final injuries of the year, unless you count the cracked rib, could be blamed on Tom Riddle.

That had been healed, aside from the emotional trauma, Dumbledore noted. This was the first time he'd seen the last section. It seemed that Madam Pomfrey had decided to detail the long term issues that she'd seen with Harry. As Dumbledore read it, for the first time in one place, he grew more and more upset with both the Dursleys for their treatment of Harry and himself for no checking up on him.

A history of multiple broken bones, whip marks, signs of malnutrition and constant exhaustion on his growth ... the litany went on and on. Dumbledore forced himself to read the full reconstructed timeline of injuries. By the time he finished the detailed descriptions of the likely cause and original appearance of the injuries, he found himself bending over his waste basket to rid himself of his breakfast and third of his tart.

And he'd just sent the boy home to that family again.

He had to do something to get him out of that.

Of course that wasn't the only urgent recommendation that Madam Pomfrey had to make. Ginerva Weasley was right below, with mental trauma that Pomfrey didn't believe she was capable to treat. She recommended a full evaluation and treatment by a mind healer or a muggle psychologist, the latter of which Pomfrey thought might actually do a better job. A recommendation was included, with a note that "Mr. Potter might benefit from the same."

Dumbledore took up a fresh bite his tart, trying to clear the taste of bile from his tastebuds. The Weasley's couldn't afford such treatment, and certainly wouldn't consider the muggle option, which was according to Pomfrey both better and cheaper. If, however, he were to approach Molly Weasley with it as a way to help Harry, and say that the cost would be waived due to Ginerva's generous donation ...

Fawkes began to sing his approval of Dumbledore's plan as it formed. Of course there were a few holes in the plan. Given that the psychologist that Pomfrey had recommended lived on the street that Severus did, housing during treatment seemed easy enough, though Harry would need to be disguised somehow. Dumbledore's eyes caught that journal article again. Harry would probably be a touch upset with him for the method, but it would work.