Chapter One: Sleeping memories



Did you know you could fall asleep when using a pensieve?

Harry Snape-Potter had just found out. In the middle of the night, he had woken from vaguely disturbing dreams - of what, he wasn't quite sure. The dorm, naturally, was dark, and as silent as a room with four sleeping teenage boys could be. On the pillow by Harry's head, his quetzalcoatl familiar was curled in a slumbering ball of feathers and scales.

Harry couldn't go back to sleep; he was too restless. Instead, he retrieved from its hiding place the stone bowl full of memories his father, Severus Snape had given him for his birthday. Sitting cross-legged in the middle of his bed, the curtains drawn about him, Harry caressed the cool stone of the pensieve in his lap for a moment. It was strangely difficult to imagine that only a little over a month and a half ago, Harry had believed himself to be Harry James Potter, son of Lily and James.

Now, of course, he knew himself to be Harry James Severus Snape-Potter, son of Severus Snape and James Potter, nephew of Lily Evans. And in those six short weeks, he had - almost miraculously, it seemed - come to terms with who he really was. He had made peace with the Potions Professor and discovered that - far from hating him - Severus actually loved him, and Harry had come to return the sentiment.

Harry's acceptance was due in no small part to this pensieve. It contained memories from his father of the times that Severus had spent with his husband and his half-sister. Harry saw in this device's silver-white fluid a man he had no idea existed. After seeing this new side to his father - and receiving from him the affection he had craved his entire life - Harry quickly accepted Severus.

Harry shifted slightly and the fluid memories swirled in the bowl, the light casting dancing shadows over the boy's face. He blinked his eyes rapidly, bringing them back to focus on the pensieve. He knew there were still memories in here that he hadn't touched upon. His father had hinted at a memory of his parents' wedding, which he'd yet to discover....

He hadn't yet put any of his own memories into it, either. He decided that he would leave that for another day. He wasn't entirely sure of the procedure and he didn't want to end up spilling all his memories into the bowl and leave himself with amnesia.

Harry fumbled for his wand on his bed-side table, almost upsetting the pensieve in the process. He quickly righted himself and caught the bowl just as it was about to slide from his lap.

More adept at using the device now, Harry dipped his wand until it just grazed the surface of the silver-white fluid and watched as the contents swirled and cleared. He found himself looking through a window-like aperture at two young men as they sat side-by-side on a lakeshore. Harry recognized this memory. It was the second one he had ever viewed.

Exerting his will, Harry forced the memory away and allowed another to rise to the surface. When the fluid cleared again, Harry was looking into the room he now recognized as his fathers' bedroom in the London flat they had briefly occupied. The lighting in the room suggested night, and Harry knew which memory this would be as well.

He exerted his will again, sending that memory swirling away. Green rippled across the fluid's surface and another scene steadied before Harry's eyes. A forest lane warm with autumn sunshine lay there, and Harry didn't recognize it. He let his finger touch the fluid and braced himself for the swirling transition into memory.

~ Harry opened his eyes to a warm afternoon rich with the scents of a forest in autumn. The damp smell of loam and the crisp smell of a distant hay-field filled his nostrils. The sunshine was a warm pressure where it touched him through leaves turning to all the shades of fall. Birds twittered quietly to themselves and unidentified creatures scurried in the underbrush. From behind Harry came to sound of voices.

~ Harry had expected to see his father with his dad. Instead, when he turned, he found his aunt, Lily, standing by his father in the forest glade.

~ Harry blinked. This.... was not really what he had been expecting. Lily was wearing dress robes of a rich brown velvet edged in deep green. Her auburn hair tumbled in loose curls about her shoulders and was interwoven with autumn wildflowers.

~ Harry's father wore dress robes as well, finely cut robes of raw silk in so dark a blue that Harry first mistook it for black. A fine white satin shirt made itself known at the young man's throat and cuffs and the mid- shoulder length black hair was held back with a band of silver wire. Harry looked closer and realized the band was in the form of a small snake with garnet chips for eyes.

~ In short, both siblings looked to be dressed for an occasion and Harry felt suddenly under-dressed, despite the fact that he was the only one who knew he was there.

~ Lily spoke and Harry realized that Severus was wringing his hands.

~ "Relax Sev. They won't be here for at least another two hours," Lily sighed and lowered herself gracefully to the ground.

~ As Harry moved closer, he saw his father glance down at his white- knuckled hands. Severus dropped them to his sides and started pacing again. He glared at his sister as the young woman calmly withdrew a charms book from a basket that sat at the foot of a nearby tree.

~ "You brought a *book* to my *wedding*?" Severus sputtered indignantly.

~ Harry stared at him. Wedding? Well that explained the robes at least.

~ Lily sighed, "No, Sev. I brought a book to read *before* your wedding. You were the one that insisted we leave two hours early."

~ Severus snorted and spun on his heel, pacing to the other end of the quiet autumn glade. Lily ignored her older brother's nervous theatrics and opened the charms book.

~ "I don't know what you're so worried about," she said offhandedly, "I'm sure James would have told you if he'd wanted to call it off."

~ At the far end of the glade, Severus growled and spun to start the journey back towards the tree his sister sat under. Lily calmly turned a page, "Well, if it's not that that's bothering you, what is it? You can't possibly be worried about someone wondering where we are........?"

~ Her comment was meet with silence and Harry transferred his gaze to his still-pacing father. Severus's face was blank and his hands white-knuckled.

~ Lily smirked a little and set her book aside to go and stand in Severus's path. Severus tried to sidestep her, but she mirrored his actions. He crossed his arms and glared at her. Harry wasn't surprised to see that his father's glare had no effect on his aunt.

~ "Sev," she said softly, "No one is going to find out. Father thinks we've gone to London for the day. My mother thinks I'm at Hogwarts still. *Your* mother couldn't care less where you were unless she needs you, which she doesn't. Stop worrying about it."

~ "I am *not* worrying!" snapped Severus. He spun on his heel and marched across the clearing to sit broodingly on a fallen log. Lily snorted and Harry echoed her. Then the boy was left standing alone in the middle of the memory clearing as Lily returned to her book.

~ Several minutes passed in which neither Lily nor Severus spoke or moved. Harry wandered about the forest glade. Beneath a tree directly opposite the lane on which he had entered the glade, Harry discovered a small altar-like slab of stone. Arrayed on its surface was a scroll of parchment, an elegant quill, a bottle of royal purple ink and various other paraphernalia Harry supposed was used in a wizard wedding. He ghosted a hand over the parchment, knowing he wouldn't be able to disturb it, but wishing he could read the document.

~ He started when a sharp snap sounded behind him. It was followed by a soft thump as Lily dropped her book. Harry turned away from the altar to find Lily glaring across the clearing at her brother. Severus still held in his hands the two pieces of the stick he had just broken in half. He smirked at her and calmly snapped both pieces in half again.

~ Lily scowled, "Well, if you're bored, it's your own fault. It'll be another hour and a half before James and Remy get here."

~ Severus ignored her and continued to break the stick into smaller and smaller pieces. Lily huffed and went back to her book and - for the most part - the glade was silent again.

~ Harry slumped down in a beam of sunshine and lent his head back against a convenient tree. Through half-hooded eyes, he observed his father as the young man entertained himself now by inspecting the wild herbs that grew at the forest verge.

~ 'Ever the Potions Master,' Harry thought and blinked drowsily.

That was when Harry discovered that you could fall asleep when using a pensieve.

Of course, he didn't at first realize what was going on. All he knew was that he wasn't in the autumn forest glade anymore, waiting to witness his fathers' wedding. Without the normal swirl of darkness, Harry found himself in a pale green room. That was the first sign that something wasn't quite as it should be.

The second was when he turned around and saw the three people in the room, none of whom were his father. Well, that wasn't strictly true. Rather: none of whom were his father *Severus* *Snape*. Because that man there with the child was definitely James Potter. And the young woman at his side was surely Lily Evans. And the green-eyed infant that James held was surely Harry himself....

The door opened and Harry spun around expecting to see his other father enter the room. It wasn't. A young wizard with a cold face entered the room, followed by a middle-aged witch whose face was liberally sprinkled with smile lines. Both were dressed in white robes reminiscent of the coats that medical staff in the muggle world wore.

Harry couldn't understand why, if this was one of his father's memories, his father was no where to be seen. Too tired to force his mind to concentrate on the matter, Harry shrugged, philosophizing that he could always worry about it later and turned back to the scene before him.

The young wizard was trying to take the infant Harry from James's arms, but the child was crying loudly and James refused to pass him over. Instead, the dark-haired man took his son's arm gently and held it out, wrist up. The medi-wizard - as Harry know realized he must be - scowled but set a vampire-leech on the baby's arm anyway.

A blood test, Harry realized. This was a memory of a medical check up. More to the point, this was *Harry's* memory of a medical check up. It couldn't be anybody else's. Both Lily and James were dead and Severus wasn't in evidence. Somehow, Harry supposed the pensieve had retrieved this incident from Harry's own mind.........

The leech reached the size James's pinkie finger before the medi-wizard removed it. Roughly. The infant Harry howled and the teenager flinched. James and Lily glared blue-murder at the foolish wizard, as did the older medi-witch. James cradled the sobbing child close and turned away.

The medi-wizard scowled darkly and left the room stiffly, letting the door slam behind him.

"Shhhh shh shh," soothed James, "Shh, sweet. Daddy's here. Daddy won't let him hurt you."

The baby's sobs quieted and the eyes slit sleepily. Behind James, the medi- witch was talking to Lily.

"I never liked that young man. Too rough with the younguns," she huffed in a motherly fashion. She had just opened her mouth to say something further when the medi-wizard entered the room again. The witch frowned and muttered to Lily, "Should never have been let near your boy........"

James turned about again, but held his son protectively close to his chest. Lily moved over to stand by him and the kindly witch followed, scowling still at the medi-wizard.

"I need to know your blood-magic types," he said without any preamble.

James and Lily were immediately wary.

Lily crossed her arms, "Why do you need to know that?"

The young medi-wizard drew himself up indignantly, as though he couldn't believe someone was questioning him, "Mrs. Evans, I assure you I would not be asking if it weren't necessary."

Harry stared. Evans? Mrs? They weren't here under their real names? Then again, he supposed that made sense. If a medical test should prove Lily not be the mother, at least with the pseudonyms, the trio wouldn't be traced back to Severus Snape.

James drew himself up as well, "What I think my wife is asking, Mr. Gray, is *why* is it necessary. Surely we have a right to know?"

The medi-wizard's chin came down and Harry could just tell he was going to exert his false authority. Fortunately, the medi-witch stepped in.

"What have you found, Mr. Gray?"

Obviously, her word carried weight, because the medi-wizard sullenly answered, "The boy's blood-magic type is O-sigma," as though that explained it all. And it did to the medi-witch. Her eyes widened.

She turned to James and Lily and smiled reassuringly at their suspicious looks, "Mr. Gray is just enthusiastic, I'm afraid. It is not often that one encounters the blood-magic type O-sigma. Do you know much of the blood- magic types?" she continued in the face of James and Lily's rather blank expressions.

Lily shook her head, and James replied, "I know only what all wizarding children do: that each person has a different magic type as well as a different blood type and that the two types combine and affect the person's magic on a whole in some manner........"

"Huh," snorted the medi-wizard, "a crude way of putting it."

He was silenced by three glares. The medi-witch, deliberately turned her back on him as she addressed Lily and James again, "O-sigma is the rarest of types. In fact, only one in over five thousand wizarding children is born with it, and usually only if one of the parents is a carrier.

"On the rare occasion that we encounter a carrier, we like to document it in order to help with our research into the different blood-magic types," she smiled kindly again, "It would aid as greatly if you would consent to allow us to register your child."

Before either Lily or James could speak, the brash young medi-wizard interrupted, "We only need Mrs. Evans's blood-magic type. We took Mr. Evans's on a previous trip."

"If you will excuse us for a moment........" the medi-witch took the young wizard by the arm and forcefully directed him out of the room, closing the door after her. Lily immediately turned to James.

"We can't let them take my blood-magic type! It probably won't match Harry's and then they'll know I'm not his mother!"

"You don't know what type you are?"

"No!" Lily wailed quietly, "I mean, I know my blood type is AB, but that was a muggle blood test! Oh, maybe we should just leave before Madame Hale comes back?"

"Lily! Calm down. It'll be okay. You've been tense and jumpy all day. Look, your blood type is AB. They already know that my blood-magic type is O- theta, so we'll just tell them that your magic type is AB-sigma. My cousin had that blood-magic type, so I know it's possible.

"So long as we don't let them test you, we'll be fine. We're here under pseudonyms anyway."

Harry could see his aunt pause for a moment and think. Finally she nodded.

"AB-sigma," she nodded just as the door began to open. Harry turned towards it and staggered.

Abruptly, with no visible transition, he wasn't in the same pale green room anymore and his father and aunt weren't with him.

He turned around.

He was standing in the middle of a nursery. *His* nursery, he supposed. It had to be, since the only person in the room was the infant in the cot, staring with wide green eyes through him at the door.

Harry turned back to the door as well. The door was opening. Quickly. It slammed against the wall and almost bounced back in the face of the person entering, but she was through it too quickly. She ran straight through the spot that Harry stood in and scooped the baby from his cot.

Harry followed her movements, realizing that the woman was Lily. And that she was afraid. She was whispering, "Please. Please. Not Harry. Please not Harry."

Harry stared at her. She was pale and trembling and clutching the child close. She ran to the window and worried at the stiff latch, whispering all the while.

And it was only when Harry heard the door open behind him again that he understood.

Without turning, without moving at all, he knew who would be standing in the doorway behind him. He knew what was about to happen. He didn't want to be here. He didn't want to relive this memory. He tried to lift his conscience from the pensieve and found it impossible.

A papery-dry voice whispered behind him, "The child, girl. Give him to me."

Lily paled yet further and turned her back to the monster. Harry, urged by some awful compulsion, turned to face Voldemort, not quite knowing what he would see. The man standing in the doorway, his wand leveled at Lily, looked so much like the Tom Riddle from the diary that Harry gasped: same hair, same height, same nose, same everything. Except for the red eyes.

And that just seemed to make it worse.

Repulsed and terrified, Harry fell away. He ended against the nearest wall, cowering with his head between his knees. He couldn't do this. Not again. His arms pressed down on his head, covering his ears. But he could still hear. He could still hear Lily cry and Voldemort hiss -

"Not Harry! Not Harry! Please - I'll do anything-"

"Stand aside - Stand aside, girl -"

Harry sobbed harshly. And then:

"Little lord!"

Something smooth and cool brushed against the back of Harry's hand and a forked tongue flicked at the edge of his ear, "Little lord, you mussst wake. You mussst wake if you don't wisssh to live thisss again. Little lord -"

And Harry realized that Sakuna was right. He *was* asleep. And he could wake himself up and leave this memory behind........

Harry's eyes snapped open and he found himself back in the middle of his bed, slumped uncomfortably over the pensieve still in his lap. His quetzalcoatl, Sakuna, was wrapped reassuringly tight about his neck, hissing soothingly in his ear.

Harry reflexively thrust the pensieve away from him, denying the memories he had recovered in its depths. Denying that most awful Hallowe'en night fourteen years previous. The pensieve slid off the foot of the bed and onto Harry's trunk.

Harry flopped, exhausted, back onto his pillow. That was almost worse then the vision he received by way of his scar. At least those he knew didn't come from his own mind. He was trembling and cold and clammy. Hot tears slid down his cheeks. Sakuna curled in a comforting ball on his chest, hissing soothing nonsense sounds.

Harry knew he should probably go and tell someone about the pensieve and what it had done. He should probably tell his father about the memories he had recovered. He knew he should. And he would.

But not just now........ Not just........ now.........

Exhausted and emotionally wracked, Harry fell into a dreamless sleep just as the sun began to rise.





TBC





AN: So? How was that for the first chapter of my sequel? Doesn't really give you any idea of where I'm going with it does it? That's probably because I don't have that clear an idea just yet. But I'd still love to here your opinions/comments/criticisms. And any ideas you might have to help me along the way......... *L*

See that pretty blue button at the bottom of the screen? Pressing that means I update more quickly. The more times it gets pressed, the faster I update.