Disclaimer: Don't own nor will I ever.
"The Price of a Slytherin Spy"
Potions. Most students' least favorite subject. Not because of the subject matter, but because of the professor, Severus Snape, Head of Slytherin House. Severus always favored his Slytherins, Draco Malfoy above all others, and didn't take points away from them or give them detentions, and he was never late to his classroom. However, it was five minutes into the lesson, and he wasn't there. The Gryffindors, whom the Professor was extremely severe with, were happy about this fact, but the Slytherins were a bit worried. They all pretty much liked Severus and didn't want anything to happen to him. Suddenly, the door to the classroom opened, and everyone, expecting Severus to walk in, turned around.
But it wasn't Severus, it was Dumbledore. He walked to the front of the classroom. "All Potions classes have been cancelled until further notice."
"Is Professor Snape alright?" a fifth-year Slytherin girl asked.
"He has fallen ill, and I'm not sure when he'll feel up to teaching or when I'll be able to get a replacement. So, off with you."
The students packed up their books, cauldrons, and ingredients and left. Three fifth-year Gryffindor students, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermoine Granger, had a little less than an hour before their next class: Charms with Professor Flitwick.
Professor Flitwick had been telling the class how to do the latest charm: The Summoning Charm. Suddenly, the door opened, catching the attention of Flitwick's entire class. It was Hagrid. Harry could tell he was holding something he was adamant about hiding.
"I'm sorry teh interrupt, Professor, but do yeh know where Professor Dumbledore is?"
"No, Hagrid. I don't."
The groundskeeper's shoulders dropped, and Harry saw locks of black hair. He decided to speak up. "Professor, I know where the Headmaster is. May I show Hagrid?"
Flitwick nodded and Harry got up. Hagrid was a little uneasy as Harry walked toward him, knowing how Harry always found trouble, but relaxed a little when Harry didn't ask him any questions. As Harry led Hagrid through some corridors, he snuck a few looks at what, or rather who, Hagrid was carrying. There was a small, unconscious, raven-haired boy in the half-giant's arms. The boy's clothes were barely staying on him, because they were too large.
Harry led Hagrid down several corridors and up a staircase or two. He stopped in front of a door. "Professor Dumbledore is in here, Hagrid."
"Thank yeh, Harry. Now, git yerself back teh class." Hagrid shifted the boy into one of his massive arms and knocked on the door. "Professor Dumbledore, sir, I have teh talk teh yeh. It's an emergency!"
Dumbledore opened the door and looked at the boy. He looked around before saying, "Oh, Severus! Where did you find him, Hagrid?"
Having slid down a nearby hall, Harry was still in hearing range and stared into empty space. There was only one person he knew with the name Severus, and that was the Potions Master, Snape. The entire class had been dismissed earlier by Professor Dumbledore himself after delivering the message that Severus was sick. But what if he wasn't sick? What if he was involved in some sort of incident, and this was the result?
"We should take him to the hospital wing, Hagrid."
"Should I tell Professor McGonagall?"
"Yes, after we help Severus."
Dumbledore and Hagrid, who was carrying Severus, walked towards the hospital wing and, surprisingly, met up with Professor McGonagall on the way.
"Evening, Professor Dumbledore, Hagrid. Who is the young man?"
"Doesn't he look familiar, Minerva?"
"No, Albus. Not in. . ." Minerva trailed off as she looked at the boy. "Now, that you mention it, he does. Who is he, Albus?"
"Severus? As in Professor Severus Snape?"
McGonagall gasped. "How'd this happen?"
"I don't know yet. We were taking him to the hospital wing."
When they entered the hospital wing, Dumbledore told Madame Pomphrey what happened. She bustled about, collecting different potions as Hagrid set the boy on one of the beds. Dumbledore removed the boy's oversized robe, laying it at the foot of the bed, and pushed up his oversized left sleeve. All of them looked at an unmarred forearm.
"If nothing else, at least The Mark is gone," Dumbledore whispered to himself.
Suddenly, the boy groaned and opened his eyes.
"Severus, how do you feel?"
Severus lifted a hand to his head. "My head hurts."
Dumbledore placed his hand on Severus's remaining hand. "What do you remember, child? Anything about the past two days?"
The boy shook his head. "No."
Professor McGonagall stepped over to Dumbledore. "Do you have any idea how this happened, Albus?"
"I believe Severus was discovered as a spy, while trying to penetrate the Death Eaters' Inner Circle. Severus doesn't seem to remember anything about his mission."
"How much does he remember?"
"He knows his name, and he recognizes us. I'm not sure if he remembers that he teaches potions or how to do complicated spells or if he would recognize any of the students he teaches. I assume he'll figure out he's part of Slytherin House."
"Is this permanent, Albus?"
"I don't know, Minerva. I hope not."
Just then, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine ran into the hospital wing.
"Professor Dumbledore, we . . . heard what . . . happened to Professor . . . Snape, and we . . . wanted . . . to see if he was . . . okay," Harry said, breathing heavily from the run from the Charms classroom to the hospital wing.
"How'd yeh know?"
"Harry. . .found. . .out," answered Ron, who was even more out of breath than Harry was.
"I, uh, heard you and Professor Dumbledore talking."
Hermoine, who was remaining silent (AN: Highly unusual!), snuck a peek at the boy on the bed. He did look like their professor, a smaller, shorter version, whose long hair barely passed his shoulders. Their professor's clothes barely stayed on him. At the foot of the bed lay his robe.
Severus looked at Hermoine curiously. "Who are you?"
Everyone looked at him.
"I'm Hermoine Granger. He's Ron Weasley, and he's Harry Potter."
"Potter. . . Any relation to James Potter?"
"Yes, I'm his son."
Madame Pomphrey walked over. "Everyone has to leave. Severus needs to rest."
Hermoine, Ron, Harry, Hagrid, and Professor McGonagall left. Dumbledore stood up and said, "I'll be back a bit later, Severus."
"All right. Headmaster, did that girl know me? She stared at me like she knew me."
"Severus, I'm going to ask you a couple questions that will sound a little strange, but I want you to answer them, okay?"
"Okay," Severus replied, uncertainly.
"Who are you, and how old are you?"
"I'm Severus Snape of Slytherin House, and I'm twelve."
Dumbledore closed his eyes briefly. "Severus, I'm not sure how or why this happened, but you're supposed to be thirty-years-old. You are the Potions Professor and Head of Slytherin. To answer your previous question, those three children are a few of your students."
This time, it was Severus who closed his eyes briefly. "Professor, do you think I'll be allowed to teach my classes?"
Dumbledore placed a hand on the boy's face. "No, child, not in your current condition."
"I thought as much." After a slight pause, Severus added, "Headmaster, I would like to get some rest now."
Dumbledore nodded and left. Severus rolled over onto his left side. Tears were forming in his dark eyes. He tried in vain to not cry, but in the end, he ended up crying uncontrollably. He, Severus Snape, could not remember certain things for reasons unknown to him. It seemed so unfair.
Madame Pomphrey, thinking Severus was sleeping, pulled the curtain around the bed. It was several hours before he got another visitor. One Severus could do without.
"Why are you here, Lockhart?"
"I thought I could cheer you up."
"You can cheer me up by leaving!"
"Now, now, Little One. Is that anyway to treat a visitor?"
"LEAVE!" Severus turned away from Lockhart, his hands forming fists in his oversized sleeves and tears forming in his dark eyes. "JUST LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!"
Lockhart, startled by the yelling, just stared at Severus. Madame Pomphrey heard Severus yell and came over just in time to see Severus pull out his wand, point it at Lockhart, and yell, "Expelliarmus!"
Lockhart was hit hard and flung back. Severus put his wand away as Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall rushed in past the fallen Lockhart, not even giving him a passing glance.
"Severus, what happened?"
Severus looked away, without answering McGonagall's question and with tears still in his eyes. Dumbledore sat on the bed next to Severus. "Child, come with us to the Great Hall. It's nearly dinner time."
"In this?" Severus motioned towards his oversized clothing.
Dumbledore chuckled as he brought out his wand. He casted a spell that made the black clothing shrink to fit the twelve-year-old. Dumbledore stood up as Severus slid off of the bed. He put on his Slytherin crested robe, which Dumbledore had enchanted as well, and followed the Headmaster to the Great Hall, hesitating at the doors, allowing the Transfiguration Professor to precede him, before continuing on in. The few students who were already there turned and looked at the procession, which was headed by Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall, followed by a Gothic-looking twelve-year-old boy and Madame Pomphrey, and a dazed Professor Lockhart brought up the rear. As Severus passed the Slytherin table, a comment caught his attention: "Who is that,and where is Professor Snape?"
He looked over. It was a Malfoy, who was obviously trying to sound cool in front of his house mates. He caught Draco's eyes and glared at him, looking almost like his old self. The color drained from Draco's face as he realized that he just insulted his teacher AND the Head of his House. He knew from the look that Severus didn't care for Draco trying to sound cool at his expense. I'll make it up to him somehow, Draco thought.
"Remember to take ten points off Slytherin for that comment," Severus mumbled grimly, not really wanting to take points off of his own house. Deep in thought, Severus almost missed the question from the Gryffindor table.
"Are you all right, Professor Snape?"
Severus's head snapped to the right. "I'm all right . . . Ms. Granger."
Dumbledore steered Severus towards the teachers' table, indicating that he should sit where he normally would. Severus did so, kneeling on the chair in order to see over the Head Table and into the sea of students. Professor Lockhart took his seat next to the young Potions Master and scooted his chair a bit further away from the boy, earning a smirk from him. Soon, all the students arrived, and the hall was alive with whispering as almost every student stared at Severus.
Dumbledore began his little speech. "As you know, your Potions classes. . ."
As Dumbledore talked, more gazes rested on Severus. Unnerved by all the stares he was receiving from the student body, Severus got up and ran through the side entrance that led from the Great Hall, knowing it probably wasn't the best idea, but at that moment he didn't care.
". . . unable to teach due to. . ." Dumbledore paused, noticing that Severus wasn't there. ". . . To his slight amnesia and current physical condition. Let the feast begin."
Professor McGonagall leaned over to Dumbledore. "Where do you think he went, Albus?"
"Either the hospital wing or the dungeons."
"I'll look in the hospital wing," McGonagall said before she left.
Harry, Ron, and Hermoine looked at Severus's empty seat, wondering themselves where he went to. Harry stood up and walked over to Dumbledore. "Headmaster, where did Professor Snape go?"
"Ah, Harry. Could you and your friends mind checking on Severus for me?"
"We'd be glad to, Professor. Where is he?"
"Check his office and classroom."
Harry nodded, dashed back to Ron and Hermoine, and filled them in. The three of them left the Great Hall, unbeknownst that Draco, who had been wondering where his favorite professor was, snuck out behind the, following the trio to the dungeons. When they entered their potions classroom, they saw one of the bookcases was swung out, revealing a comfortable-looking room. The trio (plus Draco) peeked in and saw Severus curled up on a bed reading a thick book. His Slytherin crested robe was lying across the foot of his bed.
"Professor Snape?" Harry's voice caught Severus's attention.
"Oh, hi. Come in."
They did so and failed to notice Draco at the door.
"Professor, we were worried about you. When you ran from the Great Hall, we thought something might have happened."
Severus shook his head. "No, nothing of the sort. It was just the stress and reality of the situation."
"And I bet Malfoy's comment didn't help either," added Ron.
"Malfoy . . . Any relation to Lucius Malfoy?"
"He's my father." Draco entered the room.
"Malfoy! What are you doing here?" Hermoine demanded.
"Came here to insult Professor Snape even more?" Harry drew his wand with the intent of making sure Draco stayed away from the boy Severus had become.
"No, Potter. I just wanted to check up on my Head of House!" Draco drew his wand as well and started to advance. Both boys raised their wands and started to yell, "Expell. . ."
"Finite Incantatem!" A young and almost frightened voice yelled out. The spell knocked both boys' wands from their hands. Everyone turned to Severus, his ebony wand drawn and dark eyes wide with something akin to fear.
He lifted a hand to his head. "Could you all leave? Now. And tell the Headmaster that I'm fine."
After Harry and Draco retrieved their wands, they left with Ron and Hermoine. Severus marked his place in the book he was reading and laid it on a nearby table. He, then, laid down and fell asleep. It was peaceful kind of sleep. A sleep interrupted by the sensation of a wet cloth dabbing his forehead. Severus opened his eyes and saw a familiar friendly face. "Remus?"
"Oh, Severus. I didn't mean to wake you." He saw Severus was trying to sit up. "Just lie still. Go back to sleep, Severus."
He did so, and Remus went back to dabbing Severus's forehead. A large black dog (known as Snuffles) padded in and then changed into the animagus, Sirius Black.
"Remus, what are you doing here?"
"The same could be said to you, Sirius. However, I am taking care of my best friend."
Sirius looked down at the now sleeping boy. "Who's that?"
"Doesn't he look familiar, Siri?" At a shake of Sirius's head, Remus continued, "This is Severus."
"Keep your voice down or you'll wake him."
They both looked at the boy, who suddenly cried out, "No!"
"Siri, could you leave? Go tell Headmaster Dumbledore that we're here and that I'm with Severus."
Sirius nodded and left. Remus turned back to the screaming boy. "Severus, wake up."
Remus shook the boy's shoulders. "Sev!"
Severus sat up suddenly, gasping for air.
"Sev, are you okay?"
Remus pulled the boy onto his lap. "Do you want to tell me about your nightmare?"
Severus clung to Remus as if his life depended on it. "Voldemort was there, and He marked me." Severus stopped long enough to pull up his left sleeve and look to make sure the Dark Mark wasn't there. Fortunately, for Severus, his forearm was devoid of any such marks. "And He called me His Little Death Eater, but Voldemort and His Death Eaters, including Lucius Malfoy, tried to kill me!"
Severus started shaking, and Remus held him closer. "You don't have to continue, Sev."
"Let him continue, Remus."
"Headmaster! I know how this happened!"
Dumbledore walked in with Sirius close behind him. "Tell us, Severus."
"Voldemort called a Death Eater Meeting, and I went, not knowing it was a trap. Voldemort forced me to take more Veritaserum before asking me questions, which I was able to lie about, regardless of the extra Veritaserum."
"I take Veritaserum daily, Remy, so I'd be able to lie while the Veritaserum was still running its course."
"Please continue, Severus."
"A Death Eater then stepped forward and took his mask off. It was Lucius Malfoy. He sneered at me as I was still wearing my regular clothes. He drew his wand and approached me on my left. Voldemort did the same on my right. Lucius performed the Cruciatus Curse at the same time Voldemort performed the Killing Curse. Both curses hit me at the same time. Almost unconscious and feeling more than half-dead, I barely heard Voldemort give the order to get rid of me. Thinking I was dead, another Death Eater, who was more than likely Evan Rosier, simply performed the Disarming Charm. I was flung to the edge of the Dark Forest, where I lost consciousness. Apparently, this," Severus motioned to his twelve-year-old body, "is a reaction between the extra Veritaserum and the two Unforgivable Curses."
Remus held him a bit tighter, believing him, as did Dumbledore. However, Sirius was skeptical.
"You survived the Killing Curse! My godson is the only one who has survived it. I doubt Voldemort used that particular curse on you, Snape. I. . ."
"That's enough, Sirius. Would you and Remus wait in my office for a minute?"
"Headmaster, could Remy stay here for a little longer?"
"Severus, do you know what time it is?"
"No, sir." Severus was a little confused by Dumbledore's question.
"It's time for breakfast."
"What! It's morning already!"
Remus smiled at his best friend's reaction and let him slide off his lap. As the twelve-year-old reached for his Slytherin crested robe, Remus whispered to Dumbledore, "He seems a bit frightened, Headmaster."
Dumbledore looked over at Severus's shaking hands.
"Maybe he shouldn't go to the Great Hall."
"What if you stayed with him, Remus? He trusts you."
"All right, Headmaster." Remus stood up and placed an arm around Severus's shoulders. "C'mon, Sev. Let's get some breakfast."
As they started walking toward the Great Hall, Remus, noticing Severus was shaking a little, whispered to him, "It's alright, Sev. Voldemort and His Death Eaters can't hurt you here at Hogwarts."
Severus nodded and yet, he walked closer to Remus. When they entered the Great Hall, Remus tightened his grip (but still kept it gentle) on Severus's shoulders. Their entrance caught the attention of Harry, Ron, and Hermoine. They smiled at the group of professors (Sirius didn't accompany them as himself. He padded along on the other side of Remus as Snuffles). Remus walked with Severus towards the Head Table. He took a seat on Severus's right, sitting close to him, while Lockhart scooted away from the young Potions Master.
Professor McGonagall tapped her spoon against her goblet. "Your attention, please?"
Dumbledore stood up. "As you may have noticed, our new Potions Professor is Remus Lupin. He will be teaching with help from Professor Snape until we find a cure at which time Professor Snape will have full control over his class again." Dumbledore motioned to each professor as he mentioned them.
When Dumbledore sat down, the breakfast feast appeared on the tables. As breakfast ensued, there were many whispers and glances up at Severus, who looked little nervous. Remus noticed this and put his hand on Severus's.
"Don't run out of here. You can handle this, Sev," he whispered.
Severus nodded slightly. When breakfast ended, the students went back to their dorms to collect their books and other supplies, and the professors left for their classrooms.
"Professor!" When Severus failed to turn to reply, Draco growled inaudibly and tried again. "Severus!"
Severus turned around to face Draco Malfoy.
"We're having an afternoon Quidditch practice before our game against Gryffindor. Would you like to watch?"
"Yes. Yes, I would."
"See you in the dungeons, Professor."
IN THE DUNGEONS CLASSROOM
Remus stood beside the desk, upon which was a disorganized-looking array of potion bottles around a heated cauldron. Severus stood behind the desk, obviously standing on something, so he could do the demonstration without causing an accident.
That was how every potions class began. Remus took attendance and found no one was absent.
"We're starting on Disappearing Potions, so would you all turn your books to page 398?" Remus began as the fifth-year Gryffindor/Slytherin class followed his directions.
"Just follow along and do everything Severus does." Remus cleared his voice. "Start with a cauldron half full of water. Add one cup of crushed snake fangs, and simmer for one minute."
As he spoke, Severus picked up one of the bottles and slowly poured some of the contents in, keeping a keen eye on the crushed snake fangs as if he could measure it by eye. He, then, waited for the one minute to begin and end.
"While you wait, cut nine porcupine quills into thirds, and when the potion has finished simmering, put them in."
Severus cut up the porcupine quills. He looked at Remus (as if asking for permission), who nodded, and, then, he added the quills.
"Then, add two cups of finely powdered dragon scales. Turn up the heat, and boil for five minutes."
The Slytherins and Gryffindors (except for Hermoine) tuned Remus out and just watched Severus prepare the potion. He knew where each ingredient was without really looking for it. The two rival houses were mesmerized by Severus. Even at twelve-years-old, he was a pro at potions!
Then, it was their turn to brew the potion. After class ended (without any accidents. Way to go, Neville:D ), it was time for the Slytherin Quidditch practice.
ON THE QUIDDITCH PITCH – PRACTICE
The Slytherin Quidditch team was impressive on their Nimbus 2001 broomsticks, going over formations and then breaking to practice their positions. The performance was exemplary, when, suddenly, a Bludger knocked Draco off his broom, and he fell. Fortunately, he was only twenty feet off the ground.
"Draco!" Severus called out, remembering the boy's name from when Remus took attendance in the first Potions class, and came running onto the field. He knelt next to Draco's unconscious body and felt for a pulse. Feeling his pulse, he called out, "I'm taking him to the hospital wing!"
Severus grabbed the Nimbus 2001, mounted it, grabbed Draco, took off, and called out to the rest of the Slytherin Quidditch team, "Meet me there!"
He flew Draco to the castle. He landed the broom and carried Draco to the hospital wing, leaving the broomstick just inside the front doors.
Placing Draco on a bed, Severus called out, "Madame Pomphrey! Hurry!"
The nurse appeared and gasped when she saw Draco. She started collecting potions and other assorted supplies. Severus stepped out of her way and almost bumped into the rest of the Slytherin Quidditch team.
"Will Draco be all right?" Captain Marcus Flint asked.
"Eventually, but not in time to play in today's game," Madame Pomphrey reported before returning to her office to finish some papers for the Ministry.
"Who is your Reserve Seeker?" Severus asked.
"We don't have a Reserve Seeker," Marcus Flint admitted.
There was a brief pause, and Severus walked over to Draco.
"Almost exactly what happened to me," Severus whispered. Out loud he asked, "Who will replace Draco until he recovers?"
"Professor, would you fill in for Draco? We know you used to be a Seeker."
A feeling of panic rose in Severus, but he pushed it down. "If you have no one else; however keep this a secret, but tell Professor McGonagall what happened before she finds out from someone else and cancels the match. Oh, and call me Severus on the Quidditch Pitch."
The Slytherin Quidditch Captain nodded and ran off in search of the Transfiguration Professor. He first looked in the Transfigurations classroom, and, luckily, she was still there.
Still grading essays by the look of things, Marcus Flint thought as he knocked on the door. "Professor, may I have a word with you?"
"Certainly, Mr. Flint. Come in." Professor McGonagall laid her quill across the roll of parchment she had been grading.
Marcus Flint came in and, the second he got to her desk, he said, "Professor, there was an accident during our Quidditch Practice. Our Seeker is unable to play in today's game."
"That is terrible. I'll have to cancel the match."
"You don't need to, Professor. We have a replacement Seeker."
"Does Professor Snape approve?"
A ghost of a grin appeared on Marcus Flint's face. "Yes."
"Then it's all right by me."
ON THE QUIDDITCH PITCH – THE GAME
The Slytherin and Gryffindor Team members were making their rounds above the Pitch before taking their respective places in a circle above the Quidditch box, except for Gryffindor Keeper, Oliver Wood, and Slytherin Keeper, Miles Bletchley, who took their positions near their respective team's goal posts.
Harry Potter looked across the Pitch at the opposing team's Seeker, expecting to see Draco Malfoy sneering at him, but Draco wasn't there. The person on the Nimbus 2001 broomstick seemed familiar. His green and white Slytherin Quidditch robes, his longish black hair pulled back into a ponytail, his . . .
"Draco's in the hospital wing recovering from a fall."
There was a moment of silence.
"Are you any good at Quidditch?"
A smirk appeared of Severus's face. "Watch and find out."
Madame Hooch stepped out onto the field, voiced her usual warnings concerning the moves of the Quidditch Teams, and kicked the Quidditch box, releasing the two Bludgers and the Golden Snitch, which circled around Harry and Severus and then flew off.
"The Bludgers are up, followed by the Golden Snitch. Remember the Snitch is worth 150 points. The Seeker who catches the Snitch ends the game," the commentator, Gryffindor Lee Jordan reported.
In the split second before the Quaffle was put into play, McGonagall took a look at who replaced Draco for that game. Her mouth almost dropped open. It was Severus! She was shocked. It was amazing as well as shocking that Severus would even get back on a broom, let alone play Quidditch, after falling eighty feet during a game. Lee Jordan's next comment made Professor McGonagall snap out of her reverie. "The Quaffle is released, and the game begins!"
The Slytherin Captain grabbed the Quaffle and sped towards the Gryffindor goals. He threw the Quaffle, which made Oliver Wood pop up, but Slytherin Chaser Adrian Pucey intercepted the Quaffle and threw it towards a goal Oliver Wood wasn't guarding.
"Ten points to Slytherin."
Oliver Wood threw the Quaffle to Gryffindor Chaser Angelina Johnson, who caught it and sped towards the other end of the Pitch. A Bludger sent by Slytherin Beater Bole caught the tail of her broom, causing her to drop the Quaffle, and Marcus Flint caught it and used it the get ten more points for his team.
This time Gryffindor Chaser Katie Bell caught the Quaffle and tried to score, but it was blocked by Bletchley. Even though it was headed towards Slytherin Chaser Montague, Angelina Johnson caught the Quaffle and . . .
"Ten points to Gryffindor!"
A Bludger sent by Slytherin Beater Derrick almost hit Harry, but he managed to dodge it in time. Just then, Severus saw a gold glint off to one side. It was the Snitch! As he dove for it, with Harry close behind, he blocked out what Lee Jordan was announcing.
"Looks like Slytherin has a new Seeker. What's that, Professor? Oh, he's a temporary replacement." Lee Jordan put his hand over the microphone. "Who is he, Professor?"
"He's Severus Snape."
"You mean Professor Snape!"
"Yes, but if you're commentating, call him Severus." Knowing how Severus was, Professor McGonagall knew he would want it this way.
"Yes, Professor." Lee Jordan turned his attention back to the game.
By this time, Severus and Harry had lost the Snitch, Slytherin scored once, and Gryffindor scored twice.
Severus, then, dodged a Bludger sent by one of the Weasley Twins, who were both Gryffindor Beaters.
"Severus dodges a Bludger sent by Fred Weasley or is it George? I can't tell!"
Then, Montague, holding the Quaffle, raced towards the opposite end of the Pitch and managed to get it past Oliver Wood, and Adrian Pucey copied his teammate.
"Gryffindor in possession of the Quaffle."
It was Gryffindor Chaser Alicia Spinnet to be exact. She dodged a Bludger sent by Bole and scored ten more points. Katie Bell also got the Quaffle past Bletchley, securing ten more points. The next points for Gryffindor was a team effort. Angelina Johnson and Katie Bell were tossing the Quaffle back and forth. Then, Angelina Johnson, holding the Quaffle, flew around the Slytherin Goal Posts and passed the Quaffle to Katie Bell, who threw it.
"Ten points to Gryffindor!"
(AN: For any Quidditch fans and anyone else who's curious, the score is Gryffindor 60 and Slytherin 50.)
A glint of gold caught Harry's attention, and he and Severus dove for it. They were neck and neck, putting the entire school (students and staff) on the edge of their seats (for different reasons). The students and some of the staff, because they didn't know who was going to catch the Snitch, and the rest of the staff (the ones who remembered Severus the Seeker), because they remembered how well Severus played, which was as good as Harry. Now, the two best Seekers were pitted against each other.
Suddenly, in the space of two seconds, Severus leaned forward on the Nimbus 2001, stretched his hand out, and snatched the Golden Snitch out of the air, before Harry could.
"Severus Snape receives 150 points for catching the Snitch."
"Slytherin wins!" Madame Hooch called out after blowing her whistle.
The Slytherin stands erupted into cheers and applause. Out on the field, the Slytherin team was congratulating Severus on his amazing catch as the Gryffindor team flew off the Pitch. Even though Severus was ecstatic, he couldn't help feeling like this should've been Draco's victory. He was so deep in thought, he barely heard Bletchley call out, "Party in the Common Room!"
While the team was leaving the field, Severus untied his hair and flew towards the castle.
"Hey, Severus! Where are you going?" Bole asked.
"I'm just going to tell Draco about the win," Severus replied after stopping the Nimbus 2001.
"Will you be there for the party?" Bletchley asked.
"I'll try to come." Severus flew toward the castle.
Severus made his way to the hospital wing. When he got there, he called out, "Madame Pomphrey?"
The medi-witch stepped out of her office. "What is it, Severus?"
"Is Draco well enough to have a visitor?"
"I suppose a short visit couldn't hurt."
Severus walked over to the silvery-blonde Slytherin. "How are you feeling, Draco?"
"Not too bad considering. How'd the game go, Professor?"
"We won. 200 to 60."
"That's great!" Draco shifted himself into a sitting position, and Severus sat beside him on the bed. Draco hesitantly put his arms around the not-so-Gothic-looking twelve-year-old, surprising him. "Thank you, Professor."
Severus, relaxing a bit, smiled and put his arms around his favorite Slytherin. "Your welcome, Draco."
After about a few moments, the two Slytherins separated, and Severus stood up. "Well, there's a party in the common room tonight. If you promise to not do any major activity, Madame Pomphrey might let you attend. At any rate, I'm going to my office to relax before I go. So, maybe I'll see you later on tonight."
"Bye." Draco called out after the retreating form of his favorite professor.
While Severus made his way down to the dungeons, he took out his ebony wand and transfigured his Quidditch uniform into his usual black ensemble, robe and all. He slipped his wand back into his robes and descended the stairs into the cold lower levels of Hogwarts.
As he walked towards his office, he passed by an old wooden door, and his sixth-sense kicked in. Something wasn't quite right behind the door. Severus grasped the handle and took a deep breath before opening the door.
It was a normal-looking room for a classroom completely devoid of any furniture (including desks and chairs). Patches of light (from the small windows) cut through the darkness, but some areas were still shrouded in darkness. Nevertheless, the young Potions Master entered the room.
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but when Severus turned to leave, a voice pierced the darkness. "Hello, Severus."
The twelve-year-old froze mid-step, and then turned around, demanding, "Who's there?"
"It's me, Severus. Tom Riddle." A boy, sixth year was Severus's guess, wearing a Slytherin-crested school uniform and robe stepped into one of the patches of light. His black hair was cut short, and his dark eyes caught Severus's gaze.
Severus's eyes grew wide with something akin to fear and barely managed to whisper, "No."
He shook his head as he took a tiny step back. "No, you're Voldemort," he repeated, this time louder.
"Yes, of course you knew, Little Severus." Tom held his hand out. "Accio Severus."
Before Severus knew what was going on, the Dark Wizard grabbed the twelve-year-old's left arm, pulled up the sleeve, and scowled. "My Mark is gone!" He paused a moment, reigning in his anger at the missing Mark. "Severus, you have two choices: Return with me and be one of my followers who bear my Mark or die where you stand."
"You already used the Killing Curse on me once, and look what happened! What's going to happen a second time? Make me even younger!" Severus wrenched his left arm out of Tom's grasp. Severus narrowed his ebony eyes and sneered, "Do you really want to chance that?"
Tom Riddle smirked. "You're good as dead anyway. I was hoping you'd be able to change my mind by accepting my Mark. Good-bye, Little Severus. Avada Kedavra!"
Severus dodged the curse and whipped out his own wand. "Crucio!"
Tom Riddle dodged that curse as the Gothic-looking twelve-year-old had. Both wizards raised their wands and called out, "Expelliarmus!"
"Finite Incantatem!" A different voice called out.
The charm, casted at the one heading towards Severus, allowed Severus's spell to hit the elder wizard, and the Dark Wizard was flung back. Severus looked to his right at who had come to his rescue. "Remy!" Someone, wand out, coming up behind Remus caught the young Potions Master's attention. "Look out!"
Remus ducked and rolled just as the Cruciatus Curse was cast. Severus looked at the new-comer and narrowed his eyes. "Lucius."
"Well, the Dark Lord was right calling you 'Little Severus'," Lucius commented as he helped Tom to his feet. "You all right, my Lord?"
"Get the boy!" Tom hissed.
Lucius nodded. "Crucio!"
Severus ducked and rolled to avoid it and then, after throwing his robe off, cast it back at Lucius, who in turn dodged it.
Tom dodged Remus's charm. "Crucio!"
Remus dodged it and casted the Conjunctivitus Curse at his opponent, who dodged it. The Dark Lord turned and pointed his wand at Severus, who was busy dueling with Lucius. "Avada Kedavra!"
"Sev, look out!"
Seeing that Severus wouldn't be able to dodge the curse, Remus pointed his wand at Severus. "Wingardium Leviosa!"
The twelve-year-old was lifted off his feet as the Killing Curse passed not more than three inches under him. Remus flicked his wand again, and Severus floated towards him and landed beside him. However, just as his feet touched the cold stone floor, he was hit with the Cruciatus Curse.
Tom casted the Killing Curse, while Lucius casted another Cruciatus Curse. Both curses were headed for the young Potions Master writhing on the floor.
"Severus! NO!" Remus whipped out his wand and prayed that his friend would forgive him. "Expelliarmus!"
Severus was flung out of the way, and the two Unforgivable Curses hit Remus instead.
"REMUS!" Severus cried out, but it was too late.
Getting up, despite the after-effects of the Cruciatus Curse, Severus drew his wand and pointed it at Tom Riddle and Lucius. "Imperio!"
Surprisingly, both of them fell under the curse.
"Go into the Dark Forest," Severus snapped.
They did just that. When they were deep into the forest, the curse wore off. (AN: I know the Imperious Curse doesn't just wear off, but Severus's magic isn't at its full strength.)
Noticing that they weren't in Hogwarts anymore, Tom hissed, "Damn them! I almost had the little traitor!"
"We'll get him soon enough, my Lord."
BACK IN THE DUNGEONS . . .
With an occasional twitch, Severus put his wand back in his sleeve and turned to where Remus fell. But Remus wasn't there, a brunette twelve-year-old boy was. The raven-haired twelve-year-old rushed over to him and put his arms around him. Using all the shortcuts he knew, Severus got the other twelve-year-old to the hospital wing. He levitated the boy onto to a bed and called out, "Madame Pomphrey!"
The medi-witch appeared. "Severus, what has happened now?"
Madame Pomphrey raised a hand to his face. He drew back from her touch still twitching slightly. "Don't worry about me! Just help Remus!"
A little shocked by his reaction, she asked him, "Child, are you all right?"
Severus just glared at her and repeated his last statement. "Just help Remus!"
He wasn't about to tell her he was hit with the Cruciatus Curse. She would just over-react. While Madame Pomphrey collected her potions, Severus waved his wand over Remus, making his robes fit his twelve-year-old body. While Madame Pomphrey worked on Remus, Severus felt arms encircle him from behind.
"Severus, are you all right? Where's Remus?"
"Remy is right there, Headmaster, and I'll be all right." Severus motioned toward the hospital bed.
Dumbledore looked Severus in the eye and whispered, "You were hit with the Cruciatus Curse, Severus. You need to at least rest. Remus is going to be all right."
Knowing the Headmaster felt him twitch, he didn't argue.
"I'll stay right here, Headmaster." Severus sat down in a chair beside Remus's bed.
Dumbledore shook his head. "No, Severus."
Before the twelve-year-old could react, the old wizard picked him up and set him on a nearby bed.
Before he could go on, light snickering was heard from one of the beds at the opposite end of the hospital wing. Severus turned and looked at Draco, who was trying to suppress his amusement at the situation. Severus glared at the older Slytherin, "Don't laugh, Draco. I'm still Head of Slytherin. You could make Slytherin lose points."
Draco stopped snickering and paled at the threat. Ignoring the two Slytherins, Dumbledore called out, "Poppy."
The medi-witch appeared.
"Poppy, Severus needs a sleeping draft."
Madame Pomphrey nodded and left to retrieve it.
"And you WILL take it, child."
Madame Pomphrey returned with a goblet and handed it to Severus.
"Poppy, may I have a moment alone with Severus?"
The nurse went into her office.
"What happened, Severus? You're a mess, and Remus is a child now."
"Voldemort and Lu . . ." Severus paused, twitching slightly, thinking of Draco. "And one of his most loyal Death Eaters happened."
"What do you – Severus, let me see your wand."
Confused, Severus handed over his ebony wand. Dumbledore laid the ebony wand on the small table next to the bed and pointed his own wand at it. "Prior Incantatem!"
A ghostly figure of a twelve-year-old appeared, holding a wand, worry and pain quite obvious in his dark eyes. "Imperio!"
The figure, then, disappeared.
"Child! You casted an Unforgivable!"
"But, Headmaster, I had to!"
Eyeing Draco, who was intently listening in on their conversation, Dumbledore said, "We'll discuss this later. Drink your sleeping draft."
Severus did just that and was soon fast asleep. Sometime in the late hours of the night, Remus woke up to a quiet, but slightly scared, "Remus! NO!"
Remus got out of bed and went over to the next bed where Severus was. He sat down next to him and gently shook him awake.
"Sev, wake up!"
The young Potions Master sat up and gasped. "Remy?"
Remus nodded and drew Severus into a friendly hug.
"Are you all right, Remy?"
They broke the hug.
"Yeah, I'll be all right. You?"
"The effects will wear off," Severus replied, unconvincingly.
Severus spied his wand lying on the table near his bed, grabbed it, and stashed it in his sleeve. Madame Pomphrey came in to check on the two boys and frowned sternly at Remus. "What are you doing out of bed, Child? You should be resting!"
"I know, Madame Pomphrey," Remus replied. "I will in a minute. I just need to talk to Severus alone for a moment."
"Fine." The medi-witch passed by Draco on her way to her office, but took no notice of the young Slytherin. Draco was wide awake and watched the two young professors talk, overhearing their entire conversation.
As soon as she was out of ear-shot, Severus inquired, "Remy, why did the spells hit you? You could have deflected them."
"But only for one of us. What kind of friend would I be if I let the spells hit you, while I was saving myself?"
This time Severus drew Remus into a friendly hug. "Thank you, Remy. I appreciate it."
It was in this embrace that Dumbledore found them. He was a little hesitant about bothering them, but he did so anyway by clearing his throat.
Remus and Severus looked up. When they saw the Headmaster, they broke the hug.
"I have good news for the two of you. We found a cure. The instructions are in your office, Severus, on your desk. When Madame Pomphrey sees fit to release you two, you can start."
"Thank you, Headmaster," Severus replied.
"Your welcome, Child." Dumbledore left.
"You better get back to bed, Remy. Knowing Madame Pomphrey, she'll refuse to release us because of that."
"All right, Sev. You do the same. After all, you were hit with the Cruciatus Curse."
Unfortunately for Severus, Madame Pomphrey, who had returned holding two goblets of sleeping draft, heard this and was so stunned that she almost dropped the drafts. "The Cruciatus Curse! Child, why didn't you tell me? I KNEW there was something else wrong!"
She looked Severus dead in the eye. "You were always a difficult patient. You always tried healing yourself with simple charms and difficult potions and never came to the hospital wing unless someone else dragged you in while you were unconscious."
Thrusting the two goblets into the two twelve-year-olds' hands, she snapped, "Here, drink these. You should be ready to leave sometime tomorrow."
After frowning darkly at Severus, the medi-witch went back into her office.
Remus went back to and sat on his bed. "What do you think the cure is, Sev?"
"Could be anything. We'll know tomorrow at any rate." Severus looked at the goblet of dreamless sleep draft he was holding with a bit of distaste. (Severus never liked the way Madame Pomphrey brewed her potions.) "We might as well take this."
The two boys soon emptied their goblets and didn't wake up till the next morning.
Draco laid on his bed, thinking about what Madame Pomphrey had said. Severus usually didn't go to the hospital wing for any type of injury, whether minor or major. But why? Had something happened while he went to school here that made him wary of the hospital wing?
Well, there's no way that I'm going to get anything out of either of them tonight, Draco thought, looking over at his sleeping adolescent professors.
IN THE MORNING
True to her word, Madame Pomphrey released the two boys as well as Draco, and they all headed the dungeons.
"Professor Snape, may I talk to you?"
"We'll talk at lunch, Draco. There's something important Remus and I need to take care of first."
"Okay. Thank you, Professor." Draco briefly hugged his favorite professor before they continued on their trek. Since the entrance to the Slytherin House was first, Draco left the trio first. "See you at lunch, Professors."
"See you, Draco," the two twelve-year-olds chorused and then continued on their way to the Potions Master's office.
When the two twelve-year-olds reached the office, Severus snatched up the piece of parchment. As he read it, he paled.
Remus watching his friend's reaction, inquired, "What's wrong, Sev?"
The brunette twelve-year-old walked over and read the parchment over Severus's shoulder. He found the reason for Severus's distress and paled as well. The only way to reverse their 'condition' was for it to happen again! They'd have to be hit with both Unforgivable Curses a second time.
Remus placed a hand on Severus's shoulder. "We don't have to do this anytime soon, Sev. I'm sure Dumbledore will understand."
Severus turned to face his friend. "I don't know, Remy. I really need to be my adult-self so I can teach Potions and keep an eye on my Slytherins, especially Draco."
Remus nodded a bit solemnly. "I understand, Sev."
The two boys looked at the parchment for a moment as if the wording would be any different or the cure would be any less painful.
"Who's going to help us?"
"You mean with this?" Severus held up the parchment, indicating the cure.
Severus thought about it for a moment. "Well, the Headmaster will help."
"All right. Do you want to go first, Sev?"
"Yes. Yes, I would." Severus paused for a moment. "Are you ready, Remy?"
At Remus's nod, Severus went to the Headmaster's office a la Floo Powder, and Remus followed suite.
IN THE HEADMASTER'S OFFICE
Dumbledore was reading a letter from The Ministry of Magic, when the two boys stepped out of the fireplace, dusting their clothes off.
"Hello, Severus, Remus," he greeted the two without looking up.
This didn't surprise the boys as they were used to it.
"We're ready, Headmaster."
Dumbledore looked up at Severus. "You two are willing to go through with it now?"
The two boys nodded.
"Alright. First, stand back to back."
Severus and Remus did so, and Dumbledore stood up. He grabbed his wand and casted the spell. "Finite Incantatem!"
The boys' robes grew to their original size, so the two twelve-year-olds were swamped in them.
Dumbledore and Remus stepped back and pointed their wands at Severus.
"Avada Kedavra!" Dumbledore casted the curse at the twelve-year-old raven-haired boy.
Both curses hit Severus at the same time. He was almost knocked out; the pain was unimaginable. It felt as if he was being torn in two, and his skin felt like it was on fire but his veins felt frozen. Severus tried to get up on his own, but Dumbledore wouldn't let him.
"Here, Severus. Let me help you."
Noticing that Dumbledore just held out a hand and didn't pick him up, he asked, "Did it work?"
"Yes, Severus. It worked."
The Potions Master accepted the Headmaster's hand and stood up. He drew his wand. "Ready, Remus?"
"Crucio!" Severus casted the curse at the twelve-year-old brunette.
Once again both curses hit Remus at the same time. He was almost knocked out; the pain was unimaginable. It felt as if he was being torn in two, and his skin felt like it was on fire but his veins felt frozen. Severus slipped his wand back into his sleeve and went to Remus's side. He helped his friend up and into a chair, and he slid into the next chair.
After sitting there for a few minutes in order to recover from getting hit with the two curses, Severus and Remus stood up. "Thank you, Albus."
"You two just rest up the rest of the weekend, and Severus, you can take back control of your class on Monday."
"Yes, Headmaster," they chorused before they left.
"See you two at lunch."
As Severus and Remus walked down the corridor, a voice called out, "Remus! Where have you been?"
The two Professors turned and saw . . .
The dark-haired animagus caught up with them.
"I'm sorry, Siri. Severus and I had a run-in with Voldemort."
Hearing the name Voldemort, Sirius eyed Severus. "Did His pet Death Eater tip him off?"
Severus narrowed his eyes and threw a punch. The punch would have landed had Remus not caught Severus's wrist.
Severus wrenched his arm, but instead of getting Remus to let go of his left wrist, Remus's hand slipped, accidentally pushing Severus's left sleeve back, exposing his left forearm, which bore . . . nothing. Severus, out of habit, started to hurriedly push the sleeve down, but Remus stopped him.
"Sev, wait! Your arm has nothing on it."
"WHAT!" Severus pulled his sleeve back up, and it was bare. Wide-eyed in disbelief, he told the other two adults, "I've got to talk to the Headmaster. I'll see you at lunch, Remus."
The Potions Master went back to the Headmaster's office and practically banged on the door. "Albus! Open the door! I've got some important news for you!"
Dumbledore opened his door. "What is it, Severus?"
Severus pushed past the Headmaster. "Albus, look! It's gone. The Dark Mark is gone."
Dumbledore grabbed Severus's wrist and brought the left arm closer. "It is gone!"
"I'm glad it's gone, but I don't know why it has disappeared."
"It disappeared because Voldemort believes you're as good as dead."
THE GREAT HALL – LUNCHTIME
Most everyone was already there, settling in next to their friends and house mates, when the doors opened and in walked Severus and Remus with Snuffles padding alongside Remus. As they passed the Slytherin table, Draco, who had been conversing with his Quidditch teammates, caught Severus's attention. "Professor, come sit with us."
Severus looked up at Dumbledore, who nodded his approval. The Gothic-looking Professor made his way to his House's table and sat beside Draco.
"That was an amazing catch, Professor," Marcus Flint told him.
"Did you have exciting games as well when you played Quidditch?" Bletchley asked.
"Well, yes. Some were exciting, but there was one game . . well, let's just say there was an incident."
"What happened, Professor?" Adrian Pucey inquired.
"It was during a game against Gryffindor. They were in the lead. The Gryffindor Seeker James Potter and I were after the Snitch, which was racing towards the sky. As I reached for the Snitch, a Bludger hit the tail of my broom, sending me to the ground eighty feet below."
"That's terrible, Professor!" Bletchley exclaimed.
"Did Gryffindor win?" Marcus Flint questioned.
"Did a Gryffindor Beater send the Bludger?" Adrian Pucey inquired.
"Was Gryffindor disqualified?" Bole asked.
"Or was the game cancelled?" Derrick questioned.
"Was Slytherin given a penalty shot?" Montague inquired.
"How long did it take for you to recover?" Draco asked.
"Gryffindor did not win nor were they disqualified. The game was not cancelled, and Slytherin was not given a penalty shot. I'm not sure if a Gryffindor Beater had sent the Bludger, though I wouldn't have put it past them. It took me six weeks in the Hospital Wing and then two more of not playing for me to recover. Not that I ever played on the team again. The team wouldn't let me go. I almost had to play another game after that. Fortunately, the Headmaster had stepped in before they could convince me. In fact, I haven't played Quidditch ever since until yesterday."
"Since Gryffindor didn't win, am I safe to assume that you caught the Snitch before you fell?" Draco asked, finally understanding why Severus avoided the Hospital Wing. It reminded him of that fateful day.
"Yes, Draco. The impact actually pushed my broom forward a bit, and I managed to grab the Snitch before I fell."
The conversation lasted all through lunch, and at dinner time, Severus once again sat with the Slytherin Quidditch Team, fascinating them with tales from his days as a Seeker.