Return to childhood
Chapter 1- A Child's Fear
The last day before the holidays was busy for students and teachers with last minute packing and discussion as to where everyone was going to be for the next two months. Harry Potter was expected to stay with the Weasleys for most of the summer after he spent some time with his hated relatives the Dursleys. He was not looking forward to leaving Hogwarts and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley but hopefully the first part of summer would go by quickly.
Ron and Hermione caught up to him and started to talk over what their plans were for the summer. Ron would be with his family at the burrow while Hermione would be on holiday with her parents for the first half of the summer. She expected to be back around Harry's birthday.
Ron showed Harry a new shrinking gag that looked like balls of clear liquid, which his brothers Fred and George had come up with. He explained that all you needed to do was drop it on your target , and the stuff would spread, then after about half an hour it would shrink all that it had touched. The effects were calculated to last from about two weeks to a month, depending on the amount absorbed and the object itself.
Hermione's eyebrow went up and she said, "We already know about shrinking charms and potions why bother to recreate something that is already known?
Rom Smirked, "This stuff is made with a half hour delaying factor for shrinking things like say...Mrs Norris."
Hermione exclaimed, "Filch would have your hide for sure."
Ron said "That is where the Half hour delay comes handy. No one would know who to blame."
Harry snickered "Great idea but does it work?" Harry picked up one of the balls and held it in his hand. "It feels strange.."
"Be careful Harry, that is just a test model that the twins made and it is sensitive.".
Severus Snape was wondering to whom this soft ball of clear liquid belonged to as he was definite that it didn't belong to him. He bent down and picked it up off the floor and studied the clear liquid within. He wondered where it came from and as he went to place it on his desk the ball exploded and the clear liquid squirted all over him. He glowered as he used his wand and scourgified the area then cleaned himself up. For a small object it certainly made quite a mess.--
The small thin child was dressed in a miniature Potions Master outfit. He had woke up in what he thought was a classroom after having some weird dreams about being a teacher at a school he thought was called Hogwarts. How he ended up in this classroom was a mystery to him, since his last real memory was his parents screaming at each other, and he was trying to keep from being noticed by them.
He slipped out to the corridor silently and stealthily, fearful that someone would find, and return him back to his home at Spinners End where his muggle father was waiting to beat on him, and his mother who could or would not stop the beatings. He hated his life but he hoped that it would get better when he grew up. He stopped moving and listened. There were sounds of people walking towards him.
'Somebody is coming, must hide,' he thought as he ducked back into a room that seemed familiar to him. He hid in a cupboard full of what he perceived to be full of potion vials and bottles. He slid under the lowest shelf and drew himself up into a tight ball against the back wall hoping that the person would not find him.
"Severus must be down here," Professor Albus Dumbledore pointed his wand "point me Severus." It pointed to Severus's personal Potions locker.
Professors Minerva McGonagall and Filius Flitwick followed him to the locker.
Minerva commented, "It is unusual for Severus not to keep his word. He said he would meet up with us after the students were gone home for the holidays. That was almost two hours ago"
Filius replied, "You don't think he left the castle do you?"
"Goodness, I hope not. Normally Severus will not go anywhere without talking to me first." exclaimed Albus as he walked towards the locker.
"SEVERUS." called Albus as he opened the door which he noted, was partly unlatched. Albus with Minerva and Filius standing behind him looked around the obviously unoccupied locker.
Filius peaked around Albus and exclaimed, "He isn't here!"
Minerva asked, "Are you sure your wand said he was here Albus? I don't think it would be easy for Severus to hide himself here, considering there isn't a lot of space and he is a pretty tall man."
Albus studied his wand and said "It seemed to be working perfectly up to now, I will ask again—Point me Severus." His wand then pointed down towards the lowest shelf near the floor.
The three Professors looked at each other with bewilderment on their faces. Filius being tinier and closer to the ground bent down, and looked under the shelf. He took his wand and said, "Lumos," he was shocked to see what appeared to be a bundle of clothes pushed up against the back wall. He saw a flicker of what appeared to be a child's face peering out. He looked up towards Albus and Minerva "You won't believe this Albus but there is a child hiding under here."
"What is a child doing in Severus's locker?' questioned Minerva then her eyes opened wide.
Albus glanced at her and said "I don't know how Minerva, but we have to get him out from under the shelf."
"Child come on out from under there." coaxed Filius. The child whimpered and tried to draw himself further back. He closed his eyes and hid his head behind his cloaked arm..Filius sat back on his haunches and looked over at the other two who had knelt down beside him.
Each of them took a turn trying to coax the child out from underneath the shelf and it was obvious that they were getting nowhere.
"How are we going to get him out from under there without scaring him further than he obviously is." Minerva said.
Severus kept quiet, his head hurt and he couldn't understand who these people where much less how he had gotten in this building in the first place. His parents were going to kill him for sure once he got returned to them, he was sure of that.
Albus thought a moment "Well we can't be kneeling here all day trying to coax the boy out. Albus told the other two "I will have to use magic" as he pointed the wand towards Severus. "Accio child."
Severus screamed in his head with terror as he felt his body obeying the command. he struggled to stop himself but he felt gentle arms grabbing hold of him as he emerged unwillingly from under the shelf. His whole body was covered with dust and cobwebs from being under the shelves.
Minerva had gotten a hold of him when he emerged and couldn't believe how light and tiny the little boy was. She held him carefully as she was afraid of doing damage to the frail thin body. His eyes were full of fear as he looked up at these three strange adults.
"You poor child Hold still a moment till I get you cleaned up." Minerva used her wand and said quietly as not to alarm the child, '' scourgify" and the child's outfit was revealed to be a miniaturized Potions Master outfit. "There that is better." Minerva turned him around gently and stroked the shoulder length black hair back away from his face. "You know he does look a lot like Severus."
Filius touched the boy and asked "Severus?"
Severus nodded but didn't say anything. The three adults looked bewildered, as they did not know what exactly happened to their colleague, but knew they had to do something.
Albus decided that they had better take Severus directly to Madame Pomfrey. Albus and Filius stood up first, and then Minerva was helped up while holding onto him.
Filius speculated, "I wonder if Severus knows how he happened to be turned into a small child."
Minerva felt the child in her arms quivering and tried to calm him while holding him close to her.
"I don't think he remembers us either Filius," Severus's head rested against her shoulder and his arms tucked up against his chest. They brought him out of the locker and Albus locked the door with a sealing charm before continuing down the corridor.
Madame Pomfrey was humming to herself as she put away her supplies for the holidays when she spotted the three coming in. She then noticed that Minerva was carrying what appeared to be a very small child.
"What has happened?"
"We don't know Poppy, we pulled him out from under a shelf in Severus's potion locker and were hoping you could tell us." answered Albus
Filius spoke up "We think this is Severus, but how he became a child, we couldn't tell you.'
Poppy picked up her wand and did a scan. "Yes he does have Severus's magical signature all right. He seems to have been returned to being four or five I think. Has he said anything?" Poppy looked up at the gathered adults.
Minerva answered, "Not one word."
Poppy studied the small boy in Minerva's arms. "Albus you became Severus's guardian when he was released to you after his trial so you have the authority to request a complete physical on him to make sure he is all right. It is a rare occurrence, but being returned to an earlier time in life can be very stressful."
Albus reached over and ran his hand across Severus's small head and said 'I agree Poppy."
Minerva set Severus on top of a bed and he looked around obviously confused and frightened. She stayed by him as Poppy helped him out of his clothes, and each of them was shocked at the multitude of sores and bruises that were revealed.
Poppy went over to the fireplace flooed Saint Mungos and asked them for copies of Severus Snapes childhood medical files.
"Albus you don't suppose those are injuries that Severus suffered when he was first growing up do you?"
"I don't know Filius, we have to wait for the records from Saint Mungos before we can be totally positive about anything."
"These injuries are pretty extensive, Albus and Filius could you please help record them as I heal them please?" Poppy went over to a cabinet and brought out some forms, quill and a camera.'
She set them down on the bed across from where Severus was sitting. "Could one of you fill out the form while the other takes the photos?"
Filius said "I will take the pictures," and he levitated the camera with his wand and aimed it towards Severus who looked wide-eyed at the group. Albus took the forms and looked them over. He filled in the parts he could before the examination began.
Minerva helped to keep Severus from moving too much and both witches talked to him as Poppy went over each of the injuries and described them for Albus to write down as she did the healing charms.
Some of the injuries she healed were obviously caused by magic and others by actual physical contact.
She looked grim as she ran her hands gently over the child's arms and chest feeling where some of the bones had been broken and had healed on their own.
Madame Pomfrey then applied the appropriate potions and creams to the injuries that required them as Minerva kept him from moving too much.
Severus sat there not saying anything as he was dressed in some hospital pajamas. He felt safe for now but wondered if they were going to get his parents to come to get him. These adults acted like they knew him and the dark haired lady who had carried him in looked troubled.
Minerva then tucked him into a bed and Poppy requested the kitchen to send up a house elf to bring him some lunch. While he was eating the adults went off to talk. Poppy got the folder that had been received from Saint Mungos and they looked it over.
Severus was born January 9th 1960. He was considered underweight even then, considering he was full term. He had weighed in at 4 ½ pounds. Subsequent entries showed he had gained weight slowly and there were marks on him that the mediwitches at Saint Mungos were suspicious about. The records were filled with information from each visit that shocked each of them. One notation was written that they had suspected hexes and/or curses were practiced upon the little boy.
"They mended him each time but never reported it?" asked a shocked Minerva
Poppy explained, "It was in the sixties and while all though the muggle world there was stricter child abuse laws being enacted the wizarding world hadn't yet progressed to that stage. A child was still considered property of their parents or guardians."
"So Tobias and/or Eileen Snape could abuse the boy and get away with it."
"Yes from the looks of it they were able to keep the Muggle authorities from finding out also."
Albus sighed as they read further. There was one entry when Severus was eight years old where the description of the injuries fitted perfectly the injuries that Madame Pomfrey was in the process of healing.
Minerva composed her face and wiped the tears away from her eyes that threatened to spill before looking over at the little boy who was eating his porridge and drinking the milk that was set in front of him.