Disclaimer: Not mine
AN: Now beta'd by Vern aka Herman Tumbleweed and Skeptic7, thanks guys
Severus Snape lounged in the armchair at Spinner's End, gazing into the amber liquid filling his glass. He briefly toyed with the idea of resigning his position as Potions Professor and Head of House at Hogwarts. He snorted softly, 'as if Albus would allow it', he thought. Well, he'd just have to make the best of it, he sighed.
Harry 'bloody' Potter, the Boy Who Lived would be coming to Hogwarts this year. He hated the thought of James Potter's spawn running roughshod over the school. He was sure that Dumbledore would allow gross liberties to the spoilt brat. Well he certainly wouldn't kowtow to the little monster. He would do his best to shrink the boy's fame swollen head, and if Dumbledore didn't like it well he could have the bloody awful job.
His head dropped back and he closed his eyes, but then a slight noise caused his head to snap up. A man in a dark cloak, face concealed by the hood stood before him, wand drawn. Severus couldn't believe someone had been able to breach his wards, it just wasn't possible. He was bound before he completed the thought.
"Good evening," said the man, pushing back the hood.
Severus gasped at the face before him. "How? How is this possible?"
It was his own face that sneered back at him, "Control yourself, I'll answer what I can but I don't have much time."
Severus squashed his shock to sneer at this impersonator. "If you think to replace me at Hogwarts I can assure you that Albus will see through your plot."
The other Snape did the unthinkable, he chuckled, "They were right: I am an arrogant arse. Just keep your mouth shut or I'll silence you. As I said I only have a short time. I am Severus Snape from 10 years from now, and I've taken a great risk to come here and change the past."
"Impossible, it's illegal, the ministry," Severus sputtered.
Snape pinched the bridge of his nose. "I'm a fool as well," he muttered. "Listen to me, you idiot. I am a Death Eater wanted for the killing of Albus Dumbledore, and I do not care if the Ministry adds a charge of tampering with the timeline. I do not intend to be caught, and if you will just pay attention, the matter will be resolved."
"No, you are not me, I would never kill Albus, never!" bellowed Severus, struggling against the bindings.
"Of course not, unless he ordered you to, due to you foolishly taking an unbreakable vow to protect Narcissa's brat from his own stupidity." The older Snape sighed, plucked the tumbler of whiskey from the table and took a long swallow. "This coming year Harry Potter comes to Hogwarts. You, in your blind stupidity have decided for the good of the little brat to make his days a living hell. Unfortunately his life is already a living hell, he is abused and neglected, and in your anger at James, you will not see it."
Severus' jaw fell and he shook his head.
Snape smirked slightly, "I do not expect you to believe me, however I do expect you to think like the Slytherin you are and 'look' at the boy."
Snape cut him off with a hiss. "Was stupid! Dumbledore proclaimed you a spy in open session of the Wizengamot. The tactics you have pursued and clung to, in the coming six years lost nearly every one of our Slytherins to the re-embodied Dark Lord in the coming decade. Potter is Lily's child, and is the one the prophecy spoke of. The Dark Lord made sure of it with his attack on the boy. He will be the one to defeat the re-embodied Dark Lord. The next war and you already know it is coming, will be long and bloody to both sides. I could have made a difference. You still can if you will only listen."
Severus slowly nodded, eyes narrowed. "I will listen."
Snape flicked his wand releasing the binding. "You may wish to take notes; I shouldn't have to tell you to guard them closely and to tell no one. Not even Albus, as I'm sure you are aware of his views on tampering with the timeline." He snorted, and added sarcastically "Only Dumbledore is wise enough to do that."
Severus arched an eyebrow, but Snape merely waved it off.
"Not important, if you change the beginning. At the start of this year, do not antagonize Potter, he's going to be the bloody savior of the world again and is viciously ruthless to his enemies. He appears to be the epitome of Gryffindor, but has the loyalty of a Hufflepuff and the cunning of a Slytherin. If he had not had underachieving beaten into him by those muggles, he could have rivaled a Ravenclaw. He hates bullies with a passion. Do not be one. And, unlike James, he dislikes his fame as he feels it is unearned. He is surprisingly much more like Lily in that respect, even though he bears an uncanny resemblance to James." He took another swallow of whiskey.
"Quirrell is returning from sabbatical this year, but he isn't alone. The Dark Lord will be possessing him, and attempting to acquire Flamel's stone which Albus brings to the school. Potter will stop him, killing Quirrell, and banishing the Dark Lord once more. However, by that time I had given my true loyalties away to the Dark Lord, who didn't reveal himself to me." Snape shuddered slightly, and Severus shivered as well.
"Albus will realize that the reason the Dark Lord survived his attack on Potter was that he created several Horcruxes."
"Several?" gasped Severus.
"Yes, his intent was to create six with the seventh being retained in his body. However the sixth death was to be the infant Potter. The killing curse rebound and tore the sixth portion from him, but killed the seventh. Unable to finish the embedding process, the soul portion fled becoming the wraith that is in possession of Quirrell," said Snape.
"Leaving five Horcruxes to be found before the Dark Lord can be fully destroyed?" questioned Severus.
"Yes, a leather bound diary with the name TM Riddle in the possession of Lucius Malfoy. The Gaunt family ring hidden in the ruins of the Gaunt house, just outside of Little Hangleton. Slytherin's locket can be found in Black's house in Grimmauld Place, London." Snape grimaced and sneered, then sighed.
"Black is innocent. The mangy mutt talked the Potters into using Pettigrew as the secret keeper, while Black would attempt to lead the Dark Lord's forces a merry chase. A prank aimed at the Dark Lord. Pettigrew was the spy. He is also very much alive; he is an animagus and is living as a rat in the keeping of the Weasleys. He will be returning to Hogwarts as Ronald's pet this year. If you use that information wisely, Black and Lupin could be very much in your debt," said Snape slyly. He received an answering smirk.
"The locket in Black's house was stolen from its hiding place in a cave by Regulus Black before he was killed. Ravenclaw's brooch is in the main wizard library in London. Near the shielded practice rooms, there is a hidden niche behind a statue of Shakespeare. He apparently spent a good deal of time doing research there as a young man. The last object took the longest to find, as Albus never realized that on the day that Tom Riddle applied for the DADA position at Hogwarts, he lifted one of those silly trinkets that littered the office. A small glass globe with a castle resembling Hogwarts contained within; it is in the London orphanage where the Dark Lord grew up." He stopped when Severus started sputtering.
"The Dark Lord was raised as a muggle in an orphanage?"
Snape sneered and spat, "The Dark Lord Voldemort is an assumed name for Tom Marvolo Riddle. He's a Half blood orphan of a muggle named Tom Riddle and a witch, Merope Gaunt, who was descended from Salazar Slytherin. She used love potions to seduce Riddle, who then abandoned her when he learned she was a witch."
"But, but…" said Severus.
"Yes, a cunning and ambitious plan young Tom Riddle came up with, wasn't it? Truly Slytherin, to gather the purebloods and bind them to his banner to rule the Wizarding world. Such a shame he allowed the Dark Arts to consume him," said Snape, sarcasm dripping from his words.
Snape could see the ideas and plots forming within Severus's mind. Perhaps his younger self wasn't such a fool after all. He realized that he had at least convinced him to attempt to save their Slytherins.
"I would have thought that he would have used a Gryffindor artifact?" questioned Severus.
"Grang-, that is, one of the researchers believed that the Dark Lord was thumbing his nose at Albus; taking Hogwarts from him, metaphorically speaking. We did, however, find a Gryffindor cloak pin in the remains of the Potter's cottage. It showed signs of being prepared to be a Horcrux."
Severus made notes on his parchment, and nodded in understanding.
Snape made his way to the bottle, and refilled the glass.
"Potter is a Parselmouth; he has the ability-- or rather will have-- to manipulate the Mark. He has not been able to remove it, though the research is ongoing, but he can change it." He pulled up his sleeve and displayed, not the Dark Mark, but a green lightning bolt with a snake wrapped around it. "It can be used to summon me, but not spy, control, or punish. The summoning is a mild tingle; a most welcome improvement."
This was more than Severus could comprehend, and he rose to find a second glass and pour himself a drink.
"Items of importance that you will have to decide how to use: the Chamber of Secrets is real, and contains a sixty-foot basilisk, and the entrance is in Moaning Myrtle's restroom. Potter destroyed the diary with basilisk venom. Barty Crouch saved his son from Azkaban replacing him with his dying wife, and is holding him under Imperious in his house. That odious reporter, Rita Skeeter, is a beetle animagus. Draco Malfoy is a pitiful seeker, and should not be allowed to buy his way onto the team, assuming you cannot get Lucius arrested. If it gets that far, Pettigrew will use the bones of Tom Riddle Senior, Potter's blood, and his own hand in a ritual to re-embody the Dark Lord in a cemetery in Little Hangleton. When Dumbledore attempted to destroy one of the Horcruxes, it almost killed him. Gilderoy Lockhart is a fraud that uses memory charms to…"
"Bloody Hell!" shouted Severus jumping to his feet.
Snape looked offended at that reaction, until he noticed the golden glow surrounding his own body. He speared his younger self with a glare.
"Well, this proves you manage to change something, for good or ill." The glow became brighter, and Snape seemed to lose cohesiveness as his body began to turn to a mist.
"Remember the right choice is not always the easiest. Harry is Lily's child." Came the final words as the glow faded.
Severus Snape sank back down into his chair in Spinners End; he drained the whiskey glass, and then looked back over his notes and scribbled a few more. He would have to consider his next moves carefully, but there was no question in his mind about the Potter boy. That changed mark was his goal; something that Albus had never been able to promise. He was a Slytherin, and he could, would, change the future.
AN: This was originally a one shot that ended here. I was convinced to continue. Thank you for all the lovely reviews. And special thanks to Vern aka Herman Tumbleweed for his efforts at cleaning up my mess any remaining errors are strictly my fault and not his. You can find his stories in my profile under favorite authors.