Ratings: Generally Mature but PG-13 for the majority
Summary: A bit of a time-travel fic aka another way for Harry to have gone back to the marauder's time.
Warnings (or advertisements - as the case may be): A bit slashy.
Going through …
Remus Lupin would have never forgiven himself, had he lived through the events at the Ministry of Magic, for the singular moment of weakness that had stolen away his last living link to his chosen family.
In one moment, he had been tightly clutching Harry's shoulders, keeping the frantic child from rushing after his godfather as Sirius fell backwards, and in the next he was gripping empty air – though he was certain that Harry had not actually apparated out of his grip. He hadn't felt Harry's frail shoulders pull from his grip, and it seemed impossible that Harry would have had the power to free himself after the extended battle through the corridors, but it must have happened, nevertheless.
Sirius's startled form had barely disappeared through the veil when Harry rushed forward slipping Remus's fingers as if they were as insubstantial as Nearly-Headless-Nick's. Harry was bent low as he slipped under Remus's attempt to grab him a second time. His hands out-stretched as if he could reach through the veil and pull his godfather back, were first to be swallowed by the veil.
Distracted by their individual skirmishes, or too far away to intercept Harry's headlong rush through the veil, if they were even aware of it, many of the other order-members only finally turned to watch on, numb with horror, when Bellatrix Lestrange's malicious laughter spiked in pitch and venom. Her shrill piercing notes cut through the cacophony of their individual fights breaking their concentration between frantically cast hexes as surely as a soundly cast silencing spell, turning death eater and order member alike into a captive audience as she cast a spell that glowed wickedly green as it raced toward the rapidly disappearing youth to strike the boy's leg just at the point where Remus's hand had closed around his lower calf in a desperate effort to prevent Harry's fall.
His grip broken by the killing curse, Remus had hardly the time to drop the barely ten inch distance to the floor before Harry's body disappeared entirely.
Harry had just reached the dias, his lungs searing with breathless gasps, as he reached toward the veil. Sirius had only just fallen through the archway, he would reappear through the other side any second… But Sirius did not reappear. "Sirius," Harry yelled, "Sirius"… Sirius must be just behind the curtain, he, Harry, would pull him back out again.
Remus had grabbed him around the lower calf of his right leg, trying to hold him back, but he squirmed and struggled hard, thrusting his hands and forearms through the archway even as he heard horrible witch's laughter strangely silencing the angry cries of battle. A wave of dizziness swam through him as he clearly heard in the silence, her next spell, and he quickly shut his eyes to avoid seeing the spell charging toward him – as he knew it must be. He had been their target, after all, and now with the prophecy destroyed, they had no reason to hold back.
Sure enough, he felt the spell strike with a sickening surge of cold that moved up from his leg toward his heart … from his leg… where Remus had been holding … Nooooo!!
Noooo! Not Remus, too!
His howl of anguish strangled in his chest as the surge of cold rising from his legs intermingled with a nauseatingly sharp chill that numbed him backwards from his fingertips to his throat. It was all too much to withstand, and Harry felt himself falling into blackness… a single desire trapped in his freezing heart – to be with the only people in his life who would have done anything to protect him.
The all consuming darkness felt like it must have lasted forever, but might have only lasted three breaths before he found the strength to moan and flutter his eyes. The freezing feeling had settled into his left side, accompanied by a strange, foul smelling dampness.
"Oh, Dear Merlin, look!" A young woman's familiar voice broke through the hazy numbness that was seeping from his mind like mud through a stocking.
"Lily, get back." A harsher, worried voice warned.
It didn't sound like his memory of his father's voice from the grave yard, so he tried the only other person he'd expected to hear.
"S—r-us". He mumbled on a fragile breath, calling for his godfather.
"Severus? Do you know him?" the young woman's voice rose with a surprised note.
Harry's eyes fluttered opened bolstered by his surprise - startling the familiar, lanky, dark-haired teen, who was crouched and kneeling over him. The teen looked almost exactly like the greasy-haired fifth-year that he had viewed in Professor Snape's pensieve – except this teen was dressed entirely in muggle garb as was the also familiar red-haired witch leaning over the teen's shoulder.
"Unhhhhh," he groaned softly wondering whether he was hallucinating… or had Professor Snape died at the ministry, too?
"What's wrong with him? He looks as if he's been beaten up." The younger Lily Potter questioned with concern.
"That… and…" Young Snape's tone dropped into a hushed tone, "Cursed. Lily, the scar on his forehead, and those inflamed areas across on his face and cheeks… they're curse scars, I'm sure of it. I think I recognize the patterns of the fresher ones, on his cheeks, but I don't think I've seen a curse that leaves a pattern like the mark on his forehead."
"You think it's … them. Don't you?"
"Voldemort's lackies? There is no way of knowing until we…
"Here in Surrey? It can't be."
The teen was silent for a moment, staring deeply into his close friend's eyes, before he caught her hand, and commented sadly, "I told you things were getting more dangerous, Lily."
"But, here in Surrey? Why would they come here?"
"We don't have time to discuss this now. We've got to get him out of here."
"Can we get him to St. Mungo's?" Lily asked with concern, "If we can't what do we do then? Can a regular hospital cure curse injuries, or would we have to bring him home and alert the ministry? I don't know if I can… I mean, I'd bring him back to my house, if I would, but Tuney's invited her beau, Vernon, over and said that some of their other friends would be there, too."
"I… don't know think a muggle hospital would be ideal, but St. Mungo's … I don't know if we should take him to St. Mungo's, yet when we really have no idea who may have done this to him. Besides, I haven't quite figured out how to set a portkey for a warded perimeter, and neither of us have learned how to apparate yet."
"But we have to do something? How bad is he?"
"I can't say for certain, Lily, but his pupils look like he might have a concussion. The fresh curse burns on his cheeks and forehead … they're not as serious as I would expect them to be if they are from the curse I believe them to be, but they'll probably scar. He or someone must have used a strong shield to protect him, but as for what other injuries he might have, there's no way to tell at the moment…"
"Healing spells are tricky, though, particularly if he's a muggle. Is he… do you think he's a wizard?"
"I don't know, possibly. He appears to be close to our age, though, and I don't believe that I have seen him at Hogwarts."
"No, he's not in Gryffindor, but a Hufflepuff, maybe? I haven't kept track of the third and fourth year puffs because they don't come to tutoring as much."
Harry listened with amused detachment until he tried to move his hand and his nerves suddenly felt as if they were wired in directly to an electric socket that had just been switched on.
"Aaeeeeeeeeeeinnnnnnhhhh," he groaned through gritted teeth.
"Oh, Severus, what do we do?"
"I'll take him to my home. My mother knows several … adequate… healing charms and potions… and she can apparate him to St. Mungo's if he need's more."
"But, what if your father's there?" Her eyes flashed with concern as she questioned him.
"We don't have a wide variety of options, Lily. We don't even know whether he's a muggle or not…."
"Alo--ho--mora" Harry interrupted, gasping with pain and desperate for the help they innocently taunting him with as they discussed their options.
"I guess that answer's that question." Lily commented with a weak chuckle.
"Can I stop by tomorrow, uhm, to see how he's doing?"
"Of course, but owl first, so I can warn you off if my father's around."
"Lily, we shouldn't stay here any longer than is necessary. Can you make your way home from here?"
"Of course, I can." Lily replied with typical gryffindorish zeal, smirking when her friend arched his eyebrow and repeated the question, adding "safely?"
"Severus," she sighed, moving back to the opening of the alley that they had been drawn into when they had heard the injured teen's groan from the street. After looking back the way they'd come from, she commented tartly, "We're already seven blocks away from the park; I have my wand; and whoever dumped him here obviously didn't want his assault tied back to them... so they're not likely to have hung around are they."
"Very well, but hurry out to the main street before I go, so I can watch you at least as far as Kensington." Severus knelt by the stranger again, pulling a port key from the inside of his left sleeve, preparing to leave as soon as she was a relatively safe distance into her route home, but looked up with a startled glance as she laid a hand on his shoulder and leaned in to give him a peck on the cheek.
"Thanks for worrying; it's sweet." She commented by way of explanation before hurrying out to the street.
Waiting for her to disappear down the street, Severus nervously glanced back and forth between her and his charge until Lily was close enough to her home to get there before anything untoward could happen then pressed the safety pin flat against the other teen's chest and murmured "asodophol".
Rising to his feet, anxiously, barely a moment after he and his charge arrived in his bedroom at Spinner's End, Severus was hesitant about leaving the other simply lying on the floor, but knew enough of treating injuries to be away that lifting the wizard, even with a careful leviosa could exacerbate any internal injuries that the wizard, if that was an accurate designation for the other teen, might have. He was hardly convinced that the other young man was, in fact, a wizard – based simply on the fact that the young man recognized a single spell, particularly when it was clear from the curse scars that his charge had been in some form of contact with wizards to begin with. As Lily had pointed out, Surrey was hardly a place that drew attention from the wizarding community. In fact it was so pedestrian and unthreateningly muggle, that even the few acquaintances that he had whose families that followed Voldemort had no interest in it as a sight to stir up trouble. London was far more metropolitan and interesting to them as a location where muggles regularly interacted, even if unknowingly, with witches and wizards. Surrey, by comparison, without even a decent apothecary shop to attract muggle homeopaths, much less potion-minded witches and wizards, had nothing to offer even as a target.
Still, Lily's point that the teen's assailant's had clearly wanted to distance themselves from their attack had merit, and spoke to the possibility that the teen was a wizard. The last place anyone would be likely to look for a missing wizard was Surrey.
"I will return, momentarily," he commented by way of explanation as he stood to go for his mother – only to break his stride when other teen's eyes fluttered open and froze Severus with a gaze that glowed an almost incandescent shade of brilliant green almost identical to the shade of Lily's eyes but alive with a depth of pain that Severus doubted his sheltered and cherished friend could ever understand. As dearly as he loved her, Severus had always hesitated to truly discuss his home life because he had feared that she would never be able to cope with the meaningless suffering that he endured to protect his mother or understand the darker side of his nature that his background had engendered. The resigned alienation and deep-seated exhaustion that he saw in the boy's wounded gaze, made him feel, for the first time in his memory, as if he was looking into the eyes of someone who could truly understand him in his entirety, and the feeling was almost hypnotizing.
Compelled by an unusual feeling of compassion, Severus slowly reached out, hovering his hand above the teens eyes as he gently admonished, "Rest. I'll get my mother. She can help."
Hoping that the other could take some measure of ease from his gaze, Severus, in an unusually open gesture, for him, locked eyes for a moment then slowly lowered his hand to close the other boy's eyes.
As Snape's cool palm gently descended over his eyelids, lightly pressing his eyes closed, Harry breathed a tight sigh of relief at the gesture. He still wasn't completely certain whether he was hallucinating. Between one moment and the next, Harry tried to reconcile the nausea, almost agonizing pain, and the almost insurmountable feeling of loss with the sheer impossibility of his being returned to a past before he was even born, into the care of a previously bitter seeming wizard who was treating him with almost surreal kindness. It seemed impossible, but whether it was a hallucination or not, it was the only reality he could perceive, and he had to plan for the eventuality that, if it was a reality in any sort of manner, they would question him as soon as he they believed he was well enough to answer their queries.
… And the questions they were likely to ask, were definitely ones that he couldn't give a satisfactory answer to.
"Who was he?"
What a barrel of blast-ended skrewts that would open up. Oh, yes.
"Hello there, I'm Harry Potter, the as yet un-born son of your hated rival, who will banish thwart Voldemort for over a dozen years, after being responsible for the death of the only person, whom you consider a friend."
Harry could just imagine how well that would go over. If they didn't believe him, he'd probably end up in St. Mungo's, and if they did, he'd probably be hexed almost to death before the words were even completely out of his mouth. Well, he obviously couldn't tell them the truth, but he had absolutely no talent at lying… (especially to Professor Snape, though even Dobby saw through his diversions). But, what was there left?