Mr. Jones took Snape back through the Office of Obliviators. But they didn't go to the corridor that led to the lifts. Instead they went through another door in the office.
There they found themselves in bright white corridors. Snape frowned. He hated to be in light places. For some reason he had always felt comfortable in darker surroundings. That was probably why he enjoyed being in the dungeons so much.
Snape wondered what Mr. Jones was going to show him. There was no way that anything Mr. Jones showed him could convince Snape that he was the best person to help Nelly.
Mr. Jones stopped in front of a large white door, with a tiny window that looked into the room behind. It had the number 37 written on it.
Snape could see Nelly through the window. She sat on the floor, screwed up into a tight ball. Her head rested in her hands, while she kept very still. Her long brown hair hung messily about her face. Her posture look very unnatural, Nelly seemed as though she was afraid to move.
Snape felt a little angry at the ministry. Was it necessary to keep innocent people locked up like animals? But then again, going by Nelly's behaviour and attitude when he brought her here, she wasn't very cooperative. Maybe it was all they could do to have some control over her.
"Before we go in here, I need to tell you something else Professor." Mr. Jones whispered.
Snape looked at him, "Is it the reason that I am required for this task?"
"No, but it will help you to conclude why you are needed, when you speak to Nelly."
"Why couldn't this be dealt with in your office?" Snape growled.
"I needed to ensure that you would agree to help us first. Are you definitely going through with this?" Mr. Jones looked through the window at Nelly "You realise you will be required to spend a lot of time with this woman –muggle."
"What choice do I have?" Snape asked sarcastically.
Mr. Jones smiled, "I suppose you don't have any."
"When you have finished enjoying yourself," Snape sneered "feel free to explain whatever it was you were going to tell me."
Mr. Jones' smile faded "We don't think that Nelly's visions are predictions of the future."
"So, she is seeing events of the present?" concluded Snape.
"No. She is seeing... memories."
Now Snape was confused. If Nelly's visions were just memories, why couldn't they be removed like her other memories were? And how could Nelly remember things, that she didn't know existed? It just didn't make sense. Mr. Jones spotted Snape's confusion and elaborated.
"They are not Nelly's memories. I have concluded they belong to someone else. That's why we can't reach them. We can only remove Nelly's memories from Nelly."
"Wait, whose memories is she seeing then?"
Mr. Jones sighed "We don't...er...know. That's the first thing we need to discover. Then we need to establish how and why Nelly is seeing this person's memories. Only then can we break the connection and finally put an end to her 'visions'."
When Severus had first decided to bring Nelly to the Ministry, he could never have dreamed of how unusual her case was. He supposed that the Ministry expected him to work out whose memories they were.
Mr. Jones spoke, "When you are in there, don't introduce yourself to her. We haven't mentioned you to her." He opened the door and gestured for Snape to walk in.
As Snape entered Mr. Jones closed the door behind him, leaving Nelly and Snape alone. Nelly must have heard the door, but she refused to look up.
Snape wondered what he was meant to be doing in here. Nelly wouldn't remember him. The Ministry had apparently managed to remove her memories of their meeting at Godric's Hollow, and the time they had spent in the Ministry together. Should he talk to her? Mr. Jones had told him not to introduce himself, but he hadn't told Snape not to talk to Nelly.
Snape stood in silence for a few moments before clearing his throat, "Nelly, how are you?"
Severus wasn't normally polite, but he had no idea what to say. Somehow insults and sarcasm did not seem appropriate.
He hadn't expected her to respond as she still seemed afraid to move, but he saw Nelly shiver. After a few more moments she slowly lifted her head to Snape. Her eyes were glassy and unfocused as though she was in a dream.
Nelly closed her eyes slowly. She opened her eyes, everything was becoming clearer. How long had she been here? A day? A few weeks? A year? Nelly didn't remember why she was here, but she had heard her captures talking, whispering to each other. Nelly was dangerous, somehow her visions had the potential to bring harm to others. What kind of monster was she? Nelly wanted to lay her head back into her arms and lose herself in her dream world. Lose all sense of time again.
But, that voice she had heard was so familiar. Now she saw a man in front of her. She knew this man. Nelly didn't know where she knew him from, or how she knew him. But she just did.
Snape watched Nelly as her eyes widened in what seemed like recognition. He would have assumed it was the room she was recalling, except Nelly was looking straight at him. She couldn't remember him though! It was impossible! The ministry had removed her memories of him.
Even so, Snape was unsure. "Do you know who I am?" he asked quietly.
She tilted her head side to side examining him and then nodded her head.
She whispered softly "You are S-Se...hmm...S-se...vvvv–"
"How do you know that?" Snape interrupted. Although Nelly didn't immediately know his full name, what she said was enough to convince him that some part of her remembered him, but he couldn't say how.
"I don't know." Nelly said dreamily. She put her head back into her hands and transformed back into an unmoving statue once again.
How did she know him? How did she know him? Snape ran his fingers through his hair. How did she know him? Mr. Jones said the Ministry didn't tell her about him, he said they removed him from her memory.
Snape walked back to the door, deciding that there was nothing else he could do in here for the moment. Mr. Jones opened it for Snape. He had been watching the whole affair through the small window.
Severus was slightly shaken. He was not used to this type of thing. Nelly was so changed from the determined young lady he met a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't that he cared about her. Snape was just shocked at her transformation, and especially shocked that Nelly had recognised him.
"H-how does she know me?" he asked Mr. Jones, trying to steady his voice.
"Isn't it obvious? The person whose memories Nelly sees must have known you. We can't touch those memories. That's why she still remembers you." he replied.
"Why didn't she know who I was when we first meet at Godric's Hollow then?"
"We can't be sure but...you may have looked familiar to Nelly, she just couldn't quite work out who you were. That meeting with you must have opened something in her visions, so even though she no longer recalls the meeting, she still sort of knows you. In fact, unless you complete this task she will probably never forget you now." Mr. Jones shook his head.
"Hmm." Snape muttered.
"So now you know why we need you. Being around you might help to open up other parts of her visions. Not only that, but it stands to reason that if the person to whom the memories belong to has met you, then you must have met them. You can explore your memories at the same time for clues. We weren't a hundred percent sure that she would remember you Professor Snape. I could sense that you were still somewhere in her thoughts, after the Godric Hollow memory was removed. Therefore I could only assume that this was the case, turns out I was right." Mr. Jones seemed pleased with himself.
"What happens now?" asked Snape.
"You can retire for the day. Report back to the Ministry same place and time tomorrow for further instruction. Don't mention this to anyone. What we are doing is not completely...legal. After all, we're not meant to explore things like this, but I don't see what other options we have." Mr. Jones was weary that Snape would blab. But he had nothing to worry about, Snape would not risk Azkaban.
Now Severus finally understood why he must be the one to help her.
A/N: Thanks Blu, Zireael07 and Sakura Lisel for your reviews. The story will go on to explain all your questions, and you raised some very good points so thanks for taking the time to think in that much detail about this fic. Yes, she will eventually meet Harry, but that won't be for a while. I hope that others will also review this chapter so that I don't lose motivation in this story. I think so far I have been pretty good in updating (at least I hope so). Thanks for reading! Next chapter will be all about what Snape and Nelly think about each other now that I have established where this story is going and outlined a lot of important facts (although not all). Review please please!