Summary: A time travel story. When fifth-year Severus Snape tries to create a forward time-travelling elixir to prove his worthiness to Lord Voldemort, he is disappointed to find that his creation is worthless. Or is it?

Disclaimer: All recognizable characters and fictional places do not belong to me; I am merely borrowing them for playtime before (respectfully) putting them back. Thank you, JKR, for allowing such things to happen.

Pairings/Main Characters Hermione Granger and Severus Snape, the other Severus Snape. A cast of other canon characters and a couple of OFCs as well.
Warnings: This story is rated NC-17/MA, and it is not suitable for children under age 18. It is Alternate Universe, and includes strong language, graphic sex, graphic violence and mention of violence/torture, unresolved sexual tension, and major character death.

Thank You: To the village that has raised this baby over the course of several chapters and years: Roo, Tom Without, Allee, Lauren, Nathaniel Cardeau, ThornedHuntress, Dragoon811, AdelaideArcher, Savva, Vezza and Stgulik. Additional thanks to my current amazing "Team Tyche," who have listened to me bounce ideas and have cleaned up my writing, making this story so, so much more than it would have been otherwise: BSC_AG, SnuggleBunny, and Glamourchick1668.

A thousand further thank yous to the extremely talented SusanMarieR, who created the official banner and cover art for this piece. Please take a moment to look at the wonderful Cover Art for Severus, Redux done by SusanMarieR for this story!

By: TycheSong

Chapter One: (In which Severus Snape creates an odd new potion, and it doesn't work the way he thought it would.)

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, 19 May 1976, 11:47 PM

Severus Tobias Snape was not handsome at sixteen, or even marginally good looking. He was too tall, too bony, too pale, too greasy, too intense, too edgy, too everything. He was well aware of it, and sometimes it bothered him, though he resolutely told himself that it didn't. He preferred to believe he was above caring about such things. People should respect him and wish to be near him because he was intelligent, because he was powerful, because he could understand and influence things they had not bothered dreaming of, not because he was handsome. If they didn't, then they were not the sort of people he cared to be friends with anyway.

Except...sometimes, when he saw how his classmates hung onto every word that came out of the undeniably handsome Lucius Malfoy, when they removed themselves out of the way of Sirius Black as he walked down the hall, when Lily, even Lily who couldn't stand James Potter still looked at him out of the corner of her eyes when she thought nobody was watching...sometimes, he couldn't help but wish he were a little less ugly.

He had begged. He had made a fool out of himself to the point where the whole school was laughing, and even the housemates who could stand him held him in contempt. Lily had been adamant in her refusal to continue even their friendship. It was hardly fair, considering his situation. In Slytherin House, you were either god or minion. There really wasn't an in-between. He was lucky, the uncontested Lord of Slytherin House had taken him under his wing as a first year, and that protection had extended through later years. The rest of the school may view him as a laughing stock, but he didn't live with them, did he? It was a relatively small price to pay in order to be treated with respect in his House.

With that respect came the responsibility to live according to the views and ideals of his House. Purity, Power, No Compromise. It wasn't as if it was even wrong, really. His father was proof enough of that. Sirius Black might be a complete dick, but his brother Regulus was a decent sort of chap, and his cousins...there could be no more perfect example of why pureblooded families should stay that way than the Black sisters.

They were beautiful, elegant, regal, powerful and well-mannered. Bellatrix was only nine years his senior, followed by Andromeda at seven and Narcissa at five. All three were goddesses of Slytherin Perfection. Narcissa had even spoken to him, upon occasion. She was Lucius' fiancée, and Slytherin House took the responsibility of its sponsorships and mentorships very seriously.

Currently, his mentor was attempting to finagle a place for him in the inner circle of his Lord. Lord Voldemort was allegedly everything that Slytherin House stood for, if one were to trust Lucius Malfoy. Severus did; there was no one in whom he had more faith. Lucius had seen the potential, the greatness, the resilience in the ugly, skinny child, and for that Severus would believe and give him anything. According to him, Lord Voldemort was powerful, charismatic, and a beacon of conservative thinking in an increasingly backward world. So far, no invitations had been extended to his inner council to those who were not of pure blood.

Severus fully intended to be the first. He had already publicly denounced and disowned both of his parents in the Slytherin common room under oath. It hadn't been hard to do since one was a drunk Muggle, the other a broken and cowardly witch who pretended she wasn't and had died for the deception.

"You need to prove your worth, Severus. The Lord Voldemort will not grant you access to his closest and best on my word alone, though it helps that I sponsor you. You must show him your power, your worth. I know it's in you, Severus, you just need to give it free rein." Lucius never called him "Sev," or "Sevy" like Lily. Only Severus, which he said sounded more powerful and commanded respect.

So, here he stood, bent over a cauldron as he often was. Lord Voldemort had requested that Severus present him with a powerful potion as a tribute offering. Severus had a few ideas, of course, but he was confident about this one. It had taken him months to get to this point, months when it would have taken anyone else years, if they could have accomplished it at all.

Anyone could go back in time. Evan Rosier had explained Time-Turners, and Giselle Dolohov had even recited the little poem inscribed on them:

"I mark the hours, every one
Nor have I yet outrun the sun
My use and value unto you
Is gauged by what you have to do."

It was telling, that little poem. It made it more than clear that they could only swivel time backward. "Nor have I yet outrun the sun..." How much worth would he be if he could give Lord Voldemort the power of the future? He would be able to anticipate and influence the political climates, the investing world would be so much as his pet, and no battle or manoeuvre his enemies had could ever surprise him or fail to be defeated. Surely such a presentation would be worthy of not only a place in his inner circle, but even in a position of power.

No one would ever call him "Snivellus" or dare laugh at him again. Even Lily would have to be impressed by his accomplishment, and he would be able to magnanimously offer to keep her safe, to put her under his protection once Lord Voldemort was firmly in power. After she apologized for being a heartless bitch, of course. For misunderstanding how amazing he really was.

He let his mind drift into a pleasant fantasy where Lily, lovely red hair tumbling, big green eyes wet with tears, babbled her remorse for not forgiving his lapse in temper, apologising for not understanding that he'd had an image to maintain, and swearing her undying gratitude to him. She would peek up at him under those long lashes, the way she pretended not to look at that shirty wanker James Potter.

Abruptly, he realised he was stirring a little more forcefully than he should, practically sloshing his creation outside his Standard Size 2, and forced himself to moderate his pace. Time enough for that later. He'd seen it, in the mirror, after all. Sirius Black, James Potter, Peter Pettigrew and Remus Lupin stood in chains before Lord Voldemort for being blood traitors and general idiots, while Lily sat by his side, watching approvingly, indisputably his.

He would drape her in emeralds when it happened, he fantasised, when he was powerful and a favourite of the Lord's with mountains of Galleons at his disposal like Lucius Malfoy. Slytherin green emeralds chased in silver that matched her jewel-green eyes. Gold was too warm a colour for her fair skin, anyway. And even she admitted that red went horribly with her hair as opposed to green or blue.

Severus sat back from his cauldron for a moment and studied the elixir inside. It was complete. Ten long months of research and experimentation had come to this. He knew it wouldn't fail this time; he could feel it in his bones. If it did...if it failed, then forward motion in time just simply wasn't possible. At that point, he really had no more time to waste trying it again; it would be better to move on to something that would prolong life, or make one impervious to all poisons or something along those lines. Less to be gained, but surely Lord Voldemort would be pleased by a potion that made assassination attempts near-impossible.

He glanced at his arithmantic equations, scribbled on bit of parchment near his work, and carefully measured a small amount of the midnight-blue liquid into a cup. Twenty minutes. He would send himself forward twenty minutes as a test. If everything went according to his plan, he would be able to present the elixir and the appropriate arithmantic calculations to Lord Voldemort at his official introduction next month. He would be the youngest Death Eater Pledge and only half-blood accepted. He knew he would.

He met his eyes in the large mirror across the deserted dungeon classroom he had been secretly brewing in. His image smirked triumphantly, toasted himself, and drank the measured liquid in one gulp, then the scene that had been replaying before—the Gryffindor berks in chains, Lily smiling up at him in emeralds and thanking him for his forgiveness of her ill-treatment—started over, replaying. Severus smirked back, and quaffed his own cup.

His vision tunnelled, went foggy and glassy in turns at the edges, and faded.

It came back slowly, with negative blotches of light tampering with his vision. It was as if he had been staring at bright light for too long. He blinked rapidly several times, trying to clear his vision, gripping the table edge to keep himself steady. The world slowly righted itself, and he glanced about.

Everything was the same, of course. He had chosen his little hidey-hole of an abandoned classroom with care. Twenty minutes would certainly not have changed it if no one had found him yet after ten months. He reached into his robe's pocket, and glanced at the battered pocket-watch he had dropped in there: 12:17 in the morning. Just a minute or so after he had drank the potion. The real test was if it was twenty minutes behind the elegant one he had borrowed from Lucius still sitting by the cauldron on the table. He staggered over to it, satisfactorily noting how well the potion seemed to have maintained its consistency after twenty minutes. That was good. Certainly it had been twenty minutes; he could feel that he was different, the world was different around him. Something must have changed.

The pocket watch on the table damningly read 12:17, also. Severus felt his face alter into a snarl. There had to be a mistake. It had to have worked! Except, clearly it hadn't. Yelling an obscenity, Severus swept the glass beakers and bowls off the table with an only vaguely satisfying sounding crash. In a fit of temper, the cauldron followed, its useless contents spilling all over the dusty, dirty floor. A sharp word with his wand, and his notes ignited with a loud crack.

His mood black, Severus scooped up Lucius' pocket watch and he swept from the room.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, 19 May 1996, 12:17 AM

His vision tunneled, went foggy and glassy in turns at the edges, and faded.

It came back slowly, with negative blotches of light tampering with his vision. It was as if he had been staring at bright light for too long. He blinked rapidly several times, trying to clear his vision, gripping the table edge to keep himself steady. The world slowly righted itself, and he glanced about.

The room was completely deserted. His table was still there, but that was the only thing still the same. Lucius' pocket watch, his cauldron, his supplies, even the mirror that had been there for more than ten months had somehow, in the last twenty minutes, been removed, along with everyone else.

There was no sign of the removal, no scratch marks or footprints in the light layer of dust on the floor, no sound, the door was still firmly closed and locked. In fact...Severus stared at the floor again, a cold feeling sweeping over him. Had his arithmancy calculations been off? Surely not. He was not a top student at Arithmancy, not like Lily or Giselle, but he was confident in his abilities. Yet...there was no way all of his things had been removed in a mere twenty-minute absence. Perhaps he was wrong, and one could only go back in time? Maybe he had blown himself backward rather than forward, and a great deal further than he thought, since his arithmancy was meant to be towards a forward moving potion. Or perhaps he had put a decimal in the wrong place...

Severus' heart froze. What if he was accidentally twenty hours in the future? What if he had missed an entire day of classes? How in the world was he going to explain that?

Severus departed the room hurriedly, setting off down the deserted hall at a jog. He obviously needed to find Professor Slughorn right away, and make sure his Head of House was on his side before contemplating anything else. He turned a corner around a staircase, and came face to back with that arse James Potter, with that damned grey cloak he was always carrying around tucked over one arm.

Well, at least he knew however much time he had lost, either backward or forward, it wasn't that much. Severus scowled at his nemesis, then smirked and slashed his wand at him vindictively. James howled very satisfactorily indeed, cussing like a sailor, and clutching his thigh. A nasty burn mark was there under his clothes, Severus knew. Not unlike the one James had given him last week. Try riding your broomstick and catching the Snitch now, Potter!

Leaving the wounded boy in the hall, Severus ran to the Head of Slytherin's quarters. Slughorn would still be awake, he knew. He skidded to a halt just outside the door when it flung open, surprising him enough that he nearly fell backward.

The man that stood there was oddly familiar, but no one Severus knew. His clothes were fine wool, excellently tailored, and stark, unrelieved black. Not unlike the sort of clothes Severus had envisioned for himself in his imagination. This man was also tall, thin, fair skinned and possessed of oily dark hair. But there the similarities between himself and Severus ended.

He was old, for one thing, at least forty, with hard lines bracketing his mouth and pinching his eyes. And while he was thin, he wasn't the same sort of gaunt bonyness that Severus was. He also radiated danger and power. Severus was dangerous, and powerful, but not like this. This man was the sort who could easily command obedience from even Lucius Malfoy. The man's black eyes widened in shock for a moment before narrowing in apparent hatred for Severus.

"What is this?" His voice was a low, autocratic snarl. "Some sort of joke, Potter?" He reached forward, striking like an attacking snake, gripping Severus' upper arm painfully and hauling him into the room he had just been about to exit.

Severus only barely had time to think incredulously. Did he really just confuse me with James Potter?!

Notes: A/N: I think poor Severus is about to give himself a heart attack... hee hee hee On a more serious note, this is just a little plot bunny that's been bouncing about my brain for a couple of weeks that I thought I would throw out there and see if there is any interest for me to continue it. If not, no harm, no foul. It was a fun idea to play with. If there is enough interest in what happens next, I'll continue it. As always, I would love to hear your opinions, either way. Reviews feed the muse, or are the ammunition to shoot an awful idea dead. Keep that in mind, please!