Hello everyone! This is the prequel for my story Going Home. If you have not read Going Home I highly recommend you do before you read this, but to be honest I think you will follow the story line if you haven't.
This is a two chapter story, but will continue no further than that. I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think! :)
Also, I want to thank my lovely, wonderful beta Lady DestinyHope for looking over this story as well as Going Home!
Warnings: Mentions of abuse. If this offends you in anyway, please skip to the next story on this site! :)
Severus was sitting on the side of Harry's bed looking down at the small child. Reaching out he gently took Harry's hand in his own and started to stroke it softly with his thumb.
Behind him, Albus came up and placed a gentle hand on Severus's shoulder. "Is everything alright Severus?"
Turning, Severus smiled at the man and nodded. "I'm just thinking of the past. How everything started."
Sitting in the chair next to Harry's bed Albus nodded. "When you confronted Harry?"
Slowly, Severus shook his head. "No further back than that."
Severus turned his head and looked at Albus with a small smile. "The day you found me."
Albus nodded. "I'm still recovering from Lily's hex."
Severus snorted and looked back down at his son. "I remember she was quite mad at you."
"Indeed she was..."
Twenty-four years ago
"Severus please have something to eat. You're wasting away." Lily was pleading, but at this point she didn't care.
Severus looked down at his plate of food and shook his head making Lily sigh. Over the last few weeks, she had watched sorrowfully as Severus starved himself. His weight loss had distressed her so much that she had even taken up permanent residence at the Slytherin table during meals to try to make Severus eat something, anything.
At first, the Slytherins had given her weird looks and had even threatened to harm her, but after a few glares and some hexes, they left her alone to try to help Severus. Her friends had even asked why she was sitting with the snakes, but how could she explain that she couldn't stand to watch as her best friend wasted away to nothing without doing all she could to help him? He had been her best friend since she was five, and she couldn't bear to see him in pain.
All her attempts had failed though, and her glances at the head table were becoming more frequent. She has hoped that the teacher would notice her sitting at the Slytherin table and ask questions, but they had not. Not even one. Now, she was hoping beyond all hope that they would actually look at her friend and see that he lost at least a stone. How could anyone miss such a drastic change?
She didn't know, however, that there was someone from the head table watching all this time. Albus Dumbledore watched as the poor boy grew thinner and thinner, but much to his dismay he could do nothing until Severus or Lily came to him asking for help. It was a great flaw in the system, and he hated it. He hated watching children hurt themselves.
Sighing Lily gently placed a hand on Severus's back and tried again to encourage him to eat something. Severus was having none of it though, and slammed his fork down on the table. He was tired of Lily's persistence. He just wanted to be left alone. He had just lost the one adult who had ever cared for him and he wanted to feel nothing.
After slamming down his fork, Severus stood up and stormed out of the hall. Lily sat there for a moment as the entire hall turned to watch Severus leave, but then when the shock wore off Lily stood up and started after her friend worriedly. She was scared he might do something drastic.
Reaching the hall, Lily turned and saw Severus leaning up against the wall and then wobble as if he were losing his balance. Rushing over Lily tried to stable Severus, but before she reached him, he fell to his knees.
When she did reach him, she knelt next to him and placed a stable arm behind his back. "Are you alright Severus?"
As if to answer her question, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he fainted in her arms. Nervously, not really knowing what to do, she looked around for help, any help at all. Fortunately, Remus had followed them as Lily had run from the hall. He had wanted to make sure everything was ok.
Spotting Remus, Lily let out a small sigh of relief. "Remus! Go get Dumbledore and Pomfrey and don't let James or Sirius come out here! If you do I will hex you till next Saturday!"
The boy nodded and ran back inside the great hall to get the Headmaster and nurse. He didn't know what was going on, but he knew when Lily was nervous and a nervous Lily was a scary Lily.
Meanwhile, back in the hallway Lily gently lowered Severus to the ground. He might have lost a stone over the last few weeks, but he was still heavy for her to hold up. She then took off her sweater and rolled it up, gently placing it under the boy's head.
" Oh Severus..."
The next moment, both the Headmaster and the school nurse came running out of the Great Hall and right to where they were on the floor. Immediately, Albus was on his knees across from Lily and next to Severus's body.
He had hoped beyond all hope that either Lily or Severus would have come to him or another teacher by this point, but it seemed like that was not going to be the case.
"He lost his Mother over Christmas, and he's been picking at his food since."
Albus looked down sadly at the boy and let out a small sigh. Things were starting to click just why Severus had been so depressed these past few months. "I was not informed of his loss. I am sure some time in the hospital wing will set him to rights."
Lily looked over at her Headmaster and gave him a stern look. "You are blind aren't you. Do you not see what is lying on the floor before you? Severus has not been eating for two months and has lost at least a stone. How crass can you be? Being in the hospital wing is not going to help him, he avoids it at every cost. Have you ever wondered why? Or how about, just why he is so adept at healing spells?"
Albus looked at the young woman before him with understanding starting to dawn in his sad eyes. He still had not really gathered his bearings. He was not used to being told off by someone so young, actually by anyone...and was what she implying true? He needed further information and confirm what he thought the girl before him was saying.
"What are you saying?"
Lily shook her head and looked down at her best friend. "Severus is going to kill me for saying anything, but I can't do this anymore. I just can't do this. I can't keep anymore secrets that hurt my best friend."
Lily looked up at the man with determination in her eyes. She hated feeling as if she were betraying her friend, but she knew this was the right thing to do. She knew she had to say something to protect her best friend. "That person who is supposed to love him has been hurting him all these years. Time in the hospital wing is not going to fix that. And I am not talking about his Mother. His Mother was the one adult in his life that ever cared for him."
Albus's eyes softened some more as he looked at the boy before him. Had he truly failed one of his students so badly? Had he really missed all the hints and clues Miss. Evens was telling him? He really must have been blind.
Albus sighed and gently brushed back the pale boy's hair from his face. "Let's take him up to my spare room and see that he gets the help he needs."
Lily shot the man a look that would rival any of the glares his Professors could give. "I am coming with him."
He opened his mouth to protest, but another glare stopped him. Instead, he turned to the school nurse. "Poppy? Do you think you can call someone at The Clinic? I mean this of no offense to you, but I think Severus needs a specialist."
The woman nodded knowing the older man was correct. Severus would not enjoy being checked over by her if the past had anything to tell her. Especially not the injuries that Lily was implying were there. Fortunately, she had someone in mind; he had the highest reputation when it came to cases such as these. "I will send him up as soon as he comes through the Floo."
Albus nodded and gently placed an arm beneath the boy's head and then one under his knees so that he could carry the boy up to his room. Standing slowly Albus hiked the underweight boy up higher in his arms and frowned as he realized just how underweight he was.
Slowly, Albus and Lily moved through the halls, careful not to jostle or bump against the underweight burden in the man's arms. When they reached the gargoyle that marked Albus's office, the man said his insane candy name, and the spiral stairs appeared.
Moving up the stairs, Albus tapped the bookshelf with his wand twice activating his private chambers. He wanted to get Severus in bed and checked over by a medical professional as soon as he could. From his quick, silent diagnostic charm back in the hall he knew Severus had fainted from lack of sleep and food, but from what Lily had said there was more under his glamorous. He didn't know what to do to help the boy though, he hoped that the Healer Poppy sent could help. Otherwise, he was at a loss.
Walking over to a guest chamber, Albus opened the door to the light and sunny room. He had always liked this room, and he hoped the atmosphere helped Severus heal. Windows lined the entirety of the far wall showing a view of the Black Lake and what lay beyond. Right now though, the beige curtains were slightly drawn and his destination was not the windows, but the large king-sized bed that was draped in blues and greens in the middle of the room.
Gently, Albus placed the boy down on the bed on top of the covers. He didn't know if the Healer was going to want to check him over fully, or not so he thought it would be best if he waited for him to arrive. As he set Severus down, he saw Lily come up to the other side of Severus's bed and pull up a chair so that she was sitting near the boy's head.
Smiling at her loyalty, Albus moved to the bottom of the bed and gently took off the boy's worn and hole filled pair of shoes. He had a feeling that when Severus woke he would be a kicker, and he personally did not want to have a shoe kicking him.
Just as Albus was picking the shoes up off the bed, a Healer with soft mousy brown hair and warm deep brown eyes came through the doorway into the room with Madam Pomfrey.
Gently, Poppy called out to the Headmaster to gain his attention. She didn't want to surprise the man; he had had enough of those today.
The man in question turned around and smiled when he saw Poppy and the other Healer.
The Healer smiled back and stepped forward. "Hi, I'm Healer Don Patterson, but please just call me Don. Who do we have here?"
The Healer nodded his head towards the boy on the bed and the girl who was sitting protectively by his side. He could already see what a loyal friend she was, and admired her for it. It was hard to stick by a friend who was hurt; harder than one might think.
"As you know, I am Albus Dumbledore. This here is Severus Snape, and Lily Evens here is his best friend."
Don nodded and walked forward to the two children and sat on the side of Severus's bed ignoring the nearby chair. He wanted to show Lily he cared and meant no harm. "Hi Lily."
With her hand wrapped in Severus's Lily nodded at the Healer. "I'm not leaving Severus."
The Healer nodded, smiling. He was going to have to tread gently around Lily. It was obvious that she would do anything to protect her friend. "I wasn't going to ask you to. I just wanted to check Severus out here and see how I can help him."
Looking down at her friend Lily gently ran her thumb over the back of Severus's hand and started to speak so quietly that it was like she was talking with herself. "He doesn't like being touched. He won't say anything, but he doesn't like it. When he's sleeping though, he doesn't flinch back. He leans into any kind touch."
Sadly, Don nodded knowing what that implied. "Do you know why he doesn't like being touched?"
Still looking at her friend Lily gave a shaky nod. "I've lived in the same neighborhood with Severus since we were small. He made me promise not to say anything when we were five...when I saw his dad grab him by the arm and pull him in his house. What I heard afterward...I just...I was so small and didn't know what to do...I wish I never made that promise..."
Don reached over the boy and placed his hand on Lily's making her look up at him with tears in her eyes. "Lily, what his Father did was not your fault. All these years you've done what you could and that is all anyone could ever ask of you. It's time to let us take care of him now, and I promise you he will never go back to that place."
Lily looked back down at Severus and with her free hand; she wiped her sleeve across her eyes. With a small motion with his head, he beckoned either Albus or Poppy near and was glad when Albus. stepped up beside him.
"Lily, do you think you could go with Albus here while I heal Severus up? I have a feeling; he wouldn't want you to see him in his undies."
Don smiled at the girl and before removing his hand he gave it a soft pat. Slowly Albus made it to the other side of the bed and rested a gentle hand on the young woman's shoulder. Lily looked at her best friend one more time and then nodded.
"Can I see him when he wakes up?"
Helping the girl stand up, Albus gave a soft nod. "As soon as he is ready to see other people you will be the first we call."
Carefully, she extracted her hand from Severus's and stepped into Albus's warm arms who encircled her in a hug.
"Come on child, I'll have some tea brought up for us."
Lily nodded against her Headmaster's chest and let him gently lead her out of the room. As they left Madam, Pomfrey followed close behind. She knew Severus was in good hands, and she would only get in the way.
Sighing softly when the door shut behind them Don looked down at his new patient. "I really wish I didn't have to meet children under these circumstances. I promise you; I will take the best care of you that I can. You're in good hands."
With another sigh, Don conjured a set of pajama's that he assumed were the boy's size and set them on the bedside table. Slowly, he sat down on the side of the bed and gently started to unbutton the boy's shirt. When he reached the bottom, he opened the shirt, and sadly looked at all the ribs that were visible and the old scars that were even paler against his pale skin.
Slowly, Don reached forward and tenderly placed a hand on Severus's thin stomach. He didn't know how anyone could get to this point. How could a parent do this to a child, because he knew this was far more than a few weeks without food. This was years without proper nutrition.
Don slowly withdrew his hands and dug out some potions from the bag he had brought with him. He hadn't really known what he was getting himself into when Poppy called him, so he had brought a little of everything with him.
Taking a mild nutrition potion, a sleeping drought, and a potion that would soothe his stomach. Don uncorked all three of them, waved his hand over the vials, and then placed his hand on the boy's stomach again magicking them into his system. With that done Don put the bottles back in his bag and pulled out some scissors.
He didn't really know what injuries lay beneath Severus's robes and glamorous, and he didn't want to hurt him anymore. Although, Severus was at school for many months now, there still could be lingering broken bones, and he just didn't want to risk it. He also didn't want to perform too much magic on the already fragile body in case it interacted with the healing he presumed he was going to have to do.
Placing the scissors on the bedside table for now Don reached up and gently ran his fingers through the boy's hair to see if he had another sign of malnutrition. As he did, Don was dismayed when a clump of hair fell out of the boy's head with just a gentle pull. Taking his hand back Don took the hair that had come out and threw it in the nearby trash can.
Sighing Don picked the scissors back up and moved over to cut the boy's shirt off. He now knew that he had to be even more careful because the poor boy more than likely had soft bones because of the his lack of nutrition.
When the boy's shirt and robes were cut off, Don banished them to the chair and set a mending charm on them. He didn't know if the boy had an attachment to the clothes, and he didn't want to cause him anymore upset. Often times, a neglected child held onto any possession they had dearly.
Seeing Severus's upper body without the hinder of clothing the Healer placed a soft hand on the boy's forehead. Closing his eyes, Don whispered a quiet 'Finite Incantatem' to rid of any glamorous the boy had placed on himself.
With a quick flash, the boy's glamorous fell and Don saw the extent of what the poor boy's body had gone through. There were scars up and down his body, and his ribs became even more visible to the naked eye.
Closing his eyes, Don removed his hand and sat back taking a deep breath. "Merlin, why didn't you tell anyone child?"
Nevertheless, he knew why. Abuse victims rarely told anyone what happened inside their homes. They were either too scared, too proud, or they just too ashamed to say anything. Thus leaving it to those around the children to spot the abuse and take them out of the situation. Sometimes it was spotted in time...sometimes not.
Fortuity, he was called in time for Severus and he was sure the boy would heal. He would make sure the boy healed no matter what it took. For once he took a case he treated that child like his own.
Opening his eyes Don leaned forward and gently placed both hands on the sides of Severus's head starting his deep scan. Normally, he would want the child awake for this, but he needed to know just how hurt he was and he didn't want to upset him any further.
Closing his eyes again, Don sent his healing magic into the boy and scanned for any abnormalities in the boy's head present or past. Seeing the makeup of the boy's bones and tissue in his mind Don saw numerous concussions in the boy's past. None that had affected him long term, but they must have really hurt at the time.
Opening his eyes he guided his hands down and felt the boy's throat to make sure nothing was wrong there. Sighing he felt the beginnings of a cold there. He could attribute that to a poor immune system, and he would nip that in the bud.
Moving to Severus's right shoulder, he felt the bones and the many breaks the boy had suffered. Sighing Don moved even further down to the boy's left arm and found even more breaks, but they had been thankfully healed correctly over the years. When he went down to the boy's hand though, he found what he had been hoping would not be there. It looked like a few of the boy's carpals had been broken and had tried to heal, but from constant movement, they had healed improperly. It may be a few small bones, but he knew it must be painful when the boy wrote with a quill.
Placing Severus's hand back down on the bed gently Don moved over to Severus's other shoulder and started to scan it for injuries. Finding just as many broken and healed bones Don moved down to his arm and felt a large crack along the boy's deltoid tuberoses that would have to be healed.
After checking Severus's other hand and finding much of the same as most of the boy's bones, Don gently placed it back on the bed. Then, he moved up to the boy's chest and started to scan it magically finding numerous old breaks in his ribs. Fortunately, it looked as though they had all healed in the right spots, except for a crack at the bottom of his sternum.
Removing his hands, Don looked down at his young patient sadly. This was one of those moments; he was eternally grateful that he was a wizard and didn't have to rely on Muggle healing techniques. For if they were Muggles, that crack in his sternum would never be able to heal because of the constant motion from breathing. Since they were magical though, he would be able to heal it, but it would take a few weeks for it to stop hurting. It was not something you wanted to ever break because of the delicate position it was in.
Pulling out some more potions from his bag, Don took some bandages out as well. Uncorking one of the potions he unrolled the bandages and started to pour the potion over the soft material. He then gently picked Severus's left hand back up and started to wrap the part of Severus's hand that was injured with the potion soaked bandage.
This would help not only soothe the pain he must be feeling when it was moved, but it would softly break and mend the bones in the right place. It would be better and quicker to cast a spell on the bone and wrap it in a cast, but where the break was this was a more practical way to heal the bones. This also did not require Severus to be awake. It might not be as quick, but it would be gentler.
When the bandage was wrapped securely around Severus's hand, the Healer bent over and pulled a different kind of bandage out of his bag. This wider and slightly stiffer one he wrapped looser around his hand and then touched it gently with his wand making it into a cast. With the healing potion, doing its work on the inside and the cast on the outside would help it to stay in place. It would also allow the boy to move it more normally and retrain the bones to work the way they should.
With that done he prepped a larger bandage with the same potion, but set it aside for the moment. He then placed both hands around Severus's arm where the crack was and gently sent healing magic into it to help pull the crack together. When it was as close together as possible, Don wrapped it gently with the bandage he had prepared with the potion, wrapped it again with the other bandage, and then hardening it into a cast.
"There we go Severus." Putting his supplies down for a moment Don looked at the prone boy on the bed with a sad smile. "I want to heal your chest Severus, but you have to be awake for that since it's in such a vital spot. I want to check you over completely before I wake you though. Do you think you can hang on for a bit more?"
Still looking at the boy who didn't answer Don nodded his head. He often spoke with his patents even though they could not respond. Some might think it weird, but he figured if he were out of it, the sound of a kind voice might soothe him even though he couldn't understand what they were saying. Often, he saw children viability relax at just the sound of his voice.
Gently, Don moved down to the boy's trousers. He hated to do this, but he knew he had to make sure the boy's bones were fine in those limbs as well. Very carefully the Healer took the belt that was too large off the boy and unfastened the boy's pants. Then gently he tugged them down below his bottom and off his feet leaving only his shorts.
"Almost over Severus. I promise."
Starting at his hips, Don started to magically scan the boy and again found many old breaks none, thankfully, of them that had to be re-broken or healed correctly. When he was finished with the boy's hips, he moved down to his legs making sure that everything was in its proper place. Down at the boy's feet, he did feel something out-of-place though. It seemed like the boy's ankle on his right foot was swollen to two times its normal size.
It looked as though it had been badly sprained, but had been exasperated by his recent fall. Prodding the swollen limb a bit more Don saw that the ligaments were stressed to the point where they were about to be torn. Knowing he had to do something to heal it before they did tear Don placed both hands around the limb and sent strong healing magic to it building it up and making the ligaments stronger.
After a few minutes, Don sat back on the bed and wiped his forehead getting rid of the sweat with the back of his wrist. Healing ligaments like that took a lot out of him.
When he could see straight again and the room stopped spinning, Don looked back down at the ankle and noticed with great satisfaction that the swelling had already started to go down. Carefully, he took the bandage roll that he had wrapped around Severus's other wounds and wrapped it securely around the boy's ankle. With a quick tap of his wand, the bandage became a cast so that the ligaments would not tear again while they were healing.
Finishing up with Severus's front, Don got up from sitting on the bed and stood next to the boy. He sighed and took a cream out of his bag, and placed it on the bedside table. He then gently placed a hand beneath Severus's back and gently rolled him onto his stomach.
Seeing all the scars that covered Severus's back made Don close his eyes and take in a deep breath. The amount of past broken bones in the boy's body had been shocking, but all these scars was even more so. There were scars on top of scars and not one inch was unmarked.
Just as Don was surveying the damage, there was a soft knock on the bedroom door. Turning slightly Don took a blanket off the chair Albus had left there and placed it gently over the boy, before he called out for the person to come in. He wanted to protect Severus's privacy as much as possible.
The door opened quietly behind Don as he finished pulling the blanket up the boy's body.
"How is Severus?"
Don turned and looked at the woman with the shaky voice and looked at her kindly. "With time, he'll be fine."
Minerva McGonagall came over and looked down at the sleeping boy sadly. "He looks so small."
Don gave a small nod. "I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself; I am Healer Don Patterson. Are you Severus's head of house?"
Minerva looked over at the man. "Please don't apologize; I was the rude one barging in here. I am not his head of the house; I'm his Transfiguration Professor, Minerva McGonagall." She then looked at Don pleadingly. "Can I help in any way?"
Still smiling at the woman he gave a small nod. "I was about to dress him in some conjured pajamas, but I am sure he would be more comfortable in a set of his own. Could you get some from his trunk for me?"
Nodding the woman stepped forward to the bed and gently stroked her fingers through the boy's hair. "I wish he had been in my house though. Maybe I could have done more to help him."
"He's been hiding for a long time. It was lucky we found his secret at all."
Minerva gave a small nod, but frowned when a small clump of hair came out of Severus's head. "Is...he losing his hair?"
Don came up and placed a comforting hand on Minerva's shoulder. "It's from the malnutrition, in a few weeks it will stop falling out and what has come out will grow back."
Minerva closed her eyes and removed her hand from the boy's head. "Is...this from him not eating for the last few weeks?"
Sadly, Don shook his head. "I'm afraid not; this is not something that happens suddenly. He has been denied a properly balanced diet for many years."
"Has...has he woken up at all?"
Don shook his head again. "No, I gave him a sleeping drought so that he would not wake up for a little while. It seems as if he hasn't been sleeping well lately."
"Can you let me know when he wakes up?"
"Of course, I can."
Minerva nodded and stroked back Severus's hair one last time, this time careful not to pull out any hair. "I'll go get his pajamas."