Author's Note:

When I started out to write fanfic, I told myself that I wouldn't become one of those authors that abandons their stories and leaves readers hanging.

Well, obviously, I did turn into one of those authors, and I deeply apologize to readers who've been waiting. Real life crept up; I graduated college, started a full time job, and got engrossed in original story ideas. In short, I pretty much left fanfic behind and nearly forgot about this website.

But a determined reader tracked me down and reminded me of this story, so I've decided to give you the tidbits of what I had planned for this story. There's only one more complete chapter, but the rest I'll just have to tell you what I planned. I can safely say I won't finish this story, but here is what I wanted to do with it:

Chapter 19

"…remembering is only a new form of suffering."

–Charles Baudelaire

Severus Snape sat on the edge of the hospital bed, eyes shut against the unending reality of the room. They could not, however, shut out the past.

He remembered.

Curse that sniveling, suspicious footstool that Voldemort had replaced with Peter Pettigrew. Was it his imagination or did the dark mark on his arm throb faintly with the mention of its master?

Darius Dreddnaught.

Snape clenched his fists, gripping the bed sheets tight enough to hurt his hands. Dreddnaught was lucky that Wormtail came along. With Pettigrew now taking his place at the Dark Lord's feet, Dreddnaught had been forgotten and pushed back down into the lowest levels of Death Eater hierarchy.

He remembered.

Lily. Curse her. He should have used Imperious but he had let something else get in the way of his intellect...

Potter... Perfect Prefect Potter... Curse him too. Always the brave one. Always the hero. Being the hero didn't help you that time, did it Potter? Merely got yourself and Lily blown up. Who's the hero now, Potter?

Screams, darkness, the warmth of blood on his hands. It was her fault. It was all her fault. Why did she have to be so foolish? Why had he been… why was he so foolish? If she had just stayed out of everything she might still be alive... If you had convinced her the first time... His stomach gurgled unpleasantly and a warm pain flared in his chest. The doctor had warned him that the Memory Restoration Potion was caustic… Absently, he eyed the bottle of milk of magnesia sitting on the tray by the bed but made no move to take it. The heartburn reminded him that he was alive. Stupidly, ungraciously, unwillingly alive.

Dreddnaught had always hated Snape. He'd hated Snape with an unwavering passion that bordered on insanity. Snape supposed it was mostly a jealous hatred. Dreddnaught was a Hogwarts dropout; his knowledge of magic consisted of most of the common curses and hexes that every schoolboy knew. Snape had been superior in knowledge, status, and even, for the first time in his life, looks. Snape had been Voldemort's favorite for a few years while Dreddnaught had to be content to grovel at the Dark Lord's feet or feel the cold grip of the Killing Curse.

He remembered everything.

Idiot.

Why had he forgotten to mention Dreddnaught at the inquest? He had mentioned numerous others at the prodding of the Minister of Magic to be allowed to spy for Dumbledore and not go back to Azkaban. He was an idiot to forget him. The attack always comes from the least expected corner. He had learned that lesson as a child and he was a fool to have forgotten it.

Snape's lip curled in contempt. Even when confronting him after so many years had gone by, Dreddnaught still wasn't Snape's equal in dueling… but he had been outnumbered that day. Snape cursed himself. He shouldn't have gone alone but he had and because of the combined power of three accidental Obliviate spells, his memory had been wiped clean. For perhaps the first time since his birth, Snape's internal record held no blot or blemish. It had been a clean sheet of parchment with a well-cut quill waiting to write down a new history.

Snape's stomach gurgled unpleasantly again, and he cursed it roundly too, just for good measure.

Dr. Goopheard had explained that contrary to popular belief, the Obliviate did not erase a memory. Rather, it simply blocked a memory from being processed.

"It's rather like plugging a leak," he explained while his patient drank the first mouthful. "Unstopped, the leak will continue to pour but plugged up, the leak will stop flowing as if it had never existed. What I must do to you, Professor Snape, is find all of those plugs and pull them out." The doctor warned him that he might even have new memories after the process was completed because doubtless, there had been times in his past where he had been made to forget something in a perfectly normal situation. However, as Dr. Goopheard couldn't discriminate between the individual memories, those memories would be retrieved as well.

Snape shuddered. Curse her… curse Potter… curse her sister… What was her name…? Something flowery, something that Muggles would choose…. Rose? Iris? Why bother. It hardly matters now…

New memories…. Snape squeezed his eyes shut. No!

Potions tutoring… green eyes…. A tincture of foxglove, its aroma drifting around, his heart beating faster from inhaling some of the steam… a slender willow wand, casting calm enchantments to the book so they could read without interrupting the potion…

"Severus?" Remus Lupin hesitantly opened the door.

Lily, drunk. Sobering potion… Slightly inebriated himself… Tears… Inane chatter about a potions project…. Potter…

"Are you okay?"

Snape looked blankly at him. The werewolf? What's he doing here? The full moon is near, why isn't he--?

"Severus?"

The hospital… The Childes… The Potter boy with Lily's eyes….

Snape looked at Remus who must have read his expression because he quickly conjured a bucket for Snape to lean over and lose what little breakfast he had forced down that morning.

"Silver stirring rod?"

"Check."

"Large cauldron lined with silver?"

Harry leaned over the named item seeing his blurred reflection in the bottom.

"Check."

"Good," replied Hermione, her head bobbing in Snape's fireplace. She looked at Harry, searching his face. "Are you ready?"

Harry swallowed and nodded. "I'd better be."

Hermione tried to smile but it wobbled unconvincingly and she gave it up. "All right, then. Let's get started. Start the fire under the cauldron and let it get nice and hot before we start mixing the ingredients." Harry did so. "First, select half a dozen Jobberknoll feathers of about three inches in length. Next, chop up five ounces of fluxweed and grind with mortar into a fine powder."

About an hour later, Harry shakily wiped an arm across his forehead. "One… two… three…" he muttered, stirring counter clockwise with three quick strokes.

Hermione's voice sounded tense as she read the next step. "Add a bezoar but don't let it splash you. The potion should be highly toxic to a normal wizard by now."

Harry leaned over, the bezoar in hand, but stepped back quickly, shielding his face. "It's too hot."

Hermione frowned worriedly. "How will you get it in? It has to be dissolving in the potion within five minutes or else we'll have to start all over."

Harry thought quickly, looking around the dim office, hoping for inspiration. His eyes fell upon the black quill on Snape's desk. With a smile as he remembered a bushy-haired first year mimicking precise wand movements, Harry cast a levitation charm on the bezoar and let it float placidly into the bubbling cauldron, without a splash.

Harry turned to Hermione for the next step but her eyes weren't looking at him. She squeaked in alarm and Harry heard a step behind him.

"Well done, Mr. Potter. I've seen more experienced wizards burn themselves at this stage of the Wolfsbane Potion." Snape walked in from his position at the doorway, black robes billowing out behind him, wand in hand. Harry wondered distractedly for a moment if Snape had charmed his robes to fly out so impressively.

"Er…"

For the first time no appropriate excuse came to his mind. Hi Professor Snape. Don't mind me, I'm just using your personal potions stores to make a highly dangerous and difficult potion. I'm also underage, did you know that? He had a feeling that would not go over well.

Meanwhile, Snape had closed the gap between them and examined the bubbling cauldron. He cautiously sniffed a ladleful. He glanced at Harry who was still standing uncertainly to the side.

"Don't just stand there, Potter!" he snapped, "You've done well up to now but it's fortunate that I arrived before you really messed it up. As for you, Miss Granger--"

Hermione paled, making her floating head among the flames look ghostly.

"You may stay if you wish, but I doubt Mr. Potter and I will need further help." He turned to the open potions book, ignoring them both for a moment. Harry shrugged at Hermione's inquisitive look and went to the Professor's side.

Snape silently moved a section of a Mandrake root and a knife to him. "Slice this into four equal sized pieces."

"Welcome back, Professor," Harry said quietly, keeping his eyes on the root. On the work desk, Snape's hands stilled. Harry offered up the sliced mandrake to his approval.

Hard, black eyes examined it critically and nodded in mute acceptance. Harry waited. Snape stared at him, then looked away.

"What are you waiting for, Potter? The new moon?" Although sarcastic, the comment wasn't as cutting as normal. "Go ahead and add it."

Harry reddened but carefully added the root to the cauldron, stirring carefully once, clockwise. "I thought you would want to do it, sir."

"You're never going to learn, Potter, if you don't do it yourself," Snape replied in a calm tone that Harry recognized as his lecture voice for class. "Besides, I'm watching you like Professor Trelawney inspects tea leaves. If you do anything wrong, I'll correct it before a disaster happens."

Harry nodded in acceptance. "Okay." He realized with a start that he was having a conversation with Snape that didn't include shouting. He glanced at Snape out of the corner of his eye and wondered what had happened at the hospital.

Snape, meanwhile, was watching Harry's actions and trying not to think ahead too far into the week. He had some explaining to do…

If that rather convoluted chapter didn't help, here's what happened to Snape. Early in the summer, mid-June, Snape travels to London and is attacked by Darius Dreddnaught, a Death Eater who suspects Snape's treachery. Dreddnaught, with two Death Eaters in training, wants to bring Snape in to face Voldemort and confess his duplicity, but he goes too far. The two training DE's cast an Obliviate spell at the same time, which was too powerful; the original plan called for just one of them to cast it; it was only meant to disorient Snape for the moment so they could Apparate away. But the two conjoined spells knocked Snape out, and he crashed against some trashcans in the alley where they had met, alerting some muggles who lived in the area. The Death Eaters Disapparated, leaving Snape to be discovered by the muggles who called the ambulance.

The end of the story was going to feature Snape and Harry coming to an uneasy truce, and Snape then going to Voldemort to explain his absence and once again weasel his way into the Dark Lord's trust with tidbits about Dumbledore and what the Order of the Phoenix was up to over the summer. Dreddnaught dies in some yet unplotted way; perhaps by Snape in front of Voldemort as a sort of test? I hadn't actually plotted that out yet.

The secondary plot, which I'm sure you've guessed, was that Harry was in fact Snape's son, not James Potter's. That, however, I was going to possibly expand on in a sequel, since this story was about Snape, not Harry. Part of the memories that Snape ends up recovering at St. Mungo's is the night he spent the night with Lily (long story; she had broken up with James, her parents died, her job at the Ministry was on shaky ground, and Petunia had kicked her out. Though she had never been on friendly terms with Snape at Hogwarts, he had occasionally helped in potions, and she with him for charms. And, of course, Snape is still a Death Eater at this point, and not averse to taking what he wants).

And that's it. Thanks for sticking with me so far. If I do ever write Harry Potter fanfic again, I will be sure to post it here. But if you're interested in any of my original stories, feel free to click on over to: