Disclaimers:  I do not own Harry Potter or any of its character.  This story is purely for entertainment purposes.  No money is
being made from it.

Notes:  Professor Snape is in desperate need of help.  Hopefully he’ll get it in time.



Return to Innocence



Prologue


It was a gloomy day in Knockturn Alley, though the sun shone everywhere else.  Of course, this was nothing new, since the
sun never truly shone on the street . . . it was just bright enough for one to see where they were going, nothing more.  Vendors
were selling their poisons and curses, and the people there passed by one another with no more than mere nods in
acknowledgment.  No one thought it strange when a figure in a cloak walked past, his face obscured by the hood of it.  Many
of those in the Wizarding Community wore cloaks . . . and many in Knockturn Alley had no wish to be seen.

There was one figure however, that paused in his steps as he trudged along the dingy alley.  If anyone were to look beneath the
hood of the cloak, they would have been shocked to see Serverus Snape . . . pale-faced and perspiring as he squinted to view
his surroundings.

Snape felt a brief surge of relief . . . he knew where he was.  He didn’t know what was happening to him, but he knew where
he was, despite the pain that fogged his mind.  It was all he could do to keep from screaming in agony.  Finally, he stepped
beyond the bounds of Knockturn Alley, wincing under the harsh bright sunlight that washed over Diagon Alley.

He looked around, clutching a wad of parchment in one hand, a wand in the other.  It wasn’t his own wand, but he couldn’t
remember where or who he had gotten it from.  He didn’t even recall why he had been in Knockturn Alley in the first place, but
it didn’t really matter.  Right now, he knew that he just needed help.  There in the distance . . . he spotted someone that seemed
familiar . . . even though the face blurred and changed in his memory.  He walked over, nearly tripping a number of times.

Black hair . . . emerald eyes.  But the youth he saw was the wrong age . . . no, too old to be the one he remembered.  Was his
memory faulty?  He shook his head.  No, impossible.  Why would his memory be lacking?  He knew who this was.  It was
Harry Potter . . . but still, he looked too old to be Potter.  This youth was at least sixteen, when Snape only remembered him as
being twelve.  Something was wrong here . . . but Snape didn’t know exactly what it was.

He reached out, clamping his hand down on Potter’s shoulder, watching as the youth turned to face him.  Potter’s eyes
widened, looking him up and down.  “Who are you?  What do you want?”  Potter asked, grabbing Snape’s hand and pushing it
off of his shoulder, taking a couple steps back.  Beside Potter, his friend Ron Weasley stood, again too old compared to what
was in Snape’s memories . . . and that Granger girl.

Snape shook his head, trying to clear it.  He was frightening the boy.  This was not how things were supposed to happen.  He
pulled his hood back, showing his face, hoping to alleviate some of the nervousness on the faces of the boys and girl before
him.  What he got was slack-jawed shock and surprised gasps.  Yes, Snape knew that he probably looked a mess, but it couldn’
t be helped now.

“Professor Snape?”  Potter asked, gaping openly at him.

Potter’s face blurred before his eyes, the sun beating down on him cruelly as the alley seemed to spin around him horribly.  He
reached out again, grasping Potter’s arm, digging his fingers deeply enough to make the youth wince.  He opened his mouth,
allowing the words to spill forth, knowing that there wasn’t much time.  “Get me to Hogwarts . . . to Dumbledore . . . now.”  
With that said, the strength seeped from his legs and he fell, a fresh surge of pain crashing into him as he landed on the ground.

Faces loomed over him, Potter, Weasley, Granger.  They looked down on him worried, a number of other, stranger, faces
surrounding him as well.  All looked down on him with worry, but barely any of them were recognizable to him.  Snape looked
up at Potter, almost missing the words that left his mouth.

“Professor . . . what’s wrong?”

Snape shook his head, wincing his eyes shut as he attempted to collect his thoughts.  He opened his eyes again, wanting to
answer the question.  “Don’t know . . . can’t remember.”  He gasped, wishing that he had the answers.  But there was nothing
. . . he didn’t understand this.  Things seemed so different.  

Potter and his friends were older than Snape remembered them to be, his body burned and ached with a fury.  He just didn’t
understand what was happening to him.  He only hoped that Professor Dumbledore would be able to help him in some way . . .
there was no other chance for him and he knew it.  Despite the lack of coherent memories, he knew that he was dying.



To Be Continued . . .