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 taken to Hogwarts.  Dumbledore makes a startling discovery and has to act quickly to save his life.



Return to Innocence



Part One


Harry could hardly believe his eyes.  Professor Snape had just collapsed in the middle of the road and demanded, although
weakly, to be taken to Hogwarts.  Harry shook his head and turned to Ron.  “You’d better go and get your dad to help.  He
looks pretty bad.”  That was an understatement.  Snape was so pale . . . he looked like a wax figure.  And he seemed to be
soaking wet with perspiration.

Ron nodded and took off running, probably to get his dad as Harry has asked.  Harry got down on one side of Snape, taking
note that Hermione was kneeling by his other side.  “What do you suppose is wrong with him?”  Hermione asked, looking
down at Snape warily.

“I don’t know.  But let’s see if we can get him out of the middle of the street.  We’re starting to draw a crowd.”  Harry
suggested, taking hold of one of Snape’s arms.

Harry and Hermione uneasily hefted Professor Snape to his feet.  Although he wasn’t heavy, he wasn’t exactly as light as a
feather either.  Snape’s eyes cracked open a fraction, a groan leaving his throat, but he said nothing, only stumbling as Harry
and Hermione all but carried him in the direction that Ron had run off in.

It wasn’t much later that they came across Arthur and Molly Weasley, Ron dragging the both of them along while Ginny trailed
behind them.  “What happened?”  Mr. Weasley asked, sweeping aside Snape’s sweat-dampened hair and looking at his face,
frowning at what he saw.

“He passed out . . . he says he wants to go to Hogwarts.”  Harry replied.

“Come on, then.  We had best oblige him.”  Mr. Weasley said.  He turned to his wife.  “Molly, see that Ginny gets her school
supplies.  I’ll see to it Professor Snape gets to the school.  These three can help me.”

Molly nodded, giving her husband a quick peck on the cheek.  “Take care.”  She said, watching as the four of them left to take
Snape to the school.

Harry and Ron now carried the burden of Professor Snape’s weight.  They followed Mr. Weasley and Hermione as they
cleared the way ahead of them.  It wasn’t long before they left Diagon Alley, standing in the street outside of the Leaky
Cauldron.  Mr. Weasley took a glance up and down the road, waiting until there were as few people around as possible before
putting his wand hand out.

The Knight Bus arrived abruptly, the doors opening and a conductor stepping out.  They had to go in sideways, but managed to
get Snape inside and settled in one of the bedsteads.  Mr. Weasley dropped a number of Sickles in the conductor’s hand.  “We
need to get to Hogwarts as quickly as possible.”  He said.

The conductor took a look at Snape, then nodded.  “I see you do.”  He said.  “Best we can do is get you to the gates.  You’ll
have to go on your own from there.”

“That's fine.  Just get us there quickly.”  Mr. Weasley replied.  Then he took a seat, warily watching Professor Snape out of
the corner of his eye.  

In moments the Knight Bus departed, whisking them away to Hogwarts where hopefully Professor Snape could get the help
that he obviously needed.  Harry watched him with concern, noting that Professor Snape seemed to be having trouble
breathing.  He repeatedly clenched his teeth, a pained look evident in his dark eyes.  There was something clenched in his hand
. . . it looked like a piece of parchment.  Harry could see that there was some writing on it, yet couldn’t read it, not unless he
pried it out of Snape’s grasp.  He didn’t think that Snape would appreciate that, so he kept his hands to himself.

Harry frowned, not knowing why he was concerned about the ill professor.  He and Snape had never gotten along in the past .
. . actually, Snape was downright mean to Harry every chance that he got.  He had never thought that he would care at all if
Snape got ill, or hurt . . . not that he’d be callus and jumping for joy if it happened.  And yet, here he was, biting his lip,
worriedly watching each rise and fall of the Potions Instructor’s chest.

Harry was quite confused.  He mused over his feelings, not responding to any questions posed to him by either Ron or
Hermione.  He was troubled, trying to figure out why he cared at all.  There was just a nagging feeling deep in his chest him
that Snape meant more to him than he had thought.  He wondered what this would mean.  How would this affect him come the
next school term?  He hoped that Snape would be well enough to teach by then . . . yet he still did not understand just why he
felt that.

A warm hand settled on his shoulder and Harry looked up, meeting Hermione’s gaze.  “We’re here.”  She informed him, taking
her hand away.

Harry nodded, once again helping Ron to lift Snape’s body.  Snape had lost consciousness at some point during the trip here.  
Harry had wanted to reach out and brush aside his hair, but was reluctant to allow himself the contact, fearing Snape’s reaction
to the innocent gesture.  There was something strange going on with Snape.  Harry couldn’t put his finger on it, but something
was different about him.  He seemed lighter now, and shorter . . . but that was impossible.  Harry shook his head, clearing
away the thoughts.  He must just be imagining things.

They walked the distance from the gates of the school to the entrance.  Hagrid met them halfway, frowning deeply once he
took sight of Professor Snape.  “We need to see Professor Dumbledore immediately.”  Mr. Weasley stated, gesturing back at
Snape.

“Righ’ this way.”  Hagrid replied, pushing open the massive doors and allowing them entrance to the school.  It was usually
closed this time of year . . . the students weren’t scheduled to arrive for a few more weeks.

“We’ll take him to the Hospital Wing, Hagrid.”  Mr. Weasley said.  “Find professor Dumbledore and tell him that Professor
Snape is ill.”

Hagrid wasted neither time nor a word.  He just left, heading quickly off down one of the corridors, while Mr. Weasley led
Harry and the others to the Hospital Wing.  Needless to say, Madam Pomfrey was quite surprised to see all of them.  In fact,
she dropped a number of supplies when they entered the room.

Professor Snape was lifted onto a bed, made to be as comfortable as possible.  Luckily they didn’t have to wait too long for
Professor Dumbledore to arrive, Hagrid trailing close behind him.  Harry was once again standing by Snape’s side, worriedly
watching him, his scar burning him somewhat.  He didn’t understand . . . his scar only hurt when Voldemort was nearby.  Did
what was happening to Snape have something to do with Voldemort?

“Oh, dear.  I see you are quite right, Hagrid . . . Professor Snape does appear to be in a serious condition.”  He stepped over to
the bed, robes flowing around him.  He looked down at Snape, laying his hand on the side of the other man’s face, frowning as
he took his hand away once again.  “What happened, Serverus?”

“Don’t remember.  Where am I?”  Came the reply from Snape, sounding weak and frail.  Harry couldn’t remember ever
hearing Snape like this before.  For some reason it disturbed him terribly to hear it now.

“You’re in the Hospital Wing of Hogwarts.”  Dumbledore said, looking Snape over.  “I see you have something in your hand . .
. may I see it?”

Snape weakly raised his hand, allowing Professor Dumbledore to take the parchment from him, then promptly dropped his
hand back to the bed.  He bunched his fists in the bedding below him, his body shaking severely.  He must be in a great deal of
pain, Harry thought, concern flooding his heart.  Harry looked up, listening as Professor Dumbledore read what was written on
the parchment.

“Converto aetas ad prius vita.”  Dumbledore said, his face growing pale barely an instant after he had uttered the words.  “I am
afraid we haven’t much time.”  He said forlornly, dropping the torn parchment to the floor.  “This is a very serious curse that’s
been placed upon him.”  He looked around at the people in the room, offering kind smiles to Ron, Hermione, and Harry before
he looked to Hagrid.  “Hagrid, please take the students out of here.  I daresay I might need Mr. Weasley here to help me with a
counter spell.  I don’t know if I am strong enough to reverse it, let alone stop the progress of such a strong curse.”

“Yes, sir.”  Hagrid said, laying a large hand on Harry’s shoulder.  “Come along, ‘arry . . . we best head out of ‘ere.”

Harry merely nodded, following without thinking.  He didn’t know what was going on, yet he knew that he had better do as
Professor Dumbledore wanted.  If the elder wizard was so worried about Snape, then there was most definitely something to
be worried about.  Harry looked back at Professor Snape, watching him until he was out of the room.  He was deeply worried,
and still had no idea as to why.  The burning ache of his scar was enough to make him idly rub it with one hand, blindly
following as he was led away.


*****


It had been hours since Harry and the others had brought Professor Snape here, hours since Professor Dumbledore had locked
himself, Madam Pomfrey, and Ron’s father in the Hospital Wing to treat the ailing Potions teacher.

Ron and Hermione were in Hagrid’s hut.  Actually, they were out in the back, helping the half-giant with his gardening.  Harry
had snuck away, feeling an unusual need to see what was going on with Professor Snape.  He couldn’t explain it, but he was
being drawn to the Hospital Wing, as if a piece of his heart had been left behind.  Plus he was curious to know if Snape was
better, if Dumbledore had succeeded in reversing the curse, whatever it was.

So here Harry was, standing just outside the locked door to the Hospital Wing.  He simply stood there, waiting patiently.  He
had nowhere else to go . . . couldn’t begin to distract himself with Hagrid’s gardening although he had wanted to.  He simply
had to know how Snape was doing.

Suddenly, the door was pulled open.  Harry blinked, looking up at Professor Dumbledore’s kind face.  “Hello, Harry.  I had a
feeling you would be here.”  He said, his face quite pale.

“Are you okay?”  Harry asked, worried for the old wizard.  Had the counter spell been so tiring as to do this to Professor
Dumbledore?

Dumbledore smiled, the twinkle still present in his eyes.  “I am quite well, and I thank you for asking.  I assume you would like
to know how Professor Snape is doing?”

Harry nodded, lowering his gaze.  He hadn’t wanted to be so obvious, but he knew from experience that it wasn’t all that easy
to hide anything from Professor Dumbledore.  A hand settled on his shoulder and Harry looked up.  “Is he alive?  Did you stop
the curse?”

Professor Dumbledore sighed deeply as he led Harry into the room.  Mr. Weasley was siting in a chair, breathing quite heavily.  
Madam Pomfrey came out from her office, handing a large mug of cocoa to him.

“I’m afraid that I was unable to reverse it.  However, I did manage to halt its progress.  There will be no more ill effects
because of it.  Yet, he has gone through a serious change that will require time for him to adjust.”  Dumbledore said, a sad tone
to his voice.

Harry bit into his bottom lip, looking warily at the curtain around the bed that Professor Snape had been in.  He wondered what
kind of changes Snape had gone through . . . was it some form of transfiguration, or something completely different?  Still, no
matter what his imagination thought of, he would never have been prepared for the surprise he got as Dumbledore drew the
curtain aside.

There lay Serverus Snape, now no older than Harry was.  Harry’s eyes widened, taking in the sight of Snape’s youthful form,
the way his clothing simply hung from his slender body.  Black hair clung to a teenage visage, sweat covering him.  He couldn’
t be any older than Harry was now . . . what the hell was going on?  Harry looked from Snape to Dumbledore, his mouth
opening and closing repeatedly although he couldn’t manage to ask an intelligible question.

Dumbledore set his hand on Harry’s shoulder again.  “The curse placed on him was quite a serious one.  Serverus was quite
lucky that he ran into you today, Harry.  Had you not brought him here, he would most likely be dead now.”

“What . . . but he’s young . . . How?”  Harry asked, not sure if he was even being the least bit understandable.  This whole
situation simply left him flustered.

Dumbledore smiled.  “A very powerful curse, Harry.”  He replied.  “It takes a good deal of strength, as well as a potion mixed
with several rare ingredients, most of them illegal to possess or even harvest.  The victim is made to drink a potent potion,
while the words of the spell are uttered.  If it had continued, Serverus would have continued to grow younger and younger
until he simply ceased to exist.  Of course, he would have died before he reached the final stage.  No body is left behind,
nothing but clothing.  Serverus must have escaped his captors shortly before you found him.”

Harry nodded, approaching the bedside.  He had to admit, Snape had been kinda cute when he was young.  “What will happen
to him now?”  Harry asked.

“Why, he’ll have to go to school of course.  His memories were erased as well as his elder years, so he has forgotten anything
after his current physical age.  I’m guessing he is your age now, so he’ll most likely join you in your classes.  He'll be sorted
and placed in a house, and be a student just like the rest of you.  There will be a need for adjustment though . . . he’s lost a
good portion of time.”  Dumbledore answered.  “I have a favor to ask of you, Harry.”

“Oh?”  Harry asked, dragging his attention away from Snape’s young form and looking at the Headmaster.

“Will you consider staying here for the remainder of your vacation?  Serverus will need to adjust to the changes, both his body’
s and of his surroundings.”

Harry nodded without thinking.  “Of course.  I’ll do what I can.”

Professor Dumbledore smiled.  “That’s good.  I’ll go speak with Ron and Hermione.  Perhaps they would like to help as well.  
Arthur was kind enough to give his permission for Ron to remain if he wishes.  Of course Miss Granger’s parents will have to
be contacted.”  He trailed off, then sighed.  “You can stay here if you like.  Serverus will be unconscious for at least several
hours though.  The curse and counter spell put a great deal of strain on his body.”

Harry returned Dumbledore’s smile, then nodded again.  He dragged a chair over to the side Snape’s . . . no, Serverus’s bed.  
He shouldn’t think of this kid as a teacher.  He was a student now, just like Harry, just like Ron and Hermione.  This would
take some getting used to.



To Be Continued . . .



Coverto aetas ad prius vita - Roughly translates into “Turn back age to before life.”  Although, my Latin grammar is probably
atrocious.