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:  Snape is released from the Hospital Wing.

Return To Innocence

Part Three

Severus got dressed with a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.  There were still a couple of weeks until the year started and
he was stuck being in the company of James' son, Harry, as well as a Weasley and some Muggleborn girl.  He'd much rather
spend the time alone.  He didn't care that they were supposed to help him get caught up on the past few decades of the world.  
Severus would rather just go to the library and study on his own.  He was looking forward to reading of the improvements in
magic, potions especially.  He wondered what Dark Arts spells had been thought up.

He was dressed, so he grudgingly allowed Madam Pomfrey to do a final checkup on him.  The urge to flinch away was fought
off with every last fiber of his being.  He wasn't about to show any weakness in front of these people.  He was better than
that.  He wondered what he had been like as an adult?  What was Potter doing?  Not the skinny boy he had met, but the elder,
the one he had gone to school with.

He honestly didn't know what hurt worse.  The fact that James had had a son, or the fact that Lily had chosen James over
him.  Severus didn't know what had happened, but he had always harbored the secret hope that Lily would eventually be his
girl.  She was his friend, his only real friend.  All the rest just hung around him because of his attitude, his magical talent.  He
didn't care what they thought of him though.  Lily's opinion mattered more than anyone else's.

He frowned, covering up his sadness over Lily by asking the Healer a question.  "Why not just put me in Slytherin again?  That
was my house, after all."

Madam Pomfrey paused and gave the youth a considering look.  She didn't seem fazed by the inquiry, and there was a slight
smile curling her lips.  "Headmaster Dumbledore believes that, though you've forgotten all of your experiences as an adult, that
they may have some impact on your current state."  She patted his shoulder.  "I'm sure that you will be in Slytherin if that's
where you're meant to be."  The door to the Hospital Wing opened and she turned.  "Ah, Mr. Potter.  Please, try to keep your
stays in this ward restricted to visitor status only this year."

The boy blushed and shook his head.  "It's not my fault things keep happening to me, Madam Pomfrey."  Then he turned to
Severus and blinked, as if not quite sure what to make of him.  "Are you ready to go?"

He wanted to say, 'no' and stay in the ward until he grew up again, but knew that he wouldn't be allowed to.  With a push of
his arms he hopped from the bed and crossed to where Potter was waiting.  "I suppose so," he muttered, wishing he had a
book to look at, anything so that he wouldn't feel so unnerved.  He always felt better with his face buried in a book.  That way
he wouldn't have to look at anyone.  He cast his eyes down, counting the cracks in the floor.

The other youth sighed and turned to Madam Pomfrey.  "May we have a moment?"

"By all means.  You're both free to go."  With a nod, the older woman left the room.

Potter bent until his eyes met with Severus'.  Severus blinked at him, feeling uncomfortable under the scrutiny.  "I probably
shouldn't be telling you this, but ever since my first year here, when you were my potions teacher, you've always been on my
case about what my father did.  I'm nothing like my father.  Matter of fact, I never even knew him.  So if you would please
just give me a chance, maybe you'll see a little of my mother in me too ... even though I never knew her either."

That struck a cord in Severus' chest.  There was such a sadness in the brunette's voice that Severus just had to ask.  "Why
didn't you know them?  What happened?"

After a moment of tense silence, Harry responded.  "They died ... when I was a baby."  He cleared his throat and began
walking.  Severus quickly moved to keep up with him.  "First my father, then my mother.  I only know them from stories
other people told me, pictures I've seen of them."

"Oh," Severus didn't know what else to say.  What does one say when confronted with such information?  He didn't think
extending condolences would suffice.  Inside, his heart was torn in two though.  Lily.  Lily was dead.  He bit his lip to keep his
own emotions from running rampant.  There would be time to grieve when he was alone.

"C-Can I see a picture of them?" he asked softly, thinking that perhaps he was overstepping the boundaries of their
acquaintanceship.  After all, they weren't even friends.  He didn't know what they were really.  It was too soon to call him an
enemy or a friend.  He was James Potter's son, but he was Lily's as well.  Lily.  Harry had her eyes.  He'd noticed that
countless times, every time he talked with the other boy.  They were that same brilliant green, so full of life.  But Lily's weren't
like that any more.  She was gone.  Forever.  He'd never see her again.

Harry looked at him briefly.  "Sure.  Later though.  We have to meet Ron and Hermione in the library."  He rolled his eyes.  
Severus got the impression that Potter didn't spend much time in the library and if he did, it wasn't by choice.

He gave his attention to his surroundings then, wanting to get his mind off of Lily.  The castle didn't look all that much
different.  There were a few different paintings, but that was about it.  He didn't like the way the inhabitants gawked at him, as
if he were some curious object on display.  Needless to say, he was grateful when they finally reached the library.  The relief
was quick to fade as soon as he caught sight of that Muggleborn and the redheaded boy beside her.

"I'd rather study alone," Snape grumbled.

He didn't know whether to be pleased or embarrassed about the fact that Harry had heard him.  "It's not going to be that bad.  
Really, we're just going to go over historical events.  So ... umm, what is the last date you remember?"

Severus had to think about that.  It had been a Monday, he knew that.  But he'd never been good with dates.  Days tended to
meld together really.  He pulled out a chair and sat with the three Gryffindors, Harry beside him and the other two on the other
side of the table.  When he recalled the date, he told them.

The girl seemed far too happy about it and eagerly flipped open a heavy tome.  "Now, where should we start?  World history?  
Muggle?  Wizard?"  She opened several more books and fanned them out.  "I'm sorry I don't know much about your personal
history ... Professor Dumbledore said he'd take you to your former rooms later.  Oh, I know!  We can start with this!"  She
shoved a book toward him and continued to prattle on.  Beside her, the redheaded boy covered his eyes with his hands and let
out an audible groan.

Severus decided this was going to be a long day.

To Be Continued ...