Lost and Found
This is a collaborative piece, mainly written by myself (whitehound) and Dyce. It was inspired, in the first instance, by a story called Missing in Action by the writer Sheriff of Nottingham. This intense and tragic tale got into my brain and obsessed me (whitehound) for weeks; partly because whenever I read a story in which something awful happens to somebody, especially Snape, I have a powerful urge to make things right for him, and partly because, although the crippling injuries which Snape sustained in Missing in Action might well be beyond the powers of the wizarding world to correct (because they were of a type which wizards don't normally encounter), I knew that in a good Muggle Intensive Care Unit he would have at least some chance of survival.
Eventually, in an effort to work off the obsession, I began doodling a sort of sequel to Missing in Action, and then other people started to get interested, and this guy called Adrian came and knocked on my brain demanding to be written about, and suddenly we had this novel-length medical drama, hurt/comfort fic and romance on our hands. Writing a story which is inspired by but slightly AU from another fan-writer's story may be unusual - but it's only doing the same as we're all doing to JK Rowling's story.
The story starts off immensely grim - it could hardly do otherwise - but will eventually become quite hopeful and light-hearted. It is, overall, about kindness rather than cruelty, and recovery rather than injury. It also answers a question which is raised in my story-sequence Mood Music and Sons of Prophecy, in which an OC is trying to provide support to a Snape who has escaped from Voldemort's clutches traumatized but still functional, and who asks her what she would have done with him if he had been completely broken, rather than just very badly shaken. She says she'd do much the same as she is doing, except that it would take longer. But it occurred to me, writing Lost and Found, that in some ways it might even be easier to rebuild him from the ground up, since at least then he might shut up and stop arguing for a few weeks - rather like the difference between doing a clean reinstall on an operating system, and trying to repair it whilst it's still running.
See the notes at the bottom of this page for an explanation of how and by whom the story was written, and where it departs from canon and/or from Missing in Action.
Because this is going to be a long story which may not be updated very regularly, the The Story So Far page is intended for people who have already been reading the story but have forgotten where they had got to. It will be updated with each chapter. If you haven't already read the story so far then it's all spoilers!
Begin, therefore, by reading Missing in Action, then mentally knock off the last two paragraphs, and Read On.
N.B. Dyce and I have had some queries about why we have portrayed Snape in the way that we have, so I have posted an essay called Reserved!Snape - Canon or Fanon? to explain our reasoning.
Deathly Hallows Revisions Table
This story has been re-edited up to Chapter #18 to take account of the new canon backstory revealed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (although the events of this story are of course AU from the Ministry of Magic battle at the end of OotP onwards). All the signficant changes are listed in the Revisions Table, so you can see what's been altered without having to go back and re-read the entire story (unless you want to, of course). Most of the edits are fairly minor.
The first few chapters of Lost and Found are written mainly by me, whitehound, although including input from cecelle, aloe and Dyce. Thanks are especially due to cecelle for advice on the medical bits. Later chapters, in which the growing friendship between Snape and Hermione becomes a major factor, are written collaboratively between myself and Dyce, with Dyce writing the great majority of Hermione's dialogue and also some of Snape's scenes, and still with some input from cecelle and aloe. Most of the Snape/Hermione dialogue in later chapters was written like an extempore play, with whitehound doing Snape's voice and Dyce doing Hermione, and then just letting the characters talk to each other and seeing where it took us.
Missing in Action was written before the publication of The Half-Blood Prince, and the whole sequence is therefore AU. We have tried, however, to make Lost and Found compatible with the background revealed in HBP and DH. The story follows canon closely, therefore, except that it diverges from the main or JKR time-line at the end of OotP. Fewer Death Eaters were captured following the battle at the Ministry than in JK's timeline. Lucius in particular is still free, and as a result Draco was not forced to take the Dark Mark that summer, and the incident of the Unbreakable Vow never happened.
In addition, when Dumbledore was injured by the cursed Peverell ring he called Snape to assist him immediately, instead of delaying as we are shown that he did (in Snape's memories in Deathly Hallows), so the curse has been stabilized. He has been left with a permanently maimed hand but the curse is not actually progressing.
In Missing in Action, the Daily Prophet reported that Snape had disappeared following a raid on the school, and said that this was four years after Voldemort's return, that Harry had graduated "last year" and that Snape's role as a spy had been revealed also "last year." Harry will graduate in 1998, so this would set the action in 1999. That would indeed be four years after Voldemort's return to full human (ish) life at the end of Goblet of Fire, which was in 1995, and if Harry is post-grad that explains him calling Dumbledore "Albus" in the story.
However, given all the progress Dumbledore makes with uncovering horcruxes etc. during HBP, it seems unlikely that Voldemort would still be in such a position of power by summer 1999, and also for plot-purposes I wanted to have Harry and co. still at school when Snape's fate is discovered, and it would be stretching credulity to have them all have stayed on post-grad.
So for my own purposes I'm assuming that the Daily Prophet accused Snape of being a Death Eater soon after the Ministry battle in summer 1996, when ex-Minister Fudge told one of their reporters about Snape showing him the Dark Mark. To prevent the Board of Governors from demanding Snape's resignation, Dumbledore countered this by saying publicly that Snape was his agent. This did not of itself end his career as a spy, since Voldemort has known all along that Dumbledore thinks Snape is his agent - he just thinks he's wrong. But it inflamed Bellatrix's suspicions and caused her to go digging. Snape stayed on as Potions master (since there was no reason to think he would be leaving in a year), and the raid during which he disappeared occurred in summer 1997, in place of the "Flight of the Prince" episode and a few days after he had successfully treated Albus for poisoning following the pendant-horcrux incident.
In saying that Voldemort returned four years ago, the Prophet is thinking of his return to independent if only semi-human form, which occurred some time between 1992 and 1994, and it is vaguely assuming Snape collaborated with Pettigrew in getting him back to Britain. And the Prophet is simply wrong about Harry graduating, having confused his OWLs with his NEWTs. It is not, after all, a paper known for great accuracy.
Because Draco did not take the Dark Mark in the summer between 5th and 6th years, there was no accidental poisoning of Ron, and therefore no sudden, warm reconciliation between him and Hermione. He has split from Lavender and he and Hermione are getting along OK-ish, but they aren't really dating.