Chapter 1 : Severus Snape and Some Drunken HP fans
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Well, it was finished. He had resigned and was going to get away from it all. He had heard of a Muggle attraction called the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and decided it would be a perfect place to hide in plain sight. Muggles dressed like wizards, pretending to live like them in a place that imitated Hogsmeade, it was perfect. No one would give him a second glance, they'd all assume he was in costume, and he had heard rumors of an English actor who looked like his twin cruising the American celebrity scene. Most likely he'd be mistaken for this Muggle fellow, and his true identity would never be suspected.
Severus packed up his books and trunk and shrank them, then spoke the special Apparition spell that would take him across an ocean to Orlando, Florida.
He settled in a chair in the Hogs Head against a wall, nursing a glass of white wine, watching all the Muggles come in and out, giggling, frowning, smirking, and ordering pints of ale, beer, and butterbeer from the young woman behind the bar. The replica of the Hog's Head looked remarkably like the real one, down to the snorting and grunting boar's head behind the bar. All that was missing was Aberforth, the owner and barkeep.
When he had first come in and ordered a glass of wine, the barmaid had nearly passed out. "Oh. My. God. You look just like Snape. Are you . . .oh my God . . . are you . . . are you . . . ?"
"The actor who portrays Severus Snape? Yes, I believe you're right." Snape assured her, then put a finger to his lips and told her to keep silent, he didn't want anyone to know he was here.
"Oh, I understand perfectly . . . Mr. Smith!" she gushed. "Err . . .why don't you go and find a table over there and I'll bring over your wine and make sure you aren't . . . disturbed." She hurried off, looking as if he had just handed her a million Galleons.
She returned with his wine and a small pad of paper which she then proceeded to hand to him, asking if he wouldn't mind signing his autograph, handing him a red pen.
He signed the napkin, hoping his handwriting matched his Muggle double's. Let the poor bastard get the publicity.
She squealed and hugged him and ran back to take care of her customers.
So he sat and relaxed, sipping his wine and watching the people entering and leaving the bar. There was quite a crowd, even though it was only 4 PM. No one seemed to care what time it was, only about having a good time. They were of all ages, teenagers, adults, even a few elderly men and women. Most were wearing Muggle attire, but some were dressed in robes and wearing Hogwarts imitation uniforms. He felt rather odd seeing that, but he was happy to note that many Muggles sported Slytherin green as their House choice.
Everyone was exclaiming on how delicious the butterbeer was, or the dark ale, or how marvelous it was to get a drink in the Hog's Head, just like it was described in the books or the movies. Books and movies? Bloody hell, Potter's become a celebrity even with the Muggles. It figured. No doubt he was the hero of the story and doubtless his potions professor was portrayed as a bad guy. Snape's scowl deepened, and he took another gulp of his chilled wine. There was an entire bottle resting in an ice-filled wine cooler on the table beside him. He intended to finish the entire thing and then perhaps take a walk in the warm Florida sunshine.
Most of the people glanced at him curiously, a few whistled and complimented him on his costume, but most left him alone.
Until a group of very drunk young women and two men, all of them wearing shirts with various logos and pictures of Potter, Granger, Weasley, Malfoy, and even one of himself walked into the bar. They had their arms about each other and were singing rather loudly a strange song that began with imitating a mysterious ticking noise. One of them was wearing a white shirt with the words Potter Puppet Pals on it and cartoonlike pictures of—Merlin help me, Potter, Weasley, Granger, Albus, and . . .me!-now they had gone and made Potter and his entourage into puppets!
Severus felt the keen urge to bang his head on the table. What the hell was with these Muggles?
He rubbed his eyes as the group shuffled to the bar and called for more beer, paid for a round and then turned around and toasted each other, singing loudly, "Snape! Snape! Severus Snape!" followed by another chiming in with "Dumbledore!"
The entire song was nothing but shouting out his name, Albus', and the Golden Trio's. It was utterly ridiculous and yet somehow . . .catchy at the same time. Severus found his foot tapping to it until he sternly told himself to stop joining in the drunken lunacy of the Harry Potter fans. He was not a Potter fan. Still, his finger kept tapping out that damn rhythm, until he closed his hand around his wine glass and took another drink. Maybe if he were drunk it would make more sense.
The group, to his horror, had spotted him, and made their way over to his table.
"Hey, man, you know you look like Snape?" cried one blond male, about twenty.
"Obviously," Snape answered.
"Ohh, you even sound like him!" squealed a girl who looked like a student he'd had ten years ago. "Are you like, a stunt double?"
"I love the costume, it looks so authentic," cried another, a skinny brunette wearing Slytherin robes. "I just adore Snape. I cried when he died, you know. It was so unfair!"
The others all agreed.
Severus was puzzled. "When I . . .died?"
"Yeah, you know, at the end of the books. The author gave you the axe," said a burly young man with a crew cut, he was wearing black pants and a shirt that said I'm in Slytherin, wanna make something of it? "Couldn't believe she killed off one of the best characters ever! That just like blew big time."
Snape raised an eyebrow. "How?"
"Death by that big ass snake of Voldemort's," answered the other. "Stupid ass way to go. She could have at least given you a cool death, like letting you kick Lucius' ass first."
Snape nodded. He had wanted to kick Lucius' ass for a long time.
Suddenly one of the guy's companions put her hand on Snape's collar and squealed. "Ohhh . . .you found your button!"
"My . . .button?"
"You mean you never saw that episode of Potter Puppet Pals? Button, button, where's my button? It was so sad. Poor Snape was so depressed!"
Somehow that didn't surprise him.
Then she hugged him.
He would have been appalled except for some reason he discovered he didn't mind being hugged.
"Aww! We love you, Sevvy!" the other girls chorused and suddenly they were all hugging him.
He felt smothered. "Ladies, please!"
"Yo, girls, let the man breathe!" called the first boy, and pulled a chesty blond off Snape's arm. "Mandy, babe, remember you're my girlfriend."
She pouted. "I know, take a chill pill, Chad. It's just that he looks so much like Severus! It's like amazing!"
"Yeah, tell me about it," said the guy with the crew cut. "I feel like I really am in Hogsmeade."
"I'm so glad they invented this place. It's perfect for all us crazy Harry Potter fans," said another girl.
"Did you try the chocolate frogs?"
"How about the Sugar Quills?"
"Let's order some shepherd's pie, I'm hungry."
"Not yet. I want another ale."
"What are you drinking there, man?"
"Chardonnay," replied Severus. "A white wine."
"Wine? Don't you like beer?" frowned Crew Cut Guy.
Severus started to shake his head. He hated beer, mostly because that had been his father's poison of choice. That and gin straight up. "No, I much prefer—"
"Aww, you gotta try the ale! It's excellent!"
For some reason, he found himself drinking some, though he had no memory of how that had happened. The next thing he knew, they were all arguing on how much better it would have been if the author had allowed him to live and not just Harry.
All of them liked Potter, and most liked Hermione, but most of them agreed that Weasley was a dolt, and almost all the girls wanted to get Sorted into Slytherin because he was the Head. Severus felt his own head start to spin round and round.
He had discovered several things he had never known before. That people—other than Lily and his mother and some of his Slytherins—actually considered him worth talking to and thought he was . . . cool . . .that he was slated to die by Nagini's fangs . . . his mouth twisted as he gulped down more ale. So they were planning to kill him . . .not a big surprise there, he had always known he would die . . . but to die alone . . . in the Shrieking Shack . . . with Potter as his only comfort . . .what a piss-poor ending that was! He shook his head angrily.
He had considered, for a brief moment, returning to Britain, but not after what he had learned today. Kill me off, will they? Like hell! His eyes were crossing now and he slammed his mug of ale down on the table with a thump. His enthusiastic drunken companions were all singing some other song now, one he didn't know, from something called "Harry Potter the Musical". Unbelievable! When were they going to invent a Severus Snape movie? When was someone going to write the truth about his life?
"When's it my turn?" he stood up and half-sang, half-shouted.
Heads turned and people giggled and pointed.
He sat back down with a thump. Merlin, but he was drunk! He couldn't remember when he had been this drunk. He wasn't this drunk after Lily died. He looked at his companions, who were now arguing some stupid decision Potter had made in the books some British woman had written about the brat and made a fortune off of. He was the only one who hadn't read them at the table. Snape sneered, and it was going to stay that way.
"Potter, Potter, Potter!" he snarled, suddenly furious. "It's always about him."
Bleary-eyed, he rose from the table. The others were giggling and spilling ale all over, talking about what ride they wanted to go on next, when the room stopped spinning.
Severus felt hot and weary, it was too stuffy in here, he needed some air, he needed some peace and quiet. He didn't want to hear Harry Potter's name mentioned again. He was surrounded by Harry Potter fans, and right then that was the last thing he wanted. "Take me somewhere I'll be appreciated forever!" he muttered just before he cast the Apparition spell.
He just hoped where ever he went, he would get there in one piece, without becoming Splinched.
A moment later, the magic whisked him away, and the drunken Harry Potter fans never even noticed he was gone until later, when they needed to ask him about a potion recipe.
"Hey, where'd Snape go?"
"Back to the dungeon?"
"Maybe he . . . Apparashed . . .Apparill . . .whatever they do . . ."
"Yeah, sure he did."
"Wish I could Apparate to the bathroom . . ."
"Tick . . .tick . . .tick . . ."
"What is it?"
"It's a pipe bomb!" sang out one, waving a picture around.
The others promptly fell over laughing and soon forgot all about the stranger dressed like Snape who had been there a moment ago . . . hadn't he?
Somewhere else in NJ:
A small woman with dark curly hair unlocked the door to her house and entered it, letting out a sigh of relief as the cool air hit her. It was eighty degrees outside and muggy, typical weather for late June in Jersey. But the weather was fine, actually everything was going to be fine now that she had a whole weekend to herself, her parents having gone to New York to stay with her brother for a few days. She still worked weekends at the bookstore, of course, but now the evenings were her own . . .to do whatever she wished—sleep, eat, watch old movies like Ladyhawke for the tenth time—she kicked off her shoes and sighed.
Her feet were killing her, as usual after a long day at register and customer service, dealing with annoying clueless customers who couldn't even remember the book they had come in for. Usually the customers were friendly, but today had been the day from hell, and it seemed like every other person had been bitten by the stupid gene, or the nasty gene. She removed her glasses and rubbed them with some lens cleaner, trying to banish the tension away by reminding herself of how she could relax this evening, maybe take a hot bubble bath and a nap before cooking some chicken and fettucini alfredo. Yes, a nap sounded heavenly . . .
She walked silently across the kitchen and into her bedroom, turned on the light, and froze.
For there on the bed was the man of her dreams.
Sexy, single, Severus Snape, asleep in her bed.
She gasped and pinched herself hard. This had to be a dream. Had to.
But no, the black-robed form was still there.
What the hell did Jodi put in my double chocolate chip frappuccino? Whatever it is, I want more of it if this is the kind of trip I'm going to have.
She stood there, looking down on the sleeping sorcerer, then cautiously made her way over to the bed and put out a hand, touching one black-clad shoulder lightly.
It felt real.
Then again, wasn't it true that hallucinations felt real to the person having them?
She reached out a hand again, unable to believe her eyes, and suddenly he was awake and staring into her eyes. "Umm . . .hi."
Severus sat up, looking around at the room with the dreamcatchers all over the walls and the pale oak furniture. "So this is where I'm supposed to be? With someone who appreciates me best of all," he mused.
The woman grinned at her unexpected house guest. "Yes, this is exactly where you're supposed to be." She held out a hand. "Hi, my name's Judy and if this is a dream I pray to God I never wake up from it again. It really is you, isn't it? Severus Snape is really in my bedroom."
Severus flushed. "Err . . .forgive me, when I requested my magic take me somewhere I'd be appreciated I never thought it might . . . bring me here. I suppose it thought I needed a nap." He had, to sleep off all that beer and wine, but he wasn't about to tell her that.
"Umm . . . are you hungry?"
"I can make some chicken and fettucini alfredo," she offered, smiling.
Severus stood up. He towered over her, but she didn't seem to mind. "That sounds excellent."
Twenty minutes later he was sitting at her kitchen table, and they were both eating heartily of the wonderful flavorful chicken and pasta. Severus thought, I could get used to this.
Judy was so astonished she stared at him throughout the whole meal. Talk about wish fulfillment. But she wasn't about to question how or why it had happened. She twirled a lock of her hair with an index finger and wished it were auburn instead of plain brown. Then maybe she'd have a chance to . . . she bit her was watching her with those piercing eyes. Looking at her like . . . but no, she knew he preferred redheads.
"Your hair . . . it's very beautiful."
He reached out a hand and teased a curl. "Yes."
"But . . . I thought you preferred redheads."
He snorted. "Not anymore. I'm over that."
"Really?" her eyes brightened and she smiled, thinking that maybe she could still find a use for those black satin sheets after all.
Severus smiled back. It felt good to be appreciated for once. "Would you mind, then, if I stayed over?"
"Stay as long as you like," she laughed and thought what an incredible weekend this was going to be. Definitely one she'd never forget.
"I think I will," he murmured silkily. He would never go back. Let the fool woman kill him off in her fiction, he had what he wanted at last.
Just a bit of ridiculousness I imagined while on my vacation to WW of HP in Orlando.