DISCLAIMER: Not mine, JKR’s. Please don’t sue
NOTES: This was written for the Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fest, in response to scenario #72: Mary-Sue/Marty-Stu. The SnapeMuse visits you for a chat, in the second wave.
THANKS TO: Sarah, for her excellent betaing skills applied so graciously to my fic. Any mistakes are my own.
We Need to Talk
Severus Snape stared down at the pile of parchment, and with a twisted sort of grin, carefully dipped his quill into the inkwell and poised it over the first roll. This particular essay always gave him no end of amusement, especially when assigned to fifth-year Hufflepuffs. He had practically been rubbing his hands together with glee when he had assigned it.
"You will each write at least ten inches for me on the uses of the Lubricus lotion, theoretical and practical application."
There was just something delightfully nasty about giving a group of children in the full throws of puberty an essay on a potion that was generally used as a sexual aid. The quantity of blushes and nervous stammers was truly astounding, and he knew all the students had probably spent hours in the library trying to find other uses to write about. Ravenclaw essays on the same subject tended toward extremely clinical. It was amazing to him how boring sex could sound when described by a Ravenclaw. Slytherins, on the whole, tended to be rather vague in describing actual use, emphasizing the implied properties of getting one what one wanted in a underhanded sort of way. Gryffindors approached the subject in a variety of manners, but there was always the odd boy or girl from that house who would be rather explicit in their descriptions as an obvious attempt at seducing their teacher.
But Hufflepuffs could dance for inches around the subject, and he never failed to be amused by the number of ways they attempted to allude to sex in a polite manner. It rather pleased him that, outside of their own house, he was one of the few people who quite realized the creative potential of Hufflepuff. He had just begun to grade his first paper when there was a knock on his door.
Snorting in annoyance, he set his quill down. "Enter," he called out coolly in his silky baritone, and his door opened of its own accord, revealing…
Well, revealing a person he’d never seen before in his life. Short, round, and female, with a moonish face and an absolutely atrocious haircut, the woman walked in, waving cheerfully. "Hello!" And American. Just what he needed.
"Who are you, and what are you doing in my chambers?" he asked frostily, using his third-best scowl. No need for his first-best on what seemed to be a Muggle, judging by the clothing.
"Oh, I’m Rhys. Look, Severus, I really need to talk to you," the woman answered, her grin dropping quickly to an expression of earnestness as she moved over to his desk and pulled up a chair. "Mind if I sit down? Thanks."
Standing, himself, and planting his hands firmly on the desk, Snape upgraded to his second-best scowl. This was usually good enough for terrifying the most cheeky of students. Unfortunately, it just elicited a rather dreamy smile from the odd woman. "Ooh, that’s nice, do it again!"
"Woman! If you do not explain yourself right this instant, I’ll have you thrown to Hagrid’s latest end-of-term project!"
"Well, I will, if you’d just stop yelling at me," Rhys sniffed, but at least she seemed a bit cowed. "Really, Severus, I’m not here to hurt you or anything. There’re just some things that seem to have been escaping your attention lately…"
"What?" His query was as much baffled as annoyed.
"Well, I suppose I should start at the beginning," she began, clasping her hands together in her lap, and looking as though she was going to launch into a long and extremely boring explanation. Snape really was not in the mood, and so snatched up his wand and pointed it at her.
"Petrificus totalis!" Nothing happened. The woman did stop talking momentarily, but annoyingly enough started up again almost immediately.
"Oh, that’s not going to help," she pointed out in a disgustingly matter-of-fact tone. "I wouldn’t bother with any spells. You’ll find they won’t work on me."
Ever adaptable, Snape instead strode around the desk, black robes billowing menacingly around him, and attempted to physically grab the woman. Instead, he found his hands closing on thin air, and the woman’s voice now coming from behind him. He spun around to see her sitting cross-legged on his desk.
"That’s not going to do it, either. Look, this would probably be a lot easier if you’d just listen a moment, okay?" She raised black eyebrows questioningly, and he frowned. Finally, nodding cautiously, he moved back around his desk and pulled out a half-full bottle of whiskey from the bottom drawer. When he looked up, she was again seated in the chair in front of him.
"Well? Get on with your explanation," he said sniffily, as he contemplated pouring himself a glass, and opting for just drawing from the bottle instead. Rhys watched with interest for a moment, then shook her head, as though clearing it.
"Yeah, right…well, um, okay, first of all, I was supposed to do this as a Mary Sue, you know?" She seemed a bit nervous about the meaningless revelation.
"A Mary Sue…um, a character that’s sort of a stand-in for me, except much better looking, and with all sorts of talents I don’t have, and is utterly irresistible…stuff like that. I thought I might be the Muggle Studies professor, or something like, and impress the whole wizarding world with how intelligent a muggle can be and all. But really, that’s just too embarrassing. Plus, I’ve never read an actual Mary Sue story…just these ones where a woman who goes by Libertine writes herself and her friends in as god-like characters for the purpose of humor."
Snape blinked at Rhys for a full five seconds, then repeated himself, for what he was sure would not be the first time in a very long evening. "What?"
"Well, see, there’s this stuff called fanfiction…" Rhys trailed off, and rubbed her chin thoughtfully. "I guess the best way to explain it is that there’s these people who write stories about your life. Fictional stories. I enjoy reading them, and writing them sometimes. And, um, these stories often center around your romantic life. Um, with other men."
Snape pondered this for a moment, then asked carefully, "How do these people know about my life?"
The woman sat back in her chair with a big sigh and a grin. "Oh boy, you are just going to have to trust me on this one. It’s a long story. Anyway, being one of these writers, I just sort of wrote myself in here, because there are some things we really need to talk about. Rhys isn’t even my real name, I just picked it because it’s Welsh, and I like the way it sounds. Sorta masculine."
The Potions master considered all this. This bizarre woman was asking him to take a rather lot of this rubbish on faith. People writing about his life? Writers having the ability to pop into someone’s life out of thin air? And Mary Sue? What kind of name was that? Only in America, he concluded numbly. On the other hand, if he said he accepted all of this, then maybe she would get to the point, and leave him to grading his papers in peace.
"Alright," he announced finally. "Get on with it."
"Really?" The hopeful expression on her face was really too much.
"Yes, yes," he waved impatiently.
"Okay," she began with a deep breath. "Here’s the thing. You really should be in love with Remus Lupin."
"Yes, he’s perfect for you." She smiled at him happily, expectantly.
"That is absolutely out of the question."His reply was frosty at best, and he crossed his arms over his chest.
"Oh, shit, you’re not actually gay, are you?" She bit her lower lip anxiously.
"Yes, actually, I am, but that is beside the point. Lupin is…well, he and I…it’s just ridiculous." His tone was final. "I didn’t like him the first time he came to teach here, and I don’t like him now that he’s back. I don’t even know why Dumbledore hired him again…it’s not as though everyone’s forgotten he’s a werewolf and are any happier to have him teaching their children."
"Oh, he always comes back in these things, unless it’s a story about Harry’s third year, or one where you guys are teenagers. I guess because it doesn’t make sense to have you going to him. You’re just not the type." She imparted this information blandly, shrugging broad shoulders.
"Hmm, I’m afraid I’m starting to sound a bit repetitive here, but what?"
"Never mind. But you know, you guys would work really well together."
"Whatever gave you that impression? I despise the man! He’s deceitful, rude, and he’s a werewolf! On top of that, he’s disgustingly mild-mannered. How boring!"
"Oh, so you’re in denial," she stated smugly.
"No, I’m not in denial." He glared at her, coaxing forth another one of those distracted sighs.
"All that tension…you know you’re really in lo-ove," she singsonged.
"Look," he said, rubbing the bridge of his nose tiredly. "Sometimes tension just means you hate the other person’s guts. Trust me on this one. If it were a matter of tension, Black would be my destined soulmate."
To his surprise, Rhys nodded thoughtfully, "Yeah, I’ve thought about that one, too. Other people do seem to agree, and I have to admit, you’d make a hot couple. But really, you look too much alike, and Remus is just more tormented, in general. Just like you!"
"What made you think I’m tormented?" he asked archly.
"Well, you know, having to do all that nasty shit with Voldemort, but really being a good person deep down inside. Joining the bad guys because the good guys were awful to you, but really just wanting acceptance and love all the while. Realizing the errors of your ways, and going to Dumbledore to become a spy, and having to admit you were wrong." That dangerously wistful expression was taking over her face again, reminding Snape rather forcibly of why he did not get involved with women on anything other than a professional level.
"Look," he began, ticking off the points on his fingers, "One, the things I did with Voldemort were not ‘nasty shit’ as you so vulgarly put it. A little poisoning, a little torture, nothing a good British gentleman doesn’t learn at his mother’s knee. Secondly, I did not join him out of ridiculous adolescent feelings of rejection. He simply made me an excellent offer, with good benefits. Overtime, good insurance (a must in the wizarding world!), all that sort of thing. And I’ll have you know I was never lacking for love and acceptance." Staring haughtily at her, he finished, "And finally, I returned to Dumbledore because he offered an equally attractive benefits package, and a higher wage, especially as compared to a half-dead evil overlord."
"Oh, shit, you’re one of those irredeemablyevil!Snapes, aren’t you?" Rhys looked somewhat disappointed, twisting her hands in her lap sadly.
"I wouldn’t call myself that," he considered. "Amoral is perhaps a better word."
"Ooh!" the woman cried, sitting up straight again and looking excited. "But I bet Remus could bring out the good in you, you know, redeem your dark half, bring out the truly sensitive soul that lurks within!"
"What rot! Look, woman, if you’re done trying to give me advice on who to fall in love with…"
"I’m not. How do you know you wouldn’t like him if you haven’t tried?" she implored, leaning forward with large brown puppy-dog eyes.
"I am quite aware of what my tastes run to, and they do not include graying, self-righteous, poncy werewolves."
"Well, what do your tastes run to?" she asked quite sensibly. Persistent, thought Snape, the girl really should have been a Hufflepuff.
"Not that it’s any of your business, but I prefer my men a little more…substantial." He turned up his large nose at her.
"Substantial? What, like…like…Hagrid?" She looked shocked and somewhat nauseated.
"Well, yes, if you must know, I’ve had a long-standing…understanding…with him."
"But he’s so…so big, and hairy, and…"
"Deliciously masculine?" he inquired, borrowing a bit of her dreaminess momentarily.
"I was going to say stupid," she finished weakly.
"Yes, well intelligence doesn’t just come from books, you know," he chided her. "He’s quite a quick study with his hands."
"I suppose it does make sense," she conceded thoughtfully. "I mean, I always thought real gay guys would like Hagrid, he’s a bit of a bear. And I suppose all that strength and stuff would be attractive. Okay, so who else?"
"Well, there’s Vincent and Gregory…"
"CRABBE AND GOYLE?!?"
Amused to be finally turning the tables on his unwelcome guest, Snape nodded smugly. "Why, is that shocking to you?"
"Fuck yeah, it is! They’re…they’re your students! And they’re big and stupid and ugly!"
"And hung like horses," he tacked on informatively.
"But! But you’re supposed to be all noble and honorable! And have a real problem with boffing your students! Unless it’s Harry, in which case his extreme sexiness somehow overwhelms you. Which I’ve always found a bit unbelievable, though it does make for some really hot stories, so I suppose I can’t complain. Or if it’s Draco, but that’s usually some sort of BDSM scenario, and you’re much more wicked in those fics. Not…not Crabbe and Goyle of all people! They’re the kings of the underdeveloped villain’s henchmen!"
He watched her outburst with a self-satisfied smirk, narrowing his eyes. "Yes, well, I certainly taught them a thing or two."
She groaned, putting her head in her hands. "This is not happening. I don’t even know if I should ask about any others…"
"Well, there’s Dobby, of course," Snape continued helpfully, "And Dumbledore, though that’s a given, I suppose."
Rhys winced at the thought of the house elf, and did not ask the Potions master to elaborate. "Never liked the Dumbledore fics much myself, either," she said rather sadly. "I don’t suppose you’ve ever had sex with anyone I actually would find sexy?"
"I don’t choose my lovers based on your preferences, young lady," Snape informed her.
"I know, but Dobby? Really…yuck."
"I’ll have you know that house elves have very talented-"
He was cut off as Rhys placed her fingers firmly in her ears and began singing in a loud voice. "Not listening, not listening…" He pursed his lips distastefully, and sank back into his chair, eyeing her warily. Seeing as he was no longer speaking, she pulled her fingers free.
"Okay, look, I have a way to solve all these problems. I’ll just bring Remus here, and now that you have this new perspective on things, I’m sure you’ll manage to see that you’re really very attracted to him, and that he turns out to be the person you’ve spent your whole life looking for, and you actually had a crush on him way back when you were at Hogwarts together," she said, breathing heavily, afterwards, as she hadn’t bothered to, during. She beamed, pleased at the idea, and clapped her hands smartly.
And then Remus was there, standing in the middle of the room, though minus his usually tattered robes. Instead, he was wearing a pair of red silk boxers. He blinked, looking around and catching sight of an apoplectic Snape, and a grinning Rhys.
"Snape! What in the bloody hell am I doing here? And who is this woman? And where did my clothes go? Who put me in this ridiculous underwear?" He waved his hands in a frenzy, looking absolutely furious.
Snape sighed, and did his best to explain. "I don’t know how you got here, but it has something to do with this woman. I’m certain she is also responsible for your change in wardrobe. She calls herself Rhys, and don’t ask me any more than that, because I really don’t know."
Remus rounded angrily on the woman and stormed over to her, attempting to pick her up by her shirt, and failing just as miserably as Severus did. This time she reappeared sitting on top of one of the many bookcases that furnished the room. She was stooped forward, as there really wasn’t room for her between the top of the bookcase and the ceiling. "Well, I’m a writer," she began, and Snape rolled his eyes.
"You really do not want to hear this," he advised his fellow staff member. "Just take my word that we can’t hurt her, and that she’s barking mad."
"Can you at least explain why I’m here?" Remus asked in frustration, still flexing his hands as though he were imagining putting them around Rhys’ neck.
"She has some foolish notion that we were meant for each other, and that if she brought you here we would fall madly in love," Snape explained.
"And maybe start screwing like minks! While I watched!" Rhys added helpfully from her perch. "Though I’m a hopeless romantic, so I’d prefer the madly-in-love thing. Sex is just bonus."
Remus arched one brow, and tilted his head to the side. "And where exactly did you get the idea that Severus and I would fancy each other in the least little bit?"
"Oh, it’s so obvious!" Rhys clasped her hands in front of her, as she launched into another of her soppy explanations. "Because you’re so tormented about your nature as a werewolf, and you’re such a naturally gentle person at heart that you can’t handle your bloodlust, and also Severus is a good guy, but he has to deal with the pain he caused people as a Death Eater…" she trailed off suddenly, and shot a reproving look at Snape. "Except for some reason he seems to think all of that was A-OK, and he prefers getting it on with Hagrid."
"Really?" Remus looked over at Snape curiously. "Because of the enormous cock?"
Snape nodded, "Yes, it’s quite lovely, isn’t it?"
"Mm," Remus agreed.
"Jesus! Not you, too! You guys aren’t supposed to care about that stuff! Though, I suppose you wouldn’t have to, because everyone in these stories has big dicks, or it isn’t mentioned at all…" She frowned thoughtfully, trying to keep her indignation at the forefront.
"And I’m not gentle and tormented at all," Remus added, looking up at her with his hands on his silk-clad hips.
"What?" she asked, face rife with consternation.
"No, I quite like being a werewolf. Gives me a rather good excuse to murder and eat people."
"Yes, well, you know how it is. Small town life in Wales is quite boring. The highlight of the night is when some bloke comes into the pub and announces, ‘Oy! There’s a fight going on down ta’ park!’ I’ve got to do something to keep myself occupied."
The woman simply gaped at Remus, and then her lower lip started to tremble, and fat tears shimmered on her lower lashes. "Well," she sniffed loudly, wiping at her eyes, "At least I was right about you being Welsh."
Snape, on the other hand, looked intrigued. "You kill and…eat people, Lupin?"
"Oh, yes," Remus explained, beaming. "Been doing it since I was eight. It was quite a downer, being locked up during the full moon like I was when I came to Hogwarts, but once I graduated…well, let’s just say happy days were here again!"
"Do you still do it?" Snape asked, unconsciously licking his lips.
"But what about the potion I give you?"
"Oh, I really should thank you for that, Severus. It allows me to keep my human mind, so I can actually enjoy it quite a bit more. Clearer memories, as well. Though I find myself with a distressing longing for ketchup at the most inopportune times." His pale face looked somewhat downcast, then brightened again, "But it certainly has been providing the perfect alibi! After all, I’m ‘safe’ when using it." He actually giggled then.
Snape had been watching the werewolf in fascination during the entire speech, a slow crimson flush staining his cheeks. "It seems I’ve misjudged you, Lupin," he said seductively, moving around the desk, and reaching out to stroke one long, slender finger down the other man’s bare chest. Remus raised an eyebrow, and stepped back a bit.
"Who said I was interested in a reformed Death Eater?" he asked coldly.
"Who said I was reformed?" Snape answered, a predatory grin animating his face. "Let me show you my collection of…books bound in human skin."
"What!?" exclaimed the almost forgotten Rhys. "Now that’s just tacky! If you’re going to be really evil, at least have some class about it! Honestly! Human skin would make terrible binding, anyways."
Snape rolled his eyes, glancing up at her. "It’s just an expression, woman. Now will you leave? I’m trying to get a little shagging in here."
Remus, for his part, was now returning Snape’s speculative look. "I have heard that Death Eaters know their way around a skinning knife…"
"You’ve heard right," Snape practically purred, looping his arm through Remus’, and leading him towards the door. "Shall we adjourn to my chambers and I’ll show you?"
The two left, leaving Rhys once again sitting on the desk, staring at Snape’s forgotten whiskey bottle. She picked it up and downed the contents in a few desperate swallows.
"I’m never, ever writing another one of these things again."
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