|Pairing:||Harry Potter/Severus Snape|
|Alternative name(s):||Snarry, HP/SS, RMS Illegal Substances|
|Archives:||Walking The Plank (fanfic and art)|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Severus/Harry (or Snarry) pairing wasn't initially popular in the Harry Potter fandom at large. Because Harry was underage (or just barely of age) in many stories, and because Snape was in a position of authority over Harry, many fans claimed that all Snarry stories were non-con, even the schmoopiest. Others merely complained that the Snape in the book was completely unattractive and that, therefore, Snape/Harry fans were really just writing about their attraction to the actor who played Snape in the movies, Alan Rickman. (Alan Rickman, who was much older than the character he played on screen, further amplified the perception of age difference between the two characters.) Many fans simply thought Snape cruel, and the pairing distinctly unlikely. In the hands of a talented author though, themes of unlikely attraction, shared recovery from childhood trauma, moving past old grudges onto the relationship of equals, the challenge of navigating a shifting power dynamic, freedoms from manipulation or masters, forgiveness and redemption emerged. The appeal of committing to a secret, closeted relationship with the inevitable fallout and the social condemnation of it becoming public spoke to a generation of slash readers.
From the start, many writers wrote futurefic in order to have a legal or nearly-legal Harry in a relationship with Snape. As the fandom has grown older along with Harry, and the source series has been completed, most Snarry fanworks focus on post-Deathly Hallows, adult Harry. And while perhaps not as common as Qui-Gon Jinn's almost inevitable survival in The Phantom Menace fan fiction, Snarry writers regularly save Snape. (See also Denial fic.)
The pairing is known for its large percentage of novels. Some have hypothesized that given all the reasons they shouldn't be together, it takes a novel to justify getting them into bed; others that the Tea series was largely novel-length pieces, and it set its stamp on the fandom's story types.
However, even the short stories can do wonders with a difficult pairing. Early on, The Familiar by Resonant set the pace for the unlikely post-war bedfellows stories of healing in the peacetime. Predatrix and Fuchsia's The Occasional Table is a good example of an early 2000's blend of comedy and idyllic Hogwarts-era setting before the series took a darker turn. The trope of fellow soldiers, a couple pawns in an upcoming war, was popular in the post-Order of the Phoenix era when it was known that Snape was a spy, but there was no established canon around his childhood in Cokeworth or his friendship with Lily. The Occlumency lessons were also a popular theme.
Post-HBP fics often featured matching Patronuses and assumed platonic friendship between Severus, a queer kid from a rough neighbourhood, and Harry's mother. These themes then were used to bridge the gap from enemies to friends to lovers.
- The Familiar by Resonant
- The Occasional Table by Predatrix and Fuchsia 2003
- Primer to the Dark Arts by Icarus
- Consanguinity Arc by Tryfanstone
- The Dreaming Spires by Dementor Delta
- In Between Days by Atrata
- If You are Prepared by Cybele
- A Bittersweet Potion (The Bittersweet Potion Series) by Alchemia Dent & Bugland
- The Civil War 'verse by Sushi 2001
- The Courtship of Harry Potter by Diana Williams
- Contemporary Magical Innovations by Kai
- Crumbling Pedestal by Shivani 2004-2005
- The Mirror of Maybe by Midnight Blue, a famously infuriating WIP that was never finished after a fabulous setup.
- A Nick in Time by Tira Nog 2003
- Pantogogue by BC 2007-2008
- The Price of Magic by Acid and Sinick 2004-2007
- Shattered by Nym 2004
- Rapture by Mia Ugly 2009
- Snape, the Home Fries Nazi by Pir8fancier 2006
- So Lonely Without Me by Caligryphy 2005
- Peripheral Vision by [Alexandra Dane]
- Everything I Am (Russian) / Everything I Am (English) by Serpen 2005
- The Tea Series by Telanu
- In the Gloaming by [RaeWhit]
- Down the Rabbit Hole. by [RaeWhit]
- Sex, Lies and Audiobooks by [RaeWhit]
- When the Rose and the Fire Are One by Perverse Idyll 2008
- The White Road by Perverse Idyll 2009
- Nettle Soup and Gooseberries by Tryfanstone 2012
- Fly-Fishing for Beginners by Tryfanstone 2013
- For Auld Lang Syne by Cybele 2013-2014
- Unrestrained by Lizzie0305 2020
- The Boy Who Lived A Bit by Barbarella 2006
- Care of Magical Teenagers(sequel to The Boy Who Lived A Bit) by Barbarella 2007
- The Boy Who Died A Lot by starcrossedgirl 2010
- Ghost Story by snagov 2018
- The Gift of Kindness by Hippocrates460 2018
- A Certain Optimism by Hippocrates460 2019
- How We Were Warriors by Writcraft 2019
- The Pacify Series by Chickenpets 2020
- Cover art for Between The Lines by Little Black Bow
- Happy Endings by Lizard NOT WORK SAFE
- In the Fire-lit Shadows by Ponderosa NOT WORK SAFE
- Snape and Harry by Morskaya
- Snape Teaches Harry by Glockgal
- Wintergreen by Acid
- Decadence by Vividescent NOT WORK SAFE
- Something Beautiful by Lizard
- Subjugation by Himlayan NOT WORK SAFE
- Hourglass by Lizard
- Snarry Games Banner by Lizard
- A Rose By Any Other Name by Lizard
- Good Things Come to Those Who Wait by Lizard Not Work Safe
- Contentment by Somachiou
- Severus and Harry: Past, Present & Future NOT WORK SAFE by MathiaArkoniel
- Cover art for If You Are Prepared Book I by Yukipon 2009
- Heat, deviantart illustration for The Tea Series by Zjackt
- Writhe by Fanlay NOT WORK SAFE (2009-09-20)
- Craving Operationists by MadFantasy NOT WORK SAFE
- Nose Pecks by MadFantasy
- Kiss, Bye by MadFantasy
- Good Morning by Anastasia Mantihora
- Hippie_Snarry_1 by Anastasia Mantihora NOT WORK SAFE (mild nudity)
- New Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher by Anastasia Mantihora
- hello, Dursleys by Anastasia Mantihora
- Illustration 1 by Klaus Wanderer
- Illustration 2 by Klaus Wanderer
- Illustration 3 by Klaus Wanderer
- The Post War Years by Kedroboiz
- Following the Example by Arboriss
- I Finally Watched Harry Potter by Zahar
- Potions Class by dadhikrav
- The Tale of Professor Snape (set to the Tale of Mr Morton) by Heidi Tandy
- How it Ends by Mia Ugly
- What I did on my Summer Vacation by Little Black Bow
- .: Feeling Good :. Snape/Harry SLASH, 500+ Subscribers video by VonnRosenberg2nd
- Break Me Shake Me by VonnRosenberg2nd
- Dreams Are Made of This by DrFrank1e
- Tear you Apart by DrFrank1e
- Everything I Am by Teakini
The beginning of the popularity of the Harry Potter/Severus Snape pairing is often credited to Telanu. In 2001, Telanu posted the first installment of the Tea Series, A Most Disquieting Tea [backup link]. In November that same year, around the time the first movie was released, Luthien posted Aftermath. Other influential works that year included McKay's Too Wise to Woo Peacefully, and Sushi's Civil War 'verse. All of these early stories were considered major works at the time. But while Telanu's Tea series was certainly one of the more influential of early Snarry stories written, no one story creates a pairing. In fact, without a growing body of work to draw fans in, no pairing will move from rare to major as Snarry has.
The movie, too, attracted an influx of fans and fan writers to the ship. According to Luthien, an early Snarry fan, Snarry was still considered a rare pair during the first round of the Severus Snape Fuh-Q-Fest, Archived version that she and tboy ran in early 2002. But in the second round, later in 2002, Snarry had grown considerably and more stories were submitted for the pairing. In the fall of 2002, 59 stories were written for the first round of the From Dusk until Dawn (backup link) Snape/Harry Fuh-Q-Fest. Several significant stories were also published during that year, including the beginning of the extremely popular WIP, Mirror of Maybe by Midnight Blue.
The Snape_Potter LiveJournal community was created in December 2002. The community, which friendslocks all adult content, continues to be a "first stop" for fans who enter the pairing, since most new Snarry authors post their work there; browsing the community gives a good overview of the various genres and tropes popular in this pairing.
In 2003, a few days before the publication of book 5, Order of the Phoenix, Telanu published the novel-length story A Wizard's Song [backup link], the fifth piece in the Tea series; the series spun off of book 4, Goblet of Fire, and took no account of later canon. The Tea series did have a major impact on the pairing. However, many other influential works were published that year, as well as the last round of the Severus Snape Fuh-Q-Fest, Archived version and a few more rounds of From Dusk until Dawn.
The publication of Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix saw a new influx of people into the ship. The new canon increased fans' attention to the pairing because of the tense and complicated interactions that take place between Harry and Snape during the Occlumency lessons. Their canon relationship becomes even more attractively complicated when Harry discovers how badly Snape was treated by his [Harry's] father and Sirius, his godfather. Because more writers were drawn into the pairing, new influential works were published, which both drew people into the fandom and kept them there, since the amount of good stories in the pairing was constantly increasing. The pairing had now achieved a "virtuous cycle" in terms of the evolving relationship between Harry and Snape in canon, the growing number of new and good writers attracted to the pairing, and the number of readers flocking to read these stories and celebrate the ship.
The continuing expansion of the ship and its fan base was reflected in the growing infrastructure for the ship, based largely (but not entirely) on LiveJournal. In February 2004, painless_j, who would become the best-known and most thorough reccer for all HP slash ships, began her rec lists. The Snape/Harry lists on painless_j's site became a gateway for many readers attracted to the pairing. The LJ community Snarry Reader was also created during this period in order to list classic Snarry stories and as a resource for incoming Snarry fans. The pairing has inspired far too many stories to be listed or linked in one place, but the Reader can act as a sort of "filter" for newcomers, since it includes links to better-known stories, and groups stories by genre or themes.
The publication of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in July 2005 brought a new wave of people into the fandom as well. As Snarry fans delighted in pointing out, the very title of the book celebrated the pairing, since the Half-Blood Prince was Snape. This new canon gave people a much richer background to play with, drawing new writers like tryfanstone, rinsbane, and pir8fancier into writing for the pairing.
In December 2005, The Detention archive shut down practically without warning, leaving hundreds of dead links in many recs and resources lists. A number of leading Snarry fen, led by Snapetoy, banded together to reopen Walking the Plank as an automated archive; the new Walking the Plank picked up the original archive's stories and most (but not all) stories that had been added to Detention. To make sure that the debacle with Detention never happened again, there are now several moderators for the website, with a clearly articulated organizational structure and policies.
In April 2006, the Snarry Olympics (later renamed the Snarry Games) held its inaugural fest. It was a 'competition,' with teams (Angst vs. Romance) competing for gold and silver medals. The Snarry Games proved to be a successful fest, and expanded to include an art competition, which alternated with the fiction competitions; each fest organized authors and writers into opposing thematic teams (e.g., Wartime vs. Postwar). The fest was retired in 2009.
The publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in July 2007 brought another wave of Snarry fans, but it also marked the departure of many as well. Some readers and writers were devastated by Snape's death in canon, while others became adroit at writing around it. The 2011 release of the film "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2" also brought with it a new influx of Snarry fans, and the overwhelming emphasis in more recent stories has been on a post-DH world in which Snape somehow survived the attack by Nagini, rather than Hogwarts-era stories.
The pairing has also attracted attention in East Asian Harry Potter fandoms, deriving as much (if not more) from the films as the novels. In Japan, the 2004 release of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," which featured prominently the backstory of Snape and the Marauders (James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew), was the impetus for the production of yaoi doujinshi centering on such pairings as SS/JP, SS/SB, and Harry/Snape (rendered in katakana as SuneHari). Then, as today, the vast majority of Japanese doujinshi stories with an emphasis on Harry/Snape are gen or chan set within Hogwarts. Of Japanese artists, Yukipon is widely recognized for her doujinshi translation of Cybele's If You Are Prepared. More recently, Taiwanese and Mainland Chinese artists such as Somachiou and Zjackt have produced art works with a softer, more romantic Snape that derives from a Japanese yaoi aesthetic.
Today the ship sails on, undeterred by deaths, epilogues, or the end of canon as we know it.
Influential Snarry fans
- Anastasia Mantihora
- Aucta Sinistra
- Dementor Delta
- Diana Williams
Challenges, Exchanges, and Fests
- Secret Snarry Swap (held annually in December at Snape_Potter) 2007-
- Snarry-a-Thon (held annually in May at Snape_Potter) 2009-
- Snarry AUctoberfest 2020-
- Severus Snape Fuh-Q-Fest 2002-2003 (not exclusively Snarry, but contributed heavily to the pairing's early popularity)
- Harry/Snape Fuh-Q-Fest 2002-2006
- Snarry Games 2006-2009
- Snarry Holidays 2007-2009
- Daft Day Snarry (Smut) Swap 2006-2012
- 10 Years of Snarry 2010
- Back to Hogwarts Fest 2010
- Cliche Fest 2011
- Fix-It Fest 2011
- Severus/Harry Big Bang 2012
- Summer of Snarry 2012
- First Time for Everything Fest 2013
- Pride Challenge 2013
- Snarry Summer Challenge 2014, 2015, 2016
- The Road Not Taken Fest 2014
- Odd Jobs Fest 2015
- Valentine Comment Fest 2016
- Halloween Mini-Fest 2016
- Harry’s Birthday Party Challenge 2017
- Snarry Games is one of the most popular challenge communities for the ship (retired in 2009).
- The Snarry Reader is a comprehensive recs list of fan fiction, art, and vids for the pairing, updated monthly. Includes gen and Severitus.
- SS/HP Prophet is a newsletter for the pairing.
- Walking The Plank is a Harry/Snape archive that hosts fanfiction and art.
- Snape_Potter hosts annual fests (Snarry-a-Thon; Snarry Swap, Secret Snarry, etc.) for the pairing.
- Atrata has written an excellent Snape/Harry ship manifesto. She updated and expanded the recs section of that manifesto in 2008.
- Elfwreck wrote Snarry Dynamics posted on 29 January 2005.
- Aubrem wrote about the pairings dynamics in reguard to that of power, as tools of their masters and as damaged goods. .
Terms used in the fandom
Previously used with a slightly different meaning in media fandoms such as Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, the term Chan started to be used in Harry Potter fandom to describe child!Harry/Snape stories. Used on its own, or as Chanslash.
EWE ("Epilogue? What Epilogue?") is a post-Deathly Hallows term that refers to stories in which Harry's canon marriage to Ginny Weasley never happened (and, consequently, his children with her were never born).
- FictionAlley Park. SCUSA Master Ship List and Ship Registry Submissions. Updated 19 April 2010. (Accessed 30 January 2011.)
- 21 slash recs for 21 years , May 10, 2021. (Accessed 10 May 2021)
- ptyx. Snape/Harry: The Beginnings, 13 November 2003. (Accessed 27 December 2008)
- Luthien in meri_oddities: Snarry Question, 25 October 2008. (Accessed 27 December 2008)