Severus Snape

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Character
Name: Severus Snape
Occupation: Hogwarts professor, double agent
Relationships: Dumbledore (professional/paternal)
Lily Evans Potter (friendship, unrequited love)
Harry Potter (character) (professor, protector and sometimes mistakenly referred to as an enemy)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Other: born 9 January 1960[1]

Severus Snape, art by Bohemian Weasel
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Severus Snape is the potions master at Hogwarts and one of Harry Potter's teachers in the Harry Potter books. He has been a somewhat contentious fan-favorite since the first book was published. Although Harry was always hostile to him within the books, fan speculation on Snape's true loyalties was rampant and occasioned many theories, fanworks, and flame wars.

In later books, as Snape's difficult childhood and adolescence became canon, some fans aligned themselves against characters who were hostile to Snape in canon, like James Potter. The penultimate book left Snape's status extremely unclear, and some theorists felt that the final book did not live up to their hopes. (See also EWE and Potterdämmerung.)

Tropes

  • Although Snape's attractiveness is described very negatively in the book, he was often perceived as having a certain sexual magnetism, by fans. [2]
  • Severitus - in fics where Snape is revealed to be Harry Potter's father
  • By some fans he is considered a woobie.

Shipping

The main Snape ships are somewhat controversial--Harry/Snape and Snape/Hermione, both pairings with a significant age difference. Some fans enjoy these pairings only when the younger party had graduated, or grown older, whereas other fans explored the pairing during the time-period depicted in the books. (See also chan.)

It is also common to pair Snape with characters from the Marauders' generation, such as with Lily Evans, whom he was canonically in love with, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, or James Potter.

Threesomes also very common to find for Severus, for example Lily/Remus/Severus, Hermione/Severus/Lucius, Hermione/Severus/Remus, and Hermione/Severus/Draco.

Some Dynamics

A fan in 2012 commented about her experiences in the Snape fandom:

... at that point in the fandom [2002] it was very Balkanized, and the Snape slashers were actually renowned at that point for generally being level-headed and rational grown-ups that it was fun to be around. Well, because they were grown-ups who'd been in other fandoms before and who'd come to this out of other fannish communities and knew the fucking social norms and were not a bunch of feral teenagers that had to be socialized.

And they also were not heavily invested in shipping wars because they were Snape slashers and they knew that Snape was not going to get a boyfriend in the books. Ever. So, we were not looking for textual validation. So, yeah, it was sort of its own little polite, well-mannered, sane — it sounds crazy saying this at this point now, but that's really, yeah, it was where the nice, polite, well-mannered rational grownups hung out when I first got into Harry Potter fandom. Well, remember this was also before any of the movies, so there wasn't the Alan Rickman thing going on yet either.

So, yeah, at that point, when you got into Snape you were into Snape for himself in all his ugly, nasty — greasy — horrible glory, yes.[3]

Notable Snape-centric Fanworks

Fanfiction

"Fanart portrait of Snape wearing black robes against a grey background. He has a stern expression on his face and is looking at the viewer.
Professor Snape by Myrkky (2019)
"fanart of Snape brewing a potion at a wooden table. His right hand is pointing to something in a book while he looks up at a vial he holds in his left hand. Similar vials float around him, containing a glowing red liquid. A red substance is brewing in the cauldron beside him."
Experimental Potions by staypee (2020)
Gypsy Silverleaf, an early fan, has this statement at Harry Potter's Realm of Wizardry:
I write Harry Potter fan fiction. I'm actually one of the first writers ever, I got the administration over at FanFiction.net to start the Harry Potter fan fiction section, I wrote the first Severus Snape-oriented fic, and I started the Draco/Hermione ship. Scary, no? [4]

Fanart

Fanvids

Essays and Meta

Snape-centric Communities

LiveJournal Communities

Challenges

Archives

References

  1. ^ J.K.Rowling Official Site. 9 January 2004. Archived at the Harry Potter Lexicon: Guide to jkrowling.com - Brithdays. (Accessed 20 January 2011.)
  2. ^ See much fanfic which pairs him with characters, see many fan comments which discuss his sex appeal, see Snapewives...
  3. ^ from Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Ellen Fremedon
  4. ^ from Webmistress Fiction: Harry Potter's Realm of Wizardry