Snape: the Home Fries Nazi

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Fanfiction
Title: Snape: the Home Fries Nazi
Author(s): Pir8fancier
Date(s): 2007 or before
Length: 27,061 words
Genre: slash, NC-17
Fandom: Harry Potter
External Links: at skyehawke; at walkingtheplank; at pir8fancier's website

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Snape: the Home Fries Nazi is a Harry Potter story by Pir8fancier. It's one of the best-known stories in the Snape/Harry pairing.

It is widely recced and considered by some to be one of the best Snape/Harry stories ever written. The story revolves around a magic-less Severus Snape who has become a short-order cook in a diner in Arizona. Harry comes to him for advice. It shouldn't work, but it does. The dialogue between the characters is amazingly well done.

The Author Discusses This Story

From Slashcast Insider Interview with Pir8, 2007:

emmagrant01, the interviewer: Well, one of the fics that you're most well known for is Snape, the Home Fries Nazi, in which Harry goes to Arizona, years after the war is over to find Snape, and he's been hiding there and running a diner of all things, which is where the title comes from. So when it's put into words like that, the premise is almost bizarre, but the story itself is really just- I found it very gritty, and sensual, and fascinating, and, you know, a little bit dark at times, but never so much that you lost faith as a reader that something was going to come out of this, that they were somehow going to work it out. Where did that fic come from?

Pir8: It actually was a plot bunny by _______- __________ came on and said that there was a fic out there where Snape was a short order cook in a diner in Arizona. And I emailed her back and said, "Oh, you lie." And she said, "No no no, I read it." And I said, "No you didn't." And she said, "Yes yes yes, I did too!" So for about six months, I would randomly google 'Snape fry cook', 'Snape Arizona', 'Snape...' you know, and for abot six months, and I could never come up with anything. And finally I said, "You know what, this has to be written." I mean, this is such an incredible concept: Snape as a fry cook. And of course, naturally Snape would be a total horror story to work with, and the- Seinfeld, the soup nazi, of course came to mind. And that's where it came from. You know, I just took this concept of Snape running a diner and in the hinderlands [sic], you know, bumfuck Arizona - I purposefully didn't give it a name, because it's out in the middle of nowhere - but, okay, he's there. Why is he there? Well, he's there because he doesn't have any magic. Why doesn't he have any magic? Well, because when Voldemort was killed, all the Death Eaters were marked, and they lost their magic. Well, who else was marked? Well, Harry was marked. And it snowballed from there.

Emma: I really love Snape's characterization in that story, and it was told from Harry's point of view, so we really get to see Snape through Harry's eyes. We get to see this really fascinating characterization of him there, through Harry's eyes. He's sort of your standard prick with a carefully concealed heart of gold in a lot of ways, but he's really complex, and it's something that I found- I just found it very fascinating. Is that how you see Snape in canon, or was that a characterization that you created to work in this story?

Pir8: No, I see- I think Snape is the most interesting character in the books. First of all, he's the only character that actually had choice. You know, I don't think Harry has any choice. So I find him- I find him the most interesting. I think he's probably the most mysterious character, in that you have enough of him that you can write a full blown characterization of him and have it ring true, and yet, at the same time, he's exceptionally mysterious. A lot of Snape's intelligence, his grit... I mean, he really is brilliant, and yet he also has this extremely dark side to him, and I think that lends itself very interesting fic, and you can do a lot with him.

Emma: You know, I think what's interesting about that story, for me, is that you have this Harry and Snape who I thought were just fantasically characterized, but they're surrounded by all of these original characters that I found completely fascinating. They're mostly ex-cons who work at Snape's diner and they're- each and every one of them is a complex and interesting person. I think the moment that really stands out to me is when Harry got bashed by the red necks and the ex-cons went after the guys and beat them up with tire irons. And, you know, I was reading that and was just practically in tears, because I think that it was such a beautiful, round characterization of people who have really been through a lot of hell and have been given this second chance and they're doing the right thing with it. Were those guys based on someone that you knew, or- where did those original characters come from?

Pir8: Oh, well, I used to be a chef. I was a pastry chef and- but the character Won is based on a bunch of latinos I worked with. We had the gammit [sic] of people who were really well educated, who were essentially fleeing from, you know, war - we had a lot of El Salvadorians - and then we had guys who were basically illiterate, and, you know, we just had this broad gammit of people. And I wanted the criminal element, and I wanted the idea of chance, second chance, because really Snape is getting a second chance, and I wanted that mirrored in the population around him; that he was willing to give people second chances because he had been given a second chance.

Emma: I think that one of the things that's really beautiful about that story is that, you know, it's set in the United States, which for some people is an _____, and for some of us it's not, but it was just so well done and their reasons for being there were so believeable, and so I applaud you for that, because I think there should be more stories like that, where they go around the world and do whatever they need to do in different places.

Pir8: I was really surprised by the reaction to that fic. I mean, I took away their magic, I took them out of England, you know, I did- I really...

Emma: You kind of broke all the rules.

Pir8: I know, I broke all the rules, and I really thought that people would ignore it. What I didn't change, of course, was the characterization. It's very much Harry, very much Snape and there's no wiggly room there. And, um, and I think why people liked it a lot was that, to me - and I've just realized this, this is just a recent epiphany - is that a lot of my stories... most of them are about hope, and I think this is a really hopeful story. I mean, you know, it's about two completely unsuited people who are making it work on a number of levels, they're both scarred, they're damaged, and it really is... You know, what Snape said in that initial scene in his hotel room. It really is about finding your place and making it work.

Emma: Along those lines, something else that I found really fascinating, was the characters' reactions to losing their magic. And Harry starts out with a little bit of it left and it's just- it's draining out of him, And this sense of horror that he has when he realizes that it's all gone and the only person around him who understands how bad that is is Snape. And it's just so fascinating to me because they're living around these muggles who have no idea, you know, that this is- that they have this thing that they've lost. And, to me, it almost reinforced the idea that they were both gay as well, because there's this closeted world of being gay in this place where maybe it's not so good to be open about your sexual orientation, but so, at the same time, they're wizards and that's another thing to kind of keep under cover. Just the parallel of those two situations I found really interesting.

Pir8: Well, and also, that's why I kind of at the end made it where Harry left it up to Snape to decide whether he was going to testify against the guys who beat him up or not. This isn't an easy decision. I mean, they're here, they're trying to make their life. And I think it's an open secret in a world that small, but Harry's going to bring this out into the open and- and, you know, Snape is right there with him. You know, it's like, "Yea, you know, go to the mattresses. Nail this guy's balls to the wall. He deserves it." And that is actually what I love about Snape, is that he really- he does not look back. You know, it's all forward and you do what you do and you live with the consequences, whatever they may be. And then you make your lemonade our of your lemons. And that's what I really love about him. He really is- he is fearless, and I mention this in the story, that he is absolutely without fear, and Harry kind of needs that because he doesn't have a compass. You know, Dumbledore's gone, he's lost his magic, he's in exile in the magical world. I mean, if you think about it, here he is, in this magical world, he's the great hero, but he has no magic, so he's a total target. So he is actually in exile, he has no choice. And Snape just, you know, plows right on, and I love that about him.

Fan Reactions/Reviews

From Epic Recs, 2008:

oh my god, this is the best Snape *ever*. Snarky, nasty, utterly without patience, and yet completely wonderful. This is a man who has lost everything and built up a whole new life for himself. A man strong enough to survive the one thing that killed virtually every other Death Eater. The man strong enough to not only support himself, but Harry as well. *Guh*. If only JKR wrote a Snape this multi-faceted and interesting.[1]

References

  1. jane_elliot. Snape: The Home Fries Nazi by pir8fancier (NC-17) - Epic Recs, Archived version, posted to livejournal FEB. 1ST, 2008