The Tea Series

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Title: Tea Series
Author(s): Telanu
Date(s): The stories were posted to Walking the Plank in 2006-2007, but the first story of the series was originally posted in 2001.
Genre(s): slash, m/m
Fandom(s): Harry Potter
External Links: at Walking the Plank (closed)
Tea at AO3[1] (story)
Tea at AO3 (podfic)
[email protected] at Darkness Rising, Archived version (contains first four stories)
at noiresensus (archived) (contains first four stories)
snarryficfind info

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The Tea Series is a series of very popular Harry/Snape stories by Telanu that is sometimes credited as the genesis of the ship. The stories were posted to Walking the Plank in 2006-2007, but the first story of the series was originally posted in 2001.

The stories range in length from 3K to 200K words. The series is labeled as dark and angsty, with warnings for chan.

Between 2013 and 2016 SilentLamb podficced five of the stories of the Tea Series, who are posted on the author's AO3, where the story A Wizard Song Podfic a WiPed with 12-chapters. On 1 April 2016, it was announced that Telanu was taking the Tea Series, along with her other fanfic, offline.[2]

Story Summary

The one in which Dumbledore has Snape in for a little chat, Harry and Snape are acting awfully strange around each other and Harry has a vision that indicates Snape may be in mortal danger. What will happen when Harry goes on his summer vacation? Will he save the Wizarding world, or will someone have to save him?

Stories in the series

  1. A Most Disquieting Tea (2827 words)
  2. Almost, At Times, The Fool (10283 words)
  3. Like A Glass (33608 words)
  4. Corresponding (6761 words)
  5. A Wizard Song (198056 words)[3]
  6. Possession (40786 words)
  7. Fire By Fire (80174 words)

Some Comments by the Author

From Essential Snarry Reader Interview with Telanu (2005):

So: is the Tea series chan?

We could run around endlessly debating the terms of that question. What’s the difference between chan and shota, how young is really too young, does it depend on the country you’re in, etc., etc. And also, of course, the idea that chan is always in the eye of the beholder: what one person considers chan another might not.

The evidence against the Tea series is pretty damning, I’ll grant you that. After all, in the first story, Harry’s only thirteen (though he does not actually appear in the fic) and Snape admits to being interested in him in some vague way—I never clarified, until “Possession,” whether that was an overtly sexual attraction or not (it was not). I felt it was better to leave things vague, because it would be more in line with the weird, irrational obsession canon Snape seems to have with canon Harry. So that’s that. However, by the time Harry is fifteen in the second fic, Snape obviously *is* interested in him sexually, and that doesn’t seem much better, does it? And then they have sex when Harry’s sixteen, which is legal, but does that make it okay?

This is where I get back to your other question: what was my intent? Is the age difference between Snape and Harry merely another obstacle to overcome on the way to True Love (or whatever), or am I making a commentary on the rightness/wrongness of these kinds of relationships?

Honestly, I’m not sure how to answer that. I’d like to say that it’s obvious that I don’t condone teacher-student relationships in RL, or think sex between an adult and a child is okay, but based on comments I’ve read in other places it doesn’t seem obvious at all, to some people. What I was trying to say, in these specific stories, is the whole situation is complicated, and it’s cheating to try and wriggle out of it. Snape and Harry care for each other deeply, that much is obvious (I hope), but in order to be together they do a lot of bad stuff. Break the rules. Lie. Threaten people. Act in ways not dictated by their own moral codes. Get possessed by malevolent primeval forces. I’m not trying to hide any of that, because I think that’s what would really happen, in this case. (Okay, maybe not the primeval forces bit, but you know what I meant.) So that’s my sole commentary on it. It’s up to you, the reader, to decide whether or not their feelings justify their actions. If you think they do, that’s fine, and if you think they don’t, that’s fine too. If you think the Tea series is about the Power of True Love, or is a Cautionary Tale, or is Kiddie Porn, or is really all about the Fleur/McGonagall, any of that is absolutely, totally fine. I will write and post the story. You may interpret it however you wish. My intent as an author might not be commensurate with your interpretation, but I’m okay with that.

Now you want me to admit what my intent *was,* don’t you? I will say that I never intended it to be seen as kiddie porn (as I said earlier, I find most chan disturbing and I tend to avoid it), but if other people want to see it that way, then I have no control over that. This isn’t meant to be a cop-out. It’s just the truth.

What I *do* have a problem with is when people whose interpretation differs from my intent write to me and say things like, “You shouldn’t have written X, because it should have happened like Y!” And sadly, I’ve gotten plenty of that too. *G*

Fan Reactions/Reviews

A Wizard Song (and the rest of the Tea series) is one of those pairing-defining fics. I don’t think it could be anything other than what it is, so any measure of relative ‘quality’ is pretty meaningless. It occupies a special place. And for the record, I squeed when you contacted me and asked if I’d beta it, but, much as I loved it, getting to read it (before anyone else!) wasn’t the best thing that resulted from that initial contact. I’m so glad it gave me the opportunity to know you. :-)


I cannot praise or worship this story enough. This is one of the first Snarry fics posted online and holds the honor of pulling many fantastic writers, such as Luthien, into the fandom. It's quite an epic, incredibly emotional, thrilling, heartwarming, tense, and everything good one can think of. There's something here for everyone, whether you like Snarry or not, whether you prefer romance or action or angst. It's a solid, well-told story that proves fanfiction can rise to heights canon never reached for.

– EmptyWordHP aka. EmptyWord [5]

[A Most Disquieting Tea]: "Best FF That Was Both Funny and Nausea-Inducing... Warnings: implied pedophilia. Why does Snape treat Harry so badly? Maybe because the alternative is even worse. There's nothing explicit at all in this story. It'd be PG if the underlying concept wasn't so squicky. The author does a remarkable job of writing to the canon, and both Snape."
You must really have a low tolerance for squick if you have trouble with 'A Most Disquieting Tea.'
Totally. When I die, they're going to put "She Had a Very Low Squick Tolerance" on my gravestone. Or, no, wait, that makes it sound like I died of being skeeved out. Maybe they'll go with "Please Direct This Patron to the Afterlife That Does Not Include Chan, Bestiality, Incest, Rape, Torture, or Character Death."
Although I should note that my problems with "Disquieting" didn't get really severe until I read the sequels.
I just have to wonder how you've avoided worse. I mean, I only read Harry Potter slash, and I've come across chan, bestiality, incest, and worse, stuff that made my eyes bleed and my brain flinch away in disbelief.
Oh, I have encountered worse - much, much worse - but not anything that I ever felt like linking to. Mostly they made me seriously contemplate turning off my computer and dedicating my life to good works, a la Rebecca. [6]

The "Tea Series" is more than just a Snarry classic. It is, unarguably, the best fanfiction I've ever read, in all the fandoms I've dabbled in and ranks high up there with some of my favorite books. Telanu manages to write complex and engaging characters, while developing a very interesting plot. The progress of Harry and Severus’ relationship – including its sexual side – is beautifully done, in a way that’s rarely found in most slash fiction.[7]

#the tea series is still one of the best fanfics i've ever read in my entire life #and i've read so many fics #best thing ever #the tea series #fic rec[8]

"How to put into words how much I love the Tea Series? This has been my comfort fic.

It isn’t perfect. I found the reason for Snape falling in love a bit shaky. Harry is also more mature at times than what I’m usually used to reading…


Snape is everything he should be. Passionate, but bitter. He love Harry so deeply and would do anything to keep him, yet he hurts him and pushes him away because he’s so afraid.

Harry is forever charging head first into things. He’s the younger of the couple, but is no pushover. He is also still a confused teenager caught up in a war and ends up making some decisions that may lead him down a dark path.

And that’s only the main two. Telanu is one of the few long-fic writers who knows how give the rest of the cast a moment to shine. You’ll never forget the twins or Neville or Sirius or Dumbledore and his meddling old ways.

And there will be phrases that will stick in your mind for the rest of your snarry days. Two in particular.

So stop reading my crappy review and see for yourself."[9]

"I actually couldn’t get into the tea series at all, it was actually pretty unacceptable in some areas in my opinion when it came to specific things, but all in all I just couldn’t keep up with it. It seemed like every part was just a new story, I didn’t need the last part to continue going forward and the only likable part was the correspondence one. It was mostly a confusing series of “it could be linked to the other stories, but whatever” to me, and I wish I had liked it because it’s so popular, but like Alone on the Water for Sherlock I just can’t see what everyone else does. Thank you again for the rec, because even though I didn’t actually like it, it’s nice to know what’s out there.[10]

One of the themes that strikes me all through _Tea_ is that of masking, disguising, hiding. Snape is appalled to find Dumbledore can read his deepest thoughts. Harry has hidden from himself so well that he is shaken to the core when he realizes his feelings for Snape. From the beginning, there is that utter insistance on secrecy--"Damn you...if you ever tell ANYONE...." (and how I love that comparison of Snape's voice to crawling on hands and knees over broken glass!) Snape, ineffectually, hides his desire from Harry. Harry realizes he must hide his own desires from his best friends. Snape hides his identity as a spy from the Death Eaters. Later, more sinisterly, Harry hides a tremendously important side of himself from himself in _A Wizard's Song_, just as he conceals his true object of affection from everyone else. And lord knows, Draco and Neville hide and mask themselves on a number of levels. Telanu only knows what *Dumbledore's* hiding, but it's probably a doozy."[11]

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