Categories > Books > Harry Potter > What Now, Severus?

Clothes Make the Muggle

by Emilie_D 1 review

Will Snape end up in drag?

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Romance - Characters: Snape - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2006-05-19 - Updated: 2006-05-20 - 2114 words - Complete

Clothes Make the Muggle

The sun was high in the sky; Severus and Zelda were still lying together in her bed. "Zelda," he asked her, "do you have a last name? I never thought to ask before."

She smiled and said, "Isn't it a bit late for formal introductions? Of course I have a last name. It's Larsson. I come from generations of Muggle peasants, dear boy. I wondered myself if you had a last name," she added, "but you did tell me without prompting. We seem to have done things backwards."

"Would you like to borrow some clothes?" Zelda asked. "I'm ravenously hungry, and as you pointed out hours ago, the cupboard is bare. I, at least, must go out to forage. You may join me or stay here."

"I shall join you, of course, but I seriously doubt your clothes will suit me, my girl," Severus replied with a grimace. "Do you have any other ideas?"

"You can wear my son's clothes," she offered. "He doesn't live here any more, he's nineteen, and off to college. But since the creatures never really go away, I have some of his things." She paused thoughtfully, "Um... I don't know what Professor Severus Snape, Wizard Extraordinaire, normally prefers to wear... but this may be a bit different."

Zelda found her robe and slid into it before walking purposefully out of the bedroom. Severus smiled as he watched her go and stretched luxuriously in the comfortable bed. His head still ached, but he could tell that he was recovering his strength. Knowing that Zelda was watching over him, worrying about him, made him feel safe in a way that he found terrifying. If he didn't go back soon, he realized, he would be tempted to simply stay with her. To love Zelda and be loved by her, was a stunning new sensation to him... especially since it had come at a time when he had long given up all hope of having a normal life.

When she returned a tiny mischievous smirk warned him that the teenage son she had spoken of wouls not share his clothing preferences. He looked distastefully at the multicolored pile in her arms, which she dumped onto the bed without a word.

His eyes narrowed and he looked severely at her, which caused her to laugh. She said enticingly, "It's all clean..." She threw him some worn boxer shorts and a pair of jeans, both of which he put on so reluctantly that it made her laugh harder than ever to watch.

"I am sure that this is all you could find and I deeply appreciate the opportunity to wear masculine clothing," he said coldly, irritated at being the subject of laughter. "However..."

She hugged him, rubbing his back consolingly while she said to him, "May I show you something remarkable? Come with me." She led him to the full-length mirror hung on her closet door. Pointing to it, she said, "You're amazingly hot with nothing on, but a few clothes make the man even more awesome. Of course," she added, "most thirty-seven year old Muggles don't dress like kids, but most of them are beginning to run to fat and have hair loss issues. You, on the other hand, well... look."

Severus looked cautiously at his reflection. The jeans sagged a bit, but seemed in no danger of falling down, and the waistband of the faded red boxer shorts showed above the jeans. For a moment, he saw himself as she did; a striking man, with long, lank black hair and black eyes in startling contrast to his pale skin. His body was firm and lean, and 'the ugly, greasy git,' he'd long been described as, was nowhere to be seen. He met her appreciative gaze in the mirror and smiled hesitantly at her. He realized for the first time that his much-maligned nose was merely a hooked nose, not actually a deformity, and he felt somehow... reborn.

"Another long-held, mistaken belief bites the dust, I hope," Zelda said flatly.

He said to her, "I wish I could as easily convince you that you are amazingly beautiful," - astounded once more by the easy words of appreciation that he had just spoken.

She smiled, but only hugged him for a long time, an embrace that he willingly returned. She then turned back to the bed and said, "You have a choice of shirts. On the one hand," she said as she rummaged through the pile, "here's Elijah's former favorite, the turquoise Hawaiian print shirt, paired with this sexy white undershirt, known to the kids as a 'wife beater.' Or, here's a classic black Bob Marley t-shirt. Think about it while I get dressed, okay?"

Severus moved to the bed and looked distastefully at the hideous Hawaiian shirt, then grabbed the black t-shirt. He had no idea who "Bob Marley" was, but at least the color was tolerable. He pulled it on quickly and felt immediately better. Zelda returned, dressed in jeans and a pale green t-shirt. She carried an odd pair of leather sandals. "No real shoes," she said, "but these are adjustable, so they'll work for you until we can get something better."

When they were ready, he stood apprehensively staring out the window, and said, "I had forgotten to ask. Where are we?"

She gave him a wicked grin, and drawled obnoxiously, "Welcome to the U. S. of A., Sev... land of the free and home of the brave." She continued more naturally, but with a gleam in her eye, "Everybody wants to come to America, so I'm sure you'll enjoy this visit."

"Absolutely..." he responded dully, longing desperately for Hogwarts.

Zelda beamed comically at him. "When all this is over, you can write your memoirs, /A British Wizard's Adventure in Muggle America/," she said. "It'll be a huge bestseller; can't you imagine the splash it'll make? But when you write the dirty parts, please remember to make me sound amazing."

Severus couldn't help smiling a bit, in spite of himself. In a flight of fancy, he captured her hands in his, saying grimly, "If I somehow survive what is coming, I would rather you would assist me in dictating the 'dirty parts.' I sincerely doubt that anyone else could do justice to such a story... which I would never actually write."

As they drove to the supermarket, Severus found himself needing to tightly clutch the armrest by his car seat. He felt completely overwhelmed and out of control, and his hand repeatedly reached for the wand he did not have. But he was startled to feel that this human interaction mattered deeply... a feeling that was formerly unheard of for him. He wanted to tell Zelda, but he feared to distract her from her driving.

He found the supermarket to be dreadful, overwhelming and busy, filled with Muggles dressed in hideous, colorful clothing. They rushed up and down brightly lit aisles, pushing metal carriages piled with boxes and cans. His headache returned and a gripping pain shot down his spine. Mercifully, it didn't take long to buy the groceries they needed. Neither of them spoke, both of them knowing that he would soon be gone.

As they walked back to the car, Zelda suddenly asked, "Do you like pizza?"

"As hungry as I am, I will not turn down a proper meal. How soon can we eat?"

She laughed and told him, "It'll be practically like magic." Reaching for her cell phone, she pushed a button, ordered, and said, "We'll stop on the way home to pick it up."

When they arrived back at her house, Severus looked at it with some curiosity, having been unconscious when he first arrived there. Two huge oak trees loomed over the little home, a profusion of thick, leafy shrubs giving an impression of privacy. The long, shady front porch held a table and some comfortable chairs, with a large porch swing at one end. Hanging baskets of plants and bright flowers were all around, and a trellis covered with flowering vines created an intimate space. It was cozy and slightly shabby. She drove back into the garage, and Severus noticed that the door closed itself smoothly behind them.

After they put the food away, they took the pizza out to the porch. Zelda brought two bottles of beer, and said as she handed him one, "Here's an American tradition, beer and pizza, fast and filling."

They ate ravenously, and Severus decided that pizza was delicious. The summer day was warm and humid, but the porch was quiet and shady, and Severus relaxed. He looked across the small table where they sat, and saw Zelda gazing curiously at him. "Have I done something wrong?" he asked.

"No, I was thinking how adorable you are, Sev," she chuckled. "But the dreamy romance is a bit nauseating, don't you think? It's not actually me at all. I need to get a grip!" She narrowed her eyes in concentration. "So... I do have a few questions for you, if it's all right... and you don't have to answer if you don't want to."

She paused to sip at her beer, and asked, "Is there a gene for magic? You're human, it seems, so what makes you magical?" Her brow furrowed in thought. "A dominant gene... You said that your father was a Muggle, was your mother a witch?"

Severus nodded slowly, intrigued that she had so easily keyed into the subject that obsessed so many in the wizarding world. He remained silent, wanting to see where her ruminations would lead her.

"It must be rare," she said thoughtfully. "Has anyone done studies that show the percentage of 'magical offspring' produced by Magic-Magic, Magic-Muggle and Muggle-Muggle pairings? Can magic lie dormant and skip generations? How do you keep people like me from finding out about it? Finally," she said, "what happens to a Muggle... let's say a nosy Muggle woman who asks questions, when she learns about your world?"

"Which question would you like answered first?" Severus chuckled, marveling at the range of her questions, and the strangeness of conversing freely with someone. After spending most of his life closely guarding every word and thought, the fact that he was speaking so openly with a Muggle was extremely ironic.

"Most of my questions were academic," Zelda added, "and I want to know all of it and much more, but most immediately... what'll happen to me, now that I know? Am I a problem for someone?"

"There are Muggles who know," Severus said calmly. "The Muggle parents of magical children know; they must, if their children are to attend Hogwarts. When a witch or wizard has married a Muggle, it is usually disastrous if they tried to keep it secret. If a Muggle may create problems, the Ministry of Magic will send someone to perform a Memory Charm, which causes the person to forget that piece of information."

"Does that happen often?" Zelda asked nervously.

"It does, since at times wizards are not careful, and people see things that frighten them. For instance, a few years ago," he mused, almost nostalgically, "two students missed the train to Hogwarts, 'borrowed' a flying car and flew there in broad daylight. Half a dozen Muggles saw the car in flight, and it was briefly covered by the Muggle news media. Obliviators were sent out and once the witnesses lost all recollection of the incident, it was quickly forgotten."

"But you, my girl, shall keep your memory if you want to," he added, looking intently at her.

"I want to," she said, bluntly. "I've thought about it, you know, whether it might not be easier if I didn't have to worry about you and miss you. But If I forgot you... Sev, it would be horrible. Missing you will be wretched, but forgetting about you would be far, far worse."

Severus realized that Dumbledore had been right - as usual - about the power of love. He would soon go back, to play his hated role better than ever after spending this time learning to love. But... he needed to remember Zelda and he wanted also to know that she remembered him.

"I'll still think of you when you're gone," she said, breaking into his thoughts. "If no one loves you there, I'll still love you here, if that helps."

"It helps," he said grimly.

"I wonder if you got enough sleep last night," she said, eying him appraisingly. "You need your rest, you know, so perhaps a short nap is in order," she said, and smiled invitingly at him. Putting their arms around each other, together they walked back into her house.
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