never had anyone to share anything with, an never wanted no one either, even if i’ve always been searching for sum thing i’ll never find i can at least say i never needed nuthin from no one. regardless of anything i’m right where i want to be, just sum skinny kid drifting throo life like a paper cup blowin down the street in the wind, sum dark abstract shape all alone in the world w/at least a real comprehension of the vast scale of distance between me an the rest of the human race.
you can resign yourself to lonliness but in the end find sanctuary in it. it’s like the infinite dark space between galaxies.
~ Drug Story, U.V. Ray
Severus Snape has always been problematic.
He’s always been ambiguous and other.
He’s always been troublesome to his creator, J.K. Rowling, who’s never liked him much. Yet without him the wizarding world, and the entire world, would in all probability have been destroyed.
After the final Potter novel was released, a child referred to Professor Snape as a hero, and the tale’s author disagreed, leaving everyone present at the reading rather befuddled. Rowling soon changed her tune, however, and announced that Severus Snape was a “flawed hero.”
Of course he’s a flawed hero: he’s outside the lines. The Half-Blood.
When he first encounters Harry Potter’s mother Lily, this is how Rowling introduces us to him:
His hair was overlong and his clothes were so mismatched that it looked deliberate: too-short jeans, a shabby, overlarge coat that might have belonged to a grown man, an odd smock-like shirt.
And how does he observe Lily, Rowling’s apex of True Womanhood, the pure one who like a quasi-virginal, unblemished lamb gave her life for her only male child, a.k.a. The Chosen One? “Greedily.” Severus Snape, “Snivellus,” wants something that wasn’t his.
He’s wearing an “odd” smock-like garment: “a loose dress or blouse,” from “Old English smoc ‘woman’s loose-fitting undergarment’.”
As Lily’s sister Petunia told him, “What’s that you’re wearing, anyway? Your mum’s blouse?”
With his “mismatched” clothing, his “overlong” hair, his odd “woman’s undergarment” half-concealed beneath a grown man’s coat, he’s the epitome of what doesn’t fit neatly into a nice, normal box.
He never does fit into that box, ever.
He’s nasty, untrustworthy, from the start. He’s non-binary. He’s not the “real deal.” He’s never quite what he seems to be, is he.
He’s a freak. “It’s good you’re being separated from normal people. It’s for our safety.”
And then we meet the heroes of the tale, James Potter and his cohorts.
“Slytherin?”One of the boys sharing the compartment, who had shown no interest at all in Lily or Snape until that point, looked round at the word […]“Who wants to be in Slytherin? I’d think I’d leave, wouldn’t you?” James asked the boy lounging on the seats opposite him, and with a jolt, Harry realized it was Sirius. Sirius did not smile.“My whole family have been in Slytherin,” he said.“Blimey,” said James, “and I thought you seemed all right!”Sirius grinned.“Maybe I’ll break the tradition. Where are you heading, if you’ve got the choice?”James lifted an invisible sword.“ ‘Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart!’ Like my dad.”Snape made a small, disparaging noise.James turned on him.“Got a problem with that?”
Sure, fuckhead. The same problem you had with Slytherin.
Maybe it’s fine to be a Slytherin, an outsider, a weirdo, an oddity, an anomaly, a deviation, just as long as you shut the fuck up about it. As long as you’re out of sight.
It’s fine not to fit in the “correct” mold, just as long as you don’t dare to be where you’re not supposed to be.
Wasn’t it the sage Ron Weasley who taught us all that poisonous toadstools don’t change their spots?
What was it that the Moody stand-in told Severus Snape in Goblet of Fire? “I say there are spots that don’t come off, Snape. Spots that never come off, d’you know what I mean?”
Again, you’re classified as “X” or “Y” by fearful and limited minds from the beginning, and nothing can change that.
Could it be that Slytherin is so loathsome to such minds because the serpent, the mysterious creature that sheds its skin, is a symbol of transformation? A symbol of power and chaos?
The balanced nature of Professor Severus Snape the horned Baphomet, who points in two different directions, is forever suspicious to proper ones endowed with the clear-cut, iron gleam of “moral courage.”
Do I feel shut out of the imaginary Hogwarts because of JKR’s opinion about this or that?
Not in the least. Without the reader, Hogwarts and all its mythological elements are stillborn.
Most of all, I am the master of my life, and I shape it as I wish: the subtle science and exact art of potion-making. The bold, creative, daring alchemists who understand “the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron and its shimmering hues” do as well.
We are the forbidden.
We plant our fields with two different kinds of seed, we wear garments woven of two different kinds of material.
I enjoy that which I enjoy, however I wish. I transform what interests me into the gold of personal relevance. I create myself. I transform myself. I am loyal to myself.
Look at me.
I live deliciously. My long robes billow around me like a pretty dress, and my existence is magic.
I see the world.