„Severus knows that Potter will get it wrong, just like everyone else did. Even Lily."
Written as a response to redsnake05's prompt over at Asexual_Fandom. They wanted: HP, Severus Snape, he prefers to be alone
Neither beta'd nor brit-picked.
Usual Caveats: I'm German. If you find any mistakes, please tell me so I can correct them.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
An Ace Brewer
While Severus Snape is lying on the floor, waiting for the antidote to work, he keeps thinking that Potter will get it wrong, just like everyone else did. Even Lily.
Dumbledore might have had an inkling, as he was the only one who didn't push. Well – except for Christmas.
But everyone else?
"There's an article about a new detoxing regimen for brewers in JAHA. It might help with your skin."
"My sister told me about this fantastic new shampoo, Severus."
"Why not try grey, Professor. Or maybe dark green? It might make you more approachable, now that you're Head of House, I mean."
No one except the students seems to understand that looking forbidding is the whole point.
There was a time when he went for the detoxing and washed his hair every day after brewing. Resulting in Bellatrix groping him and suggesting a threesome. Resulting in all manner of women simpering at him and forgetting about personal space.
Severus does not like to be touched, and he finds the flirting mostly confusing. He knows why these women and the occasional man did it, on an intellectual level, but he has no idea how to relate to it, much less how to do it himself.
"You really should go out and socialize more."
"It's not natural for a young man like yourself to stay home on a Saturday night."
So it is natural to get drunk on something that tastes like horse piss in a noisy, crowded environment where you can't see further than a couple of feet because of the pipe smoke.
Severus has never figured out why someone would subject themself to this willingly.
"That Madam Rosmerta. She's quite attractive, don't you think?"
No. Not really. Severus does know what "attractive" and "sexy" look like to other people, and that they are often used as synonyms, even when they are not. He knows what people think when they use "sexy", but he has no idea what it means.
He also knows that he is considered unattractive, or ugly. It is a small sacrifice to make to stop people from asking about wives and girlfriends.
Truly, he never wanted Lily as a girlfriend. Especially not in the way other men want girlfriends.
He also knows she wouldn't have accepted him as a permanent flat mate. Even if he wouldn't have minded to also share with a husband of hers (as long as it wasn't Potter).
Eventually, the children are gone, so Severus doesn't need to play possum anymore. He digs around for the unauthorized portkey in his right pocket.
One gut wrenching second later, he is sitting in the atrium of the Canadian Ministry of Magic. A couple aurors of theirs are holding him at wandpoint.
He surrenders his without needing to be prompted, and asks for political asylum.
The next fortnight, he occupies a Canadian cell, until the British MoM begins to make sense again and Potter calls him a hero. Eventually, he is allowed to walk free, with a new name and a new citizenship.
First thing he does is apparate to Toronto.
Outside the dingy alleyway that serves as apparition point, he stops to take in the city – the fishy smell from the lake, the traffic noise, the daring muggle architecture.
Then, he shrugs and strides off toward Pentagram Way. There's a colleague there, one who does get it. She's bisexual, currently living with a woman, and thus knows how to keep things quiet. She is also the one who provided names for his issues, after trying to secure a date from him at a conference. Now it is their inside joke that, indeed, he gives the term 'an ace brewer' a whole new meaning.
She is someone who will have use for an associate with a scientific mindset and a love of potions. Even if said love is aromantic.
'Ace' is insider shorthand for asexual. If you were left confused by this fic, please check out AVEN and their wiki.
JAHA: Journal of the American Healers' Association.