Summary: Don't sign papers without reading the fine print. Snape learns his lesson the hard way and winds up on "What Not To Wear" with his former student, Harry Potter, as the host.

Warning: AU, non-magic, and slash

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, the books or the movie. If I did, I would have created "Harry Potter Origins: Severus Snape" and somehow incorporated Wolverine into the plotline which would turn into a bestseller and box office hit! I also do not own TLC's "What Not To Wear."

A/N: This is my first fanfiction ever, so I'm very anxious to hear how you guys like it! There might be some OOCness, but some of that just comes from the fact that this is set in a modern day, non-magic world.

Severus Snape was not an expert assassin by any means, but he was pretty confident that he could find some way to kill Albus Dumbledore without being tried for murder. For example, he could slip some poison into Dumbledore's confounded candies. Then he'd fake a doctor's report of diabetes and blame the old man's death on high blood sugar. It wouldn't be that hard for people to believe. Hogwarts University's dean was infamous for his addiction to sweets, and he was bound to face the consequences one day. Unfortunately, he was too preoccupied with his murder plans to hear the creak of the bathroom door.

"Snape," a voice called out, causing Severus to inch further into the bathroom stall. "We need you on stage now."

Snape silently snorted at the ridiculous demand. He'd had Hermione Granger sitting in his classroom long enough to recognize the know-it-all's whiny voice, and if she thought she could convince him to go back there, she was sorely mistaken. If he wanted to spend the rest of the day in the men's room, by Merlin, he would.

"You were supposed to be back an hour ago," Granger continued, the annoying clicks of her heels warning Snape that she was only getting closer.

A sigh was released that Snape mistakenly interpreted as an admittance to defeat. Instead, Hermione was getting geared up to release the real guns. "I don't suppose that I need to remind you that you made a deal with Dumbledore about this," she sang in a disgustingly sweet tone. She knew she had Snape now.

The deal Granger was rubbing in his face happened to involve a way for Snape to legally be released from his twenty-year contract with Hogwarts University as their renowned chemistry professor in exchange for participating in one of his student's "project" for a few days. At the time, Dumbledore's proposal had seemed quite reasonable. Snape absolutely detested supervising chemistry labs and watching indolent urchins mess up simple procedures. He abhorred correcting their lab reports, half of them practically unintelligible, and grading their exams was as painful as plucking out his own eyeballs. When the opportunity presented itself for him to escape that hellhole and start anew, he was more than eager. Regretfully, his excitement blinded him from seeing the twinkle in his boss's eyes as he signed the new contract. Had he been aware of what he was getting into, Snape would have gladly continued to teach those final eight years. Instead, he was left in this current mess wondering what his life would have been like if he'd just chosen to be a doctor like his mom had wanted.

Resigned to his fate, Snape unlocked the stall's door and revealed himself to his tormentor. He glared at the curly haired girl standing by the sinks wearing her tacky headset. "I don't suppose that I need to remind you that a proper young lady is not to be found hovering in a men's restroom," he said icily as he glided past her and out of the door. "I do hope that this isn't a habit of yours."

Shocked at her ex-professor's implications, Hermione Granger quickly jumped to explain herself. "N-no, you've got it wrong! You see Ron refused to help me look for you so…" Her sentence dwindled off as she realized that Snape wasn't paying her an ounce of attention. "Besides, shouldn't you be the one feeling embarrassed for hiding in a bathroom?"

At this, Snape halted, swiveled around, and raised an eyebrow. "I do not hide in or from anything, Miss Granger, though I do suggest you hide your questionable washroom trysts from your boyfriend if you insist on continuing that relationship," he replied. With that cleared up, he whirled back around and continued down the hallway.

Shaking her head, Hermione tried her best to calm down and not throw out an ugly retort. It would only make the rest of the day much, much harder.


"It is good to have you back here with us," Albus Dumbledore greeted pleasantly when he saw his coworker sulk back into the room.

"I want out," Snape growled as he marched up to the man perched on one of the director's chair.

Dumbledore pulled a face. "Now, you know I can't do that, Severus. If we break the contract, you'll have a ten million dollar fine on your hands. We've discussed this before," he replied.

"I don't care. I want out," Snape repeated firmly.

As he looked onto the set, Severus was more confident than ever that going bankrupt would be a welcomed alternative to whatever faced him here. The area he stood in was innocuous enough. The only furniture included three tall chairs made out of black wood with a large strip of red cloth to support the back. Dumbledore seemed comfortable enough in them. It was where the cold cement converted to plush, tan carpet that Severus became worried. On that end of the room stood several mirrors, a fake window, a vase of silk flowers, a hideous couch, and a rack of clothes that he would bet his life had been stolen from of his very own closet. Granted, this shouldn't have come as much of a surprise after the unexpected news he'd received that very morning, a mere twenty-four hours after he signed the too-good-to-be-true agreement.


That morning…

"Albus, I wasn't expecting you," Snape mumbled as he cut on the Bunsen burner. He was faced away from the door but knew that no one else would have the audacity to enter his private office without knocking.

"I do hope I'm not interrupting," Dumbledore said.

Severus rolled his eyes as he lifted up a test tube, carefully examining the contents. "What is it this time," he asked, knowing that Albus rarely popped in for a friendly visit. The senile old man clearly wanted something. "If you're here to talk about Longbottom again, it's too late. I've already dropped him from my class, and I refuse to reconsider."

Longbottom had been one of many nuisances he'd had to deal with over the years. The fool had failed each and every one of his labs, completely destroying his chances of passing the course. Being the considerate man that he was, Snape decided to end the poor boy's pain and drop him from the class. It was a purely selfless action (never mind the fact that Longbottom's absence would mean no more annoying emails or office hour visits).

"No, dear boy. I trust you made the right decision there. In fact, I heard Mr. Longbottom is interested in becoming a herbalist and will be switching his major soon."

Snape snorted. After many failed attempts at killing humans with his many chemical explosions, it appeared as if the boy had decided to try his hand at killing plants. How lovely.

"What are you working on," Dumbledore questioned after a few moments of silence passed.

"A cure to cancer," he replied.

Out of nowhere, Severus heard a chuckle, one that definitely didn't belong to him or Dumbledore. And that was when the disaster began.

"There is no doubt that everyone loves Professor Snape's wicked sense of humor, but what they don't love is his sense of style," a voice spoke from behind him.

As he turned to look at his newest intruder, Snape was confronted with an entire camera crew and one Harry Potter. Harry Potter had taken Snape's introductory chemistry class his freshman year and was a less than stellar student. His list of priorities, as far as Snape could determine, consisted of acting stupid, partying, hanging out with Hermionie Granger and Ron Weasley, thinking stupid, baseball, breathing stupid, messing up elementary labs, eating stupid, writing lab reports in unknown languages, walking stupid, failing chemistry exams, and ruining Snape's life. Snape couldn't quite figure out the correct order, but he was pretty sure that ruining Snape's life could be found at the top of the list. I mean, why else would the boy sign up for three more years of Snape's section of chemistry? Nonetheless, every student and faculty member adored the brat, fawning over him like he was some kind of savior. Consequentially, Snape made a point of not coddling him or giving him any sort of special treatment. The boy certainly didn't deserve it. Sure, Snape couldn't deny that the brunette was handsome, especially after he ditched his atrocious eyeglasses sophomore year, but did looks matter that much in today's society?

"His black pants, black shirt, and black jacket are all pretty dull," Potter continued, making his way towards Snape.

"You little –"

"That's why we are here to help! I'm Harry Potter, and I want to welcome you to 'What Not To Wear!'"

And that was when Severus Snape dropped and broke a test tube for the first time in his life. A slimy, green substance slid off his worktable and onto his black (yes, black) boots, but he couldn't be minded.

"What did you just say," he whispered, narrowing his eyes at his former student.

"That's right, Professor. Your friends and family have contacted us because they care for you. They think you're an outstanding science teacher who definitely needs to be taught a lesson on how to dress. In fact, we've been secretly filming you for the past week to monitor your daily outfits, and all we've been seeing is black, black, black! Right here I have a $5,000 Visa gift card for you to use on your new wardrobe." Out of his jean pockets, Potter pulled out the gift card and waved in front of Snape's face. "All you have to do is follow our fashion advice and rules, and then you get to shop. So do you accept our terms?"

"Now listen here, Potter! I don't know what your playing at, but I refuse to partake in this –"

"Project," Dumbledore filled in, patting Snape jovially on the shoulder.

Had Snape been carrying another test tube, it would have fallen at that precise moment. "This can't be the project you were talking about, Albus," he cried.

"It will be fun," the dean reassured the professor. "Harry has so many lovely ideas!"

Snape just couldn't believe what he was hearing. "So what? Potter walks into your office one day and tells you that he's been dying to see what I look like in pink and you gave him the okay? What a wonderful little project! Now, do tell, whose idea was it to trap me in a contract? I must congratulate him!"

"Now, Severus, we had no intentions of trapping or tricking you. You always talk about how you hate your job. I was only trying to help you find a way out of it. You even get new clothes out of the deal!"

Snape sneered. "The magnitude of the lies you tell yourself truly astonishes me, Albus."

"Who in Merlin's name would put you in pink," Harry asked, playfully gagging to emphasis his disgust at that thought.

Ignoring the boy, Snape decided to just focus on Dumbledore. "I refuse," he stated simply.

"You'll have to pay a penalty for going back against your word," Dumbledore informed him solemnly.

"I'll pay every cent."

"Surely you don't have ten million dollars saved up, Severus."

"Ten million?"

Dumbledore nodded his head, a pained look on his face. "It was in the contract, dear boy. I thought you'd read it."

Snape's entire body literally shook in frustration. "Well excuse me if a professor in the middle of correcting midterm exams didn't read every single line of a forty page document!"

"Perhaps you could get away with a salmon colored belt, but that would be pushing it," Potter mused aloud.

"How did a half-wit like that even end up with a job with TLC in the first place," Snape snarled, no longer able to ignore Potter's persistent mumbling.

"Didn't you know? Potter majored in fashion design at our art school and interned with TLC two summers ago. They loved him so much that they offered him this job once he graduated. They'd been searching for someone to replace the old hosts, and Harry arrived at just the right time. I was quite delighted when I found out! He's quite the star, you know! It was all over the school's newspaper."

"I highly doubt he reads the Quibbler, sir," Harry said.

"Art school? Then why was he taking chemistry classes?"

"You'll have to ask the boy himself, I presume. He is in the room."

Potter started to open his mouth, but Snape raised his hand before a word came out. "I would rather not know on second thought. Let's just get on with this. I want it over as soon as possible."

Dumbledore smiled at him, proud that Severus wasn't going to try to wheedle his way out of things. "That's my boy!"

"I hate you," Snape grumbled.

"Alright," Harry chirped, earning him a strange look from Snape before the older man realized that Harry had faced the cameras again. "Now that you've agreed, we'll be heading over to our special dressing room to examine your clothes. You'll also get to meet our director, Miss Hermione Granger, and my assistant, Ron Weasley, who have wonderful tips for you! And…cut!"

Harry walked over to one of the cameraman wearing a pained expression. "Sorry, Creevey. It looks like you're going to have a lot of editing to do."

While Potter and Creevey led the way to their van and to the "special dressing room," Severus devised a plan. He would say he needed to use the restroom, call for a taxi, go home, pack his bags, and head to Canada. Little did he know that he'd be foiled by a dead cellphone battery and relentless Hermione Granger.

A/N: Thanks so much for reading this, guys! I'd really love to hear what you guys honestly thought of the first chapter, so please review!

Hugs for everyone,

Marginal Benefits 3