I've always been a subject of ridicule. As a student, I was the focus of a never-ending succession of taunts and derogatory comments. As a teacher instructing the imbecilic spawn of my old tormentors, I received the same treatment. The only difference being that my students made sure to jeer and start their vulgar rumors where I might never catch them at it.
So it came as no surprise to me when, in the midst of my usual meal at a local pub near my summer quarters, I caught the unmistakable sound of feminine giggling and fervent whispering wafting in my direction from the booth just behind me. Violently spearing a piece of potato with my fork, I grit my teeth and commanded myself to ignore it. Let them laugh. What did I care what Muggle women thought of me? However, the noise soon reached a level loud enough to attract the attention of the other patrons in the pub, and so I could tolerate it no longer. I slipped out of my seat, whipped around the edge of the booth and glared down at two young women. I addressed them in the lowest and most dangerous tone I could muster.
"Exactly what is it that you find so amusing?"
They looked up at me with matching expressions of mingled surprise and
something else. They stared in silence for a moment before the blonde finally spoke up.
"You're Severus Snape, aren't you?"
I couldn't pretend to hide my shock, but I did manage to suppress my extreme apprehension. I was about to ask how they came by that information when the brunette remarked abruptly,
"See, I told you he wasn't that tall."
"Well, he still looks taller than me, and that's what counts," said the blonde, eyeing me with a most disturbing scrutiny.
"Would you mind if I asked how tall you are?" asked the brunette.
"As a matter of fact, I would," I said, a bit louder than I'd intended. "And I demand to know how you discovered my name."
"It's not exactly a secret," said the brunette, sniggering like an idiot.
"Really," said the blonde, looking at me incredulously. "You can't tell me that you didn't expect people to recognize you. Especially after your podcast came out."
"Yeah," said the blonde, waiting for her associate to finish drumming her fingers on a grey metallic box before turning it around to reveal a lighted screen. And there, displayed for all to see, was my name. Well, almost my name.
"What is the meaning of this; Snapecast?" I hissed in an undertone.
"It's your podcast," said the brunette gleefully. "Well, not your podcast, I guess. But it's a podcast about you. Lots of people listen to it."
?" But before I could finish my question, the blonde had tapped on the metallic box and music began to pour from it. Following the music was a voice eerily like my own, and saying words that I was sure I had once said. In horror, I looked at the two women to find them both watching me with eager smiles. I backed away from them as quickly as decorum would allow and made for the door with all due haste.
"Wait, we'd like your autograph!" called the blonde as I pulled open the door. And as I exited without one backward glance, I distinctly heard the brunette say,
"Lordy, that voice is even sexier in person."