This week's quiz was chosen by kerravonsen who is quite impressive in Potions class!
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Match the quote to the story title:
I Fall to Pieces by mundungus42
The Truth by ladyofthemasque
A Terrible Temptation by Friendlyquark aka barriequark
Tidings of Comfort and Joy by stormyskize
The Boogie-Man Curse by ozratbag2
If This Is a Spell Gone Wrong, I Don’t Want to Be Right! by Good Witch aka pern_dragon
Snape's Shakespearean Revelation by snapemylove
An Incident In The Great Hall by Acadia elle
Rescue by arsenicjade
The Plushie Problem by plaidpooka
The Life Unlived by sshg316
The Severus Doll by ancientgirl
1. Severus awoke in the Hospital Wing with no memory of how he had gotten there. He usually ended up here after Voldemort had summoned him, but he didn’t feel any of the particular agonies associated with that, so it must be something else. In fact he felt rather a bit better than he had in years. None of his usual aches and pains flared up as he shifted his abused body. His eyes opened and he looked around; his vision was blurred and unfocused. He blinked, trying to clear his eyes, but the blur remained.
Albus moved into his center of vision. At least he thought it was Albus -- a tall blur of magenta topped by a white blur; it seemed about right.
“Harry? Are you all right?” The tall blur asked him.
“For Merlin’s sake, Albus, I am fine and why are you calling me Harry?” Severus sat up, pushing himself into a sitting position and feeling as though his perspective had somehow changed. Did Albus seem slightly taller or was it the fuzziness of his vision?
“Severus?” Albus’s voice sounded rather horrified.
“You were expecting Lucius Malfoy?” He snapped back at the Headmaster. “Why is my vision so blurry?” He was growing concerned about that.
Without saying a word Albus handed him a pair of spectacles. Severus held them in his hands. His hands? No, those were not his hands! He knew these hands though, had watched them mangle potion after potion in his classroom for six years. He put the glasses on as his trembling fingers, no, as Potter’s fingers threatened to drop them.
He looked up at his old friend through his enemy’s glasses and saw the pale features quite clearly.
2. I was surprised to see him. Even though I had been the Charms professor for several years now—having come back a few years after the war had ended—and he, too, had taken up his post as Potions Master—having been cleared of all charges by the Wizengamot—he still wasn’t the sociable type. Granted, we had become friendly over the years, but he was still the same taciturn man, albeit with a few silver strands in those greasy black locks.
His voice was strained as he said, “Professor Granger, I need your help.”
Concerned, considering how resourceful and powerful this particular wizard was, I ushered him inside, shutting the door behind us. “What’s wrong?”
One hand ran through his hair in obvious agitation, and the other clutched a potion bottle. “There was a fight among the Slytherins again. When I went to intervene, the imbeciles wouldn’t stop! I stepped between them to stop the altercation, and I was hit from both sides.”
My hands flew up to cover my mouth as I gasped. “No! Are you all right? What happened? Do we need to get you to Madam Pomfrey?”
His face contorted into a rictus of disgust and he shuddered. “Good gods, no! Because I was hit at the same time from both sides, they’ve somehow interacted into a spell gone wrong.” He paused and his eyes rolled back in defeat as he muttered, “A spell gone horribly wrong...”
Impulsively, I reached out and gripped his arm in sympathy. At my touch, his gaze snapped to mine, and I suddenly felt like I was trying to stare down a hippogriff. Taken aback and worried, I offered weakly, “What can I do to help?”
3. A scream broke through the happy sounds in the Hall and all talk stopped as everyone turned to look in the direction of the disturbance. The source of the scream turned out to be none other then Hermione, who could be seen on the floor violently convulsing. She had been walking between the Gryffindor and Slytherin house tables. What seemed to happen next was an impossibility. All would swear that the Potions master, Professor Severus Snape, actually flew into Hermione's attacker, such was the speed of his reaction. One second he was seated at the High Table, deep in conversation with Professor McGonagall, the next he was across the Great Hall and had Draco Malfoy pinned against the wall. He had one hand in a stranglehold on Malfoy's throat and the other holding his wand in Malfoy's face. Suddenly, there was a flash of white light from Professor Snape's wand and Malfoy slid down the wall into a heap on the floor.
Severus Snape was cradling Hermione in his arms before Malfoy even hit the floor. He was running his elegant hands over her face, caressing her and murmuring words of comfort in his deep silky voice as his robes rapidly became soaked with her blood. All of this occurred in a blur and Harry's mind was racing to keep up. Now suddenly, everything seemed to jerk to a halt and events began to take shape in what seemed like slow motion.
Harry saw the Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, make his way to Harry's friend and Professor Snape. He could hear the Headmaster muttering to himself, "Malfoy only cast a cramping hex..."
Harry knew that spell, it was a favourite of Malfoy's, one intended to cause severe cramping, centred in the lower body, making the victim walk funny at best or fall down at worst. Malfoy preferred it to the Jelly-Legs hex, as it included the pain of cramping. But, the most unbelievable occurrence Harry had ever witnessed happened when the Headmaster reached Hermione and Professor Snape. And he had seen Lord Voldemort come back to life and finally be vanquished! He saw his sneering, sarcastic, unfeeling bastard of a Potions Professor look up at the headmaster, with tears streaming openly down his face. His normally cold, probing eyes filled with terror and pain. He seemed to be silently pleading with the Headmaster before he spoke. Harry, and the rest of the occupants of the Great Hall, only caught a few words as Professor Snape's usually smooth, deep, and often-cruel voice actually shook, "Hermione?"
'Her first name? He never uses her first name, ever. He just calls her his Apprentice,' Harry thought. 'Did he just say, ''Our baby'' No, surely not!'
4. As the students dutifully went to the cages that lined one wall to collect their animals, Severus sat at Minerva’s desk and drew a holiday brochure out of his robe pocket. Hopefully the students could keep themselves busy without too much fuss on his part. Gazing longingly at the brochure, Severus wondered if he dared to disappear for a couple of days. That little wizards’ inn at the top of the Alps looked just the thing. Cozy. Quiet. Nothing to do all day but sit before the fire, gazing out the windows at snow-covered peaks, and get stupifyingly drunk. Looking again at the front of the brochure, Severus stifled another sigh. He supposed that most people wouldn’t buy The Most Boring and Insignificant Inns of Europe in order to choose a place to holiday, but for him it seemed perfect. No headmaster doing his martyr act. No students prattling away at him until his head pounded. No humiliating himself in front of dark overlords. Just him, a quiet inn in the mountains, and a few dozen pints of stout. It sounded like heaven.
A sudden snicker alerted Severus to a possible problem. Looking up sharply, Severus was just in time to see Malfoy lob a balled parchment at Granger’s head as she was casting. Startled, Granger’s wand hand raised as she cast; and she pointed her wand straight at Snape.
“Uccello Inabile al Volo!” Hermione said.
A strange, numb feeling came over Severus. Slumped in Minerva’s chair as if he’d suddenly gone boneless, he tried to make sense of the words that had flown out of Miss Granger’s startled mouth. They were not any incantation that he had ever heard. What the hell had the blasted girl hit him with? He opened his mouth to speak, only to find that his mouth wouldn’t open. With every ounce of his will, he tried to move, but he didn’t manage a twitch. What was wrong with him? At least he could still see, and what he saw in front of him was a class full of gobsmacked students. Even Malfoy had gone pale. That wasn’t a good sign.
There’s no sense in my getting upset over it. Accidents happen in class all the time. Soon, one of the dazed imbeciles will go fetch Albus and he’ll get it sorted.
“Hermione,” said an aghast Harry Potter, “what did you do?”
Remind me later to take house points for language unbecoming to a student, Miss Granger.
5. “Severus, this isn’t…appropriate…”
Her voice cracked when he suckled on her earlobe, but he didn’t stop; she was too tasty, too divine a treat. But her comment had to be addressed. Growling into her ear, he wrapped himself around her, swooping her over one arm dramatically, forcing her to loop her arms around his neck for balance.
“What isn’t appropriate? This? Us? Here and now? I want to be inappropriate with you! I want to be your beloved, your swain, your lover in every sense of the word!” Outwardly, Severus nipped at her throat with his mouth, making her squirm at the ticklish touch. Inwardly, he winced as words utterly unlike his normal self spewed forth, no thanks to Ronald’s damnable hex.
“Severus, let me up!” Hermione demanded, increasingly red-faced as she darted her brown eyes around the room, taking in the agog, oil-based stares of the former administrators hung around them. “--Is this some sort of joke?”
“My love for you--my passion for you--is no joke! I would make you my mistress if I could, I want to be with you so inappropriately,” Severus found himself growling, pulling her loins up into his own. His back was beginning to feel the strain of holding the pose, especially since she struggled harder to right herself at his words. But he couldn’t stop himself from kissing her jaw, chin, draped over his arm like that Muggle witch, Scarlett, to his Rhett. “I would shower you with affection, and then beg you to marry me in secret, and tryst with you most illicitly, dragging you into every shadowy nook available in this place, until the rafters rang with your screams of pleasure!”
“Severus, that is not funny! You’re already married, for heaven’s sake--or had you forgotten that singular fact?” Hermione demanded tartly. “And I will not be treated as any man’s hallway whore, least of all yours!”
Righting her quickly, Severus found himself dropping to his knees, clutching at her thighs.
“Then let me worship you as my goddess!” he found himself crying…and silently pledged to skin one Ronald Bilius Weasley alive, one square inch at a time, for he heard one of the painted former Headmistresses giggle at his fervent declaration. Pressing his cheek into the flat plane of her abdomen, he clung to her tightly. “Let me honor you above all others, let me cater to your every whim! Let me be your devoted slave! My Hermione, my Goddess, my Love! Let me sing out the heavenly gift of your name--Hermione / My one only / Truest Love / Goddess above!”
Oh, shite, I must really love her, if I’m being forced to spew this level of sheer, inane drivel! Kill me! Someone--anyone--kill me now!
Her jaw had dropped with that last bit. Blinking, looking a bit owlish, she stared at him. “…You can actually sing?”
6. “I spent some time last evening sorting through a number of books,” Snape said as he dropped his arm away from her shoulders and stepped away from her. “I’ve put aside a stack of those that are most likely to contain any reference to the Pulpa Adustum Curse.
There aren’t many. I’m afraid our research will mostly be a matter of choosing a book and reading it, looking for any reference to any type of curse of a similar nature. We might also be able to look for any reference to injuries such as yours.
“I don’t suppose you heard the incantation Bellatrix spoke as she cast the curse?”
Hermione shook her head. “There was too much noise and confusion. Everyone was shouting. I’m not even sure what colour the curse was – there were so many flying all over the place, but I think it may have been orange. I remember thinking that I’d never seen an orange curse before.”
In spite of the fact that her hair now hid most of the damage to her face, Hermione still tended to keep that side turned away from him.
“It’s also possible that Bellatrix modified the curse,” Snape said. “If she did that, it will be even more difficult to counteract it.”
“Could she have created an entirely new curse?” Hermione asked.
“It’s possible, but I wouldn’t think so. Although she was quite a powerful and capable witch, Bellatrix was not much of an innovator. It seems much more likely that it was given to her by Lucius Malfoy or even by the Dark Lord himself.”
7. Hermione knew what happened when a wizard or witch continued to use a damaged wand. However, her own wand had never given her a moment’s trouble since the moment she picked it up in Ollivander’s all those years ago. So when a boy on a skateboard crashed into her while she went shopping for a new mobile phone in Muggle London, she didn’t even think to ensure that the contents of her bag had not been damaged in the accident. Who could blame her for being more concerned about her wrist, which she was having trouble moving, than her reliable old wand, whose vine wood shone as brightly as it had on the day she’d bought it?
Fortunately, her new mobile had a sensitive touch-screen keyboard, so her wrist merely ached as she texted her bench mate, explaining that she was going to St. Mungo's and asking him to finish the experiment she'd started that morning. He'd grumble, but it would get done. Satisfied that all would be well at work for the rest of the day, she descended into Oxford Circus tube station and stepped into the hidden Apparation point near the turnstiles. Ever since that long-ago break-in at Gringott's, Hermione detested going underground, but it was the quickest way to St. Mungo's. She pulled out her wand and performed the same action that she had performed several times daily for the past fifteen years.
The last thing she remembered was knowing instinctively that something was very, very wrong.
8. "Settle down, Miss Granger. You are safe."
'Safe is such a relative term', Hermione thought sagely as she mentally tried to place the raspy voice whispering next to her.
"In case you're at all interested, I found you out there," Severus waved absently towards the castle lawns, "shaking uncontrollably and babbling some nonsense about honeysuckle. I can think of nothing so sweet fighting its way through the snow. You've been here for the last four days this time, gibbering nonsense, and I've been unable to rouse you - until now."
The voice was familiar, but it eluded Hermione. Her eyes were aching from being pressed so firmly shut, as if that alone would keep her unharmed. But unharmed from what? It was all very nebulous and she was unsure of what time it was and who was taking the care to talk quietly to her, as though instinctually knowing that her nerves felt as though someone had rubbed over them with coarse sandpaper. Cruciatus, that had to be it, but through all of her study, this blinding fear and paranoia had never been mentioned. Maybe it had been omitted, or it was unusual, or...or what?
It sounded as though she was losing her mind and all she could think about was the god-awful scent of honeysuckle, but Hermione thought it rather poor form to try and gouge the scent out of her nose especially with an audience.
Cracking her right eye carefully, lest this be some trick or figment of her imagination, Hermione then opened her left eye and started blinking rapidly to clear both the sleep from her eyes and try to focus on her surroundings. Turning her head to the left slowly, Hermione was greeted by the sight of Severus Snape, his brow furrowed and a look of concern painting his features. He looked old, no not old, older, the wisps of grey throughout his hair her only guide. It was all very strange, and as she opened her mouth to ask for something to quench her parched throat, Snape put up one hand and spoke firmly.
"I'll thank you not to scream again. My eardrums are still ringing soundly from your last effort."
9. Severus couldn’t believe his luck. There he was, minding his own business. He was quite eager to get to his private lab and begin working on a new potion he was developing for headache relief, when he was hit by Longbottom’s wayward spell. He was lying on the ground, looking up at the sky, thinking how he had never wanted to kill anyone as much as he wanted to kill the boy.
‘And to think, here I expected I would have at least died a gallant death in service to the Order. Now, I’ll probably be trampled by these dunderheads on their way to class. Can this day get any worse?’ Severus immediately thought. After several minutes of lying on the ground, he noticed Hermione walking towards him. He tried to move and talk, but realized in his present form there was nothing he could do, except simply lie there. Hermione stood over him, and he noticed her smiling. Could it be that she knew it was really him? He had been listening to the four students, just before the boys left, and they had apparently not even seen him. It had taken Neville several tries to get his spell correct, so he gathered they had not seen him to begin with. No, he thought, she didn’t know it was him.
“What a lovely likeness,” said Hermione, as she traced the outline of Severus’ doll head. She then brought him to her face and cuddled his small body. “Oh, and you’re so soft, too. I think I’ll keep you for myself. I wonder if you belong to someone?” Severus hated to be touched, much less cuddled. But when she brought him to her face and snuggled him into her neck, he began to feel lightheaded.
‘If I’m going to die,’ he thought, ‘I may as well die in the arms of a soft, wonderful smelling, sweet…Ahh, no, bloody hell!’ Had he been able to, he would have thrown his arms in the air and stalked off, with his robes billowing behind him. But now Hermione had him tucked against her breasts, as she walked up to her room.
‘If I can’t have the real thing, I may as well have a doll Severus,’ she said with a smile.
‘What did she just say?’ thought Severus. ‘Well, this may not be so bad after all.’ He allowed himself to take in her scent, and inwardly smiled at the wonderful view he now had. ‘No, not bad at all.’
10. "How did you get caught in the Curse?"
"It's not a well, Miss Granger, it's not something I fell down and couldn't climb my way out of."
But Compulsion Curses were large, they had to be. Compulsion was hard to weave at the best of times, doubly hard when the weave had to stick until someone, well, walked into it. "How did the Curse come into contact with your being?"
"I was not paying attention."
"When I was thirteen I watched you look in four directions all at once."
"I'm slipping in my old age."
Without thinking, Hermione said, "You aren't that old."
He muttered something that sounded suspiciously like, ". . .feel it."
"Snape. Can you not understand that I have to know? You didn't see it, you can't tell me what it looked like, its size, its shape, its color, anything. I have to know how it enveloped you."
"What's the first thing a Curse-Breaker learns about Compulsion Curses, Miss Granger?"
Hermione said, "They're. . .compelling." Specifically, they tended to attract those victims who were already weakened in the specific area of the spell's compulsion to begin with. She frowned. "You want to die?"
"That's easier to believe of me, isn't it?"