This week's quiz was chosen by sregner whose Spell Damage knowledge would qualify her to work at St. Mungo's!
Would you like to pick the theme for next week's quiz? Play the quiz at any time over the weekend by commenting with your answers. Just comment before the answer sheet goes up on Monday morning, Eastern Daylight Time. All answers will be screened until that time. If you have the correct answers, your name will be entered in our weekly drawing. The winner gets an all expense paid tour of the SSHG Quiz vault and the right to choose next Friday's quiz!
Onward to the quiz, but first, here's a little artwork to get you in the mood for today's theme!
Hogwarts Staff on Holiday by ildi
Match the quote to the story title:
A Beach in Ireland by bambu345
Hermione pulls it off by shiv5468
Master of Enchantment by subversa
Amphitrite by Sinister Papaya Fondue aka FlowersBecomeScreens aka fbs_fic WIP
Spring Break by Gethsemane
Hogwarts Heat Wave by m_mcgonagall_65
Shattered by Adriana
Where Nobody Knew His Name by sc010f
Seaside Delights by dreamy_dragon73
Love's Little Instruction Book by melisande88
Gone by Whimsy
At the Beach by chivalric55
1. Instead, she decided to take a swim in the lake. She opened a drawer to pull out her bathing suit but then shut it firmly. Why not just swim in the nude? It would feel so much cooler and more relaxing that way. There was no one to see her. Well, Severus and Argus Filch were there, but they would more than likely be staying in the cool of the dungeons. She took off her clothes, put on her robe to cover her nudity, and took a towel. Just before she left her rooms, she cast a Disillusionment spell on herself. No sense in having to answer questions should she happen to meet either of the other two residents of the castle.
The evening was still uncomfortably warm as she walked down to the lake, but the moonlight was beautiful. As she neared the lake, another sight made her stop in her tracks: Severus Snape rose nude from the beach. He had obviously been swimming because his hair was wet, and water trickled down his back. As he stood poised on the edge of the lake, she had to swallow a sudden lump in her throat at the aching beauty of his pale skin gleaming in the moonlight like a marble statue. His body was lean but toned, Hermione noted from her vantage point behind him.
2. Severus settled himself on the beach chair, under the umbrella Lupin had set up for their use. The darkened spectacles Tonks had provided softened the glare of light on the water significantly, and he was able to sit quietly and ignore the Muggle children paddling about in the shallows, while keeping an eye on the doors to Hermione’s room.
Where had he ever gotten the impression that he was in control of this situation? What brain fever had led him to believe that he could begin to control Hermione Granger? He couldn't even control himself.
A less restrained man would pull at his hair in frustration, but Severus's manner gave no indication of his inner turmoil. He felt divided. His most familiar self was within him, the rigidly curbed, emotionally stunted, calculating Professor Snape, sneering and contemptuous -- but it was as if the volume had been turned down on him. Gaining dominance now was the Holiday Severus, who lived outside the context of Professor Snape's world. Holiday Severus was permitted to express emotions other than disgust and disdain. Holiday Severus could relate to other people in a non-defensive manner, because Holiday Severus would never see those people again. Holiday Severus was allowed to attempt new leisure activities, because it didn't matter what strangers thought about him. Holiday Severus was a jolly chap, comparatively speaking, but there was a serious problem with the emergence of Holiday Severus on this get-away: Holiday Severus had never met anyone who knew Professor Snape, and Severus had always meant to keep it that way.
After all, What Happened on Holiday, Stayed on Holiday.
3. "Will you show it to me sometime?" she asked, releasing the book. "You've made me terribly curious."
He tipped his head to the side. "What are your plans for the afternoon?" Snape, Snape, what are you doing--
"Well...nothing particular, really...I'd bought some fruit and cheese and bread for dinner later, but I could be convinced to share them. Mangoes and cheddar for poetry, perhaps?" Is that me, talking like that to this man, the terror of all Hogwarts?
"Wine, as well?" Pushy, very pushy, Snape. Don't be stupid, you'll scare her off. You terrorized her for years, ten minutes of pleasantries won't change that any time soon.
"I'm not much of a connoisseur, actually, though I like a nice white now and then."
"I'll supply the wine, then. And I know just the place to go. There's an island, not far from here--"
"St. Michael's Mount?"
"You know it, then?"
"I've been there twice already this holiday."
"My favorite place here. There are three twisted oaks, with a large flat rock between them, nicely private--" he stopped as she gasped.
"OH! That must have been you. Two days ago, the thunderstorm--some fool--" she stopped, flushing. "You, the fool, I suppose I mean, I'm sorry, I'm saying this all wrong--"
He laughed. "I was watching the storm come in. I'm sure it was dangerous--there was lightning, but I could not resist. All that power, that fury, the wind, the noise. Glorious. Where were you?"
"At the pub up the road. Staying dry. Watching through the window like the civilized Muggle-born that I am."
"Still practical Miss Granger, I see."
"Whereas you're so very, very different." She hadn't meant to say it aloud, but it was true.
4. Reflexively, Hermione glanced at the clock hanging above the back door. There would be enough time for a brisk walk to the dunes and back before the oven timer chimed. Grabbing her slicker, she stuffed her feet into her clogs, opened the back door, and debated whether to cast an Imperturbable to keep herself dry. Choosing to forego staid practicality, she sucked in a lungful of damp, salty air before darting through the garden, out the gate and into the rain.
Grit scrunched beneath her shoes as she half-jogged to the shoreline. Sand-strewn paths gave way to scrub-dotted drifts, and then she crested the small rise acting as a berm against high tides. Hermione paused, surveying the wide expanse of beach. Only two others had braved the storm. The first bade her a good afternoon when she drew near, and she asked, “Anything turn up in your net, Mr. Newell?”
“No, lass, ‘nowt t’day.” His gnarled hands tossed a net into the surf with long-practiced ease. Mr. Newell could be found on the beach every storm, looking for additions to his collection of glass fishnet floats. The pride of his collection, one Hermione had seen her first winter, was a Norwegian float dating from early 1810.
“Good luck then.” Hermione passed the old man. Frothy sea water strained to reach her clogs, and she laughed, dashing its hopes. Her eyes strayed toward a wave plunging from great height only to crash into the receding tide. Spray flew, arcing, droplets disintegrating into fine mist.
Captivated, she watched the primal struggle as she walked on, peripheral vision sharp enough to warn her before she careened into the other occupant on the beach. “Sorry,” she blurted the social nicety and side-stepped the man.
“All right,” he replied noncommittally.
The sound of his voice froze Hermione in her tracks.
She knew that voice.
5. His house at the beach was small, but beautiful, and as always he thought, I should come here more often, before he went into the bedroom and threw open the shutters towards the ocean. A soft breeze blew in and took away the stale smell that indicated no one had lived here for a while. And after he had lit a candle and placed it under a bowl of scented water, a pleasant fragrance of orange flowers wafted through the two rooms on the lower floor.
Dropping his travelling bag on the bed, he went into the small kitchen and opened the fridge. It was empty, of course, apart from a few bottles of beer and some ice cubes. He'd have to go shopping, but that could wait until after he'd had a swim. In the mountains, where he worked on the fields all day long and made sure the vines got enough water, there was no time for leisure, and there was no ocean, either.
He pulled off his shirt, dropped his shorts, and even took off his sunglasses. Naked he stepped onto the beach, knowing that he'd be alone on his private ground. And even if someone had seen him, it wouldn't have bothered him – he looked just like the next man and here, on this island, no one considered nudity special or weird.
The water embraced his body, and for a while he just floated on the waves, every now and then tasting salt on his lips from the spray. After he felt all his muscles relax, he turned and swam in a steady, long-practised rhythm. He loved swimming; he just didn't have time to do it more often.
He swam two miles or more, straight out towards the horizon and with every intention of going on until nightfall. When the sun settled, touching the edge of the ocean, he turned and went back, seeing the beach and his house from the distant and thinking, I love this life.
6. Severus was pleased to discover that the Quonset hut had not changed. The tiki torches still listed half-heartedly in the sand outside, and the palm trees still caressed the corrugated iron roof: this was a good sign, Severus thought.
He was not pleased to see that Kat was not behind the bar when he entered. The bookshelf was still there, as well as the couch, the chair, and the tables and chairs littering the interior, but Kat was gone. Severus fought the panic rising in his throat, threatening to choke him. Carefully, trying to control the shaking in his hands, he set aside his coat and rolled up his shirtsleeves. Already, the heat—or was it the panic?—was making him sweat.
He stumbled to the bar and croaked, “Green Label. Bottle.” The large white-bearded man behind the bar looked at him with polite disinterest.
“She doesn’t carry that, anymore, lad. Not since last May,” he said and handed Severus a bottle of Tequila instead. “That’ll be thirty-five. American.”
Severus didn’t care what he was drinking and slapped down his money. The barkeeper looked at him carefully, gave him a glass and warned him to go easy.
Four days later, when Severus finally stopped dry heaving into the sand, he understood why the old man had warned him. Feeling brave enough to reenter the bar, he shook out the crab that had settled into his shirt pocket, found his coat, ran his hands through his hair, and wandered back to the bar.
Upon entering the bar, Severus was pleased to discover that at least the hindquarters of Kat were present. The rest of her was behind the couch talking to something.
“Come on, now, give it over! There you go—ouch! You little . . .”
Severus stopped to admire the view. Wrapped up in this occupation, he did not notice that the profanity had stopped.
7. The sand was soft beneath her feet, almost velvety, and the sea so calm. This wasn't how she had imagined Greece would be. That wasn't to say it was a disappointment; far from it. It had an atmosphere that put her at ease.
She kicked off her sandals and began a sedate stroll down the coastline. Perhaps everyone was off eating dinner somewhere; it was about that time, her stomach dutifully reminded her with a growl. She would gladly have joined them if she only knew where to go. So she kept walking, stopping only when she made it to the gaping hole in the sand. She couldn't see much since the light was fading, but it excited her nonetheless. Had she been in a more adventurous mood, she would have gone down and poked around. But it was her first day and she had to make a good impression. Going down there uninvited and unsupervised was not the way to go.
She walked further still, wondering how large of an area the wizards and witches had marked off. She counted each step she took, watching as the moist sand squelched between her toes and glancing back at the solitary pair of tracks she left. Hermione looked up one hundred paces later and nearly jumped when she spotted another person down the beach. She hoped the person was still inside the boundaries of the site; that way, he or she could tell her where to find her Professor.
As she got closer it became clear that it was a man. He was sitting with his back to her, wearing a short-sleeved white shirt that was obviously unbuttoned since she could see the edges fluttering in the wind. His lower half was clad in black pants, either rolled up or cropped to mid-calf. Bare feet and just a hint of darkly tanned leg showed, and as she watched, he absently buried his toes in the sand. Her eyes drifted up to where dark hair spilled an inch or two over the shirt's collar. His hair seemed black, but when the light struck it, it turned out to be that shade of brown just before black. Half of it was tied back haphazardly with an elastic band, probably so it wouldn't get in his face as he worked intently.
A small smile made its way onto her face. Perhaps now she would meet a Greek wizard. There seemed to be no shortage of gorgeous men around here, Muggle and wizard alike.
8. Saturday started out cloudy but warm, so Hermione insisted that they go anyway. After a bit of grumbling, Severus gave in. Truth be told, he had never been to a picnic before and wasn't sure what one did at these things.
They Apparated to the spot on the coast Hermione had chosen. Severus had to admit that it was nice. It wasn't teeming with Muggle families, their screaming children, stalls that were selling ice cream, chips and whatever else they could think of; nor were there flashing announcements for bingo tournaments and other amusements like the beach Lily had told him about — a long time ago, in another life.
This place was completely different. It was a small, secluded bay that offered a spectacular view of the sea. Hermione dashed ahead, dumped the basket onto the sand and unfolded the blanket she had brought. Getting rid of her trainers and socks, she plonked down on it and removed her blouse as well; now she was only wearing shorts and her bikini top.
Severus had followed her more slowly and remained standing at the edge of the blanket. Hermione smiled at him. 'What are you waiting for? Come.'
He stalked over to her and, after removing his shoes and socks as well, sat down next to her. Hermione was already busy, searching through the basket to see if the elves had packed everything she had asked them to. It turned out to be a whole meal, including a bottle of wine. At the bottom of the basket she found another small bottle that had a little giggle escaping her before she quickly put it back.
'What was that?'
'What was what?'
'That thing you put back in the basket.'
'Er, something for later. Pudding,' she said quickly and kissed him.
9. Three and a half weeks later, Hermione found herself on Sabulo Island staring at a large number of bamboo huts and a swimming pool surrounded by a Bar and Grill and various Surf Shop T-shirt stores. She could not get the image, nor the song, from Gilligan's Island out of her mind. After having a very long argument with Snape, she'd finally won the right to her own private hut instead of having to share with Lavender and Parvati. Unfortunately, her all the single huts were over on the other side of the resort and hers happened to be right next to Snape's.
She was quite happy to find that although the huts looked like mere bamboo huts, the insides were quite large and extremely comfortable. Hermione flopped on her bed and reveled in the softness of it before finally dragging herself over to her trunk to dig out her modest tankini.
"You can't wear that!" screamed her mirror, once she'd dressed.
"Oh, great! My mirror is possessed by Lavender," Hermione groaned. She jumped slightly when the small wooden tiki statue on the dresser started jumping up and down.
"You have offended the gods of the island with your hideous choice of swimwear!" bellowed the statue and a blinding flash of light flew out of the tiki's eyes towards Hermione. She woke to find herself clad in a shiny black string bikini.
"I can't go outside in this!" Hermione shrieked looking at the bikini bottom and noting that she would be better covered by a five pound note. In a flash, her lower section was covered in a silky, sheer floral wrap.
"Well, I guess this is okay. She admired her new ensemble in the mirror and barely jumped at all when a final beam left a large white flower behind her ear.
10. Hermione, of course, was the first to speak. “So, Severus, what will you do with your time, now that you don’t have classes to teach?”
“I don’t get much of a holiday,” he said, “contrary to popular misconception. What with stocking up the ingredients for next year, doing an inventory to see whether anything has gone missing…” here he gave her a very pointed look “… and running Albus’s errands for him, there’s barely a moment to myself.”
“What do the other teacher’s do?”
“Minerva goes off to see her sister, I think. I suppose most of the other teachers do the same. Usually it’s just me left to nursemaid Albus.”
“But you don’t have to,” she said.
“No,” he said slowly. “I suppose I don’t anymore. Before, I was expected by Voldemort to stay at Hogwarts to keep an eye on Albus, and I suppose I just keep on doing it out of habit.”
“But you could take a day off, if you wanted?”
“Why, what did you have in mind?”
Typical Slytherin; he wanted to know what he might be letting himself in for before he agreed to anything.
“My parents have a seaside cottage, up on the Norfolk Coast. We could go there for the day, perhaps have lunch, a walk along the beach; no coffee, though.”
“I hardly see myself as the sort of person to hold hands in public or go paddling, Hermione,” he said softly. “What do you mean, no coffee?”
Hermion blushed faintly. “Believe me, Severus, if you tried paddling in the North Sea you would lose your toes, even in this weather. But there are some nice views from the cottage, and it’s quiet.” He was still looking at her, clearly determined to find out what she meant by coffee. “If a muggle asks someone back for coffee, it generally means an invitation to something else.”
Oddly enough, Severus’s cheeks looked a little flushed as well.
She added, “I just thought that next time, assuming there is a next time, it might be nice if lunch was conducted away from prying eyes.”
“You mean Harry and Ron, who are watching us from the café across the street?”