Yes, it's party time again for our favorite Potions Master. Let's face it. There's just nothing more fun than throwing a surprise party for Severus Snape, provided you live to tell the tale, of course. His birthday is Sunday, but we've decided to get the celebration started early. Come join us for some memorable moments on Severus' birthdays and you might win a Snape birthday present of your very own!
Welcome to our Special Occasion Quiz. What makes it a Special Occasion, you ask? Well, it's the Potions Master's birthday, of course! Also, there's a Snape birthday prezzie waiting for the fangirl who wins this quiz!
To play, simply comment to this post with your answers. All comments containing answers will be kept screened until after the answer sheet is posted at noon EST on Monday. Then the names of all the fangirls with the correct answers will be entered in a drawing and the Magical Hufflepuff Mug will pick the winner! If you'd like a chance at the birthday prezzie, simply play at any time over the weekend prior to the answers post on Monday. Good luck, my little quizzlings and Happy Severus' Birthday!
Match the quote to the story title:
Surprise by aleysiasnape (SS/HG/LM)
Flickering Candles by Strega Brava
Right Beside You by savine_snape (SS/HG/BW)
Icing Roses by voxangelus
Scenes from a Birthday by lillithj
Returning A Favour by Constant Comment aka tealeaf523
Dancing in Minefields by lady_rhian
You Mean I Don’t Have to Choose? by blueartemis07 (SS/HG/HP)
Too many stirring rods (and not enough cauldrons) by shiv5468 (SS/HG/LM)
The Headmaster's Teas by Chazpure
The Pink Bezoar by duniazade
A Rose in the Depth of Winter by satismagic
1. Hermione smiled at Minerva, as she placed the sheaf of papers on the coffee table.
“So, what do you think?”
“Hermione, whilst your intentions are noble, and I can understand your desire to celebrate this momentous occasion, Severus is a very private man. Think back to your binding ceremony.”
“No buts. Hermione, Severus would not thank you for making him the centre of attention. Look at how he handles being headmaster. He does not thrust himself out there like Albus did; he prefers to allow you to be the face of the teaching staff. I know he stills prowls the corridors at night. The welcoming feast does not have a long protracted oration about the school. Severus is always short and to the point.”
Hermione took a deep breath, she knew Minerva was right. Their wedding had been a very simple affair, there had indeed been very few people present, just as Severus had requested. Whenever they needed to speak to the press, either she or Bill stepped forward to speak, Severus was happy to stay in the background.
“We want to let him know that he is loved. Despite everything, Harry’s defending him to the Wizengamot, you reinstating him as a professor, the love that Bill and I shower him with, he still believes he is not worthy of his second chance,” Hermione stated.
“Do not push him too hard, Hermione, or he will simply withdraw further. He did what he did during the war in an attempt to put to rights divulging Sybil’s prophecy to Voldemort. He didn’t do it for adulation or reward, it was his penance.”
Hermione sighed. “As always, Minerva, you are right.”
2. “Bloody hell, Abe,” said Granger with scientific interest. “Your glass doesn’t look dirty – it looks like it’s been washed in boar fat and old harpy shit a thousand times over. I think it’s the grease that’s holding it together. Anyway, I didn’t have a row with Weasley. I hexed him into the next millennium, and it wasn’t again; it was for good.”
Abe froze, rag in hand. “You killed him?” he asked cautiously. Not that he cared about Weasley, but he had to know.
“I don’t think so,” replied Granger meditatively, “but I doubt they’ll be able to put all the bits back.”
Abe’s mind was racing, calculating how much time he had left before the rest of the MLE blasted his door again. Admittedly, Granger had reinforced it, but it couldn’t hold long against a dozen simultaneous spells, not to mention more. He poured a third glass.
“When did it happen?”
Granger downed her drink in one.
“Half an hour ago,” she said with a beatific smile. “That’s why I’m late. Abe, was someone there?”
That was easy to answer. “Nope. No one.”
“You’re sure?” she insisted. There was a slight slur now in her voice. “A wizard, reading theDaily Prophet?”
Well, there had been Snape, but Abe was pretty sure she wasn’t referring to him. Besides, he had worn his usual glamour: blond, stocky, lavender robes.
She sighed a long, beautiful sigh, put her head on the bar between her arms and closed her eyes.
Abe assessed her with a professional’s eye. If he was lucky, he had at least half an hour before the raid; there was Toby snoring upstairs, and there was Snape in the barn.
Snape could look after himself, he decided. With a tired grunt, he began to climb the stairs.
3. My favorite of Severus’ birthdays was when I took him to Sweden. We had the most divine Turkish coffee – oh, I know how it sounds. Authentic Turkish coffee in Scandinavia? But there was a lovely woman, Mrs. Reza, who owned a dive of a restaurant, and she served us the most luscious coffee I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. It was thick, dark, heady. Rich. And she even gave us a small dish of truffles – you’d place the truffle at the bottom of the cup and pour the coffee over it, so the truffle would melt in the coffee. Divine, it was positively divine, and Severus and I frequented her shop until she passed on.
That particular morning, we had consumed almost an entire pot of Turkish coffee and were in the midst of bickering as to who would get the last cup. Even though he was turning 52, and was a bit sensitive about his age, and even though it was his first birthday we were celebrating as a married couple, I was not about to go down without a fight. I told him he’d have to start watching his coffee intake now that he was older, and he reminded me about wizarding lifespans, and I’m sure we said all manner of ridiculous things in an effort to convince the other to let us have the last cup of Mrs. Reza’s delectable coffee. Fighting irrationality with rationality is really quite entertaining.
4. "Severus?" A small voice roused him from his reverie.
"Yes?" He answered without turning around.
"You left our bedroom with hardly a word…I was afraid that I had upset you," delicate fingers rested on his shoulders.
"You did nothing wrong…I simply could not sleep any longer."
"Well that is one matter resolved. I have brought you something."
Curiosity made Severus turn and his eyes widened in surprise. On a small golden plate was a cauldron cake, his favourite wizarding confection, with three small candles burning brightly.
"You thought I would forget? Severus, there is very little that I do not know about you and, although I respect your need for privacy, you cannot expect me to let the day go by without any sort of acknowledgement."
"Thank you. It is very thoughtful of you."
"No, it is very loving of me. Now, make a wish and blow out the candles." She set the little plate down on the table directly in front of him.
"Is that a muggle tradition?"
"Yes, it is…now, make a wish…the candles are charmed to stay lit until you do."
Severus smiled and pulled his wife into a warm embrace. "I already have you, what else could I possibly wish for?"
5. "It's all right, Professor," she said, suddenly shy. "You're safe. You Know Who is dead."
He tried to speak and made a pained face. "Potter?" he finally croaked.
"Harry's fine," she said. "I--" She set the cup down and rose. "You should have better care; I'll go for help." She looked around distractedly, not quite sure where she should go, but feeling horribly awkward around him and needing to do something.
She started for the bedroom, to look for a coat, but he called after her in a low, hoarse voice. "Miss Granger...Jane...Hermione..."
She turned back, face flaming.
"I had realized...some time ago," he said slowly and painfully, "who you must be...but I couldn't...understand...why you kept...coming back."
She swallowed hard. "I wanted to," she whispered. "I...liked spending time with you. And then, I missed you so much, over Christmas...I had to see you again."
His lip curled in a bitter smile. "Happy...birthday...to me," he said, mockingly.
"Was it your birthday?" she asked. "You never said!"
"I should not have...given in to temptation," he said, grimacing as he tried to sit up. "But it had been a very long time, and...I am not made of stone."
6. January 9, 2010. Severus Snape looked at the calendar balefully. Here it was, his fiftieth birthday, and he was all alone. Not that he had anyone to blame but himself. After his unexpected survival, he had moved out to the middle of nowhere, Wales. He had a thriving mail-order potions business, all the books he could ever want and blessed solitude. But sometimes, just sometimes, he wished for company, even if it was from his past.
The only ones who stayed in touch with him were Minerva and Filius. Everyone else couldn't overcome their embarrassment at the way they had treated him, or unexpectedly, in the case of Potter and Granger, acceded to his wishes that they leave him alone. He never expected that. He had been quite certain that they would, true to their nature, disregard his instructions and he would be overrun with questions about Lily, or discussions on Potions and Arithmancy. He had planned to see where it might lead, not certain whether Harry's green eyes or Hermione's intellect would be the deciding factor in his final choice. But he had forgotten he had not spoken to children, and the newly-adult Harry and Hermione followed his instructions to the letter, much to his regret.
He sighed and went to get his decanter of Firewhiskey when there was a tentative tapping at his window. He walked to the window, opened it, and let the rather unusual spotted owl in. He removed the letter tied to its leg and gave it a piece of bread and a left-over sausage. Instead of leaving, the bird made itself at home on the back of Severus's dining room chair and started to preen.
Severus sat back down in the plush chair before the fire and opened the letter.
7. "I hope you'll accept my token," Hermione said, smiling, and pushed a small box toward the dark-haired Slytherin.
Severus looked at the gift. "May I enlarge it and not do damage to the table?"
Severus drew his wand from up his sleeve and recited the charm to enlarge the box, which grew to about three feet by two feet and had a handle.
"It's an old doctor's case," Hermione said. "I thought it would be useful for your trips to Malfoy Manor. I scourgified the bottles and jars and fixed the clasp."
"This is quite splendid," Severus remarked as he peered into the case. "Ah, even a green glass bottle, excellent. I can use it for the calming solution that requires Siberian Ginseng."
"I know," Hermione agreed. "It's so sensitive to direct light."
"Very kind of you, Hermione. Thank you."
"Now then," Minerva said. "Raise your glasses please to wish our dear friend happy birthday."
Three glasses of whisky rose above the table, "Happy birthday, Severus."
8. “Shhh … ‘Bastian, do you want to wake Mom and Dad?” Lucien hissed at his older brother. Scorpius had tagged along to keep an eye out for his goduncle and godaunt.
“Just exactly where are we going to hide Uncle Severus’ birthday gift? He knows this place like the back of his hand!” Scorpius grumbled softly as the teenagers turned around, scowling at him.
“Quiet! I know Dad has a curious streak in him. We’ll just have to come up and - -“
“Boys! What are you doing here?” Hermione asked curiously as she stepped out of the bedroom.
“Um … well, we’re supposed to be hiding Dad’s gift. Is he still sleeping?” Sebastian asked his mother.
“No! Lucky for you, he’s taking a shower. I suggest you go back with Scorpius and hide it over at Draco’s. That way he can’t find it.”
“Told you so!” Scorpius replied smugly. He had suggested the idea earlier, but both of them had turned it down.
“Well, it was worth a try! Bye, Mom!” They hugged her as they reactivated the Floo.
Frowning, Severus stepped out of the shower asking Hermione, “Was that the boys?”
“Yes, they were going over to Scorpius’ for a while – to keep him company while Draco is away on his trip.”
9. Severus Snape’s birthday had never been a particularly fantastic day. Nestled in the dead of winter, January ninth was frigid and often blanketed in sloshy, wet snow. Not to mention that often the same date coincided with the prospect of nearly one thousand dunderheads returning to Hogwarts grounds. Indeed, Severus’ birthday had never been even a good day. He hated remembering how much worse it had been in the past, when his father would be so incredibly drunk that his mum would forget Severus’ wish for a new Potions kit. And later, when he had sat at Spinner’s End, lounging in front of a dreary fire and lamenting his many mistakes in life.
So, his expectations for this birthday varied from low to nonexistent.
Of course, that expectation could never stop someone as mulish and unbearably Gryffindor as Hermione Granger, who had somehow weaselled the information from one of his colleagues that he would be turning 37 the day after the Hogwarts Express arrived from London.
He had been sitting in his office, minding his own damn business with a fifth of scotch in his spindly hands when she knocked on his door, requesting a moment or two.
“Why, Miss Granger,” he had sneered (for only Severus Snape can sneer a greeting). “To what do I owe this… pleasure?” His lips curled ably around the word, transforming the two simple syllables into one hundred syllables worth of disdain.
“Did you have a relaxing holiday, Professor?” she asked, clearly dallying. He just let his eyebrows say it all and sipped at his scotch. “Right. I’ll be brief, then.”
“Delightful,” he drawled, amazed that there was such a thing as brevity in the chit’s surprisingly vast repertoire of talents.
“I heard that your birthday was today, Professor, so I took a little time over my holiday to make you a present. I hope you find it to your liking,” she said, reaching into her satchel and pulling out a silvery parcel with simple twine around it. As she reached forward to place it on his desk, he panicked that this thing might be some hideous hand-knitted doily or tea cosy, and set his glass down to prepare himself for the unsightliness. Maybe he wouldn’t have to open it now?
10. It turned out that Lucius was right, at least as far as Severus was concerned. Not for him the delicate probing questions, the subtle snare of hints, but the full frontal: "Where have you been? Minerva said you were at Hogwarts. What were you doing there?"
"You see, dear. I did say. No subtlety, and he hasn't even been sniffing fumes recently. I think you're rubbing off on him," Lucius murmured in Hermione's ear. "Corrupting perfectly devious Slytherins."
"Well?" Severus scowled.
"We were collecting your birthday present." Hermione peeled off her gloves, hat and coat and threw them onto a chair for the house elves to deal with, thus demonstrating that the corruption was a two-way street.
Lucius held out the book. "We haven't wrapped it, and it's a little early, but here."
Severus held the book as if it were a child, afraid to move suddenly in case it woke or he might drop it and break it. "How did you get this?"
"Bribery and corruption," Hermione said cheerfully, sitting next to him on the sofa. She kissed his cheek, and then his mouth as he turned to look at her.
"But mostly threats," Lucius said, and leaned down to claim his kiss. "It was quite like old times. Now shift over, so there's room for all three of us on here. I want to see what these notes say."
"It's not much of a birthday present if I have to share it," Severus grumbled but shifted as requested.
"I don't know. My birthday involved a lot of sharing," Hermione said. "And I enjoyed it immensely."
"Shush," said Severus. "I'm reading."