This week's quiz was chosen by linlawless who has impeccable Regency manners.
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Match the quote to the story title:
The Fourth Unforgivable by Abby
Caramel by corianderpie
Living Legacy by sshg316
The Lioness Prophecies by amr
The Love You Take by subversa
The Secret's in the Sauce by lady_tuesday
Corsicuum by ladyofthemasque
Phantom of Hogwarts by Good_Witch aka pern_dragon
Phlebotonum by littlelizzyann
To Put Him Out Of His Misery by septentrion1970
Tidings of Comfort and Joy by stormyskize
By Flash and Thunder Fire by julymorning aka tribunicianveto
1. “So what is the pregnancy spell you’ve found?”
She explained about the book and this particular spell. “I’m beginning to be able to feel them now, you know. They move around quite a bit. So I thought you might find it interesting.”
“Isn’t your sixteenth week a bit early for that? I’ve been checking the development in your pregnancy book from time to time, you know.” He admitted this last a bit shamefacedly.
“No, I’m in my eighteenth week,” she explained. They start counting from the beginning of my last cycle — mid-December. So I’ll be due in mid-September.”
“Really? I didn’t know that. I just counted nine months and assumed it would be the first of October. Wonderful! Two weeks less to wait.”
“Right. At least, first babies are often late, but multiple births tend to be early, so it probably balances out. So about this Empatho Gravidas charm... What?” She looked up at the expression of horror on his face.
“Hermione, you can’t do that charm! It’s illegal Dark magic! It’s illegal even to own a book containing it. I’m afraid this one will have to be destroyed, or at least the page should be cut out. I had no idea that was what you were thinking of!”
“Severus, you can’t do that! It’s a fifteenth century manuscript, as far as I can tell. You can’t damage an ancient book like that! And besides, there’s nothing Dark about it — I mean not compared to the horrible spells in Moste Potente Potions, and I was allowed to check that out in my second year! It’s just a simple charm. No blood or soul-destroying hatred or power over others or anything like that is involved at all. It’s not even painful.”
2.“You can’t be in here. You have to go.”
Hermione had no intention of budging so much as a foot without an explanation. However, instead of telling her what was wrong, he just buried his head in his arms again, apparently unable to look at her.
“I should have thought that your own intelligence would give you that answer, Miss Granger.” The words were harsh, but the tone was ragged, and his voice nearly broke on her name. “Get out,” he repeated. “That should be clear enough for you.”
Hermione had begun to narrow the possibilities down.
“Cruciatus…,” she began, but was cut short by his mirthless laugh.
“Nothing so simple.”
“Oh.” Clarity was beginning to dawn.
“You understand now, do you Miss Granger?”
“Priapus,” she said evenly.
“Precisely.” His voice was biting, raw, humiliated. “Now your curiosity has been satisfied, get out of my rooms.”
3.Severus noted the pain in the headmaster’s tone, and for a moment, his concern overcame his anger. Wordlessly, he Summoned the decanter from the sideboard and a goblet as well, and poured for his employer three fingers of Firewhisky. Dumbledore gratefully accepted the drink and took a lengthy swig.
‘Tom allowed Hermione to collapse on the ground between us, and he told me what he had done – that she had been cursed with Eternus Perturbatio because, and I quote, “Even an old goat like you, Dumbledore, should have a willing wench in your bed.’” Dumbledore’s mouth twisted in disgust as he repeated the Dark Lord’s taunt.
‘Why would he do such a thing?’ Severus snarled.
‘Oh, he was kind enough to share his reasons with me,’ Dumbledore said bitterly. ‘First of all, Hermione was chosen because of her relationship with Harry.’
‘Potter ought never to have taken a girlfriend!’ Severus said angrily.
Dumbledore shifted in his seat, sitting straighter; the Firewhisky was apparently warming and calming him, for now he spoke with his accustomed even tones. ‘Severus, no one who knows them believes that Hermione is Harry’s girlfriend – she is no more his girlfriend than Ronald Weasley. But she is his best friend, and she is integral to Harry’s past successes and the planning of his future endeavours. To see her in distress would be very distracting and disturbing for Harry. Tom realises this.’ Dumbledore rested his elbows on the arms of the chair and steepled his fingers before him. ‘The second reason for his actions is that he wishes to humiliate me.’
A mulish look settled upon Severus’ face, and he leant against the mantle, his hands shoved into his trousers pockets. He sneered but did not speak.
‘Severus, you know my situation,’ the old wizard said firmly. ‘I cannot be placed in such a position with this child.’
4. I want to know more. More about Snape—about Severus. I just, I want more of him.
That seemed a hopelessly vague notion—and also an impossible boon to ask of the universe itself, much less of Dr Alixter Joy and his great pervy book. Knowing Severus Snape more would have to involve his participation, and he was, to her knowledge, locked up tighter than Azkaban. Also my teacher and a complete bastard, she reminded herself.
So the search would probably yield nothing usable. No problem. The search for knowledge is never in vain, she thought wryly.
Perhaps... Disco. Spells of Discovery. She found the heading and ran her finger down the list of spells, flipping to a few of the pages. Tantric spells, mostly, very hippie-ish.
One or two Disco spells seemed like they would be better off in a book called Magic for Jealous Lovers—the magical equivalent of going through your husband’s pockets. She tsked quietly. If she were this book’s editor, spells like this would be right out. Serious downer. Not groovy.
Percipio, then. Spells of Knowledge and Perception. Again she traced down the list and stopped at Percipio Corium. To know the skin? No Annuo in the title to indicate the spell was for consenting couples, no Solus to indicate it was a spell to be performed on oneself. A typo?
She riffled to page 438 in Magic for Modern Lovers and found it. Percipio Corium, full stop. No typo, apparently. A spell to know the beloved’s skin, involving both a potion and an incantation.
She read through the description of the spell’s casting and effects, ears buzzing and heart thumping. This was it. A way for her to have more of what she craved. It did seem to nudge past an ethical line, though, a bit. Shouldn’t this sort of thing be consensual?
5. ‘I’m going to teach you quite a simple spell this first time,’ she said and laughed when his eyes narrowed. ‘Not an easy spell. But a simple one, in that it demonstrates a very basic piece of the magic of potential. It is the foundation upon which many other Spanish spells are constructed.’
Snape nodded and extracted his own wand. ‘Go on.’
‘Watch closely,’ she instructed; with outstretched arm, she arced her wand around them and said softly, ‘Espero que vea.’
At once the room changed, or seemed to: the colours grew deeper and the air warmer; light penetrated every part of the room and illuminated it with a gentle glow; every piece of furniture in the sitting room, which during Snape’s tenancy had been dusty and neglected, took on the aspect of cherished objects to him; the glasses sparkled as if they were crystal; Miranda’s brandy glowed like topaz. When he lifted his gaze to Miranda’s face, he saw that she, too, had changed. Somehow, her eyes were softer, her cheeks more rounded, her expression sweeter. ‘Do you see it?’ she asked, and her voice was clear and lilting, like but also unlike her usual, low tones.
‘What is this?’ he whispered, speaking to himself more than to her. He was inspired and profoundly disturbed all at once.
‘It’s potential,’ she explained. ‘Every object within the field of vision is made to represent the viewer’s ideal concept of that object. What you see before you is your idea of perfection.’ Then her wand swept by again, and the room returned to normal. ‘It’s called an Enhancement Charm,’ she finished simply.
Snape shook his head slowly, trying to dislodge the image of a soft, sweet Miranda. ‘I don’t understand,’ he said. ‘How does it work when there are multiple viewers? What are its physical parameters?’
6. At the mention of songs, Colin Creevey’s hand slowly raised.
“Yes, Mr. Creevey?”
“Sir, you mentioned something before about a spell that can make us sing well…?” His voice cracked nervously and he blushed. Draco smothered a snigger.
Dumbledore nodded jovially. “Yes, I did. There is a wonderful spell that, when cast, will allow the subject to sing in perfect pitch, but will also use the natural voice. It is a very helpful spell in situations such as this, wouldn’t you agree?” He chuckled aloud as several heads nodded vigorously around him. He saw Ron’s anxious expression and gestured to him.
“Mr. Weasley, you look as if you’re dubious about this spell.”
Ron looked startled, and squeaked, “Me? Uh, no sir, I’m sure it’s brilliant.”
Dumbledore pointed his wand at Ron and firmly stated, “Suaviloquentia.”
“Please turn to your character’s first song, Mr. Weasley.”
Ron quickly thumbed through his script to his part.
“Now, please read the lines you see there.”
“Damnable! Will they all walk out? This is damnable…” Ron’s eyes bugged out and the others present all gasped in astonishment at the resonant tones of Ron’s voice. Dumbledore beamed at them, smug with satisfaction.
“Thank you Mr. Weasley, that’ll do. I trust you no longer have doubts of the efficacy of the spell?”
7. Hermione then did something very impulsive: she volunteered information to a Death Eater.
“I know the incantation to check if there’s a soul or a piece of soul in an object or a living being. It’s the same to make a Horcrux.”
Later, she would call it ‘gut instinct’; her rational mind would never wrap itself around the fact that she had told him this, although he’d had no idea she was in possession of such knowledge. She would always be satisfied, however, to have rendered him speechless and gobsmacked. He managed just in time not to look like a fish.
“How such a prim and proper girl like you could ever know such foul magic?”
“The library at Grimmauld Place,” she whispered.
Trust the swot to put her nose in any library, no matter how unsavoury it might be.
“And what would this incantation be?”
“Anima Dispergere. The only difference between making a Horcrux and checking if there’s one somewhere is the wand movement. You speak the incantation while moving the tip of your wand from your heart to the object to make a Horcrux, and you tap the object with your wand to check for the presence of a Horcrux.”
Severus had listened to her intently and memorized what she’d said. It was now time to set her free.
“Well, Miss Granger, I will now let you go. Do you agree to testify in my favour, should the Dark Lord be defeated, in exchange for information from me to help you defeat him?”
“I agree,” she answered simply.
8. Both of them had identical scorched holes over their forearms, baring the blistered flesh underneath. He caught her elbow, dragging her arm into view. Where his showed a faint outline of the Dark Mark, forever scarred in white underneath the reddened bumps but thankfully no longer a functional curse buried in his flesh, her inner forearm held no such scar. Just the burn-blisters marring her skin…in a pattern exactly identical to his own.
Bellatrix’s curse. That had to be the reason. He’d never seen anything like it. Ignoring the pain in his own arm, Snape rummaged through his pockets for a healing draught. Popping the cork with his thumb, he swallowed a swig of it. The blisters started to fade. From both of their arms, but at half the expected rate. He moved to offer her the bottle, but she had picked up her wand from the ground and was now conjuring silvery ropes to bind all of the still-incapacitated Death Eaters around them. Death Eaters, he realized with growing awe, whose sleeves had burnt away twice as much, and whose flesh was blackened as well as blistered over the former sigils of their allegiance to Lord Voldemort. As soon as he was done, he nudged her with the bottle. She drank…and the last of their blisters vanished.
“What…what’s happening with my arm?” she asked him as he took the bottle of concentrated healing draught back. “It’s acting like it’s tied to yours.”
“I suspect our entire beings are tied together, not just our arms. Bellatrix Lestrange ranted something about ensuring that I suffered in hell right along with her,” Snape told her curtly. “Apparently, when you freed me from her clutches right before the curse impacted, you became the other target instead of her. Any injury one of us receives, I suspect the other will suffer it, too. Are you injured anywhere else?”
9. “Miss Granger,” he said sharply, “you will not start obsessing now about the depraved predilections of a bunch of half-wit men. You may, if you care to, develop a charming neurosis about it at your leisure. Later. Now, I need you to pay attention. If it is any comfort to you, the men in question have absolutely no memory of the event.”
It was comforting, actually. And good to know that he didn’t have ethical issues with a little beneficent Obliviation. But why would he bother to soothe her? How dangerously hurt was she? Snape’s voice cut across her thoughts.
“You were hit with a hex which—”
“Cruciatus?” Hermione interrupted in her best eager-to-please, schoolroom voice.
“Crucio is a curse, not a hex”—you silly girl echoed unspoken—“nor are its effects this long-lasting without reapplication, and if you were still experiencing it, you would not be capable of carrying on this delightful conversation.” Ah. Sarcasm and contempt. She was likely to make a complete recovery. “As I was saying, a hex that is extremely resistant to countermeasures. It acts on the muscles of the body, causing the greatest discomfort at the slightest movement.”
“Discomfort!” Hermione’s voice soared into the soprano range. But a really satisfying rant was cut off when the hex reasserted itself, and her words died off in a whimpering wail.
“Miss Granger, you will control yourself, and you will remain still. The hex is cumulative. The more you move, the worse the effects grow.” Hermione listened very hard for some smug satisfaction in the words, but couldn’t find any. Oh, dear. “Since this precludes you from asking any questions”—Ah, there it was, his smirk an almost palpable aura—“I shall attempt to continue without unnecessary interruptions.
10. Slowly, as if to allow her the opportunity to flee, he raised his wand.
He cast the spell.
“Ingravesco,” he intoned as he moved his wand in an intricate pattern. Suddenly, a ribbon of glittering light burst from the length of wood, winding and rippling its way around her once, then twice before doing the same to him.
The incantation left his lips again, louder than before. “Ingravesco!”
The spell began pushing them toward one other as the streams of magic tightened their hold. Tighter and tighter, the magic squeezed until she stood so close, the tips of her breasts brushed his ribcage. She gasped at the unexpected jolt of pleasure that shot down her spine.
His breathing was as laboured as her own, but somehow, he gathered enough air to complete the spell.
The magic compelled them even closer, until they stood as if in a lovers’ embrace, and she lifted her chin until her eyes met his. The ribbons tightened again in a burst of magic, and she felt the sharp sting of it deep within her. Her eyes remained steadfast on his, and for a moment, the world stopped and fell away, leaving only them and the magic.
In her peripheral vision, she could see the frozen glimmers of light which surrounded them, and a small part of her marvelled at the visual manifestation of such powerful magic. The rest of her was acutely focussed upon the man in front of her, the man she had come to know and to befriend—to love.
Her breathing quickened as the magic pulsed around them yet again, encouraging, prodding, demanding. It wanted something, and she despaired at her lack of knowledge. What did it want? Her eyes pleaded with him—did he know?