This week's quiz was chosen by he5972 who likes to mess with Snape's mind.
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Match the quotes to the story titles while avoiding the red herring titles:
10 Things I Barely Tolerate About You by cathedralcarver
Advice to a New Husband by tonksinger
My Love for Curls Always Gets Me In Trouble by Miss
I Awoke One Morning by wolf_moonshadow
Storm Track by ariadne1
A Snake of a Different Color by Natasha_Von_Snape aka absolute_tash
Six Months, by Severus Snape by hjsnapepm
String Quartet No. 4, Opus 63 by Expected Aberrance aka eaberrance
Spellbreaker by teddyradiator
Half Life by sc010f
Miles and Miles by averygoodun
Human by fervesco
1. I don't really remember the night I died. I suppose one could say I was ready, even eager for death by then. When I went to the Shrieking Shack that night fully prepared to stand with Potter and his sycophantic friends Granger and Weasley against the Dark Lord, I prayed it was for the last time. I was tired. I had done enough. I just wanted it to be over. I had fought self-pity and loathing too long; both had triumphed, and I was ready to go. I was so tired of being Severus Snape. As if I had ever been happy being me.
No matter who won, I was obsolete, a relic, surplus to requirements. I was either facing a lifetime in Azkaban or as the minion of a madman. Either proposal didn't exactly fill me with the joys of spring. No, better to be the sacrificial lamb and get it over with than suffer a long, slow painful slide into the whims of either the Dark Lord or the Ministry of Magic. Each sounded as bad as the other now.
I do remember thinking long and hard the previous night as to what I would finally say to Tom Riddle before he breathed his last, and the satisfaction I would feel when his killing curse hit me. I would hopefully be the distraction needed for Potter to finally do the bloody job the prophesy had burdened me with all those years ago, and the first thing I would do in the veil would be to find that robe-lifting Albus Dumbledore and tell him exactly what I thought of him and his gods damned greater good.
2. It does rather explain why still, after all this time, you’re still looking for me. Following, perhaps. No other explanation for your determination than your rampaging sense of justice seems plausible… except (perhaps) for the obvious one, but that cannot be the case…
No. On that score, I will do you the honour of believing you have better sense than that (although at the moment, I cannot be sure, as you haven’t even sense enough to get out of this rain…)…
But I anticipate myself.
No. West of London, in the railroad car, I needed what came after the release: knowing that I would not need it again soon.
Regardless, that time, I tried to stop it. For reasons I don’t always remember, I didn’t want, then, to die. I certainly didn’t want to be killed.
Perhaps that’s what made me ill… trying to stop it, I mean to say. Not wanting to be killed does not ordinarily cause illness.
Of course I couldn’t stop it, and I waited, as I had in the forest, for the Unspeakables to arrive. Because of course they would notice – such an uncontrolled expulsion of magical power could not go undetected, wand or no wand – and, when they did, they would know it was me.
I do not think I flatter myself (it doesn’t matter) in believing my wandless self the most powerful rogue wizard then living in Britain.
So I waited in that rank box-car for the door to creak in protest in its rusted tracks, for the light to come blaring in, for the flash of spells that would follow, but no. No one came.
3. It started, as many things did, with a bang.
The front door slammed shut hard enough to rouse me from my writer’s blo—er... writing. Luckily, Mrs Black’s portrait had lost the will to scream some months before or I’d have been treated to the harridan’s wails, as well.
I dragged myself from my writing desk and poked my head round the doorjamb just in time to see Hermione Granger storm past, trailed by her floating trunk. The door to her old room flew open in front of her—she hadn’t used her wand—and it slammed closed again behind her. The air crackled with magic.
So, you see, to say she had come blustering back into my life with a bang would not be an exaggeration. She had done so quite literally, indeed.
While I’d never been truly shot of Granger—imposing on Potter’s guilty conscience by staying at Grimmauld Place far longer than strictly necessary put me in her path, at least theoretically—next to the Weasley boy who was off gallivanting round the world trying to ‘find himself’, I saw less of her than any of Potter’s contemporaries.
Unlike her usual partners in crime, she was hell-bent on sitting her NEWTs and had gone back to Hogwarts after all of the post-war insanity died down to prepare for them. Which is what made her arrival on my borrowed doorstep in early February particularly perplexing. Hermione Granger, without a war to distract her, would not willingly leave school.
I tried to ignore her at first. I truly did.
4. Insufferable Know-It-All.
I didn't bestow that amusing, clever and yet oh-so-fitting moniker on her by accident. Truly, I have never had the dubious pleasure of teaching such a…a person. Every question I ask, every test I set, every bar I raise, every single time I turn around she's there, ramrod straight with her hand clawing at the air, that determined look on her face, desperate to show me, to show everyone, exactly how much she knows. The girl must sleep with her books. And she's always right. Do I care? Does anyone? Well, yes. Yes, I do care. I care quite a bit. I mean, I place great store in knowledge and education, same as all teachers. And to have a student so eager, so bright, so ready to absorb everything you have to impart, to accept it all so eagerly and to seem, well, fervent about the very act of learning, well. It is rather flattering, as any teacher would admit. Any teacher! Don't believe me? Ask Minerva! Ask Cuthbert or Filius! We all find her…intriguing. All of us.
It's not just me.
5. Do you know what she likes?
I know what she likes.
She likes dark chocolate, not the airy vanilla cake you presented your guests with and I watched her choke down with a forced smile on her face. I recommend truffles or flourless chocolate torte for future desserts, paired with smooth coffee and cream; one lump of sugar, if you must know, and a shot of fine whiskey in it never goes awry. She loves chocolate-dipped strawberries as well, though she is liable to lick the chocolate off and then devour the fruit, a sight which sorely tests the self-control of any red-blooded man. Will you be able to control yourself, Mr. Weasley? Somehow, I doubt it.
She must have been all too happy to fling the bouquet into the crowd, for she despises white roses; she once told me that they looked “half-made, unfinished, like the ones in Alice in Wonderland that weren’t painted.” Off with their heads, indeed. If you must be trite and use roses, find ones of the deepest scarlet; as you prick your clumsy fingers on the thorns, the blood should match the petals. And if you love her, you will not mourn the pain. Should you dredge up some creativity from the recesses of your--and I use the term broadly--brain, give her tiger lilies, bright orange ones. She likes them; I think it has something to do with her cat being orange. She likes her cat, for some unfathomable reason.
I know what else she likes.
She had been so depressed since the battle. If I hadn't had reconstruction duties I would have taken her myself, but instead I sent her with Potter. The Boy-Who-Lived-to-Steal-Her-Away... How could I have been so blind?
She had come back so rosy, so cheerful. Surrounded by her bubbly enthusiasm, I had actually been happy that she'd gone. "It was so good to get away from the castle. I wish you could have come. It would have improved your outlook on this whole process. I bet even you would have enjoyed wading in the midday sun with us."
And never see you when deliberately you put things in my way
She knew I couldn't go. She had suggested it, and been so desperate for a change, but she knew I wouldn't go. There was too much work to do, and no one to do it but me. It was too much to expect Bloody Potter and Company to share the responsibilities of the cleanup. They were exempt thanks to their "war time efforts."
Cast one lousy spell that topples the enemy, and suddenly you've got it made. Everything you do will be golden. People will throw roses at your feet, and insist that you take time off, to "recover."
But I wasn't exempt. I had only worked tirelessly for seven bloody years, making sure The Boy-Who-Wouldn't-Be-Denied lived. I had only played spy games for almost twice as many years even before Potter was added to my list of prats to watch over. There wasn't any effort involved in that. Especially in the battle itself. Protecting Potter's back while I concentrated on Voldemort, that was just child's play. Potter was the only one who mattered that day.
I had believed her when she'd told me that Potter needed a break. I saw the signs of distress, on both of their faces. I actually gloated that The Boy-Who-Conquered was such a weakling that he needed a rest after so little exertion.
I'd sent her with him because she asked to go. She was worried about her pitiful little friend. She was worried he might do something rash. She was worried he couldn't cope with all the horrors of the war. She was worried that without any friends, Potter would crack. I thought her perceptive to see the weakness too, but now I knew the truth.
7. I don't remember who had the bright idea to drag me along. Lupin, I think, still trying to make up for my near death experience at his shaggy paws. But dragged I was, and found myself seated, quite alone, at the barstool farthest from the table of frantic revellers. They were in a fever dream, flushed with pride, shaky with adrenaline, wracked simultaneously with the joy of life, and the guilt of survivors. I watched them from my private perch, staring at their swirling reflection in a glass of fire whisky. All that unrestrained emotion, boiling up, frothing out for the wide world to see. How fearless they were in their unguarded youth. So willing to cast caution to the wind, now that caution seemed an unnecessary hindrance to the rest of their unbounded lives. Did they truly expect me to join them in their unabashed revels? If they did, they should have known me better. I was not, nor would I ever be, one of them. I was content to fight beside them, even if I could not join them at their feasting table. I would not have known where to begin. I was not like them, and no amount of drinking could make me so. And then, a very strange thing happened. I was no longer alone at the bar.
At first I thought she was merely refreshing a drink, desperate to numb the pain and heighten the rush of excitement that had possessed her. But she settled down beside me, and waved the barmaid away when she offered the bottle. It was several minutes before she broke the silence.
"Are you alright?"
"I have not sustained any life-threatening injuries."
"You're not going to join us, are you?"
"I have made no plans to vacate my barstool."
"You can, you know. They WOULD be happy to see you."
"If you've come to 'cheer me up' Miss Granger, rest assured I am in no need of cheering."
8. “Open your books to page four-hundred twenty-six. You know where the ingredients are by now. Begin.”
Stopper death. What utter shite. Despite what my students may think, my fascination with my field lies not in the opportunity to hover over a cauldron for hours, rubbing my hands together with manic glee in anticipation of adding to a large collection of death in many flavors. No, I have no need of it.
“Ten points from Gryffindor. Do mind your own potion, Ms. Granger.”
That idiot boy should not be needing help already. The first step only requires boiling water.
Counting fifty-nine, counting sixty…
My father killed my mother when I was three. A lesson in the consequences of disobedience for me, or so he said.
I admire poisons because they can be set safely on a shelf.
When I was old enough to understand the significance of my memory, the curse became an obsession. Though I was not yet old enough to have a wand, I pretended to use it on insects. Every ant and fly I killed was my father, and I imagined watching the flash of green light take the life from his hated eyes the same way it had robbed the warmth from my mother’s embrace.
Granger is helping Longbottom again. I see it; she knows I notice, I know she knows that I know; our intricate little dance goes on.
9. When I open my eyes, it is morning. Soft sunlight is filtering through the window high up in the wall, pooling onto the desk.
At the desk sits a curly-haired woman, sipping a cup of what looks like tea and rifling through a sheaf of papers.
I look around. All the other portraits are asleep.
"Excuse me," I say, "but can you help me?"
The woman squeaks, jumps, and spills her tea.
"Evanesco," she murmurs, waving a stick over the mess. Improbably, it disappears. "Professor Snape!" she cries. "You startled me."
"Professor Snape?" I demand, looking over my shoulder.
The woman smiles. Dumbledore awakes and chuckles.
"See what I told you, my dear?" he says to her. And then to me, "I hope you don't mind, my boy. I had to pop in early this morning and tell her that you had finally decided to join us."
"We wondered what had happened to you, sir," the woman explains.
"Who are you?" I ask. "Where am I?"
The smile falters.
10. She is so precious, so delicate in my arms. This is undoubtedly her first time, though I doubt that she would confess that to me. I am convinced that this is simply Miss Granger ridding herself of her blatant virginal status. Being the discerning witch that she is, she must be more than painfully aware of how she is perceived; a walking, breathing textbook, exhaling and inhaling knowledge, apathetic to anything that is not intellectual. Inhuman.
Sounds astoundingly familiar.
The desire, yet slight fear in her eyes, as she lies here waiting for me to make the next move, defies her image, one she has worked so hard to acquire and maintain, now grown to despise with a passion. Passion. Miss Granger is brimming with passion. If only some of those imbeciles would stop to take note I would not have to be here, doing the sordid job that belongs to some spotty-faced inexperienced twat with the endurance of a spotty-faced inexperienced twat. It would appear the current enrolment of students is even more inept than most, even when it comes to the unleashing of the beast that is pubescent hormones.
In a way, I pity Miss Granger. It is her last night on school grounds before she goes to find her way in the world, something I don’t wish upon anyone. It will chew her up like most, and spit her out bitter and twisted, or tear her to shreds until she is a mere shell of herself. And, to top this night off, she has plunged so low as to succumb to me for solutions to her quandary. The greasy-haired git of a Potions Master whose students both fear and detest him, and whose fellow professors snigger at. Constantly. To his face.
Opportunities like this saunter my way so rarely that I can scarcely deny myself this release. A reminder to myself that I too am human.