This week's quiz was chosen by clairvoyant12 who is waiting for Spring to go flying.
Would you like to choose next week's quiz? Simply play the quiz by commenting on this post with your answers at any time over the weekend. All comments with answers will be screened until the answer sheet is posted on Monday morning EST. On Monday, all quizzlings with the correct answers will be entered into the winner's drawing and one lucky fangirl will win the right to choose next Friday's quiz. Ready? Set? Play!
Match the quotes to the story titles while avoiding the red herring titles:
Free Fall by aurette
Hero by keladry_lupin
Hermione's List by moonglow
Naked Journey by plaidpooka
Who Do You Want? by Betz
Conversations on a Broom by aurette
The Christmas Gift by SnarkyWench
All You Need is Love by hogwarts_91
Aerophobia by talesofsnape
Men With Brooms by Wenches of SASS
Snapes on a Plane by poe_momm
Flying Lessons by cecelle
1. Her startled reaction caused her broom to dip alarmingly, and she quickly swivelled her head back around. Unfortunately, the combined movements seemed too much for the broom to handle, and she soon felt herself tilting too far to the right. A nauseating view of the ground far below had her jerking herself back to the left. Too late, she realised she’d overcompensated. She swung all the way around, until her own momentum had her spiralling through the air, performing two complete mid-air corkscrews before toppling from the broom entirely.
Plunging towards the earth, cold panic reached out its icy fingers, refusing to release its stranglehold for what seemed like an eternity but in fact lasted mere seconds. Finally, rational thought returned, and she fought the wind whipping her robes as she searched blindly for her wand. Her hair was snapping around her face, and she had to squeeze her eyes together tightly as wind and loose strands of hair sliced against them.
With sudden force, she felt herself slamming into something hard. She cried out in fright, waiting for the pain to take hold. The ground had seemed as if it was still very far away, so she was naturally confused by the blackness that enveloped her senses. The pain didn’t come and she was still moving—how could that be? Her descent had been slowed: she was definitely not free-falling anymore. If anything, she was moving backwards. And she still couldn’t see—she could barely breathe, in fact. She began to thrash around, trying to throw off the black shroud that encased her while still frantically searching for her wand.
“Hold still,” hissed a voice, and things slowly began to make sense.
2. She had always hated flying – an irrational fear of falling kept her feet firmly planted on the ground. She didn’t even like to fly in planes, for Merlin’s sake, and flying by broom was far worse. For one thing, brooms didn’t have seatbelts. For another thing, they didn’t have windshields, and Hermione was less then fond of swallowing bugs or having them get stuck in her teeth. Harry had told her if she would just keep her mouth shut when she flew bugs wouldn’t be a concern, but she was too busy screaming at the time to pay any attention to him.
It grated on her nerves that flying was the one area in which she truly failed as a witch. She just didn’t get it – didn’t understand the thrill her friends seemed to get at liftoff; hated the way the wind made her hair even bushier, as if she had just walked backwards through a wind tunnel; detested the way the air chapped her face and made her ears pop incessantly.
No, flying was not for her. Never had been, never would be. She had decided at the end of her first year to leave the flying for the birds and the other bird-brains who seemed to love the thrill of rushing hundreds of feet above ground; the only thing between them and certain death a thin piece of wood jammed in the crack of their collective asses.
3. He gave her a measuring look. "I thought you would have gone on to area three."
"I didn't want to leave you stranded."
He smirked again. "I have other resources, Miss Granger."
"Oh! That's true. I forgot. You don't actually need a broom." She gave him a shy smirk and said, "I guess we don't need to share then."
He raised an eyebrow and replied, "Actually, brooms are much faster and don't tax my magic as much. Too much leaves me rather depleted."
He gave her an impatient scowl. "Yes, 'really.'"
"Sorry, I just didn't know you had limits," she said with a cheeky grin.
"You're reaching them."
She recognized this as his humor this time and just smiled and handed him back his broom. "It would probably be faster if you were in charge."
"My thoughts exactly," he muttered. He climbed on and held his hand out to steady her as she sat down side-saddle—she'd made the mistake of riding tandem the other way once before with Ron, and with nowhere to put her feet, she'd been nearly sawed in half by the handle. She'd been nearly unable to walk for two days afterwards.
She perched herself with a decently polite amount of space between them and gripped the handle of the broom. She was incredibly aware of the warmth of his thigh against hers.
"Ready?" he asked, his voice sounding heady in her ear.
4. "I still don't see what this has to do with the fact I don't like flying!"
"It has to do with your fear of flying because, Ms Gran—"
"...Ger, you are, to put it in its simplest terms, a control freak. There are two types of wizard who could help you become a competent flyer. Mr Krum is neither."
"And you are?" Hermione replied sarcastically.
"In point of fact, yes. I happen to qualify on both counts. I have, in the past, constructed my own broom. I could teach you how it's done. I could also teach you how to fly without such accoutrements." He pronounced the final word with a perfect French inflection that brought out the velvet in his voice. "But what would be in it for me?"
"Pardon?" Hermione's mouth dropped open.
The headmaster uncrossed his arms and began to mount the steps leading to the main doors. "You heard me. I am a very busy man. If and when you are willing to address certain other aspects of your need for control, then I might reconsider. Otherwise, I suggest you begin looking for a broom designer with the backbone of a Flobberworm." He pushed the doors open. "Good day, Ms Granger."
5. The better weather eventually arrived and Harry was waiting for Hermione to meet up with him. He grinned to himself. This was going to be fun. Hermione was hopeless on a broom; he wasn't sure what it was, lack of balance, or what, but get her six feet off the ground and she panicked, losing all control.
Hermione ran up, breathless, with Ginny close behind.
"Sorry I'm late, Harry, had to finish my charms essay."
"Hey, Gin. What're you doing here?"
"Moral support. Plus I have to see this." She winked saucily.
"OK, 'Mione. We're going to start off slowly." He had an impulsive thought. "Ginny and I will give you a demonstration, and then I'll take you up so you can get used to the height."
He held out his hand to Ginny and settled her in front of him on his broom. He slid one arm around her waist and grasped the broom with his other hand. He kicked off gently, making sure they were both balanced. Ginny snuggled closer as the wind caught her hair and blew it over Harry's shoulder. Perhaps this hadn't been such a good idea, thought Harry. A gust of wind caught them and he tightened his arm, his hand accidentally grazing Ginny's breast. She pressed into his hand, her breath catching in her throat. Yes! At last! Damn! Harry quickly moved his hand away and landed, a little harder than he wanted. He didn't want to scare Hermione.
"There, see? Nothing to it." He flushed. "Come on, 'Mione, your turn."
Hermione sat in front of Harry. As she was that much taller than Ginny, Harry held both hands on the broom, is hands over hers. It certainly wasn't as comfortable as it had been with Ginny, but that couldn't be helped. He was here to help Hermione learn how to fly, not try it on with his best friends' sister.
They pushed off and Hermione was surprised to find herself enjoying it. The fact that someone experienced was in charge of the broom helped, she supposed.
As her laughter echoed across the Quidditch pitch, a shadow watched them. Another conquest; this time it was Potter. Severus clenched his fists. How many more would pass through her bed? He turned and went back to the castle. A drink sounded good right now.
6. Leading the way, Snape took off down the indicated passage, confident that the curious witch was still with him. The stone corridor was alight with torches, and unlike the passage from Snape’s office, the damp, glistening walls muffled the sound of their footsteps as they walked. They shared no conversation, but Snape was pleased that, at least for the moment, he’d been able to use Hermione’s innate curiosity to pull her out of her funk, even if it was only temporary.
A blast of cold air signaled their exit from the protection of the corridor, and Snape did not stop to await her questions, knowing for a fact that she’d have plenty once she realized where they were. He also wasn’t about to give her a chance to refuse her cooperation. Mounting his broom, he held his hand out to her. “Come,” he said again.
Hermione shook her head and took a step back. “I don’t fly.”
“I’m not questioning your abilities, merely stating the lack of mine.”
Snape marveled at his own patience. “Mine are sufficient for both of us. Now come here.”
Hermione remained rooted to the spot, her arms crossed defiantly over her chest. “No.” Suddenly, her eyes widened as she took in their surroundings. “Professor, we’re…”
“At Stonehenge… yes, I know.”
“But how? We were just at Hogwarts,” she whispered, her voice laced with awe.
“I believe I have explained this already; the passages serve as conduits to the henges.”
7. The first few miles of Hermione’s flight went smoothly. Once out of sight of Hogwarts, she paused to remove the invisibility cloak and tuck it safely into her pack. She'd decided it was too blasted difficult to make sure it covered broom, body, and all, while flying. Saint Simeon himself would have been impressed by the tremendous foolishness of this single act. Later, Hermione would have ample time to reflect on this decision with regret. Flying close to the treetops, she momentarily remained blissfully ignorant of impending doom. Their nearness comforted her and she felt safer not flying too high. This decision would have made Saint Simeon laugh right out loud, had he been there.
The average human being spends very little time looking at anything located more than a foot or so above their heads. Indeed, to best hide something, hide it in plain sight--so long as it is up. Slytherins are quite aware of this. Slytherins can have sex outside on a balcony, facing a crowded street, and 999 times out of a thousand--no one will notice. (This bit of knowledge causes Slytherins to feel a bit smug. Perhaps it’s not only the knowledge, but also the exercise giving Slytherins that smug smile.) Gryffindors, on the other hand, will try to snog under a table and everyone in the room will know about it. (This will also make Slytherins smug, but then most things do.) Slytherins think Gryffindors have a lot in common with St. Simeon, except that while Saint Simeon acted the fool, Slytherins think Gryffs have been typecast.
In typical, non-Slytherin, human fashion, Hermione was unused to paying attention to things in the sky when not actively studying astronomy. Humans tend to believe all things behave basically the same as they do, and when the universe proves them wrong time after time, they have the audacity to keep looking surprised. It would come as no surprise to Hagrid that creatures living and nesting in the treetops of the Forbidden Forest kept a sharp eye to the skies, watching for encroaching danger. For Hermione, unfortunately, the clever gamekeeper was no more present than Saint Simeon.
The nesting pair of hippogriffs watched the intruder intently.
8. "Another life debt," she heard him mutter bitterly to himself.
"Life debt!" she exploded. "Sir, don't you even start!" She took a deep breath, then another one. Foolish man! As if his sacrifice meant nothing. "There is no debt. You don't owe me anything."
"I'm afraid that's not how it works." His voice was dripping with sarcasm.
Hermione paused, looking at him with narrowed eyes. "Actually, I had one rather… selfish reason for wanting to bring you back," she said cautiously.
He cocked an eyebrow.
"You can fly!" The words burst from her with force. "I didn't think it was possible! Not until You-know-who. And oh, I'd love to learn! To not have to worry about a stupid broom. To just be able to take off, like a bird." She had to stop to catch her breath. "It's just…so magical, isn't it? It has to be the most amazing thing!"
One corner of his mouth twitched upward. "You traveled back through time so I could teach you how to fly?"
She felt herself color. "You're the only one left who can!"
"True." There was a hint of self-satisfaction in his voice.
"So will you teach me, once you are better?"
"I will try. – But go to sleep now, girl. You look like death warmed up."
9. "Snape! You said sodomy! I don't know whether to be shocked or titillated," she laughed. "I didn't know your were a fan of muggle punk rock, wasn't that a Sex Pistol's album? Or were you quoting Churchill?"
"Good gods no, it was The Pogues. Don't be daft. The Sex Pistols were absolute shite and besides there was ten years between their albums."
"Oh my stars, Snape! You really were into punk!" Granger laughed so hard she had to wipe her eyes on her sleeve.
"And just why is that so shocking? You knew I was half muggle. I wasn't born in my forties, you know." Suddenly stung he snapped at her. "Stop laughing before you fall off the broom." As he expected Granger suddenly grabbed the broom with both hands and tensed up. He actually felt bad, her laughter had been delightful he just didn't like the way she always managed to make him feel old.
He had been working for the ministry since his 'miraculous' recovery by means of his careful planning; really did they not remember he had been a Potions master? It had been three years of headaches and indigestion as he was almost mentally battered by the vacuous minds of the people around him before Granger showed up. At first he assumed she would torture him with a constant regurgitation of the book knowledge she had accrued abroad. Or worse, natter on about proper lab procedure and Ministerial paperwork protocols. But to his hidden delight the Granger that worked in the Lab next to his was a brilliant, poised and intuitive woman and it took little time at all before he found himself making excuses to enter her lab and ask her for her impressions on a point of research that he completely didn't need. This last year of working together he found himself thinking about her more than was appropriate for a coworker twenty years his junior and had been struggling with his feelings of romantic interest. He was pathetic. Pathetic enough to have plucked her broom out if her pocket in a moment of madness and tossed it in the rubbish can by the door as they headed for the exit to the roof. And now he was riding along with her arse wedged between his thighs and the curve of her right breast pressed into his arm. Pathetic bliss.
"Titillated?" he asked in her ear, pitching his voice for maximum effect. Oh, yes, her words hadn't escaped him, in fact they had rather captivated him.
His brain seized as he felt her shudder in his arms, or well almost in his arms. Really they were just sharing a broom, but it was almost like having her in his arms willingly. She got on the broom willingly didn't she? Did I do that? Maybe she just caught a chill. No, it's summer you fool there is no chill, I did do that. Yes! His smirk dropped as he realized how stupid he sounded in his head.
10. "I thought we might go out to dinner tonight. I did promise you dinner at a very nice restaurant," he suggested.
She grinned back at him. Hermione hadn’t been sure how long it would take before he would feel comfortable going out in public with her, and it seemed he was ready now.
"I'd love to," she replied.
"I also thought we might go do a little flying today as well."
Hermione blanched. "I, uh, don’t really do that well on a broom. I'm a terrible flyer."
"You mean to tell me that the indomitable Hermione Granger can’t fly on a broom?" he teased her, a sly smile upon his lips. "But I thought you could do anything?"
She narrowed her eyes at him. "I can do anything…" She averted her eyes. "Just not fly well. You could say, I choose not to fly." The defiant brunette witch gave him a smug smile in return.
"You can fly with me. I'm an excellent flyer."
He seemed insistent, and she didn’t want to disappoint him.
"All right," she reluctantly agreed, "but you'll have to give me a calming potion before we go. I'm a bit afraid of heights."
Severus couldn’t help himself and laughed. He had never heard of a witch or wizard afraid of heights. He always thought the genes for magic always accompanied the genes for not fearing heights. Hermione crossed her arms and pouted.