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Match the quotes to the story titles while avoiding the red herring titles:
La Belle Sorcière Sans Merci
The Apprentice and the Necromancer
Nineteen Years Later
A Rose in the Depth of Winter
My Crimson Joy
Go by Your Own Taste – A Comedy of Great Appetite WIP
Prisoners of Azkaban, Probationary Diaries August 2009, Prisoners #19-09-1979 and #09-01-1960
The Scent of Magic
"…Freshly Mown Grass and New Parchment and—"
The Book of the Dead WIP
1. ‘The evidence is very convincing,’ Ginny said at last, trying to sound confident. ‘They’ve questioned everyone. Twice. They even brought Dumbledore’s portrait from Hogwarts. And today … I just don’t see how anyone could condemn him after what we’ve seen today.’
They fell silent again. Unfortunately all of them were aware of the volatile currents of public opinion at the moment.
‘I really hope so, Ginny,’ Harry replied at last, speaking very slowly. He’d be honest with them Veritaserum or not, but he hated having no control over what he was going to say. ‘But I’m scared. He DID do a lot of bad things. Because he HAD to, of course. But still.’
‘Yeah,’ added Ron, surprising Hermione with a sudden bout of perceptiveness: ‘A dead hero’s so much easier to deal with than a living traitor.’
‘Proditio plerumque amatur, proditor odio habetur,’ Hermione quoted. ‘We love treason, but we hate the traitor.’
Irritated at Ron’s confused expression, she added, ‘Plutarch. An Ancient Greek historian and spell-wright. Seriously, Ron –’
‘… don’t you read?’ chorused Harry and Ginny.
2. When Hermione first mentioned the Mill Fair, Severus affected a look of haughty disdain and proceeded to ignore her with the aloofness of a scornful Kneazle. Such preposterous pastimes (including, but not limited to, Yule, Halloween and Valentine balls, Easter extravaganzas, Leaving Feasts, Ministry banquets, stag parties and wedding receptions) were beneath him and his dignity, thank you very much. Especially if he could not use his wand to unleash the full extent of his contempt on unsuspecting rose bushes or hapless cupids.
It was bad enough that Spinner's End was a successful project of sustainable urban development, recultivation and revitalisation nowadays and that it had won the 'Greenest Corner of the City' award five years running. There was truly no need to add insult to injury and participate in a Mill Fair based on a multi-cultural concept of ethnic (snort!), environmental (snerk!), and historical (ha!) awareness.
He wouldn't encourage such nonsense if he were paid for it.
Of course that was before his daughter had glimpsed the nostalgic carousel and before Rose had expressed a keen interest in riding the little white elephant that was – in her opinion – leading the parade of wooden animals as they twirled in endless circles of cream and gold, red and blue.
Sunday after lunch Hermione did her best not to show how much less than surprised she was when Severus imperiously announced that a walk would aid the digestive process and was therefore beneficial and A Good Thing. Hermione bit her tongue and quickly got out Rosie's new jeans jacket and her own purple Aran cardigan. Five minutes later they were outside and on their way to the party field on the banks of the river.
Rosie skipped ahead while Severus solemnly billowed at Hermione's side, resplendent in a black summer trench coat.
3. August 1, 2009
My hands feel as if they've never grasped a quill before.
But even after eleven years or 135 months or 587 weeks or 4,110 days, I still know how to write.
And I must write, because this is one of the conditions for my new life. Each day I must write in this diary. Where I am, what I did.
The quill is filled with everlasting Veritaserum. The ink is my blood, drawn from letters etched into my hands. Each day they will cut deeper into my flesh.
My blood is glistening in the sunset like liquid rubies.
The cuts hurt.
I love this pain.
4. At some point between kneeling in a puddle of crimson blood in the Shrieking Shack and trying to care for the dead, the dying, and those grievously wounded during the aftermath of the Final Battle, something inside Hermione shattered.
She didn't know when, or what, or how. Her rational mind even supplied a reasonable Muggle term to what was happening to her—trauma—but the result remained the same. Like a little old-fashioned clock that has to be wound up to keep ticking and that can't, just can't, keep going when one of its tiny cogs cracks, something small but essential within Hermione broke.
And she stopped.
She stopped eating—she had no appetite.
She stopped sleeping—she was beyond weariness.
She stopped talking—what was left to say?
At last she stopped moving.
She sat very very still and stared straight ahead.
"—here. She sits in the same spot all day and all night, without moving. Like a statue," Professor McGonagall said softly.
That sounded nice. Hermione liked statues.
5. "How can you be so gleeful over a mouldy old tome of household charms," Severus grouses. "Not enough that we have to live in this heathenish hovel of a commune of crazed Gryffindors, do you want to turn me into a house-elf now?"
They've been living with Harry and way too many others (not all of them Gryffindors or Ravenclaws or even Hufflepuffs) at Grimmauld Place aka "Headquarters"—of the conspiracy against the Ministry. And Hermione and Severus are lucky; as a married couple they have the attic to themselves. The attic is much better than being stuck in the gardenshed like Bill and Fleur. Harry and Ginny have only one room, and sometimes not even that. And Hermione knows they are sharing not just the room sometimes. She also suspects they rather like that arrangement. At least when she walked in on them a few weeks ago, Draco, Harry and Ginny didn't look all that bothered, more like tangled. A tangled heap of limbs, mixed in with sheets and blankets and nothing in the way of pyjamas or nighties.
"No," Hermione says diffidently, "though an extra house-elf would come in handy, as packed as that house is. Kreacher's not getting any younger, and Winky's rather volatile..."
Hermione beams at Severus as they trundle down to the Tube. "No, this is much better. I never expected to find it in a Muggle second-hand bookshop!" She rubs her cold nose. She really should know better now, she reflects happily. They've found all kinds of magic things in the Muggle world. The wizarding world has a long history of not paying attention. Hermione bites down on her lip. Unfortunately for them, the Ministry is changing that now.
6. Another year is over, and I stand in silence and stare at the grave. Hoarfrost clings to the austere stela. Fog is hanging over the loch and creeping into the glens. January is a bad time to be here. June is good, when the gorse is in full bloom. Or late August, when the heather glows in brilliant shades of purple and violet.
But still I return here in January, freezing off my toes. I guess it's just as well, because should anyone see me, I could say I was shivering because of the cold. Every damn year.
I know I'm not the only one, too. There's a posy of ivy and a white lily, hiding to the left of the headstone, tucked around the corner of the small monument in an almost embarrassed fashion. I know who brings him lilies. Although Harry would eat a Hippogriff alive before he'd ever admit to it. The wreath with the bow of green silk, a little stern, a bit pompous, will be from Draco. The crown cap on the stone would be Luna's. Someone is keeping the path to the stone clear. I bet it's Winky. Dobby would, and Winky would know that Dobby would, and it's precisely the kind of thing that an house-elf would do. The potted hellebore is most certainly Neville's doing. I bet he keeps some kind of interesting flower or herb blooming here every month of the year.
I'm staring at the stone. I'm standing here and staring at the stone, just the way I've been standing here and staring at the stone for more than twenty years, every winter except the one when I was pregnant and couldn't come. I know that Ron knows where I'm going. He has never offered to accompany me, though. I don't know why. Does he understand that there are some things you need to do on your own, or is he afraid of what he might see in my eyes when I'm standing here? I have no idea. Basically, much as I love him, Ron's not sensitive enough for the first, and really too brave for the second alternative.
There are no words engraved in the stone, that stark slab of granite. I bet he'd hate that there is a stone at all. But here it is, and here I am.
7. So, while I do know more than I did twelve years ago, it's not enough.
And Severus refuses to brew Amortentia for me, much less teach me how it's done. He says since Professor Slughorn showed the potion to my class in sixth year, I know everything about it that I need to know.
Unfortunately, by now I know Severus well enough to realise when he won't be budged.
If I told Ron about my predicament, he'd snort and say: ‘What do you expect? It's Snape we're talking about here!’
The thing is, it's not.
I mean –
Of course he's still Snape. His name is still Severus Snape (no frills, no middle name), and he still lives in Spinner's End, and he still dresses in black (mostly; he does have a dark blue dressing gown, and bucket loads of colourful winter socks).
His DNA is … probably … the same as it was before.
(Not that I have samples I could have tested; or that he would allow me.)
But he's not the Snape we knew.
That is – Harry, Ron, and I – when we were children – when we – when he –
… if we knew him at all.
8. The headmistress shuddered. Then she fixed him with her penetrating gaze. He felt the same need to squirm under her intense scrutiny that he had experienced as a first year and scowled at her. "May I surprise you even more and say that I haven't come to argue European politics with you?" he started, uncomfortably aware of how bitter he sounded.
Minerva held up her hand to stop him. "Severus," she said. "I do hope you know that it is not your fault that Andromeda signed that treaty?"
His scowl deepened. "I am aware that the whole Wizengamot voted in favour of the treaty," he replied curtly.
Minerva sighed. "Severus, while it is true that the conditions of the Vatican for opening renegotiations of the Pacta and their cooperation concerning that rescue mission influenced the decision, the British signature of the EMU treaties hinged on more than those particular factors."
"And now Pius Thicknesse is in charge of those renegotiations!" Severus exploded, his angry words belying his earlier statement that he was not interested in talking politics.
"Yes," Minerva agreed wearily. "I know. – Now, why did you want to talk to me, if it wasn't about wizarding politics?"
"I wanted to discuss the wards of the school with you," Severus announced. "We should revise them and replace some."
Minerva frowned. Now he had her complete attention. "What do you have in mind and why?"
"Two things," Severus said. "I want to add a layer of Necromantic wards with Alina's and Harry's help. And I want Abbé Nihel to bless every godforsaken inch of the school."
9. Hermione stared at the expensive ingredients precisely arrayed on the table in front of her, unwilling to begin.
Amortentia. The most powerful love potion in the world, which could create unbreakable infatuation and everlasting obsession if overdosed.
She'd sworn never to brew it again, vowed never to touch one of its ingredients again. She had promised herself that she would never have to smell it again.
How she hated that scent.
Freshly mown grass and new parchment and—
—the scent of skin.
The scent of a boy's skin after a shower after a Quidditch match.
The scent of the man who had not loved her. The skin of the man who had killed himself because he was obsessed with her, because he was infatuated with her, because he was consumed by his need for her.
…although he did not love her.
The scent of a man she had not loved. A man who would still be alive if she had loved him.
So much for the idea that love conquers all.
Slowly she reached for the first ingredient.
10. ‘It'll be all right,’ Hermione says wildly. ‘Let's — look, you go back to the castle, if he's gone to the Forest we'll need to think of a new plan —’ She glances at Snape's body. ‘I'll — I'll catch up — I just — I need to make sure we didn't miss anything. Any — any clue that could help us.’
She shoves her friends back into the tunnel. The shock over what just happened, along with the years of practice obeying Hermione, propel them forward.
Hermione doesn't wait to see them gone.
On her knees, at his side, cold blood seeps through her jeans. Pure panic washes over her. So much blood. What can she do? Merlin, what can she possibly do? But suddenly she recalls her father's voice, his calm and reasonable baritone: ‘Every second counts. Broken ribs can heal. Even the effects of a stroke can be treated. But only when the patient is alive to receive that treatment.’
Is he still breathing? Is his heart still beating?
His blood at least is still warm. And there! A pulse. Faltering, faint. The barest wisp of a breath.
She fumbles in her bag. There! The antivenin he gave to her. Didn't he take any himself? No matter. She pours it into his mouth. But he doesn't swallow. Oh God, what now? She reaches for his throat. Massages it, the way she's seen it once on TV. So much blood. She has to staunch the bleeding. Murtlap Essence. Blood-Replenishing Potion. Ohnoohnoohno, that only makes him bleed harder. She rips off her vest, presses it to the wound.
‘Duro. Duro. Anapneo, anapneo,’ she chants. ‘Rennervate.’
But it's not enough.