Want to give Hermione a run for her money in the know-it-all field? 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 EDT. On Monday, all quizzlings with the correct answers will receive a pretty banner to prove their quiz prowess. Ready? Set? Play!
Match the quotes to the story titles without falling for the red herring titles:
Mea Culpa by floorcoaster
Cordial Relations by dreamy_dragon73 (SS/HG/LM)
The Trail of the Black Star by mundungus42
Felis Familiaris by wolf_moonshadow
Back in Black by ubiquirk
The Proper Care and Feeding of Zombies by silburygirl
The Wheel of the Moon by rillalicious
The Beginner's Guide to Breeding Peacocks by shiv5468 (SS/HG/LM)
Heartbeat by grrangerous
The Long Way Home by sshg316
Can't Take My Eyes Off You by sunnythirty3
The Lost Chamber by pyjamapants
1. Severus paced the length of the ostentatious room and raked a hand through his hair, concern deeply etched upon his face.
“How do you know this person is trustworthy, Kingsley? Very few people know I survived the war, and I’d like to keep it that way.”
Behind the large, ornate desk sat the Minister for Magic, who was valiantly—if ineffectively—attempting to hide his amusement. “Calm down. I wouldn’t bring in just anyone to partner with you.” Kingsley’s eyebrows rose as he looked at Severus expectantly.
A flash of abject horror crossed Severus’ face, and he halted his pacing to glare at his so-called friend and employer. “No. Tell me you did not partner me with one of them.”
The Minister smiled benignly, reminding Severus eerily of his former employer.
“Damn it, Kingsley! I refuse to be trapped for months on end with a reckless, foolhardy, dunderhead who—”
“I do hope you’re referring to one of the boys, Mr Snape,” interrupted a feminine voice.
Severus turned toward the doorway only to come face to face with the insufferable know-it-all, Hermione Granger … and Merlin’s beard, had she grown up during the last seven years.
2. After a trip on the Floo Network to New Zealand that Hermione never wanted to repeat, she staggered off the hearth and braced herself on the nearest table with one hand as she brushed away the ash. Charlie didn't seem to fare much better, but Bill was entirely unfazed. Once they'd collected themselves, Charlie instructed Hermione and Bill to stay in the lodge while he made sure everything had been arranged. As soon as he closed the door behind him, Hermione turned to Bill.
"The other clues didn't take this long to figure out," she said, knowing that this probably all sounded like nonsense to Bill, but need to talk to someone about it. "And the egg… The egg mentioned in the riddle, I still don't know where to find it."
Bill gave her a long, sympathetic look, then reached out and squeezed her arm. "It's going to be all right, Hermione."
Hermione felt like she was going to choke and she looked away from Bill suddenly. It wasn't his fault. Bill and Charlie had been kind enough to help her even though they didn't know what this was all about, but the tension was driving her insane. She wondered how many more of these she'd have to solve before she finally found Severus. She wondered just what shape he would be in when and if she ever did.
The room was dark – Charlie hadn't wanted to alert anyone unnecessary to their presence – and she could hardly make out some of the shapes and shadows on the walls, but the glimmer of moonlight off something near the door caught her eye and she walked over slowly, her eyes growing wide as recognition struck her. It was a glass case mounted on the wall, displaying various recognitions the reserve had received from the International Dragon Federation. To unlock the egg from the case near the blade… Just to the right of the case, a sharp axe hung on the wall, glittering in the moonlight.
Hermione gasped and drew her spine up straight, reaching up to feel her way around the case, sliding her palms across the wall in a blind panic.
3. "GET DOWN!" He yelled at Puquio as he threw himself to the ground and rolled into a depression underneath the tree trunk. Puquio joined him just before a thunderous cracking of branches came from overhead. A whoosh of air and an angry shriek signalled that three metres of angry Peruvian Vipertooth had just lost the advantage against its favourite prey.
Severus barely had time to pull out his wand before the dragon had wheeled around in the air and attempted another pass. He aimed at the charging dragon and bellowed, "STUPEFY!"
The spell glanced off the dragon's coppery scales and sailed harmlessly into the trees. Fortunately, the dragon was surprised enough by the spell that it sailed over their shelter instead of landing and attacking. This was their only chance.
Severus could cast an invulnerability spell on himself, but that wouldn't help Puquio. If he told Puquio to run, the Vipertooth would chase him down as soon as he realized that Severus was inedible. The only way was to get between the dragon and Puquio and put up such a fight that the dragon would forget about the guide. It certainly wasn't a winner as far as plans went, but it would have to do. He pointed his wand at himself and murmured, "Contego."
Instantly, he was enveloped in a globe of faint blue light. He jumped out and waved his arms at the approaching dragon. It roared and flew at him, jaws open wide. Severus braced for impact.
Severus almost spun around when he heard the voice behind him, but the dragon was a more immediate threat. A golden beam shot from somewhere to the left, and hit the dragon in the chest. It froze in midair, and shrieked in frustration. Immediately, another spell came.
The red beam hit the dragon squarely in the face. It collapsed heavily to the ground.
Severus spun around and found himself face to face with an Amazon.
4. Severus Snape was, to the casual observer, peacefully reading the book, "The Brothers Karamazov." In fact, he was merely turning the pages at regular intervals and taking occasional sips from his coffee, which was Charmed to stay at his desired temperature. His wand was stowed safely in its holster, a slim pocket sewn into the lining of his blazer. At a moment's need, he could press a button on the thick, gold ring he wore on his right hand, and a mechanism in the holster would release his wand directly into his hand.
A Glock 19 9mm pistol with silencer was tucked into a shoulder holster hidden beneath his jacket.
Snape took another sip of coffee, and as he set the cup back on its saucer, movement caught his eye. He glanced up to see Hermione Granger walking purposefully toward his table. He was surprised but only briefly. She had been an extraordinarily bright student, despite hiding behind trying to have all the answers, and he had no doubt she was a brilliant woman, thus it took very little imagination to see her fitting right in with his line of work. One lone axon in a dark recessed corner of his mind fired, registering that she was wearing a light green, strappy sundress that perfectly highlighted her toned arms and legs.
"Mind if I sit?" she asked, not waiting for an answer before settling into the chair immediately across from him.
5. She should be surprised by the face that greeted her, she knew, but, given that it was the face that sent her owls at all hours, popped into her fireplace when she was wandering through the house with nothing on but a towel, and spent more time in her office than his, begging her to untie his political knots, it was one that she had begun to assume would show up everywhere sooner or later. Her doorstep, comparatively speaking, was hardly unusual.
“Kingsley!” she said, dropping sarcasm into every letter of his name. “You weren’t supposed to be here until Christmas Eve—I’m afraid dinner won’t be ready for another two days and, erm—let me see—eight hours or so. There’s an Italian restaurant just down the street, though, which is decent enough.”
“You’ve heard, then.”
“Yes, and I’m on vacation. Have one of the Mysteries underlings handle it for you. I can’t Obliviate the entire readership of the British news on my own, anyway. Especially not if the BBC has already got its paws on the story.”
“At this point, I think we’re beyond damage control; he’s taunting us—”
Kingsley nodded. “Or she. At any rate, a ritual killing at Stonehenge is the work of someone who wants to be noticed.”
“Well, they’ve at least proven to us that they aren’t Muggleborn—obviously they have no idea what the National Trust will do to them.”
He narrowed his eyes, looking entirely too catlike for comfort. “You’re making jokes.”
“But not agreeing. Yet.”
6. “Plan?” she asked, drumming her fingers on the steering wheel.
Snape shrugged. “Either we sit here and watch or we go in.”
“The longer we wait, the longer they have to prepare.”
“So, we go in?”
“Let’s not forget, Granger, that we were led here by a homing beacon. We have to assume this is a trap.”
Granger leant back in her seat, gripping the steering wheel and stiffening her arms. She pursed her lips.
“Either the weapon is not here and we fight our way out with magic, or the weapon is here and we fight our way out with guns,” she reasoned. “I still say we go in. Our priority is to neutralise the Sonibeam, and we can’t afford for the culprits to change location.”
“Then we cast Anti-Disapparation wards before we go in.”
Granger nodded. “Agreed—assuming, that is that we’re not already in a magical dead zone.”
7. She felt the Malice ripping at Enigma’s mental essence. Somehow, she knew the breech was starting to manifest in the real world as well. How long until the creature ravaged their physical bodies as well?
As she reached the scene of battle, she froze. The sight was appalling. Fawkes’ bright form looked completely engulfed by the sparking Sprite. At least the bird seemed to have finally realized something was amiss. It appeared to be trying to sing, perhaps to reknit the veils, but the engorged Sprite blocked its effort, quenching the Phoenix-song.
Perilous looking tendrils of malignant will were extruding through a rent in the mists of the Dreamtime. They wrapped around Enigma, squeezing, seeking to snuff out the vital burning essence of her Dream-state. Enigma screamed and spat, clawing at the thing, biting and tearing great gobbets of mass from the dark tendrils that wrapped about her. The shredded bits of horror floated away and burst like so many soap bubbles in the mists of the Dreamtime. Still, more of the malignant substance shoved through the dark rent Fawkes had unwittingly opened.
Without hesitation, Hermione leaped into the fray, claws slashing, jaws gnashing.
8. “You want us to do WHAT?”
“Now, calm down, Severus. It’s not that bad. Compared with your previous spying missions, this will be nice and easy.”
“Nice and easy? With a brash, Gryffindor know-it-all, who is likely to blow her own cover and mine within the first twenty-four hours? I think not. And how are we supposed to track down the source of illegal magic without using any of our own? That’s ridiculous!”
“What about my N.E.W.T.s? I can’t just disappear off to some Muggle boarding school for a term and miss all those classes. And how on earth will I fit in there? I haven’t done their subjects for years!”
“I’m sure Hermione is capable of maintaining her cover, Severus. She is Muggle-born, after all. She’ll probably be able to give you some pointers. The Muggle world is no longer the same as it was twenty years ago. And, Hermione, I have spoken to the headmistress, and she has reassured me you are so far ahead already a term elsewhere will not affect your final scores.
“I’ve looked into the Muggle curriculum, and you only need to take the minimum three subjects at that level.
9. "Don't read them out loud," Snape hissed, panic choking his voice. He let out a sigh when nothing seemed to happen. "Ever the know-it-all, aren't you? Can't resist showing off the contents of that fuzzy head?"
"Oh, shut it, Snape." Knees creaking, she stood. "Is this common? Are there runes elsewhere in the castle?"
"I believe there are some across the door from what used to be the Room of Requirement."
Goosebumps skittered up her arms. Hermione glanced behind her and barely suppressed a gasp. An open doorway, one that had assuredly not been present before, beckoned them. She started towards it, arrested by Snape's hand on her shoulder.
"Perhaps some caution before you go barging in?" A bevy of spells leapt from Snape's wand. "I believe I understand why your department keeps you desk-bound rather than sending you in the field."
"Do you think the spells I cast earlier were just performance art?" she asked.
"The room seems to be safe." He motioned for her to enter behind him. "Lumos"
The room was enormous, easily the size of the Great Hall. Despite its location underground, it was dry and comfortable, if not exactly warm. The walls were criss-crossed with runes, and a closed door stood at the far end.
Hermione tried to remember to breathe. This could take days, if not weeks, to untangle, translate, and puzzle through. Trying to affect an air of nonchalance, she said, "Well, this will certainly keep Professor Babbling occupied."
10. Hermione was late, and Lucius was fretting, looking at his pocket watch, snapping it shut, before opening it again with a practised flick of a finger.
"She was supposed to be here a quarter of an hour ago," he said, finally stowing it in his waistcoat pocket.
Severus shrugged. "She'll be here. I've never known Hermione not to keep her word."
"I'm sure," Lucius bit out. "Unfortunately, our alibi won't look very convincing if she's seen in two places at once."
"What have you arranged?"
Lucius didn't reply, but shifted from foot to foot.
"Lucius?" Severus had a sinking feeling he wouldn't like the answer.
"All right." Lucius cast a glance over his shoulder, before leaning closer to say, "All three of us are having dinner at Malfoy Manor tonight. Draco will cast a glamour over himself and walk up to the front door, first as you, and then as Hermione."
Lucius stepped back, his hand resting on his pocket. "I gather that the Ministry are watching my house tonight in the belief that they might finally manage to secure some evidence that I have been perpetrating some wrong or other."
"And you gather this because..."
"I arranged for them to become aware of the potential for wrongdoing, and for them to raid the house at midnight or thereabouts. What better alibi can there be than for us all to be found dining together amiably by the Ministry Aurors themselves? It's unbreakable, or at the least bloody hard to get round. As if Aurors could be prevailed upon to lie."
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?" Severus said sourly.
"Not as much as you might think."