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 picking the red herring titles:
All Secrets Sleep in Winter Clothes by enlightenedkitty
Against the Wall by averygoodun
Bitch’s Brew by death_ofme
The Long Way Home by sshg316
The Foreigner by annietalbot
The Best Laid Plans by foudebassan
The Wolfgang Variant by timestep
Taking A Chance by Elfarren
Standard Operating Procedure by eeyore9990
Seven Habits of Highly Hateful People by hayseed_42
The Indigo Shadow by somigliana
Sanctuary by warded_portal
1. A tiny knot of apprehension curls within his core as he steps out of the shadow. "Good evening, Auror Granger."
She whirls on her heel, wand extended to point straight between his eyes, and the gate ward separating them crackles with warning. "You!"
He opens his hands, palm up in the universal gesture of peace and those wishing to calm mad women. "As you can see," he says neutrally, hiding any trace of emotion behind his controlled features. "It is dreadfully late, but Borys said that it was urgent. What is it that I can do for you, Hermione?"
A flash of anger at his reversion to familiarity flares in her eyes before her fury freezes to masklike calm. It's one of his tactics she emulated quickly, and, much as it galls him to admit, she wields the icy indifference far better than his temper allows.
She lowers her wand and keeps her arctic gaze locked on his face as she reaches into her tunic pocket. A glitter of tiny, silver paperclips rests on her palm when she unclenches her fist between them.
Courtesy be damned; Snape cannot resist the opening. "I do have a stationery budget," he says calmly, "but thank you nonetheless."
The very corner of her mouth tics, but she controls her temper—rather admirably given the provocation, Snape thinks.
2. "Surely there are other female Aurors who could—"
"Nope. None. Or, rather, none that Kingsley is willing to place with you. He seems to think they'd end up on the Janus Thickey Ward if left alone with you for any length of time. I wonder why that is?"
He crossed his arms, glaring at her for a long moment. "The Minister is under the mistaken impression that your mind is strong enough to withstand me, is he?"
Hermione smirked. "The position was strictly a volunteer one. And the only people who volunteered were myself and Harry. Well, and Ron, but only after we threatened to tell his mother." Hermione rolled her eyes at the memory of Ron cowering like a child.
"I assume no one else wanted to be stuck in a house with you. I can't imagine why."
She could hear his teeth grinding against one another before he gritted out, "Let me rephrase. Why did you volunteer? Potter, I can understand. The boy has the worst case of misplaced guilt I've ever encountered. But why you?"
Hermione blinked, considering this. "I don't know, really. Perhaps I was bored."
3. I look into his eyes, expecting what, I don’t know, but certainly not the thought he flashes into my mind.
Before his thought has time to settle, I feel a sharp pain in my side. Wide eyed and frozen, I watch as Severus forms his face into a cold mask, and I feel another sickening wave of pain as he jerks his hand from my side, bringing the gilded knife into view.
He cups the back of my head with his bloody hand and, with mock tenderness, he places me against the wall. When he is free of me, he whispers softly in my ear.
“The worst wizards always have hidden weapons.”
All I can do is watch in cold horror as he stands, takes my wand from Lucius and clothes himself in a heartbeat. He takes one last dispassionate look at me, and I shiver when my side pulses in reaction. I'm only dimly aware of the physical wound, though. The loss of my innocence is much more dreadful.
4. Thursday and Friday passed and she could no longer resist. Like a fool, she'd gone when it beckoned. She'd lingered for hours, listening to its sibilant whispers, feeling them move in her skin. It was intoxicating, and as an Auror, she knew better than to tarry. But she had to know. Typical diagnostic spells weren't sensitive enough. She had to have her hands on the wood in order to register even the faintest trace of magic. Magic forged in blood, bathed in tears, anointed in unspeakable ways. Convoluted and secretive, shadowed and decadent. Much like the man who'd been its previous owner, she thought. Thinking of him made her chest ache, and she carefully set the observation aside in her mind. She had work to do.
Her palm wrapped around the head of one of the creatures, stroking it lightly. The magic responded, sending a low pulse of electricity coursing through her nervous system, setting her skin alight, making her nipples and her cunt throb. Her eyes fluttered closed and her mouth opened in a silent exhalation of pleasure.
5. Minister Shacklebolt recovered mastery of the situation with his usual gusto.
“Potter,” he announced loudly enough to be heard by all, “you and I were present at the moment of the crime. We can’t be in charge of the investigation. Call in your second-in-command right now.”
Harry nodded curtly and headed to the nearest Floo.
“The rest of us cannot remain here – this is a crime scene. I would hate to lay even more responsibility at the feet of our dear hostess, but perhaps you could arrange it for us to finish the meal elsewhere…?”
Narcissa had a millisecond of hesitation. Some women are born ready for all situations; some grow ready for all situations; she, on the other hand, had just had a most inconvenient situation thrust upon her, and she’d be damned if she dealt with it in anything less than a graceful manner.
“I am sure my Elves have already started to attend to it,” she replied, and within a few minutes she was entering the south ballroom at the Minister’s arm, followed by the rest of the guests, save for Severus, the prime suspect, and Harry, the sole Auror of the party, to meet with the slightly delayed fish course that had been hastily laid out on improvised tables.
6. It was funny to think that she was now an Auror. Harry had always dreamed of being one, and he worked out in the field. Ron, after seeing too much death had decided war and that kind of glory was best left behind and carried on with Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes, deciding especially now people needed a reason to laugh. And Hermione ... had never stopped feeling like there was so much to rebuild, so much to still do, and it was with the Aurors that she felt most useful.
The battle had brought an unwanted backlash in that a power vacuum had opened up for wizards who dabbled in the Dark Arts. With Voldemort gone, the Aurors had to deal with every new "dark lord" who wanted to seize some misguided sense of power and wreaked enough havoc to be quite irritating, and sometimes threatening, distractions. While much calm and peace had been restored to day-to-day life, there were still many pockets of wizarding England that were boiling over with rivalries and open disputes. There were still Muggle attacks, though in much fewer number, especially with the children of Death Eaters who were suddenly lost without their parents and searching for any target in which to revenge themselves upon.
It was, in short, a bleeding mess.
And now Dean Thomas had disappeared. And before him: Blaise Zabini. There was no rhyme or reason for their disappearances, it was as if they just ... vanished.
But why? And how?
Somewhere in the back of her mind, though she rarely uttered it aloud to anyone, Hermione always had the fear that Bellatrix was still alive.
7. “Your vocal cords are damaged. It appears as if something has burned them. I’m surprised you didn’t feel it. Until we determine what caused this, I don’t have any idea how to treat it. I’m going to contact the Headmistress and have her Floo call the Aurors. I know it’s been many years, but at this point, I can’t say that someone didn’t try to hurt you.”
When Hermione Granger walked in the room with Minerva a half an hour later, Severus glared at the Headmistress. He hadn’t realized Ms. Granger was still an Auror. Even in his thoughts he refused to think of her as Hermione. He knew she was a Potions Mistress now, but couldn’t recall what Minerva had said about her career change.
“Please try to cooperate, Severus,” the Headmistress said as she put a hand on his arm. “I need to return to my office. Hermione, please come find me when you are finished talking to the Professor.”
8. "That's probably why Fudge sent Harry without you, so he could split the two of you up while he wasn't around to stop it! I always knew Fudge had it in for you!"
Hermione rolled her eyes at him. "Look, I'm sure there is some perfectly rational explanation behind all this. In fact, Dumbledore probably knows all about it and he'll explain everything tomorrow."
He frowned and said slowly, "Yeah, I guess you're right. But it's still a bad fucking idea if you ask me." He paused and sipped at his own drink. "But at least you'll be somewhere safe."
"Want to trade then? I'd rather face down a thousand Death Eaters. Remember what we were like at Hogwarts?"
Ron managed a grin at that. "So you have the advantage already! Harry gave me the Marauders Map a few years ago, wanted me to hold onto it. Could come in handy now."
"For catching students out of bed, if nothing else," Hermione laughed, feeling slightly better. "I guess there are worse assignments for an auror."
"Sure, like last spring when I was trying to catch Wilford Jones, remember?"
9. She had known he was there since the day he finally settled. She, Ron, and Harry had done Auror training, and in their free time, they used their newly-acquired skills to track Severus Snape. They’d never intended to make contact, never wished to disturb his peace. Yet, every once in a while, one of the three would bring up the question of whether he knew he was free to return to British wizarding society. Whether he knew he’d be hailed a hero rather than condemned as a murderous Death Eater. The discussions that followed were often filled with all the anguish that tales of the tragic, twisted life of Severus Snape seemed to typically engender. And always, always, they agreed to leave him alone.
Peace was what she sought, more than anything else.
10. “Was that good enough?” she asked after the wand was held securely in her hand, a wicked smile playing about the corners of her mouth.
“I must say, you are doing much better than most of the others I have taught. You made a fatal error, however, in assuming you have defeated me.”
Even before he was done speaking, Severus was inside her mind, laying bare all of her doubts and fears about taking on this assignment and leaving behind Ron and her family. Just as quickly, however, Hermione forced him out again, this time panting with the combined effort of protecting both her mind and body.
“How did you–” she began to ask but saw a second wand poking out of Severus’ sleeve before the question was out of her mouth. Tricky bastard, she thought, but there wasn’t time to consider anything else as he invaded her mind yet again.
Hermione’s training went on in the same manner until it was time for lunch, whereupon they rested long enough to eat a small meal before picking up where they had left off. By the time evening arrived, she was so exhausted that she fell asleep in the sitting room after dinner. Severus was still enjoying a nightcap before bed, telling her that tomorrow they would begin working on cloaking spells.
In the morning, she woke up still laying on the sitting room sofa, a blanket covering her to keep away the chill.