There are people – often husbands or significant others – who think that what we do, the writing of fanfic and the drawing of fanart, isn’t real. That our friendships aren’t real because we haven’t met.
And it is true that meeting a fandom friend makes them closer, but even so – fandom allows someone to touch the lives of so many people that they would never otherwise have met. Sometimes in small ways – a review here, a comment there, sometimes in bigger ways, but still real for all that this takes place through electrons and photons.
Leni was a good writer, but more than that she was a good, kind and cheerful person who was a delight to know. There should be more like her, and her passing is a loss to those who knew her, even a little bit.
(The SSHG Quiz mods would like to thank shiv5468 for writing this lovely intro.)
We here at the SSHG Quiz were deeply saddened when we heard the news of Leni Jess' passing. Her sister and brother have kindly posted on her LJ HERE, if you wish to pass on your condolences to them.
Here is a list of author pages for leni_jess. Today's quiz focuses on her SSHG stories, but do yourself a favor and go read all her other works. She explored many pairings in the Potter world to the delight of fangirls everywhere!
Fic by Leni_Jess on her LJ
The Archive at the End of the Universe
Walking the Plank page
Want to prove yourself a Leni_Jess fangirl? 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 banner to prove their quiz prowess. Ready? Set? Play!
Match the quotes to the story titles without choosing the red herring titles:
Cheat the Devil
The Flower of Cities
Time and Again
A Change in the Weather
Honesty is for Gryffindors
Out of This World
The Zoo that Got Away
Trial by Marriage
Muggle Studies for Mature Students
Keep Your Enemy Close
1. She nodded politely to the portrait of Phineas Nigellus, who snorted and lowered himself to ask a Muggleborn for information.
"The Dark Lord is gone?"
"His body's laid out downstairs – well away from all the others. Killed by his own Avada Kedavra." She hesitated, but it was only fair. She had irritated him immensely, not just by her mere existence, which reaction merited no kindness, but he had cooperated. "Thank you, sir; you helped us and helped everyone. I'm sorry I dragged you up and down the country in my bag, but I couldn't think how else to keep in touch with Professor Dumbledore."
Stiffly he responded, "If you're grateful, make sure young Potter expresses the thanks due to all the Slytherins who helped him win this war. We may be conservative and cautious of strangers to our world who have no ties here, and therefore no reason to keep it safe, but we are not all murderers – nor fools, either."
"No, sir. I mean, yes, sir. You, and Professor Snape, and Professor Slughorn, and the seventh and even sixth years who came back to help with the battle, after Professor McGonagall threw them out. And," she added softly, "all the people who didn't rally to Voldemort, who didn't kill children and helpless Muggles, or cooperate with that Umbridge woman's horrible Commission."
Another burden. Well, she had been assuming them for years, and no one went through life without obligations; helping to win the war wasn't the end of what she needed to do. Taking on this one might help to heal the wizarding world itself, not just an individual here and there.
"Goodbye, sir. And again, thank you so much."
"Put my other portrait back in my family home!"
Over her shoulder she called, "As soon as I can, sir!"
2. Lucius and Severus moved a little further apart, so that they could more easily see which of them Hermione Granger was glaring at. By now, "screaming at" would be more accurate. It was all too plain that she was distressed as well as offended.
Severus could see the tiny smirk on Lucius's mouth – and so could Hermione, as her next remark showed.
"Laugh, you Slytherin idiot! How will you feel when you find there's not a witch or wizard left in the wide wizarding world – ha! Wide! As if! Horrid little enclave of inbred cretins, stupider with every generation! – to believe you?"
She hadn't grasped, even yet, that belief and truth were all relative, and merely tools. Though some of her insults still had bite.
He didn't mind what she said to Lucius – who deserved insult, if not for this, then for something he had done at another time. They had both meant well. Mostly. Severus had, at least.
He shifted uneasily, and Hermione's gaze focused on him. It was like being in the line of fire of Avada Kedavra.
3. Today, she proposed they go to Kew Gardens. Severus made his token complaints about being dragged out against his will, and how she took too much notice of what the Healers said. He also complained that he needed to weed his garden rather than tramp around in yet another Muggle space because she was incapable of getting down to work and keeping at it and assumed the same of him. She only bothered to respond to the last, knowing that long before the day warmed up he had finished all his weeding and harvesting in the narrow garden beds planted with herbs both Muggle and wizarding. (The latter were cloaked in Notice-Me-Not charms, in case the upstairs neighbours noticed what the occupant of the garden flat was growing.)
Severus let himself be persuaded, grumbling, "Why do you persist in dragging me all over London, Granger? One public park is much like another. Oh, very well. I suppose your parents used to take you there. Sentimental Gryffindor."
"Yes," she said mildly. "The first time I saw it was on my eighth birthday. We didn't walk very fast or very far, but I'm glad I saw Kew Gardens as it was then."
He glanced at her, interest caught. "Then?"
"About a month later there was a terrible storm. You probably noticed it at Hogwarts, too. I think half the trees in England came down."
He made a soft, surprised sound of assent. "Yes, I do remember. The centaurs foretold it, and asked Albus for help to preserve the Forbidden Forest from the worst of it." A little smile quirked the corner of his mouth. "Astonishing; they must have been very concerned indeed to ask for wizarding help, even his. They didn't bother to warn Hogsmeade, of course, but Albus did; he wanted all the help he could get. None of us got much sleep that night. In the end the Great Storm didn't do much damage in Scotland."
4. Unspeakables were witches and wizards who always had their noses into things, who wouldn't leave them alone until they knew not only the how and why, but also the if not, why not. This made both Severus Snape and Hermione Granger suitable persons to recruit. (They were also politically acceptable in the new Ministry, which was convenient.)
Snape had recovered not only from his war wounds but also from the stress of twenty years of being a double agent, and was, if not amiable, at least no longer hair-trigger of temper and automatically sour and suspicious. Now he was merely rude, autocratic, cautious, and assured of the rightness of his thinking. That last was a constant irritation to his fellow Unspeakables, mostly because his assurance was generally justified.
Hermione Granger was recruited earlier than was customary, almost immediately after she passed her NEWTs, while she was still being interviewed by the Ministry departments which were more normal starting places, even for brilliant students who were also heroes.
The new Minister said energetically to the Head Unspeakable, "Take her and give her too much to do, for Merlin's sake, Sim, before she turns the wizarding world upside down. She'll pay her way."
Sim Brightwell was dubious at being asked to house what sounded like a first class nuisance. "Why should I? What's in it for me?"
"Because she's clever, hard-working, perceptive, remembers things, and generally looks ahead and prepares thoroughly. And she's particularly skilled at both Arithmancy and Charms work."
Sim nodded. The combination of all those qualities in a nineteen-year-old was quite unusual, and the skill combination itself was rarer than he liked.
Shacklebolt went on, "As a Muggle-born she's also anxious to prove herself, but you've had insecure Muggle-borns and half-bloods before, Sim; you make them comfortable, and they produce."
That was true. Hard-working and bright people anxious for approval were dead easy to manage.
5. "You must have wondered, Severus, how it was I got you away from the Shack where the Dark Lord left you. Without a wand."
"Often," Severus responded, "though I assumed you had a wand, but were not acknowledging that in case the Aurors or the Wizengamot confiscated it. You've always avoided discussing it."
Severus hadn't pressed Lucius for information; it was enough to be indebted, but to know that Lucius saw himself as owing Severus something for leading him into Voldemort's clutches: things balanced out.
"No. I gave you a place to recover, and naturally Cissa made sure you had the best Healers."
Severus knew she too was conscious of being in his debt, which was fair enough. There had been no need to point out that Dumbledore would have insisted on his striving to shelter Draco even had there been no Unbreakable Vow.
"It was a witch, not I, who tended those ghastly wounds, then gave me your wand so I could Apparate you here. She made me promise not to speak of it to you – wand oath, not an Unbreakable, but still… I swore on your wand. A promise I don't care to break. Explicitly."
Lucius slipped a hand into his pocket and brought out a few Chocolate Frog cards. Idly he scattered them on the table so that Severus could see them all. Severus rolled his eyes. The Heroes of the Battle of Hogwarts had extended the range of Chocolate Frog cards considerably. Even he himself featured on one. He glanced down at the expected trio of Potter, Granger and Weasley, and the less expected Longbottom (whose clumsiness seemed to have vanished entirely in that last dreadful year; he had certainly dealt with Nagini expeditiously). Severus frowned. Three wizards; one witch. He looked at Lucius, raising an eyebrow in query. Lucius didn't nod, but he smiled, then collected up the cards again.
So. He had Miss Granger to thank.
6. Minerva McGonagall breathed in hard, then quelled the hope that for a moment illuminated her face. "There are no more Time-Turners, the Department of Mysteries says –"
Ruthlessly Hermione set out her reasons for believing that Hogwarts staff had access to Time-Turners, no matter what had happened that night the Department of Mysteries had been invaded by both Death Eaters and school-children. Professor McGonagall didn't try to equivocate further.
"You're correct, of course, though if anyone else has worked it out they haven't said so. But for that purpose, my dear, yes, I shall lend you my Time-Turner – rather than the student one you used in third year. But you must do more than go back: you should take all the potions and medical equipment he may need. I only wish I could ask Poppy to go with you, but," her voice faltered, "there are too many people in the Infirmary, who still desperately need her help, and help from the Healers from St Mungo's who've Flooed in."
Hermione nodded acceptance. "Would Madam Pomfrey have time to select the potions and equipment for me?"
"I will ask her to do so. We both owe Severus that much. I owe him everything I can do, after having lost my faith in his goodwill, which was even greater than I once thought, as Harry and Voldemort between them made clear to everyone. But I shouldn't leave the Hall for long; so many people need reassurance, and I seem to be one of the few, barring Kingsley, who has serious work of his own to do, who can give it. Repairing that loss of faith cannot be set aside for our colleague, either; he'd understand. He gave everything to save our world, to help these children.
"Come. You took Poppy's classes in your sixth year, didn't you, on emergency mediwzardry?"
Hermione nodded again, as they both headed briskly for the stairs.
"Good. I shall pray for your success, but, Hermione – don't be too disappointed if you fail. He would certainly forgive that, and be ready to thank you for trying."
"It would be better if I can emulate him, and succeed," Hermione returned. "Someone should do something for him, for a change."
7. "Accio Grigor's Yellow Grimoire!" – a nasty piece of work, that. No book came flying, though there was a soft growl somewhere.
Hermione sighed, and tried to call up each of the missing books in turn, working through several summoning spells. As she feared, there was no response. That left manual searching, in the hope that the books were on display and not hidden away.
She had checked the three largest bookshelves by wandlight when all the torches sprang to life and a voice demanded sharply, "What do you think you're doing, Miss Granger?"
She turned, feeling a bit like the Lady of Shalott after she'd taken her eyes off the mirror: doomed for doing something stupid.
There was Snape, in a doorway that wasn't visible before. Momentarily too panicked to speak, she stared at him. He was wearing – she blinked in disbelief – a dull green flannel nightshirt that came to just above his ankles, covered his arms to the wrist, and had two ties at the throat. Also slippers. And, naturally, he held his wand in his right hand, slightly inclined in her direction. Snape wasn't likely to worry that a student could beat him to the draw, but he wouldn't have lived this long by taking chances.
"Kneazle got your tongue, girl?"
Saying nothing was supposed to be a good way to go. Don't volunteer information. She couldn't even placate him by apologising; no one wandered into his office, either innocently, or on a whim. She suddenly felt overheated, even though she had earlier discarded her cloak, and then her robes, because it was much warmer here than in the open – even in a fireless tower room in a stone castle in northern Scotland.
"It seems I have a choice," Snape remarked.
"Sir?" Her voice squeaked. Another reason to keep her mouth shut.
"There's Veritaserum, or Imperius, or ... Tell me, Miss Granger, are you bored with Mr Weasley yet? Do you like older men?"
8. Hermione had no idea what Snape had been doing for most of the last twenty years, apart from taking tea with Minerva McGonagall a couple of times a year. But here he was, in a Muggle legal deposit library, wanting a book she had got to first. If he was surprised at finding her there, he had had time to get over it; the slip bore yesterday's date.
"Madam Granger? Not Weasley? Still rushing in where only fools tread, emphasising your Muggleborn origins, expecting the world to be a better place after all your heroism?" Without a pause he swept on, less provocatively, "When do you expect to be finished with Flint's Herball?"
"Granger. I am no longer a member of the Weasley clan, if ever I was." She regretted that bitterness the moment it passed her lips, even before she saw Snape register it. "I have requested a digital copy of the book; this takes from a week to ten days, since it hasn't been previously scanned for the online collection. Not that they give a discount for that, of course."
Snape's lips pressed together in annoyance. Hermione had no intention of mentioning her duplicate copy, nor the second copy she had made last night for Neville. If Snape thought of the possibility, and asked nicely, she might allow him to make his own copy from hers – under supervision. And if not, bloody well not. She wasn't a child to be intimidated any longer.
Snape asked, "Why does it take so long?"
Perhaps he'd never needed anything copied before. Maybe this was his first visit.
She sat back so as not to be so obviously peering up at him, getting a crick in her neck. "Because there is a queue of such tasks, and few staff to perform the work. Because they have a schedule of their own of books to copy, and my request has to be fitted into that."
The man at the desk opposite hers hissed in irritation just as Snape did the same.
9. "We've won! You did it, together! You and Harry got it right. Isn't it wonderful?"
She wound her arms around his neck, disregarding the way his lean body stiffened as she pressed close. She would never match his height, but she could stand on tiptoe and reach his mouth, kissing him, heedless of his hands gripping her shoulders, until he pushed her back a little.
"You want this?"
He sounded suspicious, but there was a fire lit somewhere deep in the banked coals of his eyes.
"Of course I do! We're free! You're free!"
The fire blazed up. "Yes," he muttered, and pulled her close again, "we're alive." He sounded dazed.
There was nothing dazed about his mouth on hers, or the way his hands slid down her spine, pressing all the way, until they settled on her arse and seized on it, pulling her in so close that she could feel him against her belly. If she had been thinking, Hermione might have regretted she was so much shorter than he; instead she rose up on her toes again and canted her hips to try to catch and cradle him. She wasn't even astonished at how easy all this was proving to be.
His mouth was warm, the thin lips surprisingly soft, the tongue prying her lips apart was eager, and she followed his lead gladly, learning how sweetly intoxicating mouth to mouth could be, so much better than dabbing kisses all over what she could reach of his face.
She shifted her own grip on him so that she could feel him through his clothes, and was deeply interested in the shape and feel of his arse, narrow, firm, quite unlike her own, with a fascinating dip just above it that she wanted to touch with nothing between her hands and his skin. There was a lot more of him to explore.
10. His polite Floo call to the address Ross gave him found Harry Potter answering. Severus grimly ignored the ache in his knees and his neck as he peered through the flames at a young man in unabashedly Muggle clothing which revealed a solider body than he remembered, who had a wooden spoon in his hand. He wasn't wearing his glasses. Remedying vision was extremely difficult; what had the boy done?
"Professor Snape!" Potter said, quite cheerfully. "Ross said you were in town. Did you want to speak with Hermione? She'd need to call you back, I'm sorry; she's knee-deep in a potion she can't leave."
Severus Snape heard himself saying, "I wondered if I might visit your establishment."
He added, as fair warning of complications, "Professor Dumbledore thought I should go to see how some of my former students were getting on."
That was definitely amusement on Potter's face.
"By all means. Come to lunch, and stay a while, if you don't mind talking with one or other of us while we work."
Potter added tentatively, "We could give you a bed for the night, if you liked; it can't be very comfortable where you are."
Ross had even told them where their former teacher was putting up. He had indeed chosen it to save money, but he did not set great store by elaborate hired accommodation; somewhere quiet and clean to try to sleep would suffice. Security he could attend to himself, and did, no matter where he was.
Potter must have seen him swithering. He retained that perception he had so painfully and belatedly acquired.
More confidently he offered a real invitation. "Pack your bags, come and stay a few days. Ross told you we have plenty of room? And we do have a decent spare bed. You'd have the entire first floor to yourself."
Severus was still not sure, an hour later, as he paid his bill, why he had accepted.