PSSSSSST! If you find yourself free on Saturday and want to party in spite of not going to Ascendio, the lovely ladies of TPP have invited everyone to their chat room! The party starts at 7 pm GMT (=2 pm EST, 1 pm CST, noon MST, 11 am PST) and lasts for as long as we want. For more information check HERE or HERE. It's time to party!
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:
Mindless Bliss by rivertempest
Gentle Into the Night by zeegrindylows
Tempo by bluestocking79
Sandalwood by gilded_glamour
Hogwarts Heat Wave by m_mcgonagall_65
From Beyond The Grave by foudebassan
The Dead Never Truly Leave Us by mundungus42
The Birthday - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 by lady_rhian
What goes around...Part 1, The rest of the story on HPCon_Envy by melusin_79
Mirrors by shefa
Trinity by dreamy_dragon73
Dusk by bambu345
Kiss by madeleone
Contraceptus by ariadne1
1. She’s in the middle of buying a handful of dom rodrigos when he bumps into her.
He doesn’t turn around, doesn’t acknowledge her, doesn’t stop to apologise. Instead, he simply carries on his leisurely way. The only proof that he was there at all is the soft, sensual scent of sandalwood that lingers on her arm.
For the briefest fraction of a second, she thinks nothing of it. After all, she is in a crowded marketplace in Lagos, Portugal, with barely any breathing space, let alone the space to move without jostling someone— or being jostled. The chorus of yelling, bartering, ‘who will buy my fresh fish?’, ‘are you crazy? My wife makes better bacalhau!’ and loud chatting and laughing means she can hardly hear herself think. There is such a symphony of scents, from the strong aroma of the fish to the tantalising whiff of port; the temptation of fresh seafood sizzling on an open grill; thick, fragrant olive oil, pungent onions and ripe, juicy tomatoes; it is the olfactory equivalent of an entire orchestra of people playing to their own tune.
And yet, above all this, she can smell the sandalwood, the absolute essence of santalum album where he brushed against her, so clear that he might as well be standing next to her and not already a metre away. But it isn’t just sandalwood; in a matter of this one precious second in which she is still caught, she can smell the smallest hint of patchouli, a swirl of cloves, a whisper of peppermint.
She knows only one person, one man who smells like this, and he has been missing for five years.
2. When he curls his body around hers on their bed, bodies flushed from lovemaking, he thinks he might have enjoyed being a cat.
She draws a lazy finger along a collarbone that doesn’t jut out anymore as it had in lonelier times, trailing after it with her tongue. “Salty,” she murmurs into his skin. “Sweet.” He would purr if he were a cat, he thinks, but he is a wizard, and so makes do with a voice rough with pleasure and his own dexterous hands.
Later, sated again, the impatient meow from outside their bedroom door finds them, and he can’t help it. He smirks. A bit.
They’ve come to a détente, he and the half-kneazle. They understand one another now—two half bloods, unwanted for too long to drop their guards easily, no matter the warmth of the welcome. As the one who appeared much later in Hermione’s life, Severus still revels in the knowledge that when the bedroom door closes, he is on the inside.
3. 'Is that a first edition?'
'Yes, it has the original engravings in it as well. They were removed from later editions because they were thought too lascivious.'
Severus and Hermione bent their heads together over one of Hermione's books. As this was happening with nearly every book they pulled from her shelves, they hadn't made much progress yet.
'If you go on like this, we'll still be here next week.' Lucius's voice could be heard from the doorway. Severus and Hermione hadn't noticed that he had come in. Lucius walked into the room and lowered the stack of books he had been carrying into one of the boxes. 'Tell me again why we're doing this without using magic.'
Severus rolled his eyes.
'Some of these are volatile and could cause mayhem in contact with magic. Muggle flat, Muggle area — remember?' Hermione said.
Lucius muttered something that sounded suspiciously like "could always cast Obliviates" as he disappeared into the corridor again.
4. Their relationship changed one night in the latter part of April, when things were their most oppressive and dangerous. Bedraggled and in pain, clutching the area surrounding his left ribs, Snape made his way to their designated meeting spot on the furthest shore of the Black Lake. Resting against a tree, he didn’t have to wait long for her to arrive.
“Danger lies before you, while safety lies behind,” Hermione whispered into the inky darkness. It was their code to distinguish one another from an imposter. She was the only one who knew the correct answer from so long ago.
A laboured breath wheezed the remaining stanza of the riddle. “Two of us will... help you, whichever... you would find.”
“Severus?” There was a brief rustling of leaves and then she was beside him, a worried expression on her face. “What happened?”
“Nothing, you silly girl.” He tried to push her away but she refused to budge. “Overzealous Death Eaters, if you must know,” he groused when she glared at him.
Ignoring his protests, she removed his hand from his side and felt along his trunk for the injury. She stopped the moment he hissed in agony and her hand came away coated in his blood. “I think your lung is punctured,” she murmured.
“I figured that out long ago, Miss Granger.” He halted her hand which was reaching for her wand, assuming she was going to heal him. “The Dark Lord will know if you use it.”
She frowned, retrieving it anyway. “How?”
He tapped the hand holding the twisted hawthorn stick. “Because it’s Bellatrix’s wand.”
5. Hermione dislikes Tchaikovsky.
She was certain she'd never appreciate it—it's too romantic—but when she hears it alongside Severus, she finds herself reconsidering.
The music sounds lush and lovely now. It conjures thoughts of crashing waves, beautiful and slightly frightening in their power to sweep her away, flooding her with emotions she couldn't begin to name.
Severus feels it, too. It's obvious in his warm, glittering gaze and the flush of pink on his cheek.
The pink deepens when she kisses that cheek.
He says nothing—but the hand he presses to his cheek in silent amazement speaks volumes.
6. A bank of storm clouds cast a threatening pall over the neglected neighborhood, its vanguard of fog crept in and around houses like malevolent fingers. Hermione picked her way carefully down a narrow path between houses, following Narcissa Malfoy’s directions to the letter.
By the time she reached the front door of number thirty-nine, Hermione senses were on full alert, a bit of residual, post-war paranoia -- it’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you, Hermione -- and when she knocked on the faded red door, her wand was in her hand. The door swung inward, silently, and tendrils of the heavy fog swirled into the dark room.
She cleared her throat. “Sir? Professor—I mean, Mr. Snape, are you here?”
“Marginally.” The answer was quiet, and Hermione almost didn’t recognize his voice, but she took it for an invitation and crossed the threshold. To her credit she didn’t jump when the door slammed shut behind her.
The room was stifling, a blend of unwashed male, firewhisky and a hearth too long neglected. Fortunately, the room was also dark, so no one could see Hermione wrinkle her nose in distaste.
Severus’ carefully enunciated question filled the room. “What … is … it …you …want?”
“Are you drunk?”
“God, I hope so,” was the slurred answer.
7. She took the shoe from Severus and sat on the vanity stool. Her sensible flats were off in a trice, she rolled up her trousers to mid-calf, and slid on the shoe that had been in the box. The leather hadn’t been properly broken in, so she had to wiggle her heel to get it in, but once past the curved edge her heel sank into the smooth leather. Severus’s shoe had a warmth to it, as of the touch of respectful fingers.
She looked down at her pale toes peeking from the cutout and imagined how a woman who lived her life in combat boots had come to buy them. And then she rose to her feet and it all made sense.
Her weight was on the balls of her feet, which usually felt unpleasant in court shoes, but these made her feel as if she were tensed to spring. Her calves were taut, and she cautiously took a few steps toward Severus, hands held out in front of her in case she were to fall. After a moment, she gained her balance and looked at the full-length mirror on the closet.
Even with her incongruous clothing, Hermione felt as if she could conquer the world with a few steps. The muscles in her legs felt strong, as if she could kick the arse of anything that crossed her path. There was beauty, to be sure, but there was also the exhilaration, the pleasure, the confidence in her own power that made her smile down at Severus, as if from a great height.
He was sitting on the bed, gazing up at her with an expression that would have been unreadable but for the light dancing in his eyes. He rose and walked toward her, and she couldn’t help but break into a grin.
His smile was like water, bathing her in delight, and she reached out for him. There was a soft thunk as one shoe caught on the edge of the rug, and she was falling, the floor rising fast towards her. And then she was safe, held tightly in strong arms, gathered in as if she were something precious.
8. She was twirling the other sandal around her finger, glaring moodily through a tumbled curl at her table, where potion bottles arrayed themselves on a chessboard, playing through a series of moves only to stop, re-set, and start over.
No series of moves was longer than six.
She didn't look up at his arrival, just sat twirling her shoe.
"I've returned its mate."
"So I see."
The potions bottles continued their abbreviated games.
"Do you plan to explain your hasty departure?"
The twirling stopped. She held up her shoe, giving him an excellent view of its heel.
"No. Deduce it."
9. She knew she shouldn’t have taken that notebook. It was neatly hidden in the nightstand in Snape’s house at Spinner’s End. She was there to empty the house – it reverted to the Ministry since the Headmaster didn’t have any heirs, and they wanted to sell it. Its price, added to those of the various ingredients in his private brewing supplies, was meant to finance the rebuilding of the Severus Snape classroom at Hogwarts.
But that notebook was blank, it didn’t have any value, and it couldn’t be left in a house shortly to be sold to a Muggle family, so she just took it. It wasn’t theft – just thriftiness. She stored it on the top of her shelf, and forgot about it for the next twenty-five years.
Then came the divorce, and the splitting all their possessions. The notebook resurfaced, and she plopped the small, blank, leather-bound volume in her enlarged handbag without giving it a second thought.
One day, as she was looking for a piece of paper to write her grocery list on, her hand fell on it. Its soft leathery spine and used looked seemed to beckon her to use it, so she opened it.
Private Property of Severus Snape stood in a neat, round print on the first page. Probably the result of a Dictaquill… Some people really had it for alliterations, she thought. Still, it didn’t seem respectful to write right under him.
10. Hermione blinked hard, trying to dispel the tears of pain that had sprung into her eyes when the light hit them. As they began to adjust, she could make out a dark figure, an all-too-familiar silhouette.
"I was looking for you," she whispered. "Your body was gone, Harry said that snake had come back and--and swallowed you." She shuddered.
"But you thought better of my abilities, did you?" he said dryly. In the wandlight, she could see his sneer.
"I didn't want you to be dead."
He gave an unpleasant snort. "Touching, Granger."
She flinched, stung. Even after a year away from school, even after months upon months of being absolutely convinced he was a Death Eater and a traitor, she respected him, craved his approval. From the superior look in his eye, he knew it.
Of course, he was a Death Eater and a traitor ... she'd just been wrong about which side he'd been a traitor to.
"How clever," he murmured, sounding not at all impressed, and she suddenly realized that he'd been using Legilimency on her. She looked away, blushing, furious with herself for not realizing it sooner.