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27 July 2012 @ 09:56 am
Animagus - Part 2  
Talented witches and wizards are able to take on an animal form by becoming an Animagus. The form of their Animagus can be useful, beautiful or sometimes downright embarrassing. This week's story list gives us twelve authors' takes on what Hermione and Severus might become. Do you remember who turns into what?

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!

Oh, and when you're done, if you're still craving more Animagus stories check out our original Animagus Quiz. After all, you wouldn't want to pass up ShetlandPony!Hermione or SeaSerpent!Snape, now would you?

Match the quotes to the story titles without picking the red herring titles:

Tufted Ears, Bushy Tail by blueartemis07
The Fatuous Fable of the False Frog by the_slacker
What Is This Thing Called Love? by kittyperry
A Looping of the Scales by ms_figg
The Zoo that Got Away by leni_jess
Learning Curve by melenka
Tree of Life by Machshefa aka shefa
Vixen by SheriLovingLecter aka sherilecter
Recovery by debjunk
The Five Winters by anubisankh
Explorations by Mint Stick aka kribu
The Problem with Purity by Silver Birch aka phoenix_writing

1. It was meant to be an academic exercise. Hermione was good at those, stellar in fact. When she’d found the book in Paris, she’d assumed it was utter tripe. One could not Learn to be an Animagus in Ten Simple Steps, not even if one was French. The book was barely legible, and even then it was hardly readable. Hermione had ignored the flowery poetry in the margin and stuck to the printed text. If nothing else, studying the tome had provided a distraction from her last year at Hogwarts.

Not that they were actually at Hogwarts, of course. The damage caused to the school during the war had rendered it unusable. Repairs were expected to take at least a year. The school had temporarily been relocated to Megginch Castle, partly because the occupants were easily convinced to go on holiday (by what method, no one dared ask) but more, Hermione thought, because its smaller size would make less obvious how few students returned to finish out their education. Hermione, naturally, could not rest without taking her N.E.W.T.s.

Which is exactly what I should have been focusing on, instead of mucking about with silly French texts.

She sighed. Or she would have, were it possible in her current state. What emerged was more of a yawn, followed by three short sneezes. She stalked from one end of her room to the other, then back again. She stretched, shoulders dropping as she reached in front of her, back arching sinuously, bum and tail reaching for the ceiling. Her claws caught in the rug, so she sharpened them there until she realized what she was doing.

“Damn and blast!” she attempted to say. What came out was a cross between a hiss and a yowl.

2. "No one has yet convinced me that my choice was made imprudently, and you're not the only one to have tried. I haven't regretted it, not even when it was going horribly awry."

"No?" he said, attempting a light tone. "No wishes for Quidditch stars and pretty promises?"

"Not even when people tried very hard to hand them to me on a silver platter." Oh, to hell with it. "It's you I want, Severus."

"You sound very certain now," he began.

"And I will always be very certain," she overrode him. "Do you know anything about the mating habits of unicorns?"

He blinked at what he perceived as a non-sequitur. "Not as much as you, I'm sure."

"When they mate," she said, "they mate for life."

He was clearly waiting for more, and she was waiting for what she'd said to sink in.

A frown furrowed his brow. "You're not a unicorn."

She rose to her feet, moved around the nearest counter so that she had enough free space, and transformed.

I am, she corrected. You might not see it all the time, but in some very fundamental ways, this is what I am.

She hadn't even thought about the fact that the only other time he'd seen her in this form was fleetingly just before she'd run off after being injured. He approached her slowly, reaching out a hand to lightly brush the scar on her chest. Abruptly, he snatched his hand away, looking at her guiltily.

It's all right, she reassured him. You're my mate.

3. Hermione took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Do not attempt to visualise any specific animal, the book had cautioned. You may think you know what beast best represents your self, but you might find yourself surprised. Confusing your mind may lead to danger; eyewitness accounts describe accidents worse than Splinching when an Animagus Transfiguration attempt has gone wrong.

This wasn't easy. Her mind was always so busy, swarming with thoughts, decisions, curiosity... She wondered if she might be an otter. She realised that her Animagus form might not reflect her Patronus, but there was also nothing speaking against that. And being an otter wouldn't be that bad. She rather liked water.

Severus had attempted to teach her some methods of keeping her mind blank, but his patience, never infinite, had been sorely tried. In the interest of keeping their relationship intact, they had agreed that she should continue on her own, finding what worked best for her.

She was sitting on the floor, having made sure there was plenty of space all around her. She didn't think she'd be an elephant, but – well, the book said she might be surprised.

She decided to try and focus on nothing but the incantations. With any luck, exercising the mental energy that doing spells non-verbally still demanded of her would keep any stray thoughts at bay.

When she felt her body start to change, she very nearly lost her focus. It was only with sheer stubbornness that she hung on, determined to see this through. She knew Severus was right there, ready to turn her back, in case anything went wrong; they had gone over that part of the theory repeatedly before even trying anything else.

4. "Did anyone see Hermione at all yesterday?" Ginny asked.

Neville Longbottom, who was sitting next to her, answered.

"Yeah, I did. I saw her leaving the castle with professor Snape around seven-thirty last night. He had a broom with him," Neville replied.

"They were probably testing his Animagus form again," Harry said.

Neville looked interested.

"Snape is an Animagus? I never knew that."

"Well, he wasn't last time around. But this time, yeah. He changes into a gryffin."

"Wow. A gryffin," Neville breathed, impressed. "I'd like to see that."

Ron frowned as he buttered his toast.

"Maybe he'll show us this weekend," Ginny said. "We can ask him. All he can say is no."

"He probably won't," Ron said enviously. "He'll probably be too happy to show it off. Git."

By lunchtime, nearly everyone knew that the former professor Snape was an Animagus and what his form was. Professor Slughorn was particularly impressed.

"That is quite a form, quite a form indeed, if it's true," he said to Minerva at lunch.

"Oh, but it is true, Horace. He came to me to register yesterday. It's a beautiful transformation, and rare."

"You know, Minerva, Severus has been far too solitary since his accident. He needs to get out and reacquaint himself with the world. I believe I'll invite him to one of my little get-togethers, introduce him to a few people, or re-introduce him, rather."

Minerva rolled her eyes.

5. At the beginning of the sixth week, Hermione asked Draco to accompany her out to the shack. Her calculations had told her that this was the best day to do so. He helped her to bring down the wards and was pleased to do so because these were his father's magic, and they were still strong, indicating to Draco that at least one of his parents was alive. Hermione instructed him to return to Grimmauld Place. She would return as soon as she had fetched what she came out to retrieve.

As usual, Hermione ran up the tree in her Animagus form, but once at the window, she leapt inside. Severus was startled. He was flabbergasted when she ran up to him and shifted forms. He figured he was hallucinating, that he had missed a poison in the food.

"I'm real, Severus. I'm here, I would never leave you!" Hermione declared.

"I'm surprised Albus gave you permission," he replied, unwilling to believe that this witch had risked all of this for him.

"He didn't."

Hermione looked at Severus, but when he didn't give her any indication, by word or by facial expression, that he was pleased that she had done so much for him, her heart broke. She had spent the last six weeks realizing that she loved the dour man. She loved his wit, his passion for his work and his friendship. She would have risked anything for him, which was why she had done what she did. But after he made no comment, and his expression didn't change, she figured he did not feel the same.

She began to turn around, to lead him out the door and out to freedom, when he reached out for her.

"Hermione, I... I... Please don't leave me!"

"I would never, Severus. I came every day once I found you." She smiled encouragingly at him.

6. “Well, don’t just sit there gawking at yourself!” Minerva chided. “Fly!”

Hermione looked up at the Headmistress. She wasn’t sure what to do. Shouldn’t this be instinctive? She spread her wings out and flapped them slowly. Nothing happened.

“Hermione, you must think like a bird,” Minerva coached.

How does one think like a bird? She hadn’t the slightest idea. Finally, she just pictured herself soaring through the air. The usual hysteria that accompanied her thoughts of flying wasn’t there. Instead, excitement filled her. She was almost bursting with joy! Without even thinking, she felt herself lift off, and then she was in the air. Freedom, sheer freedom. Hermione circled the room several times, then flew toward the ceiling and did a loop. The air rushed past her beak and flowed over her wings. She could do anything!

“Come back down now, Hermione,” Minerva instructed.

Dismay filled Hermione as she set back down onto the table nearest Minerva.

“Now the hard part,” Minerva explained. “Turning back. Now that you’ve transformed, you will be able to do the spell silently. All you need do is think the spell, and you should transform back to yourself.”

Hermione frowned within, but did as her instructor directed. In an instant, she was Hermione again… diminished.

“Minerva, that was indescribable!” she cried as she hopped down from the table.

“It is quite an interesting sensation, isn’t it, Hermione.”

7. They had gone to Dumbledore and he had set in place that 'drastic measure' he had been talking about…

That was how she came to be sulking in Professor Snape's quarters; her chocolate eyes were resting on the man stood talking to Dumbledore, not bothering to keep his voice down.

"Headmaster, this is absurd! Why can't Minerva take care of her? She's her head of house! What about her fur? I don't want it moulting everywhere! She wont eat anything either! Albus I am completely the wrong person to deal with an emotionally unstable, depressed, grieving, know-it-all, I refuse to do it!"

Albus Dumbledore's face stayed in its amused expression whilst his voice took on a serious tone.

"Minerva is unsuitable to look after Miss Granger at the present, as to her fur? A daily brush should keep her from moulting and to her eating? Well she will eat with a little persuasion I'm sure, as to her emotional state, I believe you to be the perfect person to pull her from it Severus; you will not let her wallow and it is most likely I think, that the two of you will become friends. As to your refusal Severus, I wont take no for an answer, she needs you, she is virtually defenceless in that form."

They both looked at her, Professor Snape with a glare and Dumbledore with amusement tinged with sadness, her ear twitched as she stood moving away from the living room quickly, her tail flicking in her wake.

If readers you are wondering why our heroine has a tail and ears that can twitch, or why the two men were discussing moulting fur or her inability to protect herself in her particular 'form'.

It was because, to stop her from getting into further mischief, courtesy of the headmaster, she was trapped in her animagus form.

8. “Well, Hermione, I’ve got plenty of information to start with. Malfoy and I will be taking our leave now, and get cracking on this case.”

Hermione looked up, tears welling once more. “Oh, thank you, Neville,” she said. “Please… please find him soon.”

This was the point at which Longbottom would generally clasp the hand of the distressed client. He moved to do so, only to be reminded of the fact that he held a small frog within his hands.

“Oh!” said Longbottom. “You’ve been awfully still, little fellow! Are you alright?” He noticed Hermione’s curious look. “Ah, we found him on your front steps, Hermione.” He held him forward for her to see. “Only a Common Frog, I’m afraid.”

Hermione leaned forward. “Only a Common Frog, perhaps,” she said quietly, “but he’s rather beautiful, don’t you think?”

Longbottom grinned, almost proudly. “I’ve named him Algernon.”

Malfoy nearly burst. “Fioravante’s teeth, Longbottom! Bit of a fruity name for the frog, don’t you think?”

“I think it’s very clever, Neville,” said Hermione. “I shall always call him Algy.”

Malfoy groaned.

“Severus hates Common Frogs,” Hermione giggled in a tearful sort of way. “’The single, most wretched amphibian in existence,’ he says. They’re the only frogs with no use in potions, you see.”

9. Early morning, just as the dawn was breaking, they made their way out into the grounds by the lake. There, in a secluded niche, Hermione and Severus began their visualisations. Soon, Hermione felt the resonance of her aura attune to her inner animal and began chanting the incantation. With the chanting directing her magic inward, Hermione felt her magic beginning to change. She had been training ardently for months and was more than ready for the challenge. With a sudden shift in her aura, she transformed into a small, gray owl. Once transformed, she hopped around attempting to coordinate her wings and her vision before preening herself in front of Severus and Minerva. Then, gathering her suddenly altered sense of perception, Hermione broke into flight. She did not feel uncertain in the air; she felt as though she had finally found her place in the universe. Wanting to wait for Severus, Hermione didn’t go far. She merely tested out her wings before returning to alight onto Severus’ outstretched arm.

Severus stroked the soft down of Hermione’s new form. Then, he released her to alight on Minerva’s waiting arm. From there, Minerva and Hermione watched Severus go through his intensely concentrated visualisation.

Severus took much longer, and Hermione, perched as she now was on Minerva’s shoulder, began to despair for her beloved. She knew she would be devastated if he failed, and Severus would himself be broken-hearted. She recognized that being able to transform had been one of his most ardent desires. As Hermione watched, her owl eyes fixed on the man she loved beyond life itself, there was a sudden burst of magic. Hermione felt the shift in the magnetic field surrounding Severus. With a sudden shuddering of his body, he transformed into a majestic golden eagle.

Minerva, who had watched the pair with rapt silence, thought Severus’ form was apt. Like his Animagus form, Severus was solitary, sharp and a predator, but he also was like his transfigured form, a creature that mated for life and had an extremely caring, faithful and protective nature.

10. Hermione continued to be reluctant to use Polyjuice, though they would take a supply with them, in case it was truly needed. She suggested that they could examine the private zoo around dusk, in an hour or so's time, when Severus would appear normal, being an owl. Though her gannet was almost entirely white save for her black wing tips (and large) and hence conspicuous, she could fly high enough to be out of normal visual range, and yet see well herself. So would Severus see well, flying closer to the ground, as was natural to his form.

Lucius said dispassionately, "You're really against using Polyjuice, aren't you?"

Hermione mumbled, "Bad experiences. Turned to a sort-of cat in second year – for weeks! Dreaming of chasing mice! Unable to read, or manipulate things! Not a proper person, and not a proper cat either. No choices. I hated it. Then the next time, we met Nagini, hiding in an old woman's body," (Lucius made a face of extreme distaste), "and I broke Harry's wand. I haven't done it since. Something would be bound to go wrong."

"You got over being too frightened to fly," Severus said briskly. "Maybe you should get over this irrational fear, too."

"I'd rather go as the gannet!"

puzzlegrrl: Dark sidepuzzlegrrl on July 30th, 2012 03:02 am (UTC)
1 Learning Curve by melenka
2 The Problem with Purity by Silver Birch
3 Explorations by Mint Stick
4 A Looping of the Scales by ms_figg
5 Tufted Ears, Bushy Tail by blueartemis07
6 Recovery by debjunk
7 Vixen by SheriLovingLecter
8 The Fatuous Fable of the False Frog by the_slacker
9 What Is This Thing Called Love? by kittyperry
10 The Zoo that Got Away by leni_jess
morethansirius: Unicorn in the forestmorethansirius on July 30th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
Congrats on acing the SSHG Animagus Quiz! Here's your pretty banner to prove you are a know-it-all.

itchyfoot: Snape at the Beachitchyfoot on July 30th, 2012 10:30 am (UTC)
1. Learning Curve by melenka
2. The Problem with Purity by Silver Birch
3. Explorations by Mint Stick aka kribu
4. The Five Winters by anubisankh
5. Tufted Ears, Bushy Tail by blueartemis07
6. Recovery by debjunk
7. Vixen by SheriLovingLecter aka sherilecter
8. The Fatuous Fable of the False Frog by the_slacker
9. What Is This Thing Called Love? by kittyperry
10. The Zoo that Got Away by leni_jess

morethansirius: Unicorn in the forestmorethansirius on July 30th, 2012 04:43 pm (UTC)
Oooooh, so very close! Excellent work, my little quizzling. However, #4 is A Looping of the Scales by ms_figg.