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:
Cat Talk by Kalina
Furry Matchmaking by septentrion1970
The Great Tuna Heist by anastadne
Meetings by Mint Stick aka kribu
Catspaws by Doomspark
Blame it on the Cat by blue artemis
Technique by apollinav
Dead for a Ducat by Fandomme
The Better Man by ayerf
Things We Cannot Do by droxy WIP
Crookshank’s Legacy by magalena aka madeleone
Watching by dickgloucester
1. Crookshanks sniffed at the spoon his human offered him. At least she’d stopped trying to hide the nasty stuff in his food, an untrustworthy act he refused to fall for. That, and it made his meals smell revolting.
It still made his nose turn up, but it wasn’t contaminating his chicken. And judging from his human’s pleas, taking her dubious offering would make her happy. He took a cautious lap at it with his tongue.
He stared at the spoon, eyes narrowed, his fur standing on end.
It didn’t taste how it smelled. Suspicious…
Yet his Kneazle senses whispered to him that the maker of that stuff could be trusted.
He took another lick at the spoon, a clearer picture forming in his head of the maker. Dog-Man’s rival, the one with the big hooked nose and greasy hair.
Crooks cleaned off the spoon with another stroke of his tongue, savouring the pleasant taste and gleaning what else his instincts could.
Interesting… Hook-Nose wanted to mate with his human. More than that, he wanted to keep Bushy-Hair as his mate, rather than mate with as many females as he could. Humans were strange, but at least Hook-Nose had good taste.
Of course, by that argument, Red-Haired-Brat also had good taste. Crooks growled to himself, too low for his human to hear. Fine, he’d give Brat that much, but Hook-Nose was better, giving him nice tasting syrup, even if it did smell horrible.
2. Crookshanks lay under the table, his tail twitching in irritation.
It wasn't that he particularly disliked the Slytherin Common Room. It was dimly lit, and dimly lit was fine with him - shadows were good for lurking, after all, and lurking was among his favorite ways to pass time now that the rat was gone.
But he was a Kneazle with an agenda, and his agenda did not include being locked in the Slytherin Common Room any longer.
A nearby portrait sneezed and muttered something about "beasts."
"Yow," Crookshanks complained, and glared at the door.
"Quidditch," a voice declared and cleared its throat before continuing, "Not a soul in the castle. Not alive, anyway."
Crookshanks peered up at the piercing green eyes staring down at him from a portrait above the fireplace. A cat, slick black and wearing a fancy collar shifted in its owner's arms. It regarded Crookshanks with disdain.
"You don't belong here, familiar."
Crookshanks sniffed and narrowed his eyes as if that was perfectly plain. He wondered if his claws could tear canvas.
The cat examined its nails by the dim firelight and stated casually, "I could tell you how to get out. If you like...."
3. Snape examined the animal in detail for several minutes. Nothing could be over looked, not now.
"Ms. Granger, are you aware the demise of your cat is due to a curse?" he stated, a thread of anger strung under his factual demeanor.
She shook her head clutching the book tighter to her chest, "why?"
"I would ask that of you," his hard dark eyes meeting hers, "the penalty of this action is expulsion."
Her lips began trembling, "I was near the kitchens. I heard a racket, I found him barely breathing."
Snape surveyed the slain cat, "He saved your life."
4. Hermione watched Crookshanks hop down and meander slowly across the room. He got halfway to the archway leading to the kitchen area when he stopped dead in his tracks. Just froze there really, and stood unmoving for a full two to three minutes before finally, with a little shake, he continued on his way.
Hermione sighed. He did that more and more often these days. It was as if he’d simply forgotten for a moment where he was going and how to get there. Kitty dementia, she called it. He moved more stiffly and slowly too, and she knew his joints probably ached. To be honest, she really had no idea how old Crooksie was. She’d gotten him from The Magical Menagerie in Diagon Ally before the school year in 1993, but he’d been no kitten, even then. They’d said they had no idea how old he was, but he’d been there in the shop for a long time.
She’d had him for nearly seventeen years, but figured he had to be close to twenty at least, and most likely much older. He was thought to be half Kneazle, and they were known to live longer than regular Muggle cats. But the witch at the shop had hinted to Hermione that her choice for a familiar had already had several owners, and he had been returned multiple times before she’d bought him and bonded with the orange furball. It was quite possible that he was as old as twenty-five or more.
She had never regretted the purchase of her dear familiar, but she knew now, all these years later, that his time was growing short. The thought saddened her. Just last night, he’d been lying on the arm of her favorite comfy chair as she read, when he’d suddenly fallen off. Just—bang—down onto the floor. She had been scared to look, thinking that he’d dropped over dead. But when she finally got the courage to look see, he was there staring up at her with a confused look on his face, as if wondering how he’d gotten there.
Small humans. Running. Shouting. Yelling. Screaming.
Crookshanks winced. The noise was hurting his delicate ears. And those smaller humans were very, very good at making noise. And at running around not looking where they were going. One had nearly trampled on his tail; Crookshanks gave it a quick lick, making sure his pride and joy was still there and whole. Another had tried to catch him, yelling something about ‘having fun with the ugly orange beast’, but he’d managed to escape.
He wandered downwards, letting his whiskers lead the way.
It was quiet here, in the lowest levels of the castle. Barely anyone moving around, especially when the smaller humans were herded into the rooms breaking off from the main corridor and locked away safely.
Something – someone – was moving in one of the dark corners.
Crookshanks sniffed the air. Warm. Living. Food-like, his nose told him.
He crouched, pulling his ears closer to his head, concentrated, and pounced.
6. Most of the time, Severus liked cats. They weren't needy, rarely drooled, used litter-pans, and did not bark or shriek. They could hunt their own game. Even domesticated cats could point out spiders or especially weak mice. There was something admirable in that. They always landed on their feet - that was something he knew quite a lot about.
The one he just chased through the portrait-hole (oh, the portrait didn't like that one bit--he squeezed in just behind the cat, and it felt like gulping lead paint for air) guarding Gryffindor Tower had stretched 'admirable' to 'damnable,' in this case. He had lost the rat somewhere in his dungeons, and a simple locating spell found it again--it sat cornered by a big, orange tom in an adjacent hallway. The cat possessed a strange, smashed-in face that he guessed meant it was yet another ridiculous purebred purchase. Why the stupidly wealthy decided to spend their money on animals whose breeding was decided by bored small-time Mengeles rather than evolution was entirely beyond him. Honestly, a good familiar did not a gifted wizard make--the price tag didn't promise the success of the product.
The rat squealed and ran away. Intent on the hunt, the orange cat bolted after it. And Severus--because he was many times a fool, not least because he had let the vermin escape--gave chase. To a cat. A big, fat, orange cat with a smashed-in face.
The only reason he permitted such an indignity was because the rat was none other than Wormtail, who was about to take his flea-ridden self outside of the Apparition boundaries and run off to squeak his bits of gossip to the Dark Lord.
7. For a few years, he was the only one who had that knack.
Then Granger's scraggy old cat showed up.
She had returned to the school to teach, still bossy, still book-obsessed, still single. No Weasley brats for her, then. Ah, yes. A few months after her return, the Prophet carried photos of Weasley's marriage to Pansy Parkinson, of all people. Granger wasn't featured in the photos of the wedding guests. It didn't seem to trouble her.
He kept up his observations, unseen, as he thought, until one day the cat showed up in his living room, curled on the chair where he had been intending to spend the evening immersed in a book. He removed the ugly brute, noting that it seemed to have regained weight and condition, and sat down. Two minutes later, it was back, acting as though his lap was its property. He continued to read while he teased the knots out of its fur.
Granger missed her cat, that much was evident.
She never got herself another, though she kept the orange demon's bed and bowls in her room.
He told the animal it ought to go back, show itself to her, but it remained pressed against his ankles, watching, like him, from the shadows as she mourned and recovered and grew older, settling into her position at the school and progressing inevitably to the headship that awaited her.
8. “So, what would you have me do, my dear? Your time is almost up.”
“Modify the law. Make it so that in response to considering their suit, my suitors owe me a favor.” Hermione’s smile would frighten the staunchest Slytherin.
Lucius was no exception.
“As you wish, my dear. But what will be the favor?”
“You can not tell anyone!”
Lucius and Cissy swore a Wand Oath never to tell.
“I’m going to ask them to cat-sit!”
After Hermione had left the office, and Lucius and Cissy had stopped laughing, Lucius modified the law. He was happy to do so, as Crookshanks was the reason that Hermione and Harry had testified for him as well as the rest of his family.
Hermione was pleased when she received her letter stating the modification, and when the notice that Hermione would be vetting suitors in order to comply with the marriage law hit the papers, the owls started flooding in.
9. Severus heaved himself up and padded off to the loo. He had just found the light switch when a low rumbling voice spoke.
“Close the door! No you idiot-man, get in here and close the door.”
Severus’ heart was hammering in his chest. It had been years since he had to carry his wand just to take a piss, and now… now that he’d been lulled into a false sense of security – respectability, a home, a wife – now it was all going to be snatched away.
“Will you move? And for fuck’s sake, close the damn door.”
Severus’ eyes traveled around the bathroom, blinking at nooks and crannies and peering into the folds of the hanging shower curtain before he looked down.
“You,” Severus whispered, stepping into the bathroom and closing the door.
He swore the ginger cat rolled his eyes.
“Listen, mate,” the Tom spoke up without moving his mouth. “I don’t interfere in your life, and you don’t interfere with mine, but I think it’s high time I gave you some friendly advice. Yeah?”
Severus dumbly nodded.
10. He awoke to the sensation of movement in his bed and was immediately confronted by the glow of two golden eyes in the darkness. He did what any normal, recently concussed human being would do under those circumstances: He screamed.
Whatever it was jumped and emitted a low growl, and Severus gathered his wits sufficiently to reach for his wand.
"Lumos," he hissed, and the tip of his wand flared, revealing an enormous, squash-faced cat the colour of a pumpkin and nearly as big.
"You!" He regarded the cat with the look he usually reserved for boggarts in his underwear drawer. "What? Come back to finish the job?"
The cat gave him a haughty look and then turned himself around and, presenting Severus with an impressive view of his hindquarters, settled comfortably on the duvet.
"You're not sleeping here," Severus said, using the voice that had reduced many a first-year student to tears. "I don't know what you're doing in my quarters, but you're not sleeping in this bed."
Crookshanks answered with a soft snore.
Severus considered the amount of energy it would take to lift the enormous cat and carry him to the corridor. "Just stay on your side of the bed, then," he snapped. "I do not cuddle."