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:
One Night in Azkaban by plaidpooka
To Put Him Out Of His Misery by septentrion1970
Prisoners of Azkaban by satismagic
The Director by bound_by_passion
Dreams Come True by bambu345
Women on Top by maddyriddle
A Fortiori by dreamy_dragon73
Exile in Siberia by Noelani Sitara
Sleep Tight by apollinav
Returning by whitesilence aka silentpheonix
The Plight-Trothed Bride by beaweasley2 WIP
Friends, Teachers, Chocolate by peskipiksi
1. Hermione was the first one to speak. Maybe Gryffindor courage was a good thing; or maybe she was simply bored and needed to talk, even if it was to her cell mate.
"I guess we need some rules between us if we're to survive in this place".
Bella had a calculating look of her own. She might have been a fervent follower of the Supreme Snake, but she could see that hanging onto old customs wasn't productive in her new situation... maybe the Mudblood had enough sense in her...
"What do you think if we stop this staring contest and work together to survive?" said Hermione. Sighing at Bella's silence, she continued, "I intend to live several decades more, and I guess you wouldn't do me the favour of dropping dead any time soon either, so what do you say about figuring out how to make this situation less horrid?"
Bella thought that the young woman was a bit straight forward for her taste, but she was not only human, she seemed to be in possession of a brain, too. There might not be any Dementors left in Azkaban, but that didn't mean the prison was more welcoming than the last time she had been here.
After that, they argued long about what they could do, and who of them would do it. Both wanted to be in charge. But they came to an agreement some time over the next days.
And so their acquaintance started. Partnership began the first time they planned to attack one of the guards to steal more food, and their complicity grew as they started planning bigger things. Two months after that, no one would have thought they had been enemies in the past.
2. Shortly after Voldemort’s fall, Fudge had been summarily drummed out of office for incompetence. One of the first actions of the newly appointed Minister Bones had been to build a new and more humane wizard’s prison and do away with Azkaban altogether. The new prison was built and relied on human guards and magic wards to keep the peace. Azkaban had been emptied and its Dementors destroyed. This sparked a tremendous feeling of relief through every heart in the wizarding world. Well, through every heart save one. Severus could not find peace in the death of Azkaban until he searched it one last time for the truth of what he had seen while he was imprisoned there.
Once inside, Severus turned left and made his way into the first wing of cells. Every door was open; every cell abandoned. He was halfway through the corridor when a sudden gust of the spring wind blew the front door of the castle shut. The single sound floated down the dead cellblock and then rushed back. It made Severus start in surprise and reminded him that if what he suspected was true, he had reason to be cautious in this seemingly lifeless place.
3. “Psst, Snape!” a voice loudly whispered.
“Ungh,” was his reply as the frail man turned on his hardened cot.
“Psst!” the small voice persisted several more times.
An eyelid cracked. A glimmering obsidian eye searched out the darkened shadows of his cramped cell. Moonlight trickling through the narrow window shot a sliver of light across the floor. It wasn’t enough light to be useful, but just enough to heighten the shadows of Azkaban.
“Hey, Snapey. Over here!” his conspiratorial voice prodded again.
“Reveal yourself,” Severus demanded, laboring up from his interrupted rest. Three weeks languishing in prison had not improved his ability to find rest on the thin straw pallet they’d given him, but it had created a permanent ache in his limbs.
“Where?” Severus asked warily. He had neither seen nor heard another prisoner since arriving at the North Sea fortress.
4. He pulled harshly at his hair as he crouched in the far corner of his cell, as far away as possible from the Dementor at his cell door.
He couldn't breathe — the stench of the foul creature filled the room, filling his head and eating away at all his memories.
Damn it, why didn't this one leave him alone? He could feel its eagerness, and just its presence was enough to drive him mad.
He shivered violently and felt sick to his empty stomach. The air itself seemed frozen, and he again cursed the Ministry for moving the prison to Siberia.
Despair was steadily overcoming him, and he no longer had the strength or the will to keep it at bay.
5. ‘You would be prepared to brave Azkaban for a man who used to be your teacher, and who, by all accounts, used to make your life utterly miserable. Why would you do that?’
Hermione hesitated. Why was she doing this? Why was she going to so much effort to help a man who didn’t even like her? She knew she’d regret her offer as soon as she got within sight of the fortress. She could only think she was doing it for Harry. His attitude towards Snape had changed dramatically since he had seen Snape’s memories of Lily. Hermione hadn’t seen them herself, but had been moved to tears by Harry’s retelling. She couldn’t tell her boss that though – that would be seen as attempting to prejudice the case.
Looking into the Minister’s face, she saw, for the first time, the toll the job was taking on him. His smooth forehead had the beginnings of lines etched into it and his eyes had a strained look she had never seen there before. He’s terrified, she realised. He’s freaked out by this case. The Snape he knew in the Order would never have killed Dumbledore, he doesn’t know about Snape’s past, so all he can do is believe the obvious: Snape’s a Death Eater.
Unless I do something about it, Hermione thought, Snape is going to face this attitude for the rest of his life. And however mean he might have been to me at school, he doesn’t deserve that.
She couldn't tell her boss that, either.
‘I saw what a lifetime in Azkaban did to Sirius, Minister,’ she compromised. ‘I just don’t want to see that happen to another innocent man. Especially one as gifted as Professor Snape.’
‘If you feel like that, how can I trust you not to aid and abet him, Miss Granger?’
‘Because if I did, I’m pretty sure I would lose my job. And, despite what I said to Rufus Scrimgeour last year, I like this job. I told him I wanted to do some good in the world. Well, that’s what I’m trying to do now.’
‘We would have no time for a hearing within the month.’ The Minister looked almost petulant, like a toddler on the verge of a tantrum. He’s determined to punish Snape, Hermione thought. My Department could rearrange its schedule if it wanted to.
‘No problem,’ she said aloud. ‘A month will give me time to prepare.’ I need to talk to Ron, she thought. And then buy up every single bar of chocolate Honeydukes can supply.
6. Metal bars clanged against stone.
“What the hell do you mean I reneged?”
Snape sat up, eyeing the wild-eyed virago. “Do I have you?” he snarled.
“Do I have the respect of the wizarding world?”
“Do I still have your admiration?”
Words exploded from her mouth like a potion from a Longbottom cauldron. “You said NO!”
“But I didn’t mean it.”
His shoulders slumped. “Hasn’t anyone ever lied to you, Hermione? Betrayed your trust?”
“My god, Severus.” She sank to the cot.
“I want to go home,” he said quietly.
Hermione started to cry.
7. Angry, grey waves were crashing against the quay wall. There wasn't a single ray of sunshine to light up the overcast sky as an icy wind blew a few scraps of paper along the cobblestones. Hermione cast a warming charm before she drew her cloak tighter around herself, but the cold draught still managed to creep through the thick fabric.
She started pacing along the quay, mentally running through the files and her notes once again. By the time the ferry finally arrived, she had gone from "Maybe I'm taking his case" to "No fucking way I'm going to risk my reputation on this" back to "Maybe".
A tall, dark figure stepped from the barge after it had docked. Hermione, to her surprise, recognised Severus Snape. Upon seeing Hermione, he paused briefly as if he meant to say something, but then just acknowledged her with a nod. She greeted him with a smile.
After she had settled onto the small, wooden bench, the boat pulled away from the shore. As usual, the ferryman hadn't so much as said hello and, as usual, he didn't answer Hermione's question as to whether there were any charms to make the crossing to the island go more smoothly.
Finally, the boat docked at the rocky island where the wizarding prison was located. The storm was still howling as she climbed the steep, narrow path, passing through several wards on her way. It had begun to rain now, too.
'Impervious,' Hermione murmured. She was almost glad to reach the only entrance to the prison that loomed dark and forbidding on top of the rocks.
After she had presented her identification, she was led into a small, dingy room reserved for visitors. It was windowless, containing only a table with a plastic chair on either side of it. A magical barrier ran across it, separating the prisoner from their visitor. Everything looked colourless and damp. While she was waiting for Lucius, Hermione shivered in the dreary space. Even without the Dementors, Azkaban was not a place where one wanted to linger.
8. Severus had been shuffled from his cell in Azkaban, dragged to the showers to clean up, and then dumped unceremoniously into this odd cell with no explanations, except for a lot of smirks and sneering from the prison Aurors. The shower had been truly delightful. Ice cold and under supervision. The cell he’d been dumped into was a plain room with a sturdy plank-board table and a narrow bench cot. At least the one sheet and wool blanket looked clean. He’d even been given a fresh robe and drawstring trousers. Oh, yes, the celebrity treatment.
He paced the room for what seemed like hours, then threw himself on the cot, amazed that the thing was so sturdy. A far cry from the cot in my usual cell. Since this room didn’t have any chairs, he doubted that Holden Goldstein from Magical Law Enforcement was planning on giving him a visit, but the lack of seating didn’t rule out the Aurors, Lerman and Darthmyer, from showing up again. His last visit from the Aurors left very little doubt in his mind that Azkaban was going to be his permanent home. And Mr. Goldstein had asked him the most ridiculous questions, alluding to the fact that he was a murderer, while trying to dig out conformation regarding his Death Eater activities, so that Severus was certain that the Ministry simply wanted him locked away for life.
He sat on the cot, arms crossed, shoulders against the smooth stone with his feet stretched out, and his ankles crossed while he waited to see what they had in store for him today. He sincerely hoped it wasn’t that insipid reporter, Rita Skeeter, wanting to interview him again. Circe, I want to curse that woman.
The door finally opened, but Severus refused to rise, not wanting to give the visitor any indication that he wanted or desired a visitation. He was stunned when Hermione stepped into his cell, wearing a simple, black button-front robe and soft leather boots. She’s even tamed that hair of hers in a braid, he thought, amused, as she walked in, uncertainty and apprehension in her brown eyes as if she fully expected him to Crucio her on the spot. If I had my wand, believe me, my dear, I would. “What are you doing here?” he snarled at her.
She swallowed and stood her ground, although she looked as if she was ready to run for the door and beg to be let out. Welcome to jail, sweetheart.
9. Ten years after it was built, the windowless room on the fifth floor finally became occupied. Those who designed it would say that it had always been intended for Her; the last room in Azkaban, the “Director’s” Room with the blood red door.
Severus has to pass six bomb-proof doors (each with their own number code) to visit her. Of course, he could just watch from the remote ops, but he likes to think that this way is more personal. More humane.
As always, he comes alone. Bringing the others would upset her. And an upset “Director” just wouldn’t do.
10. Yesterday's entry is complete gibberish, the handwriting nearly illegible.
But I did manage to write down what I did and where I am.
Seventeen minutes before midnight I jerked awake from a nightmare, fearing I had forgotten my daily entry. The pain that pulsed in my hands was bliss.
Then the thought struck me it was just a dream that I roused Severus long enough for him to write his entry. I stumbled from the sofa, tore off his blanket, grabbed his hands.
Only when I saw the bloody letters etched into his hands I collapsed, weeping hysterically.
I had barely fallen asleep again, when the conviction gripped me that I was still in my cell, that Severus was just a name in one of my squares, not the man holding me tightly.
I screamed and shrieked and babbled and only quieted when he told me that it cannot be a dream because no dream could possibly contain Draco Malfoy, Hermione Granger, and Severus Snape in one and the same bed. Especially a Draco Malfoy with a sun-burnt, weather-withered face and a shaggy, unkempt beard as long as Albus Dumbledore's used to be.
That made sense to me even in my unhinged state and I fell asleep once more.
This morning I am calm.
But I fear that the last eleven years have left me less than sane.