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:
Sugar Quills by melisande88
The Flesh Menagerie by absolute_tash
The Resurrectionist by lady_of_clunn
Snakebite by ayerf
A Place to Bury Strangers by kizzy7
The Jaws Of Darkness Do Devour by rivertempest
Reflection by wingless
For Whom the Kettle Whistles by Lulabelle72
Bitch's Brew by death_ofme
Bitten by melusin_79
On the Road by duniazade
Joy Comes In The Mourning by teddyradiator
1. It is nighttime when she reaches the cabin high on the hilltop, for she is afraid to Apparate here lest someone unfriendly see her. She knocks on the door; the wood is soft with rot beneath her knuckles.
The door swings open of its own accord. She enters with trepidation pinching her nerves tight, but the small, single room inside is apparently empty. A feeble fire in the far corner offers little light and heat. Hermione shivers, pulling her cloak firmly over her shoulders.
The wooden planks she walks upon are ancient with creaks and crevasses. She wonders if she will fall through into whatever lies beneath, thus ending her travels.
As she treads silently into the room, a high-backed, ornate rocking chair reveals itself, and it is rocking, rocking, though it is empty.
Irrational horror—for she is certainly a witch, and she has certainly faced worse—engulfs her, smothering her lungs and mouth and senses until she stumbles backwards, falling to the floor with an inelegant thud.
“Hold on, girlie,” comes a voice, an ancient voice that cracks with each word. “Don’t be leaving yet.”
2. "Hermione." Kingsley had noticed her standing stock-still and came over. He was about to usher her gently away, when she held up a hand and hissed, "Wait!"
A flash of panic suddenly came across Hermione's face. "Look."
Bellatrix's face started to shift, and melt, as if the flesh itself were rubber and molding itself. She could see the robes ripple as the entire body began to shift and meld and all of a sudden they were no longer looking at the body of Bellatrix Lestrange.
Even Kingsley was shocked and he breathed, "Merlin's beard."
Hermione began to tremble, and hastily took a step back. "Who ... who is that? I recognize her face, but I don't know..."
Kingsley spat out a curse in a language Hermione didn't understand, his eyes blazing. "It's Alecto Carrow."
Hermione turned to look at him with wide eyes. "Who else is under a charm?"
Kingsley summoned his Patronus and it raced around the grounds, alerting all the Aurors to gather back together. He was already barking orders for them to check every body for any traces of Polyjuice potion or glamour charm. He turned to Hermione but she was already gone, racing back up to the castle as an insidious thought crept into her mind.
"Get back! Get back from the bodies!"
3. The long tunnel seemed to take forever for Hermione to traverse, marked by the whisper of her feet on the floor and the pounding of her heartbeat rushing through her ears. Eventually a patch of dim light marked the entrance to the Shrieking Shack. Hermione paused long enough to extinguish the light from her wand before cautiously emerging from the so-called secret passage.
The way from Hogwarts to the Shrieking Shack clearly was not a secret anymore, not when a fugitive Death Eater had been spotted using it on the Marauder’s Map. Harry had turned the invaluable map over to the Aurory, feeling that he could trust the new Ministry under Kingsley Shacklebolt.
As soon as Hermione stepped foot in the infamous shack, she knew that the clandestine surveillance of Hogwarts had been for nothing. Failure left a leaden weight in her stomach, coupled with an awful sense of déjà vu as she gazed at the pathetic corpse slumped on the floorboards.
On slightly shaky legs, she moved to stand beside the body. All too used to the sight of dead bodies after the past week, on top of her wartime experiences, Hermione had developed a strong stomach, enabling her to take a closer look at the body.
The late Amycus Carrow lay on his side, his face twisted into a rictus of terror. Like every other dead Death Eater found recently, the pallid skin was stretched tightly over the underlying bones. From the gashes in his throat and complete lack of colour to his skin, Amycus should have been drenched in his own blood. But there wasn’t so much as a drop to be found….
4. He wafted the book to his worktable and followed it, leafing through it to the 1980s. That had been a rich vein to mine, the era of Harry Fucking Potter. An age group he felt comfortable enough with--well above the age of consent, but not so old as to fall into the "old age and treachery" category as he himself did.
Johnson. Spinnet. Stimpson. Bell.
Brown. Idiot. Possibilities.
Vane. Another idiot. Pretty though.
Granger. Ah. There. Clinging, insecure. Attractive enough though far from pretty. Intelligent. Motivated.
There was a noise from the cellar just as he was returning the book to its proper place. He fetched a parcel from the musty, chilly pantry room and took it to the cellar door, lifted the cat flap and set the parcel on the top step.
5. The wizard had a string of offenses as long as her arm, and Hermione was tired of chasing him. He was abnormally unstable for a magical person, and the glee with which he had tortured and maimed his victims was a little too much in the “Bellatrix Lestrange” camp for Hermione’s taste.
Hermione calmly followed him as he ducked and dived throughout Wizarding London, leaving a trail of bloodied, traumatized witches in his wake. Tonight, Hermione decided, his luck had run out. With chilling, smug certainty, Hermione made a decision. No more victims. Tonight, he would not be taken alive.
So intent on her gruesome thoughts, Hermione almost ran into him as she skidded around the corner. He was holding another wizard hostage at wand point, and Hermione put up her hand. “Rubens! You’re making it harder on yourself. Let him go – “ Hermione’s words died in her throat as the hostage turned to face her, and she found herself face to face with a dead man – Severus Snape.
“What the hell?” she said, so shocked she all but forgot the reason she was here, deep in the belly of the beast, chasing a psychotic madman. Snape looked surprisingly unsurprised.
6. Bony index finger rubbing his chin, Severus studied the journal. Hermione, meanwhile, had become engrossed with a doll made of some sort of dark fiber, like coconut husk, with a line of differently colored spots from its forehead to feet. It stood under glass, eyeless head and handless arms pointing up. She put a tentative finger on the top of the glass.
"I wonder what this is, Severus," she said.
An irritable cough stopped both of them abruptly. "And I might like to know why you are going through my personal possessions." Hill strode fiercely over to the desk, where Severus had dropped the journal and papers. "And how did you get into that drawer? That was locked."
Severus raised an eyebrow. "Surgery and Thaumaturgy? Unusual interests you have."
"My interests are none of your business." Hill turned to Hermione. "And you, snooping as well?"
"I was not snooping! I was simply perusing your books and..." She gestured to the doll. "Your artwork."
Hill snorted. "You would be well-advised to commit to memory, my dear, that I do not approve of snooping about my things, no matter how you try to gloss over it."
"It appears, sir, that we have worn out our welcome. I believe we'll take our chances in the storm." Severus gestured to Hermione. "Let's go, darling."
"No! You may leave if you wish, but the girl will stay with me." Hill stepped towards Hermione. "For safe keeping."
7. Hermione found herself on the wrong end of Snape’s wand the second the door closed.
'How long have you known?’ she asked, unperturbed.
'I’ve encountered enough Dark creatures in my lifetime to know one when I see one,’ Snape replied. ‘Besides, my Mark has been throbbing with unabashed glee every time I cast eyes on you and…’ He smirked nastily. ‘…as far as I can remember, you were never one of the fake tan brigade.’
'Ah. I see.’ Hermione’s eyes remained fixed on the wand. ‘I don’t suppose there’s much point in appealing to your better nature, then, is there?’
'Tell me,’ he barked. ‘What idiot let you back here?’
She stared a moment at the ruin of the man trying to intimidate her. How anyone could think he was like her was frankly ridiculous, if not insulting, when even the most short-sighted of Hufflepuffs should be able to spot he was on a downward spiral towards an untimely death. He was diseased; his blood stank of Nagini’s venom. Hermione wrinkled her nose in distaste.
'Minerva thought I deserved the chance after everything I’d been though.’
'I might have guessed.’ With a long suffering sigh, Snape let his wand drop.
8. The grime on the burker’s hands left muddy, hand-shaped prints on top of older stains on the shrouds. Soil. Saw dust. Something much more sinister that had dried in brownish smears.
Drawing his robes tightly around himself, Snape kept his distance from the filthy grave robber. The morgue was pristine. Grey granite scrubbed and Scourgified until its tiny pieces of adamsite gleamed and sparkled in the flickering light of the many torches set in their cressets on the walls. Only the windows were dark with layers and layers of years without washing.
“All fresh ‘n all. Worth much more than two Galleons a piece!” The snatcher crouched away from Snape as if preparing to bolt at any second.
“Is that so? I think you should be very pleased to receive any remuneration at all. After all, it is only due to our Lord’s infinite goodness that you are allowed to make yourself useful. Who knows, you might very well have been the harvested instead of the harvester.” He glanced meaningfully at an empty, stone-hewn necropsy table.
“Certainly, Master Snape. Certainly.” The burker scampered away like the rodent he was. Snape idly wondered why poor Mr. Hare had been bypassed so cruelly. The name would have fit like a glove.
9. The sun was setting in a completely unappealing way, partially hidden by massive clouds that drifted slowly across the sky. Bulky, smokey formations that looked heavy and sluggish, yet were nothing but vapour.
He often dreamed of them; dreamed of walking, or sometimes falling through them, his body tumbling wildly through different shades of grey. No sense of up or down, left or right. A silent descent that always ended with a black cloud that promised nothing but pain and fear, and yet he approached it without moving a single muscle to stop his fall.
He always woke before reaching it, gasping and wild eyed, flinching when gentle hands soothed his panic. It always stymied him why he woke so frantic; in his dreams, he was always completely calm.
The harsh voice mercilessly pulled him out of his daydreams. Who was he to complain? He deserved no mercy. Not for what he was supposed to be doing.
His wand arm seemed to rise without conscious thought, the act ingrained from years of practise.
10. If there was one thing that they all could agree on it was surely this: Lysander Nightingale made an excellent doorman. He was tall, handsome, sturdy, and unfailingly silent. On the outside at least. Inside, he was no longer occupied by thoughts, but instead a single, piercing sound: His own screams echoing off the interior walls of his mind. His arms were perpetually outstretched to take the coat of the latest visitor to Snape Hall (which was indeed only called so ironically, in hushed tones, by certain Death Eaters who kept more grand accommodations). The fact that Nightingale never moved, except once a day when he drew a long, gasping breath at precisely midnight meant that he had, over the last year, developed quite an impressive coating of dust. But unfortunately, Severus Snape did not employ any active help and could not be bothered with such trifles himself.
If there was another point on which everyone could it agree, it was that Severus Snape was as mad as a March hare. Useful, canny, possessed of the most wonderful toys, but barmy nonetheless. It wasn't the sadistic way in which he had collected the former thorns in his side and fixed them in living death that convinced his acquaintances of his madness, though it didn't add any points to the defense of his sanity. It wasn't even his obsession with the perceived injustices of his past during a time of unparalleled revelry among the triumphant Death Eaters. It was the plain and simple fact that Snape never seemed to enjoy the fruits of his labor.