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:
Frustrating Birthday Plans by JTBJAB aka madamsnape
Birthday Commitments by brenamarie
A Circular Path by bambu345
Memento Amori by Olethros
September 19 by DawnEB eoforyth
What Does An Augurey Know? by theslacker
Dances with Witches by pearle9240 WIP
Off the Deep End by sevfank
Epiphany by melusin_79 WIP
Parchment and Silver by Ladymage Samiko
The Philosopher's Fate by peskipiksi
What Would You Wish For? by laurielover1912
1. "Here you go, Hermione, my gift for you." Ginny pulled a large rectangular dress box out from under her bed and passed it across to Hermione. "Happy Birthday." Hermione grinned at the suddenly nervous young woman on the other bed, pulled the top off the box and separated out the tissue paper to reveal the garment inside. All she could do was stare at it, her mouth forming a small 'O' as she ran a finger over the fabric. As the seconds stretched out in silence Ginny became fidgety.
Suddenly, she launched herself from her bed and made a grab for the box. "I'm sorry, Hermione. I should have realised it was a bad idea. Why would you want a second-hand dress? Just let me sling this under the bed and we can forget you ever saw it. I've got a box of chocolates in my drawer, just in case you—"
Hermione grabbed Ginny's hands before they could snatch the box away, and smiled up at her friend. "Ginny, it's beautiful. I was just overcome for the moment. Besides, it's not second-hand, it's antique. Here, help me look at it properly."
As Hermione scrambled out of bed, Ginny unwrapped the long dress and held it up to her. Hermione caressed the antique silk and lace, then stood in front of the long mirror on Ginny's wardrobe door. The fabric was in a pale green and ivory.
2. Warmly bundled in comfortable, slightly ratty robe and slippers, Hermione padded into the kitchen to return her mug and a few plates to the sink before turning in for the night. She was sleepy enough that she’d never have noticed the package on the table except for Crookshanks’s miaowing; he’d hopped up on the table and was nudging the box with his nose. Hermione blinked, trying to salvage some sort of coherent thought from her brain. She was quite certain that the box had not been there when she arrived home earlier; she could not possibly have missed a burgundy-wrapped parcel with a neat bow on top in the same colour. And its presence was certainly no mistake, for there was a label fastened to the bow, reading ‘To: Hermione Granger’ in script just as neat as the wrapping. But how on earth had it ended up on her kitchen table? And who would have sent it? All of her friends and family were certainly accounted for, gift-wise.
Well, the only thing to do would be to open it. But first… Hermione fished her wand out of the pocket of her bathrobe and began casting detection spells. It was not entirely unthinkable for her to be sent hexes and curses through the post; there were still people who were jealous of her relationship with the boys or of her fame from the war, or—rather more rarely—thought that a well-placed love potion was just the thing to bag a war hero or make a fool of her. Tiresome, all of it. But the package did not appear to have any offensive (in any sense of the word) magic. And so Hermione, taking careful note of the details, opened it.
3. Both of them smiled rather shakily at the other. Hermione fidgeted in the sudden silence in the living room. “You were asking what I wanted. Well, it wouldn’t be something you could buy, it’s something you could do. But I don’t want to presume…”
Snape raised a brow. “Yes?”
In truth, she had intended to ask him this for days but had never found the right moment.
She felt the bracelet tingle against her skin.
At least, if she totally messed it up, she could ask again after 2:30pm. By then, she would have forgotten how embarrassed she was.
She cleared her throat. “Do you remember how I told you that I would have loved to be an opera singer?”
“You mean to say that you actually recorded that idiotic conversation?”
“Yes,” she said. “The Paris Opera House happens to be hosting a production of Carmen tonight. My cross-country Apparition isn’t too strong, and I was wondering if you could help me with that and maybe even perhaps… attend the performance with me?”
There, she had said it. She felt slightly queasy. She also felt odd that her plans for the night had not instinctively included Harry or Ron.
“I would be happy to.”
“That’s okay, I didn’t—” Hermione stopped talking as her brain finally caught up with her babbling mouth. “You would?” she asked quietly.
He nodded, his gaze free of guile. “Miss Granger, it should not surprise you anymore to hear me say that I enjoy your company.”
4. At the age of twenty, having lived with magic for a good ten years, I was used to many things I would once have considered unusual. Travelling through fireplaces, receiving my post from an owl, or holding a conversation with a portrait was not longer anything other than routine. However, my experiences on my twenty-first birthday managed to shock me to the core.
I’d stumbled out of bed that morning, groggy after yet another late night, and was dragging my leaden body to the bathroom to run a shower, when I caught sight of my reflection out of the corner of my eye. I whipped about to face the mirror.
“Oh my feudal lord!” I found myself exclaiming, my hands flying to my chest. “I’ve got tits!”
Granted, it’s not atypical for me to talk to myself out loud when I’m alone, and I do try to remember to check my breasts from time to time—being a witch does not make you exempt from the risk of breast cancer!—but this was really strange. I shouldn’t have been so surprised at having breasts, seeing as they’d been there for some years. On top of that, the language was not the sort I generally use, and my hands were, for want of a better word, groping.
“And they’re fucking fabulous,” I murmured, now looking down at them directly, my hands still working away.
The full strangeness of it hit me then. I had most certainly not thought those words. It was not my will directing my actions. I shook myself and jerked my hands down, raising my eyes to stare at my baffled reflection. Despite looking into my own brown eyes, seeing my own, lightly freckled face, and recognising my own characteristically bushy, brown hair, there was a niggling sense of surprise.
5. Rubbing her eyes, she looked at her watch. He was late.
"Where are you?" Muttering to herself, she brushed at her dress self-consciously. She'd been outside the restaurant for half an hour. He'd promised her that this time he wouldn't be late. Looking up and down the street, she swallowed down the tears threatening to fall.
She jumped as someone put their hand on her shoulder. "Sorry, miss, but will you be coming in to eat?" She looked concerned, but the spark of pity in the waitresses eyes fuelled her anger. "It's just the manager–"
"No, I guess not. Thank you for your time." Wrapping her shawl around her, she stepped back out onto the street and started walking down. Her heels sounded oddly loud, and they jarred with her. She ignored the sobs threatening to consume her.
Reaching a quiet stretch of parkland, she spun and Disapparated.
6. Surely he was yet closer to her. He filled her senses almost overwhelmingly. Hermione found herself drawing short, sharp breaths. His voice had dropped again. He was so close to her that he could pour it into her ear in intimate whispers.
"Tell me, Miss Granger. Did you receive many cards?"
"Quite a lot." She could barely speak.
"Did you expect them?"
"There are some people who I know will always give me something."
"And your teachers? Do they ever give you anything?"
"One or two ... this year ... because ..."
"Because it's my last year ..."
"I haven't given you anything."
"Does that disappoint you?"
7. Hermione moaned. ‘That is sooo good.’
There was a loud banging on the door.
Severus slumped back on the pillow, defeated. ‘I will slip something in their pumpkin juice, I swear it.’ He took the wards off the door while Hermione hurriedly put on a nightgown.
‘Surprise!’ Albus ran into the bedroom carrying a bundle of envelopes and parcels. He jumped on the bed in excitement. ‘The post has been. Can I open some for you, Mummy?’
‘Is it your birthday, Albus?’ Severus asked sternly.
‘You can help me, darling,’ Hermione intervened, seeing the pout on the little boy’s face. ‘Come and sit next to me.’
Katy followed Albus into the bedroom, struggling under the weight of an enormous breakfast tray. Winky brought up the rear, anxiously watching the tray in case she dropped it.
‘Happy Birthday, Mummy,’ said Katy. ‘We made you breakfast.’
‘Thank you, my darlings, what a lovely surprise. Did you do this all yourself?’ Hermione grabbed her wand quickly and floated the tray over the bed.
‘Well,’ Katy replied, looking at the house-elf, ‘we ordered it from the kitchens and Winky brought it.’
8. Severus produced a small box wrapped in silver foil and tied with a large gold ribbon. “Happy Birthday, Hermione.”
“Severus, thank you.” Hermione threw her arms around his neck in a fierce hug before moving to the sofa to open his gift.
It would be difficult to say which one of the two was more nervous at the moment. Severus stood awkwardly near the doorway, still unsure of the proper etiquette.
Hermione patted the sofa next to her as she looked at the gift. “Silver and gold, huh? Sit with me while I open it.”
Once he was seated next to her, she pulled on the ribbon and removed the silver paper. With infinite curiosity she eyed the silver bag etched with the single leaf. A quick glance at Severus's face gave nothing away. She removed the black velvet case from the pouch and looked at him again. With the briefest of nods from the wizard next to her, she opened the case with trembling fingers.
“Oh my god, Severus. It's beautiful. I can't believe it.” Her fingers caressed the surface of the leaf before she turned to hug and kiss him. It was several minutes later before she regarded the necklace again.
With a sigh of relief, Severus asked, “May I assume the gift meets with your approval?” He was debating exactly how much to tell her of his odd encounter with Sibyll's cousin when he purchased the pendant.
Hermione extracted the necklace from its case. “Yes, it meets with my approval. It far exceeds my approval. Will you help me put it on?” Hermione handed him the necklace before turning away from him. She gathered her hair to one side so he could slide the pendant around her neck.
Severus slipped the pendant in place and latched the clasp. His hands moved to her shoulders as he kissed the back of her neck. Her dress was cut low in the back, allowing him the opportunity to trail a few kisses along her spine. He smiled wickedly as he felt a shiver pass through her. His voice was low and sultry as he whispered in her ear, “Happy Birthday, Hermione. My wish is to make this a birthday you will not forget.”
9. Hermione watched Professor Snape as the owls headed into the hall. She had been watching him more than she should lately. It was no use though – he was never going to see her as anything other than an insufferable know-it-all. One of the owls circled him several times. She smothered a laugh as he reached up to grab the annoying owl. That was when she noticed the powder falling from the letter compartment on the owl’s foot. “That can’t be good,” she thought.
He stood up and looked straight at her, a glazed look on his face. His fingers began working at the buttons on his frock coat. As button after button came undone, he took another step toward her. It was as if time had slowed down to a crawl. The hall was silent, all but one not knowing or understanding what was happening. He was about ten feet from her when he threw the coat off his shoulders which landed on a speechless (for once) Ginny Weasley. A smoldering, intense gaze had replaced the glazed look. He reached up to the buttons on his white linen shirt and ripped them open; the buttons scattered violently across the floor.
Hermione swallowed several times, trying to say something, anything, as her Potions’ professor and crush was undressing himself in front of her. The fact that he was doing this in front of the Great Hall was far from her mind at the moment. She stared at the black spiky hair that covered his chest and trailed in a line downward past his trousers’ edge. Startled and actually quite pleased at the bulge that she could see, she nonetheless backed up a little as he got closer to her.
His hands were already at the buttons on his trousers and had undone several of them.
10. ‘Happy eighteenth birthday, Hermione,’ Ginny said, sliding a wrapped parcel across the breakfast table. ‘You’re an adult in the Muggle world now, too!’
Hermione smiled her thanks at Ginny, but it was strained. “Happy” wasn’t the word either of them would have used to describe the start of the new year at Hogwarts. After many bitter arguments, it had been decided that Harry and Ron should search for the Horcruxes, while Hermione returned to Hogwarts to keep an eye on things. Both Hermione and Ginny suspected that she was to keep an eye on Ginny more than on Hogwarts. Ron wasn’t keen on his little sister returning to a school run by Death Eaters. The decision had been made, reluctantly, after the Daily Prophet announcement that Snape was to return as Headmaster. Harry said he wanted an ear to the ground - someone to report back to him. Admittedly, she had not been able to think of a way to contact him that wouldn’t be intercepted, but she was working on it.
Doing her best to look happy, Hermione opened Ginny’s present. It was a large, heavy book: Philosophy for Beginners. Much to Parvati’s amusement, Hermione’s smile was genuine as she thanked Ginny.
She opened the book and began to read from Chapter One. ‘“The most appropriate age for marriage is eighteen for women and thirty-seven for men.” – Aristotle’
Despite the restrictive atmosphere in the Great Hall, Ginny giggled. ‘So who do you fancy? Lupin? Lockhart?’ She threw a sideways glance at the High Table. ‘Snape?’
‘Tell me you’re joking!’ Hermione hissed, following Ginny’s gaze. Sitting in Dumbledore’s old chair, Snape looked cold and aloof, as usual, but there was something else. He looked strained, tense, as if he were waiting for something unpleasant to happen.
Want to celebrate more with Hermione? Check out the first Happy Birthday, Hermione Quiz!