It's that spooky, creepy, magical night again! Enjoy your reading and Happy Halloween!
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 EST. 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:
A Treat of the Trick by wolf_moonshadow
All Hallows’ Reckoning by Proulxes
The Sin Eater by teddyradiator
Batman and Catwoman by astopperindeath
Hogsmeade Halloween Moste-In-The-Spirit Competition by beaweasley2
Cemetery Discussions by brenamarie
Possession by madamelecourayer
Trick or Treat by Sevvy253
Fred and George Strike Again by acciobook7
Ghostly Visitations by harmony_bites
Samhain by chivalric55
A Muggle Halloween by mayadidi
1. Hermione stopped dead in her tracks the moment she put her foot on her garden path. The gravestones with all their friends’ names stood sentry throughout her front garden as expected, but the Weasleys’ Groaning Apparitions floating in the air above the markers, the Zombie Hands, wiggling feet, and groaning heads protruding from the ground were not. Sounds of clanking chains, moans, groans, a cat being tortured or attacked, and screams of terror wafted from several points behind the graves, only adding to the scene before her. Even Hermione’s croaking plastic frog was adding to the noise. We won’t have a kid brave enough to approach the door! she thought, amused. Did Talfryn and his friends skive off classes today? Surely, George and Bella didn’t do all of this on their own…
Hermione walked slowly, amused by the effects of the Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes products that George must have consented for her son and his friends to use in their yard. This is going to cost us a fortune!
As she approached the front steep of her porch, Hermione gasped and then broke out in giggles. Thirteen pumpkins faced her, all different sizes, all with the same face smiling, sneering, glowering, snarling, smirking, scowling, and glaring at her. Each one had an All-Night-Erie-Flicker candle from George and Ron’s shop in Hogsmeade, and several sported black wigs. “Oh, my…! Oh, no, they didn’t!” Still the sight was truly amusing. Oh, you just wait until your father sees this, young lady!
“Cool, aren’t they?” George asked, coming out the front door to meet her. “Bella used my newest invention, the Carve-What-You-Wish knife! It really works great! I’ve sold thousands! She really had a good time carving these.”
“George! That charmed knife you showed me? You let Bella – No!” Hermione gasped, concerned. “I don’t let my daughter handle sharp knives! She’s too young!” George simply shrugged at Hermione, which nearly made her want to hex him. “Belladonna, get out here now!”
Hermione’s little girl came out of the house tepidly. “Yes, Mummy?” Her long, dark, curly hair was braided to control the mass, and her big, black eyes looked up at her imploringly.
2. All of the staff members of Hogwarts were crammed into the small teachers' lounge late Halloween night. Everyone was drinking and making pleasant conversation. One professor in particular had spent most of the evening thus-far trying to figure out a way to talk to the taciturn Potions professor. Professor Hermione Granger stood in the corner of the staff room, listening to the Headmistress natter on about how much Albus would have been proud of her over the success of the Halloween ball they'd had for the students earlier that night.
“Weren’t all the costumes simply wonderful, Hermione?” Minerva gushed.
Distractedly, Hermione responded, “Oh… yes, yes they were, Minerva.”
The headmistress continued to pat her own back as Hermione watched Severus Snape make a hasty retreat from the room.
“Minerva, I’m really sorry. I’ve got to step out for a bit,” Hermione blurted out.
Before she could be stopped, Hermione placed her drink down on a nearby table and made a b-line for the door.
Shite, I know where he’s going, too… maybe now’s not a good time…
Even knowing that maybe she shouldn’t follow him didn’t stop her from navigating her way out of the castle.
3. He gave her a puzzled frown. "Miss...Granger, is it? Weren't you one of my students?"
"Stuff it, Snape. You know exactly who I am."
He let the silence spin between them like a spider, observing her carefully. Like so many, she didn't hold up well to deadpoint scrutiny. She sniffed, and he saw she had been crying. She had also been standing there for a long time. The last leaves of his maple tree were perched on the tops of her cheap Muggle trainers.
She looked ill; hollow eyes, gaunt, thin face, more sallow even than himself. Was she dying?
"I'm afraid you've caught me at a bad time, Miss Granger," he said smoothly, walking around her and reaching for his wand. "I'm expecting company, and I must prepare dinner."
She leapt to intercept him. "No. And you're not going to Obliviate me again, either. You're going to help me."
He covered his surprise with a scoff. "Why should I help you with anything, Miss Granger? There is a reason I Obliviated you. What you are asking for is an abomination, and I am gravely offended you would consider propositioning me in the first place. I. Can. Not. Help. You."
4. Trying to sleep was futile. Nearly every night, as she lay in the bed that was once Snape’s, Hermione heard fearsome sounds from her office. Boots pacing back and forth. The door opening, then shutting. And most alarming was the nightly habit those footsteps had of stalking slowly about her bedroom.
Hermione had sat up, wide-eyed and terrified the first night this had happened. But, like all the times before, there was no one to be seen.
Tonight was no exception. She stared into the dark room, covers pulled to her chin and watched for the slowly pacing figure to appear. But it never did. It came quite close to her bed, she could have sworn it stopped right at her head. But never hide nor hair of it did she see.
5. “Attracted? I don’t know what you could mean.” But Hermione stared at Professor Snape nevertheless. Hopeless, absolutely hopeless. “In any case, I need to get back to my research.”
Helena nodded her head. “Best ignore the feeling. Maybe it’ll pass. No good comes of getting too near some murdering Slytherin.”
Shooting up from her seat, Hermione grabbed the edge of the table, gripping down so tightly, her knuckles were white. “How dare!”—seeing Madame Pince start to rise, Hermione lowered her voice to a harsh whisper —“he’s no murderer.”
“Yes, I can see you’re completely unaffected by him.”
Breathing hard, Severus backed up until he felt the shelves at his back. The Baron glided towards him, almost flowed like a liquid. Gripping his wand tightly, Severus tried to think of what spells might work on a ghost.
“So afraid? After a millennium haunting, have you ever heard of me injuring a single breathing being?”
“There are ways—”
“Why don’t you scream? That pretty Gryffindor might come to your rescue.”
“Leave her out of this!” He hoped Granger wouldn’t involve herself.
“Or what? The thing is, dear Severus, there is little you can threaten the already dead with.”
6. Muggles can't be that daft, coming up here tonight to celebrate Halloween!
On the other hand, Muggles believed that there was no true magic in the world. Nobody knew what they were capable of.
"Possibly just a few drunken youths," Snape muttered under his breath. The moon shone through the branches; he had no trouble finding his way although he had left the path in order to find out the source of the noise. The smell of smoke and cooking food tickled his senses.
More laughter. The music got louder. "I know that song. It's by that idiot, what's-his-name… Ah, yes. Poison Prince. All my students are humming his melodies and…"
Damn. Damn shit! Poison Prince might be an idiot, his songs dreadful, but he was a wizard nevertheless. Which left only one conclusion…
Instinctively, Snape threw himself flat on the ground. Leaves rustled; his left hand landed in a molehill, and his hair got caught in a bush. However, he had escaped the broom. By inches only, but he had escaped it. Fencing did pay off its price; his reaction had been fast and efficient, otherwise the witch would have knocked him out just like that.
Witches! Damn, bloody witches, and they were everywhere – on the ground, sitting on huge blankets near the gigantic fire frying sausages. They were next to the trees, sipping whatever out of crystal glasses. And they were in the air, of course, on brooms, dancing around the fire in whirling, entrancing circles. Wearing next to nothing.
So much about his theory about the intelligence of witches and coldness.
No, they weren't naked. It was worse – they were dressed up. In an extremely sexual way, Snape observed from his position on the ground. Silken bodices, tight skirts, low-cut tops. Sparkling eyes, gleaming lips, heaving bosoms. Short witches, big ones, tall, thin and fat ones, beautiful young witches and witches as wrinkly and ancient as time itself.
It was the scariest sight Snape had seen in his entire life.
7. As he turned away from the fireplace, he was unable to hold back a quick indrawn breath in surprise as he found himself face to face with a Death Eater.
Severus' hand instinctively plunged into his pocket, reaching for his wand before it was stilled by the musical laughter coming from behind the Death Eater’s silver mask.
He scowled and crossed his arms in front of him.
'Hermione, what are you doing?'
His wife whipped the mask off her face to reveal an impish smile.
'I needed a costume, and I found this in the back of the closet. Wait till you see Harry's costume!'
Their conversation was interrupted as they heard the front door of their house open and heard Harry's voice.
'In here, Harry,' Hermione called as her friend entered their house.
'Don't bother to knock, Mr. Potter,' Severus muttered under his breath.
Harry walked in wearing long black robes, similar to the one Hermione had stolen from her husband’s closet. Rather than a Death Eater’s mask though, the young man was wearing a mask depicting a monster that was scaly and grey with glittering red eyes; his costume was complete with a large plush snake slung around his neck. The snake was purple in color and had a fake forked tongue hanging out of its smiling mouth.
Severus rolled his eyes. Is nothing sacred?
8. He suddenly noticed that his hand had, inadvertently, flown to his throat at the memory of his near-death, where, beneath the layers of protective high-necked clothing, the scarred evidence of the horrific attack lay, hidden from prying eyes. He subconsciously, and somewhat sympathetically, began to rub the area – round and round in a soothing, flat one-handed motion. But it was his other hand that held the offending item causing him so much distress: A simple, plain white invitation card, delicately embellished and decorated in gilded, glittery red and gold.
It was not a summons to The Dark Lord that had him panic-stricken, or an order to be obeyed without question from his transgressors. Nor was it even the requiring of his attendance at one of Dumbledore’s boring and tiresome little "soirees", he mused – none of these events could ever take place again now anyway.
No, it was, in fact, the simple request from the Ministry for “the pleasure of his company” at The Annual Halloween Ball.
And the words that had the dour, stoic former spy quaking in his black, still highly-polished-and-sexy boots? “And partner”!
No one could ever accuse Snape of being a coward (though many had tried) but, for days now, he had contemplated just throwing the damn thing in the fire, or shouting ‘Incendio!’ at it and forgetting or denying its whole existence.
Yet, as headmaster now, he knew he would have no choice but to attend the ball – and would simply be expected, indeed required, to produce the “and partner”.
9. “Nothing that comes out of you two’s shop is safe.” Hermione said, giving them a Snape-like look. “Explain the mechanics behind them to me again.”
George gave a snicker at her persistence, but obliged her nonetheless. “The objects are all symbols from the stories and act as portkeys in to the games. We got the idea-”
“From a muggle friend of dad’s” Fred interrupted. “He calls the games virtual reality.”
“So, each object will transport me into the game?” She asked skeptically.
“Yep!” Fred answered. “We’ve based the first round on muggle fairy tales. The apple is Snow White, the mirror is Alice in Wonderland, the gingerbread man is Hansel and Gretel and the pumpkin is Cinderella.”
“Yeah, but you don’t want to try the pumpkin.” Ron warned.
“Why not?” Hermione inquired.
“Fred and George made it as a Halloween joke.” Ginny told her pointedly. “Trust me, you couldn’t handle the story behind that one.”
“I think I can handle a childish fairy tale, Ginny.” Hermione huffed in a Snape-ish way.
“Not this version you couldn't!” Ginny rebuffed, offended by Hermione’s haughtiness.
“Oh really?” Hermione taunted. “Well, you seem to know everything tonight. What makes the pumpkin so different from the others, Ginerva?”
“Why don’t you give it a go, and find out!” Ginny dared her.
“Fine, I will!” Hermione countered, arrogance overshadowing her earlier leeriness to try even one of the safer of Fred and George’s new creations. “Give me the pumpkin, please.” She instructed George.
“No, Hermione, honestly, you don’t want to do that…” Ron said in an alarmed tone. “The Prince-”
“Give me the damn pumpkin!” She cried.
10. Hermione Granger-Weasley growled in frustration, dropping her head to her chest for a few heartbeats, before spinning around and bracing her fingers wide on the workbench before her.
She knew why he didn’t want to go of course. In the twenty-five years since the events of All Hallows Eve in 1981, Severus Snape had continued to endure. The annual Halloween Feast at Hogwarts was always a difficult time for him. Usually, he was able to avoid the dinner entirely or sat at the end of the professor’s table, waiting for the earliest moment when he could slip away unnoticed.
As this year’s feast marked the 25th anniversary of the events in Godric’s Hollow – most notably the marking of Harry as the Chosen One, and therefore the creation of the future vanquisher of the Dark Lord – the Ministry of Magic had chosen to mark the occasion by dispatching Mrs Liviana McClaggen, the new Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic to be the guest of honour at the Halloween Feast. The event promised to become a circus of sentimentality and Ministry-led political point scoring.