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:
Snow Day by opaljade
Bushy and the Beast by Wonk
A Winter's Tale by Loten
Barren by regann
Black Against White by tobeacting
A Very Snowy Week by blueartemis07
Silent Snow by Celtic Celia
Let it Snow! by plaidpooka
The Murder of Miss Hermione Granger by bound_by_passion aka darkheartwalsh
More Real Than This by Grainne
Lake Effect Snow by cathedralcarver
Winter Heart by imhilien
1. The snow has stopped coming down of its own accord, but it is still blowing about in the wind. I am grateful for this wind, for it drives the chill into one's bones, and makes her huddle close to me despite her heavy cloak. We make a four-footed track down towards the lake. She stumbles, once, and clutches my arm to keep herself from falling. She does not let go. I do not push her away. Perhaps there is hope for me.
Eventually we reach a small stand of trees, which breaks the wind a bit. She pulls away from me then, and I want to yank her back. I curse myself for having read so much into her nearness.
"Come," she says. She is pointing at something. Then she slips her mitten-clad hand into my gloved one and tugs, gently. Ah, I see now. She is heading toward a bench, one of many such items that now dot the grounds at Hogwarts, given in memory of fallen students and teachers. This one sits within a simple gazebo, facing out onto the lake. I do not know in whose name this bench was given, for the memorial plaque, set into the ground below, is obscured by the snow. We both step over it, neither of us, apparently, wanting to know.
She sits. I remain standing, staring out across the frozen lake and the drifts of snow that snake their way across its surface. I think of all the slimy, scaly, chitinous things that are huddled below that surface, burrowed into the cold mud, waiting out the winter. Like my heart, I realize with disgust. Like my own slimy shrunken little heart burrows within my cold chest, waiting for a spring that will never come. My self-pity is interrupted by a sound, a snuffle. I look down, and see that she is crying.
2. She still needed to go thank Severus, if he hadn’t left already, for covering for her while she handled the Ravenclaw House situation. She found him helping Christophus Crowley with a set of calculations.
“I assure you, Mr Crowley, that it is quite impossible to get a negative yield in this particular situation. Unless, of course, you have cleverly found a way to make the sum of forty-eight and sixteen add up to less than zero?” he said as he handed the young Gryffindor his assignment back.
Christopher frowned for a minute, scanned the long set of numbers and symbols, found his mistake and exclaimed, “Oh, yeah. Thank you, sir.”
Hermione had an irresistible urge to laugh. Snape’s teaching methods had not changed at all since her student days. With a grin on her face, she started to express her gratitude for helping her out when suddenly Esmeralda Easingwood gasped loudly and yelled, “Look, it’s the snow!”
Twenty students’ heads (plus two teachers’) snapped towards the window in unison.
Yes, it was snow, but like nothing Hermione had ever seen before. The storm had started so suddenly, and yet it wasn’t made up of the usual fat, fluffy snowflakes that tended to pirouette across the horizon at the beginning of a snowfall. No, this snow was compact, dense and angry. It seemed to appear out of nowhere to attack the grounds of Hogwarts like tight diagonal arrows determined to go through the earth instead of just covering it.
Everyone stared at the spectacle in awe.
“Wow! Professor Granger, it looks like we’re going to get the huge storm we were all hoping for!” exclaimed the usually quiet Esmeralda who was now standing on a chair leaning against the window.
Goodness, it’s going to happen!
“Esmeralda! It is highly inappropriate to discuss snow amounts in class!”
Hermione blushed at the absurdity of her own statement.
3. It was snowing the day I found the body. She was outside on the muddied ground of the moor, her corkscrew curls trailing in a deepening puddle. Her clothes, damp and heavy, covered her motionless frame, leaving only her face exposed to the wintry weather. It was a dead face, devoid of all life and colour.
I remember feeling my heart lurch at the sight of her. Each body is as much of a tragedy as the one before, make no mistake, but to see someone I cared for so dearly dead before me sent a chill through my bones.
Perhaps it was a little foolish to refer to her as my beloved, even if only in my own head. Back then, when everything seemed so black and white, she had somehow become the object of my affection, filling my waking moments with hope, admittedly false, that she could, one day, be mine. If only I dared to tell her so.
If only… A phrase I so often use.
But there was no going back now. She was dead, gone, and though my heart ached, I couldn’t tell her. I couldn’t compromise the investigation with all that tricky Time-Turner business.
No, there was only one thing left I could do for her. I could catch the criminal that took her from me; I could set him behind bars as food for the Dementors.
4. Though few people knew it, there was little Severus liked more than a soft snow. It helped him think. Made him feel calmer. While students were there, he only dared to indulge just inside the Forbidden Forest. During Christmas, however, he was able to freely walk amongst the falling flakes. The subtle crunch as he crossed the white land was comforting to his ears. To anyone who cared to look, it appeared Severus was just brooding. If someone had read his mind, it would be obvious that he was contemplating a certain loud argument with a certain annoying transfiguration teacher.
"You insufferable bastard, I was only asking a simple favor!"
"If you use any part of my lab, strands of hair will be everywhere."
"What a pathetic excuse! I could easily keep my hair in place. You simply refuse to be amiable to anyone. God forbid you show some slight humanity."
"God forbid you show some maturity. Really, Professor Granger, couldn't this have been done privately and at a lower decibel. I hardly think a public shouting match is necessary. Now if you will excuse me, I must leave. Maybe we can have another discussion when you decide to grow up."
5. "Hey, Dad! The wireless just said that everything is snowed in. It is the worst snowstorm in 725 years!" yelled Ron from the living room. There was a crowd there; the Weasleys had been hosting a winter gathering for family and friends.
Molly sighed, looked in the cupboards, and realized that there just might be enough food for everyone for a week or so if she got creative.
Severus looked appalled. He had been forced to this gathering by Minerva. That cat is going to pay for this.
Everyone looked at each other and started trying to figure out sleeping arrangements and such.
6. Her face was rosy from the cold, her eyes gleaming mischievously, and not even caring to think what on earth she was doing. She had chucked a snowball smack into the forehead of the most feared Professor to ever walk the corridors at Hogwarts. If she had met her younger self, she was sure that she would have received a stinging smack across the face, but that Hermione, the sensible one, was currently not present. She felt like she had reverted back to the days long before that, when she had been young enough to appreciate the snow instead of loathing it for its burden of being inconvenient.
With a wicked grin, she plied snow together with her warm hands and levitated it above her with her wand. With a flick, it hurtled toward the back of Snape’s head. Not losing a second, Snape spun around and caught it in an outstretched hand. The snowball shattered and spread around him, dusting his hair with white flakes.
Ron had always said that it seemed like Snape had eyes in the back of his head. Hermione no longer doubted it.
She let out a squeal and ducked down, wishing that she could Apparate to somewhere safer, and she heard his hurried footsteps rushing toward her. With an energy she never thought that he could have, he sprung over the hedge and landed squarely next to her, hitting the ground with a sickening thud and a winded wheeze.
He groaned and rolled over onto his back, holding his stomach. His hair was covered in snow, giving him an aged appearance, and his frown lines were engraved even deeper into his forehead. Hermione had never seen him looking so hideous, but couldn’t help allowing him a little grin as she looked down at him, shuffling away slightly.
“Don’t over-exert yourself, old man.”
7. The storm comes on the second day of the holidays, Christmas Eve day. It howls like a beast, shakes the very foundations of the castle, bellows to be let in. Snow falls for hours until they are, literally, snowed in. The nine students and four professors gather in the Great Hall and try to make merry.
"I can't recall the last time I ever saw this much snow," Professor Slughorn muses over his fourth mug of mulled mead.
"Years and years," says Minerva. Her cheeks are very red.
"Years and years," agrees Slughorn.
"It's not common, but it does happen from time to time," says Snape. Hermione, who is seated next to him, stops chewing, eyes wide in surprise. He appears to be speaking directly to her, and she wonders how many glasses of Firewhisky he's consumed. He seems relaxed; almost, but not quite, festive.
"Really?" she says. No one is paying them any mind, of course, and she wonders, not for the first time, if they are simply invisible. She doesn't think she'd mind if they were.
"Yes. When icy air moves over large expanses of warmer open waters, such as the Black Lake, convective clouds develop which cause heavy snow showers due to the large amount of moisture. Whiteout conditions affect narrow corridors from shores to inland areas aligned along the prevailing wind direction.. This is enhanced when the moving air mass is uplifted by higher elevations. The areas affected are called snowbelts and many centimetres of snowfall per hour are common." He pauses. "I could show you, if you like, tomorrow."
Hermione is positively mesmerized.
8. The wind, which before had swirled viciously, slinging the bitter white snow, died down. The howling was replaced with a grim, dead silence.
“How did you know where to find me?” the smooth, cultured voice drawled.
The man stared unflinching as he spoke, “The stench of blood you leave in your wake makes for a rather clear trail.”
Lucius turned on his heel, a slow smile spreading across his face. “Ah yes, I suppose that does make sense. Though I must disagree with you, old friend. I thought her blood gave off a rather lovely bouquet.” He sighed in remembrance, “And it was quite sweet as well. Innocent and youthful, but with an undercurrent of passion,” Lucius took a moment to savor the memory before uttering softly, “Delicious.”
9. November slowly gave way to December, meaning that the castle was transformed into a glittery wonderland that Severus thought looked hideously tacky, not that anyone had asked him. The weather had turned truly appalling, blizzards sweeping across the moors to such an extent that Herbology lessons were cancelled since it was almost impossible to get to the greenhouses and back, and Quidditch practices were called off since flying was too hazardous when nobody could see through the swirling snow.
The only effect Severus noticed was that the dungeons were even colder than usual, and the Potions classroom remained bitterly cold no matter how high the children pushed the fires under their cauldrons. It made him wish even more strongly that Minerva would let him go home for the holidays – the snow never settled for very long around Spinner's End, which stayed defiantly grey and bleak and wet no matter what time of year it was. Yes, he'd be depressed, miserable and lonely there; but he was depressed, miserable and lonely here too, and also bloody freezing.
It was almost impossible to sleep when his rooms were so cold, no matter how many warming charms he used; the chill seemed to have crawled into his bones, and it made the scars on his neck hurt with a deep, throbbing pain far beyond the usual faint background ache that he'd grown used to over the years.
10. Now Hagrid, who wasn't exactly the brightest of wizards, was shrewd enough to realise Hermione was about to start questioning him... and perhaps meddle with things she shouldn't. Quickly patting some of the excess snow in his huge hands into a ball, he gently lobbed it at Hermione's shoulder.
She nevertheless staggered and stared at Hagrid in surprise. He gazed back at her with a look of attempted innocence.
"Who did that?" he said in a deliberately bemused tone.
Hermione put her hands on her hips and smiled. If you wanted a decent snowball fight, ask Hagrid, it was said - and make sure you had your magical shields up!
"That's a fellow Gryffindor you threw a snowball at!" she warned him. She murmured the charm that would set a shield around her that would deflect any snowballs that Hagrid threw with perhaps a bit too much force. Not that he would deliberately do that, for he took pains to ensure that he threw snowballs as gently as he could. But his idea of 'gentle' was often different from everyone else!
"Ooohh, scared!" Hagrid rumbled happily as they both picked up handfuls of snow. If he could cheer her up, it was the least he could do.
The Potions master was the last thing on Hermione's mind as she dodged Hagrid's snowballs and flung her own at him.
"Missed!" a snow-dusted Hermione taunted as she muttered a spell that made an incoming low-flying snowball swerve up and away past her - making a soft 'splat' as it hit something.
Hagrid's face froze in sudden worry, staring past her. "Oops... shouldn't have done that, shouldn't have done that... sorry, Professor. We didn't know you were there."
With a sinking feeling in her stomach, Hermione carefully dropped the snow in her hands and turned around. Professor Snape was standing just metres away with a cold expression on his face, snow splattered over the front of his pristine black robes.