Title: Just a Little Twist
Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre: Action Adventure, Drama, Pre-Relationship, Romance, Slash
Relationship(s): Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy, Ron Weasley/Viktor Krum
Content Rating: R
Warnings: Hate Crimes/Hate Speech, Major Character Death, Torture, Violence – Graphic, Violence – Domestic and/or Against Children, Discussions of Abuse, Murder, Torture. Murder. Character Death. Kidnapping.
Word Count: 166,650
Summary: Remus remembers to take the Wolfsbane potion before he heads off to confront Sirius and Peter Pettigrew. This one thing helps to give Harry something he had wished for in the dark days of living with the Dursley, a family. It all kicks off a ripple of events that take place over Harry’s Fourth and Fifth year that will change everything.
Chapter Sixty One
“I can’t believe mum left it so long for us to do the school shopping,” Ron muttered as he and Harry walked through the alley.
“She was going to go it alone again, took Sirius and the Headmaster to get her to agree that we’ll be fine going there,” Harry told him, “Right, we have books and supplies left to get,” he said as he looked at the list of what they had to get.
“Glad it was quick in the robe shop. We’ll collect them on the way out,” he nodded, “Come on, Draco and Vik said they would meet us by the bookshop,” he added, grabbing Harry’s arm and rushing them down the alley. They could hear Mrs Weasley yelling for them, but both of them ignored her. “Not going with her,” he muttered before Harry could say anything.
“You know you’re going to be in so much trouble when you get back,” he pointed out.
“Worth it, you and Draco and going to chaperoning basically,” Ron grinned, “and you know that dad and Sirius said that it would count for it,” he added.
Harry nodded he had agreed to it, and so had Draco when he had gone over to the den yesterday, “It’s fine, we can find something to eat as well at the Leaky, or we can go for ice cream,” he smiled at the possibility of having a double date with Viktor and Ron.
“Hey Harry,” came a voice as they neared where Draco and Vitor would be waiting for them.
“Hey Seamus, Dean,” he grinned at his fellow Gryffindors.
“Glad you were able to clear your name, mammy is finally listening to me now,” Seamus grinned, grateful for the lack of arguments with his mother
“The flyers are making a difference as well. I heard people talking about them and what’s in them,” Dean added, feeling proud of what they’ve done, “I’ve been making a weekly stop at the Leaky to see how it has been going. Tom’s been really good and making sure anyone that hasn’t got one gets one.”
“Glad it’s been a help,” Harry said relieved.
“Where’s Draco?” Seamus asked, “usually see a blond with the red and black,” he teased.
Harry snorted, “Just going to meet him, and not all the time,” he pointed out as he started to head towards the bookshop. He could just about see the blond hair of Draco’s, it was lighter than most others apart from Luna’s.
“Abandoning your friends for the boyfriend, some bro you are,” Dean jokes, grinning at his friend.
“Sod off,” Harry rolled his eyes, “and I spent enough time with the pyro as it is,” he said, glancing towards Seamus.
“Hey I haven’t blown anything up this summer,” Seamus grumbled, though they could hear the amusement in his voice.
“It’s true, he hasn’t this time. Last time he destroyed his mum’s kitchen, chased him with the broom for that,” Dean said, laughing as Seamus betrayed his look.
“Thought I told you not to tell anyone that!” he said as the two of them started to bicker and point out the little secrets that the two kept for the other.
Harry shook his head, “See you two on the train next week,” he told them.
“Bye!” they called out before going back to the friendly argument.
“I don’t get those two,” Ron said, glancing back at them.
“What two?” Draco asked, as he went over to Harry and hugged him, kissing him quickly.
“Seamus and Dean, are they dating or something?” he asked, “They seem so much like a couple, but they’ve never said one way or another.”
“No idea and I’ve asked and they just shook their heads at me and told me I should know the answer already,” Harry sighed.
Draco snorted, “Seriously,” he shook his head, “I’m not the only Slytherins with a Gryffindor,” he grinned.
“What?” Ron and Harry asked, turning to him.
“Figure it out,” he rolled his eyes, “Now come on, there is a book I want,” he added, taking hold of Harry’s hand and pulling him to the store’s entrance.
Ron was deep in thought for a moment before he glanced up and saw Viktor looking down at him, “Sorry,” he apologised, “didn’t mean to ignore you.”
“It is fine,” he smiled, taking his hand and then following Draco and Harry into the store, “Are they our chaperones?” he asked.
Ron nodded, “Dad said they could be for the day so I don’t have to be around mum. She is not happy with us,” he said softly, “Dad’s fine, mum just thinks it’s wrong.”
“Because we are both men?” he asked, his voice strained.
Ron shook his head, “No, because she thinks I should be with someone like Hermione. A good head on their shoulders and not full of the nonsense of the old traditions of our world,” he rolled his eyes, mimicking his mother’s voice at the end.
“Hmm,” Viktor nodded.
“Anyway, that doesn’t matter, it’s never going to happen and mum doesn’t have a say in the courtship, only dad can approve or reject it,” he grinned, “Mum can’t do anything.”
“That is good,” he smiled, kissing him sweetly.
Ron blushed, “Come on, I need my books and then supplies, you’re not at school anymore are you?” he asked him.
“I have one year left, I am now in my final year, I will be eighteen in October,” he answered him.
“Right,” Ron smiled, he abused, “so you put your name in on your birthday?” he asked.
Viktor nodded, “I did,” he answered him.
“Hurry up you two, we can have a later lunch at the Leaky if we move fast enough!” Draco called out to them.
Ron and Viktor nodded and Ron began to search for the books he needed. Finding Harry, who quickly handed a couple over. It didn’t take them that long in the bookshop, thankfully Arthur had given him the money to get his supplies. Out of one shop and into another, they swept through the last of their school shopping before heading to the Leaky Cauldron for a late lunch.
Ron had been reluctant to part from Viktor when it was time for them to return to Grimmauld Place. Both Harry and Draco were to go with them, as Narcissa was going to be waiting there instead of the Den. Sirius and Remus were going to be away for a few more days, though they had promised to come back before the train left. So Harry was going to be staying with the Malfoy’s for the next two nights at least.
“I hate having to say bye,” Ron muttered as they walked through the hall towards the dining room.
“I know,” Harry nodded in agreement.
“You won’t have that problem this time,” Ron smirked at the two of them, wiggling his eyebrows.
“You know we can’t!” the two exclaimed, “part of the courtship remember, we have to stay…” Harry tried off, feeling a little embarrassed.
“Yeah I know, pulling your leg,” Ron laughed at the two of them, “So easy to embarrass.”
“You’re so mean,” Harry glared at him as he hugged Draco, “Why do I have a mean best friend Draco?” he asked him, pouting at his boyfriend.
“Because he was the only one able to put up with you,” Draco suggested, forcing his face to remain impassive at Harry’s shocked look.
“Ugh, you two are the worst, why the hell did I agree!” he muttered, pulling a face at Draco.
“Because he was the only one willing to try and tame you,” Ron teased him, laughing.
“I can’t believe the two of you are ganging up on me,” Harry huffed. “My best friend and my boyfriend.”
“So adorable,” Draco cooed as he went over, pulling Harry against him and kissing.
“WHAT THE!” came a fierce screech.
“Mum,” Ron said, rubbing his ears, Draco and Harry doing the same at the sudden noise.
“Why are you two kissing, you shouldn’t be kissing?” she said, shaking her head.
“We’re courting Mrs Weasley, we’re allowed to do such things,” Draco answered her, Harry nodding his head beside him. Arms still around each other, and neither of them willing to let the other go.
“But what about Ginny!” she exclaimed as she looked at her daughter, “She is going to be so heartbroken, you know she likes you, Harry. I thought you would at least try to date her,” she said, sounding like there had been an agreement of such.
“Mrs Weasley while Ginny is a friend these days, she is not someone that I like. Like that,” Harry pointed out to her, “She is a friend and will always be such.”
“Don’t be stupid, just end whatever that is,” she muttered, looking at Draco in distrust, “he is a Malfoy after all. There’s something wrong with that family.”
“That has nothing to do with it,” Harry told her, sighing heavily, “I’m sorry but I really don’t see Ginny like that at all.”
“Sorry mum, but I’ve got my eye on another wizard,” Ginny as she walked around her mother, “Sorry Harry, but you don’t do it for me,” she winked, “Neville and I are talking about him sending dad a letter about a courtship. I’m really excited, to be honest. I’ve heard about courtships a lot from some of the other kids, little romance stories and that. Not to mention our classes as well. I always wanted someone to woo me,” she laughed brightly.
“No offence taken, little sister,” Harry told her.
“Good to know,” she smiled at him.
“Though I will be having a word with Neville,” he added, a protective look on his face. A year had changed how he saw Ginny, seeing the teenager she had become after getting the help she needed.
“Same here,” Ron muttered, nodding in agreement.
And here!” came the duel voices of the twins
“Oh no you bloody don’t, I heard what you did to poor Viktor and if you come within a ten-foot radius of Neville with any intent to talk to him, I’ll make you two look like amateurs,” she warned the two of them, “Don’t forget Bill and Charlie taught me a lot,” she grinned viciously at the two of them.
“Courtship!” Molly said, eyes wide as she looked at her daughter, “why would you want to do something so… so…” she tried to find the right word but failed.
“Archaic,” Hermine suggested, looking at the woman.
Molly nodded, “Yes, archaic.”
“They are not,” Narcissa said from behind, “They are a way to ensure that nothing goes on that shouldn’t and that they are truly compatible with each other. A way for them to make sure no one can try to interfere with new relationships,” she told her.
Molly glared at the woman, “I still don’t know why you’re here,” she said, huffing a little.
“I was asked to come and fetch Harry since he will be staying with my family and I for a few days,” she said looking at Harry and Draco, “have you both gathered your school things?”
“Yes, we have everything mother,” Draco smiled at her.
“Good, and you Harry?” he then asked him.
“I do, Aunt Cissy,” he told her, using the nickname that she insisted that he use.
“Then make sure you have everything, we’re having dinner out tonight, meeting Lucius there,” she told the two of them.
“Okay,” the two nodded and looked towards Ron.
“Oh, and Ron, you’re welcome to join as well, your father said it would be fine for you to stay the night too,” she said to the redhead.
“Really?” he asked, eyes a little wide at the invite, he knew that Mr Malfoy didn’t really like the Weasley family.
“Yes, Lucius even said so, and I know that Lucius and your father don’t really get on, but they are trying to fix that. Especially considering your friendship with each other” she laughed lightly.
“Thank you, I accept the invitation Lady Malfoy,” he said politely, remembering some of the manors that Arthur had been drilling into him.
“None of that with me, it’s Cissa or even Aunt Cissy if you like,” she told him.
Ron nodded as Harry and Draco finished gathering their things and with those left behind gaping at them, they walked out of the room and towards the floor to head to Malfoy Manor.
“I-” Molly began, only to realise that her son had gone. Fuming she vowed to have words with Arthur about letting her child go off with those Malfoys.
Harry looked out of the window, He couldn’t believe how fast the holidays had gone past this time. Last year it seemed fast, but this time was even worse. Sirius had warned him, along with Lucius, that there was going to be a teacher at Hogwarts that wasn’t chosen by the Headmaster or the Board of Governors. He was concerned by it, but he was hoping that it would be fine.
“I’ve got to head to the prefect meeting,” Ron said as he and Draco stood up.
“That’s fine,” Harry smiled, “tell me how it went when you come back, I wanna know,” he laughed lightly, seeing the worried look on their faces, “I knew this was going to happen, remember.”
“I know, but I still don’t like leaving you alone,” Draco said, looking down at the sitting wizard.
“Which is why we’re here!” Ginny said as she opened the door and stepped in, the other fifth-year Gryffindor boys followed her.
“Hey Ginny, guys,” Harry grinned.
“Now shoo,” Ginny said as she pushed the other two out of the compartment, “Go before Granger decides that it would be fun to try and run roughshod over the others,” she grinned as the two looked at each other and headed out.
“Didn’t think they would ever leave,” Harry laughed as she closed the door and everyone sat down.
“They worry about you,” Ginny said, “Even though I am, you seem happy but there’s something else going on, I know that, I can feel that,” she told him, sitting opposite him and staring at him, waiting for him to break.
“Oh,” Harry blinked at her, “I-”
“I know I’m not close to you like they are, but you can tell us, we’re on your side, Harry,” Ginny reassured him, smiling.
“I’m worried a little about this teacher. From what Sirius and Lucius have both said. They’re someone that we need to keep an eye on. That they could cause trouble for us at the school,” he pointed out, glancing towards the window as the scenery whipped by.
“And they don’t know that?” Neville asked, meaning Ron and Draco.
“They know, and they’re worried as well, but we kinda don’t want to make a big fuss of it in case it turns out to be nothing,” he murmured, shaking his head.
“We’ll stick together,” Dean said, looking at the others, “We tell the younger ones to keep together, not to let another travel alone. Not because of the students, but if you’re right that this teacher is out to cause trouble, then it might be easier to have the students double up. Get Draco and Ron on it and those in other houses.”
Seamus nodded, “Yeah, we do what we can,” he agreed.
Harry felt relieved that the others were sticking by him this time. He had felt the sting of hurt when they had kept their distance in second year. He had thought they would have turned against him last year, but they hadn’t. He had been so happy when they stood by him. “Thanks, I worry mainly for the first and second years, especially the Muggleborns. They might not realise that the teacher is doing something that is wrong either, so keep an eye on them,” he added.
“We will,” they promised, nodding and sitting up straight
Harry smiled as their talk turned to other things until Draco and Ron stopped by before they had to go and patrol. Arriving at Hogwarts, they headed to the great hall for dinner. As soon as the first years were sorted Madam Umbridge stepped up to take over the welcoming speech from Dumbledore.
“Fuck,” he whispered, “She was the one that stuck by Fudge when they put me on trial. They both told everyone that I was lying, she’s still doing it,” he said as he looked to the others around him, “Be wary of her, something about her just doesn’t sit right,” he warned them all.
“Yeah okay,” they nodded, listening with care to the speech she gave. As soon as it was over they were finally able to eat. No one said anything about their new teacher, not wishing to be overheard by her. Ron stood up with Hermione as it was their task to guide the first years to the dorms that first night. Harry stood with them, as they led the way. Ron talking to them all, joking and putting them at ease. While Hermione kept trying to get them to listen to her going on about lessons and study guides that she would do for them all.
Harry couldn’t wait until they were in the dorm so they could talk more freely, listening to Angelina’s speech as she was Headgirl for that year. Along with Adrain Percy of Slytherin who had been chosen for Headboy.
“Come on,” Harry said as soon as it was over since the sixth years would be getting the first years sorted out in their rooms.
“I can’t believe that witch,” Ron groused, remembering what Harry had told him about her during his trial.
“Yeah I know, she’s the one that is still talking with the papers about calling me a liar and that, so be careful of her, all of you,” Harry warned as they settled down for the night.
“You know we’re going to have her first tomorrow,” Neille said, “It’s just our type of luck.”
Dean and Seamus snorted from where they were sitting on Dean’s bed, “yeah,” they are.
“Then let’s make sure we’re going to get some decent sleep and with the look of the book we have, she’s going to be useless. Even more than what Lockheart was,” Harry told them.
“That book is a joke, it was a joke book, that’s what my mammy said,” Seamus told them, getting off deans beads and heading for his own.
“Wouldn’t surprise me,” Neville agreed, “even gran had something to say about it,” he snorted thinking of the words that she had used.
They settled down in their beds, still awake enough to talk about their holidays.
“Neville, you jinxed us,” Ron grumbled as they walked towards the DADA classroom. Meeting with the Slytherins as they went. It was then that Ron remembered what Draco said, and watched Dean and Seamus carefully as they talked to both Theo Nott and Blazie Zabini talked with the two of them.
“Now you pay attention,” Draco muttered as he pushed his friend forward, “come on, father said it wouldn’t do, to be too late to her lesson. I sent him word of who it was last night, and he said that she is not one for those not pureblooded. The others will be targets for her, so be mindful of them. And of Harry,” he added quietly, glancing at the others around them. “I’ve already got the Slytherins to keep an eye on your lot,” he told him.
“Thanks,” Ron said gratefully, knowing that Draco’s family had more clout behind it than he would have done.
“Welcome children,” Madam Umbridge said as condescending as she could when everyone was finally seated in her classroom. No one replied to her greeting. “I said good morning children, do respond when I talk,” she ordered shrilly.
“Good morning,” they said back, some of them rolling their eyes and the Muggleborn and Muggle raised feeling like they were back in nursery school.
“Now children, with feeling if you please,” she simpered, “Good morning children,” she said once more.
“Good morning Professor Umbridge,” they courses together, some having flashbacks to their early school years.
“Wonderful,” she smiled at them all, glaring a little when she spotted Harry sitting amongst the students. She went through the register with each child calling out that they were present, and after the first one she made sure they all answered the same way ‘Present Professor Umbridge’.
She stood before them as she began to talk about the aims of the class and the theory that they would be following. “No all of you please bring out your books and begin to read the first chapter.”
“Professor,” Hermine called out, her hand already up in the air waving for attention.
“Yes?” she asked, looking at her.
“I was wondering about the aims for learning the spells and casting them,” she asked her.
“You do not need to know such things,” she answered her, “All you need is a good strong theory and you should be able to do the spells with ease,” she told her and then carried on around the classroom.
Draco couldn’t help it as he raised his hand.
“Yes Mr Malfoy,” she simpered a little as she looked to the heir of the Malfoy family.
“I do not believe that to be the case, my father has always insisted that I learn how to cast each and every single spell. Which means I will need to practice,” he told her politely, hoping that bringing up his father’s beliefs would change her mind about such ludicrous ideas.
“You don’t really need these spells, Mr Malfoy, they are only really needed if you become an Auror, and then, when you have graduated, you will be able to master the spells you need,” she told him, brushing aside his concerns.
“We need these in case we’re attacked,” Harry said after raising his own hand and for the woman to reluctantly let him talk.
“Attacked, and why would you be attacked?” she asked innocently.
“Well during the summer I was attacked by two rogue dementors, along with Draco. And before that I had to try and defend myself against Voldemort,” he added.
“Do not speak of things you know nothing about. You are telling lies!” she yelled out.
“The papers are all saying the same thing,” another student said, “That he is back and that the dementors really did try and attack Potter while he was out in the Muggle World.”
“Lies!” she yelled once more, “I suggest that you refrain from spreading such things around this school if you do not want to land in detention, and I will not hold back,” she glared at the students before her demeanour changed.
The rest of the class was quiet as they read through the chapter. It explained nothing, just that defence was needed. As soon as they were done, Professor Umbridge then read it out in class and told them her belief about the chapter. It was a ridiculous class. As it finally ended they rushed out of the classroom to their next.
“I can’t believe we’re going to have an idiot for a teacher,” Draco grumbled. “I’m going to send word to my father about what she is doing. There has to be something against it,” he muttered, huffing a little.
“I know, maybe we should all tell the parents about it. I know that sometimes one voice can make a difference, but maybe a few more will help,” Dean said from behind.
“I think if we all work together, we might be able to do something,” Blazie agreed.
“She is really something, though I saw Hermione eating it up a little,” Harry said, shaking his head at the other witch, “she said something similar to her about learning spells from theory and only having to do them once or twice to be able to have a handle on them, remember,” he pointed out.
“I know,” Ron sighed, “Anyway, we have potions next,” he pulled a face, “`why do we always have potions on our first day back,” he moaned as they walked.
“Because we are used to having bad luck thanks to Harry being in our year,” Neville joked from behind.
“I hate you all,” Harry muttered as he walked ahead a little more.
“No you don’t,” came the course of voices.
Harry stilled, “please don’t ever do that again,” he shuddered, “Flashback to her class,” he said.
“Yeah, I felt like I was back in Muggle school and I was five years old again,” Dean laughed.
“Yeah,” Harry agreed with him.
The two commiserate over their shared experience of Muggle primary school, while it was fun and educational of course. There were some things they could well do without, such as all greeting the teacher. Entering the potions classroom they went silent as Professor Snape demanded their attention as soon as he walked into the room. Settling down, they began their second lesson of their fifth year at Hogwarts.
Harry walked out of another Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson, the woman was doing her best to try and make him react to her. He had been able to keep his temper so far, but he didn’t know how much longer he would be able to keep control. “Seriously she is really pushing it,” he muttered, it was the end of September now.
Mabon had been a lot of fun and games for all the students. Only dampened when Professor Umbridge tried to restrict everyone from taking part in the singing and dancing that happened later that night. She had even tried to say that those that were Muggleborn and Muggle raised shouldn’t attend them. Which had caused a number of issues with all the students.
“I know,” Draco sighed softly, wrapping an arm around Harry’s shoulders as they walked, “I can only hope that my father can do something to get rid of her,” he added.
“Let’s hope,” Ron added bitterly from behind the two of them. He and Harry had been the ones she had singled out to annoy along with Hermione.
The three walked to one of the courtyards, it was still warm enough to be outside. The crisp September air was welcomed by them all. Sitting down on one of the benches. “So, you’re excited about tonight?” Draco then asked, hoping the change of subject would help his two friends cheer up a bit.
“Tonight?” Ron puzzled for a moment before his eyes alighted and he nodded, “Oh yeah,” he grinned brightly.
“I can’t believe you forgot,” Draco said, shaking his head, “Really, you were talking about this for ages,” he pointed out to him.
“I know, that… woman leaves me feeling like the world is ending,” Ron muttered in his defence.
“She does,” Harry agreed, “Anyway, enough about the bitch,” Harry said, waving his hand in the air.
“Yeah,” Draco nodding in agreement, “so, how are you feeling about tonight?”
Ron shrugged, “nervous,” he said slowly, “it’s going to be the first date together without a chaperone.”
“It’s going to be fine though, you know that,” Harry told him, “what about a gift?” he asked, knowing that Ron had brought something during the holidays. He had been doing a few odd jobs around the alley to make sure he could.
“I bought a pendant, and dad helped me in imbuing it with my own magic,” he said shyly as he looked at them both, “I know you don’t share magic until the seventh month and that,” he began.
“But?” Harry prompted.
“He’s so far away, that we don’t get to see each other as often as most courting couples would, so I want him to have a little something of me with him,” he explained.
“I get that,” Harry nodded, “it’s a nice sweet gesture,” he laughed a little as Ron blushed.
“Yeah, the Headmaster has given permission for us to have a date in Hogsmeade,” he added, “I had to submit a form of prospect dates for him that I would need to be out of the castle for,” he told the two of them.
“We had to do the same for anything we did outside of the Hogsmeade weekends,” Draco nodded.
“Hmm,” Harry nodded.
“Hey!” came a yell from the other side of the courtyard.
“Hey Neville,” Harry greeted their fellow Gryffindor.
“Umbridge is trying to get something banned,” he told them, “she is making a fuss to the Headmaster about courting couples flaunting the rules and leaving school grounds.”
“What?” Draco exclaimed standing up, “She can’t do that, it’s in the Hogwarts charter, that those that are going through courtship may do as they need to keep to the traditions. If that means leaving the grounds for a few hours to attend any of the magical rituals associated with it, to the dates that we have. Since they are to be chaperoned in places outside of the school. Along with the more private ones that also are to occur off school grounds. It’s all in there,” he huffed as he began to stalk towards the Great Hall.
Ron and Harry shared a look as they quickly followed him, Neilve on their heels. Entering the great hall they could see the headmaster and Professor Umbridge talking loudly at the head of the room.
“Those that are in courtship should do so outside of school!” she yelled.
“As I have said Madam Umbridge,” Dumbledore began, “it states in the schools very charter that all courtship couples may make use of either the school ground or Hogsmeade. You will not stop it, the magic of this very castle shall aid them, and you know what it says within the charter should a teacher or Headmaster try and stop such things,” he warned her.
Harry looked towards Draco, “What does that mean?” he asked, voice hushed as others crowded nearby to listen to the answer.
“The wards of the castle will eject them from the school as they are going against the nature of magic,” he said softly.
“So, if we can get her to do that…”
“Then we can get rid of her?” Fred finished, grinning at his twin brother.
“I doubt she will, I think she was trying to get the headmaster to do it so he would be outed,” Draco said, shaking his head.
“So she might be just using it to get him out,” Harry mumbled, sighing a little as he leaned against Draco.
“Ron,” Dean said as he tapped the redhead on the shoulder, “Better go and get ready for your date, Viktor is here,” he grinned as he stepped aside as Ron rushed out of the hall.
“That was mean,” Harry told him.
“Not lying, Professor McGonagall told me that Viktor is here for him,” Dean grinned, “he’s going to be waiting in her office so they can go through her floo to Hogsmeade for their date.
“Right,” Harry nodded.
“Come on, let’s go sit down,” Draco said as he walked towards the Gryffindor table, he was going to be sitting with Harry that night. Since the other schools had visited, not many sat at their own House tables, unless there was a feast.
“Yeah,” Harry smiled as he and the others did that, only seeing Ron one last time as he told them he was going to meet with Viktor.
“The last lesson of the week,” Ron sighed happily as they made their way from charms to their next class.
“Yeah, but then we have to open the week with the same class,” Harry muttered darkly, “I hate this class. The only time I really enjoyed it was when Remus was teaching and the masquerading Barty CrouchJr,” he added a little quieter.
“He may have been a fake but he still taught well,” Ron said with an air of disgust, “ I can’t believe I said that about a bloody Death Eater.”
“Hmm,” Draco nodded, “Agree, Remus was really good, he really made it fun as well,” he grinned thinking of their exam that year.
“The obstacle course,” Harry laughed, “And he used it again when he was training us too,” he added, “He uses it a lot.”
“Make you think on your feet,” Ron pointed out, as they reached the hallway for their Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom.
“Yeah, he’s good at that,” Harry grinned, “Wish we could have him back,” he murmured as they lined up outside the classroom. And waited to be let in. The door opened and Professor Umbridge stepped out, watching with a critical eye as they filed into the classroom.
“Good afternoon class,” she called out as she walked to the front of the classroom.
“Good afternoon Professor Umbridge,” came the chorus replied as it had done since the beginning of the year.
“Today we are going to review chapter three,” she began as she started to read it aloud to the class.
Harry gave a small sigh as he looked at his book. All he wanted to do was to set it on fire. This chapter was about how to easily contact the authorities to help with a situation. He shook his head, closing the book.
“Mr Potter,” came the sickly sweet voice of professor Umbridge, “Why, may I ask, have you closed your book?” she asked of him as she walked towards his desk.
Harry looked up, “It is all well and good to contact the proper authorities when something is going on. But if you are being attacked and spells are flying towards you, you need to know how to dodge and maybe even counter the spells thrown at you,” he told her, keeping his voice even as he could.
“And how would you deal with such a thing?” she asked him, a dangerous tone in her voice.
Harry tensed a moment, closing his eyes. He shook his head, about to answer when she spoke again.
“I see you have nothing to say,” she smirked at him.
“Professor,” Harry began, “I was formulating an answer if you would care to listen,” he told her. Though he could see the warning look on Draco and Ron’s faces.
“Then please, answer what would you do if you were… attacked, which would not happen,” she said, sure of herself.
“Oh, it’ll happen,” Harry said with surety, “Let’s take the fight I had with Voldemort when he returned,” he began.
“Liar!” she yelled in his face.
“Madam,” Harry said, taking on a tone that he had often heard Lucius Malfoy use with his godfather and one that he in turn used against Draco’s father, “I seriously doubt even you will be able to shut down the fact that in a trail with the full Wizengamot that I testified under truth serum and with a memory project the night that Voldemort returned. Now, I shall explain to the class what happened that night, as it may help them when it comes to getting away from such dangerous people,” he told her, ignoring the spluttering witch as he turned to the class.
“No, you will not say anything about that… that!” she yelled, “You are a liar, a delinquent! You flouted our rules in front of Muggles!”
“I did no such thing and was proven innocent when it was shown that two dementors attacked myself and Draco,” he told her, “Which by the way, has there been any word on how two dementors had escaped from Azkaban? They are under Ministry control according to you and Minister Fudge. I do hope you find out what happened, my godfather is eager to find the people responsible for such an act of terrorism on the populace,” he added.
“You are once again spreading your silly lies, for that, you are to come to my office tonight and you will be in detention for the rest of the week!” she yelled at him in the end, “For now, out of my classroom and you can stop disrupting it with your pompous behaviour!”
Harry nodded, “I will gladly leave this class, there is nothing in this that you can teach us. I am going to see if my godfather can look into the qualifications that you have to teach this class,” he added as he began to pack his things away.
“How dare you!” she exclaimed, eyes wide as though she had been insulted.
“I expect that they are high for such a needed and mandatory class,” he added, a little twitch of his lips as he tried not to smirk. “Good day Professor Umbridge,” he said as he then walked out of the classroom, glancing towards Draco and mouthing that he would see him later at dinner.
“Now class,” Professor Umbridge said as she gathered her wits one more. Draco and Ron shared a look as the lesson carried on. Neither of them really paid attention to a class that just wasn’t teaching them anything. The others around them were of the same mind. Professor Umbridge was hard and each time she talked to the class after the confrontation she made sure to remind them of the Minister’s stance on the rebirth of Voldemort and that it didn’t happen. Harry and the others were lying and faking everything. Not one of them believed her as they left her classroom.
Chapter Sixty Four
Harry stood in the Gryffindor dorm, he was to go to detention with Umbridge soon. He had gone to McGonagall to complain about what happened. But she had told him to keep his head down and follow it for now. That the teachers are working to try and find a way to get her out. The Minister had been passing legislation through using the fear that Harry had caused from Voldemort’s return to get her placed here.
“I really have a bad feeling,” Ron muttered as he walked Harry towards the entrance.
“Same here, but I’m hoping that we’ll be able to figure something out as well,” Harry nodded, “Something about her just really rubs me the wrong way. I sent a letter to Sirius about her and that I wanted him to look into the qualifications that she has,” he spoke softly not wanting to be overheard.
“She isn’t, I bet,” Ron snorted, “There is no way that she has a Mastery in Defence. I know that Lupin did, and Quirrell. Same with Mad-Eye, and yes I know he wasn’t actually Mad-Eye, but still.”
“Lockhart got in because of who he was and having an award of some kind. Also having an Honorary Masters in Defence counts,” Harry murmured, “This one because of the Ministry.”
“Not the Ministry, rather Fudge and those that are siding with him and don’t want to believe what you are saying,” Ron chuckled darkly.
“Right, I’m going. I’ll be back later, don’t wait up,” he joked, rolling his eyes as he left the door. The portrait closing behind him.
Harry quickly made his way down to Professor Umbridge’s office and knocked on the door. The door opened and once more the woman in pink was in his view. “Professor,” he greeted politely.
“Good to see you Mr Potter, and on time,” she said as she led him into her office, “Now, do sit down.”
Harry said nothing as he walked inside, a canopy of meows greeting him as the wall was covered in plates, and in each one was at least one kitten or cat crying out to him. He took a seat at a small side table that she gestured to. Looking at the surface there were several pieces of parchment and a quill was made with a dark red feather, the nib looked to be a metal that had also been dyed a dark red to match the feather.
“Now,” she said coming up behind him, “I want you to write lines for me, about five hundred should get the message through for today I believe. But we shall see.”
Harry looked at her dubiously and then nodded. Picking up the quill he asked, “What about ink?”
“You won’t need it,” she smirked.
Harry sighed and asked, “What do you want me to write?”
“I will not tell lies,” she told him, “Begin,” she then ordered as she took a seat at her desk and poured herself some tea. An eagle eye on the young teen before her as he started to write.
Harry frowned a little as he felt a tingling in his left hand. It took a few moments for him to realise what it was doing to his hand. He could see the words he was writing being etched into his hand. He could see the witch smirking at him as he realised what the quill he was using was doing. With gritted teeth to stop him from saying anything, he carried on with doing the lines. Each line etching the words into his hand that little bit deeper.
Harry glared at the paper before him, seething in anger as he began to think of others that might have had detention with this vile woman. He finished the last line as the woman stood up and walked over to him. “Let me see,” she said, grabbing his hand and pressing her fingers over the words that were bleeding heavily. “Hmm,” she said, eyes narrowing as she saw the glared still on Harry’s face. He hadn’t been able to get rid of it.
“Professor,” he said, teeth gritted from the pain radiating from where she was pressing.
“I don’t think it had sunk in yet, another tomorrow with me, same time,” she told him, dropping his hand.
“Yes Professor,” he nodded, though he had no plans to attend to it or to let anyone else have detention with her.
“You may leave,” she dismissed him, a smirk on her face as she watched him leave.
Harry strode back to the Gryffindor common room quickly, not bothering to deal with the bleeding just yet. He wanted a picture of it before he took care of it. Snapping out the password he saw Ron and a few others still up and around, “Ron, get Colin Creevy and tell him to bring his camera,” he told his friend as soon as he walked in.
“What’s going on?” Angelina said, puzzled at the behaviour of her seeker.
Harry raised his hand, “This, a quill did this to m-”
“A blood quill!” someone shouted from the back, “She used a fucking blood quill, those are illegal!” he added as he rushed to the front to have a look at the hand.
“Chris,” Katie sighed, “Don’t be a pain,” she told him.
“Sorry, but my dad had to deal with a number of cases of those at one point. They are nasty things, can cause permanent scarring if not healed properly because they are considered dark arts,” he said, “not evil, but that they use the blood of the person using it. Now they are only for government use as they are used for contacts and legal documents. To use them on a minor is what is illegal.”
“Get all the students here now, I want to talk to them all about her,” Harry said as he pulled his hand away from Chris, “Do you know how to treat it?” he asked him.
Chris nodded, “Yeah, dad would go on about it a lot when I was a kid, so yeah I know how to treat it for the most part. I need to see if I can get what’s needed,” he added, as he began to think, grabbing one or two of the others.
Ron came back down with Colin and a number of other students that were all being brought down to the common room. It was getting full when a voice yelled out, “What’s going on?”
“Colin,” Harry said as the fourth year walked over to him, “I need you to take a couple of pictures of this before it’s taken care of,” he asked him.
“Sure,” he nodded and he began to do so, making Harry lay it on a table so he could get a good angle.
“I want to know who else has had a detention with Umbridge?” he called out, glancing around the room. Over a dozen hands went up. “How many of you had to write lines?” he asked them all.
Nearly all of them kept their hands in the air, “it hurt so much,” a first-year said softly.
Ron went over to her and hugged her, “Why didn’t you come to me,” he asked her softly as he rocked her through her tears.
“Because I was scared of being expelled if I told anyone,” she cried, clinging to Ron.
“Colin, when you’re done with me, do the others,” he asked him, “I’ll make sure you’re reimbursed for anything you use. I want pictures as soon as possible.”
“Why are you doing this?” Hermione asked them as she stood in the doorway that led to the stairs for the girl’s dorm.
“What she is doing is illegal,” Chris was the one to answer as he walked back into the common room, “I got what I need,” he told him, “This should help a bit, but I’m going to ask my dad to come and help with this, he can do it so there won’t be any scarring at the end. But it will take a few days for it to go when he begins,” he added, “If I can get him to come, I’ll ask him what’s needed to make sure there won’t be.” he finished, glancing towards Harry.
“Colin’s going to take pictures for evidence, and then you can start with us,” Harry told him, “Hope you brought more, there are quite a few.”
Chris looked around at the ones that were going towards Colin and the one that was with Ron being comforted, “Yeah, I should have enough,” he answered.
Harry smiled at him, going over to him, “I’ll wait until they’ve been taken care of first,” he said, looking at the mostly first and second years that had been targeted by the woman.
“She’s disgusting, to use such a thing. Angelina, get in touch with the other houses and see what is going on with them, you’re able to go out now aren’t you?” he then asked as he turned to the girl.
“Yeah, I can go and do so now,” she nodded, “Chris, write a letter for your dad now, we should start doing this now. If the teachers can’t do anything because of her then we’re going to have to go outside of the school for help,” she told him.
He nodded grabbing a quill and parchment, he made a quick note and tucked it into an envelope that someone gave him, “Here, send this with an owl to my dad,” he told her, handing it over.
“Will do,” and with that, she left the common room to check on the other houses.
Chris began to treat them all with the murtlap essence for a moment before placing a square soaked in it over the words and bandaging it up. “Try and not let her use the quill on anyone again, the more it’s used the harder it will be to get rid of the scar. It might be too late for some people,” he warned.
“Right,” Harry nodded, seeing the sacred looks on some of the children’s faces, “I can’t believe this is going on under the teachers’ noses and they’re not doing anything.”
“They might not know exactly what she’s doing,” Chris told him, “Have any of you tried talking to Professor McGonagall or anyone else about the detentions you’re having and what she is doing?” he asked the children.
All of them shook their head, “No,” one piped up, “Professor Umbridge said she would have us all expelled before we could say anything,” he said, holding his bandaged hand tightly against him.
“There you go,” he said, shaking his head, “They’re too afraid to say anything,” he sighed moving closer to Harry.
Harry nodded, “Right, I want all of you to do your best to avoid her while I do mine to get her gone. I’ve got another detention with her tomorrow, though-”
“I would say don’t go, but she could easily start targeting some of the others,” Chris warned, “Look, she’s well known in the ministry for being against everything and anything most are fine with,” he sighed, rubbing his hands over his face.
“Yeah, Remus said the same thing about her, she hates the fact that he’s a werewolf,” he snorted, “She’s tried to come up with so many bills against them, but none have really taken at all,” he smirked.
“Good, that witch is one that really does need burning,” he muttered darkly.
“Hmm,” Harry nodded in agreement. He watched as Ron took care of another of the first years that wanted comfort, while the other prefects were doing the same, except for Hermione who was standing at the edge of the room, just watching with a judgemental look on her face.
“Harry,” Dean said as he walked up behind him, “You should write to Sirius about what’s going on,” he suggested.
“Going to, doing that tonight and will send it in the morning. Hoping that Colin can get the pictures done as soon as possible,” he added, looking at the fourth year that was already muttering to himself as he headed towards his dorm room.
Angelina came back just before curfew, “There are many others, not so many in Slytherin though,” she told him.
“Parental influence most likely,” Harry said, shaking his head.
Angelina agreed, “Right, everyone, it’s almost time for bed for you younger ones, so go get ready, older ones, finish your last-minute homework and then to bed with you,” she told them all.
“AYE AYE CAPTAIN!” came the course of voices and finally the heavy atmospheres in the room lifted a little as the younger years began heading for bed and the older ones got on with their own homework.
It had only been two days since Harry had found out what Professor Umbridge was doing to the students of the school. Ron, Draco and Harry had taken to going to the other houses to make sure that they would be able to gather as much evidence as they could against the woman. Chris had been helping where he could as well. His dad has sent more supplies and a letter on what he was to do when he was refused access to the school to help. It was almost curfew once more, thankfully, Harry didn’t have detention that night.
“Well, I have a letter back from Sirius,” Harry said as he walked into the Gryffindor common room. They had said goodbye to Draco earlier and Harry was already missing his presence.
“Yeah, what did he say?” Ron asked, knowing that Harry got something from him that morning.
“Just to keep going with what we’re doing and he and Lucius are building a case to present. They want to make sure it’s as airtight as possible. So all we get as evidence will be needed. The Minister can try and wheedle his way out of this and get her off if we don’t. The Ministry is still against us, and not all the Death Eaters were there when he was brought back, only some of them came. So there are some that I didn’t know the name of,” he warned softly.
“Hmm,” he nodded, heading towards the sofa that was free and plopping down, “I still have to finish the last bit of our potions essay,” he mumbled.
“Best get to it, I’ve already done it,” Harry grinned as Ron scowled at him.
The door to the common room opened again and a first-year quietly walked in, hand pressed tightly against his chest. Ron and Harry shared a look and got up. Harry reached him first, kneeling down saying softly, “Can I see?” he asked.
The first year nodded, sniffing as he uncovered his bleeding hand. In a messy scrawl were the words, “I will not read above my station.”
“What the fuck,” Ron growled as he saw the words, “What could you possibly be reading,” he said lowering his voice when he saw the child flinch away from him. “It’s okay kid, not going to hurt you at all,” he added looking at the tiny first year.
“I was reading the book about traditions that Proforesor Galen set,” he answered him, glancing up.
“Good, you shouldn’t have been reading that book anyway!” Heroine yelled from behind them, “reading such things when you’re a Muggleborn have you no pride in who you are!” she continued.
“That’s enough!” Harry yelled at her, standing and turning to face her as everyone else in the common room glared at her, “So you finally show your colours now,” he muttered at her, “there is no need for you to be here if you’re not going to help, so go back to whatever rock you crawled out of.” With that, he turned back around to the first year and knelt down again, “Let’s see if Chris is here to help,” he smiled at him guiding him towards the sofa and getting him to sit down while getting one of the others to call for Chris.
“Hey,” Chris smiled as he walked down the stairs, in his hand was the small bag that he kept everything in.
Harry nodded to him, waving him over as he could hear Ron and Hermione talking, almost yelling at each other nearby, “We have another, is Colin around?” he asked, glancing around and already seeing the young teen dart over towards them.
“Was just getting my camera, Harry,” he grinned as he quickly took some photos so that Chris could treat it as soon as.
“Right,” he shook his head, leaving them as he went back over to Ron and Hermione.
“I have a right to let people know my views and opinions on anything I deem right” Hermione argues.
“You are fine to have your opinion, but for you to say that it’s fine to torture a first-year student because he is following a homework assignment given isn’t,” he growled at the woman.
“He is a Muggleborn, what does he need to know about the stupid traditions that you idiots follow. He should have them from home, from his parents,” she told him, shaking her head, “he should already have things that he does, traditions of his family, of his own world.”
“But he isn’t really part of that world,” Harry said, “He can visit, and can go there to see those he loves, always. But in the end, it’s up to him. If he moved to this world, then he’ll need to know them to be able to advance in this world, to know when he could offend someone without meaning to. When he could actually harm someone,” he added, thinking of the children that could have been prevented from having their magics being disturbed by well-meaning Muggleborns that had no idea what they were doing.
“Why would he want to live in this backwards place I don’t know,” she told him, rolling her eyes.
“So what do you plan to do?” Ron asked, suddenly curious as to what she wanted to do when she was now done with Hogwarts.
“Get a good job and make some changes,” she answered, “The Ministry will be crying out for people like me, I’m smart, can handle a lot of research, I have no doubt that I would be able to get in,” she said, sounding so sure of herself.
“You wouldn’t,” Katie said from behind her, “your attitude is one of the things they would be investigating. You also have no idea of the traditions and why they are used, even if some of those in the Ministry don’t follow them. They respect the choices of others to do so. Which is why you won’t get a job there,” she added, “You’re really ruining your chances of getting anywhere in life by being so bigoted.”
“Not only that, but you were told to keep those opinions to yourself instead of lashing out at everyone, as you have done so,” Angelina added as she came over, “I’ve been watching and hoping you would reign yourself in again, but you haven’t,” she sighed, “I’ve already sent word to Professor McGonagall about your infraction of the rules set out for you.”
“I haven’t done-”
“You have and you know it, Hermione, give it up,” Ron said, shaking his head, “You constantly belittle everyone’s beliefs, and I really do hope you don’t do that everywhere you go,” he added as he walked off, he had it with the woman.
Harry went back to the first year who was now smiling a little bit more while Chris and Colin were talking and making him laugh. “Everything all right?” he asked as he knelt down in front of him.
“Yeah, I didn’t know she would do that, otherwise I would have read it in here and not in the courtyard,” he said softly.
“I think we should tell all students not to be outside of the library or common room until we get rid of her. Obviously she’s targeting people,” Harry said softly, glancing towards Ron.
“Hm,” Ron sighed heavily, “I think we should go in with an older student with the younger students all the time, escorts after the last lesson,” he added.
“I’ll see what I can do,” Chris added, he was the sixth year prefect, “Get me all the timetables for everyone and I should be able to mock something up,” he told him.
“I’ll help,” Ron said with a grin, glad that they were doing something.
“Miss Johnson,” Professor McGonagall said as she walked into the common room, “What is going on that you have asked for me?” she asked.
“It’s about Granger, you asked me to keep an eye on her, one of the first years received detention for reading a traditions book that Professor Galen assigned,” she said, beginning to give her the gist of what has been happening along with the blood quill that had been used.
“I,” she said, standing up straighter as the magic around her began to crackle, “Miss Johnson, why have you not come to me before about this?” she asked.
“Because we know that the Ministry is interfering with things,” Harry was the one to answer, “We came up with something that we can do. There are a number of other students and I’m working with Lucius Malfoy and Sirius about getting her out of the school. We don’t want her to be here for long. But if we release this too soon then we could damage the case against her. With her here, they can investigate more about her out there,” he told her.
“Hmm, using your brain,” she nodded as she said, “I will give a heads up to the other head of houses, making sure as many of you won’t have to serve detention with her,” she told them.
“Thank you, but we’re coming up with things as well, so hopefully we won’t have anyone in her line of fire. As for her class, just do what she said, don’t argue, don’t stand against her, nothing. Let her continue teaching us a load of tripe,” he said, addressing those that were in the common room.
“Well it’s a load of tripe,” she smirked a little as she then turned to Hermione, “Miss Granger, at the beginning of the year you were warned about your behaviour. That you were fine to have your own opinions but you were not to try and press others into believing the same.”
“Professor, I’m just trying to get people to see that what they are reading is so old, things need to change, if a place doesn’t change then nothing can improve,” she said.
“While it is true that things don’t change very much in our World, it is also false in that reading and knowing such things harms us. Do you know how many children used to be on the registry before Dippit got rid of our traditions class, there would be almost two hundred students in each year, each year, we had almost one and half thousand in this school, each class had four to five teachers to teach them. When I went to school this tower was bigger, almost ten times bigger for all the students in it. Now we’re lucky to have forty, and most of it is because of those that didn’t know to stay away from newborns for that important first week to let the child’s magic settle after their birth. Their names appeared the moment they are born and then within a week they would fade,” she told her, “Our caretaker is one such victim of this, his name had been down, and when he was six days old a well-meaning Muggleborn, who didn’t know of our traditions visited, and without knowing disrupted the magic of the child so it could no longer be used.”
“That’s not possible!” Hermione yelled, shaking her head, “How could such a thing change the magic of a person.”
“A baby’s magic is very sensitive and with the trauma of birth it reacts to everything, the midwives and healers that attend a birth are highly trained in keeping their magic inert, within themselves only,” Chris was the one to answer, “I know this because I want to be a healer as well, Dad’s been teaching me,” he replied to the look he was getting, “A baby’s magic reaches out for their parents magic and it helps to soothe the child, letting their magic settle, after that first week, a baby’s magic is settled enough to start introducing other family members, like grandparents.”
“What about siblings?” a Muggleborn asked from nearby.
“Siblings are kept away for the first two days only, on that second day they are brought into the home. The magic between siblings is very close so it doesn’t disrupt a baby’s magic, it can actually help to soothe it as well. Muggleborns siblings, those that have magic are the ones to soothe instead of parents, which is why there isn’t a problem when it comes to Muggleborns and their siblings being around,” he finished explaining.
“Miss Granger, your badge is to be taken from you and I will go over the candidates to replace you,” Professor McGonagall said as she left Chris to explain the ins and out of the magic of a newborn and the effect that others could have on it.
“Professor please,” Hermione almost begged, “I’m doing what is right for this world, you-”
“You are not,” she interrupted, “Your badge?” she asked as he held out her hand.
Hermione took it off and handed it over, she turned and ran from the room and headed to the dorm.
“I will be having a house meeting tomorrow to decide who shall be taking over for her,” she said as she then left the common room.
Harry sighed as he and the others carried on listening to Chris.
The next as soon as dinner was over everyone was gathered in the Common room once more, those of fifth-year were right at the front of the group. Professor McGonagall stood there and looked at them all, “Thank you all for gathering, I will not keep you for long,” she told them all.
“It’s fine professor,” Lavender smiled at her, “have you chosen?” she asked.
“I have two in mind, but one will be a bit controversial,” she said slowly, “As you know, you girls do not have the grade, but if you could pick them up a little more, then I can have you take over for a while,” she added as she looked towards the two others female students that were in fifth year.
“I really don’t want the badge, ” Lavender said, shaking her head, “I know it’s an honour, but I’m not a right fit for it. I knew that in first year.
“I don’t think I am either Professor,” Pavarti smiled at her Head of House, “I know my sister likes this type of responsibility, but, well, I don’t really have this… or rather the type of patience needed for it,” she admitted.
“I understand girls,” she nodded, “Now, that leaves us a rather awkward predicament,” she said, lips thinning.
“Who else were you thinking of?” Angelina asked quietly from the back.
“In fifth year, for the Gryffindors, Mr’s Longbottom, Potter and Weasley were all in the running for the prefect badge, out of the girls, it was only Miss Granger,” she began to answer.
“So we could have one of them,” Katie said, “if there is something only the girls can do to me or Angelina can take care of it,” she told her.
“Then Mr Potter,” she said, “Would you take on the role of prefect for the rest of this year at least, we shall once again revisit it depending on if Miss Patel or Miss Brown wish to take over,” she asked of him.
“Are you all really sure you want me to do this?” Harry asked, glancing around.
“We’re fine with it,” Neville said, “Look, when you found out what was going on with that b-” he cut himself off, “with Her, you did something about it, you started the ball rolling on making sure that we remain safe and that you are also doing something to try and get her out of this school,” he added, getting nods from many of the others.
“You took care of us, made sure that Chris would help us,” a first-year said as she raised a bandaged hand, “You’re doing something that will keep us away from her, organising people to pick us up from the last lesson, watching over us in the library and outside as well,” she added.
“You don’t belittle us when we’re finding it hard to answer some of our homework,” a second-year added, “you explain it to us, and even your boyfriend helps us,” he laughed lightly as the others joined in.
Harry listened and shook his head as the others all said that they would trust him, “Okay,” he said before anyone else could make him feel even more uncomfortable than he already was, “I’ll do it, but Lavender, Parvarti, try and get yourselves sorted for next year,” he told the two.
“Not a chance,” they grinned at him, “We both talked about it last year, we know it’s an honour to be a prefect, but it’s both ones that neither of us is comfortable with. We’re not leaders, we’re followers, we know that,” Lavender said softly.
“Both of us don’t want it,” Parvarti told him, “So good luck on trying to foster it off on someone else next year,” she grinned at him.
Harry rolled his eyes as he stood up and walked over to the Professor and took the badge, “I’ll do my best,” he promised.
“You’ll be taking over some of the patrols, but that will be explained to you during the next meeting of the prefects,” Angelina told him, “We’ll have one tomorrow since they all know that Hermione has been taken off,” she added.
“Okay,” Harry nodded, as he put the badge onto his robes, looking at it, he felt a little bit of pride, “I just hope I do okay,” he mumbled more to himself as he went back over to Ron and sat beside his best friend.
“I know you will do fine Mr Potter, now, I shall leave you all to your own devices,” Professor McGonagall smiled at them as she headed out of the common room.
“Congrats mate,” Ron snorted, “I know you weren’t keen on the badge in the first place” he added quietly.
“Yeah, looks like I ended up with it anyway” he shook his head and then smiled, “I’ll do what I can,” he promised, more to himself than to anyone else.
Harry easily fitted into the running of the prefects. Telling his concerns for the students to the others about Umbridge and who she is mainly targeting. It didn’t take long for them all to band together and get the elder years to take charge of the younger ones. The number of detentions she could give out dropped to only one or two. And each time she used a quill the evidence was taken and added to what Sirius and Lucius were gathering against her.
“So, the first-anniversary date is now out of the way, when are they coming to take the next step,” Nevile said as they left charms and headed towards defence.
“I know,” Harry grinned, “They’re going to be coming by tonight, got permission from the Headmaster to come. Then we’ll start with trying to sort out the betrothal,” he added, feeling nervous but excited about it all. It had been on his mind since Ancestor Day, wondering what his parents would think about it all.
“Who’s going to be coming?” Ron asked.
“Remus is coming with Sirius since they both basically have custody of me, and of course Lucius and Aunt Cissa are coming,” he said, still not working up the courage to call Lucius Uncle, it would just be weird since the man had tried to kill him at one point.
“When you call him Uncle, please let me see the memory,” Ron asked, a grin on his face.
Draco laughed from beside them, “it will be so funny, my dad is still a little distant, though we’ve talked recently about some of his… past choices,” he added softly.
The two knew what he meant but didn’t ask, as they could see that Draco was still processing what he had learned.
“Anything you want in the contract?” Ron asked, changing the subject quickly.
“We’ve been talking about it, and we both want to have a wedding when we’re finished school of course. But before we’re twenty,” Harry was the one to answer.
“We both would like to have children, one or two would be nice, more would be great, but as many as you, not going to happen,” Draco added, laughing lightly and when Ron nodded.
“Yeah, I get that, having that many around does mean we have playmates, but sometimes It’s manic trying to do anything,” he laughed, “it was nice though,” he added softer.
“Hmm, I would have loved to have so many people to play with,” Harry said, Draco nodding in agreement.
“Yeah,” he murmured, “I was always having to go to playdates with the others in my father’s circle, and not all of them were nice,” he pointed out.
“I can imaging,” Ron nodded.
The three stopped as they reached their last class for the day and the most dreaded one. The others were all arriving as well, each of them with grim looks on their faces, knowing what this woman was capable of doing. They walked into another boring lesson of going through the first chapter of their book once more.
“Finally,” Ron muttered under his breath as they rushed out of the classroom.
“She is really trying to get you to react again, Harry,” Draco said, glancing towards his boyfriend.
“I know, I’m doing my best, but if she carries on I may just fight back,” he muttered darkly, hands clenching the strap of his bag tightly as he tried to reign in his temper.
“I know, I wouldn’t blame you if you did,” Ron said, patting his shoulder, “but really try not to, I think Chris is getting sick of having to take care of everyone in this school,” he laughed lightly.
“Don’t you mean he’s loving it,” Harry rolled his eyes. Chris had been the one that all the first years and second years had started going to when they didn’t feel right, though he was directing them to Madam Pomfrey, or rather taking them there. He was going to be apprenticing with her for his last year at Hogwarts before he headed to St Mungo’s to continue it.
“That too,” Draco snorted, having seen the Gryffindor at work for one of the few Slytherins that had been grabbed by the woman for detention.
“Draco!” came a shout as they approached one of the courtyards.
“Oh hey Theo,” Draco blinked at the Slytherin.
“Your parents are here,” he smirked, “So, today’s the day,” he laughed, “never thought it would be Potter you end up with,” he shook his head as some of the others walked over.
“Neither did I, but I got to know him during the summer and I… well I wanted to try at least,” Drac shrugged.
“Good thing you did,” Pansy smirked at him, “saves me having to find someone for you. Your standards are too high,” she joked.
“You have horrible taste in men,” Draco pointed out to her.
“I do not, the twins are…” she wiggled her eyebrows.
“Oh please say you don’t mean my brothers?!” Ron reclaimed horrified at the thought. He knew that the twins liked the chasers on their team, but nothing was set in stone.
“I like the red,” she said, flicking her hair. “Where are those handsome brothers of yours?” she asked as they began to head to the great hall, where Lucius and Narcissa would be waiting for them.
“No idea and I’m never going to tell you!” Ron answered, “No, not going to think,” he shuddered.
“Poor baby,” Pansy giggled, patting him on the back, “Well, I’ll go and search for them, I think they wouldn’t mind sharing?” she asked Ron once more.
“SHUT UP!” Ron yelled out as he began to head even quicker to the great hall.
Harry and Draco laughed as Pansy gave a sigh, “he really doesn’t want to think about any of his siblings dating. He’s really against Ginny and Neville being together.”
“Yes, but that’s understandable,” Pansy said, “no one wants their little sister to be dating,” she told them “my brother is the same, he hates the thought of it.”
“He just doesn’t want to see his siblings go,” Harry said softly, “He loves them all, and he’s already missing Charlie and Bill. Though he won’t admit he misses Percy as well since he’s no longer living at the burrow.”
“Oh,” Pansy said, “really?” she asked.
Harry nodded, “Think about it, he’s spent all his life with them then they start to leave, he’s going to miss them, whether they go for work or love he doesn’t want to see them leave at all. I know he misses them a lot, and it doesn’t help that his mother… well, she isn’t the best when it comes to him. So it was his brothers that took care of him for the most part,” he added quietly.
Reaching the Great Hall with his friend being silent as they walked. He smiled as he saw that Sirius and Remus were there as well. Waving at the two, he took Draco’s hand and went over. The four adults took aside the two teenagers to start with the negotiations concerning their betrothal.
Sirius and Lucius had been stalled in their attempt to get Professor Umbridge from the school. They had a lot, but each time they were trying to get to see someone that could help them, they were kicked from the building. They were going to have to come from it another way, but that would take a few more weeks before they could see someone that would help. Madam Bones was also facing trouble as she shored up the DMLE force and trained them even harder than before. She was preparing for any fight that might come to them.
“I can’t believe they are blocking this shit,” Chris grumbled as he stormed into the Great Hall.
“Another?” Harry asked as the sixth year sat down in front of him.
Chris nodded, “First-year Hufflepuff,” he muttered darkly, “She hiccuped in class and was given detention for making noise.”
“What the fuck?” Ron blinked, “How the fuck is that getting passed anyone?” he asked, glancing towards the head table.
“No idea, but she is starting to give out detention in class, no matter what they have to go, even with the teachers working against her. She is still getting them and dragging them to her office, I can see the Headmaster is about ready to throw down though,” Chris snorted as he glanced towards the head table.
Harry and the others looked and noticed how tense Dumbeldore was as he glared out of the corner of his eye towards Umbridge, “He is going to do something, but if he does the wrong thing he could get kicked out. They have that power at the moment,” he added remembering what Sirius had told him.
“Hmm, Fudge has put some things in place and she’s going to be starting to auditing classes,” Draco said, “Father has been telling me what the plans are. We’re going to have to get people inside her little squads, Theo and Blaze are up for it, as is Pansy. We know she’s going to look for people in Slytherin, as they are the one with the influence of their parents.”
“Why won’t she go for you?” Nevile asked, glancing down the table.
“Draco’s with us more often than not, the other Slytherins are sneaky about being near the Gryffindors,” Chris was the one to answer, “Sorry but you’ve been tarred with the red and gold,” he snorted as he glanced towards Draco.
“Could be worse, it could be pink,” he shuddered at the thought of anyone wearing pink was now a big no for most of those in the school.
“No thanks,” Dean muttered, looking disgusted. Pushing his plate away, “That… that’s put me off my food.”
“Stop being dramatic,” Seamus muttered, pulling the plate back, “Idiot,” his voice was soft and fond as he waited for Dean to take a bite before going back to his own meal.
“There’s not much we can do, we’ve tried sending it to the paper but they won’t print the story and it stopped anyone else from doing anything. Even messaging our parents isn’t working. As a lot of them work in the ministry and can’t do anything or be fired for no good fucking reason,” Ron grumbled, “Dad tried, he was almost fired,” he added when he saw a few looks shot towards him for the small outburst.
“Not all papers,” Luna said from behind them.
“Lulu,” Ron and Harry greeted, “Join us?” Harry asked, moving over for the blond.
“Of course,” she smiled, “Hmmm, the Wangxian’s here are so nice,” she sighed blissfully.
“Hmm,” Chris nodded, a little puzzled by the young teenager, “Wangxians?” he questioned.
“Hmm,” she nodded, “They are very cute, there are two types, one black and red and the other blue and white, they flitter around those that are in love. A true love that will last even in death,” she told him, matter of fact.
“Right,” Ron nodded, “So you said we haven’t tried all the papers?” he asked her, changing the subject before he could get any more confused than he already was by the young witch.
“My father has a paper, we’re only small, but it would still help to get the word out for now,” she answered him, raising a finger to the air as if to poke something.
“Could we release something with them, even the evidence,” Chris wondered, “Anything to get the word out, it may help. People are trying to do something, but the Ministry is blocking them no matter which way they turn.”
“Fudge is surrounded by Death Eaters,” Draco whispered, “I know a few of the kids here have parents that are, but none of them see the world as their parents do. With traditions coming back, what he relied on to bring people to his cause, is now gone.”
“Hmm,” Harry nodded, “now he just wants to dominate”
“Daddy Issues,” Dean snorted, “from what you told me, it’s daddy issues,” he told him.
“Yeah,” seeing a few puzzled looks he told them what Dumbledore had told him about Tom Riddle, how he came to be and his rise to power.
“Wow, Dean is right, the man has some series daddy issues,” Chirs shook his head, “and abandonment issues, there are a few other problems there as well from what you’ve told me, but he’ll need a mind healer at the very least.”
“But he would still be a danger, he’s done something to his very soul,” Harry murmured as he ran a finger over his faded scar.
“Yule,” Ron said as he looked at Luna, “Can you organise it for Yule, if we can go home and do it and do it over the holiday then we might be able to get something sorted before we come back.”
“Unless the Ministry starts to block it again. While we may have some believing in us, a lot are still in Fudge’s back pocket. It could help put more pressure on the Ministry to get rid of her. No one wants to see their child hurt. And I know it’s mostly Muggleborn and Muggle raised that she’s targeting along with a few students that don’t have the big connections that many do,” Draco nodded, “We can hope, but I don’t know if it will get to the people we want.”
“We do what we can,” Harry said, “if that’s doing this during Yule, then we’ll do it then.” He looked towards Luna, “Will you be able to organise that at all?”
“Of course,” she nodded, “Daddy and I were going to go away for Yule, but since the Wangxians are breeding fast here, we want to be close to home to witness it,” she told them, “Hmm,” she hummed as she tilted her head looking past Ron and towards Dean and Seamus. She giggled as she stood up and wandered away.
“What was that about?” Chris asked, following the strange girl.
“No idea, best to just wait until she says something,” Harry told him, “She’s perceptive,” he added glancing at his two fellow year mates.
“What?!” Dean and Seamus asked, looking back at him.
Sirius walked into the Den after another meeting with some of the Wizengamot. He had only been able to see two of them before he had been thrown from the Ministry once more. Fudge had a stranglehold on the place and it wasn’t letting up. He just couldn’t understand how he had been able to do so with what had happened during the Summer.
“You all right?” Remus asked as he spotted the stormy expression on Sirius’ face.
“Fudge has shut me down again,” he grumbled, flinging himself into the sofa and curling up against him.
Remus put an arm around him, “Then you can’t do anything, so put it out of your mind. I know you want the children to be safe there.”
“Hmm,” he buried his head in the strong chest and closed his eyes.
“Harry sent you a letter,” he added, picking it up from the end table and handing it over to the now overly excited man.
“Really!” he exclaimed, taking it and opening it. Quickly reading it, the smile remaining on his face for a while longer before it dropped, “Another five have been in detention with her.”
Remus winced, “Why aren’t the papers printing things,” he said, knowing that they have gone to them to do so for the last month.
“Fudge is holding something over them,” Sirius answered, “he’s doing that with a number of higher-ups as well, I think he is threatening the children with Umbridge.”
“Hmm,” he nodded, “that would keep people quiet if they’re in danger,” he agreed, “We care a lot about our children and wish to see them safe,” he sighed softly, holding Sirius a little tighter.
“Harry has a plan, but it’s got to be carried out off school grounds and Umbridge is now watching them all when they go to Hogsmeade, even on dates. So he’ll be doing something during Yule,” he added as he read the end of the letter.
“So, three weeks,” Remus murmured as Sirius relaxed against him one more
“Yeah, three weeks and then he’ll be back here,” Sirius said, almost relieved at the thought of having Harry safe at home.
“Hmm,” Remus hummed, running his fingers through dark hair, “what’s his plan? He asked.
Sirius let him read the letter “it’s a good one,” he added, “Though the paper may get banned at the school because of it, it won’t stop the people wanting to see it. And with Harry’s and the others’ fliers still going around as well, people are going to start paying attention. Fudge won’t be able to do anything against anyone during the holidays, just have to make sure that nearly everyone goes home to avoid it.”
“Harry’s working on that as well, getting people to go home with friends and that,” he said, gesturing to the letter, “trying to get everyone to have a place to go, friends to stay with during the holidays.”
“He’s asked if he can’t find places for some people if they could stay with us,” Sirius sighed, “I don’t mind it at all, I need to write him back and tell him,” he added.
“You can do that in a minute,” Remus said, pulling the man against him before he could move away
“Hmm,” Sirius hummed, looking at him
“Rest for a bit, recharge yourself,” he advised, “you and Lucius have been working hard trying to get Umbridge out of that school, for everyone to turn against you has been hard on you, I can see it you know, so relax a bit before carrying on.”
Sirius gave a nod and rested against Remus a little more, “Can’t believe he’s betrothed now,” he added softly.
Remus snorted, “you should have seen the two of them at school in third year. They were constantly pulling pigtails, they were always gravitating to each other, and no matter they would argue and fight, but there was that light in their eyes each time they did it.”
“So it was there before they courted?” he asked.
“It was, the first time I saw Draco and Harry, Draco had come in to argue with him.” He shook his head thinking of the train, “even after that he would tease Harry, though Harry would get his own back on the boy.”
“Good to know he was playing hard to get,” Sirius smirked.
“I don’t think a relationship like this really crossed their minds at the time, Siri,” he pointed out, “they were on opposing sides for a while.”
“Maybe,” Sirius muttered, “Maybe they would have gotten over it eventually and gotten together.”
“Who knows what would have happened,” he shrugged.
“True,” Sirius mumbled, yawning as he leaned heavily on Remus, “Don’t mind if I nap do you?” he asked
“Of course not, I’ve got a book to read so go ahead,” Remus told him, calling the book he was reading to him from across the room. He felt Sirius settled down, playing his head in his lap. Looking down, he smiled and ran his fingers through the dark hair, opening his book he began to read as Sirius drifted off to sleep.
Harry woke with a start, glancing around, breathing hard.
“Harry?” came the groggy voice of Nevile, the second light sleeper in the dorm.
“Ne… Neville,” he breathed, as he focused on him.
Neville was out of bed quickly as he heard the rasping call of his name, “What is it?” he asked, going over to the bed and looking at his friend.
“Dream,” Harry said, “I, I think I need to go and speak with the Headmaster,” he added, getting up and almost falling as his legs were shaking as deadly as the rest of him.
“Okay,” he nodded as he grabbed Harry before he could crash into the floor.
The two made their way out of the dorm, Neville keeping an eye on Harry, who was still able and trembling as they made their way to Professor McGonagall. “Professor,” Harry greeted as soon as she stepped out of her room.
“What is it Mr Potter?” she asked, a frown marring her face as she took in his appearance.
“Dream, need to talk with the Headmaster, please,” he begged, eyes wide as she looked.
“Very well,” she nodded, “Go back to the dorm Mr Longbottom, I’ll make sure he comes back,” she told him.
“Yes Professor,” he said, looking at Harry, “You okay?”
“I’ll be fine,” he reassured, “I’ll be back soon so don’t wait up,” he said, trying to keep his voice light. He stood up straighter and walked with the Professor as Neville went back to the dorm.
It didn’t take long for them to be sitting in the Headmasters office. Sitting down, the Headmaster looked at Harry and asked, “What’s happened, Harry?”
“Dream again, the same one in the corridor, but I went into the Hall of Prophecy,” he answered quickly, “I don’t know if you still have someone guarding there, but it looked like it was Mr Weasley that was attacked.”
“We don’t have anyone guarding it, so you don’t have to worry about someone being attacked there. The orb was destroyed as well after you watched it, since we don’t want Voldemort to see it either,” he reassured the teenager.
Harry slumped in his seat, grateful that they hadn’t guarded the prophecy, “That’s a relief,” he smiled, at least something was going right.
“You’re doing well, keeping everyone safe from Umbridge,” he added quietly, “I know she is trying to find something to drive me from the school. She’s aiming to take over the school on Minister Fudge’s orders, I’ve been in touch with Sirius and Lucius about what they are doing outside of the school to find a way to get rid of her,” he said, voice pleasant but there was an undertone of disgust directed at the witch.
“I’m trying to keep the students safe, but Sirius warned me she’s going to be doing something after the Yule holidays,” he told him
“I know, she’s being given the powers to audit lessons, and fire teachers she doesn’t think are necessary,” he hummed, “I do not know which teachers she will target most.”
“Any that isn’t pure Wizarding blood, you have to have realised she is a bigot,” he told him.
“I am… aware Harry,” he said, a smile on his face as he looked at the teenager. “I believe she will be targeting Hagrid first, she has already expressed her derision towards him and his teaching.”
“He does need to tame it down a little from what I hear, he tends to teach about creatures that are a little advanced for the class,” he pointed out to him.
“Agreed, and because of it he is learning for his N.E.W.T now, he has just gotten his O.W.L last month, his N.E.W.T exam is during the Yule holidays. He is far more advanced when it comes to magical creatures, but he has been reigning in the more advanced creatures now that he knows,” Dumbledore laughed quietly.
“Yeah, I heard,” he nodded, “I’ve gotten all of the students to go home for the holidays as well, so the place will be empty. I don’t want anyone here that she could try and use against their parents,” he warned Dumbledore.
“I heard that you had something planned for yule,” he nodded, “If you need me, you know you can call for me.” He reminded him.
“I will, and thank you for seeing me, I should get back to the dorm now.”
“I will escort you,” Dumbledore said as the two of them stood up. They walked in silence for most of the journey back to the Gryffindor dorms, “You have done well this year, and thank you for taking care of the students when my hands are tied,” he added.
“I know that Fudge is blocking a lot, and I think that he is threatening the parents of some of the students to not say anything. Using the fact that their children are here and are near her,” he added quietly.
“Indeed,” he nodded, “Which is why you have plans for Yule,” he added.
Harry smirked, “of course,” he called out the password, “Good night Headmaster.”
“Good night Harry,” he nodded back.
Harry went back to the dorm, seeing that Neville had waited up for him. He quickly told him what happened and why he needed to see Dumbledore before crawling into bed, relieved that everything was fine.
Harry sighed as he walked into Grimmauld \place, it was where the Weasley family were going to be staying during Yule. Hermione joined them, as she had been planning to stay at the school for the holidays as her parents were going to be going away for most of it. “Part of me wants to stay at the den instead of coming here. Sure we can’t just have Ron over?” Harry said as he looked at Sirius.
Sirius chuckled, “It would be fine. But could I trust you,” he teased him.
“More than I can trust you,” he retorted as he waved over at Ron. “This place is still a little dark if you know what I mean.”
“Yeah, it’s because it became the Ancestral Seat. I’m trying to change it to the Den, but it’s going to take a little more magic build-up for me to wrestle it over there,” Sirius said with a sigh.
“You mean the Den will become like this?” Harry asked, not too happy with that thought.
Sirius shook his head, “No, it’s dark and foreboding because of the magic used to pull the seat here. I’m using different lighter magics, not so heavy magics, that will take over there.”
“Okay,” he nodded, “I still need to learn all this,” he muttered as he remembered that Sirius had left him a book on such things.
“You do, it’s something everyone that is going to become Head of Family needs to know. It’s to help the family magics become stronger. Though you still have until you’re seventeen to learn it all,” he patted him on the shoulder, “Right, I’ve got to do a few things, you be good,” he warned him.
“I’m not you Siri,” he called out as the man disappeared into the house.
“Hey Harry,” Ron said as he walked in, “come on before Granger finds u-”
“Too late, and who are you calling Granger, my name is Hermione, and you know it,” she huffed behind the redhead.
“Damn it,” Ron cursed as he grabbed Harry and tried to get around the witch.
“And where do you think you’re going?” Hermione growled at them, “I want a word with the two of you now that we’re out of school and you can’t get me in trouble with anyone!” she yelled at them
“And what have we done to get you in trouble?” Harry asked, deciding it would be better to get over her little rant session.
“You cost me my badge, I was doing so well as a prefect and you took it away from me,” she told him, her voice calmer than before, but not by much.
“You did that yourself,” Ron pointed out to her, “Did you know that not one first year or second year wanted to go near you for help?” he asked her.
“Of course they wanted my help. I made them study guides and I put them in groups to be able to learn, and I was there with them,” Hermione snorted at him, rolling her eyes.
“Hermione,” Harry began “they were scared of you. You forced them to stop what they were doing and follow what you wanted them to do, none of them liked it, and would often do their best to get out of it.”
“They didn’t know what they should be doing,” Hermoine told him. “Ron kept taking them from me all the time when I was teaching them”
“Heroine, you’re not a teacher, you’re a student yourself, and you don’t understand everything in that school at all. When they have questions about traditions all you did was yell at them and scare them even more, now leave it alone!” Ron yelled at her as he grabbed Harry’s arm and pulled him from the room, not wishing to carry on dealing with her
“She really needs to wake up,” Harry muttered.
“I know, but she refuses to see anything past her own ego,” Ron sighed, “Right, so I got in touch with Luna as soon as we left Hogwarts. She’s wanting to meet up in the Alley today, I’ve asked dad and he’s going to take us in a bit,” he added.
“Should tell Sirius that it’s going to be today, he’ll want to know,” he added.
“Already done, when he was going out of the room I told him,” he said.
“Okay,” Harry grinned as they went to another living room and spotted Arthur waiting for them, “Hello Mr Weasley,” he greeted.
“Harry, good to see you, I’m going to side apparate you both to the alley, I’ll be sticking around and having a bit of food at the Leaky why you all talk,” he told the two of them.
It didn’t take long for the two teenagers to enjoy the little bit of freedom as they went to meet with Luna. Luna smiled at them as she looked up from her multicoloured ice cream.
“Hey Luna,” Harry greeted, bringing out everything he had brought with him, “So, these are copies of what we have so far, are you sure you want to do this?” he asked her once more.”
“Of course I am,” she smiled at him, “We need to get her out,” she added, showing the back of her own hand, there were words on there as well, healed up like the ones on Harry’s. “She does not belong in a school.”
Harry looked at the girl in front of him, seeing her be more like everyone else, just for a few moments before the dreamy look returned to her face, “Thank you, Luna.”
“Yeah, thanks Lulu,” Ron told her as well, “why didn’t you tell us what was going on?” he asked.
“Because I knew you were going to be doing something about it,” she told him, “now, we should forget about those things,” she smiled as she took another spoon of her ice cream.
“Yeah,” Ron nodded, agreeing with her, “I’ve put together a little article as well, for you to print, but I think Harry, you need to go through it as well,” he added, pulling out the parchment that he had been working on in his room for the last couple of days.
Harry took it and read through it, “A few changes,” he murmured as he pulled out a muggle pen to redo certain parts.
Luna took it from him when he was done and smiled, “This will help Harry,” she told him, “This should work.”
“I hope it does,” he said softly.
“The students are all safe at home, their parents may lose their job for now, but they will get it back,” Ron reminded him.
“Yeah,” Harry smiled, “Thanks for doing this Luna, I don’t mind answering any questions about things as well.”
“If I have any, or if daddy can think of any I’ll owl you,” she told him, happily eating her ice cream as Ron and Harry ordered something for themselves. May as well take advantage before they had to go back to Grunwald place.
Chapter Sixty Nine
Harry grinned as he finished reading the article. It had arrived that morning. Luna had also made a few copies available at the ice cream parlour and at the Leaky Cauldron. A way to get the masses to read them as well. He didn’t know how effective it was going to be, just hoping that people would realise that the Ministry was leading them astray as they had done in the summer. And with their continued ability to bury their head in the sands about Voldemort’s return.
“Well Harry,” Remus said as he walked in, a few letters in his hand. He and Sirius had decided to go through them before they would let the teenager look at them. Not wishing for anything nasty to get to him.
“What are they saying?” he asked as he held out his hand for them and started to read the first one on the pile.
“A lot of people are behind you, most of the parents that don’t have anything to do with the Ministry. They are going to kick up a fuss,” Remus told him as he went over to the bed and sat on the edge of it.
“Yeah,” Harry nodded, “Have a feeling that those that work at the Ministry won’t want to make any type of waves at all. Understandable as it’s their job on the line. But at the moment, they need to think of their children’s safety. They’re in danger going there with her there. I know she isn’t really targeting Pureblood and Halfbloods for the most part.”
“But the Newbloods and Muggle raised are fair game to her,” he nodded.
“Hmm,” Harry hummed as he went to the second letter, “Supportive, wanting to help, but scared,” he said, going to the third.
“They’re mainly all along that line,” Remus told him, “You did well Harry,” he said, ruffling messy hair as he got up, “I’ll l-” he began only to be cut off by Sirius barging into the room. “What’s wrong?” startled at the sudden appearance.
“Harry’s been called into the Ministry,” he smirked, “This could be a way in, we could get her out and Fudge could be out as well,” he added, hoping it was going to be going that way.
“Lets hope,” Harry said as he got up to get ready.
Less than half an hour later the three of them were striding through the Ministry. Harry could feel the eyes of others on them. He looked ahead, ignoring them as he spotted Lucius Malfoy, “Lord Malfoy,” he greeted the man.
“Mr Potter,” he said with a nod, “Be warned they are going to do their all to turn this against you,” he warned the three of them.
“Thanks,” Sirius nodded at the warning as they headed down to the meeting room that they had been told to go to.
Harry walked beside the two adults as they were given permission to enter. Instead were a few members of the Wizengamot. Sirius knew as soon as he saw them that they were all in Fudge’s pocket, they would get nothing done with these people.
“May I ask why I was summoned?” Harry was the one to start as he looked at those that were gathered.
“This!” Fudge said as he threw the Quibbler onto the table in front of him, “How dare you go against the Ministry and try to defame the character of my staff!” he yelled at him.
Harry stood there calmly, “I’ll tell you that she is a person that has tortured many students, in that paper are pictures of what she has done to some of them during her tenure there,” he told them.
“I can not believe that such a wonderful person as Madam Umbridge would do something to the students of Hogwarts,” Fudge said, standing tall as Madam Umbridge glared at the teenager.
“You do not?” Harry said, his voice going cold, he raised his left hand and let them see the faded scars, “proof of what she has done to me, thankfully, we’re able to have it healed, otherwise, there would be permanent scarring. Now, of course, you’re all in Fudge’s pocket, so I don’t expect you to believe me.”
“Why should we believe someone that the Minister and Madam Umbridge have both called a liar, you child are not above the law,” one of them stated.
“Of course not, no one should be,” Harry agreed, “Which is why I would request that Madam Bones be brought down along with a few other members of the Wizengamot of course. I don’t mind you bringing them all in as you did for the case of my underaged magic, which in the end was justified.”
“Why should we cater to your demands,” Madam Umbridge said, “As I’ve been saying since I returned to the Ministry during the holiday, the students at the school are very unruly, they have no discipline whatsoever. It is a shame to see such a wonderful school such as Hogwarts being downtrodden by rebellious teenagers that don’t know what certain words mean,” she added, giving the teenager a glare.
Sirius stepped forwards, shaking off the shock with how well Harry had been able to manage so far, “Madam, asking for the head of the DMLE isn’t asking you to cater to us, it is asking it so we can have someone impartial to what is going on review the evidence that we have,” he told her.
“I am also offering to once again use truth serum to answer the questions given to me about what is going on at Hogwarts. I don’t want to see children hurt because of all this, as I’m sure you don’t with that either,” Harry implored the adults in the room standing behind Fudge and Umbridge.
“Making demands,” Umbridge tutted, “I have had to put up with so much at that school. I believe that many of the teachers are no longer effective in their jobs. What I suggested this morning,” she began as she ignored what Harry was saying.
“Madam,” Sirius said, breaking her from what she was saying, “My godson and heir asked you to bring down Madam Bones to oversee some questioning.”
“To interrupt such important talks,” she huffed, “I can see where Mr Potter got his disregard for rules from,” she said, “I believe it is time for you to leave,” she demanded.
“As do I!” Fudge quickly added, “Aurors, escort them from the building they are not to be let in.”
“So you one again fall for the lies of the incompetent,” Harry muttered.
“How dare you say such things!” Madam Umbridge yelled out as she went stomping towards the teenager.
“You are lying, why don’t you take the serum instead of me then, if you are so scared of what I will say under it. If I’m wrong, I shall, of course, apologise to you for all my words. But If I’m right in what you are doing to the children of Hogwarts, well, I do not think you should be a teacher of course,” he told her bluntly.
“I have never in all my years heard such disrespect aimed at myself. You are a child, you should listen to the adults around you,” she told him as she glanced towards the Auror, “Take them out and don’t ever let them back in!” she demanded.
“You can’t bar me from the Ministry,” Sirius said as he walked out, “and neither can you do the same to my godson or partner,” he added.
“We shall see,” she sniffed as she watched them go, a gleam in her eyes.
Harry went through the floor back to the den first, waiting for Sirius and Remus before they headed to the living room. Flopping down on a chair he watched his godfather and uncle as they settled side by side on the sofa. “So that was a waste,” he uttered.
“It was, but we learned that she has something more planned for Hogwarts than just Auditing the lessons,” Remus told him.
“I had hoped we would get rid of her, those in their O.W.L and N.E.W.T classes aren’t going to pass with her around,” Harry said, “I’ve heard some of the others whispering at the school about trying to find a way to teach each other. So-”
“Thinking of doing it yourself?” Remus asked him, shaking his head, “if you do I can send you what the other years will need to know the basics of at least to pass their exams.”
“Yeah,” Harry murmured, “You both taught me a lot last year, so I may use some of that to help teach them. With Voldemort around as well, I want to get them up to speed as best as I can. Make sure that they can protect themselves,” he finished quickly.
“I’ll get some of my old things out to help you,” Remus promised him, “Get it through the Board of Governors and the Headmaster before you start though,” he added.
“Yeah, if I don’t she’ll find a way to stop it, but if it’s sanctioned by them first, then she can’t do anything,” he grinned, jumping up, “I’m going to send a letter to Draco, he can talk with his dad. Then we can move from there.”
“I’ll get in touch with Albus,” Sirius added, “he should be back by now,” he murmured.
Harry turned, “Back from what?” he asked me curiously.
Remus and Sirius shared a look before the two of them nodded, “You know how we were looking into things about the items that Voldemort used?” Sirius asked him.
Harry touched his scar and nodded, “yeah.”
“We found the location of another one at the beginning of the holidays. It’s why Remus and I have been disappearing so much. We’ve been taking down the protections around it,” Sirius told him.
“Albus went there with two others this morning. So since it’s now afternoon he should be back if all went well,” Remus told him, seeing the concerned look on the teens face.
“Hope so,” he worried, “I’m going to send that letter, tell me when you know anything?” he asked the two of them.
“Okay, I’ll start lunch in a bit,” Sirius smiled at him, resting his head against Remus’ shoulder.
“You should talk with Albus, he’ll want to know what’s gone on,” Remus reminded him, jolting his shoulder a little to get the other to move.
“Cruel,” Sirius told him, though his tone was soft as he got up and headed back to the floo room to call him.
It didn’t take long for Albus’ head to appear in the fireplace. After being told what happened at the Ministry the Headmaster quickly agreed for Harry to run a revision club open to all years and houses.
“How about the ring?” he asked quietly.
“I managed to get to it, though I almost blundered, if Severus and Alastair weren’t there, then I would have ended up in some trouble,” he told him.
“Glad they were there then,” Sirius shook his head, “Harry’s going to try and get the board of governors to agree as well,” he added, “Try and do what you can from your end, and keep that woman away from him. Something about her is giving me a really bad vibe,” he told him.
“I will do my best, but it has been hard to protect the students with the Ministry interfering. I believe I will need the Wizengamot and the Board of Governors together to get rid of her, and I know a couple of them to believe in the Ministry,” he reminded him.
“I know, she’s threatening the children, that’s why you have an empty school this Yule,” he snorted.
“Keep me informed of Harry’s plans if you can so I can work alongside them,” he told him.
“I will, and you keep me informed on what’s going on and tell me when you have destroyed the ring,” he added before he said his goodbyes, heading to the kitchen to begin lunch.
Harry sat at the Gryffindor table and looked towards the head table. Professor Umbridge was glaring at him. He was going to have problems with her, but at that point, he didn’t really care. He was determined to find something that would be able to get rid of her. As the Headmaster finished welcoming everyone back after the Yule Holidays, Professor Umbridge stood up and began to address everyone.
“Good to have you all back at school,” she simpered, even though everyone in the hall knew it was fake. “Now the Minister in all his wisdom is afraid for the level of education that you are all receiving here at Hogwarts. And so with his blessing and the blessing of the Educational Board at the Ministry, I have been appointed the High Inquisitor of the school. I will be assessing all of the lessons that you are in, to make sure that they have a high standard,” she told them all. “We do wish to comply with Ministry guidelines after all,” she added.
“In other words,” Harry began quietly, “She is going to try and make life hell for anyone she doesn’t like. Which is mainly me at the moment,” he huffed.
“She really needs to go,” muttered the twins that were nearby.
“Yeah,” Ron agreed.
“Wonder what class she’s going to try for first?” he asked, looking at the professors.
“Hagrid, she doesn’t like those that are mixed, remember,” Ron told him.
Harry nodded as Professor Umbridge finally sat back down as the Headmaster stood once more.
“I am also pleased to announce that Harry Potter, with my permission and the Board of Governor’s permission, has been given permission to hold DADA review classes in the great hall three times a week, it is for all years and all houses. The Board has agreed that Professor Flitwick will be the sponsor for the group along with myself,” he added, “If you have any more questions, do please ask him. He has a good plan of what he would like to help everyone with. Especially their spellcasting for DADA,” he added, a twinkle in his eye.
The students had to do their best not to laugh at the woman in pink, as she looked like she was going to explode.
“Well, if she didn’t have it in for me before she does now,” Harry said, a smirk on his face as he looked down at the table to avoid the woman seeing it.
Harry stood at the front of the group, there were so many students that he had already split them up into groups. Harry had taken those in the years above him as he and Cedric teamed up and began to teach what they had learned from Remus while training for the tournament.
“Mr Potter,” came a simpering voice as Professor Umbridge walked into the great hall.
“Yes Professor,” he called back politely as the woman walked over, “Chris, higher you wand arm a little, and tighten your grip just a touch, it won’t fly out of your hand so easily that way,” he told his fellow Gryffindor.
“I do not believe you should be teaching these students how to cast spells, they do not need to know how,” she told him.
“I disagree, I talked with Madam Marchbanks over the holidays, about the requirements for the examinations for the DADA classes, we need to be able to cast them easily and on command. And she told us that we will need to practice them a number of times to be able to do that. And since you forbid us to cast any spells in your class. We then need to do so outside of it, hence this small group,” he added, gesturing to those around him.
“Madam Marchbanks is old, she does no-”
“Madam Umbridge,” came a voice from behind her.
“Ah, Madam Marchbanks,” she greeted, teeth clenched together as she tried to smile at the woman.
“I may be getting on in years, but I know more about education than you do. Do not forget Dolores, you only passed four O.W.Ls and two N.E.W.T’s” she said, “and neither of them were in DADA,” he added.
Harry looked horrified, but he had a feeling that was the case, “Do you mean to say that she’s not even qualified to teach DADA?” he asked the aged woman.
“No, she is not, a teacher requires both O.W.L. and N.E.W.T as well as a level three mastery in DADA. Moody was a Level One Mastery, Remus Lupin before him was a Level One as well. Lockhart had an Honorary Level Three, and Quirrell a Level Two,” she told him, “Even you are more qualified to teach,” she added, a hidden smirk on her face as she glanced towards Umbridge.
“Good thing I’m taking the lead on this then,” he smiled as he went back to teaching and helping his fellow students.
Madam Marchbanks began to talk with Professor Umbridge as Harry carried on the revision class. The woman stormed out as Madam Marchbanks walked back towards Harry.
“Madam,” he greeted her again.
“I would like you to have a copy of this, it is the minimum requirement for a high pass, a EE, as you will for each year. What they need to be proficient in and what they need to know along with the spells that should have been taught. I hope you will take good care of it, as this is something that the teachers would have. I have talked with Remus Lupin about you doing this, and he agreed that you and a few others will be able to lead them well in learning what they need,” she told him as she handed over a folder. “I have nothing to do with what the Educational Board does at the Ministry, I’m part of the Examination Board, I used to be part of it, but the Minister is trying to make a mess of things. He threw me off it during the summer when I objected to Dolores’ appointment as a teacher. Take care of those students.”
“I will do my best,” he smiled at her and then began to go back to what he was doing. He would look through the notes later. He had one person on his side in the Ministry over the lack of education that Professor Umbridge was giving them.
Harry put aside the review he was going through. He had taken what Madam Marchbanks had given him and made a plan of what he would teach and tell them to learn outside of the revision meets. He had almost used the prefects to make sure that Umbridge wouldn’t be able to find out what they were doing. He didn’t want a single student to end up in detention with her at all. So far over the last two weeks back at school and with four such meetings under his belt, they had been able to avoid that. He had to wonder how long it would last.
“You okay?” Draco asked as she walked over, sitting beside him at the table.
Harry glanced over at him and smiled, “As well as I can be,” he told him, “There is something off with Umbridge” he told him.
“Yeah,” he agreed, “I don’t like the way she’s been watching you. She’s waiting for something to happen to jump on you.”
“I know, it’s why I’ve done nothing to provoke her at all. I don’t care what she is saying to me, I’m keeping my head down. Though she is even worse with the vitriol she is spewing about everyone,” he grumbled, as he thought of some of the things she had been saying about Remus, Hagrid and several others.
“Let her, we know the truth and soon enough it’s going to bite her in the arse, you know that. You’ve seen it happen more often than not,” Draco grinned as he placed an arm around his boyfriend, “Now, don’t forget, date tomorrow, and in another month, Ron and Viktor are celebrating their seventh month anniversary, Ron’s really nervous about it,” he added.
“Hmm, doesn’t need to be,” Harry rolled his eyes leaning against him, “Luna says they are perfect together, like us,” he smiled softly, looking up.
Draco leaned down and kissed him softly, “We are,” he grinned, kissing him again.
“Boys, none of that in here, you know the rules,” Madam Prince said, “And it wouldn’t do for that bitch to catch you,” she added, “she’s started to hang around here occasionally trying to catch you,” she warned the two of them.
“You’re right, she’ll put me in detention faster than you could say quiet,” Harry muttered as he smiled at the witch.
“Damn right she would,” the librarian grinned as she walked off.
“Whoever said she was a stuck up woman needs shooting, she’s really nice,” Harry added as he began to clean his things away.
“Where are you going?” Draco asked, watching his fiancé.
“Thinking of going for a walk, join me?” he asked him, smiling as he packed the last of his things away.
“Always, you know that, I miss you so much when you go back to your dorm,” he told him, taking Harry’s hand as they walked out of the library, they made sure that they didn’t walk too close together even though they were holding hands. They had heard a lot of horror stories of other students being forcefully torn away from their partners as they walked. And neither of them wanted to be flung into a wall.
“Hm Hm,” came the busy body fake cough of a nightmare from behind the two of them as they headed towards the outer courtyard.
“Professor Umbridge,” the two of them greeted as they turned to face her, their hands unlocking for a moment as they turned and grabbed hold of each other again afterwards.
“You know the rules, you are not to be near each other,” he told him.
“Professor,” Draco was the one to answer before Harry could do the same. A squeeze of his hand telling him to be silent. “We’re a courting couple, no, not courting anymore, a betrothed couple. We’re allowed to do such things as hold each other’s hands as we walk. We are allowed to kiss each other, in fact, these two things are encouraged in our betrothal to share and combine our magics gently with each other. To strength what will become our marriage bond,” he told her, “You should know this Madam, being knowledgeable about the traditions of our world.”
“Of course I know that,” she blustered, “but you shouldn’t be doing so in the school, it is not an ideal situation,” she told the two of them.
“But it is, we checked with the Headmaster and as you know with my father on the Board of Governors, I made sure that it would be all right if I spent time with my fiancé like this. Just walking and holding hands,” he told her, “I’m sorry, but we should be going, curfew is soon and I Would like to spend a little more time with my fiancé before we have to go to our separate dorms for the night,” he told her and her turned, pulling Harry with him so the younger wouldn’t say anything. No matter how tempting it was.
They walked quickly away, leaving the witch spluttering in the distance.
“I can’t believe you just did that,” Harry chuckled lightly, not wishing to be overheard at all.
“Madam Prince was right, she is out to get people that are couples. It’s like she doesn’t want the populace to thrive,” he huffed, “anyway, let’s go sit out for a bit and cuddle,” he laughed as Harry laughed along with him.
Making their way to the courtyard, enjoying the sharp crisp air that was around them, it wasn’t often that they were alone with just the two of them. But since it was the weekend, Ron decided to have a date with Viktor in the village, while Harry and Draco would go on Sunday instead. Not wishing to accidentally end up with the other couple. Though they did plan to go on a double date in a few weeks, that was after Viktor and Ron’s seventh month anniversary and the joining of their magics.
Chapter Seventy One
Harry looked at the Headmaster and then towards Sirius, the three of them had finally located one of the Horcruxes, it was inside the school. Though it had taken a while to get the Grey Lady to talk to them. In the end, the Bloody Baron had to help. Finding out that she was the daughter of one of the founders had been a shock to them all. Though they had promised not to reveal that little bit of information to anyone. She no longer wished to be reminded about the past.
“So, you really think he brought it back here?” Harry asked.
“I do, the Come and Go room, named by the House Elves, is a likely place for him to hide it,” Albus said as he looked down at the teenager.
“Okay, but let’s hope you’re right about this,” Harry said, a little sceptical as he didn’t know why the Headmaster thought that the Come and Go room would house the Horcrux. The diadem of Ravenclaw.
“He came back to the school, coming for the DADA position. I had just been made the Headmaster and I turned him down. He said we would be sorry, and that he wouldn’t truly leave this place behind,” the Headmaster said as he remembered some of the things that Tom Riddle had said when he had come for the interview for the Defence Against the Dark Arts position.
“That could mean the curse on the position though,” Harry pointed out to him.
“It could, but I have turned this school upside down trying to find this curse and the item it’s attached to. It’s only recently that the Come and Go room has come to my attention, thanks to the elves. I never knew it existed,” he sighed softly, “Now that I do, it is the last place that I can look for it. I believe that the curse is on the Horcrux itself,” he added.
“So we get rid of it and we get rid of the curse as well, maybe then we can get Remus back instead of something like Umbridge,” Harry said, and then stopped, “Wait, can we leave it until after we get rid of the Umbridge?” he asked, a little stroke of evilness coming through at the thought of the witch.
Sirius burst out laughing, “While it would be nice, let’s try not to get another teacher killed,” he warned him.
“Hey, only one has died since I came here,” Harry protested, looking offended.
“Yes another lost his memory, another spent the year in a trunk, the only one that got out of this unscathed for the most part is Remus,” Sirius pointed out to him.
“Well that’s because he actually cared about the students,” Harry said, “Those that don’t have the best interest of the students in mind end up worse for wear,” Harry grinned as they carried on through the seventh-floor corridor. “Right Headmaster, it’s your show,” he grinned to him.
“So nice to know Harry,” he said, shaking his head at the cheekiness.
Harry and Sirius stood back as the Headmaster began to pace in front of a blank wall. Though it didn’t remain that way for long. The door appeared in front of them. “Wow,” Harry grinned, “Gotta love magic,” he said with a joyous smile on his face.
“It is indeed some of the most impressive magic in this school,” Albus agreed as he pushed the door open.
“Wow!” Harry exclaimed as they walked inside, there were so many things around, “You know, I wonder if this is where everything we’ve lost ends up in this school.”
“Could be,” Sirius said, “Hmm,” he hummed a little, “Accio James Potter’s prank notes and result book!” he yelled out. “What?” he asked as he saw the looks that Harry and Albus were giving him.
“Why are you?” Harry asked him, frowning.
“James’ book went missing in our sith year, we’ve never been able to find it again, so I wonder if it showed up here instead,” he shrugged and then winced as something slapped him right in the face.
“I take it, that was it?” Albus asked as Harry laughed at him.
Sirius scrambled to catch the thing before it could fall to the floor and nodded “yep, that’s it,” he smiled, “Well Harry, I’ll let you have this when you come home for the summer,” he told him, tucking it away.
“What!” the laughing stopped, “But I’d like to have a look at it now please Siri!” he begged him, giving him the puppy-eyed look for added effect.
“Tough, you laughed at me,” he smirked at his godson as they began to hurt around the place for the Diadem. Albus had shown them a painting of it, so they knew what it looked like.
Harry felt a pull from one side of the large room, “I think… I think it might be over there,” he pointed to where the pull was coming from.
“Hmm, I still don’t like this connection that you have with him still,” Sirius grumbled, looking with worry at his godson.
“I believe that thing was in him for so long it created a connection, it won’t leave easily. It will take some time for it to fade, the goblins agree with me on this,” Albus reminded the two of them when Harry pulled a face.
“I really don’t like the thought that he was there for that long,” Harry shuddered but followed the pull. They stopped as they came to a bust. On it was the Diadem, “wow, it really was here.”
Albus looked at it, there was nothing around it. Nothing that called to them, nothing that promised their death should they get near it. “Stand back,” he ordered as he began to cast a few spells to make sure that there was nothing around it that would harm them. “Okay,” he said, “it’s safe for us to handle, but I would rather us not chance it in case he has done something that I can’t find,” he told them.
Sirius nodded and pulled out the box that they were going to be using. Enlarging it they levitated the Diadem into it and closed the lid, “We’ll send it to the Goblins, they already know that it will be going to them for cleansing,” he said softly.
“Take it straight to them, no stops and don’t let anyone else know you have it,” Albus made sure to remind him.
“I know Albus,” Sirius rolled his eyes at being treated like a child, “do you think the DADA curse is on it?” he asked him.
“It’s attached to the small jewel on the left, as soon as it’s pulled from that, it will disappear. With it being in the box and away from here, it might weaken the curse a little,” he said as they began to head out of the room.
“Right,” Harry said, “I’m going to catch up with Ron,” he said as he began to rush away from them.
“Oh, that’s today isn’t it?” Sirius asked him, a grin on his face.
“Yeah, Ron’s been scared about it for the last month, worried that something will show that they won’t be compatible for a bonding. Even though Viktor has reassured him that they will still be together if not,” he rolled his eyes. “We all know that compatibility isn’t because of our magic can’t blend, it’s how much we like each other. If I blended my magic with Ron, it would work, but that’s because we’re close friends, the colour of it would be represented between green and blue depending on how close we are.”
“Yeah, but some still believe that our magic is separate from us,” Sirius reminded him gently.
“I know,” he nodded, “be careful, all right Sirius, I don’t want to hear that something has happened to you, at all,” he told him, giving him a look.
“Why are you both so worried that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing?” he asked the two of them, “I might be a prankster and such, but I know when to be serious,” he added, a little quirky grin on his face as he spoke.
“Yeah, right,” Harry rolled his eyes, “I just want to make sure you know to be safe. You never know who might be out there waiting for you. It scares me that something could happen to you, okay, I… just found you and I don’t want to lose you. I don’t want to lose Remus either,” he told him, voice going soft.
“Okay,” Sirius said, patting the teen’s shoulders, “I’ll be careful, you do the same here.”
“Don’t worry, I’ve asked Draco to get his dad and some of the Board in. Umbridge is telling lies about the teachers and their inability to teach, especially Flitwick and Hagrid. So the next charms lesson that she is overseeing next week, we’re trying to talk the Board of Governors into going as well under invisibility,” he smirked.
“Whose idea was that?” he asked as they began to head away.
“Ron’s,” Harry answered, “Right, see you later,” he said as he ran off and headed to the Great Hall, it was still early enough that he would be able to meet the others there.
Rushing into the Great Hall he made a beeline right for Ron and sat down next to him, “Hey,” he greeted.
“Hey,” Ron greeted back. Harry didn’t even need to ask how things went, he could see it on Ron’s face. It was alight with happiness.
“So I take it things went well?” he asked him.
Ron nodded, “Yeah, it did, look,” he said as he lifted his wrist to show the cuff. The cloud patterns now had a few stars dotted around it, they twinkled lightly.
“Wow,” he smiled softly.
“Yeah,” he grinned, running his fingers over it, “I can’t believe how it felt, it was… it was so nice and warm, like coming home. I felt so giddy and giggly as well.”
Harry smiled at his friend, “I was the same with Draco but it lasted for hours with me. Draco was only giggly for less than an hour. But, I’m so happy for you,” he told him, “Now, we have plans to make, don’t forget,” he reminded him.
“Draco already talked with me, he said that five of them will be joining us next week” Ron smirked.
“Where is he?” he looked around, hoping to spot him with his friends somewhere around the Great Hall.
“He’s spending a little time with the others, he said he would be seeing you tomorrow. Didn’t he tell you that?” he asked him.
“He did, but I still miss him.” Harry pouted a little before shaking his head, “Right, what shall we do now?” he asked.
“Go over some strategy with Angelina?” he suggested, a grin on his face, he was enjoying the fact that he was now the Keeper for the house team. They had tried McLaggen, but that hadn’t worked after the second game, so ended up with Ron taking over at the last minute. It had worked out just as well, if not better. Now with their fifth game coming up, and their scores so close with Slytherin, that it was still anyone game on who could win the Cup. Angelina had gone overboard in planning.
“Yeah, we could,” he shrugged, not sure if he wanted to go over the strategy again. She had cornered them a number of times before about it, while Ron had been all for it, Harry wasn’t.
“Which reminded me, don’t forget you’re going to have to face your little love on the quidditch pitch tomorrow,” he reminded him of their match.
“As if I could forget about that,” Harry huffed. Rolling his eyes. All of the team had come to him at some point to remind him that he had to beat his boyfriend. While they had already faced off once this term, they still had the one match left to play against each other.
“Don’t lose to him, Harry James,” Ron told him, eyes narrowed playfully.
“I would never, Darco would hate me if he didn’t beat me fair and square,” he laughed as the two fo the got up and headed to the dorms.
Ron laughed, “yeah, he said something about that as well,” he grinned.
“Come on, we’ve still got a bit of work to do before we can relax, and if Angelina comes near me about quidditch I’m going to disappear,” he warned his best friend.
“Cloak to find a lover boy maybe?” he guessed.
“Maybe,” he huffed at the correct guess.
Ron snorted, “you are way too easy to read at the moment, need to spice things up,” he told his friend as they headed up the stairs.
“Wish they wouldn’t do that,” Harry complained as they changed on him.
“They always do,” Ron pointed out as they had to take a different route back to their dorm. Wasn’t the first time and it wouldn’t be the last time they would have to do such things.
Harry was grinning as he watched the Board members talking with Professor Umbridge. The woman had once again tried to tell lies when it came to Professor Flitwick’s ability to teach. This time, as they had promised they had sat in the lesson invisible and had found no wrongs. Her power to try and cause trouble for the teachers was now practically gone, as the Board said that they would have to sit in the lessons as well to see if she was telling the truth to any of the teachers.
Harry walked through the corridors a few hours later, a smile on his face as he had just returned from another date and was heading to put his things away when he saw professor Umbridge waiting near the archway at the third-floor staircase. He did his best to hurry past her as he did not wish to talk with her or even get caught up with anything that she was doing.
“Mr Potter,” came the sneering voice as he rushed passed.
Biting back a curse she turned, “yes Professor Umbridge,” he answered her, making sure that he used his most polite tone when talking with her.
“Detention, tonight,” she ordered.
“May I ask what this detention is for, as you know all detentions will have to be approved by the Heads of Houses now,” he reminded her of something that was implemented just after the holidays to try and stop her from torturing the students. Since the Ministry wanted to bury their heads in the sand about what the witch was doing, he would make sure she wouldn’t be able to find any more victims. So far it has worked.
“For being an arrogant little toe rag, I know it was you that had the board of governors to sit in with the lesson that I was monitoring. You’re the cause of all the trouble in this school. I want to make it the best-”
“No you don’t Madam,” he told her bluntly, rolling his eyes, fuck being polite, “you want to make sure only those with Pureblood status are in any of the position. Don’t think that people, students and teachers haven’t noticed who you’ve been targeting. Any teacher that is Pureblood wizard or witch has been subjected to the lies that you have been telling about them.”
“I have done no such thing,” she protested, “You now have detention for defamation of character of your teacher. For that you will be in my office tonight at 8 pm, you have two hours.”
Harry cursed, “I’ll have to go to Professor McGonagall first,” he told her, “to make sure she is aware of the detention, you’re not allowed to supervise any or give any out without just cause,” he added. Wanting her to back down.
The woman in pink turned to him, glaring, “If you do not turn up I will make sure all the first-year students in my lesson will ‘copy’ the book we are using.”
Harry’s eyes went wide as he understood her meaning, “You would subject them to torture?” he asked her, “You would really do that to children, to eleven-year-old children, you disgust me.”
“I have the Ministry backing and no one believes you,” she smirked, eyes narrowed as she glared down at Harry, “I have them tomorrow morning, make your mind up, come to the detention or I will harm them,” she told him as she turned and walked away.
Harry watched her go, he had to think of something and fast. Heading to the dorm he walked in and grabbed Ron, “Need to grab Draco again as well,” he told him.”Angelina, can you call the prefects to the meeting room?” he asked the headgirl.
“Yeah,” she nodded, “Why?”
“I need to talk to them now, and I mean now,” he said, eyes wide as he thought of the implications of what Madam Umbridge had planned.
“Usual room in ten minutes,” she told him as she pressed her wand to the headgirl badge she had on and sent a small pulse with the message through it. Moments later his own badge flashed and a small message read ten mins on it. He smiled as the prefects all gathered and headed out.
Reaching the meeting room he nodded to the others, “Right,” Angelina said as she closed the door, “Sorry for the short notice but Harry needed us to meet.”
“Umbridge caught me as I was heading back to the dorm. She’s blaming me for the Board of Governors stripping her of some of the power she has, and rightly so I would say,” he said with a little grin before it dropped. He quickly explained what he had been told by the woman.
“If you go, she’s going to use that bloody quill on you again,” Draco said as he left his seat and went over to Harry, holding him.
“I know, but if I don’t she’s going to use the classroom itself to torture the students, and while we could tell the teachers, it’s not going to stop her for long. She will find a way around it,” he worried, hating that their own Government was basically allowing this to happen by stopping every single thing they did to counter her.
“The Ministry isn’t listening to us and the teachers, when they try and all being turned back,” Adrian Percy said, “no matter the blood status, she’s now opening targeting anyone,” he added, looking towards Angelina, “we need to keep a closer eye on the first years, me and you are going to be waiting outside of their lessons tomorrow to make sure they are not harmed, any that are we are going to go to St Mungo’s with,” he told her.
“Yes, maybe that will back us up better,” she agreed, nodding sharply.
“I would rather we don’t have to do that,” Harry said, “I… I need help in recording what’s going on in the detention.”
“What about one of the memory balls?” Leandra suggested, the seventh year prefect for Slytherin suggested, “it can record what is going on.”
“Can it be made invisible to follow me and can it be tampered with?” Harry asked, “and do we have one?”
“It can be often used for surveillance by the Aurors, and I have one to help record the lessons, I have a few problems concentrating for long, so it helps that I can go back to the lesson to see what I missed,” Leandra nodded, explaining why she had one, “And no, they can’t be tampered with as they are they are mainly used to record evidence.”
“Good, I need it by 8 pm, that’s when I have the detention with her. I want it all recorded,” he smirked, “Is there a way to project the image?” he asked.
“Yes, of course, there is,” she rolled her eyes, “They are used by the courts, if only one person could see them they would be useless,” she huffed.
“Good, we’re going to project it in Hogsmeade and in Diagon Alley as well as the Ministry of Magic,” he smirked.
“Oh,” she grinned, “I like the idea.”
“Causing chaos as always,” one of the Hufflepuff prefects snorted.
“Only a Potter can do such things,” a Ravenclaw said, shaking his head, “I’ve heard rumours of such a thing,” he added.
Harry just grinned, looking at the others before glancing back towards Leandra, “can you get it to me and show me how it works before I have the detention?” he asked.
“Sure, I’ll go now and get it, won’t take me longer,” Leandra nodded as she got up and walked out of the room. It wasn’t even ten minutes later when she walked back into the room and handed it over. “It’s really simple,” she told him as she started to instruct him on what he needed to know. Harry listened to her, asking a couple of questions before he disillusioned it and began the recording now.
“Why are you starting the recording now?” she asked him, puzzled.
“Because this will be an added way of people seeing that I’m not lying. You forget what the Ministry is trying to paint me as, well some of the Ministry. There are others that know the truth and we’re being blocked at every turn,” Harry told her, “Right, I think I’m ready for this… detention,” he smiled as he walked out of the room and headed towards Madam Umbridge’s office. The small ball hovering around him and recording. He couldn’t see it anymore, but he knew it was there. He had tied a small thread of his magic to it so he would be able to find it again when he finished. He was just glad that Leandra had been able to show him how to do it so no one else would be able to notice anything odd.
“On time for once Mr Potter,” Professor Umbridge said as she opened the door for him and let him inside.
“Professor,” he said.
“You made the right choice, I will not harm the students since you are here, but that does not save you from the punishment that you rightly deserve,” she sneered at him, “you have been a thorn in the side of the Ministry since the beginning and I will make sure that is put an end to,” she told him.
“How have I done that, I’ve only told the truth,” he protested, he wanted her to say something that would incriminate her, something that would make people sit up and pay attention to what she was doing to the students of the school.
“The Ministry dictates on what is the truth, and you boys are putting the Ministry and the Minister to shame by trying to release what you call the …. Truth,” she muttered in disgust, “The Ministry has taken the stance that he is not back and we will be sticking by that.”
“No, you mean you and the Minister have taken that stance,” Harry pointed out, “I know for a fact that nearly all of the Ministry is working in making sure that he’s taken out. You, on the other hand, have tried to undermine everything. You’re making us students fail to learn anything in Defence, then you also try to undermine the students in other lessons by lying about the teacher. The Board of Governors were able to find out the truth. You’ve tortured the students of this school with that quill.”
“I had to make sure that they would all listen to me, I was put here to shut you up!” she yelled in his face, before composing herself, “Now I suggest that you sit, this is a detention, not a debate!”
Harry shook his head, “and another round of blood quill,” he muttered under his breath as he sat in the chair. Only to jolt when manacles quickly shot out of it and held him down.
“Not quite,” she simpered at him, “No, for going against the Minister, you will face a harsher punishment than that,” she told him. “Now repeat after me,” she said, “The minister is right and You-Know-Who isn’t back and I have lied about it all.”
“No,” he said only for a second later a scream burst out of him as his body felt on fire. It felt like someone was holding the Crucio curse on him.
“You will in the end give in to me,” she told him, a dark smile on her face as she ordered what he should say once again.
Harry refused to say anything, screaming each time. When the detention came to an end, Harry had still refused to cave into the women’s demands. He wouldn’t give in, knowing as soon as he did something worse would follow.
The manacles released from him and retreated. Slumping in the chair he gathered what little strength he had and stood up. Glaring at the woman.
“You are determined,” she said, “But you will come here tomorrow for another detention, otherwise… well you know I will make sure they copy the entire book with a blood quill if I have to make sure you come in,” she threatened him.
Harry just glared, stumbling from the room. He made his way to the dorm, stumbling inside as he looked to the sofa and fell on it, falling asleep before he could stop the recording that had been taken. He just hoped he would be able to wake in the morning. His whole body was one large pit of pain.
Harry woke with a jolt as he felt a hand on his shoulder. “Ron?” he blinked, glad that the pain had lessened a lot during his sleep.
“Why didn’t you come up?” he asked him, with concern on his face.
“Get Angelina, I think we need to have an emergency meeting with the Headmaster,” he said, as he began to sit up, resting against the sofa as he called the ball to him and turned it off, after letting it run for over 12 hours.
“What’s going on?” she asked as soon as she reached him, already grabbing his hand to see what the damage was.
“She didn’t use the quill but something else. I fucking hope to Merlin that she’s not used it on anyone else, because if she has, then I will gut her, I will fucking kill the bitch,” he said eyes flashing with rage at the thought of another person going through such a thing.
“What?” Angelina blinked, she had never seen this type of rage on the young Gryfindor before.
“Come on, I need to meet with the Headmaster, this… they need to see this,” he said, getting to his feet, stumbling slightly.
“Okay, let’s go up there,” she said, a little worried what it was that caused this reaction with Harry.
“Call Draco, get him to meet me there,” he asked her.
She nodded sending a word through the headgirl badge, it was the only one that was able to do such a thing, along with the headboy badge. They made their way to the Headmaster’s office in silence, hoping that he would be there instead of already in the great hall waiting for breakfast to start.
“Acid Pops,” Harry said as he spotted Draco rushing towards them. The gargoyle opened and Harry and the other three went up. Draco took hold of his hand as he went to the Headmasters office and looked inside. Only Fawkes was there, “hey,” he smiled at the phoenix as he went over and ran his hand down his feathers. “Can you get the Headmaster?” he asked him.
The phoenix thrilled and nodded. Harry quickly wrote a note and handed it to the beautiful bird.
“Wow!” Ron grinned as he watched him flash out of the room, only to return moments later with the Headmaster and Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape.
“What is going on Harry?” The Headmaster asked as soon as he saw the state of him, “Do you need Madam Pomfrey?”
“I’m not sure, might be an idea to send for her,” he said, sinking down into one of the chairs, “would be best to get a medi witch to report on my condition,” he added as he felt Draco run his fingers through his hair, “as for what happened, I think you need to look at this,” he said, handing over the orb. “And make sure that Umbridge doesn’t notice me missing breakfast. I think… I think it might be an idea to head down while I still feel like shit.”
“Language Potter,” Snape admonished him.
“Yeah yeah, you watch that then you know why I don’t give a fuck,” he told him. “Draco help me up,” he murmured as he held out his hand. Draco grabbed it and helped him from the seat. “I’m going to breakfast, I suggest that we all act normal and then skip the beginning lesson for some of us, so that you can review that,” he suggested.
“Good idea Mr Potter,” Professor McGonagall nodded as they headed out.
The Professors flashed out of the room once more as the others made their way normally to the Great Hall. Draco reminds Harry trying to get from him what had happened. The younger didn’t want to tell his fiance what was going on, scared that he might do something against the witch. Getting through breakfast was hard, all Harry wanted to do was send a few cutting hexes towards the woman. The only thing stopping him was the calming hand of Draco on his arm throughout the whole of the meal. An hour later they were back in the Headmasters office, though only Draco and Ron had gone with him.
“Madam Pomfrey is on her way,” Albus said as soon as he sat down, “You have all been excused from lessons,” he added as he saw the two with Harry.
“Thank you,” Harry nodded, sitting down and relaxing a little, “I think Sirius should be here as well, he’ll want to know.”
“If it’s something that she’s done, get Madam Bones and my father,” Draco added.
Albus nodded and called the three people to the school. Sitting and waiting, Madam Pomfrey arrived and began to examine Harry. Horrified by his condition she began to curse as Sirius arrived first.
“What that woman has done, she should be hung, drawn and quartered,” the medi witch hissed as her eyes flash and for the first time in a very long time, her magic swirled around her.
“How is he?” Sirius asked, worried as he saw the reaction of the angered medi witch, who had been a healer during his own time at Hogwarts.
“He’ll be fine, but he should rest for a few days at least,” she said, handing him a healing potion, “This will help repair some of the damage, another one in the evening and another tomorrow morning and everything should be fine. He would heal naturally of course, but it would have taken a good two weeks for that.”
“What’s the damage?” Albus asked eyes narrowed as the floo flared and two more people stepped through.
“Damage mostly to the nerves, much like the Curio Curse,” she answered, “Though not as severe.”
“Let us watch,” Albus said, wanting to know what caused such damage, the ward against the unforgivables hadn’ been triggered.
Harry didn’t watch as the events unfolded over the two and a bit hours. Draco and Sirius were around him, holding him tightly throughout the entirety of it. Though as the minutes ticked by there was a heaviness in the room. It shocked them all as things began to break as the viewing ended.
“Amelia,” Albus said, his voice strangely calm as his hair and beard took on a life of their own, “I suggest that you arrange for her to be arrested as soon as possible, if she is still in my school by the time lunch starts and I have to be in her presence, she will not be alive after it,” he warned. “That monster does not belong in a school, or even in this world.”
“I’ll get right on it,” she said, heading through the floo.
“Bambi,” Sirius said softly, “Are you really all right?” he asked him, worried for his godson.
Harry smiled at him, “I’m all right, honestly. Feel a little shaky still, but I know I’ll be okay,” he reassured him, hugging him tightly.
“I can’t believe she… she did that,” Draco shuddered.
Harry nodded, “Sir, what was that?” he asked.
“It was a tool used over a hundred years ago before the invention of the truth serum,” Lucius answered him, looking at the teen, “it was used on some prisoners with special permission from the Minister. It was put into storage and left there, to never be used again. It… has a very dark history, it has caused the false guilty trials of many wizards and witches as anyone will admit to anything when in so much pain. It is that device that helped to create the Cruciatus Curse” he added, “Only a few key people have access to the place that it is stored in. The visits are recorded, no matter what, and it’s not by another wizard or witch but more the magic of the room itself. As there are a number of items in there that are protected.”
“Thank you,” Harry nodded, “I don’t know if it would still be there, but… she threatened the first years. Said she would use the blood quill on them if I didn’t go.”
“And she will be punished Harry, I will not allow her to be in this school any more,” Albus reassured him.
“I’m going to see if I can help Amelia,” Sirius said as he walked towards the floo and went through.
Harry leaned against Draco, “We have a lesson don’t we?” he asked, wondering if he should go to it since he didn’t like the thought of waiting around.
“Are you sure you are well enough to go?” Draco asked him, worried for his health.
Harry smiled at him, he was tired, he would admit that, “I am, I know it may seem like a stupid idea, but part of me doesn’t want her to win, at all. She’s expecting me to back down, to not do anything. And while we have missed one lesson for the day, I don’t want to miss a second before lunch,” he added.
“Strong front,” Ron nodded, “Good plan, don’t let her suspect that something is amiss,” he grinned.
“Then you may return to lessons, the three of you, I believe you have Charms at the moment ” Albus said as he wrote a note.
“Yes,” they nodded, Ron taking the note as they bid goodbye and headed to the rest of their lesson.
Walking in, they handed it over and went to sit down, grateful for the house elves in bringing them what they needed for the class.
“Where have you been?” Hermione demanded to know, a glare on her face at the thought of the three of them missing lessons.
“Problem that came up with a student that we’ve been dealing with. We’ve been able to sort it all out,” Harry told her, using the excuse that the Headmaster had put in the note.
“Hmm,” she huffed before going back to her work for the rest of the class.
“I don’t know if I’m looking forward to lunch,” Harry muttered, he didn’t particularly want to face the woman again.
“I know, but a strong front doesn’t let them see your fear,” Ron grinned at him, placing a hand on his back gently. Not wanting to test if he was still in pain at all.
“Yeah,” he sighed, heading out of the classroom, only to be blocked by Hermione, “What do you want Granger?” he asked her.
“Who was the problem student, don’t tell me you’re picking on the Muggleborns now!” she demanded to know, taking a threatening step towards them.
“I’m doing no such thing,” Harry straightened up.
“Everyone in this school is against Muggleborns, we can’t even get good jobs out there!” she yelled, causing a bit of a scene.
“Granger, you’re wrong about that,” Ron pointed out to her, “there are more Muggleborn or Halfbloods as department heads in the Ministry than Purebloods. The only thing that Muggleborns have problems with at first, according to my dad, is that they don’t know about the tradition. As soon as they learn about them, that’s ‘Learn’ before you jump on your high fucking horse, not practice them. That is the only thing that has even held up the Muggleborns, was not knowing about them, and that is changing all the time since they are willing to learn about the different culture that they now find themselves in.”
“You have no idea the number of people that you have shunned and disregarded in your behaviour,” Draco added, “There is nowhere in the Ministry that would wish to employ you for your utter disregard for the culture of our world,” he added.
“But you’re oppressing Muggleborns all the time, and I don’t want Harry to forget where he is from!”
“And I never do, I don’t forget the Muggle World, but I’m not in that world now, I’m here, and I need to learn about it and respect it, as I would if I had gone to say, Japan or India or even Dubai. I would have to respect the culture there, not flaunt my own.” Harry told her, “Now if you don’t mind, I want some lunch and I’d rather not have it ruined by you and your idiocies.”
With that Harry moved around her, ignoring the shouting she was doing as the three of them escaped to the great hall.
Chapter Seventy Four
Harry sat in the Great Hall, lunch had arrived and each moment he wanted nothing more than to get to his feet and curse the witch that was sitting smugly at the head table. She had arrived and saw him, smirking and making sure that he would be there tonight for another detention. Harry closed his eyes and calmed himself down as best as he could. Not wanting to give the witch anything that would stop justice from finally being served on her.
“You all right?” Draco asked, placing a hand on his arm, squeezing it tightly to try and keep him calm.
“I will be when she is gone from this school and locked up with the dementors. Because that’s what she deserves for what she has done,” he muttered darkly stabbing the sausage in front of him, “I can’t believe that she is still here. She should have gone during the Yule Holidays.”
“My father is working on things there, trying to go behind the Minister’s back in getting a vote of no confidence against him. If it works we can get her out as well as him,” Draco tried to cheer him up with that little bit of news.
“Hmm,” Harry nodded as Ron walked over.
“Right the first years are all okay,” he told him, sitting down across from him, “None of them had any problems with her, but she scared a few of them a little by walking too close to them.”
Harry nodded, “Th-”
He was cut off as the doors to the great hall burst open and Madam Bones walked in along with Sirius and the Minister. With them were two Aurors as well. “Do you think this might be what they went to do?” Ron asked quietly as they watched the group walk towards the head table.
“Madam Umbridge,” Madam Bones called out as she reached the table.
“Madam Bones, what can I do for you?” she asked, as she then looked at the Minister, “Minister, pleasure as always to see you, I hope you are in good health.”
“Madam Umbridge you are under arrest for the torture of 42 students by the use of blood quill. And of 1 student by the use of the Interrogation Chair,” Madam Bones said ignoring the woman, “Aurors, arrest her.”
The two began to move and Umbridge yelled out, “I have done nothing wrong, I have-”
“You have nothing, no protection whatsoever now, the Minister is also under scrutiny from this. And I will see that he is brought up on charges,” Madam Bones glared at the man fiddling with his hat.
“Now Madam Bones I am the Minister, I ha-” he began, only to be interrupted before he could even start to defend himself
“Once again I do not believe you are correct,” came a smooth voice as Lucius Malfoy walked through the doors of the school, “As of this moment, via a vote of the Wizamagot you are no longer the Minister, I’m sorry Madam Bones, but you are now the Minister of Magic, at least until we can get a vote prepared. Though that will be in around six months by the looks of things.”
Madam Bones cursed under her breath, “Lord Malfoy, thank you for the news,” she said, though it was through gritted teeth, “I believe there are a few people that would be better suited to the role.”
“All in good time, and in this period of instability and danger, I believe you are what is best for our world at this moment in time. I do hope to see you fulfil your position when you return to the Ministry,” he smiled at her, before looking towards his son, “do be careful Draco, and you Harry.”
“We will father,” Draco promised.
“How can you do this to us!” Madam Umbridge screamed as she was put in magical suppressant manacles and escorted from the room. The students were cheering as she was taken out.
“To those that have been harmed by this woman and her methods, your voices will be heard and over the next few days, with your permission, your Head of House and your parents, we would like to interview you and get your statements. We have pictures from most of the students,” Madam Bones said as she looked towards Harry. “Mr Potter, thank you, for making sure that you brought this to our attention, I can only apologise for not being able to do anything beforehand thanks to Former Minister Fudge and his disregard for the laws that govern us.”
“Make sure he is taken to task for what he has done as well. I’d rather not see something like this happen again. There may not be someone like me at the school that will stand up for the students to make sure a tyrant is taken down,” Harry said, standing up.
“We will be,” Madam Bones said, “Headmaster Dumbledore, I’m sorry that the former Minister forced your hand in taking her, and thank you for the help you have given.”
“I feel as though I have not done enough,” the Headmaster said, “Draco Malfoy, Ron Weasley and Harry Potter,” he called out the three that had been fighting this the most, “And to the others that have helped in all houses in keeping the students safe, I thank you,” he bowed to the hall.
With that Madam Bones left the great Hall with the former Minister being dragged by an Auror as he started protesting the treatment he was receiving.
“Well,” Harry smiled as he looked at his best friend and betrothed, “Let’s hope that will be the end of her.”
They agreed as they went back to eating their lunch, happier now that the woman was gone from their school.
It was at DADA the next day that they found out who was replacing Umbridge.
“Remus!” Harry explained, happy to see the man standing at the front of the classroom.
“Professor Lupin, for now, Harry,” he reminded him with a gentle smile.
“I didn’t think they would let you back with you being a werewolf,” Hermione said as she went and sat down.
“They’re fine with a werewolf working in the school,” he said as there were a few gasps from the students that hadn’t heard.
“But they are prejudiced against you,” Hermione said, “That you can’t get a job or anything like that!”
Remus sighed, “This is difficult to explain, werewolves were fine in society until around the mid-1800s and when Muggleborns came in they came in with fantastical tales of Werewolves attacking anyone during the full moon, becoming bloodthirsty killers when not transformed. People then started to fear us, and we started being pushed aside, by the time I had been turned, the fears that Muggleborns had when they entered the world were more solid because of the films and books that were supposedly about us. While in our werewolf form we were very dangerous. But there had been special safe houses where we could be housed during our transformation. Those had been free, and when a Muggleborn got into office, in the early 1900’s they started to put a price on them and then started to forbid us from all the things we had, treating us as leapers.”
“So you’re saying that it was the ideas that Muggleborns brought in that changed things for you?” Dean Thomas asked him.
“In a way yes,” he nodded, “I know that to see the unknown, to fear it, and not understand it is hard, but a lot of Muggleborns come into this world and refuse to learn about it. Dippet a Headmaster wanting to make the Muggleborns more comfortable cancelled all the traditions celebrated in Hogwarts, they still celebrated them in Hogsmeade while I was here, and they continue to do so, and with permission, those that wished to could go to the village and celebrate,” he smiled, “When a Muggleborn is invited into our world we open ourselves up to listen to them, and we do, but we were slowly forgetting who we were because of it. Now that we are bringing traditions back into the school, we can finally educate you all properly on the magic of this world. Which is why our first topic for our lesson is going to be werewolves and their origins and their traditions,” he smiled as he started the lecture.
At the end of the lesson, he called them all to order, “Right, at the moment I want you to research into the beliefs of the Muggles’ world and how they have become part of the wizarding world. I want you to separate myth from fact in your essay for homework.”
“That was interesting, “ Darco said as he began to pack up.
“I didn’t even know that the madness came about because the werewolves were hunted down and poisoned,” Harry said, “I thought it was because of the pain they went through.”
“But the pain is only there because the poison persists, though the potion that was made, the wolfsbane, that easies it but doesn’t cure it,” Ron pointed out.
“That some parents actually ask for their child to be bitten before they were hunted,” Harry said softly, “I… it hurts that those turned now are forced to believe it a curse instead of a blessing it used to be,” he murmured.
“Well, uncle is working hard on trying to cure the poison, not the werewolf bit,” Draco said as they walked out of the classroom.
“Yeah,” Ron nodded, “I wonder if anyone knows what it was that positioned them,” he murmured.
“We’ve never found that out,” Remus said from behind them as he walked along the corridor. It was lunchtime after all, “Though there were rumours that someone in the ministry found it out, though they’ve never released anything about it at all if that is the case,” he added, smiling at the three as he headed to the hall for his first meal there.
They walked into the great hall and Remus quickly made his way to the head table. A number of whispers broke out as he appeared. Already two lots of students knew why he was there. Their grins as the Headmaster stood and went to the front of the room and began his little speech.
“As some of you already know, Professor Remus has been kind enough to join us once again as Professor for the Defence Against the Dark Arts, so please make sure you welcome him. To those of you who don’t know, Professor Lupin is a werewolf, now I know some of you are alarmed at that, but please do not worry, a safe place for his transformations has already been thought of and secured for him. Of course, anyone out after curfew on the night of the full moon will be punished more severely than normal, don’t just expect a few points are taken and detention. This time you will be suspended from school.” The seriousness of his voice warned the students that this time they were not to be broken. “Not only that but the day before, that day off and the day after the full moon will be taken over by someone else. Sirius Black will hold those lessons. He will join us more towards the full moon to get to know you all.”
“Other than those warnings, I want you to please welcome Professor Lupin back to the school,” he said as he clapped.
Harry grinned at the man as he clapped as hard and as loud as he could alongside their friends. “It’s great to see him here, but I do worry what the two of them are going to cook up between them, or did you forget the training they have us doing whenever they get chance,” Harry reminded Draco and Ron.
The two posed in the clapping, a horrified look on their face. “We’re so dead,” Ron whimpered.
“Agreed,” Draco nodded.
Harry laughed at the two of them, a bright smile on his face. Finally, the school was going to be safe again. Or at least safer than it had been, there was still the matter of Voldemort after all. Harry just hoped he was going to be up to the task in ridding the world of him.
Three weeks, three weeks and they were at the Ministry of Magic, a number of the students were also there with their parents. The trial against Madam Umbridge was about to commence and they were all there for the trail. Harry wanted to go in and watch, but Sirius had told him that he would only be able to do that after he had given evidence. He was fine with that since he was going to be one of the first ones to do so.
“I don’t want to go in,” one of the young first-years said, huddled against her mother. The woman was a Muggle, that was obvious as she was looking around in curiosity.
“We can always tell them that you don’t want Aisha,” the woman said, quickly turning to her daughter.
“I…” Aisha sniffled as she pressed against her even more.
Harry got up and went over, “Aisha,” he smiled at her, she was a Ravenclaw and a smart one from what Padma had told him when he asked about the students in the other houses that had been affected by Umbridge.
“Harry,” she said, looking at him, tears in her eyes, “I’m so scared, how… how do you do it?”
He smiled softly, “I’m scared, I will never not be scared, but you know,” he paused a moment, “If I give into that fear that wants to hold me back. I would never be able to get out of bed and face the day. To go to lessons or anything. You faced that fear enough to come here. Your mother is right beside you,” he reminded her, “She will be there in the courtroom with you. Madam Bones has promised us as well that if we want to call for a break we can do,” he added, “so if you need to, call for a break.”
Aisha nodded, “Thank you.”
“It’s hard, I know, I know it’s going to be hard for me as I’m going to be telling a load of grown-ups that they all did something wrong, that they didn’t protect us like they should have done,” he told her, “But we have to do it to make sure that she can never do it to another person.”
“Yeah,” she nodded as the door to the room opened.
“Mr Potter, you’re up,” the Auror said as he looked over the room and spotted the teenager.
Harry stood and walked over, “Thank you,” he nodded to him as he was taken to the courtroom. He shuddered as he realised that he was in the same one that he had his own face of a trail in. “Hope this one goes better than that one,” he muttered to himself as he was taken to the stand. He sat down on the stool there and looked at the gathered wizards and witches. The gallery was open and full. He could see a number of reports in there along with Sirius and Remus. He felt a little better seeing them, though seated next to them were Narcissa and Draco, who had promised that he would be there for him as well.
“Mr Potter,” Minister Bones said as she stood at the bottom of the gathered wizards and witches of the Wizengamot.
“Madam Bones, or Minister Bones?” he puzzled as to what he should call her.
“Minister at the moment Mr Potter,” she corrected him, a small upturn of her lips showed that he wasn’t in any type of trouble from the slip-up. “Now, we have a few questions for you,” she said as they started to question him about the happening in Hogwarts and his interaction with Madam Umbridge.
“There is no way such a distinguished witch as Madam Umbridge would do such a thing too young students,” came the voice of a rather smarmy looking wizard as she stood from the table where Umbridge was sitting.
“We are not finished Mr Kendel, please remain quiet until it is your turn to talk,” Minister Bones reminded him. “Mr Potter, on the Second of March you were given detention by Madam Umbridge?”
“Yes, she told me that I would have to go to detention. If I didn’t she would harm the first years that she had the next day,” he answered her.
“Objection lies!” Mr Kendel yelled out, Madam Umbridge going red in the face as she glared silently at the teenager.
“Overruled,” One of the witches said from next to Minister Bones, “We will hear his statement and then you may continue Mr Kendel.”
“What happened at that detention?” Minister Bones then asked him.
“At the detention, I was made to sit in a chair. There were manacles that came from it, tying me down to it. She kept telling me that I should tell her that I was lying, but I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t tell a lie I refused to give in to her. Each time it felt… it felt like I was being crucified,” he shuddered as he remembered the feeling.
“The chair in question, was it this one?” she asked as over the other side of the room a chair was shown to the court.
“Yes,” Harry answered with a nod, “I recognise the marking on the back,” he added.
“Do you know what this chair is?” she then asked him.
“I didn’t until Lord Malfoy answered my question about it, It’s an Interrogation Chair,” he told her.
“It is, they were used before the invention of Veritaserum, it was used by witches and wizards to make sure that their subject was telling the truth. Most of the time it is imbued with the need to select fact from fiction. For the facts and truths that were told, there was no pain, but for lies there was. But… it can be changed to cause pain to the person sitting in the chair if the user sets it differently. When we found this one, it was set so that only one sentence wouldn’t cause pain,” Minister Bones informed them all.
“Let me guess,” Harry said, “The Minister is right and You-Know-Who isn’t back and I have lied about it all,” he quoted easily. It wasn’t that hard for him to remember what had been told to him. He refused to say those words for two hours. It would be hard for him to forget them.
“Correct,” she nodded. “Now, is there anything else you would like to add?” she asked him.
“No,” he shook his head.
“Very well, Mr Kendel, you may now examine the witness,” she told the man, though there was a look of warning on her face.
“Mr Potter, you have caused a lot of trouble for Madam Umbridge, you even went so far as to cast Magic in a Muggle area,” he said, looking up from the paper that was in front of him.
“That was already proven in this very court that I was justified in the magic that I used,” he pointed out.
“On the second of March did Madam Umbridge really say that she would harm the students under her care?” he asked her, “Exact wording,” he promoted a little smirk on his face.
“She said that I was to go to detention or she would get the students in the first year to copy the book they were using. Now Sh-” Harry was cut off before he could say anything more.
“There you go, once again you are lying as to why you were even given the detention in the first place. How else can we believe that you were telling the truth of any of it from that point on,” he interrupted him, waving a hand towards the teenager.
“Mr Kendel, you need to let Mr Potter finish answering,” he was reminded by one of the members in the Wizengamot.
“Thank you,” Mr Potter said to the man.
“Why would he need to finish, he has told me what Madam Umbridge told him for his detention to take place,” Mr Kendel said, looking at Lord Ainsworth.
“Mr Potter,” Lord Ainsworth said, instead of addressing Mr Kendel, “Can you please finish what you were saying?”
“Of course,” Harry nodded in agreement, “She emphasised the word copy, and as you know, she has used a blood quill on the students before. On a number of us, I knew that what she meant was that she would make them copy the book using the blood quill. I didn’t want the first years to go through that, some of them already had detention with her and were forced to use them. Of course, I would go to the detention as soon as she even hinted at that, I also took a precaution,” he added.
“And what would that be?” Mr Kendel asked, looking at the teenager, a feeling of dread coming over him and making him wish that he hadn’t been the one conned into taking up Madam Umbridge as a client.
Minister Bones smirked, “I would like to submit evidence for the prosecution,” she said as an Auror moved to the table, “This is a memory ball, this is a recording of the entire detention that Mr Potter had under Madam Umbridge,” she added, “If you would, we shall watch it in a moment, I do not believe that Mr Potter should be here and have to relive the torture he was put under,” she finished.
“I thank you for that,” he said, grateful, he had watched though it once and lived through it. That was enough for him.
“Then we shall do that now,” the man said as he looked down.
“Mr Potter, you may step down and return when the viewing is over,” Madam Bones told him.
“Thank you,” he nodded as he stood up and was quickly escorted into a waiting room where he would be watched over by two Aurors. He didn’t know how long he was in there for, but he was starting to get a little hungry when he was taken back.
“Welcome back Mr Potter, we’ve taken the time to speak with some of the other students here about their detentions while you waited,” Minister Bones said. As Harry looked towards Mr Kendal and saw the sour look on his face. Madam Umbridge looked no better either. “Back to the memory ball, may I ask why you decided to use it?” she asked him.
“I knew that she was going to try and get out of whatever we tried, since she was being backed by the Minister at the time, Cornelius Fudge, and of course others as well. They ignored it when we went to them the first time. We tried it through the official channels we even, over Yule, released it through the papers. But once again we were blocked and stalled in trying to point out that this woman wasn’t teaching us, but torturing us.”
“You are nothing but a liar!” Madam Umbridge said, “Why couldn’t you have just died when the dementors went after you!”
“Madam Umbridge, be silent or you will be silenced,” came a warning from an elderly witch.
“I am sick o-” she began once more, ignoring the woman before her voice was taken from her.
“Mr Potter, we thank you for the testimony, you will be returned to the waiting room while we speak with the other students.” Lady Bowens said as she looked down at him.
“Yes Ma’am,” he nodded to her as he got up, wondering if being brought in a second time was a waste of time. He walked out of the room, seeing that Sirius and the others were also getting up to meet with him.
He waited and was soon greeted with a hug by his boyfriend and godfather. “What happened after I had to leave?” he asked.
“Not much, they watched it,” Draco shuddered, remembering Harry’s screams from the film.
“They talked and then asked the students to come in and talk about the blood quill, bringing you back as they had a few more questions, but I think her outburst stopped them from being asked,” Sirius answered him.
“Right, do you think they’ll call me back?” he asked.
Sirius shook his head, “No, I don’t think so, most of the information they wanted was already given.”
“Right,” Harry sighed in relief, “I want to watch the rest of the trial.”
“Sure,” Sirius nodded, as they headed back into the gallery so they could watch the rest of it.