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Chapter 3: Lessons
Harry Potter and all characters, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling, not me.
Harry Potter-McGonagall – Chapter 3 – Lessons
Senior Undersecretary Umbridge Found Guilty of Child Abuse
By Anna Jesse
When Headmistress McGonagall of Hogwarts was unable to find a candidate for the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Minister Fudge decided to help her by providing an instructor from his staff. Little did he know that his Senior Undersecretary Delores Umbridge, who volunteered as soon as Fudge announced the opening, had evil intentions for our children. She had smuggled out thirty blood-quills, a highly restricted item which cuts your hand as you write, allowing you to sign in your own blood. They are intended solely for the purpose of signing magically binding documents. Although they're not allowed outside of the Ministry building, she brought them to Hogwarts. Her reason was so that she could torture students in detention by making them write lines utilizing those blood quills. Fortunately, her first victims, a pair of fifth-year Ravenclaws, recognized the restricted items and had the aurors brought in.
"I simply could not believe her abominable behavior!" stated Fudge after this disturbing news was brought to his attention. "How could anyone be so cruel to children?" It was easy to tell from the expression on his face that he was both horrified and angry. He moved for a trial as soon as possible, so yesterday, the day after Umbridge was arrested, she had her trial in front of the full Wizengamot. She was sentenced to ten years in Azkaban following Fudge's plea to make her an example to all who wish our children harm.
Following the trial, and upon recommendation by Amelia Bones, he assigned Auror Tonks, one of the arresting officers, to fill the vacant teaching position.
"Do you see that picture of Umbridge in prison clothes?" asked Harry while chuckling at the article he and his girlfriend were reading.
"And I thought she was already ugly," she agreed. "It looks like Fudge chose to save his own hide rather than help his pet toad."
"I never doubted he would. All the parents would've shown up at the Ministry with torches and pitchforks ready to lynch him if he hadn't," said Padma, who was sitting across from them with her own copy of the Daily Prophet.
"You've got that right," agreed Hermione. "If there's one thing that can cause otherwise docile people to revolt, it's hurting their kids."
"I just can't believe Umbridge actually believed that we'd be too stupid and stubborn to report her," commented Harry. Changing the topic, he said, "I can't wait for Tonks' lesson. It should be the best Defense class we've had."
"No doubt," agreed Padma, sounding distracted. She was looking down at the table.
"What's wrong?" Hermione asked.
"It's Terry," she replied, indicating Terry Boot, who was sitting nearby.
"What about him?" asked Harry, wondering what his dorm mate had done. "If he's been bothering you…"
"He hasn't done anything to me. He's just been…the last few days he's been staring at me a lot, and it's got me a bit unnerved."
"Maybe I should talk to him about it," said Harry, although he had a pretty good idea what it was about. "After all, I do bunk with him."
"No, that's alright. I…"
"It's no trouble. If I don't, then I'll be wondering about it, whether or not I should kick his…"
"Harry, language!" interrupted his girlfriend.
"Sorry, dear," he replied, faking penitence. "I'm just not as creative as you are; able to express myself without resorting to vile profanity. I should be given a huge dunce cap to wear all over Hogwarts that says I'm incapable of communicating without…"
"That's enough, Harry," replied his girlfriend, giggling. "I don't mean to be a nag, but I really don't want you to develop that habit. I have a feeling that I'm going to have to put up with you for a very long time." Her expression had changed to a sultry look that demanded a romantic response.
"I hope so," he replied, leaning toward Hermione to kiss her.
Padma buried her head in her hands, muttering, "Can't they at least wait until after breakfast?"
"…and that concludes the meeting," announced Hermione. They'd finished informing the C.A.R.E. members about the latest news, which included a new law passed in France banning House Elf abuse, as well as listing the newest families convicted of that crime in England. The number of violators was lessoning every year. "If you'll excuse me, I have to go to the library." She kissed Harry goodbye and left headquarters, formerly known as Hagrid's hut. The other members filed out of the room as Harry watched.
Just as the last person walked out the door, the boom box started playing a soft melody that he knew he'd danced to with Hermione but couldn't name. He turned around to see he wasn't alone after all. Ginny was with him. He noticed that her Hogwarts robe was hanging over a chair and she was wearing a sleeveless, short black dress that accentuated her curves very well so that he could see that she certainly wasn't the little first-year he'd met long ago.
"I thought the meeting would never end," Ginny commented, licking her lips. "And I've wanted to talk to you alone for awhile." She stepped forward, swaying her hips, definitely keeping Harry's attention. Resisting her was going to be more difficult than the girls at Beauxbatons. He knew he had to retreat, but he also knew he had to talk to her because he didn't want to lose her friendship.
"Yes, Harry," she replied, still approaching him sexily.
"You look beautiful, but…"
"Thank you," she interrupted him, smiling as she reached out her hands toward him. Harry took a deep breath, repeating the word Hermione in his head over and over again.
"I love Hermione," he said forcefully.
"And I love you!" she declared.
"Ginny, you aren't in love with me. You're in love with the Boy-Who-Lived."
"That is you," she stated before pulling him into a hug. Harry stepped out of her embrace, walking backwards toward the door.
"No, that's not who I am! I'm the normal, average person who happens to compete against you in Quidditch. I'm the brother of the girl you took under your wing. I'm…"
"You're the man who saved my life in the Chamber of Secrets. The hero who…"
"I'm sorry if it hurts your feelings, but I am NOT going to dump Hermione for you!" he yelled, getting frustrated. "I don't think we should be alone together until you accept that!" He then fled the room, knowing that he couldn't trust himself much longer with the lovely Gryffindor fourth year. Especially if she decided to do something drastic.
He absently walked into Hogwarts and up several flights of stairs until he found himself at the entrance to the library. "I guess my subconscious mind wants to see Hermione," he muttered to himself while he walked inside, quickly spotting his girlfriend in the midst of a table covered in books. "Is this seat taken?" he asked, indicating the chair next to her.
"Hi, Harry," she replied, nodding that he could join her. "I didn't expect you to…is something wrong?"
Sometimes Harry wished his girlfriend wasn't so perceptive. "I have a small problem. You see, Ginny, well, she seems to…fancy me. But I know it's just the Boy-Who-Lived rubbish. She, um, made a play for me just now."
Her eyes narrowed, Hermione asked, "What did she do?"
Harry explained precisely what had happened to his girlfriend and then extracted a promise from her that she wouldn't curse Ginny into oblivion. He genuinely believed that it was just a phase and she'd grow out of it, and didn't want to lose the girl's friendship over this.
"Do you ever wish that I looked, er, more like her?" his girlfriend asked, indicating her curves, which weren't as pronounced as Ginny's. It didn't take a genius to know where that line of inquiry was heading. He decided to nip that in the bud.
"You are the girl I asked to be my girlfriend. You are the girl I love. You are the girl I've been faithful to. You are the girl I want to one day…never mind. You are beautiful and I'm very happy with your appearance. I…"
"Want to one day…what?" interrupted Hermione, looking genuinely curious.
His ears turning pink, he replied, "Nothing. Not important. The point is that…"
"Answer me," she demanded, while still speaking quietly enough for the library. "And don't lie."
He cleared his throat. "Well, I, that is if things keep going as they are, um, er, one day Iwannamarryyou."
"What?" asked Hermione, genuinely confused.
Taking a deep breath, he recited, "One day, I want to marry you."
Hermione was smiling brightly, but at the same time her eyes were filling with tears. "Do you mean that?"
"Of course I do," said Harry.
"Let's go," said Hermione, getting up and grabbing his hand.
"Where?" he asked.
"To a broom cupboard, of course," she replied as though it were obvious. Her eyes were darker than he'd ever seen them. They looked completely full of lust. "We'd get kicked out of the library permanently if I did what I want to do here."
A few hours later, Harry and Hermione, looking very happy, yet disheveled, entered Ravenclaw Tower and, after a passionate goodnight kiss, separated to their respective dorms. Harry made a mental note to get his girlfriend a promise ring for her upcoming birthday. His head still in the clouds, he descended the staircase to his room, where Michael Corner and Terry Boot were talking.
"You look happy," commented Michael. "Had a bit of alone-time with Hermione?" His blush gave it away before he could reply. "How far have you two gone, anyway?"
"Now that is none of your business," he replied good-naturedly, knowing that Hermione would skin him alive if she ever found out he'd discussed any aspect of their physical relationship. Besides, it was none of their business. His attention turned on his other roommate as he changed the subject. "Terry, Padma has noticed that you've been staring at her lately. If you fancy her, ask her out. If not, stop scaring her."
Now Terry's ears turned pink. "She saw?" He sighed. "You're right. I do fancy her. I know she's your friend…"
"And you know what I'll do if you hurt her." Boot nodded. "I don't blame you for liking her. She is hot. And smart, too. If Hermione didn't exist…" he trailed off, allowing himself a few seconds of indulgence. "But just remember, I don't want to hear any details of what happens if you do date her."
"Alright, alright, Harry," he replied. "I'll ask her out this week."
"Good. Maybe Padma could use a boyfriend, but she doesn't need a stalker." Turning to his other friend, he asked, "Any girls you're interested in asking out?"
"Yes," he replied, nodding, "and it's another friend of yours."
"Yeah, the only problem is that she seems to be obsessing over you."
"Maybe that would distract her from me," said Harry. "I have noticed her sudden interest after my birth name was revealed, and I have no intention of dropping Hermione." As an afterthought, Harry added, "But don't take advantage of her or hurt her. Not only will you have to avoid her bat-bogey hexes as well as my own curses, you'd have to escape Fred and George Weasley."
His eyes went wide at that prospect. "Point taken."
The next day, Harry had Defense Against the Dark Arts with the Hufflepuffs. He and Hermione entered the classroom holding hands and quickly found their seats. Professor Tonks was nowhere to be seen. Her desk was empty. The other students quickly filled up the classroom, but the professor still didn't make an appearance.
One of the students, a boy with black hair, stood up and walked toward the desk. Harry didn't immediately recognize the boy, but was only seeing him from behind. As he approached the desk, Harry noticed that his robes, though similar, were not standard Hogwarts robes. The boy turned around to face the class, revealing himself to be the one and only Harry Potter-McGonagall, complete with his lightning bolt scar. He immediately realized who was impersonating him.
Suddenly, the class was making a lot of noise while Harry and Hermione laughed. Most of the others were looking between Harry and his double as though trying to find a difference. The boy at the front of the class closed his eyes in concentration and began to morph. The room was absolutely silent as the Boy-Who-Lived changed into a shorter woman with pink hair.
"Wotcher, class. I'm Professor Tonks, but you can just call me Tonks. As some of you may know, I'm a Metamorphmagus. When a few hands shot up, she said, "I won't perform on request, though. This particular ability allows me to blend into any crowd easily. While I can't teach you to become what I am, I am going to teach you ways of going undetected. Can anyone tell me the advantages of not being noticed?"
The class went on from there with many students participating. Tonks talked about Polyjuice potion and invisibility cloaks. She began teaching them notice-me-not charms, silencing charms and disillusionment charms. She told them that the best defense was not to be seen by the bad guys until it was too late for them. Her plans were to also teach them dodging spells and shield charms before starting on offensive spells. Everyone was looking forward to her next lesson when class was over.
The next few weeks went by quickly, with Terry Boot successfully asking Padma to spend the first Hogsmeade visit with him.
Harry found his chance after Herbology to tell Draco about his ancestor's portrait at Beauxbatons, which he proudly acknowledged until Harry informed him that the portrait was displeased with his family.
"That's either a lie, or the portrait's been tampered with!" Malfoy declared while his face turned red.
"Feel free to visit the school to see for yourself," challenged Hermione. "I've seen it, too."
When Hermione's birthday came, Harry threw her a party at C.A.R.E. Headquarters as usual. Harry had thought long and hard about whether to give Hermione her promise ring privately or publicly, and decided, based off the fact that Ginny had continued trying to flirt with him at the few opportunities she found despite his avoiding her, that he should give his girlfriend the ring publicly. She was quite surprised when she opened her present from Harry last.
"Harry?" she questioned, looking at him while others stared interested.
"I know we're too young to actually get engaged, but I wanted to publicly tell everyone that you're the girl I intend to marry. I know it sounds corny, but, er, I couldn't come up with a better speech." He then took the ring from the package and placed it on her finger despite the fact that his entire face was Gryffindor red.
There was clapping and catcalls as Hermione kissed him passionately until Ginny ran out of the hut crying. Brianna followed her friend and mentor.
"Ginny! Stop right now before I put you in the body-bind!" the third-year shouted.
"I knew you'd take their side!" she replied, turning around and stopping.
"Of course I would! I've known they'd get married since the day they met!" She took a deep breath. "And I also know that, despite being friends with my brother, you are NOT in love with him! This crush only started while you were reading the Daily Prophet last June and you know it! Harry and Hermione were meant for each other. I saw you turn down Michael Corner when he asked you out, and I think the only reason you did is because you think you'll get Harry to dump his soul mate. You've got to accept that you're not getting Harry." With a smirk, she added, "And you're lucky you're not. Do you have any idea how annoying it is to live with that git? He just won't…" As she talked about her brother, Ginny began the long process of losing her crush and accepting the truth.
"I suppose it wouldn't hurt to tell Michael that I changed my mind," said Ginny eventually before the two of them returned to the party. She did apologize to Harry and Hermione for what she'd tried to do after everyone had left and promised not to try anything else.
The next week went by quickly, with Harry's aunt telling him that Tonks had suggested that she sack Professors Binns, which she was considering. Almost everyone slept through the ghost's lessons, so what was the point of him teaching?
Harry soon found himself in his Aunt's office with Albus Dumbledore. He'd made an appointment with him through Minerva the day before. While the former Headmaster had wanted it to be just him and Harry, Minerva insisted on being present at the meetings as well. He'd reluctantly agreed, figuring that Harry would tell his aunt all about the lessons anyway. After Harry gave the password to the gargoyle, he walked up the stairs to find the door already open.
"Hello, Harry," said Aunt Minnie, who was sitting behind her desk with Dumbledore across from her. Harry noticed that Dumbledore's hand was still blackened.
"Good evening, Mr. Potter-McGonagall," said the former headmaster.
"Hi," replied Harry as he noticed his aunt's Pensieve was on her desk. "Will we be looking at memories?"
"Yes, indeed," replied Albus cheerfully. "Memories relating to Tom Marvolo Riddle. We shall begin with the event that directly led to his birth." The aged wizard pulled a corked vial out of his purple cloak, unsealed it and poured it into the Pensieve. "Are you ready?" he asked his two companions. When they nodded, he commanded, "On three, two, one."
At the right moment, all three of them entered the memory, finding themselves in Little Hangleton of the past, watching a memory of the Gaunt family receiving a visitor from the Ministry of Magic, which led to the arrest of the two males, leaving Merope Gaunt free to give a love potion to Tom Riddle.
"Mr. Dumbledore," said Harry when the memory was over, "I will agree that it is very fascinating to learn about Voldemort's past, but I need to know how to destroy him. The half-hour we spent in there could've been summarized by a five-minute explanation."
"But there is much more to be learned by experiencing the memory," Albus gently chided.
"No doubt," agreed Minerva, "however, I do not believe that Voldemort is spending his time walking down memory lane when he needs information. He is rebuilding his forces and preparing for a war."
"More people are dying every day," added Harry. "If you'd like to leave memories for me to watch at me leisure, I will, but I'm here to learn how to beat him. If you know how he's still alive, I need to know that. If you know how to kill him, please tell me. If you want to train me in special spells for fighting him, I'd love to do that."
Albus sighed. There was a time when he would've argued until he was blue in the face and refused to do things any way but his, but since then, he'd been humbled. He also realized that the prophecy said Harry could beat Voldemort, but said nothing about Dumbledore, which meant that Harry should be the one choosing the direction of his training. He, Albus, was here to help Harry win – not the other way around. If anyone was to be a pawn, it would be Dumbledore. Harry was the chosen one.
"Very well," Albus finally said. "I had looked forward to enjoyable trips through pertinent memories, but you are correct that people are dying every day. The next memories would've shown you how Tom wound up growing up in an orphanage, and that I personally delivered his Hogwarts letter. I found then that he had terrorized and stolen from the other children, and kept trophies of those deeds – small souvenirs. I instructed him to return his stolen property and made the foolish decision of not warning the staff at Hogwarts of what kind of boy he was.
Consequently, he duped most of the staff into believing he was an upstanding person who excelled at his classes and became a prefect. As you know, he discovered the Chamber of Secrets and framed Hagrid for killing a girl with Slytherin's monster. He even made Head Boy and passed his N.E.W.T.'s with flying colors.
While he was here, he asked his head of house about an object called Horcruxes. Those are despicably evil objects that encase a piece of an individual's soul, after it has been cracked by committing murder. While one exists, the owner's spirit cannot pass into the next great adventure."
"That sounds like Sauron's ring in the Lord of the Rings books," replied Harry, remembering the books Hermione had given him for Christmas during first year. She'd even told him they were factual. "Have you read them?"
With a twinkle in his eye, Dumbledore replied, "Yes, I have, and I do believe you're right. If so, that's the earliest reference to a Horcrux in our history."
"And you think that's how Riddle survived that night. He has one of those Horcruxes?" asked Harry.
"Alas, were that the case, you would've already solved the problem during your second year when you destroyed his diary. However, through much persuasion, I was able to convince that former colleague of mine to reveal that Tom had asked him about the possibility of creating seven Horcruxes."
"Seven?" asked Harry.
"He asked Slughorn that?" asked Minerva, stunned.
"But all is not lost," said Dumbledore evenly. "As I stated, you destroyed one. I have destroyed two. Do you recall the locket that was around Merope's neck and the ring that was on Morvolo's finger?"
"Yes," replied both McGonagalls.
"Tom made both of them into Horcruxes which I have destroyed. The ring was located in the Gaunt shack, while the locket was in the last place I'd ever expect to find it."
"Where's that?" asked Minerva.
Remembering something Sirius' elf had said about a "long-bearded half-blood thief stealing from Master Regulus," Harry guessed, "Order headquarters?"
With a twinkle in his eye, Albus responded, "Precisely. Imagine my surprise when going through that house looking for curses to find one of Voldemort's Horcruxes. Sirius' elf, Kreacher, explained that Voldemort had hidden it in a cave, but Sirius' brother Regulus had stolen it at the cost of his own life, charging the elf to destroy it. There is more to the tale than that, but suffice it to say, the locket was destroyed."
"So, three have been eliminated?" clarified McGonagall.
"Actually, four of his seven have been eliminated. You see, Harry, when you were hit by that killing curse in France, it killed a Horcrux, severing your connection with him, which allowed you to survive. So three are still out there, and I suspect one is here at Hogwarts."
"Why is that?" asked Harry.
"Because shortly after I became Headmaster, Tom Riddle applied for a job teaching here. He knew I'd never hire him, so he had to have had a reason to come here. I believe that it was to…"
"Hide a Horcrux?" completed Minerva. "Where did he go while he was here?"
"I know that he didn't deviate from the most direct route to and from this office, but alas, I didn't have him followed closely. He could've stopped anywhere in between here and the Entrance Hall. I would like to charge Harry with locating it while I search for the others."
"Certainly, sir, although I'd like help from Hermione."
"Naturally. She has proven herself worthy of trust, so you may tell her everything I've told you. I know that both of you are well-practiced Occlumens."
"So, do you have any idea what the other Horcruxes are?" asked Minerva.
"I believe that one is a cup that once belonged to Helga Hufflepuff. If we had time, I would show you a memory of him visiting the owner's house and seeing the cup, along with Slytherin's locket, just a short time before she was murdered and those items were stolen."
"A diary, my scar, an ancient ring, Slytherin's locket and Hufflepuff's cup. Do you think he found any other Founder relics?"
"It's entirely possible, although I do not know what they would be. Ravenclaw had a tiara that has been…"
"…lost for a thousand years," completed the only Ravenclaw in the room. "I've seen what it looks like many times."
"I would imagine so," agreed Dumbledore. "In any case, Tom traveled the world. Who knows what he discovered besides more ways to kill people? I guess the best thing to do for the rest of the evening is to warn you to be extremely careful. The two Horcruxes I discovered had been guarded with terrible traps even I didn't get past unscathed." He then indicated his black hand. "I will spend our next lessons teaching you how to get past that type of magic, but for tonight, I'd like to teach you a spell to detect if an object is a Horcrux."
"That sounds good," replied Harry.
A/N For more details on the memories of Tom Riddle, see the Book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.