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Disclaimer: All of this came from the brilliant mind of JKR. Tell me, who is surprised by that?
Professor Minerva McGonagall shifted slightly in her bed.
“Whoever thought of the idea of the Heads of Houses’ having sleeping chambers near their house dormitories in the first place?!” she muttered to herself angrily as another burst of laughter from the Gryffindor Common Room entered her ears.
She couldn’t help but smile to herself in the privacy of her chambers though.
Gryffindor had just won the Quidditch Cup from right under Umbridge’s nose and Minerva couldn’t help but smirk in the background. The nerve of that toad! Actually putting a life-long ban on three of the best players on the team! They had played spectacularly after Weasley saved that second goal, though. Minerva had been there, of course, next to Lee Jordan, as the match took place and she took great pleasure in watching Umbridge’s reaction as Weasley saved goal after goal and finally the match ending with Miss Weasley catching the snitch from right under the other Seeker’s nose.
“A family born with budding Quidditch players,” she said to herself.
Minerva thought she had seen Umbridge’s worst facial expression before, but she had been proved wrong after that match.
“That was a horrendous look she had on her face,” she thought. “The younger students will be having nightmares for a week!”
So, at her good will, Minerva had let the celebrations carry on late into the night. Anything that allowed her Gryffindors to have fun and Umbridge to squirm was fine with her. The only thing she hadn’t bargained for was the noise coming from the Common Room. By the sound of it, only a few people were still up, but it was most likely her fifth years.
“I’ve never seen such a bunch since the days of James Potter and Sirius Black!” she murmured to herself.
True, her present fifth years didn’t go around pulling pranks on every person in sight, but they made up for that in other ways: Talking incessantly during classes, staring into space, swapping magazines underneath desks and the occasional practical joke that had most likely originated from the brain of the Weasley twins.
They were an interesting bunch to teach, but Minerva didn’t think she could stand any more of their chatting in her classes.
“Miss Granger seems to be the most sensible out of the whole group,” she thought.
Yet, there was something that Minerva loved about teaching her fifth year Gryffindors. They had a certain innocence about them. All of them were good friends and stuck by each other. There were no rivalries between themselves (apart from the typical Granger – Weasley disturbance that everyone had grown accustomed to by now) and you could be sure to find some of the best friends in the whole of her House in that year.
“Yes. I think I’ll let them carry on tonight,” she muttered to herself, before throwing a pillow over her head.
A few louder shouts of delight and laughter entered her chambers once more.
“Alright, that’s enough!”
She got out of her bed and pulled on her favourite tartan dressing gown. She was just looking around for her glasses when an abrupt knock came at the door. Surprised, Minerva put on her glasses and opened her door.
It was Umbridge and she had her customary sickening smile on her flabby face. Minerva physically moved backwards. Umbridge was best viewed from a distance or not viewed at all.
“Brilliant! As if I don’t see the toad enough during the day as it is!” she thought to herself.
“May I help you, Dolores?” she asked coldly.
“Well, Minerva,” she simpered. “I COULDN’T help but notice the racket YOUR Gryffindors were making in their Common Room.”
“Yes, I’m sure you couldn’t…Well what is the problem with MY Gryffindors celebrating?” Minerva said, pushing aside the fact that she had just been going to tell them to go to sleep that very moment.
Umbridge seemed to struggle with herself for a minute. Obviously the thought of the Gryffindors having fun caused her some kind of internal damage.
Minerva found herself trying very hard not to smirk at the short person in front of her.
“Well you see, they are making quite a lot of noise and disrupting the peace of the castle!” Umbridge exclaimed suddenly.
“You mean disrupting YOUR peace?” Minerva asked shrewdly.
“That is, of course, included. My chambers are being filled with their noise.” she said nastily.
“I think you mean their laughter,” Minerva said frostily. “Aside from that, I thought your chambers were on the other side of the castle. How is it that you are able to hear them?”
Minerva stared incredulously at the person in front of her. “She’s actually making it all up!” she thought angrily to herself.
Umbridge blanched slightly.
“I was – was on my night rounds and I happened to hear –”
“Nosing around, you mean. Trying to get innocent students into trouble!”
“You do rounds now? Interesting…” Minerva interrupted.
“Yes, I do happen to do rounds. Someone has to make sure order is maintained at this school. No one else seems to be taking the trouble to do so!”
Umbridge noticed the flash of anger in Minerva’s eyes and smirked openly.
“How come YOU aren’t affected by the sounds?” Umbridge asked suddenly, staring icily at Minerva.
“I happen to not mind it when my students celebrate. In fact, I quite enjoy it!” she answered quietly but firmly.
“Well, I really think that the din should be stopped and the students put to bed –”
“Really Dolores!” said Minerva loudly. “There is no need to treat them like such little children! Put to bed, indeed!”
Umbridge’s lip curled slightly, making her face look more deformed than usual.
“I demand that the celebrations be stopped!” she cried out.
“What are you going to do? Pull out another Educational Decree in my face?” Minerva thought, sarcastically.
Her face didn’t show what she was thinking though. She merely raised an eyebrow. “If you are so adamant about it, then why don’t YOU go and tell the students?”
Minerva knew that Umbridge had no desire to enter a room full of Gryffindors. A room full of Gryffindors that were flushed with excitement and energy about winning the Quidditch Cup, nonetheless.
As expected, Umbridge shifted slightly and her eyes popped out more than usual.
A fresh wave of cheering entered the room once more and the sound of Ronald Weasley re-telling one of his saves for what may have been the twentieth time that night could be heard clearly. Umbridge twitched convulsively. All the happiness that was radiating from a single bunch of fifth years Gryffindors seemed to be eating away the mantle of depression she had worked so hard to place over the school.
Minerva wasn’t so successful in hiding her smirk this time (they were having a great time AND destroying Umbridge’s morale. She really did have wonderful students in her house) and unfortunately for her, Umbridge noticed. Her eyes popped out even more.
“Well then, since I can only hear one voice clearly and you are unwilling to help,” she started. Minerva could vaguely see in which direction this was heading. “I will have no choice but to put Mr Ronald Weasley in detention tomorrow!” she said triumphantly, the excited look coming back onto her face once more.
“For what?!” Minerva cried. “The boy has done nothing wrong!”
“If you won’t see sense Minerva, then I will have to resort to these measures!”
Umbridge seemed to be taking great pleasure in ordering Minerva around. There was no other way.
“There is no need for that!” Minerva said haughtily. “I will attend to the students myself!”
Umbridge leered at her.
“Well, I knew you’d see it my way sooner or later, Minerva,” she simpered. “Your stubbornness will be the downfall of you one day.”
Minerva’s nostrils flared.
“I happen to find my Scottish traits very helpful at times, Dolores!” she snapped.
“Yes, of course,” Umbridge said snidely.
“Excuse me, I have to get to the Common Room!” she said firmly, eager to get away from Umbridge.
“You do that, Minerva…” Umbridge said quietly, as Minerva marched around the corner towards the Gryffindor Common Room.
Minerva marched towards the portrait of the Fat Lady briskly, trying to put as much space between her and Umbridge.
“Calling me stubborn! How dare she!” Minerva muttered angrily.
Of course people like Dumbledore and other members of staff had called her that before, but it was in a playful manner. Light banter between friends. Not like the way Umbridge had implied.
Minerva reached the Fat Lady, who was looking extremely annoyed at all the noise going on behind her, and said the password. The Fat Lady smiled at Minerva, before nodding and swinging aside to permit her to pass.
Minerva entered the portrait and stepped quietly into the room. Even though it was late at night, the fire was still roaring and she was right in thinking it was her fifth years that were making the entire ruckus.
Ron Weasley was sitting in the middle of the group waving his arms around madly. Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnigan were chortling loudly, Neville Longbottom was grinning at Ron’s manic antics and Lavendar Brown and Parvati Patil were downing butterbeers (where did they get those from, anyway?) and listening intently to the steady stream of chatter coming from Ron. Only two people looked out of place. Harry Potter and Hermione Granger were sitting opposite each other, both discussing something in low tones. They looked up and burst out laughing when Ron fell of his chair, after losing his balance, though.
Minerva smiled fondly at her students. Then realising she had been staring at them for the past thirty seconds, she shook herself mentally (what was coming over her these days?) and cleared her throat.
The effect was instantaneous. Parvati and Lavendar choked on their butterbeers and hid their bottles behind their backs. Ron, who was being helped out of the tangle of chairs by Neville, fell backwards again as Neville let go of his hand in shock, Seamus and Dean jumped up and ran to a nearby wall, clearly trying to hide something from Minerva’s view and Harry and Hermione’s face registered nothing but shock and apparent mirth at Ron’s predicament.
“Er – hello Professor,” Seamus said at last.
“Mr Finnigan and Mr Thomas, what is it that you are so eager to hide from me?” Minerva asked.
She could see a faint outline of a large picture stuck to the wall.
Dean and Seamus flushed, but the rest of the small group burst into stifled laughter.
“Erm…nothing of interest, Professor,” both boys said together. Then they looked at each other and grinned knowingly.
“Professor? Professor, I know we’re your favourite students and all, but if it’s not to rude to ask, why did you come here?” Ron asked. He seemed to be filled with TOO much excitement for his own group.
The girls stared at him open-mouthed, but the boys laughed.
The corners of Minerva’s mouth twitched. “How did you come to the conclusion that all of you were my favourite students, Weasley?” she asked.
“Well if you like us enough to come and visit us this late at night, it must mean someth –” Ron started, but Hermione interrupted.
“I think what Ron is trying to ask, Professor,” she said, throwing Ron a sharp glance. “Is why you are here?”
“You eight are making quite a bit of noise and our dear High Inquisitor couldn’t help but notice!” Minerva said.
Eight heads snapped up, annoyance apparent in their faces.
Harry dully asked, “Umbridge sent you?”
For once, Minerva didn’t bother correcting him by saying ‘Professor Umbridge’. She just let it pass.
“Yes, Potter. But I for one see no problem in your celebrations,” Minerva said quietly.
All the students grinned. They knew how much their Head of House was passionate about Quidditch and their win of the Quidditch Cup.
“Well then,” said the ever practical Hermione. “I guess we have to go to bed.”
Sighing and casting dark looks at the something that Dean and Seamus were still trying to hide, the students all got up from their comfortable positions.
Minerva struggled with herself for a moment. “I really don’t think that is entirely necessary if you don’t want to go!”
For the second time that night, all eight heads snapped up.
“Wait…what was that, Professor?” Ron said incredulously. “Did I hear you correctly?”
The group burst out into loud laughter.
Minerva let herself smile freely for the first time that night. “Yes, Weasley, you did. I see no harm in letting you continue if you don’t make so much noise and bring Umbri – I mean, Professor Umbridge running to my rooms once more.”
The boys started whooping.
“Shhh! Didn’t you hear what was just said?!” the girls hissed.
The boys flushed. “Sorry, Professor!” they chorused.
Minerva smiled at them again, before turning around and heading back to the portrait. On the way, she casually took her wand out from her robe pocket and waved it at the room, whilst muttering a few words. Only Hermione caught what she said and Minerva saw her face break into a huge smile.
“She put a Silencing Charm on the room!” Hermione said excitedly to the others, when Minerva left the room. “We can make as much noise as we want and nobody outside would be able to hear us!’
All of their faces broke into grins.
“You think she’ll want this?” Seamus said, pointing to the thing that he and Dean had been trying to hide.
Seven voices chorused, “Yes!” but one adamantly said, “No!”
Everyone looked at Hermione.
“What? How do you know you won’t get in trouble?” she asked.
“I’m sure we won’t! Come on, let’s go!” Ron said.
“What! Now?! With Umbridge flitting around out there?!” Hermione said loudly.
“It’s all part of the adventure, Hermione!” Dean exclaimed.
“Yeah! Let’s go!”
Silence. Everybody stared at Neville, who turned bright red.
“Neville?” said Harry wonderingly. “You actually want to do this?”
“Of course I do!” Neville said firmly.
The win of the Quidditch Cup seemed to have boosted everyone’s confidence.
“How do you even know that Professor McGonagall will want it?” Hermione said, clutching at straws.
“What? Of course she’ll want it!” Harry and Ron said together. “It’ll be a nice reminder.”
Dean grinned at the expression on Hermione’s face.
“Fine, I’ll come!” Hermione said grudgingly. “I swear if we get caught, all of you will never hear the end of it! Parvati? Lavendar? Are you coming?”
“Of course we are! We don’t want to miss out on anything!”
“Ok, let’s go!” Ron said.
“Wait! Let me get something!” Harry said. He dashed up to his dormitory and came back down with a large piece of parchment.
“Now we can go!”
Meanwhile, Minerva had come face to face with Umbridge yet again outside the Common Room. She wiped the small smile of her face instantly.
“What is it now, Dolores?” she said impatiently.
“I just thought I would come and see whether the job was done…” she answered in her annoying tone of voice.
“Yes, it is!” Minerva said in clipped tones and started to walk away.
“Good,” Umbridge said, starting to follow Minerva.
“What will it take for you to go away?” Minerva thought angrily.
“I heard laughter, whilst you were in there, Minerva,” she said suddenly.
Minerva stopped walking.
“And? Is there a rule somewhere that I have missed, saying that students can’t laugh in the presence of their teachers?” she said, looking Umbridge straight in the eye.
“I know it was you who made them laugh,” Umbridge said quietly.
Obviously, the thought that a teacher would actually allow students to laugh in front of them, let alone make them laugh, was scandalous to her.
“You know it was me? I think one Divination teacher in this school is bad enough! What is the problem of me making them laugh, in the first place?” Minerva asked coldly.
“I want to know how you ‘connect’ with your students!” Umbridge demanded suddenly.
Minerva smirked inwardly at the sorry creature before her.
“Sorry Dolores. That’s privileged information.”
Turning her back on the shocked look on Umbridge’s face, Minerva walked back calmly to her room.
“Neville stop clinging onto my arm!”
“Who has the picture?! Who has it?”
“It’s just our school! There’s no need to act so scared, Parvati!”
“It’s not the school I’m scared of, you twit! It’s bumping into Umbridge!”
Harry gritted his teeth. They were obviously new to sneaking around at night.
“Can all of you be quiet? With all the noise you’re making, the whole school will wake up, let alone Umbridge!”
Everyone fell silent, and Harry sighed. Holding the Marauder’s Map close to his face, he examined the corridors. No one was in sight, and Umbridge was finally back in her room.
“Ok, it’s all clear!”
They walked softly to Professor McGonagall’s room without disturbance and knocked on her door.
Minerva had just settled down in her bed when –
Minerva grimaced. Getting up once more and drawing her dressing robe around her, she muttered, “Hogwarts is going to find itself missing one High Inquisitor tomorrow!”
Unbolting her door abruptly she opened her mouth, ready to give Umbridge a piece of her mind.
There was no one there.
Frowning, she looked around. There was a piece of parchment at her feet. She picked it up and opened the smaller piece of parchment that was spellotaped to the front.
Professor McGonagall, we thought you might like this. Dean was the creator of what we would like to call it: a masterpiece.
Your Favourite Fifth Year Gryffindors,
Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Dean, Seamus, Lavender and Parvati.
Smiling, Minerva opened the large piece of parchment and saw a hand drawn picture. A picture of a toad caught in the tentacles of the Giant Squid. The funniest thing about the picture was that the toad had the face of Umbridge. There was a brilliant resemblance. A speech bubble coming from the Giant Squid said, I heard about your latest Educational Decree. Getting rid of the Giant Squid for the Safety of the Students! We’ll see about that!
Minerva burst out laughing: Something she had not done in a long time. Then realising she was still standing in the doorway to the corridor, she controlled herself and walked back into her room, shaking her head and smiling.
“I told you she’d like it!” Ron exclaimed, from behind a nearby corner. Hermione punched him on the shoulder playfully.
“You weren’t the only one who said it!” Neville and Harry said.
“Great drawing, Dean!” Lavender said.
“Thanks. I think it’s one of my better ones!” he replied.
Laughing the eight students walked back quietly to their Common Room. One thing was for sure, the party wasn’t over yet!
Minerva put the picture in the pocket of her emerald robes for the next day. She knew that as long as there were students like hers in the school whilst Umbridge was in charge, things would be alright. They had definitely won more than the match tonight. Besides, the teachers were going to have a great time tomorrow…once Minerva showed up with the picture that is…
A/N: Hehehe. Ok, so this just came into my mind the other day, and wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote it! In the end, I found it so much fun to write this because if all the humour. I hope all of you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. So there it is. Please leave me a review if you liked it! :D
CLUE THE THIRTY-NINTH:
If you want to move quickly…well, then this is a way.
What can help you go from point B to point A?