Chapter 5 : The New Headmistress
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“This is utterly ridiculous,” cried Professor McGonagall, “there is no way that the Ministry would be foolish enough to assign you this post again. Not with all the damage you caused the first time.”
“Well, read it and weep, dearie, because here are the orders.”
McGonagall took the papers from Umbridge’s hands and began to scan them carefully. Harry watched the scene from the back with a stern countenance, not to mention the fact that just the sight of the large, loud woman and the shrill of her high-pitched squeal of a voice made him agitated. He saw McGonagall’s face turn white as she looked up. His or her eyes met as she announced to everyone else that “everything seems to be in order.”
“But how?” She demanded
“Quite simple really, the Ministry had no choice. When the post of headmaster becomes vacant due to extraordinary circumstances, then any person who has held the job previously and is still alive must be offered the opportunity to fill the post in an interim basis until a permanent candidate can be found and hired. As I am the only one who qualifies, it was mine by default. Now move over, dearie, it’s my show now and it’s done my way.”
This time, Umbridge wasn’t even coming close to putting on that fake sugar coated sweetness that had sickened Harry throughout his fifth year. She looked at Filch and smiled. Filch was jumping up and down with a look of ecstasy on his face. Whatever she was about to say, he knew all about it and was happy – that wasn’t good. Harry was becoming angrier by the second.
“Now then,” Umbridge began, “let’s get one thing straight. I make the rules and no one will disobey them. We will have true discipline in this school. You have been coddled for far too long.”
“First of all, if anyone is caught with any item coming out of that shop of the Weasley twins will be expelled immediately. You have until tomorrow morning to hand all items over to Mr. Filch.
“Also, all clubs and teams are disbanded…permanently”
“Finally, all infractions will be met out with serious penalties, including the use of the corporeal punishments that were instituted when I was here the last time. She then pointed straight at Ginny. “Starting with you getting five.”
Ginny gasped in horror. “For what? I have done nothing”
“You are not dressed in your robes.”
“We don’t have to have robes on until tomorrow...” Several students were heard to say “That’s right”
“Well, I just changed that. You have to have them on now, and you don’t. FIVE!”
“Now see here! We do not abuse students in this manner, Madam!” McGonagall shouted.
“Shut up or you’re next!” She then turned to Hermione and Ron, who were still holding hands as they had done since the car trip. “So, little sweethearts are we? We’ll fix that right now. I haven’t forgotten what you did to me two years ago.”
Harry was almost at the boiling point. Moody wasn’t far behind him. He put his hand on Harry’s shoulder and motioned for him to stay back for now.
“Let’s see, I will start with moving you both out of Gryffindor.”
“WHAT?” Ron and Hermione said together.
“That’s right. Mr. Weasley will go to Hufflepuff and Miss Granger will be in Ravenclaw. Furthermore, you two are forbidden to see each other this entire school year. If you are caught together, it costs your houses 500 points each. I am going to make you two examples of what happens to people who defy me.”
She turned back to Ginny and produced a cat-of-nine-tails. Ginny began to shake when Harry’s hand touched her shoulder. She looked up at him. “That bitch will never touch you.” He thought to her. “I agreed to let Moody go first, but if he doesn’t get her…I will.” Ginny looked at Harry’s face and saw it twisted in anger she had never seen before. Moody stepped in front of her.
“You are not taking that thing to this young lady, woman. You can threaten me all you want, but it isn’t going to help you.” Moody declared.
“You won’t stop me! You’re going to Azkaban.”
“Let’s see you try.”
“The orders are all set, they only need MY signature. You will step aside and behave yourself if you know what’s good for you. That little brat girl is getting what’s coming to her and no one is going to stop me”
“THAT IS ENOUGH!!!” Harry shouted. “YOU WILL DO NOTHING TO ANYONE, YOU TWO-BIT FAT BITCH!”
“Aha! I finally got to you, did I? In case you haven’t guessed, the reason I picked on the girl was that I saw you two together on the train. I am going to enjoy laying this on her while you watch.” Umbridge was grinning from ear to ear now.
“Harry, don’t do anything…” Moody said.
“Alastor, get the HELL OUT OF MY WAY!!”
Moody saw Harry’s face and moved quickly to let him pass. He stayed in a position to block Umbridge’s view of Ginny.
Harry stopped at the circle in the middle of the Great Hall. He stared at Umbridge with loathing and hate seething in his face, which was red with anger to the point of purple. Umbridge, due to being nearly blind as a bat, could not see Harry’s face well enough to tell anything.
“So, little Harry Potter thinks he can save his friends from my wrath does he? Have I got news for you, boy!” Umbridge starts in; with several Slytherins starting to chuckle until the tables and benches start shaking, then their eyes grew wide with fear. Everyone else’s eyes grew wide too. They know it is Harry, but no one realized he had gotten that strong. They start getting up and moving to the side of the Hall. Umbridge still can’t see that far. “I have been saving the best for you. When I am done with you, you’ll be begging for those lines I gave you as a relief for what I have in store. But first, you’re going to watch as I take care of your little friends. I’m the Boss, and I am going to make sure everyone knows it by getting even with you and your three friends.”
“You won’t be here ten minutes from now, bitch!” Harry said through clenched teeth.
“Oh I won’t will I? And how are you going to accomplish that? Your Occlumency stinks Potter and I have been using Legilimency on you since you opened your mouth and told me where you were, boy. I am ready for anything you have. And I am a far superior Witch to anything you can possibly be.”
“You threatened my friends” Harry thought as strongly as he could.
“Yes I threatened your friends, you little punk.” She announced smugly.
“Worse, you threatened Ginny with physical harm, you fat, ugly pigmy-puff on steroids…”
“What the hell is a Pigmy Puff?” Suddenly, no sooner as the question had got out of her mouth, Umbridge shot up into the air at least five meters spinning head over backward the entire way up. Everyone looked to see Harry with his right hand slightly in front of his chest, waist high, palm up, with the fingers in the classic spell-casting position…but NO WAND!
“You come into MY school; threaten MY friends, including an act cruel and painful to the sweetest girl that has ever set foot in this place; and who has never done or said one bad thing about you. After what you did two years ago, which caused the death of MY GODFATHER? And you have the nerve to think I am going to let you walk around here as if nothing is wrong. You just made the worst mistake of your miserable life bitch. Enjoy the ride, if you can.”
Suddenly, Harry pushed his hand out and Umbridge went flying into the east wall above the Headmaster’s Chair. He gestured again, and she crashed into the row of tables reserved for Hufflepuff students. A third and she went headlong into the chandelier. More chairs, more walls, a couple of mirrors. Harry was throwing Umbridge around like a rag-doll. At first, people thought it was funny, and then realized that Harry showed no signs of letting up. All the while, he muttered under his breath words that no one heard, but everyone could guess was such as they did not want repeated. No one had ever made Harry that angry, not even Malfoy. Moody and McGonagall attempted to stop him, but he just pushed them away.
“You will never harm another living soul again, you bitch!”
“HARRY!!” Came a shout inside is head so loud it echoed for several long seconds. He turned to see Ginny looking at him crying. “What are you doing?"
“Giving this bitch what she deserves.”
“Harry, no.” She touched his chest. “You can’t. We have no right.”
“No right, after what she was going to do to you???”
“But she didn’t, you stopped that. But we are not her judges, that job is for others. Please, do not take revenge on my account. Please, my love. Let it go.”
Harry stared at her while still suspending Umbridge in the air. Umbridge was a mess. There was blood streaming from her nose and mouth and bruises everywhere. She had clearly been knocked senseless. He looked at Ron and Hermione, who stared at him imploringly.
“Harry, let her go. She can’t hurt us.” Hermione pleaded with him.
Ginny touched his chest again and talked aloud this time. “No one blames you for taking action. She’s finished. You’ve beaten her, my darling. There is nothing to be gained now.” She pointed to the first years. “And we must think of the children.”
Harry brought Umbridge down to where her eye met with his while she was still upside down.
“If I EVER see you again, I will make you wish the Centaurs had kept you…Oppugno!”
Umbridge shot forward though one of the pane glass windows. About ten seconds later, a very audible splashing sound was heard from the direction of the lake.
“Nice shot, my love.” Ginny said as she smiled at him. Harry put his arm around her and kissed her cheek.
“You were right, Harry. Seven minutes and forty-one seconds.” Moody exclaimed. There was light laughter from the students, although many of them were still scared.
“Professor McGonagall, please inform the Ministry that there interim Headmistress is unable to fulfill her duties and they will need to send a replacement immediately.” He then stared at the teacher stating, “Also tell them I had better like the NEXT one a whole lot better. Now, I am heading to the library. There is a book I want to have a look at in the Restricted Section, so that is what I am going to do.” Several students gasped. “Unless, of course, there is someone who thinks that they can stop me.” He walked out towards the big double doors, stopping only to turn to the Slytherin students and say, “Piss me off at your own risk!” He then went through the door and slammed it behind him.
McGonagall starts to follow Harry but Moody intercepts her.
“I wouldn’t if I were you, Minerva, he’s still in a very foul mood. Seeing also as we don’t know what all he can do now.”
“But I just can’t let him walk into the Restricted Section.” She implored.
“Why not? If anyone has a need for those books, it’s him. Besides, he needs to calm down.”
“I would say so! Did he really think we were going to let Miss Weasley get WHIPPED for a rule that didn’t exist?”
“Yes he did, Professor, and with good reason. Umbridge tried to do an Unforgivable Curse on him when she was here last. I was there and saw her try.” Hermione said. “I have a better idea. Send Ginny to him first and give her a, say, ten-minute head start. Then the four of us can go and, with luck, Harry will be in a much better mood.”
“If you really want a much better mood, I need more than ten minutes, Hermione.” Ginny retorted slyly.
“Ginny!!!” Hermione shot her a look.
“I wasn’t talking about THAT!! Sheesh, Hermione, in the Library??? Please??? You might find that romantic, but I don’t. I meant that Harry was really, REALLY mad. There was a lot of hostility he didn’t get out.”
“Ten minutes, Miss Weasley.” Moody said quite firmly while looking at McGonagall, who nodded.
“Okay, but you might want to announce yourselves before walking in, just in case.” Ginny called back as she headed to the library to catch up to Harry.
Ginny made it upstairs to the Library just as Harry was exiting the Restricted Section. He had in his hand a relatively large book with the title “Advanced Alchemy for the Ages” on the singed front covers. Ginny simply stared at the book for a second, trying to determine if she ever knew what Alchemy was. Harry had just begun flipping though the book when Madame Pince came running up to him and attempted to take the book away from him. Harry pushed her away at once.
“How dare you go into the Restricted Section? Students are not allowed in that area! There will be Detention for this, mark my words!”
“Shut Up Old Woman...Now!” Harry bellowed back. Pince was flabbergasted.
“How dare you talk to me like that? Where do you get off just walking into this section like you own it?”
Harry walked right up to her until they were staring eye to eye separated by inches. Madam Pince is actually Harry’s height, something Ginny had never realized as she usually had seen the librarian hunched over some desk or book.
“Go back to the feast, Madam Pince.” Harry’s words were almost monotone and spoken slowly and deliberately. Ginny was wondering what Harry was up to. Madam Pince shook her head, as if waking up from a daydream and looked back fiercely.
“I never attend the feasts; I do not have time…”
“Go to the feast…” Harry repeated his monotone speech.
“Well I never...”
“There is always the first time, Madame Pince. Go to the feast. To the feast, the feast, feast…”
Ginny sees Madam Pince get very glassy-eyed as she starts slowly turning and walking out of the Library heading in the direction of the Great Hall. She slowly creeps up behind Harry as he is reading intently in the book. Harry?? Studying hard? This was something new, but Harry would have to be heavily into both study and training to have accomplished as much in as short of time as he had. She could see that he was, indeed, taking his role very seriously. She reached up to his back and slowly put her hands around his waist.
“Hello Ginny.” Harry turned to see her surprised face. “That flowery scent always gives you away. At first I thought it was something to do with you growing up at the Burrow, but now I know it is the scent that I attribute to your aura.”
“My what?” Ginny asked, very confused.
“Your aura. An aura is the energy of one’s life force that surrounds a person’s body while they are alive. Each person’s is unique, and is uniquely distinguishable from every other’s in a different way by everyone.”
“Say that in normal words, please?”
“Your aura smells like the flowers in the Burrow garden to me. To someone else, it would smell, or feel, something different. Nor would I recognize anyone else’s in the same way I do yours.”
“Oh. Okay, I guess that was my aura lesson for today.”
“If you like, I will teach you how to detect auras. That way you will know when someone is coming and, if you already know their aura in particular, who it is.”
“So you can’t sneak up on me either?’
“Yup, pretty much.”
“I would love to learn anything from you, Harry. But right now,” she said as she took his hand, “Just dance with me.” Ginny brought Harry very close to her and slowly made circles around the library floor.
“Ginny, I am not sure this is a good idea. Seeing as Umbridge was about to whip you for being next to me!”
“But she didn’t, and she’s not doing anything to anyone. All is well at Hogwarts, because of you, my love. AND, you have given your word that you will be here for the term at least. I know what happens when it is time to leave. I thought it was tonight, and I have a little more time with you. I thank the fates for that.”
“Thank Dumbledore and his will,” said Harry, then he scratched his head, “and his portrait I think?”
Harry and Ginny begin to dance slowly in small circles around the floor, holding each other tight around the waist. Harry breathes deep the flowery scent that he knows is Ginny. That scent he loves to smell so much as he is holding her. Though the dance is without music and silent, what is easily seen for anyone who watched was the love emanating from the two dancers. In this case, Professor(s) McGonagall and Moody were watching them. Neither teacher says anything at this point; they simply watch the two young lovers dance slowly. Harry begins to slowly stoke Ginny’s hair, to which she responds by nuzzling closer into his chest and slowly purring into him.
“I will always love you, Ginny Weasley, now and forever with all my heart.” Harry whispered into her ear. Ginny purred a little louder and nuzzled even closer to him, if that was possible.
“And I will love you and you only, Harry Potter, my darling.” Came Ginny’s reply.
“Oh, how sweet! Just take’s your breath away” Moody said to McGonagall. Harry and Ginny stopped and turned to stare at the two teachers. Ginny had a look of certain annoyance on her face for disturbing their peace.
“Alastor, you didn’t have to interrupt them.” McGonagall shot back.
“They would have stayed that way for hours, and I don’t have that much time on my leg left.”
Ginny walked over to Moody and said, “I will remember this, Mad-Eye. Believe me, I will.” Moody raised his eyebrows.
“You don’t want to upset her, Alastor; she knows quite a few very good hexes. She got an ‘O’ on Defense against the Dark Arts on her O.W.L.’s” McGonagall told him.
“Hmmm, I see I will have my hands full this year. This is why I am here to talk to Harry.”
“Yes, Professor Moody?” Harry asked.
“No, no, Alastor is appropriate, especially for what I am about to ask you.” Harry looked puzzled. “You see, I am not recovered from Barty Crouch’s little stunt in using me as a template two years ago, so I am not able to stand and teach as much as I should. I also don’t have the, shall we say, temperament for younger students”
“Okay, where is this leading?”
“As I have heard that you were the one responsible for keeping the School up on its Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons during Umbridge’s stint as teacher, I was wondering if you would teach the first thru third years. It is all pretty much the same thing that you did with Dumbledore’s Army.”
Harry thought for a minute. “I will need some help. Unlike Snape, I don’t believe in using the younger students for target practice.”
Ginny batted her eyelashes right at him. “I would be glad to help you Harry.” She said in a singsong voice
“Ginny, quit that. You’re sounding like a groupie.”
“No, but I am definitely not leaving you alone with the girls.”
“What? You don’t trust me?” Harry said with a mock shocked look.
“I trust you, but I don’t trust them!!!”
Moody laughed heartily at that. “It is settled then. You have your assistant.”
“I guess I do. Very well, Alastor, I accept.”
“Excellent, I will let Minerva go over the detail of your new authority that goes along with the position, Professor Potter.” While Harry groaned at being called professor (made him feel old), Moody continued laughing as he exited the library.
“Well, fancy idea he came up with there. That’s one way to get out of teaching classes.” Harry said to McGonagall.
“Actually, it was my idea, Harry.” Came McGonagall’s reply.
“Yours??? Why? I can understand Moody’s reasoning, but what motive would you have?”
“Quite simple reason really, to find a place for you here. As you won’t be a typical student, the dorms are not appropriate. As a teacher, you will also have access to certain sections of the school. That way you won’t have to keep enchanting Madam Pince for example.”
“Yes, well, I can see where that would be better. Having the school librarian walking around like a zombie everyday is probably not good.” Said Ginny while trying to stifle a laugh.
“Plus,” McGonagall went on, “You will have your own quarters at your disposal. No need to run back and forth from Grimmald Place.”
“That will have its benefits too, my love.” Ginny flashed that wicked grin again.
“Miss Weasley, may I remind you that you are still a student.”
“But I am also his assistant, which means I have to get to wherever he is, doesn’t it?”
“I suppose that’s true…within reason.”
“Oh, please. You make it sound like I am going to try to seduce him in the middle of the Great Hall in front of everyone.”
“You practically did a half an hour ago.”
“I did NOT! I hugged him because I was happy to hear he was staying.”
“Which only you two heard. Tell me, are Miss Granger and your brother similarly linked together?”
Ginny winced and started squirming a little, “well, ah, you see, I don’t know that for sure.”
“But it is probably a good bet. I figured as much.” She looked at Ginny’s concerned face and rolled her eyes. “My turn to say ‘Oh, Please,’ eh Miss Weasley? Do you think I am going to enforce any rule that is going to inhibit Harry’s preparations? Certainly not. All I ask is that you do everything to make sure that no students find out.”
“Discretion will be used, Professor.” Harry stated.
“That’s another thing, Harry. My name is Minerva, and I expect all the staff to use it. Welcome to the teaching staff, Harry.”
“Thank you…Minerva. Also, I do apologize for the outburst in the Hall this afternoon.
“Apology accepted, although I will admit I found the splashing sound of Umbridge landing in the lake to be rather enjoyable. Moreover, the Minister has already stated that a new Headmaster will be chosen quickly. I did warn him that you were quite willing to use that…ahem…veto power again if the next choice was similarly unacceptable.”
Harry smirked. He could tell that McGonagall really did enjoy watching Umbridge take flight after all the trouble she had caused once before. Ron and Hermione entered the library just in time to see Harry’s response to McGonagall last statement.
“We just talked to Moody. We’re not going to have to call you Professor Potter now, are we?” Asked Ron with a look on his face.
“Only if you want to be seriously hexed.” Harry replied. Ron breathed a sigh of relief.
“Well,” Hermione noted, although slowly as if she was pointing out something she didn’t want to, which she was. “Technically, we are supposed to as he is now a teacher.”
Harry groaned at this, and then looked at McGonagall.
“Minerva, do my assistants have to use that title?”
“That is up to you, but Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger are not your assistants.” She said with a sort of sweet voice because she knew what Harry was going to say next.
“Well, they are now. And I am still Harry to them…period. It is going to be bad enough hearing it from the rest of the students.”
“You do get used to it.”
“Yeah? I should live so long.” Ginny shuddered when she heard Harry say that. She didn’t like thinking about what he had to do any more than she had to. One thing was for certain, she was going to take advantage of every opportunity she had to be with Harry and make him happy, regardless of what anyone else thought. All the others will just have to understand and cope, even her mother.
“I believe the Room of Requirement will be a better place to continue this discussion, as I think it has been prepared for you, Harry.” Said McGonagall.
“Well then, lead on.”
And with that, all five of them headed out of the library and toward the seventh floor.
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