Chapter 146 : Brainstorming
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The Ministry was interfering at Hogwarts. She’d picked up on this straight away; one of only a few. The majority of the students had either been eager to tuck in, or weren’t close enough to Harry to connect all the dots.
If Dumbledore was right, You-Know-Who would soon enough show his face, but maybe then it would be too late. It was eating away at her. She wasn’t naďve enough not to realise she with her heritage and her friendship with Harry would be one of the prime targets, but more than that, she cared for everyone else. Almost all of Ron’s family was fighting in the Order or eager to, Muggleborns like Dean, or Colin and Dennis Creevey and so many more would be at risk. And then there was Hagrid, and all the house-elves that worked at Hogwarts. They seemed to like her knitted hats and scarves well enough as they were always gone in the mornings, but surely a crazy dark lord bent on blood purity wouldn’t treat them in a decent way, let alone let them live in freedom.
Getting back at Umbridge and standing up to her in class seemed so insignificant. She and the Ministry were helping the Death Eaters, unknowingly, by not letting them practice their defence skills. Those skills would be vital in the future, she was sure.
She could always cajole Harry and Ron to practice. They could meet in the boys’ dorm, where no one would interfere. Maybe ask Ginny too, her younger friend threw a wicked curse if she wanted to. Plus, even if her parents and older brothers would loathe seeing her fight, it would be best if Ginny knew how to defend herself if blow came to blow.
Meeting in the boys’ dorm would most likely mean letting Seamus, Dean and Neville in on the secret as well. But hadn’t she just thought that Dean too would most likely need to defend himself one day? Not to speak of Neville, who must have come in contact with the Avada Kedavra curse somehow, judging from his reaction during Moody’s infamous lesson? Seamus was currently not on speaking terms with them, but she didn’t doubt that he would come round at some point; he was a hot-head, but had a good heart.
And what makes you think only Gryffindors need to be able to defend themselves? A voice piped up in her head. Immediately, her thoughts turned to the other students in her year. Justin Finch-Fletchley of Hufflepuff came to mind first, but he wasn’t the only one. Only then, a dormitory would not suffice, and a common room wouldn’t do either. First off, it was far too likely a teacher could walk in, and second, it would raise suspicion if students from different houses were caught in there.
With just a few Gryffindors, they could mask it as study group, but all houses together? That again led her to wondering whether there were any Slytherin students who would be interested, or were they actually okay with the way things were headed? Malfoy certainly hadn’t been horrified at Dumbledore’s announcement about You-Know-Who’s return, and seemed to advance to one of Umbridge’s favourites.
And another thing entirely; who would teach them? A teacher? She thought McGonagall might do it, if only to thwart Umbridge, but they had already seen that not even the senior staff counted anything with Umbridge and the Ministry. She could imagine helping with the theoretical stuff, but she wasn’t going to pretend she had the patience to teach others. She was more book-smart, just like she had told Harry down in the bowels of Hogwarts when they had been trying to stop Quirrel from taking the Philosopher’s Stone.
The pencil almost slipped from her fingers at that new thought. Harry! Of course! He had the passion it took to inspire others. He had excelled under Professor Lupin, the only one of her past teachers in Defence Against the Dark Arts she held in high regards. And Harry had seen Cedric Diggory die, and seen You-Know-Who come back. He was the only one who could convince those who were willing to listen.
Hermione took a deep breath. She knew it would probably take a lot of work to convince him to do this. But they needed to learn this. No one was teaching them, so they would need to do it themselves. She needed some really convincing arguments, and maybe Ron’s help.
The Order was doing all they could, but had made it clear Hermione and the others who spent the summer at Grimmauld Place were too young to fight. Well, Cedric’s example showed You-Know-Who didn’t consider them too young to die.
It was the only possible precaution she could think of to ensure they weren’t just easy prey, but it seemed better than nothing. And anyway, she needed to convince Harry first. If she could do that, she could also say the name aloud. Voldemort. It was time for a few changes.
But first things first. Ron, and then Harry when he would be back from his detention with Umbridge. Then the other students. And if they knew how many would possibly want to participate, they could worry about a meeting place.
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