Chapter 22 : Correcting Umbridge
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It was a week before Christmas break began at Hogwarts and I received a letter from Victoire. Hogsmeade was today and she wanted to meet. I arrived – naturally – an hour before she was due, but I couldn’t help it. It would be the first time seeing her since sending her off on the Hogwarts Express.
As I waited for the mass of students to start arriving in the village I kept my eyes peeled for Victoire and he perfect mess of blond hair that sat like a crown upon her head. I spotted her before she spotted me and ran to met her. As I pulled her out from the crowd I heard her giggle.
I smiled at her and kissed her gently on the lips before pulling her into the Three Broomsticks. This was the first Hogsmeade weekend she had been able to go to since the school year started and I was lucky enough to have it off. My current training had me on a very tight schedule, but the perks of knowing higher ups in the Ministry got me the weekend off.
I walked up to the counter and ordered us two butterbeers, holding her hand the entire time. In the mirror, behind the bar, I saw three students that shouldn’t be there. I laughed slightly to myself, Victoire sent me a questioning look. I just shook my head at her and handed the barmaid a few Sickles for our butterbeers. I then proceeded to pulled Victoire over to the far table, sitting down across from three young boys.
I watched with much satisfaction as the three boys froze and one even dropped his butterbeer on his shirt and the table.
Victoire gave me an odd look before she took in the faces of the three boys sitting across from us. Her eyes grew wide and I smiled at the shocked looks glued on their faces.
“Hello, boys.” I grinned at James, Fred and Sirius.
“What are you doing here?” James finally spoke, whipping the butterbeer he spilt off his shirt. Sirius by now seemed to relax a little more than the others and began drinking his butterbeer again.
I laughed. “Not the best question to ask, Jamie.”
I took a drink of my butterbeer and grabbed Victoire’s hand, holding it under the table. From the corner of my eye I saw her grin and she squeezed my hand.
“We just fancied a drink…” Fred mumbled into his butterbeer.
“You could get expelled for this.” Victoire said sternly, smirking behind her drink.
Horror crossed Fred and James’ faces. Sirius was however, called our bluff and smirked at his two best friends. When Fred and James looked at one another, I winked at Sirius and he nodded back with a smile.
“What should we tell McGonagall?” I said with mock humor in my voice.
“Please don’t tell!” James nearly shouted.
I held back a laugh from the horror that was written all over his face.
“Well, Teddy. If we tell on them we would be hypocrites…” Victoire told me. “I mean, we might have snuck out once…”
“Or twice…” I grinned at her, remembering all the times we had dates here on weekends that were not assigned Hogsmeade weekends. Fred and James seemed to calm down a little bit now and I turned to them. “We aren’t going to say anything. We just came over here to tease you.”
I let that sink in and watched as Fred and James seemed to relax more now. James suddenly eyed the two of us suspiciously and his eyes narrowed.
“Why are you here then?”
I sighed; James wasn’t the most observant child. Before I could answer, Sirius elbowed him in the side and answered for me.
“They are on a date, you moron.”
James looked at his best friend with a frown, but Fred jumped on this opportunity.
“Aww, little Teddy and Vicky going on a datey-poo?” Fred began making kissing noises and Victoire kicked him from under the table. “Ow!”
“That reminds me…I won the bet…” Sirius grinned at James.
James frowned. “That’s not fair…”
“I think it’s perfectly fair, after all, it’s your family so you should have known before I guessed it.” Sirius smirked at James.
“What bet?” I asked.
James gave me a grave look. “Sirius bet that you two were dating last year, when we first met…”
“And clearly I won.” Sirius wore a triumphant look on his face.
I laughed, but Victoire frowned.
“How did you know?” Victoire asked. “You knew even before Christmas and you had not been around the family that long…”
“It’s easy to see with you two.” Sirius shrugged. “The way you guys were so defensive and obvious about it. Plus I could see the way Teddy looks at you.”
“A lot of guys look at Vicky.” I sighed and Victoire elbowed me in the stomach, frowning.
Sirius shook his head. “Not the same way you do, and she looks back.”
James gave Sirius a curious look. “You noticed all of that, mushy crap?”
Sirius shrugged again. “Like I said, it was obvious. I didn’t really have to notice anything.”
Victoire and I stayed with the boys for a little while longer before leaving. Fred, James and Sirius were going to head back soon, before they really did get caught and actually did get expelled.
Victoire and I held hands on our way to the Shrieking Shack and started talking about them again.
“You know it’s funny all that stuff Sirius said.” Victoire told me. “I don’t think we look at each other that differently.”
“No, he’s right.” I smiled. It was frightening how right Sirius had been – almost like he had seen it before. “I do look at you differently than the other guys do, and you do the same.”
She smiled and looked down. I could see the blush in her cheeks. “I suppose I do…I guess now that I think about it, it’s really sweet…”
I smiled and looked down at her. Nothing could be more perfect than it was now.
I groaned as Ron flipped more papers onto the desk in front of me. He grinned.
“Sorry Ted, but you should get use to doing paperwork if you want to be an Auror.” Ron told me. “I need these in an hour, by the way…”
“RON! Stop giving Teddy your work. That’s not why he’s here.” I heard my Godfather’s voice from the Head’s office.
Ron cussed and shoved me out of his chair so he could get to his work. He mumbled a few more cusswords as I slipped into Harry’s office. He too had a mound of paperwork. I smiled at him and he smiled back.
“So…What am I here for?” I asked. After training this morning I was dragged down to the Auror office by Ron – saying that Harry needed me for something. I quickly found out Ron did this to all the Auror’s in training. He often collected them after their class was done – when they still had free time before their next class – told them how they can start work early in the actual Auror office, then shoved his paperwork onto them.
Harry looked up to me and smiled. “I was going to invite you to lunch. I haven’t seen you in a few days and I wanted to catch up on your training.”
“You know what will tell us more about his training?” Ron’s muffled voice came from out in the main office.
“He’s not doing your work Ron!” Harry yelled back.
I laughed. “I’m assuming this just came in…” I picked up a random paper from the top of Harry’s huge stack.
Harry nodded as I read the first few lines. “Actually early this week.”
“Who wrote this?” I asked.
“You picked up the werewolf report…didn’t you?” Harry sighed as he took it from me and scanned it.
“I didn’t know werewolves were a prime suspect.” I growled. “Is this how you are running your search for the pureblood incidents?”
“No, I received some pressure from the council. If I didn’t clear them now there would have been even more negative – and longer lasting effects.” Harry glanced through the report that I picked up. “Neville had a person on the inside that has fully attested to their movements and says that there is nothing suspicious about them. It was quite the detailed report and I feel that the person who wrote these reports are in favor of werewolf rights and don’t hold the same bias, which the council might hold…”
“You don’t have their name?” I asked, not angry anymore. I almost forgot how much my Godfather fought for me and even my father after his death.
“I have one – but I’m under the impression it’s a fake one.” Harry sighed. “Neville said they didn’t want their identity revealed to the public and that if they needed to come forth to testify, Neville will have to replace them…”
“Maybe they are a werewolf too.” I put out there.
Harry shook his head. “No, I don’t think so…”
He focused on the paper for a long moment before he glanced back at me again. “I’m sorry Teddy…I know I invited you up here…”
“I understand Harry.” I grinned. “I’m supposed to meet someone for a quick lunch here anyways.”
Harry smiled. “I’ll see you for dinner then?”
“Afraid not…” I grimaced.
Harry gave me a questioning look.
“I’m having dinner at Bill’s…” I mumbled.
“Ah.” Harry nodded like he understood. “I’ll see you later then, Teddy.”
“See you.” I said, nodding to Ron as I left.
I slipped out of the office and made my way to the Minister’s offices. Kingsley seemed to be currently in the middle of a meeting, as I slipped pass his office – but I found who I was looking for at the desks where the assistants were. Well, more like the assistants to the assistants – those who did the grunt work and got little to no credit.
The person I was looking for had her brown hair pulled back into a neat pony-tail on the back of her head. Her dress robes looked crisp and cut perfectly as she scanned over the document on her deck. She wore a look that told me she had thought about pulling her hair out already today.
“Are you ready for our lunch date, love?” I whispered in her ear.
She jumped up, giving me the reaction I was hoping for. I recoiled back laughing as she wacked me on the arm rather hard.
“Lupin! I don’t recall us having a lunch date.” Amber hissed at me as she sat back down.
“Well, you were glaring at me yesterday when I saw you. And since I’m an expert at decoding your glares – especially after last year – it clearly meant, ‘Lupin, let’s have lunch!’” I sat on Amber’s desk and glancing at her document she was currently going over. “That looks boring…so, lunch?”
“I’m busy, Ted. And that glare yesterday wasn’t a ‘lunch date’ glare it was a ‘why didn’t you tell me you knew the Minister’ glare.” Amber huffed. “You’re losing your touch.”
I smirked. “Maybe you are losing yours. And to answer your question, he’s a family friend.”
Amber glared. “I assumed as much after yesterday. That doesn’t tell me how though…”
“Well, you see that’s why we have a lunch date.” I informed her.
“You need to eat, you’re looking fat.” I told her in a serious tone.
“No wonder Victoire and you are not together.” Amber said after she hit me. “You clearly don’t know how to charm a lady.”
“Actually, Victoire and I are together now. And you’re no lady.” I took my wand out and flicked it. The papers on her desk began to dance.
Amber glared. “Whatever you are doing Ted, it’s not going to work…”
“How did you ever guess I was insulting you until you come and eat with me?” I said in fake shock.
“Because you did it all last year…” Amber groaned, obviously remembering all of our fun times together as Head Boy and Girl. With a flick of her wand the papers ceased dancing around.
“Damn, I need a new strategy…” I mused. I glanced to Kingsley’s office. Some of the people were dispersing. There appeared to be only one or two people in there. “I guess…I’ll just have to have lunch with my best friend Kingsley…” Amber’s eyes grew wider and her head snapped up to me to see if I was bluffing. “Bye, bye Amber-dear.”
I jumped off her desk and skipped off into Kingsley’s office. I heard Amber’s footsteps behind me and grinned as I knocked outside the door.
“Kings?” I called to him. Kingsley turned to me suddenly with an unreadable expression. This probably meant the meeting went bad. “Do you want to get lunch with Amber and myself?”
Amber just caught up and froze in horror behind me.
“Teddy, they are still talking.” Amber pulled my arm. “Come on, let’s get lunch. I’m sorry Minister.”
“No, no. We had just finished up. I could actually use a lunch, thank you for the invite, Teddy and Amber.” Kingsley said as he was getting up.
“Hem, hem.” My eyes fluttered to the second person in the room. I started shaking in rage as I saw the women. She shifted in her pink robes and her eyes were on me in disgust. “We are actually still talking, Minister.”
“No, we are done. I have nothing more I wish to speak to you about Umbridge.” Kingsley glared at her.
Umbridge huffed and made her way to the doorway. She froze upon seeing me on the other side. I wasn’t standing in it or anything, just to the side. I raised an eyebrow at her. “Go ahead.”
“Move out of the way.” She said unevenly.
“I’m not in the way.” I said forcefully. She didn’t move. I tried to smile, but I felt it twist on my face when I spoke again. “What’s wrong? I don’t bite.”
Umbridge’s eyes widened and she quickly darted past me. I watched her retreat down out of the room.
I turned to Kingsley. “On second thought, I’m not really hungry anymore…”
I turned to leave.
“Amber, stop him.” On cue, Amber stepped in my way and forced me into the office. I turned and saw Kingsley flick his wand, shutting the door behind us.
“I hate her Kingsley!” I shouted.
“Hey!” Amber said thinking that I was talking about her.
“I know.” Kingsley said understanding.
“I thought her stupid prejudice would end after school! But no, here I am being treated awful, by that horrible old hag!” I pointed to the door as if she was still there. “Why is she still at the Ministry anyways?”
“Don’t worry about her.” Kingsley tried to brush it off, but I was still fuming from just seeing her. “Teddy, please don’t give her a second thought. If I had my way she would have been gone the moment I became Minister, but there are complications.”
I glared and rolled my eyes are nothing in particular.
“Well, now. Amber you will be joining us for lunch then?” Kingsley asked her.
Amber, was currently staring at me and jumped when she was addressed directly by Kingsley. “Umm…if it’s not too much trouble, Minister…”
“Not at all.” Kingsley placed his hand on my shoulder. “And I need you to calm down, Ted.”
“I am calm!” I said like a child.
“Really? Then mind telling me why your hair is a very bright shade of red and sticking out on all ends?” Kingsley countered.
“I fancy the color.” Honestly, I didn’t even realize it changed. I had very good control of it most the time and my hair wasn’t as ‘mood ring-like’ as most believed. This was the first time, in a long time, that it changed without my doing.
“Your eyes are darker too…” Amber added, unhelpfully.
“I can change them when I want to and I wanted to!” I lied.
Neither appeared to buy it, but it seemed like they were going to let me have my way. I followed Kingsley and Amber without a word into the dining area. It was similar to the dining hall in Hogwarts. Food appeared on the table and continued to appear through certain time periods in the day. Only difference is this was house elf and wizard doing. The kitchens at the Ministry were comprised of both and not quite as many house elves as Hogwarts had.
I picked out some random bits of food and sat them on my plate. I truly wasn’t hungry anymore so I took my place at the table, picking the chicken off the bone and pretending to eat.
Kingsley sat next to me and Amber across. They both gave me a worried look. Kingsley was the type to let me pout in peace. Amber wasn’t.
“Lupin, what has your wand in a knot?” She huffed at me.
“Umbridge.” I said simply.
“Yes, and?” She pushed me to continue.
“And she’s an old hag that hasn’t dropped dead yet.”
“Teddy Remus Lupin.” Kingsley said warningly.
“If we weren’t at the Ministry, you would be saying the same thing.” I glared at my plate.
“Yes, but there is a time and a place for things and this is neither.” Kingsley poured himself a bowl of soup.
“Minister, if you don’t might me asking…why does he hate her?” Amber asked Kingsley now.
“I’m right here!”
“Yes, but you are not answering quick enough for me and I don’t have time to pull the answers out of you like before.” Amber kicked me from underneath the table.
Kingsley looked at me for a moment and then turned to Amber. “How old is Teddy?”
“My age, he’s eighteen.” Amber looked at Kingsley like he was asking a stupid question.
“Are you sure?” Kingsley looked at me.
Amber stared now too. I sighed.
“I’m nineteen.” I told her. “I’m a year older than you.”
“No, no you’re not.” Amber said in disbelief. “You would have been in Hogwarts before me if that were so.”
It was Kingsley’s turn to sigh now. “What do you know about Teddy’s family?”
“He knows a lot of famous people, including his godfather, who is Harry Potter.” Amber nudged me under the table again. I didn’t look up though. “He was raised by his grandmother and Harry, is what I know.”
“Do you know what happened to his mother and father?” Kingsley looked at me now.
“They died during the war.” Amber looked at me too. I continued to pull the chicken apart.
“They were very good friends of mine. Nymphadora Tonks was an Auror – like I use to be – and Remus Lupin was one of the best men I’ve ever known.” Kingsley smiled, but I tried not to look. I didn’t like these stories. I knew them, and right now they were making me sentimental. I wanted to be mad. “Tonks and Remus died in the final battle at Hogwarts and Teddy was raised – like you said – by his grandmother and Harry.
“Teddy grew up with a really great family. He was a metamorphmagus like his mother and studious like his father. The prefect mix of them. About a month before he was suppose to start school, Umbridge petitioned the school and said it was too dangerous for Teddy to be at Hogwarts.” Kingsley shook his head.
“Too dangerous?” Amber looked at me.
Kingsley smiled. “Yes, because Remus Lupin also had a condition and Umbridge convinced the school board Teddy inherited it.”
“What? Metamorphmagus’ are not dangerous and if his father was fine then Teddy is–”
“You’re not listening Amber. I got that from my mother. According to Umbridge…” I paused and actually looked her in the eyes this time, to see her response. “According to Umbridge I inherited lycanthropy from my father.”
Amber froze. “That’s ridiculous, that would mean–”
“That would mean my father had it and he was a werewolf.” I finished for Amber. “Well that part is true.”
Amber was silent for a moment. “Was your father able to come to school?”
“While he was affected?”
I nodded again.
“And he didn’t hurt anyone?”
“Nope. He’s clean.”
“Then I don’t see the problem.” Amber finally said.
I let out the breath I had been holding in for a while.
“I’m not affected by it Amber.” I looked down again.
“That’s not the point. With modern potions, we shouldn’t have any problem with you going to school even if you were.” Amber almost shouted. “Your father was a good man and probably didn’t ever hurt anyone who didn’t deserve it, but Umbridge she–”
“She held Teddy back from school. Harry, McGonagall and I all overturned it, but it was already halfway in the semester before that was possible and we decided just to let him start next school year.” Kingsley nodded. “Umbridge is really a monster.”
“Kingsley Shacklebolt!” I said with a mock tone to my voice. “Do you know where we are?”
Kingsley laughed and I finally followed his suit. It was hard to stay mad when he just reminded me how much he has done for me. I looked up and Amber was smiling, but it was sort of sad. I winked at her.
“Is my life story making you sad, Amber?” I teased.
She stuck her tongue out, this was something that was very un-Amber-like and it made me laugh even more. Amber’s smile froze and her eyes were trained behind me. I could almost hear what was going to happen next, but the high pitch sound still made me jump.
I tried to stop myself from jumping as high as I did, but it didn’t work. Especially, when Kingsley seemed to follow my lead.
The angry I had just suppressed boiled up again and I turned around to face my own personal metaphorical Lord Voldemort. Kingsley turned with me and glared almost and hard as I did – almost.
“May I help you?” Kingsley tone sounded anything, but helpful and completely unwilling as well.
“I wish to continue our talk we were having before we were interrupted, Minister.” She said sweetly, ignoring me completely.
“I don’t remember being interrupted except for at this very moment by you.” Kingsley shot back at her. “Now if you please, I’m having lunch.”
“Would you mind if I joined you?” She smiled, but it didn’t reach her eyes.
“Yes, we would.” I said. She turned to me now and glared. I glared back. “Careful, Pinky. I didn’t have my shots today.”
She jumped back and I heard Amber coughing to cover up a laugh.
“Is that a threat?” She hissed.
“No, a threat would be something along the lines of, ‘If you sit next to us, I’ll bite you.’” I smiled at her.
“You heard him, he’s threatening me!”
“He was giving an example.” Amber corrected. “You should know the difference before you start talking.”
“What did you say girl?”
“You should know the difference. Although, if you don’t pay mind by now, then you probably won’t ever.” Amber was in correction mode. I’ve seen her do it in classes before, and it was only when she knew she was one hundred percent right.
“What nonsense are you speaking?”
“I’ve read some of your stuff.”
“I find the half-breed law particularly humorous.” Amber smirked.
“Half-breeds are no laughing matter girl, they are deadly and dangerous, though it looks like you don’t know it since you are sitting across from one.” Umbridge glanced at me and I smiled, revealing my canines that I just increased the points on. She jumped back a little more.
“Actually your definition of a half-breed is wrong.” Amber smirked a little more. Umbridge turned to her again. “You see, a half-breed is two species together, correct?”
“Yes…” Umbridge’s eyes darted back and forth between Amber and myself.
“Well you include merepeople, centaurs and werewolves in with half-breeds, while that is not the case. Merepeople and centaurs are their own species while werewolves are just infected with lycanthropy, but they are still human. So when I say your Half-breed bill is humorous, I mean it’s funny that a woman has gotten up as high as she could in society and not known the proper definitions of things.” Amber tilted her head and wore a smug expression on her face now. “It’s kind of sad actually. For you that is…”
Umbridge looked like she was about to explode. I was balancing on the edge of my seat to stop myself from laughing and Kingsley looking at Amber, rather impressed.
“Y-You! I-I never…Y-You…I’ll have your job for this…You’ll be fired! You’re in my department!” Umbridge began to threaten.
“Actually, she just got promoted to mine.” Kingsley said abruptly. He turned to Umbridge. “That’s why I’m not giving you the Senior Undersecretary job, once again.”
“S-She can’t be Senior Undersecretary! She just started!” Umbridge pointed out.
“Personally I see no problem with her being my Senior Undersecretary, but no, that job will go to Percy. I’ve already spoken to him and he is capable of running his current department and taking on the Senior Undersecretary duties, but Amber will be my Junior Assistant.” Kingsley gave Umbridge a friendly smile. “Meaning…she technically outranks you.”
Umbridge looked pink not only in clothing, but now it spread to her face. She stood there for a moment longer before storming off.
I couldn’t take it anymore, I fell out of my seat laughing and Kingsley had to help me up.
“That was great Amber!” I said when I finally calmed down. “I can’t believe you just did that.”
“No, she was in the wrong.” Amber glared off after her. “Also thank you Minister for making up that lie for me. I’m not in her department, but she might have still been able to get me sacked.”
“Oh it wasn’t a lie. It actually solves some problems I’ve been having and if you’re as ambitious as Teddy says you are, than you will be a great Junior Assistant.” Kingsley smiled at her. “That is if you want the job…”
“Are you joking?” Amber asked, her mouth was wide open now.
I laughed again and kicked Amber from across the table. “Just think, you didn’t want to have lunch with me.”
First off, let me apologize for the big gap between chapters. Hopefully, I’m in the swing of things again. It got a bit crazy toward the end of my semester and then my laptop started…well, let’s just say it’s lucky that all my stories survived. I’m finally getting everything straightened out and I’m even done with the next chapter. Also this is kind of a rough draft of this chapter so I’m sorry if it’s a bit well, rough…
Thank you to all who have waited and I was actually wondering if you would like a blog to check on updates and even discuss everything that has happened? I have been thinking of starting one for this and I wanted to know how many would be interested. :)
Thank you again and please review!
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