|Take no Umbridge II: The Serious Side
Author: Stephen Ratliff PM
A companion to Take no Umbridge I, covering events in the first story until the end of the school year in a more serious angle, as Harry Potter takes over the job of teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts.Rated: Fiction T - English - Harry P. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 5,743 - Reviews: 62 - Favs: 187 - Follows: 259 - Updated: 03-30-13 - Published: 11-26-12 - id: 8739501
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Take no Umbridge II: The Serious Side
During the writing of Take no Umbridge I, often there was discussion of what it would actually mean for Harry to take over teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts in his fifth year, given the events I had already created. This story is the serious side of that story.
In this story, it is my intention to handle the serious implications of the events in Take no Umbridge I and continue on until the end of the year. It shall cover such questions as how it effects Harry's relationships with his classmates and romantic attempts. It will cover how it effects Voldemort's plans as well.
It should be noted, however, that Take no Umbridge II is not a priority story. Right now the muse is much more focused on Honor to Serve and Ritually Yours. However, the muse often likes to spread her wings a bit, which is why you may see bits of this as well as Ranma: a Little Ealier, Defiance, Remember the Maine, and another new Harry Potter story, Remuneration for Services, over the next few weeks.
Like Take no Umbridge I, this will be presented a scene at a time.
Encounter with Marchbanks
The first morning at Hogwarts his fifth year, Harry Potter found an old lady waiting for him at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall. One of the bench sections has been removed and replaced with a rather comfortable looking chair. The old lady seated in it seemed to project an air of importance and regalness. If Harry hadn't been aware of what the Queen and the Queen Mother looked like, he would have immediately assumed she was from that line.
"Mister Potter, please take this seat," the old lady said, pointing to the one across from her, before she picked up a muffin to butter. It appeared to be a blueberry one. "I am Griselda Marchbanks, head of the Wizarding Exam Authority."
Harry took the seat, and found that his plate was immediately filled with bacon, eggs, and sausage. "Thank you, Mrs. Marchbanks."
"Eat boy, you need to put some meat on those bones," Marchbanks ordered. "I will not have it said that my discussion with you left you bereft of substance today. Much of what I say to you today is informative only, anyway."
Harry nodded, digging into his breakfast. It was a bit more than he'd usually put on his plate, especially this early in the year, but Hogwarts food was too good to waste.
"Potter, as the winner of the Triwizard Tournament, indeed, even as just one of the champions, you are entitled to set your own scheduled for your NEWTs. As the winner, you are entitled to chose one NEWT to receive an Outstanding in, with my concurrence as to your performance meeting it. Having spoken to Albus, and your other teachers, I would be willing to issue this Outstanding, on order of preference, for Defense Against the Dark Arts, based on your various encounters with You-Know-Who; Charms, based on the first task; and Transfiguration, based on Professor McGonagall's recommendation.
"As am less than satisfied with the compentence of the ... I shall not dignify one who only got an acceptable OWL and no NEWT in the subject with the title, one teaching Defense this year, I have a personal wish that you chose that subject, if only to keep you out of the pain's classroom."
Harry paused for just a moment, a sausage halfway to his mouth. Hermione had stated that Professor Umbridge's speech meant that the Ministry was interfering with Hogwarts. Madam Marchbanks, though, she was against Umbridge, it seemed. Perhaps it wasn't the whole ministry, but part of it. He'd have to think on that. The articles in the Prophet had apparently been anti-Dumbledore on the Ministry's advice, so it had to be extensive. He chewed the sausage, thinking.
"Madam Marchbanks, does that mean that I wouldn't have to take Defense if I had my NEWT in it?" Harry asked.
"Yes, as you complete your NEWTs, you would also complete your Hogwarts classes in that subject," Marchbanks said. "I am at your service in the matter, should you chose to ask for early testing in any subject."
"How long do I have to decide?" Harry asked.
"Indefinitely, though I would prefer a decision within the next couple weeks on your chosen NEWT," Marchbanks replied, finishing her muffin.
This was not something Harry wished to rush into. Being friends with Hermione Granger had taught him that classes were important, and this would cause him to effectively get out of a class free. Signs were not looking good about this year's Defense class. Then again, given his first four, all of which had been involved in his yearly dose of mortal peril. He was sure that if he had a hand on Mrs. Weasley's clock, he'd drive Ron's mother insane with worry. Still, it couldn't be four out of five, his odds couldn't be that bad. One class, at least, he decided.
"I'll owl you later this week," Harry said firmly.
"I shall await your correspondence, then, Mr. Potter." Madam Marchbanks pushed back her chair and stood with surprising agility. Stepping away, she reversed her transfiguration of the bench section. "I always thought you should have chairs instead of the bench." She shook her head at the standard bench. "Oh, and Mr. Potter, Dolores Umbridge doesn't know why I'm here. Let us surprise her, later."
"Yes ma'am," Harry said. "Thank you for coming to talk to me."
"It was my pleasure, Mr. Potter. Do finish your breakfast. As I said, I do not wish to be an excuse for a growing boy's hunger." With a swirl of her skirts, Madam Marchbanks left the Great Hall.
Harry was down to a single piece of bacon by the time Professor Umbridge arrived. He nibbled on it as he watched the woman in her pink cardigan and matching gray skirt took her seat at the head table. Hermione may have thought Umbridge was at Hogwarts to interfere on behalf of the Ministry, but that was not the focus of his examination.
Quirrell had been nervous, and rarely looked at Harry, and when he did, he immediately looked away. Lockhart had been a pampered fool, who always seemed to be checking how he looked. Lupin had been pensive, and near the full moon had picked at his breakfast. Moody, or Crouch as he really was, always seemed to be staring at Harry.
Umbridge seemed to be a mix of Lockhart's checking of looks, and Quirrell's look and then look away. This did not bode well. Any similarity to any of his former Defense Professors, save Lupin, was worrisome to Harry. Of course each of them had found a different way to threaten Harry's life. Harry found himself a bit fatalistic about them. Somewhere, somehow, this professor would try to ruin Harry's life again, he was sure.
Sometime during his musing, his schedule for the year had been placed in front of him, without him noticing. He picked up, stood, and exited the hall, hoping to find something to get his mind off Defense Professors.