Hello! Yeah, so fanfic updates are a bit slow at the moment... *looks guilty*, but I'm trying to write a book. So, I guess it's justified?
So sorry for the slowness and my uselessness, and here's another chapter!
I don't think the school ever truly forgot the House Elf Rebellion. They pretended it never happened, sure, but they were never quite able to truly wipe the incident from their memory. They were cautious around Harry, nervous of him.
But Harry seemed to have calmed down, with only a few small incidents (no one really counted the attacks on Malfoy), and life seemed to have returned to normal.
That is, until Delores Umbridge's lesson.
It was all going perfectly fine; she was being her usual, irritating self; Harry Potter had been noted as missing (it wasn't out of the ordinary); and Hermione was still getting used to not having to hiss 'Summer' at every available interval.
"I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE!"
Hermione knew it- it was too good to be true.
In came Harry James Potter, stumbling through the door with a stupid grin on his face, and a suspicious flask in one hand. "I know what you are!"
Umbridge fixed him with a stern look and a 'heh hem'. "And what is that Mr Potter? And I'd watch your tongue, as I have connections to the Minis-"
Umbridge blinked. "…A what?"
"A flurple- a toad-like creature famous for devouring the souls and hearts of children for sustenance." came the declaration, uttered by a familiar head of white-blond hair.
"Miss Lovegood?! Where did you come from?"
The class glanced up, and gasped at the gaping hole in the stone.
"…How did she do that?" whispered Parvati Patil.
"The power of belief."
Parvati screamed as Luna appeared behind her.
"Be as that may, Miss Lovegood, you are not in this lesson. Please leave." You could tell how much it pained Umbridge to be anything close to cordial.
"I don't take orders from flurples." Luna had a strangely unpleasant look on her face as she gave Umbridge a disapproving shake of the head.
"You tell her, Luna!" Harry slunk a shaking arm around the smaller girl's shoulder.
Luna sent him a small smile, glowing with contentment. "Thank you Harry. The nargles give me sass."
"Too right." Harry grinned loosely and leaned onto her more. He pointed a accusing finger at Umbridge, who looks even more offended. "And you, flurple! You ought to be bloody well ashamed! Doing all that… soul sucking and stuff."
Luna patted him on the shoulder and murmured, "You tried." She turned to Umbridge and immediately grew more imperious, somehow growing several inches in height. "You, foul creature from the very depths of hell, return to whence you came from and fester in the flames until you perish in misery!"
Ron leaned across to Hermione, and whispered. "Is Luna drunk?"
Hermione looked thoughtful. "I think she's just tipsy. He's a terrible influence, I knew I shouldn't've waited 'til Summer to send him to that therapist…"
"What are you gonna do, kidnap him in the middle of term?" Ron rolled his eyes.
"Whatever it takes." Hermione frowned in determination.
"Hermione, how'd he study for OWLs if he's at a therapist?" Ron asked pointedly.
She shrieked in outrage. "I'd send him homework!"
That day seemed to have been the start of an alliance between Harry and Luna. Hermione finally learned where Harry had been getting his alcohol from (she had cut off his supply), when she caught Luna slipping him Firewhiskey in the Great Hall. Not only that, but Luna's stories had been getting more and more outlandish, and for some reason, were now in Old English. Hermione was not pleased.
"I can't believe she's enabling him." Hermione fumed as she watched Luna and Harry giggled together, leaning together over a plate of bacon at the Ravenclaw table.
Ron raised an eyebrow, "Really?"
"Well, okay, so I can believe it. But it doesn't mean I have to like it." Hermione glowered.
"Hello fellow Hogwartians," Harry clapped a hand onto Hermione and Ron's shoulder.
"Oh Harry mate. It's good to see you. We haven't sat with you for a few weeks, where've you been?" Ron grinned awkwardly up at his friend.
"Luna's been teaching me about the thestral-themed birthday party she's been planning. The cake is going to have a skull on it." Harry grinned happily.
"Is he even drunk? It doesn't sound it." Ron muttered to Hermione.
"I think he's gotten better at talking." Hermione narrowed her eyes. "Else Luna's infected him with her strangeness."
"What did you say, Hermione?" Luna questioned innocently, appearing almost in a puff of smoke.
"Nothing," Hermione mumbled resentfully.
Suddenly, there was a rumble in the distance. Then a pounding. Then a deafening roar, as a crowd of… somethings rushed down the corridor.
"What is that?" Hermione got to her feet and drew her wand, pointing it at the door. Dumbledore was already doing so, and the teachers mirrored his movements.
The door swung open, and a swarm of Hufflepuffs flooded the Great Hall, climbing onto tables and brandishing a flag with… a House Elf's heads on it?
"The House Elf Rebellion Protection Squad has arrived!" yelled a small third year (Hermione vaguely remembered her name started with an S). "And we call our leader Harry James Potter, to lead us in this fight! The House Elves will fall, and treacle tart will be restored!"
Silence fell upon the Great Hall, and the lone figure of Harry Potter got to his feet and began clapping and cheering. "Whoo! Go HERPS! Defeat the House Elves! Excellent!"
(Everyone ignored McGonagall's protests and demands for silence.)
The Hufflepuffs grinned at his celebration, and the S-girl bowed flamboyantly.
"My kindred! We will vanquish these creatures and bring back the treacle tart! Pudding for all!" He raised a hand into the air, wand clutched in his fist.
"This isn't going to end well." Hermione predicted grimly. "And SPEW will be there to stop them every step of the way. I'm sorry Harry, but we must do war."
Harry Potter crumbled to the ground, unconscious, and several Hufflepuffs ran to catch him.
Hermione sighed. "And it may be easier than I thought. Just you wait, Harry. Summer."