Chapter 1: We're Not Going to Take It
Well, here is another one. This is going to be a short one. I think. It depends on where my muse takes it. As of right now, its only a few chapters.
Anything you recognize is not mine. This is the disclaimer for the entire fic.
The muggleborn students were pissed. A second person had been petrified, and they too had been muggleborn. Justin Finch-Fletchley was not well liked outside of his house, but he was still muggleborn. They were now scared and wanted to go home, but the headmaster was keeping the school open and making them stay there. They were sure if it had been a pureblood then the school would have closed right away.
Well, they weren't going to take it laying down. They were going to protest. It started with only a few Ravenclaws, sitting in the Entry Hall in front of the Great Hall.
"What are you doing?" Hermione Granger asked Terry Boot, who was leading the students in protest.
"We're having a sit-in," he replied, making those with him cheer. There were about ten Ravenclaws there and more were joining per minute. They would come and just sit next to their friends, only the muggleborn and the half-bloods though. Well, there were a few purebloods, but they were rare. They were from every year, but it was being led by the second year. He was the one who thought up the idea and led the rally.
"What's a sit-in?" Ron Weasley asked, never having heard the phrase before, but liking the notion of sitting.
"It's a mild form of protest," Hermione said, looking to Harry, who nodded. "They sit and do nothing, like skip classes and meals, until what they are protesting gets heard, and taken care of," she explained, going over what little she knew of the protesting style. It wasn't one used often. More often than not, strikes were rallies that were picket lines and loud.
"I'm for that," Ron said, until he realized she said they skipped meals. "Wait, you're not going to eat?" he exclaimed, pointing a finger at the group. That was just not done, in his point of view.
"We'll eat if someone gives us food, but we're not going to attend meals," Terry said, raising his voice. The group behind him cheered. More people joined his group from other houses. Hufflepuff mostly. There was quite a group now sitting on the floor.
"I'm for that," Ron said, going to sit with them, until Terry raised his hand to stop him.
"You don't even know what we're protesting," he said indignantly. He didn't want anyone to sit with them if they were just trying to get out of class.
"Does it matter?" the redhead asked, half sitting, half standing.
"Of course, it matters, you twit," the other boy said, shoving Ron just hard enough to make him tumble.
"Hey," Ron protested as he got up off the floor and stood by Hermione. He did feel bad for the muggleborn. His family always sided on the light side of matters. So, he wasn't only going to sit because he'd get out of class, but it was a major part of it. Still, he messed up by not finding out first. "I want to sit with you," he said, hoping to get to join them.
"Think about it for a while first," Terry said, not giving in right yet.
"What are you protesting?" Harry wanted to know. If it was a good enough reason, he might join them. He could lend his 'fame' to their cause. It might as well be put to good use.
"We're protesting that the school won't close down, even though there are two muggleborns frozen in the Hospital Wing," Terry said, with righteous indignation. "They would close it down in a second if it were purebloods, but, no, since it's muggleborns, they are keeping it open," he said loudly, making the crowd behind him start yelling their protestations.
"We're not going to take it! NO! We ain't going to take it! We're not going to take it, anymore!" they all started chanting as loudly as they could, raising their hands in the air and banging their heads in time with their chants.
"Those are lyrics from a song," Hermione said, huffing with agitation. "You can't just use them willy-nilly like that." She wasn't an American Heavy Metal fan, but even she knew of Twisted Sister.
"Oh, go dunk your head," Terry said, waving her away. "Who is going to know?" he asked, as the group still chanted the song lyrics.
"I think I'll join you," Harry said, taking off his bookbag and settling down next to Terry. "I agree, that if it was a pureblood the school would have closed," he said to the leader of the group. He too started chanting with the other protesters.
"Wait, aren't you the Heir of Slytherin?" a Hufflepuff asked, not believing her eyes.
"If I were, would I be sitting here with you?" Harry said, going back to chanting.
By now they had gathered quite the audience. Many were listening to them and wondering if what they said was true. Would the school have closed if Draco Malfoy was petrified? Or even Ron Weasley? They were sure it would have. By the dozen, half-bloods and muggleborns joined the ever-growing mob of protesters. The group was now taking up a major part of the Entry Hall. They were scattered throughout and there were pathways for those not protesting to walk between them.
"What are you students doing?" McGonagall asked as she came out from the Great Hall to see who was making all the noise. "Get off the floor this instant," she demanded, raising her wand and making a banging noise emit from it. The protesters stopped for a moment. "Get up, I say," she said again.
"Hell no! We won't go!" Terry started shouting, making the other students start shouting the same, putting their fist in the air and rocking them to the beat of their words.
"I will put each and every one of you in detention," she said, like that would work. She was not one to be ignored. It boggled her mind that so many students were just rolling over her words and continuing to do whatever it is they were doing.
"Professor," Hermione said loudly over the chanting. "They are protesting the fact that the school is still open, while muggleborns are being targeted. It's a sit-in," she said, holding her books close to her chest. She was torn between joining them and going to class. She desperately didn't want to fall behind, but she did agree with the protesters.
"A sit-in?" McGonagall said slowly, like she was tasting the word.
"They'll sit here until they get what they want," the girl explained again. "They won't move until their grievances are heard," she elaborated, trying to get the deputy headmistress to understand.
"Detention," the transfiguration teacher barked at the still chanting students. She huffed when they kept on chanting that they weren't going to 'go'.
"We want rights! Hear our plight!" Terry started a new chant, making the others change theirs too. They were still raising their fist in the air and rocking to their chants.
Those that weren't participating in the protest started to go into the Great Hall. They didn't want to miss breakfast. There was a lot of talk about what the muggleborn were doing, and whether or not it was going to do any good. There were even talks about some of the purebloods joining them.
Many of the purebloods thought the muggleborn got a bad deal in the whole wizarding world. The magical government was not nice to them. They were bullied here and in the ministry. It was a well-known fact. Many left the wizarding world because of this fact. Too bad they didn't find out about it until they graduated from Hogwarts.
"The headmaster will hear of this," McGonagall threatened as she turned and went down the hall to the Headmaster's Office. Her skirts brushed across many of the protesters, who shoved them away. She huffed and gathered them closer to her person. She marched to get the man who would put a stop to this nonsense.
"Save your voices," Terry said, holding up his hand and getting more comfortable on the floor. "We will need them later." He took a book out of his bag and started reading. Just because he was doing a protest didn't mean he had to be bored.
"How long do you think it'll take for Dumbledore to get here?" Harry asked the other boy after a moment. He hoped the old man didn't stop what was happening. They really needed to get the school closed, or better protection for the muggleborn. If a sit-in would get that, then a sit-in was what was going to happen.
Ron and Hermione had gone to breakfast, albeit reluctantly. Ron because he wanted to skip classes and join the protest. Hermione because she wanted to stay for political reasons, but her personality dictated that she not.
"Oh, I'd say right about now," Terry said, lowering his book and pointing down the hall were the colorfully dressed man was coming towards them. He put his book back in his bag and got ready to fight for his right to stay where he was.
"What is all this?" the old man asked when he came to a stop in front of Harry and Terry.
"Ask Terry, it's his protest," Harry said when Dumbledore's eyes landed on him. He pointed to the other boy, who glared at him for a moment.
"Mr. Boot?" Dumbledore asked, raising an eyebrow in expectation.
"We're protesting the fact that you're not doing anything to protect the muggleborn of this school," Terry said from where he was sitting. "We're going to sit here until something is done about it," he stated defiantly, folding his arms, and glaring at the headmaster.
"I did tell everyone to walk in groups and make sure there was a prefect around," the headmaster said, a twinkle in his eyes. To him these were reasonable precautions. If the children followed them, they should be safe.
"So that a group of us can get petrified all at once?" Terry asked in astonishment. "What good is that going to do? The prefects are students just like us. They don't know how to defend against whatever is petrifying people," he added, his voice going a bit shrill.
"What if the culprit is a student? I close the school only to send everyone home, then when you come back the whole thing starts over again?" Albus Dumbledore asked, his tone a bit condescending.
"Then bring in some experts. You're all schoolteachers. Not beast hunters," Terry said, not backing down. "Call the Aurors for protection. They can roam the halls and protect us from the creature. That is their job," he stated, not seeing what the issue was about bringing in outside help.
"I feel it would be better to keep this inhouse," the old man said, running a hand down his beard in a wise fashion.
"You're just saying that because none of our parents can pull us from school," Terry accused, pointing a finger at the man. "We can't floo call them and tell them what's going on. Our owls don't seem to be getting to them either. They can't come here and take us home. If we were pureblood, or even magically raised half-bloods, this would not be happening," he finished, his voice all but shouting, making the protesters start yelling their agreements.
"We're not going to take it! No! We ain't going to take it! We're not going to take it, anymore!" they started chanting again, louder than before.
"I see emotions are high right now," Albus said, trying to calm the crowd down. He was failing. "I will see that food is brought to you," he added as if that was a great feat for him to do. He turned to go into the Great Hall like it was normal for the Entry Hall to be full of protesting students.
"Albus, you can't be serious," McGonagall said, turning her face towards his. "They need to get up and go to class. They are breaking the rules," she stated, her face pinched tightly.
"What would you have me do? Magically force them to comply?" the old man asked, trying to placate her as well. "They are harming no one but themselves," he added, winking at her like it was a great joke. She didn't take that well.
McGonagall huffed and stormed off.
"We're not joking," Terry stated, still sitting on the floor. "We'll stay here until our needs are met," he said, then started chanting with the rest.
"I'd listen to them, Headmaster," Harry said, from his place on the floor. "Muggles do this all the time; they have proof that it does work. If you hold off long enough, then they can walk out. Where would your school be then?" he asked, then started chanting with Terry, moving his fist to the beat.
That seemed to give the old man pause. What would happen if the muggleborn and half-bloods walked out? The school would indeed close. Would they really do that though? He didn't think they would. Who would give up something as wonderful as magic?
It was evening time, and the protesters were still going strong. Someone had known the spell to take care of human waste, so they didn't need to break ranks for restroom breaks. Food and water were brought to them, but some were protesting by fasting. About half were doing that. Terry and Harry were part of that faction. Ron and Hermione still hadn't joined them, but they did stop by to offer support.
Dinner was about over when the Slytherin second years were coming out of the Great Hall. Draco Malfoy decided to make a scene. "You people are pathetic," he said with a sneer. "You think anyone is going to listen to you just because you are sitting on your arse and not doing anything? Pathetic," he said again.
"It's called a peaceful protest," Harry said, not standing up, but tensing. His wand was by his side, and he was prepared to defend himself and those around him from the bully. "I'm sure that you would not understand what the word 'peaceful' means though," he added, making a few people snicker.
"My father will hear about this and make you all go back to class. He's on the Board of Governors," Draco stated, his nose in the air.
"What is he going to do? Spell us into complying? I'm sure that is illegal," Harry said, looking to Hermione, who would have the answer to that question.
"It is," she said, primly, nodding her head.
"Shut it, mudblood," Draco said, making many around him go 'ohhh'.
"Watch it, Malfoy," Ron said, taking his broken wand out and pointing it at the blond boy.
Many of the older teens did the same, making some of those that felt the same as young Draco point theirs at them. It was a standoff. The teachers took that moment to come onto the scene.
"What in Merlin's name is going on here?" Flitwick said in his squeaky voice.
"Malfoy called Hermione a mudblood," Ron said, still pointing his wand at Draco, who was still sneering at Hermione.
"Mr. Malfoy, that kind of language is not tolerated in this school. That will be ten points from Slytherin," the diminutive man said, then turned to the rest of the standing students. "Put your wands away. It is almost curfew, go to your dorms," he added, making shooing motions.
Those not protesting started moving away.
Those doing the sit-in stayed seated.
"I meant you too," Flitwick stated, looking mostly to his students. There were some Hufflepuffs, and quite a few Gryffindors, but no Slytherins.
"No," Terry said, folding his arms. "We're not going anywhere," he stated in a firm voice. "I'm not sure how many times I have to say this, but we're staying right here until we get our grievances heard and taken care of," he stated for what seemed the hundredth time that day.
"I don't understand, the headmaster heard what you had to say and told you what could be done," the charms professor said, scratching his chin in confusion. "There is little that can be done. You are wasting your time and only hurting your academic record." To him, being the head of Ravenclaw, he didn't understand why anyone would do that. Especially, his students.
"I disagree," Harry said, he had been thinking about this all day. "Terry is right. The Aurors should be called. There has to be a department in the ministry that deals with dangerous creatures. And I am sure that mandrakes grow all over the world at different times, so why haven't we outsourced for them? I think if a pureblood, who had money, was petrified, that would have happened," he stated, his brow scrunched with thought. "Colin Creevy will be missing his whole first year, and no one cares," he stated. "Have his parents even been notified?" he asked, not sure how the muggleborn parents were alerted if something happened to their children.
"I am sure they were informed," McGonagall said, though there was some doubt in her voice. It was like she knew she hadn't done it, and she didn't know if anyone else had. "I will be checking in the morning," she promised, with a shifty look.
"I'm sure," Harry said, his tone wary. He didn't trust her to remember something so trivial as to alert a muggleborn's parents. He would have to ask Hermione if her parents were ever told about the troll. Her live had almost ended that night.
"Now, this has gone on long enough," McGonagall said, her lips all but disappearing in her disapproval. "Get up and go to your dorms," she said, like her word was law.
"No!" came the resounding reply from many voices, like they were tired of having to repeat themselves.
"Hell no! We won't go!" they started chanting, louder and louder until the teachers could not hear themselves think.
Finally, the professors gave up for the night and left. The chanting stopped and the kids settled for a long night in the cold Entry Hall. Harry got an idea and called the house elf that had brought the others food earlier. "Twinky," he called. The elf had been upset when some of them didn't eat, that's why he remembered her name.
"Yous bes calling Twinky," the little elf asked when she popped in. "Wills you bes eating now?" she asked, hoping they would.
"No, thank you," Harry said, looking to Terry, who shook his head. "I'm not sure if you can or not, but can we get some blankets and pillows?" he asked her. He didn't know anything about house elves, but he hoped she could help them, or they would be in for a very cold night.
"Twinky can," the elf said seeming happy to help in some way, and she started snapping her fingers. Blankets and pillows started raining down on the students and they all started cheering and grabbing them. They settled down and started talking among themselves determined to stay up as long as possible.
"Thank you, Twinky," Harry said, and the little elf popped away. The talks lasted into the night on how they were going to continue their protest the days to come.
The next morning, Lucius Malfoy showed up. "I will have all of you expelled if you don't go to class right now," he said, without preamble. He stopped in front of Harry like he was the ringleader.
The blankets had been collected already and those that were eating had already been fed. They were all doing something to pass the time, reading, writing home, or just talking to their neighbor.
Nobody moved. They all stayed right where they were. "I'd like to see the school stay open with this many students gone," Harry said to the pompous man. They had talked about it the night before, and realized it was an empty threat. As one, they decided to call the bluff if anyone decided to issue that threat.
"I mean it, we can do just fine without… rabble such as you," the man said, his nose in the air, much like his son.
"I know that Hogwarts can only operate with a certain number of students," Harry said, quoting Hermione's favorite book Hogwarts: A History. "There is about half the student body sitting here. If we are all expelled then there won't be enough students to keep the doors open," he finished with a smug look.
Malfoy, the senior, glared at the Boy-Who-Lived as if he was shite that was on the bottom of his shoe. "Listen to me, boy…" he started, only to be interrupted by the headmaster.
"Mr. Potter is correct, Lucius," Dumbledore stated, not bothering with niceties. "Hogwarts would have to close down if you were to expel them all," he stated as fact. "I would remind you that as a Board member you do not have the authority to expel anyone," he said a threat in his tone.
"Something must be done to stop this," Malfoy said, stamping his cane to the ground. "You can't let them get away with this… protest," he added, waving at the mass of students sitting in the Entry Hall.
"I will say it again, they are only hurting themselves," the old man said with a twinkle in his eyes.
"We will take it further," Harry said, with Terry nodding his head in agreement. The others doing the same. "We'll leave," he elaborated, motioning to the door. "We don't feel safe here," he added, looking Malfoy, the senior, dead in the face.
"Don't you dare look at me when you say that, boy," the man said, advancing on him.
"Lucius," the headmaster said, his tone stopping the man in his tracks. "Come to my office," Albus said, his voice a bit gentler, like he was placating him.
"We will discuss this later, boy," the blond stated to the boy sitting there looking defiantly at him. "Come, Dobby," Malfoy said, bringing notice to the house elf that had gone unseen until then.
Harry did a double take at seeing the beat-up elf that had come to his room during the summer, and in the Hospital Wing when he had his arm regrown. The elf was pointing to the elder Malfoy and then banging his fist to his head. Harry didn't know what to make of what the elf was doing. He could only think that Malfoy had something to do with the warning that Dobby had given him about the bad things happening at Hogwarts.
"I think we'd better keep an eye out for strange things happening," Harry said to Terry, his eyes never leaving the elf until it was out of sight.
"You mean stranger things than people being frozen?" Terry asked, looking at the elf too.
"Yeah," Harry said, not sure what.
Terry who had been watching the strange interaction nodded his head. "Do you know that elf?" he asked, turning his head to Harry.
"Yeah, he got me in trouble this summer. He came to me to try and get me expelled. He said there was danger here this year. He's the one who sent the bludger after me too. I think his master, Malfoy, has something to do with whatever is happening at this school. But how? I don't know," he said frustrated. Racking his brain, he couldn't think of anything that could have opened the Chamber of Secrets that was connected to Malfoy. Maybe he slipped something to someone. Who knew what that man had done. He'd have to ask Dobby if he got him alone again.
"We'll keep our eyes and ears open," Terry said, turning to tell the person besides him and spreading the word.
Lockhart came into view a few minutes later and seemed surprised that they were still on the floor in the Entry Hall. "Why are you all still here?" he asked as he threw his golden locks back. "There is no advantage to be had in doing this," he added, not seeing the point.
"None of your business," Harry grumbled, tired of saying the same thing over and over again. "You wouldn't understand anyway," he added, looking at the man with a bit of disdain.
"Come now, Harry, I understand when one must protest, but you are going about it all wrong. You need to involve the press," Lockhart said, smiling his award-winning smile. "It is the only way to get your story heard," he added, still showing his pearly whites.
"That actually might be good advice," Terry said, looking around the room like someone attached to the press would speak up. And someone did.
"My father might like your story," a small Ravenclaw said from the back. She was a tiny little blonde girl. She moved to the front to talk to Terry. "He's the owner of the Quibbler," she added when she got close.
"Well, not the paper I would go for, but there is no such thing as bad press," Lockhart said, moving to go into the Great Hall now that his advice was given and taken.
"I've never heard of the Quibbler," Terry said, looking at the blonde. She looked familiar, but he couldn't quite place her. He knew she was from his house, but he didn't know her personally.
"It's a small paper, only a quarterly magazine," the girl said, getting out some ink and a quill from her bag. She scrounged up a piece of parchment. "I'm sure he'd put out an issue to tell of your plight," she said, knowing her father had done similar in the past.
"Okay," Terry said, going over what their issues were once again and letting her write it down and ask questions.
She directed her interview to a few of the people around Terry, including Harry. She saved Harry for last. "Why did you join this movement?" she asked the dark-haired boy. "Are you hoping that your fame will help their cause?" she inquired, quill poised to jot down what he said.
"I think it's rotten how the muggleborn are treated. They should not have to be scared of walking the halls of school. There is a monster targeting them, and the school should be taking measures to see to their safety," Harry said, his voice firm. "I'm going to stay right here with them until they are heard," he stated, letting her see that he meant it. "I'm not going to eat until something is done about it either," he added, making sure they knew he was serious.
"Thank you for your time," the girl, who still had not introduced herself, said, putting the parchment away. "I will get this to my father right away," she said, getting up and skipping down the hallway.
"Do you know who that was?" Harry asked Terry.
"No, I know she's in my house, but I don't know her name," the boy confessed.
"That's Luna Lovegood," someone said from the side. "Most call her Looney," they added with a giggle.
"They had better not while I'm around," Harry said harshly, making them stop giggling. He hated bullies of all kinds.
"Too right," Terry agreed. He'd have to keep an eye on the girl. He had no idea why she was sitting with them earlier, but he would invite her to sit closer to him when she came back.
Unknown to the kids in school, word of their sit-in did hit the street the next day. There were some that were talking about going to the school to see for themselves. There were others that were talking about doing the same at the ministry. It was an idea that was catching on quite quickly. There were meetings being held in private parts of the building with the secretaries and clerks. They were tired of not getting promoted and working dead-end jobs. They'd like to see how the ministry would operate with them not showing up for work. They could go on strike. It was done all the time in the real world.
It was time to stir up some trouble for the magical world.