Seen and forseen
An Umbridge-bashing fic. What if Dumbeldore never managed to make his dramatic entry with Firenze during the sacking of professor Trelawney, and she had to face Umbridge herself. A seer can be very tricky to nail down after all... I have taken some liberties with Trelawneys divination proficiency, but it is all for a good cause. Characters belong to Rowling.
Dumbledore sighted and kicked at the ground.
'This is ridiculous,' he said, in an uncharacteristic bad temper. 'I am headmaster of this school, I have been walking around this forest for years. I know more find-the-right-way-charms than most wizards in England taken together. And you... you LIVE here.'
'But still we are lost,' said Firenze calmly. 'I suppose this means our planned dramatic entry will be delayed.'
'I am afraid so,' said Dumbledore, taking seat on a stump and producing a sherbet lemon, offering another one to the centaur. 'I am afraid Sibyll will have to manage by herself.'
- - -
'There, there, Sibyll... calm down... blow your nose on this... it's not as bad as you think, now... you are not going to have to leave Hogwarts...'
'Oh really, Professor McGonagall?' said Umbridge in a deadly voice, taking a few steps forward. 'And your authority for that statement is...?'
There was a moment of silence, as if the assembled students and teachers were waiting for something. However, there was no interruption of the silence, and Umbridge's toadlike smile widened.
'See,' she said when the moment was over. 'As High Inquisitor I have the power to...'
'FATE!' outcried Trelawney so sudden that many of the assembled people jumped. She stood up, a bit unsteady, pushing McGonagall at the side. 'Fate is the authority, for I tell you: It is forseen that I will not leave the school of Hogwarts as long as you are here.' Her arms were outstretched and her large eyes wild. There were still tears in them but there was also a glint of steel that was new.
'You wanted a prediction, Professor Umbridge,' she went on, pointing a long finger as the suddenly speechless High Inquisitor. 'Then a prediction you shall have, for I See, I SEE, you running out from these very gates, this very night. I see your face disgraced, you will be dripping wet and I see you being humiliated by that you fear the most.' Her voice suddenly lost some of its maddened quality and she added more calmly. 'But first I See you lying flat on this very floor, sprawling like the toad you are.'
'You are mad, old fraud,' Umbridge hissed, taking a threatening step towards the Divination teacher. But suddenly she felt the floor disappear under her feet. Trelawney had with no visible effort put out a leg and tripped Umbridge. With a splat she fell to the ground under the cheers of the students, lying spitting and cursing on the ground. Trelawney watched her with interest, proceeding with her prophecy.
'Now I See how you get up to your feet, not unlike a fat beetle on its back, but alas only to fall over again, this time due to tripping on a bottle.' Umbridge forced herself up to her feet, howling with rage (and with a remarkable resemblance to a beetle), giving Trelawney a look of purest hatred.
'Well, I am on my feet,' she spat out. 'And as I seem NOT to have fallen over on a bottle, and since you are still sacked...'
'The bottle is right over there,' Trelawney interrupted in a helpful voice, indicating an empty sherry-bottle right behind the High Inquisitor. Despite herself, Umbridge turned slightly to look where her opponent was pointing, and doing so she happened to put her foot on it and - SPLAT - she hit the ground again. The students - and also the teachers - were howling with mirth. The members of the Inquisitorial Squad were standing hesitantly.
'And now I See,' claimed the Divination teacher, regaining some of her normal air of being far away, 'I see your fat hand gripping your wand, attempting a stunning spell. Shame on you - stunning a fellow teacher...'
She had turned around, her back turned to Umbridge, who was actually producing a wand, lying on the floor as she was, and pointing it at Trelawney, who totally unconcerned by the students' warnings went on
'...but you will only...' she tilted her head slightly, making the stunning beam miss her with inches, '...hit Mrs. Norris, oh the poor creature.' A sudden meow from the stairs indicated that also that prophesy had been fulfilled.
By now the crowd was in a state of mixed awe and laughing frenzy. Umbridge was literary boiling with wrath, but Trelawney seemed as comfortable as in her class room, contrasting wildly from her hunted appearance just a few minutes ago. And she went on foreseeing.
'Also your next spell will miss, I am afraid to say, and I would sincerely advise you to move just a yard to the left, since the spot you are now occupying will very soon be subject to a bucket load of water which unfortunately will be rather dirty.'
She turned to watch Umbridge, who actually had moved to the left, but if to get better aim or because she really paid attention to her opponent's prophecies was impossible to say. Standing on all fours she shot away another stupefying spell against the Divination teacher, who without any visible effort or even interest easily ducked. The spell hit the person behind her, who turned out to be Filch the caretaker, coming running down the stairs to find out who had dared to stun his precious cat. When the spell hit him he immediately collapsed to the ground, sending the bucket with cleaning water he was carrying flying in the air, hitting Umbridge, who was just about to rise. The bucket sent her flat to the floor for the third time, this time dripping wet.
'Oh', said Trelawney, not very successfully trying to suppress a laugh. 'I'm afraid my vision was wrong. It obviously was this very part of the floor that would receive the unfortunate shower. My apologies... Oh, and now you will ask the students you have duped to do your biddings to curse me. Dear, that is really not manners. But you should really move away from the line of spells before you give such an order.'
But Umbridge did not pay her any attention. Jumping to the feet she screamed to the Inquisitorial Squad on the top of her voice, 'HEX HER! CURSE HER! DO WHATEVER YOU CAN FIGURE WITH THAT... THAT...'
Whatever Umbridge would have chosen to name the seer was not revealed however. The Slytherins in the Inquisitorial Squad had their wands ready, and now they fired away their favourite hexes. Trelawney did not even glance at them, but had placed herself in quite a strange pose, standing on one leg, crouching almost double and pointing with her arms in odd direction. This pose, it turned out, occupied the exact space that was not hit by any of the curses addressed at her. Umbridge, however, stood in a pose connected with at least half of them. For the forth time she fell to the floor, the air knocked out of her lungs, ugly tentacles erupting all over her face. Trelawney straightened up, her hair ruffled and her glasses askew, hardly being able to talk anymore due to suppressed laughter.
'And... now... itching jinx...' Giving up on talking she threw herself to the floor, howling with laughter, making the next round of spells from the Inquisitorial Squad miss her as well. Most of them hit the main doors which flung open, but one of them hit the panting Umbridge, who immediately started to irk, and then scratch herself furiously. The Slytherins lowered their wands, obviously not wanting to make any further damage, the rest of the crowd were laughing like mad, many of them gasping for air. Their Divination teacher was twisting almost as much as Umbridge on the stone floor, but from mirth rather than itching.
'...Peeves...' she managed to say between the fits of laughs, and as on cue, the poltergeist, attracted by the turmoil, floated down towards them with an evil grin, carrying a walking stick in his hand.
'Naughti, naughti, little froggi
Will be nicely wet and soggi'
- he sang, starting to beat the wet, itching and tentacle sprouting High Inquisitor with the stick, ushering her out through the door. The students ran out after her, shouting with joy, only a few of them able to hear the now hysterically laughing Trelawney whisper '...lake...'
- - -
Firenze suddenly looked up. 'Neptune is bright,' he said.
Dumbledore glanced at the sky. 'If you say so, I am perfectly prepared to believe you. And what, if I may ask, would you draw for conclusions of such an astronomical event?'
Firenze hesitated a moment before answering. 'Normally, my friend, the stars do not address the issues of single individuals' fates or sufferings, but it is my thinking that right now the blue planet Neptune is telling us about humiliation and anger within this very school.'
'Ah!' said Dumbledore sadly. 'I would have hoped to save dear Sibyll from that.'
'I am not sure that the humiliation is directed at the woman I was planned to replace,' the centaur said slowly. 'Neptune is speaking of one who Sees triumphing over one who certainly does not see a thing.'
'Indeed so?' the Headmaster said, standing up. 'A most accurate description of our dear High Inquisitor of Neptune's part, I must say. And accurate in the other aspects as well, judging from the sounds of students laughing.'
They started to walk, following the sound of students' laughs, and also a strange song.
'Tell me, that singing, would that be a part of the humiliation in question?' Firenze asked politely.
'Almost certainly,' Dumbledore said, a twinkle in his eyes. 'I am sure you remember the odd ideas Dolores Umbridge harbours' about half bloods and other non-human people with human traits.' Firenze nodded. 'Well, the details will undoubtedly be told when we arrive to the scene of the event, but whatever the cause, this song happens to be performed by the meer-people of the lake, and they are singing about how to greet unwelcome guests.' He spent a quiet moment, apparently thinking, then adding 'I am afraid it is not a very nice song. However, it seems I will have to give Sibyll a substantial pay rise. She seems to have made progress in her divination, after all.'