Complaints Against Umbridge
"Go on Mr. Potter," Professor Umbridge said in her falsely sweet voice as she noticed that Harry made a small pause to fiercely rub his forehead.
Harry groaned inwardly. Ever since he had woken up in the morning, he had been feeling under the weather. However, he had dragged himself through his classes, knowing that he had to serve detention with the professor in the evening. It was already eleven o'clock in the evening, and by now his head had begun to pound badly. "I'm sorry, Professor, but I'm not feeling too well today; would it perhaps be possible to finish a bit earlier tonight?" he asked hesitantly, unconsciously trying to flex his hurting hand, on which the sentence that he had to write countless times, appeared.
"You look fine to me, Mr. Potter," Umbridge replied sweetly. "Go on and write a few more lines."
It was nearly midnight when Harry returned to the Gryffindor tower. In spite of feeling tired, sore and sick now that the pounding behind his temples had turned into a splitting headache, he still had to do his homework.
"You're late, mate," Ron greeted him, causing Harry to throw his friends a grateful look, glad that they had been kind enough to wait for him in the common room.
"She didn't let me go earlier," Harry said in a small voice, noticing that it hurt to speak. "Thank you for waiting for me. Mione, could you perhaps help me with my homework? I still need to do Transfiguration and Potions."
"Harry, are you feeling all right?" Hermione asked in concern. "You don't look so great." Before Harry could realise what she was doing, the girl extended a small hand to his forehead. "You're a bit warm," she said worriedly.
Harry unconsciously leaned into the cold touch. 'That feels incredibly good,' he thought but said in a slightly hoarse voice, "I really need to do my homework. I even asked Umbridge if I could finish earlier today, because I wasn't feeling overly well, but she didn't agree and kept me for another hour." Suddenly, Harry let out a few harsh coughs.
"Harry, that's it. Go to bed," Hermione said firmly. "Go to Professor McGonagall in the morning and tell her that you didn't feel well but Umbridge kept you in detention until midnight. They can't expect you to do your homework until two in the morning. If you don't feel better tomorrow, you need to go to Madam Pomfrey anyway."
"I don't think I should do that," Harry groaned. "I still have detention with Umbridge tomorrow."
"We'll see how you feel in the morning. Go to bed, Harry, or shall I accompany you to the hospital wing?"
"No, it's not that bad," Harry replied and trailed behind Ron to their dormitory, although he had to admit to himself that he felt worse by the hour.
HP HEALER POMFREY HP
When Harry woke up in the morning, he was feeling worse than he could recall having felt before. His throat and chest hurt, he could hardly open his eyes, because the light hurt his eyes, and he felt hot and cold at the same time. Moreover, his terrible headache hadn't receded even the slightest bit. He slowly scrambled out of bed, holding on to the night table until the worst bout of dizziness passed, before he looked around, realising that his dorm mates had already left for breakfast. 'Why didn't Ron wake me up?' he mused and pulled a turtleneck sweatshirt and a Weasley jumper under his school robes, before he slowly dragged himself down the stairs to the common room.
Knowing that he was running late for breakfast, he noticed gratefully that Hermione was still waiting for him. "Harry, are you all right? I was just going up to check on you, because Ron told me he couldn't wake you up. I just finished your Transfiguration homework by the way," she explained, handing him a few parchments. "I've charmed them to look like your writing," she said, before she shot him a sharp look, taking in his flushed cheeks and his shallow breathing. "Harry, I'm going to take you to the hospital wing. You're ill."
"No Mione," Harry replied tiredly. "I still have detention with Umbridge tonight. I can't miss that."
"If you're ill, you'll have to miss it," Hermione insisted. "I'll go and speak with Professor McGonagall."
"No Mione, don't. Look, I'll go and ask Umbridge after Defence if she can postpone my detention."
"Well, I'm going to come with you then," Hermione said firmly, quickly extending a hand to his forehead, but Harry flapped it away, before she could touch his skin. "Oh Harry, I only want to help you," Hermione said, rolling her eyes in exasperation. "Now, do you think you can hurry up, so we can still eat a bit of breakfast?"
"I'm not hungry," Harry replied, shocked at how hoarse his voice was becoming. "Go and eat breakfast; I'll meet you in the Potions classroom."
"Are you sure you'll manage to get there on your own?" Hermione asked in concern, reluctantly leaving the room as he nodded.
Harry slowly dragged himself to the dungeons; however, he had the impression as if his ears were filled with cotton wool, and that the dizziness didn't get better as he walked. He carefully held on to the walls to steady himself and arrived in front of the Potions classroom just when Professor Snape opened the door. Incredibly relieved, Harry slid into the empty seat between Hermione and Ron, glad that they had chosen a spot in the last row for once.
'Oh no, how will he react when I tell him that I didn't do my homework?' Harry thought, mentally preparing himself for the professor's reaction that was sure to come.
"Hand over your homework," Snape said in a monotonous baritone voice as he began to walk around the classroom, taking the parchments the students were handing him.
"I'm sorry, Professor, I couldn't do my homework yet, because I had detention until after midnight last night," Harry said softly, throwing the professor an apologetic look.
"Detention tonight after dinner," Snape bellowed, returning a menacing glare.
"Professor, Harry couldn't do his homework because he was sick and in detention with Professor Umbridge until midnight," Hermione spoke up in disbelief.
"Madam Pomfrey did not speak with me to excuse Mr. Potter from his work," Snape sneered. "Five points from Gryffindor for your insolence, Ms. Granger."
"I still have detention with Professor Umbridge tonight, sir," Harry croaked.
"Well, afterwards you can continue right away serving detention with me," Snape scoffed and turned on his heels to begin with the class, mumbling something like, "just like his father, always expecting to receive special treatment."
Harry dragged himself through Transfiguration and Defence. After his Defence class, Hermione pulled him to the teacher's desk. "Professor Umbridge, I'm sorry to disturb you," she said politely. "Could you please postpone Harry's detention that is due tonight? He is sick and should go to the hospital wing, but he refuses to do so because of his detention with you."
"To me Mr. Potter looks just fine, Ms. Granger," Umbridge replied in her falsely sweet voice. "However, Mr. Potter is very welcome to go to the hospital wing and instead serve five more detentions next week."
"I told you so," Harry said matter-of-factly as they left the Defence classroom. "I'm going to skip History of Magic and go to bed for a while. Can you wake me up in time for my detention, please?"
"Of course, Harry, but are you sure you don't want to go to Madam Pomfrey or at least tell McGonagall? Shall I inform her?" Hermione asked in concern.
"No, it's fine," Harry replied shortly and dragged himself back to his dormitory.
HP HEALER POMFREY HP
A few hours later, Harry woke up to a cold hand on his forehead. As he lazily cracked his eyes open, he saw Hermione and Ron leaning over him. "Harry, you're burning up," Ron said as Hermione coaxed a thermometer into Harry's half open mouth, instructing him to keep it under his tongue.
"Harry, that's it. I'm going to get McGonagall," Hermione said firmly, apparently very displeased by the result the device displayed.
"Feel free to call her, but by the time she arrives here I'll be gone," Harry croaked, slowly scrambling out of his bed. 'McGonagall would only try to protect me from Umbridge and would get into trouble with her as well. That's not what we need,' he thought. "Hermione, please don't make such a fuss. I'll just have to get through that detention tonight, and then it'll be the weekend anyway."
"You also have your detention with Professor Snape," Hermione said worriedly.
"Don't worry, I'm not going to forget about that," Harry replied, completely annoyed at the thought of having two detentions with his most hated teachers in spite of feeling absolutely miserable. "Well, I need to go," he croaked, shooting Hermione a grateful look as she offered him an arm to steady him down the stairs to the common room.
Hermione and Ron accompanied him to the Defence teacher's office, and Hermione offered to speak with the teacher once more.
"No Hermione, forget about it. She'll only give you detention as well," Harry whispered, feeling absolutely exhausted by the time they arrived at Umbridge's office.
"Three minutes late, Mr. Potter," Umbridge said in her false voice, causing Hermione to become really angry.
"Mr. Potter is ill with more than thirty-nine degrees of fever. He should not be forced to serve detention in his condition," Hermione shouted angrily, making the false smile on the professor's face to broaden.
"Twenty points from Gryffindor for your behaviour, and I'll speak with Professor McGonagall about your disrespect." With that Umbridge shut the door in Hermione's face and motioned Harry to begin. "Write your sentence five hundred times," she said smiling, "You know which sentence."
'Five hundred times,' Harry mused in shock. "Professor, I'm sorry, but I also have detention with Professor Snape tonight and I don't..."
"You know what you have to do, Mr. Potter. The earlier you begin, the earlier you'll be allowed to leave," Umbridge said sweetly as she took a seat at her desk, pleasantly humming to herself.
Harry scribbled his sentences, knowing that the professor would rather let him drop dead to the floor than let him leave earlier. He felt so dizzy that he couldn't even see if what he was writing was readable. However, he noticed the pain in his hand intensify by the hour, just like he felt his condition worsen continuously. 'The next time I feel ill I'll go to Madam Pomfrey,' he swore to himself. 'That woman is the most inhuman being I've ever met; maybe apart from Voldemort.' He had forgotten to put his wrist watch on when he got up earlier and glanced around the room to see if there was a clock anywhere; however the plates with the cats' motives that were covering all four walls kept turning and moving around so much that he felt even dizzier and looked back down quickly. It seemed as if it was at least midnight when the professor finally let him go.
'I still need to go to the dungeons,' Harry thought in exasperation, cradling his injured hand close to his body. Everything was turning around and doing flip-flops around him, but he somehow managed to arrive at the Potions Master's office, sighing in relief as the door opened and he stumbled into the office.
"Mr. Potter, when do you think..." Snape began in a menacing tone, only to interrupt himself as he got a good look at the student in front of him.
Harry was leaning against the wall, apparently to steady himself, while he was cradling his other hand that seemed to be injured. He was white as a ghost, although his cheeks were feverishly flushed and his eyes were glazed over and surrounded by dark rings.
"I'm sorry if I'm late, Professor. Umbridge only let me go now," Harry croaked, holding on to the wall to prevent himself from swaying.
"Mr. Potter, what did you do to your hand?" Snape queried, stepping over to Harry, who quickly tried to hide his hand to no avail.
"Professor Umbridge's detention, sir," Harry finally admitted in a hardly audible voice. "She always makes me write on my hand."
Snape gave him a sharp look, while a slender hand found its way to the boy's forehead, where it rested for a short while.
"Mr. Potter, it is two o'clock in the morning, you're burning up with fever, and a professor has used a blood quill on you until now? Did I understand that correctly?" Snape asked in disbelief.
"May I enquire why you didn't go to the hospital wing like I told you this morning?" Snape queried again, raising an eyebrow at the boy, who was shivering violently.
"Because Professor Umbridge told me I could either attend detention tonight or on five evenings next week, but I didn't want to do that. It hurts to write with that quill, sir. Plus I didn't want Madam Pomfrey or Professor McGonagall to get in trouble with Umbridge because of protecting me," Harry added hesitantly.
"Very well then. Nevertheless, we're going to need the expertise of Madam Pomfrey," Snape said thoughtfully. "Mr. Potter, in order to not have Professor Umbridge interfere with your treatment, I'm going to take you into my guest room for the time being. Are you able to walk a bit more?"
"Yes sir," Harry replied in confusion about the teacher's sudden kindness. He sighed in relief when the professor gently steadied him as he led him into his private quarters. A few minutes later, Harry found himself in a most comfortable bed.
Snape transfigured his clothes into soft pyjamas, frowning at the amount of layers Harry had been wearing. "Since when have you been feeling under the weather?" he asked in a stern yet soft voice.
"Since yesterday, sir. I already asked Professor Umbridge to postpone my detention yesterday, but she wouldn't..." He slowly trailed off.
Snape quickly emptied the content of a phial into a small bowl, which he had fetched on the way to the guestroom, and motioned Harry to place his wounded hand into the bowl. "It's Essence of Murtlap," he explained gently. "That should help with your hand."
Harry obeyed only to notice that the cool liquid felt very soothing to his hurting hand. "That feels good, Professor. Thank you," he croaked, shifting on the bed to find a comfortable position.
"I'll be back in an instant," Snape excused himself as he crossed the room to call Pomfrey from the fireplace in his living room.
Two minutes later, he returned with the Mediwitch in tow, who became very angry as she waved her wand over Harry. After asking Harry and Snape several questions, she stood up from the edge of Harry's bed, where she had been sitting during their conversation, in determination.
"Severus, please call Albus and tell him to bring two Aurors. As a Healer, I'm obliged to press charges against Professor Umbridge for using a blood quill and for keeping a student from receiving necessary medical help. If Mr. Potter had been able to come to me yesterday, he would have been up and about by tomorrow morning; however, due to his aggravated condition, he'll need a whole week of bed rest."
"May I suggest that we allow Mr. Potter to sleep for a while first?" Snape asked softly. "There is no need to wake everyone in the middle of the night, and considering how ill Mr. Potter is and that the Aurors will definitely want to ask him questions, I believe it would be better to wait until the morning."
"All right, Severus. I'll contact Albus at seven, and we'll all meet here in your quarters," Madam Pomfrey agreed, before she bustled away.
"Very well then, go to sleep, Mr. Potter. We'll wake you up when the Aurors are here," Snape said in his soft voice and gently placed a cool cloth on Harry's forehead. Call me if you need anything or feel worse. I'll leave the doors ajar." With that the professor waved his wand to dim the lights and left the room.
In the morning, Harry had to explain everything again that he had already told either Professor Snape or Madam Pomfrey during the night. It was nearly noon when he was finally allowed to go back to sleep, knowing that Professor Umbridge was on her way to a Ministry cell, where she would receive a trial two days later.
On Monday morning, Professors Dumbledore and Snape as well as Madam Pomfrey attended Professor Umbridge's trial, while Harry was fast asleep in the Potions Master's guest room under the watchful eyes of Cicero, the Potions Master's personal house-elf. By the time Harry woke up, the Slytherin Head of House was sitting on a chair next to his bed.
"Mr. Potter, how are you feeling?" he asked in a soft voice.
"Better," Harry said truthfully, although he still felt quite miserable. "What happened? To Professor Umbridge I mean?"
"She is not a professor anymore," Snape replied, smirking. "She has been given a one-way ticket to Azkaban."
"Oh that's a relief," Harry breathed, sighing contentedly. "Thank you so much for your help, Professor."
"You're welcome, Mr. Potter," Snape replied in his soft silky voice, quietly waving his wand over Harry to check on him. "You will still need a few days of bed rest; however, considering that Professor Umbridge is not here anymore, I might as well take you to the hospital wing if that is what you want. I don't mind you staying here if you feel comfortable though." He questioningly raised an eyebrow at the boy.
Harry cleared his throat. "I don't mind, sir, but wouldn't it be better if I moved to the hospital wing? Is it not too much hassle to have me staying here?"
The professor sighed and hesitantly voiced the thoughts that had been bothering him during the whole weekend. "It's no hassle at all, Mr. Potter. Frankly speaking, I would appreciate it if you remained here. During the last few days, I noticed that you're very alike your mother, and I'd love to make up for my treatment of you over the last years, and I'd like to get to know you better," he suggested in a soft voice.
"My mother?" Harry asked sleepily, glancing at the professor from half open glassy eyes.
"She was my best friend," Snape replied softly. "Go back to sleep, Mr. Potter. We'll speak about it when you feel better."
'Thank God I could tell Professor Snape everything,' Harry mused as he drifted back to sleep. 'Even if he sometimes says mean things, he wouldn't want to harm a student, and he has been really nice looking after me while I've been here.'
I'm not a native speaker of English. Please excuse my mistakes or help me to correct them.
All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.