Chapter 1: Umbridge Defied
Hogwarts, Great Hall
Hogwarts, Great Hall
"When did you do this?" she asked, her voice trembling slightly.
"Last Hogsmeade weekend," said Harry. She looked up at him, incandescent with rage, the magazine shaking in her stubby fingers.
"There will be no more Hogsmeade trips for you, Mr. Potter," she
whispered. "How you dare . . . how you could . . ." She took a deep
breath. "I have tried again and again to teach you not to tell lies. The
message, apparently, has still not sunk in. Fifty points from Gryffindor
and another week's worth of detentions."
She stalked away, clutching The Quibbler to her chest, the eyes of
many students following her.*
"Guess I should have expected that" Harry said in a resigned voice. "What do you wanna bet that in a few days the toad will push through another decree, this time saying students can't talk to anyone outside school?" he added.
Hermione looked over at Harry and said, "I'm just glad you were able to do the two interviews in the same day Harry" Harry nodded and said with a smile, "Yeah, If she's mad about this one, she's gonna have a stroke when she see's the one I did with Luna's father.
"Daddy was really honored that you let him do the question and answer interview himself Harry." Luna said, "He's even moving story about how to protect yourself from Minister Fudge's army of Heliopaths so that he can devote the first three page to you."
Hermione gave Luna a dirty look and said "Luna there are no such things as Heliopaths. They're just a myth. There's never been any proof that they've ever existed."
"As I told you in the Hog's Head, just because you have to have everything shoved under your nose before you'll believe in them doesn't mean-"
"Luna, why don't you and Hermione agree to disagree about Heliopaths? Harry cut in, "You're both my friends and I don't like to see my friends fight."
Luna looked over at Hermione and almost in unison, the two girls nodded and muttered "Okay, sorry."
"Good. Now that that's settled, Luna, when does the second interview come out?"
"Daddy told me he's printing a special edition that will be out next Saturday, and that the interview will take up all of the first three pages." Luna
answered, "He's calling it "20 QUESTIONS WITH HARRY POTTER"
"Harry," Hermione began, "you never mentioned this second interview to us. What was it all about? What did you say?"
Harry smirked slightly, "Well, you know the first with Skeeter was all about what happed to me at the end of the Triwizard Tournament. Cedrics death, and Voldemort's return, as well as Fudge not believing me, and the incident with the dementors in Little Whinging, right?" They all nodded.
"Well this one, as Luna mentioned, was a question and answer type interview where Luna's dad, Xeno Lovegood asked me 20 very specific questions about my life growing up with the Durleys, about Sirius, my opinions about Hogwarts and the staff, my friends, how I survived Voldemort's curse, as well as my opinions about political matters including what I think about Fudge and the job he's doing."
"Harry you didn't…." began Hermione
"You're bloody right I did Hermione!" Harry said forcefully, he eyes blazing. "First he said I was crazy, and when that didn't seem to be working he said I was an attention seeking prat who couldn't get enough of seeing his name in the paper. THEN he sticks all of us with that miserable bi…..person up there so that we can't learn defense. Well I'm fed up! So when Mr. Lovegood asked me about doing the second interview with him, I jumped at the chance to send a second salvo of dungbombs at the Ministry and at Fudge."
"What did you say?" she asked. Almost like she was afraid to hear the answer.
Harry smirked and said "I'm not telling you. You'll just have to wait till next week and read the Quibbler like everyone else. Even Lund doesn't know."
"And what are you going to do when Fudge calls you an attention seeking liar again? And you know he will."
"He won't be able to." Harry grinned, "Before the interview, I made a wizards oath on my magic to Mr. Lovegood in front of witnesses, where I swore to answer his questions honestly and without any attempt to deceive him."
"But Harry, what about if he had asked you something about the order, or something else that you have to keep secret?" asked Hermione.
"I'm not stupid Hermione. If that had happened, I left myself the option of telling him that I couldn't answer that question because it was something that I had to keep secret. It would have been the truth, so it wouldn't have broken the oath."
"Come on guys," said Ron, "we have double potions with the greasy git first thing, and I don't want to give him an excuse to take points away from us for being thirty seconds late."
Great Hall, One Week Later
"Good morning Harry." Said Hermione sleepily, "sleep well?" "Not really, I was up most of the night. I guess I just couldn't wait till this morning when the mail arrived and Umbridge finds out what I've done."
"Yeah, about that Harry," Hermione replied, "How is she going to find out? I mean nobody can get The Quibbler delivered to them without being expelled?"
Harry smiled, "After she officially banned the paper, I asked Luna to write to her father and send Umbridge a complementary copy when it came out. I want to make sure she sees it first thing so her whole day is ruined."
Hermione looked up at the ceiling as owl after owl started to fly into the hall delivering the morning mail. "I think you're about to get your wish."
Harry watched as the owls started to deliver they're letters and packages to the students in the hall when he noticed a large barn owl heading towards the staff table. "Here we go." he said.
The owl swooped down low and dropped a rolled up package right on top of Umbridge's head where it bounced once and landed in her tea, which of course went all over her. Sputtering, she picked up the roll and opened it.
Despite the distance, Harry could see that Umbridge was turning a shade of puce that would have put Vernon Dursley to shame.
"MISTER POTTER!" she screeched, "GET UP HERE THIS MINUTE!"
Suppressing a grin, Harry got up from the table and taking his time, started walking towards Umbridge.
When he was in front of her, she slammed the magazine down on the table in front of him and yelled "WHAT IS THIS!"
Harry looked at the magazine for a few moments and replied in a calm voice "That appears to be a copy of The Quibbler Professor."
"Not that, THIS!" she said, poking her stubby finger at the headline four times.
Harry looked again at the front of the Quibbler, at the headline:
20 QUESTIONS WITH HARRY POTTER
Harry Potter answers questions his life, about the Dark Lord, his opinions about the Ministry, life at Hogwarts, and his plans for the future.
"Oh that. That's an interview that I gave to Xeno Lovegood, the owner of the Quibbler. Why? Is something wrong Professor?"
Umbridge, shaking with fury said "I have told you before Mr. Potter that you are not to spread these lies. I have also told you that you are banned from further trips to Hogsmead, so how did you give this interview?"
Harry looked at Umbridge, and in his most innocent sounding voice replied "I'm sorry Professor, but I gave that interview to Mr. Lovegood the same day I talked to Miss Skeeter. We went up to a private room in the Hogs Head about an hour after my first interview."
"If you gave this interview that same day, then why wasn't in the same edition?" Unbridge demanded.
Harry, again with a complete look of innocence, replied "Actually Professor, Mr. Lovegood did say something about an important story on a Wrackspurts infestation that he wanted to get out to the public…...or was it a Heliopath infestation?" Harry paused for a moment, enjoying the look of fury on Umbridge's face. "I don't really remember but it was one of them. In any event, he told me there wasn't enough room in that edition for both interviews so he was going to publish the one with Miss Skeeter first and then the 20 questions one in the next edition. I must have forgotten to tell you Professor, I'm sorry."
"That will be another fifty points from Gryffindor and another week's worth of detentions Mr. Potter!"
"Excuse me Dolores," said a voice from behind Umbridge, "I couldn't help but overhear what you were saying to Mr. Potter, and I feel obliged to point out that since you have already punished him for talking to a reporter on his last Hogsmead outing, you cannot do so again."
Umbridge looked up at McGonagall angrily and said "I am the Hogwarts High Inquisitor, appointed by the Ministry of Magic, and I have full authority to punish any student, any way I choose Professor."
"You may be the High Inquisitor Delores, but you do not have the authority to circumvent or ignore the Hogwarts by-laws, which by the way state that no student may be punished more than once for the same offence. I should also point out that these by-laws were acknowledged as absolute by the Ministry over 500 years ago. Even the Minister of Magic does not have the authority to alter them."
Umbridge turned a shade of puce that would have put uncle Vernon to shame and then stormed off without a word.
*Quote taken from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Copyright 2003, J.K. Rowling
So, what does everyone think? (at least what do the people who read it think?) :)