Ginny had just finished reminding Harry that she had been possessed by Voldemort and could tell him if he was. He apologized but then explained how it was like he was the snake; he was the one to attack their father. Ron disagreed and told him he was in his bed the whole time. Harry started to pace and think. As he walked past Ginny he was blinded by a white light and he felt himself being pulled off his feet. It was over so quickly he didn't even have time to yell about it. He looked around wildly but all he could see was Ginny and the darkness surrounding them.
"Are you ok?"
"Yes, what happened?" she asked.
"Don't know but this doesn't look like Grimmauld Place. Do you have your wand?" he asked.
"Already out, you?" she asked
They stood back to back at a slight ready crouch. They kept their eyes moving over the area looking for their attacker. Harry reached to his left and found a wall in the darkness.
"Wall on your right." he said quietly.
"Found it." she whispered her reply. "One ahead of me and to the left too."
"Same, we're boxed in," he stated. "Can't tell if there's a top though."
Just then above them was lit up like day. Both turned and pointed their wands while trying to protect their eyes. No one was above them when their eyes finally adjusted. Ginny kept her eyes up as Harry started to search the box they found themselves in. It was small; at least it was small with two teens in it. Side to side he could reach out his hands and touch the walls at the same time. The other direction it was wider
"I see some movement." Ginny whispered. Harry stopped and listened but heard nothing. Suddenly dirt started pouring in on top of them.
"Move to the side." Harry said jerking her with him.
As dirt continued to pour in they moved to stand on it instead of being buried in it. They still sunk in a few inches but never let it get over their ankles. When they got near the top Harry peered over the edge.
"We're surrounded by people in black but they don't look like Death Eaters." he said as he struggled to stay on top of the dirt but below the edge of the box.
Just when he didn't think he could stay below the edge any more the dirt stopped.
"Congratulations." a voice called out to them. "You've passed the test so we'll train you."
"And you are?" Ginny asked.
"We're called the Laughing Ninja's." the voice called out to them, "I know that's sound a bit like a contradiction but we laugh silently. Most of the time."
Harry cocked an eyebrow at Ginny and she shrugged in response.
"What do you want from us?" she asked.
"To train you duh. Didn't I already say that?"
"For what?" Ginny asked.
"Why don't you get out of the dirt and we'll talk." A head popped up over the edge and then a hand followed.
"So what's with the box and the dirt?" Harry asked after they were helped out and onto solid ground.
"Testing to see if you have any brains at all. You'd be surprised at how many people just let themselves be buried." the man said.
"Yes, but we don't allow that to kill them." he said, "We just send them back home."
"Speaking of that…" Ginny looked questioningly at the man.
"After you're trained." he said.
"Trained for what exactly?" Ginny was getting frustrated.
"To be an assassin." he said, "That's what Ninja's do."
"I don't want to be an assassin. I don't want to kill people." Ginny stated.
"Not even a certain dark lord?" he asked.
"Ok maybe that one but that's all." she said.
"No after him will be another dark wizard and then when he's gone another." he said, "It's a cycle that never ends. A circle of life kind of thing."
"Huh?" Ginny asked.
"Are you muggles?" Harry asked.
"No just highly inquisitive wizards. Rather like the two of you. That's why you were chosen for the test." he said.
"Ok, so who are you?" Harry asked.
"Oh sorry I should have done that already. I'm Master Wang of the Laughing Ninja's but you can just call me Nick." he said.
"Ok Nick I guess I'm going to bite the big question." Harry said, "Who or what are the laughing Ninja's?"
"Finally, I didn't think you'd ever ask." Nick grinned, "Like I said we're Ninja Assassins that laugh silently. Most of the time. We have six rules that you must agree to follow. If you do we'll train you to kill your dark lord thingy."
"What are the rules?" Harry asked immediately interested in what the man had to say.
"Rule one: Only kill the bad guys, but no unforgivables."
"I think I can agree to that one." Harry said.
"Me too." Ginny agreed.
"Rule two: If you don't kill the bad guy make him wish he was dead."
"I really like that one." Ginny grinned.
"Me too." Harry agreed.
"Rule three: Use any means to make him wish he was dead and almost any means to make him dead."
"Almost?" Harry asked.
"See rule one." he said.
"No unforgivable, ok I'm good." Harry said and Ginny nodded her agreement.
"Rule four: If you can laugh while you do it all the more better."
"Why would I laugh while killing someone that sounds a little disturbing." Ginny said.
"We need to reword that one a bit." Nick said, "It means if you can prank him to death."
"Oh well that's ok then." Ginny said, "Do you know my twin brothers?"
"Heard of them and to meet them would be awesome, but they aren't Ninja material." Nick said, "To focused on laughing and not enough on killing."
"Ok, rule five?" Harry asked.
"Right rule five: If you can make him want to kill himself that's sweet."
"I'm in." Harry said.
"I like it to but we better wait for number six." Ginny said and Harry agreed grudgingly.
"Rule six: If he succeeds you get the high score."
"You mean if he really kills himself…" Harry said.
"You get the high score." Nick nodded.
"That's your rules to live by?" Ginny asked.
"Yep. Now do you think you can abide by them?" he asked.
"Yes. Absolutely." Harry grinned, "How about you Ginny?"
"Do I have to keep my pranking to only the bad guys?" she asked.
"No. Only the Ninja pranks have to be on the bad guys. Regular pranks can be on anyone." Nick said.
"And the difference?" she asked.
"Ninja pranks are the ones that prank them to death. Literally." Nick pointed out.
"Cool, I'm in." Ginny grinned.
"So we begin." Nick grinned, "First we get you your cool Ninja clothes and gear."
Back at Grimmauld place….
"What just happened?" Fred asked.
"Where's Ginny and Harry?" George asked.
"Mum." Ron yelled opening the door. He tried to run out of the room but only succeeded in running into Sirius who was startled from his singing of Christmas carols.
"What's going on?" he asked.
"There was a light and they just disappeared into it." Ron said nearly hyperventilating, "They were there and then gone just like that."
"Who?" Sirius asked.
"Ginny and Harry." yelled Hermione, Ron and the twins.
Panic ensued at Grimmauld place. When Albus Dumbledore and Madeye Moody arrived it was to see people running around with their arms in the air screaming and bumping into walls and each other.
"What's going on?" Albus tried to stop Hermione as she ran by.
"Harry and Ginny are missing. Then Fred and George put this stupid spell on us and we can't stop, ouch Ron, running around like crazy people. It's got another thirty seconds until the spell wears off." she answered as Ron ran into her.
"Sorry, blame Fred and George." Ron yelled as he went on past.
Finally the spell wore off and Albus heard Molly yelling at the twins. He followed the voices into the kitchen and sat at the table to watch the show.
"Sorry Mum." Fred said.
"The prank was in place…" George added.
"before they went missing…" Fred stated.
"and we forgot about it." George finished.
"At least we were able to summon Albus before it took effect." Molly sighed, "No more pranks or no more quidditch."
"Harsh punishment." Fred and George responded together.
"Not harsh enough, if those two babies are hurt I'll take it out on your hides." Molly explained.
"Mum." Ron snickered, "I don't think Ginny and Harry will appreciate you calling them babies."
"Hush Ronald." Molly said, "Hermione will you tell them what you all saw."
"We went up to confront Harry about his recent behavior." Hermione started, "We convinced him he is not being possessed by You Know Who and he was pacing the room thinking about it. As he walked past Ginny there was a bright flash of light. When it was gone… so were they."
Albus put the Order into action. They searched high and low but no trace of Harry and Ginny could be found. Snape found that the Dark Lord didn't even know Potter was missing. He was still making plans to capture and kill the brat. When school started up after New Years it was a somber group that informed the rest of Gryffindor that the two were missing. Within two days the rumor mill at Hogwarts had taken the story and ran with it. It was a very bushy haired Hermione who approached Ron and the twins one night just a few days into school.
"What happened to you?" Ron asked eyeing her hair.
"They won't stop." Hermione growled, "I have been asked everything from did You Know Who kidnap them to torture and kill them to did they elope. It's been driving me crazy, they won't let me study."
"Hermione." Lavender called, "I just heard that Harry and Ginny have been taken by Beauxbatons to be tortured for information about Hogwarts is that what's happening?"
"I. Don't. Know." Hermione ground out. When Ron looked back at her he saw her hands were tangled in her hair and pulling as she grimaced looking like she was in pain.
"Hermione stop." he said, "You're going to pull your hair out."
"Tell me something I don't know." she replied snippily.
The boys calmed her down and kept everyone away while she finished her homework. The next morning they kept her surrounded through breakfast. The first class of the day for Ron and Hermione was Defense with Umbridge. They were both thinking about just skipping the class not wanting to be near the horrid woman. In truth Ron wasn't sure Hermione could make it through the class without hexing someone.
"What are you all wearing?" Umbridge asked as she looked up at the class from her chair behind her desk.
"We're wearing our uniforms as usual." Pansy said looking confused.
"Don't lie to me." Umbridge growled, "We'll just call the headmaster about this."
She wrote a note and sent it flying out the door. Then she leaned back in her chair with an evil smile on her face.
"What's wrong Delores?" Albus asked when he arrived at the class.
"Just look at them." she pointed at the Gryffindors in the room, "Out of uniform and trying to pretend everything's normal."
"They are in uniform. Everything is normal." Albus said confused, "Are you feeling well?"
"I'm perfectly fine." she replied, "But they're wearing those things. That is not part of the uniform."
"I'm sorry I just don't see what you're talking about." Albus said.
"You are in on it." she accused getting up out of her chair and moving towards him, "I…" She paused in her rant with an odd look on her face. The cloths on the students seemed to be changing. After a few seconds everyone was in their normal uniform, "What? How did you…"
"What?" Albus asked.
"They all just changed back." She glared.
"Have you been sitting in you chair the whole time?" Albus asked.
He waved his wand and said, "Here we are. Someone hexed your chair."
"Well I have no idea." Albus said.
"Check their wands." she ordered pointing at the Gryffindors.
Albus complied and found a variety of hair drying, ironing spells and a few that were practicing spells for classes. None of them could have done the spell that was on Umbridge's chair.
"They must have done it last night." she accused, "I was here supervising detentions until eight. One of them snuck in after I left."
"It wasn't a Gryffindor." Albus stated, "They had a house meeting last night that lasted from eight until nine thirty. Someone had pulled some pranks in the dorms and they were trying to sort it out. But not even the Weasley twins could figure out the prank and how it was pulled. We put a monitor on the door to see who was going in and out and no one left the tower last night."
Over the next several weeks the pranks on Delores Umbridge increased. Her clothes alternated between too tight and too big. The colors were changed from pink to blue to green to black and then started the stripes and spots. But only Umbridge could see the changes. For everyone else her clothes stayed the same size and same color as always. After a full two weeks of her ranting and raving about nothing Albus insisted she get a check up by Poppy.
"No I will not have one of your people touch me." she growled, "I still think you're the one behind it. I will call St. Mungo's to send someone trustworthy."
"Fine just tell me who and when." Albus sighed.
"So I can let them in." he explained.
The healer came and told her she was stressed and needed some calm time for a while. He suggested she take a break from teaching. She laughed off his concerns and went back to teaching. After a few days of nothing abnormal it started again. But this time they were worse. Her chair grabbed hold of her and wouldn't let go. Suits of armor were dropping their weapons just as she passed by, several times her clothes were damaged by the weapons. And these pranks everyone was able to see. But no one could find the spells on the suits of armor or her chair. After one close call where she received a cut from one of the weapons the aurors even checked and couldn't find anything.
One particular Saturday after she had twenty students in detention she was attacked again. She had forced the students to use her blood quills during their detention. When it was over she was following them back out to the Great Hall for lunch. She was walking on the opposite side of the hall as the suits of armor trying to stay away from their weapons. The last suit of armor jumped off its plinth as she went by and it grabbed her. She screamed and the students turned to see what had happened. Several of them left to go get teachers. Albus and Minerva followed the students back to find Delores being held two feet off the floor in a bear hug by a suit of armor.
When Albus approached the suit turned, "She is guilty of endangering the lives of your students. She used blood quills in her detention. I will hold her until you have Aurors come and arrest her."
"You must be mistaken." Albus looked aghast, "They are illegal."
"She made us use quills that wrote into the backs of our hands." Ron showed Albus his fist, "I don't know if that's what you're talking about but it writes our lines in our own blood." On the back of his hand Dumbledore was able to see the words, I must not tell lies, "Harry's are a lot worse. I doubt his scars will go away. He's had to use it too many times."
"Minerva." Albus stated.
"All ready done. I sent a call to Kingsley." she stated glaring at the horrid woman.
"Why didn't any of you tell us about this before?" Albus asked.
"Harry is the only one I knew about before today." Ron said, "He refused to tell saying you have enough to worry about and he was fine."
Albus pulled Ron further down the hall and talked softly to him, "Do you have any idea why Harry wouldn't tell me about this?"
"I think it has to do with his lack of trust in adults." Ron said, "His Aunt and Uncle pretty much beat out any trust he might have had. I know it's bad there but he won't talk about it, says it won't do any good to bring it up anyway."
"But," Albus said, "They're family I'm sure they love him."
"Professor, have you ever gone to check up on him?" Ron asked.
"No." Albus sighed, "I was afraid I would lead Death Eaters to his door."
"This is all Potters doing." Delores called loudly from down the hall when the Aurors arrived, "He is trying to kill me."
Striding back to the group Albus looked at the woman with disdain, "Delores, Harry has been missing since Christmas. How could he possibly be doing this to you?"
"I don't know. But I know it's that delinquents fault. He's trying to get back at me. I won't be cowed." she screamed.
"Why would she want to be a cow on top of being a toad?" Luna asked airily.
Snickers were heard around the hall. Even Minerva had turned her back. Albus noticed her shoulders were shaking.
"What would he be getting you back for?" Albus wondered aloud.
"For his detentions." she was beginning to lose control, "He didn't like using a blood quill any more than these brats do. We can't have these hooligans disrupting our world. They're just trying to take over so we can't tell them what to do. I'll show them though. I promise to make them all bleed to death to get them under control if I need to."
"Delores Umbridge." Kingsley stated clearly, "You are under arrest for the use of a banned object of torture. You are further accused of injuring twenty students with said object."
"Twenty one." Ron added, "Harry isn't here but she's been using it on him all year."
"Twenty one students then." Kingsley agreed.
"And threatening to kill said students." Albus added.
"Absolutely." Kingsley said.
"You can't. I'm doing exactly what Cornelius wanted me to do. We can have Potter and his friends talking about You Know Who." Delores challenged.
"Are you saying Minister Fudge wants you to kill all the students of Hogwarts?" Kingsley asked.
"Don't be stupid." She tittered and shook her head making her grey curls bounce slightly, "He only wants Potter dead. The rest have to be put in their place so they won't rebel against our authority. We must stay in control."
"Ok then we'll add conspiracy to commit murder." Kingsley added, "Do you know where we can find Harry?"
"How should I know where that miserable whelp went?" Delores raged, "Albus is probably hiding him so I can't get to him. Rest assured I will get to him."
"No I believe you'll be getting to Azkaban." Kingsley finished, "Albus how do we get her out of the suit of armor?"
"Don't know." Albus waved his wand at it and said, "I don't know how it's been animated."
"I've been activated by the school to protect the students." the suit of armor replied, "If you promise to remove her from the castle I will release her."
"I promise to arrest her on the spot and take her to the ministry for trial." Kingsley stated.
"Good enough." the armor dropped her and returned to its place.
Delores Umbridge, Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic fell in a heap on the floor. She struggled to stand and pointed her wand at Albus Dumbledore.
"You are doing this to me. You're trying to get me to give up my secrets but you won't get them." She declared madly, "Mudbloods and those who care about them will be put in their place when the Dark Lord takes over."
"Stupify." Kingsley muttered, "I thought I should do that before she incriminates herself anymore."
"Now I need a new DADA Professor." Albus sighed.
"We've needed one of those for years." Ron stated, "The only decent one we've had was Professor Lupin. The fake Moody wasn't bad if you disregard his whole trying to kill Harry thing."