I'M SO SORRY! I know I've been gone for ages, APOLOGIES. Well I'm back now, and hopefully this chapter is okay. I'm writing this at 2am so pardon me if its crappy :P
Harry was feeling rather apprehensive as he trailed after Ron and Hermione as they walked towards his doom/DADA lesson. That hate filled looked she had given him during breakfast had promised trouble, and Harry steeled himself against the thought of what she was going to do. The last two months hadn't been that bad... Well actually, thinking back on it, if Umbridge had arrived before his bonding with Fírnen, Harry was almost positive he would have already lost it, and cursed the bitch to oblivion. His bonding with Fírnen had changed him quite a lot. Gone was the constant depression caused by his lack of a family, gone was the lack of control over his fiery temper (well, most of the time...), and his bouts of teenage angst didn't occur as often as they used to. Nowadays he could have a verbal spar with Malfoy that didn't leave his face deformed by a scowl for the rest of the day. For the first time in his life, Harry was actually, dare he say it, happy.
Well, apart from the fact that he had yet to find the courage to tell Ron and Hermione about his new dragon bro's, and how he trained all summer and the months he'd been back at school with aforementioned dragon bro's, one of which was currently merged with his skin, and that his recent 'change' was caused by him turning into an elf... person... thing...
Once this class was over, he needed to meet with Fír in the forest. The letter from the goblins had gave him much to think about, and because of the new discovery of a Horcrux, they would have to act quickly, tonight if possible. There had been another letter in the envelope along with the first, giving instructions on how to enter the bank, and he needed to go over them again with Fírnen. Who knew when Voldemort might move it? It was a Friday, so if he went tonight, he could sleep for the weekend and hopefully manage to get his homework done. As for getting to the bank, Fír was five months old, now. It was high time to see if they could fly together...
"Harry, come on! Stop moving so slow! We're going to be late!" Hermione scolded but she was suppressing a smile at his grumpy expression. Ron smirked as well. The petulant expression on Harry's face was rather endearing. He always got grumpy whenever they had DADA, but his best friends didn't worry as much anymore. Harry always kept his temper in check.
Harry, unaware of his friends' amusement, scuffed his shoes along the stone floor of the corridor, muttering to himself darkly when he looked up to see the dreaded door looming before him. One simple Word, and he could blow that goddamn door to smithereens...
"Ugghhhh," Harry groaned, "Fiiiine..."
Ron shot him an amused look. "Stop looking so mopey, Harry. You've survived this long, it's not like Umbitch-" he winced at the look Hermione gave him, "-err, Umbridge, can get any worse."
Harry rolled his eyes heavenwards, "Why did he say that?"
Hermione laughed, whilst Ron just looked confused as to why Harry was talking to the ceiling. She then proceeded to grab both of their arms, and drag them the rest of the way into the classroom. They were the last to arrive, but luckily the class had yet to begin. The three of them hurried to their seats in the middle row of the room, giving a few nods in greeting to their fellow Gryffindors.
There wasn't much conversation to be had in the room. They'd had Umbridge as a teacher for a few months now, and they all understood the rules by now. They would stay quiet and pretend to read the books, Umbridge would sit at her desk sipping tea, and they would all scowl and facepalm when Umbridge began her attempts to get a rise out of Harry. Well, most of them would. A few students *cough-Malfoy-cough* would snigger and laugh at Harry's expense.
And Harry would just sit there and let his mind wander, usually travelling through the link with Fírnen to watch what the dragon was up to, or practicing his Occlumency shields. If clearing your mind while a pink toad simpered insults and taunts at you for an hour straight wasn't a good method for training, Harry didn't know what was. He just added the anger and irritation caused by her words to the boiling mass of rage that he shoved into the back of his mind, and kept his face blank, glazed eyes staring out of the window towards the forest outside.
The murmuring chatter died out immediately once Umbridge entered the room. She was neither intimidating, nor worthy of the 'respect', but everyone was aware of the consequences of speaking out of turn. According to Seamus, detentions with Umbridge were horrible. Something about cleaning plates with kittens on them...?
"Quiet now, children," Umbridge sweetly demanded to the already silent class, "Today, we will be beginning our studies of Halfbreeds. I know such a subject is unworthy of the time of such young and bright witches and wizards such as yourselves, but I'm afraid that the Hogwarts curriculum states that all children must be knowledgeable of such creatures, no matter how inconsequential they are."
Try as he might, Harry could not stop the glare that contorted his face at her words. He had been aware of her hatred of 'halfbreeds' as she called them since the start of the year, but he hadn't thought she would actually try to teach a class like this because of her racist opinions on them. Protruding, toad-like eyes flicked over to Harry, and the amphibian-ish smile widened. He quickly calmed his expression, leaving it cool and uninterested, going as far as slouching in his chair. He looked up to see Umbridge still examining him, and raised in eyebrow in question. He saw a flash of anger in her eyes before she too schooled her expression. If she thought derogatory comments on halfbreeds would set him off, she had another thing-
She thought insulting halfbreeds would anger him. Which obviously meant...
She suspected him.
He inwardly cursed, and sent his mind through the connection to Fírnen. The cursing became even more creative once he realised Fírnen was 'out of earshot' so to speak, indicating he had travelled some distance away to hunt. He briefly searched deeply into his own mind, prodding the mass of sentience that was Manin. Who was still asleep.
Merlin, was Manin snoring? That was distracting.
Bloody unhelpful dragons, unknowingly abandoning him to this insane pink creature of evil. A sharp elbow to his ribs brought his attention back to the room. The creative curses flitting through his mind once again transformed, this time into downright terrifying swears. He looked questioningly towards Hermione, owner of the ridiculously sharp elbow. "What?" he whispered. She pointedly looked at Umbridge, indicating he had been asked a question, and sent him a worried look. He hurriedly turned his attention to said monstrosity, and saw that she was staring at him expectantly. Why wasn't he able to pay attention to what was going on AND what was happening in his mind? This was getting ridiculous now.
"I'm sorry, Professor, could you repeat the question?" He kept his tone polite and disinterested.
"Of course, dear, but do pay attention. Once more, and I'm afraid I will have to give you detention." Harry's eyebrow twitched at this. Here we go.
"As I said, Mr. Potter, halfbreeds have far less control over their impulses then normal wizards do. That werewolf you had for a teacher a few years ago would have loved to attack any of you. If not for Ministry intervention, you would all still be in danger. That was why he was forced to leave his position. To think he was left to run amok in the grounds. Any one of you children could have been killed. An extremely dangerous individual to be around, wouldn't you say Mr. Potter?"
"Professor Lupin was the best Defence teacher we've ever had," Harry stated, breathing deeply to calm himself before continuing, "He would never have willingly attacked us. He's a good man."
"But werewolves have no control, do they, Mr. Potter? Once a month they are nothing more than rabid animals, and because of this, they are a danger to wizards."
"That's not true," Harry said, anger colouring his tone. He could handle Umbridge insulting him, but not his friends. It was times like this Harry hated his 'saving-people thing'. He was simply incapable of not defending the people he loved. Ron's hand on his shoulder helped, but Harry could feel his control slipping. That famous temper was making itself known. "The only time a werewolf is a danger to wizards is once a month, and now that the Wolfsbane potion exists, not even then."
"But the majority of werewolves cannot afford such a potion," Umbridge informed him with fake sadness. "So they turn into beasts, and slaughter the innocent. Tragic, really, but we cannot risk our own for the sake of a beast."
"The only reason they can't afford the potion is because the Ministry won't allow them to work!" he snarled angrily. "They can't find jobs because of the blatant racism in our community, and because of that, they are forced to live in poverty! If the Ministry wasn't so stupid-"
"Detention, Mr. Potter! I will not permit such lies and slander in my classroom-!" she shrieked, although her eyes glinted with malicious triumph.
"-For daring to insult the Ministry, and for lack of respect towards your betters!"
"You can't give me a detention for defending an entire species against just because you hate them, and just because the truth puts the Ministry in a bad light!"
Hermione placed a hand on his other shoulder, and together with Ron, and with great difficulty, they pulled Harry back down from where he was rising from his seat. "Calm down Harry!" she hissed, "Don't make it worse!"
Harry sat down, but he felt like hissing at Umbridge. How dare she insult werewolves like that! They had no control over their condition. Being a werewolf was difficult enough already without hateful bitches like the Toad giving them crap.
"I will give detentions to whomever I please," she simpered, "And I do not hate halfbreeds." Harry could see how hard it was for her to say that, "They know there place in our society. They are dangerous, and must be treated as such. All dangers to the Ministry and the Wizarding community must be controlled, and if needs be, dealt with. That is the way things are, Mr. Potter, and you will do well to keep it in mind. I will see you tonight for that detention at seven o'clock. Be late, and I will add another. Now take this note to your Head of House. She must be informed of your transgressions."
Harry glared, and got up, angrily stuffing his unopened book back into his bag. As he marched towards the tiny witch, his hand twitched in the direction of the pocket which held his concealed sword. If only he could decapitate her and get away with it, he would rid the world of this evil sociopath. He watched through narrowed eyes as she scribbled a few sentences on a strip of vibrantly pink paper, and snatched it from her once she held it out to him. As he turned around to leave, he heard her hiss sweetly, but too low for the rest of the class to hear, "You may have the school convinced, but the Ministry knows what a lying brat you are. You think you can stand against the Ministry? You are a fool."
He didn't stop walking. She had got what she wanted. He had snapped. Two months of that bullshit and one mention of Lupin and he goddamn SNAPPED. As he stormed out of the room, he was as angry with himself as he was with Umbridge. He knew she was baiting him, and still he fell for it. How could he have been so stupid? Now he was going to have to endure an evening of cleaning kitten plates! His handsome face marred by a fierce scowl, and his emerald eyes flashing furiously, Harry looked rather intimidating. Why did Hogwarts have to employ crazy teachers out for his blood? It was getting ridiculous now. You'd think after hiring two psychopaths, Dumbledore would have learned to recognise them. Well it's not like he could ask the Headmaster the reasoning behind his decisions. Dumbledore was still ignoring him. And Harry still didn't know why.
His brisk walk had him at McGonagall's office in no time. He knocked on the door abruptly, and upon hearing her voice telling him to enter, he strode inside. He calmed his outside appearance for her sake, but inside he was still fuming.
"Mr. Potter?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. Her eyes quickly flitted over him, checking for injuries, and her eyes fastened on the obnoxious pink slip of paper fluttering in his clenched fist. "I see. I have to say, I expected this would happen. That woman has been out for your blood all year. I have to say, I'm proud at how long you lasted. May I ask what happened?"
"She insulted halfbreeds, went as far as bringing up Professor Lupin and his affliction. So far she's only insulted me, but when she brought up Remus I couldn't stop myself," he said in an angry voice.
McGonagall sighed and rubbed her temples tiredly. "I understand completely, Harry. That woman deserves to be hexed to oblivion. I've had to restrain myself from transfiguring her into a toad on many occasions. The fact that you lasted this long is testament to your self control. Any points lost?"
Harry was staring at her in shock because of her announcement, and cleared his throat. "Umm, no. She just wanted to give me a detention for some reason. I'm not sure, why, but this seems to have been her goal all year. From what I've heard, detention with her isn't even that bad. Just cleaning and stuff."
Professor McGonagall nodded, "Indeed. She has been rather desperate to catch you out, Potter. I suggest you be careful tonight. If she tries to harm you in any way, you must come to me immediately. We cannot get rid of her because of her Ministry status, but perhaps I can reorganise your detention to be held by another Professor." She gave a deep sigh, and Harry gazed at her in concern. It seemed Umbridge's presence was taking its toll on McGonagall's stress levels.
"Don't worry, Professor, I'll be fine."
"See that you are. There's a Quidditch match coming up, and I don't want any detentions getting in the way of that. Professor Snape seems incredibly confident in his team this year. We need to be ready to destroy that confidence and crush all his hopes of winning the cup."
Harry laughed before he could stop himself. McGonagall was known for being strict, but when it came to Quidditch, she was perhaps the most competitive. "Yes, Professor." The bell signalling the end of classes rang out, and McGonagall wearily stood up from her desk.
"Head back to your Common room, Potter. And don't be late for that detention. I understand one detention, that woman is infuriating, but please do try not to fall for it again. She has the Ministry backing her up, and I don't want to see you fall to them because of their manipulations." A pause. "... Be careful, Potter."
He nodded, understanding that she was worried about him, and headed towards Gryffindor Tower.
Once there he was pounced on by Ron and Hermione, who were both apologising profusely for not helping him enough.
"If only I had said something," Hermione said sadly, "Maybe I could have helped, but I didn't realise you cared so much about the rights of magical creatures, Harry. It was very noble of you to defend them! I know you said you weren't interested in S.P.E.W., but-"
" And that evil woman should never have brought up Professor Lupin!" Ron cut in, "He is a better man then she will ever be." He thought about is words for a moment, "Wait, that came out wrong."
Harry laughed and just shrugged them off. "It's fine, guys. It was my own fault. I knew she was trying to make me angry, hell, she's been trying to piss me off the last two months! But don't worry, it's just a detention. It's not like she's going to torture me."
"Kitten plates, Harry," Ron said seriously, "Kitten plates. And Seamus said the office is pink."
Harry laughed again, but a sense of foreboding was rising within him. He had seen her mind. He knew she was insane, but there was no use worrying his friends over it. If things went bad, he had wizarding magic, and ancient magic to bail him out.
And a dragon.
"Guys, don't worry, I'll be fine." He checked his watched, "Dinners in a few minutes. Let's head down now so I can finish some homework before my detention." And after that he could head into the forest. A Horcux awaited him in Gringotts. "What's the worst that could happen?"
As Harry watched the words 'I must not tell lies' carve themselves into the back of his hand, he cursed himself for asking the Universe stupid questions that proceeded to turn around and bite him in the ass.
The pain was pretty bad, but then again, he had undergone the Cruciatus Curse at the hands of Voldemort. This bitch had nothing on Snake Face. He glared at his hand as the words faded away, leaving his skin unblemished, but red.
"A problem, Mr. Potter?" The hated voice inquired sweetly. Harry contemplated pulling out his wand and putting McGonagall's idea of transfiguring her into a toad into action, but then a better idea came to mind.
"What?" Harry asked, feigning confusion, "Why would there be a problem?" He started to write again, not bothering to look at the parchment. Without him looking, his writing was crooked, and because of this, when the words slashed themselves into his hand, they were in a different place than the last. Obviously the quill was supposed to scar the words into his hand, so why not deliberately mess it up so the words would be illegible?
She faked a laugh, studying his face for a trace of pain.
But Harry knew pain well. He knew how to keep a poker face. She wanted to see his pain? She wasn't going to get it. "There shouldn't be a problem."
"Could the problem possibly be the fact that this quill is using my blood to write my lines? I think it might be defective, Professor. Look." Cackling internally, Harry began to scribble on the page haphazardly. "I don't think the quill is supposed to do this! Whoa, look, my arm is bleeding a lot! Oh no! I scribbled on my lines! Ahh well, now that it's messed up, I might as well put the parchment to some use. I've never told anyone this before, but I'm really good at drawing cats. I see from your wall decorations that you have a curious fascination with them." He began drawing a crude depiction of a cat, managing to keep a straight face. The pain was excruciating now, seeing as how he was now carving up his arm as well as his hand, but Harry figured that Umbridge didn't want anyone to know what she was making him do for his detention. The wounds he was inflicting on himself would undoubtedly remain open if he continued with his method of writing lines, and then Umbridge would be in trouble. She obviously thought he would keep the wounds to himself...
Well actually, he would. As much as he would love to get her fired... McGonagall told him that the Ministry was the reason he was here. If he, the crazy, lying, attention seeking Harry Potter, reported her to the Ministry that hired her in the first place, well let's just say he didn't think it would turn out well for him. No, this would be much better dealt with on his own terms. Perhaps with the help of a certain pair of twins. Oh the possibilities...
That'd teach her to mess with Harry. She thought this little quill would upset him? Bitch please. Try Basilisk venom next time. That shit hurt like a motherfucker.
"See? Isn't it adorable? Agh crap! My hand slipped again! Oh no! I can't stop it! Miss! I don't think my arm should be bleeding this much! You know, you should really test your quills before you give them to a student. Honestly."
"STOP!" Umbridge shrieked, watching in horror as blood began to soak through Harry's jumper sleeves. "Give me that quill, you little masochist!" She snatched it out of his hand with her stubby fingers, and pointed at the door. "Get out! This detention is over!"
Harry shot her a perplexed look, indicating that she was insane by the expression on his face alone, and grabbed his bag before heading out the door. "Alright, Professor. Maybe you should buy some new quills..." Sadist.
Once outside the office, Harry couldn't help but laugh. She thought she'd had him with a little pain? She was under the impression that a quill would break him. Well she was in for a surprise. He wasn't some weak child. He was a Dragonrider. He had faced Voldemort on countless occasions and survived. He'd killed a fucking Basilisk! ... And then proceeded to get poisoned by it. But that didn't matter! This was nothing. This was-
'HARRY! WHY ARE YOU IN PAIN?!'
Ah shit, Fírnen.
'I go away for ONE day, and you get injured. I'm coming to the school. I will burn it to the ground and rip apart whoever did this to you!'
'Dude, calm down!' Harry sent back. 'I'm fine. Look, I'm healing it now.' Pushing his sleeve up, and holding his silver marked palm over his tattooed arm, Harry whispered, "Waíse heill!" A bright light shone from his palm, and he watched as the wound closed up. As soon as it was done, a deep tiredness filled him. 'Whoa,' he sent dizzily, 'Manin was right, Life Magic's take energy. Man that sucks...'
'Who did this? The toad-woman?'
Harry sighed, and began walking towards the Gryffindor common room. 'Sort of. I kinda did it to myself.' He quickly sent the memory to Fírnen, smiling when he sensed the amusement emanating from the dragon.
'I will still wish to kill her, but I admit, your method was rather entertaining. You plan to torture her instead? With the help of those red-furred children? I see endless possibilities.'
Harry smirked to himself, reaching the Fat Lady's portrait and climbing inside. "Indeed."
'So I don't need to destroy the school?'.
Harry smiled at the comforting presence filling his mind. 'Nope. I need grab the cloak and some other stuff, and then I'll come see you. We fly to Gringotts tonight.'
I'll be on my week long midterm next weekend, so we'll see if my laziness takes over again or not XD Thanks for reading and not giving up on me. The reviews asking for updates managed to convince me to update EVENTUALLY. Sorry if there's any plot holes but I haven't written in ages and I hate reading back over my own work coz it makes me think it's crap. Next chapter is Gringotts break in. Dunno if I said that last chapter... Ahh well.