How Hermione Granger and AOL got Umbridge Sacked
a/n – This story started as a rabid plot bunny that jumped up out of a question in a review of one of my earlier stories that wondered if Hermione was a gamer girl, back in the day. And considering the heyday of Neverwinter Nights was during their Hogwarts days, I decided it might be reasonable. That and trying to find a name for an underground group of muggleborns looking to change the Ministry.
As per usual, I don't own any of the rights to the Harry Potter universe. That belongs to JKR. Neverwinter Nights belonged to TSR and AOL back in the day and I think it currently belongs to WOTC, but I'm not certain since they've been neglecting it something fierce lately. And the magic user/thief Shadow was a young lady from England, back in the day who wasn't online during the school year. Coincidence?
Chapter One – Never Underestimate a Muggleborn Insider ...
1630 Tuesday 14 May, 1996 – Gryffindor Common Room, Hogwarts School of W&W
Rushing through the entranceway to the Gryffindor common room, Harry Potter was out of breath as he arrived after running all the way from the entrance to the Great Hall.
"Ron, quick. Get some help; we have to rescue Hermione …"
Trailing off, Harry finally noticed that the witch he was trying to mount a rescue for was sitting calmly in her usual spot beside the fireplace. Curled up in her usual overstuffed chair, with her feet tucked up under her, she calmly looked up from reading Hogwarts: a History.
"Ready for dinner?"
"Dinner?" Staring at her in disbelief, Harry shook his head. "Susan said that Umbridge had you, that cow Parkinson and her squad of rejects had taken you out of the library to see her."
"Oh, that," Hermione said dismissively as she carefully marked her place. "Pansy was reading over my shoulder in the library and took exception to some things I'd gotten from home, so she 'invited' me to discuss it with Madam Umbridge," Hermione said in a very calm and reasonable tone, which immediately set all of Harry's alarm bells to ringing.
"Hermione, are you all right?"
Hurrying over, Harry leaned over the arm of the chair and placed the back of his hand on her forehead.
"Honestly, I'm not six," she huffed. Scooting over in the chair, she patted the arm of it. "Sit."
Watching her warily, Harry perched himself on the arm of the chair. "Are you sure …"
"Yes Harry, I'm fine," Hermione reassured him. "Pansy just became a bit … alarmed when she read some of the printouts my mother sent me via Hedwig from over the weekend."
Pausing for a moment, she got up on her knees and gave Harry a brief kiss on the cheek. Blushing a bit, she sat back down in the chair and stared at Harry until he slid down from the arm into the seat with her.
"Why would Pansy have a problem with printouts your mother sent you," Harry asked before Neville interrupted.
"Why would you print out," he asked with a puzzled expression.
Hearing the laughter from some of the muggleborn and raised in the room, Hermione glared at them briefly before turning her attention back to Neville.
"Printouts are what you call it when you print the material from the internet you've been reading," Hermione explained. Seeing the lost look on Neville's face, she sighed.
"Have you heard about computers? The Internet? The World Wide Web?" Getting blank looks from Neville and all of the other purebloods in the room, who seemed to be overly interested, Hermione began with a basic guide to computers and the internet for the technically challenged.
"… and so," she concluded fifteen minutes later, "You can think of it as a scrying device that brings you news and things from other muggles around the world."
"But you play games on this," Neville asked. "And those were those … printouts that Pansy was worried about?"
"Well, sort of. They were more emails from some of the others in the game. Since I can't keep up while I'm in school here, my mother prints out the journals about what's happening in the game and she sends them to me so I can keep up. One of the games is called Neverwinter Nights, and is set in a fantasy world where magic and magicians fight dragons and other things."
"Isn't that a violation of the Statutes of Secrecy," Ron asked, frowning as he tried to imagine hordes of muggles knowing about magic.
"It's not real magic, it's magic in a game. The players don't think it's real," she said before she paused. "Well, most of them don't. There's this paladin from Boston who seems a bit confused every once in a while, but for the most part they're just playing a made up game."
"So you're a witch, in this game, correct?"
Blushing, Hermione shook her head. "Not really. In the game, I'm called Shadow. I'm an elf who's a thief and a magic user. And that's what got Pansy so confused."
"She was confused you were called Shadow," Harry asked. "And why would she take you to see Umbridge just for a game?"
"Well, Pansy didn't really understand the concept of the internet or that it was a game, so when she read the part of the message from our paladin named Scarface about Lord Nasher looking for people to infiltrate Luskan, she immediately thought they were messages from Harry about planning to infiltrate the Ministry in London."
"How …" Trailing off, Harry just shook his head. "This is Parkinson we're talking about." Looking at Hermione, he asked "Are you certain your fine?"
"Harry, every thing's fine. Parkinson and the rest of her little group of inquisitors escorted me to Umbridge's office," she began to explain.
"After we got there, Umbridge tried being nice to me, same as with you," Hermione continued. Seeing the knowing look in Harry's eye, she smirked. "Same bad tea, same bad biscuits, same bad questions."
"Did you ditch the tea in the plant?"
Nodding, Hermione frowned. "I'm going to have to look up what's in Veritaserum," she said. "From what it's doing to that holly bush, I don't think people should be taking much of it."
Shaking her head, she sighed noisily. "She was reading through the printouts, getting very agitated. Especially when she read about the part where Scarface was complimenting me on finally mastering the Cone of Cold and Feeblemind spells."
Shaking her head, she chuckled at the look on Harry's face. "I never said any of it was real, but she seemed to think you already knew the Feeblemind spell."
Seeing the blank look on Harry's face, she laughed. "Lockhart? Second year?"
"Oh," Harry said as he finally figured it out. "That was Ron's wand and Lockhart's memory spell."
"Don't blame me," Ron chimed in. "If she's a Lockhart fan like my mum, I'd rather she blame you for him being in St. Mungo's rather than me."
As everyone got a laugh about that, Harry looked at Hermione. "This still doesn't explain why you're sitting there so calmly after being interrogated by Umbridge. Did she let you go after the tea and biscuits?"
Reaching down and grabbing her book bag, Hermione slid her copy of Hogwarts: a History into it. "Of course not. That's when she used the Imperius cures on me to get me to talk."
As a gasp went up, Harry was going spare. "Hermione? Are you all right? Did she make you do … anything?" Visions of Hermione alone with Umbridge and Parkinson under the effects of the Imperius curse were running through his mind.
"Harry, the woman is so weak willed she couldn't make me go to the loo after three pots of tea," Hermione scoffed. "I may not have been able to throw off Barty Crouch's curse last year, but I'm certainly capable of ignoring that toad."
Looking very relieved, Harry reached over and squeezed her hand. "What did she do when you didn't react?"
"Oh, I spilled my guts," Hermione giggled. Adopting a glassy stare and a vacant smile, she said in a monotone, "I confessed the whole plot of the Muggleborn Insiders to take over the Ministry."
"What!?" chorused half the room.
Breaking out of her glassy-eyed stare, she smirked. "I decided I'd tell her what she wanted to hear. How Dumbledore and a shadowy cabal of muggleborns and halfbloods were plotting to overthrow the Ministry and then the British government. I told her that the Muggleborn Insiders Liberation Front had been planning this for years. I'm too young to be an active member, of course, but I knew about the whole thing since my mother was one."
Hermione then went on to say how the Muggle Prime Minister's office had been watching the group for years, and that Prime Minister Major wasn't really a banker, that was just a cover. He was really an intelligence operative who had been studying Muggleborn Insiders Liberation Front activities for decades now.
"And that's when I mentioned that she should inform the Minister so he could go and tell the Prime Minster that he needed pictures of their activities. She assured me that she would let the Minister know and asked me if there was anything else she should know."
Pausing for a moment, she concluded, "And that's when I confessed that the muggle intelligence agencies were very fond of acronyms, so the Minister should just use the acronym when he asked for the Prime Minister's help."
As she stood up and pulled Harry out of the chair, she added, "that's when she left to go to London to brief the Minister of Magic about the M.I.L.F'
All of a sudden, Harry's eyes went wide and every muggleborn or raised in the room started laughing when they put together what the Muggleborn Insiders Liberation Front was ...
5 PM, 10 Downing Street, London
"Thank you for seeing me on such short notice, Mr. Minister," Cornelius Fudge said as he exited the floo into the Prime Minister's office. "I've been told you're the man to see about this situation."
Looking a bit bewildered, Prime Minster John Major motioned the flustered looking Minster of Magic to a seat. As they crossed the office to a sitting area, the balding man with the green bowler looked very worried.
"Your announcer, over there," the Prime Minister began as he indicated the picture of the wizard beside the fireplace that acted as a link between the two offices, "seemed to think it was a matter of great urgency for both of us."
"Yes, yes," Fudge agreed as he sat heavily in the chair. Fanning himself with his hat, he furtively looked around. "Is this office secure?"
Looking a bit surprised, the Prime Minster sat back and nodded. "It's secure from our end. The security people sweep the room every day for bugs and other monitoring devices." Watching the older man as he nervously looked around, he asked.
"Out with it man, if it's an urgent matter the sooner we get it out in the open the soon we can deal with it."
"I hope so," he said. Leaning forward, Cornelius asked in a conspiratorial manner, "I've been told you're the man to come to regarding MILFs."