"We need to study more" Hermione insisted.
"We don't need to" Rishi told her "We can just study like we normally do!"
"These are the OWL exams!" Hermione exclaimed "We can't just study like we normally do!"
"We can!" Rishi sighed, exasperated.
Harry was split between joining their debate and shutting both of them up. During the feast, Hermione suggested that they create an OWL study plan. No one was against it but when she explained it, Rishi opposed it. He said that they needed time away from academics. Since then, Harry and Padma watched Rishi and Hermione argue with each other.
"Now that we are all fed and watered" Harry turned to see Dumbledore speaking, and for once, was happy to hear him "Let us commence with our announcements for the year. Professor Grubby-Plank will be taking over Care of Magical Creatures and the Ministry of Magic has sent Dolores Umbridge to teach Defense Against Dark Arts. Make sure to give them a warm welcome. Next..."
"Hem hem" the toady woman known as Dolores Umbridge said"I would to say a few words."
"By all means, Dolores, go ahead" Dumbledore left the podium as Umbridge walked up to it.
"Thank you, Headmaster, for those kind words of welcome. And how lovely to see all your bright happy faces smiling up at me. I'm sure we're all going to be very good friends" Umbridge smiled at the kids though she didn't look very happy.
"I'd rather die" Rishi coughed as many people looked disgusted at this woman. Harry chuckled. She didn't seem to be making friends very quickly.
If she noticed the kids' reaction to her, Umbridge didn't show it "The Ministry of Magic has always considered the education of young witches and wizard of vital importance. Although each Headmaster has brought something new to this historic school."
She gave Dumbledore a look which Harry couldn't figure out "Progress for the sake of progress must be discouraged. Let us preserve what must be preserved, perfect what can be perfected and prune practices that ought to be prohibited."
Umbridge left the podium as Dumbledore went back up "Thank you Professor Umbridge. That was really most illuminating."
Dumbledore then brought the feast to a close. The Prefects then began leading the first-years up so Harry and Hermione went to assist with that. While they made sure no first year fell out of step, Harry noticed that Rishi and Padma were walking together and seemed to be discussing something.
Later, after solving a riddle and sending the new students to bed, Harry and Rishi found themselves with their male yearmates. They were discussing girls (Corner wanted to know how both Harry and Rishi managed to get girlfriends) when Terry asked "What do you think of Umbridge?"
"She seems..." Anthony tried to find a word "Fine, I guess. But, we'll have to wait until Defense Class to find out."
Rishi shook his head "I already don't like her."
"Why" Corner asked.
"Her speech" Rishi explained "I agree, it was utter bullshit. I didn't listen to a single word. But then, Padma pointed something out to me. In her speech, she mentioned how the Ministry values education. A normal teacher wouldn't have mentioned the Ministry but she did. We also know that she works for the Ministry, under Minister Fudge."
The other 4 boys suddenly got it "The Ministry sent her here."
"They're interfering with Hogwarts" Terry summed up.
"This is unprecedented" Anthony said "Hogwarts and the Ministry have left each other alone but now..."
He stopped unable to describe what would come. Harry knew Anthony wasn't the best with words but he couldn't find a word himself. This was going to be weird.
Harry didn't have time to think further on the Ministry and Hogwarts for a while. The teachers decided that since they were in their OWL year, huge amounts of homework were necessary. Harry wasn't mad about this. It wasn't too hard, it just took a lot of time.
Others, like Ron Weasley, chose to protest the homework and found themselves facing strict punishments from the teachers. McGonnagall made it clear that this year, the teachers were for real. She took 20 points from Gryffindor, her house, and gave Ron a detention.
After that, no student dared argue with the teachers. Except Ron, but he didn't have a brain to help him make decisions.
Now, the students entered DADA. Harry was quite curious on what Umbridge's approach would be. Would she focus on creatures? On theory? On martial magic? Harry, and many others, wanted to know.
The Ravenclaws and Gryffindors filed into DADA and sat down, waiting for Umbridge to do something. The new professor was currently standing in front of the classroom. When everyone was seated, she spoke "Good afternoon class."
Most of class remained while some replied "Good afternoon Professor" though most mumbled it. This didn't sit well with Umbridge.
"When I say 'Good afternoon class'" Umbridge tutted "I expect to hear a nice and clear 'Good afternoon Professor.' Now, let's try again, shall we? Good afternoon class."
"Good afternoon Professor" all of class replied now. They were too tired to fight against her wishes.
"That's much better" Umbridge noted "Now then, let's get started."
She waved her wand at the blackboard and her course aims filled it "Please read over the course aims. When you finish, take out Defensive Magical Theory and read chapter one."
Harry quickly read over the course aims, and was mentally disgusted. The lady didn't just focus on theory. She ONLY taught theory. Which was odd. The Ministry knew that Voldemort is back. They need teach the kids how to apply the theory in real life.
Umbridge began walking around the classroom as students read. Harry, not interested in reading the book, disguised one of his books on Warding as Umbridge's textbook.
Umbridge stopped when she noticed that Hermione wasn't reading "Why aren't you reading?"
"I have a question about the course aims" Hermione told her "Will we be practicing any spells in this class?"
"Of course not" Umbridge responded with shock.
"But..." Neville said but Umbridge turned on him.
"Raise your hand, Mr..." she ordered.
"Mr Longbottom" Neville glared at her "Won't we need to know how to apply the theory?"
"If you are well versed in the theory, its application shouldn't be difficult" Umbridge answered.
"Why can't we practice that though" Parvati asked her, raising her hand to avoid a confrontation.
"The Ministry doesn't want underage wizards practicing dangerous spells" Umbridge told her, her anger growing with every question.
"What if we need to fight" Ron whined.
"Fight against who?" Umbridge smirked. This was going perfectly.
"You-Know-Who!" Ron shouted "He's back!"
"Is he back" Umbridge asked, turning to Harry "Is he?"
Every eye in the class turned to a Hadrian James Potter who appeared to not be giving Umbridge any attention at all. In reality, Harry was listening to Umbridge's every word. Not looking up from the book, he calmly and quietly said "I would never believe it. The Junior Undersecretary to the Minister doesn't believe her own boss."
Umbridge was flustered by that "Young man! How could you say that?"
"He said Voldemort is back" Harry casually flipped a page of the book "You say that he isn't back. You tell me what I should think."
The class broke out into whispers upon this. Did Umbridge really think her boss a liar? Umbridge sensed that she was losing control of the situation and decided to punish the one who caused all this "Mr Potter, you will have a week's worth of detentions for classroom disruptions. I will see you in my office at 7:00."
"Cool" Harry still didn't look up, which annoyed Umbridge "See you then."
As class ended, Harry closed his book and left the classroom with his friends. But, before he left, he looked straight into Umbridge's eyes which unnerved her greatly. He then left the classroom, leaving Umbridge to imagine the fun of punishing him.
Everyone seemed ready to throw questions at him, but before they could, Rishi held up his hand "You used legimmency on her, didn't you?"
Harry smirked and nodded "She seemed quite eager to punish me. I took a quick look in her mind, which wasn't hard. All her thoughts and memories are out there for anybody to see."
"What will she do?" Padma asked him curiously.
Harry looked around quickly and then spoke "She wants use a blood quill on me."
Everyone's faces paled and Rishi growled "I swear to Shiva, I will tear her arms off!"
Parvati shook her head "Daphne gets first dibs. She's the girlfriend here."
Parvati's joke didn't calm Rishi "Fine. I call second. I swear..."
Harry smirked "Don't worry about it, Rishi. I'll deal with Umbridge."
Everyone watched as Herry let out a chuckle "Trust me, she'll never know what hit her."
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