All Btvs and HP characters belong to their respective owners and as always I'm not making any profit from this fic.A/N:
Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed the last chapter, all your kind words gave me the enthusiasm I needed to get writing again. And extra special thanks go out to spikesplayfulpet
for their recommendation, the first for this story :)
Chapter 26: Classroom Conflicts
“Okay, everyone ready?”
She stared around the room at the faces of her students. They had only just arrived and were still getting comfortable in their seats. At her question they nodded and all eyes were fixed upon her as she stood at the front of the classroom.
“Today we're learning about protection spells and charms. Now this is a big subject in your O.W.L examinations so make sure you're paying attention. You'll need to get out your books and turn to page one hundred and forty-two where you will find the Shield Charm.”
She grabbed up the book on her desk and flicked to the right page herself so she would have something to use as a reference.
“Of course there is no way to fully protect yourself from every spell, but a shield charm can work wonders in keeping out unwanted hexes or jinxes if you know how to work one properly. And there are many forms of this charm, each one a stronger version of the one before it, do any of you know them?”
She stared at the many blank faces, her amused eyes finding Hermione in the crowd who had instantly raised her hand. Just like normal. “Hermione?”
“Well there's the normal charm, Protego
, and then the more advanced forms like Protego Duo
and Protego Totalum
, which is more specifically for the protection of a small area rather than the caster himself.”
“Very good, you're completely right. Not all the charms are for protecting you, there are many that can be used to protect the surrounding area too. Now before we get practicing, I want you to take note of your homework. I want you all to research into shield charms and write a page on the uses and benefits of them, paying special attention to the advanced forms.”
She waited silently as the students wrote down their homework, and when everyone was ready she gestured for them all to stand. “You'll need to be in pairs, so everyone find a partner. One of you is going to try out the shield charm while the other is going to cast a low level jinx, and when we have some progress we will swap positions. Remember the incantation is Protego
She watched as the students all faced off against each other, some of them casting spells at their partners while the other attempted to protect themselves from it. As she had expected, the first attempts failed and half the class was now suffering from various jinxes.
Trying not to laugh, she made her way around the classroom, undoing any spells that hadn't been shielded. After a few tries, Hermione soon got to grips with the charm, making Lavenders jinx bounce away as if it had hit a wall.
“Well done, Hermione. Now you guys swap over.” Buffy commented, watching as Lavender had her turn.
She noticed that Neville was having trouble and stepped up to him, quickly reversing the various tentacles that were protruding from his head.
He sighed in defeat, “I'll never get it. I'm not good with spells.”
She patted him on the arm. “You are good, you just need to keep practicing and stay focused. Shield charms are difficult to learn so don't be discouraged if you can't do it straight away.”
He didn't seem very encouraged to try again so she smiled down at him, “I'll tell you a secret, Neville, I've only recently learned to do this myself so I know just how hard it can be to learn. But if I can do it, then I know you can too, okay?”
Slowly he nodded, turning back to face his partner.
Buffy smiled as she looked around the room, cries of “Protego!” filling the air around her.
Suddenly the door swung open and with a loud bang slammed into the wall behind it. Standing in the doorway was Buffy's not so favourite person at Hogwarts.
Dressed in a long pink skirt and a pink fluffy jumper, Delores Umbridge stepped into the classroom and looked around in wonder, surprise evident on her face.
“What is this?”
Buffy groaned as she pulled her body upwards and placed her hands on her hips. “My classroom. Now if you don't mind, I'm trying to teach and I could really do without you interrupting. So bye bye!” She smiled and waved, hoping that the woman would get the hint and leave her alone. Unfortunately Delores wasn't having any of it.
She stepped further into the room, eyeing the students who had all now stopped casting spells and were standing silently, unsure of what to do. “I do believe that this is not part of the Defence Against the Dark Arts curriculum that I gave you, so I have to ask why you have chosen to disregard everything that I told you?”
Buffy laughed quietly, “You really expected me to play by your rules? This is my classroom, and I make my own rules here.”
“I am High Inquisitor Of Hogwarts and you do not have the authority to ignore my orders. I gave you instructions and I expect you to comply with them.” Her hands spread out to gesture to the students around her, “This madness will stop right now!”
“Madness? I'm teaching them vital spells that are going to protect them from harm, something that any good DADA teacher should be doing. The only madness I see here is you getting in my way!”
“I can't imagine why they would need to use spells in the classroom. It is the view of the Ministry that a theoretical knowledge of the subject will be sufficient to get them through their examinations, which is after all, what school is all about.”
Buffy's mouth fell open in amazement. Either this woman was incredibly stupid or she was just crazy for getting on Buffy's nerves. Either way, this was not going to end well. “Sorry, but I don't care much for the ministry's views. What use is learning spells if they have no chance at practicing them? What would happen then when they actually need to protect themselves?”
“There is no need for them to protect themselves!” Delores cried, her voice getting higher and higher in pitch the angrier she became. “This is a school, and as such students only need to learn the theory behind their subjects!”
Buffy's eyes narrowed as she mentally tried to count to ten and calm herself down.
Ten seconds later, she realised it didn't work.
Harry stepped forwards then, looking just as annoyed as Buffy felt. “And how's theory supposed to prepare us for what's out there?”
Buffy spun to face him, resisting the urge to smack him upside the head for getting himself involved in their argument.
“There is nothing out there, dear.” Umbridge told him sternly. “Who do you imagine wants to attack children such as yourself?”
Seeing the look on his face, Buffy tried to step up to him and stop him before he could open his mouth further, but as she tried to grab him he stepped away from her grasp.
“Umm let me think... Voldemort, maybe?”
Buffy sent him her best glare, to which he only shrugged in return, before the both of them turned to Delores who was now turning a shade of red that seriously clashed with her outfit.
“Now, let me make this quite plain. You have been told that a certain dark wizard is at large once again. This is a lie.”
“It's not a lie!” Harry yelled, making a few of the students standing near him jump. “I saw him! I fought him!”
“Detention, Mr. Potter.”
“No.” Delores turned to face Buffy who was now glaring at her too. “You can't just walk in here and dish out detentions to my students. You have no right.”
“I have every right, Miss Summers. I am High Inquisitor here!”
“Yes, you said that already. Unfortunately that means absolutely nothing to me, so as far as I'm concerned you're just a mean old toad that seriously needs some urgent fashion advice.”
Delores had now turned bright red in anger, her fists clenched at her side. “Mr. Potter, I expect to see you in my office later today for your detention. And Miss Summers... As you rightly have said, I may not be in a position to change things at Hogwarts just yet, but I wouldn't get too comfortable here if I were you. Things will change here, mark my words!”
With that she stormed out from the room, almost taking the door with her, and leaving a stunned and silent class behind. Buffy stepped after her and grabbed a hold of the door, slamming it closed with enough strength to make the glass window shatter.
“Get back to work.” She growled out, ignoring the bug-eyed students who were giving her strange looks. None of them had seen her in a bad mood before.
As she walked through the crowd of students they slowly began casting their spells again, some of them giving the door odd looks as if they half expected Delores to walk back in and give them all detentions for following their teacher's commands.
Buffy stepped through the door and into her office, needing a moment to calm herself down. She placed her hands on her desk and took a few deep breaths.
The door behind her opened slowly, and Harry slipped inside. “Buffy? Are you okay?”
She sighed as she turned to face him, “Yeah, I'm fine.”
“I'm sorry, I know it was wrong of me to get involved but I just couldn't let it go. How can she be so... so...”
“Annoying? Stupid? Crazy? Take your pick.” She replied as she sat down on the edge of the desk. “It's fine, Harry, I just didn't want you getting in trouble.”
“Oh, well I guess I have no choice but to go to that detention now, right?”
She nodded, “If it was me, I'd skip it purposefully just to yank her chain. But no, you have to go. I don't want you getting yourself into more trouble, I'd never hear the end of it back home.”
He looked nervous for a moment, before he stared up at her with a meaningful expression. “And you stay out of trouble too. You heard what she said, Buffy, she doesn't like you at all.”
Giving him a genuine smile, Buffy stood and placed her hand on his shoulder. “Don't you worry about me, Harry. No crazy cat lady is going to be able to get rid of me that easily.”
Harry unconsciously rubbed at the back of his hand as he walked into the common room, his eyes searching for his friends.
He had gone to his detention with Umbridge, and was sure now more than ever that the woman was crazy. She had asked him to write lines, which wasn't unusual as a form of punishment for most of the teachers at Hogwarts. If anything he had been grateful that he wasn't being made to clean anything.
But as soon as he had started writing with Delores' own 'special' quill, his hand had begun to itch. And the longer he wrote, the more insistent the itch became, until it was painful. That was when he had realised he was bleeding, that his hand now had a single line written across the back, in his own handwriting no less. 'I must not tell lies'.
The wound still stung even though he had been to the bathrooms to wash it with warm water. All that had accomplished was to wash away some of the blood.
His eyes spotted Ron and Hermione sitting at the couch in front of the fire. Hermione had a book in her hands and was reading, completely engrossed in the words in front of her, while Ron was silently watching the flames burning.
Hoping that they wouldn't spot him, Harry snuck past the couch and to the stairs that led up to the dorm rooms. He had barely stepped on the first stair when someone called out his name.
“Harry! Hey, over here!”
He flinched, turning to send Ron a forced smile that he was sure his friend would pick up on. But Ron hadn't seemed to notice, instead he patted the chair between himself and Hermione and waited.
Reluctantly Harry stepped over to them, taking a seat and trying his best to keep his hand tucked away in his pocket. If they knew what Umbridge had done they would tell someone, most likely Buffy, and then she would get mad and confront Umbridge, and that would lead to her getting in even more trouble with the woman. No, it was better if he kept it a secret. He had learnt his lesson the hard way, he didn't want anyone else to have to go through that as well.
“So what was it like?” Ron was asking.
Harry spared a glance to Hermione who was still reading, her eyes hadn't even left the page when he had sat down. That was good... She was the one who usually spotted things first.
“It wasn't too bad.” He lied with a small cough, “She just made me write lines.”
Suddenly Hermione was staring at him, and he could almost see her brain working. She knew something was off right from the moment he had opened his mouth.
“Did you manage to do your potions homework today?”
He blinked, taken by surprise by the sudden change in topic. “Um no, I've barely had any time.”
She nodded, closing her book with a loud snap and holding it out to him. “Here, everything you need to know is in this book.”
“Um thanks...” He tried to take it one handed, but it was quite a big, heavy book so he was forced to use both hands. He instantly regretted it when he saw Hermione's eyes widen, her gaze fixed upon his injured hand.
“Harry! What happened?” She grabbed his hand, tipping the book from his grasp so that it smacked Ron in the knees. “Harry... She did this?”
He sighed, felt his body deflate somehow and that was enough of an answer for his friends.
“Bloody hell, Harry. She's torturing you.” Ron commented while rubbing at his sore knees.
“You need to tell Dumbledore.” Hermione told him sternly.
“No, that's the last thing I need to do. I don't want to give Umbridge the satisfaction, and besides Dumbledore's got enough to worry about without this.” He jumped in before Hermione could even utter a single word, “And Buffy too. They don't need to know.”
With that he stood from his seat and marched upstairs, not daring to look back at his friends, and hoping that they wouldn't tell anyone.