"I am merely requesting that when it comes to the students that you conform to the
prescribed disciplinary practices!" The voice of Professor Mcgonagall was booming through the main hall.
I pushed through a crowd of first years and stood next to Pansy.
"What's going on?" I asked, forgetting that I hated Parkinson for the moment.
"Umbridge has been disciplining students in an 'inhuman' way."
"So silly of me, but it sounds as though you're questioning my authority in my own classroom, Minerva." Umbridge squealed and stepped one stair above Mcgonagall.
"Not at all, Delores, merely your medieval methods." Mcgonagall mirrored Umbridge's move and stepped above her.
"I'm sorry, dear, but to question my authority is to question the Ministry, and by extension, the Minister, himself! I am a tolerant woman, but the one thing I will not stand for is disloyalty."
"Disloyalty." Mcgonagall shook her head and stepped down.
"Things at Hogwarts are far worse than I feared. Cornelius will want to take immediate action." She seemed to be saying this to everyone.
Who is this toad? She can't change Hogwarts!
Never, have I been so wrong.
The next couple of weeks at Hogwarts had began to feel like living at the Dursley's. It seemed like everyday now a new decree was hung in the main hall of Hogwarts, and Dumbledore was doing nothing! Absolutely nothing! The toad; is what everyone had started calling her (thanks to the Weasley twins) started appearing in each of our classrooms on a daily basis, questioning our teachers and writing god knows what on her stupid, pink clipboard.
For once, I desperately wanted Dumbledore to take matters into his own hands. But he was no where to be found. Even Harry didn't know about his whereabouts. Which was weird because Harry and the old fool were thick as thieves.
Hogwarts was falling apart. What if they started sending students who were deemed as 'unworthy' home? What would I do? Hogwarts is my home, and that daft woman is destroying it. I was on my way to Charms when everyone around me in the hallway started migrating towards the entrance of the school. I thought this a bit weird so, I followed them.
It was Professor Trelawney. I stood next to Harry who was just as devastated as everyone else. Flich was carrying her bags and Umbridge walked out with a letter, handing it to Trelawney, who was sobbing loudly.
"Oh....I-... Hogwarts is my home! Y-you can't do this...."
"Actually, I can." The toad replied, smirking.
Professor Mcgonagall ran to Trelawney, hugging her and trying to calm her down. There was no way that Umbridge could do this! Where the hell was Dumbledore?
Speaking of the old fool, he stormed through the students and calmly asked Mcgonagall to escort our teacher back inside.
"Dumbledore, might I remind you that under the terms of Educational Decree Number Twenty-three signed by the Minister himself..." Umbridge babbled on.
"You have the right to dismiss my teachers. You do not, however, have the authority to banish them from the grounds. That power remains with the headmaster." He stated. Umbridge did not look pleasant. Her face scrunched up into a rather hideous scowl.
"For now." She said, menacingly and hobbled away from the scene
"Don't you all have studying to do!" Dumbledore roared and Harry ran after him.
I walked back to the Slytherin common room and instantly regretted it. Malfoy was sitting in the armchair next to the window, staring off into the black lake. He looked rather peaceful, an emotion i'd never seen him wear.
I was trying to sneak up to my dorm without him seeing me, but failed miserably. He perked up from the chair and smiled at me.
"Potter, I didn't expect to see you here. Skipping class are we?" He said and smirked dangerously at me.
"It's only Charms, no big deal."
"Aren't you afraid Umbridge will punish you? I heard it's pretty nasty." He relaxed once again in the arm chair.
"No, are you? Don't you have ancient runes this period?" I asked innocently.
"Stalking me Potter? And yes, I do have ancient runes, but Umbridge wouldn't dare punish me.." He trailed off.
"She's my fathers friend." He sounded a little embarrassed by it.
"Sucks to be you. I can't even imagine how horrid a dinner party with that toad would be."
"You're telling me! Father certainly knows how to pick the worst friends." Once again, hint of embarrassment.
Suddenly feeling extremely awkward at knowing exactly what Malfoy was referencing. Here I was thinking spending the holidays with the Dursley's was bad, when Malfoy probably had Lord Voldemort as the guest of honor at his place. I cringed slightly of the thought of Voldy, and Malfoy noticed.
"You alright there, Potter?"
"Yeah, just a disturbing thought..." I said quietly and left Malfoy all alone in the common room.
I was feeling a bit tired all of the sudden and seeing as how I didn't have any other classes today, a nap wouldn't hurt.
The first thing that I noticed was how cold I was. Now, sleeping in the dungeons can get like that sometimes, but the air felt different. Spine chilling. I opened my eyes expecting to see the top of my four poster bed. Instead, I saw an elegant chandelier that had a green hue to it. Sitting up, I looked behind me and instantly wished I hadn't. I could feel my heart drop into my stomach as my eyes met a pair of crimson red ones.
Voldemort looked at me! Right at me with a bored expression and then hissed in Parseltongue.
I could feel my heart pounding rapidly in my chest.
"Nagini," He called softly. A large snake slithered to him on the smooth marble floor.
I greeted the snake as she slid past me, but she ignored me. Most likely only answers to him. Just as the snake stopped at his feet, I heard light footsteps coming from behind me. Lucius Malfoy entered the room, bowed to Voldemort, and sat down at the table next to him.
"Lucius, good evening." Voldemort asked, slightly smiling.
"Good evening, my lord." Lucius replied, quietly.
"I do hope that you found out what it is that I seek." Voldemort's tone was icy as he looked at Lucius.
"There are not one, but two prophecies, one for the boy and one for the girl." Lucius Malfoy said, triumphantly.
"Good," Voldemort's smile grew even wider. "Soon enough, I will have them."
"Ella! Ella, wake up!"
My eyes shot open to see Daphne, her face as pale as snow.
"W-what happened?" Teeth chattering from the frozen state I was currently in.
"I don't... I don't know. You were screaming and thrashing about. I was about to get Snape." Daphne managed to choke out.
"You know, Snape seems like a grand idea at the moment. He'll know what to do."
"I'll walk you to his office."
"Ella, we need to see Dumbledore about this, I fear that the dark lord is using Legilimency on you." Said Snape, obviously worried for my safety, otherwise he wouldn't have suggested Dumbledore.
I nodded in response, not wanting to argue. I had to practically run to keep up with Snape. I'd never seen him so worried before, it made me really nervous. Walking into his office, Dumbledore was already awake and standing next to his Pensieve. He turned away from the magical object and gave me a soft smile.
"Severus, what has happened?" He said calmly.
"It would appear that the dark lord is attempting to use Legilimency on Miss Potter."
"Why don't you tell me a little bit about these 'night terrors' you've been having." Dumbledore asked and sat down at his desk.
"Well, umm, it's weird really. I don't know if they are even dreams, sir. They feel so,"
"Realistic?" He finished for me.
"It's, it's more like I am seeing into his mind, almost, feeling his emotions..."
Dumbledore went pale.
"Severus, I'm afraid we can't wait, not even until the morning. Otherwise, we will be vulnerable. " He ordered.
Snape and I ran back to his office and descended even lower, into his private dungeons. He had me sit in an old chair as he brought out a bag containing numerous tools. Selecting a wand, he turned his attention to me, looking just as pale as Dumbledore had.
"Whats wrong with me?" I asked, wanting to cry. This kinda stuff never happened to me, it was always Harry.
" It appears that there is a connection between the Dark Lord's mind and your own. Whether he is aware of the connection is for the moment is unclear. Pray he remains ignorant."
"You mean... if he knows... he can read my mind?" I asked, suddenly wanting to faint.
"Read it. Control it. Unhinge it. In the past it was often the Dark Lord's pleasure to invade the minds of his victims, creating visions designed to torture them into madness. Only after extracting the last exquisite ounce of agony, only after he had them literally begging for death, would he finally... kill them. Used properly, the power of Occlumency will help shield you from access or influence."
"In these lessons, I will attempt to penetrate your mind, you will attempt to
resist. Prepare yourself!"
I had never been so scared in my life, and Snape knew.
It felt like a million shards of glass were shot at my head. I felt completely out of control. I could see Snape reeling through my memories. From cooking with Aunt Petunia, to me spying on Lucius Malfoy the day of my brothers hearing. I desperately tried to clear my mind, but the pain was unbearable.
"Concentrate, Ella. Focus!"
"I- I can't! The pain... It's too-"
The pain in my head was nauseating. Snape was swimming through my thoughts and I couldn't stop him. I felt powerless. Weak. I found a whole new hatred for Voldemort. I began fueling my anger towards Voldemort to try and clear my mind. I thought about everything he had done to me, and used that anger.
All I was concentrating on was my extreme hatred for the dark lord, and slowly the pain in my head was decreasing. Suddenly, Snape stopped and gave me a look of warning.
"We will continue these lessons after the holidays."
"Will I-, will I be...okay, professor?" Stammering, I glanced at Snape.
"I hope so." He whispered.