“I beg a few moments of your attention, as I have a few start of term announcements.” Dumbledore spoke into the air of the room. “Right off, our caretaker, the good Mr Filch, has reminded me for what he says is the four-hundred and sixty-second time that he had an annually updated list of various banned items, usually introduced by our humor experts Fred and George Weasley...”
Kathleen and I looked at the boys who both grinned in satisfaction, loving the attention they got. Then they both stood up as people in the room cheered and they bowed over dramatically.
“...which are posted in an expensive list on the door to Mr Filch’s door.” Dumbledore continued as George and Fred sat back down. “Also, we have two staffing changes this year. Professor Grubby- Plank will be taking the post of care of magical creatures post as Professor Hagrid is on... extended leave. Additionally, we have Professor Umbridge, who has kindly agreed to fill the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts—”
Dumbledore was interrupted by the woman in pink who stood up and cleared her throat. “Hem, hem, headmaster, if I could address the school?”
Professor Dumbledore gestured for her to step forwards while he himself stepped back. Now would probably be a good time to say that Benjamin was sorted into Hufflepuff which actually fits very well. Our mother was in Hufflepuff and so was Badger. I was probably only put in Gryffindor myself because my dad was and I share his genes.
“Thank you, headmaster.” Umbridge said, folding her hands as she walked forward and looked over the room. “Now, how are we all doing tonight? I thought I would just say a few words. I am here at the Ministry of Magic’s bequest, under Educational Decree twenty-two, which states that if the Headmaster of Hogwarts is unable to fill any teaching post, the Ministry shall select one for the position.”
“I already hate her.” I whispered to George who sat next to me.
“Same.” He whispered back, his hand comfortingly caressing my knee under the table.
“The Ministry has always considered the magical education of our children to be of vital importance, and the passing down of this ancient and noble art must be given to the next generation, lest it be lost forever... without progress, stagnation. But progress for progress’ sake is to be discouraged, for our art requires no tinkering... A balance must be attained, the new and the old, permanence and change, tradition and innovation, order and chaos. There are large changes coming soon, changes walking the fine line between order and chaos. Know only that these changes are for the best, and to prevent the destruction of our civilization from it’s own decay. I’m sure we’re all going to be very good friends.”
“That’s likely.” George and Fred said in unison, their tones full of sarcasm. Umbridge had finished her speech and went back to the table. After Dumbledore got to finish his own speech, he announced the start of the feast and we all started eating.
“She sounds like a horrible woman.” Kathleen said. “Glad I won’t be in her class.” “Well, we are in her class.” I said with a sigh. “Unfortunately.”
“She’ll be fun to prank.” Fred said.
“No.” Kathleen immediately protested. “She’s from the ministry which means she has a lot of power. Don’t do anything to her. Your punishment will be much worse than if it was Snape or Filch.”
“Fine.” Fred said. “We don’t prank Umbridge.” “Thank you.” Kathleen breathed with relief.
“But only because I love you.” He said, giving her a sideways hug. I looked up from the table and noticed Umbridge’s eyes on me from where she was sitting. I couldn’t recognize the emotion on her face but she sure wasn’t happy about me and I had no idea why.
“What’re you doing?” George asked me, gently nudging me with his shoulder.
“I feel like Professor Umbridge knows who I am.” I said. “And I don’t think she’s happy to see me.”
George glanced towards Umbridge and then looked at me again with a small smile. “Maybe you were kidnapped as a baby and she’s your real mother.”
I chuckled, swatting his arm. “That’s not funny, Georgie.”