Summary: What if the trio had been smarter about protecting the DA and Umbridge a bit dumber. Hilarity ensues.
A/N: Yes, I know this was in 1996 and back then Aerobics was the workout in fashion, but Zumba just gives me more chances for laughter than Aerobics. Plus, I'm taking classes, and it was in a Zumba class that I had the idea for this.
A big red light started flashing on top of the door. Harry's head snapped up. He quickly said, "Positions," and as the Room of Requirement changed before their eyes everyone took their places. Meanwhile, outside the room.
"Come on girl, tell me how to open this place," Umbridge snapped at the girl who just kept repeating.
"It's Zumba class," whatever that meant. A code perhaps. She had her inquisitional squad with her. Proper purebloods who knew how to behave themselves, unlike this girl, who even with the threat to her mother's job kept being unhelpful. And she brought Dumbledore and McGonagall, let them try to save their favorite student now, as well as Professor Snape, who unlike those two, saw Potter for what he was and would certainly support her. With these much witnesses, she'd be able not only to expel Potter, but surely arrest him and maybe Dumbledore too. Which was certainly what Cornelius and she were expecting and why he was here with his two security Aurors.
"Have you considered the chance that the magic of the castle won't permit her to tell how to open the place, Professor Umbridge?" Dumbledore asked in that irritating benign voice of his. "I certainly don't remember there being a room here. Though I do remember a room full of chamber pots appearing here one day I really needed to-"
"Headmaster!" McGonagall stopped the man before he could say anything more and everyone let out a collective sigh of relief.
"Then open it girl," she snapped to the frightened Ravenclaw. The girl started walking back and forth and Umbridge was about to snap again when a door opened. "Good, everyone in," and as they went in they were assaulted by a deafening noise and dark and blinding lights blinking simultaneous leaving them all disoriented. In the midst of all this there were several students in weird - and quite scandalous for some of the girls - outfits doing some kind of strange ritualistic dance and being led by none other than Potter while chanting strange things.
"Now the tushy, the tushy, the tushy, and why?" Potter asked in a sing song voice.
"Because we want a great tushy!" all the others chanted. "Everyone is going to love our tushy!"
Which was when Potter seemed to realize they had been busted. But instead of the horrified look she was expecting, he gave them the brightest smile. "Stop the music," which gratefully stopped the sound but not the lights. And even with the music out Umbridge felt as if her ears were dampened by water.
"Professors! You finally decided to join us! And Slytherins, we were pretty offended when none of you joined," he shook his head disappointed as the group parted also bearing disappointed looks and making way for Potter to come forward. "I mean, Professors, lead by example, right? I see Minister Fudge sees the importance of having a healthy body, and no worries Minister, you'll get in shape in no time. Look at our success case here, Neville."
And Neville came forward, and to the Minister's surprise, long gone was the pudgy boy he had seen trail after Madam Longbottom this summer at the Ministry, as she showed him the ropes of what would be expected of him, and, while he wouldn't say he was the fittest teenager around, he had certainly lost a lot of weight.
"Yes, I didn't really believe in all the talk in the beginning, but it sure showed results," Neville patted his belly, "and Hermione showed all the health problems being overweight can cause, like high-blood pressure, diabetes, and all kind of things," he shuddered, "I sure needed it. I'm glad you two decided to take better care of your health," he said patting Crabbe and Goyle on the shoulder, who were so shocked at the usually timid boy's audacity that they could only stare at him.
"That's ridiculous!" Malfoy spat, "Those are muggle diseases, no self-respecting pureblood wizard would have them."
"Actually," said Ernie Macmillan, a pureblood Hufflepuff, "I asked my dad - who's the Head of the Cardiology department at St. Mungo's and a healer - and he said that those diseases statistically affect a bigger percentage of adult witches and wizards than muggles. In the 11 to 17 age group, we are pretty much the same, and he did blame wizarding kind's lack of exercise. According to him, the only sport we practice is dueling and quidditch, and quidditch isn't really much of an exercise since the broom does all the moving around, unlike muggle sports like football and rugby where the person actually has to run. The reason school age students are in par with the muggles is because we practice magic more constantly than the average adult wizard every day, since we are learning. So, we tend to expend more magic. But as adults, not only are we not expending magic learning, and practicing each spell dozens of times, but the magic we practice is actually to help us move our body less, so there is a frightening number of obese adult wizards and witches that suffer from high-blood pressure and other health problems related to overweight."
"Yes, in fact I take potions for high-blood pressure every day," Fudge nodded not realizing he was agreeing with the miscreants, a fact Umbridge did not miss.
"Cornelius! We are not here to discuss health issues. We are here because these students have broken Educational Decree number 24, which expressly prohibits a group of students to gather without my prior authorization."
"We didn't break the decree Professor," Granger had the gall to speak up. "The decree says, 'No student organizations, societies, teams, groups and clubs may exist without the knowledge and approval of the high Inquisitor', and since we invited everyone at Hogwarts, students of all houses, professors, staff, it's not an organization of students."
"No, you didn't! The Slytherins weren't invited!" Malfoy sneered.
"Hum, Draco," Potter said awkwardly but friendly which made Malfoy sneer, "I gave you the pamphlet to post at the Slytherin dorm in front of Professor Umbridge. I made sure of it because, well of the house rivalries, I wanted to make sure you Slytherins knew we were serious and it wasn't a prank or anything. I mean, would be really stupid of me to give you an invite to a prank in front of the High Inquisitor, right? And just to make even more clear that we really wanted to invite the Slytherins, I gave Professor Snape, the Head of Slytherin House, the invite to post at the staff room inviting all professors and staff to join."
"And we are expected to believe you weren't having a secret meeting when you use a room that has a secret way of entering?" Pansy Parkinson sneered crossing her arms.
"It's not secret when you invite everyone," Padma Patil answered. "We had a first meeting to organize everything, how we were going to call everyone, and where the first class would be at the Hogshead, a public place. Then we posted pamphlets in every Common Room we had access to, inviting everyone, and for the Slytherins, which we didn't have access to, we gave it to the leader of the house in front of a Professor. And we handed the one to the staff room to another professor. I even gave one to Filch myself. Just in case he didn't frequent the staff room. And then we had the first meeting at an unused classroom."
"There was way more people than we were expecting, which would make getting all the materials needed for some of the classes, like Yoga, super expensive," one of the twins said. "Which is why our expertise was needed," he and George had self-congratulatory smirks. "We knew of this room."
"It's perfect," a Katie Bell exclaimed. "It just conjures what you need, even the lights and the music. All we have to do is think of what we need. And you have mats and relaxing music for Yoga, the Zumba music - that's what we were doing today - weights for weight lifting. The stuff you need for abdominals."
"I teach Yoga," Justin Finch-Fletchley lifted his hand.
To the surprise of everyone Montague, the captain of the Slytherin Quidditch team, raised a hand and Harry enthusiastically called on him, "Yes, Graham what's your question. It's important to know about all the classes before you choose the best exercise for you. For instance, at your age Headmaster, I think Yoga is preferable to Zumba," he cringed apologetically.
"I am quite springily and fit, thank you very much Harry. I am quite excited to join your classes, I just wish I had seen the pamphlet. Where did you post it Severus?"
Snape mumbled something and the Headmaster said, "Louder Severus, I'm afraid my ears aren't as acute as yours."
"I threw it away," Snape snapped.
"What?" McGonagall snapped herself, "And deprived me of Yoga in a group. I very much enjoy doing Yoga during the summer and continue practicing alone, but with others it is a much better experience."
"Professors," Harry said with hand movements that tried to placate them, "What professor Snape did was uncalled for, and I'm personally hurt by his actions. I mean, I gave that pamphlet to him with the best intentions in my heart," he said sadly. "Exercising helps stress, and everyone knows how Professor Snape is stressed all the time trying to prevent students' cauldrons from blowing up," at this Snape straightened and gave McGonagall a superior look. Even the brat knew how important his work was. Go figure. "And that is why he is in such a bad mood all the time," this made the superior look turn into a glare at the brat. "But Graham had a question. Please, how can we help you Graham?"
Montague looked uncomfortable with all eyes turned on him but braved away, puffing his chest and, in an angry grunt, asking, "Why do you call Malfoy the Slytherin leader?"
"Uh?" Harry asked perplexed.
"Before, you said you gave the pamphlet to him because he was our leader. He is not. Why would you think that?"
"Oh, wow, that was way back. Because Draco has been saying that for years," the entire Zumba class nodded, "and since everyone seems to follow his lead, we just came to the natural conclusion that he is right," Harry shrugged and Malfoy nodded with a superior look crossing his arms and looking at the Slytherins who did not appreciate it.
"He is not our leader!" the Slytherins started shouting and were only interrupted by the Headmaster's strong voice, "Silence!" Everyone immediately shut up, which was when they noticed Umbridge had been crying "Silence," all the time. Huh, no one had heard that.
Without thanking the Headmaster, she screeched "None of this matters, what matters is that all these students are expelled and arrested for breaking Educational Decree number 24."
With an awkward look on his face, Fudge said twirling his bowler hat nervously, "Since Professor Snape did admit to the fact that the staff was invited, Ms. Granger is right. This group is legal."
"And mandatory to all staff from now on," Dumbledore added and to the outraged members of his staff he added. "Harry is right, we professors need to lead by example, don't you agree Dolores? And Mr. Macmillan's information is indeed correct, as I have shown those statistics to the board of governors several times when trying to add a mandatory Physical Educating class to the curriculum, but was outvoted because this was a class that is given in muggle schools and they weren't going to spend money on a new teacher and equipment for a muggle custom," he mumbled the last part with a bitter tone, turning to the Zumba class he joyously added, "I am glad the students have found a way around the cost problem."
"Yes, each one of us who have attended these classes teach the class. Harry attended Zumba this summer, and I have been doing Yoga classes every summer for quite some years now," Justin explained. "My mum thinks it's an important type exercise, especially after she found out there was no PE class. So, like professor McGonagall, I read and asked for tuition to be able to continue the exercises by myself, without hurting myself, throughout the school year."
"I'd be happy to voluntarily share those classes with you Mr. Finch-Fletchley. No cost at all to the school," she added with a polite smile at Umbridge.
"Zumba would be perfect for you Minister and Professor Umbridge," Harry said politely to the Minister. "It's good aerobics exercise, and the great part is that you do it at your rhythm, unlike Aerobics class, which is more intense. Aerobics has steps and lift weighting, it's best for someone who already has been doing exercise for a while. I recommend Zumba for you too Vincent and Gregory."
"I'm actually surprised with you Graham," Angelina said. "I've made it mandatory for my team, everyone knows that extra weight slows down the brooms. Is that why you needed better brooms for the whole team?" Angelina continued always in a polite tone and Montague did notice the Gryffindor team were in full attendance.
Not answering the dig, he said, "The Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw team isn't all here."
"Oh, we would never make something mandatory?" Susan Bones said. "That's not the Hufflepuff way."
"Our current team captain is a pureblood snob who sneers at muggle things," Cho Chang huffed. "Well, I'm not letting Harry beat me to the snitch because he exercised and I didn't!" the other Ravenclaws in the room nodded fervently.
"Well, we weren't here because Malfoy didn't post the pamphlet. Next time give it to someone responsible, like me. The Slytherin team will also be here in full-"
"I will not attend a dirty muggle activi-"
"Then you'll be off the team."
Malfoy glared at Montague mutinously, but Montague didn't care. There was no way he was giving the Gryffindors an advantage. Even if he had to do some dirty muggle exercise.
"We recommend you either get yourselves muggle exercise outfits and sneakers like we are wearing or check with me if we have something on your size. When we started Harry loaned the money for my mum to buy all the attire we needed and some more in case some people wanted to join later," Dean Thomas explained.
"I just ask you pay me back in pounds because it's the money I use during the summer," Harry said. "You can exchange with the twins."
"That's illegal," Umbridge started.
"Oh, no Professor," Fred said with a hurt look, "We made sure to read all the laws before we did it, we would never ever want to break a Ministry Law. That would be disrespectful to the Ministry and we would never dare do that. After all, our father is a proud member of the Ministry, Professor."
The Minister puffed up at this nodding approvingly, "Indeed they are correct. Due to the treaties with the goblins it's illegal to print currency,"
"Our currency comes straight from the pounds the dear goblins at Gringotts exchanged for us."
"And to present a competition to Gringotts, so long as the boys charge more for the exchange than Gringotts does, both in exchange value and exchange fee, they are free to do business. I trust that is what you are doing boys," Fudge asked trying his best to make it look like this whole fuss was Umbridge's fault. He didn't get where he was now by not realizing when he was in hot water and then turning the tables in his favor. He was quite dismayed that Dolores wasn't taking the opportunity to do the same. She was given ample opportunities by both students and staff. He had to give this one to Potter, the infuriating boy, well played.
"Yes Minister, unfortunately, those students unable to go to Gringotts do have to pay extra. But we would not want to break the law," one twin said with a sad face. "Of course, the professors and staff can go to Gringotts."
"We wouldn't dream of it, right Dolores?" Dumbledore said. "The staff would never take advantage of the fact that they can leave Hogwarts to go to Gringotts to pay less than the students. Lead by example, right Dolores? As you keep telling us in our staff meetings," granted, she said that when saying the teachers didn't need to do spell-work in the classroom, but still.
"No, this charade will not continue, Cornelius," and to her horror, Cornelius did not back her up.
"Dolores, I do not understand you right now. These students have more than proved they are not breaking any rules. Even Miss Edgecombe has only stated they are having Zumba classes."
"Zumba class," the girl cried pointing at Harry frantically.
"Hum, yes Ms. Edgecombe," Fudge continued annoyed by the interruption. "The Headmaster and myself have given our approval to being healthy and I will most certainly join some of the classes. Unfortunately, my schedule does not permit me to come regularly," he said with an apologetic smile and Potter nodded understandingly "We understand Minister," turning to Umbridge, Fudge continued, "and yet you are still intent on finding fault among these students, many of whom come from respectable pureblood families," the last thing he needed was the likes of the Macmillans, Bones or Abbots against him, but Umbridge didn't seem to get his hint, so he continued, "I am quite concerned. Your title as High Inquisitor and the formation of the Inquisitional Squad is to maintain order and make sure everyone abides to the rules and laws, not to persecute students and make up imagined violations." Actually, that was exactly what he had in mind when he signed those decrees, but he meant it to be subtle, not made in front of so many witnesses, from so many influential houses. He needed to save his skin here before these students wrote home about how he was persecuting them. "If I find out that you were less than appropriate in the performance of your duties Dolores, I am afraid I will have to remove you from the position." There he wouldn't have to do that, but he would be seen as fair.
"Oh no!" Potter spoke up concerned. "Don't do that sir. Professor Umbridge has been nothing but zealous in protecting the Ministry and teaching the students. I myself have been in many detentions with Professor Umbridge that have indeed shown me the errors of my ways and how to better see the Ministry. And that wouldn't have happened had Professor Umbridge not realized I need a firmer hand and made me write lines with a blood quill instead of the regular one. I really am quite hard to learn, see," he showed his scarred hand where the words I must not tell lies were clearly visible, and to his horror other students did the same. And while theirs weren't permanently scarred as Potter's, you could clearly see the inflamed hands. What could he do now? He had told Dolores to do whatever she needed knowing the crazy witch would do something like this, but he thought she'd had the sense to restrict herself to Potter and Muggleborns. The Weasleys and other Purebloods showed sign of having used the quill. Thankfully, he hadn't signed anything, and he had managed to make sure to be vague when talking in case any memories or Veritasserum were used.
"Dolores, blood quills are illegal!" he cried eyeing Dumbledore, McGonagall and Snape who did not look happy as they inspected the students' hands. He needed to save himself, he'd find another way to discredit Dumbledore and Potter.
"You authorized me to use whatever means necessary to bring order to Hogwarts!" Dolores screeched.
"Within the boundaries of the law Dolores! As an agent of the law, I believed you understood this and didn't see the need to spell this out to you. Aurors arrest Professor Umbridge on charges of using an illegal object," the Aurors had already been in position and started dragging a screaming Umbridge away. "Inquisitional squad, until a moment a new Defense Professor and High Inquisitor is appointed, you are disbanded," the Slytherins looked mutinous. "Students I am incredibly sorry about what you went through, be certain I will get to the bottom of this. Aurors will be by to take your statements and I will have the head of the DMLE herself personally head this investigation. Please continue with your class. And please dear Harry, send me the information and schedule for the classes so I can see which I can attend. Dumbledore, I am certain that your staff will be able to fill in for Defense while the position is being filled and will aid the Aurors."
"Off course Cornelius," Dumbledore said with a steely eye and a serious tone. "I take the maiming of my students very seriously."
"And I trust your staff will join these classes," Dumbledore nodded.
"Some really need it too," one of the twins whispered.
Dumbledore turned to the students and said. "Well, enough with the heavy subjects, lets continue this class. Where are you going with your students Severus? Come on, lead by example."
"Do you want some clothes to change?" Dean Thomas asked. "I always bring the lot."
"I would love to," Dumbledore agreed happily.
"Me to. Just the one outfit for me as I possess workout clothes. But I would never dream of not supporting the student body."
"Professor Snape, Draco, Graham," Snape glared at Dean and Malfoy sniffed his nose at him.
"I won't be caught dead in a mud- muggle attire," the Slytherin corrected himself at a raised eyebrow from Dumbledore and all the Slytherins nodded. Then they didn't know why they thought Malfoy was the leader.
Dean shrugged and went to help the professors to the changing rooms that the Room of Requirement provided. Once everyone was dressed and positioned. Harry continued with first a few warm ups and then from when he left off.
"The tushy, the tushy, the tushy, and why?"
"Because we want a great tushy!" all the others chanted. "Everyone is going to love our tushy!"
Snape and the other Slytherins did not join in on the chant, but that might be due to the fact that they were all puffing in exhaustion having to jump around on those heavy robes.
When he was going around the students to correct movements, Harry swore he heard Snape mumbling, "I knew it! The brat is trying to kill me in plain view!"
Later that night the trio was laughing in the dorm room. "Your spell was great, I do think that traitor really deserved to be branded, though," Ron said.
"Nah," Hermione answered. "I realized when I was about to do it that that would just make it clear we were up to something. Stopping her from giving us up was better. Plus, don't worry, she will get her punishment in the form of an itch in a more private place."
The boys cringed and Harry said, "Let me always be your friend."
"Your idea of adding fitness classes was what gave me the idea Harry."
"Well, then we have to thank Dudley. When I saw how much longer Dudley lasted before giving up while chasing me after his boxing training, I decided I needed any help I could get and enrolled on Zumba classes. And I asked the teacher to show me the proper moves, so I could continue here. Thank Merlin, I learned from the summer before third year and now keep a healthy number of pounds with me. I didn't expect Angelina to be so enthusiastic about the subject though," he grimaced.
"And Padma's idea of having a fake first meeting so we could give out the pamphlets and make sure none of the undesirables came was perfect," Hermione added.
"I'm pretty sure my name as instructor as well as teacher presence discouraged anyone from Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Gryffindor not in the know. And there was no way either Snape or Malfoy would even read something I gave them. Plus, seeing them all drenched and huffing while everyone else was comfortable in their dry fit shirts! Precious, and did you see the Slytherins when we said Malfoy was their leader?" Harry laughed and Ron doubled over his bed.
"He can't be a happy ferret in his dorm right now!" Ron cried happily and Hermione finally broke in laughter.
A/N – Hope you had fun!
I realize I left things kind of hanging with Umbridge being taken away but I really did mean this to be just a quick one-shot.
Thanks for reading!