Magic Shadows

Chapter 28

Naruto and Sasuke's heads turned sharply towards the door to the Room of Requirement when they heard it open. They let their grasp on their patronuses fade as they watched Dobby rush towards Harry in a panic. With sideways glances at each other they began moving through the now silent room towards their charge.

"Harry Potter, sir…" squeaked the elf. "Harry Potter, sir…" he repeated his eyes growing wider and wider as the elf's panic continued to grow. "Dobby has come to warn you . . . but the house-elves have been warned not to tell . . ."

"What's happened, Dobby?" Harry demanded as he grabbed the elf's arms to prevent him from harming himself.

"Harry Potter . . . she . . . she . . ."

Naruto had a sinking feeling that she knew exactly who this 'she' was. "Umbridge," she hissed in distaste. Dobby began to simultaneously nod his head vigorously and try to bash his head in on Harry's knees.

"We need to leave, now!" Naruto commanded to everyone in the room. "Run!"

Sasuke was already by the door, holding it open and ushering everyone out of the room and the members of the DA began to escape the Room of Requirement.

"Dobby — this is an order — get back down to the kitchen with the other elves, and if she asks you whether you warned me, lie and say no!" said Harry. "And I forbid you to hurt yourself!" he added.

The door slammed shut as the last member ran out leaving only Hermione, Ron, Sasuke, Naruto, and Harry left.

"We need to get back to Gryffindor tower!" Hermione exclaimed as she reached for the now closed door.

"Wait, Hermione!" Naruto said before the younger girl could leave. "Sasuke and I can transport you Gryffindor tower without getting caught."

Naruto nodded at Sasuke trusting him to take Harry to the tower safely. Naruto grabbed onto Hermione and Ron and shunshined with a rush of chakra to the fifth year boys dorm. It should be empty considering that all of its inhabitants were members of the DA and they couldn't have made it back yet.

Both Sasuke and Naruto landed in the empty room with the three fifth year Gryffindors.

"That was close!" Ron exclaimed. "What happened? How did Umbridge find out?"

"Someone must have snitched on us," Harry said, scowling. "But, who?" he asked looking at Sasuke suspiciously.

Sasuke ignored the immature boy in favor of focusing on Hermione. "You put something on that parchment that everyone signed," he said. "I'm sure there is a way to tell who."

Hermione flushed looking both embarrassed and smug at the same time. "The word 'Sneak' will appear across the person's face in pimples. We will know who it is tomorrow when we either see their face or they refuse to come to classes," she explained.

Naruto watched the girl's reaction with amusement before turning her gaze towards Harry. " I suggest that you cancel DA meetings for now, Harry," she suggested. "We have no place to hold them now and Umbridge will be keeping a very close eye on you."

"I guess that we will see tomorrow," Harry agreed with Hermione's statement. "I'm not giving up on the DA," he continued, "but I don't want us to get caught. We should keep on the lookout for a new meeting space."

"Where is the Headmaster?" Sasuke asked as they followed the Golden Trio into the Great Hall for breakfast the next morning. Umbridge sat triumphantly in the Headmaster's seat, her features smug.

Naruto carefully scanned the head table, her blue eyes gauging the professor's reactions to the woman sitting in the Headmaster's seat. They were either stone-faced like Professor Snape, showing no reaction, or they looked a combination of uncomfortable and disgusted and were doing their best to not look towards the center of the table.

"I have a bad feeling about this," Naruto muttered to Sasuke, keeping her voice low. She redirected her focus towards the three Gryffindors in front of her, waiting for them to notice. They were focused on looking around the room, cataloging the DA members to see who was missing and could've possibly snitched on them. Not all of the DA members were at breakfast yet, so they couldn't tell.

"Listen carefully," Sasuke said nudging Naruto and nodding towards a group of Hufflepuffs heading towards their table, their voices excited and loud.

"Did you hear?" one whispered, not so quietly.

Another leaned closer. "I haven't," she said. "What's got everyone so excited?"

"I heard Dumbledore got into a fight with two Aurors, the Umbridge, the Minister of Magic, and his Junior Assistant and had to flee the school when they tried to arrest him!" a third replied enthusiastically, his voice drawing the attention of others as they walked towards their table.

Naruto shot Sasuke a look. "That helps, a little bit. We need to get more information on what happened. Even if Dumbledore is not here, we will still continue the mission."

Naruto scanned the students and watched the gossip spread throughout the Great Hall. A silver glint caught her eye from across the hall as she focused on the Slytherins. Some of their robes had a small siler "I" pinned on them. They looked like they represented something. Naruto suspected that Umbridge had something to do with it.

As they finally sat at the Gryffindor table, the Golden Trio gave up on accounting for the members of the DA in favor of listening to the gossip passing up and down the table.

Hermione's eyebrows scrunched up in confusion as she listened to the news and Ron and Harry's lips turned downwards with scowls.

As breakfast finished and they headed to their first class, they noticed the flyers of Educational Decree Number Twenty-eight in the hallways declaring Umbridge the Headmistress of Hogwarts.

On their way back from Herbology, Ernie Macmillan explained how they Hufflepuffs knew what had happened.

"The Fat Friar told me that Umbridge tried to get back into his office last night after they'd searched the castle and grounds for him. Couldn't get past the gargoyle. The Head's office has sealed itself against her. Apparently she had a right little tantrum!" he finished gleefully.

"Oh, I expect she really fancied herself sitting up there in the Head's office," said Hermione viciously, as they walked up the stone steps into the entrance hall.

Naruto noticed Malfoy approaching and tried to signal for Hermione to be quiet, but the bushy haired Gryffindor didn't notice as she wound up in her rant.

"Lording it over all the other teachers, the stupid puffed-up, power-crazy old —"

"Now, do you really want to finish that sentence, Granger?" Malfoy interrupted. "Afraid I'm going to have to dock a few points from Gryffindor and Hufflepuff," he continued.

"It's only teachers that can dock points from Houses, Malfoy," said Ernie.

"Yeah, we're prefects too, remember?" snarled Ron, stepping forward towards Malfoy. Naruto placed a hand on his shoulder to keep him from moving forward farther.

"I know prefects can't dock points, Weasel King," sneered Malfoy. "But members of the Inquisitorial Squad —"

"The what?" said Hermione sharply. Naruto eyed the pin on Malfoy's robes, understanding its purpose now. It looked like she would have to do something about Umbridge sooner rather than later.

"The Inquisitorial Squad, Granger. A select group of students who are supportive of the Ministry of Magic, handpicked by Professor Umbridge. Anyway, members of the Inquisitorial Squad do have the power to dock points. So, Granger, I'll have five from you for being rude about our new headmistress. Macmillan, five for contradicting me. Five because I don't like you, Potter. Weasley, your shirt's untucked, so I'll have another five for that. Oh yeah, I forgot, you're a Mudblood, Granger, so—"

Naruto stepped forward at the hurt and angry expression on Hermione's face. " I dare you to finish that sentence, you bigoted brat," she growled, showing her sharp teeth. She felt Sasuke shadowing her movements and looming over Malfoy.

Malfoy's eyes widened with surprise and a small amount of fear as he took a step back. He opened his mouth, but stopped as Naruto let her eyes flash red. His already white face paled even further and he turned away muttering excuses as he left.

She let a small smile fall across her lips, smug.

"Thank you, Naruto," Hermione said quietly from behind Naruto. "You probably shouldn't have done that though. He's going to be in a terrible mood and take it out on others now."

"I'll just have another talk with him then," Naruto said haughtily and continued towards the castle.

~"On their way back from Herbology, Ernie Macmillan explained how they Hufflepuffs knew what had happened."~