A/N: This chapter was originally written by Quillian. I translated it to German, and got really good reviews for it, and a lot of demands for the other three houses. Well, I wrote the other three houses in German and got excellent reviews for it, so I decided to translate those “back” to English. I asked Quillian permission to use “his” chapter, since it was the first one written, which got the stones rolling down the hill *grin*
After Minerva McGonagall wrote out instructions on the board for her class, she left for her office to meet her first career appointment. Today she’d be going over possible job opportunities for her eight fifth-year students. She was actually looking forward to it.
She quickly formed a second opinion as she saw the woman sitting in another seat next to her desk: Dolores Jane Umbridge, wearing a silly pie frill around her neck today, with a clipboard in one hand, a quill in the other, and a smug look on her face.
God, give me the strength not to kill her, she thought reverently. At least not today, she quickly added.
“Good morning, Minerva,” Umbridge said saccharinely.
“Good morning, Dolores,” she responded curtly. “Miss Lavender Brown should be coming in shortly.” For some reason, she liked getting the girls out of the way first.
“Good, good,” Umbridge simpered, “She might like being up first; she’s seemed ever so upset since I had to sack Trelawny. I wonder why…”
What an airhead, McGonagall thought venomously, Of course, if she was actually full of hot air like all politicians, she might be a little bit taller, because she’d be floating off the ground like some ugly balloon.
“I know, McGonagall, you don’t like that divining fraud either,” Umbridge said suddenly.
“Indeed,” she replied stiffly, just recovering from hearing Umbridge’s comment. I actually feel sorry for Sybil; I may think Divination isn’t so worthwhile, but at least I don’t gloat like that.
Lavender came in a few moments later and sat down, and they got started.
“Well, Miss Brown, this meeting is to decide what subjects you would like to take for your last two years at Hogwarts and what sort of career you’d like to have after that. Have you given this any thought?”
“Yes, actually. I was hoping to write about Divination, maybe even become a Seer. Professor Trelawny told me I have the true markings of a Seer, and I have top marks in that class. Professor Firenze isn’t too bad, either. With two different teachers with two different views, I think I’m doing an excellent job.”
The stunned look on Umbridge’s face was priceless. Oh, how I wish I had a camera right now, McGonagall thought smugly.
“Well, apart from Divination, there’s really not much else to worry about. In case your plans don’t work out for being a Seer, is there anything else you’d like to do? It never hurts to have a back-up plan.”
“Well,” Lavender said slowly, “Maybe a designer or something.”
“In which case, I would recommend Charms or Transfiguration.” As Umbridge snapped out of her trance, she quickly scribbled onto her clipboard. “Well, if that’s all, you may go, Miss Brown.”
“Thank you, Professor.” With that, she daintily left.
“That was short and sweet,” McGonagall commented.
“Yes, indeed,” Umbridge said distractedly.
Sometime later, Parvati Patil walked in.
At McGonagall’s question of what she would like to do (which was pretty much the same for each student), Parvati said, “Well, maybe I’d work for some magazine.”
“As a writer or some other position?”
“Maybe a journalist or photographer, maybe both.”
“Charms and Transfiguration are quite useful for magical photography. Some employment requirements may vary from magazine to magazine, however.”
Umbridge interrupted. “Hem hem. There’s also the Daily Prophet, my dear,” she said kindly to Parvati as though McGonagall wasn’t there.
As McGonagall glared daggers at Umbridge behind her back (Then again, real daggers would be nice too, McGonagall thought viciously), Parvati politely said, “No thanks, ma’am, I was thinking about working for Witch Weekly. Maybe even The Quibbler; I could always ask Luna Lovegood.”
Umbridge looked as if she’d been slapped. McGonagall mentally chalked another victory point.
“But dear, The Quibbler is full of such rubbish and lies, especially with Potter –”
Parvati interrupted her this time. “Excuse me, Professor Umbridge, but after weighing the evidence in Harry’s article about You-Know-Who’s return and the lack of evidence regarding the Azkaban break-out, I’d have to say I believe him more. Sorry, but I’m entitled to my own opinion,” she said as respectfully as she could.
Umbridge glowered while McGonagall smirked.
“Listen carefully, Patil,” Umbridge said, quietly but dangerously, “Potter will meet his own end someday, and if you’re smart, you’ll –”
She was cut off as she suddenly went silent. Her mouth moved, but no sound came out. McGonagall, who was holding her wand, feigned innocence and said, “Oh my, I’m dreadfully sorry, Dolores, my wand must have gone awry.” Turning to Parvati, she said, “I will consider your goals, Miss Patil. You may leave now.”
After Parvati left and Umbridge’s voice had been restored, McGonagall busied herself with student folders while the ‘Hogwarts High Inquisitor’ eyed her suspiciously.
Hermione Granger came in next. McGonagall had been looking forward to this; she only hoped that Umbridge would try not to spoil it. Edit that: try to spoil it as little as possible.
“Well, Miss Granger, being the top in your year, you could do anything you can set your mind too. What did you have in mind in particular?” McGonagall asked hopefully. Most of the brilliant students went to Ravenclaw, and even a few in Slytherin, but Hermione was like a precious jewel; McGonagall loved teaching her.
She shrugged. “I’m not sure, Professor McGonagall; anything involving a book, I suppose.”
McGonagall smiled, but that was before Umbridge cut in, “You know, Miss Granger, there’s a whole lot more to magic than books.”
Hermione couldn’t pass up this opportunity; it was too perfect, especially with McGonagall present. Her eyes opened with mock surprise, and she said convincingly, “Really? I didn’t know there was more to magic than books! I mean, your class is all about books, and since you’re the Headmistress and Hogwarts High Inquisitor, naturally your class would be the best! Don’t get me wrong, I think Slinkhard’s a great author, but I’m just putting it logically!”
Umbridge blinked repeatedly while McGonagall trembled with silent laughter and nearly burst with pride. That’s my girl, Hermione, she thought. As McGonagall regained her posture, she gave Hermione a tiny wink.
“Yes, well,” McGonagall continued, “It helps to be knowledgeable in studies to begin with, but devotion is also important. I could even tutor you in Animagus training.”
“I was considering that, actually.”
“You have to register with the Minister, though, my dear,” Umbridge added.
“We know,” student and professor answered simultaneously.
“May I please see Miss Granger’s marks, Minerva?” Umbridge asked.
Like I have any choice, McGonagall thought snidely. “Here you go, Dolores.”
Umbridge skimmed the marks, frowned a little, and leaned over to McGonagall. “Minerva, is this some sort of joke? How can a Muggle-born student like her get such good marks? Even Draco Malfoy’s marks aren’t as good as these, and his family’s one of the oldest…”
McGonagall wanted to really slap Umbridge in the face; she essentially called Hermione a Mudblood. She glanced at Hermione, hoping she didn’t hear it, but McGonagall was proven wrong; Hermione was glaring at Umbridge.
McGonagall moved quickly as though getting up, knocking the papers to the ground. As Umbridge bent down to get them, Hermione had her wand out, pointed at Umbridge’s rather large backside, looking at McGonagall as though asking, Well, do you want to curse her, or shall I?
McGonagall shook her head. Hermione gave a look that said Killjoy, and resentfully put her wand away as Umbridge got back up.
“Anyway, Professor McGonagall, I was thinking about being a lawyer or historian.”
McGonagall smiled. “And I’m sure you’ll do an excellent job, Miss Granger. Obviously, if you choose either profession, you’ll have to continue History of Magic. That is all.”
“Thank you.” With that, she left. As Umbridge got up to “stretch her legs” (Legs? She has legs? McGonagall thought sarcastically), McGonagall mentally cursed Umbridge with every swearword and rude insult in every language she knew, the worst of which made the “M” word (“Mudblood,” of course, not “magic”) look like a compliment.
Dean Thomas came in next. He discussed being an artist, maybe doing illustrations for newspapers, magazines, etc. Umbridge made a snide comment about how atrocious the illustrations in The Quibbler looked, while Dean coughed something like “hypocrite.” Fortunately, Umbridge coughed at the same time as he did (a real cough, for once), so she didn’t hear it. All in all, McGonagall felt this was the smoothest appointment so far.
Seamus Finnigan came in next. He expressed wanting to work with magical creatures, seeing how good Hagrid was. Umbridge looked proud of herself, until Seamus asked, “Why are you looking like that, Professor Umbridge?”
“Oh, I don’t think Hagrid’s the one responsible, my dear,” she said sweetly.
“His creatures were always great!” Seamus said. Umbridge looked defeated while McGonagall looked as though she wanted to get up and dance on top of her desk.
Taking advantage of Umbridge’s silence, McGonagall said, “Yes, well, Mr. Finnigan, you should obviously continue in Care of Magical Creatures, since you think so highly of Professor Hagrid. Herbology is also a good idea, given how all plants and animals in nature need to interact. Good day, Mr. Finnigan.”
As Seamus left, he wondered which Irish jigs he could teach his Head of House, should she ever feel the need to celebrate like that. He also thought about Harry, who spoke very highly of Hagrid. Seamus heard from Ron how Hagrid was the first person from the wizarding world who Harry met. Well, he’ll appreciate it, Seamus thought. Then again, BOTH of them will, I’m sure of it.
Up next was Ron Weasley. Ron expressed an interest in possibly being an Auror; this only resulted in Umbridge saying how much Percy would appreciate it.
McGonagall felt a mix of grief or anger. Too bad Percy couldn’t stay five minutes longer, she thought snidely, then he could have also taken a nap on the office floor.
“My dad works at the Ministry too,” Ron said, a little miffed. McGonagall made a private note to owl Arthur and Molly; they’d love to hear this.
“Well, Mr. Weasley, the Ministry only takes the best. They ask for a minimum of at least five N.E.W.T.s. Apart from DADA, obviously, I would recommend Charms, Transfiguration, Potions –”
Ron pulled a face. “Potions?” he asked disbelievingly.
“Yes, Professor Snape only takes those who get O’s on their O.W.L.s.”
Ron looked defeated. “Scratch that. Definitely not an Auror. I could always play Quidditch or something, or maybe work for the Chudley Cannons.”
“Maybe working for the team would be better then playing for them, dear,” Umbridge simpered disgustingly. “Gryffindor hasn’t been too good this season, so I doubt it would look good.”
Ron glared daggers at Umbridge. He mentally screamed, That’s because you unjustly banned Harry and my twin brothers, you bitch! McGonagall gave an icy glare that would have made Snape proud.
“I’ll just take the same classes as this year. Thank you, Professor McGonagall.” With that, Ron got up and curtly left, anxious to get out of the presence of the sick, over-sized Bludger who was running the place.
“I wonder what that was all about?” Umbridge wondered out loud. McGonagall made another mental note: Acquire poisons from Severus.
McGonagall was sitting at her desk, seething and red in the face. Umbridge had the nerve to disrupt her appointment with Harry Potter! That, on top of all the other appointments she had today! McGonagall wanted so badly to chop off Umbridge’s fat head and stick it on a pole in true Scottish fashion! Wouldn’t that get a message across to the Ministry? she mused vehemently.
It was towards the end of the last class of the day when Neville Longbottom came in. “Professor McGonagall? Hi. Sorry I’m so late, but after I remembered my appointment, I had to get permission from Professor Umbridge to come here. She seemed angry the whole time for some reason.”
McGonagall took a deep breath. She said, “Please, sit down, Mr. Longbottom.”
As Neville sat down, he asked, “What happened?”
“During Mr. Potter’s career advice appointment, Umbridge and I had a… disagreement.” She didn’t even bother using the term “Professor.”
“He wanted to be an Auror, right?”
McGonagall looked up. Neville shrugged. “I heard about how much he wanted to be an Auror. I think he’d be great.”
Neville, I could kiss you, she thought. “So, Mr. Longbottom, what did you have in mind?”
“I like Herbology the most, and also some of Care of Magical Creatures. I was hoping to grow plants for people, that sort of thing.”
“Well, Longbottom, it’s obvious that you have to continue at those two subjects,” she said curtly, “and both Hagrid and Professor Sprout have been saying how wonderful you are at them. Some of those careers, however, require a third subject. I would recommend Potions, but– well, I know how it isn’t your best subject.” McGonagall heard about the Boggart incident from Lupin’s days as DADA professor; she and Neville’s grandmother laughed endlessly when they discussed it the next time they met after that event.
“I’m not so good in subjects involving a wand, either,” Neville said sadly, looking down, “although if I had to, I’d say Charms. I often cause the least amount of damage there.”
McGonagall felt great sympathy for this boy, almost as much as she felt for Potter; both of them were very much alike. “Now, Neville, even if the occasional spell has gone wrong in Transfiguration, you have progressed all the way to your fifth year, so obviously you must be doing something right. Even Professor Flitwick agrees with me on that.”
Neville looked up. “Are you sure?” he asked nervously.
McGonagall gave a tiny smile. “I’m positive. Besides, it’s not as though you cause everything that goes wrong in this castle.”
Those words had barely left her mouth when there was a sudden BOOM from a couple of floors up. Both of them stared up at the ceiling.
“Like I said, Longbottom,” she repeated, “you don’t cause everything that goes wrong in this castle. This appointment is over. Let’s see what new trouble has run amuck, shall we?”
McGonagall was grinning from ear to ear that night as she returned to her private quarters. The swamp had nearly driven Umbridge over the edge, and the Weasley twins stole their brooms back and made a spectacular exit for Hogwarts. She was so proud of them, she honestly thought she was going to miss them; Hogwarts needed someone to drive Umbridge insane anyway.
As she got into bed, she was so happy for her career appointments and all the trouble Umbridge had to deal with. Yes, this had definitely been a good day.