Half an hour later, Harry was still angry, and pacing around the common room. Ron sat next to the fire, along with Hermione, who was muttering under her breath. Suddenly, in mid pace, Harry stopped. "Hang on, how could she do that?"
"Who? Do what, Harry?" Hermione snapped.
"Umbridge. Step into the office of Minister. Shouldn't the deputy Minister step in?"
Hermione sighed, and shrugged.
"Bet she'll manage it," Ron said darkly.
"Got just about everything else she's tried for, hasn't she?" Harry muttered.
Harry paced around for a few more minutes, but it wasn't long before he decided he couldn't take it anymore. He turned and headed to bed, hastily calling, "'Night" as he headed upstairs. Ron and Hermione didn't bother to reply.
Harry's mood hadn't improved with sleep, and the next morning, he was still fuming as the team sat down to breakfast with the professors.
"All right, Harry?" Sirius asked. Harry didn't reply.
"If you're upset about what Skeeter wrote-" Remus began.
"Of course I'm upset! She's evil! She's--"
"A reporter, whose concern is selling papers, not telling the truth. You can't let her get to you, Harry. We have more important things to focus on. I understand you're teaching a class, now?" Remus finished.
Harry nodded, in annoyance. "That's how I'm thinking about it anyway, I guess it's more of a club then an actual class. There are no OWLS."
"Any thoughts on this new class, Harry?" Sirius asked.
"Thoughts?" Harry asked.
"Well, it's a defense class, isn't it? What are you going to do?" Remus asked.
"Start with the basics, and work my way up, I suppose. Maybe start with a bit of theory, and see where things go from there,"
His thoughts now focused on the class he would be teaching later that day, Harry finished the rest of his breakfast in silence.
Several hours later, Harry stood in front of several of his classmates, in the transfiguration room. McGonagall and Lupin were there, but both had their arms folded and were standing at the back of the room. It looked oddly bigger with all the desks having been banished by the professors.
"--and with Voldemort acting in the open again, I don't need to remind anyone how critical the ability to defend is going to be. Any questions?"
"Are we getting any sort of official credit for this?" asked Zacharias Smith, with his arms folded across his chest.
"No. There are no OWLS in this class. Its purpose is practical defense," Harry replied.
"So this is more like a club, than a class," Zacharias said, scornfully.
"Well, yes I suppose you could say that," Harry replied. "Any other questions?"
"What if I don't want to be here?" Zacharias said, hotly.
"Then you may leave, Mr. Smith," McGonagall said, sharply. Without a word, Zacharias smith stood up and walked out. "Anyone else who doesn't not wish to be here may leave, immediately."
No one else spoke up, and Harry nodded.
"Right," Harry said, "We'll start with summoning spells. Everyone here should know Accio, right?" At the classes' nod, Harry said "Go ahead and try it then."
No one except Hermione had any luck. She held a copy of Hogwarts: A History, while everyone else just looked frustrated.
After a moment, Harry shook his head, waved his wand, and said, "Reparo" before banishing the objects back to their original places.
"All right. At least that gives me an idea of where you lot are." Harr y said thoughtfully, "Perhaps a bit of theory first. Who can tell me the proper thought process regarding this spell?"
Hermione's hand shot up. Harry nodded to her, fully expecting this.
" Focus on the object you want, and imagine pulling it toward you, as you cast the spell," said Hermione, before taking a breath and continuing, "But, you have to be very careful as to how much thought you put into the spell, or you'll end up making it do unexpected things, or just make it stronger then you wanted it to be."
"Yes, exactly. Thank you Hermione," Harry said, at the same time that McGonagall nodded and said "Excellent, five points to Gryffindor," from the back of the room. Hermione smiled.
"Now, watch me. I'm going to show you how to do this," Harry said, pointing his wand at Ron's prefect badge. "Accio!" he said. The badge flew gracefully into his hands.
"Hey!" Ron yelled, smirking good-naturedly. Harry laughed.
"So, if you concentrate, and practice, the spell becomes easier with time. I should know, it took me the longest time to get it right at first. Of course, you lot should have it easier, since we learned it in fourth year. This will just be review." Harry tossed Ron back his badge.
"Don't forget that when we leave, mate. Does everyone think they can get this on their own now?" Harry asked.
Everyone but Hannah nodded.
"Okay. Hermione, take Hannah and go over it with her. Everyone else, stand in a line facing the far wall, and try to summon the objects placed there."
Needless to say, what happened next was a disaster. Ron put his prefect's badge at the far end of the room and then tried to summon it, only to have it fall less then half-way through its flight. Luna Lovegood's stuffed owl didn't even move off the shelf. Neville attempted to summon a glass toad, which looked strangely like his own toad, Trevor. It exploded. The remaining students had about as much luck.
Harry shook his head, waved his wand, and said, "Reparo," before banishing the objects back to their original places. After that, Hannah joined the line.
"It seems like most of you aren't concentrating hard enough. Try to empty your minds. Take a deep breath, and then try again," Harry said.
After several attempts, Hannah stormed back over to Harry. "I can't do this right now. Do you think I could--"
"Wait, calm down. Here, read the theory for a while, and if you can't get it next time, I'll help you," Harry said, summoning a book. Hannah sighed, nodded, and walked to a corner where she sat down and began to read.
Harry turned back to his students, in time to see Luna summon her owl with a bit more force then necessary. It flew past her, and clear to the back of the room, where Professor McGonagall froze it, and reversed it, sending it back to Luna, who caught it with her hands.
"Perhaps you should have them all go over the theory again, Mr. Potter." McGonagall said, her nostrils white and her lips pressed into a firm line. "As you said earlier, this should have been easily accomplished, since they were to have learned it in charms."
Harry nodded. "Hey you lot! Stop! Enough!" Harry yelled, but to no effect. "Hey!" Harry sighed. "Sonorus. That's good, you can stop now!" Harry said. The students lowered their wands, causing several objects to crash to the floor.
With a wave of his wand, and a bit of help from Hermione, the objects returned to their places, with the exception of Ron's badge, which pinned itself to Ron's robes.
Harry, and the two professors made the desks come back, and the students took their places. Harry stood in front where McGonagall usually was, after having taken the theory book back from Hannah.
"All right. The lot of you read over the theory for a while, and then I'm going to test you on it. This should all be review for you."
"A moment, Potter?" Professor McGonagall said. Harry walked over to her, and waited while she cast a silencing charm around them, and Remus went to watch over the other students.
"Try not to push them to much the first day, you don't want to overwhelm them. On the other hand, don't let them forget how important this will turn out to be," McGonagall said. "I suggest you have them review the theory after this session ends, and next time, have them try the spell again.
Harry nodded. After the charm had been released, Harry walked back to the front of the room.
Fifteen minuets later, the class had again lined up, and were preparing their spells again. At Harry's signal, they began.
Ron's prefect badge, again placed at the far end of the room, sailed neatly past him, and landed on the floor. Harry banished it back to its place.
As Ron went back to his practice, with Hermione's help, Harry walked down the line, offering suggestions to Luna, Seamus, and others. Ginny, who was having particular trouble, he spent considerably more time with, causing Hermione to smile, and Harry to blush in return. Perhaps if he'd been paying more attention, he'd have noticed it before it happened.
One minute, Harry was explaining the basics of Summoning to Ginny, the next he was floor, and Ginny, Ron and Neville were standing over him.
"All right mate?" Ron asked. Neville, along with Professor McGonagall just stood there, saying nothing. Harry tried to nod, but winced as that caused his head to throb painfully.
"What happened?" Harry asked.
"I messed up," Neville said.
"Mr. Longbottom's summoning spell misfired, and caused you to be hit with the object he was trying to summon," Professor McGonagall said.
Harry groaned, and let his head rest on the floor.
"Harry, I'm--" Neville began
"It's all right Neville. You need to keep practicing. You'll get it," Harry interrupted.
"I think I should just ask Professor McGonagall to take me off of the role sheet for this class," Neville said, softly.
Professor McGonagall opened her mouth to protest, but Harry beat her to it.
"No," He said flatly.
"No. You'll stay. You can do this, so long as you don't give up," Harry said.
"You think so?" Neville asked, hopefully. Harry slowly lifted himself off of the floor, and looked Neville in the eye.
"Yes. And it could be worse," Harry said.
"How could it be worse then me--" Neville tried to say, before being interrupted by Ron.
"Snape could be teaching it."
"Mr. Weasley!" Professor McGonagall said, sharply.
"Sorry, Professor," said Ron, in a tone that indicated he most defiantly was not sorry.
Harry saw her smile, slightly, before she walked away.
"D'you think you should go to the hospital wing for a while, Harry?" Neville asked.
"No!" Harry cried, desperately. "If she gets me in there, I'll be in there for a month!"
Neville smiled. Harry turned to the clock, and then walked up to Professor McGonagall.
"Time enough for one day, you think, Professor?"
Glancing at the clock, McGonagall replied, "Yes. Nearly time for dinner."
"Sonorus. All right you lot! That's enough for one night. Let's go eat," Harry shouted.
"Now that's the best news I've heard all day," Harry heard Ron say. Hermione rolled her eyes, and, after the rest of the students had left, the three of them set out for the Great Hall, but the professors remained behind.
"Not a bad first class, Harry." Hermione said, as they walked.
"Yeah. Unless you count Neville hitting him in the head with that frog," Ron said.
"It's all right. I'm fine," Harry said, holding up his hands to forestall the argument he knew that comment would cause.
"Well, perhaps we should work on shield charms next time," Hermione said, thoughtfully, but before Harry could respond, they had arrived at the Great Hall, and the noise was high enough to prevent any further conversation.