twelve

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RUMOUR OF A GROUP OF students exiting the Hog's Head spread. It was not long before Proffesor Umbridge decided to stick up a new educational decree.

When the group of Slytherins first saw the notice, they all shared one look. We fucked up. Umbridge had banned all student organisations, societies, teams, groups, and clubs. Which included Quidditch.

But thankfully, with a simple request, Proffesor Umbridge gave them permission to continue playing Quidditch.

Did the Slytherins like Proffesor Umbridge? No, not all. Are they still going to suck up to her to get perks that other houses, especially Gryffindor, won't receive? Absolutely. After all, dealing with people like Umbridge is the price for being perceived as evil by their peers.

The panic of them continuing to play Quidditch was over, and glee overtook. Gryffindor was yet to receive approval of their own, and Draco took it upon himself to brag right in Harry Potter's face.

They were stood in front of Snape's classroom door, with Draco over-exaggeratingly waving around an offical-looking parchment and purposely talking much louder so that the people around him could hear. If Harry and his friends had not just arrived, Celestia was sure she might have bursted out laughing.

"Yeah, Umbridge gave the Slytherin Quidditch team permission to continue playing straightaway, I went to ask her first thing this morning. Well, it was pretty much automatic, I mean, she knows my father really well, he's always popping in and out of the Ministry... It'll be interesting to see whether Gryffindor are allowed to keep playing, won't it?" bragged Draco.

Celestia knew that he hated talking about his father, but with a father like Lucius Malfoy, who has influence like no other, who wouldn't brag? There was also the case of appearance sake, because my father will hear about this has become an adopted phrase in the Slytherin house.

Spilled ink over your homework? My father will hear about this. Missed the deadline for an essay? My father will hear about this. Got rejected by the person you fancy? My father will hear about this.

Glancing quickly at the group of Gryffindor, Draco's words had unsurprisingly annoyed them. Both Ron and Harry had their faces set, and fists clenched. Hermione was attempting to console them both.

"I mean," said Malfoy, raising his voice a little more, his gray eyes glittering malevolently in Harry and Ron's direction, "if it's a question of influence with the Ministry, I don't think they've got much chance... From what my father says, they've been looking for an excuse to sack Arthur Weasley for years... And as for Potter... My father says it's a matter of time before the Ministry has him carted off to St. Mungo's... apparently they've got a special ward for people whose brains have been addled by magic..."

Draco made an exaggerated move of pointing at his brain and twisting his finger in a 'coo-coo' sign.

There was no retaliation from Harry yet. Then the unexpected happened. Neville Longbottom had knocked Harry nearly off his feet and was heading straight for Draco. The Slytherins were all in shock for a moment.

Then it clicked in Celestia's head. Bellarix Lestrange and three other Death Eaters had tortured Neville's parents to insanity. No doubt that they were currently living in St. Mungo's if they were still alive.

Celestia felt a pang of guilt in her chest. Her differences were with Harry, Harry's friends, and her father. Neville was not meant to be apart of this, but Draco had unwittingly brought him into it.

Harry lept forward and grabbed the back of Neville's robes; his fists flailing as he tried to get at Draco, struggling frantically to get out of Harry's grasp. Theo wrapped an arm around Celestia and pulled her back slightly, as if afraid that she might get hurt.

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