"You going to tell us what's going on?" Fred finally asked. He'd only managed to contain himself until they reached the middle of the tunnel.
"I think I have a way to get rid of Umbridge." She revealed.
"What?" George asked, excited.
"Well... a school as prestigious as Hogwarts is supposed to be has to have standards, right? I know we haven't had the best examples of Defense Professor's, but honestly I think even Lockhart was better then her." After knowing what she knew about the man, she felt safe saying that. "He at least taught us something, even if it was what not to do sometimes. But all she's doing is telling us to read a book and if we're ever attacked, call for help and hope it arrives in time. That's just not good enough. Especially with what we know is going on."
"Not to mention what happens in detention with her." George muttered.
"That, too." There was no way what she was doing was legal. No. Way.
"Alright, so..." Fred said, trying to prompt her into continuing with her theory.
"Did you know, that it's written into law- British Wizarding Law- that any teacher of Hogwarts or any other school that may be formed within the British Ministry of Magic's purview must have an OWL and a NEWT in the subject they are teaching, of at least Exceeds Expectations for both. For the Core Classes, they are required to have a Mastery. They are also required to have a teaching certificate issued by the International Teachers Guild." That was an amendment that came later, of course, as the Teachers Guild didn't exist when the law was first written.
The Twins whistled. "This isn't just going to get rid of her, you realize that?" They never even questioned if Umbridge might actually qualify. They all knew she didn't. But Hagrid might get caught up in this, too. He didn't even have a wand, let alone his OWLs or NEWTs. They didn't know about the other teachers aside from the Heads of House. They had their Masteries, the Twins knew.
"I know... but honestly, you can't tell me that Hogwarts is the school that the Founders envisioned." She admitted. "I was talking to our guests last year, and they have more classes then us, they don't have deadly yearly events, they don't have all this rivalry and fighting amongst the students, they don't have this constant revolving door of professor's for such a vital subject..." She threw up her arms in frustration.
"True." The Twins said after a moment.
"Fudge was right about one thing. The standards at Hogwarts are falling. He's just going about it all wrong, and for all the wrong reasons. He's only doing this to shut Harry and Dumbledore up." Hermione shook her head in disgust. "I've arranged to meet with representatives from the Wizarding Exam authority, the education department, the Teachers Guild, and the DMLE. Problem is, if Umbridge knew why, she would stop me from leaving, and I can't walk out the front door without her noticing, and I have reason to believe she's watching the Floo."
"Which is why we're sneaking out instead of you using one of the teacher's Floo's." George reasoned.
Hermione nodded. "I doubt they would let me use it, anyway. Even if I tried to explain what I'm doing. Harry tried to tell McGonagall what was happening in her detentions, she didn't even let him talk. She just told him to 'keep his head down'." She scoffed. "She's overworked, she has no time for us. It's hurt Harry more then a few times." Starting when she refused to believe him about the Stone being in danger of being stolen. Looking back, they probably would have been safe enough to not go after it themselves, but there was no guarantee that Quirrelmort wouldn't have figured out the enchantments Harry said Dumbledore had on the mirror.
"We tried to tell her, too. So did a few others that we know have been under that quill. She's brushed us all off." George revealed. He didn't know about the other houses, and if they'd told their Head of House or not, but if McGonagall wasn't going to do something about it, he doubted that any of them would be able to act.
Hermione shook her head. "Well, that is going to end. Hogwarts is not the school it could be. And I am not going to let that toad of a witch ruin our education, our- our bodies, our magic, or our independent thought and free will." She was trying to squash all chances of free thinking and creativity, and she would not stand for it. Especially not when the Ministry she was trying to make them so dependent on was proving to be so corrupt and inept.
Hopefully the presence of the international representatives would force the Ministry members to actually accept what she was telling them.
"Let's do this." Fred smirked as they arrived under the trapdoor leading to Honeydukes cellar.
" Homenum Revelio." George whispered, waving his wand towards the roof of the tunnel. "We're clear." He assured Fred, who immediately lifted the door, pulled himself out, and reached down to help Hermione up while George gave her a leg up. George quickly followed her up, and Fred quietly closed the door while George Disillusioned both himself and Hermione. He waited until he felt George's hand on his shoulder before Disillusioning himself.
"Quiet." He murmured as he started up the stairs. He made a mental note to collect some chocolate on their way back into the castle, assuming that they came back through this way. If they were meeting with somebody from the DMLE, they might be apparated straight to the gates, or Flooed straight back into the school.
"Alright." Fred finally said, coming to a stop on the outskirts of the village, near the cave Sirius had used the year before. Within moments the spell was lifted and they could see each other again. "George, you take Hermione?" He questioned. George had done better on his Apparation test, after all.
"Sure." George shrugged. "Straight to the visitor's entrance." Fred smirked, and with a Crack and a small warning, the three disappeared.
* cough, cough * Fred grimaced as he rubbed Hermione's back and held her hair away from her face while George conjured a glass and filled it with water. "Sorry, most people don't handle that well for the first time."
"You get used to it."
"And it's much easier when you do it yourself, instead of Side-Along."
Hermione grimaced and wiped her mouth, taking the water. "That was foul." She said hoarsely, standing and stumbling away from the mess she'd just made.
"Yeah, it can be." The Twins agreed.
"You alright, now?" Fred asked, watching her carefully. She nodded. "Entrance is this way."
"Seriously? A phone booth? You know that phone booths are becoming more and more outdated? They're already starting to take them down as less people use them." Hermione commented. Muggle Studies was another class that she was hoping would be fixed with this.
The Twins glanced at each other. "Huh." Was all they said.
"Let's see here, what were those numbers...? 62442." Fred muttered while typing the same numbers in.
Welcome to the Ministry of Magic. Please state your name and business here today. The cool voice echoed in the booth.
"Er- Hermione Granger, Fred Weasley, and George Weasley. We have meetings with the DMLE." He said, and their visitor badges popped out with a rattle.
Thank you. The voice said again. Please take your badge and attach it to the front of your robes. Visitor, you are required to submit to a search and present your wand for registration at the security desk, located at the far end of the Atrium. Have a nice day. As soon as she stopped speaking, the booth revealed itself to be a lift.
Hermione took a deep breath and adjusted the straps on her bag nervously, mentally double checking that she had everything. Hopefully this worked.