Work Header

A Leader Least Expected

Work Text:

Neville looked toward the other side of the Muggle Studies classroom with a sense of longing. Professor Carrow insisted that the class be separated, not by houses, but by blood. Though Neville's own parents were considered blood-traitors by the likes of the Carrows, it was a fact—one that could not be ignored—that the amount of pureblooded wizards was on the decline. As a result, Neville found himself lumped in with the rest of the pureblooded wizards and witches on the right-side of the room while the students with muggle-blood sat on the left. Neville found himself surrounded by mostly Slytherins, but he was willing to bet his toad that most of them had muggle-blood somewhere on their family tree.

Seamus Finnigan, whose mother was a witch but his father a muggle, shrugged his shoulders when Neville cast him a desperate look. Neville could only assume that his face was sympathetic. Seamus, like Neville, had faced the consequences of standing up the Death Eaters running the school, and his face was so swollen that it was difficult to tell what expression was there. What Neville could see was the hand the flash of gold in Seamus' clenched fist. Despite the pain that the act of rebellion had brought on him, Seamus, like Neville, still held on to the hope that the coin represented. Catching Neville staring at his clenched fist, he stopped banging it against the table and discreetly stuck the coin back into his pocket. He nodded his head once in Neville's direction before laying his head on his desk.

That coin, and the matching one in Neville's own pocket, could not be discovered by the Carrows. The coins looked like mere Galleons but upon closer inspection are exact matches. Normally along the edge of the Galleons surface a set of numbers speak of the Galleons make. The numbers on their coins, however, spoke of rebellion. For on these coins were the date and time of their next moment of action. Tomorrow night, Neville and the rest of Dumbledore's army would deface the corridors to make their presence known. They needed numbers, and after tonight, the rest of the students would know that they were recruiting. Neville didn't think that the Carrow siblings would be smart enough to realize that the numbers were the same. He was afraid, though, that they would take the coins to Snape who would be smart enough to check.

Neville dug his fingernails into the desk at the thought of Snape. How could he dare show his face in this school after what he'd done? And to take up in Dumbledore's own office! Neville refused to make it easy for Snape and the other Death Eaters which were now in charge of the school. Neville smirked at the thought of Snape's reaction to tomorrow night's conquest. As the smirk stretched across his face, he felt a twinge of pain as the action stretched out a recent scar that he'd gotten at the hands of Amycus Carrow. A few weeks ago, he'd been put in detention after refusing to use the Cruciatus Curse on Seamus, who had gotten himself in detention too. His refusal had been met with a "Crucio" from Carrow. When he'd buckled under the pain, his face met a desk on his way to the floor. Seamus ended up getting it from Goyle, who absolutely delighted in using the curse on other students without fear of punishment. Having not been allowed to visit the hospital wing, the proof of their torture was still visible for everyone to see.

The Carrows delighted in the visible injuries. They thought that it would stop the students from acting out against them for fear of suffering the same fate. How wrong they were, Neville thought. Dumbledore's Army was growing and it was because those who stand up give the students hope.

The classroom shook as the door flew open and crashed into the wall behind it. Professor Carrow strode into the room. With a swish of her wand the door slammed shut behind her once more. She strutted to the front of the class room before slamming her bag onto the table. Smiling maliciously, she pulled out a stack of parchment.

"Pop quiz."

No student dared groan in annoyance out of fear of being punished.

"You! boy with the swollen face, pass these out." Professor Alecto let out a wheezy giggle while a few of the Slytherins laughed along with her. Seamus glared at her best he could given the state of his face, before scooting his chair back as loudly and slowly as he could. His walk to the front of the class room was taken at much the same pace as he dragged his shoes along the floor the whole way. Carrow's face lost its look of superiority as it scrunched into one of extreme anger. Seamus reached the table not a moment too soon. Professor Alecto looked as if she might pull her wand on him if he had taken one second more.

"You better do your job with some haste, boy, or you won't be able to stand when I'm done with you. Put them faced down. I don't want you lot getting a head start before tell you otherwise." When he started toward the left-side of the room, she told him to start on the right. Vincent Crabbe turned up the edge of his paper before Seamus had even finished with his row. Professor Carrow pointedly ignored him in favor of threatening Seamus with detention if he didn't hurry it up. Seamus did not fear her, but he still passed out the tests quickly for no other reason than the meeting tomorrow night. His efforts of rebellion would be put too much better use then than in the classroom now.

"Get started." She called as she began to make her way around the room. Neville flipped his test over. A snigger escaped him as he read the first question.

"Something a matter, Longbottom?" She asked from across the room.

Neville tucked his chin against his chest, letting his shaggy hair fall over his face in order to hide his smile. "No ma'am." She glared at him for a moment more before moving on to reprimand Lavender Brown for cheating. Neville took a deep breath to clear himself of laughter before looking back to the first question.

Muggles are _? A. Wand Stealers B. Bestial C. Jealous of Witches and Wizards D. All

The second question was just as ridiculous.

Write a four inch essay explaining why Blood Traitors are as equally abominable as Mudbloods themselves, and what is the proper course of action if own family lowers themselves to associating with dirty blood?

A thought came to Neville as the read the question. A terribly, wonderfully bad thought, one that was sure to get him a "Crucio" on the spot, but as he looked around the room at all the disgusted faces of other students offended by the test, the thought could not be ignored. Neville thought back to all of the acts of rebellion that drove him to fight: His parents, Harry Potter, the Weasley Twins. The other students needed to see, that despite the consequences, evil, like the Carrows, must be stood up against. Neville's last thought before raising his hand was that if this got more people to join when they wrote on the Great Hall doors that Dumbledore's Army was still recruiting, then this was worth it.

His hand stuck up in the air in such a way that is was only to be rivaled by Hermione Granger in her first year at Hogwarts. Professor Carrow noticed him straight away. Snarling, she spat out, "It better be important, Longbottom."

"It's just a quick question." Neville winked at Seamus who had turned around to stare at him. He smiled up at his Professor. "How much Muggle blood do you suppose you and your brother have got?"