The poor woman can never catch a break... and she never will.
Delores Jane Umbridge was having a wonderful day. After a year of inquiries, departmental shuffling, and other nonsense, she had finally been restored to her rightful place as Senior Undersecretary to the Minister. Rather unceremoniously, it was true, and certainly without the apology she deserved, but she was glad those in charge had finally come to their senses.
At the moment, she found herself turning down Knockturn Alley. After a day of meetings with the new Minister, she had received an anonymous tip sent to her office about some possible criminal activity occurring. In addition to her old post, Umbridge had been granted new powers and responsibilities by Pius in order to keep the peace.
Ah, Pius Thickness. Umbridge found the new Minister a bit too pliable at times, for lack of a better tern, but he was a man who understood the necessity of order in a healthy society. A garden could run the risk of overgrowth and death if not properly maintained, after all.
Umbridge mentally chastised herself for getting lost in daydreams; no time for such frivolity when on the job. Deftly sidestepping an old hag streetseller – though waddling might be a more accurate description – she unsheathed her wand as she approached the alley that the note had mentioned. True to its word, she heard soft, gravelly voices just around the corner, speaking in hushed tones, an obvious sign of those who didn't wish to be found. Non-human too, from the sound of it. Disgusting.
A moment's preparation, then Delores strode around the corner, proclaiming, "Stop where you are and put your hands in the air where I can see them."
The noise immediately ceased. A second's confusion, as the Senior Undersecretary looked around until she noticed the short creatures a few feet from her. Easily the ugliest… things she had ever seen, but at the same time, she was not entirely sure what they were. The creatures stared at her, unmoving. Most importantly, they had not followed her instructions. Incensed, Umbridge raised her wand at the vermin. "Identify yourselves."
The creatures then had the fall to growl at her, then one said, "Fat woman is not the Master. Crusher not be answerin' her."
Her temper rising, Umbridge cast a powerful Bombarda at the feet of the uncouth creature, blowing it into the air. She thought she heard a crunch as it landed harshly on the pavement. "Non-humans shall address their superiors with the proper respect, or suffer the consequences for their insubordination. Tell me, elf," for Umbridge was convinced these creatures were house-elves, from their strange speech. Hideously malformed though they may be. "Who is your Master?"
The elf who had insulted her rose slowly, seemingly unharmed, to Umbridge's surprise, but it was the other who gleefully replied, "The Master is him!" pointing over Umbridge's shoulder.
Whatever anger and reprimand Umbridge had planned to speak deserted her after she turned and came face-to-face with the most frightening vision she had ever seen. Before her stood a giant suit of armor, the only proof of an inhabitant the menacing aura of magic surrounding it and two vicious yellow eyes flaring at her with more venom than a dozen runespoors.
It was a testament to Umbridge's will that she did not faint on the spot. The fact that she didn't run screaming was more a testament to her stupidity.
Wand arm shaking erratically, Umbridge cleared her throat – hem, hem – and addressed the figure. "B-by the authority of the Ministry, I d-demand that you identify yourself."
The figure gave no response, more any acknowledgement of her statement, except perhaps a brief flare of its aura.
Adrenaline coursing through her veins, Umbridge straightened herself to her full height of five feet and a quarter inch and spoke again, more clearly, "I will not repeat myself again; identify yourself. If you refuse, I am authorized by the Ministry to use extreme force to apprehend possible criminals."
Another pause. A standoff between the two mismatched figures. Then, to Umbridge's relief, though she would never admit it, the figure slowly raised its left arm, palm open, as if in truce or to remove its helmet.
Then, before she could begin to react, the figure suddenly dropped its arm.
Umbridge didn't hear the scuffling sounds behind her. She barely felt the club smack into the back of her skull. And she certainly wasn't aware of being unconscious until she woke up several hours later.
I know, I know, the chapter is rather short, but I did this for two reasons. 1: I wanted you reassure you guys that the last chapter was not a random fluke of boredom. 2: The next chapter is shaping up to be quite a bit longer than most with lots of character development and, hopefully, a lot of stuff happening that you'll really enjoy. Feel free to speculate in a review. Mwuahahaha hahaha HAHHAAHA...hackcoughhaha...