Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Career Advice: Alternate Possibilities


by Quillian 2 reviews

A stupid Umbridge versus a clever Flitwick and his fifth-year Ravenclaws. Three guesses who wins.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG - Genres: Humor - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-05-15 - Updated: 2005-05-15 - 3757 words

Ravenclaw DISCLAIMER: See Ch. 1.

NOTE: The word numbskull as seen below was used to replace the German insult Dumbfbacke/, which literally translates into /dumbhead.


Professor Flitwick was sitting in his office and was reading a book about advanced charms, while waiting for Umbridge. Umbridge! Just thinking of this person (Flitwick refused to use another term for Umbridge) caused a pain in his stomach. What a numbskull/, Flitwick thought. /The Weasley twins' swamp can be removed within 3 minutes. But she's so lacking in her Head, she will never get a clue how.

He let pass his students through his Head. McGonagall and Sprout had warned him. /Hmm, Terry Boot. Pureblood. Intelligent boy, a little bit to far in theory. Mandy Brocklehurst. Halfblood. Very snoopy. Intuitive insight of magic. Padma Patil. Grandfather Muggle, rest of family wizards. Most brilliant student in Ravenclaw. Sally-Anne Perks. Pureblood. Very gifted in History. //Lisa Turpin. Pureblood. //Has a talent to explain complicated things in a very comprehensible way, /he analyzed his fifth-years.

He was torn out of his thoughts by a "Hem, hem" from the door. In the doorway was standing Dolores Jane Umbridge. There wasn't very much, which could spoil Flitwicks everlasting good mood. Until now, it was only the fact, if he noticed a smart student not using his full capabilities, which could cause that. But since the beginning of the year, there was something else that could spoil his good mood immediately. And the reason for that was standing in the doorway and was looking kind of unsteady around his office, which was filled over and over with Books.

"Just a moment, Headmistress" Flitwick called with his squeaky voice. He conjured a chair for her. He ignored the fact that the chair was standing right at the opposite end of his office, so Umbridge had to climb over countless books to get there. He watched Umbridge passing around and over the Books. Who would have thought, that such a big mass could move around so light weighted? Does she have a Wingardium Leviosa on her shoes? Flitwick asked himself, while watching Umbridge, moving through his office. But then his gaze fell on her face. Edit: Somebody with such a numbskull isn't able to perform that spell.

"Well, Professor Flitwick, whom do we got first?" Umbridge asked him with a creaky voice.

"Terry Boot, Headmistress" Fliwick answered curtly, not willing to exchange any more words with her than necessary.

"Oh, yes. Is there something special about this boy?" she asked him.

"No, nothing, what's not written down already in his datasheets." If there was one thing, Flitwick really hated, then it was to talk about obvious things. Sure, you always take things twice in your hands, he sighed.

At this moment the door was opened and Terry Boot came stepping in.

"Hello, Professor, nice to see you.....Headmistress" Terry greeted.
"Settle yourself, Mr. Boot" Flitwick invited him kindly. Terry looked around the office, and without further ado he sat on another pile of books. Umbridge frowned watching this.

"Mr. Boot, this is a career advice appointment," Flitwick began. "In this discussion we will find out the subjects you have to take for your career wish."

"Hem, hem."

"Well, Mr. Boot. What do you want to do someday?" Flitwick didn't allow to be interrupted.

"Well, I want to be..." Terry wanted to answer, but was interrupted.

"Hem, hem."

"Headmistress, are you doing well? Your voice sounds so creaky," Flitwick asked with an innocent look. Terry had to fight hard not to laugh out loud.

"Professor, is it normal, that your students are allowed to sit on precious books, when they are visiting you?" Umbridge asked the small teacher with disgust on her face.

"No, it's not normal, that my students are allowed to sit on precious books in my office."

"Hem, and why is Mr. Boot allowed to sit on those books over there?" she asked him with flashing eyes.

"The books Mr. Boot is sitting on are not precious. On the contrary."

"On the contrary?"

"Yes, that, what Mr. Boot is sitting on, is this rubbish named Lockhart!" Flitwick had to grin stealthy. In a teachers' conference they found out that Umbridge was a big Lockhart-Fan.

Umbridge's eyes went wide. /They still can get wider? Maybe she's a metamorphmagus? /Flitwick mused.

"Did you say Rubbish?"

"Yes, I did!" First her voice....Does she now have anything in her ears? Am I mumbling? He thought angrily.

"Well, Mr. Boot, what did you wanted to say to me?" Flitwick detained her to say something.

"Professor, I want to be an author one day!"

"Oh, really? That's fine. Well, for this profession you will need..."

"Hem, hem."

"Headmistress, you have a question?" Flitwick adressed her rolling his eyes.

"Yes! Mr. Boot, what kind of an Author? Novels, Romantic, Adventure, Fantasy?" she asked Terry.

Terry looked at her highly indignant. "Is my name Lockhart? Such rubbish is an insult for my eyes. No, I want to write specialized books. Charms, Transfiguration and above all Defense against the dark Arts." Terry also knew about Umbridge's Affectation towards Lockhart.

"Why /above all Defense Against the Dark Arts/?" Umbridge asked back, fuming of rage.

"Headmistress. Defense Against the Dark Arts is more vital than ever, and I noticed that in this subject there are only inadequate books to purchase," Terry answered with a firm voice. Terry noticed Flitwick avoiding looking at Umbridge, and grinning devilishly. For Heaven's sake, Flitwick's grin is something to put fear into the Gringotts goblins, he thought.

Umbridge looked like a blast-ended skrewt had overrun her. As a matter of fact, he told her, that the book she uses is rubbish, Flitwick rejoiced larcenously. Appendix: He's quite right!

"Well, Mr. Boot, for this purpose you should take Charms, Transfiguration and Defense against the dark Arts. As an option, maybe Ancient Runes and Arithmancy. That should be all," Flitwick said quickly, while Umbridge was still gasping.

With a nod Terry got up. "Thank you, Professor." Turning away from them he touched lightly, of course clearly by chance/, the pile of books he was sitting on, causing them to fall on the floor in front of him, whereupon he stepped, /clearly without intention, on the copy of Lockhart's /Magical Me/. "Oh, I'm very sorry, Professor!" Only Flitwick saw the mocking grin on Terry's face.

"Never mind. No damage done!" With a flick of his wand, Flitwick piled the books back, on top of the pile the slightly battered copy of Magical/ //Me/.

"How could one call Lockhart rubbish," he heard Umbridge mumbling, while writing down on her board.

Until now it was easy. Wait and see! Now it's Mandy's turn. There will be for sure something to laugh at. Flitwick liked Mandy Brocklehurst a lot for her frankness and repercussive nature.

"Ah, Miss Brocklehurst. Come in, come in," he winked Mandy through the open door. "We've done Mr. Boot ahead of schedule, so if you don't mind to start earlier?"

"Of course not, Professor. I just met Terry outside. We can start immediately if you like. My Mother always says, /What you can do today, don't postpone it for tomorrow/." Umbridge looked up with gritted teeth.

Mandy looked around shortly, as her gaze fell on the pile of Lockhart-Books.

Umbridge saw her hesitating. "What's the matter, dear? Mr. Boot was so incautious and stepped on the book. Should I clean it up for you?"

Mandy jolted out of her thoughts. "Oh, no. That's not what I was considering. I know how to perform the cleaning spell on my own. I just asked myself, if I want to have another contact with a Lockhart-Book. But on the other hand....hmmm.....yes....that's it.... I always wanted to press my butt in Lockharts face," Mandy answered and settled herself on the pile of books. Flitwick suddenly seemed to enjoy the pile of books in the back of Umbrigde's chair. Mandy could see her teacher shaking of suppressed laughter.

Umbridge was seething with anger. "Hem..."

"Allright, Professor, I considered to explore alternative branches of magic," Mandy interrupted her without batting an eye.

"Miss Brocklehurst, I really have to wonder about your choice of words," Umbridge growled.

"What is so offensive about /explore alternative branches of magic/?" Mandy asked with disbelief.

"I rather meant the sentence while you settled yourself down," Umbridge answered angrily.

"Oh, you mean the term 'butt'/?" Umbridge gasped once again. "Headmistress, you should know that I grew up in the East End of London, and therefore my usage of 'butt' is very polite. Normally I would have used 'my unwashed ass'/. But in deference to you and Professor Flitwick I certainly didn't used it," Mandy explained helpfully.

Umbridge got a hiccup from that. Mandy could see Flitwick having more and more difficulties not to burst out in laughter.

"Well, Miss Brocklehurst," Flitwick began, still fighting not to laugh, "which branches of magic do you want to explore?"


"Professor, I consider the magic of house elves and goblins being of high interest. I think that the wizarding world could learn a lot of these creatures."

"Hic, hic, hic!"

Flitwick and Mandy turned to face Umbridge, who was bright red in her face.

"Are you doing well, Headmistress?" Mandy asked with innocence.

Hmm, Flitwick thought, only missing thing is steam coming out of her ears..... should the engine of the Hogwarts Express ever break down.....

But Umbridge just declined. "Hic. My Dear, why out of all other... hic/... houseelves and goblins? /Hic!" One could clearly see the disgust on her face.

"But that's obvious," Mandy answered with a simulated smile.

"Hic. Is it?" Umbridge pressed on her unbelievingly.

"For sure! Alone the capability of the house elves-" "Hic." "-despite of Anti-Apparition wards to Apparate respectively something similiar to Apparation is worthy to be explored. And concerning the Goblins-" "Hic." "-well, the Gringotts goblins are legendary concerning their Protection Charms, and who wouldn't like to have such protection around ones house, especially in these times now," Mandy explained like talking to a small child.

Merlin, she's so daft, that she wouldn't see the obvious. She even wouldn't see the plank in front of her head, which actually is there/, Flitwick thought, sending an appreciating look towards Mandy. He made a mental note: /For Planks in front of your Head, use extra long nails!

"Hic. Well, but what is so special about the times today? Hic," Umbridge asked still wheezing.

"Well, Headmistress, the times are dangerous. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is back...-" "HIC!" "...and it's just logical to look after such things like escape possibilities or protection. Besides, my mother always says: Learn as much as you can, even more than you need, even try to understand the impossible, because what's ordinary for the first is a science for the second and a religion for the third. It's your decision, which of the three you want to be," Mandy answered light-heartedly. Flitwick sent Umbridge a challenging look, while playing lost in thoughts with his Medal of the Duelling World-Championships.

Umbridge wheezed of Anger. "HIC!" But as she noticed the look Flitwick gave her she swallowed. "Hic. Well, yes, Miss Brocklehurst. Your Mother seems to be a very intelligent woman. What is she doing for living?" she swallowed her rage that somebody else has read the article in the Quibbler.

"Oh, my mom works at the British Parliament."

"Ahh, a politician. In which Ministry..." Umbridge began, when it struck her. "Did you say British Parliament?"

"Yes, my mother's a Muggle. And no, she's not a politician. She's a cleaner there. She cleans the House of Lords," Mandy answered with pride in her voice.

Umbridge looked like being beaten with an American baseball bat. Flitwick checked another point for the Ravenclaws.

"Miss Brocklehurst, I recommend you to take Charms, Ancient Runes and Arithmancy, and if you would please excuse us now, I think our Headmistress isn't doing very well right now."

The career advices of the Ravenclaws should continue after lunch. Flitwick was already sitting on his pile of books, when Umbridge stepped in still rocking. She's so green in her face. Maybe someone bribed the house elves? Sprout mentioned something like bubotuber pus, Flitwick gloated.

"The next one being disrespectful towards my Gilderoy...." He could hear her mumbling while she was writing on her board.

The door opened and Lisa Turpin came in.

"Ah, Miss Turpin. Please take a seat. I hope you have had a nice lunch," Flitwick welcomed her.
"Thank you, Professor. Concerning the lunch... I don't know... the lunch had an aftertaste.... Just like there was maybe bubotuber pus in it..."

BANG! The board was laying on the floor. Lisa and Flitwick could see Umbridge running out of the office, her hand pressed against her mouth. They could hear a faint sound of choking through the open door from a lavatory nearby. They both looked at each other and grinned viciously.

Two minutes later Umbridge came back breathing heavily and having a pale face. "Hem, could we continue with the career advice appointment? And don't you dare to sit on this pile of books over there!" Umbridge said without introduction.

Lisa looked at the pile of books Umbridge mentioned and made a disgusted grimace. "Not for all Galleons in the world...." She mumbled, pulling out her wand and conjuring a chair for herself. Flitwick nodded with acknowledgement, while Umbridge looked baffled.

"Hem, hem. You know that conjuring charms are taught during the seventh year?" Umbridge asked.

"Yes, I know. So what?" Lisa asked back with a raised eyebrow.

"Hem, I meant, where do you know this charms from?"

"From a book," Lisa answered in a voice, which made clear, how dumb one must be not to know, that one can learn a charm from a book.

"Hem, I meant, why are you using such an advanced charm?" Umbridge asked further, clearly being put off her stride.

"Well, concerning the school rules it's not forbidden to perform advanced charms, since a teacher is present. You can proofread the rules in Hogwarts: A History," Lisa answered slippery as an eel.

"Well, now we have cleared this, Miss Turpin, what Profession do you have in mind?" Flitwick interrupted this discussion with a grin.

"A teacher!" she answered, quickly like a shot.

"A teacher?" Umbridge asked with a frown.

"A teacher!" Lisa answered back with a steady voice. Am I mumbling?

"Hem, why above all a teacher?"

"Why not a teacher?" Lisa countered.

Umbridge looked perplexed, and browsed through her datasheets. "Hem, what I want to say is that with your marks you could achieve a rather high position at the Ministry."

"Working for the Ministry? Before that I would rather help Mandy's mother to clean the British Parliament" Lisa snorted. "No, I want to become a teacher, because education and schooling is the most important part in life. What Mickey doesn't learn, Michael will never learn. By the way, it's not like that someone chooses a profession. You are chosen by a profession. And I feel like I've been chosen to be a teacher."

Umbridge looked like a fish on shore. But before she could snub Lisa because of her disrespect to the Ministry, Flitwick got up and walked to the opposite wall, adjusting a frame on the wall.

"Hem, hem."

"Oh, I'm sorry, Headmistress. I just saw that this Document at this wall was hanging askew. I hope I didn't disturb you," he said with a devious grin.

Umbridge looked discontented at the document, but after reading it, she swallowed. 'European Duelling Championships 1966 - 1st Place: Filius Flitwick' was standing there. Quickly she scribbled something on her board.

"Well, Miss Turpin, to become a teacher you have to take the subject you want to teach. In Addition you will have to start Studies in Education. Which subject do you want to teach later?" Flitwick asked. I already know that, but I won't miss this fun right now, he chuckled.

"Oh, Defense Against the Dark Arts. There are too little good teachers for this subject." Lisa answered with a grin. "If there are any good teachers for it, besides Professor Lupin." she mumbled afterwards.

Umbridges face derailed. "Hem, what was that last thing?" she asked foaming.

But Lisa already has turned towards Flitwick. "Professor, is that all? I have a date with a good-looking young man. I don't want to let Harry Potter wait longer than necessary," she said with an evil grin.

BOOM! Umbridge has fallen backwards with her chair into a big pile of books. Who would have thought, that Lisa can lie like that? Flitwick thought smugly, while helping Umbridge to get up. /Hmmm, laying there like this she looks like a turtle on its back. /Lisa did the best of the situation: she disappeared.

Somehow scratched Umbridge got back into her chair. Actually, who has placed her chair in front of this pile of Books titled 'Monster Book of Monsters'? he pondered. Oh, that was me. How uncareful of me.

Sally-Anne Perks was next. Her appointment was short and without pain. She had decided to become a historian. The only nameable thing was Umbridge's snort as Sally answered her question what was so important about history. "Who doesn't learn out of the mistakes done in the past, is risking repeating those mistakes in the future."

Last but not least was Padma Patil. Flitwick liked her very much because of her brilliant mind. McGonagall had told him what happened at Parvati's career advice. He steeled himself for what was coming. /Padma is not for nothing Parvatis twin sister/, he thought.

"Ah, Miss Patil, welcome," he greeted Parvati's twin sister when she stepped inside. He could see Padma's corners of her mouth jerking when she saw Umbridge. Umbridge just scowled.

Padma sat down on the chair Lisa had conjured, and folded her hands in her lap.

"Well, Miss Patil, your sister already told you what this discussion is for?" Flitwick asked her.

"Indeed," Padma answered with a raised eyebrow and a clear look at Umbridge. Good, she knows what happened to Parvati, he fiercely thought. Umbridge pretended to be writing something, but one could clearly hear that the scratching of the quill was missing.

"Professor Flitwick, I've decided to go into research."

"Hem, hem," Umbridge interrupted once more, before Flitwick could answer. "Research? Well, I really have to disappoint you, but house elves and goblins are already contracted to Miss Brocklehurst," she said gloatingly.

"...and there couldn't be any better than Mandy for them. Anyway, I considered to research Defensive charms. Especially to research possibilities to defend yourself against the Unforgivable Curses" Padma wiped her grin out of her face.

Flitwick followed this verbal exchange with a devilish grin. Well done, girl, she doesn't have a chance against you.

"Hem, but Miss Patil, no one is able to repel the Unforgivable Curses. Why should such a brilliant mind like you waste your time with something impossible and absurd like that?" One could clearly see on Umbridge`s face that she doubted Padma's sanity of mind.

"Nobody can repel them, you say?"


"Good, since you are a important employee of the Ministry you really know more about such things than me," Padma buttered her up. Umbridge sat up in her chair hearing the praise. But she didn't hear the sarcastic undertone in Padma's voice. "But then I ask myself why there is a documented case in which the Killing Curse has been successfully repelled," Padma continued unmoved. "In such cases I stand with my Grandfather."

Astonishment was written all across Umbridge's face. Maybe I should write an essay, if human life is possible without a brain, Flitwick asked himself smugly.

"Hem, your grandfather?" Umbridge browsed through the datasheets, but again she couldn't find anything.

"Yes, my Grandfather. He's a Professor for Theoretical Physics at the MIT," Padma answered with Pride in her voice.

"Physics? MIT?" Umbridge asked baffled.

"Yes, physics. You know what physics is!" Padma said with artificial disbelief. "And the MIT is the Massachussetts Institute of Technology in the United States of America. My Grandfather is one of the first candidates for the Nobel Prize this year. He always says: An assertion is proven wrong, if there is only one piece of counterevidence."

"Hem, Nobel Prize? Your grandfather's a Muggle?" Umbridge stammered. With a frown she turned to Flitwick. "Professor Flitwick, why cannot I find any information about the families of your students?"

"What's so interesting about the families of the students? A brilliant mind doesn't mind from which blood it originates. Example given: One of the most brilliant students ever here at Hogwarts has been Tom Marvolo Riddle, and his father was a Muggle. Tom Riddle achieved the highest number of N.E.W.T.'s ever achieved at Hogwarts," Flitwick answered smugly. "You can check this at the Minsitry. Tom Riddle finished Hogwarts in 1944, just for the case you want to check the archive."

Umbridge jerked like being bitten by thousands of bees. Bewildered, she adressed Padma again. "Hem, and who would have repelled the Killing Curse successfully? That should be something the whole world would know."

"But, Headmistress, every kid knows that. It was Harry Potter!"

Flitwick made a mental note: Human Life without a brain IS possible! The living Example is sitting right beside me.

"Well, Miss Patil, obviously you should take Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Ancient Runes and Arithmancy. I think that's all. It's time for dinner," Flitwick ended the conversation.

Flitwick and Padma got up, and turned to leave. Reaching the door, they noticed that Umbridge wasn't following them.
"Headmistress? Are you coming with us to the great hall?" Flitwick asked the doorhandle in his hand.

Umbridge was sitting on her chair with an empty face, her gaze fixed forward, not moving an inch. Since there was no reaction from her, Flitwick and Padma looked at each other, shrugged and left the office for the great hall. Padma could hear Flitwick mumbling something like "human life without a brain is possible".

(End of Ravenclaw chapter.)

A/N: I was howling with laughter by the time I was done with this one!
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