'Don't start crying again,' said Harry warningly.
'Hurry, Filch, hurry!' shrieked Umbridge, 'they'll be all over the school unless we do something - Stupefy!'
'Very well, very well. Potter,' said Snape, 'we shall resume this lesson tomorrow evening.'
Harry changed direction mid-word.
Fred and George turned away and disappeared into the swelling crowd descending the stairs towards lunch. Looking highly disconcerted, Ernie muttered something about unfinished Transfiguration homework and scurried away.
Percy looked as though he had been struck in the face by something very heavy. Fudge remained motionless in mid-bounce, his mouth hanging open.
They were wonderful fireworks,' she said admiringly.
'Yerse . . . I've been telling Dumbledore for years and years he's too soft with you all,' said Filch, chuckling nastily. 'You filthy little beasts would never have dropped Stink Pellets if you'd known I had it in my power to whip you raw, would you, now? Nobody would have thought of throwing Fanged Frisbees down the corridors if I could've strung you up by the ankles in my office, would they? But when Educational Decree Number Twenty-nine comes in, Potter, I'll be allowed to do them things . . . and she's asked the Minister to sign an order for the expulsion of Peeves . . . oh, things are going to be very different around here with her in charge
Witchcraft and Wizardry.
'You don't get it, Hermione, do you?' said Fred, smiling at her. 'We don't care about staying any more. We'd walk out right now if we weren't determined to do our bit for Dumbledore first. So, anyway,' he checked his watch, 'phase one is about to begin. I'd get in the Great Hall for lunch, if I were you, that way the teachers will see you can't have had anything to do with it.'
'Yeah, all right,' said Ron, and the three of them moved towards the doors to the Great Hall, but Harry had barely glimpsed the day's ceiling of scudding white clouds when somebody tapped him on the shoulder and, turning, he found himself almost nose-to-nose with Filch the caretaker. He took several hasty steps backwards; Filch was best viewed at a distance.
'Anything to do with what?' said Hermione anxiously.
'Haven't we got a counter-jinx for this?' Fudge asked Umbridge impatiently, gesturing at Marietta's face. 'So she can speak freely?'
'I don't know where he is,' Harry repeated.
'Yeah, we're prefects, too, remember?' snarled Ron.
Albus Dumbledore as Head of Hogwarts School of
Malfoy was looking at Snape and Harry in some surprise.
'I didn't know,' he said, leering at Harry, who knew his face was burning. He would have given a great deal to be able to shout the truth at Malfoy - or, even better, to hit him with a good curse.
The man called Dawlish was stirring. Dumbledore seized Harry's wrist.