'Who cares?' said Ron irritably, while his teacup stood up drunkenly again, trembling violently at the knees. 'Montague shouldn't have tried to take all those points from Gryffindor, should he? If you want to worry about anyone, Hermione, worry about me!'
'Sleepin',' breathed Hagrid.
'Oh, well, he always made a fool of himself whenever Lily was around,' said Sirius, shrugging, 'he couldn't stop himself showing off whenever he got near her.'
'Yeah, I've been feeling that way myself,' said George lightly.
'Well . . . yeah . . .' said Hagrid, looking anxious. 'See - it's like I say - he doesn' really know 'is own strength.'
Harry looked from her to Hagrid and then, as realisation hit him, he looked back at the mound with a small gasp of horror.
He fell silent. He could hear distant footsteps.
'We're goin' in here,' he said, jerking his shaggy head behind him.
The final match of the Quidditch season, Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw, was to take place on the last weekend of May. Although Slytherin had been narrowly defeated by Hufflepuff in their last match, Gryffindor were not daring to hope for victory, due mainly (though of course nobody said it to him) to Ron's abysmal goal-keeping record. He, however, seemed to have found a new optimism.
'Quickly, quickly!' he heard a wheezy voice mutter right outside the office door. 'Ah, she's left it open - '
'If anyone's going to tell Snape it will be me!' he said firmly. 'But Harry, first of all, you're to go back to Snape and tell him that on no account is he to stop giving you lessons - when Dumbledore hears - '
Harry leapt to his feet and, making sure he had his bag and that the Invisibility Cloak was completely covering him, he wrenched open the door and hurried out of the office after Filch, who was hobbling along faster than Harry had ever seen him go.
'But this is excellent!' said Ron, looking thrilled. 'It's all your fault, Harry - Mum can't blame me at all! Can I tell her?'
Ron snorted disbelievingly and Hermione threw him a very dirty look.
'Look,' he said, 'your father was the best friend I ever had and he was a good person. A lot of people are idiots at the age of fifteen. He grew out of it.'
'Well, yes, that occurred to me, too,' said Hermione, allowing her teacup to jog in neat little circles around Harry's, whose stubby little legs were still unable to touch the desktop, 'I've been wondering whether Mundungus has persuaded them to sell stolen goods or something awful.'
Harry threw Ron a furious look. Ron had the grace to look ashamed of himself.
He and Hermione edged back along their row of seats, causing much grumbling among the students who had to stand up for them. The people in Hagrid's row were not complaining, merely attempting to make themselves as small as possible.
'I mean, we've won one, lost one - if Slytherin lose to Hufflepuff next Saturday - '