'Who're you after?' he asked it, languidly removing his orange juice from underneath its beak and leaning forwards to see the recipient's name and address:
I'll, try out for Chaser. Angelina and Alicia are both leaving next year and I prefer goal-scoring to Seeking anyway'
He walked towards it with a sense of mounting excitement. He had the strangest feeling that this time he was going to get lucky at last, and find the way to open it . . . he was feet from it, and saw with a leap of excitement that there was a glowing strip of faint blue light down the right-hand side . . . the door was ajar . . . he stretched out his hand to push it wide and - '
'You're early!' said Hermione, moving along to give him room to sit down. '] thought you were with Cho, I wasn't expecting you for another hour at least!'
Rita gave Hermione a long, hard look. Then, leaning forwards across the table towards her, she said in a businesslike tone, 'All right, Fudge is leaning on the Prophet, but it comes to the same thing. They won't print a story that shows Harry in a good light. Nobody wants to read it. It's against the public mood. This last Azkaban breakout has got people quite worried enough. People just don't want to believe You-Know-Who's back.'
' - well, I'll save it for parties, eh?'
Then they spotted me, and obviously they know I know you, so they bombarded me with questions,' Hermione told Harry, her eyes shining, 'and Harry, I think they believe you, I really do. I think you've finally got them convinced!'
'And Wood told you not to be a gentleman and knock me off my broom if you had to,' said Cho, smiling reminiscently. 'I heard he got taken on by Pride of Portree, is that right?'
On the morning of the fourteenth he dressed particularly carefully. He and Ron arrived at breakfast just in time for the arrival of the post owls, Hedwig was not there - not that Harry had expected her - but Hermione was tugging a letter from the beak of an unfamiliar brown owl as they sat down.
In the time it took for their coffees to arrive, Roger Davies and his girlfriend had started kissing over their sugar bowl. Harry wished they wouldn't; he felt that Davies was setting a standard with which Cho would soon expect him to compete. He felt his face growing hot and tried staring out of the window, but it was so steamed up he couldn't see the street outside. To postpone the moment when he would have to look at Cho, he stared up at the ceiling as though examining the paintwork and received a handful of confetti in the face from their hovering cherub.
THE TRUTH ABOUT HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED
He gazed into the depths of his pewter tankard, which was the size of a large bucket, and sighed. Harry didn't know what to say to him. They sat side by side in silence for a moment. Then Hagrid said abruptly, 'In the same boat, yeh an' me, aren' we, 'Any?'
He dreamed that Neville and Professor Sprout were waltzing around the Room of Requirement while Professor McGonagall played the bagpipes. He watched them happily for a while, then decided to go and find the other members of the DA.
But just as he moved his hand forwards, Cho took hers off the table. She was now watching Roger Davies kissing his girlfriend with a mildly interested expression.
'You should write a book,' Ron told Hermione as he cut up his potatoes, 'translating mad things girls do so boys can understand them.'
'Well, he can do it if he doesn't think anyone's watching him,' said Fred, rolling his eyes. 'So all we have to do is ask the crowd to turn their backs and talk among themselves every time the Qua! fie goes up his end on Saturday.'
Ron and Ginny went off for baths after dinner; Harry and Hermione returned to the busy Gryffindor common room and their usual pile of homework. Harry had been struggling with a new star-chart for Astronomy for half an hour when Fred and George turned up.
'Here's another one you've convinced, Harry!' said Hermione excitedly. 'Having read your side of the story, I am forced to the conclusion that the Daily Prophet has treated you very unfairly . . . little though I want to think that He Who Must Not Be Named has returned, I am forced to accept that you are telling the truth . . . Oh, this is wonderful!'
'Yes, I do,' said Hermione. 'The true story. All the facts. Exactly a; Harry reports them. He'll give you all the details, he'll tell you the names of the undiscovered Death Eaters he saw there, he'll tell you what Voldemort looks like now - oh, get a grip on yourself,' she added contemptuously, throwing a napkin across the table, for, at the sound of Voldemort's name, Rita had jumped so badly she had slopped half her glass of Firewhisky down herself.