'Right,' said Harry vaguely, his mind still on Sirius.
And she remained deep in thought all the way into the outskirts of Hogsmeade.
'What's an idea?' said Harry.
'Yes, well, the idea seemed quite popular,' said Hermione happily. 'Ron, do you want to pull up some more chairs?'
'You - are - a - prefect,' snarled Hermione.
'Where are we going, anyway?' Harry asked. The Three Broomsticks?'
'Hi, Harry' said Neville, beaming and taking a seat opposite him.
'What?' said Harry, completely thrown by this unexpected piece of information.
'But, said Ron, following Hermione along a row of quills in copper pots, 'I thought Ginny fancied Harry!'
'Overall,' said Professor Umbridge, returning to Professor Grubbly-Plank's side after a lengthy interrogation of Dean Thomas, 'how do you, as a temporary member of staff- an objective outsider,
'Well,' he said slowly, when he could no longer pretend to find Asiatic Anti-Venoms interesting, 'yeah, I - I've thought about it a bit.'
She was quite right, of course, he was barely keeping up with his homework, though he was doing much better now that he was no longer spending every evening in detention with Umbridge. Ron was even further behind with his work than Harry, because while they both had Quidditch practice twice a week, Ron also had his prefect duties. However, Hermione, who was taking more subjects than either of them, had not only finished all her homework but was also finding time to knit more elf clothes. Harry had to admit that she was getting better; it was now almost always possible to distinguish between the hats and the socks.
'Well,' said Hermione, smiling slightly, 'she just couldn't keep her eyes off you, could she?'
'A Hippogriff?' said Professor Umbridge, now scribbling frantically.
Goyle gave a stupid grin. Malfoy hastened to answer the question.
'Listen to me!' said Harry, almost angrily, because Ron and Hermione were both smirking now. 'Just listen to me, all right? It sounds great when you say it like that, but all that stuff was luck - I didn't know what I was doing half the time, I didn't plan any of it, I just did whatever I could think of, and I nearly always had help - '
'We think the reason Umbridge doesn't want us trained in Defence Against the Dark Arts,' said Hermione, 'is that she's got some . . . some mad idea that Dumbledore could use the students in the school as a kind of private army. She thinks he'd mobilise us against the Ministry'
When Harry continued to look worried, Hermione said, 'Listen, Ron and I have been sounding out people who we thought might want to learn some proper Defence Against the Dark Arts, and there are a couple who seem interested. We've told them to meet us in Hogsmeade.'
'So what if I am.?' said Hermione coolly, though her face was a little pink. 'I can have a pen-pal if I - '