“Be quiet,” said Snape coldly. “I did not ask for information. I was merely
commenting on Professor Lupin's lack of organization.”
“He's the best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher we've ever had,” said
Dean Thomas boldly, and there was a murmur of agreement from the rest of the
class. Snape looked more menacing than ever.
“You are easily satisfied. Lupin is hardly overtaxing you—I,Would expect
first years to be able to deal with Red Caps and grindylows. Today we shall
Harry watched him flick through the textbook, to the very back chapter, which
he must know they hadn't covered.
“Werewolves,” said Snape.
“But, sir,” said Hermione, seemingly unable to restrain herself, “we're not
supposed to do werewolves yet, we're due to start hinkypunks —”
“Miss Granger,” said Snape in a voice of deadly calm, “I was under the impression
that I am teaching this lesson, not you. And I am telling you all to turn to
page 394.” He glanced around again. 'All of you! Now!”
With many bitter sidelong looks and some sullen muttering, the class opened
“Which of you can tell me how we distinguish between the werewolf and the
true wolf?” said Snape.
Everyone sat in motionless silence; everyone except Hermione, whose hand,
as it so often did, had shot straight into the air.
“Anyone?” Snape said, ignoring Hermione. His twisted smile was back. “Are
you telling me that Professor Lupin hasn't even taught you the basic distinction
“We told you,” said Parvati suddenly, “we haven't got as far as werewolves
yet, we're still on —”
“Silence!” snarled Snape. “Well, well, well, I never thought I'd meet a third-year
class who wouldn't even recognize a werewolf when they saw one. I shall make
a point of informing Professor Dumbledore how very behind you all are...”
“Please, sir,” said Hermione, whose hand was still in the air, “the werewolf
differs from the true wolf in several small ways. The snout of the werewolf
“That is the second time you have spoken out of turn, Miss Granger,” said
Snape coolly. “Five more points from Gryffindor for being an insufferable know-it-all.”
Hermione went very red, put down her hand, and stared at the floor with her
eyes full of tears. It was a mark of how much the class loathed Snape that they
were all glaring at him, because every one of them had called Hermione a know-it-all
at least once, and Ron, who told Hermione she was a know-it-all at least twice
a week, said loudly, “You asked us a question and she knows the answer! Why
ask if you don't want to be told?”
The class knew instantly he'd gone too far. Snape advanced on Ron slowly,
and the room held its breath.
“Detention, Weasley,” Snape said silkily, his face very close to Ron's. “And
if I ever hear you criticize the way I teach a class again, you will be very
No one made a sound throughout the rest of the lesson. They sat and made
notes on werewolves from the textbook, while Snape prowled up and down the rows
of desks, examining the work they had been doing with Professor Lupin.
“Very poorly explained... That is incorrect, the kappa is more commonly found
in Mongolia... Professor Lupin gave this eight out of ten? I wouldn't have given
When the bell rang at last, Snape held them back.
“You will each write an essay, to be handed in to me, on the ways you recognize
and kill werewolves. I want two rolls of parchment or, the subject, and I want
them by Monday morning. It is time somebody took this class in hand. Weasley,
stay behind, we need to arrange your detention.”
Harry and Hermione left the room with the rest of the class, who waited until
they were well out of earshot, then burst into a furious tirade about Snape.
“Snape's never been like this with any of our other Defense Against the Dark
Arts teachers, even if he did want the job,” Harry said to Hermione. “Why's
he got it in for Lupin? D'you think this is all because of the boggart?”
“I don't know,” said Hermione pensively. “But I really hope Professor Lupin
gets better soon...”
Ron caught up with them five minutes later, in a towering rage.
“D'you know what that —” (he called Snape something that made Hermione say
“Ron!”) “— is making me do? I've got to scrub out the bedpans in the hospital
wing. Without magic!” He was breathing deeply, his fists clenched. “Why couldn't
Black have hidden in Snape's office, eh? He could have finished him off for
Harry woke extremely early the next morning; so early that it was till dark.
For a moment he thought the roaring of the wind had woken him. Then he felt
a cold breeze on the back of his neck and sat bolt upright—Peeves the Poltergeist
had been floating next to him, blowing hard in his ear.
“What did you do that for?” said Harry furiously. Peeves puffed out his cheeks,
blew hard, and zoomed backward out of the room, cackling.
Harry fumbled for his alarm clock and looked at it. It was half past four.
Cursing Peeves, he rolled over and tried to get back to sleep, but it was very
difficult, now that he was awake, to ignore the sounds of the thunder rumbling
overhead, the pounding of the wind against the castle walls, and the distant
creaking of the trees in the Forbidden Forest. In a few hours he would be out
on the Quidditch field, battling through that gale. Finally, he gave up any
thought of more sleep, got up, dressed, picked up his Nimbus Two Thousand, and
walked quietly out of the dormitory.
As Harry opened the door, something brushed against his leg. He bent down
just in time to grab Crookshanks by the end of his bushy tail and drag him outside.
“You know, I reckon Ron was right about you,” Harry told Crookshanks suspiciously.
“There are plenty of mice around this place—go and chase them. Go on,” he added,
nudging Crookshanks down the spiral staircase with his foot. “Leave Scabbers
The noise of the storm was even louder in the common roorn. Harry knew better
than to think the match would be canceled; Quidditch matches weren't called
off for trifles like thunderstorms. Nevertheless, he was starting to feel very
apprehensive. Wood had pointed out Cedric Diggory to him in the corridor; Diggory
was a fifth year and a lot bigger than Harry. Seekers were usually light
and speedy, but Diggory's weight would be an advantage in this weather because
he was less likely to be blown off course.
Harry whiled away the hours until dawn in front of the fire, getting up every
now and then to stop Crookshanks from sneaking up
the boys, staircase again. At long last Harry thought it must be time for
breakfast, so he headed through the portrait hole alone.
“Stand and fight, you mangy cur!” yelled Sir Cadogan.
“Oh, shut up,” Harry yawned.
He revived a bit over a large bowl of porridge, and by the time he'd started
on toast, the rest of the team had turned up.
“It's going to be a tough one,” said Wood, who wasn't eating anything.
“Stop worrying, Oliver,” said Alicia soothingly, “we don't mind a bit of
But it was considerably more than a bit of rain. Such was the popularity
of Quidditch that the whole school turned out to watch the match as usual, but
they ran down the lawns toward the Quidditch field, heads bowed against the
ferocious wind, umbrellas being whipped out of their hands as they went. just
before he entered the locker room, Harry saw Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, laughing
and pointing at him from under an enormous umbrella on their way to the stadium.
The team changed into their scarlet robes and waited for Wood's usual pre-match
pep talk, but it didn't come. He tried to speak several times, made an odd gulping
noise, then shook his head hopelessly and beckoned them to follow him.
The wind was so strong that they staggered sideways as they walked out onto
the field. If the crowd was cheering, they couldn't hear it over the fresh rolls
of thunder. Rain was splattering over Harry's glasses. How on earth was he going
to see the Snitch in this?
The Hufflepuffs were approaching from the opposite side of the field, wearing
canary-yellow robes. The Captains walked up to eacb other and shook hands; Diggory
smiled at Wood but Wood no, looked as though he had lockjaw and merely nodded.
Harry saw Madam Hooch's mouth form the words, “Mount Your brooms.,, He pulled
his right foot out of the mud with a squelch and swung it over his Nimbus Two
Thousand. Madam Hooch put her whistle to her lips and gave it a blast that sounded
shrill and distant they were off
Harry rose fast, but his Nimbus was swerving slightly with the wind. He held
it as steady as he could and turned, squinting into the rain.
Within five minutes Harry was soaked to his skin and frozen, hardly able
to see his teammates, let alone the tiny Snitch. He flew backward and forward
across the field past blurred red and yellow shapes, with no idea of what was
happening in the rest of the game. He couldn't hear the commentary over the
wind. The crowd was hidden beneath a sea of cloaks and battered umbrellas. Twice
Harry came very close to being unseated by a Bludger; his vision was so clouded
by the rain on his glasses he hadn't seen them coming.
He lost track of time. It was getting harder and harder to hold his broom
straight. The sky was getting darker, as though night had decided to come early.
Twice Harry nearly hit another player, without knowing whether it was a teammate
or opponent; everyone was now so wet, and the rain so thick, he could hardly
tell them apart...
With the first flash of lightning came the sound of Madam Hooch's whistle;
Harry could just see the outline of Wood through the thick rain, gesturing him
to the ground. The whole team splashed down into the mud.
“I called for time-out!” Wood roared at his team. “Come on, under here —”
They huddled at the edge of the field under a large umbrella; Harry took
off his glasses and wiped them hurriedly on his robes.
“What's the score?”
“We're fifty points up,” said Wood, “but unless we get the Snitch soon, we'll
be playing into the night.”
“I've got no chance with these on,” Harry said exasperatedly, waving his
At that very moment, Hermione appeared at his shoulder; she was holding her
cloak over her head and was, inexplicably, beaming.
“I've had an idea, Harry! Give me your glasses, quick!”
He handed them to her, and as the team watched in amazement, Hermione tapped
them with her wand and said, “Impervius!”
“There!” she said, handing them back to Harry. “They'll repel water!”
Wood looked as though he could have kissed her.
“Brilliant!” he called hoarsely after her as she disappeared into the crowd.
“Okay, team, let's go for it!”
Hermione's spell had done the trick. Harry was still numb with cold, still
wetter than he'd ever been in his life, but he could see. Full of fresh determination,
he urged his broom through the turbulent air, staring in every direction for
the Snitch, avoiding a Bludger, ducking beneath Diggory, who was streaking in
the opposite direction...
There was another clap of thunder, followed immediately by forked lightning.
This was getting more and more dangerous. Harry needed to get the Snitch quickly
He turned, intending to head back toward the middle of the field, but at
that moment, another flash of lightning illuminated the stands, and Harry saw
something that distracted him completely, the silhouette of an enormous shaggy
black dog, clearly imprinted against the sky, motionless in the topmost, empty
row of seats.
Harry's numb hands slipped on the broom handle and his Nimbus dropped a few
feet. Shaking his sodden bangs out of his eyes, he squinted back into the stands.
The dog had vanished.
“Harry!” came Wood's anguished yell from the Gryffindor goal posts. “Harry,
Harry looked wildly around. Cedric Diggory was pelting up the field, and
a tiny speck of gold was shimmering in the rain-filled air between them —
With a jolt of panic, Harry threw himself flat to the broornhandle and zoomed
toward the Snitch.
“Come on!” he growled at his Nimbus as the rain whipped his face. 'Taster!”
But something odd was happening. An eerie silence was falling across the
stadium. The wind, though as strong as ever, was forgetting to roar. It was
as though someone had turned off the sound, as though Harry had gone suddenly
deaf—what was going on?
And then a horribly familiar wave of cold swept over him, inside him, just
as he became aware of something moving on the field below...
Before he'd had time to think, Harry had taken his eyes off the Snitch and
At least a hundred dementors, their hidden faces pointing up at him, were
standing beneath him. It was as though freezing water were rising in his chest,
cutting at his insides. And then he heard it again... Someone was screaming,
screaming inside his head... a woman...
“Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!”
“Stand aside, you silly girl... stand aside, now...”
“Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead —”
Numbing, swirling white mist was filling Harry's brain... What was he doing?
Why was he flying? He needed to help her... She was going to die... She was
going to be murdered...
He was falling, falling through the icy mist.
“Not Harry! Please... have mercy... have mercy...
A shrill voice was laughing, the woman was screaming, and Harry knew no more.
“Lucky the ground was so soft.”
“I thought he was dead for sure.”
“But he didn't even break his glasses.”
Harry could hear the voices whispering, but they made no sense whatsoever.
He didn't have a clue where he was, or how he'd got there, or what he'd been
doing before he got there. All he knew was that every inch of him was aching
as though it had been beaten.
“That was the scariest thing I've ever seen in my life.”