J.K.Rwling >> Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (page 41)

Professor Trelawney pulled her shawls tight about her with slightly trembling hands and surveyed the class through her hugely magnifying lenses.

'We shall be continuing our study of prophetic dreams today,' she said in a brave attempt at her usual mystic tones, though her voice shook slightly. 'Divide into pairs, please, and interpret each other's latest night-time visions with the aid of the Oracle.'

She made as though to sweep back to her seat, saw Professor Umbridge sitting right beside it, and immediately veered left towards Parvati and Lavender, who were already deep in discussion about Parvati's most recent dream.

Harry opened his copy of The Dream Oracle, watching Umbridge covertly. She was already making notes on her clipboard. After a few minutes she got to her feet and began to pace the room in Trelawney's wake, listening to her conversations with students and posing questions here and there. Harry bent his head hurriedly over his book.

Think of a dream, quick,' he told Ron, 'in case the old toad comes our way.'

'I did it last time,' Ron protested, 'it's your turn, you tell me one.'

'Oh, I dunno:' said Harry desperately, who could not remember dreaming anything at all over the last few days. 'Lets say I dreamed I was: drowning Snape in my cauldron. Yeah, that'll do:'

Ron chortled as he opened his Dream Oracle.

'OK, we've got to add your age to the date you had the dream, the number of letters in the subject: would that be "drowning" or "cauldron" or "Snape"?'

'It doesn't matter, pick any of them,' said Harry, chancing a glance behind him. Professor Umbridge was now standing at Professor Trelawneys shoulder making notes while the Divination teacher questioned Neville about his dream diary.

'What night did you dream this again?' Ron said, immersed in calculations.

'I dunno, last night, whenever you like,' Harry told him, trying to listen to what Umbridge was saying to Professor Trelawney. They were only a table away from him and Ron now. Professor Umbridge was making another note on her clipboard and Professor Trelawney was looking extremely put out.

'Now,' said Umbridge, looking up at Trelawney, 'you've been in this post how long, exactly?'

Professor Trelawney scowled at her, arms crossed and shoulders hunched as though wishing to protect herself as much as possible from the indignity of the inspection. After a slight pause in which she seemed to decide that the question was not so offensive that she could reasonably ignore it, she said in a deeply resentful tone, 'Nearly sixteen years.'

'Quite a period,' said Professor Umbridge, making a note on her clipboard. 'So it was Professor Dumbledore who appointed you?'

That's right,' said Professor Trelawney shortly.

Professor Umbridge made another note.

'And you are a great-great-granddaughter of the celebrated Seer Cassandra Trelawney?'

'Yes,' said Professor Trelawney, holding her head a little higher.

Another note on the clipboard.

'But I think - correct me if I am mistaken - that you are the first in your family since Cassandra to be possessed of Second Sight?'

'These things often skip - er - three generations,' said Professor Trelawney.

Professor Umbridge's toadlike smile widened.

'Of course,' she said sweetly, making yet another note. 'Well, if you could just predict something for me, then?' And she looked up enquiringly, still smiling.

Professor Trelawney stiffened as though unable to believe her ears. 'I don't understand you,' she said, clutching convulsively at the shawl around her scrawny neck.

'I'd like you to make a prediction for me,' said Professor Umbridge very clearly.

Harry and Ron were not the only people now watching and listening sneakily from behind their books. Most of the class were staring transfixed at Professor Trelawney as she drew herself up to her full height, her beads and bangles clinking.

The Inner Eye does not See upon command!' she said in scandalised tones.

'I see,' said Professor Umbridge softly, making yet another note on her clipboard.

'I - but - but: wait!' said Professor Trelawney suddenly, in an attempt at her usual ethereal voice, though the mystical effect was ruined somewhat by the way it was shaking with anger. 'I: I think I do see something: something that concerns you: why, I sense something: something dark: some grave peril:'

Professor Trelawney pointed a shaking finger at Professor Umbridge who continued to smile blandly at her, eyebrows raised.

'I am afraid: I am afraid that you are in grave danger!' Professor Trelawney finished dramatically.

There was a pause. Professor Umbridge surveyed Professor Trelawney.

'Right,' she said softly, scribbling on her clipboard once more. 'Well, if that's really the best you can do:'

She turned away, leaving Professor Trelawney standing rooted to the spot, her chest heaving. Harry caught Ron's eye and knew that Ron was thinking exactly the same as he was: they both knew that Professor Trelawney was an old fraud, but on the other hand, they loathed Umbridge so much that they felt very much on Trelawney's side - until she swooped down on them a few seconds later, that is.

'Well?' she said, snapping her long fingers under Harry's nose, uncharacteristically brisk. 'Let me see the start you've made on your dream diary, please.'

And by the time she had interpreted Harry's dreams at the top of her voice (all of which, even the ones that involved eating porridge, apparently foretold a gruesome and early death), he was feeling much less sympathetic towards her. All the while, Professor Umbridge stood a few feet away, making notes on that clipboard, and when the bell rang she descended the silver ladder first and was waiting for them all when they reached their Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson ten minutes later.

She was humming and smiling to herself when they entered the room. Harry and Ron told Hermione, who had been in Arithmancy, exactly what had happened in Divination while they all took out their copies of Defensive Magical Theory, but before Hermione could ask any questions Professor Umbridge had called them all to order and silence fell.

'Wands away' she instructed them all with a smile, and those people who had been hopeful enough to take them out, sadly returned them to their bags. 'As we finished Chapter One last lesson, I would like you all to turn to page nineteen today and commence "Chapter Two, Common Defensive Theories and their Derivation". There will be no need to talk.'

Still smiling her wide, self-satisfied smile, she sat down at her desk. The class gave an audible sigh as it turned, as one, to page nineteen. Harry wondered dully whether there were enough chapters in the book to keep them reading through all this year's lessons and was on the point of checking the contents page when he noticed that Hermione had her hand in the air again.

Professor Umbridge had noticed, too, and what was more, she seemed to have worked out a strategy for just such an eventuality. Instead of trying to pretend she had not noticed Hermione she got to her feet and walked around the front row of desks until they were face to face, then she bent down and whispered, so that the rest of the class could not hear, 'What is it this time, Miss Granger?'

'I've already read Chapter Two,' said Hermione.

'Well then, proceed to Chapter Three.'

'I've read that too. I've read the whole book.'

Professor Umbndge blinked but recovered her poise almost instantly.

'Well, then, you should be able to tell me what Slinkhard says about counter-jinxes in Chapter Fifteen.'

'He says that counter-jinxes are improperly named,' said Hermione promptly. 'He says "counter-jinx" is just a name people give their jinxes when they want to make them sound more acceptable.'

Professor Umbridge raised her eyebrows and Harry knew she was impressed, against her will.

'But I disagree,' Hermione continued.

Professor Umbridge's eyebrows rose a little higher and her gaze became distinctly colder.

'You disagree?' she repeated.

'Yes, I do,' said Hermione, who, unlike Umbridge, was not whispering, but speaking in a clear, carrying voice that had by now attracted the attention of the rest of the class. 'Mr Slinkhard doesn't like jinxes, does he? But I think they can be very useful when they're used defensively.'

'Oh, you do, do you?' said Professor Umbridge, forgetting to whisper and straightening up. 'Well, I'm afraid it is Mr Slinkhard's opinion, and not yours, that matters within this classroom, Miss Granger.'

'But -' Hermione began.

That is enough,' said Professor Umbridge. She walked back to the front of the class and stood before them, all the jauntiness she had shown at the beginning of the lesson gone. 'Miss Granger, I am going to take five points from Gryffindor house.'

There was an outbreak of muttering at this.:

'What for?' said Harry angrily.

'Don't you get involved!' Hermione whispered urgently to him.

'For disrupting my class with pointless interruptions,' said Professor Umbridge smoothly. 'I am here to teach you using a Ministry-approved method that does not include inviting students to give their opinions on matters about which they understand very little. Your previous teachers in this subject may have allowed you more licence, but as none of them - with the possible exception of Professor Quirrell, who did at least appear to have restricted himself to age-appropriate subjects - would have passed a Ministry inspection -'

'Yeah, Quirrell was a great teacher,' said Harry loudly, 'there was just that minor drawback of him having Lord Voldemort sticking out of the back of his head.'

This pronouncement was followed by one of the loudest silences Harry had ever heard. Then -

'I think another week's detentions would do you some good, Mr Potter,' said Umbridge sleekly.

* * *

The cut on the back of Harry's hand had barely healed and, by the following morning, it was bleeding again. He did not complain during the evening's detention; he was determined not to give Umbridge the satisfaction; over and over again he wrote I must not tell lies and not a sound escaped his lips, though the cut deepened with every letter.

The very worst part of this second week's worth of detentions was, just as George had predicted, Angelinas reaction. She cornered him just as he arrived at the Gryffindor table for breakfast on Tuesday and shouted so loudly that Professor McGonagall came sweeping down upon the pair of them from the staff table.

'Miss Johnson, how dare you make such a racket in the Great Hall! Five points from Gryffindor!'

'But Professor - he's gone and landed himself in detention again -

'What's this, Potter?' said Professor McGonagall sharply, rounding on Harry. 'Detention? From whom?'

'From Professor Umbridge,' muttered Harry, not meeting Professor McGonagall's beady, square-framed eyes.

'Are you telling me,' she said, lowering her voice so that the group of curious Ravenclaws behind them could not hear, 'that after the warning I gave you last Monday you lost your temper in Professor Umbridge's class again?'

'Yes,' Harry muttered, speaking to the floor.

'Potter, you must get a grip on yourself! You are heading for serious trouble! Another five points from Gryffindor!'

'But - what -? Professor, no!' Harry said, furious at this injustice, 'I'm already being punished by her, why do you have to take points as well?'

'Because detentions do not appear to have any effect on you whatsoever!' said Professor McGonagall tartly. 'No, not another word of complaint, Potter! And as for you, Miss Johnson, you will confine your shouting matches to the Quidditch pitch in future or risk losing the team captaincy!'

Professor McGonagall strode back towards the staff table. Angelina gave Harry a look of deepest disgust and stalked away, upon which he flung himself on to the bench beside Ron, fuming.

'She's taken points off Gryffindor because I'm having my hand sliced open every night! How is that fair, how?'

'I know, mate,' said Ron sympathetically, tipping bacon on to Harry's plate, 'she's bang out of order.'

Hermione, however, merely rustled the pages of her Daily Prophet and said nothing.

'You think McGonagall was right, do you?' said Harry angrily to the picture of Cornelius Fudge obscuring Hermione's face.

'I wish she hadn't taken points from you, but I think she's right to warn you not to lose your temper with Umbridge,' said Hermione's voice, while Fudge gesticulated forcefully from the front page, clearly giving some kind of speech.

Harry did not speak to Hermione all through Charms, but when they entered Transfiguration he forgot about being cross with her. Professor Umbridge and her clipboard were sitting in a corner and the sight of her drove the memory of breakfast right out of his head.

'Excellent,' whispered Ron, as they sat down in their usual seats. 'Let's see Umbridge get what she deserves.'

Professor McGonagall marched into the room without giving the slightest indication that she knew Professor Umbridge was there.

That will do,' she said and silence fell immediately. 'Mr Finnigan, kindly come here and hand back the homework - Miss Brown, please take this box of mice - don't be silly, girl, they won't hurt you - and hand one to each student -'

Title: Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix
Author: J.K.Rwling
Viewed 415491 times


Page generation 0.001 seconds