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.
That's right,' said Neville, nodding, 'and his Death Eaters, too . . . people should know . . ."
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 mean the Prophet won't print it because Fudge won't let them,' said Hermione irritably.
'Nah, it was Puddlemere United; I saw him at the World Cup last year.'
'This one's from a bloke who thinks you're off your rocker,' said Ron, glancing down his letter. 'Ah well . . .'
'I wasn't the sole witness,' snarled Harry. There were a dozen-odd Death Eaters there as well. Want their names?'
'Another one who thinks you're barking,' said Ron, throwing a crumpled letter over his shoulder '. . . but this one says you've got her converted and she now thinks you're a real hero - she's put in a photograph, too - wow!'
This was the very last subject on earth Harry wanted to discuss, and least of all with Cho.
'Oh come on,' said Hermione, looking at Ginny, 'I'm sure it wasn't that - '
'Yes, yes, one of these days you'll write more horrible stories about Harry and me,' said Hermione indifferently. 'Find someone who cares, why don't you?'
'Kill him, more like,' said Fred firmly.
'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?'
Rita stared at them both for a moment, then let out a great whoop of laughter.
They sat down at the last remaining table, which was over by the steamy window. Roger Davies, the Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain, was sitting about a foot and a half away with a pretty blonde girl. They were holding hands. The sight made Harry feel uncomfortable, particularly when, looking around the teashop, he saw that t was full of nothing but couples, all of them holding hands. Perhaps Cho would expect him to hold her hand.
'What can I get you, m'dears?' said Madam Puddifoot, a very stout woman with a shiny black bun, squeezing between their table and Roger Davies's with great difficulty.
Harry looked up with his hands full of envelopes. Professor Umbridge was standing behind Fred and Luna, her bulging toad's eyes scanning the mess of owls and letters on the table in front of Harry. Behind her he saw many of the students watching them avidly.