Professor McGonagall closed her eyes as though praying for patience as she turned her face towards Professor Umbridge again.
Ron made a stifled noise somewhere between a snort and a sniff and hastily took a gulp of tea.
'No,' said Hagrid, 'I wish he had.'
'Give the what gifts?' asked Harry.
This is all my fault - '
'Harry! HARRY! GEORGE! NO!'
'Well, we waited till morning, didn' want ter go sneakin' up on 'em in the dark, fer our own safety' said Hagrid. "Bout three in the mornin' they fell asleep jus' where they was sittin'. We didn' dare sleep. Fer one thing, we wanted ter make sure none of 'em woke up an' came up where we were, an' fer another, the snorin' was unbelievable. Caused an avalanche near mornin'.
They had barely reached the door of Professor McGonagalls office when she came marching along the corridor behind them. She was wearing a Gryffindor scarf, but tore it from her throat with shaking hands as she strode towards them, looking livid.
'And you talked to him?'
'And what did Karkus say?' asked Harry eagerly.
But the rest of his words were drowned in a sudden outbreak of rapping on the door. Hermione gasped; her mug slipped through her fingers and smashed on the floor; Fang yelped. All four of them stared at the window beside the doorway. The shadow of somebody small and squat rippled across the thin curtain.
'Shoulda known!' said a gruff voice.
'Did the giants beat you up, Hagrid?' asked Hermione quietly.
'Golgomath's lot raided the caves. The ones tha' survived didn' wan' no more ter to do with us after that.'
'I - I've been away for me health,' he said.
'Have you seen Ron?' Hermione asked in a low voice.
'I think he's avoiding us,' said Hermione. 'Where do you think he - ?'
'I mean we soon found out he didn' object ter all wizards - 'just us.'