Harry felt a thrill of dread; he was about to pay for what had just happened, he was sure of it. They moved back into position with the desk between them, Harry feeling he was going to find it much harder to empty his mind this time.
'You're supposed to be learning how to close your mind to this sort of thing,' said Hermione, suddenly stern.
There, there, Sybill . . . calm down . . . blow your nose on this . . . it's not as bad as you think, now . . . you are not going to have to leave Hogwarts . . .'
Professor Trelawney was standing in the middle of the Entrance Hall with her wand in one hand and an empty sherry bottle in the other, looking utterly mad. Her hair was sticking up on end, her glasses were lopsided so that one eye was magnified more than the other; her innumerable shawls and scarves were trailing haphazardly from her shoulders, giving the impression that she was falling apart at the seams. Two large trunks lay on the floor beside her, one of them upside-down; it looked very much as though it had been thrown down the stairs after her. Professor Trelawney was staring, apparently terrified, at something Harry could not see but which seemed to be standing at the foot of the stairs.
'Well, I think we should just try and forget what you saw,' said Hermione firmly. 'And you ought to put in a bit more effort on your Occlumency from now on.'
'But - what's Hagrid attempting to do?' said Harry nervously.
Professor Umbridge was standing stock still, staring at Dumbledore, who continued to smile benignly.
Harry got to his feet, glaring at the pair of them. He had never seen Umbridge looking so happy. She seized his arm in a vice-like grip and turned, beaming broadly, to Malfoy.
'Professor Trelawney did astrology with us!' said Parvati excitedly, raising her hand in front of her so that it stuck up in the air as she lay on her back. 'Mars causes accidents and burns and things like that, and when it makes an angle to Saturn, like now - ' she drew a right-angle in the air above her '- that means people need to be extra careful when handling hot things - '
'I'll bet you wish you hadn't given up Divination now, don't you, Hermione?' asked Parvati, smirking.
The teachers were of course forbidden from mentioning I ie interview by Educational Decree Number Twenty-six, but they found ways to express their feelings about it all the same. Professor Sprout awarded Gryffindor twenty points when Harry passed her a watering can; a beaming Professor Flitwick pressed a box of squeaking sugar mice on him at the end of Charms, said, 'Shh!' and hurried away; and Professor Trelawney broke into hysterical sobs during Divination and announced to the startled class, and a very disapproving Umbridge, that Harry was not going to suffer an early death after all, but would live to a ripe old age, become Minister for Magic and have twelve children.
'It's him!' she said jubilantly at the sight of Harry on the floor, 'Excellent, Draco, excellent, oh, very good - fifty points to Slytherin! I'll take him from here . . . stand up, Potter!'
'Perhaps,' said Snape, his dark, cold eyes narrowing slightly, 'perhaps you actually enjoy having these visions and dreams, Potter. Maybe they make you feel special - important?'
'You've found - ?' said Umbridge shrilly. 'You've found? Might I remind you, Dumbledore, that under Educational Decree Number Twenty-two - '
Harry and Ron were on the point of following them when Firenze called, 'Harry Potter, a word, please.'
If it had not been for the DA lessons, Harry thought he would have been extremely unhappy. He sometimes felt he was living for the hours he spent in the Room of Requirement, working hard but thoroughly enjoying himself at the same time, swelling with pride as he looked around at his fellow DA members and saw how far they had come. Indeed, Harry sometimes wondered how Umbridge was going to react when all the members of the DA received 'Outstanding' in their Defence Against the Dark Arts OWLs.
Ron wrenched the hangings apart and Harry stared up at him in the moonlight, flat on his back, his scar searing with pain. Ron
'In the past decade, the indications have been that wizardkind is living through nothing more than a brief calm between two wars. Mars, bringer of battle, shines brightly above us, suggesting that the fight must soon break out again. How soon, centaurs may attempt to divine by the burning of certain herbs and leaves, by the observation of fume and flame . . .'