'On the count of three then,' said Snape lazily. 'One - two - '
'It was worth it, though,' said Fred, who was taking orders from clamouring Gryffindors. 'If you want to add your name to the waiting list, Hermione, it's five Galleons for your Basic Blaze box and twenty for the Deflagration Deluxe . . .'
'The Inquisitorial Squad, Granger,' said Malfoy, pointing towards a tiny silver 'I' on his robes just beneath his prefect's badge. 'A select group of students who are supportive of the Ministry of Magic, hand-picked by Professor Umbridge. Anyway, members of the Inquisitorial Squad do have the power to dock points . . . so, Granger, I'll have five from you for being rude about our new Headmistress. Macmillan, five for contradicting me. Five because I don't like you, Potter. Weasley, your shirt's untucked, so I'll have another five for that. Oh yeah, I forgot, you're a Mudblood, Granger, so ten off for that.'
Harry could have kicked him. Then he saw, to his astonishment, that Dumbledore was smiling gently, too.
'See what they've named themselves?' said Fudge quietly. 'Dumbledore's Army.'
'Afraid I'm going to have to dock a few points from Gryffincor and Hufflepuff,' he drawled.
There,' she said, handing it to him. 'Drink it before it gets cold, won't you? Well, now, Mr Potter . . . I thought we ought to have a little chat, after the distressing events of last night.'
'So,' he said. 'Have you been practising?'
'Nothing, thank you,' said Harry.
Harry's stomach turned over and his hand holding the teacup shook so that it rattled in its saucer. He tilted the cup to his mouth with his lips pressed together, so that some of the hot liquid trickled down on to his robes.
'Well, the game is up,' he said simply. 'Would you like a written confession from me, Cornelius - or will a statement before these witnesses suffice?'
But Marietta gave another muffled wail and shook her head frantically.
Harry spent the whole of the next day dreading what Snape was going to say if he found out how much further into the Department of Mysteries Harry had penetrated during his last dream. With a surge of guilt he realised that he had not practised Occlumency once since their last lesson: there had been too much going on since Dumbledore had left; he was sure he would not have been able to empty his mind even if he had tried. He doubted, however, whether Snape would accept that excuse.
'Oh yes he will, Minerva!' said Dumbledore sharply. 'Hogwar.s needs you!'
The fireworks continued to burn and to spread all over the school that afternoon. Though they caused plenty of disruption, particularly the firecrackers, the other teachers didn't seem to mind them very much.
There was a door at the far end . . . it, too, opened at his touch . . .
'What? said Harry, quite sure he had misheard her.
Albus Dumbledore as Head of Hogwarts School of