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"I expect they've let it rot to give it a stronger flavor," said Hermione knowledgeably, pinching her nose and leaning closer to look at the putrid haggis.
They looked at each other and started to laugh; for a long time, they couldn't stop.
Ron was scarlet in the face, grinning embarrassedly, but Harry could see one person who didn't look happy at all. Percy was visible over the heads of some excited first years, and he seemed to be trying to get near enough to start telling them off. Harry nudged Ron in the ribs and nodded in Percy's direction. Ron got the point at once.
"No, sir, it was the barrier at King's Cross, it -"
"He did it, he did it!" Filch spat, his pouchy face purpling. "You saw what he wrote on the wall! He found - in my office - he knows I'm a - I'm a -" Filch's face worked horribly. "He knows I'm a Squib!" he finished.
"Reverse!" Harry yelled, and the car shot backward; the tree was still trying to hit them; they could hear its roots creaking as it almost ripped itself up, lashing out at them as they sped out of reach.
Snape's nasty smile widened.
"No, Arthur -"
"Oh, hello there!" he called, beaming around at the assembled
"Gave you a taste for publicity, didn't I?" said Lockhart. "Gave you the bug. You got onto the front page of the paper with me and you couldn't wait to do it again." "Oh, no, Professor, see -" "Harry, Harry, Harry," said Lockhart, reaching out and grasping his shoulder. "I understand. Natural to want a bit more once you've had that first taste - and I blame myself for giving you that, be cause it was bound to go to your head - but see here, young man, you can't start flying cars to try and get yourself noticed. Just calm down, all right? Plenty of time for all that when you're older. Yes, yes, I know what you're thinking! 'It's all right for him, he's an in ternationally famous wizard already!' But when I was twelve, I was just as much of a nobody as you are now. In fact, Id say I was even more of a nobody! I mean, a few people have heard of you, haven't they? All that business with He-\"o-Must-Not-Be-Named!" He glanced at the lightning scar on Harry's forehead. "I know, I know - it's not quite as good as winning Witch Weekly's Most Charming-Smile Award five times in a row, as I have - but it's a start, Harry, it's a start." He gave Harry a hearty wink and strode off. Harry stood stunned for a few seconds, then, remembering he was supposed to be in the greenhouse, he opened the door and slid inside. Professor Sprout was standing behind a trestle bench in the cen ter of the greenhouse. About twenty pairs of different-colored ear muffs were lying on the bench. When Harry had taken his place between Ron and Hermione, she said, "We'll be repotting Man drakes today. Now, who can tell me the properties of the Man drake?" To nobody's surprise, Hermione's hand was first into the air.
Wood was holding up a large diagram of a Quidditch field, on which were drawn many lines, arrows, and crosses in differentcolored inks. He took out his wand, tapped the board, and the arrows began to wiggle over the diagram like caterpillars. As Wood launched into a speech about his new tactics, Fred Weasley's head drooped right onto Alicia Spinnet's shoulder and he began to snore.
"But you haven't really got to know Mrs. Norris," Ron told her bracingly. "Honestly, we're much better off without her." Ginny's lip trembled. "Stuff like this doesn't often happen at Hogwarts," Ron assured her. "They'll catch the maniac who did it and have him out of here in no time. I just hope he's got time to Petrify Filch before he's expelled. I'm only joking -" Ron added hastily as Ginny blanched.
A very small, mousy-haired boy had been called forward to place the hat on his head. Harry's eyes wandered past him to where Professor Dumbledore, the headmaster, sat watching the Sorting from the staff table, his long silver beard and half-moon glasses shining brightly in the candlelight. Several seats along, Harry saw Gilderoy Lockhart, dressed in robes of aquamarine. And there at the end was Hagrid, huge and hairy, drinking deeply from his goblet.
"Yes," said Harry heavily, resigned to explaining the complicated rules of Quidditch. "They're called Bludgers. There are two Beaters
Professor Sprout was a squat little witch who wore a patched hat over her flyaway hair; there was usually a large amount of earth on her clothes and her fingernails would have made Aunt Petunia faint. Gilderoy Lockhart, however, was immaculate in sweeping robes of turquoise, his golden hair shining under a perfectly positioned turquoise hat with gold trimming.。