'Excellent,' said Fudge, a smile spreading across his face, 'excellent, Dolores. And . . . by thunder . . .'
'Or Ministry Decrees?' amended Fudge angrily.
'Statement?' said Fudge slowly. 'What - I don't - ?'
'I didn't know,' he said, leering at Harry, who knew his face was burning. He would have given a great deal to be able to shout the truth at Malfoy - or, even better, to hit him with a good curse.
'Jolly good, jolly good!' said Fudge heartily. 'Like mother, like daughter, eh? Well, come on, now, dear, look up, don't be shy, let's hear what you've got to - galloping gargoyles!'
'I would have thought her meaning was quite clear,' said Professor McGonagall harshly, 'there have been no secret meetings for the past six months. Is that correct, Miss Edgecombe?'
'Evidence?' repeated Umbridge, with that horrible wide toad-like smile. 'Have you not been listening, Dumbledore? Why do you think Miss Edgecombe is here?'
'What do you mean, "tried"?' said Ron quickly.
'You mustn't!' whispered Hermione. 'You really mustn't! She'd love a reason to expel you!'
'You organised this?'
He said nothing. She settled herself back into her seat and waited. When several long moments had passed in silence, she said gaily, 'You're not drinking up!'
Harry fully intended to respond with a defiant 'yes': his mouth had opened and the word was half-formed when he caught sight of Dumbledore's face. Dumbledore was not looking directly at Harry - his eyes were fixed on a point just over his shoulder - but as Harry stared at him, he shook his head a fraction of an inch to each side.
'I have not yet managed to find one,' Umbridge admitted grudgingly, and Harry felt a surge of pride in Hermione's jinxing ability 'But it doesn't matter if she won't speak, I can take up the story from here.
- 詹姆斯称总决赛还没结束 卢要把系列赛打回克城
' - what with Dumbledore gone - ' said Fred.
The upshot of it all was that Professor Umbridge spent her first afternoon as Headmistress running all over the school answering the summonses of the other teachers, none of whom seemed able to rid their rooms of the fireworks without her. When the final bell rang and they were heading back to Gryffindor Tower with their bags, Harry saw, with immense satisfaction, a dishevelled and soot-blackened Umbridge tottering sweaty-faced from Professor Flitwick's classroom.
'You're late, Potter,' said Snape coldly, as Harry closed the door behind him.
That's all very fine, Headmaster,' she said, smiling sweetly, 'but we are now nearly six months on from the introduction of Educational Decree Number Twenty-four. If the first meeting was not illegal, all those that have happened since most certainly are.'
Percy looked as though he had been struck in the face by something very heavy. Fudge remained motionless in mid-bounce, his mouth hanging open.
Percy Weasley let out a hearty laugh.