Luna gave her a withering look and flounced away, radishes swinging madly. Parvati and Lavender were not the only ones hooting with laughter now.
‘D'you mind not offending the only people who believe me?’ Harry asked Hermione as they made their way into class.
‘Oh, for heaven's sake, Harry, you can do better than her,’ said Hermione. ‘Ginny's told me all about her; apparently, she'll only believe in things as long as there's no proof at all. Well, I wouldn't expect anything else from someone whose father runs The Quibbler.’
Harry thought of the sinister winged horses he had seen on the night he had arrived and how Luna had said she could see them too. His spirits sank slightly. Had she been lying? But before he could devote much more thought to the matter, Ernie Macmillan had stepped up to him.
‘I want you to know, Potter,’ he said in a loud, carrying voice, ‘that it's not only weirdos who support you. I personally believe you one hundred per cent. My family have always stood firm behind Dumbledore, and so do I.’
‘Er—thanks very much, Ernie,’ said Harry, taken aback but pleased. Ernie might be pompous on occasions like this, but Harry was in a mood to deeply appreciate a vote of confidence from somebody who did not have radishes dangling from their ears. Ernie's words had certainly wiped the smile from Lavender Browns face and as he turned to talk to Ron and Hermione, Harry caught Seamus's expression, which looked both confused and defiant.
To nobody's surprise, Professor Sprout started their lesson by lecturing them about the importance of OWLs. Harry wished all the teachers would stop doing this; he was starting to get an anxious, twisted feeling in his stomach every time he remembered how much homework he had to do, a feeling that worsened dramatically when Professor Sprout gave them yet another essay at the end of class. Tired and smelling strongly of dragon dung, Professor Sprouts preferred type of fertiliser, the Gryffindors trooped back up to the castle an hour and a half later, none of them talking very much; it had been another long day.
As Harry was starving, and he had his first detention with Umbridge at five o'clock, he headed straight for dinner without dropping off his bag in Gryffindor Tower so that he could bolt something down before facing whatever she had in store for him. He had barely reached the entrance of the Great Hall, however, when a loud and angry voice yelled, ‘Oi, Potter!’
‘What now?’ he muttered wearily, turning to face Angelina Johnson, who looked as though she was in a towering temper.
‘I'll tell you what now,’ she said, marching straight up to him and poking him hard in the chest with her finger. ‘How come you've landed yourself in detention for five o'clock on Friday?’
‘What?’ said Harry. ‘Why ... oh yeah, Keeper tryouts!’
‘Now he remembers!’ snarled Angelina. ‘Didn't I tell you I wanted to do a tryout with the whole team, and find someone who fitted in with everyone?Didn't I tell you I'd booked the Quidditch pitch specially? And now you've decided you're not going to be there!’