'What?' said both Harry and Ron together.
Professor Umbridge paused here and made a little bow to her fellow staff members, none of whom bowed back to her. Professor McGonagall's dark eyebrows had contracted so that she looked positively hawklike, and Harry distinctly saw her exchange a significant glance with Professor Sprout as Umbridge gave another little 'hem, hem' and went on with her speech.
Pocket money failing to keep pace with your outgoings?
Hermione glared at him. Fred and George sniggered.
'I did think he might be a bit better this year,' said Hermione in a disappointed voice. 'I mean . . . you know . . .' she looked around carefully; there were half a dozen empty seats on either side of them and nobody was passing the table ' . . . now he's in the Order and everything.'
Before Hermione could answer, a tall black girl with long braided hair had marched up to Harry.
'I listen, Ron,' said Hermione, with a touch of asperity.
Ron had appeared in the doorway. His wide eyes travelled from Harry, who was kneeling on his bed with his wand pointing at Seamus, to Seamus, who was standing there with his fists raised.
'Settle down,' said Snape coldly, shutting the door behind him.
'They are the limit,' said Hermione grimly, taking down the sign, which Fred and George had pinned up ewer a poster giving the date of the first Hogsmeade weekend, which was to be in October. 'We'll have to talk to them, Ron.'
'Cheers,' said Ron moodily, pocketing his timetable, 'but I think I'll take the lessons.'
'Was there?' said Ron blankly.
Seamus looked up at him.
'But they're, like, the elite,' said Ron. 'You've got to be really good. What about you, Hermione?'
'Yeah, I do!' said Ron angrily.
They had reached the foot of the marble staircase. A line of fourth-year Ravenclaws was crossing the Entrance Hall; they caught sight of Harry and hurried to form a tighter group, as though frightened he might attack stragglers.
'Why's it cheap?' said Ron suspiciously.
Harry spent the rest of the lunch hour sitting alone underneath the trapdoor at the top of North Tower. Consequently, he was the first to ascend the silver ladder that led to Sybill Trelawney's classroom when the bell rang.
Professor Umbridge cleared her throat again ('hem, hem'), but when she continued, some of the breathiness had vanished from her voice. She sounded much more businesslike and now her words had a dull learned-by-heart sound to them.