'You do know why we are here, don t you, Potter?' said Snape, in a low, dangerous voice. 'You do know why I am giving up my evenings to this tedious job?'
'You are sure of your facts, Rookwood?' asked Harry.
'Well, I think we should just try and forget what you saw,' said Hermione firmly. 'And you ought to put in a bit more effort on your Occlumency from now on.'
'What?' yelled a voice nearby.
- CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN -
'Did Hagrid breed you, like the Thestrals?' asked Dean eagerly.
'I didn't hear all the conversation, but that's what it sounded like,' said Harry. 'Rookwood used to work there . . . maybe Voldemort'll send Rookwood to do it?'
'And you,' said the centaur, inclining his white-blond head. 'It was foretold that we would meet again.'
Snape staggered - his wand flew upwards, away from Harry - 'and suddenly Harry's mind was teeming with memories that were not his: a hook-nosed man was shouting at a cowering woman, while a small dark-haired boy cried in a corner . . . a greasy-haired teenager sat alone in a dark bedroom, pointing his wand at the ceiling, shooting down flies . . . a girl was laughing as a scrawny boy tried to mount a bucking broomstick - '
'You mark my words, she's going to want revenge on Dumbledore for appointing a new teacher without consulting her,' said Hermione, closing the newspaper. 'Especially another part-human. You saw the look on her face when she saw Firenze.'
Harry could hear a muffled commotion coming from what he thought might be the Entrance Hall. Snape looked round at him, frowning.
'Oh, don't be such a killjoy,' said Cho brightly, watching her silvery swan-shaped Patronus soar around the Room of Requirement C-Uring their last lesson before Easter. They're so pretty!'
'Let us begin,' said Firenze. He swished his long palomino tail, raised his hand towards the leafy canopy overhead, then lowered it slowly, and as he did so, the light in the room dimmed, so that they now seemed to be sitting in a forest clearing by twilight, and stars appeared on the ceiling. There were oohs and gasps and Ron said audibly, 'Blimey!'
Then give him a warning from me. His attempt is not working. He would do better to abandon it.'
'And what,' she said, in a whisper that carried all around the Eintrance Hall, 'are you going to do with her once I appoint a new Divination teacher who needs her lodgings?'
'Either way, he's still got four legs,' said Hermione coolly. 'Anyway, I thought you two were all upset that Trelawney had gone?'
'Umbridge?' asked Harry, horrified.
Snape's dark eyes bored into Harry's. Remembering what Snape had said about eye contact being crucial to Legilimency, Harry blinked and looked away.
'I didn't - I meant - sorry' he finished in a hushed voice.