'Yeah, I s'pose so,' said Harry, glad of a change of subject.
But Grawp merely gave another low roar; it was hard to say whether he was listening to Hagrid or whether he even recognised the sounds Hagrid was making as speech. He had now seized the top of the pine tree and was pulling it towards him, evidently for the simple pleasure of seeing how far it would spring back when he let go.
'Course not, he'll recover,' said Ron indifferently.
'Hagrid!' said Harry, fighting his way through thickly knotted brambles, over which Hagrid had stepped with ease, and remembering very vividly what had happened to him on the other occasion he had stepped off the Forest path. 'Where are we going?'
'I 'ppreciate this, you two, I really do,' said Hagrid as they reached the stairs. He kept looking around nervously as they descended towards the lawn below. 'I jus' hope she doesn' notice us goin'.'
'Not food or anythin'!' said Hagrid eagerly. 'He can get his own fcod, no problem. Birds an' deer an' stuff . . . no, it's company he needs. It I jus' knew someone was carryin on trym ter help him a bit . . . teachin' him, yeh know.'
'Ah, no,' said Hagrid, shaking his head dismissively, 'no, it's not them. Well, o' course, they could complicate the problem, yeah . . . but yeh'll see what I mean in a bit.'
The giant gave a roar that echoed around the silent Forest; birds in the treetops overhead rose twittering from their perches and soared away. In front of Harry and Hermione, meanwhile, the gigantic Grawp was rising from the ground, which shuddered as he placed an enormous hand upon it to push himself on to his knees. He turned his head to see who and what had disturbed him.
'You have to keep him tied up?' said Hermione faintly.
'Nah, she didn't,' said Sirius.
'Er . . . all righ',' Hagrid whispered back. Tn fact - '
'You didn't bring your crossbow the day you showed us the Thestrals,' said Hermione timidly.
it strayed down that corridor ending in the black door, and sought to wake him before he could reach the journey's end.
Harry looked from her to Hagrid and then, as realisation hit him, he looked back at the mound with a small gasp of horror.
Harry found this an odd question . . . 'What is it?' was the one he; had been planning on asking.
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It was one of the most curious sensations he had ever experienced. He had travelled by Floo powder before, of course, but then it had been his entire body that had spun around and around ir. the flames through the network of wizarding fireplaces that stretchec over the country. This time, his knees remained firm upon the cole floor of Umbridge's office, and only his head hurtled through the emerald fire . . .
'Harmless!' said Hermione shrilly, and Hagrid made frantic hushing noises with his hands as the enormous creature before them grunted loudly and shifted in its sleep. 'He's been hurting you all this time, hasn't he? That's why you've had all these injuries!'
'Who cares?' said Ron irritably, while his teacup stood up drunkenly again, trembling violently at the knees. 'Montague shouldn't have tried to take all those points from Gryffindor, should he? If you want to worry about anyone, Hermione, worry about me!'