They've found Montague, sir, he's turned up jammed inside a toilet on the fourth floor.'
'Cool!' said Seamus, who was silhouetted against the window. 'I think one of those Catherine wheels hit a rocket and it's like they mated, come and see!'
We might have put a toe across it occasionally,' said George.
'It's Professor Umbridge, sir - she needs your help,' said Malfoy.
Umbridge had obviously gone to some lengths to get Filch on her side, Harry thought, and the worst of it was that he would probably prove an important weapon; his knowledge of the school's secret passageways and hiding places was probably second only to that of the Weasley twins.
'I know prefects can't dock points, Weasel King,' sneered Maltby. Crabbe and Goyle sniggered. 'But members of the Inquisitorial Squad - '
'Impressive,' Harry said quietly, grinning. 'Very impressive . . . you'll put Dr Filibuster out of business, no problem . . .'
'I wish you to have a drink with me,' she said, her voice becoming dangerously sweet. 'Choose one.'
'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?'
'You recruited these students for - for your army?'
'She's a lovely person really,' said Cho. 'She just made a mistake -
Something he wanted . . . or somebody else wanted . . .
'Cornelius, I do not deny - and nor, I am sure, does Harry - 'that he was in the Hog's Head that day, nor that he was trying to recruit students to a Defence Against the Dark Arts group. I am merely pointing out that Dolores is quite wrong to suggest that such a group was, at that time, illegal. If you remember, the Ministry Decree banning all student societies was not put into effect until two days after Harry's Hogsmeade meeting, so he was not breaking any rules at all in the Hog's Head.'
'But - but - '
'Oh yes, I forgot - of course, if it was darling Hermione's idea - '
'Yerse . . . I've been telling Dumbledore for years and years he's too soft with you all,' said Filch, chuckling nastily. 'You filthy little beasts would never have dropped Stink Pellets if you'd known I had it in my power to whip you raw, would you, now? Nobody would have thought of throwing Fanged Frisbees down the corridors if I could've strung you up by the ankles in my office, would they? But when Educational Decree Number Twenty-nine comes in, Potter, I'll be allowed to do them things . . . and she's asked the Minister to sign an order for the expulsion of Peeves . . . oh, things are going to be very different around here with her in charge
'Professor Dumbledore . . .' Harry began.
'Or Ministry Decrees?' amended Fudge angrily.
Harry felt a horrible plummeting in his stomach. This was it, they had hit a dead end of solid evidence that not even Dumbledore would be able to shift aside.