'When you're ready,' she said, 'we're going to go straight down to the pitch, check out conditions and change.'
He moved off around the room again, stopping here and there to make suggestions. Slowly, the general performance improved.
'OK,' said Harry quietly, while a moth-eaten troll paused in his relentless clubbing of the would-be ballet teacher to watch them. 'Dobby said to walk past this bit of wall three times, concentrating hard on what we need.'
Dobby the house-elf was standing beside the table on which Hermione had left half a dozen of her knitted hats. His large, pointed ears were now sticking out from beneath what looked like all the hats Hermione had ever knitted; he was wearing one on top of the other, so that his head seemed elongated by two or three feet, and on the very topmost bobble sat Hedwig, hooting serenely and obviously cured.
Weasley is our King.'
'Not tonight, Dobby,' said Harry reluctantly, sinking back into his chair. This is really important . . . I don't want to blow it, it'll need proper planning. Listen, can you just tell me exactly where this Room of Requirement is, and how to get in there?'
Harry realised he had been stationary in midair for over a minute, watching the progress of the match without sparing a thought for the whereabouts of the Snitch; horrified, he went into a dive and started circling the pitch again, staring around, trying to ignore the chorus now thundering through the stadium:
. . . Hermione said Sirius was becoming reckless cooped up in Grimmauld Place . . .
'Mimbulus mimbletonia,' said Ron's voice and Harry came back to his senses just in time to clamber through the portrait hole into the common room.
Ron did up the fastening of his own cloak, watching Harry thoughtfully.
' - so it's the first test for new Gryffindor Keeper Weasley, brother of Beaters Fred and George, and a promising new talent on the team - come on, Ron!'
At half past seven Harry, Ron and Hermione left the Gryffindor common room, Harry clutching a certain piece of aged parchment in his hand. Fifth-years were allowed to be out in the corridors until nine o'clock, but all three of them kept looking around nervously as they made their way along the seventh floor.
He looked down at his watch and was shocked to see it was already ten past nine, which meant they needed to get back to their common rooms immediately or risk being caught and punished by Filch for being out of bounds. He blew his whistle; everybody stopped shouting 'Expelliarmus' and the last couple of wands clattered to the floor.
'I was thinking,' said Hermione, frowning at Fred, 'more of a name that didn't tell everyone what we were up to, so we can refer to it safely outside meetings.'
But twenty-nil was nothing, there was still time for Gryffindor to catch up or catch the Snitch. A few goals and they would be in the lead as usual, Harry assured himself, bobbing and weaving through the other players in pursuit of something shiny that turned out to be Montague's watchstrap.
He cannot block a single ring . . .'
'Oh no,' said Cho rather wildly as he approached. 'Expelliarmious! I mean, Expellimellius! I - oh, sorry, Marietta!'
'Weasley is our King,