He turned and saw Cho standing in the middle of the room, tears pouring down her face.
'How did you see this?' Dumbledore asked quietly, still not looking at Harry.
'Erm,' said Neville nervously, with a glance at Hagrid. 'Well, they're . . . er . . . OK . . .'
The man was yelling in pain . . . then he fell silent . . . he slumped backwards against the wall . . . blood was splattering on to the floor . . .
St Mungo's Hosptial
'Yeah,' said Harry, slightly desperately, 'who does?'
'No!' said Neville, looking upset. 'No, I'm not scared of them!'
'Dunno,' said Harry, who hadn't considered this, and immediately felt rather worried. 'Maybe I am.'
'Don t be silly, said Hermione vaguely, Harry's liked her lor ages, haven't you, Harry?'
Professor McGonagall was gazing at him through her lopsided spectacles as though horrified at what she was seeing.
'No,' said Hermione miserably. 'He says he wants them to be a surprise. I tried to explain about Umbridge, but he just doesn't get it. He kept saying nobody in their right mind would rather study Knarls than Chimaeras - oh, I don't think he's got a Chimaera,' she added at the appalled look on Harry and Ron's faces, 'but that's not for lack of trying, from what he said about how hard it is to get eggs. I don't know how many times I told him he'd be better off following Grubbly-Plank's plan, I honestly don't think he listened to half of what I said. He's in a bit of a funny mood, you know. He still won't say how he got all those injuries.'
'We're workin' in here today!' Hagrid called happily to the approaching students, jerking his head back at the dark trees behind him. 'Bit more sheltered! Anyway, they prefer the dark.'
Just like Hermione, Pansy had tears in her eyes, but these were tears of laughter; indeed, her answer was almost incoherent because she was trying to suppress her giggles.
There was a murmur of excitement. The room began to clear in the usual twos and threes; most people wished Harry a 'Happy Christmas' as they went. Feeling cheerful, he collected up the cushions with Ron and Hermione and stacked them neatly away. Ron and Hermione left before he did; he hung back a little, because Cho was still there and he was hoping to receive a 'Merry Christmas' from her.
'What's that supposed to mean?' said Ron indignantly. 'What sort of person cries while someone's kissing them?'
'Gather roun', gather roun',' Hagrid encouraged. 'Now, they'll be attracted by the smell o the meat but I'm going ter give em a call anyway, 'cause they'll like ter know it's me.'