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To his surprise, Professor Trelawney drew herself up at this suggestion, looking haughty.
'Gleefully,' she said, nodding.
"You're quite sure of that, are you, Potter?"
Harry stuffed a bent card into the box at random and hurried out of the door before Snape could change his mind, racing back up the stone steps, straining his ears to hear a sound from the pitch, but all was quiet. ... It was over, then. . . .
'You'd think people had better things to gossip about,' said Ginny, as she sat on the common-room floor, leaning against Harry's legs and reading the Daily Prophet. Three Dementor attacks in a week, and all Romilda Vane does is ask me if it's true you've got a Hippogriff tattooed across your chest.'
"Good gracious, Harry," said Dumbledore in surprise. "To what do I owe this very late pleasure?"
And then Harry heard a scream and a crash. He stopped in his tracks, listening.
"It is essential that you understand this!" said Dumbledore, standing up and striding about the room, his glittering robes swooshing in his wake; Harry had never seen him so agitated. "By attempting to kill you, Voldemort himself singled out the remark-able person who sits here in front of me, and gave him the tools for the job! It is Voldemort's fault that you were able to see into his thoughts, his ambitions, that you even understand the snakelike language in which he gives orders, and yet, Harry, despite your privileged insight into Voldemort's world (which, incidentally, is a gift any Death Eater would kill to have), you have never been se-duced by the Dark Arts, never, even for a second, shown the slight-est desire to become one of Voldemort's followers!"
'Oh, well, in that case,' said Professor Trelawney with a smile. She bent down, scooped up her sherry bottles and dumped them unceremoniously in a large blue and white vase standing in a nearby niche.
With a noise like an explosion, something very large and pale erupted out of the dark water some twenty feet away; before Harry could see what it was, it had vanished again with a crashing splash that made great, deep ripples on the mirrored surface. Harry leapt backward in shock and hit the wall; his heart was still thundering as he turned to Dumbledore.
'I want to talk to you, Harry.'
'... but then we were rudely interrupted by Severus Snape!'
"But it comes to the same —"
"I said it was crude," said Dumbledore, who sounded disdainful, even disappointed, as though Voldemort had fallen short of higher standards Dumbledore expected. "The idea, as I am sure you will have gathered, is that your enemy must weaken him- or herself to enter. Once again, Lord Voldemort fails to grasp that there are much more terrible things than physical injury."