'The Ministry's new moves have received enthusiastic support from parents of students at Hogwarts.
'You didn't say you'd written to Sirius! said Hermione accusingly.
'She needs the hospital wing,' said Angelina.
'As I was saying: the Vanishing Spell becomes more difficult with the complexity of the animal to be Vanished. The snail, as an invertebrate, does not present much of a challenge; the mouse, as a mammal, offers a. much greater one. This is not, therefore, magic you can accomplish with your mind on your dinner. So - you know the incantation, let me see what you can do . . .'
'"Poor", yeah,' said Lee Jordan. 'Still, better than "D", isn't it? 'Dreadful"?'
Hermione finished reading and looked across the table at the other two.
' "This is an exciting new phase in the Minister's plan to get to grips with what some are calling the falling standards at Hogwarts," said Weasley. "The Inquisitor will have powers to inspect her fellow educators and make sure that they are coming up to scratch. Professor Umbridge has been offered this position in addition to her own teaching post and we are delighted to say that she has accepted."
The very worst part of this second week's worth of detentions v/as, just as George had predicted, Angslina's reaction. She cornered him just as he arrived at the Gryffindor table for breakfast on Tuesday and shouted so loudly that Professor McGonagall came sweeping down upon the pair of them from the staff table.
Neither Harry nor Ron seemed to make much headway with their homework that night. Harry knew Ron was too preoccupied with how badly he had performed at Quidditch practice and he himself was having difficulty in getting the 'Gryffindor are losers' chant out of his head.
'We'll take her,' said Fred. 'She - er - might have swallowed a Blood Blisterpod by mistake - '
'Oh, give them here,' she said abruptly.
'How long have you been teaching at Hogwarts? Professor Umbridge asked.
'We'll tell you afterwards. Go on, Sirius.'
Professor Trelawney scowled at her, arms crossed and shoulders hunched as though wishing to protect herself as much as possible from the indignity of the inspection. After a slight pause in which she seemed to decide that the question was not so offensive that she could reasonably ignore it, she said in a deeply resentful tone, 'Nearly sixteen years.'
' "That's how Dolores Umbridge came to be appointed to the teaching staff at Hogwarts," said Weasley last night. "Dumbledore couldn't find anyone so the Minister put in Umbridge, and of course, she's been an immediate success - " '
Hermione raised her eyebrows.
Harry blinked. He had just seen something in the fire that could not have been there. It had flashed into sight and vanished immediately. No . . . it could not have been . . . he had imagined it because he had been thinking about Sirius . . .
'You lot had an inspected lesson yet?' Fred asked them.
'Are you telling me,' she said, lowering her voice so that the group of curious Ravenclaws behind them could not hear, that after the warning I gave you last Monday you lost your temper in Professor Umbridge's class again?'