Professor Trelawney's Prediction

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Katrina's POV

Our euphoria at finally winning the Quidditch Cup lasted at least a week. Even the weather seemed to be celebrating; as June approached, the days became cloudless and sultry, and all anybody felt like doing was strolling onto the grounds and flopping down on the grass with several pints of iced pumpkin juice, perhaps playing a casual game of Gobstones or watching the giant squid propel itself dreamily across the surface of the lake.

But we couldn't. Exams were nearly upon us, and instead of lazing around outside, we were forced to remain inside the castle, trying to bully our brains into concentrating while enticing wafts of summer air drifted in through the windows. Even Fred and George had been spotted working; they were about to take their O.W.L.s (Ordinary Wizarding Levels). Percy was getting ready to take his N.E.W.T.s (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests), the highest qualification Hogwarts offered. As Percy hoped to enter the Ministry of Magic, he needed top grades. He was becoming increasingly edgy, and gave very severe punishments to anybody who disturbed the quiet of the common room in the evenings. In fact, the only people who seemed more anxious than Percy were Hermione and I.

Thankfully Harry and Ron had given up asking us how we were managing to attend several classes at once, but they couldn't restrain themselves when they saw the exam schedule she had drawn up for us. The first column read:

Monday

9 o'clock, Arithmancy

9 o'clock, Transfiguration

Lunch

1 o'clock, Charms

1 o'clock, Ancient Runes

"Hermione?" Ron said cautiously, because she was liable to explode when interrupted these days. "Er—are you sure you've copied down these times right?"

"What?" snapped Hermione, picking up the exam schedule and examining it. "Yes, of course I have."

"Is there any point asking how you two are going to sit for two exams at once?" said Harry.

"No," said Hermione shortly. "Have either of you seen my copy of Numerology and Gramatica?"

"Oh, yeah, I borrowed it for a bit of bedtime reading," said Ron, but very quietly. I helped Hermione shift our heaps of parchment around on the table, looking for the book. Just then, there was a rustle at the window and Hedwig fluttered through it, a note clutched tight in her beak.

"It's from Hagrid," said Harry, ripping the note open. "Buckbeak's appeal—it's set for the sixth."

"That's the day we finish our exams," I said, still looking everywhere for her Arithmancy book.

"And they're coming up here to do it," said Harry, still reading from the letter. "Someone from the Ministry of Magic and—and an executioner."

I looked up, startled.

"They're bringing the executioner to the appeal! But that sounds as though they've already decided!"

"Yeah, it does," said Harry slowly.

"They can't!" Ron howled. "I've spent ages reading up on stuff for him; they can't just ignore it all!"

But I had a horrible feeling that the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures had had its mind made up for it by Mr. Malfoy. Draco Malfoy, who had been noticeably subdued since Gryffindor's triumph in the Quidditch final, seemed to regain some of his old swagger over the next few days. From sneering comments I overheard, Malfoy was certain Buckbeak was going to be killed, and seemed thoroughly pleased with himself for bringing it about. It was all I could do to stop myself from hitting Malfoy in the face again on these occasions. And the worst thing of all was that they had no time or opportunity to go and see Hagrid - or Drake, because the strict new security measures had not been lifted, and Harry didn't dare retrieve his Invisibility Cloak from below the one-eyed witch.

Katrina & Harry (Books 1-7) *Revised*Where stories live. Discover now