‘Harry, you were brilliant!’ Hermione said squeakily. There were fingernail marks on her face where she had been clutching it in fear. ‘You were amazing! You really were!’
But Harry was looking at Ron, who was very white, and staring at Harry as though he was a ghost.
‘Harry,’ he said, very seriously, ‘whoever put your name in that Goblet – I – I reckon they’re trying to do you in!’
It was as though the last few weeks had never happened – as though Harry was meeting Ron for the first time, right after he’d been made champion.
‘Caught on, have you?’ said Harry coldly. ‘Took you long enough.’
Hermione stood nervously between them, looking from one to the other. Ron opened his mouth uncertainly. Harry knew Ron was about to apologise and, suddenly, he found he didn’t need to hear it.
‘It’s OK,’ he said, before Ron could get the words out. ‘Forget it.’
‘No,’ said Ron, ‘I shouldn’t’ve–’
‘Forget it,’ Harry said.
Ron grinned nervously at him, and Harry grinned back.
Hermione burst into tears.