112 The incorrect seer
"Now, I want you all to divide into pairs. Collect a teacup from the shelf, come to me, and I will fill it. Then sit down and drink, drink until only the dregs remain. Swill these around the cup three times with the left hand, then turn the cup upside down on its saucer, wait for the last of the tea to drain away, then give your cup to your partner to read. You will interpret the patterns using pages five and six of Unfogging the Future. I shall move among you, help- ing and instructing. Oh, and dear-" she caught Neville by the arm as he made to stand up. "-after you've broken your first cup, would you be so kind as to select one of the blue patterned ones? I'm rather attached to the pink."
Sure enough, Neville had no sooner reached the shelf of teacups when there was a tinkle of breaking china. Professor Trelawney swept over to him holding a dustpan and brush and said, "One of the blue ones, then, dear, if you wouldn't mind . . . thank you. . . ."
When Arth and Hermione had had their teacups filled, they went back to their table and tried to drink the scalding tea quickly. They swilled the dregs around as Professor Trelawney had instructed, then drained the cups and swapped over.
They both opened their books at pages five and six.
"What can you see in mine?" Arth asked.
"A bunch of soggy brown tea leaves," said Hermione. The heavily perfumed smoke in the room was making them feel sleepy and stupid.
Hermione was visibly getting frustrated.
"Broaden your minds, my dears, and allow your eyes to see past the mundane!" Professor Trelawney cried through the gloom.
Arth spoke in a soothing voice.
"Hermione, it's alright... calm down and let your imagination take over."
"...you've got a shaky sort of three leaved clover. That means you're going to have 'Happiness' but there's a thing that could be... a rock?"
Professor Trelawney whirled around as Harry let out a snort of laughter to their right. They seemed to be laughing over the contents of their teacups.
"Let me see that, my dear," she said reprovingly to Ron, sweeping over and snatching Harry's cup from him. Everyone went quiet to watch.
Professor Trelawney was staring into the teacup, rotating it counterclockwise.
"The falcon... my dear, you have a deadly enemy."
"But everyone knows that," said Hermione in a loud whisper. Professor Trelawney stared at her.
"Well, they do," said Hermione. "Everybody knows about Harry and You-Know-Who."
Arth stared at her with a mixture of amazement. He had never heard Hermione speak to a teacher like that before.
Professor Trelawney chose not to reply. She lowered her huge eyes to Harry's cup again and continued to turn it.
"The club... an attack. Dear, dear, this is not a happy cup..."
I thought that was a bowler hat," said Ron sheepishly.
"The skull... danger in your path, my dear. . . ."
Everyone was staring, transfixed, at Professor Trelawney, who gave the cup a final turn, gasped, and then screamed.
There was another tinkle of breaking china; Neville had smashed his second cup.
Professor Trelawney sank into a vacant
armchair, her glittering hand at her heart and her eyes closed.
"My dear boy... my poor, dear boy... no... it is kinder not to say... no... don't ask me..."
"What is it? Is Harry going to die or something?"
"My dear," Professor Trelawney's huge eyes opened dramatically, "you have the Grim."
"The what?" said Harry.
"The Grim, my dear, the Grim!" cried Professor Trelawney, who looked shocked that Harry hadn't understood. "The giant, spectral dog that haunts churchyards! My dear boy, it is an omen — the worst omen — of death!"
Everyone was looking at Harry, everyone except Arth and Hermione, who had gotten up and moved around to the back of Professor Trelawney's chair.
"I don't think it looks like a Grim," she said flatly.
Arth raised an eyebrow.
"I mean it does look like a dog, but this little part over here throws me off more... I could be a... wolf? And then this bit looks like an arrow so maybe it means that there is danger... but it will come to pass?"
"Is that so? Show me quickly boy."
Arth showed her the cup and Professor Trelawney let out a sigh of relief.
"It is true, the boy is correct. Indeed, what I mistook to be the grim is indeed a wolf... it seems that my inner eye was wrong... however it does not matter. As I said in the beginning of the class... this will be one of the most unpredictable classes that you will ever take."
Professor Trelawney closes her eyes.
"I think we will leave the lesson here for today," said Professor Trelawney in her mistiest voice. "Yes... please pack away your things..."
The four of them quickly packed their thing and went down the ladder.
Ron slapped Arth in the back.
"Well dome mate, you did a bloody great job it making all of that up."
"But I didn't," Arth said with a frown. "I was giving my actual input on what I saw."
"Oh come on, all of that was BS. If not tell me what you saw in mine."
Arth raised an eyebrow.
"You have nothing to worry while on the stairs."
"I guess that I can run down the stairs then-"
Ron slipped and rolled down the stairs with a loud help of pain.
"When will That idiot learn?"
Arth frowned again.
"I was actually predicting his future though?"
"HELP ME! SOMEONE STOP ME PLEASE! AH FIRST YEARS MIVE AWAY!"