128 Increasing tensions
Ron was still in a bad mood with Hermione next day. He barely talked to her all through Herbology, even though all four of them were working together on the same puffapod.
Hermione as always was the first one to break the silence.
"How's Scabbers?" Hermione asked timidly as they stripped fat pink pods from the plants and emptied the shining beans into a wooden pail.
"He's hiding at the bottom of my bed, shaking," said Ron angrily, missing the pail and scattering beans over the greenhouse floor.
"Careful, I don't want puffapod on me." Said Arth with an annoyed undertone as the beans burst into bloom before their very eyes.
They had Transfiguration next.
Harry had resolved himself to ask Professor McGonagall after the lesson whether he could go into Hogsmeade the the rest.
They joined the line outside the class trying to decide how they were going to argue Harry's case. Arth got out a book and would join in the conversation from time to time.
They were distracted, however, by a disturbance at the front of the line.
Lavender Brown seemed to be crying. Parvati had her arm around her and was explaining something to Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas, who were looking very serious.
"What's the matter, Lavender?" said Hermione anxiously as they went to join the group.
"She got a letter from home this morning," Parvati whispered. "It's her rabbit, Binky. He's been killed by a fox."
"Oh," said Hermione, "I'm sorry, Lavender."
Arth made a solemn cross motion on his chest.
"I should have known!" said Lavender tragically. "You know what day it is?"
"The sixteenth of October! 'That thing you're dreading, it will happen on the sixteenth of October!' Remember? She was right, she was right!"
The whole class was gathered around Lavender now. Seamus shook his head seriously.
Hermione hesitated; then she said, "You — you were dreading Binky being killed by a fox?"
"Well, not necessarily by a fox," said Lavender, looking up at Hermione with streaming eyes, "but I was obviously dreading him dying, wasn't I?"
"Oh," said Hermione. She paused again. "Was Binky an old rabbit?"
"N — no!" sobbed Lavender. "H — he was only a baby!" Parvati tightened her arm around Lavender's shoulders.
"But then, why would you dread him dying?" said Hermione. Parvati glared at her.
"Well, look at it logically," said Hermione, turning to the rest of the group. "I mean, Binky didn't even die today, did he? Lavender just got the news today —" Lavender wailed loudly. "— and she can't have been dreading it, because it's come as a real shock —"
"Don't mind Hermione, Lavender," said Ron loudly, "she doesn't think other people's pets matter very much."
Arth slammed his book shut causing everyone to turn their eyes on him.
With an blatant annoyed look, Arth glared at Ron and Hermione.
"Can you two please stop fighting for a single moment? And Lavender-" Arth sent a sympathetic look, "I know that you are struggling with the death of your rabbit, if you want, you can go slip today's class. I'll tell Professor McGonagall for you. She'll understand."
Arth's eyes suddenly sharpened.
"However, Hermione's reasoning is correct. It is highly unlikely to expect a baby bunny to die, unless it was given poor care or if it had a disease. Otherwise, you are just being paranoid and worrying too much."
Arth put the book in his hands away and sighed.
"It must've been caused by Professor Trelawney. No matter if her professors are true or right, your mind will force itself to find evidence that proves your beliefs. You probably feared that something was going to happen today, this when something did, you blamed it on the protect. What you "dread the most" probably didn't have anything to do with Binky. It's just your mind saying that you did in order to make the prophecy true."
Arth three his head at Professor McGonagall's door.
"Can we stop arguing now?"
Professor McGonagall opened the classroom door at that moment effectively solving everything.
However, Hermione and Ron were looking daggers at each other, and when they got into class, they seated themselves on the opposite sides with Arth and Harry in between and didn't talk to each other for the whole class.