154 I don’t know what to call this
No one in Gryffindor Tower slept that night, except for maybe Arth who took a few short naps here and there. They knew that the castle was being searched again, and the whole House stayed awake in the common room, waiting to hear whether Black had been caught.
Professor McGonagall came back at dawn, to tell them that he had again escaped.
Throughout the day, everywhere they went they saw signs of tighter security; Professor Flitwick could be seen teaching the front doors to recognize a large picture of Sirius Black; Filch was suddenly bustling up and down the corridors, boarding up everything from tiny cracks in the walls to mouse holes. Sir Cadogan had been fired. His portrait had been taken back to its lonely landing on the seventh floor, and the Fat Lady was back. She had been expertly restored, but was still extremely nervous, and had agreed to return to her job only on the condition that she was given extra protection. A bunch of surly security trolls had been hired to guard her.
They paced the corridor in a menacing group, talking in grunts and comparing the size of their clubs.
To much of Arth's disgust, Ron had become an instant celebrity. For the first time in his life, people were paying more attention to him than to Harry, and it was clear that Ron was rather enjoying the experience.
"... I was asleep, and I heard this ripping noise, and I thought it was in my dream, you know? But then there was this draft... I woke up and one side of the hangings on my bed had been pulled down... I rolled over... and I saw him standing over... like a skeleton, with loads of filthy hair... holding this great long knife must've been twelve inches... and he looked at me, and I looked at him, and then I yelled, and he scampered."
Arth couldn't help but sigh at the sight.
Neville was in total disgrace. Professor McGonagall was so furious with him she had banned him from all future Hogsmeade vis- its, given him detention and forbidden anyone to give him the password into the tower.
Poor Neville was forced to wait outside the common room every night for somebody to let him in, while the security trolls leered unpleasantly at him. None of these punishments, however, came close to matching the one his grandmother had in store for him. Two days after Black's break-in, she sent Neville the very worst thing a Hogwarts student could receive over breakfast — a Howler.
It was too horrible to describe, even Arth couldn't bear to think of it. Neville's Grandmother was absolutely merciless.
A large group of people was bunched around the bulletin board when Arth and Hermione came back from the libraries.
"Hogsmeade, next weekend!" Arth heard Ron say to Harry, "What d'you reckon?"
"Well, Filch hasn't done anything about the passage into Hon- eydukes. . . ." Harry said quietly, but not quiet enough.
"Harry!" said Hermione. "Harry, if you go into Hogsmeade again... I'll tell Professor McGonagall about that map!" said Hermione.
"Can you hear someone talking, Harry?" growled Ron, not looking at Hermione.
"Ron, how can you let him go with you? After what Sirius Black nearly did to you! I mean it, I'll tell —"
"So now you're trying to get Harry expelled!" said Ron furiously. "Haven't you done enough damage this year?"
Hermione opened her mouth to respond, but with a soft hiss, Crookshanks leapt onto her lap. Hermione took one frightened look at the expression on Ron's face, gathered up Crookshanks, and hurried away toward the girls' dormitories.
Arthur frowned before massaging his temples.
"You know, I'm starting to think that Hermione is the only one who still cares about Harry."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, Hermione believes that Sirius Black is out to get Harry and tries to keep him safe while you on the other hand encourage Harry to break the rules."
Seeing the look on Ron's face, Arth sighed in a tired manner.
"Don't get angry with me, I'm tired. I don't want to have this argument right now."
Arth walked past Harry and Ron.
"I'm just saying, y'all can do whatever you want but at least make sure you guys don't get caught."
With those words, Arth went to his bed and slept.