¡°You can't know that, Potter,¡± said Professor McGonagall, quite kindly, ¡°not until you've flown it, at any rate, and I'm afraid that is out of the question until we are certain that it has not been tampered with. I shall keep you informed.¡±
Harry could feel himself shaking, not with fear, but with a fresh wave of fury.
And then, through the fog that was drowning him, he thought he saw a silvery light growing brighter and brighter¡ He felt himself fall forward onto the grass¡. Facedown, too weak to move, sick and shaking, Harry opened his eyes. The Dementor must have released him. The blinding light was illuminating the grass around him¡The screaming had stopped, the cold was ebbing away¡
¡°Hagrid would like that,¡± said Dumbledore, smiling at Harry and Hermione. As he and Fudge left the dormitory, Madam Pomfrey hurried to the door and locked it again. Muttering angrily to herself, she headed back to her office.
Harry couldn't imagine when that would be. Dumbledore looked as though he knew what Harry was thinking.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the castle, the usual magnificent Christmas decorations had been put up, despite the fact that hardly any of the students remained to enjoy them. Thick streamers of holly and mistletoe were strung along the corridors, mysterious lights shone from inside every suit of armor, and the Great Hall was filled with its usual twelve Christmas trees, glittering with golden stars. A powerful and delicious smell of cooking pervaded the corridors, and by Christmas Eve, it had grown so strong that even Scabbers poked his nose out of the shelter of Ron's pocket to sniff hopefully at the air.