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"What’s the matter?" said Harry.

"She’s - she’s sent me a Howler," said Ron faintly.

"You’d better open it, Ron," said Neville in a timid whisper. "It’ll be worse if you don’t. My gran sent me one once, and I ignored it and" - he gulped - "it was horrible."   

Harry looked from their petrified faces to the red envelope. “What’s a Howler?” he said.

But Ron’s whole attention was fixed on the letter, which had begun to smoke at the corners. “Open it,” Neville urged. “It’ll all be over in a few minutes -”   

Ron stretched out a shaking hand, eased the envelope from Errol’s beak, and slit it open. Neville stuffed his fingers in his ears. A split second later, Harry knew why. He thought for a moment it had exploded; a roar of sound fiIled the huge hall, shaking dust from the ceiling.

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