A bold introduction

Romilda makes herself known to her not-so-secret crush

Extract from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

By J.K. Rowling

Before he could respond, however, there was a disturbance outside their compartment door; a group of fourth-year girls was whispering and giggling together on the other side of the glass.

‘You ask him!’

‘No, you!’

‘I’ll do it!’

And one of them, a bold-looking girl with large dark eyes, a prominent chin and long black hair, pushed her way through the door.

‘Hi, Harry, I’m Romilda, Romilda Vane,’ she said loudly and confidently. ‘Why don’t you join us in our compartment? You don’t have to sit with them,’ she added in a stage whisper, indicating Neville’s bottom, which was sticking out from under the seat again as he groped around for Trevor, and Luna, who was now wearing her free Spectrespecs, which gave her the look of a demented, multicoloured owl.

‘They’re friends of mine,’ said Harry coldly.

‘Oh,’ said the girl, looking very surprised. ‘Oh. OK.’

And she withdrew, sliding the door closed behind her.

‘People expect you to have cooler friends than us,’ said Luna, once again displaying her knack for embarrassing honesty.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

By J.K. Rowling