Mysterious Dungbombs

Filch gets a tip-off about Harry and a 'massive order for Dungbombs'

Extract from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

by J.K. Rowling

Harry’s insides re-inflated so rapidly he felt as though he might actually float a few inches off the dropping-strewn floor. Who cared about a stupid flying horse; Cho thought he had been really brave. For a moment, he considered accidentally-on-purpose showing her his cut hand as he helped her tie her parcel on to her owl ... but the very instant this thrilling thought occurred, the Owlery door opened again.

Filch the caretaker came wheezing into the room. There were purple patches on his sunken, veined cheeks, his jowls were aquiver and his thin grey hair dishevelled; he had obviously run here. Mrs Norris came trotting at his heels, gazing up at the owls overhead and mewing hungrily. There was a restless shifting of wings from above and a large brown owl snapped his beak in a menacing fashion.

‘Aha!’ said Filch, taking a flat-footed step towards Harry, his pouchy cheeks trembling with anger. ‘I’ve had a tip-off that you are intending to place a massive order for Dungbombs!’

Harry folded his arms and stared at the caretaker.

‘Who told you I was ordering Dungbombs?’

Cho was looking from Harry to Filch, also frowning; the barn owl on her arm, tired of standing on one leg, gave an admonitory hoot but she ignored it.

‘I have my sources,’ said Filch in a self-satisfied hiss. ‘Now hand over whatever it is you’re sending.’

Feeling immensely thankful that he had not dawdled in posting off the letter, Harry said, ‘I can’t, it’s gone.’

‘Gone?’ said Filch, his face contorting with rage.

‘Gone,’ said Harry calmly.

Filch opened his mouth furiously, mouthed for a few seconds, then raked Harry’s robes with his eyes.

‘How do I know you haven’t got it in your pocket?’

‘Because –’

‘I saw him send it,’ said Cho angrily.

Filch rounded on her. ‘You saw him –?’

‘That’s right, I saw him,’ she said fiercely.

There was a moment’s pause in which Filch glared at Cho and Cho glared right back, then the caretaker turned and shuffled back towards the door. He stopped with his hand on the handle and looked back at Harry.

‘If I get so much as a whiff of a Dungbomb ...’

He stumped off down the stairs. Mrs Norris cast a last longing look at the owls and followed him.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

By J.K. Rowling