Harry gets a letter from Sirius saying that he'll be in Hogsmeade that weekend.
Harry is looking forward to seeing Sirius, though he's concerned about his godfather's safety.
In Potions class, the Slytherins are all chattering excitedly about this week's issue of Witch Weekly.
It's got an article from Rita Skeeter about Harry, who's supposedly pining after Hermione.
But (according to the article) Hermione has set her sights on Viktor Krum.
The article mentions that Viktor has invited Hermione to stay with him over the summer in Bulgaria.
Ron hisses: "I told you not to annoy Rita Skeeter! She's made you out to be some sort of – of scarlet woman!" (27.21).
Hermione laughs this off.
But she's confused about how Rita Skeeter knew about Viktor's invitation.
Snape finds the newspaper, mocks Harry, Ron, and Hermione for their "tangled love lives" (27.42), and punishes the three of them for talking in class.
So Harry continues to fantasize about killing Professor Snape.
Professor Snape threatens Harry with Veritaserum – "a Truth Potion so powerful that three drops would have you spilling your innermost secrets" (27.58).
Professor Snape is sure that Harry is the one who broke into his office the other night.
So that relationship continues to be strained.
Professor Karkaroff suddenly interrupts Potions class.
He insists on hanging around waiting for Professor Snape's class to end so he can talk to him.
Again, Professor Karkaroff shows him something on his arm.
Professor Snape snarls, "Put it away!" (27.75).
He then sends Harry (who had been dawdling to hear their conversation) out of the room.
The next day, the trio goes to Hogsmeade.
They bring some food for Sirius.
They find Sirius in his dog form.
Sirius (or Padfoot, as he's known when he is in dog shape) leads them to a cave.
In the cave, the trio sees Buckbeak, the hippogriff (a creature they encounter in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban).
Sirius turns back into human shape.
He pulls out some newspaper clippings that show Mr. Crouch in bad condition at St. Mungo's Hospital.
But how could Crouch be ill enough to be hospitalized if he was at Hogwarts just the other night?
Hermione thinks Mr. Crouch is getting "his comeuppance for sacking Winky" (27.101).
Ron laughs, but Sirius does think this is a significant piece of information – he just can't figure out why.
Sirius tells the trio that it was Crouch who "gave the order for [Sirius] to be sent to Azkaban [the wizard prison] – without a trial" (27.142).
Mr. Crouch is a powerfully ambitious wizard who made a name for himself fighting Voldemort.
And when Mr. Crouch's own son "was caught with a group of Death Eaters" (27.151), Mr. Crouch didn't hesitate to send him to prison too.
Mr. Crouch's son died in Azkaban about a year after getting put away.
But Mr. Crouch's popularity died with his son: "once the boy had died, people started feeling a bit more sympathetic toward the son and started asking how a nice young lad from a good family had gone so badly astray" (27.168).
But it doesn't make sense for Mr. Crouch to search Professor Snape's office in secret.
Ron still thinks that Professor Snape must be involved with the Death Eaters somehow.
Sirius adds, "Snape knew more curses when he arrived at school than half the kids in seventh year, and he was part of a gang of Slytherins who nearly all turned out to be Death Eaters" (27.182).
Sirius wants Ron to ask Percy about Mr. Crouch.
He also wants to know if there are any leads on the disappearance of Bertha Jorkins.
Sirius warns Harry to be careful; he won't be safe while the tournament is going on.
Ron wonders if Percy would turn on his family if they stood in the way of his career, the way Mr. Crouch turned on his own son.