It happened in a flash of steely talons; Malfoy let out a high pitched scream and next moment, Hagrid was wrestling Buckbeak (A magical creature which has talons) back into his collar as he strained to get at Malfoy, who lay curled in the grass. blood blossoming over his robes.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Does the sentence mean "Steely talons suddenly(happened in a flash) attacked Malfoy"?
So in a sentence like "It happened in a flash of ~", what is followed after "of" functions as a subject of the sentence? I'm just guessing and not quite sure if this is right.
What's the exact role of "of" in this sentence?