"Ah, why shouldn't we show our colors?" said Mrs. Finnigan. "You should see what the Bulgarians have got dangling all over their tents. You'll be supporting Ireland, of course?" she added, eyeing Harry, Ron, and Hermione beadily. When they had assured her that they were indeed supporting Ireland, they set off again, though, as Ron said, "Like we'd say anything else surrounded by that lot."

"I wonder what the Bulgarians have got dangling all over their tents?" said Hermione.

"Let's go and have a look," said Harry, ...

I can't figure out what Ron meant by saying "Like we'd say anything else surrounded by that lot". It seems to me that it isn't relevant to the context at all. How should we understand it in this context?

  • 2
    My simple-minded brain of a non-native speaker suggests the following. When you are surrounded by a group of ardent fans of a sport team, it is not necessarily prudent to come out and vocally support the opposing team. In extreme cases such groups of fans may become violent. Even if that would be unlikely, and you don't have strong feelings about either team, you might think it simply impolite to state that you, in fact, root for the other team. Dec 6, 2018 at 13:24
  • I don't remember that exact passage, but it does sound like Hermione, Harry and Ron where in an area where a lot of Irish supporters had erected their tents. In other words, that lot refers to the group of shamrock wielding fans of the team from the Esmerald Isle. Dec 6, 2018 at 13:27
  • @JyrkiLahtonen I see what you mean. I think Most likely you are right. Thanks for the input!
    – dan
    Dec 6, 2018 at 13:30

2 Answers 2


You can break up the sentence like so:


  • As if

"We'd say anything else"

  • We would say anything else about what we were just talking about

"surrounded by"

  • close enough that they could hear us

"that lot"

  • Mrs. Finnigan and her friends

In short, given how "beadily" Mrs. Finnigan was eyeing them and how they felt, Ron is saying that he wasn't going to say anything else that would allow Mrs. Finnigan to either attack them (verbally) or otherwise launch into some sort of long-winded diatribe.


This is a kind of exclamation which scoffs at the idea expressed by the complement of like, whatever it is, as being false or utterly far-fetched.

Like she really cares what you say!

She doesn't give a damn what you say.

Like you really knew it was me all along!

You had no idea it was me.

Like you ever intended to pay him back!

You never intended to pay him back.

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