rowling_harry_potter_5_harry_potter_and_the_order_of_the_phoenix

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A nnota tio n
As his fif th year at H ogw arts Sch ool of W itc h cra ft an d W iz ard ry
a p pro ach es, 1 5-y ear- o ld H arry P otte r is in fu ll- b lo w n ad ole sc en ce, co m ple te
w ith r e g ula r o utb urs ts o f r a g e, a n early d eb ilita tin g c ru sh , a n d th e b lo om in g o f a
p ow erfu l s e n se o f r e b ellio n. I t's b een y et a n oth er in fu ria tin g a n d b orin g s u m mer
w ith th e d esp ic ab le D urs le y s, th is tim e w ith m in im al c o nta ct fro m o ur h ero 's
n on-M uggle f rie n ds f ro m s c h ool. H arry is f e elin g e sp ecia lly e d gy a t th e la ck o f
n ew s fro m th e m ag ic w orld , w onderin g w hen th e fre sh ly re v iv ed ev il L ord
V old em ort w ill s tr ik e. R etu rn in g t o H ogw arts w ill b e a r e lie f... o r w ill i t?
The f if th b ook i n J .K . R ow lin g's H arry P otte r s e rie s f o llo w s t h e d ark est y ear
y et f o r o ur y oung w iz ard , w ho f in ds h im se lf k nock ed d ow n a p eg o r th re e a fte r
t h e e v en ts o f la st y ear. S om eh ow , o ver th e s u m mer, g ossip ( u su ally tr a ced b ack
t o t h e m ag ic w orld 's n ew sp ap er, t h e D aily P ro phet) h as t u rn ed H arry 's t r a g ic a n d
h ero ic e n co unte r w ith V old em ort a t th e T riw iz ard T ourn am en t in to a n e x cu se to
r id ic u le a n d d is c o unt th e te en . E ven P ro fe sso r D um ble d ore , h ead m aste r o f th e
s c h ool, h as c o m e u nder sc ru tin y b y th e M in is tr y o f M ag ic , w hic h re fu se s to
o ff ic ia lly ack now le d ge th e te rrif y in g tr u th th at V old em ort is back . E nte r a
p artic u la rly lo ath so m e n ew c h ara cte r: th e to ad lik e a n d s im perin g (" h em , h em ")
D olo re s U m brid ge, se n io r u nders e cre ta ry to th e M in is te r o f M ag ic , w ho ta k es
o ver th e v acan t p ositio n o f D efe n se A gain st D ark A rts te ach er- -a n d in n o tim e
m an ag es to b eco m e th e H ig h In quis ito r o f H ogw arts , a s w ell. L if e is n 't g ettin g
a n y e asie r f o r H arry P otte r. W ith a n o verw helm in g c o urs e lo ad a s th e f if th y ears
p re p are f o r t h eir O rd in ary W iz ard in g L ev els e x am in atio ns ( O .W .L s), d ev asta tin g
c h an ges in th e G ry ff in dor Q uid ditc h te am lin eu p, viv id dre am s ab out lo ng
h allw ay s an d clo se d d oors , an d in cre asin g p ain in h is lig htn in g-s h ap ed sc ar,
H arry 's r e silie n ce i s s o re ly t e ste d .
Harry P otte r an d th e O rd er o f th e P hoen ix , m ore th an an y o f th e fo ur
p re v io us n ovels in th e s e rie s, is a c o m in g-o f-a g e s to ry . H arry fa ces th e th orn y
t r a n sitio n in to ad ulth ood, w hen ad ult h ero es are re v eale d to b e fa llib le , an d
m atte rs th at s e em ed b la ck -a n d-w hite s u dden ly c o m e o ut in s h ad es o f g ra y. G one
i s th e w id e-e y ed in nocen t, th e w hiz k id o f S orc ere r's S to ne. H ere w e h av e a n
a d ole sc en t w ho's s o m etim es s u lle n , o fte n c o nfu se d (e sp ecia lly a b out g ir ls ), a n d
a lw ay s s e lf -q uestio nin g. C onfro ntin g d eath a g ain , a s w ell a s a s ta rtlin g p ro phecy,
H arry e n ds h is y ear a t H ogw arts e x hau ste d a n d p en siv e. R ead ers , o n th e o th er
h an d, w ill b e e n erg iz ed a s th ey e n te r y et a g ain th e lo ng w aitin g p erio d fo r th e
n ex t t itle i n t h e m arv elo us, m ag ic al s e rie s. ( A ges 9 a n d o ld er)

–-E m ilie C oulte r, A m azo n.c o m
CH APT ER O NE
CH APT ER T W O
CH APT ER T H REE
CH APT ER F O UR
CH APT ER F IV E
CH APT ER S IX
CH APT ER S E V EN
CH APT ER E IG HT
CH APT ER N IN E
CH APT ER T EN
CH APT ER E LEV EN
CH APT ER T W ELV E
CH APT ER T H IR T EEN
CH APT ER F O URT EEN
CH APT ER F IF T EEN
CH APT ER S IX TEEN
CH APT ER S E V EN TEEN
CH APT ER E IG HTEEN
CH APT ER N IN ETEEN
CH APT ER T W EN TY
CH APT ER T W EN TY -O NE
CH APT ER T W EN TY -T W O
CH APT ER T W EN TY -T H REE
CH APT ER T W EN TY -F O UR
CH APT ER T W EN TY -F IV E
CH APT ER T W EN TY -S IX
CH APT ER T W EN TY -S E V EN
CH APT ER T W EN TY -E IG HT
CH APT ER T W EN TY -N IN E
CH APT ER T H IR T Y
CH APT ER T H IR T Y -O NE
CH APT ER T H IR T Y -T W O
CH APT ER T H IR T Y -T H REE
CH APT ER T H IR T Y -F O UR
CH APT ER T H IR T Y -F IV E
CH APT ER T H IR T Y -S IX

CH APT ER T H IR T Y -S E V EN
CH APT ER T H IR T Y -E IG HT

C H APT ER O NE
D udle y D em en te d

The h otte st d ay o f th e s u m mer s o f a r w as d ra w in g to a c lo se a n d a d ro w sy
s ile n ce la y o ver th e la rg e, s q uare h ouse s o f P riv et D riv e. C ars th at w ere u su ally
g le am in g s to od d usty in t h eir d riv es a n d la w ns t h at w ere o nce e m era ld g re en l a y
p arc h ed a n d y ello w in g - fo r t h e u se o f h ose p ip es h ad b een b an ned d ue t o d ro ught.
D ep riv ed o f th eir u su al c ar- w ash in g a n d la w n-m ow in g p urs u its , th e in hab ita n ts
o f P riv et D riv e had re tr e ate d in to th e sh ad e of th eir co ol house s, w in dow s
t h ro w n w id e in th e h ope o f te m ptin g in a n onex is te n t b re eze. T he o nly p ers o n
l e ft o utd oors w as a te en ag e b oy w ho w as ly in g fla t o n h is b ack in a flo w erb ed
o uts id e n um ber f o ur.
He w as a sk in ny, b la ck -h air e d , b esp ecta cle d b oy w ho h ad th e p in ch ed ,
s lig htly u nhealth y l o ok o f s o m eo ne w ho h as g ro w n a l o t i n a s h ort s p ace o f t im e.
H is je an s w ere to rn a n d d ir ty , h is T -s h ir t b ag gy a n d fa d ed , a n d th e s o le s o f h is
t r a in ers w ere p eelin g a w ay fro m th e u ppers . H arry P otte r's a p peara n ce d id n ot
e n dear h im to th e n eig hbours , w ho w ere th e s o rt o f p eo ple w ho th ought s c ru ff i-
n ess o ught to b e p unis h ab le b y la w , b ut a s h e h ad h id den h im se lf b eh in d a la rg e
h ydra n gea b ush th is e v en in g h e w as q uite in vis ib le to p asse rs -b y. In fa ct, th e
o nly w ay h e w ould b e s p otte d w as if h is U ncle V ern on o r A unt P etu nia s tu ck
t h eir h ead s o ut o f th e liv in g-ro om w in dow a n d lo oked str a ig h t d ow n in to th e
f lo w erb ed b elo w .
On th e w hole , H arry th ought h e w as to b e c o ngra tu la te d o n h is id ea o f
h id in g h ere . H e w as n ot, p erh ap s, v ery c o m fo rta b le ly in g o n th e h ot, h ard e arth
b ut, o n th e o th er h an d, n obody w as g la rin g a t h im , g rin din g th eir te eth s o lo udly
t h at h e co uld n ot h ear th e n ew s, o r sh ootin g n asty q uestio ns at h im , as h ad
h ap pen ed ev ery tim e h e h ad tr ie d sittin g d ow n in th e liv in g ro om to w atc h
t e le v is io n w ith h is a u nt a n d u ncle .
Alm ost as th ough th is th ought h ad flu tte re d th ro ugh th e o pen w in dow ,
V ern on D urs le y, H arry 's u ncle , s u dden ly s p oke.
'G la d t o s e e t h e b oy's s to pped t r y in g t o b utt i n . W here i s h e, a n yw ay ?'
'I d on't k now ,' s a id A unt P etu nia , u nco ncern ed . 'N ot i n t h e h ouse .'
Uncle V ern on g ru nte d .
'W atc h in g
t h e n ew s
… ' h e s a id s c ath in gly . 'I 'd lik e to k now w hat h e's r e ally
u p to . A s if a n orm al b oy c are s w hat's o n th e n ew s -D udle y h asn 't g ot a c lu e
w hat's g oin g o n; d oubt h e k now s w ho th e P rim e M in is te r is ! A nyw ay, it's n ot a s

if t h ere 'd b e a n yth in g a b out h is l o t o n
o ur
n ew s – '
'V ern on, s h h!' s a id A unt P etu nia . T he w in dow 's o pen !'
'O h – y es – s o rry , d ear.'
The D urs le y s fe ll sile n t. H arry lis te n ed to a jin gle ab out F ru it 'n ' B ra n
bre ak fa st c ere al w hile h e w atc h ed M rs F ig g, a b atty c at- lo vin g o ld la d y fro m
nearb y W is te ria W alk , a m ble slo w ly p ast. S he w as fro w nin g a n d m utte rin g to
hers e lf . H arry w as v ery p le ase d h e w as c o nceale d b eh in d th e b ush , a s M rs F ig g
had re cen tly ta k en to a sk in g h im ro und fo r te a w hen ev er sh e m et h im in th e
str e et. She had ro unded th e co rn er an d van is h ed fro m vie w befo re U ncle
Vern on's v oic e f lo ate d o ut o f t h e w in dow a g ain .
'D udders o ut f o r t e a?'
'A t t h e P olk is se s', ' s a id A unt P etu nia f o ndly . 'H e's g ot s o m an y l ittle f rie n ds,
he's s o p opula r
Harry su ppre sse d a sn ort w ith dif f ic u lty . The D urs le y s re ally w ere
asto nis h in gly s tu pid a b out th eir s o n, D udle y. T hey h ad s w allo w ed a ll h is d im -
witte d lie s a b out h av in g te a w ith a d if f e re n t m em ber o f h is g an g e v ery n ig ht o f
th e s u m mer h olid ay s. H arry k new p erfe ctly w ell th at D udle y h ad n ot b een to te a
an yw here ; he an d his gan g sp en t ev ery ev en in g van dalis in g th e pla y park ,
sm okin g o n str e et co rn ers an d th ro w in g sto nes at p assin g cars an d ch ild re n .
Harry h ad s e en th em a t it d urin g h is e v en in g w alk s a ro und L ittle W hin gin g; h e
had sp en t m ost o f th e h olid ay s w an derin g th e str e ets , sc av en gin g n ew sp ap ers
fro m b in s a lo ng t h e w ay.
The open in g note s of th e m usic th at hera ld ed th e se v en o'c lo ck new s
re ach ed H arry 's ears an d h is sto m ach tu rn ed o ver. P erh ap s to nig ht – afte r a
month o f w aitin g – w ould b e t h e n ig ht.
'R eco rd n um bers o f str a nded h olid ay m akers fill a ir p orts a s th e S panis h
baggage-h andle rs' s tr ik e r e a ch es i ts s e co nd w eek -
'G iv e 'e m a lif e lo ng s ie sta , I w ould ,' s n arle d U ncle V ern on o ver th e e n d o f
th e new sre ad er's se n te n ce, but no m atte r: outs id e in th e flo w erb ed , H arry s
sto m ach se em ed to u ncle n ch . If a n yth in g h ad h ap pen ed , it w ould su re ly h av e
been th e f ir s t ite m o n th e n ew s; d eath a n d d estr u ctio n w ere m ore im porta n t th an
str a n ded h olid ay m ak ers .
He le t o ut a lo ng, s lo w b re ath a n d s ta re d u p a t th e b rillia n t b lu e s k y. E very
day th is s u m mer h ad b een th e s a m e: th e te n sio n, th e e x pecta tio n, th e te m pora ry
re lie f, a n d t h en m ountin g t e n sio n a g ain … a n d a lw ay s, g ro w in g m ore i n sis te n t a ll
th e t im e, t h e q uestio n o f
w hy
n oth in g h ad h ap pen ed y et.
He k ep t l is te n in g, j u st i n c ase t h ere w as s o m e s m all c lu e, n ot r e co gnis e d f o r
what it re ally w as b y th e M uggle s – a n u nex pla in ed d is a p peara n ce, p erh ap s, o r
so m e s tr a n ge a ccid en t… b ut th e b ag gag e-h an dle rs ' s tr ik e w as f o llo w ed b y n ew s

ab out th e d ro ught in th e S outh east ('I h ope h e's lis te n in g n ex t d oor!' b ello w ed
Uncle V ern on. 'H im w ith h is sp rin kle rs o n a t th re e in th e m orn in g!') , th en a
helic o pte r th at h ad a lm ost c ra sh ed in a fie ld in S urre y, th en a fa m ous a ctr e ss's
div orc e f ro m h er f a m ous h usb an d ( 'A s if w e'r e in te re ste d in th eir s o rd id a ff a ir s ,'
sn if f e d A unt P etu nia , w ho h ad f o llo w ed th e c ase o bse ssiv ely in e v ery m ag azin e
sh e c o uld l a y h er b ony h an ds o n).
Harry clo se d his ey es ag ain st th e now bla zin g ev en in g sk y as th e
new sre ad er sa id , '-
a nd fin ally , B ungy th e b udgie h as fo und a n ovel w ay o f
keep in g c o ol t h is s u m mer. B ungy, w ho l iv es a t t h e F iv e F ea th ers i n B arn sle y, h as
le a rn ed t o w ate r s k i! M ary D ork in s w en t t o f in d o ut m ore
.'
Harry o pen ed h is e y es. I f th ey h ad r e ach ed w ate r- s k iin g b udgerig ars , th ere
would b e n oth in g e ls e w orth h earin g. H e ro lle d c au tio usly o n to h is fro nt a n d
ra is e d h im se lf o n t o h is k nees a n d e lb ow s, p re p arin g t o c ra w l o ut f ro m u nder t h e
win dow .
He h ad m oved ab out tw o in ch es w hen se v era l th in gs h ap pen ed in v ery
quic k s u ccessio n.
A l o ud, e ch oin g
c ra ck
b ro ke t h e s le ep y s ile n ce l ik e a g unsh ot; a c at s tr e ak ed
out f ro m u nder a p ark ed c ar a n d f le w o ut o f s ig ht; a s h rie k , a b ello w ed o ath a n d
th e s o und o f b re ak in g c h in a c am e f ro m th e D urs le y s' liv in g r o om , a n d a s t h ough
th is w as t h e s ig nal H arry h ad b een w aitin g f o r h e j u m ped t o h is f e et, a t t h e s a m e
tim e p ullin g f ro m th e w ais tb an d o f h is je an s a th in w ooden w an d a s if h e w ere
unsh eath in g a s w ord – b ut b efo re h e c o uld d ra w h im se lf u p t o f u ll h eig ht, t h e t o p
of h is h ead c o lli d ed w ith th e D urs le y s' o pen w in dow . T he re su lta n t c ra sh m ad e
Aunt P etu nia s c re am e v en l o uder.
Harry fe lt a s th ough h is h ead h ad b een sp lit in tw o. E yes str e am in g, h e
sw ay ed , tr y in g to f o cu s o n th e s tr e et to s p ot th e s o urc e o f th e n ois e , b ut h e h ad
bare ly s ta g gere d u prig ht w hen tw o la rg e p urp le h an ds r e ach ed th ro ugh th e o pen
win dow a n d c lo se d t ig htly a ro und h is t h ro at.
' Put – it
-
a w ay
!' U ncle V ern on sn arle d in to H arry 's e ar. 'N ow .'
B efo re –
anyo ne – s e es
!'
'G et – o ff – m e!' H arry g asp ed . F or a fe w se co nds th ey str u ggle d , H arry
pullin g a t h is u ncle s s a u sa g e-lik e f in gers w ith h is l e ft h an d, h is r ig ht m ain ta in in g
a f ir m g rip o n h is r a is e d w an d; t h en , a s t h e p ain i n t h e t o p o f H arry 's h ead g av e a
partic u la rly n asty th ro b, U ncle V ern on y elp ed a n d re le ase d H arry a s th ough h e
had re ceiv ed an ele ctr ic sh ock . S om e in vis ib le fo rc e se em ed to h av e su rg ed
th ro ugh h is n ep hew , m ak in g h im i m possib le t o h old .
Pan tin g, H arry fe ll fo rw ard s o ver th e h ydra n gea b ush , s tr a ig hte n ed u p a n d
sta re d a ro und. T here w as n o s ig n o f w hat h ad c au se d t h e l o ud c ra ck in g n ois e , b ut
th ere w ere s e v era l f a ces p eerin g th ro ugh v ario us n earb y w in dow s. H arry s tu ff e d

his w an d h astily b ack i n to h is j e an s a n d t r ie d t o l o ok i n nocen t.
'L ovely ev en in g!' sh oute d U ncle V ern on, w av in g at M rs N um ber S ev en
opposite , w ho w as g la rin g fro m b eh in d h er n et c u rta in s. 'D id y ou h ear th at c ar
back fir e j u st n ow ? G av e P etu nia a n d m e q uite a t u rn !'
He co ntin ued to grin in a horrib le , m an ic w ay until all th e cu rio us
neig hbours h ad d is a p peare d f ro m th eir v ario us w in dow s, th en th e g rin b ecam e a
grim ace o f r a g e a s h e b eck oned H arry b ack t o w ard s h im .
Harry m oved a f e w s te p s c lo se r, t a k in g c are t o s to p j u st s h ort o f t h e p oin t a t
whic h U ncle V ern on's o uts tr e tc h ed h an ds c o uld r e su m e t h eir s tr a n glin g.
'W hat th e
d evil
d o y ou m ean b y it, b oy?' a sk ed U ncle V ern on in a c ro ak y
voic e t h at t r e m ble d w ith f u ry .
'W hat d o I m ean b y w hat? ' s a id H arry c o ld ly . H e k ep t l o okin g l e ft a n d r ig ht
up t h e s tr e et, s till h opin g t o s e e t h e p ers o n w ho h ad m ad e t h e c ra ck in g n ois e .
'M ak in g a r a ck et l ik e a s ta rtin g p is to l r ig ht o uts id e o ur -
'I d id n't m ak e t h at n ois e ,' s a id H arry f ir m ly .
Aunt P etu nia 's th in , h ors y f a ce n ow a p peare d b esid e U ncle V ern on's w id e,
purp le o ne. S he l o oked l iv id .
'W hy w ere y ou l u rk in g u nder o ur w in dow ?'
'Y es – y es, g ood p oin t, P etu nia !
W hat w ere y o u d oin g u nder o ur w in dow ,
boy
?'
'L is te n in g t o t h e n ew s,' s a id H arry i n a r e sig ned v oic e.
His a u nt a n d u ncle e x ch an ged l o oks o f o utr a g e.
'L is te n in g t o t h e n ew s!
A gain
?'
'W ell, i t c h an ges e v ery d ay, y ou s e e,' s a id H arry .
'D on't y ou b e c le v er w ith m e, b oy! I w an t to k now w hat y ou'r e r e ally u p to
– a n d d on't g iv e m e a n y m ore o f th is lis te n in g to
th e n ew s
to sh ! Y ou k now
perfe ctly w ell t h at
y o ur l o t -
'C are fu l, V ern on!' b re ath ed A unt P etu nia , a n d U ncle V ern on lo w ere d h is
voic e s o t h at H arry c o uld b are ly h ear h im ,'– t h at y our l o t d on't g et o n
o ur
n ew s!'
'T hat's a ll y ou k now ,' s a id H arry .
The D urs le y s g oggle d a t h im fo r a fe w se co nds, th en A unt P etu nia sa id ,
'Y ou'r e a n asty little lia r. W hat a re a ll th ose - ' s h e, to o, lo w ere d h er v oic e s o th at
Harry h ad to lip -re ad th e n ex t w ord , – o w ls d oin g if th ey 'r e n ot b rin gin g y ou
new s? '
'A ha!' s a id U ncle V ern on i n a t r iu m phan t w his p er. 'G et o ut o f t h at o ne, b oy!
As i f w e d id n't k now y ou g et a ll y our n ew s f ro m t h ose p estile n tia l b ir d s!'
Harry h esita te d fo r a m om en t. It c o st h im s o m eth in g to te ll th e tr u th th is
tim e, e v en t h ough h is a u nt a n d u ncle c o uld n ot p ossib ly k now h ow b ad h e f e lt a t
ad m ittin g i t.

'T he o w ls … a re n 't b rin gin g m e n ew s,' h e s a id t o nele ssly .
'I d on't b elie v e i t,' s a id A unt P etu nia a t o nce.
'N o m ore d o I ,' s a id U ncle V ern on f o rc efu lly .
'W e k now y ou'r e u p t o s o m eth in g f u nny,' s a id A unt P etu nia .
'W e'r e n ot s tu pid , y ou k now ,' s a id U ncle V ern on.
'W ell, th at's n ew s to m e,' sa id H arry , h is te m per ris in g, an d b efo re th e
Durs le y s c o uld c all h im b ack , h e h ad w heele d a b out, c ro sse d th e fro nt la w n,
ste p ped o ver t h e l o w g ard en w all a n d w as s tr id in g o ff u p t h e s tr e et.
He w as in tr o uble n ow a n d h e k new it. H e w ould h av e to f a ce h is a u nt a n d
uncle la te r a n d p ay th e p ric e f o r h is r u den ess, b ut h e d id n ot c are v ery m uch ju st
at t h e m om en t; h e h ad m uch m ore p re ssin g m atte rs o n h is m in d.
Harry w as s u re th e c ra ck in g n ois e h ad b een m ad e b y s o m eo ne A ppara tin g
or D is a p para tin g. It w as e x actly th e s o und D obby th e h ouse -e lf m ad e w hen h e
van is h ed in to th in a ir. W as it p ossib le th at D obby w as h ere in P riv et D riv e?
Could D obby b e fo llo w in g h im rig ht at th is v ery m om en t? A s th is th ought
occu rre d h e w heele d a ro und a n d s ta re d b ack d ow n P riv et D riv e, b ut it a p peare d
to b e c o m ple te ly d ese rte d a n d H arry w as s u re th at D obby d id n ot k now h ow to
beco m e i n vis ib le .
He w alk ed o n, h ard ly a w are o f th e r o ute h e w as ta k in g, f o r h e h ad p ounded
th ese str e ets so o fte n la te ly th at h is fe et carrie d h im to h is fa v ourite h au nts
au to m atic ally . E very fe w ste p s h e g la n ced b ack o ver h is sh ould er. S om eo ne
mag ic al h ad b een n ear h im a s h e la y a m ong A unt P etu nia 's d yin g b eg onia s, h e
was s u re o f it. W hy h ad n't th ey s p oken to h im , w hy h ad n't th ey m ad e c o nta ct,
why w ere t h ey h id in g n ow ?
And t h en , a s h is f e elin g o f f ru str a tio n p eak ed , h is c erta in ty l e ak ed a w ay.
Perh ap s it had n't been a m ag ic al so und afte r all. Perh ap s he w as so
desp era te f o r t h e t in ie st s ig n o f c o nta ct f ro m t h e w orld t o w hic h h e b elo nged t h at
he w as sim ply o verre actin g to p erfe ctly o rd in ary n ois e s. C ould h e b e
su re
it
had n't b een t h e s o und o f s o m eth in g b re ak in g i n sid e a n eig hbour's h ouse ?
Harry f e lt a d ull, s in kin g s e n sa tio n i n h is s to m ach a n d b efo re h e k new i t t h e
fe elin g o f h opele ssn ess th at h ad p la g ued h im a ll s u m mer ro lle d o ver h im o nce
ag ain .
Tom orro w m orn in g h e w ould b e w oken b y th e a la rm a t fiv e o 'c lo ck s o h e
co uld p ay th e o w l th at d eliv ere d th e
D aily P ro phet -
but w as th ere a n y p oin t
co ntin uin g to ta k e it? H arry m ere ly g la n ced a t th e f ro nt p ag e b efo re th ro w in g it
asid e th ese day s; w hen th e id io ts w ho ra n th e pap er fin ally re alis e d th at
Vold em ort w as b ack i t w ould b e h ead lin e n ew s, a n d t h at w as t h e o nly k in d H arry
care d a b out.
If h e w as lu ck y, th ere w ould a ls o b e o w ls c arry in g le tte rs fro m h is b est

frie n ds R on a n d H erm io ne, th ough a n y e x pecta tio n h e'd h ad th at th eir le tte rs
would b rin g h im n ew s h ad l o ng s in ce b een d ash ed .
We c a n't s a y m uch a bout y o u-k n ow -w hat, o bvio usly … W e'v e b een to ld n ot
to s a y a nyth in g im porta nt in c a se o ur le tte rs g o a str a y… W e'r e q uite b usy b ut I
ca n't g iv e yo u d eta ils h ere … T here 's a fa ir a m ount g oin g o n, w e'l l te ll yo u
every th in g w hen w e s e e y o u…
But w hen w ere th ey g oin g to s e e h im ? N obody s e em ed to o b oth ere d w ith a
pre cis e d ate . H erm io ne h ad sc rib ble d
I e xp ect w e'l l b e se ein g y o u q uite so on
in sid e h is b ir th day c ard , b ut h ow s o on w as s o on? A s f a r a s H arry c o uld t e ll f ro m
th e v ag ue h in ts in th eir le tte rs , H erm io ne an d R on w ere in th e sa m e p la ce,
pre su m ab ly a t R on's p are n ts ' h ouse . H e c o uld h ard ly b ear to th in k o f th e p air o f
th em h av in g fu n a t T he B urro w w hen h e w as s tu ck in P riv et D riv e. In fa ct, h e
was so an gry w ith th em h e h ad th ro w n aw ay, u nopen ed , th e tw o b oxes o f
Honey dukes c h oco la te s th ey 'd s e n t h im fo r h is b ir th day. H e'd re g re tte d it la te r,
afte r t h e w ilte d s a la d A unt P etu nia h ad p ro vid ed f o r d in ner t h at n ig ht.
And w hat w ere R on a n d H erm io ne b usy w ith ? W hy w asn 't h e, H arry , b usy ?
Had n't h e p ro ved h im se lf c ap ab le o f h an dlin g m uch m ore th an th em ? H ad th ey
all f o rg otte n w hat h e h ad d one? H ad n't i t b een
h e
w ho h ad e n te re d t h at g ra v ey ard
an d w atc h ed C ed ric b ein g m urd ere d , a n d b een tie d to th at to m bsto ne a n d n early
kille d ?
Don't th in k a bout th at
, H arry to ld h im se lf ste rn ly fo r th e h undre d th lim e
th at su m mer. It w as b ad en ough th at h e k ep t re v is itin g th e g ra v ey ard in h is
nig htm are s, w ith out d w ellin g o n i t i n h is w ak in g m om en ts t o o.
He tu rn ed a c o rn er in to M ag nolia C re sc en t; h alf w ay a lo ng h e p asse d th e
narro w a lle y w ay d ow n th e s id e o f a g ara g e w here h e h ad fir s t c la p ped e y es o n
his g odfa th er. S ir iu s, at le ast, se em ed to u nders ta n d h ow H arry w as fe elin g.
Adm itte d ly , his le tte rs w ere ju st as em pty of pro per new s as R on an d
Herm io ne's , b ut a t le ast th ey c o nta in ed w ord s o f c au tio n a n d c o nso la tio n in ste ad
of t a n ta lis in g h in ts :
I kn ow th is m ust be fr u str a tin g fo r yo u… K eep yo ur nose cle a n and
every th in g w ill b e O K… B e c a re fu l a nd d on't d o a nyth in g r a sh …
Well, t h ought H arry , a s h e c ro sse d M ag nolia C re sc en t, t u rn ed i n to M ag nolia
Road a n d h ead ed to w ard s th e d ark en in g p la y p ark , h e h ad ( b y a n d .l a rg e) d one
as S ir iu s a d vis e d . H e h ad a t le ast re sis te d th e te m pta tio n to tie h is tr u nk to h is
bro om stic k a n d se t o ff fo r T he B urro w b y h im se lf . In fa ct, H arry th ought h is
beh av io ur h ad b een v ery g ood c o nsid erin g h ow fru str a te d a n d a n gry h e fe lt a t
bein g s tu ck in P riv et D riv e s o lo ng, r e d uced to h id in g in f lo w erb ed s in th e h ope
of hearin g so m eth in g th at m ig ht poin t to w hat L ord V old em ort w as doin g.
Nev erth ele ss, it w as q uite g allin g to b e to ld n ot to b e ra sh b y a m an w ho h ad

se rv ed tw elv e years in th e w iz ard pris o n, A zk ab an , esc ap ed , atte m pte d to
co m mit t h e m urd er h e h ad b een c o nvic te d f o r in t h e f ir s t p la ce, t h en g one o n t h e
ru n w ith a s to le n H ip pogrif f .
Harry v au lte d o ver th e lo ck ed p ark g ate an d se t o ff acro ss th e p arc h ed
gra ss. T he p ark w as a s e m pty a s th e s u rro undin g s tr e ets . W hen h e re ach ed th e
sw in gs h e sa n k o n to th e o nly o ne th at D udle y an d h is frie n ds h ad n ot y et
man ag ed to b re ak , c o ile d o ne a rm a ro und th e c h ain a n d s ta re d m oodily a t th e
gro und. H e w ould not be ab le to hid e in th e D urs le y s' flo w erb ed ag ain .
Tom orro w , h e w ould h av e t o t h in k o f s o m e f re sh w ay o f l is te n in g t o t h e n ew s. I n
th e m ean tim e, h e h ad n oth in g to lo ok f o rw ard to b ut a n oth er r e stle ss, d is tu rb ed
nig ht, becau se ev en w hen he esc ap ed th e nig htm are s ab out C ed ric he had
unse ttlin g dre am s ab out lo ng dark co rrid ors , all fin is h in g in dead en ds an d
lo ck ed d oors , w hic h h e s u ppose d h ad s o m eth in g to d o w ith th e tr a p ped fe elin g
he had w hen he w as aw ak e. O fte n th e old sc ar on his fo re h ead pric k le d
unco m fo rta b ly , b ut h e d id n ot f o ol h im se lf t h at R on o r H erm io ne o r S ir iu s w ould
fin d th at v ery in te re stin g a n y m ore . I n th e p ast, h is s c ar h urtin g h ad w arn ed th at
Vold em ort w as g ettin g str o nger a g ain , b ut n ow th at V old em ort w as b ack th ey
would p ro bab ly r e m in d h im th at its r e g ula r ir rita tio n w as o nly to b e e x pecte d …
noth in g t o w orry a b out… o ld n ew s…
The in ju stic e o f it a ll w elle d u p in sid e h im s o th at h e w an te d to y ell w ith
fu ry . If it h ad n't b een fo r h im , n obody w ould e v en h av e k now n V old em ort w as
back ! A nd h is re w ard w as to b e s tu ck in L ittle W hin gin g fo r fo ur s o lid w eek s,
co m ple te ly c u t o ff fro m th e m ag ic al w orld , re d uced to s q uattin g a m ong d yin g
beg onia s so th at he co uld hear ab out w ate r- s k iin g budgerig ars ! H ow co uld
Dum ble d ore h av e fo rg otte n h im so easily ? W hy h ad R on an d H erm io ne g ot
to geth er w ith out in vitin g h im a lo ng, to o? H ow m uch lo nger w as h e s u ppose d to
en dure S ir iu s te llin g h im to s it tig ht a n d b e a g ood b oy; o r r e sis t th e te m pta tio n
to w rite to th e s tu pid D aily
P ro phet
a n d p oin t o ut th at V old em ort h ad r e tu rn ed ?
These fu rio us th oughts w hir le d a ro und in H arry 's h ead , a n d h is in sid es w rith ed
with a n ger a s a s u ltr y , v elv ety n ig ht f e ll a ro und h im , th e a ir f u ll o f th e s m ell o f
warm , d ry g ra ss, a n d th e o nly s o und th at o f th e lo w g ru m ble o f tr a ff ic o n th e
ro ad b ey ond t h e p ark r a ilin gs.
He d id n ot k now h ow lo ng h e h ad sa t o n th e sw in g b efo re th e so und o f
voic es in te rru pte d h is m usin gs an d h e lo oked u p. T he str e etla m ps fro m th e
su rro undin g r o ad s w ere c astin g a m is ty g lo w s tr o ng e n ough t o s ilh ouette a g ro up
of p eo ple m ak in g th eir w ay a cro ss th e p ark . O ne o f th em w as s in gin g a lo ud,
cru de s o ng. T he o th ers w ere la u ghin g. A s o ft tic k in g n ois e c am e fro m s e v era l
ex pen siv e r a cin g b ik es t h at t h ey w ere w heelin g a lo ng.
Harry k new w ho th ose p eo ple w ere . T he f ig ure in f ro nt w as u n m is ta k eab ly

his c o usin , D udle y D urs le y, w en din g h is w ay h om e, a cco m pan ie d b y h is f a ith fu l
gan g.
Dudle y w as a s v ast a s e v er, b ut a y ear's h ard d ie tin g a n d th e d is c o very o f a
new ta le n t had w ro ught quite a ch an ge in his physiq ue. A s U ncle V ern on
delig hte d ly to ld an yone w ho w ould lis te n , D udle y h ad re cen tly b eco m e th e
Ju nio r H eav yw eig ht I n te r- S ch ool B oxin g C ham pio n o f th e S outh east. T he n oble
sp ort', a s U ncle V ern on c alle d it, h ad m ad e D udle y e v en m ore fo rm id ab le th an
he h ad se em ed to H arry in th eir p rim ary sc h ool d ay s w hen h e h ad se rv ed a s
Dudle y 's fir s t p unch ball. H arry w as n ot re m ote ly a fra id o f h is c o usin a n y m ore
but h e s till d id n't t h in k t h at D udle y l e arn in g t o p unch h ard er a n d m ore a ccu ra te ly
was c au se fo r c ele b ra tio n. N eig hbourh ood c h ild re n a ll a ro und w ere te rrif ie d o f
him – e v en m ore te rrif ie d th an th ey w ere o f 't h at P otte r b oy' w ho, th ey h ad b een
warn ed , w as a h ard en ed h oolig an a n d a tte n ded S t B ru tu s's S ecu re C en tr e fo r
In cu ra b ly C rim in al B oys.
Harry w atc h ed th e d ark f ig ure s c ro ssin g th e g ra ss a n d w ondere d w ho th ey
had b een b eatin g u p to nig ht.
L ook ro und
, H arry fo und h im se lf th in kin g a s h e
watc h ed th em .
C om e o n… lo ok ro und… I'm s ittin g h ere a ll a lo ne… c o m e a nd
have a g o

If D udle y 's frie n ds sa w h im sittin g h ere , th ey w ould b e su re to m ak e a
beelin e f o r h im , a n d w hat w ould D udle y d o th en ? H e w ould n't w an t to lo se f a ce
in f ro nt o f t h e g an g, b ut h e'd b e t e rrif ie d o f p ro vokin g H arry … i t w ould b e r e ally
fu n to w atc h D udle y 's d ile m ma, to ta u nt h im , w atc h h im , w ith h im p ow erle ss to
re sp ond… a n d if a n y o f th e o th ers tr ie d h ittin g H arry , h e w as r e ad y – h e h ad h is
wan d. L et th em tr y … h e'd lo ve to v en t s o m e o f h is f ru str a tio n o n th e b oys w ho
had o nce m ad e h is l if e h ell.
But th ey d id n't tu rn a ro und, th ey d id n't se e h im , th ey w ere a lm ost a t th e
ra ilin gs. H arry m aste re d th e im puls e to c all a fte r th em … s e ek in g a f ig ht w as n ot
a s m art m ove… h e m ust n ot u se m ag ic … h e w ould b e r is k in g e x puls io n a g ain .
The v oic es o f D udle y 's g an g d ie d a w ay ; th ey w ere o ut o f sig ht, h ead in g
alo ng M ag nolia R oad .
There yo u g o, S ir iu s
, H arry th ought d ully .
N oth in g ra sh . K ep t m y n ose
cle a n. E xa ctly t h e o pposite o f w hat y o u'd h ave d one
.
He g ot to h is f e et a n d s tr e tc h ed . A unt P etu nia a n d U ncle V ern on s e em ed to
fe el t h at w hen ev er D udle y t u rn ed u p w as t h e r ig ht t im e t o b e h om e, a n d a n y t im e
afte r th at w as m uch to o la te . U ncle V ern on h ad th re ate n ed to lo ck H arry in th e
sh ed if h e c am e h om e a fte r D udle y e v er a g ain , so , stif lin g a y aw n, a n d still
sc o w lin g, H arry s e t o ff t o w ard s t h e p ark g ate .
Mag nolia R oad , lik e P riv et D riv e, w as fu ll o f la rg e, sq uare h ouse s w ith
perfe ctly m an ic u re d la w ns, a ll o w ned b y la rg e, s q uare o w ners w ho d ro ve v ery

cle an c ars s im ila r to U ncle V ern on's . H arry p re fe rre d L ittle W hin gin g b y n ig ht,
when t h e c u rta in ed w in dow s m ad e p atc h es o f j e w el- b rig ht c o lo ur i n t h e d ark ness
an d h e ra n n o d an ger o f h earin g d is a p pro vin g m utte rs ab out h is 'd elin quen t'
ap peara n ce w hen he passe d th e house h old ers . H e w alk ed quic k ly , so th at
half w ay a lo ng M ag nolia R oad D udle y 's g an g c am e in to v ie w a g ain ; th ey w ere
sa y in g th eir fa re w ells a t th e e n tr a n ce to M ag nolia C re sc en t. H arry s te p ped in to
th e s h ad ow o f a l a rg e l ila c t r e e a n d w aite d .
'… s q ueale d l ik e a p ig , d id n't h e?' M alc o lm w as s a y in g, t o g uff a w s f ro m t h e
oth ers .
'N ic e r ig ht h ook, B ig D ,' s a id P ie rs .
'S am e t im e t o m orro w ?' s a id D udle y.
'R ound a t m y p la ce, m y p are n ts w ill b e o ut,' s a id G ord on.
'S ee y ou t h en ,' s a id D udle y.
'B ye, D ud!'
'S ee y a, B ig D !'
Harry w aite d fo r th e re st o f th e g an g to m ove o n b efo re s e ttin g o ff a g ain .
When th eir voic es had fa d ed once m ore he head ed aro und th e co rn er in to
Mag nolia C re sc en t a n d b y w alk in g v ery q uic k ly h e so on c am e w ith in h ailin g
dis ta n ce o f D udle y, w ho w as s tr o llin g a lo ng a t h is e ase , h um min g t u nele ssly .
'H ey, B ig D !'
Dudle y t u rn ed .
'O h,' h e g ru nte d . 'I t's y ou.'
'H ow l o ng h av e y ou b een " B ig D " t h en ?' s a id H arry .
'S hut i t,' s n arle d D udle y, t u rn in g a w ay.
'C ool n am e,' sa id H arry , g rin nin g a n d fa llin g in to ste p b esid e h is c o usin .
'B ut y ou'l l a lw ay s b e " Ic k le D id dykin s" t o m e.'
'I s a id , S H UT I T !' s a id D udle y, w hose h am -lik e h an ds h ad c u rle d i n to f is ts .
'D on't t h e b oys k now t h at's w hat y our m um c alls y ou?'
'S hut y our f a ce.'
'Y ou don't te ll
her
to sh ut her fa ce. W hat ab out "P opkin " an d "D in ky
Did dydum s" , c an I u se t h em t h en ?'
Dudle y sa id noth in g. T he eff o rt of keep in g him se lf fro m hittin g H arry
se em ed t o d em an d a ll h is s e lf -c o ntr o l.
'S o w ho'v e y ou b een b eatin g u p to nig ht? ' H arry ask ed , h is g rin fa d in g.
'A noth er t e n -y ear- o ld ? I k now y ou d id M ark E van s t w o n ig hts a g o -
'H e w as a sk in g f o r i t,' s n arle d D udle y.
'O h y eah ?'
'H e c h eek ed m e.'
'Y eah ? D id h e s a y y ou lo ok lik e a p ig th at's b een ta u ght to w alk o n its h in d

le g s? 'C au se t h at's n ot c h eek , D ud, t h at's t r u e.'
A m usc le w as tw itc h in g in D udle y 's ja w . It gav e H arry en orm ous
sa tis fa ctio n to k now h ow fu rio us h e w as m ak in g D udle y ; h e fe lt a s th ough h e
was s ip honin g o ff h is o w n f ru str a tio n i n to h is c o usin , t h e o nly o utle t h e h ad .
They tu rn ed rig ht d ow n th e n arro w a lle y w ay w here H arry h ad fir s t se en
Sir iu s a n d w hic h fo rm ed a s h ort c u t b etw een M ag nolia C re sc en t a n d W is te ria
Walk . I t w as e m pty a n d m uch d ark er t h an t h e s tr e ets i t l in ked b ecau se t h ere w ere
no s tr e etla m ps. T heir f o ots te p s w ere m uff le d b etw een g ara g e w alls o n o ne s id e
an d a h ig h f e n ce o n t h e o th er.
Thin k y ou'r e a b ig m an c arry in g th at th in g, d on't y ou?' D udle y s a id a fte r a
fe w s e co nds.
'W hat t h in g?'
'T hat – t h at t h in g y ou a re h id in g.'
Harry g rin ned a g ain .
'N ot a s stu pid a s y ou lo ok, a re y ou, D ud? B ut I's 'p ose , if y ou w ere , y ou
would n't b e a b le t o w alk a n d t a lk a t t h e s a m e t im e.'
Harry p ulle d o ut h is w an d. H e s a w D udle y l o ok s id ew ay s a t i t.
'Y ou'r e n ot a llo w ed ,' D udle y sa id a t o nce. 'I k now y ou'r e n ot. Y ou'd g et
ex pelle d f ro m t h at f re ak s c h ool y ou g o t o .'
'H ow d 'y ou k now t h ey h av en 't c h an ged t h e r u le s, B ig D ?'
They h av en 't ,' s a id D udle y, t h ough h e d id n't s o und c o m ple te ly c o nvin ced .
Harry l a u ghed s o ftly .
'Y ou h av en 't g ot th e g uts to ta k e m e o n w ith out th at th in g, h av e y ou?'
Dudle y s n arle d .
'W here as y ou ju st n eed f o ur m ate s b eh in d y ou b efo re y ou c an b eat u p a te n
year o ld . Y ou k now th at b oxin g title y ou k eep b an gin g o n a b out? H ow o ld w as
your o pponen t? S ev en ? E ig ht? '
'H e w as s ix te en , f o r y our i n fo rm atio n,' s n arle d D udle y, 'a n d h e w as o ut c o ld
fo r t w en ty m in ute s a fte r I 'd f in is h ed w ith h im a n d h e w as t w ic e a s h eav y a s y ou.
You j u st w ait t ill I t e ll D ad y ou h ad t h at t h in g o ut -
'R unnin g to D ad dy n ow , a re y ou? Is h is ic k le b oxin g c h am p frig hte n ed o f
nasty H arry 's w an d?'
'N ot t h is b ra v e a t n ig ht, a re y ou?' s n eere d D udle y.
This is n ig ht, D id dykin s. T hat's w hat w e c all it w hen it g oes a ll d ark lik e
th is .'
'I m ean w hen y ou'r e i n b ed !' D udle y s n arle d .
He h ad s to pped w alk in g. H arry s to pped t o o, s ta rin g a t h is c o usin .
Fro m th e little h e co uld se e o f D udle y 's la rg e fa ce, h e w as w earin g a
str a n gely t r iu m phan t l o ok.

'W hat d 'y ou m ean , I 'm n ot b ra v e w hen I 'm in b ed ?' s a id H arry , c o m ple te ly
nonplu sse d . 'W hat a m I s u ppose d t o b e f rig hte n ed o f, p illo w s o r s o m eth in g?'
'I h eard y ou la st n ig ht,' sa id D udle y b re ath le ssly . T alk in g in y our sle ep .
Moanin g
.'
'W hat d'y ou m ean ?' H arry sa id ag ain , but th ere w as a co ld , plu ngin g
se n sa tio n i n h is s to m ach . H e h ad r e v is ite d t h e g ra v ey ard l a st n ig ht i n h is d re am s.
Dudle y gav e a hars h bark of la u ghte r, th en ad opte d a hig h-p itc h ed
whim perin g v oic e.
'" D on't k ill C ed ric ! D on't k ill C ed ric !" W ho's C ed ric – y our b oyfrie n d?'
'I – y ou'r e ly in g,' s a id H arry a u to m atic ally . B ut h is m outh h ad g one d ry . H e
knew D udle y w asn 't l y in g – h ow e ls e w ould h e k now a b out C ed ric ?
'" D ad ! H elp m e, D ad ! H e's g oin g t o k ill m e, D ad ! B oo h oo!" '
'S hut u p,' s a id H arry q uie tly . 'S hut u p, D udle y, I 'm w arn in g y ou!'
''C om e a n d h elp m e, D ad ! M um , c o m e a n d h elp m e! H e's k ille d C ed ric !
Dad , h elp m e! H e's g oin g t o - "
D on't y o u p oin t t h at t h in g a t
m e!'
Dudle y b ack ed in to th e a lle y w all. H arry w as p oin tin g th e w an d d ir e ctly a t
Dudle y 's h eart. H arry c o uld f e el f o urte en y ears ' h atr e d o f D udle y p oundin g i n h is
vein s – w hat w ould n't h e g iv e to s tr ik e n ow , to jin x D udle y s o th oro ughly h e'd
hav e t o c ra w l h om e l ik e a n i n se ct, s tr u ck d um b, s p ro utin g f e ele rs …
'D on't e v er t a lk a b out t h at a g ain ,' H arry s n arle d . 'D 'y ou u nders ta n d m e?'
'P oin t t h at t h in g s o m ew here e ls e !'
'I s a id ,
d o y o u u ndersta nd
m e?'
'P oin t i t s o m ew here e ls e !'
'D O Y OU U NDER STA ND M E?'
'G ET T H AT T H IN G A W AY F R O M - '
Dudle y g av e a n o dd, s h udderin g g asp , a s th ough h e h ad b een d ouse d in ic y
wate r.
Som eth in g had hap pen ed to th e nig ht. T he sta r- s tr e w n in dig o sk y w as
su dden ly p itc h b la ck a n d lig htle ss – th e s ta rs , th e m oon, th e m is ty s tr e etla m ps a t
eith er e n d o f th e a lle y h ad v an is h ed . T he d is ta n t r u m ble o f c ars a n d th e w his p er
of tr e es h ad g one. T he b alm y e v en in g w as su dden ly p ie rc in gly , b itin gly c o ld .
They w ere s u rro unded b y to ta l, im pen etr a b le , s ile n t d ark ness, a s th ough s o m e
gia n t h an d h ad d ro pped a th ic k , ic y m an tle o ver th e e n tir e a lle y w ay, b lin din g
th em .
For a s p lit s e co nd H arry th ought h e h ad d one m ag ic w ith out m ean in g to ,
desp ite th e fa ct th at h e'd b een re sis tin g a s h ard a s h e c o uld – th en h is re aso n
cau ght u p w ith h is s e n se s – h e d id n't h av e th e p ow er to tu rn o ff th e s ta rs . H e
tu rn ed h is h ead th is w ay a n d th at, tr y in g to se e so m eth in g, b ut th e d ark ness
pre sse d o n h is e y es l ik e a w eig htle ss v eil.

Dudle y 's t e rrif ie d v oic e b ro ke i n H arry 's e ar.
'W -w hat a re y ou d -d oin g? S t- s to p i t! '
'I 'm n ot d oin g a n yth in g! S hut u p a n d d on't m ove!'
'I c -c an 't s e e! I 'v e g -g one b lin d! I - '
'I s a id s h ut u p!'
Harry s to od s to ck s till, tu rn in g h is s ig htle ss e y es le ft a n d rig ht. T he c o ld
was s o in te n se h e w as s h iv erin g a ll o ver; g oose b um ps h ad e ru pte d u p h is a rm s
an d th e h air s o n th e b ack o f h is n eck w ere s ta n din g u p – h e o pen ed h is e y es to
th eir f u lle st e x te n t, s ta rin g b la n kly a ro und, u nse ein g.
It w as im possib le … th ey c o uld n't b e h ere … n ot in L ittle W hin gin g… h e
str a in ed h is e ars … h e w ould h ear t h em b efo re h e s a w t h em …
'I 'l l't - te ll D ad !' D udle y w him pere d . 'W -w here a re y ou? W hat a re y ou d -d o
—?'
'W ill y ou s h ut u p?' H arry h is se d , I 'm t r y in g t o l is — '
But h e f e ll s ile n t. H e h ad h eard j u st t h e t h in g h e h ad b een d re ad in g.
There w as s o m eth in g i n t h e a lle y w ay a p art f ro m t h em se lv es, s o m eth in g t h at
was d ra w in g lo ng, h oars e , r a ttlin g b re ath s. H arry f e lt a h orrib le jo lt o f d re ad a s
he s to od t r e m blin g i n t h e f re ezin g a ir.
'C -c u t i t o ut! S to p d oin g i t! I 'l l h -h it y ou, I s w ear I w ill! '
'D udle y, s h ut— '
WHAM .
A fis t m ad e c o nta ct w ith th e s id e o f H arry s h ead , lif tin g h im o ff h is fe et.
Sm all w hite lig hts p opped in fro nt o f h is e y es. F or th e s e co nd tim e in a n h our
Harry fe lt a s th ough h is h ead h ad b een c le av ed in tw o; n ex t m om en t, h e h ad
la n ded h ard o n t h e g ro und a n d h is w an d h ad f lo w n o ut o f h is h an d.
'Y ou m oro n, D udle y !' H arry yelle d , his ey es w ate rin g w ith pain as he
sc ra m ble d t o h is h an ds a n d k nees, f e elin g a ro und f ra n tic ally i n t h e b la ck ness. H e
heard D udle y b lu nderin g a w ay, h ittin g t h e a lle y f e n ce, s tu m blin g.
'D UDLEY, C O M E B A CK ! Y OU'R E R U NNIN G R IG HT A T I T !'
There w as a h orrib le s q uealin g y ell a n d D udle y 's f o ots te p s s to pped . A t th e
sa m e m om en t, H arry f e lt a c re ep in g c h ill b eh in d h im th at c o uld m ean o nly o ne
th in g. T here w as m ore t h an o ne.
'D UDLEY, K EEP Y OUR M OUTH S H UT! W HATEV ER Y OU D O, K EEP
YOUR M OUTH S H UT! W an d!' H arry m utte re d fra n tic ally , h is h an ds fly in g
over t h e g ro und l ik e s p id ers . 'W here 's – w an d - c o m e o n -
l u m os
!'
He s a id th e s p ell a u to m atic ally , d esp era te f o r lig ht to h elp h im in h is s e arc h
– a n d t o h is d is b elie v in g r e lie f, l ig ht f la re d i n ch es f ro m h is r ig ht h an d – t h e w an d
tip h ad i g nite d . H arry s n atc h ed i t u p, s c ra m ble d t o h is f e et a n d t u rn ed a ro und.
His s to m ach t u rn ed o ver.

A to w erin g, h ooded fig ure w as g lid in g sm ooth ly to w ard s h im , h overin g
over t h e g ro und, n o f e et o r f a ce v is ib le b en eath i ts r o bes, s u ck in g o n t h e n ig ht a s
it c am e.
Stu m blin g b ack w ard s, H arry r a is e d h is w an d.
'E xp ecto p atr o num !'
A s ilv ery w is p o f v ap our s h ot fro m th e tip o f th e w an d a n d th e D em en to r
slo w ed , b ut th e s p ell h ad n't w ork ed p ro perly ; tr ip pin g o ver h is o w n fe et, H arry
re tr e ate d f u rth er a s th e D em en to r b ore d ow n u pon h im , p an ic f o ggin g h is b ra in -
co ncen tr a te -
A p air o f g re y, s lim y, s c ab bed h an ds s lid f ro m in sid e th e D em en to r's r o bes,
re ach in g f o r h im . A r u sh in g n ois e f ille d H arry 's e ars .
'E xp ecto p atr o num !'
His v oic e s o unded d im a n d d is ta n t. A noth er w is p o f s ilv er s m oke, fe eb le r
th an th e la st, d rif te d fro m th e w an d – h e c o uld n't d o it a n y m ore , h e c o uld n't
work t h e s p ell.
There w as la u ghte r in sid e h is o w n h ead , s h rill, h ig h-p itc h ed la u ghte r… h e
co uld sm ell th e D em en to r's putr id , death -c o ld bre ath fillin g his ow n lu ngs,
dro w nin g h im -
t h in k… s o m eth in g h appy

But th ere w as no hap pin ess in him … th e D em en to r's ic y fin gers w ere
clo sin g o n h is th ro at – th e h ig h-p itc h ed la u ghte r w as g ro w in g lo uder a n d lo uder,
an d a v oic e sp oke in sid e h is h ead : 'B ow to
d ea th , H arry … it m ig ht even b e
pain le ss… I w ould n ot k n ow
… I
h ave n ever d ie d
… "
He w as n ev er g oin g t o s e e R on a n d H erm io ne a g ain -
And t h eir f a ces b urs t c le arly i n to h is m in d a s h e f o ught f o r b re ath .
'E XPEC TO P A TR O NU M !'
An e n orm ous s ilv er s ta g e ru pte d fro m th e tip o f H arry 's w an d; its a n tle rs
cau ght th e D em en to r in th e p la ce w here th e h eart sh ould h av e b een ; it w as
th ro w n back w ard s, w eig htle ss as dark ness, an d as th e sta g ch arg ed , th e
Dem en to r s w ooped a w ay, b at- lik e a n d d efe ate d .
'T H IS W AY !' H arry s h oute d a t t h e s ta g . W heelin g a ro und, h e s p rin te d d ow n
th e a lle y w ay, h old in g t h e l it w an d a lo ft. 'D UDLEY ? D UDLEY !'
He h ad r u n b are ly a d ozen s te p s w hen h e r e ach ed th em : D udle y w as c u rle d
up o n th e g ro und, h is arm s cla m ped o ver h is fa ce. A se co nd D em en to r w as
cro uch in g lo w o ver h im , g rip pin g h is w ris ts in its slim y h an ds, p ris in g th em
slo w ly a lm ost lo vin gly a p art, lo w erin g its h ooded h ead to w ard s D udle y 's f a ce a s
th ough a b out t o k is s h im .
'G ET I T !' H arry b ello w ed , a n d w ith a r u sh in g, r o arin g s o und, t h e s ilv er s ta g
he h ad co nju re d cam e g allo pin g p ast h im . T he D em en to r's ey ele ss fa ce w as
bare ly a n in ch fro m D udle y 's w hen th e silv er a n tle rs c au ght it; th e th in g w as

th ro w n u p in to th e a ir a n d, lik e its f e llo w , it s o are d a w ay a n d w as a b so rb ed in to
th e d ark ness; th e sta g c an te re d to th e e n d o f th e a lle y w ay a n d d is so lv ed in to
silv er m is t.
Moon, s ta rs a n d s tr e etla m ps b urs t b ack in to lif e . A w arm b re eze s w ep t th e
alle y w ay. T re es r u stle d i n n eig hbourin g g ard en s a n d t h e m undan e r u m ble o f c ars
in M ag nolia C re sc en t f ille d t h e a ir a g ain .
Harry s to od q uite s till, a ll h is s e n se s v ib ra tin g, t a k in g i n t h e a b ru pt r e tu rn t o
norm ality . A fte r a m om en t, h e b ecam e a w are t h at h is T -s h ir t w as s tic k in g t o h im ;
he w as d re n ch ed i n s w eat.
He c o uld n ot b elie v e w hat h ad ju st h ap pen ed . D em en to rs
h ere
, in L ittle
Whin gin g.
Dudle y la y c u rle d u p o n th e g ro und, w him perin g a n d s h ak in g. H arry b en t
dow n to s e e w heth er h e w as in a fit s ta te to s ta n d u p, b ut th en h e h eard lo ud,
ru nnin g fo ots te p s b eh in d h im . In stin ctiv ely ra is in g h is w an d a g ain , h e s p an o n
his h eel t o f a ce t h e n ew co m er.
Mrs F ig g, th eir b atty o ld n eig hbour, c am e p an tin g in to s ig ht. H er g riz zle d
gre y h air w as esc ap in g fro m its h air n et, a cla n kin g str in g sh oppin g b ag w as
sw in gin g fro m h er w ris t an d h er fe et w ere h alf w ay o ut o f h er ta rta n carp et
slip pers . H arry m ad e t o s to w h is w an d h urrie d ly o ut o f s ig ht, b ut -
'D on't p ut it a w ay id io t b oy!' s h e s h rie k ed . 'W hat if th ere a re m ore o f th em
aro und? O h, I 'm g oin g t o
k ill
M undungus F le tc h er!'

C H APT ER T W O
A P eck o f O wls

'W hat? ' s a id H arry b la n kly .
'H e le ft! ' s a id M rs F ig g, w rin gin g h er h an ds. 'L eft to s e e s o m eo ne a b out a
b atc h o f c au ld ro ns th at f e ll o ff th e b ack o f a b ro om ! I to ld h im I 'd f la y h im a liv e
i f h e w en t, a n d n ow lo ok! D em en to rs ! It's ju st lu ck y I p ut M r T ib bie s o n th e
c ase ! B ut w e h av en 't g ot tim e to s ta n d a ro und! H urry , n ow , w e'v e g ot to g et y ou
b ack ! O h, t h e t r o uble t h is i s g oin g t o c au se ! I w ill
k ill
h im !'
'B ut - ' T he r e v ela tio n th at h is b atty o ld c at- o bse sse d n eig hbour k new w hat
D em en to rs w ere w as a lm ost a s b ig a sh ock to H arry a s m eetin g tw o o f th em
d ow n t h e a lle y w ay. 'Y ou'r e – y ou'r e a w itc h ?'
'I 'm a S quib , as M undungus know s fu ll w ell, so how on earth w as I
s u ppose d t o h elp y ou f ig ht o ff D em en to rs ? H e l e ft y ou c o m ple te ly w ith out c o ver
w hen I 'd
w arn ed
h im - '
This M undungus has been fo llo w in g m e? H an g on – it w as him ! H e
D is a p para te d f ro m t h e f ro nt o f m y h ouse !'
'Y es, y es,
y es
, b ut lu ck ily I 'd s ta tio ned M r T ib bie s u nder a c ar ju st in c ase ,
a n d M r T ib bie s c am e a n d w arn ed m e, b ut b y th e tim e I g ot to y our h ouse y ou'd
g one – a n d n ow – o h,
w hat's
D um ble d ore g oin g to s a y ? Y ou!' s h e s h rie k ed a t
D udle y, still su pin e o n th e alle y flo or. 'G et y our fa t b otto m o ff th e g ro und,
q uic k !'
'Y ou k now D um ble d ore ?' s a id H arry , s ta rin g a t h er.
'O f c o urs e I k now D um ble d ore , w ho d oesn 't k now D um ble d ore ? B ut c o m e
o n -
I'l l b e n o h elp if th ey c o m e b ack , I'v e n ev er so m uch a s T ra n sfig ure d a
t e ab ag .'
She sto oped d ow n, se iz ed o ne o f D udle y 's m assiv e a rm s in h er w iz en ed
h an ds a n d t u gged .
'G et
u p
, y ou u se le ss l u m p, g et u p!'
But D udle y eith er co uld not or w ould not m ove. H e re m ain ed on th e
g ro und, t r e m blin g a n d a sh en -fa ced , h is m outh s h ut v ery t ig ht.
'I 'l l d o it.' H arry to ok h old o f D udle y 's a rm a n d h eav ed . W ith a n e n orm ous
e ff o rt h e m an ag ed to h ois t h im to h is f e et. D udle y s e em ed to b e o n th e p oin t o f
f a in tin g. H is s m all e y es w ere r o llin g in th eir s o ck ets a n d s w eat w as b ead in g h is
f a ce; t h e m om en t H arry l e t g o o f h im h e s w ay ed d an gero usly .
'H urry u p!' s a id M rs F ig g h yste ric ally .

Harry p ulle d o ne o f D udle y 's m assiv e a rm s a ro und h is o w n s h ould ers a n d
dra g ged h im to w ard s th e ro ad , sa g gin g slig htly u nder th e w eig ht. M rs F ig g
to tte re d a lo ng i n f ro nt o f t h em , p eerin g a n xio usly a ro und t h e c o rn er.
'K eep y our w an d o ut,' s h e t o ld H arry , a s t h ey e n te re d W is te ria W alk . 'N ev er
min d th e S ta tu te o f S ecre cy n ow , th ere 's g oin g to b e h ell to p ay a n yw ay, w e
mig ht a s w ell b e h an ged fo r a d ra g on a s a n e g g. T alk a b out th e R easo nab le
Restr ic tio n o f U ndera g e S orc ery … t h is w as
e xa ctly
w hat D um ble d ore w as a fra id
of – W hat's t h at a t t h e e n d o f t h e s tr e et? O h, i t's j u st M r P re n tic e… d on't p ut y our
wan d a w ay, b oy, d on't 1 k eep t e llin g y ou I 'm n o u se ?'
It w as n ot e asy to h old a w an d s te ad y a n d h au l D udle y a lo ng a t th e s a m e
tim e. H arry g av e h is c o usin a n im patie n t d ig in th e rib s, b ut D udle y s e em ed to
hav e lo st all d esir e fo r in dep en den t m ovem en t. H e w as slu m ped o n H arry 's
sh ould er, h is l a rg e f e et d ra g gin g a lo ng t h e g ro und.
'W hy d id n't y ou te ll m e y ou'r e a S quib , M rs F ig g?' a sk ed H arry , p an tin g
with th e e ff o rt to k eep w alk in g. 'A ll th ose tim es I c am e r o und y our h ouse – w hy
did n't y ou s a y a n yth in g?'
'D um ble d ore 's o rd ers . I w as to k eep a n e y e o n y ou b ut n ot s a y a n yth in g,
you w ere to o y oung. I 'm s o rry I g av e y ou s u ch a m is e ra b le tim e, H arry , b ut th e
Durs le y s w ould n ev er h av e le t y ou c o m e if th ey 'd th ought y ou e n jo yed it. It
wasn 't easy , y ou k now … b ut o h m y w ord ,' sh e sa id tr a g ic ally , w rin gin g h er
han ds o nce m ore , 'w hen D um ble d ore h ears a b out th is – h ow c o uld M undungus
hav e l e ft, h e w as s u ppose d t o b e o n d uty u ntil m id nig ht – w here i s h e? H ow a m I
goin g t o t e ll D um ble d ore w hat's h ap pen ed ? I c an 't A ppara te .'
'I 'v e g ot a n o w l, y ou c an b orro w h er.' H arry g ro an ed , w onderin g w heth er h is
sp in e w as g oin g t o s n ap u nder D udle y s w eig ht.
'H arry , y ou d on't u nders ta n d! D um ble d ore w ill n eed to a ct a s q uic k ly a s
possib le , th e M in is tr y h av e th eir o w n w ay s o f d ete ctin g u ndera g e m ag ic , th ey 'l l
know a lr e ad y, y ou m ark m y w ord s.'
'B ut I w as g ettin g r id o f D em en to rs , I h ad t o u se m ag ic – t h ey 'r e g oin g t o b e
more w orrie d a b out w hat D em en to rs w ere d oin g f lo atin g a ro und W is te ria W alk ,
su re ly ?'
'O h, m y dear, I w is h it w ere so , but I'm afra id – M UNDUNGUS
FL ETC H ER , I A M G OIN G T O K IL L Y OU!'
There w as a lo ud
c ra ck
an d a str o ng sm ell o f d rin k m in gle d w ith sta le
to bacco f ille d t h e a ir a s a s q uat, u nsh av en m an i n a t a tte re d o verc o at m ate ria lis e d
rig ht in fro nt o f th em . H e h ad s h ort, b an dy le g s, lo ng s tr a g gly g in ger h air a n d
blo odsh ot, b ag gy e y es th at g av e h im th e d ole fu l lo ok o f a b asse t h ound. H e w as
als o c lu tc h in g a s ilv ery b undle th at H arry re co gnis e d a t o nce a s a n In vis ib ility
Clo ak .

'S 'u p, F ig gy?' h e s a id , s ta rin g fro m M rs F ig g to H arry a n d D udle y. 'W hat
'a p pen ed t o s ta y in g u nderc o ver? '
Til g iv e y ou
u nderc o ver]'
c rie d M rs F ig g. '
Dem en to rs
, y ou u se le ss, s k iv in g
sn eak t h ie f!'
'D em en to rs ? ' r e p eate d M undungus, a g hast. 'D em en to rs , 'e re ?'
'Y es, h ere , y ou w orth le ss p ile o f b at d ro ppin gs, h ere !' s h rie k ed M rs F ig g.
'D em en to rs a tta ck in g t h e b oy o n y our w atc h !'
'B lim ey,' sa id M undungus w eak ly , lo okin g fro m M rs F ig g to H arry , a n d
back a g ain . 'B lim ey, I - '
'A nd y ou o ff b uyin g s to le n c au ld ro ns! D id n't I t e ll y ou n ot t o g o?
D id n't I T
'I – w ell, I -' M undungus lo oked d eep ly u nco m fo rta b le . 'I t – it w as a v ery
good b usin ess o pportu nity , s e e - '
Mrs F ig g ra is e d th e a rm fro m w hic h h er s tr in g b ag d an gle d a n d w hack ed
Mundungus a ro und th e fa ce a n d n eck w ith it; ju dgin g b y th e c la n kin g n ois e it
mad e i t w as f u ll o f c at f o od.
'O uch – gerro ff – gerro ff , you m ad old bat! Som eo ne's gotta te ll
Dum ble d ore !'
'Y es – th ey – h av e!' y elle d M rs F ig g, s w in gin g th e b ag o f c at f o od a t e v ery
bit o f M undungus s h e c o uld r e ach . 'A nd – i t – h ad
– b ette r – b e – y ou – a n d – y ou – c an – te ll – h im – w hy – y ou - w ere n 't –
th ere – t o – h elp !'
'K eep y our 'a ir n et o n!' s a id M undungus, h is a rm s o ver h is h ead , c o w erin g.
'I 'm g oin g, I 'm g oin g!'
And w ith a n oth er l o ud
c ra ck
, h e v an is h ed .
'I h ope D um ble d ore
m urd ers
h im !' s a id M rs F ig g f u rio usly . 'N ow c o m e
o n
,
Harry , w hat a re y ou w aitin g f o r? '
Harry d ecid ed n ot to w aste h is re m ain in g b re ath o n p oin tin g o ut th at h e
co uld b are ly w alk u nder D udle y 's b ulk . H e g av e th e s e m i- c o nsc io us D udle y a
heav e a n d s ta g gere d o nw ard s.
'I 'l l ta k e y ou to th e d oor,' s a id M rs F ig g, a s th ey tu rn ed in to P riv et D riv e.
'J u st i n c ase t h ere a re m ore o f t h em a ro und… o h m y w ord , w hat a c ata str o phe…
an d y ou h ad to f ig ht th em o ff y ours e lf … a n d D um ble d ore s a id w e w ere to k eep
you f ro m d oin g m ag ic a t a ll c o sts … w ell, it's n o g ood c ry in g o ver s p ilt p otio n, 1
su ppose … b ut t h e c at's a m ong t h e p ix ie s n ow .'
'S o,' H arry p an te d , 'D um ble d ore 's … b een h av in g… m e f o llo w ed ?'
'O f c o urs e h e h as,' s a id M rs F ig g i m patie n tly . 'D id y ou e x pect h im t o l e t y ou
wan der a ro und o n y our o w n a fte r w hat h ap pen ed in J u ne? G ood L ord , b oy, th ey
to ld m e y ou w ere i n te llig en t… r ig ht… g et i n sid e a n d s ta y t h ere ,' s h e s a id , a s t h ey
re ach ed n um ber f o ur. 'I e x pect s o m eo ne w ill b e i n t o uch w ith y ou s o on
e n ou gh .'

'W hat a re y ou g oin g t o d o?' a sk ed H arry q uic k ly .
'I 'm g oin g s tr a ig ht h om e,' s a id M rs F ig g, s ta rin g a ro und th e d ark s tr e et a n d
sh udderin g. 'I 'l l need to w ait fo r m ore in str u ctio ns. Ju st sta y in th e house .
Goodnig ht.'
'H an g o n, d on't g o y et! I w an t t o k now -
But M rs F ig g h ad a lr e ad y s e t o ff a t a tr o t, c arp et s lip pers flo ppin g, s tr in g
bag c la n kin g.
'W ait! ' H arry s h oute d a fte r h er. H e h ad a m illio n q uestio ns to a sk a n yone
who w as in co nta ct w ith D um ble d ore ; but w ith in se co nds M rs Fig g w as
sw allo w ed b y th e d ark ness. S co w lin g, H arry r e ad ju ste d D udle y o n h is s h ould er
an d m ad e h is s lo w , p ain fu l w ay u p n um ber f o ur's g ard en p ath .
The h all lig ht w as o n. H arry s tu ck h is w an d b ack in sid e th e w ais tb an d o f
his je an s, ra n g th e b ell an d w atc h ed A unt P etu nia 's o utlin e g ro w la rg er an d
la rg er, o ddly d is to rte d b y t h e r ip plin g g la ss i n t h e f ro nt d oor.
'D id dy! A bout tim e to o, I w as g ettin g q uite – q uite -
D id dy, w hat's th e
matte r
!'
Harry l o oked s id ew ay s a t D udle y a n d d uck ed o ut f ro m u nder h is a rm j u st i n
tim e. D udle y s w ay ed o n th e s p ot fo r a m om en t, h is fa ce p ale g re en … th en h e
open ed h is m outh a n d v om ite d a ll o ver t h e d oorm at.
'D ID DY! D id dy, w hat's t h e m atte r w ith y ou? V ern on? V ER N ON!'
Harry 's u ncle c a m e g alu m phin g
o ut o f t h e l iv in g r o om , w alr u s m ousta ch e
blo w in g h ith er a n d th ith er a s it a lw ay s d id w hen h e w as a g ita te d . H e h urrie d
fo rw ard s t o h elp A unt P etu nia n eg otia te a w eak -k need D udle y o ver t h e t h re sh old
while a v oid in g s te p pin g i n t h e p ool o f s ic k .
'H e's i ll, V ern on!'
'W hat is it, so n? W hat's h ap pen ed ? D id M rs P olk is s g iv e y ou so m eth in g
fo re ig n f o r t e a?'
'W hy are y ou all co vere d in d ir t, d arlin g? H av e y ou b een ly in g o n th e
gro und?'
'H an g o n – y ou h av en 't b een m ugged , h av e y ou, s o n?'
Aunt P etu nia s c re am ed .
'P hone th e polic e, V ern on! P hone th e polic e! D id dy, darlin g, sp eak to
Mum my! W hat d id t h ey d o t o y ou?'
In a ll th e k erfu ff le n obody s e em ed to h av e n otic ed H arry , w hic h s u ite d h im
perfe ctly . H e m an ag ed to s lip in sid e ju st b efo re U ncle V ern on s la m med th e d oor
an d, w hile th e D urs le y s m ad e th eir n ois y p ro gre ss d ow n th e h all to w ard s th e
kitc h en , H arry m oved c are fu lly a n d q uie tly t o w ard s t h e s ta ir s .
'W ho d id i t, s o n? G iv e u s n am es. W e'l l g et t h em , d on't w orry .'
'S hh! H e's tr y in g to sa y so m eth in g, V ern on! W hat is it, D id dy? Tell

Mum my!'
Harry 's f o ot w as o n t h e b otto m -m ost s ta ir w hen D udle y f o und h is v oic e.
'H im .'
Harry f ro ze, f o ot o n t h e s ta ir , f a ce s c re w ed u p, b ra ced f o r t h e e x plo sio n.
'B O Y! C O M E H ER E!'
With a f e elin g o f m in gle d d re ad a n d a n ger, H arry r e m oved h is f o ot s lo w ly
fro m t h e s ta ir a n d t u rn ed t o f o llo w t h e D urs le y s.
The sc ru pulo usly cle an kitc h en had an oddly unre al glitte r afte r th e
dark ness o uts id e. A unt P etu nia w as u sh erin g D udle y in to a c h air ; h e w as s till
very g re en a n d c la m my-lo okin g. U ncle V ern on s ta n din g in f ro nt o f th e d ra in in g
board , g la rin g a t H arry t h ro ugh t in y, n arro w ed e y es.
'W hat h av e y ou d one t o m y s o n?' h e s a id i n a m en acin g g ro w l.
'N oth in g,' s a id H arry , k now in g p erfe ctly w ell th at U ncle V ern on w ould n't
belie v e h im .
'W hat d id h e d o to y ou, D id dy?' A unt P etu nia s a id in a q uav erin g v oic e,
now s p ongin g s ic k f ro m t h e f ro nt o f D udle y 's l e ath er j a ck et. 'W as i t – w as i t y ou-
know -w hat, d arlin g? D id h e u se – h is
t h in g?'
Slo w ly , t r e m ulo usly , D udle y n odded .
'I d id n't ! ' H arry s a id s h arp ly , a s A unt P etu nia l e t o ut a w ail a n d
Uncle V ern on ra is e d h is fis ts . 'I d id n't d o a n yth in g to h im , it w asn 't m e, it
was -
But a t th at p re cis e m om en t a s c re ech o w l s w ooped in th ro ugh th e k itc h en
win dow . N arro w ly m is sin g th e to p o f U ncle V ern on's h ead , it s o are d a cro ss th e
kitc h en , d ro pped th e la rg e p arc h m en t e n velo pe it w as c arry in g in its b eak a t
Harry 's fe et, tu rn ed g ra cefu lly , th e tip s o f its w in gs ju st b ru sh in g th e to p o f th e
frid ge, t h en z o om ed o uts id e a g ain a n d o ff a cro ss t h e g ard en .
'O W LS!' b ello w ed U ncle V ern on, th e w ell- w orn v ein in h is te m ple p uls in g
an grily a s h e s la m med th e k itc h en w in dow s h ut. 'O W LS A GAIN ! I W IL L N OT
HAV E A NY M ORE O W LS I N M Y H OUSE !'
But H arry w as a lr e ad y r ip pin g o pen th e e n velo pe a n d p ullin g o ut th e le tte r
in sid e, h is h eart p oundin g s o m ew here i n t h e r e g io n o f h is A dam 's a p ple .
Dea r M r P otte r,
We h ave re ceiv ed in te llig en ce th at y o u p erfo rm ed th e P atr o nus C harm a t
tw en ty -th re e m in ute s p ast n in e th is e ven in g in a M uggle -in habite d a re a a nd in
th e p re se n ce o f a M uggle .
The s e ven ty o f th is b re a ch o f th e D ecre e fo r th e R ea so nable R estr ic tio n o f
Undera ge S orc ery h as r e su lte d i n y o ur e xp uls io n
fr o m H ogw arts S ch ool o f W itc h cra ft a nd W iz a rd ry. M in is tr y r e p re se n ta tiv es
will b e c a llin g a t y o ur p la ce o f r e sid en ce s h ortly t o d estr o y y o ur w and.

As y o u h ave a lr e a dy re ceiv ed a n o ffic ia l w arn in g fo r a p re vio us o ffe n ce
under S ectio n 1 3 o f th e In te rn atio nal C onfe d era tio n o f W arlo cks' S ta tu te o f
Secre cy, w e r e g re t to in fo rm y o u th at y o ur p re se n ce is r e q uir e d a t a d is c ip lin ary
hea rin g a t t h e M in is tr y o f M agic a t 9 a .m . o n t h e t w elfth o f A ugust.
Hopin g y o u a re w ell,
Yo urs s in cere ly ,
Mafa ld a H opkir k
Im pro per U se o f M agic O ffic e
Min is tr y o f M agic
Harry re ad th e le tte r th ro ugh tw ic e. H e w as o nly v ag uely a w are o f U ncle
Vern on a n d A unt P etu nia ta lk in g. In sid e h is h ead , a ll w as ic y a n d n um b. O ne
fa ct h ad p en etr a te d h is c o nsc io usn ess lik e a p ara ly sin g d art. H e w as e x pelle d
fro m H ogw arts . I t w as a ll o ver. H e w as n ev er g oin g b ack .
He l o oked u p a t t h e D urs le y s. U ncle V ern on w as p urp le -fa ced , s h outin g, h is
fis ts s till ra is e d ; A unt P etu nia h ad h er a rm s a ro und D udle y, w ho w as re tc h in g
ag ain .
Harry 's te m pora rily stu pefie d bra in se em ed to re aw ak en .
Min is tr y
re p re se n ta tiv es w ill b e c a llin g a t y o ur p la ce o f r e sid en ce s h ortly to d estr o y y o ur
wand
. T here w as o nly o ne th in g f o r it. H e w ould h av e to r u n – n ow . W here h e
was g oin g t o g o, H arry d id n't k now , b ut h e w as c erta in o f o ne t h in g: a t H ogw arts
or o uts id e it, h e n eed ed h is w an d. In a n a lm ost d re am lik e sta te , h e p ulle d h is
wan d o ut a n d t u rn ed t o l e av e t h e k itc h en .
'W here d 'y ou th in k y ou'r e g oin g?' y elle d U ncle V ern on. W hen H arry d id n't
re p ly , h e p ounded a cro ss t h e k itc h en t o b lo ck t h e d oorw ay i n to t h e h all. 'I h av en 't
fin is h ed w ith y ou, b oy!'
'G et o ut o f t h e w ay,' s a id H arry q uie tly .
'Y ou'r e g oin g t o s ta y h ere a n d e x pla in h ow m y s o n — '
'I f y ou d on't g et o ut o f t h e w ay I 'm g oin g t o j in x y ou,' s a id H arry , r a is in g t h e
wan d.
'Y ou c an 't p ull th at o ne o n m e!' s n arle d U ncle V ern on. 'I k now y ou'r e n ot
allo w ed t o u se i t o uts id e t h at m ad house y ou c all a s c h ool! '
The m ad house h as c h uck ed m e o ut,' sa id H arry . 'S o I c an d o w hate v er I
lik e. Y ou'v e g ot t h re e s e co nds. O ne – t w o - '
A r e so undin g C RA CK f ille d t h e k itc h en . A unt P etu nia s c re am ed ,
I h id e V ern on y elle d a n d d uck ed , b ut f o r t h e t h ir d t im e t h at n ig ht H arry w as
se arc h in g f o r th e s o urc e o f a d is tu rb an ce h e h ad n ot m ad e. H e s p otte d it a t o nce:
a d azed a n d ru ff le d -lo okin g b arn o w l w as sittin g o uts id e o n th e k itc h en sill,
hav in g j u st c o llid ed w ith t h e c lo se d w in dow .
Ig norin g U ncle V ern on's a n guis h ed y ell o f 'O W LS!' H arry c ro sse d t h e r o om

at a ru n a n d w re n ch ed th e w in dow o pen . T he o w l s tu ck o ut its le g , to w hic h a
sm all ro ll o f p arc h m en t w as tie d , s h ook its le ath ers , a n d to ok o ff th e m om en t
Harry h ad ta k en th e le tte r. H an ds s h ak in g, H arry u nfu rle d th e s e co nd m essa g e,
whic h w as w ritte n v ery h astily a n d b lo tc h ily i n b la ck i n k.
Harry —
Dum ble d ore 's ju st a rriv ed a t th e M in is tr y a nd h e's tr y in g to s o rt it a ll o ut.
DO N O T L E AV E Y O UR A U NT A N D U NCLE 'S H OUSE . D O N O T D O
A NY
MORE M AGIC . D O N OT S U RREN DER Y OUR W AND.
A rth ur W ea sle y
Dum ble d ore w as tr y in g to s o rt it a ll o ut… w hat d id th at m ean ? H ow m uch
pow er d id D um ble d ore h av e to o verrid e th e M in is tr y o f M ag ic ? W as th ere a
ch an ce th at h e m ig ht b e a llo w ed b ack to H ogw arts , th en ? A s m all s h oot o f h ope
burg eo ned i n H arry 's c h est, a lm ost i m med ia te ly s tr a n gle d b y p an ic – h ow w as h e
su ppose d to re fu se to su rre n der h is w an d w ith out d oin g m ag ic ? H e'd h av e to
duel w ith t h e M in is tr y r e p re se n ta tiv es, a n d i f h e d id t h at, h e'd b e l u ck y t o e sc ap e
Azk ab an , l e t a lo ne e x puls io n.
His m in d w as r a cin g… h e c o uld r u n f o r it a n d r is k b ein g c ap -lu re d b y th e
Min is tr y , o r sta y p ut a n d w ait fo r th em to fin d h im h ere . H e w as m uch m ore
te m pte d b y th e f o rm er c o urs e , b ut h e k new M r W easle y h ad h is b est in te re sts a t
heart… a n d a fte r a ll, D um ble d ore h ad s o rte d o ut m uch w ors e t h an t h is b efo re .
'R ig ht,' H arry s a id , 'I 'v e c h an ged m y m in d, I'm s ta y in g.' H e flu ng h im se lf
dow n a t th e k itc h en ta b le a n d fa ced D udle y a n d A unt P etu nia . T he D urs le y s
ap peare d ta k en ab ack at his ab ru pt ch an ge of m in d. A unt P etu nia gla n ced
desp air in gly at U ncle V ern on. T he v ein in h is p urp le te m ple w as th ro bbin g
wors e t h an e v er.
'W ho a re a ll t h ese r u ddy o w ls f ro m ?' h e g ro w le d .
The fir s t o ne w as fro m th e M in is tr y o f M ag ic , e x pellin g m e,' sa id H arry
calm ly . H e w as str a in in g his ears to catc h an y nois e s outs id e, in case th e
Min is tr y re p re se n ta tiv es w ere ap pro ach in g, an d it w as easie r an d quie te r to
an sw er U ncle V ern on's q uestio ns th an to h av e h im s ta rt ra g in g a n d b ello w in g.
'T he s e co nd o ne w as f ro m m y f rie n d R on's d ad , w ho w ork s a t t h e M in is tr y .'
' Min is tr y of M agic
?' bello w ed Uncle Vern on. 'P eo ple lik e you in
govern m en t
! O h, th is e x pla in s e v ery th in g, e v ery th in g, n o w onder th e c o untr y 's
goin g t o t h e d ogs.'
When H arry d id n ot re sp ond, U ncle V ern on g la re d a t h im , th en s p at o ut,
'A nd w hy h av e y ou b een e x pelle d ?'
'B ecau se I d id m ag ic .'
'A HA!' r o are d U ncle V ern on, s la m min g h is f is t d ow n o n to p o f th e f rid ge,
whic h s p ra n g o pen ; s e v era l o f D udle y 's lo w -fa t s n ack s to pple d o ut a n d b urs t o n
th e f lo or. 'S o y ou a d m it i t!
W hat d id y o u d o t o D udle y
?'

'N oth in g,' s a id H arry , s lig htly l e ss c alm ly . 'T hat w asn 't m e - '
'W as,' m utte re d D udle y u nex pecte d ly , a n d U ncle V ern on a n d A unt P etu nia
in sta n tly m ad e fla p pin g g estu re s a t H arry to q uie te n h im w hile th ey b oth b en t
lo w o ver D udle y.
'G o o n, s o n,' s a id U ncle V ern on, 'w hat d id h e d o?'
Tell u s, d arlin g,' w his p ere d A unt P etu nia .
'P oin te d h is w an d a t m e,' D udle y m um ble d .
'Y eah , I d id , b ut I d id n't u se - ' H arry b eg an a n grily , b ut -
'S H UT U P!' r o are d U ncle V ern on a n d A unt P etu nia i n u nis o n.
'G o o n, s o n,' r e p eate d U ncle V ern on, m ousta ch e b lo w in g a b out f u rio usly .
'A ll w en t d ark ,' D udle y sa id h oars e ly , sh udderin g. 'E very th in g d ark . A nd
th en I h -h eard … t h in gs. I n sid e m -m y h ead .'
Uncle V ern on a n d A unt P etu nia e x ch an ged lo oks o f u tte r h orro r. If th eir
le ast fa v ourite th in g in th e w orld w as m ag ic – c lo se ly fo llo w ed b y n eig hbours
who c h eate d m ore th an th ey d id o n th e h ose p ip e b an – p eo ple w ho h eard v oic es
were d efin ite ly i n t h e b otto m t e n . T hey o bvio usly t h ought D udle y w as l o sin g h is
min d.
'W hat so rt o f th in gs d id y ou h ear, P opkin ?' b re ath ed A unt P etu nia , v ery
white -fa ced a n d w ith t e ars i n h er e y es.
But D udle y s e em ed in cap ab le o f s a y in g. H e s h uddere d a g ain a n d s h ook h is
la rg e b lo nd h ead , a n d d esp ite th e s e n se o f n um b d re ad th at h ad s e ttle d o n H arry
sin ce th e a rriv al o f th e f ir s t o w l, h e f e lt a c erta in c u rio sity . D em en to rs c au se d a
pers o n to r e liv e th e w ors t m om en ts o f th eir lif e . W hat w ould s p oile d , p am pere d ,
bully in g D udle y h av e b een f o rc ed t o h ear?
'H ow c o m e y ou f e ll o ver, s o n?' s a id U ncle V ern on, in a n u nnatu ra lly q uie t
voic e, t h e k in d o f v oic e h e m ig ht a d opt a t t h e b ed sid e o f a v ery i ll p ers o n.
'T -tr ip ped ,' s a id D udle y s h ak ily . 'A nd t h en -
He gestu re d at his massiv e ch est. Harry unders to od. Dudle y was
re m em berin g th e c la m my c o ld th at f ille d th e lu ngs a s h ope a n d h ap pin ess w ere
su ck ed o ut o f y ou.
'H orrib le ,' c ro ak ed D udle y. 'C old . R eally c o ld .'
'O K,' s a id U ncle V ern on, i n a v oic e o f f o rc ed c alm , w hile A unt P etu nia l a id
an a n xio us h an d o n D udle y 's fo re h ead to fe el h is te m pera tu re . 'W hat h ap pen ed
th en , D udders ? '
'F elt… f e lt… f e lt… a s i f … a s i f … '
'A s i f y ou'd n ev er b e h ap py a g ain ,' H arry s u pplie d d ully .
'Y es,' D udle y w his p ere d , s till t r e m blin g.
'S o!' s a id U ncle V ern on, v oic e re sto re d to fu ll a n d c o nsid era b le v olu m e a s
he s tr a ig hte n ed u p. 'Y ou p ut s o m e c ra ck pot s p ell o n m y s o n s o h e'd h ear v oic es

an d b elie v e h e w as – w as d oom ed t o m is e ry , o r s o m eth in g, d id y ou?'
'H ow m an y tim es d o I h av e to te ll y ou?' s a id H arry , te m per a n d v oic e b oth
ris in g. 'I t
w asn 't m e
! I t w as a c o uple o f D em en to rs !'
'A c o uple o f – w hat's t h is c o dsw allo p?'
'D e – m en – t o rs ,' s a id H arry s lo w ly a n d c le arly . 'T w o o f t h em .'
'A nd w hat t h e r u ddy h ell a re D em en to rs ? '
'T hey g uard t h e w iz ard p ris o n, A zk ab an ,' s a id A unt P etu nia .
Tw o s e co nds o f rin gin g s ile n ce fo llo w ed th ese w ord s b efo re A unt P etu nia
cla p ped h er h an d o ver h er m outh a s th ough s h e h ad le t s lip a d is g ustin g s w ear
word . U ncle V ern on w as g ogglin g a t h er. H arry s b ra in r e ele d . M rs F ig g w as o ne
th in g – b ut
A unt P etu nia '
?
'H ow d 'y ou k now t h at? ' h e a sk ed h er, a sto nis h ed .
Aunt P etu nia lo oked q uite ap palle d w ith h ers e lf . S he g la n ced at U ncle
Vern on in fe arfu l a p olo gy, th en lo w ere d h er h an d slig htly to re v eal h er h ors y
te eth .
'I h eard – th at a w fu l b oy – te llin g
h er
a b out th em – y ears a g o,' sh e sa id
je rk ily .
'I f y ou m ean m y m um a n d d ad , w hy d on't y ou u se th eir n am es? ' s a id H arry
lo udly , b ut A unt P etu nia i g nore d h im . S he s e em ed h orrib ly f lu ste re d .
Harry w as stu nned . E xcep t fo r o ne o utb urs t y ears a g o, in th e c o urs e o f
whic h A unt P etu nia h ad s c re am ed th at H arry 's m oth er h ad b een a f re ak , h e h ad .
nev er h eard h er m en tio n h er s is te r. H e w as a sto unded th at s h e h ad r e m em bere d
th is s c ra p o f in fo rm atio n a b out th e m ag ic al w orld f o r s o lo ng, w hen s h e u su ally
put a ll h er e n erg ie s i n to p re te n din g i t d id n't e x is t.
Uncle V ern on o pen ed h is m outh , c lo se d it a g ain , o pen ed it o nce m ore , s h ut
it, t h en , a p pare n tly s tr u gglin g t o r e m em ber h ow t o t a lk , o pen ed i t f o r a t h ir d t im e
an d c ro ak ed , 'S o – s o – th ey – e r – th ey – e r – th ey a ctu ally e x is t, d o th ey – e r –
Dem en ty -w hats its ? '
Aunt P etu nia n odded .
Uncle V ern on lo oked fro m A unt P etu nia to D udle y to H arry a s if h opin g
so m eb ody w as g oin g to sh out 'A pril F ool! ' W hen n obody d id , h e o pen ed h is
mouth y et a g ain , b ut w as s p are d t h e s tr u ggle t o f in d m ore w ord s b y t h e a rriv al o f
th e th ir d o w l o f th e e v en in g. It z o om ed th ro ugh th e still- o pen w in dow lik e a
fe ath ery c an non-b all a n d la n ded w ith a c la tte r o n th e k itc h en ta b le , c au sin g a ll
th re e o f th e D urs le y s to ju m p w ith frig ht. H arry to re a s e co nd o ff ic ia l- lo okin g
en velo pe fro m th e o w ls b eak a n d rip ped it o pen a s th e o w l s w ooped b ack o ut
in to t h e n ig ht.
'E nough – eff in g – o w ls ,' m utte re d U ncle V ern on d is tr a cte d ly , sto m pin g
over t o t h e w in dow a n d s la m min g i t s h ut a g ain .

Dea r M r P otte r,
Furth er t o o ur l e tte r o f a ppro xim ate ly t w en ty -tw o m in ute s a go, t h e
Min is tr y o f M agic h as r e vis e d its d ecis io n to d estr o y y o ur w and fo rth w ith .
Yo u m ay re ta in yo ur w and u ntil yo ur d is c ip lin ary h ea rin g o n th e tw elfth o f
August, a t w hic h t im e a n o ffic ia l d ecis io n w ill b e t a ken .
Follo w in g
dis c u ssio ns w ith th e
H ea dm aste r of H ogw arts Sch ool
o/
Witc h cra ft and W iz a rd ry, th e M in is tr y has agre ed th at th e questio n of yo ur
exp uls io n w ill als o be decid ed at th at tim e. Yo u sh ould th ere fo re co nsid er
yo urse lf s u sp en ded f r o m s c h ool p en din g f u rth er e n quir ie s
.
With b est
w is h es,
Yo urs s in cere ly ,
Mafa ld a H opkir k
Im pro per U se o f M agic O ffic e
Min is tr y o f M agic
Harry re ad th is le tte r th ro ugh th re e tim es in quic k su ccessio n. The
mis e ra b le k not in h is c h est lo ose n ed s lig htly w ith th e r e lie f o f K now in g h e w as
not yet defin ite ly ex pelle d , th ough his fe ars w ere by no m ean s ban is h ed .
Every th in g s e em ed t o h an g o n t h is h earin g o n t h e t w elf th o f A ugust.
'W ell? ' s a id U ncle V ern on, r e callin g H arry to h is s u rro undin gs. 'W hat n ow ?
Hav e th ey s e n te n ced y ou to a n yth in g? D o y our lo t
h ave
th e d eath p en alty ?' h e
ad ded a s a h opefu l a fte rth ought.
'I 'v e g ot t o g o t o a h earin g,' s a id H arry .
'A nd t h ey 'l l s e n te n ce y ou t h ere ?'
'I s u ppose s o .'
'I w on't g iv e u p h ope, t h en ,' s a id U ncle V ern on n astily .
'W ell, if th at's a ll,' s a id H arry , g ettin g to h is fe et. H e w as d es-p era te to b e
alo ne, t o t h in k, p erh ap s t o s e n d a l e tte r t o R on, H erm io ne o r S ir iu s.
'N O, IT R U DDY W ELL IS N OT A LL!' bello w ed U ncle V ern on. 'S IT
BA CK D OW N!'
'W hat n ow ?' s a id H arry i m patie n tly .
'D UDLEY !' ro are d U ncle V ern on. 'I w an t to k now e x actly w hat h ap pen ed
to m y s o n!'
'F IN E!' y elle d H arry , a n d in h is te m per, r e d a n d g old s p ark s s h ot o ut o f th e
en d o f h is w an d, s till c lu tc h ed in h is h an d. A ll th re e D urs le y s f lin ch ed , lo okin g
te rrif ie d .
'D udle y an d 1 w ere in th e alle y w ay betw een M ag nolia C re sc en t an d
Wis te ria W alk ,' s a id H arry , s p eak in g f a st, f ig htin g to c o ntr o l h is te m per. 'D udle y
th ought h e'd b e s m art w ith m e, I p ulle d o ut m y w an d b ut d id n't u se it. T hen tw o
Dem en to rs t u rn ed u p — '

'B ut w hat A RE D em en to id s? ' a sk ed U ncle V ern on f u rio usly . 'W hat d o th ey
DO?'
'I to ld y ou – th ey s u ck a ll th e h ap pin ess o ut o f y ou,' s a id H arry , 'a n d if th ey
get t h e c h an ce, t h ey k is s y ou -
'K is s y ou?' s a id U ncle V ern on, h is e y es p oppin g s lig htly . 'K is s y ou?'
'I t's w hat t h ey c all i t w hen t h ey s u ck t h e s o ul o ut o f y our m outh .'
Aunt P etu nia u tte re d a s o ft s c re am .
'H is s o ul? T hey d id n't t a k e – h e's s till g ot h is - '
She s e iz ed D udle y b y t h e s h ould ers a n d s h ook h im , a s t h ough t e stin g t o s e e
wheth er s h e c o uld h ear h is s o ul r a ttlin g a ro und i n sid e h im .
'O f c o urs e th ey d id n't g et h is so ul, y ou'd k now if th ey h ad ,' sa id H arry ,
ex asp era te d .
'F ought 'e m off , did you, so n?' sa id U ncle Vern on lo udly , w ith th e
ap peara n ce o f a m an s tr u gglin g to b rin g th e c o nvers a tio n b ack o n to a p la n e h e
unders to od. 'G av e 'e m t h e o ld o ne-tw o, d id y ou?'
'Y ou c an 't g iv e a D em en to r
th e o ld o ne-tw o
,' s a id H arry th ro ugh c le n ch ed
te eth .
'W hy's h e a ll r ig ht, th en ?' b lu ste re d U ncle V ern on. 'W hy is n 't h e a ll e m pty ,
th en ?'
'B ecau se I u se d t h e P atr o nus - '
WHOOSH . W ith a c la tte rin g, a w hir rin g o f w in gs a n d a s o ft f a ll o f d ust, a
fo urth o w l c am e s h ootin g o ut o f t h e k itc h en f ir e p la ce.
'F O R G OD'S S A KE!' r o are d U ncle V ern on, p ullin g g re at c lu m ps o f h air o ut
of h is m ousta ch e, s o m eth in g h e h ad n't b een d riv en to d o in a lo ng tim e. 'I W IL L
NOT H AV E O W LS H ER E, I W IL L N OT T O LER ATE T H IS , I T ELL Y OU!'
But H arry w as a lr e ad y p ullin g a ro ll o f p arc h m en t fro m th e o w l's le g . H e
was so co nvin ced th at th is le tte r had to be fro m D um ble d ore , ex pla in in g
ev ery th in g – th e D em en to rs , M rs F ig g, w hat th e M in is tr y w as u p to , h ow h e,
Dum ble d ore , i n te n ded t o s o rt e v ery th in g o ut – t h at f o r t h e f ir s t t im e i n h is l if e h e
was d is a p poin te d to s e e S ir iu s's h an dw ritin g. Ig norin g U ncle V ern on's o ngoin g
ra n t a b out o w ls , a n d n arro w in g h is e y es a g ain st a s e co nd c lo ud o f d ust a s th e
most r e cen t o w l l o ok o ff b ack u p t h e c h im ney, H arry r e ad S ir iu s's m essa g e.
Arth ur h as ju st to ld u s w hat's h appen ed . D on't le a ve th e h ouse a gain ,
whate ver y o u
d o.
Harry fo und th is su ch an in ad eq uate re sp onse to ev ery th in g th at had
hap pen ed t o nig ht t h at h e t u rn ed t h e p ie ce o f p arc h m en t o ver, l o okin g f o r t h e r e st
of t h e l e tte r, b ut t h ere w as n oth in g e ls e .
And n ow h is te m per w as ris in g a g ain . W asn 't
a nyb ody
g oin g to s a y 'w ell
done' fo r fig htin g o ff tw o D em en to rs sin gle -h an ded ? B oth M r W easle y an d

Sir iu s w ere a ctin g a s th ough h e'd m is b eh av ed , a n d w ere s a v in g th eir te llin gs-o ff
until t h ey c o uld a sc erta in h ow m uch d am ag e h ad b een d one.
'… a p eck , 1 m ean , p ack o f o w ls s h ootin g in a n d o ut o f m y h ouse . I w on't
hav e i t, b oy, 1 w on't - '
'I c an 't s to p th e o w ls c o m in g,' H arry s n ap ped , c ru sh in g S ir iu s's le tte r in h is
fis t.
I w an t th e tr u th a b out w hat h ap pen ed to nig ht! ' b ark ed U ncle Y i- rn on. 'I f it
was D em en ders w ho h urt D udle y, h ow c o m e y ou'v e b een e x pelle d ? Y ou d id
you-k now -w hat, y ou'v e a d m itte d i t! '
Harry to ok a d eep , s te ad yin g b re ath . H is h ead w as b eg in nin g to a ch e a g ain .
He w an te d m ore th an a n yth in g to g et o ut o f th e k itc h en , a n d a w ay fro m th e
Durs le y s.
'I d id th e P atr o nus C harm to g et rid o f th e D em en to rs ,' h e sa id , fo rc in g
him se lf t o r e m ain c alm . 'I t's t h e o nly t h in g t h at w ork s a g ain st t h em .'
'B ut w hat w ere D em en to id s
d oin g
in L ittle W hin gin g?' s a id U ncle V ern on
in a n o utr a g ed t o ne.
'C ould n't t e ll y ou,' s a id H arry w earily . 'N o i d ea.'
His h ead w as p oundin g i n t h e g la re o f t h e s tr ip -lig htin g n ow . H is a n ger w as
eb bin g a w ay. H e f e lt d ra in ed , e x hau ste d . T he D urs le y s w ere a ll s ta rin g a t h im .
'I t's y ou,' s a id U ncle V ern on fo rc efu lly . 'I t's g ot s o m eth in g to d o w ith y ou,
boy, I k now i t. W hy e ls e w ould t h ey t u rn u p h ere ? W hy e ls e w ould t h ey b e d ow n
th at a lle y w ay ? Y ou'v e g ot t o b e t h e o nly – t h e o nly - ' E vid en tly , h e c o uld n't b rin g
him se lf t o s a y t h e w ord 'w iz ard '. T he o nly
y o u-k n ow -w hat
f o r m ile s.'
'I d on't k now w hy t h ey w ere h ere .'
But a t U ncle V ern on's w ord s, H arry 's e x hau ste d b ra in h ad g ro und b ack in to
actio n. W hy
h ad
th e D em en to rs co m e to L ittle W hin gin g? H ow
co uld
it b e
co in cid en ce th at th ey h ad a rriv ed in th e a lle y w ay w here H arry w as? H ad th ey
been s e n t? H ad th e M in is tr y o f M ag ic lo st c o ntr o l o f th e D em en to rs ? H ad th ey
dese rte d A zk ab an an d jo in ed V old em ort, as D um ble d ore had pre d ic te d th ey
would ?
These D em em bers guard so m e w eir d o pris o n?' ask ed U ncle Vern on,
lu m berin g a lo ng i n t h e w ak e o f H arry 's t r a in o f t h ought.
'Y es,' s a id H arry .
If o nly h is h ead w ould s to p h urtin g, if o nly h e c o uld ju st le av e th e k itc h en
an d g et t o h is d ark b ed ro om a n d
t h in k

'O ho! T hey w ere co m in g to arre st you!' sa id U ncle V ern on, w ith th e
tr iu m phan t a ir o f a m an re ach in g a n u nassa ila b le c o nclu sio n. T hat's it, is n 't it,
boy? Y ou'r e o n t h e r u n f ro m t h e l a w !'
'O f c o urs e I 'm n ot,' s a id H arry , s h ak in g h is h ead a s t h ough t o s c are o ff a f ly ,

his m in d r a cin g n ow .
Then w hy - ? '
'H e m ust h av e s e n t th em ,' s a id H arry q uie tly , m ore to h im se lf th an to U ncle
Vern on.
'W hat's t h at? W ho m ust h av e s e n t t h em ?'
'L ord V old em ort,' s a id H arry .
He re g is te re d d im ly h ow str a n ge it w as th at th e D urs le y s, w ho flin ch ed ,
win ced a n d s q uaw ked if th ey h eard w ord s lik e 'w iz ard ', 'm ag ic ' o r 'w an d', c o uld
hear t h e n am e o f t h e m ost e v il w iz ard o f a ll t im e w ith out t h e s lig hte st t r e m or.
'L ord – h an g o n,' s a id U ncle V ern on, h is f a ce s c re w ed u p, a l o ok o f d aw nin g
co m pre h en sio n c o m in g in to h is p ig gy e y es. 'I 'v e h eard th at n am e… th at w as th e
one w ho — '
'M urd ere d m y p are n ts , y es,' H arry s a id d ully .
'B ut h e's g one,' sa id U ncle V ern on im patie n tly , w ith out th e slig hte st sig n
th at t h e m urd er o f H arry 's p are n ts m ig ht b e a p ain fu l t o pic . T hat g ia n t b lo ke s a id
so . H e's g one.'
'H e's b ack ,' s a id H arry h eav ily .
It fe lt v ery s tr a n ge to b e s ta n din g h ere in A unt P etu nia 's s u rg ic ally c le an
kitc h en , besid e th e to p-o f-th e-ra n ge frid ge an d th e w id e-s c re en te le v is io n,
ta lk in g c alm ly o f L ord V old em ort t o U ncle V ern on. T he a rriv al o f t h e D em en to rs
in L ittle W hin gin g s e em ed t o h av e b re ach ed t h e g re at, i n vis ib le w all t h at d iv id ed
th e r e le n tle ssly n on-m ag ic al w orld o f P riv et D riv e a n d t h e w orld b ey ond, H arry 's
tw o liv es h ad s o m eh ow b eco m e fu se d a n d e v ery th in g h ad b een tu rn ed u psid e-
dow n; th e D urs le y s w ere a sk in g fo r d eta ils a b out th e m ag ic al w orld , a n d M rs
Fig g k new A lb us D um ble d ore ; D em en to rs w ere s o arin g a ro und L ittle W hin gin g,
an d h e m ig ht n ev er r e tu rn t o H ogw arts . H arry 's h ead t h ro bbed m ore p ain fu lly .
'B ack ?' w his p ere d A unt P etu nia .
She w as l o okin g a t H arry a s s h e h ad n ev er l o oked a t h im b efo re . A nd a ll o f
a su dden , fo r th e v ery fir s t tim e in h is lif e , H arry fu lly a p pre cia te d th at A unt
Petu nia w as h is m oth er's s is te r. H e c o uld n ot h av e s a id w hy th is h it h im s o v ery
pow erfu lly a t th is m om en t. A ll h e k new w as th at h e w as n ot th e o nly p ers o n in
th e ro om w ho h ad a n in klin g o f w hat L ord V old em ort b ein g b ack m ig ht m ean .
Aunt P etu nia h ad n ev er in h er lif e lo oked a t h im lik e th at b efo re . H er la rg e, p ale
ey es (s o u nlik e h er sis te r's ) w ere n ot n arro w ed in d is lik e o r a n ger, th ey w ere
wid e an d fe arfu l. T he fu rio us p re te n ce th at A unt P etu nia h ad m ain ta in ed all
Harry 's lif e – th at th ere w as n o m ag ic a n d n o w orld o th er th an th e w orld s h e
in hab ite d w ith U ncle V ern on – s e em ed t o h av e f a lle n a w ay.
'Y es,' H arry sa id , ta lk in g d ir e ctly to A unt P etu nia n ow . 'H e c am e b ack a
month a g o. I s a w h im .'

Her han ds fo und D udle y 's m assiv e le ath er- c la d sh ould ers an d clu tc h ed
th em .
'H an g o n,' sa id U ncle V ern on, lo okin g fro m h is w if e to H arry a n d b ack
ag ain , a p pare n tly d azed a n d c o nfu se d b y th e u npre ce-d en te d u nders ta n din g th at
se em ed t o h av e s p ru ng u p b etw een t h em . 'H an g o n. T his L ord V old yth in g's b ack ,
you s a y.'
'Y es.'
The o ne w ho m urd ere d y our p are n ts .'
'Y es.'
'A nd n ow h e's s e n din g D is m em bers a fte r y ou?'
'L ooks l ik e i t,' s a id H arry .
'I s e e,' s a id U ncle V ern on, lo okin g f ro m h is w hite -fa ced w if e to H arry a n d
hitc h in g up his tr o use rs . H e se em ed to be sw ellin g, his gre at purp le fa ce
str e tc h in g befo re H arry 's ey es. 'W ell, th at se ttle s it,' he sa id , his sh ir t fro nt
str a in in g a s h e i n fla te d h im se lf , '
yo u c a n g et o ut o f t h is h ouse , b oy
!'
'W hat? ' s a id H arry .
'Y ou h eard m e – O UT!' U ncle V ern on b ello w ed , a n d e v en A unt P etu nia a n d
Dudle y ju m ped . 'O UT! O UT! I s h ould 'v e d one th is y ears a g o! O wls tr e atin g th e
pla ce lik e a r e st h om e, p uddin gs e x plo din g, h alf th e lo unge d estr o yed , D udle y 's
ta il, M arg e b obbin g a ro und o n th e c eilin g a n d th at fly in g F ord A nglia – O UT!
OUT! Y ou'v e h ad i t! Y ou'r e h is to ry ! Y ou'r e n ot s ta y in g h ere i f s o m e l o ony's a fte r
you, y ou'r e n ot e n dan gerin g m y w if e a n d s o n, y ou'r e n ot b rin gin g tr o uble d ow n
on u s. I f y ou'r e g oin g t h e s a m e w ay a s y our u se le ss p are n ts , I 'v e h ad i t! O UT!'
Harry s to od ro ote d to th e s p ot. T he le tte rs fro m th e M in is tr y , M r W easle y
an d S ir iu s w ere all cru sh ed in his le ft han d.
D on't le a ve th e house again ,
whate ver y o u d o. D O N O T L E AV E Y O UR A U NT A N D U NCLE 'S H OUSE
.
'Y ou h eard m e!' sa id U ncle V ern on, b en din g fo rw ard s n ow , h is m assiv e
purp le f a ce c o m in g s o c lo se t o H arry 's , h e a ctu ally f e lt f le ck s o f s p it h it h is f a ce.
'G et g oin g! Y ou w ere a ll k een to le av e h alf a n h our a g o! I'm rig ht b eh in d y ou!
Get o ut a n d n ev er d ark en o ur d oors te p a g ain ! W hy w e e v er k ep t y ou in th e f ir s t
pla ce, I d on't k now , M arg e w as rig ht, it sh ould h av e b een th e o rp han ag e. W e
were to o d am n s o ft fo r o ur o w n g ood, th ought w e c o uld s q uash it o ut o f y ou,
th ought w e c o uld tu rn y ou n orm al, b ut y ou'v e b een ro tte n fro m th e b eg in nin g
an d I 'v e h ad e n ough – o w ls !'
The fif th o w l z o om ed d ow n th e c h im ney so fa st it a ctu ally h it th e flo or
befo re z o om in g in to th e a ir a g ain w ith a lo ud s c re ech . H arry r a is e d h is h an d to
se iz e th e le tte r, w hic h w as in a s c arle t e n velo pe, b ut it s o are d s tr a ig ht o ver h is
head , f ly in g d ir e ctly a t A unt P etu nia , w ho l e t o ut a s c re am a n d d uck ed , h er a rm s
over h er f a ce. T he o w l d ro pped th e re d e n velo pe o n h er h ead , tu rn ed , a n d fle w

str a ig ht b ack u p t h e c h im ney.
Harry d arte d f o rw ard s t o p ic k u p t h e l e tte r, b ut A unt P etu nia b eat h im t o i t.
'Y ou c an o pen it if y ou lik e,' s a id H arry , 'b ut I 'l l h ear w hat it s a y s a n yw ay.
That's a H ow le r.'
'L et g o o f it, P etu nia !' ro are d U ncle V ern on. 'D on't to uch it, it c o uld b e
dan gero us!'
'I t's a d dre sse d t o m e,' s a id A unt P etu nia i n a s h ak in g v oic e. 'I t's a d dre sse d t o
me
, V ern on, l o ok! M rs
P etu nia D ursle y, T he K itc h en , N um ber F our, P riv et D riv e
-
She c au ght h er b re ath , h orrif ie d . T he r e d e n velo pe h ad b eg un t o s m oke.
'O pen i t! ' H arry u rg ed h er. 'G et i t o ver w ith ! I t'l l h ap pen a n yw ay.'
'N o.'
Aunt P etu nia 's h an d w as t r e m blin g. S he l o oked w ild ly a ro und t h e k itc h en a s
th ough lo okin g f o r a n e sc ap e r o ute , b ut to o la te - th e e n velo pe b urs t in to f la m es.
Aunt P etu nia s c re am ed a n d d ro pped i t.
An a w fu l v oic e fille d th e k itc h en , e ch oin g in th e c o nfin ed sp ace, is su in g
fro m t h e b urn in g l e tte r o n t h e t a b le .
'R em em ber m y l a st, P etu nia .'
Aunt P etu nia lo oked a s th ough sh e m ig ht fa in t. S he sa n k in to th e c h air
besid e D udle y, h er fa ce in h er h an ds. T he re m ain s o f th e e n velo pe s m ould ere d
in to a sh i n t h e s ile n ce.
'W hat i s t h is ? ' U ncle V ern on s a id h oars e ly . 'W hat – I d on't -
Petu nia ?'
Aunt P etu nia s a id n oth in g. D udle y w as s ta rin g s tu pid ly a t h is m oth er, h is
mouth h an gin g o pen . T he sile n ce sp ir a lle d h orrib ly . H arry w as w atc h in g h is
au nt, u tte rly b ew ild ere d , h is h ead t h ro bbin g f it t o b urs t.
'P etu nia , d ear? ' s a id U ncle V ern on t im id ly . 'P -P etu nia ?'
She r a is e d h er h ead . S he w as s till t r e m blin g. S he s w allo w ed .
'T he b oy – t h e b oy w ill h av e t o s ta y, V ern on,' s h e s a id w eak ly .
'W -w hat? '
'H e s ta y s,' s h e s a id . S he w as n ot l o okin g a t H arry . S he g ot t o h er f e et a g ain .
'H e… b ut P etu nia … '
'I f w e th ro w h im o ut, th e n eig hbours w ill ta lk ,' s h e s a id . S he w as ra p id ly
re g ain in g her usu al bris k , sn ap pis h m an ner, th ough sh e w as still very pale .
They 'l l a sk a w kw ard q uestio ns, t h ey 'l l w an t t o k now w here h e's g one. W e'l l h av e
to k eep h im .'
Uncle V ern on w as d efla tin g l ik e a n o ld t y re .
'B ut P etu nia , d ear -
Aunt P etu nia ig nore d h im . S he tu rn ed to H arry . 'Y ou'r e to sta y in y our
ro om ,' sh e sa id . 'Y ou'r e n ot to le av e th e h ouse . N ow g et to b ed .' H arry d id n't

move. 'W ho w as t h at H ow le r f ro m ?'
'D on't ask questio ns,' A unt Petu nia sn ap ped . 'A re you in to uch w ith
wiz ard s? '
'I t o ld y ou t o g et t o b ed !'
'W hat d id i t m ean ? R em em ber t h e l a st w hat? '
'G o t o b ed !'
'H ow c o m e - ? '
'Y OU H EA RD Y OUR A UNT, N OW G O U P T O B ED !'

C H APT ER T H REE
T he A dva n ce G uard

I'v e ju st been atta cked by D em en to rs and I m ig ht be exp elle d fr o m
l lo gw arts . I w ant t o k n ow w hat's g oin g o n a nd w hen I 'm g oin g t o g et o ut o f h ere .
Harry co pie d th ese w ord s o n to th re e se p ara te p ie ces o f p arc h m en t th e
m om en t h e re ach ed th e d esk in h is d ark b ed ro om . H e ad dre sse d th e fir s t to
S ir iu s, th e s e co nd to R on a n d th e th ir d to H erm io ne. H is o w l, H ed w ig , w as o ff
h untin g; h er c ag e s to od e m pty o n t h e d esk . H arry p aced t h e b ed ro om w aitin g f o r
h er to c o m e b ack , h is h ead p oundin g, h is b ra in to o b usy fo r s le ep e v en th ough
h is e y es s tu ng a n d itc h ed w ith tir e d ness. H is b ack a ch ed fro m h au lin g D udle y
h om e, a n d t h e t w o l u m ps o n h is h ead w here t h e w in dow a n d D udle y h ad h it h im
w ere t h ro bbin g p ain fu lly .
Up a n d d ow n h e p aced , c o nsu m ed w ith a n ger a n d f ru str a tio n, g rin din g h is
t e eth a n d c le n ch in g h is fis ts , c astin g a n gry lo oks o ut a t th e e m pty , s ta r- s tr e w n
s k y e v ery tim e h e p asse d th e w in dow . D em en to rs s e n t to g et h im , M rs F ig g a n d
M undungus F le tc h er
t a ilin g h im i n s e cre t,
t h en s u sp en sio n f ro m Hogw arts a n d a
h earin g a t th e M in is tr y o f M ag ic – a n d s till n o o ne w as te llin g h im w hat w as
g oin g o n.
And w hat,
w hat
, h ad th at H ow le r b een a b out? W hose v oic e h ad e ch oed s o
h orrib ly , s o m en acin gly , t h ro ugh t h e k itc h en ?
Why w as h e still tr a p ped h ere w ith out in fo rm atio n? W hy w as ev ery one
t r e atin g h im lik e so m e n au ghty k id ?
D on't d o a ny m ore m agic , sta y in th e
h ouse

He k ic k ed h is s c h ool tr u nk a s h e p asse d it, b ut f a r f ro m r e lie v in g h is a n ger
h e f e lt w ors e , a s h e n ow h ad a s h arp p ain i n h is t o e t o d eal w ith i n a d ditio n t o t h e
p ain i n t h e r e st o f h is b ody.
Ju st a s h e lim ped p ast th e w in dow , H ed w ig s o are d th ro ugh it w ith a s o ft
r u stle o f w in gs l ik e a s m all g host.
'A bout tim e!' H arry s n arle d , a s s h e la n ded lig htly o n to p o f h er c ag e. 'Y ou
c an p ut t h at d ow n, I 'v e g ot w ork f o r y ou!'
Hed w ig 's l a rg e, r o und, a m ber e y es g azed a t h im r e p ro ach fu lly o ver t h e d ead
f ro g c la m ped i n h er b eak .
'C om e h ere ,' s a id H arry , p ic k in g u p t h e t h re e s m all r o lls o f p arc h m en t a n d a
l e ath er th ong a n d ty in g th e s c ro lls to h er s c aly le g . T ak e th ese s tr a ig ht to S ir iu s,
R on a n d H erm io ne a n d d on't c o m e b ack h ere w ith out g ood lo ng re p lie s. K eep

peck in g th em till th ey 'v e w ritte n decen t- le n gth an sw ers if you'v e got to .
Unders ta n d?'
Hed w ig g av e a m uff le d h ootin g n ois e , h er b eak s till f u ll o f f ro g.
'G et g oin g, t h en ,' s a id H arry .
She to ok o ff im med ia te ly . T he m om en t sh e'd g one, H arry th re w h im se lf
dow n o n h is b ed w ith out u ndre ssin g a n d s ta re d a t t h e d ark c eilin g. I n a d ditio n t o
ev ery o th er m is e ra b le fe elin g, h e n ow fe lt g uilty th at h e'd b een ir rita b le w ith
Hed w ig ; s h e w as th e o nly frie n d h e h ad a t n um ber fo ur, P riv et D riv e. B ut h e'd
mak e it u p to h er w hen s h e c am e b ack w ith th e a n sw ers fro m S ir iu s, R on a n d
Herm io ne.
They w ere b ound to w rite b ack q uic k ly ; th ey c o uld n't p ossib ly ig nore a
Dem en to r a tta ck . H e'd p ro bab ly w ak e u p to m orro w to th re e fa t le tte rs fu ll o f
sy m path y a n d p la n s fo r h is im med ia te re m oval to T he B urro w . A nd w ith th at
co m fo rtin g i d ea, s le ep r o lle d o ver h im , s tif lin g a ll f u rth er t h ought.
*
But H ed w ig d id n't r e tu rn n ex t m orn in g. H arry s p en t t h e d ay i n h is b ed ro om ,
le av in g it o nly to g o to th e b ath ro om . T hre e tim es th at d ay A unt P etu nia s h oved
fo od in to his ro om th ro ugh th e cat- fla p U ncle V ern on had in sta lle d th re e
su m mers a g o. E very tim e H arry h eard h er a p pro ach in g h e tr ie d to q uestio n h er
ab out t h e H ow le r, b ut h e m ig ht a s w ell h av e i n te rro gate d t h e d oork nob f o r a ll t h e
an sw ers h e g ot. O th erw is e , th e D urs le y s k ep t w ell c le ar o f h is b ed ro om . H arry
co uld n't se e th e p oin t o f fo rc in g h is co m pan y o n th em ; an oth er ro w w ould
ach ie v e n oth in g e x cep t p erh ap s m ak e h im so a n gry h e'd p erfo rm m ore ille g al
mag ic .
So i t w en t o n f o r t h re e w hole d ay s. H arry w as a lte rn ate ly f ille d w ith r e stle ss
en erg y th at m ad e h im u nab le to s e ttle to a n yth in g, d urin g w hic h tim e h e p aced
his b ed ro om , fu rio us a t th e w hole lo t o f th em fo r le av in g h im to ste w in th is
mess; a n d w ith a le th arg y s o c o m ple te th at h e c o uld lie o n h is b ed f o r a n h our a t
a tim e, sta rin g d azed ly in to sp ace, ach in g w ith d re ad at th e th ought o f th e
Min is tr y h earin g.
What if th ey r u le d a g ain st h im ? W hat if h e
w as
e x pelle d a n d h is w an d w as
sn ap ped in h alf ? W hat w ould h e d o, w here w ould h e g o? H e c o uld n ot r e tu rn to
liv in g f u ll- tim e w ith th e D urs le y s, n ot n ow h e k new th e o th er w orld , th e o ne to
whic h h e r e ally b elo nged . M ig ht h e b e a b le to m ove in to S ir iu ss h ouse , a s S ir iu s
had s u ggeste d a y ear a g o, b efo re h e h ad b een f o rc ed to f le e f ro m th e M in is tr y ?
Would H arry b e a llo w ed t o l iv e t h ere a lo ne, g iv en t h at h e w as s till u ndera g e? O r
would th e m atte r o f w here h e w en t n ex t b e d ecid ed f o r h im ? H ad h is b re ach o f
th e I n te rn atio nal S ta tu te o f S ecre cy b een s e v ere e n ough to la n d h im in a c ell in
Azk ab an ? W hen ev er th is th ought o ccu rre d , H arry in varia b ly s lid o ff h is b ed a n d

beg an p acin g a g ain .
On th e f o urth n ig ht a fte r H ed w ig 's d ep artu re H arry w as ly in g in o ne o f h is
ap ath etic p hase s, s ta rin g a t t h e c eilin g, h is e x hau ste d m in d q uite b la n k, w hen h is
uncle e n te re d h is b ed ro om . H arry lo oked s lo w ly a ro und a t h im . U ncle V ern on
was w earin g h is b est s u it a n d a n e x pre ssio n o f e n orm ous s m ugness.
'W e'r e g oin g o ut,' h e s a id .
'S orry ?'
'W e – t h at i s t o s a y, y our a u nt, D udle y a n d I – a re g oin g o ut.'
'F in e,' s a id H arry d ully , l o okin g b ack a t t h e c eilin g.
'Y ou a re n ot t o l e av e y our b ed ro om w hile w e a re a w ay.'
'O K.'
'Y ou a re n ot t o t o uch t h e t e le v is io n, t h e s te re o , o r a n y o f o ur p osse ssio ns.'
'R ig ht.'
'Y ou a re n ot t o s te al f o od f ro m t h e f rid ge.'
'O K.'
'I a m g oin g t o l o ck y our d oor.'
'Y ou d o t h at.'
Uncle V ern on g la re d a t H arry , c le arly s u sp ic io us o f th is la ck o f a rg um en t,
th en s to m ped o ut o f th e r o om a n d c lo se d th e d oor b eh in d h im . H arry h eard th e
key tu rn in th e lo ck a n d U ncle V ern on's fo ots te p s w alk in g h eav ily d ow n th e
sta ir s . A f e w m in ute s la te r h e h eard th e s la m min g o f c ar d oors , th e r u m ble o f a n
en gin e, a n d t h e u nm is ta k eab le s o und o f t h e c ar s w eep in g o ut o f t h e d riv e.
Harry h ad n o p artic u la r fe elin g ab out th e D urs le y s le av in g. It m ad e n o
dif f e re n ce to h im w heth er th ey w ere in th e h ouse o r n ot. H e c o uld n ot e v en
su m mon th e e n erg y to g et u p a n d tu rn o n h is b ed ro om lig ht. T he ro om g re w
ste ad ily d ark er a ro und h im a s h e la y lis te n in g to th e n ig ht s o unds th ro ugh th e
win dow h e k ep t o pen a ll t h e t im e, w aitin g f o r t h e b le sse d m om en t w hen H ed w ig
re tu rn ed . T he e m pty h ouse c re ak ed a ro und h im . T he p ip es g urg le d . H arry la y
th ere i n a k in d o f s tu por, t h in kin g o f n oth in g, s u sp en ded i n m is e ry .
Then , q uite d is tin ctly , h e h eard a c ra sh in th e k itc h en b elo w . H e sa t b olt
uprig ht, lis te n in g in te n tly . T he D urs le y s c o uld n't b e b ack , it w as m uch to o s o on,
an d i n a n y c ase h e h ad n't h eard t h eir c ar.
There w as sile n ce fo r a fe w se co nds, th en v oic es.
B urg la rs
, h e th ought,
slid in g o ff th e b ed o n to h is f e et – b ut a s p lit s e co nd la te r it o ccu rre d to h im th at
burg la rs w ould k eep th eir v oic es d ow n, a n d w hoev er w as m ovin g a ro und in th e
kitc h en w as c erta in ly n ot t r o ublin g t o d o s o .
He sn atc h ed up his w an d fro m th e bed sid e ta b le an d sto od fa cin g his
bed ro om d oor, lis te n in g w ith a ll h is m ig ht. N ex t m om en t, h e ju m ped a s th e lo ck
gav e a lo ud clic k an d h is d oor sw ung o pen . H arry sto od m otio nle ss, sta rin g

th ro ugh th e o pen d oorw ay a t th e d ark u psta ir s la n din g, str a in in g h is e ars fo r
fu rth er s o unds, b ut n one c am e. H e h esita te d fo r a m om en t, th en m oved s w if tly
an d s ile n tly o ut o f h is r o om t o t h e h ead o f t h e s ta ir s .
His h eart s h ot u pw ard s in to h is th ro at. T here w ere p eo ple s ta n din g in th e
sh ad ow y h all b elo w , s ilh ouette d a g ain st t h e s tr e etlig ht g lo w in g t h ro ugh t h e g la ss
door; e ig ht o r n in e o f t h em , a ll, a s f a r a s h e c o uld s e e, l o okin g u p a t h im .
'L ow er y our w an d, b oy, b efo re y ou ta k e so m eo ne's e y e o ut,' sa id a lo w ,
gro w lin g v oic e.
Harry 's h eart w as th um pin g u nco ntr o lla b ly . H e k new th at v oic e, b ut h e d id
not l o w er h is w an d.
'P ro fe sso r M oody?' h e s a id u ncerta in ly .
'I d on't k now so m uch a b out "P ro fe sso r" ,' g ro w le d th e v oic e, 'n ev er g ot
ro und t o m uch t e ach in g, d id I ? G et d ow n h ere , w e w an t t o s e e y ou p ro perly .'
Harry lo w ere d h is w an d s lig htly b ut d id n ot r e la x h is g rip o n it, n or d id h e
move. H e h ad v ery g ood re aso n to b e su sp ic io us. H e h ad re cen tly sp en t n in e
month s i n w hat h e h ad t h ought w as M ad -E ye M oody's c o m pan y o nly t o f in d o ut
th at it w asn 't M oody a t a ll, b ut a n im posto r; a n im posto r, m ore o ver, w ho h ad
tr ie d to k ill H arry b efo re b ein g u nm ask ed . B ut b efo re h e c o uld m ak e a d ecis io n
ab out w hat t o d o n ex t, a s e co nd, s lig htly h oars e v oic e f lo ate d u psta ir s .
'I t's a ll r ig ht, H arry . W e'v e c o m e t o t a k e y ou a w ay.'
Harry 's h eart le ap t. H e k new th at v oic e, to o, th ough h e h ad n't h eard it fo r
over a y ear.
'P -P ro fe sso r L upin ?' h e s a id d is b elie v in gly . 'I s t h at y ou?'
'W hy a re w e a ll s ta n din g i n t h e d ark ?' s a id a t h ir d v oic e, t h is o ne c o m ple te ly
unfa m ilia r, a w om an 's . '
Lum os
.'
A w an d-tip fla re d , illu m in atin g th e h all w ith m ag ic al lig ht. H arry b lin ked .
The p eo ple b elo w w ere c ro w ded a ro und th e f o ot o f th e s ta ir s , g azin g u p a t h im
in te n tly , s o m e c ra n in g t h eir h ead s f o r a b ette r l o ok.
Rem us L upin s to od n eare st to h im . T hough s till q uite y oung, L upin lo oked
tir e d an d ra th er ill; h e h ad m ore g re y h air s th an w hen H arry h ad la st sa id
goodbye to him an d his ro bes w ere m ore patc h ed an d sh ab bie r th an ev er.
Nev erth ele ss, h e w as s m ilin g b ro ad ly a t H arry , w ho tr ie d to s m ile b ack d esp ite
his s ta te o f s h ock .
'O ooh, h e lo oks ju st lik e I th ought h e w ould ,' sa id th e w itc h w ho w as
hold in g h er lit w an d a lo ft. S he lo oked th e y oungest th ere ; s h e h ad a p ale h eart-
sh ap ed f a ce, d ark t w in klin g e y es, a n d s h ort s p ik y h air t h at w as a v io le n t s h ad e o f
vio le t. 'W otc h er, H arry !'
'Y eah , I se e w hat y ou m ean , R em us,' sa id a b ald b la ck w iz ard sta n din g
fu rth est b ack – h e h ad a d eep , s lo w v oic e a n d w ore a s in gle g old h oop in h is e ar

– 'h e l o oks e x actly l ik e J a m es.'
'E xcep t th e e y es,' sa id a w heezy -v oic ed , silv er- h air e d w iz ard a t th e b ack .
'L ily 's e y es.'
Mad -E ye M oody, w ho had lo ng griz zle d gre y hair an d a la rg e ch unk
mis sin g fro m his nose , w as sq uin tin g su sp ic io usly at H arry th ro ugh his
mis m atc h ed e y es. O ne e y e w as s m all, d ark a n d b ead y, t h e o th er l a rg e, r o und a n d
ele ctr ic b lu e – th e m ag ic al e y e th at c o uld s e e th ro ugh w alls , d oors a n d th e b ack
of M oody's o w n h ead . 'A re y ou q uite s u re it's h im , L upin ?' h e g ro w le d . 'I t'd b e a
nic e l o okout i f w e b rin g b ack s o m e D eath E ate r i m pers o natin g h im . W e o ught t o
ask h im s o m eth in g o nly th e r e al P otte r w ould k now . U nle ss a n yone b ro ught a n y
Verita se ru m ?'
'H arry , w hat fo rm d oes y our P atr o nus ta k e?' L upin ask ed . 'A sta g ,' sa id
Harry n erv ously . T hat's h im , M ad -E ye,' s a id L upin .
Very c o nsc io us o f e v ery body s till s ta rin g a t h im , H arry d esc en ded t h e s ta ir s ,
sto w in g h is w an d i n t h e b ack p ock et o f h is j e an s a s h e c am e.
'D on't p ut y our w an d th ere , b oy!' r o are d M oody. 'W hat if it ig nite d ? B ette r
wiz ard s t h an y ou h av e l o st b utto ck s, y ou k now !'
'W ho d 'y ou k now w ho's lo st a b utto ck ?' th e v io le t- h air e d w om an ask ed
Mad -E ye i n te re ste d ly .
'N ev er you m in d, you ju st keep your w an d out of your back pock et! '
gro w le d M ad -E ye. 'E le m en ta ry w an d-s a fe ty , n obody b oth ers a b out it a n y m ore .'
He s tu m ped o ff to w ard s th e k itc h en . 'A nd I s a w th at,' h e a d ded ir rita b ly , a s th e
wom an r o lle d h er e y es t o w ard s t h e c eilin g.
Lupin held out his han d an d sh ook H arry 's . 'H ow are you?' he ask ed ,
lo okin g c lo se ly a t H arry . T -fin e… '
Harry c o uld h ard ly b elie v e th is w as r e al. F our w eek s w ith n oth in g, n ot th e
tin ie st h in t o f a p la n to re m ove h im fro m P riv et D riv e, a n d s u dden ly a w hole
bunch o f w iz ard s w as s ta n din g m atte r- o f-fa ctly i n t h e h ouse a s t h ough t h is w as a
lo ng-s ta n din g a rra n gem en t. H e g la n ced a t th e p eo ple su rro undin g L upin ; th ey
were s till g azin g a v id ly a t h im . H e f e lt v ery c o nsc io us o f t h e f a ct t h at h e h ad n ot
co m bed h is h air f o r f o ur d ay s.
'I 'm – y ou'r e r e ally l u ck y t h e D urs le y s a re o ut… ' h e m um ble d .
'L uck y, h a!' s a id t h e v io le t- h air e d w om an . 'I t w as m e w ho l u re d t h em o ut o f
th e w ay. S en t a l e tte r b y M uggle p ost t e llin g t h em t h ey 'd b een s h ort- lis te d f o r t h e
All- E ngla n d B est K ep t S uburb an L aw n C om petitio n. T hey 'r e h ead in g o ff to th e
priz e-g iv in g r ig ht n ow … o r t h ey t h in k t h ey a re .'
Harry h ad a fle etin g v is io n o f U ncle V ern on's fa ce w hen h e re alis e d th ere
was n o A ll- E ngla n d B est K ep t S uburb an L aw n C om petitio n.
'W e a re l e av in g, a re n 't w e?' h e a sk ed . 'S oon?'

Alm ost a t o nce,' s a id L upin , 'w e'r e j u st w aitin g f o r t h e a ll- c le ar.'
'W here a re w e g oin g? T he B urro w ?' H arry a sk ed h opefu lly .
'N ot T he B urro w , n o,' s a id L upin , m otio nin g H arry to w ard s th e k itc h en ; th e
little k not o f w iz ard s f o llo w ed , a ll s till e y ein g H arry c u rio usly . T oo r is k y. W e'v e
se t u p H ead quarte rs s o m ew here u n-d ete cta b le . I t's t a k en a w hile … '
Mad -E ye M oody w as n ow s ittin g a t th e k itc h en ta b le s w ig gin g f ro m a h ip
fla sk , h is m ag ic al e y e sp in nin g in a ll d ir e ctio ns, ta k in g in th e D urs le y s' m an y
la b our- s a v in g a p plia n ces.
'T his i s A la sto r M oody, H arry ' L upin c o ntin ued , p oin tin g t o w ard s
M ood y.
'Y eah , I k now ,' s a id H arry u nco m fo rta b ly . It fe lt o dd to b e in tr o -d uced to
so m eb ody h e'd t h ought h e'd k now n f o r a y ear.
'A nd t h is i s N ym phad ora - '
'D on't c all m e N ym phad ora , R em us,' s a id th e y oung w itc h w ith a s h udder,
'i t's T onks.'
'N ym phad ora Tonks, w ho pre fe rs to be know n by her su rn am e only ,'
fin is h ed L upin .
'S o w ould you if your fo ol of a m oth er had calle d you
N ym phadora
,'
mutte re d T onks.
'A nd th is is K in gsle y S hack le b olt.' H e in dic ate d th e ta ll b la ck w iz ard , w ho
bow ed . 'E lp hia s D oge.' T he w heezy -v oic ed w iz ard n odded . 'D ed alu s D ig gle - '
'W e'v e m et befo re ,' sq ueak ed th e ex cita b le D ig gle , dro ppin g his vio le t-
co lo ure d t o p h at.
'E m melin e V an ce.' A sta te ly -lo okin g w itc h in an em era ld gre en sh aw l
in clin ed h er h ead . 'S tu rg is P odm ore .' A s q uare -ja w ed w iz ard w ith th ic k s tr a w -
co lo ure d h air w in ked . 'A nd H estia Jo nes.' A p in k-c h eek ed , b la ck -h air e d w itc h
wav ed f ro m n ex t t o t h e t o aste r.
Harry i n clin ed h is h ead a w kw ard ly a t e ach o f t h em a s t h ey w ere i n tr o duced .
He w is h ed t h ey w ould l o ok a t s o m eth in g o th er t h an h im ; i t w as a s t h ough h e h ad
su dden ly b een u sh ere d o n-s ta g e. H e a ls o w ondere d w hy s o m an y o f th em w ere
th ere .
'A su rp ris in g n um ber o f p eo ple v olu nte ere d to co m e an d g et y ou,' sa id
Lupin , a s th ough h e h ad re ad H arry 's m in d; th e c o rn ers o f h is m outh tw itc h ed
slig htly .
'Y eah , w ell, th e m ore th e b ette r,' sa id M oody d ark ly . 'W e'r e y our g uard ,
Potte r.'
'W e'r e ju st w aitin g fo r th e s ig nal to te ll u s it's s a fe to s e t o ff ,' s a id L upin ,
gla n cin g o ut o f t h e k itc h en w in dow . 'W e'v e g ot a b out f if te en m in ute s.'
'V ery
c le a n
, a re n 't th ey, th ese M uggle s? ' s a id th e w itc h c alle d T onks, w ho
was lo okin g a ro und th e k itc h en w ith g re at in te re st. 'M y d ad 's M uggle -b orn a n d

he's a r ig ht o ld s lo b. I s u ppose i t v arie s, j u st a s i t d oes w ith w iz ard s? '
'E r – y eah ,' s a id H arry . 'L ook - ' h e tu rn ed b ack to L upin , 'w hat's g oin g o n, I
hav en 't h eard a n yth in g f ro m a n yone, w hat's V ol— ?'
Sev era l of th e w itc h es an d w iz ard s m ad e odd his sin g nois e s; D ed alu s
Dig gle d ro pped h is h at a g ain a n d M oody g ro w le d , 'S hut
u p
!'
What? ' s a id H arry .
'W e'r e n ot d is c u ssin g a n yth in g h ere , it's to o r is k y,' s a id M oody, tu rn in g h is
norm al e y e o n H arry . H is m ag ic al e y e re m ain ed fo cu se d o n th e c eilin g. '
Dam n
it
,' h e a d ded a n grily , p uttin g a h an d u p to th e m ag ic al e y e, 'i t k eep s g ettin g s tu ck
– e v er s in ce t h at s c u m w ore i t.'
And w ith a n asty s q uelc h in g s o und m uch l ik e a p lu nger b ein g p ulle d f ro m a
sin k, h e p opped o ut h is e y e.
'M ad -E ye, you do know th at's dis g ustin g, don't you?' sa id Tonks
co nvers a tio nally .
'G et m e a g la ss o f w ate r, w ould y ou, H arry ,' r e q ueste d M oody.
Harry c ro sse d to th e d is h w ash er, to ok o ut a c le an g la ss a n d fille d it w ith
wate r a t th e s in k, s till w atc h ed e ag erly b y th e b an d o f w iz ard s. T heir re le n tle ss
sta rin g w as s ta rtin g t o a n noy h im .
'C heers ,' sa id M oody, w hen H arry h an ded h im th e g la ss. H e d ro pped th e
mag ic al e y eb all in to th e w ate r a n d p ro dded it u p a n d d ow n; th e e y e w hiz zed
aro und, sta rin g at th em all in tu rn . 'I w an t th re e h undre d an d six ty d eg re es
vis ib ility o n t h e r e tu rn j o urn ey.'
'H ow 'r e w e g ettin g – w here v er w e'r e g oin g?' H arry a sk ed .
'B ro om s,' s a id L upin . 'O nly w ay. Y ou'r e to o y oung to A ppara te , th ey 'l l b e
watc h in g th e F lo o N etw ork an d it's m ore th an o ur lif e 's w orth to se t u p an
unau th oris e d P ortk ey.'
'R em us sa y s y ou'r e a g ood flie r,' sa id K in gsle y S hack le b olt in h is d eep
voic e.
'H e's e x celle n t,' s a id L upin , w ho w as c h eck in g h is w atc h . 'A nyw ay, y ou'd
bette r g o a n d g et p ack ed , H arry , w e w an t to b e re ad y to g o w hen th e sig nal
co m es.'
'I 'l l c o m e a n d h elp y ou,' s a id T onks b rig htly .
She f o llo w ed H arry b ack i n to t h e h all a n d u p t h e s ta ir s , l o okin g a ro und w ith
much c u rio sity a n d i n te re st.
'F unny p la ce,' s h e s a id . 'I t's a b it
to o
c le an , d 'y ou k now w hat 1 m ean ? B it
unnatu ra l. O h, th is is b ette r,' s h e a d ded , a s th ey e n te re d H arry 's b ed ro om a n d h e
tu rn ed o n t h e l ig ht.
His r o om w as c erta in ly m uch m essie r th an th e r e st o f th e h ouse . C onfin ed
to it f o r f o ur d ay s in a v ery b ad m ood, H arry h ad n ot b oth ere d tid yin g u p a fte r

him se lf . M ost o f t h e b ooks h e o w ned w ere s tr e w n o ver t h e f lo or w here h e'd t r ie d
to d is tr a ct h im se lf w ith e ach in tu rn a n d th ro w n it a sid e; H ed w ig 's c ag e n eed ed
cle an in g o ut an d w as sta rtin g to sm ell; an d h is tr u nk la y o pen , re v ealin g a
ju m ble d m ix tu re o f M uggle c lo th es a n d w iz ard s' r o bes th at h ad s p ille d o n to th e
flo or a ro und i t.
Harry sta rte d p ic k in g u p b ooks a n d th ro w in g th em h astily in to h is tr u nk.
Tonks p au se d a t h is o pen w ard ro be to lo ok c ritic ally a t h er re fle ctio n in th e
mir ro r o n t h e i n sid e o f t h e d oor.
'Y ou know , I don't th in k vio le t's re ally m y co lo ur,' sh e sa id pen -s iv ey,
tu ggin g a t a l o ck o f s p ik y h air. 'D 'y ou t h in k i t m ak es m e
l o ok
a b it p eak y?'
'E r -' sa id H arry , lo okin g u p at h er o ver th e to p o f
Q uid ditc h T ea m s o f
Brita in a nd I r e la nd
.
'Y eah , it d oes,' s a id T onks d ecis iv ely . S he s c re w ed u p h er e y es in a s tr a in ed
ex pre ssio n a s t h ough s h e w as s tr u gglin g t o r e m em ber s o m eth in g. A s e co nd l a te r,
her h air h ad t u rn ed b ubble -g um p in k.
'H ow d id y ou d o th at? ' sa id H arry , g ap in g a t h er a s sh e o pen ed h er e y es
ag ain .
'I 'm a M eta m orp hm ag us,' sh e sa id , lo okin g back at her re fle c-tio n an d
tu rn in g h er h ead s o t h at s h e c o uld s e e h er h air f ro m a ll d ir e ctio ns. 'I t m ean s I c an
ch an ge m y a p peara n ce a t w ill,' s h e a d ded , s p ottin g H arry s p uzzle d e x pre ssio n in
th e m ir ro r b eh in d h er. 'I w as b orn o ne. I g ot to p m ark s in C oncealm en t a n d
Dis g uis e d urin g A uro r t r a in in g w ith out a n y s tu dy a t a ll, i t w as g re at.'
'Y ou'r e a n A uro r? ' s a id H arry , im pre sse d . B ein g a D ark -w iz ard -c atc h er w as
th e o nly c are er h e'd e v er c o nsid ere d a fte r H ogw arts .
'Y eah ,' s a id T onks, lo okin g p ro ud. 'K in gsle y is a s w ell, h e's a b it h ig her u p
th an m e, th ough. I only qualif ie d a year ag o. N early fa ile d on S te alth an d
Tra ck in g. I'm d ead c lu m sy , d id y ou h ear m e b re ak th at p la te w hen w e a rriv ed
dow nsta ir s ? '
'C an you le arn how to be a M eta m orp hm ag us? ' Harry ask ed her,
str a ig hte n in g u p, c o m ple te ly f o rg ettin g a b out p ack in g.
Tonks c h uck le d .
'B et y ou w ould n't m in d h id in g t h at s c ar s o m etim es, e h ?'
Her e y es f o und t h e l ig htn in g-s h ap ed s c ar o n H arry s f o re h ead .
'N o, I w ould n't m in d,' H arry m um ble d , t u rn in g a w ay. H e d id n ot l ik e p eo ple
sta rin g a t h is s c ar.
'W ell, you'l l hav e to le arn th e hard way, I'm afra id ,' sa id Tonks.
'M eta m orp hm ag i a re re ally ra re , th ey 'r e b orn , n ot m ad e. M ost w iz ard s n eed to
use a w an d, o r p otio ns, to c h an ge th eir a p peara n ce. B ut w e'v e g ot to g et g oin g,
Harry , w e'r e s u ppose d t o b e p ack in g,' s h e a d ded g uiltily , l o okin g a ro und a t a ll t h e

mess o n t h e f lo or.
'O h – y eah ,' s a id H arry , g ra b bin g a f e w m ore b ooks.
'D on't b e s tu pid , it'l l b e m uch q uic k er if I – p ack !' c rie d T onks, w av in g h er
wan d i n a l o ng, s w eep in g m ovem en t o ver t h e f lo or.
Books, c lo th es, te le sc o pe a n d s c ale s a ll s o are d in to th e a ir a n d fle w p ell-
mell i n to t h e t r u nk.
'I t's n ot v ery n eat,' s a id T onks, w alk in g o ver to th e tr u nk a n d lo okin g d ow n
at th e ju m ble in sid e. 'M y m um s g ot th is k nack o f g ettin g stu ff to fit its e lf in
neatly – s h e e v en g ets th e s o ck s to fo ld th em se lv es – b ut I'v e n ev er m aste re d
how s h e d oes i t – i t's a k in d o f f lic k - ' S he f lic k ed h er w an d h opefu lly .
One o f H arry 's s o ck s g av e a f e eb le s o rt o f w ig gle a n d f lo pped b ack o n to p
of t h e m ess i n t h e t r u nk.
'A h, w ell,' s a id T onks, s la m min g t h e t r u nk's l id s h ut, 'a t l e ast i t's a ll i n . T hat
co uld d o w ith a b it o f c le an in g, to o.' S he p oin te d h er w an d a t H ed w ig 's c ag e.
' Sco urg ify
.' A f e w f e ath ers a n d d ro ppin gs v an is h ed . 'W ell, t h at's a
b it
b ette r – I 'v e
nev er quite got th e han g of th ese house h old y so rt of sp ells . R ig ht – got
ev ery th in g? C au ld ro n? B ro om ? W ow ! – A
F ir e b oltT
Her e y es w id en ed a s t h ey f e ll o n t h e b ro om stic k i n H arry 's r ig ht h an d I t w as
his p rid e a n d j o y, a g if t f ro m S ir iu s, a n i n te rn atio nal- s ta n dard b ro om stic k .
'A nd I'm s till rid in g a C om et T w o S ix ty ' s a id T onks e n vio usly . 'A h w ell…
wan d s till i n y our j e an s? B oth b utto ck s s till o n? O K, l e t's g o.
L oco m oto r t r u nk
.'
Harry 's tr u nk ro se a fe w in ch es in to th e air. H old in g her w an d lik e a
co nducto r's b ato n, T onks m ad e th e tr u nk h over a cro ss th e ro om a n d o ut o f th e
door a h ead o f t h em , H ed w ig 's c ag e i n h er l e ft h an d. H arry f o llo w ed h er d ow n t h e
sta ir s c arry in g h is b ro om stic k .
Back in th e k itc h en M oody h ad re p la ced h is e y e, w hic h w as s p in nin g s o
fa st a fte r its c le an in g it m ad e H arry f e el s ic k to lo ok a t it. K in gsle y S hack le b olt
an d S tu rg is P odm ore w ere ex am in in g th e m ic ro w av e an d H estia Jo nes w as
la u ghin g at a pota to peele r sh e had co m e acro ss w hile ru m mag in g in th e
dra w ers . L upin w as s e alin g a l e tte r a d dre sse d t o t h e D urs le y s.
'E xcelle n t,' s a id L upin , lo okin g u p a s T onks a n d H arry e n te re d . W e'v e g ot
ab out a m in ute , I th in k. W e sh ould p ro bab ly g et o ut i
nto
th e g ard en so w e'r e
re ad y. H arry , I 'v e l e ft a l e tte r t e llin g y our a u nt a n d u ncle n ot t o w orry -
They w on't ,' s a id H arry .
– t h at y ou'r e s a fe - 'T hat'l l j u st d ep re ss t h em .'
– a n d y ou'l l s e e t h em n ex t s u m mer.'
'D o I h av e t o ?'
Lupin s m ile d b ut m ad e n o a n sw er.
'C om e h ere , b oy,' s a id M oody g ru ff ly , b eck onin g H arry to w ard s h im w ith

his w an d. 'I n eed t o D is illu sio n y ou.'
'Y ou n eed t o w hat? ' s a id H arry n erv ously .
'D is illu sio nm en t C harm ,' s a id M oody, r a is in g h is w an d. 'L upin s a
ys
y ou'v e
got a n I n vis ib ility C lo ak , b ut it w on't s ta y o n w hile w e'r e f ly in g; th is 'l l d is g uis e
you b ette r. H ere y ou g o -
He ra p ped him hard on th e to p of th e head an d H arry fe lt a cu rio us
se n sa tio n a s t h ough M oody h ad j u st s m ash ed a n e g g t h ere ;
co ld t r ic
kle s s e em ed to b e r u nnin g d ow n h is b ody f ro m th e p oin t th e w an d
had s tr u ck .
'N ic e o ne, M ad -E ye,' s a id T onks a p pre cia tiv ely , s ta rin g a t H arry 's m id rif f .
Harry lo oked d ow n a t h is b ody, o r ra th er, w hat h ad b een h is b ody, fo r it
did n't lo ok a n yth in g lik e h is a n y m ore . I t w as n ot in vis ib le ; it h ad s im ply ta k en
on th e e x act c o lo ur a n d te x tu re o f th e k itc h en u nit b eh in d h im . H e s e em ed to
hav e b eco m e a h um an c h am ele o n.
'C om e o n,' s a id M oody, u nlo ck in g t h e b ack d oor w ith h is w an d.
They a ll s te p ped o uts id e o n t o U ncle V ern on's b eau tif u lly k ep t l a w n.
'C le ar nig ht,' gru nte d M oody, his m ag ic al ey e sc an nin g th e heav en s.
'C ould 'v e d one w ith a b it m ore c lo ud c o ver. R ig ht, y ou,' h e b ark ed a t H arry ,
'w e'r e g oin g to b e fly in g in c lo se fo rm atio n. T onks'l l b e rig ht in fro nt o f y ou,
keep c lo se o n h er ta il. L upin 'l l b e c o verin g y ou fro m b elo w I'm g oin g to b e
beh in d y ou. T he r e st'l l b e c ir c lin g u s. W e d on't b re ak r a n ks f o r a n yth in g, g ot m e?
If o ne o f u s i s k ille d -
'I s t h at l ik ely ?' H arry a sk ed a p pre h en siv ely , b ut M oody i g nore d h im .
– t h e o th ers k eep f ly in g, d on't s to p, d on't b re ak r a n ks. I f t h ey t a k e o ut a ll o f
us a n d y ou su rv iv e, H arry , th e re ar g uard a re sta n din g b y to ta k e o ver; k eep
fly in g e ast a n d t h ey 'l l j o in y ou.'
'S to p b ein g s o c h eerfu l, M ad -E ye, h e'l l t h in k w e'r e n ot t a k in g t h is s e rio usly '
sa id T onks, as sh e str a p ped H arry 's tr u nk an d H ed w ig 's cag e in to a h arn ess
han gin g f ro m h er b ro om .
'I 'm ju st te llin g th e b oy th e p la n ,' g ro w le d M oody. 'O ur jo bs to d eliv er h im
sa fe ly t o H ead quarte rs a n d i f w e d ie i n t h e a tte m pt -
'N o o ne's g oin g to d ie ,' sa id K in gsle y S hack le b olt in h is d eep , calm in g
voic e.
'M ount y our b ro om s, t h at's t h e f ir s t s ig nal! ' s a id L upin s h arp ly p oin tin g i n to
th e s k y.
Far, fa r a b ove th em , a sh ow er o f b rig ht re d sp ark s h ad fla re d a m ong th e
sta rs , H arry r e co gnis e d t h em a t o nce a s w an d s p ark s. H e s w ung h is r ig ht l e g o ver
his F ir e b olt, g rip ped its h an dle tig htly an d fe lt it v ib ra tin g v ery slig htly , as
th ough i t w as a s k een a s h e w as t o b e u p i n t h e a ir o nce m ore .

'S eco nd s ig nal, le t's g o!' s a id L upin lo udly a s m ore s p ark s, g re en th is tim e,
ex plo ded h ig h a b ove t h em .
Harry k ic k ed o ff h ard fro m th e g ro und. T he c o ol n ig ht a ir ru sh ed th ro ugh
his h air a s th e n eat s q uare g ard en s o f P riv et D riv e fe ll a w ay, s h rin kin g ra p id ly
in to a p atc h w ork o f d ark g re en s a n d b la ck s, a n d e v ery th ought o f th e M in is tr y
hearin g w as s w ep t fro m h is m in d a s th ough th e ru sh o f a ir h ad b lo w n it o ut o f
his h ead . H e f e lt a s th ough h is h eart w as g oin g to e x plo de w ith p le asu re ; h e w as
fly in g a g ain , fly in g a w ay fro m P riv et D riv e a s h e'd b een fa n ta sis in g a b out a ll
su m mer, h e w as g oin g h om e… fo r a fe w g lo rio us m om en ts , a ll
h is
p ro ble m s
se em ed t o r e ced e t o n oth in g, i n sig nif ic an t i n t h e v ast, s ta rry s k y.
'H ard le ft, h ard le ft, th ere 's a M uggle lo okin g u p!' sh oute d M oody fro m
beh in d h im . T onks s w erv ed a n d H arry f o llo w ed h er, w atc h in g h is t r u nk s w in gin g
wild ly b en eath h er b ro om . 'W e n eed m ore h eig ht… g iv e it a n oth er q uarte r o f a
mile !'
Harry 's ey es w ate re d in th e ch ill as th ey so are d u pw ard s; h e co uld se e
noth in g b elo w n ow b ut tin y p in pric k s o f lig ht th at w ere car h ead lig hts an d
str e etla m ps. T w o o f th ose tin y lig hts m ig ht b elo ng to U ncle V ern on's c ar… th e
Durs le y s w ould b e h ead in g b ack to th eir e m pty h ouse rig ht n ow , fu ll o f ra g e
ab out th e n on-e x is te n t L aw n C om petitio n… an d H arry la u ghed alo ud at th e
th ought, th ough h is v oic e w as d ro w ned b y th e f la p pin g r o bes o f th e o th ers , th e
cre ak in g o f th e h arn ess h old in g h is tr u nk a n d th e c ag e, a n d th e w hoosh o f th e
win d in th eir e ars a s th ey s p ed th ro ugh th e a ir. H e h ad n ot fe lt th is a liv e in a
month , o r t h is h ap py.
'B earin g s o uth !' s h oute d M ad -E ye. T ow n a h ead !'
They s o are d r ig ht to a v oid p assin g d ir e ctly o ver th e g litte rin g s p id er's w eb
of l ig hts b elo w .
'B ear s o uth east a n d k eep c lim bin g, th ere 's s o m e lo w c lo ud a h ead w e c an
lo se o urs e lv es i n !' c alle d M oody.
'W e'r e n ot g oin g th ro ugh c lo uds!' s h oute d T onks a n grily , 'w e'l l g et s o ak ed ,
Mad -E ye!'
Harry w as re lie v ed to h ear h er s a y th is ; h is h an ds w ere g ro w in g n um b o n
th e F ir e b olt's h an dle . H e w is h ed h e h ad th ought to p ut o n a c o at; h e w as s ta rtin g
to s h iv er.
They alte re d th eir co urs e ev ery now an d th en acco rd in g to M ad -E yes
in str u ctio ns. H arry s e y es w ere s c re w ed u p a g ain st th e r u sh o f ic y w in d th at w as
sta rtin g to m ak e h is e ars a ch e; h e c o uld re m em ber b ein g th is c o ld o n a b ro om
only o nce b efo re , d urin g th e Q uid ditc h m atc h a g ain st H uff le p uff in h is th ir d
year, w hic h h ad ta k en p la ce in a sto rm . T he g uard aro und h im w as cir c lin g
co ntin uously l ik e g ia n t b ir d s o f p re y. H arry l o st t r a ck o f t im e. H e w ondere d h ow

lo ng t h ey h ad b een f ly in g, i t f e lt l ik e a n h our a t l e ast.
Turn in g s o uth w est! ' y elle d M oody 'W e w an t t o a v oid t h e m oto rw ay !'
Harry w as n ow s o c h ille d h e th ought lo ngin gly o f th e s n ug, d ry in te rio rs o f
th e c ars s tr e am in g a lo ng b elo w , th en , e v en m ore lo ngin gly , o f tr a v ellin g b y F lo o
pow der; i t m ig ht b e u nco m fo rta b le t o s p in a ro und i n f ir e p la ces b ut i t w as a t l e ast
warm in th e f la m es… K in gsle y S hack le b olt s w ooped a ro und h im , b ald p ate a n d
earrin g g le am in g s lig htly in th e m oonlig ht… n ow E m melin e V an ce w as o n h is
rig ht, h er w an d o ut, h er h ead t u rn in g l e ft a n d r ig ht… t h en s h e, t o o, s w ooped o ver
him , t o b e r e p la ced b y S tu rg is P odm ore …
'W e o ught to d ouble b ack fo r a b it, ju st to m ak e su re w e'r e n ot b ein g
fo llo w ed !' M oody s h oute d .
'A RE Y OU M AD, M AD-E Y E?' T onks s c re am ed fro m th e fro nt. W e'r e a ll
fro zen to o ur b ro om s! If w e k eep g oin g o ff -c o urs e w e'r e n ot g oin g to g et th ere
until n ex t w eek ! B esid es, w e'r e n early t h ere n ow !'
Tim e t o s ta rt t h e d esc en t! ' c am e L upin 's v oic e. 'F ollo w T onks, H arry !'
Harry fo llo w ed Tonks in to a div e. T hey w ere head in g fo r th e la rg est
co lle ctio n of lig hts he had yet se en , a huge, sp ra w lin g cris sc ro ssin g m ass,
glitte rin g in lin es a n d g rid s, in te rs p ers e d w ith p atc h es o f d eep est b la ck . L ow er
an d l o w er t h ey f le w , u ntil H arry c o uld s e e i n div id ual h ead lig hts a n d s tr e etla m ps,
ch im ney s an d te le v is io n aeria ls . H e w an te d to re ach th e g ro und v ery m uch ,
th ough h e f e lt s u re s o m eo ne w ould h av e t o u nfre eze h im f ro m h is b ro om .
'H ere w e g o!' c alle d T onks, a n d a f e w s e co nds l a te r s h e h ad l a n ded .
Harry to uch ed dow n rig ht beh in d her an d dis m ounte d on a patc h of
unkem pt g ra ss in th e m id dle o f a s m all s q uare . T onks w as a lr e ad y u nbuck lin g
Harry 's tr u nk. Shiv erin g, H arry lo oked aro und. The grim y fro nts of th e
su rro undin g h ouse s w ere n ot w elc o m in g; so m e o f th em h ad b ro ken w in dow s,
glim merin g d ully i n t h e l ig ht f ro t h e s tr e etla m ps, p ain t w as p eelin g f ro m m an y o f
th e d oors a n d h eap s o f r u bbis h l a y o uts id e s e v era l s e ts o f f ro nt s te p s.
'W here a re w e?' H arry a sk ed , b ut L upin s a id q uie tly , 'I n a m in ute .'
Moody w as r u m mag in g i n h is c lo ak , h is g narle d h an ds c lu m sy w ith c o ld .
'G ot it,' h e m utte re d , r a is in g w hat lo oked lik e a s ilv er c ig are tte lig hte r in to
th e a ir a n d c lic k in g i t.
The n eare st s tr e etla m p w en t o ut w ith a p op. H e c lic k ed th e u nlig hte r a g ain ;
th e n ex t la m p w en t o ut; h e k ep t c lic k in g u ntil e v ery la m p in th e sq uare w as
ex tin guis h ed a n d t h e o nly r e m ain in g l ig ht c am e f ro m c u rta in ed w in dow s a n d t h e
sic k le m oon o verh ead .
'B orro w ed it fro m D um ble d ore ,' g ro w le d M oody, p ock etin g th e P ut- O ute r.
That'l l ta k e c are o f a n y M uggle s lo okin g o ut o f th e w in dow , s e e? N ow c o m e o n,
quic k .'

He to ok H arry b y th e a rm a n d le d h im fro m th e p atc h o f g ra ss, a cro ss th e
ro ad a n d o n to th e p av em en t; L upin a n d T onks f o llo w ed , c arry in g H arry 's tr u nk
betw een t h em , t h e r e st o f t h e g uard , a ll w ith t h eir w an ds o ut, f la n kin g t h em .
The m uff le d p oundin g o f a s te re o w as c o m in g f ro m a n u pper w in dow i n t h e
neare st h ouse . A p ungen t s m ell o f r o ttin g r u bbis h c am e f ro m th e p ile o f b ulg in g
bin -b ag s j u st i n sid e t h e b ro ken g ate .
'H ere ,' M oody m utte re d , th ru stin g a p ie ce o f p arc h m en t to w ard s H arry 's
Dis illu sio ned h an d a n d h old in g h is lit w an d c lo se to it, s o a s to illu m in ate th e
writin g. 'R ead q uic k ly a n d m em oris e .'
Harry lo oked d ow n at th e p ie ce o f p ap er. T he n arro w h an dw ritin g w as
vag uely f a m ilia r. I t s a id :
The H ea dquarte rs o f th e O rd er o f th e P hoen ix m ay b e fo und a t n um ber
tw elv e, G rim mauld P la ce, L ondon.

C H APT ER F O UR
N um ber T w elv e, G rim mau ld P la ce

'W hat's t h e O rd er o f t h e - ? ' H arry b eg an .
'N ot h ere , b oy!' s n arle d M oody. 'W ait t ill w e'r e i n sid e!'
He p ulle d th e p ie ce o f p arc h m en t o ut o f H arry 's h an d a n d s e t f ir e to it w ith
h is w an d-tip . A s t h e m essa g e c u rle d i n to f la m es a n d f lo ate d t o t h e g ro und, H arry
l o oked a ro und a t th e h ouse s a g ain . T hey w ere s ta n din g o uts id e n um ber e le v en ;
h e lo oked to th e le ft a n d sa w n um ber te n ; to th e rig ht, h ow ev er, w as n um ber
t h ir te en .
'B ut w here 's - ? '
Thin k a b out w hat y ou'v e j u st m em oris e d ,' s a id L upin q uie tly .
Harry t h ought, a n d n o s o oner h ad h e r e ach ed t h e p art a b out n um ber t w elv e,
G rim mau ld Pla ce, th an a batte re d door em erg ed out of now here betw een
n um bers ele v en an d th ir te en , fo llo w ed sw if tly by dir ty w alls an d grim y
w in dow s. I t w as a s th ough a n e x tr a h ouse h ad in fla te d , p ush in g th ose o n e ith er
s id e o ut o f its w ay. H arry g ap ed a t it. T he s te re o in n um ber e le v en th udded o n.
A ppare n tly t h e M uggle s i n sid e h ad n't f e lt a n yth in g.
'C om e o n, h urry ,' g ro w le d M oody, p ro ddin g H arry i n t h e b ack .
Harry w alk ed u p th e w orn sto ne ste p s, sta rin g a t th e n ew ly m ate ria lis e d
d oor. Its b la ck p ain t w as s h ab by a n d s c ra tc h ed . T he s ilv er d oork nock er w as in
t h e f o rm o f a t w is te d s e rp en t. T here w as n o k ey hole o r l e tte rb ox.
Lupin p ulle d o ut h is w an d a n d ta p ped th e d oor o nce. H arry h eard m an y
l o ud, m eta llic clic k s an d w hat so unded lik e th e cla tte r o f a ch ain . T he d oor
c re ak ed o pen .
'G et in q uic k , H arry ,' L upin w his p ere d , 'b ut d on't g o fa r in sid e a n d d on't
t o uch a n yth in g.'
Harry s te p ped o ver th e th re sh old in to th e a lm ost to ta l d ark ness o f th e h all.
H e co uld sm ell d am p, d ust an d a sw eetis h , ro ttin g sm ell; th e p la ce h ad th e
f e elin g o f a d ere lic t b uild in g. H e lo oked o ver h is s h ould er a n d s a w th e o th ers
f ilin g in b eh in d h im , L upin a n d T onks c arry in g h is tr u nk a n d H ed w ig 's c ag e.
M oody w as s ta n din g o n t h e t o p s te p r e le asin g t h e b alls o f l ig ht t h e P ut- O ute r h ad
s to le n f ro m th e s tr e etla m ps; th ey f le w b ack to th eir b ulb s a n d th e s q uare g lo w ed
m om en ta rily w ith o ra n ge lig ht b efo re M oody lim ped in sid e a n d c lo se d th e f ro nt
d oor, s o t h at t h e d ark ness i n t h e h all b ecam e c o m ple te .
'H ere - '

He ra p ped H arry h ard o ver th e h ead w ith h is w an d; H arry fe lt a s th ough
so m eth in g hot w as tr ic k lin g dow n his back th is tim e an d knew th at th e
Dis illu sio nm en t C harm m ust h av e l if te d .
'N ow sta y still, e v ery one, w hile I g iv e u s a b it o f lig ht in h ere ,' M oody
whis p ere d .
The o th ers ' h ush ed v oic es w ere g iv in g H arry a n o dd f e elin g o f f o re b odin g;
it w as a s th ough th ey h ad ju st e n te re d th e h ouse o f a d yin g p ers o n. H e h eard a
so ft h is sin g n ois e a n d th en o ld -fa sh io ned g as la m ps s p utte re d in to lif e a ll a lo ng
th e w alls , c astin g a f lic k erin g in su bsta n tia l lig ht o ver th e p eelin g w allp ap er a n d
th re ad bare carp et o f a lo ng, g lo om y h allw ay, w here a co bw eb by ch an delie r
glim mere d o verh ead an d ag e-b la ck en ed p ortr a its h ung cro oked o n th e w alls .
Harry h eard s o m eth in g s c u ttlin g b eh in d th e s k ir tin g b oard . B oth th e c h an delie r
an d t h e c an dela b ra o n a r ic k ety t a b le n earb y w ere s h ap ed l ik e s e rp en ts .
There w ere h urrie d f o ots te p s a n d R ons m oth er, M rs W easle y, e m erg ed f ro m
a d oor a t th e fa r e n d o f th e h all. S he w as b eam in g in w elc o m e a s s h e h urrie d
to w ard s th em , th ough H arry n otic ed th at s h e w as ra th er th in ner a n d p ale r th an
sh e h ad b een l a st t im e h e h ad s e en h er.
'O h, H arry , it's lo vely to se e y ou!' sh e w his p ere d , p ullin g h im in to a rib -
cra ck in g h ug b efo re h old in g h im a t a rm 's le n gth a n d e x am in in g h im c ritic ally .
'Y ou'r e lo okin g p eak y; y ou n eed fe ed in g u p, b ut y ou'l l h av e to w ait a b it fo r
din ner, I 'm a fra id .'
She t u rn ed t o t h e g an g o f w iz ard s b eh in d h im a n d w his p ere d u rg en tly , 'H e's
ju st a rriv ed , t h e m eetin g's s ta rte d .'
The w iz ard s b eh in d H arry a ll m ad e n ois e s o f in te re st a n d e x cite m en t a n d
beg an filin g p ast h im to w ard s th e d oor th ro ugh w hic h M rs W easle y h ad ju st
co m e. H arry m ad e t o f o llo w L upin , b ut M rs W easle y h eld h im b ack .
'N o, H arry , t h e m eetin gs o nly f o r m em bers o f t h e O rd er. R on a n d H erm io ne
are u psta ir s , y ou c an w ait w ith th em u ntil th e m eetin gs o ver, th en w e'l l h av e
din ner. A nd k eep y our v oic e d ow n i n t h e h all,' s h e a d ded i n a n u rg en t w his p er.
'W hy?'
'I d on't w an t a n yth in g t o w ak e u p.'
'W hat d 'y ou - ? '
'I 'l l e x pla in la te r, I'v e g ot to h urry , I'm s u ppose d to b e a t th e m eetin g – I'l l
ju st s h ow y ou w here y ou'r e s le ep in g.'
Pre ssin g h er fin ger to h er lip s, s h e le d h im o n tip to e p ast a p air o f lo ng,
moth -e ate n c u rta in s, b eh in d w hic h H arry s u ppose d th ere m ust b e a n oth er d oor,
an d a fte r s k ir tin g a la rg e u m bre lla s ta n d th at lo oked a s th ough it h ad b een m ad e
fro m a se v ere d tr o ll's le g th ey sta rte d u p th e d ark sta ir c ase , p assin g a ro w o f
sh ru nken h ead s m ounte d o n p la q ues o n th e w all. A c lo se r lo ok s h ow ed H arry

th at th e h ead s b elo nged to h ouse -e lv es. A ll o f th em h ad th e s a m e ra th er s n out-
lik e n ose .
Harry 's b ew ild erm en t d eep en ed w ith ev ery ste p h e to ok. W hat o n earth
were th ey d oin g in a h ouse th at lo oked a s th ough it b elo nged to th e d ark est o f
wiz ard s?
'M rs W easle y, w hy - ? '
'R on a n d H erm io ne w ill e x pla in e v ery th in g, d ear, I'v e re ally g ot to d ash ,'
Mrs W easle y w his p ere d dis tr a cte d ly . T here -' th ey had re ach ed th e se co nd
la n din g, '– y ou'r e t h e d oor o n t h e r ig ht. I 'l l c all y ou w hen i t's o ver.'
And s h e h urrie d o ff d ow nsta ir s a g ain .
Harry c ro sse d th e d in gy la n din g, tu rn ed th e b ed ro om d oork nob, w hic h w as
sh ap ed l ik e a s e rp en ts h ead , a n d o pen ed t h e d oor.
He c au ght a b rie f g lim pse o f a g lo om y h ig h-c eilin ged , tw in -b ed ded ro om ;
th en t h ere w as a l o ud t w itte rin g n ois e , f o llo w ed b y a n e v en l o uder s h rie k , a n d h is
vis io n w as c o m ple te ly o bsc u re d b y a l a rg e q uan tity o f v ery b ush y h air. H erm io ne
had th ro w n h ers e lf o n to h im in a h ug th at n early k nock ed h im f la t, w hile R on's
tin y o w l, P ig w id geo n, z o om ed e x cite d ly r o und a n d r o und t h eir h ead s.
'H ARRY ! R on, h e's h ere , H arry s h ere ! W e d id n't h ear y ou a rriv e! O h, h ow
are
y ou? A re y ou a ll rig ht? H av e y ou b een fu rio us w ith u s? I b et y ou h av e, I
know o ur le tte rs w ere u se le ss – b ut w e c o uld n't te ll y ou a n yth in g, D um ble d ore
mad e u s s w ear w e w ould n't , o h, w e'v e g ot s o m uch to te ll y ou, a n d y ou'v e g ot
th in gs to te ll u s – th e D em en to rs ! W hen w e h eard – a n d th at M in is tr y h earin g –
it's ju st o utr a g eo us, I'v e lo oked it a ll u p, th ey c an 't e x pel y ou, th ey ju st c an 't ,
th ere 's pro vis io n in th e D ecre e fo r th e R easo nab le R estr ic tio n of U ndera g e
Sorc ery f o r t h e u se o f m ag ic i n l if e -th re ate n in g s itu atio ns - '
'L et him bre ath e, H erm io ne,' sa id R on, grin nin g as he clo se d th e door
beh in d H arry . H e s e em ed to h av e g ro w n s e v era l m ore in ch es d urin g th eir m onth
ap art, m ak in g h im ta lle r a n d m ore g an gly lo okin g th an e v er, th ough th e lo ng
nose , b rig ht r e d h air a n d f re ck le s w ere t h e s a m e.
Still b eam in g, H erm io ne le t g o o f H arry , b ut b efo re s h e c o uld s a y a n oth er
word t h ere w as a s o ft w hoosh in g s o und a n d s o m eth in g w hite s o are d f ro m t h e t o p
of a d ark w ard ro be a n d l a n ded g en tly o n H arry s s h ould er.
'H ed w ig !'
The s n ow y o w l c lic k ed h er b eak a n d n ib ble d h is e ar a ff e ctio nate ly a s H arry
str o ked h er f e ath ers .
'S he's b een in a rig ht sta te ,' sa id R on. 'P eck ed u s h alf to d eath w hen sh e
bro ught y our l a st l e tte rs , l o ok a t t h is - '
He s h ow ed H arry th e in dex fin ger o l h is rig ht h an d, w hic h s p orte d a h alf -
heale d b ut c le arly d eep c u t.

'O h, y eah ,' H arry s a id . 'S orry a b out t h at, b ut I w an te d a n sw ers , y ou k now - '
'W e w an te d to g iv e th em to y o u, m ate ,' sa id R on. 'H erm io ne w as g oin g
sp are , s h e k ep t s a y in g y ou'd d o s o m eth in g s tu pid if y ou w ere s tu ck a ll o n y our
ow n w ith out n ew s, b ut D um ble d ore m ad e u s - '
'– s w ear n ot t o t e ll m e,' s a id H arry . 'Y eah , H erm io ne's a lr e ad y s a id . '
The w arm g lo w th at h ad fla re d in sid e h im at th e sig ht o f h is tw o b est
frie n ds w as e x tin guis h ed a s s o m eth in g ic y f lo oded th e p it o f h is s to m ach . A ll o f
a s u dden – a fte r y earn in g t o s e e t h em f o r a s o lid m onth – h e f e lt h e w ould r a th er
Ron a n d H erm io ne l e ft h im a lo ne.
There w as a s tr a in ed s ile n ce in w hic h H arry s tr o ked H ed w ig a u to m atic ally ,
not l o okin g a t e ith er o f t h e o th ers .
'H e se em ed to th in k it w as best,' sa id H erm io ne ra th er bre ath le ssly .
'D um ble d ore , I m ean .'
'R ig ht,' sa id H arry . H e notic ed th at her han ds, to o, bore th e m ark s of
Hed w ig s b eak a n d f o und t h at h e w as n ot a t a ll s o rry .
'I t h in k h e t h ought y ou w ere s a fe st w ith t h e M uggle s - ' R on b eg an .
'Y eah ?' s a id H arry , r a is in g h is e y eb ro w s. 'H av e e ith er o f y ou b een a tta ck ed
by D em en to rs t h is s u m mer? '
'W ell, n o – b ut th at's w hy h e's h ad p eo ple fro m th e O rd er o f th e P hoen ix
ta ilin g y ou a ll t h e t im e - '
Harry f e lt a g re at jo lt in h is g uts a s th ough h e h ad ju st m is se d a s te p g oin g
dow nsta ir s . S o e v ery one h ad k now n h e w as b ein g f o llo w ed , e x cep t h im .
'D id n't w ork th at w ell, th ough, d id it? ' s a id H arry , d oin g h is u tm ost to k eep
his v oic e e v en . 'H ad t o l o ok a fte r m yse lf a fte r a ll, d id n't I ? '
'H e was so an gry ,' sa id Herm io ne, in an alm ost aw estr u ck voic e.
'D um ble d ore . W e s a w h im . W hen h e fo und o ut M undungus h ad le ft b efo re h is
sh if t h ad e n ded . H e w as s c ary .'
'W ell, I 'm g la d h e l e ft,' H arry s a id c o ld ly . 'I f h e h ad n't , I w ould n't h av e d one
mag ic a n d D um ble d ore w ould p ro bab ly h av e l e ft m e a t P riv et D riv e a ll s u m mer.'
'A re n 't y ou… a re n 't y ou w orrie d a b out th e M in is tr y o f M ag ic h earin g?' s a id
Herm io ne q uie tly .
'N o,' H arry l ie d d efia n tly . H e w alk ed a w ay f ro m t h em , l o okin g a ro und, w ith
Hed w ig n estle d c o nte n te d ly o n h is s h ould er, b ut t h is r o om w as n ot l ik ely t o r a is e
his s p ir its . I t w as d an k a n d d ark . A b la n k s tr e tc h o f c an vas in a n o rn ate p ic tu re
fra m e w as a ll t h at r e lie v ed t h e b are n ess o f t h e p eelin g w alls , a n d a s H arry p asse d
it h e t h ought h e h eard s o m eo ne, w ho w as l u rk in g o ut o f s ig ht, s n ig ger.
'S o w hy's D um ble d ore b een s o k een t o k eep m e i n t h e d ark ?'
Harry ask ed , still tr y in g h ard to k eep h is v oic e casu al. 'D id y ou – er –
both er t o a sk h im a t a ll? '

He g la n ced u p ju st in tim e to s e e th em e x ch an gin g a lo ok th at to ld h im h e
was b eh av in g ju st a s th ey h ad fe are d h e w ould . It d id n oth in g to im pro ve h is
te m per.
'W e to ld D um ble d ore w e w an te d to te ll y ou w hat w as g oin g o n,' s a id R on.
'W e d id , m ate . B ut h e's re ally b usy n ow , w e'v e o nly se en h im tw ic e sin ce w e
cam e h ere a n d h e d id n't h av e m uch tim e, h e ju st m ad e u s s w ear n ot to te ll y ou
im porta n t s tu ff w hen w e w ro te , h e s a id t h e o w ls m ig ht b e i n te rc ep te d .'
'H e c o uld s till'v e k ep t m e in fo rm ed if h e'd w an te d to ,' H arry s a id s h ortly .
'Y ou'r e n ot t e llin g m e h e d oesn 't k now w ay s t o s e n d m essa g es w ith out o w ls .'
Herm io ne g la n ced a t R on a n d th en s a id , 'I th ought th at, to o. B ut h e d id n't
wan t y ou t o k now
a nyth in g
.'
'M ay be h e t h in ks 1 c an 't b e t r u ste d ,' s a id H arry , w atc h in g t h eir e x pre ssio ns.
'D on't b e t h ic k ,' s a id R on, l o okin g h ig hly d is c o ncerte d .
'O r t h at I c an 't t a k e c are o f m yse lf .'
'O f c o urs e h e d oesn 't t h in k t h at! ' s a id H erm io ne a n xio usly .
'S o h ow c o m e I h av e to s ta y a t th e D urs le y s' w hile y ou tw o g et to jo in in
ev ery th in g th at's goin g on here ?' sa id H arry , th e w ord s tu m blin g over one
an oth er i n a r u sh , h is v oic e g ro w in g l o uder w ith e v ery w ord . 'H ow c o m e y ou t w o
are a llo w ed t o k now e v ery th in g t h at's g oin g o n?'
'W e'r e n ot! ' R on in te rru pte d . 'M um w on't le t u s n ear th e m eetin gs, s h e s a y s
we'r e t o o y oung - '
But b efo re h e k new i t, H arry w as s h outin g.
'S O Y OU H AV EN 'T B EEN IN T H E M EETIN GS, B IG D EA L! Y OU'V E
ST IL L B EEN H ER E, H AV EN 'T Y OU? Y OU'V E S T IL L B EEN T O GETH ER !
ME, I'V E B EEN S T U CK A T T H E D URSL EY S' F O R A M ONTH ! A ND I'V E
HANDLED M ORE TH AN YOU TW O'V E EV ER M ANAGED AND
DUM BLED ORE K NOW S I T - W HO S A V ED T H E P H IL O SO PH ER 'S S T O NE?
WHO G OT R ID O F R ID DLE? W HO S A V ED B O TH Y OUR S K IN S F R O M
TH E D EM EN TO RS?'
Every b itte r a n d re se n tf u l th ought H arry h ad h ad in th e p ast m onth w as
pourin g o ut o f h im : h is f ru str a tio n a t th e la ck o f n ew s, th e h urt th at th ey h ad a ll
been to geth er w ith out h im , h is f u ry a t b ein g f o llo w ed a n d n ot to ld a b out it – a ll
th e f e elin gs h e w as h alf -a sh am ed o f f in ally b urs t th eir b oundarie s. H ed w ig to ok
frig ht a t th e n ois e a n d s o are d o ff to th e to p o f th e w ard ro be a g ain ; P ig w id geo n
tw itte re d i n a la rm a n d z o om ed e v en t a ste r a ro und t h eir h ead s.
'W HO H AD T O G ET P A ST D RA GONS A ND S PH IN XES A ND E V ER Y
OTH ER F O UL T H IN G L A ST Y EA R? W HO S A W H IM C O M E B A CK ? W HO
HAD T O E SC A PE F R O M H IM ? M E!'
Ron w as s ta n din g th ere w ith h is m outh h alf -o pen , c le arly s tu nned a n d a t a

lo ss f o r a n yth in g t o s a y, w hils t H erm io ne l o oked o n t h e v erg e o f t e ars .
'B U T W HY S H OULD I K NOW W HAT'S G OIN G O N? W HY S H OULD
ANYONE B O TH ER T O T ELL M E W HAT'S B EEN H APPE N IN G?'
'H arry , w e w an te d t o t e ll y ou, w e r e ally d id - ' H erm io ne b eg an .
'C A NT'V E W ANTED T O T H AT M UCH , C A N Y OU, O R Y OU'D H AV E
SE N T M E A N O W L, B U T D UM BLED ORE M ADE
Y O U S W EAR -
Well, h e d id - '
'F O UR W EEK S I'V E B EEN S T U CK IN P R IV ET D RIV E, N IC K IN G
PA PE R S O UT O F B IN S T O T R Y A ND F IN D O UT W HAT'S B EEN G OIN G
ON - '
We w an te d t o - '
'I SU PPO SE Y OU'V E B EEN H AV IN G A R EA L L A UGH, H AV EN 'T
YOU, A LL H OLED U P H ER E T O GETH ER - '
'N o, h onest - '
'H arry w e'r e re ally so rry !' sa id H erm io ne desp era te ly , her ey es now
sp ark lin g w ith t e ars . 'Y ou'r e a b so lu te ly r ig ht, H arry – I 'd b e f u rio us i f i t w as m e!'
Harry g la re d at h er, still b re ath in g d eep ly , th en tu rn ed aw ay fro m th em
ag ain , p acin g u p a n d d ow n. H ed w ig h oote d g lu m ly f ro m t h e t o p o f t h e w ard ro be.
There w as a lo ng p au se , b ro ken o nly b y th e m ourn fu l c re ak o f th e flo orb oard s
belo w H arry 's f e et.
'W hat i s t h is p la ce, a n yw ay ?' h e s h ot a t R on a n d H erm io ne.
'H ead quarte rs o f t h e O rd er o f t h e P hoen ix ,' s a id R on a t o nce.
'I s a n yone g oin g t o b oth er t e llin g m e w hat t h e O rd er o f t h e P hoen ix - ? '
'I t's a se cre t so cie ty ,' sa id H erm io ne q uic k ly . 'D um ble d ore 's in c h arg e, h e
fo unded i t. I t's t h e p eo ple w ho f o ught a g ain st Y ou-K now -W ho l a st t im e.'
'W ho's i n i t? ' s a id H arry , c o m in g t o a h alt w ith h is h an ds i n h is p ock ets .
'Q uite a f e w p eo ple - '
'W e'v e m et a b out t w en ty o f t h em ,' s a id R on, 'b ut w e t h in k t h ere a re m ore .'
Harry g la re d a t t h em .
' Well
?' h e d em an ded , l o okin g f ro m o ne t o t h e o th er.
'E r,' s a id R on. 'W ell w hat? '
' Vo ld em ort
!' sa id H arry fu rio usly , an d b oth R on an d H erm io ne w in ced .
'W hat's h ap pen in g? W hat's h e u p to ? W here is h e? W hat a re w e d oin g to s to p
him ?'
'W e'v e
to ld
y ou, th e O rd er d on't le t u s in o n th eir m eetin gs,' s a id H erm io ne
nerv ously . 'S o w e d on't k now th e d eta ils – b ut w e'v e g ot a g en era l id ea,' sh e
ad ded h astily , s e ein g t h e l o ok o n H arry 's f a ce.
'F re d a n d G eo rg e h av e in ven te d E xte n dab le E ars , se e,' sa id R on. T hey 'r e
re ally u se fu l.'

'E xte n dab le - ? '
'E ars , y eah . O nly w e'v e h ad to s to p u sin g th em la te ly b ecau se M um f o und
out a n d w en t b ers e rk . F re d a n d G eo rg e h ad t o h id e t h em a ll t o s to p M um b in nin g
th em . B ut w e g ot a g ood b it o f u se o ut o f th em b efo re M um r e alis e d w hat w as
goin g o n. W e k now so m e o f th e O rd er are fo llo w in g k now n D eath E ate rs ,
keep in g t a b s o n t h em , y ou k now - '
'S om e o f th em a re w ork in g o n re cru itin g m ore p eo ple to th e O rd er -' s a id
Herm io ne.
'A nd s o m e o f th em a re s ta n din g g uard o ver s o m eth in g,' s a id R on. T hey 'r e
alw ay s t a lk in g a b out g uard d uty .'
'C ould n't h av e b een m e, c o uld i t? ' s a id H arry s a rc astic ally .
'O h, y eah ,' s a id R on, w ith a l o ok o f d aw nin g c o m pre h en sio n.
Harry s n orte d . H e w alk ed a ro und th e r o om a g ain , lo okin g a n yw here b ut a t
Ron a n d H erm io ne. 'S o, w hat h av e y ou tw o b een d oin g, if y ou'r e n ot a llo w ed in
meetin gs? ' h e d em an ded . 'Y ou s a id y ou'd b een b usy .'
'W e h av e,' s a id H erm io ne q uic k ly . 'W e'v e b een d eco nta m in atin g th is h ouse ,
it's b een e m pty fo r a g es a n d stu ff 's b een b re ed in g in h ere . W e'v e m an ag ed to
cle an o ut th e k itc h en , m ost o f th e b ed ro om s a n d I th in k w e'r e d oin g th e d ra w in g
ro om t o m o-'
With tw o lo ud cra ck s, F re d an d G eo rg e, R on's eld er tw in b ro th ers , h ad
mate ria lis e d o ut o f t h in a ir i n t h e m id dle o f t h e r o om . P ig w id geo n t w itte re d m ore
wild ly t h an e v er a n d z o om ed o ff t o j o in H ed w ig o n t o p o f t h e w ard ro be.
'S to p
d oin g
th at! ' H erm io ne s a id w eak ly to th e tw in s, w ho w ere a s v iv id ly
re d -h air e d a s R on, t h ough s to ck ie r a n d s lig htly s h orte r.
'H ello , H arry ,' sa id G eo rg e, b eam in g a t h im . 'W e th ought w e h eard y our
dulc et t o nes.'
'Y ou d on't w an t to b ottle u p y our a n ger lik e th at, H arry , le t it a ll o ut,' s a id
Fre d , a ls o b eam in g. T here m ig ht b e a c o uple o f p eo ple fif ty m ile s a w ay w ho
did n't h ear y ou.'
'Y ou t w o p asse d y our A ppara tio n t e sts , t h en ?' a sk ed H arry g ru m pily .
'W ith d is tin ctio n,' s a id F re d , w ho w as h old in g w hat lo oked lik e a p ie ce o f
very l o ng, f le sh -c o lo ure d s tr in g.
'I t w ould h av e ta k en y ou ab out th ir ty se co nds lo nger to w alk d ow n th e
sta ir s ,' s a id R on.
Tim e is G alle o ns, little bro th er,' sa id Fre d . 'A nyw ay, H arry , you'r e
in te rfe rin g w ith re cep tio n. E xte n dab le E ars ,' h e ad ded in re sp onse to H arry 's
ra is e d e y eb ro w s, a n d h eld u p t h e s tr in g w hic h H arry n ow s a w w as t r a ilin g o ut o n
to t h e l a n din g. W e'r e t r y in g t o h ear w hat's g oin g o n d ow nsta ir s .'
'Y ou w an t to b e c are fu l,' s a id R on, s ta rin g a t th e E ar, 'i f M um s e es o ne o f

th em a g ain … "
'I t's w orth t h e r is k , t h at's a m ajo r m eetin g t h ey 'r e h av in g,' s a id F re d .
The d oor o pen ed a n d a l o ng m an e o f r e d h air a p peare d .
'O h, h ello , H arry !' sa id R on's y ounger sis te r, G in ny, b rig htly . 'I th ought I
heard y our v oic e.'
Turn in g to F re d a n d G eo rg e, s h e s a id , 'I t's n o-g o w ith th e E xte n dab le E ars ,
sh e's g one a n d p ut a n I m pertu rb ab le C harm o n t h e k itc h en d oor.'
'H ow d 'y ou k now ?' s a id G eo rg e, l o okin g c re stf a lle n .
Tonks t o ld m e h ow t o f in d o ut,' s a id G in ny. 'Y ou j u st c h uck s tu ff a t t h e d oor
an d if it can 't m ak e co nta ct th e d oor's b een Im pertu rb ed . I'v e b een flic k in g
Dungbom bs a t it fro m th e to p o f th e s ta ir s a n d th ey ju st s o ar a w ay fro m it, s o
th ere 's n o w ay t h e E xte n dab le E ars w ill b e a b le t o g et u nder t h e g ap .'
Fre d h eav ed a d eep s ig h.
'S ham e. I r e ally f a n cie d f in din g o ut w hat o ld S nap e's b een u p t o .'
'S nap e!' s a id H arry q uic k ly . 'I s h e h ere ?'
'Y eah ,' s a id G eo rg e, c are fu lly c lo sin g th e d oor a n d s ittin g d ow n o n o ne o f
th e b ed s; F re d a n d G in ny f o llo w ed . 'G iv in g a r e p ort. T op s e cre t.'
'G it,' s a id F re d i d ly .
'H e's o n o ur s id e n ow ,' s a id H erm io ne r e p ro vin gly .
Ron s n orte d . 'D oesn 't s to p h im b ein g a g it. T he w ay h e lo oks a t u s w hen h e
se es u s.'
'B ill d oesn 't l ik e h im , e ith er,' s a id G in ny, a s t h ough t h at s e ttle d t h e m atte r.
Harry w as n ot s u re h is a n ger h ad a b ate d y et; b ut h is th ir s t fo r in fo rm atio n
was n ow o verc o m in g h is u rg e to k eep s h outin g. H e s a n k o n to th e b ed o pposite
th e o th ers .
'I s B ill h ere ?' h e a sk ed . 'I t h ought h e w as w ork in g i n E gypt? '
'H e a p plie d f o r a d esk jo b s o h e c o uld c o m e h om e a n d w ork f o r th e O rd er,'
sa id Fre d . 'H e sa y s he m is se s th e to m bs, but; he sm ir k ed , 't h ere are
co m pen sa tio ns.'
'W hat d 'y ou m ean ?'
'R em em ber o ld F le u r D ela co ur? ' s a id G eo rg e. 'S he's g ot a jo b a t G rin gotts
to
e em pw ve 'e r E een glis h
- '
'A nd B ill's b een g iv in g h er a l o t o f p riv ate l e sso ns,' s n ig gere d F re d .
'C harlie 's in th e O rd er, to o,' sa id G eo rg e, 'b ut he's still in R om an ia .
Dum ble d ore w an ts a s m an y f o re ig n w iz ard s b ro ught in a s p ossib le , s o C harlie 's
tr y in g t o m ak e c o nta cts o n h is d ay s o ff .'
'C ould n't P erc y d o th at? ' H arry ask ed . T he la st h e h ad h eard , th e th ir d
Weasle y b ro th er w as w ork in g in th e D ep artm en t o f In te rn atio nal M ag ic al C o-
opera tio n a t t h e M in is tr y o f M ag ic .

At H arry 's w ord s, all th e W easle y s an d H erm io ne ex ch an ged dark ly
sig nif ic an t l o oks.
'W hate v er y ou d o, d on't m en tio n P erc y in f ro nt o f M um a n d D ad ,' R on to ld
Harry i n a t e n se v oic e.
'W hy n ot? '
'B ecau se e v ery tim e P erc y 's n am e's m en tio ned , D ad b re ak s w hate v er h e's
hold in g a n d M um s ta rts c ry in g,' F re d s a id .
'I t's b een a w fu l,' s a id G in ny s a d ly .
'I th in k w e'r e w ell s h ot o f h im ,' s a id G eo rg e, w ith a n u nch ara cte ris tic ally
ugly l o ok o n h is f a ce.
'W hat's h ap pen ed ?' H arry s a id .
'P erc y a n d D ad h ad a r o w ,' s a id F re d . 'I 'v e n ev er s e en D ad r o w w ith a n yone
lik e t h at. I t's n orm ally M um w ho s h outs .'
'I t w as th e fir s t w eek b ack a fte r te rm e n ded ,' s a id R on. 'W e w ere a b out to
co m e a n d j o in t h e O rd er. P erc y c am e h om e a n d t o ld u s h e'd b een p ro m ote d .'
'Y ou'r e k id din g?' s a id H arry .
Though h e k new p erfe ctly w ell th at P erc y w as h ig hly a m bitio us, H arry 's
im pre ssio n w as th at P erc y h ad n ot m ad e a g re at s u ccess o f h is fir s t jo b a t th e
Min is tr y o f M ag ic . P erc y h ad c o m mitte d th e fa ir ly la rg e o vers ig ht o f fa ilin g to
notic e th at his boss w as bein g co ntr o lle d by L ord V old em ort (n ot th at th e
Min is tr y h ad b elie v ed i t – t h ey a ll t h ought M r C ro uch h ad g one m ad ).
'Y eah , w e w ere a ll s u rp ris e d ,' s a id G eo rg e, 'b ecau se P erc y g ot i n to a l o ad o f
tr o uble ab out C ro uch , th ere w as an in quir y an d ev ery th in g. T hey sa id P erc y
ought to h av e re alis e d C ro uch w as o ff h is ro ck er a n d in fo rm ed a s u perio r. B ut
you k now P erc y, C ro uch l e ft h im i n c h arg e, h e w asn 't g oin g t o c o m pla in .'
'S o h ow c o m e t h ey p ro m ote d h im ?'
That's e x actly w hat w e w ondere d ,' s a id R on, w ho s e em ed v ery k een t o k eep
norm al c o nvers a tio n g oin g n ow th at H arry h ad s to pped y ellin g. 'H e c am e h om e
re ally p le ase d w ith h im se lf – e v en m ore p le ase d th an u su al, if y ou c an im ag in e
th at – a n d to ld D ad h e'd b een o ff e re d a p ositio n in F udge's o w n o ff ic e. A r e ally
good o ne fo r so m eo ne o nly a y ear o ut o f H ogw arts : Ju nio r A ssis ta n t to th e
Min is te r. H e e x pecte d D ad t o b e a ll i m pre sse d , I t h in k.'
'O nly D ad w asn 't ,' s a id F re d g rim ly .
'W hy n ot? ' s a id H arry .
'W ell, a p pare n tly F udge h as b een s to rm in g r o und t h e M in is tr y c h eck in g t h at
nobody's h av in g a n y c o nta ct w ith D um ble d ore ,' s a id G eo rg e.
'D um ble d ore 's n am e is m ud w ith th e M in is tr y th ese d ay s, s e e,' s a id F re d .
They a ll t h in k h e's j u st m ak in g t r o uble s a y in g Y ou-K now -W ho's b ack .'
'D ad sa y s F udge has m ad e it cle ar th at an yone w ho's in le ag ue w ith

Dum ble d ore c an c le ar o ut t h eir d esk s,' s a id G eo rg e.
'T ro uble is , F udge s u sp ects D ad , h e k now s h e's f rie n dly w ith D um ble d ore ,
an d he's alw ay s th ought D ad 's a bit of a w eir d o becau se of his M uggle
obse ssio n.'
'B ut w hat's t h at g ot t o d o w ith P erc y ?' a sk ed H arry , c o ntu se d .
'I 'm co m in g to th at. D ad re ck ons F udge o nly w an ts P erc y in h is o ff ic e
becau se h e w an ts t o u se h im t o s p y o n t h e f a m ily – a n d D um ble d ore .'
Harry l e t o ut a l o w w his tle .
'B et P erc y l o ved t h at.'
Ron l a u ghed i n a h ollo w s o rt o f w ay.
'H e w en t c o m ple te ly b ers e rk . H e s a id – w ell, h e s a id lo ad s o f te rrib le s tu ff .
He s a id h e's b een h av in g to s tr u ggle a g ain st D ad 's lo usy r e p uta tio n e v er s in ce h e
jo in ed th e M in is tr y a n d th at D ad 's g ot n o a m bitio n a n d th at's w hy w e'v e a lw ay s
been – y ou k now – n ot h ad a l o t o f m oney, I m ean - '
' What
?' s a id H arry i n d is b elie f, a s G in ny m ad e a n ois e l ik e a n a n gry c at.
'I k now ,' s a id R on in a lo w v oic e. 'A nd it g ot w ors e . H e s a id D ad w as a n
id io t to ru n aro und w ith D um ble d ore , th at D um ble d ore w as h ead in g fo r b ig
tr o uble a n d D ad w as g oin g to g o d ow n w ith h im , a n d th at h e – P erc y – k new
where h is lo yalty la y a n d it w as w ith th e M in is tr y . A nd if M um a n d D ad w ere
goin g to b eco m e tr a ito rs to th e M in is tr y h e w as g oin g to m ak e s u re e v ery one
knew h e d id n't b elo ng t o o ur f a m ily a n y m ore . A nd h e p ack ed h is b ag s t h e s a m e
nig ht a n d l e ft. H e's l iv in g h ere i n L ondon n ow .'
Harry sw ore u nder h is b re ath . H e h ad a lw ay s lik ed P erc y le ast o f R on's
bro th ers , b ut h e h ad n ev er i m ag in ed h e w ould s a y s u ch t h in gs t o M r W easle y.
'M um 's b een in a r ig ht s ta te ,' s a id R on d ully . 'Y ou k now – c ry in g a n d s tu ff .
She c am e u p to L ondon to tr y a n d ta lk to P erc y b ut h e s la m med th e d oor in h er
fa ce. I d unno w hat h e d oes i f h e m eets D ad a t w ork – i g nore s h im , I 's 'p ose .'
'B ut P erc y
m ust
know V old em ort's back ,' sa id H arry slo w ly . 'H e's not
stu pid , h e m ust k now y our m um a n d d ad w ould n't r is k e v ery th in g w ith out p ro of.'
'Y eah , w ell, y our n am e g ot d ra g ged in to th e r o w ,' s a id R on, s h ootin g H arry
a f u rtiv e lo ok. 'P erc y s a id th e o nly e v id en ce w as y our w ord a n d… I d unno… h e
did n't t h in k i t w as g ood e n ough.'
'P erc y ta k es th e
D aily P ro phet
se rio usly ,' sa id H erm io ne ta rtly , an d th e
oth ers a ll n odded .
'W hat a re y ou t a lk in g a b out? ' H arry a sk ed , l o okin g a ro und a t t h em a ll. T hey
were a ll r e g ard in g h im w arily .
'H av en 't – h av en 't y ou b een g ettin g th e
D aily P ro phet
!' H erm io ne a sk ed
nerv ously .
'Y eah , I h av e!' s a id H arry .

'H av e y ou – e r – b een re ad in g it th oro ughly ?' H erm io ne a sk ed , s till m ore
an xio usly .
'N ot c o ver to c o ver,' s a id H arry d efe n siv ely . 'I f th ey w ere g oin g to re p ort
an yth in g a b out V old em ort i t w ould b e h ead lin e n ew s, w ould n't i t? '
The o th ers flin ch ed a t th e s o und o f th e n am e. H erm io ne h urrie d o n, 'W ell,
you'd n eed to r e ad it c o ver to c o ver to p ic k it u p, b ut th ey – u m – th ey m en tio n
you a c o uple o f t im es a w eek .'
'B ut I 'd h av e s e en - '
'N ot if you'v e only been re ad in g th e fro nt pag e, you w ould n't ,' sa id
Herm io ne, s h ak in g h er h ead . 'I 'm n ot ta lk in g a b out b ig a rtic le s. T hey ju st s lip
you i n , l ik e y ou'r e a s ta n din g j o ke.'
'W hat d 'y ou - ? '
'I t's q uite n asty , a ctu ally ,' s a id H erm io ne in a v oic e o f f o rc ed c alm . T hey 'r e
ju st b uild in g o n R ita 's s tu ff .'
'B ut s h e's n ot w ritin g f o r t h em a n y m ore , i s s h e?'
'O h, n o, s h e's k ep t h er p ro m is e – n ot th at s h e's g ot a n y c h oic e,' H erm io ne
ad ded w ith s a tis fa ctio n. 'B ut s h e l a id t h e f o undatio n f o r w hat t h ey 'r e t r y in g t o d o
now .'
'W hic h i s w hat? ' s a id H arry i m patie n tly .
'O K, y ou k now s h e w ro te th at y ou w ere c o lla p sin g a ll o ver th e p la ce a n d
sa y in g y our s c ar w as h urtin g a n d a ll t h at? '
'Y eah ,' s a id H arry , w ho w as n ot lik ely to f o rg et R ita S keete rs s to rie s a b out
him i n a h urry .
'W ell, th ey 'r e w ritin g a b out y ou a s th ough y ou'r e th is d elu ded , a tte n tio n-
se ek in g p ers o n w ho t h in ks h e's a g re at t r a g ic h ero o r s o m eth in g,' s a id H erm io ne,
very fa st, a s th ough it w ould b e le ss u nple asa n t fo r H arry to h ear th ese fa cts
quic k ly . 'T hey k eep s lip pin g in s n id e c o m men ts a b out y ou. If s o m e fa r- fe tc h ed
sto ry a p pears , th ey s a y s o m eth in g lik e, " A ta le w orth y o f H arry P otte r" , a n d if
an yone h as a f u nny a ccid en t o r a n yth in g it's , " L et's h ope h e h asn 't g ot a s c ar o n
his f o re h ead o r w e'l l b e a sk ed t o w ors h ip h im n ex t" - '
'I d on't w an t a n yone t o w ors h ip - ' H arry b eg an h otly .
'I k now y ou d on't ,' sa id H erm io ne q uic k ly , lo okin g frig hte n ed . 'I
kn ow
,
Harry . B ut y ou se e w hat th ey 'r e d oin g? T hey w an t to tu rn y ou in to so m eo ne
nobody w ill b elie v e. F udge is b eh in d it, I 'l l b et a n yth in g. T hey w an t w iz ard s o n
th e s tr e et to th in k y ou'r e ju st s o m e s tu pid b oy w ho's a b it o f a jo ke, w ho te lls
rid ic u lo us t a ll s to rie s b ecau se h e l o ves b ein g f a m ous a n d w an ts t o k eep i t g oin g.'
'I d id n't a sk – I d id n't w an t -
V o ld em ort k ille d m y
p are n ts !' H arry s p lu tte re d .
'I g ot f a m ous b ecau se h e m urd ere d m y f a m ily b ut c o uld n't k ill m e! W ho w an ts t o
be f a m ous f o r t h at? D on't t h ey t h in k I 'd r a th er i t'd n ev er - '

'W e
k n ow
, H arry ,' s a id G in ny e arn estly .
'A nd o f c o urs e , th ey d id n't re p ort a w ord a b out th e D em en to rs a tta ck in g
you,' sa id H erm io ne. 'S om eo ne's to ld th em to k eep th at q uie t. T hat sh ould 'v e
been a re ally b ig sto ry , o ut- o f-c o ntr o l D em en to rs . T hey h av en 't e v en re p orte d
th at y ou b ro ke th e In te rn atio nal S ta tu te o f S ecre cy. W e th ought th ey w ould , it
would tie in s o w ell w ith th is im ag e o f y ou a s s o m e s tu pid s h ow -o ff . W e th in k
th ey 'r e b id in g th eir tim e u ntil y ou'r e e x pelle d , th en th ey 'r e r e ally g oin g to g o to
to w n – I m ean , if y ou'r e e x pelle d , o bvio usly ,' s h e w en t o n h astily . 'Y ou re ally
sh ould n't b e, n ot i f t h ey a b id e b y t h eir o w n l a w s, t h ere 's n o c ase a g ain st y ou.'
They w ere b ack o n th e h earin g a n d H arry d id n ot w an t to th in k a b out th at.
He c ast a ro und fo r a n oth er c h an ge o f su bje ct, b ut w as sa v ed th e n ecessity o f
fin din g o ne b y t h e s o und o f f o ots te p s c o m in g u p t h e s ta ir s .
'U h o h.'
Fre d g av e th e E xte n dab le E ar a h earty tu g; th ere w as a n oth er lo ud c ra ck
an d he an d G eo rg e van is h ed . S eco nds la te r, M rs W easle y ap peare d in th e
bed ro om d oorw ay.
'T he m eetin g's o ver, y ou c an c o m e d ow n a n d h av e d in ner n ow . E very one's
dyin g t o s e e y ou, H arry . A nd w ho's l e ft a ll t h ose D ungbom bs o uts id e t h e k itc h en
door? '
'C ro oksh an ks,' s a id G in ny u nblu sin gly . 'H e l o ves p la y in g w ith t h em .'
'O h,' s a id M rs W easle y, 'I th ought it m ig ht h av e b een K re ach er, h e k eep s
doin g o dd th in gs lik e th at. N ow d on't fo rg et to k eep y our v oic es d ow n in th e
hall. G in ny, y our h an ds a re f ilth y, w hat h av e y ou b een d oin g? G o a n d w ash t h em
befo re d in ner, p le ase .'
Gin ny g rim aced a t th e o th ers a n d fo llo w ed h er m oth er o ut o f th e ro om ,
le av in g H arry a lo ne w ith R on a n d H erm io ne. B oth o f th em w ere w atc h in g h im
ap pre h en siv ely , a s th ough th ey fe are d h e w ould sta rt sh outin g a g ain n ow th at
ev ery one e ls e h ad g one. T he s ig ht o f th em lo okin g s o n erv ous m ad e h im fe el
slig htly a sh am ed .
'L ook… ' h e m utte re d , b ut R on s h ook h is h ead , a n d H erm io ne s a id q uie tly ,
'W e k new y ou'd b e a n gry , H arry , w e re ally d on't b la m e y ou, b ut y ou'v e g ot to
unders ta n d, w e
d id
t r y t o p ers u ad e D um ble d ore - '
'Y eah , I k now ,' s a id H arry s h ortly .
He c ast a ro und fo r a to pic th at d id n't in volv e h is h ead m aste r, b ecau se th e
very t h ought o f D um ble d ore m ad e H arry 's i n sid es b urn w ith a n ger a g ain .
'W ho's K re ach er? ' h e a sk ed .
The h ouse -e lf w ho l iv es h ere ,' s a id R on. 'N utte r. N ev er m et o ne l ik e h im .'
Herm io ne f ro w ned a t R on.
'H e's n ot a
n utte r
, R on.'

'H is lif e 's a m bitio n is to h av e h is h ead c u t o ff a n d s tu ck u p o n a p la q ue ju st
lik e h is m oth er,' s a id R on i r rita b ly . 'I s t h at n orm al, H erm io ne?'
'W ell – w ell, i f h e i s a b it s tr a n ge, i t's n ot h is f a u lt.'
Ron r o lle d h is e y es a t H arry .
'H erm io ne s till h asn 't g iv en u p o n S PE W - '
'I t's n ot S PE W !' s a id H erm io ne h eate d ly . 'I t's th e S ocie ty f o r th e P ro m otio n
of E lf is h W elf a re . A nd it's n ot ju st m e, D um ble d ore s a y s w e s h ould b e k in d to
Kre ach er t o o.'
'Y eah , y eah ,' s a id R on. 'C 'm on, I 'm s ta rv in g.'
He le d th e w ay o ut o f th e d oor a n d o n to th e la n din g, b ut b efo re th ey c o uld
desc en d t h e s ta ir s -
'H old it! ' R on b re ath ed , flin gin g o ut a n a rm to sto p H arry a n d H erm io ne
walk in g an y fu rth er. They 'r e still in th e hall, w e m ig ht be ab le to hear
so m eth in g.'
The th re e of th em lo oked ca u tio usly over th e ban is te rs . T he glo om y
hallw ay b elo w w as p ack ed w ith w itc h es a n d w iz ard s, in clu din g a ll o f H arry s
guard . T hey w ere w his p erin g e x cite d ly to geth er. I n th e v ery c en tr e o f th e g ro up
Harry s a w t h e d ark , g re asy -h air e d h ead a n d p ro m in en t n ose o f h is l e ast f a v ourite
te ach er a t H ogw arts , P ro fe sso r S nap e. H arry le an t f u rth er o ver th e b an is te rs . H e
was v ery i n te re ste d i n w hat S nap e w as d oin g f o r t h e O rd er o f t h e P hoen ix …
A th in p ie ce o f fle sh -c o lo ure d str in g d esc en ded in fro nt o f H arry s e y es.
Lookin g u p, h e s a w E re d a n d G eo rg e o n th e la n din g a b ove, c au tio usly lo w erin g
th e E xte n dab le E ar to w ard s th e d ark k not o f p eo ple b elo w . A m om en t la te r,
how ev er, t h ey a ll b eg an t o m ove t o w ard s t h e f ro nt d oor a n d o ut o f s ig ht.
'D am mit,' H arry h eard F re d w his p er, a s h e h ois te d th e E xte n dab le E ar b ack
up a g ain .
They h eard t h e f ro nt d oor o pen , t h en c lo se .
'S nap e n ev er e ats h ere ,' R on t o ld H arry q uie tly . T han k G od. C 'm on.'
'A nd d on't fo rg et to k eep y our v oic e d ow n in th e h all, H arry ,' H erm io ne
whis p ere d .
As t h ey p asse d t h e r o w o f h ouse -e lf h ead s o n t h e w all, t h ey s a w L upin , M rs
Weasle y a n d T onks a t th e f ro nt d oor, m ag ic ally s e alin g its m an y lo ck s a n d b olts
beh in d t h ose w ho h ad j u st l e ft.
'W e'r e e atin g d ow n i n t h e k itc h en ,' M rs W easle y w his p ere d , m eetin g t h em a t
th e b otto m o f th e sta ir s . 'H arry , d ear, if y ou'l l ju st tip to e acro ss th e h all, it's
th ro ugh t h is d oor h ere - '
CRA SH .
' To nks
!' c rie d M rs W easle y i n e x asp era tio n, t u rn in g t o l o ok b eh in d h er.
'I 'm s o rry !' w aile d T onks, w ho w as ly in g fla t o n th e flo or. 'I t's th at s tu pid

um bre lla s ta n d, t h at's t h e s e co nd t im e I 'v e t r ip ped o ver - '
But th e r e st o f h er w ord s w ere d ro w ned b y a h orrib le , e ar- s p littin g, b lo od-
cu rd lin g s c re ech .
The m oth -e ate n v elv et c u rta in s H arry h ad p asse d e arlie r h ad flo w n a p art,
but th ere w as n o d oor b eh in d th em . F or a s p lit s e co nd, H arry th ought h e w as
lo okin g t h ro ugh a w in dow , a w in dow b eh in d w hic h a n o ld w om an i n a b la ck c ap
was sc re am in g an d sc re am in g as th ough sh e w ere b ein g to rtu re d – th en h e
re alis e d it w as sim ply a lif e -s iz e p ortr a it, b ut th e m ost re alis tic , a n d th e m ost
unple asa n t, h e h ad e v er s e en i n h is l if e .
The o ld w om an w as d ro olin g, h er e y es w ere r o llin g, th e y ello w in g s k in o f
her f a ce s tr e tc h ed ta u t a s s h e s c re am ed ; a n d a ll a lo ng th e h all b eh in d th em , th e
oth er p ortr a its a w oke a n d b eg an to y ell, to o, s o th at H arry a ctu ally s c re w ed u p
his e y es a t t h e n ois e a n d c la p ped h is h an ds o ver h is e ars .
Lupin a n d M rs W easle y d arte d fo rw ard a n d tr ie d to tu g th e c u rta in s s h ut
over th e o ld w om an , b ut th ey w ould n ot c lo se a n d sh e sc re ech ed lo uder th an
ev er, b ra n dis h in g c la w ed h an ds a s t h ough t r y in g t o t e ar a t t h eir f a ces.
'F ilth ! S cu m ! B y-p ro ducts o f d ir t a nd v ile n ess! H alf- b re ed s, m uta nts , f r e a ks,
beg one f r o m t h is p la ce! H ow d are y o u b efo ul t h e h ouse o f m y f a th ers - '
Tonks a p olo gis e d o ver a n d o ver a g ain , d ra g gin g th e h uge, h eav y tr o ll's le g
back o ff th e f lo or; M rs W easle y a b an doned th e a tte m pt to c lo se th e c u rta in s a n d
hurrie d u p a n d d ow n th e h all, s tu nnin g a ll th e o th er p ortr a its w ith h er w an d; a n d
a m an w ith l o ng b la ck h air c am e c h arg in g o ut o f a d oor f a cin g H arry .
'S hut u p, y ou h orrib le o ld h ag , s h ut U P!' h e r o are d , s e iz in g th e c u rta in M rs
Weasle y h ad a b an doned .
The o ld w om an 's f a ce b la n ch ed .
' Yo ooou
!' sh e h ow le d , h er ey es p oppin g at th e sig ht o f th e m an . 'B lo od
tr a ito r, a bom in atio n, s h am e o f m y f le sh
!'
'I s a id – s h ut – U P!' ro are d th e m an , a n d w ith a s tu pen dous e ff o rt h e a n d
Lupin m an ag ed t o f o rc e t h e c u rta in s c lo se d a g ain .
The old w om an 's sc re ech es die d an d an ech oin g sile n ce fe ll. Pan tin g
slig htly a n d s w eep in g h is l o ng d ark h air o ut o f h is e y es, H arry 's g odfa th er S ir iu s
tu rn ed t o f a ce h im .
'H ello , H arry ,' h e s a id g rim ly , 'I s e e y ou'v e m et m y m oth er.'

C H APT ER F IV E
T he O rd er o f t h e P hoen ix

'Y our - ? '
'M y d ear o ld m um , y eah ,' s a id S ir iu s. 'W e'v e b een t r y in g t o g et h er d ow n f o r
a m onth b ut w e th in k s h e p ut a P erm an en t S tic k in g C harm o n th e b ack o f th e
c an vas. L et's g et d ow nsta ir s , q uic k , b efo re t h ey a ll w ak e u p a g ain .'
'B ut w hat's a p ortr a it o f y our m oth er d oin g h ere ?' H arry a sk ed , b ew ild ere d ,
a s th ey w en t th ro ugh th e d oor fro m th e h all a n d le d th e w ay d ow n a flig ht o f
n arro w s to ne s te p s, t h e o th ers j u st b eh in d t h em .
'H asn 't a n yone to ld y ou? T his w as m y p are n ts ' h ouse ,' s a id S ir iu s. 'B ut I 'm
t h e la st B la ck le ft, s o it's m in e n ow . I o ff e re d it to D um ble d ore f o r H ead quarte rs
– a b out t h e o nly u se fu l t h in g I 'v e b een a b le t o d o.'
Harry , w ho h ad ex pecte d a b ette r w elc o m e, n ote d h ow h ard an d b itte r
S ir iu s's v oic e s o unded . H e f o llo w ed h is g odfa th er to th e b otto m o f th e s te p s a n d
t h ro ugh a d oor l e ad in g i n to t h e b ase m en t k itc h en .
It w as sc arc ely le ss g lo om y th an th e h all a b ove, a c av ern ous ro om w ith
r o ugh s to ne w alls . M ost o f th e lig ht w as c o m in g f ro m a la rg e f ir e a t th e f a r e n d
o f th e ro om . A h aze o f p ip e sm oke h ung in th e a ir lik e b attle fu m es, th ro ugh
w hic h lo om ed th e m en acin g s h ap es o f h eav y ir o n p ots a n d p an s h an gin g fro m
t h e d ark c eilin g. M an y c h air s h ad b een c ra m med in to th e r o om f o r th e m eetin g
a n d a lo ng w ooden ta b le sto od in th e m id dle o f th em , litte re d w ith ro lls o f
p arc h m en t, g oble ts , e m pty w in e b ottle s, a n d a h eap o f w hat a p peare d to b e r a g s.
M r W easle y a n d h is e ld est s o n B ill w ere t a lk in g q uie tly w ith t h eir h ead s t o geth er
a t t h e e n d o f t h e t a b le .
Mrs W easle y c le are d h er th ro at. H er h usb an d, a th in , b ald in g, re d -h air e d
m an w ho w ore h orn -rim med g la sse s, l o oked a ro und a n d j u m ped t o h is f e et.
'H arry !' M r W easle y s a id , h urry in g fo rw ard to g re et h im , a n d s h ak in g h is
h an d v ig oro usly . 'G ood t o s e e y ou!'
Over h is s h ould er H arry s a w B ill, w ho s till w ore h is l o ng h air i n a p onyta il,
h astily r o llin g u p t h e l e n gth s o f p arc h m en t l e ft o n t h e t a b le .
'J o urn ey a ll rig ht, H arry ?' B ill c alle d , tr y in g to g ath er u p tw elv e s c ro lls a t
o nce. 'M ad -E ye d id n't m ak e y ou c o m e v ia G re en la n d, t h en ?'
'H e tr ie d ,' s a id T onks, s tr id in g o ver to h elp B ill a n d im med ia te ly to pplin g a
c an dle o n t o t h e l a st p ie ce o f p arc h m en t. 'O h n o -
s o rry -
'H ere , d ear,' s a id M rs W easle y, s o undin g e x asp era te d , a n d s h e r e p air e d th e

parc h m en t w ith a w av e of her w an d. In th e fla sh of lig ht cau se d by M rs
Weasle y 's ch arm H arry cau ght a g lim pse o f w hat lo oked lik e th e p la n o f a
build in g.
Mrs W easle y h ad s e en h im lo okin g. S he s n atc h ed th e p la n o ff th e ta b le a n d
stu ff e d i t i n to B ill's a lr e ad y o verla d en a rm s.
'T his so rt of th in g ought to be cle are d aw ay pro m ptly at th e en d of
meetin gs,' sh e sn ap ped , b efo re sw eep in g o ff to w ard s a n a n cie n t d re sse r fro m
whic h s h e s ta rte d u nlo ad in g d in ner p la te s.
Bill t o ok o ut h is w an d, m utte re d , '
Eva nesc o
!' a n d t h e s c ro lls v an is h ed .
'S it d ow n, H arry ,' s a id S ir iu s. 'Y ou'v e m et M undungus, h av en 't y ou?'
The th in g H arry h ad ta k en to b e a p ile o f ra g s g av e a p ro lo nged , g ru ntin g
sn ore , t h en j e rk ed a w ak e.
'S om e'n s a y m 'n am e?' M undungus m um ble d s le ep ily . 'I 'g re e w ith S ir iu s… '
He r a is e d a v ery g ru bby h an d in th e a ir a s th ough v otin g, h is d ro opy, b lo odsh ot
ey es u nfo cu se d .
Gin ny g ig gle d .
'T he m eetin g's o ver, D ung,' s a id S ir iu s, a s th ey a ll s a t d ow n a ro und h im a t
th e t a b le . 'H arry 's a rriv ed .'
'E h?' s a id M undungus, p eerin g b ale fu lly a t H arry t h ro ugh h is m atte d g in ger
hair. 'B lim ey, s o 'e 'a s. Y eah … y ou a ll r ig ht, 'A ny?'
'Y eah ,' s a id H arry .
Mundungus fu m ble d n erv ously in h is p ock ets , still sta rin g a t H arry , a n d
pulle d o ut a g rim y b la ck p ip e. H e s tu ck i t i n h is m outh , i g nite d t h e e n d o f i t w ith
his w an d a n d to ok a d eep p ull o n it. G re at b illo w in g c lo uds o f g re en is h s m oke
obsc u re d h im w ith in s e co nds.
'O we y ou a 'p olo gy,' g ru nte d a v oic e f ro m t h e m id dle o f t h e s m elly c lo ud.
'F or th e la st tim e, M undungus,' c alle d M rs W easle y, 'w ill y ou p le ase
n ot
sm oke t h at t h in g i n t h e k itc h en , e sp ecia lly n ot w hen w e'r e a b out t o e at! '
'A h,' s a id M undungus. 'R ig ht. S orry , M olly .'
The c lo ud o f s m oke v an is h ed a s M undungus s to w ed h is p ip e b ack in h is
pock et, b ut a n a crid s m ell o f b urn in g s o ck s l in gere d .
'A nd i f y ou w an t d in ner b efo re m id nig ht I 'l l n eed a h an d,' M rs W easle y s a id
to th e r o om a t la rg e. 'N o, y ou c an s ta y w here y ou a re , H arry d ear, y ou'v e h ad a
lo ng j o urn ey.'
'W hat c an I d o, M olly ?' s a id T onks e n th usia stic ally , b oundin g f o rw ard s.
Mrs W easle y h esita te d , l o okin g a p pre h en siv e.
'E r – n o, i t's a ll r ig ht, T onks, y ou h av e a r e st t o o, y ou'v e d one e n ough t o day.'
'N o, n o, I w an t to h elp !' s a id T onks b rig htly , k nock in g o ver a c h air a s s h e
hurrie d t o w ard s t h e d re sse r, f ro m w hic h G in ny w as c o lle ctin g c u tle ry .

Soon, a s e rie s o f h eav y k niv es w ere c h oppin g m eat a n d v eg eta b le s o f th eir
ow n a cco rd , s u perv is e d b y M r W easle y, w hile M rs W easle y s tir re d a c au ld ro n
dan glin g o ver t h e f ir e a n d t h e o th ers t o ok o ut p la te s, m ore g oble ts a n d f o od f ro m
th e p an tr y . H arry w as le ft a t th e ta b le w ith S ir iu s a n d M undungus, w ho w as s till
blin kin g a t h im m ourn fu lly .
'S een o ld F ig gy s in ce?' h e a sk ed .
'N o,' s a id H arry , 'I h av en 't s e en a n yone.'
'S ee, I w ould n't 'a v e l e ft,' s a id M undungus, l e an in g f o rw ard , a p le ad in g n ote
in h is v oic e, 'b ut I 'a d a b usin ess o pportu nity - '
Harry fe lt s o m eth in g b ru sh a g ain st h is k nees a n d s ta rte d , b ut it w as o nly
Cro oksh an ks, H erm io ne's b an dy-le g ged g in ger cat, w ho w ound h im se lf o nce
aro und H arry 's l e g s, p urrin g, t h en ju m ped o n to S ir iu s's la p a n d c u rle d u p. S ir iu s
sc ra tc h ed h im a b se n t- m in ded ly b eh in d th e e ars a s h e tu rn ed , s till g rim -fa ced , to
Harry .
'H ad a g ood s u m mer s o f a r? '
'N o, i t's b een l o usy ,' s a id H arry .
For t h e f ir s t t im e, s o m eth in g l ik e a g rin f litte d a cro ss S ir iu s's f a ce.
'D on't k now w hat y ou'r e c o m pla in in g a b out, m yse lf .'
' What
?' s a id H arry i n cre d ulo usly .
'P ers o nally , I 'd h av e w elc o m ed a D em en to r a tta ck . A d ead ly s tr u ggle f o r m y
so ul w ould h av e b ro ken th e m onoto ny n ic ely . Y ou th in k y ou'v e h ad it b ad , a t
le ast y ou'v e b een a b le to g et o ut a n d a b out, str e tc h y our le g s, g et in to a fe w
fig hts … I 'v e b een s tu ck i n sid e f o r a m onth .'
'H ow c o m e?' a sk ed H arry , f ro w nin g.
'B ecau se t h e M in is tr y o f M ag ic 's s till a fte r m e, a n d V old em ort w ill k now a ll
ab out m e b ein g a n A nim ag us b y n ow , W orm ta il w ill h av e to ld h im , s o m y b ig
dis g uis e is u se le ss. T here 's n ot m uch I c an d o f o r th e O rd er o f th e P hoen ix … o r
so D um ble d ore f e els .'
There w as so m eth in g a b out th e slig htly fla tte n ed to ne o f v oic e in w hic h
Sir iu s u tte re d D um ble d ore 's n am e th at to ld H arry th at S ir iu s, to o, w as n ot v ery
hap py w ith th e H ead m aste r. H arry fe lt a su dden u psu rg e o f a ff e ctio n fo r h is
godfa th er.
At l e ast y ou'v e k now n w hat's b een g oin g o n,' h e s a id b ra cin gly .
'O h y eah ,' s a id S ir iu s s a rc astic ally . 'L is te n in g to S nap e's re p orts , h av in g to
ta k e a ll h is s n id e h in ts th at h e's o ut th ere ris k in g h is lif e w hile I'm s a t o n m y
back sid e h ere h av in g a n ic e c o m fo rta b le tim e… a sk in g m e h ow th e c le an in gs
goin g - '
'W hat c le an in g?' a sk ed H arry .
Try in g to m ak e th is p la ce fit fo r h um an h ab ita tio n,' s a id S ir iu s, w av in g a

han d a ro und th e d is m al k itc h en . 'N o o ne's liv ed h ere f o r te n y ears , n ot s in ce m y
dear m oth er d ie d , u nle ss y ou c o unt h er o ld h ouse -e lf , a n d h e's g one ro und th e
tw is t – h asn 't c le an ed a n yth in g i n a g es.'
'S ir iu s,' s a id M undungus, w ho d id n ot a p pear to h av e p aid a n y a tte n tio n to
th e c o nvers a tio n, b ut h ad b een c lo se ly e x am in in g a n e m pty g oble t. 'T his s o lid
silv er, m ate ?'
'Y es,' s a id S ir iu s, s u rv ey in g i t w ith d is ta ste . 'F in est f if te en th -c en tu ry g oblin -
wro ught s ilv er, e m bosse d w ith t h e B la ck f a m ily c re st.'
That'd c o m e o rf, t h ough,' m utte re d M undungus, p olis h in g i t w ith h is c u ff .
'F re d – G eo rg e – N O, J U ST C A RRY T H EM !' M rs W easle y s h rie k ed .
Harry , S ir iu s a n d M undungus lo oked r o und a n d, w ith in a s p lit s e co nd, th ey
had d iv ed a w ay f ro m th e ta b le . F re d a n d G eo rg e h ad b ew itc h ed a la rg e c au ld ro n
of s te w , a n ir o n f la g on o f B utte rb eer a n d a h eav y w ooden b re ad board , c o m ple te
with k nif e , to h urtle th ro ugh th e a ir to w ard s th em . T he s te w s k id ded th e le n gth
of th e ta b le a n d c am e to a h alt ju st b efo re th e e n d, le av in g a lo ng b la ck b urn o n
th e w ooden su rfa ce; th e fla g on of B utte rb eer fe ll w ith a cra sh , sp illin g its
co nte n ts e v ery w here ; th e b re ad k nif e slip ped o ff th e b oard a n d la n ded , p oin t
dow n an d quiv erin g om in ously , ex actly w here S ir iu s's rig ht han d had been
se co nds b efo re .
'F O R H EAV EN 'S SA KE!' sc re am ed M rs W easle y. T H ER E W AS N O
NEED – I'V E H AD EN OUGH O F TH IS – JU ST B EC A USE Y OU'R E
ALLO W ED T O U SE M AGIC N OW , Y OU D ON'T H AV E T O W HIP Y OUR
WANDS O UT F O R E V ER Y T IN Y L IT TLE T H IN G!'
'W e w ere ju st tr y in g to s a v e a b it o f tim e!' s a id F re d , h urry in g fo rw ard to
wre n ch t h e b re ad k nif e o ut o f t h e t a b le . 'S orry , S ir iu s, m ate – d id n't m ean t o - '
Harry an d Sir iu s w ere both la u ghin g; M undungus, w ho had to pple d
back w ard s o ff h is c h air , w as sw earin g a s h e g ot to h is fe et; C ro oksh an ks h ad
giv en a n a n gry h is s a n d s h ot o ff u nder th e d re sse r, f ro m w here h is la rg e y ello w
ey es g lo w ed i n t h e d ark ness.
'B oys,' M r W easle y s a id , lif tin g th e s te w b ack in to th e m id dle o f th e ta b le ,
'y our m oth er's rig ht, y ou'r e su ppose d to sh ow a se n se o f re sp onsib ility n ow
you'v e c o m e o f a g e - '
'N one o f y our b ro th ers c au se d th is s o rt o f tr o uble !' M rs W easle y ra g ed a t
th e tw in s as sh e sla m med a fre sh fla g on o f B utte rb eer o n to th e ta b le , an d
sp illin g a lm ost a s m uch a g ain . 'B ill d id n't fe el th e n eed to A ppara te e v ery fe w
fe et! C harlie d id n't c h arm e v ery th in g h e m et! P erc y - '
She sto pped dead , catc h in g her bre ath w ith a frig hte n ed lo ok at her
husb an d, w hose e x pre ssio n w as s u dden ly w ooden .
'L et's e at,' s a id B ill q uic k ly .

'I t lo oks w onderfu l, M olly ,' s a id L upin , la d lin g s te w o n to a p la te fo r h er
an d h an din g i t a cro ss t h e t a b le .
For a f e w m in ute s th ere w as s ile n ce b ut f o r th e c h in k o f p la te s a n d c u tle ry
an d th e sc ra p in g o f c h air s a s e v ery one se ttle d d ow n to th eir fo od. T hen M rs
Weasle y t u rn ed t o S ir iu s.
'I 'v e b een m ean in g to te ll y ou, S ir iu s, th ere 's so m eth in g tr a p ped in th at
writin g d esk in th e d ra w in g ro om , it k eep s ra ttlin g a n d sh ak in g. O f c o urs e , it
co uld j u st b e a B oggart, b ut I t h ought w e o ught t o a sk A la sto r t o h av e a l o ok a t i t
befo re w e l e t i t o ut.'
'W hate v er y ou l ik e,' s a id S ir iu s i n dif f e re n tly .
'T he cu rta in s in th ere are fu ll o f D oxys, to o,' M rs W easle y w en t o n. 'I
th ought w e m ig ht t r y a n d t a ck le t h em t o m orro w .'
'I lo ok f o rw ard to it,' s a id S ir iu s. H arry h eard th e s a rc asm in h is v oic e, b ut
he w as n ot s u re t h at a n yone e ls e d id .
Opposite Harry , Tonks was en te rta in in g Herm io ne an d Gin ny by
tr a n sfo rm in g h er n ose b etw een m outh fu ls . S cre w in g u p h er e y es e ach tim e w ith
th e sa m e p ain ed e x pre ssio n sh e h ad w orn b ack in H arry 's b ed ro om , h er n ose
sw elle d to a b eak -lik e p ro tu bera n ce th at r e se m ble d S nap e's , s h ra n k to th e s iz e o f
a b utto n m ush ro om a n d th en sp ro ute d a g re at d eal o f h air fro m e ach n ostr il.
Appare n tly th is w as a re g ula r m ealtim e e n te rta in m en t, b ecau se H erm io ne a n d
Gin ny w ere s o on r e q uestin g t h eir f a v ourite n ose s.
'D o t h at o ne l ik e a p ig s n out, T onks.'
Tonks o blig ed , a n d H arry , lo okin g u p, h ad th e fle etin g im pre ssio n th at a
fe m ale D udle y w as g rin nin g a t h im f ro m a cro ss t h e t a b le .
Mr W easle y, B ill an d L upin w ere hav in g an in te n se dis c u ssio n ab out
goblin s.
They 'r e n ot g iv in g an yth in g aw ay y et,' sa id B ill. 'I still can 't w ork o ut
wheth er o r n ot t h ey b elie v e h e's b ack . C ours e , t h ey m ig ht p re fe r n ot t o t a k e s id es
at a ll. K eep o ut o f i t.'
'I 'm su re th ey 'd nev er go over to Y ou-K now -W ho,' sa id M r W easle y,
sh ak in g h is h ead . T hey 'v e s u ff e re d lo sse s to o; re m em ber th at g oblin fa m ily h e
murd ere d l a st t im e, s o m ew here n ear N ottin gham ?'
'I th in k it d ep en ds w hat th ey 'r e o ff e re d ,' s a id L upin . 'A nd I'm n ot ta lk in g
ab out gold . If th ey 'r e off e re d th e fre ed om s w e'v e been den yin g th em fo r
cen tu rie s th ey 'r e g oin g to b e te m pte d . H av e y ou still n ot h ad an y lu ck w ith
Rag nok, B ill? '
'H e's f e elin g p re tty a n ti- w iz ard a t th e m om en t,' s a id B ill, 'h e h asn 't s to pped
ra g in g a b out t h e B ag m an b usin ess, h e r e ck ons t h e M in is tr y d id a c o ver- u p, t h ose
goblin s n ev er g ot t h eir g old f ro m h im , y ou k now - '

A g ale o f la u ghte r fro m th e m id dle o f th e ta b le d ro w ned th e re st o f B ill's
word s. F re d , G eo rg e, R on a n d M undungus w ere r o llin g a ro und i n t h eir s e ats .
'… a n d t h en ,' c h oked M undungus, t e ars r u nnin g d ow n h is f a ce, 'a n d t h en , i f
you'l l b elie v e it, 'e sa y s to m e, 'e sa y s, " 'E re , D ung, w here d id ja g et a ll th em
to ad s f ro m ? 'C os s o m e s o n o f a B lu dger's g one a n d n ic k ed a ll m in e!" A nd I s a y s,
"N ic k ed a ll y our t o ad s, W ill, w hat n ex t? S o y ou'l l b e w an tin g s o m e m ore , t h en ?"
And if y ou'l l b elie v e m e, la d s, th e g orm le ss g arg oyle b uys a ll 'i s o w n to ad s b ack
orf m e f o r a l o t m ore 'n w hat 'e p aid i n t h e f ir s t p la ce - '
'1 d on't th in k w e n eed to h ear a n y m ore o f y our b usin ess d ealin gs, th an k
you very m uch , M undungus,' sa id M rs W easle y sh arp ly , as R on slu m ped
fo rw ard s o n t o t h e t a b le , h ow lin g w ith l a u ghte r.
'B eg p ard on, M olly ,' s a id M undungus a t o nce, w ip in g h is e y es a n d w in kin g
at H arry . 'B ut, y ou k now , W ill n ic k ed 'e m o rf W arty H arris in th e f ir s t p la ce s o I
wasn 't r e ally d oin g n oth in g w ro ng.'
'I d on't k now w here y ou le arn ed a b out rig ht a n d w ro ng, M undungus, b ut
you s e em t o h av e m is se d a f e w c ru cia l l e sso ns,' s a id M rs W easle y c o ld ly .
Fre d a n d G eo rg e b urie d th eir fa ces in th eir g oble ts o f B utte rb eer; G eo rg e
was h ic co ughin g. F or so m e re aso n, M rs W easle y th re w a v ery n asty lo ok a t
Sir iu s b efo re g ettin g to h er fe et a n d g oin g to fe tc h a la rg e rh ubarb c ru m ble fo r
puddin g. H arry l o oked r o und a t h is g odfa th er.
'M olly d oesn 't a p pro ve o f M undungus,' s a id S ir iu s i n a n u nderto ne.
'H ow c o m e h e's i n t h e O rd er? ' H arry s a id , v ery q uie tly .
'H e's use fu l,' S ir iu s m utte re d . 'K now s all th e cro oks – w ell, he w ould ,
se ein g a s h e's o ne h im se lf . B ut h e's a ls o v ery lo yal to D um ble d ore , w ho h elp ed
him o ut o f a t ig ht s p ot o nce. I t p ay s t o h av e s o m eo ne l ik e D ung a ro und, h e h ears
th in gs w e d on't . B ut M olly t h in k s i n vitin g h im t o s ta y f o r d in ner i s g oin g t o o f a r.
She h asn 't f o rg iv en h im f o r s lip pin g o ff d uty w hen h e w as s u ppose d t o b e t a ilin g
you.'
Thre e h elp in gs o f rh ubarb c ru m ble a n d c u sta rd la te r a n d th e w ais tb an d o n
Harry s je an s w as fe elin g u nco m fo rta b ly tig ht (w hic h w as s a y in g s o m eth in g a s
th e je an s h ad o nce b een D udle y 's ). A s h e la id d ow n h is s p oon th ere w as a lu ll in
th e g en era l c o nvers a tio n: M r W easle y w as le an in g b ack in h is c h air , lo okin g
re p le te a n d re la x ed ; T onks w as y aw nin g w id ely , h er n ose n ow b ack to n orm al;
an d G in ny w ho h ad lu re d C ro oksh an ks o ut fro m u nder th e d re sse r, w as s ittin g
cro ss-le g ged o n t h e f lo or, r o llin g B utte rb eer c o rk s f o r h im t o c h ase .
'N early t im e f o r b ed , I t h in k,' s a id M rs W easle y w ith a y aw n.
'N ot ju st y et, M olly ' s a id S ir iu s, p ush in g a w ay h is e m pty p la te a n d tu rn in g
to lo ok a t H arry . 'Y ou k now , I 'm s u rp ris e d a t y ou. I th ought th e f ir s t th in g y ou'd
do w hen y ou g ot h ere w ould b e t o s ta rt a sk in g q uestio ns a b out V old em ort.'

The a tm osp here in th e ro om c h an ged w ith th e ra p id ity H arry a sso cia te d
with th e arriv al of D em en to rs . W here se co nds befo re it had been sle ep ily
re la x ed , it w as n ow a le rt, e v en te n se . A f ris so n h ad g one a ro und th e ta b le a t th e
men tio n o f V old em ort's n am e. L upin , w ho h ad b een a b out to ta k e a s ip o f w in e,
lo w ere d h is g oble t s lo w ly , l o okin g w ary .
'I d id !' sa id H arry in dig nan tly . 'I a sk ed R on a n d H erm io ne b ut th ey sa id
we'r e n ot a llo w ed i n t h e O rd er, s o - '
'A nd t h ey 'r e q uite r ig ht,' s a id M rs W easle y. 'Y ou'r e t o o y oung.'
She w as sittin g b olt u prig ht in h er c h air , h er fis ts c le n ch ed o n its a rm s,
ev ery t r a ce o f d ro w sin ess g one.
'S in ce w hen d id so m eo ne h av e to b e in th e O rd er o f th e P hoen ix to a sk
questio ns? ' a sk ed S ir iu s. 'H arry 's b een t r a p ped i n t h at M uggle h ouse f o r a m onth .
He's g ot t h e r ig ht t o k now w hat's b een h ap pen — '
'H an g o n!' i n te rru pte d G eo rg e l o udly .
'H ow c o m e H arry g ets h is q uestio ns a n sw ere d ?' s a id F re d a n grily .
'W e'v e b een tr y in g to g et s tu ff o ut o f y ou f o r a m onth a n d y ou h av en 't to ld
us a s in gle s tin kin g t h in g!' s a id G eo rg e.
' "Y o u'r e to o y o ung, y o u'r e n ot in th e O rd er,'"
s a id F re d , in a h ig h-p itc h ed
voic e t h at s o unded u ncan nily l ik e h is m oth er's . 'H arry 's n ot e v en o f a g e!'
'I t's n ot m y f a u lt y ou h av en 't b een to ld w hat th e O rd er's d oin g,' s a id S ir iu s
calm ly , 't h at's y our p are n ts ' d ecis io n. H arry , o n t h e o th er h an d - '
'I t's n ot d ow n to y ou to d ecid e w hat's g ood fo r H arry !' s a id M rs W easle y
sh arp ly . T he ex pre ssio n on her norm ally kin d fa ce lo oked dan gero us. 'Y ou
hav en 't f o rg otte n w hat D um ble d ore s a id , I s u ppose ?'
'W hic h b it? ' S ir iu s a sk ed p olite ly , b ut w ith t h e a ir o f a m an r e ad yin g h im se lf
fo r a f ig ht.
The b it ab out n ot te llin g H arry m ore th an h e
n eed s to kn ow
,' sa id M rs
Weasle y, p la cin g a h eav y e m phasis o n t h e l a st t h re e w ord s.
Ron, H erm io ne, F re d an d G eo rg e's h ead s sw iv elle d fro m S ir iu s to M rs
Weasle y a s th ough th ey w ere f o llo w in g a te n nis r a lly . G in ny w as k neelin g a m id
a p ile o f a b an doned B utte rb eer c o rk s, w atc h in g th e c o nvers a tio n w ith h er m outh
slig htly o pen . L upin 's e y es w ere f ix ed o n S ir iu s.
'I d on't in te n d to te ll h im m ore th an h e
n eed s to k n ow
, M olly ,' s a id S ir iu s.
'B ut as h e w as th e o ne w ho sa w V old em ort co m e b ack ' (a g ain , th ere w as a
co lle ctiv e s h udder a ro und t h e t a b le a t t h e n am e) 'h e h as m ore r ig ht t h an m ost t o -
'
'H e's n ot a m em ber o f th e O rd er o f th e P hoen ix !' s a id M rs W easle y. 'H e's
only f if te en a n d - '
'A nd h e's d ealt w ith a s m uch a s m ost in th e O rd er,' s a id S ir iu s, 'a n d m ore

th an s o m e.'
'N o o ne's d en yin g w hat h e's d one!' s a id M rs W easle y, h er v oic e r is in g, h er
fis ts t r e m blin g o n t h e a rm s o f h er c h air. 'B ut h e's s till - '
'H e's n ot a c h ild !' s a id S ir iu s i m patie n tly .
'H e's n ot a n a d ult e ith er!' s a id M rs W easle y, th e c o lo ur r is in g in h er c h eek s.
'H e's n ot J a m es, S ir iu s!'
'I 'm p erfe ctly c le ar w ho h e i s , t h an ks, M olly ,' s a id S ir iu s c o ld ly .
'I 'm n ot su re y ou a re !' sa id M rs W easle y. 'S om etim es, th e w ay y ou ta lk
ab out h im , i t's a s t h ough y ou t h in k y ou'v e g ot y our b est f rie n d b ack !'
'W hat's w ro ng w ith t h at? ' s a id H arry .
'W hat's w ro ng, H arry , is th at y ou a re n ot y our fa th er, h ow ev er m uch y ou
mig ht l o ok l ik e h im !' s a id M rs W easle y, h er e y es s till b orin g i n to S ir iu s. 'Y ou a re
still a t s c h ool a n d a d ults r e sp onsib le f o r y ou s h ould n ot f o rg et i t! '
'M ean in g I 'm a n i r re sp onsib le g odfa th er? ' d em an ded S ir iu s, h is v oic e r is in g.
'M ean in g you hav e been know n to act ra sh ly , Sir iu s, w hic h is w hy
Dum ble d ore k eep s r e m in din g y ou t o s ta y a t h om e a n d - '
'W e'l l le av e m y in str u ctio ns fro m D um ble d ore o ut o f th is , if y ou p le ase !'
sa id S ir iu s l o udly .
'A rth ur!' s a id M rs W easle y, r o undin g o n h er h usb an d. 'A rth ur, b ack m e u p!'
Mr W easle y d id n ot s p eak a t o nce. H e t o ok o ff h is g la sse s a n d c le an ed t h em
slo w ly o n h is ro bes, n ot lo okin g a t h is w if e . O nly w hen h e h ad re p la ced th em
care fu lly o n h is n ose d id h e r e p ly .
'D um ble d ore k now s t h e p ositio n h as c h an ged , M olly . H e a ccep ts t h at H arry
will hav e to be fille d in , to a certa in ex te n t, now th at he is sta y in g at
Head quarte rs .'
'Y es, b ut th ere 's a d if f e re n ce b etw een th at a n d in vitin g h im to a sk w hate v er
he l ik es!'
'P ers o nally ,' sa id L upin q uie tly , lo okin g a w ay fro m S ir iu s a t la st, a s M rs
Weasle y tu rn ed q uic k ly to h im , h opefu l th at f in ally s h e w as a b out to g et a n a lly ,
'I th in k it b ette r th at H arry g ets th e f a cts - n ot a ll th e f a cts , M olly , b ut th e g en era l
pic tu re – f ro m u s, r a th er t h an a g arb le d v ers io n f ro m … o th ers .'
His e x pre ssio n w as m ild , b ut H arry f e lt s u re L upin , a t l e ast, k new t h at s o m e
Exte n dab le E ars h ad s u rv iv ed M rs W easle y 's p urg e.
'W ell,' s a id M rs W easle y, b re ath in g d eep ly a n d lo okin g a ro und th e ta b le f o r
su pport th at d id n ot c o m e, 'w ell… I c an s e e I'm g oin g to b e o verru le d . I'l l ju st
sa y th is : D um ble d ore m ust h av e h ad h is r e aso ns f o r n ot w an tin g H arry to k now
to o m uch , a n d s p eak in g a s s o m eo ne w ho h as H arry 's b est i n te re sts a t h eart - '
'H e's n ot y our s o n,' s a id S ir iu s q uie tly .
'H e's a s g ood a s,' s a id M rs W easle y f ie rc ely . 'W ho e ls e h as h e g ot? '

'H e's g ot m e!'
'Y es,' s a id M rs W easle y, h er l ip c u rlin g, 't h e t h in g i s , i t's b een r a th er d if f ic u lt
fo r y ou t o l o ok a fte r h im w hile y ou'v e b een l o ck ed U P i n A zk ab an , h asn 't i t? '
Sir iu s s ta rte d t o r is e f ro m h is c h air.
'M olly , y ou'r e n ot th e o nly p ers o n a t th is ta b le w ho c are s a b out H arry ,' s a id
Lupin s h arp ly . 'S ir iu s, s it
d ow n
.'
Mrs W easle y 's lo w er lip w as tr e m blin g. S ir iu s sa n k slo w ly b ack in to h is
ch air , h is f a ce w hite .
'I th in k H arry o ught to b e a llo w ed a s a y in th is ,' L upin c o ntin ued , 'h e's o ld
en ough t o d ecid e f o r h im se lf .'
'I w an t t o k now w hat's b een g oin g o n,' H arry s a id a t o nce.
He d id n ot l o ok a t M rs W easle y. H e h ad b een t o uch ed b y w hat s h e h ad s a id
ab out his bein g as good as a so n, but he w as als o im patie n t w ith her
molly co ddlin g. S ir iu s w as r ig ht, h e w as n ot a c h ild .
'V ery w ell,' s a id M rs W easle y, h er v oic e c ra ck in g. 'G in ny – R on – H erm io ne
– F re d – G eo rg e – I w an t y ou o ut o f t h is k itc h en , n ow .'
There w as i n sta n t u pro ar.
'W e'r e o f a g e!' F re d a n d G eo rg e b ello w ed t o geth er.
'I f H arry 's a llo w ed , w hy c an 't I ? ' s h oute d R on.
'M um , I
w ant
t o h ear!' w aile d G in ny.
'N O!' s h oute d M rs W easle y, s ta n din g u p, h er e y es o verb rig ht. 'I a b so lu te ly
fo rb id - '
'M olly , y ou c an 't s to p F re d a n d G eo rg e,' s a id M r W easle y w earily . T hey
a re
of a g e.'
They 'r e s till a t s c h ool.'
'B ut t h ey 'r e l e g ally a d ults n ow ,' s a id M r W easle y, i n t h e s a m e t ir e d v oic e.
Mrs W easle y w as n ow s c arle t i n t h e f a ce.
'I – o h, a ll r ig ht t h en , F re d a n d G eo rg e c an s ta y, b ut R on - '
'H arry 'l l t e ll m e a n d H erm io ne e v ery th in g y ou s a y a n yw ay !' s a id R on h otly .
'W on't – w on't y ou?' h e a d ded u ncerta in ly , m eetin g H arry 's e y es.
For a s p lit s e co nd, H arry c o nsid ere d te llin g R on th at h e w ould n't te ll h im a
sin gle w ord , th at h e c o uld tr y a ta ste o f b ein g k ep t in th e d ark a n d s e e h ow h e
lik ed i t. B ut t h e n asty i m puls e v an is h ed a s t h ey l o oked a t e ach o th er.
'C ours e I w ill,' H arry s a id .
Ron a n d H erm io ne b eam ed .
'F in e!' s h oute d M rs W easle y. 'F in e! G in ny – B ED !'
Gin ny d id n ot g o q uie tly . T hey c o uld h ear h er ra g in g a n d s to rm in g a t h er
moth er a ll th e w ay u p th e s ta ir s , a n d w hen s h e r e ach ed th e h all M rs B la ck s e ar-
sp littin g s h rie k s w ere a d ded t o t h e d in . L upin h urrie d o ff t o t h e p ortr a it t o r e sto re

calm . I t w as o nly a fte r h e h ad r e tu rn ed , c lo sin g th e k itc h en d oor b eh in d h im a n d
ta k in g h is s e at a t t h e t a b le a g ain , t h at S ir iu s s p oke.
'O K, H arry … w hat d o y ou w an t t o k now ?'
Harry to ok a d eep b re ath a n d a sk ed th e q uestio n th at h ad o bse sse d h im f o r
th e l a st m onth .
'W here 's V old em ort? ' h e s a id , ig norin g th e r e n ew ed s h udders a n d w in ces a t
th e n am e. 'W hat's h e d oin g? I'v e b een tr y in g to w atc h th e M uggle n ew s, a n d
th ere h asn 't b een a n yth in g t h at l o oks l ik e h im y et, n o f u nny d eath s o r a n yth in g.'
That's b ecau se th ere h av en 't b een a n y f u nny d eath s y et,' s a id S ir iu s, 'n ot a s
fa r a s w e k now , a n yw ay … a n d w e k now q uite a l o t.'
'M ore t h an h e t h in ks w e d o, a n yw ay,' s a id L upin .
'H ow c o m e h e's s to pped k illin g p eo ple ?' H arry a sk ed . H e k new V old em ort
had m urd ere d m ore t h an o nce i n t h e l a st y ear a lo ne.
'B ecau se h e d oesn 't w an t to d ra w a tte n tio n to h im se lf ,' s a id S ir iu s. 'I t w ould
be d an gero us f o r h im . H is c o m eb ack d id n't c o m e o ff q uite th e w ay h e w an te d it
to , y ou s e e. H e m esse d i t u p.'
'O r r a th er, y ou m esse d i t t ip f o r h im ,' s a id L upin , w ith a s a tis fie d s m ile .
'H ow ?' H arry a sk ed , p erp le x ed .
'Y ou w ere n 't s u ppose d t o s u rv iv e!' s a id S ir iu s. 'N obody a p art f ro m h is D eath
Eate rs w as s u ppose d t o k now h e'd c o m e b ack . B ut y ou s u rv iv ed t o b ear w itn ess.'
'A nd th e v ery la st p ers o n h e w an te d a le rte d to h is r e tu rn th e m om en t h e g ot
back w as D um ble d ore ,' s a id L upin . 'A nd y ou m ad e s u re D um ble d ore k new a t
once.'
'H ow h as t h at h elp ed ?' H arry a sk ed .
'A re y ou k id din g?' s a id B ill in cre d ulo usly . 'D um ble d ore w as th e o nly o ne
You-K now -W ho w as e v er s c are d o f!'
Than ks to y ou, D um ble d ore w as a b le to re call th e O rd er o f th e P hoen ix
ab out a n h our a fte r V old em ort r e tu rn ed ,' s a id S ir iu s.
'S o, w hat's t h e O rd er b een d oin g?' s a id H arry , l o okin g a ro und a t t h em a ll.
'W ork in g a s h ard a s w e c an to m ak e su re V old em ort c an 't c arry o ut h is
pla n s,' s a id S ir iu s.
'H ow d 'y ou k now w hat h is p la n s a re ?' H arry a sk ed q uic k ly .
'D um ble d ore 's g ot a sh re w d id ea,' sa id L upin , 'a n d D um ble d ore 's sh re w d
id eas n orm ally t u rn o ut t o b e a ccu ra te .'
'S o w hat d oes D um ble d ore r e ck on h e's p la n nin g?'
'W ell, fir s tly , h e w an ts to b uild u p h is a rm y a g ain ,' s a id S ir iu s. 'I n th e o ld
day s h e h ad h uge n um bers a t h is c o m man d: w itc h es a n d w iz ard s h e'd b ullie d o r
bew itc h ed in to f o llo w in g h im , h is f a ith fu l D eath E ate rs , a g re a t v arie ty o f D ark
cre atu re s. Y ou h eard h im p la n nin g to r e cru it th e g ia n ts ; w ell, th ey 'l l b e ju st o ne

of th e g ro ups h e's a fte r. H e's c erta in ly n ot g oin g to tr y a n d ta k e o n th e M in is tr y
of M ag ic w ith o nly a d ozen D eath E ate rs .'
'S o y ou'r e t r y in g t o s to p h im g ettin g m ore f o llo w ers ? '
'W e'r e d oin g o ur b est,' s a id L upin .
'H ow ?'
'W ell, th e m ain th in g is to tr y a n d c o nvin ce a s m an y p eo ple a s p ossib le th at
You-K now -W ho re ally h as re tu rn ed , to p ut th em o n th eir g uard ,' s a id B ill. 'I t's
pro vin g t r ic k y, t h ough.'
'W hy?'
'B ecau se o f th e M in is tr y 's a ttitu de,' s a id T onks. 'Y ou s a w C orn eliu s F udge
afte r Y ou-K now -W ho c am e b ack , H arry . W ell, h e h asn 't s h if te d h is p ositio n a t
all. H e's a b so lu te ly r e fu sin g t o b elie v e i t's h ap pen ed .'
'B ut why?' sa id Harry desp era te ly . W hy's he bein g so stu pid ? If
Dum ble d ore - '
'A h, w ell, y ou'v e p ut y our fin ger o n th e p ro ble m ,' s a id M r W easle y w ith a
wry s m ile . '
Dum ble d ore
.'
'F udge i s f rig hte n ed o f h im , y ou s e e,' s a id T onks s a d ly .
'F rig hte n ed o f D um ble d ore ?' s a id H arry i n cre d ulo usly .
'F rig hte n ed of what he's up to ,' sa id M r W easle y. 'F udge th in ks
Dum ble d ore 's p lo ttin g to o verth ro w h im . H e th in ks D um ble d ore w an ts to b e
Min is te r f o r M ag ic .'
'B ut D um ble d ore d oesn 't w an t - '
'O f c o urs e h e d oesn 't ,' s a id M r W easle y. 'H e's n ev er w an te d th e M in is te r's
jo b, e v en th ough a lo t o f p eo ple w an te d h im to ta k e it w hen M illic en t B ag nold
re tir e d . F udge c am e t o p ow er i n ste ad , b ut

he's n ev er q uite f o rg otte n h ow m uch p opula r s u pport D um ble d ore h ad , e v en
th ough D um ble d ore n ev er a p plie d f o r t h e j o b.'
'D eep d ow n, F udge k now s D um ble d ore 's m uch c le v ere r th an h e is a m uch
more p ow erfu l w iz ard , a n d in th e e arly d ay s o f h is M in is tr y h e w as fo re v er
ask in g D um ble d ore fo r h elp a n d a d vic e,' s a id L upin . 'B ut it s e em s h e's b eco m e
fo nd o f p ow er, a n d m uch m ore c o nfid en t. H e l o ves b ein g M in is te r f o r M ag ic a n d
he's m an ag ed to c o nvin ce h im se lf th at h e's th e c le v er o ne a n d D um ble d ore 's
sim ply s tir rin g u p t r o uble f o r t h e s a k e o f i t.'
'H ow c an h e th in k th at? ' s a id H arry a n grily . 'H ow c an h e th in k D um ble d ore
would j u st m ak e i t a ll u p – t h at
I 'd
m ak e i t a ll u p?'
'B ecau se accep tin g th at V old em ort's back w ould m ean tr o uble lik e th e
Min is tr y h asn 't h ad to c o pe w ith fo r n early fo urte en y ears ,' s a id S ir iu s b itte rly .
'F udge ju st can 't b rin g h im se lf to fa ce it. It's so m uch m ore co m fo rta b le to

co nvin ce h im se lf D um ble d ore 's l y in g t o d esta b ilis e h im .'
'Y ou se e th e pro ble m ,' sa id L upin . 'W hile th e M in is tr y in sis ts th ere is
noth in g to f e ar f ro m V old em ort it's h ard to c o nvin ce p eo ple h e's b ack , e sp ecia lly
as th ey re ally don't w an t to belie v e it in th e fir s t pla ce. W hat's m ore , th e
Min is tr y 's l e an in g h eav ily o n t h e
D aily P ro phet
n ot to r e p ort a n y o f w hat th ey 'r e
callin g D um ble d ore 's ru m our- m ongerin g, s o m ost o f th e w iz ard in g c o m munity
are c o m ple te ly u naw are a n y th in gs h ap pen ed , a n d th at m ak es th em e asy ta rg ets
fo r t h e D eath E ate rs i f t h ey 'r e u sin g t h e I m periu s C urs e .'
'B ut y ou'r e te llin g p eo ple , a re n 't y ou?' sa id H arry , lo okin g a ro und a t M r
Weasle y, S ir iu s, B ill, M undungus, L upin a n d T onks. 'Y ou'r e le ttin g p eo ple k now
he's b ack ?'
They a ll s m ile d h um ourle ssly .
'W ell, a s e v ery one th in ks I 'm a m ad m ass-m urd ere r a n d th e M in is tr y 's p ut a
te n th ousa n d G alle o n p ric e o n m y h ead , I c an h ard ly s tr o ll u p th e s tr e et a n d s ta rt
han din g o ut l e afle ts , c an I ? ' s a id S ir iu s r e stle ssly .
'A nd I 'm n ot a v ery p opula r d in ner g uest w ith m ost o f th e c o m munity ,' s a id
Lupin . 'I t's a n o ccu patio nal
h aza rd
o f b ein g a w ere w olf .'
'T onks an d A rth ur w ould lo se th eir jo bs at th e M in is tr y if th ey sta rte d
sh ootin g th eir m outh s o ff ,' sa id S ir iu s, 'a n d it's v ery im porta n t fo r u s to h av e
sp ie s i n sid e t h e M in is tr y , b ecau se y ou c an b et V old em ort w ill h av e t h em .'
'W e'v e m an ag ed to c o nvin ce a c o uple o f p eo ple , th ough,' s a id M r W easle y.
Tonks h ere , f o r o ne – s h e's to o y oung to h av e b een in th e O rd er o f th e P hoen ix
la st tim e, an d hav in g A uro rs on our sid e is a huge ad van ta g e – K in gsle y
Shack le b olt's b een a r e al a sse t, to o; h e's in c h arg e o f th e h unt f o r S ir iu s, s o h e's
been f e ed in g t h e M in is tr y i n fo rm atio n t h at S ir iu s i s i n T ib et.'
'B ut if n one o f y ou a re p uttin g th e n ew s o ut th at V old em orts b ack - ' H arry
beg an .
'W ho s a id n one o f u s a re p uttin g t h e n ew s o ut? ' s a id S ir iu s. W hy d 'y ou t h in k
Dum ble d ore 's i n s u ch t r o uble ?'
'W hat d 'y ou m ean ?' H arry a sk ed .
They 'r e tr y in g to dis c re d it him ,' sa id L upin . 'D id n't you se e th e
D aily
Pro phet
la st w eek ? T hey r e p orte d th at h e'd b een v ote d o ut o f th e C hair m an sh ip
of t h e I n te rn atio nal C onfe d era tio n o f W iz ard s b ecau se h e's g ettin g o ld a n d l o sin g
his g rip , b ut it's n ot tr u e; h e w as v ote d o ut b y M in is tr y w iz ard s a fte r h e m ad e a
sp eech an nouncin g Vold em orts re tu rn . They 'v e dem ote d him fro m Chie f
Warlo ck o n t h e W iz en gam ot – t h at's t h e W iz ard H ig h C ourt – a n d t h ey 'r e t a lk in g
ab out t a k in g a w ay h is O rd er o f M erlin , F ir s t C la ss, t o o.'
'B ut D um ble d ore s a y s h e d oesn 't c are w hat th ey d o a s lo ng a s th ey d on't
ta k e h im o ff t h e C hoco la te F ro g C ard s,' s a id B ill, g rin nin g.

'I t's n o la u ghin g m atte r,' s a id M r W easle y s h arp ly . 'I f h e c arrie s o n d efy in g
th e M in is tr y lik e th is h e c o uld e n d u p in A zk ab an , a n d th e la st th in g w e w an t is
to h av e D um ble d ore l o ck ed u p. W hile Y ou-K now -W ho k now s D um ble d ore 's o ut
th ere a n d w is e t o w hat h e's u p t o h e's g oin g t o g o c au tio usly . I f D um ble d ore 's o ut
ol t h e w ay – w ell, Y ou-K now -W ho w ill h av e a c le ar f ie ld .'
'B ut if V old em ort's tr y in g to r e cru it m ore D eath E ate rs it's b ound to g et o ut
th at h e's c o m e b ack , i s n 't i t? ' a sk ed H arry d esp era te ly .
'V old em ort d oesn 't m arc h u p to p eo ple 's h ouse s an d b an g o n th eir fro nt
doors , H arry ,' sa id S ir iu s. 'H e tr ic k s, jin xes an d b la ck m ails th em . H e's w ell-
pra ctis e d a t o pera tin g i n s e cre t. I n a n y c ase , g ath erin g f o llo w ers i s o nly o ne t h in g
he's in te re ste d in . H e's g ot o th er p la n s to o, p la n s h e c an p ut in to o pera tio n v ery
quie tly i n deed , a n d h e's c o ncen tr a tin g o n t h ose f o r t h e m om en t.'
'W hat's h e a fte r a p art fro m fo llo w ers ? ' H arry a sk ed s w if tly . H e th ought h e
sa w Sir iu s an d Lupin ex ch an ge th e m ost fle etin g of lo oks befo re Sir iu s
an sw ere d .
'S tu ff h e c an o nly g et b y s te alth .'
When H arry co ntin ued to lo ok puzzle d , Sir iu s sa id , 'L ik e a w eap on.
Som eth in g h e d id n't h av e l a st t im e.'
'W hen h e w as p ow erfu l b efo re ?'
'Y es.'
'L ik e w hat k in d o f w eap on?' s a id H arry . 'S om eth in g w ors e th an th e A vad a
Ked av ra - ? '
'T hat's e n ough!'
Mrs W easle y s p oke f ro m th e s h ad ow s b esid e th e d oor. H arry h ad n't n otic ed
her re tu rn fro m ta k in g G in ny u psta ir s . H er a rm s w ere c ro sse d a n d s h e lo oked
fu rio us.
'I w an t y ou in b ed , n ow . A ll o f y ou,' sh e a d ded , lo okin g a ro und a t F re d ,
Geo rg e, R on a n d H erm io ne.
'Y ou c an 't b oss u s - ' F re d b eg an .
'W atc h m e,' s n arle d M rs W easle y. S he w as tr e m blin g s lig htly a s s h e lo oked
at S ir iu s. 'Y ou'v e g iv en H arry p le n ty o f in fo rm atio n. A ny m ore a n d y ou m ig ht
ju st a s w ell i n duct h im i n to t h e O rd er s tr a ig hta w ay.'
'W hy n ot? ' s a id H arry q uic k ly . T il j o in , I w an t t o j o in , I w an t t o f ig ht.'
'N o.'
It w as n ot M rs W easle y w ho s p oke t h is t im e, b ut L upin .
The O rd er is c o m pris e d o nly o f o vera g e w iz ard s,' h e sa id . 'W iz ard s w ho
hav e le ft s c h ool,' h e a d ded , a s F re d a n d G eo rg ^ o pen ed th eir m outh s. T here a re
dan gers in volv ed o f w hic h y ou c an h av e n o id ea, a n y o f y ou… I th in k M olly 's
rig ht, S ir iu s. W e'v e s a id e n ough.'

Sir iu s h alf -s h ru gged b ut d id n ot a rg ue. M rs W easle y b eck oned im perio usly
to h er so ns a n d H erm io ne. O ne b y o ne th ey sto od u p a n d H arry , re co gnis in g
defe at, f o llo w ed s u it.

C H APT ER S IX
T he N oble a n d M ost A ncie n t H ou se o f B la ck

Mrs W easle y f o llo w ed t h em u psta ir s l o okin g g rim .
'I w an t y ou a ll t o g o s tr a ig ht t o b ed , n o t a lk in g,' s h e s a id a s t h ey r e ach ed t h e
f ir s t l a n din g, 'w e'v e g ot a b usy d ay t o m orro w . I e x pect G in ny's a sle ep ,' s h e a d ded
t o H erm io ne, 's o t r y n ot t o w ak e h er u p.'
'A sle ep , y eah , rig ht,' s a id F re d in a n u nderto ne, a fte r H erm io ne b ad e th em
g oodnig ht a n d th ey w ere c lim bin g to th e n ex t f lo or. 'I f G in ny's n ot ly in g a w ak e
w aitin g fo r H erm io ne to te ll h er ev ery th in g th ey sa id d ow nsta ir s th en I'm a
F lo bberw orm … '
'A ll rig ht, R on, H arry ,' s a id M rs W easle y o n th e s e co nd la n din g, p oin tin g
t h em i n to t h eir b ed ro om . 'O ff t o b ed w ith y ou.'
'N ig ht,' H arry a n d R on s a id t o t h e t w in s.
'S le ep t ig ht,' s a id F re d , w in kin g.
Mrs W easle y c lo se d t h e d oor b eh in d H arry w ith a s h arp s n ap . T he b ed ro om
l o oked , if a n yth in g, e v en d an ker a n d g lo om ie r th an it h ad o n fir s t sig ht. T he
b la n k p ic tu re o n th e w all w as n ow b re ath in g v ery s lo w ly a n d d eep ly , a s th ough
i ts in vis ib le o ccu pan t w as a sle ep . H arry p ut o n h is p yja m as, to ok o ff h is g la sse s
a n d c lim bed in to h is c h illy b ed w hile R on th re w O wl T re ats u p o n to p o f th e
w ard ro be to p acif y H ed w ig a n d P ig w id geo n, w ho w ere c la tte rin g a ro und a n d
r u stlin g t h eir w in gs r e stle ssly .
'W e c an 't le t th em o ut to h unt e v ery n ig ht,' R on e x pla in ed a s h e p ulle d o n
h is m aro on p yja m as. 'D um ble d ore d oesn 't w an t t o o m an y o w ls s w oopin g a ro und
t h e s q uare , t h in ks i t'l l l o ok s u sp ic io us. O h y eah … I f o rg ot… '
He c ro sse d t o t h e d oor a n d b olte d i t.
'W hat'r e y ou d oin g t h at f o r? '
'K re ach er,' sa id R on a s h e tu rn ed o ff th e lig ht. 'F ir s t n ig ht I w as h ere h e
c am e w an derin g in a t th re e in th e m orn in g. T ru st m e, y ou d on't w an t to w ak e u p
a n d f in d h im p ro w lin g a ro und y our r o om . A nyw ay … ' h e g ot i n to h is b ed , s e ttle d
d ow n u nder th e c o vers th en tu rn ed to lo ok a t H arry in th e d ark ness; H arry c o uld
s e e h is o utlin e b y th e m oonlig ht filte rin g in th ro ugh th e g rim y w in dow , '
what
d 'y o u r e cko n
?'
Harry d id n't n eed t o a sk w hat R on m ean t.
'W ell, th ey d id n't te ll u s m uch w e c o uld n't h av e g uesse d , d id th ey ?' h e s a id ,
t h in kin g o f a ll th at h ad b een s a id d ow nsta ir s . 'I m ean , a ll th ey 'v e re ally s a id is

th at t h e O rd er's t r y in g t o s to p p eo ple j o in in g V ol— '
There w as a s h arp i n ta k e o f b re ath f ro m R on.
'—
dem ort
,' s a id H arry f ir m ly . 'W hen a re y ou g oin g to s ta rt u sin g h is n am e?
Sir iu s a n d L upin d o.'
Ron i g nore d t h is l a st c o m men t.
'Y eah , y ou'r e rig ht,' h e s a id , 'w e a lr e ad y k new n early e v ery th in g th ey to ld
us, f ro m u sin g t h e E xte n dab le E ars . T he o nly n ew b it w as - '
Cra ck.
'O UCH !'
'K eep y our v oic e d ow n, R on, o r M um 'l l b e b ack u p h ere .'
'Y ou t w o j u st A ppara te d o n m y k nees!'
'Y eah , w ell, i t's h ard er i n t h e d ark .'
Harry sa w th e b lu rre d o utlin es o f F re d an d G eo rg e le ap in g d ow n fro m
Ron's b ed . T here w as a g ro an o f b ed sp rin gs a n d H arry 's m attr e ss d esc en ded a
fe w i n ch es a s G eo rg e s a t d ow n n ear h is f e et.
'S o, g ot t h ere y et? ' s a id G eo rg e e ag erly .
The w eap on S ir iu s m en tio ned ?' s a id H arry .
'L et slip , m ore lik e,' sa id F re d w ith re lis h , n ow sittin g n ex t to R on. 'W e
did n't h ear a b out
t h at
o n t h e o ld E xte n dab le s, d id w e?'
'W hat d 'y ou r e ck on i t i s ? ' s a id H arry .
'C ould b e a n yth in g,' s a id F re d .
'B ut th ere can 't b e an yth in g w ors e th an th e A vad a K ed av ra C urs e , can
th ere ?' s a id R on. W hat's w ors e t h an d eath ?'
'M ay be it's so m eth in g th at can k ill lo ad s o f p eo ple at o nce,' su ggeste d
Geo rg e.
'M ay be it's so m e partic u la rly pain fu l w ay of killin g peo ple ,' sa id R on
fe arfu lly .
'H e's g ot th e C ru cia tu s C urs e f o r c au sin g p ain ,' s a id H arry , 'h e d oesn 't n eed
an yth in g m ore e ff ic ie n t t h an t h at.'
There w as a pau se an d H arry knew th at th e oth ers , lik e him , w ere
wonderin g w hat h orro rs t h is w eap on c o uld p erp etr a te .
'S o w ho d 'y ou t h in k's g ot i t n ow ?' a sk ed G eo rg e.
'I h ope i t's o ur s id e,' s a id R on, s o undin g s lig htly n erv ous.
'I f i t i s , D um ble d ore 's p ro bab ly k eep in g i t,' s a id F re d . * !
'W here ?' s a id R on q uic k ly . 'H ogw arts ? ' • '
'B et i t i s !' s a id G eo rg e. T hat's w here h e h id t h e P hilo so pher's S to ne.'
'A w eap ons g oin g t o b e a l o t b ig ger t h an t h e S to ne, t h ough!' s a id R on.
'N ot n ecessa rily ' s a id F re d .
'Y eah , s iz e i s n o g uara n te e o f p ow er,' s a id G eo rg e. 'L ook a t G in ny.'

'W hat d 'y ou m ean ?' s a id H arry .
'Y ou'v e n ev er b een o n th e re ceiv in g e n d o f o ne o f h er B at- B ogey H ex es,
hav e y ou?'
'S hhh!' s a id F re d , h alf -ris in g i r o m t h e b ed . 'L is te n !'
They f e ll s ile n t. F oots te p s w ere c o m in g u p t h e s ta ir s .
'M um ,' sa id G eo rg e a n d w ith out fu rth er a d o th ere w as a lo ud
c ra ck
an d
Harry f e lt th e w eig ht v an is h f ro m th e e n d o f h is b ed . A f e w s e co nds la te r, th ey
heard th e f lo orb oard c re ak o uts id e th eir d oor; M rs W easle y w as p la in ly lis te n in g
to c h eck w heth er o r n ot t h ey w ere t a lk in g.
Hed w ig an d P ig w id geo n h oote d d ole fu lly . T he flo orb oard cre ak ed ag ain
an d t h ey h eard h er h ead in g u psta ir s t o c h eck o n F re d a n d G eo rg e.
'S he d oesn 't t r u st u s a t a ll, y ou k now ,' s a id R on r e g re tf u lly .
Harry w as s u re h e w ould n ot b e a b le t o f a ll a sle ep ; t h e e v en in g h ad b een s o
pack ed w ith th in gs to th in k a b out th at h e fu lly e x pecte d to lie a w ak e fo r h ours
mullin g it a ll o ver. H e w an te d to c o ntin ue ta lk in g to R on, b ut M rs W easle y w as
now c re ak in g b ack d ow nsta ir s a g ain , a n d o nce s h e h ad g one h e d is tin ctly h eard
oth ers m ak in g th eir w ay upsta ir s … in fa ct, m an y-le g ged cre atu re s w ere
can te rin g s o ftly u p a n d d ow n o uts id e th e b ed ro om d oor, a n d H ag rid th e C are o f
Mag ic al C re atu re s te ach er w as s a y in g, '
Bea utie s, a rm th ey, e h , H arry ? W e'l l b e
stu dyin ' w ea pons t h is t e rm
… " a n d H arry s a w th at th e c re atu re s h ad c an nons f o r
head s a n d w ere w heelin g t o f a ce h im … h e d uck ed …
The nex t th in g he knew , he w as cu rle d in to a w arm ball under his
bed clo th es a n d G eo rg es l o ud v oic e w as f illin g t h e r o om .
'M um s a y s g et u p, y our b re ak fa st i s i n t h e k itc h en a n d t h en s h e n eed s y ou i n
th e d ra w in g r o om , th ere a re lo ad s m ore D oxys th an s h e th ought a n d s h e's f o und
a n est o f d ead P uff s k ein s u nder t h e s o fa .'
Half a n h our l a te r H arry a n d R on , w ho h ad d re sse d a n d b re ak fa ste d q uic k ly ,
en te re d th e d ra w in g ro om , a lo ng, h ig h-c eilin ged ro om o n th e fir s t flo or w ith
oliv e g re en w alls c o vere d in d ir ty ta p estr ie s. T he c arp et e x hale d little c lo uds o f
dust e v ery tim e so m eo ne p ut th eir fo ot o n it a n d th e lo ng, m oss g re en v elv et
cu rta in s w ere b uzzin g a s th ough sw arm in g w ith in vis ib le b ees. It w as a ro und
th ese th at M rs W easle y, H erm io ne, G in ny, F re d a n d G eo rg e w ere g ro uped , a ll
lo okin g r a th er p ecu lia r a s th ey h ad e ach tie d a c lo th o ver th eir n ose a n d m outh .
Each o f th em w as a ls o h old in g a la rg e b ottle o f b la ck liq uid w ith a
n ozzle
a t th e
en d.
'C over y our f a ces a n d t a k e a s p ra y,' M rs W easle y s a id t o H arry a n d R on t h e
mom en t s h e s a w t h em , p oin tin g t o t w o m ore b ottle s o f b la ck l iq uid s ta n din g o n a
sp in dle -le g ged t a b le . 'I t's D oxycid e. I 'v e n ev er s e en a n i n fe sta tio n t h is b ad -
w hat
th at h ouse -e lf 's b een d oin g f o r t h e l a st t e n y ears - '

Herm io ne's f a ce w as h alf c o nceale d b y a te a to w el b ut H arry d is tin ctly s a w
her t h ro w a r e p ro ach fu l l o ok a t M rs W easle y.
'K re ach er's r e ally o ld , h e p ro bab ly c o uld n't m an ag e - '
'Y ou'd be su rp ris e d w hat K re ach er can m an ag e w hen he w an ts to ,
Herm io ne,' s a id S ir iu s, w ho h ad ju st e n te re d th e ro om c arry in g a b lo odsta in ed
bag o f w hat ap peare d to b e d ead ra ts . 'I 'v e ju st b een fe ed in g B uck beak ,' h e
ad ded , in re p ly to H arry s e n quir in g lo ok. 'I k eep h im u psta ir s in m y m oth ers
bed ro om . A nyw ay … t h is w ritin g d esk … '
He d ro pped th e b ag o f r a ls in to a n a rm ch air , th en b en t o ver J o e x am in e th e
lo ck ed c ab in et w hic h , H arry n ow n otic ed f o r t h e f ir s t t im e, w as s h ak in g s lig htly .
'W ell, M olly , I 'm p re tty s u re th is is a B oggart,' s a id S ir iu s, p eerin g th ro ugh
th e k ey hole , 'b ut p erh ap s w e o ught to le t M ad -E ye h av e a s h if ty a t it b efo re w e
le t i t o ut – k now in g m y m oth er, i t c o uld b e s o m eth in g m uch w ors e .'
'R ig ht y ou a re , S ir iu s,' s a id M rs W easle y.
They w ere b oth sp eak in g in c are fu lly lig ht, p olite v oic es th at to ld H arry
quite p la in ly t h at n eith er h ad f o rg otte n t h eir d is a g re em en t o f t h e n ig ht b efo re .
A lo ud, c la n gin g b ell so unded fro m d ow nsta ir s , fo llo w ed a t o nce b y th e
caco phony o f s c re am s a n d w ails th at h ad b een tr ig gere d th e p re v io us n ig ht b y
Tonks k nock in g o ver t h e u m bre lla s ta n d.
'I k eep te llin g th em n ot to rin g th e d oorb ell! ' sa id S ir iu s e x as-p era te d ly ,
hurry in g o ut o f th e ro om . T hey h eard h im th underin g d ow n th e sta ir s a s M rs
Bla ck 's s c re ech es e ch oed u p t h ro ugh t h e h ouse o nce m ore :
' Sta in s, o f d is h onour, f ilth y
h alf -b re ed s,
b lo od t r a ito rs, c h ild re n o f f ilth
'C lo se t h e d oor, p le ase , H arry ,' s a id M rs W easle y.
Harry to ok a s m uch tim e a s h e d are d to c lo se th e d ra w in g-ro om d oor; h e
wan te d t o l is te n t o w hat w as g oin g o n d ow nsta ir s . S ir iu s h ad o bvio usly m an ag ed
to sh ut th e cu rta in s over his m oth er's portr a it becau se sh e had sto pped
sc re am in g. H e h eard S ir iu s w alk in g d ow n th e h all, th en th e c la tte rin g o f th e
ch ain on th e fro nt door, an d th en a deep voic e he re co gnis e d as K in gsle y
Shack le b olt's s a y in g, 'H estia 's ju st r e lie v ed m e, s o s h e's g ot M oody's C lo ak n ow ,
th ought I 'd l e av e a r e p ort f o r D um ble d ore … '
Feelin g M rs W easle y 's ey es o n th e b ack o f h is h ead , H arry re g re tf u lly
clo se d t h e d ra w in g-ro om d oor a n d r e jo in ed t h e D oxy p arty .
Mrs W easle y w as b en din g o ver to c h eck th e p ag e o n D oxys in
G ild ero y
Lockh art's G uid e t o H ouse h old P ests
, w hic h w as l y in g o pen o n t h e s o fa .
'R ig ht, y ou lo t, y ou n eed to b e c are fu l, b ecau se D oxys b ite a n d th eir te eth
are p ois o nous. I 'v e g ot a b ottle o f a n tid ote h ere , b ut I 'd r a th er n obody n eed ed i t.'
She s tr a ig hte n ed u p, p ositio ned h ers e lf s q uare ly in f ro nt o f th e c u rta in s a n d
beck oned t h em a ll f o rw ard .

'W hen I s a y th e w ord , s ta rt s p ra y in g im med ia te ly ,' s h e s a id . T hey 'l l c o m e
Hyin g o ut a t u s, I e x pect, b ut it s a y s o n th e s p ra y s o ne g ood s q uir t w ill p ara ly se
th em . W hen t h ey 'r e i m mobilis e d , j u st t h ro w t h em i n t h is b uck et.'
She s te p ped c are fu lly o ut o f t h eir l in e o f f ir e , a n d r a is e d h er o w n s p ra y.
'A ll r ig ht – s q uir t! '
Harry h ad b een sp ra y in g o nly a fe w se co nds w hen a fu lly -g ro w n D oxy
cam e s o arin g o ut o f a f o ld in th e m ate ria l, s h in y b eetle -lik e w in gs w hir rin g, tin y
need le -s h arp t e eth b are d , i ts f a ir y -lik e b ody c o vere d w ith t h ic k b la ck h air a n d i ts
fo ur tin y lis ts c le n ch ed w ith f u ry . H arry c au ght it f u ll in th e f a ce w ith a b la st o f
Doxycid e. It fro ze in m id air a n d fe ll, w ith a s u rp ris in gly lo ud
th unk
, o n to th e
worn c arp et b elo w . H arry p ic k ed i t u p a n d t h re w i t i n t h e b uck et.
'F re d , w hat a re y ou d oin g?' s a id M rs W easle y s h arp ly . 'S pra y th at a t o nce
an d t h ro w i t a w ay !'
Harry lo oked ro und. F re d w as hold in g a str u gglin g D oxy betw een his
fo re fin ger a n d t h um b.
'R ig ht- o ,' F re d s a id b rig htly , s p ra y in g t h e D oxy q uic k ly i n t h e f a ce s o t h at i t
fa in te d , b ut th e m om en t M rs W easle y 's b ack w as tu rn ed h e p ock ete d it w ith a
win k.
'W e w an t to e x perim en t w ith D oxy v en om fo r o ur S kiv in g S nack boxes,'
Geo rg e t o ld H arry u nder h is b re ath .
Deftly sp ra y in g tw o D oxys a t o nce a s th ey so are d str a ig ht fo r h is n ose ,
Harry m oved c lo se r to G eo rg e a n d m utte re d o ut o f th e c o rn er o f h is m outh ,
'W hat a re S kiv in g S nack boxes? '
'R an ge o f s w eets t o m ak e y ou i ll,' G eo rg e w his p ere d , k eep in g a w ary e y e o n
Mrs W easle y 's b ack . 'N ot s e rio usly ill, m in d, ju st ill e n ough to g et y ou o ut o f a
cla ss w hen y ou f e el lik e it. F re d a n d I h av e b een d ev elo pin g th em th is s u m mer.
They 'r e d ouble -e n ded , co lo ur- c o ded ch ew s. If y ou eat th e o ra n ge h alf o f th e
Pukin g P astille s, y ou t h ro w u p. M om en t y ou'v e b een r u sh ed o ut o f t h e l e sso n f o r
th e h osp ita l w in g, y ou s w allo w t h e p urp le h alf - '
''– w hic h re sto re s y ou to fu ll fitn ess, e n ab lin g y ou to p urs u e th e le is u re
activ ity o f y our o w n ch oic e d urin g an h our th at w ould o th erw is e h av e b een
dev ote d to unpro fita b le bore d om ." T hat's w hat w e'r e puttin g in th e ad verts ,
an yw ay,' w his p ere d F re d , w ho h ad ed ged o ver o ut o f M rs W easle y 's lin e o f
vis io n a n d w as n ow s w eep in g a f e w s tr a y D oxys f ro m t h e f lo or a n d a d din g t h em
to h is p ock et. 'B ut th ey s till n eed a b it o f w ork . A t th e m om en t o ur te ste rs a re
hav in g a b it o f tr o uble s to ppin g th em se lv es p ukin g lo ng e n ough to s w allo w th e
purp le e n d.'
Teste rs ? '
'U s,' s a id F re d . 'W e ta k e it in tu rn s. G eo rg e d id th e F ain tin g F an cie s – w e

both t r ie d t h e N ose b le ed N ougat - '
'M um t h ought w e'd b een d uellin g,' s a id G eo rg e.
'J o ke sh op still o n, th en ?' H arry m utte re d , p re te n din g to b e a d ju stin g th e
nozzle o n h is s p ra y.
'W ell, w e h av en 't h ad a c h an ce to g et p re m is e s y et,' s a id F re d , d ro ppin g h is
voic e ev en lo w er as M rs W easle y m opped her bro w w ith her sc arf befo re
re tu rn in g t o t h e a tta ck , 's o w e'r e r u nnin g i t a s a m ail- o rd er s e rv ic e a t t h e m om en t.
We p ut a d vertis e m en ts i n t h e
D aily P ro phet
l a st w eek .'
'A ll t h an ks t o y ou, m ate ,' s a id G eo rg e. 'B ut d on't w orry … M um h asn 't g ot a
clu e. S he w on't re ad th e
D aily P ro phet
a n y m ore , 'c au se o f it te llin g lie s a b out
you a n d D um ble d ore .'
Harry grin ned . H e had fo rc ed th e W easle y tw in s to ta k e th e th ousa n d
Galle o ns p riz e m oney h e h ad w on in th e T riw iz ard T ourn am en t to h elp th em
re alis e th eir a m bitio n to o pen a jo ke s h op, b ut h e w as s till g la d to k now th at h is
part in fu rth erin g th eir p la n s w as u nknow n to M rs W easle y. S he d id n ot th in k
ru nnin g a j o ke s h op w as a s u ita b le c are er f o r t w o o f h er s o ns.
The d e-D oxyin g o f th e cu rta in s to ok m ost o f th e m orn in g. It w as p ast
mid day w hen M rs W easle y fin ally re m oved h er p ro te ctiv e sc arf, sa n k in to a
sa g gin g a rm ch air a n d s p ra n g u p a g ain w ith a c ry o f d is g ust, h av in g s a t o n th e
bag o f d ead r a ts . T he c u rta in s w ere n o l o nger b uzzin g; t h ey h ung l im p a n d d am p
fro m th e in te n siv e sp ra y in g. A t th e fo ot of th em unco nsc io us D oxys la y
cra m med i n t h e b uck et b esid e a b ow l o f t h eir b la ck e g gs, a t w hic h C ro ok-s h an ks
was n ow s n if f in g a n d F re d a n d G eo rg e w ere s h ootin g c o veto us l o oks.
'I th in k w e'l l ta ck le
th ose
a fte r lu nch .' M rs W easle y p oin te d a t th e d usty
gla ss-fro nte d cab in ets sta n din g o n eith er sid e o f th e m an te lp ie ce. T hey w ere
cra m med w ith a n o dd a sso rtm en t o f o bje cts : a s e le ctio n o f r u sty d ag gers , c la w s,
a c o ile d s n ak esk in , a n um ber o f ta rn is h ed s ilv er b oxes in sc rib ed w ith la n guag es
Harry c o uld n ot u nders ta n d a n d, le ast p le asa n t o f a ll, a n o rn ate c ry sta l b ottle
with a la rg e o pal se t in to th e sto pper, fu ll o f w hat H arry w as q uite su re w as
blo od.
The c la n gin g d oorb ell r a n g a g ain . E very one l o oked a t M rs W easle y.
'S ta y h ere ,' sh e sa id fir m ly , sn atc h in g u p th e b ag o f ra ts a s M rs B la ck 's
sc re ech es s ta rte d u p a g ain f ro m d ow n b elo w . I 'l l b rin g u p s o m e s a n dw ic h es.'
She le ft th e r o om , c lo sin g th e d oor c are fu lly b eh in d h er. A t o nce, e v ery one
dash ed o ver t o t h e w in dow t o l o ok d ow n o n t h e d oors te p . T hey c o uld s e e t h e t o p
of a n u nkem pt g in gery h ead a n d a s ta ck o f p re cario usly b ala n ced c au ld ro ns.
'M undungus!' s a id H erm io ne. 'W hat's h e b ro ught a ll t h ose c au ld ro ns f o r? '
'P ro bab ly lo okin g f o r a s a le p la ce to k eep th em ,' s a id H arry . 'I s n 't th at w hat
he w as d oin g th e n ig ht h e w as su ppose d to b e ta ilin g m e? P ic k in g u p d odgy

cau ld ro ns? '
'Y eah , y ou'r e r ig ht! ' s a id F re d , a s t h e f ro nt d oor o pen ed ; M undungus h eav ed
his c au ld ro ns th ro ugh it a n d d is a p peare d fro m v ie w . 'B lim ey, M um w on't lik e
th at… '
He a n d G eo rg e c ro sse d to th e d oor a n d sto od b esid e it, lis te n in g c lo se ly .
Mrs B la ck 's s c re am in g h ad s to pped .
'M undungus is ta lk in g to S ir iu s an d K in gsle y,' F re d m utte re d , fro w nin g
with co ncen tr a tio n. 'C an 't hear pro perly … d'y ou re ck on w e can ris k th e
Exte n dab le E ars ? '
'M ig ht b e w orth i t,' s a id G eo rg e. 'I c o uld s n eak u psta ir s a n d g et a p air - '
But at th at pre cis e m om en t th ere w as an ex plo sio n of so und fro m
dow nsta ir s th at re n dere d E xte n dab le E ars q uite u nnecessa ry . A ll o f th em c o uld
hear e x actly w hat M rs W easle y w as s h outin g a t t h e t o p o f h er v oic e.
WE A RE N OT R U NNIN G A H ID EO UT F O R S T O LEN G OODS!'
I lo ve h earin g M um s h outin g a t s o m eo ne e ls e ,' s a id F re d , w ith a s a tis fie d
sm ile o n h is fa ce a s h e o pen ed th e d oor a n in ch o r s o to a llo w M rs W easle y 's
voic e t o p erm eate t h e r o om b ette r, 'i t m ak es s u ch a n ic e c h an ge.'
'– CO M PL ETELY IR RESPO NSIB LE, AS IF W E HAV EN 'T GOT
EN OUGH T O W ORRY A BO UT W IT H OUT Y OU D RA GGIN G ST O LEN
CA ULD RO NS I N TO T H E H OUSE - '
The id io ts a re le ttin g h er g et in to h er s tr id e,' s a id G eo rg e, s h ak in g h is h ead .
'Y ou'v e g ot to h ead h er o ff e arly o th erw is e s h e b uild s u p a h ead o f s te am a n d
goes o n f o r h ours . A nd s h e's b een d yin g to h av e a g o a t M undungus e v er s in ce
he s n eak ed o ff w hen h e w as s u ppose d to b e fo llo w in g y ou, H arry – a n d th ere
goes S ir iu s's m um a g ain .'
Mrs W easle y 's v oic e w as lo st am id fre sh sh rie k s an d sc re am s fro m th e
portr a its i n t h e h all.
Geo rg e m ad e t o s h ut t h e d oor t o d ro w n t h e n ois e , b ut b efo re h e c o uld d o s o ,
a h ouse -e lf e d ged i n to t h e r o om .
Excep t fo r th e filth y ra g tie d lik e a lo in clo th aro und its m id dle , it w as
co m ple te ly n ak ed . I t l o oked v ery o ld . I ts s k in s e em ed t o b e s e v era l t im es t o o b ig
fo r it a n d, th ough it w as b ald lik e a ll h ouse -e lv es, th ere w as a q uan tity o f w hite
hair g ro w in g o ut o f its la rg e, b atlik e e ars . I ts e y es w ere a b lo odsh ot a n d w ate ry
gre y a n d i ts f le sh y n ose w as l a rg e a n d r a th er s n outlik e.
The e lf to ok a b so lu te ly n o n otic e o f H arry a n d th e r e st. A ctin g a s th ough it
co uld n ot s e e th em , it s h uff le d h unch back ed , s lo w ly a n d d ogged ly , to w ard s th e
fa r e n d o f th e ro om , a ll th e w hile m utte rin g u nder its b re ath in a h oars e , d eep
voic e l ik e a b ullf ro gs.
'… s m ells lik e a d ra in a n d a c rim in al to b oot, b ut s h e's n o b ette r, n asty o ld

blo od tr a ito r w ith her bra ts m essin g up m y m is tr e ss's house , oh, m y poor
mis tr e ss, if sh e k new , if sh e k new th e sc u m th ey 'v e le t in to h er h ouse , w hat
would s h e s a y to o ld K re ach er, o h, th e s h am e o f it, M udblo ods a n d w ere w olv es
an d t r a ito rs a n d t h ie v es, p oor o ld K re ach er, w hat c an h e d o… '
'H ello , K re ach er,' s a id F re d v ery l o udly , c lo sin g t h e d oor w ith a s n ap .
The house -e lf fro ze in his tr a ck s, sto pped m utte rin g, an d gav e a very
pro nounced a n d v ery u nco nvin cin g s ta rt o f s u rp ris e .
'K re ach er d id n ot s e e y oung m aste r,' h e s a id , tu rn in g a ro und a n d b ow in g to
Fre d . S till fa cin g th e c arp et, h e a d ded , p erfe ctly a u dib ly , 'N asty little b ra t o f a
blo od t r a ito r i t i s .'
'S orry ?' s a id G eo rg e. 'D id n't c atc h t h at l a st b it.'
'K re ach er s a id n oth in g,' s a id t h e e lf , w ith a s e co nd b ow t o G eo rg e, a d din g i n
a c le ar u nderto ne, 'a n d t h ere 's i ts t w in , u nnatu ra l l ittle b easts t h ey a re .'
Harry d id n't k now w heth er to la u gh o r n ot. T he e lf s tr a ig hte n ed u p, e y ein g
th em a ll m ale v ole n tly , a n d a p pare n tly c o nvin ced th at th ey c o uld n ot h ear h im a s
he c o ntin ued t o m utte r.
'… an d th ere 's th e M udblo od, sta n din g th ere bold as bra ss, oh, if m y
mis tr e ss k new , o h, h ow s h e'd c ry , a n d th ere 's a n ew b oy, K re ach er d oesn 't k now
his n am e. W hat i s h e d oin g h ere ? K re ach er d oesn 't k now … "
This i s H arry , K re ach er,' s a id H errm one t e n ta tiv ely . 'H arry P otte r.'
Kre ach er's p ale e y es w id en ed a n d h e m utte re d fa ste r a n d m ore fu rio usly
th an e v er.
The M udblo od is ta lk in g to K re ach er as th ough sh e is m y frie n d, if
Kre ach er's m is tr e ss s a w h im i n s u ch c o m pan y, o h, w hat w ould s h e s a y - '
'D on't c all h er a M udblo od!' s a id R on a n d G in ny t o geth er, v ery a n grily .
'I t doesn 't m atte r,' H erm io ne w his p ere d , 'h e's not in his rig ht m in d, he
doesn 't k now w hat h e's - '
'D on't k id y ours e lf , H erm io ne, h e k now s
exa ctly
w hat h e's sa y in g,' sa id
Fre d , e y ein g K re ach er w ith g re at d is lik e.
Kre ach er w as s till m utte rin g, h is e y es o n H arry .
'I s it tr u e? Is it H arry P otte r? K re ach er c an se e th e sc ar, it m ust b e tr u e,
th at's t h e b oy w ho s to pped t h e D ark L ord , K re ach er w onders h ow h e d id i t - '
'D on't w e a ll, K re ach er,' s a id F re d .
'W hat d o y ou w an t, a n yw ay ?' G eo rg e a sk ed .
Kre ach er's h uge e y es d arte d t o w ard s G eo rg e.
'K re ach er i s c le an in g,' h e s a id e v asiv ely .
'A l ik ely s to ry ,' s a id a v oic e b eh in d H arry .
Sir iu s h ad c o m e b ack ; h e w as g lo w erin g a t th e e lf fro m th e d oorw ay. T he
nois e in th e h all h ad a b ate d ; p erh ap s M rs W easle y a n d M undungus h ad m oved

th eir a rg um en t d ow n i n to t h e k itc h en .
At th e s ig ht o f S ir iu s, K re ach er flu ng h im se lf in to a rid ic u lo usly lo w b ow
th at f la tte n ed h is s n outltk e n ose o n t h e f lo or.
'S ta n d u p s tr a ig ht,' s a id S ir iu s i m patie n tly . 'N ow , w hat a re y ou u p t o ?'
'K re ach er is c le an in g,' th e e lf re p eate d . 'K re ach er liv es to s e rv e th e N oble
House o f B la ck - '
'A nd i t's g ettin g b la ck er e v ery d ay, i t's f ilth y,' s a id S ir iu s.
'M aste r alw ay s lik ed his little jo ke,' sa id K re ach er, bow in g ag ain , an d
co ntin uin g in a n u nderto ne, 'M aste r w as a n asty u ngra te fu l s w in e w ho b ro ke h is
moth er's h eart - '
'M y m oth er d id n't h av e a h eart, K re ach er,' s n ap ped S ir iu s. 'S he k ep t h ers e lf
aliv e o ut o f p ure s p ite .'
Kre ach er b ow ed a g ain a s h e s p oke.
'W hate v er M aste r sa y s,' h e m utte re d fu rio usly . 'M aste r is n ot fit to w ip e
slim e f ro m h is m oth er's b oots , o h, m y p oor m is tr e ss, w hat w ould s h e s a y if s h e
sa w K re ach er s e rv in g h im , h ow s h e h ate d h im , w hat a d is a p poin tm en t h e w as - '
'1 a sk ed y ou w hat y ou w ere u p t o ,' s a id S ir iu s c o ld ly . 'E very t im e y ou s h ow
up p re te n din g to b e c le an in g, y ou s n eak s o m eth in g o ff to y our r o om s o w e c an 't
th ro w i t o ut.'
'K re ach er w ould n ev er m ove an yth in g fro m its p ro per p la ce in M aste r's
house ,' sa id th e elf , th en m utte re d very fa st, 'M is tr e ss w ould nev er fo rg iv e
Kre ach er if th e ta p estr y w as th ro w n o ut, s e v en c en tu rie s it's b een in th e f a m ily ,
Kre ach er m ust s a v e i t, K re ach er w ill n ot l e t M aste r a n d t h e b lo od t r a ito rs a n d t h e
bra ts d estr o y i t - '
'I th ought it m ig ht b e th at,' sa id S ir iu s, castin g a d is d ain fu l lo ok at th e
opposite w all. 'S he'l l h av e p ut a n oth er P erm an en t S tic k in g C harm o n t h e b ack o f
it, I don't doubt, but if 1 can get rid of it I certa in ly w ill. N ow go aw ay,
Kre ach er.'
It s e em ed th at K re ach er d id n ot d are d is o bey a d ir e ct o rd er; n ev erth ele ss,
th e lo ok h e g av e S ir iu s a s h e s h uff le d o ut p ast h im w as f u ll o f d eep est lo ath in g
an d h e m utte re d a ll t h e w ay o ut o f t h e r o om .
'– co m es back fro m A zk ab an ord erin g K re ach er aro und, oh, m y poor
mis tr e ss, w hat w ould s h e s a y if s h e s a w th e h ouse n ow , s c u m liv in g in it, h er
tr e asu re s th ro w n o ut, s h e s w ore h e w as n o s o n o f h ers a n d h e's b ack , th ey s a y
he's a m urd ere r t o o - '
'K eep m utte rin g an d I w ill be a m urd ere r!' sa id S ir iu s ir rita b ly as he
sla m med t h e d oor s h ut o n t h e e lf .
'S ir iu s, h e's n ot rig ht in th e h ead ,' H erm io ne p le ad ed , '1 d on't th in k h e
re alis e s w e c an h ear h im .'

'H e's b een a lo ne t o o l o ng,' s a id S ir iu s, 't a k in g m ad o rd ers f ro m m y m oth er's
portr a it a n d t a lk in g t o h im se lf , b ut h e w as a lw ay s a f o ul l ittle - '
'I f y ou c o uld j u st s e t h im f re e,' s a id H erm io ne h opefu lly , 'm ay be - '
'W e c an 't se t h im fre e, h e k now s to o m uch a b out th e O rd er,' sa id S ir iu s
cu rtly . 'A nd a n yw ay, t h e s h ock w ould k ill h im . Y ou s u ggest t o h im t h at h e l e av es
th is h ouse , s e e h ow h e t a k es i t.'
Sir iu s w alk ed a cro ss th e ro om to w here th e ta p estr y K re ach er h ad b een
tr y in g t o p ro te ct h ung t h e l e n gth o f t h e w all. H arry a n d t h e o th ers f o llo w ed .
The ta p estr y lo oked im men se ly o ld ; it w as fa d ed an d lo oked as th ough
Doxys h ad g naw ed it in p la ces. N ev erth ele ss, th e g old en th re ad w ith w hic h it
was e m bro id ere d s till g lin te d b rig htly e n ough to s h ow th em a s p ra w lin g f a m ily
tr e e d atin g b ack ( a s f a r a s H arry c o uld te ll) to th e M id dle A ges. L arg e w ord s a t
th e v ery t o p o f t h e t a p estr y r e ad :
The N oble a nd M ost A ncie n t H ouse o j B la ck
T oujo urs p ur'
'Y ou'r e not on here !' sa id H arry , afte r sc an nin g th e botto m of th e tr e e
clo se ly .
'I u se d to b e th ere ,' s a id S ir iu s, p oin tin g a t a s m all, ro und, c h arre d h ole in
th e ta p estr y , ra th er lik e a c ig are tte b urn . 'M y s w eet o ld m oth er b la ste d m e o ff
afte r I r a n a w ay f ro m h om e – K re ach er's q uite f o nd o f m utte rin g th e s to ry u nder
his b re ath .'
'Y ou r a n a w ay f ro m h om e?'
'W hen I w as a b out s ix te en ,' s a id S ir iu s. 'I 'd h ad e n ough.'
'W here d id y ou g o?' a sk ed H arry , s ta rin g a t h im .
'Y our d ad 's p la ce,' s a id S ir iu s. 'Y our g ra n dpare n ts w ere r e ally g ood a b out it;
th ey s o rt o f a d opte d m e a s a s e co nd s o n. Y eah , I c am ped o ut a t y our d ad 's in th e
sc h ool h olid ay s, a n d w hen I w as s e v en te en I g ot a p la ce o f m y o w n. M y U ncle
Alp hard h ad le ft m e a d ecen t b it o f g old – h e's b een w ip ed o ff h ere , to o, th at's
pro bab ly w hy – a n yw ay, a fte r th at I lo oked a fte r m yse lf . I w as a lw ay s w elc o m e
at M r a n d M rs P otte r's f o r S unday l u nch , t h ough.'
'B ut… w hy d id y ou… ? '
'L eav e?' S ir iu s s m ile d b itte rly a n d r a n h is f in gers t h ro ugh h is l o ng, u nkem pt
hair. 'B ecau se I h ate d th e w hole lo t o f th em : m y p are n ts , w ith th eir p ure -b lo od
man ia , co nvin ced th at to b e a B la ck m ad e y ou p ra ctic ally ro yal… m y id io t
bro th er, s o ft e n ough t o b elie v e t h em … t h at's h im .'
Sir iu s ja b bed a fin ger a t th e v ery b otto m o f th e tr e e, a t th e n am e 'R eg ulu s
Bla ck '. A d ate o f d eath ( s o m e f if te en y ears p re v io usly ) f o llo w ed t h e d ate o f b ir th .
'H e w as y ounger th an m e,' sa id S ir iu s, 'a n d a m uch b ette r so n, a s 1 w as
co nsta n tly r e m in ded .'
'B ut h e d ie d ,' s a id H arry .

'Y eah ,' s a id S ir iu s. 'S tu pid i d io t… h e j o in ed t h e D eath E ate rs .'
'Y ou'r e k id din g!'
'C om e o n, H arry , h av en 't y ou s e en e n ough o f t h is h ouse t o t e ll w hat k in d o f
wiz ard s m y f a m ily w ere ?' s a id S ir iu s t e stily .
'W ere – w ere y our p are n ts D eath E ate rs a s w ell? '
'N o, n o, b ut b elie v e m e, th ey th ought V old em ort h ad th e rig ht id ea, th ey
were a ll fo r th e p urif ic atio n o f th e w iz ard in g ra ce, g ettin g rid o f M uggle -b orn s
an d h av in g p ure -b lo ods in c h arg e. T hey w ere n 't a lo ne, e ith er, th ere w ere q uite a
fe w p eo ple , b efo re V old em ort s h ow ed h is tr u e c o lo urs , w ho th ought h e h ad th e
rig ht i d ea a b out t h in gs… t h ey g ot c o ld f e et w hen t h ey s a w w hat h e w as p re p are d
to d o to g et p ow er, th ough. B ut I b et m y p are n ts th ought R eg ulu s w as a rig ht
little h ero f o r j o in in g u p a t f ir s t.'
'W as h e k ille d b y a n A uro r? ' H arry a sk ed t e n ta tiv ely .
'O h, no,' sa id Sir iu s. 'N o, he w as m urd ere d by Vold em ort. O r on
Vold em ort's o rd ers , m ore lik ely ; I d oubt R eg ulu s w as e v er im porta n t e n ough to
be k ille d b y V old em ort in p ers o n. F ro m w hat I f o und o ut a fte r h e d ie d , h e g ot in
so f a r, th en p an ic k ed a b out w hat h e w as b ein g a sk ed to d o a n d tr ie d to b ack o ut.
Well, y ou d on't ju st h an d in y our re sig natio n to V old em ort. It's a lif e tim e o f
se rv ic e o r d eath .'
'L unch ,' s a id M rs W easle y s v oic e.
She w as h old in g h er w an d h ig h i n f ro nt o f h er, b ala n cin g a h uge t r a y l o ad ed
with s a n dw ic h es a n d c ak e o n i ts t ip . S he w as v ery r e d i n t h e f a ce a n d s till l o oked
an gry . T he o th ers m oved o ver to h er, e ag er fo r s o m e fo od, b ut H arry re m ain ed
with S ir iu s, w ho h ad b en t c lo se r t o t h e t a p estr y .
'I h av en 't lo oked a t th is fo r y ears . T here 's P hin eas N ig ellu s… m y g re at-
gre at- g ra n dfa th er, se e?… le ast p opula r H ead m aste r H ogw arts e v er h ad … a n d
Ara m in ta M eh flu a… c o usin o f m y m oth ers … tr ie d to fo rc e th ro ugh a M in is tr y
Bill to m ak e M uggle -h untin g le g al… a n d d ear A unt E lla d ora … s h e s ta rte d th e
fa m ily tr a d itio n o f b eh ead in g h ouse -e lv es w hen th ey g ot to o o ld to c arry te a
tr a y s… o f c o urs e , a n y tim e th e fa m ily p ro duced s o m eo ne h alf w ay d ecen t th ey
were d is o w ned . I s e e T onks is n 't o n h ere . M ay be th at's w hy K re ach er w on't ta k e
ord ers f ro m h er – h e's s u ppose d t o d o w hate v er a n yone i n t h e f a m ily a sk s h im - '
'Y ou a n d T onks a re r e la te d ?' H arry a sk ed , s u rp ris e d .
'O h, y eah , h er m oth er A ndro m ed a w as m y fa v ourite c o usin ,' sa id S ir iu s,
ex am in in g t h e t a p estr y c lo se ly . 'N o, A ndro m ed a's n ot o n h ere e ith er, l o ok - '
He p oin te d t o a n oth er s m all r o und b urn m ark b etw een t w o n am es, B ella tr ix
an d N arc is sa .
'A ndro m ed a's sis te rs a re still h ere b ecau se th ey m ad e lo vely , re sp ecta b le
pure -b lo od m arria g es, b ut A ndro m ed a m arrie d a M uggle -b orn , T ed T onks, s o - '

Sir iu s m im ed b la stin g th e ta p estr y w ith a w an d a n d la u ghed s o urly . H arry ,
how ev er, d id n ot la u gh; h e w as to o b usy sta rin g a t th e n am es to th e rig ht o f
Andro m ed a's burn m ark . A double lin e of gold em bro id ery lin ked N arc is sa
Bla ck w ith L uciu s M alf o y a n d a s in gle v ertic al g old l in e f ro m t h eir n am es l e d t o
th e n am e D ra co .
'Y ou'r e r e la te d t o t h e M alf o ys!'
The p ure -b lo od fa m ilie s are all in te rre la te d ,' sa id S ir iu s. T f y ou'r e o nly
goin g to le t y our so ns an d d au ghte rs m arry p ure -b lo ods y our ch oic e is v ery
lim ite d ; th ere a re h ard ly a n y o f u s le ft. M olly a n d I a re c o usin s b y m arria g e a n d
Arth ur's s o m eth in g lik e m y s e co nd c o usin o nce re m oved . B ut th ere 's n o p oin t
lo okin g f o r th em o n h ere – if e v er a f a m ily w as a b unch o f b lo od tr a ito rs it's th e
Weasle y s.'
But H arry w as n ow lo okin g a t th e n am e to th e le ft o f A ndro m ed a's b urn :
Bella tr ix B la ck , w hic h w as c o nnecte d b y a d ouble l in e t o R odolp hus L estr a n ge.
'L estr a n ge… ' H arry sa id alo ud. T he n am e h ad stir re d so m eth in g in h is
mem ory ; h e k new i t f ro m s o m ew here , b ut f o r a m om en t h e c o uld n't t h in k w here ,
th ough i t g av e h im a n o dd, c re ep in g s e n sa tio n i n t h e p it o f h is s to m ach .
They 'r e i n A zk ab an ,' s a id S ir iu s s h ortly .
Harry l o oked a t h im c u rio usly .
'B ella tr ix a n d h er h usb an d R odolp hus c am e in w ith B arty C ro uch ju nio r,'
sa id S ir iu s, in th e s a m e b ru sq ue v oic e. 'R odolp huss b ro th er R ab asta n w as w ith
th em , t o o.'
Then Harry re m em bere d . He had se en Bella tr ix Lestr a n ge in sid e
Dum ble d ore 's P en sie v e, th e str a n ge d ev ic e in w hic h th oughts an d m em orie s
co uld b e s to re d : a t a ll d ark w om an w ith h eav y-lid ded e y es, w ho h ad s to od a t h er
tr ia l a n d p ro cla im ed h er c o ntin uin g a lle g ia n ce to L ord V old em ort, h er p rid e th at
sh e h ad tr ie d to fin d h im a fte r h is d ow nfa ll a n d h er c o nvic tio n th at s h e w ould
one d ay b e r e w ard ed f o r h er l o yalty .
'Y ou n ev er s a id s h e w as y our - '
'D oes i t m atte r i f s h e's m y c o usin ?' s n ap ped S ir iu s. 'A s f a r a s I 'm c o ncern ed ,
th ey 'r e n ot m y fa m ily . S he's c erta in ly n ot m y fa m ily . I h av en 't s e en h er s in ce I
was y our a g e, u nle ss y ou c o unt a g lim pse o f h er c o m in g in to A zk ab an . D 'y ou
th in k I 'm p ro ud o f h av in g a r e la tiv e l ik e h er? '
'S orry ,' s a id H arry q uic k ly , 'I d id n't m ean – I w as j u st s u rp ris e d , t h at's a ll - '
'I t d oesn 't m atte r, d on't a p olo gis e ,' S ir iu s m um ble d . H e tu rn ed a w ay fro m
th e ta p estr y , h is h an ds d eep in h is p ock ets . 'I d on't lik e b ein g b ack h ere ,' h e s a id ,
sta rin g acro ss th e d ra w in g ro om . 'I n ev er th ought I'd b e stu ck in th is h ouse
ag ain .'
Harry u nders to od c o m ple te ly . H e k new h ow h e w ould fe el, w hen h e w as

gro w n u p a n d th ought h e w as fre e o f th e p la ce fo r e v er, to re tu rn a n d liv e a t
num ber f o ur, P riv et D riv e.
'I t's id eal fo r H ead quarte rs , o f co urs e ,' S ir iu s sa id . 'M y fa th er p ut ev ery
se cu rity m easu re k now n to w iz ard kin d o n it w hen h e liv ed h ere . I t's u nplo tta b le ,
so M uggle s c o uld n ev er c o m e a n d c all – a s if th ey 'd e v er h av e w an te d to – a n d
now D um ble d ore 's a d ded h is p ro te ctio n, y ou'd b e h ard p ut to f in d a s a fe r h ouse
an yw here . D um ble d ore is S ecre t K eep er f o r th e O rd er, y ou k now – n obody c an
fin d H ead quarte rs u nle ss h e te lls th em p ers o nally w here it is – th at n ote M oody
sh ow ed y ou la st n ig ht, th at w as fro m D um ble d ore … ' S ir iu s g av e a s h ort, b ark -
lik e la u gh. 'I f m y p are n ts c o uld s e e th e u se th eir h ouse w as b ein g p ut to n ow …
well, m y m oth ers p ortr a it s h ould g iv e y ou s o m e i d ea
He s c o w le d f o r a m om en t, t h en s ig hed .
'I w ould n't m in d if I co uld ju st g et o ut o ccasio nally an d d o so m eth in g
use fu l. I'v e a sk ed D um ble d ore w heth er I c an e sc o rt y ou to y our h earin g – a s
Snuff le s, o bvio usly – s o I c an g iv e y ou a b it o f m ora l s u pport, w hat d 'y ou t h in k?'
Harry f e lt a s t h ough h is s to m ach h ad s u nk t h ro ugh t h e d usty c arp et. H e h ad
not th ought a b out th e h earin g o nce sin ce d in ner th e p re v io us e v en in g; in th e
ex cite m en t o f b ein g b ack w ith th e p eo ple h e lik ed b est, a n d h earin g e v ery th in g
th at w as g oin g o n, i t h ad c o m ple te ly f lo w n h is m in d. A t S ir iu s's w ord s, h ow ev er,
th e c ru sh in g se n se o f d re ad re tu rn ed to h im . H e sta re d a t H erm io ne a n d th e
Weasle y s, a ll tu ck in g in to th eir s a n dw ic h es, a n d th ought h ow h e w ould fe el if
th ey w en t b ack t o H ogw arts w ith out h im .
'D on't w orry ,' S ir iu s s a id . H arry lo oked u p a n d r e alis e d th at S ir iu s h ad b een
watc h in g h im . 'I 'm su re th ey 'l l cle ar y ou, th ere 's d efin ite ly so m eth in g in th e
In te rn atio nal S ta tu te o f S ecre cy a b out b ein g a llo w ed to u se m ag ic to s a v e y our
ow n l if e .'
'B ut if th ey d o e x pel m e,' s a id H arry q uie tly , 'c an I c o m e b ack h ere a n d liv e
with y ou?'
Sir iu s s m ile d s a d ly .
'W e'l l s e e.'
'I 'd f e el a lo t b ette r a b out th e h earin g if I k new I d id n't h av e to g o b ack to
th e D urs le y s', ' H arry p re sse d h im .
'T hey m ust b e b ad i f y ou p re fe r t h is p la ce,' s a id S ir iu s g lo om ily .
'H urry u p, y ou t w o, o r t h ere w on't b e a n y f o od l e ft,' M rs W easle y c alle d .
Sir iu s h eav ed a n oth er g re at s ig h, c ast a d ark lo ok a t th e ta p estr y , th en h e
an d H arry w en t t o j o in t h e o th ers .
Harry tr ie d h is b est n ot to th in k a b out th e h earin g w hile th ey e m ptie d th e
gla ss-fro nte d cab in ets th at afte rn oon. F ortu nate ly fo r him , it w as a jo b th at
re q uir e d a lo t o f c o ncen tr a tio n, a s m an y o f th e o bje cts in th ere se em ed v ery

re lu cta n t to le av e th eir d usty s h elv es. S ir iu s s u sta in ed a b ad b ite fro m a s ilv er
sn uff b ox; w ith in se co nds h is b itte n h an d h ad d ev elo ped a n u nple asa n t c ru sty
co verin g l ik e
a
t o ugh b ro w n g lo ve.
'I ts O K,' h e s a id , e x am in in g th e h an d w ith in te re st b efo re ta p pin g it lig htly
with h is w an d a n d re sto rin g its sk in to n orm al, 'm ust b e W artc ap p ow der in
th ere .'
He th re w th e b ox a sid e in to th e s a ck w here th ey w ere d ep ositin g th e d eb ris
fro m th e c ab in ets ; H arry sa w G eo rg e w ra p h is o w n h an d c are fu lly in a c lo th
mom en ts l a te r a n d s n eak t h e b ox i n to h is a lr e ad y D oxy-fille d p ock et.
They fo und an unple asa n t- lo okin g silv er in str u m en t, so m eth in g lik e a
man y-le g ged p air o f tw eezers , w hic h s c u ttle d u p H arry s a rm lik e a s p id er w hen
he p ic k ed it u p, a n d a tte m pte d to p unctu re h is s k in . S ir iu s s e iz ed it a n d s m ash ed
it w ith a h eav y b ook e n title d N atu re 's
N obility : A W iz a rd in g G en ea lo gy
. T here
was a m usic al b ox th at e m itte d a f a in tly s in is te r, tin klin g tu ne w hen w ound, a n d
th ey a ll f o und th em se lv es b eco m in g c u rio usly w eak a n d s le ep y, u ntil G in ny h ad
th e s e n se to s la m th e lid s h ut; a h eav y lo ck et th at n one o f th em c o uld o pen ; a
num ber o f a n cie n t s e als ; a n d, i n a d usty b ox, a n O rd er o f M erlin , F ir s t C la ss, t h at
had b een a w ard ed t o S ir iu s's g ra n dfa th er f o r 's e rv ic es t o t h e M in is tr y '.
'I t m ean s he gav e th em a lo ad of gold ,' sa id Sir iu s co nte m ptu ously ,
th ro w in g t h e m ed al i n to t h e r u bbis h s a ck .
Sev era l tim es K re ach er sid le d in to th e ro om an d atte m pte d to sm uggle
th in gs a w ay u nder h is l o in clo th , m utte rin g h orrib le c u rs e s e v ery t im e t h ey c au ght
him a t it. W hen S ir iu s w re ste d a la rg e g old en r in g b earin g th e B la ck c re st f ro m
his g rip , K re ach er a ctu ally b urs t in to fu rio us te ars a n d le ft th e ro om so bbin g
under h is b re ath a n d c allin g S ir iu s n am es H arry h ad n ev er h eard b efo re .
'I t w as m y fa th er's ,' s a id S ir iu s, th ro w in g th e rin g in to th e s a ck . 'K re ach er
wasn 't
q uite
a s d ev ote d t o h im a s t o m y m oth er, b ut 1 s till c au ght h im s n oggin g a
pair o f m y f a th er's o ld t r o use rs l a st w eek .'
Weasle y k ep t th em all w ork in g v ery h ard o ver th e n ex t fe w d ay s. T he
dra w in g ro om to ok th re e d ay s to d eco nta m in ate . F in ally , th e o nly u ndesir a b le
th in gs l e ft i n i t w ere t h e t a p estr y o f t h e B la ck f a m ily t r e e, w hic h r e sis te d a ll t h eir
atte m pts t o r e m ove i t f ro m t h e w all, a n d t h e r a ttlin g w ritin g d esk . M oody h ad n ot
dro pped b y H ead quarte rs y et, s o t h ey c o uld n ot b e s u re w hat w as i n sid e i t.
They m oved f ro m th e d ra w in g r o om to a d in in g r o om o n th e g ro und f lo or
where th ey f o und s p id ers a s la rg e a s s a u cers lu rk in g in th e d re sse r ( R on le ft th e
ro om h urrie d ly to m ak e a c u p o f te a a n d d id n ot r e tu rn f o r a n h our a n d a h alf ).
The ch in a, whic h bore th e Bla ck cre st an d motto , was all th ro w n
uncere m onio usly in to a sa ck b y S ir iu s, an d th e sa m e fa te m et a se t o f o ld
photo gra p hs in ta rn is h ed s ilv er fra m es, a ll o f w hose o ccu pan ts s q ueale d s h rilly

as t h e g la ss c o verin g t h em s m ash ed .
Snap e m ig ht re fe r to th eir w ork a s 'c le an in g', b ut in H arry s o pin io n th ey
were re ally w ag in g w ar o n th e h ouse , w hic h w as p uttin g u p a v ery g ood fig ht,
aid ed a n d a b ette d b y K re ach er. T he h ouse -e lf k ep t a p pearin g w here v er t h ey w ere
co ngre g ate d , h is m utte rin g b eco m in g m ore a n d m ore o ff e n siv e a s h e a tte m pte d
to re m ove a n yth in g h e c o uld fro m th e ru bbis h sa ck s. S ir iu s w en t a s fa r a s to
th re ate n h im w ith c lo th es, b ut K re ach er f ix ed h im w ith a w ate ry s ta re a n d s a id ,
'M aste r m ust d o as M aste r w is h es,' b efo re tu rn in g aw ay an d m utte rin g v ery
lo udly , 'b ut M aste r w ill n ot tu rn K re ach er a w ay, n o, b ecau se K re ach er k now s
what th ey a re u p to , o h y es, h e is p lo ttin g a g ain st th e D ark L ord , y es, w ith th ese
Mudblo ods a n d t r a ito rs a n d s c u m … '
At w hic h S ir iu s, ig norin g H erm io ne's p ro te sts , s e iz ed K re ach er b y th e b ack
of h is l o in clo th a n d t h re w h im b odily f ro m t h e r o om .
The d oorb ell r a n g s e v era l t im es a d ay, w hic h w as t h e c u e f o r S ir iu s's m oth er
to s ta rt s h rie k in g a g ain , a n d f o r H arry a n d th e o th ers to a tte m pt to e av esd ro p o n
th e v is ito r, th ough th ey g le an ed v ery little f ro m th e b rie f g lim pse s a n d s n atc h es
of c o nvers a tio n th ey w ere a b le to sn eak b efo re M rs W easle y re calle d th em to
th eir ta sk s. S nap e flitte d in a n d o ut o f th e h ouse s e v era l tim es m ore , th ough to
Harry 's re lie f th ey nev er cam e fa ce to fa ce; H arry als o cau ght sig ht of his
Tra n sfig ura tio n te ach er P ro fe sso r M cG onag all, lo okin g v ery o dd in a M uggle
dre ss a n d c o at, a n d s h e a ls o s e em ed to o b usy to lin ger. S om etim es, h ow ev er, th e
vis ito rs s ta y ed to h elp . T onks jo in ed th em fo r a m em ora b le a fte rn oon in w hic h
th ey f o und a m urd ero us o ld g houl lu rk in g in a n u psta ir s to ile t, a n d L upin , w ho
was sta y in g in th e h ouse w ith S ir iu s b ut w ho le ft it fo r lo ng p erio ds to d o
myste rio us w ork f o r th e O rd er, h elp ed th em r e p air a g ra n dfa th er c lo ck th at h ad
dev elo ped th e unple asa n t hab it of sh ootin g heav y bolts at passe rs -b y.
Mundungus re d eem ed h im se lf s lig htly in M rs W easle y 's e y es b y re sc u in g R on
fro m an an cie n t se t o f p urp le ro bes th at h ad tr ie d to str a n gle h im w hen h e
re m oved t h em f ro m t h eir w ard ro be.
Desp ite th e fa ct th at h e w as s till s le ep in g b ad ly , s till h av in g d re am s a b out
co rrid ors a n d lo ck ed d oors th at m ad e h is s c ar p ric k le , H arry w as m an ag in g to
hav e fu n fo r th e fir s t tim e a ll s u m mer. A s lo ng a s h e w as b usy h e w as h ap py;
when th e actio n ab ate d , how ev er, w hen ev er he dro pped his guard , or la y
ex hau ste d in b ed w atc h in g b lu rre d s h ad ow s m ove a cro ss th e c eilin g, th e th ought
of th e lo om in g M in is tr y h earin g r e tu rn ed to h im . F ear ja b bed a t h is in sid es lik e
need le s a s h e w ondere d w hat w as g oin g to h ap pen to h im if h e w as e x pelle d .
The id ea w as s o te rrib le th at h e d id n ot d are v oic e it a lo ud, n ot e v en to R on a n d
Herm io ne, w ho, th ough h e o fte n sa w th em w his p erin g to geth er an d castin g
an xio us lo oks in his dir e ctio n, fo llo w ed his le ad in not m en tio nin g it.

Som etim es, he co uld not pre v en t his im ag in atio n sh ow in g him a fa cele ss
Min is tr y o ff ic ia l w ho w as s n ap pin g h is w an d in tw o a n d o rd erin g h im b ack to
th e D urs le y s'… b ut h e w ould n ot g o. H e w as d ete rm in ed o n t h at. H e w ould c o m e
back h ere t o G rim mau ld P la ce a n d l iv e w ith S ir iu s.
He f e lt a s th ough a b ric k h ad d ro pped in to h is s to m ach w hen M rs W easle y
tu rn ed to h im d urin g d in ner o n W ed nesd ay e v en in g a n d s a id q uie tly , 'I 'v e ir o ned
your b est c lo th es f o r t o m orro w m orn in g, H arry , a n d I w an t y ou t o w ash y our h air
to nig ht, t o o. A g ood f ir s t i m pre ssio n c an w ork w onders .'
Ron, H erm io ne, F re d , G eo rg e a n d G in ny a ll sto pped ta lk in g a n d lo oked
over a t h im . H arry n odded a n d tr ie d to k eep e atin g h is c h op, b ut h is m outh h ad
beco m e s o d ry h e c o uld n ot c h ew .
'H ow am I gettin g th ere ?' he ask ed M rs W easle y, tr y in g to so und
unco ncern ed .
'A rth urs t a k in g y ou t o w ork w ith h im ,' s a id M rs W easle y g en tly .
Mr W easle y s m ile d e n co ura g in gly a t H arry a cro ss t h e t a b le .
'Y ou c an w ait i n m y o ff ic e u ntil i t's t im e f o r t h e h earin g,' h e s a id .
Harry lo oked o ver at S ir iu s, b ut b efo re h e co uld ask th e q uestio n, M rs
Weasle y h ad a n sw ere d i t.
'P ro fe sso r D um ble d ore d oesn 't th in k it's a g ood id ea fo r S ir iu s to g o w ith
you, a n d I m ust s a y I - '
'– t h in k h e's
q uite r ig ht
,' s a id S ir iu s t h ro ugh c le n ch ed t e eth .
Mrs W easle y p urs e d h er l ip s.
'W hen d id D um ble d ore t e ll y ou t h at? ' H arry s a id , s ta rin g a t S ir iu s.
'H e c am e l a st n ig ht, w hen y ou w ere i n b ed ,' s a id M r W easle y.
Sir iu s sta b bed m oodily a t a p ota to w ith h is fo rk . H arry lo w ere d h is o w n
ey es to h is p la te . T he th ought th at D um ble d ore h ad b een in th e h ouse o n th e e v e
of h is h earin g a n d n ot a sk ed to s e e h im m ad e h im f e el, if it w ere p ossib le , e v en
wors e .

C H APT ER S E V EN
T H E M IN IS T R Y O F M AG IC

Harry a w oke a t h alf p ast f iv e th e n ex t m orn in g a s a b ru ptly a n d c o m ple te ly
a s if s o m eb ody h ad y elle d in h is e ar. F or a f e w m om en ts h e la y im mobile a s th e
p ro sp ect o f th e d is c ip lin ary h earin g fille d e v ery tin y p artic le o f h is b ra in , th en ,
u nab le to b ear it, h e le ap t o ut o f b ed a n d p ut o n h is g la sse s. M rs W easle y h ad
l a id o ut h is fre sh ly la u ndere d je an s a n d T -s h ir t a t th e fo ot o f h is b ed . H arry
s c ra m ble d i n to t h em . T he b la n k p ic tu re o n t h e w all s n ig gere d .
Ron w as ly in g s p ra w le d o n h is b ack w ith h is m outh w id e o pen , f a st a sle ep .
H e d id n ot stir a s H arry c ro sse d th e ro om , ste p ped o ut o n to th e la n din g a n d
c lo se d th e d oor s o ftly b eh in d h im . T ry in g n ot to th in k o f th e n ex t tim e h e w ould
s e e R on, w hen th ey m ig ht n o lo nger b e fe llo w stu den ts at H ogw arts , H arry
w alk ed q uie tly d ow n t h e s ta ir s , p ast t h e h ead s o f K re ach er's a n cesto rs , a n d d ow n
i n to t h e k itc h en .
He h ad e x pecte d it to b e e m pty , b ut w hen h e r e ach ed th e d oor h e h eard th e
s o ft r u m ble o f v oic es o n th e o th er s id e. H e p ush ed it o pen a n d s a w M r a n d M rs
W easle y, S ir iu s, L upin an d T onks sittin g th ere alm ost as th ough th ey w ere
w aitin g f o r h im . A ll w ere f u lly d re sse d e x cep t M rs W easle y, w ho w as w earin g a
q uilte d p urp le d re ssin g g ow n. S he l e ap t t o h er f e et t h e m om en t H arry e n te re d .
"B re ak fa st," s h e s a id a s s h e p ulle d o ut h er w an d a n d h urrie d o ver t o t h e f ir e .
"M – m – m orn in g, H arry ," y aw ned T onks. H er h air w as b lo nde a n d c u rly
t h is m orn in g. " S le ep a ll r ig ht? "
"Y eah ," s a id H arry .
"I'v e b – b – b een u p a ll n ig ht," s h e s a id , w ith a n oth er s h udderin g y aw n.
" C om e a n d s it d ow n ..."
She d re w o ut a c h air , k nock in g o ver t h e o ne b esid e i t i n t h e p ro cess.
"W hat do you w an t, H arry ?" M rs W easle y calle d . "P orrid ge? M uff in s?
K ip pers ? B aco n a n d e g gs? T oast? "
"Ju st – j u st t o ast, t h an ks," s a id H arry .
Lupin g la n ced a t H arry , th en s a id to T onks, " W hat w ere y ou s a y in g a b out
S crim geo ur? "
"O h ... y eah ... w ell, w e n eed to b e a b it m ore c are fu l, h e's b een a sk in g
K in gsle y a n d m e f u nny q uestio ns ..."
Harry fe lt vag uely gra te fu l th at he w as not re q uir e d to jo in in th e
c o nvers a tio n. H is in sid es w ere sq uir m in g. M rs W easle y pla ced a co uple of

pie ces o f to ast a n d m arm ala d e in fro nt o f h im ; h e tr ie d to e at, b ut it w as lik e
ch ew in g c arp et. M rs W easle y s a t d ow n o n h is o th er s id e a n d s ta rte d f u ssin g w ith
his T-s h ir t, tu ck in g in th e la b el an d sm ooth in g out th e cre ase s acro ss his
sh ould ers . H e w is h ed s h e w ould n't .
"... a n d I 'l l h av e to te ll D um ble d ore I c an 't d o n ig ht d uty to m orro w , I 'm ju st
to o t ir e d ," T onks f in is h ed , y aw nin g h ugely a g ain .
"I'l l c o ver fo r y ou," s a id M r W easle y. " I'm O K, I'v e g ot a re p ort to fin is h
an yw ay
Mr W easle y w as n ot w earin g w iz ard s' r o bes b ut a p air o f p in str ip ed t r o use rs
an d a n o ld b om ber j a ck et. H e t u rn ed f ro m T onks t o H arry .
"H ow a re y ou f e elin g?"
Harry s h ru gged .
"It'l l a ll b e o ver so on," M r W easle y sa id b ra cin gly . In a fe w h ours ' tim e
you'l l b e c le are d ."
Harry s a id n oth in g.
The h earin g's o n m y flo or, in A m elia B ones's o ff ic e. S he's H ead o f th e
Dep artm en t o f M ag ic al L aw E nfo rc em en t, a n d th e o ne w ho'l l b e q uestio nin g
you."
"A m elia B ones is O K, H arry ," s a id T onks e arn estly . " S he's f a ir , s h e'l l h ear
you o ut."
Harry n odded , s till u nab le t o t h in k o f a n yth in g t o s a y.
"D on't lo se y our te m per," s a id S ir iu s a b ru ptly . " B e p olite a n d s tic k to th e
fa cts ."
Harry n odded a g ain .
"T he la w 's o n y our s id e," s a id L upin q uie tly . " E ven u ndera g e w iz ard s a re
allo w ed t o u se m ag ic i n l if e -th re ate n in g s itu atio ns."
Som eth in g v ery c o ld tr ic k le d d ow n th e b ack o f H arry s n eck ; f o r a m om en t
he th ought so m eo ne w as puttin g a D is illu sio nm en t C harm on him , th en he
re alis e d th at M rs W easle y w as a tta ck in g h is h air w ith a w et c o m b. S he p re sse d
hard o n t h e t o p o f h is h ead .
"D oesn 't i t e v er l ie f la t? " s h e s a id d esp era te ly .
Harry s h ook h is h ead .
Mr W easle y c h eck ed h is w atc h a n d l o oked u p a t H arry .
"I t h in k w e'l l g o n ow ," h e s a id . " W e'r e a b it e arly b ut I t h in k y ou'l l b e b ette r
off a t t h e M in is tr y t h an h an gin g a ro und h ere ."
"O K," s a id H arry a u to m atic ally , d ro ppin g h is t o ast a n d g ettin g t o h is f e et.
"Y ou'l l b e a ll r ig ht, H arry ," s a id T onks, p attin g h im o n t h e a rm .
"G ood l u ck ," s a id L upin . I 'm s u re i t w ill b e f in e."
"A nd i f i t's n ot," s a id S ir iu s g rim ly " I'l l s e e t o A m elia B ones f o r y ou ..."

Harry s m ile d w eak ly . M rs W easle y h ugged h im .
"W e'v e a ll g ot o ur f in gers c ro sse d ," s h e s a id .
"R ig ht," s a id H arry . " W ell ... s e e y ou l a te r t h en ."
He f o llo w ed M r W easle y u psta ir s a n d a lo ng th e h all. H e c o uld h ear S ir iu s's
moth er g ru ntin g in h er s le ep b eh in d h er c u rta in s. M r W easle y u nbolte d th e d oor
an d t h ey s te p ped o ut i n to t h e c o ld , g re y d aw n.
"Y ou d on't n orm ally w alk to w ork , d o y ou?" H arry a sk ed h im , a s th ey s e t
off b ris k ly a ro und t h e s q uare .
"N o, I u su ally A ppara te ," s a id M r W easle y, " b ut o bvio usly y ou c an 't , a n d I
th in k it's b est w e a rriv e in a th oro ughly n on-m ag ic al fa sh io n ... m ak es a b ette r
im pre ssio n, g iv en w hat y ou'r e b ein g d is c ip lin ed f o r ..."
Mr W easle y k ep t h is h an d in sid e h is ja ck et a s th ey w alk ed . H arry k new it
was c le n ch ed a ro und h is w an d. T he r u n-d ow n s tr e ets w ere a lm ost d ese rte d , b ut
when th ey arriv ed at th e m is e ra b le little underg ro und sta tio n th ey fo und it
alr e ad y fu ll o f e arly -m orn in g c o m mute rs . A s e v er w hen h e fo und h im se lf in
clo se p ro xim ity to M uggle s g oin g a b out th eir d aily b usin ess, M r W easle y w as
hard p ut t o c o nta in h is e n th usia sm .
"S im ply f a b ulo us," h e w his p ere d , in dic atin g th e a u to m atic tic k et m ach in es.
"W onderfu lly i n gen io us."
"T hey 'r e o ut o f o rd er," s a id H arry , p oin tin g a t t h e s ig n.
"Y es, b ut e v en s o ..." s a id M r W easle y, b eam in g a t t h em f o ndly
They bought th eir tic k ets in ste ad fro m a sle ep y-lo okin g guard (H arry
han dle d th e tr a n sa ctio n, a s M r W easle y w as n ot v ery g ood w ith M uggle m oney )
an d f iv e m in ute s la te r th ey w ere b oard in g a n u nderg ro und tr a in th at r a ttle d th em
off to w ard s th e c en tr e o f L ondon. M r W easle y k ep t a n xio usly c h eck in g a n d r e -
ch eck in g t h e U nderg ro und M ap a b ove t h e w in dow s.
"F our m ore s to ps, H arry ... T hre e s to ps le ft n ow ... T w o s to ps to g o, H arry
..."
They g ot o ff a t a s ta tio n in th e v ery h eart o f L ondon, a n d w ere s w ep t f ro m
th e tr a in in a tid e o f b esu ite d m en an d w om en carry in g b rie fc ase s. U p th e
esc ala to r th ey w en t, th ro ugh th e tic k et b arrie r (M r W easle y d elig hte d w ith th e
way th e s tile s w allo w ed h is tic k et) , a n d e m erg ed o n to a b ro ad s tr e et lin ed w ith
im posin g-lo okin g b uild in gs a n d a lr e ad y f u ll o f t r a ff ic .
"W here are w e?" sa id M r W easle y b la n kly , an d fo r o ne h eart- s to ppin g
mom en t H arry th ought th ey had got off at th e w ro ng sta tio n desp ite M r
Weasle y 's c o ntin ual r e fe re n ces to th e m ap ; b ut a s e co nd la te r h e s a id , " A h y es ...
th is w ay, H arry ," a n d l e d h im d ow n a s id e r o ad .
"S orry ," h e s a id , " b ut I n ev er c o m e b y tr a in a n d it a ll lo oks r a th er d if f e re n t
fro m a M uggle p ers p ectiv e. A s a m atte r o f f a ct, I 'v e n ev er e v en u se d t h e v is ito rs '

en tr a n ce b efo re ."
The fu rth er th ey w alk ed , th e sm alle r an d le ss im posin g th e build in gs
becam e, u ntil f in ally th ey r e ach ed a s tr e et th at c o nta in ed s e v era l r a th er s h ab by-
lo okin g o ff ic es, a p ub a n d a n o verflo w in g sk ip . H arry h ad e x pecte d a ra th er
more i m pre ssiv e l o catio n f o r t h e M in is tr y o f M ag ic .
"H ere w e a re ," s a id M r W easle y b rig htly , p oin tin g a t a n o ld re d te le p hone
box, w hic h w as m is sin g se v era l pan es of gla ss an d sto od befo re a heav ily
gra ff itie d w all. " A fte r y ou, H arry ."
He o pen ed t h e t e le p hone-b ox d oor.
Harry s te p ped in sid e, w onderin g w hat o n e arth th is w as a b out. M r W easle y
fo ld ed h im se lf in b esid e H arry a n d c lo se d th e d oor. I t w as a tig ht f it; H arry w as
ja m med a g ain st th e te le p hone a p para tu s, w hic h w as h an gin g c ro oked ly f ro m th e
wall a s t h ough a v an dal h ad t r ie d t o r ip i t o ff . M r W easle y r e ach ed p ast H arry f o r
th e r e ceiv er.
"M r W easle y, I t h in k t h is m ig ht b e o ut o f o rd er, t o o," H arry s a id .
"N o, n o, I 'm s u re it's f in e," s a id M r W easle y, h old in g th e r e ceiv er a b ove h is
head a n d p eerin g a t th e d ia l. " L et's s e e ... s ix ..." h e d ia lle d th e n um ber, " tw o ...
fo ur ... a n d a n oth er f o ur ... a n d a n oth er t w o ..."
As th e d ia l w hir re d s m ooth ly b ack in to p la ce, a c o ol f e m ale v oic e s o unded
in sid e th e te le p hone b ox, n ot fro m th e re ceiv er in M r W easle y 's h an d, b ut a s
lo udly an d p la in ly as th ough an in vis ib le w om an w ere sta n din g rig ht b esid e
th em .
"W elc o m e t o t h e M in is tr y o f M ag ic . P le ase s ta te y our n am e a n d b usin ess."
"E r ..." sa id M r W easle y, c le arly u ncerta in w heth er o r n ot h e sh ould ta lk
in to t h e r e ceiv er. H e c o m pro m is e d b y h old in g t h e m outh pie ce t o h is e ar, " A rth ur
Weasle y, M is u se o f M uggle A rte fa cts O ff ic e, h ere to e sc o rt H arry P otte r, w ho
has b een a sk ed t o a tte n d a d is c ip lin ary h earin g ..."
"T han k y ou," s a id t h e c o ol f e m ale v oic e. " V is ito r, p le ase t a k e t h e b ad ge a n d
atta ch i t t o t h e f ro nt o f y our r o bes."
There w as a c lic k a n d a ra ttle , a n d H arry s a w s o m eth in g s lid e o ut o f th e
meta l c h ute w here re tu rn ed c o in s u su ally a p peare d . H e p ic k ed it u p: it w as a
sq uare s ilv er b ad ge w ith
H arry P otte r, D is c ip lin ary H ea rin g
o n it. H e p in ned it
to t h e f ro nt o f h is T -s h ir t a s t h e f e m ale v oic e s p oke a g ain .
"V is ito r to th e M in is tr y , y ou a re r e q uir e d to s u bm it to a s e arc h a n d p re se n t
your w an d f o r r e g is tr a tio n a t th e s e cu rity d esk , w hic h is lo cate d a t th e f a r e n d o f
th e A tr iu m ."
The flo or o f th e te le p hone b ox s h uddere d . T hey w ere s in kin g s lo w ly in to
th e g ro und. H arry w atc h ed a p pre h en siv ely a s th e p av em en t se em ed to ris e u p
past th e g la ss w in dow s o f th e te le p hone b ox u ntil d ark ness c lo se d o ver th eir

head s. T hen h e c o uld s e e n oth in g a t a ll; h e c o uld h ear o nly a d ull g rin din g n ois e
as t h e t e le p hone b ox m ad e i ts w ay d ow n t h ro ugh t h e e arth . A fte r a b out a m in ute ,
th ough it f e lt m uch lo nger to H arry , a c h in k o f g old en lig ht illu m in ate d h is f e et
an d, w id en in g, r o se u p h is b ody, u ntil i t h it h im i n t h e f a ce a n d h e h ad t o b lin k t o
sto p h is e y es w ate rin g.
"T he M in is tr y o f M ag ic w is h es y ou a p le asa n t d ay," sa id th e w om an 's
voic e.
The d oor o f th e te le p hone b ox s p ra n g o pen a n d M r W easle y s te p ped o ut o f
it, f o llo w ed b y H arry , w hose m outh h ad f a lle n o pen .
They w ere sta n din g a t o ne e n d o f a v ery lo ng a n d sp le n did h all w ith a
hig hly p olis h ed , d ark w ood flo or. T he p eaco ck b lu e ceilin g w as in la id w ith
gle am in g g old en s y m bols th at k ep t m ovin g a n d c h an gin g lik e s o m e e n orm ous
heav en ly n otic eb oard . T he w alls o n e ach s id e w ere p an elle d in s h in y d ark w ood
an d h ad m an y g ild ed fir e p la ces se t in to th em . E very fe w se co nds a w itc h o r
wiz ard w ould e m erg e fro m o ne o f th e le ft- h an d fir e p la ces w ith a s o ft w hoosh .
On t h e r ig ht- h an d s id e, s h ort q ueu es w ere f o rm in g b efo re e ach f ir e p la ce, w aitin g
to d ep art.
Half w ay d ow n th e h all w as a fo unta in . A g ro up o f g old en sta tu es, la rg er
th an lif e -s iz e, s to od in th e m id dle o f a c ir c u la r p ool. T alle st o f th em a ll w as a
noble -lo okin g w iz ard w ith h is w an d p oin tin g str a ig ht u p in th e air. G ro uped
aro und h im w ere a b eau tif u l w itc h , a c en ta u r, a g oblin a n d a h ouse -e lf . T he la st
th re e w ere a ll lo okin g a d orin gly u p a t th e w itc h a n d w iz ard . G litte rin g je ts o f
wate r w ere f ly in g f ro m th e e n ds o f th eir w an ds, th e p oin t o f th e c en ta u r's a rro w ,
th e t ip o f t h e g oblin s h at a n d e ach o f t h e h ouse -e lf 's e ars , s o t h at t h e t in klin g h is s
of fa llin g w ate r w as a d ded to th e p ops a n d
c ra cks
o f th e A ppara to rs a n d th e
cla tte r o f fo ots te p s a s h undre d s o f w itc h es a n d w iz ard s, m ost o f w hom w ere
wearin g g lu m , e arly -m orn in g lo oks, s tr o de to w ard s a s e t o f g old en g ate s a t th e
fa r e n d o f t h e h all.
"T his w ay," s a id M r W easle y.
They jo in ed th e th ro ng, w en din g th eir w ay b etw een th e M in is tr y w ork ers ,
so m e of w hom w ere carry in g to tte rin g pile s of parc h m en t, oth ers batte re d
brie fc ase s; still o th ers w ere re ad in g th e
D aily P ro phet
w hile th ey w alk ed . A s
th ey p asse d th e f o unta in H arry s a w s ilv er S ic k le s a n d b ro nze K nuts g lin tin g u p
at h im f ro m t h e b otto m o f t h e p ool. A s m all s m udged s ig n b esid e i t r e ad :
ALL P R O CEED S F R O M T H E F O UNTA IN O F M AGIC A L B RETH REN
WIL L BE GIV EN TO ST MUNGO'S HOSPIT A L FO R MAGIC A L
MALA DIE S A ND I N JU RIE S.
If I'm n ot e xp elle d fr o m H ogw arts , I'l l p ut in te n G alle o ns,
H arry fo und
him se lf t h in kin g d esp era te ly .

"O ver h ere , H arry ," s a id M r W easle y, a n d th ey s te p ped o ut o f th e s tr e am o f
Min is tr y e m plo yees h ead in g fo r th e g old en g ate s. S eate d a t a d esk to th e le ft,
ben eath a sig n sa y in g
S ecu rity ,
a b ad ly -s h av en w iz ard in p eaco ck b lu e ro bes
lo oked u p a s t h ey a p pro ach ed a n d p ut d ow n h is
D aily P ro phet.
"I'm e sc o rtin g a v is ito r," s a id M r W easle y, g estu rin g t o w ard s H arry .
"S te p o ver h ere ," s a id t h e w iz ard i n a b ore d v oic e.
Harry w alk ed c lo se r to h im a n d th e w iz ard h eld u p a lo ng g old en r o d, th in
an d f le x ib le a s a c ar a eria l, a n d p asse d i t u p a n d d ow n H arry s f ro nt a n d b ack .
"W an d," g ru nte d th e se cu rity w iz ard at H arry , p uttin g d ow n th e g old en
in str u m en t a n d h old in g o ut h is h an d.
Harry p ro duced h is w an d. T he w iz ard d ro pped it o n to a str a n ge b ra ss
in str u m en t, w hic h lo oked s o m eth in g lik e a s e t o f s c ale s w ith o nly o ne d is h . It
beg an to v ib ra te . A n arro w s tr ip o f p arc h m en t c am e s p eed in g o ut o f a s lit in th e
base . T he w iz ard t o re t h is o ff a n d r e ad t h e w ritin g o n i t.
"E le v en i n ch es, p hoen ix -fe ath er c o re , b een i n u se f o ur y ears . T hat c o rre ct? "
"Y es," s a id H arry n erv ously .
"I k eep th is ," s a id th e w iz ard , im palin g th e s lip o f p arc h m en t o n a s m all
bra ss s p ik e. " Y ou g et t h is b ack ," h e a d ded , t h ru stin g t h e w an d a t H arry .
"T han k y ou."
"H an g o n ..." s a id t h e w iz ard s lo w ly .
His e y es h ad d arte d fro m th e s ilv er v is ito rs b ad ge o n H arry 's c h est to h is
fo re h ead .
"T han k y ou, E ric ," sa id M r W easle y fir m ly , an d g ra sp in g H arry b y th e
sh ould er h e s te ere d h im a w ay f ro m th e d esk a n d b ack in to th e s tr e am o f w iz ard s
an d w itc h es w alk in g t h ro ugh t h e g old en g ate s.
Jo stle d s lig htly b y t h e c ro w d, H arry f o llo w ed M r W easle y t h ro ugh t h e g ate s
in to th e s m alle r h all b ey ond, w here a t le ast tw en ty lif ts s to od b eh in d w ro ught
gold en g rille s. H arry a n d M r W easle y jo in ed th e c ro w d a ro und o ne o f th em .
Nearb y, s to od a b ig b eard ed w iz ard h old in g a la rg e c ard board b ox w hic h w as
em ittin g r a sp in g n ois e s.
"A ll r ig ht, A rth ur? " s a id t h e w iz ard , n oddin g a t M r W easle y.
"W hat'v e y ou g ot t h ere , B ob?" a sk ed M r W easle y, l o okin g a t t h e b ox.
"W e'r e n ot su re ," sa id th e w iz ard se rio usly . 'W e th ought it w as a b og-
sta n dard c h ic k en u ntil i t s ta rte d b re ath in g f ir e . L ooks l ik e a s e rio us b re ach o f t h e
Ban o n E xperim en ta l B re ed in g t o m e."
With a g re at ja n glin g a n d c la tte rin g a lif t d esc en ded in fro nt o f th em ; th e
gold en g rille s lid b ack a n d H arry a n d M r W easle y s te p ped in to th e lif t w ith th e
re st o f t h e c ro w d a n d H arry f o und h im se lf j a m med a g ain st t h e b ack w all. S ev era l
witc h es a n d w iz ard s w ere lo okin g a t h im c u rio usly ; h e s ta re d a t h is f e et to a v oid

catc h in g a n yone's e y e, f la tte n in g h is f rin ge a s h e d id s o . T he g rille s s lid s h ut w ith
a c ra sh a n d th e lif t a sc en ded s lo w ly , c h ain s r a ttlin g, w hile th e s a m e c o ol f e m ale
voic e H arry h ad h eard i n t h e t e le p hone b ox r a n g o ut a g ain .
"L ev el S ev en , D ep artm en t o f M ag ic al G am es a n d S ports , in co rp ora tin g th e
Britis h a n d Iris h Q uid ditc h L eag ue H ead quarte rs , O ff ic ia l G obsto nes C lu b a n d
Ludic ro us P ate n ts O ff ic e."
The lif t d oors o pen ed . H arry g lim pse d an u ntid y-lo okin g co rrid or, w ith
vario us p oste rs o f Q uid ditc h te am s ta ck ed lo psid ed ly o n th e w alls . O ne o f th e
wiz ard s in th e lif t, w ho w as carry in g an arm fu l of bro om stic k s, ex tr ic ate d
him se lf w ith d if f ic u lty a n d d is a p peare d d ow n th e c o rrid or. T he d oors c lo se d , th e
lif t j u ddere d u pw ard s a g ain a n d t h e w om an 's v oic e a n nounced :
"L ev el S ix , D ep artm en t o f M ag ic al T ra n sp orta tio n, in co rp ora tin g th e F lo o
Netw ork A uth ority , B ro om R eg ula to ry C ontr o l, P ortk ey O ff ic e a n d A ppara tio n
Test C en tr e ."
Once a g ain th e lif t d oors o pen ed a n d fo ur o r fiv e w itc h es a n d w iz ard s g ot
out; at th e sa m e tim e, se v era l p ap er aero pla n es sw ooped in to th e lif t. H arry
sta re d u p a t th em a s th ey fla p ped id ly a ro und a b ove h is h ead ; th ey w ere a p ale
vio le t c o lo ur a n d h e c o uld s e e
M in is tr y o f M agic
s ta m ped a lo ng t h e e d ge o f t h eir
win gs.
"Ju st i n te r- d ep artm en ta l m em os," M r W easle y m utte re d t o h im . " W e u se d t o
use o w ls , b ut t h e m ess w as u nbelie v ab le ... d ro ppin gs a ll o ver t h e d esk s ..."
As th ey cla tte re d upw ard s ag ain th e m em os fla p ped aro und ih e la m p
sw ay in g f ro m t h e l if t's c eilin g.
"L ev el Fiv e, Dep artm en t of In te rn atio nal Mag ic al Co-o pera tio n,
in co rp ora tin g th e In te rn atio nal Mag ic al Tra d in g Sta n dard s Body, th e
In te rn atio nal M ag ic al O ff ic e of L aw an d th e In te rn atio nal C onfe d era tio n of
Wiz ard s, B ritis h S eats ."
When th e d oors o pen ed , tw o o f th e m em os z o om ed o ut w ith a f e w m ore o f
th e w itc h es a n d w iz ard s, b ut s e v era l m ore m em os z o om ed in , s o th at th e lig ht
fro m t h e l a m p f lic k ere d a n d f la sh ed o verh ead a s t h ey d arte d a ro und i t.
"L ev el Four, D ep artm en t fo r th e R eg ula tio n an d C ontr o l of M ag ic al
Cre atu re s, in co rp ora tin g B east, B ein g an d Spir it D iv is io ns, G oblin L ia is o n
Off ic e a n d P est A dvis o ry B ure au ."
"S 'c u se ," s a id th e w iz ard c arry in g th e f ir e -b re ath in g c h ic k en a n d h e le ft th e
lif t p urs u ed b y a l ittle f lo ck o f m em os. T he d oors c la n ged s h ut y et a g ain .
"L ev el Thre e, Dep artm en t of M ag ic al Accid en ts an d Cata str o phes,
in clu din g th e A ccid en ta l M ag ic R ev ers a l S quad , O bliv ia to r H ead quarte rs a n d
Muggle -W orth y E xcu se C om mitte e."
Every body le ft th e lif t o n th is f lo or e x cep t M r W easle y, H arry a n d a w itc h

who w as r e ad in g a n e x tr e m ely lo ng p ie ce o f p arc h m en t th at w as tr a ilin g o n th e
flo or. T he re m ain in g m em os co ntin ued to so ar aro und th e la m p as th e lif t
ju ddere d upw ard s ag ain , th en th e doors open ed an d th e voic e m ad e its
an nouncem en t.
"L ev el Tw o, D ep artm en t of M ag ic al L aw E nfo rc em en t, in clu din g th e
Im pro per Use of M ag ic Off ic e, Auro r Head quarte rs an d W iz en gam ot
Adm in is tr a tio n S erv ic es."
"T his i s u s, H arry ," s a id M r W easle y, a n d t h ey f o llo w ed t h e w itc h o ut o f t h e
lif t i n to a c o rrid or l in ed w ith d oors . " M y o ff ic e i s o n t h e o th er s id e o f t h e f lo or."
"M r W easle y " s a id H arry , a s th ey p asse d a w in dow th ro ugh w hic h s u nlig ht
was s tr e am in g, " a re n 't w e s till u nderg ro und?"
"Y es, w e a re ," s a id M r W easle y. " T hose a re e n ch an te d w in dow s. M ag ic al
Main te n an ce d ecid e w hat w eath er w e'l l g et e v ery d ay. W e h ad tw o m onth s o f
hurric an es l a st t im e t h ey w ere a n glin g f o r a p ay r is e ... J u st r o und h ere , H arry ."
They tu rn ed a co rn er, w alk ed th ro ugh a pair of heav y oak doors an d
em erg ed in a c lu tte re d o pen a re a d iv id ed in to c u bic le s, w hic h w as b uzzin g w ith
ta lk a n d la u ghte r. M em os w ere z o om in g in a n d o ut o f c u bic le s lik e m in ia tu re
ro ck ets . A l o psid ed s ig n o n t h e n eare st c u bic le r e ad :
A uro r H ea dquarte rs.
Harry lo oked su rre p titio usly th ro ugh th e d oorw ay s as th ey p asse d . T he
Auro rs h ad c o vere d th eir c u bic le w alls w ith e v ery th in g f ro m p ic tu re s o f w an te d
wiz ard s a n d p hoto gra p hs o f t h eir f a m ilie s, t o p oste rs o f t h eir f a v ourite Q uid ditc h
te am s a n d a rtic le s f ro m th e
D aily P ro phet.
A s c arle t- ro bed m an w ith a p onyta il
lo nger th an B ill's w as s ittin g w ith h is b oots u p o n h is d esk , d ic ta tin g a r e p ort to
his q uill. A little fu rth er a lo ng, a w itc h w ith a p atc h o ver o ne e y e w as ta lk in g
over t h e t o p o f h er c u bic le w all t o K in gsle y S hack le b olt.
"M orn in g, W easle y," sa id K in gsle y c are le ssly , a s th ey d re w n eare r. "I'v e
been w an tin g a w ord w ith y ou, h av e y ou g ot a s e co nd?"
"Y es, i f i t r e ally i s a s e co nd," s a id M r W easle y, " I'm i n r a th er a h urry ."
They w ere ta lk in g a s th ough th ey h ard ly k new e ach o th er a n d w hen H arry
open ed h is m outh to s a y h ello to K in gsle y, M r W easle y s to od o n h is f o ot. T hey
fo llo w ed K in gsle y a lo ng t h e r o w a n d i n to t h e v ery l a st c u bic le .
Harry re ceiv ed a s lig ht s h ock ; b lin kin g d ow n a t h im fro m e v ery d ir e ctio n
was S ir iu s's fa ce. N ew sp ap er c u ttin gs a n d o ld p hoto gra p hs – e v en th e o ne o f
Sir iu s b ein g b est m an at th e P otte rs ' w ed din g -p ap ere d th e w alls . T he o nly
Sir iu s-fre e s p ace w as a m ap o f th e w orld in w hic h little re d p in s w ere g lo w in g
lik e j e w els .
"H ere ," sa id K in gsle y bru sq uely to M r W easle y, sh ovin g a sh eaf of
parc h m en t in to h is h an d. "I n eed as m uch in fo rm atio n as p ossib le o n fly in g
Muggle v eh ic le s s ig hte d in th e la st tw elv e m onth s. W e'v e re ceiv ed in fo rm atio n

th at B la ck m ig ht s till b e u sin g h is o ld m oto rc y cle ."
Kin gsle y tip ped H arry a n e n orm ous w in k a n d a d ded , in a w his p er, " G iv e
him th e m ag azin e, h e m ig ht fin d it in te re stin g." T hen h e s a id in n orm al to nes,
"A nd d on't ta k e to o lo ng, W easle y, th e d ela y o n th at fir e le g s re p ort h eld o ur
in vestig atio n u p f o r a m onth ."
"If y ou h ad r e ad m y r e p ort y ou w ould k now th at th e te rm is f ir e arm s," s a id
Mr W easle y co olly . "A nd I'm afra id y ou'l l h av e to w ait fo r in fo rm atio n o n
moto rc y cle s; w e'r e e x tr e m ely b usy a t th e m om en t." H e d ro pped h is v oic e a n d
sa id , " If y ou c an g et a w ay b efo re s e v en , M olly 's m ak in g m eatb alls ."
He b eck oned to H arry a n d le d h im o ut o f K in gsle y 's c u bic le , th ro ugh a
se co nd s e t o f o ak d oors , i n to a n oth er p assa g e, t u rn ed l e ft, m arc h ed a lo ng a n oth er
co rrid or, tu rn ed r ig ht in to a d im ly lit a n d d is tin ctly s h ab by c o rrid or, a n d f in ally
re ach ed a d ead en d, w here a d oor o n th e le ft sto od aja r, re v ealin g a b ro om
cu pboard , a n d a d oor o n th e r ig ht b ore a ta rn is h ed b ra ss p la q ue r e ad in g:
M is u se
of M uggle A rte fa cts .
Mr W easle y 's d in gy o ff ic e se em ed to b e slig htly sm alle r th an th e b ro om
cu pboard . T w o d esk s h ad b een c ra m med in sid e it a n d th ere w as b are ly s p ace to
move a ro und t h em b ecau se o f a ll t h e o verflo w in g f ilin g c ab in ets l in in g t h e w alls ,
on to p o f w hic h w ere to tte rin g p ile s o f f ile s. T he little w all s p ace a v aila b le b ore
witn ess to M r W easle y 's o bse ssio ns: s e v era l p oste rs o f c ars , in clu din g o ne o f a
dis m an tle d e n gin e; tw o illu str a tio ns o f p ostb oxes h e s e em ed to h av e c u t o ut o f
Muggle c h ild re n 's b ooks; a n d a d ia g ra m s h ow in g h ow t o w ir e a p lu g.
Sittin g o n to p o f M r W easle y 's o verflo w in g in -tr a y w as a n o ld to aste r th at
was h ic co ughin g in a d is c o nso la te w ay a n d a p air o f e m pty le ath er g lo ves th at
were tw id dlin g th eir th um bs. A p hoto gra p h o f th e W easle y fa m ily s to od b esid e
th e i n -tr a y. H arry n otic ed t h at P erc y a p peare d t o h av e w alk ed o ut o f i t.
"W e h av en 't g ot a w in dow ," s a id M r W easle y a p olo getic ally , ta k in g o ff h is
bom ber ja ck et a n d p la cin g it o n th e b ack o f h is c h air. " W e'v e a sk ed , b ut th ey
don't s e em t o t h in k w e n eed o ne. H av e a s e at, H arry , d oesn 't l o ok a s i f P erk in s i s
in y et."
Harry sq ueezed him se lf in to th e ch air beh in d P erk in s's desk w hile M r
Weasle y r if f le d th ro ugh th e s h eaf o f p arc h m en t K in gsle y S hack le b olt h ad g iv en
him .
"A h," h e s a id , g rin nin g, a s h e e x tr a cte d a c o py o f a m ag azin e e n title d
T he
Quib ble r
f ro m its m id st, " y es ..." H e f lic k ed th ro ugh it. " Y es, h e's r ig ht, I 'm s u re
Sir u s w ill f in d t h at v ery a m usin g – o h d ear, w hat's t h is n ow ?"
A m em o h ad ju st z o om ed in th ro ugh th e o pen d oor a n d f lu tte re d to r e st o n
to p o f t h e h ic co ughin g t o aste r. M r W easle y u nfo ld ed i t a n d r e ad i t a lo ud.
"'T hir d re g urg ita tin g public to ile t re p orte d in Beth nal G re en , kin dly

in vestig ate i m med ia te ly .' T his i s g ettin g r id ic u lo us ..."
"A r e g urg ita tin g t o ile t? "
"A nti- M uggle p ra n kste rs ," sa id M r W easle y, fro w nin g. "W e h ad tw o la st
week , o ne in W im ble d on, o ne in E le p han t a n d C astle . M uggle s a re p ullin g th e
flu sh a n d in ste ad o f e v ery th in g d is a p pearin g – w ell, y ou c an im ag in e. T he p oor
th in gs k eep c allin g in th ose -
p um ble s,
I th in k th ey 'r e c alle d – y ou k now , th e
ones w ho m en d p ip es a n d t h in gs."
"P lu m bers ? "
"E xactly , y es, b ut o f c o urs e th ey 'r e flu m moxed . I o nly h ope w e c an c atc h
whoev er's d oin g i t."
"W ill i t b e A uro rs w ho c atc h t h em ?"
"O h n o, th is is to o tr iv ia l fo r A uro rs , it'l l b e th e o rd in ary M ag ic al L aw
Enfo rc em en t P atr o l – a h , H arry , t h is i s P erk in s."
A s to oped , tim id -lo okin g o ld w iz ard w ith f lu ff y w hite h air h ad ju st e n te re d
th e r o om , p an tin g.
"O h, A rth ur!" he sa id desp era te ly , w ith out lo okin g at H arry . "T han k
goodness, I d id n't k now w hat to d o f o r th e b est, w heth er to w ait h ere f o r y ou o r
not. I 'v e j u st s e n t a n o w l t o y our h om e b ut y ou'v e o bvio usly m is se d i t – a n u rg en t
messa g e c am e t e n m in ute s a g o - "
"I k now a b out t h e r e g urg ita tin g t o ile t," s a id M r W easle y.
"N o, n o, i t's n ot t h e t o ile t, i t's t h e P otte r b oy's h earin g – t h ey 'v e c h an ged t h e
tim e a n d v en ue – it s ta rts a t e ig ht o 'c lo ck n ow a n d it's d ow n in o ld C ourtr o om
Ten - "
"D ow n i n o ld – b ut t h ey t o ld m e – M erlin 's b eard !"
Mr W easle y l o oked a t h is w atc h , l e t o ut a y elp a n d l e ap t f ro m h is c h air.
"Q uic k , H arry , w e s h ould h av e b een t h ere f iv e m in ute s a g o!"
Perk in s f la tte n ed h im se lf a g ain st th e f ilin g c ab in ets a s M r W easle y le ft th e
off ic e a t a r u n, H arry c lo se o n h is h eels .
"W hy h av e th ey c h an ged th e tim e?" H arry s a id b re ath le ssly , a s th ey h urtle d
past t h e A uro r c u bic le s; p eo ple p oked o ut t h eir h ead s a n d s ta re d a s t h ey s tr e ak ed
past. H arry f e lt a s t h ough h e'd l e ft a ll h is i n sid es b ack a t P erk in s's d esk .
"I'v e n o id ea, b ut th an k g oodness w e g ot h ere s o e arly , if y ou'd m is se d it, it
would h av e b een c ata str o phic !"
Mr W easle y s k id ded to a h alt b esid e th e lif ts a n d ja b bed im patie n tly a t th e
'd ow n' b utto n.
"C om e O N!"
The lif t c la tte re d in to v ie w a n d th ey h urrie d in sid e. E very tim e it s to pped
Mr W easle y c u rs e d f u rio usly a n d p um melle d t h e n um ber n in e b utto n.
Those c o urtr o om s h av en 't b een u se d in y ears ," s a id M r W easle y a n grily . " I

can 't t h in k w hy t h ey 'r e d oin g i t d ow n t h ere – u nle ss - b ut n o - "
A p lu m p w itc h c arry in g a s m okin g g oble t e n te re d th e lif t a t th at m om en t,
an d M r W easle y d id n ot e la b ora te .
"T he A tr iu m ," s a id th e c o ol fe m ale v oic e a n d th e g old en g rille s s lid o pen ,
sh ow in g H arry a d is ta n t g lim pse o f t h e g old en s ta tu es i n t h e f o unta in . T he p lu m p
witc h g ot o ut a n d a s a llo w -s k in ned w iz ard w ith a v ery m ourn fu l f a ce g ot i n .
"M orn in g, A rth ur," he sa id in a se p ulc h ra l voic e as th e lif t beg an to
desc en d. " D on't o fte n s e e y ou d ow n h ere ."
"U rg en t b usin ess, B ode," s a id M r W easle y, w ho w as b ouncin g o n th e b alls
of h is f e et a n d t h ro w in g a n xio us l o oks o ver a t H arry .
"A h, y es," s a id B ode, s u rv ey in g H arry u nblin kin gly . " O f c o urs e ."
Harry b are ly h ad e m otio n t o s p are f o r B ode, b ut h is u nfa lte rin g g aze d id n ot
mak e h im f e el a n y m ore c o m fo rta b le .
"D ep artm en t o f M yste rie s," s a id t h e c o ol f e m ale v oic e, a n d l e ft i t a t t h at.
"Q uic k , H arry ," sa id M r W easle y a s th e lif t d oors ra ttle d o pen , a n d th ey
sp ed u p a c o rrid or th at w as q uite d if f e re n t fro m th ose a b ove. T he w alls w ere
bare ; t h ere w ere n o w in dow s a n d n o d oors a p art f ro m a p la in b la ck o ne s e t a t t h e
very e n d o f th e c o rrid or. H arry e x pecte d th em to g o th ro ugh it, b ut in ste ad M r
Weasle y s e iz ed h im b y th e a rm a n d d ra g ged h im to th e le ft, w here th ere w as a n
open in g l e ad in g t o a f lig ht o f s te p s.
"D ow n h ere , d ow n h ere ," p an te d M r W easle y, ta k in g tw o s te p s a t a tim e.
The l if t d oesn 't e v en c o m e d ow n t h is f a r ...
w hy
t h ey 'r e d oin g i t d ow n t h ere I ..."
They re ach ed th e b otto m o f th e s te p s a n d ra n a lo ng y et a n oth er c o rrid or,
whic h bore a gre at re se m bla n ce to th e one th at le d to S nap e's dungeo n at
Hogw arts , w ith r o ugh s to ne w alls a n d t o rc h es i n b ra ck ets . T he d oors t h ey p asse d
here w ere h eav y w ooden o nes w ith i r o n b olts a n d k ey hole s.
"C ourtr o om ... T en ... I t h in k ... w e'r e n early ... y es."
Mr W easle y s tu m ble d to a h alt o uts id e a g rim y d ark d oor w ith a n im men se
ir o n l o ck a n d s lu m ped a g ain st t h e w all, c lu tc h in g a t a s titc h i n h is c h est.
"G o o n," h e p an te d , p oin tin g h is t h um b a t t h e d oor. " G et i n t h ere ."
"A re n 't – a re n 't y ou c o m in g w ith - ? "
"N o, n o, I 'm n ot a llo w ed . G ood l u ck !"
Harry 's h eart w as b eatin g a v io le n t ta tto o ag ain st h is A dam 's ap ple . H e
sw allo w ed hard , tu rn ed th e heav y ir o n door han dle an d ste p ped in sid e th e
co urtr o om .

C H APT ER E IG HT
T he H ea rin g

Harry g asp ed ; h e c o uld n ot h elp h im se lf . T he la rg e d ungeo n h e h ad e n te re d
w as h orrib ly fa m ilia r. H e h ad n ot o nly s e en it b efo re , h e h ad
b een
h ere b efo re .
T his w as t h e p la ce h e h ad v is ite d i n sid e D um ble d ore 's P en sie v e, t h e p la ce w here
h e h ad w atc h ed t h e L estr a n ges s e n te n ced t o l if e i m pris o nm en t i n A zk ab an .
The w alls w ere m ad e o f d ark s to ne, d im ly lit b y to rc h es. E m pty b en ch es
r o se o n e ith er s id e o f h im , b ut a h ead , in th e h ig hest b en ch es o f a ll, w ere m an y
s h ad ow y fig ure s. T hey h ad b een ta lk in g in lo w v oic es, b ut a s th e h eav y d oor
s w ung c lo se d b eh in d H arry a n o m in ous s ile n ce f e ll.
A c o ld m ale v oic e r a n g a cro ss t h e c o urtr o om .
'Y ou'r e l a te .'
'S orry ,' s a id H arry n erv ously 'I – I d id n't k now t h e t im e h ad b een c h an ged .'
That is n ot th e W iz en gam ot's f a u lt,' s a id th e v oic e. 'A n o w l w as s e n t to y ou
t h is m orn in g. T ak e y our s e at.'
Harry d ro pped h is g aze to th e c h air in th e c en tr e o f th e ro om , th e a rm s o f
w hic h w ere c o vere d in c h ain s. H e h ad s e en th ose c h ain s s p rin g to lif e a n d b in d
w hoev er s a t b etw een th em . H is f o ots te p s e ch oed lo udly a s h e w alk ed a cro ss th e
s to ne flo or. W hen h e sa t g in gerly o n th e e d ge o f th e c h air th e c h ain s c lin ked
t h re ate n in gly , b ut d id n ot b in d h im . F eelin g ra th er sic k , h e lo oked u p at th e
p eo ple s e ate d a t t h e b en ch a b ove.
There w ere a b out fif ty o f th em , a ll, a s fa r a s h e c o uld s e e, w earin g p lu m -
c o lo ure d r o bes w ith a n e la b ora te ly w ork ed s ilv er 'W o n th e le ft- h an d s id e o f th e
c h est an d all sta rin g dow n th eir nose s at him , so m e w ith very au ste re
e x pre ssio ns, o th ers l o oks o f f ra n k c u rio sity .
TH E H E A R IN G
In th e v ery m id dle o f th e fro nt ro w s a t C orn eliu s F udge, th e M in is te r fo r
M ag ic . F udge w as a p ortly m an w ho o fte n sp orte d a lim e-g re en b ow le r h at,
t h ough to day h e h ad d is p en se d w ith it; h e h ad d is p en se d , to o, w ith th e in dulg en t
s m ile h e h ad o nce w orn w hen h e s p oke to H arry . A b ro ad , s q uare -ja w ed w itc h
w ith v ery s h ort g re y h air s a t o n F udge's le ft; s h e w ore a m onocle a n d lo oked
f o rb id din g. O n F udge's r ig ht w as a n oth er w itc h , b ut s h e w as s ittin g s o f a r b ack
o n t h e b en ch t h at h er f a ce w as i n s h ad ow .
'V ery w ell,' s a id F udge. T he a ccu se d b ein g p re se n t – fin ally -le t u s b eg in .
A re y ou r e ad y?' h e c alle d d ow n t h e r o w .

'Y es, s ir ,' s a id a n e ag er v oic e H arry k new . R on's b ro th er P erc y w as s ittin g a t
th e v ery e n d o f th e f ro nt b en ch . H arry lo oked a t P erc y, e x pectin g s o m e s ig n o f
re co gnitio n fro m h im , b ut n one cam e. P erc y 's ey es, b eh in d h is h orn -rim med
gla sse s, w ere f ix ed o n h is p arc h m en t, a q uill p ois e d i n h is h an d.
'D is c ip lin ary h earin g o f th e tw elf th o f A ugust,' sa id F udge in a rin gin g
voic e, a n d P erc y b eg an ta k in g n ote s a t o nce, 'i n to o ff e n ces c o m mitte d u nder th e
Decre e f o r t h e R easo nab le R estr ic tio n o f U ndera g e S orc ery a n d t h e I n te rn atio nal
Sta tu te o f S ecre cy b y H arry J a m es P otte r, r e sid en t a t n um ber f o ur, P riv et D riv e,
Little W hin gin g, S urre y.
'I n te rro gato rs : C orn eliu s O sw ald F udge, M in is te r f o r M ag ic ; A m elia S usa n
Bones, H ead o f th e D ep artm en t o f M ag ic al L aw E nfo rc em en t; D olo re s Ja n e
Um brid ge, S en io r U nders e cre ta ry to th e M in is te r. C ourt S crib e, P erc y Ig natiu s
Weasle y - '
'W itn ess f o r t h e d efe n ce, A lb us P erc iv al W ulf ric B ria n D um ble -d ore ,' s a id a
quie t v oic e f ro m b eh in d H arry , w ho t u rn ed h is h ead s o f a st h e c ric k ed h is n eck .
Dum ble d ore w as s tr id in g s e re n ely a cro ss th e r o om w earin g lo ng m id nig ht-
blu e ro bes an d a perfe ctly calm ex pre ssio n. H is lo ng silv er beard an d hair
gle am ed in th e to rc h lig ht a s h e d re w le v el w ith H arry a n d lo oked u p a t F udge
th ro ugh th e h alf -m oon sp ecta cle s th at re ste d h alf w ay d ow n h is v ery cro oked
nose .
The m em bers o f th e W iz en gam ot w ere m utte rin g. A ll e y es w ere n ow o n
Dum ble d ore . Som e lo oked an noyed , oth ers slig htly frig hte n ed ; tw o eld erly
witc h es i n t h e b ack r o w , h ow ev er, r a is e d t h eir h an ds a n d w av ed i n w elc o m e.
A p ow erfu l e m otio n h ad r is e n i n H arry 's c h est a t t h e s ig ht o f D um ble d ore , a
fo rtif ie d , h opefu l fe elin g ra th er lik e th at w hic h p hoen ix so ng g av e h im . H e
wan te d t o c atc h D um ble d ore 's e y e, b ut D um ble d ore w as n ot l o okin g h is w ay ; h e
was c o ntin uin g t o l o ok u p a t t h e o bvio usly f lu ste re d F udge.
'A h,' s a id F udge, w ho lo oked th oro ughly d is c o ncerte d . 'D um ble d ore . Y es.
You – e r – g ot o ur – e r – m essa g e t h at t h e t im e a n d - e r – p la ce o f t h e h earin g h ad
been c h an ged , t h en ?'
'I m ust h av e m is se d it,' sa id D um ble d ore c h eerfu lly . 'H ow ev er, d ue to a
lu ck y m is ta k e I a rriv ed a t t h e M in is tr y t h re e h ours e arly , s o n o h arm d one.'
'Y es – w ell – I s u ppose w e'l l n eed a n oth er c h air – I – W easle y, c o uld y ou - ? '
'N ot to w orry , n ot to w orry ,' s a id D um ble d ore p le asa n tly ; h e to ok o ut h is
wan d, g av e it a little flic k , an d a sq uash y ch in tz arm ch air ap peare d o ut o f
now here n ex t to H arry . D um ble d ore s a t d ow n, p ut th e tip s o f h is lo ng fin gers
to geth er a n d s u rv ey ed F udge o ver t h em w ith a n e x pre ssio n o f p olite i n te re st. T he
Wiz en gam ot w as s till m utte rin g a n d f id getin g r e stle ssly ; o nly w hen F udge s p oke
ag ain d id t h ey s e ttle d ow n.

'Y es,' sa id F udge a g ain , sh uff lin g h is n ote s. 'W ell, th en . S o. T he c h arg es.
Yes.'
He e x tr ic ate d a p ie ce o f p arc h m en t fro m th e p ile b efo re h im , to ok a d eep
bre ath , a n d r e ad o ut, T he c h arg es a g ain st t h e a ccu se d a re a s f o llo w s:
That h e d id k now in gly , d elib era te ly a n d i n f u ll a w are n ess o f t h e i lle g ality o f
his a ctio ns, h av in g re ceiv ed a p re v io us w ritte n w arn in g fro m th e M in is tr y o f
Mag ic o n a sim ila r c h arg e, p ro duce a P atr o nus C harm in a M uggle -in hab ite d
are a, in th e p re se n ce o f a M uggle , o n th e se co nd o f A ugust at tw en ty -th re e
min ute s p ast n in e, w hic h c o nstitu te s a n o ff e n ce u nder P ara g ra p h C o f t h e D ecre e
fo r th e R easo nab le R estr ic tio n of U ndera g e S orc ery , 1875, an d als o under
Sectio n 1 3 o f t h e I n te rn atio nal C onfe d era tio n o f W arlo ck s' S ta tu te o f S ecre cy.
'Y ou a re H arry J a m es P otte r, o f n um ber f o ur, P riv et D riv e, L ittle W hin gin g,
Surre y ?' F udge s a id , g la rin g a t H arry o ver t h e t o p o f h is p arc h m en t.
'Y es,' H arry s a id .
'Y ou r e ceiv ed a n o ff ic ia l w arn in g f ro m th e M in is tr y f o r u sin g ille g al m ag ic
th re e y ears a g o, d id y ou n ot? '
'Y es, b ut - '
'A nd y et y ou c o nju re d a P atr o nus o n th e n ig ht o f th e s e co nd o f A ugust? '
sa id F udge.
'Y es,' s a id H arry , 'b ut - '
'K now in g th at y ou a re n ot p erm itte d to u se m ag ic o uts id e s c h ool w hile y ou
are u nder t h e a g e o f s e v en te en ?'
'Y es, b ut - '
'K now in g t h at y ou w ere i n a n a re a f u ll o f M uggle s? '
'Y es, b ut - '
'F ully a w are t h at y ou w ere i n c lo se p ro xim ity t o a M uggle a t t h e t im e?'
'Y es,' s a id H arry a n grily , 'b ut 1 o nly u se d i t b ecau se w e w ere - '
The w itc h w ith t h e m onocle c u t a cro ss h im i n a b oom in g v oic e.
'Y ou p ro duced a f u lly -fle d ged P atr o nus? '
'Y es,' s a id H arry , 'b ecau se - '
'A c o rp ore al P atr o nus? '
'A – w hat? ' s a id H arry .
'Y our P atr o nus h ad a c le arly d efin ed f o rm ? I m ean to s a y, it w as m ore th an
vap our o r s m oke?'
'Y es,' s a id H arry , fe elin g b oth im patie n t a n d s lig htly d esp era te , 'i t's a s ta g ,
it's a lw ay s a s ta g .'
'A lw ay s? ' b oom ed M ad am B ones. 'Y ou h av e p ro duced a P atr o nus b efo re
now ?'
'Y es,' s a id H arry , 'I 'v e b een d oin g i t f o r o ver a y ear.'

'A nd y ou a re f if te en y ears o ld ?'
'Y es, a n d - '
'Y ou l e arn ed t h is a t s c h ool? '
'Y es, P ro fe sso r L upin t a u ght m e i n m y t h ir d y ear, b ecau se o f t h e - '
'I m pre ssiv e,' s a id M ad am B ones, s ta rin g d ow n a t h im , 'a t r u e P atr o nus a t h is
ag e… v ery i m pre ssiv e i n deed .'
Som e o f th e w iz ard s a n d w itc h es a ro und h er w ere m utte rin g a g ain ; a fe w
nodded , b ut o th ers w ere f ro w nin g a n d s h ak in g t h eir h ead s.
'I t's n ot a q uestio n o f h ow im pre ssiv e th e m ag ic w as,' s a id F udge in a te sty
voic e, 'i n f a ct, th e m ore im pre ssiv e th e w ors e it is , I w ould h av e th ought, g iv en
th at t h e b oy d id i t i n p la in v ie w o f a M uggle !'
Those w ho h ad b een f ro w nin g n ow m urm ure d in a g re em en t, b ut it w as th e
sig ht o f P erc y 's s a n ctim onio us l ittle n od t h at g oad ed H arry i n to s p eech .
'I d id it b ecau se o f th e D em en to rs !' h e sa id lo udly , b efo re a n yone c o uld
in te rru pt h im a g ain .
He h ad e x pecte d m ore m utte rin g, b ut th e sile n ce th at fe ll se em ed to b e
so m eh ow d en se r t h an b efo re .
'D em en to rs ? ' s a id M ad am B ones a fte r a m om en t, h er th ic k e y eb ro w s r is in g
until h er m onocle l o oked i n d an ger o f f a llin g o ut. 'W hat d o y ou m ean , b oy?'
'I m ean th ere w ere tw o D em en to rs d ow n th at a lle y w ay a n d th ey w en t fo r
me a n d m y c o usin !'
'A h,' sa id F udge a g ain , sm ir k in g u nple asa n tly a s h e lo oked a ro und a t th e
Wiz en gam ot, a s t h ough i n vitin g t h em t o s h are t h e j o ke. 'Y es. Y es, I t h ought w e'd
be h earin g s o m eth in g l ik e t h is .'
'D em en to rs in L ittle W hin gin g?' M ad am B ones sa id , in a to ne o f g re at
su rp ris e . 'I d on't u nders ta n d - '
'D on't y ou, A m elia ?' s a id F udge, s till s m ir k in g. 'L et m e e x pla in . H e's b een
th in kin g it th ro ugh a n d d ecid ed D em en to rs w ould m ak e a v ery n ic e little c o ver
sto ry , v ery n ic e in deed . M uggle s c an 't se e D em en to rs , c an th ey, b oy? H ig hly
co nven ie n t, h ig hly c o nven ie n t… s o i t's j u st y our w ord a n d n o w itn esse s… '
'I 'm n ot ly in g!' s a id H arry lo udly , o ver a n oth er o utb re ak o f m utte rin g f ro m
th e c o urt. T here w ere tw o o f th em , c o m in g fro m o pposite e n ds o f th e a lle y,
ev ery th in g w en t d ark a n d c o ld a n d m y c o usin f e lt t h em a n d r a n f o r i t - '
'E nough, e n ough!' sa id F udge, w ith a v ery su perc ilio us lo ok o n h is fa ce.
'I 'm s o rry t o i n te rru pt w hat I 'm s u re w ould h av e b een a v ery w ell- re h ears e d s to ry
-'
Dum ble d ore c le are d h is t h ro at. T he W iz en gam ot f e ll s ile n t a g ain .
'W e do, in fa ct, hav e a w itn ess to th e pre se n ce of D em en to rs in th at
alle y w ay,' h e s a id , 'o th er t h an D udle y D urs le y, I m ean .'

Fudge's p lu m p f a ce s e em ed to s la ck en , a s th ough s o m eb ody h ad le t a ir o ut
of it. H e sta re d d ow n at D um ble d ore fo r a m om en t o r tw o, th en , w ith th e
ap peara n ce o f a m an p ullin g h im se lf b ack to geth er, s a id , 'W e h av en 't g ot tim e to
lis te n to m ore ta rra d id dle s, I'm afra id , D um ble d ore . I w an t th is dealt w ith
quic k ly - '
'I m ay b e w ro ng,' s a id D um ble d ore p le asa n tly , 'b ut I a m s u re th at u nder th e
Wiz en gam ot C harte r o f R ig hts , t h e a ccu se d h as t h e r ig ht t o p re se n t w itn esse s f o r
his or her case ? Is n 't th at th e polic y of th e D ep artm en t of M ag ic al L aw
Enfo rc em en t, M ad am Bones? ' he co ntin ued , ad dre ssin g th e w itc h in th e
monocle .
'T ru e,' s a id M ad am B ones. 'P erfe ctly t r u e.'
'O h, v ery w ell, v ery w ell,' s n ap ped F udge. 'W here i s t h is p ers o n?'
'I b ro ught h er w ith m e,' sa id D um ble d ore . 'S he's ju st o uts id e th e d oor.
Should 1 - ? '
'N o – W easle y, y ou g o,' F udge b ark ed a t P erc y, w ho g ot u p a t o nce, ra n
dow n th e s to ne s te p s f ro m th e ju dge's b alc o ny a n d h urrie d p ast D um ble d ore a n d
Harry w ith out g la n cin g a t t h em .
A m om en t la te r, P erc y r e tu rn ed , f o llo w ed b y M rs F ig g. S he lo oked s c are d
an d m ore b atty th an e v er. H arry w is h ed s h e h ad th ought to c h an ge o ut o f h er
carp et s lip pers .
Dum ble d ore s to od u p a n d g av e M rs F ig g h is c h air , c o nju rin g a s e co nd o ne
fo r h im se lf .
'F ull nam e?' sa id Fudge lo udly , w hen M rs Fig g had perc h ed hers e lf
nerv ously o n t h e v ery e d ge o f h er s e al.
'A ra b ella D ore en F ig g,' s a id M rs F ig g i n h er q uav ery v oic e.
'A nd w ho e x actly a re y ou?' s a id F udge, i n a b ore d a n d l o fty v oic e.
'I 'm a re sid en t o f L ittle W hin gin g, c lo se to w here H arry P otte r liv es,' s a id
Mrs F ig g.
'W e h av e n o r e co rd o f a n y w itc h o r w iz ard liv in g in L ittle W hin gin g, o th er
th an H arry P otte r,' s a id M ad am B ones a t o nce. T hat s itu atio n h as a lw ay s b een
clo se ly m onito re d , g iv en … g iv en p ast e v en ts .'
'I 'm a S quib ,' s a id M rs F ig g. 'S o y ou w ould n't h av e m e re g is te re d , w ould
you?'
'A S quib , e h ?' s a id F udge, e y ein g h er c lo se ly . 'W e'l l b e c h eck in g t h at. Y ou'l l
le av e d eta ils o f y our p are n ta g e w ith m y assis ta n t W easle y. In cid en ta lly , can
Squib s s e e D em en to rs ? ' h e a d ded , l o okin g l e ft a n d r ig ht a lo ng t h e b en ch .
'Y es, w e c an !' s a id M rs F ig g i n dig nan tly .
Fudge lo oked b ack d ow n a t h er, h is e y eb ro w s ra is e d . 'V ery w ell,' h e s a id
alo ofly . 'W hat i s y our s to ry ?'

'I h ad g one o ut to b uy c at f o od f ro m th e c o rn er s h op a t th e e n d o f W is te ria
Walk , aro und ab out n in e o 'c lo ck , o n th e ev en in g o f th e se co nd o f A ugust,'
gab ble d M rs F ig g a t o nce, a s th ough s h e h ad le arn ed w hat s h e w as s a y in g b y
heart, 'w hen I heard a dis tu rb an ce dow n th e alle y w ay betw een M ag nolia
Cre sc en t a n d W is te ria W alk . O n a p pro ach in g th e m outh o f th e a lle y w ay I s a w
Dem en to rs r u nnin g - '
'R unnin g?' s a id M ad am B ones s h arp ly . 'D em en to rs d on't r u n, t h ey g lid e.'
That's w hat 1 m ean t to sa y,' sa id M rs Fig g quic k ly , patc h es of pin k
ap pearin g in h er w ith ere d c h eek s. 'G lid in g a lo ng th e a lle y to w ard s w hat lo oked
lik e t w o b oys.'
'W hat d id th ey lo ok lik e?' s a id M ad am B ones, n arro w in g h er e y es s o th at
th e e d ge o f t h e m onocle d is a p peare d i n to h er f le sh .
'W ell, o ne w as v ery l a rg e a n d t h e o th er o ne r a th er s k in ny - '
'N o, n o,' s a id M ad am B ones i m patie n tly . 'T he D em en to rs … d esc rib e t h em .'
'O h,1 s a id M rs F ig g, th e p in k flu sh c re ep in g u p h er n eck n ow . T hey w ere
big . B ig a n d w earin g c lo ak s.'
Harry f e lt a h orrib le s in kin g in th e p it o f h is s to m ach . W hate v er M rs F ig g
mig ht s a y, it s o unded to h im a s th ough th e m ost s h e h ad e v er s e en w as a p ic tu re
of a D em en to r, a n d a p ic tu re c o uld n ev er c o nvey th e tr u th o f w hat th ese b ein gs
were lik e: th e e erie w ay th ey m oved , h overin g in ch es o ver th e g ro und; o r th e
ro ttin g s m ell o f th em ; o r th at te rrib le r a ttlin g n ois e th ey m ad e a s th ey s u ck ed o n
th e s u rro undin g a ir …
In th e se co nd ro w , a d um py w iz ard w ith a la rg e b la ck m ousta ch e le an ed
clo se to w his p er in th e e ar o f h is n eig hbour, a f riz zy -h air e d w itc h . S he s m ir k ed
an d n odded .
'B ig an d w earin g clo ak s,' re p eate d M ad am B ones co olly , w hile F udge
sn orte d d eris iv ely . 'I s e e. A nyth in g e ls e ?'
'Y es,' s a id M rs F ig g. 'I f e lt th em . E very th in g w en t c o ld , a n d th is w as a v ery
warm s u m mer's n ig ht, m ark y ou. A nd I f e lt… a s th ough a ll h ap pin ess h ad g one
fro m t h e w orld … a n d I r e m em bere d … d re ad fu l t h in gs… '
Her v oic e s h ook a n d d ie d .
Mad am B ones's e y es w id en ed s lig htly . H arry c o uld s e e r e d m ark s u nder h er
ey eb ro w w here t h e m onocle h ad d ug i n to i t.
'W hat d id t h e D em en to rs d o?' s h e a sk ed , a n d H arry f e lt a r u sh o f h ope.
They w en t fo r th e boys,' sa id M rs F ig g, her voic e str o nger an d m ore
co nfid en t n ow , th e p in k flu sh e b bin g a w ay fro m h er fa ce. 'O ne o f th em h ad
fa lle n . T he o th er w as b ack in g aw ay, tr y in g to re p el th e D em en to r. T hat w as
Harry . H e tr ie d tw ic e a n d p ro duced o nly s ilv er v ap our. O n th e th ir d a tte m pt, h e
pro duced a P atr o nus, w hic h c h arg ed d ow n th e f ir s t D em en to r a n d th en , w ith h is

en co ura g em en t, c h ase d th e s e co nd o ne a w ay fro m h is c o usin . A nd th at th at is
what h ap pen ed ,' M rs F ig g f in is h ed , s o m ew hat l a m ely .
Mad am B ones lo oked d ow n a t M rs F ig g in s ile n ce. F udge w as n ot lo okin g
at h er a t a ll, b ut fid getin g w ith h is p ap ers . F in ally , h e ra is e d h is e y es a n d s a id ,
ra th er a g gre ssiv ely , T hat's w hat y ou s a w , i s i t? '
That i s w hat h ap pen ed ,' M rs F ig g r e p eate d .
'V ery w ell,' s a id F udge. 'Y ou m ay g o.'
Mrs F ig g c ast a f rig hte n ed l o ok f ro m F udge t o D um ble d ore , t h en g ot u p a n d
sh uff le d o tf t o w ard s t h e d oor. H arry h eard i t t h ud s h ut b eh in d h er.
'N ot a v ery c o nvin cin g w itn ess,' s a id F udge l o ftily .
'O h, I d on't k now ,' s a id M ad am B ones, in h er b oom in g v oic e. 'S he c erta in ly
desc rib ed th e e ff e cts o f a D em en to r a tta ck v ery a ccu ra te ly . A nd I c an 't im ag in e
why s h e w ould s a y t h ey w ere t h ere i f t h ey w ere n 't .'
'B ut D em en to rs w an derin g in to a M uggle su burb an d ju st
h appen in g
to
co m e a cro ss a w iz ard ?' s n orte d F udge. T he o dds o n t h at m ust b e v ery , v ery l o ng.
Even B ag m an w ould n't h av e b et - '
'O h, 1 don't th in k an y of us belie v e th e D em en to rs w ere th ere by
co in cid en ce,' s a id D um ble d ore l ig htly .
The w itc h sittin g to th e rig ht o f F udge, w ith h er fa ce in sh ad ow , m oved
slig htly b ut e v ery one e ls e w as q uite s till a n d s ile n t.
And w hat i s t h at s u ppose d t o m ean ?' F udge a sk ed i c ily .
'I t m ean s t h at I t h in k t h ey w ere o rd ere d t h ere ,' s a id D um ble d ore .
'I th in k w e m ig ht h av e a re co rd o f it if so m eo ne h ad o rd ere d a p air o f
Dem en to rs t o g o s tr o llin g t h ro ugh L ittle W han gin g!' b ark ed F udge.
'N ot if th e D em en to rs are ta k in g ord ers fro m so m eo ne oth er th an th e
Min is tr y o f M ag ic th ese d ay s,' s a id D um ble d ore c alm ly . 'I h av e a lr e ad y g iv en
you m y v ie w s o n t h is m atte r, C orn eliu s.'
'Y es, y ou h av e,' s a id F udge f o rc efu lly , 'a n d I h av e n o r e aso n to b elie v e th at
your v ie w s a re a n yth in g o th er t h an b ilg e, D um ble d ore . T he D em en to rs r e m ain i n
pla ce i n A zk ab an a n d a re d oin g e v ery th in g w e a sk t h em t o .'
Then ,' sa id D um ble d ore , q uie tly b ut c le arly , 'w e m ust a sk o urs e lv es w hy
so m eb ody w ith in t h e M in is tr y o rd ere d a p air o f D em en to rs i n to t h at a lle y w ay o n
th e s e co nd o f A ugust.'
In th e c o m ple te s ile n ce th at g re ete d th ese w ord s, th e w itc h to th e rig ht o f
Fudge l e an ed f o rw ard s s o t h at H arry s a w h er f o r t h e f ir s t t im e.
He t h ought s h e l o oked j u st l ik e a l a rg e, p ale t o ad . S he w as r a th er s q uat w ith
a b ro ad , fla b by fa ce, as little n eck as U ncle V ern on an d a v ery w id e, sla ck
mouth . H er e y es w ere la rg e, ro und a n d slig htly b ulg in g. E ven th e little b la ck
velv et b ow p erc h ed o n to p o f h er s h ort c u rly h air p ut h im in m in d o f a la rg e f ly

sh e w as a b out t o c atc h o n a l o ng s tic k y t o ngue.
The C hair r e co gnis e s D olo re s J a n e U m brid ge, S en io r U nders e cre ta ry to th e
Min is te r,' s a id F udge.
The w itc h sp oke in a flu tte ry , g ir lis h , h ig h-p itc h ed v oic e th at to ok H arry
ab ack ; h e h ad b een e x pectin g a c ro ak .
'I 'm s u re I m ust h av e m is u nders to od y ou, P ro fe sso r D um ble d ore ,' s h e s a id ,
with a s im per th at le ft h er b ig , r o und e y es a s c o ld a s e v er. 'S o s illy o f m e. B ut it
so unded f o r a t e en sy m om en t a s t h ough y ou w ere s u ggestin g t h at t h e M in is tr y o f
Mag ic h ad o rd ere d a n a tta ck o n t h is b oy!'
She g av e a s ilv ery la u gh th at m ad e th e h air s o n th e b ack o f H arry 's n eck
sta n d u p. A f e w o th er m em bers o f t h e W iz en gam ot l a u ghed w ith h er. I t c o uld n ot
hav e b een p la in er t h at n ot o ne o f t h em w as r e ally a m use d .
'I f it is tr u e th at th e D em en to rs a re ta k in g o rd ers o nly f ro m th e M in is tr y o f
Mag ic , a n d it is a ls o tr u e th at tw o D em en to rs a tta ck ed H arry a n d h is c o usin a
week a g o, th en it fo llo w s lo gic ally th at so m eb ody a t th e M in is tr y m ig ht h av e
ord ere d th e atta ck s,' sa id D um ble d ore polite ly . 'O f co urs e , th ese partic u la r
Dem en to rs m ay h av e b een o uts id e M in is tr y c o ntr o l - '
'T here a re n o D em en to rs o uts id e M in is tr y c o ntr o l! ' s n ap ped F udge, w ho h ad
tu rn ed b ric k r e d .
Dum ble d ore i n clin ed h is h ead i n a l ittle b ow .
Then u ndoubte d ly th e M in is tr y w ill b e m ak in g a f u ll in quir y in to w hy tw o
Dem en to rs w ere so very fa r fro m A zk ab an an d w hy th ey atta ck ed w ith out
au th oris a tio n.'
'I t is n ot f o r y ou to d ecid e w hat th e M in is tr y o f M ag ic d oes o r d oes n ot d o,
Dum ble d ore !' s n ap ped F udge, n ow a s h ad e o f m ag en ta o f w hic h U ncle V ern on
would h av e b een p ro ud.
'O f c o urs e it is n 't ,' s a id D um ble d ore m ild ly . 'I w as m ere ly e x pre ssin g m y
co nfid en ce t h at t h is m atte r w ill n ot g o u nin vesti- g ate d .'
He g la n ced a t M ad am B ones, w ho r e ad ju ste d h er m onocle a n d s ta re d b ack
at h im , f ro w nin g s lig htly .
'I w ould r e m in d e v ery body t h at t h e b eh av io ur o f t h ese D em en to rs , i f i n deed
th ey a re n ot f ig m en ts o f t h is b oy's i m ag in atio n, i s n ot t h e s u bje ct o f t h is h earin g!'
sa id F udge. 'W e a re h ere t o e x am in e H arry P otte r's o ff e n ces u nder t h e D ecre e f o r
th e R easo nab le R estr ic tio n o f U ndera g e S orc ery !'
'O f c o urs e w e a re ,' s a id D um ble d ore , 'b ut t h e p re se n ce o f D em en to rs i n t h at
alle y w ay i s h ig hly r e le v an t. C la u se S ev en o f t h e D ecre e s ta te s t h at m ag ic m ay b e
use d b efo re M uggle s in ex cep tio nal cir c u m sta n ces, an d as th ose ex cep tio nal
cir c u m sta n ces in clu de s itu atio ns w hic h th re ate n th e lif e o f th e w iz ard o r w itc h
him – o r h ers e lf , o r a n y w itc h es, w iz ard s o r M uggle s p re se n t a t t h e t im e o f t h e - '

'W e a re f a m ilia r w ith C la u se S ev en , t h an k y ou v ery m uch !' s n arle d F udge.
'O f co urs e you are ,' sa id D um ble d ore co urte o usly . Then w e are in
ag re em en t th at H arry s u se o f th e P atr o nus C harm in th ese c ir c u m sta n ces fa lls
pre cis e ly i n to t h e c ate g ory o f e x cep tio nal c ir c u m sta n ces t h e c la u se d esc rib es? '
'I f t h ere w ere D em en to rs , w hic h I d oubt.'
'Y ou h av e h eard i t f ro m a n e y ew itn ess,' D um ble d ore i n te rru pte d .
'I f y ou s till d oubt h er tr u th fu ln ess, c all h er b ack , q uestio n h er a g ain . 1 a m
su re s h e w ould n ot o bje ct.'
'I – th at – n ot - ' b lu ste re d F udge, f id dlin g w ith th e p ap ers b efo re h im . 'I t's –
I w an t t h is o ver w ith t o day, D um ble d ore !'
'B ut n atu ra lly , y ou w ould n ot care h ow m an y tim es y ou h eard fro m a
witn ess, i f t h e a lte rn ativ e w as a s e rio us m is c arria g e o f j u stic e,' s a id D um ble d ore .
'S erio us m is c arria g e, m y h at! ' s a id F udge a t th e to p o f h is v oic e. 'H av e y ou
ev er b oth ere d to to t u p th e n um ber o f c o ck -a n d-b ull s to rie s th is b oy h as c o m e
out w ith , D um ble d ore , w hile tr y in g to c o ver u p h is f la g ra n t m is u se o f m ag ic o ut
of s c h ool? I s u ppose y ou'v e f o rg otte n t h e H over C harm h e u se d t h re e y ears a g o - '
That w asn 't m e, i t w as a h ouse -e lf !' s a id H arry .
'Y OU S E E?' ro are d F udge, g estu rin g fla m boyan tly in H arry 's d ir e ctio n. 'A
house -e lf ! I n a M uggle h ouse ! I a sk y ou.'
The h ouse -e lf in q uestio n is c u rre n tly in th e e m plo y o f H ogw arts S ch ool,'
sa id D um ble d ore . 'I c an s u m mon h im h ere in a n in sta n t to g iv e e v id en ce if y ou
wis h ."
'I – n ot – I h av en 't g ot tim e to lis te n to h ouse -e lv es! A nyw ay, th at's n ot th e
only – h e b le w u p h is a u nt, f o r G od's s a k e!' F udge s h oute d , b an gin g h is f is t o n
th e j u dge's b en ch a n d u pse ttin g a b ottle o f i n k.
'A nd y ou v ery k in dly d id n ot p re ss c h arg es o n th at o ccasio n, a ccep tin g, I
pre su m e, th at e v en th e b est w iz ard s c an not a lw ay s c o ntr o l th eir e m otio ns,' s a id
Dum ble d ore c alm ly , a s F udge a tte m pte d t o s c ru b t h e i n k o ff h is n ote s.
'A nd I h av en 't e v en s ta rte d o n w hat h e g ets u p t o a t s c h ool.'
'B ut, as th e M in is tr y h as n o au th ority to p unis h H ogw arts stu den ts fo r
mis d em ean ours a t s c h ool, H arry 's b eh av io ur t h ere i s n ot r e le v an t t o t h is h earin g,'
sa id D um ble d ore , a s p olite ly a s e v er, b ut n ow w ith a su ggestio n o f c o oln ess
beh in d h is w ord s.
'O ho!' s a id F udge. 'N ot o ur b usin ess w hat h e d oes a t s c h ool, e h ? Y ou th in k
so ?'
The M in is tr y does not hav e th e pow er to ex pel H ogw arts stu den ts ,
Corn eliu s, as I re m in ded you on th e nig ht of th e se co nd of A ugust,' sa id
Dum ble d ore . 'N or d oes it h av e th e r ig ht to c o nfis c ate w an ds u ntil c h arg es h av e
been s u ccessfu lly p ro ven ; a g ain , a s

I re m in ded y ou o n th e n ig ht o f th e se co nd o f A ugust. In y our a d m ir a b le
haste to e n su re th at th e la w is u pheld , y ou a p pear, in ad verte n tly I a m s u re , to
hav e o verlo oked a f e w l a w s y ours e lf .'
'L aw s c an b e c h an ged ,' s a id F udge s a v ag ely .
'O f co urs e th ey can ,' sa id D um ble d ore , in clin in g his head . 'A nd vou
certa in ly se em to b e m ak in g m an y c h an ges, C orn eliu s. W hy, in th e fe w sh ort
week s sin ce I w as a sk ed to le av e th e W iz en gam ot, it h as a lr e ad y b eco m e th e
pra ctic e to h old a fu ll c rim in al tr ia l to d eal w ith a sim ple m atte r o f u ndera g e
mag ic !'
A fe w o f th e w iz ard s ab ove th em sh if te d u nco m fo rta b ly in th eir se ats .
Fudge tu rn ed a s lig htly d eep er s h ad e o f p uce. T he to ad lik e w itc h o n h is rig ht,
how ev er, m ere ly g azed a t D um ble d ore , h er f a ce q uite e x pre ssio nle ss.
'A s f a r a s I a m a w are ,' D um ble d ore c o ntin ued , 't h ere is n o la w y et in p la ce
th at s a y s th is c o urt's jo b is to p unis h H arry fo r e v ery b it o f m ag ic h e h as e v er
perfo rm ed . H e h as b een c h arg ed w ith a s p ecif ic o ff e n ce a n d h e h as p re se n te d h is
defe n ce. A ll h e a n d I c an d o n ow i s t o a w ait y our v erd ic t.'
Dum ble d ore p ut h is fin gertip s to geth er ag ain an d sa id n o m ore . F udge
gla re d at him , ev id en tly in cen se d . H arry gla n ced sid ew ay s at D um ble d ore ,
se ek in g r e assu ra n ce; h e w as n ot a t a ll s u re th at D um ble d ore w as r ig ht in te llin g
th e W iz en gam ot, in e ff e ct, th at it w as a b out tim e th ey m ad e a d ecis io n. A gain ,
how ev er, D um ble d ore s e em ed o bliv io us to H arry 's a tte m pt to c atc h h is e y e. H e
co ntin ued t o l o ok u p a t t h e b en ch es w here t h e e n tir e W iz en gam ot h ad f a lle n i n to
urg en t, w his p ere d c o nvers a tio ns.
Harry lo oked a t h is fe et. H is h eart, w hic h se em ed to h av e sw olle n to a n
unnatu ra l s iz e, w as th um pin g lo udly u nder h is r ib s. H e h ad e x pecte d th e h earin g
to la st lo nger th an th is . H e w as not at all su re th at he had m ad e a good
im pre ssio n. H e h ad n ot r e ally s a id v ery m uch . H e o ught to h av e e x pla in ed m ore
fu lly a b out t h e D em en to rs , a b out h ow h e h ad f a lle n o ver, a b out h ow b oth h e a n d
Dudle y h ad n early b een k is se d …
Tw ic e h e lo oked u p at F udge an d o pen ed h is m outh to sp eak , b ut h is
sw olle n h eart w as n ow c o nstr ic tin g h is a ir p assa g es a n d b oth tim es h e m ere ly
to ok a d eep b re ath a n d l o oked b ack d ow n a t h is s h oes.

C H APT ER N IN E
T he W oes o f M rs W ea sk y

Dum ble d ore 's ab ru pt dep artu re to ok H arry co m ple te ly by su rp ris e . H e
r e m ain ed s ittin g w here h e w as in th e c h ain ed c h air , s tr u gglin g w ith h is f e elin gs
o f sh ock an d re lie f. T he W iz en gam ot w ere all g ettin g to th eir fe et, ta lk in g,
g ath erin g u p th eir p ap ers an d p ack in g th em aw ay. H arry sto od u p. N obody
s e em ed to b e p ay in g h im th e s lig hte st b it o f a tte n tio n, e x cep t th e to ad lik e w itc h
o n F udge's rig ht, w ho w as n ow g azin g d ow n a t h im in ste ad o f a t D um ble d ore .
I g norin g h er, h e tr ie d to c atc h F udge's e y e, o r M ad am B ones's , w an tin g to a sk
w heth er h e w as fre e to g o, b ut F udge se em ed q uite d ete rm in ed n ot to n otic e
H arry , a n d M ad am B ones w as b usy w ith h er b rie fc ase , s o h e t o ok a f e w t e n ta tiv e
s te p s to w ard s th e e x it a n d, w hen n obody c alle d h im b ack , b ro ke in to a v ery f a st
w alk .
He to ok th e la st fe w ste p s a t a ru n, w re n ch ed o pen th e d oor a n d a lm ost
c o llid ed w ith M r W easle y, w ho w as sta n din g rig ht o uts id e, lo okin g p ale a n d
a p pre h en siv e.
'D um ble d ore d id n't s a y - '
'C le are d ,' H arry s a id , p ullin g t h e d oor c lo se d b eh in d h im , 'o f a ll c h arg es!'
Beam in g, M r W easle y s e iz ed H arry b y t h e s h ould ers .
'H arry , th at's w onderfu l! W ell, o f co urs e , th ey co uld n't h av e fo und y ou
g uilty , n ot o n t h e e v id en ce, b ut e v en s o , 1 c an 't p re te n d I w asn 't - '
But M r W easle y b ro ke o ff , b ecau se th e c o urtr o om d oor h ad ju st o pen ed
a g ain . T he W iz en gam ot w ere f ilin g o ut.
'M erlin 's b eard !' e x cla im ed M r W easle y w onderin gly , p ullin g H arry a sid e t o
l e t t h em a ll p ass. 'Y ou w ere t r ie d b y t h e f u ll c o urt? '
'I t h in k s o ,' s a id H arry q uie tly .
One o r tw o o f th e w iz ard s n odded to H arry as th ey p asse d an d a fe w ,
i n clu din g M ad am B ones, sa id , 'M orn in g, A rth ur,' to M r W easle y, but m ost
a v erte d th eir e y es. C orn eliu s F udge a n d th e to ad lik e w itc h w ere a lm ost th e la st
t o l e av e t h e d ungeo n. F udge a cte d a s t h ough M r W easle y a n d H arry w ere p art o f
t h e w all, b ut a g ain , th e w itc h lo oked a lm ost a p pra is in gly a t H arry a s s h e p asse d .
L ast o f a ll to p ass w as P erc y. L ik e F udge, h e c o m ple te ly ig nore d h is f a th er a n d
H arry ; h e m arc h ed p ast c lu tc h in g a la rg e ro ll o f p arc h m en t a n d a h an dfu l o f
s p are q uills , h is b ack r ig id a n d h is n ose i n t h e a ir. T he l in es a ro und M r W easle y s
m outh tig hte n ed s lig htly , b ut o th er th an th is h e g av e n o s ig n th at h e h ad s e en h is

th ir d s o n.
'I 'm g oin g to ta k e y ou str a ig ht b ack so y ou c an te ll th e o th ers th e g ood
new s,' h e sa id , b eck onin g H arry fo rw ard s a s P erc y 's h eels d is a p peare d u p th e
ste p s to L ev el N in e. T il d ro p y ou o ff o n th e w ay to th at to ile t in B eth nal G re en .
Com e o n… "
'S o, w hat w ill y ou h av e to d o ab out th e to ile t? ' H arry ask ed , g rin nin g.
Every th in g s u dden ly s e em ed f iv e t im es f u nnie r t h an u su al. I t w as s ta rtin g t o s in k
in : h e w as c le are d ,
h e w as g oin g b ack t o H ogw arts
.
'O h, its a s im ple e n ough a n ti- jin x,' s a id M r W easle y a s th ey m ounte d th e
sta ir s , 'b ut it's n ot so m uch h av in g to re p air th e d am ag e, its m ore th e a ttitu de
beh in d th e van dalis m , H arry . M uggle -b aitin g m ig ht str ik e so m e w iz ard s as
fu nny, b ut i t's a n e x pre ssio n o f s o m eth in g m uch d eep er a n d n astie r, a n d I f o r o ne
-'
Mr W easle y b ro ke o ff in m id -s e n te n ce. T hey h ad ju st re ach ed th e n in th -
le v el c o rrid or a n d C orn eliu s F udge w as sta n din g a fe w fe et a w ay fro m th em ,
ta lk in g q uie tly t o a t a ll m an w ith s le ek b lo nd h air a n d a p oin te d , p ale f a ce.
The s e co nd m an t u rn ed a t t h e s o und o f t h eir f o ots te p s. H e, t o o, b ro ke o ff i n
mid -c o nvers a tio n, h is c o ld g re y e y es n arro w ed a n d f ix ed u pon H arry 's f a ce.
'W ell, w ell, w ell… P atr o nus P otte r,' s a id L uciu s M alf o y c o olly .
Harry fe lt w in ded , a s th ough h e h ad ju st w alk ed in to s o m eth in g s o lid . H e
had la st s e en th ose c o ld g re y e y es th ro ugh s lits in a D eath E ate rs h ood, a n d la st
heard t h at m an 's v oic e j e erin g i n a d ark g ra v ey ard w hile L ord V old em ort t o rtu re d
him . H arry c o uld n ot b elie v e th at L uciu s M alf o y d are d lo ok h im in th e f a ce; h e
co uld n ot b elie v e th at h e w as h ere , in th e M in is tr y o f M ag ic , o r th at C orn eliu s
Fudge w as ta lk in g to h im , w hen H arry h ad to ld F udge m ere w eek s a g o th at
Malf o y w as a D eath E ate r.
'T he M in is te r w as ju st te llin g m e a b out y our lu ck y e sc ap e, P otte r,' d ra w le d
Mr M alf o y. 'Q uite a sto nis h in g, t h e w ay y ou c o ntin ue t o w rig gle o ut o f v ery t ig ht
hole s…
s n akelik e
, i n f a ct.'
Mr W easle y g rip ped H arry 's s h ould er i n w arn in g.
'Y eah ,' s a id H arry , 'y eah , I 'm g ood a t e sc ap in g.'
Luciu s M alf o y r a is e d h is e y es t o M r W easle y 's f a ce.
'A nd A rth ur W easle y t o o! W hat a re y ou d oin g h ere , A rth ur? '
'I w ork h ere ,' s a id M r W easle y c u rtly .
'N ot
here
, su re ly ?' sa id M r M alf o y, ra is in g his ey eb ro w s an d gla n cin g
to w ard s th e d oor o ver M r W easle y 's sh ould er. 'I th ought y ou w ere u p o n th e
se co nd f lo or… d on't y ou d o s o m eth in g th at in volv es s n eak in g M uggle a rte fa cts
hom e a n d b ew itc h in g t h em ?'
'N o,' M r W easle y s n ap ped , h is f in gers n ow b itin g i n to H arry s s h ould er.

What a re
y o u
d oin g h ere , a n yw ay ?' H arry a sk ed L uciu s M alf o y.
'I d on't th in k p riv ate m atte rs b etw een m yse lf an d th e M in is te r are an y
co ncern o f y ours , P otte r,' s a id M alf o y, s m ooth in g th e fro nt o f h is ro bes. H arry
dis tin ctly h eard th e g en tle c lin kin g o f w hat s o unded lik e a fu ll p ock et o f g old .
'R eally , ju st b ecau se y ou a re D um ble d ore 's fa v ourite b oy, y ou m ust n ot e x pect
th e s a m e in dulg en ce fro m th e re st o f u s… s h all w e g o u p to y our o ff ic e, th en ,
Min is te r? '
'C erta in ly ' sa id F udge, tu rn in g h is b ack o n H arry a n d M r W easle y. T his
way, L uciu s.'
They s tr o de o ff t o geth er, t a lk in g i n l o w v oic es. M r W easle y d id n ot l e t g o o f
Harry 's s h ould er u ntil t h ey h ad d is a p peare d i n to t h e l if t.
Why w asn 't h e w aitin g o uts id e F udge's o ff ic e if th ey 'v e g ot b usin ess to d o
to geth er? ' H arry b urs t o ut f u rio usly . W hat w as h e d oin g d ow n h ere ?'
'T ry in g to s n eak d ow n to th e c o urtr o om , if y ou a sk m e,' s a id M r W easle y,
lo okin g e x tr e m ely a g ita te d a n d g la n cin g o ver h is sh ould er a s th ough m ak in g
su re t h ey c o uld n ot b e o verh eard . T ry in g
One o r tw o o f th e w iz ard s n odded to H arry as th ey p asse d an d a fe w ,
in clu din g M ad am B ones, sa id , 'M orn in g, A rth ur,' to M r W easle y, but m ost
av erte d th eir e y es. C orn eliu s F udge a n d th e to ad lik e w itc h w ere a lm ost th e la st
to l e av e t h e d ungeo n. F udge a cte d a s t h ough M r W easle y a n d H arry w ere p art o f
th e w all, b ut a g ain , th e w itc h lo oked a lm ost a p pra is in gly a t H arry a s s h e p asse d .
Last o f a ll to p ass w as P erc y. L ik e F udge, h e c o m ple te ly ig nore d h is f a th er a n d
Harry ; h e m arc h ed p ast c lu tc h in g a la rg e ro ll o f p arc h m en t a n d a h an dfu l o f
sp are q uills , h is b ack r ig id a n d h is n ose i n t h e a ir. T he l in es a ro und M r W easle y 's
mouth tig hte n ed s lig htly , b ut o th er th an th is h e g av e n o s ig n th at h e h ad s e en h is
th ir d s o n.
'I 'm g oin g to ta k e y ou str a ig ht b ack so y ou c an te ll th e o th ers th e g ood
new s,' h e sa id , b eck onin g H arry fo rw ard s a s P erc y 's h eels d is a p peare d u p th e
ste p s to L ev el N in e. T il d ro p y ou o ff o n th e w ay to th at to ile t in B eth nal G re en .
Com e o n… "
'S o, w hat w ill y ou h av e to d o ab out th e to ile t? ' H arry ask ed , g rin nin g.
Every th in g s u dden ly s e em ed f iv e t im es f u nnie r t h an u su al. I t w as s ta rtin g t o s in k
in : h e w as c le are d ,
h e w as
g oin g
b ack t o H ogw arts
.
'O h, it's a s im ple e n ough a n ti- jin x,' s a id M r W easle y a s th ey m ounte d th e
sta ir s , 'b ut it's n ot s o m uch h av in g to re p air th e d am ag e, it's m ore th e a ttitu de
beh in d th e van dalis m , H arry . M uggle -b aitin g m ig ht str ik e so m e w iz ard s as
fu nny, b ut i t's a n e x pre ssio n o f s o m eth in g m uch d eep er a n d n astie r, a n d I f o r o ne
-'
Mr W easle y b ro ke o ff in m id -s e n te n ce. T hey h ad ju st re ach ed th e n in th -

le v el c o rrid or a n d C orn eliu s F udge w as sta n din g a fe w fe et a w ay fro m th em ,
ta lk in g q uie tly t o a t a ll m an w ith s le ek b lo nd h air a n d a p oin te d , p ale f a ce.
The s e co nd m an t u rn ed a t t h e s o und o f t h eir f o ots te p s. H e, t o o, b ro ke o ff i n
mid -c o nvers a tio n, h is c o ld g re y e y es n arro w ed a n d f ix ed u pon H arry 's f a ce.
'W ell, w ell, w ell… P atr o nus P otte r,' s a id L uciu s M alf o y c o olly .
Harry fe lt w in ded , a s th ough h e h ad ju st w alk ed in to s o m eth in g s o lid . H e
had la st s e en th ose c o ld g re y e y es th ro ugh s lits in a D eath E ate rs h ood, a n d la st
heard t h at m an 's v oic e j e erin g i n a d ark g ra v ey ard w hile L ord V old em ort t o rtu re d
him . H arry c o uld n ot b elie v e th at L uciu s M alf o y d are d lo ok h im in th e f a ce; h e
co uld n ot b elie v e th at h e w as h ere , in th e M in is tr y o f M ag ic , o r th at C orn eliu s
Fudge w as ta lk in g to h im , w hen H arry h ad to ld F udge m ere w eek s a g o th at
Malf o y w as a D eath E ate r.
The M in is te r w as ju st te llin g m e a b out y our lu ck y e sc ap e, P otte r,' d ra w le d
Mr M alf o y. 'Q uite a sto nis h in g, t h e w ay y ou c o ntin ue t o w rig gle o ut o f v ery t ig ht
hole s…
s n akd ik e
, i n f a ct.'
Mr W easle y g rip ped H arry 's s h ould er i n w arn in g.
'Y eah ,' s a id H arry , 'y eah , I 'm g ood a t e sc ap in g.'
Luciu s M alf o y r a is e d h is e y es t o M r W easle y 's f a ce.
'A nd A rth ur W easle y t o o! W hat a re y ou d oin g h ere , A rth ur? '
'I w ork h ere ,' s a id M r W easle y c u rtly .
'N ot
here
, su re ly ?' sa id M r M alf o y, ra is in g his ey eb ro w s an d gla n cin g
to w ard s th e d oor o ver M r W easle y 's sh ould er. 'I th ought y ou w ere u p o n th e
se co nd f lo or… d on't y ou d o s o m eth in g th at in volv es s n eak in g M uggle a rte fa cts
hom e a n d b ew itc h in g t h em ?'
'N o,' M r W easle y s n ap ped , h is f in gers n ow b itin g i n to H arry 's s h ould er.
'W hat a re
y o u
d oin g h ere , a n yw ay ?' H arry a sk ed L uciu s M alf o y.
'I d on't th in k p riv ate m atte rs b etw een m yse lf an d th e M in is te r are an y
co ncern o f y ours , P otte r,' s a id M alf o y, s m ooth in g th e fro nt o f h is ro bes. H arry
dis tin ctly h eard th e g en tle c lin kin g o f w hat s o unded lik e a fu ll p ock et o f g old .
'R eally , ju st b ecau se y ou a re D um ble d ore 's fa v ourite b oy, y ou m ust n ot e x pect
th e s a m e in dulg en ce fro m th e re st o f u s… s h all w e g o u p to y our o ff ic e, th en ,
Min is te r? '
'C erta in ly ' sa id F udge, tu rn in g h is b ack o n H arry a n d M r W easle y. T his
way, L uciu s.'
They s tr o de o ff t o geth er, t a lk in g i n l o w v oic es. M r W easle y d id n ot l e t g o o f
Harry 's s h ould er u ntil t h ey h ad d is a p peare d i n to t h e l if t.
'W hy w asn 't h e w aitin g o uts id e F udge's o ff ic e if th ey 'v e g ot b usin ess to d o
to geth er? ' H arry b urs t o ut f u rio usly . 'W hat w as h e d oin g d ow n h ere ?'
'T ry in g to s n eak d ow n to th e c o urtr o om , if y ou a sk m e,' s a id M r W easle y,

lo okin g e x tr e m ely a g ita te d a n d g la n cin g o ver h is sh ould er a s th ough m ak in g
su re t h ey c o uld n ot b e o verh eard . T ry in g t o f in d o ut w heth er y ou'd b een e x pelle d
or n ot. I 'l l le av e a n ote f o r D um ble d ore w hen I d ro p y ou o ff , h e o ught to k now
Malf o ys b een t a lk in g t o F udge a g ain .'
'W hat p riv ate b usin ess h av e t h ey g ot t o geth er, a n yw ay ?'
'G old , I e x pect,' s a id M r W easle y a n grily . 'M alf o y's b een g iv in g g en ero usly
to a ll s o rts o f th in gs f o r y ears … g ets h im in w ith th e r ig ht p eo ple … th en h e c an
ask f a v ours … d ela y l a w s h e d oesn 't w an t p asse d … o h, h e's v ery w ell- c o nnecte d ,
Luciu s M alf o y.'
The lif t a rriv ed ; it w as e m pty e x cep t fo r a flo ck o f m em os th at fla p ped
aro und M r W easle y 's h ead a s h e p re sse d th e b utto n f o r th e A tr iu m a n d th e d oors
cla n ged s h ut. H e w av ed t h em a w ay i r rita b ly .
'M r W easle y ' sa id H arry slo w ly , 'i f F udge is m eetin g D eath E ate rs lik e
Malf o y, i f h e's s e ein g t h em a lo ne, h ow d o w e k now t h ey h av en 't p ut t h e I m periu s
Curs e o n h im ?'
'D on't th in k it h asn 't o ccu rre d to u s, H arry ' s a id M r W easle y q uie tly . 'B ut
Dum ble d ore t h in ks F udge i s a ctin g o f h is o w n a cco rd a t t h e m om en t – w hic h , a s
Dum ble d ore s a y s, is n ot a lo t o f c o m fo rt. B est n ot ta lk a b out it a n y m ore ju st
now , H arry .'
The d oors slid o pen an d th ey ste p ped o ut in to th e n ow alm ost- d ese rte d
Atr iu m . E ric th e w atc h w iz ard w as h id den b eh in d h is
D aily P ro phet
a g ain . T hey
had w alk ed s tr a ig ht p ast t h e g old en f o unta in b efo re H arry r e m em bere d .
'W ait… ' h e t o ld M r W easle y, a n d, p ullin g h is m oney bag I ro m h is p ock et, h e
tu rn ed b ack t o t h e f o unta in .
He lo oked u p in to th e h an dso m e w iz ard 's fa ce, b ut c lo se -to H arry th ought
he lo oked r a th er w eak a n d f o olis h . T he w itc h w as w earin g a v ap id s m ile lik e a
beau ty c o nte sta n t, a n d f ro m w hat H arry k new o f g oblin s a n d c en ta u rs , t h ey w ere
most u nlik ely t o b e c au ght s ta rin g s o s o ppily a t h um an s o f a n y d esc rip tio n. O nly
th e h ouse -e lf 's a ttitu de o f c re ep in g s e rv ility l o oked c o nvin cin g. W ith a g rin a t t h e
th ought o f w hat H erm io ne w ould s a y i f s h e c o uld s e e t h e s ta tu e o f t h e e lf , H arry
tu rn ed h is m oney bag u psid e-d ow n a n d e m ptie d n ot ju st te n G alle o ns, b ut th e
whole c o nte n ts i n to t h e p ool.
*
'I k new i t! ' y elle d R on, p unch in g t h e a ir. 'Y ou a lw ay s g et a w ay w ith s tu ff !'
They w ere b ound to c le ar y ou,' s a id H erm io ne, w ho h ad lo oked p ositiv ely
fa in t w ith a n xie ty w hen H arry h ad e n te re d th e k itc h en a n d w as n ow h old in g a
sh ak in g h an d o ver h er e y es, 't h ere w as n o c ase a g ain st y ou, n one a t a ll.'
'E very one se em s q uite re lie v ed , th ough, c o nsid erin g y ou a ll k new I'd g et
off ,' s a id H arry , s m ilin g.

Mrs W easle y w as w ip in g h er fa ce o n h er ap ro n, an d F re d , G eo rg e an d
Gin ny w ere d oin g a k in d o f w ar d an ce to a c h an t th at w en t: 'H e
g ot o ff, h e g ot
off, h e g ot o ff
…"
That's en ough! S ettle dow n!' sh oute d M r W easle y, th ough he to o w as
sm ilin g. 'L is te n , S ir iu s, L uciu s M alf o y w as a t t h e M in is tr y - '
'W hat? ' s a id S ir iu s s h arp ly .
'H e
g ot o ff, h e g ot o ff, h e g ot o ff
…"
'B e q uie t, y ou th re e! Y es, w e s a w h im ta lk in g to F udge o n L ev el N in e, th en
th ey w en t u p t o F udge's o ff ic e t o geth er. D um ble d ore o ught t o k now .'
'A bso lu te ly ,' s a id S ir iu s. 'W e'l l t e ll h im , d on't w orry .'
'W ell, I'd bette r get goin g, th ere 's a vom itin g to ile t w aitin g fo r m e in
Beth nal G re en . M olly , I 'l l b e l a te , I 'm c o verin g f o r T onks, b ut K in gsle y m ig ht b e
dro ppin g i n f o r d in ner - '
'H e g ot
o ff, h e g ot o ff, h e g ot o ff
…"
That's e n ough – F re d – G eo rg e – G in ny!' s a id M rs W easle y, a s M r W easle y
le ft th e k itc h en . 'H arry , d ear, c o m e a n d s it d ow n, h av e s o m e lu nch , y ou h ard ly
ate b re ak fa st.'
Ron a n d H erm io ne s a t t h em se lv es d ow n o pposite h im , l o okin g h ap pie r t h an
th ey h ad d one s in ce h e h ad f ir s t a rriv ed a t G rim mau ld P la ce, a n d H arry 's f e elin g
of g id dy r e lie f, w hic h h ad b een s o m ew hat d en te d b y h is e n co unte r w ith L uciu s
Malf o y, s w elle d a g ain . T he g lo om y h ouse s e em ed w arm er a n d m ore w elc o m in g
all o f a s u dden ; e v en K re ach er lo oked le ss u gly a s h e p oked h is s n outlik e n ose
in to t h e k itc h en t o i n vestig ate t h e s o urc e o f a ll t h e n ois e .
'C ours e , o nce D um ble d ore tu rn ed u p o n y our s id e, th ere w as n o w ay th ey
were g oin g to co nvic t y ou,' sa id R on h ap pily , n ow d is h in g g re at m ounds o f
mash ed p ota to o n t o e v ery one's p la te s.
'Y eah , he sw ung it fo r m e,' sa id H arry . H e fe lt it w ould so und hig hly
ungra te fu l, n ot to m en tio n c h ild is h , to s a y, 'I w is h h e'd ta lk ed to m e, th ough. O r
ev en
l o oked
a t m e.'
And a s h e th ought th is , th e s c ar o n h is fo re h ead b urn ed s o b ad ly th at h e
cla p ped h is h an d t o i t.
'W hat's u p?' s a id H erm io ne, l o okin g a la rm ed .
'S car,' H arry m um ble d . 'B ut i t's n oth in g… i t h ap pen s a ll t h e t im e n ow … '
None o f th e o th ers h ad n otic ed a th in g; all o f th em w ere n ow h elp in g
th em se lv es to f o od w hile g lo atin g o ver H arry s n arro w e sc ap e; F re d , G eo rg e a n d
Gin ny w ere s till s in gin g. H erm io ne lo oked r a th er a n xio us, b ut b efo re s h e c o uld
sa y a n yth in g, R on h ad s a id h ap pily , 'I b et D um ble d ore tu rn s u p th is e v en in g, to
cele b ra te w ith u s, y ou k now .'
'I d on't t h in k h e'l l b e a b le t o , R on,' s a id M rs W easle y, s e ttin g a h uge p la te o f

ro ast c h ic k en d ow n i n f ro nt o f H arry . 'H e's r e ally v ery b usy a t t h e m om en t.'
'H E
G OT O FF, H E G OT O FF, H E G OT O FF
'S H UT U P!' r o are d M rs W easle y.
*
Over th e n ex t fe w d ay s H arry c o uld n ot h elp n otic in g th at th ere w as o ne
pers o n w ith in num ber tw elv e, G rim mau ld P la ce, w ho did not se em w holly
overjo yed t h at h e w ould b e r e tu rn in g t o H ogw arts . S ir iu s h ad p ut u p a v ery g ood
sh ow o f h ap pin ess o n f ir s t h earin g t h e n ew s, w rin gin g H arry 's h an d a n d b eam in g
ju st l ik e t h e r e st o f t h em . S oon, h ow ev er, h e w as m oodie r a n d s u rlie r t h an b efo re ,
ta lk in g le ss to e v ery body, e v en H arry , a n d s p en din g in cre asin g a m ounts o f tim e
sh ut u p i n h is m oth er's r o om w ith B uck beak .
'D on't you go fe elin g guilty !' sa id H erm io ne ste rn ly , afte r H arry had
co nfid ed s o m e o f h is f e elin gs to h er a n d R on w hile th ey s c ru bbed o ut a m ould y
cu pboard o n th e th ir d f lo or a f e w d ay s la te r. 'Y ou b elo ng a t H ogw arts a n d S ir iu s
know s i t. P ers o nally , I t h in k h e's b ein g s e lf is h .'
That's a b it h ars h , H erm io ne,' s a id R on, fro w nin g a s h e a tte m pte d to p ris e
off a b it o f m ould t h at h ad a tta ch ed i ts e lf f ir m ly t o h is f in ger, 'y ou w ould n't w an t
to b e s tu ck i n sid e t h is h ouse w ith out a n y c o m pan y.'
'H e'l l h av e c o m pan y!' s a id H erm io ne. 'I t's H ead quarte rs to th e O rd er o f th e
Phoen ix , is n 't it? H e ju st g ot h is h opes u p th at H arry w ould b e c o m in g to liv e
here w ith h im .'
don't th in k th at's tr u e/ s a id H arry , w rin gin g o ut h is c lo th . 'H e w ould n't g iv e
me a s tr a ig ht a n sw er w hen I a sk ed h im i f 1 c o uld .'
'H e ju st d id n't w an t to g et h is o w n h opes u p e v en m ore ,' sa id H erm io ne
wis e ly . 'A nd h e p ro bab ly f e lt a b it g uilty h im se lf , b ecau se I th in k a p art o f h im
was r e ally h opin g y ou'd b e e x pelle d . T hen y ou'd b oth b e o utc asts t o geth er.'
'C om e o ff i t! ' s a id H arry a n d R on t o geth er, b ut H erm io ne m ere ly s h ru gged .
'S uit y ours e lv es. B ut I so m etim es th in k R ons m um s rig ht a n d S ir iu s g ets
co nfu se d a b out w heth er y ou'r e y ou o r y our f a th er, H arry .'
'S o y ou t h in k h e's t o uch ed i n t h e h ead ?' s a id H arry h eate d ly .
'N o, I ju st th in k h e's b een v ery lo nely fo r a lo ng tim e,' sa id H erm io ne
sim ply .
At t h is p oin t, M rs W easle y e n te re d t h e b ed ro om b eh in d t h em .
'S till n ot f in is h ed ?' s h e s a id , p okin g h er h ead i n to t h e c u pboard .
'I th ought y ou m ig ht b e h ere to te ll u s to h av e a b re ak !' s a id R on b itte rly .
'D 'y ou k now h ow m uch m ould w e'v e g ot r id o f s in ce w e a rriv ed h ere ?'
'Y ou w ere s o k een t o h elp t h e O rd er,' s a id M rs W easle y, 'y ou c an d o y our b it
by m ak in g H ead quarte rs f it t o l iv e i n .'
'I f e el l ik e a h ouse -e lf ,' g ru m ble d R on.

'W ell, n ow y ou u nders ta n d w hat d re ad fu l l iv es t h ey l e ad , p erh ap s y ou'l l b e a
bit m ore a ctiv e i n S PE W !' s a id H erm io ne h opefu lly , a s M rs W easle y l e ft t h em t o
it. 'Y ou k now , m ay be it w ould n't b e a b ad id ea to sh ow p eo ple e x actly h ow
horrib le it is to c le an a ll th e tim e – w e c o uld d o a s p onso re d s c ru b o l G ry ff in dor
co m mon r o om , a ll p ro ceed s t o S PE W , i t w ould r a is e a w are n ess a s w ell a s f u nds.'
'I 'l l s p onso r y ou t o s h ut u p a b out S PE W ,' R on m utte re d i r rita b ly , b ut o nly s o
Harry c o uld h ear h im .
*
Harry fo und h im se lf d ay dre am in g a b out H ogw arts m ore a n d m ore a s th e
en d o f th e h olid ay s a p pro ach ed ; h e c o uld n ot w ait to s e e H ag rid a g ain , to p la y
Quid ditc h , ev en to str o ll acro ss th e veg eta b le patc h es to th e H erb olo gy
gre en house s; it w ould b e a tr e at ju st to le av e th is d usty , m usty h ouse , w here h alf
of th e c u pboard s w ere s till b olte d s h ut a n d K re ach er w heezed in su lts o ut o f th e
sh ad ow s a s y ou p asse d , th ough H arry w as c are fu l n ot to s a y a n y o f th is w ith in
ears h ot o f S ir iu s.
The fa ct w as th at liv in g at th e H ead quarte rs of th e an ti- V old em ort
movem en t w as not nearly as in te re stin g or ex citin g as H arry w ould hav e
ex pecte d befo re he'd ex perie n ced it. T hough m em bers of th e O rd er of th e
Phoen ix c am e a n d w en t r e g ula rly , s o m etim es s ta y in g f o r m eals , s o m etim es o nly
fo r a f e w m in ute s o f w his p ere d c o nvers a tio n, M rs W easle y m ad e s u re t h at H arry
an d t h e o th ers w ere k ep t w ell o ut o f e ars h ot ( w heth er E xte n dab le o r n orm al) a n d
nobody, n ot e v en S ir iu s, se em ed to fe el th at H arry n eed ed to k now a n yth in g
more t h an h e h ad h eard o n t h e n ig ht o f h is a rriv al.
On th e v ery la st d ay o f th e h olid ay s H arry w as s w eep in g u p H ed w ig s o w l
dro ppin gs fro m th e to p of th e w ard ro be w hen R on en te re d th eir bed ro om
carry in g a c o uple o f e n velo pes.
'B ooklis ts h av e a rriv ed ,' h e s a id , t h ro w in g o ne o f t h e e n velo pes u p t o H arry ,
who w as sta n din g on a ch air. 'A bout tim e, I th ought th ey 'd fo rg otte n , th ey
usu ally c o m e m uch e arlie r t h an t h is … "
Harry s w ep t th e la st o f th e d ro ppin gs in to a r u bbis h b ag a n d th re w th e b ag
over R on's h ead i n to t h e w aste p ap er b ask et i n t h e c o rn er, w hic h s w allo w ed i t a n d
belc h ed lo udly . H e th en o pen ed h is le tte r. I t c o nta in ed tw o p ie ces o f p arc h m en t:
one th e u su al re m in der th at te rm sta rte d o n th e fir s t o f S ep te m ber; th e o th er
te llin g h im w hic h b ooks h e w ould n eed f o r t h e c o m in g y ear.
'O nly tw o n ew o nes,' h e s a id , r e ad in g th e lis t, T he
S ta ndard B ook o f S pells ,
Gra de 5
, by M ir a n da G osh aw k, an d
D efe n siv e M agic a l T heo ry
, by W ilb ert
Slin khard .'
Cra ck.
Fre d a n d G eo rg e A ppara te d rig ht b esid e H arry . H e w as so u se d to th em

doin g t h is b y n ow t h at h e d id n't e v en f a ll o ff h is c h air.
'W e were ju st wonderin g who se t th e Slin khard book,' sa id Fre d
co nvers a tio nally .
'B ecau se it m ean s D um ble d ore 's fo und a n ew D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark
Arts t e ach er,' s a id G eo rg e.
'A nd a b out t im e t o o,' s a id F re d .
'W hat d 'y ou m ean ?' H arry a sk ed , j u m pin g d ow n b esid e t h em .
'W ell, w e o verh eard M um a n d D ad ta lk in g o n th e E xte n dab le E ars a fe w
week s b ack ,' F re d t o ld H arry , 'a n d f ro m w hat t h ey w ere s a y in g, D um ble d ore w as
hav in g r e al t r o uble f in din g a n yone t o d o t h e j o b t h is y ear.
'N ot s u rp ris in g, is it, w hen y ou lo ok a t w hat's h ap pen ed to th e la st fo ur? '
sa id G eo rg e.
'O ne s a ck ed , o ne d ead , o ne's m em ory re m oved a n d o ne lo ck ed in a tr u nk
fo r n in e m onth s,' s a id H arry , c o untin g th em o ff o n h is f in gers . 'Y eah , I s e e w hat
you m ean .'
'W hat's u p w ith y ou, R on?' a sk ed F re d .
Ron d id n ot a n sw er. H arry lo oked r o und. R on w as s ta n din g v ery s till w ith
his m outh s lig htly o pen , g ap in g a t h is l e tte r f ro m H ogw arts .
'W hat's th e m atte r? ' s a id F re d im patie n tly , m ovin g a ro und R on to lo ok o ver
his s h ould er a t t h e p arc h m en t.
Fre d 's m outh f e ll o pen , t o o.
'P re fe ct? ' h e s a id , s ta rin g i n cre d ulo usly a t t h e l e tte r. '
Pre fe ct
?'
Geo rg e le ap t f o rw ard s, s e iz ed th e e n velo pe in R on's o th er h an d a n d tu rn ed
it u psid e-d ow n. H arry s a w s o m eth in g s c arle t a n d g old f a ll i n to G eo rg e's p alm .
'N o w ay,' s a id G eo rg e i n a h ush ed v oic e.
There 's b een a m is ta k e,' s a id F re d , s n atc h in g th e le tte r o ut o f R on's g ra sp
an d h old in g it u p to th e lig ht a s th ough c h eck in g fo r a w ate rm ark . 'N o o ne in
th eir r ig ht m in d w ould m ak e R on a p re fe ct.'
The t w in s' h ead s t u rn ed i n u nis o n a n d b oth o f t h em s ta re d a t H arry .
'W e th ought y ou w ere a c ert! ' s a id F re d , in a to ne th at s u ggeste d H arry h ad
tr ic k ed t h em i n s o m e w ay.
'W e t h ought D um ble d ore w as
b ound
t o p ic k y ou!' s a id G eo rg e i n dig nan tly .
'W in nin g t h e T riw iz ard a n d e v ery th in g!' s a id F re d .
'I s u ppose a ll th e m ad s tu ff m ust'v e c o unte d a g ain st h im ,' s a id G eo rg e to
Fre d .
'Y eah ,' s a id F re d s lo w ly . 'Y eah , y ou'v e c au se d t o o m uch t r o uble , m ate . W ell,
at l e ast o ne o f y ou's g ot t h eir p rio ritie s r ig ht.'
He s tr o de o ver to H arry a n d c la p ped h im o n th e b ack w hile g iv in g R on a
sc ath in g l o ok.

' Pre fe ct
… i c k le R onnie t h e P re fe ct.'
'O hh, M um 's g oin g to b e re v olt in g,' g ro an ed G eo rg e, th ru stin g th e p re fe ct
bad ge b ack a t R on a s t h ough i t m ig ht c o nta m in ate h im .
Ron, w ho still h ad n ot sa id a w ord , to ok th e b ad ge, sta re d at it fo r a
mom en t, th en h eld it o ut to H arry a s th ough a sk in g m ute ly f o r c o nfir m atio n th at
it w as g en uin e. H arry to ok it. A la rg e T ' w as s u perim pose d o n th e G ry ff in dor
lio n. H e h ad s e en a b ad ge ju st lik e th is o n P erc y s c h est o n h is v ery fir s t d ay a t
Hogw arts .
The d oor b an ged o pen . H erm io ne c am e te arin g in to th e ro om , h er c h eek s
flu sh ed a n d h er h air f ly in g. T here w as a n e n velo pe i n h er h an d.
'D id y ou – d id y ou g et - ? '
She s p otte d t h e b ad ge i n H arry 's h an d a n d l e t o ut a s h rie k .
'] k new it! ' sh e sa id
e xcite d ly
, b ra n dis h in g h er le tte r. 'M e to o, H arry , m e
to o!'
'N o,' s a id H arry q uic k ly , p ush in g th e b ad ge b ack in to R on's h an d. 'I t's R on,
not m e.' :
'I t – w hat? '
i -
'R on's p re fe ct, n ot m e,' H arry s a id .
'R on?' s a id H erm io ne, h er j a w d ro ppin g. 'B ut… a re y ou s u re ? I m ean - '
She tu rn ed r e d a s R on lo oked r o und a t h er w ith a d efia n t e x pre ssio n o n h is
fa ce.
'I ts m y n am e o n t h e l e tte r,' h e s a id .
'I … ' s a id H erm io ne, l o okin g t h oro ughly b ew ild ere d . '1 … w ell… w ow ! W ell
done, R on! T hat's r e ally - '
'U nex pecte d ,' s a id G eo rg e, n oddin g.
'N o,' sa id H erm io ne, b lu sh in g h ard er th an e v er, 'n o it's n ot… R on's d one
lo ad s o f… h e's r e ally … '
The d oor b eh in d h er o pen ed a little w id er a n d M rs W easle y b ack ed in to th e
ro om c arry in g a p ile o f f re sh ly l a u ndere d r o bes.
'G in ny s a id th e b ooklis ts h ad c o m e a t la st,' s h e s a id , g la n cin g a ro und a t a ll
th e e n velo pes a s s h e m ad e h er w ay o ver to th e b ed a n d s ta rte d s o rtin g th e r o bes
in to tw o p ile s. 'I f y ou g iv e th em to m e I'l l ta k e th em o ver to D ia g on A lle y th is
afte rn oon a n d g et y our b ooks w hile y ou'r e p ack in g. R on, I'l l h av e to g et y ou
more p yja m as, th ese a re a t le ast six in ch es to o sh ort, I c an 't b elie v e h ow fa st
you'r e g ro w in g… w hat c o lo ur w ould y ou l ik e?'
Tut W OES O F M RS W EA SL EY
'G et h im r e d a n d g old t o m atc h h is b ad ge,' s a id G eo rg e, s m ir k in g.
'M atc h h is w hat? ' s a id M rs W easle y a b se n tly , ro llin g u p a p air o f m aro on
so ck s a n d p la cin g t h em o n R on's p ile .

'H is
b adge
,' s a id F re d , w ith th e a ir o f g ettin g th e w ors t o ver q uic k ly . 'H is
lo vely s h in y n ew
p re fe ct's b adge
.'
Fre d 's w ord s t o ok a m om en t t o p en etr a te M rs W easle y 's p re o ccu patio n w ith
pyja m as.
'H is … b ut… R on, y ou'r e n ot… ?'
Ron h eld u p h is b ad ge.
Mrs W easle y l e t o ut a s h rie k j u st l ik e H erm io ne's .
'I d on't b elie v e it! I d on't b elie v e it! O h, R on, h ow w onderfu l! A p re fe ct!
That's e v ery one i n t h e f a m ily !'
'W hat a re F re d a n d I , n ex t- d oor n eig hbours ? ' s a id G eo rg e i n dig nan tly , a s h is
moth er p ush ed h im a sid e a n d f lu ng h er a rm s a ro und h er y oungest s o n.
'W ait u ntil y our fa th er h ears ! R on, I'm so p ro ud o f y ou, w hat w onderfu l
new s, y ou c o uld e n d u p H ead B oy ju st lik e B ill a n d P erc y, it's th e f ir s t s te p ! O h,
what a th in g to h ap pen in th e m id dle o f all th is w orry , I'm ju st th rille d , o h,
Ronnie —
Fre d a n d G eo rg e w ere b oth m ak in g lo ud re tc h in g n ois e s b eh in d h er b ack
but M rs W easle y d id n ot n otic e; a rm s tig ht a ro und R on's n eck , s h e w as k is sin g
him a ll o ver h is f a ce, w hic h h ad t u rn ed a b rig hte r s c arle t t h an h is b ad ge.
'M um … d on't … M um , g et a g rip … ' h e m utte re d , t r y in g t o p ush h er a w ay.
She le t g o o f h im a n d sa id b re ath le ssly , 'W ell, w hat w ill it b e? W e g av e
Perc y a n o w l, b ut y ou'v e a lr e ad y g ot o ne, o f c o urs e .'
W-w hat d o y ou m ean ?' s a id R on, lo okin g a s th ough h e d id n ot d are b elie v e
his e ars .
'Y ou'v e g ot t o h av e a r e w ard f o r t h is !' s a id M rs W easle y f o ndly . 'H ow a b out
a n ic e n ew s e t o f d re ss r o bes? '
'W e'v e a lr e ad y b ought h im s o m e,' s a id F re d s o urly , w ho lo oked a s th ough
he s in cere ly r e g re tte d t h is g en ero sity .
'O r a n ew c au ld ro n, C harlie s o ld o ne's ru stin g th ro ugh, o r a n ew ra t, y ou
alw ay s l ik ed S cab bers - '
'M um ,' s a id R on h opefu lly , 'c an I h av e a n ew b ro om ?'
Mrs W easle y 's f a ce f e ll s lig htly ; b ro om stic k s w ere e x pen siv e.
'N ot a re ally g ood o ne!' R on h aste n ed to a d d. 'J u st -ju st a n ew o ne fo r a
ch an ge… "
Mrs W easle y h esita te d , t h en s m ile d .
'O f c o urs e y ou c an … w ell, I'd b ette r g et g oin g if I'v e g ot a b ro om to b uy
to o. I 'l l s e e y ou a ll la te r… little R onnie , a p re fe ct! A nd d on't f o rg et to p ack y our
tr u nks… a p re fe ct… o h, I 'm a ll o f a d ith er!'
She g av e R on y et a n oth er k is s o n th e c h eek , sn if f e d lo udly , a n d b ustle d
fro m t h e r o om .

Fre d a n d G eo rg e e x ch an ged l o oks.
'Y ou d on't m in d if w e d on't k is s y ou, d o y ou, R on?' s a id F re d in a fa ls e ly
an xio us v oic e.
'W e c o uld c u rts e y, i f y ou l ik e,' s a id G eo rg e.
'O h, s h ut u p,' s a id R on, s c o w lin g a t t h em .
'O r w hat? ' s a id F re d , a n e v il g rin s p re ad in g a cro ss h is f a ce. 'G oin g t o p ut u s
in d ete n tio n?'
I'd l o ve t o s e e h im t r y ,' s n ig gere d G eo rg e.
'H e c o uld i f y ou d on't w atc h o ut! ' s a id H erm io ne a n grily .
Fre d a n d G eo rg e b urs t o ut l a u ghin g, a n d R on m utte re d , 'D ro p i t, H erm io ne.'
'W e'r e g oin g to h av e to w atc h o ur s te p , G eo rg e,' s a id F re d , p re te n din g to
tr e m ble , 'w ith t h ese t w o o n o ur c ase … '
'Y eah , it lo oks lik e o ur la w -b re ak in g d ay s a re fin ally o ver,' sa id G eo rg e,
sh ak in g h is h ead .
And w ith a n oth er l o ud
c ra ck
, t h e t w in s D is a p para te d .
Those tw o!' sa id H erm io ne fu rio usly , sta rin g u p at th e ceilin g, th ro ugh
whic h th ey c o uld n ow h ear F re d a n d G eo rg e ro arin g w ith la u ghte r in th e ro om
upsta ir s . 'D on't p ay a n y a tte n tio n t o t h em , R on, t h ey 'r e o nly j e alo us!'
'I d on't th in k th ey a re ,' s a id R on d oubtf u lly , a ls o lo okin g u p a t th e c eilin g.
They 'v e a lw ay s s a id o nly p ra ts b eco m e p re fe cts … s till,' h e a d ded o n a h ap pie r
note , 't h ey 'v e n ev er h ad n ew b ro om s! I w is h I c o uld g o w ith M um a n d c h oose …
sh e'l l n ev er b e a b le to a ff o rd a N im bus, b ut th ere 's th e n ew C le an sw eep o ut,
th at'd b e g re at… y eah , I th in k I 'l l g o a n d te ll h er I lik e th e C le an sw eep , ju st s o
sh e k now s
He d ash ed f ro m t h e r o om , l e av in g H arry a n d H erm io ne a lo ne.
For s o m e r e aso n, H arry f o und h e d id n ot w an t t o l o ok a t
TH E W OES O F M RS W E A S L EY 1 ^
Herm io ne. H e tu rn ed to h is b ed , p ic k ed u p th e p ile o f c le an ro bes M rs
Weasle y h ad l a id o n i t a n d c ro sse d t h e r o om t o h is t r u nk.
'H arry ?' s a id H erm io ne t e n ta tiv ely .
'W ell d one, H erm io ne,' s a id H arry , s o h eartily i t d id n ot s o und l ik e h is v oic e
at a ll, a n d, s till n ot l o okin g a t h er, 'b rillia n t. P re fe ct. G re at.'
Than ks,' s a id H erm io ne. 'E rm – H arry – c o uld I b orro w H ed w ig s o I c an t e ll
Mum a n d D ad ? T hey 'l l b e r e ally p le ase d – I m ean
p re fe ct
is s o m eth in g th ey c an
unders ta n d.'
'Y eah , n o p ro ble m ,' s a id H arry , s till in th e h orrib le h earty v oic e th at d id n ot
belo ng t o h im . T ak e h er!'
He l e an ed o ver h is t r u nk, l a id t h e r o bes o n t h e b otto m o f i t a n d p re te n ded t o
be r u m mag in g f o r s o m eth in g w hile H erm io ne c ro sse d t o t h e w ard ro be a n d c alle d

Hed w ig d ow n.
A
f e w m om en ts p asse d ; H arry h eard th e d oor c lo se b ut r e m ain ed
ben t d ouble , lis te n in g; th e o nly s o unds h e c o uld h ear w ere th e b la n k p ic tu re o n
th e w all s n ig gerin g a g ain a n d th e w aste p ap er b ask et in th e c o rn er c o ughin g u p
th e o w l d ro ppin gs.
He s tr a ig hte n ed u p a n d lo oked b eh in d h im . H erm io ne h ad le ft a n d H ed w ig
had g one. H arry h urrie d a cro ss t h e r o om , c lo se d t h e d oor, t h en r e tu rn ed s lo w ly t o
his b ed a n d s a n k o n t o i t, g azin g u nse ein gly a t t h e f o ot o f t h e w ard ro be.
He h ad fo rg otte n c o m ple te ly a b out p re fe cts b ein g c h ose n in th e fif th y ear.
He h ad b een to o an xio us ab out th e p ossib ility o f b ein g ex pelle d to sp are a
th ought fo r th e fa ct th at b ad ges m ust b e w in gin g th eir w ay to w ard s certa in
peo ple . B ut i f h e
h ad
r e m em bere d … i f h e
h ad
th ought a b out it… w hat w ould h e
hav e e x pecte d ?
Not t h is
, s a id a s m all a n d t r u th fu l v oic e i n sid e h is h ead .
Harry s c re w ed u p h is fa ce a n d b urie d it in h is h an ds. H e c o uld n ot lie to
him se lf ; if h e h ad k now n th e p re fe ct b ad ge w as o n its w ay, h e w ould h av e
ex pecte d it to c o m e to h im , n ot R on. D id th is m ak e h im a s a rro gan t a s D ra co
Malf o y? D id h e t h in k h im se lf s u perio r t o e v ery one e ls e ? D id h e r e ally b elie v e h e
was
b ette r
t h an R on?
No, s a id t h e s m all v oic e d efia n tly .
Was t h at t r u e? H arry w ondere d , a n xio usly p ro bin g h is o w n f e elin gs.
I'm b ette r a t Q uid ditc h
, s a id t h e v oic e.
B ut I 'm n ot b ette r a t a nyth in g e ls e
.
That w as d efin ite ly tr u e, H arry th ought; h e w as n o b ette r th an R on in
le sso ns. B ut w hat a b out o uts id e le sso ns? W hat a b out th ose a d ven tu re s h e, R on
an d H erm io ne h ad h ad to geth er s in ce s ta rtin g a t H ogw arts , o fte n ris k in g m uch
wors e t h an e x puls io n?
Well, R on a nd H erm io ne w ere w ith m e m ost o f th e tim e
, s a id th e v oic e in
Harry 's h ead .
Not all th e tim e, th ough, H arry arg ued w ith h im se lf . T hey d id n't fig ht
Quir re ll w ith m e. T hey d id n't t a k e o n R id dle a n d t h e B asilis k . T hey d id n't g et r id
of a ll th ose D em en to rs th e n ig ht S ir iu s e sc ap ed . T hey w ere n 't in th at g ra v ey ard
with m e, t h e n ig ht V old em ort r e tu rn ed …
And t h e s a m e f e elin g o f i ll- u sa g e t h at h ad o verw helm ed h im o n t h e n ig ht h e
had a rriv ed r o se a g ain . I 'v e d efin ite ly d one m ore , H arry t h ought i n dig nan tly . I 'v e
done m ore t h an e ith er o f t h em !
But m ayb e
, s a id th e s m all v oic e fa ir ly ,
m ayb e D um ble d ore d oesn 't c h oose
pre fe cts b eca use th ey'v e g ot th em se lv es in to a lo ad o f d angero us situ atio ns…
mayb e he ch oose s th em fo r oth er re a so ns… R on m ust have so m eth in g yo u
don't

Harry o pen ed h is ey es an d sta re d th ro ugh h is fin gers at th e w ard ro be's

cla w ed f e et, r e m em berin g w hat F re d h ad s a id : 'N o o ne i n t h eir r ig ht m in d w ould
mak e R on a p re fe ct… '
Harry g av e a s m all s n ort o f la u ghte r. A s e co nd la te r h e fe lt s ic k en ed w ith
him se lf .
Ron h ad n ot a sk ed D um ble d ore t o g iv e h im t h e p re fe ct b ad ge. T his w as n ot
Ron's f a u lt. W as h e, H arry , R on's b est f rie n d in th e w orld , g oin g to s u lk b ecau se
he d id n't h av e a b ad ge, l a u gh w ith t h e t w in s b eh in d R on's b ack , r u in t h is f o r R on
when , f o r t h e f ir s t t im e, h e h ad b eate n H arry a t s o m eth in g?
At th is p oin t H arry h eard R on's f o ots te p s o n th e s ta ir s a g ain . H e s to od u p,
str a ig hte n ed h is g la sse s, a n d h itc h ed a g rin o n to h is f a ce a s R on b ounded b ack
th ro ugh t h e d oor.
'J u st c au ght h er!' h e s a id h ap pily . 'S he s a y s s h e'l l g et th e C le an sw eep if s h e
can .'
'C ool,' H arry s a id , a n d h e w as re lie v ed to h ear th at h is v oic e h ad s to pped
so undin g h earty . 'L is te n – R on – w ell d one, m ate .'
The s m ile f a d ed o ff R on's f a ce.
'I n ev er th ought it w ould b e m e!' h e sa id , sh ak in g h is h ead . 'I th ought it
would b e y ou!'
'N ah , I 'v e c au se d t o o m uch t r o uble ,' H arry s a id , e ch oin g F re d .
'Y eah ,' s a id R on, 'y eah , I s u ppose … w ell, w e'd b ette r g et o ur t r u nks p ack ed ,
had n't w e?'
It w as odd how w id ely th eir posse ssio ns se em ed to hav e sc atte re d
th em se lv es s in ce th ey h ad a rriv ed . I t to ok th em m ost o f th e a fte rn oon to r e tr ie v e
th eir b ooks a n d b elo ngin gs fro m a ll o ver th e h ouse a n d s to w th em b ack in sid e
th eir sc h ool tr u nks. H arry n otic ed th at R on k ep t m ovin g h is p re fe cts b ad ge
aro und, f ir s t p la cin g it o n h is b ed sid e ta b le , th en p uttin g it in to h is je an s p ock et,
th en ta k in g it o ut a n d ly in g it o n h is f o ld ed r o bes, a s th ough to s e e th e e ff e ct o f
th e re d o n th e b la ck . O nly w hen F re d a n d G eo rg e d ro pped in a n d o ff e re d to
atta ch i t t o h is f o re h ead w ith a P erm an en t S tic k in g C harm d id h e w ra p i t t e n derly
in h is m aro on s o ck s a n d l o ck i t i n h is t r u nk.
Mrs W easle y re tu rn ed fro m D ia g on A lle y a ro und six o 'c lo ck , la d en w ith
books a n d c arry in g a lo ng p ack ag e w ra p ped in th ic k b ro w n p ap er th at R on to ok
fro m h er w ith a m oan o f l o ngin g.
'N ev er m in d u nw ra p pin g it n ow , p eo ple a re a rriv in g f o r d in ner, 1 w an t y ou
all d ow nsta ir s ,' s h e s a id , b ut th e m om en t s h e w as o ut o f s ig ht R on r ip ped o ff th e
pap er in a fre n zy an d ex am in ed ev ery in ch of his new bro om , an ecsta tic
ex pre ssio n o n h is f a ce.
Dow n in th e b ase m en t M rs W easle y h ad h ung a sc arle t b an ner o ver th e
heav ily l a d en d in ner t a b le , w hic h r e ad :

CO NGRATU LA TIO NS
RO N A ND H ER M IO NE
NEW P R EFE C TS
She l o oked i n a b ette r m ood t h an H arry h ad s e en h er a ll h olid ay.
'I th ought w e'd h av e a little p arty , n ot a sit- d ow n d in ner,' sh e to ld H arry ,
Ron, H erm io ne, F re d , G eo rg e a n d G in ny a s th ey e n te re d th e r o om . 'Y our f a th er
an d B ill a re o n t h eir w ay, R on. I 'v e s e n t th em b oth o w ls a n d t h ey 'r e
t h rille d
,' s h e
ad ded , b eam in g.
Fre d r o lle d h is e y es.
Sir iu s, L upin , T onks a n d K in gsle y S hack le b olt w ere a lr e ad y t h ere a n d M ad -
Eye M oody s tu m ped i n s h ortly a fte r H arry h ad g ot h im se lf a B utte rb eer.
'O h, A la sto r, I a m g la d y ou'r e h ere ,' s a id M rs W easle y b rig htly , a s M ad -E ye
sh ru gged o ff h is tr a v ellin g c lo ak . 'W e'v e b een w an tin g to a sk y ou fo r a g es –
co uld y ou h av e a l o ok i n t h e w ritin g d esk i n t h e d ra w in g r o om a n d t e ll u s w hat's
in sid e i t? W e h av en 't w an te d t o o pen i t j u st i n c ase i t's s o m eth in g r e ally n asty .'
'N o p ro ble m , M olly … '
Moody's e le ctr ic -b lu e e y e s w iv elle d u pw ard s a n d s ta re d f ix ed ly t h ro ugh t h e
ceilin g o f t h e k itc h en .
'D ra w in g r o om … ' h e g ro w le d , a s th e p upil c o ntr a cte d . 'D esk in th e c o rn er?
Yeah , I s e e i t… y eah , i t's a B oggart… w an t m e t o g o u p a n d g et r id o f i t, M olly ?'
'N o, n o, I 'l l d o it m yse lf la te r,' b eam ed M rs W easle y, 'y ou h av e y our d rin k.
We'r e h av in g a little b it o f a c ele b ra tio n, a ctu ally … ' S he g estu re d a t th e s c arle t
ban ner. 'F ourth p re fe ct i n t h e f a m ily !' s h e s a id f o ndly , r u ff lin g R on's h air.
'P re fe ct, e h ?' g ro w le d M oody, h is n orm al e y e o n R on a n d h is m ag ic al e y e
sw iv ellin g aro und to gaze in to th e sid e of his head . H arry had th e very
unco m fo rta b le f e elin g i t w as l o okin g a t h im a n d m oved a w ay t o w ard s S ir iu s a n d
Lupin .
Well, c o ngra tu la tio ns,' s a id M oody, s till g la rin g a t R on w ith h is n orm al e y e,
'a u th ority fig ure s a lw ay s a ttr a ct tr o uble , b ut I s u ppose D um ble d ore th in ks y ou
can w ith sta n d m ost m ajo r j in xes o r h e w ould n't h av e a p poin te d y ou… '
Ron lo oked ra th er sta rtle d a t th is v ie w o f th e m atte r b ut w as sa v ed th e
tr o uble o f r e sp ondin g b y t h e a rriv al o f h is f a th er a n d e ld est b ro th er. M rs W easle y
was in su ch a g ood m ood sh e d id n ot ev en co m pla in th at th ey h ad b ro ught
Mundungus w ith th em ; he w as w earin g a lo ng overc o at th at se em ed oddly
lu m py in u nlik ely p la ces a n d d eclin ed th e o ff e r to re m ove it a n d p ut it w ith
Moody's t r a v ellin g c lo ak .
Well, I th in k a to ast is in o rd er,' sa id M r W easle y, w hen e v ery one h ad a
drin k. H e r a is e d h is g oble t. T o R on a n d H erm io ne, t h e n ew G ry ff in dor p re fe cts !'
Ron a n d H erm io ne b eam ed a s e v ery one d ra n k t o t h em , a n d t h en a p pla u ded .

'I w as n ev er a p re fe ct m yse lf ,' sa id T onks b rig htly fro m b eh in d H arry a s
ev ery body m oved to w ard s th e ta b le to h elp th em se lv es to fo od. H er h air w as
to m ato re d an d w ais t- le n gth to day ; sh e lo oked lik e G in ny's o ld er sis te r. 'M y
Head o f H ouse s a id I l a ck ed c erta in n ecessa ry q ualitie s.'
'L ik e w hat? ' s a id G in ny, w ho w as c h oosin g a b ak ed p ota to .
'L ik e t h e a b ility t o b eh av e m yse lf ,' s a id T onks.
Gin ny la u ghed ; H erm io ne lo oked a s th ough s h e d id n ot k now w heth er to
sm ile o r n ot a n d c o m pro m is e d b y ta k in g a n e x tr a la rg e g ulp o f B utte rb eer a n d
ch okin g o n i t.
'W hat a b out y ou, S ir iu s? ' G in ny a sk ed , t h um pin g H erm io ne o n t h e b ack .
Sir iu s, w ho w as r ig ht b esid e H arry , l e t o ut h is u su al b ark -lik e l a u gh.
'N o o ne w ould h av e m ad e m e a p re fe ct, I s p en t to o m uch tim e in d ete n tio n
with J a m es. L upin w as t h e g ood b oy, h e g ot t h e b ad ge.'
'I th in k D um ble d ore m ig ht h av e h oped I w ould b e a b le to e x erc is e s o m e
co ntr o l o ver m y b est frie n ds,' sa id L upin . 'I n eed sc arc ely sa y th at 1 fa ile d
dis m ally .'
Harry 's m ood s u dden ly l if te d . H is f a th er h ad n ot b een a p re fe ct e ith er. A ll a t
once th e p arty se em ed m uch m ore e n jo yab le ; h e lo ad ed u p h is p la te , fe elin g
doubly f o nd o f e v ery one i n t h e r o om .
Ron w as r h ap so dis in g a b out h is n ew b ro om t o a n ybody w ho w ould l is te n .
'… n ought to se v en ty in te n se co nds, n ot b ad , is it? W hen y ou th in k th e
Com et T w o N in ety 's o nly n ought to six ty an d th at's w ith a d ecen t ta ilw in d
acco rd in g t o
W hic h B ro om stic k
?'
Herm io ne w as t a lk in g v ery e arn estly t o L upin a b out h er v ie w o f e lf r ig hts .
'I m ean , it's th e s a m e k in d o f n onse n se a s w ere w olf s e g re g atio n, is n 't it? I t
all ste m s fro m th is h orrib le th in g w iz ard s h av e o f th in kin g th ey 'r e su perio r to
oth er c re atu re s… "
Mrs W easle y a n d B ill w ere h av in g t h eir u su al a rg um en t a b out B ill's h air.
'… g ettin g re ally o ut o f h an d, a n d y ou'r e so g ood-lo okin g, it w ould lo ok
much b ette r s h orte r, w ould n't i t, H arry ?'
'O h – I d unno - ' s a id H arry , s lig htly a la rm ed a t b ein g a sk ed h is o pin io n; h e
slid a w ay f ro m t h em i n t h e d ir e ctio n o f F re d a n d G eo rg e, w ho w ere h uddle d i n a
co rn er w ith M undungus.
Mundungus sto pped ta lk in g w hen he sa w H arry , but F re d w in ked an d
beck oned H arry c lo se r.
'I ts O K,' h e t o ld M undungus, 'w e c an t r u st H arry , h e's o ur f in an cia l b ack er.'
'L ook w hat D ung's g ot u s,' s a id G eo rg e, h old in g o ut h is h an d to H arry . It
was fu ll o f w hat lo oked lik e sh riv elle d b la ck p ods. A fa in t ra ttlin g n ois e w as
co m in g f ro m t h em , e v en t h ough t h ey w ere c o m ple te ly s ta tio nary .

'V en om ous T en ta cu la se ed s,' sa id G eo rg e. 'W e n eed th em fo r th e S kiv in g
Snack boxes but th ey 'r e a C la ss C N on-T ra d eab le S ubsta n ce so w e'v e been
hav in g a b it o f t r o uble g ettin g h old o f t h em .'
Ten G alle o ns t h e l o t, t h en . D ung?' s a id F re d .
'W iv all th e tr o uble 1 w en t to to g et 'e m ?' sa id M undungus, h is sa g gy,
blo odsh ot e y es s tr e tc h in g e v en w id er. 'I 'm s o rry , la d s, b ut I 'm n ot ta k in g a K nut
under t w en ty .'
'D ung l ik es h is l ittle j o ke,' F re d s a id t o H arry .
'Y eah , h is b est o ne s o f a r h as b een s ix S ic k le s f o r a b ag o f K narl q uills ,' s a id
Geo rg e.
'B e c are fu l,' H arry w arn ed t h em q uie tly .
'W hat? ' s a id F re d . 'M um 's b usy c o oin g o ver P re fe ct R on, w e'r e O K.'
'B ut M oody c o uld h av e h is e y e o n y ou,' H arry p oin te d o ut.
Mundungus l o oked n erv ously o ver h is s h ould er.
'G ood p oin t, th at,' h e g ru nte d . 'A ll rig ht, la d s, te n it is , if y ou'l l ta k e 'e m
quic k ;
'C heers , H arry !' sa id F re d d elig hte d ly , w hen M undungus h ad e m ptie d h is
pock ets in to th e tw in s' o uts tr e tc h ed h an ds an d sc u ttle d o ff to w ard s th e fo od.
'W e'd b ette r g et t h ese u psta ir s … '
Harry w atc h ed th em g o, f e elin g s lig htly u neasy . I t h ad ju st o ccu rre d to h im
th at M r an d M rs W easle y w ould w an t to k now h ow F re d an d G eo rg e w ere
fin an cin g th eir jo ke s h op b usin ess w hen , a s w as in ev ita b le , th ey fin ally fo und
out a b out i t. G iv in g l h e t w in s h is T riw iz ard w in nin gs h ad s e em ed a s im ple t h in g
to d o at th e tim e, b ut w hat if it le d to an oth er fa m ily ro w an d a P erc y -lik e
estr a n gem en t? W ould M rs W easle y s till f e el t h at H arry w as a s
Tut W oi – O F M R– W EA SIE Y
good as h er so n il sh e lo und o ut h e h ad m ad e it p ossib le fo r F re d an d
Geo rg e t o s ta rt a c are er s h e t h ought q uite u nsu ita b le ?
Sta n din g w here th e tw in s h ad le ft h im , w ith n oth in g b ut a g uilty w eig ht in
th e p it o l h is s to m aeh to r e o m pan y, H arry c au ght th e s o und o l h is o w n n am e.
Kin gsle y Shack le b olt's deep voic e w as au dib le ev en over th e su rro undin g
ch atte r.
'… w hy D um ble d ore d id n't m ak e P otte r a p re fe ct? ' s a id K in gsle y.
'H e'l l h av e h ad h is r e aso ns,' r e p lie d L upin .
'B ut it w ould 'v e s h ow n c o nfid en ce in h im . It's w hat I'd 'v e d one,' p ers is te d
Kin gsle y, 's p ecia lly w ith th e
D aily P ro phet
hav in g a go at him ev ery fe w
day s… "
Harry d id n ot lo ok ro und; h e d id n ot w an t L upin o r K in gsle y to k now h e
had h eard . T hough n ot r e m ote ly h ungry , h e f o llo w ed M undungus b ack to w ard s

th e ta b le . H is p le asu re in th e p arty h ad e v ap ora te d a s q uic k ly a s it h ad c o m e; h e
wis h ed h e w ere u psta ir s i n b ed .
Mad -E ye M oody w as s n if f in g a t a c h ic k en -le g w ith w hat re m ain ed o f h is
nose ; e v id en tly h e c o uld n ot d ete ct a n y tr a ce o f p ois o n, b ecau se h e th en to re a
str ip o ff i t w ith h is t e eth .
'… th e h an dle s m ad e o f S pan is h o ak w ith an ti- jin x v arn is h an d in -b uilt
vib ra tio n c o ntr o l - ' R on w as s a y in g t o T onks.
Mrs W easle y y aw ned w id ely .
'W ell, I th in k I'l l so rt o ut th at B oggart b efo re I tu rn in … A rth ur, 1 d on't
wan t t h is l o t u p t o o l a te , a ll r ig ht? N ig ht, H arry , d ear.'
She le ft th e k itc h en . H arry se t d ow n h is p la te a n d w ondere d w heth er h e
co uld f o llo w h er w ith out a ttr a ctin g a tte n tio n.
'Y ou a ll r ig ht, P otte r? ' g ru nte d M oody.
'Y eah , f in e,' l ie d H arry .
Moody t o ok a s w ig f ro m h is h ip fla sk , h is e le ctr ic -b lu e e y e s ta rin g s id ew ay s
at H arry .
'C om e h ere , I 'v e g ot s o m eth in g t h at m ig ht i n te re st y ou,' h e s a id .
Fro m an in ner pock et of his ro bes M oody pulle d a very ta tte re d old
wiz ard in g p hoto gra p h.
'O rig in al O rd er o f t h e P hoen ix ,' g ro w le d M oody. 'F ound i t l a st n ig ht w hen I
was lo okin g fo r m y s p are In vis ib ility C lo ak , s e ein g a s P odm ore h asn 't h ad th e
man ners t o r e tu rn m y b est o ne… t h ought p eo ple m ig ht l ik e t o s e e i t.'
Harry to ok th e p hoto gra p h. A s m all c ro w d o f p eo ple , s o m e w av in g a t h im ,
oth ers l if tin g t h eir g la sse s, l o oked b ack u p a t h im .
There 's m e,' s a id M oody, u nnecessa rily p oin tin g a t h im se lf . T he M oody in
th e p ic tu re w as u nm is ta k eab le , th ough h is h air w as slig htly le ss g re y a n d h is
nose w as in ta ct. 'A nd th ere 's D um ble d ore b esid e m e, D ed alu s D ig gle o n th e
oth er s id e… th at's M arle n e M cK in non, s h e w as k ille d tw o w ee k s a fte r th is w as
ta k en , t h ey g ot h er w hole f a m ily . T hat's F ra n k a n d A lic e L ongbotto m - '
Harry s sto m ach , alr e ad y u nco m fo rta b le , cle n ch ed as h e lo oked at A lic e
Longbotto m ; h e k new h er ro und, frie n dly fa ce v ery w ell, e v en th ough h e h ad
nev er m et h er, b ecau se s h e w as t h e i m ag e o f h er s o n, N ev ille .
'– p oor d ev ils ,' g ro w le d M oody. 'B ette r d ead t h an w hat h ap pen ed t o t h em …
an d th at's E m melin e V an ce, y ou'v e m et h er, a n d th at th ere 's L upin , o bvio usly …
Ben jy F en w ic k , h e c o pped it to o, w e o nly e v er fo und b its o f h im … s h if t a sid e
th ere ,' h e a d ded , p okin g th e p ic tu re , a n d th e little p hoto gra p hic p eo ple e d ged
sid ew ay s, s o t h at t h ose w ho w ere p artia lly o bsc u re d c o uld m ove t o t h e f ro nt.
That's E dgar B ones… bro th er of A m elia B ones, th ey got him an d his
fa m ily , t o o, h e w as a g re at w iz ard … S tu rg is P odm ore , b lim ey, h e l o oks y oung…

Cara d oc D earb orn , v an is h ed s ix m onth s a fte r th is , w e n ev er fo und h is b ody…
Hag rid , o f c o urs e , lo oks e x actly th e s a m e a s e v er… E lp hia s D oge, y ou'v e m et
him , I 'd f o rg otte n h e u se d to w ear th at s tu pid h at… G id eo n P re w ett, it to ok f iv e
Death E ate rs t o k ill h im a n d h is b ro th er F ab ia n , th ey f o ught lik e h ero es… b udge
alo ng, b udge a lo ng… '
The little p eo ple in th e p hoto gra p h jo stle d am ong th em se lv es an d th ose
hid den r ig ht a t t h e b ack a p peare d a t t h e f o re fro nt o f t h e p ic tu re .
That's D um ble d ore 's b ro th er A berfo rth , o nly tim e 1 e v er m et h im , s tr a n ge
blo ke… th at's D orc as M ead ow es, V old em ort kille d her pers o nally … S ir iu s,
when h e s till h ad s h ort h air … a n d… th ere y ou g o, th ought th at w ould in te re st
you!'
Harry 's h eart tu rn ed o ver. H is m oth er a n d fa th er w ere b eam in g u p a t h im ,
sittin g o n e ith er sid e o f a sm all, w ate ry -e y ed m an w hom H arry re co gnis e d a t
once as W orm ta il, th e one w ho had betr a y ed his pare n ts ' w here ab outs to
Vold em ort a n d s o h elp ed t o b rin g a b out t h eir d eath s.
'E h?' s a id M oody.
Harry lo oked u p in to M oody's h eav ily sc arre d a n d p itte d fa ce. E vid en tly
Moody w as u nder t h e i m pre ssio n h e h ad j u st g iv en H arry a b it o f a t r e at.
'Y eah ,' sa id H arry , o nce ag ain atte m ptin g to g rin . 'E r… lis te n , I'v e ju st
re m em bere d , I h av en 't p ack ed m y… '
He w as s p are d th e tr o uble o f in ven tin g a n o bje ct h e h ad n ot p ack ed . S ir iu s
had ju st s a id , 'W hat's th at y ou'v e g ot th ere , M ad -E ye?' a n d M oody h ad tu rn ed
to w ard s h im . H arry c ro sse d th e k itc h en , slip ped th ro ugh th e d oor a n d u p th e
sta ir s b efo re a n yone c o uld c all h im b ack .
He d id n ot k now w hy it h ad b een s u ch a s h ock ; h e h ad s e en p ic tu re s o f h is
pare n ts b efo re , a fte r a ll, a n d h e h ad m et W orm ta il b ut to h av e th em s p ru ng o n
him lik e th at, w hen h e w as le ast ex pectin g it… n o o ne w ould lik e th at, h e
th ought a n grily …
And th en , to s e e th em s u rro unded b y a ll th ose o th er h ap py fa ces… B en jy
Een w ic k , w ho h ad b een f o und in b its , a n d G id eo n P re w ett, w ho h ad d ie d lik e a
hero , a n d th e L ongbotto m s, w ho h ad b een to rtu re d in to m ad ness… a ll w av in g
hap pily out of th e photo gra p h fo re v er m ore , not know in g th at th ey w ere
doom ed … w ell, M oody m ig ht fin d th at in te re stin g… he, H arry , fo und it
dis tu rb in g…
Harry tip to ed u p th e s ta ir s in th e h all p ast th e s tu ff e d e lf -h ead s, g la d to b e
on his ow n ag ain , but as he ap pro ach ed th e fir s t la n din g he heard nois e s.
Som eo ne w as s o bbin g i n t h e d ra w in g r o om .
'H ello ?' H arry s a id .
There w as n o a n sw er b ut th e s o bbin g c o ntin ued . H e c lim bed th e r e m ain in g

sta ir s tw o a t a tim e, w alk ed a cro ss th e la n din g a n d o pen ed th e d ra w in g-ro om
door.
Som eo ne w as c o w erin g a g ain st th e d ark w all, h er w an d in h er h an d, h er
whole b ody s h ak in g w ith s o bs. S pra w le d o n th e d usty o ld c arp et in a p atc h o f
moonlig ht, c le arly d ead , w as R on.
All th e a ir s e em ed to v an is h f ro m H arry 's lu ngs; h e f e lt a s th ough h e w ere
fa llin g t h ro ugh t h e f lo or; h is b ra in t u rn ed i c y c o ld – R on d ead , n o, i t c o uld n't b e -
But w ait a m om en t, i t
c o uld n't b e -
R on w as d ow nsta ir s -
HARRY P o i T ER
'M rs W easle y ?' H arry c ro ak ed .
' R – r – rid dik u lu s
!' M rs W easle y so bbed , p oin tin g h er sh ak in g w an d a t
Ron's b ody.
Cra ck.
Ron's b ody t u rn ed i n to B ill's , s p re ad -e ag le d o n h is b ack , h is e y es w id e o pen
an d e m pty . M rs W easle y s o bbed h ard er t h an e v er.
'R -
r id dik u lu s
!' s h e s o bbed a g ain .
Cra ck.
Mr W easle y 's b ody re p la ced B ill's , h is g la sse s a sk ew , a tr ic k le o f b lo od
ru nnin g d ow n h is f a ce.
'N o!' M rs W easle y m oan ed . 'N o…
r id dik u lu s] R id dik u lu s! R ID -D lK U LU Sr
Cra ck
. D ead t w in s.
C ra ck
. D ead P erc y.
C ra ck
. D ead H arry …
'M rs W easle y, ju st g et o ut o f h ere !' s h oute d H arry , s ta rin g d ow n a t h is o w n
dead b ody o n t h e f lo or. 'L et s o m eo ne e ls e - '
'W hat's g oin g o n?'
Lupin h ad c o m e ru nnin g in to th e ro om , c lo se ly fo llo w ed b y S ir iu s, w ith
Moody stu m pin g a lo ng b eh in d th em . L upin lo oked fro m M rs W easle y to th e
dead H arry o n th e tlo or a n d s e em ed to u nders ta n d in a n in sta n t. P ullin g o ut h is
ow n w an d, h e s a id , v ery f ir m ly a n d c le arly :
'R id dik u lu s!'
Harry 's b ody v an is h ed . A s ilv ery o rb h ung in th e a ir o ver th e s p ot w here it
had la in . L upin w av ed h is w an d o nce m ore a n d th e o rb v an is h ed in a p uff o f
sm oke.
'O h – o h – o h!' g ulp ed M rs W easle y, a n d s h e b ro ke in to a s to rm o f c ry in g,
her f a ce i n h er h an ds.
'M olly ,' s a id L upin b le ak ly , w alk in g o ver t o h er. 'M olly d on't … "
Nex t s e co nd, s h e w as s o bbin g h er h eart o ut o n L upin 's s h ould er.
'M olly , it w as ju st a B oggart,' h e s a id s o oth in gly , p attin g h er o n th e h ead ,
'j u st a s tu pid B oggart… '
'I s e e th em d -d – d ead a ll th e tim e!' M rs W easle y m oan ed in to h is s h ould er.

'A ll t h e't - 't – t im e! 1 d – d – d re am a b out i t… '
Sir iu s w as s ta rin g a t t h e p atc h o f c arp et w here t h e B oggart, p re te n din g t o b e
Harry 's b ody, h ad la in . M oody w as lo okin g a t H arry , w ho a v oid ed h is g aze. H e
had a fu nny fe elin g M oody's m ag ic al e y e h ad fo llo w ed h im a ll th e w ay o ut o f
th e k itc h en .
TH EW OFS O F M RS W EA SL EY
'D -d – d on't te ll A rth ur,' M rs W easle y w as g ulp in g n ow , m oppin g h er e y es
fra n tic ally w ith h er c u ff s . 'I d – d – d on't w an t h im t o k now … b ein g s illy … '
Lupin h an ded h er a h an dkerc h ie f a n d s h e b le w h er n ose .
'H arry , I'm so so rry . W hat m ust y ou th in k o f m e?' sh e sa id sh ak ily . 'N ot
ev en a b le t o g et r id o f a B oggart… '
'D on't b e s tu pid ,' s a id H arry , t r y in g t o s m ile .
'I 'm ju st's -'s – so w orrie d ,' sh e sa id , te ars sp illin g o ut o f h er e y es a g ain .
'H alf th e f – f – fa m ily 's in th e O rd er, it'l l b – b – b e a m ir a cle if w e a ll c o m e
th ro ugh th is … a n d P – P – P erc y s n ot ta lk in g to u s… w hat if s o m eth in g d -d –
dre ad fu l h ap pen s a n d w e'v e n ev er in – in – m ad e it u p w ith h im ? A nd w hat's
goin g to h ap pen if A rth ur a n d I g et k ille d , w ho's g – g – g oin g to lo ok a fte r R on
an d G in ny?'
'M olly th at's e n ough; s a id L upin f ir m ly . 'T his is n 't lik e la st tim e. T he O rd er
are b ette r p re p are d , w e'v e g ot a h ead s ta rt, w e k now w hat V old em orts u p t o - '
Mrs W easle y g av e a l ittle s q ueak o f f rig ht a t t h e s o und o f t h e n am e.
'O h, M olly , c o m e o n, it's a b out tim e y ou g ot u se d to h earin g h is n am e –
lo ok, I c an 't p ro m is e n o o ne's g oin g to g et h urt, n obody c an p ro m is e th at, b ut
we'r e m uch b ette r o ff t h an w e w ere l a st tim e. Y ou w ere n 't i n t h e O rd er t h en , y ou
don't u nders ta n d. L ast tim e w e w ere o utn um bere d tw en ty to o ne b y th e D eath
Eate rs a n d t h ey w ere p ic k in g u s o ff o ne b y o ne… '
Harry th ought o f th e p hoto gra p h a g ain , o f h is p are n ts ' b eam in g fa ces. H e
knew M oody w as s till w atc h in g h im .
'D on't w orry a b out P erc y ' s a id S ir iu s a b ru ptly . 'H e'l l c o m e r o und. I t's o nly a
matte r o f tim e b efo re V old em ort m oves in to th e o pen ; o nce h e d oes, th e w hole
Min is tr y 's g oin g to b e b eg gin g u s to fo rg iv e th em . A nd I'm n ot su re I'l l b e
accep tin g t h eir a p olo gy,' h e a d ded b itte rly .
'A nd a s fo r w ho's g oin g to lo ok a fte r R on a n d G in ny if y ou a n d A rth ur
die d ,' s a id L upin , s m ilin g s lig htly , 'w hat d o y ou t h in k w e'd d o, l e t t h em s ta rv e?'
Mrs W easle y s m ile d t r e m ulo usly .
'B ein g s illy ,' s h e m utte re d a g ain , m oppin g h er e y es.
But H arry , c lo sin g h is b ed ro om d oor b eh in d h im s o m e t e n
HARRY P un E R
min ute s la te r, co uld n ot th in k M rs W easle y silly . H e co uld still se e h is

pare n ts b eam in g u p a t h im f ro m th e ta tte re d o ld p hoto gra p h, u naw are th at th eir
liv es, lik e s o m an y o f th ose a ro und th em , w ere d ra w in g to a c lo se . T he im ag e o f
th e B oggart p osin g a s th e c o rp se o f e ach m em ber o f M rs W easle y 's fa m ily in
tu rn k ep t f la sh in g b efo re h is e y es.
With out w arn in g, th e s c ar o n h is fo re h ead s e are d w ith p ain a g ain a n d h is
sto m ach c h urn ed h orrib ly .
'C ut i t o ut,' h e s a id f ir m ly , r u bbin g t h e s c ar a s t h e p ain r e ced ed .
'F ir s t s ig h o f m ad ness, ta lk in g to y our o w n h ead ,' s a id a s ly v oic e f ro m th e
em pty p ic tu re o n t h e w all.
Harry i g nore d i t. H e f e lt o ld er t h an h e h ad e v er f e lt i n h is l ite a n d i t s e em ed
ex tr a o rd in ary to h im th at b are ly a n h our a g o h e h ad b een w orrie d a b out a jo ke
sh op a n d w ho h ad g ot a p re fe cts b ad ge.
Then th e w his p erin g s to pped . H arry w an te d to lo ok u p a t th e ju dges, b ut
fo und t h at i t w as r e ally m uch , m uch e asie r t o k eep e x am in in g h is l a ces.
Those in f a v our o f c le arin g th e w itn ess o f a ll c h arg es? ' s a id M ad am B oness
boom in g v oic e.
Harry s h ead je rk ed u pw ard s. T here w ere h an ds in th e a ir , m an y o f th em …
more t h an h alf ! B re ath in g v ery f a st, h e t r ie d t o c o unt, b ut b efo re h e c o uld f in is h ,
Mad am B ones h ad s a id , 'A nd t h ose i n f a v our o f c o nvic tio n?'
Fudge r a is e d h is h an d; s o d id h alf a d ozen o th ers , i n clu din g t h e w itc h o n h is
rig ht an d th e heav ily -m ousta ch ed w iz ard an d th e friz zy -h air e d w itc h in th e
se co nd r o w .
Fudge g la n ced a ro und a t th em a ll, lo okin g a s th ough th ere w as s o m eth in g
la rg e s tu ck in h is th ro at, th en lo w ere d h is o w n h an d. H e to ok tw o d eep b re ath s
an d s a id , i n a v oic e d is to rte d b y s u ppre sse d r a g e, 'V ery w ell, v ery w ell… c le are d
of a ll c h arg es.'
'E xcelle n t,' s a id D um ble d ore b ris k ly , s p rin gin g to h is fe et, p ullin g o ut h is
wan d a n d c au sin g th e tw o c h in tz a rm ch air s to v an is h . 'W ell, I m ust b e g ettin g
alo ng. G ood-d ay t o y ou a ll.'
And w ith out l o okin g o nce a t H arry , h e s w ep t f ro m t h e d ungeo n.

C H APT ER T EN
L una L oveg ood

Harry h ad a tr o uble d n ig hts sle ep . H is p are n ts w ove in an d o ut o f h is
d re am s, nev er sp eak in g; M rs W easle y so bbed over K re ach ers dead body,
w atc h ed b y R on a n d H erm io ne w ho w ere w earin g c ro w ns, a n d y et a g ain H arry
f o und h im se lf w alk in g d ow n a co rrid or en din g in a lo ck ed d oor. H e aw oke
a b ru ptly w ith h is s c ar p ric k lin g t o f in d R on a lr e ad y d re sse d a n d t a lk in g t o h im .
'… b ette r h urry u p, M um 's g oin g b allis tic , s h e s a y s w e'r e g oin g to m is s th e
t r a m
There w as a lo t o f c o m motio n in th e h ouse . F ro m w hat h e h eard a s h e
d re sse d a t to p s p eed , H arry g ath ere d th at F re d a n d G eo rg e h ad b ew itc h ed th eir
t r u nks to f ly d ow nsta ir s to s a v e th e b oth er o f c arry in g th em , w ith th e r e su lt th at
t h ey h ad h urtle d s tr a ig ht in to G in ny a n d k nock ed h er d ow n tw o f lig hts o f s ta ir s
i n to t h e h all; M rs B la ck a n d M rs W easle y w ere b oth s c re am in g a t t h e t o p o f t h eir
v oic es.
'– C O ULD H AV E D ONE H ER A S E R IO US I N JU RY, Y OU I D IO TS - '
'– FIL T H Y H ALF-B REED S, B ESM IR CH IN G TH E H OUSE O F M Y
F A TH ER S - '
Herm io ne c am e h urry in g in to th e r o om lo okin g f lu ste re d , ju st a s H arry w as
p uttin g o n h is tr a in ers . H ed w ig w as sw ay in g o n h er sh ould er, an d sh e w as
c arry in g a s q uir m in g C ro oksh an ks i n h er a rm s.
'M um a n d D ad ju st s e n t H ed w ig b ack .' T he o w l flu tte re d o blig in gly o ver
a n d p erc h ed o n t o p o f h er c ag e. 'A re y ou r e ad y y et? '
'N early . I s G in ny a ll r ig ht? ' H arry a sk ed , s h ovin g o n h is g la sse s.
'M rs W easle y 's p atc h ed h er u p,' s a id H erm io ne. 'B ut n ow M ad -
Eye's co m pla in in g th at w e can 't le av e unle ss Stu rg is Podm ore 's here ,
o th erw is e t h e g uard w ill b e o ne s h ort.'
'G uard ?' s a id H arry . 'W e h av e t o g o t o K in g's C ro ss w ith a g uard ?'
'Y ou h av e t o g o t o K in g's C ro ss w ith a g uard ,' H erm io ne c o rre cte d h im .
'W hy?' s a id H arry ir rita b ly . 'I th ought V old em ort w as s u ppose d to b e ly in g
l o w , o r a re y ou te llin g m e h e's g oin g to ju m p o ut fro m b eh in d a d ustb in to tr y
a n d d o m e i n ?'
'I d on't k now , it's ju st w hat M ad -E ye sa y s,' sa id H erm io ne d is tr a cte d ly ,
l o okin g a t h er w atc h , 'b ut if w e d on't le av e s o on w e'r e d efin ite ly g oin g to m is s
t h e t r a in … '

WIL L Y OU L O T G ET D OW N H ER E N OW , P L EA SE !' M rs W easle y
bello w ed a n d H erm io ne ju m ped a s th ough s c ald ed a n d h urrie d o ut o f th e r o om .
Harry se iz ed H ed w ig , stu ff e d h er u ncere m onio usly in to h er c ag e, a n d se t o ff
dow nsta ir s a fte r H erm io ne, d ra g gin g h is t r u nk.
Mrs B la ck 's p ortr a it w as h ow lin g w ith ra g e b ut n obody w as b oth erin g to
clo se t h e c u rta in s o ver h er; a ll t h e n ois e i n t h e h all w as b ound t o r o use h er a g ain ,
an yw ay.
'H arry , y ou'r e t o c o m e w ith m e a n d T onks,' s h oute d M rs W easle y – o ver t h e
re p eate d sc re ech es of 'M UDBLO ODS! S C U M ! C REA TU RES O F D IR T !' –
'L eav e y our tr u nk a n d y our o w l, A la sto r's g oin g to d eal w ith th e lu ggag e… o h,
fo r h eav en 's s a k e, S in us, D um ble d ore s a id n o!'
A b ear- lik e b la ck d og h ad a p peare d a t H arry 's s id e a s h e w as c la m berin g
over t h e v ario us t r u nks c lu tte rin g t h e h all t o g et t o M rs W easle y.
'O h h onestly … ' s a id M rs W easle y d esp air in gly . 'W ell, o n y our o w n h ead b e
it! '
She w re n ch ed o pen t h e f ro nt d oor a n d s te p ped o ut i n to t h e w eak S ep te m ber
su nlig ht. H arry a n d th e d og fo llo w ed h er. T he d oor s la m med b eh in d th em a n d
Mrs B la ck s s c re ech es w ere c u t o ff i n sta n tly .
Where 's T onks? ' H arry sa id , lo okin g ro und a s th ey w en t d ow n th e sto ne
ste p s o f n um ber t w elv e, w hic h v an is h ed t h e m om en t t h ey r e ach ed t h e p av em en t.
'S he's w aitin g fo r u s ju st u p h ere ,' sa id M rs W easle y stif f ly , a v ertin g h er
ey es f ro m t h e l o llo pin g b la ck d og b esid e H arry .
An o ld w om an g re ete d th em o n th e c o rn er. S he h ad tig htly c u rle d g re y h air
an d w ore a p urp le h at s h ap ed l ik e a p ork p ie .
'W otc h er, H arry ,' s h e s a id , w in kin g. 'B ette r h urry u p, h ad n't w e, M olly ?' s h e
ad ded , c h eck in g h er w atc h .
'I k now , I k now ,' m oan ed M rs W easle y, le n gth en in g h er s tr id e, 'b ut M ad -
Eye w an te d to w ait f o r S tu rg is … if o nly A rth ur c o uld h av e g ot u s c ars f ro m th e
Min is tr y a g ain … b ut F udge w on't l e t h im b orro w s o m uch a s a n e m pty i n k b ottle
th ese d ay s…
h ow
M uggle s c an s ta n d t r a v ellin g w ith out m ag ic
But th e g re at b la ck d og g av e a jo yfu l b ark a n d g am bolle d a ro und th em ,
sn ap pin g a t p ig eo ns a n d c h asin g i ts o w n t a il. H arry c o uld n't h elp l a u ghin g. S ir iu s
had b een tr a p ped in sid e f o r a v ery lo ng tim e. M rs W easle y p urs e d h er lip s in a n
alm ost A unt P etu nia -is h w ay.
It t o ok t h em t w en ty m in ute s t o r e ach K in g's C ro ss o n f o ot a n d n oth in g m ore
ev en tf u l h ap pen ed d urin g th at tim e th an S ir iu s sc arin g a co uple o f cats fo r
Harry 's e n te rta in m en t. O nce in sid e th e s ta tio n th ey lin gere d c asu ally b esid e th e
barrie r b etw een p la tf o rm s n in e a n d te n u ntil th e c o ast w as c le ar, th en e ach o f
th em le an ed a g ain st it in tu rn a n d fe ll e asily th ro ugh o n to p la tf o rm n in e a n d

th re e-q uarte rs , w here th e H ogw arts E xpre ss s to od b elc h in g s o oty s te am o ver a
pla tf o rm p ack ed w ith d ep artin g stu den ts a n d th eir fa m ilie s. H arry in hale d th e
fa m ilia r s m ell a n d f e lt h is s p ir its s o ar… h e w as r e ally g oin g b ack …
'1 h ope th e o th ers m ak e it in tim e,' sa id M rs W easle y a n xio usly , sta rin g
beh in d h er a t th e w ro ught- ir o n a rc h s p an nin g th e p la tf o rm , th ro ugh w hic h n ew
arriv als w ould c o m e.
'N ic e d og, H arry !' c alle d a t a ll b oy w ith d re ad lo ck s.
'T han ks, L ee,' s a id H arry , g rin nin g, a s S ir iu s w ag ged h is t a il f ra n tic ally .
'O h g ood,' sa id M rs W easle y, so undin g re lie v ed , 'h ere 's A la sto r w ith th e
lu ggag e, l o ok… '
A p orte r's c ap p ulle d lo w o ver h is m is m atc h ed e y es, M oody c am e lim pin g
th ro ugh t h e a rc h w ay p ush in g a t r o lle y l o ad ed w ith t h eir t r u nks.
'A ll O K,' h e m utte re d to M rs W easle y an d T onks, 'd on't th in k w e w ere
fo llo w ed … '
Seco nds la te r, M r W easle y em erg ed on to th e pla tf o rm w ith R on an d
Herm io ne. T hey had alm ost unlo ad ed M oody's lu ggag e tr o lle y w hen F re d ,
Geo rg e a n d G in ny t u rn ed u p w ith L upin .
'N o t r o uble ?' g ro w le d M oody.
'N oth in g,' s a id L upin .
Til s till b e r e p ortin g S tu rg is to D um ble d ore ,' s a id M oody, 't h at's th e s e co nd
tim e h e's n ot t u rn ed u p i n a w eek . G ettin g a s u nre lia b le a s M undungus.'
'W ell, lo ok afte r yours e lv es,' sa id L upin , sh ak in g han ds all ro und. H e
re ach ed H arry la st a n d g av e h im a c la p o n th e sh ould er. 'Y ou to o. H arry . B e
care fu l.'
'Y eah , k eep y our h ead d ow n a n d y our e y es p eele d ,' sa id M oody, sh ak in g
Harry 's h an d to o. 'A nd d on't f o rg et, a ll o f y ou – c are fu l w hat y ou p ut in w ritin g.
If i n d oubt, d on't p ut i t i n a l e tte r a t a ll.'
'I t's b een g re at m eetin g all o f y ou,' sa id T onks, h uggin g H erm io ne an d
Gin ny 'W e'l l s e e y ou s o on, I e x pect.'
A w arn in g w his tle so unded ; th e stu den ts still on th e pla tf o rm sta rte d
hurry in g o n t o t h e t r a in .
'Q uic k , q uic k ,' s a id M rs W easle y d is tr a cte d ly , h uggin g th em a t r a n dom a n d
catc h in g H arry t w ic e. 'W rite … b e g ood… i f y ou'v e f o rg otte n a n yth in g w e'l l s e n d
it o n… o n t o t h e t r a in , n ow , h urry … "
For o ne b rie f m om en t, th e g re at b la ck d og re are d o n to its h in d le g s a n d
pla ced its f ro nt p aw s o n H arry 's s h ould ers , b ut M rs W easle y s h oved H arry a w ay
to w ard s t h e t r a in d oor, h is sin g, 'F or h eav en 's s a k e, a ct m ore l ik e a d og, S ir iu s!'
'S ee y ou!' H arry c alle d o ut o f th e o pen w in dow a s th e tr a in b eg an to m ove,
while R on, H erm io ne an d G in ny w av ed besid e him . T he fig ure s of T onks,

Lupin , M oody a n d M r a n d M rs W easle y s h ra n k ra p id ly b ut th e b la ck d og w as
boundin g a lo ngsid e th e w in dow , w ag gin g its ta il; b lu rre d p eo ple o n th e p la tf o rm
were la u ghin g to s e e it c h asin g th e tr a in , th en th ey ro unded a b en d, a n d S ir iu s
was g one.
'H e s h ould n't h av e c o m e w ith u s,' s a id H erm io ne i n a w orrie d v oic e.
'O h, l ig hte n u p,' s a id R on, 'h e h asn 't s e en d ay lig ht f o r m onth s, p oor b lo ke.'
'W ell,' s a id F re d , c la p pin g h is h an ds t o geth er, 'c an 't s ta n d a ro und c h attin g a ll
day, w e'v e g ot b usin ess to d is c u ss w ith L ee. S ee y ou la te r,' a n d h e a n d G eo rg e
dis a p peare d d ow n t h e c o rrid or t o t h e r ig ht.
The tr a in w as g ath erin g still m ore sp eed , so th at th e h ouse s o uts id e th e
win dow f la sh ed p ast, a n d t h ey s w ay ed w here t h ey s to od.
'S hall w e g o a n d f in d a c o m partm en t, t h en ?' H arry a sk ed .
Ron a n d H erm io ne e x ch an ged l o oks.
'E r,' s a id R on.
'W e'r e – w ell – R on a n d I a re su ppose d to g o in to th e p re fe ct c arria g e,'
Herm io ne s a id a w kw ard ly .
Ron w asn 't lo okin g at H arry ; he se em ed to hav e beco m e in te n se ly
in te re ste d i n t h e f in gern ails o n h is l e ft h an d.
'O h,' s a id H arry . 'R ig ht. F in e.'
'I d on't th in k w e'l l h av e to s ta y th ere a ll jo urn ey,' s a id H erm io ne q uic k ly .
'O ur le tte rs s a id w e ju st g et in str u ctio ns fro m th e H ead B oy a n d G ir l a n d th en
patr o l t h e c o rrid ors f ro m t im e t o t im e.'
'F in e,' s a id H arry a g ain . 'W ell, I – I m ig ht s e e y ou l a te r, t h en .'
'Y eah , d efin ite ly ,' s a id R on, c astin g a s h if ty , a n xio us lo ok a t H arry . 'I t's a
pain h av in g to g o d ow n th ere , I'd ra th er – b ut w e h av e to -I m ean , I'm n ot
en jo yin g i t, I 'm n ot P erc y,' h e f in is h ed d efia n tly .
'I k now y ou'r e n ot,' s a id H arry a n d h e g rin ned . B ut a s H erm io ne a n d R on
dra g ged th eir tr u nks, C ro oksh an ks an d a cag ed P ig w id geo n o ff to w ard s th e
en gin e e n d o f t h e t r a in , H arry f e lt a n o dd s e n se o f l o ss. H e h ad n ev er t r a v elle d o n
th e H ogw arts E xpre ss w ith out R on.
'C om e o n,' G in ny to ld h im , 'i f w e g et a m ove o n w e'l l b e a b le to s a v e th em
pla ces.'
'R ig ht,' s a id H arry , p ic k in g u p H ed w ig 's c ag e in o ne h an d a n d th e h an dle o f
his tr u nk in th e o th er. T hey s tr u ggle d o ff d ow n th e c o rrid or, p eerin g th ro ugh th e
gla ss-p an elle d d oors i n to t h e c o m partm en ts t h ey p asse d , w hic h w ere a lr e ad y f u ll.
Harry c o uld n ot h elp n otic in g th at a lo t o f p eo ple s ta re d b ack a t h im w ith g re at
in te re st a n d th at s e v era l o f th em n udged th eir n eig hbours a n d p oin te d h im o ut.
Afte r h e h ad m et th is b eh av io ur in fiv e c o nse cu tiv e c arria g es h e re m em bere d
th at t h e
D aily P ro phet
h ad b een t e llin g i ts r e ad ers a ll s u m mer w hat a l y in g s h ow -

off h e w as. H e w ondere d d ully w heth er th e p eo ple n ow s ta rin g a n d w his p erin g
belie v ed t h e s to rie s.
In th e v ery la st c arria g e th ey m et N ev ille L ongbotto m , H arry 's f e llo w f if th -
year G ry ff in dor, h is r o und f a ce s h in in g w ith th e e ff o rt o f p ullin g h is tr u nk a lo ng
an d m ain ta in in g a o ne-h an ded g rip o n h is s tr u gglin g t o ad , T re v or.
'H i, H arry ' h e p an te d . 'H i, G in ny… e v ery w here 's f u ll… 1 c an 't f in d a s e at… '
'W hat a re y ou ta lk in g a b out? ' s a id G in ny, w ho h ad s q ueezed p ast N ev ille to
peer in to th e c o m partm en t b eh in d h im . T here 's ro om in th is o ne, th ere 's o nly
Loony L oveg ood i n h ere — '
Nev ille m um ble d s o m eth in g a b out n ot w an tin g t o d is tu rb a n yone.
'D on't b e s illy ,' s a id G in ny, l a u ghin g, 's h e's a ll r ig ht.'
She slid th e d oor o pen an d p ulle d h er tr u nk in sid e. H arry an d N ev ille
fo llo w ed .
'H i, L una,' s a id G in ny, 'i s i t O K i f w e t a k e t h ese s e ats ? '
The g ir l b esid e th e w in dow lo oked u p. S he h ad s tr a g gly , w ais t- le n gth , d ir ty
blo nde hair , very pale ey eb ro w s an d pro tu bera n t ey es th at gav e her a
perm an en tly s u rp ris e d l o ok. H arry k new a t o nce w hy N ev ille h ad c h ose n t o p ass
th is c o m partm en t b y. T he g ir l g av e o ff a n a u ra o f d is tin ct d ottin ess. P erh ap s it
was th e f a ct th at s h e h ad s tu ck h er w an d b eh in d h er le ft e ar f o r s a fe k eep in g, o r
th at sh e h ad c h ose n to w ear a n eck la ce o f B utte rb eer c o rk s, o r th at sh e w as
re ad in g a m ag azin e u psid e-d ow n. H er e y es r a n ged o ver N ev ille a n d c am e t o r e st
on H arry . S he n odded .
Than ks,' s a id G in ny, s m ilin g a t h er.
Harry a n d N ev ille s to w ed t h e t h re e t r u nks a n d H ed w ig 's c ag e i n t h e l u ggag e
ra ck a n d s a t d ow n. L una w atc h ed th em o ver h er u psid e-d ow n m ag azin e, w hic h
was c alle d
T he Q uib ble r
. S he d id n ot s e em to n eed to b lin k a s m uch a s n orm al
hum an s. S he s ta re d a n d s ta re d a t H arry , w ho h ad ta k en th e s e at o pposite h er a n d
now w is h ed h e h ad n't .
'H ad a g ood s u m mer, L una?' G in ny a sk ed .
'Y es,' sa id L una d re am ily , w ith out ta k in g h er e y es o ff H arry . 'Y es, it w as
quite e n jo yab le , y ou k now .
Y o u'r e
H arry P otte r,' s h e a d ded .
'1 k now I a m ,' s a id H arry .
Nev ille c h uck le d . L una t u rn ed h er p ale e y es o n h im i n ste ad .
'A nd I d on't k now w ho y ou a re .'
'I 'm n obody,' s a id N ev ille h urrie d ly .
'N o y ou'r e n ot,' s a id G in ny s h arp ly . 'N ev ille L ongbotto m – L una L ove g ood.
Luna's i n m y y ear, b ut i n R av en cla w .'
'W it
b eyo nd m ea su re is m an's g re a te st tr e a su re
,' sa id L una in a sin gso ng
voic e.

She r a is e d h er u psid e-d ow n m ag azin e h ig h e n ough to h id e h er f a ce a n d f e ll
sile n t. H arry a n d N ev ille lo oked a t e ach o th er w ith th eir e y eb ro w s r a is e d . G in ny
su ppre sse d a g ig gle .
The tr a in ra ttle d o nw ard s, s p eed in g th em o ut in to o pen c o untr y . It w as a n
odd, u nse ttle d s o rt o f d ay ; o ne m om en t th e c arria g e w as f u ll o f s u nlig ht a n d th e
nex t t h ey w ere p assin g b en eath o m in ously g re y c lo uds.
'G uess w hat I g ot f o r m y b ir th day ?' s a id N ev ille .
'A noth er R em em bra ll? ' sa id H arry , re m em berin g th e m arb le -lik e dev ic e
Nev ille 's g ra n dm oth er h ad s e n t h im i n a n e ff o rt t o i m pro ve h is a b ysm al m em ory .
'N o,' sa id N ev ille . 'I c o uld d o w ith o ne, th ough, 1 lo st th e o ld o ne a g es
ag o… n o, l o ok a t t h is … "
He d ug th e h an d th at w as n ot k eep in g a fir m g rip o n T re v or in to h is
sc h oolb ag a n d a fte r a little b it o f ru m mag in g p ulle d o ut w hat a p peare d to b e a
sm all g re y c actu s i n a p ot, e x cep t t h at i t w as c o vere d w ith w hat l o oked l ik e b oils
ra th er t h an s p in es.
' Mim bulu s m im ble to nia
,' h e s a id p ro udly .
Harry sta re d at th e th in g. It w as p uls a tin g slig htly , g iv in g it th e ra th er
sin is te r l o ok o f s o m e d is e ase d i n te rn al o rg an .
'I t's r e ally , r e ally r a re ,' s a id N ev ille , b eam in g. 'I d on't k now it th ere 's o ne in
th e g re en house a t H ogw arts , e v en . 1 c an 't w ait to s h ow it to P ro fe sso r S pro ut.
My G re at U ncle A lg ie g ot it fo r m e in A ssy ria . I'm g oin g to s e e if I c an b re ed
fro m i t.'
Harry k new th at N ev ille 's fa v ourite s u bje ct w as H erb olo gy b ut fo r th e lif e
of h im h e c o uld n ot s e e w hat h e w ould w an t w ith t h is s tu nte d l ittle p la n t.
'D oes i t – e r – d o a n yth in g?' h e a sk ed .
'L oad s of stu ff !' sa id N ev ille pro udly . 'I t's got an am azin g defe n siv e
mech an is m . H ere , h old T re v or f o r m e… '
He d um ped th e to ad in to H arry 's la p a n d to ok a q uill fro m h is s c h oolb ag .
Luna L oveg ood's poppin g ey es ap peare d over th e to p of her upsid e-d ow n
mag azin e a g ain , to w atc h w hat N ev ille w as d oin g. N ev ille h eld th e
M im bulu s
mim ble to nia
u p to h is e y es, h is to ngue b etw een h is te eth , c h ose h is sp ot, a n d
gav e t h e p la n t a s h arp p ro d w ith t h e t ip o f h is q uill.
Liq uid s q uir te d f ro m e v ery b oil o n t h e p la n t; t h ic k , s tin kin g, d ark g re en j e ts
of it. They hit th e ceilin g, th e w in dow s, an d sp atte re d Luna Loveg ood's
mag azin e; G in ny, w ho h ad flu ng h er a rm s u p in fro nt o f h er fa ce ju st in tim e,
mere ly lo oked a s th ough s h e w as w earin g a s lim y g re en h at, b ut H arry , w hose
han ds h ad b een b usy p re v en tin g T re v or's e sc ap e, re ceiv ed a fa cefu l. It s m elle d
lik e r a n cid m an ure .
Nev ille , w hose f a ce a n d t o rs o w ere a ls o d re n ch ed , s h ook h is h ead t o g et t h e

wors t o ut o f h is e y es.
'S – s o rry ,' h e g asp ed . 'I h av en 't t r ie d t h at b efo re … d id n't r e alis e i t w ould b e
quite s o … d on't w orry , t h ough, S tin ksa p 's n ot p ois o nous,' h e a d ded n erv ously , a s
Harry s p at a m outh fu l o n t o t h e f lo or.
At t h at p re cis e m om en t t h e d oor o f t h eir c o m partm en t s lid o pen .
'O h… h ello , H arry ,' s a id a n erv ous v oic e. 'U rn … b ad t im e?'
Harry w ip ed th e le n se s o f h is g la sse s w ith h is T re v or- fre e h an d. A v ery
pre tty g ir l w ith lo ng, s h in y b la ck h air w as s ta n din g in th e d oorw ay s m ilin g a t
him : C ho C han g, t h e S eek er o n t h e R av en cla w Q uid ditc h t e am .
'O h… h i,' s a id H arry b la n kly .
'U rn … " s a id C ho. 'W ell… j u st t h ought I 'd s a y h ello … b ye t h en .'
Rath er p in k in th e fa ce, s h e c lo se d th e d oor a n d d ep arte d . H arry s lu m ped
back in h is s e at a n d g ro an ed . H e w ould h av e lik ed C ho to d is c o ver h im s ittin g
with a g ro up o f v ery c o ol p eo ple la u ghin g th eir h ead s o ff a t a jo ke h e h ad ju st
to ld ; h e w ould n ot h av e c h ose n to b e s ittin g w ith N ev ille a n d L oony L oveg ood,
clu tc h in g a t o ad a n d d rip pin g i n S tin ksa p .
'N ev er m in d,' s a id G in ny b ra cin gly . 'L ook, w e c an e asily g et r id o f a ll th is .'
She p ulle d o ut h er w an d. '
Sco urg ify
!'
The S tin ksa p v an is h ed .
'S orry ,' s a id N ev ille a g ain , i n a s m all v oic e.
Ron a n d H erm io ne d id n ot tu rn u p fo r n early a n h our, b y w hic h tim e th e
fo od tr o lle y h ad a lr e ad y g one b y. H arry , G in ny a n d N ev ille h ad fin is h ed th eir
pum pkin pastie s an d w ere busy sw ap pin g C hoco la te F ro g C ard s w hen th e
co m partm en t d oor s lid o pen a n d th ey w alk ed in , a cco m pan ie d b y C ro oksh an ks
an d a s h rilly h ootin g P ig w id geo n i n h is c ag e.
'I 'm sta rv in g,' sa id R on, sto w in g P ig w id geo n n ex t to H ed w ig , g ra b bin g a
Choco la te F ro g fro m H arry a n d th ro w in g h im se lf in to th e s e at n ex t to h im . H e
rip ped o pen th e w ra p per, b it o ff th e fro g's h ead a n d le an ed b ack w ith h is e y es
clo se d a s t h ough h e h ad h ad a v ery e x hau stin g m orn in g.
'W ell, th ere a re tw o fif th -y ear p re fe cts fro m e ach h ouse ,' sa id H erm io ne,
lo okin g t h oro ughly d is g ru ntle d a s s h e t o ok h er s e at. 'B oy a n d g ir l f ro m e ach .'
'A nd g uess w ho's a S ly th erin p re fe ct? ' s a id R on, s till w ith h is e y es c lo se d .
'M alf o y,' r e p lie d H arry a t o nce, c erta in h is w ors t f e ar w ould b e c o nfir m ed .
'C ours e ,' s a id R on b itte rly , s tu ff in g th e r e st o f th e F ro g in to h is m outh a n d
ta k in g a n oth er.
'A nd th at c o m ple te
c o w
P an sy P ark in so n,' s a id H erm io ne v ic io usly . 'H ow
sh e g ot t o b e a p re fe ct w hen s h e's t h ic k er t h an a c o ncu sse d t r o ll… '
'W ho a re H uff le p uff 's ? ' H arry a sk ed .
'E rn ie M acm illa n a n d H an nah A bbott,' s a id R on t h ic k ly .

'A nd A nth ony G old ste in a n d P ad m a P atil f o r R av en cla w ,' s a id H erm io ne.
'Y ou w en t t o t h e Y ule B all w ith P ad m a P atil,' s a id a v ag ue v oic e.
Every one tu rn ed to lo ok a t L una L oveg ood, w ho w as g azin g u nblin kin gly
at R on o ver t h e t o p o f T he
Q uib ble r
. H e s w allo w ed h is m outh fu l o f F ro g.
'Y eah , I k now I d id ,' h e s a id , l o okin g m ild ly s u rp ris e d .
'S he d id n't e n jo y it v ery m uch ,' L una in fo rm ed h im . 'S he d oesn 't th in k y ou
tr e ate d h er v ery w ell, b ecau se y ou w ould n't d an ce w ith h er. I d on't t h in k I 'd h av e
min ded ,' s h e a d ded t h oughtf u lly , '1 d on't l ik e d an cin g v ery m uch .'
She re tr e ate d b eh in d T he
Q uib ble r
a g ain . R on s ta re d a t th e c o ver w ith h is
mouth h an gin g o pen fo r a fe w s e co nds, th en lo oked a ro und a t G in ny fo r s o m e
kin d o f e x pla n atio n, b ut G in ny h ad stu ff e d h er k nuck le s in h er m outh to sto p
hers e lf g ig glin g. R on s h ook h is h ead , b em use d , t h en c h eck ed h is w atc h .
'W e'r e s u ppose d to p atr o l th e c o rrid ors e v ery s o o fte n ,' h e to ld H arry a n d
Nev ille , 'a n d w e c an g iv e o ut p unis h m en ts i f p eo ple a re m is b eh av in g. I c an 't w ait
to g et C ra b be a n d G oyle f o r s o m eth in g
'Y ou'r e n ot s u ppose d t o a b use y our p ositio n, R on!' s a id H erm io ne s h arp ly .
'Y eah , r ig ht, b ecau se M alf o y w on't a b use i t a t a ll,' s a id R on s a rc astic ally .
'S o y ou'r e g oin g t o d esc en d t o h is l e v el? '
'N o, I 'm j u st g oin g t o m ak e s u re I g et h is m ate s b efo re h e g ets m in e.'
'F or h eav en 's s a k e, R on - '
Til m ak e G oyle d o lin es, it'l l k ill h im , h e h ate s w ritin g,' s a id R on h ap pily .
He l o w ere d h is v oic e t o G oyle 's l o w g ru nt a n d, s c re w in g u p h is f a ce i n a l o ok o f
pain ed c o ncen tr a tio n, m im ed w ritin g in m id air. '
I… m ust… n ot… lo ok… lik e…
a… b aboon's … b acksid e
.'
Every one l a u ghed , b ut n obody l a u ghed h ard er t h an L una L oveg ood. S he l e t
out a sc re am of m ir th th at cau se d H ed w ig to w ak e up an d fla p her w in gs
in dig nan tly a n d C ro oksh an ks to le ap u p in to th e lu ggag e ra ck , h is sin g. L una
la u ghed s o h ard h er m ag azin e s lip ped o ut o f h er g ra sp , s lid d ow n h er l e g s a n d o n
to t h e f lo or.
That w as
f u nny
!'
Her p ro m in en t e y es sw am w ith te ars a s sh e g asp ed fo r b re ath , sta rin g a t
Ron. U tte rly n onplu sse d , h e l o oked a ro und a t t h e o th ers , w ho w ere n ow l a u ghin g
at t h e e x pre ssio n o n R on's f a ce a n d a t t h e l u dic ro usly p ro lo nged l a u ghte r o f L una
Loveg ood, w ho w as r o ck in g b ack w ard s a n d f o rw ard s, c lu tc h in g h er s id es.
'A re y ou t a k in g t h e m ic k ey ?' s a id R on, f ro w nin g a t h er.
'B ab oon's … b ack sid e!' s h e c h oked , h old in g h er r ib s.
Every one els e w as w atc h in g L una la u ghin g, but H arry gla n cin g at th e
mag azin e o n th e flo or, n otic ed so m eth in g th at m ad e h im d iv e fo r it. U psid e-
dow n it h ad b een h ard to te ll w hat th e p ic tu re o n th e f ro nt w as, b ut H arry n ow

re alis e d it w as a fa ir ly b ad c arto on o f C orn eliu s F udge; H arry o nly re co gnis e d
him b ecau se o f th e lim e-g re en b ow le r h at. O ne o f F udge's h an ds w as c le n ch ed
aro und a b ag o f g old ; th e o th er h an d w as th ro ttlin g a g oblin . T he c arto on w as
cap tio ned : H ow
F ar W ill F udge G o t o G ain G rin gotts
?
Ben eath t h is w ere l is te d t h e t itle s o f o th er a rtic le s i n sid e t h e m ag azin e.
Corru ptio n i n t h e Q uid ditc h L ea gue:
How t h e T o rn ados a re T a kin g C ontr o l
Secre ts o f t h e A ncie n t R unes R evea le d
Sir iu s B la ck: V illa in o r V ic tim ?
'C an I h av e a l o ok a t t h is ? ' H arry a sk ed L una e ag erly .
She n odded , s till g azin g a t R on, b re ath le ss w ith l a u ghte r.
Harry o pen ed th e m ag azin e a n d s c an ned th e in dex . U ntil th is m om en t h e
had c o m ple te ly f o rg otte n t h e m ag azin e K in gsle y h ad h an ded M r W easle y t o g iv e
to S ir iu s, b ut i t m ust h av e b een t h is e d itio n o f
T he Q uib ble r
.
He f o und t h e p ag e, a n d t u rn ed e x cite d ly t o t h e a rtic le .
This , to o, w as illu str a te d b y a r a th er b ad c arto on; in f a ct, H arry w ould n ot
hav e k now n it w as s u ppose d to b e S ir iu s if it h ad n't b een c ap tio ned . S ir iu s w as
sta n din g o n a p ile o f h um an b ones w ith h is w an d o ut. T he h ead lin e o n t h e a rtic le
sa id :
SIR IU S – B LA CK A S H E'S P A IN TED ?
Noto rio us
m ass m urd ere r o r i n nocen t s in gin g s e n sa tio n
?
Harry h ad to r e ad th is f ir s t s e n te n ce s e v era l tim es b efo re h e w as c o nvin ced
th at he had not m is u nders to od it. Sin ce w hen had Sir iu s been a sin gin g
se n sa tio n?
For
f o urte en y ea rs S ir iu s B la ck h as b een b elie ved g uilty o f t h e m ass m urd er
of tw elv e in nocen t M uggle s a nd o ne w iz a rd . B la ck's a udacio us esc a pe fr o m
Azk a ban tw o y ea rs a go h as le d to th e w id est m anhunt e ver c o nducte d b y th e
Min is tr y of M agic . N one of us has ever questio ned th at he dese rv es to be
re ca ptu re d a nd h anded b ack t o t h e D em en to rs
.
BU T D OES H E?
Sta rtlin g n ew e vid en ce h as r e cen tly c o m e t o l ig ht t h at S ir iu s
Bla ck m ay not have co m mitte d th e crim es fo r w hic h he w as se n t to
Azk a ban. In fa ct, s a ys D oris P urk is s, o f 1 8 A ca nth ia W ay, L ittle N orto n, B la ck
may n ot e ven h ave b een p re se n t a t t h e k illin gs.
' What p eo ple d on't re a lis e is th at S ir iu s B la ck is a fa ls e n am e,' s a ys M rs
Purk is s. 'T he m an peo ple belie ve to be Sir iu s Bla ck is actu ally Stu bby
Board m an, le a d s in ger o f p opula r
s in gin g
g ro up T he H obgoblin s, w ho re tir e d
fr o m p ublic life a fte r b ein g s tr u ck o n th e e a r b y a tu rn ip a t a c o ncert in L ittle
Norto n C hurc h H all n ea rly f ifte en y ea rs a go. I r e co gnis e d h im t h e m om en t I s a w

his p ic tu re in th e p aper. N ow , S tu bby c o uld n't p ossib ly h ave c o m mitte d th ose
crim es, b eca use o n th e d ay in q uestio n h e h appen ed to b e e n jo yin g a r o m antic
ca ndle lit d in ner w ith m e. I h ave w ritte n to th e M in is te r fo r M agic a nd a m
exp ectin g h im t o g iv e S tu bby, a lia s - S ir iu s, a f u ll p ard on a ny d ay n ow
.'
Harry f in is h ed r e ad in g a n d s ta re d a t th e p ag e in d is b elie f. P erh ap s it w as a
jo ke, h e th ought, p erh ap s th e m ag azin e o fte n p rin te d sp oof H em s. H e flic k ed
back a f e w p ag es a n d f o und t h e p ie ce o n F udge.
Corn eliu s F udge, th e M in is te r fo r M agic , d en ie d th at h e h ad a ny p la ns to
ta ke o ver th e ru nnin g o f th e W iz a rd in g B ank, G rin gotts , w hen h e w as e le cte d
Min is te r fo r M agic fiv e yea rs a go. F udge h as a lw ays in sis te d th at h e w ants
noth in g m ore t h an t o 'c o -o pera te p ea cefu lly ' w ith t h e g uard ia ns o f o ur g old .
BU T D OES H E?
Sourc es c lo se to th e M in is te r h ave r e cen tly d is c lo se d th at F udge's d ea re st
am bitio n is to se iz e co ntr o l o f th e g oblin g old su pplie s a nd th at h e w ill n ot
hesita te t o u se f o rc e i f n eed b e.
Tt w ould n't b e th e fir st tim e, eith er,' sa id a M in is tr y in sid er. 'C orn eliu s
"G oblin -C ru sh er" F udge, th at's w hat h is fr ie n ds c a ll h im . I f y o u c o uld h ea r h im
when h e th in ks n o o ne's lis te n in g, o h, h e's a lw ays ta lk in g a bout th e g oblin s h e's
had d one in ; h e's h ad th em d ro w ned , h e's h ad th em d ro pped o ff b uild in gs, h e's
had t h em p ois o ned , h e's h ad t h em c o oked i n p ie s… "
Harry d id n ot re ad a n y fu rth er. F udge m ig ht h av e m an y fa u lts b ut H arry
fo und i t e x tr e m ely h ard t o i m ag in e h im o rd erin g g oblin s t o b e c o oked i n p ie s. H e
flic k ed th ro ugh th e re st o f th e m ag azin e. P au sin g e v ery fe w p ag es, h e re ad : a n
accu sa tio n th at th e T uts h ill T orn ad os w ere w in nin g th e Q uid ditc h L eag ue b y a
co m bin atio n o f b la ck m ail, ille g al b ro om -ta m perin g an d to rtu re ; an in te rv ie w
with a w iz ard w ho c la im ed to h av e f lo w n to th e m oon o n a C le an sw eep S ix a n d
bro ught b ack a b ag o f m oon fro gs to p ro ve it; a n d a n a rtic le o n a n cie n t ru nes
whic h a t l e ast e x pla in ed w hy L una h ad b een r e ad in g T he
Q uib ble r
u psid e-d ow n.
Acco rd in g to th e m ag azin e, if y ou tu rn ed th e r u nes o n th eir h ead s th ey r e v eale d
a sp ell to m ak e y our en em y's ears tu rn in to k um quats . In fa ct, co m pare d to
th e^ re st o f t h e a rtic le s i n T he
Q uib ble r
, t h e s u ggestio n t h at S ir iu s m ig ht r e ally b e
th e l e ad s in ger o f T he H obgoblin s w as q uite s e n sib le .
'A nyth in g g ood i n t h ere ?' a sk ed R on a s H arry c lo se d t h e m ag azin e.
'O f c o urs e n ot,' s a id H erm io ne s c ath in gly , b efo re H arry c o uld a n sw er. T he
Quib ble r's
r u bbis h , e v ery one k now s t h at.'
'E xcu se m e,' s a id L una; h er v oic e h ad s u dden ly lo st its d re am y q uality . 'M y
fa th er's t h e e d ito r.'
'I – oh,' sa id H erm io ne, lo okin g em barra sse d . 'W ell… it's got so m e
in te re stin g… 1 m ean , i t's q uite … "

'I 'l l h av e it b ack , th an k y ou,' sa id L una c o ld ly , a n d le an in g fo rw ard s sh e
sn atc h ed it o ut o f H arry 's h an ds. R if f lin g th ro ugh it to p ag e fif ty -s e v en , sh e
tu rn ed it re so lu te ly u psid e-d ow n a g ain a n d d is a p peare d b eh in d it, ju st a s th e
co m partm en t d oor o pen ed f o r t h e t h ir d t im e.
Harry lo oked a ro und; h e h ad e x pecte d th is , b ut th at d id n ot m ak e th e s ig ht
of D ra co M alf o y s m ir k in g a t h im fro m b etw een h is c ro nie s C ra b be a n d G oyle
an y m ore e n jo yab le -.
'W hat? ' h e s a id a g gre ssiv ely , b efo re M alf o y c o uld o pen h is m outh .
'M an ners , P otte r, o r I'l l h av e to g iv e y ou a d ete n tio n,' d ra w le d M alf o y,
whose s le ek b lo nd h air a n d p oin te d c h in w ere ju st lik e h is fa th ers . 'Y ou s e e, 1 ,
unlik e y ou, h av e b een m ad e a p re fe ct, w hic h m ean s th at I , u nlik e y ou, h av e th e
pow er t o h an d o ut p unis h m en ts .'
'Y eah ,' s a id H arry , 'b ut y ou, u nlik e m e,- a re a g it, s o g et o ut a n d le av e u s
alo ne.'
Ron, H erm io ne, G in ny a n d N ev ille l a u ghed . M alf o y's l ip c u rle d .
'T ell m e, h ow d oes i t f e el b ein g s e co nd-b est t o W easle y, P otte r? ' h e a sk ed .
'S hut u p, M alf o y,' s a id H erm io ne s h arp ly .
'I s e em to h av e to uch ed a n erv e,' s a id M alf o y, s m ir k in g. 'W ell, ju st w atc h
yours e lf , P otte r, b ecau se I'l l b e
d oggin g
y our fo ots te p s in c ase y ou s te p o ut o f
lin e.'
'G et o ut! ' s a id H erm io ne, s ta n din g u p.
Snig gerin g, M alf o y g av e H arry a la st m alic io us lo ok a n d d ep arte d , w ith
Cra b be an d G oyle lu m berin g alo ng in his w ak e. H erm io ne sla m med th e
co m partm en t d oor b eh in d th em a n d tu rn ed to lo ok a t H arry , w ho k new a t o nce
th at sh e, lik e him , had re g is te re d w hat M alf o y had sa id an d been ju st as
unnerv ed b y i t.
'C huck u s a n oth er F ro g,' s a id R on, w ho h ad c le arly n otic ed n oth in g.
Harry c o uld n ot ta lk fre ely in fro nt o f N ev ille a n d L una. H e e x ch an ged
an oth er n erv ous l o ok w ith H erm io ne, t h en s ta re d o ut o f t h e w in dow .
He h ad th ought S ir iu s c o m in g w ith h im to th e s ta tio n w as a b it o f a la u gh,
but su dden ly it se em ed re ck le ss, if n ot d ow nrig ht d an gero us… H erm io ne h ad
been rig ht… S ir iu s s h ould n ot h av e c o m e. W hat if M r M alf o y h ad n otic ed th e
bla ck d og a n d to ld D ra co ? W hat if h e h ad d ed uced th at th e W easle y s, L upin ,
Tonks a n d M oody k new w here S ir iu s w as h id in g? O r h ad M alf o y's u se o f th e
word 'd oggin g' b een a c o in cid en ce?
The w eath er r e m ain ed u ndecid ed a s t h ey t r a v elle d f u rth er a n d f u rth er n orth .
Rain s p atte re d th e w in dow s in a h alf -h earte d w ay, th en th e s u n p ut in a fe eb le
ap peara n ce b efo re clo uds d rif te d o ver it o nce m ore . W hen d ark ness fe ll an d
la m ps c am e o n i n sid e t h e c arria g es, L una r o lle d u p
T he Q uib ble r
, p ut it c are fu lly

aw ay i n h er b ag a n d t o ok t o s ta rin g a t e v ery one i n t h e c o m partm en t i n ste ad .
Harry w as s ittin g w ith h is f o re h ead p re sse d a g ain st t h e t r a in w in dow , t r y in g
to g et a fir s t d is ta n t g lim pse o f H ogw arts , b ut it w as a m oonle ss n ig ht a n d th e
ra in -s tr e ak ed w in dow w as g rim y.
'W e'd b ette r c h an ge,' sa id H erm io ne a t la st, a n d a ll o f th em o pen ed th eir
tr u nks w ith d if f ic u lty a n d p ulle d o n t h eir s c h ool r o bes. S he a n d R on p in ned t h eir
pre fe ct b ad ges c are fu lly t o t h eir c h ests . H arry s a w R on c h eck in g h is r e fle ctio n i n
th e b la ck w in dow .
At l a st, t h e t r a in b eg an t o s lo w d ow n a n d t h ey h eard t h e u su al r a ck et u p a n d
dow n it a s e v ery body s c ra m ble d to g et th eir lu ggag e a n d p ets a sse m ble d , r e ad y
to g et o ff . A s R on an d H erm io ne w ere su ppose d to su perv is e all th is , th ey
dis a p peare d fro m th e c arria g e a g ain , le av in g H arry a n d th e o th ers to lo ok a fte r
Cro oksh an ks a n d P ig w id geo n.
Til carry th at ow l, if you lik e,' sa id L una to H arry , re ach in g out fo r
Pig w id geo n a s N ev ille s to w ed T re v or c are fu lly i n a n i n sid e p ock et.
'O h – e r – th an ks,' s a id H arry , h an din g h er th e c ag e a n d h ois tin g H ed w ig 's
more s e cu re ly i n to h is a rm s.
They s h uff le d o ut o f th e c o m partm en t f e elin g th e f ir s t s tin g o f th e n ig ht a ir
on th eir fa ces as th ey jo in ed th e cro w d in th e co rrid or. S lo w ly , th ey m oved
to w ard s th e d oors . H arry c o uld s m ell th e p in e tr e es th at lin ed th e p ath d ow n to
th e la k e. H e s te p ped d ow n o n to th e p la tf o rm a n d lo oked a ro und, lis te n in g fo r
th e f a m ilia r c all o f 'f ir s '- y ears o ver 'e re … f ir s '- y ears … '
But i t d id n ot c o m e. I n ste ad , a q uite d if f e re n t v oic e, a b ris k f e m ale o ne, w as
callin g o ut, " F ir s t- y ears l in e u p o ver h ere , p le ase ! A ll f ir s t- y ears t o m e!'
A la n te rn cam e sw in gin g to w ard s H arry an d by its lig ht he sa w th e
pro m in en t c h in a n d se v ere h air c u t o f P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k, th e w itc h w ho
had ta k en over H ag rid 's C are of M ag ic al C re atu re s le sso ns fo r a w hile th e
pre v io us y ear.
'W here 's H ag rid ?' h e s a id o ut l o ud.
'I d on't k now ,' s a id G in ny, 'b ut w e'd b ette r g et o ut o f t h e w ay, w e'r e b lo ck in g
th e d oor.'
'O h, y eah … '
Harry a n d G in ny b ecam e s e p ara te d a s th ey m oved o ff a lo ng th e p la tf o rm
an d o ut th ro ugh th e sta tio n. Jo stle d b y th e c ro w d, H arry sq uin te d th ro ugh th e
dark ness f o r a g lim pse o f H ag rid ; h e h ad t o b e h ere , H arry h ad b een r e ly in g o n i t
– s e ein g H ag rid a g ain w as o ne o f th e th in gs h e'd b een lo okin g f o rw ard to m ost.
But t h ere w as n o s ig n o f h im .
He can 't
h ave le ft
, H arry to ld him se lf as he sh uff le d slo w ly th ro ugh a
narro w d oorw ay o n t o t h e r o ad o uts id e w ith t h e r e st o f t h e c ro w d. H e's j u st g ot
a

co ld o r s o m eth in g

He lo oked aro und fo r R on or H erm io ne, w an tin g to know w hat th ey
th ought a b out th e r e ap peara n ce o f P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k, b ut n eith er o f th em
was a n yw here n ear h im , s o h e a llo w ed h im se lf to b e s h unte d f o rw ard s o n to th e
dark r a in -w ash ed r o ad o uts id e H ogsm ead e S ta tio n.
Here s to od th e h undre d o r s o h ors e le ss s ta g eco ach es th at a lw ay s to ok th e
stu den ts a b ove f ir s t y ear u p to th e c astle . H arry g la n ced q uic k ly a t th em , tu rn ed
aw ay t o k eep a l o okout f o r R on a n d H erm io ne, t h en d id a d ouble -ta k e.
The co ach es w ere no lo nger hors e le ss. T here w ere cre atu re s sta n din g
betw een th e c arria g e s h afts . I f h e h ad h ad to g iv e th em a n am e, h e s u ppose d h e
would h av e calle d th em h ors e s, th ough th ere w as so m eth in g re p tilia n ab out
th em , to o. T hey w ere c o m ple te ly fle sh le ss, th eir b la ck c o ats c lin gin g to th eir
sk ele to ns, o f w hic h e v ery b one w as v is ib le . T heir h ead s w ere d ra g onis h , a n d
th eir p upil- le ss e y es w hite a n d s ta rin g. W in gs s p ro ute d f ro m e ach w ith er – v ast,
bla ck le ath ery w in gs th at lo oked a s th ough th ey o ught to b elo ng to g ia n t b ats .
Sta n din g s till a n d q uie t in th e g ath erin g g lo om , th e c re atu re s lo oked e erie a n d
sin is te r. H arry c o uld n ot u nders ta n d w hy th e c o ach es w ere b ein g p ulle d b y th ese
horrib le h ors e s w hen t h ey w ere q uite c ap ab le o f m ovin g a lo ng b y t h em se lv es.
'W here 's P ig ?' s a id R on's v oic e, r ig ht b eh in d H arry .
'T hat L una g ir l w as carry in g h im ,' sa id H arry , tu rn in g q uic k ly , eag er to
co nsu lt R on a b out H ag rid . 'W here d 'y ou r e ck on - '
'– H ag rid i s ? I d unno,' s a id R on, s o undin g w orrie d . 'H e'd b ette r b e O K… '
A s h ort d is ta n ce a w ay, D ra co M alf o y, f o llo w ed b y a s m all g an g o f c ro nie s
in clu din g C ra b be, G oyle a n d P an sy P ark in so n, w as p ush in g s o m e tim id -lo okin g
se co nd-y ears o ut o f th e w ay so th at h e a n d h is frie n ds c o uld g et a c o ach to
th em se lv es. S eco nds l a te r, H erm io ne e m erg ed p an tin g f ro m t h e c ro w d.
'M alf o y w as b ein g a b so lu te ly fo ul to a fir s t- y ear b ack th ere . I sw ear I'm
goin g to re p ort h im , h e's o nly h ad h is b ad ge th re e m in ute s a n d h e's u sin g it to
bully p eo ple w ors e t h an e v er… w here 's C ro oksh an ks? '
'G in ny's g ot h im ,' s a id H arry . T here s h e i s … '
Gin ny had ju st em erg ed fro m th e cro w d, clu tc h in g a sq uir m in g
Cro oksh an ks.
Than ks,' sa id H erm io ne, re lie v in g G in ny o f th e c at. 'C om e o n, le t's g et a
carria g e t o geth er b efo re t h ey a ll f ill u p… "
'I h av en 't g ot P ig y et! ' R on sa id , b ut H erm io ne w as a lr e ad y h ead in g o ff
to w ard s t h e n eare st u noccu pie d c o ach . H arry r e m ain ed b eh in d w ith R on.
'W hat
a re
t h ose t h in gs, d 'y ou r e ck on?' h e a sk ed R on, n oddin g a t t h e h orrib le
hors e s a s t h e o th er s tu den ts s u rg ed p ast t h em .
'W hat t h in gs? '

Those h ors e - '
Luna a p peare d h old in g P ig w id geo n's c ag e in h er a rm s; th e tin y o w l w as
tw itte rin g e x cite d ly a s u su al.
'H ere y ou a re ,' s h e s a id . 'H e's a s w eet l ittle o w l, i s n 't h e?'
'E r… y eah … h e's a ll r ig ht,' s a id R on g ru ff ly . 'W ell, c o m e o n th en , le t's g et
in … w hat w ere y ou s a y in g, H arry ?'
'I w as s a y in g, w hat a re t h ose h ors e t h in gs? ' H arry s a id , a s h e, R on a n d L una
mad e f o r t h e c arria g e i n w hic h H erm io ne a n d G in ny w ere a lr e ad y s ittin g.
'W hat h ors e t h in gs? '
The h ors e th in gs p ullin g th e c arria g es!' s a id H arry im patie n tly . T hey w ere ,
afte r a ll, a b out th re e f e et f ro m th e n eare st o ne; it w as w atc h in g th em w ith e m pty
white e y es. R on, h ow ev er, g av e H arry a p erp le x ed l o ok.
'W hat a re y ou t a lk in g a b out? '
'I 'm t a lk in g a b out – l o ok!'
Harry g ra b bed R on's a rm a n d w heele d h im a b out s o t h at h e w as f a ce t o f a ce
with t h e w in ged h ors e . R on s ta re d s tr a ig ht a t i t f o r a s e co nd, t h en l o oked b ack a t
Harry .
'W hat a m I s u ppose d t o b e l o okin g a t? '
'A t th e – th ere , b etw een th e s h afts ! H arn esse d to th e c o ach ! I t's r ig ht th ere
in f ro nt - '
But a s R on c o ntin ued t o l o ok b em use d , a s tr a n ge t h ought o ccu rre d t o H arry .
'C an 't … c an 't y ou s e e t h em ?'
'S ee w hat? '
'C an 't y ou s e e w hat's p ullin g t h e c arria g es? '
Ron l o oked s e rio usly a la rm ed n ow .
'A re y ou f e elin g a ll r ig ht, H arry ?'
'I … y eah … '
Harry f e lt u tte rly b ew ild ere d . T he h ors e w as t h ere i n f ro nt o f h im , g le am in g
so lid ly in th e d im lig ht is su in g fro m th e s ta tio n w in dow s b eh in d th em , v ap our
ris in g f ro m its n ostr ils in th e c h illy n ig ht a ir. Y et, u nle ss R on w as f a k in g – a n d it
was a v ery f e eb le j o ke i f h e w as – R on c o uld n ot s e e i t a t a ll.
'S hall w e g et in , th en ?' sa id R on u ncerta in ly , lo okin g a t H arry a s th ough
worrie d a b out h im .
'Y eah ,' s a id H arry . 'Y eah , g o o n… '
'I t's a ll r ig ht,' s a id a d re am y v oic e f ro m b esid e H arry a s R on v an is h ed in to
th e c o ach 's d ark i n te rio r. 'Y ou'r e n ot g oin g m ad o r a n yth in g. I c an s e e t h em , t o o.'
'C an y ou?' s a id H arry d esp era te ly , tu rn in g to L una. H e c o uld s e e th e b at-
win ged h ors e s r e fle cte d i n h er w id e s ilv ery e y es.
'O h, y es,' s a id L una, 'I 'v e b een a b le t o s e e t h em e v er s in ce m y f ir s t d ay h ere .

They 'v e a lw ay s p ulle d t h e c arria g es. D on't w orry . Y ou'r e j u st a s s a n e a s I a m :
Sm ilin g fa in tly , sh e c lim bed in to th e m usty in te rio r o f th e c arria g e a fte r
Ron. N ot a lto geth er r e assu re d , H arry f o llo w ed h er.

C H APT ER E LEV EN
T he S ortin g H at's N ew S on g

Harry d id n ot w an t t o t e ll t h e o th ers t h at h e a n d L una w ere h av in g t h e s a m e
h allu cin atio n, if th at w as w hat it w as, s o h e s a id n oth in g m ore a b out th e h ors e s
a s he sa l dow n in sid e th e carria g e an d sla m med th e door beh in d him .
N ev erth ele ss, h e c o uld n ot h elp w atc h in g th e s ilh ouette s o f th e h ors e s m ovin g
b ey ond t h e w in dow .
'D id e v ery one se e th at G ru bbly -P la n k w om an ?' a sk ed G in ny. 'W hat's sh e
d oin g b ack h ere ? H ag rid c an 't h av e l e ft, c an h e?'
Til b e q uite g la d i f h e h as,' s a id L una, 'h e i s n 't a v ery g ood t e ach er, i s h e?'
'Y es, h e i s !' s a id H arry , R on a n d G in ny a n grily .
Harry g la re d a t H erm io ne. S he c le are d h er th ro at a n d q uic k ly s a id , 'E rin …
y es… h e's v ery g ood.'
'W ell, w e i n R av en cla w t h in k h e's a b it o f a j o ke,' s a id L una, u nla zed .
'Y ou'v e g ot a ru bbis h s e n se o f h um our th en ,' R on s n ap ped , a s th e w heels
b elo w t h em c re ak ed i n to m otio n.
Luna d id n ot s e em p ertu rb ed b y R on's r u den ess; o n t h e c o ntr a ry , s h e s im ply
w atc h ed him fo r a w hile as th ough he w ere a m ild ly in te re stin g te le v is io n
p ro gra m me.
Rattlin g a n d sw ay in g, th e c arria g es m oved in c o nvoy u p th e ro ad . W hen
t h ey p asse d b etw een th e ta ll sto ne p illa rs to pped w ith w in ged b oars o n e ith er
s id e o f th e g ate s to th e sc h ool g ro unds, H arry le an ed fo rw ard s to tr y a n d se e
w heth er th ere w ere a n y lig hts o n in H ag rid 's c ab in b y th e F orb id den F ore st, b ut
t h e g ro unds w ere i n c o m ple te d ark ness. H ogw arts C astle , h ow ev er, l o om ed e v er
clo se r: a to w erin g m ass o f tu rre ts , je t b la ck a g ain st th e d ark s k y, h ere a n d
t h ere a w in dow b la zin g f ie ry b rig ht a b ove t h em .
The c arria g es jin gle d to a h alt n ear th e s to ne s te p s le ad in g u p to th e o ak
f ro nt d oors a n d H arry g ot o ut o f t h e c arria g e f ir s t. H e t u rn ed a g ain t o l o ok f o r l it
w in dow s d ow n b y th e F ore st, b ut th ere w as d efin ite ly n o sig n o f lif e w ith in
H ag rid s cab in . U nw illin gly , becau se he had half -h oped th ey w ould hav e
v an is h ed , h e t u rn ed h is e y es i n ste ad u pon t h e s tr a n ge, s k ele ta l c re atu re s s ta n din g
q uie tly i n t h e c h ill n ig ht a ir , t h eir b la n k w hite e y es g le am in g.
Harry h ad o nce b efo re h ad th e e x perie n ce o f se ein g so m eth in g th at R on
c o uld n ot, b ut th at h ad b een a re fle ctio n in a m ir ro r, so m eth in g m uch m ore
i n su bsta n tia l th an a h undre d v ery s o lid -lo okin g b easts s tr o ng e n ough to p ull a

fle et o f c arria g es. I f L una w as to b e b elie v ed , th e b easts h ad a lw ay s b een th ere
but in vis ib le . W hy, th en , c o uld H arry s u dden ly s e e th em , a n d w hy c o uld R on
not?
'A re y ou c o m in g o r w hat? ' s a id R on b esid e h im .
'O h… y eah ,' s a id H arry q uic k ly a n d th ey jo in ed th e c ro w d h urry in g u p th e
sto ne s te p s i n to t h e c astle .
The E ntr a n ce H all w as a b la ze w ith to rc h es a n d e ch oin g w ith fo ots te p s a s
th e stu den ts c ro sse d th e fla g ged sto ne flo or fo r th e d ouble d oors to th e rig ht,
le ad in g t o t h e G re at H all a n d t h e s ta rt- o f-te rm f e ast.
The fo ur lo ng h ouse ta b le s in th e G re at H all w ere fillin g u p u nder th e
sta rle ss b la ck c eilin g, w hic h w as j u st l ik e t h e s k y t h ey c o uld g lim pse t h ro ugh t h e
hig h w in dow s. C an dle s flo ate d in m id air a ll a lo ng th e ta b le s, illu m in atin g th e
silv ery g hosts w ho w ere d otte d ab out th e H all an d th e fa ces o f th e stu den ts
ta lk in g e ag erly , e x ch an gin g su m mer n ew s, sh outin g g re etin gs a t frie n ds fro m
oth er h ouse s, e y ein g o ne a n oth er's n ew h air c u ts a n d r o bes. A gain , H arry n otic ed
peo ple p uttin g th eir h ead s to geth er to w his p er a s h e p asse d ; h e g ritte d h is te eth
an d t r ie d t o a ct a s t h ough h e n eith er n otic ed n or c are d .
Luna d rif te d a w ay fro m th em a t th e R av en cla w ta b le . T he m om en t th ey
re ach ed G ry ff in dors , G in ny w as h aile d b y s o m e fe llo w fo urth -y ears a n d le ft to
sit w ith th em ; H arry , R on, H erm io ne an d N ev ille fo und se ats to geth er ab out
half w ay d ow n t h e t a b le b etw een N early
Head le ss N ic k , th e G ry ff in dor h ouse g host, a n d P arv ati P atil a n d L av en der
Bro w n, th e la st tw o o f w hom g av e H arry air y , o verly -frie n dly g re etin gs th at
mad e h im q uite s u re th ey h ad s to pped ta lk in g a b out h im a s p lit s e co nd b efo re .
He h ad m ore im porta n t t h in gs to w orry a b out, h ow ev er: h e w as lo okin g o ver t h e
stu den ts ' h ead s t o t h e s ta ff t a b le t h at r a n a lo ng t h e t o p w all o f t h e H all.
'H e's n ot t h ere .'
Ron a n d H erm io ne sc an ned th e sta ff ta b le to o, th ough th ere w as n o re al
need ; H ag rid 's s iz e m ad e h im i n sta n tly o bvio us i n a n y l in eu p.
'H e c an 't h av e l e ft,' s a id R on, s o undin g s lig htly a n xio us.
'O f c o urs e h e h asn 't ,' s a id H arry f ir m ly .
'Y ou d on't t h in k h e's …
h urt
, o r a n yth in g, d o y ou?' s a id H erm io ne u neasily .
'N o,' s a id H arry a t o nce.
'B ut w here i s h e, t h en ?'
There w as a p au se , t h en H arry s a id v ery q uie tly , s o t h at N ev ille , P arv ati a n d
Lav en der c o uld n ot h ear, 'M ay be h e's n ot b ack y et. Y ou k now – f ro m h is m is sio n
– t h e t h in g h e w as d oin g o ver t h e s u m mer f o r D um ble d ore .'
'Y eah … y eah , th at'l l b e it,' s a id R on, s o undin g r e assu re d , b ut H erm io ne b it
her lip , lo okin g up an d dow n th e sta ff ta b le as th ough hopin g fo r so m e

co nclu siv e e x pla n atio n o f H ag rid 's a b se n ce.
'W ho's t h at? ' s h e s a id s h arp ly , p oin tin g t o w ard s t h e m id dle o f t h e s ta ff t a b le .
Harry 's ey es fo llo w ed hers . T hey lit fir s t upon P ro fe sso r D um ble d ore ,
sittin g in h is h ig h-b ack ed g old en ch air at th e cen tr e o f th e lo ng sta ff ta b le ,
wearin g deep -p urp le ro bes sc atte re d w ith silv ery sta rs an d a m atc h in g hat.
Dum ble d ore 's h ead w as in clin ed to w ard s th e w om an sittin g n ex t to h im , w ho
was ta lk in g in to h is e ar. S he lo oked , H arry th ought, lik e so m eb ody's m aid en
au nt: sq uat, w ith sh ort, cu rly , m ouse -b ro w n h air in w hic h sh e h ad p la ced a
horrib le p in k A lic e b an d t h at m atc h ed t h e f lu ff y p in k c ard ig an s h e w ore o ver h er
ro bes. T hen s h e t u rn ed h er f a ce s lig htly t o t a k e a s ip f ro m h er g oble t a n d h e s a w ,
with a sh ock o f re co gnitio n, a p allid , to ad lik e fa ce an d a p air o f p ro m in en t,
pouch y e y es.
'I t's t h at U m brid ge w om an !'
'W ho?' s a id H erm io ne.
'S he w as a t m y h earin g, s h e w ork s f o r F udge!'
'N ic e c ard ig an ,' s a id R on, s m ir k in g.
'S he w ork s fo r F udge!' H erm io ne re p eate d , fro w nin g. 'W hat o n e arth 's s h e
doin g h ere , t h en ?'
'D unno… '
Herm io ne s c an ned t h e s ta ff t a b le , h er e y es n arro w ed .
'N o,' s h e m utte re d , 'n o, s u re ly n ot… '
Harry d id n ot u nders ta n d w hat s h e w as ta lk in g a b out b ut d id n ot a sk ; h is
atte n tio n h ad b een c au ght b y P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k w ho h ad ju st a p peare d
beh in d th e s ta ff ta b le ; s h e w ork ed h er w ay a lo ng to th e v ery e n d a n d to ok th e
se at th at o ught to h av e b een H ag rid s. T hat m ean t th e fir s t- y ears m ust h av e
cro sse d t h e l a k e a n d r e ach ed t h e c astle , a n d s u re e n ough, a f e w s e co nds l a te r, t h e
doors fro m th e E ntr a n ce H all o pen ed . A lo ng lin e o f s c are d -lo okin g fir s t- y ears
en te re d , l e d b y P ro fe sso r M cG onag all, w ho w as c arry in g a s to ol o n w hic h s a t a n
an cie n t w iz ard 's h at, h eav ily p atc h ed a n d d arn ed w ith a w id e r ip n ear th e f ra y ed
brim .
The b uzz o f ta lk in th e G re at H all fa d ed a w ay. T he fir s t- y ears lin ed u p in
fro nt o f th e s ta ff ta b le f a cin g th e r e st o f th e s tu den ts , a n d P ro fe sso r M cG onag all
pla ced t h e s to ol c are fu lly i n f ro nt o f t h em , t h en s to od b ack .
The f ir s t- y ears ' f a ces g lo w ed p ale ly in th e c an dle lig ht. A s m all b oy r ig ht in
th e m id dle of th e ro w lo oked as th ough he w as tr e m blin g. H arry re calle d ,
fle etin gly , h ow te rrif ie d h e h ad fe lt w hen h e h ad sto od th ere , w aitin g fo r th e
unknow n t e st t h at w ould d ete rm in e t o w hic h h ouse h e b elo nged .
The w hole s c h ool w aite d w ith b ate d b re ath . T hen t h e r ip n ear t h e h at's b rim
open ed w id e l ik e a m outh a n d t h e S ortin g H at b urs t i n to s o ng:

In tim es o f o ld w hen I w as n ew A nd H ogw arts b are ly s ta rte d T he fo unders
of o ur n oble s c h ool T hought n ever t o b e p arte d : U nite d b y a c o m mon g oal,
They h ad t h e s e lfs a m e y ea rn in g,
To m ake t h e w orld 's b est m agic s c h ool
And p ass a lo ng t h eir l e a rn in g.
'T o geth er w e w ill b uild a nd t e a ch !'
The f o ur g ood f r ie n ds d ecid ed
And n ever d id t h ey d re a m t h at t h ey
Mig ht s o m e d ay b e d iv id ed ,
For w ere t h ere s u ch f r ie n ds a nyw here
As S ly th erin a nd G ry ffin dor?
Unle ss i t w as t h e s e co nd p air
Of H uffle p uff a nd R aven cla w ?
So h ow c o uld i t h ave g one s o w ro ng?
How c o uld s u ch f r ie n dsh ip s f a il?
Why, I w as t h ere a nd s o c a n t e ll
The w hole s a d, s o rry t a le .
Said S ly th erin , 'W e'l l t e a ch j u st t h ose
Whose a ncestr y i s p ure st.'
Said R aven cla w , 'W e'l l t e a ch t h ose w hose
In te llig en ce i s s u re st.'
Said G ry ffin dor, 'W e'l l t e a ch a ll t h ose
With b ra ve d eed s t o t h eir n am e,'
Said H uffle p uff, T il t e a ch t h e l o t,
And t r e a t t h em j u st t h e s a m e.'
These d iffe re n ces c a use d l ittle s tr ife
When f ir st t h ey c a m e t o l ig ht,
For e a ch o f t h e f o ur f o unders h ad
A h ouse i n w hic h t h ey m ig ht
Ta ke o nly t h ose t h ey w ante d , s o ,
For i n sta nce, S ly th erin
To ok o nly p ure -b lo od w iz a rd s
Of g re a t c u nnin g, j u st l ik e h im ,
And o nly t h ose o f s h arp est m in d
Were t a ught b y R aven cla w
While t h e b ra vest a nd t h e b old est
Wen t t o d arin g G ry ffin dor.
Good H uffle p uff, s h e t o ok t h e r e st,
And t a ught t h em a ll s h e k n ew ,

Thus t h e h ouse s
a nd t h eir f o unders
Reta in ed f r ie n dsh ip s
f ir m
a nd t r u e
.
So H ogw arts w ork ed i n h arm ony
For s e vera l h appy y ea rs,
But t h en d is c o rd c re p t a m ong
u s
Feed in g o n o ur f a ults a nd f e a rs.
The
h ouse s t h at, l ik e
p illa rs f o ur
,
Had o nce h eld u p o ur s c h ool,
Now t u rn ed u pon e a ch o th er a nd,
Div id ed , s o ught t o r u le .
And f o r a w hile i t s e em ed t h e s c h ool
Must m eet a n e a rly e n d,
What w ith d uellin g a nd w ith j ig htin g
And t h e c la sh o f f r ie n d o n f r ie n d
And a t l a st t h ere c a m e a
m orn in g
When
o ld S ly th erin d ep arte d
And t h ough t h e f ig htin g t h en d ie d o ut
He l e ft u s q uite d ow nhea rte d .
And n ever s in ce t h e f o unders f o ur
Were w hittle d d ow n t o t h re e
Have t h e
h ouse s b een u nite d
As
t h ey o nce w ere m ea nt t o b e
.
And n ow t h e
S ortin g H at i s h ere
And y o u a ll k n ow t h e s c o re :
I s o rt y o u i n to
h ouse s
Becau se t h at i s w hat
I 'm f o r
,
But t h is y ea r I 'l l g o f u rth er,
Lis te n c lo se ly t o m y s o ng:
Though c o ndem ned I a m t o s p lit y o u
Still I w orry t h at
i t's w ro ng,
Though / m ust
f u lfil m y d uty
And m ust q uarte r
e v erv y ear
Still I
w onder w heth er S ortin g
May n ot b rin g t h e e n d I f e a r.
Oh, k n ow t h e p erils , r e a d t h e s ig ns,
The w arn in g h is to ry s h ow s,
For o ur H ogw arts i s i n d anger
Fro m e xte rn al, d ea dly f o es
And w e m ust u nite i n sid e h er

Or w e'l l c ru m ble f r o m w ith in
I h ave t o ld y o u, I h ave w arn ed y o u…
Let t h e S ortin g n ow b eg in .
The H at b ecam e m otio nle ss o nce m ore ; a p pla u se b ro ke o ut, th ough it w as
punctu re d , f o r t h e f ir s t t im e i n H arry s m em ory , w ith m utte rin g a n d w his p ers . A ll
acro ss th e G re at H all s tu den ts w ere e x ch an gin g re m ark s w ith th eir n eig hbours ,
an d H arry , cla p pin g alo ng w ith ev ery one els e , k new ex actly w hat th ey w ere
ta lk in g a b out.
'B ra n ch ed o ut a b it t h is y ear, h asn 't i t? ' s a id R on, h is e y eb ro w s r a is e d .
Too r ig ht i t h as,' s a id H arry .
The S ortin g H at u su ally c o nfin ed its e lf to d esc rib in g th e d if f e re n t q ualitie s
lo oked f o r b y e ach o f t h e f o ur H ogw arts h ouse s a n d i ts o w n r o le i n S ortin g t h em .
Harry c o uld n ot r e m em ber i t e v er t r y in g t o g iv e t h e s c h ool a d vic e b efo re .
'I w onder if it's ev er g iv en w arn in gs b efo re ?' sa id H erm io ne, so undin g
slig htly a n xio us.
'Y es, in deed ,' sa id N early H ead le ss N ic k k now le d geab ly , le an in g acro ss
Nev ille to w ard s h er ( N ev ille w in ced ; it w as v ery u nco m fo rta b le to h av e a g host
le an th ro ugh y ou). T he H at fe els its e lf h onour- b ound to g iv e th e sc h ool d ue
warn in g w hen ev er i l f e els -
But P ro fe sso r M cG onag all, w ho w as w aitin g to re ad o ut th e lis t o f fir s t-
years ' n am es, w as g iv in g th e w his p erin g s tu den ts th e s o rt o f lo ok th at s c o rc h es.
Nearly H ead le ss N ic k p la ced a se e-th ro ugh fin ger to h is lip s an d sa t p rim ly
uprig ht a g ain a s th e m utte rin g c am e to a n a b ru pt e n d. W ith a la st f ro w nin g lo ok
th at s w ep t th e f o ur h ouse ta b le s, P ro fe sso r M cG onag all lo w ere d h er e y es to h er
lo ng p ie ce o f p arc h m en t a n d c alle d o ut t h e f ir s t n am e.
'A berc ro m bie , E uan .'
The te rrif ie d -lo okin g b oy H arry h ad n otic ed e arlie r s tu m ble d f o rw ard s a n d
put th e H at o n h is h ead ; it w as o nly p re v en te d fro m fa llin g rig ht d ow n to h is
sh ould ers b y h is v ery p ro m in en t e ars . T he H at c o nsid ere d f o r a m om en t, t h en t h e
rip n ear t h e b rim o pen ed a g ain a n d s h oute d :
'G ry ffin dor!'
Harry cla p ped lo udly with th e re st of Gry ff in dor house as Euan
Aberc ro m bie s ta g gere d to th eir ta b le a n d s a t d ow n, lo okin g a s th ough h e w ould
lik e v ery m uch t o s in k t h ro ugh t h e f lo or a n d n ev er b e l o oked a t a g ain .
Slo w ly , t h e l o ng l in e o f f ir s t- y ears t h in ned . I n t h e p au se s b etw een t h e n am es
an d t h e S ortin g H at's d ecis io ns, H arry c o uld h ear R ons s to m ach r u m blin g l o udly .
Fin ally , 'Z elle r, R ose ' w as S orte d in to H uff le p uff , an d P ro fe sso r M cG onag all
pic k ed u p th e H at a n d s to ol a n d m arc h ed th em a w ay a s P ro fe sso r D um ble d ore
ro se t o h is f e et.

Whate v er h is r e cen t b itte r f e elin gs h ad b een t o w ard s h is H ead m aste r, H arry
was s o m eh ow s o oth ed t o s e e D um ble d ore s ta n din g b efo re t h em a ll. B etw een t h e
ab se n ce o f H ag rid a n d th e p re se n ce o f th ose d ra g onis h h ors e s, h e h ad fe lt th at
his r e tu rn t o H og w arts , s o l o ng a n tic ip ate d , w as f u ll o f u nex pecte d s u rp ris e s, l ik e
ja rrin g n ote s i n a f a m ilia r s o ng. B ut t h is , a t l e ast, w as h ow i t w as s u ppose d t o b e:
th eir H ead m aste r r is in g t o g re et t h em a ll b efo re t h e s ta rt- o f-te rm f e ast.
To o ur n ew co m ers ,' s a id D um ble d ore in a r in gin g v oic e, h is a rm s s tr e tc h ed
wid e a n d a b eam in g s m ile o n h is lip s, 'w elc o m e! T o o ur o ld h an ds – w elc o m e
back ! T here i s a t im e f o r s p eech -m ak in g, b ut t h is i s n ot i t. T uck i n !'
There was an ap pre cia tiv e la u gh an d an outb re ak of ap pla u se as
Dum ble d ore s a t d ow n n eatly a n d th re w h is lo ng b eard o ver h is s h ould er s o a s to
keep it o ut o f th e w ay o f h is p la te – fo r fo od h ad a p peare d o ut o f n ow here , s o
th at th e fiv e lo ng ta b le s w ere g ro an in g u nder jo in ts an d p ie s an d d is h es o f
veg eta b le s, b re ad a n d s a u ces a n d f la g ons o f p um pkin j u ic e.
'E xcelle n t,' sa id R on, w ith a k in d o f g ro an o f lo ngin g, a n d h e se iz ed th e
neare st p la te o f c h ops a n d b eg an p ilin g th em o n to h is p la te , w atc h ed w is tf u lly
by N early H ead le ss N ic k .
'W hat w ere y ou sa y in g b efo re th e S ortin g?' H erm io ne ask ed th e g host.
'A bout t h e H at g iv in g w arn in gs? '
'O h, y es,' s a id N ic k , w ho s e em ed g la d o f a r e aso n to tu rn a w ay f ro m R on,
who w as n ow e atin g r o ast p ota to es w ith a lm ost i n decen t e n th usia sm . 'Y es, I h av e
heard th e H at g iv e se v era l w arn in gs b efo re , alw ay s at tim es w hen it d ete cts
perio ds o f g re at d an ger fo r th e s c h ool. A nd a lw ay s, o f c o urs e , its a d vic e is th e
sa m e: s ta n d t o geth er, b e s tr o ng f ro m w ith in .'
'O w k unnit n ofe s k usin d an ger i f z at? ' s a id R on.
His m outh w as s o f u ll H arry t h ought i t w as q uite a n a ch ie v em en t f o r h im t o
mak e a n y n ois e a t a ll.
'I b eg y our p ard on?' sa id N early H ead le ss N ic k p olite ly , w hile H erm io ne
lo oked r e v olte d . R on g av e a n e n orm ous s w allo w a n d s a id , 'H ow c an it k now if
th e s c h ool's i n d an ger i f i t's a H at? '
'I hav e no id ea,' sa id N early H ead le ss N ic k . 'O f co urs e , it liv es in
Dum ble d ore 's o ff ic e, s o I d are sa y i t p ic k s t h in gs u p t h ere .'
'A nd it w an ts a ll th e h ouse s to b e frie n ds? ' s a id H arry , lo okin g o ver a t th e
Sly th erin t a b le , w here D ra co M alf o y w as h old in g c o urt. 'F at c h an ce.'
'W ell, n ow , y ou s h ould n't t a k e t h at a ttitu de,' s a id N ic k r e p ro vin gly . 'P eacefu l
co -o pera tio n, th at's th e k ey. W e g hosts , th ough w e b elo ng to se p ara te h ouse s,
main ta in lin ks o f f rie n dsh ip . I n s p ite o f th e c o m petitiv en ess b etw een G ry ff in dor
an d S ly th erin , 1 w ould n ev er d re am o f se ek in g a n a rg um en t w ith th e B lo ody
Baro n.'

'O nly b ecau se y ou'r e t e rrif ie d o f h im ,' s a id R on.
Nearly H ead le ss N ic k l o oked h ig hly a ff ro nte d .
Terrif ie d ? I h ope I, S ir N ic h ola s d e M im sy -P orp in gto n, h av e n ev er b een
guilty o f c o w ard ic e i n m y l if e ! T he n oble b lo od t h at r u ns i n m y v ein s - '
'W hat b lo od?' a sk ed R on. 'S ure ly y ou h av en 't s till g ot - ? '
'I ts a fig ure o f sp eech !' sa id N early H ead le ss N ic k , n ow so a n noyed h is
head w as tr e m blin g o m in ously o n h is p artia lly s e v ere d n eck . 'I a ssu m e I a m s till
allo w ed to e n jo y th e u se o f w hic h ev er w ord s I lik e, e v en if th e p le asu re s o f
eatin g a n d d rin kin g a re d en ie d m e! B ut I a m q uite u se d t o s tu den ts p okin g f u n a t
my d eath , I a ssu re y ou!'
'N ic k , h e w asn 't r e ally la u ghin g a t y ou!' s a id H erm io ne, th ro w in g a f u rio us
lo ok a t R on.
Unfo rtu nate ly , R on's m outh w as p ack ed to e x plo din g p oin t a g ain a n d a ll h e
co uld m an ag e w as 'N ode id dum e en tu p se ch ew ,' w hic h N ic k d id n ot se em to
th in k c o nstitu te d a n a d eq uate a p olo gy. R is in g in to th e a ir , h e str a ig hte n ed h is
fe ath ere d h at a n d s w ep t a w ay f ro m th em to th e o th er e n d o f th e ta b le , c o m in g to
re st b etw een t h e C re ev ey b ro th ers , C olin a n d D en nis .
'W ell d one, R on,' s n ap ped H erm io ne.
'W hat? ' s a id R on in dig nan tly , h av in g m an ag ed , f in ally , to s w allo w h is to od.
'I 'm n ot a llo w ed t o a sk a s im ple q uestio n?'
'O h, f o rg et i t,' s a id H erm io ne i r rita b ly , a n d t h e p air o f t h em s p en t t h e r e st o f
th e m eal i n h uff y s ile n ce.
Harry w as to o u se d to th eir b ic k erin g to b oth er tr y in g to r e co ncile th em ; h e
fe lt it w as a b ette r u se o f h is tim e to e at h is w ay s te ad ily th ro ugh h is s te ak a n d
kid ney p ie , t h en a l a rg e p la te fu l o f h is f a v ourite t r e acle t a rt.
When a ll t h e s tu den ts h ad f in is h ed e atin g a n d t h e n ois e l e v el i n t h e H all w as
sta rtin g to c re ep u pw ard s a g ain , D um ble d ore g ot to h is f e et o nce m ore . T alk in g
cease d im med ia te ly as all tu rn ed to la ce th e H ead m aste r. H arry w as fe elin g
ple asa n tly dro w sy now . H is lo ur- p oste r bed w as w aitin g so m ew here ab ove,
wonderfu lly w arm a n d s o ft…
'W ell, n ow th at w e a re a ll d ig estin g a n oth er m ag nif ic en t f e ast, 1 b eg a f e w
mom en ts o f y our a tte n tio n f o r th e u su al s ta rt- o f-te rm n otic es,' s a id D um ble d ore .
'F ir s t- y ears o ught to k now th at th e F ore st in th e g ro unds is o ut- o f-b ounds to
stu den ts – a n d a fe w o f o ur o ld er s tu den ts o ught to k now b y n ow , to o.' (H arry ,
Ron a n d H erm io ne e x ch an ged s m ir k s.)
'M r F ilc h , th e c are ta k er, h as a sk ed m e, fo r w hat h e te lls m e is th e lo ur-
hundre d -a n d-s ix ty -s e co nd tim e, to r e m in d y ou a ll th at m ag ic is n ot p erm itte d in
co rrid ors b etw een c la sse s, n or a re a n um ber o f o th er th in gs, a ll o f w hic h c an b e
ch eck ed o n t h e e x te n siv e l is t n ow f a ste n ed t o M r F ilc h 's o ff ic e d oor.

'W e h av e h ad tw o c h an ges in sta ff in g th is y ear. W e a re v ery p le ase d to
welc o m e b ack P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k, w ho w ill b e ta k in g C are o f M ag ic al
Cre atu re s le sso ns; w e a re a ls o d elig hte d to in tr o duce P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, o ur
new D efe n ce A gain st t h e D ark A rts t e ach er.'
There w as a r o und o f p olite b ut f a ir ly u nen th usia stic a p pla u se , d urin g w hic h
Harry , R on a n d H erm io ne e x ch an ged s lig htly p an ic k ed lo oks; D um ble d ore h ad
not s a id f o r h ow l o ng G ru bbly -P la n k w ould b e t e ach in g.
Dum ble d ore c o ntin ued , T ry outs fo r th e h ouse Q uid ditc h te am s w ill ta k e
pla ce o n t h e - '
He b ro ke o ff , lo okin g e n quir in gly a t P ro fe sso r U m brid ge. A s s h e w as n ot
much ta lle r s ta n din g th an s ittin g, th ere w as a m om en t w hen n obody u nders to od
why D um ble d ore h ad s to pped ta lk in g, b ut th en P ro fe sso r U m brid ge c le are d h er
th ro at, 'H em ,
h em
,' a n d it b ecam e c le ar th at sh e h ad g ot to h er fe et a n d w as
in te n din g t o m ak e a s p eech .
Dum ble d ore o nly lo oked ta k en ab ack fo r a m om en t, th en h e sa t d ow n
sm artly a n d lo oked a le rtly a t P ro fe sso r U m brid ge a s th ough h e d esir e d n oth in g
bette r th an to lis te n to h er ta lk . O th er m em bers o f sta ff w ere n ot a s a d ep t a t
hid in g th eir su rp ris e . P ro fe sso r S pro ut's ey eb ro w s had dis a p peare d in to her
fly aw ay h air a n d P ro fe sso r M cG onag all's m outh w as a s th in a s H arry h ad e v er
se en it. N o n ew te ach er h ad e v er in te rru pte d D um ble d ore b efo re . M an y o f th e
stu den ts w ere s m ir k in g; th is w om an o bvio usly d id n ot k now h ow th in gs w ere
done a t H ogw arts .
Than k you, H ead m aste r,' P ro fe sso r U m brid ge sim pere d , 'f o r th ose kin d
word s o f w elc o m e.'
Her v oic e w as h ig h-p itc h ed , b re ath y a n d little -g ir lis h a n d, a g ain , H arry f e lt
a p ow erfu l r u sh o f d is lik e th at h e c o uld n ot e x pla in to h im se lf ; a ll h e k new w as
th at h e lo ath ed e v ery th in g a b out h er, fro m h er stu pid v oic e to h er flu ff y p in k
card ig an . She gav e an oth er little th ro at- c le arin g co ugh ('h em , hem ') an d
co ntin ued .
'W ell, i t i s l o vely t o b e b ack a t H ogw arts , I m ust s a y !' S he s m ile d , r e v ealin g
very p oin te d t e eth . 'A nd t o s e e s u ch h ap py l ittle f a ces l o okin g u p a t m e!'
Harry g la n ced a ro und. N one o f t h e f a ces h e c o uld s e e l o oked h ap py. O n t h e
co ntr a ry , th ey a ll lo oked ra th er ta k en -a b ack a t b ein g a d dre sse d a s th ough th ey
were f iv e y ears o ld .
'I a m v ery m uch lo okin g fo rw ard to g ettin g to k now y ou a ll a n d I'm s u re
we'l l b e v ery g ood f rie n ds!'
Stu den ts ex ch an ged lo oks at th is ; so m e o f th em w ere b are ly co ncealin g
grin s.
'I 'l l b e h er frie n d a s lo ng a s I d on't h av e to b orro w th at c ard ig an ,' P arv ati

whis p ere d t o L av en der, a n d b oth o f t h em l a p se d i n to s ile n t g ig gle s.
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge c le are d h er th ro at a g ain ('h em , h em ') , b ut w hen sh e
co ntin ued , s o m e o f th e b re ath in ess h ad v an is h ed fro m h er v oic e. S he s o unded
much m ore b usin esslik e a n d n ow h er w ord s h ad a d ull l e arn ed -b y-h eart s o und t o
th em .
The M in is tr y of M ag ic has alw ay s co nsid ere d th e ed ucatio n of young
witc h es a n d w iz ard s to b e o f v ita l im porta n ce. T he ra re g if ts w ith w hic h y ou
were b orn m ay c o m e t o n oth in g i f n ot n urtu re d a n d h oned b y c are fu l i n str u ctio n.
The a n cie n t s k ills u niq ue to th e w iz ard in g c o m munity m ust b e p asse d d ow n th e
gen era tio ns le st w e lo se th em to r e v er. T he tr e asu re tr o ve o f m ag ic al k now le d ge
am asse d b y o ur a n cesto rs m ust b e g uard ed , re p le n is h ed a n d p olis h ed b y th ose
who h av e b een c alle d t o t h e n oble p ro fe ssio n o f t e ach in g.'
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge p au se d h ere a n d m ad e a little b ow to h er fe llo w s ta ff
mem bers , none of w hom bow ed back to her. P ro fe sso r M cG onag all's dark
ey eb ro w s h ad co ntr a cte d so th at sh e lo oked p ositiv ely h aw klik e, an d H arry
dis tin ctly sa w her ex ch an ge a sig nif ic an t gla n ce w ith Pro fe sso r Spro ut as
Um brid ge g av e a n oth er l ittle '
hem , h em '
a n d w en t o n w ith h er s p eech .
Every h ead m aste r an d h ead m is tr e ss o ( H ogw arts h as b ro ught so m eth in g
new t o t h e w eig hty t a sk o f g overn in g t h is h is to ric s c h ool, a n d t h at i s a s i t s h ould
be, l o r w ith out p ro gre ss t h ere w ill b e s ta g natio n a n d d ecay. T here a g ain , p ro gre ss
fo r p ro gre ss's s a k e m ust b e d is c o ura g ed , f o r o ur tr ie d a n d te ste d tr a d itio ns o fte n
re q uir e n o t in kerin g. A b ala n ce, t h en , b etw een o ld a n d n ew , b etw een p erm an en ce
an d c h an ge, b etw een t r a d itio n a n d i n novatio n… "
Harry lo und h is a tte n tiv en ess e b bin g, a s th ough h is b ra in w as s lip pin g in
an d o ut o f tu ne. T he q uie t th at a lw ay s fille d th e H all w hen D um ble d ore w as
sp eak in g w as b re ak in g u p a s s tu den ts p ut th eir h ead s to geth er, w his p erin g a n d
gig glin g. O ver o n t h e R av en cla w t a b le C ho C han g w as c h attin g a n im ate d ly w ith
her frie n ds. A fe w se ats alo ng fro m C ho, L una L oveg ood h ad g ot o ut
T he
Quib ble r
a g ain . M ean w hile , a t th e H uff le p uff ta b le E rn ie M acm illa n w as o ne o f
th e fe w s till s ta rin g a t P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, b ut h e w as g la ssy -e y ed a n d H arry
was s u re h e w as o nly p re te n din g to lis te n in a n a tte m pt to liv e u p to th e n ew
pre fe ct's b ad ge g le am in g o n h is c h est.
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge d id n ot s e em t o n otic e t h e r e stle ssn ess o f h er a u die n ce.
Harry h ad th e im pre ssio n th at a fu ll- s c ale rio t c o uld h av e b ro ken o ut u nder h er
nose a n d s h e w ould h av e p lo ughed o n w ith h er s p eech . T he te ach ers , h ow ev er,
were still lis te n in g v ery atte n tiv ely , an d H erm io ne se em ed to b e d rin kin g in
ev ery w ord U m brid ge s p oke, t h ough, j u dgin g b y h er e x pre ssio n, t h ey w ere n ot a t
all t o h er t a ste .
'… b ecau se s o m e c h an ges w ill b e f o r th e b ette r, w hile o th ers w ill c o m e, in

th e f u lln ess o f tim e, to b e r e co gnis e d a s e rro rs o f ju dgem en t. M ean w hile , s o m e
old hab its w ill be re ta in ed , an d rig htly so , w here as oth ers , outm oded an d
outw orn , m ust b e ab an doned . L et u s m ove fo rw ard , th en , in to a n ew era o f
open ness, e ff e ctiv en ess a n d a cco unta b ility , i n te n t o n p re se rv in g w hat o ught t o b e
pre se rv ed , p erfe ctin g w hat n eed s to b e p erfe cte d , a n d p ru nin g w here v er w e f in d
pra ctic es t h at o ught t o b e p ro hib ite d .'
She sa t d ow n. D um ble d ore c la p ped . T he sta ff fo llo w ed h is le ad , th ough
Harry n otic ed th at se v era l o f th em b ro ught th eir h an ds to geth er o nly o nce o r
tw ic e befo re sto ppin g. A fe w stu den ts jo in ed in , but m ost had been ta k en
unaw are s b y t h e e n d o f t h e s p eech , n ot h av in g l is te n ed t o m ore t h an a f e w w ord s
of it, a n d b efo re th ey c o uld s ta rt a p pla u din g p ro perly , D um ble d ore h ad s to od u p
ag ain .
Than k y ou v ery m uch , P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, th at w as m ost illu m in atin g,' h e
sa id , b ow in g t o h er. 'N ow , a s I w as s a y in g, Q uid ditc h t r y outs w ill b e h eld … "
'Y es, i t c erta in ly w as i llu m in atin g,' s a id H erm io ne i n a l o w v oic e.
'Y ou'r e n ot te llin g m e y ou e n jo yed it? ' R on s a id q uie tly , tu rn in g a g la zed
fa ce to w ard s H erm io ne. T hat w as a b out th e d ulle st s p eech I 'v e e v er h eard , a n d
I
gre w u p w ith P erc y.'
'I s a id i llu m in atin g, n ot e n jo yab le ,' s a id H erm io ne. 'I t e x pla in ed a l o t.'
'D id i t? ' s a id H arry i n s u rp ris e . 'S ounded l ik e a l o ad o f w aff le t o m e.'
There w as so m e im porta n t stu ff hid den in th e w aff le ,' sa id H erm io ne
grim ly .
'W as t h ere ?' s a id R on b la n kly .
'H ow ab out: "p ro gre ss fo r pro gre ss's sa k e m ust be dis c o ura g ed "? H ow
ab out: " p ru nin g w here v er w e f in d p ra ctic es t h at o ught t o b e p ro hib ite d "? '
'W ell, w hat d oes t h at m ean ?' s a id R on i m patie n tly .
Til te ll y ou w hat it m ean s,' s a id H erm io ne th ro ugh g ritte d te eth . 'I t m ean s
th e M in is tr y 's i n te rfe rin g a t H ogw arts .'
There w as a g re at c la tte rin g a n d b an gin g a ll a ro und th em ; D um ble d ore h ad
obvio usly ju st d is m is se d th e s c h ool, b ecau se e v ery one w as s ta n din g u p r e ad y to
le av e t h e H all. H erm io ne j u m ped u p, l o okin g f lu ste re d .
'R on, w e'r e s u ppose d t o s h ow t h e f ir s t- y ears w here t o g o!'
'O h y eah ,' sa id R on, w ho h ad o bvio usly fo rg otte n . 'H ey – h ey, y ou lo t!
Mid gets !'
'R on!'
'W ell, t h ey a re , t h ey 'r e t itc h y… '
'I k now , b ut y ou c an 't c all th em m id gets ! – F ir s t- y ears !' H erm io ne c alle d
co m man din gly a lo ng t h e t a b le . T his w ay, p le ase !'
A g ro up o f n ew s tu den ts w alk ed s h yly u p th e g ap b etw een th e G ry ff in dor

an d H uff le p uff ta b le s, a ll o f th em tr y in g h ard n ot to le ad th e g ro up. T hey d id
in deed s e em v ery s m all; H arry w as s u re h e h ad n ot a p peare d t h at y oung w hen h e
had a rriv ed h ere . H e g rin ned a t th em . A b lo nd b oy n ex t to E uan A berc ro m bie
lo oked p etr if ie d ; h e n udged E uan an d w his p ere d so m eth in g in h is ear. E uan
Aberc ro m bie lo oked e q ually f rig hte n ed a n d s to le a h orrif ie d lo ok a t H arry , w ho
fe lt t h e g rin s lid e o ff h is f a ce l ik e S tin ksa p .
'S ee y ou l a te r,' h e s a id d ully t o R on a n d H erm io ne a n d h e m ad e h is w ay o ut
of th e G re at H all a lo ne, d oin g e v ery th in g h e c o uld to ig nore m ore w his p erin g,
sta rin g a n d p oin tin g a s h e p asse d . H e k ep t h is e y es f ix ed a h ead a s h e w ove h is
way th ro ugh th e cro w d in th e E ntr a n ce H all, th en h e h urrie d u p th e m arb le
sta ir c ase , to ok a c o uple o f c o nceale d s h ort c u ts a n d h ad s o on le ft m ost o f th e
cro w ds b eh in d.
He h ad b een stu pid n ot to e x pect th is , h e th ought a n grily a s h e w alk ed
th ro ugh th e m uch e m ptie r u psta ir s c o rrid ors . O f c o urs e e v ery one w as s ta rin g a t
him ; h e h ad e m erg ed f ro m th e T riw iz ard m aze tw o m onth s p re v io usly c lu tc h in g
th e d ead b ody o f a fe llo w stu den t a n d c la im in g to h av e se en L ord V old em ort
re tu rn to p ow er. T here h ad n ot b een tim e la st te rm to e x pla in h im se lf b efo re
th ey 'd a ll h ad to g o h om e – e v en if h e h ad f e lt u p to g iv in g th e w hole s c h ool a
deta ile d a cco unt o f t h e t e rrib le e v en ts i n t h at g ra v ey ard .
Harry h ad r e ach ed th e e n d o f th e c o rrid or to th e G ry ff in dor c o m mon r o om
an d c o m e to a h alt in f ro nt o f th e p ortr a it o f th e F at L ad y b efo re h e r e alis e d th at
he d id n ot k now t h e n ew p assw ord .
'E r… ' h e s a id g lu m ly , s ta rin g u p a t t h e F at L ad y, w ho s m ooth ed t h e f o ld s o f
her p in k s a tin d re ss a n d l o oked s te rn ly b ack a t h im .
'N o p assw ord , n o e n tr a n ce,' s h e s a id l o ftily .
'H arry , I k now it! ' S om eo ne p an te d u p b eh in d h im a n d h e tu rn ed to se e
Nev ille jo ggin g to w ard s h im . 'G uess w hat it is ? I 'm a ctu ally g oin g to b e a b le to
re m em ber i t f o r o nce - ' H e w av ed t h e s tu nte d l ittle c actu s h e h ad s h ow n t h em o n
th e t r a in . '
Mim bulu s m im ble -
to nif l! '
'C orre ct,' s a id th e F at L ad y, a n d h er p ortr a it s w ung o pen to w ard s th em lik e
a d oor, re v ealin g a c ir c u la r h ole in th e w all b eh in d, th ro ugh w hic h H arry a n d
Nev ille n ow c lim bed .
The G ry ff in dor c o m mon r o om l o oked a s w elc o m in g a s e v er, a c o sy c ir c u la r
to w er ro om fu ll o f d ila p id ate d s q uash y a rm ch air s a n d ric k ety o ld ta b le s. A fir e
was c ra ck lin g m errily i n t h e g ra te a n d a f e w p eo ple w ere w arm in g t h eir h an ds b y
it b efo re g oin g u p to th eir d orm ito rie s; o n th e o th er s id e o f th e ro om F re d a n d
Geo rg e W easle y w ere p in nin g so m eth in g u p o n th e n otic eb oard . H arry w av ed
goodnig ht to th em a n d h ead ed s tr a ig ht f o r th e d oor to th e b oys' d orm ito rie s; h e
was n ot i n m uch o f a m ood f o r t a lk in g a t t h e m om en t. N ev ille f o llo w ed h im .

Dean T hom as a n d S eam us F in nig an h ad re ach ed th e d orm ito ry fir s t a n d
were in th e p ro cess o f c o verin g th e w alls b esid e th eir b ed s w ith p oste rs a n d
photo gra p hs. T hey h ad b een ta lk in g a s H arry p ush ed o pen th e d oor b ut s to pped
ab ru ptly th e m om en t th ey sa w h im . H arry w ondere d w heth er th ey h ad b een
ta lk in g a b out h im , t h en w heth er h e w as b ein g p ara n oid .
'H i,' h e s a id , m ovin g a cro ss t o h is o w n t r u nk a n d o pen in g i t.
'H ey, H arry ,' s a id D ean , w ho w as p uttin g o n a p air o f p yja m as in th e W est
Ham c o lo urs . 'G ood h olid ay ?'
'N ot b ad ,' m utte re d H arry , a s a t r u e a cco unt o f h is h olid ay w ould h av e t a k en
most o f t h e n ig ht t o r e la te a n d h e c o uld n ot f a ce i t. 'Y ou?'
'Y eah , it w as O K,' c h uck le d D ean . 'B ette r th an S eam us's , a n yw ay, h e w as
ju st t e llin g m e.'
'W hy, w hat h ap pen ed , S eam us? ' N ev ille a sk ed a s h e p la ced h is M im bulu s
mim ble to nia
t e n derly o n h is b ed sid e c ab in et.
Seam us did not an sw er im med ia te ly ; he w as m ak in g ra th er a m eal of
en su rin g th at h is p oste r o f th e K en m are K estr e ls Q uid ditc h te am w as q uite
str a ig ht. T hen h e s a id , w ith h is b ack s till tu rn ed to H arry , 'M e m am d id n't w an t
me t o c o m e b ack .'
'W hat? ' s a id H arry , p au sin g i n t h e a ct o f p ullin g o ff h is r o bes.
'S he d id n't w an t m e t o c o m e b ack t o H ogw arts .'
Seam us tu rn ed a w ay f ro m h is p oste r a n d p ulle d h is o w n p yja m as o ut o f h is
tr u nk, s till n ot l o okin g a t H arry .
'B ut – w hy?' s a id H arry , a sto nis h ed . H e k new th at S eam us's m oth er w as a
witc h a n d c o uld n ot u nders ta n d, th ere fo re , w hy s h e s h ould h av e c o m e o ver s o
Durs le y is h .
Seam us d id n ot a n sw er u ntil h e h ad f in is h ed b utto nin g h is p yja m as.
'W ell,' h e s a id i n a m easu re d v oic e, 'I s u ppose … b ecau se o f y ou.'
'W hat d 'y ou m ean ?' s a id H arry q uic k ly .
His h eart w as b eatin g r a th er f a st. H e f e lt v ag uely a s th ough s o m eth in g w as
clo sin g i n o n h im .
'W ell,' s a id S eam us a g ain , s till a v oid in g H arry s e y e, 's h e… e r… w ell, it's
not j u st y ou, i t's D um ble d ore , t o o… '
'S he b elie v es th e
D aily
P ro phet? ' sa id H arry . 'S he th in ks I'm a lia r an d
Dum ble d ore 's a n o ld f o ol? '
Seam us l o oked u p a t h im .
'Y eah , s o m eth in g l ik e t h at.'
Harry s a id n oth in g. H e t h re w h is w an d d ow n o n t o h is b ed sid e t a b le , p ulle d
off h is r o bes, s tu ff e d th em a n grily in to h is tr u nk a n d p ulle d o n h is p yja m as. H e
was s ic k o f it; s ic k o f b ein g th e p ers o n w ho is s ta re d a t a n d ta lk ed a b out a ll th e

tim e. I f a n y o f t h em k new , i f a n y o f t h em h ad t h e f a in te st i d ea w hat i t f e lt l ik e t o
be th e o ne a ll th ese th in gs h ad h ap pen ed to … M rs F in nig an h ad n o id ea, th e
stu pid w om an , h e t h ought s a v ag ely .
He g ot in to b ed an d m ad e to p ull th e h an gin gs clo se d aro und h im , b ut
befo re h e c o uld d o s o , S eam us s a id , 'L ook… w hat
d id
h ap pen th at n ig ht w hen …
you k now , w hen … w ith C ed ric D ig gory a n d a ll? '
Seam us s o unded n erv ous a n d e ag er a t th e s a m e tim e. D ean , w ho h ad b een
ben din g o ver h is tr u nk tr y in g to re tr ie v e a slip per, w en t o ddly still a n d H arry
knew h e w as l is te n in g h ard .
'W hat a re y ou a sk in g m e fo r? ' H arry re to rte d . 'J u st re ad th e
D aily P ro phet
lik e y our m oth er, w hy d on't y ou? T hat'l l t e ll y ou a ll y ou n eed t o k now .'
'D on't y ou h av e a g o a t m y m oth er,' S eam us s n ap ped .
Til h av e a g o a t a n yone w ho c alls m e a l ia r,' s a id H arry .
'D on't t a lk t o m e l ik e t h at! '
Til t a lk t o y ou h ow I w an t,' s a id H arry , h is t e m per r is in g s o f a st h e s n atc h ed
his w an d back fro m his bed sid e ta b le . 'I f you'v e got a pro ble m sh arin g a
dorm ito ry w ith m e, g o a n d a sk M cG onag all if y ou c an b e m oved … s to p y our
mum my w orry in g - '
'L eav e m y m oth er o ut o f t h is , P otte r!'
'W hat's g oin g o n?'
Ron h ad a p peare d i n t h e d oorw ay. H is w id e e y es t r a v elle d f ro m H arry , w ho
was k neelin g o n h is b ed w ith h is w an d p oin tin g a t S eam us, to S eam us, w ho w as
sta n din g t h ere w ith h is f is ts r a is e d .
'H e's h av in g a g o a t m y m oth er!' S eam us y elle d .
'W hat? ' s a id R on. 'H arry w ould n't d o th at – w e m et y our m oth er, w e lik ed
her… "
That's b efo re s h e s ta rte d b elie v in g e v ery w ord th e s tin kin g
D aily P ro phet
write s a b out m e!' s a id H arry a t t h e t o p o f h is v oic e.
'O h,' sa id R on, co m pre h en sio n d aw nin g acro ss h is fre ck le d fa ce. 'O h…
rig ht.'
'Y ou k now w hat? ' s a id S eam us h eate d ly , c astin g H arry a v en om ous lo ok.
'H e's r ig ht, I d on't w an t t o s h are a d orm ito ry w ith h im a n y m ore , h e's m ad .'
'T hat's o ut o f o rd er, S eam us,' s a id R on, w hose e ars w ere s ta rtin g t o g lo w r e d
– a lw ay s a d an ger s ig n.
'O ut o f o rd er, a m I ? ' s h oute d S eam us, w ho in c o ntr a st w ith R on w as g oin g
pale . 'Y ou b elie v e a ll th e r u bbis h h e's c o m e o ut w ith a b out Y ou-K now -W ho, d o
you, y ou r e ck on h e's t e llin g t h e t r u th ?'
'Y eah , I d o!' s a id R on a n grily .
Then y ou'r e m ad , t o o,' s a id S eam us i n d is g ust.

'Y eah ? W ell, unfo rtu nate ly fo r you, pal, I'm als o a pre fe ct! ' sa id R on,
ja b bin g h im se lf in th e c h est w ith a f in ger. 'S o u nle ss y ou w an t d ete n tio n, w atc h
your m outh !'
Seam us lo oked fo r a fe w se co nds as th ough dete n tio n w ould be a
re aso nab le p ric e t o p ay t o s a y w hat w as g oin g t h ro ugh h is m in d; b ut w ith a n ois e
of c o nte m pt h e tu rn ed o n h is h eel, v au lte d in to b ed a n d p ulle d th e h an gin gs s h ut
with s u ch v io le n ce th at th ey w ere r ip ped f ro m th e b ed a n d f e ll in a d usty p ile to
th e f lo or. R on g la re d a t S eam us, t h en l o oked a t D ean a n d N ev ille .
'A nyone e ls e 's p are n ts g ot a p ro ble m w ith H arry ?' h e s a id a g gre ssiv ely .
'M y p are n ts a re M uggle s, m ate ,' sa id D ean , sh ru ggin g. T hey d on't k now
noth in g ab out n o d eath s at H ogw arts , b ecau se I'm n ot stu pid en ough to te ll
th em .'
'Y ou d on't k now m y m oth er, s h e'd w ease l a n yth in g o ut o f a n yone!' S eam us
sn ap ped a t h im . 'A nyw ay y our p are n ts d on't g et th e
D aily P ro phet
. T hey d on't
know o ur H ead m aste r's b een s a ck ed f ro m th e W iz en gam ot a n d th e I n te rn atio nal
Confe d era tio n o f W iz ard s b ecau se h e's l o sin g h is m arb le s - '
'M y g ra n sa y s th at's ru bbis h ,' p ip ed u p N ev ille . 'S he sa y s it's th e
D aily
Pro phet
t h at's g oin g d ow nhill, n ot D um ble d ore . S he's c an celle d o ur s u bsc rip tio n.
We b elie v e H arry ' sa id N ev ille sim ply . H e clim bed in to b ed an d p ulle d th e
co vers u p to h is c h in , lo okin g o w lis h ly o ver th em a t S eam us. 'M y g ra n 's a lw ay s
sa id Y ou-K now -W ho w ould c o m e b ack o ne d ay. S he s a y s if D um ble d ore s a y s
he's b ack , h e's b ack .'
Harry fe lt a ru sh o f g ra titu de to w ard s N ev ille . N obody e ls e s a id a n yth in g.
Seam us g ot o ut h is w an d, r e p air e d th e b ed h an gin gs a n d v an is h ed b eh in d th em .
Dean g ot in to b ed , ro lle d o ver a n d fe ll sile n t. N ev ille , w ho a p peare d to h av e
noth in g m ore t o s a y e ith er, w as g azin g f o ndly a t h is m oonlit c actu s.
Harry la y b ack o n h is p illo w s w hile R on b ustle d aro und th e n ex t b ed ,
puttin g h is th in gs a w ay. H e f e lt s h ak en b y th e a rg um en t w ith S eam us, w hom h e
had a lw ay s lik ed v ery m uch . H ow m an y m ore p eo ple w ere g oin g to s u ggest th at
he w as l y in g, o r u nhin ged ?
Had D um ble d ore su ff e re d lik e th is a ll su m mer, a s fir s t th e W iz en gam ot,
th en th e In te rn atio nal C onfe d era tio n of W iz ard s had th ro w n him fro m th eir
ra n ks? W as it a n ger a t H arry , p erh ap s, th at h ad s to pped D um ble d ore g ettin g in
to uch w ith h im fo r m onth s? T he tw o o f th em w ere in th is to geth er, a fte r a ll;
Dum ble d ore h ad b elie v ed H arry , a n nounced h is v ers io n o f e v en ts to th e w hole
sc h ool a n d t h en t o t h e w id er w iz ard in g c o m munity . A nyone w ho t h ought
HE S O RT IN G H AT'S N EW S O NG
Harry w as a lia r had to th in k th at D um ble d ore w as, to o, or els e th at
Dum ble d ore h ad b een h oodw in ked …

They 'l l k now w e'r e rig ht in th e e n d, th ought H arry m is e ra b ly , a s R on g ot
in to b ed a n d e x tin guis h ed t h e l a st c an dle i n t h e d orm ito ry . B ut h e w ondere d h ow
man y m ore a tta ck s l ik e S eam us's h e w ould h av e t o e n dure b efo re t h at t im e c am e.

C H APT ER T W ELV E
P ro fe sso r U m brid ge

Seam us d re sse d a t to p sp eed n ex t m orn in g a n d le ft th e d orm ito ry b efo re
H arry h ad e v en p ut o n h is s o ck s.
'D oes h e th in k h e'l l tu rn in to a n utte r if h e sta y s in a ro om w ith m e to o
l o ng?' a sk ed H arry l o udly , a s t h e h em o f S eam us's r o bes w hip ped o ut o f s ig ht.
'D on't w orry a b out it, H arry ,' D ean m utte re d , h ois tin g h is s c h oolb ag o n to
h is s h ould er, 'h e's j u st… '
But a p pare n tly h e w as u nab le to s a y e x actly w hat S eam us w as, a n d a fte r a
s lig htly a w kw ard p au se f o llo w ed h im o ut o f t h e r o om .
Nev ille a n d R on b oth g av e H arry a n it's -h is -p ro ble m -n ot- y ours lo ok, b ut
H arry w as n ot m uch c o nso le d . H ow m uch m ore o f t h is w ould h e h av e t o t a k e?
'W hat's th e m atte r? ' a sk ed H erm io ne fiv e m in ute s la te r, c atc h in g u p w ith
H arry a n d R on h alf w ay a cro ss th e c o m mon ro om a s th ey a ll h ead ed to w ard s
b re ak fa st. 'Y ou l o ok a b so lu te ly – O h f o r h eav en 's s a k e.'
She w as s ta rin g a t th e c o m mon-ro om n otic eb oard , w here a la rg e n ew s ig n
h ad b een p ut u p.
GALLO NS O F G ALLEO NS.'
P ocket m oney fa ilin g to k eep p ace w ith y o ur
o utg oin gs
?
Lik e to ea rn a little extr a gold ? C onta ct F re d and G eo rg e W ea sle y,
G ry ffin dor c o m mon r o om ,
fo r sim ple , p art- tim e, v ir tu ally p ain le ss jo bs. (W e re g re t th at a ll w ork is
u nderta ken a t a pplic a nt's o w n r is k .)
They a re t h e l im it,' s a id H erm io ne g rim ly , t a k in g d ow n t h e s ig n, w hic h F re d
a n d G eo rg e h ad p in ned u p o ver a p oste r g iv in g t h e
I
date o f th e fir s t H ogsm ead e w eek en d, w hic h w as to b e in O cto ber. 'W e'l l
h av e t o t a lk t o t h em , R on.'
Ron l o oked p ositiv ely a la rm ed .
'W hy?'
'B ecau se w e'r e p re fe cts !' sa id H erm io ne, a s th ey c lim bed o ut th ro ugh th e
p ortr a it h ole . 'I t's u p t o u s t o s to p t h is k in d o f t h in g!'
Ron sa id noth in g; H arry co uld te ll fro m his glu m ex pre ssio n th at th e
p ro sp ect o f s to ppin g F re d a n d G eo rg e d oin g e x actly w hat t h ey l ik ed w as n ot o ne
h e f o und i n vitin g.

'A nyw ay, w hat's u p, H arry ?' H erm io ne c o ntin ued , a s th ey w alk ed d ow n a
flig ht o f sta ir s lin ed w ith p ortr a its o f o ld w itc h es an d w iz ard s, all o f w hom
ig nore d th em , b ein g e n gro sse d in th eir o w n c o nvers a tio n. 'Y ou lo ok r e ally a n gry
ab out s o m eth in g.'
'S eam us r e ck ons H arry 's ly in g a b out Y ou-K now -W ho,' s a id R on s u ccin ctly ,
when H arry d id n ot r e sp ond.
Herm io ne, w ho H arry h ad e x pecte d t o r e act a n grily o n h is b eh alf , s ig hed .
'Y es, L av en der t h in ks s o t o o,' s h e s a id g lo om ily .
'B een h av in g a n ic e little c h at w ith h er a b out w heth er o r n ot I'm a ly in g,
atte n tio n-s e ek in g p ra t, h av e y ou?' H arry s a id l o udly .
'N o,' s a id H erm io ne c alm ly . 'I to ld h er to k eep h er b ig f a t m outh s h ut a b out
you, actu ally . A nd it w ould b e q uite n ic e if y ou sto pped ju m pin g d ow n o ur
th ro ats , H arry , b ecau se i n c ase y ou h av en 't n otic ed , R on a n d I a re o n y our s id e.'
There w as a s h ort p au se .
'S orry ,' s a id H arry i n a l o w v oic e.
That's q uite a ll r ig ht,' s a id H erm io ne w ith d ig nity . T hen s h e s h ook h er h ead .
'D on't y ou r e m em ber w hat D um ble d ore s a id a t t h e l a st e n d-o f-te rm f e ast? '
Harry a n d R on b oth l o oked a t h er b la n kly a n d H erm io ne s ig hed a g ain .
'A bout Y ou-K now -W ho. H e s a id h is " g if t f o r s p re ad in g d is c o rd a n d e n m ity
is very gre at. W e can fig ht it only by sh ow in g an eq ually str o ng bond of
frie n dsh ip a n d t r u st — "'
'H ow do you re m em ber stu ff lik e th at? ' ask ed R on, lo okin g at her in
ad m ir a tio n.
'I l is te n , R on,' s a id H erm io ne, w ith a t o uch o f a sp erity .
'S o d o I , b ut I s till c o uld n't t e ll y ou e x actly w hat - '
The p oin t,' H erm io ne p re sse d o n lo udly , 'i s th at th is s o rt o f th in g is e x actly
what D um ble d ore w as ta lk in g ab out. Y ou-K now -W ho's o nly b een b ack tw o
month s a n d w e'v e a lr e ad y sta rte d fig htin g a m ong o urs e lv es. A nd th e S ortin g
Hats w arn in g w as t h e s a m e: s ta n d t o geth er, b e u nite d — '
'A nd H arry got it rig ht la st nig ht,' re to rte d R on. 'I f th at m ean s w e'r e
su ppose d t o g et m ate y w ith t h e S ly th erin s
- fa t c h ance
.'
'W ell, I th in k it's a p ity w e'r e n ot tr y in g f o r a b it o f in te r- h ouse u nity ,' s a id
Herm io ne c ro ssly .
They h ad re ach ed th e fo ot o f th e m arb le sta ir c ase . A lin e o f fo urth -y ear
Rav en cla w s w as cro ssin g th e E ntr a n ce H all; th ey cau ght sig ht o f H arry an d
hurrie d t o f o rm a t ig hte r g ro up, a s t h ough f rig hte n ed h e m ig ht a tta ck s tr a g gle rs .
'Y eah , w e re ally o ught to b e tr y in g to m ak e frie n ds w ith p eo ple lik e th at,'
sa id H arry s a rc astic ally .
They f o llo w ed th e R av en cla w s in to th e G re at H all, a ll lo okin g in stin ctiv ely

at th e sta ff ta b le as th ey en te re d . P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k w as ch attin g to
Pro fe sso r Sin is tr a , th e Astr o nom y te ach er, an d Hag rid was once ag ain
co nsp ic u ous o nly b y h is ab se n ce. T he en ch an te d ceilin g ab ove th em ech oed
Harry 's m ood; i t w as a m is e ra b le r a in -c lo ud g re y.
'D um ble d ore d id n't e v en m en tio n h ow lo ng th at G ru bbly -P la n k w om an 's
sta y in g,' h e s a id , a s t h ey m ad e t h eir w ay a cro ss t o t h e G ry ff in dor t a b le . * • .
'M ay be… ' s a id H erm io ne t h oughtf u lly . '
•'• •'
'W hat? ' s a id b oth H arry a n d R on t o geth er.
'W ell… m ay be h e d id n't w an t t o d ra w a tte n tio n t o H ag rid n ot b ein g h ere .'
'W hat d 'y ou m ean , d ra w atte n tio n to it? ' sa id R on, h alf -la u ghin g. 'H ow
co uld w e n ot n otic e?'
Befo re H erm io ne c o uld a n sw er, a ta ll b la ck g ir l w ith lo ng b ra id ed h air h ad
marc h ed u p t o H arry .
'H i, A ngelin a.'
'H i,' s h e s a id b ris k ly , 'g ood s u m mer? ' A nd w ith out w aitin g fo r a n a n sw er,
'L is te n , I 'v e b een m ad e G ry ff in dor Q uid ditc h C ap ta in .'
'N ic e o ne,' sa id H arry , g rin nin g a t h er; h e su sp ecte d A ngelin a's p ep ta lk s
mig ht n ot b e a s l o ng-w in ded a s O liv er W ood's h ad b een , w hic h c o uld o nly b e a n
im pro vem en t.
'Y eah , w ell, w e n eed a n ew K eep er n ow O liv er's le ft. T ry outs a re o n F rid ay
at f iv e o 'c lo ck a n d I w an t th e w hole te am th ere , a ll r ig ht? T hen w e c an s e e h ow
th e n ew p ers o n'l l f it i n .'
'O K,' s a id H arry .
Angelin a s m ile d a t h im a n d d ep arte d .
'I 'd f o rg otte n W ood h ad l e ft,' s a id H erm io ne v ag uely a s s h e s a t d ow n b esid e
Ron a n d p ulle d a p la te o f to ast to w ard s h er. 'I s u ppose th at w ill m ak e q uite a
dif f e re n ce t o t h e t e am ?'
'I 's 'p ose ,' s a id H arry , t a k in g t h e b en ch o pposite . 'H e w as a g ood K eep er… '
'S till, i t w on't h urt t o h av e s o m e n ew b lo od, w ill i t? ' s a id R on.
With a w hoosh a n d a c la tte r, h undre d s o f o w ls c am e s o arin g in th ro ugh th e
upper w in dow s. T hey d esc en ded a ll o ver th e H all, b rin gin g le tte rs a n d p ack ag es
to th eir o w ners a n d sh ow erin g th e b re ak fa ste rs w ith d ro ple ts o f w ate r; it w as
cle arly ra in in g h ard o uts id e. H ed w ig w as n ow here to b e se en , b ut H arry w as
hard ly s u rp ris e d ; h is o nly c o rre sp onden t w as S ir iu s, a n d h e d oubte d S ir iu s w ould
hav e a n yth in g n ew to te ll h im a fte r o nly tw en ty -fo ur h ours a p art. H erm io ne,
how ev er, h ad to m ove h er o ra n ge ju ic e a sid e q uic k ly to m ak e w ay fo r a la rg e
dam p b arn o w l b earin g a s o dden
D aily P ro phet
i n i ts b eak .
'W hat a re y ou s till g ettin g t h at f o r? ' s a id H arry i r rita b ly , t h in kin g o f S eam us
as H erm io ne p la ced a K nut in th e le ath er p ouch o n th e o w l's le g a n d it to ok o ff

ag ain . 'I 'm n ot b oth erin g… l o ad o f r u bbis h .'
'I t's b est to k now w hat th e e n em y is s a y in g,' s a id H erm io ne d ark ly , a n d s h e
unfu rle d th e n ew sp ap er a n d d is a p peare d b eh in d it, n ot e m erg in g u ntil H arry a n d
Ron h ad f in is h ed e atin g.
'N oth in g,' s h e s a id s im ply , r o llin g u p th e n ew sp ap er a n d la y in g it d ow n b y
her p la te . 'N oth in g a b out y ou o r D um ble d ore o r a n yth in g.'
Pro fe sso r M cG onag all w as now m ovin g alo ng th e ta b le han din g out
tim eta b le s.
'L ook a t t o day !' g ro an ed R on. 'H is to ry o f M ag ic , d ouble P otio ns,
Div in atio n an d d ouble D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts … B in ns, S nap e,
Tre la w ney a n d th at U m brid ge w om an a ll in o ne d ay ! I w is h F re d a n d G eo rg e'd
hurry u p a n d g et t h ose S kiv in g S nack boxes s o rte d … '
'D o m in e e ars d eceiv e m e?' s a id F re d , a rriv in g w ith G eo rg e a n d s q ueezin g
on to th e b en ch b esid e H arry . 'H ogw arts p re fe cts s u re ly d on't w is h to s k iv e o ff
le sso ns? '
'L ook w hat w e'v e g ot to day,' sa id R on g ru m pily , sh ovin g h is tim eta b le
under F re d 's n ose . T hat's t h e w ors t M onday I 'v e e v er s e en .'
'F air p oin t, l ittle b ro ,' s a id F re d , s c an nin g t h e c o lu m n. 'Y ou c an h av e a b it o f
Nose b le ed N ougat c h eap i f y ou l ik e.'
'W hy's i t c h eap ?' s a id R on s u sp ic io usly .
'B ecau se y ou'l l k eep b le ed in g till y ou s h riv el u p, w e h av en 't g ot a n a n tid ote
yet,' s a id G eo rg e, h elp in g h im se lf t o a k ip per.
'C heers ,' s a id R on m oodily , p ock etin g h is tim eta b le , 'b ut I th in k I 'l l ta k e th e
le sso ns.'
'A nd sp eak in g o f y our S kiv in g S nack boxes,' sa id H erm io ne, e y ein g F re d
an d Geo rg e bead ily , 'y ou can 't ad vertis e fo r te ste rs on th e Gry ff in dor
notic eb oard .'
'S ay s w ho?' s a id G eo rg e, l o okin g a sto nis h ed .
'S ay s m e,' s a id H erm io ne. 'A nd R on.'
'L eav e m e o ut o f i t,' s a id R on h astily .
Herm io ne g la re d a t h im . F re d a n d G eo rg e s n ig gere d .
'Y ou'l l be sin gin g a dif f e re n t tu ne so on en ough, H erm io ne,' sa id F re d ,
th ic k ly b utte rin g a c ru m pet. 'Y ou'r e s ta rtin g y our f if th y ear, y ou'l l b e b eg gin g u s
fo r a S nack box b efo re l o ng.'
'A nd w hy w ould s ta rtin g f if th y ear m ean I w an t a S kiv in g S nack box?' a sk ed
Herm io ne.
'F if th y ear's O W L y ear,' s a id G eo rg e.
'S o?'
'S o y ou'v e g ot y our e x am s c o m in g u p, h av en 't y ou? T hey 'l l b e k eep in g y our

nose s so hard to th at grin dsto ne th ey 'l l be ru bbed ra w ,' sa id Fre d w ith
sa tis fa ctio n.
'H alf o ur y ear h ad m in or b re ak dow ns c o m in g u p to O W Ls,' sa id G eo rg e
hap pily . T ears a n d t a n tr u m s… P atr ic ia S tim pso n k ep t c o m in g o ver f a in t… "
'K en neth Tow le r cam e out in boils , d'y ou re m em ber? ' sa id Fre d
re m in is c en tly .
That's 'c au se y ou p ut B ulb ad ox p ow der i n h is p yja m as,' s a id G eo rg e.
'O h yeah ,' sa id Fre d , grin nin g. 'I 'd fo rg otte n … hard to keep tr a ck
so m etim es, i s n 't i t? '
'A nyw ay, i t's a n ig htm are o f a y ear, t h e f if th ,' s a id G eo rg e. 'I f y ou c are a b out
ex am r e su lts , a n yw ay. F re d a n d I m an ag ed t o k eep o ur p eck ers u p s o m eh ow .'
'Y eah … y ou g ot, w hat w as i t, t h re e O W Ls e ach ?' s a id R on.
'Y ep ,' sa id F re d u nco ncern ed ly . 'B ut w e fe el o ur fu tu re s lie o uts id e th e
world o f a cad em ic a ch ie v em en t.'
'W e se rio usly d eb ate d w heth er w e w ere g oin g to b oth er c o m in g b ack fo r
our s e v en th y ear,' s a id G eo rg e b rig htly , 'n ow t h at w e'v e g ot- '
He b ro ke o ff a t a w arn in g lo ok fro m H arry , w ho k new G eo rg e h ad b een
ab out t o m en tio n t h e T riw iz ard w in nin gs h e h ad g iv en t h em .
'– n ow t h at w e'v e g ot o ur O W Ls,' G eo rg e s a id h astily . 'I m ean , d o w e r e ally
need N EW Ts? B ut w e d id n't th in k M um c o uld ta k e u s le av in g s c h ool e arly , n ot
on t o p o f P erc y t u rn in g o ut t o b e t h e w orld 's b ig gest p ra t.'
'W e'r e n ot g oin g to w aste o ur la st y ear h ere , th ough,' sa id F re d , lo okin g
afie ctio nate ly a ro und a t th e G re at H all. 'W e'r e g oin g to u se it to d o a b it o f
mark et re se arc h , fin d o ut e x actly w hat th e a v era g e H ogw arts stu den t re q uir e s
fro m a jo ke sh op, c are fu lly e v alu ate th e re su lts o f o ur re se arc h , th en p ro duce
pro ducts t o f it t h e d em an d.'
'B ut w here a re y ou g oin g to g et th e g old to s ta rt a jo ke s h op?' H erm io ne
ask ed s c ep tic ally . 'Y ou'r e g oin g to n eed a ll th e in gre d ie n ts a n d m ate ria ls – a n d
pre m is e s t o o, I s u ppose … "
Harry d id n ot lo ok a t th e tw in s. H is fa ce fe lt h ot; h e d elib era te ly d ro pped
his fo rk a n d d iv ed d ow n to re tr ie v e it. H e h eard F re d s a y o verh ead , 'A sk u s n o
questio ns a n d w e'l l te ll y ou n o lie s, H erm io ne. C 'm on, G eo rg e, if w e g et th ere
early w e m ig ht b e a b le t o s e ll a f e w E xte n dab le E ars b efo re H erb olo gy.'
Harry e m erg ed f ro m u nder th e ta b le to s e e F re d a n d G eo rg e w alk in g a w ay,
each c arry in g a s ta ck o f t o ast.
'W hat d id th at m ean ?' s a id H erm io ne, lo okin g f ro m H arry to R on. '" A sk u s
no q uestio ns… " D oes th at m ean th ey 'v e a lr e ad y g ot s o m e g old to s ta rt a jo ke
sh op?'
'Y ou k now , I'v e b een w onderin g a b out th at,' s a id R on, h is b ro w fu rro w ed .

They b ought m e a n ew s e t o f d re ss r o bes th is s u m mer a n d I c o uld n't u nders ta n d
where t h ey g ot t h e G alle o ns… "
Harry d ecid ed it w as tim e to s te er th e c o nvers a tio n o ut o f th ese d an gero us
wate rs .
'D 'y ou re ck on it's tr u e th is y ear's g oin g to b e re ally to ugh? B ecau se o f th e
ex am s? '
'O h, y eah ,' sa id R on. 'B ound to b e, is n 't it? O W Ls a re re ally im porta n t,
aff e ct th e jo bs y ou c an a p ply f o r a n d e v ery th in g. W e g et c are er a d vic e, to o, la te r
th is y ear, B ill to ld m e. S o y ou c an c h oose w hat N EW Ts y ou w an t to d o n ex t
year.'
'D 'y ou k now w hat y ou w an t to d o a fte r H ogw arts ? ' H arry a sk ed th e o th er
tw o, as th ey le ft th e G re at H all sh ortly afte rw ard s an d se t o ff to w ard s th eir
His to ry o f M ag ic c la ssro om .
'N ot r e ally ,' s a id R on s lo w ly . 'E xcep t… w ell… '
He l o oked s lig htly s h eep is h .
'W hat? ' H arry u rg ed h im .
'W ell, i t'd b e c o ol t o b e a n A uro r,' s a id R on i n a n o ff -h an d v oic e.
'Y eah , i t w ould ,' s a id H arry f e rv en tly .
'B ut th ey 'r e , lik e, th e e lite ,' s a id R on. 'Y ou'v e g ot to b e re ally g ood. W hat
ab out y ou, H erm io ne?'
'I d on't k now ,' s h e s a id . 'I t h in k I 'd l ik e t o d o s o m eth in g r e ally w orth w hile .'
'A n A uro r's w orth w hile !' s a id H arry .
'Y es, it is , but it's not th e only w orth w hile th in g,' sa id H erm io ne
th oughtf u lly , 'I m ean , i f I c o uld t a k e S PE W f u rth er… '
Harry a n d R on c are fu lly a v oid ed l o okin g a t e ach o th er.
His to ry o f M ag ic w as b y c o m mon c o nse n t th e m ost b orin g su bje ct e v er
dev is e d by w iz ard kin d. P ro fe sso r B in ns, th eir ghost te ach er, had a w heezy,
dro nin g v oic e th at w as a lm ost g uara n te ed to c au se s e v ere d ro w sin ess w ith in te n
min ute s, fiv e in w arm w eath er. H e n ev er v arie d th e fo rm o f th eir le sso ns, b ut
le ctu re d th em w ith out p au sin g w hile th ey to ok n ote s, o r ra th er, g azed s le ep ily
in to s p ace. H arry a n d R on h ad s o fa r m an ag ed to s c ra p e p asse s in th is s u bje ct
only b y c o pyin g H erm io ne's n ote s b efo re e x am s; s h e a lo ne s e em ed a b le to r e sis t
th e s o porif ic p ow er o f B in ns's v oic e.
Today, th ey s u ff e re d a n h our a n d a h alf 's d ro nin g o n th e s u bje ct o f g ia n t
wars . H arry h eard ju st e n ough w ith in th e fir s t te n m in ute s to a p pre cia te d im ly
th at in a n oth er te ach er's h an ds th is s u bje ct m ig ht h av e b een m ild ly in te re stin g,
but th en h is b ra in d is e n gag ed , an d h e sp en t th e re m ain in g h our an d tw en ty
min ute s pla y in g han gm an on a co rn er of his parc h m en t w ith R on, w hile
Herm io ne s h ot t h em f ilth y l o oks o ut o f t h e c o rn er o f h er e y e.

'H ow w ould it b e,' sh e a sk ed th em c o ld ly , a s th ey le ft th e c la ssro om fo r
bre ak ( B in ns d rif tin g a w ay th ro ugh th e b la ck board ), 'i f I r e fu se d to le n d y ou m y
note s t h is y ear? '
'W e'd fa il our O W L,' sa id R on. 'I f you w an t th at on your co nsc ie n ce,
Herm io ne… '
'W ell, y ou'd d ese rv e i t,' s h e s n ap ped . 'Y ou d on't e v en t r y t o l is te n t o h im , d o
you?'
'W e d o tr y ' s a id R on. 'W e ju st h av en 't g ot y our b ra in s o r y our m em ory o r
your c o ncen tr a tio n – y ou'r e j u st c le v ere r t h an w e a re – i s i t n ic e t o r u b i t i n ?'
'O h, d on't g iv e m e th at ru bbis h ,' sa id H erm io ne, b ut sh e lo oked slig htly
mollif ie d a s s h e l e d t h e w ay o ut i n to t h e d am p c o urty ard .
A fin e m is ty d riz zle w as fa llin g, so th at th e p eo ple sta n din g in h uddle s
aro und th e ed ges of th e yard lo oked blu rre d at th e ed ges. H arry , R on an d
Herm io ne c h ose a s e clu ded c o rn er u nder a h eav ily d rip pin g b alc o ny, tu rn in g u p
th e c o lla rs o f th eir r o bes a g ain st th e c h illy S ep te m ber a ir a n d ta lk in g a b out w hat
Snap e w as l ik ely t o s e t t h em i n t h e f ir s t l e sso n o f t h e y ear. T hey h ad g ot a s f a r a s
ag re ein g t h at i t w as l ik ely t o b e s o m eth in g e x tr e m ely d if f ic u lt, j u st t o c atc h t h em
off g uard a fte r a tw o-m onth h olid ay, w hen s o m eo ne w alk ed a ro und th e c o rn er
to w ard s t h em .
'H ello , H arry !'
It w as C ho C han g a n d, w hat w as m ore , s h e w as o n h er o w n a g ain . T his w as
most u nusu al: C ho w as a lm ost a lw ay s s u rro unded b y a g an g o f g ig glin g g ir ls ;
Harry r e m em bere d t h e a g ony o f t r y in g t o g et h er b y h ers e lf t o a sk h er t o t h e Y ule
Ball.
'H i,' s a id H arry , f e elin g h is f a ce g ro w h ot. A t
l e a st y o u'r e n ot
co vere d in S tin ksa p th is tim e
, h e to ld h im se lf . C ho s e em ed to b e th in kin g
alo ng t h e s a m e l in es.
'Y ou g ot t h at s tu ff o ff , t h en ?'
'Y eah ,' s a id H arry , t r y in g t o g rin a s t h ough t h e m em ory o f t h eir l a st m eetin g
was f u nny a s o ppose d t o m ortif y in g. 'S o, d id y ou… e r… h av e a g ood s u m mer? '
The m om en t h e h ad s a id th is h e w is h ed h e h ad n't – C ed ric h ad b een C ho's
boyfrie n d a n d t h e m em ory o f h is d eath m ust h av e a ff e cte d h er h olid ay a lm ost a s
bad ly a s it h ad a ff e cte d H arry s. S om eth in g s e em ed to ta u te n in h er f a ce, b ut s h e
sa id , 'O h, i t w as a ll r ig ht, y ou k now … '
'I s t h at a T orn ad os b ad ge?' R on d em an ded s u dden ly , p oin tin g t o t h e f ro nt o f
Cho's ro bes, w here a sk y-b lu e b ad ge e m bla zo ned w ith a d ou ble g old T ' w as
pin ned . 'Y ou d on't s u pport t h em , d o y ou?'
'Y eah , I d o,' s a id C ho.
'H av e y ou a lw ay s su pporte d th em , o r ju st sin ce th ey sta rte d w in nin g th e

le ag ue?' s a id R on, in w hat H arry c o nsid ere d a n u nnecessa rily a ccu sa to ry to ne o f
voic e.
'I 'v e s u pporte d th em s in ce I w as s ix ,' s a id C ho c o olly . 'A nyw ay … s e e y ou,
Harry .'
She w alk ed aw ay. H erm io ne w aite d until C ho w as half w ay acro ss th e
co urty ard b efo re r o undin g o n R on.
'Y ou a re s o t a ctle ss!'
'W hat? I o nly a sk ed h er i f - '
'C ould n't y ou t e ll s h e w an te d t o t a lk t o H arry o n h er o w n?'
'S o? S he c o uld 'v e d one, I w asn 't s to ppin g - '
'W hy o n e arth w ere y ou a tta ck in g h er a b out h er Q uid ditc h t e am ?'
'A tta ck in g? I w asn 't a tta ck in g h er, I w as o nly - '
'W ho
c a re s
i f s h e s u pports t h e T orn ad os? '
'O h, c o m e o n, h alf th e p eo ple y ou s e e w earin g th ose b ad ges o nly b ought
th em l a st s e aso n - '
'B ut w hat d oes i t
m atte r
!'
'I t m ean s t h ey 'r e n ot r e al f a n s, t h ey 'r e j u st j u m pin g o n t h e b an dw ag on - '
That's t h e b ell,' s a id H arry d ully , b ecau se R on a n d H erm io ne w ere b ic k erin g
to o lo udly to h ear it. T hey d id n ot sto p a rg uin g a ll th e w ay d ow n to S nap e's
dungeo n, w hic h g av e H arry p le n ty o f tim e to re fle ct th at b etw een N ev ille a n d
Ron h e w ould b e lu ck y e v er to h av e tw o m in ute s o f c o nvers a tio n w ith C ho th at
he c o uld l o ok b ack o n w ith out w an tin g t o l e av e t h e c o untr y .
And y et, h e th ought, a s th ey jo in ed th e q ueu e lin in g u p o uts id e S nap e's
cla ssro om d oor, s h e h ad c h ose n to c o m e a n d ta lk to h im , h ad n't s h e? S he h ad
been C ed ric 's g ir lf rie n d; s h e c o uld e asily h av e h ate d H arry f o r c o m in g o ut o f t h e
Triw iz ard m aze a liv e w hen C ed ric h ad d ie d , y et sh e w as ta lk in g to h im in a
perfe ctly f rie n dly w ay, n ot a s th ough s h e th ought h im m ad , o r a lia r, o r in s o m e
horrib le w ay re sp onsib le fo r C ed ric 's d eath … y es, s h e h ad d efin ite ly c h ose n to
co m e a n d ta lk to h im , a n d th at m ad e th e s e co nd tim e in tw o d ay s… a n d a t th is
th ought, H arry 's s p ir its ro se . E ven th e o m in ous s o und o f S nap e's d ungeo n d oor
cre ak in g o pen d id n ot p unctu re th e s m all, h opefu l b ubble th at s e em ed to h av e
sw elle d in h is c h est. H e f ile d in to th e c la ssro om b eh in d R on a n d H erm io ne a n d
fo llo w ed th em to th eir u su al ta b le a t th e b ack , w here h e s a t d ow n b etw een R on
an d H erm io ne a n d ig nore d th e h uff y , ir rita b le n ois e s n ow is su in g fro m b oth o f
th em .
'S ettle d ow n,' s a id S nap e c o ld ly , s h uttin g t h e d oor b eh in d h im .
There w as n o r e al n eed f o r t h e c all t o o rd er; t h e m om en t t h e c la ss h ad h eard
th e d oor c lo se , q uie t h ad f a lle n a n d a ll f id getin g s to pped . S nap e's m ere p re se n ce
was u su ally e n ough t o e n su re a c la ss's s ile n ce.

'B efo re w e b eg in to day 's le sso n,' s a id S nap e, s w eep in g o ver to h is d esk a n d
sta rin g a ro und a t th em a ll, 'I th in k it a p pro pria te to re m in d y ou th at n ex t J u ne
you w ill b e s ittin g a n im porta n t e x am in atio n, d urin g w hic h y ou w ill p ro ve h ow
much you hav e le arn ed ab out th e co m positio n an d use of m ag ic al potio ns.
Moro nic th ough s o m e o f th is c la ss u ndoubte d ly a re , I e x pect y ou to s c ra p e a n
"A ccep ta b le " i n y our O W L, o r s u ff e r m y… d is p le asu re .'
His g aze l in gere d t h is t im e o n N ev ille , w ho g ulp ed .
'A fte r t h is y ear, o f c o urs e , m an y o f y ou w ill c ease s tu dyin g w ith m e,' S nap e
wen t o n. '1 ta k e o nly th e v ery b est in to m y N EW T P otio ns c la ss, w hic h m ean s
th at s o m e o f u s w ill c erta in ly b e s a y in g g oodbye.'
His e y es re ste d o n H arry a n d h is lip c u rle d . H arry g la re d b ack , fe elin g a
grim p le asu re a t t h e i d ea t h at h e w ould b e a b le t o g iv e u p P otio ns a fte r f if th y ear.
'B ut w e h av e a n oth er y ear t o g o b efo re t h at h ap py m om en t o f f a re w ell,' s a id
Snap e s o ftly , 's o , w heth er o r n ot y ou a re i n te n din g t o a tte m pt N EW T, I a d vis e a ll
of y ou to c o ncen tr a te y our e ff o rts u pon m ain ta in in g th e h ig h p ass le v el I h av e
co m e t o e x pect f ro m m y O W L s tu den ts .
Today w e w ill be m ix in g a potio n th at ofte n co m es up at O rd in ary
Wiz ard in g L ev el: th e D ra u ght o f P eace, a p otio n to c alm a n xie ty a n d so oth e
ag ita tio n. B e w arn ed : if y ou a re to o h eav y-h an ded w ith th e in gre d ie n ts y ou w ill
put t h e d rin ker i n to a h eav y a n d s o m etim es i r re v ers ib le s le ep , s o y ou w ill n eed t o
pay c lo se a tte n tio n to w hat y ou a re d oin g.' O n H arry 's le ft, H erm io ne s a t u p a
little str a ig hte r, h er ex pre ssio n o ne o f u tm ost atte n tio n. T he in gre d ie n ts an d
meth od -' S nap e flic k ed h is w an d '– a re o n th e b la ck board -' (th ey a p peare d
th ere ) '– y ou w ill f in d e v ery th in g y ou n eed — ' h e f lic k ed h is w an d a g ain '– i n t h e
sto re c u pboard — ' (th e d oor o f th e s a id c u pboard s p ra n g o pen ) '– y ou h av e a n
hour a n d a h alf … s ta rt.'
Ju st a s H arry , R on a n d H erm io ne h ad p re d ic te d , S nap e c o uld h ard ly h av e
se t th em a m ore d if f ic u lt, fid dly p otio n. T he in gre d ie n ts h ad to b e a d ded to th e
cau ld ro n in p re cis e ly th e r ig ht o rd er a n d q uan titie s; th e m ix tu re h ad to b e s tir re d
ex actly th e rig ht n um ber o f tim es, fir s tly in c lo ck w is e , th en in a n ti- c lo ck w is e
dir e ctio ns; th e h eat o f th e f la m es o n w hic h it w as s im merin g h ad to b e lo w ere d
to ex actly th e rig ht le v el fo r a sp ecif ic n um ber o f m in ute s b efo re th e fin al
in gre d ie n t w as a d ded .
'A lig ht s ilv er v ap our s h ould n ow b e r is in g f ro m y our p otio n,' c alle d S nap e,
with t e n m in ute s l e ft t o g o.
Harry , who was sw eatin g pro fu se ly , lo oked desp era te ly aro und th e
dungeo n. H is o w n c au ld ro n w as is su in g c o pio us a m ounts o f d ark g re y ste am ;
Ron's w as s p ittin g g re en s p ark s. S eam us w as fe v eris h ly p ro ddin g th e fla m es a t
th e b ase o f h is c au ld ro n w ith t h e t ip o f h is w an d, a s t h ey s e em ed t o b e g oin g o ut.

The su rfa ce o f H erm io ne's p otio n, h ow ev er, w as a sh im merin g m is t o f silv er
vap our, a n d a s S nap e s w ep t b y h e lo oked d ow n h is h ooked n ose a t it w ith out
co m men t, w hic h m ean t h e c o uld f in d n oth in g t o c ritic is e .
At H arry 's c au ld ro n, h ow ev er, S nap e s to pped , a n d lo oked d ow n a t it w ith a
horrib le s m ir k o n h is f a ce.
'P otte r, w hat i s t h is s u ppose d t o b e?'
The S ly th erin s a t th e fro nt o f th e c la ss a ll lo oked u p e ag erly ; th ey lo ved
hearin g S nap e t a u nt H arry .
The D ra u ght o f P eace,' s a id H arry t e n se ly .
Tell m e, P otte r,' s a id S nap e s o ftly , 'c an y ou r e ad ?'
Dra co M alf o y l a u ghed .
'Y es, I c an ,' s a id H arry , h is f in gers c le n ch ed t ig htly a ro und h is w an d.
'R ead t h e t h ir d l in e o f t h e i n str u ctio ns f o r m e, P otte r.'
Harry sq uin te d at th e bla ck board ; it w as not easy to m ak e out th e
in str u ctio ns t h ro ugh t h e h aze o f m ulti- c o lo ure d s te am n ow f illin g t h e d ungeo n.
'" A dd p ow dere d m oonsto ne, stir th re e tim es co unte r- c lo ck w is e , allo w to
sim mer f o r s e v en m in ute s t h en a d d t w o d ro ps o f s y ru p o f h elle b ore ." '
His h eart sa n k. H e h ad n ot a d ded sy ru p o f h elle b ore , b ut h ad p ro ceed ed
str a ig ht to th e f o urth lin e o f th e in str u ctio ns a fte r a llo w in g h is p otio n to s im mer
fo r s e v en m in ute s.
'D id y ou d o e v ery th in g o n t h e t h ir d l in e, P otte r? '
'N o,' s a id H arry v ery q uie tly .
'I b eg y our p ard on?'
'N o,' s a id H arry , m ore l o udly . 'I f o rg ot t h e h elle b ore .'
'I k now y ou d id , P otte r, w hic h m ean s th at th is m ess is u tte rly w orth le ss.
Evan esc e.'
The co nte n ts o f H arry 's p otio n v an is h ed ; h e w as le ft sta n din g fo olis h ly
besid e a n e m pty c au ld ro n.
Those o f y ou w ho
h ave
m an ag ed to re ad th e in str u ctio ns, fill o ne fla g on
with a s a m ple o f y our p otio n, la b el it c le arly w ith y our n am e a n d b rin g it u p to
my d esk f o r te stin g,' s a id S nap e. 'H om ew ork : tw elv e in ch es o f p arc h m en t o n th e
pro pertie s o f m oonsto ne an d its u se s in p otio n-m ak in g, to b e h an ded in o n
Thurs d ay.'
While e v ery one a ro und h im fille d th eir fla g ons, H arry c le are d a w ay h is
th in gs, se eth in g. H is p otio n h ad b een n o w ors e th an R on's , w hic h w as n ow
giv in g off a fo ul odour of bad eg gs; or N ev ille 's , w hic h had ach ie v ed th e
co nsis te n cy o f j u st- m ix ed c em en t a n d w hic h
Nev ille w as n ow h av in g to g ouge o ut o f h is c au ld ro n; y et it w as h e, H arry ,
who w ould b e r e ceiv in g z ero m ark s f o r t h e d ay 's w ork . H e s tu ff e d h is w an d b ack

in to h is b ag a n d s lu m ped d ow n o n to h is s e at, w atc h in g e v ery one e ls e m arc h u p
to S nap e's d esk w ith f ille d a n d c o rk ed f la g ons. W hen a t lo ng la st th e b ell r a n g,
Harry w as f ir s t o ut o f th e d ungeo n a n d h ad a lr e ad y s ta rte d h is lu nch b y th e tim e
Ron a n d H erm io ne jo in ed h im in th e G re at H all. T he c eilin g h ad tu rn ed a n e v en
murk ie r g re y d urin g t h e m orn in g. R ain w as l a sh in g t h e h ig h w in dow s.
That w as re ally u nfa ir ,' sa id H erm io ne c o nso lin gly , sittin g d ow n n ex t to
Harry a n d h elp in g h ers e lf to s h ep herd 's p ie . 'Y our p otio n w asn 't n early a s b ad a s
Goyle 's ; w hen h e p ut it in h is f la g on th e w hole th in g s h atte re d a n d s e t h is r o bes
on f ir e .'
'Y eah , w ell,' s a id H arry , g lo w erin g a t h is p la te , 's in ce w hen h as S nap e e v er
been f a ir t o m e?'
Neith er o f th e o th ers an sw ere d ; all th re e o f th em k new th at S nap e an d
Harry 's m utu al e n m ity h ad b een a b so lu te f ro m th e m om en t H arry h ad s e t f o ot in
Hogw arts .
'I did th in k he m ig ht be a bit bette r th is year,' sa id H erm io ne in a
dis a p poin te d v oic e. 'I m ean … y ou k now … ' s h e lo oked a ro und c are fu lly ; th ere
were h alf a d ozen e m pty s e ats o n e ith er s id e o f t h em a n d n obody w as p assin g t h e
ta b le '… n ow h e's i n t h e O rd er a n d e v ery th in g.'
'P ois o nous to ad sto ols d on't c h an ge th eir s p ots ,' s a id R on s a g ely . 'A nyw ay
I'v e alw ay s th ought D um ble d ore w as cra ck ed to tr u st Snap e. W here 's th e
ev id en ce h e e v er r e ally s to pped w ork in g f o r Y ou-K now -W ho?'
'I th in k D um ble d ore 's p ro bab ly g ot p le n ty o f e v id en ce, e v en if h e d oesn 't
sh are i t w ith y ou, R on,' s n ap ped H erm io ne.
'O h, s h ut u p, th e p air o f y ou,' s a id H arry h eav ily , a s R on o pen ed h is m outh
to a rg ue b ack . H erm io ne a n d R on b oth f ro ze, lo okin g a n gry a n d o ff e n ded . 'C an 't
you g iv e it a re st? ' sa id H arry . 'Y ou'r e a lw ay s h av in g a g o a t e ach o th er, it's
driv in g m e m ad .' A nd a b an donin g h is s h ep herd 's p ie , h e s w ung h is s c h oolb ag
back o ver h is s h ould er a n d l e ft t h em s ittin g t h ere .
He w alk ed u p th e m arb le sta ir c ase tw o ste p s at a tim e, p ast th e m an y
stu den ts h urry in g to w ard s lu nch . T he a n ger th at h ad ju st f la re d s o u nex pecte d ly
still b la zed in sid e h im , a n d th e v is io n o f R on a n d H erm io ne's sh ock ed fa ces
aff o rd ed h im a s e n se o f d eep s a tis fa ctio n.
S erv e t h em r ig ht
, h e t h ought,
w hy c a n't
th ey g iv e it a r e st

b ic kerin g a ll th e tim e… it's e n ough to d riv e a nyo ne u p th e
wall

He p asse d th e la rg e p ic tu re o f S ir C ad ogan th e k nig ht o n a la n din g; S ir
Cad ogan d re w h is s w ord a n d b ra n dis h ed i t f ie rc ely a t H arry , w ho i g nore d h im .
'C om e b ack , y ou s c u rv y d og! S ta n d f a st a n d f ig ht! ' y elle d S ir C ad ogan in a
muff le d v oic e f ro m b eh in d h is v is o r, b ut H arry m ere ly w alk ed o n a n d w hen S ir
Cad ogan a tte m pte d t o f o llo w h im b y r u nnin g i n to a n eig hbourin g p ic tu re , h e w as

re b uff e d b y i ts i n hab ita n t, a l a rg e a n d a n gry -lo okin g w olf h ound.
Harry s p en t th e r e st o f th e lu nch h our s ittin g a lo ne u ndern eath th e tr a p door
at th e to p o f N orth T ow er. C onse q uen tly , h e w as th e fir s t to a sc en d th e s ilv er
la d der t h at l e d t o S ybill T re la w ney 's c la ssro om w hen t h e b ell r a n g.
Afte r P otio ns, D iv in atio n w as H arry s le ast fa v ourite c la ss, w hic h w as d ue
main ly to P ro fe sso r T re la w ney 's h ab it o f p re d ic tin g h is p re m atu re d eath e v ery
fe w le sso ns. A th in w om an , h eav ily d ra p ed in s h aw ls a n d g litte rin g w ith s tr in gs
of b ead s, s h e a lw ay s re m in ded H arry o f s o m e k in d o f in se ct, w ith h er g la sse s
hugely m ag nif y in g h er e y es. S he w as b usy p uttin g c o pie s o f b atte re d le ath er-
bound b ooks o n e ach o f t h e s p in dly l ittle t a b le s w ith w hic h h er r o om w as l itte re d
when H arry e n te re d t h e r o om , b ut t h e l ig ht c ast b y t h e l a m ps c o vere d b y s c arv es
an d th e lo w -b urn in g, s ic k ly -s c e n te d fir e w as s o d im s h e a p peare d n ot to n otic e
him a s h e to ok a s e at in th e s h ad ow s. T he r e st o f th e c la ss a rriv ed o ver th e n ex t
fiv e m in ute s. R on e m erg ed fro m th e tr a p door, lo oked a ro und c are fu lly , s p otte d
Harry a n d m ad e d ir e ctly f o r h im , o r a s d ir e ctly a s h e c o uld w hile h av in g t o w en d
his w ay b etw een t a b le s, c h air s a n d o vers tu ff e d p ouff e s.
'H erm io ne an d m e hav e sto pped arg uin g,' he sa id , sittin g dow n besid e
Harry .
'G ood,' g ru nte d H arry .
'B ut H erm io ne s a y s s h e th in ks it w ould b e n ic e if y ou s to pped ta k in g o ut
your t e m per o n u s,' s a id R on.
'I 'm n ot - '
'I 'm ju st p assin g o n th e m essa g e,' s a id R on, ta lk in g o ver h im . 'B ut I r e ck on
sh e's r ig ht. I t's n ot o ur f a u lt h ow S eam us a n d S nap e t r e at y ou.'
'I n ev er s a id i t - '
'G ood-d ay,' s a id P ro fe sso r T re la w ney in h er u su al m is ty , d re am y v oic e, a n d
Harry b ro ke o ff , a g ain fe elin g b oth a n noyed a n d slig htly a sh am ed o f h im se lf .
'A nd w elc o m e back to D iv in atio n. I hav e, of co urs e , been fo llo w in g your
fo rtu nes m ost c are fu lly o ver th e h olid ay s, a n d a m d elig hte d to s e e th at y ou h av e
all r e tu rn ed t o H ogw arts s a fe ly – a s, o f c o urs e , I k new y ou w ould .
'Y ou w ill fin d o n th e ta b le s b efo re y ou c o pie s o f
T he D re a m O ra cle
, b y
In ig o Im ag o. D re am in te rp re ta tio n is a m ost im porta n t m ean s o f d iv in in g th e
fu tu re a n d o ne th at m ay v ery p ro bab ly b e te ste d in y our O W L. N ot, o f c o urs e ,
th at I b elie v e e x am in atio n p asse s o r f a ilu re s a re o f t h e r e m ote st i m porta n ce w hen
it c o m es to th e s a cre d a rt o f d iv in atio n. I f y ou h av e th e S eein g E ye, c ertif ic ate s
an d g ra d es m atte r v ery little . H ow ev er, th e H ead m aste r lik es y ou to sit th e
ex am in atio n, s o … '
Her voic e tr a ile d aw ay delic ate ly , le av in g th em all in no doubt th at
Pro fe sso r Tre la w ney co nsid ere d her su bje ct ab ove su ch so rd id m atte rs as

ex am in atio ns.
Turn , p le ase , to th e in tr o ductio n a n d re ad w hat Im ag o h as to sa y o n th e
matte r o f d re am i n te rp re ta tio n. T hen , d iv id e i n to p air s . U se
T he D re a m O ra cle
t o
in te rp re t e ach o th ers m ost r e cen t d re am s. C arry o n.'
The o ne g ood th in g to b e s a id fo r th is le sso n w as th at it w as n ot a d ouble
perio d. B y th e tim e th ey h ad a ll fin is h ed re ad in g th e in tr o ductio n o f th e b ook,
th ey h ad b are ly te n m in ute s le ft fo r d re am in te rp re ta tio n. A t th e ta b le n ex t to
Harry a n d R on, D ean h ad p air e d u p w ith N ev ille , w ho i m med ia te ly e m bark ed o n
a lo ng-w in ded ex pla n atio n o f a n ig htm are in volv in g a p air o f g ia n t sc is so rs
wearin g h is g ra n dm oth er's b est h at; H arry a n d R on m ere ly lo oked a t e ach o th er
glu m ly .
'I n ev er r e m em ber m y d re am s,' s a id R on, 'y ou s a y o ne.'
'Y ou m ust r e m em ber o ne o f t h em ,' s a id H arry i m patie n tly .
He w as n ot g oin g to s h are h is d re am s w ith a n yone. H e k new p erfe ctly w ell
what h is re g ula r n ig htm are a b out a g ra v ey ard m ean t, h e d id n ot n eed R on o r
Pro fe sso r T re la w ney o r t h e s tu pid
D re a m O ra cle
t o t e ll h im .
'W ell, I dre am ed I w as pla y in g Q uid ditc h th e oth er nig ht,' sa id R on,
sc re w in g u p h is f a ce i n a n e ff o rt t o r e m em ber. 'W hat d 'y ou r e ck on t h at m ean s? '
'P ro bab ly th at you'r e goin g to be eate n by a gia n t m ars h m allo w or
so m eth in g,' s a id H arry , tu rn in g th e p ag es o f
T he D re a m O ra cle
w ith out in te re st.
It w as v ery d ull w ork l o okin g u p b its o f d re am s i n t h e
O ra cle
a n d H arry w as n ot
ch eere d u p w hen P ro fe sso r T re la w ney s e t t h em t h e t a sk o f k eep in g a d re am d ia ry
fo r a m onth a s h om ew ork . W hen th e b ell w en t, h e a n d R on le d th e w ay b ack
dow n t h e l a d der, R on g ru m blin g l o udly .
'D 'y ou r e alis e h ow m uch h om ew ork w e'v e g ot a lr e ad y? B in ns s e t u s a f o ot-
an d-a -h alf -lo ng essa y on gia n t w ars , Snap e w an ts a fo ot on th e use of
moonsto nes, a n d n ow w e'v e g ot a m onth 's d re am d ia ry fro m T re la w ney ! F re d
an d G eo rg e w ere n 't w ro ng a b out O W L y ear, w ere th ey ? T hat U m brid ge w om an
had b ette r n ot g iv e u s a n y… "
When th ey en te re d th e D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts cla ssro om th ey
fo und P ro fe sso r U m brid ge alr e ad y se ate d at th e te ach er's d esk , w earin g th e
flu ff y p in k c ard ig an o f th e n ig ht b efo re a n d th e b la ck v elv et b ow o n to p o f h er
head . H arry w as a g ain r e m in ded f o rc ib ly o f a la rg e f ly p erc h ed u nw is e ly o n to p
of a n e v en l a rg er t o ad .
The c la ss w as q uie t a s i t e n te re d t h e r o om ; P ro fe sso r U m brid ge w as, a s y et,
an u nknow n q uan tity a n d n obody k new h ow s tr ic t a d is c ip lin aria n s h e w as l ik ely
to b e.
'W ell, g ood a fte rn oon!' s h e s a id , w hen f in ally t h e w hole c la ss h ad s a t d ow n.
A f e w p eo ple m um ble d 'g ood a fte rn oon' i n r e p ly .

Tut, t u t,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge. '
That
w on't d o, n ow , w ill i t? I s h ould l ik e
you, p le ase , to re p ly "G ood a fte rn oon, P ro fe sso r U m brid ge". O ne m ore tim e,
ple ase . G ood a fte rn oon, c la ss!'
'G ood a fte rn oon, P ro fe sso r U m brid ge,' t h ey c h an te d b ack a t h er.
There , n ow ,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge s w eetly . T hat w asn 't t o o d if f ic u lt, w as
it? W an ds a w ay a n d q uills o ut, p le ase .'
Man y o f th e c la ss e x ch an ged g lo om y lo oks; th e o rd er 'w an ds a w ay ' h ad
nev er y et b een f o llo w ed b y a l e sso n t h ey h ad f o und i n te re stin g. H arry s h oved h is
wan d b ack in sid e h is b ag a n d p ulle d o ut q uill, in k a n d p arc h m en t. P ro fe sso r
Um brid ge open ed her han dbag , ex tr a cte d her ow n w an d, w hic h w as an
unusu ally s h ort o ne, a n d ta p ped th e b la ck board s h arp ly w ith it; w ord s a p peare d
on t h e b oard a t o nce:
Defe n ce
A gain st
t h e D ark A rts A R etu rn t o B asic P rin cip le s
'W ell now , your te ach in g in th is su bje ct has been ra th er dis ru pte d an d
fra g m en te d , h asn 't it? ' s ta te d P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, tu rn in g to f a ce th e c la ss w ith
her h an ds c la sp ed n eatly i n f ro nt o f h er. T he c o nsta n t c h an gin g o f t e ach ers , m an y
of w hom d o n ot s e em to h av e fo llo w ed a n y M in is tr y -a p pro ved c u rric u lu m , h as
unfo rtu nate ly r e su lte d in y our b ein g f a r b elo w th e s ta n dard w e w ould e x pect to
se e i n y our O W L y ear.
'Y ou w ill b e p le ase d to k now , h ow ev er, th at th ese p ro ble m s a re n ow to b e
re ctif ie d . W e w ill b e fo llo w in g a c are fu lly s tr u ctu re d , th eo ry -c en tr e d , M in is tr y -
ap pro ved c o urs e o f d efe n siv e m ag ic t h is y ear. C opy d ow n t h e f o llo w in g, p le ase .'
She ra p ped th e bla ck board ag ain ; th e fir s t m essa g e van is h ed an d w as
re p la ced b y t h e 'C ours e A im s'.
. U ndersta ndin g t h e p rin cip le s u nderly in g d efe n siv e m agic .
. L ea rn in g to r e co gnis e s itu atio ns in w hic h d efe n siv e m agic c a n le g ally b e
use d .
. P la cin g t h e u se o f d efe n siv e m agic i n a c o nte xt f o r p ra ctic a l u se .
For a c o uple o f m in ute s th e r o om w as f u ll o f th e s o und o f s c ra tc h in g q uills
on p arc h m en t. W hen ev ery one h ad co pie d d ow n P ro fe sso r U m brid ge's th re e
co urs e a im s s h e a sk ed , 'H as e v ery body g ot a c o py o f
D efe n siv e M agic a l T heo ry
by W ilb ert S lin khard ?'
There w as a d ull m urm ur o f a sse n t t h ro ughout t h e c la ss.
'I th in k w e'l l tr y th at a g ain ,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge. 'W hen I a sk y ou a
questio n, I sh ould lik e you to re p ly , "Y es, Pro fe sso r U m brid ge", or "N o,
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge". S o: h as e v ery one g ot a c o py o f
D efe n siv e M agic a l T heo ry
by W ilb ert S lin khard ?'
'Y es, P ro fe sso r U m brid ge,' r a n g t h ro ugh t h e r o om .
'G ood,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge. 'I s h ould lik e y ou to tu rn to p ag e f iv e a n d

re ad " C hap te r O ne, B asic s f o r B eg in ners " . T here w ill b e n o n eed t o t a lk .'
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge le ft th e b la ck board an d se ttle d h ers e lf in th e ch air
beh in d th e te ach er's d esk , o bse rv in g th em a ll c lo se ly w ith th ose p ouch y to ad 's
ey es. H arry tu rn ed to p ag e fiv e o f h is c o py o f
D efe n siv e M agic a l T heo ry
a n d
sta rte d t o r e ad .
It w as d esp era te ly d ull, q uite a s b ad a s lis te n in g to P ro fe sso r B in ns. H e f e lt
his c o ncen tr a tio n s lid in g a w ay f ro m h im ; h e h ad s o on r e ad th e s a m e lin e h alf a
dozen tim es w ith out ta k in g in m ore th an th e fir s t fe w w ord s. S ev era l sile n t
min ute s p asse d . N ex t to h im , R on w as a b se n t- m in ded ly tu rn in g h is q uill o ver
an d o ver in h is f in gers , s ta rin g a t th e s a m e s p ot o n th e p ag e. H arry lo oked r ig ht
an d re ceiv ed a s u rp ris e to s h ak e h im o ut o f h is to rp or. H erm io ne h ad n ot e v en
open ed her co py of D efe n siv e
M agic a l T heo ry
. S he w as sta rin g fix ed ly at
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge w ith h er h an d i n t h e a ir.
Harry co uld not re m em ber H erm io ne ev er neg le ctin g to re ad w hen
in str u cte d to , o r in deed re sis tin g th e te m pta tio n to o pen an y b ook th at cam e
under h er n ose . H e lo oked a t h er e n quir in gly , b ut sh e m ere ly sh ook h er h ead
slig htly to in dic ate th at s h e w as n ot a b out to a n sw er q uestio ns, a n d c o ntin ued to
sta re at P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, w ho w as lo okin g ju st as re so lu te ly in an oth er
dir e ctio n.
Afte r s e v era l m ore m in ute s h ad p asse d , h ow ev er, H arry w as n ot th e o nly
one w atc h in g H erm io ne. T he c h ap te r th ey h ad b een in str u cte d to re ad w as so
te d io us th at m ore a n d m ore p eo ple w ere c h oosin g to w atc h H erm io ne's m ute
atte m pt to c atc h P ro fe sso r U m brid ge's e y e ra th er th an s tr u ggle o n w ith 'B asic s
fo r B eg in ners '.
When m ore t h an h alf t h e c la ss w ere s ta rin g a t H erm io ne r a th er th an a t t h eir
books, P ro fe sso r U m brid ge s e em ed to d ecid e th at s h e c o uld ig nore th e s itu atio n
no l o nger.
'D id you w an t to ask so m eth in g ab out th e ch ap te r, dear? ' sh e ask ed
Herm io ne, a s t h ough s h e h ad o nly j u st n otic ed h er.
'N ot a b out t h e c h ap te r, n o,' s a id H erm io ne.
'W ell, w e'r e r e ad in g ju st n ow ,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, s h ow in g h er s m all
poin te d te eth . 'I f y ou h av e o th er q uerie s w e c an d eal w ith th em a t th e e n d o f
cla ss.'
'I 'v e g ot a q uery a b out y our c o urs e a im s,' s a id H erm io ne.
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge r a is e d h er e y eb ro w s.
'A nd y our n am e i s ? '
'H erm io ne G ra n ger,' s a id H erm io ne.
'W ell, M is s G ra n ger, I th in k th e c o urs e a im s a re p erfe ctly c le ar if y ou r e ad
th em th ro ugh care fu lly ' sa id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge in a voic e of dete rm in ed

sw eetn ess.
'W ell, I d on't ,' s a id H erm io ne b lu ntly . T here 's n oth in g w ritte n u p t h ere a b out
usin g d efe n siv e s p ells .'
There w as a s h ort s ile n ce in w hic h m an y m em bers o f th e c la ss tu rn ed th eir
head s t o f ro w n a t t h e t h re e c o urs e a im s s till w ritte n o n t h e b la ck board .
'U sin g d efe n siv e s p ells ? ' P ro fe sso r U m brid ge re p eate d w ith a little la u gh.
'W hy, I c an 't im ag in e a n y s itu atio n a ris in g in m y c la ssro om th at w ould re q uir e
you to u se a d efe n siv e sp ell, M is s G ra n ger. Y ou su re ly a re n 't e x pectin g to b e
atta ck ed d urin g c la ss? '
'W e'r e n ot g oin g t o u se m ag ic ?' R on e x cla im ed l o udly .
'S tu den ts r a is e t h eir h an ds w hen t h ey w is h t o s p eak i n m y c la ss, M r- ? '
'W easle y,' s a id R on, t h ru stin g h is h an d i n to t h e a ir.
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge, sm ilin g still m ore w id ely , tu rn ed h er b ack o n h im .
Harry a n d H erm io ne im med ia te ly ra is e d th eir h an ds to o. P ro fe sso r U m brid ge's
pouch y e y es l in gere d o n H arry f o r a m om en t b efo re s h e a d dre sse d H erm io ne.
'Y es, M is s G ra n ger? Y ou w an te d t o a sk s o m eth in g e ls e ?'
'Y es,' s a id H erm io ne. 'S ure ly th e w hole p oin t o f D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark
Arts i s t o p ra ctis e d efe n siv e s p ells ? '
'A re you a M in is tr y -tr a in ed ed ucatio nal ex pert, M is s G ra n ger? ' ask ed
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge, i n h er f a ls e ly s w eet v oic e.
'N o, b ut - '
'W ell t h en , I 'm a fra id y ou a re n ot q ualif ie d t o d ecid e w hat t h e " w hole p oin t"
of a n y c la ss is . W iz ard s m uch o ld er a n d c le v ere r th an y ou h av e d ev is e d o ur n ew
pro gra m me o f stu dy. Y ou w ill b e le arn in g a b out d efe n siv e sp ells in a se cu re ,
ris k -fre e w ay - '
'W hat u se is th at? ' s a id H arry lo udly . 'I f w e'r e g oin g to b e a tta ck ed , it w on't
be i n a - '
'H an d, M r P otte r!' s a n g P ro fe sso r U m brid ge.
Harry th ru st h is f is t in th e a ir. A gain , P ro fe sso r U m brid ge p ro m ptly tu rn ed
aw ay f ro m h im , b ut n ow s e v era l o th er p eo ple h ad t h eir h an ds u p, t o o.
'A nd y our n am e i s ? ' P ro fe sso r U m brid ge s a id t o D ean .
'D ean T hom as.'
'W ell, M r T hom as? '
'W ell, it's lik e H arry s a id , is n 't it? ' s a id D ean . 'I f w e'r e g oin g to b e a tta ck ed ,
it w on't b e r is k f re e.'
'I re p eat,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, s m ilin g in a v ery ir rita tin g fa sh io n a t
Dean , 'd o y ou e x pect t o b e a tta ck ed d urin g m y c la sse s? '
'N o, b ut - '
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge ta lk ed o ver h im . 'I d o n ot w is h to c ritic is e th e w ay

th in gs h av e b een ru n in th is s c h ool,' s h e s a id , a n u nco nvin cin g s m ile s tr e tc h in g
her w id e m outh , 'b ut y ou h av e b een e x pose d to s o m e v ery ir re sp onsib le w iz ard s
in th is c la ss, v ery ir re sp onsib le in deed – n ot to m en tio n,' s h e g av e a n asty little
la u gh, 'e x tr e m ely d an gero us h alf -b re ed s.'
'I f y ou m ean P ro fe sso r L upin ,' p ip ed u p D ean a n grily , 'h e w as th e b est w e
ev er - '
' Hand
, M r T hom as! A s I w as s a y in g – y ou h av e b een in tr o duced to s p ells
th at h av e b een c o m ple x , in ap pro pria te to y our a g e g ro up a n d p ote n tia lly le th al.
You h av e b een f rig hte n ed in to b elie v in g th at y ou a re lik ely to m eet D ark a tta ck s
ev ery o th er d ay - '
'N o w e h av en 't ,' H erm io ne s a id , 'w e j u st - '
'Y o ur h and i s n ot u p, M is s G ra nger!'
Herm io ne p ut u p h er h an d. P ro fe sso r U m brid ge t u rn ed a w ay f ro m h er.
'I t is m y u nders ta n din g th at m y p re d ecesso r n ot o nly p erfo rm ed ille g al
cu rs e s i n f ro nt o f y ou, h e a ctu ally p erfo rm ed t h em o n y ou.'
'W ell, h e tu rn ed o ut to b e a m an ia c, d id n't h e?' s a id D ean h otly . 'M in d y ou,
we s till l e arn ed l o ad s.'
' Yo ur h and is n ot u p, M r T hom as
!' tr ille d P ro fe sso r U m brid ge. 'N ow , it is
th e v ie w o f t h e M in is tr y t h at a t h eo re tic al k now le d ge w ill b e m ore t h an s u ff ic ie n t
to g et y ou t h ro ugh y our e x am in atio n, w hic h , a fte r a ll, i s w hat s c h ool i s a ll a b out.
And y our n am e i s ? ' s h e a d ded , s ta rin g a t P arv ati, w hose h an d h ad j u st s h ot u p.
'P arv ati P atil, a n d is n 't t h ere a p ra ctic al b it i n o ur D efe n ce A gain st t h e D ark
Arts O W L? A re n 't w e s u ppose d to s h ow th at w e c an a ctu ally d o th e c o unte r-
cu rs e s a n d t h in gs? '
'A s l o ng a s y ou h av e s tu die d t h e t h eo ry h ard e n ough, t h ere i s n o r e aso n w hy
you sh ould not be ab le to perfo rm th e sp ells under care fu lly co ntr o lle d
ex am in atio n c o nditio ns,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge d is m is siv ely .
'W ith out e v er p ra ctis in g th em b efo re h an d?' s a id P arv ati in cre d ulo usly . 'A re
you te llin g u s th at th e fir s t tim e w e'l l g et to d o th e sp ells w ill b e d urin g o ur
ex am ?'
'I r e p eat, a s l o ng a s y ou h av e s tu die d t h e t h eo ry h ard e n ough - '
'A nd w hat g ood's th eo ry g oin g to b e in th e re al w orld ?' s a id H arry lo udly ,
his f is t i n t h e a ir a g ain .
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge l o oked u p.
'T his i s s c h ool, M r P otte r, n ot t h e r e al w orld ,' s h e s a id s o ftly .
'S o w e'r e n ot s u ppose d t o b e p re p are d f o r w hat's w aitin g f o r u s o ut t h ere ?'
There i s n oth in g w aitin g o ut t h ere , M r P otte r.'
'O h, y eah ?' s a id H arry . H is te m per, w hic h s e em ed to h av e b een b ubblin g
ju st b en eath t h e s u rfa ce a ll d ay, w as r e ach in g b oilin g p oin t.

'W ho d o y ou im ag in e w an ts to a tta ck c h ild re n lik e y ours e lv es? ' e n quir e d
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge i n a h orrib ly h oney ed v oic e.
'H m m, le t's th in k… ' s a id H arry in a m ock th oughtf u l v oic e. 'M ay be…
L ord
Vo ld em ortT
Ron gasp ed ; L av en der B ro w n utte re d a little sc re am ; N ev ille slip ped
sid ew ay s o ff h is sto ol. P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, h ow ev er, d id n ot flin ch . S he w as
sta rin g a t H arry w ith a g rim ly s a tis fie d e x pre ssio n o n h er f a ce.
Ten p oin ts f ro m G ry ff in dor, M r P otte r.'
The c la ssro om w as s ile n t a n d s till. E very one w as s ta rin g a t e ith er U m brid ge
or H arry .
'N ow , l e t m e m ak e a f e w t h in gs q uite p la in .'
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge s to od u p a n d l e an ed t o w ard s t h em , h er s tu bby-fin gere d
han ds s p la y ed o n h er d esk .
'Y ou h av e b een t o ld t h at a c erta in D ark w iz ard h as r e tu rn ed f ro m t h e d ead - '
'H e w asn 't d ead ,' s a id H arry a n grily , 'b ut y eah , h e's r e tu rn ed !'
'M r- P otte r- y ou-h av e-a lr e ad y-lo st- y our- h ouse -te n -p oin ts -d o-n ot- m ak e-
matte rs -w ors e -fo r- y ours e lf ,' sa id Pro fe sso r U m brid ge in one bre ath w ith out
lo okin g a t h im . 'A s I w as s a y in g, y ou h av e b een in fo rm ed th at a c erta in D ark
wiz ard i s a t l a rg e o nce a g ain . T his i s
a l ie
.'
'I t i s N OT a l ie !' s a id H arry . 'I s a w h im , I f o ught h im !'
'D ete n tio n, M r P otte r!' sa id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge tr iu m phan tly . T om orro w
ev en in g. F iv e o 'c lo ck . M y o ff ic e. I re p eat, th is is
a lie
. T he M in is tr y o f M ag ic
guara n te es th at y ou a re n ot in d an ger fro m a n y D ark w iz ard . If y ou a re still
worrie d , b y all m ean s co m e an d se e m e o uts id e cla ss h ours . If so m eo ne is
ala rm in g y ou w ith f ib s a b out r e b orn D ark w iz ard s, I w ould l ik e t o h ear a b out i t. I
am h ere to h elp . I am y our frie n d. A nd n ow , y ou w ill k in dly co ntin ue y our
re ad in g. P ag e f iv e, " B asic s f o r B eg in ners " .'
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge s a t d ow n b eh in d h er d esk . H arry , h ow ev er, s to od u p.
Every one w as s ta rin g a t h im ; S eam us l o oked h alf -s c are d , h alf -fa sc in ate d .
'H arry , n o!' H erm io ne w his p ere d in a w arn in g v oic e, tu ggin g a t h is s le ev e,
but H arry j e rk ed h is a rm o ut o f h er r e ach .
'S o, a cco rd in g to y ou, C ed ric D ig gory d ro pped d ead o f h is o w n a cco rd , d id
he?' H arry a sk ed , h is v oic e s h ak in g.
There w as a c o lle ctiv e in ta k e o f b re ath fro m th e c la ss, fo r n one o f th em ,
ap art fro m R on an d H erm io ne, had ev er heard H arry ta lk ab out w hat had
hap pen ed on th e nig ht C ed ric had die d . T hey sta re d av id ly fro m H arry to
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge, w ho h ad r a is e d h er e y es a n d w as s ta rin g a t h im w ith out a
tr a ce o f a f a k e s m ile o n h er f a ce.
'C ed ric D ig gory 's d eath w as a t r a g ic a ccid en t,' s h e s a id c o ld ly .

'I t w as m urd er,' s a id H arry . H e c o uld fe el h im se lf s h ak in g. H e h ad h ard ly
sp oken to an yone ab out th is , le ast o f all th ir ty eag erly lis te n in g cla ssm ate s.
'V old em ort k ille d h im a n d y ou k now i t.'
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge's fa ce w as q uite b la n k. F or a m om en t, H arry th ought
sh e w as g oin g to sc re am a t h im . T hen sh e sa id , in h er so fte st, m ost sw eetly
gir lis h v oic e, 'C om e h ere , M r P otte r, d ear.'
He k ic k ed h is c h air a sid e, s tr o de a ro und R on a n d H erm io ne a n d u p to th e
te ach er's d esk . H e c o uld fe el th e re st o f th e c la ss h old in g its b re ath . H e fe lt s o
an gry h e d id n ot c are w hat h ap pen ed n ex t.
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge pulle d a sm all ro ll of pin k parc h m en t out of her
han dbag , s tr e tc h ed it o ut o n th e d esk , d ip ped h er q uill in to a b ottle o f in k a n d
sta rte d sc rib blin g, hunch ed over so th at H arry co uld not se e w hat sh e w as
writin g. N obody s p oke. A fte r a m in ute o r s o s h e ro lle d u p th e p arc h m en t a n d
ta p ped i t w ith h er w an d; i t s e ale d i ts e lf s e am le ssly s o t h at h e c o uld n ot o pen i t.
Tak e t h is t o P ro fe sso r M cG onag all, d ear,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, h old in g
out t h e n ote t o h im .
He to ok it f ro m h er w ith out s a y in g a w ord , tu rn ed o n h is h eel a n d le ft th e
ro om , n ot e v en lo okin g b ack a t R on a n d H erm io ne, sla m min g th e c la ssro om
door sh ut beh in d him . H e w alk ed very fa st alo ng th e co rrid or, th e note to
McG onag all c lu tc h ed tig ht in h is h an d, a n d tu rn in g a c o rn er w alk ed sla p in to
Peev es th e p olte rg eis t, a w id e-m outh ed little m an f lo atin g o n h is b ack in m id air ,
ju gglin g s e v era l i n kw ells .
'W hy i t's P otty W ee P otte r!' c ack le d P eev es, a llo w in g t w o o f t h e i n kw ells t o
fa ll to th e g ro und w here th ey s m ash ed a n d s p atte re d th e w alls w ith in k; H arry
ju m ped b ack w ard s o ut o f t h e w ay w ith a s n arl.
'G et o ut o f i t, P eev es.'
'O ooh, C ra ck pot's fe elin g cra n ky' sa id P eev es, p urs u in g H arry alo ng th e
co rrid or, le erin g a s h e z o om ed a lo ng a b ove h im . 'W hat is it th is tim e, m y fin e
Potty frie n d? H earin g v oic es? S eein g v is io ns? S peak in g in -' P eev es b le w a
gig an tic r a sp berry '– t o ngues? '
'I s a id , le av e m e A LO NE!' H arry s h oute d , r u nnin g d ow n th e n eare st f lig ht
of s ta ir s , b ut P eev es m ere ly s lid d ow n t h e b an is te r o n h is b ack b esid e h im .
'O h, m ost th in k h e's b ark in g, th e p otty w ee la d, B ut s o m e a re m ore k in dly
and t h in k h e's j u st s a d, B ut P eevesy k n ow s b ette r a nd s a ys t h at h e's m ad —
'S H UT U P!'
A d oor to h is le ft fle w o pen a n d P ro fe sso r M cG onag all e m erg ed fro m h er
off ic e l o okin g g rim a n d s lig htly h ara sse d .
'W hat o n
ea rth
are y ou sh outin g ab out, P otte r? ' sh e sn ap ped , as P eev es
cack le d g le efu lly a n d z o om ed o ut o f s ig ht. 'W hy a re n 't y ou i n c la ss? '

'I 'v e b een s e n t t o s e e y ou,' s a id H arry s tif f ly .
'S en t? W hat d o y ou m ean , s e n t? '
He h eld o ut th e n ote f ro m P ro fe sso r U m brid ge. P ro fe sso r M cG onag all to ok
it fro m h im , fro w nin g, s lit it o pen w ith a ta p o f h er w an d, s tr e tc h ed it o ut a n d
beg an to r e ad . H er e y es z o om ed f ro m s id e to s id e b eh in d th eir s q uare s p ecta cle s
as sh e re ad w hat U m brid ge had w ritte n , an d w ith each lin e th ey becam e
narro w er.
'C om e i n h ere , P otte r.'
He fo llo w ed h er in sid e h er stu dy. T he d oor c lo se d a u to m atic ally b eh in d
him .
'W ell? ' s a id P ro fe sso r M cG onag all, r o undin g o n h im . 'I s t h is t r u e?'
'I s w hat tr u e?' H arry a sk ed , r a th er m ore a g gre ssiv ely th an h e h ad in te n ded .
'P ro fe sso r? ' h e a d ded , i n a n a tte m pt t o s o und m ore p olite .
'I s i t t r u e t h at y ou s h oute d a t P ro fe sso r U m brid ge?'
'Y es,' s a id H arry .
'Y ou c alle d h er a l ia r? '
'Y es.'
'Y ou t o ld h er H e W ho M ust N ot B e N am ed i s b ack ?'
'Y es.'
Pro fe sso r M cG onag all s a t d ow n b eh in d h er d esk , w atc h in g H arry c lo se ly .
Then s h e s a id , 'H av e a b is c u it, P otte r.'
'H av e – w hat? '
'H av e a b is c u it,' s h e r e p eate d i m patie n tly , i n dic atin g a t a rta n t in l y in g o n t o p
of o ne o f t h e p ile s o f p ap ers o n h er d esk . 'A nd s it d ow n.'
There h ad b een a p re v io us o ccasio n w hen H arry , e x pectin g to b e c an ed b y
Pro fe sso r M cG onag all, h ad in ste ad b een ap poin te d b y h er to th e G ry ff in dor
Quid ditc h t e am . H e s a n k i n to a c h air o pposite h er a n d h elp ed h im se lf t o a G in ger
New t, fe elin g ju st as co nfu se d an d w ro ng-fo ote d as he had done on th at
occasio n.
Pro fe sso r M cG onag all s e t d ow n P ro fe sso r U m brid ge's n ote a n d l o oked v ery
se rio usly a t H arry .
'P otte r, y ou n eed t o b e c are fu l.'
Harry s w allo w ed h is m outh fu l o f G in ger N ew t a n d s ta re d a t h er. H er to ne
of v oic e w as n ot a t a ll w hat h e w as u se d to ; it w as n ot b ris k , c ris p a n d s te rn ; it
was l o w a n d a n xio us a n d s o m eh ow m uch m ore h um an t h an u su al.
'M is b eh av io ur in D olo re s U m brid ge's c la ss c o uld c o st y ou m uch m ore th an
house p oin ts a n d a d ete n tio n.'
'W hat d o y ou - ? '
'P otte r, u se y our c o m mon s e n se ,' s n ap ped P ro fe sso r M cG onag all, w ith a n

ab ru pt r e tu rn to h er u su al m an ner. 'Y ou k now w here s h e c o m es f ro m , y ou m ust
know t o w hom s h e i s r e p ortin g.'
The b ell r a n g f o r th e e n d o f th e le sso n. O verh ead a n d a ll a ro und c am e th e
ele p han tin e s o unds o f h undre d s o f s tu den ts o n t h e m ove.
'I t sa y s h ere sh e's g iv en y ou d ete n tio n e v ery e v en in g th is w eek , sta rtin g
to m orro w ,' P ro fe sso r M cG onag all s a id , l o okin g d ow n a t U m brid ge's n ote a g ain .
'E very ev en in g th is w eek !' H arry re p eate d , horrif ie d . 'B ut, Pro fe sso r,
co uld n't y ou - ? '
'N o, I c o uld n't ,' s a id P ro fe sso r M cG onag all f la tly .
'B ut - '
'S he is y our te ach er a n d h as e v ery r ig ht to g iv e y ou d ete n tio n. Y ou w ill g o
to h er ro om a t fiv e o 'c lo ck to m orro w fo r th e fir s t o ne. Ju st re m em ber: tr e ad
care fu lly a ro und D olo re s U m brid ge.'
'B ut 1 w as te llin g th e tr u th !' s a id H arry , o utr a g ed . 'V old em ort is b ack , y ou
know h e i s ; P ro fe sso r D um ble d ore k now s h e i s - '
'F or h eav en 's sa k e, P otte r!' sa id P ro fe sso r M cG onag all, str a ig hte n in g h er
gla sse s a n grily (s h e h ad w in ced h orrib ly w hen h e h ad u se d V old em ort's n am e).
'D o y ou r e ally t h in k t h is i s a b out t r u th o r l ie s? I t's a b out k eep in g y our h ead d ow n
an d y our t e m per u nder c o ntr o l! '
She s to od u p, n ostr ils w id e a n d m outh v ery t h in , a n d H arry s to od u p, t o o.
'H av e a n oth er b is c u it,' s h e s a id i r rita b ly , t h ru stin g t h e t in a t h im .
'N o, t h an ks,' s a id H arry c o ld ly .
'D on't b e r id ic u lo us,' s h e s n ap ped .
• ,• •
He t o ok o ne.
'T han ks,' h e s a id g ru dgin gly .
'D id n't y ou lis te n to D olo re s U m brid ge's s p eech a t th e s ta rt- o f-te rm fe ast,
Potte r? '
'Y eah ,' s a id H arry . 'Y eah … s h e s a id … p ro gre ss w ill b e p ro hib ite d o r… w ell,
it m ean t t h at… t h at t h e M in is tr y o f M ag ic i s t r y in g t o i n te rfe re a t H ogw arts .'
Pro fe sso r M cG onag all e y ed h im c lo se ly f o r a m om en t, t h en s n if f e d , w alk ed
aro und h er d esk a n d h eld o pen t h e d oor f o r h im .
'W ell, I'm gla d you lis te n to H erm io ne G ra n ger at an y ra te ,' sh e sa id ,
poin tin g h im o ut o f h er o ff ic e.

C H APT ER T H IR TEEN

Din ner in th e G re at H all th at n ig ht w as n ot a p le asa n t e x perie n ce f o r H arry .
T he n ew s a b out h is s h outin g m atc h w ith U m brid ge h ad tr a v elle d e x cep tio nally
f a st e v en b y H ogw arts ' s ta n dard s. H e h eard w his p ers a ll a ro und h im a s h e s a t
e atin g betw een R on an d H erm io ne. T he fu nny th in g w as th at none of th e
w his p ere rs s e em ed to m in d h im o verh earin g w hat th ey w ere s a y in g a b out h im .
O n th e c o ntr a ry , it w as a s th ough th ey w ere h opin g h e w ould g et a n gry a n d s ta rt
s h outin g a g ain , s o t h at t h ey c o uld h ear h is s to ry f ir s t- h an d.
'H e s a y s h e s a w C ed ric D ig gory m urd ere d … '
'H e r e ck ons h e d uelle d w ith Y ou-K now -W ho… '
'C om e o ff i t… "
'W ho d oes h e t h in k h e's k id din g?'
Tur- Z ease … "
'W hat I d on't g et,' s a id H arry th ro ugh c le n ch ed te eth , la y in g d ow n h is k nif e
a n d f o rk ( h is h an ds w ere s h ak in g t o o m uch t o h old t h em s te ad y), 'i s w hy t h ey a ll
b elie v ed t h e s to ry t w o m onth s a g o w hen D um ble d ore t o ld t h em … '
'T he th in g is , H arry , I 'm n ot s u re th ey d id ,' s a id H erm io ne g rim ly . 'O h, le t's
g et o ut o f h ere .'
She s la m med d ow n h er o w n k nif e a n d fo rk ; R on lo oked lo ngin gly a t h is
h alf -fin is h ed a p ple p ie b ut f o llo w ed s u it. P eo ple s ta re d a t t h em a ll t h e w ay o ut o f
t h e H all.
'W hat d 'y ou m ean , y ou'r e n ot s u re th ey b elie v ed D um ble d ore ?' H arry a sk ed
H erm io ne w hen t h ey r e ach ed t h e f ir s t- flo or l a n din g.
'L ook, you don't unders ta n d w hat it w as lik e afte r it hap pen ed ,' sa id
H erm io ne q uie tly . 'Y ou a rriv ed b ack i n t h e m id dle o f t h e l a w n c lu tc h in g C ed ric 's
d ead body… none of us sa w w hat hap pen ed in th e m aze… w e ju st had
D um ble d ore 's w ord f o r it th at Y ou-K now -W ho h ad c o m e b ack a n d k ille d C ed ric
a n d f o ught y ou.'
'W hic h i s t h e t r u th !' s a id H arry l o udly .
'I k now it is , H arry , so w ill y ou
p le a se
sto p b itin g m y h ead o ff ? ' sa id
H erm io ne w earily . 'I t's ju st th at b efo re th e tr u th c o uld sin k in , e v ery one w en t
h om e f o r th e s u m mer, w here th ey s p en t tw o m onth s r e ad in g a b out h ow y ou'r e a
n utc ase a n d D um ble d ore 's g oin g s e n ile !'
Rain p ounded o n t h e w in dow pan es a s t h ey s tr o de a lo ng t h e e m pty c o rrid ors

back to G ry ff in dor T ow er. H arry fe lt a s th ough h is fir s t d ay h ad la ste d a w eek ,
but h e s till h ad a m ounta in o f h om ew ork to d o b efo re b ed . A d ull p oundin g p ain
was d ev elo pin g o ver h is rig ht e y e. H e g la n ced o ut o f a ra in -w ash ed w in dow a t
th e d ark g ro unds a s th ey tu rn ed in to th e F at L ad y's c o rrid or. T here w as s till n o
lig ht i n H ag rid 's c ab in .
' Mim bulu s m im ble to nia
,' s a id H erm io ne, b efo re t h e F at L ad y c o uld a sk . T he
portr a it s w ung o pen to r e v eal th e h ole b eh in d it a n d th e th re e o f th em s c ra m ble d
th ro ugh i t.
The c o m mon ro om w as a lm ost e m pty ; n early e v ery one w as s till d ow n a t
din ner. C ro oksh an ks u nco ile d h im se lf fro m an arm ch air an d tr o tte d to m eet
th em , purrin g lo udly , an d w hen H arry , R on an d H erm io ne to ok th eir th re e
fa v ourite c h air s a t t h e f ir e sid e h e l e ap t l ig htly o n t o H erm io ne's l a p a n d c u rle d u p
th ere lik e a fu rry g in ger c u sh io n. H arry g azed in to th e fla m es, fe elin g d ra in ed
an d e x hau ste d .
'H ow can D um ble d ore h av e le t th is h ap pen ?' H erm io ne crie d su dden ly ,
mak in g H arry a n d R on ju m p; C ro oksh an ks le ap t o ff h er, lo okin g a ff ro nte d . S he
pounded th e a rm s o f h er c h air in fu ry , s o th at b its o f s tu ff in g le ak ed o ut o f th e
hole s. 'H ow c an h e l e t t h at t e rrib le w om an t e ach u s? A nd i n o ur O W L y ear, t o o!'
'W ell, w e'v e n ev er h ad g re at D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts te ach ers , h av e
we?' s a id H arry . 'Y ou k now w hat it's lik e, H ag rid to ld u s, n obody w an ts th e jo b;
th ey s a y i t's j in xed .'
'Y es, b ut to e m plo y so m eo ne w ho's a ctu ally re fu sin g to le t u s d o m ag ic !
What's D um ble d ore p la y in g a t? '
'A nd s h e's t r y in g t o g et p eo ple t o s p y f o r h er,' s a id R on d ark ly .
'R em em ber w hen s h e s a id s h e w an te d u s to c o m e a n d te ll h er if w e h ear
an yone s a y in g Y ou-K now -W ho's b ack ?'
'O f c o urs e s h e's h ere to s p y o n u s a ll, th at's o bvio us, w hy e ls e w ould F udge
hav e w an te d h er t o c o m e?' s n ap ped H erm io ne.
'D on't s ta rt a rg uin g a g ain ,' s a id H arry w earily , a s R on o pen ed h is m outh to
re ta lia te . 'C an 't w e j u st… l e t's j u st d o t h at h om ew ork , g et i t o ut o f t h e w ay … '
They c o lle cte d th eir s c h oolb ag s f ro m a c o rn er a n d r e tu rn ed to th e c h air s b y
th e f ir e . P eo ple w ere c o m in g b ack f ro m d in ner n ow . H arry k ep t h is f a ce a v erte d
fro m t h e p ortr a it h ole , b ut c o uld s till s e n se t h e s ta re s h e w as a ttr a ctin g.
'S hall w e d o S nap e's stu ff fir s t? ' sa id R on, d ip pin g h is q uill in to h is in k.
"T he
pro pertie s… of m oonsto ne… and its use s
… in
potio n-m akin g… '"
he
mutte re d , w ritin g th e w ord s a cro ss th e to p o f h is p arc h m en t a s h e s p oke th em .
There .' H e u nderlin ed t h e t itle , t h en l o oked u p e x pecta n tly a t H erm io ne.
'S o, w hat a re t h e p ro pertie s o f m oonsto ne a n d i ts u se s i n p otio n-m ak in g?'
But H erm io ne w as n ot lis te n in g; s h e w as s q uin tin g o ver in to th e f a r c o rn er

of th e r o om , w here F re d , G eo rg e a n d L ee J o rd an w ere n ow s ittin g a t th e c en tr e
of a k not o f in nocen t- lo okin g f ir s t- y ears , a ll o f w hom w ere c h ew in g s o m eth in g
th at s e em ed t o h av e c o m e o ut o f a l a rg e p ap er b ag t h at F re d w as h old in g.
'N o, I'm so rry , th ey 'v e g one to o fa r,' sh e sa id , sta n din g u p an d lo okin g
positiv ely f u rio us. 'C om e o n, R on.'
'1 – w hat? ' s a id R on, p la in ly p la y in g f o r tim e. 'N o – c o m e o n, H erm io ne –
we c an 't t e ll t h em o ff f o r g iv in g o ut s w eets .'
'Y ou k now p erfe ctly w ell th at th ose a re b its o f N ose b le ed N ougat o r – o r
Pukin g P astille s o r - '
'F ain tin g F an cie s? ' H arry s u ggeste d q uie tly .
One b y o ne, a s th ough h it o ver th e h ead w ith a n in vis ib le m alle t, th e f ir s t-
years w ere s lu m pin g u nco nsc io us in th eir s e ats ; s o m e s lid rig ht o n to th e flo or,
oth ers m ere ly h ung o ver th e a rm s o f th eir c h air s , th eir to ngues lo llin g o ut. M ost
of th e peo ple w atc h in g w ere la u ghin g; H erm io ne, how ev er, sq uare d her
sh ould ers a n d m arc h ed d ir e ctly o ver to w here F re d a n d G eo rg e n ow s to od w ith
clip board s, c lo se ly o bse rv in g th e u nco nsc io us fir s t- y ears . R on ro se h alf w ay o ut
of h is c h air , h overe d u ncerta in ly fo r a m om en t o r tw o, th en m utte re d to H arry ,
'S he's g ot it u nder c o ntr o l,' b efo re s in kin g a s lo w in h is c h air a s h is la n ky f ra m e
perm itte d .
That's e n ough!' H erm io ne s a id f o rc efu lly t o F re d a n d G eo rg e, b oth o f w hom
lo oked u p i n m ild s u rp ris e .
'Y eah , y ou'r e r ig ht,' s a id G eo rg e, n oddin g, 't h is d osa g e l o oks s tr o ng e n ough,
doesn 't i t? '
'I t o ld y ou t h is m orn in g, y ou c an 't t e st y our r u bbis h o n s tu den ts !'
'W e'r e p ay in g t h em !' s a id F re d i n dig nan tly .
'I d on't c are , i t c o uld b e d an gero us!'
'R ubbis h ,' s a id F re d .
'C alm d ow n, H erm io ne, th ey 'r e fin e!' sa id L ee re assu rin gly a s h e w alk ed
fro m f ir s t- y ear t o f ir s t- y ear, i n se rtin g p urp le s w eets i n to t h eir o pen m outh s.
'Y eah , l o ok, t h ey 'r e c o m in g r o und n ow ,' s a id G eo rg e.
A f e w o f th e f ir s t- y ears w ere in deed s tir rin g. S ev era l lo oked s o s h ock ed to
fin d th em se lv es ly in g o n th e flo or, o r d an glin g o ff th eir c h air s , th at H arry w as
su re F re d a n d G eo rg e h ad n ot w arn ed t h em w hat t h e s w eets w ere g oin g t o d o.
'F eel a ll rig ht? ' s a id G eo rg e k in dly to a s m all d ark -h air e d g ir l ly in g a t h is
fe et.
'I – I t h in k s o ,' s h e s a id s h ak ily .
'E xcelle n t,' s a id F re d h ap pily , b ut th e n ex t s e co nd H erm io ne h ad s n atc h ed
both h is c lip board a n d t h e p ap er b ag o f F ain tin g F an cie s f ro m h is h an ds.
'I t i s N OT e x celle n t! '

'C ours e i t i s , t h ey 'r e a liv e, a re n 't t h ey ?' s a id F re d a n grily .
'Y ou c an 't d o t h is , w hat i f y ou m ad e o ne o f t h em r e ally i ll? '
'W e'r e not goin g to m ak e th em ill, w e'v e alr e ad y te ste d th em all on
ours e lv es, t h is i s j u st t o s e e i f e v ery one r e acts t h e s a m e - '
'I f y ou d on't s to p d oin g i t, I 'm g oin g t o - '
'P ut u s i n d ete n tio n?' s a id F re d , i n a n I 'd -lik e-to -s e e-y ou-tr y -it v oic e.
'M ak e u s w rite l in es? ' s a id G eo rg e, s m ir k in g.
Onlo okers a ll o ver th e ro om w ere la u ghin g. H erm io ne d re w h ers e lf u p to
her fu ll h eig ht; h er e y es w ere n arro w ed a n d h er b ush y h air s e em ed to c ra ck le
with e le ctr ic ity .
'N o,' sh e sa id , h er v oic e q uiv erin g w ith an ger, 'b ut I w ill w rite to y our
moth er.'
'Y ou w ould n't ,' s a id G eo rg e, h orrif ie d , t a k in g a s te p b ack f ro m h er.
'O h, y es, I w ould ,' s a id H erm io ne g rim ly . '1 c an 't s to p y ou e atin g th e s tu pid
th in gs y ours e lv es, b ut y ou'r e n ot t o g iv e t h em t o t h e f ir s t- y ears .'
Fre d a n d G eo rg e lo oked th unders tr u ck . I t w as c le ar th at a s f a r a s th ey w ere
co ncern ed , H erm io ne's th re at w as w ay b elo w th e b elt. W ith a la st th re ate n in g
lo ok a t th em , s h e th ru st F re d 's c lip board a n d th e b ag o f F an cie s b ack in to h is
arm s, a n d s ta lk ed b ack t o h er c h air b y t h e f ir e .
Ron w as n ow s o lo w in h is s e at th at h is n ose w as ro ughly le v el w ith h is
knees.
Than k y ou f o r y our s u pport, R on,' H erm io ne s a id a cid ly .
'Y ou h an dle d i t f in e b y y ours e lf ,' R on m um ble d .
Herm io ne s ta re d d ow n a t h er b la n k p ie ce o f p arc h m en t f o r a f e w s e co nds,
th en s a id e d gily , 'O h, i t's n o g ood, I c an 't c o ncen tr a te n ow . I 'm g oin g t o b ed .'
She w re n ch ed h er b ag o pen ; H arry th ought s h e w as a b out to p ut h er b ooks
aw ay, b ut in ste ad sh e p ulle d o ut tw o m is sh ap en w oolly o bje cts , p la ced th em
care fu lly o n a t a b le b y t h e f ir e p la ce, c o vere d t h em w ith a f e w s c re w ed -u p b its o f
parc h m en t a n d a b ro ken q uill a n d s to od b ack t o a d m ir e t h e e ff e ct.
'W hat in th e n am e o f M erlin a re y ou d oin g?' sa id R on, w atc h in g h er a s
th ough f e arfu l f o r h er s a n ity .
They 'r e h ats f o r h ouse -e lv es,' s h e s a id b ris k ly , n ow s tu ff in g h er b ooks b ack
in to h er b ag . 'I d id t h em o ver t h e s u m mer. I 'm a r e ally s lo w k nitte r w ith out m ag ic
but n ow I 'm b ack a t s c h ool I s h ould b e a b le t o m ak e l o ts m ore .'
'Y ou'r e le av in g o ut h ats f o r th e h ouse -e lv es? ' s a id R on s lo w ly . 'A nd y ou'r e
co verin g t h em u p w ith r u bbis h f ir s t? '
'Y es,' s a id H erm io ne d efia n tly , s w in gin g h er b ag o n t o h er b ack .
That's n ot o n,' s a id R on a n grily . 'Y ou'r e tr y in g to tr ic k th em in to p ic k in g u p
th e h ats . Y ou'r e s e ttin g t h em f re e w hen t h ey m ig ht n ot w an t t o b e f re e.'

'O f c o urs e t h ey w an t t o b e f re e!' s a id H erm io ne a t o nce, t h ough
I
her f a ce w as t u rn in g p in k. 'D on't y ou d are t o uch t h ose h ats , R on!'
She tu rn ed o n h er h eel an d le ft. R on w aite d u ntil sh e h ad d is a p peare d
th ro ugh t h e d oor t o t h e g ir ls ' d orm ito rie s, t h en c le are d t h e r u bbis h o ff t h e w oolly
hats .
'T hey sh ould at le ast se e w hat th ey 'r e pic k in g up,' he sa id fir m ly .
'A nyw ay … ' h e ro lle d u p th e p arc h m en t o n w hic h h e h ad w ritte n th e title o f
Snap e's e ssa y, 't h ere 's n o p oin t tr y in g to fin is h th is n ow , I c an 't d o it w ith out
Herm io ne, I h av en 't g ot a c lu e w hat y ou'r e su ppose d to d o w ith m oonsto nes,
hav e y ou?'
Harry s h ook h is h ead , n otic in g a s h e d id s o t h at t h e a ch e i n h is r ig ht t e m ple
was g ettin g w ors e . H e th ought o f th e lo ng e ssa y o n g ia n t w ars a n d th e p ain
sta b bed a t h im s h arp ly . K now in g p erfe ctly w ell th at w hen th e m orn in g c am e, h e
would r e g re t n ot f in is h in g h is h om ew ork th at n ig ht, h e p ile d h is b ooks b ack in to
his b ag .
'I 'm g oin g t o b ed t o o.'
He p asse d S eam us o n th e w ay to th e d oor le ad in g to th e d orm ito rie s, b ut
did n ot l o ok a t h im . H arry h ad a f le etin g i m pre ssio n t h at S eam us h ad o pen ed h is
mouth to sp eak , b ut h e sp ed u p a n d re ach ed th e so oth in g p eace o f th e sto ne
sp ir a l s ta ir c ase w ith out h av in g t o e n dure a n y m ore p ro vocatio n.
*
The fo llo w in g d ay d aw ned ju st a s le ad en a n d ra in y a s th e p re v io us o ne.
Hag rid w as s till a b se n t f ro m t h e s ta ff t a b le a t b re ak fa st.
'B ut o n t h e p lu s s id e, n o S nap e t o day ' s a id R on b ra cin gly .
Herm io ne yaw ned w id ely an d poure d hers e lf so m e co ff e e. S he lo oked
mild ly p le ase d a b out s o m eth in g, a n d w hen R on a sk ed h er w hat s h e h ad to b e s o
hap py a b out, sh e sim ply sa id , T he h ats h av e g one. S eem s th e h ouse -e lv es d o
wan t f re ed om a fte r a ll.'
'1 w ould n't b et o n it,' R on to ld h er cu ttin gly . T hey m ig ht n ot co unt as
clo th es. T hey d id n't l o ok a n yth in g l ik e h ats t o m e, m ore l ik e w oolly b la d ders .'
Herm io ne d id n ot s p eak t o h im a ll m orn in g.
Double Charm s w as su cceed ed by double Tra n sfig ura tio n. Pro fe sso r
Flitw ic k a n d P ro fe sso r M cG onag all b oth s p en t th e fir s t fif te en m in ute s o f th eir
le sso ns l e ctu rin g t h e c la ss o n t h e i m porta n ce o f O W Ls.
'W hat y ou m ust r e m em ber,' s a id little P ro fe sso r F litw ic k s q ueak ily p erc h ed
as e v er o n a p ile o f b ooks s o th at h e c o uld s e e o ver th e to p o f h is d esk , 'i s th at
th ese e x am in atio ns m ay in flu en ce y our fu tu re s fo r m an y y ears to c o m e! If y ou
hav e n ot a lr e ad y g iv en s e rio us th ought to y our c are ers , n ow is th e tim e to d o s o .

And in th e m ean tim e, I 'm a fra id , w e s h all b e w ork in g h ard er th an e v er to e n su re
th at y ou a ll d o y ours e lv es j u stic e!'
They th en sp en t over an hour re v is in g Sum monin g Charm s, w hic h
acco rd in g to P ro fe sso r F litw ic k w ere b ound to c o m e u p in th eir O W L, a n d h e
ro unded o ff th e le sso n b y se ttin g th em th eir la rg est ev er am ount o f C harm s
hom ew ork .
It w as t h e s a m e, i f n ot w ors e , i n T ra n sfig ura tio n.
'Y ou can not p ass an O W L,' sa id P ro fe sso r M cG onag all g rim ly , 'w ith out
se rio us a p plic atio n, p ra ctic e a n d s tu dy. I s e e n o re aso n w hy e v ery body in th is
cla ss s h ould n ot a ch ie v e a n O W L in T ra n sfig ura tio n a s lo ng a s th ey p ut in th e
work .' N ev ille m ad e a s a d little d is b elie v in g n ois e . 'Y es, y ou to o, L ongbotto m ,'
sa id P ro fe sso r M cG onag all. T here 's n oth in g w ro ng w ith y our w ork e x cep t la ck
of c o nfid en ce. S o… t o day w e a re s ta rtin g V an is h in g S pells . T hese a re e asie r t h an
Conju rin g S pells , w hic h y ou w ould n ot u su ally a tte m pt u ntil N EW T le v el, b ut
th ey a re s till a m ong t h e m ost d if f ic u lt m ag ic y ou w ill b e t e ste d o n i n y our O W L.'
She w as q uite r ig ht; H arry f o und th e V an is h in g S pells h orrib ly d if f ic u lt. B y
th e e n d o f a d ouble p erio d n eith er h e n or R on h ad m an ag ed to v an is h th e s n ails
on w hic h th ey w ere p ra ctis in g, th ough R on s a id h opefu lly h e th ought h is lo oked
a b it p ale r. H erm io ne, o n th e o th er h an d, s u ccessfu lly v an is h ed h er s n ail o n th e
th ir d atte m pt, earn in g her a te n -p oin t bonus fo r G ry ff in dor fro m P ro fe sso r
McG onag all. S he w as th e o nly p ers o n n ot g iv en h om ew ork ; e v ery body e ls e w as
to ld to p ra ctis e th e s p ell o vern ig ht, re ad y fo r a fre sh a tte m pt o n th eir s n ails th e
fo llo w in g a fte rn oon.
Now p an ic k in g slig htly a b out th e a m ount o f h om ew ork th ey h ad to d o,
Harry an d R on sp en t th eir lu nch h our in th e lib ra ry lo okin g u p th e u se s o f
moonsto nes in p otio n-m ak in g. S till a n gry a b out R on's s lu r o n h er w oolly h ats ,
Herm io ne d id n ot j o in t h em . B y t h e t im e t h ey r e ach ed C are o f M ag ic al C re atu re s
in t h e a fte rn oon, H arry 's h ead w as a ch in g a g ain .
The d ay h ad b eco m e c o ol a n d b re ezy, a n d a s th ey w alk ed d ow n th e s lo pin g
la w n to w ard s H ag rid 's c ab in o n th e e d ge o f th e F orb id den F ore st, th ey fe lt th e
occasio nal d ro p o f r a in o n t h eir f a ces. P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k s to od w aitin g f o r
th e c la ss s o m e te n y ard s f ro m H ag rid 's f ro nt d oor, a lo ng tr e stle ta b le in f ro nt o f
her la d en w ith tw ig s. A s H arry a n d R on re ach ed h er, a lo ud s h out o f la u ghte r
so unded b eh in d th em ; tu rn in g, th ey sa w D ra co M alf o y str id in g to w ard s th em ,
su rro unded b y h is u su al g an g o f S ly th erin cro nie s. H e h ad cle arly ju st sa id
so m eth in g h ig hly a m usin g, b ecau se C ra b be, G oyle , P an sy P ark in so n a n d t h e r e st
co ntin ued to sn ig ger heartily as th ey gath ere d aro und th e tr e stle ta b le an d,
ju dgin g b y th e w ay th ey a ll k ep t lo okin g o ver a t H arry , h e w as a b le to g uess th e
su bje ct o f t h e j o ke w ith out t o o m uch d if f ic u lty .

'E very one h ere ?' b ark ed P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k, o nce a ll th e S ly th erin s
an d G ry ff in dors h ad a rriv ed . 'L et's c ra ck o n th en . W ho c an te ll m e w hat th ese
th in gs a re c alle d ?'
She in dic ate d th e h eap o f tw ig s in fro nt o f h er. H erm io ne's h an d s h ot in to
th e a ir. B eh in d h er b ack , M alf o y d id a b uck -to oth ed im ita tio n o f h er ju m pin g u p
an d d ow n in e ag ern ess to a n sw er a q uestio n. P an sy P ark in so n g av e a s h rie k o f
la u ghte r th at tu rn ed a lm ost a t o nce in to a s c re am , a s th e tw ig s o n th e ta b le le ap t
in to th e air an d re v eale d th em se lv es to be w hat lo oked lik e tin y pix ie -is h
cre atu re s m ad e o f w ood, e ach w ith k nobbly b ro w n a rm s a n d le g s, tw o tw ig lik e
fin gers a t th e e n d o f e ach h an d a n d a f u nny f la t, b ark lik e f a ce in w hic h a p air o f
beetle -b ro w n e y es g litte re d .
'O ooooh!' sa id P arv ati a n d L av en der, th oro ughly ir rita tin g H arry . A nyone
would hav e th ought H ag rid had nev er sh ow n th em im pre ssiv e cre atu re s;
ad m itte d ly , th e F lo bberw orm s h ad b een a b it d ull, b ut th e S ala m an ders an d
Hip pogrif f s h ad b een in te re stin g e n ough, a n d th e B la st- E nded S kre w ts p erh ap s
to o m uch s o .
'K in dly keep your voic es dow n, gir ls !' sa id Pro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k
sh arp ly , sc atte rin g a h an dfu l o f w hat lo oked lik e b ro w n ric e a m ong th e stic k -
cre atu re s, w ho im med ia te ly f e ll u pon th e f o od. 'S o – a n yone k now th e n am es o f
th ese c re atu re s? M is s G ra n ger? '
'B ow tr u ck le s,' s a id H erm io ne. T hey 'r e tr e e-g uard ia n s, u su ally liv e in w an d-
tr e es.'
'F iv e p oin ts fo r G ry ff in dor,' s a id P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k. 'Y es, th ese a re
Bow tr u ck le s, an d as M is s G ra n ger rig htly sa y s, th ey g en era lly liv e in tr e es
whose w ood i s o f w an d q uality . A nybody k now w hat t h ey e at? '
'W oodlic e,' s a id H erm io ne p ro m ptly w hic h e x pla in ed w hy w hat H arry h ad
ta k en to b e g ra in s o f b ro w n ric e w ere m ovin g. 'B ut fa ir y e g gs if th ey c an g et
th em .'
'G ood g ir l, ta k e a n oth er f iv e p oin ts . S o, w hen ev er y ou n eed le av es o r w ood
fro m a tr e e in w hic h a B ow tr u ck le lo dges, it is w is e to h av e a g if t o f w oodlic e
re ad y to d is tr a ct o r p la cate it. T hey m ay n ot lo ok d an gero us, b ut if a n gere d th ey
will tr y to g ouge a t h um an e y es w ith th eir fin gers , w hic h , a s y ou c an s e e, a re
very s h arp a n d n ot a t a ll d esir a b le n ear th e e y eb alls . S o if y ou'd lik e to g ath er
clo se r, ta k e a fe w w oodlic e a n d a B ow tr u ck le – I h av e e n ough h ere fo r o ne
betw een th re e – y ou c an s tu dy th em m ore c lo se ly . I w an t a s k etc h f ro m e ach o f
you w ith a ll b ody-p arts l a b elle d b y t h e e n d o f t h e l e sso n.'
The cla ss su rg ed fo rw ard s aro und th e tr e stle ta b le . H arry delib era te ly
cir c le d a ro und th e b ack so th at h e e n ded u p rig ht n ex t to P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -
Pla n k.

'W here 's H ag rid ?' he ask ed her, w hile ev ery one els e w as ch oosin g
Bow tr u ck le s.
'N ev er y ou m in d,' sa id P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k re p re ssiv ely , w hic h h ad
been h er a ttitu de la st tim e H ag rid h ad f a ile d to tu rn u p f o r a c la ss, to o. S m ir k in g
all o ver h is p oin te d fa ce, D ra co M alf o y le an ed acro ss H arry an d se iz ed th e
la rg est B ow tr u ck le .
'M ay be,' s a id M alf o y in a n u nderto ne, s o th at o nly H arry c o uld h ear h im ,
't h e s tu pid g re at o af's g ot h im se lf b ad ly i n ju re d .'
'M ay be y ou w ill if y ou d on't sh ut u p,' sa id H arry o ut o f th e sid e o f h is
mouth .
'M ay be h e's b een m essin g w ith s tu ff th at's to o
b ig
fo r h im , if y ou g et m y
drif t.'
Malf o y w alk ed aw ay, sm ir k in g over his sh ould er at H arry , w ho fe lt
su dden ly s ic k . D id M alf o y k now s o m eth in g? H is f a th er w as a D eath E ate r a fte r
all; w hat if h e h ad in fo rm atio n a b out H ag rid 's fa te th at h ad n ot y et re ach ed th e
ears o f th e O rd er? H e h urrie d b ack a ro und th e ta b le to R on a n d H erm io ne w ho
were s q uattin g o n th e g ra ss s o m e d is ta n ce a w ay a n d a tte m ptin g to p ers u ad e a
Bow tr u ck le to re m ain still lo ng e n ough fo r th em to d ra w it. H arry p ulle d o ut
parc h m en t a n d q uill, c ro uch ed d ow n b esid e th e o th ers a n d re la te d in a w his p er
what M alf o y h ad j u st s a id .
'D um ble d ore w ould k now if so m e th in g h ad h ap pen ed to H ag rid ,' sa id
Herm io ne a t o nce. 'I t's ju st p la y in g in to M alf o y's h an ds to lo ok w orrie d ; it te lls
him w e d on't k now e x actly w hat's g oin g o n. W e'v e g ot to ig nore h im , H arry .
Here , h old t h e B ow tr u ck le f o r a m om en t, j u st s o I c an d ra w i ts f a ce… '
'Y es,' c am e M alf o y's c le ar d ra w l fro m th e g ro up n eare st th em , 'F ath er w as
ta lk in g to th e M in is te r ju st a c o uple o f d ay s a g o, y ou k now , a n d it so unds a s
th ough th e M in is tr y 's r e ally d ete rm in ed to c ra ck d ow n o n s u b-s ta n dard te ach in g
in th is pla ce. S o ev en if th at overg ro w n m oro n
does
sh ow up ag ain , he'l l
pro bab ly b e s e n t p ack in g s tr a ig hta w ay.'
'O UCH !'
Harry h ad g rip ped t h e B ow tr u ck le s o h ard t h at i t h ad a lm ost s n ap ped , a n d i t
had j u st t a k en a g re at r e ta lia to ry s w ip e a t h is h an d w ith i ts s h arp f in gers , l e av in g
tw o lo ng d eep c u ts th ere . H arry d ro pped it. C ra b be a n d G oyle , w ho h ad a lr e ad y
been g uff a w in g a t th e id ea o f H ag rid b ein g s a ck ed , la u ghed s till h ard er a s th e
Bow tr u ck le s e t o ff a t f u ll tilt to w ard s th e F ore st, a little m ovin g s tic k -m an s o on
sw allo w ed u p a m ong th e tr e e ro ots . W hen th e b ell e ch oed d is ta n tly o ver th e
gro unds, H arry r o lle d u p h is b lo od-s ta in ed B ow tr u ck le p ic tu re a n d m arc h ed o ff
to H erb olo gy w ith h is h an d w ra p ped in H erm io ne's h an dkerc h ie f, a n d M alf o y's
deris iv e l a u ghte r s till r in gin g i n h is e ars .

'I f h e c alls H ag rid a m oro n o ne m ore tim e… ' sa id H arry th ro ugh g ritte d
te eth .
'H arry , d on't g o p ic k in g a r o w w ith M alf o y, d on't f o rg et, h e's a p re fe ct n ow ,
he c o uld m ak e l if e d if f ic u lt f o r y ou… '
'W ow , I w onder w hat it'd be lik e to hav e a dif f ic u lt lif e ?' sa id H arry
sa rc astic ally . R on l a u ghed , b ut H erm io ne f ro w ned . T ogeth er, t h ey t r a ip se d a cro ss
th e v eg eta b le p atc h . T he s k y s till a p peare d u nab le t o m ak e u p i ts m in d w heth er i t
wan te d t o r a in o r n ot.
'I ju st w is h H ag rid w ould h urry u p a n d g et b ack , th at's a ll,' s a id H arry in a
lo w v oic e, a s th ey re ach ed th e g re en house s. 'A nd
d on't
s a y th at G ru bbly -P la n k
wom an 's a b ette r t e ach er!' h e a d ded t h re ate n in gly .
'I w asn 't g oin g t o ,' s a id H erm io ne c alm ly .
'B ecau se s h e'l l n ev er b e a s g ood a s H ag rid ,' s a id H arry f ir m ly , f u lly a w are
th at h e h ad ju st e x perie n ced a n e x em pla ry C are o f M ag ic al C re atu re s le sso n a n d
was t h oro ughly a n noyed a b out i t.
The d oor o f th e n eare st g re en house o pen ed a n d s o m e fo urth -y ears s p ille d
out o f i t, i n clu din g G in ny.
'H i,' s h e s a id b rig htly a s s h e p asse d . A fe w s e co nds la te r, L una L oveg ood
em erg ed , t r a ilin g b eh in d t h e r e st o f t h e c la ss, a s m udge o f e arth o n h er n ose , a n d
her h air t ie d i n a k not o n t h e t o p o f h er h ead . W hen s h e s a w H arry , h er p ro m in en t
ey es s e em ed t o b ulg e e x cite d ly a n d s h e m ad e a b eelin e s tr a ig ht f o r h im . M an y o f
his c la ssm ate s t u rn ed c u rio usly t o w atc h . L una t o ok a g re at b re ath a n d t h en s a id ,
with out s o m uch a s a p re lim in ary h ello , 'I b elie v e H e W ho M ust N ot B e N am ed
is b ack a n d I b elie v e y ou f o ught h im a n d e sc ap ed f ro m h im .'
'E r – rig ht,' s a id H arry a w kw ard ly . L una w as w earin g w hat lo oked lik e a
pair o f o ra n ge r a d is h es f o r e arrin gs, a f a ct th at P arv ati a n d L av en der s e em ed to
hav e n otic ed , a s t h ey w ere b oth g ig glin g a n d p oin tin g a t h er e arlo bes.
'Y ou can la u gh,' Luna sa id , her voic e ris in g, ap pare n tly under th e
im pre ssio n th at P arv ati a n d L av en der w ere la u ghin g a t w hat s h e h ad s a id r a th er
th an w hat s h e w as w earin g, 'b ut p eo ple u se d t o b elie v e t h ere w ere n o s u ch t h in gs
as t h e B lib berin g H um din ger o r t h e C ru m ple -H orn ed S nork ack !'
'W ell, th ey w ere rig ht, w ere n 't th ey ?' sa id H erm io ne im patie n tly . T here
were n 't
a n y su ch th in gs a s th e B lib berin g H um din ger o r th e C ru m ple -H orn ed
Snork ack .'
Luna gav e her a w ith erin g lo ok an d flo unced aw ay, ra d is h es sw in gin g
mad ly P arv ati a n d L av en der w ere n ot t h e o nly o nes h ootin g w ith l a u ghte r n ow .
'D 'y ou m in d n ot o ff e n din g th e o nly p eo ple w ho b elie v e m e?' H arry a sk ed
Herm io ne a s t h ey m ad e t h eir w ay i n to c la ss.
'O h, fo r h eav en 's s a k e, H arry , y ou c an d o b ette r th an h er,' s a id H erm io ne.

'G in ny's to ld m e a ll a b out h er; a p pare n tly , s h e'l l o nly b elie v e in th in gs a s lo ng a s
th ere 's n o p ro of at all. W ell, I w ould n't ex pect an yth in g els e fro m so m eo ne
whose f a th er r u ns
T he Q uib ble r
.'
Harry t h ought o f t h e s in is te r w in ged h ors e s h e h ad s e en o n t h e n ig ht h e h ad
arriv ed a n d h ow L una h ad s a id s h e c o uld s e e th em to o. H is s p ir its s a n k s lig htly .
Had sh e b een ly in g? B ut b efo re h e co uld d ev ote m uch m ore th ought to th e
matte r, E rn ie M acm illa n h ad s te p ped u p t o h im .
'I w an t y ou to k now , P otte r,' h e s a id in a lo ud, c arry in g v oic e, 't h at it's n ot
only w eir d os w ho s u pport y ou. I p ers o nally b elie v e y ou o ne h undre d p er c en t.
My f a m ily h av e a lw ay s s to od f ir m b eh in d D um ble d ore , a n d s o d o I .'
'E r – th an ks v ery m uch , E rn ie ,' s a id H arry , ta k en a b ack b ut p le ase d . E rn ie
mig ht b e p om pous o n o ccasio ns lik e th is , b ut H arry w as in a m ood to d eep ly
ap pre cia te a vote of co nfid en ce fro m so m eb ody w ho did not hav e ra d is h es
dan glin g fro m th eir ears . E rn ie 's w ord s h ad certa in ly w ip ed th e sm ile fro m
Lav en der B ro w n's fa ce a n d a s h e tu rn ed to ta lk to R on a n d H erm io ne, H arry
cau ght S eam uss e x pre ssio n, w hic h l o oked b oth c o nfu se d a n d d efia n t.
To n obody's su rp ris e , P ro fe sso r S pro ut sta rte d th eir le sso n b y le ctu rin g
th em a b out th e im porta n ce o f O W Ls. H arry w is h ed a ll th e te ach ers w ould s to p
doin g t h is ; h e w as s ta rtin g t o g et a n a n xio us, t w is te d f e elin g i n h is s to m ach e v ery
tim e h e r e m em bere d h ow m uch h om ew ork h e h ad t o d o, a f e elin g t h at w ors e n ed
dra m atic ally w hen P ro fe sso r S pro ut g av e th em y et a n oth er e ssa y a t th e . e n d o f
cla ss. T ir e d a n d s m ellin g s tr o ngly o f d ra g on d ung, P ro fe sso r S pro ut's p re fe rre d
ty pe o f f e rtilis e r, t h e G ry ff in dors t r o oped b ack u p t o t h e c astle a n h our a n d a h alf
la te r, n one o f t h em t a lk in g v ery m uch ; i t h ad b een a n oth er l o ng d ay.
As H arry w as s ta rv in g, a n d h e h ad h is f ir s t d ete n tio n w ith U m brid ge a t f iv e
o'c lo ck , h e h ead ed s tr a ig ht f o r d in ner w ith out d ro ppin g o ff h is b ag in G ry ff in dor
Tow er s o th at h e c o uld b olt s o m eth in g d ow n b efo re f a cin g w hate v er s h e h ad in
sto re fo r h im . H e h ad b are ly re ach ed th e e n tr a n ce o f th e G re at H all, h ow ev er,
when a l o ud a n d a n gry v oic e y elle d , 'O i, P otte r!'
'W hat n ow ?' h e m utte re d w earily , tu rn in g to fa ce A ngelin a J o hnso n, w ho
lo oked a s t h ough s h e w as i n a t o w erin g t e m per.
'I 'l l te ll y ou
w hat n ow
,' s h e s a id , m arc h in g s tr a ig ht u p to h im a n d p okin g
him h ard in th e ch est w ith h er fin ger. 'H ow co m e y ou'v e la n ded y ours e lf in
dete n tio n f o r f iv e o 'c lo ck o n F rid ay ?'
'W hat? ' s a id H arry . 'W hy… o h y eah , K eep er t r y outs !'
'N ow h e re m em bers !' s n arle d A ngelin a. 'D id n't I te ll y ou I w an te d to d o a
tr y out w ith t h e
w hole t e a m
, a n d f in d s o m eo ne w ho
f itte d i n w ith e very o ne
! D id n't
I te ll y ou I'd b ooked th e Q uid ditc h p itc h sp ecia lly ? A nd n ow y ou'v e d ecid ed
you'r e n ot g oin g t o b e t h ere !'

'I d id n't d ecid e n ot to b e th ere !' s a id H arry , s tu ng b y th e in ju stic e o f th ese
word s. 'I g ot d ete n tio n fro m th at U m brid ge w om an , ju st b ecau se I to ld h er th e
tr u th a b out Y ou-K now -W ho.'
'W ell, y ou c an ju st g o s tr a ig ht to h er a n d a sk h er to le t y ou o ff o n F rid ay,'
sa id A ngelin a fie rc ely , 'a n d 1 d on't c are h ow y ou d o it. T ell h er Y ou-K now -
Who's a f ig m en t o f y our i m ag in atio n i f y ou l ik e, j u st
m ake s u re y o u r e t h ere }'
She t u rn ed o n h er h eel a n d s to rm ed a w ay.
'Y ou k now w hat? ' H arry sa id to R on an d H erm io ne as th ey en te re d th e
Gre at H all. 'I th in k w e'd b ette r c h eck w ith P uddle m ere U nite d w heth er O liv er
Wood's b een k ille d d urin g a tr a in in g se ssio n, b ecau se A ngelin a se em s to b e
ch an nellin g h is s p ir it.'
'W hat d 'y ou re ck on a re th e o dds o f U m brid ge le ttin g y ou o ff o n F rid ay ?'
sa id R on s c ep tic ally , a s t h ey s a t d ow n a t t h e G ry ff in dor t a b le .
'L ess th an z ero ,' s a id H arry g lu m ly , tip pin g la m b c h ops o n to h is p la te a n d
sta rtin g t o e at. 'B ette r t r y , t h ough , h ad n't I ? I 'l l o ff e r t o d o t w o m ore d ete n tio ns o r
so m eth in g, I d unno… " H e s w allo w ed a m outh fu l o f p ota to a n d a d ded , 'I h ope
sh e d oesn 't k eep m e to o lo ng th is e v en in g. Y ou re alis e w e'v e g ot to w rite th re e
essa y s, p ra ctis e V an is h in g S pells f o r M cG onag all, w ork o ut a c o unte r- c h arm f o r
Flitw ic k , fin is h th e B ow tr u ck le d ra w in g a n d sta rt th at stu pid d re am d ia ry fo r
Tre la w ney ?'
Ron m oan ed a n d f o r s o m e r e aso n g la n ced u p a t t h e c eilin g.
'A nd i t l o oks l ik e i t's g oin g t o r a in .'
'W hat's th at g ot to d o w ith o ur h om ew ork ?' s a id H erm io ne, h er e y eb ro w s
ra is e d .
'N oth in g,' s a id R on a t o nce, h is e ars r e d den in g.
At f iv e t o f iv e H arry b ad e t h e o th er t w o g oodbye a n d s e t o ff f o r U m brid ge's
off ic e o n t h e t h ir d f lo or. W hen h e k nock ed o n t h e d oor s h e c alle d , 'C om e i n ,' i n a
su gary v oic e. H e e n te re d c au tio usly , l o okin g a ro und.
He h ad k now n t h is o ff ic e u nder t h re e o f i ts p re v io us o ccu pan ts .
In th e d ay s w hen G ild ero y L ock hart h ad liv ed h ere it h ad b een p la ste re d in
beam in g p ortr a its o f h im se lf . W hen L upin h ad o ccu pie d it, it w as lik ely y ou
would m eet s o m e f a sc in atin g D ark c re atu re i n a c ag e o r t a n k i f y ou c am e t o c all.
In th e im posto r M oody's d ay s it h ad b een p ack ed w ith v ario us in str u m en ts a n d
arte fa cts f o r t h e d ete ctio n o f w ro ngdoin g a n d c o ncealm en t.
Now , h ow ev er, it lo oked to ta lly u nre co gnis a b le . T he s u rfa ces h ad a ll b een
dra p ed in la cy c o vers a n d c lo th s. T here w ere s e v era l v ase s f u ll o f d rie d f lo w ers ,
each o ne r e sid in g o n its o w n d oily , a n d o n o ne o f th e w alls w as a c o lle ctio n o f
orn am en ta l p la te s, each d eco ra te d w ith a la rg e te ch nic o lo ur k itte n w earin g a
dif f e re n t b ow a ro und its n eck . T hese w ere so fo ul th at H arry sta re d a t th em ,

tr a n sfix ed , u ntil P ro fe sso r U m brid ge s p oke a g ain .
'G ood e v en in g, M r P otte r.'
Harry s ta rte d a n d l o oked a ro und. H e h ad n ot n otic ed h er a t f ir s t b ecau se s h e
was w earin g a lu rid ly f lo w ere d s e t o f r o bes th at b le n ded o nly to o w ell w ith th e
ta b le clo th o n t h e d esk b eh in d h er.
'E ven in g, P ro fe sso r U m brid ge,' H arry s a id s tif f ly .
'W ell, sit d ow n,' sh e sa id , p oin tin g to w ard s a sm all ta b le d ra p ed in la ce
besid e w hic h sh e had dra w n up a str a ig ht- b ack ed ch air. A pie ce of bla n k
parc h m en t l a y o n t h e t a b le , a p pare n tly w aitin g f o r h im .
'E r,' s a id H arry , w ith out m ovin g. 'P ro fe sso r U m brid ge. E r – b efo re w e s ta rt,
I – I w an te d t o a sk y ou a … a f a v our.'
Her b ulg in g e y es n arro w ed .
'O h, y es? '
'W ell, I'm … I'm in th e G ry ff in dor Q uid ditc h te am . A nd I w as s u ppose d to
be a t th e tr y outs fo r th e n ew K eep er a t fiv e o 'c lo ck o n F rid ay a n d I w as – w as
wonderin g w heth er I c o uld sk ip d ete n tio n th at n ig ht a n d d o it – d o it a n oth er
nig ht… i n ste ad … '
He k new l o ng b efo re h e r e ach ed t h e e n d o f h is s e n te n ce t h at i t w as n o g ood.
'O h, n o,' s a id U m brid ge, s m ilin g s o w id ely th at s h e lo oked a s th ough s h e
had ju st sw allo w ed a partic u la rly ju ic y fly . 'O h, no, no, no. T his is your
punis h m en t fo r sp re ad in g e v il, n asty , a tte n tio n-s e ek in g sto rie s, M r P otte r, a n d
punis h m en ts c erta in ly c an not b e a d ju ste d to su it th e g uilty o ne's c o nven ie n ce.
No, y ou w ill c o m e
•r h ere a t fiv e o 'c lo ck to m orro w , a n d th e n ex t d ay, a n d o n F rid ay to o, a n d
you w ill d o y our d ete n tio ns a s p la n ned . I t h in k i t r a th er a g ood t h in g t h at y ou a re
mis sin g s o m eth in g y ou re ally w an t to d o. It o ught to re in fo rc e th e le sso n I a m
tr y in g t o t e ach y ou.'
Harry fe lt th e b lo od s u rg e to h is h ead a n d h eard a th um pin g n ois e in h is
ears . S o h e t o ld 'e v il, n asty , a tte n tio n-s e ek in g s to nes', d id h e?
She w as w atc h in g h im w ith h er h ead slig htly to o ne sid e, still sm ilin g
wid ely , a s t h ough s h e k new e x actly w hat h e w as t h in kin g a n d w as w aitin g t o s e e
wheth er h e w ould s ta rt s h outin g a g ain . W ith a m assiv e e ff o rt, H arry l o oked a w ay
fro m h er, d ro pped h is s c h oolb ag b esid e t h e s tr a ig ht- b ack ed c h air a n d s a t d ow n.
There ,' sa id U m brid ge sw eetly , 'w e'r e gettin g bette r at co ntr o llin g our
te m per a lr e ad y, a re n 't w e? N ow , y ou a re g oin g t o b e d oin g s o m e l in es f o r m e, M r
Potte r. N o, n ot w ith y our q uill,' s h e a d ded , a s H arry b en t d ow n to o pen h is b ag .
'Y ou'r e g oin g t o b e u sin g a r a th er s p ecia l o ne o f m in e. H ere y ou a re .'
She h an ded h im a l o ng, t h in b la ck q uill w ith a n u nusu ally s h arp p oin t.
'I w an t y ou t o w rite , /
m ust n ot t e ll l ie s
,' s h e t o ld h im s o ftly .

'H ow m an y t im es? ' H arry a sk ed , w ith a c re d ita b le i m ita tio n o f p olite n ess.
'O h, a s lo ng a s it ta k es f o r th e m essa g e to
s in k in
,' s a id U m brid ge s w eetly .
'O ff y ou g o.'
She m oved o ver to h er d esk , s a t d ow n a n d b en t o ver a s ta ck o f p arc h m en t
th at lo oked lik e essa y s fo r m ark in g. H arry ra is e d th e sh arp b la ck q uill, th en
re alis e d w hat w as m is sin g.
'Y ou h av en 't g iv en m e a n y i n k,' h e s a id .
'O h, you w on't need in k,' sa id Pro fe sso r U m brid ge, w ith th e m ere st
su ggestio n o f a l a u gh i n h er v oic e.
Harry p la ced th e p oin t o f th e q uill o n th e p ap er a n d w ro te : /
m ust n ot te ll
lie s
.
He l e t o ut a g asp o f p ain . T he w ord s h ad a p peare d o n t h e p arc h m en t i n w hat
ap peare d t o b e s h in in g r e d i n k. A t t h e s a m e t im e, t h e w ord s h ad a p peare d o n t h e
back o f H arry s r ig ht h an d, c u t in to h is s k in a s th ough tr a ced th ere b y a s c alp el –
yet e v en a s h e s ta re d a t th e s h in in g c u t, th e s k in h eale d o ver a g ain , le av in g th e
pla ce w here i t h ad b een s lig htly r e d der t h an b efo re b ut q uite s m ooth .
Harry l o oked r o und a t U m brid ge. S he w as w atc h in g h im , h er w id e, t o ad lik e
mouth s tr e tc h ed i n a s m ile .
'Y es? '
'N oth in g,' s a id H arry q uie tly .
He lo oked b ack a t th e p arc h m en t, p la ced th e q uill o n it o nce m ore , w ro te I
must n ot
te ll lie s
, a n d f e lt th e s e arin g p ain o n th e b ack o f h is h an d f o r a s e co nd
tim e; o nce a g ain , th e w ord s h ad b een c u t in to h is s k in ; o nce a g ain , th ey h eale d
over s e co nds l a te r.
And o n it w en t. A gain a n d a g ain H arry w ro te th e w ord s o n th e p arc h m en t
in w hat h e s o on c am e to r e alis e w as n ot in k, b ut h is o w n b lo od. A nd, a g ain a n d
ag ain , th e w ord s w ere c u t in to th e b ack o f h is h an d, h eale d , a n d r e ap peare d th e
nex t t im e h e s e t q uill t o p arc h m en t.
Dark ness fe ll outs id e U m brid ge's w in dow . H arry did not ask w hen he
would b e a llo w ed to s to p. H e d id n ot e v en c h eck h is w atc h . H e k new s h e w as
watc h in g h im f o r s ig ns o f w eak ness a n d h e w as n ot g oin g to s h ow a n y, n ot e v en
if h e h ad t o s it t h ere a ll n ig ht, c u ttin g o pen h is o w n h an d w ith t h is q uill…
'C om e h ere ,' s h e s a id , a fte r w hat s e em ed h ours .
He s to od u p. H is h an d w as s tin gin g p ain fu lly . W hen h e l o oked d ow n a t i t h e
sa w t h at t h e c u t h ad h eale d , b ut t h at t h e s k in t h ere w as r e d r a w .
'H an d,' s h e s a id .
He e x te n ded it. S he to ok it in h er o w n. H arry re p re sse d a s h udder a s s h e
to uch ed h im w ith h er th ic k , s tu bby f in gers o n w hic h s h e w ore a n um ber o f u gly
old r in gs.

Tut, tu t, 1 d on't s e em to h av e m ad e m uch o f a n im pre ssio n y et,' s h e s a id ,
sm ilin g. 'W ell, w e'l l ju st h av e to tr y a g ain to m orro w e v en in g , w on't w e? Y ou
may g o.'
Harry le ft h er o ff ic e w ith out a w ord . T he s c h ool w as q uite d ese rte d ; it w as
su re ly p ast m id nig ht. H e w alk ed slo w ly u p th e co rrid or, th en , w hen h e h ad
tu rn ed t h e c o rn er a n d w as s u re s h e w ould n ot h ear h im , b ro ke i n to a r u n.
*
He h ad n ot h ad tim e to p ra ctis e V an is h in g S pells , h ad n ot w ritte n a s in gle
dre am in h is d re am d ia ry a n d h ad n ot fin is h ed th e d ra w in g o f th e B ow tr u ck le ,
nor h ad h e w ritte n h is e ssa y s. H e sk ip ped b re ak fa st n ex t m orn in g to sc rib ble
dow n a c o uple o f m ad e-u p d re am s fo r D iv in atio n, th eir fir s t le sso n, a n d w as
su rp ris e d t o f in d a d is h ev elle d R on k eep in g h im c o m pan y.
'H ow c o m e y ou d id n't d o it la st n ig ht? ' H arry a sk ed , a s R on s ta re d w ild ly
aro und th e c o m mon ro om fo r in sp ir a tio n. R on, w ho h ad b een fa st a sle ep w hen
Harry g ot b ack to th e d orm ito ry , m utte re d so m eth in g a b out 'd oin g o th er stu ff ,
ben t l o w o ver h is p arc h m en t a n d s c ra w le d a f e w w ord s.
That'l l h av e to d o,' h e s a id , s la m min g th e d ia ry s h ut. 'I 'v e s a id I d re am ed 1
was b uyin g a n ew p air o f s h oes, s h e c an 't m ak e a n yth in g w eir d o ut o f th at, c an
sh e?'
They h urrie d o ff t o N orth T ow er t o geth er.
'H ow w as d ete n tio n w ith U m brid ge, a n yw ay ? W hat d id s h e m ak e y ou d o?'
Harry h esita te d f o r a f ra ctio n o f a s e co nd, t h en s a id , 'L in es.'
That's n ot t o o b ad , t h en , e h ?' s a id R on.
'N ope,' s a id H arry .
'H ey – I f o rg ot – d id s h e l e t y ou o ff f o r F rid ay ?'
'N o,' s a id H arry .
Ron g ro an ed s y m path etic ally .
It was an oth er bad day fo r Harry ; he was one of th e wors t in
Tra n sfig ura tio n, n ot h av in g p ra ctis e d V an is h in g S pells a t a ll. H e h ad to g iv e u p
his lu nch hour to co m ple te th e pic tu re of th e B ow tr u ck le an d, m ean w hile ,
Pro fe sso rs M cG onag all, G ru bbly -P la n k an d Sin is tr a gav e th em yet m ore
hom ew ork , w hic h h e h ad n o p ro sp ect o f fin is h in g th at e v en in g b ecau se o f h is
se co nd d ete n tio n w ith U m brid ge. T o c ap it a ll, A ngelin a J o hnso n tr a ck ed h im
dow n at d in ner ag ain an d, o n le arn in g th at h e w ould n ot b e ab le to atte n d
Frid ay 's K eep er t r y outs , t o ld h im s h e w as n ot a t a ll i m pre sse d b y h is a ttitu de a n d
th at sh e e x pecte d p la y ers w ho w is h ed to re m ain o n th e te am to p ut tr a in in g
befo re t h eir o th er c o m mitm en ts .
'I 'm in d ete n tio n!' H arry y elle d a fte r h er a s s h e s ta lk ed a w ay. 'D 'y ou th in k
I'd r a th er b e s tu ck i n a r o om w ith t h at o ld t o ad o r p la y in g Q uid ditc h ?'

'A t le ast it's o nly lin es,' s a id H erm io ne c o nso lin gly , a s H arry s a n k b ack o n
to h is b en ch a n d lo oked d ow n a t h is s te ak a n d k id ney p ie , w hic h h e n o lo nger
fa n cie d v ery m uch . 'I t's n ot a s i f i t's a d re ad fu l p unis h m en t, r e ally … "
Harry o pen ed h is m outh , c lo se d i t a g ain a n d n odded . H e w as n ot r e ally s u re
why he w as not te llin g R on an d H erm io ne ex actly w hat w as hap pen in g in
Um brid ge's r o om : h e o nly k new t h at h e d id n ot w an t t o s e e t h eir l o oks o f h orro r;
th at w ould m ak e th e w hole th in g se em w ors e a n d th ere fo re m ore d if f ic u lt to
fa ce. H e a ls o fe lt d im ly th at th is w as b etw een h im se lf a n d U m brid ge, a p riv ate
battle o f w ills , a n d h e w as n ot g oin g to g iv e h er th e s a tis fa ctio n o f h earin g th at
he h ad c o m pla in ed a b out i t.
'I c an 't b elie v e h ow m uch h om ew ork w e'v e g ot,' s a id R on m is e ra b ly .
'W ell, w hy d id n't y ou d o a n y la st n ig ht? ' H erm io ne a sk ed h im . 'W here w ere
you, a n yw ay ?'
'I w as… I f a n cie d a w alk ,' s a id R on s h if tily .
Harry h ad t h e d is tin ct i m pre ssio n t h at h e w as n ot a lo ne i n c o ncealin g t h in gs
at t h e m om en t.
*
The s e co nd d ete n tio n w as ju st a s b ad a s th e p re v io us o ne. T he s k in o n th e
back o f H arry 's h an d b ecam e ir rita te d m ore q uic k ly n ow a n d w as s o on r e d a n d
in fla m ed . H arry th ought it u nlik ely th at it w ould k eep h ealin g a s e ff e ctiv ely f o r
lo ng. S oon th e c u t w ould re m ain e tc h ed in to h is h an d a n d U m brid ge w ould ,
perh ap s, b e s a tis fie d . H e le t n o g asp o f p ain e sc ap e h im , h ow ev er, a n d f ro m th e
mom en t of en te rin g th e ro om to th e m om en t of his dis m is sa l, ag ain past
mid nig ht, h e s a id n oth in g b ut 'g ood e v en in g' a n d 'g oodnig ht'.
His hom ew ork situ atio n, how ev er, w as now desp era te , an d w hen he
re tu rn ed to th e G ry ff in dor c o m mon ro om h e d id n ot, th ough e x hau ste d , g o to
bed , b ut o pen ed h is b ooks a n d b eg an S nap e's m oonsto ne e ssa y. I t w as h alf p ast
tw o b y th e tim e h e h ad fin is h ed it. H e k new h e h ad d one a p oor jo b, b ut th ere
was n o h elp f o r it; u nle ss h e h ad s o m eth in g to g iv e in h e w ould b e in d ete n tio n
with Snap e nex t. H e th en dash ed off an sw ers to th e questio ns Pro fe sso r
McG onag all h ad s e t t h em , c o bble d t o geth er s o m eth in g o n t h e p ro per h an dlin g o f
Bow tr u ck le s f o r P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k, a n d s ta g gere d u p t o b ed , w here h e f e ll
fu lly c lo th ed o n t o p o f t h e c o vers a n d f e ll a sle ep i m med ia te ly .
X
Thurs d ay p asse d i n a h aze o f t ir e d ness. R on s e em ed v ery s le ep y t o o, t h ough
Harry c o uld n ot s e e w hy h e s h ould b e. H arry 's t h ir d d ete n tio n p asse d i n t h e s a m e
way a s th e p re v io us tw o, e x cep t th at a fte r tw o h ours th e w ord s '/ m ust
n ot te ll
lie s'
d id n ot fa d e fro m th e b ack o f H arry s h an d, b ut re m ain ed s c ra tc h ed th ere ,
oozin g dro ple ts of blo od. T he pau se in th e poin te d quill's sc ra tc h in g m ad e

Pro fe sso r U m brid ge l o ok u p.
'A h,' s h e s a id s o ftly , m ovin g a ro und h er d esk to e x am in e h is h an d h ers e lf .
'G ood. T hat o ught to s e rv e a s a r e m in der to y ou, o ughtn 't it? Y ou m ay le av e f o r
to nig ht.'
'D o I still hav e to co m e back to m orro w ?' sa id H arry pic k in g up his
sc h oolb ag w ith h is l e ft h an d r a th er t h an h is s m artin g r ig ht o ne.
'O h y es,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, s m ilin g a s w id ely a s b efo re . 'Y es, I t h in k
we c an e tc h t h e m essa g e a l ittle d eep er w ith a n oth er e v en in g's w ork .'
Harry had nev er befo re co nsid ere d th e possib ility th at th ere m ig ht be
an oth er te ach er in th e w orld h e h ate d m ore th an S nap e, b ut a s h e w alk ed b ack
to w ard s G ry ff in dor T ow er h e h ad to a d m it h e h ad fo und a str o ng c o nte n der.
She's e v il, h e t h ought, a s h e c lim bed a s ta ir c ase t o t h e s e v en th f lo or, s h e's a n e v il,
tw is te d , m ad o ld -
'R on?'
He h ad re ach ed th e to p o f th e s ta ir s , tu rn ed rig ht a n d a lm ost w alk ed in to
Ron, w ho w as lu rk in g beh in d a sta tu e of L ach la n th e L an ky, clu tc h in g his
bro om stic k . H e g av e a g re at le ap o f s u rp ris e w hen h e s a w H arry a n d a tte m pte d
to h id e h is n ew C le an sw eep E le v en b eh in d h is b ack .
'W hat a re y ou d oin g?'
'E r – n oth in g. W hat a re
y o u
d oin g?'
Harry f ro w ned a t h im .
'C om e o n, y ou c an t e ll m e! W hat a re y ou h id in g h ere f o r? '
'I 'm – I 'm h id in g f ro m F re d a n d G eo rg e, if y ou m ust k now ,' s a id R on. T hey
ju st w en t p ast w ith a b unch o f fir s t- y ears , I b et th ey 'r e te stin g stu ff o n th em
ag ain . I m ean , th ey c an 't d o it in th e c o m mon ro om n ow , c an th ey, n ot w ith
Herm io ne t h ere .'
He w as t a lk in g i n a v ery f a st, f e v eris h w ay.
'B ut w hat h av e y ou g ot y our b ro om f o r, y ou h av en 't b een f ly in g, h av e y ou?'
Harry a sk ed .
'I – w ell – w ell, O K, I'l l te ll y ou, b ut d on't la u gh, all rig ht? ' R on sa id
defe n siv ely , tu rn in g re d der w ith ev ery se co nd. 'I – I th ought I'd tr y o ut fo r
Gry ff in dor K eep er n ow I 'v e g ot a d ecen t b ro om . T here . G o o n. L au gh.'
'I 'm n ot l a u ghin g,' s a id H arry . R on b lin ked . 'I t's a b rillia n t i d ea! I t'd b e r e ally
co ol i f y ou g ot o n t h e t e am ! I 'v e n ev er s e en y ou p la y K eep er, a re y ou g ood?'
'I 'm n ot b ad ,' s a id R on, w ho lo oked im men se ly r e lie v ed a t H arry 's r e actio n.
'C harlie , F re d an d G eo rg e alw ay s m ad e m e K eep fo r th em w hen th ey w ere
tr a in in g d urin g t h e h olid ay s.'
'S o y ou'v e b een p ra ctis in g t o nig ht? '
'E very e v en in g s in ce T uesd ay … j u st o n m y o w n, t h ough. I 'v e b een t r y in g t o

bew itc h Q uaff le s t o f ly a t m e, b ut i t h asn 't b een e asy a n d I d on't k now h ow m uch
use it'l l b e.' R on lo oked n erv ous a n d a n xio us. 'F re d a n d G eo rg e a re g oin g to
la u gh th em se lv es stu pid w hen I tu rn u p fo r th e tr y outs . T hey h av en 't sto pped
ta k in g t h e m ic k ey o ut o f m e s in ce I g ot m ad e a p re fe ct.'
'I w is h I w as g oin g to b e th ere ,' s a id H arry b itte rly , a s th ey s e t o ff to geth er
to w ard s t h e c o m mon r o om .
'Y eah , s o d o – H arry , w hat's t h at o n t h e b ack o f y our h an d?'
Harry , w ho h ad j u st s c ra tc h ed h is n ose w ith h is f re e r ig ht h an d, t r ie d t o h id e
it, b ut h ad a s m uch s u ccess a s R on w ith h is C le an sw eep .
'I t's j u st a c u t – i t's n oth in g – i t's - '
But R on h ad g ra b bed H arry 's f o re arm a n d p ulle d th e b ack o f H arry 's h an d
up le v el w ith h is e y es. T here w as a p au se , d urin g w hic h h e s ta re d a t th e w ord s
carv ed i n to t h e s k in , t h en , l o okin g s ic k , h e r e le ase d H arry .
'I t h ought y ou s a id s h e w as j u st g iv in g y ou l in es? '
Harry h esita te d , b ut a fte r a ll, R on h ad b een h onest w ith h im , s o h e t o ld R on
th e t r u th a b out t h e h ours h e h ad b een s p en din g i n U m brid ge's o ff ic e.
The o ld h ag !' R on s a id in a r e v olte d w his p er a s th ey c am e to a h alt in f ro nt
of th e F at L ad y, w ho w as d ozin g p eacefu lly w ith h er h ead a g ain st h er fra m e.
'S he's s ic k ! G o t o M cG onag all, s a y s o m eth in g!'
'N o,' s a id H arry a t o nce. 'I 'm n ot g iv in g h er t h e s a tis fa ctio n o f k now in g s h e's
got t o m e.'
' Got t o y o u
? Y ou c an 't l e t h er g et a w ay w ith t h is !'
'I d on't k now h ow m uch p ow er M cG onag all's g ot o ver h er,' s a id H arry .
'D um ble d ore , t h en , t e ll D um ble d ore !'
'N o,' s a id H arry f la tly .
'W hy n ot? '
'H e's g ot e n ough o n h is m in d,' s a id H arry , b ut th at w as n ot th e tr u e r e aso n.
He w as n ot g oin g to g o to D um ble d ore fo r h elp w hen D um ble d ore h ad n ot
sp oken t o h im o nce s in ce J u ne.
'W ell, 1 r e ck on y ou s h ould - ' R on b eg an , b ut h e w as in te rru pte d b y th e F at
Lad y, w ho h ad b een w atc h in g t h em s le ep ily a n d n ow b urs t o ut, 'A re y ou g oin g t o
giv e m e th e p assw ord o r w ill 1 h av e to s ta y a w ak e a ll n ig ht w aitin g fo r y ou to
fin is h y our c o nvers a tio n?'
*
Frid ay d aw ned su lle n a n d so dden a s th e re st o f th e w eek . T hough H arry
au to m atic ally g la n ced to w ard s th e s ta ff ta b le w hen h e e n te re d th e G re at H all, it
was w ith out a n y r e al h ope o f s e ein g H ag rid , a n d h e t u rn ed h is m in d i m med ia te ly
to h is m ore p re ssin g p ro ble m s, s u ch a s th e m ounta in ous p ile o f h om ew ork h e
had t o d o a n d t h e p ro sp ect o f y et a n oth er d ete n tio n w ith U m brid ge.

Tw o t h in gs s u sta in ed H arry t h at d ay. O ne w as t h e t h ought t h at i t w as a lm ost
th e w eek en d; th e oth er w as th at, dre ad fu l th ough his fin al dete n tio n w ith
Um brid ge w as s u re to b e, h e h ad a d is ta n t v ie w o f th e Q uid ditc h p itc h f ro m h er
win dow a n d m ig ht, w ith lu ck , b e a b le to s e e s o m eth in g o f R on's tr y out. T hese
were r a th er f e eb le r a y s o f lig ht, it w as tr u e, b ut H arry w as g ra te fu l f o r a n yth in g
th at m ig ht lig hte n h is p re se n t d ark ness; h e h ad n ev er h ad a w ors e f ir s t w eek o f
te rm a t H ogw arts .
At fiv e o 'c lo ck th at e v en in g h e k nock ed o n P ro fe sso r U m brid ge's o ff ic e
door f o r w hat h e s in cere ly h oped w ould b e th e f in al tim e, a n d w as to ld to e n te r.
The b la n k p arc h m en t la y re ad y fo r h im o n th e la ce-c o vere d ta b le , th e p oin te d
bla ck q uill b esid e i t.
'Y ou k now w hat t o d o, M r P otte r,' s a id U m brid ge, s m ilin g s w eetly a t h im .
Harry p ic k ed u p t h e q uill a n d g la n ced t h ro ugh t h e w in dow . I f h e j u st s h if te d
his c h air a n in ch o r s o to th e r ig ht… o n th e p re te x t o f s h if tin g h im se li c lo se r to
th e ta b le , h e m an ag ed it. H e n ow h ad a d is ta n t v ie w o f th e G ry ff in dor Q uid ditc h
te am s o arin g u p a n d d ow n t h e p itc h , w hile h alf a d ozen b la ck f ig ure s s to od a t t h e
fo ot o f th e th re e h ig h g oalp osts , a p pare n tly a w aitin g th eir tu rn to K eep . It w as
im possib le t o t e ll w hic h o ne w as R on a t t h is d is ta n ce.
I m ust n ot te ll lie s
, H arry w ro te . T he cu t in th e b ack o f h is rig ht h an d
open ed a n d b eg an t o b le ed a tr e sh .
I m ust n ot t e ll l ie s
. T he c u t d ug d eep er, s tin gin g a n d s m artin g.
I m ust
n ot t e ll l ie s
. B lo od t r ic k le d d ow n h is w ris t.
He c h an ced a n oth er g la n ce o ut o f th e w in dow . W hoev er w as d efe n din g th e
goalp osts n ow w as d oin g a v ery p oor jo b in deed . K atie B ell s c o re d tw ic e in th e
fe w se co nds H arry d are d to w atc h . H opin g v ery m uch th at th e K eep er w asn 't
Ron, h e d ro pped h is e y es b ack t o t h e p arc h m en t s h in in g w ith b lo od.
I m ust n ot t e ll l ie s.
I m ust n ot t e ll l ie s.
He lo oked u p w hen ev er h e th ought h e c o uld r is k it; w hen h e c o uld h ear th e
sc ra tc h in g o f U m brid ges q uill o r th e o pen in g o f a d esk d ra w er. T he th ir d p ers o n
to tr y o ut w as p re tty g ood, th e fo urth w as te rrib le , th e fif th d odged a B lu dger
ex cep tio nally w ell b ut th en fu m ble d a n e asy s a v e. T he s k y w as d ark en in g, a n d
Harry d oubte d h e w ould b e a b le t o s e e t h e s ix th a n d s e v en th p eo ple a t a ll.
I m ust n ot
t e ll l ie s
.
I m ust n ot t e ll l ie s.
The p arc h m en t w as n ow d otte d w ith d ro ps o f b lo od fro m th e b ack o f h is
han d, w hic h w as s e arin g w ith p ain . W hen h e n ex t lo oked u p, n ig ht h ad fa lle n
an d t h e Q uid ditc h p itc h w as n o l o nger v is ib le .
'L et's se e if y ou'v e g ot th e m essa g e y et, sh all w e?' sa id U m brid ges so ft

voic e h alf a n h our l a te r.
She m oved to w ard s h im , s tr e tc h in g o ut h er s h ort r in ged f in gers f o r h is a rm .
And th en , a s s h e to ok h old o f h im to e x am in e th e w ord s n ow c u t in to h is s k in ,
pain s e are d , n ot a cro ss th e b ack o f h is h an d, b ut a cro ss th e s c ar o n h is f o re h ead .
At th e sa m e tim e, h e h ad a m ost p ecu lia r se n sa tio n so m ew here aro und h is
mid rif f .
He w re n ch ed h is a rm o ut o f h er g rip a n d l e ap t t o h is f e et, s ta rin g a t h er. S he
lo oked b ack a t h im , a s m ile s tr e tc h in g h er w id e, s la ck m outh .
'Y es, i t h urts , d oesn 't i t? ' s h e s a id s o ftly .
He d id n ot a n sw er. H is h eart w as th um pin g v ery h ard a n d fa st. W as sh e
ta lk in g a b out h is h an d o r d id s h e k now w hat h e h ad j u st f e lt i n h is f o re h ead ?
'W ell, I t h in k I 'v e m ad e m y p oin t, M r P otte r. Y ou m ay g o.'
He c au ght u p h is s c h oolb ag a n d l e ft t h e r o om a s q uic k ly a s h e c o uld .
Sta y c a lm
, h e to ld h im se lf , a s h e s p rin te d u p th e s ta ir s .
S ta y c a lm , it d oesn 't
necessa rily m ea n w hat y o u t h in k i t m ea ns

' Mim bulu s m im ble to nia
!' h e g asp ed a t th e F at L ad y, w ho s w ung fo rw ard s
once m ore .
A r o ar o f s o und g re ete d h im . R on c am e r u nnin g to w ard s h im , b eam in g a ll
over h is fa ce a n d slo ppin g B utte rb eer d ow n h is fro nt fro m th e g oble t h e w as
clu tc h in g.
'H arry , I d id i t, I 'm i n , I 'm K eep er!'
'W hat? O h – b rillia n t! ' s a id H arry , tr y in g to s m ile n atu ra lly , w hile h is h eart
co ntin ued t o r a ce a n d h is h an d t h ro bbed a n d b le d .
'H av e a B utte rb eer.' R on p re sse d a b ottle o n h im . '1 c an 't b elie v e i t – w here 's
Herm io ne g one?'
'S he's th ere ,' s a id F re d , w ho w as a ls o s w ig gin g B utte rb eer, a n d p oin te d to
an arm ch air by th e fir e . H erm io ne w as dozin g in it, her drin k tip pin g
pre cario usly i n h er h an d.
'W ell, s h e s a id s h e w as p le ase d w hen I to ld h er,' s a id R on, lo okin g s lig htly
put o ut.
'L et h er sle ep ,' sa id G eo rg e h astily . It w as a fe w m om en ts b efo re H arry
notic ed th at s e v era l o f th e fir s t- y ears g ath ere d a ro und th em b ore u nm is ta k eab le
sig ns o f r e cen t n ose b le ed s.
'C om e h ere , R on, a n d s e e i f O liv er's o ld r o bes f it y ou,' c alle d K atie B ell, 'w e
can t a k e o ff h is n am e a n d p ut y ours o n i n ste ad … '
As R on m oved a w ay, A ngelin a c am e s tr id in g u p t o H arry .
'S orry I w as a b it sh ort w ith y ou earlie r, P otte r,' sh e sa id ab ru ptly . 'I t's
str e ssfu l th is m an ag in g la rk , y ou k now , I 'm s ta rtin g to th in k I w as a b it h ard o n
Wood s o m etim es.' S he w as w atc h in g R on o ver t h e r im o f h er g oble t w ith a s lig ht

fro w n o n h er f a ce.
'L ook, I k now h e's y our b est m ate , b ut h e's n ot f a b ulo us,' s h e s a id b lu ntly . 'I
th in k w ith a b it o f tr a in in g h e'l l b e a ll r ig ht, th ough. H e c o m es f ro m a f a m ily o f
good Q uid ditc h p la y ers . I 'm b an kin g o n h im t u rn in g o ut t o h av e a b it m ore t a le n t
th an h e s h ow ed to day, to b e h onest. V ic k y F ro bis h er a n d G eo ff re y H ooper b oth
fle w b ette r th is e v en in g, b ut H oopers a r e al w hin er, h e's a lw ay s m oan in g a b out
so m eth in g o r o th er, a n d V ic k y's in volv ed in a ll s o rts o f s o cie tie s. S he a d m itte d
hers e lf th at if tr a in in g c la sh ed w ith h er C harm s C lu b sh e'd p ut C harm s fir s t.
Anyw ay, w e'r e h av in g a p ra ctic e s e ssio n a t tw o o 'c lo ck to m orro w , s o ju st m ak e
su re y ou'r e th ere th is tim e. A nd d o m e a fa v our a n d h elp R on a s m uch a s y ou
can , O K?'
He n odded , a n d A ngelin a s tr o lle d b ack t o A lic ia S pin net. H arry m oved o ver
to s it n ex t t o H erm io ne, w ho a w oke w ith a j e rk a s h e p ut d ow n h is b ag .
'O h, H arry , it's y ou… g ood a b out R on, is n 't it? ' s h e s a id b le arily . 'I 'm ju st
so -s o – so tir e d ,' sh e y aw ned . 'I w as u p u ntil o ne o 'c lo ck m ak in g m ore h ats .
They 'r e d is a p pearin g l ik e m ad !'
And s u re e n ough, n ow th at h e lo oked , H arry s a w th at th ere w ere w oolly
hats c o nceale d a ll a ro und th e r o om w here u nw ary e lv es m ig ht a ccid en ta lly p ic k
th em u p.
'G re at,' s a id H arry d is tr a cte d ly ; if h e d id n ot te ll s o m eb ody s o on, h e w ould
burs t. 'L is te n , H erm io ne, I w as ju st u p in U m brid ge's o ff ic e a n d s h e to uch ed m y
arm
Herm io ne lis te n ed clo se ly . W hen H arry had (in is h ed , sh e sa id slo w ly
'Y ou'r e w orrie d Y ou-K now -W ho's c o ntr o llin g h er l ik e h e c o ntr o lle d Q uir re ll? '
'W ell,' s a id H arry , d ro ppin g h is v oic e, 'i t's a p ossib ility , i s n 't i t? '
'I s u ppose s o ,' s a id H erm io ne, t h ough s h e s o unded u nco nvin ced . 'B ut I d on't
th in k h e can b e
p osse ssin g
h er th e w ay h e p osse sse d Q uir re ll, I m ean , h e's
pro perly a liv e a g ain n ow , is n 't h e, h e's g ot h is o w n b ody, h e w ould n't n eed to
sh are s o m eo ne e ls e 's . H e c o uld h av e h er u nder t h e I m periu s C urs e , I s u ppose … "
Harry w atc h ed F re d , G eo rg e an d L ee Jo rd an ju gglin g em pty B utte rb eer
bottle s fo r a m om en t. T hen H erm io ne s a id , 'B ut la st y ear y our s c ar h urt w hen
nobody w as to uch in g y ou, a n d d id n't D um ble d ore sa y it h ad to d o w ith w hat
You-K now -W ho w as f e elin g a t th e tim e? I m ean , m ay be th is h asn 't g ot a n yth in g
to d o w ith
Um brid ge a t a ll, m ay be it's ju st c o in cid en ce it h ap pen ed w hile y ou w ere
with h er? '
'S he's e v il,' s a id H arry f la tly . T w is te d .'
'S he's h orrib le , y es, b ut… H arry , I th in k y ou o ught to te ll D um ble d ore y our
sc ar h urt.'

It w as th e se co nd tim e in tw o day s he had been ad vis e d to go to
Dum ble d ore a n d h is a n sw er to H erm io ne w as ju st th e sa m e a s h is a n sw er to
Ron.
'I 'm n ot b oth erin g h im w ith th is . L ik e y ou ju st s a id , its n ot a b ig d eal. It's
been h urtin g o n a n d o ff a ll s u m mer – i t w as j u st a b it w ors e t o nig ht, t h at's a ll - '
'H arry , I 'm s u re D um ble d ore w ould
w ant
t o b e b oth ere d b y t h is - '
'Y eah ,' s a id H arry , b efo re h e c o uld s to p h im se lf , 't h at's th e o nly b it o f m e
Dum ble d ore c are s a b out, i s n 't i t, m y s c ar? '
'D on't s a y t h at, i t's n ot t r u e!'
'I t h in k I 'l l w rite a n d t e ll S ir iu s a b out i t, s e e w hat h e t h in ks - '
'H arry , y ou c an 't p ut s o m eth in g l ik e t h at i n a l e tte r!' s a id H erm io ne, l o okin g
ala rm ed . 'D on't y ou re m em ber, M oody to ld u s to b e care fu l w hat w e p ut in
writin g! W e j u st c an 't g uara n te e o w ls a re n 't b ein g i n te rc ep te d a n y m ore !'
'A ll r ig ht, a ll r ig ht, I w on't te ll h im , th en !' s a id H arry ir rita b ly . H e g ot to h is
fe et. 'I 'm g oin g t o b ed . T ell R on f o r m e, w ill y ou?'
'O h n o,' s a id H erm io ne, lo okin g r e lie v ed , 'i f y ou'r e g oin g th at m ean s I c an
go to o, w ith out b ein g ru de. I'm a b so lu te ly e x hau ste d a n d I w an t to m ak e s o m e
more h ats to m orro w . L is te n , y ou can h elp m e if y ou lik e, it's q uite fu n, I'm
gettin g b ette r, I c an d o p atte rn s a n d b obble s a n d a ll s o rts o f t h in gs n ow .'
Harry lo oked in to h er f a ce, w hic h w as s h in in g w ith g le e, a n d tr ie d to lo ok
as t h ough h e w as v ag uely t e m pte d b y t h is o ff e r.
'E r… n o, I d on't th in k I w ill, th an ks,' h e s a id . 'E r– n ot to m orro w . I'v e g ot
lo ad s o f h om ew ork t o d o… '
And he tr a ip se d off to th e boys' sta ir s , le av in g her lo okin g slig htly
dis a p poin te d .

C H APT ER F O URTEEN
P erc y a n d P adfo ot

Harry w as fir s t to w ak e u p in h is d orm ito ry n ex t m orn in g. H e la y fo r a
m om en t w atc h in g d ust s w ir l i n t h e r a y o f s u nlig ht c o m in g t h ro ugh t h e g ap i n h is
f o ur- p oste rs h an gin gs, a n d s a v oure d th e th ought th at it w as S atu rd ay. T he fir s t
w eek o f te rm s e em ed to h av e d ra g ged o n fo r e v er, lik e o ne g ig an tic H is to ry o f
M ag ic l e sso n.
Ju dgin g b y th e s le ep y s ile n ce a n d th e fre sh ly m in te d lo ok o f th at b eam o f
s u nlig ht, it w as ju st a fte r d ay bre ak . H e p ulle d o pen th e c u rta in s a ro und h is b ed ,
g ot u p a n d s ta rte d to d re ss. T he o nly s o und a p art fro m th e d is ta n t tw itte rin g o f
b ir d s w as th e slo w , d eep b re ath in g o f h is fe llo w G ry ff in dors . H e o pen ed h is
s c h oolb ag care fu lly , pulle d out parc h m en t an d quill an d head ed out of th e
d orm ito ry f o r t h e c o m mon r o om .
Mak in g str a ig ht fo r h is fa v ourite sq uash y o ld arm ch air b esid e th e n ow
e x tin ct f ir e , H arry s e ttle d h im se lf d ow n c o m fo rta b ly a n d u nro lle d h is p arc h m en t
w hile lo okin g a ro und th e r o om . T he d etr itu s o f c ru m ple d -u p b its o f p arc h m en t,
o ld G obsto nes, e m pty in gre d ie n t ja rs a n d s w eet w ra p pers th at u su ally c o vere d
t h e c o m mon ro om a t th e e n d o f e ach d ay w as g one, a s w ere a ll H erm io ne's e lf
h ats . W onderin g v ag uely h ow m an y e lv es h ad n ow b een s e t fre e w heth er th ey
w an te d to b e o r n ot, H arry u nco rk ed h is in k b ottle , d ip ped h is q uill in to it, th en
h eld it s u sp en ded a n in ch a b ove th e s m ooth y ello w is h s u rfa ce o f h is p arc h m en t,
t h in kin g h ard … b ut a fte r a m in ute o r s o h e f o und h im se lf s ta rin g in to th e e m pty
g ra te , a t a c o m ple te l o ss f o r w hat t o s a y.
He c o uld n ow a p pre cia te h ow h ard it h ad b een fo r R on a n d H erm io ne to
w rite him le tte rs over th e su m mer. H ow w as he su ppose d to te ll Sir iu s
e v ery th in g th at h ad h ap pen ed o ver th e p ast w eek a n d p ose a ll th e q uestio ns h e
w as b urn in g to a sk w ith out g iv in g p ote n tia l le tte r- th ie v es a lo t o f in fo rm atio n h e
d id n ot w an t t h em t o h av e?
He s a t q uite m otio nle ss f o r a w hile , g azin g in to th e f ir e p la ce,: th en , f in ally
c o m in g to a d ecis io n, h e d ip ped h is q uill in to th e in k b ottle o nce m ore a n d s e t it
r e so lu te ly o n t h e p arc h m en t.
Dea r S nuffle s,
Hope y o u'r e O K, t h e f ir st w eek b ack h ere 's b een t e rrib le , I 'm r e a lly
gla d i t's t h e w eeken d.
We'v e got a new D efe n ce
A gain st
th e D ark Arts te a ch er, Pro fe sso r

Umbrid ge. S he's n ea rly a s n ic e a s y o ur m um . I'm w ritin g b eca use th at th in g I
wro te to y o u a bout la st s u m mer h appen ed a gain la st n ig ht w hen I w as d oin g a
dete n tio n w ith U mbrid ge
.
We'r e a ll
m is sin g
o ur b ig gest f r ie n d, w e h ope h e'l l b e b ack s o on
.
Ple a se w rite b ack q uic kly .
Best,
Harry
Harry r e re ad th e le tte r s e v era l tim es, tr y in g to s e e it f ro m th e p oin t o f v ie w
of a n o uts id er. H e c o uld n ot s e e h ow t h ey w ould k now w hat h e w as t a lk in g a b out
– o r w ho h e w as ta lk in g to – ju st fro m re ad in g th is le tte r. H e d id h ope S ir iu s
would p ic k u p t h e h in t a b out H ag rid a n d t e ll t h em w hen h e m ig ht b e b ack . H arry
did n ot w an t to a sk d ir e ctly in c ase it d re w to o m uch a tte n tio n to w hat H ag rid
mig ht b e u p t o w hile h e w as n ot a t H ogw arts .
Consid erin g it w as a v ery sh ort le tte r, it h ad ta k en a lo ng tim e to w rite ;
su nlig ht h ad c re p t h alf w ay a cro ss th e r o om w hile h e h ad b een w ork in g o n it a n d
he co uld n ow h ear d is ta n t so unds o f m ovem en t fro m th e d orm ito rie s ab ove.
Sealin g t h e p arc h m en t c are fu lly , h e c lim bed t h ro ugh t h e p ortr a it h ole a n d h ead ed
off f o r t h e O wle ry .
'I w ould
n ot
g o th at w ay if I w ere y ou,' s a id N early H ead le ss N ic k , d rif tin g
dis c o ncertin gly th ro ugh a w all ju st ah ead of H arry as he w alk ed dow n th e
passa g e. 'P eev es is p la n nin g a n a m usin g jo ke o n th e n ex t p ers o n to p ass th e b ust
of P ara cels u s h alf w ay d ow n t h e c o rrid or.'
'D oes i t i n volv e P ara cels u s f a llin g o n t o p o f t h e p ers o ns h ead ?' a sk ed H arry .
'F unnily en ough, it
d oes
,' sa id N early H ead le ss N ic k in a bore d voic e.
'S ubtle ty h as n ev er b een P eev es's s tr o ng p oin t. I 'm o ff t o t r y a n d f in d t h e B lo ody
Baro n… h e m ig ht b e a b le t o p ut a s to p t o i t… s e e y ou, H arry
'Y eah , b ye,' s a id H arry a n d in ste ad o f tu rn in g r ig ht, h e tu rn ed le ft, ta k in g a
lo nger b ut sa fe r ro ute u p to th e O wle ry . H is sp ir its ro se as h e w alk ed p ast
win dow afte r w in dow sh ow in g b rillia n tly b lu e sk y; h e h ad tr a in in g la te r, h e
would b e b ack o n t h e Q uid ditc h p itc h a t l a st.
Som eth in g b ru sh ed h is an kle s. H e lo oked d ow n an d sa w th e care ta k er's
sk ele ta l g re y c at, M rs N orn s, s lin kin g p ast h im . S he t u rn ed l a m plik e y ello w e y es
on h im f o r a m om en t b efo re d is a p pearin g b eh in d a s ta tu e o f W ilf re d t h e W is tf u l.
'I 'm not doin g an yth in g w ro ng,' H arry calle d afte r her. She had th e
unm is ta k eab le a ir o f a c at th at w as o fi to r e p ort to h er b oss, y et H arry c o uld n ot
se e w hy; h e w as p erfe ctly en title d to w alk u p to th e O wle ry o n a S atu rd ay
morn in g.
The s u n w as h ig h in th e s k y n ow a n d w hen H arry e n te re d th e O wle ry th e
gla ssle ss w in dow s d azzle d h is e y es; th ic k s ilv ery b eam s o f s u nlig ht c ris sc ro sse d

th e c ir c u la r r o om i n w hic h h undre d s o f o w ls n estle d o n r a fte rs , a l ittle r e stle ss i n
th e early -m orn in g lig ht, so m e cle arly ju st re tu rn ed fro m h untin g. T he str a w -
co vere d flo or c ru nch ed a little a s h e s te p ped a cro ss tin y a n im al b ones, c ra n in g
his n eck f o r a s ig ht o f H ed w ig .
There y ou a re ,' h e sa id , sp ottin g h er so m ew here n ear th e v ery to p o f th e
vau lte d c eilin g. 'G et d ow n h ere , I 'v e g ot a l e tte r f o r y ou."
With a lo w h oot s h e s tr e tc h ed h er g re at w hite w in gs a n d s o are d d ow n o n to
his s h ould er.
'R ig ht, I k now th is s a y s S nuff le s o n th e o uts id e,' h e to ld h er, g iv in g h er th e
le tte r t o c la sp i n h er b eak a n d, w ith out k now in g e x actly w hy, w his p erin g, 'b ut i t's
fo r S ir iu s, O K?'
She blin ked her am ber ey es once an d he to ok th at to m ean th at sh e
unders to od.
'S afe f lig ht, t h en ,' s a id H arry a n d h e c arrie d h er t o o ne o f t h e w in dow s; w ith
a m om en t's p re ssu re o n h is a rm , H ed w ig to ok o ff in to th e b lin din gly b rig ht s k y.
He w atc h ed h er u ntil s h e b ecam e a t in y b la ck s p eck a n d v an is h ed , t h en s w itc h ed
his g aze to H ag rid 's h ut, c le arly v is ib le fro m th is w in dow , a n d ju st a s c le arly
unin hab ite d , t h e c h im ney s m okele ss, t h e c u rta in s d ra w n.
The tr e eto ps of th e F orb id den F ore st sw ay ed in a lig ht bre eze. H arry
watc h ed th em , sa v ourin g th e fre sh air o n h is fa ce, th in kin g ab out Q uid ditc h
la te r… th en h e s a w it. A g re at, r e p tilia n w in ged h ors e , ju st lik e th e o nes p ullin g
th e Hogw arts carria g es, with le ath ery bla ck win gs sp re ad wid e lik e a
pte ro dacty l's , r o se u p o ut o f th e tr e es lik e a g ro te sq ue, g ia n t b ir d . I t s o are d in a
gre at c ir c le , th en p lu nged b ack in to th e tr e es. T he w hole th in g h ad h ap pen ed s o
quic k ly , H arry c o uld h ard ly b elie v e w hat h e h ad s e en , e x cep t th at h is h eart w as
ham merin g m ad ly .
The O wle ry door open ed beh in d him . H e le ap t in sh ock an d, tu rn in g
quic k ly , s a w C ho C han g h old in g a l e tte r a n d a p arc el i n h er h an ds.
'H i,' s a id H arry a u to m atic ally .
'O h… h i,' s h e s a id b re ath le ssly . 'I d id n't th in k a n yone w ould b e u p h ere th is
early … I o nly r e m em bere d f iv e m in ute s a g o, i t's m y m um 's b ir th day.'
She h eld u p t h e p arc el.
'R ig ht,' sa id H arry . H is b ra in se em ed to h av e ja m med . H e w an te d to sa y
so m eth in g fu nny a n d in te re stin g, b ut th e m em ory o f th at te rrib le w in ged h ors e
was f re sh i n h is m in d.
'N ic e d ay,' h e s a id , g estu rin g to th e w in dow s. H is in sid es s e em ed to s h riv el
with e m barra ssm en t. T he w eath er. H e w as t a lk in g a b out t h e
w ea th er

'Y eah ,' sa id C ho, lo okin g aro und fo r a su ita b le ow l. 'G ood Q uid ditc h
co nditio ns. 1 h av en 't b een o ut a ll w eek , h av e y ou?'

'N o,' s a id H arry .
Cho h ad s e le cte d o ne o f t h e s c h ool b arn o w ls . S he c o ax ed i t d ow n o n t o h er
arm w here i t h eld o ut a n o blig in g l e g s o t h at s h e c o uld a tta ch t h e p arc el.
'H ey, h as G ry ff in dor g ot a n ew K eep er y et? ' s h e a sk ed .
'Y eah ,' s a id H arry . 'I t's m y f rie n d R on W easle y, d 'y ou k now h im ?'
The T orn ad os-h ate r? ' s a id C ho r a th er c o olly . 'I s h e a n y g ood?'
'Y eah ,' sa id H arry , 'I th in k so . I d id n't se e h is tr y out, th ough, I w as in
dete n tio n.'
Cho l o oked u p, t h e p arc el o nly h alf -a tta ch ed t o t h e o w l's l e g s.
That U m brid ge w om an 's fo ul,' sh e sa id in a lo w v oic e. 'P uttin g y ou in
dete n tio n ju st b ecau se y ou to ld th e tr u th ab out h ow – h ow – h ow h e d ie d .
Every one h eard ab out it, it w as all o ver th e sc h ool. Y ou w ere re ally b ra v e
sta n din g u p t o h er l ik e t h at.'
Harry 's in sid es re -in fla te d so ra p id ly h e fe lt a s th ough h e m ig ht a ctu ally
flo at a f e w i n ch es o ff t h e d ro ppin g-s tr e w n f lo or. W ho c are d a b out a s tu pid f ly in g
hors e ; C ho th ought h e h ad b een re ally b ra v e. F or a m om en t, h e co nsid ere d
accid en ta lly -o n-p urp ose s h ow in g h er h is c u t h an d a s h e h elp ed h er tie h er p arc el
on to h er o w l… b ut th e v ery in sta n t th is th rillin g th ought o ccu rre d , th e O wle ry
door o pen ed a g ain .
Filc h th e care ta k er cam e w heezin g in to th e ro om . T here w ere purp le
patc h es o n h is s u nken , v ein ed c h eek s, h is jo w ls w ere a q uiv er a n d h is th in g re y
hair d is h ev elle d ; h e h ad o bvio usly ru n h ere . M rs N orris cam e tr o ttin g at h is
heels , g azin g u p a t t h e o w ls o verh ead a n d m ew in g h ungrily . T here w as a r e stle ss
sh if tin g o f w in gs fro m ab ove an d a la rg e b ro w n o w l sn ap ped h is b eak in a
men acin g f a sh io n.
'A ha!' s a id F ilc h , t a k in g a f la t- fo ote d s te p t o w ard s H arry , h is p ouch y c h eek s
tr e m blin g w ith a n ger. 'I 'v e h ad a t ip -o ff t h at y ou a re i n te n din g t o p la ce a m assiv e
ord er f o r D ungbom bsP
Harry f o ld ed h is a rm s a n d s ta re d a t t h e c are ta k er.
'W ho t o ld y ou 1 w as o rd erin g D ungbom bs? '
Cho w as lo okin g fro m H arry to F ilc h , a ls o fro w nin g; th e b arn o w l o n h er
arm , t ir e d o f s ta n din g o n o ne l e g , g av e a n a d m onito ry h oot b ut s h e i g nore d i t.
'I h av e m y so urc es,' sa id F ilc h in a se lf -s a tis fie d h is s. 'N ow h an d o ver
whate v er i t i s y ou'r e s e n din g.'
Feelin g im men se ly th an kfu l th at h e h ad n ot d aw dle d in p ostin g o ff th e
le tte r, H arry s a id , 'I c an 't , i t's g one.'
' Gone
?' s a id F ilc h , h is f a ce c o nto rtin g w ith r a g e.
'G one,' s a id H arry c alm ly .
Filc h o pen ed h is m outh fu rio usly , m outh ed fo r a fe w s e co nds, th en ra k ed

Harry s r o bes w ith h is e y es.
'H ow d o I k now y ou h av en 't g ot i t i n y our p ock et? '
'B ecau se - '
'I s a w h im s e n d i t,' s a id C ho a n grily .
Filc h r o unded o n h er.
'Y ou s a w h im - ? '
That's r ig ht, I s a w h im ,' s h e s a id f ie rc ely .
There w as a m om en ts p au se in w hic h F ilc h g la re d a t C ho a n d C ho g la re d
rig ht b ack , th en th e c are ta k er tu rn ed o n h is h eel a n d s h uff le d b ack to w ard s th e
door. H e s to pped w ith h is h an d o n t h e h an dle a n d l o oked b ack a t H arry .
'I f I g et s o m uch a s a w hif f o f a D ungbom b
He s tu m ped o ff d ow n th e s ta ir s . M rs N orris c ast a la st lo ngin g lo ok a t th e
ow ls a n d f o llo w ed h im .
Harry a n d C ho l o oked a t e ach o th er.
Than ks,' H arry s a id .
'N o p ro ble m ,' s a id C ho, f in ally f ix in g th e p arc el to th e b arn o w l's o th er le g ,
her f a ce s lig htly p in k. 'Y ou
w ere n 't
o rd erin g D ungbom bs, w ere y ou?'
'N o,' s a id H arry .
'I w onder w hy h e t h ought y ou w ere , t h en ?' s h e s a id a s s h e c arrie d t h e o w l t o
th e w in dow .
Harry s h ru gged . H e w as q uite a s m ystif ie d b y t h at a s s h e w as, t h ough o ddly
it w as n ot b oth erin g h im v ery m uch a t t h e m om en t.
They l e ft t h e O wle ry t o geth er. A t t h e e n tr a n ce o f a c o rrid or t h at l e d t o w ard s
th e w est w in g o f t h e c astle , C ho s a id , 'I 'm g oin g t h is w ay. W ell, I 'l l… I 'l l s e e y ou
aro und, H arry .'
'Y eah … s e e y ou.'
She s m ile d a t h im a n d d ep arte d . H arry w alk ed o n, f e elin g q uie tly e la te d . H e
had m an ag ed to hav e an en tir e co nvers a tio n w ith her an d not em barra sse d
him se lf o nce…
y o u w ere re a lly b ra ve sta ndin g u p to h er lik e th at
… C ho h ad
calle d h im b ra v e… s h e d id n ot h ate h im f o r b ein g a liv e…
Ol c o urs e , sh e h ad p re fe rre d C ed ric , h e k new th at… th ough if h e'd o nly
ask ed her to th e B all befo re C ed ric had , th in gs m ig ht hav e tu rn ed out
dif f e re n tly … s h e h ad s e em ed s in cere ly s o rry t h at s h e'd h ad t o r e fu se w hen H arry
ask ed h er…
'M orn in g,' H arry s a id b rig htly to R on a n d H erm io ne a s h e jo in ed th em a t
th e G ry ff in dor t a b le i n t h e G re at H all.
'W hat are you lo okin g so ple ase d ab out? ' sa id R on, ey ein g H arry in
su rp ris e .
'E rm … Q uid ditc h la te r,' s a id H arry h ap pily , p ullin g a la rg e p la tte r o f b aco n

an d e g gs t o w ard s h im .
'O h… y eah … ' s a id R on. H e p ut d ow n th e p ie ce o f to ast h e w as e atin g a n d
to ok a la rg e sw ig o f p um pkin ju ic e. T hen h e sa id , 'L is te n … y ou d on't fa n cy
goin g o ut a b it e arlie r w ith m e, d o y ou? J u st to – e r – g iv e m e s o m e p ra ctic e
befo re t r a in in g? S o I c an , y ou k now , g et m y e y e i n a b it.'
'Y eah , O K,' s a id H arry .
'L ook, 1 d on't th in k y ou sh ould ,' sa id H erm io ne se rio usly . 'Y ou'r e b oth
re ally b eh in d o n h om ew ork a s i t - '
But s h e b ro ke o ff ; th e m orn in g p ost w as a rriv in g a n d, a s u su al, th e
D aily
Pro phet
w as so arin g to w ard s h er in th e b eak o f a sc re ech o w l, w hic h la n ded
perilo usly c lo se to th e s u gar b ow l a n d h eld o ut a le g . H erm io ne p ush ed a K nut
in to its le ath er p ouch , to ok th e n ew sp ap er, a n d s c an ned th e f ro nt p ag e c ritic ally
as t h e o w l t o ok o ff .
'A nyth in g in te re stin g?' s a id R on. H arry g rin ned , k now in g R on w as k een to
keep h er o ff t h e s u bje ct o f h om ew ork .
'N o,' s h e s ig hed , 'j u st s o m e g uff a b out th e b ass p la y er in th e W eir d S is te rs
gettin g m arrie d .'
Herm io ne open ed th e pap er an d dis a p peare d beh in d it. H arry dev ote d
him se lf to a n oth er h elp in g o f e g gs a n d b aco n. R on w as s ta rin g u p a t th e h ig h
win dow s, l o okin g s lig htly p re o ccu pie d .
'W ait a m om en t,' s a id H erm io ne s u dden ly . 'O h n o… S ir iu s!'
'W hat's h ap pen ed ?' s a id H arry , s n atc h in g a t th e p ap er s o v io le n tly it r ip ped
dow n t h e m id dle , w ith h im a n d H erm io ne e ach h old in g o ne h alf .
' "T he M in is tr y o f M agic h as re ceiv ed a tip -o ff fr o m a re lia ble s o urc e th at
Sir iu s B la ck, n oto rio us m ass m urd ere r… b la h b la h b la h… is c u rre n tly h id in g in
London!" '
H erm io ne r e ad f ro m h er h alf i n a n a n guis h ed w his p er.
'L uciu s M alf o y I 'l l b et a n yth in g,' s a id H arry in a lo w , f u rio us v oic e. 'H e d id
re co gnis e S ir iu s o n t h e p la tf o rm … '
'W hat? ' s a id R on, l o okin g a la rm ed . 'Y ou d id n't s a y - '
'S hh!' s a id t h e o th er t w o.
… " M in is tr y w arn s
w iz a rd in g c o m munity th at B la ck is v ery d angero us…
kille d th ir te en p eo ple … b ro ke o ut o f A zk a ban
… " th e u su al ru bbis h ,' H erm io ne
co nclu ded , la y in g d ow n h er h alf o f th e p ap er a n d lo okin g f e arfu lly a t H arry a n d
Ron. 'W ell, he ju st w on't be ab le to le av e th e house ag ain , th at's all,' sh e
whis p ere d . 'D um ble d ore d id w arn h im n ot t o .'
Harry l o oked d ow n g lu m ly a t t h e b it o l t h e
P ro phet
h e h ad t o rn o ff . M ost o f
th e p ag e w as d ev ote d to a n a d vertis e m en t fo r M ad am M alk in s R obes fo r A ll
Occasio ns, w hic h w as a p pare n tly h av in g a s a le .
'H ey !' h e s a id , f la tte n in g it d ow n s o H erm io ne a n d R on c o uld s e e it. 'L ook

at t h is !'
'I 'v e g ot a ll t h e r o bes I w an t,' s a id R on.
'N o,' s a id H arry . 'L ook… t h is l ittle p ie ce h ere … '
Ron a n d H erm io ne b en t c lo se r to r e ad it; th e ite m w as b are ly a n in ch lo ng
an d p la ced r ig ht a t t h e b otto m o f a c o lu m n. I t w as h ead lin ed :
TR ESPA SS A T
M IN IS T R Y
Stu rg is P odm ore , 3 8, o f n um ber tw o, L aburn um G ard en s, C la pham , h as
appea re d in fr o nt of th e W iz e n gam ot ch arg ed w ith tr e sp ass and atte m pte d
ro bbery a t th e M in is tr y o f M agic o n
3 IS I A ugust.
P odm ore w as a rre ste d b y
Min is tr y o f M agic w atc h w iz a rd E ric M unch , w ho fo und h im a tte m ptin g to fo rc e
his w ay th ro ugh a to p-s e cu rity d oor a t o ne o 'c lo ck in th e m orn in g. P odm ore ,
who re fu se d to sp ea k in h is o w n d efe n ce, w as c o nvic te d o n b oth c h arg es a nd
se n te n ced t o s ix m onth s i n A zk a ban
.
'S tu rg is P odm ore ?' sa id R on slo w ly . 'H e's th at b lo ke w ho lo oks lik e h is
head 's b een t h atc h ed , i s n 't h e? H e's o ne o f t h e O rd — '
'R on, s h h!' s a id H erm io ne, c astin g a t e rrif ie d l o ok a ro und t h em .
'S ix m onth s in A zk ab an !' w his p ere d H arry , s h ock ed . 'J u st fo r tr y in g to g et
th ro ugh a d oor!'
'D on't b e s illy , it w asn 't ju st f o r tr y in g to g et th ro ugh a d oor. W hat o n e arth
was h e d oin g a t th e M in is tr y o f M ag ic a t o ne o 'c lo ck in th e m orn in g?' b re ath ed
Herm io ne.
'D 'y ou r e ck on h e w as d oin g s o m eth in g f o r t h e O rd er? ' R on m utte re d .
'W ait a m om en t… ' s a id H arry s lo w ly . 'S tu rg is w as s u ppose d to c o m e a n d
se e u s o ff , r e m em ber? '
The o th er t w o l o oked a t h im .
'Y eah , h e w as su ppose d to b e p art o f o ur g uard g oin g to K in g's C ro ss,
re m em ber? A nd M oody w as all an noyed becau se he did n't tu rn up; so he
co uld n't h av e b een o n a j o b f o r t h em , c o uld h e?'
'W ell, m ay be t h ey d id n't e x pect h im t o g et c au ght,' s a id H erm io ne.
'I t c o uld b e a f ra m e-u p!' R on e x cla im ed e x cite d ly . 'N o – l is te n !' h e w en t o n,
dro ppin g h is v oic e d ra m atic ally a t th e th re ate n in g lo ok o n H erm io ne's f a ce. T he
Min is tr y s u sp ects h e's o ne o f D um ble d ore 's lo t s o – I d unno – th ey
lu re d
h im to
th e M in is tr y , a n d h e w asn 't t r y in g t o g et t h ro ugh a d oor a t a ll! M ay be t h ey 'v e j u st
mad e s o m eth in g u p t o g et h im !'
There w as a pau se w hile H arry an d H erm io ne co nsid ere d th is . H arry
th ought it se em ed fa r- fe tc h ed . H erm io ne, on th e oth er han d, lo oked ra th er
im pre sse d .
'D o y ou k now , I w ould n't b e a t a ll s u rp ris e d i f t h at w ere t r u e.'
She f o ld ed u p h er h alf o f th e n ew sp ap er th oughtf u lly . A s H arry la id d ow n

his k nif e a n d f o rk , s h e s e em ed t o c o m e o ut o f a r e v erie .
'R ig ht, w ell, I t h in k w e s h ould t a ck le t h at e ssa y f o r S pro ut o n s e lf -fe rtilis in g
sh ru bs fir s t a n d if w e'r e lu ck y w e'l l b e a b le to sta rt M cG onag all's In an im atu s
Conju ru s S pell b efo re l u nch … '
Harry fe lt a s m all tw in ge o f g uilt a t th e th ought o f th e p ile o f h om ew ork
aw aitin g h im u psta ir s , b ut th e s k y w as a c le ar, e x hila ra tin g b lu e, a n d h e h ad n ot
been o n h is F ir e b olt f o r a w eek …
'I m ean , w e c an d o it to nig ht,' s a id R on, a s h e a n d H arry w alk ed d ow n th e
slo pin g la w ns to w ard s th e Q uid ditc h pitc h , th eir bro om stic k s over th eir
sh ould ers , an d w ith H erm io ne's dir e w arn in gs th at th ey w ould fa il all th eir
OW Ls s till r in gin g in th eir e ars . 'A nd w e'v e g ot to m orro w . S he g ets to o w ork ed
up a b out w ork , t h at's h er t r o uble … ' T here w as a p au se a n d h e a d ded , i n a s lig htly
more a n xio us to ne, 'D 'y ou th in k s h e m ean t it w hen s h e s a id w e w ere n 't c o pyin g
fro m h er? '
'Y eah , I d o,' s a id H arry . 'S till, th is is im porta n t, to o, w e'v e g ot to p ra ctis e if
we w an t t o s ta y o n t h e Q uid ditc h t e am … '
'Y eah , t h at's r ig ht,' s a id R on, i n a h earte n ed t o ne. 'A nd w e h av e g ot p le n ty o f
tim e t o d o i t a ll… '
As th ey a p pro ach ed th e Q uid ditc h p itc h , H arry g la n ced o ver to h is r ig ht to
where th e tr e es o f th e F orb id den F ore st w ere s w ay in g d ark ly . N oth in g f le w o ut
of th em ; th e sk y w as e m pty b ut fo r a fe w d is ta n t o w ls flu tte rin g a ro und th e
Owle ry to w er. H e h ad e n ough to w orry a b out; th e f ly in g h ors e w asn 't d oin g h im
an y h arm ; h e p ush ed i t o ut o f h is m in d.
They c o lle cte d b alls fro m th e c u pboard in th e c h an gin g ro om a n d se t to
work , R on g uard in g th e th re e ta ll g oalp osts , H arry p la y in g C hase r a n d tr y in g to
get th e Q uaff le p ast R on. H arry th ought R on w as p re tty g ood; h e b lo ck ed th re e-
quarte rs o f th e g oals H arry atte m pte d to p ut p ast h im an d p la y ed b ette r th e
lo nger th ey p ra ctis e d . A fte r a c o uple o f h ours th ey re tu rn ed to th e c astle fo r
lu nch – durin g w hic h H erm io ne m ad e it quite cle ar sh e th ought th ey w ere
ir re sp onsib le – th en r e tu rn ed to th e Q uid ditc h p itc h f o r th e r e al tr a in in g s e ssio n.
All th eir te am mate s b ut A ngelin a w ere a lr e ad y in th e c h an gin g r o om w hen th ey
en te re d .
'A ll r ig ht, R on?' s a id G eo rg e, w in kin g a t h im .
'Y eah ,' s a id R on, w ho h ad b eco m e q uie te r a n d q uie te r a ll th e w ay d ow n to
th e p itc h .
'R ead y to s h ow u s a ll u p, I c k le P re fe ct? ' s a id F re d , e m erg in g to usle -h air e d
fro m t h e n eck o f h is Q uid ditc h r o bes, a s lig htly m alic io us g rin o n h is f a ce.
'S hut u p,' s a id R on, s to ny-fa ced , p ullin g o n h is o w n te am r o bes f o r th e f ir s t
tim e. T hey fitte d h im w ell c o nsid erin g th ey h ad b een O liv er W ood's , w ho w as

ra th er b ro ad er i n t h e s h ould er.
'O K, e v ery one,' s a id A ngelin a, e n te rin g fro m th e C ap ta in 's o ff ic e, a lr e ad y
ch an ged . 'L et's g et to it; A lic ia a n d F re d , if y ou c an ju st b rin g o ut th e b all c ra te
fo r u s. O h, a n d t h ere a re a c o uple o f p eo ple o ut t h ere w atc h in g b ut I w an t y ou t o
ju st i g nore t h em , a ll r ig ht? '
Som eth in g in h er w ould -b e c asu al v oic e m ad e H arry th in k h e m ig ht k now
who t h e u nin vite d s p ecta to rs w ere , a n d s u re e n ough, w hen t h ey l e ft t h e c h an gin g
ro om fo r th e b rig ht s u nlig ht o f th e p itc h it w as to a s to rm o f c atc alls a n d je ers
fro m th e S ly th erin Q uid ditc h te am a n d a sso rte d h an gers -o n, w ho w ere g ro uped
half w ay up th e em pty sta n ds an d w hose voic es ech oed lo udly aro und th e
sta d iu m .
'W hat's th at W easle y 's rid in g?' M alf o y c alle d in h is s n eerin g d ra w l. 'W hy
would a n yone p ut a f ly in g c h arm o n a m ould y o ld l o g l ik e t h at? '
Cra b be, G oyle a n d P an sy P ark in so n g uff a w ed a n d s h rie k ed w ith la u ghte r.
Ron m ounte d h is b ro om a n d k ic k ed o ff fro m th e g ro und a n d H arry fo llo w ed
him , w atc h in g h is e ars t u rn r e d f ro m b eh in d.
'I g nore th em ,' h e s a id , a ccele ra tin g to c atc h u p w ith R on, 'w e'l l s e e w ho's
la u ghin g a fte r w e p la y t h em … '
'E xactly th e attitu de I w an t, H arry ,' sa id A ngelin a ap pro vin gly , so arin g
aro und th em w ith th e Q uaff le u nder h er a rm a n d s lo w in g to h over o n th e s p ot in
fro nt o f h er a ir b orn e te am . 'O K, e v ery one, w e'r e g oin g to s ta rt w ith s o m e p asse s
ju st t o w arm u p, t h e w hole t e am p le ase - '
'H ey, Jo hnso n, what's with th at hair s ty le , an yw ay ?' sh rie k ed Pan sy
Park in so n f ro m b elo w . 'W hy w ould a n yone w an t to lo ok lik e th ey 'v e g ot w orm s
co m in g o ut o f t h eir h ead ?'
Angelin a s w ep t h er lo ng b ra id ed h air o ut o f h er f a ce a n d c o ntin ued c alm ly ,
'S pre ad o ut, t h en , a n d l e t's s e e w hat w e c an d o… '
Harry re v ers e d a w ay fro m th e o th ers to th e fa r s id e o f th e p itc h . R on fe ll
back to w ard s th e o pposite g oal. A ngelin a r a is e d th e Q uaff le w ith o ne h an d a n d
th re w i t h ard t o F re d , w ho p asse d t o G eo rg e, w ho p asse d t o H arry , w ho p asse d t o
Ron, w ho d ro pped i t.
The S ly th erin s, le d b y M alf o y, ro are d a n d sc re am ed w ith la u ghte r. R on,
who h ad p elte d to w ard s th e g ro und to c atc h th e Q uaff le b efo re it la n ded , p ulle d
out o f th e d iv e u ntid ily , s o th at h e s lip ped s id ew ay s o n h is b ro om , a n d r e tu rn ed
to p la y in g h eig ht, b lu sh in g. H arry sa w F re d a n d G eo rg e e x ch an ge lo oks, b ut
unch ara cte ris tic ally n eith er o f t h em s a id a n yth in g, f o r w hic h h e w as g ra te fu l.
'P ass i t o n, R on,' c alle d A ngelin a, a s t h ough n oth in g h ad h ap pen ed .
Ron th re w th e Q uaff le to A lic ia , w ho p asse d b ack to H arry , w ho p asse d to
Geo rg e…

'H ey, P otte r, h ow 's y our s c ar f e elin g?' c alle d M alf o y. 'S ure y ou d on't n eed a
lie d ow n? I t m ust b e, w hat, a w hole w eek s in ce y ou w ere in th e h osp ita l w in g,
th at's a r e co rd f o r y ou, i s n 't i t? '
Geo rg e p asse d to A ngelin a; s h e r e v ers e -p asse d to H arry , w ho h ad n ot b een
ex pectin g it, b ut c au ght it in th e v ery tip s o f h is f in gers a n d p asse d it q uic k ly to
Ron, w ho l u nged f o r i t a n d m is se d b y i n ch es.
'C om e o n n ow , R on,' sa id A ngelin a cro ssly , as h e d iv ed fo r th e g ro und
ag ain , c h asin g t h e Q uaff le . 'P ay a tte n tio n.'
It w ould h av e b een h ard to sa y w heth er R on's fa ce o r th e Q uaff le w as a
deep er s c arle t w hen h e a g ain r e tu rn ed to p la y in g h eig ht. M alf o y a n d th e r e st o f
th e S ly th erin t e am w ere h ow lin g w ith l a u ghte r.
On h is th ir d atte m pt, R on cau ght th e Q uaff le ; p erh ap s o ut o f re lie f h e
passe d i t o n s o e n th usia stic ally t h at i t s o are d s tr a ig ht t h ro ugh K atie 's o uts tr e tc h ed
han ds a n d h it h er h ard i n t h e f a ce.
'S orry !' R on g ro an ed , z o om in g fo rw ard s to se e w heth er h e h ad d one a n y
dam ag e.
'G et b ack in p ositio n, s h e's f in e!' b ark ed A ngelin a. 'B ut a s y ou'r e p assin g to
a te am mate , d o tr y n ot to k nock h er o ff h er b ro om , w on't y ou? W e'v e g ot
Blu dgers f o r t h at! '
Katie 's n ose w as b le ed in g. D ow n b elo w , th e S ly th erin s w ere s ta m pin g th eir
fe et a n d j e erin g. F re d a n d G eo rg e c o nverg ed o n K atie .
'H ere , ta k e th is ,' F re d to ld h er, h an din g h er so m eth in g sm all a n d p urp le
fro m o ut o f h is p ock et, 'i t'l l c le ar i t u p i n n o t im e.'
'A ll rig ht,' calle d A ngelin a, 'F re d , G eo rg e, g o an d g et y our b ats an d a
Blu dger. R on, g et u p to th e g oalp osts . H arry , re le ase th e S nitc h w hen I s a y s o .
We'r e g oin g t o a im f o r R on's g oal, o bvio usly .'
Harry z o om ed o ff a fte r t h e t w in s t o f e tc h t h e S nitc h .
'R on's m ak in g a r ig ht p ig 's e ar o f th in gs, is n 't h e?' m utte re d G eo rg e, a s th e
th re e o f t h em l a n ded a t t h e c ra te c o nta in in g t h e b alls a n d o pen ed i t t o e x tr a ct o ne
of t h e B lu dgers a n d t h e S nitc h .
'H e's ju st n erv ous,' s a id H arry , 'h e w as f in e w hen I w as p ra ctis in g w ith h im
th is m orn in g.'
'Y eah , w ell, I h ope h e h asn 't p eak ed t o o s o on,' s a id F re d g lo om ily .
They re tu rn ed to th e a ir. W hen A ngelin a b le w h er w his tle , H arry re le ase d
th e S nitc h a n d F re d a n d G eo rg e l e t f ly t h e B lu dger. F ro m t h at m om en t o n, H arry
was b are ly a w are o f w hat th e o th ers w ere d oin g. I t w as h is jo b to r e cap tu re th e
tin y flu tte rin g g old en b all th at w as w orth a h undre d an d fif ty p oin ts to th e
Seek er's te am a n d d oin g s o re q uir e d e n orm ous s p eed a n d s k ill. H e a ccele ra te d ,
ro llin g a n d s w erv in g in a n d o ut o f th e C hase rs , th e w arm a u tu m n a ir w hip pin g

his fa ce, a n d th e d is ta n t y ells o f th e S ly th erin s s o m uch m ean in gle ss ro arin g in
his e ars … b ut t o o s o on, t h e w his tle b ro ught h im t o a h alt a g ain .
'S to p – s to p – S T O P!' s c re am ed A ngelin a. 'R on – y ou'r e n ot c o verin g y our
mid dle p ost! '
Harry lo oked ro und a t R on, w ho w as h overin g in fro nt o f th e le ft- h an d
hoop, l e av in g t h e o th er t w o c o m ple te ly u npro te cte d .
'O h… s o rry … '
'Y ou keep sh if tin g aro und w hile you'r e w atc h in g th e Chase rs !' sa id
Angelin a. 'E ith er s ta y i n c en tr e p ositio n u ntil y ou h av e t o m ove t o d efe n d a h oop,
or e ls e c ir c le t h e h oops, b ut d on't d rif t v ag uely o ff t o o ne s id e, t h at's h ow y ou l e t
in t h e l a st t h re e g oals !'
'S orry … ' R on r e p eate d , h is r e d f a ce s h in in g lik e a b eaco n a g ain st th e b rig ht
blu e s k y.
'A nd K atie , c an 't y ou d o s o m eth in g a b out t h at n ose b le ed ?'
'I t's ju st g ettin g w ors e !' s a id K atie th ic k ly , a tte m ptin g to s te m th e f lo w w ith
her s le ev e.
Harry g la n ced ro und a t F re d , w ho w as lo okin g a n xio us a n d c h eck in g h is
pock ets . H e s a w F re d p ull o ut s o m eth in g p urp le , e x am in e it fo r a s e co nd a n d
th en l o ok r o und a t K atie , e v id en tly h orro r- s tr u ck .
'W ell, le t's tr y a g ain ,' s a id A ngelin a. S he w as ig norin g th e S ly th erin s, w ho
had n ow s e t u p a c h an t o f '
Gry ffin dor a re l o se rs, G ry ffin dor a re
l o se rs ,' b ut t h ere
was a c erta in r ig id ity a b out h er s e at o n t h e b ro om n ev erth ele ss.
This tim e th ey h ad b een fly in g fo r b are ly th re e m in ute s w hen A ngelin as
whis tle so unded . H arry , w ho h ad ju st sig hte d th e S nitc h c ir c lin g th e o pposite
goalp ost, p ulle d u p f e elin g d is tin ctly a g grie v ed .
'W hat n ow ?' h e s a id i m patie n tly t o A lic ia , w ho w as n eare st.
'K atie ,' s h e s a id s h ortly .
Harry tu rn ed a n d s a w A ngelin a, F re d a n d G eo rg e a ll f ly in g a s f a st a s th ey
co uld to w ard s K atie . H arry a n d A lic ia s p ed to w ard s h er, to o. It w as p la in th at
Angelin a h ad sto pped tr a in in g ju st in tim e; K atie w as n ow ch alk w hite an d
co vere d i n b lo od.
'S he n eed s t h e h osp ita l w in g,' s a id A ngelin a.
'W e'l l ta k e h er,' sa id F re d . 'S he – er – m ig ht h av e sw allo w ed a B lo od
Blis te rp od b y m is ta k e - '
'W ell, th ere 's n o p oin t c o ntin uin g w ith n o B eate rs a n d a C hase r g one,' s a id
Angelin a g lu m ly a s F re d a n d G eo rg e z o om ed o ff to w ard s th e c astle s u pportin g
Katie b etw een t h em . 'C om e o n, l e t's g o a n d g et c h an ged .'
The S ly th erin s c o ntin ued to c h an t a s th ey tr a ile d b ack in to th e c h an gin g
ro om s.

'H ow w as p ra ctic e?' a sk ed H erm io ne ra th er c o olly h alf a n h our la te r, a s
Harry a n d R on c lim bed th ro ugh th e p ortr a it h ole in to th e G ry ff in dor c o m mon
ro om .
'I t w as - ' H arry b eg an .
'C om ple te ly lo usy ,' s a id R on in a h ollo w v oic e, s in kin g in to a c h air b esid e
Herm io ne. S he l o oked u p a t R on a n d h er f ro stin ess s e em ed t o m elt.
'W ell, it w as o nly y our fir s t o ne,' s h e s a id c o nso lin gly , 'i t's b ound to ta k e
tim e t o - '
'W ho s a id i t w as m e w ho m ad e i t l o usy ?' s n ap ped R on.
'N o o ne,' s a id H erm io ne, l o okin g t a k en a b ack , 'I t h ought - '
'Y ou t h ought I w as b ound t o b e r u bbis h ?'
'N o, o f c o urs e I d id n't ! L ook, y ou s a id i t w as l o usy s o 1 j u st - '
'I 'm g oin g t o g et s ta rte d o n s o m e h om ew ork ,' s a id R on a n grily a n d s to m ped
off to th e s ta ir c ase to th e b oys' d orm ito rie s a n d v an is h ed fro m s ig ht. H erm io ne
tu rn ed t o H arry .
'W as h e l o usy ?'
'N o,' s a id H arry l o yally .
Herm io ne r a is e d h er e y eb ro w s.
'W ell, 1 s u ppose h e c o uld 'v e p la y ed b ette r,' H arry m utte re d , 'b ut it w as o nly
th e f ir s t t r a in in g s e ssio n, l ik e y ou s a id … '
Neith er H arry nor Ron se em ed to m ak e m uch head w ay w ith th eir
hom ew ork th at n ig ht. H arry k new R on w as to o p re o ccu pie d w ith h ow b ad ly h e
had p erfo rm ed a t Q uid ditc h p ra ctic e a n d h e h im se lf w as h av in g d if f ic u lty in
gettin g t h e '
Gry ffin dor a re
l o se rs ' c h an t o ut o f h is h ead .
They s p en t t h e w hole o f S unday i n t h e c o m mon r o om , b urie d i n t h eir b ooks
while th e ro om a ro und th em fille d u p, th en e m ptie d . It w as a n oth er c le ar, fin e
day an d m ost o f th eir fe llo w G ry ff in dors sp en t th e d ay o ut in th e g ro unds,
en jo yin g w hat m ig ht w ell b e s o m e o f t h e l a st s u nsh in e t h at y ear. B y t h e e v en in g,
Harry fe lt a s th ough s o m eb ody h ad b een b eatin g h is b ra in a g ain st th e in sid e o f
his s k ull.
'Y ou k now , w e p ro bab ly s h ould t r y a n d g et m ore h om ew ork d one d urin g t h e
week ,' H arry m utte re d to R on, a s th ey f in ally la id a sid e P ro fe sso r M cG onag all's
lo ng e ssa y o n th e I n an im atu s C onju ru s S pell a n d tu rn ed m is e ra b ly to P ro fe sso r
Sin is tr a 's e q ually l o ng a n d d if f ic u lt e ssa y a b out J u pite r's m an y m oons.
'Y eah ,' sa id R on, ru bbin g slig htly b lo odsh ot ey es an d th ro w in g h is fif th
sp oile d b it o f p arc h m en t in to th e fir e b esid e th em . 'L is te n … s h all w e ju st a sk
Herm io ne i f w e c an h av e a l o ok a t w hat s h e's d one?'
Harry g la n ced o ver a t h er; s h e w as s ittin g w ith C ro oksh an ks o n h er la p a n d
ch attin g m errily to G in ny a s a p air o f k nittin g n eed le s f la sh ed in m id air in f ro nt

of h er, n ow k nittin g a p air o f s h ap ele ss e lf s o ck s.
'N o,' h e s a id h eav ily , 'y ou k now s h e w on't l e t u s.'
And s o th ey w ork ed o n w hile th e s k y o uts id e th e w in dow s b ecam e s te ad ily
dark er. S lo w ly , th e c ro w d in th e c o m mon r o om b eg an to th in a g ain . A t h alf p ast
ele v en , H erm io ne w an dere d o ver t o t h em , y aw nin g.
'N early d one?'
'N o,' s a id R on s h ortly .
'J u pite r's b ig gest m oon is G an ym ed e, n ot C allis to ,' s h e s a id , p oin tin g o ver
Ron's sh ould er at a lin e in his A str o nom y essa y, 'a n d it's lo th at's got th e
volc an oes.'
Than ks,' s n arle d R on, s c ra tc h in g o ut t h e o ff e n din g s e n te n ces.
'S orry , I o nly - '
'Y eah , w ell, i f y ou'v e j u st c o m e o ver h ere t o c ritic is e - '
'R on - '
'I h av en 't g ot tim e to lis te n to a s e rm on, a ll rig ht, H erm io ne, I'm u p to m y
neck i n i t h ere - '
'N o – l o ok!'
Herm io ne w as p oin tin g to th e n eare st w in dow . H arry a n d R on b oth lo oked
over. A h an dso m e s c re ech o w l w as s ta n din g o n th e w in dow sill , g azin g in to th e
ro om a t R on.
'I s n 't t h at H erm es? ' s a id H erm io ne, s o undin g a m azed .
'B lim ey, it is !' s a id R on q uie tly , th ro w in g d ow n h is q uill a n d g ettin g to h is
fe et. 'W hat's P erc y w ritin g t o m e f o r? '
He c ro sse d to th e w in dow a n d o pen ed it; H erm es fle w in sid e, la n ded o n
Ron's e ssa y a n d h eld o ut a l e g t o w hic h a l e tte r w as a tta ch ed . R on t o ok t h e l e tte r
off it a n d th e o w l d ep arte d a t o nce, le av in g in ky f o otp rin ts a cro ss R on's d ra w in g
of t h e m oon l o .
That's d efin ite ly P erc y 's h an dw ritin g,' s a id R on, s in kin g b ack in to h is c h air
an d s ta rin g a t th e w ord s o n th e o uts id e o f th e s c ro ll:
R onald W ea sle y, G ry ffin dor
House , H ogw arts
. H e l o oked u p a t t h e o th er t w o. 'W hat d 'y ou r e ck on?'
'O pen i t! ' s a id H erm io ne e ag erly , a n d H arry n odded .
Ron u nro lle d th e s c ro ll a n d b eg an to r e ad . T he f u rth er d ow n th e p arc h m en t
his e y es t r a v elle d , t h e m ore p ro nounced b ecam e h is s c o w l. W hen h e h ad f in is h ed
re ad in g, h e lo oked d is g uste d . H e th ru st th e le tte r a t H arry a n d H erm io ne, w ho
le an ed t o w ard s e ach o th er t o r e ad i t t o geth er:
Dea r R on,
I h ave o nly ju st h ea rd (fr o m n o le ss a p erso n th an th e M in is te r fo r M agic
him se lf, w ho h as it fr o m y o ur n ew te a ch er, P ro fe sso r U mbrid g e) th at y o u h ave
beco m e a H ogw arts p re fe ct.

was m ost p le a sa ntly s u rp ris e d w hen I h ea rd th is n ew s a nd m ust fir stly o ffe r
my c o ngra tu la tio ns. 1 m ust a dm it th at I h ave a lw ays b een a fr a id th at y o u w ould
ta ke w hat w e m ig ht c a ll t h e 'F re d a nd G eo rg e' r o ute , r a th er t h an f o llo w in g i n m y
fo ots te p s, s o y o u c a n im agin e m y fe elin gs o n h ea rin g y o u h ave s to pped flo utin g
auth ority a nd h ave d ecid ed t o s h ould er s o m e r e a l r e sp onsib ility .
But I w ant to g iv e y o u m ore th an c o ngra tu la tio ns, R on, I w ant to g iv e y o u
so m e a dvic e, w hic h is w hy I a m s e n din g th is a t n ig ht r a th er th an b y th e u su al
morn in g p ost. H opefu lly , y o u w ill b e a ble t o r e a d t h is a w ay f r o m p ry in g e yes a nd
avo id a w kw ard q uestio ns.
Fro m s o m eth in g t h e M in is te r l e t s lip w hen t e llin g m e y o u a re n ow a p re fe ct,
I g ath er th at y o u a re s till s e ein g a lo t o f H arry P otte r. 1 m ust te ll y o u, R on, th at
noth in g co uld p ut yo u in d anger o f lo sin g yo ur b adge m ore th an co ntin ued
fr a te rn is a tio n w ith th at b oy. Y es, I a m s u re y o u a re s u rp ris e d to h ea r th is – n o
doubt y o u w ill s a y th at P otte r h as a lw ays b een D um ble d ore 's fa vo urite – b ut I
fe el b ound to te ll y o u th at D um ble d ore m ay n ot b e in c h arg e a t H ogw arts m uch
lo nger a nd th e p eo ple w ho c o unt h ave a v ery d iffe re n t – a nd p ro bably m ore
accu ra te – v ie w o f P otte r's b eh avio ur. I s h all s a y n o m ore h ere , b ut i f y o u l o ok a t
th e
D aily P ro phet
to m orro w y o u w ill g et a g ood id ea o f th e w ay th e w in d is
b lo w in g —
a nd
se e i f y o u c a n s p ot y o urs t r u ly
!
Serio usly , R on, y o u d o n ot w ant to b e ta rre d w ith th e s a m e b ru sh a s P otte r,
it c o uld b e v ery d am agin g to y o ur fu tu re p ro sp ects , a nd I a m ta lk in g h ere a bout
life a fte r s c h ool, t o o. A s y o u m ust b e a w are , g iv en t h at o ur f a th er e sc o rte d h im t o
co urt, P otte r had a dis c ip lin ary hea rin g th is su m mer in fr o nt of th e w hole
Wiz e n gam ot a nd h e d id n ot c o m e o ut o f i t l o okin g t o o g ood. H e g ot o ff o n a m ere
te ch nic a lity , if yo u ask m e, and m any of th e peo ple I'v e sp oken to re m ain
co nvin ced o f h is g uilt.
It m ay b e th at y o u a re a fr a id to s e ver tie s w ith P otte r -
/
k n ow th at h e c a n
be u nbala nced a nd, fo r a ll I k n ow , v io le n t – b ut if y o u h ave a ny w orrie s a bout
th is , o r h ave s p otte d a nyth in g e ls e in P otte r's b eh avio ur th at is tr o ublin g y o u, I
urg e y o u to s p ea k to D olo re s U mbrid ge, a tr u ly d elig htfu l w om an w ho I k n ow
will b e o nly t o o h appy t o a dvis e y o u
.
This le a ds m e to m y oth er bit of advic e. As I have hin te d above,
Dum ble d ore 's r e g im e a t H ogw arts m ay s o on b e o ver. Y o ur lo ya lty , R on, s h ould
be n ot t o h im , b ut t o t h e s c h ool a nd t h e M in is tr y. I a m v ery s o rry t o h ea r t h at, s o
fa r, P ro fe sso r U mbrid ge i s e n co unte rin g v ery l ittle c o -o pera tio n f r o m s ta ff a s s h e
str iv es to m ake th ose n ecessa ry c h anges w ith in H ogw arts th at th e M in is tr y s o
ard en tly d esir e s ( a lth ough s h e s h ould f in d t h is e a sie r f r o m n ext w eek – a gain , s e e
th e
D aily P ro phet
to m orro w !). I sh all sa y o nly th is – a stu den t w ho sh ow s

him se lf w illin g to h elp P ro fe sso r U mbrid ge n ow m ay b e v ery w ell- p la ced fo r
Hea d B oysh ip i n a c o uple o f y ea rs
!
I a m s o rry th at I w as u nable to s e e m ore o f y o u o ver th e s u m mer. I t p ain s
me to c ritic is e o ur p are n ts , b ut I a m a fr a id i c a n n o lo nger liv e u nder th eir r o of
while th ey r e m ain m ix ed u p w ith th e d angero us c ro w d a ro und D um ble d ore . (If
yo u a re w ritin g to M oth er a t a ny p oin t, y o u m ig ht te ll h er th at a c erta in S tu rg is
Podm ore , w ho is a g re a t fr ie n d o f D um ble d ore 's , h as re cen tly b een se n t to
Azk a banfo r t r e sp ass a t t h e M in is tr y. P erh aps t h at w ill o pen t h eir e yes t o t h e k in d
of p etty crim in als w ith w hom th ey a re cu rre n tly ru bbin g sh ould ers.) I co unt
myse lf v ery lu cky to h ave e sc a ped th e s tig m a o f a sso cia tio n w ith s u ch p eo ple –
th e M in is te r r e a lly c o uld n ot b e m ore g ra cio us to m e – a nd 1 d o h ope, R on, th at
yo u w ill
not a llo w fa m ily tie s to b lin d y o u to th e m is g uid ed n atu re o f o ur p are n ts '
belie fs a nd a ctio ns, e ith er. I s in cere ly h ope th at, in tim e, th ey w ill re a lis e h ow
mis ta ken t h ey w ere a nd I s h all, o f c o urse , b e r e a dy t o a ccep t a f u ll a polo gy w hen
th at d ay c o m es.
Ple a se t h in k o ver w hat I h ave s a id m ost c a re fu lly , p artic u la rly t h e b it a bout
Harry P otte r, a nd c o ngra tu la tio ns a gain o n b eco m in g p re fe ct.
Yo ur b ro th er,
Perc y
Harry l o oked u p a t R on.
'W ell,' h e s a id , t r y in g t o s o und a s t h ough h e f o und t h e w hole t h in g a j o ke, 'i f
you w an t to – e r – w hat is it? ' – h e c h eck ed P erc y 's le tte r – 'O h y eah – " se v er
tie s" w ith m e, I s w ear 1 w on't g et v io le n t.'
'G iv e it b ack ,' sa id R on, h old in g o ut h is h an d. 'H e is -' R on sa id je rk ily ,
te arin g P erc y 's le tte r in h alf 't h e w orld 's -' h e to re it in to q uarte rs 'b ig gest -' h e
to re i t i n to e ig hth s 'g it.' H e t h re w t h e p ie ces i n to t h e f ir e .
'C om e o n, w e'v e g ot to g et th is fin is h ed so m etim e b efo re d aw n,' h e sa id
bris k ly t o H arry , p ullin g P ro fe sso r S in is tr a 's e ssa y b ack t o w ard s h im .
Herm io ne w as l o okin g a t R on w ith a n o dd e x pre ssio n o n h er f a ce.
'O h, g iv e t h em h ere ,' s h e s a id a b ru ptly .
'W hat? ' s a id R on.
'G iv e t h em t o m e, I 'l l l o ok t h ro ugh t h em a n d c o rre ct t h em ,' s h e s a id .
'A re y ou s e rio us? A h, H erm io ne, y ou'r e a l if e -s a v er,' s a id R on, 'w hat c an I -
?'
'W hat y ou c an s a y i s , " W e p ro m is e w e'l l n ev er l e av e o ur h om ew ork t h is l a te
ag ain ," ' s h e s a id , h old in g o ut b oth h an ds f o r th eir e ssa y s, b ut s h e lo oked s lig htly
am use d a ll t h e s a m e.
Than ks a m illio n, H erm io ne,' s a id H arry w eak ly , p assin g o ver h is e ssa y a n d

sin kin g b ack i n to h is a rm ch air , r u bbin g h is e y es.
It w as n ow p ast m id nig ht a n d th e c o m mon ro om w as d ese rte d b ut fo r th e
th re e o f th em a n d C ro oksh an ks. T he o nly so und w as th at o f H erm io ne's q uill
sc ra tc h in g o ut s e n te n ces h ere a n d th ere o n th eir e ssa y s a n d th e r u ff le o f p ag es a s
sh e c h eck ed v ario us fa cts in th e re fe re n ce b ooks s tr e w n a cro ss th e ta b le . H arry
was e x hau ste d . H e a ls o f e lt a n o dd, s ic k , e m pty f e elin g in h is s to m ach th at h ad
noth in g to d o w ith tir e d ness a n d e v ery th in g to d o w ith th e le tte r n ow c u rlin g
bla ck ly i n t h e h eart o f t h e f ir e .
He k new th at h alf th e p eo ple in sid e H ogw arts th ought h im str a n ge, e v en
mad ; h e k new t h at t h e
D aily P ro phet
h ad b een m ak in g s n id e a llu sio ns t o h im f o r
month s, b ut t h ere w as s o m eth in g a b out s e ein g i t w ritte n d ow n l ik e t h at i n P erc y s
writin g, a b out k now in g t h at P erc y w as a d vis in g R on t o d ro p h im a n d e v en t o t e ll
ta le s a b out h im to U m brid ge, th at m ad e h is s itu atio n r e al to h im a s n oth in g e ls e
had . H e h ad k now n P erc y fo r fo ur y ears , h ad sta y ed in h is h ouse d urin g th e
su m mer h olid ay s, s h are d a te n t w ith h im d urin g th e Q uid ditc h W orld C up, h ad
ev en been aw ard ed fu ll m ark s by him in th e se co nd ta sk of th e T riw iz ard
Tourn am en t la st year, yet now , P erc y th ought him unbala n ced an d possib ly
vio le n t.
And w ith a s u rg e o f s y m path y fo r h is g odfa th er, H arry th ought S ir iu s w as
pro bab ly t h e o nly p ers o n h e k new w ho c o uld r e ally u nders ta n d h ow h e f e lt a t t h e
mom en t, becau se S ir iu s w as in th e sa m e situ atio n. N early ev ery one in th e
wiz ard in g w orld th ought S ir iu s a d an gero us m urd ere r an d a g re at V old em ort
su pporte r a n d h e h ad h ad t o l iv e w ith t h at k now le d ge f o r f o urte en y ears …
Harry b lin ked . H e h ad ju st s e en s o m eth in g in th e fir e th at c o uld n ot h av e
been t h ere . I t h ad f la sh ed i n to s ig ht a n d v an is h ed i m med ia te ly . N o… i t c o uld n ot
hav e b een … h e h ad i m ag in ed i t b ecau se h e h ad b een t h in kin g a b out S ir iu s…
'O K, w rite th at d ow n,' H erm io ne s a id to R on, p ush in g h is e ssa y a n d a s h eet
co vere d i n h er o w n w ritin g b ack t o R on, 't h en a d d t h is c o nclu sio n I 'v e w ritte n f o r
you.'
'H erm io ne, y ou a re h onestly th e m ost w onderfu l p ers o n I 'v e e v er m et,' s a id
Ron w eak ly , 'a n d i f I 'm e v er r u de t o y ou a g ain - '
'– I'l l k now y ou'r e b ack to n orm al,' sa id H erm io ne. 'H arry , y ours is O K
ex cep t f o r th is b it a t th e e n d, I th in k y ou m ust h av e m is h eard P ro fe sso r S in is tr a ,
Euro pa's c o vere d i n i c e, n ot m ic e - H arry ?'
Harry h ad s lid o ff h is c h air o n to h is k nees a n d w as n ow c ro uch in g o n th e
sin ged a n d t h re ad bare h earth ru g, g azin g i n to t h e f la m es.
'E r – H arry ?' s a id R on u ncerta in ly . 'W hy a re y ou d ow n t h ere ?'
'B ecau se I 'v e j u st s e en S ir iu s's h ead i n t h e f ir e ,' s a id H arry .
He s p oke q uite c alm ly ; a fte r a ll, h e h ad s e en S ir iu s's h ead in th is v ery f ir e

th e p re v io us y ear a n d ta lk ed to it, to o; n ev erth ele ss, h e c o uld n ot b e s u re th at h e
had r e ally s e en i t t h is t im e… i t h ad v an is h ed s o q uic k ly …
'S ir iu s's h ead ?' H erm io ne r e p eate d . 'Y ou m ean lik e w hen h e w an te d to ta lk
to y ou d urin g th e T riw iz ard T ourn am en t? B ut h e w ould n't d o th at n ow , it w ould
be t o o – S ir iu s!'
She g asp ed , g azin g a t t h e f ir e ; R on d ro pped h is q uill. T here i n t h e m id dle o f
th e d an cin g fla m es s a t S ir iu s's h ead , lo ng d ark h air fa llin g a ro und h is g rin nin g
fa ce.
'1 w as sta rtin g to th in k you'd go to bed befo re ev ery one els e had
dis a p peare d ,' h e s a id . 'I 'v e b een c h eck in g e v ery h our.'
'Y ou'v e b een p oppin g i n to t h e f ir e e v ery h our? ' H arry s a id , h alf -la u ghin g.
'J u st f o r a f e w s e co nds t o c h eck i f t h e c o ast w as c le ar.'
'B ut w hat i f y ou'd b een s e en ?' s a id H erm io ne a n xio usly .
'W ell, 1 th in k a g ir l – f ir s t- y ear, b y th e lo ok o f h er – m ig ht'v e g ot a g lim pse
of m e e arlie r, b ut d on't w orry ' S ir iu s s a id h astily , a s H erm io ne c la p ped a h an d to
her m outh , 'I w as g one th e m om en t s h e lo oked b ack a t m e a n d I'l l b et s h e ju st
th ought I w as a n o ddly -s h ap ed l o g o r s o m eth in g.'
'B ut, S ir iu s, t h is i s t a k in g a n a w fu l r is k - ' H erm io ne b eg an .
'Y ou s o und lik e M olly ,' s a id S ir iu s. T his w as th e o nly w ay I c o uld c o m e u p
with o f an sw erin g H arry s le tte r w ith out re so rtin g to a co de – an d co des are
bre ak ab le .'
At th e m en tio n o f H arry 's le tte r, H erm io ne a n d R on b oth tu rn ed to s ta re a t
him .
'Y ou d id n't s a y y ou'd w ritte n t o S ir iu s!' s a id H erm io ne a ccu sin gly .
'I f o rg ot,' s a id H arry , w hic h w as p erfe ctly tr u e; h is m eetin g w ith C ho in th e
Owle ry h ad d riv en e v ery th in g b efo re it o ut o f h is m in d. 'D on't lo ok a t m e lik e
th at, H erm io ne, th ere w as n o w ay a n yone w ould h av e g ot s e cre t in fo rm atio n o ut
of i t, w as t h ere , S ir iu s? '
'N o, it w as v ery g ood,' s a id S ir iu s, s m ilin g. 'A nyw ay, w e'd b ette r b e q uic k ,
ju st i n c ase w e'r e d is tu rb ed – y our s c ar.'
'W hat a b out - ? ' R on b eg an , b ut H erm io ne in te rru pte d h im . . 'W e'l l te ll y ou
afte rw ard s. G o o n, S ir iu s.'
'W ell, I k now i t c an 't b e f u n w hen i t h urts , b ut w e d on't t h in k i t's a n yth in g t o
re ally w orry a b out. I t k ep t a ch in g a ll l a st y ear, d id n't i t? '
'Y eah , a n d D um ble d ore s a id i t h ap pen ed w hen ev er V old em ort w as f e elin g a
pow erfu l e m otio n,' s a id H arry , ig norin g, a s u su al, R on a n d H erm io ne's w in ces.
'S o m ay be h e w as ju st, I d unno, re ally a n gry o r s o m eth in g th e n ig ht I h ad th at
dete n tio n.'
'W ell, n ow h e's b ack i t's b ound t o h urt m ore o fte n ,' s a id S ir iu s.

'S o y ou d on't th in k it h ad a n yth in g to d o w ith U m brid ge to uch in g m e w hen
I w as i n d ete n tio n w ith h er? ' H arry a sk ed .
'I d oubt i t,' s a id S ir iu s. 'I k now h er b y r e p uta tio n a n d I 'm s u re s h e's n o D eath
Eate r - '
'S he's fo ul e n ough to b e o ne,' sa id H arry d ark ly , a n d R on a n d H erm io ne
nodded v ig oro usly i n a g re em en t.
'Y es, b ut t h e w orld i s n 't s p lit i n to g ood p eo ple a n d D eath E ate rs ,' s a id S ir iu s
with a w ry s m ile . 'I k now s h e's a n asty p ie ce o f w ork , th ough – y ou s h ould h ear
Rem us t a lk a b out h er.'
'D oes L upin know her? ' ask ed H arry quic k ly , re m em berin g U m brid ge's
co m men ts a b out d an gero us h alf -b re ed s d urin g h er f ir s t l e sso n.
'N o,' s a id S ir iu s, 'b ut s h e d ra fte d a b it o f a n ti- w ere w olf l e g is la tio n t w o y ears
ag o t h at m ak es i t a lm ost i m possib le f o r h im t o g et a j o b.'
Harry re m em bere d h ow m uch sh ab bie r L upin lo oked th ese d ay s a n d h is
dis lik e o f U m brid ge d eep en ed e v en f u rth er.
'W hat's s h e g ot a g ain st w ere w olv es? " s a id H erm io ne a n grily .
'S care d of th em , I ex pect,' sa id Sir iu s, sm ilin g at her in dig natio n.
'A ppare n tly sh e lo ath es part- h um an s; sh e cam paig ned to hav e m erp eo ple
ro unded u p a n d ta g ged la st y ear, to o. Im ag in e w astin g y our tim e a n d e n erg y
pers e cu tin g m erp eo ple w hen t h ere a re l ittle t o era g s l ik e K re ach er o n t h e l o ose .'
Ron l a u ghed b ut H erm io ne l o oked u pse t.
'S ir iu s!' s h e s a id r e p ro ach fu lly . 'H onestly , i f y ou m ad e a b it o f a n e ff o rt w ith
Kre ach er, I 'm s u re h e'd r e sp ond. A fte r a ll, y ou a re t h e o nly m em ber o f h is f a m ily
he's g ot l e ft, a n d P ro fe sso r D um ble d ore s a id - '
'S o, w hat a re U m brid ge's le sso ns lik e?' S ir iu s in te rru pte d . 'I s sh e tr a in in g
you a ll t o k ill h alf -b re ed s? '
'N o,' s a id H arry , ig norin g H erm io ne's a ff ro nte d lo ok a t b ein g c u t o ff in h er
defe n ce o f K re ach er. 'S he's n ot l e ttin g u s u se m ag ic a t a ll! '
'A ll w e d o i s r e ad t h e s tu pid t e x tb ook,' s a id R on.
'A h, w ell, th at fig ure s,' sa id Sir iu s. 'O ur in fo rm atio n Iro m in sid e th e
Min is tr y i s t h at F udge d oesn 't w an t y ou t r a in ed i n c o m bat.'
' Tra in ed in co m bat
!' re p eate d H arry in cre d ulo usly . 'W hat does he th in k
we'r e d oin g h ere , f o rm in g s o m e s o rt o f w iz ard a rm y?'
That's e x actly w hat h e th in ks y ou'r e d oin g,' sa id S ir iu s, 'o r, ra th er, th at's
ex actly w hat h e's a fra id D um ble d ore 's d oin g – fo rm in g h is o w n p riv ate a rm y,
with w hic h h e w ill b e a b le t o t a k e o n t h e M in is tr y o f M ag ic .'
There w as a p au se a t th is , th en R on s a id , T hat's th e m ost s tu pid th in g I'v e
ev er h eard , i n clu din g a ll t h e s tu ff t h at L una L oveg ood c o m es o ut w ith .'
'S o w e'r e b ein g p re v en te d fro m le arn in g D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts

becau se F udge is s c are d w e'l l u se s p ells a g ain st th e M in is tr y ?' s a id H erm io ne,
lo okin g f u rio us.
'Y ep ,' s a id S ir iu s. 'F udge th in ks D um ble d ore w ill s to p a t n oth in g to s e iz e
pow er. H e's g ettin g m ore p ara n oid a b out D um ble d ore b y th e d ay. I t's a m atte r o f
tim e b efo re h e h as D um ble d ore a rre ste d o n s o m e t r u m ped -u p c h arg e.'
This r e m in ded H arry o f P erc y 's l e tte r.
'D 'y ou k now if th ere 's g oin g to b e a n yth in g a b out D um ble d ore in th e
D aily
Pro phet
t o m orro w ? R on's b ro th er P erc y r e ck ons t h ere w ill b e - '
'I don't know ,' sa id Sir iu s, 'I hav en 't se en an yone fro m th e O rd er all
week en d, t h ey 'r e a ll b usy . I t's j u st b een K re ach er a n d m e h ere
There w as a d efin ite n ote o f b itte rn ess i n S ir iu s's v oic e.
'S o y ou h av en 't h ad a n y n ew s a b out H ag rid , e ith er? '
'A h… ' s a id S ir iu s, 'w ell, h e w as s u ppose d to b e b ack b y n ow , n o o ne's s u re
what's h ap pen ed t o h im .' T hen , s e ein g t h eir s tr ic k en f a ces, h e a d ded q uic k ly , 'B ut
Dum ble d ore 's n ot w orrie d , s o d on't y ou th re e g et y ours e lv es in a s ta te ; I 'm s u re
Hag rid 's f in e.'
'B ut if h e w as s u ppose d to b e b ack b y n ow … ' s a id H erm io ne in a s m all,
an xio us v oic e.
'M ad am e M ax im e w as w ith h im , w e'v e b een in t o uch w ith h er a n d s h e s a y s
th ey g ot s e p ara te d o n th e jo urn ey h om e – b ut th ere 's n oth in g to s u ggest h e's h urt
or – w ell, n oth in g t o s u ggest h e's n ot p erfe ctly O K.'
Unco nvin ced , H arry , R on a n d H erm io ne e x ch an ged w orrie d l o oks.
'L is te n , don't go ask in g to o m an y questio ns ab out H ag rid ,' sa id S ir iu s
hastily , 'i t'l l ju st d ra w e v en m ore a tte n tio n to th e fa ct th at h e's n ot b ack a n d I
know D um ble d ore d oesn 't w an t th at. H ag rid 's to ugh, h e'l l b e O K.' A nd w hen
th ey d id n ot a p pear c h eere d b y th is , S ir iu s a d ded , 'W hen 's y our n ex t H ogsm ead e
week en d, a n yw ay ? I w as th in kin g, w e g ot a w ay w ith th e d og d is g uis e a t th e
sta tio n, d id n't w e? I t h ought I c o uld — '
'N O!' s a id H arry a n d H erm io ne t o geth er, v ery l o udly .
'S ir iu s, d id n't y ou s e e t h e
D aily
P ro phet? ' s a id H erm io ne a n xio usly .
'O h, th at,' s a id S ir iu s, g rin nin g, 't h ey 'r e a lw ay s g uessin g w here I a m , th ey
hav en 't r e ally g ot a c lu e - '
'Y eah , b ut w e t h in k t h is t im e t h ey h av e,' s a id H arry . 'S om eth in g M alf o y s a id
on th e tr a in m ad e u s th in k h e k new it w as y ou, an d h is fa th er w as o n th e
pla tf o rm , S ir iu s – y ou k now , L uciu s M alf o y – s o d on't c o m e u p h ere , w hate v er
you d o. I f M alf o y r e co gnis e s y ou a g ain - '
'A ll rig ht, all rig ht, I'v e got th e poin t,' sa id Sir iu s. H e lo oked m ost
dis p le ase d . 'J u st a n i d ea, t h ought y ou m ig ht l ik e t o g et t o geth er.'
'I w ould , I j u st d on't w an t y ou c h uck ed b ack i n A zk ab an !' s a id H arry .

There w as a p au se in w hic h S ir iu s lo oked o ut o f th e f ir e a t H arry , a c re ase
betw een h is s u nken e y es.
'Y ou'r e le ss lik e your fa th er th an I th ought,' he sa id fin ally , a defin ite
co oln ess i n h is v oic e. T he r is k w ould 'v e b een w hat m ad e i t f u n f o r J a m es.'
'L ook - '
'W ell, I 'd b ette r g et g oin g, I c an h ear K re ach er c o m in g d ow n t h e s ta ir s ,' s a id
Sir iu s, b ut H arry w as s u re h e w as l y in g. T il w rite t o t e ll y ou a t im e I c an m ak e i t
back i n to t h e f ir e , t h en , s h all I ? I f y ou c an s ta n d t o r is k i t? '
There w as a tin y
p op
, an d th e p la ce w here S ir iu s's h ead h ad b een w as
flic k erin g f la m e o nce m ore .

C H APT ER F IF T EEN
T he H ogw arts H ig h I n qu is ito r

They h ad e x pecte d to h av e to c o m b H erm io ne's
D aily P ro phet
care fu lly
n ex t m orn in g to f in d th e a rtic le P erc y h ad m en tio ned in h is le tte r. H ow ev er, th e
d ep artin g d eliv ery o w l h ad b are ly c le are d t h e t o p o f t h e m ilk j u g w hen H erm io ne
l e t o ut a h uge g asp a n d f la tte n ed th e n ew sp ap er to r e v eal a la rg e p hoto gra p h o f
D olo re s U m brid ge, s m ilin g w id ely a n d b lin kin g s lo w ly a t t h em f ro m b en eath t h e
h ead lin e.
MIN IS T R Y S E EK S E D UCATIO NAL
R EFO RM
DOLO RES U M BR1D GE A PPO IN TE D
FIR ST E VER H IG H I N Q UIS IT O R
'U m brid ge – " H ig h In quis ito r" ? ' s a id H arry d ark ly , h is h alf -e ate n p ie ce o f
t o ast s lip pin g f ro m h is f in gers . 'W hat d oes
t h at
m ean ?' H erm io ne r e ad a lo ud:
'I n a s u rp ris e m ove la st n ig ht th e M in is tr y o f M agic p asse d n ew le g is la tio n
g iv in g its e lf a n u npre ced en te d le vel o f c o ntr o l a t H ogw arts S ch ool o f W itc h cra ft
a nd W iz a rd ry.
'" T he M in is te r h as b een g ro w in g u nea sy a bout g oin gs-o n a t H ogw arts fo r
s o m e tim e," sa id ju nio r A ssis ta nt to th e M in is te r, P erc y W ea sle y. "H e is n ow
r e sp ondin g to c o ncern s v o ic ed b y a nxio us p are n ts , w ho fe el th e s c h ool m ay b e
m ovin g i n a d ir e ctio n t h ey d o n ot a ppro ve o f."
'T his i s n ot t h e f ir st t im e i n r e cen t w eeks t h at t h e M in is te r, C orn eliu s F udge,
h as u se d n ew l a w s t o e ffe ct i m pro vem en ts a t t h e
wiz a rd in g s c h ool. A s r e cen tly a s 3 0ih
A ugust,
E duca tio nal D ecre e N um ber
T w en ty -tw o w as p asse d , to e n su re th at, in th e e ven t o f th e c u rre n t H ea dm aste r
b ein g u nable to p ro vid e a c a ndid ate fo r a te a ch in g p ost, th e M in is tr y sh ould
s e le ct an appro pria te perso n. '" T hat's how D olo re s U mbrid ge ca m e to be
a ppoin te d to th e te a ch in g sta ff at Hogw arts ," sa id W ea sle y la st nig ht.
" D um ble d ore co uld n't fin d a nyo ne so th e M in is te r p ut in U mbrid ge, a nd o f
c o urse , s h e's b een a n i m med ia te s u ccess — "'
'S he's b een a W HAT?' s a id H arry l o udly . 'W ait, t h ere 's m ore ,' s a id H erm io ne
g rim ly .
'" —
a n im med ia te s u ccess, to ta lly re vo lu tio nis in g th e te a ch in g o f D efe n ce
A gain st th e D ark A rts a nd p ro vid in g th e M in is te r w ith o n-th e-g ro und fe ed back
a bout w hat's r e a lly h appen in g a t H ogw arts
."
'I t i s t h is l a st f u nctio n t h at t h e M in is tr y h as n ow f o rm alis e d w ith t h e p assin g

of E duca tio nal D ecre e N um ber T w en ty -th re e, w hic h c re a te s th e n ew p ositio n o f
Hogw arts H ig h I n quis ito r.
' "T his is a n e xcitin g n ew p hase in th e M in is te r's p la n to g et to g rip s w ith
what so m e a re c a llin g th e
fa llin g sta n dard s
a t H ogw arts ," sa id W ea sle y. " T he
In quis ito r w ill h ave p ow ers to in sp ect h er fe llo w e d uca to rs a nd m ake s u re th at
th ey are co m in g up to sc ra tc h . P ro fe sso r U mbrid ge has been offe re d th is
positio n in a dditio n to h er o w n te a ch in g p ost a nd w e a re d elig hte d to s a y th at
sh e h as a ccep te d
."
'T he M in is tr y 's n ew m oves h ave r e ceiv ed e n th usia stic s u pport fr o m p are n ts
of s tu den ts a t H ogw arts .
"T fe el m uch ea sie r in m y m in d n ow th at I kn ow D um ble d ore is b ein g
su bje cte d to fa ir a nd o bje ctiv e e va lu atio n," s a id M r L uciu s M alfo y, 4 1, s p ea kin g
fr o m h is W ilts h ir e m ansio n la st n ig ht. "M any o f u s w ith o ur ch ild re n 's b est
in te re sts a t h ea rt h ave b een c o ncern ed a bout so m e o f D um ble d ore 's e ccen tr ic
decis io ns in th e la st fe w y ea rs a nd a re g la d to k n ow th at th e M in is tr y is k eep in g
an e ye o n t h e s itu atio n."
' Am ong th ose
eccen tr ic d ecis io ns
a re u ndoubte d ly th e co ntr o versia l sta ff
appoin tm en ts p re vio usly d esc rib ed in th is n ew sp aper, w hic h h ave in clu ded th e
em plo ym en t o f w ere w olf R em us L upin , h alf- g ia nt R ubeu s H agrid a nd d elu sio nal
ex-A uro r, " M ad-E ye" M oody
.
'R um ours abound, of co urse , th at Alb us D um ble d ore , once Supre m e
Mugw um p o f th e In te rn atio nal C onfe d era tio n o f W iz a rd s a nd C hie f W arlo ck o f
th e W iz e n gam ot, is n o lo nger u p to th e ta sk o f m anagin g th e p re stig io us s c h ool
of H ogw arts .
'" I th in k th e a ppoin tm en t o f th e In quis ito r is a fir st s te p to w ard s e n su rin g
th at H ogw arts h as a h ea dm aste r in w hom w e c a n a ll re p ose o ur c o nfid en ce,"
sa id a M in is tr y i n sid er l a st n ig ht.
'W iz e n gam ot eld ers Gris e ld a M arc h banks and Tib eriu s Ogden have
re sig ned i n p ro te st a t t h e i n tr o ductio n o f t h e p ost o f I n quis ito r t o H ogw arts .
'" H ogw arts is a s c h ool, n ot a n o utp ost o f C orn eliu s F udge's o ffic e," s a id
Madam M arc h banks. "T his is a fu rth er, d is g ustin g a tte m pt to d is c re d it A lb us
Dum ble d ore ."
'( F or a fu ll a cco unt o f M adam M arc h banks's a lle g ed lin ks to . s u bversiv e
goblin g ro ups, t u rn t o p age s e ven te en .) '
Herm io ne f in is h ed r e ad in g a n d l o oked a cro ss t h e t a b le a t t h e o th er t w o.
'S o n ow w e k now h ow w e e n ded u p w ith U m brid ge! F udge p asse d th is
"E ducatio nal D ecre e" a n d f o rc ed h er o n u s! A nd n ow h e's g iv en h er t h e p ow er t o
in sp ect th e o th er te ach ers !' H erm io ne w as b re ath in g f a st a n d h er e y es w ere v ery
brig ht. 'I c an 't b elie v e t h is . I t's
o utr a geo us]'

'I k now i t i s ,' s a id H arry . H e l o oked d ow n a t h is r ig ht h an d, c le n ch ed o n t h e
ta b le -to p, a n d s a w t h e f a in t w hite o utlin e o f t h e w ord s U m brid ge h ad f o rc ed h im
to c u t i n to h is s k in .
But a g rin w as u nfu rlin g o n R on's f a ce.
'W hat? ' s a id H arry a n d H erm io ne t o geth er, s ta rin g a t h im .
'O h, I c an 't w ait t o s e e M cG onag all i n sp ecte d ,' s a id R on h ap pily . 'U m brid ge
won't k now w hat's h it h er.'
'W ell, c o m e o n,' s a id H erm io ne, ju m pin g u p, 'w e'd b ette r g et g oin g, if s h e's
in sp ectin g B in ns's c la ss w e d on't w an t t o b e l a te … '
But P ro fe sso r U m brid ge w as n ot in sp ectin g th eir H is to ry o f M ag ic le sso n,
whic h w as ju st a s d ull a s th e p re v io us M onday, n or w as s h e in S nap e's d ungeo n
when th ey arriv ed fo r double P otio ns, w here H arry 's m oonsto ne essa y w as
han ded b ack t o h im w ith a l a rg e, s p ik y b la ck 'D ' s c ra w le d i n a n u pper c o rn er.
TH E H oc W ART S H IG H I N QUIS IT O R
'I h av e a w ard ed y ou th e g ra d es y ou w ould h av e re ceiv ed if y ou p re se n te d
th is w ork in y our O W L,' sa id S nap e w ith a sm ir k , a s h e sw ep t a m ong th em ,
passin g b ack th eir h om ew ork . T his s h ould g iv e y ou a re alis tic id ea o f w hat to
ex pect i n t h e e x am in atio n.'
Snap e r e ach ed t h e f ro nt o f t h e c la ss a n d t u rn ed o n h is h eel t o f a ce t h em .
The g en era l s ta n dard o f th is h om ew ork w as a b ysm al. M ost o f y ou w ould
hav e fa ile d h ad th is b een y our e x am in atio n. I e x pect to s e e a g re at d eal m ore
eff o rt f o r th is w eek s e ssa y o n th e v ario us v arie tie s o f v en om a n tid ote s, o r I s h all
hav e t o s ta rt h an din g o ut d ete n tio ns t o t h ose d unces w ho g et a " D 'V
He sm ir k ed as M alf o y sn ig gere d an d sa id in a carry in g w his p er, 'S om e
peo ple g ot a " D "? H a!'
Harry re alis e d th at H erm io ne w as lo okin g s id ew ay s to s e e w hat g ra d e h e
had re ceiv ed ; he slid his m oonsto ne essa y back in to his bag as quic k ly as
possib le , f e elin g t h at h e w ould r a th er k eep t h at i n fo rm atio n p riv ate .
Dete rm in ed n ot to g iv e S nap e a n e x cu se to f a il h im th is le sso n, H arry r e ad
an d r e re ad e v ery l in e o f i n str u ctio ns o n t h e b la ck board a t l e ast t h re e t im es b efo re
actin g o n th em . H is S tr e n gth en in g S olu tio n w as n ot p re cis e ly th e c le ar tu rq uois e
sh ad e o f H erm io ne's b ut it w as a t le ast b lu e r a th er th an p in k, lik e N ev ille 's , a n d
he d eliv ere d a f la sk o f i t t o S nap e's d esk a t t h e e n d o f t h e l e sso n w ith a f e elin g o f
min gle d d efia n ce a n d r e lie f.
'W ell, th at w asn 't as b ad as la st w eek , w as it? ' sa id H erm io ne, as th ey
clim bed th e s te p s o ut o f th e d ungeo n a n d m ad e th eir w ay a cro ss th e E ntr a n ce
Hall t o w ard s l u nch . 'A nd t h e h om ew ork d id n't g o t o o b ad ly , e ith er, d id i t? '
When n eith er R on n or H arry a n sw ere d , s h e p re sse d o n, 'I m ean , a ll r ig ht, 1
did n't e x pect th e to p g ra d e, n ot if h e's m ark in g to O W L s ta n dard , b ut a p ass is

quite e n co ura g in g a t t h is s ta g e, w ould n't y ou s a y ?'
Harry m ad e a n on-c o m mitta l n ois e i n h is t h ro at.
'O f c o urs e , a l o t c an h ap pen b etw een n ow a n d t h e e x am , w e'v e g ot p le n ty o f
tim e to im pro ve, b ut th e g ra d es w e'r e g ettin g n ow a re a s o rt o f b ase lin e, a re n 't
th ey ? S om eth in g w e c an b uild o n… "
They s a t d ow n t o geth er a t t h e G ry ff m dor t a b le .
'O bvio usly , I 'd h av e b een
t h rille d
i f I 'd g ot a n " O " - '
'H erm io ne,' sa id R on sh arp ly 'i f y ou w an t to k now w hat
g ra d es
w e g ot,
ask .'
: - '
'I d on't – I d id n't m ean – w ell, i f y ou w an t t o t e ll m e - '
• •-
'I g ot a " P ",' s a id R on, l a d lin g s o up i n to h is b ow l. 'H ap py?'
'W ell, t h at's n oth in g t o b e a sh am ed o f,' s a id F re d , w ho h ad j u st a rriv ed a t t h e
ta b le w ith G eo rg e an d L ee Jo rd an an d w as sittin g dow n on H arry 's rig ht.
'N oth in g w ro ng w ith a g ood h ealth y " P ".'
'B ut,' s a id H erm io ne, 'd oesn 't " P " s ta n d f o r… "
'" P oor" , y eah ,' s a id L ee J o rd an . 'S till, b ette r t h an " D ", i s n 't i t? " D re ad fu l" ? '
Harry f e lt h is f a ce g ro w w arm a n d f a k ed a s m all c o ughin g f it o ver h is r o ll.
When h e e m erg ed f ro m th is h e w as s o rry to f in d th at H erm io ne w as s till in f u ll
flo w a b out O W L g ra d es.
'S o t o p g ra d e's " O " f o r " O uts ta n din g",' s h e w as s a y in g, 'a n d t h en t h ere 's " A "
-'
'N o, " E ",' G eo rg e c o rre cte d h er, '" E " fo r " E xceed s E xpecta tio ns" . A nd I'v e
alw ay s t h ought F re d a n d I s h ould 'v e g ot " E " i n e v ery th in g, b ecau se w e e x ceed ed
ex pecta tio ns j u st b y t u rn in g u p f o r t h e e x am s.'
They a ll l a u ghed e x cep t H erm io ne, w ho p lo ughed o n, 'S o, a fte r " E " i t's " A "
fo r " A ccep ta b le ", a n d t h at's t h e l a st p ass g ra d e, i s n 't i t? '
'Y ep ,' sa id F re d , d unkin g a n e n tir e ro ll in h is so up, tr a n sfe rrin g it to h is
mouth a n d s w allo w in g i t w hole .
Then y ou g et " P " f o r " P oor" -' R on r a is e d b oth h is a rm s i n m ock c ele b ra tio n
– 'a n d " D " f o r " D re ad fu l" .'
'A nd t h en " T ",' G eo rg e r e m in ded h im .
'T "? ' a sk ed H erm io ne, lo okin g a p palle d . 'E ven lo w er th an a " D "? W hat o n
earth d oes " T " s ta n d f o r? '
'T ro ll" ,' s a id G eo rg e p ro m ptly .
Harry la u ghed a g ain , th ough h e w as n ot s u re w heth er o r n ot G eo rg e w as
jo kin g. H e i m ag in ed t r y in g t o c o nceal f ro m H erm io ne t h at h e h ad r e ceiv ed T 's i n
all h is O W Ls a n d i m med ia te ly r e so lv ed t o w ork h ard er f ro m n ow o n.
'Y ou l o t h ad a n i n sp ecte d l e sso n y et? ' F re d a sk ed t h em .
'N o,' s a id H erm io ne a t o nce. 'H av e y ou?'

'J u st n ow , b efo re l u nch ,' s a id G eo rg e. 'C harm s.'
TH E H oc W ART S H IG H I N QUIS IT O R
'W hat w as i t l ik e?' H arry a n d H erm io ne a sk ed t o geth er.
Fre d s h ru gged .
'N ot th at bad . U m brid ge ju st lu rk ed in th e co rn er m ak in g note s on a
clip board . Y ou k now w hat F litw ic k 's l ik e, h e t r e ate d h er l ik e a g uest, d id n't s e em
to b oth er h im a t a ll. S he d id n't s a y m uch . A sk ed A lic ia a c o uple o f q uestio ns
ab out w hat th e c la sse s a re n orm ally lik e, A lic ia to ld h er th ey w ere r e ally g ood,
th at w as i t.'
'I c an 't s e e o ld F litw ic k g ettin g m ark ed d ow n,' s a id G eo rg e, 'h e u su ally g ets
ev ery one t h ro ugh t h eir e x am s a ll r ig ht.'
'W ho'v e y ou g ot t h is a fte rn oon?' F re d a sk ed H arry .
Tre la w ney - '
'A " T " i f e v er I s a w o ne.'
'– a n d U m brid ge h ers e lf .'
'W ell, b e a g oo d b oy an d k eep y our te m per w ith U m brid ge to day ' sa id
Geo rg e. 'A ngelin a'l l d o h er n ut i f y ou m is s a n y m ore Q uid ditc h p ra ctic es.'
But H arry d id n ot h av e to w ait f o r D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts to m eet
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge. H e w as p ullin g o ut h is d re am d ia ry in a s e at a t th e v ery
back o f th e s h ad ow y D iv in atio n ro om w hen R on e lb ow ed h im in th e rib s a n d,
lo okin g r o und, h e s a w P ro fe sso r U m brid ge e m erg in g th ro ugh th e tr a p door in th e
flo or. T he c la ss, w hic h h ad b een ta lk in g c h eerily fe ll s ile n t a t o nce. T he a b ru pt
fa ll in th e n ois e le v el m ad e P ro fe sso r T re la w ney, w ho h ad b een w aftin g a b out
han din g o ut c o pie s o f
T he D re a m O ra cle
, l o ok r o und.
'G ood a fte rn oon, P ro fe sso r T re la w ney,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge w ith h er
wid e sm ile . 'Y ou re ceiv ed m y n ote , I tr u st? G iv in g th e tim e a n d d ate o f y our
in sp ectio n?'
Pro fe sso r T re la w ney n odded c u rtly a n d, lo okin g v ery d is g ru ntle d , tu rn ed
her b ack o n P ro fe sso r U m brid ge a n d c o ntin ued to g iv e o ut b ooks. S till s m ilin g,
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge g ra sp ed t h e b ack o f t h e n eare st a rm ch air a n d p ulle d i t t o t h e
fro nt o f th e c la ss s o th at it w as a f e w in ch es b eh in d P ro fe sso r T re la w ney s s e at.
She th en sa t d ow n, to ok h er clip board fro m h er flo w ery b ag an d lo oked u p
ex pecta n tly , w aitin g f o r t h e c la ss t o b eg in .
Pro fe sso r Tre la w ney pulle d her sh aw ls tig ht ab out her w ith slig htly
tr e m blin g h an ds a n d s u rv ey ed t h e c la ss t h ro ugh h er h ugely m ag nif y in g l e n se s.
'W e s h all b e c o ntin uin g o ur s tu dy o f p ro phetic d re am s to day,' s h e s a id in a
bra v e a tte m pt a t h er u su al m ystic to nes, th ough h er v oic e s h ook s lig htly . 'D iv id e
in to p air s , p le ase , a n d in te rp re t e ach o th er's la te st n ig ht- tim e v is io ns w ith th e a id
of t h e
O ra cle
.'

She m ad e a s th ough to sw eep b ack to h er se at, sa w P ro fe sso r U m brid ge
sittin g r ig ht b esid e i t, a n d i m med ia te ly v eere d l e ft t o w ard s P arv ati a n d L av en der,
who w ere a lr e ad y d eep i n d is c u ssio n a b out P arv ati's m ost r e cen t d re am .
Harry o pen ed h is c o py o f
T he D re a m O ra cle
, w atc h in g U m brid ge c o vertly .
She w as a lr e ad y m ak in g n ote s o n h er c lip board . A fte r a f e w m in ute s s h e g ot to
her ie et an d beg an to pace th e ro om in T re la w ney 's w ak e, lis te n in g to her
co nvers a tio ns w ith s tu den ts a n d p osin g q uestio ns h ere a n d th ere . H arry b en t h is
head h urrie d ly o ver h is b ook.
Thin k o f a d re am , q uic k ,' h e t o ld R on, 'i n c ase t h e o ld t o ad c o m es o ur w ay.'
'I d id i t l a st t im e,' R on p ro te ste d , 'i t's y our t u rn , y ou t e ll m e o ne.'
'O h, I d unno… ' s a id H arry d esp era te ly , w ho c o uld n ot r e m em ber d re am in g
an yth in g a t a ll o ver th e la st fe w d ay s. 'L ets sa y I d re am ed I w as… d ro w nin g
Snap e i n m y c au ld ro n. Y eah , t h at'l l d o… '
Ron c h ortle d a s h e o pen ed h is
D re a m O ra cle
.
'O K, w e'v e g ot to a d d y our a g e to th e d ate y ou h ad th e d re am , th e n um ber
of l e tte rs i n t h e s u bje ct… w ould t h at b e " d ro w nin g" o r " c au ld ro n" o r " S nap e"? '
'I t d oesn 't m atte r, p ic k a n y o f th em ,' s a id H arry , c h an cin g a g la n ce b eh in d
him . P ro fe sso r U m brid ge w as n ow sta n din g a t P ro fe sso r T re la w ney s sh ould er
mak in g n ote s w hile th e D iv in atio n te ach er q uestio ned N ev ille a b out h is d re am
dia ry .
'W hat n ig ht d id y ou d re am t h is a g ain ?' R on s a id , i m mers e d i n c alc u la tio ns.
'I d unno, la st n ig ht, w hen ev er y ou lik e,' H arry to ld h im , tr y in g to lis te n to
what U m brid ge w as s a y in g t o P ro fe sso r T re la w ney. T hey w ere o nly a t a b le a w ay
fro m h im a n d R on n ow . P ro fe sso r U m brid ge w as m ak in g a n o th er n ote o n h er
clip board a n d P ro fe sso r T re la w ney w as l o okin g e x tr e m ely p ut o ut.
'N ow ,' sa id U m brid ge, lo okin g u p a t T re la w ney, 'y ou'v e b een in th is p ost
how l o ng, e x actly ?'
Pro fe sso r T re la w ney s c o w le d a t h er, a rm s c ro sse d a n d s h ould ers h unch ed a s
th ough w is h in g to p ro te ct h ers e lf a s m uch a s p ossib le f ro m th e in dig nity o f th e
in sp ectio n. A fte r a s lig ht p au se in w hic h s h e s e em ed to d ecid e th at th e q uestio n
was n ot so o ff e n siv e th at sh e c o uld re aso nab ly ig nore it, sh e sa id in a d eep ly
re se n tf u l t o ne, 'N early s ix te en y ears .'
'Q uite a p erio d,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, m ak in g a n ote o n h er c lip board .
'S o i t w as P ro fe sso r D um ble d ore w ho a p poin te d y ou?'
That's r ig ht,' s a id P ro fe sso r T re la w ney s h ortly .
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge m ad e a n oth er n ote .
'A nd y ou a re a g re at- g re at- g ra n ddau ghte r o f th e c ele b ra te d S eer C assa n dra
Tre la w ney ?'
'Y es,' s a id P ro fe sso r T re la w ney, h old in g h er h ead a l ittle h ig her.

Anoth er n ote o n t h e c lip board .
'B ut 1 th in k – c o rre ct m e if I a m m is ta k en – th at y ou a re th e fir s t in y our
fa m ily s in ce C assa n dra t o b e p osse sse d o f S eco nd S ig ht? '
'T hese t h in gs o fte n s k ip – e r – t h re e g en era tio ns,' s a id P ro fe sso r T re la w ney.
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge's t o ad lik e s m ile w id en ed .
'O f c o urs e ,' s h e s a id s w eetly , m ak in g y et a n oth er n ote . 'W ell, if y ou c o uld
ju st pre d ic t so m eth in g fo r m e, th en ?' A nd sh e lo oked up en quir in gly , still
sm ilin g.
Pro fe sso r T re la w ney s tif f e n ed a s th ough u nab le to b elie v e h er e ars . 'I d on't
unders ta n d you,' sh e sa id , clu tc h in g co nvuls iv ely at th e sh aw l aro und her
sc ra w ny n eck .
'I 'd lik e y ou to m ak e a p re d ic tio n fo r m e,' sa id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge v ery
cle arly .
Harry an d R on w ere not th e only peo ple now w atc h in g an d lis te n in g
sn eak ily fro m b eh in d th eir b ooks. M ost o f th e c la ss w ere s ta rin g tr a n sfix ed a t
Pro fe sso r T re la w ney a s sh e d re w h ers e lf u p to h er fu ll h eig ht, h er b ead s a n d
ban gle s c lin kin g.
The I n ner E ye d oes n ot S ee u pon c o m man d!' s h e s a id i n s c an dalis e d t o nes.
'I se e,' sa id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge so ftly , m ak in g y et an oth er n ote o n h er
clip board .
'I – b ut – b ut… w ait! ' s a id P ro fe sso r T re la w ney s u dden ly , in a n a tte m pt a t
her u su al e th ere al v oic e, th ough th e m ystic al e ff e ct w as r u in ed s o m ew hat b y th e
way it w as s h ak in g w ith a n ger. 'I … I th in k I
d o
s e e s o m eth in g… s o m eth in g th at
co ncern s
yo u
… w hy, 1 se n se so m eth in g… so m eth in g
dark
… so m e gra v e
peril… '
Pro fe sso r T re la w ney p oin te d a s h ak in g fin ger a t P ro fe sso r U m brid ge w ho
co ntin ued t o s m ile b la n dly a t h er, e y eb ro w s r a is e d .
'I am afra id … I am afra id th at you are in gra v e dan ger!' Pro fe sso r
Tre la w ney f in is h ed d ra m atic ally .
There w as a p au se . P ro fe sso r U m brid ge s u rv ey ed P ro fe sso r T re la w ney.
'R ig ht,' s h e s a id s o ftly , s c rib blin g o n h er c lip board o nce m ore . 'W ell, i f t h at's
re ally t h e b est y ou c an d o… '
She tu rn ed a w ay, le av in g P ro fe sso r T re la w ney s ta n din g r o ote d to th e s p ot,
her ch est h eav in g. H arry cau ght R on's ey e an d k new th at R on w as th in kin g
ex actly t h e s a m e a s h e w as: t h ey b oth k new t h at P ro fe sso r T re la w ney w as a n o ld
fra u d, b ut o n th e o th er h an d, th ey lo ath ed U m brid ge s o m uch th at th ey f e lt v ery
much o n T re la w ney s s id e – u ntil s h e s w ooped d ow n o n t h em a f e w s e co nds l a te r,
th at i s .
'W ell? ' sh e sa id , sn ap pin g her lo ng fin gers under Harry 's nose ,

unch ara cte ris tic ally b ris k . 'L et m e s e e t h e s ta rt y ou'v e m ad e o n y our d re am d ia ry ,
ple ase .'
And b y th e tim e s h e h ad in te rp re te d H arry s d re am s a t th e to p o f h er v oic e
(a ll o f w hic h , e v en th e o nes th at in volv ed e atin g p orrid ge, a p pare n tly f o re to ld a
gru eso m e a n d e arly d eath ), h e w as fe elin g m uch le ss s y m path etic to w ard s h er.
All th e w hile , P ro fe sso r U m brid ge s to od a f e w f e et a w ay, m ak in g n ote s o n th at
clip board , a n d w hen th e b ell r a n g s h e d esc en ded th e s ilv er la d der f ir s t a n d w as
waitin g fo r th em a ll w hen th ey re ach ed th eir D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts
le sso n t e n m in ute s l a te r.
She w as h um min g an d sm ilin g to h ers e lf w hen th ey en te re d th e ro om .
Harry a n d R on to ld H erm io ne, w ho h ad b een in A rith m an cy, e x actly w hat h ad
hap pen ed i n D iv in atio n w hile t h ey a ll t o ok o ut t h eir c o pie s o f
D efe n siv e M agic a l
Theo ry
, b ut b efo re H erm io ne c o uld a sk a n y q uestio ns P ro fe sso r U m brid ge h ad
calle d t h em a ll t o o rd er a n d s ile n ce f e ll.
'W an ds a w ay ' s h e in str u cte d th em a ll w ith a s m ile , a n d th ose p eo ple w ho
had b een h opefu l e n ough t o t a k e t h em o ut, s a d ly r e tu rn ed t h em t o t h eir b ag s. 'A s
we f in is h ed C hap te r O ne l a st
TH E H OG W ART S H IG H I N QUIS IT O R
le sso n, I w ould lik e y ou a ll to tu rn to p ag e n in ete en to day a n d c o m men ce
"C hap te r T w o, C om mon D efe n siv e T heo rie s a n d t h eir D eriv atio n". T here w ill b e
no n eed t o t a lk .'
Still s m ilin g h er w id e, s e lf -s a tis fie d s m ile , s h e s a t d ow n a t h er d esk . T he
cla ss g av e a n a u dib le s ig h a s i t t u rn ed , a s o ne, t o p ag e n in ete en . H arry w ondere d
dully w heth er th ere w ere en ough ch ap te rs in th e b ook to k eep th em re ad in g
th ro ugh a ll t h is y ear's l e sso ns a n d w as o n t h e p oin t o f c h eck in g t h e c o nte n ts p ag e
when h e n otic ed t h at H erm io ne h ad h er h an d i n t h e a ir a g ain .
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge h ad n otic ed , to o, a n d w hat w as m ore , s h e s e em ed to
hav e w ork ed o ut a str a te g y fo r ju st su ch an ev en tu ality . In ste ad o f tr y in g to
pre te n d s h e h ad n ot n otic ed H erm io ne s h e g ot to h er f e et a n d w alk ed a ro und th e
fro nt ro w of desk s until th ey w ere fa ce to fa ce, th en sh e ben t dow n an d
whis p ere d , s o th at th e r e st o f th e c la ss c o uld n ot h ear, 'W hat is it th is tim e, M is s
Gra n ger? '
'I 'v e a lr e ad y r e ad C hap te r T w o,' s a id H erm io ne.
'W ell t h en , p ro ceed t o C hap te r T hre e.'
'I 'v e r e ad t h at t o o. I 'v e r e ad t h e w hole b ook.'
Pro fe sso r U m bndge b lin ked b ut r e co vere d h er p ois e a lm ost i n sta n tly .
'W ell, th en , you sh ould be ab le to te ll m e w hat S lin khard sa y s ab out
co unte r- jin xes i n C hap te r F if te en .'
'H e sa y s th at co unte r- jin xes are im pro perly nam ed ,' sa id Herm io ne

pro m ptly . 'H e s a y s " c o unte r- jin x" is ju st a n am e p eo ple g iv e th eir jin xes w hen
th ey w an t t o m ak e t h em s o und m ore a ccep ta b le .'
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge ra is e d her ey eb ro w s an d H arry knew sh e w as
im pre sse d , a g ain st h er w ill.
'B ut I d is a g re e,' H erm io ne c o ntin ued .
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge's e y eb ro w s ro se a little h ig her a n d h er g aze b ecam e
dis tin ctly c o ld er.
'Y ou d is a g re e?' s h e r e p eate d .
'Y es, I d o,' s a id H erm io ne, w ho, u nlik e U m brid ge, w as n ot w his p erin g, b ut
sp eak in g in a c le ar, c arry in g v oic e th at h ad b y n ow a ttr a cte d th e a tte n tio n o f th e
re st o f t h e c la ss. 'M r S lin khard d oesn 't l ik e j in xes, d oes h e? B ut. 1 t h in k t h ey c an
be v ery u se fu l w hen t h ey 'r e u se d d efe n siv ely .'
'O h, y ou d o, d o y ou?' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, fo rg ettin g to w his p er a n d
str a ig hte n in g u p. 'W ell, I'm a fra id it is M r S lin khard 's o pin io n, a n d n ot y ours ,
th at m atte rs w ith in t h is c la ssro om , M is s G ra n ger.'
'B ut - ' H erm io ne b eg an .
That is e n ough,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge. S he w alk ed b ack to th e f ro nt o f
th e cla ss an d sto od befo re th em , all th e ja u ntin ess sh e had sh ow n at th e
beg in nin g o f t h e l e sso n g one. 'M is s G ra n ger, 1 a m g oin g t o t a k e f iv e p oin ts f ro m
Gry ff in dor h ouse .'
There w as a n o utb re ak o f m utte rin g a t t h is . :
'W hat f o r? ' s a id H arry a n grily .
'D on't y ou g et i n volv ed !' H erm io ne w his p ere d u rg en tly t o h im .
'F or dis ru ptin g m y cla ss w ith poin tle ss in te rru ptio ns,' sa id Pro fe sso r
Um brid ge s m ooth ly . 'I a m h ere to te ach y ou u sin g a M in is tr y -a p pro ved m eth od
th at d oes n ot in clu de in vitin g s tu den ts to g iv e th eir o pin io ns o n m atte rs a b out
whic h th ey u nders ta n d v ery little . Y our p re v io us te ach ers in th is su bje ct m ay
hav e allo w ed you m ore lic en ce, but as none of th em – w ith th e possib le
ex cep tio n of P ro fe sso r Q uir re ll, w ho did at le ast ap pear to hav e re str ic te d
him se lf t o a g e-a p pro pria te s u bje cts – w ould h av e p asse d a M in is tr y i n sp ectio n - '
'Y eah , Q uir re ll w as a g re at te ach er,' s a id H arry lo udly , 't h ere w as ju st th at
min or d ra w back o f h im h av in g L ord V old em ort s tic k in g o ut o f th e b ack o f h is
head .'
This p ro nouncem en t w as f o llo w ed b y o ne o f th e lo udest s ile n ces H arry h ad
ev er h eard . T hen -
'I t h in k a n oth er w eek 's d ete n tio ns w ould d o y ou s o m e g ood, M r P otte r,' s a id
Um brid ge s le ek ly .
*
The c u t o n t h e b ack o f H arry 's h an d h ad b are ly h eale d a n d, b y t h e f o llo w in g

morn in g, it w as ble ed in g ag ain . H e did not co m pla in durin g th e ev en in g's
dete n tio n; h e w as d ete rm in ed n ot to g iv e U m brid ge th e sa tis fa ctio n; o ver a n d
over a g ain h e w ro te I
m ust n ot te ll lie s
a n d n ot a s o und e sc ap ed h is lip s, th ough
th e c u t d eep en ed w ith e v ery l e tte r.
The v ery w ors t p art o f th is s e co nd w eek 's w orth o f d ete n tio ns w as, ju st a s
Geo rg e h ad p re d ic te d , A ngelin as r e actio n. S he c o rn ere d h im j u st a s h e a rriv ed a t
th e G ry ff in dor ta b le fo r bre ak fa st on T uesd ay an d sh oute d so lo udly th at
Pro fe sso r M cG onag all c am e s w eep in g d ow n u pon t h e p air o f t h em f ro m t h e s ta ff
ta b le .
'M is s J o hnso n, h ow
d are
y ou m ak e s u ch a ra ck et in th e G re at H all! F iv e
poin ts f ro m G ry ff in dor!'
'B ut P ro fe sso r – h e's g one a n d l a n ded h im se lf i n d ete n tio n
a gain -
'W hat's th is , Potte r? ' sa id Pro fe sso r M cG onag all sh arp ly , ro undin g on
Harry . 'D ete n tio n? F ro m w hom ?'
'F ro m Pro fe sso r Um brid ge,' mutte re d Harry , not meetin g Pro fe sso r
McG onag alls b ead y, s q uare -fra m ed e y es.
'A re y ou te llin g m e,' sh e sa id , lo w erin g h er v oic e so th at th e g ro up o f
cu rio us R av en cla w s b eh in d th em c o uld n ot h ear, 't h at a fte r th e w arn in g I g av e
you l a st M onday y ou l o st y our t e m per i n P ro fe sso r U m brid ge's c la ss a g ain ?'
'Y es,' H arry m utte re d , s p eak in g t o t h e f lo or.
'P otte r, you m ust get a grip on yours e lf ! Y ou are head in g fo r se rio us
tr o uble ! A noth er f iv e p oin ts f ro m G ry ff in dor!'
'B ut – w hat -? P ro fe sso r, n o!' H arry sa id , fu rio us at th is in ju stic e, 'I 'm
alr e ad y b ein g p unis h ed b y
h er
, w hy d o y ou h av e t o t a k e p oin ts a s w ell? '
'B ecau se d ete n tio ns d o n ot a p pear to h av e a n y e ff e ct o n y ou w hats o ev er!'
sa id P ro fe sso r M cG onag all ta rtly . 'N o, n ot a n oth er w ord o f c o m pla in t, P otte r!
And a s fo r y ou, M is s J o hnso n, y ou w ill c o nfin e y our s h outin g m atc h es to th e
Quid ditc h p itc h i n f u tu re o r r is k l o sin g t h e t e am c ap ta in cy !'
Pro fe sso r M cG onag all str o de b ack to w ard s th e sta ff ta b le . A ngelin a g av e
Harry a lo ok o f d eep est d is g ust a n d s ta lk ed a w ay, u pon w hic h h e f lu ng h im se lf
on t o t h e b en ch b esid e R on, f u m in g.
'S he's ta k en p oin ts o ff G ry ff in dor b ecau se I 'm h av in g m y h an d s lic ed o pen
ev ery n ig ht! H ow i s t h at f a ir , h ow ?'
'I k now , m ate ,' s a id R on s y m path etic ally , tip pin g b aco n o n to H arry 's p la te ,
's h e's b an g o ut o f o rd er.'
Herm io ne, h ow ev er, m ere ly r u stle d t h e p ag es o f h er
D aily P ro phet
a n d s a id
noth in g.
'Y ou t h in k M cG onag all w as r ig ht, d o y ou?' s a id H arry a n grily t o t h e p ic tu re
of C orn eliu s F udge o bsc u rin g H erm io ne's f a ce.

'I w is h s h e h ad n't ta k en p oin ts f ro m y ou, b ut I th in k s h e's r ig ht to w arn y ou
not to lo se y our te m per w ith U m brid ge,' sa id H erm io ne's v oic e, w hile F udge
gestic u la te d f o rc efu lly f ro m t h e f ro nt p ag e, c le arly g iv in g s o m e k in d o f s p eech .
Harry did not sp eak to H erm io ne all th ro ugh C harm s, but w hen th ey
en te re d Tra n sfig ura tio n he fo rg ot ab out bein g cro ss w ith her. Pro fe sso r
Um brid ge a n d h er c lip board w ere s ittin g in a c o rn er a n d th e s ig ht o f h er d ro ve
th e m em ory o f b re ak fa st r ig ht o ut o f h is h ead .
'E xcelle n t,' w his p ere d R on, a s th ey s a t d ow n in th eir u su al s e ats . 'L et's s e e
Um brid ge g et w hat s h e d ese rv es.'
Pro fe sso r M cG onag all m arc h ed in to th e ro om w ith out g iv in g th e s lig hte st
in dic atio n t h at s h e k new P ro fe sso r U m brid ge w as t h ere .
That w ill d o,' s h e s a id a n d s ile n ce fe ll im med ia te ly . 'M r F in nig an , k in dly
co m e h ere a n d h an d b ack th e h om ew ork – M is s B ro w n, p le ase ta k e th is b ox o f
mic e – d on't b e s illy , g ir l, t h ey w on't h urt y ou – a n d h an d o ne t o e ach s tu den t - '
' Hem , h em
,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, e m plo yin g th e s a m e s illy little c o ugh
sh e had use d to in te rru pt D um ble d ore on th e fir s t nig ht of te rm . P ro fe sso r
McG onag all ig nore d her. S eam us han ded back H arry 's essa y ; H arry to ok it
with out l o okin g a t h im a n d s a w , t o h is r e lie f, t h at h e h ad m an ag ed a n 'A '.
'R ig ht th en , e v ery one, lis te n c lo se ly – D ean T hom as, if y ou d o th at to th e
mouse a g ain I s h all p ut y ou in d ete n tio n – m ost o f y ou h av e n ow s u ccessfu lly
Van is h ed y our s n ails a n d e v en t h ose w ho w ere l e ft w ith a c erta in a m ount o f s h ell
hav e g ot t h e g is t o f t h e s p ell. T oday, w e s h all b e - '
' Hem , h em
,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge.
'Y es? ' sa id P ro fe sso r M cG onag all, tu rn in g ro und, h er ey eb ro w s so clo se
to geth er t h ey s e em ed t o f o rm o ne l o ng, s e v ere l in e.
'1 w as ju st w onderin g, P ro fe sso r, w heth er y ou r e ceiv ed m y n ote te llin g y ou
of t h e d ate a n d t im e o f y our i n sp ec— '
'O bvio usly I r e ceiv ed it, o r I w ould h av e a sk ed y ou w hat y ou a re d oin g in
my c la ssro om ,' s a id P ro fe sso r M cG onag all, t u rn in g h er b ack f ir m ly o n P ro fe sso r
Um brid ge. M an y o f th e stu den ts e x ch an ged lo oks o f g le e. 'A s 1 w as sa y in g:
to day, w e s h all b e p ra ctis in g th e a lto geth er m ore d if f ic u lt V an is h m en t o f m ic e.
Now , t h e V an is h in g S pell - '
'H em , h em .'
'I w onder,' sa id P ro fe sso r M cG onag all in c o ld fu ry , tu rn in g o n P ro fe sso r
Um brid ge, 'h ow y ou e x pect to g ain a n id ea o f m y u su al te ach in g m eth ods if y ou
co ntin ue to in te rru pt m e? Y ou s e e, I d o n ot g en era lly p erm it p eo ple to ta lk w hen
I a m t a lk in g.'
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge l o oked a s t h ough s h e h ad j u st b een s la p ped i n t h e f a ce.
She d id n ot s p eak , b ut s tr a ig hte n ed th e p arc h m en t o n h er c lip board a n d b eg an

sc rib blin g f u rio usly .
Lookin g su pre m ely unco ncern ed , Pro fe sso r M cG onag all ad dre sse d th e
cla ss o nce m ore .
'A s I w as sa y in g: th e V an is h in g S pell b eco m es m ore d if f ic u lt w ith th e
co m ple x ity o f th e a n im al to b e V an is h ed . T he s n ail, a s a n in verte b ra te , d oes n ot
pre se n t m uch o f a c h alle n ge; th e m ouse , a s a m am mal, o ff e rs a m uch g re ate r
one. T his is n ot, th ere fo re , m ag ic y ou c an a cco m plis h w ith y our m in d o n y our
din ner. S o – y ou k now t h e i n can ta tio n, l e t m e s e e w hat y ou c an d o… '
'H ow s h e c an l e ctu re m e a b out n ot l o sin g m y t e m per w ith U m brid ge!' H arry
mutte re d t o R on u nder h is b re ath , b ut h e w as g rin nin g – h is a n ger w ith P ro fe sso r
McG onag all h ad q uite e v ap ora te d .
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge d id n ot f o llo w P ro fe sso r M cG onag all a ro und th e c la ss
as sh e had fo llo w ed Pro fe sso r Tre la w ney ; perh ap s sh e re alis e d Pro fe sso r
McG onag all w ould n ot p erm it it. S he d id , h ow ev er, ta k e m an y m ore n ote s w hile
sittin g in h er c o rn er, a n d w hen P ro fe sso r M cG onag all fin ally to ld th em a ll to
pack a w ay, s h e r o se w ith a g rim e x pre ssio n o n h er f a ce.
'W ell, it's a sta rt,' sa id R on, h old in g u p a lo ng w rig glin g m ouse -ta il a n d
dro ppin g i t b ack i n to t h e b ox L av en der w as p assin g a ro und.
As t h ey f ile d o ut o f t h e c la ssro om , H arry s a w P ro fe sso r U m brid ge a p pro ach
th e te ach er's d esk ; h e n udged R on, w ho n udged H erm io ne in tu rn , a n d th e th re e
of t h em d elib era te ly f e ll b ack t o e av esd ro p.
'H ow lo ng hav e you been te ach in g at H ogw arts ? ' P ro fe sso r U m brid ge
ask ed .
Thir ty -n in e y ears th is D ecem ber,' sa id P ro fe sso r M cG onag all b ru sq uely ,
sn ap pin g h er b ag s h ut.
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge m ad e a n ote .
'V ery w ell,' s h e s a id , 'y ou w ill re ceiv e th e re su lts o f y our in sp ectio n in te n
day s' t im e.'
'I c an h ard ly w ait,' s a id P ro fe sso r M cG onag all, i n a c o ld ly i n dif f e re n t v oic e,
an d s h e s tr o de o ff to w ard s th e d oor. 'H urry u p, y ou th re e,' s h e a d ded , s w eep in g
Harry , R on a n d H erm io ne b efo re h er.
Harry c o uld n ot h elp g iv in g h er a fa in t sm ile a n d c o uld h av e sw orn h e
re ceiv ed o ne i n r e tu rn .
He h ad th ought th at th e n ex t tim e h e w ould s e e U m brid ge w ould b e in h is
dete n tio n th at e v en in g, b ut h e w as w ro ng. W hen th ey w alk ed d ow n th e la w ns
to w ard s th e F ore st fo r C are of M ag ic al C re atu re s, th ey fo und her an d her
clip board w aitin g f o r t h em b esid e P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k.
'Y ou d o n ot u su ally ta k e th is c la ss, is th at c o rre ct? ' H arry h eard h er a sk a s
th ey a rriv ed a t th e tr e stle ta b le w here th e g ro up o f c ap tiv e B ow tr u ck le s w ere

sc ra b blin g a ro und f o r w oodlic e l ik e s o m an y l iv in g t w ig s.
'Q uite c o rre ct,' sa id P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k, h an ds b eh in d h er b ack a n d
bouncin g o n th e b alls o f h er fe et. 'I am a su bstitu te te ach er sta n din g in fo r
Pro fe sso r H ag rid .'
Harry ex ch an ged uneasy lo oks w ith R on an d H erm io ne. M alf o y w as
whis p erin g w ith C ra b be a n d G oyle ; h e w ould s u re ly lo ve th is o pportu nity to te ll
ta le s o n H ag rid t o a m em ber o f t h e M in is tr y .
'H m m,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, d ro ppin g h er v oic e, th ough H arry c o uld
still h ear h er q uite c le arly . '1 w onder – t h e H ead m aste r s e em s s tr a n gely r e lu cta n t
to g iv e m e a n y in fo rm atio n o n th e m atte r – c an
y o u
te ll m e w hat is c au sin g
Pro fe sso r H ag rid 's v ery e x te n ded l e av e o f a b se n ce?'
Harry s a w M alf o y l o ok u p e ag erly a n d w atc h U m brid ge a n d G ru bbly -P la n k
clo se ly .
'F ra id I c an 't ,' s a id P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k b re ezily . 'D on't k now a n yth in g
more a b out it th an y ou d o. G ot a n o w l f ro m D um ble d ore , w ould I lik e a c o uple
of w eek s' te ach in g w ork . I a ccep te d . T hat's a s m uch a s I k now . W ell… s h all 1
get s ta rte d t h en ?'
'Y es, p le ase d o,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, s c rib blin g o n h er c lip board .
Um brid ge to ok a d if f e re n t ta ck in th is cla ss an d w an dere d am ongst th e
stu den ts , questio nin g th em on m ag ic al cre atu re s. M ost peo ple w ere ab le to
an sw er w ell a n d H arry 's s p ir its lif te d s o m ew hat; a t l e ast th e c la ss w as n ot l e ttin g
Hag rid d ow n.
'O vera ll,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, re tu rn in g to P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k's
sid e a fte r a le n gth y in te rro gatio n o f D ean T hom as, 'h ow d o y ou, a s a te m pora ry
mem ber o f s ta ff – a n o bje ctiv e o uts id er,
I s u ppose y ou m ig ht s a y – h ow d o y ou fin d H ogw arts ? D o y ou fe el y ou
re ceiv e e n ough s u pport f ro m t h e s c h ool m an ag em en t? '
'O h, y es, D um ble d ore 's e x celle n t,' sa id P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k h eartily .
'Y es, I 'm v ery h ap py w ith t h e w ay t h in gs a re r u n, v ery h ap py i n deed .'
Lookin g p olite ly in cre d ulo us, U m brid ge m ad e a tin y n ote o n h er c lip board
an d w en t o n, 'A nd w hat a re y ou p la n nin g to c o ver w ith th is c la ss th is y ear –
assu m in g, o f c o urs e , t h at P ro fe sso r H ag rid d oes n ot r e tu rn ?'
'O h, I 'l l ta k e th em th ro ugh th e c re atu re s th at m ost o fte n c o m e u p in O W L,'
sa id P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k. 'N ot m uch le ft to d o – th ey 'v e s tu die d u nic o rn s
an d N if f le rs , I th ought w e'd c o ver P orlo ck s a n d K neazle s, m ak e s u re th ey c an
re co gnis e C ru ps a n d K narls , y ou k now … '
'W ell,
y o u
se em to k now w hat y ou'r e d oin g, at an y ra te ,' sa id P ro fe sso r
Um brid ge, m ak in g a v ery o bvio us tic k o n h er c lip board . H arry d id n ot lik e th e
em phasis s h e p ut o n 'y ou' a n d lik ed it e v en le ss w hen s h e p ut h er n ex t q uestio n

to G oyle . 'N ow , I h ear t h ere h av e b een i n ju rie s i n t h is c la ss? '
Goyle g av e a s tu pid g rin . M alf o y h aste n ed t o a n sw er t h e q uestio n.
That w as m e,' h e s a id . '1 w as s la sh ed b y a H ip pogrif f .'
'A H ip pogrif f ? ' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, n ow s c rib blin g f ra n tic ally .
'O nly b ecau se h e w as to o s tu pid to lis te n to w hat H ag rid to ld h im to d o,'
sa id H arry a n grily .
Both R on an d H erm io ne g ro an ed . P ro fe sso r U m brid ge tu rn ed h er h ead
slo w ly i n H arry 's d ir e ctio n.
'A noth er n ig hts d ete n tio n, I th in k,' sh e sa id so ftly . 'W ell, th an k y ou v ery
much , P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k, I th in k th at's all I need here . Y ou w ill be
re ceiv in g t h e r e su lts o f y our i n sp ectio n w ith in t e n d ay s.'
'J o lly g ood,' s a id P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k, a n d P ro fe sso r U m brid ge s e t o ff
back a cro ss t h e l a w n t o t h e c astle .
*
It w as n early m id nig ht w hen H arry le ft U m brid ge's o ff ic e th at n ig ht, h is
han d n ow b le ed in g so se v ere ly th at it w as sta in in g th e sc arf h e h ad w ra p ped
aro und i t. H e e x pecte d t h e c o m mon r o om t o b e e m pty w hen h e r e tu rn ed , b ut R on
an d H erm io ne h ad s a t u p w aitin g f o r h im . H e w as p le ase d t o s e e t h em , e sp ecia lly
as H erm io ne w as d is p ose d t o b e s y m path etic r a th er t h an c ritic al.
'H ere ,' s h e s a id a n xio usly , p ush in g a s m all b ow l o f y ello w liq uid to w ard s
him , 's o ak y our h an d in th at, it's a so lu tio n o f str a in ed an d p ic k le d M urtla p
te n ta cle s, i t s h ould h elp .'
Harry p la ced h is b le ed in g, a ch in g h an d in to th e b ow l a n d e x perie n ced a
wonderfu l f e elin g o f r e lie f. C ro oksh an ks c u rle d a ro und h is le g s, p urrin g lo udly ,
th en l e ap t i n to h is l a p a n d s e ttle d d ow n.
'T han ks,' h e s a id g ra te fu lly , s c ra tc h in g b eh in d C ro oksh an ks's e ars w ith h is
le ft h an d.
'I s till r e ck on y ou s h ould c o m pla in a b out t h is ,' s a id R on i n a l o w v oic e.
'N o,' s a id H arry f la tly .
'M cG onag all w ould g o n uts i f s h e k new — '
'Y eah , s h e p ro bab ly w ould ,' s a id H arry d ully . 'A nd h ow lo ng d o y ou r e ck on
it'd ta k e U m brid ge to p ass a n oth er d ecre e s a y in g a n yone w ho c o m pla in s a b out
th e H ig h I n quis ito r g ets s a ck ed i m med ia te ly ?'
Ron o pen ed h is m outh to r e to rt b ut n oth in g c am e o ut a n d, a fte r a m om en t,
he c lo se d i t a g ain , d efe ate d .
'S he's a n a w fu l w om an ,' s a id H erm io ne i n a s m all v oic e. 'A w fu l. Y ou k now ,
1 w as ju st s a y in g to R on w hen y ou c am e in … w e'v e g ot to d o s o m eth in g a b out
her.'
'I s u ggeste d p ois o n,' s a id R on g rim ly .

'N o… I m ean , so m eth in g a b out w hat a d re ad fu l te ach er sh e is , a n d h ow
we'r e n ot g oin g t o l e arn a n y D efe n ce f ro m h er a t a ll,' s a id H erm io ne.
'W ell, w hat c an w e d o a b out th at? ' s a id R on, y aw nin g. " S to o la te , is n 't it?
She's g ot t h e j o b, s h e's h ere t o s ta y. F udge'l l m ak e s u re o f t h at.'
'W ell,' s a id H erm io ne te n ta tiv ely . 'Y ou k now , I w as th in kin g to day … ' s h e
sh ot a s lig htly n erv ous lo ok a t H arry a n d th en p lu nged o n, 'I w as th in kin g th at –
may be t h e t im e's c o m e w hen w e s h ould j u st – j u st d o i t o urs e lv es.'
'D o w hat o urs e lv es? ' s a id H arry s u sp ic io usly , s till flo atin g h is h an d in th e
esse n ce o f M urtla p t e n ta cle s.
'W ell – l e arn D efe n ce A gain st t h e D ark A rts o urs e lv es,' s a id H erm io ne.
'C om e o ff it,' g ro an ed R on. 'Y ou w an t u s to d o e x tr a w ork ? D 'y ou re alis e
Harry a n d I a re b eh in d o n h om ew ork a g ain a n d i t's o nly t h e s e co nd w eek ?'
'B ut t h is i s m uch m ore i m porta n t t h an h om ew ork !' s a id H erm io ne.
Harry a n d R on g oggle d a t h er.
'I did n't th in k th ere w as an yth in g in th e univ ers e m ore im porta n t th an
hom ew ork !' s a id R on.
'D on't b e s illy , o f c o urs e th ere is ,' s a id H erm io ne, a n d H arry s a w , w ith a n
om in ous f e elin g, th at h er f a ce w as s u dden ly a lig ht w ith th e k in d o f f e rv our th at
SPE W u su ally in sp ir e d in h er. 'I t's a b out p re p arin g o urs e lv es, lik e H arry s a id in
Um brid ge's fir s t le sso n, fo r w hat's w aitin g fo r u s o ut th ere . It's a b out m ak in g
su re w e r e ally c an d efe n d o urs e lv es. I f w e d on't l e arn a n yth in g f o r a w hole y ear -
'
'W e c an 't d o m uch b y o urs e lv es,' s a id R on in a d efe ate d v oic e. 'I m ean , a ll
rig ht, w e c an g o a n d lo ok jin xes u p in th e lib ra ry a n d tr y a n d p ra ctis e th em , I
su ppose - '
'N o, I a g re e, w e'v e g one p ast t h e s ta g e w here w e c an j u st l e arn t h in gs o ut o f
books,' s a id H erm io ne. 'W e n eed a te ach er, a p ro per o ne, w ho c an s h ow u s h ow
to u se t h e s p ells a n d c o rre ct u s i f w e'r e g oin g w ro ng.'
'I f y ou'r e t a lk in g a b out L upin … ' H arry b eg an .
'N o, n o, I 'm n ot t a lk in g a b out L upin ,' s a id H erm io ne. 'H e's t o o b usy w ith t h e
Ord er a n d, a n yw ay, th e m ost w e c o uld s e e h im is d urin g H ogsm ead e w eek en ds
an d t h at's n ot n early o fte n e n ough.'
'W ho, t h en ?' s a id H arry , f ro w nin g a t h er.
Herm io ne h eav ed a v ery d eep s ig h.
'I s n 't i t o bvio us? ' s h e s a id . 'I 'm t a lk in g a b out
y o u
, H arry .'
There w as a m om en t's s ile n ce. A l ig ht n ig ht b re eze r a ttle d t h e w in dow pan es
beh in d R on, a n d t h e f ir e g utte re d .
'A bout m e w hat? ' s a id H arry .
'I 'm t a lk in g a b out
y o u
t e ach in g u s D efe n ce A gain st t h e D ark A rts .'

Harry sta re d at her. Then he tu rn ed to R on, re ad y to ex ch an ge th e
ex asp era te d lo oks th ey so m etim es sh are d w hen H erm io ne ela b ora te d o n fa r-
fe tc h ed s c h em es l ik e S PE W T o H arry s c o nste rn atio n, h ow ev er, R on d id n ot l o ok
ex asp era te d .
He w as f ro w nin g s lig htly , a p pare n tly t h in kin g. T hen h e s a id , T hat's a n i d ea.'
'W hat's a n i d ea?' s a id H arry .
'Y ou,' s a id R on. T each in g u s t o d o i t.'
'B ut… '
Harry w as g rin nin g n ow , s u re t h e p air o f t h em w ere p ullin g h is l e g .
'B ut I 'm n ot a t e ach er, I c an 't - '
'H arry , y ou'r e th e b est in th e y ear a t D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts ,' s a id
Herm io ne.
'M e?' s a id H arry , n ow g rin nin g m ore b ro ad ly th an e v er. 'N o I 'm n ot, y ou'v e
beate n m e i n e v ery t e st - '
'A ctu ally , I h av en 't ,' s a id H erm io ne c o olly . 'Y ou b eat m e in o ur th ir d y ear –
th e o nly y ear w e b oth sa t th e te st a n d h ad a te ach er w ho a ctu ally k new th e
su bje ct. B ut I 'm n ot t a lk in g a b out t e st r e su lts , H arry . T hin k w hat y ou'v e
d one]'
'H ow d 'y ou m ean ?'
'Y ou k now w hat, I 'm n ot s u re I w an t s o m eo ne th is s tu pid te ach in g m e,' R on
sa id t o H erm io ne, s m ir k in g s lig htly . H e t u rn ed t o H arry .
'L et's th in k,' h e sa id , p ullin g a fa ce lik e G oyle c o ncen tr a tin g. 'U h… fir s t
year – y ou s a v ed t h e P hilo so pher's S to ne f ro m Y ou-K now -W ho.'
'B ut t h at w as l u ck ,' s a id H arry , 'i t w asn 't s k ill - '
'S eco nd year,' R on in te rru pte d , 'y ou kille d th e B asilis k an d destr o yed
Rid dle .'
'Y eah , b ut i f F aw kes h ad n't t u rn ed u p, I - '
Thir d year,' sa id R on, lo uder still, 'y ou fo ught off ab out a hundre d
Dem en to rs a t o nce - '
'Y ou k now t h at w as a f lu ke, i f t h e T im e-T urn er h ad n't - '
'L ast y ear,' R on s a id , a lm ost s h outin g n ow , 'y ou f o ught o ff Y ou-K now -W ho
again - '
'L is te n to m e!' s a id H arry , a lm ost a n grily , b ecau se R on a n d H erm io ne w ere
both s m ir k in g n ow . 'J u st lis te n to m e, a ll r ig ht? I t s o unds g re at w hen y ou s a y it
lik e th at, b ut a ll th at s tu ff w as lu ck – I d id n't k now w hat I w as d oin g h alf th e
tim e, I d id n't p la n a n y o f it, I ju st d id w hate v er I c o uld th in k o f, a n d I n early
alw ay s h ad h elp - '
Ron a n d H erm io ne w ere s till s m ir k in g a n d H arry fe lt h is te m per ris e ; h e
wasn 't e v en s u re w hy h e w as f e elin g s o a n gry .
'D on't s it th ere g rin nin g lik e y ou k now b ette r th an I d o, 1 w as th ere , w asn 't

1?' h e s a id h eate d ly . 'I k now w hat w en t o n, a ll rig ht? A nd I d id n't g et th ro ugh
an y o f th at b ecau se I w as b rillia n t at D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts , I g ot
th ro ugh i t a ll b ecau se – b ecau se h elp c am e a t t h e r ig ht t im e, o r b ecau se I g uesse d
rig ht – b ut I ju st b lu ndere d th ro ugh it a ll, I d id n't h av e a c lu e w hat I w as d oin g -
ST O P L A UGHIN G!'
The b ow l o f M urtla p e sse n ce fe ll to th e flo or a n d sm ash ed . H e b ecam e
aw are th at he w as on his fe et, th ough he co uld n't re m em ber sta n din g up.
Cro oksh an ks str e ak ed aw ay under a so fa . R on an d H erm io ne's sm ile s had
van is h ed .
'Y ou
d on't k n ow w hat it's lik e
! Y ou – n eith er o f y ou – y ou'v e n ev er h ad to
fa ce him , hav e you? Y ou th in k it's ju st m em oris in g a bunch of sp ells an d
th ro w in g th em a t h im , lik e y ou'r e in c la ss o r s o m eth in g? T he w hole tim e y ou'r e
su re y ou k now th ere 's n oth in g b etw een y ou a n d d yin g e x cep t y our o w n – y our
ow n b ra in o r g uts o r w hate v er - lik e y ou c an t h in k s tr a ig ht w hen y ou k now y ou'r e
ab out a n an ose co nd f ro m b ein g m urd ere d , o r to rtu re d , o r w atc h in g y our f rie n ds
die - th ey 'v e n ev er t a u ght u s t h at i n t h eir c la sse s, w hat i t's l ik e t o d eal w ith t h in gs
lik e th at – a n d y ou tw o s it th ere a ctin g lik e I 'm a c le v er little b oy to b e s ta n din g
here , a liv e, lik e D ig gory w as s tu pid , lik e h e m esse d u p – y ou ju st d on't g et it,
th at c o uld ju st a s e asily h av e b een m e, it w ould h av e b een if V old em ort h ad n't
need ed m e - '
'W e w ere n 't s a y in g a n yth in g lik e th at, m ate ,' s a id R on, lo okin g a g hast. 'W e
were n 't h av in g a g o a t D ig gory , w e d id n't – y ou'v e g ot t h e w ro ng e n d o f t h e - '
He l o oked h elp le ssly a t H erm io ne, w hose f a ce w as s tr ic k en .
'H arry ,' s h e s a id tim id ly , 'd on't y ou s e e? T his … th is is e x actly w hy w e n eed
you… w e need to know w hat it's r- re ally lik e… fa cin g him … fa cin g V -
Vold em ort.'
It w as th e fir s t tim e s h e h ad e v er s a id V old em ort's n am e a n d it w as th is ,
more th an a n yth in g e ls e , th at c alm ed H arry . S till b re ath in g h ard , h e s a n k b ack
in to h is c h air , b eco m in g a w are a s h e d id s o th at h is h an d w as th ro bbin g h orrib ly
ag ain . H e w is h ed h e h ad n ot s m ash ed t h e b ow l o f M urtla p e sse n ce.
'W ell… t h in k a b out i t,' s a id H erm io ne q uie tly . 'P le ase ?'
Harry c o uld n ot th in k o f a n yth in g to s a y. H e w as fe elin g a sh am ed o f h is
outb urs t a lr e ad y. H e n odded , h ard ly a w are o f w hat h e w as a g re ein g t o .
Herm io ne s to od u p.
'W ell, I 'm o ff to b ed ,' s h e s a id , in a v oic e th at w as c le arly a s n atu ra l a s s h e
co uld m ak e i t. 'E rm … n ig ht.'
Ron h ad g ot t o h is f e et, t o o.
'C om in g?' h e s a id a w kw ard ly t o H arry .
'Y eah ,' s a id H arry . 'I n … i n a m in ute . I 'l l j u st c le ar t h is u p.'

He i n dic ate d t h e s m ash ed b ow l o n t h e f lo or. R on n odded a n d l e ft.
' Rep aro
,' H arry m utte re d , p oin tin g h is w an d a t th e b ro ken p ie ces o f c h in a.
They fle w b ack to geth er, g ood a s n ew , b ut th ere w as n o re tu rn in g th e M urtla p
esse n ce t o t h e b ow l.
He w as s u dden ly s o t ir e d h e w as t e m pte d t o s in k b ack i n to h is a rm ch air a n d
sle ep th ere , b ut in ste ad h e f o rc ed h im se lf to h is f e et a n d f o llo w ed R on u psta ir s .
His re stle ss n ig ht w as p unctu ate d o nce m ore b y d re am s o f lo ng c o rrid ors a n d
lo ck ed d oors a n d h e a w oke n ex t d ay w ith h is s c ar p ric k lin g a g ain .

C H APT ER S IX TEEN
I n t h e H ogs H ea d

Herm io ne m ad e n o m en tio n o f H arry g iv in g D efe n ce A gain st t h e D ark A rts
l e sso ns fo r tw o w hole w eek s a fte r h er o rig in al su ggestio n. H arry 's d ete n tio ns
w ith U m brid ge w ere f in ally o ver ( h e d oubte d w heth er t h e w ord s n ow e tc h ed i n to
t h e b ack o f h is h an d w ould e v er f a d e e n tir e ly ); R on h ad h ad f o ur m ore Q uid ditc h
p ra ctic es a n d n ot b een s h oute d a t d urin g th e la st tw o; a n d a ll th re e o f th em h ad
m an ag ed to Van is h th eir m ic e in Tra n sfig ura tio n (H erm io ne had actu ally
p ro gre sse d to V an is h in g k itte n s), b efo re th e su bje ct w as b ro ach ed a g ain , o n a
w ild , b lu ste ry e v en in g a t th e e n d o f S ep te m ber, w hen th e th re e o f th em w ere
s ittin g i n t h e l ib ra ry , l o okin g u p p otio n i n gre d ie n ts f o r S nap e.
'I w as w onderin g,' H erm io ne sa id su dden ly , 'w heth er y ou'd th ought an y
m ore a b out D efe n ce A gain st t h e D ark A rts , H arry .'
'C ours e I h av e,' s a id H arry g ru m pily , 'c an 't f o rg et it, c an w e, w ith th at h ag
t e ach in g u s - '
'I m ean t t h e i d ea R on a n d I h ad - ' R on c ast h er a n a la rm ed , t h re ate n in g k in d
o f lo ok. S he fro w ned a t h im , '– O h, a ll rig ht, th e id ea I h ad , th en – a b out y ou
t e ach in g u s.'
Harry d id n ot a n sw er a t o nce. H e p re te n ded t o b e p eru sin g a p ag e o f A sia tic
A nti- V en om s
, b ecau se h e d id n ot w an t t o s a y w hat w as i n h is m in d.
He h ad g iv en th e m atte r a g re at d eal o f th ought o ver th e p ast fo rtn ig ht.
S om etim es it s e em ed a n in sa n e id ea, ju st a s it h ad o n th e n ig ht H erm io ne h ad
p ro pose d i t, b ut a t o th ers , h e h ad f o und h im se lf t h in kin g a b out t h e s p ells t h at h ad
s e rv ed h im b est i n h is v ario us e n co unte rs w ith D ark c re atu re s a n d D eath E ate rs –
f o und h im se lf , i n f a ct, s u bco nsc io usly p la n nin g l e sso ns…
'W ell,' h e s a id s lo w ly , w hen h e c o uld n o l o nger p re te n d t o f in d
A sia tic A nti-
V en om s
i n te re stin g, 'y eah , 1 – I 'v e t h ought a b out i t a b it.'
'A nd?' s a id H erm io ne e ag erly .
'I d unno,' s a id H arry , p la y in g f o r t im e. H e l o oked u p a t R on.
'I th ought it w as a g ood id ea f ro m th e s ta rt,' s a id R on, w ho s e em ed k een er
t o jo in in th is c o nvers a tio n n ow th at h e w as s u re H arry w as n ot g oin g to s ta rt
s h outin g a g ain .
Harry s h if te d u nco m fo rta b ly i n h is c h air.
'Y ou d id l is te n t o w hat I s a id a b out a l o ad o f i t b ein g l u ck , d id n't y ou?'
'Y es, H arry ,' sa id H erm io ne gen tly , 'b ut all th e sa m e, th ere 's no poin t

pre te n din g th at y ou'r e n ot g ood a t D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts , b ecau se y ou
are . Y ou w ere th e o nly p ers o n la st y ear w ho c o uld th ro w o ff th e I m periu s C urs e
co m ple te ly , y ou c an p ro duce a P atr o nus, y ou c an d o a ll s o rts o f s tu ff th at fu ll-
gro w n w iz ard s c an 't , V ik to r a lw ay s s a id - '
Ron lo oked r o und a t h er s o f a st h e a p peare d to c ric k h is n eck . R ubbin g it,
he s a id , 'Y eah ? W hat d id V ic k y s a y ?'
'H o h o,' s a id H erm io ne in a b ore d v oic e. 'H e s a id H arry k new h ow to d o
stu ff e v en h e d id n't , a n d h e w as i n t h e f in al y ear a t D urm str a n g.'
Ron w as l o okin g a t H erm io ne s u sp ic io usly .
'Y ou'r e n ot s till i n c o nta ct w ith h im , a re y ou?'
'S o w hat i f I a m ?' s a id H erm io ne c o olly , th ough h er f a ce w as a l ittle p in k. 'I
can h av e a p en -p al i f I - '
'H e d id n't o nly w an t t o b e y our p en -p al,' s a id R on a ccu sin gly .
Herm io ne sh ook her head ex asp era te d ly an d, ig norin g R on, w ho w as
co ntin uin g to w atc h h er, s a id to H arry , 'W ell, w hat d o y ou th in k? W ill y ou te ach
us? '
'J u st y ou a n d R on, y eah ?'
'W ell,' s a id H erm io ne, lo okin g a m ite a n xio us a g ain . 'W ell… n ow , d on't f ly
off t h e h an dle a g ain , H arry , p le ase … b ut I r e ally t h in k y ou o ught t o t e ach a n yone
who w an ts to le arn . I m ean , w e'r e ta lk in g a b out d efe n din g o urs e lv es a g ain st V -
Vold em ort. O h, d on't b e p ath etic , R on. I t d oesn 't s e em f a ir if w e d on't o ff e r th e
ch an ce t o o th er p eo ple .'
Harry c o nsid ere d t h is f o r a m om en t, t h en s a id , 'Y eah , b ut I
doubt a n yone e x cep t y ou tw o w ould w an t to b e ta u ght b y m e. I 'm a n utte r,
re m em ber? '
'W ell, I th in k y ou m ig ht b e s u rp ris e d h ow m an y p eo ple w ould b e in te re ste d
in h earin g w hat y ou'v e g ot to s a y ' s a id H erm io ne s e rio usly . 'L ook,' s h e le an ed
to w ard s h im – R on, w ho w as s till w atc h in g h er w ith a f ro w n o n h is f a ce, le an ed
fo rw ard s to lis te n to o – 'y ou k now th e f ir s t w eek en d in O cto ber's a H ogsm ead e
week en d? H ow w ould it b e if w e te ll a n yone w ho's in te re ste d to m eet u s in th e
villa g e a n d w e c an t a lk i t o ver? '
'W hy d o w e h av e t o d o i t o uts id e s c h ool? ' s a id R on.
'B ecau se ,' sa id H erm io ne, re tu rn in g to th e dia g ra m of th e Chin ese
Chom pin g C ab bag e sh e w as c o pyin g, 'I d on't th in k U m brid ge w ould b e v ery
hap py i f s h e f o und o ut w hat w e w ere u p t o .'
*
Harry h ad b een lo okin g fo rw ard to th e w eek en d tr ip in to H ogsm ead e, b ut
th ere w as o ne t h in g w orry in g h im . S ir iu s h ad m ain ta in ed a s to ny s ile n ce s in ce h e
had a p peare d in th e fir e a t th e b eg in nin g o f S ep te m ber; H arry k new th ey h ad

mad e h im a n gry b y s a y in g th ey d id n't w an t h im to c o m e – b ut h e s till w orrie d
fro m tim e to tim e th at S ir iu s m ig ht th ro w cau tio n to th e w in ds an d tu rn u p
an yw ay. W hat w ere th ey g oin g to d o if th e g re at b la ck d og c am e b oundin g u p
th e s tr e et t o w ard s t h em i n H ogsm ead e, p erh ap s u nder t h e n ose o f D ra co M alf o y?
'W ell, y ou c an 't b la m e h im fo r w an tin g to g et o ut a n d a b out,' sa id R on,
when H arry d is c u sse d h is fe ars w ith h im a n d H erm io ne. 'I m ean , h e's b een o n
th e r u n f o r o ver t w o y ears , h asn 't h e, a n d I k now t h at c an 't h av e b een a l a u gh, b ut
at le ast h e w as f re e, w asn 't h e? A nd n ow h e's ju st s h ut u p a ll th e tim e w ith th at
ghastly e lf .'
Herm io ne s c o w le d a t R on, b ut o th erw is e i g nore d t h e s lig ht o n K re ach er.
The t r o uble i s ,' s h e s a id t o H arry , 'u ntil V -V old em ort – o h, f o r h eav en 's
s a ke
,
Ron – c o m es o ut in to th e o pen , S ir iu s is g oin g to h av e to s ta y h id den , is n 't h e? I
mean , th e stu pid M in is tr y is n 't g oin g to re alis e S ir iu s is in nocen t u ntil th ey
accep t t h at D um ble d ore 's b een t e llin g t h e t r u th a b out h im a ll a lo ng. A nd o nce t h e
fo ols s ta rt c atc h in g re al D eath E ate rs a g ain , it'l l b e o bvio us S ir iu s is n 't o ne… I
mean , h e h asn 't g ot t h e M ark , f o r o ne t h in g.'
'I d on't re ck on h e'd b e stu pid en ough to tu rn u p,' sa id R on b ra c-in gly .
'D um ble d ore 'd g o m ad if h e d id a n d S ir iu s lis te n s to D um ble d ore e v en if h e
doesn 't l ik e w hat h e h ears .'
When H arry c o ntin ued to lo ok w orrie d , H erm io ne s a id , 'L is te n , R on a n d I
hav e b een s o undin g o ut p eo ple w ho w e t h ought m ig ht w an t t o l e arn s o m e p ro per
Defe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts , a n d th ere a re a c o uple w ho se em in te re ste d .
We'v e t o ld t h em t o m eet u s i n H ogsm ead e.'
'R ig ht,' s a id H arry v ag uely , h is m in d s till o n S ir iu s.
'D on't w orry , H arry ' H erm io ne sa id q uie tly . 'Y ou'v e g ot en ough o n y our
pla te w ith out S ir iu s, t o o.'
She w as quite rig ht, of co urs e , he w as bare ly keep in g up w ith his
hom ew ork , th ough he w as doin g m uch bette r now th at he w as no lo nger
sp en din g ev ery ev en in g in dete n tio n w ith U m brid ge. R on w as ev en fu rth er
beh in d w ith h is w ork t h an H arry , b ecau se w hile t h ey b oth h ad Q uid ditc h p ra ctic e
tw ic e a w eek , R on a ls o h ad h is p re fe ct d utie s. H ow ev er, H erm io ne, w ho w as
ta k in g m ore s u bje cts t h an e ith er o f t h em , h ad n ot o nly f in is h ed a ll h er h om ew ork
but w as a ls o fin din g tim e to k nit m ore e lf c lo th es. H arry h ad to a d m it th at s h e
was g ettin g b ette r; it w as n ow a lm ost a lw ay s p ossib le to d is tin guis h b etw een th e
hats a n d t h e s o ck s.
The m orn in g of th e H ogsm ead e vis it daw ned brig ht but w in dy. A fte r
bre ak fa st th ey q ueu ed u p in f ro nt o f F ilc h , w ho m atc h ed th eir n am es to th e lo ng
lis t o f s tu den ts w ho h ad p erm is sio n fro m th eir p are n ts o r g uard ia n to v is it th e
villa g e. W ith a s lig ht p an g, H arry r e m em bere d t h at i f i t h ad n't b een f o r S ir iu s, h e

would n ot h av e b een g oin g a t a ll.
When H arry r e ach ed F ilc h , t h e c are ta k er g av e a g re at s n if f a s t h ough t r y in g
to d ete ct a w hif f o f s o m eth in g f ro m H arry . T hen h e g av e a c u rt n od th at s e t h is
jo w ls a q uiv er a g ain a n d H arry w alk ed o n, o ut o n to th e s to ne s te p s a n d th e c o ld ,
su nlit d ay.
'E r – w hy w as F ilc h s n if f in g y ou?' a sk ed R on, a s h e, H arry a n d H erm io ne
se t o ff a t a b ris k p ace d ow n t h e w id e d riv e t o t h e g ate s.
'I s u ppose h e w as c h eck in g f o r th e s m ell o f D ungbom bs,' s a id H arry w ith a
sm all l a u gh. 'I f o rg ot t o t e ll y ou… '
And h e r e co unte d th e s to ry o f s e n din g h is l e tte r to S ir iu s a n d F ilc h b urs tin g
in se co nds la te r, d em an din g to se e th e le tte r. T o h is slig ht su rp ris e , H erm io ne
fo und t h is s to ry h ig hly i n te re stin g, m uch m ore , i n deed , t h an h e d id h im se lf .
'H e s a id h e w as tip ped o ff y ou w ere o rd erin g D ungbom bs? B ut w ho tip ped
him o ff ? '
'I d unno,' s a id H arry , s h ru ggin g. 'M ay be M alf o y, h e'd t h in k i t w as a l a u gh.'
They w alk ed b etw een th e ta ll s to ne p illa rs to pped w ith w in ged b oars a n d
tu rn ed le ft o n to th e r o ad in to th e v illa g e, th e w in d w hip pin g th eir h air in to th eir
ey es.
'M alf o y?' s a id H erm io ne, s c ep tic ally . 'W ell… y es… m ay be… '
And sh e re m ain ed deep in th ought all th e w ay in to th e outs k ir ts of
Hogsm ead e.
'W here a re w e g oin g, a n yw ay ?' H arry a sk ed . T he T hre e B ro om stic k s? '
'O h – n o,' s a id H erm io ne, c o m in g o ut o f h er r e v erie , 'n o, it's a lw ay s p ack ed
an d r e ally n ois y . I 'v e t o ld t h e o th ers t o m eet u s i n t h e H og's H ead , t h at o th er p ub,
you k now th e o ne, it's n ot o n th e m ain ro ad . I th in k it's a b it… y ou k now …
dodgy
… but stu den ts don't norm ally go in th ere , so I don't th in k w e'l l be
overh eard .'
They w alk ed d ow n th e m ain str e et p ast Z onko's W iz ard in g Jo ke S hop,
where th ey w ere n ot s u rp ris e d to s e e F re d , G eo rg e a n d L ee J o rd an , p ast th e p ost
off ic e, f ro m w hic h o w ls is su ed a t r e g ula r in te rv als , a n d tu rn ed u p a s id e-s tr e et a t
th e to p o f w hic h s to od a s m all in n. A b atte re d w ooden s ig n h ung fro m a ru sty
bra ck et o ver th e d oor, w ith a p ic tu re o n it o f a w ild b oar's s e v ere d h ead , le ak in g
blo od o n to th e w hite c lo th a ro und it. T he sig n c re ak ed in th e w in d a s th ey
ap pro ach ed . A ll t h re e o f t h em h esita te d o uts id e t h e d oor.
'W ell, co m e on,' sa id H erm io ne, slig htly nerv ously . H arry le d th e w ay
in sid e.
It w as n ot at all lik e th e T hre e B ro om stic k s, w hose la rg e b ar g av e an
im pre ssio n o f g le am in g w arm th a n d c le an lin ess. T he H og's H ead b ar c o m pris e d
one sm all, d in gy a n d v ery d ir ty ro om th at sm elle d str o ngly o f so m eth in g th at

mig ht h av e b een g oats . T he b ay w in dow s w ere s o e n cru ste d w ith g rim e t h at v ery
little d ay lig ht c o uld p erm eate th e ro om , w hic h w as lit in ste ad w ith th e s tu bs o f
can dle s s ittin g o n ro ugh w ooden ta b le s. T he flo or s e em ed a t fir s t g la n ce to b e
co m pre sse d e arth , th ough a s H arry ste p ped o n to it h e re alis e d th at th ere w as
sto ne b en eath w hat s e em ed t o b e t h e a ccu m ula te d f ilth o f c en tu rie s.
Harry r e m em bere d H ag rid m en tio nin g th is p ub in h is f ir s t y ear: 'Y eh g et a
lo t o ' fu nny fo lk in th e H ogs H ead / h e h ad s a id , e x pla in in g h ow h e h ad w on a
dra g on's e g g f ro m a h ooded s tr a n ger t h ere . A t t h e t im e H arry h ad w ondere d w hy
Hag rid h ad n ot fo und it o dd th at th e s tr a n ger k ep t h is fa ce h id den th ro ughout
th eir e n co unte r; n ow h e s a w th at k eep in g y our fa ce h id den w as s o m eth in g o f a
fa sh io n in th e H og's H ead . T here w as a m an a t th e b ar w hose w hole h ead w as
wra p ped in d ir ty g re y b an dag es, th ough h e w as s till m an ag in g to g ulp e n dle ss
gla sse s o f so m e sm okin g, fie ry su bsta n ce th ro ugh a slit o ver h is m outh ; tw o
fig ure s s h ro uded i n h oods s a t a t a t a b le i n o ne o f t h e w in dow s; H arry m ig ht h av e
th ought th em D em en to rs if th ey had not been ta lk in g in str o ng Y ork sh ir e
accen ts , a n d in a s h ad ow y c o rn er b esid e th e fir e p la ce s a t a w itc h w ith a th ic k ,
bla ck v eil th at f e ll to h er to es. T hey c o uld ju st s e e th e tip o f h er n ose b ecau se it
cau se d t h e v eil t o p ro tr u de s lig htly .
'I d on't k now a b out th is , H erm io ne,' H arry m utte re d , a s th ey c ro sse d to th e
bar. H e w as lo okin g p artic u la rly a t th e h eav ily v eile d w itc h . 'H as it o ccu rre d to
you U m brid ge m ig ht b e u nder t h at? '
Herm io ne c ast a n a p pra is in g e y e o ver t h e v eile d f ig ure .
'U m brid ge is s h orte r th an th at w om an ,' s h e s a id q uie tly . 'A nd a n yw ay, e v en
if U m brid ge d oes c o m e in h ere th ere 's n oth in g sh e c an d o to sto p u s, H arry ,
becau se I'v e double – an d tr ip le -c h eck ed th e sc h ool ru le s. W e'r e not out of
bounds; I s p ecif ic ally a sk ed P ro fe sso r F litw ic k w heth er s tu den ts w ere a llo w ed t o
co m e i n t h e H og's H ead , a n d h e s a id y es, b ut h e a d vis e d m e s tr o ngly t o b rin g o ur
ow n g la sse s. A nd I'v e lo oked u p e v ery th in g I c an th in k o f a b out s tu dy g ro ups
an d h om ew ork g ro ups a n d t h ey 'r e d efin ite ly a llo w ed . I j u st d on't t h in k i t's a g ood
id ea i f w e
p ara de
w hat w e'r e d oin g.'
'N o,' sa id H arry d rily , 'e sp ecia lly as it's n ot ex actly a h om ew ork g ro up
you'r e p la n nin g, i s i t? '
The b arm an s id le d to w ard s th em o ut o f a b ack ro om . H e w as a g ru m py-
lo okin g o ld m an w ith a g re at d eal o f lo ng g re y h air a n d b eard . H e w as ta ll a n d
th in a n d l o oked v ag uely f a m ilia r t o H arry .
'W hat? ' h e g ru nte d .
Thre e B utte rb eers , p le ase ,' s a id H erm io ne.
The m an r e ach ed b en eath th e c o unte r a n d p ulle d u p th re e v ery d usty , v ery
dir ty b ottle s, w hic h h e s la m med o n t h e b ar.

'S ix S ic k le s,' h e s a id .
Til g et t h em ,' s a id H arry q uic k ly , p assin g o ver t h e s ilv er. T he b arm an 's e y es
tr a v elle d o ver H arry , re stin g fo r a fra ctio n o f
a
se co nd o n h is sc ar. T hen h e
tu rn ed aw ay an d dep osite d H arry 's m oney in an an cie n t w ooden till w hose
dra w er s lid o pen a u to m atic ally to r e ceiv e it. H arry , R on a n d H erm io ne r e tr e ate d
to th e f u rth est ta b le f ro m th e b ar a n d s a t d ow n, lo okin g a ro und. T he m an in th e
dir ty g re y b an dag es ra p ped th e c o unte r w ith h is k nuck le s a n d re ceiv ed a n oth er
sm okin g d rin k f ro m t h e b arm an .
'Y ou k now w hat? ' R on m urm ure d , lo okin g o ver a t th e b ar w ith e n th usia sm .
'W e co uld ord er an yth in g w e lik ed in here . I bet th at blo ke w ould se ll us
an yth in g, h e w ould n't c are . I 'v e a lw ay s w an te d t o t r y F ir e w his k y - '
'Y ou – a re – a -
p re fe ct
,' s n arle d H erm io ne.
'O h,' s a id R on, t h e s m ile f a d in g f ro m h is f a ce. 'Y eah … '
'S o, w ho d id y ou s a y i s s u ppose d t o b e m eetin g u s? ' H arry a sk ed , w re n ch in g
open t h e r u sty t o p o f h is B utte rb eer a n d t a k in g a s w ig .
'J u st a co uple of peo ple ,' H erm io ne re p eate d , ch eck in g her w atc h an d
lo okin g a n xio usly to w ard s th e d oor. 'I to ld th em to b e h ere a b out n ow a n d I'm
su re t h ey a ll k now w here i t i s – o h, l o ok, t h is m ig ht b e t h em n ow .'
The d oor o f th e p ub h ad o pen ed . A th ic k b an d o f d usty s u nlig ht s p lit th e
ro om i n t w o f o r a m om en t a n d t h en v an is h ed , b lo ck ed b y t h e i n co m in g r u sh o f a
cro w d o f p eo ple .
Fir s t c am e N ev ille w ith D ean a n d L av en der, w ho w ere c lo se ly f o llo w ed b y
Parv ati a n d P ad m a P atil w ith ( H arry 's s to m ach d id a b ack -flip ) C ho a n d o ne o f
her u su ally -g ig glin g g ir lf rie n ds, th en (o n h er o w n a n d lo okin g so d re am y sh e
mig ht h av e w alk ed in b y accid en t) L una L oveg ood; th en K atie B ell, A lic ia
Spin net an d A ngelin a Jo hnso n, C olin an d D en nis C re ev ey, E rn ie M acm illa n ,
Ju stin F in ch -F le tc h le y, H an nah A bbott, a H uff le p uff g ir l w ith a lo ng p la it d ow n
her b ack w hose n am e H arry d id n ot k now ; th re e R av en cla w b oys h e w as p re tty
su re w ere c alle d A nth ony G old ste in , M ic h ael C orn er a n d T erry B oot, G in ny,
clo se ly f o llo w ed b y a ta ll s k in ny b lo nd b oy w ith a n u ptu rn ed n ose w hom H arry
re co gnis e d v ag uely a s b ein g a m em ber o f th e H uff le p uff Q uid ditc h te am a n d,
brin gin g u p th e r e ar, F re d a n d G eo rg e W easle y w ith th eir f rie n d L ee J o rd an , a ll
th re e of w hom w ere carry in g la rg e pap er bag s cra m med w ith Zonko's
merc h an dis e .
'A c o uple o f p eo ple ?' s a id H arry h oars e ly t o H erm io ne. '
A c o uple o f p eo ple
?'
'Y es, w ell, th e id ea s e em ed q uite p opula r,' s a id H erm io ne h ap pily 'R on, d o
you w an t t o p ull u p s o m e m ore c h air s ? '
The b arm an h ad f ro zen i n t h e a ct o f w ip in g o ut a g la ss w ith a r a g s o f ilth y i t
lo oked a s th ough it h ad n ev er b een w ash ed . P ossib ly , h e h ad n ev er s e en h is p ub

so f u ll.
'H i,' s a id F re d , r e ach in g th e b ar f ir s t a n d c o untin g h is c o m pan io ns q uic k ly ,
'c o uld w e h av e… t w en ty -fiv e B utte rb eers , p le ase ?'
The b arm an g la re d at h im fo r a m om en t, th en , th ro w in g d ow n h is ra g
ir rita b ly as th ough h e h ad b een in te rru pte d in so m eth in g v ery im porta n t, h e
sta rte d p assin g u p d usty B utte rb eers f ro m u nder t h e b ar.
'C heers ,' s a id F re d , h an din g th em o ut. 'C ough u p, e v ery one, I h av en 't g ot
en ough g old f o r a ll o f t h ese … '
Harry w atc h ed n um bly a s th e la rg e c h atte rin g g ro up to ok th eir b eers fro m
Fre d a n d r u m mag ed in th eir r o bes to f in d c o in s. H e c o uld n ot im ag in e w hat a ll
th ese p eo ple h ad tu rn ed u p fo r u ntil th e h orrib le th ought o ccu rre d to h im th at
th ey m ig ht b e e x pectin g s o m e k in d o f s p eech , a t w hic h h e r o unded o n H erm io ne.
'W hat h av e y ou b een te llin g p eo ple ?' h e s a id in a lo w v oic e. 'W hat a re th ey
ex pectin g?'
'I 'v e to ld y ou, th ey ju st w an t to h ear w hat y ou'v e g ot to s a y,' s a id H erm io ne
so oth in gly ; but H arry co ntin ued to lo ok at her so fu rio usly th at sh e ad ded
quic k ly , 'y ou d on't h av e t o d o a n yth in g y et, I 'l l s p eak t o t h em f ir s t.'
'H i, H arry ,' s a id N ev ille , b eam in g a n d t a k in g a s e at o pposite h im .
Harry tr ie d to s m ile b ack , b ut d id n ot s p eak ; h is m outh w as e x cep tio nally
dry . C ho h ad j u st s m ile d a t h im a n d s a t d ow n o n R on's r ig ht. H er f rie n d, w ho h ad
cu rly r e d dis h -b lo nde h air , d id n ot s m ile , b ut g av e H arry a th oro ughly m is tr u stf u l
lo ok w hic h p la in ly t o ld h im t h at, g iv en h er w ay, s h e w ould n ot b e h ere a t a ll.
In tw os an d th re es th e new arriv als se ttle d aro und H arry , R on an d
Herm io ne, s o m e lo okin g ra th er e x cite d , o th ers c u rio us, L una L oveg ood g azin g
dre am ily i n to s p ace. W hen e v ery body h ad p ulle d u p a c h air , t h e c h atte r d ie d o ut.
Every e y e w as u pon H arry .
'E r,' s a id H erm io ne, h er v oic e s lig htly h ig her t h an u su al o ut o f n erv es. 'W ell
– e r – h i.'
The g ro up fo cu se d its a tte n tio n o n h er in ste ad , th ough e y es c o ntin ued to
dart b ack r e g ula rly t o H arry .
'W ell… e rm … w ell, y ou k now w hy y ou'r e h ere . E rm … w ell, H arry h ere
had th e id ea – I m ean ' ( H arry h ad th ro w n h er a s h arp lo ok) 'I h ad th e id ea – th at
it m ig ht b e g ood i f p eo ple w ho w an te d t o s tu dy D efe n ce A gain st t h e D ark A rts –
an d I m ean , re ally s tu dy it, y ou k now , n ot th e ru bbis h th at U m brid ge is d oin g
with us -' (H erm io ne's voic e becam e su dden ly m uch str o nger an d m ore
co nfid en t) '– b ecau se n obody c o uld c all th at D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts -'
('H ear, h ear,' s a id A nth ony G old ste in , a n d H erm io ne l o oked h earte n ed ) '– W ell, I
th ought i t w ould b e g ood i f w e, w ell, t o ok m atte rs i n to o ur o w n h an ds.'
She p au se d , lo oked s id ew ay s a t H arry , a n d w en t o n, 'A nd b y th at I m ean

le arn in g h ow to d efe n d o urs e lv es p ro perly , n ot ju st in th eo ry b ut d oin g th e r e al
sp ells - '
'Y ou w an t to p ass y our D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts O W L to o, th ough, I
bet? ' s a id M ic h ael C orn er, w ho w as w atc h in g h er c lo se ly .
'O f c o urs e I d o,' s a id H erm io ne a t o nce. 'B ut m ore th an th at, I w an t to b e
pro perly tr a in ed in d efe n ce b ecau se … b ecau se … " s h e to ok a g re at b re ath a n d
fin is h ed , 'b ecau se L ord V old em ort i s b ack .'
The re actio n w as im med ia te an d p re d ic ta b le . C ho's frie n d sh rie k ed an d
slo pped B utte rb eer d ow n h ers e lf ; T erry B oot g av e a k in d o f in volu nta ry tw itc h ;
Pad m a P atil s h uddere d , a n d N ev ille g av e a n o dd y elp th at h e m an ag ed to tu rn
in to a c o ugh. A ll o f t h em , h ow ev er, l o oked f ix ed ly , e v en e ag erly , a t H arry .
'W ell… th at's th e p la n , a n yw ay ' s a id H erm io ne. 'I f y ou w an t to jo in u s, w e
need t o d ecid e h ow w e'r e g oin g t o - '
'W here 's th e pro of Y ou-K now -W ho's back ?' sa id th e blo nd H uff le p uff
pla y er i n a r a th er a g gre ssiv e v oic e.
'W ell, D um ble d ore b elie v es i t - ' H erm io ne b eg an .
'Y ou m ean , D um ble d ore belie v es him ,' sa id th e blo nd boy, noddin g at
Harry .
'W ho a re y ou?' s a id R on, r a th er r u dely .
'Z ach aria s S m ith ,' sa id th e b oy, 'a n d I th in k w e'v e g ot th e rig ht to k now
ex actly w hat m ak es h im s a y Y ou-K now -W ho's b ack .'
'L ook,' sa id H erm io ne, in te rv en in g sw if tly , 't h at's re ally not w hat th is
meetin g w as s u ppose d t o b e a b out - '
'I t's O K, H erm io ne,' s a id H arry .
It h ad ju st d aw ned o n h im w hy th ere w ere so m an y p eo ple th ere . H e
th ought H erm io ne s h ould h av e s e en th is c o m in g. S om e o f th ese p eo ple – m ay be
ev en m ost of th em – had tu rn ed up in th e hopes of hearin g H arry 's sto ry
fir s th an d.
'W hat m ak es m e sa y You-K now -W ho's back ?' he re p eate d , lo okin g
Zach aria s s tr a ig ht i n t h e f a ce. 'I s a w h im . B ut D um ble d ore t o ld t h e w hole s c h ool
what h ap pen ed la st y ear, a n d if y ou d id n't b elie v e h im , y ou w on't b elie v e m e,
an d I 'm n ot w astin g a n a fte rn oon t r y in g t o c o nvin ce a n yone.'
The w hole g ro up s e em ed to h av e h eld its b re ath w hile H arry s p oke. H arry
had th e im pre ssio n th at e v en th e b arm an w as lis te n in g. H e w as w ip in g th e s a m e
gla ss w ith t h e f ilth y r a g , m ak in g i t s te ad ily d ir tie r.
Zach aria s sa id d is m is siv ely , 'A ll D um ble d ore to ld u s la st y ear w as th at
Ced ric D ig gory g ot k ille d b y Y ou-K now -W ho a n d th at y ou b ro ught D ig gory 's
body b ack to H ogw arts . H e d id n't g iv e u s d eta ils , h e d id n't te ll u s e x actly h ow
Dig gory g ot m urd ere d , I t h in k w e'd a ll l ik e t o k now - '

'I f y ou'v e c o m e to h ear e x actly w hat it lo oks lik e w hen V old em ort m urd ers
so m eo ne I c an 't h elp y ou,' H arry s a id . H is te m per, a lw ay s s o c lo se to th e s u rfa ce
th ese d ay s, w as ris in g a g ain . H e d id n ot ta k e h is e y es fro m Z ach aria s S m ith 's
ag gre ssiv e fa ce, a n d w as d ete rm in ed n ot to lo ok a t C ho. 'I d on't w an t to ta lk
ab out C ed ric D ig gory , a ll rig ht? S o if th at's w hat y ou'r e h ere fo r, y ou m ig ht a s
well c le ar o ut.'
He c ast a n a n gry lo ok in H erm io ne's d ir e ctio n. T his w as, h e fe lt, a ll h er
fa u lt; s h e h ad d ecid ed to d is p la y h im lik e s o m e s o rt o f f re ak a n d o f c o urs e th ey
had a ll tu rn ed u p to s e e ju st h ow w ild h is s to ry w as. B ut n one o f th em le ft th eir
se ats , n ot e v en Z ach aria s S m ith , t h ough h e c o ntin ued t o g aze i n te n tly a t H arry .
'S o,' sa id H erm io ne, h er v oic e v ery h ig h-p itc h ed a g ain . 'S o… lik e I w as
sa y in g… i f y ou w an t t o l e arn s o m e d efe n ce, t h en w e n eed t o w ork o ut h ow w e'r e
goin g t o d o i t, h ow o fte n w e'r e g oin g t o m eet a n d w here w e'r e g oin g t o - '
'I s it tr u e,' in te rru pte d th e g ir l w ith th e lo ng p la it d ow n h er b ack , lo okin g a t
Harry , 't h at y ou c an p ro duce a P atr o nus? '
There w as a m urm ur o f i n te re st a ro und t h e g ro up a t t h is .
'Y eah ,' s a id H arry s lig htly d efe n siv ely .
'A c o rp ore al P atr o nus? '
The p hra se s tir re d s o m eth in g i n H arry 's m em ory .
'E r – y ou d on't k now M ad am B ones, d o y ou?' h e a sk ed .
The g ir l s m ile d .
'S he's m y au ntie ,' sh e sa id . 'I 'm S usa n B ones. S he to ld m e ab out y our
hearin g. S o – i s i t r e ally t r u e? Y ou m ak e a s ta g P atr o nus? '
'Y es,' s a id H arry .
'B lim ey, H arry !' s a id L ee, l o okin g d eep ly i m pre sse d . 'I n ev er k new t h at! '
'M um to ld R on n ot to s p re ad it a ro und,' s a id F re d , g rin nin g a t H arry . 'S he
sa id y ou g ot e n ough a tte n tio n a s i t w as.'
'S he's n ot w ro ng,' m um ble d H arry , a n d a c o uple o f p eo ple l a u ghed .
The v eile d w itc h s ittin g a lo ne s h if te d v ery s lig htly i n h er s e at.
'A nd did you kill a B asilis k w ith th at sw ord in D um ble d ore 's off ic e?'
dem an ded T erry B oot. T hat's w hat o ne o f th e p ortr a its o n th e w all to ld m e w hen
I w as i n t h ere l a st y ear… '
'E r – y eah , I d id , y eah ,' s a id H arry .
Ju stin F in ch -F le tc h le y w his tle d ; th e C re ev ey b ro th ers e x ch an ged a w estr u ck
lo oks a n d L av en der B ro w n sa id 'W ow !' so ftly . H arry w as fe elin g slig htly h ot
aro und t h e c o lla r n ow ; h e w as d ete rm in ed ly l o okin g a n yw here b ut a t C ho.
'A nd in o ur fir s t y ear,' sa id N ev ille to th e g ro up a t la rg e, 'h e sa v ed th at
Philo lo gic al S to ne - '
'P hilo so pher's ,' h is se d H erm io ne.

'Y es, t h at – f ro m Y ou-K now -W ho,' f in is h ed N ev ille .
Han nah A bbott's e y es w ere a s r o und a s G alle o ns.
'A nd th at's n ot to m en tio n,' s a id C ho (H arry 's e y es s n ap ped a cro ss to h er;
sh e w as lo okin g a t h im , sm ilin g; h is sto m ach d id a n oth er so m ers a u lt) 'a ll th e
ta sk s h e h ad to g et th ro ugh in th e T riw iz ard T ourn am en t la st y ear – g ettin g p ast
dra g ons a n d m erp eo ple a n d A cro m an tu la a n d t h in gs… '
There w as a m urm ur o f im pre sse d ag re em en t aro und th e ta b le . H arry 's
in sid es w ere s q uir m in g. H e w as t r y in g t o a rra n ge h is f a ce s o t h at h e d id n ot l o ok
to o p le ase d w ith h im se lf . T he f a ct th at C ho h ad ju st p ra is e d h im m ad e it m uch ,
much h ard er f o r h im t o s a y t h e t h in g h e h ad s w orn t o h im se lf h e w ould t e ll t h em .
'L ook,' h e s a id , a n d e v ery one f e ll s ile n t a t o nce, '1 … I d on't w an t to s o und
lik e I'm tr y in g to b e m odest o r a n yth in g, b ut… I h ad a lo t o f h elp w ith a ll th at
stu ff … '
'N ot w ith th e d ra g on, y ou d id n't ,' s a id M ic h ael C orn er a t o nce. T hat w as a
se rio usly c o ol b it o f f ly in g… '
'Y eah , w ell - ' s a id H arry , f e elin g i t w ould b e c h urlis h t o d is a g re e.
'A nd n obody h elp ed y ou g et rid o f th ose D em en to rs th is su m mer,' sa id
Susa n B ones.
'N o,' s a id H arry , 'n o, O K, 1 k now I d id b its o f it w ith out h elp , b ut th e p oin t
I'm t r y in g t o m ak e i s - '
'A re you tr y in g to w ease l out of sh ow in g us an y of th is stu ff ? ' sa id
Zach aria s S m ith .
'H ere 's a n id ea,' s a id R on lo udly , b efo re H arry c o uld s p eak , 'w hy d on't y ou
sh ut y our m outh ?'
Perh ap s th e w ord 'w ease l' h ad a ff e cte d R on p artic u la rly str o ngly . In a n y
case , h e w as n ow lo okin g a t Z ach aria s a s th ough h e w ould lik e n oth in g b ette r
th an t o t h um p h im . Z ach aria s f lu sh ed .
'W ell, w e'v e a ll t u rn ed u p t o l e arn f ro m h im a n d n ow h e's t e llin g u s h e c an 't
re ally d o a n y o f i t,' h e s a id .
'T hat's n ot w hat h e s a id , 's n arle d F re d .
'W ould y ou l ik e u s t o c le an o ut y our e ars f o r y ou?' e n quir e d G eo rg e, p ullin g
a l o ng a n d l e th al- lo okin g m eta l i n str u m en t f ro m i n sid e o ne o f t h e Z onko's b ag s.
'O r a n y p art o f y our b ody, r e ally , w e'r e n ot f u ssy w here w e s tic k th is ,' s a id
Fre d .
'Y es, w ell,' s a id H erm io ne h astily , 'm ovin g o n… th e p oin t is , a re w e a g re ed
we w an t t o t a k e l e sso ns f ro m H arry ?'
There w as a m urm ur o f g en era l a g re em en t. Z ach aria s fo ld ed h is a rm s a n d
sa id n oth in g, th ough p erh ap s th is w as b ecau se h e w as to o b usy k eep in g a n e y e
on t h e i n str u m en t i n F re d 's h an d.

'R ig ht,' sa id H erm io ne, lo okin g re lie v ed th at so m eth in g h ad a t la st b een
se ttle d . 'W ell, th en , th e n ex t q uestio n is h ow o fte n w e d o it. I re ally d on't th in k
th ere 's a n y p oin t i n m eetin g l e ss t h an o nce a w eek - '
'H an g o n,' s a id A ngelin a, 'w e n eed to m ak e s u re th is d oesn 't c la sh w ith o ur
Quid ditc h p ra ctic e.'
'N o,' s a id C ho, 'n or w ith o urs .'
'N or o urs ,' a d ded Z ach aria s S m ith .
'I 'm s u re w e c an fin d a n ig ht th at s u its e v ery one,' s a id H erm io ne, s lig htly
im patie n tly , 'b ut y ou k now , th is is r a th er im porta n t, w e'r e ta lk in g a b out le arn in g
to d efe n d o urs e lv es a g ain st V -V old em ort's D eath E ate rs - '
'W ell sa id !' b ark ed E rn ie M acm illa n , w ho H arry h ad b een ex pectin g to
sp eak lo ng b efo re th is . 'P ers o nally I th in k th is is r e ally im porta n t, p ossib ly m ore
im porta n t t h an a n yth in g e ls e w e'l l d o t h is y ear, e v en w ith o ur O W Ls c o m in g u p!'
He lo oked a ro und im pre ssiv ely , a s th ough w aitin g f o r p eo ple to c ry 'S ure ly
not! ' W hen n obody s p oke, h e w en t o n, 'I , p ers o nally a m a t a lo ss to s e e w hy th e
Min is tr y has fo is te d su ch a use le ss te ach er on us at th is critic al perio d.
Obvio usly , th ey a re in d en ia l a b out th e r e tu rn o f Y ou-K now -W ho, b ut to g iv e u s
a t e ach er w ho i s t r y in g t o a ctiv ely p re v en t u s f ro m u sin g d efe n siv e s p ells - '
'W e th in k th e r e aso n U m brid ge d oesn 't w an t u s tr a in ed in D efe n ce A gain st
th e D ark A rts ,' sa id H erm io ne, 'i s th at sh e's g ot so m e… so m e m ad id ea th at
Dum ble d ore c o uld u se th e s tu den ts in th e s c h ool a s a k in d o f p riv ate a rm y. S he
th in ks h e'd m obilis e u s a g ain st t h e M in is tr y .'
Nearly ev ery body lo oked stu nned at th is n ew s; ev ery body ex cep t L una
Loveg ood, w ho p ip ed u p, 'W ell, t h at m ak es s e n se . A fte r a ll, C orn eliu s F udge h as
got h is o w n p riv ate a rm y'
'W hat? ' sa id H arry , co m ple te ly th ro w n by th is unex pecte d pie ce of
in fo rm atio n.
'Y es, h e's g ot a n a rm y o f H elio path s,' s a id L una s o le m nly .
'N o, h e h asn 't ,' s n ap ped H erm io ne.
'Y es, h e h as,' s a id L una.
'W hat a re H elio path s? ' a sk ed N ev ille , l o okin g b la n k.
They 'r e s p ir its o f f ir e ,' s a id L una, h er p ro tu bera n t e y es w id en in g s o th at s h e
lo oked m ad der th an ev er, 'g re at ta ll fla m in g cre atu re s th at g allo p acro ss th e
gro und b urn in g e v ery th in g i n f ro nt o f - '
They d on't e x is t, N ev ille ,' s a id H erm io ne t a rtly .
'O h, y es, t h ey d o!' s a id L una a n grily .
'I 'm s o rry , b ut w here 's t h e p ro of o f t h at? ' s n ap ped H erm io ne.
There a re p le n ty o f e y e-w itn ess a cco unts . Ju st b ecau se y ou'r e so n arro w -
min ded y ou n eed t o h av e e v ery th in g s h oved u nder y our n ose b efo re y ou - '

' Hem , h em
,' sa id G in ny, in su ch a g ood im ita tio n o f P ro fe sso r U m brid ge
th at s e v era l p eo ple lo oked a ro und in a la rm a n d th en la u ghed . 'W ere n 't w e tr y in g
to d ecid e h ow o fte n w e'r e g oin g t o m eet a n d h av e d efe n ce l e sso ns? '
'Y es,' s a id H erm io ne a t o nce, 'y es, w e w ere , y ou'r e r ig ht, G in ny.'
Well, o nce a w eek s o unds c o ol,' s a id L ee J o rd an .
'A s l o ng a s - ' b eg an A ngelin a.
'Y es, y es, w e k now a b out th e Q uid ditc h ,' s a id H erm io ne in a te n se v oic e.
Well, t h e o th er t h in g t o d ecid e i s w here w e'r e g oin g t o m eet… '
This w as r a th er m ore d if f ic u lt; t h e w hole g ro up f e ll s ile n t.
'L ib ra ry ?' s u ggeste d K atie B ell a fte r a f e w m om en ts .
'1 c an 't se e M ad am P in ce b ein g to o c h uff e d w ith u s d oin g jin xes in th e
lib ra ry ,' s a id H arry .
'M ay be a n u nuse d c la ssro om ?' s a id D ean .
'Y eah ,' s a id R on, 'M cG onag all m ig ht le t u s h av e h ers , s h e d id w hen H arry
was p ra ctis in g f o r t h e T riw iz ard .'
But Harry was pre tty certa in th at M cG onag all would not be so
acco m modatin g th is tim e. F or all th at H erm io ne had sa id ab out stu dy an d
hom ew ork g ro ups b ein g a llo w ed , h e h ad th e d is tin ct f e elin g th at th is o ne m ig ht
be c o nsid ere d a l o t m ore r e b ellio us.
'R ig ht, w ell, w e'l l tr y to fin d so m ew here ,' sa id H erm io ne. 'W e'l l se n d a
messa g e ro und to e v ery body w hen w e'v e g ot a tim e a n d a p la ce fo r th e fir s t
meetin g.'
She ru m mag ed in her bag an d pro duced parc h m en t an d a quill, th en
hesita te d , r a th er a s t h ough s h e w as s te elin g h ers e lf t o s a y s o m eth in g.
'I – I th in k e v ery body s h ould w rite th eir n am e d ow n, ju st s o w e k now w ho
was h ere . B ut I a ls o t h in k,' s h e t o ok a d eep b re ath , 't h at w e a ll o ught t o a g re e n ot
to sh out ab out w hat w e'r e d oin g. S o if y ou sig n, y ou'r e ag re ein g n ot to te ll
Um brid ge o r a n ybody e ls e w hat w e'r e u p t o .'
Fre d r e ach ed o ut f o r th e p arc h m en t a n d c h eerfu lly w ro te h is s ig natu re , b ut
Harry n otic ed a t o nce th at s e v era l p eo ple lo oked le ss th an h ap py a t th e p ro sp ect
of p uttin g t h eir n am es o n t h e l is t.
'E r… ' sa id Z ach aria s slo w ly , n ot ta k in g th e p arc h m en t th at G eo rg e w as
tr y in g t o p ass t o h im , 'w ell… I 'm s u re E rn ie w ill t e ll m e w hen t h e m eetin g i s .'
But E rn ie w as lo okin g ra th er h esita n t a b out s ig nin g, to o. H erm io ne ra is e d
her e y eb ro w s a t h im .
'I – w ell, w e a re
p re fe cts
,' E rn ie b urs t o ut. 'A nd i f t h is l is t w as f o und… w ell,
I m ean t o s a y … y ou s a id y ours e lf , i f U m brid ge f in ds o ut - '
'Y ou ju st s a id th is g ro up w as th e m ost im porta n t th in g y ou'd d o th is y ear,'
Harry r e m in ded h im .

'I – y es,' s a id E rn ie , 'y es, I d o b elie v e t h at, i t's j u st - '
'E rn ie , d o y ou re ally th in k I'd le av e th at lis t ly in g a ro und?' s a id H erm io ne
te stily .
'N o. N o, o f c o urs e n ot,' s a id E rn ie , l o okin g s lig htly l e ss a n xio us. 'I – y es, o f
co urs e I 'l l s ig n.'
Nobody ra is e d o bje ctio ns a fte r E rn ie , th ough H arry s a w C ho's frie n d g iv e
her a r a th er r e p ro ach fu l l o ok b efo re a d din g h er o w n n am e. W hen t h e l a st p ers c fri
– Z ach aria s – h ad sig ned , H erm io ne to ok th e p arc h m en t b ack a n d slip ped it
care fu lly in to h er b ag . T here w as a n o dd fe elin g in th e g ro up n ow . It w as a s
th ough t h ey h ad j u st s ig ned s o m e k in d o f c o ntr a ct.
'W ell, tim e's tic k in g o n,' s a id F re d b ris k ly , g ettin g to h is f e et. 'G eo rg e, L ee
an d I h av e g ot ite m s o f a s e n sitiv e n atu re to p urc h ase , w e'l l b e s e ein g y ou a ll
la te r.'
In t w os a n d t h re es t h e r e st o f t h e g ro up t o ok t h eir l e av e, t o o.
Cho m ad e ra th er a busin ess of fa ste n in g th e catc h on her bag befo re
le av in g, h er l o ng d ark c u rta in o f h air s w in gin g f o rw ard s t o h id e h er f a ce, b ut h er
frie n d s to od b esid e h er, a rm s fo ld ed , c lic k in g h er to ngue, s o th at C ho h ad little
ch oic e b ut to le av e w ith h er. A s h er frie n d u sh ere d h er th ro ugh th e d oor, C ho
lo oked b ack a n d w av ed a t H arry .
'W ell, I th in k th at w en t q uite w ell,' s a id H erm io ne h ap pily , a s s h e, H arry
an d R on w alk ed o ut o f th e H og's H ead in to th e b rig ht s u nlig ht a fe w m om en ts
la te r. H arry a n d R on w ere c lu tc h in g t h eir b ottle s o f B utte rb eer.
That Z ach aria s b lo ke's a w art,' s a id R on, w ho w as g lo w erin g a fte r t h e f ig ure
of S m ith , j u st d is c ern ib le i n t h e d is ta n ce.
'I d on't lik e h im m uch , e ith er,' a d m itte d H erm io ne, 'b ut h e o verh eard m e
ta lk in g to E rn ie an d H an nah at th e H uff le p uff ta b le an d he se em ed re ally
in te re ste d i n c o m in g, s o w hat c o uld I s a y ? B ut t h e m ore p eo ple t h e b ette r r e ally –
I m ean , M ic h ael C orn er a n d h is frie n ds w ould n't h av e c o m e if h e h ad n't b een
goin g o ut w ith G in ny - '
Ron, w ho h ad b een d ra in in g th e la st fe w d ro ps fro m h is B utte rb eer b ottle ,
gag ged a n d s p ra y ed B utte rb eer d ow n h is f ro nt.
'H e's W HAT?' s p lu tte re d R on, o utr a g ed , h is e ars n ow re se m blin g c u rls o f
ra w b eef. 'S he's g oin g o ut w ith – m y s is te r's g oin g – w hat d 'y ou m ean , M ic h ael
Corn er? '
'W ell, th at's w hy h e a n d h is f rie n ds c am e, I th in k – w ell, th ey 'r e o bvio usly
in te re ste d in le arn in g d efe n ce, b ut if G in ny h ad n't to ld M ic h ael w hat w as g oin g
on - '
When d id t h is – w hen d id s h e - ? '
They m et a t th e Y ule B all a n d g ot to geth er a t th e e n d o f la st y ear,' sa id

Herm io ne c o m pose d ly . T hey h ad tu rn ed in to th e H ig h S tr e et a n d sh e p au se d
outs id e S criv en sh aft's Q uill S hop, w here th ere w as a han dso m e dis p la y of
pheasa n t f e ath er q uills i n t h e w in dow . 'H m m… I c o uld d o w ith a n ew q uill.'
She t u rn ed i n to t h e s h op. H arry a n d R on f o llo w ed h er.
Whic h o ne w as M ic h ael C orn er? ' R on d em an ded f u rio usly .
The d ark o ne,' s a id H erm io ne.
'I d id n't l ik e h im ,' s a id R on a t o nce.
'B ig s u rp ris e ,' s a id H erm io ne u nder h er b re ath .
'B ut,' s a id R on, f o llo w in g H erm io ne a lo ng a r o w o f q uills in c o pper p ots , '1
th ought G in ny f a n cie d H arry !'
Herm io ne l o oked a t h im r a th er p ity in gly a n d s h ook h er h ead .
'G in ny
u se d
to fa n cy H arry , b ut s h e g av e u p o n h im m onth s a g o. N ot th at
sh e d oesn 't
l ik e
y ou, o f c o urs e ,' s h e a d ded k in d ly to H arry w hile s h e e x am in ed a
lo ng b la ck a n d g old q uill.
Harry , w hose h ead w as still fu ll o f C ho's p artin g w av e, d id n ot fin d th is
su bje ct quite as in te re stin g as Ron, w ho w as positiv ely quiv erin g w ith
in dig natio n, b ut it d id b rin g s o m eth in g h om e to h im th at u ntil n ow h e h ad n ot
re ally r e g is te re d .
'S o t h at's w hy s h e t a lk s n ow ?' h e a sk ed H erm io ne. 'S he n ev er u se d t o t a lk i n
fro nt o f m e.'
'E xactly ,' s a id H erm io ne. 'Y es, I t h in k I 'l l h av e t h is o ne… '
She w en t u p to th e c o unte r a n d h an ded o ver f if te en S ic k le s a n d tw o K nuts ,
with R on s till b re ath in g d ow n h er n eck .
'R on,' s h e s a id s e v ere ly a s s h e tu rn ed a n d tr o d o n h is fe et, 't h is is e x actly
why G in ny h asn 't t o ld y ou s h e's s e ein g M ic h ael, s h e k new y ou'd t a k e i t b ad ly . S o
don't
h arp o n
a b out i t, f o r h eav en 's s a k e.'
'W hat d 'y ou m ean ? W ho's ta k in g a n yth in g b ad ly ? I 'm n ot g oin g to h arp o n
ab out a n yth in g… ' R on c o ntin ued to c h unte r u nder h is b re ath a ll th e w ay d ow n
th e s tr e et.
Herm io ne r o lle d h er e y es a t H arry a n d t h en s a id i n a n u nderto ne, w hile R on
was still m utte rin g im pre catio ns ab out M ic h ael C orn er, 'A nd ta lk in g ab out
Mic h ael a n d G in ny… w hat a b out C ho a n d y ou?'
'W hat d 'y ou m ean ?' s a id H arry q uic k ly .
It w as a s th ough b oilin g w ate r w as ris in g ra p id ly in sid e h im ; a b urn in g
se n sa tio n th at w as cau sin g his fa ce to sm art in th e co ld -h ad he been th at
obvio us?
'W ell,' s a id H erm io ne, s m ilin g s lig htly , 's h e ju st c o uld n't k eep h er e y es o ff
you, c o uld s h e?'
Harry had nev er befo re ap pre cia te d ju st how beau tif u l th e villa g e of

Hogsm ead e w as.

C H APT ER S E V EN TEEN
E du ca tio n al D ecre e N um ber T w en ty -fo u r

Harry f e lt h ap pie r f o r t h e r e st o f t h e w eek en d t h an h e h ad d one a ll t e rm . H e
a n d R on s p en t m uch o f S unday c atc h in g u p w ith a ll th eir h om ew ork a g ain , a n d
a lth ough th is co uld h ard ly b e calle d fu n, th e la st b urs t o f au tu m n su nsh in e
p ers is te d , s o ra th er th an s ittin g h unch ed o ver ta b le s in th e c o m mon ro om th ey
t o ok th eir w ork o uts id e a n d lo unged in th e s h ad e o f a la rg e b eech tr e e o n th e
e d ge o f th e la k e. H erm io ne, w ho o f c o urs e w as u p to d ate w ith a ll h er w ork ,
b ro ught m ore w ool o uts id e w ith h er a n d b ew itc h ed h er k nittin g n eed le s s o th at
t h ey f la sh ed a n d c lic k ed i n m id air b esid e h er, p ro ducin g m ore h ats a n d s c arv es.
Know in g th ey w ere d oin g s o m eth in g to re sis t U m brid ge a n d th e M in is tr y ,
a n d th at h e w as a k ey p art o f th e re b ellio n, g av e H arry a fe elin g o f im men se
s a tis fa ctio n. H e k ep t re liv in g S atu rd ay s m eetin g in h is m in d: a ll th ose p eo ple ,
c o m in g to h im to le arn D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts … a n d th e lo oks o n th eir
f a ces a s th ey h ad h eard s o m e o f th e th in gs h e h ad d one… a n d
C ho
p ra is in g h is
p erfo rm an ce in th e T riw iz ard T ourn am en t – k now in g a ll th ose p eo ple d id n ot
t h in k h im a ly in g w eir d o, b ut s o m eo ne to b e a d m ir e d , b uoyed h im u p s o m uch
t h at h e w as s till c h eerfu l o n M onday m orn in g, d esp ite th e im min en t p ro sp ect o f
a ll h is l e ast f a v ourite c la sse s.
He a n d R on h ead ed d ow nsta ir s f ro m th eir d orm ito ry , d is c u ssin g A ngelin as
i d ea t h at t h ey w ere t o w ork o n a n ew m ove c alle d t h e S lo th G rip R oll d urin g t h at
n ig ht's Q uid ditc h p ra ctic e, an d n ot u ntil th ey w ere h alf w ay acro ss th e su nlit
c o m mon r o om d id t h ey n otic e t h e a d ditio n t o t h e r o om t h at h ad a lr e ad y a ttr a cte d
t h e a tte n tio n o f a s m all g ro up o f p eo ple .
A la rg e sig n h ad b een a ff ix ed to th e G ry ff in dor n otic eb oard ; so la rg e it
c o vere d e v ery th in g e ls e o n it – th e lis ts o f s e co ndhan d s p ellb ooks fo r s a le , th e
r e g ula r r e m in ders o f s c h ool r u le s f ro m A rg us F ilc h , th e Q uid ditc h te am tr a in in g
t im eta b le , th e off e rs to barte r certa in C hoco la te F ro g C ard s fo r oth ers , th e
W easle y s' la te st a d vertis e m en t f o r te ste rs , th e d ate s o f th e H ogsm ead e w eek en ds
a n d th e lo st a n d fo und n otic es. T he n ew s ig n w as p rin te d in la rg e b la ck le tte rs
a n d t h ere w as a h ig hly o ff ic ia l- lo okin g s e al a t t h e b otto m b esid e a n eat a n d c u rly
s ig natu re .
BY O RD ER O F T H E H IG H
I N Q UIS IT O R O F H OGW ARTS
All s tu den t o rg anis a tio ns, s o cie tie s, te a m s, g ro ups a nd d ubs a re h en cefo rth
d is b anded .

An o rg anis a tio n, s o cie ty , t e a m , g ro up o r c lu b i s h ere b y d efin ed a s a r e g ula r
meetin g o f t h re e o r m ore s tu den ts .
Perm is sio n to re -fo rm m ay b e s o ught fr o m th e H ig h In quis ito r (P ro fe sso r
Umbrid ge).
No s tu den t o rg anis a tio n, s o cie ty , te a m , g ro up o r c lu b m ay e xis t w ith out th e
kn ow le d ge a nd a ppro va l o f t h e H ig h I n quis ito r.
Any stu den t fo und to have fo rm ed , or to belo ng to , an org anis a -tio n,
so cie ty , te a m , g ro up o r c lu b th at h as n ot b een a ppro ved b y th e H ig h In quis ito r
will b e e xp elle d .
The a bove i s i n a cco rd ance w ith E duca tio nal D ecre e N um ber T w en ty -fo ur.
Sig ned : D olo re s J a ne U mbrid ge, H ig h I n quis ito r
Harry an d R on re ad th e n otic e o ver th e h ead s o f so m e an xio us-lo okin g
se co nd-y ears .
'D oes th is m ean th ey 'r e g oin g to sh ut d ow n th e G obsto nes C lu b?' o ne o f
th em a sk ed h is f rie n d.
'I re ck on you'l l be O K w ith G obsto nes,' R on sa id dark ly , m ak in g th e
se co nd-y ear ju m p. 'I d on't th in k w e'r e g oin g to b e a s lu ck y, th ough, d o y ou?' h e
ask ed H arry a s t h e s e co nd-y ears h urrie d a w ay.
Harry w as re ad in g th e n otic e th ro ugh a g ain . T he h ap pin ess th at h ad fille d
him s in ce S atu rd ay w as g one. H is i n sid es w ere p uls in g w ith r a g e.
This i s n 't a c o in cid en ce,' h e s a id , h is h an ds f o rm in g f is ts . 'S he k now s.'
'S he c an 't ,' s a id R on a t o nce.
There w ere p eo ple lis te n in g in th at p ub. A nd le t's fa ce it, w e d on't k now
how m an y o f th e p eo ple w ho tu rn ed u p w e c an tr u st… a n y o f th em c o uld h av e
ru n o ff a n d t o ld U m brid ge… '
And h e h ad t h ought t h ey b elie v ed h im , t h ought t h ey e v en a d m ir e d h im …
'Z ach aria s S m ith !' s a id R on a t o nce, p unch in g a fis t in to h is h an d. 'O r – I
th ought t h at M ic h ael C orn er h ad a r e ally s h if ty l o ok, t o o - '
'I w onder i f H erm io ne's s e en t h is y et? ' H arry s a id , l o okin g r o und a t t h e d oor
to t h e g ir ls ' d orm ito rie s.
'L et's g o a n d t e ll h er,' s a id R on. H e b ounded f o rw ard s, p ulle d o pen t h e d oor
an d s e t o ff u p t h e s p ir a l s ta ir c ase .
He w as o n t h e s ix th s ta ir w hen t h ere w as a l o ud, w ailin g, k la x on-lik e s o und
an d th e s te p s m elte d to geth er to m ak e a lo ng, s m ooth s to ne s lid e lik e a h elte r-
sk elte r. T here w as a brie f m om en t w hen R on tr ie d to keep ru nnin g, arm s
work in g m ad ly lik e w in dm ills , th en h e to pple d o ver b ack w ard s a n d s h ot d ow n
th e n ew ly c re ate d s lid e, c o m in g t o r e st o n h is b ack a t H arry 's f e et.
'E r – 1 d on't th in k w e'r e allo w ed in th e g ir ls ' d orm ito rie s,' sa id H arry ,
pullin g R on t o h is f e et a n d t r y in g n ot t o l a u gh.

Tw o f o urth -y ear g ir ls c am e z o om in g g le efu lly d ow n t h e s to ne s lid e.
'O ooh, w ho tr ie d to g et u psta ir s ? ' th ey g ig gle d h ap pily , le ap in g to th eir f e et
an d o glin g H arry a n d R on.
'M e,' s a id R on, w ho w as s till r a th er d is h ev elle d . 'I d id n't r e alis e th at w ould
hap pen . It's n ot fa ir !' h e a d ded to H arry , a s th e g ir ls h ead ed o ff fo r th e p ortr a it
hole , s till g ig glin g m ad ly . 'H erm io ne's a llo w ed i n o ur d orm ito ry , h ow c o m e w e'r e
not a llo w ed - ? '
'W ell, i t's a n o ld -fa sh io ned r u le ,' s a id H erm io ne, w ho h ad j u st s lid n eatly o n
to a ru g in fro nt of th em an d w as now gettin g to her fe et, 'b ut it sa y s in
Hogw arts :
A H is to ry
, th at th e f o unders th ought b oys w ere le ss tr u stw orth y th an
gir ls . A nyw ay, w hy w ere y ou t r y in g t o g et i n t h ere ?'
'T o s e e y ou – l o ok a t t h is !' s a id R on, d ra g gin g h er o ver t o t h e n otic eb oard .
Herm io ne's e y es s lid r a p id ly d ow n t h e n otic e. H er e x pre ssio n b ecam e s to ny.
'S om eo ne m ust h av e b la b bed t o h er!' R on s a id a n grily .
They c an 't h av e d one,' s a id H erm io ne i n a l o w v oic e.
'Y ou'r e so n aiv e,' sa id R on, 'y ou th in k ju st b ecau se y ou'r e a ll h onoura b le
an d t r u stw orth y - '
'N o, th ey c an 't h av e d one, b ecau se I p ut a jin x o n th at p ie ce o f p arc h m en t
we a ll s ig ned ,' s a id H erm io ne g rim ly . 'B elie v e m e, if a n yone's ru n o ff a n d to ld
Um brid ge, w e'l l k now e x actly w ho t h ey a re a n d t h ey w ill r e ally r e g re t i t.'
'W hat'l l h ap pen t o t h em ?' s a id R on e ag erly .
'W ell, p ut i t t h is w ay ' s a id H erm io ne, 'i t'l l m ak e E lo is e M id geo n's a cn e l o ok
lik e a c o uple o f c u te f re ck le s. C om e o n, le t's g et d ow n to b re ak fa st a n d s e e w hat
th e o th ers t h in k… I w onder w heth er t h is h as b een p ut u p i n a ll t h e h ouse s? '
It w as im med ia te ly a p pare n t o n e n te rin g th e G re at H all th at U m brid ge's
sig n h ad n ot o nly a p peare d in G ry ff in dor T ow er. T here w as a p ecu lia r in te n sity
ab out th e ch atte r an d an ex tr a m easu re o f m ovem en t in th e H all as p eo ple
sc u rrie d u p a n d d ow n th eir ta b le s c o nfe rrin g o n w hat th ey h ad r e ad . H arry , R on
an d H erm io ne h ad b are ly t a k en t h eir s e ats w hen N ev ille , D ean , F re d , G eo rg e a n d
Gin ny d esc en ded u pon t h em .
'D id y ou s e e i t? '
'D 'y ou r e ck on s h e k now s? '
'W hat a re w e g oin g t o d o?'
They w ere a ll lo okin g a t H arry . H e g la n ced a ro und to m ak e s u re t h ere w ere
no t e ach ers n ear t h em .
'W e'r e g oin g t o d o i t a n yw ay o f c o urs e ,' h e s a id q uie tly .
'K new y ou'd sa y th at,' sa id G eo rg e, b eam in g a n d th um pin g H arry o n th e
arm .
The p re fe cts a s w ell? ' s a id F re d , l o okin g q uiz zic ally a t R on a n d H erm io ne.

'O f c o urs e ,' s a id H erm io ne c o olly .
'H ere c o m e E rn ie a n d H an nah A bbott,' s a id R on, lo okin g o ver h is s h ould er.
' And
t h ose R av en cla w b lo kes a n d S m ith … a n d n o o ne l o oks v ery s p otty .'
Herm io ne l o oked a la rm ed .
'N ev er m in d sp ots , th e id io ts c an 't c o m e o ver h ere n ow , it'l l lo ok re ally
su sp ic io us – s it d ow n!' s h e m outh ed to E rn ie a n d H an nah , g estu rin g fra n tic ally
to t h em t o r e jo in t h e H uff le p uff t a b le . 'L ate r! W e'l l – t a lk – t o – y ou – l a te r!'
Til te ll M ic h ael,' sa id G in ny im patie n tly , sw in gin g h ers e lf o ff h er b en ch ,
't h e f o ol, h onestly … '
She h urrie d o ff to w ard s th e R av en cla w ta b le ; H arry w atc h ed h er g o. C ho
was s ittin g n ot f a r a w ay, ta lk in g t o th e c u rly -h air e d f rie n d s h e h ad b ro ught a lo ng
to t h e H og's H ead . W ould U m brid ge's n otic e s c are h er o ff m eetin g t h em a g ain ?
But th e f u ll r e p erc u ssio ns o f th e s ig n w ere n ot f e lt u ntil th ey w ere le av in g
th e G re at H all f o r H is to ry o f M ag ic .
'H arry ! R on/'
It w as A ngelin a an d sh e w as hurry in g to w ard s th em lo okin g perfe ctly
desp era te .
'I t's O K,' s a id H arry q uie tly , w hen s h e w as n ear e n ough to h ear h im . 'W e'r e
still g oin g t o - '
'Y ou r e alis e s h e's in clu din g Q uid ditc h in th is ? ' A ngelin a s a id o ver h im . 'W e
hav e t o g o a n d a sk p erm is sio n t o r e -fo rm t h e G ry ff in dor t e am !'
' What
?' s a id H arry .
'N o w ay,' s a id R on, a p palle d .
'Y ou re ad th e s ig n, it m en tio ns te am s to o! S o lis te n , H arry … I a m s a y in g
th is fo r th e la st tim e… p le ase ,
p le a se
d on't lo se y our te m per w ith U m brid ge
ag ain o r s h e m ig ht n ot l e t u s p la y a n y m ore !'
'O K, O K,' s a id H arry , f o r A ngelin a lo oked a s th ough s h e w as o n th e v erg e
of t e ars . 'D on't w orry , I 'l l b eh av e m yse lf … '
'B et U m brid ge is in H is to ry o f M ag ic ,' s a id R on g rim ly , a s th ey s e t o ff f o r
Bin ns's l e sso n. 'S he h asn 't i n sp ecte d B in ns y et… b et y ou a n yth in g s h e's t h ere … '
But he w as w ro ng; th e only te ach er pre se n t w hen th ey en te re d w as
Pro fe sso r B in ns, f lo atin g a n in ch o r s o a b ove h is c h air a s u su al a n d p re p arin g to
co ntin ue h is m onoto nous d ro ne o n g ia n t w ars . H arry d id n ot e v en a tte m pt to
fo llo w w hat h e w as sa y in g to day ; h e d oodle d id ly o n h is p arc h m en t ig norin g
Herm io nes fre q uen t g la re s a n d n udges, u ntil a p artic u la rly p ain fu l p oke in th e
rib s m ad e h im l o ok u p a n grily .
'W hat? '
She p oin te d a t th e w in dow . H arry lo oked ro und. H ed w ig w as p erc h ed o n
th e n arro w w in dow le d ge, g azin g th ro ugh th e th ic k g la ss a t h im , a le tte r tie d to

her le g . H arry c o uld n ot u nders ta n d it; th ey h ad ju st h ad b re ak fa st, w hy o n e arth
had n't sh e d eliv ere d th e le tte r th en , as u su al? M an y o f h is cla ssm ate s w ere
poin tin g o ut H ed w ig t o e ach o th er, t o o.
'O h, I'v e a lw ay s lo ved th at o w l, s h e's s o b eau tif u l,' H arry h eard L av en der
sig h t o P arv ati.
He g la n ced ro und at P ro fe sso r B in ns w ho co ntin ued to re ad h is n ote s,
se re n ely u naw are th at th e c la ss's a tte n tio n w as e v en le ss f o cu se d u pon h im th an
usu al. H arry s lip ped q uie tly o ff h is c h air , c ro uch ed d ow n a n d h urrie d a lo ng th e
ro w t o t h e w in dow , w here h e s lid t h e c atc h a n d o pen ed i t v ery s lo w ly .
He h ad e x pecte d H ed w ig to h old o ut h er le g s o th at h e c o uld re m ove th e
le tte r a n d th en f ly o ff to th e O wle ry b ut th e m om en t th e w in dow w as o pen w id e
en ough sh e h opped in sid e, h ootin g d ole fu lly . H e clo se d th e w in dow w ith an
an xio us g la n ce a t P ro fe sso r B in ns, c ro uch ed lo w a g ain a n d s p ed b ack to h is s e at
with H ed w ig o n h is s h ould er. H e r e g ain ed h is s e at, t r a n sfe rre d H ed w ig t o h is l a p
an d m ad e t o r e m ove t h e l e tte r t ie d t o h er l e g .
Only th en d id h e re alis e th at H ed w ig 's fe ath ers w ere o ddly ru ff le d ; s o m e
were b en t t h e w ro ng w ay, a n d s h e w as h old in g o ne o f h er w in gs a t a n o dd a n gle .
'S he's h urt! ' H arry w his p ere d , b en din g h is h ead l o w o ver h er. H erm io ne a n d
Ron le an ed in clo se r; H erm io ne ev en put dow n her quill. 'L ook – th ere 's
so m eth in g w ro ng w ith h er w in g - '
Hed w ig w as q uiv erin g; w hen H arry m ad e t o t o uch t h e w in g s h e g av e a l ittle
ju m p, a ll h er fe ath ers o n e n d a s th ough s h e w as in fla tin g h ers e lf , a n d g azed a t
him r e p ro ach fu lly .
'P ro fe sso r B in ns,' sa id H arry lo udly , a n d e v ery one in th e c la ss tu rn ed to
lo ok a t h im . 'I 'm n ot f e elin g w ell.'
Pro fe sso r B in ns r a is e d h is e y es f ro m h is n ote s, lo okin g a m azed , a s a lw ay s,
to f in d t h e r o om i n f ro nt o f h im f u ll o f p eo ple .
'N ot f e elin g w ell? ' h e r e p eate d h azily .
'N ot a t a ll w ell,' s a id H arry f ir m ly g ettin g t o h is f e et w ith H ed w ig c o nceale d
beh in d h is b ack . '1 t h in k I n eed t o g o t o t h e h osp ita l w in g.'
'Y es,' sa id P ro fe sso r B in ns, c le arly v ery m uch w ro ng-fo ote d . 'Y es… y es,
hosp ita l w in g… w ell, o ff y ou g o, t h en , P erk in s… '
Once o uts id e th e r o om , H arry r e tu rn ed H ed w ig to h is s h ould er a n d h urrie d
off u p th e c o rrid or, p au sin g to th in k o nly w hen h e w as o ut o f s ig ht o f B in ns's
door. H is f ir s t c h oic e o f s o m eb ody to c u re H ed w ig w ould h av e b een H ag rid , o f
co urs e , b ut a s h e h ad n o i d ea w here H ag rid w as h is o nly r e m ain in g o ptio n w as t o
fin d P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k a n d h ope s h e w ould h elp .
He p eere d o ut o f a w in dow a t th e b lu ste ry , o verc ast g ro unds. T here w as n o
sig n o f h er an yw here n ear H ag rid 's cab in ; if sh e w as n ot te ach in g, sh e w as

pro bab ly in th e s ta ff r o om . H e s e t o ff d ow nsta ir s , H ed w ig h ootin g f e eb ly a s s h e
sw ay ed o n h is s h ould er.
Tw o s to ne g arg oyle s f la n ked t h e s ta ff -ro om d oor. A s H arry a p pro ach ed , o ne
of t h em c ro ak ed , 'Y ou s h ould b e i n c la ss, S onny J im .'
This i s u rg en t,' s a id H arry c u rtly .
'O oooh,
u rg en t
, i s it? ' s a id th e o th er g arg oyle in a h ig h-p itc h ed v oic e. 'W ell,
th at's p ut u s i n o ur p la ce, h asn 't i t? '
Harry k nock ed . H e h eard fo ots te p s, th en th e d oor o pen ed an d h e fo und
him se lf f a ce t o f a ce w ith P ro fe sso r M cG onag all.
'Y ou h av en 't b een g iv en a n oth er d ete n tio n!' sh e sa id a t o nce, h er sq uare
sp ecta cle s f la sh in g a la rm in gly .
'N o, P ro fe sso r!' s a id H arry h astily .
'W ell t h en , w hy a re y ou o ut o f c la ss? '
'I t's
u rg en t
, a p pare n tly ,' s a id t h e s e co nd g arg oyle s n id ery .
'I 'm lo okin g fo r P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k,' H arry e x pla in ed .
'I t's
m y o w l,
sh e's i n ju re d .'
'I n ju re d o w l, d id y ou s a y ?'
Pro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k ap peare d at Pro fe sso r M cG onag all's sh ould er,
sm okin g a p ip e a n d h old in g a c o py o f t h e
D aily P ro phet
.
'Y es,' s a id H arry , lif tin g H ed w ig c are fu lly o ff h is s h ould er, 's h e tu rn ed u p
afte r t h e o th er p ost o w ls a n d h er w in g's a ll f u nny, l o ok - '
Pro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k s tu ck h er p ip e fir m ly b etw een h er te eth a n d to ok
Hed w ig f ro m H arry w hile P ro fe sso r M cG onag all w atc h ed .
'H m m,' sa id P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k, h er p ip e w ag glin g slig htly as sh e
ta lk ed . 'L ooks lik e s o m eth in g's a tta ck ed h er. C an 't th in k w hat w ould h av e d one
it, th ough. T hestr a ls w ill s o m etim es g o f o r b ir d s, o f c o urs e , b ut H ag rid 's g ot th e
Hogw arts T hestr a ls w ell- tr a in ed n ot t o t o uch o w ls .'
Harry n eith er k new n or c are d w hat T hestr a ls w ere ; h e ju st w an te d to k now
th at H ed w ig w as g oin g to b e a ll rig ht. P ro fe sso r M cG onag all, h ow ev er, lo oked
sh arp ly a t H arry a n d s a id , 'D o y ou k now h ow f a r t h is o w l's t r a v elle d , P otte r? '
'E r,' s a id H arry . 'F ro m L ondon, I t h in k.'
He m et h er e y es b rie fly a n d k new , b y th e w ay h er e y eb ro w s h ad jo in ed in
th e m id dle , th at s h e u nders to od 'L ondon' to m ean 'n um ber tw elv e, G rim mau ld
Pla ce'.
Pro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k p ulle d a m onocle o ut o f th e in sid e o f h er ro bes
an d s c re w ed it in to h er e y e, to e x am in e H ed w ig 's w in g c lo se ly . 'I s h ould b e a b le
to s o rt t h is o ut i f y ou l e av e h er w ith m e, P otte r,' s h e s a id , 's h e s h ould n't b e f ly in g
lo ng d is ta n ces f o r a f e w d ay s, i n a n y c ase .'
'E r – r ig ht – t h an ks,' s a id H arry , j u st a s t h e b ell r a n g f o r b re ak .

'N o p ro ble m ,' sa id P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k g ru ff ly , tu rn in g b ack in to th e
sta ff r o om .
'J u st a m om en t, W ilh elm in a!' s a id P ro fe sso r M cG onag all. 'P otte rs l e tte r!'
'O h y eah !' sa id H arry , w ho h ad m om en ta rily fo rg otte n th e sc ro ll tie d to
Hed w ig 's le g . P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k h an ded it o ver a n d th en d is a p peare d in to
th e s ta ff ro om c arry in g H ed w ig , w ho w as s ta rin g a t H arry a s th ough u nab le to
belie v e h e w ould g iv e h er a w ay l ik e t h is . F eelin g s lig htly g uilty , h e t u rn ed t o g o,
but P ro fe sso r M cG onag all c alle d h im b ack .
'P otte r!'
'Y es, P ro fe sso r? '
She g la n ced u p a n d d ow n th e c o rrid or; th ere w ere stu den ts c o m in g fro m
both d ir e ctio ns.
'B ear in m in d,' s h e s a id q uic k ly a n d q uie tly , h er e y es o n th e s c ro ll in h is
han d, 't h at c h an nels o f c o m munic atio n in a n d o ut o f H ogw arts m ay b e b ein g
watc h ed , w on't y ou?'
'I -' sa id H arry , b ut th e flo od o f stu den ts ro llin g a lo ng th e c o rrid or w as
alm ost u pon h im . P ro fe sso r M cG onag all g av e h im a c u rt n od a n d r e tr e ate d in to
th e s ta ff r o om , le av in g H arry to b e s w ep t o ut in to th e c o urty ard w ith th e c ro w d.
He s p otte d R on a n d H erm io ne a lr e ad y s ta n din g in a s h elte re d c o rn er, th eir c lo ak
co lla rs tu rn ed u p ag ain st th e w in d. H arry slit o pen th e sc ro ll as h e h urrie d
to w ard s t h em a n d f o und f iv e w ord s i n S ir iu s's h an dw ritin g:
To day, s a m e t im e, s a m e p la ce.
'I s H ed w ig O K?' ask ed H erm io ne an xio usly , th e m om en t h e w as w ith in
ears h ot.
'W here d id y ou t a k e h er? ' a sk ed R on.
To G ru bbly -P la n k,' s a id H arry . 'A nd I m et M cG onag all… l is te n … "
And h e to ld th em w hat P ro fe sso r M cG onag all h ad sa id . T o h is su rp ris e ,
neith er o f t h e o th ers l o oked s h ock ed . O n t h e c o ntr a ry , t h ey e x ch an ged s ig nif ic an t
lo oks.
'W hat? ' s a id H arry , l o okin g f ro m R on t o H erm io ne a n d b ack a g ain .
Well, 1 w as ju st sa y in g to R on… w hat if so m eo ne h ad tr ie d to in te rc ep t
Hed w ig ? I m ean , s h e's n ev er b een h urt o n a f lig ht b efo re , h as s h e?'
'W ho's t h e l e tte r f ro m , a n yw ay ?' a sk ed R on, t a k in g t h e n ote f ro m H arry .
'S nuff le s,' s a id H arry q uie tly .
'" S am e t im e, s a m e p la ce?" D oes h e m ean t h e f ir e i n t h e c o m mon r o om ?'
'O bvio usly ,' s a id H erm io ne, a ls o r e ad in g t h e n ote . S he l o oked u neasy . 'I j u st
hope n obody e ls e h as r e ad t h is … '
'B ut it w as still se ale d an d ev ery th in g,' sa id H arry , tr y in g to co nvin ce
him se lf a s m uch a s h er. 'A nd n obody w ould u nders ta n d w hat it m ean t if th ey

did n't k now w here w e'd s p oken t o h im b efo re , w ould t h ey ?'
'I d on't k now ,' sa id H erm io ne a n xio usly , h itc h in g h er b ag b ack o ver h er
sh ould er a s th e b ell ra n g a g ain , 'i t w ould n't b e e x actly d if f ic u lt to re -s e al th e
sc ro ll b y m ag ic … a n d i f a n yone's w atc h in g t h e F lo o N etw ork … b ut I d on't r e ally
se e h ow w e c an w arn h im n ot t o c o m e w ith out
t h at
b ein g i n te rc ep te d , t o o!'
They tr u dged d ow n th e s to ne s te p s to th e d ungeo ns f o r P otio ns, a ll th re e o f
th em lo st in th ought, b ut as th ey re ach ed th e b otto m o f th e ste p s th ey w ere
re calle d to th em se lv es b y th e v oic e o f D ra co M alf o y w ho w as sta n din g ju st
outs id e S nap e's cla ssro om door, w av in g aro und an off ic ia l- lo okin g pie ce of
parc h m en t a n d ta lk in g m uch lo uder th an w as n ecessa ry s o th at th ey c o uld h ear
ev ery w ord .
'Y eah , U m brid ge g av e th e S ly th erin Q uid ditc h te am p erm is sio n to c o ntin ue
pla y in g str a ig hta w ay, I w en t to a sk h er fir s t th in g th is m orn in g. W ell, it w as
pre tty m uch a u to m atic , 1 m ean , sh e k now s m y fa th er re ally w ell, h e's a lw ay s
poppin g in an d out of th e M in is tr y … it'l l be in te re stin g to se e w heth er
Gry ff in dor a re a llo w ed t o k eep p la y in g, w on't i t? '
'D on't r is e ,' H erm io ne w his p ere d im plo rin gly to H arry a n d R on, w ho w ere
both w atc h in g M alf o y, f a ces s e t a n d f is ts c le n ch ed . 'I t's w hat h e w an ts .'
'I m ean ,' s a id M alf o y, r a is in g h is v oic e a l ittle m ore , h is g re y e y es g litte rin g
male v ole n tly i n H arry a n d R on's d ir e ctio n, 'i f i t's a q uestio n o f i n flu en ce w ith t h e
Min is tr y , I d on't th in k th ey 'v e g ot m uch c h an ce… fro m w hat m y fa th er sa y s,
th ey 'v e b een l o okin g f o r a n e x cu se t o s a ck A rth ur W easle y f o r y ears … a n d a s f o r
Potte r… m y f a th er s a y s it's a m atte r o f tim e b efo re th e M in is tr y h as h im c arte d
off to S t M ungo's … a p pare n tly th ey 'v e g ot a sp ecia l w ard fo r p eo ple w hose
bra in s h av e b een a d dle d b y m ag ic .'
Malf o y m ad e a g ro te sq ue f a ce, h is m outh s a g gin g o pen a n d h is e y es r o llin g.
Cra b be a n d G oyle g av e th eir u su al g ru nts o f la u ghte r; P an sy P ark in so n s h rie k ed
with g le e.
Som eth in g c o llid ed h ard w ith H arry 's s h ould er, k nock in g h im s id ew ay s. A
sp lit se co nd la te r h e re alis e d th at N ev ille h ad ju st c h arg ed p ast h im , h ead in g
str a ig ht f o r M alf o y.
'N ev ille , n o!'
Harry le ap t fo rw ard an d se iz ed th e back of N ev ille 's ro bes; N ev ille
str u ggle d fra n tic ally , h is fis ts fla ilin g, tr y in g d esp era te ly to g et a t M alf o y w ho
lo oked , f o r a m om en t, e x tr e m ely s h ock ed .
'H elp m e!' H arry flu ng a t R on, m an ag in g to g et a n a rm a ro und N ev ille 's
neck a n d d ra g gin g h im b ack w ard s, a w ay f ro m th e S ly th erin s. C ra b be a n d G oyle
were fle x in g th eir a rm s a s th ey s te p ped in fro nt o f M alf o y, re ad y fo r th e fig ht.
Ron se iz ed N ev ille 's a rm s, a n d to geth er h e a n d H arry su cceed ed in d ra g gin g

Nev ille b ack in to th e G ry ff in dor lin e. N ev ille 's fa ce w as sc arle t; th e p re ssu re
Harry w as e x ertin g o n h is th ro at r e n dere d h im q uite in co m pre h en sib le , b ut o dd
word s s p lu tte re d f ro m h is m outh .
'N ot… f u nny… d on't … M ungo's … s h ow … h im … '
The d ungeo n d oor o pen ed . S nap e a p peare d th ere . H is b la ck e y es s w ep t u p
th e G ry ff in dor lin e to th e poin t w here H arry an d R on w ere w re stlin g w ith
Nev ille .
'F ig htin g, P otte r, W easle y, L ongbotto m ?' S nap e sa id in h is c o ld , sn eerin g
voic e. T en p oin ts fro m G ry ff in dor. R ele ase L ongbotto m , P otte r, o r it w ill b e
dete n tio n. I n sid e, a ll o f y ou.'
Harry l e t g o o f N ev ille , w ho s to od p an tin g a n d g la rin g a t h im .
'I h ad to s to p y ou,' H arry g asp ed , p ic k in g u p h is b ag . 'C ra b be a n d G oyle
would 'v e t o rn y ou a p art.'
Nev ille s a id n oth in g; h e m ere ly s n atc h ed u p h is o w n b ag a n d s ta lk ed o ff
in to t h e d ungeo n.
'W hat in th e n am e o f M erlin ,' s a id R on s lo w ly , a s th ey fo llo w ed N ev ille ,
'w as
t h at
a b out? '
Harry d id n ot a n sw er. H e k new e x actly w hy t h e s u bje ct o f p eo ple w ho w ere
in S t M ungo's b ecau se o f m ag ic al d am ag e to th eir b ra in s w as h ig hly d is tr e ssin g
to N ev ille , b ut h e h ad sw orn to D um ble d ore th at h e w ould n ot te ll an yone
Nev ille 's s e cre t. E ven N ev ille d id n ot k now H arry k new .
Harry , R on a n d H erm io ne to ok th eir u su al se ats a t th e b ack o f th e c la ss,
pulle d o ut p arc h m en t, q uills a n d th eir c o pie s o f
O ne T housa nd M agic a l H erb s
and F ungi
. T he c la ss a ro und th em w as w his p erin g a b out w hat N ev ille h ad ju st
done, b ut w hen S nap e c lo se d t h e d ungeo n d oor w ith a n e ch oin g b an g, e v ery body
im med ia te ly f e ll s ile n t.
'Y ou w ill n otic e,' sa id S nap e, in h is lo w , sn eerin g v oic e, 't h at w e h av e a
guest w ith u s t o day.'
He gestu re d to w ard s th e dim co rn er of th e dungeo n an d H arry sa w
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge s ittin g th ere , c lip board o n h er k nee. H e g la n ced s id ew ay s a t
Ron a n d H erm io ne, h is e y eb ro w s r a is e d . S nap e a n d U m brid ge, th e tw o te ach ers
he h ate d m ost. It w as h ard to d ecid e w hic h o ne h e w an te d to tr iu m ph o ver th e
oth er.
'W e a re c o ntin uin g w ith o ur S tr e n gth en in g S olu tio n t o day. Y ou
i
will f in d y our m ix tu re s a s y ou le ft th em la st le sso n; if c o rre ctly m ad e th ey
sh ould h av e m atu re d w ell o ver th e w eek en d – in str u ctio ns - ' h e w av ed h is w an d
ag ain '– o n t h e b oard . C arry o n.'
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge s p en t th e f ir s t h alf h our o f th e le sso n m ak in g n ote s in

her co rn er. H arry w as very in te re ste d in hearin g her questio n Snap e; so
in te re ste d , t h at h e w as b eco m in g c are le ss w ith h is p otio n a g ain .
'S ala m an der blo od, H arry !' H erm io ne m oan ed , gra b bin g his w ris t to
pre v en t h im a d din g th e w ro ng in gre d ie n t fo r th e th ir d tim e, 'n ot p om eg ra n ate
ju ic e!'
'R ig ht,' s a id H arry v ag uely , p uttin g d ow n t h e b ottle a n d c o ntin uin g t o w atc h
th e c o rn er. U m brid ge h ad ju st g ot to h er fe et. 'H a,' h e s a id s o ftly , a s s h e s tr o de
betw een tw o lin es of desk s to w ard s Snap e, w ho w as ben din g over D ean
Thom as's c au ld ro n.
'W ell, th e c la ss se em fa ir ly a d van ced fo r th eir le v el,' sh e sa id b ris k ly to
Snap e's b ack . T hough I w ould q uestio n w heth er it is a d vis a b le to te ach th em a
potio n l ik e t h e S tr e n gth en in g S olu tio n. I t h in k t h e M in is tr y w ould p re fe r i t i f t h at
was r e m oved f ro m t h e s y lla b us.'
Snap e s tr a ig hte n ed u p s lo w ly a n d t u rn ed t o l o ok a t h er.
'N ow … h ow l o ng h av e y ou b een t e ach in g a t H ogw arts ? ' s h e a sk ed , h er q uill
pois e d o ver h er c lip board .
'F ourte en y ears ,' S nap e re p lie d . H is e x pre ssio n w as u nfa th om ab le . H arry ,
watc h in g h im c lo se ly , a d ded a f e w d ro ps to h is p otio n; it h is se d m en acin gly a n d
tu rn ed f ro m t u rq uois e t o o ra n ge.
'Y ou a p plie d fir s t fo r th e D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts p ost, I b elie v e?'
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge a sk ed S nap e.
'Y es,' s a id S nap e q uie tly .
'B ut y ou w ere u nsu ccessfu l? '
Snap e's l ip c u rle d .
'O bvio usly '
Pro fe sso r U m brid ge s c rib ble d o n h er c lip board .
'A nd y ou h av e a p plie d r e g ula rly f o r t h e D efe n ce A gain st t h e D ark A rts p ost
sin ce y ou f ir s t j o in ed t h e s c h ool, I b elie v e?'
'Y es,' s a id S nap e q uie tly , b are ly m ovin g h is l ip s. H e l o oked v ery a n gry .
'D o y ou h av e a n y id ea w hy D um ble d ore h as c o nsis te n tly r e fu se d to a p poin t
you?' a sk ed U m brid ge.
'I s u ggest y ou a sk h im ,' s a id S nap e j e rk ily . .?
'O h, I s h all,' s a id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, w ith a s w eet s m ile .
'I s u ppose t h is i s r e le v an t? ' S nap e a sk ed , h is b la ck e y es n arro w ed .
'O h y es,' sa id P ro fe sso r U m brid ge, 'y es, th e M in is tr y w an ts a th oro ugh
unders ta n din g o f t e ach ers ' – e r – b ack gro unds.'
She tu rn ed a w ay, w alk ed o ver to P an sy P ark in so n a n d b eg an q uestio nin g
her a b out th e le sso ns. S nap e lo oked ro und a t H arry a n d th eir e y es m et fo r a
se co nd. H arry h astily d ro pped h is g aze t o h is p otio n, w hic h w as n ow c o ngealin g

fo ully a n d g iv in g o ff a s tr o ng s m ell o f b urn ed r u bber.
'N o m ark s a g ain , th en , P otte r,' sa id S nap e m alic io usly , e m pty in g H arry 's
cau ld ro n w ith a w av e o f h is w an d. 'Y ou w ill w rite m e a n e ssa y o n th e c o rre ct
co m positio n o f th is p otio n, in dic atin g h ow an d w hy y ou w en t w ro ng, to b e
han ded i n n ex t l e sso n, d o y ou u nders ta n d?'
'Y es,' s a id H arry f u rio usly . S nap e h ad a lr e ad y g iv en t h em h om ew ork a n d h e
had Q uid ditc h p ra ctic e t h is e v en in g; t h is w ould m ean a n oth er c o uple o f s le ep le ss
nig hts . It d id n ot s e em p ossib le th at h e h ad a w oken th at m orn in g fe elin g v ery
hap py. A ll h e f e lt n ow w as a f e rv en t d esir e f o r t h is d ay t o e n d.
'M ay be I'l l sk iv e off D iv in atio n,' he sa id glu m ly , as th ey sto od in th e
co urty ard a fte r lu nch , th e w in d w hip pin g a t th e h em s o f r o bes a n d b rim s o f h ats .
Til p re te n d to b e ill a n d d o S nap e's e ssa y in ste ad , th en I w on't h av e to s ta y u p
half t h e n ig ht.'
'Y ou c an 't s k iv e o ff D iv in atio n,' s a id H erm io ne s e v ere ly .
'H ark w ho's ta lk in g, y ou w alk ed o ut o f D iv in atio n, y ou h ate T re la w ney !'
sa id R on i n dig nan tly .
'I d on't
h ate
h er,' sa id H erm io ne lo ftily . 'I ju st th in k sh e's an ab so lu te ly
ap pallin g te ach er a n d a re al o ld fra u d. B ut H arry s a lr e ad y m is se d H is to ry o f
Mag ic a n d I d on't t h in k h e o ught t o m is s a n yth in g e ls e t o day !'
There w as to o m uch tr u th in th is to ig nore , s o h alf a n h our la te r H arry to ok
his se at in th e hot, overp erfu m ed atm osp here of th e D iv in atio n cla ssro om ,
fe elin g an gry at ev ery body. P ro fe sso r T re la w ney w as y et ag ain h an din g o ut
co pie s o f
T he D re a m O ra cle
. H arry t h ought h e'd s u re ly b e m uch b ette r e m plo yed
doin g S nap e's p unis h m en t e ssa y th an s ittin g h ere tr y in g to f in d m ean in g in a lo t
of m ad e-u p d re am s.
It s e em ed , h ow ev er, th at h e w as n ot th e o nly p ers o n in D iv in atio n w ho w as
in a te m per. P ro fe sso r T re la w ney s la m med a c o py o f th e
O ra cle
d ow n o n th e
ta b le b etw een H arry a n d R on a n d s w ep t a w ay, h er l ip s p urs e d ; s h e t h re w t h e n ex t
co py o f th e
O ra cle
a t S eam us a n d D ean , n arro w ly a v oid in g S eam us's h ead , a n d
th ru st th e fin al o ne in to N ev ille 's c h est w ith s u ch fo rc e th at h e s lip ped o ff h is
pouff e .
'W ell, c arry o n!' sa id P ro fe sso r T re la w ney lo udly , h er v oic e h ig h-p itc h ed
an d s o m ew hat h yste ric al, 'y ou k now w hat to d o! O r a m I s u ch a s u b-s ta n dard
te ach er t h at y ou h av e n ev er l e arn ed h ow t o o pen a b ook?'
The cla ss sta re d p erp le x ed ly at h er, th en at each o th er. H arry , h ow ev er,
th ought h e k new w hat w as th e m atte r. A s P ro fe sso r T re la w ney f lo unced b ack to
th e h ig h-b ack ed te ach er's c h air , h er m ag nif ie d e y es f u ll o f a n gry te ars , h e le an ed
his head clo se r to R on's an d m utte re d , 'I th in k sh e's got th e re su lts of her
in sp ectio n b ack .'

'P ro fe sso r? ' sa id P arv ati P atil in a h ush ed v oic e (s h e an d L av en der h ad
alw ay s r a th er a d m ir e d P ro fe sso r T re la w ney ). 'P ro fe sso r, is th ere a n yth in g – e r –
wro ng?'
'W ro ng!' crie d P ro fe sso r T re la w ney in a v oic e th ro bbin g w ith em otio n.
'C erta in ly n ot! I h av e b een in su lte d , c erta in ly … in sin uatio ns h av e b een m ad e
ag ain st m e… u nfo unded a ccu sa tio ns le v elle d … b ut n o, th ere is n oth in g w ro ng,
certa in ly n ot! '
She to ok a g re at s h udderin g b re ath a n d lo oked a w ay fro m P arv ati, a n gry
te ars s p illin g f ro m u nder h er g la sse s.
'I sa y n oth in g,' sh e c h oked , 'o f six te en y ears o f d ev ote d se rv ic e… it h as
passe d , a p pare n tly , u nnotic ed … b ut I s h all n ot b e i n su lte d , n o, I s h all n ot! '
'B ut, P ro fe sso r, w ho's i n su ltin g y ou?' a sk ed P arv ati t im id ly .
The Esta b lis h m en t! ' sa id Pro fe sso r Tre la w ney, in a deep , dra m atic ,
wav erin g v oic e. 'Y es, th ose w ith e y es to o c lo uded b y th e m undan e to S ee a s I
See, t o K now a s I K now … o f c o urs e , w e S eers h av e a lw ay s b een f e are d , a lw ay s
pers e cu te d … i t i s – a la s - o ur f a te .'
She g ulp ed , d ab bed a t h er w et c h eek s w ith th e e n d o f h er s h aw l, th en s h e
pulle d a sm all e m bro id ere d h an dkerc h ie f fro m h er sle ev e, a n d b le w h er n ose
very h ard w ith a s o und l ik e P eev es b lo w in g a r a sp berry .
Ron s n ig gere d . L av en der s h ot h im a d is g uste d l o ok.
'P ro fe sso r,' sa id Parv ati, 'd o you m ean … is it so m eth in g Pro fe sso r
Um brid ge - ? '
'D o n ot s p eak to m e a b out th at w om an !' c rie d P ro fe sso r T re la w ney, le ap in g
to h er f e et, h er b ead s r a ttlin g a n d h er s p ecta cle s f la sh in g. 'K in dly c o ntin ue w ith
your w ork !'
And s h e s p en t th e r e st o f th e le sso n s tr id in g a m ong th em , te ars s till le ak in g
fro m b eh in d h er g la sse s, m utte rin g w hat s o unded l ik e t h re ats u nder h er b re ath .
'… m ay w ell c h oose to le av e… th e in dig nity o f it… o n p ro batio n… w e
sh all s e e… h ow s h e d are s… '
'Y ou a n d U m brid ge h av e g ot s o m eth in g in c o m mon,' H arry to ld H erm io ne
quie tly w hen th ey m et a g ain in D efe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts . 'S he o bvio usly
re ck ons T re la w ney 's a n o ld f ra u d, t o o… l o oks l ik e s h e's p ut h er o n p ro batio n.'
Um brid ge e n te re d th e r o om a s h e s p oke, w earin g h er b la ck v elv et b ow a n d
an e x pre ssio n o f g re at s m ugness.
'G ood a fte rn oon, c la ss.'
'G ood a fte rn oon, P ro fe sso r U m brid ge,' t h ey c h an te d d ully .
'W an ds a w ay, p le ase .'
But th ere w as n o an sw erin g flu rry o f m ovem en t th is tim e; n obody h ad
both ere d t o t a k e o ut t h eir w an ds.

'P le ase tu rn to p ag e th ir ty -fo ur o f
D efe n siv e M agic a l T heo ry
a n d re ad th e
th ir d ch ap te r, en title d "T he C ase fo r N on-O ff e n siv e R esp onse s to M ag ic al
Atta ck ". T here w ill b e - '
'– n o n eed to ta lk ,' H arry , R on an d H erm io ne sa id to geth er, u nder th eir
bre ath s.
*
'N o Q uid ditc h p ra ctic e,' s a id A ngelin a i n h ollo w t o nes w hen H arry , R on a n d
Herm io ne e n te re d t h e c o m mon r o om a fte r d in ner t h at n ig ht.
'B ut I k ep t m y te m per!' s a id H arry , h orrif ie d . 'I d id n't s a y a n yth in g to h er,
Angelin a, I s w ear, I - '
'I k now , I k now ,' s a id A ngelin a m is e ra b ly . 'S he ju st s a id s h e n eed ed a b it o f
tim e t o c o nsid er.'
'C onsid er w hat? ' s a id R on a n grily . 'S he's g iv en th e S ly th erin s p erm is sio n,
why n ot u s? '
But H arry c o uld im ag in e h ow m uch U m brid ge w as e n jo yin g h old in g th e
th re at of no G ry ff in dor Q uid ditc h te am over th eir head s an d co uld easily
unders ta n d w hy sh e w ould n ot w an t to re lin quis h th at w eap o n o ver th em to o
so on.
'W ell,' s a id H erm io ne, 'l o ok o n th e b rig ht s id e – a t le ast n ow y ou'l l h av e
tim e t o d o S nap e's e ssa y !'
That's a b rig ht s id e, i s i t? ' s n ap ped H arry , w hile R on s ta re d i n cre d ulo usly a t
Herm io ne. 'N o Q uid ditc h p ra ctic e, a n d e x tr a P otio ns? '
Harry slu m ped d ow n in to a ch air , d ra g ged h is P otio ns essa y re lu cta n tly
fro m h is b ag a n d s e t to w ork . It w as v ery h ard to c o ncen tr a te ; e v en th ough h e
knew S ir iu s w as n ot d ue in th e f ir e u ntil m uch la te r, h e c o uld n ot h elp g la n cin g
in to th e fla m es e v ery fe w m in ute s ju st in c ase . T here w as a ls o a n in cre d ib le
am ount o f n ois e i n t h e r o om : F re d a n d G eo rg e a p peare d f in ally t o h av e p erfe cte d
one ty pe o f S kiv in g S nack box, w hic h th ey w ere ta k in g tu rn s to d em onstr a te to a
ch eerin g a n d w hoopin g c ro w d.
Fir s t, F re d w ould ta k e a b ite o ut o f th e o ra n ge e n d o f a c h ew , a t w hic h h e
would v om it s p ecta cu la rly in to a b uck et th ey h ad p la ced in f ro nt o f th em . T hen
he w ould fo rc e d ow n th e p urp le e n d o f th e c h ew , a t w hic h th e v om itin g w ould
im med ia te ly c ease . L ee J o rd an , w ho w as a ssis tin g th e d em onstr a tio n, w as la zily
Van is h in g th e v om it a t re g ula r in te rv als w ith th e sa m e V an is h in g S pell S nap e
kep t u sin g o n H arry s p otio ns.
What w ith th e re g ula r s o unds o f re tc h in g, c h eerin g a n d th e s o und o f F re d
an d G eo rg e ta k in g ad van ce ord ers fro m th e cro w d, H arry w as fin din g it
ex cep tio nally d if f ic u lt t o f o cu s o n t h e c o rre ct m eth od f o r S tr e n gth en in g S olu tio n.
Herm io ne w as n ot h elp in g m atte rs ; th e c h eers a n d t h e s o und o f v om it h ittin g t h e

botto m of Fre d an d G eo rg e's buck et w ere punctu ate d by her lo ud an d
dis a p pro vin g s n if f s , w hic h H arry f o und, i f a n yth in g, m ore d is tr a ctin g.
'J u st g o a n d s to p th em , th en !' h e s a id ir rita b ly , a fte r c ro ssin g o ut th e w ro ng
weig ht o f p ow dere d g rif f in c la w f o r t h e f o urth t im e.
'I can 't , th ey 'r e not
te ch nic a lly
doin g an yth in g w ro ng,' sa id H erm io ne
th ro ugh g ritte d te eth . T hey 'r e q uite w ith in th eir rig hts to eat th e fo ul th in gs
th em se lv es a n d I c an 't f in d a r u le th at s a y s th e o th er id io ts a re n 't e n title d to b uy
th em , n ot u nle ss th ey 'r e p ro ven to b e d an gero us in s o m e w ay a n d it d oesn 't lo ok
as t h ough t h ey a re .'
She, H arry a n d R on w atc h ed G eo rg e p ro je ctile -v om it in to th e b uck et, g ulp
dow n th e re st o f th e c h ew a n d str a ig hte n u p, b eam in g w ith h is a rm s w id e to
pro tr a cte d a p pla u se .
'Y ou k now , I d on't g et w hy F re d a n d G eo rg e o nly g ot th re e O W Ls e ach ,'
sa id H arry , w atc h in g a s F re d , G eo rg e a n d L ee c o lle cte d g old fro m th e e ag er
cro w d. T hey r e ally k now t h eir s tu ff .'
'O h, th ey o nly k now fla sh y stu ff th at's o f n o re al u se to an yone,' sa id
Herm io ne d is p ara g in gly .
'N o r e al u se ?' s a id R on in a s tr a in ed v oic e. 'H erm io ne, th ey 'v e m ad e a b out
tw en ty -s ix G alle o ns a lr e ad y.'
It w as a lo ng w hile b efo re th e c ro w d a ro und th e W easle y tw in s d is p ers e d ,
th en F re d , L ee a n d G eo rg e s a t u p c o untin g th eir ta k in gs e v en lo nger, s o it w as
well p ast m id nig ht w hen H arry , R on an d H erm io ne fin ally h ad th e co m mon
ro om to th em se lv es. A t lo ng la st, F re d h ad clo se d th e d oorw ay to th e b oys'
dorm ito rie s beh in d him , ra ttlin g his box of G alle o ns oste n ta tio usly so th at
Herm io ne s c o w le d . H arry , w ho w as m ak in g v ery little p ro gre ss w ith h is P otio ns
essa y, d ecid ed to g iv e it u p fo r th e n ig ht. A s h e p ut h is b ooks a w ay, R on, w ho
was d ozin g lig htly in a n a rm ch air , g av e a m uff le d g ru nt, a w oke, a n d lo oked
ble arily i n to t h e f ir e .
'S ir iu s!' h e s a id .
Harry w hip ped r o und. S ir iu ss u ntid y d ark h ead w as s ittin g i n t h e f ir e a g ain .
'H i,' h e s a id , g rin nin g.
'H i,' c h oru se d H arry , R on a n d H erm io ne, a ll th re e k neelin g d ow n o n th e
hearth ru g. C ro oksh an ks p urre d lo udly a n d a p pro ach ed th e fir e , tr y in g, d esp ite
th e h eat, t o p ut h is f a ce c lo se t o S ir iu s's .
'H ow 'r e t h in gs? ' s a id S ir iu s.
'N ot th at g ood,' s a id H arry , a s H erm io ne p ulle d C ro oksh an ks b ack to s to p
him s in gein g h is w his k ers . T he M in is tr y 's f o rc ed th ro ugh a n oth er d ecre e, w hic h
mean s w e'r e n ot a llo w ed t o h av e Q uid ditc h t e am s - '
I

'O r s e cre t D efe n ce A gain st t h e D ark A rts g ro ups? ' s a id S ir iu s.
There w as a s h ort p au se .
'H ow d id y ou k now a b out t h at? ' H arry d em an ded .
'Y ou w an t to ch oose your m eetin g pla ces m ore care fu lly ,' sa id S ir iu s,
grin nin g s till m ore b ro ad ly . T he H og's H ead , I a sk y ou.'
'W ell, i t w as b ette r t h an t h e T hre e B ro om stic k s!' s a id H erm io ne d efe n siv ely .
That's a lw ay s p ack ed w ith p eo ple - '
'W hic h m ean s y ou'd h av e b een h ard er t o o verh ear,' s a id S ir iu s. 'Y ou'v e g ot a
lo t t o l e arn , H erm io ne.'
'W ho o verh eard u s? ' H arry d em an ded .
'M undungus, o f c o urs e ,' s a id S ir iu s, a n d w hen th ey a ll lo oked p uzzle d h e
la u ghed . 'H e w as t h e w itc h u nder t h e v eil.'
That w as M undungus? ' H arry sa id , stu nned . 'W hat w as h e d oin g in th e
Hog's H ead ?'
What d o y ou th in k h e w as d oin g?' s a id S ir iu s im patie n tly . 'K eep in g a n e y e
on y ou, o f c o urs e .'
'I 'm s till b ein g f o llo w ed ?' a sk ed H arry a n grily .
'Y eah , y ou a re ,' s a id S ir iu s, 'a n d ju st a s w ell, is n 't it, if th e f ir s t th in g y ou'r e
goin g t o d o o n y our w eek en d o ff i s o rg an is e a n i lle g al d efe n ce g ro up.'
But h e l o oked n eith er a n gry n or w orrie d . O n t h e c o ntr a ry , h e w as l o okin g a t
Harry w ith d is tin ct p rid e.
'W hy w as D ung hid in g fro m us? ' ask ed R on, so undin g dis a p poin te d .
'W e'd 'v e l ik ed t o 'v e s e en h im .'
'H e w as b an ned fro m th e H og's H ead tw en ty y ears a g o,' s a id S ir iu s, 'a n d
th at b arm an 's g ot a l o ng m em ory . W e l o st M oody's s p are I n vis ib ility C lo ak w hen
Stu rg is w as a rre ste d , s o D ung's b een d re ssin g a s a w itc h a l o t l a te ly … a n yw ay …
fir s t o f a ll, R on – I 'v e s w orn t o p ass o n a m essa g e f ro m y our m oth er.'
'O h y eah ?' s a id R on, s o undin g a p pre h en siv e.
'S he s a y s o n n o a cco unt w hats o ev er a re y ou to ta k e p art in a n ille g al s e cre t
Defe n ce A gain st th e D ark A rts g ro up. S he s a y s y ou'l l b e e x pelle d fo r s u re a n d
your f u tu re w ill b e r u in ed . S he s a y s th ere w ill b e p le n ty o f tim e to le arn h ow to
defe n d y ours e lf la te r a n d th at y ou a re to o y oung to b e w orry in g a b out th at r ig ht
now . She als o ' (S ir iu s's ey es tu rn ed to th e oth er tw o) 'a d vis e s H arry an d
Herm io ne n ot to p ro ceed w ith th e g ro up, th ough sh e a ccep ts th at sh e h as n o
au th ority o ver e ith er o f th em a n d s im ply b eg s th em to re m em ber th at s h e h as
th eir b est in te re sts a t h eart. S he w ould h av e w ritte n a ll th is to y ou, b ut if th e o w l
had b een in te rc ep te d y ou'd a ll h av e b een in r e al tr o uble , a n d s h e c an 't s a y it f o r
hers e lf b ecau se s h e's o n d uty t o nig ht.'
'O n d uty d oin g w hat? ' s a id R on q uic k ly .

'N ev er y ou m in d, j u st s tu ff f o r t h e O rd er,' s a id S ir iu s. 'S o i t's f a lle n t o m e t o
be th e m esse n ger a n d m ak e s u re y ou te ll h er I p asse d it a ll o n, b ecau se I d on't
th in k s h e t r u sts m e t o .'
There w as a n oth er p au se i n w hic h C ro oksh an ks, m ew in g, a tte m pte d t o p aw
Sir iu s's h ead , a n d R on f id dle d w ith a h ole i n t h e h earth ru g.
'S o, y ou w an t m e t o s a y I 'm n ot g oin g t o t a k e p art i n t h e D efe n ce g ro up?' h e
mutte re d f in ally .
'M e? C erta in ly n ot! ' s a id S ir iu s, lo okin g s u rp ris e d . 'I th in k it's a n e x celle n t
id ea!'
'Y ou d o?' s a id H arry , h is h eart l if tin g.
'O f c o urs e I d o!' s a id S ir iu s. 'D 'y ou th in k y our fa th er a n d I w ould 'v e la in
dow n a n d t a k en o rd ers f ro m a n o ld h ag l ik e U m brid ge?'
'B ut – l a st t e rm a ll y ou d id w as t e ll m e t o b e c are fu l a n d n ot t a k e r is k s - '
'L ast y ear, a ll t h e e v id en ce w as t h at s o m eo ne i n sid e H ogw arts w as t r y in g t o
kill y ou, H arry !' sa id S ir iu s im patie n tly . T his y ear, w e k now th ere 's so m eo ne
outs id e H ogw arts w ho'd lik e to kill us all, so I th in k le arn in g to defe n d
yours e lv es p ro perly i s a v ery g ood i d ea!'
'A nd i f w e d o g et e x pelle d ?' H erm io ne a sk ed , a q uiz zic al l o ok o n h er f a ce.
'H erm io ne, t h is w hole t h in g w as y our i d ea!' s a id H arry , s ta rin g a t h er.
'I k now i t w as. I j u st w ondere d w hat S ir iu s t h ought,' s h e s a id , s h ru ggin g.
'W ell, b ette r e x pelle d a n d a b le to d efe n d y ours e lv es th an s ittin g s a fe ly in
sc h ool w ith out a c lu e,' s a id S ir iu s.
'H ear, h ear,' s a id H arry a n d R on e n th usia stic ally .
'S o,' sa id Sir iu s, 'h ow are you org an is in g th is gro up? W here are you
meetin g?'
'W ell, th at's a b it o f a p ro ble m n ow ,' s a id H arry . 'D unno w here w e'r e g oin g
to b e a b le t o g o.'
'H ow a b out t h e S hrie k in g S hack ?' s u ggeste d S ir iu s.
'H ey, th at's a n id ea!' sa id R on e x cite d ly , b ut H erm io ne m ad e a sc ep tic al
nois e a n d a ll t h re e o f t h em l o oked a t h er, S ir iu ss h ead t u rn in g i n t h e f la m es.
'W ell, S ir iu s, it's ju st th at th ere w ere only fo ur of you m eetin g in th e
Shrie k in g S hack w hen y ou w ere a t s c h ool,' s a id H erm io ne, 'a n d a ll o f y ou c o uld
tr a n sfo rm i n to a n im als a n d I s u ppose y ou c o uld a ll h av e s q ueezed u nder a s in gle
In vis ib ility C lo ak if y ou'd w an te d to . B ut th ere a re tw en ty -e ig ht o f u s a n d n one
of u s is a n A nim ag us, s o w e w ould n't n eed s o m uch a n I n vis ib ility C lo ak a s a n
In vis ib ility M arq uee - '
'F air p oin t,' sa id S ir iu s, lo okin g slig htly c re stf a lle n . 'W ell, I'm su re y ou'l l
co m e u p w ith s o m ew here . T here u se d to b e a p re tty ro om y s e cre t p assa g ew ay
beh in d th at b ig m ir ro r o n th e fo urth flo or, y ou m ig ht h av e en ough sp ace to

pra ctis e j in xes i n t h ere .'
'F re d a n d G eo rg e to ld m e it's b lo ck ed ,' s a id H arry , s h ak in g h is h ead . 'C av ed
in o r s o m eth in g.'
'O h… ' s a id S ir iu s, f ro w nin g. 'W ell, I 'l l h av e a t h in k a n d g et b ack t o - '
He b ro ke o ff . H is fa ce w as s u dden ly te n se , a la rm ed . H e tu rn ed s id ew ay s,
ap pare n tly l o okin g i n to t h e s o lid b ric k w all o f t h e f ir e p la ce.
'S ir iu s? ' s a id H arry a n xio usly .
But h e h ad v an is h ed . H arry g ap ed a t th e f la m es f o r a m om en t, th en tu rn ed
to l o ok a t R on a n d H erm io ne.
Why d id h e - ? '
Herm io ne g av e a h orrif ie d g asp a n d l e ap t t o h er f e et, s till s ta rin g a t t h e f ir e .
A h an d h ad a p peare d a m ongst th e f la m es, g ro pin g a s th ough to c atc h h old
of s o m eth in g; a s tu bby, s h ort- fin gere d h an d c o vere d i n u gly o ld -fa sh io ned r in gs.
The th re e o f th em ra n fo r it. A t th e d oor o f th e b oys' d orm ito ry H arry
lo oked b ack . U m brid ge's h an d w as s till m ak in g s n atc h in g m ovem en ts a m ongst
th e fla m es, a s th ough s h e k new e x actly w here S ir iu ss h air h ad b een m om en ts
befo re a n d w as d ete rm in ed t o s e iz e i t.

C H APT ER E IG HTEEN
D um ble d ore 's A rm y

'U m brid ge h as b een r e ad in g y our m ail, H arry . T here 's n o o th er e x pla n atio n.'
'Y ou t h in k U m brid ge a tta ck ed H ed w ig ?' h e s a id , o utr a g ed .
'I 'm alm ost certa in of it,' sa id H erm io ne grim ly . 'W atc h your fro g, it's
e sc ap in g.'
Harry p oin te d h is w an d a t th e b ullf ro g th at h ad b een h oppin g h opefu lly
t o w ard s th e o th er s id e o f th e ta b le – '
Accio !' -
a n d it z o om ed g lo om ily b ack in to
h is h an d.
Charm s w as a lw ay s o ne o f t h e b est l e sso ns i n w hic h t o e n jo y a p riv ate c h at;
t h ere w as g en era lly so m uch m ovem en t a n d a ctiv ity th at th e d an ger o f b ein g
o verh eard w as v ery s lig ht. T oday, w ith th e ro om fu ll o f c ro ak in g b ullf ro gs a n d
c aw in g ra v en s, an d w ith a h eav y d ow npour o f ra in cla tte rin g an d p oundin g
a g ain st th e cla ssro om win dow s, Harry , Ron an d Herm io ne's whis p ere d
d is c u ssio n a b out h ow U m brid ge h ad n early c au ght S ir iu s w en t q uite u nnotic ed .
'I 'v e been su sp ectin g th is ev er sin ce Filc h accu se d you of ord erin g
D ungbom bs, b ecau se it s e em ed s u ch a s tu pid lie ,' H erm io ne w his p ere d . 'I m ean ,
o nce your le tte r had been re ad it w ould hav e been quite cle ar you
w ere n 't
o rd erin g th em , s o y ou w ould n't h av e b een in tr o uble a t a ll – it's a b it o f a f e eb le
j o ke, i s n 't i t? B ut t h en 1 t h ought, w hat i f s o m eb ody j u st w an te d a n e x cu se t o r e ad
y our m ail? W ell th en , it w ould b e a p erfe ct w ay f o r U m brid ge to m an ag e it – tip
o ff F ilc h , le t h im d o th e d ir ty w ork a n d c o nfis c ate th e le tte r, th en e ith er fin d a
w ay o f s te alin g it f ro m h im o r e ls e d em an d to s e e it – 1 d on't th in k F ilc h w ould
o bje ct, w hen 's h e e v er s tu ck u p fo r a s tu den t's rig hts ? H arry , y ou'r e s q uash in g
y our f ro g.'
r
Harry l o oked d ow n; h e w as i n deed s q ueezin g h is b ullf ro g s o t ig htly i ts e y es
w ere p oppin g; h e r e p la ced i t h astily u pon t h e d esk .
'I t w as a v ery , v ery c lo se c all la st n ig ht,' s a id H erm io ne. 'I ju st w onder if
U m brid ge k now s h ow c lo se i t w as.
S ile n cio
.'
The b ullf ro g o n w hic h s h e w as p ra ctis in g h er S ile n cin g C harm w as s tr u ck
d um b m id -c ro ak a n d g la re d a t h er r e p ro ach fu lly .
'I f s h e'd c au ght S nuff le s - '
Harry f in is h ed t h e s e n te n ce f o r h er.
'– H e'd p ro bab ly b e b ack in A zk ab an th is m orn in g.' H e w av ed h is w an d

with out re ally co ncen tr a tin g; his bullf ro g sw elle d lik e a gre en ballo on an d
em itte d a h ig h-p itc h ed w his tle .
' Sile n cio
!' s a id H erm io ne h astily , p oin tin g h er w an d a t H arry 's fro g, w hic h
defla te d s ile n tly b efo re th em . 'W ell, h e m ustn 't d o it a g ain , th at's a ll. I ju st d on't
know h ow w e'r e g oin g t o l e t h im k now . W e c an 't s e n d h im a n o w l.'
'I d on't r e ck on h e'l l r is k it a g ain ,' s a id R on. 'H e's n ot s tu pid , h e k now s s h e
nearly g ot h im .
S ile n cio
.'
The l a rg e a n d u gly r a v en i n f ro nt o f h im l e t o ut a d eris iv e c aw .
'S ile n cio . S IL E N CIO !'
The r a v en c aw ed m ore l o udly .
'I ts th e w ay you'r e m ovin g your w an d,' sa id H erm io ne, w atc h in g R on
critic ally , 'y ou d on't w an t t o w av e i t, i t's m ore a s h arp
j a b
.'
'R av en s a re h ard er t h an f ro gs,' s a id R on t h ro ugh c le n ch ed t e eth .
'F in e, le t's s w ap ,' s a id H erm io ne, s e iz in g R ons ra v en a n d re p la cin g it w ith
her o w n f a t b ullf ro g. '
Sile n cio
!' T he r a v en c o ntin ued to o pen a n d c lo se its s h arp
beak , b ut n o s o und c am e o ut.
'V ery g ood, M is s G ra n ger!' sa id P ro fe sso r F litw ic k 's sq ueak y little v oic e,
mak in g H arry , R on an d H erm io ne all ju m p. 'N ow , le t m e se e you tr y , M r
Weasle y.'
'W ha— ? O h – o h, r ig ht,' s a id R on, v ery f lu ste re d . 'E r – s ile n do!'
He ja b bed a t th e b ullf ro g s o h ard h e p oked it in th e e y e: th e fro g g av e a
deafe n in g c ro ak a n d l e ap t o ff t h e d esk .
It cam e as n o su rp ris e to an y o f th em th at H arry an d R on w ere g iv en
ad ditio nal p ra ctic e o f t h e S ile n cin g C harm f o r h om ew ork .
They w ere allo w ed to re m ain in sid e over bre ak due to th e dow npour
outs id e. T hey fo und se ats in a n ois y a n d o verc ro w ded c la ssro om o n th e fir s t
flo or i n w hic h P eev es w as f lo atin g d re am ily u p n ear t h e c h an delie r, o ccasio nally
blo w in g a n in k p elle t a t th e to p o f s o m eb ody's h ead . T hey h ad b are ly s a t d ow n
when A ngelin a c am e s tr u gglin g to w ard s th em th ro ugh th e g ro ups o f g ossip in g
stu den ts .
'I 'v e g ot p erm is sio n!' s h e s a id . T o r e -fo rm t h e Q uid ditc h t e am !'
' Excelle n t
!' s a id R on a n d H arry t o geth er.
'Y eah ,' sa id A ngelin a, b eam in g. 'I w en t to M cG onag all an d I
th in k
sh e
mig ht h av e a p peale d to D um ble d ore . A nyw ay, U m brid ge h ad to g iv e in . H a! S o
I w an t y ou d ow n a t t h e p itc h a t s e v en o 'c lo ck t o nig ht, a ll r ig ht, b ecau se w e'v e g ot
to m ak e u p t im e. Y ou r e alis e w e'r e o nly t h re e w eek s a w ay f ro m o ur f ir s t m atc h ?'
She s q ueezed a w ay f ro m th em , n arro w ly d odged a n in k p elle t f ro m P eev es,
whic h h it a n earb y f ir s t- y ear i n ste ad , a n d v an is h ed f ro m s ig ht.
Ron's s m ile s lip ped s lig htly a s h e l o oked o ut o f t h e w in dow , w hic h w as n ow

opaq ue w ith h am merin g r a in .
'H ope t h is c le ars u p. W hat's u p w ith y ou, H erm io ne?'
She, t o o, w as g azin g a t t h e w in d ow , b ut n ot a s t h ough s h e r e ally s a w i t. H er
ey es w ere u nfo cu se d a n d t h ere w as a f ro w n o n h er f a ce.
'J u st t h in kin g… ' s h e s a id , s till f ro w nin g a t t h e r a in -w ash ed w in dow .
'A bout S ir i– S nuff le s? ' s a id H arry .
'N o… not ex actly … ' sa id H erm io ne slo w ly . 'M ore … w onderin g… 1
su ppose w e'r e d oin g t h e r ig ht t h in g… I t h in k… a re n 't w e?'
Harry a n d R on l o oked a t e ach o th er.
'W ell, t h at c le ars t h at u p,' s a id R on. 'I t w ould 'v e b een r e ally a n noyin g i f y ou
had n't e x pla in ed y ours e lf p ro perly .'
Herm io ne l o oked a t h im a s t h ough s h e h ad o nly j u st r e alis e d h e w as t h ere .
'I w as ju st w onderin g,' sh e sa id , h er v oic e str o nger n ow , 'w heth er w e'r e
doin g t h e r ig ht t h in g, s ta rtin g t h is D efe n ce A gain st t h e D ark A rts g ro up.'
'W hat? ' s a id H arry a n d R on t o geth er.
'H erm io ne, i t w as y our i d ea i n t h e f ir s t p la ce!' s a id R on i n dig nan tly .
'I k now ,' s a id H erm io ne, tw is tin g h er fin gers to geth er. 'B ut a fte r ta lk in g to
Snuff le s… '
'B ut h e's a ll f o r i t,' s a id H arry .
'Y es,' s a id H erm io ne, s ta rin g a t t h e w in dow a g ain . 'Y es, t h at's w hat m ad e m e
th in k m ay be i t w asn 't a g ood i d ea a fte r a ll… '
Peev es flo ate d over th em on his sto m ach , peash oote r at th e re ad y;
au to m atic ally a ll th re e o f th em lif te d th eir b ag s to c o ver th eir h ead s u ntil h e h ad
passe d .
'L et's g et t h is s tr a ig ht,' s a id H arry a n grily , a s t h ey p ut t h eir b ag s b ack o n t h e
flo or, 'S ir iu s a g re es w ith u s, s o y ou d on't t h in k w e s h ould d o i t a n y m ore ?'
Herm io ne l o oked t e n se a n d r a th er m is e ra b le . N ow s ta rin g a t h er o w n h an ds,
sh e s a id , 'D o y ou h onestly t r u st h is j u dgem en t? '
'Y es, I d o!' s a id H arry a t o nce. 'H e's a lw ay s g iv en u s g re at a d vic e!'
An in k p elle t w hiz zed p ast th em , str ik in g K atie B ell sq uare ly in th e e ar.
Herm io ne w atc h ed K atie le ap to h er f e et a n d s ta rt th ro w in g th in gs a t P eev es; it
was a f e w m om en ts b efo re H erm io ne s p oke a g ain a n d it s o unded a s th ough s h e
was c h oosin g h er w ord s v ery c are fu lly .
'Y ou d on't th in k h e h as b eco m e… so rt o f… re ck le ss… sin ce h e's b een
co oped u p in G rim mau ld P la ce? Y ou d on't th in k h e's … k in d o f… liv in g th ro ugh
us? '
'W hat d 'y ou m ean , " liv in g t h ro ugh u s" ? ' H arry r e to rte d .
'I m ean … w ell, I th in k h e'd lo ve to b e fo rm in g se cre t D efe n ce so cie tie s
rig ht u nder t h e n ose o f s o m eo ne f ro m t h e M in is tr y … I t h in k h e's r e ally f ru str a te d

at h ow l ittle h e c an d o w here h e i s … s o I t h in k h e's k een t o k in d o f… e g g u s o n.'
Ron l o oked u tte rly p erp le x ed .
'S ir iu s i s r ig ht,' h e s a id , 'y ou
d o
s o und j u st l ik e m y m oth er.'
Herm io ne b it h er lip an d d id n ot an sw er. T he b ell ra n g ju st as P eev es
sw ooped d ow n o n K atie a n d e m ptie d a n e n tir e i n k b ottle o ver h er h ead .
*
The w eath er d id n ot i m pro ve a s t h e d ay w ore o n, s o t h at a t s e v en
^o 'c lo ck t h at e v en in g, w hen H arry a n d R on w en t d ow n t o t h e
^u id ditc h p itc h f o r p ra ctic e, t h ey w ere s o ak ed t h ro ugh w ith in m in -a te s, t h eir
fe et s lip pin g a n d s lid in g o n t h e s o dden g ra ss. T he s k y
pw as a d eep , th undery g re y a n d it w as a r e lie f to g ain th e w arm th a n d lig ht
of th e c h an gin g r o om s, e v en if th ey k new th e r e sp ite w as o nly te m pora ry . T hey
fo und F re d an d G eo rg e deb atin g w heth er to use one of th eir ow n S kiv in g
Snack boxes t o g et o ut o f f ly in g.
'… b ut I b et s h e'd k now w hat w e'd d one,' F re d s a id o ut o f th e c o rn er o f h is
mouth . 'I f o nly I h ad n't o ff e re d t o s e ll h er s o m e P ukin g P astille s y este rd ay.'
'W e c o uld t r y t h e F ev er F udge,' G eo rg e m utte re d , 'n o o ne's s e en t h at y et - '
'D oes it w ork ?' e n quir e d R on h opefu lly , a s th e h am merin g o f ra in o n th e
ro of i n te n sif ie d a n d w in d h ow le d a ro und t h e b uild in g.
'W ell, y eah ,' s a id F re d , 'y our t e m pera tu re 'l l g o r ig ht u p.'
'B ut you get th ese m assiv e pus-fille d boils , to o,' sa id G eo rg e, 'a n d w e
hav en 't w ork ed o ut h ow t o g et r id o f t h em y et.'
'I c an 't s e e a n y b oils ,' s a id R on, s ta rin g a t t h e t w in s.
'N o, w ell, you w ould n't ,' sa id F re d dark ly , 't h ey 'r e not in a pla ce w e
gen era lly d is p la y t o t h e p ublic .'
'B ut t h ey m ak e s ittin g o n a b ro om a r ig ht p ain i n t h e - '
'A ll rig ht, ev ery one, lis te n u p,' sa id A ngelin a lo udly , em erg in g fro m th e
Cap ta in 's o ff ic e. 'I k now it's n ot id eal w eath er, b ut th ere 's a ch an ce w e'l l b e
pla y in g S ly th erin i n c o nditio ns l ik e t h is s o i t's a g ood i d ea t o w ork o ut h ow w e'r e
goin g to c o pe w ith th em . H arry , d id n't y ou d o s o m eth in g to y our g la sse s to s to p
th e r a in f o ggin g t h em u p w hen w e p la y ed H uff le p uff i n t h at s to rm ?'
'H erm io ne d id i t,' s a id H arry . H e p ulle d o ut h is w an d, t a p ped h is g la sse s a n d
sa id , '
Im perv iu s
!'
'I th in k w e a ll o ught to tr y th at,' s a id A ngelin a. 'I f w e c o uld ju st k eep th e
ra in off our fa ces it w ould re ally help vis ib ility – all to geth er, co m e on –
Im perv iu s! O K. L et's g o.'
They all sto w ed th eir w an ds b ack in th e in sid e p ock ets o f th eir ro bes,
sh ould ere d t h eir b ro om s a n d f o llo w ed A ngelin a o ut o f t h e c h an gin g r o om s.
They sq uelc h ed th ro ugh th e d eep en in g m ud to th e m id dle o f th e p itc h ;

vis ib ility w as s till v ery p oor e v en w ith th e Im perv iu s C harm ; lig ht w as fa d in g
fa st a n d c u rta in s o f r a in w ere s w eep in g t h e g ro unds.
'A ll r ig ht, o n m y w his tle ,' s h oute d A ngelin a.
Harry k ic k ed o ff f ro m th e g ro und, s p ra y in g m ud in a ll d ir e ctio ns, a n d s h ot
upw ard s, t h e w in d p ullin g h im s lig htly o ff c o urs e .
He h ad n o id ea h ow h e w as g oin g to s e e th e S nitc h in th is w eath er; h e w as
hav in g en ough dif f ic u lty se ein g th e one Blu dger w ith w hic h th ey w ere
pra ctis in g; a m in ute in to th e p ra ctic e it a lm ost u nse ate d h im a n d h e h ad to u se
th e S lo th G rip R oll to a v oid it. U nfo rtu nate ly , A ngelin a d id n ot s e e th is . I n f a ct,
sh e d id n ot a p pear to b e a b le to s e e a n yth in g; n one o f th em h ad a c lu e w hat th e
oth ers w ere d oin g. T he w in d w as p ic k in g u p; e v en a t a d is ta n ce H arry c o uld h ear
th e s w is h in g, p oundin g s o unds o f t h e r a in p um mellin g t h e s u rfa ce o f t h e l a k e.
Angelin a k ep t t h em a t i t f o r n early a n h our b efo re c o nced in g d efe at. S he l e d
her s o dden a n d d is g ru ntle d t e am b ack i n to t h e c h an gin g r o om s, i n sis tin g t h at t h e
pra ctic e h ad n ot b een a w aste o f tim e, th ough w ith out a n y r e al c o nvic tio n in h er
voic e. F re d a n d G eo rg e w ere lo okin g p artic u la rly a n noyed ; b oth w ere b an dy-
le g ged a n d w in ced w ith e v ery m ovem en t. H arry c o uld h ear t h em c o m pla in in g i n
lo w v oic es
a s
h e t o w elle d h is h air d ry .
'I t h in k a f e w o f m in e h av e r u ptu re d ,' s a id F re d i n a h ollo w v oic e.
'M in e h av en 't ,' s a id G eo rg e, th ro ugh c le n ch ed te eth , 't h ey 'r e th ro bbin g lik e
mad … f e el b ig ger i f a n yth in g.'
'O UCH !' s a id H arry .
He p re sse d th e to w el to h is f a ce, h is e y es s c re w ed tig ht w ith p ain . T he s c ar
on h is f o re h ead h ad s e are d a g ain , m ore p ain fu lly t h an i t h ad i n w eek s.
'W hat's u p?' s a id s e v era l v oic es.
Harry em erg ed fro m b eh in d h is to w el; th e ch an gin g ro om w as b lu rre d
becau se h e w as n ot w earin g h is g la sse s, b ut h e c o uld still te ll th at e v ery one's
fa ce w as t u rn ed t o w ard s h im .
'N oth in g,' h e m utte re d , 'I – p oked m yse lf i n t h e e y e, t h at's a ll.'
But h e g av e R on a s ig nif ic an t lo ok a n d th e tw o o f th em h ung b ack a s th e
re st o f th e te am f ile d b ack o uts id e, m uff le d in th eir c lo ak s, th eir h ats p ulle d lo w
over t h eir e ars .
'W hat h ap pen ed ?' s a id R on, t h e m om en t A lic ia h ad d is a p peare d t h ro ugh t h e
door. 'W as i t y our s c ar? '
Harry n odded .
'B ut… ' l o okin g s c are d , R on s tr o de a cro ss t o t h e w in dow a n d s ta re d o ut i n to
th e r a in , 'h e – h e c an 't b e n ear u s n ow , c an h e?'
'N o,' H arry m utte re d , s in kin g o n to a b en ch a n d r u bbin g h is f o re h ead . 'H e's
pro bab ly m ile s a w ay. I t h urt b ecau se … h e's … a n gry .'

Harry h ad n ot m ean t to sa y th at a t a ll, a n d h eard th e w ord s a s th ough a
str a n ger h ad s p oken th em – y et k new a t o nce th at th ey w ere tr u e. H e d id n ot
know h ow h e k new i t, b ut h e d id ; V old em ort, w here v er h e w as, w hate v er h e w as
doin g, w as i n a t o w erin g t e m per.
'D id y ou s e e h im ?' s a id R on, lo okin g h orrif ie d . 'D id y ou… g et a v is io n, o r
so m eth in g?'
Harry s a t q uite s till, s ta rin g a t h is f e et, a llo w in g h is m in d a n d h is m em ory t o
re la x i n t h e a fte rm ath o f t h e p ain .
A c o nfu se d t a n gle o f s h ap es, a h ow lin g r u sh o f v oic es…
'H e w an ts s o m eth in g d one, a n d i t's n ot h ap pen in g f a st e n ough,' h e s a id .
Again , h e f e lt s u rp ris e d to h ear th e w ord s c o m in g o ut o f h is m outh , a n d y et
was q uite c erta in t h ey w ere t r u e.
'B ut… h ow d o y ou k now ?' s a id R on.
Harry s h ook h is h ead a n d c o vere d h is e y es w ith h is h an ds, p re ssin g d ow n
upon th em w ith h is p alm s. L ittle s ta rs e ru pte d in th em . H e f e lt R on s it d ow n o n
th e b en ch b esid e h im a n d k new R on w as s ta rin g a t h im .
'I s t h is w hat i t w as a b out l a st t im e?' s a id R on i n a h ush ed v oic e. 'W hen y our
sc ar h urt i n U m brid ge's o ff ic e? Y ou-K now -W ho w as a n gry ?'
Harry s h ook h is h ead .
'W hat i s i t, t h en ?'
Harry w as th in kin g h im se lf b ack . H e h ad b een lo okin g in to U m brid ge's
fa ce… h is s c ar h ad h urt… a n d h e h ad h ad th at o dd fe elin g in h is s to m ach … a
str a n ge, l e ap in g f e elin g… a
h appy
f e elin g… b ut o f c o urs e , h e h ad n ot r e co gnis e d
it f o r w hat i t w as, a s h e h ad b een f e elin g s o m is e ra b le h im se lf …
'L ast tim e, it w as b ecau se h e w as p le ase d ,' h e sa id . 'R eally p le ase d . H e
th ought… s o m eth in g g ood w as g oin g to h ap pen . A nd th e n ig ht b efo re w e c am e
back to H ogw arts … ' h e th ought b ack to th e m om en t w hen h is s c ar h ad h urt s o
bad ly i n h is a n d R on's b ed ro om i n G rim mau ld P la ce… 'h e w as f u rio us
He l o oked r o und a t R on, w ho w as g ap in g a t h im .
'Y ou c o uld t a k e o ver f ro m T re la w ney, m ate ,' h e s a id i n a n a w ed v oic e.
'I 'm n ot m ak in g p ro phecie s,' s a id H arry .
'N o, y ou k now w hat y ou'r e d oin g?' R on sa id , so undin g b oth sc are d a n d
im pre sse d . 'H arry ,
y o u'r e r e a din g Y o u-K now -W ho's
m in d!'
'N o,' s a id H arry , s h ak in g h is h ead . 'I t's m ore l ik e… h is m ood, I s u ppose . I 'm
ju st g ettin g fla sh es o f w hat m ood h e's in . D um ble d ore s a id s o m eth in g lik e th is
was h ap pen in g la st y ear. H e s a id th at w hen V old em ort w as n ear m e, o r w hen h e
was fe elin g h atr e d , I co uld te ll. W ell, n ow I'm fe elin g it w hen h e's p le ase d ,
to o… "
There w as a p au se . T he w in d a n d r a in l a sh ed a t t h e b uild in g.

'Y ou'v e g ot t o t e ll s o m eo ne,' s a id R on.
'I t o ld S ir iu s l a st t im e.'
'W ell, t e ll h im a b out t h is t im e!'
'C an 't , c an I? ' s a id H arry g rim ly . 'U m brid ge is w atc h in g th e o w ls a n d th e
fir e s, r e m em ber? '
'W ell t h en , D um ble d ore .'
'I 'v e ju st to ld y ou, h e a lr e ad y k now s,' s a id H arry s h ortly , g ettin g to h is f e et,
ta k in g h is c lo ak o ff h is p eg a n d s w in gin g it a ro und h im . T here 's n o p oin t te llin g
him a g ain .'
Ron d id u p t h e f a ste n in g o f h is o w n c lo ak , w atc h in g H arry t h oughtf u lly .
'D um ble d ore 'd w an t t o k now ,' h e s a id .
Harry s h ru gged .
'C 'm on… w e'v e s till g ot S ile n cin g C harm s t o p ra ctis e .'
They h urrie d b ack th ro ugh th e d ark g ro unds, s lid in g a n d s tu m blin g u p th e
muddy la w ns, n ot ta lk in g. H arry w as th in kin g h ard . W hat w as it th at V old em ort
wan te d d one t h at w as n ot h ap pen in g q uic k ly e n ough?
'…
h e's g ot o th er p la ns… p la ns h e ca n p ut in to o pera tio n very q uie tly
in deed … s tu ff h e c a n o nly g et b y s te a lth … lik e a w ea pon. S om eth in g h e d id n't
have l a st t im e
.'
Harry had not th ought ab out th ose w ord s in w eek s; he had been to o
ab so rb ed in w hat w as g oin g o n a t H ogw arts , to o b usy d w ellin g o n th e o ngoin g
battle s w ith U m brid ge, th e in ju stic e o f a ll th e M in is tr y in te rfe re n ce… b ut n ow
th ey c am e b ack to h im a n d m ad e h im w onder… V old em ort's a n ger w ould m ak e
se n se if h e w as n o n eare r to la y in g h an ds o n th e
w ea pon
, w hate v er it w as. H ad
th e O rd er th w arte d h im , s to pped h im f ro m s e iz in g it? W here w as it k ep t? W ho
had i t n ow ?
' Mim bulu s m im ble to nia
,' sa id R on's voic e an d H arry cam e back to his
se n se s j u st i n t im e t o c la m ber t h ro ugh t h e p ortr a it h ole i n to t h e c o m mon r o om .
It ap peare d th at H erm io ne h ad g one to b ed early , le av in g C ro oksh an ks
cu rle d in a n earb y c h air a n d a n a sso rtm en t o f k nobbly k nitte d e lf h ats ly in g o n a
ta b le b y th e f ir e . H arry w as r a th er g ra te fu l th at s h e w as n ot a ro und, b ecau se h e
did n ot m uch w an t to d is c u ss h is s c ar h urtin g a n d h av e h er u rg e h im to g o to
Dum ble d ore , to o. R on k ep t th ro w in g h im a n xio us g la n ces, b ut H arry p ulle d o ut
his C harm s b ooks a n d s e t to w ork o n fin is h in g h is e ssa y, th ough h e w as o nly
pre te n din g to c o ncen tr a te a n d b y th e tim e R on s a id h e w as g oin g u p to b ed , to o,
he h ad w ritte n h ard ly a n yth in g.
Mid nig ht c am e a n d w en t w hile H arry w as r e ad in g a n d r e re ad in g a p assa g e
ab out th e u se s o f s c u rv y-g ra ss, lo vag e a n d s n eezew ort a n d n ot ta k in g in a w ord
of i t.

These p la nte s a re m oste e ffic a cio us in th e in fla m in g o f th e b ra in e, a nd a re
th ere fo re m uch u se d i n C onfu sin g a nd B efu ddle m en t D ra ughts , w here t h e w iz a rd
is d esir o us o f p ro ducin g h ot- h ea ded ness a nd r e ckle ssn ess…
… H erm io ne s a id S ir iu s w as b eco m in g re ck le ss c o oped u p in G rim mau ld
Pla ce…
… m oste e ffic a cio us in th e in fla m in g o f th e b ra in e, a nd a re th ere fo re m uch
use d

… th e
D aily P ro phet
w ould th in k h is b ra in w as in fla m ed if th ey f o und o ut
th at h e k new w hat V old em ort w as f e elin g…
… t h ere fo re m uch u se d i n C onfu sin g a nd B efu ddle m en t D ra ughts

… c o nfu sin g w as t h e w ord , a ll r ig ht;
w hy
d id h e k now w hat V old em ort w as
fe elin g? W hat w as th is w eir d c o nnectio n b etw een th em , w hic h D um ble d ore h ad
nev er b een a b le t o e x pla in s a tis fa cto rily ?
… w here t h e w iz a rd i s d esir o us

… h ow H arry w ould l ik e t o s le ep …
…of p ro ducin g h ot- h ea ded ness…
… it w as w arm a n d c o m fo rta b le in h is a rm ch air b efo re th e fir e , w ith th e
ra in still b eatin g h eav ily o n th e w in dow pan es, C ro oksh an ks p urrin g, an d th e
cra ck lin g o f t h e f la m es…
The b ook s lip ped f ro m H arry 's s la ck g rip a n d l a n ded w ith a d ull t h ud o n t h e
hearth ru g. H is h ead l o lle d s id ew ay s…
He w as w alk in g once m ore alo ng a w in dow le ss co rrid or, his fo ots te p s
ech oin g in th e s ile n ce. A s th e d oor a t th e e n d o f th e p assa g e lo om ed la rg er, h is
heart b eat f a st w ith e x cite m en t… i f h e c o uld o nly o pen i t… e n te r b ey ond…
He s tr e tc h ed o ut h is h an d… h is f in gertip s w ere i n ch es f ro m i t…
'H arry P otte r, s ir !'
He aw oke w ith a sta rt. T he can dle s had all been ex tin guis h ed in th e
co m mon r o om , b ut t h ere w as s o m eth in g m ovin g c lo se b y.
'W hozair ? ' s a id H arry , s ittin g u prig ht in h is c h air. T he f ir e w as a lm ost o ut,
th e r o om v ery d ark .
'D obby h as y our o w l, s ir !' s a id a s q ueak y v oic e.
'D obby?' s a id H arry th ic k ly , p eerin g th ro ugh th e g lo om to w ard s th e s o urc e
of t h e v oic e.
Dobby th e h ouse -e lf w as s ta n din g b esid e th e ta b le o n w hic h H erm io ne h ad
le ft h alf a d ozen o f h er k nitte d h ats . H is la rg e, p oin te d e ars w ere n ow s tic k in g
out fro m b en eath w hat lo oked lik e a ll th e h ats H erm io ne h ad e v er k nitte d ; h e
was w earin g o ne o n t o p o f t h e o th er, s o t h at h is h ead s e em ed e lo ngate d b y t w o o r
th re e fe et, a n d o n th e v ery to p m ost b obble sa t H ed w ig , h ootin g se re n ely a n d
obvio usly c u re d .

'D obby v olu nte ere d t o r e tu rn H arry P otte r's o w l,' s a id t h e e lf s q ueak ily , w ith
a lo ok o f p ositiv e a d ora tio n o n h is f a ce, 'P ro fe sso r G ru bbly -P la n k s a y s s h e is a ll
well n ow , s ir.' H e s a n k in to a d eep b ow s o th at h is p en cil- lik e n ose b ru sh ed th e
th re ad bare su rfa ce o f th e h earth ru g an d H ed w ig g av e an in dig nan t h oot an d
flu tte re d o n t o t h e a rm o f H arry 's c h air.
Than ks, D obby!' sa id H arry , str o kin g H ed w ig 's h ead an d b lin kin g h ard ,
tr y in g to rid h im se lf o f th e im ag e o f th e d oor in h is d re am … it h ad b een v ery
viv id . S urv ey in g D obby m ore c lo se ly , h e n otic ed th at th e e lf w as a ls o w earin g
se v era l s c arv es a n d in num era b le s o ck s, s o th at h is f e et lo oked f a r to o b ig f o r h is
body.
'E r… h av e y ou b een t a k in g
a ll
t h e c lo th es H erm io ne's b een l e av in g o ut? '
'O h, n o, s ir ,' s a id D obby h ap pily . 'D obby h as b een ta k in g s o m e f o r W in ky,
to o, s ir.'
'Y eah , h ow i s W in ky?' a sk ed H arry .
Dobby's e ars d ro oped s lig htly .
'W in ky is s till d rin kin g lo ts , s ir ,' h e s a id s a d ly , h is e n orm ous ro und g re en
ey es, la rg e a s te n nis b alls , d ow ncast. 'S he s till d oes n ot c are fo r c lo th es, H arry
Potte r. N or d o th e o th er h ouse -e lv es. N one o f th em w ill c le an G ry ff in dor T ow er
an y m ore , n ot w ith th e h ats an d so ck s h id den ev ery w here , th ey fin ds th em
in su ltin g, s ir. D obby d oes it a ll h im se lf , s ir , b ut D obby d oes n ot m in d, s ir , f o r h e
alw ay s h opes to m eet H arry P otte r a n d to nig ht, s ir , h e h as g ot h is w is h !' D obby
sa n k i n to a d eep b ow a g ain . 'B ut H arry P otte r d oes n ot s e em h ap py,' D obby w en t
on, str a ig hte n in g up ag ain an d lo okin g tim id ly at H arry . 'D obby heard him
mutte rin g i n h is s le ep . W as H arry P otte r h av in g b ad d re am s? '
'N ot r e ally b ad ,' s a id H arry , y aw nin g a n d r u bbin g h is e y es. 'I 'v e h ad w ors e .'
The e lf su rv ey ed H arry o ut o f h is v ast, o rb -lik e e y es. T hen h e sa id v ery
se rio usly , h is e ars d ro opin g, 'D obby w is h es h e c o uld h elp H arry P otte r, f o r H arry
Potte r s e t D obby f re e a n d D obby i s m uch , m uch h ap pie r n ow .'
Harry s m ile d .
'Y ou c an 't h elp m e, D obby, b ut t h an ks f o r t h e o ff e r.'
He b en t a n d p ic k ed u p h is P otio ns b ook. H e'd h av e t o t r y t o f in is h t h e e ssa y
to m orro w . H e c lo se d th e b ook a n d a s h e d id s o th e f ir e lig ht illu m in ate d th e th in
white sc ars on th e back of his han d – th e re su lt of his dete n tio ns w ith
Um brid ge…
'W ait a m om en t – t h ere i s s o m eth in g y ou c an d o f o r m e, D obby,' s a id H arry
slo w ly .
The e lf l o oked r o und, b eam in g.
'N am e i t, H arry P otte r, s ir !'
'I n eed to fin d a p la ce w here tw en ty -e ig ht p eo ple can p ra ctis e D efe n ce

Again st th e D ark A rts w ith out bein g dis c o vere d by an y of th e te ach ers .
Esp ecia lly ,' H arry c le n ch ed h is h an d o n th e b ook, s o th at th e s c ars s h one p early
white , 'P ro fe sso r U m brid ge.'
He e x pecte d th e e lf 's s m ile to v an is h , h is e ars to d ro op; h e e x pecte d h im to
sa y i t w as i m possib le , o r e ls e t h at h e w ould t r y t o f in d s o m ew here , b ut h is h opes
were n ot h ig h. W hat h e h ad n ot e x pecte d w as f o r D obby to g iv e a little s k ip , h is
ears w ag glin g c h eerfu lly , a n d c la p h is h an ds t o geth er.
'D obby k now s t h e p erfe ct p la ce, s ir !' h e s a id h ap pily . 'D obby h eard t e ll o f i t
fro m th e o th er h ouse -e lv es w hen h e c am e to H ogw arts , s ir. I t is k now n b y u s a s
th e C om e a n d G o R oom , s ir , o r e ls e a s t h e R oom o f R eq uir e m en t! '
'W hy?' s a id H arry c u rio usly .
'B ecau se it is a ro om th at a p ers o n c an o nly e n te r,' s a id D obby s e rio usly ,
'w hen th ey h av e re al n eed o f it. S om etim es it is th ere , a n d s o m etim es it is n ot,
but w hen i t a p pears , i t i s a lw ay s e q uip ped f o r t h e s e ek er's n eed s. D obby h as u se d
it, s ir ,' s a id th e e lf , d ro ppin g h is v oic e a n d lo okin g g uilty , 'w hen W in ky h as b een
very d ru nk; h e h as h id den h er in th e R oom o f R eq uir e m en t a n d h e h as fo und
an tid ote s to B utte rb eer th ere , a n d a n ic e e lf -s iz ed b ed to s e ttle h er o n w hile s h e
sle ep s i t o ff , s ir … a n d D obby k now s M r F ilc h h as f o und e x tr a c le an in g m ate ria ls
th ere w hen h e h as r u n s h ort, s ir , a n d - '
'A nd if y ou re ally n eed ed a b ath ro om ,' s a id H arry , s u dden ly re m em berin g
so m eth in g D um ble d ore h ad s a id a t th e Y ule B all th e p re v io us C hris tm as, 'w ould
it f ill i ts e lf w ith c h am ber p ots ? '
'D obby e x pects s o , s ir ,' s a id D obby, n oddin g e arn estly . 'I t i s a m ost a m azin g
ro om , s ir.'
'H ow m an y p eo ple k now a b out it? ' s a id H arry , s ittin g u p s tr a ig hte r in h is
ch air.
'V ery f e w , s ir. M ostly p eo ple s tu m ble s a cro ss it w hen th ey n eed s it, s ir , b ut
ofte n th ey n ev er fin ds it ag ain , fo r th ey d o n ot k now th at it is a lw ay s th ere
waitin g t o b e c alle d i n to s e rv ic e, s ir.'
'I t s o unds b rillia n t,' s a id H arry , h is h eart ra cin g. 'I t s o unds p erfe ct, D obby.
When c an y ou s h ow m e w here i t i s ? '
'A ny tim e, H arry P otte r, sir ,' sa id D obby, lo okin g delig hte d at H arry s
en th usia sm . 'W e c o uld g o n ow , i f y ou l ik e!'
For a m om en t H arry w as t e m pte d t o g o w ith D obby. H e w as h alf w ay o ut o f
his s e at, in te n din g to h urry u psta ir s fo r h is In vis ib ility C lo ak w hen , n ot fo r th e
fir s t tim e, a v oic e v ery m uch lik e H erm io ne's w his p ere d in h is e ar:
r e ckle ss
. It
was, a fte r a ll, v ery l a te , h e w as e x hau ste d , a n d h ad S nap e's e ssa y t o f in is h .
'N ot to nig ht, D obby,' sa id H arry re lu cta n tly , sin kin g b ack in to h is ch air.
This is re ally im porta n t… I d on't w an t to b lo w it, it'l l n eed p ro per p la n nin g.

Lis te n , c an y ou j u st t e ll m e e x actly w here t h is R oom o f R eq uir e m en t i s , a n d h ow
to g et i n t h ere ?'
*
Their ro bes b illo w ed a n d s w ir le d a ro und th em a s th ey s p la sh ed a cro ss th e
flo oded v eg eta b le p atc h t o d ouble H erb olo gy, w here t h ey c o uld h ard ly h ear w hat
Pro fe sso r S pro ut w as s a y in g o ver th e h am merin g o f r a in dro ps h ard a s h ails to nes
on th e g re en house r o of. T he a fte rn oons C are o f M ag ic al C re atu re s le sso n w as to
be re lo cate d fro m th e s to rm -s w ep t g ro unds to a fre e c la ssro om o n th e g ro und
flo or a n d, t o t h eir i