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"Oh . . . yes. .." said Madam Pomfrey, who seemed to have been counting Hagrid as several people due to his vastness. To cover her confusion, she hurried off to clear up his muddy foot prints with her wand.

"Well, their brother was attacked by a werewolf. The rumor is that their mother refused to help the Death Eaters. Anyway, the boy was only five and he died in St. Mungos, they couldn't save him."

That would explain a lot,' panted Harry, now positively wrestling with Ron to keep him from knocking Slughorn over. 'It's his birthday, Professor,' he added imploringly.

"Another ten points from Gryffindor," said Snape. "I would ex-pect nothing more sophisticated from you, Ronald Weasley, the boy so solid he cannot Apparate half an inch across a room."



"Now," said Hepzibah happily, taking the boxes from the elf, laying them in her lap, and preparing to open the topmost one, "I think you'll like this, Tom. . . . Oh, if my family knew I was showing you. . . . They can't wait to get their hands on this!"

". . . but now that big Hufflepuff player's got the Quaffle from , her, I can't remember his name, it's something like Bibble — no, Buggins —"

"You are omniscient as ever, Dumbledore."

"No," said Dumbledore, "Divination is turning out to be much more trouble than I could have foreseen, never having studied the subject myself. I cannot ask Firenze to return to the forest, where he is now an outcast, nor can I ask Sybill Trelawney to leave. Between ourselves, she has no idea of the danger she would be in outside the castle. She does not know — and I think it would be unwise to enlighten her — that she made the prophecy about you and Voldemort, you see."

It would mean a lot to me if you'd nip down for the burial later this evening.


"I'm afraid that would come under the heading of 'overexertion,'" said Madam Pomfrey, pushing him firmly back onto the bed and raising her wand in a threatening manner. "You will stay here until I discharge you, Potter, or I shall call the headmaster."

"Interested? My dear Hagrid, I revere them," said Slughorn, stepping back from the body. Harry saw the glint of a bottle disap-pear beneath his cloak, though Hagrid, mopping his eyes once more, noticed nothing. "Now . . . shall we proceed to the burial?"

'Very handsome,' said Slughorn smoothly, handing Ron a glass of clear liquid. 'Now drink that up, it's a tonic for the nerves, keep you calm when she arrives, you know,'

"You might as well do the extra practice sessions in Hogsmeade and see where they get you," said Harry reasonably. "It'll be more interesting than trying to get into a stupid hoop anyway. Then, if you're still not — you know — as good as you'd like to be, you can postpone the test, do it with me over the summer — Myrtle, this is the boys' bathroom!"

Harry tried every variation of "I need to see what Draco Malfoy is doing inside you" that he could think of for a whole hour, at the end of which he was forced to concede that Hermione might have had a point: The room simply did not want to open for him. Frus-trated and annoyed, he set off for Defense Against the Dark Arts, pulling off his Invisibility Cloak and stuffing it into his bag as he went.


"Certainly," said Voldemort, and his eyes seemed to burn red. "I have experimented; I have pushed the boundaries of magic further, perhaps, than they have ever been pushed —"


"Yeah, I'm really going to tell you, because it's your business, Potter," sneered Malfoy. "You'd better hurry up, they'll be waiting for 'the Chosen Captain' — 'the Boy Who Scored' — whatever they call you these days."


"All too young to Apparate just yet?" said Slughorh genially, "Not turned seventeen yet?"


"Well, then, I'll be playing Keeper, won't I?" said McLaggen.,