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They glared at each other for a moment, then Ron shook his head wearily. "I know you haven't got any time to find another Keeper, so I'll play tomorrow, but if we lose, and we will, I'm tak-ing myself off the team."
"Look sharp, Tom," said Slughorn, turning around and finding him still present. "You don't want to be caught out of bed out of hours, and you a prefect..."
A moment later, Harry had given a loud yell and leapt out of his camp bed; the package contained a large number of maggots. "Nice," said Ron, roaring with laughter. "Very thoughtful." "I'd rather have them than that necklace," said Harry, which sobered Ron up at once.
The next day Harry confided in both Ron and Hermione the task that Dumbledore had set him, though separately, for Hermione still refused to remain in Ron's presence longer than it took to give him a contemptuous look.
But Percy showed no sign of wanting to greet any of the rest of the family. He stood, poker-straight and awkward-looking, and stared over everybody else's heads. Mr. Weasley, Fred, and George were all observing him, stony-faced.
all top secret. . . ."
"Conditions look ideal," said Ginny, ignoring Ron. "And guess what? That Slytherin Chaser Vaisey — he took a Bludger in the head yesterday during their practice, and he's too sore to play! And even better than that — Malfoy's gone off sick too!"
"I invited dear Tonks to come along today," said Mrs. Weasley, setting down the carrots with unnecessary force and glaring at Fleur. "But she wouldn't come. Have you spoken to her lately, Remus?"
"Whoa!" whispered Seamus, and he, Dean, and Neville put their heads a little closer to hear what Apparition felt like. For the rest of the day, Harry was besieged with requests from the other sixth years to describe the sensation of Apparition. All of them seemed awed, rather than put off, when he told them how uncomfortable it was, and he was still answering detailed questions at ten to eight that evening, when he was forced to lie and say that he needed to return a book to the library, so as to escape in time for his lesson with Dumbledore.
"Well, that's that," said Dumbledore placidly beside Harry.
'Yes, of course,' said Slughorn quietly, still dabbing at his white face. 'Of course ... well, if you've seen that memory, Harry, you'll know that I don't know anything - anything -he repeated the word forcefully '- about Horcruxes.'
"She's got to be joking. . . ."
Fil ich's expression of outraged disappointment was perfectly pre di c t able; but why, Harry wondered, watching him, did Malfoy look almost equally unhappy? And why was Snape looking at Mal-foy as though both angry and . . . was it p ossible? ... a lit tl afraid? But almost before Harry had registered what he had seen, Filch had turned and shuffled away, muttering under his breath; Malfoy h ad composed his face into a smile and was thanking Slughorn for his generosity, and Snape's face was smoothly inscrutable again.
"Yeah, well, never mind that," said Harry quickly. "The point is, Filch is being fooled isn't he? These girls are getting stuff into the school disguised as something else! So why couldn't Malfoy have brought the necklace into the school --?"
Harry frowned, trying to remember. "I'm not sure ... Snape definitely said 'your master,' and who else would that be?"
"Professor Slughorn," wheezed Filch, his jowls aquiver and the maniacal light of mischief-detection in his bulging eyes, "I discovered this boy lurking in an upstairs corridor. He claims to have been invited to your party and to have been delayed in setting out. Did you issue him with an invitation?"
Harry pulled out his trusty copy of Advanced Potion-Making and turned to the chapter on Antidotes. There was Golpalott's Third Law, stated word for word as Hermione had recited it, but not a single illuminating note in the Prince's hand to explain what it meant. Apparently the Prince, like Hermione, had had no difficulty understanding it.
"That Muggle what my sister took a fancy to, that Muggle what lives in the big house over the way," said Morfin, and he spat unexpectedly upon the floor between them. "You look right like him. Riddle. But he's older now, in 'e? He's older'n you, now I think on it. ...",
Hermione stopped dead; Harry had heard it too. Somebody had moved close behind them among the dark bookshelves. They waited, and a moment later the vulturelike countenance of Madam Pince appeared around the corner, her sunken cheeks, her skin like parchment, and her long hooked nose illuminated unflatteringly by the lamp she was carrying.。
'Good morning,' said the Ministry wizard, when all the stu-dents had arrived and the Heads of House had called for quiet. 'My name is Wilkie Twycross and I shall be your Ministry-Apparition Instructor for the next twelve weeks. 1 hope to be able to prepare you for your Apparition test in this time -'。