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He had found it, a folded square of apparently blank parchment, which he now smoothed out and tapped with [he tip of his wand.

"It isn't Lavender!" said Hermione impatiently, as another cou-ple of girls appeared in the courtyard and Ron dived behind her.

The ghost of a girl had risen out of the toilet in a cubicle behind them and was now floating in midair, staring at them through thick, white, round glasses. "Oh," she said glumly. "It's you two."

"It's Cadwallader!" said Professor McGonagall loudly from beside Luna. The crowd laughed.

Before anybody could respond to this ominous pronouncement, tin- dormitory doors opened again and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley hurried up the ward. They had done no more than satisfy themselves that Ron would make a full recovery on their last visit to the ward; now Mrs. Weasley seized hold of Harry and hugged him very tighty. "Dumbledore's told us how you saved him with the bezoar," she sobbed. "Oh, Harry, what can we say? You saved Ginny . . . you saved Arthur , . . now you've saved Ron


'I'm not fussed, really. I prefer flying,' said Harry, glancing over his shoulder to see where Malfoy was, and speeding up as they came into the Entrance Hall. 'Look, hurry up, will you, there's something I want to do ...'

"Which job did he want, sir? What subject did he want to teach?"

"Yeah, I s'pose I'd better," said Harry. "I don't reckon I'll need all of it, not twenty-four hours' worth, it can't take all night.... I'll just take a mouthful. Two or three hours should do it."

"Does it matter right now?"

Despite his determination 10 catch Malfoy out, Harry had no luck at all over the next couple of weeks. Although he consulted the map as often as he could, sometimes making unnecessary visits to the bathroom between lessons to search it, he did not once see Malfoy anywhere suspicious. Admit-tedly, he spotted Crabbe and Goyle moving around the castle on their own more often than usual, sometimes remaining stationary in deserted corridors, but at these times Malfoy was not only nowhere near them, but impossible to locate on the map at all. This was most mysterious. Harry toyed with the possibility that Malfoy was actually leaving the school grounds, but could not see how he could be doing it, given the very high leve! of security now operating within the castle. He could only suppose ihat he was missing Malfoy amongst the hundreds of tiny black dots upon the map. As for the fact that Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle appeared to be going their dif-ferent ways when they were usually inseparable, these things happened as people got older - Ron and Hermione, Harry reflected sadly, were living proof.


"Yes!" said Hermione, causing both Harry and Ron to gag on their breakfast. "But it's all right, he's not dead — its Mundungus, he's been arrested and sent to Azkaban! Something to do with impersonating an Inferius during an attempted burglary, and someone called Octavius Pepper has vanished. Oh, and how horrible, a nine-year-old boy has been arrested for trying to kill his grandparents, they think he was under the Imperius Curse."

"I'll try," said Harry, shouldering his broom. "See you after the match."

"But what's all this about him going up there with a variety of students'?" said Hermione. "How many people are in on it? You wouldn't think he'd trust lots of them to know what he's do-ing---"

Three lessons on, Apparition was proving as difficult as

"Where're you going?" Harry demanded.

舍小家團圓 為大家平安戰疫前線的忠誠衛士

Malfoy opened his copy of Advanced Potion-Making with a sulky expression. It could not have been plainer that he thought this les-son was a waste of time. Undoubtedly, Harry thought, watching him over the top of his own book, Malfoy was begrudging the time he could otherwise be spending in the Room of Requirement.


'OK,' said Harry, walking up to Ron 10 get a better look at the glazed eyes and the pallid complexion, 'OK ... say that again with a straight face.'


"Okay then," said Harry, and he and Ron both released the elves, who fell to the floor but did not continue fighting.


"Ah no!" said Ron, staring horror-struck at the parchment. "Don't say I'll have to write the whole thing out again!",


Ron blinked.;