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'Was this potion within date?' asked Slughorn, now eyeing Ron with professional interest. 'They can strengthen, you know, the longer they're kept.'
"Someone couldn’ have a grudge against the Gryfinndor Quidditch team, could they?" said Hagrid anxiously. "Firs' Katie, now Ron . . ."
"Yes, Harry Potter!" said Dobby at once, his great eyes shining with excitement. "And if Dobby does it wrong, Dobby will throw himself off the topmost tower, Harry Potter!"
He could not think of an argument against it; after all, McLaggen had certainly performed second-best in the trials.
"Yes, of course," said Slughorn, his eyes now gleaming with en-thusiasm. "I tell you what, Harry, I'll meet you down there with a bottle or two. . . . We'll drink the poor beast's — well — not health — but we'll send it off in style, anyway, once it's buried. And I'll change my tie, this one is a little exuberant for the occa-sion. . . ."
"Master Malfoy moves with a nobility that befits his pure blood," croaked Kreacher at once. "His features recall the fine bones of my mistress and his manners are those of—"
"You don't want to get hold of him, he's the size of a troll," said
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.
Chapter 21: The Unknowable Room
"It’s a bit odd," said Hermione, who for some reason looked very concerned. "She's supposed to be guarding the school, why she suddenly abandoning her post to come and see Dumbledore when he's not even here?"
"Nice of you to drop in," said Ron, grinning.
"So the poison was in the drink?" said Fred quietly.
Harry glanced around surreptitiously. A little way to his left, Ernie Macmillan was contemplating his hoop so hard that his face had turned pink; it looked as though he was straining to lay a Quaffle-sized egg. Harry bit back a laugh and hastily returned his gaze to his own hoop.
The younger Dumbledore seemed to be waiting for something, and sure enough, moments after their arrival, there was a knock on the door and he said, "Enter."
Ron burst through the door into Slughorn's overheated, crowded study, tripped over a tasselled footstool, regained his balance by seizing Harry around the neck and muttered, 'She didn't see that, did she?'
"Wish that would happen with me and Lavender," said Ron gloomily, watching Hermione silently tapping each of his mis-spelled words with the end of her wand, so that they corrected themselves on the page. "But the more I hint I want to finish it, the tighter she holds on. It's like going out with the giant squid.",
"Magnificent," said Slughorn, approaching the spiders head, where eight milky eyes stared blankly at the sky and two huge, curved pincers shone, motionless, in the moonlight. Harry thougln he heard the tinkle of bottles as Slughorn bent over the pincers, apparently examining the enormous hairy head.。
Harry got to his feet and bent once more over the rippling silver contents of the stone basin until his face touched them. He tumbled through dark nothingness and landed in a sitting room in front of an immensely fat old lady wearing an elaborate ginger wig and a brilliant pink set of robes that flowed all around her, giving her the look of a melting iced cake. She was looking into a small jeweled mirror and dabbing rouge onto her already scarlet cheeks with a large powder puff, while the tiniest and oldest house-elf Harry had ever seen laced her fleshy feet into tight satin slippers.。
Was it because Dumbledore did not want Harry to do anything foolish, to take matters into his own hands, that he had pretended there was nothing in Harry's suspicions? That seemed likely. It , might even be that Dumbledore did not want anything to distract Harry from their lessons, or from procuring that memory from Slughorn. Perhaps Dumbledore did not think it right to confide suspicions about his staff to sixteen-year-olds. ...。