>> Thursday, November 10, 2011
"How about--'We had to write an essay about our hero at school, Mr. Mason, and I wrote about you."
This was too much for both Aunt Petunia and Harry. Aunt Petunia burst into tears and hugged her son, while Harry ducked under the table so they wouldn't see him laughing.
"And you, boy?"
Harry fought to keep his face straight as he emerged. "I'll be in my room, making no noise and pretending I'm not there," he said.
"Dobby will serve the family until he dies, sir..."
Harry stared. "And I thought I had it bad staying here for another four weeks," he said. "This makes the Dursley's sound almost human."
"I hope they're paying you overtime?" He reached into Ginny's cauldron and extracted, from amid the glossy Lockhart books, a very old, very battered copy of A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration. "Obviously not," Mr. Malfoy said. "Dear me, what's the use of being a disgrace to the name of wizard if they don't even pay you well for it?"
Mr. Weasley flushed darker than either Ron or Ginny. "We have a very different idea of what disgraces the name of wizard, Malfoy," he said.
"Clearly," said Mr. Malfoy, his pale eyes straying to Mr. and Mrs. Granger, who were watching apprehensively. "The company you keep, Weasley... and I thought your family could sink no lower--"
"I-I didn't think-"
"That," said Professor McGonagall, "is obvious."
"Why," demanded Ron, seizing her schedule, "have you outlined all Lockhart's lessons in little hearts?"
Hermione snatched her schedule back, blushing furiously.
"Why would anyone want to celebrate the day they died?" said Ron, who was halfway through his Potions homework and grumpy. "Sounds dead depressing to me..."
When Filch wasn't guarding the scene of the crime, he was skulking red-eyed through the corridors, lunging out at unsuspecting students and trying to put them in detention for things like "breathing loudly" and "looking happy."
"My life was nothing but misery at this place and now people come along ruining my death."