>> Sunday, April 15, 2012
Scrimgeour turned slowly on the spot and exchanged an incredulous look with Fudge, who really did manage a smile this time as he said kindly, "The trouble is, the other side can do magic, too, Prime Minister."
"It could be me next, couldn't it? But if it is," he said fiercely, now looking straight into Dumbledore's blue eyes gleaming in the wandlight, "I'll make sure I take as many Death Eaters with me as I can, and Voldemort too if I can manage it."
"You need your friends, Harry. As you so rightly said, Sirius would not have wanted you to shut yourself away."
"Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than right," said Hermione.
"Worth a try, but you were a bit obvious-"
"Well, next time you can show me how it's done, Master of Mystery!" she snapped.
"Hmph," snorted Professor McGonagall. "It's high time your grandmother learned to be proud of the grandson she's got, rather than the one she thinks she ought to have--particularly after what happened at the Ministry."
Neville turned very pink and blinked confusedly; Professor McGonagall had never paid him a compliment before.
"I'm a teacher!" he roared at Harry. "A teacher, Potter! How dare yeh threaten ter break down my door!"
"I'm sorry, sir," said Harry, emphasizing the last word as he stowed his wand inside his robes.
Hagrid looked stunned. "Since when have yeh called me 'sir'?"
"Since when have you called me 'Potter'?"
"Oh, very clever," growled Hagrid. "Very amusin'."
"Did you know--then?" asked Harry.
"Did I know that I had just met the most dangerous Dark wizard of all time?" said Dumbledore. "No, I had no idea that he was to grow up to be what he is."
Firstly, Harry had to put up with the frequent presence of Lavender Brown, who seemed to regard any moment that she was not kissing Ron as a moment wasted; and secondly, Harry found himself once more the best friend of two people who seemed unlikely ever to speak to each other again.
"It is an act that is crucial to success, Draco!" said Snape. "Where do you think I would have been all these years, if I had not known how to act?"
"Yes, I'm sure," said Harry. "Why, what does it mean?"
"Well, you can't break an Unbreakable Vow..."
"I'd worked that much out for myself, funnily enough."
"If you tell them," said Ron, shoving the necklace out of sight under his pillow, "I-I-I'll-"
"Stutter at me?" said Harry, grinning.