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"There I am," said Dumbledore brightly, pointing ahead of them to a tall figure crossing the road in front of a horse-drawn milk cart.
"The Half-Blood Prince, he was called," Harry said. "How many girls have been Princes?"
"But you think you're right?" said Harry.
Leanne let out a wail of despair.
Fang was jumping up at Hermione and Ron, attempting to lick their ears. Hagrid stood and looked at them all for a split second, then turned and strode into his cabin, slamming the door behind him.
His legs were trembling. He stumbled forward and sat down on the bed again, staring at his hands, his head bowed as though in prayer.
Mrs. Cole's eyes slid out of focus and back again as she gazed intently at the blank paper for a moment.
"Yeah, it's my stuff!" he said. "No wonder he wasn't pleased to see me! Well, I'm going to tell Dumbledore what's going on, he's the only one who scares Mundungus."
When they left the Gryffindor table five minutes later to head down to the Quidditch pitch, they passed Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil. Remembering what Hermione had said about the Patil twins' parents wanting them to leave Hogwarts, Harry was unsurprised to see that the two best friends were whispering to-gether, looking distressed. What did surprise him was that when Ron drew level with them, Parvati suddenly nudged Lavender, who looked around and gave Ron a wide smile. Ron blinked at her, then returned the smile uncertainly. His walk instantly became something more like a strut. Harry resisted the temptation to laugh, re-membering that Ron had refrained from doing so after Malfoy had broken Harry's nose; Hermione, however, looked cold and distant all the way down to the stadium through the cool, misty drizzle, and departed to find a place in the stands without wishing Ron good luck.
Merope shook her head jerkily, imploringly, but Morfin went on ruthlessly, "Hanging out of the window waiting for him to ride home, wasn't she?"
"You have had a busy time while I have been away," Dumbledore said. "I believe you witnessed Katie's accident."
"Yes, Potter, away!" said Professor McGonagall tartly. "But any-thing you have to say about this horrible business can be said to me, I'm sure!"
After dinner they made their way back to Gryffindor Tower. The common room was very crowded, as most people had finished dinner by now, but they managed to find a free table and sat down; Ron, who had been in a bad mood ever since the encounter with Slughorn, folded his arms and frowned at the ceiling. Hermione reached out for a copy of the Evening Prophet, which somebody had left abandoned on a chair.
"Open the door," said Dumbledore.
Chapter 14: Felix felicis
"All sorts," breathed Riddle. A flush of excitement was rising up his neck into his hollow cheeks; he looked fevered. "I can make filings move without touching them. I can make animals do what I want them to do, without training them. I can make bad things happen to people who annoy me. I can make them hurt if I want to.";
Dumbledore stepped into a hallway tiled in black and white; the whole place was shabby but spotlessly clean. Harry and the older Dumbledore followed. Before the front door had closed behind them, a skinny, harassed-looking woman came scurrying toward them. She had a sharp-featured face that appeared more anxious than unkind, and she was talking over her shoulder to another aproned helper as she walked toward Dumbledore.。