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"That was different," he said robustly. "They were abusing it. Harry and his dad were just having a laugh. You don't like the Prince, Hermione," he added, pointing a sausage at her sternly, "because he's better than you at Potions —"
"He was employed by the Department of Magical Law Enforce-ment," said Dumbledore. "He died some time ago, but not before I had tracked him down and persuaded him to confide these recol-lections to me. We are about to accompany him on a visit he made in the course of his duties. If you will stand, Harry ..."
"Good night, sir."
Dumbledore and Harry followed him onto a narrow dirt track bordered by higher and wilder hedgerows than those they had left behind. The path was crooked, rocky, and potholed, sloping down-hill like the last one, and it seemed to be heading for a patch of dark trees a little below them. Sure enough, the track soon opened up
Harry missed the pod, hit the bowl, and shattered it.
"I think that will do, Harry," said Dumbledore. He took Harry by the elbow and tugged. Next moment, they were both soaring weightlessly through darkness, until they landed squarely on their feet, back in Dumbledore's now twilit office.
There was a pause, then a couple of little Ravenclaws went sprinting off the pitch, snorting with laughter.
"Where were you this weekend, sir?" Harry asked, disregarding a strong feeling that he might be pushing his luck, a feeling apparently shared by Phineas Nigellus, who hissed softly.
"Sir, how exactly — ?"
"It was a laugh!" said Ron, upending a ketchup bottle over his sausages. "Just a laugh, Hermione, that's all!"
"Well, his name has been down for our school since birth ?quot;
"I played like a sack of dragon dung," said Ron in a hollow voice when the door had swung shut behind Ginny.
Chapter 11: Hermione's helping hand
"What went wrong?" asked Harry. "Why did the love potion stop working?"
Harry got to his feet. As he walked across the room, his eyes fell I upon the little table on which Marvolo Gaunt's ring had rested last I time, but the ring was no longer there.
At once, Katie rose into the air, not as Ron had done, suspended comically by the ankle, but gracefully, her arms outstretched, as though she was about to fly. Yet there was something wrong, some-thing eerie. . . . Her hair was whipped around her by the fierce wind, but her eyes were closed and her face was quite empty of,