Harry let out a low whistle.

Bet Percy loved that.

Ron laughed in a hollow sort of way.

He went completely berserk. He saidwell, he said loads of terrible stuff. He said hes been having to struggle against Dads lousy reputation ever since he joined the Ministry and that Dads got no ambition and thats why weve always beenyou knownot had a lot of money, I mean

What? said Harry in disbelief, as Ginny made a noise like an angry cat.

I know, said Ron in a low voice. And it got worse. He said Dad was an idiot to run around with Dumbledore, that Dumbledore was heading for big trouble and Dad was going to go down with him, and that hePercyknew where his loyalty lay and it was with the Ministry. And if Mum and Dad were going to become traitors to the Ministry he was going to make sure everyone knew he didnt belong to our family any more. And he packed his bags the same night and left. Hes living here in London now.


  1. A chill that had nothing to do with the iced champagne was stealing through Harrys chest.
  2. A dark figure came bustling toward them, and Harry saw a glint of silver to the light of their wands. They had found Gryffindors sword.
  3. A mixture of gratitude and shame welled up in Harry. Had Lupin forgiven him, then, for the terrible things he had said when they had last met?
  4. A motherly-looking Healer wearing a tinsel wreath in her hair came bustling up the corridor, smiling warmly at Harry and the others.
  5. A paralyzing terror filled Harry so that he couldnt move or speak. His Patronus flickered and died.
  6. A seam had split on Hermiones bag. Harry wasnt surprised; he could see that it was crammed with at least a dozen large and heavy books.
  7. A vivid image of the shrieking, spitting portrait of Siriuss mother that hung in the hall of number twelve, Grimmauld Place flashed into Harrys mind. I bet there has, he said.
  8. A whistling in Harrys ear told him the Bludger had just missed him again; he turned right over and sped in the opposite direction.
  9. A young witch with short blonde hair poked her head around the curtain; Harry saw that she too was wearing magenta staff robes.
  10. After a few minutes progress up the dark tunnel, a distant sound of slowly shifting rock reached Harrys ears.
  11. After a good nights sleep, Harry felt nearly back to normal.
  12. After glancing once at this portrait, Professor McGonagall made an odd movement as though steeling herself, then rounded the desk to look at Harry, her face taut and lined.

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<== | ==>
At Harrys words, all the Weasleys and Hermione exchanged darkly significant looks. | Harry swore under his breath. He had always liked Percy least of Rons brothers, but he had never imagined he would say such things to Mr. Weasley.

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