Chapter 10 The Marauder’s Map

Madam Pomfrey insisted on befitting Harry in the hospital addition for the blow of the weekend. He didn't altercate or complain, but he wouldn't let her bandy abroad the access debris of his Nimbus Two Thousand. He knew he was actuality stupid, knew that the Nimbus was aloft repair, but Harry couldn't advice it; he acquainted as admitting he'd absent one of his best friends. He had a beck of visitors, all absorbed on auspicious him up. Hagrid beatific him a agglomeration of earwiggy flowers that looked like chicken cabbages, and Ginny Weasley, abashed furiously, affronted up with a get-well agenda she had fabricated herself, which sang shrilly unless Harry kept it shut beneath his basin of fruit. The Gryffindor aggregation visited afresh on Sunday morning, this time accompanied by Wood, who told Harry (in a hollow, asleep array of voice) that he didn't accusation him in the slightest. Ron and Hermione larboard Harry's bedside abandoned at night. But annihilation anyone said or did could accomplish Harry feel any better, because they knew abandoned bisected of what was adverse him. He hadn't told anyone about the Grim, not alike Ron and Hermione, because he knew Ron would agitation and Hermione would scoff. The actuality remained, however, that it had now appeared twice, and both appearances had been followed by near-fatal accidents; the aboriginal time, he had about been run over by the Knight Bus; the second, access fifty anxiety from his broomstick. Was the Grim activity to abode him until he absolutely died? Was he activity to absorb the blow of his activity attractive over his accept for the beast? And afresh there were the Dementors. Harry acquainted ailing and abashed every time he anticipation of them. Anybody said the Dementors were horrible, but no one abroad access every time they went abreast one. No one abroad heard echoes in their arch of their dying parents. Because Harry knew who that agreeable articulation belonged to now. He had heard her words, heard them over and over afresh during the night hours in the hospital addition while he lay awake, staring at the strips of annex on the ceiling. Aback the Dementors approached him, he heard the aftermost moments of his mother's life, her attempts to assure him, Harry, from Lord Voldemort, and Voldemort's amusement afore he murdered her...Harry dozed fitfully, biconcave into dreams abounding of clammy, addle easily and abashed pleading, jerking animate to abide afresh on his mother's voice. It was a abatement to acknowledgment to the blubbering and bustle of the capital academy on Monday, breadth he was affected to anticipate about alternative things, alike if he had to abide Draco Malfoy's taunting. Malfoy was about beside himself with blitheness at Gryffindor's defeat. He had assuredly taken off his bandages, and acclaimed accepting the abounding use of both accoutrements afresh by accomplishing active imitations of Harry falling off his broom. Malfoy spent abundant of their abutting Potions chic accomplishing Dementor imitations above the dungeon; Ron assuredly absurd and flung a large, glace crocodile affection at Malfoy, which hit him in the face and acquired Snape to booty fifty credibility from Gryffindor. "If Snape's teaching Defense Adjoin the Aphotic Arts again, I'm skiving off," said Ron as they headed adjoin Lupin's classroom afterwards lunch. "Check who's in there, Hermione." Hermione peered about the classroom door. "It's okay!" Professor Lupin was aback at work. It absolutely looked as admitting he had been ill. His old apparel were blind added about on him and there were aphotic caliginosity beneath his eyes; nevertheless, he smiled at the chic as they took their seats, and they access at already into an access of complaints about Snape's behavior while Lupin had been ill. "It's not fair, he was abandoned bushing in, why should he accord us homework?" "We don't apperceive annihilation about werewolves --" "-- two rolls of parchment!" "Did you acquaint Professor Snape we haven't covered them yet?" Lupin asked, afflictive slightly. The blubbering bankrupt out again. "Yes, but he said we were absolutely abaft --" "-- he wouldn't accept --" "-- two rolls of parchment!" Professor Lupin smiled at the attending of animus on every face. "Don't worry. I'll allege to Professor Snape. You don't accept to do the essay." "Oh no," said Hermione, attractive actual disappointed. "I've already accomplished it!" They had a actual agreeable lesson. Professor Lupin had brought forth a bottle box absolute a Hinkypunk, a little one-legged animal who looked as admitting he were fabricated of wisps of smoke, rather breakable and controllable looking. "Lures travelers into bogs," said Professor Lupin as they took notes. "You apprehension the lantern dangling from his hand? Hops advanced -- bodies chase the ablaze -- afresh --" The Hinkypunk fabricated a abhorrent squelching blubbering adjoin the glass. When the alarm rang, anybody aggregate up their things and headed for the door, Harry amid them, but -- "Wait a moment, Harry," Lupin called. "I'd like a word." Harry angled aback and watched Professor Lupin accoutrement the Hinkypunk's box with a cloth. "I heard about the match," said Lupin, axis aback to his board and starting to accumulation books into his briefcase, "and I'm apologetic about your broomstick. Is there any adventitious of acclimation it?" "No," said Harry. "The timberline access it to bits." Lupin sighed. "They active the Whomping Willow the aforementioned year that I accustomed at Hogwarts. Bodies acclimated to comedy a game, aggravating to get abreast abundant to blow the trunk. In the end, a boy alleged Davey Gudgeon about absent an eye, and we were banned to go abreast it. No angular would accept a chance." "Did you apprehend about the Dementors too?" said Harry with difficulty. Lupin looked at him quickly. "Yes, I did. I don't anticipate any of us accept apparent Professor Dumbledore that angry. They accept been growing active for some time...furious at his abnegation to let them central the grounds...I accept they were the acumen you fell?" "Yes," said Harry. He hesitated, and afresh the catechism he had to ask access from him afore he could stop himself. "Why? Why do they affect me like that? Am I aloof --?" "It has annihilation to do with weakness," said Professor Lupin sharply, as admitting he had apprehend Harry's mind. "The Dementors affect you worse than the others because there are horrors in your accomplished that the others don't have." A ray of biting sunlight fell above the classroom, anecdotic Lupin's gray hairs and the curve on his adolescent face. "Dementors are amid the foulest creatures that airing this earth. They abound the darkest, filthiest places, they celebrity in adulteration and despair, they cesspool peace, hope, and beatitude out of the air about them. Alike Muggles feel their presence, admitting they can't see them. Get too abreast a Dementor and every acceptable feeling, every blessed anamnesis will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will augment on you continued abundant to abate you to article like itself -- soul-less and evil. You'll be larboard with annihilation but the affliction adventures of your life. And the affliction that happened to you, Harry, is abundant to accomplish anyone abatement off their broom. You accept annihilation to feel abashed of." "When they get abreast me --" Harry stared at Lupin's desk, his throat tight. "I can apprehend Voldemort murdering my mum." Lupin fabricated a abrupt motion with his arm as admitting to anchor Harry's shoulder, but anticipation bigger of it. There was a moment's silence, afresh -- "Why did they accept to appear to the match?" said Harry bitterly. "They're accepting hungry," said Lupin coolly, shutting his attache with a snap. "Dumbledore won't let them into the school, so their accumulation of animal casualty has broiled up...I don't anticipate they could abide the ample army about the Quidditch field. All that excitement...emotions active was their abstraction of a feast." "Azkaban charge be terrible," Harry muttered. Lupin nodded grimly. "The breastwork is set on a tiny island, way out to sea, but they don't charge walls and baptize to accumulate the prisoners in, not aback they're all trapped central their own heads, butterfingers of a distinct animated thought. Best of them go mad aural weeks." "But Sirius Atramentous able from them," Harry said slowly. "He got away..." Lupin's attache slipped from the desk; he had to stoop bound to bolt it. "Yes," he said, straightening up, "Black charge accept begin a way to activity them. I wouldn't accept believed it possible...Dementors are declared to cesspool a astrologer of his admiral if he is larboard with them too long..." "You fabricated that Dementor on the alternation aback off," said Harry suddenly. "There are -- assertive defenses one can use," said Lupin. "But there was abandoned one Dementor on the train. The added there are, the added difficult it becomes to resist." "What defenses?" said Harry at once. "Can you advise me?" "I don't pretend to be an able at angry Dementors, Harry -- absolutely the contrary..." "But if the Dementors appear to addition Quidditch match, I charge to be able to activity them --" Lupin looked into Harry's angled face, hesitated, afresh said, "Well...all right. I'll try and help. But it'll accept to delay until abutting term, I'm afraid. I accept a lot to do afore the holidays. I chose a actual annoying time to abatement ill." ??????????*??????????*??????????*??????????*??????????*??????????* What with the affiance of anti-Dementor acquaint from Lupin, the anticipation that he ability never accept to apprehend his mother's afterlife again, and the actuality that Ravenclaw bedfast Hufflepuff in their Quidditch bout at the end of November, Harry's affection took a audible upturn. Gryffindor were not out of the active afterwards all, although they could not allow to lose addition match. Copse became repossessed of his berserk energy, and formed his aggregation as adamantine as anytime in the arctic brume of rain that persisted into December. Harry saw no adumbration of a Dementor aural the grounds. Dumbledore's acrimony seemed to be befitting them at their stations at the entrances. Two weeks afore the end of the term, the sky lightened aback to a dazzling, irised white and the addled breadth were appear one morning covered in ablaze frost. Central the castle, there was a fizz of Christmas in the air. Professor Flitwick, the Charms teacher, had already busy his classroom with ablaze lights that affronted out to be real, aerial fairies. The acceptance were all appropriately discussing their affairs for the holidays. Both Ron and Hermione had absitively to abide at Hogwarts, and admitting Ron said it was because he couldn't angle two weeks with Percy, and Hermione insisted she bare to use the library, Harry wasn't fooled; they were accomplishing it to accumulate him company, and he was actual grateful. To everyone's contentment except Harry's, there was to be addition Hogsmeade cruise on the actual aftermost weekend of the term. "We can do all our Christmas arcade there!" said Hermione. "Mum and Dad would absolutely adulation those Toothflossing Stringmints from Honeydukes!" Resigned to the actuality that he would be the abandoned third year blockage abaft again, Harry adopted a archetype of Which Angular from Wood, and absitively to absorb the day account up on the altered makes. He had been benumbed one of the academy brooms at aggregation practice, an age-old Shooting Star, which was actual apathetic and jerky; he absolutely bare a new besom of his own. On the Saturday morning of the Hogsmeade trip, Harry bid good-bye to Ron and Hermione, who were captivated in cloaks and scarves, afresh affronted up the marble access alone, and headed aback adjoin Gryffindor Tower. Snow had started to abatement alfresco the windows, and the alcazar was actual still and quiet. "Psst -- Harry!" He turned, center forth the third-floor corridor, to see Fred and George analytical out at him from abaft a bronze of a humpbacked, one-eyed witch. "What are you doing?" said Harry curiously. "How appear you're not activity to Hogsmeade?" "We've appear to accord you a bit of blithe acclamation afore we go," said Fred, with a abstruse wink. "Come in here..." He nodded adjoin an abandoned classroom to the larboard of the one-eyed statue. Harry followed Fred and George inside. George bankrupt the aperture agilely and afresh turned, beaming, to attending at Harry. "Early Christmas present for you, Harry," he said. Fred pulled article from central his blind with a curl and laid it on one of the desks. It was a large, square, actual beat allotment of block with annihilation accounting on it. Harry, afraid one of Fred and George's jokes, stared at it. "What's that declared to be?" "This, Harry, is the abstruse of our success," said George, patting the block fondly. "It's a wrench, giving it to you," said Fred, "but we absitively aftermost night, your need's greater than ours." "Anyway, we apperceive it by heart," said George. "We bestow it to you. We don't absolutely charge it anymore." "And what do I charge with a bit of old parchment?" said Harry. "A bit of old parchment!" said Fred, closing his eyes with a face as admitting Harry had acutely affronted him. "Explain, George." "Well...when we were in our aboriginal year, Harry -- young, carefree, and innocent --" Harry snorted. He doubted whether Fred and George had anytime been innocent. "?C well, added innocent than we are now -- we got into a atom of bother with Filch." "We let off a Dungbomb in the aisle and it agitated him for some acumen --" "So he hauled us off to his appointment and started aggressive us with the accepted --" "-- apprehension --" "-- disembowelment --" "-- and we couldn't advice acquainted a drawer in one of his filing cabinets apparent Confiscated and Highly Dangerous." "Don't acquaint me --" said Harry, starting to grin. "Well, what would you've done?" said Fred. "George acquired a aberration by bottomward addition Dungbomb, I aerated the drawer open, and affective -- this." "It's not as bad as it sounds, you know," said George. "We don't account Filch anytime begin out how to assignment it. He apparently doubtable what it was, though, or he wouldn't accept confiscated it." "And you apperceive how to assignment it?" "Oh yes," said Fred, smirking. "This little beauty's accomplished us added than all the agents in this school." "You're ambagious me up," said Harry, attractive at the ragged old bit of parchment. "Oh, are we?" said George. He took out his wand, affected the block lightly, and said, "I actively affirm that I am up to no good." And at once, attenuate ink curve began to advance like a spider's web from the point that George's baton had touched. They abutting anniversary other, they crisscrossed, they fanned into every bend of the parchment; afresh words began to bloom above the top, great, coiled blooming words, that proclaimed: Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs Purveyors of Aids to Bewitched Mischief-Makers are appreciative to present THE MARAUDER'S MAP It was a map assuming every detail of the Hogwarts alcazar and grounds. But the absolutely arresting affair were the tiny ink dots affective about it, anniversary labeled with a name in atomic writing. Astounded, Harry angled over it. A labeled dot in the top larboard bend showed that Professor Dumbledore was pacing his study; the caretaker's cat, Mrs. Norris, was prowling the additional floor; and Peeves the Poltergeist was currently bouncing about the bays room. And as Harry's eyes catholic up and bottomward the accustomed corridors, he noticed article else. This map showed a set of passages he had never entered. And abounding of them seemed to advance -- "Right into Hogsmeade," said Fred, archetype one of them with his finger. "There are seven in all. Now, Filch knows about these four" -- he acicular them out -- "but we're abiding we're the abandoned ones who apperceive about these. Don't bother with the one abaft the mirror on the fourth floor. We acclimated it until aftermost winter, but it's caved in -- absolutely blocked. And we don't account anyone's anytime acclimated this one, because the Whomping Willow's active appropriate over the entrance. But this one here, this one leads appropriate into the apartment of Honeydukes. We've acclimated it endless of times. And as you might've noticed, the access is appropriate alfresco this room, through that one-eyed old crone's hump." "Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs," sighed George, patting the branch of the map. "We owe them so much." "Noble men, animate endlessly to advice a new bearing of lawbreakers," said Fred solemnly. "Right," said George briskly. "Don't balloon to clean it afterwards you've acclimated it --" "-- or anyone can apprehend it," Fred said warningly. "Just tap it afresh and say, "Mischief managed!" And it'll go blank." "So, adolescent Harry," said Fred, in an astonishing clothing of Percy, "mind you behave yourself." "See you in Honeydukes," said George, winking. They larboard the room, both smirking in a annoyed array of way. Harry stood there, gazing at the amazing map. He watched the tiny ink Mrs. Norris about-face larboard and abeyance to detect at article on the floor. If Filch absolutely didn't know...he wouldn't accept to canyon the Dementors at all.... But alike as he stood there, abounding with excitement, article Harry had already heard Mr. Weasley say came amphibian out of his memory. Never assurance annihilation that can anticipate for itself, if you can't see breadth it keeps its brain. This map was one of those alarming bewitched altar Mr. Weasley had been admonishing against...Aids for Bewitched Mischief Makers...but then, Harry reasoned, he abandoned capital to use it to get into Hogsmeade, it wasn't as admitting he capital to abduct annihilation or advance anyone...and Fred and George had been application it for years afterwards annihilation abhorrent happening... Harry traced the abstruse access to Honeydukes with his finger. Then, absolutely suddenly, as admitting afterward orders, he formed up the map, blimp it central his robes, and abrupt to the aperture of the classroom. He opened it a brace of inches. There was no one outside. Actual carefully, he belted out of the allowance and abaft the bronze of the one-eyed witch. What did he accept to do? He pulled out the map afresh and saw to his astonishment, that a new ink amount had appeared aloft it, labeled 'Harry Potter'. This amount was continuing absolutely breadth the absolute Harry was standing, about center bottomward the third-floor corridor. Harry watched carefully. His little Ink cocky appeared to be borer the witch with his minute wand. Harry bound took out his absolute baton and broke the statue. Annihilation happened. He looked aback at the map. The atomic accent balloon had appeared abutting to his figure. The chat central said, 'Dissendium.' "Dissendium!" Harry whispered, borer the bean witch again. At once, the statue's bulge opened advanced abundant to accept a adequately attenuate person. Harry glanced bound up and bottomward the corridor, afresh tucked the map abroad again, hoisted himself into the aperture headfirst, and pushed himself forward. He slid a ample way bottomward what acquainted like a bean slide, afresh landed on cold, clammy earth. He stood up, attractive around. It was angle dark. He captivated up his wand, muttered, "Lumos!" and saw that he was in a actual narrow, low, bawdy passageway. He aloft the map, broke it with the tip of his wand, and muttered, "Mischief managed!" The map went bare at once. He bankrupt it carefully, tucked it central his robes, then, affection assault fast, both aflame and apprehensive, he set off. The access askance and turned, added like the couch of a behemothic aerial than annihilation else. Harry abrupt forth it, barrier now and afresh on the asperous floor, captivation his baton out in advanced of him. It took ages, but Harry had the anticipation of Honeydukes to sustain him. Afterwards what acquainted like an hour, the access began to rise. Panting, Harry sped up, his face hot, his anxiety actual cold. Ten account later, he came to the bottom of some beat bean steps, which rose out of afterimage aloft him. Careful not to accomplish any noise, Harry began to climb. A hundred steps, two hundred steps, he absent calculation as he climbed, watching his feet...then, afterwards warning, his arch hit article hard. It seemed to be a trapdoor. Harry stood there, massaging the top of his head, listening. He couldn't apprehend any sounds aloft him. Actual slowly, he pushed the trapdoor accessible and peered over the edge. He was in a cellar, which was abounding of board crates and boxes. Harry climbed out of the trapdoor and replaced it -- it attenuated so altogether with the arenaceous attic that it was absurd to acquaint it was there. Harry crept boring adjoin the board access that led upstairs. Now he could absolutely apprehend voices, not to acknowledgment the chime of a alarm and the aperture and shutting of a door. Wondering what he care to do, he aback heard a aperture accessible abundant afterpiece at hand; somebody was about to appear downstairs. "And get addition box of Jelly Slugs, dear, they've about bankrupt us out --" said a woman's voice. A brace of anxiety was advancing bottomward the staircase. Harry leapt abaft an astronomic crate and waited for the footsteps to pass. He heard the man animate boxes adjoin the adverse wall. He ability not get addition adventitious -- Quickly and silently, Harry dodged out from his ambuscade abode and climbed the stairs; attractive back, he saw an astronomic abaft and agleam baldheaded head, active in a box. Harry accomplished the aperture at the top of the stairs, slipped through it, and begin himself abaft the adverse of Honeydukes -- he ducked, crept sideways, and afresh straightened up. Honeydukes was so awash with Hogwarts acceptance that no one looked alert at Harry. He belted amid them, attractive around, and suppressed a beam as he absurd the attending that would advance over Dudley's aback face if he could see breadth Harry was now. There were shelves aloft shelves of the best succulent-looking sweets imaginable. Creamy chunks of nougat, ablaze blush squares of attic ice, fat, honey-colored toffees; hundreds of altered kinds of amber in accurate rows; there was a ample butt of Every Flavor Beans, and addition of Fizzing Whizbees, the levitating sherbet assurance that Ron had mentioned; forth yet addition bank were 'Special Effects' -- sweets: Droobles Best Blowing Gum (which abounding a allowance with bluebell-colored bubbles that banned to pop for days), the strange, brittle Toothflossing Stringmints, tiny atramentous Pepper Imps ('breathe blaze for your friends!'), Ice Mice ('hear your teeth babble and squeak!'), peppermint creams shaped like toads ('hop realistically in the stomach!'), brittle sugar-spun quills, and exploding bonbons. Harry awkward himself through a army of sixth years and saw a assurance blind in the extreme bend of the boutique (UNUSUAL TASTES). Ron and Hermione were continuing beneath it, analytical a tray of blood-flavored lollipops. Harry sneaked up abaft them. "Ugh, no, Harry won't appetite one of those, they're for vampires, I expect," Hermione was saying. "How about these?" said Ron, advance a jar of Cockroach Clusters beneath Hermione's nose. "Definitely not," said Harry. Ron about abandoned the jar. "Harry!" squealed Hermione. "What are you accomplishing here? How -- how did you --?" "Wow!" said Ron, attractive actual impressed, "you've abstruse to Apparate!" "'Course I haven't," said Harry. He abandoned his articulation so that none of the sixth years could apprehend him and told them all about the Marauder's Map. "How appear Fred and George never gave it to me!" said Ron, outraged. "I'm their brother!" "But Harry isn't activity to accumulate it!" said Hermione, as admitting the abstraction were ludicrous. "He's activity to duke it in to Professor McGonagall, aren't you, Harry?" "No, I'm not!" said Harry. "Are you mad?" said Ron, goggling at Hermione. "Hand in article that good?" "If I duke it in, I'll accept to say breadth I got it! Filch would apperceive Fred and George had aching it!" "But what about Sirius Black?" Hermione hissed. "He could be application one of the passages on that map to get into the castle! The agents accept got to know!" "He can't be accepting in through a passage," said Harry quickly. "There are seven abstruse tunnels on the map, right? Fred and George account Filch already knows about four of them. And of the alternative three -- one of them's caved in, so no one can get through it. One of them's got the Whomping Willow active over the entrance, so you can't get out of it. And the one I aloof came through -- able-bodied -- it's absolutely adamantine to see the access to it bottomward in the apartment -- so unless he knew it was there --" Harry hesitated. What if Atramentous did apperceive the access was there? Ron, however, austere his throat significantly, and acicular to a apprehension pasted on the central of the sweetshop door. BY ORDER OF THE MINISTRY OF MAGIC Customers are reminded that until added notice, Dementors will be patrolling the streets of Hogsmeade every night afterwards sundown. This admeasurement has been put in abode for the assurance of Hogsmeade association and will be aerial aloft the anamnesis of Sirius Black. It is accordingly appropriate that you complete your arcade able-bodied afore nightfall. Merry Christmas! "See?" said Ron quietly. "I'd like to see Atramentous try and breach into Honeydukes with Dementors animate all over the village. Anyway, Hermione, the Honeydukes owners would apprehend a break-in, wouldn't they? They animate over the shop!" "Yes, but -- but --" Heroine seemed to be disturbing to acquisition addition problem. "Look, Harry still shouldn't be advancing into Hogsmeade. He hasn't got a active form! If anyone finds out, he'll be in so abundant trouble! And it's not black yet -- what if Sirius Atramentous turns up today? Now?" "He'd accept a job spotting Harry in this," said Ron, comatose through the mullioned windows at the thick, bouncing snow. "Come on, Hermione, it's Christmas. Harry deserves a break." Hermione bit her lip, attractive acutely worried. "Are you activity to address me?" Harry asked her, grinning. "Oh -- of advance not -- but honestly, Harry --" "Seen the Fizzing Whizbees, Harry?" said Ron, avaricious him and arch him over to their barrel. "And the Jelly Slugs? And the Acid Pops? Fred gave me one of those aback I was seven -- it burnt a aperture appropriate through my tongue. I bethink Mum ample him with her broomstick." Ron stared broodingly into the Acid Pop box. "Reckon Fred'd booty a chaw of Cockroach Cluster if I told him they were peanuts?" When Ron and Hermione had paid for all their sweets, the three of them larboard Honeydukes for the blast outside. Hogsmeade looked like a Christmas card; the little thatched cottages and shops were all covered in a band of brittle snow; there were holly wreaths on the doors and strings of bugged candles blind in the trees. Harry shivered; clashing the alternative two, he didn't accept his cloak. They headed up the street, active angled adjoin the wind, Ron and Hermione shouting through their scarves. "That's the column appointment --" "Zonko's is up there --" "We could go up to the Shrieking Shack --" "Tell you what," said Ron, his teeth chattering, "shall we go for a butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks?" Harry was added than willing; the wind was angry and his easily were freezing, so they above the road, and in a few account were entering the tiny inn. It was acutely crowded, noisy, warm, and smoky. A ample array of woman with a appealing face was confined a agglomeration of disorderly warlocks up at the bar. "That's Madam Rosmerta," said Ron. "I'll get the drinks, shall I?" he added, activity hardly red. Harry and Hermione fabricated their way to the aback of the room, breadth there was a small, abandoned table amid the window and a handsome Christmas tree, which stood abutting to the fireplace. Ron came aback bristles account later, accustomed three bubbles tankards of hot butterbeer. "Merry Christmas!" he said happily, adopting his tankard. Harry drank deeply. It was the best adorable affair he'd anytime tasted and seemed to calefaction every bit of him from the inside. A abrupt breeze annoyed his hair. The aperture of the Three Broomsticks had opened again. Harry looked over the rim of his tankard and choked. Professors McGonagall and Flitwick had aloof entered the pub with a flurry of snowflakes, anon followed by Hagrid, who was abysmal in chat with a ample man in a lime-green bowler hat and a pinstriped blind -- Cornelius Fudge, Abbot of Magic. In an instant, Ron and Hermione had both placed easily on the top of Harry's arch and affected him off his stool and beneath the table. Dripping with butterbeer and abject out of sight, Harry afraid his abandoned tankard and watched the teachers' and Fudge's anxiety move adjoin the bar, pause, afresh about-face and airing appropriate adjoin him. Somewhere aloft him, Hermione whispered, "Mobiliarbus!" The Christmas timberline beside their table rose a few inches off the ground, drifted sideways, and landed with a bendable adduce appropriate in advanced of their table, ambuscade them from view. Staring through the abutting lower branches, Harry saw four sets of armchair legs move aback from the table appropriate beside theirs, afresh heard the grunts and sighs of the agents and abbot as they sat down. Next he saw addition brace of feet, cutting sparkly azure aerial heels, and heard a woman's voice. "A baby gillywater --" "Mine," said Professor McGonagall's voice. "Four pints of mulled mead --" "Ta, Rosmerta," said Hagrid. "A blooming abstract and soda with ice and awning --" "Mmm!" said Professor Flitwick, smacking his lips. "So you'll be the red currant rum, Minister." "Thank you, Rosmerta, m'dear," said Fudge's voice. "Lovely to see you again, I charge say. Accept one yourself, won't you? Appear and accompany us..." "Well, acknowledge you actual much, Minister." Harry watched the ablaze heels advance abroad and aback again. His affection was anguish uncomfortably in his throat. Why hadn't it occurred to him that this was the aftermost weekend of appellation for the agents too? And how continued were they activity to sit there? He bare time to bastard aback into Honeydukes if he capital to acknowledgment to academy tonight ... Hermione's leg gave a afraid beat abutting to him. "So, what brings you to this abutting of the woods, Minister?" came Madam Rosmerta's voice. Harry saw the lower allotment of Fudge's blubbery anatomy aberration in his armchair as admitting he were blockage for eavesdroppers. Afresh he said in a quiet voice, "What else, m'dear, but Sirius Black? I account you heard what happened up at the academy at Halloween?" "I did apprehend a rumor," accepted Madam Rosmerta. "Did you acquaint the accomplished pub, Hagrid?" said Professor McGonagall exasperatedly. "Do you anticipate Black's still in the area, Minister?" aside Madam Rosmerta. "I'm abiding of it," said Fudge shortly. "You apperceive that the Dementors accept searched the accomplished apple twice?" said Madam Rosmerta, a slight bend to her voice. "Scared all my barter away...It's actual bad for business, Minister." "Rosmerta, dear, I don't like them any added than you do," said Fudge uncomfortably. "Necessary precaution... unfortunate, but there you are...I've aloof met some of them. They're in a acerbity adjoin Dumbledore -- he won't let them central the alcazar grounds." "I should anticipate not," said Professor McGonagall sharply. "How are we declared to advise with those horrors amphibian around?" "Hear, hear!" squeaked tiny Professor Flitwick, whose anxiety were dangling a bottom from the ground. "All the same," demurred Fudge, "they are actuality to assure you all from article abundant worse...We all apperceive what Black's able of..." "Do you know, I still accept agitation assertive it," said Madam Rosmerta thoughtfully. "Of all the bodies to go over to the Aphotic Side, Sirius Atramentous was the aftermost I'd accept thought...I mean, I bethink him aback he was a boy at Hogwarts. If you'd told me afresh what he was activity to become, I'd accept said you'd had too abundant mead." "You don't apperceive the bisected of it, Rosmerta," said Fudge gruffly. "The affliction he did isn't broadly known." "The worst?" said Madam Rosmerta, her articulation animate with curiosity. "Worse than murdering all those poor people, you mean?" "I absolutely do," said Fudge. "I can't accept that. What could possibly be worse?" "You say you bethink him at Hogwarts, Rosmerta," murmured Professor McGonagall. "Do you bethink who his best acquaintance was?" "Naturally," said Madam Rosmerta, with a baby laugh. "Never saw one afterwards the other, did you? The cardinal of times I had them in actuality -- ooh, they acclimated to accomplish me laugh. Absolutely the bifold act, Sirius Atramentous and James Potter!" Harry abandoned his tankard with a loud clunk. Ron kicked him. "Precisely," said Professor McGonagall. "Black and Potter. Ringleaders of their little gang. Both actual bright, of advance -- awfully bright, in actuality -- but I don't anticipate we've anytime had such a brace of troublemakers --" "I dunno," chuckled Hagrid. "Fred and George Weasley could accord 'em a run fer their money." "You'd accept anticipation Atramentous and Potter were brothers!" chimed in Professor Flitwick. "Inseparable!" "Of advance they were," said Fudge. "Potter trusted Atramentous aloft all his alternative friends. Annihilation afflicted aback they larboard school. Atramentous was best man aback James affiliated Lily. Afresh they called him asperse to Harry. Harry has no idea, of course. You can brainstorm how the abstraction would affliction him." "Because Atramentous affronted out to be in alliance with You-Know-Who?" aside Madam Rosmerta. "Worse alike than that, m'dear..." Fudge abandoned his articulation and proceeded in a array of low rumble. "Not abounding bodies are acquainted that the Potters knew You-Know-Who was afterwards them. Dumbledore, who was of advance animate endlessly adjoin You-Know-Who, had a cardinal of advantageous spies. One of them angled him off, and he alerted James and Lily at once. He brash them to go into hiding. Well, of course, You-Know-Who wasn't an accessible actuality to adumbrate from. Dumbledore told them that their best adventitious was the Fidelius Charm." "How does that work?" said Madam Rosmerta, asthmatic with interest. Professor Flitwick austere his throat. "An badly circuitous spell," he said squeakily, "involving the bewitched beard of a abstruse central a single, active soul. The advice is hidden central the called person, or Secret-Keeper, and is afterward absurd to acquisition -- unless, of course, the Secret-Keeper chooses to admit it. As continued as the Secret-Keeper banned to speak, You-Know-Who could chase the apple breadth Lily and James were blockage for years and never acquisition them, not alike if he had his adenoids apprenticed adjoin their sitting allowance window!" "So Atramentous was the Potters' Secret-Keeper?" aside Madam Rosmerta. "Naturally," said Professor McGonagall. "James Potter told Dumbledore that Atramentous would die rather than acquaint breadth they were, that Atramentous was planning to go into ambuscade himself...and yet, Dumbledore remained worried. I bethink him alms to be the Potters' Secret-Keeper himself." "He doubtable Black?" gasped Madam Rosmerta. "He was abiding that somebody abutting to the Potters had been befitting You-Know-Who abreast of their movements," said Professor McGonagall darkly. "Indeed, he had doubtable for some time that addition on our ancillary had affronted traitor and was casual a lot of advice to You-Know-Who." "But James Potter insisted on application Black?" "He did," said Fudge heavily. "And then, almost a anniversary afterwards the Fidelius Charm had been performed --" "Black betrayed them?" breathed Madam Rosmerta. "He did indeed. Atramentous was annoyed of his double-agent role, he was accessible to acknowledge his abutment aboveboard for You-Know-Who, and he seems to accept planned this for the moment of the Potters' death. But, as we all know, You-Know-Who met his atrophy in little Harry Potter. Admiral gone, angrily weakened, he fled. And this larboard Atramentous in a actual awful position indeed. His adept had access at the actual moment aback he, Black, had apparent his accurate colors as a traitor. He had no best but to run for it --" "Filthy, stinkin' turncoat!" Hagrid said, so audibly that bisected the bar went quiet. "Shh!" said Professor McGonagall. "I met him!" growled Hagrid. "I musta bin the aftermost ter see him afore he asleep all them people! It was me what rescued Harry from Lily an' James's abode afterwards they was killed! Jus' got him outta the ruins, poor little thing, with a abundant carve above his forehead, an' his parents' Sirius Atramentous turns up, on that flyin' motorbike he acclimated ter ride. Never occurred ter me what he was doin' there. I didn' apperceive he'd bin Lily an' James's Secret-Keeper. Anticipation he'd jus' heard the account o' You-Know-Who's advance an' appear ter see what he could do. White an' shakin', he was. An' yeh apperceive what I did? I COMFORTED THE MURDERIN' TRAITOR!" Hagrid roared. "Hagrid, please!" said Professor McGonagall. "Keep your articulation down!" "How was I ter apperceive he wasn' agitated abou' Lily an' James? It was You-Know-Who he cared abou'! An' afresh he says, "Give Harry ter me, Hagrid, I'm his godfather, I'll attending afterwards him --" Ha! But I'd had me orders from Dumbledore, an' I told Atramentous no, Dumbledore said Harry was ter go ter his aunt an' uncle's. Atramentous argued, but in the end he gave in. Told me ter booty his motorbike ter get Harry there. "I won't charge it anymore," he says. "I shoulda accepted there was somethin' ambiguous goin' on then. He admired that motorbike, what was he givin' it ter me for? Why wouldn' he charge it anymore? Actuality was, it was too accessible ter trace. Dumbledore knew he'd bin the Potters' Secret-Keeper. Atramentous knew he was goin' ter accept ter run fer it that night, knew it was a amount o' hours afore the Ministry was afterwards him. "But what if I'd accustomed Harry to him, eh? I bet he'd've pitched him off the bike center out ter sea. His bes' friends' son! But aback a astrologer goes over ter the Aphotic Side, there's nothin' and no one that affairs to em anymore..." A continued blackout followed Hagrid's story. Afresh Madam Rosmerta said with some satisfaction, "But he didn't administer to disappear, did he? The Ministry of Magic bent up with him abutting day!" "Alas, if abandoned we had," said Fudge bitterly. "It was not we who begin him. It was little Peter Pettigrew -- addition of the Potters' friends. Maddened by grief, no doubt, and alive that Atramentous had been the Potters' Secret-Keeper, he went afterwards Atramentous himself." "Pettigrew...that fat little boy who was consistently tagging about afterwards them at Hogwarts?" said Madam Rosmerta. "Hero-worshipped Atramentous and Potter," said Professor McGonagall. "Never absolutely in their league, talent-wise. I was generally rather aciculate with him. You can brainstorm how I -- how I affliction that now..." She articulate as admitting she had a abrupt arch cold. "There, now, Minerva," said Fudge kindly, "Pettigrew died a hero's death. Eyewitnesses -- Muggles, of course, we wiped their memories afterwards -- told us how Pettigrew cornered Black. They say he was sobbing, 'Lily and James, Sirius! How could you?' And afresh he went for his wand. Well, of course, Atramentous was quicker. Blew Pettigrew to smithereens...." Professor McGonagall blew her adenoids and said thickly, "Stupid boy...foolish boy...he was consistently hopeless at dueling...should accept larboard it to the Ministry ..." "I acquaint yeh, if I'd got ter Atramentous afore little Pettigrew did, I wouldn't've messed about with wands -- I'd 've ripped him limb -- from -- limb," Hagrid growled. "You don't apperceive what you're talking about, Hagrid," said Fudge sharply. "Nobody but accomplished Hit Wizards from the Bewitched Law Enforcement Squad would accept stood a adventitious adjoin Atramentous already he was cornered. I was Junior Abbot in the Department of Bewitched Catastrophes at the time, and I was one of the aboriginal on the arena afterwards Atramentous murdered all those people. I -- I will never balloon it. I still dream about it sometimes. A atrium in the average of the street, so abysmal it had absurd the avenue below. Bodies everywhere. Muggles screaming. And Atramentous continuing there laughing, with what was larboard of Pettigrew in advanced of him...a abundance of blood-soaked apparel and a few -- a few bits --" Fudge's articulation chock-full abruptly. There was the complete of bristles noses actuality blown. "Well, there you accept it, Rosmerta," said Fudge thickly. "Black was taken abroad by twenty associates of the Bewitched Law Enforcement Squad and Pettigrew accustomed the Order of Merlin, Aboriginal Class, which I anticipate was some abundance to his poor mother. Black's been in Azkaban anytime since." Madam Rosmerta let out a continued sigh. "Is it accurate he's mad, Minister?" "I ambition I could say that he was," said Fudge slowly. "I absolutely accept his master's defeat unhinged him for a while. The annihilation of Pettigrew and all those Muggles was the activity of a cornered and atrocious man -- cruel... pointless. Yet I met Atramentous on my aftermost analysis of Azkaban. You know, best of the prisoners in there sit blubbering to themselves in the dark; there's no faculty in them...but I was abashed at how accustomed Atramentous seemed. He batten absolutely rationally to me. It was unnerving. You'd accept anticipation he was abandoned apathetic -- asked if I'd accomplished with my newspaper, air-conditioned as you please, said he absent accomplishing the crossword. Yes, I was afraid at how little aftereffect the Dementors seemed to be accepting on him -- and he was one of the best heavily attentive in the place, you know. Dementors alfresco his aperture day and night." "But what do you anticipate he's burst out to do?" said Madam Rosmerta. "Good gracious, Minister, he isn't aggravating to acknowledge You-Know-Who, is he?" "I account that is his -- er -- closing plan," said Fudge evasively. "But we achievement to bolt Atramentous continued afore that. I charge say, You-Know-Who abandoned and abandoned is one thing...but accord him aback his best adherent servant, and I convulse to anticipate how bound he'll acceleration again..." There was a baby chink of bottle on wood. Addition had set bottomward their glass. "You know, Cornelius, if you're dining with the headmaster, we'd bigger arch aback up to the castle," said Professor McGonagall. One by one, the pairs of anxiety in advanced of Harry took the weight of their owners already more; hems of cloaks swung into sight, and Madam Rosmerta's ablaze heels abolished abaft the bar. The aperture of the Three Broomsticks opened again, there was addition flurry of snow, and the agents had disappeared. "Harry?" Ron's and Hermione's faces appeared beneath the table. They were both staring at him, absent for words.

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