'Oh, I think it is,' growled Moody, who had limped a little closer. That'll be them, will it, Potter?'
But Harry had no intention of going to the feast . . .
'You're well out of it, mate,' said Ron forcefully. 'I mean, she's quite good-looking and all that, but you want someone a bit more cheerful.'
'I thought I just had,' said Harry.
'Well, Potter, Malfoy, I think you ought to be outside on a glorious day like this,' Professor McGonagall continued briskly.
Harry shrugged. 'Just didn't feel like it.'
'Oh, very well,' he said, looking resigned. 'I can't pretend I haven't been expecting it.'
A few rubies retreated into the upper bulb, leaving a respectable amount below nevertheless.
'Michael - but - ' said Ron, craning around in his seat to state at her. 'But you were going out with him!'
'Look . . .' Hagrid leaned towards him across the table, 'I knew Sirius longer 'n yeh did . . . he died in battle, an tha's the way he'd've wanted ter go - '
'Yeah, she shows signs of life if you do this,' said Ron, and with his tongue he made soft clip-clopping noises. Umbridge sat bolt upright, looking around wildly.
He sat there for a long time, gazing out at the water, trying not to think about his godfather or to remember that it was directly across from here, on the opposite bank, that Sirius had once collapsed trying to fend off a hundred Dementors . . .
'Well, I'm terrified now,' said Harry sarcastically. 'I s'pose Lord Voldemort's just a warm-up act compared to you three - what's the matter?' he added, for Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle had all looked stricken at the sound of the name. 'He's a mate of your dad, isn't he? Not scared of him, are you?'
'Yes,' said Nearly Headless Nick quietly, 'I walk and talk, yes.'
'Bet Dumbledore wishes he could've got rid of Trelawney for good,' said Ron, now munching on his fourteenth Frog. 'Mind you, the whole subject's useless if you ask me, Firenze isn't a lot better . . .'
Harry closed his eyes. If he had not gone to save Sirius, Sirius would not have died . . . More to stave off the moment when he would have to think of Sirius again, Harry asked, without caring much about the answer, The end of the prophecy . . . it was something about . . . neither can live . . .'
Harry and Ron whiled away most of the journey playing wizard chess while Hermione read out snippets from the Prophet. It was now full of articles about how to repel Dementors, attempts by the Ministry to track down Death Eaters and hysterical letters claiming that the writer had seen Lord Voldemort walking past their house that very morning . . .
'Professor Dumbledore?' Harry said very quietly, for Dumbledore, still staring at the Pensieve, seemed completely lost in thought. 'It . . . did that mean . . . what did that mean?'
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There was Mad-Eye Moody, looking quite as sinister with his bowler hat pulled low over his magical eye as he would have done without it, his gnarled hands clutching a long staff, his body wrapped in a voluminous travelling cloak. Tonks stood just behind him, her bright bubble-gum-pink hair gleaming in the sunlight filtering through the dirty glass of the station ceiling, wearing heavily patched jeans and a bright purple T-shirt bearing the legend The Weird Sisters. Next to Tonks was Lupin, his face pale, his hair greying, a long and threadbare overcoat covering a shabby jumper and trousers. At the front of the group stood Mr and Mrs Weasley, dressed in their Muggle best, and Fred and George, who were both wearing brand-new jackets in some lurid green, scaly material.