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Harry slipped the tiny bottle of golden liquid into his inner pocket, feeling an odd combination of delight at the furious looks on the Slytherins' faces and guilt at the disappointed expression on Hermione's. Ron looked simply dumbfounded.
Harry looked up. Sure enough, Professor McGonagall was hur-rying down the stone steps through swirling sleet to meet them.
There was silence. Riddle had frozen, his face expressionless, but his eyes were flickering back and forth between each of Dumbledore's, as though trying to catch one of them lying.
Harry wondered vaguely who the Half-Blood Prince had been. Although the amount of homework they had been given prevented him from reading the whole of his copy of Advanced Potion-Making, he had skimmed through it sufficiently to see that there was barely a page on which the Prince had not made additional notes, not all of them concerned with potion-making. Here and there were direc-tions for what looked like spells that the Prince had made up himself.
"So who do you reckon Katie was supposed to give the necklace to?" asked Ron, as they climbed the stairs to the common room.
"I don't doubt it, if your sons been let loose on them," said Og-den. "Perhaps we could continue this discussion inside?"
"Stay there!" he shouted at the others over the howling wind. "I'm going for help!"
He pulled the old copy of Advanced Potion-Making out of his bag and tapped the cover with his wand, muttering, "Dijjindo!" The cover fell off. He did the same thing with the brand-new book (Hermione looked scandalized). He then swapped the covers, tapped each, and said, "Reparo!"
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.
"She didn't say who'd given it to her, Leanne?"
"Well, Mr. Gaunt," said Ogden, "to get straight to the point, we have reason to believe that your son, Morfin, performed magic in front of a Muggle late last night."
The man standing before them had thick hair so matted with dirt it could have been any color. Several of his teeth were missing. His eyes were small and dark and stared in opposite directions. He might have looked comical, but he did not; the effect was frighten-ing, and Harry could not blame Ogden for backing away several more paces before he spoke.
"All right," said Professor McGonagall, not unkindly, "go up to the hospital wing, please, Leanne, and get Madam Pomfrey to give you something for shock."
"I think Draco Malfoy gave Katie that necklace, Professor." ;
Halfway through October came their first trip of the term to Hogsmeade. Harry had wondered whether these trips would still be allowed, given the increasingly tight security measures around the school, but was pleased to know that they were going ahead; it was always good to get out of the castle grounds for a few hours.
Despite the cloudless sky, the old trees ahead cast deep, dark, cool shadows, and it was a few seconds before Harry's eyes discerned the building half-hidden amongst the tangle of trunks. It seemed to him a very strange location to choose for a house, or else an odd decision to leave the trees growing nearby, blocking all light and the view of the valley below. He wondered whether it was inhabited; its walls were mossy and so many tiles had fallen off the roof that the rafters were visible in places. Nettles grew all around it, their tips reaching the windows, which were tiny and thick with grime. Just as he had concluded that nobody could possibly live there, however, one of the windows was thrown open with a clatter, and a thin trickle of steam or smoke issued from it, as though somebody was cooking.,
"Not really. . ." Hermione had opened the newspaper and was scanning the inside pages. "Oh, look, your dad's in here, Ron — he's all right!" she added quickly, for Ron had looked around in alarm. "It just says he's been to visit the Malfoys' house. 'This sec-ond search of the Death Eaters residence does not seem to have yielded any results. Arthur Weasley of the Office for the Detection and Confis-cation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects said that his team had been acting upon a confidential tip-off.'"（央视记者 徐海霞）