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reading his textbooks; that sort of behavior, as Ron rightly said, was indecent in anybody except Hermione, who was simply weird that way. Harry felt, however, that the Half-Blood Princes copy of Advanced Potion-Making hardly qualified as a textbook. The more Harry pored over the book, the more he realized how much was in there, not only the handy hints and shortcuts on potions that was earning him such a glowing reputation with Slughorn, but also the imaginative little jinxes and hexes scribbled in the margins, which Harry was sure, judging by the crossings-out and revisions, that the Prince had invented himself.
"Er — I'm sorry — I don't understand you," said Ogden nervously.
"I — no — what — ?" spluttered Mundungus, who was slowly turning purple.
"And so what if he did, then?" Gaunt said defiantly to Ogden, "I expect you've wiped the Muggle's filthy face clean for him, and his memory to boot —"
"Stan Shunpike, a Death Eater?" said Harry, remembering the spotty youth he had first met three years before. "No way!"
Dumbledore raised his eyebrows. "If, as I take it, you are accepting your place at Hogwarts?quot;
"Er ?may I offer you a glass of gin?" she said in an extra-refined voice.
Harry groaned. Meanwhile, Ron, who was attempting to burst the pod in the bowl by putting both hands on it, standing up, and squashing it as hard as he could, said angrily, "And this is another party just for Slughorn's favorites, is it?"
"Very good," said Dumbledore, nodding and smiling.
‘"Reparo,"' he said hastily, poking the pieces with his wand, and the bowl sprang back together again. The crash, however, appeared to have awoken Ron and Hermione to Harry's presence. Hermione looked flustered and immediately started fussing about for her copy of “Flesh-Eating Trees of the World” to find out the correct way to juice Snargaluff pods; Ron, on the other hand, looked sheepish but also rather pleased with himself.
"It has a very great deal to do with the prophecy," said Dumble-dore, as casually as if Harry had asked him about the next days weather, "and I certainly hope that it will help you to survive,."
Chapter 12: Silver and opals
"What happened to the girl in the cottage?" said Harry at once, as Dumbledore lit extra lamps with a flick of his wand. "Merope, or whatever her name was?"
"And now," said Slughorn, "it is time for us to start work."
She nodded impatiently, not taking her eyes off her potion, which was still deep purple, though according to the book ought to be turning a light shade of lilac by now.
One result of their enormous workload and the frantic hours of practicing nonverbal spells was that Harry, Ron, and Hermione had so far been unable to find time to go and visit Hagrid. He had stopped coming to meals at the staff table, an ominous sign, and on the few occasions when they had passed him in the corridors or out in the grounds, he had mysteriously failed to notice them or hear their greetings.
Harry had Herbology first thing the following morning. He had been unable to tell Ron and Hermione about his lesson with Dumbledore over breakfast for fear of being over-heard, but he filled them in as they walked across the vegetable patch toward the greenhouses. The weekend’s brutal wind had died out at last; the weird mist had returned and it took them a little longer than usual to find the correct greenhouse.,
One result of their enormous workload and the frantic hours of practicing nonverbal spells was that Harry, Ron, and Hermione had so far been unable to find time to go and visit Hagrid. He had stopped coming to meals at the staff table, an ominous sign, and on the few occasions when they had passed him in the corridors or out in the grounds, he had mysteriously failed to notice them or hear their greetings.;