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Hagrid howled still more loudly. Harry and Hermione looked at Ron to help them.

Harry had no room in his head to worry about anything except the match tomorrow. Oliver Wood kept hurrying up to him between classes and giving him tips. The third time this happened, Wood talked for so long that Harry suddenly realized he was ten minutes late for Defense Against the Dark Arts, and set off at a run with Wood shouting after him, "Diggory's got a very fast swerve, Harry, so you might want to try looping him --"

"Strong and silent," said Katie, and they started to giggle again.

There followed a list of the school governors.

What did he have to do? He pulled out the map again and saw to his astonishment, that a new ink figure had appeared upon it, labeled Harry Potter. This figure was standing exactly where the real Harry was standing, about halfway down the third-floor corridor.


Harry could hear the voices whispering, but they made no sense whatsoever. He didn't have a clue where he was, or how he'd got there, or what he'd been doing before he got there. All he knew was that every inch of him was aching as though it had been beaten.

Harry didn't say anything. He took a deep breath as relief seeped through him; he had been sure for a moment that those eyes had belonged to the Grim. They set off for the castle once more. slightly ashamed of his moment of panic, Harry didn't say anything to Ron -- nor did he look left or right until they had reached the well-lit entrance hall.

"Well, there you have it, Rosmerta," said Fudge thickly. "Black was taken away by twenty members of the Magical Law Enforcement 'Squad and Pettigrew received the Order of Merlin, First Class, which I think was some comfort to his poor mother. Blades been in Azkaban ever since."

Professors McGonagall and Flitwick had just entered the pub with a flurry of snowflakes, shortly followed by Hagrid, who was deep in conversation with a portly man in a lime-green bowler hat and a pinstriped cloak -- Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic.

"He's only silent because he's too thick to string two words together," said Fred impatiently. "I don't know why you're worried, Oliver, Hufflepuff is a pushover. Last time we played them, Harry caught the Snitch in about five minutes, remember?"


"I should probably take some again tomorrow. Thanks very much, Severus."

"What gives you that idea?" he said sharply.

"Are you mad?" said Ron, goggling at Hermione. "Hand in something that good?"

"An immensely complex spell," he said squeakily, "involving the magical concealment of a secret inside a single, living soul. The information is hidden inside the chosen person, or Secret-Keeper, and is henceforth impossible to find -- unless, of course, the Secret-Keeper chooses to divulge it. As long as the Secret-Keeper refused to speak, You-Know-Who could search the village where Lily and James were staying for years and never find them, not even if he had his nose pressed against their sitting room window!"

"What are you doing?" said Lupin, though in a very different voice from Filch. "Where are Ron and Hermione?"


"-- so obviously, the Malfoys knew Black was working for Voldemort --"


"Harry!" said Fred, who looked extremely white underneath, the mud. "How're you feeling?"


To everyone's delight except Harry's, there was to be another Hogsmeade trip on the very last weekend of the term.


"Stop worrying, Oliver," said Alicia soothingly, "we don't mind a bit of rain.",


"The true Patronus does do that," said Lupin. "But you've achieved a great deal in a very short space of time. If the dementors put in an appearance at your next Quidditch match, You will be able to keep them at bay long enough to get back to the ground.";