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"Enter," said Dumbledore when Harry knocked. He sounded exhausted. Harry pushed open the door. There was Dumbledore's office, looking the same as ever, but with black, star-strewn skies beyond the windows.
Slipping and staggering, Harry got to his feet and plunged toward Malfoy, whose face was now shining scarlet, his white hands scrabbling at his blood-soaked chest.
'I didn't -' mumbled Harry, a little abashed, but Dumbledore cut across him.
'Oh, well, in that case,' said Professor Trelawney with a smile. She bent down, scooped up her sherry bottles and dumped them unceremoniously in a large blue and white vase standing in a nearby niche.
"Sometimes, however, it is unavoidable," said Dumbledore, shaking back the sleeve of his robes and exposing the forearm of his injured hand.
Harry only stopped staring at this unlikely coupling when he walked right into a suit of armor. The loud crash brought him out of his reverie; hurrying from the scene lest Filch turn up, he dashed down the marble staircase and along the passageway below. Outside the bathroom, he pressed his ear against the door. He could not hear anything. He very quietly pushed the door open.
To his surprise, Professor Trelawney drew herself up at this suggestion, looking haughty.
"Harry," said Hermione, "how can you still stick up for that book when that spell —"
He had not dared to return to the Room of Requirement to retrieve his book, and his performance in Potions was suffer-ing accordingly (though Slughorn, who approved of Ginny, had jocularly attributed this to Harry being lovesick). But Harry was sure that Snape had not yet given up hope of laying hands on the Prince's book, and was determined to leave it where it was while Snape remained on the lookout.
She looked suddenly shifty.
"Water," panted Harry. "Yes —" He leapt to his feet and seized the goblet he had dropped in the basin; he barely registered the golden locket lying curled beneath it.
Chapter 27: The Lightning-Struck Tower
"You are the Chosen One?" . . I.
'Professor,' said Harry quietly, as the gates at the bottom of the drive came into view, 'will we be Apparating?'
"Yes ... for homework," said Professor Flitwick, reemerging from under the table and pulling shards of glass out of the top of his hat, "practice."
'Please let me finish.' Dumbledore waited until Harry had nodded curtly, then went on. 'Professor Snape made a terrible mistake. He was still in Lord Voldemort's employ on the night he heard the first half of Professor Trelawney's prophecy. Naturally, he hastened to tell his master what he had heard, for it concerned his master most deeply. But he did not know - he had no possible way of knowing - which boy Voldemort would hunt from then onwards, or that the parents he would destroy in his murderous quest were people that Professor Snape knew, that they were your mother and father -';
They reached the bank with a little bump and Harry leapt out, then turned quickly to help Dumbledore. The moment that Dum-bledore reached the bank he let his wand hand fall; the ring of fire vanished, but the Inferi did not emerge again from the water. The little boat sank into the water once more; clanking and tinkling, its chain slithered back into the lake too. Dumbledore gave a great sigh and leaned against the cavern wall.？