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They rounded a corner in the lane, sleet coming thick and fast, blurring Harry's glasses. Just as he raised a gloved hand to wipe them, Leanne made to grab hold of the package Katie was holding; Katie tugged it back and the package fell to the ground.
Harry heard a distant voice shouting something in response. The girl turned back to Dumbledore. "Come in, she's on 'er way."
"Yes, but still," said Tonks, who seemed perfectly untroubled by this piece of information. "You should get out of the cold."
"I can fix that," said Harry, landing beside the two girls, pointing his wand at Demelzas mouth, and saying "Episkey." "And Ginny, don't call Ron a prat, you're not the Captain of this team —"
"Oh dear," said Hermione nervously. "He's still a bit scary, isn't he?"
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.
Harry was angry with the other two for siding with McGonagall;
After fixing the time of their first full practice for the following Thursday, Harry, Ron, and Hermione bade good-bye to the rest of the team and headed off toward Hagrid's. A watery sun was trying to break through the clouds now and it had stopped drizzling at last. Harry felt extremely hungry; he hoped there would be some-thing to eat at Hagrid's.
"M'daughter, Merope," said Gaunt grudgingly, as Ogden looked
"Oh, come on, Harry," said Hermione, suddenly impatient. "It's not Quidditch that's popular, it's you! You've never been more in-teresting, and frankly, you've never been more fanciable."
"Well?" said Hagrid grumpily, as Harry, Ron, and Hermione sat down around his enormous wooden table, Fang laying his head im-mediately upon Harry's knee and drooling all over his robes. "What's this? Feelin' sorry for me? Reckon I'm lonely or summat?"
"For a trip down Bob Ogden's memory lane," said Dumbledore, pulling from his pocket a crystal bottle containing a swirling silvery-white substance.
"That's enough!" said Professor McGonagall, as Hermione opened her mouth to retort, looking furious. "Potter, I appreciate you telling me this, but we cannot point the finger of blame at Mr. Malfoy purely because he visited the shop where this necklace might have been purchased. The same is probably true of hundreds of people —"
"I trust that you also noticed that Tom Riddle was already highly self-sufficient, secretive, and, apparently, friendless? He did not want help or companionship on his trip to Diagon Alley. He preferred to operate alone. The adult Voldemort is the same. You will hear many of his Death Eaters claiming that they are in his confidence, that they alone are close to him, even understand him. They are deluded. Lord Voldemort has never had a friend, nor do I believe that he has ever wanted one.
Chapter 12: Silver and opals
For or the rest of the week's Potions lessons Harry continued to follow the Half-Blood Prince's instructions wherever they de-viated from Libatius Borage's, with the result that by their fourth lesson Slughorn was raving about Harrys abilities, saying that he had rarely taught anyone so talented. Neither Ron nor Hermione was delighted by this. Although Harry had offered to share his book with both of them, Ron had more difficulty deciphering the handwriting than Harry did, and could not keep asking Harry to read aloud or it might look suspicious. Hermione, meanwhile, was resolutely plowing on with what she called the "official" instruc-tions, but becoming increasingly bad-tempered as they yielded poorer results than the Prince's.,