Thursday, November 25, 2010

“—by which time, many of you may

“—by which time, many of you may be ready to take your test,” Twycross continued, as though there had been no interruption.

“As you may know, it is usually impossible to Apparate or Disapparate within Hogwarts. The Headmaster has lifted this enchantment, purely within the Great Hall, for

one hour, so as to enable you to practise. May I emphasise that you will not be able to Apparate outside the walls of this Hall, and that you would be unwise to try.

“I would like each of you to place yourselves now so that you have a clear five feet of space in front of you.”

There was a great scrambling and jostling as people separated, banged into each other, and ordered others out of their space. The Heads of House moved among the

students, marshalling them into position and breaking up arguments.

“Harry, where are you going?” demanded Hermione.

But Harry did not answer; he was moving quickly through the crowd, past the place where Professor Flitwick was making squeaky attempts to position a few Ravenclaws, all

of whom wanted to be near the front, past Professor Sprout, who was chivvying the Hufflepuffs into line, until, by dodging around Ernie Macmillan, he managed to

position himself right at the back of the crowd, directly behind Malfoy, who was taking advantage of the general upheaval to continue his argument with Crabbe, standing

five feet away and looking mutinous.

“I don't know how much longer, all right?” Malfoy shot at him, oblivious to Harry standing right behind him. “It's taking longer than I thought it would.”

Crabbe opened his mouth, but Malfoy appeared to second-guess what he was going to say.

“Look, it's none of your business what I'm doing, Crabbe, you and Goyle just do as you're told and keep a lookout!”

“! tell my friends what I'm up to, if I want them to keep a lookout for me,” Harry said, just loud enough for Malfoy to hear him.

Malfoy spun round on the spot, his hand flying to his wand, but at thai precise moment the four Heads of House shouted, “Quiet!” and silence fell again. Malfoy turned

slowly to face the front.

“Thank you,” said Twycross. “Now then...”

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