Thursday, November 25, 2010

Twycross stepped forwards,

Twycross stepped forwards, turned gracefully on the spot with his arms outstretched and vanished in a swirl of robes, reappearing at the back of the Hall. ‘Remember

the three Ds,’ he said, “and try again ... one—two—three—”

But an hour later, Susan's Splinching was still the most interesting thing that had happened. Twycross did not seem discouraged. Fastening his cloak at his neck, he

merely said, “Until next Saturday, everybody, and do not forget: Destination. Determination. Deliberation.”

With that, he waved his wand, Vanishing the hoops, and walked out of the Hall accompanied by Professor McGonagall. Talk broke out at once as people began moving towards

the Entrance Hall.

“How did you do?” asked Ron, hurrying towards Harry. “I think I felt something the last time I tried—a kind of tingling in my feet.”

“I expect your trainers are too small, Won-Won,” said a voice behind them, and Hermione stalked past, smirking.

“I didn't feel anything,” said Harry, ignoring this interruption. “But I don't care about that now—”

“What d'you mean, you don't care ... don't you want to learn to Apparate?” said Ron incredulously.

“I'm not fussed, really. I prefer flying,” said Harry, glancing over his shoulder to see where Malfoy was, and speeding up as they came into the Entrance Hall.

“Look, hurry up, will you, there's something I want to do ...”

Perplexed, Ron followed Harry back to Gryffindor Tower at a run. They were temporarily detained by Peeves, who had jammed a door on the fourth floor shut and was

refusing to let anyone pass until they set fire to their own pants, but Harry and Ron simply turned back and took one of their trusted short cuts. Within five minutes,

they were climbing through the portrait hole.

“Are you going to tell me what we're doing, then?” asked Ron, panting slightly.

“Up here,” said Harry, and he crossed the common room and led the way through the door to the boys’ staircase.

Their dormitory was, as Harry had hoped, empty. He flung open his trunk and began to rummage in it, while Ron watched impatiently.

“Harry ...”

“Malfoy's using Crabbe and Goyle as lookouts. He was arguing with Crabbe just now. I want to know ... aha.”

He had found it, a folded square of apparently blank parchment, which he now smoothed out and tapped with the tip of his wand.

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good ... or Malfoy is, anyway.”

At once, the Marauder's Map appeared on the parchment's surface. Here was a detailed plan of every one of the castle's floors and, moving around it, the tiny, labelled

black dots that signified each of the castle's occupants.

“Help me find Malfoy,” said Harry urgently.

He laid the map upon his bed and he and Ron leaned over it, searching.

“There!” said Ron, after a minute or so. “He's in the Slytherin common room, look ... with Parkinson and Zabini and Crabbe and Goyle ...”

Harry looked down at the map, disappointed, but rallied almost at once.

No comments: