Thursday, November 18, 2010

‘What is it?’ Ron asked, sounding unnerved

‘What is it?’ Ron asked, sounding unnerved. ‘What's your name doing down here?’

He glanced along at the other labels on that stretch of shelf.

‘I'm not here,’ he said, sounding perplexed. ‘None of the rest of us are here.’

‘Harry, I don't think you should touch it,’ said Hermione sharply, as he stretched out his hand.

‘Why not?’ he said. ‘It's something to do with me, isn't it?’

‘Don't, Harry,’ said Neville suddenly. Harry looked at him. Neville's round face was shining slightly with sweat. He looked as though he could not take much more suspense.

‘It's got my name on,’ said Harry.

And feeling slightly reckless, he closed his fingers around the dusty ball's surface. He had expected it to feel cold, but it did not. On the contrary, it felt as though it had been lying in the sun for hours, as though the glow of light within was warming it. Expecting, even hoping, that something dramatic was going to happen, something exciting that might make their long and dangerous journey worth while after all, Harry lifted the glass ball down from its shelf and stared at it.

Nothing whatsoever happened. The others moved in closer around Harry, gazing at the orb as he brushed it free of the clogging dust.

And then, from right behind them, a drawling voice spoke.

‘Very good, Potter. Now turn around, nice and slowly, and give that to me.’

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