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"No," said Harry confidently. "I'm going to Hagrid's, I've got a good feeling about going to Hagrid's."
Chapter 22: After the Burial
"Well," Harry stalled, at a loss for what to say next. His single attempt to get hold of the memory suddenly seemed embarrassingly feeble. "Well . . . the day Ron swallowed love potion by mistake I took him to Professor Slughorn. I thought maybe if I got Professor Slughorn in a good enough mood —" "And did that work?" asked Dumbledore. "Well, no, sir, because Ron got poisoned —" "— which, naturally, made you forget all about trying to retrieve the memory; I would have expected nothing else, while your best friend was in danger. Once it became clear that Mr. Weasley was going to make a full recovery, however, I would have hoped that you returned to the task I set you. I thought I made it clear to you how very important that memory is. Indeed, I did my best to impress upon you that it is the most crucial memory of all and that we will be wasting our time without it."
"I've already told you, you need to persuade Slughorn," said Her-mione. "It's not a question of tricking him or bewitching him, or Dumbledore could have done it in a second. Instead of messing around outside the Room of Requirement" — she jerked the Prophet out from under Harrys hand and unfolded it to look at the front page — "you should go and find Slughorn and start appeal-ing to his better nature."
"Don't be ... I didn't. . ." muttered Harry awkwardly. "Half our family does seem to owe you their lives, now I stop and think about it," Mr. Weasley said in a constricted voice. "Well, all I can say is that it was a lucky clay for the Weasleys when Ron decided to sit in your compartment on the Hogwarts Expirv., Harry."
"I want to catch him at it!" said Harry in frustration. "I mean, where's he going when he disappears off the map?"
"He wanted to stay here? Why?" asked Harry, more amazed still.
He drew up a chair beside Harry and looked at Ron's pale face.
"Let us speak openly. Why have you come here tonight, surrounded by henchmen, to request a job we both know you do not want?"
"You are omniscient as ever, Dumbledore."
'Cool,' muttered Harry, sparing the watch a glance before peering more closely at the map. Where was Malfoy? He did not seem to be at the Slytherin table in the Great Hall, eating breakfast ... he was nowhere near Snape, who was sitting in his study ... he wasn't in any of the bathrooms or in the hospital wing ...
He got to his feet, smiling, brimming with confidence.
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.
'But now all I've got to look forward to is stupid Appar-ition!' said Ron grumpily. 'Big birthday treat ...'
"Shhhh!" said Hagrid, looking both nervous and angry. "Don’ shout stuff like that, Harry, d'yeh wan’ me ter lose me job? Mind, I don' suppose yeh'd care, would yeh, not now yeh've given up Care of Mag—"
As it was Sunday morning, nearly all the students were inside their various common rooms, the Gryffindors in one tower, the Ravenclaws in another, the Slytherins in the dungeons, and the Hufflepuffs in the basement near the kitchens. Here and there a stray person meandered around the library or up a corridor. There were a few people out in the grounds, and there, alone in the seventh-floor corridor, was Gregory Goyle. There was no sign of the Room of Requirement, but Harry was not worried about that; if Goyle was standing guard outside it, the room was open, whether the map was aware of it or not. He therefore sprinted up the stairs, slowing down only when he reached the corner into the corridor, when he began to creep, very slowly, toward the very same little girl, clutching her heavy brass scales, that Hermione had so kindly helped a fortnight before. He waited until he was right be-hind her before bending very low and whispering, "Hello…you're very pretty, aren't you?"
"You might as well do the extra practice sessions in Hogsmeade and see where they get you," said Harry reasonably. "It'll be more interesting than trying to get into a stupid hoop anyway. Then, if you're still not — you know — as good as you'd like to be, you can postpone the test, do it with me over the summer — Myrtle, this is the boys' bathroom!"
"Maybe he wants to check on how you're doing?" suggested Hermione, as Harry unrolled the parchment; but rather than finding Dumbledore's long, narrow, slanted writing he saw an untidy sprawl, very difficult to read due to the presence of large blotches on the parchment where the ink had run.,
"Did he?" said Hagrid, looking both astonished and touched. "Tha's — tha's righ' nice of him, that is, an' not turnin' yeh in ei-ther. I've never really had a lot ter do with Horace Slughorn before. .. . Comin' ter see old Aragog off, though, eh? Well. . . he’d've liked that, Aragog would. . . ."。