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Slughorn gazed into space for a moment or two: He seemed to be thinking over Harry's words.
Chapter 5: An Excess Of Phlegm
Harry had been sure Slughorn would be one of those wizards who could not bear to hear Voldemort's name spoken aloud, and was not disappointed: Slughorn gave a shudder and a squawk of protest, which Harry ignored.
"That's because he is sixteen and has no idea what lies in store! Why, Severus? Why my son? It is too dangerous! This is vengeance lor Lucius's mistake, I know it!"
"But how are you going to find out if I'm allowed to own it?"
"'Bye, Harry!" said Hermione, and she did something she had never done before, and kissed him on the cheek.
As Harry sat down, a furry ginger cat with a squashed face lumped onto his knees and settled there, purring.
"Sir, I saw in the Daily Prophet that Fudge has been sacked. . . ."
"Sir — I got a Ministry of Magic leaflet by owl, about security measures we should all take against the Death Eaters. . . ."
3. Review the security arrangements around your house, making sure that all family members are aware of emergency measures such as Shield and Disillusionment Charms, and, in the case of underage family members, Side-Along-Apparition.
"Yes," said Harry again. "And now everyone knows that I'm the one —
"Yes, dragon," repeated the wizard conversationally. "My last bottle, and prices are sky-high at the moment. Still, it might be reusable."
"I won't deny that morale is pretty low at the Ministry," said Fudge. "What with all that, and then losing Amelia Bones."
"Trying not to think about it, are we?" said Malfoy softly, looking around at all three of them. "Trying to pretend it hasn't happened?"
"Private — with you?" said Harry, surprised out of his preoccupied silence.
He drew his wand so rapidly that Harry barely saw it; with a casual flick, the sofa zoomed forward and knocked the knees out from under all three of the Dursleys so that they collapsed upon it in a heap. Another flick of the wand and the sofa zoomed back to its original position.
Madame Maxime was still there. She was sitting next to Hagrid. They were talking quietly together. Further along the table, sitting next to Professor McGonagall, was Snape. His eyes lingered on Harry for a moment as Harry looked at him. His expression was difficult to read. He looked as sour and unpleasant as ever. Harry continued to watch him, long after Snape had looked away.,
"Well, yes, it is true that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has never sought a fight with Dumbledore," he muttered grudgingly. "And I suppose one could argue that as I have not joined the Death Kilters, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named can hardly count me a friend . . . in which case, I might well be safer a little closer to Albus. . . . I cannot pretend that Amelia Bones's death did not shake me. . . . If she, with all her Ministry contacts and protection . . ."？
Fudge grimaced. "He used giants last time, when he wanted to go for the grand effect," he said. "The Office of Misinformation has been working around the clock, we've had teams of Obliviators out trying to modify the memories of all the Muggles who saw what really happened, we've got most of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures running around Somerset, but we can't find the giant--it's been a disaster."。