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Chapter 10 : A Pop Exam
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Saturday morning, Hermione arrived early to the meeting. Ernie was already present, speaking with Professor McGonagall. They ceased their conversation when she walked in and Professor McGonagall motioned for her to sit down next to Ernie. She used the extra time to discuss with them their duties as Head Students more thoroughly and answered the few questions they had.
The teachers filed in at roughly five minutes to nine and the meeting began precisely on time.
“As I am sure you all noticed last night,” Dumbledore was saying. “Our new Defense Against The Dark Arts professor has not yet arrived, but she has informed me that she will arrive on Wednesday.”
“What about classes on Monday and Tuesday?”
“No need to worry, Miss Granger.” Dumbledore chuckled at the worried expression that held her features. “You will have class. She was very insistent on that point. Certain arrangements have been made for those days.”
“Who will substitute for her?” asked Professor Vector.
“I am,” answered Professor McGonagall.
“Your classes are scheduled at the same time, Minerva,” said Snape. “I believe it would be more prudent for me to take those classes, as my schedule does not conflict with the Defense schedule.” Hermione inwardly groaned. Defense classes with him were a nightmare. It was not how she wanted to begin her last year at Hogwarts.
“She and I have already spoken about it,” McGonagall answered sharply, irritation lacing her reply. “Her plans for the first days of class are simple and will only require me to be in the room for a few minutes. There won’t be any conflict.” Snape said nothing, but his expression reflected his annoyance.
“If, in fact, she will be later than expected, we will discuss further options to cover her class.” Snape nodded slightly, and the subject was closed. “We must move on to other issues.” Professor Dumbledore turned to Professor McGonagall. “You have discussed Hogsmeade with our Head Boy and Girl?” She nodded. “Good. The first Hogsmeade weekend will be on October 1st…” The discussion of chaperone schedules continued for some time and easily moved to the topic of night patrols, in which both Hermione and Ernie were very involved in the discussion.
With the months patrol schedule set the meeting ended. The professors filed out in small groups, their conversations peppered with mentions of the new Hogsmeade schedule and Defense professor.
Hermione and Ernie were nearly out the door when they were stopped by Professor Dumbledore. “Miss Granger,” he called.
“I’d like to speak with you for a moment.”
“Of course, Professor.” She turned to Ernie, “I’ll meet up with you in the Common Room.” He nodded and shut the door behind him.
“What is it you want to talk about?” Something about the way in which Dumbledore looked at her made Hermione slightly nervous.
“Mr. Macmillan informed me before you arrived that you nearly fainted last night,” said Professor McGonagall. “He seemed to get the impression that you’ve had these fainting episodes before.
She could feel the blood drain from her face. “Oh…” she barely whispered.
“Which begs the question, Miss Granger, of why you did not tell us about this,” said Dumbledore, gazing over his half moon spectacles. She didn’t answer him. She was torn between the insurmountable dread of their reaction to the truth and the guilt of withholding information from those who could probably help her.
As she stared at the two professors, their forms became encircled in a very faint outline of the Ring. Whatever blood remained in her cheeks drained at the sight of the faint image, tinged with orange.
Hermione backed toward the door. “I’m sorry, Professor,” she whispered. “I can’t…” The symbols turned to a dark green and slowly faded out of her view. Professor Dumbledore raised an eyebrow; disappointment briefly shown in his eyes. She turned her back to them and stepped towards the door. Her hand trembled as she reached for the handle.
Oh no. It was going to happen again. Her body was going cold with sweat. Her chest became very heavy; the pressure so much greater than any of her previous episodes. She couldn’t breath. Her chest felt hot; the door seemed to distort under her gaze.
Someone grabbed her around the middle before she hit the ground. Dumbledore was talking to her, but she couldn’t hear anything. She could see his face; his worried calls, but she heard no sound escaped his lips. The Ring was back; fully distinct and flashed burnt orange. She could see the forest inside the Ring. The image enveloped her vision, and she blacked out.
Harry was beginning to worry. It was nearly ten-thirty, and Hermione had still not returned from her meeting with the teachers. Ernie had entered the common room fifteen minutes ago, asking him if she had returned to Gryffindor tower instead of their own common room. When Harry had answered in the negative, Ernie frowned and mumbled something about an extended meeting with Professor Dumbledore.
“The Headmaster and Professor McGonagall asked to speak with Hermione just as we were about to leave. I believe they wanted to speak to her about her fainting spells, but—“
“Hold on,” Harry interrupted. “What fainting spells?” Ernie looked slightly surprised.
“You mean you don’t know?” he said rather arrogantly. Harry scowled. One of these days, Ernie’s pomposity and arrogance was going to get him into trouble.
“No. I don’t know. What fainting spells?”
“Last night after she and I met with Professor McGonagall she nearly collapsed to the ground. Her breath was short and she felt very cold.”
“What do you mean, she felt cold?” Harry couldn’t understand how he didn’t know about this. Sure, Hermione had been more inclined to keep secrets recently, and Harry didn’t blame her, but this was much too important to keep hidden.
“I’m a gentleman, Harry, I wasn’t about to let her fall to the ground. And the way she acted…well, she just sort of brushed it off and refused to go to Madame Pomfrey.”
“That sounds like Hermione,” Harry said more to himself. Ernie continued.
“But I knew there had to be something wrong. Clammy, short of breath, pale as death itself…I couldn’t just let it pass. I spoke with Professor McGonagall before Hermione arrived for the meeting. She told me that she and the headmaster would speak to her.”
Ernie finally left when Harry assured him that he would tell Hermione to find him when she returned.
Fed up with waiting, Harry abandoned the cushy chair by the fire and left the common room. He followed the simplest route to the Great Hall, walking quickly through the sparsely populated halls and jumping the stairs three steps at a time. Something more had to be going on with Hermione than just fainting episodes, and Harry had a nagging suspicion it all had to do with what happened in Diagon Alley.
He turned around a corner and collided head on into a girl with long brown hair. The books she carried slipped out of her arms and scattered on the floor.
“I’m so sorry,” said Harry, bending down to gather up her books. “I wasn’t watching where I was going. I’ve been in such a rush—”
“It’s fine,” she said. Harry was struck by her voice. This girl was most certainly not British; which gave him an idea. He looked over to see her straightening papers in the pages of one of the books. His hunch was right: it was the girl from the night before; the girl Ron had been so flustered over. Her light brown hair was up in the same long pony-tail as it had been at the feast. Harry stole a quick moment to size her up. Something about her intrigued him. The way she stood; her very body language seemed to exude an aura of importance and confidence. Her long slender fingers sifted through the papers which had fallen from one of her books and she placed each sheet in different parts of the book. Her light blue eyes skimmed each page, identifying their correct placement within the books.
Harry was still kneeling on the floor; the book in his hand still partly rested on the floor. Up close, Harry could understand why Ron was so anxious to know who she was. If Harry thought he had known this girl from somewhere, he’d be anxious to remember her too.
Her brow furrowed as she looked at a small piece of parchment and down at the book in her hand. She lifted her gaze from the book in hand to the book in Harry’s.
“Dort ist es,” she mumbled under her breath, reaching out for the book. He handed it to her, but didn’t let go. She looked at him confused.
“Is there something vong?” she asked him.
“Wha-no, there isn’t anything wrong. It’s just that I’ve never seen you before.” She half smiled and tugged the book out of his hand.
“Vell, there is a first time for everything, isn’t there?” She placed the book on the pile in her arms, stepped around him and started up the stairs.
“Wait a minute,” he called to her. She stopped and turned towards him.
“Vat now?” she asked impatiently.
“What is your name?” She looked at him curiously, then answered: “Katarina Engel.”
“Well, Katarina Engel, I’m glad to meet you. I’m Harry-”
“-Potter,” she finished for him. “I know. It vas good to meet you as vell.” She turned back up the stairs and continued on.
“Of course she knows who I am,” Harry sighed, watching her retreating figure. “They all do.”
“They all do what?” came a voice from behind. Harry turned and found Ron walking towards him.
“Nothing,” he answered. “What took you so long, Ron? I thought you were just going to run down to the kitchens for a quick breakfast.”
“I know, but when Dobby saw me he went into hysterics about how much of an ‘honor’ it was that Harry Potter’s ‘Weezy’ friend came to visit him, and on our first morning back.” Ron rolled his eyes. “I swear I’ve never seen so much food in my life. I won’t eat for a week,” he said patting his stomach. “Where are you off to? I thought you were going to wait for me and Hermione in the common room.”
“I was. But something’s come up. Come with me and I’ll tell you on the way.” Harry told him about his conversation with Ernie and his suspicion that they were connected with what happened in Diagon Alley.
“Fainting spells?” said Ron when he finished. “I haven’t heard anything about those.”
“Neither have I, which is what worries me. What happens if she has one of these episodes and no one is around?”
“It sounds like she already has, if no one knew about them. Are you sure she’s fainted before last night?” Harry shook his head.
“All the information I have is from Ernie, and he would be the last person to know for sure.”
“Unless Hermione told him to get him off her back about going to Madame Pomfrey,” said Ron. “It would be just like her to do that.”
“True, but she isn’t going to slip by so easily this time.” Ron nodded in agreement and they turned the last corner towards the Great Hall.
“What were you talking about earlier?” asked Ron.
“Oh, that. Ron, you’ll never guess who I just ran into.”
“Hermione!” exclaimed Harry when she emerged from the Great Hall entrance. She looked rather flustered at the sight of the both of them, but recovered and broke into a perplexed smile.
“Harry? Ron? What are you doing here?” she asked walking towards them. “I thought you were going to wait for me in the common room.”
“Hermione,” said Harry sternly, ignoring her question, “We have to talk.” She looked flustered again at the tone of his voice.
“Why? What’s the matter? Did something happen?”
“Yes, Hermione, something has happened,” said Ron. “You just haven’t told us about it yet.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, Ron,” she declared, hands on her hips. “Look, can this wait? I was supposed to meet up with Ernie over a half an hour ago.” She made to leave, but Ron blocked her path.
“He’s waiting for you in the Head’s common room,” Harry told her. “And he’ll continue to wait until you tell us why you’ve been fainting and why you didn’t tell us about it.” Her eyes narrowed as she turned towards him.
“Who,” she began, her jaw set, “do you think you are? You, who isolated yourself all summer last year and refused to speak to anyone; who was cold and sharp with those who tried to comfort you; what gives you the right to demand an explanation from me, when you refused to do the very same thing last year?” Taken aback by her sudden change in mood, Harry responded in a like manner.
“That was different, Hermione,” he stated through gritted teeth. “Sirius had just died and I had just found out that I’m supposed to be the bloody savior of the world. How did you want me to act? Happy? Relaxed?” She scowled.
“Of course not!” she retorted. “But you didn’t have to turn away from us. All summer you acted like we were some sort of plague; avoiding Ron and I every chance you got. I haven’t avoided the both of you. I—”
“You just disappeared and nearly died, Hermione,” said Ron quietly. She glanced up at him and briefly made eye contact, but turned back to Harry.
“I don’t answer to you two,” she said. “You don’t—”
“We don’t what? We don’t need to know?” Harry grabbed her arms, pinning them to her side and pulled her closer. “You have been having mysterious fainting episodes; none of which have been witnessed by anyone but Ernie. You knew that the Death Eaters were going to attack in Diagon Alley. You knew,” he stressed as she was about to reply. “You complained about your eyes; said ‘no, not here’ and didn’t answer us when we asked you what was wrong. You nearly crushed my hand right before we all blacked out in the alley, again complaining about something you were seeing.” He pulled her to within two inches of his face. “You are going to tell us what has been happening, Hermione. No lies, no avoiding the subject. You are going to tell us, and you are going to tell us now.” Her lip trembled and tears welled in her eyes. Harry released his grip on her arms, but he didn’t back away. “There may be nothing we can do to help you, Hermione, but…” A tear escaped her eye and slid down her cheek. “We’ve been best friends for almost seven years, Hermione. Can’t you trust in that? Can’t you trust Ron and I to stand by you no matter what?”
“You don’t understand, Harry,” she whispered, tears silently pouring down her cheeks.
“Then help us understand,” said Ron. Her gaze shifted from Ron to Harry and back again. She wiped her face with the back of her hand and stared at the opposite wall for some time.
“I think the privacy of my room would be best for this conversation,” she said. Harry mentally sighed in relief, and followed her back up the corridors.
Hermione led them to a large portrait of a sleeping dog. The black Great Dane whined and turned its head as the portrait swung open.
Ernie looked rather perturbed after Hermione asked him to put off their work until later, but he agreed to meeting after lunch and left the common room. They sat down on the large couch by the fireplace and Hermione began.
At breakfast Monday morning, Professor McGonagall handed out their schedules.
“We’ve got double potions this afternoon,” groaned Harry. “Couldn’t we have had one more day off from Snape?”
“At least you did well enough on your O.W.Ls to stay in potions,” grumbled Ron.
“Yeah, well I almost wish I hadn’t,” said Harry, piling jam on his toast. “I’m sick of Snape sneering at me and grumbling about how the examiners have gotten soft. I’m surprised he didn’t accuse me of using my ‘celebrity status’ to pass the exam.” Ron didn’t say anything and poured himself another glass of pumpkin juice.
“We’ve got double Defense right after breakfast,” said Hermione, trying to divert the conversation. “That should be interesting, since the actual professor hasn’t arrived yet.”
“I wonder what the professor has asked McGonagall to do,” said Ron after swallowing the three sausage links he had shoveled into his mouth. “Didn’t you say that McGonagall was only going to have to stay for a few minutes?”
Hermione nodded. “She and the new professor have worked out some sort of plan until she arrives Wednesday morning. I wonder what she’s like,” Hermione added thoughtfully.
“As long as she nothing like Umbridge, I’ll be happy,” Harry commented. Ron nodded in agreement, his mouth full of toast.
“Double Defense on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, double Potions on Mondays, Tuesdays...” listed Hermione. “This is going to be an intense year.”
The Great Hall was soon visited by the school’s owls delivering mail. Hedwig landed next to Harry, the Daily Prophet tied to his leg.
“Thanks, girl.” He gave Hedwig and affectionate pet and untied the newspaper from her leg. Hermione grabbed it and began to read. He pushed his plate closer to Hewig and she quickly finished the few broken pieces of bacon left on his plate. Giving his finger an affectionate nip, Hedwig took off from the table.
“I don’t believe it,” breathed Hermione. Harry leaned over to see what she was talking about.
The Ministry has just release to the Daily Prophet that Bellatrix Lestrange was killed late in July. The details of her death have not been released, nor has an explanation as to why the Ministry waited over a month to disclose this information. We at the Prophet will continue to inquire into the matter and report our findings to you, our readers…
“Why would the Ministry take so long to report something like this?” asked Ron. “You’d think they’d have plastered it all over the front pages. They’ve been so desperate for some recognition of success lately; this is a big triumph for them.”
“Considering how she was killed and where…” Harry trailed off when he saw Hermione’s expression. “Sorry Hermione. I didn’t mean—” She waved him off.
“Don’t worry about it. Ron has a point. It doesn’t matter how she was killed or where; all that matters to the general public is that one of Voldemort’s inner circle is dead. But they waited over a month to disclose it, which doesn’t make sense.”
“I’d bet Dumbledore had something to do with it,” said Ron. Harry shook his head.
“Dumbledore might have a lot of influence in the ministry, but not enough to keep something like this quiet. There must be some other reason.”
“I doubt we will ever find out the real reason and I suppose the reason doesn’t really matter,” said Ron. “At least she’s gone.”
“What time is it, Harry?” asked Hermione, looking slightly uncomfortable.
“Five to eight.”
“The Defense classroom is on the tenth floor of the south-east tower,” Hermione read from her schedule. “It will take at least twenty minutes to get there. We better leave now if we want to make it.”
Twenty-five minutes later, the three of them reached the corridor huffing and puffing.
“There…has got…to be…some sort…of shortcut…” wheezed Ron.
“We’ll have to look at the map tonight,” puffed Harry. His legs were burning from what had seemed like an endless stream of stair cases. There had to be a shorter way.
“Hey look!” exclaimed Ron, pointing towards the classroom door. Harry followed Ron’s line of sight and found Katarina leaning on the wall next to the door catching her breath.
“Oh, Katarina?” Ron stared at him.
“You know her name and you didn’t tell me?” He looked rather upset at the idea that Harry had not told him the minute he had met her.
“Sorry, Ron,” Harry responded. “I ran into her on Saturday, but I forgot about it after we met up with Hermione.” Hermione shifted uncomfortably.
“So? Tell me now.”
“I literally ran into her coming down the stairs; knocked her books out of her hands and everything. Her name is Katarina Engel, and—”
“WHAT?” He nearly dropped his book bag.
“Um…her name is Katarina—”
“Engel?” Ron asked slowly. He looked flabbergasted.
“That’s what he said,” Hermione answered. “Do you know her?”
“Know her? No. But I do know of her! Her family was all over the news for months nearly ten yeras ago.” Ron quickly turned around to watch her. “I can understand Harry not knowing who she is, but,” he turned back to Hermione, “come on, Hermione, you can’t tell me, with all the reading you do, that you’ve never heard of the Engel family.” Hermione stole a nervous glance at Harry, who returned her confused look. What was so special about the Engel family?
Hermione shook her head. “No, Ron, I haven’t. Should I have?”
“I would have thought….but then maybe not,” he said looking back to Katarina, who was now looking through the Defense book. “She is German, but…but still, I don’t see how you can’t know who the Engel family is.”
“Then why don’t you stop complaining and just tell us,” said Hermione, her tone hinting at her growing irritation.
“The Engel family is only the richest family in our world.” Harry tore his gaze from Katarina to stare at Ron. “All the rich people here, like the Malfoys and the Blacks…mere chump change. She could probably spend the entire Malfoy fortune in one day and not even blink an eye.”
“Oh come on, Ron,” said Hermione. “Don’t you think your exaggerating a bit?”
“I’m not exaggerating!” he practically shouted. “Look,” he started quietly. “You might be the smartest witch of our year, or even the age, but you still don’t understand the finer details of our world.” Hermione felt rather affronted at his statement, but she had to agree with him. No matter how much she studied, or how long she lived in the wizard world, she would probably never understand it like Ron did. That was the benefit of being a pureblood.
“Her family is one of the oldest pureblood families in Europe; predates my family, Neville’s family, Malfoy’s family, even the Blacks. Trust me when I say she is the single heir to the largest fortune in our world. But that isn’t the half of it.”
Harry had the unpleasant feeling that he knew what was coming next.
“Her family makes the Malfoys look like kind, compassionate, lovable, fuzzy bunnies.” Harry had to cover his laughter with coughs when he realized that Ron was being serious.
“Fuzzy… bunnies?” Hermione looked like she was about to burst with laughter.
“Yes, Hermione, nice, little, kind, innocent, bunnies. The Engels are known for their pureblood zealots. They hate muggles and muggleborns and anyone who sympathizes with them.” He looked back towards Katarina. “I can’t believe she’s here, of all places. I’d love to know how she got in.”
Harry and Hermione shared an amused glance behind Ron’s back. “She didn’t seem so evil to me, even after I knocked her books out of her hands,” he whispered to her. She smiled and nodded in agreement. Though looks could be deceiving, Hermione had the feeling that this girl was not who Ron had just described. She might well be a part of the richest family in the world, but that didn’t make her evil.
“I bet those robes are made of Egyptian Cotton and silk,” Ron mumbled as he continued to watch her.
Hermione rolled her eyes at Harry, who suppressed his laughter. His expression suddenly turned serious. He took hold of her arm and pulled her back a few steps from Ron, who was still scrutinizing the German girl.
“You didn’t have anymore dreams these last two nights, have you?”
“No,” she answered, not looking at him. “I told you I’d let you know if I did.” She still couldn’t believe she had told Harry and Ron about her dreams, and the symbols, and pretty much everything else—except the death of her parents. She wasn’t ready to tell them about that yet.
Before they had confronted her in the corridor outside the Great Hall, she had just completed telling Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall everything—from start to finish. From the moment the symbols first appeared the afternoon Harry was nearly killed by Voldemort, up to her fainting spells. She didn’t really have a choice with the Headmaster and Deputy Headmistress. She did with her friends.
She had agreed to tell them whenever she had another forest dream or if she fainted again. They tried to make her promise to tell them whenever she saw the ring of symbols, but she adamantly refused, telling them that it would be pointless as she didn’t know what they meant.
It was a partial lie, as she was starting to get an idea, but it didn’t matter. Besides, Harry had still refused to fess up to his dream that he had on the train. If he didn’t divulge everything, she didn’t have to either. Childish reasoning, perhaps, but Hermione knew she had to keep some part of this whole mess private.
The both of them had been surprisingly calm, considering the circumstance. And much to her relief, they had not pressed her further for details, nor did they bring it up again, until now.
“I’m sorry, Hermione,” he sighed. “It’s just that this has taken a while to really sink in.”
“Just think how hard it is for me,” Hermione snapped.
“I am sorry, Hermione,” he said softly, squeezing her hand. Hermione opened her mouth to respond when the door to the classroom opened and Professor McGonagall stepped out.
“You may all come in and take your seats.” Harry, Ron and Hermione took seats in the third row. Katarina, Harry noticed, took her seat in the very back right corner.
“Put everything away,” instructed Professor McGonagall. “All materials will be provided as soon as I finish giving you Professor Amsel’s instructions.”
“Amsel?” Ron whispered to Harry. He shrugged.
“Must be the name of our new professor.” Professor McGonagall picked up a piece of parchment from the desk and began the instructions.
“You will have the entire class period to complete this exam.” The class burst out in protests.
“Exam!” exclaimed Ron. “On the first day?” Professor McGonagall frowned at him.
“Yes, mister Weasley. Professor Amsel wishes to know exactly what and how much you know. An exam is the simplest way to find out.” There were a few more groans of protest, but they were silenced by McGonagall’s icy glare. “As I was saying, you have the entire class period to complete the exam. Questions will appear on the parchment you receive in groups of five. When you finish those questions, a new set will appear. You may not leave any question blank. Guess if you have to, but do not leave it blank.”
Harry groaned. He hated written exams. This Professor Amsel wouldn’t get very much from him on a written exam. His knowledge was based in the practical use of magic. Not its theory.
“Each set of questions will be progressively more advanced. The more questions you answer correctly, the longer your exam will be. As soon as you have answered ten percent of the total questions asked wrong, your test will end and you will be permitted to leave.
“Are there any questions?” Hermione rose her hand and Professor McGonagall nodded to her.
“Professor, with all do respect, how will you enforce the rules against cheating if you are not here to monitor?” Much to Harry’s surprise, the Professor smiled.
“Don’t worry, miss Granger. That has already been taken care of. Are there any other questions?” When no one else rose their hand, Professor McGonagall rolled up the parchment and tucked it in her robes. “Very well. Your test begins, now.” She flicked her wand and Harry’s body involuntarily moved.
His head painfully snapped downwards and his legs locked up. He was staring at a piece of parchment that had not sat on his desk before. He tried to turn his head to look at Ron, but he found that not only did his head only turn an inch or two, but his vision beyond the edge of his own personal space was extremely blurry. Susan Bones, who sat in front of him, looked like nothing more than a fuzzy red haired blur.
They certainly had taken care of the cheating problem. He turned his attention back to the parchment that lay before him.
In the top right corner he saw the word ‘name’ and a blank line. As soon as he finished writing in his name it disappeared and the parchment filled with the first five questions. The questions were odd in the way they had been written. They looked like they had been typed out on a typewriter.
Two hours, he thought as he read through his first grouping, let’s hope I last thirty minutes.
Harry was extremely happy Ginny had given him a new watch for his birthday. His left arm was within his clear view so he could watch his progress. It had been an hour and five minutes so far. The first person had left after forty. The nineteenth had just left. He desperately hoped he wouldn’t be the next. This test had turned to a competition: Who would last the longest.
Professor McGonagall hadn’t been kidding when she said the questions would get harder as time went on. He silently thanked both Ron and Hermione for encouraging him to continue the DA last year. The last batch of questions had covered things he had only read in the books from the Room of Requirement.
He heard Ron groan next him and push back his chair. “I’ll wait for you and Hermione outside,” he whispered to Harry before leaving.
He moved on to the next grouping, then the next. His watch beeped at the half hour. He’d lasted an hour and half. Suddenly his parchment cleared.
Dammit, he inwardly groaned. But his disappointment was soon ebbed away into shock at the sight of something new.
Please remember that number for Wednesday.
Such a simple statement, but it meant so much more to Harry. He quickly gathered his bag after the parchment and quill disappeared from his desk and ran out of the class to meet Ron.
“Ron!” Harry exclaimed as soon as he spotted his friend near the exit to the stairs.
“Hey, Harry. What's your number?”
“Twenty-three, but that doesn’t matter. Look, did you get a handwritten message telling you what number you got?” Ron nodded. “Didn’t you recognize it?” Ron looked at him in confusion.
“No. I was just happy I’d made it so far. You know, I should thank you,” he said.
“For the DA. I know I couldn’t have gotten that far without it. All the research we did into defensive spells really paid off in there.”
“Yeah, I know,” Harry replied impatiently. “Look, the handwriting…did you even look at it?” Ron shook his head.
“What are you talking about, Harry?”
“The handwriting! Professor Amsel’s handwriting! It is exactly the same—and I’d bet my Firebolt on it—it is exactly the same as Vicky’s!”
Ron stared at him in disbelief. “No way. It can’t be…”
“It is, Ron. I’ve read those notes so many times there is no way I’m wrong. Professor Amsel is V.”
I hope you liked this chapter. What do you think of Katarina? Good, bad, interesting? Drop me a note and tell me.
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