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"So, all these precautions against intruders, Horace ... are they for the Death Eaters' benefit, or mine?" asked Dumbledore.
The recollections he did have were very painful. The worst, perhaps, was the meeting with the Diggorys that took place the following morning.
The Prime Minister drew himself up to his fullest height and replied, "I am perfectly happy with the security I've already got, thank you very--"
"--yet, sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often," Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely. "Best to say nothing at all, my dear man. Ah, and this must be Petunia."
Scrimgeour grasped it briefly, his eyes scanning the room, then pulled out a wand from under his robes.
. think about what you're going to buy with your winnings!"
Chapter 4: Horace Slughorn
"I... well... He'll be all right, won't he?" said the Prime Minister anxiously.
"There was no need to stick the wand in that hard," he said gruffly, clambering to his feet. "It hurt."
"I wish him luck," said Fudge, sounding bitter for the first time. "I've been writing to Dumbledore twice a day for the past fortnight, but he won't budge. If he'd just been prepared to persuade the boy, I might still be... Well, maybe Scrimgeour will have more success."
"Oh yes she is," said Hermione happily, brandishing the jar at them.
Slughorn looked down at him in surprise. "You mustn't think I'm prejudiced!" he said. "No, no, no! Haven't I just said your mother was one of my all-time favorite students? And there was Dirk Cresswell in the year after her too — now Head of the Goblin Liaison Office, of course — another Muggle-born, a very gifted student, and still gives me excellent inside information on the goings-on at Gringotts!"
"If there is an attack," said Dumbledore, "I give you permission to use any counterjinx or curse that might occur to you. However, I do not think you need worry about being attacked tonight."
"Back? When you say 'back'... he's alive? I mean--"
He guessed that many of them had believed Rita Skeeter's article about how disturbed and possibly dangerous he was. Perhaps they were formulating their own theories about how Cedric had died. He found he didn't care very much. He liked it best when he was with Ron and Hermione and they were talking about other things, or else letting him sit in silence while they played chess. He felt as though all three of them had reached an understanding they didn't need to put into words; that each was waiting for some sign, some word, of what was going on outside Hogwarts - and that it was useless to speculate
"The Dark Lord will not be persuaded, and I am not stupid enough to attempt it," said Snape flatly. "I cannot pretend that the Dark Lord is not angry with Lucius. Lucius was supposed to be in charge. He got himself captured, along with how many others, and failed to retrieve the prophecy into the bargain. Yes, the Dark Lord is angry, Narcissa, very angry indeed."
"Black? Black?" said Fudge distractedly, turning his bowler rapidly in his fingers. "Sirius Black, you mean? Merlin's beard, no. Black's dead. Turns out we were--er--mistaken about Black. He was innocent after all. And he wasn't in league with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named either. I mean," he added defensively, spinning the bowler hat still faster, "all the evidence pointed--we had more than fifty eyewitnesses--but anyway, as I say, he's dead. Murdered, as a matter of fact. On Ministry of Magic premises. There's going to be an inquiry, actually..."（央视记者 徐海霞）