Harry couldn't help noticing that the statue of the one-eyed witch on the third floor remained unguarded and unblocked. It seemed that Fred and George had been right in thinking that they ¡ª and now Harry, Ron, and Hermione ¡ª were the only ones who knew about the hidden passageway within it.
¡°Last night Sirius told me all about how they became Animagi,¡± said Dumbledore, smiling. ¡°An extraordinary achievement ¡ª not least, keeping it quiet from me. And then I remembered the most unusual form your Patronus took, when it charged Mr. Malfoy down at your Quidditch match against Ravenclaw. You know, Harry, in a way, you did see your father last night¡. You found him inside yourself.¡±
¡°Do you know, Harry, I think she might have been.¡± he said thoughtfully. ¡°Who'd have thought it? That brings her total of real predictions up to two. I should offer her a pay raise¡.¡±
Two weeks before the end of the term, the sky lightened suddenly to a dazzling, opaline white and the muddy grounds were revealed one morning covered in glittering frost. Inside the castle, there was a buzz of Christmas in the air. Professor Flitwick, the Charms teacher, had already decorated his classroom with shimmering lights that turned out to be real, fluttering fairies. The students were all happily discussing their plans for the holidays. Both Ron and Hermione had decided to remain at Hogwarts, and though Ron said it was because he couldn't stand two weeks with Percy, and Hermione insisted she needed to use the library, Harry wasn't fooled; they were doing it to keep him company, and he was very grateful.
¡°He must have Disapparated, Severus. We should have left somebody in the room with him. When this gets out ¡ª¡±
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