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"Hmm. Bit dusty."
Harry awoke as though the sudden darkness were an alarm. Hastily straightening his glasses and unsticking his cheek from the glass, he pressed his nose against the window instead and squinted down at the pavement. A tall figure in a long, billowing cloak was walking up the garden path.
"Draco should be proud," said Bellatrix indifferently. "The Dark Lord is granting him a great honor. And I will say this for Draco: he isn't shrinking away from his duty, he seems glad of a chance to prove himself, excited at the prospect —"
"No," said Harry.
Harry said nothing, but Dumbledore did not seem to require an answer. He continued, "On a different, though related, subject, it is my wish that you take private lessons with me this year."
"We have the same concerns," Fudge interrupted. "The Brock-dale Bridge didn't wear out. That wasn't really a hurricane. Those murders were not the work of Muggles. And Herbert Chorley's family would be safer without him. We are currently making arrangements to have him transferred to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. The move should be effected tonight."
Chapter 3: Will And Won't
"Wand out and follow me, Harry," he said quietly.
"Well, that simplifies matters," said Dumbledore cheerfully. "It seems that Sirius knew what he was doing. You are the rightful owner of number twelve, Grimmauld Place and of Kreacher."
"Would you like my assistance clearing up?" asked Dumbledore politely.
"Bellatrix," he replied, his thin mouth curling into a slightly mocking smile as he closed the door with a snap behind them.
What will you be teaching me, sir?"
He let Harry keep a watch for the carriages, however, and spent the next few minutes craning his neck over the crowd to try and see what Krum and Hermione might be up to.
"There was a beetle on the statue the night we heard Hagrid telling Madame Maxime about his mum!"
Harry looked around; all three of the Dursleys were cowering with their arms over their heads as their glasses bounced up and down on their skulls, their contents flying everywhere.
"Before I answer you — oh yes, Bellatrix, I am going to answer! You can carry my words back to the others who whisper behind my back, and carry false tales of my treachery to the Dark Lord! Before I answer you, I say, let me ask a question in turn. Do you really think that the Dark Lord has not asked me each and every one of those questions? And do you really think that, had I not been able to give satisfactory answers, I would be sitting here talking to you?"