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"If you are there to protect him . . . Severus, will you swear it? Will you make the Unbreakable Vow?"
Harry froze with a brass telescope in one hand and a pair of trainers in the other. He had completely forgotten to warn the Dursleys that Dumbledore might be coming. Feeling both panicky mid close to laughter, he clambered over the trunk and wrenched open his bedroom door in time to hear a deep voice say, "Good evening. You must be Mr. Dursley. I daresay Harry has told you I would be coming for him?"
"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 —"
He inclined his head and toasted her. Her expression did nor soften.
"Quite," said Dumbledore. "And if such an enchantment exists, then the ownership of the house is most likely to pass to the eldest of Sirius's living relatives, which would mean his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange."
The Prime Minister groped in his memory for the details of that horrible conversation of three years previously, when Fudge had told him about the wizard who was feared above all others, the wizard who had committed a thousand terrible crimes before his mysterious disappearance fifteen years earlier.
"Interesting effect," said George, looking down at Crabbe. "Who used the Furnunculus Curse?"
"Did I?" said Harry, perplexed. "How?"
Harry had the impression that the words shocked Slughorn himself; he looked quite unsettled for a moment. Then he shrugged.
Harry gripped Dumbledore’s proffered forearm.
"Amelia Bones. Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. We think He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named may have murdered her in person, because she was a very gifted witch and--and all the evidence was that she put up a real fight."
A kind of ripple crossed the Great Hall as a few heads turned in Harry's direction before flicking back to face Dumbledore.
CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN - THE BEGINNING
Harry's musings were ended by Professor Dumbledore, who stood up at the staff table. The Great Hall, which in any case had been less noisy than it usually was at the Leaving Feast, became very quiet.
The twins turned. Harry pulled open his trunk and drew out his Triwizard winnings.