“Shame,” said Ron, helping himself to a jam doughnut. “He was starting to grow
The rest of the final term passed in a haze of blazing sunshine. Hogwarts was
back to normal with only a few, small differences—Defense Against the Dark Arts
classes were canceled (“but we've had plenty of practice at that anyway,” Ron told
a disgruntled Hermione) and Lucius Malfoy had been sacked as a school governor.
Draco was no longer strutting around the school as though he owned the place. On
the contrary, he looked resentful and sulky. On the other hand, Ginny Weasley was
perfectly happy again.
Too soon, it was time for the journey home on the Hogwarts Express. Harry, Ron,
Hermione, Fred, George, and Ginny got a compartment to themselves. They made the
most of the last few hours in which they were allowed to do magic before the holidays.
They played Exploding Snap, set off the very last of Fred and George's Filibuster
fireworks, and practiced disarming each other by magic. Harry was getting very good
They were almost at King's Cross when Harry remembered something.
“Ginny—what did you see Percy doing, that he didn't want you to tell anyone?”
“Oh, that,” said Ginny, giggling. “Well—Percy's got a girlfriend.” Fred dropped
a stack of books on George's head.
“It's that Ravenclaw prefect, Penelope Clearwater,” said Ginny. “That's who he
was writing to all last summer. He's been meeting her all over the school in secret.
I walked in on them kissing in an empty classroom one day. He was so upset when
she was—you know—attacked. You won't tease him, will you?” she added anxiously.
“Wouldn't dream of it,” said Fred, who was looking like his birthday had come
“Definitely not,” said George, sniggering.
The Hogwarts Express slowed and finally stopped.
Harry pulled out his quill and a bit of parchment and turned to Ron and Hermione.
“This is called a telephone number,” he told Ron, scribbling it twice, tearing
the parchment in two, and handing it to them. “I told your dad how to use a telephone
last summer—he'll know. Call me at the Dursleys', okay? I can't stand another two
months with only Dudley to talk to...”
“Your aunt and uncle will be proud, though, won't they?” said Hermione as they
got off the train and joined the crowd thronging toward the enchanted barrier. “When
they hear what you did this year?”
“Proud?” said Harry. “Are you crazy? All those times I could've died, and I didn't
manage it? They'll be furious...”
And together they walked back through the gateway to the Muggle world.