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Harry stood up, murmured "See you in a bit" to Ron, Hermione, and Ginny, and followed Professor McGonagall back down the ward. The corridors outside were deserted and the only sound was the distant phoenix song. It was several minutes before Harry became aware that they were not heading for Professor McGonagall's office, but for Dumbledore's, and another few seconds before he realized that of course, she had been deputy headmistress, . . . Apparently she was now headmistress ... so the room behind the gargoyle was now hers.
MINISTRY OF MAGIC EMPLOYEE SCOOPS GRAND PRIZE
Uncle Vernon stopped, his fist still raised, his face an ugly puce.
Silence fell between them, each of them lost in their own thoughts, but Harry was sure that they, like him, were think-ing about the following morning, when Dumbledore's body would be laid to rest. Harry had never attended a funeral before; there had been no body to bury when Sirius had died. He did not know what to expect and was a little worried about what he might see, about how he would feel. He won-dered whether Dumbledore's death would be more real to him once the funeral was over. Though he had moments when the horrible fact of it threatened to overwhelm him, there were blank stretches of numbness where, despite the fact that nobody was talking about anything else in the whole castle, he still found it difficult 10 believe that Dumbledore
Harry struggled to his feet, looking around groggily for his wand, hoping to give chase again, but even as his fingers fumbled in the grass, discarding twigs, he knew it would be too late, and sure enough, by the time he had located his wand, he turned only to see the hippogriff circling the gates. Snape had managed to Disapparate just beyond the school's boundaries.
'What if I don't care?' said Ginny fiercely.
Uncle Vernon was pulling on his car coat.
"Ar," said Ern darkly.
Harry opened his trunk again and pushed the contents aside, looking for the Invisibility Cloak - but before he had found it, he straightened up suddenly, looking around him once more.
He bent over his trunk again, but almost immediately stood up once more, his hand clenched on his wand. He had sensed rather than heard it: someone or something was standing in the narrow gap between the garage and the fence behind him. Harry squinted at the black alleyway. If only it would move, then he'd know whether it was just a stray cat or -- something else.
"- Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder," said Ron bitterly. "Fred and George's. I'm going to be having a word with them about who they let buy their products."
"He shouted, 'It's over,'" said Harry. "He'd done what he'd meant to do."
'Anyone else we know died?' Ron asked Hermione, who was perusing the Evening Prophet.
Chapter 30: The White Tomb
Harry went down to breakfast the next morning to find the three Dursleys already sitting around the kitchen table. They were watching a brand-new television, a welcome-home-for-the-summer present for Dudley, who had been complaining loudly about the long walk between the fridge and the television in the living room. Dudley had spent most of the summer in the kitchen, his piggy little eyes fixed on the screen and his five chins wobbling as he ate continually.
"Out of the way!" yelled Harry, knocking two boys aside as he sprinted toward the landing and down the remainder of the marble staircase. The oak front doors had been blasted open, there were smears of blood on the flagstones, and several terrified students stood huddled against the walls, one or two still cowering with their arms over their faces. The giant Gryffindor hourglass had been hit by a curse, and the rubies within were still falling, with a loud rattle, onto the flagstones below.;