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Snape returned ten minutes later. He stepped into the bathroom and closed the door behind him.
Slughorn took another deep draught from his mug, his eyes moving carefully around the cabin now, looking, Harry knew, for more treasures that he might be able to convert into a plentiful su ply of oak-matured mead, crystalized pineapple, and velvet smok-ing jackets. He refilled Hagrid's mug and his own, and questioned him about the creatures that lived in the forest these days and how Hagrid was able to look after them all. Hagrid, becoming expan-sive under the influence of the drink and Slughorn's flattering in-terest, stopped mopping his eyes and entered happily into a long explanation of bowtruckle husbandry.
But then, through the darkness, fire erupted: crimson and gold, a ring of fire that surrounded the rock so that the Inferi holding Harry so tightly stumbled and faltered; they did not dare pass through the flames to get to the water. They dropped Harry; he hit the ground, slipped on the rock, and fell, grazing his arms, then scrambled back up, raising his wand and staring around.
Quickly he told them where he was going, and why. He did not pause either for Hermione's gasps of horror or for Ron's hasty questions; they could work out the finer details for themselves later.
"I am not sure," said Dumbledore. "Something more worrisome than blood and bodies, however." Dumbledore pushed back the sleeve of his robe over his black-ened hand, and stretched out the tips of his burned fingers toward the surface of the potion.
'He didn't make a hobby of it -'
"But then — ?"
'You think so?' Professor Trelawney seemed to consider the matter for a moment, but Harry could tell that she liked the idea of retelling her little adventure.
"I'll explain later!"
"How can you tell?" Harry spoke in a whisper.
"Drink this, Professor. Drink this. . . ."
"There is a spell, do not ask me, I don't know!" said Slughoin shaking his head like an old elephant bothered by mosquitoes. " Do I look as though I have tried it — do I look like a killer?"
The following fortnight saw the best Quidditch practices Harry had known as Captain. His team was so pleased to be rid of McLaggen, so glad to have Katie back at last, that they were flying extremely well.
Dumbledore set off at once down the stone steps, his own travelling cloak barely stirring in the still summer air. Harry hurried alongside him under the Invisibility Cloak, still pant-ing and sweating rather a lot.
'What has happened?' asked Dumbledore. 'Rosmerta, what's wrong?'
"Oh yes." Dumbledore peered more closely into the basin. Harry saw his face reflected, upside down, in the smooth surface of the green potion. "But how to reach it? This potion cannot be pen-etrated by hand, Vanished, parted, scooped up, or siphoned away, nor can it be Transfigured, Charmed, or otherwise made to change its nature." Almost absentmindedly, Dumbledore raised his wand again, twirled it once in midair, and then caught the crystal goblet that he had conjured out of nowhere. "I can only conclude that this potion is supposed to be drunk."。