Enjoy the early chapter.

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They woke the next day to brilliant sunshine and a light, refreshing breeze.

"Perfect Quidditch conditions!" said Wood enthusiastically at the Gryffindor table, loading the team's plates with scrambled eggs. "Harry, buck up there, you need a decent breakfast."

Arth patted Harry on the shoulder as he was still looking slightly glum.

As they left the Great Hall to go and collect Harry's Quidditch things, when Harry suddenly widened his eyes in shock.

"The voice!" said Harry, -looking over his shoulder. "I just heard a voice saying that it was going to kill did you?"

Ron shook his head, wide-eyed.

"What? I didn't hear nothing."

Arth frowned.

"How can you hear something that we can't-"

Arth froze in shock and revelation.

Hermione also clapped a hand to her forehead.

"Arth! I think I've just understood something! I've got to go to the library! Arth follow me!"

Arth nodded to give his consent and they sprinted away, up the stairs.

"What do they understand?" said Harry distractedly, still looking around, trying to tell where the voice had come from.

"Loads more than I do," said Ron, shaking his head.

"But why do they got to go to the library?"

"Because that's what Hermione does," said Ron, shrugging. "When in doubt, go to the library."

"Isn't Arth a walking Library though?"

"That's why Hermione is always around Arth." Replied Ron smartly.

"You'd better get moving," said Ron. "It's nearly eleven — the match—"

Harry raced up to Gryffindor Tower, collected his Nimbus Two Thousand, and joined the large crowd swarming across the grounds, but his mind was still in the castle along with the bodiless voice, and as he pulled on his scarlet robes in the locker room, his only comfort was that everyone was now outside to watch the game.

The teams walked onto the field to tumultuous applause. Oliver Wood took off for a warm-up flight around the goal posts; Madam Hooch released the balls. The Hufflepuffs, who played in canary yellow, were standing in a huddle, having a last-minute discussion of tactics.

Harry was just mounting his broom when Professor McGonagall came half marching, half running across the pitch, carrying an enormous purple megaphone.

Harry's heart dropped like a stone.

"This match has been cancelled," Professor McGonagall called through the megaphone, addressing the packed stadium. There were boos and shouts. Oliver Wood, looking devastated, landed and ran toward Professor McGonagall without getting off his broomstick.


"But, Professor!" he shouted. "We've got to play — the cup —Gryffindor —"

Professor McGonagall ignored him and continued to shout through her megaphone:

"All students are to make their way back to the House common rooms, where their Heads of Houses will give them further information. As quickly as you can, please!"

Then she lowered the megaphone and beckoned Harry over to her.

"Potter, I think you'd better come with me..."

Wondering how she could possibly suspect him this time, Harry saw Ron detach himself from the complaining crowd; he came running up to them as they set off toward the castle. To Harry's surprise, Professor McGonagall didn't object.

"Yes, perhaps you'd better come, too, Weasley..."

Some of the students swarming around them were grumbling about the match being canceled; others looked worried. Harry and Ron followed Professor McGonagall back into the school and up the marble staircase. But they weren't taken to anybody's office this time.

"This will be a bit of a shock," said Professor McGonagall in a surprisingly gentle voice as they approached the infirmary. "There has been another attack...another double attack."

Harry's insides did a horrible somersault. Professor McGonagall pushed the door open and he and Ron entered...Madam Pomfrey was bending over a girl with long, bushy hair.

"Hermione!" Ron groaned.

Hermione lay utterly still, her eyes open and glassy.

"They were found near the library," said Professor McGonagall. "I don't suppose either of you can explain this? It was on the floor next to them..."

She was holding up a small, circular mirror.

Harry and Ron shook their heads, both staring at Hermione.

"I will escort you back to Gryffindor Tower," said Professor McGonagall heavily. "I need to

address the students in any case."

"What about Arth?" Harry weakly asked.

"Excuse me?"

"Arthur, he was with Hermione at the library."

"Have you seen him at all after the attack?"

"No, we haven't."

Professor McGonagall went pale and rushed out of the hospital wing leaving Ron and Harry numb.

Five hours later, it was confirmed.

Arth had gone missing.