"What kind of spell is that?" Hermione asked curiously, "I never heard of such spells before."
"He is called the Dark Lord for a reason you know." Draco replied, "Dark magic is really interesting and powerful, creating spells like that is as easy as flicking his finger for him ."
Hermione nodded and stayed silent while Ron had his eyebrows raised.
"And about your scar, do you know who gave it to you?" Draco asked looking at Harry.
"Yes, Vol- I mean you-know-who." Harry corrected quickly.
"Think of it as a connection then." Draco said vaguely, turning back, "If we really met You-know-who that day then, a connection is the most theoretical explanation. I don't know much about these things and you should stay out of it as well."
Draco started walking back towards the castle. 'I could tell you much more but then I will have to come up with an explanation as to why I know that, so bad luck for you Potter, but luckily he is hooked.' Draco thought as he looked at the time. 'It's today.'
"Don't try to die." Theodore said turning back as well, "If you die then it means You-know-who wins, you are the chosen one for some reason so it will leave a bad taste in my mouth if we were to lose because of you."
The trio stayed silent looking at the back of the two in deep thought.
"Harry, relax, the Stone's safe as long as Dumbledore's around." Ron said sighing, "Anyway, we've never had any proof Snape found out how to get past Fluffy. He nearly had his leg ripped off once, he's not going to try it again in a hurry. And Neville will play Quidditch for England before Hagrid lets Dumbledore down, especially after what happened with us and Norberta."
Harry nodded, but he couldn't shake off a lurking feeling that there was something he'd forgotten to do, something important. When he tried to explain this, Hermione said, "That's just the exams. I woke up last night and was halfway through my Transfiguration notes before I remembered we'd done that one."
Harry was quite sure the unsettled feeling didn't have anything to do with work, though. He watched an owl flutter toward the school across the bright blue sky, a note clamped in its mouth. Hagrid was the only one who ever sent him letters. Hagrid would never betray Dumbledore. Hagrid would never tell anyone how to get past Fluffy... never... but --
Harry suddenly jumped to his feet.
"Where're you going?" said Ron sleepily.
"I've just thought of something," said Harry. He had turned white suddenly remembering the conversation between Draco and Hagrid that day, where they discussed how he got the egg. "We've got to go and see Hagrid, now."
"Why?" panted Hermione, hurrying to keep up. She figured that Harry finally noticed what she did that time, she was struggling whether she should say it or not, since, with Voldemort involved, things got more personal than before.
"Don't you think it's a bit odd," said Harry, scrambling up the grassy slope, "that what Hagrid wants more than anything else is a dragon, and a stranger turns up who just happens to have an egg in his pocket? How many people wander around with dragon eggs if it's against wizard law? Lucky they found Hagrid, don't you think? Why didn't I see it before? Remember that time when Draco wanted to ask Hagrid for some information about how much the dragon egg cost and how he got it. He must have known something even back then but he didn't say it out loud."
"What are you talking about?" said Ron, since he was more focused on scheming back then, he hadn't really paid attention to the conversation between Hagrid and Draco, but Harry, sprinting across the grounds toward the forest, didn't answer.
Hagrid was sitting in an armchair outside his house; his trousers and sleeves were rolled up, and he was shelling peas into a large bowl.
"Hullo," he said, smiling. "Finished yer exams? Got time fer a drink?"
"Yes, please," said Ron, but Harry cut him off.
"No, we're in a hurry. Hagrid, I've got to ask you something. You know that night you won Norberta? What did the stranger you were playing cards with look like?"
"Dunno, he wouldn' take his cloak off." said Hagrid nervously due to things being more serious he had already told the information to Dumbledore about what the centaur had said that day, and according to Dumbledore he had already taken precautions about it, so he didn't want Harry to be involved in this any further.
He saw the three of them look stunned and raised his eyebrows.
"It's not that unusual, yeh get a lot o' funny folk in the Hog's Head -- that's the pub down in the village. Mighta bin a dragon dealer, mightn' he? I never saw his face, he kept his hood up."
Harry sank down next to the bowl of peas. "What did you talk to him about, Hagrid? Did you mention Hogwarts at all?"
"Mighta come up," said Hagrid, frowning as he tried to remember. "Yeah... he asked what I did, an' I told him I was gamekeeper here... He asked a bit about the sorta creatures I took after... so I told him... an' I said what I'd always really wanted was a dragon... an' then... I can' remember too well, 'cause he kept buyin' me drinks... Let's see... yeah, then he said he had the dragon egg an' we could play cards fer it if I wanted... but he had ter be sure I could handle it, he didn' want it ter go ter any old home.... So I told him, after Fluffy, a dragon would be easy..."
"And did he -- did he seem interested in Fluffy?" Harry asked, trying to keep his voice calm.
"Well -- yeah -- how many three-headed dogs d'yeh meet, even around Hogwarts? So I told him, Fluffy's a piece o' cake if yeh know how to calm him down, jus' play him a bit o' music an' he'll go straight off ter sleep --"
Hagrid suddenly looked horrified.
"I shouldn'ta told yeh that!" he blurted out. "I shouldn'ta told him that! hey, where are yeh going!"
Harry, Ron, and Hermione didn't speak to each other at all until they came to a halt in the entrance hall, which seemed very cold and gloomy after the grounds.
"We've got to go to Dumbledore," said Harry. "Hagrid told that stranger how to get past Fluffy, and it was either Snape or Voldemort under that cloak -- it must've been easy, once he'd got Hagrid drunk. I just hope Dumbledore believes us. Firenze, the centaur might back us up. Where's Dumbledore's office?"
They looked around as if hoping to see a sign pointing them in the right direction. They had never been told where Dumbledore lived, nor did they know anyone who had been sent to see him.
"We'll just have to --" Harry began, but a voice suddenly rang across the hall.
"What are you three doing inside?"
It was Professor McGonagall, carrying a large pile of books.
"We want to see Professor Dumbledore," said Hermione, rather bravely, Harry and Ron thought.
"See Professor Dumbledore?" Professor McGonagall repeated, as though this was a very fishy thing to want to do. "Why?"
Harry swallowed -- now what?
"It's sort of secret," he said, but he wished at once he hadn't, because Professor McGonagall's nostrils flared.
"Professor Dumbledore left ten minutes ago," she said coldly. "He received an urgent owl from the Ministry of Magic and flew off for London at once."
"He's gone?" said Harry frantically. "Now?"
"Professor Dumbledore is a very great wizard, Potter, he has many demands on his time --
"But this is important."
"Something you have to say is more important than the Ministry of Magic, Potter."
"Look," said Harry, throwing caution to the winds, "Professor -- it's about the Sorcerer's tone --"
Whatever Professor McGonagall had expected, it wasn't that. The books she was carrying tumbled out of her arms, but she didn't pick them up. "How do you know --?" she spluttered.
"Professor, I think -- I know -- that Sn- that someone's going to try and steal the Stone. I've got to talk to Professor Dumbledore."
She eyed him with a mixture of shock and suspicion.
"Professor Dumbledore will be back tomorrow," she said finally. I don't know how you found out about the Stone, but rest assured, no one can possibly steal it, it's too well protected."
"But Professor --"
"Potter, I know what I'm talking about," she said shortly. She bent down and gathered up the fallen books. "I suggest you all go back outside and enjoy the sunshine."
But they didn't.
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