The Silver Doe

ItwassnowingbythetimeHermionetookoverthewatchatmidnight.Harry’sdreamswereconfusedanddisturbing:Naginiwoveinandoutofthem,firstthroughawreathofChristmasroses.Hewokerepeatedly,panicky,convincedthatsomebodyhadcalledouttohiminthedistance,imaginingthatthewindwhippingaroundthetentwasfootstepsorvoices.

FinallyhegotupinthedarknessandjoinedHermione,whowashuddledintheentrancetothetentreadingAHistoryofMagicbythelightofherwand.Thesnowwasfallingthickly,andshegreetedwithreliefhissuggestionofpackingupearlyandmovingon.

“We’llgosomewheremoresheltered,”sheagreed,shiveringasshepulledonasweatshirtoverherpajamas.“IkeptthinkingIcouldhearpeoplemovingoutside.IeventhoughIsawsomebodyonceortwice.”

Harrypausedintheactofpullingonajumperandglancedatthesilent,motionlessSneakoscopeonthetable.

“I’msureIimaginedit,”saidHermione,lookingnervous.“Thesnowthedark,itplaystricksonyoureyes…ButperhapsweoughttoDisapparateundertheInvisibilityCloak,justincase?”

Halfanhourlater,withthetentpacked,HarrywearingtheHorcrux,andHermioneclutchingthebeadedbag,theyDisapparated.Theusualtightnessengulfedthem;Harry’sfeetpartedcompanywiththesnowyground,thenslammedhardontowhatfeltlikefrozenearthcoveredinleaves.

“Wherearewe?”heasked,peeringaroundatthefreshmassoftreesasHermioneopenedthebeadedbagandbegantuggingoutthetentpoles.

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