The Final Hiding Place

Therewasnomeansofsteering;thedragoncouldnotseewhereitwasgoing,andHarryknewthatifitturnedsharplyorrolledinmidairtheywouldfinditimpossibletoclingontoitsbroadback.Nevertheless,astheyclimbedhigherandhigher,Londonunfurlingbelowthemlikeagray-and-greenmap,Harry’soverwhelmingfeelingwasofgratitudeforanescapethathadseemedimpossible.Crouchinglowoverthebeast’sneck,heclungtighttothemetallicscales,andthecoolbreezewassoothingonhisburnedandblisteredskin,thedragon’swingsbeatingtheairlikethesailsofawindmill.Behindhim,whetherfromdelightorfearhecouldnottell,Ronkeptswearingatthetopofhisvoice,andHermioneseemedtobesobbing.

Afterfiveminutesorso,Harrylostsomeofhisimmediatedreadthatthedragonwasgoingtothrowthemoff,foritseemedintentonnothingbutgettingasfarawayfromitsundergroundprisonaspossible;butthequestionofhowandwhentheyweretodismountremainedratherfrightening.Hehadnoideahowlongdragonscouldflywithoutlanding,norhowthisparticulardragon,whichcouldbarelysee,wouldlocateagoodplacetoputdown.Heglancedaroundconstantly,imaginingthathecouldfeelhisseatprickling.

HowlongwoulditbebeforeVoldemortknewthattheyhadbrokenintotheLestranges’vault?HowsoonwouldthegoblinsofGringottsnotifyBellatrix?Howquicklywouldtheyrealizewhathadbeentaken?Andthen,whentheydiscoveredthatthegoldencupwasmissing,Voldemortwouldknow,atlast,thattheywerehuntingHorcruxes.

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