The Prince’s Tale

HarryremainedkneelingatSnape’sside,simplystaringdownathim,untilquitesuddenlyahigh,coldvoicespokesoclosetothemthatHarryjumpedonhisfeet,theflaskgrippedtightlyinhishands,thinkingthatVoldemorthadreenteredtheroom.

Voldemort’svoicereverberatedfromthewallsandfloor,andHarryrealizedthathewastalkingtoHogwartsandtoallthesurroundingarea,thattheresidentsofHogsmeadeandallthosestillfightinginthecastlewouldhearhimasclearlyasifhestoodbesidethem,hisbreathonthebackoftheirnecks,adeathblowaway.

"Youhavefought,"saidthehigh,coldvoice,"valiantly.LordVoldemortknowshowtovaluebravery.

"Yetyouhavesustainedheavylosses.Ifyoucontinuetoresistme,youwillalldie,onebyone.Idonotwishthistohappen.Everydropofmagicalbloodspilledisalossandawaste.

"LordVoldemortismerciful.Icommandmyforcestoretreatimmediately.

"Youhaveonehour.Disposeofyourdeadwithdignity.Treatyourinjured.

"Ispeaknow,HarryPotter,directlytoyou.Youhavepermittedyourfriendstodieforyouratherthanfacemeyourself.IshallwaitforonehourintheForbiddenForest.If,attheendofthathour,youhavenotcometome,havenotgivenyourselfup,thenbattlerecommences.Thistime,Ishallenterthefraymyself,HarryPotter,andIshallfindyou,andIshallpunisheverylastman,woman,andchildwhohastriedtoconcealyoufromme.Onehour."

BothRonandHermioneshooktheirheadsfrantically,lookingatHarry.

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