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"We don't yet know," said Professor McGonagall, looking helplessly at Lupin.
A lumpy-looking man with an odd lopsided leer gave a wheezy giggle.
She said, with an oddly twisted smile, 'It's for some stupid, noble reason, isn't it?'
Another flash, shouts, retaliatory jets of light, and Harry understood: Hagrid had emerged from his cabin and was trying to stop the Death Eaters escaping, and though every breath seemed to shred his lungs and the stitch in his chest was like fire, Harry sped up as an unbidden voice in his head said: not Hagrid. . . not Hagrid too . . .
'Draco, do it, or stand aside so one of us -' screeched the woman, but at that precise moment the door to the ramparts burst open once more and there stood Snape, his wand clutched in his hand as his black eyes swept the scene, from Dumbledore slumped against the wall, to the four Death Eaters, including the enraged werewolf, and Malfoy.
Chapter 28: Flight of the Prince
"Well, yes, I'm sure," said Mrs. Weasley, "but I thought perhaps - given how - how he -"
I face death in the hope that when you meet your match you will be mortal once more.
"Don't you say yes' in that ungrateful tone," Aunt Marge growled. "It's damn good of Vernon and Petunia to keep you. Wouldn't have done it myself. You'd have gone straight to an orphanage if you'd been dumped on my doorstep."
Professor McGonagall glared at him. "Potter" - Harry registered the renewed use of his surname - "in the light of Professor Dumbledore's death, I think you must see that the situation has changed somewhat -"
'Now, Draco, quickly!' said the brutal-faced man angrily.
And Harry felt the ground shudder under his face as the brother and sister and the enormous Death Eater obeyed, running toward the gates. Harry uttered an inarticulate yell of rage: In that instant, he cared not whether he lived or died. Pushing himself to his feet again, he staggered blindly toward Snape, the man he now hated as much as he hated Voldemort himself -
With a yell, he rolled back onto the pavement, just in time. A second later, a gigantic pair of wheels and headlights screeched to a halt exactly where Harry had just been lying. They belonged, as Harry saw when he raised his head, to a triple-decker, violently purple bus, which had appeared out of thin air. Gold lettering over the windshield spelled The Knight Bus.
The book toppled off the bed with a loud clunk and shuffled rapidly across the room. Harry followed it stealthily. The book was hiding in the dark space under his desk. Praying that the Dursleys were still fast asleep, Harry got down on his hands and knees and reached toward it.
'No, you can't,' said Malfoy, his wand hand shaking very badly indeed. 'Nobody can. He told me to do it or he'll kill me. I've got no choice.'
Harry heard Hagrid's moan of pain and shock, but he did not stop; he walked slowly forward until he reached the place where Dumbledore lay and crouched down beside him. He had known there was no hope from the moment that the full Body-Bind Curse Dumbledore had placed upon him lifted, known that it could have happened only because its caster was dead, but there was still no preparation for seeing him here, spread-eagled, broken: the greatest wizard Harry had ever, or would ever, meet.