'How come?' asked Harry, frowning.
'Do that one like a pig snout, Tonks.'
'Harry, we're really sorry!' said Hermione desperately, her eyes now sparkling with tears. 'You're absolutely right, Harry - I'd be furious if it was me!'
At Harry's words, all the Weasleys and Hermione exchanged darkly significant looks.
'I did!' said Harry indignantly. 'I asked Ron and Hermione but they said we're not allowed in the Order, so - '
Every bitter and resentful thought Harry had had in the past month was pouring out of him: his frustration at the lack of news, the hurt that they had all been together without him, his fury at being followed and not told about it - all the feelings he was half-ashamed of finally burst their boundaries. Hedwig took fright at the noise and soared off to the top of the wardrobe again; Pigwidgeon twittered in alarm and zoomed even faster around their heads.
'We know, Harry' said Ginny earnestly.
Tonks obliged, and Harry, looking up, had the fleeting impression that a female Dudley was grinning at him from across - 'he table.
'For the last time, Mundungus,' called Mrs Weasley, 'will you please not smoke that thing in the kitchen, especially not when we're about to eat!'
Pressing her finger to her lips, she led him on tiptoe past a pair of long, moth-eaten curtains, behind which Harry supposed there must be another door, and after skirting a large umbrella stand that looked as though it had been made from a severed troll's leg they started up the dark staircase, passing a row of shrunken heads mounted on plaques on the wall. A closer look showed Harry that the heads belonged to house-elves. All of them had the same rather snout-like nose.
'Fred - George - NO, JUST CARRY THEM!' Mrs Weasley shrieked.
'But what's that got to do with Percy?' asked Harry, confused.
'Not here, boy!' snarled Moody. Wait till we're inside!'
'But I'd have seen - '
'Don't know what you're complaining about, myself.'
- CHAPTER FIVE -
Soon, a series of heavy knives were chopping meat and vegetables of their own accord, supervised by Mr Weasley, while Mrs Weasley stirred a cauldron dangling over the fire and the others took out plates, more goblets and food from the pantry. Harry was left at the table with Sirius and Mundungus, who was still blinking at him mournfully.
'We wanted to -
'I'm sure they'd never go over to You-Know-Who,' said Mr Weasley, shaking his head. They've suffered losses too; remember that goblin family he murdered last time, somewhere near Nottingham?'