'Yeah . . . fine . . . I dunno,' said Harry impatiently, wincing as pain shot through his scar again. 'Listen . . . I've just realised something . . .'
But Harry's eyes were drawn to the picture of the witch. Her face had leapt out at him the moment he had seen the page. She had long, dark hair that looked unkempt and straggly in the picture, though he had seen it sleek, thick and shining. She glared up at him through heavily lidded eyes, an arrogant, disdainful smile playing around her thin mouth. Like Sirius, she retained vestiges of great good looks, but something - perhaps Azkaban - had taken most of her beauty.
'Bode . . .' said Ron. 'Bode. It rings a bell . . .'
'What?' said Harry and Ron together.
It was true that Harry was the subject of much renewed muttering and pointing in the corridors these days, yet he thought he detected a slight difference in the lone of the whisperers' voices. They sounded curious rather than hostile now, and once or twice he was sure he overheard snatches of conversation that, suggested that the speakers were not satisfied with the Prophet's version of how and why ten Death Eaters had managed to break out of the Azkaban fortress. In their confusion and fear, these doubters now seemed to be turning to the only other explanation available to them: the one that Harry and Dumbledore had been expounding since the previous year.
'Right,' Harry mumbled. He picked up his schoolbag, swung it over his shoulder and hurried towards the office door. As he opened it, he glanced back at Snape, who had his back to Harry and was scooping his own thoughts out of the Pensieve with the tip of his wand and replacing them carefully inside his own head. Harry left without another word, closing the door carefully behind him, his scar still throbbing painfully.
'Realised what?' asked Snape sharply.
'He can read minds?' said Harry quickly, his worst fears confirmed.
'You have no subtlety, Potter,' said Snape, his dark eyes glit-te'ing. 'You do not understand fine distinctions. It is one of the shortcomings that makes you such a lamentable potion-maker.'
St Mungo's Hospital promised a full inquiry last night after Ministry of Magic worker Broderich Bode, 49, was discovered dead in his bed, strangled by a pot plant. Healers called to the scene were unable to revive Mr Bode, who had been injured in a workplace accident some weeks prior to his death.
As Harry and Ron handed Stan eleven Sickles each, the bus set off again, swaying ominously. It rumbled around Grimmauld Place, v/eaving on and off the pavement, then, with another tremendous BANG, they were all flung backwards; Ron's chair toppled right over and Pigwidgeon, who had been on his lap, burst out of his cage and flew twittering wildly up to the front of the bus where he fluttered down on to Hermione s shoulder instead. Harry, who had narrowly avoided falling by seizing a candle bracket, looked out of the window: they were now speeding down what appeared to be a motorway.
There was a nasty silence. They glared at each other across the Pensieve.
Speaking to reporters in his private office, Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic, confirmed that ten high-security prisoners escaped in the early hours of yesterday evening and that he has already informed the Muggle Prime Minister of the dangerous nature of these individuals.
He was on all fours again on Snape's office floor, his scar was prickling unpleasantly, but the voice that had just issued from his mouth was triumphant. He pushed himself up again to find Snape storing at him, his wand raised. It looked as though, this time, Snape had lifted the spell before Harry had even tried to fight back.
'And what are you going to do?' Harry asked, eyeing Snape's wand apprehensively.
'I am about to attempt to break into your mind,' said Snape softly. 'We are going to see how well you resist. I have been told that you have already shown aptitude at resisting the Imperius Curse. You will find that similar powers are needed for this . . . brace yourself, now. Legilimens!'
'Realised what?' asked Snape sharply.
Harry was not thinking about Devil's Snare. He was remembering taking the lift down to the ninth level of the Ministry on the day of his hearing and the sallow-faced man who had got in on the Atrium level.
'How come Sturgis was trying to break in when he's on our side?' said Ron.