Chapter 29: Careers Advice
“But why haven´t you got Occlumency lessons any more?” said Hermione, frowning.
“I´ve told you,” Harry muttered. “Snape reckons I can carry on by myself now I´ve got the basics….”
“So you´ve stopped having funny dreams?” said Hermione sceptically.
“Pretty much,” said Harry, not looking at her.
“Well, I don´t think Snape should stop until you´re absolutely sure you can control them!” said Hermione indignantly. “Harry, I think you should go back to him and ask – “
“No,” said Harry forcefully. “Just drop it, Hermione, okay?”
It was the first day of the Easter holidays and Hermione, as was her custom, had spent a large part of the day drawing up study scedules for the three of them. Harry and Ron had let her do it – it was easier than arguing with her and, in any
case, they might come in useful.
Ron had been startled to discover there were only six weeks left until their exams.
“How can that come as a shock?” Hermione demanded, as she tapped each little square on Ron´s scedule with her wand so that it flashed a different colour according to its subject.
“I dunno…” said Ron, “there´s been a lot going on….”
“Well, there you are,” she said, handing him his schedule, “if you follow that you should do fine.”
Ron looked down it gloomily, but then brightened.
“You´ve given me an evening off every week!”
“That´s for Quidditch practice,” said Hermione.
The smile faded from Ron´s face.
“What´s the point?” he said. “We´ve got about as much chance of winning the Quidditch Cup this year as Dad´s got of becoming Minister for Magic.”
Hermione said nothing. She was looking at Harry, who was staring blankly at the opposite wall of the common room while Crookshanks pawed at his hand, trying to get his ears scratched.
“What´s wrong, Harry?”
“What?” he said quickly. “Nothing…”
He seized his copy of Defensive Magical Theory and pretended to be looking something up in the index. Crookshanks gave him up as a bad job and slunk away under Hermione´s chair.
“I saw Cho earlier,” said Hermione tentatively, “and she looked really miserable, too…. Have you two had a row again?”
“Wha – oh, yeah, we have,” said Harry, seizing gratefully on the excuse.
“That sneak friend of hers, Marietta,” said Harry.
“Yeah, well, I don´t blame you!” said Ron angrily, setting down his study schedule. “If it hadn´t been for her…”
Ron went into a rant about Marietta Edgecombe, which Harry found helpful. All he had to do was look angry, nod and say “Yeah” and “That´s right” whenever Ron drew breath, leaving his mind free to dwell, ever more miserably, on what he had seen in the Pensieve.
He felt as though the memory of it was eating him from inside. He had been so sure his parents were wonderful people that he had never had the slightest difficulty in disbelieving Snape´s aspersions on his father´s character. Hadn´t people like Hagrid and Sirius told Harry how wonderful his father had been? (Yeah, well, look what Sirius was like himself, said a nagging voice inside Harry´s head…. He was as bad, wasn´t he?