The Third Task

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Katrina's POV

"Dumbledore reckons You-Know-Who's getting stronger again as well?" Ron whispered.

Everything Harry and I had seen in the Pensieve, nearly everything Dumbledore had told and shown us afterward, we had now shared with Ron and Hermione - and, of course, with my father, to whom Harry and I had sent an owl the moment we had left Dumbledore's office.

Harry, Ron, Hermione, and I sat up late in the common room once again that night, talking it all over until my mind was reeling, until I understood what grandfather had meant about a head becoming so full of thoughts that it would have been a relief to siphon them off.

Ron stared into the common room fire. I thought I saw Ron shiver slightly, even though the evening was warm.

"And he trusts Snape?" Ron said. "He really trusts Snape, even though he knows he was a Death Eater?"

"Yes," said Harry. Ugh, how did I know Ron was going to focus on that the most of all the things we had told him!

Hermione had not spoken for ten minutes. She was sitting with her forehead in her hands, staring at her knees. I thought she too looked as though she could have done with a Pensieve.

"Rita Skeeter," she muttered finally.

"How can you be worrying about her now?" said Ron, in utter disbelief.

"I'm not worrying about her," Hermione said to her knees. "I'm just thinking...remember what she said to me in the Three Broomsticks? 'I know things about Ludo Bagman that would make your hair curl. ' This is what she meant, isn't it? She reported his trial, she knew he'd passed information to the Death Eaters. And Winky too, remember...' Ludo Bagman's a bad wizard.' Mr. Crouch would have been furious he got off, he would have talked about it at home."

"Yeah, but Bagman didn't pass information on purpose, did he?" Hermione shrugged.

"And Fudge reckons Madame Maxime attacked Crouch?" Ron said, turning back to Harry.

"Yeah," said Harry, "but he's only saying that because Crouch disappeared near the Beauxbatons carriage."

"We never thought of her, did we?" said Ron slowly. "Mind you, she's definitely got giant blood, and she doesn't want to admit it-"

"Of course she doesn't," said Hermione sharply, looking up. "Look what happened to Hagrid when Rita found out about his mother. Look at Fudge, jumping to conclusions about her, just because she's part giant. Who needs that sort of prejudice? I'd probably say I had big bones if I knew that's what I'd get for telling the truth."

Hermione looked at her watch. "We haven't done any practicing!" she said, looking shocked. "We were going to do the Impediment Curse! We'll have to really get down to it tomorrow! Come on. Harry, Katrina, you two need to get some sleep."

Harry, Ron, and Hermione went slowly upstairs to their dormitory while I made my way through the portrait hole and off to my own room. As I climbed into my four-poster, I imagined how it must feel to have parents still living but unable to recognize you. I often got sympathy from strangers for being an orphan, but as I laid in bed, I thought that Neville deserved it more than I did. Lying in the darkness, I felt a rush of anger and hate toward the people who had tortured Mr. and Mrs. Longbottom...I remembered the jeers of the crowd as Crouch's son and his companions had been dragged from the court by the dementors...I understood how they had felt...

Then I remembered the milk-white face of the screaming boy and realized with a jolt that he had died a year later...

It was Voldemort, I thought, staring up at the canopy of my bed in the darkness, it all came back to Voldemort...He was the one who had torn these families apart, who had ruined all these lives...

Katrina & Harry (Books 1-7) *Revised*Where stories live. Discover now