Title: The Essential Ingredient
Author name: Airiviel
Category: Slash, Romance
Keywords: Harry, Draco, Dumbledore
Pairings: Draco/Harry
Rating: R
Spoilers: All five books
Summary: When Voldemort is defeated, his powers linger within Dumbledore's tortured body. The Healers at St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries are unable to purge his mind and body of this evil magic, and as a result, it is slowly killing the famous headmaster. Harry, assisted by a reformed Draco, is determined to find a way to counter Voldemort's powers and save Dumbledore's life. But in assigning themselves this task, Harry and Draco find much more than they expect.
DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Other citations shall be made where necessary.

Chapter 5: And So It Begins

"Fiducia," Harry whispered to himself. He liked the sound of the word, the way the vowels and consonants rolled off his tongue with that specific ring. He guessed it was an Italian word. Harry was sitting in one of the comfortable armchairs close to the fire in the Gryffindor common room. It was past midnight, but he wasn't the least bit tired. He gazed into the bright flames, allowing his eyes to blur as he recalled what he had learned today. Why had Snape spoken to them so willingly? It seemed rather suspicious. Too suspicious. And yet...a part of Harry had believed him. And the story did make sense. Snape couldn't have made it up... Fiducia, Malfoy had said. Trust. Malfoy believed Snape.

Harry sighed aloud. There had to be a way to save Dumbledore. There had to be something they could do to help. He couldn't understand—refused to understand—how the professors could just...give up. Eventually, he fell asleep, still in the armchair, a frown of anguish upon his face.

He awoke the next morning to see Hermione standing in front of him. "Good morning," she said.

Harry yawned a "good morning" back at her and then stood up and stretched. His neck and shoulders ached from sleeping in the armchair in a hunched position. He was about to ask where Ron was when he remembered with a slight pang that Ron wasn't speaking to him.

"Let's get some breakfast," she suggested, "and then we'll go and find Malfoy."

He mumbled his agreement, still half-asleep, and followed Hermione out the door, down the flights of stairs, and into the Great Hall. Ron was already breaking his fast, Harry saw, and today he sat between Ginny and Seamus, rather than leaving the seats next to him open for Harry and Hermione as he usually did. Harry inhaled and exhaled deeply to suppress the renewed anger he had towards Ron.

It was probably the dullest meal that Harry had ever experienced at Hogwarts. He and Hermione ate together in silence, as did most of the Gryffindor table, their hearts weighted down by the gloom and dread caused by recent events. The students had all heard by now that Dumbledore had experienced a magical seizure, and that even all the professors had begun to despair. The food was rather tasteless in Harry's mouth, and his parched throat would not cooperate; it was difficult to swallow even the pumpkin juice. Relief washed over him when he finished eating and could hurry out of the Great Hall.

Most of the students had gone to Hogsmeade to find distractions from the dreary atmosphere. Harry and Hermione decided to go to the library and see if they could find anything useful somewhere in the heavy tomes that sat on the shelves, many covered with thick layers of dust. To their surprise, Draco was already there waiting for them.

"I guessed you'd come here," he said in response to their raised eyebrows.

"I thought you would go to Hogsmeade," Hermione said.

Draco let out a dry laugh. "I don't think I really have permission to go anymore, seeing as my father disowned me."

Harry could think of nothing to say in reply to this, and wanting to avoid the awkwardness of the silence, he turned to face one of the shelves, pretending to scan the titles.

"We should take advantage of this chance to use the library without being bothered by other students." Hermione set her bookbag down on a table and joined Harry in front of the bookshelf. Immediately she began to pull thick and dusty volumes from their places, and soon a fairly large pile of references was stacked on the table next to her bookbag.

"How do you know what books to look in?" Harry asked her. "We don't even know where to start, or what we should be searching for."

"The first thing we can do," Hermione replied impatiently, "is find information about the Spell of Treachery, and see what unusual Dark Magic effects have occurred in the past, and how they were countered."

"No matter how many 'unusual Dark Magic effects' you research, it's going to be a waste of your time," said Malfoy. "Nothing like this has ever happened before."

Hermione looked up to glare at him, her hand paused in the middle of turning a page. "So. What would you suggest we do? Or are you just going to sit there and tell me that every action I take is useless?"

"What we should be doing," Draco answered in a cool voice, "is forming theories. Searching for information before we even know what we need is stupid."

"And forming theories before we have enough information to know what kind of theories we need is even more stupid," Hermione retorted viciously.

"Why don't we do both at the same time," Harry quickly suggested before the tension in the air could cause an explosion. He didn't like this arguing. He could feel the emotions of both and his skin prickled with every remark made. Harry sank into a chair. "We'll develop theories while we're searching for information, and change our theories every time we learn something new."

"Fine," Hermione agreed, shooting an icy expression at Malfoy and seating herself next to Harry.

Draco took a seat across from Hermione, his sole gesture of acquiescence.

Several uncomfortable moments passed, and no one spoke.

Clearing his throat, Draco finally said, "What makes sense is to figure out is what might oppose the powers killing Dumbledore."

Harry nodded.

Hermione glared at Harry, and he quickly stopped nodding.

"Well," she said icily, "Voldemort dealt with Dark Magic. The opposite, then, would be Light Magic."

"But Light Magic is an ancient term that no longer exists the way it did hundreds of years ago," Draco pointed out, almost with the air of quoting a textbook. "It would take us ages to define Light Magic, let alone procure a form of such power that is strong enough to help Dumbledore."

Hermione glared at him. Harry was slightly amused by their similarities that he had failed to notice before. He tried to ignore the prickling sensation that felt a bit like it was burning his skin.

"Maybe it would take you ages to figure all that out, Malfoy," she spat, "but unlike you, others are more efficient and intellectual."

"Are we supposed to be challenging each other or working together?" Malfoy said evenly. He almost looked as if he was enjoying himself.

Hermione fumed.

"Define Voldemort," Harry suddenly said, standing up. An idea was forming in his head.

"What?" Draco said.

"We need to figure out what the opposite of Voldemort is, right?" Harry's voice became excited, as it always did when he had a revelation. If revelation this could be called. "His powers were a part of him. So if part of Voldemort is trapped inside Dumbledore's body and is destroying him from the inside out, then we need to figure out what the reverse of Voldemort might be."

"...Tromedlov?" said Draco. Hermione rolled her eyes.

Thus began their search for Voldemort's opposite.

"You have been studying Defense Against the Dark Arts for several years, now, and yet you have not learned much about Dark Magic itself," said Lupin during a lesson one evening. "This is what we shall be covering for the next week or so."

"Dark Magic, as you well know, is basically magic created and used for evil purposes. It is a term very loosely defined, nowadays. Evil largely comes from ambition and selfishness—"

"And hate," Harry added, interrupting.

Lupin paused. "What was that, Harry?"

"Evil comes from hate, too," Harry said. "It's the most important factor of evil, isn't it?"

"Well, yes, it is," Lupin acknowledged. "But this is a more general definition; there are also those who are evil without truly hating anything."

"But then they aren't really evil, are they?" Harry insisted. "I think being evil means you can put enough hatred into performing Dark Magic and torturing innocent people. Someone who doesn't truly hate can't draw that emotion."

Lupin studied him for a moment and finally said, "That's very interesting, Harry."

He nodded. "I agree."

Malfoy yawned, slumped in his chair and looking completely bored.

Lupin closed the textbook thoughtfully. "Your definition, Harry, actually makes more sense than the book's definition when you compare it to the definition of Light Magic. Light Magic is based on many things, like trust and loyalty. But most importantly, it is almost always based on some form of love."

"Excuse me, Professor," Draco interjected. "Isn't Light Magic supposed to be a very abstract thing? I read in a textbook that it's not really something you can define by today's magic."

"It is very abstract," Lupin replied. "But that is also what makes it so powerful. Sometimes you can't define the most powerful and most important things. For instance, would you be able to give a solid definition of love?"

The blond looked up and answered stiffly, "I don't believe in love."

Harry found that he couldn't fall asleep that night. While a few weeks ago, he would've given anything to never have to sleep again so that he could avoid the awful dreams that came, the dreams had now stopped, and he found that he was so exhausted that he wanted nothing more than a good rest. The way his lessons had been arranged, his classes with his professors were so much more intense than in the usual classroom setting that he was working much harder than he ever had before. After a night of more potions and crushed beetles than he ever wanted to deal with ever again in his life, all he wanted was to close his eyes and just stop thinking.
Sleep was not coming, and he sighed in frustration. His thoughts turned elsewhere and the word "fiducia" rang in his mind. "Trust," Draco had said. And in the jumble of all his thoughts, ideas mixed together and suddenly he was thinking of Lupin's lesson. Light Magic. Love. Trust. Fiducia. Love and trust went together…it just made sense. How could Draco speak of one, but refuse to believe in the other?

Harry suddenly felt rather sad that anyone could refuse to believe in love. It was love that had saved his life on so many occasions…and perhaps was continuing to.

If Draco didn't believe in love… Well. He must have a good reason. Surely some kind of instinctive love had to exist between him and his mother or his father. There had to be some sort of love within him. Or maybe he did love, at some point in time, and then something happened… Harry dreaded to think what could be so severe as to break all feelings of love within the blond. Perhaps it was being disowned. Well…even so, Draco had to have realized that he would've been disowned for his actions. He must've stopped loving his father long before that.

Deep in such thoughts, Harry didn't pause to consider that he was spending so much time musing about Draco. Gradually, after a few hours and after his mind had exhausted every idea it could find, he began to drift off to sleep.

"Professor Lupin," Harry asked in a lesson later in the week, "can Light Magic defeat Dark Magic?"

"That is a very good question, Harry."

Harry glanced at Draco out of the corner of his eye to see if the Slytherin had caught onto his thoughts. Draco appeared supremely unconcerned with the lesson and as usual, sat back in his chair, a quill twirling gracefully between his fingers.

"Many believe that Light Magic is greater than Dark Magic," Lupin began. "However, this has never been proven to be true. Light and Dark – they are equally powerful. When harnessed in specific ways, then certainly one may be more powerful than the other, but in general they counter each other with the same strength.

Harry nodded. "So there are instances of Dark Magic being defeated by Light Magic?"

Lupin closed the large tome in front of him. "Yes, but nearly all of those instances occurred hundreds—if not thousands—of years ago. As we mentioned the other day, Light Magic is not exactly used anymore the way it once was."

"Why doesn't anyone try to use Light Magic anymore?" said Harry. "It could've been useful in defeating Voldemort."

"There were attempts." Lupin shut the door with a wave of his wand and cleared his throat. "The Order made an attempt," he then told them in a low voice.

"It didn't work?" Harry asked. Draco's quill had fallen to the ground, but Harry didn't notice. Neither did Draco.

"The attempt was never completed," the professor explained. "The Light Magic that we were planning on using needed one more year of preparation, but you defeated Voldemort before we even needed to finish it."

"But I didn't defeat him," said Harry blankly.

Lupin gave a small smile. "You've forgotten the prophecy, Harry."

"But I didn't," Harry repeated. "It wasn't me. It was Snape."

"Perhaps," Lupin told him while fumbling through a sheaf of parchments, "it may look as though Professor Snape was the one to defeat Voldemort, but you played the key part."

"What do you mean?"

"You allowed yourself to be lured to him," Lupin explained. "The first important thing to note is that if you had not done this, Voldemort would have triumphed."

Harry looked confused. "But—how?"

"The Ministry used veritaserum on—ah—certain Death Eaters" — and Lupin glanced surreptitiously at Draco as he said this — "and learned that Voldemort had already found a dark spell that would allow him to kill you directly from within your mind. He reserved this approach as a backup plan if everything else failed. He was too ambitious, and wanted to kill both of you at once. He was quite positive the Cage would do exactly that."

Harry nodded in comprehension. "So if I hadn't gone to him then…I would've died later?"

"Yes. The second important thing to note," Lupin continued, "is that by letting him succeed to that extent in his plans with the Cage, you caused him to become overconfident. As a result, he didn't think about the fact that throwing his energy at Professor Snape and the headmaster was a bad idea. If he had given it even ten seconds' worth of thought, he would've realized that allowing his magic to be consumed by a channel between two powerful wizards was the quickest way to defeat himself.

"So you see, Harry, the prophecy was true. However indirect it was, you did defeat him."

Harry stared down at his desk. "But Snape was the one who did everything, who—"

"The prophecy did not say that you had to defeat Voldemort alone, or that he had to defeat you alone. And remember that if you had not made your choices, Professor Snape would not have been able to defeat him either."

"Hermione, did Lupin give you the same lesson on Dark Magic and Light Magic?" Harry asked as soon as he saw her the next morning.

"He talked a bit about Dark and Light Magic, but we didn't go too far into it," she answered. "Why?"

"I think I have an idea of what we're looking for," Harry said. "Meet me in the library after breakfast." Without finishing his food, he hurried to pass the message on to Draco.

The three met in the library at the table where they had conversed a few days ago. They barely had time to sit down before Harry began excitedly explaining his idea.

"Everything Voldemort did, every action he took, had something to do with the Dark Arts."

Draco raised an eyebrow. "Is this supposed to be news to us?"

"He practically represented Dark Magic himself!" Harry said, ignoring Draco's remark.

Hermione frowned thoughtfully. "Harry, I know what you're—"

"It's sort of like you said the other day, Hermione. Light Magic is the opposite of Dark Magic!" he interrupted before she could finish.

"Harry," Hermione said quietly, "I don't think we can use Light Magic. I looked up a few things, and Malfoy was right, it would—"

"We can use love!" he exclaimed. "Love is the opposite of Voldemort. Voldemort killed everything he hated and took pleasure in hating."

Draco snorted. "And how, exactly, do you expect us to use 'love' to help Dumbledore? We aren't fighting Voldemort, we're fighting what's left of his powers."

"And love spells are illegal," Hermione added.

Harry momentarily paused, taken by surprise at Draco's use of Voldemort's name. He swiftly recovered and struggled to disregard the exaggerated feeling of anger that was building inside him.

"Well, I thought we could try a potion," he said simply.

Both Draco and Hermione stared at him.

"Potter, have you gone daft?"

"Er, Harry…"
"Love potions are illegal, too," Draco said with a yawn. "And there's a reason for that."

"Would you two just listen for a moment?" said Harry, thoroughly irritated.

Draco continued nonchalantly. "—And besides, how on earth would it help to have Dumbledore fall in love with Voldemort?"

"I SAID, SHUT UP," Harry shouted. Hermione jumped a little in her seat and glanced around to see where the librarian was.

"It would be a potion," he began as calmly as he could manage, "that had elements of love in it, and didn't force its consumer to fall in love."

Draco and Hermione were staring at him again.

"It would just emphasize love," he added to clarify.

Hermione opened her mouth thoughtfully and then closed it again.

"And where on earth," Draco demanded, "do you expect us to find this potion? You can't just imagine it in your mind and then pull it out of thin air."

Harry did his best to ignore Draco's latter statement, and replied, "We'll have to make it ourselves."

"As brilliant and simple as that sounds, Potter, I don't think that's going to work."

"And do you have a better idea?" snapped Hermione.

"I didn't say I did," Draco responded coolly. "I only said I didn't think it would work."

"So you'll go along with it?" Harry asked impatiently.

Hermione nodded.

"Yes," Draco said lazily. "Yes, I'll go along with it."

They spent nearly every free moment of the next week in the library. Hermione had found in a book about magical physical reactions that a magical seizure was a symptom that almost always happened very late in cases of magical harm, which told them that if they didn't do something soon, it might be too late to help Dumbledore.

Harry rested his chin in the palm of his hand as he flipped through a book on the basic theory of Light Magic. It had been Hermione's idea to begin by finding out how love had been used in various forms of Light Magic.

The library was slightly too warm, and he tugged absentmindedly at his tie. He'd been up rather late the night before, working on a long report for Potions. Now, he found himself yawning and feeling incredibly lazy. He flipped the pages with the pretense of skimming them, but his eyes saw only blurs. His eyelids felt heavy, and he couldn't help closing his eyes…just for a moment. With his eyes closed, he noticed the sound of Hermione's rhythmic scrawling of notes, and how Draco's page-flipping even sounded elegant. All the noise began to fade to a distant buzz…

"You need to kill me, Harry," said Dumbledore. He lay on the bed in the infirmary, looking quite helpless.

Harry looked aghast. "But Professor—"

"Lord Voldemort is inside me. He may be dead in body, but his mind and powers have attached themselves to me. In time, I will become Lord Voldemort."

Harry protested. "There has to be some way to…I don't know. There must be something we can do!"

Dumbledore shook his head. "The only way is death. You must kill me. It must be by your hand." He raised his left arm, and from within his sleeve he pulled out a small dagger. It was quite plain, with only a small engraving of runes on its hilt. The sharpened metal glinted.

The silvery light of the dagger caught Harry's eye. He felt some strange temptation bubbling within, and moved his hand to take the dagger, but stopped himself.

"It is the right thing to do, Harry," the headmaster told him solemnly. "You must do this."

"No." Harry shook his head. "I can't."

"The first thing aurors-in-training learn," said Dumbledore, raising his voice, "is that they cannot allow emotion to get in the way of what must be done."

Harry took a step backwards, and Dumbledore's eyes grew dark.

"Do not make me angry, Harry," he said in a very quiet voice. "Do not disappoint me at the crucial moment."

"Professor, I can't." Harry took another step backwards.

Dumbledore gazed at him with angry eyes, and then suddenly, firmly gripping the hilt of the dagger, he plunged it into the back of Harry's right hand.

Harry cried out instinctively, and then stared at the blood that poured from the wound. It didn't hurt. The dagger had penetrated straight through to the other side, and yet all he felt was cold metal in his skin…but no pain. The blood felt warm as it spread over his hand. His eyes met Dumbledore's, and suddenly a sharp, lancing pain broke out where his scar was.

"You have failed," said Dumbledore, but the voice was not his.

The intense pain increased, and Harry squeezed his eyes shut, his left hand clutching his forehead. His right hand, with the dagger still through the middle of it, seemed frozen. He heard someone screaming—a scream so filled with pain and dread that it sounded like the person making the noise was surely being tortured to death—and then he realized after a few moments that it was himself. He was the one screaming.

Draco sighed. The past three volumes he'd looked through had yielded no new information. He closed the book and stretched his arms. Harry, he observed, had fallen asleep with palm holding his head and his glasses askew on his face. Harry's eyebrows knit together and his lips were curled in a frown.

"Well, Mr. We've-Got-To-Do-Something-Even-If-It's-Most-Likely-Useless seems to have fallen asleep," Draco said with a sneer.

Hermione paused in her scribbling (she now had about forty inches of notes) and looked up. She sighed, her annoyance apparent.

"Harry," she began. "You—"

He murmured something quietly and she cut off, looking at him carefully.

Draco rolled his eyes. "Are you going to wake—"

"Shhh!" Hermione hissed.

The blond raised an eyebrow and fell silent.

"He's dreaming again," she whispered.

"Dumbledore," Harry murmured softly. "…No…you mustn't…I can't!" His words were growing louder.

Hermione watched him intently. She guessed that his dream would become significantly noisier in a few moments. "Mutus Obsidio!" she whispered, and a very faint glow of light expanded into a dome that surrounding the three of them. The light faded quickly, but the barrier was in place. Nobody outside the magical dome could hear any sound they made.


Suddenly, Harry sat straight up in his seat, simultaneously knocking over several books. His eyes were still closed, but he sat as stiff as wood.

"Harry?" said Hermione softly.

Without warning, he let out a blood-curling cry—a scream that sounded so awful and so loud that Hermione cringed in her seat, covering her ears and shutting her eyes tightly. It was such a horrifying clamor that she herself gasped for air when it ended. Draco appeared to be equally disturbed, and neither spoke for several moments after Harry fell silent.

"Should we wake him up now?" said Draco at last.

"Oh, yes, well, I suppose we should," she replied. "Finite Incantatem," she murmured, and then gently shook Harry's shoulder. He had slumped over the desk when the screaming ended. Now, he jumped a little and blinked several times.

"Sorry," he muttered, and bent to pick up the books on the floor.

"You had a dream," Hermione said.

Harry looked up in surprise.

"We heard you screaming," supplied Draco.

"Harry," Hermione said, looking concerned. "What did you dream about?"

"Er, I don't remember it," he answered, not meeting her eyes.

"Liar," Draco said, sneering. He had picked up Hermione's quill and was twirling it between his fingers. It was quite a habit by now.

"Harry, let's go," Hermione said, pushing her chair back and standing up.

"Go where?" he asked suspiciously.

"We're going to see Madam Pomfrey," she replied firmly. And before he could protest, she had marched to his side of the table, grabbed him by his robe, and was dragging him out of the library.

Draco watched them leave, Harry arguing that he was fine, and Hermione merely glaring at him in reply. Draco took another reference volumde off the pile next to him and began thumbing through the index.

"Look here, it's Malfoy!" said an obnoxious voice from behind him.

He set his book down on the table and turned around in a nonchalant and unhurried manner. "Fancy seeing you in the library, Blakrith," Draco said coldly.

Mavros Blakrith was followed by a small group of Slytherins that included Crabbe, Goyle, and Marcus Flint's younger brother, Maddox. Blakrith had talked Crabbe and Goyle over to his side as soon as he'd heard tell of Draco's betrayal against Voldemort.

Blakrith sneered at him. "And what are you doing here? Having a nice little study session with your Gryffindor friends?"

"I'm doing something that your excessively small brain hasn't learned to comprehend yet," Draco retorted. "It's called research."

"I wouldn't be so quick to call others stupid if I were hanging around with the likes of Potter and that stupid mudblood," said Flint.

"It's my business who I talk to," Draco responded, unperturbed.

"You're going to get yourself in trouble one of these days, Malfoy," growled Crabbe.

"Crabbe," said Draco in mock astonishment, "you've learned to speak in public. I'm surprised."

"Now what's going on here?" The librarian, seeing the group of Slytherins congregated around Draco, had grown suspicious and now stood before them. "You're making a lot of noise," she said with a glare.

Blakrith threw her a rebellious look and then said, "Come on. Let's go."

Madam Pince watched the group leave the library, and then continued her dusting of the books.

Draco drew a few breaths of air to suppress his need to hit something, and then went back to flipping through his book.

"How long has it been since I put the hypersensitivity spell on you?" asked Madam Pomfrey, flipping through a calendar.

"A little over a month, I think," Harry replied through gritted teeth. He sent another glare towards Hermione, who accepted it with one of her it's-for-your-own-good looks.

"Ah, yes, I see," said the nurse, nodding. "A month and four days. And when was the last time you had a dream like today?"

Harry shrugged. "Maybe two weeks ago."

Madam Pomfrey frowned. "I see."

"So can I leave now?" said Harry impatiently. Hermione rolled her eyes.

"In a few moments, yes." Madam Pomfrey had turned her back on them and was bustling around the infirmary again. "First, I'm putting the spell on you again."

Harry groaned.

"None of that, now," she snapped. "The fact that you had such a dream today should caution you that it is still possible that the Dark Lord's magic is inside you."

She held up a vial of the same purple fizzing liquid that she'd made him drink a month ago. "Here. Drink up."

Glowering at Hermione, he took the potion from the nurse. He swallowed it in one gulp, the familiar and bland taste of very diluted cranberry juice filling his mouth.

She tapped her wand on his head and murmured something, and his heightened sensations returned immediately. This time, Madam Pomfrey smelled like both a Muggle cough drop and lilacs.

"It's all your fault," Harry said furiously as they left the infirmary. "Now I've got to deal with another month of stupid smells and messed up feelings, and it's completely pointless."

"It is not completely pointless," Hermione shot back. "She's right. That dream means that you might have Voldemort's magic inside you. It's possible that it's just remained dormant this whole time."

"It's my body and my head," Harry snapped. "I think I'd know better than any of you if something evil was brewing inside me!"

Hermione opened her mouth to reply just as they turned a corner. But she didn't get a chance to say whatever she was going to say because right at that moment, the both of them walked straight into Ron and Seamus.

"Hi Seamus. Hullo, Ron," Harry said coolly.

"Hey Harry, hey Hermione," Seamus said amiably.

Ron glared at Hermione, completely ignored Harry, and then hurried off down the corridor.

Seamus watched him go, and then turned to Hermione and Harry and said in a low voice, "I heard him ranting about the two of you to Ginny this morning."

"We had an argument," Harry said shortly.

"Yeah, well, you should talk to him, Harry. I reckon—"

"I'm not saying a word to him. I just said hello and he acted like I wasn't even there!"

Hermione sighed impatiently. "Come on, Harry. We've got to go back to the library."

"Right, well, I'll see you later then." Seamus turned and walked off in opposite direction Ron had gone in.

Harry kicked the wall angrily.

"If it makes you feel better, he hasn't been speaking to me, either," Hermione said.

"I just wish he'd stop being such an idiot," Harry muttered.

"Just don't think about it anymore," Hermione told him. "We've got other things to worry about."