Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница

There were screams from the dining room and Uncle Vernon burst into the kitchen to find Harry, rigid with shock, covered from head to foot in Aunt Petunias pudding.

At first, it looked as though Uncle Vernon would manage to gloss the whole thing over. (“Just our nephew—very disturbed—meeting strangers upsets him, so we kept him upstairs…”) He shooed the shocked Masons back into the dining room, promised Harry he would flay him to within an inch of his life when the Masons had left, and handed him a mop. Aunt Petunia dug some ice cream out of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница the freezer and Harry, still shaking, started scrubbing the kitchen clean.

Uncle Vernon might still have been able to make his deal—if it hadn’t been for the owl.

Aunt Petunia was just passing around a box of after dinner mints when a huge barn owl swooped through the dining room window, dropped a letter on Mrs. Mason’s head, and swooped out again. Mrs. Mason screamed like a banshee and ran from the house shouting about lunatics. Mr. Mason stayed just long enough to tell the Dursleys that his wife was mortally afraid of birds of all shapes and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница sizes, and to ask whether this was their idea of a joke.

Harry stood in the kitchen, clutching the mop for support, as Uncle Vernon advanced on him, a demonic glint in his tiny eyes.

“Read it!” he hissed evilly, brandishing the letter the owl had delivered. “Go on—read it!”

Harry took it. It did not contain birthday greetings.

Dear Mr. Potter,

We have received intelligence that a Hover Charm was used at your place of residence this evening at twelve minutes past nine.

As you know, underage wizards are not permitted to perform spells outside school Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница, and further spellwork on your part may lead to expulsion from said school (Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, 1875, Paragraph C).

We would also ask you to remember that any magical activity that risks notice by members of the non magical community (Muggles) is a serious offense under section 13 of the International Confederation of Warlocks’ Statute of Secrecy.

Enjoy your holidays!

Yours sincerely,

Mafalda Hopkirk

IMPROPER USE OF MAGIC OFFICE

Ministry of Magic

Harry looked up from the letter and gulped.

“You didn’t tell us you weren’t allowed to use magic outside school,” said Uncle Vernon, a Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница mad gleam dancing in his eyes. “Forgot to mention it… Slipped your mind, I daresay…”

He was bearing down on Harry like a great bulldog, all his teeth bared. “Well, I’ve got news for you, boy… I’m locking you up… You’re never going back to that school… never… and if you try and magic yourself out—they’ll expel you!”

And laughing like a maniac, he dragged Harry back upstairs.

Uncle Vernon was as bad as his word. The following morning, he paid a man to fit bars on Harry’s window. He himself fitted a cat Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница-flap in the bedroom door, so that small amounts of food could be pushed inside three times a day. They let Harry out to use the bathroom morning and evening. Otherwise, he was locked in his room around the clock.

Three days later, the Dursleys were showing no sign of relenting, and Harry couldn’t see any way out of his situation. He lay on his bed watching the sun sinking behind the bars on the window and wondered miserably what was going to happen to him.

What was the good of magicking himself out of his room if Hogwarts Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница would expel him for doing it? Yet life at Privet Drive had reached an all-time low. Now that the Dursleys knew they weren’t going to wake up as fruit bats, he had lost his only weapon. Dobby might have saved Harry from horrible happenings at Hogwarts, but the way things were going, he’d probably starve to death anyway.

The cat flap rattled and Aunt Petunias hand appeared, pushing a bowl of canned soup into the room. Harry, whose insides were aching with hunger, jumped off his bed and seized it. The soup was stone-cold Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница, but he drank half of it in one gulp. Then he crossed the room to Hedwig’s cage and tipped the soggy vegetables at the bottom of the bowl into her empty food tray. She ruffled her feathers and gave him a look of deep disgust.



“It’s no good turning your beak up at it—that’s all we’ve got,” said Harry grimly.

He put the empty bowl back on the floor next to the cat flap and lay back down on the bed, somehow even hungrier than he had been before the soup.

Supposing he Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница was still alive in another four weeks, what would happen if he didn’t turn up at Hogwarts? Would someone be sent to see why he hadn’t come back? Would they be able to make the Dursleys let him go?

The room was growing dark. Exhausted, stomach rumbling, mind spinning over the same unanswerable questions, Harry fell into an uneasy sleep.

He dreamed that he was on show in a zoo, with a card reading UNDERAGE WIZARD attached to his cage. People goggled through the bars at him as he lay, starving and weak, on a bed of straw. He Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница saw Dobby’s face in the crowd and shouted out, asking for help, but Dobby called, “Harry Potter is safe there, sir!” and vanished. Then the Dursleys appeared and Dudley rattled the bars of the cage, laughing at him.

“Stop it,” Harry muttered as the rattling pounded in his sore head. “Leave me alone… cut it out… I’m trying to sleep…”

He opened his eyes. Moonlight was shining through the bars on the window. And someone was goggling through the bars at him: a frecklefaced, red haired, long nosed someone.

Ron Weasley was outside Harry’s window.

3. THE Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница BURROW

“Ron,” breathed Harry, creeping to the window and pushing it up so they could talk through the bars. “Ron, how did you—? What the—?”

Harry’s mouth fell open as the full impact of what he was seeing hit him. Ron was leaning out of the back window of an old turquoise car, which was parked in midair. Grinning at Harry from the front seats were Fred and George, Ron’s elder twin brothers.

“All right, Harry?” asked George.

“What’s been going on?” said Ron. “Why haven’t you been answering my letters? I’ve asked you Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница to stay about twelve times, and then Dad came home and said you’d got an official warning for using magic in front of Muggles—”

“It wasn’t me—and how did he know?”

“He works for the Ministry,” said Ron. “You know we’re not supposed to do spells outside school—”

“You should talk,” said Harry, staring at the floating car.

“Oh, this doesn’t count,” said Ron. “We’re only borrowing this. It’s Dad’s, we didn’t enchant it. But doing magic in front of those Muggles you live with—”

“I told you, I didn Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница’t—but it’ll take too long to explain now—look, can you tell them at Hogwarts that the Dursleys have locked me up and won’t let me come back, and obviously I can’t magic myself out, because the Ministry’Il think that’s the second spell I’ve done in three days, so—”

“Stop gibbering,” said Ron. “We’ve come to take you home with us.”

“But you can’t magic me out either—”

“We don’t need to,” said Ron, jerking his head toward the front seat and grinning. “You forget who I Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница’ve got with me.”

“Tie that around the bars,” said Fred, throwing the end of a rope to Harry.

“If the Dursleys wake up, I’m dead,” said Harry as he tied the rope tightly around a bar and Fred revved up the car.

“Don’t worry,” said Fred, “and stand back.”

Harry moved back into the shadows next to Hedwig, who seemed to have realized how important this was and kept still and silent. The car revved louder and louder and suddenly, with a crunching noise, the bars were pulled clean out of the window as Fred drove straight up in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница the air. Harry ran back to the window to see the bars dangling a few feet above the ground. Panting, Ron hoisted them up into the car. Harry listened anxiously, but there was no sound from the Dursleys’ bedroom.

When the bars were safely in the back seat with Ron, Fred reversed as close as possible to Harry’s window.

“Get in,” Ron said.

“But all my Hogwarts stuff—my wand—my broomstick—”

“Where is it?”

“Locked in the cupboard under the stairs, and I can’t get out of this room—”

“No problem,” said George Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница from the front passenger seat. “Out of the way, Harry.”

Fred and George climbed catlike through the window into Harry’s room. You had to hand it to them, thought Harry, as George took an ordinary hairpin from his pocket and started to pick the lock.

“A lot of wizards think it’s a waste of time, knowing this sort of Muggle trick,” said Fred, “but we feel they’re skills worth learning, even if they are a bit slow.”

There was a small click and the door swung open.

“So—we’ll get your trunk—you grab anything you need from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница your room and hand it out to Ron,” whispered George.

“Watch out for the bottom stair—it creaks,” Harry whispered back as the twins disappeared onto the dark landing.

Harry dashed around his room, collecting his things and passing them out of the window to Ron. Then he went to help Fred and George heave his trunk up the stairs. Harry heard Uncle Vernon cough.

At last, panting, they reached the landing, then carried the trunk through Harry’s room to the open window. Fred climbed back into the car to pull with Ron, and Harry and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница George pushed from the bedroom side. Inch by inch, the trunk slid through the window.

Uncle Vernon coughed again.

“A bit more,” panted Fred, who was pulling from inside the car. “One good push—”

Harry and George threw their shoulders against the trunk and it slid out of the window into the back seat of the car.

“Okay, let’s go,” George whispered.

But as Harry climbed onto the windowsill there came a sudden loud screech from behind him, followed immediately by the thunder of Uncle Vernon’s voice.

“THAT RUDDY OWL!”

“I’ve forgotten Hedwig!”

Harry tore back Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница across the room as the landing light clicked on—he snatched up Hedwig’s cage, dashed to the window, and passed it out to Ron. He was scrambling back onto the chest of drawers when Uncle Vernon hammered on the unlocked door and it crashed open.

For a split second, Uncle Vernon stood framed in the doorway; then he let out a bellow like an angry bull and dived at Harry, grabbing him by the ankle.

Ron, Fred, and George seized Harry’s arms and pulled as hard as they could.

“Petunia!” roared Uncle Vernon. “He’s getting away! HE’S Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница GETTING AWAY!”

But the Weasleys gave a gigantic tug and Harry’s leg slid out of Uncle Vernon’s grasp—Harry was in the car—he’d slammed the door shut—

“Put your foot down, Fred!” yelled Ron, and the car shot suddenly towards the moon.

Harry couldn’t believe it—he was free. He rolled down the window, the night air whipping his hair, and looked back at the shrinking rooftops of Privet Drive. Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and Dudley were all hanging, dumbstruck, out of Harry’s window.

“See you next summer!” Harry yelled.

The Weasleys roared Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница with laughter and Harry settled back in his seat, grinning from ear to ear.

“Let Hedwig out,” he told Ron. “She can fly behind us. She hasn’t had a chance to stretch her wings for ages.”

George handed the hairpin to Ron and, a moment later, Hedwig soared joyfully out of the window to glide alongside them like a ghost.

“So—what’s the story, Harry?” said Ron impatiently. “What’s been happening?”

Harry told them all about Dobby, the warning he’d given Harry and the fiasco of the violet pudding. There was a long, shocked silence Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница when he had finished.

“Very fishy,” said Fred finally.

“Definitely dodgy,” agreed George. “So he wouldn’t even tell you who’s supposed to be plotting all this stuff?”

“I don’t think he could,” said Harry. “I told you, every time he got close to letting something slip, he started banging his head against the wall.”

He saw Fred and George look at each other.

“What, you think he was lying to me?” said Harry.

“Well,” said Fred, “put it this way—house-elves have got powerful magic of their own, but they can’t Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница usually use it without their master’s permission. I reckon old Dobby was sent to stop you coming back to Hogwarts. Someone’s idea of a joke. Can you think of anyone at school with a grudge against you?”

“Yes,” said Harry and Ron together, instantly.

“Draco Malfoy,” Harry explained. “He hates me.”

“Draco Malfoy?” said George, turning around. “Not Lucius Malfoy’s son?”

“Must be, it’s not a very common name, is it?” said Harry. “Why?”

“I’ve heard Dad talking about him,” said George. “He was a big supporter of You-Know-Who.”

“And when You-Know-Who disappeared Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница,” said Fred, craning around to look at Harry, “Lucius Malfoy came back saying he’d never meant any of it. Load of dung—Dad reckons he was right in You-Know-Who’s inner circle.”

Harry had heard these rumors about Malfoy’s family before, and they didn’t surprise him at all. Draco Malfoy made Dudley Dursley look like a kind, thoughtful, and sensitive boy…

“I don’t know whether the Malfoys own a house-elf…” said Harry.

“Well, whoever owns him will be an old wizarding family, and they’ll be rich,” said Fred.

“Yeah, Mum Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница’s always wishing we had a house-elf to do the ironing,” said George. “But all we’ve got is a lousy old ghoul in the attic and gnomes all over the garden. House-elves come with big old manors and castles and places like that; you wouldn’t catch one in our house…”

Harry was silent. Judging by the fact that Draco Malfoy usually had the best of everything, his family was rolling in wizard gold; he could just see Malfoy strutting around a large manor house. Sending the family servant to stop Harry from going back to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница Hogwarts also sounded exactly like the sort of thing Malfoy would do. Had Harry been stupid to take Dobby seriously?

“I’m glad we came to get you, anyway,” said Ron. “I was getting really worried when you didn’t answer any of my letters. I thought it was Errol’s fault at first—”

“Who’s Errol?”

“Our owl. He’s ancient. It wouldn’t be the first time he’d collapsed on a delivery. So then I tried to borrow Hermes—”

“Who?”

“The owl Mum and Dad bought Percy when he was made prefect,” said Fred from the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница front.

“But Percy wouldn’t lend him to me,” said Ron. “Said he needed him.”

“Percy’s been acting very oddly this summer,” said George, frowning. “And he has been sending a lot of letters and spending a load of time shut up in his room… I mean, there’s only so many times you can polish a prefect badge… You’re driving too far west, Fred,” he added, pointing at a compass on the dashboard. Fred twiddled the steering wheel.

“So, does your dad know you’ve got the car?” said Harry, guessing the answer.

“Er, no Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница,” said Ron, “he had to work tonight. Hopefully we’ll be able to get it back in the garage without Mum noticing we flew it.”

“What does your dad do at the Ministry of Magic, anyway?”

“He works in the most boring department,” said Ron. “The Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office.”

“The what?”

“It’s all to do with bewitching things that are Muggle made, you know, in case they end up back in a Muggle shop or house. Like, last year, some old witch died and her tea set was sold to an antiques shop. This Muggle woman bought Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница it, took it home, and tried to serve her friends tea in it. It was a nightmare—Dad was working overtime for weeks.”

“What happened?”

“The teapot went berserk and squirted boiling tea all over the place and one man ended up in the hospital with the sugar tongs clamped to his nose. Dad was going frantic—it’s only him and an old warlock called Perkins in the office—and they had to do Memory Charms and all sorts of stuff to cover it up—”

“But your dad—this car—”

Fred laughed. “Yeah, Dad’s crazy about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница everything to do with Muggles; our shed’s full of Muggle stuff. He takes it apart, puts spells on it, and puts it back together again. If he raided our house he’d have to put himself under arrest. It drives Mum mad.”

“That’s the main road,” said George, peering down through the windshield. “We’ll be there in ten minutes… Just as well, it’s getting light…”

A faint pinkish glow was visible along the horizon to the east.

Fred brought the car lower, and Harry saw a dark patchwork of fields and clumps of trees.

“We’re a Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница little way outside the village,” said George. “Ottery St. Catchpole.”

Lower and lower went the flying car. The edge of a brilliant red sun was now gleaming through the trees.

“Touchdown!” said Fred as, with a slight bump, they hit the ground. They had landed next to a tumbledown garage in a small yard, and Harry looked out for the first time at Ron’s house.

It looked as though it had once been a large stone pigpen, but extra rooms had been added here and there until it was several stories high and so crooked it Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница looked as though it were held up by magic (which, Harry reminded himself, it probably was). Four or five chimneys were perched on top of the red roof. A lopsided sign stuck in the ground near the entrance read, THE BURROW. Around the front door lay a jumble of rubber boots and a very rusty cauldron. Several fat brown chickens were pecking their way around the yard.

“It’s not much,” said Ron.

“It’s wonderful,” said Harry happily, thinking of Privet Drive.

They got out of the car.

“Now, we’ll go upstairs really quietly,” said Fred, “and wait Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница for Mum to call us for breakfast. Then, Ron, you come bounding downstairs going, ‘Mum, look who turned up in the night!’ and she’ll be all pleased to see Harry and no one need ever know we flew the car.”

“Right,” said Ron. “Come on, Harry, I sleep at the—”

Ron had gone a nasty greenish color, his eyes fixed on the house. The other three wheeled around.

Mrs. Weasley was marching across the yard, scattering chickens, and for a short, plump, kind faced woman, it was remarkable how much she looked like a saber toothed tiger Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница.

“Ah,” said Fred.

“Oh, dear,” said George.

Mrs. Weasley came to a halt in front of them, her hands on her hips, staring from one guilty face to the next. She was wearing a flowered apron with a wand sticking out of the pocket.

“So,” she said.

“Morning, Mum,” said George, in what he clearly thought was a jaunty, winning voice.

“Have you any idea how worried I’ve been?” said Mrs. Weasley in a deadly whisper.

“Sorry, Mum, but see, we had to—”

All three of Mrs. Weasley’s sons were taller than she was, but they cowered Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница as her rage broke over them.

“Beds empty! No note! Car gone—could have crashed—out of my mind with worry—did you care?—never, as long as I’ve lived—you wait until your father gets home, we never had trouble like this from Bill or Charlie or Percy—”

“Perfect Percy,” muttered Fred.

“YOU COULD DO WITH TAKING A LEAF OUT OF PERCY’S BOOK!” yelled Mrs. Weasley, prodding a finger in Fred’s chest. “You could have died, you could have been seen, you could have lost your father his job—”

It seemed to go on for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница hours. Mrs. Weasley had shouted herself hoarse before she turned on Harry, who backed away.

“I’m very pleased to see you, Harry, dear,” she said. “Come in and have some breakfast.”

She turned and walked back into the house and Harry, after a nervous glance at Ron, who nodded encouragingly, followed her.

The kitchen was small and rather cramped. There was a scrubbed wooden table and chairs in the middle, and Harry sat down on the edge of his seat, looking around. He had never been in a wizard house before.

The clock on the wall opposite him Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница had only one hand and no numbers at all. Written around the edge were things like Time to make tea, Time to feed the chickens, and You’re late. Books were stacked three deep on the mantelpiece, books with titles like Charm Your Own Cheese, Enchantment in Baking, and One Minute Feasts—It’s Magic! And unless Harry’s ears were deceiving him, the old radio next to the sink had just announced that coming up was “Witching Hour, with the popular singing sorceress, Celestina Warbeck.”

Mrs. Weasley was clattering around, cooking breakfast a little haphazardly, throwing dirty looks at Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница her sons as she threw sausages into the frying pan. Every now and then she muttered things like “don’t know what you were thinking of,” and “never would have believed it.”

“I don’t blame you, dear,” she assured Harry, tipping eight or nine sausages onto his plate. “Arthur and I have been worried about you, too. Just last night we were saying we’d come and get you ourselves if you hadn’t written back to Ron by Friday. But really,” (she was now adding three fried eggs to his plate) “flying an illegal car halfway Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница across the country—anyone could have seen you—”

She flicked her wand casually at the dishes in the sink, which began to clean themselves, clinking gently in the background.

“It was cloudy, Mum!” said Fred.

“You keep your mouth closed while you’re eating!” Mrs. Weasley snapped.

“They were starving him, Mum!” said George.

“And you!” said Mrs. Weasley, but it was with a slightly softened expression that she started cutting Harry bread and buttering it for him.

At that moment there was a diversion in the form of a small, redheaded figure in a long nightdress, who appeared Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница in the kitchen, gave a small squeal, and ran out again.

“Ginny,” said Ron in an undertone to Harry. “My sister. She’s been talking about you all summer.”

“Yeah, she’ll be wanting your autograph, Harry,” Fred said with a grin, but he caught his mother’s eye and bent his face over his plate without another word. Nothing more was said until all four plates were clean, which took a surprisingly short time.

“Blimey, I’m tired,” yawned Fred, setting down his knife and fork at last. “I think I’ll go to bed and—”

“You will not Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница,” snapped Mrs. Weasley. “It’s your own fault you’ve been up all night. You’re going to de-gnome the garden for me; they’re getting completely out of hand again—”

“Oh, Mum—”

“And you two,” she said, glaring at Ron and Fred. “You can go up to bed, dear,” she added to Harry. “You didn’t ask them to fly that wretched car—”

But Harry, who felt wide awake, said quickly, “I’ll help Ron. I’ve never seen a de-gnoming—”

“That’s very sweet of you, dear, but it’s dull work,” said Mrs. Weasley Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница. “Now, let’s see what Lockhart’s got to say on the subject—”

And she pulled a heavy book from the stack on the mantelpiece. George groaned.

“Mum, we know how to de-gnome a garden—”

Harry looked at the cover of Mrs. Weasley’s book. Written across it in fancy gold letters were the words Gilderoy Lockhart’s Guide to Household Pests. There was a big photograph on the front of a very goodlooking wizard with wavy blond hair and bright blue eyes. As always in the wizarding world, the photograph was moving; the wizard, who Harry Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница supposed was Gilderoy Lockhart, kept winking cheekily up at them all. Mrs. Weasley beamed down at him.

“Oh, he is marvelous,” she said. “He knows his household pests, all right, it’s a wonderful book…”

“Mum fancies him,” said Fred, in a very audible whisper.

“Don’t be so ridiculous, Fred,” said Mrs. Weasley, her cheeks rather pink. “All right, if you think you know better than Lockhart, you can go and get on with it, and woe betide you if there’s a single gnome in that garden when I come out to inspect it.”

Yawning and grumbling, the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница Weasleys slouched outside with Harry behind them. The garden was large, and in Harry’s eyes, exactly what a garden should be. The Dursleys wouldn’t have liked it—there were plenty of weeds, and the grass needed cutting but there were gnarled trees all around the walls, plants Harry had never seen spilling from every flower bed, and a big green pond full of frogs.

“Muggles have garden gnomes, too, you know,” Harry told Ron as they crossed the lawn.

“Yeah, I’ve seen those things they think are gnomes,” said Ron, bent double with his head Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница in a peony bush, “like fat little Santa Clauses with fishing rods…”

There was a violent scuffling noise, the peony bush shuddered, and Ron straightened up. “This is a gnome,” he said grimly.

“Gerroff me! Gerroff me!” squealed the gnome.

It was certainly nothing like Santa Claus. It was small and leathery looking, with a large, knobby, bald head exactly like a potato. Ron held it at arm’s length as it kicked out at him with its horny little feet; he grasped it around the ankles and turned it upside down.

“This is what you have to do,” he Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница said. He raised the gnome above his head (“Gerroff me!”) and started to swing it in great circles like a lasso. Seeing the shocked look on Harry’s face, Ron added, “It doesn’t hurt them—you’ve just got to make them really dizzy so they can’t find their way back to the gnomeholes.”

He let go of the gnome’s ankles: It flew twenty feet into the air and landed with a thud in the field over the hedge.

“Pitiful,” said Fred. “I bet I can get mine beyond that stump.”

Harry learned quickly not to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница feel too sorry for the gnomes. He decided just to drop the first one he caught over the hedge, but the gnome, sensing weakness, sank its razor sharp teeth into Harry’s finger and he had a hard job shaking it off—until—

“Wow, Harry—that must’ve been fifty feet…”

The air was soon thick with flying gnomes.

“See, they’re not too bright,” said George, seizing five or six gnomes at once. “The moment they know the de-gnoming’s going on they storm up to have a look. You’d think they’d have learned Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница by now just to stay put.”

Soon, the crowd of gnomes in the field started walking away in a straggling line, their little shoulders hunched.

“They’ll be back,” said Ron as they watched the gnomes disappear into the hedge on the other side of the field. “They love it here… Dad’s too soft with them; he thinks they’re funny…”

Just then, the front door slammed.

“He’s back!” said George. “Dad’s home!”

They hurried through the garden and back into the house.

Mr. Weasley was slumped in a kitchen chair with his glasses off and his eyes Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2 страница closed. He was a thin man, going bald, but the little hair he had was as red as any of his children’s. He was wearing long green robes, which were dusty and travel-worn.

“What a night,” he mumbled, groping for the teapot as they all sat down around him. “Nine raids. Nine! And old Mundungus Fletcher tried to put a hex on me when I had my back turned…”

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