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Ron was very subdued all through the class. When the bell sounded at the end of the lesson, Lavender caught up with Ron and Harry (Hermione mysteriously melted out of sight as she ap-proached) and abused Snape hotly for his jibe about Ron's Appari-tion, but this seemed to merely irritate Ron, and he shook her off by making a detour into the boys' bathroom with Harry.
"He — he just failed," whispered Hermione, as Ron came slouching into the room looking most morose. "It was really unlucky, a tiny thing, the examiner just spotted that he'd left half an eyebrow behind. . . How did it go with Slughorn?"
Harry did not need telling twice; he and Hermione both hurried off; Hagrid's and Filch's raised voices echoed behind them as they ran. They passed Peeves near the turning into Gryffindor Tower, but he was streaking happily toward the source of the yelling, cackling and calling,
Meanwhile, Lavender kept sidling up to Harry to discuss Ron, which Harry found almost more wearing than McLaggen's Quidditch lectures. At first, Lavender had been very annoyed that nobody had thought to tell her that Ron was in the hospital wing — "I mean, I am his girlfriend!" — but unfortunately slit-had now decided to forgive Harry this lapse of memory and was keen to have lots of in-depth chats with him about Ron's feelings, a most uncomfortable experience that Harry would have happily forgone.
"The Prophet's often behind the times," said Tonks, who didn't seem to be listening to him. "You haven't had any letters from any-one in the Order recently?"
'Harry!' said Ron suddenly.
"— it's just your mother's genes coming out in you!"
"So I wanted to know how come he's up at the castle with a couple of girlfriends while everyone else is down here. ..."
'They didn't fall off your bed, you prat, don't you under-stand? They were mine, 1 chucked them out of my trunk when 1 was looking for the map. They're the Chocolate Cauldrons Romilda gave me before Christmas and they're all spiked with love potion!'
"Kreacher will not insult Harry Potter in front of Dobby, no he won't, or Dobby will shut Kreacher's mouth for him!" cried Dobby in a high-pitched voice.
Chapter 20: Lord Voldemort's Request
"I've already told you, you need to persuade Slughorn," said Her-mione. "It's not a question of tricking him or bewitching him, or Dumbledore could have done it in a second. Instead of messing around outside the Room of Requirement" — she jerked the Prophet out from under Harrys hand and unfolded it to look at the front page — "you should go and find Slughorn and start appeal-ing to his better nature."
They all fell silent, watching him anxiously, but after muttering incomprehensibly for a moment he merely started snoring.
Chapter 22: After the Burial
He was halfway to the dormitory door when he realised that Ron had not moved, but was leaning on his bedpost, staring out of the rain-washed window with a strangely un-focused look on his face.
"Now," said Dumbledore, "if you don't mind, Harry, I want to pause once more to draw your attention to certain points of our story. Voldemort had committed another murder; whether it was his first since he killed the Riddles, I do not know, but I think it was. This time, as you will have seen, he killed not for revenge, but for gain. He wanted the two fabulous trophies that poor, besotted, old woman showed him. Just as he had once robbed the other children at his orphanage, just as he had stolen his Uncle Morfin’s ring, so he ran off now with Hepzibahs cup and locket."。