'Stand up straight,' said Sirius impatiently. 'Now, what are you up to?'
'Is it true? Is it Harry Potter? Kreacher can see the scar, it must be true, that's the boy who stopped the Dark Lord, Kreacher wonders how he did it - '
Harry took a deep breath and asked the question that had obsessed him for the last month.
'But Dumbledore doesn't want - '
'You never said she was your - '
The Noble and Most
The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black
Half an hour later Harry and Ron, who had dressed and breakfasted quickly, entered the drawing room, a long, high-ceilinged room on the first floor with olive green walls covered in dirty .ap-estries. The carpet exhaled little clouds of dust every time someone put their foot on it and the long, moss green velvet curtains were buzzing as though swarming with invisible bees. It was aroand these that Mrs Weasley, Hermione, Ginny, Fred and George were grouped, all looking rather peculiar as they had each tied a cloth over their nose and mouth. Each of them was also holding a large bottle of black liquid with a nozzle at the end
Mrs Weasley closed the door behind Harry with a sharp snap. The bedroom looked, if anything, even danker and gloomier than it had on first sight. The blank picture on the wall was now breathing very slowly and deeply, as though its invisible occupant was asleep. Harry put on his pyjamas, took off his glasses and climbed into his chilly bed while Ron threw Owl Treats up on top of the wardrobe to pacify Hedwig and Pigwidgeon, who were clattering around and rustling their wings restlessly.
'But he died,' said Harry.
He threw the box aside into the sack where they were depositing the debris from the cabinets; Harry saw George wrap his own hand carefully in a cloth moments later and sneak the box into his already Doxy-filled pocket.
'It's ideal for Headquarters, of course; Sirius said. 'My father put every security measure known to wizardkind on it when he lived here. It's unplottable, so Muggles could never come and call - as if they d ever have wanted to - and now Dumbledore's added his protection, you'd be hard put to find a safer house anywhere. Dumbledore is Secret Keeper for the Order, you know - nobody can find Headquarters unless he tells them personally where it is - that note Moody showed you last night, that was from Dumbledore . . .' Sirius gave a short, bark-like laugh. 'If my parents could see the use their house was being put to now . . . well, my mothers portrait should give you some idea.
'But he died,' said Harry.
'You two just Apparated on my knees!'
'. . . and there's the Mudblood, standing there bold as brass, oh if my mistress knew, oh, how she'd cry, and there's a new boy, Kreacher doesn't know his name. What is he doing here? Kreacher doesn't know . . ."
'Not necessarily,' said Fred.
'Leave?' Sirius smiled bitterly and ran his fingers through his long, unkempt hair. 'Because I hated the whole lot of them: my parents, with their pure-blood mania, convinced that to be a Black made you practically royal . . . my idiot brother, soft enough to believe them . . . that's him.'
They're still at school.'