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To his annoyance he saw that the previous owner had scribbled all over the pages, so that the margins were as black as the printed portions. Bending low to decipher the ingredients (even here, the previous owner had made annotations and crossed things out) Harry hurried off toward the store cupboard to find what he needed. As he dashed back to his cauldron, he saw Malfoy cutting up Valerian roots as fast as he could.
Harry and Ron did not answer, but Harry knew that they were all thinking the same thing. There had been a horrible incident the day before, when Hannah Abbott had been taken out of Herbology to be told her mother had been found dead. They had not seen Hannah since.
"But the villagers' shock was nothing to Marvolo's. He returned from Azkaban, expecting to find his daughter dutifully awaiting his return with a hot meal ready on his table. Instead, he found a clear inch of dust and her note of farewell, explaining what she had done."
"S'right," said Gaunt. "Got you in the face, did he?" "Yes, he did!" snapped Ogden.
"How are you doing that?" demanded Hermione, who was redfaced and whose hair was growing bushier and bushier in the fumes from her cauldron; her potion was still resolutely purple.
"I've no use for owls," said Gaunt. "I don't open letters."
"This time," said Dumbledore, "we are going to enter my memory. I think you will find it both rich in detail and satisfyingly accurate. After you, Harry ..."
"I am here, as I told you in my letter, to discuss Tom Riddle and arrangements for his future," said Dumbledore.
"Very astute, Harry, but the mouth organ was only ever a mouth organ."
She gave the other two an apprehensive look; they all took deep breaths and then dived at the gnarled stump between them.
Harry wondered vaguely who the Half-Blood Prince had been. Although the amount of homework they had been given prevented him from reading the whole of his copy of Advanced Potion-Making, he had skimmed through it sufficiently to see that there was barely a page on which the Prince had not made additional notes, not all of them concerned with potion-making. Here and there were direc-tions for what looked like spells that the Prince had made up himself.
"It was when that package tore," sobbed Leanne, pointing at the now sodden brown-paper package on the ground, which had split open to reveal a greenish glitter. Ron bent down, his hand out-stretched, but Harry seized his arm and pulled him back.
For a split second, Harry hesitated. Professor McGonagall did not invite confidences; Dumbledore, though in many ways more intimidating, still seemed less likely to scorn a theory, however wild. This was a life-and-death matter, though, and no moment to worry about being laughed at.
After dinner they made their way back to Gryffindor Tower. The common room was very crowded, as most people had finished dinner by now, but they managed to find a free table and sat down; Ron, who had been in a bad mood ever since the encounter with Slughorn, folded his arms and frowned at the ceiling. Hermione reached out for a copy of the Evening Prophet, which somebody had left abandoned on a chair.（央视记者 徐海霞）