The Department of Mysteries?' said Luna, looking mildly surprised. 'But how are you going to get there?'
'Undoubtedly I shall in the end,' said the cold voice. 'But you will fetch it for me first, Black . . . you think you have felt pain thus far? Think again . . . we have hours ahead of us and nobody to hear you scream . . .'
'I wish to interrogate him!' repeated Umbridge angrily, and Snape looked away from Harry back into her furiously quivering lace. 'I wish you to provide me with a potion that will force him to tell me the truth!'
'No!' shrieked Hermione. 'Professor Umbridge - it's illegal.'
His head began to spin as though he had just got off a fairground ride though his knees remained firmly planted on the cold office floor. He kept his eyes screwed up against the whirling ash and when the spinning stopped he opened them to find himself looking out at the long, cold kitchen of Grimmauld Place.
'Got 'em all,' said Warrington, shoving Ron roughly forwards into the room. That one,' he poked a thick finger at Neville, 'tried to stop me taking her,' he pointed at Ginny, who was trying to kick the shins of the large Slytherin girl holding her, 'so I brought him along too.'
'Never you mind,' said Harry roughly.
'What's ready?' demanded Umbridge, and now she grabbed Hermione's shoulders again and shook her slightly. 'What's ready, girl?'
'Of course not,' said Hermione scathingly. 'Hagrid might have set it off accidentally.'
All right, whispered Hermione as a gang of loud sixth-years passed them. 'So Ron - you go and head Umbridge off . . . Ginny, Luna, if you can start moving people out of the corridor . . . Harry and I will get the Cloak on and wait until the coast is clear . . ."
'How're we going to get there?' he asked them.
Snape looked back at Harry, who stared at him, frantic to communicate without words.
The garish kittens were basking in the late-afternoon sunshine that was warming their plates, but otherwise the office was as still and unoccupied as last time. Hermione breathed a sigh of relief.
'It's the Potter boys head in the fire,' Kreacher informed the empty kitchen, stealing furtive, oddly triumphant glances at Harry. 'What has he come for, Kreacher wonders?'
'You can't come down here!' Ginny was calling to the crowd. 'No, sorry, you're going to have to go round by the swivelling staircase, someone's let off Garrotting Gas just along here - '
'Where has Sirius gone?' Harry yelled after the elf. 'Kreacher, has he gone to the Department of Mysteries?'
'And you two can go ahead of me and show me the way,' said Umbridge, pointing at Harry and Hermione with her wand. 'Lead on.'
- CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO -
Ron strode away, his bright-red hair visible right to the end of the passage; meanwhile Ginny's equally vivid head bobbed between the jostling students surrounding them in the other direction, trailed by. Luna's blonde one.