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Hannah clamped her hand over the mouth to prevent her from screaming. Was that a snake! Did I hear a snake talk! Did I understand a snake!  Before the figures could notice her, Hannah snuck back up to her bed.

 

The next morning Nearly Headless Nick, the Gryfindor house ghost, was not a breakfast as usual. Hannah turned to Percy “Where’s Nick?” Percy’s happy-to-help expression changed to a questioning one. “I don’t know,” Percys face had his I-know-the-answer look, “Maybe he,” Percy stopped, a quizzical expression on his face, like for the first time he didn’t know what was going on, “I don’t know.” She was going to ask Ginny, but decided against it. She was going to ask the only person she could, Hermione Granger, the person who helped with her studies after her mother died.

“Hermione?”

A girl with bushy hair was talking with friends. When Hannah said her name, she flinched. 

“You started me. What’s going on?” 

“I was wondering if you knew where Nearly Headless Nick is.”

Hermione looked at her friends, then back to Hannah. “Meet me on the landing of the first year’s dormitory tonight before dinner.”

Hannah looked sceptical. Hermione’s friends had questioning looks. “Okay.” Hannah’s voice was full of confidence. “I’ll be there.” 

As Hannah left, one of them asked, “What are you going to tell her?” Though it was barely audible over the babble of the great hall, Hannah swore she heard Hermione respond with, “The only thing I can, the truth.”

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