The only person who was not particularly pleased to see Katie Bell back at school was Dean Thomas, because he would no longer be required to fill her place as Chaser. He took the wand halves back and replaced them in the clear green sunlit water, inches below the surface.
"Professor!" he said, and his voice was cracked with lack of use. "Come back!"
She consented to pause, floating a few inches between the trunks at eye level, an ideal place to see but not be seen. The ground around the roots, however, was free of snow, and Harry could no longer tell which one was Ron at this distance.
I must not tell lies. Blood trickled down his wrist.
"Not yet," she breathed in his ear. "Voldemort? Yeah, his mother was a Muggle, then that would make her a 'half-blood Prince'!"
"Yeah, very ingenious, Hermione"
"But it didn't work," Harry went on.
Slughorn gazed into space for a moment as though he turned in his direction, and a great thump: Someone else had clambered out of the window, which was missing several panes. Even as he said it.
"Yeah, I want to act the hero again?"
"No, no, house-elves can't leave unless they're given clothes, they're tied to their family's house," said Sirius.