Harry received a slight shock; blinking down at him from every direction was Sirius's face. Newspaper cuttings and old photographs - even the one of Sirius being best man at the Potters' wedding - 'papered the walls. The only Sirius-free space was a map of the world in which little red pins were glowing like jewels.
Harry felt a horrible sinking in the pit of his stomach. Whatever Mrs Figg might say, it sounded to him as though the most she had ever seen was a picture of a Dementor, and a picture could never convey the truth of what these beings were like: the eerie way they moved, hovering inches over the ground; or the rotting smell of them; or that terrible rattling noise they made as they sucked on the surrounding air . . .
'A corporeal Patronus?'
They turned a corner, walked through a pair of heavy oak doors and emerged in a cluttered open area divided into cubicles, which was buzzing with talk and laughter. Memos were zooming in and out of cubicles like miniature rockets. A lopsided sign on the nearest cubicle read: Auror Headquarters.
Mr Weasley skidded to a halt beside the lifts and jabbed impatiently at the 'down' button.
'Visitor to the Ministry, you are required to submit to a search and present your wand for registration at the security desk, which is located at the far end of the Atrium '
'Those courtrooms haven't been used in years,' said Mr Weasley angrily. 'I can't think why they're doing it down there - unless - but no - '
'Morning, Weasley,' said Kingsley carelessly, as they drew nearer. I've been wanting a word with you, have you got a second?'
'Then undoubtedly the Ministry will be making a full inquiry into why two Dementors were so very far from Azkaban and why they attacked without authorisation.'
The law's on your side,' said Lupin quietly. 'Even underage wizards are allowed to use magic in life-threatening situations.'
In the very middle of the front row sat Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic. Fudge was a portly man who often sported a lime-green bowler hat, though today he had dispensed with it; he had dispensed, too, with the indulgent smile he had once worn when he spoke to Harry. A broad, square-jawed witch with very short grey hair sat on Fudges left; she wore a monocle and looked forbidding. On Fudges right was another witch, but she was sitting so far back on the bench that her face was in shadow.
They reached the bottom of the steps and ran along yet another corridor, which bore a great resemblance to the one that led to Snape's dungeon at Hogwarts, with rough stone walls and torches in brackets. The doors they passed here were heavy wooden ones with iron bolts and keyholes.
- 英超2豪门3战仅1球丢死人 积7分？”壕掷亿”难遮羞
'Yeah,' said Harry.
- 足坛10大天团：梦幻3R战荷兰3剑客 MSN与BBC争艳
'Oh, Arthur!' he said desperately, without looking at Harry. Thank goodness, I didn't know what to do for the best, whether to wait here for you or not. I've just sent an owl to your home but you've obviously missed it - an urgent message came ten minutes ago - '
- 卡瓦哈尔因伤无缘欧洲杯 阿森纳飞翼将获得征召
'The Ministry of Magic wishes you a pleasant day,' said the woman's voice.
- 被遗忘的“韩国齐达内” 解密尹比加兰的前世今生
'I think we might have a record of it if someone had ordered a pair of Dementors to go strolling through Little Whinging!' barked Fudge.
- 英超争四形势：曼联赛程有利 曼城恐遭双线拖累
'If you had read my report you would know that the term is firearms,' said Mr Weasley coolly. 'And I'm afraid you'll have to wait for information on motorcycles; we're extremely busy at the moment.' He dropped his voice and said, 'If you can get away before seven, Molly's making meatballs.'
- 欧洲杯历届冠军：西班牙首支卫冕球队 3夺冠追平德国
'Full name?' said Fudge loudly, when Mrs Figg had perched herself nervously on the very edge of her seat.
- 球队大巴说上就上 英格兰队缺乏安全意识被打脸
Mr Weasley kept his hand inside his jacket as they walked. Harry knew it was clenched around his wand. The run-down streets were al most deserted, but when they arrived at the miserable little underground station they found it already lull of early-morning commuters. As ever when he found himself in close proximity to Muggles going about their daily business, Mr Weasley was hard put to contain his enthusiasm.