"Will the champions please wait in the Great Hall instead of going to your classes." McGonagall's voice rang out through the room, and after a pause, everyone resumed talking and eating.
Meanwhile, Ron turned to Harry. "Mate, doesn't the third task begin tonight?" Harry nodded, but his mouth was full of food so it was Hermione who explained.
"Their families come to see them—isn't that right, Harry?—and all the champions miss class."
"Wicked!" Ron cried, impressed. "So that's why you put your name in!" Harry shrugged and did his best to look amused.
However, inside, Harry was scared to death. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon weren't coming…surely not…they wouldn't want to…they would be too afraid. No, Harry's one place to get away from his "family" would not be violated. It just couldn't be.
Wrapped up in his thoughts, Harry started when Ron clapped him on his back. "Later," Ron said. "I have potions first thing, and you know what Snape's like when he's angry."
Harry grimaced. He and Ron had countless confrontations with an angry Snape. "See you," he said miserably. He looked to say good-bye to Hermione, but she did not know what an angry Snape was like and left early to avoid finding out.
Ron walked away and Harry watched as the rest of the Gryffindors stood up and trickled out. Soon the Great Hall was only occupied by Dumbledore, the champions, and two Hufflepuffs who quickly scurried out.
Dumbledore smiled kindly after them, blue eyes twinkling, and said, "I'll call your families in now."
Harry tried to smile, hoping to see the Weasleys come in. Or the Grangers. Or anyone who wasn't named Dursley.
And the families all came in.
Snape scowled down the Great Hall. Personally, he thought the idiot champions should not be exempt from classes without a reason. Although only Potter came from Gryffindor, he thought that signing up to compete was a very Gryffindor thing to do.
Where's that boy now? Snape mused. He probably can't wait to be coddled by his family.
Snape's eyes found Potter with his friends, smiling. He snorted, but years of spying on Death Eaters and helping Slytherins out allowed him to pick up cues most people missed.
And though Weasley looked impressed and Granger looked haughty, Potter actually looked…scared.
That can't be right. I'll bet he's afraid his family won't show up.
But even Snape himself knew that couldn't possibly be the case.
He looked at his watch. Twenty minutes before class. Class with Gryffindors. Class he didn't feel like teaching. Snape knew what he had to do.
Robes billowing behind him, Snape stalked out of the Great Hall down to his office in the dungeons. When he got there, Snape looked over his private potions.
Polyjuice, Amortentia, Felix, finally! Duplicator!
The Duplicator potion was the only way of being in two places at one time without a time turner.
Snape tipped his head back and drank the lime-green sludge. Two Snapes left the room.
One went to go teach a class.
The other disillusioned himself and went back to the Great Hall.
After all, he is a spy.