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"Boys keep back!" barked Professor Grubbly-Plank, throwing out an arm and catching Harry hard in the chest. "They prefer the woman's touch, unicorns. Girls to the front, and approach with care, come on, easy does it. ..."
"What's got Karkaroff all worried?" Ron muttered.
"Come seek us where our voices sound, We cannot sing above the ground, And while you re searching, ponder this:
Harry stretched out his arms, lifted the egg in his wet hands, and opened it. The wailing, screeching sound filled the bathroom, echoing and reverberating off the marble walls, but it sounded just as incomprehensible as ever, if not more so with all the echoes. He snapped it shut again, worried that the sound would attract Filch, wondering whether that hadn't been Cedric's plan - and then, making him jump so badly that he dropped the egg, which clattered away across the bathroom floor, someone spoke.
"You're a sharp boy. Potter," he said. His magical eye roved back to the Marauder's Map.
CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR - RITA SKEETER'S SCOOP
"Have you been spying on him too?" said Harry indignantly. "What d'you do, sneak up here in the evenings to watch the prefects take baths?"
"Hermione, I was joking," said Harry wearily. "I know I haven't got a chance of turning into a frog by tomorrow morning...."
By the evening before the second task. Harry felt as though he were trapped in a nightmare. He was fully aware that even if, by some miracle, he managed to find a suitable spell, he'd have a real job mastering it overnight. How could he have let this happen? Why hadn't he got to work on the egg's clue sooner? Why had he ever let his mind wander in class - what if a teacher had once mentioned how to breathe underwater?
"The song said -"
"Where have you been?" said a bossy, disapproving voice. "The task's about to start!"
"I'd try putting it in the water, if I were you."
Harry sped toward the hostages, half expecting the merpeople to lower their spears and charge at him, but they did nothing. The ropes of weed tying the hostages to the statue were thick, slimy, and very strong. For a fleeting second he thought of the knife Sirius had bought him for Christmas - locked in his trunk in the castle a quarter of a mile away, no use to him whatsoever.
"Viktor Krum used an incomplete form of Transfiguration, which was nevertheless effective, and was second to return with his hostage. We award him forty points."
"How do you feel the tournament's going, Mr. Bagman? Our department's quite satisfied -the hitch with the Goblet of Fire" - he glanced at Harry - "was a little unfortunate, of course, but it seems to have gone very smoothly since, don't you think?"
Just as it had before he faced the Horntail, time was slipping away as though somebody had bewitched the clocks to go extra-fast. There was a week to go before February the twenty-fourth (there was still time) . . . there were five days to go (he was bound to find something soon) .. . three days to go (please let me find something... please). . .。