Harry's heart was pounding against his ribs. Professor Dumbledore? What was he doing in Durmstrang? Hermione and Ron had both seen the star too and were silently staring between the map and Harry.
Suddenly, the hair on Harry's neck prickled. He sensed someone else's presence in the Gryffindore common room. There was someone that didn't belong here, someone spying on them. Harry's eyes cast around the room swiftly, and caught a snatch of scarlet escape the room through the portrait hole. Hermione turned her head quickly toward the Fat Lady, who was unaware that anyone had left. Ron, too, had felt the sense and was leaning his head straining to get a look into the hallway. None of them could move.
"Who was that?" Harry asked sharply.
"I dunno...I didn't see anything, but I heard a gasp...it seemed as though they tripped on something on their way out..." Ron answered.
Hermione's eyes widened in fear and she clutched Harry's arm in such a tight grip it was painful. "Harry," she whispered, "What if it was...if it was...if it..." She couldn't finish her sentence, but all three knew what she meant. There was an eery silence when all that could be heard was the crackling fire of the Gryffindore Common Room. However, several moments later, Harry had made a decision.
"I'm going to go look for them. It's almost time for dinner, but classes haven't ended. There'll be no one in the hallways, and whoever it was couldn't have gone far." Ron nodded.
"I'll come with you."
Harry shook his head. "No, it's okay. You and Hermione stay in here and be on the watchout. I'm going alone." Hermione slowly loosened her grip on Harry's arm. As he rushed out, he saw small moon cresant marks where Hermione had grasped his flesh. Rubbing it, he ducked and headed through the portrait hole. Harry looked ahead. There was no one in sight. The hallway was filled with a haunting stillness, but there were faint footsteps of a person running. His ears picking the sound up, Harry rushed toward it. He turned, and again saw a wisp of scarlet as the person rushed around a corner. Picking up his pace, Harry followed closely behind. He speeded away, agile from Quidditch. He was making good time. The footsteps were nearing, and Harry could hear panting. Having been in Hogwarts for four years, Harry knew most of the ways by heart, and from what he could remember, this path was leading straight to a dead end where Professor Flitwick's classes were held. Finally, after rounding one last corner, Harry saw the person ahead of him, not three yards away.
It was a small figure, huddling against the wall, breathing deeply, thoroughly exhausted from the chase. All Harry could see was a blanket of scarlet. Finally, it lifted its head up. Harry gasped at what was underneath.
It was Su Chang. The small girl's round black eyes were coated with fear and her pink lips trembled as a small squeak escaped her mouth. Her face was pale and her dark hair created a net around her cheeks. It looked as silky as Cho's and as soft. Harry stared at her. What was Su Chang doing?
"Why are you here?" Harry asked harshly.
Seeing Harry's face and hearing his tone, Su burst into tears. "I'm sorry," she said, salty drops flowing silently down her cheek. "I'm so sorry. I was going into the common room to get a book I had left because Professor McGonagall told me to get it. It was in the middle of class and we needed it, so she sent me to go get it. Then I saw you three in the room."
"Why did you run away?" Harry asked, his voice softening, sympathizing the Su for the terror she seemed to be in.
"I-I heard what you guys said. About Professor Dumbledore. I knew I wasn't supposed to listen because it sounded so confidential, but I couldn't help it. It just...went it. Then you looked over and I knew you would be mad if you knew I had heard...so I just ran. I'm so sorry." She burst into fresh tears.
Harry pulled out a tissue and offered it to her awkwardly. Su took it and wiped the tears off her face, but all the good it did, for new ones immediately ran down again. Nodding, Harry beckened the small girl to follow him. She did as she was told. Silently, they walked back to the Gryffindor common room.
Harry burst into the room with Su. Ron and Hermione jumped up as he entered and rushed toward him. As soon as they saw Su, though, they stopped dead.
"HER???" Ron said in amazement. "It was Su? Cho Chang's sister?"
Hermione looked at them in a wary way, and looked down to Harry's hands. Harry, who had been holding Su's hand while leading her back to the common room, quickly dropped it.
"Yeah, it was her...and she knows about Dumbledore..."
"That's okay-" Ron barely had time to finish his sentence when someone suddenly burst into the common room.