Nick said nothing.
Nick turned away from the window and looked mournfully at Harry.
'Expecting what?' Harry asked, as he closed the door.
And he left the room, leaving Harry there alone, gazing blankly at the wall through which Nick had disappeared.
'What d'you mean?' said Harry quickly.
'No - Nick - please,' said Harry, 'I really need to talk to you. Can we go in here?'
Snape looked towards the giant hour-glasses on the walls and gave a sneering smile.
But then an idea struck him . . . a better idea than a mirror . . . a much bigger, more important idea . . . how had he never thought of it before - why had he never asked?
'Telephone,' whispered Hermione.
Harry looked up at him and saw a tear trickling down Dumbledore's face into his long silver beard.
He was sprinting out of the dormitory and down the spiral staircase, hitting the walls as he ran and barely noticing; he hurtled across the empty common room, through the portrait hole and off along the corridor, ignoring the Fat Lady, who called after him: The feast is about to start, you know, you're cutting it very fine!'
'In that room with the archway. They were just lurking out of sight, that's all. You heard them.'
Perhaps the reason he wanted to be alone was because he had felt isolated from everybody since his talk with Dumbledore. An invisible barrier separated him from the rest of the world. He was - he had always been - a marked man. It was just that he had never really understood what that meant . . .
He turned the mirror over. There on the reverse side was a scribbled note from Sirius.
There you are, Harry, I knew they'd drag you into it somehow,' said Hermione, looking over the top of the paper at him.
Harry pulled some crumpled robes out of the very bottom of his trunk to make way for folded ones and, as he did so, noticed a badly wrapped package lying in a corner of it. He could not think what it was doing there. He bent down, pulled it out from underneath his trainers and examined it.
'He heard only the beginning, the part foretelling the birth of a boy in July to parents who had thrice defied Voldemort. Consequently, he could not warn his master that to attack you would be to risk transferring power to you, and marking you as his equal. So Voldemort never knew that there might be danger in attacking you, that it might be wise to wait, to learn more. He did not know that you would have power the Dark Lord knows not - '
'How come you're not at the feast?' Harry asked.