A horrible incident

Hannah Abbot's mother is found dead, as parents begin to fear for their children's safety at Hogwarts

Extract from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

By J.K. Rowling

‘People are terrified – you know the Patil twins’ parents want them to go home? And Eloise Midgeon has already been withdrawn. Her father picked her up last night.’

‘What!’ said Ron, goggling at Hermione. ‘But Hogwarts is safer than their homes, bound to be! We’ve got Aurors, and all those extra protective spells, and we’ve got Dumbledore!’

‘I don’t think we’ve got him all the time,’ said Hermione very quietly, glancing towards the staff table over the top of the Prophet. ‘Haven’t you noticed? His seat’s been empty as often as Hagrid’s this past week.’

Harry and Ron looked up at the staff table. The Headmaster’s chair was indeed empty. Now Harry came to think of it, he had not seen Dumbledore since their private lesson a week ago.

‘I think he’s left the school to do something with the Order,’ said Hermione in a low voice. ‘I mean ... it’s all looking serious, isn’t it?’

Harry and Ron did not answer, but Harry knew that they were all thinking the same thing. There had been a horrible incident the day before, when Hannah Abbott had been taken out of Herbology to be told her mother had been found dead. They had not seen Hannah since.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

By J.K. Rowling