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"You will remember, I am sure, that we left the tale of Lord Voldemort's beginnings at the point where the handsome Muggle, Tom Riddle, had abandoned his witch wife, Merope, and returned to his family home in Little Hangleton. Merope was left alone in London, expecting the baby who would one day become Lord Voldemort."
Hermione patted Hagrid's shoulder, looking at a complete loss for anything to say. Harry knew how she felt. He had known Ha-grid to present a vicious baby dragon with a teddy bear, seen him croon over giant scorpions with suckers and stingers, attempt to reason with his brutal giant of a half-brother, but this was perhaps the most incomprehensible of all his monster fancies: the gigantic talking spider, Aragog, who dwelled deep in the Forbidden Forest and which he and Ron had only narrowly escaped four years previously.
"Well then, you're in," said Harry. "There's a practice tonight, seven o'clock."
"Well. . . yeah, it was, but so what?"
"Oh, all right then, I did it," she whispered. "But you should have heard the way he was talking about Ron and Ginny! Any-way, he's got a nasty temper, you saw how he reacted when he didn't get in — you wouldn't have wanted someone like that on the team."
Merope stumbled across the room, but before she had time to raise her wand, Ogden had lifted his own and said firmly, "Reparo. " The pot mended itself instantly.
"Right," said Harry. "Well. . . if you wait over there ..." He pointed over to the edge of the pitch, close to where Hermi-one was sitting. He thought he saw a flicker of annoyance pass over McLaggen's face and wondered whether McLaggen expected pref-erential treatment because they were both "old Sluggy's" favorites. Harry decided to start with a basic test, asking all applicants for the team to divide into groups of ten and fly once around the pitch. This was a good decision: the first ten was made up of first years, and it could not have been plainer that they had hardly ever flown before. Only one boy managed to remain airborne for more than a few seconds, and he was so surprised he promptly crashed into one of the goal posts.
"Shall —shall I, sir?"
"Good lord, you're right!" said the man's voice. "That'll be the son, I told you he's not right in the head. Don't look at it, Cecilia, darling.
"Yeah, I think we saw a bit of that side of them," said Ron in an undertone.
Chapter 13: The secret riddle
At which all three of them stated categorically and untruthfully that Professor Grubbly-Plank, who had substituted for Hagrid a few times, was a dreadful teacher, with the result that by the time Hagrid waved them off the premises at dusk, he looked quite cheerful.
"Give me another go."
Harry was angry with the other two for siding with McGonagall;
"Yeah, I can!" said Harry. "Stand back —"
Harry had wondered whether Dumbledore would return from wherever he had been in time for Monday night's lesson, but having had no word to the contrary, he presented himself outside Dumbledore's office at eight o'clock, knocked, and was told to enter. There sat Dumbledore looking unusually tired; his hand was as black and burned as ever, but he smiled when he gestured to Harry to sit down. The Pensieve was sitting on the desk again, casting silvery specks of light over the ceiling.,