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Ogden ran for his life. Dumbledore indicated that they ought to follow and Harry obeyed, Merope's screams echoing in his ears.
"Yes, indeed; a rare ability, and one supposedly connected with the Dark Arts, although as we know, there are Parselmouths among the great and the good too. In fact, his ability to speak to serpents did not make me nearly as uneasy as his obvious instincts for cruelty, secrecy, and domination.
"Morfin has broken Wizarding law," said Ogden sternly.
"Oh, well, gotta scrape a living," said Mundungus. "Gimme that!"
"Well, he would look a bit of a prat carrying a necklace," inter-jected Ron.
"Yes, indeed," said Dumbledore. "We must do a certain amount of guessing here, although I do not think it is difficult to deduce what happened. You see, within a few months of their runaway marriage, Tom Riddle reappeared at the manor house in Little Hangleton without his wife. The rumor flew around the neighbor-hood that he was talking of being 'hoodwinked' and 'taken in.' What he meant, I am sure, is that he had been under an enchant-ment that had now lifted, though I daresay he did not dare use those precise words for fear of being thought insane. When they heard what he was saying, however, the villagers guessed that Merope had lied to Tom Riddle, pretending that she was going to have his baby, and that he had married her for this reason."
Ogden hurtled up the path and erupted onto the main lane, his arms over his head, where he collided with the glossy chestnut horse ridden by a very handsome, dark-haired young man. Both he and the pretty girl riding beside him on a gray horse roared with laughter at the sight of Ogden, who bounced off the horse's flank and set off again, his frock coat flying, covered from head to foot in dust, running pell-mell up the lane.
"I was better than that McLaggen anyway," said Ron in a highly satisfied voice. "Did you see him lumbering off in the wrong direc-tion on his fifth? Looked like he'd been Confunded. ..."
"It seems all right," said Hermione, still staring at the book suspiciously. "I mean, it really does seem to be ... just a textbook."
And on that enigmatic note he waved to Harry, who understood himself to be dismissed.
Chapter 11: Hermione's helping hand
"I think that will do," said the white-haired Dumbledore at Harry's side, and seconds later, they were soaring weightlessly through darkness once more, before landing squarely in the present-day office.
"Yes, but still," said Tonks, who seemed perfectly untroubled by this piece of information. "You should get out of the cold."
"Well?" said Hagrid grumpily, as Harry, Ron, and Hermione sat down around his enormous wooden table, Fang laying his head im-mediately upon Harry's knee and drooling all over his robes. "What's this? Feelin' sorry for me? Reckon I'm lonely or summat?"
"I'll give Slughorn back the new one, he can't complain, it cost nine Galleons."
"Wow, scary thought, the boy You-Know-Who," said Ron qui-etly, as they took their places around one of the gnarled Snargaluff stumps that formed this terms project, and began pulling on their protective gloves. "But I still don't get why Dumbledore's showing you all this. I mean, it's really interesting and everything, but what's the point?"
There was a scraping as everyone drew their cauldrons toward them and some loud clunks as people began adding weights to their scales, but nobody spoke. The concentration within the room was almost tangible. Harry saw Malfoy riffling feverishly through his copy of Advanced Potion-Making., It could not have been clearer that Malfoy really wanted that lucky day. Harry bent swiftly over the tattered book Slughorn had lent him.。
"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.。