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"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.

"My name is Albus Dumbledore. I sent you a letter requesting an appointment and you very kindly invited me here today."

"Oh no, of course you weren't, I forgot you were late. . .. Well, Filch ran over all of us with Secrecy Sensors when we got into the entrance hall. Any Dark object would have been found, I know for a fact Crabbe had a shrunken head confiscated. So you see, Malfoy can't have brought in anything dangerous!"

There was a pause while Harry continued to pound the resilient pod with a trowel.

"Voldemort's grandfather, yes," said Dumbledore. "Marvolo, his son, Morfin, and his daughter, Merope, were the last of the Gaunts, a very ancient Wizarding family noted for a vein of insta-bility and violence that flourished through the generations due to their habit of marrying their own cousins. Lack of sense coupled with a great liking for grandeur meant that the family gold was squandered several generations before Marvolo was born. He, as you saw, was left in squalor and poverty, with a very nasty temper, a fantastic amount of arrogance and pride, and a couple of family heirlooms that he treasured just as much as his son, and rather more than his daughter."


"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?"

"What went wrong?" asked Harry. "Why did the love potion stop working?"

"Well, he would look a bit of a prat carrying a necklace," inter-jected Ron.

"We've missed you!" said Hermione tremulously.

"Yeah, that's him," said Harry. "I dunno what they're playing at, taking Stan seriously."


"Hagrid!" cried Hermione, leaping up, hurrying around the table the long way to avoid the barrel of maggots, and putting an arm around his shaking shoulders. "What is it?"

"Naturally I do, but as I have already proven to you, I make mis-takes like the next man. In fact, being — forgive me — rather clev-erer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger."

"Morfin!" said a loud voice.

"Quite right, take another ten points for Gryffindor. Yes, it's a funny little potion, Felix Felicis," said Slughorn. "Desperately tricky to make, and disastrous to get wrong. However, if brewed correctly, as this has been, you will find that all your endeavors tend to succeed ... at least until the effects wear off."

"You must have been busy, a detention under your belt already!" "Er," began Harry awkwardly, but Dumbledore did not look too stern.


He crouched down. An ornate opal necklace was visible, poking out of the paper.


"But you're doing what it says?"


"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."


"Morfin has broken Wizarding law," said Ogden sternly.,


Harry shrugged and continued what he was doing. Seven stirs counterdockwise, one clockwise, pause . . . seven stirs counterclockwise, one stir clockwise . . .;