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He turned away again, and was almost at the door when he saw it. Sitting on one of the little spindle-legged tables that supported so many frail-looking silver instruments, was an ugly gold ring set with a large, cracked, black stone.
"Can I borrow your silver knife?"
"Well, I've had Quidditch practice, Professor," said Harry, who had indeed been scheduling practices every time Slughorn had sent him a little, violet ribbon-adorned invitation. This strategy meant that Ron was not left out, and they usually had a laugh with Ginny, imagining Hermione shut up with McLaggen and Zabini.
"Yes?" said Dumbledore.
He was pointing at the door through which Mrs. Cole had just left.
"Stay there!" he shouted at the others over the howling wind. "I'm going for help!"
"Gwenog Jones?" said Ron, his eyes widening under his own goggles. "The Gwenog Jones? Captain of the Holyhead Harpies?"
Dumbledore got to his feet and walked around the desk, past Harry, who turned eagerly in his seat to watch Dumbledore bend-ing over the cabinet beside the door. When Dumbledore straight-ened up, he was holding a familiar shallow stone basin etched with odd markings around its rim. He placed the Pensieve on the desk in front of Harry.
"Gotcha!" yelled Ron, pulling a second pod from the stump just as Hermione managed to burst the first one open, so that the bowl was full of tubers wriggling like pale green worms.
Harry stirred counterclockwise, held his breath, and stirred once clockwise. The effect was immediate. The potion turned pale pink.
"Now, as it happens, she did," said Mrs. Cole, who seemed to be rather enjoying herself now, with the gin in her hand and an eager audience for her story. "I remember she said to me, 'I hope he looks like his papa,' and I won't lie, she was right to hope it, because she was no beauty ?and then she told me he was to be named Tom, for his father, and Marvolo, for her father ?yes, I know, funny name, isn't it? We wondered whether she came from a circus ?and she said the boy's surname was to be Riddle. And she died soon after that without another word.
Hagrid had come striding around the corner of his cabin wearing a large flowery apron and carrying a sack of potatoes. His enormous boarhound, Fang, was at his heels; Fang gave a booming bark and bounded forward.
The girl nodded.
Harry hesitated. Dumbledore was smiling.
The house seemed to contain three tiny rooms. Two doors led off the main room, which served as kitchen and living room com-bined. Morfin was sitting in a filthy armchair beside the smoking fire, twisting a live adder between his thick fingers and crooning softly at it in Parseltongue:
Nonverbal spells were now expected, not only in Defense Against the Dark Arts, but in Charms and Transfiguration too. Harry frequently looked over at his classmates in the common room or at mealtimes to see them purple in the face and straining as though they had overdosed on U-No-Poo; but he knew that they were really struggling to make spells work without saying incanta-tions aloud. It was a relief to get outside into the greenhouses; they were dealing with more dangerous plants than ever in Herbology, but at least they were still allowed to swear loudly if the Venomous Tentacula seized them unexpectedly from behind.