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Fred and George choked into their own cups. Percy, very pink around the ears, busied himself with the kettle.
But Frank did not leave. He stayed to tend the garden for the next family who lived in the Riddle House, and then the next -- for neither family stayed long. Perhaps it was partly because of Frank that the new owners said there was a nasty feeling about the place, which, in the absence of inhabitants, started to fall into disrepair.
At the far end of the table, Percy was telling his father all about his report on cauldron bottoms.
The electric fire shot across the room as the boarded-up fireplace burst outward, expelling Mr. Weasley, Fred, George, and Ron in a cloud of rubble and loose chippings.
"Never been this crowded," he said suddenly, looking out over the misty field again.
"Only, most of the stuff - well, all of it, really - was a bit dangerous," said Ron, "and, you know, they were planning to sell it at Hogwarts to make some money, and Mum went mad at them. Told them they weren't allowed to make any more of it, and burned all the order forms.... She's furious at them anyway. They didn't get as many O.W.L.s as she expected."
Ludo Bagman was easily the most noticeable person Harry had seen so far, even including old Archie in his flowered nightdress. He was wearing long Quidditch robes in thick horizontal stripes of bright yellow and black. An enormous picture of a wasp was
"That's it," said Mr. Weasley.
Bill got to his feet, smiling, and also shook Harry's hand. Bill came as something of a surprise. Harry knew that he worked for the wizarding bank, Gringotts, and that Bill had been Head Boy at Hogwarts; Harry had always imagined Bill to be an older version of Percy: fussy about rule-breaking and fond of bossing everyone around. However, Bill was - there was no other word for it - cool. He was tall, with long hair that he had tied back in a ponytail. He was wearing an earring with what looked like a fang dangling from it. Bill's clothes would not have looked out of place at a rock concert, except that Harry recognized his boots to be made, not of leather, but of dragon hide.
Percy cleared his throat significantly and looked down toward the end of the table where Harry, Ron, and Hermione were sitting. "You know the one I'm talking about, Father." He raised his voice slightly. "The top-secret one."
"What are we doing here? Has something gone wrong?"
"Hello, Harry!" said Mr. Weasley brightly. "Got your trunk ready?"
tongue, and attempted to wrench it out of his mouth; unsurprisingly, Dudley yelled and sputtered worse than ever, trying to fight her off. Uncle Vernon was bellowing and waving his arms around, and Mr. Weasley had to shout to make himself heard.
Harry had been a year old the night that Voldemort -- the most powerful Dark wizard for a century, a wizard who had been gaining power steadily for eleven years -- arrived at his house and killed his father and mother. Voldemort had then turned his
"We spent six months developing those!" Fred shouted at his mother as she threw the toffees away.
Harry had been on the Gryffindor House Quidditch team ever since his first year at Hogwarts and owned one of the best racing brooms in the world, a Firebolt. Flying came more naturally to Harry than anything else in the magical world, and he played in the position of Seeker on the Gryffindor House team.。