Special arrangements

Tom Riddle asks permission from Armando Dippet to stay at Hogwarts over the summer

Extract from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

by J.K. Rowling

There was a knock on the office door.

‘Enter,’ said the old wizard in a feeble voice.

A boy of about sixteen entered, taking off his pointed hat. A silver Prefect’s badge was glinting on his chest. He was much taller than Harry, but he, too, had jet-black hair.

‘Ah, Riddle,’ said the Headmaster.

‘You wanted to see me, Professor Dippet?’ said Riddle. He looked nervous.

‘Sit down,’ said Dippet. ‘I’ve just been reading the letter you sent me.’

‘Oh,’ said Riddle. He sat down, gripping his hands together very tightly.

‘My dear boy,’ said Dippet kindly, ‘I cannot possibly let you stay at school over the summer. Surely you want to go home for the holidays?’

‘No,’ said Riddle at once, ‘I’d much rather stay at Hogwarts than go back to that – to that –’

‘You live in a Muggle orphanage during the holidays, I believe?’ said Dippet curiously.

‘Yes, sir,’ said Riddle, reddening slightly.

‘You are Muggle-born?’

‘Half-blood, sir,’ said Riddle. ‘Muggle father, witch mother.’

‘And are both your parents –?’

‘My mother died just after I was born, sir. They told me at the orphanage she lived just long enough to name me: Tom after my father, Marvolo after my grandfather.’

Dippet clucked his tongue sympathetically.

‘The thing is, Tom,’ he sighed, ‘special arrangements might have been made for you, but in the current circumstances ...’

‘You mean all these attacks, sir?’ said Riddle, and Harry’s heart leapt, and he moved closer, scared of missing anything.

‘Precisely,’ said the Headmaster. ‘My dear boy, you must see how foolish it would be of me to allow you to remain at the castle when term ends. Particularly in the light of the recent tragedy ... the death of that poor little girl ... You will be safer by far at your orphanage. As a matter of fact, the Ministry of Magic is even now talking about closing the school. We are no nearer locating the – er – source of all this unpleasantness ...’

Riddle’s eyes had widened.

‘Sir – if the person was caught ... If it all stopped ...’

‘What do you mean?’ said Dippet, with a squeak in his voice, sitting up in his chair. ‘Riddle, do you mean you know something about these attacks?’

‘No, sir,’ said Riddle quickly.


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

by J.K. Rowling