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I finished Prisoner of Azkaban last week, and naturally, have started up with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, one of my favorites. And I was completely delighted to come across this glorious bit from Voldemort in the first chapter:

. . . you will have your reward, Wormtail. I will allow you to perform an essential task for me, one that many of my followers would give their right hands to perform…

Voldemort, who assures Wormtail his part “will come at the very end,” is referring to Wormtail’s role in a complicated magical procedure that will return Voldemort to full power, donating the “flesh of the servant” in the form of his right hand. Wormtail doesn’t know that yet, nor do we. It’s such a throwaway line, and I’ve read this book more times than I remember, and I’ve never noticed it until just now. Voldemort (and Rowling), you cruel, crafty genius.

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