The Tragic Merope Gaunt

Merope Gaunt is a character that can be described as eerily-captivating for the very sad and sordid state of affairs that JK Rowling described her life to be. Merope is Voldemort’s mother, a pureblood witch and she had fallen madly in love with a man she could never have: Tom Riddle, a rich Muggle aristocrat who lived in the same village she did, Little Hangleton, but atop a hill in his family’s mansion. Merope wasn’t pretty looking at all, was always dressed in rags, and that also in shades of grey. Her hair was a dark black and always uncombed and she forever looked like that all the happiness had been sucked out of her life.

Her father and her brother constantly abused her (generations of inbreeding had left the Gaunts violent, mentally unstable and penniless) for lack of magical skills and this abuse would further hinder with her growing her magical skills, which should have come naturally to her given that she was a witch after all. She was mostly in charge of cooking and cleaning in her house and never attended Hogwarts but she did own a wand. But it never did, and instead it kept getting worse and worse. Her only solace in life was Tom Riddle, who didn’t even know she existed. Merope would regularly sneak out of the house to catch a glimpse of Riddle and would spend hours away just looking at this incredibly handsome man who had captivated her heart for such a long time.

Once when her father and brother were away, captured and taken to Azkaban, Merope grew strong magically, and managed to conjure a love potion which she sneakily slipped into Riddle’s dinner once, hoping that he would fall madly in love with her too.  And he did, after he finished his dinner. Soon, they were inseparable, but it had caused such a scandal: the squire’s son had run away with the tramp’s daughter. Meanwhile, Merope, being so in love with Riddle, couldn’t bring herself to keep him entranced under the drug any longer, so she stopped giving him the potion after some time, hoping that because of the time that they had spent together, he would have already fallen in love with her.

But she was wrong. Immediately after the effects of the love potion wore off, Riddle ran away, never to be seen in the village ever again. He claimed to be hoodwinked somehow by the tramp’s daughter. Merope, broken-hearted and pregnant with his child, ran away from the village in shame. She sold many of her family belongings, which lasted her for days in numerous stops, but soon after her money ran out, she stopped infront of an orphanage and out of a weak heart, and no longer possessing the will to continue to living, she gives birth to her son, and dies infront of the orphange broken-hearted and pitiful.

The son is taken up by the orphanage and named Tom Marvolo Riddle, the most brilliant student Hogwarts has ever seen, someone even Dumbledore feared when he first met him because of the evil in his eyes and his desire to toy with other children’s lives just because they hurt him or laughed at him because he was poor and an orphan, a boy that eventually became…Voldemort! Dumbledore believed in Tom’s magical abilities but believed that a close eye should be kept on him because of his Salazar Slytherin roots and his ability to speak Parseltongue so naturally. I feel that the tragedy with Merope Gaunt is really creepily mysterious because her story is so lengthy but the end to it all is immensely abrubt (and brief).

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