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[T]he muggle cousin is an abandoned plot thread -- that cousin would have a witch daughter, who would live with the Weasleys and be an intellegent Slytherin, being a foil for Hermione; I believe the character was abandoned in favour for Rita Skeeter.
Mac Cooper, in a comment on an answer to "Does Hogwarts teach non magical classes?"

Is there any truth to and evidence for this claim?

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    Well ... nice to see I'm trusted here ;) hehe – Mac Cooper Jul 30 '14 at 14:17
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Yes

Accio Quote for the Weasleys says this:

Mafalda: was a Weasley cousin whose character was edited out of the books in favor of Rita Skeeter.

It links to a page on her website that no longer exists, but it can be found on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

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    Little extra info: "her canon role was to have listened in on the conversations held between the children of Death Eaters in her House. She then would have repeated this information to Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, hoping to wow them. Hermione would have discovered that, much to her own horror, Mafalda was her equal in many ways, and would have been caught between hating Mafalda's disregard for rules and longing to try to outdo her.[2]" Found from the Harry Potter wikia, sourced. For the record, "weasley cousin slytherin" in google gives the page on result 1 – Mac Cooper Jul 30 '14 at 21:27

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