Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Chapter Summary and Analysis - Part One
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is the bowdlerized version of the title for the first book in the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling. She wrote it under 'Philosopher's' Stone for her United Kingdom anticipated readership. I must confess, I didn't begin reading the collection until hearing a NPR (National Public Radio) book review as the second book was being released. The reviewers were claiming the Potter books to be: "The Wizard of Oz books for this generation." Well, having taken my childhood quarter and making the bus trip downtown to the Carnegie Free Library several weeks in a row in order to read all the "Oz" series - I decided to see if they really did compare… they did.
Rowling has said that Harry "sort of just walked into" her mind fully formed. And, it takes only just about that long for the reader to warm up to the 'Dickensian' youngster, from an emotionally abusive foster home; who, unknowingly, is more special than he has ever even dared daydream about. In fairness, I must also confess that part of the intrigue for me was, what seemed to be, the furor over whether or not the books were appropriate for children! How it could be, on the one hand the "next Wizard of OZ" and yet on the other hand as "religiously bad" as some claimed, was indeed confusing. Then when parents of my patients started asking for my opinion, I needed to read the book in order not to sound naïve… Didn't I?
To my pleasure it was a "good read," albeit lengthy, and I was able to describe the several moral lessons taught in it's pages. Especially when Harry and Dumbledore had their explanatory "debriefings." I began suggesting to even the most skeptical parents (of over 8-year-olds), that they try reading the book to, or with, their child. It was not infrequent that I received very positive feedback and joined them in the anticipation of the next "episode."
- Bowdlerize: After Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825) who published an expurgated version of Shakespeare. To modify, shorten or skew the content of something in a "more preferred" direction. To remove vulgar, obscene, or otherwise objectionable material (i.e. before publication). The original JKR title was "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"; but, US publishers felt the term would not be recognized by American children, as well as "Sorcerer's Stone." A seemingly, simple monetary decision made every day by US publishers; but, with which the British took offense over the perceived slight of a "favorite daughter."Dickensian After Dickens' Oliver Twist - usually an oppressed orphan in the setting of early England.
- The Boy Who Lived
- Mr. Vernon (director of a firm called Grunnings) and Mrs. Petunia (stay-at-home busy-body mom) Dursley had a secret that they feared somebody would discover. It was about Mrs. Dursley's sister's family, the Potter's they were "magic people!" The Potter's had a son almost their own son, Dudley's, age; but, they had never met. Nor were they likely to, because the Dursley's were ashamed of anything odd or unusual or anyone who was. So Halloween was a holiday that they mostly "endured" until it was over; but, today, (Nov 1st 1981), surpassed the "foolishness" of even the night before. The screaming, spoiled-brat, Dudley wasn't any different; but, that was where the "Dursley normalcy" ended. For example, there was a cat reading a map on Mr. Dursley's way to work, strangely dressed people in cloaks whispering and muttering together and owls flying all around the place. At lunch he overheard some of them whispering about "the Potters" and "their son Harry" and was so distracted that he collided, and knocked down, an old man in a violet cloak. Instead of being upset, however, the old man smiled and advised "rejoice for You-Know-Who has gone at last," then said that all "Muggles should be celebrating this happy day." Returning home, he found the same cat sitting on his wall, as if it was waiting for something, and it just gave him an annoyed, stern look when he told it to "shoo."
He was afraid to say anything about any of this to his wife Petunia because she always got so upset at the mere mention of her sister Lilly who had married that Potter boy. When the television news reported the flocks of daytime owls and shooting stars all over Brittan he braved the topic with her, at least far enough to find out that his nephews name really was… Harry!
At midnight, when the neighborhood was asleep, the cat watched as a tall, thin man in long robes, high-heeled buckled boots and purple cloak appeared from out of nowhere onto Privet Drive, in front of Number 4. Albus Dumbledore, with light, bright, sparkling eyes behind half-moon spectacles above a long, severely crooked nose, greeted the cat with "fancy seeing you here, Professor McGonagall" as he nonchalantly used a metal device to put out the twelve street lamps. When he turned back toward the cat, in it's place was a severe-looking woman wearing square glasses. As Dumbledore struggled to pull apart two lemon drops he was trying to eat, McGonagall asked if it was true that "last night Voldemort turned up in Godric's Hollow, killed Lilly and James Potter and when he tried to kill Harry broke his powers and is now gone?" Dumbledore just nodded and looked at his twelve-handed pocket watch. The astonished McGonagall asked "after all the people he's killed… a little boy stopped him… how did Harry survive"? Dumbledore simply shrugged and said, "We may never know." His intention of bringing Harry to live with his aunt and uncle was met with anxious disagreement from McGonagall. "They are the worst kind of Muggle," she told him, and their son is spoiled rotten. She said that they would never be able to explain to Harry that he was famous and "may even have books written about him" some day. Dumbledore merely said "Famous for something that he won't even remember! Can't you see how much better off he'll be, growing up away from all that until he's ready to take it?" Then she cautioned against having Hagrid transport the baby boy to Privet Drive, to which Dumbledore merely responded "I would trust Hagrid with my life." Seemingly on cue, a HUGE man on a motorcycle fell out of the air right in front of them. It was Hagrid, twice as tall as a normal man and five times as wide and looking as wild as usual. He said he had borrowed the motorcycle from young Sirius Black. "Got Harry out before the Muggles started swarmin' in," he said, but "the house was almost destroyed." Harry was asleep in a basket and under a lock of his jet-black hair, on his forehead, there was a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightening. After Hagrid said his tearful good-bye, Dumbledore placed Harry's basket on the Dursley's doorstep with an explanatory note tucked inside his blankets. Harry slept on, not knowing he would be awakened in a few hours by his aunt's scream as she put out the milk bottles, or that people meeting in secret all over the country were now toasting him as… "the boy who lived!"
- The Vanishing Glass
- Almost ten years later, when Harry was nearly 11, nothing much had changed at Number 4 Privet Drive except the photographs on the mantle of Dudley which showed his progression from "large pink beach ball wearing different colors of bonnets" to a very large blond boy. There was nothing that showed another boy even lived in the house, but he did… in the cupboard under the stairs. While Dudley used a second room for his toys, Harry had to be content with cobwebs and dust, which he was this morning rubbing out of his sleepy eyes as his aunt Petunia screeched for him to get up. It was Saturday, Dudley's birthday and, as usual, he was to be left with batty old cat-lover Mrs. Figg while everyone else went to the Zoo. Midst Dudley's tantrum over only getting 36 presents this year instead of 38 like last year, Mrs. Figg delivered the news that she had broken her leg and wouldn't be able to watch Harry. After discussing him like he either wasn't there or something that couldn't understand them, like a slug, they despaired at having to take him along. BUT, uncle Vernon threatened, "any funny business and you'll be in that cupboard until Christmas." No one ever believed Harry when he said "I'm not going to do anything" because funny things seemed to happen all around him. Like when Aunt Petunia had cut his hair nearly bald with scissors (except his bangs to cover that nasty scar) and it had completely grown back by morning; or, how the nasty hand-me-down sweater she was trying to make him wear seem to get smaller and smaller so she couldn't force it on him; or, how he had unexplainably ended up sitting on the school chimney when Dudley's gang had been chasing him. He made up his mind that today nothing was going to go wrong, he was just glad to get out of he house. As usual, he didn't argue or complain, no matter what the inequities or insults.
Harry largely had a great time tagging along behind, lost in his own thoughts. He had learned through long experience to keep out of arms reach from both Dudley and his Uncle, especially when Dudley got bored… like he was now, as they were going into the snake house. He was allowed to take a look at a large Python only after Dudley couldn't make it move by banging on the glass. He had empathy for the snake being caged and it suddenly opened its beady eyes, raised its head… and winked. When it looked toward the receding Dursley's, Harry somehow understood it to mean "I get that all the time." Harry muttered through the glass to it: "I know, it must be annoying" and it nodded back. Before he knew it, he was carrying on a whispered conversation with it until Dudley saw him and knocked him out of the way and down onto the concrete floor. As Harry watched Dudley, and his friend Piers, lean against the glass, the glass disappeared! Without the barrier to stop it, the snake uncoiled, and slithered past Harry, seeming to say "thanksss amigo… Brazil here I come." The Dursley's decompensated and Dudley milked his feigned fear for all it was worth. When they got home the only thing his uncle could say was: "Go… cupboard… stay… no meals," before he collapsed in his chair.
Alone in his dark cupboard, Harry thought back over his ten miserable years with the Dursley's. They always refused to answer any of his questions as a general principle; but, had told him that his parents had died in a car crash. He didn't remember it of course, but sometimes when he thought about it real hard he seemed to see a "blinding flash of green light (accompanied by) a burning pain in his forehead" and wondered where the green light came from. He had never been told of his parents or even seen a photograph. And, at school he had no one, because they all knew Dudley hated him in his baggy old clothes and broken glasses, and no one wanted to disagree with Dudley. Still, on occasion, Harry thought that he saw strange people seem to recognize him about town. A tiny man in a violet top hat had bowed to him once, a wild-looking woman dressed in green had waved at him and a bald man in a long purple coat had shaken his hand on the street, all to the complete dismay of his Aunt Petunia. "Perhaps," he thought, "it was only wishful thinking" as he laid there in the dark.
- The Letters from No One
- Harry wasn't allowed out of his cupboard until after school was out for the year, and by then Dudley had broken all of his birthday toys. Dudley's gang visited the house every day and joined Dudley in his favorite sport: Harry Hunting. All the gang members were big and stupid so Dudley was their natural leader. Harry did have a slight ray of hope for next school year when, for the first time, he would not be with Dudley who was going to a private school. Harry did get left at Mrs. Figgs when his aunt and Dudley went to London to shop for his new school uniform including the knobbly stick used for hitting other students when the teachers weren't looking, supposedly "good training for later life." Harry was supposed to wear Dudley's old clothes which his Aunt had died grey; and, Harry thought, would make him look like he was clothed in old elephant skin. Having learned not to complain or ask questions, Harry just joked about it before going to retrieve the days mail. He was completely stunned to find his first ever letter addressed to him at his "cupboard under the stairs." His reverie was short-lived, however, because Uncle Vernon snatched it out of his hands, turned purple, and cast both him and Dudley out of the room. The boys listened at the keyhole to hear them say things like: they know where he sleeps… they're spying… I'm not having one in the house… we swore we'd stamp out that dangerous nonsense… and, we won't write back." That night, Uncle Vernon did something for the first time-- visited Harry in his cupboard. He still refused to answer any of Harry's questions but said he should move upstairs into Dudley's second bedroom.
The next morning Dudley was subdued, having thrown a nearly 16 hour tantrum, culminating by being sick on purpose and whacking his father with his school stick. When this morning Dudley was made to go get the mail, Uncle Vernon had to wrestle him to the ground to get it out of his hands. Even though it was addressed to "Mr. H Potter, the smallest bedroom…" Harry was made to go to his bedroom. The next morning Harry's plan was to arise early enough to sneak out and wait for the postman. However, in the dark he stepped on Uncle Vernon who had been camping out on the floor under the letter slot. This day three letters came for him, but they were torn into pieces right before his eyes. Uncle Vernon nailed the letter slot closed with a board; but, Friday 12 letters came for Harry and were simply pushed through the crack around the door. Uncle Vernon stayed home from work and boarded up all the cracks around the front and back doors. But Saturday 24 letters still got into the house hidden inside the eggs which the milkman had handed through the window. On Sunday, as Uncle Vernon was happy about there not being any mail delivery, almost 40 letters came pelting out of the fireplace like bullets before Harry was forcibly ejected from the room. After the letters had been destroyed, the panicked Uncle Vernon demanded that they all "pack because we are leaving!" They drove all over the country, sometimes reversing directions, and all the time muttering "shake 'em off…shake 'em off." The following morning, during breakfast at a run-down motel, the owner asked them who should receive the 100 letters to Harry that had been delivered to the office. They fled again, this time with more intensity, until they reached the coast. Uncle Vernon locked them all in the car while he disappeared into the rain, returning later carrying a long thin package. He pointed at a shack on a large rock, way out at sea, and said that was where they would spend the night. They had almost nothing to eat, couldn't start a fire, had no light and a storm raged all around them. As Harry laid huddled in a thin blanket on the floor, he realized that it would soon be Tuesday, his eleventh birthday not that it mattered much to anyone but himself. He squinted at Dudley's watch in the dark and quietly counted down the minutes: "three… two... one…" and there came a loud "BOOM" at the door. Someone wanted to come in!
- The Keeper of the Keys
- Uncle Vernon crashed into the room holding a gun and called out "I'm warning you, I'm armed." The knocking stopped for a second; then, with one final BOOM the door was on the floor revealing a giant of a man in the doorway. The man squeezed his way into the hut, put the door back on its hinges, and simply asked for a "cup o' tea." He began his pleasant conversation with Harry by dismissing Dudley from the couch and saying "las' time I saw you, you was only a baby." When uncle Vernon tried to interfere the man, Hagrid, took the gun and twisted it into a pretzel. He told Harry: "yeh look a lot like yer dad, but yeh've got yer mom's eyes." He pulled a squashed box from under his coat and presented a chocolate cake to Harry as a birthday present. He said he was Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. When he saw they had no fire or anything to eat he used his umbrella to set a blaze in the fireplace, pulled kettles and things from inside his coat and cooked some sausages. When Harry didn’t appear to know anything about Hogwarts, Hagrid jumped to his feet, upset with the Dursley's, and faced them off against the wall. Despite Uncle Vernon's protests, Hagrid said "yer a wizard Harry, an' a thumpin' good'un, I'd say, once yeh've been trained up a bit," then handed Harry his letter. It was his letter of invitation to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, headed by Albus Dumbledore, and signed by Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress. It wanted a "return owl" by July 31st, so Hagrid pulled a live one from inside his coat, tied a note to its leg and sent it into the stormy night. Motivated by his anger, Uncle Vernon seemed to have more "nerve than brains" and told Hagrid that "he's not going." Hagrid calmly said, "I'd like ter see a great Muggle like you stop him," however became livid when he learned that the Dursley's hadn't even told Harry about his parents. Even Harry was completely astonished and exclaimed "you knew?!" demanding an explanation. Aunt Petunia revealed that her sister, Lilly, had gotten a letter like that "then went off to that school to learn how to turn tea cups into rats" and become a "freak." It was obvious that she had been jealous of her parents pride in having a witch in the family. She continued that Lily had met "that potter boy" at school and was married; then she accidentally let slip that her sister had been blown up. Angry and hurt, Harry exclaimed: "you told me they died in a car crash!" and Hagrid, for the second time, became incensed at their outrageous treatment of Harry.
Hagrid felt compassion over Harry's look of bewilderment so sat back down on the sofa and told him as much of the story as he knew. He said that "every kid in our world knows yer name." He said that there was a wizard that went bad named… "Voldemort"… (and don’t make me say it again.) He began gathering followers about 20 years ago and became very powerful. Terrible things happened, killings, you didn't know who to trust, and he was taking over. The only safe place was Hogwarts because "Dumbledore was the only one You-Know-Who was afraid of and he didn't dare takin' the school, not jus' then, anyway." Harry's mom and dad were good wizards and had been head boy and girl at the school. Voldemort turned up at their village on Halloween ten years previously and killed them. Then, Hagrid said, "when he tried to kill you too… he couldn't do it… and vanished the same night… that's how you got your scar on your forehead… powerful, evil curse touches yeh." When Harry heard the story, he remembered his dreams of green light and for the fist time also remembered a high, cold, cruel laugh. Uncle Vernon butted in and said that "they had gotten what they deserved" and that "the world was better off without them." Hagrid jumped from the couch, pointed his pink umbrella at Dursley like a sword, and warned him to not make one more word. He then continued with his story that, although no one really knew, most think that You-Know-Who was still out there somewhere, without powers, too weak to carry on. Something about Harry had stopped him, Hagrid said, and after that "people on his side came back to ours, and other's came out of trances."
Harry was puzzled about hearing he was a wizard because he hadn't been able to stand up to either his Aunt and Uncle's abuse or Dudley's bullying. Hagrid asked him if he couldn't remember ever making things happen when he had been scared or angry, and Harry remembered all the odd things that had seemed to happen around him... and he knew! His uncle made one last attempt to argue about it and insulted Dumbledore in the process. That was the final straw for Hagrid, and he angrily punctuated his warning to Dursley with waves of his umbrella over his head. "Never… Insult… Albus… Dumbledore… In… Front… Of… Me!" he said, then swished his umbrella toward Dudley with a flash of violet light and a sound like a firecracker. Dudley let out a pig like squeal and held his fat bottom where a curly tail was poking out through a hole. The Dursley's all ran into the other room and slammed the door shut. Alone, Hagrid calmly asked Harry not to mention anything about that to anyone, saying he had been expelled from Hogwarts in his third year and was "not supposed ter do magic, strictly speakin'." When Harry asked him why he had been expelled, Hagrid changed the subject and, throwing Harry his coat, said he could sleep under that until morning when they would both go to London to buy his school things.
- Rubeus Hagrid: The author seems to know Greek and other mythology, and uses it, at least indirectly, in her writing. Hagrid means "hung over". Rowling's Hagrid is the keeper of keys at Hogwarts Hagrid Rubeus was the Greek god of jewels and a keeper on Mount Olympus.Voldemort: Voldemort is a combination of French words (a subject the author taught) meaning in total "Theft of Death." "vol" theft; "de" of; and "mort" Death.
- Diagon Alley
- Harry kept his eyes shut after he awoke the next morning, telling himself that everything had been a dream, he was home in his cupboard, and not daring to see if it was really true. A tapping noise made him get up, and, when Hagrid's coat fell away from him, so did his denial. He stood perplexed at the window where an Owl seemed to be delivering a newspaper to them, in its beak. Hagrid had him pay the Owl with some funny looking coins. Then, to Harry's question about not having any money for school supplies, he said that his parents had left him plenty in the wizard bank, Gringotts run by goblins, the safest place in the world except for Hogwarts and hundreds of miles under London. It was guarded by dragon's, he said, and that he had wanted to have one all his life. Hagrid read his newspaper, the Daily Prophet, while the boat they were in rowed itself back to shore. He muttered all the time about Dumbledore refusing to take the Minister of magic job, and his alternate, Cornelius Fudge, being a "bungler if ever there was one." "The minister's job," he told Harry, "is ta keep magic from the Muggles" so they don't keep pesterin' us for magical solutions to problems. Harry read his letter again which told him of the school supplies he would need. Things like: clothes (robes, gloves, pointed hat);
books (spells, beasts, dark forces protection);
and, equipment (wand, cauldron, telescope). He could also bring a pet (owl, cat or toad), but, not a broomstick. When they finally arrived at the Leaky Cauldron (a tiny, grubby-looking pub only wizards could see) Harry found that everyone knew his name and many of the odd looking people he had seen in his life came up to shake his hand some several times. Even Professor Quirrel, his nervously-stuttering, soon-to-be, Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, was there. Hagrid said that he had a brilliant mind but during a sabbatical he had met some vampires and a hag "and has never been the same since." Out the back door of the pub, Hagrid tapped a brick wall three times with his umbrella, making the bricks wriggle apart into the entry into… Diagon Alley.
Harry tried to look at everything at once while they walked to Gringotts to get some of his money, and run an errand for Dumbledore. The apothecary, cauldrons, owl emporium, broomstick shop and robe shops were too much for him to take in. Finally they gave the Goblin cashier Harry's key and went for a careening ride in a rail cart deep underground to his vault. Harry asked what the difference was between stalactites and stalagmites and Hagrid only muttered "Stalagmite's not an 'm' in it… an' don' ask me questions jus' now, I'm gonna be sick." When the goblin unlocked the vault, Harry gasped at the mounds of gold (Galleon's), silver (Sickle's) and bronze (Knutt's) coins which were all his; and, was glad that the Dursley's hadn't known about all this. They put some into a bag before they went deeper still to vault 713, where Hagrid removed a small package and put it in his coat refusing to tell anyone what it was. Back on the surface, Hagrid left Harry alone in the robe shop to be fitted while he went back to the pub to 'calm his nerves.' While there, Harry met a boy who's arrogance and spoiled attitude reminded him of Dudley. He chatted incessantly about playing "Quidditch," and hoping he "gets placed in Slytherin" like the rest of his family and not in "Hufflepuff or he would leave." The boys mouth only came to a stop when Harry defended Hagrid against his insults. To the boys, suddenly evaluatory questioning, Harry had to respond that his parents had died and didn’t know "if they were our kind." Finally Hagrid was back with ice cream: chocolate and raspberry with chopped nuts which gave Harry a chance to get answers to: Quidditch- 'the' wizard sport, played on broomsticks; Hufflepuff- one of four school 'houses' which "some say is full 'o duffers"; and, Slytherin- "not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn' in Slytherin. You-Know-Who was one." Nearly everything was an education to Harry: the spell book he wanted to curse Dudley- was magic beyond his current ability; couldn't get the gold cauldron he wanted- cause the list say's pewter; silver unicorn horns- sold for 21 galleons each; and, pet toads- went out of fashion, everyone wants owls. Hagrid bought Harry a pet snowy owl for a birthday present before they went to Ollivander's wand shop where "a single wand lay on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window." Mr. Ollivander, the proprietor, commented that Harry had "his mother's eyes" and she had bought a "10 1/4 inch, swishy, willow wand. Good for charm work." His father got a "mahogany, 11 inch, pliable, more powerful wand, excellent for transfiguration." Harry tried out several wands by waving them; because, Ollivander said, "it's the wand that chooses the wizard." He touched the scar on Harry's forehead and said he was sorry that he had sold the wand that gave it to him. "13 1/2 inch, Yew wood, powerful." Hagrid's wand was "Oak, 16 inches, rather bendy" but was snapped in half when he got expelled. Harry tried mounds of wands before he arrived at a "holly with phoenix feather core, 11 inch, supple wand" which felt warm in his hand and made gold sparks when he swished it. Ollivander kept muttering "curious, curious" until Harry asked him what he meant. "the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather- just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother… why, its brother gave you that scar." Ollivander whispered that they expected "great things of him."
Harry was in a daze all the way back to the Dursley's. When they stopped for a hamburger, Hagrid could see Harry seemed worried and asked "what's wrong?" Harry said: "all those people know me… but I don’t know anything about magic at all. How can they expect great things? I'm famous and I can't even remember what I'm famous for. I don't know what happened when Vol… sorry- I mean, the night my parents died." Hagrid gave him his kind smile from behind his wild beard. "Don' you worry, Harry," he said, "you'll learn fast enough. Everyone starts at the beginning at Hogwarts, you'll be just fine. Just be yer-self. I know it's hard. Yeh've been singled out, an' that's always hard. But yeh'll have a great time at Hogwarts I did still do, 'smatter of fact." He gave Harry his train ticket to Hogwarts, for the first of September out of Kings Cross station; then, put him on a train back to the Dursley's before disappearing in a blink.
- The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-quarters
- The "cold treatment" that the Dursley's gave Harry over the next month was actually an improvement in the way he was treated. Dudley was so scared, he wouldn’t stay in the same room; but, his new pet owl, Hedwig, kept him company. Finally, on the night before he had to go, and typical of a child, he mentioned his need for transportation the next day to his Uncle. At first he merely grunted, then said that he had to go up to the hospital to have Dudley's tail removed and asked where the school was located. Harry didn't know, the ticket merely said platform 9 3/4, which Uncle Vernon said didn't exist. The next day his uncle seem unusually kind to help wheel his large trunk into the station; but, it was only to gloat over the non-existent platform and the chance to rid himself of Harry. The platform conductor just laughed at him and he was just beginning to get worried when he spotted a plump woman with an entourage of flaming-red-headed children all with trunks. He watched as they, one by one, pushed their carts directly into the dividing barrier between 9 and 10, and disappeared. When he got up the nerve to ask her, she kindly told him to merely walk straight at it- without being scared, or he would crash. The muggles didn't even seem to notice them at all and when he opened his eyes he saw a scarlet steam engine under a sign which said "Hogwarts Express." He pressed on to the rear of the train where he found an empty compartment and two of the lady's children, the twins Fred and George, helped him with his trunk. They spotted Harry's scar and instantly knew that he was: "Harry Potter," they both said in unison. Harry watched as she said goodbye to her other children: Ron, his age; and Percy, the oldest who was flaunting his new position as "prefect". Ginny, her youngest, was too young for school. Fred and George promised to write and "send a toilet seat- only kidding." Eventually Ron asked if he could join Harry in the compartment and they began a friendship; first, with pet introductions: Hedwig and Scabbers, a useless, hand-me-down pet rat. Ron was embarrassed about his large families financial situation so Harry explained how he had to wear Dudley's old clothes; then, was shocked when Harry used the name Voldemort. Harry used his new-found wealth to buy candy from the food trolley when it came and learned about the Chocolate Frog cards which contained collectable photo's of famous wizards. Harry's first card was of Albus Dumbledore, their new headmaster, who had defeated dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, discovered 12 uses of dragon's blood, and partnered with Nicolas Flamel in alchemy.
Several other students visited their compartment, including: Neville Longbottom, who had lost his toad; and then Hermione Granger, a know-it-all who was helping Neville look for it. Before she left, she also identified Harry by his scar, and used magic to fix his (to that point) trademark broken, taped, round, wire-rimmed glasses. She said that she hoped she was put in Gryffindor, where Dumbledore and Ron's parents had been; but, Hufflepuff wouldn't be bad. Ron said he would hate to be put in Slytherin. He told Harry that someone had tried to break into Gringott's but hadn't been caught. As they were talking about Quidditch being the best sport in the world, three boys entered their compartment. Harry recognized the middle one as the boy he had met in Diagon Alley, Draco Malfoy, who didn't look too friendly with his huge buddies Crabbe and Goyle. Malfoy insulted Ron and his family, then told Harry that he would "soon learn that some wizarding families are much better than others, and you don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort." He held out his hand to shake and offered to help Harry determine who to have as friends. Harry didn't take his hand and told him "I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks." Malfoy appeared offended and advised him that, if he continued to hang around with people like Hagrid and Weasley's, he "would go the same way as your parents who didn't know what was good for them either." Both Ron and Harry stood with the insult and told them to get out, but they refused and started to steal the rest of their candy. Before they needed to get physical however, Goyle let out a scream and had Scabbers, the rat, dangling from his finger by his sharp little teeth sunk deep into the brutes knuckle. Malfoy and his henchmen disappeared as Hermione Granger returned to see them picking up their candy and the sleeping Scabbers. Harry explained about his meeting with Malfoy in Diagon Alley and Ron said that Malfoy's father had been one of the first to come back to our side after You-Know-Who disappeared, claiming they had been bewitched. They changed into their robes as they arrived at Hogsmead Station near Hogwarts. In the dark they saw a bobbing lamp coming toward them and heard a voice say "firs' years! Firs' years over here!" and greet him with "All right there, Harry?" It was Hagrid. He loaded just the fist years onto boats so they could make their first trip to Hogwarts by the route across the lake where it was bound to make a more awesome impression- and it did! Neville and Hermione joined Ron and Harry in a boat which seemed to propel itself across the lake and into a tunnel in the far cliff hidden by a curtain of ivy. It led under the castle into an underground harbor. They clambered up a stone passageway, across a smooth damp lawn and onto stone steps in front of an immense oak door. Hagrid knocked three times.
- Hedwig: A saint, who lived in Germany, named Hedwig, worked with the education of orphaned children. As an orphan, it is perhaps fitting that the author provide such a name for Hagrid's gift to Harry.Ron Weasley: There was a warlord in the 6th Dynasty named Running Weasel. A brilliant stratigist, he supposedly never lost a game of chess a trait, which the reader will shortly see, Ron is endowed with. Too similar to be mere coincidence, Running Weasel apparantly died when a rat, that had been dyed yellow by his soldiers for fun earlier that day, knocked over a lamp in his palace and burnt it to the ground. Ron showed Harry a spell which would turn his rat, Scabbers, yellow although it turned out to be fake.