Main Harry Potter: The Complete Collection (1-7)

Harry Potter: The Complete Collection (1-7)

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All seven eBooks in the multi-award winning, internationally bestselling Harry Potter series, available as one download with stunning cover art by Olly Moss. Enjoy the stories that have captured the imagination of millions worldwide. Having now become classics of our time, the Harry Potter ebooks never fail to bring comfort and escapism to readers of all ages. With its message of hope, belonging and the enduring power of truth and love, the story of the Boy Who Lived continues to delight generations of new readers.
Pottermore Publishing
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:
Harry Potter
EPUB, 7.71 MB
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Thank you for such a wonderful chance to read
23 March 2019 (18:11) 
04 April 2019 (08:13) 
@Silver use Calibre to manage your kindle, it auto converts them to mobi
16 August 2019 (09:12) 
Tried 2 android apps to convert this which both threw up errors. I did manage to successfully convert it to mobi using a website in the end and it seems to work perfectly. Well formatted and the images are very crisp. Thanks very much!
05 February 2020 (21:23) 
This is the best edition of the complete set. Thanks a lot.
08 February 2020 (04:09) 
Still don’t download, looking ford a good reading
24 February 2020 (18:27) 
Kudos!! My 1st day. Really loving your site!!
21 April 2020 (12:09) 
Thank you for such a wonderful chance to read
03 May 2020 (05:24) 
I'm just a bit confused. If it doesn't have a mobi verson, what's the point of send-to-kindle funciton? Have to download and convert it first.
17 May 2020 (17:46) 
very good,thank you very much!
10 August 2020 (09:15) 
joe is dat you?
yes this gud book i like it
very long tho
expected; its seven harry potter buks
my reviews are dumb
16 August 2020 (03:45) 
Best version available on this site
27 August 2020 (11:23) 
the best site for book loverzzz
12 September 2020 (11:37) 
brahim abraray
thank you for everything
18 September 2020 (22:56) 
so grateful for this site
19 September 2020 (15:10) 
I don't know how to use the app
19 October 2020 (17:29) 
I'm the same as u genius ????
23 October 2020 (18:15) 
THANK YOOOOU!!!! I really appreciate it!
03 November 2020 (23:14) 
It's really wonderful
06 November 2020 (06:34) 
love this appllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
22 November 2020 (10:59) 
English version with pretty decent formatting (only issue that I encountered was that the small image before each chapter takes up a whole page on its own)
04 December 2020 (11:01) 
Rahaf ❤❤❤
i love this its harry potter all the books in one
07 December 2020 (08:29) 
This series was AMAZING! I loved it so much. It is sooooo much better than the movies and has more detail to it.
10 December 2020 (05:27) 
Awesome ??!
I'm loving it!
30 December 2020 (17:34) 
book she is very goodddd
01 January 2021 (16:55) 
best site what i have seen!
05 January 2021 (03:07) 
Hey @karish
It's a site where you could download.... Only files....... You have to read it from other applications like ebook reader or play books.... Where you have to just upload the file and therefore could be read through it
20 January 2021 (19:46) 
if you use this app in pc there are options to change the file format . you can , maybe , change it to pdf and download and read it using chrome or adobe
22 January 2021 (08:20) 
This is a certified hood classic
27 January 2021 (15:13) 
Is this British or US version?
17 February 2021 (19:28) 
Jessica Thomas H
Love the book more than any other so thanks???
18 February 2021 (18:43) 
Why the first story"HARRY POTTER and the SORCERER'S STONE" only shows titles and pictures?Does anybody have the same problem as mine?
22 February 2021 (11:34) 
All Harry Potter's nook in one piece WOW!!!
28 February 2021 (19:03) 
Eber Flamenco
Can someone please esplain this book to me? I no get it...

ok Thanks
16 March 2021 (09:15) 
omg thanks for this boom it is amazing and greeat
09 April 2021 (23:21) 
Inori the Nut
This is the second time me downloading it (to another device). I love this collection, I haven't tried out the other one (the one which shows up before this). Great for book lovers, more like Potterheads.
I'm not a Potterhead, though I love the books because they're sooo fun! Thanks a LOT~
13 April 2021 (15:14) 
Thank you so much...
I've been on this website since 2019 and this really change my life!
I'm beyond gratefu to all the amazing people behind this website.

I'm still a student now and once I get my own money, I'll definitely make a donation.

This such a great website, hope this exist forever
16 April 2021 (02:36) 
Libby Yardley
This is the American version btw
18 April 2021 (15:39) 
In spanish? Please
Ando buscando esa versión pero no la encuentro
27 April 2021 (01:29) 
is this even safe to download?
05 May 2021 (07:53) 
please let me know if it is thank you.
05 May 2021 (07:54) 
This is the most useful and also the best site ever.
I am definitely gonna donate when I am graduated from my university.
Thank you a lot! I appreciate you guys!!!!!! <3<<33<33<3
09 May 2021 (22:56) 
yes it is safe I've downloaded 30+ books so far and everything is crystal clear...
09 May 2021 (22:58) 
Thankyou for an amazing read..
10 May 2021 (18:11) 
Smoking Joe
If you like this, you should definitely read How to Be a Motherfucking Pimp
11 May 2021 (10:27) 
Thank you so much. I always wanted to read these books and many more. Thank you
12 May 2021 (10:53) 
thanks this story is wonderful
15 May 2021 (14:50) 
Thanks. Always wanted to know what was the big deal with H.P . Now i can read this
20 May 2021 (07:36) 
How can i read????

20 May 2021 (12:20) 
James Reed Durst
Great series. Formatting seems to be fine with this version.
I still like to have my favorite books in paper (this is definitely one of them), but digital version is great for reading on the go. I personally upload them to Google Play Books to sync between my different devices.

As for the review part, there's a reason why it's the best-selling book series in history (selling more than half a billion copies). Definitely worth reading!
20 May 2021 (20:52) 
@Jillian Use EPUB reader like Calibre on Windows. alternatively, you can download the EPUB & upload it Play Books and read it from all the Devices with Google Signed in!
On Android/iOS there are tons of apps like Moon Reder/FBreader/PlayBooks & etc.
On linux, use Foliate, the best.
20 May 2021 (21:32) 
Top class group very good
23 May 2021 (07:54) 
Dr Sam
An amazing series—loved it.
31 May 2021 (15:28) 
Thank you so much for sharing the full set
04 June 2021 (20:47) 
Great book cant stop reading it
04 June 2021 (21:46) 
Endang puspa
it can't open. Shiitt
19 June 2021 (18:12) 
This book is amazing.
19 June 2021 (21:11) 
This Is One of The Best Formats Of The Potter Collection .
21 June 2021 (04:08) 
If Reading On Computer ,At Home ( With Windows Operating System) ,Install
SumatraPDF. It's Better Than Caliber . Contrary To The Name It also Reads Epub and Mobi.
21 June 2021 (04:15) 
Your Name
Agree with the above. If you like HP, you should definitely read How to Be a Motherfucking Pimp by Dazzle Razzle
04 July 2021 (12:34) 
Thank you very much!
15 July 2021 (19:28) 
Excellent. Thank You
17 July 2021 (07:39) 
great website. Thank you so much. i will keep donating
19 July 2021 (01:03) 
0—0????????good excellent fantastic splendid ?
28 July 2021 (08:02) 
Amazing app
I hope everyone enjoys it.
25 August 2021 (13:34) 
Omgggggggggggggg!!!!! I have a high expectation thoo
04 September 2021 (11:59) 
i absolutely love this website...i'm such a bookworm so this is a gift from Heaven to me
12 September 2021 (17:41) 
Is this the American version or the original, better, British version?
16 September 2021 (15:15) 
Z libiary yyds! It's my favoutite book
26 September 2021 (14:54) 
Thank you.It will be my textbook.
05 October 2021 (09:48) 
I love this !Thank you!
09 October 2021 (04:44) 
Thank you. Great copy (not scanned ones) - just finished reading the second book and I am truly enjoying this journey! I have actual paperbacks too but this is far more
16 October 2021 (22:21) 
Thank u soooooooo much for sharing! Zlibrary is unbelievably amazing!
26 October 2021 (13:04) 
Great,Thanks for sharing!
02 November 2021 (14:39) 
Thanks a lot for all the books
03 November 2021 (18:24) 
happier sheep
I can just say yyds,hhhhhhh
05 November 2021 (04:15) 
Ohhhamazing!Thank u so much ! I just awe....
02 December 2021 (07:17) 
This version have very good quality
15 December 2021 (18:33) 
I love your website thank you so much
17 December 2021 (14:25) 
oooow yeah baby, its what i want
10 January 2022 (04:04) 
27 February 2022 (16:59) 
Sudharshan TK
I Love the Website, Thank you
28 February 2022 (12:58) 
This is a great series....I hate that it is so sad at some places tho...???love the ending
03 March 2022 (14:28) 
Already in Prisoner of Azkaban and still loving it, love the author and this site is cool for downloading stuff. The quality is perfect ?
18 March 2022 (23:38) 
i love this website 2.
04 April 2022 (11:01) 
Thanks for this now have all the books all in one :)

@ Bomb-omb42 - typical immature keyboard warrior comment. You hate the author but still want to read her books **eyeroll**
05 April 2022 (16:13) 
She's already a millionaire and a pioneer for women's rights in the 21st century. COPE, also, you'll never be a woman.
06 April 2022 (20:13) 
I will love Harry Potter forever!
16 April 2022 (16:38) 
just tooo way coool
27 April 2022 (12:18) 
rose lupin
how can i read it? it won’t let me-
02 May 2022 (22:28) 
dune daha iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
12 May 2022 (19:12) 
This book is legendary
22 May 2022 (19:01) 
I have no more comment just wow and its amazing
01 June 2022 (02:37) 
i would prefer the book more than the movies! love it <3
04 June 2022 (14:32) 
omgg thank youu! Kinikilig tuloy ako<3
21 June 2022 (17:33) 

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  [image: ]

  [image: ]



Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


[image: cover]


 The Boy Who
    The Vanishing
   The Letters from No
    The Keeper of the
    The Journey from
Platform Nine and Three-quarters
       The Sorting

The Potions

The Midnight



The Mirror of


Norbert the
Norwegian Ridgeback

The Forbidden

Through the

The Man with Two

[image: Chapter 1 - The Boy Who Lived]

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of
number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were
perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people
you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or
mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such
Mr. Dursley was the director of a firm called Grunnings, which
made drills. He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although
he did have a very large mustache. Mrs. Dursley was thin and blonde
and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very
useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences,
spying on the neighbors. The Dursleys had a small son called Dudley
and in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere.
The Dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a
secret, and their greatest fear was that somebody would discover
it. They didn’t think they could bear it if anyone found out
about the Potters. Mrs. Potter ; was Mrs. Dursley’s sister, but
they hadn’t met for several years; in fact, Mrs. Dursley
pretended she didn’t have a sister, because her sister and
her good-for-nothing husband were as unDursleyish as it was
possible to be. The Dursleys shuddered to think what the neighbors
would say if the Potters arrived in the street. The Dursleys knew
that the Potters had a small son, too, but they had never even seen
him. This boy was another good reason for keeping the Potters away;
they didn’t want Dudley mixing with a child like that.
When Mr. and Mrs. Dursley woke up on the dull, gray Tuesday our
story starts, there was nothing about the cloudy sky outside to
suggest that strange and mysterious things would soon be happening
all over the country. Mr. Dursley hummed as he picked out his most
boring tie for work, and Mrs. Dursley gossiped away happily as she
wrestled a screaming Dudley into his high chair.
None of them noticed a large, tawny owl flutter past the
At half past eight, Mr. Dursley picked up his briefcase, pecked
Mrs. Dursley on the cheek, and tried to kiss Dudley good-bye but
missed, because Dudley was now having a tantrum and throwing his
cereal at the walls. “Little tyke,” chortled Mr.
Dursley as he left the house. He got into his car and backed out of
number four’s drive.
It was on the corner of the street
that he noticed the first sign of something peculiar — a cat
reading a map. For a second, Mr. Dursley didn’t realize what
he had seen — then he jerked his head around to look again.
There was a tabby cat standing on the corner of Privet Drive, but
there wasn’t a map in sight. What could he have been thinking
of? It must have been a trick of the light. Mr. Dursley blinked and
stared at the cat. It stared back. As Mr. Dursley drove around the
corner and up the road, he watched the cat in his mirror. It was
now reading the sign that said Privet Drive — no,
looking at the sign; cats couldn’t read maps or
signs. Mr. Dursley gave himself a little shake and put the cat out
of his mind. As he drove toward town he thought of nothing except a
large order of drills he was hoping to get that day.
But on the edge of town, drills were
driven out of his mind by something else. As he sat in the usual
morning traffic jam, he couldn’t help noticing that there
seemed to be a lot of strangely dressed people about. People in
cloaks. Mr. Dursley couldn’t bear people who dressed in funny
clothes — the getups you saw on young people! He supposed
this was some stupid new fashion. He drummed his fingers on the
steering wheel and his eyes fell on a huddle of these weirdos
standing quite close by. They were whispering excitedly together.
Mr. Dursley was enraged to see that a couple of them weren’t
young at all; why, that man had to be older than he was, and
wearing an emerald-green cloak! The nerve of him! But then it
struck Mr. Dursley that this was probably some silly stunt —
these people were obviously collecting for
something . . . yes, that would be it. The traffic
moved on and a few minutes later, Mr. Dursley arrived in the
Grunnings parking lot, his mind back on drills.
Mr. Dursley always sat with his back to the window in his office
on the ninth floor. If he hadn’t, he might have found it
harder to concentrate on drills that morning. He
didn’t see the owls swooping past in broad daylight, though
people down in the street did; they pointed and gazed open-mouthed
as owl after owl sped overhead. Most of them had never seen an owl
even at nighttime. Mr. Dursley, however, had a perfectly normal,
owl-free morning. He yelled at five different people. He made
several important telephone calls and shouted a bit more. He was in
a very good mood until lunchtime, when he thought he’d
stretch his legs and walk across the road to buy himself a bun from
the bakery.
He’d forgotten all about the people in cloaks until he
passed a group of them next to the baker’s. He eyed them
angrily as he passed. He didn’t know why, but they made him
uneasy. This bunch were whispering excitedly, too, and he
couldn’t see a single collecting tin. It was on his way back
past them, clutching a large doughnut in a bag, that he caught a
few words of what they were saying.
“The Potters, that’s right, that’s what I
heard —”
“— yes, their son, Harry —”
Mr. Dursley stopped dead. Fear flooded him. He looked back at
the whisperers as if he wanted to say something to them, but
thought better of it.
He dashed back across the road, hurried up to his office,
snapped at his secretary not to disturb him, seized his telephone,
and had almost finished dialing his home number when he changed his
mind. He put the receiver back down and stroked his mustache,
thinking . . . no, he was being stupid. Potter
wasn’t such an unusual name. He was sure there were lots of
people called Potter who had a son called Harry. Come to think of
it, he wasn’t even sure his nephew was called Harry.
He’d never even seen the boy. It might have been Harvey. Or
Harold. There was no point in worrying Mrs. Dursley; she always got
so upset at any mention of her sister. He didn’t blame her
— if he’d had a sister like
that . . . but all the same, those people in
cloaks . . .
He found it a lot harder to concentrate on drills that afternoon
and when he left the building at five o’clock, he was still
so worried that he walked straight into someone just outside the
“Sorry,” he grunted, as the tiny old man stumbled
and almost fell. It was a few seconds before Mr. Dursley realized
that the man was wearing a violet cloak. He didn’t seem at
all upset at being almost knocked to the ground. On the contrary,
his face split into a wide smile and he said in a squeaky voice
that made passersby stare, “Don’t be sorry, my dear
sir, for nothing could upset me today! Rejoice, for You-Know-Who
has gone at last! Even Muggles like yourself should be celebrating,
this happy, happy day!”
And the old man hugged Mr. Dursley around the middle and walked
Mr. Dursley stood rooted to the spot. He had been hugged by a
complete stranger. He also thought he had been called a Muggle,
whatever that was. He was rattled. He hurried to his car and set
off for home, hoping he was imagining things, which he had never
hoped before, because he didn’t approve of imagination.
As he pulled into the driveway of number four, the first thing
he saw — and it didn’t improve his mood — was the
tabby cat he’d spotted that morning. It was now sitting on
his garden wall. He was sure it was the same one; it had the same
markings around its eyes.
“Shoo!” said Mr. Dursley loudly.
The cat didn’t move. It just gave him a stern look. Was
this normal cat behavior? Mr. Dursley wondered. Trying to pull
himself together, he let himself into the house. He was still
determined not to mention anything to his wife.
Mrs. Dursley had had a nice, normal day. She told him over
dinner all about Mrs. Next Door’s problems with her daughter
and how Dudley had learned a new word (“Won’t!”).
Mr. Dursley tried to act normally. When Dudley had been put to bed,
he went into the living room in time to catch the last report on
the evening news:
“And finally, bird-watchers everywhere have reported that
the nation’s owls have been behaving very unusually today.
Although owls normally hunt at night and are hardly ever seen in
daylight, there have been hundreds of sightings of these birds
flying in every direction since sunrise. Experts are unable to
explain why the owls have suddenly changed their sleeping
pattern.” The newscaster allowed himself a grin. “Most
mysterious. And now, over to Jim McGuffin with the weather. Going
to be any more showers of owls tonight, Jim?”
“Well, Ted,” said the weatherman, “I
don’t know about that, but it’s not only the owls that
have been acting oddly today. Viewers as far apart as Kent,
Yorkshire, and Dundee have been phoning in to tell me that instead
of the rain I promised yesterday, they’ve had a downpour of
shooting stars! Perhaps people have been celebrating Bonfire Night
early — it’s not until next week, folks! But I can
promise a wet night tonight.”
Mr. Dursley sat frozen in his armchair. Shooting stars all over
Britain? Owls flying by daylight? Mysterious people in cloaks all
over the place? And a whisper, a whisper about the
Potters . . .
Mrs. Dursley came into the living room carrying two cups of tea.
It was no good. He’d have to say something to her. He cleared
his throat nervously. “Er — Petunia, dear — you
haven’t heard from your sister lately, have you?”
As he had expected, Mrs. Dursley looked shocked and angry. After
all, they normally pretended she didn’t have a sister.
“No,” she said sharply. “Why?”
“Funny stuff on the news,” Mr. Dursley mumbled.
“Owls . . . shooting
stars . . . and there were a lot of funny-looking
people in town today . . .”
“So?” snapped Mrs. Dursley.
“Well, I just thought . . .
maybe . . . it was something to do
with . . . you know . . . her
Mrs. Dursley sipped her tea through pursed lips. Mr. Dursley
wondered whether he dared tell her he’d heard the name
“Potter.” He decided he didn’t dare. Instead he
said, as casually as he could, “Their son — he’d
be about Dudley’s age now, wouldn’t he?”
“I suppose so,” said Mrs. Dursley stiffly.
“What’s his name again? Howard, isn’t
“Harry. Nasty, common name, if you ask me.”
“Oh, yes,” said Mr. Dursley, his heart sinking
horribly. “Yes, I quite agree.”
He didn’t say another word on the subject as they went
upstairs to bed. While Mrs. Dursley was in the bathroom, Mr.
Dursley crept to the bedroom window and peered down into the front
garden. The cat was still there. It was staring down Privet Drive
as though it were waiting for something.
Was he imagining things? Could all this have anything to do with
the Potters? If it did . . . if it got out that they
were related to a pair of — well, he didn’t think he
could bear it.
The Dursleys got into bed. Mrs. Dursley fell asleep quickly but
Mr. Dursley lay awake, turning it all over in his mind. His last,
comforting thought before he fell asleep was that even if the
Potters were involved, there was no reason for them to come
near him and Mrs. Dursley. The Potters knew very well what he and
Petunia thought about them and their kind. . . . He
couldn’t see how he and Petunia could get mixed up in
anything that might be going on — he yawned and turned over
— it couldn’t affect
them. . . .
How very wrong he was.
Mr. Dursley might have been drifting into an uneasy sleep, but
the cat on the wall outside was showing no sign of sleepiness. It
was sitting as still as a statue, its eyes fixed unblinkingly on
the far corner of Privet Drive. It didn’t so much as quiver
when a car door slammed on the next street, nor when two owls
swooped overhead. In fact, it was nearly midnight before the cat
moved at all.
A man appeared on the corner the cat
had been watching, appeared so suddenly and silently you’d
have thought he’d just popped out of the ground. The
cat’s tail twitched and its eyes narrowed.
Nothing like this man had ever been seen on Privet Drive. He was
tall, thin, and very old, judging by the silver of his hair and
beard, which were both long enough to tuck into his belt. He was
wearing long robes, a purple cloak that swept the ground, and
high-heeled, buckled boots. His blue eyes were light, bright, and
sparkling behind half-moon spectacles and his nose was very long
and crooked, as though it had been broken at least twice. This
man’s name was Albus Dumbledore.
Albus Dumbledore didn’t seem to realize that he had just
arrived in a street where everything from his name to his boots was
unwelcome. He was busy rummaging in his cloak, looking for
something. But he did seem to realize he was being watched, because
he looked up suddenly at the cat, which was still staring at him
from the other end of the street. For some reason, the sight of the
cat seemed to amuse him. He chuckled and muttered, “I should
have known.”
He found what he was looking for in his inside pocket. It seemed
to be a silver cigarette lighter. He flicked it open, held it up in
the air, and clicked it. The nearest street lamp went out with a
little pop. He clicked it again — the next lamp flickered
into darkness. Twelve times he clicked the Put-Outer, until the
only lights left on the whole street were two tiny pinpricks in the
distance, which were the eyes of the cat watching him. If anyone
looked out of their window now, even beady-eyed Mrs. Dursley, they
wouldn’t be able to see anything that was happening down on
the pavement. Dumbledore slipped the Put-Outer back inside his
cloak and set off down the street toward number four, where he sat
down on the wall next to the cat. He didn’t look at it, but
after a moment he spoke to it.
“Fancy seeing you here,
Professor McGonagall.”
He turned to smile at the tabby, but it had gone. Instead he was
smiling at a rather severe-looking woman who was wearing square
glasses exactly the shape of the markings the cat had had around
its eyes. She, too, was wearing a cloak, an emerald one. Her black
hair was drawn into a tight bun. She looked distinctly ruffled.
“How did you know it was me?” she asked.
“My dear Professor, I’ve never seen a cat sit so
“You’d be stiff if you’d been sitting on a
brick wall all day,” said Professor McGonagall.
“All day? When you could have been celebrating? I must
have passed a dozen feasts and parties on my way here.”
Professor McGonagall sniffed angrily.
“Oh yes, everyone’s celebrating, all right,”
she said impatiently. “You’d think they’d be a
bit more careful, but no — even the Muggles have noticed
something’s going on. It was on their news.” She jerked
her head back at the Dursleys’ dark living-room window.
“I heard it. Flocks of owls . . . shooting
stars. . . . Well, they’re not completely
stupid. They were bound to notice something. Shooting stars down in
Kent — I’ll bet that was Dedalus Diggle. He never had
much sense.”
“You can’t blame them,” said Dumbledore
gently. “We’ve had precious little to celebrate for
eleven years.”
“I know that,” said Professor McGonagall irritably.
“But that’s no reason to lose our heads. People are
being downright careless, out on the streets in broad daylight, not
even dressed in Muggle clothes, swapping rumors.”
She threw a sharp, sideways glance at Dumbledore here, as though
hoping he was going to tell her something, but he didn’t, so
she went on. “A fine thing it would be if, on the very day
You-Know-Who seems to have disappeared at last, the Muggles found
out about us all. I suppose he really has gone,
“It certainly seems so,” said Dumbledore. “We
have much to be thankful for. Would you care for a lemon
“A what?”
“A lemon drop. They’re a kind of Muggle sweet
I’m rather fond of.”
“No, thank you,” said Professor McGonagall coldly,
as though she didn’t think this was the moment for lemon
drops. “As I say, even if You-Know-Who has gone
“My dear Professor, surely a sensible person like yourself
can call him by his name? All this ‘You-Know-Who’
nonsense — for eleven years I have been trying to persuade
people to call him by his proper name: Voldemort.”
Professor McGonagall flinched, but Dumbledore, who was unsticking
two lemon drops, seemed not to notice. “It all gets so
confusing if we keep saying ‘You-Know-Who.’ I have
never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemort’s
“I know you haven’t,” said Professor
McGonagall, sounding half exasperated, half admiring. “But
you’re different. Everyone knows you’re the only one
You-Know- oh, all right, Voldemort, was frightened
“You flatter me,” said Dumbledore calmly.
“Voldemort had powers I will never have.”
“Only because you’re too — well —
noble to use them.”
“It’s lucky it’s dark. I haven’t blushed
so much since Madam Pomfrey told me she liked my new
Professor McGonagall shot a sharp look at Dumbledore and said,
“The owls are nothing next to the rumors that are
flying around. You know what everyone’s saying? About why
he’s disappeared? About what finally stopped him?”
It seemed that Professor McGonagall had reached the point she
was most anxious to discuss, the real reason she had been waiting
on a cold, hard wall all day, for neither as a cat nor as a woman
had she fixed Dumbledore with such a piercing stare as she did now.
It was plain that whatever “everyone” was saying, she
was not going to believe it until Dumbledore told her it was true.
Dumbledore, however, was choosing another lemon drop and did not
“What they’re saying,” she pressed on,
“is that last night Voldemort turned up in Godric’s
Hollow. He went to find the Potters. The rumor is that Lily and
James Potter are — are — that they’re —
Dumbledore bowed his head. Professor McGonagall gasped.
“Lily and James . . . I can’t believe
it . . . I didn’t want to believe
it . . . Oh, Albus . . .”
Dumbledore reached out and patted her on the shoulder. “I
know . . . I know . . .” he
said heavily.
Professor McGonagall’s voice trembled as she went on.
“That’s not all. They’re saying he tried to kill
the Potters’ son, Harry. But — he couldn’t. He
couldn’t kill that little boy. No one knows why, or how, but
they’re saying that when he couldn’t kill Harry Potter,
Voldemort’s power somehow broke — and that’s why
he’s gone.”
Dumbledore nodded glumly.
“It’s — it’s true?”
faltered Professor McGonagall. “After all he’s
done . . . all the people he’s
killed . . . he couldn’t kill a little boy?
It’s just astounding . . . of all the things
to stop him . . . but how in the name of heaven did
Harry survive?”
“We can only guess,” said Dumbledore. “We may
never know.”
Professor McGonagall pulled out a lace handkerchief and dabbed
at her eyes beneath her spectacles. Dumbledore gave a great sniff
as he took a golden watch from his pocket and examined it. It was a
very odd watch. It had twelve hands but no numbers; instead, little
planets were moving around the edge. It must have made sense to
Dumbledore, though, because he put it back in his pocket and said,
“Hagrid’s late. I suppose it was he who told you
I’d be here, by the way?”
“Yes,” said Professor McGonagall. “And I
don’t suppose you’re going to tell me why
you’re here, of all places?”
“I’ve come to bring Harry to his aunt and uncle.
They’re the only family he has left now.”
“You don’t mean — you can’t mean
the people who live here?” cried Professor McGonagall,
jumping to her feet and pointing at number four. “Dumbledore
— you can’t. I’ve been watching them all day. You
couldn’t find two people who are less like us. And
they’ve got this son — I saw him kicking his mother all
the way up the street, screaming for sweets. Harry Potter come and
live here!”
“It’s the best place for him,” said Dumbledore
firmly. “His aunt and uncle will be able to explain
everything to him when he’s older. I’ve written them a
“A letter?” repeated Professor McGonagall faintly,
sitting back down on the wall. “Really, Dumbledore, you think
you can explain all this in a letter? These people will never
understand him! He’ll be famous — a legend — I
wouldn’t be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter Day
in the future — there will be books written about Harry
— every child in our world will know his name!”
“Exactly,” said Dumbledore, looking very seriously
over the top of his half-moon glasses. “It would be enough to
turn any boy’s head. Famous before he can walk and talk!
Famous for something 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?”
Professor McGonagall opened her mouth, changed her mind,
swallowed, and then said, “Yes — yes, you’re
right, of course. But how is the boy getting here,
Dumbledore?” She eyed his cloak suddenly as though she
thought he might be hiding Harry underneath it.
“Hagrid’s bringing him.”
“You think it — wise — to trust Hagrid
with something as important as this?”
“I would trust Hagrid with my life,” said
“I’m not saying his heart isn’t in the right
place,” said Professor McGonagall grudgingly, “but you
can’t pretend he’s not careless. He does tend to
— what was that?”
A low rumbling sound had broken the
silence around them. It grew steadily louder as they looked up and
down the street for some sign of a headlight; it swelled to a roar
as they both looked up at the sky — and a huge motorcycle
fell out of the air and landed on the road in front of them.
If the motorcycle was huge, it was nothing to the man sitting
astride it. He was almost twice as tall as a normal man and at
least five times as wide. He looked simply too big to be allowed,
and so wild — long tangles of bushy black hair and
beard hid most of his face, he had hands the size of trash can
lids, and his feet in their leather boots were like baby dolphins.
In his vast, muscular arms he was holding a bundle of blankets.
“Hagrid,” said Dumbledore,
sounding relieved. “At last. And where did you get that
“Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sir,” said the
giant, climbing carefully off the motorcycle as he spoke.
“Young Sirius Black lent it to me. I’ve got him,
“No problems, were there?”
“No, sir — house was almost destroyed, but I got him
out all right before the Muggles started swarmin’ around. He
fell asleep as we was flyin’ over Bristol.”
Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall bent forward over the bundle
of blankets. Inside, just visible, was a baby boy, fast asleep.
Under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead they could see a
curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning.
“Is that where — ?” whispered Professor
“Yes,” said Dumbledore. “He’ll have that
scar forever.”
“Couldn’t you do something about it,
“Even if I could, I wouldn’t. Scars can come in
handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map
of the London Underground. Well — give him here, Hagrid
— we’d better get this over with.”
Dumbledore took Harry in his arms and turned toward the
Dursleys’ house.
“Could I — could I say good-bye to him, sir?”
asked Hagrid. He bent his great, shaggy head over Harry and gave
him what must have been a very scratchy, whiskery kiss. Then,
suddenly, Hagrid let out a howl like a wounded dog.
“Shhh!” hissed Professor McGonagall,
“you’ll wake the Muggles!”
“S-s-sorry,” sobbed Hagrid, taking out a large,
spotted handkerchief and burying his face in it. “But I
c-c-can’t stand it — Lily an’ James dead —
an’ poor little Harry off ter live with Muggles
“Yes, yes, it’s all very sad, but get a grip on
yourself, Hagrid, or we’ll be found,” Professor
McGonagall whispered, patting Hagrid gingerly on the arm as
Dumbledore stepped over the low garden wall and walked to the front
door. He laid Harry gently on the doorstep, took a letter out of
his cloak, tucked it inside Harry’s blankets, and then came
back to the other two. For a full minute the three of them stood
and looked at the little bundle; Hagrid’s shoulders shook,
Professor McGonagall blinked furiously, and the twinkling light
that usually shone from Dumbledore’s eyes seemed to have gone
“Well,” said Dumbledore finally, “that’s
that. We’ve no business staying here. We may as well go and
join the celebrations.”
“Yeah,” said Hagrid in a very muffled voice,
“I’d best get this bike away. G’night, Professor
McGonagall — Professor Dumbledore, sir.”
Wiping his streaming eyes on his jacket sleeve, Hagrid swung
himself onto the motorcycle and kicked the engine into life; with a
roar it rose into the air and off into the night.
“I shall see you soon, I expect, Professor
McGonagall,” said Dumbledore, nodding to her. Professor
McGonagall blew her nose in reply.
Dumbledore turned and walked back down the street. On the corner
he stopped and took out the silver Put-Outer. He clicked it once,
and twelve balls of light sped back to their street lamps so that
Privet Drive glowed suddenly orange and he could make out a tabby
cat slinking around the corner at the other end of the street. He
could just see the bundle of blankets on the step of number
“Good luck, Harry,” he murmured. He turned on his
heel and with a swish of his cloak, he was gone.
A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive, which lay
silent and tidy under the inky sky, the very last place you would
expect astonishing things to happen. Harry Potter rolled over
inside his blankets without waking up. One small hand closed on the
letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special, not
knowing he was famous, not knowing he would be woken in a few
hours’ time by Mrs. Dursley’s scream as she opened the
front door to put out the milk bottles, nor that he would spend the
next few weeks being prodded and pinched by his cousin
Dudley. . . . He couldn’t know that at this
very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were
holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: “To
Harry Potter — the boy who lived!”

[image: Chapter 2 - The Vanising Glass]

Nearly ten years had
passed since the Dursleys had woken up to find their nephew on the
front step, but Privet Drive had hardly changed at all. The sun
rose on the same tidy front gardens and lit up the brass number
four on the Dursleys’ front door; it crept into their living
room, which was almost exactly the same as it had been on the night
when Mr. Dursley had seen that fateful news report about the owls.
Only the photographs on the mantelpiece really showed how much time
had passed. Ten years ago, there had been lots of pictures of what
looked like a large pink beach ball wearing different-colored
bonnets — but Dudley Dursley was no longer a baby, and now
the photographs showed a large blond boy riding his first bicycle,
on a carousel at the fair, playing a computer game with his father,
being hugged and kissed by his mother. The room held no sign at all
that another boy lived in the house, too.
Yet Harry Potter was still there,
asleep at the moment, but not for long. His Aunt Petunia was awake
and it was her shrill voice that made the first noise of the
“Up! Get up! Now!”
Harry woke with a start. His aunt rapped on the door again.
“Up!” she screeched. Harry heard her walking toward
the kitchen and then the sound of the frying pan being put on the
stove. He rolled onto his back and tried to remember the dream he
had been having. It had been a good one. There had been a flying
motorcycle in it. He had a funny feeling he’d had the same
dream before.
His aunt was back outside the door.
“Are you up yet?” she demanded.
“Nearly,” said Harry.
“Well, get a move on, I want you to look after the bacon.
And don’t you dare let it burn, I want everything perfect on
Duddy’s birthday.”
Harry groaned.
“What did you say?” his aunt snapped through the
“Nothing, nothing . . .”
Dudley’s birthday — how could he have forgotten?
Harry got slowly out of bed and started looking for socks. He found
a pair under his bed and, after pulling a spider off one of them,
put them on. Harry was used to spiders, because the cupboard under
the stairs was full of them, and that was where he slept.
When he was dressed he went down the hall into the kitchen. The
table was almost hidden beneath all Dudley’s birthday
presents. It looked as though Dudley had gotten the new computer he
wanted, not to mention the second television and the racing bike.
Exactly why Dudley wanted a racing bike was a mystery to Harry, as
Dudley was very fat and hated exercise — unless of course it
involved punching somebody. Dudley’s favorite punching bag
was Harry, but he couldn’t often catch him. Harry
didn’t look it, but he was very fast.
Perhaps it had something to do with living in a dark cupboard,
but Harry had always been small and skinny for his age. He looked
even smaller and skinnier than he really was because all he had to
wear were old clothes of Dudley’s, and Dudley was about four
times bigger than he was. Harry had a thin face, knobbly knees,
black hair, and bright green eyes. He wore round glasses held
together with a lot of Scotch tape because of all the times Dudley
had punched him on the nose. The only thing Harry liked about his
own appearance was a very thin scar on his forehead that was shaped
like a bolt of lightning. He had had it as long as he could
remember, and the first question he could ever remember asking his
Aunt Petunia was how he had gotten it.
“In the car crash when your
parents died,” she had said. “And don’t ask
Don’t ask questions — that was the first rule
for a quiet life with the Dursleys.
Uncle Vernon entered the kitchen as Harry was turning over the
“Comb your hair!” he barked, by way of a morning
About once a week, Uncle Vernon looked over the top of his
newspaper and shouted that Harry needed a haircut. Harry must have
had more haircuts than the rest of the boys in his class put
together, but it made no difference, his hair simply grew that way
— all over the place.
Harry was frying eggs by the time Dudley arrived in the kitchen
with his mother. Dudley looked a lot like Uncle Vernon. He had a
large pink face, not much neck, small, watery blue eyes, and thick
blond hair that lay smoothly on his thick, fat head. Aunt Petunia
often said that Dudley looked like a baby angel — Harry often
said that Dudley looked like a pig in a wig.
Harry put the plates of egg and bacon on the table, which was
difficult as there wasn’t much room. Dudley, meanwhile, was
counting his presents. His face fell.
“Thirty-six,” he said, looking up at his mother and
father. “That’s two less than last year.”
“Darling, you haven’t counted Auntie Marge’s
present, see, it’s here under this big one from Mummy and
“All right, thirty-seven then,” said Dudley, going
red in the face. Harry, who could see a huge Dudley tantrum coming
on, began wolfing down his bacon as fast as possible in case Dudley
turned the table over.
Aunt Petunia obviously scented danger, too, because she said
quickly, “And we’ll buy you another two presents while
we’re out today. How’s that, popkin? Two more
presents. Is that all right?”
Dudley thought for a moment. It looked like hard work. Finally
he said slowly, “So I’ll have
thirty . . . thirty . . .”
“Thirty-nine, sweetums,” said Aunt Petunia.
“Oh.” Dudley sat down heavily and grabbed the
nearest parcel. “All right then.”
Uncle Vernon chuckled.
“Little tyke wants his money’s worth, just like his
father. ’Atta boy, Dudley!” He ruffled Dudley’s
At that moment the telephone rang and Aunt Petunia went to
answer it while Harry and Uncle Vernon watched Dudley unwrap the
racing bike, a video camera, a remote control airplane, sixteen new
computer games, and a VCR. He was ripping the paper off a gold
wristwatch when Aunt Petunia came back from the telephone looking
both angry and worried.
“Bad news, Vernon,” she said. “Mrs.
Figg’s broken her leg. She can’t take him.” She
jerked her head in Harry’s direction.
Dudley’s mouth fell open in horror, but Harry’s
heart gave a leap. Every year on Dudley’s birthday, his
parents took him and a friend out for the day, to adventure parks,
hamburger restaurants, or the movies. Every year, Harry was left
behind with Mrs. Figg, a mad old lady who lived two streets away.
Harry hated it there. The whole house smelled of cabbage and Mrs.
Figg made him look at photographs of all the cats she’d ever
“Now what?” said Aunt Petunia, looking furiously at
Harry as though he’d planned this. Harry knew he ought to
feel sorry that Mrs. Figg had broken her leg, but it wasn’t
easy when he reminded himself it would be a whole year before he
had to look at Tibbles, Snowy, Mr. Paws, and Tufty again.
“We could phone Marge,” Uncle Vernon suggested.
“Don’t be silly, Vernon, she hates the
The Dursleys often spoke about Harry like this, as though he
wasn’t there — or rather, as though he was something
very nasty that couldn’t understand them, like a slug.
“What about what’s-her-name, your friend —
“On vacation in Majorca,” snapped Aunt Petunia.
“You could just leave me here,” Harry put in
hopefully (he’d be able to watch what he wanted on television
for a change and maybe even have a go on Dudley’s
Aunt Petunia looked as though she’d just swallowed a
“And come back and find the house in ruins?” she
“I won’t blow up the house,” said Harry, but
they weren’t listening.
“I suppose we could take him to the zoo,” said Aunt
Petunia slowly, “. . . and leave him in the
car. . . .”
“That car’s new, he’s not sitting in it
alone. . . .”
Dudley began to cry loudly. In fact, he wasn’t really
crying — it had been years since he’d really cried
— but he knew that if he screwed up his face and wailed, his
mother would give him anything he wanted.
“Dinky Duddydums, don’t cry, Mummy won’t let
him spoil your special day!” she cried, flinging her arms
around him.
“I . . . don’t . . .
want . . . him . . . t-t-to
come!” Dudley yelled between huge, pretend sobs. “He
always sp-spoils everything!” He shot Harry a nasty grin
through the gap in his mother’s arms.
Just then, the doorbell rang —“Oh, good Lord,
they’re here!” said Aunt Petunia frantically —
and a moment later, Dudley’s best friend, Piers Polkiss,
walked in with his mother. Piers was a scrawny boy with a face like
a rat. He was usually the one who held people’s arms behind
their backs while Dudley hit them. Dudley stopped pretending to cry
at once.
Half an hour later, Harry, who couldn’t believe his luck,
was sitting in the back of the Dursleys’ car with Piers and
Dudley, on the way to the zoo for the first time in his life. His
aunt and uncle hadn’t been able to think of anything else to
do with him, but before they’d left, Uncle Vernon had taken
Harry aside.
“I’m warning you,” he had said, putting his
large purple face right up close to Harry’s, “I’m
warning you now, boy — any funny business, anything at all
— and you’ll be in that cupboard from now until
“I’m not going to do anything,” said Harry,
“honestly . . .”
But Uncle Vernon didn’t believe him. No one ever did.
The problem was, strange things often happened around Harry and
it was just no good telling the Dursleys he didn’t make them
Once, Aunt Petunia, tired of Harry coming back from the barbers
looking as though he hadn’t been at all, had taken a pair of
kitchen scissors and cut his hair so short he was almost bald
except for his bangs, which she left “to hide that horrible
scar.” Dudley had laughed himself silly at Harry, who spent a
sleepless night imagining school the next day, where he was already
laughed at for his baggy clothes and taped glasses. Next morning,
however, he had gotten up to find his hair exactly as it had been
before Aunt Petunia had sheared it off. He had been given a week in
his cupboard for this, even though he had tried to explain that he
couldn’t explain how it had grown back so quickly.
Another time, Aunt Petunia had been trying to force him into a
revolting old sweater of Dudley’s (brown with orange puff
balls). The harder she tried to pull it over his head, the smaller
it seemed to become, until finally it might have fitted a hand
puppet, but certainly wouldn’t fit Harry. Aunt Petunia had
decided it must have shrunk in the wash and, to his great relief,
Harry wasn’t punished.
On the other hand, he’d gotten into terrible trouble for
being found on the roof of the school kitchens. Dudley’s gang
had been chasing him as usual when, as much to Harry’s
surprise as anyone else’s, there he was sitting on the
chimney. The Dursleys had received a very angry letter from
Harry’s headmistress telling them Harry had been climbing
school buildings. But all he’d tried to do (as he shouted at
Uncle Vernon through the locked door of his cupboard) was jump
behind the big trash cans outside the kitchen doors. Harry supposed
that the wind must have caught him in mid-jump.
But today, nothing was going to go wrong. It was even worth
being with Dudley and Piers to be spending the day somewhere that
wasn’t school, his cupboard, or Mrs. Figg’s
cabbage-smelling living room.
While he drove, Uncle Vernon complained to Aunt Petunia. He
liked to complain about things: people at work, Harry, the council,
Harry, the bank, and Harry were just a few of his favorite
subjects. This morning, it was motorcycles.
“. . . roaring along like maniacs, the young
hoodlums,” he said, as a motorcycle overtook them.
“I had a dream about a motorcycle,” said Harry,
remembering suddenly. “It was flying.”
Uncle Vernon nearly crashed into the car in front. He turned
right around in his seat and yelled at Harry, his face like a
gigantic beet with a mustache: “MOTORCYCLES DON’T
Dudley and Piers sniggered.
“I know they don’t,” said Harry. “It was
only a dream.”
But he wished he hadn’t said anything. If there was one
thing the Dursleys hated even more than his asking questions, it
was his talking about anything acting in a way it shouldn’t,
no matter if it was in a dream or even a cartoon — they
seemed to think he might get dangerous ideas.
It was a very sunny Saturday and the zoo was crowded with
families. The Dursleys bought Dudley and Piers large chocolate ice
creams at the entrance and then, because the smiling lady in the
van had asked Harry what he wanted before they could hurry him
away, they bought him a cheap lemon ice pop. It wasn’t bad,
either, Harry thought, licking it as they watched a gorilla
scratching its head who looked remarkably like Dudley, except that
it wasn’t blond.
Harry had the best morning he’d had in a long time. He was
careful to walk a little way apart from the Dursleys so that Dudley
and Piers, who were starting to get bored with the animals by
lunchtime, wouldn’t fall back on their favorite hobby of
hitting him. They ate in the zoo restaurant, and when Dudley had a
tantrum because his knickerbocker glory didn’t have enough
ice cream on top, Uncle Vernon bought him another one and Harry was
allowed to finish the first.
Harry felt, afterward, that he should have known it was all too
good to last.
After lunch they went to the reptile
house. It was cool and dark in there, with lit windows all along
the walls. Behind the glass, all sorts of lizards and snakes were
crawling and slithering over bits of wood and stone. Dudley and
Piers wanted to see huge, poisonous cobras and thick, man-crushing
pythons. Dudley quickly found the largest snake in the place. It
could have wrapped its body twice around Uncle Vernon’s car
and crushed it into a trash can — but at the moment it
didn’t look in the mood. In fact, it was fast asleep.
Dudley stood with his nose pressed against the glass, staring at
the glistening brown coils.
“Make it move,” he whined at his father. Uncle
Vernon tapped on the glass, but the snake didn’t budge.
“Do it again,” Dudley ordered. Uncle Vernon rapped
the glass smartly with his knuckles, but the snake just snoozed
“This is boring,” Dudley moaned. He shuffled
Harry moved in front of the tank and looked intently at the
snake. He wouldn’t have been surprised if it had died of
boredom itself — no company except stupid people drumming
their fingers on the glass trying to disturb it all day long. It
was worse than having a cupboard as a bedroom, where the only
visitor was Aunt Petunia hammering on the door to wake you up; at
least he got to visit the rest of the house.
The snake suddenly opened its beady eyes. Slowly, very slowly,
it raised its head until its eyes were on a level with
It winked.
Harry stared. Then he looked quickly around to see if anyone was
watching. They weren’t. He looked back at the snake and
winked, too.
The snake jerked its head toward Uncle Vernon and Dudley, then
raised its eyes to the ceiling. It gave Harry a look that said
quite plainly:
“I get that all the time.”
“I know,” Harry murmured through the glass, though
he wasn’t sure the snake could hear him. “It must be
really annoying.”
The snake nodded vigorously.
“Where do you come from, anyway?” Harry asked.
The snake jabbed its tail at a little sign next to the glass.
Harry peered at it.
Boa Constrictor, Brazil.
“Was it nice there?”
The boa constrictor jabbed its tail at the sign again and Harry
read on: This specimen was bred in the zoo. “Oh, I see
— so you’ve never been to Brazil?”
As the snake shook its head, a deafening shout behind Harry made
both of them jump. “DUDLEY! MR. DURSLEY! COME AND LOOK AT
Dudley came waddling toward them as fast as he could.
“Out of the way, you,” he said, punching Harry in
the ribs. Caught by surprise, Harry fell hard on the concrete
floor. What came next happened so fast no one saw how it happened
— one second, Piers and Dudley were leaning right up close to
the glass, the next, they had leapt back with howls of horror.
Harry sat up and gasped; the glass front of the boa
constrictor’s tank had vanished. The great snake was
uncoiling itself rapidly, slithering out onto the floor. People
throughout the reptile house screamed and started running for the
As the snake slid swiftly past him,
Harry could have sworn a low, hissing voice said, “Brazil,
here I come. . . . Thanksss, amigo.”
The keeper of the reptile house was in shock.
“But the glass,” he kept saying, “where did
the glass go?”
The zoo director himself made Aunt Petunia a cup of strong,
sweet tea while he apologized over and over again. Piers and Dudley
could only gibber. As far as Harry had seen, the snake hadn’t
done anything except snap playfully at their heels as it passed,
but by the time they were all back in Uncle Vernon’s car,
Dudley was telling them how it had nearly bitten off his leg, while
Piers was swearing it had tried to squeeze him to death. But worst
of all, for Harry at least, was Piers calming down enough to say,
“Harry was talking to it, weren’t you,
Uncle Vernon waited until Piers was safely out of the house
before starting on Harry. He was so angry he could hardly speak. He
managed to say, “Go — cupboard — stay — no
meals,” before he collapsed into a chair, and Aunt Petunia
had to run and get him a large brandy.
Harry lay in his dark cupboard much later, wishing
he had a watch. He didn’t know what time it was and he
couldn’t be sure the Dursleys were asleep yet. Until they
were, he couldn’t risk sneaking to the kitchen for some
He’d lived with the Dursleys almost ten years, ten
miserable years, as long as he could remember, ever since
he’d been a baby and his parents had died in that car crash.
He couldn’t remember being in the car when his parents had
died. Sometimes, when he strained his memory during long hours in
his cupboard, he came up with a strange vision: a blinding flash of
green light and a burning pain on his forehead. This, he supposed,
was the crash, though he couldn’t imagine where all the green
light came from. He couldn’t remember his parents at all. His
aunt and uncle never spoke about them, and of course he was
forbidden to ask questions. There were no photographs of them in
the house.
When he had been younger, Harry had dreamed and dreamed of some
unknown relation coming to take him away, but it had never
happened; the Dursleys were his only family. Yet sometimes he
thought (or maybe hoped) that strangers in the street seemed to
know him. Very strange strangers they were, too. A tiny man in a
violet top hat had bowed to him once while out shopping with Aunt
Petunia and Dudley. After asking Harry furiously if he knew the
man, Aunt Petunia had rushed them out of the shop without buying
anything. A wild-looking old woman dressed all in green had waved
merrily at him once on a bus. A bald man in a very long purple coat
had actually shaken his hand in the street the other day and then
walked away without a word. The weirdest thing about all these
people was the way they seemed to vanish the second Harry tried to
get a closer look.
At school, Harry had no one. Everybody knew that Dudley’s
gang hated that odd Harry Potter in his baggy old clothes and
broken glasses, and nobody liked to disagree with Dudley’s

[image: Chapter 3 - The Letters From No One]

The escape of the
Brazilian boa constrictor earned Harry his longest-ever punishment.
By the time he was allowed out of his cupboard again, the summer
holidays had started and Dudley had already broken his new video
camera, crashed his remote control airplane, and, first time out on
his racing bike, knocked down old Mrs. Figg as she crossed Privet
Drive on her crutches.
Harry was glad school was over, but there was no escaping
Dudley’s gang, who visited the house every single day. Piers,
Dennis, Malcolm, and Gordon were all big and stupid, but as Dudley
was the biggest and stupidest of the lot, he was the leader. The
rest of them were all quite happy to join in Dudley’s
favorite sport: Harry Hunting.
This was why Harry spent as much time as possible out of the
house, wandering around and thinking about the end of the holidays,
where he could see a tiny ray of hope. When September came he would
be going off to secondary school and, for the first time in his
life, he wouldn’t be with Dudley. Dudley had been accepted at
Uncle Vernon’s old private school, Smeltings. Piers Polkiss
was going there too. Harry, on the other hand, was going to
Stonewall High, the local public school. Dudley thought this was
very funny.
“They stuff people’s heads down the toilet the first
day at Stonewall,” he told Harry. “Want to come
upstairs and practice?”
“No, thanks,” said Harry. “The poor
toilet’s never had anything as horrible as your head down it
— it might be sick.” Then he ran, before Dudley could
work out what he’d said.
One day in July, Aunt Petunia took Dudley to London to buy his
Smeltings uniform, leaving Harry at Mrs. Figg’s. Mrs. Figg
wasn’t as bad as usual. It turned out she’d broken her
leg tripping over one of her cats, and she didn’t seem quite
as fond of them as before. She let Harry watch television and gave
him a bit of chocolate cake that tasted as though she’d had
it for several years.
That evening, Dudley paraded around the living room for the
family in his brand-new uniform. Smeltings boys wore maroon
tailcoats, orange knickerbockers, and flat straw hats called
boaters. They also carried knobbly sticks, used for hitting each
other while the teachers weren’t looking. This was supposed
to be good training for later life.
As he looked at Dudley in his new knickerbockers, Uncle Vernon
said gruffly that it was the proudest moment of his life. Aunt
Petunia burst into tears and said she couldn’t believe it was
her Ickle Dudleykins, he looked so handsome and grown-up. Harry
didn’t trust himself to speak. He thought two of his ribs
might already have cracked from trying not to laugh.
There was a horrible smell in the kitchen the next
morning when Harry went in for breakfast. It seemed to be coming
from a large metal tub in the sink. He went to have a look. The tub
was full of what looked like dirty rags swimming in gray water.
“What’s this?” he asked Aunt Petunia. Her lips
tightened as they always did if he dared to ask a question.
“Your new school uniform,” she said.
Harry looked in the bowl again.
“Oh,” he said, “I didn’t realize it had
to be so wet.”
“Don’t be stupid,” snapped Aunt Petunia.
“I’m dyeing some of Dudley’s old things gray for
you. It’ll look just like everyone else’s when
I’ve finished.”
Harry seriously doubted this, but thought it best not to argue.
He sat down at the table and tried not to think about how he was
going to look on his first day at Stonewall High — like he
was wearing bits of old elephant skin, probably.
Dudley and Uncle Vernon came in, both with wrinkled noses
because of the smell from Harry’s new uniform. Uncle Vernon
opened his newspaper as usual and Dudley banged his Smelting stick,
which he carried everywhere, on the table.
They heard the click of the mail slot and flop of letters on the
“Get the mail, Dudley,” said Uncle Vernon from
behind his paper.
“Make Harry get it.”
“Get the mail, Harry.”
“Make Dudley get it.”
“Poke him with your Smelting stick, Dudley.”
Harry dodged the Smelting stick and went to get the mail. Three
things lay on the doormat: a postcard from Uncle Vernon’s
sister Marge, who was vacationing on the Isle of Wight, a brown
envelope that looked like a bill, and — a letter for
Harry picked it up and stared at it, his heart twanging like a
giant elastic band. No one, ever, in his whole life, had written to
him. Who would? He had no friends, no other relatives — he
didn’t belong to the library, so he’d never even got
rude notes asking for books back. Yet here it was, a letter,
addressed so plainly there could be no mistake:
Mr. H. Potter
The Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
Little Whinging

The envelope was thick and heavy, made of
yellowish parchment, and the address was written in emerald-green
ink. There was no stamp.
Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a
purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger,
and a snake surrounding a large letter H.
“Hurry up, boy!” shouted Uncle Vernon from the
kitchen. “What are you doing, checking for letter
bombs?” He chuckled at his own joke.
Harry went back to the kitchen, still staring at his letter. He
handed Uncle Vernon the bill and the postcard, sat down, and slowly
began to open the yellow envelope.
Uncle Vernon ripped open the bill, snorted in disgust, and
flipped over the postcard.
“Marge’s ill,” he informed Aunt Petunia.
“Ate a funny whelk . . .”
“Dad!” said Dudley suddenly. “Dad,
Harry’s got something!”
Harry was on the point of unfolding his letter, which was
written on the same heavy parchment as the envelope, when it was
jerked sharply out of his hand by Uncle Vernon.
“That’s mine!” said Harry, trying to
snatch it back.
“Who’d be writing to you?” sneered Uncle
Vernon, shaking the letter open with one hand and glancing at it.
His face went from red to green faster than a set of traffic
lights. And it didn’t stop there. Within seconds it was the
grayish white of old porridge.
“P-P-Petunia!” he gasped.
Dudley tried to grab the letter to read it, but Uncle Vernon
held it high out of his reach. Aunt Petunia took it curiously and
read the first line. For a moment it looked as though she might
faint. She clutched her throat and made a choking noise.
“Vernon! Oh my goodness — Vernon!”
They stared at each other, seeming to have forgotten that Harry
and Dudley were still in the room. Dudley wasn’t used to
being ignored. He gave his father a sharp tap on the head with his
Smelting stick.
“I want to read that letter,” he said loudly.
“I want to read it,” said Harry furiously,
“as it’s mine.”
“Get out, both of you,” croaked Uncle Vernon,
stuffing the letter back inside its envelope.
Harry didn’t move.
“I WANT MY LETTER!” he shouted.
“Let me see it!” demanded Dudley.
“OUT!” roared Uncle Vernon, and he took both Harry
and Dudley by the scruffs of their necks and threw them into the
hall, slamming the kitchen door behind them. Harry and Dudley
promptly had a furious but silent fight over who would listen at
the keyhole; Dudley won, so Harry, his glasses dangling from one
ear, lay flat on his stomach to listen at the crack between door
and floor.
“Vernon,” Aunt Petunia was saying in a quivering
voice, “look at the address — how could they possibly
know where he sleeps? You don’t think they’re watching
the house?”
“Watching — spying — might be following
us,” muttered Uncle Vernon wildly.
“But what should we do, Vernon? Should we write back? Tell
them we don’t want —”
Harry could see Uncle Vernon’s shiny black shoes pacing up
and down the kitchen.
“No,” he said finally. “No, we’ll ignore
it. If they don’t get an answer. . . . Yes,
that’s best . . . we won’t do
anything. . . .”
“But —”
“I’m not having one in the house, Petunia!
Didn’t we swear when we took him in we’d stamp out that
dangerous nonsense?”
That evening when he got back from work, Uncle
Vernon did something he’d never done before; he visited Harry
in his cupboard.
“Where’s my letter?” said Harry, the moment
Uncle Vernon had squeezed through the door. “Who’s
writing to me?”
“No one. It was addressed to you by mistake,” said
Uncle Vernon shortly. “I have burned it.”
“It was not a mistake,” said Harry angrily,
“it had my cupboard on it.”
“SILENCE!” yelled Uncle Vernon, and a couple of
spiders fell from the ceiling. He took a few deep breaths and then
forced his face into a smile, which looked quite painful.
“Er — yes, Harry — about this cupboard. Your
aunt and I have been thinking . . . you’re
really getting a bit big for it . . . we think it
might be nice if you moved into Dudley’s second
“Why?” said Harry.
“Don’t ask questions!” snapped his uncle.
“Take this stuff upstairs, now.”
The Dursleys’ house had four bedrooms: one for Uncle
Vernon and Aunt Petunia, one for visitors (usually Uncle
Vernon’s sister, Marge), one where Dudley slept, and one
where Dudley kept all the toys and things that wouldn’t fit
into his first bedroom. It only took Harry one trip upstairs to
move everything he owned from the cupboard to this room. He sat
down on the bed and stared around him. Nearly everything in here
was broken. The month-old video camera was lying on top of a small,
working tank Dudley had once driven over the next door
neighbor’s dog; in the corner was Dudley’s first-ever
television set, which he’d put his foot through when his
favorite program had been canceled; there was a large birdcage,
which had once held a parrot that Dudley had swapped at school for
a real air rifle, which was up on a shelf with the end all bent
because Dudley had sat on it. Other shelves were full of books.
They were the only things in the room that looked as though
they’d never been touched.
From downstairs came the sound of Dudley bawling at his mother,
“I don’t want him in there . . .
I need that room . . . make him get
out. . . .”
Harry sighed and stretched out on the bed. Yesterday he’d
have given anything to be up here. Today he’d rather be back
in his cupboard with that letter than up here without it.
Next morning at breakfast, everyone was rather
quiet. Dudley was in shock. He’d screamed, whacked his father
with his Smelting stick, been sick on purpose, kicked his mother,
and thrown his tortoise through the greenhouse roof, and he still
didn’t have his room back. Harry was thinking about this time
yesterday and bitterly wishing he’d opened the letter in the
hall. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia kept looking at each other
When the mail arrived, Uncle Vernon, who seemed to be trying to
be nice to Harry, made Dudley go and get it. They heard him banging
things with his Smelting stick all the way down the hall. Then he
shouted, “There’s another one! ‘Mr. H. Potter,
The Smallest Bedroom, 4 Privet Drive —’”
With a strangled cry, Uncle Vernon leapt from his seat and ran
down the hall, Harry right behind him. Uncle Vernon had to wrestle
Dudley to the ground to get the letter from him, which was made
difficult by the fact that Harry had grabbed Uncle Vernon around
the neck from behind. After a minute of confused fighting, in which
everyone got hit a lot by the Smelting stick, Uncle Vernon
straightened up, gasping for breath, with Harry’s letter
clutched in his hand.
“Go to your cupboard — I mean, your bedroom,”
he wheezed at Harry. “Dudley — go — just
Harry walked round and round his new room. Someone knew he had
moved out of his cupboard and they seemed to know he hadn’t
received his first letter. Surely that meant they’d try
again? And this time he’d make sure they didn’t fail.
He had a plan.
The repaired alarm clock rang at six o’clock
the next morning. Harry turned it off quickly and dressed silently.
He mustn’t wake the Dursleys. He stole downstairs without
turning on any of the lights.
He was going to wait for the postman on the corner of Privet
Drive and get the letters for number four first. His heart hammered
as he crept across the dark hall toward the front door —
Harry leapt into the air; he’d trodden on something big
and squashy on the doormat — something alive!
Lights clicked on upstairs and to his horror Harry realized that
the big, squashy something had been his uncle’s face. Uncle
Vernon had been lying at the foot of the front door in a sleeping
bag, clearly making sure that Harry didn’t do exactly what
he’d been trying to do. He shouted at Harry for about half an
hour and then told him to go and make a cup of tea. Harry shuffled
miserably off into the kitchen and by the time he got back, the
mail had arrived, right into Uncle Vernon’s lap. Harry could
see three letters addressed in green ink.
“I want —” he began, but Uncle Vernon was
tearing the letters into pieces before his eyes.
Uncle Vernon didn’t go to work that day. He stayed at home
and nailed up the mail slot.
“See,” he explained to Aunt Petunia through a
mouthful of nails, “if they can’t deliver them
they’ll just give up.”
“I’m not sure that’ll work, Vernon.”
“Oh, these people’s minds work in strange ways,
Petunia, they’re not like you and me,” said Uncle
Vernon, trying to knock in a nail with the piece of fruitcake Aunt
Petunia had just brought him.
On Friday, no less than twelve letters arrived for
Harry. As they couldn’t go through the mail slot they had
been pushed under the door, slotted through the sides, and a few
even forced through the small window in the downstairs
Uncle Vernon stayed at home again. After burning all the
letters, he got out a hammer and nails and boarded up the cracks
around the front and back doors so no one could go out. He hummed
“Tiptoe Through the Tulips” as he worked, and jumped at
small noises.
On Saturday, things began to get out of hand.
Twenty-four letters to Harry found their way into the house, rolled
up and hidden inside each of the two dozen eggs that their very
confused milkman had handed Aunt Petunia through the living room
window. While Uncle Vernon made furious telephone calls to the post
office and the dairy trying to find someone to complain to, Aunt
Petunia shredded the letters in her food processor.
“Who on earth wants to talk to you this
badly?” Dudley asked Harry in amazement.
 On Sunday morning,
Uncle Vernon sat down at the breakfast table looking tired and
rather ill, but happy.
“No post on Sundays,” he reminded them cheerfully as
he spread marmalade on his newspapers, “no damn letters today
Something came whizzing down the kitchen chimney as he spoke and
caught him sharply on the back of the head. Next moment, thirty or
forty letters came pelting out of the fireplace like bullets. The
Dursleys ducked, but Harry leapt into the air trying to catch one
“Out! OUT!”
Uncle Vernon seized Harry around the waist and threw him into
the hall. When Aunt Petunia and Dudley had run out with their arms
over their faces, Uncle Vernon slammed the door shut. They could
hear the letters still streaming into the room, bouncing off the
walls and floor.
“That does it,” said Uncle
Vernon, trying to speak calmly but pulling great tufts out of his
mustache at the same time. “I want you all back here in five
minutes ready to leave. We’re going away. Just pack some
clothes. No arguments!”
He looked so dangerous with half his mustache missing that no
one dared argue. Ten minutes later they had wrenched their way
through the boarded-up doors and were in the car, speeding toward
the highway. Dudley was sniffling in the back seat; his father had
hit him round the head for holding them up while he tried to pack
his television, VCR, and computer in his sports bag.
They drove. And they drove. Even Aunt Petunia didn’t dare
ask where they were going. Every now and then Uncle Vernon would
take a sharp turn and drive in the opposite direction for a
“Shake ’em off . . . shake ’em
off,” he would mutter whenever he did this.
They didn’t stop to eat or drink all day. By nightfall
Dudley was howling. He’d never had such a bad day in his
life. He was hungry, he’d missed five television programs
he’d wanted to see, and he’d never gone so long without
blowing up an alien on his computer.
Uncle Vernon stopped at last outside a gloomy-looking hotel on
the outskirts of a big city. Dudley and Harry shared a room with
twin beds and damp, musty sheets. Dudley snored but Harry stayed
awake, sitting on the windowsill, staring down at the lights of
passing cars and wondering. . . .
They ate stale cornflakes and cold tinned tomatoes
on toast for breakfast the next day. They had just finished when
the owner of the hotel came over to their table.
“’Scuse me, but is one of you Mr. H. Potter? Only I
got about an ’undred of these at the front desk.”
She held up a letter so they could read the green ink
Mr. H. Potter
Room 17
Railview Hotel

Harry made a grab for the letter but Uncle
Vernon knocked his hand out of the way. The woman stared.
“I’ll take them,” said Uncle Vernon, standing
up quickly and following her from the dining room.
 “Wouldn’t it be better just to
go home, dear?” Aunt Petunia suggested timidly, hours later,
but Uncle Vernon didn’t seem to hear her. Exactly what he was
looking for, none of them knew. He drove them into the middle of a
forest, got out, looked around, shook his head, got back in the
car, and off they went again. The same thing happened in the middle
of a plowed field, halfway across a suspension bridge, and at the
top of a multilevel parking garage.
“Daddy’s gone mad, hasn’t he?” Dudley
asked Aunt Petunia dully late that afternoon. Uncle Vernon had
parked at the coast, locked them all inside the car, and
It started to rain. Great drops beat on the roof of the car.
Dudley sniveled.
“It’s Monday,” he told his mother. “The
Great Humberto’s on tonight. I want to stay somewhere with a
Monday. This reminded Harry of something. If it was
Monday — and you could usually count on Dudley to know the
days of the week, because of television — then tomorrow,
Tuesday, was Harry’s eleventh birthday. Of course, his
birthdays were never exactly fun — last year, the Dursleys
had given him a coat hanger and a pair of Uncle Vernon’s old
socks. Still, you weren’t eleven every day.
Uncle Vernon was back and he was smiling. He was also carrying a
long, thin package and didn’t answer Aunt Petunia when she
asked what he’d bought.
“Found the perfect place!” he said. “Come on!
Everyone out!”
It was very cold outside the car.
Uncle Vernon was pointing at what looked like a large rock way out
at sea. Perched on top of the rock was the most miserable little
shack you could imagine. One thing was certain, there was no
television in there.
“Storm forecast for tonight!” said Uncle Vernon
gleefully, clapping his hands together. “And this
gentleman’s kindly agreed to lend us his boat!”
A toothless old man came ambling up to them, pointing, with a
rather wicked grin, at an old rowboat bobbing in the iron-gray
water below them.
“I’ve already got us some rations,” said Uncle
Vernon, “so all aboard!”
It was freezing in the boat. Icy sea spray and rain crept down
their necks and a chilly wind whipped their faces. After what
seemed like hours they reached the rock, where Uncle Vernon,
slipping and sliding, led the way to the broken-down house.
The inside was horrible; it smelled
strongly of seaweed, the wind whistled through the gaps in the
wooden walls, and the fireplace was damp and empty. There were only
two rooms.
Uncle Vernon’s rations turned out to be a bag of chips
each and four bananas. He tried to start a fire but the empty chip
bags just smoked and shriveled up.
“Could do with some of those letters now, eh?” he
said cheerfully.
He was in a very good mood. Obviously he thought nobody stood a
chance of reaching them here in a storm to deliver mail. Harry
privately agreed, though the thought didn’t cheer him up at
As night fell, the promised storm blew up around them. Spray
from the high waves splattered the walls of the hut and a fierce
wind rattled the filthy windows. Aunt Petunia found a few moldy
blankets in the second room and made up a bed for Dudley on the
moth-eaten sofa. She and Uncle Vernon went off to the lumpy bed
next door, and Harry was left to find the softest bit of floor he
could and to curl up under the thinnest, most ragged blanket.
The storm raged more and more ferociously as the night went on.
Harry couldn’t sleep. He shivered and turned over, trying to
get comfortable, his stomach rumbling with hunger. Dudley’s
snores were drowned by the low rolls of thunder that started near
midnight. The lighted dial of Dudley’s watch, which was
dangling over the edge of the sofa on his fat wrist, told Harry
he’d be eleven in ten minutes’ time. He lay and watched
his birthday tick nearer, wondering if the Dursleys would remember
at all, wondering where the letter writer was now.
Five minutes to go. Harry heard something creak outside. He
hoped the roof wasn’t going to fall in, although he might be
warmer if it did. Four minutes to go. Maybe the house in Privet
Drive would be so full of letters when they got back that
he’d be able to steal one somehow.
Three minutes to go. Was that the sea, slapping hard on the rock
like that? And (two minutes to go) what was that funny crunching
noise? Was the rock crumbling into the sea?
One minute to go and he’d be eleven. Thirty
seconds . . . twenty . . .
ten . . . nine — maybe he’d wake Dudley
up, just to annoy him — three . . .
two . . . one . . .
The whole shack shivered and Harry sat bolt upright, staring at
the door. Someone was outside, knocking to come in.

[image: Chapter 4 - The Keeper of the Keys]

BOOM. They knocked
again. Dudley jerked awake.
“Where’s the cannon?” he said stupidly.
There was a crash behind them and Uncle Vernon came skidding
into the room. He was holding a rifle in his hands — now they
knew what had been in the long, thin package he had brought with
“Who’s there?” he shouted. “I warn you
— I’m armed!”
There was a pause. Then —
The door was hit with such force that it swung clean off its
hinges and with a deafening crash landed flat on the floor.
A giant of a man was standing in the
doorway. His face was almost completely hidden by a long, shaggy
mane of hair and a wild, tangled beard, but you could make out his
eyes, glinting like black beetles under all the hair.
The giant squeezed his way into the
hut, stooping so that his head just brushed the ceiling. He bent
down, picked up the door, and fitted it easily back into its frame.
The noise of the storm outside dropped a little. He turned to look
at them all.
“Couldn’t make us a cup o’ tea, could yeh?
It’s not been an easy
journey. . . .”
He strode over to the sofa where Dudley sat frozen with
“Budge up, yeh great lump,” said the stranger.
Dudley squeaked and ran to hide behind his mother, who was
crouching, terrified, behind Uncle Vernon.
“An’ here’s Harry!” said the giant.
Harry looked up into the fierce, wild, shadowy face and saw that
the beetle eyes were crinkled in a smile.
“Las’ time I saw you, you was only a baby,”
said the giant. “Yeh look a lot like yer dad, but
yeh’ve got yer mum’s eyes.”
Uncle Vernon made a funny rasping noise.
“I demand that you leave at once, sir!” he said.
“You are breaking and entering!”
“Ah, shut up, Dursley, yeh great prune,” said the
giant; he reached over the back of the sofa, jerked the gun out of
Uncle Vernon’s hands, bent it into a knot as easily as if it
had been made of rubber, and threw it into a corner of the
Uncle Vernon made another funny noise, like a mouse being
trodden on.
“Anyway — Harry,” said the giant, turning his
back on the Dursleys, “a very happy birthday to yeh. Got
summat fer yeh here — I mighta sat on it at some point, but
it’ll taste all right.”
From an inside pocket of his black overcoat he pulled a slightly
squashed box. Harry opened it with trembling fingers. Inside was a
large, sticky chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Harry
written on it in green icing.
Harry looked up at the giant. He meant to say thank you, but the
words got lost on the way to his mouth, and what he said instead
was, “Who are you?”
The giant chuckled.
“True, I haven’t introduced meself. Rubeus Hagrid,
Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.”
He held out an enormous hand and shook Harry’s whole
“What about that tea then, eh?” he said, rubbing his
hands together. “I’d not say no ter summat stronger if
yeh’ve got it, mind.”
His eyes fell on the empty grate with the shriveled chip bags in
it and he snorted. He bent down over the fireplace; they
couldn’t see what he was doing but when he drew back a second
later, there was a roaring fire there. It filled the whole damp hut
with flickering light and Harry felt the warmth wash over him as
though he’d sunk into a hot bath.
The giant sat back down on the sofa,
which sagged under his weight, and began taking all sorts of things
out of the pockets of his coat: a copper kettle, a squashy package
of sausages, a poker, a teapot, several chipped mugs, and a bottle
of some amber liquid that he took a swig from before starting to
make tea. Soon the hut was full of the sound and smell of sizzling
sausage. Nobody said a thing while the giant was working, but as he
slid the first six fat, juicy, slightly burnt sausages from the
poker, Dudley fidgeted a little. Uncle Vernon said sharply,
“Don’t touch anything he gives you, Dudley.”
The giant chuckled darkly.
“Yer great puddin’ of a son don’ need
fattenin’ anymore, Dursley, don’ worry.”
He passed the sausages to Harry, who was so hungry he had never
tasted anything so wonderful, but he still couldn’t take his
eyes off the giant. Finally, as nobody seemed about to explain
anything, he said, “I’m sorry, but I still don’t
really know who you are.”
The giant took a gulp of tea and wiped his mouth with the back
of his hand.
“Call me Hagrid,” he said, “everyone does.
An’ like I told yeh, I’m Keeper of Keys at Hogwarts
— yeh’ll know all about Hogwarts, o’
“Er — no,” said Harry.
Hagrid looked shocked.
“Sorry,” Harry said quickly.
“Sorry?” barked Hagrid, turning to stare at
the Dursleys, who shrank back into the shadows. “It’s
them as should be sorry! I knew yeh weren’t gettin’ yer
letters but I never thought yeh wouldn’t even know
abou’ Hogwarts, fer cryin’ out loud! Did yeh never
wonder where yer parents learned it all?”
“All what?” asked Harry.
“ALL WHAT?” Hagrid thundered. “Now wait
jus’ one second!”
He had leapt to his feet. In his anger he seemed to fill the
whole hut. The Dursleys were cowering against the wall.
“Do you mean ter tell me,” he growled at the
Dursleys, “that this boy — this boy! — knows
nothin’ abou’— about ANYTHING?”
Harry thought this was going a bit far. He had been to school,
after all, and his marks weren’t bad.
“I know some things,” he said. “I can,
you know, do math and stuff.”
But Hagrid simply waved his hand and said, “About
our world, I mean. Your world. My world.
Yer parents’ world.”
“What world?”
Hagrid looked as if he was about to explode.
“DURSLEY!” he boomed.
Uncle Vernon, who had gone very pale, whispered something that
sounded like “Mimblewimble.” Hagrid stared wildly at
“But yeh must know about yer mum and dad,” he said.
“I mean, they’re famous. You’re
“What? My — my mum and dad weren’t famous,
were they?”
“Yeh don’ know . . . yeh don’
know . . .” Hagrid ran his fingers through his
hair, fixing Harry with a bewildered stare.
“Yeh don’ know what yeh are?” he said
Uncle Vernon suddenly found his voice.
“Stop!” he commanded. “Stop right there, sir!
I forbid you to tell the boy anything!”
A braver man than Vernon Dursley would have quailed under the
furious look Hagrid now gave him; when Hagrid spoke, his every
syllable trembled with rage.
“You never told him? Never told him what was in the letter
Dumbledore left fer him? I was there! I saw Dumbledore leave it,
Dursley! An’ you’ve kept it from him all these
“Kept what from me?” said Harry eagerly.
“STOP! I FORBID YOU!” yelled Uncle Vernon in
Aunt Petunia gave a gasp of horror.
“Ah, go boil yer heads, both of yeh,” said Hagrid.
“Harry — yer a wizard.”
There was silence inside the hut. Only the sea and the whistling
wind could be heard.
“I’m a what?” gasped Harry.
“A wizard, o’ course,” said Hagrid, sitting
back down on the sofa, which groaned and sank even lower,
“an’ a thumpin’ good’un, I’d say,
once yeh’ve been trained up a bit. With a mum an’ dad
like yours, what else would yeh be? An’ I reckon it’s
abou’ time yeh read yer letter.”
Harry stretched out his hand at last to take the yellowish
envelope, addressed in emerald green to Mr. H. Potter, The Floor,
Hut-on-the-Rock, The Sea. He pulled out the letter and read:
[image: swash]
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc.,
Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of

Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been
accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find
enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by
no later than July 31.
Yours sincerely,
[image: Minerva McGonagall Signature]
Minerva McGonagall,
Deputy Headmistress

Questions exploded inside Harry’s head
like fireworks and he couldn’t decide which to ask first.
After a few minutes he stammered, “What does it mean, they
await my owl?”
“Gallopin’ Gorgons, that
reminds me,” said Hagrid, clapping a hand to his forehead
with enough force to knock over a cart horse, and from yet another
pocket inside his overcoat he pulled an owl — a real, live,
rather ruffled-looking owl — a long quill, and a roll of
parchment. With his tongue between his teeth he scribbled a note
that Harry could read upside down:
Dear Professor Dumbledore,
Given Harry his letter.
Taking him to buy his things tomorrow.
Weather’s horrible. Hope you’re well.

Hagrid rolled up the note, gave it to the owl,
which clamped it in its beak, went to the door, and threw the owl
out into the storm. Then he came back and sat down as though this
was as normal as talking on the telephone.
Harry realized his mouth was open and closed it quickly.
“Where was I?” said Hagrid, but at that moment,
Uncle Vernon, still ashen-faced but looking very angry, moved into
the firelight.
“He’s not going,” he said.
Hagrid grunted.
“I’d like ter see a great Muggle like you stop
him,” he said.
“A what?” said Harry, interested.
“A Muggle,” said Hagrid, “it’s what we
call nonmagic folk like them. An’ it’s your bad luck
you grew up in a family o’ the biggest Muggles I ever laid
eyes on.”
“We swore when we took him in we’d put a stop to
that rubbish,” said Uncle Vernon, “swore we’d
stamp it out of him! Wizard indeed!”
“You knew?” said Harry. “You
knew I’m a — a wizard?”
“Knew!” shrieked Aunt Petunia suddenly.
“Knew! Of course we knew! How could you not be, my
dratted sister being what she was? Oh, she got a letter just like
that and disappeared off to that — that school —
and came home every vacation with her pockets full of frog spawn,
turning teacups into rats. I was the only one who saw her for what
she was — a freak! But for my mother and father, oh no, it
was Lily this and Lily that, they were proud of having a witch in
the family!”
She stopped to draw a deep breath and then went ranting on. It
seemed she had been wanting to say all this for years.
“Then she met that Potter at school and they left and got
married and had you, and of course I knew you’d be just the
same, just as strange, just as — as — abnormal
— and then, if you please, she went and got herself blown up
and we got landed with you!”
Harry had gone very white. As soon as he found his voice he
said, “Blown up? You told me they died in a car
“CAR CRASH!” roared Hagrid, jumping up so angrily
that the Dursleys scuttled back to their corner. “How could a
car crash kill Lily an’ James Potter? It’s an outrage!
A scandal! Harry Potter not knowin’ his own story when every
kid in our world knows his name!”
“But why? What happened?” Harry asked urgently.
The anger faded from Hagrid’s face. He looked suddenly
“I never expected this,” he said, in a low, worried
voice. “I had no idea, when Dumbledore told me there might be
trouble gettin’ hold of yeh, how much yeh didn’t know.
Ah, Harry, I don’ know if I’m the right person ter tell
yeh — but someone’s gotta — yeh can’t go
off ter Hogwarts not knowin’.”
He threw a dirty look at the Dursleys.
“Well, it’s best yeh know as much as I can tell yeh
— mind, I can’t tell yeh everythin’, it’s a
great myst’ry, parts of it. . . .”
He sat down, stared into the fire for a few seconds, and then
said, “It begins, I suppose, with — with a person
called — but it’s incredible yeh don’t know his
name, everyone in our world knows —”
“Well — I don’ like sayin’ the name if I
can help it. No one does.”
“Why not?”
“Gulpin’ gargoyles, Harry, people are still scared.
Blimey, this is difficult. See, there was this wizard who
went . . . bad. As bad as you could go. Worse. Worse
than worse. His name was . . .”
Hagrid gulped, but no words came out.
“Could you write it down?” Harry suggested.
“Nah — can’t spell it. All right —
Voldemort.” Hagrid shuddered. “Don’ make
me say it again. Anyway, this — this wizard, about twenty
years ago now, started lookin’ fer followers. Got ’em,
too — some were afraid, some just wanted a bit o’ his
power, ’cause he was gettin’ himself power, all right.
Dark days, Harry. Didn’t know who ter trust, didn’t
dare get friendly with strange wizards or
witches . . . terrible things happened. He was
takin’ over. ’Course, some stood up to him —
an’ he killed ’em. Horribly. One o’ the only safe
places left was Hogwarts. Reckon Dumbledore’s the only one
You-Know-Who was afraid of. Didn’t dare try takin’ the
school, not jus’ then, anyway.
“Now, yer mum an’ dad were as good a witch an’
wizard as I ever knew. Head boy an’ girl at Hogwarts in their
day! Suppose the myst’ry is why You-Know-Who never tried to
get ’em on his side before . . . probably knew
they were too close ter Dumbledore ter want anythin’ ter do
with the Dark Side.
“Maybe he thought he could persuade
’em . . . maybe he just wanted ’em outta
the way. All anyone knows is, he turned up in the village where you
was all living, on Halloween ten years ago. You was just a year
old. He came ter yer house an’— an’—
Hagrid suddenly pulled out a very dirty, spotted handkerchief
and blew his nose with a sound like a foghorn.
“Sorry,” he said. “But it’s that sad
— knew yer mum an’ dad, an’ nicer people yeh
couldn’t find — anyway . . .
“You-Know-Who killed ’em. An’ then —
an’ this is the real myst’ry of the thing — he
tried to kill you, too. Wanted ter make a clean job of it, I
suppose, or maybe he just liked killin’ by then. But he
couldn’t do it. Never wondered how you got that mark on yer
forehead? That was no ordinary cut. That’s what yeh get when
a powerful, evil curse touches yeh — took care of yer mum
an’ dad an’ yer house, even — but it didn’t
work on you, an’ that’s why yer famous, Harry. No one
ever lived after he decided ter kill ’em, no one except you,
an’ he’d killed some o’ the best witches
an’ wizards of the age — the McKinnons, the Bones, the
Prewetts — an’ you was only a baby, an’ you
Something very painful was going on in Harry’s mind. As
Hagrid’s story came to a close, he saw again the blinding
flash of green light, more clearly than he had ever remembered it
before — and he remembered something else, for the first time
in his life: a high, cold, cruel laugh.
Hagrid was watching him sadly.
“Took yeh from the ruined house myself, on
Dumbledore’s orders. Brought yeh ter this
lot . . .”
“Load of old tosh,” said Uncle Vernon. Harry jumped;
he had almost forgotten that the Dursleys were there. Uncle Vernon
certainly seemed to have got back his courage. He was glaring at
Hagrid and his fists were clenched.
“Now, you listen here, boy,” he snarled, “I
accept there’s something strange about you, probably nothing
a good beating wouldn’t have cured — and as for all
this about your parents, well, they were weirdos, no denying it,
and the world’s better off without them in my opinion —
asked for all they got, getting mixed up with these wizarding types
— just what I expected, always knew they’d come to a
sticky end —”
But at that moment, Hagrid leapt from the sofa and drew a
battered pink umbrella from inside his coat. Pointing this at Uncle
Vernon like a sword, he said, “I’m warning you, Dursley
— I’m warning you — one more
word . . .”
In danger of being speared on the end of an umbrella by a
bearded giant, Uncle Vernon’s courage failed again; he
flattened himself against the wall and fell silent.
“That’s better,” said Hagrid, breathing
heavily and sitting back down on the sofa, which this time sagged
right down to the floor.
Harry, meanwhile, still had questions to ask, hundreds of
“But what happened to Vol-, sorry — I mean,
“Good question, Harry. Disappeared. Vanished. Same night
he tried ter kill you. Makes yeh even more famous. That’s the
biggest myst’ry, see . . . he was
gettin’ more an’ more powerful — why’d he
“Some say he died. Codswallop, in my opinion. Dunno if he
had enough human left in him to die. Some say he’s still out
there, bidin’ his time, like, but I don’ believe it.
People who was on his side came back ter ours. Some of ’em
came outta kinda trances. Don’ reckon they could’ve
done if he was comin’ back.
“Most of us reckon he’s still out there somewhere
but lost his powers. Too weak to carry on. ’Cause
somethin’ about you finished him, Harry. There was
somethin’ goin’ on that night he hadn’t counted
on — I dunno what it was, no one does — but
somethin’ about you stumped him, all right.”
Hagrid looked at Harry with warmth and respect blazing in his
eyes, but Harry, instead of feeling pleased and proud, felt quite
sure there had been a horrible mistake. A wizard? Him? How could he
possibly be? He’d spent his life being clouted by Dudley, and
bullied by Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon; if he was really a
wizard, why hadn’t they been turned into warty toads every
time they’d tried to lock him in his cupboard? If he’d
once defeated the greatest sorcerer in the world, how come Dudley
had always been able to kick him around like a football?
“Hagrid,” he said quietly, “I think you must
have made a mistake. I don’t think I can be a
To his surprise, Hagrid chuckled.
“Not a wizard, eh? Never made things happen when you was
scared or angry?”
Harry looked into the fire. Now he came to think about
it . . . every odd thing that had ever made his aunt
and uncle furious with him had happened when he, Harry, had been
upset or angry . . . chased by Dudley’s gang,
he had somehow found himself out of their
reach . . . dreading going to school with that
ridiculous haircut, he’d managed to make it grow
back . . . and the very last time Dudley had hit
him, hadn’t he got his revenge, without even realizing he was
doing it? Hadn’t he set a boa constrictor on him?
Harry looked back at Hagrid, smiling, and saw that Hagrid was
positively beaming at him.
“See?” said Hagrid. “Harry Potter, not a
wizard — you wait, you’ll be right famous at
But Uncle Vernon wasn’t going to give in without a
“Haven’t I told you he’s not going?” he
hissed. “He’s going to Stonewall High and he’ll
be grateful for it. I’ve read those letters and he needs all
sorts of rubbish — spell books and wands and
“If he wants ter go, a great Muggle like you won’t
stop him,” growled Hagrid. “Stop Lily an’ James
Potter’s son goin’ ter Hogwarts! Yer mad. His
name’s been down ever since he was born. He’s off ter
the finest school of witchcraft and wizardry in the world. Seven
years there and he won’t know himself. He’ll be with
youngsters of his own sort, fer a change, an’ he’ll be
under the greatest headmaster Hogwarts ever had, Albus Dumbled
MAGIC TRICKS!” yelled Uncle Vernon.
But he had finally gone too far. Hagrid seized his umbrella and
whirled it over his head, “NEVER —” he thundered,
— FRONT — OF — ME!”
He brought the umbrella swishing down through the air to point
at Dudley — there was a flash of violet light, a sound like a
firecracker, a sharp squeal, and the next second, Dudley was
dancing on the spot with his hands clasped over his fat bottom,
howling in pain. When he turned his back on them, Harry saw a curly
pig’s tail poking through a hole in his trousers.
Uncle Vernon roared. Pulling Aunt Petunia and Dudley into the
other room, he cast one last terrified look at Hagrid and slammed
the door behind them.
Hagrid looked down at his umbrella and stroked his beard.
“Shouldn’ta lost me temper,” he said ruefully,
“but it didn’t work anyway. Meant ter turn him into a
pig, but I suppose he was so much like a pig anyway there
wasn’t much left ter do.”
He cast a sideways look at Harry under his bushy eyebrows.
“Be grateful if yeh didn’t mention that ter anyone
at Hogwarts,” he said. “I’m — er —
not supposed ter do magic, strictly speakin’. I was allowed
ter do a bit ter follow yeh an’ get yer letters to yeh
an’ stuff — one o’ the reasons I was so keen ter
take on the job —”
“Why aren’t you supposed to do magic?” asked
“Oh, well — I was at Hogwarts meself but I —
er — got expelled, ter tell yeh the truth. In me third year.
They snapped me wand in half an’ everything. But Dumbledore
let me stay on as gamekeeper. Great man, Dumbledore.”
“Why were you expelled?”
“It’s gettin’ late and we’ve got lots
ter do tomorrow,” said Hagrid loudly. “Gotta get up ter
town, get all yer books an’ that.”
He took off his thick black coat and threw it to Harry.
“You can kip under that,” he said. “Don’
mind if it wriggles a bit, I think I still got a couple o’
dormice in one o’ the pockets.”

[image: Chapter 5 - Diagon Alley]

Harry woke early the
next morning. Although he could tell it was daylight, he kept his
eyes shut tight.
“It was a dream,” he told himself firmly. “I
dreamed a giant called Hagrid came to tell me I was going to a
school for wizards. When I open my eyes I’ll be at home in my
There was suddenly a loud tapping noise.
And there’s Aunt Petunia knocking on the door,
Harry thought, his heart sinking. But he still didn’t open
his eyes. It had been such a good dream.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
“All right,” Harry mumbled, “I’m getting
He sat up and Hagrid’s heavy coat fell off him. The hut
was full of sunlight, the storm was over, Hagrid himself was asleep
on the collapsed sofa, and there was an owl rapping its claw on the
window, a newspaper held in its beak.
Harry scrambled to his feet, so happy he felt as though a large
balloon was swelling inside him. He went straight to the window and
jerked it open. The owl swooped in and dropped the newspaper on top
of Hagrid, who didn’t wake up. The owl then fluttered onto
the floor and began to attack Hagrid’s coat.
“Don’t do that.”
Harry tried to wave the owl out of the way, but it snapped its
beak fiercely at him and carried on savaging the coat.
“Hagrid!” said Harry loudly. “There’s an
owl —”
“Pay him,” Hagrid grunted into the sofa.
“He wants payin’ fer deliverin’ the paper.
Look in the pockets.”
Hagrid’s coat seemed to be made of nothing but
pockets — bunches of keys, slug pellets, balls of string,
peppermint humbugs, teabags . . . finally, Harry
pulled out a handful of strange-looking coins.
“Give him five Knuts,” said Hagrid sleepily.
“The little bronze ones.”
Harry counted out five little bronze coins, and the owl held out
his leg so Harry could put the money into a small leather pouch
tied to it. Then he flew off through the open window.
Hagrid yawned loudly, sat up, and stretched.
“Best be off, Harry, lots ter do today, gotta get up ter
London an’ buy all yer stuff fer school.”
Harry was turning over the wizard coins and looking at them. He
had just thought of something that made him feel as though the
happy balloon inside him had got a puncture.
“Um — Hagrid?”
“Mm?” said Hagrid, who was pulling on his huge
“I haven’t got any money — and you heard Uncle
Vernon last night . . . he won’t pay for me to
go and learn magic.”
“Don’t worry about that,” said Hagrid,
standing up and scratching his head. “D’yeh think yer
parents didn’t leave yeh anything?”
“But if their house was destroyed —”
“They didn’ keep their gold in the house, boy! Nah,
first stop fer us is Gringotts. Wizards’ bank. Have a
sausage, they’re not bad cold — an’ I
wouldn’ say no teh a bit o’ yer birthday cake,
“Wizards have banks?”
“Just the one. Gringotts. Run by goblins.”
Harry dropped the bit of sausage he was holding.
“Yeah — so yeh’d be mad ter try an’ rob
it, I’ll tell yeh that. Never mess with goblins, Harry.
Gringotts is the safest place in the world fer anything yeh want
ter keep safe —’cept maybe Hogwarts. As a matter
o’ fact, I gotta visit Gringotts anyway. Fer Dumbledore.
Hogwarts business.” Hagrid drew himself up proudly. “He
usually gets me ter do important stuff fer him. Fetchin’ you
— gettin’ things from Gringotts — knows he can
trust me, see.
“Got everythin’? Come on, then.”
Harry followed Hagrid out onto the rock. The sky was quite clear
now and the sea gleamed in the sunlight. The boat Uncle Vernon had
hired was still there, with a lot of water in the bottom after the
“How did you get here?” Harry asked, looking around
for another boat.
“Flew,” said Hagrid.
“Yeah — but we’ll go back in this. Not
s’pposed ter use magic now I’ve got yeh.”
They settled down in the boat, Harry still staring at Hagrid,
trying to imagine him flying.
“Seems a shame ter row, though,” said Hagrid, giving
Harry another of his sideways looks. “If I was ter — er
— speed things up a bit, would yeh mind not mentionin’
it at Hogwarts?”
“Of course not,” said Harry, eager to see more
magic. Hagrid pulled out the pink umbrella again, tapped it twice
on the side of the boat, and they sped off toward land.
“Why would you be mad to try and rob Gringotts?”
Harry asked.
“Spells — enchantments,” said Hagrid,
unfolding his newspaper as he spoke. “They say there’s
dragons guardin’ the high-security vaults. And then yeh gotta
find yer way — Gringotts is hundreds of miles under London,
see. Deep under the Underground. Yeh’d die of hunger
tryin’ ter get out, even if yeh did manage ter get yer hands
on summat.”
Harry sat and thought about this while Hagrid read his
newspaper, the Daily Prophet. Harry had learned from Uncle
Vernon that people liked to be left alone while they did this, but
it was very difficult, he’d never had so many questions in
his life.
“Ministry o’ Magic messin’ things up as
usual,” Hagrid muttered, turning the page.
“There’s a Ministry of Magic?” Harry asked,
before he could stop himself.
“’Course,” said Hagrid. “They wanted
Dumbledore fer Minister, o’ course, but he’d never
leave Hogwarts, so old Cornelius Fudge got the job. Bungler if ever
there was one. So he pelts Dumbledore with owls every morning,
askin’ fer advice.”
“But what does a Ministry of Magic do?”
“Well, their main job is to keep it from the Muggles that
there’s still witches an’ wizards up an’ down the
“Why? Blimey, Harry, everyone’d be
wantin’ magic solutions to their problems. Nah, we’re
best left alone.”
At this moment the boat bumped gently into the harbor wall.
Hagrid folded up his newspaper, and they clambered up the stone
steps onto the street.
Passersby stared a lot at Hagrid as they walked through the
little town to the station. Harry couldn’t blame them. Not
only was Hagrid twice as tall as anyone else, he kept pointing at
perfectly ordinary things like parking meters and saying loudly,
“See that, Harry? Things these Muggles dream up,
“Hagrid,” said Harry, panting a bit as he ran to
keep up, “did you say there are dragons at
“Well, so they say,” said Hagrid. “Crikey,
I’d like a dragon.”
“You’d like one?”
“Wanted one ever since I was a kid — here we
They had reached the station. There was a train to London in
five minutes’ time. Hagrid, who didn’t understand
“Muggle money,” as he called it, gave the bills to
Harry so he could buy their tickets.
People stared more than ever on the train. Hagrid took up two
seats and sat knitting what looked like a canary-yellow circus
“Still got yer letter, Harry?” he asked as he
counted stitches.
Harry took the parchment envelope out of his pocket.
“Good,” said Hagrid. “There’s a list
there of everything yeh need.”
Harry unfolded a second piece of paper he hadn’t noticed
the night before, and read:
[image: swash]
First-year students will require:
1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
2. One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
4. One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings)

Please note that all pupils’ clothes should carry name tags

All students should have a copy of each of the following:
The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) by Miranda
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
A Beginners’ Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida
Magical Draughts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin

1 wand
1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set glass or crystal phials
1 telescope
1 set brass scales

Students may also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad


“Can we buy all this in London?”
Harry wondered aloud.
“If yeh know where to go,” said Hagrid.
Harry had never been to London before. Although
Hagrid seemed to know where he was going, he was obviously not used
to getting there in an ordinary way. He got stuck in the ticket
barrier on the Underground, and complained loudly that the seats
were too small and the trains too slow.
“I don’t know how the Muggles manage without
magic,” he said as they climbed a broken-down escalator that
led up to a bustling road lined with shops.
Hagrid was so huge that he parted the crowd easily; all Harry
had to do was keep close behind him. They passed book shops and
music stores, hamburger restaurants and cinemas, but nowhere that
looked as if it could sell you a magic wand. This was just an
ordinary street full of ordinary people. Could there really be
piles of wizard gold buried miles beneath them? Were there really
shops that sold spell books and broomsticks? Might this not all be
some huge joke that the Dursleys had cooked up? If Harry
hadn’t known that the Dursleys had no sense of humor, he
might have thought so; yet somehow, even though everything Hagrid
had told him so far was unbelievable, Harry couldn’t help
trusting him.
“This is it,” said Hagrid, coming to a halt,
“the Leaky Cauldron. It’s a famous place.”
It was a tiny, grubby-looking pub. If Hagrid hadn’t
pointed it out, Harry wouldn’t have noticed it was there. The
people hurrying by didn’t glance at it. Their eyes slid from
the big book shop on one side to the record shop on the other as if
they couldn’t see the Leaky Cauldron at all. In fact, Harry
had the most peculiar feeling that only he and Hagrid could see it.
Before he could mention this, Hagrid had steered him inside.
For a famous place, it was very dark and shabby. A few old women
were sitting in a corner, drinking tiny glasses of sherry. One of
them was smoking a long pipe. A little man in a top hat was talking
to the old bartender, who was quite bald and looked like a
toothless walnut. The low buzz of chatter stopped when they walked
in. Everyone seemed to know Hagrid; they waved and smiled at him,
and the bartender reached for a glass, saying, “The usual,
“Can’t, Tom, I’m on Hogwarts business,”
said Hagrid, clapping his great hand on Harry’s shoulder and
making Harry’s knees buckle.
“Good Lord,” said the bartender, peering at Harry,
“is this — can this be — ?”
The Leaky Cauldron had suddenly gone completely still and
“Bless my soul,” whispered the old bartender,
“Harry Potter . . . what an honor.”
He hurried out from behind the bar, rushed toward Harry and
seized his hand, tears in his eyes.
“Welcome back, Mr. Potter, welcome back.”
Harry didn’t know what to say. Everyone was looking at
him. The old woman with the pipe was puffing on it without
realizing it had gone out. Hagrid was beaming.
Then there was a great scraping of chairs and the next moment,
Harry found himself shaking hands with everyone in the Leaky
“Doris Crockford, Mr. Potter, can’t believe
I’m meeting you at last.”
“So proud, Mr. Potter, I’m just so proud.”
“Always wanted to shake your hand — I’m all of
a flutter.”
“Delighted, Mr. Potter, just can’t tell you,
Diggle’s the name, Dedalus Diggle.”
“I’ve seen you before!” said Harry, as Dedalus
Diggle’s top hat fell off in his excitement. “You bowed
to me once in a shop.”
“He remembers!” cried Dedalus Diggle, looking around
at everyone. “Did you hear that? He remembers me!”
Harry shook hands again and again — Doris Crockford kept
coming back for more.
A pale young man made his way forward, very nervously. One of
his eyes was twitching.
“Professor Quirrell!” said Hagrid. “Harry,
Professor Quirrell will be one of your teachers at
“P-P-Potter,” stammered Professor Quirrell, grasping
Harry’s hand, “c-can’t t-tell you how p-pleased I
am to meet you.”
“What sort of magic do you teach, Professor
“D-Defense Against the D-D-Dark Arts,” muttered
Professor Quirrell, as though he’d rather not think about it.
“N-not that you n-need it, eh, P-P-Potter?” He laughed
nervously. “You’ll be g-getting all your equipment, I
suppose? I’ve g-got to p-pick up a new b-book on vampires,
m-myself.” He looked terrified at the very thought.
But the others wouldn’t let Professor Quirrell keep Harry
to himself. It took almost ten minutes to get away from them all.
At last, Hagrid managed to make himself heard over the babble.
“Must get on — lots ter buy. Come on,
Doris Crockford shook Harry’s hand one last time, and
Hagrid led them through the bar and out into a small, walled
courtyard, where there was nothing but a trash can and a few
Hagrid grinned at Harry.
“Told yeh, didn’t I? Told yeh you was famous. Even
Professor Quirrell was tremblin’ ter meet yeh — mind
you, he’s usually tremblin’.”
“Is he always that nervous?”
“Oh, yeah. Poor bloke. Brilliant mind. He was fine while
he was studyin’ outta books but then he took a year off ter
get some first-hand experience. . . . They say he
met vampires in the Black Forest, and there was a nasty bit
o’ trouble with a hag — never been the same since.
Scared of the students, scared of his own subject — now,
where’s me umbrella?”
Vampires? Hags? Harry’s head was swimming. Hagrid,
meanwhile, was counting bricks in the wall above the trash can.
“Three up . . . two
across . . .” he muttered. “Right, stand
back, Harry.”
He tapped the wall three times with the point of his
The brick he had touched quivered
— it wriggled — in the middle, a small hole appeared
— it grew wider and wider — a second later they were
facing an archway large enough even for Hagrid, an archway onto a
cobbled street that twisted and turned out of sight.
“Welcome,” said Hagrid, “to Diagon
He grinned at Harry’s amazement. They stepped through the
archway. Harry looked quickly over his shoulder and saw the archway
shrink instantly back into solid wall.
The sun shone brightly on a stack of cauldrons outside the
nearest shop. Cauldrons — All Sizes — Copper, Brass,
Pewter, Silver — Self-Stirring — Collapsible, said a
sign hanging over them.
“Yeah, you’ll be needin’ one,” said
Hagrid, “but we gotta get yer money first.”
Harry wished he had about eight more eyes. He turned his head in
every direction as they walked up the street, trying to look at
everything at once: the shops, the things outside them, the people
doing their shopping. A pl