মুখ্য Harry Potter : The complete Collection

Harry Potter : The complete Collection

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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.
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Harry Potter
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bro peng
very good!thank you very much!
03 November 2019 (10:11) 
thank you! i love to harry potter book
23 March 2020 (21:15) 
Thank ou ! But I don't konw why I can't preview.
28 March 2020 (10:36) 
15 June 2020 (18:52) 
Daniel jared
I want to know the way casting light
24 August 2020 (20:37) 
Thank uu! Its awesome
04 October 2020 (15:45) 
Thankyou♡♡ I finally get the whole collection!!
09 October 2020 (19:17) 
Can leave chores ....just for a read????????
15 October 2020 (20:08) 
Good job and thank you
16 October 2020 (19:11) 
I am a very big fan of Harry Potter. Thank you very much for the whole collection. ??
24 November 2020 (11:45) 
very good!thank you very much!
03 December 2020 (02:40) 
Hi my name is Fluffy
01 January 2021 (18:29) 
I love harry potter book
25 May 2021 (19:08) 

আপনি একটি বুক রিভিউ লিখতে পারেন এবং আপনার অভিজ্ঞতা শেয়ার করতে পারেন. অন্যান্য পাঠকরা আপনার পড়া বইগুলির বিষয়ে আপনার মতামত সম্পর্কে সর্বদা আগ্রহী হবে. বইটি আপনার পছন্দ হোক বা না হোক, আপনি যদি নিজের সৎ ও বিস্তারিত চিন্তাভাবনা ব্যক্ত করেন তাহলে অন্যরা তাদের জন্য উপযুক্ত নতুন বইগুলি খুঁজে পাবে.


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






The	Boy	Who	Lived


The	Vanishing	Glass


The	Letters	from	No	One


The	Keeper	of	the	Keys


Diagon	Alley


The	Journey	from	Platform	Nine	and	Three-quarters


The	Sorting	Hat


The	Potions	Master


The	Midnight	Duel






The	Mirror	of	Erised


Nicolas	Flamel


Norbert	the	Norwegian	Ridgeback


The	Forbidden	Forest


Through	the	Trapdoor


The	Man	with	Two	Faces




r.	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	nonsense.

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	window.

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

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	door.

“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	off.

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

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	crowd.”

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	it?”

“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

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	stiffly.”

“You’d	be	stiff	if	you’d	been	sitting	on	a	brick	wall	all	day,”	said	Professor

“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,	Dumbledore?”

“It	 certainly	 seems	so,”	 said	Dumbledore.	 “We	have	much	 to	be	 thankful
for.	Would	you	care	for	a	lemon	drop?”

“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	name.”

“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	of.”

“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	earmuffs.”

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

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	—	dead.”

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

“I	would	trust	Hagrid	with	my	life,”	said	Dumbledore.

“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	motorcycle?”

“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,	sir.”

“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

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	McGonagall.

“Yes,”	said	Dumbledore.	“He’ll	have	that	scar	forever.”

“Couldn’t	you	do	something	about	it,	Dumbledore?”

“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

“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	out.

“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	four.

“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




early	 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	day.

“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	door.

“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

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

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

Uncle	Vernon	entered	the	kitchen	as	Harry	was	turning	over	the	bacon.

“Comb	your	hair!”	he	barked,	by	way	of	a	morning	greeting.

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	Daddy.”

“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

Uncle	Vernon	chuckled.

“Little	 tyke	 wants	 his	 money’s	 worth,	 just	 like	 his	 father.	 ’Atta	 boy,
Dudley!”	He	ruffled	Dudley’s	hair.

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	owned.

“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	boy.”

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	—	Yvonne?”

“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	computer).

Aunt	Petunia	looked	as	though	she’d	just	swallowed	a	lemon.

“And	come	back	and	find	the	house	in	ruins?”	she	snarled.

“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

“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	Christmas.”

“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	happen.

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

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

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

“.	 .	 .	 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:

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

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	on.

“This	is	boring,”	Dudley	moaned.	He	shuffled	away.

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	Harry’s.

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

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

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	exits.

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,	Harry?”

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	food.

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	gang.




he	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

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

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,

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	doormat.

“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.

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

“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

“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

“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

“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	bedroom.”

“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	darkly.

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	go.”

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

	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

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	while.

“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	address:

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

“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	disappeared.

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	television.”

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

“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	all.

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.




OOM.	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	them.

“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	fear.

“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

“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	room.

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	arm.

“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’

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’	course.”

“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	Harry.

“But	yeh	must	 know	about	 yer	mum	and	dad,”	he	 said.	 “I	mean,	 they’re
famous.	You’re	famous.”

“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	finally.

Uncle	Vernon	suddenly	found	his	voice.

“Stop!”	he	commanded.	“Stop	right	 there,	sir!	I	forbid	you	to	tell	 the	boy

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	years?”

“Kept	what	from	me?”	said	Harry	eagerly.

“STOP!	I	FORBID	YOU!”	yelled	Uncle	Vernon	in	panic.

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:



Headmaster:	Albus	Dumbledore

(Order	of	Merlin,	First	Class,	Grand	Sorc.,	Chf.	Warlock,	Supreme
Mugwump,	International	Confed.	of	Wizards)

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

Yours	sincerely,

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	crash!”

“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	anxious.

“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,

“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	them.

“But	what	happened	to	Vol-,	sorry	—	I	mean,	You-Know-Who?”

“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	go?

“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	wizard.”

To	his	surprise,	Hagrid	chuckled.

“Not	 a	 wizard,	 eh?	 Never	 made	 things	 happen	 when	 you	 was	 scared	 or

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	Hogwarts.”

But	Uncle	Vernon	wasn’t	going	to	give	in	without	a	fight.

“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	—”


HIM	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,	 “—	 INSULT	 —	 ALBUS	 —

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	Harry.

“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.”




arry	 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	cupboard.”

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	up.”

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

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


“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	boots.

“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,	neither.”

“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	storm.

“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	country.”


“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,	eh?”

“Hagrid,”	said	Harry,	panting	a	bit	as	he	ran	to	keep	up,	“did	you	say	there
are	dragons	at	Gringotts?”

“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	go.”

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	tent.

“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:




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	Goshawk

A	History	of	Magic	by	Bathilda	Bagshot

Magical	Theory	by	Adalbert	Waffling

A	Beginners’	Guide	to	Transfiguration	by	Emeric	Switch

One	Thousand	Magical	Herbs	and	Fungi	by	Phyllida	Spore

Magical	Draughts	and	Potions	by	Arsenius	Jigger

Fantastic	Beasts	and	Where	to	Find	Them	by	Newt	Scamander

The	Dark	Forces:	A	Guide	to	Self-Protection	by	Quentin	Trimble


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


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	 re