"Stand back," said Griphook importantly. He stroked the door gently with one
of his long fingers and it simply melted away.
"If anyone but a Gringotts goblin tried that, they'd be sucked through the door
and trapped in there," said Griphook.
"How often do you check to see if anyone's inside?" Harry asked.
"About once every ten years," said Griphook with a rather nasty grin.
Something really extraordinary had to be inside this top security vault, Harry
was sure, and he leaned forward eagerly, expecting to see fabulous jewels at the
very least — but at first he thought it was empty. Then he noticed a grubby little
package wrapped up in brown paper lying on the floor. Hagrid picked it up and tucked
it deep inside his coat. Harry longed to know what it was, but knew better than
"Come on, back in this infernal cart, and don't talk to me on the way back, it's
best if I keep me mouth shut," said Hagrid.
One wild cart ride later they stood blinking in the sunlight outside Gringotts.
Harry didn't know where to run first now that he had a bag full of money. He didn't
have to know how many Galleons there were to a pound to know that he was holding
more money than he'd had in his whole life — more money than even Dudley had ever
"Might as well get yer uniform," said Hagrid, nodding toward Madam Malkin's Robes
for All Occasions. "Listen, Harry, would yeh mind if I slipped off fer a pick-me-up
in the Leaky Cauldron? I hate them Gringotts carts." He did still look a bit sick,
so Harry entered Madam Malkin's shop alone, feeling nervous.
Madam Malkin was a squat, smiling witch dressed all in mauve.
"Hogwarts, clear?" she said, when Harry started to speak. "Got the lot here —
another young man being fitted up just now, in fact. "
In the back of the shop, a boy with a pale, pointed face was standing on a footstool
while a second witch pinned up his long black robes. Madam Malkin stood Harry on
a stool next to him) slipped a long robe over his head, and began to pin it to the
"Hello," said the boy, "Hogwarts, too?"
"Yes," said Harry.
"My father's next door buying my books and mother's up the street looking at
wands," said the boy. He had a bored, drawling voice. "Then I'm going to drag them
off to took at racing brooms. I don't see why first years can't have their own.
I think I'll bully father into getting me one and I'll smuggle it in somehow."
Harry was strongly reminded of Dudley.
"Have you got your own broom?" the boy went on.
"No," said Harry.
"Play Quidditch at all?"
"No," Harry said again, wondering what on earth Quidditch could be.
"I do — Father says it's a crime if I'm not picked to play for my house, and
I must say, I agree. Know what house you'll be in yet?"
"No," said Harry, feeling more stupid by the minute.
"Well, no one really knows until they get there, do they, but I know I'll be
in Slytherin, all our family have been — imagine being in Hufflepuff, I think I'd
leave, wouldn't you?" "Mmm," said Harry, wishing he could say something a bit more
"I say, look at that man!" said the boy suddenly, nodding toward the front window.
Hagrid was standing there, grinning at Harry and pointing at two large ice creams
to show he couldn't come in.
"That's Hagrid," said Harry, pleased to know something the boy didn't. "He works
"Oh," said the boy, "I've heard of him. He's a sort of servant, isn't he?"
"He's the gamekeeper," said Harry. He was liking the boy less and less every
"Yes, exactly. I heard he's a sort of savage — lives in a hut on the school grounds
and every now and then he gets drunk, tries to do magic, and ends up setting fire
to his bed."
"I think he's brilliant," said Harry coldly.
"Do you?" said the boy, with a slight sneer. "Why is he with you? Where are your
"They're dead," said Harry shortly. He didn't feel much like going into the matter
with this boy.
"Oh, sorry," said the other,. not sounding sorry at all. "But they were our kind,
"They were a witch and wizard, if that's what you mean."
"I really don't think they should let the other sort in, do you? They're just
not the same, they've never been brought up to know our ways. Some of them have
never even heard of Hogwarts until they get the letter, imagine. I think they should
keep it in the old wizarding families. What's your surname, anyway?"
But before Harry could answer, Madam Malkin said, "That's you done, my dear,"
and Harry, not sorry for an excuse to stop talking to the boy, hopped down from
"Well, I'll see you at Hogwarts, I suppose," said the drawling boy.
Harry was rather quiet as he ate the ice cream Hagrid had bought him (chocolate
and raspberry with chopped nuts).
"What's up?" said Hagrid.
"Nothing," Harry lied. They stopped to buy parchment and quills. Harry cheered
up a bit when he found a bottle of ink that changed color as you wrote. When they
had left the shop, he said, "Hagrid, what's Quidditch?"
"Blimey, Harry, I keep forgettin' how little yeh know — not knowin' about Quidditch!"
"Don't make me feel worse," said Harry. He told Hagrid about the pate boy in
"--and he said people from Muggle families shouldn't even be allowed in."
"Yer not from a Muggle family. If he'd known who yeh were — he's grown up knowin'
yer name if his parents are wizardin' folk. You saw what everyone in the Leaky Cauldron
was like when they saw yeh. Anyway, what does he know about it, some o' the best
I ever saw were the only ones with magic in 'em in a long line 0' Muggles — look
at yer mum! Look what she had fer a sister!"
"So what is Quidditch?"
"It's our sport. Wizard sport. It's like — like soccer in the Muggle world —
everyone follows Quidditch — played up in the air on broomsticks and there's four
balls — sorta hard ter explain the rules." "And what are Slytherin and Hufflepuff?"
"School houses. There's four. Everyone says Hufflepuff are a lot o' duffers,
but - — "
"I bet I'm in Hufflepuff" said Harry gloomily.
"Better Hufflepuff than Slytherin," said Hagrid darkly. "There's not a single
witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin. You-Know-Who was one."
"Vol-, sorry — You-Know-Who was at Hogwarts?"
"Years an' years ago," said Hagrid.
They bought Harry's school books in a shop called Flourish and Blotts where the
shelves were stacked to the ceiling with books as large as paving stones bound in
leather; books the size of postage stamps in covers of silk; books full of peculiar
symbols and a few books with nothing in them at all. Even Dudley, who never read
anything, would have been wild to get his hands on some of these. Hagrid almost
had to drag Harry away from Curses and Countercurses (Bewitch Your Friends and Befuddle
Your Enemies with the Latest Revenges: Hair Loss, Jelly-Legs, Tongue-Tying and Much,
Much More) by Professor Vindictus Viridian.
"I was trying to find out how to curse Dudley."
"I'm not sayin' that's not a good idea, but yer not ter use magic in the Muggle
world except in very special circumstances," said Hagrid. "An' anyway, yeh couldn'
work any of them curses yet, yeh'll need a lot more study before yeh get ter that
Hagrid wouldn't let Harry buy a solid gold cauldron, either ("It says pewter
on yer list"), but they got a nice set of scales for weighing potion ingredients
and a collapsible brass telescope. Then they visited the Apothecary, which was fascinating
enough to make up for its horrible smell, a mixture of bad eggs and rotted cabbages.
Barrels of slimy stuff stood on the floor; jars of herbs, dried roots, and bright
powders lined the walls; bundles of feathers, strings of fangs, and snarled claws
hung from the ceiling. While Hagrid asked the man behind the counter for a supply
of some basic potion ingredients for Harry, Harry himself examined silver unicorn
horns at twenty-one Galleons each and minuscule, glittery-black beetle eyes (five
Knuts a scoop).
Outside the Apothecary, Hagrid checked Harry's list again.
"Just yer wand left — A yeah, an' I still haven't got yeh a birthday present."
Harry felt himself go red.
"You don't have to - — "
"I know I don't have to. Tell yeh what, I'll get yer animal. Not a toad, toads
went outta fashion years ago, yeh'd be laughed at — an' I don' like cats, they make
me sneeze. I'll get yer an owl. All the kids want owls, they're dead useful, carry
yer mail an' everythin'."
Twenty minutes later, they left Eeylops Owl Emporium, which had been dark and
full of rustling and flickering, jewel-bright eyes. Harry now carried a large cage
that held a beautiful snowy owl, fast asleep with her head under her wing. He couldn't
stop stammering his thanks, sounding just like Professor Quirrell.
"Don' mention it," said Hagrid gruffly. "Don' expect you've had a lotta presents
from them Dursleys. Just Ollivanders left now — only place fer wands, Ollivanders,
and yeh gotta have the best wand."
A magic wand... this was what Harry had been really looking forward to.
The last shop was narrow and shabby. Peeling gold letters over the door read
Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B. C. A single wand lay on a faded purple
cushion in the dusty window.
A tinkling bell rang somewhere in the depths of the shop as they stepped inside.
It was a tiny place, empty except for a single, spindly chair that Hagrid sat on
to wait. Harry felt strangely as though he had entered a very strict library; he
swallowed a lot of new questions that had just occurred to him and looked instead
at the thousands of narrow boxes piled neatly right up to the ceiling. For some
reason, the back of his neck prickled. The very dust and silence in here seemed
to tingle with some secret magic.
"Good afternoon," said a soft voice. Harry jumped. Hagrid must have jumped, too,
because there was a loud crunching noise and he got quickly off the spindly chair.
An old man was standing before them, his wide, pale eyes shining like moons through
the gloom of the shop.
"Hello," said Harry awkwardly.
"Ah yes," said the man. "Yes, yes. I thought I'd be seeing you soon. Harry Potter."
It wasn't a question. "You have your mother's eyes. It seems only yesterday she
was in here herself, buying her first wand. Ten and a quarter inches long, swishy,
made of willow. Nice wand for charm work."
Mr. Ollivander moved closer to Harry. Harry wished he would blink. Those silvery
eyes were a bit creepy.
"Your father, on the other hand, favored a mahogany wand. Eleven inches. Pliable.
A little more power and excellent for transfiguration. Well, I say your father favored
it — it's really the wand that chooses the wizard, of course."
Mr. Ollivander had come so close that he and Harry were almost nose to nose.
Harry could see himself reflected in those misty eyes.
"And that's where..."
Mr. Ollivander touched the lightning scar on Harry's forehead with a long, white
"I'm sorry to say I sold the wand that did it," he said softly. "Thirteen-and-a-half
inches. Yew. Powerful wand, very powerful, and in the wrong hands... well, if I'd
known what that wand was going out into the world to do...."
He shook his head and then, to Harry's relief, spotted Hagrid.
"Rubeus! Rubeus Hagrid! How nice to see you again.... Oak, sixteen inches, rather
bendy, wasn't it?"
"It was, sir, yes," said Hagrid.
"Good wand, that one. But I suppose they snapped it in half when you got expelled?"
said Mr. Ollivander, suddenly stern.
"Er — yes, they did, yes," said Hagrid, shuffling his feet. "I've still got the
pieces, though," he added brightly.
"But you don't use them?" said Mr. Ollivander sharply.
"Oh, no, sit," said Hagrid quickly. Harry noticed he gripped his pink umbrella
very tightly as he spoke.
"Hmmm," said Mr. Ollivander, giving Hagrid a piercing look. "Well, now -- Mr.
Potter. Let me see." He pulled a long tape measure with silver markings out of his
pocket. "Which is your wand arm?"
"Er — well, I'm right-handed," said Harry.
"Hold out your arm. That's it." He measured Harry from shoulder to finger, then
wrist to elbow, shoulder to floor, knee to armpit and round his head. As he measured,
he said, "Every Ollivander wand has a core of a powerful magical substance, Mr.
Potter. We use unicorn hairs, phoenix tail feathers, and the heartstrings of dragons.
No two Ollivander wands are the same, just as no two unicorns, dragons, or phoenixes
are quite the same. And of course, you will never get such good results with another
Harry suddenly realized that the tape measure, which was measuring between his
nostrils, was doing this on its own. Mr. Ollivander was flitting around the shelves,
taking down boxes.
"That will do," he said, and the tape measure crumpled into a heap on the floor.
"Right then, Mr. Potter. Try this one. Beechwood and dragon heartstring. Nine inches.
Nice and flexible. just take it and give it a wave."