Chapter 5 - Diagon Alley Notes from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Chapter 5 - Diagon Alley

When Harry awakens the following morning, he thinks he has had the most phenomenal dream, and is ecstatic when he sees Hagrid, cementing the truth behind his new life. An owl flies over them and drops the paper, The Daily Prophet. When he continues to hover and fight with them, Hagrid tells Harry to pay the owl for delivering the paper. Harry inquires as to how he will pay for Hogwarts, since he knows Uncle Vernon Dursley will never spend any money on wands or magic books, and he has no other money. Hagrid informs Harry that his parents left him a hefty inheritance stored at Gringotts, the Wizard's bank and one of their first stops in the wizard world - a place below the Underground (subway system) in London. Goblins run Gringotts, so he explains that it is a horrible idea to try to steal from it.

As Hagrid reads The Daily Prophet he is upset by the news regarding the Ministry of Magic. Apparently Dumbledore turned down the position in years past to stay at Hogwarts, while a wizard by the name of Cornelius Fudge now holds the reign. The job of the Minister of Magic is to make sure that Muggles know nothing about wizards and to keep the two worlds separate, so that everyone doesn't always think that there will be a magic solution to any and everything.

Hagrid and Harry leave the shack and go to a small boat in the harbor to travel to Hogwarts. Hagrid is not supposed to fly or use other magic now that he has Harry in his possession; however, he uses magic, again, telling Harry to keep it a secret. Hagrid reveals his secret desire to own a dragon and proceeds to read over Harry's list of things to bring to Hogwarts, from the strict uniform of robes, gloves, cloaks, and a pointed hat, and a large selection of magic books. They may bring either a cat or a toad or an owl, but are not allowed a broomstick until the second year of study. Harry wants to buy his belongings in London and is thrilled to visit the big city for the first time, with Hagrid's help of course.

Topic Tracking: Hopes and Desires 3

They visit the Leaky Cauldron, a famous store in London, to buy some of his books and materials. A customer, Dedalus Diggle, is excited to meet Harry Potter inside the store. Two professors are also inside buying books, Doris Crockford and Professor Quirrell, a stuttering man who is in search of a book about vampires. Hagrid informs Harry that Quirrell is a brilliant man who had an unfortunate experience with vampires in the past and has since been scared of everything. Harry recognizes Diggle as one of the men who had bowed to him in the past. On a brick wall in the back, Hagrid knocks on a specific brick that opens into a small hole and eventually a grand and beautiful land of a cobbled street with sunshine and magic stores all around. "Harry wished he had about eight more eyes. He turned his head in every direction as they walked up the street, trying to look at everything at once: the shops, the things outside them, the people doing their shopping" Chapter 5, pg. 56. This place is called Diagon Alley and it is the way to get to Gringotts. When they arrive, Harry is mesmerized by and curious about the goblins, who seem cruel and intimidating, despite their tiny size. Harry reads a warning not to steal in the form of a poem covering the front of the bank as Hagrid requests a deposit from Harry Potter's vault and the you-know-what from Dumbledore's vault. Harry wonders what unnamed object Hagrid is ordered to obtain. Hagrid is at Gringott's for Harry and also on official Hogwart business for Dumbledore.

As the two follow the goblin Griphook through caves of stalagmites, stalactites, and other minerals until they find Harry's vault of wealth. There are piles and piles of Knuts, bronze coins, and other mountains of wealth awaiting him. Harry realizes the Dursleys certainly never knew about Harry's wealth (stored all underground in London), for they would have stolen it all by this point. After Hagrid explains the monetary system for wizards, they visit Dumbledore's vault. Although Harry expects to see something miraculous, he peeks into a different world altogether:

"Something really extraordinary had to be inside this top security vault, Harry was sure, and he leant 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 to ask." Chapter 5, pg. 59

After the trip to Gringotts, Hagrid wants to stop for a pick-me-up at Madam Maltin's. While he waits, Harry meets a spoiled little wizard boy who reminds him of Dudley in attitude alone. He asks Harry all about his parents and his stay, and informs him of the sport Quidditch, and of the dorms Slytherin and Hufflepuff. Harry is extremely put off by this boy and asks Hagrid all about the things he mentioned. Hagrid keeps forgetting how little Harry knows about his heritage, frustrating Harry with his own ignorance. Quidditch, it seems, is the wizard's sport, equivalent to the fame of football (or soccer), and Slytherin and Hufflepuff are simply two of the four dorms at Hogwarts. At this point, Hagrid tells Harry that Voldemort was actually a wizard at Hogwarts years ago.

They continue shopping for the rest of Harry's things to bring to Hogwarts. Hagrid decides to buy Harry an owl as a birthday present, for it is the most popular animal, and quite useful. The two enter Ollivander's to purchase Harry's wand. An older, menacing man, Mr. Ollivander owns the store, and claims to have sold wands to everyone, including his parents. He repeatedly informs Harry that he does not select his wand, the wand selects him. After several tries, Harry finally finds a match in a specific wand from a phoenix tale feather.

"Harry took the wand. He felt a sudden warmth in his fingers. He raised the wand above his head, brought it swishing down through the dusty air and a stream of red and gold sparks shot through the dusty air and a stream of red and gold sparks shot from the end like a firework, throwing dancing spots of light on to the walls. Hagrid whooped and clapped and Mr. Ollivander cried, 'Oh, bravo! Yes, indeed, oh, very good. Well, well, well...how curious...how very curious...'" Chapter 5, pg. 65

Ollivander informs Harry and Hagrid that Harry's selection of wands is curious, for its matching brother belongs to the wizard who gave Harry his scar - Voldemort. After he pays for his wand, the two leave Ollivander's in a morose and confused state of mind. Harry and Hagrid journey back through Diagon Alley, through the Leaky Cauldron, and to a restaurant to eat a hamburger. Although he has just celebrated the best birthday of his life, Harry is concerned that he doesn't remember a thing of the life he lived behind his fame. Hagrid calms his nerves, explaining that he will learn everything and have an amazing time at Hogwarts. There is nothing to worry about, for everyone starts there at the beginning.

They wait for the train until it pulls into the station.

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