Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Chapter 6 - The Journey from Platform Nine and Three Quarters
Harry must wait out the time at the Dursleys until September 1st, when Hogwarts School begins. The Dursleys are terrified of him, and instead of mistreating him, simply ignore him. His only friend and companion is the owl given to him by Hagrid, which Harry names Hedwig. When the eve of the day to go to Hogwarts arrives, Harry asks Uncle Vernon for a lift to King's Cross train station in London. They claim that they are only taking him because they are going to London to have Dudley's pig tail removed before school begins.
When they arrive at the station, Harry removes his ticket that says Platform Nine and Three Quarters. The Dursleys laugh at him, leaving him stranded and alone in the train station, with all muggles, and nowhere to go. Eventually Harry overhears some people speaking about muggles and Hogwarts, and he joins them. A family with four redheaded children are preparing for the journey, with its youngest son Ron the same age as Harry. The mother explains that Harry must run straight into the wall between platforms nine and ten - without fear - and he will vanish and find his way into platform Nine and Three Quarters. After watching the other children vanish into the wall, Harry succeeds and finds himself among other wizards with owls and animals. Several children help him load his large chest onto the train and notice Harry's unusual scar. They ask if he is the Harry Potter, and Harry of course responds affirmatively. They leave to say goodbye to their mother while Harry sits in the train waiting for it to leave.
Ron Weasley, the youngest redheaded child of the family walks into Harry's room and asks to sit, for all the other seats are filled. Harry openly invites him inside and they begin sharing their pasts. Ron is the sixth son in a long line of successful wizards, so he feels he has much to live up to and nothing new to proof. Furthermore, his family is not excessively rich, so he must use his brothers' robes and wands. Harry understands and explains that he was poor until a month ago. Furthermore, he knows nothing about Hogwarts and the wizard world and fears being the worst student at Hogwarts. Ron reassures him that there are many children that come from muggle families and that he will be just fine.
As the train speeds, a woman knocks on their door with a food cart. Since Harry has money for the first time, he buys a little of all the new food choices so that he may share them with his new friend. Harry never had the opportunity to share anything with anyone, since he had no possessions, and likes the idea. The food consists of such wizard snacks as Pumpkin Pasties, Every Flavor Beans, Cauldron Cakes, Liquorice Wands, and of course Chocolate Frogs, which Ron explains contain collectible cards of famous wizards. Ron is only missing two out of his collection of nearly five hundred. The card that is in this particular Chocolate Frog is of Dumbledore. Harry sees his picture for the first time on the card's inscription.
"Albus Dumbledore, currently Headmaster of Hogwarts.
Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern
Times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his
Defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945,
For the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon's
Blood and his work on alchemy with his partner,
Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys
Chamber music and tenpin bowling." Chapter 6, pg. 77
Unfortunately, when Harry sees the photo, it soon disappears. Ron explains that people come and go in photos, and cannot be expected to stay around all day long smiling in them. They continue collected cards, eating the every flavor beans (which include not only chocolate, but also spinach and other such distasteful flavors).
In the middle of their feast, a young girl with bushy brown hair enters the room with Neville, a young boy looking for his lost toad. She introduces herself as Hermione Granger, and is a talkative, bossy little girl from a muggle family who has read everything there is to know about magic and is thrilled to be a part of Hogwarts. She hopes to be in the Gryffindor dorm, for she has heard that Dumbledore is in charge of it and is even more honored to meet the famous Harry Potter who sits before her. The two leave Harry and Ron's seats to continue searching for Neville's lost toad. Ron continues to look at his sleeping rat named Scabbers, and hopes that he is not in the same dorm as Hermione. They both hope desperately not to be in Slytherin, for that was the dorm of Voldemort, a name nobody utters.
Harry wonders what wizards do after Hogwarts, and Ron tells him that one of his brothers is studying dragons in Romania while another is in Africa working for Gringotts. Suddenly, their compartment door opens and in walks three mean-looking boys wanting to discover this Harry Potter for themselves. One of the boys is Draco Malfoy, the pale boy from Madam Malkin's robe shop who frustrated Harry in Diagon Alley. He smirks at Ron, blurting out that everyone knows that the Weasleys have red hair and freckles and more children than they can afford, and he tells Harry that it is important to make friends with the right people. Harry turns down his handshake and informs him that he has already made a good friend - Ron. Draco is humiliated and picks a fight with the two boys. Scabbers fights back with the other boys, making a horrible mess of all the candy wrappers until Hermione walks back in with Neville. Ron explains to them that Draco comes from a family that defected to Voldemort's side years ago, but has since returned to the good side of magic. However, Ron's father claims that they are not to be trusted, for they should never have left in the first place.
The train comes to a halt and everyone must exit onto a boat. Hagrid directs all the boats and traffic of children, finds Neville's lost toad, Trevor, and brings the children to Hogwarts through a narrow pathway. "The narrow path had opened suddenly on to the edge of a great black lake. Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, its windows sparkling in the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets towers." Chapter 6, pg. 83