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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 7 страница. corner. Houses flashed past the window



corner. Houses flashed past the window. Harry felt a great leap of

excitement. He didn't know what he was going to but it had to be better

than what he was leaving behind.

 

The door of the compartment slid open and the youngest redheaded boy

came in.

 

"Anyone sitting there?" he asked, pointing at the seat opposite Harry.

"Everywhere else is full."

 

Harry shook his head and the boy sat down. He glanced at Harry and then

looked quickly out of the window, pretending he hadn't looked. Harry saw

he still had a black mark on his nose.

 

"Hey, Ron."

 

The twins were back.

 

"Listen, we're going down the middle of the train -- Lee Jordan's got a

giant tarantula down there."

 

"Right," mumbled Ron.

 

"Harry," said the other twin, "did we introduce ourselves? Fred and

George Weasley. And this is Ron, our brother. See you later, then.

 

"Bye," said Harry and Ron. The twins slid the compartment door shut

behind them.

 

"Are you really Harry Potter?" Ron blurted out.

 

Harry nodded.

 

"Oh -well, I thought it might be one of Fred and George's jokes," said

Ron. "And have you really got -- you know..."

 

He pointed at Harry's forehead.

 

Harry pulled back his bangs to show the lightning scar. Ron stared.

 

"So that's where You-Know-Who

 

"Yes," said Harry, "but I can't remember it."

 

"Nothing?" said Ron eagerly.

 

"Well -- I remember a lot of green light, but nothing else."

 

"Wow," said Ron. He sat and stared at Harry for a few moments, then, as

though he had suddenly realized what he was doing, he looked quickly out

of the window again.

 

"Are all your family wizards?" asked Harry, who found Ron just as

interesting as Ron found him.

 

"Er -- Yes, I think so," said Ron. "I think Mom's got a second cousin

who's an accountant, but we never talk about him."

 

"So you must know loads of magic already."

 

The Weasleys were clearly one of those old wizarding families the pale

boy in Diagon Alley had talked about.

 

"I heard you went to live with Muggles," said Ron. "What are they like?"

 

"Horrible -well, not all of them. My aunt and uncle and cousin are,

though. Wish I'd had three wizard brothers."



 

"Five," said Ron. For some reason, he was looking gloomy. "I'm the sixth

in our family to go to Hogwarts. You could say I've got a lot to live up

to. Bill and Charlie have already left -- Bill was head boy and Charlie

was captain of Quidditch. Now Percy's a prefect. Fred and George mess

around a lot, but they still get really good marks and everyone thinks

they're really funny. Everyone expects me to do as well as the others,

but if I do, it's no big deal, because they did it first. You never get

anything new, either, with five brothers. I've got Bill's old robes,

Charlie's old wand, and Percy's old rat."

 

Ron reached inside his jacket and pulled out a fat gray rat, which was

asleep.

 

"His name's Scabbers and he's useless, he hardly ever wakes up. Percy

got an owl from my dad for being made a prefect, but they couldn't aff

-- I mean, I got Scabbers instead."

 

Ron's ears went pink. He seemed to think he'd said too much, because he

went back to staring out of the window.

 

Harry didn't think there was anything wrong with not being able to

afford an owl. After all, he'd never had any money in his life until a

month ago, and he told Ron so, all about having to wear Dudley's old

clothes and never getting proper birthday presents. This seemed to cheer

Ron up.

 

"... and until Hagrid told me, I didn't know anything about be ing a

wizard or about my parents or Voldemort"

 

Ron gasped.

 

"What?" said Harry.

 

"You said You-Know-Who's name!" said Ron, sounding both shocked and

impressed. "I'd have thought you, of all people --"

 

"I'm not trying to be brave or anything, saying the name," said Harry, I

just never knew you shouldn't. See what I mean? I've got loads to

learn.... I bet," he added, voicing for the first time something that

had been worrying him a lot lately, "I bet I'm the worst in the class."

 

"You won't be. There's loads of people who come from Muggle families and

they learn quick enough."

 

While they had been talking, the train had carried them out of London.

Now they were speeding past fields full of cows and sheep. They were

quiet for a time, watching the fields and lanes flick past.

 

Around half past twelve there was a great clattering outside in the

corridor and a smiling, dimpled woman slid back their door and said,

"Anything off the cart, dears?"

 

Harry, who hadn't had any breakfast, leapt to his feet, but Ron's ears

went pink again and he muttered that he'd brought sandwiches. Harry went

out into the corridor.

 

He had never had any money for candy with the Dursleys, and now that he

had pockets rattling with gold and silver he was ready to buy as many

Mars Bars as he could carry -- but the woman didn't have Mars Bars. What

she did have were Bettie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, Drooble's Best

Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs. Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes, Licorice

Wands, and a number of other strange things Harry had never seen in his

life. Not wanting to miss anything, he got some of everything and paid

the woman eleven silver Sickles and seven bronze Knuts.

 

Ron stared as Harry brought it all back in to the compartment and tipped

it onto an empty seat.

 

"Hungry, are you?"

 

"Starving," said Harry, taking a large bite out of a pumpkin pasty.

 

Ron had taken out a lumpy package and unwrapped it. There were four

sandwiches inside. He pulled one of them apart and said, "She always

forgets I don't like corned beef."

 

"Swap you for one of these," said Harry, holding up a pasty. "Go on --"

 

"You don't want this, it's all dry," said Ron. "She hasn't got much

time," he added quickly, "you know, with five of us."

 

"Go on, have a pasty," said Harry, who had never had anything to share

before or, indeed, anyone to share it with. It was a nice feeling,

sitting there with Ron, eating their way through all Harry's pasties,

cakes, and candies (the sandwiches lay forgotten).

 

"What are these?" Harry asked Ron, holding up a pack of Chocolate Frogs.

"They're not really frogs, are they?" He was starting to feel that

nothing would surprise him.

 

"No," said Ron. "But see what the card is. I'm missing Agrippa."

 

"What?"

 

"Oh, of course, you wouldn't know -- Chocolate Frogs have cards, inside

them, you know, to collect -- famous witches and wizards. I've got about

five hundred, but I haven't got Agrippa or Ptolemy."

 

Harry unwrapped his Chocolate Frog and picked up the card. It showed a

man's face. He wore half- moon glasses, had a long, crooked nose, and

flowing silver hair, beard, and mustache. Underneath the picture was the

name Albus Dumbledore.

 

"So this is Dumbledore!" said Harry.

 

"Don't tell me you'd never heard of Dumbledore!" said Ron. "Can I have a

frog? I might get Agrippa -- thanks

 

Harry turned over his card and read:

 

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.

 

Harry turned the card back over and saw, to his astonishment, that

Dumbledore's face had disappeared.

 

"He's gone!"

 

"Well, you can't expect him to hang around all day," said Ron. "He'll be

back. No, I've got Morgana again and I've got about six of her... do you

want it? You can start collecting."

 

Ron's eyes strayed to the pile of Chocolate Frogs waiting to be

unwrapped.

 

"Help yourself," said Harry. "But in, you know, the Muggle world, people

just stay put in photos."

 

"Do they? What, they don't move at all?" Ron sounded amazed. "weird!"

 

Harry stared as Dumbledore sidled back into the picture on his card and

gave him a small smile. Ron was more interested in eating the frogs than

looking at the Famous Witches and Wizards cards, but Harry couldn't keep

his eyes off them. Soon he had not only Dumbledore and Morgana, but

Hengist of Woodcroft, Alberic Grunnion, Circe, Paracelsus, and Merlin.

He finally tore his eyes away from the druidess Cliodna, who was

scratching her nose, to open a bag of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans.

 

"You want to be careful with those," Ron warned Harry. "When they say

every flavor, they mean every flavor -- you know, you get all the

ordinary ones like chocolate and peppermint and mar- malade, but then

you can get spinach and liver and tripe. George reckons he had a booger-

flavored one once."

 

Ron picked up a green bean, looked at it carefully, and bit into a

corner.

 

"Bleaaargh -- see? Sprouts."

 

They had a good time eating the Every Flavor Beans. Harry got toast,

coconut, baked bean, strawberry, curry, grass, coffee, sardine, and was

even brave enough to nibble the end off a funny gray one Ron wouldn't

touch, which turned out to be pepper.

 

The countryside now flying past the window was becoming wilder. The neat

fields had gone. Now there were woods, twisting rivers, and dark green

hills.

 

There was a knock on the door of their compartment and the round-faced

boy Harry had passed on platform nine and threequarters came in. He

looked tearful.

 

"Sorry," he said, "but have you seen a toad at all?"

 

When they shook their heads, he wailed, "I've lost him! He keeps getting

away from me!"

 

"He'll turn up," said Harry.

 

"Yes," said the boy miserably. "Well, if you see him..."

 

He left.

 

"Don't know why he's so bothered," said Ron. "If I'd brought a toad I'd

lose it as quick as I could. Mind you, I brought Scabbers, so I can't

talk."

 

The rat was still snoozing on Ron's lap.

 

"He might have died and you wouldn't know the difference," said Ron in

disgust. "I tried to turn him yellow yesterday to make him more

interesting, but the spell didn't work. I'll show you, look..."

 

He rummaged around in his trunk and pulled out a very battered-looking

wand. It was chipped in places and something white was glinting at the

end.

 

"Unicorn hair's nearly poking out. Anyway

 

He had just raised his 'wand when the compartment door slid open again.

The toadless boy was back, but this time he had a girl with him. She was

already wearing her new Hogwarts robes.

 

"Has anyone seen a toad? Neville's lost one," she said. She had a bossy

sort of voice, lots of bushy brown hair, and rather large front teeth.

 

"We've already told him we haven't seen it," said Ron, but the girl

wasn't listening, she was looking at the wand in his hand.

 

"Oh, are you doing magic? Let's see it, then."

 

She sat down. Ron looked taken aback.

 

"Er -- all right."

 

He cleared his throat.

 

"Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow."

 

He waved his wand, but nothing happened. Scabbers stayed gray and fast

asleep.

 

"Are you sure that's a real spell?" said the girl. "Well, it's not very

good, is it? I've tried a few simple spells just for practice and it's

all worked for me. Nobody in my family's magic at all, it was ever such

a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased, of course, I

mean, it's the very best school of witchcraft there is, I've heard --

I've learned all our course books by heart, of course, I just hope it

will be enough -- I'm Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you.

 

She said all this very fast.

 

Harry looked at Ron, and was relieved to see by his stunned face that he

hadn't learned all the course books by heart either.

 

"I'm Ron Weasley," Ron muttered.

 

"Harry Potter," said Harry.

 

"Are you really?" said Hermione. "I know all about you, of course -- I

got a few extra books. for background reading, and you're in Modern

Magical History and The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts and Great

Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century.

 

"Am I?" said Harry, feeling dazed.

 

"Goodness, didn't you know, I'd have found out everything I could if it

was me," said Hermione. "Do either of you know what house you'll be in?

I've been asking around, and I hope I'm in Gryffindor, it sounds by far

the best; I hear Dumbledore himself was in it, but I suppose Ravenclaw

wouldn't be too bad.... Anyway, we'd better go and look for Neville's

toad. You two had better change, you know, I expect we'll be there

soon."

 

And she left, taking the toadless boy with her.

 

"Whatever house I'm in, I hope she's not in it," said Ron. He threw his

wand back into his trunk. "Stupid spell -- George gave it to me, bet he

knew it was a dud."

 

"What house are your brothers in?" asked Harry.

 

"Gryffindor," said Ron. Gloom seemed to be settling on him again. "Mom

and Dad were in it, too. I don't know what they'll say if I'm not. I

don't suppose Ravenclaw would be too bad, but imagine if they put me in

Slytherin."

 

"That's the house Vol-, I mean, You-Know-Who was in?"

 

"Yeah," said Ron. He flopped back into his seat, looking depressed.

 

"You know, I think the ends of Scabbers' whiskers are a bit lighter,"

said Harry, trying to take Ron's mind off houses. "So what do your

oldest brothers do now that they've left, anyway?"

 

Harry was wondering what a wizard did once he'd finished school.

 

"Charlie's in Romania studying dragons, and Bill's in Africa doing

something for Gringotts," said Ron. "Did you hear about

 

Gringotts? It's been all over the Daily Prophet, but I don't suppose you

get that with the Muggles -- someone tried to rob a high security

vault."

 

Harry stared.

 

"Really? What happened to them?"

 

"Nothing, that's why it's such big news. They haven't been caught. My

dad says it must've been a powerful Dark wizard to get round Gringotts,

but they don't think they took anything, that's what's odd. 'Course,

everyone gets scared when something like this happens in case

You-Know-Who's behind it."

 

Harry turned this news over in his mind. He was starting to get a

prickle of fear every time You- Know-Who was mentioned. He supposed this

was all part of entering the magical world, but it had been a lot more

comfortable saying "Voldemort" without worrying.

 

"What's your Quidditch team?" Ron asked.

 

"Er -- I don't know any," Harry confessed.

 

"What!" Ron looked dumbfounded. "Oh, you wait, it's the best game in the

world --" And he was off, explaining all about the four balls and the

positions of the seven players, describing famous games he'd been to

with his brothers and the broomstick he'd like to get if he had the

money. He was just taking Harry through the finer points of the game

when the compartment door slid open yet again, but it wasn't Neville the

toadless boy, or Hermione Granger this time.

 

Three boys entered, and Harry recognized the middle one at once: it was

the pale boy from Madam Malkin's robe shop. He was looking at Harry with

a lot more interest than he'd shown back in Diagon Alley.

 

"Is it true?" he said. "They're saying all down the train that Harry

Potter's in this compartment. So it's you, is it?"

 

"Yes," said Harry. He was looking at the other boys. Both of them were

thickset and looked extremely mean. Standing on either side of the pale

boy, they looked like bodyguards.

 

"Oh, this is Crabbe and this is Goyle," said the pale boy carelessly,

noticing where Harry was looking. "And my name's Malfoy, Draco Malfoy."

 

Ron gave a slight cough, which might have been hiding a snigget. Draco

Malfoy looked at him.

 

"Think my name's funny, do you? No need to ask who you are. My father

told me all the Weasleys have red hair, freckles, and more children than

they can afford."

 

He turned back to Harry. "You'll soon find out some wizarding families

are much better than others, Potter. You don't want to go making friends

with the wrong sort. I can help you there."

 

He held out his hand to shake Harry's, but Harry didn't take it.

 

"I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks," he said

coolly.

 

Draco Malfoy didn't go red, but a pink tinge appeared in his pale

cheeks.

 

"I'd be careful if I were you, Potter," he said slowly. "Unless you're a

bit politer you'll go the same way as your parents. They didn't know

what was good for them, either. You hang around with riffraff like the

Weasleys and that Hagrid, and it'll rub off on you."

 

Both Harry and Ron stood up.

 

"Say that again," Ron said, his face as red as his hair.

 

"Oh, you're going to fight us, are you?" Malfoy sneered.

 

"Unless you get out now," said Harry, more bravely than he felt, because

Crabbe and Goyle were a lot bigger than him or Ron.

 

"But we don't feet like leaving, do we, boys? We've eaten all our food

and you still seem to have some."

 

Goyle reached toward the Chocolate Frogs next to Ron - Ron leapt

forward, but before he'd so much as touched Goyle, Goyle let out a

horrible yell.

 

Scabbers the rat was hanging off his finger, sharp little teeth sunk

deep into Goyle's knuckle - Crabbe and Malfoy backed away as Goyle swung

Scabbers round and round, howling, and when Scabbets finally flew off

and hit the window, all three of them disappeared at once. Perhaps they

thought there were more rats lurking among the sweets, or perhaps they'd

heard footsteps, because a second later, Hermione Granger had come in.

 

"What has been going on?" she said, looking at the sweets all over the

floor and Ron picking up Scabbers by his tail.

 

I think he's been knocked out," Ron said to Harry. He looked closer at

Scabbers. "No -- I don't believe it -- he's gone back to sleep-"

 

And so he had.

 

"You've met Malfoy before?"

 

Harry explained about their meeting in Diagon Alley.

 

"I've heard of his family," said Ron darkly. "They were some of the

first to come back to our side after You-Know-Who disappeared. Said

they'd been bewitched. My dad doesn't believe it. He says Malfoy's

father didn't need an excuse to go over to the Dark Side." He turned to

Hermione. "Can we help you with something?"

 

"You'd better hurry up and put your robes on, I've just been up to the

front to ask the conductor, and he says we're nearly there. You haven't

been fighting, have you? You'll be in trouble before we even get there!"

 

"Scabbers has been fighting, not us," said Ron, scowling at her. "Would

you mind leaving while we change?"

 

"All right -- I only came in here because people outside are behaving

very childishly, racing up and down the corridors," said Hermione in a

sniffy voice. "And you've got dirt on your nose, by the way, did you

know?"

 

Ron glared at her as she left. Harry peered out of the window. It was

getting dark. He could see mountains and forests under a deep purple

sky. The train did seem to be slowing down.

 

He and Ron took off their jackets and pulled on their long black robes.

Ron's were a bit short for him, you could see his sneakers underneath

them.

 

A voice echoed through the train: "We will be reaching Hogwarts in five

minutes' time. Please leave your luggage on the train, it will be taken

to the school separately."

 

Harry's stomach lurched with nerves and Ron, he saw, looked pale under

his freckles. They crammed their pockets with the last of the sweets and

joined the crowd thronging the corridor.

 

The train slowed right down and finally stopped. People pushed their way

toward the door and out on to a tiny, dark platform. Harry shivered in

the cold night air. Then a lamp came bobbing over the heads of the

students, and Harry heard a familiar voice: "Firs' years! Firs' years

over here! All right there, Harry?"

 

Hagrid's big hairy face beamed over the sea of heads.

 

"C'mon, follow me -- any more firs' years? Mind yer step, now! Firs'

years follow me!"

 

Slipping and stumbling, they followed Hagrid down what seemed to be a

steep, narrow path. It was so dark on either side of them that Harry

thought there must be thick trees there. Nobody spoke much. Neville, the

boy who kept losing his toad, sniffed once or twice.

 

"Ye' all get yer firs' sight o' Hogwarts in a sec," Hagrid called over

his shoulder, "jus' round this bend here."

 

There was a loud "Oooooh!"

 

The narrow path had opened suddenly onto the edge of a great black take.

Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, its windows sparkling in

the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets and towers.

 

"No more'n four to a boat!" Hagrid called, pointing to a fleet of little

boats sitting in the water by the shore. Harry and Ron were followed

into their boat by Neville and Hermione. "Everyone in?" shouted Hagrid,

who had a boat to himself. "Right then -- FORWARD!"

 

And the fleet of little boats moved off all at once, gliding across the

lake, which was as smooth as glass. Everyone was silent, staring up at

the great castle overhead. It towered over them as they sailed nearer

and nearer to the cliff on which it stood.

 

"Heads down!" yelled Hagrid as the first boats reached the cliff; they

all bent their heads and the little boats carried them through a curtain

of ivy that hid a wide opening in the cliff face. They were carried

along a dark tunnel, which seemed to be taking them right underneath the

castle, until they reached a kind of underground harbor, where they

clambered out onto rocks and pebbles.

 

"Oy, you there! Is this your toad?" said Hagrid, who was checking the

boats as people climbed out of them.

 

"Trevor!" cried Neville blissfully, holding out his hands. Then they

clambered up a passageway in the rock after Hagrid's lamp, coming out at

last onto smooth, damp grass right in the shadow of the castle.

 

They walked up a flight of stone steps and crowded around the huge, Oak

front door.

 

"Everyone here? You there, still got yer toad?"

 

Hagrid raised a gigantic fist and knocked three times on the castle

door.

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

THE SORTING HAT

 

The door swung open at once. A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green

robes stood there. She had a very stern face and Harry's first thought

was that this was not someone to cross.

 

"The firs' years, Professor McGonagall," said Hagrid.

 

"Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here."

 

She pulled the door wide. The entrance hall was so big you could have

fit the whole of the Dursleys' house in it. The stone walls were lit

with flaming torches like the ones at Gringotts, the ceiling was too

high to make out, and a magnificent marble staircase facing them led to

the upper floors.

 

They followed Professor McGonagall across the flagged stone floor. Harry

could hear the drone of hundreds of voices from a doorway to the right

-the rest of the school must already be here -- but Professor McGonagall

showed the first years into a small, empty chamber off the hall. They

crowded in, standing rather closer together than they would usually have

done, peering about nervously.





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