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PS/SS - Chapter 5 - Diagon Alley
PS/SS - Chapter 5 - Diagon Alley
Published by Tinkerbell
PS/SS - Chapter 5 - Diagon Alley

Philosopher's Stone/Sorcerer's Stone

Chapter 5 - Diagon Alley


Harry wakes from the previous night’s event when he learned about being a wizard and the existence of Hogwarts. He is introduced to the wizard money, when he has to pay the owl who delivered the morning paper. We later see this described as Knuts, Sickles and Galleons. Seventeen silver Sickles to a Galleon, twenty nine Knuts to a Sickle.

Harry discovers that within his letter from Hogwarts is a list of the uniform, books and equipment required by first year students.

First visit in Septology to the Leaky Cauldron, “..Harry had the most peculiar feeling that only he and Hagrid could see it..” giving the reader one of the first hints of magical places being unseen by muggles, and also the Leaky Cauldron is a powerful image of the portal from muggle world to wizarding world.

Whilst in Diagon Alley, Harry visits Eeylops Owl Emporium, Gringotts Bank, Madam Malkins Robes for all Occasions, Flourish and Blotts the bookshop, and Ollvanders.

During the visit to Gringots, Hagrid has Harry’s vault key and tells Harry he also has a job to do for Dumbledore whilst they are there. Griphook is goblin who accompanies Hagrid and Harry to vaults in the little rail carts which hurtle along the tracks beneath Gringotts. Vault 713 has no keyhole and is opened by Griphook stroking the door gently and the door melting away “If anyone but a Gringotts goblin tried that, they’d be sucked through the door and trapped there” and then tells Harry they only check about every 10 years. Harry is surprised to see that it contains just a grubby brown paper parcel, rather than the jewels he was anticipating.

A boy with a pale pointed face and a bored drawling voice – we are introduced to Draco Malfoy during Harry’s visit to Madam Malkins, with a description that becomes familiar as we move through the Septology – Harry is reminded strongly of Dudley! Malfoy mentions Slytherin and Hufflepuff, and talks to Harry about many things, including Quidditch, that Harry knows nothing about in reference to the wizarding world.

Harry is noted as liking this boy less and less. When discussing where Harry’s parents are, Harry tells Draco that his parents are dead, and Draco asks whether they were “our kind” referring to wizards. Hagrid tells Harry that “…he’s grown up knowin’ yer name if his parents are wizardin’ folk…” and when explaining the four school ‘houses’, Hagrid says of Slytherin “…There’s not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn’t in Slytherin. You-Know-Who was one.” And Harry is told that You-Know-Who was at Hogwarts years ago.

Hagrid takes Harry to Ollivander’s for his first wand. Harry is described as being uneasy with Mr Ollivander. He speaks to Harry as though he was expecting him, indeed says “…I thought I’d be seeing you soon, Harry Potter.”, and mentions that Harry has his mother’s eyes.

Ollivander tells Harry about how wands are made – cores made of such things as phoenix tail feathers, dragon heart strings and unicorn hairs.

Harry given three different wands to ‘try’ – beechwood and dragon string nine inches; maple and phoenix feather seven inches; and ebony and unicorn hair eight and half inches before settling on holly and phoenix feather eleven inches – Ollivander noting that it is an unusual combination – then reveals to Harry that it’s ‘brother’ is none other than the wand Voldemort used to give Harry his scar. Ollivander says that they could expect great things from Harry since He Who Must Not Be Named did great, although terrible, things. Harry pays 7 Galleons for his wand.

After leaving Diagon Alley, Harry is in reflective but pensive mood, concerned that everyone knows about him but he knows very little about the wizarding world and states that he doesn’t even know what happened the night his parents died. Hagrid gives assurances that Harry will be OK.

Hagrid gives Harry an envelope containing his ticket to Hogwarts leaving from Kings Cross Station on the 1st September


Characters who appear or who are mentioned during the Chapter and

how they contributed to the chapter:

Harry Potter – through his experience we learn more about the world of magic

Rubeus Hagrid – acts as Harry’s guide throughout the chapter

Cornelius Fudge as Minister for Magic is mentioned by Hagrid as a means of introducing the Ministry of Magic and also the fact that Dumbledore had been first in line for the role, but did not want to leave Hogwarts.

Tom, the barman, Doris Crockford and Dedalus Diggle are all in the Leaky Cauldron and demonstrate Harry’s fame as the boy who lived following the curse by Voldemort.

Professor Quirrell is introduced to Harry as his DADA Professor and is described as a simpering cowardly character, which as we know is not at all how he turns out at the end of the book!

Griphook is the goblin who accompanies Harry and Hagrid during their visit to Gringotts Bank and help to establish the role of Gringotts within the wizarding world.

Madam Malkin is mentoned briefly as the owner of the robe shop and contributes little at this stage.

Draco Malfoy is introduced and during the description, Harry is reminded forcibly of Dudley and his dislike of Draco is almost immediate, particularly when Draco starts to put Hagrid down as a ‘servant’, and Harry defends him as he feels he is now his friend.

You-Know-Who is mentioned as having attended Hogwarts, and we know his is significant, particularly when we discover in CoS that Tom Riddle is Lord Voldemort.

Mr Ollivander is the owner of the wand shop. The description given of him is fairly sinister and Harry is described as feeling uncomfortable in his presence. We have had little contact with Ollivander during the remaining books thus far, although it remains to be seen whether he will be revealed as ‘good’ or ‘evil’ in the future.

Lily Potter and James Potter are mentioned during Harry’s visit to Ollivanders when Mr Ollivander informs Harry that he had sold them their wands, and continues by describing each of their wands. The descriptions give us early clues as to both Lily’s and James’ fortes – Charms and Transfiguration (Lily’s wand was ten and a quarter inches long, make of willow, good wand for charm work. James’ wand was eleven inches, mahogany – little more power and excellent for transfiguration)

Interesting Points

Hagrid mentions that he would like a dragon. Of course later we have the incident with Norbert!

Parents are reminded that first years are not allowed their own broomstick, and a group of youngsters outside a shop talking about the new Nimbus Two Thousand. Later in the book, Harry of course receives the Nimbus 2000 from Professor McGonagall because he has been given the role of Seeker.

In Flourish and Blotts it is stated that some of the books have nothing in them at all - is this a little like Riddle's diary in CoS?

Colours appear to have some significance in the Septology thus far, these are mentioned in this Chapter:

Hagrid knits what looks like a canary yellow tent – is this just for comic effect, or is Hagrid’s knitting a ‘cover’ (no pun intended!) for something else? Another example of JKR’s use of colour however, although the colour yellow does not occur as often as green (see below) but we do see the canary creams later in the septology.

Hagrid looked green as was feeling sick, and green smoke billowed out of Harry’s vault when it was opened - two examples of the colour green being used, one to denote Hagrid’s displeasure at the journey to the vault, and the other describes the eerie opening of Harry’s vault. It is interesting that when the vault containing the Philosopher’s Stone is opened, there is no mention of green smoke emitting from the door at this stage.

Madam Malkin small squat witch dressed in mauve – interesting that when we are eventually introduced to Professor Lockhart in CoS that his favourite colour is lilac and he does wear very flamboyant robes!

Gringott’s goblins wear a uniform of scarlet and gold, and red and gold sparks come out of the wand that eventually becomes Harry’s. Thought this was interesting, particularly with Harry being in Gryffindor and their symbolic colours are scarlet and gold.

Possible points that may be relevant in future?

“If anyone but a Gringotts goblin tried that, they’d be sucked through the door and trapped there”

Griphook explains to Harry about why Gringotts is the safest place for wizarding money and that anyone who tries to get into the vaults may meet a quite horible fate. We are not told if anyone has ever been found in the vaults when they check (which Harry is told is about once every 10 years!) but this may be something that is returned to in the future, possibly bringing in a character who has attempted a break in and is currently residing at the goblins pleasure within a vault?!

When at his shop, Ollivander mentions to Harry that Voldemort’s wand was thirteen and half inches. I don't remember whether we hear again any significance thus far in the Septology of wand length, and wonder whether this may well be returned to in future.

Ollivander welcomes Hagrid and discusses his wand – Oak, sixteen inches, and whether it was broken when expelled – possibility alluded to that Hagrid keeps his wand pieces in his pink umbrella as he holds it much more firmly after this comment!

Ollivander states that it is the wand that chooses the wizard - again, unsure as to whether this is further explained in the Septology, and if not, whether this will be mentioned in the future.

It is stated that Harry is right handed.

It is mentioned that the Ministry of Magic originally wanted Dumbledore as Minister for Magic but that he would rather stay at Hogwarts.

It is mentioned that a wizard does not get such good results when he uses another wizards wand.
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Alz on 13-11-2005, 06:01
Re: PS/SS - Chapter 5 - Diagon Alley

After leaving Diagon Alley, Harry is in reflective but pensive mood, concerned that everyone knows about him but he knows very little about the wizarding world and states that he doesn’t even know what happened the night his parents died. Hagrid gives assurances that Harry will be OK. Does this mean that Hagrid knows that Harry will eventually discover the full details of that fateful night, or just re-assuring Harry that he will fit in at Hogwarts?
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