Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Contrasting Regions Quotes Page 3
How we cite our quotes:
"The Chasers throw the Quaffle and put it through the hoops to score," Harry recited. "So – that's sort of like basketball on broomsticks with six hoops, isn't it?"
"What's basketball?" said Wood curiously. (10.40-41)
Face it, especially on a first-round explanation, Quidditch may not make that much sense – particularly when you're just reading about it, not seeing it. But this may be true of any sport. When Harry tries to figure it out by comparing it to other sports he's familiar with, he finds himself on shaky ground: basketball's just as foreign to Wood as Quidditch is to Harry.
Ron was fascinated by the fifty pence.
"Weird!" he said, "What a shape! This is money?"
"You can keep it," said Harry, laughing at how pleased Ron was. (12.55-57)
Compared to Knuts and Sickles, fifty pence sounds straightforward (especially if you're British). The fifty pence piece has no value to Harry – it would barely buy anything Muggle, it's an insulting gift from the dreaded Dursleys, and it has no value in the wizard world, except as a curiosity. But for Ron, it is a curiosity, and it seems as "weird" to him as the idea of a Knut might have first seemed to Harry. Maybe weirder.
"But there aren't wild dragons in Britain?" said Harry.
"Of course there are," said Ron. "Common Welsh Green and Hebridean Blacks. The Ministry of Magic has a job hushing them up, I can tell you. Our kind have to keep putting spells on Muggles who've spotted them, to make them forget." (14.25-26)
Even after the introduction of magic, witchcraft, and wizardry, of goblins, trolls, and three-headed dogs, the wizarding world is still full of surprises. In this case, it's "wild dragons," which to regular magical citizens like Ron are just part of the landscape. We can contrast Ron's use of "our kind" with Malfoy's reference to the "wrong sort," or the Dursleys' purposeful ignorance about people with differences; when magic is involved there can't always be distinctions of separate but equal.