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Quotes

Quote #1

He turned to smile at the tabby, but it had gone. Instead he was smiling at a rather severe-looking woman who was wearing square glasses exactly the shape of the markings the cat had had around its eyes. (1.47)

Rowling doesn't waste any time – we're only partway through chapter one and we've already witnessed our first Transfiguration. Here McGonagall transforms from a tabby cat into her real form – professor at Hogwarts. From context given later in the book, we know how hard just transforming a match into a needle is: given the ease with which McGonagall goes from cat to person, she must be a very powerful witch indeed.

Quote #2

"I'm a what?" gasped Harry.

"A wizard, o' course," said Hagrid, sitting back down on the sofa, which groaned and sank even lower, "an' a thumpin' good 'un, I'd, say, once yeh've been trained up a bit. With a mum an' dad like yours, what else would yeh be?" (4.63-64)

For Harry – and, we might imagine, anyone who's grown up only knowing about Muggles – learning that there's not only magic and wizards, but that he himself is one, comes as a pretty big shock. It's not just finding out that supernatural elements exist, it's discovering that he's one of those supernatural elements himself.

Quote #3

"Wizards have banks?"

"Just the one. Gringotts. Run by goblins."

Harry dropped the bit of sausage he was holding.

"Goblins?" (5.29-32)

We're not sure what's more of a shock here: 1) the idea that "wizards have banks," just like non-wizards do, and that they would still value currency the way non-wizards do; or 2) that there are "goblins" in this world, and that they work at the wizard bank. For Hagrid, of course, who's grown up in this magical realm, it's just a matter of course. And really, for Harry, it shouldn't be too much of a stretch to start believing in goblins, when he's already been convinced about wizards.

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