Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Chapter 4

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Chapter 4

The Keeper of the Keys

  • The knocking wakes them all up. Mr. Dursley aims a gun at the door and yells. The door's smashed in by a giant man, who stomps in, asks for a cup of tea, and tells Dudley to scoot over. Then he says hello to Harry and tells him he looks like his parents.
  • Mr. Dursley tells him to leave. The giant just tells him to zip it and breaks Dursley's gun. Then he wishes Harry a happy birthday, and even gives him a cake.
  • He says he's Hagrid, groundskeeper at Hogwarts. He lights a real fire in the fireplace and produces all the elements for a solid meal out of his pockets. Everyone else has had little to eat and is really hungry, but Mr. Dursley says they shouldn't eat anything he tries to give them.
  • Harry eats and asks Hagrid more about who he is. Hagrid says he should know about Hogwarts. When Harry says he doesn't, Hagrid is shocked and amazed.
  • He yells at the Dursleys, saying that it was one thing that Harry couldn't get his letters, but to keep him from knowing about Hogwarts was really bad.
  • When Hagrid finds out that Harry doesn't know anything about his parents, he gets even angrier with the Dursleys, who are very frightened.
  • Hagrid reveals to Harry that his parents inhabited a separate world, where they were famous, and that Harry's famous too. Mr. Dursley tries to keep Hagrid from saying any more, but of course it doesn't work. Hagrid's even angrier when he finds out that the Dursleys never gave Harry the letter Dumbledore left with him.
  • He tells Harry he's a wizard, and probably will be a good one when he receives some training. He finally gives Harry his letter.
  • Harry reads a letter on stationary from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, signed by Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall. The letter says Harry's been accepted to the school and gives him a list of supplies to get; it also says he should confirm his acceptance with an owl by the end of July.
  • When Harry asks what it means by owl, Hagrid remembers something, and pulls an owl out of his coat. He writes a short letter to Dumbledore, saying he's given Harry his letter, gives this new letter to the owl, and releases it into the storm.
  • Mr. Dursley says Harry's not leaving, but Hagrid says Muggles can't stop it. Harry asks what Muggles are, and Hagrid says they're non-magic people.
  • Harry asks whether the Dursleys knew he was magic. Mrs. Dursley lets loose, yelling that he's just like her freaky abnormal sister and it's her sister's own fault she got blown up.
  • Blown up? Harry is shocked because he always thought his parents died in a car crash.
  • Hagrid's even angrier, if possible, and says Harry of all people should know the story of what really happened.
  • Hagrid says he's not really the right person to tell Harry, but someone should, so… He says a wizard in their world, named Voldemort, went bad twenty years ago in a quest for power. He killed anyone who went against him. The only safe place in the world was Hogwarts. Voldemort visited their house ten years ago when Harry was just a baby. The evil wizard was determined to either get Harry's parents to join him, or to destroy them.
  • This makes Hagrid cry. He continues that Voldemort killed Harry's parents. Voldemort tried to kill Harry too, but couldn't. The scar on Harry's forehead is from an evil curse Voldemort tried to put on him. Harry's famous because he's the only person who ever survived when Voldemort wanted him dead.
  • Mr. Dursley says this is all BS, but Hagrid cuts him off.
  • Harry asks what happened to Voldemort, and Hagrid says they don't know – no one's seen or heard from him in ten years. They're not sure if he died, lost power, or what. All they know is that somehow Harry helped defeat him.
  • Harry doesn't understand how he could really be a wizard. Hagrid tells him that those weird things that kept happening, which he couldn't explain, were proof of his talent.
  • Mr. Dursley says he's not going to a stupid school like Hogwarts, and he's not paying for it.
  • Hagrid is furious that Mr. Dursley would insult Hogwarts and Dumbledore. He says Harry's been signed up since he was born. In his anger, Hagrid casts a spell that gives Dudley a pig's tail.
  • The three Dursleys are so frightened by this that they run to the other room and hide.
  • Hagrid asks Harry to keep that a secret, since he's not really supposed to do magic. He reveals that he went to Hogwarts, but was expelled. He tells Harry to go to sleep, because they have a lot of work to do the next day.

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