Synopsis: Matt Allair
Notes and links: Steve Vander Ark and Michele L. Worley
US hardcover edition: pages 1 - 15
UK hardcover edition: pages 1 - 17
UK paperback edition: pages 7 - 22
Timeframe: 31 July,
In which we are reminded of Harry's previous adventures
and told of his summer holidays, he receives birthday cards and presents
from his friends, and Harry learns what Ron and Hermione did during the
Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:
CS1, this chapter, and
are given the unfortunate task of filling the reader in on "the story so
far." With each successive book, this gets a bit more cumbersome, as there
is just so much more story to tell. Thankfully, Rowling gave up on this
approach with book five, very rightly deciding instead that anyone was
silly enough to jump into the series with book five can't expect to have
much of a clue of what's going on. But here we are in book three and so
in chapter one we get introduced to each of the main characters, to Hogwarts,
and to the story that's been unfolding through the previous two books.
Rowling does keep it interesting, however, by weaving the recitation of
facts with her usual droll wit and with a few new revelations about the
wizarding world, as we'll see below.
...his essay, "Witch Burning in the
Fourteenth Century Was Completely Pointless -- discuss."
Non-magic people (more commonly known as Muggles)...
Wendelin the Weird
enjoyed being burned so much that she allowed herself to be caught no less
than forty-seven times in various disguises.
While Uncle Vernon,
Aunt Petunia, and
Dudley had gone out into the front
garden to admire Uncle Vernon's
new company car (in very loud voices, so that the rest of the street would
notice it too)...
Harry had crept downstairs, picked the lock on the cupboard under the stairs...
...his name was Errol,
and he belonged to the Weasley family.
When Harry relieved this
owl of its burden, it ruffled its
Harry scanned the moving photograph,
and a grin spread across his face as he saw all nine of the
Weasleys waving furiously at
him...Right in the middle of the picture was
Ron, tall and gangling, with his pet
rat, Scabbers, on his shoulder...
There was a large jar of Fleetwood's High-Finish Handle Polish, a pair of
gleaming silver Tall-Twig Clippers, a tiny brass compass to clip on your
broom for long journeys, and a Handbook of Do-It-Yourself Broomcare.
Uncle Vernon gave a loud, sleepy grunt in the room next door.
Please note that the new school year will begin on September the first.
It would be wonderful to visit Hogsmeade on weekends; he knew it was an
entirely wizarding village, and he had never set foot there.
Characters introduced in this chapter:
Characters returning in this chapter:
Characters mentioned in this chapter:
Granger, Dr. and Dr.
Wendelin the Weird
Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:
Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:
Exceptional character moments:
Harry spends the early hours of
his thirteenth birthday secretly working under a blanket with a flashlight
on an essay about "witch burning in the fourteenth century" for
History of Magic.
Harry states in his essay that the
non-magic people in mediaeval times were particularly afraid of magic, but
not very good at recognizing it. Obviously the
Dursleys have not conquered the
magic phobia of their Muggle ancestors from the 1200's. Their fear of
Harry's magical powers increase
with each of his passing years at
Hogwarts. These advancing
skills along with Harry's growing
adolescent attitude are beginning to work to
Harry's advantage regarding his
current treatment from Vernon, Petunia,
and especially Dudley.
Ron's first attempt to contact
Harry using a Muggle telephone
illustrates (surely to
Arthur Weasley's chagrin)
Ron's lack of understanding of
Muggle technology. This is somewhat similar to
Harry's first attempt to use
Floo powder (wizarding
"technology") the previous summer.
Ron spoke too loudly on the
telephone, and Harry did not speak
clearly enough the first time he used
Floo powder. The
Weasleys' knowledge of
Muggle communication did not improve very much when the following year
Molly's letter to
Harry arrived at
Privet Drive covered in too
many stamps. The Weasley family
could benefit from a class in
Too bad that the beetles that
Fred and George put in
Percy's soup during their
Egyptian holiday did not include
Hermione's birthday gift
to Harry -
a Broomstick Servicing Kit - seems to be an ironic choice. This kit was
intended for the care of one of
Harry's most prized possessions -
his Nimbus Two Thousand.
Less than four months after receiving
Harry loses his
Nimbus when he falls off during
a Quidditch match, the
broom flies into the
Whomping Willow and
Hagrid has seen the wealth left
to Harry in vault
687 (when adding these three numbers together -
6+8=14+7=21 - the sum is 21 the same age
that most young people must reach before receiving their trust fund from
deceased relatives - just a thought) so why did he send
Hogwarts textbook for a
birthday present? Possibly hoping that
Harry will study
The Monster Book of Monsters
before school starts which
might help Harry to be an outstanding student in Hagrid's first year of
teaching Care of Magical Creatures.
Links and Resources:
"How dare you give this number to people like -- people like you!"
Uncle Vernon to Harry
"Don't let the Muggles get you down!" Ron
"Ron says Percy's Head Boy. I'll bet Percy's really pleased. Ron doesn't
seem too happy about it." Hermione
"Third-years are permitted to visit the village of Hogsmeade on certain
weekends. Please give the enclosed permission for to you parent or guardian
to sign." Professor McGonagall
First week of summer vacation, last week of June,
Ron calls Harry at Privet Drive, Ron's poor use of a Muggle phone gets
Harry in trouble with Vernon Dursley.
1:00 - 2:00 AM
Harry is secretly doing summer homework on his bed for
Professor Binns' class.
Harry stops working on his essay, puts away his school supplies and hides
them, stands up and realizes he's turned 13.
Harry sits beside open window when three owls appear and land in his room,
the first being the Weasleys' owl Errol, the second being Hedwig,
the third being a Hogwarts school owl. Each owl carries a birthday package.
Errol and Hedwig rest on Hedwig's cage, the third owl flies away.
Harry opens Ron Weasley's package, includes a card, a letter, a copy
of the Daily Prophet which mentions the Weasleys winning the grand prize
draw of seven hundred galleons. The
Prophet has a photo of Weasley
family holiday in Egypt with Scabbers on Ron's shoulder. Ron's gift is
a Pocket Sneakoscope.
Harry opens Hermione's package, which includes a card and a letter.
Package is a Broomstick Servicing Kit with jar of Fleetwood's High-Finish
Handle Polish, silver Tail-Twig Clippers, Brass compass and a Handbook
of Do-It-Yourself Broomcare.
Harry opens Hagrid's package which includes a card, a letter from Hagrid,
a second letter from Hogwarts and an enchanted magic book whose binding
snaps and bites at Harry, entitled
The Monster Book of Monsters.
Harry reads second letter from Hogwarts by Professor McGonagall. The
letter reminds when Hogwarts Express departs, includes list of books for
the year and a permission form for third years to visit Hogsmeade.
Harry goes back to bed, falls asleep.