HP Re-read: 1.5 Diagon Alley

Update 1/4: This blog draft has been sitting idle in my Posts section since July *gasp* :(. That’s a shame, and I’m honestly regretful. I didn’t mean to stop re-reading HP. Actually, I didn’t stop; I’m almost finished with Sorcerer’s Stone, but sometime in the past couple of months I decided I was going to read random chapters of Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix. Thinking about it is driving me crazy now. But I do like order and organization And I’d like to fix that and pick up where I left off! To not make it too exhaustive, I’m considering making the posts a bulleted list format. We shall see how I feel about it.

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OK, now it’s really getting good in Harry’s world! Also, I’m behind on my HP Re-read posts! Gah gotta keep up!

Onto Diagon Alley!

Harry wished he had about eight more eyes. He turned his head in every direction as they walked up the street, trying to look at everything at once; the shops, the things outside them, the people doing their shopping.

I cannot tell you how absolutely excited I was reading this chapter as a kid. Putting myself in Harry’s shoes, I was flipping out when I started reading those words above. This is a tremendously exciting chapter too since it’s the first time we get a glimpse of the wizarding world proper. Oh and sooo much world building in this chapter, too!

When Harry awakens he can’t imagine that the delight of the night before actually happened. He quickly realizes it wasn’t a dream at all and is soon off to experience this new world he was told about only hours before. He’s fascinated with everything – from Gringotts to the various strange businesses littering Diagon Alley. I mean, I would be too, are you kidding me?!

I’m going to make this quick. Here are my notes:

  • How do muggle-borns’ parents get to Diagon Alley? No, seriously. Is there like an orientation for muggle parents conducted by Hogwarts? Maybe sort of like a parent-(Hogwarts) teacher conference? The entryway to Diagon Alley from the Leaky Cauldron is invisible to muggles, heck, the whole entire Leaky Cauldron establishment cannot be seen my non-magic folks.
  • All those wizards and witches pressing in on Harry, getting all excited to meet him and shake his hands and essentially fangirling (or fanboying) should have kept their cool! It gave me flashbacks of when I was little and when my parents or grandparents would take me to meet their friends and they would all pinch my cheeks really hard. I hated it.
  • Oooh we meet Professor Quirrel in this chapter. And his turban!
  • Griphook is introduced in this chapter, too! And we see the wizarding bank, Gringotts, which, you would be mad if you try to rob it. I wonder if Gringotts is the sole financial institution handling all the wizarding money. If so, why is there only one? And why is it ran by goblins?
  • The wand chooses the wizard, Mr Potter.” Man, now that I’ve read all the books, it kind of blows my mind that there’s a whole ‘nother world to explore about wandlore. Such an elaborate universe J.K. Rowling has created.
  • To contradict my previous statement about J.K. Rowling’s elaborateness, she seemed to have taken a shortcut and  gave us all the shops Harry needs in one location with no other bussinesses competing. I’m repeating what I said previously about Gringotts. I mean, surely there are other shops (bookstore, apothecary, clothing, etc) in other parts of London that wizards frequent to. Are there other “alleys” like Diagon?
  • Hi, Draco! Nice to meet you… not! He’s like the Regina George in the HP World. A spoiled little brat. But now I realize that it’s rather sad that he’s just spewing out hateful things that his parents taught him. This is the first time we get an understanding of the pureblood mentality going on in the HP world, which is really just plain bigotry.
  • How cool is it that Harry gets to see and learn and get exciting new stuff – and on his birthday no less? After years and year of being deprived and maltreated, he gets this amazing surprise that literally changes his life forever. So much for an 11-year-old to take.

I love this chapter. It is sprinkled with a lot of magical (no pun intended) touches that make you feel the same way as Harry is feeling as he was taking in this fantastic, new world. learning about this fantastic new world.

Next chapter takes us to Platform 9 and 3/4…

 

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