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Hagrid seized Harry by the scruff of the neck and pulled him away from the witch, knocking the tray right out of her hands. Her shrieks followed them all the way along the twisting alleyway out into bright sunlight. Harry saw a familiar, snow-white marble building in the distance - Gringotts Bank. Hagrid had steered him right into Diagon Alley.
A glass case nearby held a withered hand on a cushion, a bloodstained pack of cards, and a staring glass eye. Evil-looking masks stared down from the walls, an assortment of human bones lay upon the counter, and rusty, spiked instruments hung from the ceiling. Even worse, the dark, narrow street Harry could see through the dusty shop window was definitely not Diagon Alley.
"Lousy Muggles," growled Hagrid. "If I'd've known -"
"All we've got to worry about now are airplanes," said Ron.
* 95 *
"Everyone take a pair of earmuffs," said Professor Sprout.
"How are you, Myrtle?" said Hermione in a falsely bright voice. "It's nice to see you out of the toilet."
Yawning and shivering slightly, Harry climbed out of bed and tried to find his Quidditch robes.
"Well, they're not - they're not very - dangerous, are they?" Seamus choked.
"Gave you a taste for publicity, didn't I?" said Lockhart. "Gave you the bug. You got onto the front page of the paper with me and you couldn't wait to do it again." "Oh, no, Professor, see -" "Harry, Harry, Harry," said Lockhart, reaching out and grasping his shoulder. "I understand. Natural to want a bit more once you've had that first taste - and I blame myself for giving you that, be cause it was bound to go to your head - but see here, young man, you can't start flying cars to try and get yourself noticed. Just calm down, all right? Plenty of time for all that when you're older. Yes, yes, I know what you're thinking! 'It's all right for him, he's an in ternationally famous wizard already!' But when I was twelve, I was just as much of a nobody as you are now. In fact, Id say I was even more of a nobody! I mean, a few people have heard of you, haven't they? All that business with He-\"o-Must-Not-Be-Named!" He glanced at the lightning scar on Harry's forehead. "I know, I know - it's not quite as good as winning Witch Weekly's Most Charming-Smile Award five times in a row, as I have - but it's a start, Harry, it's a start." He gave Harry a hearty wink and strode off. Harry stood stunned for a few seconds, then, remembering he was supposed to be in the greenhouse, he opened the door and slid inside. Professor Sprout was standing behind a trestle bench in the cen ter of the greenhouse. About twenty pairs of different-colored ear muffs were lying on the bench. When Harry had taken his place between Ron and Hermione, she said, "We'll be repotting Man drakes today. Now, who can tell me the properties of the Man drake?" To nobody's surprise, Hermione's hand was first into the air.
"I know!" said Lockhart. "Six solid months at the top of the best- seller list! Broke all records!"
When the door had closed behind her, Ron let out a long, low whistle.
He rolled up his sleeves, brandished his wand, and bellowed,
They finished lunch and went outside into the overcast courtyard. Hermione sat down on a stone step and buried her nose in Voyages with Vampires again. Harry and Ron stood talking about Quidditch for several minutes before Harry became aware that he was being closely watched. Looking up, he saw the very small, mousy-haired boy he'd seen trying on the Sorting Hat last night staring at Harry as though transfixed. He was clutching what looked like an ordinary Muggle camera, and the moment Harry looked at him, he went bright red.
It was as though they had been plunged into a fabulous dream. This, thought Harry, was surely the only way to travel - past swirls and turrets of snowy cloud, in a car full of hot, bright sunlight, with a fat pack of toffees in the glove compartment, and the prospect of seeing Fred's and George's jealous faces when they
They finished lunch and went outside into the overcast courtyard. Hermione sat down on a stone step and buried her nose in Voyages with Vampires again. Harry and Ron stood talking about Quidditch for several minutes before Harry became aware that he was being closely watched. Looking up, he saw the very small, mousy-haired boy he'd seen trying on the Sorting Hat last night staring at Harry as though transfixed. He was clutching what looked like an ordinary Muggle camera, and the moment Harry looked at him, he went bright red.;
some wizards - like Malfoy's family - who think they're better than everyone else because they're what people call pure-blood." He gave a small burp, and a single slug fell into his outstretched hand. He threw it into the basin and continued, "I mean, the rest of us know it doesn't make any difference at all. Look at Neville Longbottom - he's pure-blood and he can hardly stand a cauldron the right way up."。
They entered Snape's office, shivering. The shadowy walls were lined with shelves of large glass) ars, in which floated all manner of revolting things Harry didn't really want to know the name of at the moment. The fireplace was dark and empty. Snape closed the door and turned to look at them.。