Mark Reads ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’: Chapter 4
In the fourth chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the wonderful leather daddy gamekeeper of Hogwart’s shows up and Mark is converted to a (temporary) Harry Potter fan. So soon, you ask? Well, if you want to find out why, then it’s time for Mark to read Harry Potter.
CHAPTER 4: THE KEEPER OF THE KEYS
I know I’ve only made it to the fourth chapter. And there’s still a (slim) possibility that I won’t like what’s going to come. Yet…it’s really hard to avoid this. I think I like Harry Potter already. And not just the book and the writing itself, but one specific character has won my heart.
Now, that’s what he apparently looks like in the movie. I don’t know this. I haven’t seen it PLEASE STOP JUDGING ME RIGHT NOW. But when I read Rowling’s description of this dude, I imagined a mix of Henry Rollins, Frank Zappa, and Lemmy from Motorhead. Only much larger.
And then….sigh. My heart basically shatters a million times.
- He strode over to the sofa where Dudley sat frozen with fear. “Budge up, yeh great lump,” said the stranger.
omg did you just call Dudley a “great lump” you are truly my favorite person of all time.
Of course, Uncle Vernon becomes enraged that this beast of a man has followed them to his TOP SECRET shack on a rock by the ocean, so he tries to order him out of the house:
- “Ah, shut up, Dursley, yeh great prune,” said the giant; he reached over the back of the sofa, jerked the gun out of Uncle Vernon’s hands, bent it into a know as easily as if it had been made of rubber, and threw it into a corner of the room.
This is a man after my heart. Good lord.
But Hagrid’s not done being awesome. Because he brings Harry a birthday present, despite that his entire family has forgotten his special day:
- From an inside pocket of his black overcoat he pulled a slightly squashed box. Harry opened it with trembling fingers. Inside was a large, sticky chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Harry written on it in green icing.
ARE YOU THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST, HAGRID?
- The giant sat back down on the sofa, which sagged under his weight, and began talking all sorts of things out of his pockets of his coat: a copper kettle, a squashy package of sausages, a poker, a teapot, several chipped mugs, and a bottle of some amber liquid that he took a swig from before starting to make tea.
I want tea from a possibly-drunk Hagrid. 🙁
- Soon the hut was full of the sound and smell of sizzling sausage. Nobody said a thing while the giant was working, but as he slid the first six fat, juicy, slightly burnt sausages from the poker, Dudley fidgeted a little. Uncle Vernon said sharply, “Don’t touch anything he gives you, Dudley.”
- “Yer great puddin’ of a son don’ need fattenin’ anymore, Dursley, don’ worry.”
And yet, despite all of this, chapter four only gets better. Hagrid discovers that the Dursley’s have been hiding Harry’s past/purpose from him for eleven years. And when you make Hagrid mad…look, you just don’t make Hagrid mad. At all.
- “You never told him? Never told him what was in the letter Dumbledore left fer him? I was there! I saw Dumbledore leave it, Dursley! An’ you kept if from him all these years?”
“Kept what from me?” said Harry eagerly.
“STOP! I FORBID YOU!” yelled Uncle Vernon in panic.
Aunt Petunia gave a gasp of horror.
“Ah, go boil yer heads, both of yeh,” said Hagrid. “Harry–yer a wizard.”
JUST LIKE THAT. It’s like Hagrid knew in 10 years that this thing called, “The Internet” would exist and he was already preparing to 4chan the shit out of the Dursleys.
Also: HARRY IS A WIZARD!!!!!!!!!!
How fucking awesome is it that Rowling doesn’t even wait for like…chapter 20 to advance the plot? Oh SHIT YEAH we are already going to be dealing with wizadry this is awesome.
Oh, and I wish I had a picture of this for you, but Harry’s Letter is AWESOME and actually has a signature that looks REAL and not like those shitty “this-font-is-supposed-to-mimic-handwriting” letters from Twilight. FUCK YEAH STEPHENIE MEYER BLOWS.
There are only a couple things I had “problems” with. And they’re real small.
- “A Muggle,” said Hagrid, “it’s what we call nonmagic folk like them. An’ it’s your bad luck you grew up in a family o’ the biggest Muggles I ever laid eyes on.”
I don’t sense it now–the Dursleys are truly terrible people–but this feels like a strange way to segregate people. In fact, the following bit, in which the Dursley’s decry wizardy and call all of these people “freaks” and “weirdos,” definitely parallels systematic racism.
Am I reading too much into this? Most certainly. But it’s just a thought. PLEASE DO NOT POST ANYTHING IN THE COMMENTS SPOILING THIS OR ANY FUTURE DEVELOPMENT BECAUSE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD YOU PEOPLE ARE VERY SPOILER HAPPY IN THE COMMENTS.
Oh, and then there’s the whole HEY I JUST MET YOU HARRY SO LET ME TELL YOU THE MOST SOUL-CRUSHING STORY IN ALL EXISTENCE.
Hagrid takes it upon himself to tell Harry that his parents were murdered by Voldemort, that the scar on his head was from a curse Voldemort attempted to use to kill Harry, and that the Dursley’s are lying sacks of donkey poo. THE END. Oh hey YOU ARE LEAVING THE ONLY FAMILY YOU HAVE EVER KNOW LET’S GO.
Which I’m sure Harry is stoked about, but it’s still just a tad bit jarring, you know?
- But at that moment, Hagrid leapt from the sofa and drew a battered pink umbrella from inside his coat. Pointing this at Uncle Vernon like a sword, he said, “I’m warning you, Dursley–I’m warning you–one more word…”
Hagrid can threaten people with an umbrella. my god MARRY ME ALREADY.
Also, want to see why I actually enjoy this book so far?
- Hagrid looked at Harry with warmth and respect blazing in his eyes, but Harry, instead of feeling pleased and proud, felt quite sure there had been a horrible mistake. A wizard? Him? How could he possibly be? He’d spent his life being clouted by Dudley, and bullied by Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon; if he really was a wizard, why hadn’t they been turned into warty toads every time they’d tried to lock him in his cupboard? If he’d once defeated the greatest sorcerer in the world, how come Dudley had always been able to kick him around like a football?
This is good writing. Also can you hear my heart breaking 🙁 🙁 🙁
And then, the best thing ever ever EVER.
- “I AM NOT PAYING FOR SOME CRACKPOT OLD FOOL TO TEACH HIM MAGIC TRICKS!” yelled Uncle Vernon.
Oh. Oh no. Ohhhhhh no.
- But he had finally gone too far. Hagrid seized his umbrella and whirled it over his head, “NEVER–” he thundered, “–INSULT–ALBUS–DUMBLEDORE–IN–FRONT–OF–ME!”
- He brought the umbrella swishing down through the air to point at Dudley–there was a flash of violet light, a sound like a firecracker, a sharp squeal, and the next second, Dudley was dancing on the spot with his hands clasped over his fat bottom, howling in pain. When he turned his back on them, Harry saw a curly pig’s tail poking through a hole in his trousers.
how have i never read this before what is wrong with me
- “Shouldn’ta lost me temper,” he said ruefully, “but it didn’t work anyway. Meant ter tern him into a pig, but I suppose he was so much like a pig anyway there wasn’t much left ter do.”
Just tell me where I need to be and I am all yours, Hagrid.
The chapter ends with Hagrid telling Harry they’re off to go buy supplies for his trip to Hogwart’s. And Hagrid is such a true gentleman that he offers Harry his coat.
- “You can kip under that,” he said. “Don’ mind if it wriggles a bit, I think I still got a couple o’ dormice in one o’ the pockets.”
what i want mice who hang out in my pockets and just be cute