>> Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Of course, his birthdays were never exactly fun--last year, the Dursley's had given him a coat hanger and a pair of Uncle Vernon's old socks. Still, you weren't eleven every day.
"Well, it's best yeh know as much as I can tell yeh--mind, I can't tell yeh everythin', it's a great myst'ry, parts of it..."
"Hagrid," said Harry, panting a bit as he ran to keep up, "did you say there are dragons at Gringotts?"
"Well, so they say," said Hagrid. "Crikey, I'd like a dragon."
"You'd like one?'
"Wanted one ever since I was a kid--here we go."
"Oh, are you a prefect, Percy?" said one of the twins, with an air of great surprise. "You should have said something, we had no idea."
"Hang on, I think I remember him saying something about it," said the other twin. "Once-"
"Oh, shut up," said Percy the Prefect.
“How come Percy gets new robes, anyway?” said one of the twins.
“Because he’s a prefect,” said their mother fondly. “All right, dear, well, have a good term - send me an owl when you get there.” She kissed Percy on the cheek and he left. Then she turned to the twins. "Now, you two--this year, you behave yourselves. If I get one more owl telling me you've-you've blown up a toilet or-"
"Blown up a toilet? We've never blown up a toilet."
"Great idea though, thanks, Mum."
"You'll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there."
He held out his hand to shake Harry's, but Harry didn't take it.
"I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks," he said coolly.
Percy the Prefect got up and shook his hand vigorously, while the Weasley twins yelled, "We got Potter! We got Potter!"
"What's the matter? Never heard of a wizard's duel before, I suppose?"
"Of course he has," said Ron, wheeling around. "I'm his second, who's yours?"
Malfoy looked at Crabbe and Goyle, sizing them up. "Crabbe," he said. "Midnight all right? We'll meet you in the trophy room; that's always unlocked."
When Malfoy had gone, Ron and Harry looked at each other.
"What is a wizard's duel?" said Harry. "And what do you mean, you're my second?"
"Well, a second's there to take over if you die," said Ron casually, getting started at last on his cold pie.