Book Club – Harry Potter I – Chapter 14

I.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

A. Book – PDF, DOCM / Excerpt / Questions / Class Recording

B. Excerpt (Read and Record)

“It’s nearly out.” He ushered them inside.  The egg was lying on the table.  There were deep cracks in it.  Something was moving inside; a funny clicking noise was coming from it.  They all drew their chairs up to the table and watched with bated breath.  All at once there was a scraping noise, and the egg split open.  The baby dragon flopped onto the table.  It wasn’t exactly pretty; Harry thought it looked like a crumpled, black umbrella.  Its spiny wings were huge compared to its skinny jet body, it had a long snout with wide nostrils, the stubs of horns and bulging, orange eyes.  It sneezed.  A couple of sparks flew out of its snout.

“Isn’t he beautiful?” Hagrid murmured.  He reached out a hand to stroke the dragon’s head.  It snapped at his fingers, showing pointed fangs.  “Bless him, look, he knows his mommy!” said Hagrid.

“Hagrid,” said Hermione, “how fast do Norwegian Ridgebacks grow, exactly?”

Hagrid was about to answer when the color suddenly drained from his face — he leapt to his feet and ran to the window.

“What’s the matter?”

“Someone was lookin’ through the gap in the curtains — it’s a kid — he’s runnin’ back up ter the school.”

Harry bolted to the door and looked out.  Even at a distance, there was no mistaking him.  Malfoy had seen the dragon.  Something about the smile lurking on Malfoy’s face during the next week made Harry, Ron, and Hermione very nervous.  They spent most of their free time in Hagrid’s darkened hut, trying to reason with him.

“Just let him go,” Harry urged.  “Set him free.”

“I can’t,” said Hagrid.  “He’s too little.  He’d die.”

They looked at the dragon.  It had grown three times in length in just a week.  Smoke kept furling out of its nostrils.  Hagrid hadn’t been doing his gamekeeping duties because the dragon was keeping him so busy.  There were empty brandy bottles and chicken feathers all over the floor.

“I’ve decided to call him Norbert,” said Hagrid, looking at the dragon with misty eyes.  “He really knows me now, watch.  Norbert!  Norbert!  Where’s Mommy?”

“He’s lost his marbles,” Ron muttered in Harry’s ear.

“Hagrid,” said Harry loudly, “give it two weeks and Norbert’s going to be as long as your house.  Malfoy could go to Dumbledore at any moment.”  Hagrid bit his lip.

“I — I know I can’t keep him forever, but I can’t jus’ dump him, I can’t.”

Harry suddenly turned to Ron.  “Charlie,” he said.

“You’re losing it, too,” said Ron.  “I’m Ron, remember?”

“No — Charlie — your brother, Charlie.  In Romania.  Studying dragons.  We could send Norbert to him.  Charlie can take care of him and then put him back in the wild!”

“Brilliant!” said Ron.  “How about it, Hagrid?”

And in the end, Hagrid agreed that they could send an owl to Charlie to ask him.

The following week dragged by.  Wednesday night found Hermione and Harry sitting alone in the common room, long after everyone else had gone to bed.  The clock on the wall had just chimed midnight when the portrait hole burst open.  Ron appeared out of nowhere as he pulled off Harry’s invisibility cloak.  He had been down at Hagrid’s hut, helping him feed Norbert, who was now eating dead rats by the crate.

“It bit me!” he said, showing them his hand, which was wrapped in a bloody handkerchief.  “I’m not going to be able to hold a quill for a week.  I tell you, that dragon’s the most horrible animal I’ve ever met, but the way Hagrid goes on about it, you’d think it was a fluffy little bunny rabbit.  When it bit me, he told me off for frightening it.  And when I left, he was singing it a lullaby.”

C. Movie Clip

Leave a Reply