SMASH! The door was hit with such force that it swung clean off its hinges and with a deafening crash landed flat on the floor. A giant of a man was standing in the doorway. His face was almost completely hidden by a long, shaggy mane of hair and a wild, tangled beard, but you could make out his eyes, glinting like black beetles under all the hair.
The giant squeezed his way into the hut, stooping so that his head just brushed the ceiling. He bent down, picked up the door, and fitted it easily back into its frame. The noise of the storm outside dropped a little. He turned to look at them all. “Couldn’t make us a cup o’ tea, could yeh? It’s not been an easy journey…”
He strode over to the sofa where Dudley sat frozen with fear. “Budge up, yeh great lump,” said the stranger. Dudley squeaked and ran to hide behind his mother, who was crouching, terrified, behind Uncle Vernon. “An’ here’s Harry!” said the giant.
Harry looked up into the fierce, wild, shadowy face and saw that the beetle eyes were crinkled in a smile. “Las’ time I saw you, you was only a baby,” said the giant. “Yeh look a lot like yet dad, but yeh’ve got yer mom’s eyes. “Uncle Vernon made a funny rasping noise. I demand that you leave at once, sit!” he said. “You are breaking and entering!”
“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 knot as easily as if it had been made of rubber, and threw it into a corner of the room. Uncle Vernon made another funny noise, like a mouse being trodden on.
“Anyway — Harry,” said the giant, turning his back on the Dursleys, “a very happy birthday to yeh. Got summat fer yeh here — I mighta sat on it at some point, but it’ll taste all right.” 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.
Harry looked up at the giant. He meant to say thank you, but the words got lost on the way to his mouth, and what he said instead was, “Who are you?” The giant chuckled. “True, I haven’t introduced meself. Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.”
“Sorry,” he said. “But it’s that sad — knew yer mum an’ dad, an’ nicer people yeh couldn’t find — anyway…” “You-Know-Who killed ’em. An’ then — an’ this is the real myst’ry of the thing — he tried to kill you, too. Wanted ter make a clean job of it, I suppose, or maybe he just liked killin’ by then. But he couldn’t do it. Never wondered how you got that mark on yer forehead? That was no ordinary cut. That’s what yeh get when a Powerful, evil curse touches yeh — took care of yer mum an’ dad an’ yer house, even — but it didn’t work on you, an’ that’s why yer famous, Harry. No one ever lived after he decided ter kill ’em, no one except you, an’ he’d killed some o’ the best witches an’ wizards of the age — the McKinnons, the Bones, the Prewetts — an’ you was only a baby, an’ you lived. “
Something very painful was going on in Harry’s mind. As Hagrid’s story came to a close, he saw again the blinding flash of green light, more clearly than he had ever remembered it before — and he remembered something else, for the first time in his life: a high, cold, cruel laugh. Hagrid was watching him sadly. “Took yeh from the ruined house myself, on Dumbledore’s orders. Brought yeh ter this lot…”