Harry had never been to London before. Although Hagrid seemed to know where he was going, he was obviously not used to getting there in an ordinary way. He got stuck in the ticket barrier on the Underground and complained loudly that the seats were too small and the trains too slow.
“I don’t know how the Muggles manage without magic,” he said as they climbed a broken-down escalator that led up to a bustling road lined with shops.
Hagrid was so huge that he parted the crowd easily; all Harry had to do was keep close behind him. They passed book shops and music stores, hamburger restaurants and cinemas, but nowhere that looked as if it could sell you a magic wand. This was just an ordinary street full of ordinary people. Could there really be piles of wizard gold buried miles beneath them? Were there really shops that sold spell books and broomsticks? Might this not all be some huge joke that the Dursleys had cooked up? If Harry hadn’t known that the Dursleys had no sense of humor, he might have thought so; yet somehow, even though everything Hagrid had told him so far was unbelievable, Harry couldn’t help trusting him.
“This is it,” said Hagrid, coming to a halt, “the Leaky Cauldron. It’s a famous place.” It was a tiny, grubby-looking pub. If Hagrid hadn’t pointed it out, Harry wouldn’t have noticed it was there. The people hurrying by didn’t glance at it. Their eyes slid from the big book shop on one side to the record shop on the other as if they couldn’t see the Leaky Cauldron at all. In fact, Harry had the most peculiar feeling that only he and Hagrid could see it. Before he could mention this, Hagrid had steered him inside.
For a famous place, it was very dark and shabby. A few old women were sitting in a corner, drinking tiny glasses of sherry. One of them was smoking a long pipe. A little man in a top hat was talking to the old bartender, who was quite bald and looked like a toothless walnut. The low buzz of chatter stopped when they walked in. Everyone seemed to know Hagrid; they waved and smiled at him, and the bartender reached for a glass, saying, “The usual, Hagrid?”
“Can’t, Tom, I’m on Hogwarts business,” said Hagrid, clapping his great hand on Harry’s shoulder and making Harry’s knees buckle.
“Good Lord,” said the bartender, peering at Harry, “is this — can this be –?” The Leaky Cauldron had suddenly gone completely still and silent.
“Bless my soul,” whispered the old bartender, “Harry Potter… what an honor.” He hurried out from behind the bar, rushed toward Harry and seized his hand, tears in his eyes. “Welcome back, Mr. Potter, welcome back. “
Harry didn’t know what to say. Everyone was looking at him. The old woman with the pipe was puffing on it without realizing it had gone out. Hagrid was beaming. Then there was a great scraping of chairs and the next moment, Harry found himself shaking hands with everyone in the Leaky Cauldron. “Doris Crockford, Mr. Potter, can’t believe I’m meeting you at last. “
“So proud, Mr. Potter, I’m just so proud.” / “Always wanted to shake your hand — I’m all a flutter.” / “Delighted, Mr. Potter, just can’t tell you, Diggle’s the name, Dedalus Diggle.”
“I’ve seen you before!” said Harry, as Dedalus Diggle’s top hat fell off in his excitement. “You bowed to me once in a shop.” / “He remembers!” cried Dedalus Diggle, looking around at everyone. “Did you hear that? He remembers me!” Harry shook hands again and again — Doris Crockford kept coming back for more.