Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

by J. K. Rowling

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What is the summary of Chapter 5 in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone?

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The scene opens with Hagrid and Harry Potter in front of the Leaky Cauldron, a pub for wizards. Hagrid explains that it is through a gateway to Diagon Alley that he must take Harry. They go into the courtyard behind the pub and then enter an opening to a whole new London shopping district: Diagon Alley. First, they visit Gringotts Wizarding Bank where they withdraw money from Harry's small fortune left by his parents. Next, they have a secret stop at Gringotts in which Hagrid receives a package from Dumbledore. Then they shop for Harry's school supplies in Diagon Alley: books, robes and cauldrons.

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Hagrid goes into the courtyard behind the Leaky Cauldron and taps a certain bricks in the courtyard wall. Instantly the bricks shift and move to create an opening into a whole new city. This is Diagon Alley, the place in London where wizards do their shopping. First, Hagrid and Harry...

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must go to Gringotts Wizarding Bank and withdraw money from the small fortune his parents left him.  Hagrid also has to make a secret stop in the bank for Dumbledore. Gringotts is a very secure place, managed little goblins who also use dragons to guard wizard fortunes stored in vaults. A goblin named Griphook takes Harry and Hagrid on a crazy ride in a little cart along a track that is part of a network that leads to the vaults. Hagrid gets very sick in the speedy ride. Once the money has been obtained, Harry shops for his school supplies. He buys a robe, books and a cauldron with wizard money --bronze Knuts, silver Sickles and golden Galleons. Hagrid buys him a snowy owl named Hedwig for a birthday present. She will become a dependable, loyal pet. He also gives Harry his boarding ticket for the Hogwarts Express and lets him know to report to King's Cross Station in London to catch the train on 1 September. The biggest adventure is yet to come: attending Hogwarts, the United Kingdom's private boarding school for young sorcerers, located in a secret place in Scotland.

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Chapter Five:  Diagon Alley

After Harry gets his first newspaper delivered by owl, Hagrid and Harry set off for the mainland via boat that Hagrid propels with magic.  Harry learns that their first stop is Gringotts, a wizards’ bank run by goblins, in order to collect at least part of Harry’s inheritance.  Harry learns that it’s a very safe bank, guarded by all sorts of spells and enchantments.  Because Hagrid isn’t really supposed to use magic to bring Harry back, the two take the train.  Hagrid gets all sorts of looks as he tells Harry about things like the Ministry of Magic and the dragon that Hagrid has always wanted.  They go over Harry’s list of course books, equipment, and uniform requirements.  Hagrid explains that they can get all of these things in London “if yeh know where to go.”

The two venture into a questionable pub called the Leaky Cauldron and enter Diagon Alley through a secret entrance, but not before Harry is greeted with honor by many of the patrons, including a stuttering Professor Quirrell who is the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher from Hogwarts.  Harry is amazed at all of the wizarding shops in Diagon Alley selling cauldrons, broomsticks, owls, etc.   At Gringotts Harry learns that Hagrid, in addition to taking Harry to collect his money for school, is also procuring something very important for Dumbledore.  A goblin carts them down twisted passageways to Harry’s vault filled with mounds of wizard money.  Harry takes what he needs for the school year and then continues with Hagrid and the goblin to Dumbledore’s special, top security vault “number seven hundred and thirteen.”  Harry is surprised to see that the only thing inside is a “grubby little package” that Hagrid pockets.

Hagrid and Harry proceed to get Harry’s uniform robes for school where Harry hears of an interesting game called Quidditch and the different “houses” of Hogwarts.  They buy Harry’s school books and cauldron before Hagrid gives Harry his birthday present:  a beautiful white owl.  Harry then visits Ollivanders to procure a wand and tries a few out before an appropriate one is found.  Ollivander comments that the only other wand with a feather from the same phoenix was owned by Voldemort and gave Harry his scar. 

After the best birthday of his life, Harry ponders how much he still has to learn about the wizard world as he heads home to the Dursleys to await the beginning of the school year.

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