Star Ledger Harry Potter Special!
There are good people, bad people, and even a few beasties and ghosts in the world of "Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone." Here are the ones you might want to keep track of.
Ron Weasley: Ron is Harry's best friend. He's a redhead and, sometimes, a hothead, too. Though Ron's family doesn't have much money, three of his brothers also are students at Hogwarts.
Hermione Granger: Another of Ron and Harry's good friends. She's a bit of a know-it-all and worries all the time about her classes, but she also helps Ron and Harry with their homework and is brave and smart, too.
Rubeus Hagrid: Keeper of the Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. Hagrid is a huge, hairy giant, but very sensitive and wants only to please. He was expelled from Hogwarts for misusing his magic and now wields a pink umbrella instead of a wand to perform his wizardry. Rides a motorcycle. His fondest wish is to own a pet dragon.
Professor Albus Dumbledore: Headmaster of Hogwarts, considered the greatest wizard of all time. He's wise and good, but also funny and eccentric. Credited with slaying the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, discovered the 12 uses of dragon's blood, and enjoys chamber music and tenpin bowling.
Professor Minerva McGonagall: Deputy headmistress and head of Gryffindor House. Professor McGonagall is very, very strict, but also fair -- and really wants Gryffindor to win back the Quidditch Cup.
Draco Malfoy: A classmate and nemesis of Harry, Draco belongs to Slytherin House, which has a reputation for meanness. Malfoy's father went over to the Dark Side and then came back, but a sense of evil still hangs over the family.
Crabbe and Goyle: Draco Malfoy's two sidekicks. Both are big and brawny and kind of dumb, and act sort of like Draco's bodyguards.
Professor Severus Snape: Teaches class on Potions in the cold, dank basement of Hogwarts and knows a lot about the Dark Arts. He once was a student at Hogwarts, along with Harry's father, and now hates Harry because his father once saved his life and now he feels indebted.
Voldemort: A wizard who went over to the Dark Side, and is now so scary, people call him "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." Voldemort was responsible for the deaths of Harry's parents, but his powers were diminished when he was unable to kill Harry. He's still looking to get even.
Peeves: A total nuisance. Always playing nasty tricks on the students, like pulling rugs out from under them, dropping wastepaper baskets on their heads, or sneaking up behind them and then grabbing their noses. Only listens to the Bloody Baron.
Bloody Baron: A horrible-looking ghost with a thin face and blank eyes, and robes stained with silver blood. Very scary when he appears in the halls of Hogwarts.
Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington (a k a Nearly Headless Nick): A very proper ghost, though the victim of an improper beheading. Hasn't eated a thing in 400 years and misses it.
Messenger owls: In the wizard world, mail is delivered by owl. Harry's owl is named Hedwig.
The Mountain Troll: A grunting, shuffling, 12-foot-tall beast with a great lumpy body, short legs, long arms, horny feet and the brain the size of a coconut. They'll attack just about anybody, but are easily outwitted.
Fluffy, the three-headed dog: Guards the trap door, behind the forbidden corridor, under which the Sorcerer's Stone is hidden.
Mrs. Norris: Cat owned by mean Hogwarts caretaker, Argus Filch. Mrs. Norris is a scrawny, dust-colored creature with bulging, lamplike eyes, just like Filch's, and, just like him, is always looking to catch a student breaking a rule.
Norbert, the baby dragon: Hagrid's pet was hatched from an egg, but turns out to be very dangerous, since it's fire-breathing and Hagrid lives in a wooden house.
Ronan, Bane and Firenze, the centaurs: Half man/half horse, the centaurs live in the Forbidden Forest. They are deep thinkers and always have their heads in the clouds, so it's tough to get a straight answer from them.
-- Amy Ellis Nutt
Copywritten by Star Ledger