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Star Ledger Harry Potter Special!

A glossary of Harry Potter terms


If you've never read Harry Potter -- shame on you! -- or if it's been awhile, this is a guide to some of the places, people and things Harry encounters in "The Sorcerer's Stone."

Muggle: a non-magical human being, such as the Dursleys. Muggle parents can, however, give birth to wizard children.

Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin: The four houses, or dormitories, into which Hogwarts' students are grouped. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced its share of famous witches and wizards. Gryffindor students are brave and daring; Hufflepuff students, hard-working and loyal; Ravenclaw, witty and smart; and Slytherin, cunning and willing to do anything to achieve success. (Harry, Ron and Hermione belong to Gryffindor House; Draco Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle, belong to Slytherin.)

Sorting Hat: When students arrive at Hogwarts for the first time, they put on the Sorting Hat which "reads" the student's personality and character, and assigns them a school accordingly.

The Leaky Cauldron: A grubby-looking pub on a back street of London that only wizards can see. In the courtyard behind the Leaky Cauldron is a brick wall, which, when tapped just so and in a certain place, opens up to Diagon Alley, the shopping district of the wizards, where cauldrons, potions, messenger owls,and flying broomsticks can be bought.

King's Cross, Platform nine and three-quarters: The only way to get on the Hogwarts Express is by running through the wall that separates Platform Nine from Platform Ten at King's Cross Railway Station.

The Daily Prophet: The newspaper with all the news that's fit to print in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans: The favorite candy of most wizards, these beans come in literally all possible flavors, from chocolate and peppermint to spinach and liver and sardine. You never know, when you swallow one, what the taste will be.

Gringott's: In Diagon Alley, Gringott's is the bank of the wizards. It's run by goblins and guarded by dragons.

Mirror of Erised: When you stand in front of the Mirror of Erised (desire spelled backward), it will reflect back your deepest wish. When Harry looks into the Mirror of Erised, he sees himself with his long-lost parents. When Ron looks into it, he seems himself as a Quidditch star.

Sorcerer's Stone: Also known as the Elixir of Life, the Sorcerer's Stone is one-of-a-kind and can turn to liquid, which, when drunk, gives immortal life to the person who swallows it. Voldemort, who lost some of his power when he was unable to kill the infant Harry, is obsessed with acquiring the Sorcerer's Stone to restore himself to eternal life and power.


2001 by Star Ledger