THE KEEPER OF THE KEYS
BOOM. They knocked again. Dudley jerked awake. “Where’s the cannon?” he
There was a crash behind them and Uncle Vernon came skidding into the
Room. He was holding a rifle in his hands – now they knew what had been
In the long, thin package he had brought with them.
“Who’s there?” he shouted. “I warn you – I’m armed!”
There was a pause. Then –
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
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 yet mom’s eyes.”
Uncle Vernon made a funny rasping noise.
I demand that you leave at once, sit!” he said. “You are breaking and
“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
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
The giant chuckled.
“True, I haven’t introduced meself. Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and
Grounds at Hogwarts.”
He held out an enormous hand and shook Harry’s whole arm.
“What about that tea then, eh?” he said, rubbing his hands together.
“I’d not say no ter summat stronger if yeh’ve got it, mind.”
His eyes fell on the empty grate with the shriveled chip bags in it and
He snorted. He bent down over the fireplace; they couldn’t see what he
Was doing but when he drew back a second later, there was a roaring fire
There. It filled the whole damp hut with flickering light and Harry felt
The warmth wash over him as though he’d sunk into a hot bath.
The giant sat back down on the sofa, which sagged under his weight, and
Began taking all sorts of things out of the pockets of his coat: a
Copper kettle, a squashy package of sausages, a poker, a teapot, several