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MonkeyNotes-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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Piers Polkiss

Dudley’s toady friend, a scrawny boy with a face like a rat. Piers holds other kids so Dudley can slug them. Other members of Dudley’s gang include Dennis, Malcolm, and Gordon.

Pince, Madam Irma

The strict Hogwarts librarian. She looks thin and irritable, “like an underfed vulture.”

Pomfrey, Madam Poppy

The school nurse at Hogwarts. In Sorcerer’s Stone she is mentioned by Dumbledore in the first chapter, fixes Neville's broken wrist, heals Ron's hand from the dragon bite, and takes care of Harry after his encounter with Voldemort.

Name meaning: Poppy is one of the oldest medicinal plants. The opium it contains has been used as a soporific and painkiller for thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of years.

Ronan

The centaur in the forbidden forest who initially startles Hagrid and responds to Hagrid’s questions with little apart from “Mars is bright tonight.” He defends Firenze’s decision of helping Harry despite what the stars say, but is undecided on whether to take Bane or Firenze’s side in the matter.

Name meaning: Ronan means “little seal” in Irish. Note that Ronan has red hair, appropriate for his Irish name.

Sorting Hat

In book four, the Sorting Hat tells of his origins at the hands of the founders of Hogwarts (Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin): “While still alive they did divide / Their favorites from the throng, / Yet how to pick the worthy ones / When they were dead and gone? / 'Twas Gryffindor who found the way, / He whipped me off his head / The founders put some brains in me / So I could choose instead!”

Similar to the Sorting Hat’s origin is a story from Norse mythology. The myth says that when the gods made peace after fighting among themselves, “they all spat into a great jar to seal the treaty. From the divine spittle they shaped a man, called Kvasir. He inherited the gods’ wisdom and his advice was highly valued.” (Evans and Matthews, Norse Myths and Legends, p. 33)


Rowling said of the Sorting Hat: "The character you might be most surprised to see evolve is none other than the Sorting Hat... There is more to the Sorting Hat than what you have read about in the first three books... Readers will find out what the Sorting Hat becomes as they get into future books."

(http://www.infoplease.com/spot/harrypotter1.html)

Sprout, Professor

Sprout is the Herbology professor and the head of Hufflepuff house. She teaches her classes in the greenhouses.

Terrence Higgs

The Slytherin seeker that plays against Harry.

Tom the Bartender

The bald, toothless bartender at the Leaky Cauldron.

Weasleys

Charlie, Bill, Percy, Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny. The Weasley’s last name might come from the word “weasley” itself, which means “having to do with weasels.” Weasels are mostly reddish brown with white or yellowish under parts. The Weasley have red hair and red freckles with pale skin.

Weasley, Fred

Ron’s trickster older brother who is a beater on the Gryffindor team along with his twin George. Despite the jokes he plays on people he is actually a nice guy.

Weasley, George

Ron’s trickster older brother who is a beater on the Gryffindor team along with his twin Fred. Despite the jokes he plays on people he is actually a nice guy.

Weasley, Mrs. Molly

Ron’s mother, a plump, kind woman who helps Harry find Platform 9 ¾ and makes Harry a sweater for Christmas.

Weasley, Ginny

Ron’s little sister who sees Harry at Platform 9 ¾. She will develop a crush on Harry in later books.

Weasley, Percy

Ron’s older brother who is a seventh-year and a prefect. Percy is a bit too wrapped up in himself.

Percy’s bickering with his other brothers might have been inspired by Rowling’s experience with her own sister: “I am very close to my sister now, but we were younger, we fought like cat and dog.” (Conversations, 16)

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