For some reason recently I have been thinking a lot about the first thing that a characters says when they come into the story. Sometimes they come so quietly that you hardly notice them. Other times the first that they say will be more memorable.
What I have been wondering though: is how much can one tell from the first thing that someone says to you?
Usually the first thing that you will say to someone when you meet them is ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’ or some variation on that theme. But then occasionally people will say something more memorable, I can’t think of any right now though, and those things are more likely to stick in one’s head (apparently barring mine).
So, today I thought that it would be interesting to see what the first thing that every character who appears in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I also want to see how accurately the first thing that the character says portrays the person’s character.
I will avoid spoilers as much as possible. The only thing that will really be spoiled is the first thing that the person says and maybe a little bit about their character.
I am going to do this in the order that they appear. So, that might have minor spoilers as well. Also, if I cannot identify who is speaking, or they don’t have a name, they will be skipped.
Anyways, let’s begin!
Vernon Dursley: ‘Little Tyke!’
Somehow I did not expect this to be the first thing that he said…
Petunia Dursley: ‘No. Why?’
Professor Albus Dumbledore: ‘I should have known.’
This seems like a very Dumbledore-ish thing to say in my opinion, but at the same time it would definitely be a good way to sneak a quote into a conversation without anyone realizing. The same with Petunia Dursley’s.
Professor Minerva McGonagall: ‘How did you know it was me?’
Rubeus Hagrid: ‘Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sir.’
Harry Potter: ‘Nearly.’
We finally get to have the hero of the story speak, and this is what he says.
Dudley Dursley: ‘Thirty-six. That’s two less than last year.’
This fits Dudley’s character very well – unfortunately.
Piers Polkiss: ‘DUDLEY! MR. DURSLEY! COME AND LOOK AT THIS SNAKE! YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT IT’S DOING!’
And that, I believe, is all that we hear from that character in the entire series, thankfully, because I don’t like writing in all uppercase.
Tom the Bartender (Who doesn’t appear to have a last name): ‘The usual, Hagrid?’
Doris Crckford: ‘Doris Crockford, Mr. Potter, can’t believe I’m meeting you at last.’
I guess for this one I really didn’t have to indicate who was speaking.
Dedalus Diggle: ‘Delighted, Mr. Potter, just can’t tell you, Diggle’s the name, Dedalus Diggle.’
Another that I didn’t really need to say who was speaking, but never mind!
Professor Quirinus Quirrell: ‘P-P-Potter, c-can’t t-tell you how p-pleased I am to meet you.’
Griphook: ‘One speed only.’
Madam Malkins: ‘Hogwarts,dear?’
Draco Malfoy: ‘Hello. Hogwarts, too?’
I knew that this was the first thing that he says, but still I am slightly surprised.
Mr. Ollivander: Good afternoon.’
This fits him, somehow it feels old-fashioned which is a feeling that I tend to get from Ollivander. I just wish that it could have been slightly more interesting, but if everyone had very exciting first lines I have no idea what would happen to the plot.
Mrs. Molly Weasley: ‘-packed with Muggles, of course-‘
Ginny Weasley: ‘Nine and three-quarters! Mum, can’t I go…’
Fred Weasley: ‘I’m not Fred, I’m George.’
At least, I hope that this is Fred… There is a chance that this is George.
Neville Longbottom: ‘Gran, I’ve lost my toad again.’
A very Neville-ish sentence, especially in this book.
Augusta Longbottom: ‘Oh, Neville.’
George Weasley: ‘Want a hand?’
At least, I hope that this is George… There is a chance that they have mixed themselves up, though I doubt it.
Ron Weasley: ‘Mum- geroff.’
Percy Weasley: ‘Can’t stay long, Mother.’
He is reminding me of Mycroft Holmes in the very worse way possible right now which really isn’t fair to either of them.
Hermione Granger: ‘Has anyone seen a toad? Neville’s lost one.’
The Fat Friar: ‘Forgive and forget, I say, we ought to give him a second chance-‘
I wish that he had another name...
Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington (Nearly Headless Nick): ‘My dear, Friar, haven’t we given Peeves all the chances he deserves? He gives us all a bad name and you know, he’s not really even a ghost- I say, what are you all doing here?’
Seamus Finnigan: ‘Nearly Headless? How can you be nearly headless?’
Peeves: ‘Oooooooh! Ickle Firsties! What fun!’
The Fat Lady: ‘Password?’
Seriously, why do two people have to have the word ‘fat’ in their names?
Professor Severus Snape: Ah, yes. Harry Potter. Our new – celebrity.’
Madame Hooch: ‘Well, what are you all waiting for? Everyone stand by a broomstick. Come on, hurry up.’
Parvati Patil: ‘Shut up, Malfoy.’
Pansy Parkinson: ‘Ooh, sticking up for Longbottom?’
Oliver Wood: ‘Are you serious, Professor?’
Filch: ‘Sniff around, my sweet, they might be lurking in a corner.’
Professor Filius Flickwick: ‘Yes, yes, that’s right.’
Another one that would be easy to sneak into every day conversation.
Angelina Johnson: ‘And women.’
Lee Jordan: ‘And the Quaffle is taken immediately by Angelina Johnson of Gryffindor – what an excellent Chaser that girl is, and rather attractive, too-‘
Dean Thomas: ‘Send him off, ref! Red card!’
I’m actually kind of surprised that this was the first time that he spoke, but I guess there was nothing that J.K. Rowlings thought was important enough to write down before now.
Marcus Flint: ‘He didn’t catch it, he nearly swallowed it.’
Madam Pince: ‘What are you looking for, boy?’
Certainly a way of having a strict librarian, but really I have not met any librarians like this, all the ones that I have met have been nice.
Voldemort: ‘Use the boy…’
Madam Pomfrey: ‘Absolutely not.’
So, that is the complete list of first lines from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
I had quite a bit of fun getting this together because basically it was reading through the book and that is always fun.
What was your favorite of these quotes? I would say that mine is either: ‘I’m not Fred, I’m George‘ or possibly ‘He didn’t catch it, he nearly swallowed it.’