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At last, the desserts too disappeared, and Professor Dumbledore got to his feet again. The hall fell silent.
That evening, Dudley paraded around the living room for the family in his brand-new uniform. Smeltings' boys wore maroon tailcoats, orange knickerbockers, and flat straw hats called boaters. They also carried knobbly sticks, used for hitting each other while the teachers weren't looking. This was supposed to be good training for later life.
Harry could see Uncle Vernon's shiny black shoes pacing up and down the kitchen.
He took off his thick black coat and threw it to Harry.
"So we've just got to try on the hat!" Ron whispered to Harry. "I'll kill Fred, he was going on about wrestling a troll."
"Everyone pick their favorite tune," said Dumbledore, "and off we go!" And the school bellowed:
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
THE SORTING HAT
"Oh, you may not think I'm pretty,
Harry took the wand and (feeling foolish) waved it around a bit, but Mr. Ollivander snatched it out of his hand almost at once.
"I would prefer you to call me Sir Nicholas de Mimsy --" the ghost began stiffly, but sandy-haired Seamus Finnigan interrupted.
"I say, look at that man!" said the boy suddenly, nodding toward the front window. Hagrid was standing there, grinning at Harry and pointing at two large ice creams to show he couldn't come in.
"It was a dream, he told himself firmly. "I dreamed a giant called Hagrid came to tell me I was going to a school for wizards. When I open my eyes I'll be at home in my cupboard."
"D-Defense Against the D-D-Dark Arts," muttered Professor Quirrell, as though he'd rather not think about it. "N-not that you n-need it, eh, P-P-Potter?" He laughed nervously. "You'll be g-getting all your equipment, I suppose? I've g-got to p-pick up a new b-book on vampires, m-myself." He looked terrified at the very thought.
"Poor dear - no wonder he was alone, I wondered. He was ever so polite when he asked how to get onto the platform."
Harry kept to his room, with his new owl for company. He had decided to call her Hedwig, a name he had found in A History of Magic. His school books were very interesting. He lay on his bed reading late into the night, Hedwig swooping in and out of the open window as she pleased. It was lucky that Aunt Petunia didn't come in to vacuum anymore, because Hedwig kept bringing back dead mice. Every night before he went to sleep, Harry ticked off another day on the piece of paper he had pinned to the wall, counting down to September the first.？