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A glass case nearby held a withered hand on a cushion, a bloodstained pack of cards, and a staring glass eye. Evil-looking masks stared down from the walls, an assortment of human bones lay upon the counter, and rusty, spiked instruments hung from the ceiling. Even worse, the dark, narrow street Harry could see through the dusty shop window was definitely not Diagon Alley.
"Miss - er -?"
Harry stared at them all watching him.
"I went on the Underground -"
A very small, mousy-haired boy had been called forward to place the hat on his head. Harry's eyes wandered past him to where Professor Dumbledore, the headmaster, sat watching the Sorting from the staff table, his long silver beard and half-moon glasses shining brightly in the candlelight. Several seats along, Harry saw Gilderoy Lockhart, dressed in robes of aquamarine. And there at the end was Hagrid, huge and hairy, drinking deeply from his goblet.
The crowd seemed to be made up mostly of witches around Mrs. Weasley's age. A harrassed-looking wizard stood at the door, saying, "Calmly, please, ladies .... Don't push, there ... mind the books, now . . . . "
in Harry's pocket was clamoring to be spent, so he bought three large strawberry-and-peanut-butter ice creams, which they slurped happily as they wandered up the alley, examining the fascinating shop windows. Ron gazed longingly at a full set of Chudley Can non robes in the windows of Quality Quidditch Supplies until Hermione dragged them off to buy ink and parchment next door. In Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop, they met Fred, George, and Lee Jordan, who were stocking up on Dr. Filibuster's Fabulous Wet-Start, No-Heat Fireworks, and in a tiny junk shop full of bro ken wands, lopsided brass scales, and old cloaks covered in potion stains they found Percy, deeply immersed in a small and deeply boring book called Prefects Who Gained Power. `A study of Hogwarts prefects and their later careers, " Ron read aloud off the back cover. "That sounds fascinating . . . ."
* 12-1 *
"Write home for another one," Harry suggested as the wand let off a volley of bangs like a firecracker.
"Nick!" he roared. "How are you? Head still hanging in there?"
"Why didn't you send us a letter by owl? I believe you have an owl?" Professor McGonagall said coldly to Harry.
"No - honestly - didn't I just say how nice Myrtle's looking?" said Hermione, nudging Harry and Ron painfully in the ribs.
"That," panted Ron, "was close. Well done, car -"
Hagrid was wading toward them through the sea of books. In an instant he had pulled Mr. Weasley and Mr. Malfoy apart. Mr. Weasley had a cut lip and Mr. Malfoy had been hit in the eye by an Encyclopedia of Toadstools. He was still holding Ginny's old Transfiguration book. He thrust it at her, his eyes glittering with malice.
But Colin didn't stop questioning Harry all the way down the sloping lawns to the Quidditch field, and Harry only shook him off when he reached the changing rooms; Colin called after him in a piping voice, "I'll go and get a good seat, Harry!" and hurried off to the stands.。