A few days before school begins, Professor McGonagall escorts Harry to get his school supplies. They first pass through the Leaky Cauldron, where the customers and owner or awed to meet him for the first time. Harry also sees Professor Quirrell for the first time, who will be the Defense Professor when school begins. Harry also learns a bit about his biological parents, James and Lily, and the night Voldmort attacked them in their home in Godric's Hollow, then tried to kill Harry. The spell rebounded and left Voldemort a burnt husk and Harry with the scar on his forehead. By the time McGonagall finishes telling him the story they arrive at Gringotts, the Wizarding bank.

Title quote

"But then the question is - who?'

Detailed chapter synopsis

Harry and McGonagall are standing in the Leaky Cauldron, where multiple people are greeting Harry in a that admirable way, that makes him feel uncomfortable. After leaving the bar Harry asks for one person, who gave him the feeling, that he'd knew him a long time ago. McGonagall informs him, that Professor Quirrel would be the Defense against the dark arts teacher. To avoid further trouble McGonagall provides a spell for "something of a disguise". As they enter the Diagon Alley Harry compares the wide variety of magic goods to Dungeons and Dragons objects. Before Harry can enter the next book store, as the Family rule ("When you walk past a bookstore you haven’t visited before, you have to go in and look around") demands, McGonagall advises to visit Gringotts Bank first to get some money from the family vault.

After this Harry gets to know how his parents really died (after everyone on the streets could tell him): The Dark Lord Voldemort had raged upon Great Britain. His follower, the Death Eater, had wealth and political power to paralyze the society, in which anyone who stood up would made an example of. Until Lily and James Potter where the next victims, but when he tried to kill Harry the Killing Curse reflected and struck the dark Lord. This curse was never blocked before, so Harry was the first person ever to survive with nothing but a scar on his face.


"Flubber" is the title of a film, and a substance in the film which is very bouncy.

In Dungeons and Dragons, and similar role-playing games, weapons and armor sometimes have a bonus of "+n", where n is a small integer. This indicates that they are better at their job than a normal item of their class.

The "goggles that would turn anything you looked at green" are presumably a reference to The Wizard of Oz. In that book (but not the film), the Emerald City is actually dazzling white, to the point that you need to wear green-tinted goggles to protect your eyes.


The sense of doom that Harry experiences when he gets close to Professor Quirrell is encountered for the first time.



  • The Leaky Cauldron
  • Diagon Alley
  • Bigbam's Brilliant Books
  • Godric's Hollow
  • Gringotts


Desilision Spell

Rationality and science

Bystander Effect: Latane and Darley’s experiment which had shown that you were more likely to get help if you had an epileptic fit in front of one person than in front of three: Diffusion of responsibility, everyone hoping that someone else would go first

Author notes

If J. K. Rowling asks you about this story, you know nothing.

External links

Chapter 3 at HPMOR.com

Chapter 3 at fanfiction.net


29 August 1991. In chapter 4, after Harry finds out that magic trunks can hold a lot of items, he tells Professor McGonagall that his father and he will have to spend the next two days hitting up all the used bookstores for old textbooks. Since the Hogwarts Express leaves at 11 a.m. on 1 September, the two days before this are 30 and 31 August. Therefore, today is 29 August.