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Chapter Fourteen Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback
(Hagrid raises a baby dragon and Harry sends the beast off to Charlie Weasley in Romania.)
While studying for their exams, Harry, Ron, and Hermione run into Hagrid. The three students discover that Hagrid is looking up information about dragons and go to his hut to see if he is actually raising a dragon, a severely illegal activity. They pump him for information about the Sorcerer’s Stone, Fluffy, and his dragon. As Hagrid is telling them about the dragon egg he got, they all realize that Malfoy is eavesdropping at the window. Malfoy runs away from the hut and Harry fears that he will report Hagrid.
To save Hagrid from getting in trouble, Ron plans to have his brother Charlie take the dragon into his care in Romania. Harry and Hermione, using the invisibility cloak, struggle to carry Norbert the baby dragon to the top of the tower, where Charlie’s friends will pick him up. At the top of the tower Harry and Hermione successfully make the drop off and enjoy seeing McGonagall catch Malfoy for being out past curfew. But when Harry and Hermione descend to the bottom of the stairs, Filch catches them because they forgot their cloak at the top of the tower.
When reading the book a second time, readers should find it ironic that Harry and Ron start treating Quirrell kindly at this point in the book.
Harry is looking up “dittany” in the library. Dittany is an aromatic woolly plant native to Crete, formerly believed to have magical powers because it emits a flammable gas.
Hagrid tells Harry to not go rabbitin’ about the Sorcerer’s Stone and Fluffy. To rabbit is to talk incessantly or gossip idly.
Dragons are found in the myths of many different cultures around the world, myths that go back as far as the ancient Sumerians. In Medieval England, dragons were perceived as evil partially because Viking invaders had dragons on the prows of their ships.
Stoat sandwiches (weasel sandwiches) are a creation of Rowling’s. British people have not actually sunk to these culinary depths--yet.
Baby Norbert’s species of Norwegian Ridgeback is a take off of Rhodesian Ridgeback, a breed of dog.