In this excerpt from Chapter Eight, The Potions Master, Harry discovers the miraculousness of Hogwarts and all its many nooks and crannies.

Illustration by MinaLima © 2020 Scholastic Inc., from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (MinaLima Edition)

How on earth do you react to seeing the wonders of Hogwarts for the first time? Here's the moment where Harry properly discovered it, as read by Stephen Fry.

Now that you've finished listening, here's a few things we got to thinking about during this moment.

Hogwarts has HOW MANY staircases?

142, to be precise. And yes, as Harry realises, they do like to change around too! Hogwarts has so many mysteries everywhere you turn, it's impossible to know them all. This is certainly not your average castle. Even the headmaster Albus Dumbledore admits to not knowing Hogwarts's many, many secrets.

The Hogwarts Portraits

As Harry roams around the castle, he notices that the subjects of Hogwarts portraits are far more animated than our Muggle ones. They can walk, talk and even visit each other's portraits. According to J.K. Rowling, these portraits are created when the 'subject' of the painting sits for them during their lifetime. Then, the more they talk to their portraits, the more lifelike the portrait will end up being.

The Hogwarts ghosts... and Peeves

In the clip above, we also get acquainted with the many ghosts that haunt Hogwarts - and one poltergeist called Peeves. The ghosts (and Peeves) have lived at Hogwarts for hundreds upon hundreds of years, and there have been many attempts to oust the mischievous Peeves. All of them failed, naturally. Also, did you know that the word ‘poltergeist’ is German in origin, and roughly translates as ‘noisy ghost’? Certainly works for Peeves!

Each Hogwarts house has a representative ghost, with Nearly Headless Nick representing Harry's house, Gryffindor. Which of the Hogwarts ghosts would you like to know more about?

We hope you enjoyed today's extract. You can look back at extracts one and two if you missed it.

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