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  • J.K. Rowling: Hi. It is very hot, isn't it?

  • I am from Scotland. I am not used to this.

  • I am going to read to you a little bit from this book.

  • Has anyone read this book?

  • Yeah!

  • So I don't need to explain too much of what I am going to read.

  • But I will for the people who haven't read it.

  • So this book is about a boy who doesn't realize he is a wizard

  • until a man called Hagrid from a wizarding school comes to tell

  • him so and takes him shopping for everything he needs to go

  • to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

  • So I'm going to read you a little bit of the book where

  • Harry gets the most exciting thing that you would need

  • if you were about to learn to become a wizard.

  • "The last shop was narrow and shabby.

  • Pealing gold letters over the door read: Ollivanders,

  • Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.

  • A single wand lay on a faded purple cushion in a dusty window.

  • A tinkling bell rang somewhere in the depths of the shop as

  • they stepped inside.

  • It was a tiny place, empty except for a singly spindly

  • chair that Hagrid sat on to wait.

  • Harry felt strangely as though he had entered a very strict library.

  • He swallowed a lot of new questions that had just occurred to him,

  • and looked instead at the thousands of narrow boxes

  • piled neatly right up to the ceiling.

  • For some reason, the back of his neck prickled.

  • The very dust and silence in here seemed to tingle with

  • some secret magic.

  • Good afternoon, said a soft voice.

  • Harry jumped.

  • Hagrid must have jumped too, because there was a loud

  • crunching noise and he got quickly off the spindly chair.

  • An old man was standing before them.

  • His white, pale eyes shining like moons through the gloom of the shop.

  • Hello, said Harry all quickly.

  • Ahh, yes, said the man. Yes, yes.

  • I thought I would be seeing you soon.

  • Harry Potter.

  • It wasn't a question.

  • You have your mother's eyes.

  • It seems only yesterday she was in here herself buying her first

  • wand, ten and a quarter inches long, swishy.

  • Made of willow.

  • Nice one for charm work.

  • Mr. Ollivander moved closer to Harry.

  • Harry wished he would blink.

  • Those silvery eyes were a bit creepy.

  • Your father on the other hand, favored a mahogany one,

  • 11-inches, pliable, a little more power,

  • and excellent for transformation.

  • When I say your father favored it,

  • it is really the wand that chooses the Wizard of course.

  • Mr. Ollivander had come so close that he and Harry were

  • almost nose to nose.

  • Harry could see himself reflected in those misty eyes

  • and that is where Mr. Ollivander touched the lightning scar on

  • Harry's forehead with a long white finger.

  • I am sorry to say I sold the wand that did it,

  • he said softly.

  • 13 and a half inches, you, powerful wand, very powerful.

  • And in the wrong hands.

  • Well, if I had known what that wand was going out into the

  • world to do, he shook his head.

  • And then to Harry's relief, he spotted Hagrid.

  • Rubeus, Rubeus Hagrid, how nice to see you again.

  • Oak.

  • 16-inches rather bendy, wasn't it?

  • It was sir, yes, said Hagrid.

  • Good wand, that one.

  • But I suppose they snapped it in half when you got expelled said

  • Mr. Ollivander suddenly stern.

  • Yes, they did, yes, Said Hagrid shuffling his feet.

  • I have still got the pieces though he added brightly.

  • But you don't use them, said Mr. Ollivander quickly.

  • Oh, no, sir, said Hagrid.

  • Harry noticed he gripped his pink umbrella very tightly as he spoke.

  • Umm, said Mr. Ollivander giving Hagrid a piercing look.

  • Well, now Mr. Potter, let me see.

  • He pulled a long tape measure with silver markings out of his pocket.

  • Which is your wand arm?

  • Well, I am not right handed, said Harry.

  • Hold out your arm. That's it.

  • He measured Harry from shoulder to finger and then wrist to

  • elbow, shoulder to floor, knee to armpit, and around his head.

  • As he measured, he said, every Ollivander wand has a core of a

  • powerful magical substance, Mr. Potter.

  • We use unicorn hairs, Phoenix tail feathers,

  • and the heart strings of dragons.

  • No two Ollivander wands are the same.

  • Just as no two unicorns, dragons,

  • or phoenixes are quite the same.

  • And, of course, you will never get such good results with

  • another wizard's wand.

  • Harry suddenly realized that the tape measure which was measuring

  • between his nostrils was doing this on its own.

  • Mr. Ollivander was flitting around the shelves taking down boxes.

  • That will do he said.

  • And the tape measure crumbled into a heap on the floor.

  • Right then, Mr. Potter.

  • Try this one.

  • Beechwood and dragon heart string.

  • Nine inches, nice and flexible.

  • Just take it and give it a waive.

  • Harry took the wand and feeling foolish waived it around a bit.

  • But Mr. Ollivander snatched it out of his hand almost at once.

  • Maple and Phoenix feathers, seven inches.

  • Quite wippy. Try.

  • Harry tried, but it hardly raised the wand when it too was

  • snatched back by Mr. Ollivander.

  • No. No. Here, ebony and unicorn hair, eight and a half inches. Springy.

  • Go on, go on. Try it out.

  • Harry tried. And tried.

  • He had no idea what Mr. Ollivander was waiting for.

  • The pile of tried wands was mounting higher and higher

  • on the spindly chair.

  • But the more wands Mr. Ollivander pulled from the shelves,

  • the happier he seemed to become.

  • Tricky customer, hey.

  • I wonder now. Yes, why not.

  • Unusual combination.

  • Holly and Phoenix feather, 11-inches.

  • Nice and subtle.

  • Harry took the wand.

  • He felt a sudden warmth in his fingers.

  • He raised the wand above his head,

  • brought it swishing down through the dusty air,

  • and a stream of red and gold sparks shot from the end like

  • a fire work, throwing dancing spots of light onto the walls.

  • Hagrid whooped and clapped and Mr. Ollivander cried, oh, bravo, yes, indeed.

  • Oh, very good.

  • Well, well, well. How curious. How very curious.

  • He put Harry's wand back into its box and wrapped it in brown

  • paper still muttering curious.

  • Curious.

  • Sorry, said Harry, but what's curious?

  • Mr. Ollivander fixed Harry with his pale stare.

  • I remember every wand I have ever sold, Mr. Potter.

  • Every single wand.

  • It so happens that the Phoenix whose tail feather is in your

  • wand gave another feather.

  • Just one other.

  • It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this

  • wand when its brother, why it's brother gave you that scar.

  • Harry swallowed.

  • Yes, 13 and a half inches, you curious indeed how these things happen.

  • The wand chooses the wizard, remember.

  • I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter.

  • After all, he who must not be named did great things.

  • Terrible, yes. But great.

  • Harry shivered.

  • He wasn't sure he liked Mr. Ollivander too much.

  • He paid seven gold gallions for his wand.

  • And Mr. Ollivander bowed them from his shop."

  • Thank you.

  • (applause)

  • Thank you very much.

  • So I'm allowed to take a few questions if there is anyone who

  • would like to ask a question about Harry Potter or about

  • writing books anything like that.

  • In the pink T-shirt there.

  • Audience Member: (inaudible)

  • J.K. Rowling: Why did fire works shoot out of his wand?

  • It was just a sign that the wand recognized it's real owner.

  • An important feature of the books.

  • And I have to be careful what I say,

  • in case you haven't read all the books and you would like to.

  • An important feature of the books is that when you -- when

  • the wand that is really meant for you finds it's rightful

  • owner, it will work very well.

  • So that is why the sparks shot out.

  • It was just a sign that the wand recognized Harry as the person

  • who should own it.

  • In the smart shirt.

  • Audience Member: Do you think that movie produces did a good job to the story?

  • J.K. Rowling: Do I think that the movie producers do a good job

  • for the story?

  • Yes, I do. I do.

  • I sometimes meet readers of the book who say to me, oh,

  • they didn't include everything.

  • But realistically, if they included everything in the

  • books, the films would have to be 15 hours long.

  • So I have to accept as fans of the books have to accept that

  • they have to cut somewhere.

  • But, yeah, on the whole I think they have been great.

  • I think they have been really great and the actors they have

  • chosen to play the characters are really like the people as I imagine them.

  • So, yeah, I have been very, very happy.

  • Yes. Let's see.

  • In the purple. You need to really shout.

  • Audience Member: (inaudible)

  • J.K. Rowling: Why did I decide to write about witches and wizards?

  • Well, it is slightly like the wand choosing the wizards,

  • it felt like it chose me.

  • I just had the idea, very suddenly.

  • And I have always been very interested in folklore.

  • And fairytales.

  • And the way you often find them in different cultures.

  • So it was exciting to write a book about a world that united

  • lots of those things.

  • But really the idea came very suddenly.

  • It wasn't a conscious, conscious process.

  • Yes.

  • Audience Member: (inaudible)

  • J.K. Rowling: That was how did I get the idea that the -- the first idea.

  • I was on a train traveling from the north of England right down to London.

  • And it just came to me.

  • I was looking out a window and the initial idea was a boy who

  • doesn't know he is a wizard.

  • Yet delighted to say he goes to wizard school.

  • And then my mind started firing in all directions.

  • What the school would be like. Who he would meet there.

  • And how it would feel not to realize that you were the

  • son of famous parents.

  • Which is something he realizes very soon after he gets that invitation.

  • Audience Member: (inaudible)

  • J.K. Rowling: My favorite Harry Potter book?

  • Is probably the seventh one.

  • Yeah. Yes.

  • Which was a great way to end the series.

  • But this one, the first one has a very important part in my,

  • place in my heart, because it is the first thing I ever got published.

  • So -- Yes, but you really need to shout your question.

  • Audience Member: (inaudible)

  • J.K. Rowling: How did Harry Potter get to -- how did he get his

  • lightning scar?

  • Good question.

  • Very good question.

  • When he was a little bit younger than you,

  • a very evil wizard tried to kill him.

  • The evil wizard killed his parents and then he

  • tried to kill Harry.

  • But he couldn't kill Harry.

  • So that is the great mystery of Harry's life.

  • That is why when he goes to school, he is very famous,

  • because he is the only boy who ever survived an attack by that

  • wizard and no one knows why.

  • And really Harry's whole journey through the seven books is to

  • try and find out why he survived.

  • You need to really shout over the --

  • Audience Member: Why did he survive?

  • J.K. Rowling: Why did he survive?

  • Well, I would have to explain a lot to tell you.

  • It is a good question. It is the best question.

  • But I can't really answer it without giving away the

  • ending of book seven.

  • And just in case anyone is halfway through the books,

  • I don't want to spoil the end of the story for them.

  • Yes.

  • I have been told that I just have two more.

  • There is another reader coming.

  • Yes.

  • Audience Member: (inaudible)