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Harry Potter Lingo, Decoded

potter lingo art image

Bernie Bott's Every Flavor Beans: Wizard candy similar to jellybeans. They come in every flavor imaginable, from chocolate and bubblegum to liver and sprouts.

Galleons: These gold coins are the largest denomination of wizard money.

Golden Snitch: The gold Quidditch ball, it's the size of a large walnut, with silver wings that allow it to fly very fast. The team that catches the golden snitch receives 150 points and wins the game.

Gryffindor: The house, or dormitory, at Hogwarts where Harry Potter lives. Its students are known for their bravery. Mascot: a lion.

Gringotts: The wizards' bank that's run by goblins.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: The English boarding school where Harry and friends learn to practice magic.

Hogwarts Express: The train that transports Hogwarts students to and from school; it departs from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters at King's Cross Station.

Hufflepuff: The Hogwarts house whose students are known for their loyalty. Mascot: a badger.

Knut: The smallest denomination of wizard money. There are 493 bronze Knuts in one Galleon.

Mirror of Erised: A mirror that shows those who look into it their heart's deepest desire.

Muggle: A person who doesn't possess magical abilities (a play on the word mug, or fool).

Platform Nine and Three-Quarters: The magical platform at King's Cross station in London from which the train to Hogwarts departs. Muggles can't see it.

Ravenclaw: The Hogwarts house whose students are known for their wisdom. Mascot: an eagle.

Quidditch: A wizard's sports game, played on flying broomsticks with four balls and six goal posts. Each team has seven players.

Seeker: The Quidditch player who must capture the Golden Snitch. Seekers are fast, agile fliers; Harry is the Seeker for the Gryffindor team.

Slytherin: A Hogwarts house whose students are known for their cunning. Harry's arch rival, Draco Malfoy, belongs to this dorm. Mascot: a snake.

Sorting Hat: The magical wizard's hat that new students don when they arrive at Hogwarts to determine which dorm they will be assigned to.

Sorcerer's Stone: A magical stone that transforms any metal into gold. It also produces the Elixir of Life, which makes the drinker immortal. Harry fights to ensure that the stone stays out of the wrong hands.

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Copyright © 2001. Reprinted with permission from the December/January 2001 issue of Child magazine.