1. Potter and Prejudice by Jane Austen
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young wizard in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wand.
“However little known the feelings or views of such a boy may be on his first entering Ollivander’s, Diagon Alley’s famed purveyor of fine wands, this truth is so well fixed in the mind of the shopkeeper, Garrick Ollivander, that the wizard is considered as the rightful owner of one particular wand. For it is also a truth, acknowledged by some – especially Mr Ollivander – that a wand, possessing the right core, complimented with the right wood, must be in want of a wizard.
“‘Curious indeed how these things happen,’ said Ollivander to the boy. ‘I think we must expect great things from you, Mr Potter.’
“Mr Potter made no answer. This was prophecy enough.”
2. Hermione by Roald Dahl
“From then on, Hermione avoided Ron Weasley as much as possible. She would visit the library once a week in order to take out new books and return the old ones. Her own small dorm room now became her reading room and there she would sit and read after classes and after dinner, often with a mug of tea beside her.
“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She travelled to the past with Bathilda Bagshot. She went to America with Newt Scamander. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in Hogwarts.”
3. We Need to Talk About Tom by Lionel Shriver
“I’m unsure why I didn’t trust my instincts, why I wasn’t more troubled by him. Call it innocence, or you call it gullibility, but I made perhaps the most common mistake of the good-hearted: I assumed that everyone else is just like me.
“But to answer your question, no, I didn’t know then, of course, that I had just met the most dangerous Dark wizard of all time. I had no idea that that boy, Tom Riddle, was to grow up to be what he is.
“You can only punish those with a conscience, those with hopes to frustrate or friendships to sever; who worry what you think of them. When we met, Tom Riddle was already alone and friendless. His powers were surprisingly well-developed, and he was already using magic against other people, to frighten and to control. It wasn’t until he killed 83 students in the Great Hall one supper time that I realised that perhaps he was quite evil, and beyond saving.
“You can really only punish people who are already a little bit good, Harry, and Tom Riddle was a shell game in which all three goblets were empty.”
4. Are You There, Viktor? It’s Me, Hermione by Judy Blume
“It so happens that I know plenty about boys.
“I’ve had quite enough of them. Viktor Krum is not a boy. Vikor Krum is a hunk. I’ve never known a hunk before. He’s eighteen, and really cute, and best of all, he sees me. The real me. He looks at me with kind of a half-smile, as if he is sharing a secret.
“Ron and Harry don’t get it. They don’t see me, not really. To them I’m just Hermione. And to them he’s some famous Quidditch player. But to me, he’s Viktor Krum, he’s eighteen and he’s my first boyfriend.”
5. The Hogwarts Tale by Margaret Atwood
“We slept in a room that was what we needed it to be. The floor was of dusty wood, with stone columns arching to a high ceiling, the only trace of the secret training this room was formerly used for. Hammocks hung around the room, with trunks and suitcases for seating, and I thought I could smell, faintly like an afterimage, the pungent scent of sweat, shot through with the sweet taint of Bertie Bott’s beans and other treats smuggled in from Hogsmeade, and the students eating them, sat in tattered robes, unchanged for weeks. Meetings of Dumbledore’s Army would have been held here; the image lingered, a palimpsest of hope and courage, floors lined with soft mats, the blue-white glow of wands conjuring their first Patronus Charm, the excited cheers of progress, of duels fought and won, the encouragement of a famed boy wizard powdering the witches and wizards who trained there with a bravery unseen since.
“There was old fear in the room and loneliness, and expectation, of something without a shape or name. We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability? It was in the air; and it was still in the air, an afterthought, as we tried to sleep, in the hammocks that hung from the pillar. The lights were turned down but not out. Out in the halls, Death Eaters patrolled; they had their wands slung on thongs from their leather belts.”
6. The Phoenix Order by Dan Brown
“It was the hottest day of the summer and renowned boy wizard Harry Potter lay flat on his back in a flowerbed, arms extended from his sides, as if lying on a cross. The cool earth and shade from the hedge had done much to ease the heat, but had done little to ease his anxiety. The frightening image of his friend’s body remained locked in his mind.
“Cedric Diggory is dead.
“The past few months had taken a heavy toll on him, and his scruffy appearance did little to suggest otherwise. Although not overly handsome in a classical sense, the fourteen-year-old Potter usually had what his friend Hermione referred to as an ‘acquired’ appeal — as skinny as a distance runner, he had a mop of thick black hair and probing green eyes hidden behind his black-rimmed spectacles. But only those with a keen eye would notice his resemblance to Jesus Christ.”
7. The Triwizard Games by Suzanne Collins
“It’s time for the drawing. Albus Dumbledore crosses to the goblet and waits as it spits out a slip of paper. The crowd draws in a collective breath and then you can hear a pin drop, and I’m feeling nauseous and so desperately hoping, even though I’m not old enough to compete, that it’s not me, that it’s not me, that it’s not me.
“Dumbledore smoothes the slip of paper, and reads out the name in a clear voice. And it’s not me.
“It’s Ron Weasley.
“There must have been some mistake. This can’t be happening. There are dozens of slips of paper. And besides, he’s not even old enough. His chances of being chosen so remote that I’d not even bothered to worry about him. One slip. One slip in many. The odds had been entirely in his favour. But it hadn’t mattered.
“Somewhere far away, I can hear the crowd murmuring unhappily because no one thinks this is fair. Ron isn’t skilled enough, he’ll most certainly be killed. But the Goblet has spoken. There’s nothing any of us can do. And then I see him, the blood drained from his face, hands clenched in fists at his sides, walking with stiff, small steps up toward the stage, passing me, and I hear him gulp, the way he does when he knows he’s in trouble. It’s this detail, the gulp, that brings me back to myself.
“‘Ron!’ The strangled cry comes out of my throat, and my muscles begin to move again. ‘Ron!’ I don’t need to shove through the crowd. The other students make way, immediately allowing me a straight path to the stage. I reach him just as he is about to mount the steps. With one sweep of my arm, I push him behind me.
“‘I volunteer!’ I gasp. ‘I volunteer as tribute!’
“‘Harry,’ says Dumbledore. ‘I believe there’s a small matter of Ron not being of age, and the fact that, um…’ He trails off.
“‘What does it matter?’ says Snape. ‘You know the volunteer subclause as well as I do. Let him come forward.’
“‘Well…through the door, Harry,’ says Dumbledore. He isn’t smiling.”
8. A Song of Spells & Potions by George R.R. Martin
“The door crashed from its frame, hinges shorn, locks shattered, and landed flat on the stone. As Vernon Dursley took aim with his rifle, a violent shudder of fear caused him to falter, and the buckshot missed all but the wall.
“The Giant swung again, fists the size of boulders barrelled through the brick frame, tearing a hole in the side of the hut large enough for him to stoop through. He bent down, fixing Vernon with a gaze of ice, of fire.
“He picked up the door and flung it at Vernon, crushing him against the wall, severing limbs, smashing bone and flesh. Blood flowed across stone. Petunia, naked for some reason, screamed. With a swing of his fist the giant caved in her skull. The hut fell silent.
“Dudley sat frozen with fear. He pointed at the boy in the corner. ‘Him. He’s the one you want.’
“The Giant spun around and lowered himself on to the screaming Dudley, flattening him and the chair he clung to with a terrible crunch. House Dursley was no more. He rested a moment, blew a tired breath at the inconvenience of the bloodline he had, with little effort, just ended. Harry shivered.
“The Giant picked the boy up by the scruff of his neck, and lifted him to eye level. ‘Pot-ter,’ he said. He raised a finger to the boy’s face, and uttered a single word.