First impressions

Harry meets Bill and Charlie Weasley for the first time

Extract from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J.K. Rowling

Harry spun faster and faster, elbows tucked tightly to his sides, blurred fireplaces flashing past him, until he started to feel sick and closed his eyes. Then, when at last he felt himself slowing down, he threw out his hands, and brought himself to a halt in time to prevent himself falling face forwards out of the Weasleys’ kitchen fire.

‘Did he eat it?’ said Fred excitedly, holding out a hand to pull Harry to his feet.

‘Yeah,’ said Harry, straightening up. ‘What was it?’

‘Ton-Tongue Toffee,’ said Fred brightly. ‘George and I invented them, we’ve been looking for someone to test them on all summer…’

The tiny kitchen exploded with laughter; Harry looked around and saw that Ron and George were sitting at the scrubbed wooden table with two red-haired people Harry had never seen before, though he knew immediately who they must be: Bill and Charlie, the two eldest Weasley brothers.

‘How’re you doing, Harry?’ said the nearer of the two, grinning at him and holding out a large hand, which Harry shook, feeling calluses and blisters under his fingers. This had to be Charlie, who worked with dragons in Romania. Charlie was built like the twins, shorter and stockier than Percy and Ron, who were both long and lanky. He had a broad, good-natured face, which was weather-beaten and so freckly that he looked almost tanned; his arms were muscly, and one of them had a large, shiny burn on it.

Bill got to his feet, smiling, and also shook Harry’s hand. Bill came as something of a surprise. Harry knew that he worked for the wizarding bank, Gringotts, that he had been Head Boy of Hogwarts, and had always imagined Bill to be an older version of Percy; fussy about rule-breaking and fond of bossing everyone around. However, Bill was – there was no other word for it – cool. He was tall, with long hair that he had tied back in a ponytail. He was wearing an earring with what looked like a fang dangling from it. His clothes would not have looked out of place at a rock concert, except that Harry recognised his boots to be made, not of leather, but of dragon hide.

Before any of them could say anything else, there was a faint popping noise, and Mr Weasley appeared out of thin air at George’s shoulder. He was looking angrier than Harry had ever seen him.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By J.K. Rowling