Lights out

An unexpected guest arrives in Privet Drive and uses a strange object to put out the street lamps

Extract from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

By J.K. Rowling

Albus Dumbledore didn’t seem to realise that he had just arrived in a street where everything from his name to his boots was unwelcome. He was busy rummaging in his cloak, looking for something. But he did seem to realise he was being watched, because he looked up suddenly at the cat, which was still staring at him from the other end of the street. For some reason, the sight of the cat seemed to amuse him. He chuckled and muttered, ‘I should have known.’

He had found what he was looking for in his inside pocket. It seemed to be a silver cigarette lighter. He flicked it open, held it up in the air and clicked it. The nearest street lamp went out with a little pop. He clicked it again – the next lamp flickered into darkness. Twelve times he clicked the Put-Outer, until the only lights left in the whole street were two tiny pinpricks in the distance, which were the eyes of the cat watching him. If anyone looked out of their window now, even beady-eyed Mrs Dursley, they wouldn’t be able to see anything that was happening down on the pavement. Dumbledore slipped the Put-Outer back inside his cloak and set off down the street towards number four, where he sat down on the wall next to the cat. He didn’t look at it, but after a moment he spoke to it.

‘Fancy seeing you here, Professor McGonagall.’


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

By J.K. Rowling