In this question, it is speculated on the amount of money that belongs to Harry. In it, it's mentioned a Firebolt broom costs about 400-1000 Galleons. My problem is thus: in the books, Harry is under the impression the Firebolt would essentially clean his bank out, but gives away the 1k Galleons to Fred and George like it was nothing.

Why does he think can he not afford a Firebolt, given that his bank would cover it numerous times over?

Note: Granted the pricing on the Firebolt is pure speculation, but if it's a consumer model of broom being displayed at Diagon Alley, it couldn't REALLY be an incredibly sum of money, given that it would be too expensive to just "show off" in a window.

  • 2
    I don't think Harry was thinking about the monetary value of the thousand galleons he gave away. His upbringing seems to have made him completely content with "enough", anything beyond that is a luxury he barely registers.
    – DavidS
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 14:55
  • 1
    Age? He receives his Firebolt in Year 3. He gives gives his money for F&G in Year 4. He has had time to learn about the monetary system by then.
    – Skooba
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 14:55
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    Because JKR can't do maths.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 15:01
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    1) The galleons he gave to Fred and George were the winnings from the TriWizard Tournament - not his personal savings. 2) the Firebolt isn't a consumer model, several times in book 3 it is stated that it is a professional grade broom that Harry receives.
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 15:21
  • "it couldn't REALLY be an incredibly sum of money, given that it would be too expensive to just "show off" in a window." [citation needed] I've seen $100k used cars sitting in a showroom window. I've seen £1,000,000 cars sitting in a new car dealership's window. Really expensive items are often displayed in the shop window (under heavy security, obviously) to lure shoppers in, the vast majority of whom are expected to purchase much less expensive items, but still items sold at a profit.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 23 at 16:29

2 Answers 2


Its his personal thoughts talking himself out of buying a Firebolt, it isn't necessarily literal. Breaking the bank is a very common phrase meaning expensive, but not necessarily literal, and Harrys phrase gives off that same vibe to me.

Price on request ... Harry didn’t like to think how much gold the Firebolt would cost.

  1. He had never wanted anything so much in his whole life –

Harry is a 13 year old boy, looking at the flashiest toy that exists, say a new 4k TV.

  1. but he had never lost a Quidditch match on his Nimbus Two Thousand,

But he really loves his old 1080pd 120 refresh smart tv.

  1. and what was the point in emptying his Gringotts vault for the Firebolt, when he had a very good broom already?

Why should i blow my money on something when my TV already works, even though this one is beautiful.

Harry didn’t ask for the price, but he returned, almost every day after that, just to look at the Firebolt.

Pouts and lusts after that 4k TV hoping it goes on sale, contemplating robbing the store.

Other then that we have the small issue of JKR being bads with mafs. Does she even know how much a broom should cost in her own head related to how much school tuition costs, and Harrys small fortune?

Finally the FireBolt seems to be currently a built on demand product, as in there is 0 surplus and they will only make you one if you pay them enough. They are currently most likely working full time to create enough brooms to supply the pro market, so personal use brooms are still second in production, and can be purchased in advance of public release(if they will ever have one) at a premium price.

‘Irish International Side’s just put in an order for seven of these beauties!’ the proprietor of the shop told the crowd. ‘And they’re favourites for the World Cup!’

  • 10
    I actually feel like we can give JKR a pass on this one. Regardless of how much gold Harry has, he's still a total idiot; he was an idiot in his final year, he was even worse in his third. I don't find it hard to believe that he'd equate "Price on request" with "More money than I have". There's also the possibility that "emptying his Gringotts vault" wasn't meant entirely literally. Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 15:22
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    @AnthonyGrist i agree its most likely not meant literally.
    – Himarm
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 15:23
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    Agreed; Harry is an idiot.
    – jaichele
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 16:54
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    Harry was also a kid who was accustomed to being extremely poor. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that even if he had thought about it rationally, he might have realized he could have afforded it, but he was so unused to having that kind of money that irrationally it felt unobtainable.
    – Kai
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 0:06
  • I like to think that the shop keeper would like nothing more than for Harry Potter to be seen asking about the price.
    – EvilSnack
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 1:54

It's an expression. Harry is not genuinely concerned that he'll empty his vault--he inherited a small fortune! The way if I want something new and flashy, I'm concerned that I'll "Drain My Bank Account." It's just the

  • 5
    I think you forgot to finish your thought...
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 16:12
  • 2
    "the purple platypus tried eating his bank statement so he wasn't able to read it." Perhaps?
    – Anoplexian
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 17:20
  • I think she was going to say Candleja Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 4:05

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