In the first Harry Potter book, why didn't Harry get Ron a Christmas present? Although I don't have the exact quotes right now, Hagrid says that the money Harry takes out of his Gringotts vault was enough for "a couple of terms". If it was enough for more than one term, surely Harry had enough for a present for Ron?

After all, Hermione got Harry and Ron presents, and at that point, she'd been friends with Harry and Ron for two months — less than how long Harry and Ron have been friends.

I completely understand why Ron wasn't able to get Harry a present — his family was poor, and as an eleven-year-old, I can see why he doesn't have any money/his parents didn't give him any money.

But why doesn't Harry buy Ron a Christmas present? Surely they were close enough friends at that point to buy each other presents, especially after the troll incident, which they went through together?

  • 13
    Maybe, after living in an abusive household, he didn't realise you should. The other boy his age that he had lived with (Dudley) hardly set a precedent. – marcellothearcane Jun 1 at 5:35
  • 1
    I don't see how this can be anything other than opinion based. Unless someone's been asking JK about this specifically, it's not going to be directly addressed. – Jontia Jun 1 at 8:48
  • 4
    Do we know he definitely doesn't or is it simply not mentionedt? According to the books Harry only takes one bath in 7 (8?) years... – Mr. Boy Jun 1 at 14:04
  • 1
    I wondered; the scene does read as though it accounts for every parcel that Harry opens. Bit more open on Ron's gifts. – Michael Jun 1 at 14:17

I always assumed that it was becuase it never occurred to him - the Dursleys never really give him presents (I think an old coat hanger and 50p is mentioned). He has also likely never bought one for anyone before - it says that Dudley chased away any friends he ever made, and he never had any money before either, so couldn't have bought anything if he had wanted to. He is very surprised at receiving any presents - which also points to the same idea. So it's hardly surprising that he doesn't think of buying any.

| improve this answer | |
  • 8
    This is a nice answer. If you edited in a quote about him being surprised at receiving presents himself it would make it even better just to support your point! – TheLethalCarrot Jun 1 at 14:09

Not a proof but a reasonable hypothesis: Harry is not able to buy Ron a Christmas present.

Fact: He could not go to Hogsmeade because he was too​ young and no adult had signed his permission document either.

Assumption: He did not gift anyone a present before because there was no one worthy of it.

Speculation: He is a little more than two months in the wizarding world and has no knowledge about other ways to buy things.

Notice: There is a preconception that girls/women care more about other people than boys/men, which could result in "Hermione thought about presents, Ron and Harry did not".

Whether Harry does not like to handcraft something is not known, and is not the question either.

Conclusion: for me it is part of the picture, that Harry missed the occasion to give Ron a present.

| improve this answer | |

If knows Ron is not able to get him a present because of a lack of means, would it be nice to rub it in by creating a debt that would be hard to repay?

Now in order for pretend thoughtlessness to be believable, it has to be indistinguishable from actual thoughtlessness. If Ron is not supposed to figure out the difference, how can we hope to manage?

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.