Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Ernie Prang
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character|
Ernie Prang is the driver of the Knight Bus.
Role in the Books
When Harry falls into the street, after tripping over his trunk, the Knight Bus appears to pick him up. Ernie, the driver, is sitting in his armchair in front of the steering wheel, but he evidently is not very familiar with its operation, as Harry sees the bus mounting the pavement (US: driving on the sidewalk) and watches, amazed, as mailboxes, lampposts, and occasionally entire houses leap out of the way of the bus. Harry sees a picture of Sirius Black on the cover of Stan Shunpike's newspaper, and recognizes him as the mass murderer who has been mentioned on the Muggle news. Stan and Ernie discuss the circumstances of Sirius' arrest twelve years before, thus bringing Harry up to speed on what is happening in the Wizarding world.
Nymphadora Tonks summons the Knight Bus to take Harry, Ron, Ginny, Hermione, and the twins back to Hogwarts. Although we don't talk to him and don't see him, we can assume that Ernie is still driving, as Stan Shunpike is still the conductor, and the driving style has not changed.
Relationships with Other Characters
Given that Ernie seems to be uncertain of the operation of a steering wheel, it is perhaps reasonable that his surname "Prang" is British slang for an automobile accident.