Summary (Magill's Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition)
At the beginning of the novel, Harry Potter is living in a cupboard under the stairs, suffering appalling maltreatment at the hands of the Dursley family, to whose care he was confided as an infant following the death of his parents; his mother was Mrs. Dursley’s sister. On his eleventh birthday, however, it is revealed to him, despite the Dursleys’ best efforts, that he has inherited magical abilities and is scheduled for education in wizardry at Hogwarts Academy, a key pillar of the British magical community, which lives in strict covert isolation from untalented “muggles.” This message is delivered by the intimidating Hagrid, who lives on the school grounds on the edge of a Forbidden Forest. Hagrid, who is fascinated by all manner of magical creatures, becomes Harry’s first fast friend.
Having obtained essential equipment from the magical mall in Diagon Alley, Harry catches the Hogwarts Express from platform nine and three-quarters at King’s Cross Station and is carried away to his new life. He finds that his reputation has preceded him to Hogwarts. While still preconscious in his cradle, he survived a magical assault by the infamous dark wizard Voldemort (whose name is so terrible in its effects that only Harry and Hogwarts’ headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, dare pronounce it), deflecting a killing spell back upon its sender and reducing Voldemort to helplessness. Despite the resentment generated by this reputation among the children of...
(The entire section is 389 words.)
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The first of the "Harry Potter" books, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone introduces readers to Harry Potter on the cusp of his eleventh birthday. Born to a well-respected and much-loved witch and wizard, Harry Potter was orphaned as a baby and left to be taken care of by his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon Dursley, along with their son Dudley.
Harry bears the scars of his parents' fate and his orphaned status both literally and figuratively. The evil wizard Voldemort ("He Who Shall Not Be Named") killed Harry's parents but could not vanquish their son. As a result of the battle, Harry wears a curious, lightning-shaped scar on his forehead—a scar that burns when Harry is in danger or when he wakes up from a repeating nightmare of infant memory. Nevertheless, being the son of a successful magic couple and defeating an evil wizard as a one-year-old babe is not without benefits. Harry Potter is renowned in the magic world, a child hero. But he is a child hero unaware. In their wisdom, Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall leave Harry on the Durlsey's doorstep. The Dursleys are staunch and proud Muggles, non-magic people who live in a flat, gray, and oppressively over-systematized and inconvenient world—the world of present-day Great Britain.
Harry is perceived as a burden and potential embarrassment to the Dursleys. He is told that his parents were killed in a car accident, never shown any photographs of them, and kept ignorant of the...
(The entire section is 528 words.)
Chapter 1 Summary
The Dursleys lived at number four, Privet Drive, and were happy to say that they were a very "normal" family with one son named Dudley. It was Mrs. Dursley's sister, Mrs. Potter, who was the strange one. The Dursleys lived in fear that this secret would get out.
One evening, strange things begin to happen on Privet drive regarding cats and owls and people in cloaks. Mr. Dursley gets worried only when he hears a reference to "the Potters" and "their son, Harry." A stranger even hugs Dursley on the street, proclaiming that "You-Know-Who has gone at last!" The Dursleys continue to worry into the night that these new strange happenings could somehow affect them.
Meanwhile, a very tall, old man in a purple cloak appears on the street. He puts out the lights with a strange contraption and begins speaking to a tabby cat that turns into a stern looking witch named Professor McGonagall. The begin discussing the infamous "You-Know-Who" named Voldemort and reveal that he has killed Lilly and James Potter. Voldemort, however, did not succeed in killing little Harry Potter who somehow survived with only a scar on his forehead while Voldemort, a very powerful and evil wizard, lost all of his power.
Dumbledore (the old wizard in the purple cloak) and Professor McGonagall have come to bring little Harry Potter to his aunt and uncle (the only family he has left): the Dursleys. McGonagall is disgusted Harry has to be left with these horrible "Muggles" (non-wizard folk), but Dumbledore reveals that it will be good for Harry to grow up where he is not so famous for destroying Voldemort.
Suddenly a huge motorcycle falls out of the air and lands in front of them. Hagrid, a large man with bushy black hair, has brought Harry Potter safely to Privet Drive. The three look a little sad as they leave Harry Potter on the doorstep with only simple note of explanation for the Dursleys.
Chapter 2 Summary
Ten years have passed, and Dudley Dursley has been spoiled rotten by his parents while Harry Potter has been forced to sleep in "the cupboard under the stairs" and treated horribly. Compared to his cousin, Harry is scrawny with dark hair, bright green eyes, and large glasses. Harry still has the scar, shaped like a lightning bolt, on his forehead, but he has no idea why it is there. The Dursleys have told Harry that his parents died in a car crash and demanded that Harry not ask questions.
It is Dudley's birthday, and Harry is forced to serve the Dursleys as they dispense lavish gifts on their already spoiled son. After being miffed at the "small" number of presents (thirty-seven), Dudley is even more horrified that Harry is going to accompany them to the zoo because they couldn't pawn him off on someone else.
Harry is warned not to perform any "funny business" at the zoo; however, Harry knows that strange things often happen in his favor, even though he doesn't know why. At the zoo, Dudley and his friend Piers soon get bored of the animals and try to get a snake to move. Suddenly, the snake winks at Harry and the two begin communicating. When Dudley pushes Harry rudely out of the way, the glass on the snake's tank vanishes. Harry is thanked by the snake on its way to freedom.
Back at home, Harry is banished to his cupboard. While there, Harry thinks about his common vision of a blinding flash of green light and wonders if that was a result of the car crash. He contemplates how weird strangers seem to recognize him and then vanish. Harry feels totally alone.
Chapter 3 Summary
Harry has been banished to his cupboard under the stairs until summer. Harry feels as lonely as ever and focuses on his only ray of hope: secondary school without Dudley. Dudley will be going to Smeltings, Mr. Dursley’s old private school, while Harry will be going to public school.
One morning Harry is surprised to find a letter addressed to him in the mailbox. Once the Dursley’s notice, they rip the letter from Harry’s hands, read it with a look of horror on their faces, and refuse to let Harry read it. The Dursleys burn the letter and decide to ignore it.
Because the letter was addressed to “Mr. H. Potter / The Cupboard under the Stairs,” the Dursleys give Harry Dudley’s old room (much to the dismay of Dudley), trying to defray more letters. Each day following, more and more letters arrive for Harry with more specifics about exactly where Harry can be found. The Dursley’s destroy all of them. Just as Uncle Vernon (Mr. Dursley) is celebrating “no post on Sundays,” letters for Harry come pelting out of the fireplace in vast numbers.
The Dursleys take Harry and leave home, hoping to avoid more letters. Their first stop is a hotel on the outskirts of town, but the letters follow Harry there as well. The Dursleys and Harry end up on “what looked like a large rock way out at sea” in “the most miserable little shack you could imagine” all to avoid more letters for Harry. That night, Harry realizes he will turn eleven at midnight. When midnight comes, a loud knock is heard at the door.
Chapter 4 Summary
The knock is heard again at midnight on Harry’s eleventh birthday. Uncle Vernon takes up his gun while a huge man with shaggy black hair knocks down the door. It is Hagrid, the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts: the same man who delivered Harry to the Dursley’s house by motorcycle years ago. Hagrid is happy to see Harry while a confused Harry is thrilled to get his first “slightly squashed” birthday cake. Hagrid is shocked and enraged to hear both that Harry has never heard of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and that the Dursleys have never told Harry about his parents’ world.
Harry is surprised to learn that he is a wizard, a famous one at that, and is finally allowed to read the letter of acceptance to Hogwarts, much to the chagrin of the Dursleys. Hagrid sends a new letter by owl to inform Dumbledore that Harry has received his letter and becomes enraged again when he learns that Harry thinks his parents died in a car crash. Hagrid then tells Harry that his parents were killed by the evil wizard, Voldemort, and that Harry himself survived with only the scar on his forehead while Voldemort lost all his power. Harry can’t believe all of this news until Hagrid mentions all of the strange things that happen in Harry’s favor that Harry has never been able to explain.
Meanwhile, Uncle Vernon continues to throw insults at Harry’s family, refusing Harry’s entrance into Hogwarts. When Uncle Vernon insults Dumbledore, Hagrid snaps. Using magic, Hagrid gives Dudley a pig’s tail. The Dursleys leave the picture, cowering over their “injured” son. Hagrid and Harry plan to leave in order to get Harry’s special school supplies for the year.
Chapter 5 Summary
After Harry gets his first newspaper delivered by owl, Hagrid and Harry set off for the mainland via boat that Hagrid propels with magic. Harry learns that their first stop is Gringotts, a wizards’ bank run by goblins, in order to collect at least part of Harry’s inheritance. Harry learns that it’s a very safe bank, guarded by all sorts of spells and enchantments. Because Hagrid isn’t really supposed to use magic to bring Harry back, the two take the train. Hagrid gets all sorts of looks as he tells Harry about things like the Ministry of Magic and the dragon that Hagrid has always wanted. They go over Harry’s list of course books, equipment, and uniform requirements. Hagrid explains that they can get all of these things in London “if yeh know where to go.”
The two venture into a questionable pub called the Leaky Cauldron and enter Diagon Alley through a secret entrance, but not before Harry is greeted with honor by many of the patrons, including a stuttering Professor Quirrell who is the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher from Hogwarts. Harry is amazed at all of the wizarding shops in Diagon Alley selling cauldrons, broomsticks, owls, etc. At Gringotts Harry learns that Hagrid, in addition to taking Harry to collect his money for school, is also procuring something very important for Dumbledore. A goblin carts them down twisted passageways to Harry’s vault filled with mounds of wizard money. Harry takes what he needs for the school year and then continues with Hagrid and the goblin to Dumbledore’s special, top security vault “number seven hundred and thirteen.” Harry is surprised to see that the only thing inside is a “grubby little package” that Hagrid pockets.
Hagrid and Harry proceed to get Harry’s uniform robes for school where Harry hears of an interesting game called Quidditch and the different “houses” of Hogwarts. They buy Harry’s school books and cauldron before Hagrid gives Harry his birthday present: a beautiful white owl. Harry then visits Ollivanders to procure a wand and tries a few out before an appropriate one is found. Ollivander comments that the only other wand with a feather from the same phoenix was owned by Voldemort and gave Harry his scar.
After the best birthday of his life, Harry ponders how much he still has to learn about the wizard world as he heads home to the Dursleys to await the beginning of the school year.
Chapter 6 Summary
Harry is to report to platform nine and three quarters at King’s Cross station. His uncle dumps him between platforms 9 and 10, where Harry watches a family of children vanish. The mother of the children tells him to walk straight into the barrier between the two platforms, and as Harry does so, he passes over into another platform, with a train marked “Hogwarts Express.” The twins, Fred and George, that he had watched vanish from the King’s Cross station help him stow his bag. They recognize him as Harry Potter before leaving to say goodbye to their mother. Harry overhears a conversation where they mention his name. The youngest boy from the family, Ron, asks to sit with Harry on the train. He asks Harry about You-Know-Who, and Harry asks Ron about his family. Ron comes from a wizarding family. As they talk, a candy cart comes by and Harry gets a card of Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts. As he studies the card, a boy named Neville comes by looking for a lost toad, and a girl named Hermione joins them in their compartment. After some failed magic, Hermione and Neville leave, and Ron asks Harry about his favorite Quidditch team, and explains to Harry that Quidditch is a sport. The compartment door opens again and the boy Draco Malfoy from the robe shop comes in. He bullies the boys, and after he leaves Ron explains that his family is on the Dark Side. Then the train has arrived, and Hagrid directs the first years onto a boat that takes them to the school.
Chapter 7 Summary
A stern woman named Professor McGonagall meets the children at the door, and leads them to a large room. She explains that they are about to have a sorting ceremony to determine whether they will go to Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. As Harry worries about the ceremony, a bunch of ghosts come through the walls, scaring the students, though the ghosts just act casual and wish the students luck. The ceremony begins when the Sorting Hat begins singing a song. Each student is called up and the hat placed upon their head. The hat then calls out which house the student belongs in. Draco Malfoy ends up in Slytherin. When it is Harry’s turn, he is put in Gryffindor, with Herminone, Neville, and finally Ron. Dumbledore greets them and they begin a feast. The students talk about their families and starting classes, when Harry looks up to meet the eyes of Professor Quirrell, and his scar suddenly burns. The pain subsides as Percy, Ron’s brother, tells him that Quirrell is talking to another professor named Snape. Dumbledore reminds students of the rules not to go in the forest and not to use magic outside of class. At their dorms, a portrait of a fat lady asks them for a password before they can enter. In the rooms, they find their beds and settle in for the night.
Chapter 8 Summary
The next day everyone is talking about Harry Potter. He’s famous among the students, and it makes it hard for Harry to adjust to the new school. He gets on the wrong side of the caretaker, Filch, by accident, and Harry discovers that everyone hates Filch and his cat Mrs. Norris. Harry’s classes consist of Herbology with Prof. Sprout, History of Magic with Prof. Binns, Charms with Prof. Flitwick, Transfiguration with Prof. McGonagall, Defense Against the Dark Arts with Prof. Quirrell (who turns out to be a lousy teacher), and Potions with Prof. Snape. During breakfast, the mail is delivered by owls to the students. Harry receives mail from Hagrid, asking him to tea. Harry has his first Potions class, and discovers that Snape hates him, taking two points away from Gryffindor for things that aren’t Harry’s fault. Harry and Ron meet Hagrid for tea, and Harry reads an article about a break in at Gringotts that happened on the day Harry and Hagrid were there. Hagrid doesn’t answer any of Harry’s questions, and Harry suspects that whatever the thieves were after came from the vault that Hagrid emptied that day.
Chapter 9 Summary
Harry finds out that they will be learning to fly on broomsticks, but that Slytherin (and more importantly Draco) will be learning with them. At the lesson, Neville has an accident, and when Prof. Hooch goes to care for him, Malfoy steals something of Neville’s and taunts Harry into flying after him. As Harry swoops on the broom to catch the object, Prof, McGonagall catches him and takes him inside. She introduces him to a boy named Oliver Wood, and tells him that Harry would make a good Seeker in the game of Quidditch. At dinner, Harry is once again bullied by Malfoy, and Malfoy challenges him to a duel. Harry and Ron leave to meet around midnight, with Hermione following them, and they pick up Neville on the way. As they wait for Malfoy, Filch comes by looking for them. The students realize Malfoy has tricked them, and tipped off Filch. Running from Filch, they duck into a room, and discover a huge dog with 3 heads, right in front of them. They backtrack, and quickly return to their rooms. As they wonder about the 3-headed dog, Hermione shares her observation that the dog was sitting on top of a trapdoor. The dog is guarding something, and it is probably the package from Gringotts.
Chapter 10 Summary
A package arrives for Harry. It's a Nimbus 2000, and a note telling him to meet Oliver Wood, the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
When Harry meets Oliver, the captain explains the game and shows Harry the various balls involved. Harry's role is the Seeker. Impressed his Harry's flying skills, Oilver hopes to win the Quidditch Cup.
The students are learning a levitation spell. Hermione is very adept at using the spell, much to the chagrin of many of her classmates. When leaving class, Ron says that she is a "nightmare" and it's no wonder she doesn't have any friends. Hermione overhears him and hides herself in the girls' bathroom.
At the Hallowe'en feast, Quirrel rushes into the hall declaring that a troll is loose. Panic ensues and everyone is sent to their rooms. The boys remember that Hermione is in the bathroom and go to warn her.
When they get there, they can hear Hermione screaming. They try to distract the troll and rescue Hermione; Harry climbs on its back and sticks his wand up the troll's nose. Ron screams, "Wingardium Leviosa", and the troll's club rises into the air, knocking it unconscious. Teachers arrive, and McGonagall blasts the boys for taking on the troll themselves, but Hermione speaks up and says that going after the troll was her idea and that the boys had been trying to stop her. The boys become friends with Hermione.
Chapter 11 Summary
It's Harry's first Quidditch match against Slytherin. He tries to prepare by reading a book Hermione had gotten from the library, but Snape takes the book away saying that the books aren't supposed to leave the library. As Snape walks away, Harry notices him limping. He overhears Snape talking to Filch about the 3-headed dog, and Harry becomes more suspicious about Snape's activities.
During the Quidditch match, everything is going well for Harry. He is flying well, and the crowd cheers. All of a sudden, his broom begins to fly dangerously, seemingly on its own. Hagrid mutters that only black magic could make a broom behave that way. Hermione scans the crowd and notices that Snape is staring at Harry, muttering under his breath. Thinking that Snape was putting a spell on Harry's broom, Hermione rushes over and sets Snape's robes on fire. When the professor jumps up and takes his eyes off Harry, suddenly Harry is able to gain control of his broom once more. He catches the Snitch and wins his first Quidditch match.
Later, Harry and Hermione tell Hargrid their suspicions about Snape, especially the bite from the dog. Hagrid says that the dog is his and that the dog is being used to protect a secret known only to Dumbledore and someone named Nicholas Flamel.
Chapter 12 Summary
Chapter Twelve: The Mirror of Erised
Taunts from both Malfoy and Snape cause Harry and Ron to agree upon hatred of Slytherin. Christmas is approaching, so Hermione thinks the three should spend the time researching Nicholas Flamel in the library and trying to find out what Snape was attempting to steal. Unfortunately, their efforts remain unsuccessful.
The Christmas holidays arrive and the classmates left at Hogwarts have lots of fun together. Ron and Harry share a wonderful Christmas morning together where Harry gets some of the first Christmas presents of his life. The most exciting thing is an anonymous present of an invisibility cloak that belonged to Harry’s father. After a spectacular Christmas dinner, Harry uses the night to try out his invisibility cloak alone. Harry travels to the restricted section of the library, but is again unsuccessful in finding anything about Flamel and in his escape from Filch and Snape (who almost discover Harry), Harry finds a huge mirror in an unused classroom. When Harry looks in the mirror he sees his own parents staring back at him and smiling. Harry stays for a long time and promises to return with Ron the next night.
Because of the mirror, Harry forgets about everything from eating to researching Flamel. When Harry shows Ron the mirror, the vision is different. Ron sees himself as head boy holding the Quidditch cup. The third night Harry returns to find Dumbledore who explains that the mirror shows “nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts.” Dumbledore tells Harry that the mirror will be moved to a new home, but to be prepared if Harry ever meets it again. When Harry asks Dumbledore what he sees in the mirror, Dumbledore answers humorously that he sees “a pair of thick, woolen socks.”
Chapter 13 Summary
Chapter Thirteen: Nicholas Flamel
Still unable to find any information on the elusive Nicholas Flamel, Harry Potter begins to focus on his Quidditch practice. Griffindor hopes to overtake Slytherin in the house championship, but they have to do so with Snape refereeing. Ron and Hermione try to convince Harry to feign illness to get out of his Quidditch match.
Neville topples into the common room with his legs locked together courtesy of Malfoy. Everyone laughs except Hermione who releases Neville. Embarrassed by his ordeal, Neville doesn’t think he could ever stand up to Malfoy. When Harry gives Neville a chocolate frog for encouragement, Harry offhandedly finds information about Flamel on the card in the box. With further research, Hermione reads that Flamel is the only known "maker of the Sorcerer's Stone" which not only can turn any metal into pure gold but also can make any drinker immortal.
Harry gets nervous as the Quidditch match nears, but feels better when he realizes that Dumbledore has come to watch. The match ends quickly when Harry pulls out of a spectacular dive with the snitch in his hand.
While reveling in his victory, Harry sees a hooded Snape sneak into the forbidden forest and eavesdrops on his conversation with Quirrell. Snape asks Quirrell if he has figured out how to get past Hagrid's beast protecting the stone and warns that Quirrel doesn't want Snape as an enemy. Harry, Ron, and Hermione discuss the overheard conversation and assume that Snape is trying to steal the Sorcerer's stone and forcing Quirrell to help him.
Chapter 14 Summary
Chapter Fourteen: Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback
Fluffy seems to be keeping the Sorcerer’s Stone safe as Hermione nags the boys about exams approaching. Hagrid, who is hiding something behind his back and secretly researching dragons, delays conversation as Harry, Ron, and Hermione ask more about the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Later, the three go to visit Hagrid’s now sweltering hut to discover that Hagrid has acquired a dragon egg that needs to be kept incredibly warm. The three press Hagrid for more information about the enchantments protecting the stone and find out that many teachers, including Snape, have created some of the many protective enchantments. While they are there, the dragon hatches. Unfortunately, Malfoy is spying on them through the window.
In another week, the dragon has grown three times in length and has been named Norbert. Hagrid loves his Norwegian Ridgeback, but Norbert causes so much trouble (such as giving Ron a nasty bite, for example) that Harry, Ron, and Hermione convince Charlie (Ron’s brother who studies dragons in Romania) to take Norbert away from the tallest tower at midnight on Saturday. Hagrid reluctantly agrees. Unfortunately, Malfoy swipes the letter from Charlie containing that information, too.
Harry and Hermione use the invisibility cloak to smuggle Norbert up to the tallest tower at the appointed time. Meanwhile, Malfoy tries to sneak around in order to catch Harry and friends; however, Malfoy is caught by Professor McGonagall and given detention. After Charlie and his friends take Norbert to safety, Filch catches Harry and Hermione at the foot of the stairs because they left the invisibility cloak at the top of the tower.
Chapter 15 Summary
Chapter Fifteen: The Forbidden Forest
Cornered by McGonagall, Harry and Hermione allow her to believe that they lied to both Neville and Malfoy about the dragon. Everyone gets detention in addition to 150 points being taken from Griffindor. As a result of this, Griffindors start to despise Harry even though he was one of their most admired after his last Quidditch match. As Harry and Hermione are taunted by classmates, Harry overhears Quirrell sobbing and believes that Snape is torturing him again for information about how to get to the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Harry, Hermione, Neville, and Malfoy all serve their detention with Hagrid in the forbidden forest looking for a wounded unicorn. The group splits up with Hagrid leading Harry and Hermione and Fang leading Neville and Malfoy. Hagrid’s group has rotten luck getting any specific unicorn information from Ronan and Bane who are centaurs. After Neville sends up red sparks in a panic, Hagrid has them switch groups. Now working with Malfoy and Fang, Harry finds the dead unicorn and a cloaked shadow figure drinking the unicorn’s blood. Fang and Malfoy run as Harry stands paralyzed with fear and with a terrible pain in his scar. As the figure moves toward Harry, a centaur named Firenze charges to stop it. Firenze puts Harry on his back to carry him to safety. After being chided by his fellow centaurs for doing this, Firenze reveals that drinking a unicorn’s blood allows a being to live a cursed life, but a life just the same, until something else can bring more strength and power. Harry’s heart sinks as he realizes that it was Voldemort drinking the blood and awaiting the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Harry paces the common room thinking that Snape could steal the Sorcerer’s Stone for Voldemort at any moment. Hermione reminds Harry that he’s safe as long as Dumbledore is around. Then Harry goes to bed only to find that someone has anonymously returned the invisibility cloak.
Chapter 16 Summary
Chapter Sixteen: Through the Trapdoor
The students take their exams. Just as Harry thinks that Hagrid would never tell anyone how to get past Fluffy, he gets a panicked look on his face and goes down to see Hagrid. It turns out that a cloaked figure was going to play cards with Hagrid for the dragon egg; however, the figure wanted to see if Hagrid could “handle it” first. As a result, Hagrid revealed to the cloaked figure that the way to get past Fluffy was to put him to sleep with music.
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione run to tell Dumbledore the news, they find that he had just left because he “received an urgent owl from the Ministry of Magic.” They determine that tonight is the night that the Sorcerer’s Stone will be stolen while Dumbledore is away. Harry realizes that his life depends on Voldemort not getting the Sorcerer’s Stone; therefore, the three friends (Harry, Hermione, and Ron) vow to go on a quest together to steal the stone first. Before they leave, Neville stands up to his friends, hoping no more points will be taken from Griffindor. However, Hermione puts the “Full Body-Bind” on Neville to leave him there motionless.
With the invisibility cloak covering them, the three discover the door to the third corridor already ajar. When they enter the room where Fluffy resides, there is a silent harp under his feet. The three decide that Snape has already been there. Fluffy sniffs at them, but can’t see them because of the invisibility cloak. Fluffy falls asleep as Harry plays Hagrid’s flute. Therefore, the three make it though the trap door.
The three fall on an unusual plant called Devil’s Snare that begins to bind them tightly with its tendrils. Hermione escapes its grip right away and frees Harry and Ron though her knowledge of “Herbology” by using her wand to create a jet of blue flames to make the plant cringe.
Next comes a mysterious room with brooms and a flock of flying keys. Obviously someone has already completed this task because the correct key has bright blue wings that are all crumpled on one side. All three mount brooms and, with all the other keys chasing them, manage to work together to grab the key to enter the next room.
The next room holds a large, enchanted game of chess. Ron takes the lead as the three friends play their way across the board to avoid being broken like the other chess pieces. It isn’t long before they realize that Ron will have to sacrifice himself in order to win the game. Ron remains there, hurt, while the other two progress forward.
Finally, Hermione and Harry enter the room of Snape’s enchantment. Immediately, black flames block their path while purple flames block their retreat. The two use logic to figure out a puzzle about which potion to drink. There is only enough for one person, so Harry asks Hermione to drink the potion to go back to Ron in order to help him. Harry drinks the potion to move onward. As an icy sensation moves through Harry, he walks straight through the black flames. Immediately he is surprised that the person in the next room isn’t Snape or Voldemort.
Chapter 17 Summary
Chapter Seventeen: The Man with Two Faces
Instead of seeing Snape in the next room, Harry is surprised to find Professor Quirrell who reveals himself as the villain. It was Quirrell, not Snape, who had been trying to kill Harry all along. Snape had been trying to save Harry. Ropes appear and bind Harry tightly as Quirrell ponders the last enchantment: the Mirror of Erised. Quirrell sees himself in the mirror presenting the Sorcerer’s Stone to Lord Voldemort, but Quirrell can’t figure out how to get the stone. Harry realizes that the mirror will show Harry finding the Sorcerer’s Stone. As Harry steps closer to the mirror, Harry hears another voice telling Quirrell to use Harry to find the Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry looks into the mirror and sees himself pulling the Sorcerer’s Stone out of his own pocket, but lies to Quirrell about it. The strange voice asks to speak to Harry, so Quirrell unwraps his turban to reveal the face of Voldemort at the rear. Voldemort explains how the unicorn blood kept him alive and asks for the stone in Harry’s pocket. Quirrell lunges at Harry, whose scar is burning beyond belief, and grabs Harry around the neck. Suddenly, Quirrells hands begin to blister and burn. Harry grabs Quirrell’s arm (burning it as well) before he faints into blackness.
Harry awakens to find Dumbledore sitting beside him in the hospital wing. Harry is surrounded by gifts from his fellow Griffindors. Dumbledore reveals that he was the one to pull Quirrell off of Harry, that Nicholas Flamel has decided to destroy the Sorcerer’s Stone, that Dumbledore was the one who sent the invisibility cloak, that the reason why Harry’s touch burned Quirrell was because of Harry’s mother’s love for him, that Harry’s own father had once saved Snape’s life, and that Voldemort will continue to try and return. Dumbledore also says that there are things he won’t reveal to Harry until he is older. Dumbledore is particularly proud of the Mirror of Erised because only the person who wanted to find the Sorcerer’s Stone (and not use it) would be able to get it.
As Dumbledore leaves, Ron and Hermione appear and contemplate Dumbledore’s involvement in all of this. After a few days, Harry feels well enough to go to the feast at the end of the year where he comforts a crying Hagrid who is upset about revealing Fluffy’s secret. Hagrid gives Harry a special present with pictures of his family. At the feast, it first seems that the Griffindors lose horribly, but it isn’t long before Dumbledore awards some final points to Ron, Hermione, Harry, and Neville. The Griffindors are victorious!
Harry and his friends find out they have passed their exams before they all return home for the summer holidays. Harry returns to the Dursleys to await the start of the next school year.