What is the summary for Chapter 16 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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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.

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