Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Chapter Summary and Analysis - Part Three
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is the bowdlerized version of the title for the first book in the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling. She wrote it under 'Philosopher's' Stone for her United Kingdom anticipated readership. I must confess, I didn't begin reading the collection until hearing a NPR (National Public Radio) book review as the second book was being released. The reviewers were claiming the Potter books to be: "The Wizard of Oz books for this generation." Well, having taken my childhood quarter and making the bus trip downtown to the Carnegie Free Library several weeks in a row in order to read all the "Oz" series - I decided to see if they really did compare… they did.
Rowling has said that Harry "sort of just walked into" her mind fully formed. And, it takes only just about that long for the reader to warm up to the 'Dickensian' youngster, from an emotionally abusive foster home; who, unknowingly, is more special than he has ever even dared daydream about. In fairness, I must also confess that part of the intrigue for me was, what seemed to be, the furor over whether or not the books were appropriate for children! How it could be, on the one hand the "next Wizard of OZ" and yet on the other hand as "religiously bad" as some claimed, was indeed confusing. Then when parents of my patients started asking for my opinion, I needed to read the book in order not to sound naïve… Didn't I?
To my pleasure it was a "good read," albeit lengthy, and I was able to describe the several moral lessons taught in it's pages. Especially when Harry and Dumbledore had their explanatory "debriefings." I began suggesting to even the most skeptical parents (of over 8-year-olds), that they try reading the book to, or with, their child. It was not infrequent that I received very positive feedback and joined them in the anticipation of the next "episode."
- Bowdlerize: After Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825) who published an expurgated version of Shakespeare. To modify, shorten or skew the content of something in a "more preferred" direction. To remove vulgar, obscene, or otherwise objectionable material (i.e. before publication). The original JKR title was "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"; but, US publishers felt the term would not be recognized by American children, as well as "Sorcerer's Stone." A seemingly, simple monetary decision made every day by US publishers; but, with which the British took offense over the perceived slight of a "favorite daughter."Dickensian After Dickens' Oliver Twist - usually an oppressed orphan in the setting of early England.
- The Mirror of Erised
- To say that the December weather at Hogwarts was "bad" would be like calling Snape and the Dursley's "misguided" it was terrible! Feet of snow, frozen lake, frostbit birds, bitter wind, icy air; and, much of it came through cracks and leaks in the castle. They could see their breath in Snape's dungeon classroom! Malfoy's, jealousy-inspired, malicious remarks about Harry's flying in the Quidditch match were completely ignored by the rest of the studentbody; so, he went back to his other favorite taunt: Harry's family, claiming that he was staying at Hogwarts over Christmas because "no one wanted him." Well, that was sort of true, but Harry was glad to be away from them, so it didn't hurt to hear… sort of. Actually, Ron and the twins were staying too, while their parents went to visit their dragon-taming brother Charlie, in Romania. While bringing in a huge Christmas tree, Hagrid overheard Malfoy maligning the Weasley family, and how his own hut smelled; but, when Ron lunged at Malfoy, Snape appeared and docked points from Gryffindor for fighting, even though Hagrid told him "he was provoked." They told Hagrid that they were off to the library, to keep trying to find out who Nicholas Flamel was; but, he still refused to give them any more information than he already had. The immensity of the library's tens-of-thousands of books made it a daunting task, especially since Madam Pince had "shooed" Harry away from the restricted section because he didn't have a signed permission slip from a teacher. Over Christmas the dormitory was empty, except for Ron and Harry, and the whole tower was nearly empty. Ron tried to teach Harry Wizard Chess, where the chessmen were alive and really beat each other up when they were moved. Harry's borrowed chessmen didn't trust him and kept calling advice to him during play, making it much more difficult to learn. Just as he had thought, his Christmas turned out to be his best ever. He even got "real" presents not the tissue paper and hanger he usually received from the Dursley's. A hand-carved flute from Hagrid, which sounded like an owl; a homemade "Weasley'' sweater and box of fudge from Mrs. Weasley; box of Chocolate Frogs from Hermione; and… his father's old invisibility cloak probably from Dumbledore. The attached note merely told him that his dad had left it with the person, and to "use it wisely." Fred and George arrived in their "Weasley sweaters" and ebulliently coerced Ron into his- he hated Maroon; but, had to actually force Percy's over his head, while they told him that he "wasn't going to sit with the prefects today either."
For Harry, the whole day was like something completely out of a "make believe" fantasy magazine. The food was grander than he had ever seen. He saw Dumbledore, McGonagall, Hagrid and Flitwick let their hair down and enjoy themselves. He received his own new chess set when he pulled a "wizard cracker" with Ron; then, lost his first game to him because Percy kept giving him advice. Exhausted after a wonderful snowball fight with all the Weasley's, Harry sat warming and drying himself in front of the fire watching Fred and George play "keep-away" with Percy's prefect badge. The day had been simply incredible; but, got even better when, lying in his bed with the others all asleep, he remembered… the cloak. He got out of bed and fondled the lighter-than-air, smoother-than-silk fabric between his hands; then, decided to "use it well" by going to the restricted section and trying to find Flamel. He didn’t answer the fat lady when her portrait swung open and she asked "who's there"? The flickering lamp-light made the section more eerie than it was and the books themselves seemed to murmur, knowing someone was there who shouldn't be. When he opened a heavy black and silver book it let out a banshee scream that wouldn't quit even though he had slammed it shut, dove under the cloak and ran back down the isle nearly running into Filtch coming to investigate. He ran for minutes and only stopped when he ran out of breath; but, didn't know where he was. He heard Filtch talking to Snape about reporting "as requested" someone wandering around at night. They were coming directly toward him so he backed into an empty, unused classroom filled with dusty furniture and a magnificent gold-framed mirror. Its inscription read: Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi, and he drew closer. When he got directly in front of it he could hardly stifle his gasp of amazement. Behind him in the mirror, were his parents… so real he reached back to try and feel them! He knew who they were because the dark red-haired woman's eyes were just like his, bright green and the same shape. She was crying, and the thin black-haired man encircled her with his arm. His hair had the same unruly look as Harry's and they both nodded when he whispered "Mom? Dad?" Then he saw other people behind them, with eyes, and noses, and even knobbly knees like his. He was meeting his family for the first time, and they all looked at him with such longing and love in their eyes. He stayed, affixed, for a long time; until, a noise brought him back to reality. Ron was upset that he hadn't been asked to go with Harry so they both went back to the mirror the next night. Thinking he would get to see Harry's parents, Ron looked into the mirror only to see himself, older, wearing a "Head Boy" badge. He was also holding both the Quidditch and House Cups, and was Quidditch captain to boot. The boys began arguing over who got to use the mirror when Mrs. Norris made them dive for cover under the cloak. In the light of day Ron was scared that they would be caught if they visited the mirror again.
The enticement of seeing his family again, however, was too much for Harry and he did go back. As looked at his family, trying to memorize everything about them, he was startled by a gentle "back again" coming from behind him, and turned to see Dumbledore sitting on one of the desks. He told Harry that he didn't need an invisibility cloak to become invisible and that the Mirror of Erised wasn't a 'real' mirror. "It shows us the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts." Harry, who had never known his family, saw himself surrounded by them. Ron, always overshadowed by his brothers, saw himself standing alone, the best of all of them. "The mirror," he said "shows us neither knowledge or truth" and would be moved to another location in the morning. He asked Harry not to go trying to find it; because, "it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." He advised that if you ever 'do' run across it, you will be prepared. Before leaving, Harry asked Dumbledore what he saw when he looked into the mirror and was told, possibly incompletely, that he "saw himself holding a pair of thick, woolen socks."
- Inscription: Erised is "Desire" spelled backwards. Therefore the inscription was meant to be read in another mirror and says: "I show not your face but your hearts desire". Clever, clever, clever!
- Nicolas Flamel
- Without being able to go to the mirror, Harry seemed to have no reason to use his cloak, so it stayed folded in his trunk. He told Ron about the dreams he'd started having where his mom and dad were "disappearing in green light while a voice cackled with laughter." Then, when Hermione returned, she didn't know which was worse: himbeing out of bed and nearly getting caught; or himnot finding about Nicolas Flamel. Harry got word that Snape was going to referee the next Quidditch match, which meant he would have a "better shot" to jinx Harry; so, Hermione advised to feign a broken leg. He couldn't, because there was no reserve Seeker to take his place. Neville hopped through the portrait hole and fell on the floor, his legs locked together by the Leg-Locker Jinx that Malfoy had "practiced" on him. Hermione advised him to inform McGonagall but he was afraid it would just make matters worse. Harry counseled him that he needed to stand up for himself; then, consoled him with a chocolate frog and telling him "you're worth twelve of Malfoy… the sorting hat put him in stinking Slytherin." When Harry saw that the enclosed card was of Dumbledore, the same as his first one from the train, he realized where he had seen Nicolas Flamel's name before. It said that: "Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in 1945… discovered 12 uses of dragon blood… and worked with his partner, Nicolas Flamel in alchemy." Then Hermione added, from one of her old books, that "Flamel was the only known maker of the 'Philosopher's Stone'which had powers to transform any metal into gold and produce the Elixir of Lifemaking the drinker immortal." Flamel, it said, was an opera lover who was 665 and lived with his wife, Perenelle, who was 668, in Devon.
While the team all saw Snape as just trying to prevent them taking the Quidditch cup away from Slytherin, his house; Harry just "knew" he was trying to be up there to jinx (or worse, kill) him. They were all convinced that Snape knew about the Philosopher's Stone and had been bitten by 'fluffy' who was guarding it. Harry had the awful feeling sometimes that Snape could read minds, because he seemed to be following him wherever he went all over the castle. Ron and Hermione were prepared to use Locomotor Mortis (leg locker) on Snape, if he tried to hurt Harry, and saw that even Dumbledore had come to the match, which made feel a little better. It didn't seem to prevent Malfoy, with his henchmen Crabbe and Goyle, from slugging Ron and continuing to insult Neville however. Neville told him that "I'm worth twelve of you" which started a sarcastic tirade from him about "only letting people in Gryffindor that they felt sorry for: Potterwho had no parents; Weasleywho had no money; and, Longbottomwho had no brains." Ron had kept his cool, despite his nerves being on edge with worry over Harry who had just started a power dive to everyone's gasps; when, one last insult pushed him over the brink. Before Malfoy knew what had hit him Ron was on top of him, and Neville was close behind, taking on both Crabbe and Goyle! Snape merely had time to see a scarlet streak, missing him by inches; then, Harry holding his arm up in triumph with the snitch in his hand. He had won the match in under five minutes! A record. Snape landed nearby, "white-faced and tight-lipped"; then, Dumbledore, who had come onto the field, leaned down and said, so only Harry could hear, "Well done… good you're not brooding about that mirror." Later, leaving the locker room alone, Harry saw a hooded Snape sneak into the forest on a run and followed him on his broom. Hearing voices, Harry landed in a tree to see him talking to Quirrell who was stuttering worse than usual. He could barely hear snatches: "Philosopher's Stone… get past Hagrid's beast… You don't want me as your enemy, Quirrell… your little hocus-pocus… we'll talk again when you decide where your loyalties lie." When Harry got back with his news, Ron said he had given Malfoy a black eye, and Neville would regain consciousness soon, having taken on both Crabbe and Goyle single-handedly! They believed that what Harry overheard meant that the stone was only safe as long as Quirrell was able to stand up to Snape.
- Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback
- Strangely enough, Quirrell's apparent bravery made Harry, Ron and Hermione start defending him to other students; that is, whenever they weren't in the library following Hermione's new obsessive compulsive study schedule for final exams. Neither Ron nor Harry had ever studied with color coded notes and schedules before; but, who were they to argue with Hermione who had taken the art of nagging to new heights! The first clear day in months they were sitting, their brains numb, looking out at the sunshine, when they spotted Hagrid, a look of suspicion on his face and holding something behind his back. When they tried to ask him about the Philosopher's Stone he "shushed" them and said he would meet them later in his cabin. Suspiciously, they retraced to where Hagrid had been and found it was the "dragon" section. "He couldn't be," they thought, "they're illegal." The curtains were drawn and it was stifling hot in Hagrid's cabin when they arrived. He flatly refused to discuss any more about the Stone, especially what spells were guarding it; until, Hermione took a "sideways" approach and asked "who had done the guarding," besides him. He relented and told them: McGonagall, Flitwick, Sprout, Quirrell, Snape and Dumbledore. Hagrid promised them that "no one but he and Dumbledore" knew how to get past Fluffy. When Hagrid refused to open a window, they spotted a large egg in the fire and recognized it as a dragon egg. He said that he had won it in a game of cards from a stranger in the pub who seemed "quite glad ter get rid of it, ter be honest." He told them that the book said all he needed to do was hatch it in the fire and then feed it a "bucket o' brandy mixed with chicken blood every half hour." He was so happy that he didn't pay any attention at all to Hermione's warning that he "lived in a WOODEN house."
Some time later they received a note from Hagrid saying: "it's hatching." Harry saw that Malfoy had stopped just behind them while they were talking and wondered how much he had heard. They ran to the cabin, during morning break from Herbology, and were just in time to see a tiny Norwegian Ridgeback flop from the egg to the table. Hagrid beamed with joy and, when it snapped at his finger, said "Bless him… he knows his mommy!" He cut off short, however, when he spotted a kid looking through the gap in the curtains. It was Malfoy. It was named Norbert, and it tripled in size during the week they had tried to reason with Hagrid to let it go. They worried what Malfoy was planning and knew it couldn’t be good; then, Harry thought of Charlie, Ron's dragon-taming brother in Romania. One evening Ron, who had been down helping feed Norbert, returned angry that it had bitten his hand and Hagrid had told him off "for frightening it." Hedwig returned with Charlie's answer, that, if they got it to the tallest tower at midnight on Saturday, four of his friends would pick it up while it was dark. But, Ron had to go to the hospital wing for his infected bite and Malfoy came to taunt him by telling Madame Pomfrey he had come to "borrow a book" unfortunately, the one where Ron had placed Charlie's letter. That Saturday Hagrid had Norbert all packed in a crate for his journey and said his weeping goodbyes as the three carried it away under the invisibility cloak. When they arrived at the tower, they had to stop when they saw professor McGonagall holding Malfoy by the ear and giving him detention for "wandering about in the middle of the night." She called it "rubbish," when Malfoy tried to tattle about the dragon. Charlie's four friends arrived shortly and flew away with the crate in a harness between them. Almost euphoric over ridding themselves of Norbert, they forgot their invisibility cloak… and ran into Filtch. "Well, well, well," he whispered, "we are in trouble."
- The Forbidden Forest
- Try as hard as they might, neither Harry nor Hermione could come up with a good excuse, while they waited in McGonagall's office. The only thing that kept coming into their minds was "how could this be worse"; then, they found out. Neville came in, with McGonagall and blurted out that he was "trying to warn you about Malfoy who said you had a drag…"; before, Harry could stop him by shaking his head so vigorously he nearly dislocated his neck. As the professor stood towering over them Harry thought they had traded one dragon for another; then, she thought up a better excuse than Harry could have ever come up with. "You lied to Malfoy about a dragon just to get him into trouble, and Neville accidentally overheard it." Even Hermione didn’t correct her. McGonagall took 50 points EACH, for their infractions, plus detentions. The next day even the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff students were angry with Harry for loosing all the points, because they didn’t want to see Slytherin win the House Cup. He resolved to keep his nose out of anything that didn't concern him, and even Hermione stopped calling attention to herself. He offered to resign from the Quidditch team because everyone was so angry they wouldn’t speak to him. For weeks they were ostracized, so he was alone when he overheard Quirrell sobbing to someone: "no… not again, please… all right… all right." He couldn't see who it was, but thought that it could only be SNAPE. They convinced themselves that they couldn't tell Dumbledore, or anyone, because, they didn't have proof. Their detentions were with Hagrid, who took them into the Forbidden Forest, at nearly midnight, to track down who had been killing unicorns. Both Malfoy and Neville were panicked, and Malfoy refused to go until Hagrid said "if you think your father would rather see you expelled then go pack your bags." They split into two groups and followed some silvery unicorn blood spots along a trail in two directions. They would shoot up sparks from their wands: green if they found the unicorn, and red if they had trouble. Malfoy demanded to go with Fang, noticing his long teeth; so, Hagrid took Harry and Hermione with him. Even Hagrid was startled when they heard something slithering along the ground like the sound of a cloak being dragged. Shortly they came into a clearing and met a group of half-man, half-horse Centaurs. Ronan was pleasant but neither he nor Bane would give any straight answers to Hagrid's questions. They just kept saying, "Mars is bright tonight." They saw red sparks from Malfoy so Hagrid ran to get them. When they returned, Hagrid was fuming mad at Malfoy, who had grabbed Neville from behind as a joke making him send the sparks.
Hagrid paired Harry with Malfoy, with apologies to Harry, and they continued on with Fang Malfoy keeping behind Harry. Shortly the blood drops got more frequent and they found the dead animal by the roots of a giant Oak tree. Unfortunately, they also saw a hooded figure come out from behind a bush and begin drinking its blood. A pathetic coward, Malfoy let out a scream, announcing their presence; then, literally fled, with Fang, leaving Harry alone. When the figure got to its feet and came toward Harry, the scar on His head burst with pain and he fell backward, half-blinded in agony. Unexpectedly, something jumped over Harry from behind and charged the figure, driving it away. When he could see again, a Centaur was standing over him; who, like the others, wouldn't answer any questions, but said his name was Firenze. He suggested Harry ride on his back, because the forest wasn't safe "especially for you." On the way back to Hagrid, they were interrupted by Bane and Ronan who were incensed that Firenze would have a "man" on his back, "like a common mule." Bane angrily challenged Firenze that "they were sworn not to set themselves against the heavens." Pointing at the dead unicorn, Firenze said that he had "set himself against what is lurking in the forest… with humans if I must"; then, set off toward Hagrid with Harry still clinging on. Finally, after refusing to answer Harry's many questions, he stopped and asked if he knew what unicorn blood was used for. He finally told Harry that "only one who had nothing to loose would commit such a crime. Its blood will keep you alive, even an inch from death, but at a terrible price. For killing something so pure and defenseless, you will have but a cursed, half-life from then on." Firenze agreed with Harry that "death is better"; unless, he said "you just need to stay alive long enough to drink something else." Then, when Harry still didn't get it, he asked if he couldn't "think of anyone who has been waiting for years to return to power, clinging to life"; and, who would love to steal "what is hidden in the school"? Harry finally understood that it was Voldemort who was after the Philosopher's Stone! The others arrived and Harry slid off Firenze's back. He told Harry "good luck" and said that "the heavens have been read wrong before, even by Centaurs." Harry woke Ron when they got back. Filled with adrenalin, he could only babble everything about the nights activities. "Voldemort… in the forest… wants the stone… Snape, give it to him… Firenze saved me… Bane thinks he should have let Voldemort kill me… they must know Voldemort's coming back…." All Ron could say was to demand Harry "stop saying the name," but Harry continued "we'll just have to wait for Snape to steal the stone then Voldemort will come back and finish me off… maybe that will make Bane happy!" As they went up to bed, Hermione offered that: "Dumbledore was the only one you-know-who was ever afraid of" so Harry would be safe at the school. The final surprise for the night was when Harry pulled back his covers to get into bed. There, was the invisibility cloak… with a note that said "just in case."
- Through the Trapdoor
- "JUST IN CASE..." what was that supposed to mean?! Who would do such a thing… and why? Was being invisible supposed to protect himself from Voldemort who may come lurching at him any moment, through any door? How he made it through his year-end exams without a total breakdown he would never know! He knew Fluffy was still behind the locked door; and he knew the teachers took exams seriously, with all their anti-cheating jinxes; but, it was hard for him to think making a pineapple dance across a desk would get him very far against Voldemort. He couldn't sleep and his nightmares had returned with a vengeance except now they had a hooded figure dripping blood in them. They were lying exhausted under a tree by the lake when Harry told Ron and Hermione about his scar hurting all the time now. He couldn't shake the feeling that there was something else he hadn't considered when the fact that SOMEONE just happened to show up in a pub with the one thing that Hagrid had always wanted, gave him a jolt and he ran to Hagrid's cabin with the other two tailing behind. With the correct questions to ask they soon found that a hooded man had kept buying him drinks, in the Hogs Head tavern, and pumping him for information about Hogwarts. When dragons came up he 'just happened' to have an egg and was told about raising a three-headed dog and how it went to sleep when it heard music. They didn't count on Dumbledore having been "summoned ten minutes ago to the ministry," and McGonagall intercepting them with questions. With no other choice, they told her of knowing about the stone and "knowing that Sn… someone was going to try and steal it." Both startled and upset she sent them on their way warning them not to interfere "because it was too well protected." Then they actually met Snape who said they "must be up to something"… and warned Harry that "any more nighttime wanderings and he would personally see that he was expelled." Their "tail" on Snape and surveillance of the door to Fluffy backfired on them so Harry decided that he must get to the stone first before Snape could get there. Harry blew up in anger at Ron and Hermione who tried to point out the dangers of being expelled. "Nothing matters, if Voldemort comes back," he pointed out to them. "If I get expelled," he said, "I'll just go back to the Dursley's and wait for Voldemort to kill me there." That stunned, and shamed, them into silence and they demanded to go with him.
Finally, when everyone was going to bed, they were leaving the common room with the invisibility cloak when they were stopped by Neville who had finally decided that he needed to start standing up to people. Hermione used "Petrificus Totalus" to turn him rigid then apologized to his frantic looking eyes that they would "have to explain later." Under the cloak, Peeves couldn't see them but knew they were there. Harry mimicked the Bloody Barons voice and sent him away. They found that Fluffy's door was already unlocked and there was a harp at its feet so Snape must have already gotten past the dog. Harry used the flute he had received from Hagrid at Christmas to put it back to sleep. The trapdoor led to a pitch black hole and Hermione answered Ron that "No, I don't want to GO FIRST." Harry gave the flute to Hermione and jumped blindly into the hole, unexpectedly landing on something soft. First Ron then Hermione landed next to him and they figured they were "miles under the school." Hermione jumped up as the plant was starting to wrap around her, but both the others were engaged in a battle to prevent being strangled by it. Hermione knew it was Devils Snare which liked the dark; but, Harry had to tell her to "light a fire then," and, when she couldn't find wood, Ron had to shout "Are you a witch or NOT"! She lit her blue flame and it release them. Harry complimented her on paying attention in Herbology, but Ron told her "lucky Harry doesn't lose his head in a crisis there's no wood, honestly." Down a long stone passageway, reminding Harry of Gringotts, they heard rustling and clinking. In a brightly lit chamber they found a flock of flying keys, which resembled birds, and a broomstick. When they couldn't get through a locked door, Harry flew on the broomstick to locate and catch just the right key which looked like it had been caught before. The lights automatically came on in the next room which contained a giant chess board. They could see the pieces prevented them from crossing to the doors on the other side. Ron realized that they had to play a game of wizards chess in order to get across. Because he was the best at chess, he led the game with each taking the place of a piece: Harry a black bishop, Hermione a castle and him a knight. He was able to get them to a position where, if he sacrificed himself, Harry could take the white king. When Ron moved, the white queen hit him and knocked him out, but Harry moved three spaces and put the king in checkmate. They went ahead to the next room realizing that if Hagrid had provided Fluffy, Sprout the Devil's Snare, Flitwick the keys and McGonagall the chessmen; then, that left Snape's, Quirrell's and Dumbledore's left. In the darkened room they smelled first, then saw a troll knocked out cold with a bloody lump on its head. Snape, they thought, had already taken care of this one for them. The next room locked behind them, with fire on each of the two doors, once they entered. There was a table with seven differently shaped bottles standing on it in a line and a roll of paper with instructions and clues to the puzzle. Drinking one bottle would open the forward door, another the one back. Two were wine and three were poison. Hermione was good at logic games and solved the puzzle with little thought; but, there was only enough potion left for one person to use. Harry went forward and Hermione back to retrieve Ron and notify Dumbledore. In the next chamber, what Harry found… wasn't Snape.
- The Man With Two Faces
- "It's you," Harry gasped in stunned incredulity at seeing… Quirrell! The professor, completely without his simpering twitching or nervousness, had to explain many things before Harry could overcome his long held misconception that it had been Snape who was after the stone. It was Quirrell who had been trying to kill Harry at the Quidditch match until Hermione knocked him over on her way to Snape. Which was why Snape wanted to referee. Snapping his fingers to produce ropes that bound Harry, Quirrell confessed that he had let the Troll in, but Snape had headed him off. Quirrell told Harry to "be quiet while I examine the mirror" (of Erised) so, of course, Harry tried to keep him talking. Harry said that he had seen him in the forest and Quirrell responded that Snape had been trying to frighten him… "as if he could with Lord Voldemort on my side." He did agree that Snape hated Harry, because he loathed his father, but never wanted Harry dead. In the mirror, Quirrell saw himself presenting the stone to Voldemort, but couldn’t figure out how to actually get the stone. Harry confronted him with hearing Snape threaten him in the classroom; and, for the first time, fear flitted across his face. It had been Voldemort, he said, because "he is with me wherever I go." Quirrell met Voldemort while traveling, he said, and he "taught me that there is no good or evil only power, and those too weak to seek it." In frustration, Quirrell called out, "Help me master, I can't find the stone," and a voice answered! "Use the boy," it said, from inside the turban. As Quirrell pulled him in front of the mirror, Harry realized that he must lie. He simply saw his own reflection at first, then it: smiled at him, put its hand into its pocket, pulled out the blood-red stone, winked, and put it back into its pocket. When it did, Harry felt something hard drop into his own pocket… he'd gotten the stone. He told Quirrell that he saw himself shaking hands with Dumbledore and receiving the House Cup; but, the voice called out "he lies… let me speak… face-to-face." Quirrell unwrapped the turban and where the back of his head should have been, there was another face… pale, snake-like, Voldemort!
Voldemort said that he had become: "mere shadow and vapor… only with form when I can share another's body… strengthened by Unicorn blood…," then demanded Harry give him the stone… in his pocket! When Harry backed up, Voldemort tried to entice Harry to join him. But, when he claimed that Harry's parents had begged for mercy, Harry shouted "Liar!" Then Voldemort, becoming silkily-soft and threatening (similar to how Snape got when he was angry), revealed that his parents had indeed been brave and put up a courageous fight. "I killed your father first," he said, "but your mother needn't have died… she was trying to protect you…." Finally able to move, Harry lunged back toward the flame door. Under Voldemort's orders, Quirrell tried to seize him; but, began howling in pain as his hands burned on Harry's skin. Realizing that he was unable to touch Harry's bare skin, Voldemort ordered Quirrell to "kill him." Through the blinding pain his scar was giving him, Harry saw Quirrell raise his wand arm to do it with a curse and instinctively grabbed at the mans face. Quirrell screamed in pain so Harry knew he had to hold on no matter what pain was coming from his scar. The last thing he remembered was Quirrell wrenching his arm free… then blackness.
He awakened, three days later, with Dumbledore smiling over him and realized that someone had put him in a hospital bed between cool linen sheets, and his scar was no longer hurting. Despite Dumbledores attempts to change the subject, he finally had to answer Harry's questions that he had arrived "just in time to pull Quirrell off you… but I thought your struggles had killed you… and the stone has been destroyed." Dumbledore said he had a long talk with Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel who realized it was best. To Harry's look of astonishment, Dumbledore explained that "it is just like going to sleep after a very, very long day. To a well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." Harry started to say "you-know-wh…," but Dumbledore stopped him and counseled him to "call him Voldemort… always use the proper name for things… fear of the name increases the fear of the thing itself." Harry realized that he had Dumbledore all to himself, in a talkative mood, so told him that there were things he'd like to know the truth about. Dumbledore looked a little surprised then said that "the truth is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should be treated with great caution." He agreed to answer Harry's questions, "unless I have a good reason not to"; but, said he wouldn't lie. So, because Voldemort had said that he killed Harry's mother only because she tried to stop him from killing Harry, Harry asked "why did he want to kill me in the first place?" Dumbledore's face fell in disappointment and he said "that's something that I cannot tell you… now… but you will know, one day." However, he did explain that Quirrell couldn't touch him "because of love" something that Voldemort continually shows he knows nothing about. "A love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its own mark… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin." For someone so full of hatred, greed and ambition, he continued, "it is agony to touch a person marked by something so good." Dumbledore confessed that it was he who had sent Harry the invisibility cloak. Harry's father had left it with him for safe keeping. Yes, he said, Snape and James did detest each other because "James did something that Snape could never forgive… he saved his life." That was probably why Snape worked to protect Harry, to make it even, so he could go back to hating James' memory in peace. Then, answering the last question, Dumbledore said that he was a bit proud of how he arranged the last protection. He had enchanted the mirror such that only a person who "didn't want to use it" would find the stone.
Harry was finally able to talk to Ron and Hermione, who had also been rescued and were alright. He told them everything, which was strangely satisfying; because, Hermione turned out to be just as good of listener as Ron. She even screamed when hearing that Voldemort was under the turban. Hermione said that after she brought Ron around, they were going to the Owlry when they met Dumbledore in the Entrance Hall. "He already knew," she said, because he just rushed off saying "Harry's gone after him, hasn't he"? She was a bit upset that Dumbledore had deliberately sent Harry the invisibility cloak and Harry had to defend him. "Dumbledore seems to know everything that goes on in this school," Harry offered, "and he just wanted to give me a chance to work it… almost like he thought I had the right to face Voldemort if I could…." When they left, Hagrid came to visit him and brought a present that he had been working on… A leather bound book of wizard photographs of his parents. He had sent owls to all his parents old school friends asking for photographs. Harry couldn't speak. At the end-of-year feast the Slytherin's were gloating that they had won the house cup again. Dumbledore, however, gave out some "last minute" points. Fifty to Ron for the "best game of chess"; 50 to Hermione for use of cool logic; 60 to Harry for pure nerve and outstanding courage; and, 10 to Neville for having courage enough to stand up to his friends. He then clapped his hands and all the decorations changed to Gryffindor colors, making this the best evening of Harry's life. Their grades came out, and they all passed, Hermione was best in the year. They were given letters warning them NOT to use magic at home, then they were off on the Hogwarts Express to platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station… and the Dursley's… who didn't know that he wasn't supposed to use magic!