Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone, Chapters 11-15

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone[By J.K. Rowling]

Chapters 11-15 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone, in which Harry plays quidditch, celebrates Christmas, does quite a bit of snooping, and serves detention with his rag-tag band. Somehow, detention was not scored with “Don’t You Forget About Me.”

    4 Responses to “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone, Chapters 11-15”

    1. Rebecca says:

      Do you think there’s ever a Quidditch game where one team is so far behind the other (by which I mean more than 150 points) and the seeker’s job becomes to keep the other team’s seeker from catching the Snitch without actually catching it him/herself? Because that would end the game, and if they’re down, say, 160 points, they’d still lose. I’m just saying, if Quidditch games go on for days, it seems pretty likely.

      Lee Jordan’s narration is amazing. I wish baseball commentators were like that.

      Snape as the red herring is great here.

      “Disgusted that the Slytherins had lost, he had tried to get everyone laughing at how a wide-mouthed tree frog would be replacing Harry as Seeker next. Then he’d realized that nobody found this funny…” The image of Draco repeating this in a loud and louder voice and then, like, pouting and stomping his foot really entertains me.

      I love Ron’s embarrassment at the sweaters on Christmas, and Fred and George’s glee about making everyone wear them. Weasleeeeeeys~~

      Continuity goof? If I remember Deathly Hollows right (who knows?) it sure seems like Harry’s invisibility cloak is the only one around. Ron says here that “they’re really rare, and really valuable.” Which implies it’s not the only one. Hmmm.

      Ron’s Mirror of Erised scene makes my heart ache a little bit. Ron, you’re the bestest and the most special to meeeeeeeeeee.

      “Harry headed straight back to the Gryffindor common room, where he found Ron and Hermione playing chess. Chess was the only thing Hermione ever lost at, something Harry and Ron thought was very good for her.” For one thing, I love that Ron is just great at chess; but for another, I like to picture Hermione going a little crazy, yelling things like, “Best two out of three! Best three out of five! BEST FOUR OUT OF SEVEN. I AM NOT LOSING AT AN INTELLUCTUAL GAME TO RONALD WEASLEY.” Except more British. (Not that I think that’s particularly in Hermione’s character; she does fixate on things, but she’s not, you know, a horrible person. Or an especially yell-y, freak-out prone one. It just pleases me that the guy who’s the least intellectual of the group is the best at chess, because it makes it clear that Ron is not just comic relief or the sidekick; he has real contributions to make. See also: the climax of the book.)

      “Hermione jumped to her feet. She hadn’t looked so excited since they’d gotten back the marks for their very first piece of homework.” 1) LOL; 2) that is so much great characterization in such a tiny space.

      “And I gave Malfoy a black eye, and Neville tried to take on Crabbe and Goyle single-handed! He’s still out cold but Madam Pomfrey says he’ll be all right!” AHEM: TEAM NEVILLE!!! Seriously, knowing what’s coming for that kid makes everything in this book even better, and he’s already pretty great.

      And then, when Neville thinks they lied to him about Norbert and he tried to warn them, MY HEART BREAKS. NEVILLE YOU’RE SO GREAT.

      Gah: Dear Hogwarts administrators: POTENTIALLY FATAL DETENTION ASSIGNMENTS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE. Like, I know you want to teach the kids lessons and all, BUT CHILDREN DO NOT DESERVE DEATH FOR BEING OUT OF BED.

      And re: Dumbledore returning the cape, SERIOUSLY, dude, stop encouraging him! It’s like Dumbledore WANTS Harry to die…

      That’s all I’ve got. 🙂

    2. Regarding the continuity goof, I think it’s explained in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that regular invisibility cloaks—the kind Ron’s talking about here—wear out after a few years, for some reason. I dimly recall someone asking Harry if he ever thought about why his invisibility cloak never wore out.

    3. Jessica says:

      I love Hermione saving Harry’s life at the Quidditch game. Like, just the idea of an 11-year-old being like “Oh, a big scary adult is trying to murder my friend? SORTED.” If there’s a problem, yo, she’ll solve it!

      So Draco is like “LOL UR POOR” and Ron attacks him and Snape takes points from Gryffindor and Hagrid’s all like “But he was provoked!” UM, SNAPE’S RIGHT. PUNCHING IS NOT ALLOWED, CHILDREN, WHAT THE HELL.

      I think it’s kind of hilarious and very in character that Hermione got Harry and Ron presents and they clearly didn’t get her anything, but I do wish that they’d, um, even realized that. BOYS.

      The Mirror of Erised sequence is lovely and very Narnia-esque. It reminds me of the scene in Dawn Treader with Lucy and the book of magic.

      What was the point of all that work to figure out who Nicholas Flamel was if Harry was just going to overhear Snape saying the words “Sorcerer’s Stone” like five minutes later?

      I can’t blame Hagrid – I, too, have always wanted a baby dragon.

      I totally agree with Becky that making children do life-threatening detentions is completely unacceptable and ridiculous; I’d also like to point out that Hagrid sends two children off with Fang, a stated coward. Well done, Hogwarts.

      Apparently at Hogwarts they only use unicorn horn and tail but never blood, because “it is a monstrous thing, to slay a unicorn.” May I ask how they get the horn without killing or at least horribly mutilating the unicorn?

    4. Rose says:

      I always presumed that unicorns shed their horns annually, sort of like dear do, so that unicorn breeders or people in possession of a massive forest would just have to keep an eye out around that time for discarded horns. What is more strange to me now is the idea that to get any blood out of a unicorn you have to kill it. ‘Cause I really don’t see how that works. Also there are plenty of documented cases of people keeping cows or horses and bleeding them every so often in order to collect the blood for use in drinks and things.

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