Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Harry Potter Read-Along/Discussion [3]

Hey ya'll. I know what you're thinking. Today is not Sunday. It has been a busy couple of days here for me, so this discussion post got a little delayed. My bad! :)

At the end of the last discussion post, Harry and friends had discovered a terrifyingly large three-headed dog in the forbidden third floor corridor, and noticed that it was guarding a trap door beneath it....

RECAP: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Chapters 10-13

  • Harry's new Nimbus 2000 is delivered at meal time in the dining hall. Soon, he begins quidditch practice and has no time to worry about the three-headed dog or what it is guarding.
  • Two months later, on Halloween, Harry and Ron are in potions class and are talking junk about Hermione who overhears them and she runs to the girls' bathroom, distraught. Down at the Halloween feast, Professor Quirrell bursts into the hall to tell the school that a troll has somehow gotten inside. When the houses are being evacuated back to their dorms, the big dummies Ron and Harry think its a good idea to warn Hermione, who is alone in the girls' bathroom,about the troll and on their way there they see Snape sneaking off to the third floor corridor. The troll descends upon them in the bathroom, and with quick thinking and some plain old luck, they knock the troll out and get out alive!
  • After surviving a near death experience, the three students bond and become fast friends, even if Hermione is a bossy know-it-all! Shortly after the incident, Harry sees Filch cleaning Snape's wound and hears Snape grumbling about the troll. Now, the three friends know it must have been Snape who let the troll in!
  • Harry's first quiddith game ever is nearly a disaster as someone tries to kill Harry by throwing him off of his broom. Somehow he hangs on and catches the golden snitch in his mouth, but who tried to kill him? Hermione definitely saw Snape cursing Harry's broom and if it wasnt for her quick thinking, Harry might be dead. They just cant figure out why Snape wants to kill Harry!
  • Harry and friends mention to Hagrid that Snape hates him and wants him dead, and let it slip that they know about the three-headed dog. Hagrid flips and asks how they know about Fluffy!? They bypass the fact that the giant dog's name is Fluffy and Hagrid accidentally gives them a clue. What ever the dog is hiding has to do with Nicolas Flamel. Now if only they knew who that was...
  • On Christmas, much to Harry's surprise, he has a bunch of gifts waiting for him in the morning, including an invisibility cloak that used to belong to his father... though from whom it was received, he does not know.
  • Harry tests it out that very night alone and after sneaking to the library to research Nicolas Flamel and almost getting caught, Harry stumbles into a room that holds the Mirror of Erised. In it, he sees his deepest desires, which shows him standing among his family. For Ron, he sees himself as head boy and quidditch champ. After visiting several times, he is "discovered" by Dumbledore, who moves the mirror to a new location and makes Harry promise not to go looking for it again, lest he waste his days away before the mirror staring at what he can never have.
  • Harry's memory is jogged when he sees a collectible card from a Chocolate Frog with Dumbledore on it that mentions Nicolas Flamel. Hermione finally finds a book with Flamel in it and they find out what Flamel is famous for - making the Sorcerer's Stone which, among other things, grants the bearer everlasting life. This must be what Fluffy is guarding under the floor in the third floor corridor.
  • Harry notices that he sees Snape very often and wonders if Snape is following him. He even wonders if Snape can somehow read minds (lol), and is keeping an eye on Harry because he knows they know about the Stone.
  • Snape referees the next quidditch game which makes Harry and his friends very suspicious, but since Dumbledore attends the game also, they know that Harry is same from harm. The game is largely uneventful and the Gryffindors win, putting them in the lead for the house cup for the first time in six years!
  • After some celebrating, when Harry is leaving the quidditch field alone later that night, Harry sees a cloaked figure that he can easily recognize as Snape sneaking into the forbidden forest. Harry follows on his broomstick to find out what Snape is doing at night, sneaking into the forest alone. When Harry gets as close as possible while still being inconspicuous, he sees Snape threatening poor Professor Quirrell. Harry rushes back to his dorm to tell Ron and Hermione that Snape is trying to steal the Sorcerer's Stone and bullying Professor Quirrell to help him!


So, Harry really gets into the groove of wizard school in these next few chapters. He is now the youngest quidditch player in a very long time and quidditch practice takes up a lot of his time, but he still finds time for trouble! After almost inadvertently causing Hermione's death-by-troll, Hermione lies their way out of big trouble and they soon become inseparable. Harry also finds the Mirror of Erised over Christmas break and spends much time in front of it, and upon being discovered, Dumbledore gives Harry a very deep lecture. However, when Harry asks him what he sees before the Mirror, Dumbledore tells him he sees..... socks. He never gets enough socks for Christmas. Ok.... I know this is just a cop out on his part, and we know he has this deep dark past, so what do you think Dumbledore really sees when he looks in the Mirror of Erised? What do you think his deepest desire is? Do any of you remember this being mentioned at any point in the later books? I cant remember, but obviously the sock thing sparked my curiosity.

Something else I wondered... what do you think Hermione would see in front of the Mirror? Would she see herself as head girl like Ron did? Top of her class? Greatest witch of her time? Or do you think she has some other desire in her heart? How about Hermione in the later books? Do you think her heart's desire changes in the later books, specifically the 6th and 7th, or do you think she still values education/knowledge most at that point?

Harry has got some serious skills, especially when he manages to stay on his broom while someone is cursing it and trying to knock him off to his untimely demise. I always wonder, do you think the "quidditch skill" is hereditary? I mean, Harry is something like a prodigy and he has never been on a broomstick before and BAM! He's awesome. But so was his dad... so... hereditary? :)

I think in previous readings of this book, I've definitely failed to appreciate the fun. I think the world building always grabs me in a whirlwind and I'm always so intrigued by life as a wizard and I want to learn more about how this and that works, and I never stopped to appreciate the nonsense Harry and his friends get into. They are a little wild and out there and sometimes I wonder where Harry got this from... maybe from being cooped up his whole life (is adventurousness hereditary too?!), but this time around I am really stepping into Harry's shoes and trying to experience this through him rather than seeing the whole thing from "afar". Its great to see the big picture but I'm interested to see how things go for me when I really sit down and experience the final showdown in this book through Harry, and the end-of-year feast through him too :)

What are your thoughts on all of these random topics? Cant wait to hear from you all! :)


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