Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Author: J. K. Rowling.
Genre: Literature, Bildungsroman, fiction, adventure, fantasy.
Publication Date: June 26th, 1997.
Summary: When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord's curse when Harry was just a baby, which he somehow survived. Escaping from his unbearable Muggle guardians to Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles into a sinister adventure when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous, or both.
My rating: 10/10.
♥ "Is that where-?" whispered Professor McGonagall.
"Yes," said Dumbledore. "He'll have that scar for ever."
"Couldn't you do something about it, Dumbledore?"
"Even if I could, I wouldn't. Scars can come in useful. I have one myself above my left knee which is a perfect map of the London Underground."
♥ A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive, which lay silent and tidy under the inky sky, the very last place you would expect astonishing things to happen. Harry Potter rolled over inside his blankets without waking up. One small hand closed on the letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special. not knowing he was famous, not knowing hew would be woken in a few hours' time by Mrs Dursley's scream as she opened the front door to put out the milk bottles, nor that he would spend the next few weeks being prodded and pinched by his cousin Dudley... He couldn't know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: 'To Harry Potter - the boy who lived!'
♥ Dudley looked a lot like Uncle Vernon. He had a large, pink face, not much neck, small, watery blue eyes and thick, blond hair that lay smoothly on his thick, fat head. Aunt Petunia often said that Dudley looked like a baby angel - Harry often said Dudley looked like a pig in a wig.
♥ "They stuff people's heads down the toilet first day at Stonewall," he told Harry. "Want to come upstairs and practise?"
"No thanks," said Harry. "The poor toilet's never had anything as horrible as your head down it - it might be sick." Then he ran, before Dudley could work out what he'd said.
♥ Enter, stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn,
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there.
♥ "Can't stay long, Mother," he said. "I'm up front, the prefects have got two compartments to themselves-"
"Oh, are you a prefect, Percy?" said one of the twins, with an air of great surprise. "You should have said something, we had no idea."
"Hang on, I think I remember him saying something about it," said the other twin. "Once-"
"Oh, shut up," said Percy the Prefect.
♥ "Now, you two - this year, behave yourselves. If I get one more owl telling me you've - you've blown up a toilet or-"
"Blown up a toilet? We've never blown up a toilet."
"Great idea though, thanks, Mum."
..."Hurry up!" their mother said, and the three boys clambered on to the train. They leant out of the window for her to kiss them goodbye and their younger sister began to cry.
"Don't, Ginny, we'll send you loads of owls."
"We'll send you a Hogwarts toilet seat."
"Only joking, Mum."
♥ 'Oh, you may not think I'm pretty,
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave of heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry
Sets Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hugglepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!'
♥ Albus Dumbledore had got to his feet. He was beaming at the students, his arms opened wide, as if nothing could have pleased him more than to see them all there.
"Welcome!" he said. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
He sat back down. Everybody clapped and cheered. Harry didn't know whether to laugh or not.
"Is he-- a bit mad?" he asked Percy uncertainly.
"Mad?" said Percy airily. "He's a genius! Best wizard in the world! But he is a bit mad, yes."
♥ 'Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,
Teach us something please,
Whether we be old and bald
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling
With some interesting stuff,
For now they're bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us things worth knowing,
Bring back what we've forgot,
Just do your best, we'll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot.'
♥ "Well, a second's there to take over if you die," said Ron casually, getting started at last on his cold pie. Catching the look on Harry's face, he added quickly, "but people only die in proper duels, you know, with real wizards. The most you and Malfoy'll be able to do is send sparks at each other. Neither of you knows enough magic to do any real damage. I bet he expected you to refuse, anyway."
"And what if I wave my wand and nothing happens?"
"Throw it away and punch him on the nose," Ron suggested.
♥ "Now, don't forget that nice wrist movement we've been practising!" squeaked Professor Flitwick, perched on top of his pile of books as usual. "Swish and flick, remember, swish and flick. And saying the magic words properly is very important, too - never forget Wizard Baruffio, who said 's' instead of 'f' and found himself on the floor with a buffalo on his chest."
♥ But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.
♥ Hardly anyone had seen Harry play because Wood had decided that, as their secret weapon, Harry should be kept, well, secret. But the news that he was playing Seeker had leaked out somehow, and Harry didn't know which was worse - people telling him he'd be brilliant or people telling him they'd be running around underneath him holding a mattress.
♥ Lee Jordan was finding it difficult not to take sides.
"So - after that obvious and disgusting bit of cheating-"
"Jordan!" growled Professor McGonagall.
"I mean, after that open and revolting foul-"
"Jordan, I'm warning you-"
"All right, all right. Flint nearly kills the Gryffindor Seekers, which could happen to anyone, I'm sure, so a penalty to Gryffindor, taken by Spinnet, who puts it away, no trouble, and we continue play, Gryffindor still in possession."
"You haven't got a letter on yours," George observed. "I suppose she thinks you don't forget your name. But we're not stupid - we know we're called Gred and Forge."
♥ Harry thought. Then he said slowly, 'It shows us what we want... whatever we want..."
'Yes and no,' said Dumbledore quietly. 'It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible.
'The Mirror will be removed to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that...'
♥ "Sir - Professor Dumbledore? Can I ask you something?"
"Obviously, you've just done so," Dumbledore smiled. "You may ask me one more thing, however."
"What do you see when you look in the mirror?"
"I? I see myself holding a pair of thick, woollen socks."
"One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books."
It was only when he was back in bed that it struck Harry that Dumbledore might not have been quite truthful. But then, he thought, as he shoved Scabbers off his pillow, it had been quite a personal question.
♥ "I'm going to play," he told Ron and Hermione. "If I don't, all the Slytherins will think I'm just too scared to face Snape. I'll show them... it'll really wipe the smiles off their faces if we win."
"Just as long as we're not wiping you off the pitch," said Hermione.
♥ "So light a fire!" Harry choked.
"Yes--of course--but there's no wood!" Hermione cried, wringing her hands.
"HAVE YOU GONE MAD?" Ron bellowed. "ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT?"
..."Lucky you pay attention in Herbology, Hermione," said Harry as he joined her by the wall, wiping sweat off his face.
"Yeah," said Ron, "and lucky Harry doesn't lose his head in a crisis - "there's no wood", honestly."
♥ Danger lies before you, while safely lies behind,
Two of us will help, whichever you would find,
One among us seven will let you move ahead,
Another will transport the reader back instead,
Two among our number hold only nettle wine,
Three of us are killers, waiting hidden in line.
Choose, unless you wish to stay here forevermore,
To help you in your choice, we give you these clues four:
First, however slyly a poison tries to hide
You will always find some on nettle wine's left side;
Second, different are those that stand at either end,
But if you would move onwards, neither is your friend;
Third, as you see clearly, all are different size,
Neither dwarf nor giant holds death in their insides;
Fourth, the second left and the second on the right
Are twins once you taste them, though different at first sight.
♥ "Harry--you're a great wizard, you know."
"I'm not as good as you," said Harry, very embarrassed, as she let go of him.
"Me!" said Hermione. "Books! And cleverness! There are more important things - friendship and bravery and--oh Harry--be careful!
♥ 'He is with me wherever I go,' said Quirrell quietly. 'I met him when I travelled around the world. A foolish young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and evil. Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it...'
♥ "Tokens from your friends and admirers," said Dumbledore, beaming. "What happened down in the dungeons between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret, so, naturally, the whole school knows. I believe your friends Mister Fred and George Weasley were responsible for trying to sen you a lavatory seat. No doubt they thought it would amuse you. Madam Pomfrey, however, felt it might not be very hygienic, and confiscated it."
♥ 'But that means he and his wife will die, won't they?'
'They have enough Elixir stored to set their affairs in order and then, yes, they will die.'
Dumbledore smiled at the look of amazement on Harry's face.
'To one as young as you, I'm sure it seems incredible, but to Nicolas and Perenelle, it really is like going to be after a very, very long day. After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. You know, the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all - the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things which are worst for them.'
♥ 'Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of the name increases fear of the thing itself.'
♥ 'The truth.' Dumbledore sighed. 'It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.'
♥ 'Your mother died to save you. If there is one hing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn't realise that love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign... to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin. Quirrell, full of hatred, greed and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch you for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good.'
♥ "I always said he was off his rocker," said Ron, looking quite impressed at how mad his hero was.
♥ "D'you think he meant you to do it?" said Ron. "Sending you your father's Cloak and everything?"
"Well," Hermione exploded, "if he did--I mean to say--that's terrible--you could have been killed."
"No, it isn't," said Harry thoughtfully. "He's a funny man, Dumbledore. I think he sort of wanted to give me a chance. I think he knows more or less everything that goes on here, you know. I reckon he had a pretty good idea we were going to try, and instead of stopping us, he just taught us enough to help. I don't think it was an accident he let me find out how the Mirror worked. It's almost like he thought I had the right to face Voldemort if I could..."
"Yeah, Dumbledore's barking, all right," said Ron proudly.
♥ 'There are all kinds of courage,' said Dumbledore, smiling. 'It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. I therefore award ten point to Mr Neville Longbottom.'