Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Chapter Ten
Well, welcome to 2019 one and all! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and that you’ll come join me for another seven chapters of hungering lustily over Rubeus Hagrid, #BaeOfGiants2K19 squad where ARE you at.
Anyway, we left off last time with Harry, Ron, and company encountering Fang, the three-headed dog, in the forbidden corridor, where he appeared to be guarding the very same package that Harry saw Hagrid take out of Gringotts earlier in the book. Harry reveals this to Ron, who comment that whatever is in the package must be very valuable, or very dangerous.
““Or both,” said Harry.
But as all they knew for sure about the mysterious object was that it was about two inches long, they didn’t have much chance of guessing what it was without further clues.”
I blame my years of writing erotica for a living that I can’t look at anything measured in inches and think of it as anything other than some cock or cock-adjacent appendage. I’m sorry we had to start the new year on this note, but here we are.
Harry recieves a Nimbus 2000 from Professor McGonagall, delivered by owls over breakfast, much to the jealousy of his friends:
““A Nimbus Two Thousand!” Ron moaned enviously. “I’ve never even touched one. ””
RE: erotica content, see also, the word “moaned”. Anyway, we’re leaving behind innapropriate comments about the Harry Potter series in 2018 (no, we’re not, but anyway). The arrival of the broomstick causes a commotion in the Great Hall, with Ron pointing out that Harry got the package because of Malfoy’s antics in stealing Neville’s gift – and Hermione is right up in there to point out that this is patriarchal bullshittery, because she is the only queen we care about in 2019:
““So I suppose you think that’s a reward for breaking rules?” came an angry voice from just behind them. Hermione was stomping up the stairs, looking disapprovingly at the package in Harry’s hand.”
I just love her, so much. I know she’s meant to be unlikeable and bitchy and snobby and all that, but she also is me and I just can’t say no to her. What follows is a section where Oliver Wood introduces Harry to the sport of Quidditch, which I’m sure all our universities had a team for so I’m not going to bother explaining the minutae of the rules again or anything, except to point out this amusing sidenote:
““Er — have the Bludgers ever killed anyone?” Harry asked, hoping he sounded offhand.
“Never at Hogwarts. We’ve had a couple of broken jaws but nothing worse than that.”
Why does the Wizarding world want to kill its young in such extravagant ways? I think Hogwarts actually only has about forty children in it, because most of them met unlikely ends being chucked off tall bridges to see if they could fly, and all the students are living in fear of McGonagall tripping them up on the stairs to see if they can levitate before they break their noses on the stone at the bottom. Anyway.
Harry begins to settle into Hogwarts, taking on his Quidditch practice three times a week and focusing on his classes, and we take a time-jump forward to Halloween. The very same DAY, no less, that we can one of our first noble Harry Potter Meme Moments, as Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the rest of their class try to make objects levitate and Hermione intervenes to help out the hapless boys:
““You’re saying it wrong,” Harry heard Hermione snap. “It’s Wing- gar -dium Levi- o -sa, make the ‘gar’ nice and long. ”
“You do it, then, if you’re so clever,” Ron snarled.
Hermione rolled up the sleeves of her gown, flicked her wand, and said, “Wingardium Leviosa!”
Their feather rose off the desk and hovered about four feet above their heads.
“Oh, well done!” cried Professor Flitwick, clapping. “Everyone see here, Miss Granger’s done it!””
That’s right, Hermione, you gotta be a bitch to succeed in this world. Who cares about being liked when you can be good? An icon, let me tell you, an icon. Ron makes some cruel crack about her having no friends, which, I’ve decided, is rich coming from him.
Later in the day, Harry spots Hermione in tears, and finds out that she has retreated to the girls bathroom and doesn’t want to be disturbed. And then, lucky us, a second Harry Potter Meme Moment (patent pending) in just a few pages. I’m not even going to paste the quote in here, because I know you’re all going to imagine it as the clip from the movie anyway, so let’s just cut to the chase and go straight to it:
Yes, there is a TROLL in the DUNGEON, I just thought you ought to know. Everyone is hustled back to their dormitories, but Harry and Ron make a break for it when they realize that Hermione doesn’t know there is a rabid troll wandering about the halls. They go to rescue her and run into the troll, better known as me, making my second cameo in the book so far:
“It was a horrible sight. Twelve feet tall, its skin was a dull, granite gray, its great lumpy body like a boulder with its small bald head perched on top like a coconut. It had short legs thick as tree trunks with flat, horny feet. The smell coming from it was incredible. It was holding a huge wooden club, which dragged along the floor because its arms were so long.”
If you assume the smell is Lush Vanillary perfume, and the wooden club is this Rupert Giles Funko-Pop that my partner’s cousin got us for Christmas, the resemblance is uncanny. Anyway, Harry and Ron lock the troll in a room and run off, only to realize that they’ve actually locked it in with a terrified Hermione. They make an about-face to rescue her, and the three of them wind up caught in a pretty excellent fight with the troll. Harry sticks his wand up its nose, Ron levitates its club out of its hand and drops it on his head, it’s all good stuff. JK really isn’t bad at writing action, and she manages to make this – something which is pretty small-stakes in the grand scheme of what we’ve got to come in the series – seem pretty intense, so fair play to her on that.
But it’s not long until some teachers realize they’re missing, and bust in on the whole affair as it wraps up.
“A moment later, Professor McGonagall had come bursting into the room, closely followed by Snape, with Quirrell bringing up the rear. Quirrell took one look at the troll, let out a faint whimper, and sat quickly down on a toilet, clutching his heart.”
Quirrel is just wall-to-wall fainting here, I love it. It’s like me in the presence of Chris Barrie. McGonagall starts chewing them out, but Hermione jumps in to defend them, attesting to the fact that she attempted to fight the troll by herself and the two of them rescued her from her own swollen sense of magical talent:
“Hermione hung her head. Harry was speechless. Hermione was the last person to do anything against the rules, and here she was, pretending she had, to get them out of trouble. It was as if Snape had started handing out sweets.”
I will say, I like the way this is handled. I was worried that this scene was going to be a couple of guys actually coming to like a female character because they had jumped into to save her life and therefore she had to be grateful to them and get off her high horse. But this exchange is the real key here – that Hermione does a noble thing to protect them from trouble as thanks for their efforts. She’s still allowed plenty of autonomy in this scene, even though she doesn’t do a lot to fight the troll herself.
And with that, our central trio are finally brought together, with the chapter closing out on an instantly-memorable musing:
“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.”