Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Chapter Fourteen

by thethreepennyguignol

We’re back, we’re a little depressed, we’re drinking monumental amounts of tea and we’re spending the rest of this evening building a bookcase so we can trick our dumb brain into thinking we did something productive today. But most importantly, we’re rounding the final bend on my Harry Potter recaps – check out the last recap right here, and let’s dive straight in to the next chapter!

We pick up where we left off last time, with Harry convinced that Snape is trying to convince Quirrel into getting the Philosopher’s Stone for him. Hermione, however, is more worried about exams, because she is one of a long, proud line of Lisa Simpsons that started with Elizabeth Bennet and carries down to me personally. Did I just compare myself to a famously brilliant literary figure? I sure did. Shut up, I’m not feeling great today. If I want to call myself a mix of Don Quoitxe and Barlow from ‘Salem’s Lot, y’all better let me.

Anyway, the gang are in the library studying over Easter break when lo and behold, the only man I have ever truly loved is here:

“Hagrid shuffled into view, hiding something behind his back. He looked very out of place in his moleskin overcoat.”

I’ll tell you what doesn’t look out of place, though – me reclined, nude in nothing but that moleskin overcoat, draped post-coitally around Hagrid’s hut and smoking a huge pipe, #BaeOfGiants2K19.

The gang figure out, after Hagird makes a speedy exit, that he was looking for information about dragons. Harry remembers that Hagrid told him he’d always wanted a dragon. and Ron reminds him that they are illegal, though there are a few native to the UK:

““Common Welsh Green and Hebridean Blacks. The Ministry of Magic has a job hushing them up, I can tell you. Our kind have to keep putting spells on Muggles who’ve spotted them, to make them forget.””

Honestly, what the Ministry should be doing here is just filming the dragons on really grainy camera phones, posting them online, and letting the public do the debunking for themselves because we are really really good at that. Also it’s Winter so I’ve been going through my yearly Cryptid phase again, thanks for asking.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione head down to Hagrid’s hut to try and pump him for information about the Stone, like the fucking pubescent Poirots that they are. But before they can find out too much, Harry notices an egg in his fireplace.

Hagrid admits that he won what is revealed to be dragon’s egg in a game of cards the night before, and that he intends to keep it. Luckily, our bitch and queen is there to inject some sanity:

“He looked very pleased with himself, but Hermione didn’t.

“Hagrid, you live in a wooden house,” she said.”

Honestly, that’s maybe the biggest laugh this book has gotten out of me so far, and of course it came from the mouth of Hermione. This is also going to be my new go-to phrase to use when I’m about to do something phenomenally and obviously stupid with regards to my mental health: “Lou, watching a movie with graphic self-harm in it? You live in a wooden house, bitch”. Hagrid dismisses her concerns, however, and soon he invites the gang back to the hut to watch the dragon, who he has named Norbert, hatch.

““Isn’t he beautiful ?” Hagrid murmured. He reached out a hand to stroke the dragon’s head. It snapped at his fingers, showing pointed fangs.

“Bless him, look, he knows his mummy!” said Hagrid.”

Look, I don’t want to have to make this joke, I really don’t, but I’m obliged by the Council of Shite Bloggers to write “and I know my daddy when I see him”. I’m sorry, your apology note has already been mailed, I really can’t apologize enough.

The dragon begins swiftly growing, and Malfoy seems to catch on to his existence, leading Harry to suggest that Ron reach out to his dragon-handling brother, Charlie, and ask him to take in Norbert off their hands. He agrees, and eventually Hagrid does to.

“When they told him about Charlie’s letter, his eyes filled with tears, although that might have been because Norbert had just bitten him on the leg.”

You know in Macbeth (which is my favourite piece of writing of all time, for anyone who gives a fuck) when the Porter has his speech in between two major scenes, and it’s sort of just this silly comic relief that’s meant to fill time as everyone scoots around backstage to get things set up for the next act? This is exactly what this chapter is. I’m not mad at it, at all, but it’s just basically a skit.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione eventually ease Norbert away from Hagrid, and on to his destiny to meet Charlie’s group to take him somewhere safe:

““Bye-bye, Norbert!” Hagrid sobbed, as Harry and Hermione covered the crate with the invisibility cloak and stepped underneath it themselves. “Mummy will never forget you!””

When I was growing up, my family was notorious for just taking in any animals of any kind, at any time, generally when they were in a pathetic state of disrepair. Just off the top of my head, in the seventeen years I lived at home, we had sixteen cats (fourteen of them at the same time), three dogs, a ferret with a foot fetish, a fucking viscous hedgehog, a cockatiel who I will only see again in hell, two chinchillas, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, a snake, a baby pine-martin that we bottle fed, a bird that my mum tweezered worms into after it was left behind by its mother, newts, frogs, stick insects which escaped and infested the house and climbed on to the priest who baptised me while she wasn’t looking, and misc. fish, inlcuding one who floated at the top of his tank for hours at a time and then came back from the dead when you went to feed him. My dad’s rule on taking in animals was “if they look sad,  look like they might have been sad, or look like they might ever be sad in the future”, so we just racked them up. And you’d think, with all these animals, that we might be a bit more stoic about having to say goodbye to them (we released a lot of them back into the wild once they had reached a healthy weight and we rehomed others when they were well enough), but it was this exact scene every single time. I know that Hagrid’s reaction here is meant to be funny, but to me, it’s just gritty realism.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione successfully drop Norbert off, but when they return to the common room, they are intercepted by Filch – and realize that they had left their invisibility cloak elsewhere. Gasp! A cliffhanger! I guess you’ll just have to join me next time to listen to me go off on tangents about my childhood pets. I mean, recap the book. Yeah, that.

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