Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Chapter Fifteen
Alright. If you happen to follow any of my social media (Twitter, mostly), you’ll know that I’ve had a hell of a fucker of a week, and honestly I just want to dive head-first into this book and forget any of it happened while I talk about banging random members of the adult cast of this story. Oh look, here comes one now!
We left off last time with Harry, Ron, and Hermione being caught by janitor Filch sneaking about the castle late at night, and Professor McGonagall is here to chew them out:
“She looked more likely to breathe fire than Norbert as she towered over the three of them.”
It’s because she just had to leave me recumbent in her chambers, unable to finish her vigorous and thorough lovemaking session to her satisfaction. McGonagall takes fifty points apiece off Harry, Ron, and Hermione, turning them into lepers from the rest of their house. They also earn detention, along with Malfoy, who was sneaking around trying to get them caught. Harry loses his status as Pride of Gryffindor thanks to his stick in the works of winning them the house cup that year, and I’m reminded that yes, the house cup actually is a sub-plot that’s a big part of the arc for this story, even if it does (to my recollection) vanish in future books.
A little while after the point-stripping incident, Harry is wandering around the castle and overhears Quirrell having what sounds like a confrontation with my cat:
““No — no — not again, please–”
It sounded as though someone was threatening him. Harry moved closer.
“All right — all right — ” he heard Quirrell sob.”
You know, my fucking little COW of a cat, while we’re on the subject, decided to go MISSING for three hours down the back of the fridge. Just for the fun of it. Just because she likes seeing me hunched over the radiator in the living room openly weeping like I’ve just been told Hannibal was cancelled for the first time all over again. Harry assumes that Snape has finally broken Quirrell into giving him what he wants, and reports back to Hermione and Ron. Hermione basically strongarms them into Keeping The Fuck Out Of It, which feels both very in line with and very contrary to everything that I know of her. My bitch and queen has internal contrast!
Filch is assigned to take Harry, Hermione, and Malfoy (and my son, Neville, who was also caught up in their chaotic adventure and will be suffering the full unleashed fury of my wrath as a result) out on their detention for their misdeeds, and, of course, he’s pretty happy about delivering some abject cruelty:
” It’s just a pity they let the old punishments die out. . . hang you by your wrists from the ceiling for a few days, I’ve got the chains still in my office, keep ’em well oiled in case they’re ever needed. . .”
Unf, McGonagall can string me up in those any day to be quite honest. I understand that there’s been a lot of lesbian shit this chapter, but perhaps and perchance that’s a nod to what I’m going to be recapping next? Only time shall gay.
Filch leads the four of them down to the Forbidden Forest, which, you know, requires me to share this hallow’d meme with you:
Now, the Harry Potter fan community is honestly one of the stone-cold worst I’ve ever come across in my life, but those bitches know a meme so I’ll give them a pass for this One Time Only.
Hagrid is there to help the kids navigate the potentially deadly forest, thank goodness, and here’s my fanservice for the chapter:
“Hagrid came striding toward them out of the dark, Fang at his heel. He was carrying his large crossbow, and a quiver of arrows hung over his shoulder.”
SLAY of Giants 2K19, am I right, gang? I don’t want to get too crude (I do), but this is a line that came directly out of a Hagrid X Reader fanfic that I wrote as a Valentine’s Day present to myself last week. Hagrid informs them that they’ll be investigating a trail of unicorn’s blood that leads deep into the forest. He sends Malfoy and Neville off with Fang, and he, Hermione, and Harry follow a different branch of the track. On the way, he mentions that he’s never known a Unicorn to be injured before, suggesting that whatever is out here, it’s got to be a seriously powerful creature.
And look, I know I’m just going to be repeating what the very hilarious meme already said in a much funnier fashion, but what the fuck is going on here? There’s something in that forest that’s so powerful that Hagrid has never come across something of its like before, and they’re just…chucking some eleven-year-olds in to figure out what it is? And sending a group of them off by themselves with nothing but a slightly threatening dog as a companion? I know that these books are aimed at kids, I get that, I do, and that kids want to imagine themselves capable of adventure and bravery like this, but as a full-grown semi-adult, I can safely say that I would have suffered an anal prolapse at the thought of having to wander about the spooky woods at night when I was eleven.
Anyway, Hagrid, Harry, and Hermione run into a centaur named Ronan who offers some enigmatic nothings about the colour of the sky as Hagrid tries to get some information about what happened to the unicorn out of him. Hagrid is irritated:
““Never,” said Hagrid irritably, “try an’ get a straight answer out of a centaur. Ruddy stargazers. Not interested in anythin’ closer’n the moon. ””
Or, better known as me, when anyone is trying to have a conversation about anything other than Neon Genesis Evangelion when I’m hip-deep in my latest rewatch. Hagrid recieves a warning signal from Neville and Malfoy, and goes to their aid to discover that Malfoy was just trolling Neville. Harry is assigned to go with Malfoy and Fang because he’s a little harder to scare and, soon enough, they come across the dead unicorn.
“A bush on the edge of the clearing quivered. . . Then, out of the shadows, a hooded figure came crawling across the ground like some stalking beast. Harry, Malfoy, and Fang stood transfixed. The cloaked figure reached the unicorn, lowered its head over the wound in the animal’s side, and began to drink its blood.”
BRUTAL. This actually gave me a shiver, and I remember being so utterly freaked out by this the first time I came across it – there’s something so tremendously horrible about taking a creature generally associated with beauty and magic within the fantasy realm and having our first encounter with it be this: dead, and with some scuttling little creature sipping from it’s guts. An awesome way to set up the sheer foulness of Voldemort (who is, of course, behind this whole horrible scene) and the way he subverts the beauty and magic of this universe.
Malfoy and Fang make a run for it, and the figure notices Harry:
“Then a pain like he’d never felt before pierced his head; it was as though his scar were on fire.”
A centaur arrives and rescues Harry, galloping him off through the forest to find Hagrid once more. On their way, he reveals, well, basically the entire set-up for the final part of this book:
“The blood of a unicorn will keep you alive, even if you are an inch from death, but at a terrible price. You have slain something pure and defenseless to save yourself, and you will have but a half-life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches your lips. ” […]
“But who’d be that desperate?” he wondered aloud. “If you’re going to be cursed forever, death’s better, isn’t it?”
“It is,” Firenze agreed, “unless all you need is to stay alive long enough to drink something else — something that will bring you back to full strength and power — something that will mean you can never die. Mr. Potter, do you know what is hidden in the school at this very moment?”
“The Sorcerer’s Stone! Of course — the Elixir of Life! But I don’t understand who–”
“Can you think of nobody who has waited many years to return to power, who has clung to life, awaiting their chance?””
Psst – it’s Voldemort. Hashtag spoiler alert. It’s a little cheeky to just have a random character wander in and explain all this to Harry, but after the very bizarre comedy aside of the last chapter (which I see now was to set up them going to detention, but really could have been achieved in so many other ways), I’ll allow a bit of blatant exposition just to keep things moving.
The centaur drops Harry back off with Hagrid, where Hermione attempts to reassure him that there’s no way Voldemort could be making a comeback. Harry, still shaken, returns to his room, and finds something waiting in his bed for him (no, not Malfoy, you Drarry chaotic evils):
“When Harry pulled back his sheets, he found his invisibility cloak folded neatly underneath them. There was a note pinned to it:
Just in case.”
And that’s where we leave off this week. If you enjoyed this recap and want to see more stuff like it, please consider supporting me on Patreon! You can also find more of my writing on my film site, No But Listen.