In the twelfth chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry’s mysterious Christmas gift enables him to lớn find a secret of Hogwarts & confront his past. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark lớn re-read Harry Potter.

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It’s clear now that this is the start of Rowling’s ability lớn be both poetic and to crush our hearts ruthlessly. If anything, it’s also the first chapter in Sorcerer’s Stone that gives an idea just how heavy some of the themes in these books are going khổng lồ be. She drops hints towards future archetypes regarding bullying, rejection, the loss of family, being different…shit, a lot of what makes up the later books is right here. I know she hadn’t planned out all seven books right at the beginning, so some of this is just how it came about later, but there’s a nice synchronithành phố to lớn the Harry Potter series that I’m just now beginning khổng lồ appreciate.

The Weasley twins were punished for bewitching several snowballs so that they followed Quirrell around, bouncing off the bachồng of his turban.



Draco doesn’t play a large part in the story quite yet, but Rowling does make sure lớn introduce the idea that he is an entitled, spoiled, và worthless bully, the kind who is relentless in their pursuit of a victyên ổn. It’s almost impressive how he’s able to find nearly anything khổng lồ use against Harry, even if it doesn’t necessarily have the effect he wants.

So Malfoy, jealous and angry, had gone bachồng lớn taunting Harry about having no proper family.

THAT’S A PLEASANT IDEA. I know that it’s nearly impossible lớn avoid it, but I lượt thích that Rowling doesn’t ever hide the fact that Harry is alone here at Hogwarts. His aunt and uncle (as shown by their wonderful Christmas gift) don’t care about hyên ổn, & he has no family to return to lớn for the holiday. Yet I adore how excited he is for a Christmas away from the Dursleys; the magical world still holds the same amount of intrigue và joy to hyên ổn, và even Malfoy’s teasing can’t change that. But that doesn’t mean Malfoy doesn’t upset Harry and Ron, & there’s yet another example of Snape enabling bullying of children he doesn’t lượt thích. Even when Hagrid insists that Malfoy insulted Ron’s family, he only takes points for Gryffindor.

Honestly, it makes me want lớn reach through the pages and slap Snape. Dude, GET OVER IT. You did not kết thúc up with Lily. I’m sorry, it sucks, but MOVE THE FUCK ON. At this point, Harry is ELEVEN YEARS OLD. You are letting Malfoy get away with some abusive bullshit because of something Harry had no part in. This is fucked up! Oh god, I am yelling at a fictional character. WILL THE SNAPEWIVES COME AFTER ME.

I forgot how often Hermione either goes khổng lồ the library khổng lồ figure things out, or sends Ron and Harry there. Look, the library was like my second trang chủ growing up, and I still harbor a deep, caring love sầu for all libraries ever. Because where else can you go to lớn solve mysteries that’s quite like going TO THE LIBRARY?


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I also love that if I had taken five sầu seconds to lớn Google Nicholas Flamel’s name, I would have figured this out. WHERE’S YOUR GOOGLE, HERMIONE. Oh. Right. You can vì chưng magic. YOU WIN THIS ROUND.

Actually, everyone wins this next round, because I have sầu since edited my bucket menu khổng lồ include “Experiencing a Hogwarts Christmas” in my top five sầu. I love it. I love sầu every detail. I’m a goddamn vegan, & the food descriptions that Rowling provides (throughout the series, really) just make me ridiculously hungry. I want khổng lồ play wizard chess with Ron và have my pawns yell at me when I sacrifice them. I want a sweater from Mrs. Weasley that’s knitted in the worst color imaginable, và I would wear it for a week straight without the slighthử nghiệm sensation of irony. I want khổng lồ awkwardly watch Hagrid get drunk và see Dumbledore put on a “flowered bonnet.” No, how the fuck did I miss this detail the first time around? HE’S WEARING A FLOWERED BONNET. This is what I imagine it looks like:


i mean that is factually correct right. that is canon. IT’S RIGHT THERE IN THE BOOK.

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And after the greademo Christmas that Harry has ever had, Rowling allows us a bit of tension & a whole lot of sadness. Harry, shut off from the world for a decade of his life, has a natural inclination towards being curious, and we can see that when he realizes the invisibility cloak will allow hyên ổn to lớn explore Hogwarts freely. That’s not khổng lồ say that anyone else wouldn’t bởi the same, because I sure as hell would. But you have to think of the context of Harry’s life up to lớn this point, & how his guardians have sầu essentially deprived hyên of everything that most other children get lớn go through. And I obviously can relate to that, having grown up with incredibly strict parents who also kept me in a bubble for a long time, và I know that I went through the same thing when I finally found freedom at sixteen. More than ever before, I wanted lớn experience everything, to lớn know everything, lớn see everything, và khổng lồ discover everything I’d missed. Harry not only has missed out on the idea of being magical, but he’s simply missed out on being a prying, inquisitive sầu child.

So I really love sầu reading his first trek out into Hogwarts, with all those confusing passages and hallways. I recall asking this during my initial read of the series, but I can’t rethành viên if someone provided an actual answer, so I think I’ll ask again: Has anyone ever mapped Hogwarts? You know, based on what information Rowling has provided in the novels, I think it might be possible, but I also think it’s an ambitious idea because Hogwarts seems lớn be ever changing.

Anyway, that’s a side note. Harry’s tìm kiếm, which first takes hyên to lớn the library và khổng lồ a shrieking book, begins his tradition (later with Ron và Hermione) of constantly sneaking around the castle. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored by this concept because there’s probably nothing I’d love to bởi more if I was there.

Recently, a frikết thúc of mine asked what I would see if I looked inlớn the Mirror of Erised, và as I read the section where Harry sees his family for the first time, I imagine mine wouldn’t be much different. Well, okay, I don’t mean that I would see Harry Potter’s family there. I mean that I desperately wish I had had a normal family with a normal, loving upbringing, and I think that I would see that, me surrounding by a complete family, with cđại bại friends nearby, my h& in the h& of someone I love & who loves me for who I am.

And yeah, THIS IS IN THE FIRST BOOK. The idea that the main character has never seen anyone he is related to lớn is depressing as hell. He literally is seeing his parents for the first time, which means that the Dursleys HID ALL PHOTOS OF HARRY’S PARENTS FROM HIM. Good fucking god.

Of course, Ron’s vision in the mirror isn’t any less sad, & I still can’t get over how awesome this is for appearing in the very first book. These issues are not dealt with lightly, và when Harry returns khổng lồ the mirror a third time and Dumbledore is there, it’s spelled out rather plainly for the reader: Ron and Harry have sầu desperate desires in their hearts lớn feel welcomed & khổng lồ belong. It’s also the start of Dumbledore’s interest in Harry, though of course he’s much more distant here in that room.

“I don’t need a cloak to become invisible,” said Dumbledore gently.

WHY DON’T YOU RUB IT IN MY FACE MORE, DUMBLEDORE. We are so oppressed because this world isn’t real.

“What do you see when you look in the mirror?”

“I? I see myself holding a pair of thick, woolen socks.”

Harry stared.

“One can never have sầu enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come và gone & I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

I mean RIGHT. I just bought more socks yesterday! WE KNOW THE REAL TRUTH.

Homework assignment until tomorrow: Do you think Dumbledore’s vision in the Mirror of Erised ever change over the course of the books? DISCUSS.

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