Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Question: I get that the DADA role is cursed because of Voldemort being denied the role when he applied for it at Hogwarts, but why does Dumbledore not let Snape take the role like he's wanted to every year? I thought Snape was a double agent (he spies on the Death Eaters and Voldemort for Dumbledore, and he pretends to be on Voldemort's side too), so unless Voldemort decides that he wants to get rid of him for being in the role, he's okay to take it on provided he's given it, and yet every year, Dumbledore turns down his application. Is it because Snape's too involved in Voldemort's side of things or some other reason? I hope I explained it well.

Heather Benton Premium member

Chosen answer: There are several reasons. First, the position is cursed, so there is little reason to give Snape the job when he will not last any longer than all the previous instructors. If Snape did become the DADA instructor, something could happen to him that could result in his being harmed, having to leave Hogwarts, or be otherwise incapacitated in some way; that would render him useless to Dumbledore as a double agent. Also, Dumbledore trusts Snape, but putting him in an environment where he is teaching about dark magic on a daily basis would be too tempting and emotionally compromising to someone who had been so easily seduced by the dark side. He could possibly relapse. It would be like having a recovering alcoholic work as a bartender. Of course, he does eventually become the DADA instructor, and lasted no longer than his predecessors.

raywest Premium member

Question: I noticed that Harry's scar hurts when he comes close to Professor Quirrell, but why is this not happening when he meets him for the first time in Diagon Alley? Wasn't Voldemort on his head yet?

Loesjuh1985

Chosen answer: Voldemort is not on his head in Diagon Alley as explained in the books. He attaches himself to Quirrell when he learns that Quirrell was unsuccessful in getting the Philosopher's Stone from the vault, in attempt to keep an eye on him.

Question: What ever made Snape suspicious of Quirrell? He couldn't have known that Voldemort was attached to Quirrell, or even that Quirrell supported Voldemort, because he surely would have reported either detail to Dumbledore. Then Dumbledore would have stopped Quirrell. So it isn't clear why he guessed, correctly, that Quirrell let the troll into the school or tried to kill Harry during the Quidditch game.

Chosen answer: In the 7th book when Harry is looking into Snape's memory in the pensieve, Dumbledore mentions, "Keep an eye on Quirrell." This shows Dumbledore was suspicious of Quirrell and how Snape knew Quirrell may be up to something.

Question: Why didn't the Dursleys just dump Harry at an orphanage, or refuse to take him? Why did they care about doing what Dumbledore asked?

Chosen answer: Dumbledore never would have allowed it. The charm that protected Harry was only effective as long as Harry lived with his blood relatives, that being his aunt. Also, though Aunt Petunia would be too afraid of the consequences if she ever tried to abandon Harry, she was not evil. There was a line she would never cross that would put her sister's child in danger. She knew his living in her household protected his life.

raywest Premium member

Question: What does Professor Snape mean when he comments about three Gryffindors (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) being "inside on a day like this"? What day does he mean, and why should Gryffindors not be inside?

Chosen answer: That usually means the weather is nice outside, so children should be playing outside rather than being inside. I don't think the fact they were Gryffindors was important, just that Snape was suspicious that they were inside on a nice day.

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: When Harry is recovering in the hospital wing after encountering Voldemort and Quirrell, Dumbledore says that the whole school knows what happened. So why doesn't anyone believe Harry's claim about the return of Voldemort later on, at the end of his fourth year?

Chosen answer: Dumbledore did not mean that everyone was aware that Voldemort had returned. He meant that everyone knew something happened to Harry involving Quirrell, but not specifically what. Many people did believe Harry about Voldemort, others were skeptical, and some called him a liar. The Dark Lord's followers knew Voldemort was returning, but they had to keep this secret until the opportune time.

raywest Premium member

Question: How did Argus Filch get a job at Hogwarts? Even though his father was a wizard, he had no magical abilities. Wouldn't that have made it impossible for him to even go to Hogwarts?

Chosen answer: His job could be done without magic, and in addition to that, Dumbledore felt sorry for him.

Question: Why was Hermione crying in the girl's bathroom?

Chosen answer: In the scene prior, she overheard Ron insult her when he was talking with Harry after a class, calling her a nightmare and saying it was no wonder she hasn't got any friends, which upset her.

Casual Person

Question: Something that I can't figure out: Was there a reason why the Philosopher's Stone needed to be removed from the bank vault in the same week that Harry came to Hogwarts?

Chosen answer: The timing was more a matter of convenience than absolute necessity. Dumbledore learned that one of Voldemort's servants might soon attempt to steal it. So, since Hagrid had to collect Harry from his Aunt and Uncle then take him to Gringott's among other places anyway, Dumbledore instructed Hagrid to get the stone for him while he was there.

Phixius Premium member

Question: If Snape never wanted the Philosopher's stone, why did he attempt to enter the chamber on Halloween (when Fluffy injured his leg)? Quirrell later says that Snape stopped him from trying to get the stone on Halloween, so there should have been no reason for Snape to try and get past Fluffy.

Chosen answer: Snape was heading off Quirrell and trying to protect the stone.

kristenlouise3

Question: I have seen and heard this movie referred to as both Philosophers Stone, and Sorcerer's Stone. Why and when are both used and what is correct? Why is the wrong one also used?

Quantom X Premium member

Chosen answer: Here is the explanation on IMDb'S website: To appeal to the American audience. This was a marketing decision made by author Rowling and Scholastic, the publishing house that released the novel in the United States. The decision to change Philosopher to Sorcerer was made because, in the U.S., a philosopher connotes a scholar of philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, logic, and other related fields. Philosopher does not typically connote an alchemist or magician, and magic is essential to the Harry Potter books. Consequently, the publisher suggested using another word with a more magical connotation, and Rowling suggested Sorcerer. Rowling gives this explanation: "Arthur Levine, my American editor, and I decided that words should be altered only where we felt they would be incomprehensible, even in context, to an American reader. The title change was Arthur's idea initially, because he felt that the British title gave a misleading idea of the subject matter. In England, we discussed several alternative titles and Sorcerer's Stone was my idea." For the movie, the different titles were used in different markets, and each scene where the Stone's name is used had to be filmed twice, once with "Philosopher's Stone" in the dialogue and once with "Sorcerer's Stone."

lartaker1975

Question: Near the beginning of the movie, how could the first-year students' luggage have been brought to their dormitories if it wasn't yet known what houses they would be in?

Chosen answer: The first-years' luggage is likely brought all to one area, then transported by the house elves once the sorting is completed.

Greg Dwyer

Question: The Hogwarts letter states that the recipient has been "accepted" into the school, so are there other magical schools for those who aren't chosen for Hogwarts?

Chosen answer: Every wizard child is accepted to Hogwarts. It's merely the school's way of formally wording the letters to new students. For Muggle-born wizard children or ones like Harry who never knew he was a wizard, the wording may be slightly different. There are other schools of magic, but not in England. As seen in HP and the Goblet of Fire, there is also Durmstrang and Beaux Batons, among others. Also, not all English wizard children attend Hogwarts. Some study in another country or at home, though most go Hogwarts. Muggle-born wizard children are not forced to be trained in magic.

raywest Premium member

Question: As pointed out in another question, most Muggles would be surprised to find out about the wizarding world. Surely some of them would think that their child's Hogwarts letter was a joke or something. So do all Muggles with Muggle-born magic children know where the children are going?

Chosen answer: All Muggle parents whose offspring attend Hogwarts know where their children are going and that it is a school of magic. Initially they may think the letter their child receives is a joke, but they are also visited by representatives of the school who can demonstrate that magic is real. Most children have already displayed some type of magical ability, so the parents are not completely surprised. Muggle parents are sworn to keep the wizard world secret.

raywest Premium member

Question: Why do the Dursleys try to stop Harry from going to Hogwarts? It seems as though they would be happy to get him out of their house (except for summers).

Chosen answer: Petunia and Vernon despise wizards and swore they would 'squash the magic out of him' (which obviously can't happen) when they took him in. They would rather have Harry around all the time and for him not to be a wizard than to allow him to go to Hogwarts where he would learn magic and be happy (It says in the books that the two things that Vernon Dursley despises most if magic and making Harry happy).

kristenlouise3

Question: When Harry's parents are shown in the mirror, are they supposed to be the age that they were when they died or the age they would be if they were still alive?

sdgirl98

Chosen answer: Since the mirror is reflecting Harry's desire, they are probably an idealized (to Harry) image of what they would look like if they were still alive.

Xofer

Question: How does Hermione know so much about magic and the wizard world already, more than Harry, if she and Harry were both raised by Muggle families?

Chosen answer: After learning she was a witch and purchasing all her school textbooks, she learned them all by heart. She also read as much as she could about the magical world, presumably in order to help her ease the transition into her new surroundings.

Cubs Fan Premium member

Question: There is said to be a curse on the Defence Against The Dark Arts teaching job, something like the professor will die within one year of teaching that subject. In a previous question somebody stated that Professor Quirrell was only starting to teach that subject the year that Harry started Hogwarts. But during the feast after the first years have been housed, Harry asks Percy Weasley who "that man" (Snape) is. He tells him that it is Snape, Professor of potions and then goes on to say "Everyone knows Defence Against The Dark Arts is what he really wants. He's been after Quirrell's job for years" This implies that Professor Quirrell has been teaching that subject for years. How is Quirrell an exception to the curse?

jess-shaw

Chosen answer: Firstly, yes, there is said to be a curse on the Defence Against the Dark Arts teaching position, but the teachers do not "die within one year of teaching that subject" as a result of it. You see, Voldemort applied for the DADA position twice, once after Tom Riddle's graduation from Hogwarts and was refused, then years later as Lord Voldemort, and was refused again by Dumbledore. After Voldemort's second refusal to the Defence Against the Dark Arts teaching post, no DADA teacher held the position for more than a year due to a curse that Voldemort placed on the position. Dumbledore stated "You see, we have not been able to keep a Defence Against the Dark Arts professor for more than a year since I refused the post to Lord Voldemort."When Snape first became a teacher at Hogwarts, he requested the Defence Against the Dark Arts position, but was denied it and made the Potions Master. Then every year, as each of the subsequent DADA teachers left the school, Snape reapplied for that position, but was denied year after year. By the time Harry came to Hogwarts, Professor Quirrell, who held the position of the Muggle Studies teacher for some years, had been made the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor after his year off (traveling to Europe, where Voldemort got hold of him). So when Percy says, "He's been after Quirrell's job for years" it means that for many years Snape has been after the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, which is Quirrell's new teaching position that term.

Super Grover Premium member

Question: Did Dumbledore and other Hogwarts staff know that Voldemort would try to return with the help of the Philosopher's Stone this year, so they transferred it from the bank to Hogwarts, and put such a big protection as the three headed dog etc.? Because I think it's a very big coincidence that after all this years that stone has spent in the bank, they decided to put the stone in school, and the very next day someone tried to steal the stone from the bank. It's like they knew that Voldemort would try to use the stone to return. And if they did, why didn't they figure it out and put protection on over the last 10 years, maybe the very next day when Voldemort was defeated by little Harry? It's really like Dumbledore knew that Voldemort will try to use it, and more important, like he knew that he will try to do it NOW, not in last decade when he was "half alive."

Feather

Chosen answer: Dumbledore did probably have an idea that Voldemort might be looking for the stone, but he knew he would never be able to find it as he wanted to use it (Dumbledore's own spell upon it). But the stone gave Dumbledore an opportunity to lure Voldemort to him. So, in order to lure Voldemort out Dumbledore hid it at Hogwarts, closer to him, telling the staff what was going on. Of course then Quirrell knew too and thus Voldemort as well which caused a dangerous situation right the next day, but the general idea was to lure Voldemort out of hiding and into the hands of the Hogwarts teachers. They didn't know yet that Voldemort was already inside Hogwarts as a parasite of Quirrell.

lionhead

Question: Did Rupert Grint truly get nicked in the face by debris during the wizard's chess match? All google searches come back with blogs of personal opinions.

Driftr

Chosen answer: Only people who know for sure, ie. cast and crew, have neither confirmed nor denied him really getting hit. As of right now it's up to speculation.

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