Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

New this month Question: At the end, Dumbledore awards the trio back their 150 points, considering that he knew that them sneaking out to Hagrid was in good judgment. But then he gives 10 points to Neville for what? I know Slytherin had the house cup for 7 years straight, but was Dumbledore actually favoring Gryffindor to win the whole time or was not wanting Slytherin to win? I think a headmaster like him wouldn't be that slippery and would keep his opinions about the house cup to himself, even if for some reason he opposes Slytherin.

New this month Chosen answer: Neville had the courage to stand up to three people very dear to him when he knew that they were doing something wrong. There are a lot of teens out there who will just go with the flow no matter what, but Neville had the courage to break that and try to stop them. Dumbledore awarded him the points for that.

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

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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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."


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.


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.


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).


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.


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?


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.


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

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?


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

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."


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.


Question: What did Ron mean when he said that Hermione needs to sort out her priorities?


Chosen answer: This is a joke in that Hermione thinks it's worse to be expelled from Hogwarts than it is to die.

A Demon

Question: Two questions. First, why is Hagrid sent to tell Harry about the wizarding world and escort him to Diagon Alley? Being a half-giant, he would attract attention from a lot of Muggles. Second, have no Muggles noticed that several children arrive at King's Cross Station with owls every year? The owls would be seen before the wizarding families approach Platform 9 3/4.

Chosen answer: I would guess Dumbledore sent Hagrid to fetch Harry solely because he knew the half-giant would frighten the Dursleys, who wanted to stop Harry from going to Hogwarts. Hagrid was also on a mission to fetch the Philosopher's Stone from Gringott's Bank at the same time. Magic was apparently used to mask the comings and goings of wizards whenever they were out and about in the Muggle world. Sometimes people noticed odd things happening, but then tended to shrug it off.


Question: If Dumbledore wanted to take the Philosopher's Stone and hide it at Hogwarts in order to lure Voldemort out (as answered in another question), isn't that taking a huge risk in regards to Harry's safety? Dumbledore knows Harry is starting that year and also that Voldemort wants to eliminate Harry, so isn't he potentially putting Harry at risk by attempting to lure Voldemort to Hogwarts (to get the stone). I mean after Harry defeats Quirrell/ Voldemort in the chamber and Dumbledore visits him in the hospital wing, he doesn't even apologise for risking Harry's life by moving the stone from Gringotts to Hogwarts.

Chosen answer: Dumbledore did not bring the Philosopher's Stone to Hogwarts to lure Voldemort there. He brought it to the castle to protect it after hearing that one of Voldemort's servants may attempt to steal it. No one knew then that Professor Quirrell was that agent. Dumbledore did not know for certain that Voldemort had returned, only that it was probable.


Question: In the flying lesson scene, what happened to Neville's broomstick? Was it bewitched? It did remind me of the scene where Harry had trouble with his broomstick.


Chosen answer: In the books they explain that the brooms for their lessons were old and getting worn, and some of their flying charms weren't working like they use to. Neville was exceptionally nervous about the flying lessons as he had never flown before. The combination of the crappy broom and his nervousness made the broom lose control.

Question: This question is about the book and movie. Why does Draco make an offer of friendship to Harry? His parents are on Voldemort's side. His father and his aunt are Death Eaters. Surely he considers Harry to be an enemy. If Harry had actually decided to join him, his family would have been very displeased. They would also suffer consequences if Voldemort returned and heard that Draco was friends with Harry.

Chosen answer: Draco, still a child when he met Harry, would not yet fully comprehend his family's involvement as Death Eaters or Harry's specific connection to the Dark Lord. His father, Lucius, rarely shared important information with his son. Draco was also the type who would ingratiate himself to someone famous for his own benefit. Draco's cultivating a bogus friendship with Harry could actually have been advantageous to the Malfoys by gaining his trust and giving them closer access to Harry for Voldemort's purposes. The old adage, "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer," would certainly apply here.


Question: Please correct me if I am mistaken, but in the lyrics that the frog choir is singing in the first scene in the great, one of the lines is "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble." This is a direct reference to the witches spell in Shakespeare's Macbeth, is it not?

Shane Carlson

Chosen answer: That is correct.


Question: Do the numbers on the Hogwarts train, 5972, have any meaning?

Chosen answer: It has no meaning to the story. The locomotive used for the Hogwarts Express is the GWR No. 5972 "Olton Hall." It was built in 1937 and was in service in the U.K. until 1963. It was to be sold for scrap, but it was bought by the National Railway Museum and has been on display there in Shildon.


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.


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.

Question: Snape informed Voldemort that there was a prophecy that a wizard would cause the end of his reign. What made Voldemort believe that it was Harry, when it could have actually been any wizard at any time?

Chosen answer: It couldn't have been any wizard. The prophecy was very specific. "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches" - so it was someone who was going to be born soon. "Born to those who have thrice defied him" - his parents must have escaped Voldemort three times. "Born as the seventh month dies" - and they must be born at the end of July. At this point, it could only have been Harry or Neville, as only they fit the requirements. "And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal" - Voldemort chose Harry because they were both half-bloods. "But he will have power the Dark Lord knows not" - this refers to Harry's amazing capacity to love.

Greg Dwyer

Question: Supposedly JK Rowling has said that Nagini is the snake who Harry meets at the zoo, but if so, why does the zoo snake talk in a male voice?

Chosen answer: JK Rowling has never said they were the same snake. Rowling makes it clear in the book that Nagini is some type of venomous snake while the snake in the zoo was a constrictor.

Greg Dwyer

Question: The Harry Potter Wiki website says that Hermione was born in 1979, if this is true then why is she starting school at age 12 instead of 11, especially with her being such a good student?

Chosen answer: The Harry Potter Wiki says Hermione was born on September 19, 1979, the Hogwarts year begins in August which would make Hermione still 11 years old when she begins Hogwarts, she would then become 12 years old the following month. She still began Hogwarts at the same age as all of the other students, not a year later.

Casual Person

Question: After watching Professor Quirrell die in this school year, shouldn't Harry have been able to see thestrals?

Chosen answer: In the novel, Harry passes out before Quirrell dies, meaning that he did not truly see the death and therefore was unable to see the Thestrals. In the movie, Harry does see Quirell die and therefore should have been able to see the Thestrals before witnessing Cedric Diggory's death. This was a movie mistake.


Question: When Petunia says that her parents were "so proud to have a witch in the family" (referring to Lily), she seems to imply that they had previously been aware of the wizarding world, despite being Muggles. After all, most people would be shocked to learn that magic, wizards, witches, etc. Really exist. Did the Evans know about it?

Chosen answer: No, they did not know about the magical world until after they were contacted by Hogwarts about Lily being a witch. Petunia, who had a long-standing grudge and resentment toward her sister's magical ability, is referring to how her parents were proud of Lily once she began her magical training.


Question: I am confused as to why Voldemort went to James and Lily's house the night he murdered them. Hagrid says that he was gathering followers, but why was he particularly interested in making the Potters join him? Why confront them at their house and not just kill them later in a battle or something?

Chosen answer: As explained in later movies, Voldemort heard that baby Harry was the focus of the prophecy that said he would defeat Voldemort. He went to the Potter's house to kill Harry and anyone who stood in his way.


Question: I don't quite understand the moving portraits. Are they alive, are they Horcruxes or pieces of the subject's souls, or do they just say previously-recorded things?

Chosen answer: They are not alive, nor are do they carry any piece of the subject's soul (or anyone else's for that matter) Neither are they just playing out some manner of magical-programming. They are normal paint-and-canvas paintings that have been charmed with sentience and to behave exactly as the subject of the portrait would have behaved.


Question: Why is it that the students at Hogwarts are only wearing wizarding hats in the first movie?

Chosen answer: It is typical in a movie series for changes to be made from film-to-film, particularly concerning things like costumes, make-up, set designs, etc. It's a matter of trying something and later deciding it is not really working well. It may have been that the hats were just too cumbersome, were constantly falling off, and were affecting the actors' performances. Also, in the Harry Potter series, there were a number of different directors and each has their own artistic vision and often make subtle changes.


Question: If Voldemort is attached to Quirrell in this movie, then he heard Snape arguing with Quirrell and threatening him. Wouldn't he then become aware that Snape is actually loyal to Dumbledore? And wouldn't he be angry that Snape tried to protect Harry during the Quidditch game?

Chosen answer: Voldemort believes that Snape is playing a role, not that he is actually loyal to Dumbledore.


Question: Are the quaffles in Quidditch enchanted? I know it didn't bump around when Harry was being shown how to play. Does it have any magical powers? What if someone drops it to the ground? Does it fly back after someone scores?


Chosen answer: The quaffle was enchanted by means of a Gripping Charm, allowing one to throw and carry it using one hand without need for straps or finger holes. Source: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Gripping_Charm.

Question: Why is it that Nearly-Headless Nick and some other ghosts can visit the Hogwarts students, but other deceased people - such as Harry's parents - can't?

Chosen answer: Nearly-Headless Nick explains this to Harry in the book, Order of the Phoenix. After Sirius has died, Harry thinks he might come back as a ghost, but Sir Nicholas tells Harry that a person becomes a ghost because they were afraid to move on to the next world after dying and now are trapped on Earth. That is why Sir Nicholas and the other ghosts are at Hogwarts. He tells Harry that Sirius was not a man who feared death and that he has crossed over to the other side.


Question: Forgive me, I haven't read the books yet. Do they explain how new Hogwarts students are able stop going to regular school in the Muggle "world"? It seems unlikely that several children, year after year, could suddenly miss school at age eleven (when they start going to Hogwarts) without the Muggles noticing.

Chosen answer: In the UK, the age of eleven marks the point where children leave primary school and move on to secondary school. They do not all go together; children from a single primary school will end up separating and going to several different secondary schools located in their general area or even further afield in some cases. As such, the age of eleven is a very good point for children to surreptitiously drop out of their local system to attend Hogwarts, which could be explained to Muggle relatives and friends as a boarding school or other special educational facility without touching on its true nature. Hogwarts draws its pupils from all over the country, with only a hundred or so per school year. Given that a large proportion of these will be the children of wizarding families, who are generally home-schooled, then we're likely only talking about at most one or two children from any given area, which would be highly unlikely to be noticed. In the event that somebody does somehow pick up on it, it would be a relatively simple matter for the Ministry of Magic to make them forget all about it.


Question: Has it ever been stated where witches and wizards go to school before they go to Hogwarts? I mean Hermione and Harry obviously went to Muggle primary school, but what about people like the Weasleys?

Heather Benton

Chosen answer: According to J K Rowling, most wizarding families choose to home school their children prior to sending them to Hogwarts. A few enrol their children in nearby Muggle schools in order to give them a more rounded view of the world, but most take the home schooling option.


Question: Just before Harry enters platform 9 and 3/4, Hagrid says 'stick to your ticket' and suddenly disappears. Where did he go?


Chosen answer: It's not known for certain, but Hagrid apparently arrived on the flying motorcycle that was seen at the very beginning of the movie. Presumably he parked it somewhere nearby and flew back to Hogwarts on it.


Question: When the sorting hat is speaking, can all children hear it, or only the one who is beneath it? I ask this because when the hat shouts 'Gryffindor!' everyone in the hall seems to hear it.


Chosen answer: In the book, the only words the hat said out loud for everyone were the house assignments. Everything else was said telepathically with the one wearing the hat. In the movie, since we can see the hat's mouth moving the whole time, we're led to believe that everything is spoken out loud.


Question: When Harry buys his wand at Olivander's store, Olivander says 'well, give it a wave'. How come Harry already knows how to use the wand?


Chosen answer: He doesn't know how to use a wand at all. Ollivander told Harry to give the wand wave to test it, and the wand is reacting a bit uncontrollably because Harry does not know how to use it properly and also because that particular wand is not suitable for him. When Harry tries the wand that he eventually buys, it is reacting favorably because it is choosing Harry to be its master.


Question: Why doesn't Ron get off the knight on the last move of chess before getting attacked by the queen? Does he have to stay on it?

Joel Sheffield

Chosen answer: Unfortunately, he has to stay on. By the rules of the game, he IS the knight, he's not just riding it, so, when he allows himself to get taken in a sacrifice play, he has to take the consequences.


Question: This is a question for all the films, what do wizard children who have lived with wizards and witches all their lives go to primary school because they must need to read and write?

Chosen answer: They are typically taught "the basics" at home, as per Rowling.


Question: The sorting hat considered putting Harry in Slytherin. But if your parents or a past generation was put in Gryffindor, then wouldn't he have to be in Gryffindor? If not, then is it by luck that the Weasleys have been in the same house for so long?


Chosen answer: No, there's no specific requirement that any individual has to be in the same house as their paren'ts or siblings. It's not uncommon that that's the case, admittedly, particularly as character plays a major part in the sorting process, so individuals brought up in the same household might end up in the same house simply by virtue of bearing similar character traits, but there are a considerable number of examples of family members being in different houses. Sirius Black, for example, was sorted into Gryffindor, despite his family's traditional presence in Slytherin. The Patil twins, who one might reasonably expect to end up in the same house, ended up being sorted differently, Parvati into Gryffindor and Padma in Ravenclaw (in the book, in the movie they are both in Gryffindor). So while it's quite common that house assignment runs in families, it's by no means a certainty.


Question: In the end of the movie just after Ron sacrifices himself to the Queen to win the chess game, he falls to the floor unconscious. But before the scene cuts, a rock flies past his head, he winces, and it leaves a red mark. Did he really get it by a rock during filming or was it added in later?

Chosen answer: The debris from the exploding chess piece was not real; this looks like a combination of computer-generated special effect (CGI) as well some type of a light-weight material (such as Styrofoam) made to appear real and is tossed at Rupert Grint (Ron) from off-screen. Considering the stringent safety standards and precautions that are employed in today’s film industry, particularly regarding child actors, and also the multiple times that scenes are shot to get it right, it is unlikely that this was anything that actually could have hurt him.


Question: When they're in the forest and Hagrid is explaining about the unicorns, they pan to show some of the forest looking all creepy. Is it just me, or is there someone walking around in the forest? Is that a mistake, or it supposed to be Voldemort/Quirell?

Chosen answer: That is Quirell (and Voldemort). He had just killed the unicorn, whose blood keeps Voldemort alive. Quirell was interrupted when Hagrid and the students arrived, and he was lurking in the shadows, waiting to get back to his prey.


Question: In Book 6, Dumbledore mentions that the Defence Against the Dark Arts Job is cursed, and that no one has had it for more than a year since he refused it to Voldemort. But in Movie/Book 1, it seems that Quirell has been at the school for a while (Hagrid knows him, and knows that he's the DADA teacher; all the older students seem to know him and there is no mention that this is Quirells first year of teaching). Explain.


Chosen answer: According to Rowling, Quirrell was the Muggle Studies teacher at Hogwarts (which is why all the older students know him) before moving to teach Defence Against The Dark Arts in the year that Harry started there. Immediately after meeting Quirrell in the Leaky Cauldron, Hagrid makes a reference to Quirrell having taken a year off from teaching to "get some first-hand experience", encountering such dark creatures as vampires and hags along the way, which would strongly support the idea that he's not previously been the teacher in that subject.


Question: Does anybody know were I could find footage of the Peeves scenes, as I am interested in what they are.

Chosen answer: The footage has never been shown. It's not available to be shown either, but it's rumored to be the same footage when Peeves first comes up in "Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone" on the PS2.

Question: Did anyone ever find out who sent Harry his father's invisibility to him for Christmas? Some people say it was Sirius Black but I think otherwise.

Chosen answer: It was given to him by Dumbledore. James Potter left it with Dumbledore for safe keeping, and he passed it on to Harry.


Question: On the movie timeline it is stated that Harry was born in 1980 and started Hogwarts in 1991. Where are we told this in the book or movie?

Chosen answer: In the book "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", It claims that Nearly Headless Nick has been dead for 500 years...and that he died in 1492. 1492 + 500 = 1992. Since this is the 2nd book in the series, this would mean Harry is 12, and therefore was born in 1980, and started attending Hogwarts in 1991, when he was 11.

Movie_Freak 1

Question: Does the vault number 713 (the philosopher's stone's Gringott vault number) have any symbolic meaning or is it just a random number?

Chosen answer: If there is any symbolic meaning to it, only J.K. Rowling knows the answer. One possibility, seven is a lucky or "good" number; thirteen is considered unlucky or synonymous with evil. By being together, they may balance each other out.


Question: I was just wondering why the Sorting Hat speaks out loud in the film, because in the book it was only heard in the pupil's head. Obviously it would need to shout out the house at the end, but everything else could be a bit personal, and shouldn't be shouted to the whole school.

Chosen answer: This is a common movie tactic. Telepathic communication can be confusing in a movie, making it hard to really know where the voice is coming from. Being a kid's movie, they apparently opted to eliminate the telepathic element as it could easily confuse the target audience who may not be very familiar with the concept of telepathic voiceover.


Question: On the second DVD for Special Features, how do you buy your owl in Eeylops? The narrator tells you to pick an owl and that you'll need it for communication. How do you buy it? I've clicked on all three of them and nothing happened. None of my friends can figure it out either.

Chosen answer: Those owls are not essential. Just follow these instructions to view the deleted scenes: 1) In the Main Menu click the Owl - Diagon Alley. 2) To enter, choose the bricks in clockwise order from the left. If you make 4 mistakes, it will open anyway. 3) Once in Diagon Alley, hit the Key, located at the bottom of the Gringotts sign. 4) Click on the Coins. Then hit the Arrow to go back to Diagon Alley. 5) Click on the Ollivanders sign. 6) Pick a Wand Box, until the wand chooses you and then you'll be sent back to Diagon Alley. 7) Click on the Arrow to go back to the Main Menu. 8) Click the Wand on the table - Classrooms. 9) Place the cursor over the word- Transfigurations under the Cat and hit DOWN Arrow (or simply move the cursor directly to the *H* under the fire and skip to 12). 10) The two Owls under the fire will be highlighted. Hit Enter. 11) The *H* above the Owls is highlighted. Hit Enter. 12) Click on the Flute, above Fluffy's three heads. 13) Click on the tiny key with the bent wing tip at the door. Or pick any key. When you miss four times the correct key will be shown in the center of the screen, much much larger than the others. Click it. 14) Click on the short, round, yellow bottle in the back. Do this fast or you'll land in the Hospital Wing anyway. 15) In the Mirror of Erised click on the Stone.

Super Grover

Question: Who sent Harry the broomstick?

Chosen answer: It was sent to Harry by Professor McGonagall. She was able to persuade Dumbledore to bend the rule regarding first years and broomsticks, so Harry would be allowed to play on the Gryffindor Qudditch team.

Cubs Fan

Question: I've heard that the cast is entirely British, except for one American. Who is the American? These ALL seem like British actors or actresses to me.

Chosen answer: While she is known as a British actress, Zoe Wannamaker (Madam Hooch) was born in the United States. Another American that makes an appearance in the film is Verne Troyer (Mini-Me from the "Austin Powers" films), who plays Griphook the Goblin.

Cubs Fan

Question: Whats the deal with the moving staircases? Wouldn't they make all the students late for classes?

Chosen answer: Hogwarts is a highly magical place with many oddities built into it; the staircases are one of those, but most are reasonably predictable in how and when they move. The students simply have to learn the patterns to avoid problems.


Question: What is the actor who played the Slytherin seeker in this movie called?

Chosen answer: Will Theakston plays Terrence Higgs, the Slytherin seeker, according to the IMDb.

Super Grover

Question: This question applies to all three Harry Potter movies. Why is no one allowed to say Voldemorts name?

Chosen answer: There's no actual law preventing it, it's largely traditional, left over from when Voldemort was previously active. He was considered so terrifying that people were frightened simply by the power of his name, so it became the norm to use an alternate method of referring to him if it was necessary to do so. Despite his apparent fall, the tendency remains. Later on, when Voldemort rises to power once again and gets hold of the ministry, a taboo is placed upon his name. Meaning that those who speak the dark lords name will immediately be attacked by death eaters. Some speculate the taboo was placed so as to find Harry more easily, as after Dumbledores death he was the only one brave enough to speak the name.


Question: I listened to the scene where Harry goes to visit Ron and Hermione at the end after he gets out of the hospital wing. Ron and Hermione apparently have a conversation that's not appropriate for a PG rated movie, and I turned it up as loud as I could, and I heard Ron say something like, "I have this black shirt." Can anyone tell me what he really is saying?


Chosen answer: While he stands at the top of the stairs with Hermione, Ron says, "I had a resurrection!!", referring to his 'near death' experience on the chess board earlier in the film. Some people mis-hear it as a reference to "an erection" which is why you may have heard people think it's inappropriate.

Super Grover

Question: My son and I believe that, in Harry's photo album and the magic Mirror, Lily and James Potter are played by J.K. Rowling and a friend of hers named "Sean" who is said to be the inspiration for Ron Weasley's character. Can anyone confirm/deny?

Chosen answer: According to J.K. Rowling on her official site (www.jkrowling.com), the filmmakers asked her to play Lily, but she felt she "would have messed it up somehow". IMDb credits Geraldine Somerville as Lily and Adrian Rawlins as James.

Kathy Tjarks

Question: If no one is permitted to use magic outside of Hogwarts, then what is the point of teaching it?

Chosen answer: Only underage wizards are not allowed to use magic outside of Hogwarts, much the same as underage people are not allowed to drink or smoke here. They aren't mature enough to do so, but once they come of age they can do it permitting no Muggles see them.


Question: Not from the movie, but there were two books actually printed that were mentioned in the harry potter books, called 'Quidditch Through the Ages', with the claimed author of Kennilworthy Whisp, and 'Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them' by Newt Scamander. My question is do these people exist or did J.K Rowling write these books as well, but since they were supposed to be Harry's schoolbooks did she use different names? Also, what exactly does IMBd stand for?

Chosen answer: Yes, J.K. Rowling wrote both of those books; she used the pseudonyms to make the books more realistic (as opposed to just being a HP spinoff). IMDb stands for Internet Movie Database, probably the premiere site online for movie information (http://www.imdb.com).


Question: There is a Nicholas Flamel mentioned in "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown. He's on the list of the Grand Masters of the Priory of Sion (he's the 8th one, 1398-1418). I was just wondering if Nicholas Flamel was a real person and, if so, who was he? If he was alive at the end of the 14th century, then, if he were still alive today because of the magic of the Sorceror's Stone, he would be about as old as Hermione says he is.

Chosen answer: Nicholas Flamel was, indeed, a real person, he did indeed research the Philosopher's Stone and his wife (as mentioned in the Potter story) was indeed called Perenelle. He travelled widely in his research, supposedly seeking the understanding of a mysterious book that he had acquired. On his return, he used his unsurpassed knowledge of alchemy to become very wealthy and became known as a philanthropist, donating large sums to hospitals and churches. As an interesting aside, his tomb in Paris is empty. One theory is that it was ransacked by people in search of his alchemical secrets. Of course, if he did manage to create the Philosopher's Stone, and it was widely believed at the time that he had, then there may be a far more interesting reason why his tomb remains unoccupied.


Question: What I don't understand is: Dumbledore has the brilliant idea of using the Mirror of Erised to hide the stone in. Yet the mirror is in some room in the castle, where Harry eventually finds it, and not inside the guarded area, where the stone is hidden, until very much later into the movie. Why is that? Even if it was there to teach Harry its secret, it would mean the stone was less efficiently guarded. Or did Dumbledure just get the idea of using the mirror later into the movie ?

Chosen answer: Presumably, Dumbledore came up with his idea after catching Harry in front of the mirror, after he explained the mirror's "power" to Harry. It is safe to assume that the stone was stored in some other magical manner that was less secure before Dumbledore decided to use the mirror.


Question: When they are getting on to Platform 9 3/4, why don't the Muggles notice them running through a brick wall? And if a Muggle did notice them, could he/she get on to Platform 9 3/4?

Chosen answer: Most likely this is part of the magic of Platform 9 3/4 - provided that they're careful and don't do it blatantly in front of Muggles, the Muggles won't pick up on it. Muggles certainly can get onto the platform - after all, quite a number of students have at least one Muggle parent, who would want to see them off. Whether this would be possible for Muggles in other circumstances is unclear.


Question: Where exactly does it say the school's family motto?

Chosen answer: Hogwarts' motto ('Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus' - 'Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon') is never overtly stated in either the books or the films. It appears on the title page of all the books however, as part of the school crest.


Question: Why does Harry's scar hurt when he looks at Professor Snape for the first time? Obviously this is to arouse suspicion around the teacher, but later, when it gets revealed that someone else was really the host of You-Know-Who, *that* is when Harry's scar hurts again...although Harry looks at that person numerous times - even talks to them, and nothing happens all those other times. What's up with all this?


Chosen answer: Remember how You-Know-Who is on the back of someone else's head? Well, it is You-Know-Who in the hall who causes Harry's scar to hurt - you can see 'someone else' is facing away from Harry so You-Know-Who would be able to make his scar hurt.


Question: What type of owl is Hedwig?

Chosen answer: Hedwig is a snowy owl.


Question: What kind of dog is Fang?

Chosen answer: According to the books he's a boarhound. http://www.sylvanlaneshoppe.com/movie_49.jpg.


Question: During the scene where the first-years are being sorted into their houses, the sorting hat is set on each students head, except for Malfoy. It is merely held above his head, as it announces his house. Is there a reason for this?

Chosen answer: Malfoy is so strongly Slytherin that the Sorting Hat can tell he needs to be in Slytherin before reaching his head and having to "think" about it.


Question: On the American DVD where are the deleted scenes on the second disc?

Chosen answer: 1. On the Opening screen on Disc two, select Diagon Alley (Hedwig). 2. Put the selector thingy on Gringotts, then press down selecting the key, click to get to the gringotts area then select the Galleon, Sickle, and Knut and click. 3. Now you should be back at the main page for diagon alley, go to ollivander's and have fun selecting your wand (not sure if its the same for every DVD). 4. Go back to the main screen and select the wand and click, getting to the classrooms. 5. Select Transfiguration (the cat), then hit down to select the owls on the torch, then hit up to select the H on a Shield. Click. 6. At Fluffy, select the Flute and click. 7. At the Keys, select the Silver one in the middle with a bent wing (its the only one that is completely over the door in the background). 8. At the Bottles (which was not in the Movie) select the round one with the yellow liquid. 9. Select the Red stone in the mirror to get to the cut scenes (only seven, but I bet there's more).

Grumpy Scot

Question: Is there a definite answer as to why this is called "Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone" in the US?

Chosen answer: Both the book and the film were retitled because Scholastic, the publishers, were worried that American children wouldn't have heard the legend of the "philosopher's stone", and would think the book was about philosophy. They wanted to rename it to something that made it obvious that it's about magic, so they used "sorceror's".




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Albus Dumbledore: Ah, Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. I was most unfortunate in my youth to come across a vomit flavoured one. I must say since then I have lost my liking for them. But I think...it might be safe...to have a nice toffee. [He has a bean.] Alas. Earwax.



During the Quidditch match Harry's broomstick tries to shake him off, due to the spell. After Hermione tells Ron, "Leave it to me," in Harry's last close-up before he flips over, the seat that is attached to the broomstick, to make it more comfortable for Dan Radcliffe to sit on, is entirely visible. Glimpses of other seats can be had during the match as well.



For anyone who hasn't read the book: The inscription on top of the Mirror of Erised says "erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi". If you read the inscription backwards it says "I show not your face but your heart's desire".