HP Re-read: 1.13 Nicolas Flamel

A stroke of luck leads Harry, Ron, and Hermione to finally figuring out who Nicolas Flamel is and what he has to do with the little package being guarded by Fluffy, the three-headed dog (after Hagrid’s mishap in revealing Flamel’s name). Harry suddenly remembers reading it in an Albus Dumbledore Chocolate Frog card when trying to comfort Neville with a treat after Draco harasses him. This prompted them to learn about the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione are convinced that Snape is after the Stone and Harry. Because they are unwavering in this resolve, they are more wary of Snape’s actions; every thing Snape does is a confirmation to prove their theory: Snape refereeing the Quidditch game Harry’s playing in is a threat against Harry. Snape sneakily talking to Quirrell and trying to threaten him is so that Quirrell reveals what enchantment he used to guard the Stone. Snape limping is because he tried to get past the three-headed dog guarding the Stone. 

Snape does all of those things, and like Harry, we are prompted to be suspicious of his actions, too. We read about him threatening Quirrell, but he doesn’t mention wanting the Stone for himself. It’s easy to peg Snape as the bad guy since he pretty much is the personification of “evil” in the eyes of 11-year-olds: He is this greasy, all-clad in black professor who seems to take great pleasure in making Harry’s life (and the rest of the students’) in Hogwarts miserable. When we read about Snape “threatening” Quirrell, he really is just asking how much Quirrell knows; at no point does he express desires for the Stone; he is just trying to get information out of Quirrell.

My younger self, upon reading this, agreed that Snape is a suspicious character. Harry, Ron, and Hermione have a bit of an overactive imagination. Moreover, they already have their own personal prejudices against Snape, leading them further to believe that Snape is evil.

Some notes:

  • Oh, Neville. I am so happy to read about Neville standing up for himself. At the same time, it makes me sad that he is so insecure and have a lot of self-doubts. We can all relate to Neville in that regard.

“There’s no need to tell me I’m not brave enough to be in Gryffindor, Malfoy’s already done that,” Neville choked out.

Harry felt in the pocket of his robes and pulled out a Chocolate Frog, the very last one from the box Hermione had given him for Christmas. He gave it to Neville, who looked as though he might cry.

“You’re worth twelve of Malfoy,” Harry said. “The Sorting Hat chose you for Gryffindor, didn’t it?”

  • I love the fact that the Harry Potter series also greatly touched on Neville’s own personal journey to finding himself and his progression to bravery. I like his character and it makes me so proud of him as the series went on, but it also makes me quite sad to think how close Neville was to being dealt Harry’s same cards.
  • Ron snapped. Before Malfoy knew what was happening, Ron was on top of him, wrestling him to the ground. Neville hesitated, then clambered over the back of his seat to help.

    “Come on, Harry!” Hermione screamed, leaping onto her seat to watch as Harry sped straight at Snape – she didn’t even notice Malfoy and Ron rolling around under her seat, or the scuffles and yelps coming from the whirl of fists that was Neville, Crabbe, and Goyle.

  • Hah! I wish so much that was included in the movie. I would have loved to see how hilarious and awesome that could have been adapted.
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