HP Re-read: 1.16 Through the Trapdoor

Even though there are exams to distract Harry and keep him quite busy, he finds it difficult to put what happened in the Forbidden Forest out of his mind.  I would be too to be honest. His scar keeps hurting and his sleep is plagued by nightmares about Voldemort. With the last of the scheduled exams over, Ron and Hermione try to convince Harry that they have nothing to worry about since Dumbledore – the only wizard Voldemort has ever feared – is within the Hogwarts premises, therefore Voldemort can’t possibly harm them.

Harry realizes that Hagrid must have been tricked into revealing how to get past Fluffy in order for Hagrid to win Norbert’s egg. And lo and behold, he is right. The trio guess that the stranger in the pub who have Hagrid Norbert must have been Snape. They set out to let Dumbledore know only to find out that he left for London. With Dumbledore gone, Harry decides to go down the trapdoor to face Snape/Voldemort. Ron and Hermione insist that they are coming to help him. Aw, what true friends.

Before finding out about Dumbledore being gone, Ron and Hermione were trying to comfort Harry.

Ron and Hermone didn’t seem as worried about the Stone as Harry. The idea of Voldemort certainly scared them, but he didn’t keep visiting them in dreams….

This is a realistic reaction from Ron and Hermione, one that they continue to have for a while, and to be frank, I can’t blame them. Ron was an infant when Voldemort’s reign ended; he’s only ever heard of him from his parents, and maybe “exaggerated” tales of terrors from his older brothers. Hermione, on the other hand, only has ever heard of the wizarding world, let alone Voldemort, when she got her Hogwarts acceptance letter a year ago, and she’s only just been reading about it and studying it. Both Ron and Hermione have never really known about Voldemort. Hearing or reading about terrible, real things is not as impactful as actually living it and/or if it affected your family members or close friends during it happened.  That is why they have been quite dismissive about Harry’s worries.

Harry, meanwhile, lost his parents because Voldemort murdered them. His entire life is altered because of it. Just because he doesn’t remember the night it happened or just because he’s only ever known about Voldemort recently doesn’t mean he is unaware of what the threat of Voldemort returning means. Voldemort is the sole reason for Harry’s lifetime of loneliness.

“SO WHAT?” Harry shouted. “Don’t you understand? If Snape gets hold of the stone, Voldemort’s coming back! Haven’t you heard what it was like when he was trying to take over? There won’t be any Hogwarts to get expelled from! He’ll flatten it, or turn it into a school for the Dark Arts! Losing points doesn’t matter anymore, can’t you see? D’you think he’ll leave you and your families alone if Gryffindor wins the house cup? If I get caught before I get to the Stone, well, I’ll have to go back to the Dursleys and wait for Voldemort to find me there, it’s only dying a bit later than I would have, because I’m never going over to the Dark Side! I’m going through that trapdoor tonight and nothing you two say is going to stop me!”

11-year-old Harry, already willing to face danger and ready to die fighting. That’s something that has always been admirable about him. Dumbledore most likely knew that all along – that Harry would walk into death and face it bravely in the end.

Let’s not forget Ron and Hermione, too. Even though they are still quite young, they are willing to fight with Harry! Such happy tears.

It’s also worth pointing out that Neville tries to stop them because he doesn’t want Gryffindor losing points if they get caught. More happy tears.

This chapter offers a lot of heartwarming moments between Harry and his friends. It also presents a lot of exciting things happening – from Fluffy to several spells and enchantments that the professors have put in place to guard the Stone. It is like an obstacle course, Harry, Ron, and Hermione have to traverse to ultimately face Snape and Voldemort at the end.

But it was neither Snape nor Voldemort he sees at the end.


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