"Harry then did something that was both very brave and very stupid..."
US hardcover edition: pages 163 - 179
UK hardcover edition: pages 121 - 132
UK paperback edition: pages 178 - 195
Saturday 14 September -
Thursday 31 October,
Synopsis by William Silvester
Notes and links by Steve Vander Ark and Michele L. Worley
In which Harry receives a
Nimbus 2000 broom, learns the rules of
Quidditch and begins to practice. On
Hallowe'en Hermione masters
levitation in Charms but the remarks of a jealous
Ron send her in tears to the girls' bathroom,
where she is trapped with a troll.
Harry and Ron
run to her rescue and defeat the troll.
Hermione tells a lie to keep them out
of trouble, and the three become friends.
Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:
In the U.S. edition, the chapter title is "Halloween,"
while in the U.K. edition it's "Hallowe'en."
Hallowe'en marks a turning point in the story and in the lives of Harry, Ron,
and Hermione, as the three of them become friends.
Indeed, by the next morning...
Ron thought that meeting the three-headed dog had
been an excellent adventure, and they were quite keen to have another one.
Neither Neville nor
Hermione showed the slightest interest in what lay underneath the dog and the trapdoor. All Neville cared about was never going near the dog again.
Hermione was now refusing to speak to
Ron, but she was such a bossy know-it-all that they
saw this as an added bonus.
Just such a thing arrived in the post about a week later...
As the owls flooded into the
as usual, everyone's attention was caught at once by a long, thin package
carried by six large screech owls.
Harry ripped open the
letter first, which was lucky, because it said:
DO NOT OPEN THE PARCEL AT THE TABLE.
It contains your new Nimbus Two Thousand, but I don't want everybody
knowing you've got a broomstick or they'll all want one.
Oliver Wood will meet you tonight on the Quidditch pitch at
seven o'clock for your first training session.
Professor M. McGonagall
"It's not any old broomstick," he said, "it's a Nimbus Two Thousand. What
did you say you've got at home, Malfoy, a Comet Two Sixty?" Ron grinned at Harry.
"Comets look flashy, but they're not in the same league as the Nimbus."
Sleek and shiny, with a mahogany handle, it had a long tail of neat,
straight twigs and Nimbus Two Thousand written in gold near
"Now, Quidditch is easy enough to understand, even if it's not
too easy to play."
"There are seven players on each side. Three of
them are called Chasers."
...as Wood took out a bright red ball about the size of a football.
"This ball's called the Quaffle," said Wood.
"The Chasers throw the Quaffle to each other and try and get it
through one of the hoops to score a goal. Ten points every time the
Quaffle goes through one of the hoops. Follow me?"
"The Chasers throw the Quaffle and put it through the hoops
to score," Harry recited. "So - that's sort of like
basketball on broomsticks with six hoops, isn't it?"
"What's basketball?" said Wood curiously.
"Now, there's another player on each side who's called the
Keeper - I'm Keeper for Gryffindor. I have to fly around the
hoops and stop the other team from scoring."
He handed Harry a small club, a bit like a short baseball bat.
"These two are the Bludgers."
He showed Harry two identical balls, jet black and slightly
smaller than the red Quaffle.
"The Bludgers rocket around, trying to knock players off
their brooms. That's why you have two Beaters on each team -
the Weasley twins are ours - it's their job to protect their
side from the Bludgers and try and knock them toward the
"Three Chasers try and score with the Quaffle; the Keeper
guards the goal posts; the Beaters keep the Bludgers away from
their team," Harry reeled off.
"Er -- have the Bludgers ever killed anyone?"
"Never at Hogwarts. We've had a couple of broken jaws but nothing worse than that..."
"Don't worry, the Weasleys are more than a match for the Bludgers -- I mean, they're like a pair of human Bludgers themselves."
Wood reached into the crate and took out the fourth and last
ball...it was tiny, about the size of a large walnut. It was
bright gold and had little fluttering silver wings.
"This," said Wood, "is the Golden Snitch,
and it's the most important ball of the lot. It's very hard to
catch because it's so fast and difficult to see. It's the
Seeker's job to catch it."
"...whichever Seeker catches the Snitch wins his team an
extra hundred and fifty points, so they nearly always win.
That's why Seekers get fouled so much."
"A game of Quidditch only ends when the Snitch is caught,
so it can go on for ages - I think the record is three months,
they had to keep bringing on substitutes so the players could
get some sleep."
He pulled a bag of ordinary golf balls out of his pocket...
"That Quidditch cup'll have our name on it this year," said Wood happily as
they trudged back up to the castle. "I wouldn't be surprised if you turn out better
than Charlie Weasley, and he could have played for England if he hadn't gone off chasing
...Harry could hardly believe it when he realized that he'd already been at Hogwarts
On Halloween morning...
they woke to the delicious smell of baking pumpkin wafting through the corridors.
...Professor Flitwick announced in Charms that he thought they
were ready to start making objects fly...
...something they had all been dying to try since they'd seen him make
zoom around the classroom.
Levitating an object isn't really making it fly, however. Flitwick may have been able to
make Trevor zoom around, but according to Quidditch Through the Ages,
levitation is normally a matter of hovering rather than zooming. Perhaps Flitwick
had actually been demonstrating either a Summoning or Banishment charm, not Levitation.
At any rate, it's interesting that the first charm the students are assigned is
levitation. It must be a fairly simple effect to achieve.
Professor Flitwick put the class into pairs to practice.
Harry's partner was
(which was a relief, because
Neville had been trying
to catch his eye).
She hadn't spoken to either of them since the day Harry's broomstick had arrived.
"Now, don't forget that nice wrist movement we've been practicing!"
squeaked Professor Flitwick, perched on top of his pile of books as usual.
"Swish and flick, remember, swish and flick. And saying the magic words
properly is very important, too
...never forget Wizard Baruffio, who said 's' instead of 'f' and found himself on the
floor with a buffalo on his chest."
It was very difficult. Harry and Seamus swished and flicked, but the feather they were
supposed to be sending skyward just lay on the desktop. Seamus got so impatient that he
prodded it with his wand and set fire to it -- Harry had to put it out with his hat.
Ron, at the next table, wasn't having much more luck. "Wingardium Leviosa!" he shouted,
waving his long arms like a windmill.
Hermione didn't turn up for the next class...
A thousand live bats fluttered from the walls and ceiling while a thousand more swooped
over the tables in low black clouds, making the candles in the pumpkins stutter. The
feast appeared suddenly on the golden plates, as it had at the start-of-term banquet.
"Follow me! Stick together, first years! No need to fear the troll if you follow
my orders! Stay close behind me, now. Make way, first years coming through! Excuse me,
I'm a prefect!"
"How could a troll get in?" Harry asked as they climbed the stairs.
They passed different groups of people hurrying in different directions. As they jostled
their way through a crowd of confused Hufflepuffs, Harry suddenly grabbed Ron's arm.
Ducking down, they joined the Hufflepuffs going the other way, slipped down a deserted
side corridor, and hurried off toward the girls' bathroom.
"Percy!" hissed Ron, pulling Harry behind a large stone griffin.
"What's he doing?" Harry whispered. "Why isn't he down in the dungeons with the rest of
"He's heading for the third floor," Harry said, but Ron held up his hand.
...hurried off toward the girls' toilets... ('girls' bathroom' in the US edition)
- We know that there is at least one other girls' bathroom available to all the students, that being the one which is out of order on the second floor.
- We also know that there isn't a bathroom in Gryffindor tower or common rooms, since the students need to be escorted to the bathroom in their second year while the basilisk is terrorizing the school.
- We also know that the Prefects and Quidditch Captains get their own special, very fancy bathrooms located on the fifth floor.
- There is also a boys' bathroom on the sixth floor which Draco hides in, crying (HBP)
How did the troll get all the way up to the fourth floor? Can the teachers be that
ineffective in protecting the students against just one troll? Sure, Quirrell could have
placed the troll on a different floor than the dungeons, but why? His goal was to keep
the teachers far away from the third floor so he could try to get at the Stone. Putting
the troll on the fourth floor would have ruined that diversion entirely. So we can only
conclude that the troll managed to escape the combined efforts of the entire teaching
staff of Hogwarts and wander up four floors unnoticed to be flattened by two first year
boys in a girls' toilet.
Harry then did something that was both very brave and very stupid
This phrase should be the motto on Harry's coat of arms. He spends half of his time doing things which are both very brave and, at least by conventional wisdom, very stupid.
Hermione had sunk to the floor in fright
Although Hermione quickly gains confidence and nerve through experiences with Harry and Ron, she still exhibits a tendency to freeze under pressure at the end of this book when she faces the Devil's Snare.
The club flew suddenly out of the troll's hand, rose high, high up into the air, turned slowly over -- and dropped, with a sickening crack, onto its owner's head.
"Urgh -- troll bogies."
Just for the record, the term is 'boogers' in the US edition.
Oh, the things you learn from reading Harry Potter books.
Quirrell took one look at the troll, let out a faint whimper, and sat quickly down
on a toilet, clutching his heart.
Harry a swift, piercing look.
Harry looked at the floor.
hung her head.
Hermione was the
last person to do anything against the rules, and here she was,
pretending she had, to get them out of trouble. It was as if
Snape had started handing out
"Well, I still say you were lucky, but not many first years could have taken on a
full-grown mountain troll. You each win Gryffindor five points...
Everyone was eating the food that had been sent up.
stood alone by the door, waiting for them. There was a very embarrassed
pause. Then, none of them looking at each other, they all said
"Thanks," and hurried off to get plates.
But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you
can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot
mountain troll is one of them.
Characters introduced in this chapter:
Characters returning in this chapter:
Characters mentioned in this chapter:
Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:
Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:
Exceptional character moments:
throughout her first eight weeks at Hogwarts had
not managed to make any friends, according to Ron.
pretending that she had gone looking for the troll to
help the boys out of trouble.
Links and Resources:
Hermione was now refusing to speak to Harry and Ron, but she was such a
bossy know-it-all that they saw this as an added bonus.
Harry then did something that was both very brave and very stupid
Harry and Ron tried to look as though this story wasn't new to them.
Hermione was the last person to do anything against the rules, and here
she was, pretending she had, to get them out of trouble. It was as if
Snape had started handing out sweets.
There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other,
and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.
The chapter begins on the morning of Saturday, September 14. The
broomstick arrives on
Friday, September 20th. Then we jump to Hallowe'en, October 31, to finish the chapter.