Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
J. K. Rowling
Contributed by Sung Miele
Chapter 11
Summary

Winter is now fast approaching and November marks the start of the Quidditch season.  Their first match will be against Slytherin, and should they win they would move up to 2nd place in the championship.  Although the identity of the Gryffindor seeker was initially a well-kept secret, news broke that it was Harry Potter, thus putting more pressure on our hero.

Harry had acquired knowledge concerning the tactics of the game and learnt that he was in the most vulnerable position, and that there were 700 ways of committing a Quidditch foul. It was rare for a death to occur in a Quidditch match.

Hermione was now a firm friend of Harry and Ron.

On the eve of the first match, Harry, Ron and Hermione were out in the courtyard on a bleak day testing a bright blue fire that Hermione had conjured up and which was contained in a jam jar. They were warming themselves when Snape approached them.  He was limping. Harry had a Hogwarts book with him, which he should not have taken outside the school. Snape confiscated the book and Harry was penalized 5 points. Harry wondered what was wrong with Snape’s leg. They returned inside and Harry decided to go to the teachers’ Common Room and ask for his book back. He knocked twice on the door, but there was no answer. The door was ajar and he heard Snape telling Filch that he had been bitten by the three-headed dog. He then spotted Potter and shouted furiously at him. Harry immediately deduced that Snape had tried to obtain the object that the three-headed dog was guarding.

Harry did not get much sleep thinking about these events, and he was soon taking the field for the Quidditch match.  The referee for the match would be Madam Hooch. The game started and Harry took his position up high seeking the gold ball. Below, his team-mates were making good progress against Slytherin. Suddenly, Harry spotted the Golden Snitch and set off in pursuit.  His broom went out of control, unnoticed by all the spectators, except for Harry’s own fan club of Hagrid, Ron, Hermione and Neville. Hermione suggested that somebody was interfering with Harry’s broomstick, but Hagrid said that only powerful, dark magic could do this. Hermione knew it was Snape and she looked at him and his eyes were focused on Harry who was now hanging on to his broom by one hand. Hermione rushed over to Snape and set light to his robes using her wand. He was so intent on his spell that he did not even notice Hermione, but he soon noticed that he was on fire. Harry regained control of his broomstick, started speeding towards the ground and caught the Snitch in his mouth, thus bringing victory to Gryffindor.

Back at Hagrid’s house after the celebrations, Harry, Hermione and Ron explained to Hagrid their suspicions concerning Snape, but he could not accept it.  He was shocked that they had discovered Fluffy, his three-headed dog, and he let it slip that the object that was being guarded had something to do with Nicolas Flamel.  He would tell them no more.

Analysis

Quidditch is a difficult game to describe, being 3-dimensional incorporating 4 different balls and players who have specific jobs to do on the ‘field’, but Rowling manages this and the reader gets a feel for the game, and becomes involved in the spectacle by using their imagination.

We have indications that Snape may be involved with the dark side of magic, and he seems intent on causing harm to Harry who appears to be the main threat to his plans.

It is frustrating that Hagrid doesn’t accept the first year’s story, and it looks as if our heroes are going to have to face up to Snape alone.

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