Chapter 8 Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone Chapter 10

The Midnight DuelEdit


'arry is dismayed to learn that Gryffindors will be sharing their flying lessons with Slytherins, starting that Thursday. 'arry is insecure about his flying abilities, never having been on a broomstick before. Most of the students who grew up in wizarding families were big Quidditch fans and had flown on broomsticks before--Neville was an exception. Hermini, also nervous, tried to read up on stuff from the library.

Neville receives a Remembrall from his grandmother. Draco smallfoy snatches it away, but Professor McGonagall intervenes and forces him to return it. That afternoon, the students go down for their flying lesson with Madam Hooch. Harry gets him broomstick up off the ground quickly. While Madam Hooch is still instructing them how to kick off, Neville jumps up too soon, zooms up into the air, and falls off his broom, breaking his wrist. Madam Hooch takes him to the hospital wing, admonishing the other students to stay on the ground or risk expulsion.

The Slytherins begin making fun of Neville, and then Draco sees the Remembrall on the ground and picks it up. Harry tells Draco to give it back, and instead Draco flies away on his broom. Despite Hermione's warning, Harry jumps up and follows Draco on his own broom. He is pleasantly surprised to find flying much easier than he had expected. He chases Draco around, threatening to knock him off, so Draco throws the Remembrall away. Harry dives after it, catching it only a foot off the ground, tumbling softly to the grass.

Professor McGonagall emerges, having seen Harry's catch, and escorts Harry away. He follows her into the school, expecting to be expelled. McGonagall leads Harry through the halls and to Flitwick's classroom. She takes Oliver Wood, a fifth-year boy, out of the class, and tells him that she has found him a Seeker. Harry realizes that he's done something impressive and is not going to be expelled after all--rather, he is being added to the Gryffindor House Quidditch team.

Ron is suitably impressed, since Harry is the youngest House player in a century. Fred and George come over and congratulate Harry, since they are Beaters on the team, and Wood is keeping it a secret. Draco comes over and asks Harry if he's being expelled. When Harry comments on how brave Draco is with Crabbe and Goyle by his side, Draco challenges him to a wizard's duel at midnight. Ron announces that he's Harry's second. Hermione comes over, having overheard what they said, and asks them not to get into trouble and lose points for Gryffindor, but Harry and Ron are annoyed at her for butting in.

Ron and Harry sneak out of the dorm at 11:30 that night. Hermione is waiting up in the common room, to try to talk them out of it. She even follows them out of the portrait hole, arguing, but is trapped outside when she sees that the Fat Lady is off visiting. She decides to come with them, because she can say that she is trying to stop them. They run across Neville, sleeping on the floor because he'd forgotten the password, and he insists on coming with them as well.

They go up to the trophy room on the third floor, the site of the duel, and wait for the Draco and Crabbe to appear. Instead, they hear Filch's voice, and realize they've been set up. They run for it, Neville knocking down a suit of armour and causing a racket, and eventually come to a stop, confident they've lost Filch. Before they can return to Gryffindor Tower, though, Peeves appears, and after Ron annoys him he begins calling for Filch.

They run to the end of the corridor and find a locked door. Hermione unlocks it, and they hurry inside, listening as Peeves decides not to help Filch after all. They're about to leave when Neville tugs on Harry's sleeve and they see where they are--in the forbidden corridor on the third floor. A gigantic three-headed dog is right behind them, surprised at their presence but beginning to growl. They rush through the door and back to Gryffindor Tower, where the returned Fat Lady lets them back in.

Neville asks what a creature like that is doing in a school. Hermione asks whether any of the others noticed that the dog was standing on top of a trapdoor--that it was guarding something. Harry remembers how Hagrid had said that Hogwarts was the safest place for something you want to hide, and realizes where Hagrid had put the package from Gringotts.

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