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Attack in the Underground Chambers

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Quirinus Quirrell and Harry Potter at the Philosopher's Stone Chamber
Attack in the Philosopher Stone Chambers
Part of Plot to steal the Philosopher's Stone
Date

4 June, 1992

Location

Philosopher's Stone Chambers

Combatants

Harry Potter

Lord Voldemort

Casualties
Voldemort: "Ah ha ha ha! Bravery! Your parents had it too. Tell me Harry, would you like to see your mother and father again? Together, we can bring them back. All I ask is for something in return. That’s it Harry. There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it. Together we'll do extraordinary things. Just give me the Stone!"
Harry: "You liar!"
Voldemort: "Kill him!"
Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter[src]

The attack in the Philosopher's Stone Chambers was a battle that took place in early 1992, during Lord Voldemort's attempt to use Quirinus Quirrell to steal the Philosopher's Stone. It was Voldemort's second attempt on Harry Potter's life.

During Harry Ron and Hermione's time in the chambers they battle through a set of obstacles that most eleven year olds would find near impossible. It is the beginning of them finding out that their lives are never going to be normal and that he-who-must-not-be-named will make sure no year ever runs smoothly.

Philosopher's Stone Chambers

There are seven chambers of the Philosopher's Stone:

  1. Fluffy (Rubeus Hagrid's Chamber)
  2. Devil's Snare (Pomona Sprout's Chamber)
  3. Winged Keys (Filius Flitwick's Chamber)
  4. Human Chess Game (Minerva McGonagall's Chamber)
  5. Mountain Troll (Quirinus Quirrell's Chamber)
  6. Potion Riddle (Severus Snape's Chamber)
  7. Mirror of Erised and the Battle in the Philosopher's Stone Chambers (Albus Dumbledore's Chamber)

Fluffy

Fluffy

Fluffy

Fluffy was a giant three-headed dog, and Rubeus Hagrid's contribution to the protections put in place for the Philosopher's Stone. In 1992, Quirinus Quirrell enchanted a Harp to put Fluffy to sleep while he was searching for the Stone; when the music stopped, Fluffy awoke, and Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger had to play a Flute to put it back to sleep, before they were able to slip through the trap door Fluffy was guarding. Quirrell found out how to get past Fluffy earlier that year by enticing Hagrid into a card came, offering a dragon egg as the stake, and getting him drunk enough to disclose the secret of how to pacify the otherwise vicious dog. After the Philosopher's Stone was destroyed, Hagrid released Fluffy into the Forbidden Forest.[1]

Fluffy may have been a play on Cerberus, the giant three-headed dog of Greek Mythology. It was a servant of Hades, and guarded the underworld.It was also put to sleep in the same way; Orpheus lulled Cerberus to sleep with his harp, just like Quirrell.

Devil's Snare

Hermione: "Devil's Snare, Devil's Snare...what did Professor Sprout say? - it likes the dark and damp -"
Harry: "So light a fire!"
Hermione: "Yes - of course - but there's no wood!"
Ron: "HAVE YOU GONE MAD? ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT?"
Hermione: "Oh, right!"
— Hermione, Harry, and Ron struggle with Devil's Snare[src]
Devil

Devil's Snare

The second obstacle within the Chambers was Pomona Sprout's Devil's Snare, placed seemingly to soften a deadfall through the trapdoor guarded by Fluffy. However, as the Devil's Snare is known for strangling its victims to death, and increasing its force of constriction at signs of struggle, Hermione Granger just barely managed to save Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and herself from death by strangulation, by attacking the plant with Bluebell flames.

Winged Keys

Hermione: "These birds... they can't be here just for decoration."
Harry: "They're not birds! They're keys! Winged keys."
Hermione Granger and Harry Potter when they entered the chamber of winged keys.[src]
Winged keys 03

The Chamber of Winged Keys.

The third of the Chambers contained several brooms and was filled with Winged Keys, provided by Professor Filius Flitwick, which, at a distance, appeared to be birds. There was a locked door at the end of the room which was impervious to the Alohomora spell, and could only be opened by identifying and catching the one key among the "flock" that would fit the door's lock. Hermione Granger cleverly deduced that the key that would open the locked door must be an old one, to match the old lock on the door. The only old key was readily identifiable, as Quirinus Quirrell had just used it and bent one of its wings. As soon as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione took off on brooms to catch the winged key, they rest of the keys scattered to make the correct one more difficult to identify again. Harry was, however, able to retrieve the necessary key, which was described as old-fashioned and silver, with bright blue wings, by employing his skills as a Seeker.

Human Chess Game

Chess

Human Chess Game.

Hermione: "What is it?"
Harry: "He's [Ron] going to sacrifice himself!"
Ron Weasley's sacrifice[src]

The fourth obstacle was Minerva McGonagall's- a giant Wizard's Chess set. Ron took command of the game, with Harry, Hermione and himself replacing certain pieces (a Black bishop, rook and knight respectively), to defeat the opposing team and be allowed to pass. In the end, Ron sacrificed himself to allow Harry to capture the opposing King. At the End-of-Term Feast, following the events of the attack, Albus Dumbledore awarded Ron fifty House points for winning "the best played game of chess that Hogwarts has seen these many years".

Trollps1

Mountain Troll.

Mountain troll

"I do say I have a gift with trolls."
Quirinus Quirrell[src]

When Harry and Hermione arrived at the obstacle set in place by Quirinus Quirrell - a troll - they realized it was already out cold. It was later discovered that Trolls were Quirrell's specialty, which he had also used to create a diversion during the 1991 Halloween feast, in his first attempt at retrieving the Philosopher's Stone.[2]

Potion riddle

Hermione: "This isn't magic - it's logic - a puzzle. A lot of the greatest wizards haven't got an ounce of logic, they'd be stuck in here forever."
Harry: "But so will we, won't we?"
Hermione: "Of course not, everything we need is here on this paper. Seven bottles: three are poison; two are wine; one will get us safely through the black fire and one will get us back through the purple"
— Hermione and Harry discussing the Logic Chamber[src]
"Danger lies before you, while safety lies behind,
Two of us will help you, whichever you would find,
One among us seven will let you move ahead,
Another will transport the drinker back instead,
Two among our number hold only nettle wine,
Three of us are killers, waiting hidden in line.
Choose, unless you wish to stay here for evermore,
To help you in your choice, we give you these clues four:
First, however slyly the poison tries to hide
You will always find some on nettle wine's left side;
Second, different are those who stand at either end,
But if you would move onwards neither is your friend;
Third, as you see clearly, all are different size,
Neither dwarf nor giant holds death in their insides;
Fourth, the second left and the second on the right
Are twins once you taste them, though different at first sight."
[3]
Potions Riddle2

Harry and the Potion Riddle.

Harry and Hermione next arrived at a Severus Snape's potions riddle. Hermione realized which potion would help them, but there was only a little bit left. So Harry drank it and Hermione drank another one which allowed her to leave the chamber safely. Harry went on alone.

The attack

"Yes, Severus does seem the type, doesn't he? So useful to have him swooping around like an overgrown bat. Next to him, who would suspect p-p-poor, st-stuttering P-Professor Quirrell?"
—Quirrell reveals the truth.[src]

Harry, then arrived at the obstacle of Albus Dumbledore - the Mirror of Erised. Standing there was Quirinus Quirrell. Harry was shocked - he had expected Snape.

Quirrell explained that he tried to kill Harry, while Snape tried to save him. He said that he let the troll in on Halloween. He then tied up Harry and tried to figure out how to get the Stone. Voldemort told him to "Use the boy.... Quirrell summoned Harry to tell him what he saw in the Mirror. Harry lied and said it was himself winning the House Cup. An accomplished Legilimens, Voldemort wasn't fooled and told Quirrell to allow him to speak to Harry. Quirrell unravelled his turban to reveal the red-eyed and snake-like face of Tom Marvolo Riddle.

VoldemortQuirell

Quirrell/Voldemort

Voldemort: "Harry Potter. We meet again..."
Harry: "Voldemort!"
Voldemort: "Yes. You see what I have become? See what I must do to survive? Live off another. A mere parasite. Unicorn blood can sustain me, but it cannot give me a body of my own. But there is something that can. Something that conveniently lies in your pocket. Stop him! Don't be a fool! Why suffer a horrific death when you can join me and live?"
Harry: "Never!"
Voldemort: "Ah ha ha ha! Bravery, your parents had it, too. Tell me, Harry, would you like to see your mother and father again? Together, we can bring them back. All I ask is for something in return. That's it, Harry. There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it. Together, we'll do extraordinary things. Just give me the Stone!"
Harry: "You liar!"
Voldemort: "Kill him!"
Lord Voldemort to Harry Potter.[src]
Dumbledore rescues Harry

Dumbledore rescues Harry

After Harry's refusal to join the Dark Lord, Voldemort ordered Quirrell to kill him, but because of Lily Evans' loving sacrifice ten years earlier, Quirrell couldn't touch him without experiencing debilitating levels of pain, and having his flesh burn. Dumbledore arrived moments later, and Voldemort left Quirrell's body and fled, abandoning his servant to die.

Dumbledore3

Aftermath

End of first year

Dumbledore: "Harry, do you know why Professor Quirrell could not bear to have you touch him?...It was because of your mother. She sacrificed herself for you, and that kind of act lives a mark. No, no this kind of act cannot be seen, it lives in your very skin."
Harry: "What is it?"
Dumbledore: "Love, Harry. Love."
Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter[src]

Three days later, Harry woke up in the hospital wing to find Dumbledore standing before him. Dumbledore explained that the Stone had been destroyed and Nicolas Flamel would die. He, then, explained the reason Voldemort, and by extension Quirrell, couldn't touch him.

1995

Ron in Hogs head

Dumbledore's Army brings up this battle

"Yeah, Quirrell was a great teacher, there was just the minor drawback of him having Lord Voldemort sticking out of the back of his head."
Harry Potter to Dolores Umbridge[src]

Three years later, while explaining all he'd done to Ron and Hermione, Harry mentioned the Battle in the Philosopher's Stone Chambers. He was later given detention by Dolores Umbridge for saying that Quirrell had been possessed by Voldemort. Then, at the Hog's Head, Neville Longbottom told everyone that Harry saved the Philosopher's Stone. Then, while trying to come to the Department of Mysteries, Ginny Weasley brought up the fact that she was three years older than they were when they first fought Voldemort.

Bellatrix Lestrange and Severus Snape

Bellatrix questions Snape.

1996

"Quirrell was mediocre..."
Severus Snape[src]

Four years after this battle, at Spinner's End, Bellatrix Lestrange maliciously reminded him that Snape himself had interfered in the events leading up to the Battle in the Philosopher's Stone Chambers. Snape replied that Quirrell was "mediocre", and that he had stopped him simply because he was "unworthy".[4]

Appearances

Notes and references

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