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Platform Nine and Three Quarters

The first year students on their way to Hogwarts

" There was a lot more to magic, as Harry quickly found out, than waving your wand and saying a few funny words."
—A lesson all first years learn[src]

A first year is a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who is new to Hogwarts and in their first year of magical education. Those who receive their Hogwarts letter at age eleven are permitted to attend.

Beginning the magical careerEdit

Travelling to HogwartsEdit

"Firs'-years! Firs'-years over here!"
Rubeus Hagrid greeting new students[src]
Hogwarts Arrival HPPS poster

First years travelling across the Black Lake on boats, to reach Hogwarts

First years are typically eleven to twelve years of age, and begin the year by boarding the Hogwarts Express at exactly 11 a.m. on 1 September, from King's Cross Station on which they travel to Hogwarts. If they live in Hogsmeade, they do not need to catch the train. From there, first year students are accompanied by the Keeper of Keys and Grounds (or another suitable teacher if they are absent), along a shady path that leads to a fleet of small boats, which sail themselves across the Black Lake before arriving at a small landing stage near the base of Hogwarts Castle; they then await their turn to be Sorted into their houses. A teacher takes them to a small room where they await the Sorting ceremony. Older students ride up to the castle in carriages pulled by Thestrals.

The Start-of-Term FeastEdit

"Everybody finished the song at different times. At last, only the Weasley twins were left singing along to a very slow funeral march"
—How the Hogwarts song finished in Harry Potter's first year[src]
Pottermore background the sorting ceremony

1991 Hogwarts Sorting Ceremony

Just before the Start-of-Term Feast begins, new students are Sorted into one of four houses (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin) by the Sorting Hat. The Hat analyses each student's mind, looking for specific characteristics that it uses to decide where to put each student. After the sorting, the Headmaster says a few words and the feast begins. After the feast, the headmaster says a few more words; if he or she is feeling particularly festive, they will direct the students as they sing the school song, such as the year Harry Potter came to Hogwarts. Dumbledore used his wand as a conductor's baton, conjuring a ribbon that floated in the air, forming the words for the students to sing along with, each singing to the tune of their choice. Not all Professors are overfond of the song, but, Albus Dumbledore, the wise and odd man he was, conducted the singing with gusto and even got a bit misty at the end of it:

Hogwarts, Hogwarts,
Hoggy Warty Hogwarts
Teach us something, please,
Whether we be old and bald
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling
With some interesting stuff,
For now they're bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us things worth knowing,
Bring back what we've forgot,
Just do your best, we'll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot.

During the first yearEdit


"To their great surprise, both he and Ron passed with good marks; Hermione, of course, had the best grades of the first years. Even Neville scraped through, his good Herbology grade making up for his abysmal Potions one."
—Harry's first experiences with end of the year exams[src]

Severus Snape teaching Potions to a first-year class

First year students must take: Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, History of Magic, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy, and Herbology, classes that are mandatory throughout their first five years of magical education. First years, and only first years, are required to take flying, where they learn the basic commands to give to their broomstick, as well as basic tricks and tips for riding.[1] As most of the first years have probably never flown before arriving at Hogwarts school.

Charms class in 1991

A first year charms class

In Astronomy, students observe the sky with their telescopes, learning the names and movements of the stars, planets and their moon(s). Charms students learn the Levitation Charm, the Softening Charm, the Fire-Making Spell, and, as the exam requires them to make a pineapple dance across a desk, presumably the dancing charm. Defence Against the Dark Arts classes teach the Curse of the Bogies, the Knockback Jinx, and different ways to treat werewolf bites. Herbology students study various plants and fungi, such as Dittany and Devil's Snare. In History of Magic, students learn the names and dates of various famous events and people, including Emeric the Evil, Uric the Oddball, the Warlock's Convention of 1709, the inventor of the self-stirring cauldron, various goblin rebellions, and the uprise of Elfric the Eager. Transfiguration students must take complex notes before learning the spell to turn a match into a needle, the mouse into snuffbox spell, and the Switching Spell. Lastly, potions students learn the Cure for Boils potion, and the Forgetfulness Potion.


First year GryffindorEdit

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
7:00-9:30 am Breakfast
9:30-9:45 am Break
9:45-10:45 am Potions Defence Against

the Dark Arts

Herbology Charms Potions
10:45-11:00 am Break Break Break Break
11:00 am-12:00 pm History of Magic Herbology Transfiguration Herbology
12:00-1:00 pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
1:00-1:15 pm Break
1:15-2:15 pm Charms History of Magic History of Magic Transfiguration Charms
2:15-2:30 pm Break
2:30-3:30 pm (MTWF) Defence Against

the Dark Arts

Transfiguration Charms Defence Against

the Dark Arts

2:30-3:15 pm (Thursday)
3:30-6:00 pm (MTWF) or Break Flying
3:15-3:30 pm (Thursday)
6:00-8:00 pm Dinner
12:00-1:00 am Bed Bed Astronomy Bed Bed

*Breaks are used to get from one class to the other*


A standard first year timetable

  • The second timetable was made from combing through the first book.
  • Herbology was held three times a week.[2] At least one Herbology class is held in the first morning period.[3]
  • There is at least one Defence Against the Dark Arts class in the morning.[4]
  • Astronomy classes are held on Wednesdays at midnight.[5]
  • Potions is held only once a week,[6] a double class on Friday morning, together with the Slytherins.[7]
  • A Charms class was held on Hallowe'en morning,[8] a Thursday. This class was held on the first morning period.[9]
  • Transfiguration takes place on Thursday,[10] and since the first morning period is Charms and the afternoon is Flying, it has to fall in the second morning period.
  • Flying lessons (joint class with Slytherin) take place on Thursdays[11] at 3:30 pm.[12]
  • It is unknown when History of Magic classes take place.

First year restrictionsEdit

"Parents are reminded that first years are not allowed their own broomsticks"
—Extract from the Hogwarts acceptance letter[src]

First years cannot go to Hogsmeade with the students in the third year or above, and are not permitted to have their own broomstick inside the school grounds or join the Quidditch team, an exception being Harry Potter, who was given a Nimbus 2000 in his first year and that same year, joined the Gryffindor Quidditch team. They are further forbidden from taking Divination, Muggle Studies, Study of Ancient Runes, Care of Magical Creatures and Arithmancy until third year, and Apparition and Alchemy until sixth year.

Required textbooksEdit

Harry's first year (1991-1992)Edit

Harry's ten lonely years Edit

Harry Potter, an orphaned and outcasted boy, suffered ten miserable years in the care of his mother Lily's neglectful sister Petunia and her husband Vernon Dursley within their unwelcoming household at 4 Privet Drive in the Surrey, England town of Little Whinging, ever since he was mysteriously left sleeping on their doorstep at age 1 in the dead of night on 1 November, 1981. The Dursleys showed no love for him, going as far with claiming that both of Harry's parents died in a car crash due to his father James being an unemployed drunk, and that the lightning bolt scar marked on the boy's forehead was from the same accident. However, every time Harry tried to remember the crash, all he could vaguely recall, as if he strained his memory, was a green flash of light and pain in the scar. He tried to understand what it was, or if it was from the car crash, but simply couldn't because Vernon and Petunia forbade him from asking questions, particularly those regarding his parents. In addition, the Dursleys refused to have pictures of Lily and James, and did their best to avoid the subject of Harry's parents altogether.

The Dursleys verbally and emotionally abused Harry (sometimes by depriving him of meals and discouraging any sort of his imagination) whenever something "unusual" occurred. He was made to sleep in the cupboard under the stairs, while the Dursleys spoiled their son Dudley giving him two bedrooms to himself (one for sleeping in, one for storing all his toys). They also made Harry do household chores for them, such as making food and getting the post. In time, Dudley started bullying his maternal cousin, and his parents took him and his best Piers Polkiss to someplace spectacular every year for his birthday, but the only thing Harry ever got for his birthday was one of Vernon's old socks. During the times that Harry was not being made to work or bullied, he was provided with little entertainment and sometimes tried to entertain himself by playing games such as solitaire. In his youth, Harry could make strange things happen without understanding why he could. For instance, after Aunt Petunia sheared off all of his messy hair using a pair of kitchen scissors in her frustration that it would not lay flat, it left him almost completely bald with only the fringe at the front. It grew all the way back to its previous messy state overnight without Harry even noticing while the dreams he had about what school was like kept him up. Another time, Petunia tried to shove Dudley's old jumper over his head, but he inadvertently kept shrinking against his body until it became the size for a hand puppet. These incidents always enraged the Dursleys, and after each, they would punish Harry by throwing him into the cupboard — except for after the jumper incident.

The Dursleys always hid evidence of Harry's existence by not having pictures of him in the house. Among the few people who did know about Harry were Petunia's friend Yvonne and Vernon's sister Marge, the latter of whom the boy was forced to consider an aunt to him despite not being a relative of his. Unlike Vernon, Aunt Marge showed the most dislike for the frail boy while visiting Privet Drive during Dudley's fifth birthday, when she whacked Harry around the shins to stop him from beating Dudley at musical statues, and on holidays like Christmas, when she brought a computerised robot for Dudley and a box of dog biscuits for Harry. She eventually made a fool out of the young Potter during Dudley's tenth birthday, when Harry accidentally stepped the paw of her favorite pet bulldog Ripper, causing the enraged mutt to chase him out into the garden and up a tree. Dudley laughed himself silly at the sight of his cousin then, and to the Dursleys' delight, Marge refused to call Ripper off until past midnight, long enough for Harry to be covered all in tree branches and ants when this allowed him to go back inside safely.

Sometimes, when the Dursleys had to be away, they left Harry in the care of one of their neighbors, Arabella Figg, who maintained their favor by giving him a lousy time whenever she had to look after him, as the Dursleys would never have let him go if they knew Harry was enjoying himself, a possibility that would infuriate them. Dudley often ensured that the lousy time for his cousin would turn into harassment as they both attended St. Grogory's Primary School at age 5. Harry had no friends there, since all the students were afraid of Dudley's gang, all of whose members hated him because Dudley did. In particular, Dudley's friends liked to play a unique game called "Harry Hunting", which involved chasing Harry. Although he was good at sports, the latter boy was always the last picked for a team because no one wanted to admit to Dudley that they liked him, rather than because he was no good. Harry got decent, if not good grades at school, but still he unknowingly exposed hints of strange things throughout the school term. Examples of such was when he accidentally turned his teacher's wig blue and ended on the school kitchen roof while actually trying to jumping behind the trash cans outside the kitchen doors during a game of Harry Hunting, as if the wind caught him in mid-jump. This resulted with more punishments in his cupboard, and throughout every one, Harry often dreamed that a family who would turn out to be paternal relative of his would come to take him to live with them, believing that they would care for him. It never happened, for the Dursleys were his only living relatives, and they never spoke about anything regarding his ancestry.

Over the years, however, Harry came to meet a lot of strangers who, to him, must have known his parents since they seemed to know his name. Some point at age 6, a man in a top hat named Dedalus Diggle bowed to him in a shop, forcing Petunia to interrogate Harry as to how he knew the man before leaving the shop very quickly. At age 8, Harry was waved merrily at by a wild-looking woman on a bus, making the Dursleys get off with him and Dudley on the wrong stop to get him away from her. Then a day before Dudley's eleventh birthday at age 10, a bald man in a purple coat shook hands with Harry on the street before walking away without another word. The only thing that Harry came to find the weirdest about those people was that they seemed to vanish before he could take a closer look, and his aunt and uncle always made a fast getaway.

Discovery of his wizard heritageEdit

Harry spent the longest punishment he ever had in his cupboard for an incident at the zoo on 23 June, 1991 (Dudley's eleventh birthday), in which he unintentionally made the glass to an enclousure containing a Brazilian boa constrictor vanish by somehow talking the snake in its hissing language into attacking Dudley while it made its escape. When he was finally allowed out it was already summer vacation, and he still couldn't escape the torment from Dudley's gang,

The Sorting ceremony and Start-of-Term FeastEdit

Main article: Start-of-Term Feast
"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
Albus Dumbledore[src]

The Great Hall

The new students were greeted at the castle door by Professor Minerva McGonagall, who explained the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin, as well as the rules of the House Cup. McGonagall led the first years into a small room off the Entrance Hall and told them to wait until she returned. When she did, they were led into the Great Hall, where they were greeted by the rest of the students, and, more importantly, a shabby wizard's hat on a small stool. Harry was particularly anxious, as he did not feel that any of the Houses as they were described in the Hat's song were right for him. Harry noted that Draco Malfoy, whom Harry had met in Diagon Alley, was instantly placed in Slytherin, and remembered what Hagrid and Ron had told him about Slytherin's reputation for turning out Dark Wizards, and that Voldemort had been in Slytherin. When Harry put on the Hat, it slipped down past his eyes, and the hat told him that he "would do well in Slytherin". Thinking of Voldemort, Harry desperately begged the Hat to not put him in Slytherin. The Hat instead placed Harry in Gryffindor along with Ron and Hermione Granger.

Harry Potter being Sorting during the Start-of-Term Feast

The Sorting Ceremony was followed by the Welcoming Feast. Harry, who had never been allowed to eat as much as he wanted, was overwhelmed by the sheer variety of foods in front of him. Dessert arrived, and talk turned to the first years' families. Neville Longbottom told the others how his family thought he was a Squib until his Great-Uncle accidentally dropped him out of a window, and he bounced. It was during the Feast that Harry's scar hurt for the first time: Harry was looking up at the staff table at Professor Quirrell when the hook-nosed teacher Quirrell was talking to looked past Quirrell at Harry, who immediately felt a sharp pain in his scar. After the last morsels melted from the golden plates and goblets, Dumbledore gave a speech welcoming the new students to the school and the old students back. He added a few warnings about staying away from the Forbidden Forest, and avoiding the third-floor corridor before leading the school in singing the School Song and sending everyone off to their dormitories.

First years lessons/classesEdit

In his first ever Potions class, Harry discovered that Professor Snape hated him, mocking him as the school's "new celebrity" before teaching the class how to brew a Boil-Cure Potion. Harry and Ron went down to Hagrid’s hut for tea, where they met Hagrid's huge and fierce-looking dog, Fang. Hagrid told Harry that he was overreacting to Snape’s treatment, asserting that he would have no reason to hate him. Hagrid and Ron began to talk about Ron's brother Charlie Weasley, and Harry picked up a cutting from the Daily Prophet that was lying on the table. The article detailed a break-in that occurred on Harry's birthday at Gringotts, in Vault 713, the same vault Hagrid visited with Harry on their trip to Diagon Alley.

Flying class in 1991

Flying class

One of the things Harry had been looking forward to was learning to fly until he found out that the Gryffindors would be taking flying lessons with the Slytherins. Malfoy had been bragging about his skill to anyone who would listen. Madam Rolanda Hooch taught the class by starting with basic broom control. After learning the theory, the students were told to hover gently off the ground on Madam Hooch's go-ahead. Neville, terrified of being left behind, panicked and kicked off before anyone else, rising fifty feet in the air before falling off and breaking his wrist. Madam Hooch took Neville to the Hospital Wing after warning the other students to stay on the ground until she got back. Malfoy nicked Neville's Remembrall from off the ground and was told to give it to Harry, jeering that he'd leave it "up a tree" unless Harry stopped him and took of on his broom. Harry mounted his broom and kicked off after him. As much to his surprise as everyone else's, he discovered that he could not only fly, but that it was something he didn't need to be taught. Bending low on the broom handle, he shot toward Malfoy, who realized that Harry was a better flyer and threw the Remembrall into the air, daring the famous boy to catch it. Harry raced the ball towards the ground, catching it and coming out of his dive a foot from the ground. He toppled lightly onto the grass amidst the cheers of the Gryffindors, grinning wildly.

His euphoria did not last long however, as Professor McGonagall quickly arrived on the scene. Having seen the dive, she ordered Harry to follow her. Harry, expecting expulsion, was instead introduced to Oliver Wood, whom she pulled out of a Defence Against the Dark Arts class. Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, Wood's confusion at being introduced to a first year quickly turned to excitement and ecstasy upon hearing McGonagall recount the dive. He told her that Harry would need a decent broom if they were to compete, and explained to Harry that he would make an excellent Seeker, perhaps rivalling the legendary Charlie Weasley.

The midnight duel and encountering FluffyEdit

Argus Filch: "Which way did they go, Peeves? Quick, tell me."
Peeves: "Say ‘please.’"
Argus Filch: "Don’t mess with me, Peeves, now where did they go?"
Peeves: "Shan’t say nothing if you don’t say please"
Argus Filch: "All right — please."
Peeves: "NOTHING! Hahaaa! Told you I wouldn’t say nothing if you didn’t say please! Ha ha! Haaaaaa!"
Peeves taunting Filch after pretending to aiding him[src]

Harry told Ron about everything that happened after he left with McGonagall over dinner that night, but warned him that Wood wanted to keep it a secret. Much calmer on the ground, and with his cronies Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle flanking him, Malfoy came over to taunt Harry about getting in trouble earlier. Enraged that Harry not only escaped trouble, but was instead rewarded, Malfoy challenged Harry to a wizard’s duel. In spite of Hermione’s attempt to dissuade them from breaking the school rules, (or perhaps because of it), Harry accepted.

Fluffy Still PS

The trio encoutering Fluffy while trasspassing in the third floor corrider

As they left the tower, the Trio found Neville, (whose wrist had been fixed by Madam Pomfrey), waiting outside, having forgotten the password. The four arrived at the Trophy Room, the site of the duel, but Malfoy was nowhere to be found. They speculated that he may have chickened out, and were deciding what to do next when they heard Argus Filch and his cat, Mrs Norris, enter the room. Realising that Malfoy tricked them, they attempted to quietly exit the room. Before they could go a dozen paces, however, a nearby doorknob rattled and Peeves burst into the hallway,[13] and threatened to expose them. Growing desperate, Ron took a swipe at Peeves, who began to bellow their whereabouts as loud as he could, attracting Filch. Panicking, the four ran for it, right to the end of the corridor, where they found themselves stopped by a locked door. With Filch’s running footsteps highly audible to them, Hermione seized Harry's wand and unlocked the door, allowing all four to hurry inside. Thinking themselves out of danger, the four turned around to discover a monstrous sight: a giant three-headed dog. Choosing Filch over death, the children ran for it, somehow managing to get back to their dormitory without running into anyone along the way. Though shaken by the night’s events, Harry’s interest in exploring was piqued by Hermione’s pointing out that the dog was standing on a trapdoor.

The Nimbus 2000Edit

Nimbus 2000

Harry recieves a Nimbus 2000, a gift from Proessor McGonagall

Over breakfast the next morning, Harry and Ron were discussing what Fluffy could be guarding when the mail arrived. Harry, who had received no mail apart from Hagrid’s letter, was intrigued as everyone else by the long, oddly-shaped package in the mail that morning, and was even more surprised than the others when he discovered what was inside: a Nimbus 2000, and with a note from Professor McGonagall warning him not to open the package at the table and that he was to meet Wood that night for Quidditch practise. Taking the broom up to their dormitory, Harry and Ron were stopped by Malfoy, who seized the package and told Harry that first-year students are not allowed their own brooms. When Professor Flitwick walked up to them, he tried to report Harry, but Flitwick, who had been told of Harry’s special permission, just expressed admiration for Harry’s talent.



The traditional Hallowe'en Feast

On Hallowe'en, Professor Flitwick began teaching his students how to make objects fly. Only Hermione succeeded; Ron, offended by her air of superiority, later made a nasty comment that Hermione overheard, causing her to run off in tears, something that made both Ron and Harry feel slightly guilty. When the two went down to the Hallowe'en feast later, they overheard Parvati telling her best friend Lavender that Hermione had locked herself in the girls' bathroom, making Ron feel even more uncomfortable. The instant Harry and Ron entered the Great Hall, however, their guilt was forgotten amidst the splendour of the decorations. Partway into the feast, Professor Quirrell, arrived to announce that there was a twelve-foot troll in the dungeons, before fainting where he stood. As the prefects led the students back to their dorms, Harry, realising that Hermione did not know about the troll, convinced Ron that they were responsible, and that they needed to save her. Joining a group of passing Hufflepuffs, they snuck off to the girl’s toilet to warn Hermione. Hiding, the two saw the troll enter a room, and realised they could lock the troll inside. As they turned to leave, they heard a terrified scream emanate from the room they had just locked. Horrified, they realised they had locked the troll in the same bathroom that Hermione had been hiding in. Harry and Ron ran back into the room to rescue Hermione; Harry stuck his wand up its nose, and Ron knocked the troll out using its own club.


The mountain troll in the bathroom

The teachers arrived, attracted by the troll’s yells, to find Harry, Ron, and Hermione covered in dust, and the bathroom in disarray. Professor McGonagall, head of Gryffindor, began scolding the boys for not going straight to their dormitories with the rest of their house, but instead putting themselves in grave danger. Much to Harry and Ron’s surprise, Hermione lied to McGonagall and told her that she had gone looking for the troll, as she thought she could handle them. She claimed that Harry and Ron were looking for her, (which was true), and she would most likely be dead if the boys had failed to rescue her (also true). The three bonded over the shared experience, and were friends thereafter.


As the Quidditch season began, Harry became increasingly nervous. The first match of the season was against Slytherin, and Harry was under increasing pressure to show that he was not just a famous name. In an attempt to calm his nerves, Harry borrowed a book entitled Quidditch Through the Ages , a comprehensive history of the sport from Hermione. During break the day before the match, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were huddled together around a jar of flames, which had been conjured by Hermione, to keep warm. Professor Snape noticed their guilty faces, and looking for a reason to punish them, confiscated Harry’s book on the feeble pretext that library books were not be taken outside. Harry noticed that Snape was limping, as though his leg was injured, strengthening his suspicions that the Potions Master was after whatever it was that Fluffy was guarding. Nervous about the next day's match, Harry decided to ask Snape for the book back; realising that he would most likely be in the staffroom and that it would be harder for Snape to bully him if there were other teachers around, Harry decided to confront him. Approaching the door, Harry overheard Snape complaining to Filch about Fluffy. Opening the door, Harry saw Filch helping Snape to bandage his leg, which was bitten and bloody. When Harry returned to the Common Room, Harry told his two friends everything he had seen.

Quidditch, first year

Harry playing in his first Quidditch match against Slytherin

Harry had little time to dwell on the Snape’s injury, however, as the first Quidditch match began the very next morning. Harry’s job, as the Gryffindor Seeker, was to catch the Golden Snitch, a walnut-sized gold ball. Harry’s first attempt to catch the Snitch was foiled when the Slytherin Seeker blatched him. Though the Seeker was penalised, the move succeeded in stopping Harry from getting to the Snitch, which was the Seeker’s goal. Soon after, Harry’s broom began bucking uncontrollably, as if trying to unseat him. Ron and Hermione, watching Harry from the stands, began to wonder if the other was at fault until Hagrid, who had arrived to watch the game, noted that it would take powerful dark magic to make a broomstick so hard to manage, magic well above the level of a second year. Hermione, who had turned her gaze away from Harry, and was scanning the stands, noticed that Snape was staring unblinkingly at Harry and muttering nonstop under his breath. Thinking quickly, Hermione took advantage of the fact that everyone’s attention was now focused on Harry (and the Weasley twins’ attempts to rescue him) to run around the entire stadium, knocking over Professor Quirrell, and ending up behind Snape. Muttering a few "well-chosen words", Hermione lit Snape’s robes on fire; a yell of shock told her she had done her job, and she scooped the fire into a jar. Suddenly, up in the air, the spell on Harry’s broom was broken and Harry was once again able to control his broom. The crowd watched in confusion as Harry dove towards the ground, only to clasp his hand to his mouth as if he was being violently sick the instant he landed. To everyone’s disbelief, Harry had caught the Snitch in his mouth in a dive he executed after holding onto a jinxed broom fifty feet in the air, ending the game in what may have been the most chaotic manner possible.

After the match, Hagrid took the three back to his hut. Ron and Hermione told Harry and Hagrid about what was happening on the other side of the stands, and how Snape was cursing his broomstick. Hagrid, however, did not believe them, asking why Snape would try to kill Harry; Harry told Hagrid about Snape being bitten by the dog in the third-floor corridor. Hagrid, surprised by their knowledge, involuntarily revealed that the dog belonged to him, and that what the dog was guarding did not concern them, as it was a secret known only to Albus Dumbledore and a man named Nicolas Flamel.

The Christmas seasonEdit

Main article: Christmas
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that."
—Albus Dumbledore, when he discovers that Harry has been using the Mirror[src]

The Great Hall during Christmas

Impressed as they were with the fact that Harry had managed to hold onto a bucking broomstick, Malfoy soon found that the rest of the school no longer found his taunts that Harry was to be replaced amusing, and so reverted to teasing Harry about having to stay at Hogwarts for the holidays. Harry, however, was looking forward to spending Christmas away from the Dursleys, especially in light of the fact that Ron was also staying at Hogwarts, but also because it would give them some time to look up Nicolas Flamel; they were certain that the librarian would be able to find a book on Flamel in an instant, but were worried that it might be suspicious, and were thus forced to search for themselves.

On Christmas day, Harry and Ron awoke to a pile of presents each at the foot of their beds. Harry received a flute from Hagrid, a fifty pence coin from the Dursleys, which he gave to Ron, (who had never seen Muggle money), assorted sweets from Hermione, and a knitted sweater from Ron's mother. At the bottom of the pile, he found a package containing an Invisibility Cloak and an anonymous note telling him only that the cloak once belonged to his father, and to "use it well". That night, after a satisfying Christmas dinner, Ron fell asleep instantly, but Harry, thoughts on the Cloak that had belonged to his father and the note telling him to “use it well”, decided to try it out. Realising he could go anywhere, he snuck back to the library and headed straight for the Restricted Section. Knowing he had to start somewhere, Harry pulled down one of the heavier books, and let it fall open on his knee. To his shock and horror, the silence was rent by a blood-curdling scream that issued from the book in front of him. He stuffed the book back in its place and ran for the door, knocking over the lantern he brought with him in his haste. Ducking under Filch’s outstretched arms, Harry ran down the dark corridors, away from the library, and away from Filch.

Tumblr m3dehhEhN11rs9v2ho5 r1 250

Harry in front of the Mirror of Erised seeing his late parents

Thinking he had escaped, Harry was scared to hear Filch’s voice approaching, and horrified when he realised who Filch was talking to: Snape. As Snape and Filch rounded the corner, Harry realised that although his father’s cloak made him invisible, it did not stop him from being solid, and that he had no chance of sneaking past them, as the corridor was particularly narrow. Thinking quickly, (and panicking slightly), Harry noticed a door to his left; slipping inside, he found himself in an abandoned classroom. After Filch and Snape passed his hiding place, Harry relaxed and took in more details about the room he was in. In doing so, he noticed something he had missed the first time: an old, gilded mirror bearing the inscription “Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi. Stepping in front of the mirror, Harry very nearly cried out in shock: inside the mirror he saw a large crowd of people standing behind him. Shocked, Harry turned around to look at the room, but saw no one there. Turning back to the mirror and looking more closely, Harry realised that the man and woman in the front looked oddly like him. The man looked just like him, from his untidy hair to his glasses, and the woman, Harry saw, had the same eyes he had. Understanding, Harry focused on other members of the crowd, and saw others who had his untidy hair, his eyes, and even an old man who had Harry’s knees; Harry was looking at his family, for the first time in his life.

Dumbledore advising Harry from seeking out the mirror again

The next night, Harry brought Ron with him to the mirror room. Ron did not see Harry’s family in the mirror, but instead saw himself standing alone, tall, holding the House Cup, wearing badges indicating he was Head Boy and Quidditch Captain. The two began arguing over who would be allowed to look in the mirror; Mrs Norris, Filch’s prowling cat, entered the room, attracted by the sounds of their argument. The next day, Ron, worried about being caught and about his friend’s obsession with the mirror, warned Harry not to return; Harry, however, was not to be dissuaded. Going to the room that evening, Harry was ready to stay there all night, staring at the family he lost. However, in his haste, he failed to notice Professor Dumbledore standing by the door until after he removed his cloak. Dumbledore, who had been waiting for Harry, explained that the mirror, which was known as the “Mirror of Erised”, displayed the deepest, most desperate desire of whomever looked into it. Harry, who had never known his family, saw them standing around him; Ron, ever overshadowed by his older brothers, saw himself standing alone, the best of them all. Before sending Harry back to bed, however, Dumbledore warned him that the mirror was and a dangerous object; men had been driven mad by what they saw in the mirror, not knowing if what they saw was real, or even possible. He told Harry that the mirror was to be moved to a new location, and warned Harry to not go looking for it. Before he left, Harry asked the headmaster what he saw in the mirror. Much to his surprise, Dumbledore told Harry that he saw himself with a pair of woollen socks. Despite his promise to Dumbledore, Harry found it difficult to forget the image of his parents, until Wood told the team that Snape would be refereeing the next Quidditch match against Hufflepuff

Shortly before the match, Malfoy, ever eager to pick on Neville, used the Leg-Locker Curse on Neville, forcing him to bunny hop his way back to the Common Room. Harry told Neville he was "worth twelve of Malfoy" and gave him a Chocolate Frog. Thanking Harry, Neville handed the card back to Harry for his collection. Looking down, Harry noted it was Dumbledore's card, the first he ever got. He turned the card over and suddenly remembered where he read the name Nicolas Flamel before: on the train on the way to school.

As the Gryffindor vs. Hufflepuff Quidditch match drew nearer, tensions mounted in the school; Gryffindor had failed to overtake Slytherin in the Inter-House Quidditch Cup for seven years, and Harry was worried that it would be impossible with Snape as a referee. Unknown to Harry, Ron and Hermione had been practising the Leg-Locker Curse to use on Snape, should he show any signs of wanting to harm Harry. Before the match began, Wood took Harry aside and reminded him that he needed to catch the Snitch as soon as he could, before Snape could favour Hufflepuff too much. Harry performed his role as Seeker phenomenally, catching the Snitch within five minutes of the game starting, putting Gryffindor in first place for the Quidditch Cup.


"It will keep you alive, even if you are an inch from death, but at a terrible price. You have slain something pure and defenceless to save yourself, and you will have but a half-life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches your lips.""
—Firenze explaining the properties of unicorn blood[src]
A Dragon egg

The trio watch the dragon egg hatch

Having realised how much Harry, Ron, and Hermione had worked out about the Stone after running into them in the library, Rubeus Hagrid told them to meet him in his hut later. When the trio arrived later, they noticed that the fire was lit, despite the heat of the day. Although he was reluctant to answer their questions, Hermione managed to manipulate him into talking about the various protections used to guard it: Fluffy, the three headed dog, was Hagrid's, along with enchantments from Professors Sprout, Flitwick, McGonagall, Quirrell, and Snape. Harry, growing uncomfortable in the heat, asked Hagrid to open a window, something Hagrid refused to do as he had a dragon egg in the fire. Unfortunately, Draco Malfoy discovered the dragon, and decided to use the knowledge to get revenge by getting them into trouble for possessing an illegal dragon. To save everyone involved, Harry, Ron, and Hermione convinced Hagrid to send Norbert off to Ron's brother Charlie Weasley, who would take Norbert to a Romanian dragon preserve. While helping Hagrid to prepare Norbert for the journey, the dragon bit Ron's hand, causing it to swell up and forcing Ron to see Madam Pomfrey. On the pre-arranged night, Harry and Hermione managed to smuggle Norbert in a crate up to the Astronomy Tower under Harry's Invisibility cloak. On the way up they witnessed Professor McGonagall hauling Malfoy away for being out of bed at night, who protested that Harry was in possession of a dragon. Harry and Hermione passed the crate off to Charlie's friends and headed back down the stairs, where they were confronted by a gleeful Argus Filch; they had left the Cloak behind.

Filch took them to McGonagall's office, where they found Neville, who had attempted to warn them about Malfoy. Minerva McGonagall, who was very disappointed in them, took fifty points each from Harry, Hermione, and Neville and gave the three detention, which they were to serve along with Malfoy. Harry's popularity, riding high on his Quidditch wins plummeted: no one wanted to talk to the "stupid first year" who, along with two others, had lost Gryffindor their chance of defeating Slytherin, and winning the House Cup. A week or so before exams, Harry's new determination to not meddle in other's business was tested when he heard Professor Quirrell, whimpering as if he was being threatened. Believing that Snape was the one threatening Quirrell, and that he was going after the Stone, Hermione suggested that they go talk to Professor Dumbledore, but Harry dismissed the idea, as they had no proof.

Ss firenze

Harry with Firenze in the forest discussing the properties of unicorn blood

The next morning, Harry, Hermione, and Neville received notes from Professor McGonagall informing them their detention would begin at eleven that night. Argus Filch took them out to the Forbidden Forest, where Hagrid was waiting for them. Hagrid led them into the Forbidden Forest and showed them a pool of unicorn blood on the ground. They split up, Hagrid taking Harry and Hermione, while Neville and Malfoy went off with Fang. After Malfoy scared Neville into sending up red sparks, Hagrid sent Harry off with Malfoy, deciding that Malfoy would be less likely to scare Harry. As they continued, Harry noticed the pools of unicorn blood they were following seemed to be growing larger and larger, as if the animal had been thrashing around. Eventually, they came to a clearing and found the laying on the ground, and very dead. As they watched, a hooded figure emerged from the bushes and began to drink the unicorn's blood. Malfoy screamed and bolted away with Fang, leaving Harry, half blinded by the pain in his scar to stumble away from the advancing figure. Harry was saved by Firenze, a palamino centaur, who allowed Harry to ride on his back out of the forest. Firenze told Harry the properties of unicorn blood. Harry realised that there would only be one person who would be so desperate as to kill a unicorn: Lord Voldemort.

The Philosopher's StoneEdit

Main article: Philosopher's stone
Albus Dumbledore: "Harry, do you know why...Prof. Quirrell couldn't bear to have you touch him? It was because of your mother. She sacrificed herself for you. And that kind of act leaves a mark.. No, no. This kind of mark cannot be seen. It lives in your very skin."
Harry Potter: "What is it?"
Albus Dumbledore: "Love, Harry. Love."
Albus Dumbledore to Harry regarding the power of love[src]
Transfiguration homework

The trio attempting to tell Mcgonagall about the plot to steal the Philosopher's Stone

While talking to Ron and Hermione after finishing their exams Harry realised the strange coincidence that had occurred: Hagrid wanted a dragon more than anything else, only to meet a stranger who had one to give him. They ran down to ask Hagrid more about the man who gave him Norbert, only to find out that the stranger never lowered his hood, something of a fashion in the Hogs head. Hagrid explained that he couldn't remember much, as the man kept buying him drinks, but said that he thought they talked about Hogwarts and the kinds of creatures Hagrid looks after there. Focused on remembering what had happened that night, Hagrid accidentally let slip that Fluffy fell asleep when played music. Harry, Ron, and Hermione, now convinced that Snape had all the information he needed to get past Fluffy, decided to go see Professor Dumbledore and tell him their suspicions. While walking across the Entrance Hall, they were stopped by Professor McGonagall, and decided to tell her what they'd found out. She insisted that no one could steal the Stone, and told them that Dumbledore was in London for the day.

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A chess set transfigured by Professor McGonagall to giant size, it was used to guard the Philosopher's Stone

As the trio set off that night to stop Snape, they were stopped themselves by Neville, who believed they were sneaking out without reason again, and was worried that they would loose Gryffindor even more points. Desperate as they were for time, Hermione paralysed Neville. When they arrived the third-floor corridor, it was to find Fluffy awake, but a harp by his feet. Remembering what Hagrid told them, Harry began to blow into the wooden flute Hagrid gave him for Christmas. From the first notes, Fluffy's eyes began to droop, and he quickly fell asleep. Jumping through the trapdoor, they found themselves in Professor Sprout's room, filled with Devil's Snare, which almost smothered them. The next room, Professor Flitwick's, held a bunch of flying keys and some broomsticks. Harry found the correct key, caught it, and unlocked the next door with it. The next room was Professor McGonagall's, and had a large chessboard, for a game of Wizard's Chess which Ron won at the cost of sacrificing himself. Harry and Hermione continued to the next room (leaving an unconcious Ron where they could return for him), to find an unconscious troll; Professor Quirrell's room. Lastly, they entered Professor Snape's room, and found seven potions in bottles along with a roll of paper giving clues on which one to drink to continue: a logic puzzle. Hermione solved the puzzle, and at Harry's urging, drank the potion that allowed her to head back so that she could get Ron out, while Harry drank the potion to go forward to the final room.

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Harry battles Voldemort for the Philosopher's Stone

Once inside the room, Harry's attention was drawn to two things: the Mirror of Erised, and Quirrell. Quirrell bound Harry before explaining that the Mirror was the key to finding the Stone. Desperate to distract him from the Mirror, Harry questioned Quirrell, who revealed that was serving Lord Voldemort, and although Snape hated Harry, he never wanted him dead. Unable to locate the stone, Quirrell asked Voldemort for help; much to Harry's surprise, a voice which seemed to issue from Quirrell himself said "to use the boy". Looking in the Mirror, Harry saw his reflection pull the Stone out of his pocket and replace it, at which point he felt the real Stone drop his real pocket. He told Quirrell that he saw himself winning the House Cup, but Voldemort, an accomplished Legilimens, informed Quirrell that Harry was lying, and ordered Quirrell to allow him to speak "to the boy". Quirrell unwrapped his turban, and turned away from Harry. Voldemort, who was sticking out of the back of Quirrell's head, demanded that Harry give him the Stone. Harry refused, and Quirrell seized him, causing Harry's scar to sear with pain; but contact with Harry's skin burned Quirrell's hands, forcing him to release Harry. Harry, realising that contact caused Quirrell pain, grabbed Quirrell's face and held on until he blacked out.


Harry in the Hospital Wing after the attack in the underground chamber

He woke in the Hospital Wing, where Albus Dumbledore reassured him that Quirrell did not succeed at getting the Stone, and that the Stone had in fact, been destroyed. Dumbledore then explained the reason why Quirrell could not touch him was that because Harry's mother had died to save him, granting him protection against Voldemort.

At the End-of-Term Feast, after seemingly congratulating Slytherin on winning the House Cup, Dumbledore awarded Ron and Hermione fifty points, Harry sixty points, and Neville ten, which allowed them to win the cup.

Behind the scenesEdit

Lesson Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
First Xylomancy Potions Double Potions Defence Against the Dark Arts Herbology Potions
Second Potions History of Magic Charms Potions History of Magic Potions
Third Defence Against the Dark Arts Herbology Magical Theory Transfiguration Charms Transfiguration
Fourth Charms Transfiguration Magical Theory Flying Magical Theory Transfiguration


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Pottermore
  2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master) -"Three times a week they went out to the greenhouses behind the castle to study Herbology [...]"
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 14 (Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback) - "Then, one breakfast time, Hedwig brought Harry another note from Hagrid. [...] Ron wanted to skip Herbology and go straight down to the hut. Hermione wouldn't hear of it. [...] Ron and Hermione argued all the way to Herbology and in the end, Hermione agreed to run down to Hagrid's with the other two during morning break."
  4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 13 (Nicolas Flamel) - "The next morning in Defence Against the Dark Arts, while copying down different ways of treating werewolf bites [...]"
  5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master) - "They had to study the night skies through their telescopes every Wednesday at midnight and learn the names of different stars and the movements of the planets."
  6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 13 (Nicolas Flamel) - "Potions lessons were turning into a sort of weekly torture, Snape was so horrible to Harry."
  7. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master) - "Friday was an important day for Harry and Ron. [...] "What have we got today?" Harry asked Ron as he poured sugar on his porridge. "Double Potions with the Slytherins," said Ron."
  8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en) - "On Hallowe'en morning [...] Professor Flitwick announced in Charms that he thought they were ready to start making objects fly [...]"
  9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en) - "Hermione didn't turn up for the next class and wasn't seen all afternoon".
  10. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master) - "Friday was an important day for Harry and Ron. [...] "Wish McGonagall favoured us," said Harry. Professor McGonagall was head of Gryffindor House, but it hadn't stopped her from giving them a huge pile of homework the day before."
  11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 9 (The Midnight Duel) - "Flying lessons would be starting on Thursday — and Gryffindor and Slytherin would be learning together."
  12. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 9 (The Midnight Duel) - "At three-thirty that afternoon, Harry, Ron, and the other Gryffindors hurried down the front steps onto the grounds for their first flying lesson."
  13. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PS
Hogwarts years
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