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J. K. Rowling «Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone» / Chapter XIII. Nicolas Flamel
J. K. Rowling «Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone»
Chapter XIII. Nicolas Flamel
Dumbledore had convinced Harry not
to go looking for the Mirror of Erised again, and for the rest of the Christmas
holidays the invisibility cloak stayed folded at the bottom of his trunk. Harry
wished he could forget what he'd seen in the mirror as easily, but he couldn't.
He started having nightmares. Over and over again he dreamed about his parents
disappearing in a flash of green light, while a high voice cackled with laughter.
"You see, Dumbledore was right, that mirror could drive you mad," said
Ron, when Harry told him about these drearns.
Hermione, who came back the
day before term started, took a different view of things. She was torn between
horror at the idea of Harry being out of bed, roaming the school three nights
in a row ("If Filch had caught you!"), and disappointment that he hadn't
at least found out who Nicolas Flamel was.
They had almost given up hope
of ever finding Flamel in a li- brary book, even though Harry was still sure he'd
read the name somewhere. Once term had started, they were back to skimming through
books for ten minutes during their breaks. Harry had even less time than the other
two, because Quidditch practice had started again.
Wood was working the
team harder than ever. Even the endless rain that had replaced the snow couldn't
dampen his spirits. The Weasleys complained that Wood was becoming a fanatic,
but Harry was on Wood's side. If they won their next match, against Hufflepuff,
they would overtake Slytherin in the house championship for the first time in
seven years. Quite apart from wanting to win, Harry found that he had fewer nightmares
when he was tired out after training.
Then, during one particularly wet
and muddy practice session, Wood gave the team a bit of bad news. He'd just gotten
very angry with the Weasleys, who kept dive-bombing each other and pretending
to fall off their brooms.
"Will you stop messing around!" he
yelled. "That's exactly the sort of thing that'll lose us the match! Snape's
refereeing this time, and he'll be looking for any excuse to knock points off
George Weasley really did fall off his broom at these
"Snape's refereeing?" he spluttered through a mouthful
of mud. "When's he ever refereed a Quidditch match? He's not going to be
fair if we might overtake Slytherin."
The rest of the team landed
next to George to complain, too.
"It's not my fault," said Wood.
"We've just got to make sure we play a clean game, so Snape hasn't got an
excuse to pick on us."
Which was all very well, thought Harry, but
he had another reason for not wanting Snape near him while he was playing Quidditch....
The rest of the team hung back to talk to one another as usual at the end of practice,
but Harry headed straight back to the Gryffindor common room, where he found Ron
and Hermione playing chess. Chess was the only thing Hermione ever lost at, something
Harry and Ron thought was very good for her.
"Don't talk to me for
a moment," said Ron when Harry sat down next to him, "I need to concen
--" He caught sight of Harry's face. "What's the matter with you? You
Speaking quietly so that no one else would hear, Harry
told the other two about Snape's sudden, sinister desire to be a Quidditch referee.
"Don't play," said Hermione at once.
"Say you're ill,"
"Pretend to break your leg," Hermione suggested.
"Really break your leg," said Ron.
"I can't," said
Harry. "There isn't a reserve Seeker. If I back out, Gryffindor can't play
At that moment Neville toppled into the common room. How
he had managed to climb through the portrait hole was anyone's guess, because
his legs had been stuck together with what they recognized at once as the Leg-Locker
Curse. He must have had to bunny hop all the way up to Gryffindor tower.
Everyone fell over laughing except Hermione, who leapt up and performed the countercurse.
Neville's legs sprang apart and he got to his feet, trembling. "What happened?"
Hermione asked him, leading him over to sit with Harry and Ron.
said Neville shakily. "I met him outside the library. He said he'd been looking
for someone to practice that on."
"Go to Professor McGonagall!"
Hermione urged Neville. "Report him!"
Neville shook his head.
"I don't want more trouble," he mumbled.
"You've got to
stand up to him, Neville!" said Ron. "He's used to walking all over
people, but that's no reason to lie down in front of him and make it easier."
"There's no need to tell me I'm not brave enough to be in Gryffindor, Malfoy's
already done that," Neville choked out.
Harry felt in the pocket of
his robes and pulled out a Chocolate Frog, the very last one from the box Hermione
had given him for Christmas. He gave it to Neville, who looked as though he might
"You're worth twelve of Malfoy," Harry said. "The Sorting
Hat chose you for Gryffindor, didn't it? And where's Malfoy? In stinking Slytherin."
Neville's lips twitched in a weak smile as he unwrapped the frog.
Harry... I think I'll go to bed.... D'you want the card, you collect them, don't
As Neville walked away, Harry looked at the Famous Wizard card.
"Dumbledore again," he said, "He was the first one I ever-"
He gasped. He stared at the back of the card. Then he looked up at Ron and Hermione.
"I've found him!" he whispered. "I've found Flamel! I told you
I'd read the name somewhere before, I read it on the train coming here -- listen
to this: 'Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard
Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon's blood, and
his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel'!"
to her feet. She hadn't looked so excited since they'd gotten back the marks for
their very first piece of homework.
"Stay there!" she said, and
she sprinted up the stairs to the girls' dormitories. Harry and Ron barely had
time to exchange mystified looks before she was dashing back, an enormous old
book in her arms.
"I never thought to look in here!" she whispered
excitedly. "I got this out of the library weeks ago for a bit of light reading."
"Light?" said Ron, but Hermione told him to be quiet until she'd looked
something up, and started flicking frantically through the pages, muttering to
At last she found what she was looking for.
it! I knew it!"
"Are we allowed to speak yet?" said Ron
grumpily. Hermione ignored him.
"Nicolas Flamel," she whispered
dramatically, "is the only known maker of the Sorcerer's Stone!"
This didn't have quite the effect she'd expected.
said Harry and Ron.
"Oh, honestly, don't you two read? Look -- read
She pushed the book toward them, and Harry and Ron read:
The ancient study of alchemy is concerned with making the Sorcerer's Stone, a
legendary substance with astonishing powers. The stone will transform any metal
into pure gold. It also produces the Elixir of Life, which will make the drinker
There have been many reports of the Sorcerer's Stone over the
centuries, but the only Stone currently in existence belongs to Mr. Nicolas Flamel,
the noted alchemist and opera lover. Mr. Flamel, who celebrated his six hundred
and sixty-fifth birthday last year, enjoys a quiet life in Devon with his wife,
Perenelle (six hundred and fifty-eight).
"See?" said Hermione,
when Harry and Ron had finished. "The dog must be guarding Flamel's Sorcerer's
Stone! I bet he asked Dumbledore to keep it safe for him, because they're friends
and he knew someone was after it, that's why he wanted the Stone moved out of
"A stone that makes gold and stops you from ever
dying!" said Harry. "No wonder Snape's after it! Anyone would want it."
"And no wonder we couldn't find Flamel in that Study of Recent Developments
in Wizardry," said Ron. "He's not exactly recent if he's six hundred
and sixty-five, is he?"
The next morning in Defense Against the Dark
Arts, while copying down different ways of treating werewolf bites, Harry and
Ron were still discussing what they'd do with a Sorcerer's Stone if they had one.
It wasn't until Ron said he'd buy his own Quidditch team that Harry remembered
about Snape and the coming match.
"I'm going to play," he told
Ron and Hermione. "If I don't, all the Slytherins will think I'm just too
scared to face Snape. I'll show them... it'll really wipe the smiles off their
faces if we win."
"Just as long as we're not wiping you off the
field," said Hermione.
As the match drew nearer, however, Harry became
more and more nervous, whatever he told Ron and Hermione. The rest of the team
wasn't too calm, either. The idea of overtaking Slytherin in the house championship
was wonderful, no one had done it for seven years, but would they be allowed to,
with such a biased referee?
Harry didn't know whether he was imagining
it or not, but he seemed to keep running into Snape wherever he went. At times,
he even wondered whether Snape was following him, trying to catch him on his own.
Potions lessons were turning into a sort of weekly torture, Snape was so horrible
to Harry. Could Snape possibly know they'd found out about the Sorcerer's Stone?
Harry didn't see how he could -- yet he sometimes had the horrible feeling that
Snape could read minds.
Harry knew, when they wished him good luck outside
the locker rooms the next afternoon, that Ron and Hermione were wondering whether
they'd ever see him alive again. This wasn't what you'd call comforting. Harry
hardly heard a word of Wood's pep talk as he pulled on his Quidditch robes and
picked up his Nimbus Two Thousand.
Ron and Hermione, meanwhile, had found
a place in the stands next to Neville, who couldn't understand why they looked
so grim and worried, or why they had both brought their wands to the match. Little
did Harry know that Ron and Hermione had been secretly practicing the Leg-Locker
Curse. They'd gotten the idea from Malfoy using it on Neville, and were ready
to use it on Snape if he showed any sign of wanting to hurt Harry.
don't forget, it's Locomotor Mortis," Hermione muttered as Ron slipped his
wand up his sleeve.
"I know," Ron snapped. "Don't nag."
Back in the locker room, Wood had taken Harry aside.
"Don't want to
pressure you, Potter, but if we ever need an early capture of the Snitch it's
now. Finish the game before Snape can favor Hufflepuff too much."
"The whole school's out there!" said Fred Weasley, peering out of the
door. "Even -- blimey -- Dumbledore's come to watch!"
heart did a somersault.
"Dumbledore?" he said, dashing to the
door to make sure. Fred was right. There was no mistaking that silver beard.
Harry could have laughed out loud with relief He was safe. There was simply no
way that Snape would dare to try to hurt him if Dumbledore was watching.
Perhaps that was why Snape was looking so angry as the teams marched onto the
field, something that Ron noticed, too.
"I've never seen Snape look
so mean," he told Hermione. "Look -they're off Ouch!"
had poked Ron in the back of the head. It was Malfoy.
Weasley, didn't see you there."
Malfoy grinned broadly at Crabbe and
"Wonder how long Potter's going to stay on his broom this time?
Anyone want a bet? What about you, Weasley?"
Ron didn't answer; Snape
had just awarded Hufflepuff a penalty because George Weasley had hit a Bludger
at him. Hermione, who had all her fingers crossed in her lap, was squinting fixedly
at Harry, who was circling the game like a hawk, looking for the Snitch.
"You know how I think they choose people for the Gryffindor team?" said
Malfoy loudly a few minutes later, as Snape awarded Hufflepuff another penalty
for no reason at all. "It's people they feel sorry for. See, there's Potter,
who's got no parents, then there's the Weasleys, who've got no money -- you should
be on the team, Longbottom, you've got no brains."
Neville went bright
red but turned in his seat to face Malfoy.
"I'm worth twelve of you,
Malfoy," he stammered.
Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle howled with laughter,
but Ron, still not daring to take his eyes from the game, said, "You tell
"Longbottom, if brains were gold you'd be poorer
than Weasley, and that's saying something."
Ron's nerves were already
stretched to the breaking point with anxiety about Harry.
you, Malfoy -- one more word
"Ron!" said Hermione suddenly, "Harry
Harry had suddenly gone into a
spectacular dive, which drew gasps and cheers from the crowd. Hermione stood up,
her crossed fingers in her mouth, as Harry streaked toward the ground like a bullet.
"You're in luck, Weasley, Potter's obviously spotted some money on the ground!"
Ron snapped. Before Malfoy knew what was happening, Ron was
on top of him, wrestling him to the ground. Neville hesitated, then clambered
over the back of his seat to help.
"Come on, Harry!" Hermione
screamed, leaping onto her seat to watch as Harry sped straight at Snape -- she
didn't even notice Malfoy and Ron rolling around under her seat, or the scuffles
and yelps coming from the whirl of fists that was Neville, Crabbe, and Goyle.
Up in the air, Snape turned on his broomstick just in time to see something scarlet
shoot past him, missing him by inches -- the next second, Harry had pulled out
of the dive, his arm raised in triumph, the Snitch clasped in his hand.
The stands erupted; it had to be a record, no one could ever remember the Snitch
being caught so quickly.
"Ron! Ron! Where are you? The game's over!
Harry's won! We've won! Gryffindor is in the lead!" shrieked Hermione, dancing
up and down on her seat and hugging Parvati Patil in the row in front.
Harry jumped off his broom, a foot from the ground. He couldn't believe it. He'd
done it -- the game was over; it had barely lasted five minutes. As Gryffindors
came spilling onto the field, he saw Snape land nearby, white-faced and tight-lipped
-- then Harry felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up into Dumbledore's smiling
"Well done," said Dumbledore quietly, so that only Harry
could hear. "Nice to see you haven't been brooding about that mirror... been
keeping busy... excellent..."
Snape spat bitterly on the ground.
Harry left the locker room alone some time later, to take his Nimbus Two Thousand
back to the broomshed. He couldn't ever remember feeling happier. He'd really
done something to be proud of now -- no one could say he was just a famous name
any more. The evening air had never smelled so sweet. He walked over the damp
grass, reliving the last hour in his head, which was a happy blur: Gryffindors
running to lift him onto their shoulders; Ron and Hermione in the distance, jumping
up and down, Ron cheering through a heavy nosebleed.
Harry had reached
the shed. He leaned against the wooden door and looked up at Hogwarts, with its
windows glowing red in the setting sun. Gryffindor in the lead. He'd done it,
he'd shown Snape....
And speaking of Snape...
A hooded figure came
swiftly down the front steps of the castle. Clearly not wanting to be seen, it
walked as fast as possible toward the forbidden forest. Harry's victory faded
from his mind as he watched. He recognized the figure's prowling walk. Snape,
sneaking into the forest while everyone else was at dinner -- what was going on?
Harry jumped back on his Nimbus Two Thousand and took off. Gliding silently over
the castle he saw Snape enter the forest at a run. He followed.
were so thick he couldn't see where Snape had gone. He flew in circles, lower
and lower, brushing the top branches of trees until he heard voices. He glided
toward them and landed noiselessly in a towering beech tree.
carefully along one of the branches, holding tight to his broomstick, trying to
see through the leaves. Below, in a shadowy clearing, stood Snape, but he wasn't
alone. Quirrell was there, too. Harry couldn't make out the look on his face,
but he was stuttering worse than ever. Harry strained to catch what they were
"... d-don't know why you wanted t-t-to meet here of all p-places,
"Oh, I thought we'd keep this private," said
Snape, his voice icy. "Students aren't supposed to know about the Sorcerer's
Stone, after all."
Harry leaned forward. Quirrell was mumbling something.
Snape interrupted him.
"Have you found out how to get past that beast
of Hagrid's yet?"
"B-b-but Severus, I --"
don't want me as your enemy, Quirrell," said Snape, taking a step toward
"I-I don't know what you
"You know perfectly well
what I mean."
An owl hooted loudly, and Harry nearly fell out of the
tree. He steadied himself in time to hear Snape say, "-- your little bit
of hocus-pocus. I'm waiting."
"B-but I d-d-don't --"
"Very well," Snape cut in. "We'll have another little chat soon,
when you've had time to think things over and decided where your loyalties lie."
He threw his cloak over his head and strode out of the clearing. It was almost
dark now, but Harry could see Quirrell, standing quite still as though he was
"Harry, where have you been?" Hermione squeaked.
"We won! You won! We won!" shouted Ron, thumping Harry on the back.
"And I gave Malfoy a black eye, and Neville tried to take on Crabbe and Goyle
single-handed! He's still out cold but Madam Pomftey says he'll be all right -
talk about showing Slytherin! Everyone's waiting for you in the common room, we're
having a party, Fred and George stole some cakes and stuff from the kitchens."
"Never mind that now," said Harry breathlessly. "Let's find an
empty room, you wait 'til you hear this...."
He made sure Peeves wasn't
inside before shutting the door behind them, then he told them what he'd seen
"So we were right, it is the Sorcerer's Stone, and Snape's
trying to force Quirrell to help him get it. He asked if he knew how to get past
Fluffy - and he said something about Quirrell's 'hocus pocuss-- I reckon there
are other things guarding the stone apart from Fluffy, loads of enchantments,
probably, and Quirrell would have done some anti-Dark Arts spell that Snape needs
to break through --"
"So you mean the Stone's only safe as long
as Quirrell stands up to Snape?" said Hermione in alarm.
be gone by next Tuesday," said Ron.
Chapter I. The Boy Who Lived
Chapter II. The Vanishing Glass
Chapter III. The Letters From No One
Chapter IV. The Keeper Of The Keys
Chapter V. Diagon Alley
Chapter VI. The Journey From Platform Nine And Three-Quarters
Chapter VII. The Sorting Hat
Chapter VIII. The Potions Master
Chapter IX. The Midnight Duel
Chapter X. Halloween
Chapter XI. Quidditch
Chapter XII. The Mirror Of Erised
Chapter XIII. Nicolas Flamel
Chapter XIV. Norbert The Norwegian Ridgeback
Chapter XV. The Forbidden Forest
Chapter XVI. Through The Trapdoor
Chapter XVII. The Man With Two Faces
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