Oh gosh, so I’m
three four weeks behind on my initial schedule for this but work is more exhausting than I initially thought it would be. Sleep >>>> books, I’m afraid. Even when it concerns Harry. I have finished Philosopher’s Stone, though! And I shall talk about socks! Be prepared for knitting patterns!
‘You haven’t got a letter on yours,’ George observed. ‘I suppose she thinks you don’t forget your name. But we’re not stupid – we know we’re called Gred and Forge.’
— Chapter 12: The Mirror of Erised —
After the revelation that Nicholas Flamel is important to the Trio’s research we skip to Christmas. Everyone’s ready for the hols and Demon Child 2.0 taunts Harry about having to stay at the castle. Makes me wonder how the obnoxious brat knew that but whatever, I hope Harry has a grand ol’ time without the Gruesome Twosome and their own Demon Child. Before the hols start for realsies though, the Trio do some extracurricular work by researching Nicholas Flamel in the library. As you do. I’ve never seen eleven-year-olds do so much research on stuff on their own, but then I guess that’s what you do when there’s a mysterious thing happening in your life. Probably. Tragically they do not find the information they seek before Hermione leaves to be with her scary dentist parents. The holidays start, Harry gets presents (it’s a bloody Christmas miracle for him, alright) and on top of that he finds a magic mirror randomly standing about the school. It’s a real proper magic mirror, too, though it does not tell him where Snow White lives. Instead it shows him his entire dead family. Cause that’s not macabre at all.
‘Don’t play,’ said Hermione at once.
‘Say you’re ill,’ said Ron.
‘Pretend to break your leg,’ Hermione suggested.
‘Really break your leg,’ said Ron.
— Chapter 13: Nicolas Flamel —
After good old Dumbles has convinced our young hero not to go looking for the mirror again (dear Sir, please let me educate you about the wonders of telling children what they shouldn’t do: you will usually achieve the exact opposite), Young Harry has to bear the dark and depressing news of having Snape as a referee for their next quidditch match. Fun. Due to a really funny incident involving chocolate frogs and general forgetfulness of children the Trio finally find out more about Nicholas Flamel. As it turns out, he’s old as balls and sort of immortal but not like a vampire and also not like somebody who did very bad things as we will find out later in book six. Huzzah for them though because now they know that what Moldyshorts is after is the ~Philosopher’s Stone~ which will make him immortal and also rich as balls, if he so desires. Harry also wins the quidditch match and conveniently overhears a tense conversation between Shifty Snape and Quivering Quirrell.
‘Malfoy’s got detention! I could sing!’
— Chapter 14: Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback —
Over the next weeks the Trio observe that Quirrell’s looking a bit under the weather — almost as though he was suffering from a particularly nasty parasite like a tapeworm — and they’d love to watch him some more just to make sure Snape’s not stealing the Philosopher’s Stone for his old master, but exams are upon them and so they must study. Good thing they do because they catch Hagrid in the act of borrowing a book about dragons and find out that by some mysterious coincidental turn of events he acquired a dragon egg. Norbert, as Hagrid calls his little baby after hatching, ends up growing much faster than your regular pet (imagine a kitten or a puppy). Stuck in the brain waves of true Gryffindor idiots our eleven-year-old heroes (well, Hermione is twelve but whatever) decide to help out and send the dragon to Romania. Suffice it to say that their plan would’ve worked perfectly had they not been overheard by Demon Child 2.0 who cannot keep his nose out of other people’s business.
It was the unicorn all right, and it was dead. Harry had never seen anything so beautiful and sad.
— Chapter 15: The Forbidden Forest —
In their brainlessness they forgot the Invisibility Cloak and of course they got caught. And of course they got detention. In the Forbidden Forest. THIS SOUNDS LIKE A REALLY SAFE AND NOT AT ALL MENTALLY SCARRING WAY OF DISCIPLINING CHILDREN. I mean. Just sayin’. So yeah, detention for Harry, Neville, Hermione and Demon Child 2.0 in the forest. And because that’s not scary enough already, they have detention with Hagrid, who thinks that three-headed dogs are cute. Since something sinister and evil is slaying unicorns, the purpose of their detention is to find the poor dead thing and you can’t do that with just one search party. Nope. We’ll just divide up these eleven-year-olds and two of them will go with Hagrid (who has no sense of safety, remember) and two of them will go with his slobbering hound. That sounds totally like a good plan. Luckily nobody gets eaten and they do in fact find the dead unicorn. Though maybe that’s due to the unusual brightness of Mars, we just don’t know. The centaurs probably do know but they’re not telling us. Unfortunately, along with the dead unicorn, Harry finds a scary dude trying to drink its blood. Creep.
‘So light a fire!’ Harry choked.
‘Yes – of course – but there’s no wood!’ Hermione cried, wringing her hands.
‘HAVE YOU GONE MAD?’ Ron bellowed. ‘ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT?’
— Chapter 16: Through the Trapdoor —
After their terrifying stint in the forest the exams happen and Harry, in his endless wit and wisdom, decides not to go to the teachers about the mysterious stabbing pains in his forehead just where his scar is located. I mean, that would be the smart thing to do and that’s not what we’re here for, amirite. Young Harry is understandably nervous considering that he has a people-saving thing going on, a world-saving complex to go with it and also suffers from a dash of can’t-keep-my-nose-out-of-things. The Trio finally figure out that the whole Hagrid-won-a-dragon-egg thing was a bit shady and it’s just at that time that Dumbledore just happens to leave the school. Because, you know, he’s a very important person and that importance is more important than his job as a headmaster at the school. I mean. Yeah. Sounds legit. So of course they figure out that the silly immortality stone is in danger and nobody wants to believe them and so they go after the stone themselves.
They make the dog go to sleep with some fancy music and drop into nothingness that turns out to be a deadly plant. Luckily they covered it in their First Year already and so Hermione knows how to keep it from killing them. Even more luckily Harry is an excellent seeker and so they’re barely challenged by the flying keys, one of which will open the door through which they must go. And of course, Ron is a chess genius, which just happens to be the next challenge on the way to the Stone. Thank god the Trio is so versatile! Ron gets knocked out, though, but it’s tit for tat and all that and they don’t really need his prowess (or anyone else’s) to defeat the already defeated troll that’s waiting for them. It’s only lucky that Ron was knocked out, however, cause the last challenge is hella difficult for magical folk, which is why Hermione’s muggle-heritage comes into play.
‘Oh, I will,’ said Harry, and they were surprised at the grin that was spreading over his face. ‘They don’t know we’re not allowed to use magic at home. I’m going to have a lot of fun with Dudley this summer …’
— Chapter 17: The Man with Two Faces —
In the end, after having sent off Hermione to owl Dumbledore and look after Ron, Harry has to face his adversary. Who turns out to be Quirrell and not Snape like he thought. (Though let’s be real here, even after all this time and all these re-reads, I’d still put all my money on Snape just because he’s a massive bastard.) The stone is hidden inside the magic mirror and Quirrell doesn’t know how to get it out. Sucks to be him, I guess. Fortunately Harry sort of knows how the mirror works and because of some magic or other ends up in the possession of the stone! Huzzah! He also ends up finding out that Voldemort is sticking out the back of Quirrell’s head. Ew. That has got to be uncomfortable for Quirrell AND for Voldemort. I wouldn’t want to be covered up by a stinky turban all day long, tbh. Of course Quirrellmort wants to kill Harry but he is immune to their charms due to the protection of his mother’s sacrifice. What a nice way to be reminded of the fact that your parents are dead. After all is said and done and well and truly dead, Harry wakes up in the Infirmary and drops a ton of questions on Dumbledore who doesn’t really answer them all that well. Doesn’t matter though because for now Voldemort has been thwarted, Gryffindor won the House Cup by being awarded some extra points (which is really unfair if you ask me) and it’s just about time to get back to the Dursleys!
The Importance of Socks
You know, I thought long and hard about the topic of this post. I just couldn’t really figure out what I wanted to talk about because frankly, there’s not THAT much to go on from these last six chapters. If I were four books in, it would be a different matter, but I don’t have much to go on. Yet. But then finally it clicked! Socks! Yeppp, S O C K S.
They’re important, for sure. People have written essays on the topic of socks, you guys. Socks are ~très importante~ don’tcha know. As good old Dumbles says, one can never have too many socks. I did a quick count and there are roundabout ~80ish mentions of socks throughout all seven books. Clearly socks are important. Socks represent freedom, possibly also the stability of home and some other stuff, I’m sure. Whenever socks are mentioned I can’t help but smile because I feel like it adds a little something extra to the books. They make Dumbledore a bit more batty, but it’s endearing somehow. Harry searching for socks before going off to school again? Also endearing. Dobby being given a sock? Ughhh, fabulous.
JUST LIKE THESE SOCKS:
I. AM. IN. AWE.
There are of course more patterns and socks and other types of clothing to be found out there but holy shit these are pretty as hell!
All in all, whether or not they are important, JKR added a neat bit of extra fun to the books by including socks. I love any and all sock mentions.
So, what are your thoughts on socks? Yay? Nay? How many pairs of socks do you own? (I’ve got somewhere around the 100ish, I believe.) Tell me in the comments!