Six Underappreciated Moments from “Sorcerer’s Stone”
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is best known for being our warm and whimsical introduction to the wizarding world. In this first story, we meet iconic characters such as Hermione Granger, Minerva McGonagall, Albus Dumbledore, and Draco Malfoy. We are shown Diagon Alley, carried away from platform nine and three-quarters, welcomed to Hogwarts, introduced to Quidditch, and pitched headfirst into a mystery relatively less dangerous than those that come after it. In all the magic and excitement, however, a great many funny, heartwarming, and powerful moments are often overlooked. Here are some of the most underrated moments of Sorcerer’s Stone.
1. The Time Harry Refused to Be Underestimated
‘I know some things,’ he said. ‘I can, you know, do math and stuff'” (49).
It may be cliché to say the main character is your favorite, but in this book especially, Harry is such an endearing character, with his sweetness and sass, his innocence and defiance. Harry’s indignant defense of his own intelligence makes me smile every time I read this line. Even after ten years with the Dursleys, Harry refuses to allow anyone to underestimate him, especially a strange giant who has only just met him. Dear, sweet baby Harry; where you’re going, you won’t need math!
2. The Time Harry Was Excited for School
His school books were very interesting. He lay on his bed reading late into the night, Hedwig swooping in and out of the open window as she pleased” (88).
Once Hermione enters the picture, it is easy to forget that Harry is not a bad student. He reads his textbooks avidly and even sweetly names his owl Hedwig, a name he found in A History of Magic. This moment also shows how unfounded and unwarranted Snape’s derision of Harry was when he singled him out on his first day of Potions and ridiculed him for not being able to remember every detail of his textbook. It’s sad that Snape’s ridicule caused Harry to lose some of the excitement he showed in this moment.
3. The Time Minerva and Hagrid Were Besties
Harry watched Hagrid getting redder and redder in the face… finally kissing Professor McGonagall on the cheek, who, to Harry’s amazement, giggled and blushed, her top hat lopsided” (204).
Even Minerva McGonagall is capable of letting loose and having fun sometimes, as an astounded Harry discovers at his first Hogwarts Christmas feast. The obviously close friendship between Minerva and Hagrid is heartwarming and woefully underappreciated. Harry’s amazement in this scene is hilarious, and the general warmth and cheer of Hogwarts at Christmas never fails to make me smile.
4. The Time Harry Made Neville Feel Better
Harry felt in the pocket of his robes and pulled out a Chocolate Frog… He gave it to Neville, who looked as though he might cry” (218).
What makes Harry a hero in the end is his good heart. The kindness he shows Neville in this moment is a perfect example of Harry’s best qualities. Though nearly everyone in the common room laughed at Neville, Harry encourages him without regard for what others might think. Really, Harry is too good for this world.
5. The Time Neville Fought Crabbe and Goyle
‘I’m worth twelve of you, Malfoy,’ he stammered” (223).
With a little help from Harry and Ron, Neville finally finds the courage to stand up to Malfoy. After further provocation, Ron and a reluctant Neville engage in an epic fistfight with Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, which ends with Neville out cold in the hospital wing. Meanwhile, Hermione pays them no heed, riveted by Harry’s spectacular capture of the Snitch. It’s a pretty epic and highly underrated scene, but the most powerful part is Neville’s discovery of his inner Gryffindor.
6. The Time Charlie Weasley Was the Best Brother
Could you get the Ridgeback up the tallest tower at midnight on Saturday? … Love, Charlie” (237).
This moment shows just how incredible a brother Charlie Weasley is well before we officially meet him. When Charlie’s 11-year-old brother writes to him about smuggling his old friend Hagrid’s illegal baby dragon out of the castle, he sends his colleagues across the continent without a second thought. Every one of the Weasley children would do anything to help their siblings, and though we see little of Charlie, he is no exception.
What are some other Sorcerer’s Stone moments you feel are underappreciated? Let us know in the comments!