Going Back to Hogwarts with a “Sorcerer’s Stone” Reread
In this installment of our most recent Harry Potter reread series, we’re tackling Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. We started this reread on February 1, and now it is time to talk about our thoughts and feelings about this book 20 years after it was published.
Opening up a Harry Potter book has always felt like coming home. The feeling is strongest for me with Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s a little bit funny because this is the book that I had the most trouble with as a child. I started and stopped this book many times before I finally made it through the first chapter. For some reason, I had no interest in the Dursleys when I was eight. That disinterest has gone away and I find myself more intrigued and angered by the events in the first chapter. I was really interested in McGonagall in this chapter. She spent her whole day spying on some Muggles because she heard a rumor that was not fully confirmed until Dumbledore showed up that night. She seems to be the only person who knows that sending Harry to the Dursleys would be a horrible idea because apparently, she was the only one who did her research and cares what will happen to Harry. It just seems highly irresponsible that Dumbledore just dropped a baby on a doorstep in the middle of the night in November and then just left. Also, why didn’t Dumbledore react when Hagrid talks about borrowing Sirius’s bike? Yes, this was before the whole Peter/Muggles incident, but Dumbledore believed that Sirius was the Potters’ Secret-Keeper at this point in time. It just seems a little odd.
Something that I couldn’t stop thinking about was Mrs. Figg. In the second chapter, it was mentioned that she broke her leg, and in the next chapter, it talked about her walking around on crutches. I know that most Squibs choose to live as Muggles, but if you could have a broken leg fixed in seconds, why would you heal the Muggle way? Are Squibs not allowed in St. Mungo’s? Did she not want to get healed magically? Was she found by a Muggle and forced to heal the Muggle way because people now knew about her being hurt? I have so many questions about this situation. I’d really like to learn more about Squibs and their rights.
The incident at the end-of-year feast bothers me even more now than it did when I was younger. Slytherin unequivocally won the House Cup. They worked hard all year to make sure that they placed first, and then Dumbledore ruined all of their hard work on a whim. Dumbledore had allowed the Slytherins to believe that they had won the Cup. He permitted the Great Hall to be decorated in Slytherin colors and allowed the Slytherins to celebrate before taking the House Cup away from them and giving it to the Gryffindors, whom I honestly believe did not deserve it. This incident just shows how prejudiced the whole school is against the Slytherins. No one spoke up about how unfair it was, and I’m really disappointed by that.
How did your reread go? Don’t forget to send in your photos, thoughts, and comments using the hashtag #MuggleNetGoesBacktoHogwarts. We’ll be starting Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on March 1.