Monday, July 14, 2014

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

As you may know I'm going on a reading binge with the Harry Potter series. I just finished the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and I wanted to highlight some favorite moments, quotes, and relationships that I loved in the beginning of this amazing series.

First Sentences: 

"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number 4, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they didn't hold with such nonsense."

Last Sentences:

"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..."

Favorite Quotes:

"He hurried to his car and set off for home, hoping he was imagining things, which he had never hoped before, because he didn't approve of imagination." - Mr. Dursley

I think this perfectly describes the horribleness that are the Dursley family. Not only are they prejudiced, do not care at all about Harry, selfish. and downright rude - they have no imagination. They are just boring people who can't see anything wonderous about the world or what it could be. Magic or no magic.

"I would trust Hagrid with my life," said Dumbledore.
Artwork by Mike Maihack

This really gets to me; how much Dumbledore cares for and trusts Hagrid. Hagrid is half giant and was expelled from Hogwarts but Dumbledore trusts him wholeheartedly. Hagrid meanwhile proves himself time and time again not only to be a trustworthy, loyal friend but a caring magical being.

"I'm half-and-half," said Seamus. "Me dad's a Muggle. Mom didn't tell him she was a witch 'til after they were married. Bit of a nasty shock for him."

There are a lot of lines that I recognize from the movies from the books including this one. I'm still impressed how well the movies translated the books even by the fact almost no one can repeat that phenomenon. This would be wonderful and hilarious to see happen.

"I hope you're pleased with yourselves. We could all have been killed - or worse, expelled.  Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to bed."

I'm kind of with Hermione on this one. If I found out I was a witch and had that taken away I wouldn't know what to do with myself.

"Harry - you're a great wizard, you know."
"I'm not as good as you," said Harry, very embarrassed, as she let go of him.
"Me!" said Hermione. "Books! And cleverness! There are more important things - friendship and bravery and - oh Harry - be careful!"

If I had Hermione's wit and determination I would have been truly happy with myself. I do understand why she chose to say the things she did because without bravery and friendship life would be pretty boring.


The Sorting Hat's Song:

"Oh, you may not think I'm pretty,
But don't judge on what you see, 
I'll eat myself if you can find,
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat 
And I can cap them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see, 
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart, 
Their daring, nerve, and chilvary
Set Gryffindors apart; 
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wide old Ravenclaw,
If you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!"

Favorite Moments:

"Harry ignored her. Blood was pounding in his ears. He mounted the broom and kicked hard against the ground and up, up he soared; air rushed through his hair, and his robes whipped out behind him - and in a rush of fierce joy he realized he'd found something he could do without being taught - this was easy, this was wonderful."

This moment is really special particularly because it happened to Harry. He's lived his life in the shadows trying not to be seen so he wouldn't get yelled at or hit. He finally finds something that he can excel at - something that makes him infinitely happy. 

"But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them."

Kind of a momentous occasion. The three most popular fictional friends finally coming together.

"She was a very pretty woman. She had dark red hair and her eyes - her eyes are just like mine, Harry thought, edging a little closer to the glass. Bright green - exactly the same shape, but then he noticed that she was crying; smiling, but crying at the same time. The tall, thin, black-haired man standing next to her put his arm around her. He wore glasses, and his hair was very untidy. It stuck up at the back, just as Harry's did.
Harry was so close to the mirror now that his nose was nearly touching that of his reflection.
"Mon?" he whispered. "Dad?"
They just looked at him, smiling. And slowly, Harry looked into the faces of the other people in the mirror, and saw other pairs of green eyes like his, other noses like his, even a little old man who looked as though he had Harry's knobbly knees - Harry was looking at his family, for the first time in his life."

This kind of killed me inside. It's just so heartwarming and unbelievably sad. Harry's had family for sure but no one who felt like REAL family. And here they all were, smiling and happy he was there.

"Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn't realize that love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign... to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin. Quirrel, full of hatred, greed, and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch you for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good."

A mother's love saved Harry as a little boy and continues to save him today. What a wonderful sentiment that love can save us.

"Nah. Dumbledore gave me the day off yesterday ter fix it. 'Course, he shoulda sacked me instead - anyway, got yeh this..." 
It seemed to be a handsome, leather-covered book. Harry opened it curiously. It was full of wizard photographs. Smiling and waving at him from every page were his mother and father. "Sent owls off ter all yer parents' old school friends, askin' fer photos... knew yeh didn' have any... d'yeh like it?" 
Harry couldn't speak, but Hagrid understood.

Harry's speechlessness... he'd never seen his mother and father other than in the mirror. Now he could always have them encapsulated in moving pictures.

Mrs. Weasley's kindness in her short moments with Harry... I'm sure there is more in the next book but I had to mention that even in the short amount of time they interacted she was kinder to him than any of the Dursley's ever were. She even gave him a sweater and fudge for Christmas. I love that woman.

Thoughts on the Sorcerer's Stone:

I never expected Hermione and Neville. I loved how Hermione instantly was by his side and was originally his friend before she was Ron's and Harry's. 

Neville really got to me like he hasn't ever before! He is bullied relentlessly and always clumsy and forgetful. He really has a tough time in life in Hogwarts and out of it. I found it so interesting in his particular case that the Sorting Hat knew he was brave enough to be Gryffindor material. 

Hermione ended up doing the best on her exams for the first years. That means she did better than the Ravenclaw crowd. It's funny how Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville have other Houses in them Harry has cunning, Ron is very loyal, Hermione has her intelligence, and Neville always seemed like a Hufflepuff kid.

If you've read the books you've read about Peeves. My goodness that guy annoys me to know end. I would be terrified to cross his path. He'd probably throw a bunch of brooms at my head.

I know from reading this series before but I noticed now how much of a children's book this first book is and how much darker it gets later on. The books really grew up with the readers.

What are some of your favorite moments from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone? If you were sorted into a House which would you prefer and which one do you actually think you'll land in?

3 comments:

  1. Oh how I love him and that wonderful world. Thanks. This post was exactly what I needed :-0

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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  2. The books definitely grew up with the readers. It's one of the things that I love about the series, and I always wonder if it would have progressed the way it did if it hadn't taken off and then had become seen as more than just books aimed at 8-12 year olds. This post has me itching to drop everything and re-read this book now! I can't get enough of this world, and meeting these characters at the start of the journey is always wonderful. I love Neville. He is one of my favourites and his character growth is wonderful. :)

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  3. I am a school teacher who has been hearing all about the Harry Potter craze. My students have been so excited about the series , so I thought I had better get reading to see what it is all about. I have just finished the first book , and I have to say that I was captivated throughout. I highly recommend this book to all readers, young and old. I can't wait to read the next book!

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