chapter ten of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry receives a Nimbus 2000 broomstick and learns to play Quidditch with Oliver Wood. Then on Halloween, Ron insults Hermione and she retreats to the girls’ bathroom – and when a troll is let into the school, Harry and Ron track it to the bathroom where the two of them knock it out, saving her life and sealing the trio’s friendship.

Tired but Happy, by salamandersoup

Malfoy couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw that Harry and Ron were still at Hogwarts the next day, looking tired but perfectly cheerful.


Owl Delivery, by NicoPony

Harry was just as interested as everyone else to see what was in this large parcel, and was amazed when the owls soared down and dropped it right in front of him.


Nimbus 2000, by Hala Zabaneh

“Wow,” Ron sighed, as the broomstick rolled onto Harry’s bedspread. Even Harry, who knew nothing about the different brooms, thought it looked wonderful.


Not Cedric Diggory, by Julie Graham

“Right,” said Wood. “Now, Quidditch is easy enough to understand, even if it’s not too easy to play.”


Harry Doing What He Does Best, by Tealin Raintree

A few minutes later, he and Harry were up in the air, Wood throwing the golf balls as hard has he could in every direction for Harry to catch. Harry didn’t miss a single one.


Beginnings, by Lisa Villella

Hermione rolled up the sleeves of her gown, flicked her wand, and said, “Wingardium Leviosa!”


Troll in the Dungeon, by Tealin Raintree

Harry was just helping himself to a baked potato when Professor Quirrell came sprinting into the hall, his turban askew and terror on his face. “Troll – in the dungeons -“


Troll, by Edgar Torné

It was a horrible sight.


Halloween, by Keith James

“Confuse it!” Harry said desperately to Ron, and, seizing a tap, he threw it as hard as he could against the wall.


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.

Trio, Years 1-7, by glockgal


about the chapter


Something You May Not Have Noticed

When Harry meets Oliver Wood to learn about Quidditch it’s already getting dark, so rather than risk losing the Snitch, Oliver has Harry practice with golf balls. Which makes complete sense, except for one thing: where the heck did Oliver Wood get golf balls? After all, he’s a wizarding-born kid who’s never heard of basketball. Perhaps somewhere along the lines, a Muggle-born kid brought a bag of golf balls to Hogwarts for practice, and left them behind for future Seekers. It’s sort of funny, though – golf balls don’t seem extraordinary at all to Harry, but he doesn’t think about the fact that Oliver probably doesn’t know what on earth they would normally be used for.

The Wizarding World

It’s funny how casually Oliver brushes off Harry’s fears of getting killed by a Bludger. These balls are almost a foot across, made of solid iron, and hurtling through the air at high speeds with the sole intention of hitting the Quidditch players! But we’re starting to see that wizards don’t get injured the same way Muggles do – remember that Neville bounced when his uncle dropped him from a second story window, and Hagrid thought it preposterous that James and Lily could have been killed in a car crash. Harry doesn’t seem to have realized this yet, though, which would seem to make the prospect of facing a bludger pretty terrifying.

The Boy Who Lived

When Harry grabs the troll’s neck from behind, he’s described as doing something that is “both very brave and very stupid.” Though these specific words won’t be used again, they are a pretty accurate description for a lot of the decisions Harry makes over the years, and in fact they could be applied to a lot of reckless actions taken by various Gryffindors. It’s lucky for Harry and Ron that they befriend Hermione – who was nearly a Ravenclaw (with those of “a ready mind”) – to balance their impulsiveness.

The Final Word

“I see [Hermione] as someone who does have quite a lot of vulnerability in her personality. Hermione is me, near enough. A caricature of me when I was younger. I wasn’t that clever. But I was that annoying on occasion. Girls are very tolerant of her because she is not an uncommon female type – the little girl who feels plain and hugely compensates by working very hard and wanting to get everything just so.”
[Her name] just seemed to suit her somehow. It’s a name from Shakespeare. It’s in ‘A Winter’s Tale’. Although my Hermione bears very little relation to *that* Hermione, but it just seemed the sort of name that a pair of professional dentists, who liked to prove how clever they were … do you know what I mean … gave their daughter a nice, unusual name that no-one could pronounce! I mean, parents do that! And… in truth, I wanted quite an unusual name for her because I think there are quite a lot of girls like Hermione. I was a girl like Hermione, and it crossed my mind as I was writing that… if I ever was published I didn’t want to give her a common name, you know, just in case somewhere out there, there was a Jane with big front teeth who was really swotty and annoying. Just thought, just thought that might not be a good idea.”
–J.K. Rowling, October 2000 & October 1999

43 Responses to “Halloween”

  1. As a great fan of cannon discussions I love your “about the chapter” part (especially “Something You May Not Have Noticed”). It points to very interesting (or soon to be interesting), remarkable and sometimes odd facts and snippets.

  2. Your work putting this together is amazing! The pictures add a lot to the story. I love the “Something you may not have noticed”. Thank You! I can’t wait for the rest!

  3. These tidbits and snippets of information given are bloody brilliant. They chemistry the pictures create is just amazing. And it wud take an atrocious person not to appreciate all the work and effort put into this website. Thank you so much for creating such a brilliant website I enjoy so much! I’m thrilled to see what comes next!

  4. Thankyou for this amazing website! I love the comments at the end of each chapter they’re so interesting and entertaining, I can’t wait for more!

  5. I really love that last picture–esp. how Harry is in between Ron & Hermione until the seventh square. Funny.

  6. I LOVE glockgal’s picture, it’s one of my favourite fanart pieces ever.

  7. Yes, thank you so much for creating this website, I’m very much glad I stumbled across it. The pictures and in-depth comments are really terrific!

  8. I don’t think James & Lily could have been killed in a car crash for the simple reason that they would never use a car for transportation. James was a pure-blood and both he and Lily would have learned apparition while still in school.

  9. Actually,
    James and Lily wouldn’t die in a car crash because they were wizards. They could cast any number of spells to get them out of that ordeal. You say they would never use a car but Ron and Hermione later both use a car in the epilogue of book 7. Lily was muggleborn same as Hermione, she would have grown up riding in cars and more than likely have talked James into driving for the sheer fun of it. We already know James’ best friend Sirius Black had a motorcycle. I see absolutely no reason that James and Lily would not drive in the car, but I see several hundred reasons they would not die from a crash.

  10. rilian, I disagree – a car crash happens in fractions of a second. The reason James and Lily would survive a car crash can’t possibly be because of spells they would cast – they wouldn’t have time. There might be Shield Charms, etc. on the car, but I think the real reason it’s “preposterous” is the same reason Neville bounced down the road, and Harry survived a fifty-foot fall from a broom – the magic that wizards are able to do unconsciously somehow seems to be protecting them.

  11. It may be that golf being a much older sport then basketball it was known in the Wizarding World? Golf also originated in Scotland as opposed to basketball’s American beginings?

  12. I like the idea that the golf balls have just been hanging around in the broom shed or changing rooms for years, having been left by a previous student. After all, Oliver never actually refers to them as golf balls, so there’s no evidence that he has any idea what they’re for.

  13. I always wondered about the lack of bathrooms at Hogwarts. In fact, it’s apparently “canon” that there are no restroom inside Gryffindor tower. So… what do they do if they wake up in the middle of the night and have to use one? They are not allowed out in the corridors after hours, right? Or do they just cast a spell that keeps them from needing a bathroom until it’s convenient?

  14. I should add, I post this here, because apparently when they say Hermione’s crying in the bathroom, they know right away where to go. (Shouldn’t there be dozens of bathrooms in a school that size?)

  15. I love the picture of Quirrell screaming “Trol in the Dungeon!” I giggle whenever i think about that. Also, upon re-reading this chapter, I’ve realized that if Harry & Ron hadn’t gone into the bathroom and saved Hermione, then she could quite possibly have died and become their generation’s equivalent of Moaning Myrtle.

  16. Where does Harry get is Nimbus 2000? The movie leads you to believe it is professor mcgonagall, but that seems rather inappropriate for a professor to be spending so much money on an item for a student. Maybe she was just so excited to have a new seeker that she chose to ignore the “norm” and get him the broom…

  17. *sigh* I just feel like the silliest girl ever. It’s quite obvious that Mcgonagall is the one that got him the broom. Though I still feel it is quite inappropriate. Ah well! :)

  18. Of course there are bathrooms in the dorms: regular students (i.e. non Prefects or Heads) must shower, brush their teeth and the like, in the morning…

    And teachers will have personal bathrooms annexed to their rooms (classroom office bedroom bathroom) or else they’d have to roam the school in their nightgowns whenever they wake up in the night.

    It is a fact, though, that for all the detail JK puts into food never do we read about someone going to the bathroom for some regular bathroom activity. Harry takes a bath ONCE in 7 years and that was just for the Egg’s sake. And the only mention of someone’s bladder is when Dumbledore talks about the Room of Necessities (which he had just found and hadn’t figured out the use of) at the Yule Ball. We must assume Jo’s just prude that way.

    About Hermione crying in the bathroom… The boys didn’t know it was THAT bathroom: they just started looking in the nearest one to where they were standing and then got distracted by the troll. They realized Hermione was there AFTER they had locked the troll in.

  19. I would like to revisit the whole car crash thing. I still do not think Lily and James would take a car. We know that muggle-borns are often looked down upon as inferior to wizards. It seems that most muggle-borns adapt wizzard ways as much as possible one they find out about their magical ablilities. James would not have driven and Lily has little connection to the muggle world after Hogwarts. Besides, during Voldemot’s rise to power, acting like a muggle may not have been a good idea.

    The Weasley family is more pro-muggle than most wizzards and Mr. Weasley likes muggle things, which explains why he has a car. By the time Ron gets a driver’s license, the wizarding world has changed and is probably much more pro-muggle.

    As far as the bathrooms, I always thought of the bathrooms as where the students washed-up (ie took baths) and the toilets as a separate room or facility. I did not think it cannon that there were no toilets (loos) near the dormatories. For Gryffindor, maybe there is one extra room or floor in each dorm tower?

  20. As to the bathrooms, if the teachers have bathrooms in their office/bedroom/bathroom, why was Dumbledore out at 5 am looking for a bathroom because he had an “extremely full bladder”? Why wouldn’t he just use the one in his room?

  21. Perhaps Dumbledore was strolling the corridors for another reason, when the elderberry wine (or whatever Dumbledore might sip on as he’s working late at night) suddenly caught up with him.
    I will not stop thinking about Dumbledore’s bladder. :P

  22. *Oh god, that sounds so incredibly creepy. And weird. I meant *NOW* I will NOW stop thinking…. haha. Oh DEAR.

  23. Josie – In ‘The Wizarding World’ you have spelt Lily’s name with two ‘Ls’ instead of one. Just thought I would let you know :)

  24. Thanks Natalie – fixed!

  25. i never relised that wood used golf balls :D

  26. I think Hagrid was angered by the “car crash” comment because he saw it as an insult to the way James and Lily died. They died in a noble way, being murdered by Voldemort while trying to protect their son, and a car crash is such a mundane (not to mention muggle-ish) occurrence.

  27. I agree with Laura on that one. It was probably more of the insult that came with it. I also love your observation Kearns. I never noticed except when Neville told the story of when he bounced and I never payed any attention to it after that. Brilliant. Also… with the Car Crash convo… I could see JAMES getting in a car just to see what it’s all about. Actually I can picture he and Sirius in one and causing mass chaos. I think Lily abandoned all muggle things though so this is moot point.

  28. I just love this: “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.”
    Always makes me smile :)

  29. Love the last picture of the three of them.

  30. There’s something that I always smile at in this chapter. Quirrell comes running in saying that there is a troll in the dungeons. Dumbledore tell the students to go back to their dormitories. The Slytherin dormitory is in the dungeons. I can just picture Malfoy’s face on the way back.

  31. I also just realised that, since this chapter takes place on Halloween, the trio was formed on the 10th anniversary of Lily and James’ deaths. Ten years after his parents die Harry has finally found his place in the wizarding world. It’s just heartbreaking that it took him ten years to find friends.

  32. Nice catch there, Amy. Two thumbs up to both of your points. I’d say Malfoy has nothing to worry about, though. By the time Harry and Ron are on the go to save Hermione, the troll is on one of the upper floors already. The latter point you made, though – the trio’s formation on the death anniversary of Harry’s parents – is a nice full circle moment.

    Re: The Wizarding World. I find it ironic when Wood answered “We’ve had a couple of broken jaws, but nothing worse than that”, in response to Harry’s question about the Bludgers. Heaven knows what kind of injuries Harry will sustain over his entire life playing Quidditch… including a cracked skull and a boneless arm, at that!

  33. I’ve just realized something. McGonagall sending Harry his new broomstick over breakfast at the Great Hall is pretty conspicuous, don’t you think? Not when the letter she sent Harry states her desire that none of the other students must know what he just received. Couldn’t she have just devised a not-so-conspicuous means to send Harry his present? Send a house-elf to hand it over to Harry during his free time, for instance.

    And then, there’s the letter, of course. She ought to have sent the letter first to Harry, before sending the broomstick. :)

  34. @May, oh I know he would have been perfectly safe but HE didn’t know that ;)

  35. @Amy: True. :) He must have known not even Crabbe nor Goyle can save him from a troll. :)

  36. Pairing glockgal’s beautiful piece with ‘…and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them’ is my favorite art/quote juxtaposition so far; it’s just so very profound and moving. Really well done, Josie. As Rick from Casablanca would say: “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

  37. Two thoughts.

    The first has to do with golf balls. Golf was ‘invented’ in the 15th century before the statute of secrecy was issued. Therefore it makes sense that it was more generally known among wizards than say…soccer/football which came about at the end of the 19th century.

    My second thought has to do with spontaneous/unconscious magic.
    Harry’s jump to get his arms around the trolls neck has to qualify another example. Imagine a sixth grader jumping high enough to land his upper arms on a 10’ basketball rim…I’d call that extraordinary. I think in the film Harry got up on the troll’s shoulders by means of the club…

  38. If that was JKR’s intention in naming Hermione I think she was slightly in error – after all, girls named Jane with big front teeth who are slightly swotty are probably two a penny, but if you happen to be called Hermione (which, while it’s unusual, IS still used as a name) and have big front teeth and are slightly swotty, there’s no escaping the comparison now.

  39. lots of new theories here..:D if I can’t finish my homework, I’ll blame you guys for being very very creative..;)

  40. More about golfballs

    Let’s not forget that Scotland is uniquely full of children playing golf in public parks, often in the rain, during the holidays, at weekends and after school. Of all kinds of sporting equipment that might be available at Hogwarts, the humble golfball probably leads the list. Ron didn’t know about Dean’s football team etc, but footie isn’t as big in the West Country as golf is in Scotland, and I’d be amazed if no Scottish student has ever brought a few balls along, just in case he’ll have time for his familiar pastime. And then, what could be more natural than for quidditch players to put them to good use rather than use the expensive and dangerous real thing?

    Perhaps broomsticks are a bit like bathrooms. Just because they don’t get mentioned much doesn’t mean they aren’t there. People like Hermione and Neville will need classes in Elementary Flying long after Harry has joined the House team. He just doesn’t think about them when we are aware of his thoughts. Ditto bathrooms. Hermione only mentions that the girls avoid one in particular because of Myrtle when Myrtle is an issue, not bathrooms. Bathrooms are too obvious to mention unless they form part of the action – Myrtle, the troll, and of course Harry and Draco much later.

  41. Ok.. Let’s talk about the fact that Quirrell faints after announcing there’s a troll in the dungeon insinuating that he is incapable of functioning let alone able to help ward off the troll. Yet Quirrell was the was responsible for providing a troll to protect the philosopher’s stone. Did none of the teachers find it odd that he would act so scared after he just recently supplied them with a troll to protect the stone? Even if the other teachers were not told of the other enchantments, Dumbledore surely was aware that Quirrell was well trained in handling trolls and would have no reason to act scared and faint. In fact, on Quirrell’s part, it would have been the worst plan ever to run up to Dumbledore in a panic over a troll.

    Also, the troll is 12 feet tall. At 11 years old, Harry had to have quite the vertical jump to get around its neck. Consider the fact that a basketball hoop is 10 feet tall. I guess Harry could dunk at 11.

  42. @Hahaha I have a feeling that Harry’s jump isn’t so much his mad skills on the basketball court as it is his nerves/adrenaline causing him to perform some sort of accidental magic. In fact, we’ve already seen him, earlier in this book, jumping high enough to reach the school roof when running from Dudley. :)

  43. About the troll and how Slytherins should be scared to go back to their dorms… They wouldn’t know it, but the troll was never in the dungeons, it was just to make all the teachers go to look for him in the dungeons, and for Quirrel to have a free way to get to the stone.

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