The plot to steal the Philosopher’s Stone took place during the Hogwarts 1991–1992 school year, in one of Voldemort‘s first attempts to gain power. The plot began with the Break-in of Gringotts Wizarding Bank (1991) and ended with the Battle in the Philosopher’s Stone Chambers with just Harry, Voldemort and Quirrell.
After Quirinus Quirrell failed to rob the Stone, his master, Lord Voldemort, possessed him at Hogwarts. While Quirrell was trying desperately to get the Sorcerer’s Stone in the first book, it appeared in Harry’s pocket!
How did this even happen? Here’s what you need to know.
How did the Sorcerer’s Stone end up in Harry’s pocket?
“He saw his reflection, pale and scared looking at first. But a moment later, the reflection smiled at him. It put its hand into its pocket and pulled out a blood-red stone. It winked and put the Stone back in its pocket – and as it did so, Harry felt something heavy drop into his real pocket. Somehow – incredibly – he’d got the Stone.”
“Only after Professor Dumbledore makes key modifications to the mirror (which has been languishing in the Room of Requirement for a century or so before he brings it out and puts it to work) does it become a superb hiding place, and the final test for the impure of heart.”– Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
As far as the magic itself, it’s certainly possible that Dumbledore has used something similar to the Evanesco charm, except mirrored (e.g. to make an object appear rather than disappear).
The stone and the mirror were connected in a sort of magical vortex. Or to put it simply, you can assume that the Stone was put inside the mirror. After passing all the other obstacles, the only way someone could possess the Stone was to stand in front of the mirror. The person would be reflected in the mirror, and the reflection could “take out” the Stone from the mirror.
However, the Stone would not come to anybody. Only the person whose sole objective was to take the Stone, but not use it was worthy to take the Stone from the mirror, which is specified in the book itself.
“Ah, now, I’m glad you asked me that. It was one of my more brilliant ideas, and between you and me, that’s saying something. You see, only one who wanted to find the Stone – find it, but not use it – would be able to get it, otherwise, they would just see themselves making gold or drinking Elixir of Life.”– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
As Dumbledore says in the Half-Blood Prince, very few wizards could have taken the Stone from the mirror. This, unsurprisingly was something Dumbledore considered carefully as we can presume since he knew only Harry Potter would have the degree of self-restraint needed to not take the stone for a selfish reason.
How did Voldemort know that the Sorcerer’s Stone was in Harry’s pocket?
In the film, Quirrell and Harry fought for possession of the stone. Quirrell was defeated by Harry upon physical touch, which resulted in him being burnt.
This then allowed Harry to break the chokehold.
Harry was then able to cut off his access to the Stone and touch him, forcing him back, and then to die – firstly disintegrated and then crumbling to ash and dust at Harry’s feet. This ultimately became Harry’s first kill and victory.
After this, Voldemort then dispossessed of his body immediately and his vengeful disembodied soul lunged at Harry, leaving him unconscious. In the book, however, even though his death was not shown, it is implied by Voldemort in the fourth book that he died rather because Voldemort left his body, as opposed to Harry’s love burning him.
There are several theories out there on how the Sorcerer’s Stone ended up in Harry’s pocket from numerous sources.
Upon sifting through them, here are 4 of the most compelling ones:
#1 A Compromised Mind.
“Those who have mastered Legilimency are able, under certain conditions, to delve into the minds of their victims and to interpret their findings correctly.”
— Severus Snape, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Voldemort could have used Legilimency on Harry. Therefore, he would have been able to read Harry’s mind and know that firstly, Harry was in possession of the stone and secondly, that Harry had chosen to hide the stone in his pocket for safekeeping.
#2 A Bad Liar, an Unconvincing Truth.
“I’m shaking hands with Dumbledore. I’ve won the house cup.” Said Harry to Professor Quirrell.– Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
When commanded by Professor Quirrell to tell him what he saw in the mirror, he told him he saw himself shaking hands with Dumbledore after winning the House Cup when in reality, he saw himself holding the Philosopher’s Stone as Dumbledore bewitched the Mirror to hold it, and could only be retrieved by that person who wanted to find it but not use it, as Harry did.
Harry was standing face to face with Voldemort, the evilest wizard of all time, the man who killed his parents and robbed him of his childhood. If Harry’s greatest wish at that point was to win the House Cup, then something was definitely suspicious in Voldemort’s eye.
The Potters were noble but foolish in their sacrifice, no doubt the little Potter would continue this trend of humble bravery, as he had already come through many obstacles to get to this point alone.
#3 The Mirror revealed the Location
“While Quirrell did not lose his soul, he became completely subjugated by Voldemort, who caused a frightful mutation of Quirrell’s body: now Voldemort looked out of the back of Quirrell’s head and directed his movements, even forcing him to attempt murder. Quirrell tried to put up feeble resistance on occasion, but Voldemort was far too strong for him. Quirrell is, in effect, turned into a temporary Horcrux by Voldemort.”– Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
With Quirrel facing Harry Potter, Voldemort, stuck to the back of Quirrel’s head, was facing the mirror of Erised. In it, he could have seen himself stealing the stone from Harry’s pocket thereby revealing that the stone was no longer in the mirror, but instead, in Harry’s pocket.
#4 The Magical Trace only Power leaves behind.
“Magic always leaves traces,” said Dumbledore, as the boat hit the bank with a gentle bump, “sometimes very distinctive traces. I taught Tom Riddle. I know his style.”– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Voldemort was power hungry and therefore, having exposed himself to the darkest of arts, probably senses the power emanating from the Sorcerer’s Stone. As we all know, all magic leaves a trace, and the more powerful the magic, the stronger its trace is.
We can assume Voldemort just sensed the magnitude of power surrounding Harry Potter.
We conclude, we do not know for sure, how the Sorcerer’s Stone ended up with Harry in his pocket or how Voldemort knew it. However, based on the speculations above, we know, against all odds, the stone was granted to Harry and his victory against Voldemort was what lead to this saga continuing.
If you want to know more about the stone’s properties, here’s the perfect article for you.
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