Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Chapters 1-5.

Hurrah! It’s the first Harry Potter Challenge post. Let me fill you all in on this, just in case you haven’t got a clue what I’m on about.  I re-read the Harry Potter series every year (every single year). And since I haven’t actually reviewed the books on my blog (or elsewhere) before, I thought it would be fun to do chapter-by-chapter reaction posts. There are already so many HP reviews out there and everyone knows I love the series, so reviewing the books the way I normally review things wouldn’t work for me, and it wouldn’t be interesting for anyone else either. So, the Harry Potter Challenge will be me reading ALL of the books and writing up reaction posts like this one, maybe occasionally stirring it up with gif posts or discussion posts about specific chapters. For this week, I’ve decided to combine chapters 1-5 because I had the time to read through them quickly. Ideally, I will be posting one Harry Potter Challenge post a week. Warning: I will not hold back from posting spoilers during this challenge! 

The Boy Who Lived

Harry gets left on the Dursleys’ doorstep because Dumbledore has no chill.

  • I always forget that Mrs Dursley is blonde!
  • Um, who sits with their back to the window in the office? Mr Dursley, that’s who.
  • Why is Mr Dursley allowed to know about the wizarding world before Harry is left on their doorstep? I understand Muggle parents (and siblings) finding out if someone in the family is a witch or wizard, but wouldn’t it be sensible to make the siblings forget or something so they don’t end up telling other people?
  • Mr Dursley going to a bakery for a bun and walking out with a large doughnut is the most relatable thing I’ve ever read.
  • How long can McGonagall stay in cat form?
  • I’m on the part where Dumbledore chooses to use a Put-Outer to turn the lights out instead of his insanely powerful wand.
  • Why is wizard fashion so different? 
  • Dumbledore has a watch that has planets on it instead of numbers. I need this.
  • One-year-old Dudley was kicking his mum up the street and asking for sweets. Who gives a one-year-old sweets?
  • He left a letter. Far too busy to come back in the morning and have a talk over a cuppa. Also, great idea leaving a kid on a doorstep at the end of October. I’m surprised Harry survived that one.
  • Did Harry Potter day actually happen?
  • First mention of Sirius! YAS.
  • I can imagine Dumbledore whipping his knee out to check his tattoo at the Underground.

The Vanishing Glass

Harry casually releases a snake at the zoo.

  • I just noticed how much fat-shaming there is towards Dudley. He’s a little prick but I don’t understand the need to fat shame.
  • Why doesn’t the snake at the zoo bother talking back to Harry when he’s asking it questions? It thanks him later on so why did it go through the whole charades routine before?
  • How does Harry not know he’s a wizard? I swear this kid is stupid.

The Letters from No One

Harry doesn’t get to read his bloody letter.

  • Taylor Swift was definitely inspired by Mr Dursley telling himself to ‘“Shake ’em off … shake ’em off”’.
  • Someone tell me how Mr Dursley managed to get a rifle in the middle of nowhere in the UK?
  • I hope Mr Dursley recycled the letters he didn’t burn. 

Keeper of the Keys

Mr Dursley loses his shit and takes everyone away to a creepy house.

  • For those who have only seen the movies: a) READ THE BOOKS b) When Hagrid found Harry he knew exactly which one he was, Dudley didn’t have to say “I’m not Harry”.
  • Um, Hagrid pulled out a pack of sausages and Mr Dursley told Dudley not to have any, and Hagrid’s response was that he doesn’t need more fattening up anyway. This is after a whole day of living on like a packet of crisps and a banana. So eleven-year-old Dudley is allowed to starve because he’s fat? Wut.
  • Well, of course Harry doesn’t know he’s famous, Hagrid, that was the whole bloody reason behind him being left with his useless excuse of an aunt and uncle.
  • The term ‘Muggle’ gets thrown about like an insult: ‘A great Muggle like you.’ – Hagrid. So, it’s offensive calling a witch child of two Muggles a Mudblood, but it’s okay to speak down to Muggles? Only an insult if it’s aimed at someone with magic, gotcha.
  • LOL at Petunia saying Lily turned the teacups into rats, I think Lily got her transfiguration lessons confused, it’s supposed to be the other way around. 
  • Hagrid says Voldemort never tried to get the Potters on his side before the night of Halloween because they were too close to Dumbledore. I’m going to keep note of that here because I think I remember the prophecy saying the parents had to have had rejected Voldie two or three times (or something like that).
  • Mr Dursley is an actual tool. He just told an eleven-year-old it’s good his parents died because they were weirdos and the world would be better without them. Horrible man.
  • Hagrid just called Dudley a pig, seriously, why?

Diagon Alley

Harry finds out he’s loaded and Malfoy is a tosspot.

  • How did Hagrid fly to the house on the rocks? The bike wouldn’t just vanish, I can’t imagine him on a broom, maybe a Thestral?
  • Silly Harry, doesn’t know that wand shops are practically around the corner on every street in London.
  • I think I would have liked to have learnt more about vampires in the Potterverse.
  • What happens if a wizard loses their Gringotts key?
  • Why was Malfoy’s mother looking at wands without him if the wand chooses the wizard?
  • Malfoy just described Hagrid as a ‘savage’ and said he ‘lives in a hut in the school grounds and every now and then he gets drunk, tries to do magic and ends up setting fire to his bed.’ That’s not okay, but I think Malfoy’s behaviour and treatment towards Hagrid is challenged by the narrative, which doesn’t make Malfoy come out of this looking good. It’s obvious Harry detests Malfoy’s impression of Hagrid.