Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Chapters 8-9.

The Potions Master

Enter Professor Severus Snape.

Apparently, Professor Quirrell was given his turban by an ‘African prince’ for getting rid of a zombie. AFRICA IS A CONTINENT FOR GOD’S SAKE. *Exhale.*

This is the first time we see Snape in his element and I already dislike him. For someone who’s been yearning for the Defence Against the Dark Arts (DADA) post, Snape seems quite happy being a potions master. He calls potion-making a ‘subtle art’ and reduces the other classes to ‘foolish wand-waving’, looks like he’s trying to make himself feel better about missing out on the DADA position, again. For clarification, Professor Quirrell was previously the Hogwarts Muggle Studies teacher.

Snape is a horrible teacher. He picks on Harry, slams down on an eager student (Hermione) and calls poor Neville an idiot – I’m pretty sure teachers aren’t allowed to use that kind of language. To be fair, I did find Hermione a little irritating here. It’s obvious Snape’s talking directly to Harry when quizzing him on things he obviously wouldn’t know, but she insists on throwing her hand up anyway. Still, it’s awful of him to ignore her and then snap at her for raising her hand, that’s not how you encourage students to take part, terrible teaching. I’m surprised he only takes one point from Gryffindor (for cheek) after Harry say he doesn’t know the answer and tells Snape to ask Hermione. The number of points given and taken for stepping out of line seems to get a bit crazier later in the series.

I’m curious about how much Hagrid gets paid considering his job appears to involve going into the Forbidden Forest and putting himself in danger to help the creatures living there.

The Midnight Duel

Parvati, the unsung hero.

During the first Quidditch lesson, Neville (famously) falls off his broom and Madam Hooch rushes him to the hospital wing. Malfoy takes this opportunity to be a little shit and calls Neville a ‘great lump’, he’s immediately told to shut up by Parvati Patil, who is the only person who actually stands up for Neville. Again, we’re seeing body shaming here, Pansy Parkinson says she didn’t think Parvati would like ‘fat little cry babies’, the use of ‘fat’ as an insult doesn’t get challenged by anyone. After this little dialogue happens, Harry gets involved because Malfoy takes Neville’s Remembrall. But it’s clear Harry isn’t getting involved because he wants to stick up for Neville like Parvati did, Harry does it because he hates Malfoy’s guts and has been itching to confront him. Professor McGonagall comes into the scene ticked off at Harry and says he could have broken his neck, again, it’s Parvati who is vocal and says, ‘It wasn’t his fault’.

After the Quidditch lesson fiasco, Malfoy and Harry have another run-in and it leads to the two agreeing on a duel at midnight. It’s obviously Malfoy is tricking them, Harry’s stupid for thinking Malfoy would actually risk his neck by sneaking around the school at midnight for a duel. Note: Neville is with the trio when they try to escape from Filch and end up running into Fluffy. Harry, Ron and Hermione find him curled up outside because he forgot the Gryffindor common room password, then the Fat Lady disappears (chilling with other portraits?), he can’t get back in, so he tags along.