CHAPTER 17 – The Man with Two Faces
To Harry’s astonishment, it was Quirrell that awaited him.
Quirrell was happy to work secretly about his scheme whilst Harry suspected
Snape of wishing to steal the stone.
In fact Snape had found out about Quirrell’s betrayal, and had tried to stop him. It had been Quirrell that had caused Harry’s broom to go out of control, and Hermione had got the wrong man. That is why Snape insisted on being the referee at the next match in order to protect Harry. With Quirrell and Harry in the chamber, was the Mirror of Erised, and clearly the whereabouts of the stone had something to do with the mirror. Quirrell went on to explain that Snape had tried to intimidate him in the forest, but he stood no chance because Quirrell had Lord Voldemort on his side.
Quirrell cast a spell over Harry and he was immediately bound tight with
ropes. Quirrell then examined the mirror in order to try and find the stone. Another voice could then be heard, urging Quirrell to use the boy to find the stone.
Harry realized from what Dumbledore had said to him that if he looked in the
mirror, he would be able to see the stone’s hiding place. At the same time, the voice realized this too.
Quirrell released Harry from the ropes and brought him over to face the mirror. Harry looked at the reflection which put its hand in a pocket and pulled out a blood-red stone. Harry immediately felt something drop into his real pocket. He had the stone. Quirrell asked Harry what he could see and he responded that he could see himself shaking hands with Dumbledore and receiving the House Cup. The voice said, “He lies. He lies”. Then the voice spoke to Quirrell that he wanted to see Harry face-to-face. Quirrell unwrapped his turban revealing a horror. On the back of his head was another face – that of Voldemort. He was possessing Quirrell’s body.
In order to intimidate and upset Harry, Voldemort recounted the murder of
Harry’s parents, and that he had killed his father first and that his mother had given up her life protecting him. “Now give me the stone, unless you want her to have died in vain.”
Harry made to escape from the chamber, but Quirrell grabbed him and
immediately Harry felt a sharp pain on his forehead.
Quirrell howled in agony as well. His hands were blistering where he had touched Harry. The voice of Voldemort was encouraging Quirrell to kill Harry, but the more he came into contact with Harry, the more painful it was. Harry realized this was Quirrell’s weakness and he jumped to his feet and clung onto Quirrell for all he was worth. This caused terrible shrieks to come from the writhing Quirrell. Harry fell into blackness.
He awoke in the hospital wing with Albus Dumbledore bending over him.
Dumbledore told him that the stone was saved and has in fact been destroyed.
Dumbledore was proud of Harry’s heroics and had realized on his trip to London that this was a fake, and returned only to meet Hermione’s owl and he arrived just in time to save Harry.
The unfortunate part is that Nicolas Flamel will now die, but he and his
wife have had a very, very long life.
As for Voldemort, he has gone, although he has not been destroyed.
He will now be looking for another body to share. He left Quirrell to die. It is hoped that he has been so weakened that he will never be able to regain his power.
Harry had some questions to ask of Dumbledore, the first being why did
Voldemort want Harry dead, killing his parents in the process?
Dumbledore would not tell him the answer. Perhaps when he is older he will be able to know the truth. Dumbledore went on to confirm that Harry’s mother had died to save her child and Voldemort could not comprehend that this power of love given to Harry by his mother is far more powerful than the dark side. Touching this power caused Quirrell’s body untold pain. Dumbledore was able to tell Harry that it was he that gave him the invisibility cloak and also that Professor Snape had a deep dislike of Harry’s father when they were both at the school together, which was made worse by the fact that Harry’s father had saved Snape’s life. In a perverse way, Snape felt that he could repay this debt by protecting Harry. Dumbledore suspected that Harry would have a major part to play in protecting the stone, and that is why he arranged for its whereabouts to be linked to the mirror. At the climax of the affair he thought that Harry was the only person who would seek the stone in order to protect it rather than use it, so if Voldemort looked in the mirror, all he would see is he receiving the Elixir of Life and having piles of gold.
Harry’s next visitor was Hagrid who blamed himself for the whole escapade,
but Harry reassured him that Voldemort would have found a way to get past Fluffy anyway. Hagrid had a present for Harry who was “a handsome leather-covered book ''. full of wizard photographs of his mother and
father '' smiling and waving at him from every page.” The pair were very emotional.
Harry recovered enough to attend the end of year feast, and it was widely
suspected that Slytherin would win the cup due to the recent penalties suffered by Gryffindor, but Dumbledore had final points to award. Ron received points for the best game of chess played at Hogwarts.
Hermione received points for using cool logic, and Harry received points for outstanding courage. This made Slytherin and Gryffindor equal on points. The last award went to Neville for showing courage by
standing up to enemies and friends alike. There was great jubilation as Gryffindor accepted the house Cup.
Soon after the exam results were issued, all of the gang were successful and
would pass into the second year.
It was now time to leave for the summer holidays and Harry found himself
back on Platform 9 ' at King’s Cross.
The Dursleys were there to meet Harry, much the same, except Dudley looked terrified at the sight of Harry. They were also embarrassed about having to carry an owl in a cage in a station full of normal people.
All pupils had been told not to use magic during the holidays, but Harry had
a mischievous look on his face, because the Dursleys didn’t know this.
He was going to have a fun-packed summer.
Rowling uses a standard technique by introducing a twist to her storyline.
The villain is not the prime candidate Snape, but the stuttering ineffectual
Quirrell. Of course this persona is merely a front, and the real power behind Quirrell is what is concealed under his turban - the face and spirit of Voldemort.
Harry had at one stage felt that Quirrell was the main plank supporting his
defense against Snape and his plan to steal the stone.
Rowling describes well the climax to the story which has increased the
reader’s anticipation as he/she follows Harry through the chambers to meet the final challenge.
As we have long suspected, there is something special about Harry Potter,
and he has an inner strength and defense against the evil of Voldemort. As Rowling says, “To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection for
ever”. It is this invisible shield of love that has protected Harry from the evil spirit of Voldemort.
We learn later that Voldemort has not been destroyed. He has merely
lost his power, and this leaves the door open for further adventures.
The order in which points are awarded by Dumbledore is interesting. It
is Neville who is last on the list of awards, and the Headmaster says, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
Neville receives the just reward for his protective attitude towards Harry.
The scene between Harry and Hagrid in the hospital wing is quite touching,
and poignant. There is not much sentimentality in the book, but this exchange of dialogue shows Rowling’s ability in dealing with this emotive issue.
The book finishes with Harry returning to the real world and the Dursleys’
home, but Harry will now be fully equipped to deal with the situation.
The fact that the story started in the normal world and now finishes there is known as a framing technique, and is a common ploy used in such works of fantasy e.g. ‘Peter Pan’, and ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’, the only difference being that there are many links between the two worlds.