All they could hear apart from their footsteps used to be the gentle drip of water trickling down the partitions. The passageway sloped downward, and Harry used to be reminded of Gringotts. With an disagreeable jolt of the center, he remembered the dragons mentioned to be guarding vaults in the wizards’ bank. In the event that they met a dragon, a thoroughly-grown dragon — Norbert had been dangerous sufficient…
“are you able to hear whatever?” Ron whispered.
Harry listened. A delicate rustling and clinking gave the look to be coming from up forward.
“Do you consider it’s a ghost?”
“I have no idea… Appears like wings to me.”
“there may be mild ahead — i will be able to see whatever relocating.”
They reached the top of the passageway and saw before them a brilliantly lit chamber, its ceiling arching excessive above them. It was once stuffed with small, jewel-bright birds, fluttering and tumbling throughout the room. On the reverse part of the chamber used to be a heavy wooden door.
“Do you suppose they are going to attack us if we go the room?” mentioned Ron.
“usually,” said Harry. “they do not appear very vicious, but I believe if all of them swooped down without delay… Well, there isn’t a other choice… I will run.”
He took a deep breath, covered his face along with his palms, and sprinted across the room. He anticipated to think sharp beaks and claws tearing at him any second, however nothing happened. He reached the door untouched. He pulled the control, but it surely used to be locked.
The other two adopted him. They tugged and heaved on the door, but it surely would not budge, no longer even when Hermione tried her Alohomora attraction.
“Now what?” mentioned Ron.
“These birds… They can’t be right here only for decoration,” stated Hermione.
They watched the birds hovering overhead, glittering — glittering? “they may be no longer birds!” Harry said out of the blue. “they’re keys! Winged keys — look cautiously. So that need to mean…” he seemed around the chamber whilst the opposite two squinted up at the flock of keys. “… Yes — look! Broomsticks! We’ve got bought to seize the important thing to the door!”
“however there are 1000’s of them!”
Ron examined the lock on the door.
“We’re looking for a massive, historical-fashioned one — often silver, like the manage.”
They each and every seized a broomstick and kicked off into the air, hovering into the midst of the cloud of keys. They grabbed and snatched, however the bewitched keys darted and dived so swiftly it was practically not possible to capture one.
No longer for nothing, although, was Harry the youngest Seeker in a century. He had a knack for spotting matters other men and women did not. After a minute’s weaving about via the whirl of rainbow feathers, he noticed a tremendous silver key that had a unethical wing, as if it had already been caught and stuffed roughly into the keyhole.
“That one!” he known as to the others. “That massive one — there — no, there — with vivid blue wings — the feathers are all crumpled on one side.”
Ron went dashing in the path that Harry was once pointing, crashed into the ceiling, and practically fell off his broom.
“we have acquired to shut in on it!” Harry known as, now not taking his eyes off the key with the damaged wing. “Ron, you come at it from above — Hermione, keep below and stop it from taking place and i will try to seize it. Proper, NOW!”
Ron dived, Hermione rocketed upward, the important thing dodged them both, and Harry streaked after it; it sped towards the wall, Harry leaned forward and with a nasty, crunching noise, pinned it in opposition to the stone with one hand. Ron and Hermione’s cheers echoed across the high chamber.
They landed quickly, and Harry ran to the door, the key struggling in his hand. He rammed it into the lock and turned — it labored. The second the lock had clicked open, the key took flight once more, watching very battered now that it had been caught twice.
“in a position?” Harry asked the opposite two, his hand on the door control. They nodded. He pulled the door open.
The next chamber was once so dark they couldn’t see anything in any respect. However as they stepped into it, gentle instantly flooded the room to reveal an staggering sight.
They have been standing on the brink of a giant chessboard, behind the black chessmen, that have been all taller than they were and carved from what seemed like black stone. Going through them, way throughout the chamber, were the white pieces. Harry, Ron and Hermione shivered rather — the towering white chessmen had no faces.
“Now what can we do?” Harry whispered.
“it can be apparent, is not it?” said Ron. “we have now bought to play our approach across the room.”
at the back of the white portions they could see an extra door.
“How?” mentioned Hermione nervously.
“I think,” said Ron, “we’re going to must be chessmen.”
He walked as much as a black knight and put his hand out to contact the knight’s horse. At once, the stone sprang to life. The horse pawed the ground and the knight turned his helmeted head to look down at Ron.
“will we — er — have got to join you to get throughout?” The black knight nodded. Ron grew to become to the other two.
“This wishes eager about he said. I think we’ve got acquired to take the situation of three of the black pieces….”
Harry and Hermione stayed quiet, staring at Ron suppose. Finally he stated, “Now, don’t be offended or anything, but neither of you might be that just right at chess –”
“We’re now not offended,” stated Harry speedily. “simply inform us what to do.”
“good, Harry, you take the situation of that bishop, and Hermione, YOU ninety subsequent to him as a substitute of that fort.”
“What about you?”
“i will be a knight,” stated Ron.
The chessmen looked as if it would have been listening, when you consider that at these words a knight, a bishop, and a castle turned their backs on the white portions and walked off the board, leaving three empty squares that Harry, Ron, and Hermione took.
“White at all times performs first in chess,” stated Ron, peering throughout the board.
A white pawn had moved ahead two squares.
Ron started to direct the black portions. They moved silently anywhere he sent them. Harry’s knees had been trembling. What in the event that they lost? “Harry — transfer diagonally 4 squares to the right.”
Their first real shock got here when their other knight was taken. The white queen smashed him to the floor and dragged him off the board, the place he lay quite still, facedown.
“had to let that happen,” mentioned Ron, looking shaken. “Leaves you free to take that bishop, Hermione, go on.”
each time one among their guys was lost, the white portions confirmed no mercy.
Quickly there was a huddle of limp black players slumped along the wall.
Twice, Ron handiest simply observed in time that Harry and Hermione have been in hazard. He himself darted around the board, taking practically as many white portions as they had lost black ones.
“We’re nearly there,” he muttered out of the blue. “Let me think let me consider…”
The white queen grew to become her clean face toward him.
“sure…” stated Ron softly, “it’s the one way… I’ve got to be taken.”
“NOF Harry and Hermione shouted.
“that’s chess!” snapped Ron. “you’ve acquired to make some sacrifices! I take one step forward and she’ll take me — that leaves you free to checkmate the king, Harry!”
“Do you want to discontinue Snape or not?”
“seem, if you don’t hurry up, he’ll already have the Stone!”
There used to be no alternative.
“capable?” Ron called, his face pale but determined. “right here i go – now, don’t grasp around once you may have received.”
He stepped ahead, and the white queen pounced. She struck Ron rough throughout the head with her stone arm, and he crashed to the ground – Hermione screamed but stayed on her square – the white queen dragged Ron to 1 facet. He regarded as if he’d been knocked out.
Shaking, Harry moved three spaces to the left.
The white king took off his crown and threw it at Harry’s toes. They had gained. The chessmen parted and bowed, leaving the door ahead clear. With one last determined seem again at Ron, Harry and Hermione charged via the door and up the next passageway.
“What if he’s –?”
“He’ll be all correct,” stated Harry, trying to persuade himself. “What do you reckon’s subsequent?”
“now we have had Sprout’s, that was once the satan’s Snare; Flitwick need to’ve put charms on the keys; McGonagall transfigured the chessmen to make them alive; that leaves Quirrell’s spell, and Snape’s.”
they’d reached one more door.
“All proper?” Harry whispered.
Harry pushed it open.
A disgusting smell filled their nostrils, making each of them pull their robes up over their noses. Eyes watering, they noticed, flat on the ground in front of them, a troll even larger than the one they had tackled, out cold with a bloody lump on its head.
“i am comfortable we didn’t must battle that one,” Harry whispered as they stepped cautiously over one in all its gigantic legs. “Come on, I cannot breathe.”
He pulled open the subsequent door, both of them hardly daring to appear at what came subsequent – however there used to be nothing very frightening in right here, only a desk with seven differently shaped bottles standing on it in a line.
“Snape’s,” mentioned Harry. “What do we need to do?”
They stepped over the edge, and right away a fire sprang up in the back of them in the doorway. It wasn’t normal fire either; it used to be crimson. On the same on the spot, black flames shot up in the doorway leading onward.
They were trapped.
“appear!” Hermione seized a roll of paper lying next to the bottles. Harry seemed over her shoulder to learn it: danger lies earlier than you, whilst safety lies at the back of, Two of us will aid you, which ever you may in finding, one in every of us seven will permit you to transfer forward, a further will transport the drinker back alternatively, Two amongst our quantity maintain simplest nettle wine, Three of us are killers, waiting bidden in line.
Select, except you desire to stay here forevermore, To support you for your option, we give you these clues four: First, however slyly the poison tries to cover you’re going to perpetually in finding some on nettle wine’s left aspect; 2nd, exceptional are those who stand at both finish, but for those who would transfer onward, neither is your pal; 1/3, as you see certainly, all are one-of-a-kind size, Neither dwarf nor large holds demise in their insides; Fourth, the 2d left and the second on the correct Are twins whenever you style them, although distinct to start with sight.
Hermione let out a great sigh and Harry, amazed, noticed that she used to be smiling, the very last factor he felt like doing.
“awesome,” mentioned Hermione. “This isn’t magic — it can be common sense — a puzzle.
A variety of the finest wizards have not bought an ounce of good judgment, they’d be stuck in here eternally.”
“but so will we, won’t we?” “Of course now not,” mentioned Hermione. “the whole thing we’d like is here on this paper. Seven bottles: three are poison; two are wine; one will get us safely by means of the black hearth, and one will get us back by means of the pink.”
“but how do we all know which to drink?”
“give me a minute.”
Hermione learn the paper several occasions. Then she walked up and down the line of bottles, muttering to herself and pointing at them. At last, she clapped her hands.
“obtained it,” she mentioned. “The smallest bottle will get us by way of the black hearth — towards the Stone.”
Harry regarded on the tiny bottle.
“there is most effective ample there for considered one of us,” he stated. “that’s hardly ever one swallow.”
They checked out each other.
“Which one will get you again through the pink flames?”
Hermione pointed at a rounded bottle at the correct finish of the line.
“You drink that,” said Harry. “No, pay attention, get again and get Ron. Clutch brooms from the flying- key room, they are going to get you out of the trapdoor and past Fluffy — go straight to the owlery and ship Hedwig to Dumbledore, we’d like him. I perhaps able to preserve Snape off for a whilst, however i’m no in shape for him, relatively.”
“but Harry — what for those who-comprehend-Who’s with him?”
“well — I was once lucky as soon as, wasn’t I?” said Harry, pointing at his scar.
“I would get fortunate once more.”
Hermione’s lip trembled, and she abruptly dashed at Harry and threw her arms around him.
“Harry — you’re a great wizard, .”
“i am not as good as you,” stated Harry, very embarrassed, as she let go of him.
“Me!” stated Hermione. “Book (harry potter and the philosopher’s stone audiobook online) ! And cleverness! There are more important matters — friendship and bravery and — oh Harry — be careful!”
“You drink first,” stated Harry. “you might be certain which is which, aren’t you?”
“constructive,” said Hermione. She took a long drink from the round bottle at the end, and shuddered.
“it is now not poison?” said Harry anxiously.
“No — but it surely’s like ice.”
“quick, go, before it wears off.”
“good success — take care.”
Hermione grew to become and walked straight by means of the crimson fireplace.
Harry took a deep breath and picked up the smallest bottle. He grew to become to face the black flames.
“right here I come,” he said, and he drained the little bottle in one gulp.
It was certainly as if ice was once flooding his body. He put the bottle down and walked forward; he braced himself, noticed the black flames licking his physique, however couldn’t suppose them — for a second he could see nothing however dark fireplace — then he was once on the opposite facet, in the final chamber.
There used to be already any one there — nevertheless it wasn’t Snape. It wasn’t even Voldemort.
the person WITH TWO FACES It was once Quirrell.
“You!” gasped Harry.
Quirrell smiled. His face wasn’t twitching at all.
“Me,” he stated frivolously. “I questioned whether or not i would be assembly you right here, Potter.”
“however I inspiration — Snape –”
“Severus?” Quirrell laughed, and it wasn’t his common quivering treble, either, but bloodless and sharp. “sure, Severus does appear the variety, doesn’t he? So useful to have him swooping round like an overgrown bat. Next to him, who would suspect p-p-negative, st-stuttering P-Professor Quirrell?”
Harry couldn’t take it in. This could not be genuine, it couldn’t.
“however Snape tried to kill me!”
“No, no, no. I tried to kill you. Your friend miss Granger unintentionally knocked me over as she rushed to set hearth to Snape at that Quidditch fit. She broke my eye contact with you. A different few seconds and i would have got you off that broom. I’d have managed it earlier than then if Snape hadn’t been muttering a countercurse, trying to save you.”
“Snape used to be trying to shop me?”
“Of course,” said Quirrell coolly. “Why do you believe he wanted to referee your subsequent in shape? He was seeking to make sure I did not do it again. Funny, rather… He needn’t have bothered. I could not do some thing with Dumbledore gazing. All the different teachers notion Snape used to be looking to discontinue Gryffindor from successful, he did make himself unpopular…
And what a waste of time, when in any case that, i’m going to kill you tonight.”
Quirrell snapped his fingers. Ropes sprang out of skinny air and wrapped themselves tightly round Harry.
“you are too nosy to are living, Potter. Scurrying around the tuition on Halloween like that, for all I knew you would visible me coming to appear at what was once guarding the Stone.”
“You let the troll in?”
“most likely. I’ve a specific reward with trolls — you have got to have visible what I did to the one in the chamber again there? Lamentably, while everybody else used to be going for walks around watching for it, Snape, who already suspected me, went straight to the 0.33 floor to go me off — and no longer only did my troll fail to beat you to dying, that three-headed canine didn’t even control to chunk Snape’s leg off competently.
“Now, wait quietly, Potter. I ought to compare this exciting reflect.
It was once only then that Harry realized what was once standing in the back of Quirrell.
It was the mirror of Erised.
“This reflect is the important thing to finding the Stone,” Quirrell murmured, tapping his manner across the frame. “trust Dumbledore to give you whatever like this… But he is in London… I will be a long way away by the point he will get back….”
All Harry might believe of doing used to be to keep Quirrell speakme and stop him from targeting the mirror.
“I noticed you and Snape in the wooded area –” he blurted out.
“yes,” said Quirrell idly, running across the reflect to look on the back. “He was on to me by way of that time, looking to discover how a long way i would bought.
He suspected me all alongside. Tried to frighten me – as though he could, after I had Lord Voldemort on my facet….”
Quirrell got here back out from in the back of the mirror and stared hungrily into it.
“I see the Stone… I am imparting it to my grasp… But where is it?”