Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Chapter 9

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Chapter 9

The Midnight Duel

  • Harry has an even worse time with Malfoy than he did with Dudley, but manages to avoid him until their houses are scheduled to take flying lessons together.
  • Harry's worried about looking stupid, but Ron says that they'll find out if Malfoy's really good at Quidditch.
  • Quidditch is a big topic among the students: Malfoy, Seamus Finnigan, and Ron all talk about their flying skills.
  • Neville and Hermione are both nervous about flying, just like Harry.
  • That Thursday, Hermione's telling them all about literary flying advice when the mail arrives. Neville gets a Remembrall, which is a ball that turns red if you've got something to remember, from his grandma. Neville can't remember what the subject of it is though. Malfoy snatches it away, but McGonagall comes by and makes him give it back.
  • That afternoon they're meeting to learn about flying.
  • The students from Gryffindor and Slytherin make two rows, and then their teacher, Madam Hooch, shows. She tells them all to hold their hands over their brooms and call, 'Up!' Everyone tries, but only a couple of people, including Harry, get the hang of it right away, and Neville doesn't at all.
  • She shows them how to mount and tells them to take off. But Neville goes early, can't control it, and falls off from a great height. He has a broken wrist and Madam Hooch takes him to the infirmary. She tells everyone else to wait there and not to fly their brooms.
  • As soon as she's gone, Malfoy makes fun of Neville, and the two houses start arguing. Malfoy produces Neville's Remembrall and taunts Harry with it. Even though Madam Hooch said to not do anything, Malfoy flies off with the Remembrall and Harry chases him.
  • Harry discovers he loves flying.
  • Malfoy throws the Remembrall to get Harry out of the way. Harry dives after it, in a daredevil swoop through the air, and catches it to his and everyone else's surprise.
  • McGonagall shows up right then and seems really mad. She tells Harry to go with her and takes him back inside the castle.
  • Harry gets really freaked out as she takes him all the way through the castle without talking. He worries that he'll be kicked out. He's a little confused when she pauses and pulls a student named Wood out of a classroom.
  • They go into another empty room, which she kicks Peeves out of, and then tells Wood she's discovered a Seeker. Harry isn't sure what's happening but is glad he's not getting kicked out of Hogwarts.
  • Instead of being mad, McGonagall explains to Wood the amazing flying she just saw Harry do. Wood asks Harry if he knows anything about Quidditch.
  • Even though first years aren't usually supposed to get on Quidditch teams, McGonagall wants to make an exception – she's upset by how badly Slytherin kicked their butts last game.
  • She tells Harry to work hard, and says that his father, who was also really good at Quidditch, would've been pleased.
  • At dinner, all the other Gryffindors are really stoked for Harry. It's supposed to be a secret. Fred and George are on the team too, and they think that with Harry's help they'll be able to win the tournament.
  • Malfoy stops by with his sidekicks and makes fun of Harry. Harry insults him back, and they agree to have a wizard's duel at midnight. Ron and Crabbe will be seconds. Harry doesn't even know what he's gotten himself into. Hermione tells them not to go, but they don't listen.
  • That night Harry and Ron stay awake until everyone else is asleep, and at 11:30 they leave the dorm. They're going through the common room when they run into Hermione, who tells them not to go. While she's lecturing them, she accidentally gets locked out of their tower, so she has to follow them.
  • Ron and Harry are fighting with Hermione about not telling Filch anything about why they're out when they run into Neville, who was also locked out of their dorm. He refuses to stay behind, and so they all go looking for Malfoy.
  • They get to the trophy room first and wait there, wondering what's happened to Malfoy. Hearing Filch's voice surprises them; he seems to be looking for them.
  • They're all running away from Filch when Neville bumps into Ron and they knock some armor over loudly. They run even farther and end up in the Charms corridor.
  • Hermione says that Malfoy played a joke on Harry and was never going to show up; it was a plot to get him in trouble with Filch. They all are trying to get back to their dorm when they run into Peeves. Peeves yells super loudly that there are students in the hallways, and they have to make a break for it.
  • They end up against a locked door. Hermione does a magic charm, and opens the door – they run through just in time.
  • Listening through the door, they hear Filch asking Peeves where they went. But Peeves is a joker and won't answer.
  • It's out of the frying pan and into the fire, though, when they realize they've ended up in the one place they weren't supposed to go: the wing that was forbidden by Dumbledore. And they weren't supposed to go in there because in it is a huge monster dog with three heads that has eyes full of death.
  • They make it through the door just in time, and luckily Filch is gone too. They race back to the Gryffindor tower and fall down relieved.
  • They're wondering why something so dangerous was there and Hermione says the dog was guarding a trapdoor. She tells them they're lucky nothing really bad happened and flounces off.
  • As they go to bed, Harry realizes that the dog and trapdoor must be protecting the packet Hagrid picked up from Gringotts.

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