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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone



Harry Potter had green eyes, round eyeglasses and a lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead. He was a lonely boy. He had a hard life: his parents had died in a car crash when he was still a baby, and he lived with his Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia. They didn’t love him: they let him live in a very small room under the stairs, and treated him more like slave than like a family member.

His fat cousin Dudley, the Dursley's real son, bothered Harry all the time.


 
On his 11th birthday, a giant, Hagrid, informed Harry that he was really a wizard, and that he had to go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Harry also learned that, in that world, he was a hero. Hagrid told him that when he was an infant, the evil Lord Voldemort killed his parents and then tried to kill Harry too, but Harry survived, and Voldemort’s powers were destroyed.

  

Harry started school in September. Professor and Assistant Headmistress Minerva McGonagall helped the students to be selected for the house in which they would spend their next seven years of study. In the Great Hall, Harry saw all the teachers, included Severus Snape, professor of Potions. The Headmaster Professor Dumbledore made a welcoming speech. Hogwarts had four houses: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. The enchanted Sorting Hat selected the house into which each child would enter.


  Harry met a boy named Ron Weasley, and before Christmas someone let a very big troll into the school – and Harry and Ron were the ones who discovered it – in a girls' bathroom! Another student, Hermione, was trapped in there with him. She went there to cry after fighting with Ron. Using magic spells, they defeated the huge, stinky creature. After this incident, the three became great friends. At Christmas Harry and Ron remained at Hogwarts. Ron got a sweater and pies from Mrs. Weasley. Harry received a strange gift, the Invisibility Cloak, which completely hides the one who wears it.


  Harry and the other students quickly settled into school life: History of Magic with Professor Binns; Herbology with Professor Sprout; Astronomy with Professor Sinistra; Spells with Professor Flitwick in Charms. Binns was the school's only ghost professor: he died one day while sleeping in the staff room, woke up and didn't even know he was a spirit. The hardest class was with Snape in Potions. The Gryffindor first year students had to attend Snape's course with their Slytherin counterparts. Snape liberally took away house points from Gryffindors and repeatedly laughed at them while the Slytherins had fun too.
  
Harry always had a lot of lessons and homework, and he also practised Quidditch, a sport that combined elements of football, basketball and polo. It was played in the air, with all team members on broomsticks. There were seven players on each team. Three players called Chasers had to score in the three hoops at the end of each field. The Seeker had to look for the fastest ball, the winged Golden Snitch. Two Beaters protected the Chasers and Seeker from the attacking black balls called Bludgers. The Keeper was like a goalie, trying to keep the rival Chasers from scoring. Harry was the youngest Quidditch player in a century.
  During the school year, the three friends had to solve the mystery of the three-headed dog that was the guardian of something in a corridor of the school. They found out that a very valuable object, the Sorcerer’s Stone, was hidden in the school. When one of the professors started acting as if he was trying to steal it, they wanted to stop him.

They went past the terrible dog and down into the undergrounds of the school, to save the stone. Ron and Hermione helped Harry to get through the challenges set forth to stop the thief, but Harry had to go on alone to fight with the professor.





They arrived at a giant chessboard with life-sized pieces. Ron, an expert at wizard's chess, directed a game with the three of them taking the place of other pieces. Ron sacrificed himself to the violent opposing queen. Harry won the game. He and Hermione continued, but Hermione had to stop in the chamber of potions. Harry arrived into the room where the stone was hidden. He didn’t find Snape, but Professor Quirrell! The little prof was not totally what he seemed – the turban he was wearing concealed the real controller of his body: the weakened Voldemort.


Quirrell revealed that he was the one who let the mountain troll into the castle, tried to kill Harry in the Quidditch game, drank unicorn blood to sustain Voldemort, and tried to get the Sorcerer's Stone. Quirrell looked at a magic mirror to see if it revealed where the Sorcerer's Stone was. The stone, hidden in the mirror by Dumbledore, materialized in his pocket. Quirrell began to argue with an unseen person. This second voice wanted to talk to Harry. Quirrell took his turban away and turned around. Harry got a real shock when he saw Voldemort’s face in the back of Quirrell’s head!

 
The Dark Lord told Harry that without a physical body to live in, and unicorn blood to drink, he had no form. Harry had a battle with Voldemort and killed Quirrel.

He saved the Sorcerer’s Stone, but he was almost killed! The school headmaster, Dumbledore, arrived just in time to save Harry.

The school year ended spectacularly. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were honored for their service to the school, and Harry left to go back to the Dursleys for the summer.



Practice reading comprehension:

Questionnaire


1.      Who lived Harry potter with?

2.      How did his relatives behave with him?

3.      What happened on his 11th birthday?

4.      Who was Hagrid?

5.      What was Hogwarts?

6.      What happened when Harry was an infant?

7.      Who were Harry’s first friends at Hogwarts?

8.      What was the cause of their friendship?

9.      What did the three-headed dog do?

10.  What was hidden in the school?

11.  What happened in the last chamber?

12.  Who saved Harry?

13.  How did the school year end?

14.  Describe Harry Potter physically and psychologically.

15.  Describe the school headmaster, Mr. Dumbledore.


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