Hey everybody, long time no chat.
Before we get in the review I just wanted to apologize for my lack of posts the past two weeks, but I was off getting married!
Don’t worry though, everything is now back to normal, so expect the usual from here on out!
With that out of the way, let’s get on into the review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition’s chapter seven, shall we?
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It’s Harry’s first day of lessons at Hogwarts.
The chapter begins with Harry leaving the Gryffindor dormitory to whispers from his fellow students. Trying to drowned them out Harry focuses instead on the quirks associated with attending Hogwarts.
It is revealed that there are a hundred and forty-two staircases at Hogwarts, of various sizes, that move and lead to different areas of the castle. There are also doors that wouldn’t open unless asked politely, or tickled in just the right spot, or doors that weren’t doors at all.
Also, the ghosts are explored more. Nearly Headless Nick always lends a helping hand to lost Gryffindors, but Peeves the Poltergeist was another matter. Even worse than Peeves and his constant trickery is Argus Filch, the caretaker of Hogwarts, and his cat Mrs Norris.
Next, Harry walks the reader through a common lesson list expected of first year Hogwarts students including: Herbology, History of Magic, Charms, and transfiguration.
In Professor McGonagall’s first transfiguration class she expects students to make strides in turning a match into a needle, with only Hermione coming close to achieving this feat of magic. The reader is also introduced to Defence Against the Dark Arts, where Professor Quirrell is not seen as a great teacher, and instead smells funny and scatterbrained.
On the last day of the week the first year students are a buzz with their upcoming potions class with Professor Snape. Their musings are quickly interrupted with a mail delivery. Harry’s first piece of mail is directed by Hedwig and is an invitation to visit Hagrid for a cup of tea.
Following the delivery it is time for potions. Held in the dungeon, it is quickly revealed that Snape has it out for Harry, making fun of his so called fame and taking away points from Gryffindor due to the new wizard’s lack of knowledge in regards to magical properties.
Discouraged by the lesson, Harry and Ron decide to go meet Hagrid for tea. They travel to the edge of the grounds of Hogwarts, where Hagrid and his dog, Fang, live in a hut. During the visit, Hagrid attempts to quell Harry’s fear of Snape not liking him.
While discussing the matter Harry notices that the wizard newspaper, The Daily Prophet is reporting on the robbery that has taken place at Gringotts. While the article says that nothing was taken, as the broken-on vault had been emptied, Harry realizes that the what ever the person or persons unknown had been looking for was in the very secretive vault that he and Hagrid had visited during the trip to Diagon Alley.
The chapter concludes with Harry and Ron departing from Hagrid’s hut, with Harry wondering what secrets the gentle giant is hiding from him.
In chapter eight, The Potions Master, two illustrations really stood out for me.
First and foremost, the page dedicated to depicting Professor Snape was particularly stunning. I found it a good choice by Kay to contrast the dark look of Snape the the various coloured potions in the background. Speaking of the potions, if you have the illustrated edition and have a few minutes to spare, take the time out to look at the various objects that lie within the bottles.
The other illustration that I enjoyed was the two page spread of Hagrid’s hut. I really liked the fact that it looked like a pumpkin, adding more whimsy and magic to an illustration that could have been completely forgettable.
I could right up a review on chapter eight without choosing Severus Snape as my favourite character. I found it rather interesting that the filmmakers of the Philosopher’s Stone movie didn’t really change the audiences introduction to this character, and I must stay I still find Snape’s treatment of Harry, particularly in this scene, to be a rather bizarre way for a professor to treat a student. Foreshadowing a bit hey J.K.?
‘Ah, Yes,’ he said softly, ‘Harry Potter. Our new — celebrity.’ – Professor Severus Snape
Who wouldn’t pick this quote as a stand out in this chapter, hmm?
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