The Final Horcrux

The Final Horcrux (
-   The Final Horcrux Articles (
-   -   PS/SS - Chapter 4 - The Keeper of the Keys (

catchthesnitch 13-11-2005 05:34

PS/SS - Chapter 4 - The Keeper of the Keys
The Keeper of the Keys - Chapter 4

Philosopher's Stone/ Sorcerer's Stone

Chapter Four - the Keeper of the Keys



This chapter is the ultimate expositional chapter – at least from Harry’s point of view. Although most of this information is divulged in the first two chapters through Dumbledore and McGonagall, in this chapter, Harry learns the basics from Hagrid: who he is; that the Dursleys knew who he is and didn’t tell him; who his parents are; how his parents died; and who killed his parents. Whats more, Harry learns that he is a wizard, a famous one at that, and that he is going to be studying magic at Hogwarts School.

At the beginning of this chapter, Hagrid makes his “grand entrance” into Harry’s life – literally crashing into the broken down house on the sea rock. Despite this rather threatening entry, Hagrid immediately settles into his usual cordial manner, asking politely for a cup of tea. Hagrid, over Vernon Dursley’s protestations, delivers Harry’s Hogwarts letter to him personally. Harry is confused. Hagrid becomes angry at the Dursleys upon the realization that the Dursleys told Harry nothing of his wizarding background. Realizing he has to start from scratch, Hagrid tells a stunned and unbelieving Harry that he is, in fact, a wizard, and that he has been selected since birth to study magic at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Whats more, Hagrid tells Harry that he is a famous wizard.

Of course, the Dursleys bristle at Hagrid’s entrance into their supposed sanctuary away from the flying letters, owls, and other indications of magic. Petunia Dursley explains her hatred of her sister, Lily (Harry’s mother), and her jealousy over the attention that Lily received upon getting her own Hogwarts letter. Hearing this, Harry becomes angry that the Dursleys knew he was a wizard and did not tell him.

Harry also learns the reality behind his parents, James and Lily’s death. All his life, the Dursleys led Harry to believe that the Potters were killed in a car crash – the same car crash that Harry believed caused the lightning-bolt shaped scar on his forehead. Hagrid recounts the story about how the Potters were murdered by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named; Lord Voldemort on Halloween night, ten years prior.

Hagrid also tells Harry about Voldemort’s power, and that the Dark Lord had killed numerous important wizards. However, for some reason unknown to Hagrid, Voldemort was unable to kill Harry. In fact, something happened that Voldemort “hadn’t counted on.” Because of Harry, Voldemort lost his powers and nearly died. Hagrid further tells Harry that he was the one who took Harry from the Potters house – the wrecked and ruined house – and brought Harry to the Dursleys “on Dumbledore’s orders.”

Despite Harry’s doubts, Hagrid encourages him, telling him that he is the son of James and Lily Potter, two great wizards. Still angry, Vernon Dursley makes the grave mistake of insulting Albus Dumbledore in front of Hagrid. After bellowing out his ire at Dursley’s remarks, Hagrid aims his tattered pink umbrella at Dudley Dursley’s rear end, producing a pink pig’s tail (although Hagrid had intended to turn Dudley completely into a pig!)

At the end of the Chapter, Hagrid sheepishly asks Harry not to tell anyone at Hogwarts about his loss of temper, and his producing a pig’s tail from Dudley’s rear. Hagrid states that he is not permitted to do magic, as he was expelled from Hogwarts. However, despite Harry’s questioning, Hagrid does not explain the reason behind his expulsion

Major Events

1. Entrance of Hagrid on the sea-rock house

2. Introduction to Harry that he looks like his father and has his mother’s eyes.

3. Hagrid gives Harry a birthday cake with green icing on it. This is Harry’s first birthday cake.

4. Hagrid lights a fire in the fireplace and begins to cook sausages, giving some to Harry.

5. Hagrid asks Harry if he knows about Hogwarts, and is surprised to find out that he does not.

6. Hagrid also learns that the Dursleys did not tell Harry that Harry’s parents were a witch and a wizard.

7. Hagrid becomes angry with the Dursleys, and then tells Harry that he is a wizard.

8. Hagrid gives Harry his Hogwarts letter.

9. Hagrid writes a note to Dumbledore telling Dumbledore that Harry received his letter, and sends the note via an owl.

10. Harry learns the word, “Muggle.”

11. Vernon Dursley again tries to stop Harry from going to Hogwarts.

12. Harry realizes that the Dursleys knew he was a wizard.

13. Petunia jealously explains about Lily’s abilities and success at Hogwarts

14. Petunia tells Harry that his parents were “blown up” as opposed to being killed in a car crash, as Harry was told all his life.

15. Harry learns that he is famous.

16. Harry learns about Lord Voldemort

17. Hagrid tells Harry about the Potters relationship to Dumbledore and that they were Head Boy and Girl at Hogwarts

18. Hagrid tells Harry that Voldemort killed the Potters and also tried to kill Harry

19. Hagrid tells Harry about the other wizards, the McKinnons, Bones and Prewetts, whom Voldemort killed.

20. Hagrid tells Harry that he took Harry out of the ruined house and delivered Harry to the Dursleys upon Dumbledore’s orders.

21. Hagrid tells Harry that Voldemort somehow lost his powers the night he tried to kill Harry.

22. Harry doubts Hagrid, and Hagrid reassures him, asking “never made things happen when you were scared or angry?”

23. Hagrid says that Harry’s name has been down for Hogwarts since he was born, and further states, “Seven years there and he won’t know himself.”

24. Vernon insults Dumbledore, calling him a “crackpot old fool.”

25. Hagrid, angry at this insult, aims his umbrella at Dudley’s rear and fixes him up with a pigs tail.

26. Hagrid explains that he is not allowed to use magic because he was expelled from Hogwarts. Even though Harry asks, Hagrid does not explain why.

Points of Note and Interest

Lily’s Eyes

This chapter provides a dearth of information about James and Lily Potter. For starters, this chapter begins the theme engine of Harry having the look of his father, but his mother’s eyes.

This theme will become important down the line. It is repeated numerous times, by Remus Lupin, by Peter Pettigrew, and by Sirius Black. It also becomes important later, in future books when Harry sees (in the pensieve) and learns more about his father. At one point in the story, Harry is somewhat ashamed of the similarities between his father and himself, especially after he sees James’ treatment of Snape in the pensieve in the Order of the Phoenix.

I imagine that in books six and seven, Harry’s having Lily’s eyes will become of paramount importance and although this is somewhat speculative, will be discussed here because this is the chapter, upon reflection, where the entire theme starts.

Harry’s eyes, like Lily’s are a “striking” “emerald” “shining” green color. I know we have a thread on this, but this chapter also continues the introduction of the color green as a thematic element to these books. Lily’s eyes are green, the Hogwarts letter has green ink on it, Harry's memories of the night his parents were killed consists merely of a blinding green light (which he also sees in this chapter as Hagrid tells his tale) and Harry’s birthday cake is decorated in green icing.

Harry's Birthday and Halloween

This chapter also starts a pattern of important things happening on Harry's birthday and Halloween. Discussed further below in general septology clues, but Harry's birthday and Halloween in each of the books hold significance. In this one, Halloween is the day that Harry's parents were murdered. It is also in this book the day that Harry Ron and Hermione become friends through the shared trauma of defeating the troll. In this book, Harry learns he is a wizard on his birthday.

Hagrid and The Dursleys

There is a question about the relationship between Hagrid and the Dursleys here. From Hagrid’s tone, it appears that Hagrid has met the Dursleys sometime before. The following quotes are demonstrative.

“Ah, shut up, Dursley, yeh great prune.”

“Yer great puddin of a son don’ need fattenin’ anymore, Dursley, don’ worry.”

“DURSLEY!” He boomed.

“Ah, go boil your heads, both of yeh.”

The use of “Dursley” in addressing Vernon seems more familiar than not. Also, the way that Hagrid throws insults at the Dursleys, especially those hitting home such as “yeh great prune,” and “puddin of a son” seem to indicate that Hagrid knows or has met the Dursley’s before. These necessarily aren’t insults that one would throw at someone upon first meeting them, before knowing them.

Background of the Potters

Perhaps one of the the most important paragraphs of this chapter is this one:

“Now, yer mum and dad were as good a witch and wizard as I ever knew. Head boy an’ girl at Hogwarts in their day! Supposed the myst’ry is why You-Know-Who never tried to get em on his side before…probably knew they were too close ter Dumbledore ter want anythin’ to do with the Dark Side. Maybe he tought he could persuade ‘em…maybe he just wanted ‘em out of the way.”

We also learn in this chapter that the Potters' house was utterly destroyed.

This paragraph establishes that James and Lily were 1) powerful wizards; 2) successful at Hogwarts; 3) very close to Dumbledore; and 4) stood strong against the dark side. The rest I will save for the speculative thread.

Petunia: Jealousy and Magic Outside School

We have not yet fully seen the reason why Petunia was so hateful and jealous of Lily, but her speech in this chapter sets it out. Petunia explains that her sister, Lily got one of those letters and would return home, turning teacups into rats and with frogspawn in her pocket. Petunia says she was the only one who saw Lily for what she was -- a freak. She also obviously has a great dislike for James Potter, calling him "that Potter." This speech smacks more of jealousy than hatred....but we can save that for future speculation, especially after the Dudley Demented chapter of OOTP...

The other question is if Lily was changing teacups into rats when she came home, wasn't she doing magic outside of school, which is not allowed? Did something change between the Mauraders era and Harry's time to have that rule put in place (and by the way so strongly enforced?)

The Sticky End

This chapter also begins a minor theme throughout the story, echoed by Vernon Dursley, Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, and Bellatrix Lestrange – that of Harry’s parents coming to a “sticky end.” What exactly this means – not sure yet. Sticky to me means being in some sort of trouble deserving of punishment or that the Potters were the ultimate cause of their own death or downfall at Voldemort’s hands. But, again, this is better left to the speculative thread.

The Great Wizarding Families

The McKinnons, Bones, and Prewetts. We see these names mentioned later in Order of the Phoenix as members of the Order. Susan Bones is now a student at Hogwarts, but we don’t know her connection to the Bones. We also know that Susan’s aunt is on the Wizengamot and was one of the judges at Harry’s underage magic (Patronus) trial. As for the Prewetts, I’m not sure where it is but I think I heard that Molly Weasley’s maiden name is Prewett.

With this it also establishes that "no one ever lived after he [LV] decided to kill them...except for Harry."

Hagrid's expulsion

We learn here that Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts -- a fact that will come to importance in the next book. Hagrid does not tell Harry why. Question I have here is why was Hagrid expelled because of Aragog when Harry gets away with so much worse? Dumbledore should have known that Aragog was not the monster, then again, Dumbledore was not the headmaster at Hogwarts then, either.


Here's the start of another common theme during the entirety of the books -- Hagrid's unflinching loyalty toward Dumbledore. "great man, Dumbledore..." The trust and affection between the two set up in Chapter one is taken up a step here with Hagrid's defense of Dumbledore.

In this chapter, we also learn that Dumbledore was the only one Voldemort ever feared, and that it is known outside of the circle of teachers at Hogwarts. I think its mentioned before by McGonagall, but here Hagrid tells this to Harry -- who carries that with him throughout the series -- that Harry is safe as long as Dumbledore's around.


Dudley Dursley – son of Petunia and Vernon Dursley. Same age as Harry. Described as bloned, pink-faced and portly. Harry’s cousin. Hagrid gives him a pigs tail after Vernon insults Albus Dumbledore.

Vernon Dursley – Harry Potter’s uncle. Attempts to refuse to let Harry go to Hogwarts. Insults Albus Dumbledore resulting in Hagrid giving his son, Dudley, a pig’s tail. Petunia Dursley’s husband, Dudley Dursley’s mother.

Petunia Dursley – Harry Potter’s aunt. Sister to Lily Potter -- Harry Potter’s mother. Wife to Vernon Dursley, mother of Dudley Dursley. Petunia explains to Harry that she and Vernon knew about Harry being a wizard. Was highly jealous of her sister, Lily, who received a Hogwarts letter and went to Hogwarts, to the pride of their parents. Lets slip to Harry that his parents were not killed in a car crash.

Rubeus Hagrid – Keeper of the Keys and Gamekeeper at Hogwarts. Once a student at Hogwarts but was expelled for reasons unknown in this chapter. Not permitted to do magic because of his expulsion, but was given special dispensation to do limited magic in order to get Harry his Hogwarts letters. Took Harry as a baby from the ruined house on Dumbledore’s orders to the Dursleys.

Harry Potter – 11 years old. Son of James and Lily Potter. Attacked by Lord Voldemort at age one, and survived, leaving Voldemort powerless. In this chapter, Harry first learns the truth about his parents, their death, and his own nature as a wizard – a famous wizard. Every child in the wizarding world knows his name.

James Potter – Harry Potter’s father. Head Boy at Hogwarts in his seventh year. Married to Lily Potter (maiden name as yet unknown). Killed by Lord Voldemort on Halloween ten years before this chapter. Dursleys told Harry he and Lily died in a car crash. Wizard born. Parents unknown, siblings unknown. Highly respected, according to Hagrid, “as good a witch an’ wizard as I ever knew.”

Lily Potter – Harry Potter’s mother. Head Girl at Hogwarts in her seventh year. Was married to James Potter. Sister to Petunia Dursley. Muggle-born and the only witch in the family. Killed by Lord Voldemort on Halloween ten years before this chapter.

Albus Dumbledore – Headmaster at Hogwarts School. Highly respected by Hagrid, described as the “greatest headmaster Hogwarts ever had.” The only wizard that Voldemort ever feared. Ordered Hagrid to take Harry from the ruins of the Potter house to the Dursleys.

Minerva McGonagall – Deputy Headmistress, signs the Hogwarts Letter

The Bones –three of the best wizarding families of the age who were killed by Voldemort

The McKinnons

The Prewetts

Voldemort – the wizard who killed James and Lily Potter and attempted to kill Harry Potter. Lost his power when the spell to kill Harry Potter backfired. The height of Voldemort’s power was dark days. Per Hagrid, it is a mystery as to why Voldemort did not try to get James and Lily Potter over to his side. Hagrid thought perhaps it was because the Potters were too close to Dumbledore to want anything to do with the dark side. Killed the Bones, McKinnons and the Prewetts.

Alz 13-11-2005 06:04

Re: PS/SS - Chapter 4 - The Keeper of the Keys
The Keeper of the Keys - Chapter 4

Philosopher's Stone/ Sorcerer's Stone

Chapter Four - the Keeper of the Keys


Harry Won’t Know Himself

There are a few possible clues for speculation in this chapter. Toward the end of the chapter, Hagrid tells the Dursleys, “Seven years there [at Hogwarts’] and he [Harry] won’t know himself.” This just seems a strange thing to say. Perhaps it’s a figure of speech, as if to say that Harry would develop just like all of his classmates in an atmosphere where he can use and grow his talents. Perhaps, not.

This could be taken in a number of ways. First, it could mean that Harry could change so dramatically and become such an excellent wizard that he would forget the weakling boy he was while he lived at the Dursleys. Perhaps, the time at Hogwarts would make him powerful and would make him a confident young man.

On another level, it could be a hint that Harry could lose himself completely – join with Voldemort against Dumbledore, and join up to the dark side. Thus far, with the experiences that Harry has had over the past five years, he has changed significantly. One can’t help changing after facing the most evil wizard known, seeing dead parents in a mysterious mirror, becoming instantly famous, learning about unknown family, facing a Hungarian Horntail, merpeople, a giant spider, a Basilisk, and a Sphinx, seeing Voldemort rise, and seeing the death of that unknown family member. I think that Harry has already come to a point where his eleven year old self would not know him now, after five years!

The Temptation of Harry Potter – Clues from His Parents

As with the reflective thread, I indicate the importance of this paragraph in the chapter:

“Now, yer mum and dad were as good a witch and wizard as I ever knew. Head boy an’ girl at Hogwarts in their day! Supposed the myst’ry is why You-Know-Who never tried to get em on his side before…probably knew they were too close ter Dumbledore ter want anythin’ to do with the Dark Side. Maybe he tought he could persuade ‘em…maybe he just wanted ‘em out of the way.”

Looking at this from a speculative point of view there is quite a bit to pick out of this. First, is the mention of the “myst’ry” of why Voldemort did not pursue James and Lily Potter to the dark side. This indicates to me that James and Lily would have been worthy allies for Voldemort, and would have been harsh enemies. It also makes me think that now that Voldemort is back in power, he will make up for what he missed out on with Harry’s parents and make the moves on Harry to bring him over. This could be some serious (not Sirius) foreshadowing of things to come.

This also goes along with my speculation of the parallels between Tom Riddle and Harry Potter, and the growing divergence between Harry and his father, James.

This paragraph also indicates a closeness between the Potters and Dumbledore that is not yet explained.

An Attempt to Take Hogwarts? “Not jus’ then, anyway…”

Another bit of foreshadowing comes in Hagrid’s statement, “Reckon Dumbledore’s the only one You Know Who was afraid of. Didn’t dare try takin’ the school, not jus’ then, anyway.”

This quote begs numerous questions. If Voldemort didn’t take the school, “not jus’ then anyway,” this suggests that there is or will be another time when he will take the school! Did Voldemort at some other time before the Potters’ death attempt to take the school? Will he at some future time attempt to take the school? Will Dumbledore be removed from the school or gone so that Voldemort could take over? Is this foreshadowing for the Chamber of Secrets when Voldemort tries to come back to the school via the diary and Tom Riddle?

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:21.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Harry Potter & all associated names and images remain the property of J.K Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishers UK and AOL Time Warner.All other logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest © 2005 by The Final Horcrux.
You are not permitted to hotlink/hyperlink any images from the site.
Please respect the intellectual rights of The Final Horcrux. You must contact the webmaster/administrator of The Final Horcrux if you wish to take any part of the site and contents for reproduction on another site, forum, or other web presence. Any site that plagiarises The Final Horcrux will be subject to a complaint being registered against them.

Article powered by GARS 2.0.0 ©2005-2006