Heaven, Hell, and Harry Potter
JERRY L. WALLS
The book that made Harry Potter famous comes to a climax in a deadly struggle for an extraordinary Stone with remarkable powers. Not only can this astonishing Stone turn any metal into gold, but it can also produce the Elixir of Life that will make the one who drinks it immortal. When the talented young wizard first learns about the amazing Sorcerer’s Stone, his response is the same as one would expect from more ordinary beings: “A stone that makes gold and stops you from ever dying…. Anyone would want it” (SS, p. 220).
As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that one person who wants it very badly is the evil Voldemort. In the climactic chapter, Harry puts his life on the line to prevent Professor Quirrell, who has sold out to Voldemort, from capturing the Stone. Voldemort urges Quirrell to kill Harry, and if Dumbledore had not arrived in time to intervene, he might have succeeded. And the evil Voldemort would have secured the Stone and become immortal.
After this dramatic incident, Harry awakens in a hospital bed with Dumbledore standing over him and he immediately asks about the Stone, thinking Quirrell must have gotten it. He persists in this question until finally Dumbledore assures him that Quirrell did not in fact manage to steal it.
But then Dumbledore drops a bombshell on Harry. The Stone, he says, has been destroyed. Stunned, Harry then asks about Nicholas Flamel, Dumbledore’s 665-year-old friend who