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review 2016-07-14 21:00
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone - Chapter 4: The Keeper of the Keys

           Previous posts

Chapter 1: The boy who lived

Chapter 2: The vanishing glass

Chapter 3: The letters from no one

Hello everyone! Back to the magical land of Harry Potter. When we left off, there was an knock (more like a bang!) on the door.

Chapter 4

The Keeper of the Keys


Do you mean ter tell me,” he growled at the Dursleys, “that this boy — this boy! — knows nothin’ abou’— about ANYTHING?”
Harry thought this was going a bit far. He had been to school, after all, and his marks weren’t bad.
“I know some things,” he said. “I can, you know, do math and stuff.”
But Hagrid simply waved his hand and said, “About our world, I mean. Your world. My world. Yer parents’ world.”
“What world?




The door smashes. "A giant of a man was standing in the doorway".

Artwork by Keith Johnson

Image from the illustrated edition of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"
© Jim Kay

That's Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.

Yeh’ll know all about Hogwarts, o’ course.

"Er- no" Harry replies, mirroring our response.

Then Hagrid delivers hp icon pic #2:

And finally Harry gets to read his letter:

And the another revelation comes up:

The Dursleys knew all along about Harry. They lied about his parents' death, something that upsets Hagrid greatly. Harry ended up with his aunt and uncle because a dark wizard targeted his family but couldn't kill him. This is why he is so famous. "The Boy who Lived".

All that Vernon has to say is that he is not "paying for some crackpot old fool to teach [Hary] magic tricks"

This is the last drop: Hagrid is furious. In retaliation he gives Dudley a pig's tail, when his attempt to turn him into a pig fails, as he "was so much like a pig already, that there was not much left to do".


Additional Comments


⚡️ When Hagrid explains how it was when Voldermort was at the height of his power, the Dursleys are present. It only shows how awful Petunia really is when she doesn't express a single emotion during all this. She was so jealous of her sister. What a b****. Hagrid teared up. We got nothing from her though. She didn't even defend her sister when Vernon insults them, commenting that they "asked for all they got, mixed up with these wizarding types.."

⚡️ Harry's questions are spot on: What happened to Lord Voldermort? What indeed. This key question will be answered on the last book of the series. Why was Hagrid expelled? He isn't rude. He wasn't simply allowed to ask questions before. Throughout the series, especially in the first books, Harry asks a lot of questions.

⚡️ Hagrid's backstory

Hagrid was born on 6 December, 1928 to Mr Hagrid, a wizard, and Fridwulfa, a giantess, and grew up in the West Country of England, near the Forest of Dean, where he acquired his distinctive accent.[scr][src] When Hagrid was about three, his mother returned to her Giant colony, leaving his father to raise him alone. Hagrid said he had very few memories of his mother from his childhood, but remembered his father fondly; as a half-giant, he overtook his father in size by the age of six, and amused the "tiny" wizard by picking him up and setting him on top of a dresser when Hagrid was annoyed with him. Later, when talking to Harry, Ron, and Hermione about the death of his mother, Hagrid admitted that she was not a great mother at all.[src]


I love Hagrid. But what I like more is his relationship with Harry. From the first moment we are introduced to this character we like him: he talks back to the awful Dursleys and he is the bearer of amazing news. True, he has some peculiar monster affections, but he has a heart made of gold.

I would have been devastated if he didn't make it in the end.

(spoiler show)


Fun facts


(⊃。•́‿•̀。)⊃━☆゚.*・。゚ You are a Muggle!

Muggle is derived from the word "mug," which refers to a gullible person. J. K. Rowling has commented that she added a syllable to soften the word, which she wanted to suggest "both foolishness and lovability."[15] In the Brazilian translation of the series the term "muggle" was adapted to "trouxa", which literally means "fool", albeit not necessarily lovable at all. Wizards define themselves in contrast to muggle, since the words "wizard" and "wisdom" have a common etymological origin [2]

(⊃。•́‿•̀。)⊃━☆゚.*・。゚ Gallopin whaaat?

Hagrid uses the phrase: "Gallopin' Gorgons!" when he is reminded to send a letter to Dumbledore. As the series progresses, characters use the phrase "Merlin's Beard" or "Galloping Gargoyles".

The Gorgon is a creature from Greek mythology, it's a monstrous feminine creature whose appearance would turn anyone who laid eyes upon it to stone...The Gorgons are monstrous creatures covered with impenetrable scales, with hair of living snakes, hands made of brass, sharp fangs and a beard. They live in the ultimate west, near the ocean, and guard the entrance to the underworld.(src) The phrase was invented by Rowling to sound appropriately magical.

(⊃。•́‿•̀。)⊃━☆゚.*・。゚ This is pronounced how?

Hagrid can't spell You-Know-Who's name. Rowling pronounces Voldemort with a silent 't' at the end--VOL-duh-more.[src] This may be to the fact that the French word mort, meaning death, has a silent T.

Just about everyone else, including the cast of the films, says VOL-duh-mort. Jim Dale pronounced it Rowling's way until the recording of the fifth book, when he inexplicably changed to the incorrect pronunciation.

(⊃。•́‿•̀。)⊃━☆゚.*・。゚ Family Trivia

The Prewetts are Molly Weasley's brothers, Fabian and Gideon.


Things you might not notice on your first read



"Yeh look a lot like yet dad, but yeh've got yet mom's eyes."

This is one of the many mentions of Harry's eyes and how much they resemble his mother's.


Hagrid sends word to Dumbledore using an owl. Harry was dumbstruck.


This is the first time Harry hears of Dumbledore.


When Hagrid explains to Harry, why he lost his parents, he doesn't say why. He doesn't know. This brings us to the conclusion that Dumbledore didn't bother sharing Trelawny's prediction with him. (click the spoiler tag to see what secret Hagrid could have shared with Harry had he known)

(spoiler show)


Families like the McKinnons, the Bones, the Prewetts are mentioned. We later find out that they were members of the Order of the Phoenix. These families have surviving relatives that are introduced when Harry attends Hogwarts.


Hagrid was expelled. Why? We learn on the next book.


Hagrid's pink umbrella probably contains the pieces of his broken wand. We suspect Dumbledore is behind this, especially knowing the incredible powers of the Elder wand.


☆*:・゚ Closing Lines

It's not everyday yer young man turns eleven, now, is it?

Oh and what a birthday present that was...

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré

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review 2016-07-10 22:34
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone - Chapter 3: The Letters From No One


The hp chapter by chapter reviews are back after a roughly three month hiatus..lol! Fear not. I will post these twice every week: on sundays (starting today) and thursdays (because it's my fav day of the week).

In case you missed them:

Chapter 1: The boy who lived

Chapter 2: The vanishing glass


Chapter 3

The letters from no one


Three things lay on the doormat: a postcard from Uncle Vernon’s sister Marge, who was vacationing on the Isle of Wight, a brown envelope that looked like a bill, and – a letter for Harry.




Summer is here and Harry is trying to stay out of his nasty cousin's way. Thankfully, they are going to separate schools the following year: Dudley into a private one and Harry (no surprise there) to the local public school. Then one day, a letter comes addressed to Harry:

Who could write to him?

Unfortunately, Harry doesn't get to open it - his uncle snatches it.

The next day, the same letter comes again. Harry is so eager to open the letter, whoever is writing them must have something important to tell him to send him so many letters.

Finally his uncle snaps and moves the family far away where the mailman (and any wizard for that matter) cannot find them.

Unfortunately, the Dursleys are in for a treat...


Additional Comments


⚡️ Anyone who has seen the film remembers this:

Iconic hp pic #1 (We'll get to the other ones in due time!)


⚡️ I hate how much Harry is mistreated at his relatives' hands. Fortunately, things are about to change..!! Change no.1: Harry gets his own room! True it's Dudley's room but still it's better than that cupboard...


Things you might not notice on your first read



Harry stays over at Mrs. Figg's place, when his aunt takes Dudley to buy him a new school uniform. We don't know it at the time, but we are introduced to the first squib of the series. She knows more about Harry than he knows about himself. We'll find out who Arabella Figg really is on book 5.


It's really interesting that someone knows that Harry isn't getting his letters. This is one of the moment where magic in the series is pretty ambiguous: how does it actually work? How Dumbledore knows that Harry hasn't opened any of his letters? Are some people more magical than others?


We learn later on the series that wizards from muggle households, have someone visit them and explain to the parents their children's peculiarity. In Harry's case, everything was explained supposedly on the letter that came with the baby that dreadful night when Harry was dropped to his relatives' doorstep. Petunia must have known that Harry was a wizard, the letters from Hogwarts must hardly be a surprise for her...


*:・゚✧Closing Lines

BOOM.[..] Someone was outside, knocking to come in.


Guess who???

I love it that Hagrid is introduced with a bang!!

Oh and also: Where is my letter?

Rowling's response:

We all did dear Joan. We truly all did...

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré

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review 2016-04-17 14:00
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone - Chapter 2: The Vanishing Glass


I am very behind on these posts..I think I'll just write a few and schedule them to appear once every week.

Here is chapter 1 in case you missed it!

Chapter 2

The Vanishing Glass


Only the photographs on the mantelpiece really showed how much time had passed. [..]The room held no sign at all that another boy lived in the house, too. Yet Harry Potter was still there..

Image from the illustrated edition of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"
© Jim Kay




The second chapter of the book fast forwards us ten years. Harry is living a miserable life at the Dursleys'. There he is treated horribly, forced to live at the cupboard under the stairs and to wear Dudley's old clothes. While his aunt and uncle shower his cousin with gifts and affection, they put Harry on the corner and blame him for his peculiarity. Because sometimes weird things happen when Harry is around. Like that time when his hair grew overnight or when he was magically transported on the roof of his school.. Harry has no idea how this happened and how on earth could it be his fault.  Never ask questions. That's the most frequent answer he gets when he wonders about these incidents, his parents or anything about his past. All they ever told him was that his parents died in a car crash and that's how he ended up with them.

So, the events on this chapter concern Dudley's 11th birthday. Harry is reluctantly brought along on the Dursleys' day out: they all go to the zoo together. They visit the reptile room, where they see a Boa Constrictor. Harry takes a pity on the snake, as he too feels trapped in his own life. Then, 

The snake suddenly opened its beady eyes. Slowly, very slowly, it raised its head until its eyes were on a level with Harry's…

 The glass disappears and the snake gets away causing a commotion. Harry gets a detention when his uncle hears of his little talk witht the snake...


Additional Information


⚡️ Petunia's past (from J.K Rowling)

"Harry's aunt and uncle met at work. Petunia Evans, forever embittered by the fact that her parents seemed to value her witch sister more than they valued her, left Cokeworth forever to pursue a typing course in London. This led to an office job, where she met the extremely unmagical, opinionated and materialistic Vernon Dursley. Large and neckless, this junior executive seemed a model of manliness to young Petunia. He not only returned her romantic interest, but was deliciously normal. He had a perfectly correct car, and wanted to do completely ordinary things, and by the time he had taken her on a series of dull dates, during which he talked mainly about himself and his predictable ideas on the world, Petunia was dreaming of the moment when he would place a ring on her finger.

When, in due course, Vernon Dursley proposed marriage, very correctly, on one knee in his mother's sitting room, Petunia accepted at once. The one fly in her delicious ointment was the fear of what her new fiancé would make of her sister, who was now in her final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Vernon was apt to despise even people who wore brown shoes with black suits; what he would make of a young woman who spent most of her time wearing long robes and casting spells, Petunia could hardly bear to think.

She confessed the truth during a tear-stained date, in Vernon's dark car as they sat overlooking the chip shop where Vernon had just bought them a post-cinema snack. Vernon, as Petunia had expected, was deeply shocked; however, he told Petunia solemnly that he would never hold it against her that she had a freak for a sister, and Petunia threw herself upon him in such violent gratitude that he dropped his battered sausage.

The first meeting between Lily, her boyfriend James Potter, and the engaged couple, went badly, and the relationship nose-dived from there. James was amused by Vernon, and made the mistake of showing it. Vernon tried to patronise James, asking what car he drove. James described his racing broom. Vernon supposed out loud that wizards had to live on unemployment benefit. James explained about Gringotts, and the fortune his parents had saved there, in solid gold. Vernon could not tell whether he was being made fun of or not, and grew angry. The evening ended with Vernon and Petunia storming out of the restaurant, while Lily burst into tears and James (a little ashamed of himself) promised to make things up with Vernon at the earliest opportunity.

This never happened. Petunia did not want Lily as a bridesmaid, because she was tired of being overshadowed; Lily was hurt. Vernon refused to speak to James at the reception, but described him, within James' earshot, as 'some kind of amateur magician'. Once married, Petunia grew ever more like Vernon. She loved their neat square house at number four, Privet Drive. She was secure, now, from objects that behaved strangely, from teapots that suddenly piped tunes as she passed, or long conversations about things she did not understand, with names like 'Quidditch' and 'Transfiguration'. She and Vernon chose not to attend Lily and James' wedding. The very last piece of correspondence she received from Lily and James was the announcement of Harry's birth, and after one contemptuous look, Petunia threw it in the bin."


Fun facts


(⊃。•́‿•̀。)⊃━☆゚.*・。゚ Vernon and Petunia - the naming game

"Vernon and Petunia were so-called from their creation, and never went through a number of trial names, as so many other characters did. ‘Vernon’ is simply a name I never much cared for. ‘Petunia’ is the name that I always gave unpleasant female characters in games of make believe I played with my sister, Di, when we were very young. Where I got it, I was never sure, until recently a friend of mine played me a series of public information films that were shown on television when we were young (he collects such things and puts them on his laptop to enjoy at leisure). One of them was an animation in which a married couple sat on a cliff enjoying a picnic and watching a man drowning in the sea below (the thrust of the film was, don’t wave back - call the lifeguard). The husband called his wife Petunia, and I suddenly wondered whether that wasn’t where I had got this most unlikely name, because I have never met anybody called Petunia, or, to my knowledge, read about them. The subconscious is a very odd thing. The cartoon Petunia was a fat, cheery character, so all I seem to have taken is her name.

The surname ‘Dursley’ was taken from the eponymous town in Gloucestershire, which is not very far from where I was born. I have never visited Dursley, and I expect that it is full of charming people. It was the sound of the word that appealed, rather than any association with the place." (J.K. Rowling)

Things you might not notice on your first read



Harry's aunt, Marge, who "hates the boy", is first mentioned in this chapter. We get to meet his charming aunt on book 3, however, when she comes for a visit at the Dusleys'.


Harry talked to the snake. Why this happens and how important it is will also be revealed later on.


Harry's kindness towards the snake should also be noted. Despite the suffering at the hands of his relatives, he is kind and generous. Everything Dumbledore hoped he would grow up to be ...


☆*:・゚ Closing Lines

When he had been younger, Harry had dreamed and dreamed of some unknown relation coming to take him away, but it had never happened; the Dursleys were his only family..

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré

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review 2016-03-06 21:18
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone - Chapter 1: The boy who lived


So project: "A Fantasy Journey" commences!! Yay!!

This week: the first chapter of the first book in the harry potter series. I will try to keep the posts coming in fairly regularly and Degrees of Affection is joining me in this chapter by chapter discussion/analysis/review of the series. If you want to join us, feel free to use the tag "hp-chapterBychapter"!


Alright! I have many things to share: I have quotes and chapter pictures from the books, quotes from Rowling's interviews, pictures and extra info from pottermore. Plus two personal sections:

✎ "Things you might not notice on your first read" : includes observations I had, or have been brought to my attention, where I assume you have a working knowledge of the series, so proceed with caution if you care about spoilers,

✎ "Fun Facts" : stories, trivia I have found when writing each post. There are so much more out there and I welcome any piece of extra information I have left out. Plus, I'll include some random thoughts and questions.


Let's begin... (mild spoilers! none for the series as a whole)

Chapter 1

The boy who lived

“I reckon I must’ve got through fifteen different alternative chapters of book one. The reason for which I discarded each of them were: They all gave too much away. And in fact if you put all those discarded first chapters together, almost the whole plot is explained.” –J.K. Rowling, 2001

My all time favorite series kicks things off with introducing us to the very unlikable Dursleys: a (boring) normal, muggle family, whose lives are about to change when Harry Potter is left on their doorstep. What's a muggle you say? You will find out soon enough my friend (and be very sad you are one yourself..)


Our story starts on no.4 Privet Drive, on a "dull, gray Tuesday", when strange things begin to happen: owls flying everywhere, people dressed in strange clothes and a cat reading a map..wait no..surely cats can't read! Yet, that one...

© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.




In this first chapter, we get a brilliant background of the story. A number of characters' names are thrown in, names that won't mean a thing until later in the series. The main villain is also introduced and the first pieces of the puzzle are given, raising many questions such as: why did he target this particular family? How did he meet his downfall there? Why did only the child survive? Why is he so feared?

Questions that will be answered in the upcoming books and in some cases in the last book.

I love the "storyteller" writing style of the series with phrases, such as "how very wrong he was..", which is of course enhanced when listening to the book. The movie adaptation also begins with this chapter, with Dumbledore arriving at no.4 Privet Drive to "deliver" Harry to his relatives - actually Hagrid did technically bring the baby, but the introduction of Dumbledore couldn't have been done more perfectly. His reasons on putting Harry in the care of his relatives, although they have an ulterior motive, reveal a caring character.


Additional Comments


⚡️ Dumbledore says that he has a scar above his left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground..LOL..how oddly specific!

⚡️ Could you image how spoiled Harry would have been if he got raised up in a wizarding family? Perhaps, he'd have turned out like Draco Malfoy. Yikes!

⚡️ Why Harry had no relatives from his father's side?


Fun facts

(⊃。•́‿•̀。)⊃━☆゚.*・。゚  Why no.4?

"For no very good reason, I have never been fond of the number four, which has always struck me as a rather hard and unforgiving number, which is why I slapped it on the Dursleys' front door.", J.K Rowling (src)


Things you might not notice on your first read



Hagrid arrives on Sirius's motorcycle, why this is we will found out later.


Dumbledore is using a “Put-Outer” to take all the lights from the street; this is also called a deluminator. "Put-Outer"...lol..I guess dropping the actual word would have been confusing.


McGonagall spends her whole day observing the muggle house where Dumbledore will soon show up. It's a Tuesday though - which means there weren't any lessons over at Hogwarts probably as celebration of You-Know-Who's downfall. (Actually the month was November, after Halloween, a fact we'll find out later too)


*:・゚✧Closing Lines

Harry Potter rolled over inside his blankets without waking up. One small hand closed on the letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special, not knowing he was famous [..] He couldn’t know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: "To Harry Potter – the boy who lived!"

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPréLet the journey begin......


  • You can read Degree of Affection's post here

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text 2016-03-01 18:37
February Wrap up + A New Project

Happy March Everyone!!

Wow February flewwwww and t's time for this month's wrap up post!

I read some books this month but not as many as I would have hoped though. Below is this month's list - linked to the respective reviews: (I have yet to write some of them)

George - Alex GinoStardust - Neil GaimanThe Hostile Hospital - Lemony SnicketThe Beauty #6 - Jeremy HaunThe Maiden Thief: A Tor.Com Original - Melissa MarrThe Modern Family Cookbook - Modern FamilyAdulthood is a Myth: A Sarah's Scribbles Collection - Sarah Andersen
Seriously...I'm Kidding - Ellen DeGeneresThe Funny Thing Is... - Ellen DeGeneresPeter and the Wolf - Sergei Prokofiev,Jim Dale,Brilliance AudioCasino Royale - Ian Fleming,Simon Vance

Final Tally: 11 books
Plus, the majority of the books were 5 star reads, which is something very pleasant.


✍ Other bookish updates:

  • I had my first featured review on netgalley!
  • I fell behind on the book our dystopia bookclub has picked for February: "The Darkest Minds". I plan on reading that for sure, as a lot of you really liked it.
  • I'm currently reading Truthwitch and I have picked up a few new books along the way.
  • "March Take Control of your TBR pile" has officially started! If you want to tackle your massive TBR pile, why don't you join?
  • and finally....


☆ A new project ☆

Troy's ongoing projects have inspired me to start a few of my own. As fantasy is one of my favorite genres, behold my first project: "A fantasy journey" (yep, I even made a special project picture)

There are so many fantasy books out there: it's impossible to make a full list. In this project, my goal would be to catalog books that had a remarkable effect on me. Plus, I will include fantasy books I generally read and liked.


I'll kick things off with my beloved Harry Potter series with a chapter by chapter review. I have read the books countless times and I listen to the audiobooks regularly. As with each listening, new thoughts emerged, I decided that for once I could take some time to organize and share them. I know some of you are first time readers of the series: spoilers will be marked accordingly.

I will make a dedicated page on the sidebar as soon as I post the first chapter.


So look out for ....

Harry Potter


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPréBook #1: The Philosopher's Stone


 ✎ Chapter 1:The boy who lived




Along with the Harry Potter books, I will read/post about other fantasy books that I have been meaning to pick up for a long, long time as Lord of the Rings ... it's about time i join the Silmarillion book club too..!

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