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Chapter Sixteen Through the Trapdoor
(Harry, Ron, and Hermione get past Fluffy and five other obstacles to reach the final chamber that guards the Stone.)
Harry finishes exams but is still worried about the Stone being stolen, especially since his scar has been hurting since his excursion into the Forbidden Forest. Harry suddenly realizes how odd it is that Hagrid chanced upon a stranger in a pub who had a dragon to get rid of. Upon questioning Hagrid, Harry discovers that Hagrid accidentally told the hooded stranger how to get past Fluffy (playing music).
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione find out that Dumbledore has been called off to London and that Mrs. McGonagall will not help them, they realize that only they can stop Snape from stealing the Stone. They wait until nightfall, don the invisibility cloak, and get past Neville, Mrs. Norris, and Peeves on their way to the third-floor corridor that houses Fluffy.
The three get past Fluffy and through the trapdoor by playing the flute Hagrid gave Harry, only to find themselves ensnared on the Devil’s Snare plant they land on. Hermione fends off the darkness-loving plant with a fireball and the three escape into a room full of flying keys. Harry uses his Quidditch skills to catch the key they need to move on, and they arrive in a room that is dominated by a giant chessboard. Ron uses his chess skills and sacrifices himself to win the game and allow Harry and Hermione to move on. Harry and Hermione pass a knocked-out troll to find themselves in a room of fire and potions. Both the exit and entrance to the chamber are blocked by fire, and Hermione solves the logic riddle to discover which potion will allow them to escape. However, there is only enough of the potion for Harry to drink, so Harry drinks it and makes his way through the magical fire and into the final chamber.
“Snape made them all nervous, breathing down their necks while they tried to remember how to make a Forgetfulness potion.” The irony is that the students are trying to remember a potion that takes away memory.
Harry’s bad dreams reach their climax in this chapter with his nightmares of a hooded figure dipping blood.
Harry’s scar pains have worsened but will not climax until next chapter, during the fight with Quirrell.
The Giant Squid of the lake, which is being tickled by Fred and George, has cameo appearances throughout the series. In chapter twenty-two of Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry sits “watching the giant quid waving its tentacles lazily above the water.” In chapter twelve of Goblet of Fire, the Squid saves Dennis Creevy by throwing him out of the lake and back into the first-years’ boat. In chapter eighteen of Goblet of Fire, the squid eats Harry’s toast: “...Harry, throwing his last piece of toast into the lake. They both stood and watched it floating there for a moment, before a large tentacle rose out of the water and scooped it beneath the surface.” Oddly enough, giant squids are not listed in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.