Dumbledore and Flamel remove the stone from Gringotts in the summer before Harry's first year at Hogwarts.
Dumbledore hides it in Hogwarts, with one of his most wonderful ideas: only someone wanting to find the stone, not wanting to use it, can get it.

It was one of my more brilliant ideas, and between you and me, that's saying something. You see, only one who wanted to find the Stone -- find it, but not use it -- would be able to get it, otherwise, they'd just see themselves making gold or drinking Elixir of Life.
(Philosopher's stone, Chapter 17, The Man with Two Faces)

But at that time, Flamel intends to keep on using the long life elixir for his wife and him. They only decide to stop and accept Death after Harry's and Voldemort's second encounter at the end of 1st year.

As for the Stone, it has been destroyed."
"Destroyed?" said Harry blankly. "But your friend -- Nicolas Flamel --"
"Oh, you know about Nicolas?" said Dumbledore, sounding quite delighted."You did do the thing properly, didn't you? Well, Nicolas and I have had a little chat, and agreed it's all for the best."
"But that means he and his wife will die, won't they?"
"They have enough Elixir stored to set their affairs in order and then, yes, they will die."
(Philosopher's stone, Chapter 17, The man with two faces)

When they hid the stone, how did Dumbledore and Flamel think Flamel would get to the stone once his little stock would be depleted?

  • Nor Nicolas nor his wife could have got it from the mirror, since they would have intended to use it.
  • Dumbledore probably could not have got it either, cause he would have been in the case "I don't want to use it for myself but I want to get it for a friend of mine to use", and this option was probably forbidden too, else Quirrel would have managed to get the stone for Voldemort to use.
  • He would ask Dumbledore to get it. Since Dumbledore has no intention of using it, it's freely available to him.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 15:30
  • 1
    @valorum that's what i thought on the beginning but I don't think Dumbledore could have retrieved it with the intention of having his friend use it. Otherwise Quirrel could have get it too...
    – LilyM
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 15:50
  • 2
    @LilyM I'm not sure I agree with your thoughts comparing Dumbledore/Quirrel for two reasons. First is that Quirrel and Voldemort were sharing a body, so could be the mirror saw them as one. Second is that I'm willing to bet any Death Eater faced with that mirror would, deep down, want the stone for themselves, even if they consciously planned to give it to Voldemort. Whereas Dumbledore would truly have been able to take the stone without any intention of using it.
    – DavidS
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 15:56
  • @DavidS you're probably right about the Death Eaters (except Bellatrix maybe?) But it seems Quirrel is really wanting to give it to his master... not sure if they are considered as two or one person... they are two, only sharing the same body...
    – LilyM
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 16:06

3 Answers 3


Lets try to understand the arrangements between Nicolas Flamel and Dumbledore. The Philosopher's Stone was placed in Gringotts Wizarding Bank vault number 713 belonging to Hogwarts.

“An’ I’ve also got a letter here from Professor Dumbledore,” said Hagrid importantly, throwing out his chest. “It’s about the You-Know-What in vault seven hundred and thirteen.”

“What’s the You-Know-What in vault seven hundred and thirteen?” Harry asked.

“Can’t tell yeh that,” said Hagrid mysteriously. “Very secret. Hogwarts business. Dumbledore’s trusted me. More’n my job’s worth ter tell yeh that.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 5, Diagon Alley

This implies that Nicolas Flamel was planning on keeping the Philosopher's Stone safe using Dumbledore help and also use Dumbledore to access the stone whenever he wanted.

Now coming back to your question on how to retrieve the Philosopher's Stone. I can think of following two approaches to get back the stone.

Dumbledore could get it

Dumbledore did not want to use the Philosopher's Stone, He was keeping it safe for a friend. His intention would be to "find it, but not use it". This is similar to Harry's mindset when he looked at the mirror.

This would bring us to another question, Quirrell did not want to use the Philosopher's Stone himself, but he could not get it.

Quirrell came back out from behind the mirror and stared hungrily into it.

“I see the Stone... I’m presenting it to my master... but where is it?”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 17, The Man With Two Faces

This could be explained by the fact that Quirrell had a certain

Lord Voldemort

in his head, who wanted to use the stone. So he could not retrieve the stone.

Use somebody else

“What does this mirror do? How does it work? Help me, Master!”

And to Harry’s horror, a voice answered, and the voice seemed to come from Quirrell himself.

“Use the boy... Use the boy...”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 17, The Man With Two Faces

Quirrell and his friend in the head decided to use somebody else to retrieve the Philosopher's Stone. This approached worked for them and could easily work for Dumbledore, if Dumbledore convinces a kid that a major disaster can be averted if the kid could retrieve the stone from the mirror.

Most importantly, Dumbledore and Flamel would have destroyed the Philosopher's Stone instead of keeping it in safe in place from which they could not retrieve it back. They would not know who could retrieve the Philosopher's Stone and it would have been a major risk.

Since we know Flamel had given the Philosopher's Stone to Dumbledore for it's safekeeping. He could easily ask Dumbledore, to give to him the Philosopher's Stone whenever he wanted to create the Elixir of Life.


While it was in Gringott's bank, Flamel still had access to it. Moving it to Hogwarts was only a temporary measure, meant to thwart Voldemort's plans. Flamel had more than enough elixir stocked up to last him and his wife until the stone was safe and was returned to him.

But I think that as soon as he handed the stone over to Dumbledore, Flamel knew he would never be able to use the stone again. It's one of those things where you wouldn't give the stone away if you weren't prepared for the possibility of dying.

  • Hum I don't really understand: you mean that the Hogwarts hiding was temporary but that he gave the stone to Dumbledore without intending to have it back?
    – LilyM
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 16:03
  • I didn't say he intended for it to be gone forever. I mean that the initial plan was that he would get it back after a time, but like I said, you don't hand over the source of your immortality without preparing for the possibility you might die later. Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 16:06
  • Oh ok then he only knew he might never be able to have it again.
    – LilyM
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 16:08
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    "Only someone who would want to find it, but not use it, would be able to get it" I can't really speak for Dumbledore, but if I were headmaster of a school full of naive young wizards who I manipulated and lied to on a yearly basis and I wanted to get a stone out of a mirror, I know what I would do XD Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 16:12
  • 4
    Thinking about it, maybe that's what happened. Flamel ran out of elixir too quickly and he was like: Flamel: "Dumbledore. Need more elixir, please." Dumbledore: "I just put it in the mirror and now that I know you need help I can't get it. And with Voldemort closing in, how am I supposed to get the stone......... wait a second..." Flamel: "Dumbledore......? What're you thinking?" Dumbledore: "I'm thinking that Harry Potter joined Hogwarts this year and somehow managed to make friends with the best damn Chess Player ever and the most intelligent Witch ever. Brb, Nicolas." Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 16:36

The Flamels have kept the stone safe for many centuries, without help from Dumbledore. There are much safer and easier ways to protect the stone, like keeping it at home, protected under a Fidelius with one of them as the secret keeper and known to nobody else. So it is likely that they didn't give the stone to Dumbledore for protection. This in turn means that it is likely that the supposed stone was there just as bait for Quirrell/Voldemort.

  • 2
    Welcome to SFF! Whilst this answer starts out promising you quickly derail into more of a rant than an answer. It could also be better improved if you provided evidence/sources to back up your point. Could you edit to clarify on this?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 7:50
  • 1
    Those last three points should be asked as questions, rather than being appended to an answer to a totally different question. I imagine most if not all of them are duplicates, though.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 7:59

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