Towards the end of Book 1, Albus Dumbledore takes a broom to the Ministry of Magic whereas he could have Apparated. Then he somehow decides to return midway and simply knows Harry went after the stone without anyone needing to inform him and just arrives in time to take Harry to the infirmary.

Then there’s the fact that despite being able to detect magical signatures he failed to recognise Lord Voldemort’s presence. Also we have to ponder the nature of the obstacles: Fluffy, Devil's Snare, Flying keys, A Giant Chess Board, A test of logic and finally the Mirror of Erised. Harry receives a flute on Christmas from Hagrid, Devil's Snare is a plant known by first-graders, Harry is an amazing Seeker, Ron is a chess prodigy and Hermione is the smartest witch of their year. Does this seem like a set-up to you? Was Dumbledore risking Harry's life to test if he was capable enough? All facts recounted from memory so obviously I failed to add the specific quotes and some facts may be wrong but I believe most of them are right.

  • It was very well set up, but by JKR and not Dumbledore. Why exactly would Dumbledore want Harry to have the stone? – sudhanva May 28 '18 at 3:47
  • 3
    Dumbledore was told, though it seemed like he didn’t need to be. “Well, I got back all right,’ said Hermione. ‘I brought Ron round – that took a while – and we were dashing up to the owlery to contact Dumbledore when we met him in the Entrance Hall. He already knew – he just said, “Harry’s gone after him, hasn’t he?” and hurtled off to the third floor.” - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces) – Mal May 28 '18 at 4:37

It’s not confirmed anywhere in the books - but it is possible.

Harry certainly suspected that Dumbledore knew he was going to try to stop the Dark Lord himself, but still let him do it. Harry’s suspicion doesn’t really prove it, he’s suspected many wrong things as well, but it does show that he at least found the circumstances of his being able to try to stop the Dark Lord without interference from Dumbledore odd. (Out-of-universe, it might be a way of telling the reader that’s in fact what happened while keeping the story still from Harry’s perspective.)

“No, it isn’t,’ said Harry thoughtfully. ‘He’s a funny man, Dumbledore. I think he sort of wanted to give me a chance. I think he knows more or less everything that goes on here, you know. I reckon he had a pretty good idea we were going to try, and instead of stopping us, he just taught us enough to help. I don’t think it was an accident he let me find out how the Mirror worked. It’s almost like he thought I had the right to face Voldemort if I could …”
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)

Dumbledore does say to Snape they’d been letting him try his strength, so he did have it in mind. He doesn’t mention any specific occasions of letting Harry test his abilities, but this confirms that he did, during at least some of Harry’s journey through Hogwarts and battles with the Dark Lord.

“We have protected him because it has been essential to teach him, to raise him, to let him try his strength,’ said Dumbledore, his eyes still tight shut.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince’s Tale)

It’s never mentioned if the occasion with the Philosopher’s Stone was one of those times, though.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.