It is possible that Voldemort already knew about The Mirror of Erised and told Quirrell to bring Harry in front of mirror based on logic. But, how did he find out that Harry was lying, and more importantly, that the Philosopher's Stone was in his pocket?

  • 2
    Because he's a powerful wizard and he can sense Harry's thoughts.
    – Valorum
    Nov 14, 2014 at 17:44
  • @Richard He was weak and could barely talk. Nov 14, 2014 at 17:45
  • Also, not sure if he could do magic in that form other than possessing other's bodies which should be result of previously done Horcrux magic. Nov 14, 2014 at 17:47
  • 5
    "Hey is that the philosopher's stone in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"
    – teair
    Nov 15, 2014 at 7:40
  • 1
    "But what has it got in its pocketses, eh?"
    – Taladris
    Dec 30, 2016 at 15:38

2 Answers 2


It all matters about Legilimency. Voldemort was highly skilled in the art of Legilimency.

Here is a quote of Harry Potter Wiki:

"Voldemort has used Legilimency extensively, both wandlessly and nonverbally, to enter the minds of those he wished to interrogate."

The quote can be found here, under History, third paragraph, first line.

This shows that Voldemort knew what he was doing because of his extensive knowledge, and this quote shows his skill:

"You flatter me," said Dumbledore calmly. "Voldemort had powers I will never have."

Voldemort was a very intelligent wizard.

To get to your question, here is another quote found on the Harry Potter Wiki:

"If a target is not skilled in Occlumency, a Legilimens will be able to detect if the person is lying, as well as delve into their thoughts, emotions, and memories."

The quote can be found here, under Methods, first paragraph, second line.

Harry was not even aware of Occlumency and Legilimency, so obviously he would be "bad" at it. This was evidently shown during, and after the fifth book, during, and after his lessons with Snape. Voldemort could have detected, through Quirrell that Harry was lying, and furthermore "delved into his thoughts", and saw that has was thinking about the stone in his pocket.

This is purely speculation.

  • My only question about this answer is: Is there any evidence that Legimancy can be done without the target knowing?
    – Zibbobz
    Nov 14, 2014 at 21:08
  • 4
    While it's clear that Voldemort can tell using Legilimency, we don't know if he did use it in this chapter.
    – Saturn
    Nov 14, 2014 at 22:14
  • 1
    I edited my answer accordingly.
    – Jake
    Nov 14, 2014 at 22:31
  • 7
    @Voldemort Trying to cover your tracks, eh?
    – Zibbobz
    Nov 15, 2014 at 0:22
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    I agree with @Voldemort. In the Philosopher's Stone book,Voldemort is still really weak. Legilimens requires a high focus on the targets mind and is shown to be really exhausting,especiallly for the target. Harry shows no signs of exhaustion and I highly .doubt that Voldemort was able to perform this spell in such a "weak" (host) body. He also seems to not have such a strong connection to Harry before he takes his blood to obtain a body in GoF AND he leatns about his special connection to Harrys mind in Ootp years later. I think he just guessed.
    – teair
    Nov 15, 2014 at 10:18

Harry had been clutching his pocket from the moment the stone appeared in it. All Voldemort had to do was look at him and read his body language well enough, and apparently he did.

It should also be noted that Voldemort had a mental link to Harry's mind, which may have let him more easily read what Harry was thinking.

  • 2
    1. Harry never cltched his pocket. He only felt something heavy in his pocket. 2. As for mental connection based memory transfer, this is good one, but do you have canon citation? Harry used to saw nightmares based on Voldemort's memory, but was it true in reverse? Nov 15, 2014 at 3:05
  • @infinity war, Dumbledore avoided Harry Potter because he is afraid Voldermort will see him. Also when Dumbledore took the fall of the Dumbledore's Army club. Harry felt Voldermort's anguish towards Dumbledore when he looked at Dumbledore. Apr 25, 2018 at 9:34
  • @Bernard that was a lot later, when Voldemort became aware of the connection. Dumbledore was not avoiding Harry in the first year, however Aug 8, 2018 at 17:27

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