9

“Ah, now, I’m glad you asked me that. 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. My brain surprises even me sometimes...

-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.” -Chapter 17-The Man With Two Faces.

Dumbledore quotes this to say a person who wishes to use the elixir of life can't bring the stone out of mirror. He also says that the person would just see himself making gold or drinking the Elixir of Life.

But Quirell doesn't understand how to get the stone out of mirror, it implies that he sees nothing than just a reflection of himself in the mirror.

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

-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.” -Chapter 17-The Man With Two Faces.

Now the main part is, Quirell did not intend to use the stone for himself. He wanted to present it to his master, which is for a valid reason, he can take the stone out of mirror as per the reason said by Dumbledore.

Why was he unable to see the stone in Mirror?

  • @Slytherincess I'm not seeing how the other question is a duplicate. The answer over there focuses on what Harry did, but not what Quirell did that disqualified him from getting the stone. I would like vote to reopen, but there doesn't seem to be an option to do that on this question. – Thunderforge Aug 10 '15 at 3:24
  • Note that Dumbledore doesn’t say anything about the seeker necessarily wanting to use the Stone for himself. Quirrell wanted to present the Stone to his master, but in order to do that, his master would have to regain a body—and that entails Quirrell preparing the Elixir of Life and presumably doing some advanced spellwork. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 12 '15 at 20:44
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But Quirell doesn't understand how to get the stone out of mirror, it implies that he sees nothing than just a reflection of himself in the mirror.

This is not correct. As you hint at in your question, actually:

'I see the Stone ... I'm presenting it to my master ... but where is it?'

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - p.210 - Bloomsbury - chapter 17, The Man with Two Faces

So it worked as Dumbledore hoped it would. Harry just wanted to find the Stone. He had no other purpose, he didn't want to find the stone in order to xyz, he just wanted to find the Stone. Dumbledore's explanation is a little abbreviated and simplified. What he means is - anybody who wants the Stone for some purpose other than purely possessing the Stone will see only that purpose taking place. Although we must assume Dumbledore's "done something", because the Mirror does not purely reveal the location of the Stone, the Stone actually drops into Harry's pocket.

Now, regarding:

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

Quirrell has never encountered the Mirror of Erised before. This isn't to imply that he thinks its an ordinary mirror and that he just sees himself. No, it's just that he hasn't figured out why he sees himself presenting Voldemort with the Stone yet. He doesn't know what it is or how to use it, or - ultimately - how to get the Stone.

  • 1
    I missed the line, 'I see the Stone ... I'm presenting it to my master ... but where is it?'. Thanks! – axelonet Aug 10 '15 at 0:43
  • This doesn’t quite hold up; I think N_Soong’s answer hits closer to the mark. Quirrell wants to find the Stone in order to bring Voldemort back (by creating the Elixir of Life); Harry wants to find the Stone in order to keep Voldemort away (by hiding or destroying the Stone). While his further plans after finding it might not be very well-thought-out, he doesn’t really want to find it just to find it—he does have a purpose in finding it. What he didn’t have any desire to do was to use the Stone to create the Elixir of Life. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 12 '15 at 20:42
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Yeah, he has a reason for wanting to have the Stone, and that is to keep it safe from Voldemort yes. But it comes to the same thing. What he wants is to possess the stone (so that Voldemort can't have it) - that's it. He doesn't want to do anything with the Stone. He isn't going to go on and use it for anything. The Stone is not a means to some more important end for him. The end for Harry is merely getting his hands on the Stone. Yes there's a reason why he wants that, but Harry is the one who wants to find it, but not use it. Quirrell has a use for it and he sees that use – Au101 Aug 12 '15 at 20:53
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Because Quirell did want to use it!

The key with this situation is that Voldemort lacked a body - he was using Quirell's body. Consequently, it was Quirell, not Voldemort, who wanted the stone to use it - Voldemort couldn't make a body for himself and so couldn't actually use the stone. Voldemort needed Quirelll. So Quirell did want to use the stone! That is why he Quirell couldn't get the stone!

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