After the first Wizarding War, when Voldemort went to deep Albanian forests to escape from Aurors, why did he take 11 long years to come back to steal the Philosopher’s Stone?

When he acquired Quirrell's body, he immediately went to Gringotts for Philosopher’s Stone.

Why did he wait 11 years to get a human body. He may have found a human body even earlier and would have stolen the Philosopher’s Stone before it is changed to Hogwarts.

Does it have anything to do with Harry Potter entering Hogwarts?

  • He was a snake for a lot of that time Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 1:25
  • 3
    I think Rowling gives her entire explanation of this, through the mouth of Voldemort himself, in chapter 33 of The Goblet of Fire: The Death Eaters. There's really, I think, too much to quote and nothing that really needs adding to it. As such, there's not much more to say in answer to this question, except: have another read of The Death Eaters. If you then find something more specific about that explanation that doesn't quite work for you (such as: why would the great Voldemort, in seemingly indestructible spirit form, fear the Aurors?) feel free to come back and ask about that
    – Au101
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 1:57

2 Answers 2


But I dared not go where other humans were plentiful, for I knew the Aurors were still abroad and searching for me. ~GoF, page 567

He was scared of being discovered, and no one crossed his path until Quirrell.

It also seems that possession in this case means sharing a body vs. taking control, as Quirrell acted as his own agent even while "possessed" by Voldemort.

It was coincidence that Quirrell made his trip right before Harry entered Hogwarts.

  • 5
    coincidence, also known as story plot.
    – Mast
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 14:07

Quirrell was the chance he had waited for.

The Dark Lord stayed in hiding until he could figure out some way to restore himself to a body. When Quirrell came into the forest where he was hiding, he saw it as the opportunity he was waiting for.

“Then … four years ago … the means for my return seemed assured. A wizard – young, foolish and gullible – wandered across my path in the forest I had made my home. Oh, he seemed the very chance I had been dreaming of … for he was a teacher at Dumbledore’s school … he was easy to bend to my will … he brought me back to this country, and after a while, I took possession of his body, to supervise him closely as he carried out my orders.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)

Before then, he didn’t want to leave his hiding place, since he’d then risk encountering Aurors in a vulnerable form as either spirit or possessing an animal, as their bodies weren’t suitable to use magic in.

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