In the first book it was said that Voldemort couldn't get the Philosopher's Stone from the Mirror of Erised in any case. That means that even if Harry hadn't gone to stop Voldemort then nothing bad would happened. Dumbledore just would have done the same to Voldemort without "help" from Harry (Voldemort was weak at that moment and Dumbledore could easily beat him alone).

If it is the case then what Harry did was dangerous for all humanity. After all, if Harry hadn't taken the Philosopher's Stone it would have been much safer for everybody. Because it's much easy to take the Stone from a baby then from the Mirror of Erised. Why did Dumbledore gave him so many Gryffindor points for that?

  • 28
    "Being the protagonist of a children's novel" Aug 12, 2015 at 18:01
  • 5
    Because Harry Potter and Gryffindor have to win everything.
    – phantom42
    Aug 12, 2015 at 19:39
  • 9
    Because f**k Slytherin!
    – Ryan Perry
    Aug 12, 2015 at 19:43
  • 5
    VtC: opinion presented as question.
    – SQB
    Aug 12, 2015 at 22:01
  • 2
    @JanusBahsJacquet Potato, pota...hmm, that phrase doesn't really work in textual form.
    – DavidS
    Aug 13, 2015 at 9:48

4 Answers 4


“How did I get the Stone out of the mirror?”

“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.

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

Voldemort was a great wizard, he might have found a way to break the jinx. In fact he almost did find a way, most probably after reading Harry's mind.

What I want more than anything else in the world at the moment, he thought, is to find the Stone before Quirrell does. So if I look in the mirror, I should see myself finding it — which means I’ll see where it’s hidden! But how can I look without Quirrell realizing what I’m up to?

“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

Even if Harry was not around. All Voldemort had to do was to steal the mirror from Hogwarts and take it to his hiding place in the forests of Albania and analyze how to get the Philosopher's Stone out of the mirror.

Dumbledore expected Harry to save the stone. Right through out the series, you get the feeling that Dumbledore encouraged Harry. Maybe because he knew one day Harry had to face Voldemort.

“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.”

“D’you think he meant you to do it?” said Ron. “Sending you your father’s cloak and everything?”

“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 Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 17, The Man With Two Faces

Harry, Hermione and Ron were awarded the points, despite inadvertently helping Voldemort because they risked their lives and managed to save the Philosopher's Stone from Voldemort

  • Dumbledore arrived several minutes after Harry. Voldemort didn't have time to steal the mirror from Hogwarts. In the worst case Voldemort (carrying the Mirror) would have met Dumbledore in the hallway.
    – traxium
    Aug 13, 2015 at 10:14
  • 2
    I think that without Harry's intervention, Voldemort and Quirrell would have found a way to smuggle the mirror out of the school. Trying to walk out the front door carrying a large mirror would have been pretty stupid. Aug 13, 2015 at 16:10
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    @traxium Sure, but Dumbledore only knew Harry was there because Ron and Hermione found him. If they had not gone down there, Quirrel probably would have had plenty of time to get the mirror out of Hogwarts. Aug 13, 2015 at 20:24
  • 1
    @Donald.McLean I agree Voldemort and Quirrell would have had to smuggle the Mirror. There would have been a small probability that Quirrell would wasted his life away standing in front of the mirror.
    – Vishvesh
    Aug 14, 2015 at 3:24
  • 1
    @traxium I agree with Dave on this. Voldemort had planned everything out, including sending out fake letters. He would have had a back up plan.
    – Vishvesh
    Aug 14, 2015 at 3:25

Do you really think that mirror would have stopped Voldemort forever? It was a tricky move on Dumbledore's part, but it was hardly the grandest spell of all time.

Harry's actions exposed the traitorous Quirrel, and prevented the capture of the Stone either by force (as Voldemort loves to do) or simple cunning (as Quirrel bypassed all the preceding security measures).

  • 1: Quirrell’s treason was already known to at least Snape (though he didn’t know of Voldemort’s attempted return, of course). 2: It had taken Quirrell all year to figure out how to get past the other security measures, and they were all fairly simple to get by, really. Dumbledore’s would quite literally have been impossible for Quirrell or Voldemort. How do you suggest either of them would have overcome that spell/enchantment/whatever it was? It’s not the type of magic that can be brute-forced, unlike the others. Aug 12, 2015 at 21:03
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    @JanusBahsJacquet how do you know? Magic is not infallible, memory charms can be broken for instance.
    – user46509
    Aug 13, 2015 at 7:40
  • 1
    @CarlSixsmith Yes, memory charms have counter-charms (of some kind). But don't forget, Voldequirrell did not know how the mirror related to the Stone. He didn't know what the mirror was, nor where the Stone was. Okay, ‘impossible’ may be an exaggeration, but it would certainly have been a lot more difficult than all the other ‘security’ measures, and a lot more difficult than taking the Stone from an 11-year-old (if Quirrell hadn't been such a dimwitted nincompoop as to try to wrestle with Harry even after he got burnt). Aug 13, 2015 at 7:52
  • 2
    Technically, all they'd have to do is threaten someone at wandpoint and demand the Stone, then put them in from of the Mirror. That person would want the stone...but not to use it, rather just to hand it over. It would reveal itself and the Angels would have the Police Box.
    – Liesmith
    Aug 13, 2015 at 11:26

I'm also not sure, but surely Dumbledore would give him points as he was;

Dumbledore's favorite student and Dumbledore was proud of him.

  • @N_Soong - removing the chatter leaves a pretty good answer.
    – Valorum
    Aug 13, 2015 at 23:40

In Chapter Seventeen Dumbledore explicitly announces what Harry got the points for:

"Third – to Mr. Harry Potter..." said Dumbledore. The room went deadly quiet. "... for pure nerve and outstanding courage, I award Gryffindor House sixty points."

Thus, the points were not for the results of Harry's actions, or based on what should or shouldn't have happened. The points were for the actions themselves – actions that demonstrated "pure nerve and outstanding courage".

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