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Why did Dumbledore reward the trio for going after the Philosopher's Stone?

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Since this is my first post, I want to share that, as of now, I only have the American versions of the books. As a direct consequence, some of the passages I quote will not be entirely accurate in terms of originality, so I apologize in advance for that. Now that that's out of the way, let's move on to the topic of discussion.




On the surface, bonus house points may seem like the least one would deserve for preventing the return of the darkest wizard of all time; except that Harry, Ron, and Hermione didn't prevent Voldemort from returning to power. In fact, by going through the trapdoor, they increased Voldemort's chances of returning. Dumbledore himself confirmed that Quirrell had no chance of getting the Philosopher's Stone out of the mirror by himself.


"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 the Elixir of Life."


Even though Quirrell didn't want to use the Philosopher's Stone for himself, the fact that he wanted it so it could be used was probably enough to prevent him from obtaining it, as proven by the fact that he still hadn't managed to retrieve the stone by the time Harry had caught up to him. Not only does this means that the trio risked their lives for nothing, but that Harry, by getting the stone out of the mirror, actually made it more likely that Voldemort would be able to rise again.


I know what some people are going to say; that Dumbledore was rewarding the trio for their intentions, even if their actions weren't of any real help. The thing is, though, that they were warned by both Hagrid and Mcgonagall not to get involved with anything concerning the Philosopher's Stone. When they revealed to Hagrid that they knew about Fluffy, he told them:


"Now, listen to me, all three of yeh- yer meddlin' in things that don' concern yeh. It's Dangerous. You forget that dog, an' you forget what it's guardin', that's between Professor Dumbledore and Nicolas Flamel-"


Later, when they confessed to McGonagall that they knew about the Philosopher's Stone, she tried to reassure them that it was impossible to steal.


I don't know how you found out about the Stone, but rest assured, no one can possibly steal it, it's too well protected.


But Harry, Ron, and Hermione thought they knew better than the adults who had taken part it protecting the stone, and ignored their advice, which, unsurprisingly, had potentially greater consequences than if they hadn't interfered in the first place. If anything, they should have been punished for their actions, particularly Harry. Once Harry saw that Quirrell was having no success in getting the stone out of the mirror, he should have realized that the stone was safe exactly where it was, and not made any attempt to get it out of the mirror himself. But he apparently thought that it would be more difficult for Quirrell to take the Philosopher's Stone from his pocket than from Dumbledore's enchanted mirror. Heck, even Dumbledore himself warned the entire school on their first day not to enter the third floor corridor, and it was the act of ignoring Dumbledore's warning, albeit accidentally, that lead to them even finding out about the Philosopher's stone.




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Oh, this is an interesting one! I'm probably going to ramble on so bare with me for it.   I would have to agree that the trio deserved to be punished - I mean who disobeys adults to go on a

I totally agree with this. The trio deserved a punishment and Neville did  good job!

Since this is my first post, I want to share that, as of now, I only have the American versions of the books. As a direct consequence, some of the passages I quote will not be entirely accurate in ter

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@Holberg I believe Dumbledore was proud of the trio for their commitment and services to the School. Tom Riddle recieved an award for special services to the School 50 years before (Tom Riddle for having (been believed to have) caught the individual responsible for unleashing Slytherin's monster. Presented in the form of a golden shield.). Had Dumbledore recognised this and used his position as Headmaster to award them house points instead, in order to win the house cup for Gryffindor? (this is actually what you had already guessed of course).

Kids will be kids, whether they're told not to go somewhere or not to do something... They will! They're curious, they want to explore and with all the history of Harry Potter, some students including himself are going to explore this and their new surroundings.


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Oh, this is an interesting one! I'm probably going to ramble on so bare with me for it.


I would have to agree that the trio deserved to be punished - I mean who disobeys adults to go on a potentially dangerous quest for a stone that you know is guarded by a three-headed dog amongst other mysteries?  I mean for goodness sake, Harry literally killed a man (unintentional or not, Harry as an eleven year old killed someone and got rewarded for it!).


I think given how little we know about Dumbledore's thinking behind placing the stone in the mirror, one can assume that Quirrel may have tried to destroy the mirror. In which case, I believe at least, that the stone would have been lost forever anyway. So same result would have happened to Flamel. 


As for the trio getting points, it should have been on sheer dumb luck, not for playing a game of chess, or use of cool intellect (like come on, I bet Ravenclaws do that all the time in the common room and don't get any reward). Neville out of the four that got points was the only one to deserve any, and that was for stopping his friends and not joining them. 


However, I also believe that Dumbledore wanted to reward the trio to encourage them to do other dangerous things in their school careers. As it's the first time they get rewarded, but in the future, they don't - at least not in points. Just a leader and his puppets.


At least that's my take in a very brief overview.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/02/2020 at 01:43, xEmmaberryx said:

Neville out of the four that got points was the only one to deserve any, and that was for stopping his friends and not joining them. 

I totally agree with this. The trio deserved a punishment and Neville did  good job!

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  • 4 months later...

This is quite an interesting subject.


If Dumbledore's only motivation was to protect the stone, Hogwarts seems like a terrible place to hide it. Why not use fidelius charm and make Dumbledore the Secret Keeper? In my opinion Dumbledore's motivation have been a little bit more complicated than that. He suspected that the Dark Lord was still alive, so he wanted to lure him out to get a confirmation. What better way to do that, than to dangle both Harry Potter and a way for Voldemort to regain his life? And sure enough, Voldemort takes the bait.


It seems to me that Dumbledore had the Prophecy still in mind, so that 'neither can live while the other survives'. If Voldemort really is out there and kills Harry he will most likely perish himself or, if Potter survives yet again, it might shed the light on why was the Dark Lord not able to kill the boy in the first place. Additionally, if Potter was to survive, going through the series of tests would make him stronger, it would give him a variety of skills which could help him to kill Voldemort in the end. The 'protections' had been easy enough to surpass, and a bunch of first year student have been able to crack them up. They have been specifically tailored to Potter and his friends, playing to their strongest skills. Dumbledore even grooms Harry to assure he alone will be able to complete the final challange. I think Dumbledore specifically chose Hagrid to pick up the stone as he was with Harry, to make sure Harry would be curious enough to explore what was 'forbidden' (and knowing James Potter, it was not an unusual assumption).


In my opinion, he rewards them all points because they all played into his plan and passed the series of tests he created for them. He also encourages them to engage into risky behaviour, because with the outcome of the events, grooming Harry into becoming a weapon against Voldemort seems like the right approach. And he also rewards them points, because of his obvious dislike for Slytherins and was just looking for an excuse to make them lose the house cup.


Can you imagine if Quirrell/Voldemort did not manage to get the stone, and he would keep on teaching Harry? When Voldemort still hoped to get the stone, he wouldn't kill Harry out in the open, because he would blow his cover and he was focusing his full energy on the stone, because his potential return was far more important than his revenge. But if he had failed to get the stone, what would be stopping him from killing Harry on the spot? The attempt might have happened in an uncontrolled environment and be out of Dumbledore's hands. It would either lead to a similar outcome, but without Harry growing stronger, or if he had the time to plot and find a less direct approach (for example - if he chose to poison Potter), this would have been a very short book series. 

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