A strictly short visit

Harry persuades Madam Pomfrey to allow Ron and Hermione to pay him a visit

Extract from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

by J.K. Rowling

Madam Pomfrey, the matron, was a nice woman, but very strict.

‘Just five minutes,’ Harry pleaded.

‘Absolutely not.’

‘You let Professor Dumbledore in ...’

‘Well, of course, that was the Headmaster, quite different. You need rest.’

‘I am resting, look, lying down and everything. Oh, go on, Madam Pomfrey ...’

‘Oh, very well,’ she said. ‘But five minutes only.’

And she let Ron and Hermione in.


Hermione looked ready to fling her arms around him again, but Harry was glad she held herself in as his head was still very sore. ‘Oh, Harry, we were sure you were going to – Dumbledore was so worried –’

‘The whole school’s talking about it,’ said Ron. ‘What really happened?’

It was one of those rare occasions when the true story is even more strange and exciting than the wild rumours. Harry told them everything: Quirrell; the Mirror; the Stone and Voldemort. Ron and Hermione were a very good audience; they gasped in all the right places and, when Harry told them what was under Quirrell’s turban, Hermione screamed out loud.

‘So the Stone’s gone?’ said Ron finally. ‘Flamel’s just going to die?’ ‘That’s what I said, but Dumbledore thinks that – what was it? – “to the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure”.’

‘I always said he was off his rocker,’ said Ron, looking quite impressed at how mad his hero was.

‘So what happened to you two?’ said Harry.

‘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?’

‘Well,’ Hermione exploded, ‘if he did – I mean to say – that’s terrible – you could have been killed.’

‘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 ...’

‘Yeah, Dumbledore’s barking, all right,’ said Ron proudly. ‘Listen, you’ve got to be up for the end-of-year feast tomorrow. The points are all in and Slytherin won, of course – you missed the last Quidditch match, we were steamrollered by Ravenclaw without you – but the food’ll be good.’

At that moment, Madam Pomfrey bustled over.

‘You’ve had nearly fifteen minutes, now OUT,’ she said firmly.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

By J.K. Rowling