Initiation and the Road of
Copyright © 2004-2007 by
Lynne Milum. All rights reserved.
Road of Trials for the Series
The Initiation phase is comprised of a series
of sub-trials, and the acquiring of tools in preparation for the
ultimate conflict. Harry learns key facts through ‘helpers’ as
well as developing skill in problem solving and spells to help
him complete his journey. Harry also accumulates tools and
magical devices, knowledge of magical creatures, and gains
prowess against gradually more powerful opponents.
With each new adventure, a set of
amulets/knowledge gained is identified. These items may not have
significance in the immediate story line, but the amassing of
Harry's repertoire enables him to meet increasingly difficult
In each hero's adventure, trials are
experienced to ready the hero for the final meeting with 'The
Father'. In each of the books in the series, this pattern is
consistently found. However, on a larger scale, each book
represents a trial in the overall Journey where Harry will
likely take on Voldemort as a peer wizard. In the wizarding
world, the age of majority or legal adulthood is seventeen.
Harry will attain that age in Book Seven – the last planned book
of the series and presumed timing for the Ultimate Confrontation
of the series.
Objective of Each Trial by Book:
- Sorcerer's Stone – Initiation into an unknown world.
- Chamber of Secret's – Knowledge of the demon (Voldemort)
and relationship to that entity (the Shadow Father)
- Prisoner of Azkaban – Realization of his father's
identity, friendships, and legacy
- Goblet of Fire – Recognition of Self and capability to
defend himself without intervention
- Order of the Phoenix – Isolation, detachment from
physical pain and opportunity to become the Initiator for
his peers through the D.A. experience. Ultimately - the
knowledge of his destiny.
Trial 1 – Seeking the Stone
(From Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)
Amulets/knowledge gathered in the course of
this first story is especially long, since Harry is a complete
neophyte to the magical world. These helpers, items and
abilities are as follows:
- Ability to talk to snakes at the zoo – later identified
- Hagrid, bringing knowledge that Harry is a wizard and
that his parents were special.
- Wand and magical supplies from Diagon Alley.
- Hedwig, the snowy white owl, his companion and means of
communication with the wizarding world.
- Introduction to Gringotts Bank, goblin security and the
contents of two vaults.
- Ron Weasley, the best friend, who educates him on life
in the magical world.
- Oculus Reparo (spell to fix glasses) which introduces
Hermione Granger. Hermione is a brilliant witch born of
Muggles, and she becomes Ron and Harry's steadfast friend.
- Sorting Hat powers, its song of greeting, and Harry's
potential to be a Slytherin.
- Gryffindor House members.
- Knowledge of Slytherin House notoriety and Severus
Snape, the potions teacher and former Deatheater.
- Neville and his Remembrall, introducing Harry to his
natural skill of broom riding.
- Minerva McGonagal, Gryffindor House Mistress, who
recognizes that Harry is a natural Quidditch 'Seeker'.
McGonagal has ties to Harry's past and is an Animagus (cat)
- Albus Dumbledore, the greatest living wizard as
portrayed on his Chocolate Frog Wizard card. Dumbledore
knows the secret of the stone and selectively shares his
wisdom with Harry.
- Oliver Wood, team captain, who shows Harry the rules and
the heart (or bliss) of Quidditch.
- Wingardium Leviosa (levitation spell) and the defeat of
the Halloween Troll in defense of Hermione.
- Norbert, who along with Hagrid, teaches Harry the finer
(hot) points of raising a baby dragon.
- Invisibility cloak and its pitfalls as demonstrated in
the Library Restricted Section adventure.
- Nimbus 2000 broom and the experience of winning.
- Mirror of Erised and the images of his parents.
Dumbledore explains how the Mirror works.
- Alohamora (spell to open doors) and introduction to the
third floor corridor.
- The Magic Flute which can lull three-headed dogs to
In the first book, the trials of the
principal adventure follow this sequence of events:
- Opening the door to the third corridor.
- Playing the Flute to put Fluffy, the gatekeeper to
- Descending through the trap door into darkness.
- Landing in the Devil's Snare – Hermione lets the light
- Flight of the keys – Harry uses his Seeker skills to
capture the key via broom, and Ron and Hermione aid his
escape through the door.
- Wizarding Chess Game – Harry and Hermione follow Ron's
skillful instructions to navigate the giant chess board.
This trial concludes with Ron's sacrifice to permit Harry to
- Potion Logic – Hermione helps Harry solve the potion
problem and navigate the doorway(s) of fire – but there
isn't enough for both of them to continue forward. Harry
must go on alone.
- The Mirror of Erised – Quirrell cannot reconcile the
desire to use the philosopher's stone with the image seen in
the mirror. Harry desires only to keep Voldemort from
acquiring the stone, and its resulting immortality. And by
Harry's desire (and Dumbledore's enchantment), the stone is
thus transferred to Harry's pocket.
- Meeting with Voldemort – Voldemort reveals himself by
speaking from Quirrell's turban. He is a shell of his former
self – desperately seeking immortality, and dependent on
Professor Quirrell for mobility. Voldemort instructs
Quirrell to destroy Harry, yet by touch, Harry burns
Quirrell's flesh and Quirrell is quickly reduced to dust.
Harry does not understand but is pierced by Voldemort's
fleeing spirit and is made unconscious in the process. Yet
he is victorious in foiling Voldemort's immediate plans to
return to power.
Trial 2 – Stopping the Chamber Monster
(From Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)
In the second book, Harry again gathers more
magical helpers, tools and knowledge. Some of these are used in
the current adventure, while others are called into service (or
are potential tools) in later adventures.
- Dobby, the house elf, who warns Harry of the evil
planned for Hogwarts.
- Warning issued from the Ministry of Magic for improper
use of magic.
- Ford Angia, the flying wizard car, that delivers Ron and
Harry to Hogwarts.
- Weasley’s Burrow.
- Floo Powder providing Harry with a new travel
- Dark Shops of Knockturn Alley.
- Mandrakes - the consequence of their cries and the
potion capability to reverse petrification.
- Polyjuice Potion – process to make the potion with
boomslang, the potion properties and the experience of
transformation. Harry also witnessed negative effects for
- Wizard Dueling – Expelliarmus is Harry's most crucial
defensive spell for later trials.
- Gilderoy Lockhart- famous "household" wizard who is
particularly skilled at memory charms.
- Fawlkes the Phoenix has healing properties, a beautiful
song, and represents the full cycle of birth to death to
- Dumbledore's office full of portraits, artifacts and the
- Sherbert Lemon – Dumbledore has a predilection for
sweets that characterize his password selection (albeit not
Bertie Botts earwax flavored beans). This knowledge helps
Harry guess the password later in the series with "Cockroach
- Skelegro - supplies the overnight restoration of bones.
- Personal knowledge of Lucius Malfoy's cruelty, power and
greed. Harry becomes away of Malfoy's connection with Tom
Riddle and with Dobby. These are attributes Harry also
associates with Draco the son.
- Dobby is capable of powerful magic that can overcome
curses issued by Lucius Malfoy.
- Tom Riddle's diary contains apparent information on the
chamber of secrets. It reveals that Hagrid kept a monster.
This was his cause for expulsion from Hogwarts and the basis
for imprisonment in Azkaban.
- Aragog the ancient spider king lives in the Forbidden
Forest. His kind flees from the 'real' monster. But his kind
is also not above an offering of fresh meat presented by
Harry and Ron. Ron's fear of spiders is increased manyfold
through this encounter but they are saved by the wild Ford
The sequence of events in the culmination of
this adventure is as follows:
- Ron and Harry overhear that Ginny has been taken into
the chamber, after witnessing the ominous message on the
- The boys realize that Moaning Myrtle, as the girl killed
by the basilisk, is the "key" to the chamber.
- Thinking Lockhart is going to recover Ginny from the
chamber, the boys rush to tell the DADA professor of their
discovery. Seeing that Lockhart actually intended to flee
Hogwarts, Ron and Harry get the jump on him. They lead him
to the bathroom and question Myrtle on what happened the
night she died.
- Harry then uses parseltongue to open the Chamber from
the girl's bathroom.
- Taking Lockhart into the passage, he tricks Ron to get
his damaged wand. Lockhart then attempts his memory charm on
Harry and Ron - it backfires and befuddles Lockhart instead.
- A cave-in results in the separation of Harry from both
Ron and Lockhart.
- Harry again uses parseltongue to open the vault to the
- Harry finds a weakened Ginny then discovers Tom Riddle's
true identity. Tom acquires Harry's wand. He is taking on a
physical form beyond his mere memory by sucking the life
force out of Ginny.
- The basilisk is released.
- Harry battles the basilisk with the help of Fawlkes (who
blinds the deadly eyes) and the Sword of Godric Gryffindor
pulled from the Sorting Hat. The snake pierces Harry's arm
in its last strike.
- Harry destroys the diary and consequently the memory of
- Ginny is revived and Fawlkes heals Harry of his fatal
wound through the power of phoenix tears.
- Fawlkes carries Harry, Ginny, Ron and Lockhart out of
- All those previously petrified are restored through the
Trial 3 – Capturing the Traitor
(From Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
In the third book, Harry obtains many new
skills, some which decidedly link him to his own past.
- Knight Bus is available - just give a call for help…
- Leaky Cauldron is not just a place for a brew or pumpkin
juice. Rooms are available for lodging.
- Florean Fortescue sells ice cream in Diagon Alley and is
very knowledgeable on medieval witch burnings.
- Remus Lupin is a formidable Defense Against the Dark
Arts teacher, one of James Potters circle of friends, Moony
of the Marauder's map and a werewolf.
- Dementors as Azkaban guards, with the ability to drain
all happiness away and a kiss to suck the soul out of the
- The powers of Chocolate to alleviate dementor effects on
- Hogsmeade is a nearby "all magical" town to be explored.
- Monster Book of Monsters – and Hagrid as a new
teacher…Just tickle the spine.
- Secret passageways are located on the Marauders Map if
one pledges to do no good.
- Harry learns to address hippogriffs and to properly fly
on his back in Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures class.
- Draco Malfoy, when ignoring Hagrid's instructions on
approaching a hippogriff, incurs damage on himself. He later
uses this dubious injury to justify execution of Buckbeak
- "Expecto Patronum" produces Patronus to fend off a
- Grindylows, boggarts, redcaps and other creatures are
introduced in the DADA coursework.
- Time-turner permits going back in time based on the
number of turns. One turn for each hour on Hermione's
- Peter (Wormtail) is a secret animagus - Scabbers the
- Severus Snape and Sirius Black are both portrayed as
sources of fear and obstruction.
- Sibyll Trelawney's second 'real' prediction was that the
servant would return to the Dark Lord and help him rise once
again to power.
The trials closing this foray of introduction
to the associates of James Potter include the following:
- Harry, Hermione and Ron make a stealth journey to
Hagrid's Hut on the evening of Buckbeak’s execution – They
hear the crack of the axe while departing but do not see
- They encounter the Grim when departing the hut.
- The Grim attacks Ron and carries him under the Whomping
- Crookshanks opens the passage and Harry leaves the
Invisibility Cloak at the entrance.
- Ron leg is injured and yells a warning as Harry and
Hermione enter the Shrieking Shack from the passage. They
encounter Sirius Black and wait to hear his explanation.
- Lupin arrives, explaining he had seen Peter on the
- Snape arrives using the abandoned Invisibility Cloak to
approach the Shrieking Shack unnoticed. Snape demonstrates
unshackled desire for revenge against Sirius and moves to
- Harry, Hermione and Ron jinx Snape – leaving him
unconscious for the subsequent revelation.
- Lupin and Sirius force Scabbers to manifest as Peter.
- The group leaves the Whomping Willow to return to the
school with Peter in tow. Snape is levitated in his
- Sirius gives Harry a gift - the promise of coming to
live with him once cleared.
- Lupin turns into a werewolf, which results in Peter
- Sirius transforms to protect Ron from the werewolf.
- Dementors attempt to kiss Harry and Hermione – and a
Patronus arrives to disperse them. Harry is sure he saw his
father produce the Patronus across the lake.
- Snape comes to and returns the unconscious to the
school. Sirius is then held in Flitwick's office.
- Dumbledore hears the story and sets Hermione and Harry
to save more than one innocent life tonight - they use the
time-turner from the hospital ward to go back in time.
- Harry and Hermione watch the events replay, saving
Buckbeak from execution. Later, Harry tries to see his
father and realizes that he had seen himself across the
lake. He successfully produces the Patronus stag and names
it Prongs - his father’s nickname.
- Harry and Hermione fly on Buckbeak's back to rescue
Sirius from the seventh floor office. Sirius thanks them and
escapes by air with Buckbeak.
Trial 4 – The Triwizard Challenge
(From Harry Potter and the Goblet of
In Goblet of Fire, Harry is exposed to far
more dynamic aspects of the magical world than previously
encountered. These include professional sports; foreign wizards
and peer academies; advanced spells, hexes and jinxes; large
populations of wizards swayed by emotional responses rather than
rational thinking; bittersweet feminine attraction and the
experience of glory and agony concurrently.
Key tools, creatures and personages that
assist him in this convoluted trial (or that may be invoked in
the future) include the following:
- How-to knowledge of the three Unforgivable Curses –
"Imperio" the puppet curse, "Crucio" the torture curse, and
"Avada Kedavra" Death curse characterized by a flash of
green light. Beyond this, Harry learns to repel the Imperius
- Cho Chang, Harry’s newfound allure of love, and the
related pain of jealousy incurred as Cedric Diggory wins out
Cho for the Yule Ball.
- A new house-elf Winky that Harry initially thinks is
Dobby. Ironically, Winky knows Dobby. She is also scared of
stadium heights and belongs to Mr. Crouch – Percy’s new
boss. Mr. Crouch dismisses Winky when she is found with
Harry’s wand. In this scene, Harry also witnesses the spell
Priori Incantem presenting the Dark Mark performed with his
- Professional Quidditch teams and larger world scope of
the wizarding world. Harry has the opportunity to see the
speed at which the professional game is played, and
witnesses Viktor Krum performing the Wronski Feint. Krum is
the premiere Seeker in the wizarding world.
- Souvenirs from the World Cup match, including Omniculars
(slow-motion binoculars), Leprechaun gold and recognition of
- Beauxbatons and Durmstrang European schools of wizardry
are to participate in the Triwizard contest – Beauxbatons is
in Paris and the school is run by Madame (Olympe) Maxime.
Their contingent arrives in an oversized Cinderella-esque
carriage. Durmstrang is in a very cold region of Eastern
Europe, and the headmaster is Karkaroff. Durmstrang
participants arrive in a ship by way of the Hogwarts Lake.
- Among the foreign students are Fleur Delacour, part
veela, and Viktor Krum, the previously referenced Quidditch
star. Both are competitive, yet strongly allied with Harry
in the end.
- Recognition of a giant population – and realization of
Hagrid and Madame Maxime are half-giants. Most Giants are
ill-tempered in nature, and were Voldemore allies in the
- Nifflers are creatures that can seek out metals by smell
and are well-adapted to dig up buried treasure.
- Defensive devices such as Sneakoscope alarms and the Foe
- "Stupify" is the Stunning curse characterized by red
light (also called Stunners).
- Esoteric access to the Prefect bathroom supplied with
mermaid painting and Moaning Myrtle’s plumbing. Myrtle likes
to hang out in the faucets and observe. In the second task,
Myrtle helps Harry find the mervillage.
- Kitchen secrets on how to get treats. Along with finding
out how to tickle the fruit, the trio finds Winky's new
residence along with Dobby himself; The Army of House Elves
stands ready to serve.
- Dumbledore's patronus may be a phoenix and can send
- Amos and Cedric Diggory live near the Weasleys (as do
the Lovegoods), and Amos works in the Department For The
Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.
- Gillyweed, in sufficient doses, can permit humans to
sprout gills for underwater access. Professor McGonagall
previously drank gilly water without obvious effect.
- Blast-ended Skrewts are suspicious creatures that grow,
cannibalize and eject sparks.
- Pensieve is used to sort thoughts in 3-dimensional form
or to immerse oneself in a particular memory.
- Recognition of flying techniques following invocation of
Accio against the Hungarian Horntail.
- Knowledge of the Dark Mark and Priori Incantem
- Rita Skeeter and the dirty side of wizard journalism
with her Acid Quill and secret Animagus identity.
- Krum’s romantic interest in Hermione, and concern about
Harry's relationship with her.
- Little Hangleton connection – the Riddle House, Frank
Bryce, Nagini, and Wormtail in Harry’s dreams.
- Anti-Muggle charms
- Importation laws on Flying Carpets and Cauldrons. A
system of wizard laws and treaties in general.
- Laws limiting house-elves.
- Cave near Hogsmeade serving as a hideout for Sirius and
- Moody's magical eye which sees in any direction and
through Invisibility Cloaks.
- Bertha Jorkins was captured in Albania and found to have
confidential ministry information.
- Bartemius Crouch and his history of power in the
wizarding world, witnessed through the Pensieve and
Dumbledore’s explanation. Crouch’s relationship with his son
was the downfall of his career.
The breakdown of the adventure proceeds as
- Learning that the first task is a confrontation with
Dragons though Hagrid and Charlie.
- Giving Cedric the dragon hint as a matter of fair play.
- Harry does well against the Hungarian Horntail and ends
up tied with Viktor Krum after the first event.
- Opening the egg as the clue for the second task results
in intolerable and indistinguishable screaming.
- Harry finally takes Cedric's clue to "take a bath" in
the prefect bathroom.
- Myrtle and the sleeping mermaid help him solve the
mystery of the egg – the task is to find the mervillage and
free his most valued possession.
- Despite attempts to locate a means to sustain himself
underwater, Harry falls asleep in the library the night
before the task.
- Dobby locates him, tells his that his Wheezy (Ron) has
been taken and that he must use gillyweed to save his
- Harry rushes to the start of the trial, takes the
gillyweed and descends into the great lake.
- Harry battles grindelows and navigates the massive lake
in search of the mervillage. Myrtle points him in the right
direction and he arrives first. Ironically, of the four
people take, Harry greatly values Ron, Hermione, and Cho. He
attempts to save all of them, including Fleur's little
sister Gabrielle whom he had never met.
- Harry waves on Cedric with Cho, and helps Viktor who
almost damaged Hermione when biting at the rope with his
shark head transfiguration.
- Harry brings Ron and Gabrielle to the surface where he
is duly chewed out for his foolishness. The merchieftan
explains to Dumbledore what happened and Harry gets quality
points for his effort. He is tied with Cedric at the end of
- The third task is to complete the maze at the end of the
school year. Harry is best prepared for this task given his
previous trials. Along with Ron and Hermione (who increase
their practical experience as well), Harry learns many
hexes, curses and counter curses.
- Once released to the maze concurrently with Cedric,
Harry notices the lack of encounters. He hears Fleur being
attacked and later assists Cedric against Krum who is using
the Cruatius Curse curse in the middle of the maze.
- Cedric and Harry meet the acromantula, where Harry’s leg
is injured. Cedric helps him and the both take the Triwizard
- The Cup is a portkey and transports Harry and Cedric to
a graveyard. Cedric is killed by Wormtail on Voldemort’s
- Harry is disarmed, and bound to the gravestone of Tom
Riddle’s father. Old magic is performed and Voldemort is
returned to near-human form.
- The Death Eaters congregate to witness the return of
Voldemort and the intended murder of Harry Potter. Harry is
returned his wand to spar with Voldemort and is tortured.
The duel continues via ‘Crucio’ and ‘Imperio’, and Harry
continues to struggle. His only dueling spell is the
disarming ‘Expelliarmus’ which he invokes against ‘Avada
Kedavra’ – the killing curse.
- Voldemort’s and Harry’s wands link in a strand of light
and splinters into a net of light. Through a battle of sheer
will and to the song of the phoenix, a bead on the original
strand works back to Voldemort’s wand. Targets of
Voldemort’s last spells emit from his wand as shadows –
including Cedric, Frank Bryce, Bertha Jorkins, Lily and
James Potter. Cedric asks Harry to return him to his father
and James instructs him on what to do. Harry escapes, runs
to Cedric’s body, calls forth the Triwizard Cup and
teleports back to Hogwarts.
- In the chaos over Cedric’s death, Harry is led back to
the castle by Moody. Moody reveals that he is the follower
of Voldemort who set Harry up. As Moody moves to finish
Harry, he is stunned by Dumbledore, McGonagall and Snape.
Dumbledore knows this is an imposter and the wait was for
polyjuice to wear off. The imposter was Barty Crouch, Jr.
whose father had helped him escape and the story unravels.
Harry’s immediate trauma ends, but the effects are lasting.