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Harry Potter: "I've got the Snitch!"
Marcus Flint: "He didn't catch it, he nearly swallowed it!"
— Harry catches the Snitch and wins the match[src]

This Quidditch match was played between Gryffindor and Slytherin in early November of 1991, it was also the opening match of the season. The final result being 170 points for Gryffindor to 60 points for Slytherin, as Harry Potter's catching of the Golden Snitch resulted in Gryffindor receiving 150 points.[1] It was also the first Quidditch match that Potter played in his life.






Harry Potter was appointed Seeker on Thursday, 12 September 1991, when Minerva McGonagall witnessed him performing a spectacular dive to catch a falling Rememberall during an interruption to his flying lesson.[2] The next Friday, on 20 September, she sent him a Nimbus 2000 broomstick on which to ride during Quidditch matches, but requested that he keep his position, and the broomstick in general, a secret.[3] The rules were explained to Harry by Oliver Wood, Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, on that same evening at 7 p.m.[3]

For several weeks before the match, the Gryffindor team developed a training routine, with Harry practising three evening a week.[3] By November, despite efforts to keep the fact a secret, many students knew that Harry would be Gryffindor's new Seeker; some people thought Harry would be a great player, whilst others expected him to fall off his broom. To prepare himself, he borrowed Hermione Granger' s copy of Quidditch Through the Ages, which he found very interesting.[1]

Oliver wood ps

The first match of the Quidditch season against Slytherin

On Saturday 9 November, the morning of the match, Harry found himself unable to eat anything for breakfast due to his nerves, but was encouraged by numerous Gryffindors to do so. By eleven o'clock, most of the students and teachers had gathered at the Quidditch pitch. Right before the start of the match, Captain Wood gave an intence speech to his teammates, one that Fred and George Weasley knew by heart, having been on the team last year.[1]

The match[]

"— Quaffle taken by the Slytherins — that's Adrian Pucey speeding off toward the goal posts, but he's blocked by a second Bludger — sent his way by Fred or George Weasley, can't tell which — nice play by the Gryffindor Beater, anyway, and Johnson back in possession of the Quaffle, a clear field ahead and off she goes — she's really flying — dodges a speeding Bludger — the goal posts are ahead — come on, now, Angelina — Keeper Bletchley dives — misses — GRYFFINDORS SCORE!"
— 1991 opening match of the season[src]

Rolanda Hooch was the referee of the match, while Lee Jordan took on the role of commentator. To begin, Madam Hooch informed all players that she wanted a nice, fair game, particularly speaking to Slytherin Quidditch Captain Marcus Flint.[1]

Angelins scores goal

Angelina Johnson has possession of the Quaffle during a 1991 match

She then proceeded to ask all players to mount their brooms. After the players had taken off, she released the Quaffle, which was immediately taken by Gryffindor Chaser Angelina Johnson, who passed it to fellow Chaser Alicia Spinnet; Alicia passed it back before the Quaffle was taken by Flint. He tried to score, but Wood blocked the Quaffle, which was taken by Katie Bell.

Katie was hit by a Bludger and lost it to Slytherin player Adrian Pucey, but he in turn was blocked by the second Bludger, hit at him by Fred Weasley or George Weasley. Johnson regained possession of the Quaffle, and with a clear field, dodged another Bludger, shot the Quaffle past Slytherin Keeper Bletchley and scored first for Gryffindor.[1]

By this time, neither Seeker had seen the Snitch, and Harry was keeping out of the way as was part of the game plan. Fred Weasley beat a Bludger away from Harry and at Flint.[1]

Shortly after, Pucey was once again in possession of the Quaffle, dodging two Bludgers, when suddenly both Seekers noticed the Snitch. They soared downwards, the rest of the match frozen to watch; Potter was faster than Slytherin Seeker Higgs and nearly caught the Snitch, but Flint rammed into him, fouling him and losing the Snitch. Hooch gave Gryffindor a penalty shot and Alicia Spinnet scored, making it 20 to 0.[1]

Fred George Quidditch

Beater Fred Weasley playing during the match

When Harry dodged a Bludger that nearly hit his head, he noticed that he was suddenly losing control over his broomstick. Thinking that he was falling, Harry grabbed it with his hands and knees; it was trying to buck him off, zig-zagging wildly through the air.[1]

While Harry was having difficulties with his broom, Flint was in possession of the Quaffle; he was hit in the face with a Bludger but was still able to score, making it 20 to 10.[1]

Eventually, the spectators began to notice the odd behaviour of Harry's broom; he was thrown off of it when it gave an almighty jerk and was left dangling from it with one hand. Among the stands, Hermione Granger, using Rubeus Hagrid's binoculars, noticed that Severus Snape was maintaining eye contact with Harry and muttering an incantation.[1]

Meanwhile, it was becoming increasingly difficult for Harry to hang on to his broom. Fred and George tried to pull him onto one of their Cleansweep Fives, but failed to do so; Flint scored five goals without anyone noticing, making the score now 20 to 60. On the ground, Hermione had reached Snape, knocking over Professor Quirrell in the process. She conjured Bluebell Flames onto his cloak, enabling Harry to clamber back onto his broom.[1]

Harry catches the snitch

Harry catches the Snitch and wins the opening match against Slytherin

The spectators watched in confusion as Harry dove towards the ground, only to clasp his hand to his mouth as if he was being violently sick the instant he landed. In actuality Harry had caught the Snitch in his mouth, as it was lodged in his throat he needed to remove it by coughing. His capture of the Snitch ended the match, thus Gryffindor won and scored 150 points and winning Gryffindor the match 170 to 60.[1]


It was revealed in June of the following year that it was not Snape, in fact, but Quirrell, who had been trying to jinx Harry's broom, and that the only reason he had failed was that Snape had been muttering a counter-curse.[4]

When, nearly six years later in 1997 when Albus Dumbledore passed away, his will was examined by Rufus Scrimgeour, Minister for Magic, and Scrimgeour revealed that Dumbledore had left Harry the Snitch he had caught in this first match.[5] When he touched it with his lips, a hidden message appeared on it: "I open at the close".[5] Only when he was about to be killed by Lord Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest did he realise what this meant, and whispered to the ball that he was about to die. It cracked open, and the Resurrection Stone, hidden within it, fell out onto his palm.[6]

Behind the scenes[]

Quidditch - Mary Grandpre PS

Mary GrandPré's illustration of this Quidditch match from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

  • The chapter in which the match takes place is titled "Quidditch".[1]
  • This is the first official Quidditch match played by Harry Potter, as well as by Katie Bell, who was in her second year. Also, since Alicia Spinnet had been a reserve player the year before, this was likely her first match as well.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, this is the only Quidditch match shown; as well, whilst in the book it is clear that Dumbledore does not attend this match, in the film he very clearly does.
  • In some adaptations of the video game, the broom is not jinxed during the match.


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 11 (Quidditch)
  2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 9 (The Midnight Duel)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en)
  4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 7 (The Will of Albus Dumbledore)
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 34 (The Forest Again)
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