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Hermione: "These birds... they can't be here just for decoration."
Harry: "They're not birds! They're keys! Winged keys."
Hermione Granger and Harry Potter when they entered the chamber of winged keys[src]

The Winged Keys,[2] also known as Flying Keys,[3] were keys that were enchanted to fly by Professor Filius Flitwick to guard the Philosopher's Stone.[1]

History

Guarding the Philosopher's Stone

See also: Skirmish in the Underground Chambers#Winged keys (Filius Flitwick's obstacle)

A flock of fluttering winged keys

The keys were placed in a massive "flock" within the third chamber of the Underground Chambers, and only one of them would allow entry into the fourth chamber through a locked door that was made impervious to Unlocking Charms. The chamber also contained brooms, which could be used to retrieve the correct key, though the keys would scatter chaotically as soon as the brooms were used to lift-off.[1]

The trio trying to catch the right key on broomsticks

On 4 June 1992, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger had to overcome a series of obstacles in order to pass from one Chamber to follow whom they believed to be Severus Snape (actually Quirinus Quirrell), whom they believed intended to hand the Philosopher's Stone over to Lord Voldemort, and prevent him from successfully acquiring the stone to achieve immortality.[1]

The Winged Key with a bent wing

The trio successfully got to the chamber filled with the winged keys, which at first appeared to be birds. As they discovered that Alohomora didn't work on the locked door at the end of the room, they also realised the keys were not, in fact, birds. Hermione cleverly deduced that the key that would open the locked door must be an old one to match the old lock on the door, and the only old-fashioned key was a silver one with bright blue wings, with a wing broken, as it had just been used by Quirrell.[1]

As soon as Harry, Ron and Hermione took off on brooms to catch the "old key," the rest of the keys started zooming and darting all over the place.[1]

The Calamity

During the Calamity of the 21st century, Winged Keys became Foundables which had to be dealt with and returned to their original location by volunteer members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force.[4]

Behind the scenes

The Winged Keys in an assault formation

Differences

Media Scene
Book Harry, Ron and Hermione catch the key.
Film Harry catches the key.
Film (Disc 2 game) "You must search and click on the right winged key."
PC/Mac game Same as film.
PS1 game Same as film. However, the wrong keys shine red and the right key shine blue and its wing is not broken.
Pottermore "You must search and click on the right winged key."
GBC game Same as film.
GBA game N/A
LEGO Years 1-4 (desktop) Same as film, except for the fact that Harry shoot spells at the key.
LEGO Years 1-4 (handheld) Harry finds the hideout of the key, then same as film.
PS2/Xbox/GameCube game Same as film.
Magic Awakened N/A

Appearances

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The Harry Potter Wiki has 21 images related to Winged Keys.

Concept art of the Winged Keys

Notes and references

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