To the shock of the PowerTrio, Professor Quirrell, while he is very clearly not looking too healthy, doesn't seem to have given up the secret of the Stone's location to Snape yet. Harry, Ron and Hermione even decide to bolster the man's spirits some by being supportive and defensive of him, especially when people mock his stutter and other eccentricities.
In the library, while they are doing research for their (heavy load of) Easter holiday homework, Harry, Ron and Hermione run across Hagrid looking at books on dragon breeding (which, as Ron points out later, has been illegal for centuries.) Since Hagrid is such a [[CannotKeepASecret great gold mine of secret information,]] the trio pays him a visit at his hut to figure out some things. Sure enough, he reveals that many of Hogwarts' teachers (including Snape, unbelievably) have helped set up various defenses for the Stone - of which Fluffy is merely the first. While inside Hagrid's hut, the kids cannot fail to notice that he is in fact keeping a dragon's egg incubating in his fireplace. Hagrid gladly tells them that it is the egg of the [[TitleDrop Norwegian Ridgeback,]] a rare species of dragon. Hermione can only comment that [[WhatAnIdiot it is a bad idea to breed a dragon in a wooden house.]]
Days later, the Ridgeback dragon hatches, and Hagrid, in typical form, chooses to [[FluffyTheTerrible christen it ]] [[AndCallHimGeorge Norbert.]] Harry, Ron and Hermione are asked to help him take care of Norbert, but they have other things to worry about - for instance, the fact that Draco Malfoy also witnessed the hatching (he was spying in Hagrid's window) and may report Hagrid any day now. After Ron is hospitalized due to complications from a bite, the trio agrees to get rid of Norbert - so they send an owl to Ron's older brother Charlie, who studies dragons in Romania. Charlie responds quickly, telling the kids to meet some of his friends on the Astronomy Tower at midnight on Saturday. Unfortunately, Malfoy gets ahold of the letter after going into the hospital wing on the pretext of borrowing one of Ron's books - which happened to contain the letter.
On Saturday night, Harry and Hermione sneak Norbert up to the tower under the Invisibility Cloak, and [[CrowningMomentOfFunny they spot Professor [=McGonagall=] escorting Malfoy downstairs, having caught him up there waiting for the dragon, and given him detention and taken twenty points from Slytherin.]] However, after the delivery is made, Harry and Hermione make the huge mistake of abandoning the cloak on top of the tower, and they get caught by none other than Argus Filch.