Chapter 1: The Boy Who Lived
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley and their son, Dudley, live at number four, Privet Drive. They pride themselves on being perfectly normal and have a strong aversion to anything unusual or mysterious.
Mr. Dursley is the director of a firm called Grunnings, which manufactures drills. The Dursleys have a secret related to the Potters, Mrs. Dursley’s sister’s family, whom they consider very un-Dursleyish. They fear someone discovering this secret.
On a particular day, Mr. Dursley notices strange occurrences around town, such as a cat reading a map and people in cloaks whispering about the Potters. He becomes increasingly paranoid about these events and their connection to the Potters.
That evening, Albus Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall meet on Privet Drive. They discuss the mysterious events and the rumors surrounding Voldemort’s disappearance. They are there to leave a baby, Harry Potter, with the Dursleys. Harry is the only survivor of an attack by Voldemort, which resulted in the deaths of his parents, James and Lily Potter. Harry has a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead from the attack.
Dumbledore leaves a letter for the Dursleys explaining the situation. As they depart, Dumbledore mentions that Harry will be famous in the wizarding world as the boy who lived through Voldemort’s curse.
The chapter concludes with Harry being left on the Dursley’s doorstep, unaware of his significance in the wizarding world. The narrative hints that he will be celebrated as “the boy who lived.”
Chapter 2: The Vanishing Glass
Nearly a decade has passed since the Dursleys found their nephew, Harry Potter, on their doorstep. The house on Privet Drive remains largely unchanged, and the only indication of the passage of time is the photographs on the mantelpiece. These photos show Dudley growing up, but there’s no sign of Harry.
Harry’s life with the Dursleys is far from pleasant. He’s made to sleep in a cupboard under the stairs, wear Dudley’s old clothes, and do most of the household chores. The Dursleys constantly mistreat him and ensure he’s reminded of his “place” in the family.
On Dudley’s birthday, the family plans a trip to the zoo. Harry is allowed to come along, but he’s warned not to ruin the day. At the zoo, Harry has a peculiar conversation with a snake. He seems to understand the snake, and at one point, the glass of the enclosure vanishes, allowing the snake to escape. Dudley and his friend are trapped in the enclosure momentarily before the glass reappears.
The Dursleys are furious with Harry, but he’s confused because he doesn’t know how it happened. He recalls other strange incidents from his past, like his hair growing back overnight after a particularly bad haircut.
The chapter provides insight into Harry’s difficult life with the Dursleys and hints at his yet-undiscovered magical abilities.
Chapter 3: Letters from No One
After the incident at the zoo, Harry faces severe punishment from the Dursleys. By the time he’s allowed out of his cupboard, the summer holidays have begun.
Harry starts noticing strange occurrences. For instance, he spots peculiar people in the streets who seem to recognize him, but they vanish before he can get a closer look.
One day, a letter arrives for Harry, addressed to “The Cupboard under the Stairs” at 4 Privet Drive. This surprises Harry, as he’s never received a letter before. However, before he can read it, Uncle Vernon snatches it away and destroys it.
More letters begin to arrive, each with a more specific address, such as “The Smallest Bedroom.” Despite Uncle Vernon’s efforts to prevent Harry from reading them (including nailing the mail slot shut), the letters keep coming, even in more unconventional ways, like being hidden inside eggs.
In a desperate attempt to escape the letters, Uncle Vernon takes the family to a shack on a small island. However, as Harry counts down to his eleventh birthday, there’s a loud, persistent knocking at the door.
Chapter 4: The Keeper of the Keys
The chapter begins with a loud knocking on the door of the shack where the Dursleys and Harry are hiding. The knocking grows louder and more forceful until the door is finally broken down, revealing a giant of a man named Hagrid.
Hagrid is surprised and angered to find Harry living in such conditions and unaware of his true heritage. He reveals to Harry that he is a wizard and has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The Dursleys protest, with Uncle Vernon trying to threaten Hagrid with a rifle. Hagrid, unimpressed, bends the gun into a knot and uses his umbrella (which seems to have magical properties) to give Dudley a pig’s tail as punishment for his family’s treatment of Harry.
Hagrid explains to Harry about the world of wizards and magic. He also touches upon the topic of Harry’s parents, James and Lily Potter, and how they were killed by the dark wizard Voldemort. However, when Voldemort tried to kill baby Harry, the curse rebounded, destroying Voldemort and leaving Harry with his lightning-shaped scar.
The chapter ends with Hagrid taking Harry away from the Dursleys, preparing to introduce him to the magical world and get him ready for Hogwarts.
Chapter 5: Diagon Alley
The chapter begins with Harry waking up, hoping that the previous day’s events were just a dream. However, the reality of his situation becomes clear when he sees Hagrid and receives a newspaper from an owl.
Hagrid takes Harry to London to shop for his school supplies. They first stop at the Leaky Cauldron, a pub for witches and wizards. Inside, Harry is greeted with astonishment and reverence by the patrons who recognize him.
To access Diagon Alley, a hidden magical marketplace, Hagrid taps a specific brick in the wall behind the Leaky Cauldron, revealing an archway. Harry is amazed by the bustling magical street filled with shops selling everything from cauldrons to broomsticks.
Their first stop is Gringotts, the wizarding bank run by goblins. Here, Harry discovers that he has a vault filled with gold coins left to him by his parents. Hagrid also retrieves a small package from another vault, stating it’s Hogwarts business.
While doing shopping at Diagon Alley, Harry also meets Professor Quirrel, who teaches Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts, and will thus be one of Harry’s teachers. A peculiar thing Harry notices about Quirrel is the large purple turban wrapped around his head, a rather odd fashion choice he thinks.
Harry then purchases his school supplies, including books, a cauldron, and a wand from Ollivander’s Wand Shop. Mr. Ollivander tells Harry that the wand that chose him has a twin wand that gave him his scar – the wand that belonged to Voldemort.
Hagrid also buys Harry a snowy owl as a birthday gift, which Harry later names Hedwig.
As they eat at a hamburger restaurant before parting ways, Harry has many questions about Voldemort and his parents. Hagrid provides some answers but also leaves many things unsaid, hinting at deeper mysteries to be unraveled.
Chapter 6: The Journey From Platform Nine and Three-Quarters
The chapter begins with Harry’s last month at the Dursleys’ house, which is marked by their avoidance of him. When it’s time to leave for Hogwarts, Uncle Vernon drops Harry off at King’s Cross Station but mockingly leaves him unsure of how to find Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.
Harry is uncertain about how to access the platform until he overhears the Weasley family. Mrs. Weasley helps Harry by explaining that he needs to walk straight into the barrier between platforms nine and ten.
Successfully on the platform, Harry boards the Hogwarts Express. On the train, he meets Ron Weasley, and the two quickly become friends. They share treats from the trolley, and Harry gets his first taste of Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.
The train journey also introduces Harry to other key characters: Hermione Granger, who is looking for Neville Longbottom’s lost toad, and Draco Malfoy, who offers friendship but is rebuffed by Harry.
As the train approaches Hogwarts, the first-year students are filled with a mix of excitement and nervousness about what awaits them.
Chapter 7: The Sorting Hat
The chapter begins with the first-year students being led by Professor McGonagall into the Great Hall of Hogwarts. The hall’s ceiling appears to be the night sky, and four long tables represent the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin.
The Sorting Ceremony involves the Sorting Hat, a magical hat that determines which house each student belongs to. The hat sings a song describing the qualities of each house and its role in sorting students.
One by one, the students are called to sit on a stool and have the Sorting Hat placed on their heads. The hat then announces the house they will join.
Harry is nervous about the sorting, especially after meeting Draco Malfoy earlier and hearing his preference for Slytherin. When it’s Harry’s turn, the hat considers placing him in Slytherin but ultimately decides on Gryffindor after Harry silently pleads not to be sorted into Slytherin.
Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger are also sorted into Gryffindor, while Draco Malfoy is sorted into Slytherin.
After the sorting, the students enjoy a grand feast. The chapter provides glimpses of the school’s faculty, including Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster, who gives a quirky welcome speech.
The chapter ends with the students heading to their respective house common rooms, with Harry and his new friends heading to the Gryffindor common room.
That night, Harry dreams of Professor Quirrel’s turban talking to him, saying that he must do whatever he can to transfer to Slytherin, since that was his destiny.
Chapter 8: The Potions Master
The chapter starts with Harry’s newfound fame at Hogwarts. Whispers and stares follow him everywhere, and he struggles to navigate the vast castle with its moving staircases and numerous corridors.
Harry’s first class is Potions with Professor Severus Snape, held in the dungeons. The classroom atmosphere is tense, and Snape’s dislike for Harry is immediately evident. Snape questions Harry on various potion ingredients, trying to catch him off guard and highlight his lack of knowledge.
During the lesson, students are tasked with brewing a potion to cure boils. While Snape praises Draco Malfoy’s potion-making skills, he is quick to criticize others, especially the Gryffindors.
An accident occurs when Neville Longbottom’s cauldron melts, causing his potion to spill and harm him. Snape blames Harry and Ron for not guiding Neville properly, further showcasing his bias.
Throughout the lesson, Snape’s animosity towards Harry is palpable. He deducts points from Gryffindor for minor reasons and seems to have a particular vendetta against Harry.
The chapter provides insight into Snape’s character and sets the tone for the complicated relationship between him and Harry. It also introduces the reader to the intricacies of potion-making and the challenges students face in mastering it.
Chapter 9: The Midnight Duel
The chapter begins with Harry’s growing animosity towards Draco Malfoy. Their rivalry intensifies when they learn that Gryffindor and Slytherin first-year students will have their flying lessons together.
During the flying lesson, Neville Longbottom has an accident, and Draco takes advantage of the situation by grabbing Neville’s Remembrall. Harry stands up to Draco, showcasing his natural flying ability in the process. Professor McGonagall witnesses this and introduces Harry to Oliver Wood, the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, hinting at Harry’s potential as a Seeker.
Draco challenges Harry to a wizard’s duel at midnight in the trophy room. Harry accepts, with Ron as his second. Hermione tries to dissuade them from breaking the rules but ends up getting caught with them as they sneak out.
Filch, the caretaker, almost catches them, but they manage to evade him. In their attempt to avoid getting caught, they accidentally enter the forbidden third-floor corridor, where they encounter a three-headed dog guarding a trapdoor. This discovery deepens the mystery of what’s being hidden at Hogwarts.
The chapter ends with the group narrowly escaping and returning to Gryffindor Tower, with Harry and Hermione forming the beginnings of a friendship.
Chapter 10: Halloween
The chapter starts with the excitement of Halloween approaching, with the Great Hall being decorated with festoons of holly, mistletoe, and towering Christmas trees. The atmosphere at Hogwarts is festive.
During a Charms lesson, students practice the levitation spell “Wingardium Leviosa.” Hermione corrects Ron’s pronunciation, which annoys him. Later, Ron makes a hurtful comment about Hermione, unaware that she overhears him. Distraught, Hermione hides in the girls’ bathroom.
The Halloween feast is interrupted when Professor Quirrell bursts into the Great Hall, announcing that there’s a troll in the dungeons. As the students are led back to their dormitories, Harry and Ron remember that Hermione is unaware of the troll due to being in the bathroom.
The two decide to warn Hermione and encounter the troll. Using their combined efforts and recalling the levitation charm they learned earlier, they manage to knock out the troll by making its club levitate and then drop onto its head.
Professor McGonagall, Snape, and Quirrell arrive on the scene. Hermione takes the blame, saying she went to face the troll herself and that Harry and Ron were trying to save her. Grateful for their bravery but also recognizing the rule-breaking, Professor McGonagall awards them five points each for Gryffindor, while deducting five from Hermione.
The incident results in the formation of a strong bond of friendship between Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
Chapter 11: Quidditch
The chapter delves into the magical sport of Quidditch. Harry is introduced to the game’s intricacies by Oliver Wood, the Gryffindor Quidditch captain. The game involves three types of balls: the Quaffle, Bludgers, and the Golden Snitch. The Quaffle is used to score points, Bludgers fly around trying to knock players off their brooms, and the Snitch is a small golden ball that Seekers, like Harry, must catch to end the game and earn extra points.
As November progresses, the weather turns colder, and the excitement for the first Quidditch match of the season grows. Gryffindor is set to play against Slytherin.
During the match, Harry’s broom starts behaving erratically, as if it’s cursed. Hermione notices Severus Snape staring intently at Harry and muttering something, leading her to believe he’s jinxing the broom. To counteract this, she sneaks over and sets Snape’s robes on fire, breaking his concentration and allowing Harry to regain control of his broom.
The game is intense, with both teams showing great skill. In the end, Harry spots the Snitch and catches it, securing a win for Gryffindor.
The chapter showcases the thrill and dangers of Quidditch, as well as the growing animosity between Harry and certain members of the Slytherin house, especially Snape.
The chapter ends with Hagrid warning Harry and his friends to stop causing trouble, and to stop inquiring about the great three-headed dog that protects the trapdoor, since that is a secret between Albus Dumbledore and a certain Nicolas Flamel.
This however starts the curiosity of Harry and his friends as to who this Nicolas Flamel is.
Chapter 12: The Mirror of Erised
As Christmas approaches, Hogwarts is adorned with festive decorations. Harry and Ron decide to stay at Hogwarts for the holidays, enjoying the festive atmosphere and the absence of the majority of students.
Harry receives an unexpected Christmas gift: an invisibility cloak that once belonged to his father. A note accompanying the cloak advises him to “use it well.”
Curious to test the cloak, Harry explores the school at night undetected. On one of his nighttime adventures, he discovers a mysterious mirror, the Mirror of Erised. The inscription on the mirror reads: “Erised straeh ruoy tub ecaf ruoy ton wohs I,” which, when read backward, says, “I show not your face but your heart’s desire.”
Looking into the mirror, Harry sees himself with his deceased parents and extended family. The vision is deeply emotional for Harry, who never knew his parents and always longed for a family.
Harry shares the discovery with Ron, who, when he looks into the mirror, sees himself as Head Boy and Quidditch captain, basking in glory and success.
However, the mirror’s allure becomes problematic as Harry becomes obsessed with it, visiting it night after night. Dumbledore eventually intervenes, explaining to Harry that the mirror shows the “deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts.” He warns Harry that dwelling on dreams can be detrimental and reveals that the mirror will be moved to a new location.
Dumbledore’s gentle wisdom leaves an impression on Harry, especially when Harry asks what Dumbledore sees in the mirror. Dumbledore humorously replies that he sees himself holding a pair of thick, woolen socks, emphasizing the importance of simple desires and comforts.
Chapter 13: Nicholas Flamel
After the events with the Mirror of Erised, Harry’s nightmares intensify, frequently featuring his parents disappearing in a flash of green light accompanied by a high-pitched cackle.
Hermione returns from the holidays and is both horrified and disappointed to learn about Harry’s adventures with the mirror. She’s particularly frustrated that they still haven’t figured out who Nicolas Flamel is.
Their quest to identify Flamel continues, with the trio searching through numerous books without success. Harry’s time is further limited due to intensified Quidditch practices, as their next match against Hufflepuff is crucial.
The breakthrough comes unexpectedly. After a visit to Hagrid, where they press him about Flamel and the guarded object, they rush to the library. There, Hermione recalls a book she had checked out for “light reading” and finds a reference to Flamel. She reveals that Nicolas Flamel is the only known maker of the Philosopher’s Stone, a legendary substance. This stone can transform any metal into pure gold and produces the Elixir of Life, granting immortality. The book also mentions that the only existing Philosopher’s Stone belongs to Flamel, who is 665 years old and lives with his 658-year-old wife, Perenelle, in Devon.
The trio deduces that the Philosopher’s Stone is what’s being guarded at Hogwarts and that it’s what Snape (or someone else) is trying to steal. They believe that Flamel entrusted the stone to Dumbledore for safekeeping.
Chapter 14: Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback
The chapter begins with the trio keeping an eye on the third-floor corridor, ensuring that Fluffy, the three-headed dog, is still guarding the trapdoor, indicating that the Philosopher’s Stone is still safe. Snape’s bad temper further assures them of its safety.
Hagrid wins a dragon egg in a card game and is ecstatic when it hatches, revealing a Norwegian Ridgeback dragon, which he names Norbert. However, dragons are illegal, and Hagrid’s hut is not the best place for a growing dragon. The dragon grows rapidly, becoming a handful for Hagrid and posing a risk of discovery.
Malfoy spots the dragon one night and threatens to expose Hagrid. The trio, desperate to help Hagrid and keep Norbert a secret, hatch a plan. Harry remembers that Ron’s brother Charlie works with dragons in Romania. They decide to send Norbert to Charlie.
A letter from Charlie confirms that he’s willing to help. He arranges for some friends to pick up Norbert from the tallest tower at midnight on a particular day. The trio, using an invisibility cloak, manage to get Norbert to the designated spot, but their night doesn’t end there.
After handing off Norbert, they are caught by Filch thinking they were still invisible. Unfortunately for the trio, they forgot the invisibility cloak at the top of the tower.
Chapter 15: The Forbidden Forest
The chapter begins with Harry, Hermione, Neville, and Malfoy being caught out of bed at night. They are taken to Professor McGonagall’s study, where they fear expulsion. Instead, they are given detention, which involves going into the Forbidden Forest at night with Hagrid to find a wounded unicorn.
Filch warns them about the dangers of the forest, mentioning werewolves among other creatures. Hagrid explains that something has been killing unicorns and drinking their blood, which is a grave crime in the magical world. The group splits up to search for the injured unicorn, with Harry and Hermione going with Hagrid.
As they venture deeper into the forest, they come across Ronan and Bane, two centaurs who cryptically mention that “Mars is bright tonight,” hinting at some significant event. Later, Harry and Malfoy stumble upon the dead unicorn and see a hooded figure drinking its blood. This figure is later revealed to be Voldemort in a weakened state.
Firenze, another centaur, rescues Harry from the hooded figure. He explains that drinking unicorn blood can keep someone alive but at a terrible cost. The act curses the drinker to live a half-life. Firenze also hints at the planets showing signs of Voldemort’s return[^187^].
The chapter concludes with Harry realizing that Voldemort is after the Philosopher’s Stone to regain his full strength.
Chapter 16: Through the Trapdoor
The chapter begins with Harry, Ron, and Hermione realizing that the Philosopher’s Stone is in danger. They try to warn Professor McGonagall, but she doesn’t believe them. Determined to prevent Voldemort from getting the stone, the trio decides to retrieve it themselves.
That night, they use the invisibility cloak to sneak past Filch and Mrs. Norris. They encounter Peeves but manage to avoid him. When they reach the third-floor corridor, they find the door to the forbidden room ajar and the three-headed dog, Fluffy, asleep. They realize that someone has already been there and played the harp to put Fluffy to sleep.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione descend through the trapdoor beneath Fluffy. They face a series of magical obstacles set up by the Hogwarts teachers to protect the stone. The first challenge involves a plant called Devil’s Snare, which they overcome thanks to Hermione’s knowledge.
The next challenge is a room filled with flying keys. Harry uses his Quidditch skills to catch the correct key that will open the next door.
In the subsequent room, they find a giant chessboard. To proceed, they must play a real-life game of wizard’s chess. Ron bravely sacrifices himself in the game, allowing Harry and Hermione to checkmate the king and move on.
The following challenges include a troll (which has already been knocked out) and a logic puzzle involving potions set by Professor Snape. Hermione solves the puzzle, allowing Harry to move forward.
The chapter ends with Harry proceeding alone to the final room, where he expects to confront whoever is trying to steal the stone.
Chapter 17: The Man With Two Faces
Harry is shocked to discover that it’s not Snape or Voldemort in the final chamber, but Professor Quirrell. Quirrell reveals that he was the one trying to get the Philosopher’s Stone and that Snape had been trying to stop him all along.
Quirrell explains that he let the troll in on Halloween and tried to kill Harry during the Quidditch match, not Snape. He also admits to serving Lord Voldemort and that Voldemort is currently with him.
Harry realizes that Voldemort is living on the back of Quirrell’s head, sharing his body. Voldemort, speaking through Quirrell, demands the Philosopher’s Stone from Harry.
The Mirror of Erised is in the room, and Voldemort believes it can help him get the stone. Harry looks into the mirror and sees himself with the stone in his pocket. The stone magically appears in his real pocket.
Voldemort realizes Harry has the stone and orders Quirrell to seize him. As Quirrell touches Harry, his skin burns and blisters. Harry uses this to his advantage, but the pain in his scar becomes overwhelming.
Harry passes out and later wakes up in the hospital wing. Dumbledore is there and explains many of the unanswered questions Harry has. He tells Harry that his mother’s sacrifice protected him from Voldemort, which is why Quirrell couldn’t touch him.
Dumbledore also explains that he and Flamel have decided to destroy the stone. Harry is awarded points for his bravery, ensuring that Gryffindor wins the House Cup.
The school year ends, and Harry, Hermione, and Ron head back to their families, with Harry dreading a summer with the Dursleys but looking forward to his future years at Hogwarts.
This concludes the summary of the first book in the Harry Potter series. If you wish to learn more about the Potterverse, we suggest this link over at Fandom.com