Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Chapter Summary
Chapter 1: The Boy Who Lived
As Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, start their normal, Tuesday routine, there is nothing to suggest that this Tuesday is going to be different from any other Tuesday. They are a family that is very boring, very predictable, and very committed to being as normal as possible. Because Mrs. Dursley has a sister that is none of these things, they pretend she does not exist. When Mr. Dursley finally leaves for work, he is disgruntled to find out that there are things happening on this Tuesday that are simply not regular. There are people walking around in cloaks, owls flying all around, and a host of other weird things that happen during the day to push him into a foul and confused mood. When he finally drifts off to sleep that night he’s glad that the weird day is over, or so he thinks. Outside, a strange old man is discussing current event with a tabby cat who just turned into a very severe looking woman. The man is a wizard, Albus Dumbledore, and he tells the woman that Voldemort, the evilest wizard that ever was, was destroyed when he tried to kill little Harry Potter, and that no one knows why this is so. Harry’s parents were killed, and he’s bringing Harry to live with his aunt and uncle, the Dursley’s.
Chapter 2: The Vanishing Glass
It’s been 10 years since that fateful night. Harry is still living with the Dursley’s, although you can’t tell it from looking at the house. They force him to live in the cupboard under the stairs, and the only clothing he gets are hand-me-downs from Dudley, who is about 10 times bigger than Harry. It’s Dudley’s birthday, and due to the neighbor, Mrs. Figg, breaking her leg, Harry’s allowed to go with them to the zoo instead of to Mrs. Figg’s house. As Dudley and his friend wander off, Harry starts a conversation with a boa constrictor, who tells him he’d very much like to go to his home back in Burma. When Dudley pushes Harry onto the floor to watch the snake, the glass suddenly disappears and the boa is slithering away, thanking Harry for setting him free and causing a panic in the zoo. The Dursleys know immediately Harry is responsible, and they punish him soundly as soon as they get home.
Chapter 3: The Letters From No One
It’s Harry’s longest punishment ever. When he is finally free again summer has started, and one morning he’s amazed when a letter arrives just for him. As soon as Uncle Vernon sees him trying to open the letter he seizes it, and refuses to let Harry read it. When the post comes the next day another letter for Harry is in there, but again Uncle Vernon will not allow him to read it. As the days go by the number of letters and the craziness of their arrival increases, Uncle Vernon starts to become dangerously unhinged over the affair. He takes increasingly drastic measures to prevent Harry from reading the letters, and when a boatload of letters come in on Sunday, when there is no “post” (British slang for mail), he finally forces them all into the car, where they drive all day to a remote location just so the post won’t be able to follow them. The next day finds them still on the road, and this time Uncle Vernon takes them to a miserable shack on an island. That night, as Harry counts down the seconds to his birthday, something gigantic knocks on the door of the shack.
Chapter 4: The Keeper Of The Keys
A giant has forced his way into the shack. Harry is amazed when the giant, who introduces himself as Rubeus Hagrid, knows who he is, knows it’s his birthday, and brings him his first ever birthday cake. Hagrid is shocked to find out that Harry knows nothing about Hogwarts School, and is livid when he finds out that Harry doesn’t know anything about his parents, or even the fact that he’s a wizard. The Dursley’s never told Harry anything about his past, or his parents, and it’s with complete disbelief that Hagrid sets about telling Harry the truth about his life. Harry can’t believe that he’s a real wizard or that his parents were killed, not in a car crash as the Dursley’s had told him, but by an evil wizard named Voldemort. He finds out that he’s the one who destroyed Voldemort when Voldemort tried to kill him too. When Hagrid finishes the tale, Harry feels upset because he’s sure there’s been a mistake. He can’t be a wizard! Hagrid convinces him otherwise, and Harry is thrilled when Uncle Vernon insults Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster, and Hagrid gives Dudley a pig’s tail in retribution.
Chapter 5: Diagon Alley
The next morning Harry wakes up, trying to convince himself it was all a dream. When he opens his eyes and finds Hagrid still in the shack he so happy he doesn’t know what to do. Hagrid takes him shopping for his school supplies in a section of London called Diagon Alley, which is just for witches and wizards. Harry is taken aback when he’s treated like a celebrity by everyone. He even gets to meet one of his teachers, Professor Quirrell, in the Leaky Cauldron Pub. Harry is amazed when they get to Gringotts Bank to take out some of his inheritance. There’s a small fortune in there, and he can’t believe the way his life has changed overnight. While they’re in Gringotts Hagrid also takes out a mysterious package from a vault for Dumbledore, and in spite of Harry’s questioning he won’t tell him what it is. When he goes in to get fitted for his school robes he meets a boy he doesn’t like at all. Hagrid buys him a beautiful owl for his birthday present, and Harry is most excited to get his new wand. He tries a variety of different wands on for size, and finally finds his match in a wand with a phoenix feather core. Mr. Ollivander, the wandmaker, informs him that the phoenix that supplied his feather gave another feather, which is in the core of Lord Voldemort’s wand. Harry’s sad to say goodbye to Hagrid, but is very much looking forward to his first day of school.
Chapter 6: The Journey From Platform Nine And Three-Quarters
The last month with the Dursley’s crawls by, and when Harry finally gets dropped off at the station he’s flabbergasted to find that there’s no such thing as a platform 9 ¾. He is starting to panic until he sees a wizarding family going through the barrier, and the kindly mother shows him how to get through. When the train gets going the red-haired boy he saw at the platform shares a car with him. The boy’s name is Ron, and they become fast friends. They eat their way through a pile of sweets once the lunch cart comes around, and Harry learns loads from Ron about the wizarding world. Later that afternoon they meet a bossy girl named Hermione, and after that he meets the pale boy he saw in Diagon Alley. His name is Draco Malfoy, and Harry’s dislike of him deepens even further. He’s thrilled to see Hagrid when he gets to school, and he’s taken to the front doors by boat with the other first- years.
Chapter 7: The Sorting Hat
They’re taken inside by Professor McGonagall, who is a very severe looking teacher. They’re then taken into the Great Hall for the Sorting Ceremony, and Harry is extremely nervous about which House he’ll be Sorted into. When it’s Harry’s turn to put on the hat, he begs the hat not to put him in Slytherin and the hat places him in Gryffindor, which is also the same house that Ron and Hermione get Sorted into. After a very yummy feast, Professor Dumbledore informs all the students that a corridor on the third floor is out-of-bounds “to those who do not wish to die a most painful death”. Harry is not quite sure if he’s kidding or not.
Chapter 8: The Potions Master
As Harry gets through his first day of lessons he’s awkwardly aware that most of the other students stare and whisper about him. The end of the week finds him in his first Potions class with Professor Snape, and it’s a disaster. Snape humiliates Harry in front of Draco Malfoy and all the other Slytherins by asking him questions about potions that no one has learned yet (except perhaps Hermione, who’s studied all her books). Snape clearly hates him, although Harry has no idea why. When he goes down to Hagrid’s hut for tea he takes Ron to meet him. Harry again reads about the break-in at Gringotts, and wonders if the package that Hagrid took out was what the thief was really after.
Chapter 9: The Midnight Duel
As the days progress Harry realizes he really hates Malfoy. When he finds out that Gryffindor’s flying lessons will be held with the Slytherins he’s downhearted, sure that Malfoy is going to torment him endlessly. When fellow Gryffindor Neville Longbottom gets injured on his first attempt at flying, Madam Hooch leaves the class to take him up to the hospital wing. Malfoy immediately sets about insulting Neville, and Harry sticks up for him. Before he knows what he’s doing, he jumps on his broomstick and takes off through the air after Malfoy, who is already flying, despite threats of expulsion from Madam Hooch if they are caught while she is away. He’s astonished to find out that flying is something he knows how to do without being taught. He loves flying, and pulls off some astonishing moves before he lands. To his dismay, Professor McGonagall saw the whole affair, and in a furious temper drags him back up to the school. To his surprise, not only does she not murder him for his extensive rule breaking, but she allows him to join the Gryffindor Quidditch team as their new Seeker. During dinner a furious Malfoy challenges Harry to a wizarding duel at midnight, and Harry accepts. Hermione follows them out of the common room, trying to dissuade them from going, and ends up getting stuck outside. She has no choice but to go with them to the duel. When they show up at the trophy room, however, they realize that Malfoy set them up, and set Filch about to punish them for being out of their beds. They quickly hide, and take off down the corridor to escape him. They hide in a room on the third floor when Peeves discovers them, and are terrified to find themselves face-to-face with a gigantic 3-headed dog – they had gone through the forbidden corridor. They race back to the common room, and Hermione points out to them that the dog was guarding a trap door.
Chapter 10: Halloween
The next morning Harry and Ron discuss the night’s events over breakfast, and Harry is dumbfounded when he gets a brand new Nimbus 2000 broom delivered by owl. Hermione is refusing to talk to them because of the rule-breaking that went on the night before, but the boys hardly care. They only have eyes for Harry’s new broomstick. That night is his first training session with Wood, the Gryffindor Quidditch Team Caption, and Harry loves the game. His time at Hogwarts slips by effortlessly because he’s so busy and happy, and he’s astonished when Halloween finally rolls around. During the feast that evening, Professor Quirrell comes in fainting, shouting at the top of his lungs that there is a troll in the dungeons. As they’re shepherded back to the common room, Harry and Ron realize that Hermione doesn’t know about the troll because she’s in the bathroom, and they sneak off to warn her about it. They battle with the troll in order to save Hermione and end up knocking it out after a lengthy struggle. Hermione shocks them all by lying to Professor McGonagall that it’s all her fault. She saves the boys a severe punishment, and they don’t get in trouble (Hermione does lose 5 points for Gryffindor, although Harry and Ron each won 5 for their part). After that, the three are inseparable.
Chapter 11: Quidditch
As the first match between Gryffindor and Slytherin draws closer, Harry is nervous about performing in his first game. When Harry goes to Snape’s office to see if he can have his Quidditch book back (which Snape confiscated), he overhears Snape talking about the 3-headed dog, and also discovers that Snape was bitten by it. The first game is nerve-wracking for Harry. His broom stick suddenly starts jerking out of control and it’s only when Hermione spots Snape mumbling an incantation in the crowd and sets his robe on fire that it stops. As Harry pelts back to the ground he manages to catch the Snitch in his mouth, and Gryffindor wins the game. During tea back at Hagrid’s hut, Hagrid unwittingly tells them the 3-headed dog belongs to him, (and is named Fluffy) but he lent it to Dumbledore to guard something. When Harry asks what Fluffy is guarding, Hagrid lets slip that the mysterious object is between Dumbledore and someone named Nicolas Flamel.
Chapter 12: The Mirror of Erised
As Christmas approaches Harry is thrilled to be able to stay at the castle instead of going back to Privet Dr. Ron and his brothers are staying over during the holidays as well, and they spend a very enjoyable break lazily playing chess and tormenting each other. When Christmas morning dawns Harry is amazed to find he has a small pile of presents. One of them is an invisibility cloak which, according to the anonymous note that came with it, used to belong to his father. Harry is dumbfounded to have such a princely gift. That evening Harry decides to go on a night-time stroll in his new cloak. When Filch almost catches him in the library’s Restricted Section, Harry hides in an unused classroom until the danger has passed. In the room is a magnificent mirror, and when Harry looks at it he’s shocked to see many people looking back at him. When he takes a closer look, he realizes that the people looking back at him are his parents and other family members. The next day all Harry can think about is the mirror, and that night he sneaks back with Ron in order to see his family again. The third night finds Harry at the mirror again, staring at his parents, but this time Albus Dumbledore is in the room. He explains that the mirror shows the desire that is deepest in Harry’s heart. He says gently that the mirror will be moved, and Harry should not go looking for it anymore.
Chapter 13: Nicolas Flamel
When term starts again Harry is horrified to find out that Snape is going to be refereeing the next match. On a brighter note, Harry discovers that Nicolas Flamel worked on alchemy with Dumbledore. Once Hermione has this information, she informs them that Flamel is the only known maker of the Sorcerer’s Stone, whose elixir makes the drinker immortal. The match ends quickly in a Gryffindor victory when Harry catches the Snitch in record time. After the game, Harry spots Snape sneaking out to the Forbidden Forest, and he races after him to see what he’s up to. He sees Snape threatening Professor Quirrell and asking him if he got past the 3-headed dog yet. Ron and Hermione can’t believe when they hear this new development.
Chapter 14: Norbert The Norwegian Ridgeback
One afternoon they go to visit Hagrid and are shocked to find out he’s got a dragon egg and is trying to hatch it. A few weeks later they get a note from him that it’s finally hatching. When they go visit him during break Malfoy, who overheard their conversation, sneaks down and peeks in the window. He sees the baby dragon, and to their horror races back up to the school. Harry, Ron, and Hermione come up with the brilliant idea to send the dragon to Ron’s brother, Charlie, who works with dragons in Romania. The dragon is growing astonishingly quickly, and they’re worried Hagrid will be dead or fired soon because of Norbert. They immediately send an owl to Charlie to see if it’s a good idea, and eagerly await his reply. He quickly writes back, saying that he can come pick up the dragon in secret the coming weekend. Malfoy finds out about that plot, but the night of the dragon’s departure comes and Malfoy is caught by Professor McGonagall for being out of bed so late at night. They don’t breathe a sigh of relief until the dragon is picked up and finally out of sight.
Chapter 15: The Forbidden Forest
Things go quickly downhill when, on their way back to the common room, they get caught by Filch and taken to Professor McGonagall’s study. They lose Gryffindor a record number of points as punishment, and the next morning the other students are shocked that they’re now out of the running for the House Cup. Harry tries hard to stay on the straight and narrow, but one night he overhears Professor Quirrell sobbing that he’ll do something, and Harry fears that Snape has finally succeeded in threatening Quirrell to tell him how to get the Sorcerer’s Stone. The next night Harry, Hermione, Malfoy, and Ron must serve their detention for getting caught out of bed by Filch . Their punishment is to go with Hagrid into the Forbidden Forest to help him find an injured unicorn that is roaming about the forest. Harry and Malfoy eventually find the dead unicorn with a cloaked figure stooped down, drinking its blood. Malfoy bolts in terror, and Harry is saved by a centaur that chases the figure away. Harry finds out from the centaur that unicorn blood will keep you alive when nothing else will and that it is Voldemort who is in the forest drinking the blood.
Chapter 16: Through The Trapdoor
Harry finally gets through his exams, but suddenly figures out that Hagrid let it slip to a complete stranger how to get past Fluffy. He realizes that the stranger who gave Hagrid the dragon egg was either Snape or Voldemort himself. When Harry races to find Dumbledore he’s shocked to find out the Headmaster is gone. He resolves to try to get to the Stone first so Snape can’t steal it, and he’s bolstered when Ron and Hermione offer to go with him. When they get to Fluffy they see that Snape already got past the dog. When they sneak past and jump through the door they land on a dangerous plant, Devil’s Snare. Thanks to Hermione’s quick thinking they narrowly avoid becoming entangled, and continue onward toward the Stone. They then have to catch a winged key to get through the next door, and the next challenge is a gigantic chess game. Thanks to Ron’s brilliancy at chess, they play their way across, but Ron is knocked unconscious at the end and they have to leave him behind. When Hermione helps him through the last challenge, Harry must go on alone. When he finally makes it into the last room, he’s surprised to find neither Snape nor Voldemort has come for the Stone.
Chapter 17: The Man With Two Faces
It’s Professor Quirrell who’s waiting for Harry in the last room. He reveals that all this time Snape was trying to stop him, not take the Stone for himself, and it was Quirrell who tried to kill Harry at the Quidditch match, not Snape. Harry is dumbfounded by all this, and doesn’t know what to do. He tells Harry that the Sorcerer’s Stone is hidden in the enchanted mirror that Harry looked in months before, and Harry starts furiously working out how to get the Stone before Quirrell does. When he finally manages a look in the mirror, the Stone drops mysteriously into his pocket, unbeknownst to Quirrell. Harry is horrified when, a few minutes later, Quirrell undoes the turban wrapped around his head and Voldemort peers out at him. They begin to fight and Quirrell finds out he can’t touch Harry without suffering intense pain. Harry tries to fight him longer, hoping to stay alive, but he passes out. He wakes up in the hospital wing with Dumbledore sitting by his bed, smiling. He finds that Dumbledore arrived just in time to save him, and that the Stone has been destroyed. Harry questions Dumbledore about why his parents were killed, but Dumbledore refuses to answer, saying that Harry will know when he is older. However, Dumbledore does explain that the reason that Professor Quirrell cannot touch him is because Harry’s mother died to save him, leaving a protection of love, witch is one thing that Voldemort cannot understand. When he leaves the hospital wing, Harry is thrilled to see Ron and Hermione again and to find out they’re both all right. Things absolutely can’t get any better when, the next night at the end of the year feast, the efforts of Harry, Hermione, and Ron earn Gryffindor enough points to surpass Slytherin and win the House Cup. It’s by far the best night of Harry’s life.