Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Summary - Novel by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Summary

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Summary

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer's Stone) is the first of the seven books in the fantasy series written by J.K. Rowling. It was published in 1998 by Bloomsbury (in UK & Canada) and Scholastic (in the US). 

Orphaned at an early age, Harry Potter is a 10-year-old miserable boy (which is not at all surprising considering his circumstances - his life lacks the love and support that comes with a true family). But he is a smart kid! The intelligent boy understands his situation very well, and over the years has learned to survive the worst. 

He lives with his Aunt and her family, the Dursley’s, who spend most of their time ignoring him. He was left at their doorstep when he was a baby and has been living with them ever since. Though they were kind enough to keep him, the charity stopped there and then. They make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs, Dudley loves to bully harry and all the oversized clothes Harry has are his cousin Dudley's old discarded hand-downed. And if that was not enough, Dursleys left him in the care of the old neighbor lady whenever they went on outings or something fun, like going to a zoo!! 

Harry has no idea that he is someone extraordinary, actually more of a celebrity in the wizarding world. He thinks of himself as a normal kid despite the fact that sometimes really weird things happen to him or around him. However, all this starts to change as Harry’s 11th Birthday approaches. A letter arrives for him which is destroyed by his Uncle. Over the span of a few days, hundreds of letters addressed to Harry reach the Dursleys' house. 

Harry finds himself confused and outraged as to why he can’t read the letters addressed to him. To Harry’s agony his Uncle takes time off from office so as to intercept the letters, but when the inflow of letters keeps increasing, he decides to take all of them to a distant island just before Harry’s Birthday. 

As the clock chimes 12, a giant enters their tiny cabin on the island and informs Harry (the truth of his life) that he is a wizard and is to join the Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. He tells Harry everything about his past, the fact that his dad and mom were killed by an evil wizard named Voldemort. He also tells him that for reasons unknown he survived the attack, except for the scar on his forehead, while the Dark wizard vanished all of a sudden. With Hagrid, he visits various places in the wizarding world as they collect the things Harry needs for the school. 

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On the last day of summer, Dursleys drop Harry at the Train station. Harry boards the train to Hogwarts from platform number 9 ¾  and on the way befriends Ron, another first-year student.

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Upon reaching the school they are sorted into the four houses, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. Harry is sorted into Gryffindor along with Ron, and Hermione Granger, the two people Harry becomes close friends with as the year progresses. Ron belongs to an old wizarding family while Hermione’s parents are Muggles (non-magical people). In addition to friends, Harry also finds a few foes in the face of people like Draco Malfoy.  

During broom flying lessons, Harry’s exception skills are identified by Professor McGonagall and give him a place as a seeker in Gryffindor’s Quidditch team. He becomes the youngest seeker in the history of Quidditch. Draco tries to get Harry and Ron into trouble by tricking them into leaving their dormitory after night curfew, the direct violation of one of the school rules. In their haste to return to their dorm before anyone captures them, Harry and Ron find themselves in front of a three-headed dog guarding a trapdoor. Over the next days, Harry finds out that Professor Snape, who he-doesn't-know-why dislikes him, is trying to get past the dog. 

Christmas arrives, and Harry finds his father’s invisibility cloak as his Christmas gift. Harry leaves the dorm under the cloak to find the way to the three-headed dog but finds the Mirror of Erised instead, in which to his elation he could see his mom and dad. After a few days, he finds Albus Dumbledore in the room that holds the mirror who tells him that the mirror shows the person his/her deepest desires. 

Harry, Ron, and Hermione, all come to the conclusion that the treasure behind the trap door is certainly the Philosopher’s stone, which has the power to turn metal into gold and confer immortality. In the meantime they find that Voldermort has been killing Unicorns in the Forbidden Forest, drinking their blood, which is another way of achieving immortality. The three of them deduce that someone is trying to steal the stone to help Voldermort, and that person is definitely Snape. 

Hagrid gets hold of a dragon, something he had always wanted. Suspicious over such a development, Harry questions Hagrid who reveals that he might have told the man who gave him the dragon egg how to lull the three-headed dog into sleep. Certain that the stone was in danger, the trio leaves (under the invisibility cloak) on a mission to find the stone & keep it away from Voldemort’s hands. 

They get past the dog, after dogging many charms and protective spells set by their Professors and teachers, Harry reaches the room alone where the stone is hidden. To his shock, he finds Professor Quirrell instead of Snape. Professor Quirrell fails to get hold of the stone, forces Harry to try by making him stand in front of the Mirror of Erised - the very last protective measure. As Harry stands in front of the mirror and wishes for the stone, to protect it from Voldermort, with no intention of using it for himself, he feels the weight of the stone in his pocket and keeps it from Quirrell. Quirrell opens his turban to reveal the face of Voldermort, who tells him how he has been sharing Quirrell’s body all this time waiting for this moment to get his hands on the stone that can give him life again. Harry fights to keep the stone away from Voldermort and loses consciousness. Later, he awakes in the school hospital and learns that he was saved by Dumbeldoor, the stone has been sent out to be destroyed, and Voldermort has somehow escaped. 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone question/answers

1. Who tells harry potter he's a wizard?

Rubeus Hagrid tracks Harry down on his 11th birthday to tell him that he is to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. When he finds that Harry doesn't know anything about his parents being wizards, he tells him everything about who he is, his parents & Voldemort.

2. Where did Harry Potter live in the Dursley's house?

In a cupboard under the stairs in Dursley's house - an ordinary house on Number 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey.

3. How are Hogwarts houses determined?

The Sorting Hat decides which house is best for the newbie students at Hogwarts.

4. What does Harry leave on top of the observation tower?

The invisibility cloak.

Harry, Ron & Hermione, under the invisibility cloak, take Hagrid's Dragon to the top of the tallest tower - the observation tower so that  Ron’s older brother’s friends could take it away. But on their way back they forget to wear the cloak and Filch catches them.

5. What is significant about the day of the Gringotts break-in?

It happens on Harry’s birthday, right after he had been to Gringotts with Hagrid where he happens to have emptied vault number 713.

6. Who is Fluffy in Harry Potter?

Fluffy in HP is Hagrid’s three-headed dog that guards a secret trapdoor, the first in the line of protective measures to guard the Philosopher's stone against Voldemort.  

7. Which one of the teachers at Hogwarts are trying to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone?

Professor Quirrell. 

Harry initially thinks that it is Snape who is trying to steal the stone for Voldemort, but as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that the culprit is Quirrel.

8.  Sorcerer’s Stone belongs to?

 Nicolas Flamel

9. What position does Harry Potter play in the Quidditch team?

Seeker (Harry is the first student at Hogwarts to play Quidditch in his first year at school; he is the youngest seeker in the history of Quidditch). 

10. What does Voldemort drink in the Forbidden Forest to sustain himself?

Unicorn blood

11. Whom do Harry and Ron accidentally lock in the bathroom with the troll?


12. In the Mirror of Erised, what does harry see?

His parents

13. The invisibility cloak originally belonged to?

Harry’s father - James Potter

14. In what house is Malfoy?


15. Who puts a curse on Harry Potter during his first Quidditch match?

Professor Quirrell