Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (sometimes abbreviated as PS) is the very first volume in the Harry Potter Series. The book was first published on 30 June 1997 by Bloomsbury in London, and has also been made into a film of the same name.
Both the motion picture and book were released in the United States under the name Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, because the publishers were concerned that most Americans were not familiar enough with the term "Philosopher's Stone" to gain the correct impression from the title (the renaming of books for international distribution is a common practice, even for highly known and internationally recognised authors). Whatever the reasons for the change, it had no effect on the sales figures, and the Harry Potter series rapidly became one of the most-in-demand among young readers, who seemed to be undaunted by the ever-increasing length and complexity of the volumes.
"For Jessica, who loves stories, for Anne, who loved them too; and for Di, who heard this one first."
The book is dedicated to three female relatives of the author, Jessica is her eldest daughter, Anne was her mother who died of multiple sclerosis, and Di is her sister.
"Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years.
But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter."
- The Boy Who Lived
- The Vanishing Glass
- The Letters from No One
- The Keeper of the Keys
- Diagon Alley
- The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters
- The Sorting Hat
- The Potions Master
- The Midnight Duel
- The Mirror of Erised
- Nicolas Flamel
- Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback
- The Forbidden Forest
- Through the Trapdoor
- The Man with Two Faces
Chapter 1: The Boy who Lived
In the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, we are introduced to the Dursley family. It seems to be a mere few hours after the defeat of the dark wizard known as Lord Voldemort. The Dursley family lived at Number Four, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey and were proud to say they were perfectly normal thank you very much. Vernon Dursley was a director at a firm called Grunnings which made drills. Petunia Dursley was a stay-at-home wife, who cared for their son Dudley Dursley and spent too much time gossiping. Petunia had a sister named Lily who married into the Potter family, but Lily and her husband were so unlike the Dursleys that the two families did not even speak to each other. The Dursleys wake up on a Tuesday, prepared for a normal day. Vernon heads off for work, but notices odd things happening throughout the day. He thought he saw a cat reading a map outside his home, and strange people on the streets dressed in cloaks, talking about someone they referred to as 'You-Know-Who' and his nephew Harry Potter.
Vernon returned home and asked Petunia about the Potters, but she never liked talking about them so they did not continue the subject. After watching a news report of owls flying during the day and hundreds of shooting stars by night, the Dursleys went to bed. On their street, a man appeared out of thin air. His name was Albus Dumbledore, and he had come to wait for Rubeus Hagrid. The cat that had been perched on the wall that Mr. Dursley could've sworn was reading a map transformed into an elderly woman, Minerva McGonagall. They had come to see off baby Harry Potter, who had just lost his parents in a battle with Lord Voldemort, though he had survived despite the fact the Dark Lord had used a killing curse on him, only leaving a scar on his forehead. Rubeus Hagrid arrived on a flying motorcycle, and together, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall and Hagrid placed Harry on the door step of the Dursley home, along with a letter written by Dumbledore, explaining the night's events.
Chapter 2: The Vanishing Glass
10 years have passed since the 1st chapter. Harry is now almost 11 and living in a cupboard under the stairs in the Dursley house. He is tormented by Dudley, who is spoiled and whiny by this time. Harry is awakened one morning by his aunt, Petunia, telling him to tend to the bacon immediately because it is Dudley’s birthday and everything must be perfect. Dudley gets upset because he has only thirty-seven presents, which is one fewer than the previous year. When a neighbour calls to say she won't be able to watch Harry for the day, Dudley begins to pretend to cry because he doesn't want Harry to be brought along on Dudley’s birthday trip to the zoo. At the zoo, the Dursleys spoil Dudley and his friend Piers Polkiss and, as usual, neglect Harry. In the reptile house, Harry pays close attention to a boa constrictor and is astonished when he is able to have a conversation with it. Noticing what Harry is doing, Piers calls over Mr. Dursley and Dudley, who pushes Harry aside to get a better look at the snake. Suddenly, the glass front of the snake’s tank vanishes inexplicably and the boa constrictor slithers out onto the floor. Dudley and Piers claim that the snake attacked them, at which Mr. Dursley's anger has no bounds. At home, Harry is punished for the snake incident, being sent to his cupboard without any food, not knowing why the Dursleys had punished him for something he had not done knowingly.
Chapter 3: The Letters from No One
Punished for the boa-constrictor incident, Harry is locked in his cupboard until summer. When finally free, he spends most of the time outside the house to escape the torments of Dudley and his friends. Harry is excited at the prospect of starting a new school year at Stonewall High, a school boarding far away from Dudley for the first time in his life. One day, Uncle Vernon tells Harry to fetch the mail. Harry notices a letter bearing a coat of arms and addressed to him:
Uncle Vernon grabs the envelope from him and shows it to his wife, Petunia Dursley. Both of them are shocked at seeing the way the letter is addressed to Harry. They force Dudley and Harry to leave the kitchen in order to discuss what to do. The next day, Uncle Vernon visits Harry in the cupboard and refuses to discuss the letter. However he tells Harry to move into Dudley's second room, previously used to store Dudley's toys.
The next day, another letter comes for Harry, this time addressed to him in "The Smallest Bedroom." Uncle Vernon becomes alarmed. Harry tries to get the letter, but Uncle Vernon keeps it from him. The following morning, Harry wakes up early to try to get the mail before anyone gets up, but he is thwarted by Uncle Vernon, who has slept near the mail slot, waiting for the letters. Later, even though Uncle Vernon nails the mail slot on the front door shut, twelve letters come for Harry the next day, slipped under the door or through the cracks. Soon, letters flood the house, entering in impossible ways. Uncle Vernon continues to prevent Harry from reading any of them. Enraged, Uncle Vernon decides to take everyone away from the house, but at the hotel where they stay, a hundred letters are delivered for Harry. Uncle Vernon decides on even greater isolation. On a dark, stormy night, he takes the family to a shack on an island in the middle of the ocean. Inside, Vernon bolts the door. At midnight, as it becomes Harry's birthday (July 31), there is a sudden loud knock at the door.
Chapter 4: The Keeper of the Keys
There is another knock at the door before a giant man smashes down the door. Uncle Vernon threatens the giant man with a gun, but the giant man takes the gun and ties it into a knot. The giant man presents Harry with a chocolate birthday cake and introduces himself as Hagrid, the "Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts". Hagrid is disturbed to find out that the Dursleys have never told Harry what Hogwarts is. Vernon tries to stop Hagrid from telling Harry about Hogwarts, but to no avail as Hagrid asks if a great Muggle like himself is going to stop him. Hagrid tells Harry that Harry is a wizard and presents him with a letter of acceptance to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Vernon protests that he will not allow Harry to attend Hogwarts. Hagrid explains to Harry that the Dursleys have been lying all along about how Harry's parents had died. Harry learns from Hagrid that his parents did not die in a car crash, as he had always been told by the Dursleys, but were killed by the evil wizard Lord Voldemort. Harry does not believe he could be a wizard, but then Hagrid asks him whether he could recall any incident he could not explain, especially when he was angry or under stress. At this, Harry recalls that the incident with the boa constrictor was an act of wizardry. With Uncle Vernon protesting, Hagrid takes Harry from the shack. Hagrid tells Harry that he is strictly not allowed to perform magic and that Harry shouldn't tell anyone he is doing so.
Chapter 5: Diagon Alley
Harry wakes up in the company of Hagrid and realises that the preceding night was not a dream. The two set off to London to shop for Harry’s school supplies. Harry looks at the list of supplies and is concerned about the money required, but Hagrid assures him that his parents left behind plenty of funds for him at Gringotts, the wizards’ bank run by goblins. Their first stop in London is at the Leaky Cauldron, a pub where all the patrons recognize Harry and are both nervous and honoured to have the opportunity to meet him. Among these people is Hogwarts' Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, Quirinus Quirrell. Harry and Hagrid head out the back door, where Hagrid taps on a brick wall, and a small street called Diagon Alley opens before them. Hagrid explains that Harry will buy what he needs for school here. They go to Gringotts, where they are escorted down to Harry’s vault. Inside, they view the piles of silver and gold that Harry's parents left him. Hagrid explains the complex wizard monetary system, which is composed of Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts. Hagrid fills a small bag with money. He then takes Harry to another vault, number 713, which is empty except for a grubby little package that Hagrid picks up and hides in his clothes, warning Harry not to ask about it, since it's "Hogwarts business".
Hagrid then takes Harry to be fitted for his uniform. In the store, he encounters a snobbish and unlikable boy who will also be starting Hogwarts in the fall. The snobbish boy talks highly about grand old wizard families, and Harry begins to worry about whether he is cut out to be a wizard. But Hagrid reassures Harry, telling him that he will learn all he needs to know and that there are many Muggle-born students at Hogwarts. After buying the required books and ingredients for potions, Hagrid and Harry then head to the wand store. Mr. Ollivander, the store owner, makes Harry try a number of magic wands, telling him that it will be clear when he has the right one, as "the wand chooses the wizard." Finally, he picks up a wand made of holly and phoenix feather, and red and gold sparks shoot out from it—this is clearly the right wand. Ollivander tells Harry that the only other wand containing feathers from the same phoenix belonged to Voldemort and had been used to give Harry his lightning-bolt forehead scar.
Chapter 6: The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters
Harry’s last month with the Dursleys is unpleasant. The day before he is due to leave, Harry asks Uncle Vernon to take him to the train station. Uncle Vernon agrees to take him but ridicules him for saying he is to leave from platform nine and three quarters, as is marked on the ticket Hagrid gave him. The following day, Harry arrives at the station and stands between platforms nine and ten, wondering with increasing alarm how to find platform nine and three quarters. Finally, he overhears some people mention Hogwarts; it is a family of red-haired children who seem to be bound for the academy. He asks the mother for help, and she tells him to walk through the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Harry does so, and he is astonished to find the train to Hogwarts on the other side, at King's Cross Station. Harry boards it.
On the train, Harry is introduced to Fred and George Weasley, twins who are returning to school, and to their younger brother Ron, another student who will be starting at Hogwarts. Ron introduces Harry to such details of wizard life as Quidditch, Famous Witches and Wizards cards, and Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans. One of the cards bears the picture of Albus Dumbledore. Ron, who comes from a poor family, cannot afford the pastries sold on the train, so Harry buys a lot with his newfound wealth and shares them with Ron. Harry also meets a somewhat annoying, overachieving girl named Hermione Granger and sees again the unpleasant boy from the uniform shop, whose name is Draco Malfoy, this time with his buddies, Crabbe and Goyle. All the students have heard of Harry, and Harry is not sure how to respond to his fame. Arriving at the station, the newcomers are led onto boats in which they sail to the castle of Hogwarts.
Chapter 7: The Sorting Hat
The new students are greeted at the castle door by Professor McGonagall, who tells them they'll soon be sorted into their houses. All Hogwarts students live in 1 of 4 residences: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. Each house has its own team for Quidditch. The houses are in a yearlong competition with one another to acquire the most points, which are earned by success in Quidditch games and given by teachers for academic achievement, and lost for student infractions, in order to win the House Cup awarded at the end of the year. As the students enter Hogwarts, ghosts appear in the hallway. The students are led to the Great Hall, where the entire school waits for them. They see an old pointy hat on a stool. When the students try on the Sorting Hat, it announces the house in which they are placed. Harry becomes very nervous. He has learned that he does not care for Slytherin house, as the students in it are unpleasant and Voldemort once belonged to Slytherin. Finally, it is Harry’s turn to wear the hat. After a brief mental discussion with the hat in which it tries to suggest Slytherin to him, the hat places Harry in Gryffindor. Harry is pleased to find that he is joined in Gryffindor by Ron and Hermione. Draco Malfoy is placed in Slytherin.
Everyone sits down to a grand feast to begin the year. Harry is overwhelmed by the variety of luscious food served. Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, the resident ghost of Gryffindor (popularly known as Nearly Headless Nick because of a botched decapitation), introduces himself to the first-year students and tells them he hopes they will win the house championship this year. Over dessert, the discussion turns to the students' upbringings. A student named Neville Longbottom tells how his family thought he was a Muggle (or later referred to as a Squib), until he survived a fall from a window. Another student, Seamus Finnigan, talks about how his father, a Muggle, was shocked when first finding out his wife (Seamus' mother) was a witch. Harry glances around the room and notices a few of the teachers talking to one another. One of them stares malevolently at Harry, who immediately feels a sharp pain in his forehead scar. Harry finds out that this man is Professor Severus Snape, who teaches Potions. After dessert, Dumbledore gets up to make his welcome speech. He adds a few warnings about staying away from the Forbidden Forest and avoiding the 3rd-floor corridor on the right side of the school before sending everyone off to bed in their Common rooms.
Chapter 8: The Potions Master
Harry finds life at Hogwarts unfamiliar and strange. Everyone talks about him, and an adult always seems to be around when he is doing something wrong. Harry finds all the classes interesting, with the exception of the History of Magic. In the first Transfiguration class, only Hermione is able to make any progress at turning a match into a needle. Harry is relieved to see that others are just as lost as he is.
During breakfast the first Friday, Harry's snowy owl, Hedwig, arrives with a tea invitation from Hagrid. Later, in his Potions class, Harry discovers that Professor Snape really does not like him, mocking Harry as "our new celebrity" and then humiliating Harry for his ignorance of herbs. Harry brings Ron with him to Hagrid’s shack for tea. Harry and Ron are disconcerted by Hagrid’s huge and fierce-looking dog, Fang, but discover that he is gentle. Hagrid tells Harry that he is overreacting to Snape’s treatment, asserting that Snape would have no reason to hate him. Harry happens to notice an article from the wizard newspaper, The Daily Prophet, detailing a break-in that occurred at Gringotts bank in a vault that had been emptied earlier in the day. He realises that it happened on his birthday, the day he and Hagrid went to Gringotts. Furthermore, he remembers that Hagrid emptied vault seven hundred and thirteen, taking a small package with him as he left. Harry leaves Hagrid’s, his mind filled with questions.
Chapter 9: The Midnight Duel
Harry is upset by news that the Gryffindors will have flying lessons with the Slytherins, because he does not want to spend more time with Draco. However, Harry finds that he is quite a natural at flying. Madam Hooch leads the class, gently sending the new fliers off the ground. Neville has an accident and breaks his wrist. Madam Hooch takes him to the hospital, telling everyone to stay on the ground while she is away. Malfoy notices a Remembrall belonging to Neville, picks it up, and begins to fly around with it. Harry goes after Malfoy, who throws the ball in the air. Harry catches it spectacularly and lands safely back on ground. Just then, Professor McGonagall arrives, reprimanding Harry and ordering him to follow her. But instead of punishing him, McGonagall introduces him to Oliver Wood, captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, explaining that Harry will make an excellent Quidditch player.
At dinner, Harry excitedly tells Ron about joining the Quidditch team but tells him that Wood wants it to be a secret. Malfoy comes over with his cronies Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle and teases Harry about getting in trouble earlier. The tension grows and Malfoy challenges Harry to a wizard’s duel. Harry accepts, in spite of Hermione’s attempt to dissuade them from breaking the school rules. As Harry and Ron sneak out later that night, Hermione tries to stop them but gets locked out of the dorm (the Fat Lady has gone for an evening stroll) and must tag along. Neville also joins them, as he has forgotten the password to the common room and ended up sleeping on the floor outside. They arrive at the trophy room, the site of the duel, but Malfoy is nowhere to be found. Suddenly, they hear Argus Filch and his cat, Mrs. Norris, enter the room. They begin to hide and then run away. Not sure where they are going, they accidentally end up in the forbidden area on the third floor, staring at a large and scary three-headed dog. The children manage to get back to their dorm safely, though they are terrified. Hermione reprimands Harry but stirs his curiosity by pointing out that the dog was standing on a trapdoor.
Chapter 10: Halloween
The next morning, Harry and Ron are discussing what the dog could be guarding when the mail arrives. Harry receives a Nimbus 2000, along with a note from Professor McGonagall summoning him to Quidditch practice. Malfoy tells Harry that 1st-year students are not allowed broomsticks. When he tries to report Harry to Professor Flitwick, Flitwick just expresses admiration for Harry’s talent. Harry later meets Oliver Wood to learn the basics of Quidditch. On Halloween, Flitwick begins teaching his students how to make things fly, using the Wingardium Leviosa spell. Only Hermione succeeds; Ron, offended by her air of superiority, makes a nasty comment that Hermione overhears. Harry notices her running off in tears.
Harry and Ron arrive at the Halloween feast to hear Professor Quirrell, the teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts, give a terrifying announcement about a twelve-foot troll in the building. As the prefects lead the students back to their dorms, Harry realises that Hermione does not know about the troll. They head off to warn her and come upon the troll. Unwittingly, they lock it in the girls' bathroom only to realise that Hermione is trapped in there with the troll. Using teamwork, magic, and a lot of luck, the three of them manage to knock out the troll. Professor McGonagall finds them and begins to scold the boys. Hermione interjects that Harry and Ron were looking for her. She then lies, saying that she went to face the troll herself and that Ron and Harry had been trying to save her from it. At this point, Hermione becomes their friend.
Chapter 11: Quidditch
The Quidditch season begins, and Harry is about to play in his first match against Slytherin. To prepare, Harry borrows a book entitled Quidditch Through the Ages from Hermione. Professor Snape discovers Ron, Harry, and Hermione out with the book one evening and confiscates it from Harry on the feeble pretext that library books may not be taken outside of the school. Harry’s suspicions of Snape continue to grow. Harry notices that Snape is limping. Going off to retrieve the book from Snape, Harry overhears Snape talking to Argus Filch about the fact that the three-headed dog has attacked him, leaving a cut on his leg, which makes Harry even more suspicious.
The next morning, the Quidditch match begins. Harry plays the position of Seeker, which means he must capture a little golden ball, called the Golden Snitch. He spots it and is flying toward it when the Slytherin Captain pushes him out of the way and is penalised. Later in the game, Harry’s broom begins moving uncontrollably. Hagrid comments that only dark magic could make a broomstick so hard to manage. Hermione notices that Snape is staring at Harry and muttering to himself. As the Weasley twins try to rescue their teammate Harry, Hermione rushes over to Snape, sneaks behind him, and sets his robe on fire. Suddenly, the spell on Harry’s broom is broken and Harry is once again in control. He starts speeding toward the ground and lands, catching the Snitch in his mouth.
Hagrid takes Harry back to his hut with Hermione and Ron, who tells Harry that Snape was putting a curse on his broomstick. Hagrid does not believe this charge, asking why Snape would try to kill Harry. Harry tells Hagrid about Snape getting injured by the dog in the third-floor corridor. Hagrid involuntarily reveals that the three-headed dog, Fluffy, is his, and that what the dog is guarding is a secret known only to Albus Dumbledore and a man named Nicolas Flamel.
Chapter 12: The Mirror of Erised
Christmas is approaching. Malfoy teases Harry about having to stay at Hogwarts for the holiday, as he does not have parents. Harry, however, is looking forward to spending Christmas away from the Dursleys, especially because Ron is also staying at Hogwarts, as Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were going to visit Ron's older brother Charlie in Romania. The day before vacation, Hermione tears Ron and Harry away from a conversation with Hagrid to look in the library for more information about Nicolas Flamel. The librarian, Madam Pince, catches Harry prowling around the restricted-books section of the library and kicks him out.
On Christmas day, Harry and Ron awaken to presents, though Harry's are fewer. Harry receives a flute from Hagrid, a 50 pence coin from the Dursleys, candy (some fudge and Chocolate Frogs from Hermione), and a knitted jumper from Ron's mother. He also receives an Invisibility cloak accompanied only by an anonymous note telling him that the cloak once belonged to Harry's father and to "use it well." That night, after a satisfying Christmas dinner and after Ron has fallen asleep, Harry tries on his Invisibility Cloak. Unseen, he is able to go to the library’s restricted-books section. But one of the books starts screaming when he opens it, so he quickly leaves. He passes Filch and hides in an old classroom. Inside stands an old mirror in a gold frame with the inscription "Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi" ("I show not your face, but your heart's desire"). Harry looks in the mirror and sees many people standing behind him, but when he turns around in the room, he sees no one. Suddenly, he recognizes that two of the people in the mirror are his dead mother and father. He tries to speak to them, but they can only communicate by waving. Harry lingers there a while but eventually returns to his room.
The next night, Harry brings Ron with him to the mirror room. Ron does not see Harry’s parents in the mirror, but instead sees himself holding the Quidditch Cup. Mrs. Norris, Filch's prowling cat, notices them. On the third night, Ron is afraid of being caught and does not want to go back, as he does not trust the mirror, so Harry returns alone. There he finds Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore explains to Harry that the mirror, which is known as the Mirror of Erised, displays the deepest desires of whoever looks into it. Harry is relieved to find that Dumbledore is not angry. However, he warns Harry that men have wasted away and been driven mad before the mirror and informs Harry that the mirror will be moved to a new location and tells him not to go looking for it. When Harry asks what Dumbledore sees in the mirror, his answer is "himself holding a pair of socks."
Chapter 13: Nicolas Flamel
Harry finds it hard to forget the image of his parents. Quidditch practice continues on even harder and it is revealed that Snape will referee the next match. Malfoy performs a leg-locker curse on Neville, Harry tells Neville he is "Worth twelve of Malfoy." Harry suddenly remembers that he read the name Nicolas Flamel on a chocolate frog card, which reminds Hermione that she had seen the name in a book she picked up from the library, and the team discover that he was a famous alchemist who is the only known maker of the Philosopher's Stone, which powers include turning any metal to gold and producing the Elixir of Life.
The Gryffindor versus Hufflepuff Quidditch match arrives and Snape is predictably biased. Harry catches the snitch and wins the match. Harry follows Snape into the Forbidden Forest where he meets Quirrell and they speak of the Philosopher's Stone, Harry thinks that Snape is trying to figure out a way to steal the stone.
Chapter 14: Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback
Harry, Ron and Hermione meet with Hagrid, who confirms the Stone is being kept at Hogwarts. Hermione charms him into talking about the enchantments used to guard it: Fluffy, the three headed dog, is Hagrid's, along with enchantments from Professors Sprout, Flitwick, McGonagall, Quirrell, and Snape. After this, Harry complains about the high temperature in Hagrid's hut, only to discover he has a Norwegian Ridgeback dragon egg, which he names Norbert once it has hatched. Malfoy discovers the dragon. To solve the problem, they convince Hagrid to send the dragon off to Ron's brother Charlie. Ron's hand is bitten by the dragon, and he is sent off to Madam Pomfrey. Harry and Hermione smuggle Norbert in a crate up to the tallest tower under Harry's Invisibility cloak and on the way they see Professor McGonagall hauling Malfoy away to detention for being out of bed at night and speaking "lies" about Harry and a dragon. They pass the crate off to Charlie's friends, and head back down the stairs, where they meet up with Filch, realizing too late they had left the Invisibility Cloak behind.
Chapter 15: The Forbidden Forest
Filch takes Harry and Hermione to McGonagall's office, where they meet Neville. McGonagall, very disappointed, takes 50 points each from the three of them and gives them all detention, which they will serve with Malfoy. Their popularity with the other students suffers because of this. A week or so before exams, Harry hears Professor Quirrell, sounding as if he is being threatened. He then runs from a classroom ahead. Harry heads to the library to tell Ron and Hermione. They are convinced Snape was threatening Quirrell, and means to steal the Stone soon, and Hermione suggests they go to Dumbledore. Harry refuses, saying there is no proof.
Harry, Hermione, and Neville receive notes from Professor McGonagall telling them their detention will begin at eleven that night. Filch takes them out to the Forbidden Forest, where Hagrid awaits to take them in to do a bit of investigating. Hagrid shows them some silver unicorn blood, and says they need to find the unicorn that is hurt. They split up, with Hagrid taking Harry and Hermione, and Neville and Malfoy going with Fang. Hagrid encounters a few centaurs, named Ronan and Bane, but gets no useful information from them. Hagrid sees red sparks in the air, signalling the other party is in trouble. He runs for them and returns, scolding Malfoy for startling Neville into sending up the sparks. Hagrid switches Harry and Neville, sending Harry off with Malfoy instead. They eventually find the dead unicorn, and see something drinking its blood. Malfoy screams and runs with Fang, leaving Harry, who is saved from the figure by a centaur, named Firenze, who tells Harry that unicorn blood can keep you alive, even if you are an inch from death, but curses you with a half-life in the process. He also asks Harry if he would not know anyone who would want to drink the blood, or get the Stone, and Harry realises that the mysterious figure was Voldemort.
Back in the common room, Harry and Hermione tell Ron what happened. Afterwards, going into his bed, Harry finds that his Invisibility Cloak has been returned to him.
Chapter 16: Through the Trapdoor
After finishing their exams, Harry realises the suspicious coincidence in Hagrid wanting a dragon more than anything else, only to meet a stranger who had one to give him. He, Ron, and Hermione run to ask him about the man who gave Norbert to him, and he says he never saw his face, and that the man was dressed in a cloak. Hagrid also mentions that they talked about Hogwarts and Fluffy the three-headed dog. He also mentions that the stranger gave him drinks while getting information out of him. Hagrid lets it slip how to get past Fluffy, which sends Harry, Ron and Hermione off. They head for Dumbledore's office, only to see McGonagall, who tells them he has left for London. McGonagall insists no one could steal the Stone, but they decide to head out that night to try to get it themselves. After Hermione curses Neville in a Full Body-Bind Curse for refusing to allow them to leave, they head up to the third floor room, and start their intense trip into the seven Philosopher's Stone Chambers. They find the door ajar, and a harp on the floor. Harry plays the flute Hagrid got him for Christmas, and Fluffy goes back to sleep. They head down through the trapdoor. They land in Professor Sprout's room, full of Devil's Snare, which almost smothers them before Hermione lights a fire and drives it off. The next room, Professor Flitwick's, holds a bunch of flying keys and some broomsticks. Harry finds a silver one with a broken wing that is different from the others and catches it, unlocking the next door with it. The next room is Professor McGonagall's, and has a large chessboard, for a game of Wizard's Chess that Ron helps them win, at the cost of having to sacrifice himself and getting knocked out. Harry and Hermione continue to the next room, Professor Quirrell's, where they find an unconscious troll laying on the floor. Lastly, they enter Professor Snape's room, and find seven potions in bottles along with a roll of paper giving clues on which one to drink to continue, noting that three bottles have poison, two have nettle wine, one will send the drinker back, and the other will let the drinker move forward into the next room. Hermione solves the puzzle, and at Harry's instruction, drinks the one that will allow her to head back through the purple flame, while Harry drinks the one to head into the black flame and into the final room, where he is surprised at who he sees.
Chapter 17: The Man with Two Faces
It is Professor Quirrell who Harry sees in the room, not Snape. Harry, astonished, hears Quirrell tell him that, next to Snape, no one would expect him to try to steal the Stone. Harry notices the Mirror of Erised, and Quirrell stops to examine it, saying it is the key to getting the Stone. To distract him from the Mirror, Harry questions Quirrell, who says he is serving Lord Voldemort, and although Snape hated Harry, he never wanted Harry dead. Quirrell asks for help from his master to get the Stone, and a snake-like voice tells him to use the boy. Harry is told to look into the Mirror. He sees his reflection pull the Stone out of his pocket and put it back in, and Harry feels it drop into his own pocket. He lies to Quirrell about what he sees, telling him instead that he sees himself shaking hands with Dumbledore, after winning the House Cup for Gryffindor. The snake-like voice tells Quirrell Harry is lying and Quirrell takes his turban off to show Harry what lies on the back of his head. As Quirrell turns around, Harry is shocked to see another face where the back of Quirrell's head should be. The face has red eyes and a snake-like slit where the nose should be. Harry realises this is the face of Voldemort and Voldemort demands Harry give him the Stone. Harry refuses and runs, but Quirrell seizes him. However, the contact with Harry's skin burns Quirrell and causes him to have boils all over the area in which Harry touched him. Harry grabs Quirrell's face, then his arm, and holds on, with the blinding pain in his head building, until he feels the arm wrenched away before he blacks out.
He awakes in the hospital wing with Dumbledore there, telling him Quirrell did not succeed at getting the Stone, and indeed the Stone has been destroyed. In spite of this, there are other ways in which Voldemort can return. He cannot be killed, and he left Quirrell to die. Dumbledore explains the reason why Quirrell could not touch Harry was because Harry's mother had died to save him, protecting him with her love. Hagrid shows up later and gives Harry a book of photos of his parents and family.
At the end of term feast, Dumbledore gives Ron and Hermione fifty points each, Harry sixty, and Neville ten, which allows them to win the House Cup, instead of Slytherin. Harry, Ron and Hermione all say their goodbyes before heading home.
Behind the scenes/errors
- In this book, Harry states his 11th birthday was July 31st, a Tuesday. But in 1991, that date was a Wednesday.
- Possible explanation: Harry stayed awake the entire previous night of Tuesday the 30th and clebrated at the bridge time of 12 AM so there may have been some slight confusion.
- While being sorted into houses, Harry looks up at the Sorting Stool, and there are only three people left to be sorted. Professor McGonagall then calls out the names of four more kids. It is possible that Harry missed out on one (which was an editorial mistake from the UK version to the US version).
- Harry buys the book "One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi", but later, he looks up "dittany" in "One Hundred Magical Herbs and Fungi" (corrected in later editions).
- The book mentions that the boa constrictor at the zoo winked at Harry, though snakes do not have eyelids, making it impossible for them to wink.
- In the book, it is stated that every member of the teaching staff at Hogwarts has made an obstacle for anyone who wants to obtain the Philosopher's Stone. However, the book never mentions an obstacle made by Professor Trelawney, who states that she has been teaching for fourteen years in the year of 1995, Professor Vector, Professor Sinistra, or Professor Binns.
- On Harry's Hogwarts list of school supplies, "1 Wand" is listed twice, as both the first and last item on the list (fixed in later editions).
- Much of the first chapter talks about wizards celebrating the fall of Voldemort all day long, yet Harry's family was attacked at nighttime. Unless it took Hagrid 24 hours to get Harry from his parents' ruined house to Little Whinging, this doesn't make sense.
- Possible explanation: it is very likely that they celebrated all night as well, as it says that at the same time Harry was delivered to the Dursleys, wizards were raising their glasses to him.
- Possible explanation: Dumbledore might have wanted to wait untill the cover of darkness to move Harry as Hagrid mentioned that he only just got him away before the muggles started to swarm around the house and they probally would have noticed if a flying motorcycle took off carring a giant and a baby.
- While fighting the giant chess set, Ron says he'll move "one step forward" in order for the queen to take him. Ron was playing as a knight, so this is impossible.
- Possible explanation: In the movie, Ron is shown moving two steps forward and one step over, which seems to make sense of "one step forward".
- When Hagrid confronts the Dursleys about keeping the knowledge of Harry's magical ability from him, Petunia states that "her sister would come home from vacation with pockets full of frog spawn, turning teacups into rats." Lily couldn't have been performing said magic over summer vacation, as underage wizards and witches are not allowed to perform magic away from Hogwarts.
- Possible explanation: Petunia may simply have been exaggerating for effect, to disparage her "abnormal" sister even more. Lily also could've received letters from the Ministry after performing spells.
- During Harry's first Quidditch match of the season, Hermione, Ron, and Dean Thomas paint a banner that reads "Potter for President." However, neither Britain nor the wizarding world has a president: Britain's head of state is the Prime Minister, and the wizarding world has a Minister.
- Possible explanation: The word President was a replacement of the original "Potter for Prime Minister."
- Character mistake: on the Hogwarts Express, Ron mentions that he's the sixth in his family to attend Hogwarts. But since his parents also attended Hogwarts, he's actually the eighth.
- Possible explanation: Ron may only have been referring to those in his own generation, especially since 11-year-olds usually would not consider their parents in this matter.
- Petunia Dursley refers in the book to her sister, Lily, "getting herself blown up". We find out in "Goblet of Fire" that Lily and James Potter were both killed by Avada Kedavra, which leaves no physical evidence of the cause of death.
- Possible explanation: In her ignorance of the wizarding world, and particularly of her sister and brother-in-law, Petunia could merely have assumed that Lily was killed in some sort of explosion or killed in the explosion that destroyed the house, resulting from Voldemort's curse rebounding. As we never see exactly what Dumbledore said in his letter to her, he may not have mentioned the Potters' cause of death.
- It was initially believed to be an error that Hermione was able to perform "a few simple spells" for practice despite, the ban on Underage magic; however, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in the chapter "The Prince's Tale," a young Severus Snape tells Lily Evans that the Ministry won't punish people for doing magic before they've gone to Hogwarts, though once they've started being trained, they are not allowed.
|Character||Killed By||Cause Of Death||Circumstances|
|Quirinus Quirrell||Lord Voldemort/Harry Potter||Voldemort's departure from his body and critical injuries from Harry Potter.||His body was left by Voldemort to die after being possessed.|
|Lily Potter||Lord Voldemort||Avada Kedavra||(Mentioned Only) Voldemort's attempt to kill the young boy in the prophecy.|
|James Potter||Lord Voldemort||Avada Kedavra||(Mentioned Only) Voldemort's attempt to kill the young boy in the prophecy.|
There is some ambiguity to Quirrell's death in the book since while he is very badly hurt he is not yet dead when Harry passes out, and Dumbledore states that Voldemort "Left him to die" leaving the cause of death some what open. The movie however shows Quirrell falling to pieces prior to Voldemort's attack on Harry.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (soundtrack)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (character index)
- First year