Mr. Dursley encounters a cat reading a map, people talking excitedly about his sister-in-law's family, the Potters, and a man saying someone named "You-Know-Who" has finally gone, and even a "Muggle" like Dursley should rejoice. Dumbledore, the head of the Hogwarts wizardry academy, tells a cat (Professor McGonagall in disguise) that Voldemort (You-Know-Who) killed the Potter parents the previous night but, unable to kill their baby son, Harry, retreated after his power waned. A giant named Hagrid appears, carrying baby Harry, and Dumbledore puts him on Dursley's doorstep with a letter.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter 1
Ten years later, Harry lives in a cupboard under the stairs in the Dursley house, tormented by his cousin Dudley and neglected by his uncle and aunt. On Dudley's birthday, the family takes Harry and Dudley's friend Piers to the zoo. After Harry starts talking to a boa constrictor and Dudley pushes him, the glass of the snake's tank vanishes, the boa slithers out onto the floor, and Dudley and Piers claim the snake attacked them. Harry is punished for the incident, although he feels he has nothing to do with it.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter 2
In the summer, Harry spends most time outside, excited about starting a new school in the fall. One day, Harry notices a letter addressed to him, but his uncle grabs it and discusses with his wife what to do. The letters keep coming, and Mr. Dursley takes the family to a hotel, and then to a shack on an island and bolts the door. At midnight, as it becomes Harry's birthday, there is a thump at the door.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter 3
The giant Hagrid, the keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts, smashes down the door, gives Harry a cake, introduces himself, says Harry is a wizard, presents him with a letter of acceptance to Hogwarts, reveals Harry's parents were killed by the Voldemort, and takes Harry away.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter 4
Hagrid takes Harry to London to shop for school supplies. They first go to a pub, where patrons recognize Harry, and then to a magic street called Diagon Alley. There they visit a bank, Gringotts, where Harry picks some of the money his parents left in a safe and Hagrid picks a small package, which he warns Harry not to ask about. Hagrid takes Harry to be fitted for his uniform and, at the store, Harry encounters a snobbish boy who is also starting Hogwarts.
On the train to Hogwarts, Harry meets the twins Fred and George Weasley and their brother Ron, who is also starting Hogwarts and introduces Harry to some details of wizard life, an overachieving girl named Hermione Granger, and the unpleasant boy from the uniform shop, Draco Malfoy. All the students have heard of Harry, but he is not sure how to respond to his fame.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapters 5 & 6
In Hogwarts, the new students put on a hat to discover which residence they will live in – Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. The hat tries to convince Harry to go to Slytherin, where unpleasant students such as Draco Malfoy are placed, but he goes to Gryffindor, with Ron and Hermione. When Professor Snape stares at Harry, Harry feels a sharp pain in his forehead scar. Dumbledore welcomes the students and warns them about avoiding the Forbidden Forest and one of the corridors.
Professor Snape humiliates Harry during the Potions class. Harry and Ron go to Hagrid for tea and meet his huge but gentle dog, Fang. Harry notices an article about a break-in at Gringotts in a vault that had been emptied earlier that day and recalls Hagrid emptying a vault in the bank.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapters 7 & 8
Neville breaks his wrist during a flying lesson and Madame Hooch takes him to the hospital. Disobeying Hooch's order to stay on the ground, Malfoy throws a magic ball and Harry picks it up. Professor McGonagall orders Harry to follow her and introduces him to the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, saying that Harry will make an excellent player. Malfoy challenges Harry to a duel, which Harry accepts. Malfoy does not show up at the duel site, and when Filch, the caretaker, appears, the students run away and end up in the forbidden corridor, where a three-headed dog stands on a trapdoor.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter 9
Harry receives a broomstick and a note from Professor McGonagall summoning him to Quidditch practice. Ron makes a nasty comment about Hermione during class, and she runs off crying. The teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts, Professor Quirrell, announces there is a troll in the building. As Harry realizes Hermione is unaware of it, he and Ron go looking for her, come upon the troll, and inadvertently lock it in the bathroom where Hermione is. After they knock out the troll together using magic, Professor McGonagall scolds the boys, but Hermione lies to protect them and becomes their friend.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter 10
As Snape confiscates a book Harry borrowed to prepare for his first Quidditch game, Harry follows him and hears him talking to Filch about the three-headed dog. During the game, when Harry's broom begins moving uncontrollably, Hermione notices Snape staring at Harry and muttering to himself and sets his robe on fire. Harry regains control of his broom, catches the Quidditch snitch, and Gryffindor wins. When Harry tells Hagrid that Snape was putting a curse on his broomstick and was injured by the dog, Hagrid reveals the dog, Fluffy, is his and is guarding a secret known only to Dumbledore and a man named Nicolas Flamel.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter 11
Hermione takes Ron and Harry to the library to find information about Flamel. Harry receives an invisibility cloak with an anonymous note saying it belonged to his father. Wearing the cloak, Harry hides from Filch in a classroom. There he looks into a mirror and sees his parents waving in the reflection. The next night, Harry takes Ron there, but Ron sees himself holding a Quidditch cup in the mirror., Harry returns alone and finds Dumbledore, who explains the mirror displays one's deepest desire.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione resume their search for Flamel and discover that he was once Dumbledore's partner and the only wizard to make a Sorcerer's Stone, which transforms any metal into gold and produces an elixir of everlasting life. They conclude the three-headed dog is guarding the stone. At the next Quidditch game, Harry catches the golden snitch in the first five minutes, and Dumbledore congratulates him. Harry follows Snape into the forest and hears him talking to Professor Quirrell about the Sorcerer's Stone.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter 12 & 13
Hagrid tells the three friends he does not know what else is guarding the stone besides the three-headed dog, but he explains which teachers cast spells to guard the stone and that he will never give out information on how to bypass the dog. Hagrid shows them a dragon egg he won and, before the dragon grows too big, they arrange for some friends of Ron's brother Charlie to take the dragon away. They take Norbert to a tower and hand it to Charlie's friends, but Filch catches them.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter 14
Filch takes Harry, Hermione, and Ron to McGonagall. A week later, Harry overhears someone pressing Quirrell to do something. Hagrid takes Harry, Hermione, Neville, and Malfoy to detention in the forest to find out what has been harming the unicorns. Harry and Malfoy see a cloaked figure drinking the blood of a recently killed unicorn. A centaur named Firenze rescues Harry and takes him to Hagrid. Harry learns the figure was Voldemort, who was drinking blood to sustain himself until he could obtain the Sorcerer's Stone.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter 15
Harry learns that, while drunk, Hagrid told Voldemort one can get past Fluffy by playing music to him. Harry and his friends decide to grab the stone themselves. When they reach the dog, they realize someone has already passed by. Harry plays a flute, they enter, and Harry catches a bird to open a locked door. Ron leads them as pieces through a game of chess but lets himself be captured by the queen. Harry and Hermione come upon some potions and a logic puzzle. She figures out which potions to drink and goes back to help Ron, while Harry moves forward to find the stone.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter 16
Harry finds Quirrell, who explains he was the one who tried to jinx his broom, and Snape tried to save Harry. Quirrell puts Harry in front of the mirror, hoping Harry will see and share where the stone is. After Harry feels the stone in his pocket and lies about what he sees, Quirrell reveals Voldemort's face on the back of his head. As Harry refuses to give Voldemort the stone, Quirrell seizes Harry, but his hands blister as pain shoots through Harry’s scar, and Harry faints. When Harry regains consciousness, Dumbledore tells him he saved Harry from Quirrell, that he and Flamel decided to destroy the stone, and that Harry got the stone because he tried to find it for itself, not for its powers. At the end-of-year feast, Dumbledore awards the friends points for their bravery, and Gryffindor wins.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter 17