A Brief Background to Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter lived with the horrible Dursleys for eleven years without even knowing he was a wizard. The Dursleys were “muggles”, non-magical folks, and felt Harry’s people were trouble. They told Harry his parents were killed in a car accident, instead of murdered by the evil Lord Voldemort who also tried, and failed, to kill Harry. Harry also didn’t know that the circumstances behind his parent’s death made him famous in the wizarding world, his only reminder of the day was a scar on his forehead in the shape of a lightning bolt. Though Harry isn’t aware he’s a wizard, strange things do happen. For instance, there was that day at the zoo when Harry carried on a conversation with a snake.
Ten years later, just before his eleventh birthday, letters began arriving at number 4, Privet Drive for Harry. Vernon Dursley wouldn’t let him see them. Still the letters kept arriving until Mr. Dursley finally packed up his family and left home. The letters followed. On midnight, the day of Harry’s eleventh birthday, Hagrid the half-giant came to take Harry to school. The letters that had been hidden from Harry were really invitations for him to begin school at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
A Whole New World
Harry learns of a whole new world, the wizard’s world, hidden within the Muggle world he knew so well. There was Diagon Alley, the shopping district where witches and wizards brought owls, wands, brooms and other various and sundry magical items. There was also the (invisible to Muggles) train platform 9 ¾, the place where Harry would catch the train to Hogwarts. On the train he meets Ron Weasley who would become his best friend and Hermione Granger, who would also become a good friend.
At Hogwarts Harry is relieved to learn he’s in the house of Gryffendor, known for its heroic inhabitants. The last thing he wanted was to become a Slytherin, whose inhabitants, like Harry’s rival Draco Malfoy, tend to go to the dark side. Harry attends classes such as Potions, Defense against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration. Harry also finds out he’s very good on a broomstick and becomes a star Quidditch player. He’s never been happier.
The Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry and his friends soon learn of a secret. Upstairs in a locked corridor a three-headed dog is guarding the Sorcerer’s Stone, which contains the elixir of life. The friends put two and two together and figure out someone is trying to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone. Breaking the rules, they do what they can to protect Hogwarts against this evil force. Who could possibly want the Sorcerer’s Stone and its elixir? Not Slytherin house master Professor Snape as Harry suspected, but Lord Voldemort himself, only partly alive and coming back for Harry. This time he doesn’t intend to fail.