Harry Potter is a seemingly ordinary boy living with the Dursleys, his only remaining relatives who treat him badly, in Little Whinging, Surrey, England. In 1991, after inadvertently causing an accident on a family outing and receiving several unsolicited letters by owl, Rubeus Hagrid appears and informs Harry that he is a wizard, known for being the first and only one to survive an attack by Lord Voldemort, a once-powerful dark wizard who terrorized the Wizarding World and murdered those who stood in his way, including Harry’s parents James and Lily Potter. Hagrid reveals to Harry that he has been accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After buying his school supplies from the hidden London street, Diagon Alley, Harry boards the train to Hogwarts via the concealed Platform 9¾ in King’s Cross Station.
On the train Harry meets Ron Weasley, a boy from a large but poor pure-blood wizarding family, and Hermione Granger, a witch born to non-magical parents. Once they arrive Harry and all the other first-year students are sorted between four houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Because Slytherin is noted for being the house of darker wizards and witches, Harry convinces the Sorting Hat not to put him in Slytherin. He ends up in Gryffindor along with Ron and Hermione. Ron’s older brothers were all placed in Gryffindor as well: mischievous twins Fred and George, Percy the prefect, Charlie (who researches dragons in Romania) and Bill (who works for Gringotts Bank).
At Hogwarts Harry begins learning wizardry and discovers more about his past and his parents. He gets recruited for Gryffindor’s Quidditch (a sport in the wizarding world where people fly on broomsticks) team as a Seeker, as his father was before him. One night he, Ron, and Hermione discover a large three-headed dog named Fluffy (owned by Hagrid) on a restricted floor in the school. They later find out Fluffy is guarding the Philosopher’s Stone, an item that can be used to grant its owner immortality. Harry concludes that his potions teacher, the unfriendly Severus Snape, is trying to obtain the stone in order to return Voldemort (who Harry encounters in the Forbidden Forest where he, Ron, Hermione, and Draco Malfoy are serving detention by helping Hagrid look for an injured unicorn after being caught wandering around at night) to a human form.
After hearing from Hagrid that Fluffy will fall asleep if played music, Harry, Ron and Hermione decide to find the stone before Snape does. They face a series of tasks that are helping guard the stone which include surviving a deadly plant known as Devil’s Snare, flying past a swarm of bird-shaped flying keys and winning a dangerous, life-sized game of chess.