by J. K. Rowling
and the Philosopher's Stone
Chapter by Chapter
Synopses by William Silvester
Notes and links by Steve Vander Ark and Michele L. Worley
The chapter synopses on this page include some links to relevant parts of the Lexicon. For more detailed commentary on each chapter, click on the Reader's Guide links.
Chapter 1 - The Boy Who Lived
(Reader's Guide to Chapter 1)
In which we meet the Dursleys and learn of the peculiar happenings surrounding the arrival of Harry Potter on their doorstep including a conversation between Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall.
Chapter 2 - The Vanishing Glass
(Reader's Guide to chapter 2)
In which is related the sad circumstances under which Harry has lived for the past ten years and of a trip to the zoo that goes awry.
Chapter 3 - The Letters From No One
(Reader's Guide to chapter 3)
In which Dudley gets his new uniform and a letter arrives for Harry, which Uncle Vernon destroys - prompting a veritable deluge of letters over the next few days. Uncle Vernon then attempts to outrun the delivery of the letters and eventually takes his family to an abandoned hut on an island in the ocean.
Chapter 4 - The Keeper of the Keys
(Reader's Guide to chapter 4)
In which Hagrid arrives at the hut and informs Harry that he is a wizard and has been accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry also learns the truth about the deaths of his parents and the origin of the scar on his forehead, much to the chagrin of his uncle.
Chapter 5 - Diagon Alley
(Reader's Guide to chapter 5)
In which Hagrid takes Harry to Diagon Alley in London to retrieve his inheritance and buy his school supplies, including a wand and Hedwig, a snowy owl. At the same time Hagrid gets a secret package from Gringotts vault 713, Harry meets Draco Malfoy, and Hagrid gives Harry his tickets for the Hogwarts Express.
Chapter 6 - The Journey From Platform Nine and Three Quarters
(Reader's Guide to chapter 6)
In which Uncle Vernon takes Harry to King's Cross Station and leaves him there. Harry meets the Weasleys, who help him get to Platform Nine and Three Quarters and settled on the train. Here he gets to know Ron and meets Hermione as the train rumbles to Hogwarts. Upon reaching the school they are met by Hagrid and the First Years are taken by boat to the castle.
Chapter 7 - The Sorting Hat
(Reader's Guide to chapter 7)
In which Professor McGonagall tells the first-years a bit about the school and they are sorted into houses by the Sorting Hat. Then Dumbledore welcomes then, they have a feast and find their dormitory for their first night at Hogwarts.
Chapter 8 - The Potions Master
(Reader's Guide to chapter 8)
In which Harry is pointed out and stared at by everyone in the school as he starts his first day of classes and meets his teachers, visits Hagrid and learns about the Gringotts break-in.
Chapter 9 - The Midnight Duel
(Reader's Guide to chapter 9)
In which Gryffindor and Slytherin have flying lessons together, Neville injures himself on his broom, and Harry and Draco fight it out on brooms over Neville's Remembrall, resulting in Harry being made Seeker of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Later, Draco challenges Harry to a wizard's duel but instead of dueling he tells Filch in hopes of Harry being caught and expelled. Harry and his friends evade Filch and after encountering Fluffy, the three-headed dog, are safely back in their dormitory.
Chapter 10 - Hallowe'en
(Reader's Guide to chapter 10)
In which Harry receives a Nimbus 2000 broom, learns the rules of Quidditch and begins to practice. On Hallowe'en Hermione masters levitation in Charms class but the remarks of a jealous Ron send her in tears to the girls' bathroom, where she is trapped with a troll. Harry and Ron run to her rescue and defeat the troll. Hermione tells a lie to keep them out of trouble and the three become friends.
Chapter 11 - Quidditch
(Reader's Guide to chapter 11)
In which Snape takes Harry's book, leading to Harry seeing Snape's injured leg. Harry's first Quidditch match against Slytherin in which someone jinxes his broom but he catches the Snitch and wins anyway. Hagrid later lets a secret slip.
Chapter 12 - The Mirror of Erised
(Reader's Guide to chapter 12)
In which Harry, Ron and Hermione (HRH) start searching the library for facts on Flamel, the school empties for Christmas, Ron teaches Harry wizard chess, Harry gets his father's invisibility cloak for Christmas, tries it out at night and finds the Mirror of Erised, sees his family and is cautioned by Dumbledore.
Chapter 13 - Nicolas Flamel
(Reader's Guide to chapter 13)
In which Harry learns that Snape will referee the next Quidditch match, Flamel is found, Gryffindor wins over Hufflepuff when Harry grabs the snitch after only five minutes.Harry follows Snape into the Forbidden Forest where he meets Quirrell and they speak of the Philosopher's Stone.
Chapter 14 - Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback
(Reader's Guide to chapter 14)
In which Hermione starts revising, the teachers pile on extra homework, HRH visit Hagrid, discover he has a dragon's egg, and later watch it hatch. As the dragon grows, it becomes harder to hide the illegal pet, until Charlie Weasley agrees to have it sent to him in Romania. Norbert is shipped off from the tallest tower, but Harry and Hermione are caught by Filch on their way back to their dorm.
Chapter 15 - The Forbidden Forest
(Reader's Guide to chapter 15)
In which Harry's popularity slips when his escapades lose his house 150 points, he overhears another conversation, and they serve detention with Hagrid who takes them to the Forbidden Forest in search of a wounded unicorn, which they find dead. Harry is rescued from Voldemort by a centaur.
Chapter 16 - Through the Trapdoor
(Reader's Guide to chapter 16)
In which the students begin their exams, Hagrid lets slip how to control Fluffy, HRH try to warn Dumbledore but he has been summoned away. Fearful that Snape is about to make his move to get the Philosopher's Stone, HRH decide to go after it themselves. Under the invisibility cloak they make their way to Fluffy, put him to sleep and go down the trapdoor, past plants, chessmen, and potions.
Chapter 17 - The Man With Two Faces
(Reader's Guide to chapter 17)
In which Harry discovers it is Quirrell who is after the Stone and serving Voldemort, not Snape. Quirrell tries to use the Mirror of Erised to find the Stone but it gives it to Harry. Voldemort knows this and as part of Quirrell orders the professor to kill Harry, who blacks out in the struggle. He awakes in a hospital bed and hears many things from Dumbledore. At the end of year banquet Gryffindor is awarded the House Cup.