Harry Potter și piatra filozofală – rezumat

„Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is the first installment in a series of seven volumes, written by J.K. Rowling, a British author. First published in 1997, the book continues to attract numerous readers. Its subject is entirely unique, represented by the surprising turn that the seemingly sad destiny of an eleven-year-old boy takes.

Harry Potter lived on Privet Drive, at number four, in the suburban area of London. He had lost both his parents in a car accident, according to his uncle, Vernon Dursley, and aunt, Petunia, who had adopted him when he was just a year old. Aunt Petunia was his late mother’s sister and often spoke about how „strange” Lily (Harry’s mother) had been during her childhood. Along with Vernon, Petunia had a son, Dudley, an uneducated, brutal, and violent child, very intellectually challenged, who bullied Harry whenever he had the chance.

Harry’s life on Privet Drive was unbearable. The boy had no proper clothes, received only old and worn-out things, and his uncle and aunt were only interested in Dudley, who became even more insufferable the more attention he received. His suffering comes to an end one day when the Dursley family receives a letter from „Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,” addressed to Harry. From the anxious looks his uncle and aunt exchanged, the boy realizes that it was something serious and makes desperate attempts to get hold of the letter, which was vehemently refused by Uncle Vernon. Since the letters were brought by owls and their number multiplied with each passing day without the boy being able to read their content, Uncle Vernon nervously gives in, takes his wife and son, as well as Harry, and isolates himself with them in a cabin on a rocky island.

That night, Hagrid, a giant who knocks on their door and seems to know Harry, even though the boy had never seen him before, appears. Seeing how the little one was treated, Hagrid takes revenge on the Dursley family, who get a good scare, and Dudley suddenly grows a pig’s tail. From that moment on, Harry is under Hagrid’s care, who hands him a copy of the letter. It was an invitation to Hogwarts, and the boy learns that he was, in fact, a wizard, like his parents, who hadn’t died in a car accident at all, but had been killed by the most dark and feared wizard, Voldemort. Both had studied at Hogwarts, and now it was Harry’s turn.

Dumbfounded and happy for the first time in his life, Harry lets himself be taken to the wizarding world, where only those with magical powers can enter. Together with Hagrid, he arrives in London and withdraws a large sum of money from the wizarding bank (Gringotts) because his parents had left him a generous inheritance there. Then, the two set off to buy school supplies (which included a cauldron, robes, and spell books), and Hagrid gives the boy a wonderful gift, as it was his eleventh birthday: a white owl, named Hedwig. From there, the giant is forced to return the boy to his relatives, who no longer dared to approach him.

At the start of the school year, Harry takes the Hogwarts Express, where he meets for the first time the ones who were to become his best friends: Ronald Weasley (Ron) and Hermione Granger. At first, the boys don’t like Hermione at all, as she seemed very insufferable, the kind of person who always felt the need to demonstrate her superiority to others. As they start their classes, the two realize that the girl had no friends at all, and after going through a frightening adventure together, they become inseparable.

Hogwarts was a special school. The students were divided into four houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. The headmaster was Albus Dumbledore and he was the only wizard feared by Voldemort. Dumbledore was the defender of peace and tolerance in the wizarding world, while Voldemort gathered allies to annihilate any „mudbloods” (wizards born to non-magical parents) and shape this universe to his liking. What Voldemort liked were: fear, darkness, terror, absolute power. Since, after the confrontation with Harry’s parents, he had been inexplicably reduced to a shadow of what he had been before, Voldemort now needed a foreign body to inhabit in order to survive. „The Chosen One” would be Professor Quirrell, who taught „Defense Against the Dark Arts,” and who would host Voldemort for a year, without anyone knowing. This feared wizard was in search of the Philosopher’s Stone, a substance that alchemists believed could turn any metal into gold. In this work, it also grants immortality to the one who consumes it. Nicholas Flamel, the stone’s owner, had died (by his own choice) and was a close friend of Dumbledore.

Every time Voldemort tried to kill Harry (in such a way that he wouldn’t be noticed, of course), the boy, together with Ron and Hermione, believed that the one intending to do this was Snape (who taught „Potions” and seemed to particularly dislike Harry). At the end of the school year, a frightening confrontation takes place between Harry and Voldemort, who was in Quirrell’s body. The wizard invites the boy to join him, but Harry refuses. He manages to retrieve the stone, which had appeared in his pocket as a result of charms that made it so that only the one who wanted to obtain the stone without using it could have it.

The end of the book foreshadows the beginning of the second one, as Voldemort is defeated (for how long, no one knows), the school year ends well, and Harry finally has the chance of a normal life, even in a completely unusual context. The greatest gain was represented by the friendship with Ron and Hermione, whom he couldn’t wait to see again in the second year at Hogwarts.

In conclusion, „Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is a wonderful introduction to J.K. Rowling’s magical universe, which has managed to enchant both children and adults with her writings. Enjoying both successful film adaptations and representations in video games and even on the world’s big stages (after adapted scripts), the „Harry Potter” series remains an impressive phenomenon of contemporary literature.