The book that first welcomed us into the big, ol’ wizarding world. Here’s why we continue to hold it close to our hearts.
We meet Harry Potter
Of course, this book introduces the star of the show, Potter himself. Little did anyone know how much that little lightening-bolt scarred baby would go on to achieve, and how much time he would take away from people re-reading his adventures over and over and over again.
From kids who’ve always felt a little bit different, to those who always secretly hoped that magic was real, Harry Potter, it’s good to know you.
Hagrid is the best
The moment Harry suddenly realised there’s more to life than his horrendous home at the Dursleys is a very big moment. Giant, in fact. Step forward Rubeus Hagrid, the gamekeeper of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
With the immortal words ‘Harry – yer a wizard’, a legacy was born. We can’t think of a better way to break the ice.
Ron and Hermione, obviously
Without Ron and Hermione (well, mostly Hermione, to be honest) Harry Potter would probably only be a third of the hero he is. The introduction of the ginger, freckled, jumper-hating Ron and the bushy haired, eternally clever Hermione would form a trio so foolhardy, hilarious and almighty, that even that pesky Lord Voldemort couldn’t touch them. (But more on him later.)
It’s bizarre to think that Hermione was, at one point, just the irritating know-it-all in their class. How little Ron Weasley knew when he made that ill-fated assumption.
Seriously though: best best friends ever.
Being welcomed to Hogwarts
Those towering, splendid walls, those endlessly moving staircases, those mysterious enchanted objects that emerge from every crevice; Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is the best home Harry could’ve ever asked for and, in a way, it became our home too.
The grand castle that honed young wizards truly enchanted everybody – and it wasn’t long before three-headed dogs, lumbering trolls and violent, sentient chess sets were to be found around every corner.
The Sorting Ceremony
If it wasn’t enough to contend with that 1) he is a wizard, 2) his parents were killed by one of the most feared Dark wizards of all time, and 3) he’d just started at wizard school, Harry also let a strange, talking hat determine his fate for the next seven years.
The four houses – Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin – guide us through the ways of Hogwarts students, and upon being sorted into Gryffindor, the house famed for its bravery, Harry finally found somewhere he truly belonged.
As if things weren’t magical enough. Quidditch, the famous game played on brooms, trumps all Muggle sports a hundred to one, and is probably more complex than them all put together. That didn’t stop Harry being a natural at it, proving you don’t need to be made of brawn to be a sporting hero.
You want a quick lowdown of the rules again? Very well. There’s seven players: two Beaters, three Chasers, one Keeper and one Seeker, as well as four balls: one Quaffle (used for scoring), two Bludgers (used for, well, battering) and one Snitch, the golden winged ball that will end the game if the Seeker catches it. Now, is that more complex than the offside rule in Muggle football?
Invisibility cloaks are pretty useful
After years of receiving Christmas gifts from the Dursleys clearly found down the bottom of a sofa, Harry was given the Christmas present to end them all: the Cloak of Invisibility, which had been passed down through the Potter family for generations.
In his early years, this served Harry well for undercover tasks rebellious 11-year-olds like to do, like raiding the Restricted Section, but little did he realise how incredibly vital that cloak would become.
Loving to hate Snape
Everyone had that teacher in school who was impossible to please, and the sallow-skinned, greasy haired Professor Snape gave us withering putdowns and sarcasm in abundance. Through a child’s eyes, obviously the Potions master seemed like a little bit of a downer, and Harry, Ron and Hermione immediately assumed he was in line with Voldemort, trying to steal an elixir of life, and even curse Harry off his broom.
We’re not so fond of this Voldemort chap
Philosopher’s Stone also introduced us to a wizard called Lord Voldemort, who didn’t sound like a bag of laughs at all. He murdered people, controlled and manipulated, gathered a following of other Dark wizards who also shared this passion, and was trying to return back to life to overthrow the entire wizarding world. If ever anybody needed to get a new hobby…
We still have six books to go (although we didn’t know it at the time)!
When all was said and done, Harry had to tear himself away from the magic and mayhem for another beige summer with the Dursleys: making him the only child in recorded history who actually looked forward to going back to school. But thankfully, when the pages of Philosopher’s Stone finally flick to their last, there will always be six more magical years to come.