In the first book of the wildly popular Harry Potter series, author J.K. Rowling introduces us to a boy named Harry. Until the age of eleven, he lives quite a non-distinct existence. He spends every night sleeping in the cupboard under the stair of his horrendous guardians' house; every day being teased by his pudgy and generally unpleasant bully of a cousin. On the night of his eleventh birthday he discovers that he is descendant from a line of wizards. As if that weren't surprise enough, he also learns that he has quite the magical reputation to live up to in this brand new world of witches and wizards. Although young Harry is delighted with the stimulus of his new surroundings, he is unsure of his capability to prove his worth and throughout the series seems to struggle with the same doubts. In The Sorcerer's Stone, he meets a cast of characters that will lay the foundation for the rest of his years at Hogwarts. He first meets the other two schoolmates who will become his very best friends. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger will go through all of his battles, both magical and emotional, and they will be there for him through the good and the bad. Shortly thereafter, Harry meets Draco Malfoy. A sneering snob of a child, and the same age as Harry, Ron and Hermione, Malfoy is a student sorted into the Slytherin House - The direct rival to the generally heroic Gryffindor House where the other three belong. Draco delights in hindering any progress Harry may make, as he is unfailingly jealous of Harry's fame. In the earlier books, he plays the role of Harry's direct and tangible nemesis. In other words, he eventually will focus elsewhere, as he learns of another, much greater wizard whose lifelong goal is to see him expunged from the planet.
This other wizard is the evil Lord Voldemort. As introduced, he adapts the moniker of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. The entire wizarding world is convinced that Lord Voldemort terminated when he killed Harry's parents, and then tried to kill Harry, who was only a baby. Harry being the only person ever to survive such an attack by Voldemort instantly became famous. And likewise, he instantly became Voldemort's number one priority. The people of the wizarding world being naturally superstitious people, vowed never to say his name for fear that it would bring him back. Although this method does not work, they are all very lucky because they've got Hogwarts' Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, to look up to. Perhaps the only wizard with powers equally as great as Voldemort's were, he is the students' greatest inspiration and hope for fighting the evil wizard who will return as a ghost of himself; a spiritual parasite.In his first year at Hogwarts, Harry will learn how to cast simple spells, learn magical defense, concoct beginner potions, and make friends, as well as enemies. Some other pivotal and notable characters introduced are Hagrid, the Gamekeeper. Professor Snape, potions master, and yearner of the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Professor McGonagall, and the entire Weasley family as well as Neville Longbottom round out the most influential characters in the book.