With Harry Potter series’ last movie out some people may still not have an idea what all the hoopla is about. Here’s the story of the seven Harry Potter books in a nutshell. I have only covered the juice of the story. A quick five minute read of the Harry Potter saga.
There are seven books in the series, first six books tell the story of one year of Harry’s life at Hogwarts. He doesn’t return to the school in the seventh book.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter an orphan boy comes to know on his 10th birthday that he is a wizard. He is invited to a school for magical kids – Hogwarts. He also comes to know that when he was a toddler a very powerful wizard named Voldemort killed his parents and also tried to kill him. However, Voldemort’s magical spell rebounded on himself and his body was destroyed leaving only his soul. Harry survived and that made him famous in the wizarding world. Harry befriends Hermoine Granger and Ron Weasley at Hogwarts. Voldemort tries to get the Philosopher’s Stone which can bring him back to material form. Harry foils his plan and Voldemort has to vanish again.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
One of Voldemort’s followers (also known as Death Eaters) gives a diary to Ginny Weasley, sister of Ron Weasley. The diary belongs to Tom Marvolo Riddle who is Voldemort. Through the diary Voldemort posses Ginny and she opens a secret chamber which has a very large snake known as Basilisk which can kill anyone merely by looking in to his/her eyes. Harry manages to kill the Basilisk and save Ginny. He also destroys Tom Riddle’s diary in the process.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
A mysterious man named Sirius Black escapes from the wizard jail Azkaban. He was Harry’s parents’ friend and Harry believes it was Black who told Voldemort about Harry’s parents hiding place and was instrumental in getting them killed. However Black was a loyal friend of the Potters and it was another friend named Peter Pettigrew (also known as Wormtail) who actually betrayed them. Pettigrew was hiding as a pet mouse for Ron Weasley so that he could spy on Harry on behalf of Voldemort. When caught, Pettigrew runs away.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
A magical tournament named the Tri-Wizard Tournament is held at Hogwarts involving three wizarding schools. Harry’s name is mysteriously entered in the tournament even though he is underage for the tournament. Harry manages to go through the levels of the tournament with suggestions from his friends and a teacher named Professor Moody. Harry and a fellow Hogwarts student Cedric Diggory make it to the final level and suddenly then Wormtail and other Death Eaters appear with Voldemort who is in mere flesh form. They perform magical ritual to bring Voldemort into material form. Pettigrew kills Cedric. Harry manages to escape with Cedrik’s body and informs everyone of Voldemort’s return.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The magical world doesn’t believe Harry about Voldemort’s return. Ministry of magic appoints Dolores Umbridge as High Inquistor at Hogwarts who forbids many things at school and makes life difficult for students and teachers. Harry forms a secret group called Dumbuldore’s army (Dumbuldore is the headmaster of Hogwarts) with his friends and teaches them magic that Umbridge has banned from school in order to protect themselves from the looming danger. Harry finds a prophecy that states either he will kill Voldemort or Voldemort will kill him. One of them has to die.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
In his sixth year at Hogwarts Harry finds a book which earlier belonged to one half blood prince. The book helps Harry excel through his academics. Harry also starts feeling a connection with Voldemort. He can read Voldemort’s mind and vice versa. Harry comes to know that Voldemort has hidden pieces of his soul in seven objects called Horcruxes and he can not die till all the Horcruxes are destroyed. Two of the Horcruxes have already been destroyed one being Tom Riddle’s diary in the second year. Harry goes on a hunt to find and destroy remaining Horcruxes with Ron and Hermoine.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry manages to destroy all but two Horcruxes and comes to know that he himself is one of the Horcruxes because he was the only living thing present when Voldemort was destroyed so one piece of Voldemprt’s soul attached itself to Harry. In order to destroy that soul Harry has to be killed by Voldemort. Voldemort attacks Hogwarts and an epic battle ensues between Harry’s friends and supporters and those of Voldemort’s. Harry and Voldemort face one another where Voldemort attacks Harry with a killing spell which instead of killing Harry kills Voldemort’s soul inside him. Harry’s friend Naville kills Voldemort’s snake Nagini which was the last horcrux and Voldemort dies in a battle with Harry.
This is the summary of the “what” part of the story. The “how” part is what you get to see in the movies and read in the books. There are many sub plots and side stories. There are elaborate back stories of the characters and there are many characters. I have only covered Harry and Voldemort, two characters here but the story is incomplete without Ron, Hermoine, Dumbuldore, Hagrid, Snape, Weasley family and many more. A more detailed summary can be read here.
Harry Potter is recommended to everyone.