- Lightning-shaped scar on his forehead
- Small and skinny for his age
- Thin face, knobbly knees, bright green eyes
- Round glasses, often mended
- Black hair that never stays in place
- HPHBP(Ch. 1)
- Son of Lily Potter and James Potter
- Nephew of Petunia Dursley and Vernon Dursley, cousin of Dudley Dursley
- Wand--eleven inches, holly and phoenix feather
- Seeker on the Gryffindor Quidditch team
At the beginning of Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, Harry is about a year old, and has miraculously survived Voldemort's attack on him with only a lightning scar on his forehead, though his parents were killed. He is brought to live with his aunt and uncle, the Dursleys, at Number four, Privet Drive. He is instantly famous in the wizarding world as "The Boy Who Lived".
In HPPS 2, Harry is ten years old, and living in the cupboard under the stairs at the Dursleys' house. On Dudley's birthday they go to the zoo, and Harry has an odd conversation with a snake, before the glass on its cage disappears and it escapes. Harry is blamed for the glass, and shut up in his cupboard as punishment.
Harry seems to be destined to go to Stonewall High for secondary school, but mysterious letters begin arriving for him. Uncle Vernon refuses to let him read them, but they get the Dursleys agitated. They let him move into Dudley's second bedroom, but they refuse to respond to the letters. Finally Uncle Vernon evacuates them all from the house, trying to find someplace the letters can't reach, until he takes them to a shack on an isolated island in the ocean. As Harry is counting down to his eleventh birthday, he hears a booming knock on the door.
A huge man comes into the hut, introduces himself as Hagrid. He tells Harry that he's a wizard, like his parents, and brings him a copy of the letter, inviting him to attend Hogwarts, a school for witches and wizards. He also tells Harry about how his parents died at the hands of Voldemort, but Harry himself survived with his scar. After a brief altercation, Uncle Vernon and the other Dursleys retreat, and Harry and Hagrid bed down.
Harry wakes up the next morning, half-convinced that it's all a dream, but Hagrid is still there. Hagrid tells Harry that his parents left him a lot of money, which is in a bank called Gringotts, where Hagrid also has a secret errand for Dumbledore. Hagrid takes him to shore, then to London on the train. They go to a pub called the Leaky Cauldron, where Harry is recognized and made much of; he also meets Professor Quirrell, a teacher from Hogwarts. Behind it is a wall, which Hagrid opens into a magical archway to Diagon Alley.
Diagon Alley is a revelation, with magical shops and wizards and witches all around. They go first to Gringotts, which is run by goblins. After a harrowing subterranean cart ride, Harry sees the vault where his parents' money is stored, and takes some of the quite respectable pile to buy his school supplies. They then go to Vault 713, where Hagrid removes a very small package.
Harry goes to Madam Malkin's to be fitted for some robes; while there, he talks to a blonde-haired boy(Draco Malfoy)whom he takes a swift dislike to, with his spoiledness and his prejudices against Muggle-borns. The boy wants to be in Slytherin, which Hagrid tells Harry is where most of the dark magicians come from. Hagrid buys Harry an owl for his birthday present, and then they go to Ollivanders to buy his wand.
Mr. Ollivander recognizes Harry, and remembers the wands his parents used, as well as the one Voldemort used to give him his scar. After trying many wands, Harry ends up with one that contains a phoenix feather--from the same phoenix as Voldemort's wand. After that, Hagrid send him on the train back to the Dursleys, with a ticket for the train to Hogwarts.
Harry spends the next month at the Dursleys being studiously ignored and reading his schoolbooks. He does get Uncle Vernon to give him a ride to London to catch his train, but is left bewildered at King's Cross station trying to find Platform Nine And Three Quarters. Fortunately, he encounters the Weasley family, who show him how to get through to the platform and board the Hogwarts Express.
Harry ends up sitting with Ron Weasley, and buys a large batch of candy which they share. He meets the hapless Neville Longbottom and the know-it-all Hermione Granger. He also meets Draco Malfoy again, which develops into open antagonism, and a fight is narrowly avoided.
The train arrives outside Hogwarts, and the students disembark. Hagrid takes the first-years to the edge of a lake, where they board magical boats and dock at an underground harbour deep below the school. They are then led up the stairs to the front door of the castle. After worrying needlessly over the Sorting procedure, Harry finds he just has to put on the Sorting Hat. It tells him he would do well in Slytherin, but when he adamantly opposed to it, it puts him in Gryffindor instead, with Hermione, Ron and the other Weasleys. While watching Professor Quirrell talk to Professor Snape at supper, he feels a sharp burning sensation in his scar. In bed that night in the Gryffindor tower, he has an odd dream about wearing Quirrell's turban, which is encouraging him to switch into Slytherin.
In HPPS 9, Harry does well in his first flying lesson, and after rescuing Neville's Remembrall from Draco Malfoy's toss, he is recruited for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, the youngest player in a century. Draco challenges him to a wizard's duel, so Harry and Ron(his second)go to the trophy room at midnight, accompanied by an unwilling Hermione and Neville. Draco doesn't show up, but apparently tipped off Filch. Running from the caretaker, they go through a locked door, and find themselves in the forbidden third-floor corridor, where they flee from a ferocious three-headed dog.
In HPPS 10, Harry receives a Nimbus Two Thousand broomstick from Professor McGonagall and begins Quidditch practice. He and Ron quarrel with Hermione, but they end up saving her from a troll on Hallowe'en, after which they become friends.
At the beginning of Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets, Harry is back at Number four, Privet Drive. All of his school supplies have been locked up by the Dursleys, and he is forbidden to even mention magic.