Back to the beginning! First picked up this series lo these many years ago, where I could only go out the next day and buy the next two books after this one. . . .
First we have an introduction that hints at the future.[Spoiler (click to open)]A lot about the future. Hagrid's borrowing Sirius Black's bike didn't even register hard enough for me to remember during Prisoner, but she was thinking ahead.Then it opens like a comic story about a ghastly family -- the orphaned nephew, the abusive aunt and uncle, the spoiled rotten son -- but soon, the letters start to arrive about Harry. His uncle's best efforts to stop it are doomed when a giant of a man shows up to tell Harry that he's a wizard.
And then we have a story that's both fantasy and a school story. Down to having sports. And a dragon and a three-headed dog. Classes with cauldrons. Making friends on the train and after a fight. Chocolate Turtles with cards of famous wizards. Ghosts. And Harry starts to learn his signficance.