Harry patiently waits for the month with the Dursleys to be over so he can get to Hogwarts. They ignore him most of the time. He hangs out with his owl, Hedwig, and reads for school.
The day before he has to leave, he asks the Dursleys to take him to the train station in London. They grudgingly agree, but when he tells them he has to take a train leaving from platform nine and three-quarters, they just laugh.
Mr. Dursley says all the wizards are nuts, but they'll take Harry to London because they're going anyway, to get Dudley's tail taken off.
The next day, Harry wakes up really early, because he's so excited. He double checks he's got everything he needs for Hogwarts and is more than ready to leave long before the Dursleys are.
They get to the station at 10:30, and the train is supposed to leave at 11. The Dursleys help Harry to get his baggage inside, and then laugh at him because there's nothing between platforms nine and ten. Then they abandon him there.
Harry asks a guard for help, but the guard gets angry with him because he doesn't know how to explain where he's going. He begins to panic when he overhears some people talking about Muggles.
He follows them: it's a mother and four sons and a daughter, all redheads. Harry watches as the three older boys, called Percy, Fred, and George, run at the wall that separates the platforms and disappear.
Harry asks the woman how to do it; she kindly explains that you have to just run at the barrier and you'll go through it. The woman introduces him to her son, Ron. She tells Harry to go first.
Harry's scared, so he walks towards the barrier and then starts running – and then he's through. He sees a train, leaving at 11, on the right platform – he made it! He finds himself surrounded by magical people with owls and equipment just like he has.
Harry heads towards the end of the train looking for space, but has trouble maneuvering all his bags. The redheaded boys Fred and George (twins) come to help him. As they're all getting settled, the others realize that he's Harry Potter. Harry watches as the redheads all get off the train to say goodbye to their mother. Their older brother, Percy, is excited because he's going to be a prefect. The others make fun of him. They also poke fun at Ron, because he'll be new to Hogwarts.
The boys tell their mom they met Harry on the train. She tells them to not bother him, but to treat him like a regular person. They jump on the train just as it's leaving.
Ron comes into Harry's compartment and asks if he can sit with him. The twins poke their heads in, introduce themselves as Weasleys, and go looking for Lee Jackson.
Ron asks if Harry's actually Harry Potter, and Harry shows him his scar. Harry says he doesn't have any memories of You-Know-Who.
Harry asks Ron about what it's like to be in a wizard family, and Ron explains that it's tough being the fifth brother in a line of wizards. He only gets hand-me-downs, like Percy's old rat Scabbers.
It sounds like the Weasleys don't have a ton of money. Harry explains that he's only just got a hold of them. As he's talking, he says Voldemort's name, and Ron is shocked – people aren't supposed to say it. Harry thinks it's just proof of how much he's got to learn.
The train keeps going and a woman with snacks stops by their compartment. Ron doesn't buy anything, but Harry is excited to buy candy. The woman doesn't have ordinary candy, though – just all kinds of magic candy. He buys some of everything.
Ron's unpacking some homemade sandwiches, but Harry convinces him to share some of the magic candy. It's the first time he got to share.
They start eating some Chocolate Frogs, and Ron explains that they come with collectable cards of magic folks. Harry gets one with Dumbledore. He learns that people don't always stay still in magic pictures – they move around and leave the frames.
Soon Harry's collected a bunch of wizard pictures. He also tries Every Flavor Beans, which don't all taste good.
As they travel, they move from fields to woods. A boy that Harry had seen earlier comes in briefly looking for his lost toad.
Ron says a toad would be better than his rat, who won't change color or anything – he's about to show Harry when the boy comes back with a girl, who calls him Neville and asks about the toad.
She asks Ron to show them some magic. Ron tries to turn the rat but it doesn't work.
The girl says the spells she's tried have worked. Even though she's from a non-magic family, she's learned a lot already. She introduces herself as Hermione Granger.
Ron and Harry introduce themselves. Hermione says Harry's famous and in a bunch of magic books.
She asks what houses they want to be in and says she hopes to be in Gryffindor. Then she and Neville leave in pursuit of the toad.
Ron says he hopes they're not in the same house. He tells Harry that his whole family has been Gryffindors – which is a lot of pressure.
Ron's telling Harry about his other brothers – one works for Gringotts, which was recently robbed. Harry's shocked, even more so when he hears that whoever it was hasn't been caught yet.
Harry's worried, but gets distracted when Ron brings up Quidditch and explains all its elements to him.
Three boys, one of whom is from the robe shop, interrupt them. He asks Harry if he's Harry Potter and introduces himself as Draco Malfoy. His friends are Crabbe and Goyle.
Malfoy sneers at Ron, making fun of his family. He tells Harry that he should be his friend instead. Harry puts him off and sides with Ron, so Malfoy insults his parents too. They're about to fight when Scabbers bites Goyle, and Malfoy and his friends run off.
Hermione returns, and they commiserate over the rat, which seems to be unconscious.
They talk about Malfoy; his family was on the Dark side, and while they've come back, not everyone believes they've reformed.
Hermione says they should put on their robes, because they're almost there, and then she leaves.
Ron and Harry get ready, as an announcement says to leave baggage on the train to be collected.
They all get off the train and see Hagrid, who tells all the first years to go with him.
They see a lake, and across it is a mountain with a castle on top.
They get in boats to cross the lake, four at a time. Harry, Ron, Neville, and Hermione go together.
The boats all leave at the same time and go across the lake towards the castle. When they get to the other side, Hagrid finds Neville's toad. Then, he knocks on the door.