What is the summary for Chapter 3 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter Three:  The Letters from No One

Harry has been banished to his cupboard under the stairs until summer.  Harry feels as lonely as ever and focuses on his only ray of hope:  secondary school without Dudley.  Dudley will be going to Smeltings, Mr. Dursley’s old private school, while Harry will be going to public school. 

One morning Harry is surprised to find a letter addressed to him in the mailbox.  Once the Dursley’s notice, they rip the letter from Harry’s hands, read it with a look of horror on their faces, and refuse to let Harry read it.  The Dursleys burn the letter and decide to ignore it. 

Because the letter was addressed to “Mr. H. Potter / The Cupboard under the Stairs,” the Dursleys give Harry Dudley’s old room (much to the dismay of Dudley), trying to defray more letters.  Each day following, more and more letters arrive for Harry with more specifics about exactly where Harry can be found.  The Dursley’s destroy all of them.  Just as Uncle Vernon (Mr. Dursley) is celebrating “no post on Sundays,” letters for Harry come pelting out of the fireplace in vast numbers. 

The Dursleys take Harry and leave home, hoping to avoid more letters.  Their first stop is a hotel on the outskirts of town, but the letters follow Harry there as well.  The Dursleys and Harry end up on “what looked like a large rock way out at sea” in “the most miserable little shack you could imagine” all to avoid more letters for Harry.  That night, Harry realizes he will turn eleven at midnight.  When midnight comes, a loud knock is heard at the door.

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