Harry Potter is a fictional character created by J.K. Rowling. He is the lead protagonist of a fantasy series which also carries his name, accompanied by two best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. A large segment of the English speaking world is familiar with Harry Potter, thanks to the wildly popular seven book fiction series which began with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997) and ended with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007). The books are among the most widely read in the world.
Harry's full name is Harry James Potter. According to Rowling, she picked the name “Harry” because she liked it, likewise with “Potter.” His middle name comes from his father, James Potter. The books initially deal with the childhood of Harry Potter, beginning at age 11, and follow him into young adulthood. The essential premise of the books is that there is a magical world which exists hidden within the real world. Harry Potter is raised in the conventional world, and learns at age 11 that he is actually a wizard, and belongs with other witches and wizards.
The Harry Potter novels are about an epic struggle between good and evil, personified by conflict between Harry Potter and his nemesis, Lord Voldemort, who terrorized the wizarding world before Harry Potter was born. The child is involved in a prophecy which suggests that he may be able to defeat Lord Voldemort. Determined to stave off that fate, Lord Voldemort kills Harry's parents and attempts to kill Harry as well. However, Harry is able to resist Voldemort's efforts, although he is left with a sizable head wound which turns into a trademark lightning shaped scar. The details of these events unfold slowly over the series of books.
In the first book, readers are introduced to Harry Potter and the relatives he is living with, the Dursleys. The Dursley family is portrayed as a suburban, bumbling, fairly bland family of three. When Harry Potter receives a letter informing him that he has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, all chaos breaks out as Harry learns about his parents and heritage. Over the course of the books, readers follow Harry's myriad adventures, and are introduced to a large and varied cast of characters.
Many readers all over the world have fallen in love with the Harry Potter character and the books in general. Rowling created a lush, yet potentially believable fiction in the books, which cater to the secret desire of all children to find magic in the world.