The good thing about re-reading the Harry Potter books for the first time in years is that I’m seeing how much more depth there was to the Hogwarts experience, and how much these young wizards and witches are like kids all over the world.
Normally the houses don’t have classes with other houses. The exception was Potions, which Gryffindors have with Slytherin. When flying lessons are announced, Harry is disappointed that these once again put Gryffindor and Slytherin together. Harry frets over this, having never been on a broom before and doesn’t want to look bad, particularly in front of Malfoy.
There’s more depth where the students are being typical of their age and bragging about how much experience they have on brooms, much like teens bragging about driving a car long before they actually have. Neville is in the same place Harry is – his grandmother has never let him on a broom before.
There’s increased dynamics between all of the students. Harry is interacting with many of the other students in Gryffindor, not just Ron and Hermoine. Draco and his buddies try to take a Rememberall that arrives for Neville, but Professor McGonagall is right on top of them.
The first flying lesson is pretty much depicted in the film the same way it’s written. There’s a little more wordplay between Harry and Draco on the brooms before Harry catches the Rememberall and Professor McGonagall catches him.
When Professor McGonagall brings Harry to see Oliver Wood, they enter a classroom where the poltergeist Peeves is writing rude words on the blackboard. Professor McGonagall kicks him out of the room.
“He’s just the build for a Seeker, too,” said Wood, now walking around Harry and staring at him. “Light —speedy — we’ll have to get him a decent broom, Professor — a Nimbus Two Thousand or a Cleansweep Seven, I’d say.”
“I shall speak to Professor Dumbledore and see if we can’t bend the first-year rule. Heaven knows, we need a better team than last year. Flattened in that last match by Slytherin, I couldn’t look Severus Snape in the face for weeks…”
It’s pretty apparent with that where the broom Harry receives comes from. The film hinted at it hard, but this dialogue makes it more certain. McGonagall also tells Harry that his father was an excellent Quidditch player.
After a bit of verbal sparring, Draco challenges Harry to a Wizards Duel. In the films this doesn’t come up until Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The entire sequence of the Wizarding Duel is missing from the film. This becomes more than just Harry and Ron as Hermoine and Neville inadvertently end up joining the two as they sneak out of Gryffindor tower for the duel. It turns out to be a way Draco is trying to get Harry in trouble, and Harry and Ron should have listened to Hermoine.
Running away from Filch, the four of them end up in the Forbidden Corridor on the third floor and right into the three-headed dog. In the film, they ended up there accidentally after the stairs move around and they get confused.
Although the films focused on the main trio, the book has the other students much more involved with the escapades. I liked seeing the idea of a Wizards Duel brought up early on so it seems to be something that happens regularly between wizards. Ron seems familiar with the idea. There’s plenty of mischief to be had at Hogwarts that doesn’t involve the Sorcerer’s Stone.