And I stand by it.
Yes, the first two books are lighter and my least favourite in the series is the second one.
But that was/is just Rowling's way of showing the ageing of the heroes along with their audience.
At age 11 you are just a kid and in a kid's mind there are monsters and heroes and not much inbetween. So Potter 1 was pretty much without a whole lot of gray shades.
But those shades were added continuously and Harry, Ron and Hermione grew, in body height and experience in life: heroes can make mistakes (Dumbledore), sinners can repent(Snape, and how!), sinister looking people can be good (Mad-Eye Moody) and vice versa (Prof. Quirrell).
Then the strong, if not indestuctible friendship the main characters have, with each other and the less featured, but nonetheless loyal characters.
What wouldn't I give for friends like that.
But I'm afraid that is the MOST fantastic part of the books.
Nowadays I'm afraid such friends are not possible.
Please correct me, if I'm wrong.