Thursday, August 2, 2007

harry potter and the chamber of secrets



Study Questions
What is the role of the afterlife in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? Consider Nearly-Headless Nick and Moaning Myrtle as examples of characters who continue to affect the plot even after they are dead. Why do you think Harry's parents are not able to return to earth in this ghostly form?
Answer for Study Question #1
How do Harry's and Lockhart's attitudes toward fame act as foils to each other?
Answer for Study Question #2
Suggested Essay Topics

How does the author use foreshadowing to comment on and prepare the reader for the story's defining conflicts? Consider the early introduction of Fawkes, the Dursley's hatred of all things magic, and Ginny's dismay when the cat was petrified.
Knowing what you know about Harry and each of the houses, what do you think would have become of Harry had the Sorting Hat placed him in Slytherin as it had originally considered?
What is glorified as the greatest virtue in this story, and why?
What does the author accomplish by framing many people before finally revealing the Heir of Slytherin to be Voldemort's younger self, acting through Ginny Weasley?
What do the origins and parts of the names reveal about their characters? Consider the names of Lucius Malfoy, Albus Dumbledore, and Voldemort.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Eighteen: Dobby's Reward
Summary
Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Lockhart enter McGonagall's office to find Dumbledore and Molly and Arthur Weasley waiting inside. The Weasleys fling themselves on their daughter and ask Harry how he saved her. Harry tells them everything from the voice to Aragog to Moaning Myrtle, managing to avoid the parts involving Ginny and the diary. When asked directly about this topic, Harry instinctively looks to Dumbledore, who gently prods him to answer the question of how Voldemort managed to enchant Ginny. So the part of the diary comes out into the open, and Dumbledore sends Ginny to the infirmary for rest and hot chocolate, and he informs all of them that the Mandrake juice is presently being administrated to the petrified victims. Dumbledore calls for a feast for the entire school, and he awards Harry and Ron each two hundred points for Gryffindor House on account of their daring tasks in battling the monster. Dumbledore then sends the clueless Lockhart to the infirmary under Ron's care, and finally he asks Harry to remain.


While Dumbledore is alone with Harry, he explains that Fawkes came to his aid because of the true loyalty Harry showed Dumbledore down in the Chamber. Harry asks Dumbledore the question that has been bothering him for so long, whether he is in fact like Riddle, marked with evil potential and predestined for Slytherin House. Dumbledore explains here in a gloriously reassuring passage that the Sorting Hat put Harry in Gryffindor because Harry did not want to be in Slytherin, and that choices made are far more important than abilities. Dumbledore also adds that only a true Gryffindor could have pulled Godric Gryffindor's sword out of the Sorting Hat.
The door bangs open and Lucius Malfoy appears, Dobby squealing at his heals. Lucius is most upset that Dumbledore has returned to Hogwarts, and Dumbledore calmly explains that the attacks have been stopped, and that eleven of the school governors contacted him, begging him to return to Hogwarts and suggesting that they had been blackmailed into suspending him. When Dumbledore holds up the diary as evidence from the recent events, Dobby begins to make strange faces and gestures, which Harry ultimately understands to mean that Lucius had slipped the diary into Ginny's books in Flourish and Blotts, so many months ago. Lucius acts shifty and defensive when Harry accuses him of this, and he sweeps out of the room, yelling at Dobby to follow. Harry thinks quickly and wraps the diary inside one of his slimy socks, then hands it to Lucius. Lucius unwraps it and disgustedly throws down the sock, which Dobby retrieves with a thrilled expression on his face. In handing him an article of clothing, Lucius has inadvertently freed his house-elf, and Dobby thanks Harry profusely in front of the livid Lucius, and then the elf disappears with a crack.
Harry then attends the great feast. Hagrid returns, exams are cancelled, and Lockhart is officially removed from the school staff, and Gryffindor is given the House cup. Harry has not been this happy for a long time. The last bit of school passes calmly and happily. Defense Against the Dark Arts classes are cancelled, and Lucius Malfoy is fired as school governor. All is well. On the train ride back to London, Harry curiously asks Ginny what she caught Percy doing. She giggles and replies that he was kissing his girlfriend, Penelope Clearwater, in an empty classroom. Fred and George are pleased by this bit of knowledge, and together they all walk back into the Muggle world for their summer vacations.
Analysis
This chapter neatly ties up all loose ends still dangling after the rest of the story has been resolved. We see the reason why Percy was sneaking suspiciously into empty rooms and corridors, and we understand finally how Ginny came to possess the diary. Most importantly, we are reassured that Harry was not, in fact, destined for the dark wizard House, Slytherin. Dumbledore's speech in which he explains to Harry the importance of choices over ability reveals Harry's success as a character. In none of the books is he a stereotypical or epic hero; he simply is marked and helped by the people who have loved him and his flights into adventure and detective work have the noble intentions of keeping himself, his friends, and his school safe. Harry is simply a good person with courage and people looking out for him, and this combination, more than any natural or learned talents, brings him to triumph again over the world's most powerful dark wizard. He and Ron and Hermione each add their individual talents to the group, but their group efforts and initiative as a whole is what makes them so successful in their ventures. The same is the case for Harry; he is a sum of decent parts, but he uses them in ways that make him a truly impressive magical hero.
The ending serves justice to all characters. Dobby is liberated, Lucius Malfoy is without a servant and loses his job as school governor. Ginny is freed from enchantment, and her involvement in the Chamber of Secrets is kindly and instantly forgotten by her friends and family. Gryffindor wins the House cup, which is always a delight, since we know that the students in it are a good, smart, deserving bunch of kids. Harry is happy and satisfied and safe as he heads into summer vacation. The fairness element is crucial in this book, as a children's book and somewhat of a fantasy/fairy tale. Good triumphs over evil with no casualties to be mourned, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ends in a nice, tight conclusion. This was the case in the first book and also the third, but as the series progresses, the author does involve incidents in which life is not fair at all, and is in fact laden with unnecessary tragedy. In this book, the ending follows a standard storybook pattern, but it is not an easy ending. Everything that happens has a reason behind it, something significant in the lessons learned or the personalities shown in the dealing with danger. Whichever morals seem vague are soon explained by Dumbledore, who once again is safely overlooking Hogwarts' affairs. A sense of comfort ends this book, and for the time being, Hogwarts is left in its natural state-a cheerful and eccentric place where students grow up, make friends, and learn magic.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Seventeen: The Heir of Slytherin
Summary
Harry enters the snake statue-lined Chamber of Secrets and approaches an enormous stone figure of Salazar Slytherin, at whose feet lies the still, small figure of Ginny Weasley. Harry runs to her and examines her, and while he is doing this he notices the misty, shadowy figure of Tom Riddle standing nearby. Harry desperately asks Tom to help him rescue Ginny and escape the Chamber of Secrets, but Tom remains where he is, speaking in a lofty voice, unconcerned about the situation. At one point he captures Harry's wand, slightly alarming Harry, but more than anything else, rendering him more impatient to get himself and Ginny out of the way of the hidden basilisk. Harry finally asks Tom how Ginny got to be in her present state, and Tom smiles broadly and begins to speak.

He tells how Ginny found his diary and poured all of her worries about Hogwarts and her crushes on Harry into it, and how Tom wrote back, comforting her. Through this dialogue, Tom grew stronger and ultimately poured a little of his soul into Ginny, manipulating her to kill Hagrid's roosters and open the Chamber of Secrets. Inside of the diary, Tom explained, he had captured his sixteen- year-old self so that one day, he could lead another to finish the work begun by Slytherin himself. Harry got hold of this diary, delighting Tom, and when Ginny broke into Harry's dorm and stole it back, she had already put so much of herself into the diary that Tom could persuade her to write her own farewell, come down into the Chamber, and allow Tom to leave the pages at last. Tom then begins to question Harry about Voldemort, and Harry grows suspicious and more impatient. Tom then traces the letters of his name, Tom Marvolo Riddle, into the air, and rearranges them to read "I am Lord Voldemort," proclaiming himself the greatest wizard in the world.
Harry argues with this statement, declaring that Dumbledore is a greater wizard, and Tom grows angry. Suddenly, a strange singing bird appears, and Harry soon recognizes it as Fawkes, Dumbledore's pet phoenix, carrying in his beak the school Sorting Hat. Tom begins to laugh at the weapons sent by Dumbledore, and he commands Harry to explain how he survived his attack eleven years before. Harry angrily answers that it was because his mother died to save him, and Tom's smile widens at the thought that there is nothing genuinely special about Harry. He proceeds to point out certain odd similarities between them, in their origins, childhoods and appearances, and then he challenges Harry to a duel. Tom hisses for the basilisk to emerge from its chamber, and Harry closes his eyes and feels Fawkes leave his shoulder. He hears a great, weighty slithering noise and he begins to run, fearing for his life. From above him he hears a great spitting sound among all the hissing, and he squints open his eyes only to catch sight of Fawkes puncturing the basilisk's other eye. The blind snake sways madly about the chamber, and its tail sweeps the Sorting Hat into Harry's hands. Harry puts it on and wishes desperately for it to help him, and out of nowhere it produces a glittering sword, which Harry then slides into the mouth of the striking serpent, killing it, but getting injured by a fang in the process. Fawkes lands back on Harry's shoulder and begins to cry. Tom laughs, proclaiming that even the bird knows that Harry is dying, but then all of a sudden Harry's wound seals up, due to the healing properties of phoenix tears. Tom is angered by this and lifts his wand to exterminate Harry, but before he can cast a spell, Fawkes knocks the diary into Harry's hands, and Harry thrusts the basilisk tooth into the center of it, causing Tom to scream in agony and disappear.
At this time, Ginny begins to stir, and Harry collects her, his wand, the punctured diary, the sword, and the hat, and follows Fawkes out of the Chamber where Ron and a thoroughly vacant Gilderoy Lockhart await him. Ginny is weeping and fretting, and Ron has cleared a space in the fallen rock wall, and the four of them hold onto Fawkes' tail feathers and are pulled back up the pipes. Back in the bathroom, Moaning Myrtle is a bit disappointed that Harry didn't die, because she had developed a crush on him and was hoping that he might share her toilet. They all leave the bathroom and are led by Fawkes into Professor McGonagall's office.
Analysis
Here, as in the Aragog chapter, Harry enters a situation bearing only courage and a faint inborn hope that he may be helped along his way. Here, he remains faithful to Dumbledore, and Dumbledore in turn sends the help that brings Harry to triumph. Harry trusts people before suspecting them, as we see when he tries to elicit Riddle's help in removing Ginny from the Chamber, and only after some explanation does he realize that Riddle is working against, not for him. This lack of suspicion is a mark of Harry's inherent innocent and good-intentions; he first gave Riddle the benefit of the doubt, thinking that perhaps he made a mistake in turning in Hagrid as the Chamber of Secrets culprit. But when he finds that Riddle is in fact Voldemort, Harry's attitude changes and he speaks boldly and spitefully, refusing to bow to Voldemort's power or give him the answers he wants to hear. Harry is determined to die struggling, if he must die.
Voldemort is once again the evil instigator. Even though Harry defeated him as a baby, and then again in the first book of the series, Voldemort always finds a new, clever way to return. This pattern will continue through the series, and Harry will continue to do his best to restrain Voldemort from gaining full power and massacring his opposition once again. Although Harry can, with a great struggle, hold him at bay, he cannot yet defeat him. This recurrence of the same evil in different guises reveals a certain truth, which is that no matter how hard a person fights and tries, certain obstacles are never fully absent. The beauty in this is that Harry can go about his life, engage in friendship, learn in his classes, while still in the back of his mind knowing that Voldemort is still lurking out there somewhere, waiting to strike again. All Harry can do is to be alert, careful, brave and lucky, and he must enjoy his days while preparing for the next encounter. Certain strains of worry or tragedy will always be themes in individual human lives, and they will reappear in one of many different forms to challenge us again; as seen through the combat of evil in this book, all we can do it be vigilant while not letting it ruin our lives.
Voldemort is an especially frightening and well-cast enemy figure because he is no longer human, and therefore not subject to the limitations of natural human laws. He can feed off of people and return, or let his belongings fall into unknowing hands and still return. Perhaps the greatest advantage possessed by Voldemort (Riddle) was foresight. Before his strength was diminished by the infant Harry, he had set his affairs in order so that he could return in a number of different ways. This makes him threatening, the most difficult possible challenge to fight in a series such as this. Harry is required to act especially resourcefully, as he did when he stabbed the fang into the center of the diary, in order to combat this multi-faceted enemy creature.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Sixteen: The Chamber of Secrets
Summary
Ron and Harry speculate about ways to enter Moaning Myrtle's bathroom and question her about her death. With no good ideas, they head to class, only to be informed by Professor McGonagall that exams would take place in a week. Nobody has studied, of course, so everybody is in an uproar. Three days before the first exam, Professor McGonagall announces that the Mandrakes are ready to be cut and used to restore the petrified victims. Everybody is delighted, and in the midst of the cheering, a very nervous looking Ginny Weasley seats herself near Harry and Ron. Harry asks her if she wants to tell them anything and Ginny nods, only to be interrupted by Percy, who takes her seat. Ron is outraged at this and declares to Percy that Ginny may have known important information about the Chamber of Secrets, and Percy blushes and says that what she was going to tell them was not about the Chamber, but about something she saw him doing. He refuses to carry the subject further.

Later that day, Lockhart is escorting his students through the corridors and complaining about the extra precautions taken, and Harry and Ron agree and kindly suggest that he leave them to escort themselves to the next class. Lockhart is pleased and leaves, and Harry and Ron dash toward Myrtle's bathroom, only to run into Professor McGonagall. They lie that they were going to visit Hermione, and miraculously she lets them go. Not wanting to get caught in their lie, the boys trudge to the infirmary and find, clasped in Hermione's hand, a piece of paper that, once wrenched out, displays a paragraph of information about the basilisk that fits right in with all of the eerie things that have happened: it lives for hundreds of years, speaks in Parseltongue and so could be the voice Harry hears, kills with its stare, is the enemy of spiders, and is killed by the crow of a rooster. Underneath this information, Hermione had written "pipes," and Harry and Ron realize that she meant the pipes in Myrtle's bathroom.
The boys dash to the staff room to show their findings to McGonagall, only to hear an announcement that another attack has occurred and teachers must report to the staff room immediately. Hiding behind a row of robes, Harry and Ron listen to the staff meeting and learn that Ginny Weasley had been taken into the Chamber of Secrets, and that written on the wall were the words, "Her skeleton will lie in the Chamber forever." McGonagall then announces that the school will be closed, the students sent home the following morning. At this point, Lockhart enters the meeting and all the teachers turn on him, challenging him to take on the monster by himself, since he is so boastful that he knows how. Lockhart titters nervously and leaves the room, and soon Harry and Ron walk to his office to help him by telling him what they know of the monster in the pipes, and they find him in his office packing his bags.
An exchange follows in which Lockhart confides that he has never fought a dark arts creature before in his life, but rather he has interviewed the people who did the things he claimed to do, and then erased their memory of the encounter before writing up their adventures as his own. He then prepares to erase Ron and Harry's memories, but Harry yells, "Expelliarmus!" as he learned how to so in the dueling club, and Lockhart's wand flies into Harry's hands. Together, he and Ron push Lockhart into Myrtle's bathroom, where they question her about her death, which was in fact caused by a pair of large, yellow eyes, and where Harry spies a small snake carved onto the taps on her sink. Speaking Parseltongue, Harry tells the tap to open and it does, revealing a large pipe into which Harry, Ron, and a reluctant Lockhart descend.
Inside the pipes, the three come upon a giant snakeskin. As they examine it, Lockhart snatches Ron's wand and tries to destroy the boys' memories, but Ron's wand backfires and destroys Lockhart's own memory, also causing an avalanche of rocks to fall, creating a solid barrier keeping Ron and Lockhart on the close- to-home side, and Harry on the other side. Harry calls to Ron to try to make a hole in the wall, while he himself trudges on alone through the tunnel. Finally he comes upon a wall engraved with glittering serpents. Harry instructs it to open, and he enters.
Analysis
This chapter connects many of the uncertain and unresolved situations rising in their tension throughout the book. For one, Hermione has not failed to solve the mystery that has proved so elusive to Harry and Ron; she sought knowledge in the library and found it in the form of the basilisk description she has balled into her hand. Everything fits. All of the mysteries, voices and attacks suddenly make sense. Nobody has died yet because all of the petrified victims so far have seen the basilisk through something else; Mrs. Norris, a puddle of water; Colin, his camera; Justin, through Nearly-Headless Nick; Hermione and Penelope, through a mirror. Even while she is frozen like a rock, Hermione can still be of service, and through her research is the first part of the mystery brought into light. Ron and Harry's hunch about Myrtle proves also to be correct; the information she gives regarding her death is right in line with how a basilisk would most likely attack. The pieces of the puzzle have come together, revealing everything except for the Heir Slytherin himself. This having been ascertained, Harry and Ron can proceed into the chamber with a good idea of what to expect.
The truth about Lockhart also is revealed in this chapter, when he nervously edges out of the staff room when given free rein to tackle the monster. He confirms Ron and Harry's suspicions that he is a phony when he is packing to leave so as not to face the monster, and we know immediately that the defense against the dark arts post will be left open again (in the first book of the series, the defense against the dark arts teacher has to leave for being affiliated with Voldemort). Lockhart is utterly useless and actually detrimental to Harry and Ron as they venture into the tunnels to confront the basilisk, and luckily his role in the plot is made fair when he casts a memory- obliviating charm that backfires, leaving him blithering idiotically to himself. He gets what he deserves during this scene, and his punishment fits his crime.
Finally, Ginny has been unduly frightened by the attacks over the course of the year, and Percy has been upset about her terror and nightmares. In this chapter, we see that Ginny did in fact know something about the attacks, or else she, a pure-blood young witch, would not have been taken into the Chamber of Secrets. We also learn over breakfast that Percy has something he is hiding, suggesting that he is not the perfect prefect he wants everybody to believe he is. Perhaps she could have been saved had she been given the chance to confide in Ron and Harry, or perhaps not. At any rate, Percy is absolutely distraught by her disappearance, as could be expected. When Harry and Ron set down the tunnels to rescue Ginny and save their school, the revelations caused by all of these events shape their journey.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Fifteen: Aragog
Summary
Spring continues its sweep through Hogwarts, but even the loveliness outside the castle cannot take Harry's mind off the terror inside the castle. He ponders Hagrid's advice regarding the spiders and Dumbledore's about help and loyalty, but he is not sure how to proceed with either. Malfoy, meanwhile, seems delighted by the state of things. He boasts that his father has finally gotten Dumbledore out, and he suggests that Snape apply to be the new headmaster

In Herbology class, Ernie Macmillan apologizes for having suspected Harry, since after the attack on Hermione he now that Harry would never have been responsible for hurting a good friend. Harry accepts the apology, and minutes later during this same class, he spies a line of spiders moving toward the Forbidden Forest. He whacks Ron with his pruning shears, and Ron looks doubtful at the prospect of following them. They head next to Lockhart's defense against the dark arts class, during which a confident Lockhart gleefully waxes on about the safe state of the school now that Hagrid has been removed. Ron and Harry are extremely annoyed, and after the joint events of Lockhart's accusation of Hagrid combined with a glance at Hermione's empty seat, the two agree to follow the spiders that very night.
Beneath the invisibility cloak, Ron and Harry set out into the forest with Fang scampering nearby. They soon spy a few solitary spiders scuttling deep into the forest, away from the paths, and so they follow them for a long time. Eventually, they hear something large moving behind the trees, and they are greatly relieved to see that it is Ron's once-flying car, the Ford Anglia that hit the Whomping Willow and now is running wild in the Forbidden Forest. The boys laugh at their initial fright and prepare to continue when they and Fang are met and captured by a trio of clicking, horse-sized spiders. Ron, who fears spiders above all else, is speechless with fear, and Harry himself is terrified too.
The spiders carry them into a clearing with a giant domed web, where they are met with an elderly blind spider, Aragog, who first dismisses Ron and Harry to be killed, but then speaks with them when they claim to have been sent by Hagrid. The boys learn from Aragog that the school thought he was the monster within the Chamber, but really he had been given to Hagrid as an egg and raised in captivity. They learn also that the monster in the chamber is the creature most feared by spiders, and because of that its name is not spoken. They learn finally that the creature's victim was found in the toilet, and that soon after the event, Hagrid set Aragog free in the Forest. After informing them of this, Aragog instructs his children to eat the humans and dog. For a moment Harry and Ron know that they are doomed, and then all of a sudden they hear a horn and see the Weasley's car rumbling over to them. Panicked, they open the door, shove in Fang and themselves, and flee the Forbidden Forest.
Once they say goodbye to the car and head back up to the dormitory, feeling discouraged at having found no new clues. Only once Harry is back up in his bed does it occur to him that the girl found in the bathroom fifty years back could be Moaning Myrtle.
Analysis
Harry's role as a suspect finally diminishes in this chapter after Hermione is petrified, because everybody knows that Harry would never harm one of his best friends. The situation is still dire and complicated, however, and the venture into the Forbidden Forest does not make it any less so. Two vital themes are introduced during this venture, each of which addresses the narrative's attitude toward evil adversaries.

First, the community of spiders, including Aragog himself, refuses to name the creature within the Chamber. Dobby, Ron, and many other creatures and wizards cower at the sound of Voldemort's name, but Dumbledore, and Harry under his instruction, always calls Voldemort by his name, rather than the more wide- spread "He who must not be named." This is a means for humanizing the enemy, for creating a tangible name for the form that is so dangerous and frightening. By saying the name, both Dumbledore and Harry are able to see Voldemort for what he is, an ordinary wizard gone astray, and the fact that they face him with this confidence of naming is perhaps responsible for the fact that he is not able to defeat either of them. Voldemort has always been wary of attacking Hogwarts while it was under Dumbledore's care, and in the end of each book when Voldemort faces Harry Potter, who has reduced him into the bodiless form that he now is, Harry always puts up an bold, scrappy, and unexpected fight, rather than whimpering timidly at the power in front of him. The spiders have not dared to name their enemy. Therefore, they live in the woods, hidden far away from the still undefeated creature. By this comparison in the action of naming, we watch the effects of acknowledging the earthliness of one's enemy in order to triumph over it.
Second, the appearance of the car at the critical moment in the spiders' clutches is a trademark of J.K. Rowling's style. Ron and Harry are bold enough to enter the Forest to follow the spiders, not knowing what they will eventually find, but even this courage is not enough to fight the hungry band of giant spiders. This is where the connections made becomes important; they would have died had the car not zoomed in to save them, as in many other critical moments, other forms of help come in at the last possible moment. This recipe for triumph is central to the story: any victory is half-courage to enter, and half-help from friends. Harry and Ron had no idea that the car would save them from death by pinchers, but they remained alive as long as they could, clinging to the faith that some more powerful power would help them escape.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Fourteen: Cornelius Fudge
Summary
Harry, Ron, and Hermione spend endless conversations discussing Harry's jaunt into the diary and the possibility that Hagrid could be the culprit. The three students debate asking him, but decide against it, at least until another attack occurred. Meanwhile, the school term continues: the Mandrakes are still maturing, once delighting Professor Sprout by throwing a wild party in their greenhouse, and the Hogwarts second-year students are busy choosing their classes for the following year. Ron and Harry sign up for the same few classes, while Hermione signs up for everything offered. Things are surprisingly normal during this time, and soon the Hufflepuff-Gryffindor Quidditch match draws apace. The evening before the big game, Harry is startled to find that his dormitory room has been broken into, his things torn, broken and rearranged, and Riddle's diary taken. He and Hermione are alarmed to conclude that a Gryffindor must have done it, as nobody else knows the House password.

The morning of the match, Harry hears the hissing, disembodied voice again, and Hermione leaps up and dashes to the library. Harry heads out to the Quidditch pitch, and no sooner than he has taken his position does Professor McGonagall step into the field and stop the game, instructing all students to return to their houses, and Harry and Ron to follow her to the hospital wing, where they find Hermione and a Ravenclaw prefect named Penelope Clearwater, petrified, with a small hand mirror lying next to them. The students all are told to remain in their House common rooms from six P.M. on, and always to be escorted by teachers to and from class. Professor McGonagall adds that the school will likely be closed down unless the attacks are halted. Ron and Harry decide that this is a moment to visit Hagrid. Because of the strict rules about wandering around unchaperoned, they decide to do this underneath Harry's invisibility cloak, a gift left to him by his late father.
The boys set out late that night, and as soon as they enter Hagrid's small wooden cabin, they hear a knock at the door and hide invisibly in a corner. Dumbledore enters with a man Ron immediately recognizes as Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic. Fudge explains apologetically to Hagrid that in light of the present circumstances, he must ask him to leave Hogwarts and reside in Azkaban, a frightful wizard prison, until the events stop or are solved. Dumbledore states calmly that he trusts Hagrid entirely, but Fudge says that he must act or else the ministry will think he is doing nothing to stop the attacks, and since Hagrid's history is muddled with rumors about the Chamber of Secrets, he should be the Ministry's first target. While this is being discussed, the door opens again, and Lucius Malfoy enters, explaining icily that the twelve school governors have signed a petition calling for Dumbledore to step down as headmaster. Dumbledore consents without argument, saying only these portentous words, "You will find that I will only truly have left this school when none here are loyal to me. You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it." Hagrid leaves more reluctantly, calling out behind him two instructions heard by Harry and Ron: to follow the spiders to find the culprit, and to feed Fang, his dog.
Analyis
With the break-in to his dormitory, Harry has further cause for alarm: the criminal of that endeavor must be someone he knows, someone who is in Gryffindor, someone he had up until that point trusted. The Heir of Slytherin speculation shifted away from Malfoy after the Polyjuice affair, but now it is away from Slytherin altogether, leaving Percy, due to his earlier suspect positions, as a more likely threat, but really anyone in the House could now be responsible. After Hermione is petrified while all of Hogwarts is outside watching the Quidditch match, the circumstances become more threatening; the creature responsible for the crime may not even be a student. With the diary gone, Harry can no longer communicate with Riddle, and so the burden of discovery lies entirely on him alone.
Harry and Ron's decision to slip out of their dorms and question Hagrid is one of obligation to their involvement in the crisis. Harry wound up with the diary, he spoke with Tom, and now he feels it his responsibility to cut to the core of the mystery in any way he can, even at great personal risk. Ron, as loyal as ever, accompanies him. This is the quintessential origin of Harry's heroism at Hogwarts; he is bold enough to break rules in search of evidence, and his situation brings together personal interest (keeping Hogwarts open and functioning so that he can remain there instead of with the Dursleys) and a general sense of integrity (a need to do everything he can to help stop the attacks on his community).
The boys are handicapped by not having Hermione with them. Hermione pieces facts together in a way that could only be possible for someone as well-read as she. Having her petrified leaves Ron and Harry to figure out the information that Hermione sought. With her out of the picture, the two boys must be more alert than ever, since their way of discovery is trial-and-error exploration, while Hermione's is based more on research. Here Ron and Harry must do both, and the need to revive the victims is more pressing than ever, now that their best friend is one of them. The mirror next to them serves as evidence, but of what we do not yet know. Obviously Hermione had learned that the monster in the Chamber was somehow rendered less dangerous by a mirror, but what she found is useless until the Mandrake potion will be ready.
In Hagrid's house, Harry and Ron learn critical pieces of information that seem directed at them by Hagrid, who of course knows that they are hidden in his house, and by Dumbledore, who Harry always suspected could see through the invisibility cloak. They have witnessed what nobody else in the school has, and what they have seen and heard requires them to remain involved in the solving of the Chamber of Secrets attacks until the very end. Although the boys don't yet know how to use these words of wisdom, they know that they are important.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Thirteen: The Very Secret Diary
Summary
On the way back from visiting Hermione, who is in the hospital wing recovering from her cat-state, Harry and Ron hear Filch yelling at someone, and they round the corner to see a flood of water seeping out of Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. The boys step inside to look around, and they immediately spy a diary bobbing in the toilet. They examine it and see the name T.M. Riddle written on the first page, but the rest of the pages are blank. Ron recalls the name from his trophy-polishing detention as the boy who was rewarded for special services to the school fifty years ago. Harry feels a strange familiarity to the name, and so he pockets the diary. They show it to Hermione when she is fully cured, and she concludes that Riddle, who was commended fifty years before, must have caught the Heir of Slytherin, who had opened the Chamber of Secrets fifty years before. She tries to make words appear on the pages, but with no success.

At the beginning of February, the school is calmer; nobody else has been attacked, and the Mandrakes are becoming moody and secretive-in other words, entering adolescence-and soon will be ready to be made into an elixir. Lockhart believed that he had intimidated the monster into hiding, and by Valentine's Day he was in such a cheerful mood that he decorated the great hall in pink and organized a troupe of dwarves to deliver valentines. The dwarves were not quite so cheerful, however, and an embarrassing encounter occurs when a dwarf had to kick through the masses, knock Harry's bag out of his hands, and ultimately sit on Harry's ankles in order to deliver him a singing valentine, sent (we are fairly certain) by a nearby blushing Ginny Weasley. Once Harry has gathered his things and left the laughing crowds, he notices that all of his belongings are covered in his spilt red ink, all except Riddle's diary. This puzzles Harry, and he retires to bed early that evening and pages through the diary. He writes his name on a page and watches it disappear, and suddenly the ink rises up again, forming the words, "Hello, Harry Potter. My name is Tom Riddle. How did you come by my diary?" This begins a dialogue between the two boys with oddly similar appearances and pasts, separated by fifty years and connected through this secret diary. Riddle writes that he was in fact awarded his medal for catching the person who had opened the Chamber, and he invites Harry to visit his memory.
Harry agrees, and within seconds he is blown into the pages of the diary to the headmaster's room. Here he witnesses a conversation between Riddle and the then- headmaster in which Riddle's request to remain at Hogwarts for the summer holidays is turned down because of the recent dangers of the open Chamber of Secrets. Harry then follows Riddle through the corridors, once running into a younger, auburn-haired Dumbledore who warns Riddle to head back to his dormitory. Riddle and Harry wait in the dungeons for a long time, and finally they hear and follow nearby footsteps. The footsteps belong to a younger Hagrid, who is trying to conceal something inside a box. Riddle explains that he must turn Hagrid in for possessing the guilty monster, and Hagrid argues vehemently that the animal inside the box is innocent. Riddle pulls out his wand, casting open the box and releasing a giant, hairy spider that scuttles over him and out through the corridor. Harry is whirled back into real time, back into his dormitory, and he begins to tell Ron what he saw.
Analysis
When Harry decides not to leave the diary bobbing in the toilet, we see a flash of intuition telling him that the name T.M. Riddle is significant. Voldemort left Harry with marks other than the scar on his forehead; we learn later in this book that he left him with the ability to speak Parseltongue, and in the first book of the series, we learn that the wand that chose Harry contained the brother phoenix feather to the wand that chose Voldemort. Harry is connected to his nemesis in more ways that he knows or understands, and this explains his curiosity about Riddle before he knows that Riddle is the boy who one day would become Voldemort. Good and evil are never wholly unconnected, but rather will always return to interact with each other. These moral extremes even at times share origins, as Riddle and Harry do, with their orphaned, Muggle-raised childhoods, their gift for Parselmouth, their skinny, dark-haired appearances.
The early glimpse of Riddle is telling. He is a school hero who has won his glory by framing another student, Hagrid, for the murder that he himself caused. One could go so far as to note a Satanic element in this "fall" of Riddle into Voldemort, from Hogwarts hero to the demonic figure who caused such a reign of terror among the wizard community. At the same time, a Jesus-like element resides in the younger Dumbledore, who sweeps through the halls with his auburn hair, understanding more than he lets on, yet preserving a forgiving, reticent wisdom that has not faded after fifty years. Furthermore, it is noted several times that Voldemort is threatened only by Dumbledore, because he knows that Dumbledore would never join his side.
The incident with the Valentine's Day dwarf does then amount to something beside Harry's humiliation, in that it demonstrates the ink-absorbing property of the very secret diary, inspiring Harry to experiment writing in it. We are also reminded in this incident of Ginny's long-standing crush on Harry, something that appears in certain occasions but as of yet has not taken its place in the plot.
The description of the Mandrakes touches upon another important point in the Harry Potter series. In the wizard world, everything is given the gift of life; ghosts return and "live" within the Hogwarts walls, pet owls and mice have distinct opinions and personalities of their own, dwarves, wizards, elves, cars, and plants all possess human characteristics. The Mandrakes are a particularly humorous touch, as their maturation process follows exactly the stereotypical one followed by human adolescence: first crying like babies, then becoming secretive and being ailed with acne, and eventually (when they come closer to adulthood) throwing parties and trying to move into each other's pots. The realm of magic is vibrant and curious because everything inside it has its own right to life in all its stages and eccentricities, as shown here by the Mandrakes.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Twelve: The Polyjuice Potion
Summary
As frightened as Harry feels as he is brought to speak with Dumbledore, he still is deeply impressed by Dumbledore's office. He spies the Sorting Hat, and while waiting for Dumbledore to emerge from the back room, he tries it on. The hat repeats what it told him last year, that he would have done well in Slytherin. Desperate, Harry tears the hat off his head. His attention falls next on a sickly bird perched near the door, and before he can observe it for long, the bid bursts into flames and is gone. Harry yells, and moments later is reassured by Dumbledore that the bird, Fawkes, is a phoenix, and the time had come for his burning and rebirth. During this explanation, Dumbledore also mentions that phoenixes are excellent pets because they are faithful, can carry heavy loads, and can heal injuries with their tears. At this moment, Hagrid bursts into the room proclaiming Harry's innocence, and Dumbledore impatiently informs Hagrid that he does not think Harry is responsible for petrifying the students. Hagrid leaves, and Dumbledore then asks Harry if there is anything that Harry wants to tell him. Harry considers all of the things currently pressing on his mind, and then answers no.


The school is still frightened about the Heir, and Fred and George humor the situation by walking in front of Harry in the halls and crying out, "Make way for the Heir of Slytherin, seriously evil wizard coming through…" Harry appreciates this humor, because it reassures him that at least the twins think that the idea of him being the Heir is laughable.
Soon the term ends, and on Christmas day Ron, Hermione, and Harry open their presents and plan for their Polyjuice Potion adventure later that night. The feast is exquisite, as always, and afterwards Hermione instructs Harry and Ron to leave two sleeping-potion-filled cakes in easy places for Malfoy's large, hulking friends Crabbe and Goyle to find, and then to hide them in a closet and pluck out a few of their hairs to add to the potion. Ron and Harry do this, and within minutes the cakes have been eaten, the sleeping bodies hidden, the hairs plucked. Soon they are back in the bathroom with Hermione. Hermione already has her hair, it turns out, because the day she was paired to duel with Millicent, one of the hairs of the large Slytherin girl wound up on Hermione's robes. The three friends add their hairs to their respective potions and drink them, and soon Harry is a replica of Goyle, Ron of Crabbe. Hermione refuses to come out of her stall, so Harry and Ron set off alone.
Unfortunately, they don't know where the Slytherin common room is, so they wander around, accidentally asking a Ravenclaw girl, and suddenly they run into Percy, who is emerging from a side room. They regard him warily and he regards them back, just as warily, and finally Ron and Harry are saved by the approach of Malfoy. Malfoy leads them through corridors, to a black stone wall whose password is "pure blood," which opens into the Slytherin common room. Malfoy is pleased with himself for obtaining a copy of the Daily Prophet, a wizard newspaper, and he shows Ron and Harry an article about Ron's father being fined for bewitching a Muggle car. Ron is furious, but tries to conceal it. Malfoy then speaks of the last attack by the Heir, and how a girl was killed, and then how he hopes that this time Hermione will be killed. Then he says wistfully that he wished he knew who the heir was, so that he could help him, and finally he reveals information about a hidden chamber under his family's drawing room floor, in which dark wizarding paraphernalia is kept. Ron and Harry are a blank audience to all of this, but Malfoy doesn't seem to notice that they are any slower than the real Crabbe and Goyle. After some time the spell begins to end, and Ron and Harry dash out of the room and back to Hermione, who is still in the stall. Moaning Myrtle is in delighted humor, and the reason turns out to be because the hair in the potion turned Hermione into a cat. Ron and Harry persuade her to go to the hospital wing, while Myrtle gloats in her toilet.
Analysis
Dumbledore's information about the phoenix foreshadows Fawkes' role in the Chamber of Secrets. When Harry is brought to Dumbledore and given the freedom to confide, he lies that nothing is on his mind. Here we have another glimpse of his desire to be free of special treatment by adults, teachers or anyone. We see the string of worries cross his mind before he answers that he has nothing to tell the headmaster, revealing that even at the sacrifice of having Dumbledore in his confidence and on his side, Harry does not wish to be singled out. This is not unusual for him; recall during the Quidditch match against Slytherin that Harry preferred to face the Rogue Bludger on his own and allow himself the freedom to pursue the Snitch, than to ensure his own safety by having Fred and George hovering about him throughout the game. Perhaps as a side effect of having so much attention heaped on him for a triumph he does not remember, he wants to achieve goals and untangle fears by himself, without the assistance so willingly lent to him.
The Polyjuice Potion about which Hermione is so optimistic seems to have every possible reason to go awry. Yet, somehow all the steps seem to work, until Hermione refuses to emerge from the bathroom stall. The fact that the potion turns her into a cat does not hinder the eavesdropping plan, although it does disclose certain basic personality traits: Hermione will never fail to read directions correctly or recall a spell at the appropriate moment, but she does not possess some of the more practical skills and assumptions that Harry does. She concocts the potion without a hitch, but it does not occur to her that the hair she found on her could be anyone's other that Millicent's, whereas Harry and Ron tend to think outside the lines more, acknowledging more uncertainty and potential for error.
While Ron and Harry do not find out who the Heir of Slytherin is, the entire event is significant as it reveals to Ron the location of the secret vault under the Malfoy Manor, and furthermore it shows in full color the snobbery of the Slytherins, and it hints at a certain inbred stupidity that exists among the members of the house. Crabbe and Goyle are incomparably stupid, eating the cake Hermione left near the staircase, speaking-or not speaking-with such denseness that Malfoy is able to mistake the clueless, disguised Ron and Harry for the equally clueless real Crabbe and Goyle. Ron notes that only when bewildered does Harry looks exactly like Goyle. The two clearly were not admitted to Hogwarts on account of their wits. The password to the Slytherin common room is "pure blood," the unchanging house philosophy, as opposed to the Gryffindor word, always quirky and often changing. The Slytherins succeed in wizardry by connections through blood and exclusion, yielding a snobbery evident in Malfoy and his two daft acolytes. Nobody connected with Slytherin House is, as far as we can see, redeemable; Snape, Malfoy, Millicent, Crabbe and Goyle are all extremely unappealing, and lacking in rudimentary kindness, fairness, and goodness. It is no surprise that Voldemort was produced from this house; although he was cleverer than Malfoy, he was equally low and creepy.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Eleven: The Dueling Club
Summary
When Harry awakes from his night in the hospital wing, his arm is healed and he is eager to tell Ron and Hermione about Dobby and Colin. He runs into Percy, who looks exceptionally happy, and then Harry heads into Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, where he finds his friends. Ron and Hermione have spent the morning concocting the beginning of the Polyjuice Potion, and they listen eagerly to the news about Dobby and the reopening of the Chamber of Secrets. Meanwhile, the entire school is all in a fright about Colin. Ginny Weasley is especially shaken up by the occurrence, and Neville Longbottom, a round and clumsy wizard, has started carrying around protective charms, since he acknowledges fearfully that he is almost a Squib.

In Potions class, Harry distracts Snape by throwing a firecracker into a Slytherin cauldron, splashing swelling potion on the faces of many students, while Hermione sneaks out of the room to procure Polyjuice ingredients from Snape's personal collection. When she returns with the ingredients inside her robes, the swollen faces are back to normal, and Snape is spitting with rage and looking straight at Harry as he threatens expulsion to the troublemaker.
A week later, Harry, Ron, and Hermione spy a poster advertising a new student dueling club, and they go to the meeting to learn to duel. It turns out that Lockhart is heading it, and when he practices his first dueling match, Snape, his opponent, disarms him by crying out, "Expelliarmus!" Lockhart quickly says that he had deliberately allowed Snape to win that one, and he divides the students into pairs, not wanting to lose another duel. Hermione is matched up with a large Slytherin girl named Millicent, and Harry is matched up with Malfoy. The two boys attack each other with all sorts of body-contorting charms, including a tickle-spell and a leg-jerking spell. The two boys are brought to the front of the room to demonstrate for the entire club, and Snape whispers something to Malfoy, who immediately conjures an angry black snake from his wand. Lockhart tries to help, but instead makes the snake angrier and sends it straight for Justin Finch-Fletchley. Without even thinking, Harry calls out at the snake to leave Justin alone, and the snake falls into a docile heap on the floor. Harry is relieved, but the class is terrified, and only after class does he find out through Ron and Hermione that he spoke Parseltongue-snake language-a feat for which Salazar Slytherin himself was famous. Harry begins to question if, in fact, he really could be the heir. Furthermore, he worries about the Sorting Hat's decision to place him into Gryffindor, when it mentioned first that he could be great through Slytherin.
The next day Harry is restless and goes to find Justin to explain what had actually happened, but as he looks for him in the library, he overheard several Hufflepuffs, led by Ernie Macmillan, discussing the probability that Harry was the heir, and that Voldemort had not succeeded in killing him only because the infant Harry already had powerful dark protective powers. Harry speaks to the Hufflepuffs and asks for Justin, and they all react fearfully and with accusations that anger and annoy Harry. As Harry returns to his house through the corridors, he runs into Hagrid, who is holding a dead chicken, and soon after he trips over the stone-hard figure of Justin Finch-Fletchley, lying near the airy floating figure of Nearly-Headless Nick. Soon Peeves the Poltergeist sees the scene and cries out, alerting the students and teachers, all of whom quickly rush into the corridor. Many angry faces glare accusatorily at Harry, and Professor McGonagall calls Harry to come with her. Together they walk to Dumbledore's room.
Analysis
This chapter includes a great deal of foreshadowing, both of Percy, when he is walking cheerfully through the hallway the morning after Colin has been petrified, and of Ginny, who is unduly upset, and finally of Harry, who when put on the spot reveals himself as a Parselmouth. Nobody has been caught yet, but many people still look suspicious, and everybody is uneasy. The mandrakes are growing and everybody is eager for them to mature and be put to use to restore the petrified folk.
The dueling club meeting serves as a catalyst for the school to suspect Harry, and it is debatable whether Snape instructed Malfoy to conjure a snake simply because it is the Slytherin mascot, or because he wanted to test whether Harry could be the heir by seeing whether he could communicate with snakes. In any case, the students, including Ron and Hermione, are deeply worried by Harry's response to the snake, as we see in the library, when the Hufflepuffs speculate on Harry's dark powers. This scene is horribly unfair, especially when Ernie points out that everybody knows that Harry is a Muggle-hater because he so obviously hates living with the Dursleys. This upsets Harry further because he does hate the Dursleys, but not because they are Muggles. Explaining this brings him no success or sympathy. When he winds up alone in the corridor with the petrified figures of Justin and Nick, the wide-spread suspicion of him is deepened. Recall that in chapter six, Justin told Harry that he was signed up for Eton, a Muggle school, before deciding to go to Hogwarts. If Harry is the Heir of Slytherin, then this information would have helped him to target Justin.
This chapter reveals Harry's self-doubt to a greater degree than we have seen before. He always is frightened but brave when encountering new and trying situations, but in these moments, he doubts his wizarding knowledge and abilities, rather that doubting his own morality or motives. He simply assumes that he is a good person who has had certain fortunate and unfortunate happenings in his life, and here he worries late into the night that he was destined to be a Slytherin, and that he is responsible in some way for these tragedies at Hogewarts. He cannot easily dismiss these fears. He is certainly an unusual student, marked by a scar, the ability to speak Parseltongue, certain heroic victories in his first year, and also a strange voice speaking to him around the time of the killings. When strange things happen at Hogwarts, Harry is almost certainly involved. He has never been exceptionally pleased or traumatized by this extra attention, but rather he just takes is as part of the hand he has been dealt. Here, the fact that he is a public and closely watched figure works against him, making him a more potent suspect, a more likely threat to Voldemort, and also giving his famous childhood trauma a fresh, gossipy spin.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Ten: The Rogue Bludger
Summary
After the incident with the pixies, Lockhart reverts to role-playing in his Dark Arts class. Hermione approaches Lockhart at the end of class and asks for permission to get a book out of the restricted section of the library, in order to better understand the tactics employed in one of his books. Lockhart is very flattered by this attention paid to his works, so he signs the slip, and Harry, Hermione, and Ron hurry into the library, where they are given the book. They read about the painful and complicated steps to making and using Polyjuice potion, and by the end Hermione is the only one still interested in trying to make it, although she persuades the boys to join her.

The Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin dawns, and during the Gryffindor team pep talk, Oliver Wood reassures his team that while the Slytherins have better brooms, the Gryffindors have better people on their brooms. He then tells Harry to get the Snitch or die trying. The game begins, and as soon as Harry is circling through the air looking for the Snitch, a Bludger streaks toward him, and continues to aim for him, even after knocked away by Fred and George. While the two beaters are protecting Harry, the Slytherins are scoring goal after goal, and during the time-out talk, Harry requests that Fred and George return to the game, allowing him to fend against the Rogue Bludger for himself while he looks for the Snitch. Malfoy, the Slytherin seeker, laughs at Harry for his twirling evasions of the Bludger, and while he is laughing, Harry notices the Snitch next to his face. Harry pauses, is whacked by the Bludger, recovers quickly and flies at Malfoy, grabbing the Snitch and falling out of the sky.
Harry wins the game but lands painfully, and he is greeted on the ground by Lockhart, who immediately sets to repair his broken arm but makes a mistake and de-bones it. Harry is sent to the hospital wing where he must stay the night, waiting for his arm to re-grow itself through a lengthy and painful process. During the night, he is visited by Dobby, who explains that he had closed up the train platform and bewitched the Bludger, both in hopes that Harry would give up and return home and away from Hogwarts, where his life would be threatened because the Chamber of Secrets had been opened again. Harry perks up at this knowledge, wanting to know more from Dobby, but the house-elf is adamant about saying nothing more, and soon footsteps sound in the corridor and Dobby disappears. Dumbledore enters with Professor McGonagall, together carrying a stony figure that Harry soon recognizes as Colin Creevey, who has been petrified with his camera in front of his face. Dumbledore gravely reiterates what Dobby had said, that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened again.
Analysis
This chapter illustrates the uselessness of Lockhart as a teacher, both when he de-bones Harry's arms instead of fixing it, and when he is flattered and manipulated by Hermione in her mission to obtain the restricted library book. Oddly enough, in this situation Hermione is the one persuading Ron and Harry to break school rules, instead of the other way around. Harry is not the instigator of the detective-work, as he usually is. He is hesitant to get involved in this situation; even though he wants the Heir to be caught, he does not necessarily want to take this potion with all of its risks, in order to determine whether Malfoy is the heir. Perhaps this is because Hermione is Muggle-born and frightened for her own well-being, but most likely it is because she feels competent to solve this mystery, and the author wants to show a situation in which Harry is not the main seeker of some Hogwarts truth. He is brave enough to enter dire situations, and he is loved deeply by people who help him along the way, but in this situation, it should be known that Harry is not the main person "looking" for adventure and trouble.
During the Quidditch game, we see a perfect metaphor for the good of Harry and Gryffindor versus the evil of Malfoy and Slytherin. As Oliver Wood notes, the Slytherins can afford faster broomsticks, but the Gryffindor have trained more and harder on theirs. When the seekers are facing off to find the Snitch, it is telling that Malfoy has the treasured Snitch dangling inches away from his face, but does not notice it because he is so busy ridiculing Harry. Harry, on the other hand, notices his goal immediately, and does not allow a blow from a Bludger to prevent him from flying for the Snitch with all his energy and determination. Malfoy is a character who has options and treasures laid out before him, but is so preoccupied with gloating about them that he never stops to use them properly. Harry, on the other hand, has very little, but is alert and determined and willing to make a full effort, and so he succeeds in this game instead of Malfoy.
Dobby's visit explains many mysteries that until this point had puzzled Harry, and it reiterates the importance of Harry's life to the magical community, as well as hinting further that Harry is more involved, more threatened, by the events at Hogwarts than he could possibly know or understand. Hearing the fear in Dumbledore's voice as Colin is brought to the hospital wing furthers this ominous sentiment; even the world's greatest wizard, and the Hogwarts headmaster, cannot fully understand how these events have come about.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Nine: The Writing on the Wall
Summary
Filch spies Mrs. Norris hanging from the ceiling, and explodes at Harry, accusing him of killing the cat. Dumbledore appears at this time and whisks Harry, Ron, Hermione, Filch and Mrs. Norris away, into Lockhart's nearby office, which Lockhart eagerly volunteered. They sit tensely among all of Lockhart's preening portraits of himself. Dumbledore examines the cat, Professor McGonagall frets quietly, and Snape sneers. Lockhart reassures them all in his curse-reversing expertise and Filch sobs. Dumbledore explains that the cat is not dead, but petrified, and that second- year students could not have possibly mastered the magic necessary for that degree of a dark spell. Dumbledore also says that soon the school will have enough grown Mandrakes to make a restorative potion, which Lockhart eagerly volunteers to make. Filch is unconvinced and explains that Harry knows he is a Squib and therefore attacked his cat, and Snape interrupts and says that the three students were in a peculiar place on the night of the Halloween feast. Ron, Harry, and Hermione explain the Deathday party, and Snape asks why they didn't come straight to the feast afterwards. Not wanting to explain about the eerie, disembodied voice, Harry explains that they were tired and wanted to go to bed. Snape does not believe them and recommends that Harry be taken off the Quidditch team until he is ready to tell the truth. McGonagall and Dumbledore quickly say that this will not be necessary. The three students walk up to their dorms, Ron explains what a Squib is, and Harry ponders what the Chamber of Secrets could possibly be.

Filch keeps a close watch on the scene of the crime, Justin Finch-Fletchley runs from Harry, seeming to believe that he is the instigator of the crime, and Ginny Weasley seems in utter terror of everything. In History of Magic class, while Professor Binns, the small, elderly, and boring ghost who teaches it, drones on, Hermione raises her hand and persuades him to explain the history of the Chamber of Secrets. We then learn that the original founders and namesakes of the four houses created Hogwarts as a place to bring up bright young witches and wizards, and that all went smoothly until Salazar Slytherin offended the other three by expressing his wish to exclude all Muggle-born wizards from the school. Slytherin left the school over this disagreement, but only after he built a hidden Chamber of Secrets, which contained a monster that would wipe out all non-pureblood wizards from Hogwarts. He said that only his heir would be able to control it. The students bombard Binns with questions until he grows annoyed, says it's all folklore, and returns to the original lesson plan.
This knowledge causes Harry to worry. When he was sorted by the hat the previous year, the Sorting hat had told him that Slytherin would make him great. When Harry thought how much he didn't want to be in Slytherin, the hat placed him in Gryffindor. He hopes he is not somehow connected to Salazar Slytherin. However, much of the school seems to think that he is. As Harry, Ron, and Hermione walk through the corridor with the writing on the wall, speculating where all the water came from the night of the attack and noticing a line of spiders hastily escaping through the window, they decide to look into Myrtle's bathroom for clues. Myrtle is as gloomy as ever, and the bathroom itself is rather depressing as well. After a few minutes they leave, only to run into Percy Weasley, who scolds them terribly for being in a girls' bathroom and for being in a suspicious place; this exchange upsets both Ron and himself.
That night, Harry, Ron, and Hermione speculate on whether Malfoy is the Heir of Slytherin, and Hermione suggests that they could find out by making a Polyjuice potion, thus turning themselves into Slytherins and eavesdropping on Malfoy in their House common room. Ron and Harry are skeptical, but Hermione persists, saying that she could have a teacher write her a note to check out a book from the restricted section of the library, where that potion would be.
Analysis
In this chapter, Harry is burdened with secrets; first, he worries about the voice he has been hearing. He knows that a teacher would not believe him and he even questions whether Ron and Hermione believe him. He can think of no explanation for this phenomenon. Furthermore, he is worried that he is a Slytherin. From the beginning of the first book in the series, Harry was alarmed at the thought of getting placed into Slytherin House. He met Malfoy in Diagon Alley and from him learned about Slytherin's history, and from that moment on, he was wary both of Malfoy and of the House. The idea that a voice speaks of killing students terrifies Harry, and he is terrified further at the idea that he might be involved in a way he doesn't understand.
It doesn't help that other students are beginning to suspect him. He is an easy target, however, and he becomes more of one throughout certain events in coming chapters. In this situation, Snape severely mistrusts him. Dumbledore does trust him, and McGonagall is strict, but is a sports fan and so is adamant that Harry remain on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Harry is witnessing strange and frightening things, but he does not want to acknowledge that he could be anymore involved than anyone else. Trouble at Hogwarts often affects Harry, since the trouble always has Voldemort behind it in some way. Harry refuses to alert the teachers about the voice he is hearing.
J.K. Rowling makes the culprit very unclear and ambiguous. By the end of this chapter, when Hermione is conjuring up ways to slip into the Slytherin common room and prove that Malfoy as Slytherin's heir, the reader would have a good reason to suspect Malfoy; we know that he has called Hermione a Mudblood and grinned at the immobile petrified cat. He has ancient family roots in the Slytherin House, and he seems just malicious enough to be responsible for the harm caused. Furthermore, Percy Weasley is in a suspicious place at a suspicious time, and is extraordinarily upset at Ron for being there, too. Both of these boys could be seen as possible culprits. Rowling frames many different characters as possible culprits, including Harry himself, before she reveals the truth.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Eight: The Deathday Party
Summary
October arrives, bringing rain. Quidditch practice continues. One evening as Harry is walking back through the castle corridors, he encounters Nearly- Headless Nick, the not-quite beheaded Gryffindor ghost. Nick is looking gloomy and Harry asks why, only to hear Nick explain that he has just been rejected from the Headless Hunt on account of his head being unable to come all the way off. The conversation ends in a flash, as they are spied by Mrs. Norris, Filch the caretaker's cat, and Nick warns Harry to hurry off, so as not to get in trouble for tracking in mud. Filch spies Harry and drags him into his office, begins to write up a punishment complaint, but is interrupted by a large crash. Filch rushes out. While he is gone Harry peers curiously into an open envelope on the desk and finds a mail-order course called "Kwikspell" for wizards who are not fully magical. He returns it before Filch returns, gleefully telling his cat that Peeves the Poltergeist will certainly be expelled for damaging a valuable cabinet. Filch stops mid-sentence when he notices that the Kwikspell envelope is so close to Harry's elbow, and he asks hysterically whether Harry read it. Harry lied that he hadn't, and Filch seems quite alarmed and lets Harry go.

Outside, Nick explains that he had told Peeves to cause a distraction, and Harry is quite grateful and asks if there is anything he can do to help with the rejection from the Headless Hunt. Nick replies joyfully that he could attend his 500th Deathday party, taking place on Halloween, and during it mention to the other headless ghosts how terribly impressive and frightening all the students find Nick. Harry agrees to come, and he invites Ron and Hermione. On Halloween, the three head to the dungeons where they hear awful, scratchy music, they smell rotting food, and they glimpse hundreds of see-through figures. Nick welcomes them and they take a look around, watching the ghosts dance and walk through the table of rotting food, trying to taste it. Hermione spies a ghost from the girls' bathroom, Moaning Myrtle, and quickly leads her friends away, hoping not to get into a conversation with her.
Peeves approaches at this point, mentions having heard the three speaking of Myrtle, and calls Myrtle over. Hermione says hastily that they were just saying how nice she looked tonight, but Myrtle moans that they were making fun of her, and she proceeds to list all the attributes they might have mocked: fat, ugly, moping. Peeves notes that she had forgotten pimply, and Myrtle flees tearfully from the party. Nick arrives at this point, introduces them to the (headless) head of the Headless Hunt, and the three living students are past ready to leave. They hurry off during Nick's speech, and in the passageway Harry hears an eerie murderous voice saying that it is time to kill. He tears off in the direction from which it comes, his friends close at his heels, and they arrive in a deserted corridor and see scrawled on a wall, "The chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the Heir, Beware." Then from the ceiling they see a stiff, hanging cat-Mrs. Norris. Suddenly the halls rumble and fill with people coming out of the feast, and Draco Malfoy calls out, grinning and delighted, "You'll be next, Mudbloods!"
Analysis
Not only is there life after death in the wizard world, but life's problems don't end after death. Peeves still acts bitter, mischievous and vengeful. Nick is excluded from the Headless Hunt and feels dejected. Myrtle is still self- conscious and miserable. None of these ghosts are particularly happy, but they get along. This landscape of the afterworld mirrors the other human landscapes in these novels. Whether a community is made up of Muggles, wizards, ghosts, students or teachers, it possesses all the interactions and triumphs and disappointments of the world that we experience. Nobody is exempt from life as we live it, but everybody has his or her own different tools while moving through it.
In this chapter, we are introduced to a new anomaly in the wizard world. We have learned of Mudbloods, wizards being born to non-wizards, but only when Harry reads Filch's letter do we learn of non-wizards born to wizards. Filch is one of these, and he is clearly quite self-conscious about that fact, growing flustered and self-conscious to the point that he even lets Harry go unpunished.
When Harry heard the voice a second time, his reaction is to run toward it-an instinctive quality that enables him to "live up to"-or rather, in a scale of fairness-deserve the fame given him at birth. When a frightening situation presents itself, Harry does not rest until he is certain that everybody is safe. He does not run away from the voice but toward it, hoping that he can stop the possessor of the voice from doing what it threatens to do. This is why Harry Potter succeeds, as we learn more further in the story. He does not survive situations without assistance-rather, he survives each one only with great assistance from friends and teachers.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


Chapter Eight: The Deathday Party
Summary
October arrives, bringing rain. Quidditch practice continues. One evening as Harry is walking back through the castle corridors, he encounters Nearly- Headless Nick, the not-quite beheaded Gryffindor ghost. Nick is looking gloomy and Harry asks why, only to hear Nick explain that he has just been rejected from the Headless Hunt on account of his head being unable to come all the way off. The conversation ends in a flash, as they are spied by Mrs. Norris, Filch the caretaker's cat, and Nick warns Harry to hurry off, so as not to get in trouble for tracking in mud. Filch spies Harry and drags him into his office, begins to write up a punishment complaint, but is interrupted by a large crash. Filch rushes out. While he is gone Harry peers curiously into an open envelope on the desk and finds a mail-order course called "Kwikspell" for wizards who are not fully magical. He returns it before Filch returns, gleefully telling his cat that Peeves the Poltergeist will certainly be expelled for damaging a valuable cabinet. Filch stops mid-sentence when he notices that the Kwikspell envelope is so close to Harry's elbow, and he asks hysterically whether Harry read it. Harry lied that he hadn't, and Filch seems quite alarmed and lets Harry go.

Outside, Nick explains that he had told Peeves to cause a distraction, and Harry is quite grateful and asks if there is anything he can do to help with the rejection from the Headless Hunt. Nick replies joyfully that he could attend his 500th Deathday party, taking place on Halloween, and during it mention to the other headless ghosts how terribly impressive and frightening all the students find Nick. Harry agrees to come, and he invites Ron and Hermione. On Halloween, the three head to the dungeons where they hear awful, scratchy music, they smell rotting food, and they glimpse hundreds of see-through figures. Nick welcomes them and they take a look around, watching the ghosts dance and walk through the table of rotting food, trying to taste it. Hermione spies a ghost from the girls' bathroom, Moaning Myrtle, and quickly leads her friends away, hoping not to get into a conversation with her.
Peeves approaches at this point, mentions having heard the three speaking of Myrtle, and calls Myrtle over. Hermione says hastily that they were just saying how nice she looked tonight, but Myrtle moans that they were making fun of her, and she proceeds to list all the attributes they might have mocked: fat, ugly, moping. Peeves notes that she had forgotten pimply, and Myrtle flees tearfully from the party. Nick arrives at this point, introduces them to the (headless) head of the Headless Hunt, and the three living students are past ready to leave. They hurry off during Nick's speech, and in the passageway Harry hears an eerie murderous voice saying that it is time to kill. He tears off in the direction from which it comes, his friends close at his heels, and they arrive in a deserted corridor and see scrawled on a wall, "The chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the Heir, Beware." Then from the ceiling they see a stiff, hanging cat-Mrs. Norris. Suddenly the halls rumble and fill with people coming out of the feast, and Draco Malfoy calls out, grinning and delighted, "You'll be next, Mudbloods!"
Analysis
Not only is there life after death in the wizard world, but life's problems don't end after death. Peeves still acts bitter, mischievous and vengeful. Nick is excluded from the Headless Hunt and feels dejected. Myrtle is still self- conscious and miserable. None of these ghosts are particularly happy, but they get along. This landscape of the afterworld mirrors the other human landscapes in these novels. Whether a community is made up of Muggles, wizards, ghosts, students or teachers, it possesses all the interactions and triumphs and disappointments of the world that we experience. Nobody is exempt from life as we live it, but everybody has his or her own different tools while moving through it.
In this chapter, we are introduced to a new anomaly in the wizard world. We have learned of Mudbloods, wizards being born to non-wizards, but only when Harry reads Filch's letter do we learn of non-wizards born to wizards. Filch is one of these, and he is clearly quite self-conscious about that fact, growing flustered and self-conscious to the point that he even lets Harry go unpunished.
When Harry heard the voice a second time, his reaction is to run toward it-an instinctive quality that enables him to "live up to"-or rather, in a scale of fairness-deserve the fame given him at birth. When a frightening situation presents itself, Harry does not rest until he is certain that everybody is safe. He does not run away from the voice but toward it, hoping that he can stop the possessor of the voice from doing what it threatens to do. This is why Harry Potter succeeds, as we learn more further in the story. He does not survive situations without assistance-rather, he survives each one only with great assistance from friends and teachers.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Seven: Mudbloods and Murmurs
Summary
Time rushes by uneventfully at Hogwarts. Harry avoids Gilderoy Lockhart and Colin Creevey as much as possible, and Ron's wand continues to muddle spells. Early Saturday morning, Harry is shaken awake by Oliver Wood, the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, for a crack-of-dawn practice. Harry dresses quickly and on the way to meet the team in the locker room, runs into Colin, who eagerly asks him to explain the rules of Quidditch, which he does. The game's basic terms are this: the game is played with seven people on broomsticks, and during it the small golden Snitch flies around and must be caught by the Seeker (Harry's position) in order for the game to end. Two Bludgers fly around, trying to knock the players off their broomsticks, and two team members, the Beaters (Fred and George Weasley), try to beat the Bludgers away. Other than this, the game is similar to water polo, in that the remaining three members, the Chasers (Alicia Spinnet, Angelina Johnson and Katie Bell), aim to throw a ball, the Quaffle, through the goal posts and past the Keeper (Oliver Wood).

The team spends a long time in the locker room, listening to Wood explain moves. Finally, they head outside to practice and are greeted by Ron and Hermione and Colin Creevey, all watching from the bleachers. Colin is taking pictures and calling for Harry to look over and smile, and Harry is embarrassed and pretends not to know him.
Wood is beginning to grow suspicious that Colin is a spy for Slytherin. Slytherin's team enters the field, interrupting the practice and infuriating Wood, who had reserved the field already. The Slytherins refuse to leave, claiming that they must train their new Seeker. Draco Malfoy steps up, smirking and explaining that his father made a generous gift of seven top-notch broomsticks to the team. He makes several disparaging remarks about Fred and George's rather tattered broomsticks, and Hermione steps in and remarks that at least Fred and George were talented enough not to have to buy themselves onto the team. Malfoy gets angry and calls Hermione a "Mudblood," a word that causes the crowd to gasp and Ron to pull out his wand and cast a spell on Malfoy. Ron's spell reverses, causing him to belch slugs.
Hermione and Harry take Ron to Hagrid's cabin, where Lockhart is bidding adieu to a rather sullen-looking Hagrid. Hagrid cheers up when he sees the students, and he offers Ron a basin for his slug-belching, remarking cheerfully, "Better out than in." The students recount the story and Ron explains that Mudblood is a terribly derogatory term for a Muggle-born wizard. Hagrid soon changes the subject, and asks Harry for an autographed photo. Harry bristles until he realizes that Hagrid was joking. Hagrid shows off his magic-enhanced pumpkins, although Harry knows that ever since Hagrid was mysteriously expelled from Hogwarts and left to remain as gamekeeper, he is not allowed to use magic.
Harry and Ron are called to do their belated detentions for the flying car incident. While Ron is called to help the grouchy caretaker Filch polish trophies, Harry is called to help Lockhart answer his fan mail. Both boys believe they have the worst end of the deal. In Lockhart's office, as he is addressing envelopes and inserting signed photos, Harry hears a high, eerie voice murmuring, "Come to me….let me rip you….let me tear you…" and he jumps up, alarmed. He is alarmed further when Lockhart claims to have heard nothing. The thought of this chilling voice plagues Harry for the rest of the evening.
Analysis
This chapter elaborates upon bigotry that is evident in the wizard world every time the Malfoys enter the scene. Pure-blood wizards are snobbish toward those who are Muggle-born, of one race or class trying to wipe out the next. Draco Malfoy turns on Hermione for her Muggle heritage and Ron Weasley for his family's meager finances, and Hermione's response that at least the Weasley twins had enough talent to play Quidditch without having to buy their ways onto the team, hits Malfoy in a vulnerable spot. He places so much pride on the fact that he can afford to lean back on his family's status and money without having to do anything to deserve it, that when Hermione points out that he does not deserve much of what he gets, he is upset. Malfoy picks on Ron for his poverty, Hermione for her heritage, and Harry for his fame. However, at different points in the story, he envies much of what they have: in chapter four, Malfoy complains to his father about Hermione's grades being higher than his, and about Harry being so famous and getting to play Quidditch. Succeeding at Quidditch, school grades, and fame requires competency, talent and a work ethic. Malfoy lacks all three, and he knows it.
The voice that Harry hears in Professor Lockhart's office is the first clue of the conflict to come. Harry hears an eerie voice that nobody else can hear, and at this point it is left to the reader to try to guess at the source of the voice. This is perhaps the first tangible sign that something is very wrong at Hogwarts.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Six: Gilderoy Lockhart
Summary
At breakfast the morning after the arrival by car, Hermione is acting sulky and annoyed with Ron and Harry, although most of their other friends are still clearly impressed. Soon a flock of owls arrives, bringing the day's letters and packages. Errol, the Weasley's aged owl, falls into Hermione's milk jug, and when Ron digs him out and cleans him off, he notices that the envelope in his beak is red and beginning to smoke. It is a Howler, and Ron opens it….and the voice of Mrs. Weasley explodes loudly and furiously into the great hall, yelling at Ron for ruining the car, getting Mr. Weasley in trouble with his job, and putting his own and Harry's lives in danger.

From this point on, Hermione is friendly again, as she seems to feel that Harry and Ron have been punished enough. Together, the three friends walk to Herbology class, where Gilderoy Lockhart, dressed in flamboyant turquoise robes, is cheerfully and smugly advising a disgruntled Professor Sprout on how to doctor the Whomping Willow. Lockhart pulls Harry aside and says, with great pain and understanding in his voice, that he blames himself for the car incident. It soon grows apparent that he believes that ever since he gave Harry a taste of fame that day in the bookstore, Harry has been trying to recapture that fame by behaving recklessly. Harry is stunned and offended as he collects himself and joins his classmates in the greenhouse.
In the greenhouse, Professor Sprout is explaining that the lesson of the day will involve repotting seedling Mandrakes, which Hermoine explains are a strong restorative, used to return transfigured people to their original state. These plants are pale green, mottled-looking babies with leaves growing out of their heads and a cry that is fatal, so the entire class puts on earmuffs to handle them. Before they begin repotting, a boy from Hufflepuff House named Justin Finch-Fletchley introduces himself to Harry, Ron, and Hermione. He explains that he almost went to Eton (implying that he is Muggle-born since Eton is not a wizard school) and that he persuaded his parents to send him to Hogwarts after showing them Lockhart's books, persuading them how useful wizards can be. The students work with the Mandrakes, and the Gryffindor House second-years head over to Transfiguration class with Professor McGonagall, where Ron's broken wand malfunctions, casting putrid smoke everywhere.
On the way to his next class, defense against the dark arts, which is taught by Professor Lockhart, Harry is accosted by a small camera-clutching Gryffindor first-year named Colin Creevey, who shyly asks Harry for a signed picture to prove that they met. He makes a large sentimental fuss about Harry's history, Hogwarts, magic in general, the whole time humiliating Harry. To make matters worse, Draco Malfoy passes by them during this and loudly announces that Harry is giving out signed photos; when Ron steps up to defend Harry, Malfoy says dryly that one of the signed photos would be worth more than Ron's entire house. Before a fight can break out, Lockhart strolls through, overhears, and suggest that he and Harry both pose for a signed photo for Colin.
Afterwards, Lockhart gives Harry yet another bit of fatherly advice about why not to give out signed photos this early in his career. Harry is horrified and sits as far back in Lockhart's classroom as possible. Lockhart begins the class with a quiz to make sure they've been doing their reading of his many books. The quiz contains over fifty questions pertaining to Lockhart's personal interests, secret desires, favorite color, and greatest achievements. The day's assignment is dealing with pixies, who wreak havoc when Lockhart lets them out of their cage. He is unable to get them back into their cage, so he hastily leaves the room, asking Ron, Harry and Hermione to clean up the angry pixies.
Analysis
This chapter gives a clearer and more thorough look at the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Gilderoy Lockhart. In his interaction with his peers, such as Professor Spout, he is bossy and patronizing, giving them self-satisfied advice in their own fields of expertise. As a teacher in his own class, he does not know how to control the dark arts nearly quite so well as he professes in his books. The pixies destroy the classroom, hanging students from the ceiling and tossing wands out the window. Lockhart is unable to stop them or to recapture them. When he leaves this job to Harry, Ron, and Hermione, his boasting tales of adventures with frightening creatures seem suspect; although is a handsome man, his actions and abilities do not make credible his stories.

Most importantly, Gilderoy Lockhart is portrayed here as a contrast for Harry. Lockhart vastly misunderstands Harry's famous history. Harry is humiliated when people like Colin Creevey approach in varying states of awe; any special treatment makes him uncomfortable, especially since Draco Malfoy resentfully mocks whatever "famous" attention Harry Potter happens to be getting. So for Harry to get caught twice by Lockhart in situations that bring him extra attention is horrifying; he does not want Lockhart to identify with him, to give him pointers on fame and to involve him in photo sessions. Lockhart, we begin to see in this chapter, will spare no sacrifice in order to arrive at some sort of eminence, while Harry, who was thrust into eminence without being knowing or wanting it, will do anything he can in order to feel that he is treated fairly despite his fame. He wants to succeed on his own merit, not resting back upon the history of the scar on his forehead, as opposed to Lockhart, who we soon see has little integrity on what he will do to become famous, and in how he will handle that fame. Lockhart revels in the end result, while Harry strives to make worthwhile the process.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets


Chapter Five: The Whomping Willow
Summary
Harry enjoys every minute of the summer at The Burrow. The night before leaving for Hogwarts, the Weasleys and Harry eat a delicious meal and dessert, set off wizard fireworks, drink a final mug of hot cocoa and finally go to bed. The next morning is pure chaos, with six children preparing their luggage for the year at Hogwarts. Mr. Weasley has enchanted his Ford Anglia so that it will fit all of them plus their luggage and pets comfortably, and after several returns for forgotten items, they finally arrive at King's Cross in time to catch the Hogwarts Express train at platform nine-and-three-quarters. The Hogwarts students arrive at the platform by walking through the wall between platforms nine and ten, and all of the Weasleys successfully do so. When it is time for Harry and Ron to go through the wall, the wall closes up and refuses to let them through. They miss the train, and in a flash of inspiration, they decide to follow the train in Mr. Weasley's flying Ford Anglia.

The ride to Hogwarts is relaxing. The boys skim the clouds, keeping sight of the red Hogwarts train below. Several hours later, night falls and the boys are bored and hungry and wondering how much longer the trip could possibly be. The Anglia runs out of gas and begins to fall toward the Hogwarts lake. Ron and Harry do their best to control it, but still the car engine dies and the car plunges straight into a strange sprawling tree in the Forbidden Forest. The tree is the Whomping Willow, the only tree in the forest that will strike back when struck. Its thick, angry branches wallop the car, Harry, and Ron. The boys manage to collect their things. They flee toward the Hogwarts castle just in time to spy through the windows the great feast and the "Sorting" process, in which first-year students try on the "sorting hat" are selected (through the judgment of the hat) for the four different houses, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. While the boys observe the professors' table, they wonder at the absence of Professor Severus Snape, the mean and slimy Potions professor, and as they speculate, Snape appears behind them and directs them into his office.
The boys explain their story, but Snape silences them, brandishing in their faces a newspaper article proclaiming that Muggles have noticed a flying car. Snape also reprimands them for damaging the Whomping Willow, an extremely valuable tree. Harry and Ron know that they are in trouble, and that Snape is delighted at the prospect of punishing them. Snape leaves to fetch Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster, and Minerva McGonagall, the head of Gryffindor House, where Harry and Ron live. When these two stern figures arrive, Harry and Ron are lectured further on what they have done, given detentions, and told that they will be permitted to remain at Hogwarts. Snape is severely disappointed by their easy punishment. Professors Dumbledore, Snape, and McGonagall return to the feast, not without leaving Harry and Ron a plate of sandwiches and a jug of pumpkin juice for dinner.
Harry and Ron eat and return to their part of the castle, Gryffindor Tower, through a portrait of a fat lady, to whom they must give a secret password ("wattlebird," a disapproving Hermione informs them). They are greeted in the common room by a delighted crowd, clamoring to hear about their flying arrival. Percy, Ron's brother and a Gryffindor prefect, moves towards them with a scolding look on his face, and Ron and Harry hurry up to their rooms, where they are welcomed as heroes by their awestruck roommates, Seamus Finnigan, Dean Thomas, and Neville Longbottom.
Analysis
Many of the adventures in the novel entail Harry, Ron, and Hermione sneaking around, finding alternate ways to achieve certain ends. Often, Harry and his friends bravely set out on their own to remedy a situation, and other times, like this one, they are impeded by events beyond their control and forced to be resourceful. Sometimes they are caught (usually by Snape) and other times they are not. In this case, Harry and Ron are not seeking glory or adventure, but rather they simply want a fast and painless way to get back to Hogwarts. Ironically, this is one of the times when they are caught and punished and accused of calling unnecessary attention to themselves. For Harry, this is the ultimate insult; attention is always called to him, simply because of who he is, regardless of whether he wants it or not. But because Harry and Ron both are curious, courageous and resourceful, they tend to be involved in many attention- getting scenarios, sometimes with heroic aims, other times simply to explore, and still other times simply to escape a bad situation. This arrival with a crash is only the first of many times they will be noticed on a large scale.
In this chapter, food plays an important role. At the Dursley house, Harry is vastly underfed, usually given some bread and cheese or a bit of cold soup. Among the cozier and more joyful images during the last night at The Burrow is that of a large meal with Harry's favorite dessert (treacle pudding) and another mug of hot cocoa. In addition to being appreciated and included by the Weasleys, Harry is also well fed, kept healthy. His comfort greatly contrasts the unhappy, unhealthy lifestyle from which Harry escapes. At Hogwarts, right after Harry and Ron have been lectured and punished by the three angry, worried professors, Professor McGonagall conjures a self-refilling plate of sandwiches for the boys to eat alone, before going up to bed. They are punished by being secluded for their meal and given a detention, but never once is food withheld. Even while in dire trouble at Hogwarts, direr than Harry could have mustered at Privet Drive, he is still kept above a certain respectable standard of living. From what we have seen, the punishments of wizards are infinitely more humane than that of regular humans. If we had come to this point of the story with any doubt as to the good intentions of the magical world, they should be dispelled in this chapter.

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