Rereading Harry Potter – Week 12

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 12

Good afternoon (for me at least) my fellow bookworms! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week, I know I have. The sun has been shining all week here in the Netherlands and the sun can always brighten up a day, so I hope you’ve all been having a lot of sunshine wherever you are. Now on to Harry Potter related business. The last thing that happened last week, was the disappearance of the Fat Lady (where did that name come from by the way, it’s not very woke to be honest..). I have a lot tabbed in my book this week, so let’s get started.

After the Gryffindors found the portrait of the Fat Lady empty and ripped to pieces by Sirius Black, Dumbledore appears and leads them all to the Great Hall, where they are later joined by the other three houses. They’re supposed to spend the night there while the teachers search the school for any sign of Sirius Black. The students are left with the Prefects as guards and the Head Boy and Head Girl (Percy and is girlfriend) in charge. Personally, I might have added a teacher or two to that equation, considering that there is a murdering maniac on the loose who is known for killing a bunch of people with a single explosion, but who am I. Obviously Sirius Black wasn’t found, because nobody would be dumb enough to linger after a failed attack. Snape of course thinks that Black had inside help, which is not exactly a strange assumption when you consider that Black and Lupin were good friends in school. Although, since Snape serves Voldemort, he should probably be aware that it was Peter Pettigrew who blew up those people and not Black, right? Or was Pettigrew the only one who knew about that? Well, Snape should at least be aware that Black wasn’t a Death Eater.

After their night in the Great Hall, everyone gets to go back to their own common rooms and Sir Cardogan (remember him from showing the trio the way to the Divination classroom?) temporarily takes the Fat Lady’s place in the portrait. Gryffindor is supposed to be playing against Slytherin that weekend, but Slytherin backed out of the game due to their seeker’s arm still being injured, even though we all know there’s nothing wrong with Malfoy’s arm and he is obviously faking it. This means they’re going to be playing Hufflepuff instead, though and they just got a new seeker and captain.. Cedric Diggory! Did you know he made an appearance in the third book already? I had no idea! I was so excited. I can’t get the image of Robert Pattinson on a broomstick out of my mind.

As you may remember, the Quidditch match didn’t go too well. Harry got attacked by a Dementor and fell off his broomstick, which was smashed to pieces by the Whomping Willow. So Harry ended up in the hospital wing for the weekend and his Nimbus 2000 was damaged beyond repair. Every time they say that something is damaged beyond repair, I’m like.. but what about Reparo? Dumbledore was able to repair an entire house in the Half-Blood Prince, but a piece of wood is too complicated? Could it be because of the enchantments on the broom?

After Harry’s next DADA class, Lupin holds him back to check if he is okay. He tells Harry about the Dementors and about Azkaban. He says that Sirius Black must have found a way to fight the Dementors. My guess is that he had some kind of new found hope of finding Harry and protecting him or something. Let’s hope we’ll find out soon. Lupin agrees to give Harry Dementor lessons, though he will have to wait until next term since Lupin still has to catch up on some work from when he was “ill”.

Just before Christmas, another Hogsmeade weekend comes up. Of course Harry’s not allowed to go, but the Weasley twins have got just the thing to avoid those annoying little things called rules. They give Harry the Marauder’s Map, which shows where everyone at Hogwarts is at any given time, but it also shows the secret passages to Hogsmeade. The only available passage is the one that ends up in the cellar of Honeydukes. So movie-Harry was relatively sensible about breaking the rules and decided to take his invisibility cloak. Book-Harry, though, didn’t much care that he wasn’t allowed to go to Hogsmeade, apparently, and didn’t much care if he was seen. Up until professor McGonagall, Hagrid, Cornelius Fudge and professor Flitwick appeared at the Three Broomsticks, that is. It is here that these three highly intelligent individuals and Hagrid and Madam Rosmerta (she runs the Three Broomsticks) decide that it’s a good idea to talk about Sirius Black loud enough for the three students we know and love a few tables over to be able to hear them. This is the moment Harry finds out that Sirius Black was not only his father’s best friend, but also his godfather AND his parents Secret Keeper. The whole Secret Keeper-thing doesn’t appear in the movie, though, so for those of you who (like me) have no idea what a Secret Keeper is: it’s a complicated spell where a secret is concealed inside a person. Only that person would be able to reveal the secret, in this case that would be the location of the Potters.

I’m still so confused about this whole thing. How did Pettigrew end up being the hero of this story and Black the villain? Pettigrew receives the Order of Merlin and Black ends up in Azkaban. How does the Secret Keeper thing fit into the story if Black wasn’t actually the one who betrayed them? So many questions!

During the Christmas holiday, only Harry, Ron, Hermione and two or three other students remained at Hogwarts. Harry wakes up on Christmas morning to a bunch of presents lying at the foot of his bed, including a brand new broomstick. Someone has sent him a Firebolt, though there is no note with the broomstick. Since they can’t figure out who sent it, Hermione thinks that Harry shouldn’t use is until they have found out who sent it to him. She goes to professor McGonagall, who agrees with her and confiscates the broomstick so that it can be checked for enchantments and jinxes. Both of them think that the broomstick might’ve been sent by Sirius Black.

There’s a feast on the evening of Christmas with just the six remaining students and six teachers. Halfway through, professor Trelawney joins them as well, but she does not dare sit down, for there would be thirteen at a table then (the first one to get up is the first to die). It kind of confused me that McGonagall was bashing and making fun of Trelawney throughout the entire meal, since she is the only one sticking up for Trelawney when Umbridge kicked her out in the Order of the Phoenix. Earlier in the book, she told Harry that Trelawney had predicted a student’s death many times before and no one had died yet, but that seemed like a harmless piece of commentary. This whole scene is just plain mean.

That’s it for this week! I know, I know, but don’t worry. There’ll be more next week when we’re going to resume school in the new year and get some dementor lessons from Lupin (among other things, I haven’t read it yet). Have a great remainder of your weekend and I’ll see you next week!

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Rereading Harry Potter – Week 11

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 11

Hi my fellow bookworms! Thank you so much for clicking and reading again for week 11 of Rereading Harry Potter as an adult. I had so much fun this week with all of Harry’s new classes, Hermione’s crazy full timetable and meeting professor Trelawney. Perhaps not the most eventful time for Harry, Ron and Hermione, but definitely a lot of fun for me.

The last thing we talked about last week was the Gryffindors walking back from the feast to their common room and being told their new password. The next morning, it’s time for everyone’s first classes of the year. Draco Malfoy has made it his new hobby to pretend to faint in front of Harry and pretend there’s a dementor behind them. Also some Slytherin girl named Pansy Parkinson whom I’d never heard off before, is suddenly EVERYWHERE Malfoy is. Fred tells Harry that Draco won’t be smiling anymore after the first Quidditch match of the season, which just so happens to be Gryffindor versus Slytherin. It just occurred to me that every team literally only plays 3 games per year. They practice all year for literally three games. The average football team plays 30 to 40 matches a year. Either Rowling does not really know her sports or she doesn’t care, but it doesn’t really make sense to practice all year to play 3 games.

After breakfast, it’s time for the first class of the year, Divination with Sybill Trelawney. The trio has a bit of trouble finding the classroom, which is located in one of the highest towers, so they ask one of the portraits. I’ve always loved the Hogwarts portraits. The way that the inhabitants can move through each others portraits and talk to each other and the way that the they each have their own personalities. Some are probably made-up (technically they’re all made-up of course, but you know what I mean) and some are old Hogwarts headmasters and other important people.

It’s no secret that professor Trelawney and Hermione will never become best friends. Trelawney is such an interesting character, though. Even more so in the book than in the movie (but I guess that goes without saying). I love the predictions she makes during their first class about how there will be a nasty flu going around in February that will interrupt classes and around Easter someone will leave them forever (my guess right now is that she means Hermione, who is going to quit Divination after working with the crystal ball and being told that she has no gift whatsoever). The movie really portrays professor Trelawney as some lunatic who has no idea what she’s talking about, but she obviously has some idea. Fun fact: Trelawneys first name, Sybil, comes from ancient Greek mythology. A Sybil was a priestess of Apollo who told prophecies.

As we know, Harry sees the Grim in the tea leaves from his cup and professor Trelawney predicts that Harry is going to die. Maybe Rowling wasn’t feeling it anymore and was looking for an out. Anyway, McGonagall tries to ease his mind a little bit by telling him that professor Trelawney predicts the death of a student at least once a year and nobody has died so far. Of course considering a murdering lunatic is supposedly looking for Harry, she might actually have been right this year.

After Divination and Transfiguration, it is time for the trio’s first lesson in Care of Magical Creatures, taught by Hagrid himself. I think we all remember the beautiful little Hippogriff called Buckbeak. I don’t really remember all the other Hippogriffs, though. I guess they left them out of the movie for practical reasons. After all, I’m sure that making one fictional creature move around and interact with Harry is already difficult enough.

Malfoy gets injured in Hagrid’s first class, because he disrespects Buckbeak and she decides that he needs to be put in his place. I think we can all agree on that, although of course Malfoy told his daddy and gets Hagrid and Buckbeak in trouble (spoiler alert). Malfoy drags out his “injury” as long as humanly possible, making Ron cut up all his ingredients during potions class. Every time there is an interaction with Snape and Malfoy against the golden trio, I kind of want to punch both of them in the face. What is happening in those next few books that will make me love those characters so much? What is it??

During their first DADA class of the year, the third years get to defeat a Boggart. I guess pretty much everyone knows what a Boggart is by now, but just in case: a Boggart is a shape-shifter that will turn into whatever frightens you the most. In Rons case, it turns into a giant spider, in Harry’s case, a dementor (though he doesn’t get to defeat one yet) and in Lupins case, it turns into a crystal ball, or as we later figure out: a full moon. Everyone gets to face the Boggart except for Harry and Hermione, which means that we don’t know Hermiones biggest fear (yet). I’m not sure if we will ever know what the Boggart shape-shifts into for her, but I’m pretty sure it’s a bad grade or something.

A few weeks after Harry’s first DADA class with Lupin, Harry runs into him while everyone is in Hogsmeade (Harry didn’t turn in his permission slip plus Sirius Black is still on the loose, so he’s not allowed to go). Harry asks Lupin why he wasn’t allowed to face the Boggart and Lupin lets him know that he was afraid that Voldemort would be appearing in front of them. Harry tells him that he wasn’t thinking of Voldemort, he was thinking of the Dementors. According to Lupin, “That suggests that what you fear most of all is – fear”. Apparently that is very wise. I wouldn’t exactly call it wise, though. Being afraid of fearing something? I would call that anxiety. Especially with the knowledge that Rowling created the Dementors to portray the feeling of depression. While Lupin and Harry are having their conversation, Snape walks in with a potion for Lupin. Lupins excuse for the potion is that he’s been feeling “a bit under the weather” but we all know what’s really going on, don’t we?

When Ron and Hermione return from Hogsmeade, it’s time for the Halloween feast. After the feast, the Gryffindors walk to their common room together. Except, to get into the common room, they need to tell the Fat Lady the password and the Fat Lady.. is gone.

Cliffhanger! We’ll find out next week where the Fat Lady has gone and what has happened. I’m going to be in Nottingham for the weekend, so I’ll try to make sure the next post is done before then. Have a great week and I’ll see you next week for part 12!

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Rereading Harry Potter – Week 10

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 10

Hello fellow bookworms and welcome to week 10(!) of Rereading Harry Potter as an adult. I guess we made it to our first milestone! I never would have dreamed that so many people would actually want to read what I have to say about books and this book in particular, so thank you so much for that and keep reading!

We left off with Harry arriving at the Leaky Cauldron by Knight Bus. Fudge was there to receive him and tell him to stay in the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley for the next few weeks until school starts. Harry complies, for once in his life. He roams through Diagon Alley and does the remainder of his homework (isn’t it a little cruel to give children homework during summer vacation?) at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. I stumbled across a page on Florean Fortescue on the Wizarding World Website and apparently Rowling had originally intended Florean to be Harry’s source of information on a couple of the Horcruxes. He was supposed to be kidnapped by Voldemort and rescued by the golden trio, but Rowling finally decided that it would be much more fun to get the information they needed straight from the Grey Lady and Phineas Nigelus Black, so she had Florean kidnapped and killed. He is the descendant of a former Hogwarts headmaster, so he just knew too much..

Harry goes to Flourish and Blotts to collect the rest of his books (the Monster Book of Monsters is already in his possession, to the manager’s relief) and sees a book about Death Omens with a large black dog on the front cover. I feel like the whole grim omen is a lot less prominently present than it is in the movie. But then again, it isn’t really an omen anymore in the movies, more of a flashing neon sign yelling “DANGER DANGER”. Speaking of omens and warnings, Harry’s room in the Leaky Cauldron has a talking mirror.. I mean if that isn’t a red flag for your privacy, I don’t know what is.

Harry finally meets up with Hermione and the Weasleys on the last day before they have to leave for school. Ron is telling Harry and Hermione that Scabbers is looking funny, so they walk to the Magical Menagerie to get it looked at. While they’re inside the shop, the trio is attacked by a huge orange cat named Crookshanks. Crookshanks made such a great first impression, that Hermione decides to buy him. After all, no one wanted him. Poor thing.

Harry and Hermione have dinner with the (almost) complete Weasley family that night. They are leaving for Hogwarts in the morning. The Ministry has arranged for cars to take the whole gang to King’s Cross. Mr. Weasley tells them that it’s because they don’t have a car anymore, but we know better, don’t we? Late that night, Harry overhears Mr. and Mrs Weasley arguing about telling him that Harry is Sirius Black’s target. Nobody has said anything about Sirius being Harry’s godfather, I think, but I don’t think he will find out about that until he slips into the Three Broomsticks with his invisibility cloak. A little piece of information you don’t get from the movies: apparently Sirius has been whispering “he’s at Hogwarts, he’s at Hogwarts” in his sleep, which everyone of course assumed meant that he was going to kill Harry.

The Weasleys, Harry and Hermione are getting ready for the Hogwarts Express the next morning. Ron is having another argument with Percy, probably caused by some prank of Fred and George’s. I always hated Percy in the movies, he is so shallow and flat. Don’t get me wrong, book-Percy is still a Humungous Bighead (Fred and George’s words, not mine), but there is just so much more to the character than there is in the movies. He even has a girlfriend! That’s a big deal for a Humungous Bighead like Percy.

Just before the train leaves, Mr. Weasley makes Harry swear that he will not go looking for Sirius Black. Harry is confused as to why he would go looking for someone who wants to kill him. I was also a little confused, until I realised that Mr. Weasley probably knows that Sirius is Harry’s godfather, so he is afraid that when Harry finds out, he will go looking for him.

“I don’t go looking for trouble,’ said Harry, nettled. ‘Trouble usually finds me.”

When Harry, Ron and Hermione get on the Hogwarts Express, there is only one compartment left with room for them, the compartment with Professor Lupin in it. Hemione, being the misses smartypants that she is, quickly guesses that Lupin is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. He is also the world’s deepest sleeper, seeing that three 13-year-olds are yapping away for hours next to him and he doesn’t wake up. Only when the Hogwarts Express stops, all of the lights go out and Ginny and Neville stumble into the compartment, does Lupin wake up. Before he can reach the door, it opens and the Dementor enters. Harry faints like a big wuss after hearing someone scream (his mother, obviously). Lupin gives him a large chunk of chocolate, so that he will feel better. I love that Rowling thought of chocolate as a remedy after a Dementor attack, since Dementors suck all of the happiness out of you and chocolate does actually trigger the production of endorphines, one of the hormones that makes you happy. So the chocolate makes actual scientific sense (if you leave out the Dementor part, because luckily they are still fictional).

When they arrive at Hogwarts, there are at least a hundred stagecoaches waiting for them. I love how Rowling describes Harry thinking they are probably being pulled by some invisible horse or something. We all know it’s a Thestral, of course. It just goes to show how much thought was put into building this entire world and every creature in it.

“They are stationed at every entrance to the grounds and while they are with us, I must make it plain that nobody is to leave school without permission. Dementors are not to be fooled by tricks or disguises – or even Invisibility Cloaks. It is not in the nature of a Dementor to understand pleading or excuses. I therefore warn each and every one of you to give them no reason to harm you.”

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

At the beginning-of-the-year feast, Dumbledore gives another one of his epic speeches (I typed it out above). I always loved this speech in the movie, until right now. Turns out, 80% of this speech was made up. Even the WORLD FAMOUS quote and one of my favourite quotes ever, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” was made up. It doesn’t appear anywhere in the books. I am so disappointed. Anyway, Dumbledore also announces two new additions to the teaching staff: Remus Lupin and Hagrid. When Lupin is announced as the new DADA teacher, Snape is apparently looking at him like he wants him dead. The trio assumes that this is because Snape wants the DADA job, but we know better, right? I just can’t really imagine a young Lupin bullying Snape.

The feast ends and Percy, as new Head Boy, leads the Gryffindors to their common room and tells them the new password. Not many of you may know this, but I have a degree in Safety and Security and AS a security expert, I have to say that using passwords doesn’t really seem like a watertight security method.. especially with people like Neville Longbottom walking around Hogwarts, oh and of course Sirius Black..

That’s it for this week! We’re picking up next week with Harry’s first classes of the year, including Professor Trelawney’s class, divination. Spoiler alert: he finds out he’s soon going to die. Oh well, plenty of other great books out there. Thank you all so much for reading and I’ll see you guys next week for week 11!

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Rereading Harry Potter – Week 9

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 9

Hello my fellow bookworms! Another week has come and gone and it’s the weekend again, which means that it’s time for another Rereading Harry Potter blog post. Thank you for clicking and reading, it means so much to me that you guys actually read the nonsense that I write!

We finished reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets last week, which means that it is now time for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban! The Prisoner of Azkaban may very well be (one of) my favourite Harry Potter books, though I’m pretty sure that I say that about every single one of them except for the Chamber of Secrets (although that one surprised me as well). The Prisoner of Azkaban has some of my favourite characters in it, such as Remus Lupin, Sirius Black (we’ll have to cherish the time we have with him, since it’s not much) and Buckbeak. The Prisoner of Azkaban is also my favourite PC game, though it has little to do with the book.

“Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways. For one thing, he hated the summer holidays more than any other time of year. For another, he really wanted to do his homework, but was forced to do it in secret, in the dead of night. And he also happened to be a wizard.”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The Prisoner of Azkaban already starts out brilliantly. The quote above is the very first paragraph from the book and it already put a smile on my face. This is going to be great, guys. We’re going to have so much fun the next few weeks. We better cherish every funny thing we can find in this book, because we all know things are going to take a dark turn from the fourth book on.

As always, the story opens at Mr and Mrs Dursley’s house in Little Whinging where Dudley is getting fatter, Mr and Mrs Dursley are getting meaner and Harry is getting lonelier since his friends never seem to write to him during the summer. Ron did make an effort to try and call on the phone this summer, though just like my boyfriend, he doesn’t seem to realise he doesn’t need to shout all the way to Little Whinging for Harry to be able to hear him, that there is actually a phone in between them.

Harry finally receives letters from Ron, Hermione and Hagrid on his birthday, along with his Hogwarts letter. Ron tells him Mr Weasley won 700 galleons, so they’re spending their summer in Egypt. They’re also buying Ron a new wand. That explains why they couldn’t afford the wand last year, when they could buy one this year, I’ve always wondered why that was. Also, since “the wand chooses the wizard” and Ron has been walking around with a second hand wand, I guess he should be becoming a lot more powerful as of this year, right? Since he’s now got a wand that actually chose him. I guess we’ll see.. Ron also tells Harry that Percy was elected Head Boy and he got him a Pocket Sneakoscope for his birthday, a device that lights up when there’s someone untrustworthy around. I suppose that means it should’ve lit up around Scabbers, since (spoiler alert) he is Peter Pettigrew.

“Don’t let the Muggles get you down”

Ron Weasley, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Hagrid sends Harry a copy of The Monster Book of Monsters for his birthday, the mandatory literature for the class that Hagrid is going to teach (though Harry doesn’t know that yet). When Harry arrives at Diagon Alley to buy his school supplies further on in the book, we learn that the manager of Flourish and Blotts absolutely hates the books, that are being kept in a cage in the bookshop, since they’re ripping each other apart and attacking his hands. Only Hagrid can think of making a dangerous, biting book mandatory literature for a class. I suppose since the class is called “Care for Magical Creatures“, it kind of fits. I hate that they left all of this out of the movie, though. They changed all this to one scene where Harry opens the book in his room at the Leaky Cauldron and then gets attacked and jumps on it. But I’m getting ahead of myself, we left off at the Dursley’s residence.

The Dursleys announce that Aunt Marge is going to stay with them for about a week. Aunt Marge is Uncle Vernon’s awful sister who lives in the country and breeds bulldogs. She spoils Dudley with expensive presents and has a lot of terrible things to say about Harry. Harry puts up with it for a whole week, because he needs Uncle Vernon to sign his permission slip for Hogsmeade, but loses it when Marge decides to voice her opinions on Harry’s parents on her last night in Little Whinging. Harry blows her up. Not in the BOOM kind of way, but she just slowly inflates until she looks like a giant balloon. She doesn’t fly away through the back door and float through the UK with a bulldog holding on to her leg, though. I guess that was added to the movie for dramatic purposes.

After blowing up Aunt Marge, Harry packs his stuff and flees, figuring that he will be arrested by the Ministry of Magic for underage magic very soon. He decides that he will go to Diagon Alley and collect all of the money from his safe at Gringotts, after which he will travel the world as an outcast. He’s so cute, sometimes I forget he is only 13 years old. Instead, he is picked up by the Knight Bus, the purple triple-decker bus we know and love. I never really understood how the Knight Bus works. Is it some kind of taxi? It helps that I now know Harry had to pay for it, since he doesn’t (visibly) have to in the movie. It is supposed to appear when it’s called, but how do you summon it? What did Harry do to summon it? So many unanswered questions.

Harry is greeted by Stan Shunpike, the conductor of the Knight Bus and Ernie Prang, the driver. When I think of Stan, I think of the creepy, skinny, shabby conductor from the movie, not the eighteen-year-old guy with pimples. I also forgot who Ernie Prang was. I remembered the name, but not who it belonged to. Now I know.

“Take ‘er away, Ern.”

Stan Shunpike, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry and Stan chat about Sirius Black. Harry has seen him on the Muggle news (I love that he was on there too, with Uncle Vernon shouting “Wait! You didn’t tell us where he has escaped from!”). I can’t really remember why Sirius escaped and why now? He has been in there for thirteen years, what was the need to escape now? Also, do we ever find out how? It is the big question that is asked a couple of times, but I don’t really remember the answer. Was it because he was an animagus? Plenty of people ar animagi, right? Stan tells Harry that Black killed thirteen people and then just stood there and laughed. We know Peter Pettigrew killed those people and then turned himself into a rat, but why was Sirius laughing? Going to Azkaban is not exactly a laughing matter.

The Knight Bus takes Harry to the Leaky Cauldron, where he is greeted by Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic. Fudge (typing his name makes me hungry) has Innkeeper Tom take them up to a room where they can talk. The way they displayed Innkeeper Tom in the movies always really annoyed me. They used a different actor in the first movie than in the rest of the movies. The first one was perfectly fine, but then from the Prisoner of Azkaban on, they display him as some kind of Hunchback of Notre Dame. He hardly talks, he just wheezes like he has about three braincells and a severe case of Bronchitis. I don’t really understand why they would change Tom so much.

While Harry was afraid that Fudge would expel him and send him to Azkaban for what he did, he lets him off the hook right away and gives him a room at the Leaky Cauldron for the next few weeks. They took those few weeks out of the movie, of course, Harry just walks in and all of the Weasleys and Hermione are already there.

I actually had much more for you today, but since this post is already quite long, I’ll save it for next week. As always, thank you so much for reading. Click the subscribe button down below if you want to be kept up to date! I’ll be back next week with Harry’s stay at the Leaky Cauldron and his first encounter with a dementor. All very exciting stuff. See you next week!

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Rereading Harry Potter – Week 8

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 8

The Chamber of Secrets finale is here! First of all, forgive me for being a little late with this post. It has been a terribly busy (work)week for me and I just didn’t have the time to finish this post earlier. I promise I’ll be on time next week.

We left off last week with finding out Hagrid wasn’t the heir of Slytherin (surprise, surprise). At breakfast, Ginny tries to talk to Ron and Harry (Hermione is still petrified) about something, but Percy interrupts them and she flees. Percy says it’s because she walked in on him doing “something”. For anyone wondering “wasn’t this a children’s book?”, yes it is. Apparently he was kissing Penelope Clearwater, the Ravenclaw prefect who was attacked along with Hermione in the library. Remember how upset he was when she was attacked, because “now not even prefects are safe”? Turns out that wasn’t the whole reason. XOXO, Gossip Girl.

After breakfast, Ron and Harry are on their way to ask Moaning Myrtle how she died, because Aragog told them that a girl died in a bathroom the last time the Chamber was opened. They run into professor McGonagall, though and they have to make up an excuse about wanting to go see Hermione. She lets them and they go up to the hospital wing. I’ve been waiting for them to find the crumbled piece of paper in Hermiones hand that says “pipes” and I was afraid that was just added for the movie, but this if finally the moment they find that piece of paper. It didn’t just say “pipes”, though. It was an entire description of the Basilisk, including the spiders and the roosters that Ginny, uhh I mean someone, strangled. Turns out even mighty Basilisks are afraid of loud male chickens.

Harry and Ron decide to go to the staff room (Hogwarts has a staff room??) to tell McGonagall about the Basilisk, but on their way to the staff room, they find out a student has been taken by the monster. They hide in the coat room and find out Ginny has been taken into the Chamber and is presumed dead. It never really dawned on me that everyone actually thinks Ginny is dead for like a whole day. In the movie everything goes so fast that it feels like “Oh no, where is Ginny? Let’s go rescue her. Oh there she is!”. Not for a moment did it feel like she could actually be dead. Poor Mr and Mrs Weasley.

Since Lockhart is supposed to be going into the Chamber to look for Ginny, Ron and Harry go to his office to share what they know. Instead, they find him packing his things to get out of there. Turns out, all of the heroics he wrote about in his books were a lie! Who knew! Ron and Harry take Lockhart with them to look for the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. I’m not sure why they took him, because he didn’t know where the entrance was, he didn’t know how to enter and he was of no use when they were inside. Also they took his wand and they must’ve known he would try to escape the first chance he got, right? What was the plan?

Harry goes on alone after Lockhart steals Ron’s wand and accidentally blows up half of Hogwarts and gives himself amnesia. He finds Tom Riddle standing next to Ginny and the Diary. Tom explains to Harry how Ginny confided in him through writing in his diary and how he charmed her into killing the roosters, writing the messages on the wall and setting the Basilisk on the students. That morning at breakfast, Ginny had tried to tell them that she thought she was attacking the students. Tom also confesses to framing Hagrid for the attacks 50 years ago. Only a certain transfiguration teacher by the name of Albus Dumbledore (grey hair, long beard, considered to be the greatest wizard of all time, you might have heard of him), thought Hagrid was innocent, which is how he got the job as Keeper of the Grounds. Strange choice, though.. giving someone who is thought to be a murderer a job at school after he has been expelled.

Tom does the neat little trick with writing his name in the air with Harry’s wand and then mixing all the letters to spell: I am Lord Voldemort. Admit it, that blew all of our minds when we first saw him do that. Then he sets the Basilisk onto Harry. Lucky for him, Fawkes has appeared and has taken the Sorting Hat with him. He is scratching the Basilisks eyes out while Harry pulls the Sword of Gryffindor out of the Sorting Hat. Apparently being a true Gryffindor means hiding in a corner with your eyes closed while a bird fights your battles. Harry thrusts the sword into the roof of the Basilisks mouth. His arm gets punctured by one of the poisonous fangs in the Basilisks mouth., but luckily phoenix tears have healing powers. Harry uses the fang to thrust into the Diary and destroy Tom Riddle, which makes Ginny wake up.

I love Fawkes as a character. I love the fact that he has healing tears and he rises from his own ashes and that he comes to Harry’s rescue. I just really dislike the fact that apparently he can just magically lift 4 people by his tail feathers and fly them out of a dungeon. I know you can’t really call a fantasy novel farfetched, because well, it’s fantasy, but still.. Rowling might have thought a little harder on a solution to get them out of that Chamber.

I love how the book is quite elaborate on wrapping up the story. I kind of always missed that in the movie. It was just Harry flying out of the Chamber, knocking on Dumbledore’s door and giving Lucius Malfoy a sock, the end! I never noticed how much more attention the book pays to the side characters involved. It’s much less of a Harry Potter-show than the movies are. When Harry, Ron, Ginny and Lockhart come out of the Chamber, they go to McGonagalls office, where Mr and Mrs Weasley are grieving their daughter’s death. I loved the emotion from two parents who went through the hell of thinking their daughter is dead, only for her to walk into the room a few hours later.

Harry explains everything that happened and Dumbledore awards both him and Ron a Special Award for Services to the School and two hundred points apiece for Gryffindor. I guess they kind of deserve it this year, having saved Ginny’s life and all. Dumbledore explains to Harry how the sword of Godric Gryffindor shows that Harry is a true Gryffindor with another one of my favourite Dumbledore quotes (I admit it, the main reason I wanted to do this series, is to share all of my favourite quotes with you):

“It is our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Mr Malfoy enters the office with Dobby at his heels. Dumbledore makes it clear that he knows full well that Lucius was behind this, even if he can’t prove it. Also, Mr Malfoy threatened the other Governors of Hogwarts so they would vote to have Dumbledore removed as headmaster. It does kind of bother me that a lot of people seem to know what side he is on and that nobody seems to be doing anything about it, even now that a bunch of kids got hurt and almost got killed. We’re ending the book with Harry giving Lucius Malfoy the Diary back and him passing it onto Dobby with Harry’s sock still in it. Dobby is free!

That’s it for this week and this book! Next week, we’re starting on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I’m so excited to meet Buckbeak, Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. Some of my favourite characters are introduced in the Prisoner of Azkaban. I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am!

A few last words of advice from Mr Weasley:

“Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.”

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