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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Rereading Harry Potter – Week 7

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 7

Hello fellow bookworms and welcome to week 7 of rereading Harry Potter as an adult! Time has flown by this week with my positive COVID-test and quarantine and then having to work a lot to catch up after quarantine, then there was Valentine’s Day, which we didn’t really celebrate, because you know: quarantine, then my boyfriend got tested positive, so now HE’s in quarantine and apparently that means he is entitled to my attention. Then of course there was storm Dudley (very good name) and storm Eunice that wreaked havoc around the North Sea. So this week was a little much and suddenly it was the weekend, which means: Rereading Harry Potter time! This week’s post is the penultimate post about the Chamber of Secrets, after which we will of course be moving on to The Prisoner of Azkaban.

We left off last week with Hermione looking like Millicent Bulstrode’s cat, so we’re starting off this week with Hermione in the Hospital Wing. She’s still quite hairy (if Harry had been the one looking like a cat, he would have been Hairy Potter, but I guess Rowling doesn’t have as great a sense of humour as I do), but looking less like a cat every day. Harry and Ron make their way back to the common room from the Hospital Wing and come across a flooded hallway near the Girl’s bathroom. They enter the bathroom where Myrtle is crying because somebody threw a book at her head. Needless to say, this book is Tom Riddle’s Diary. Ron recognises T.M. Riddle from one of the award trophies Filch made him polish.

“Maybe he got thirty O.W.L.s or saved a teacher from the giant squid. Maybe he murdered Myrtle, that would’ve done everyone a favour…”

Ron Weasley, The Chamber of Secrets

There hasn’t been an attack on any mudbloods for a while now and, here’s another one for the reasons-why-Lockhart-is-annoying-list, Lockhart seems to think he himself has made the attacks stop. He also decides the school could use a little pick-me-up, so he arranges for Valentine’s Day decorations and dwarfs delivering Valentines. Coincidentally, I read this on Valentine’s Day and it wasn’t until hours later that I realised it was indeed, Valentine’s Day.. And they say romance is dead.

Harry also gets a little Valentine from.. someone. I’m not sure who, but I’m guessing it was Malfoy’s idea to have a dwarf deliver a musical Valentine to Harry in front of a bunch of first-years. Harry tries to escape, though and this causes his bag to rip open and ink to spill all over his books. When he returns to the common room, Harry realises that Tom Riddle’s Diary doesn’t have any ink on it at all. He tries to write in it and the words disappear, but are answered by the Diary. Harry agrees to being sucked into Tom Riddle’s memories, where he sees Tom meeting with the headmaster, Professor Dippet (never heard of him) and asking to stay at Hogwarts during the summer. He declines because of the heir of Slytherin still walking around freely at Hogwarts, which makes Tom decide to “turn Hagrid in” (we know of course that Hagrid would never do such a thing and I will suckerpunch anyone who claims otherwise).

The mandragoras have always been one of my favourite things from the second Harry Potter book. The way they suck their thumbs as baby’s (or other peoples thumbs if you get too close), they get acne when they hit puberty and then try to move into each others pots when they’re mature. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love Rowling’s creativity so much.

About four months after the attack on Justin and Nearly-Headless Nick, the next attack happens. This time Hermione and a Ravenclaw girl named Penelope Clearwater are attacked. I have no memory of a Ravenclaw girl being a victim, though I do remember the name, so I guess she’ll be making a comeback somewhere in the story. On the bright side, nobody thinks Harry is the Heir of Slytherin anymore now that Hermione got attacked. Ron and Harry decide to finally go and talk to Hagrid, but then Cornelius Fudge appears to take Hagrid to Azkaban. 10 seconds later Lucius Malfoy appears with an Order of Suspension for Dumbledore. I hate that man so much. How can he possibly still be working for the Ministry. It surprised me, though, that Fudge came to Dumbledore’s defence on the suspension. Everybody knows that Fudge is intimidated by Dumbledore and thinks he’s after Fudge’s job. Or maybe Fudge assumes that as long as Dumbledore is headmaster of Hogwarts, he won’t go for his job.

Okay, it’s time for my least favourite part of the book and perhaps the whole series: the visit to Aragog. Why does it have to be “follow the spiders”? Why can’t it be “follow the butterflies”? But seriously, this chapter is every arachnofobic person’s worst nightmare. The chapter is way shorter than I remember, though. The movie really drags this whole part out into one long scene of agony. I hate spiders. Imagine being picked up by a giant hairy spider and transported through a dark forest with spiders everywhere. Nope. Just nope. Let’s skip this, shall we? The Weasley’s car saves them just as they’re about to get eaten and they live happily ever after.

Important detail, though: Aragog mentions that a girl died in the bathroom when the Chamber was opened 50 years ago. 50 bucks says it’s moaning Myrtle.

That’s it for this week. Thank you again for reading this week’s Rereading Harry Potter update. If you want to be kept up to date, leave your e-mail address in the box below! See you next week for week 8, the grand finale to the Chamber of Secrets.

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Rereading Harry Potter – Week 6

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 6

Hello my lovely fellow bookworms! It’s time for week 6 of rereading Harry Potter as an adult. I hope you’ve all been having a wonderful week. I got tested positive for COVID this week, so I’ve been a little under the weather, which is also why this week’s blog posts have been a little late. But I’m just going to make the most of it!

We left off last week at Professor Binns telling the class the “myth” of the Chamber of Secrets. Salazar Slytherin had a falling out with the other founders, but he had already built a secret chamber somewhere in Hogwarts that his heir could open and use to purge Hogwarts of Mudbloods. Of course Harry, Ron and Hermione are convinced that Draco is the heir, so this week they’re going to try to find out if they’re right.

Harry vs Draco

We’re starting off this week’s pages in another one of Lockhart’s classes, where Lockhart has Harry roleplaying a Werewolf in a reenactment of Lockhart’s heroics (add that one to the list we made last week of annoying things Lockhart has done so far). Naturally the homework is to write a poem about Lockhart’s heroics. This might be because I just read the Trials of Apollo series by Rick Riordan, but Lockhart really reminds me of Apollo in the first 2 books. If you’ve read it, you probably know what I mean.

Harry, Ron and Hermione wait for the rest of the class to leave before they ask Lockhart to sign the permission slip to get a book from the Restricted Section. This is the book that the instructions for making the Polyjuice Potion are in. Lockhart signs it and, of course, tells Harry that if he ever needs any private Quidditch practice with him, he is always happy to pass on his expertise to less able players (he was asked to try out for the National Squad, but he preferred to dedicate his life to the eradication of the Dark Forces. Well, you shouldn’t have.). The golden trio goes to the library to retrieve the book and Hermione asks Madam Pince (I keep forgetting that she is the librarian. I remembered the name, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember who she was) if she can keep the note with Lockhart’s autograph.

The next Quidditch match is Gryffindor against Slytherin, with Harry and Draco competing against each other as seekers. Harry spends the whole match being attacked by a rogue Bludger. They ask for a time-out but don’t say anything to Madam Hooch about the Bludger. I thought it was kind of strange that they didn’t. I mean, when someone has tampered with the ball in a football game, the referee is notified and deals with it accordingly. Even if your opponent is wearing the wrong socks or something, they may get a yellow card, but apparently in Quidditch, when someone has jinxed a Bludger to try and kill a student, that’s perfectly alright. I think Quidditch could do with the introduction of a VAR..

The Bludger breaks Harry’s arm, but he manages to catch the Snitch (which was flying right next to Draco’s head. Some seeker.) with his other arm and win the game, before collapsing onto the Quidditch pitch. Of course within a split second, Lockhart is there to save the day! And by save the day, I mean turn Harry’s arm to jelly. Harry is taken to Madam Pomfrey, who gives him a bunch of Skele-Grow and makes him stay the night. This is when Dobby decides to pay Harry a visit. I have to say, when I was younger I never really thought twice about all Dobby’s actions. I just thought, “yeah, okay that makes sense”. Though now that I’m older and (slightly) wiser, I can’t help but think WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM? Dobby almost killing Harry time after time kind of gets on my nerves, so how did Dobby get from this to being one of my favourite characters in the Harry Potter series? Is it because he dies? Does that make him more likeable? That certainly seemed to help quite a lot of artists. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

So this is probably a sign that I need to get out of the house, but I can’t help but wonder who does the laundry in Malfoy’s house. Or any household that has a house-elf, for that matter. Since house-elfs will be free when they are given a piece of clothing by their owners, so letting the house-elf do the laundry seems like kind of a risk (“oh, hey Dobby, can you throw this in with the white laundry?” “A pair of tighty-whities? Dobby is free!”). After Dobby explains the whole Chamber of Secrets thing to Harry without actually saying anything useful, he vanishes and Dumbledore and McGonagall carry in a petrified (in the literal sense) Colin Creevey.

“It means,’ said Dumbledore, ‘that the Chamber of Secrets is indeed open again.”

Harry the Parselmouth

It’s time for the duelling club, with its organiser Gilderoy Lockhart and his.. assistant.. Severus Snape (“He tells me he knows a tiny little bit about duelling himself”). This is probably the first time I’ve ever rooted for professor Snape, him disarming Lockhart and knocking him to the ground. Of course that faded quickly when he paired Harry with Malfoy and Hermione with Millicent Bullstrode. Malfoy conjures a snake and Harry tries to talk it out of attacking Justin Finch-Fletchley. This is when they discover that Harry is a Parselmouth, the very thing Salazar Slytherin was famous for. This is also when I discovered (again) that the golden trio isn’t very bright, otherwise their first thought should probably have been that maybe the voice that Harry (and only Harry) has been hearing could be a snake too!

Harry the heir of Slytherin

Harry tries to find Justin Finch-Fletchley the next day to explain to him that he wasn’t trying to set the snake on him, he was trying to save him. What he didn’t realise (and neither did I) is that Justin is a Mudblood, so now everyone thinks that Harry is the heir of Slytherin and is getting rid of Mudbloods one by one. Of course it didn’t help that Colin Creevey was also a Mudblood and everyone saw how annoyed Harry was by his stalking him. Also, Harry was found with a petrified Mrs. Norris. The cat that just happens to belong to Mr. Filch, a squib. After (literally) running into Hagrid, Harry finally finds Justin, lying on the floor, frozen. Nearly Headless Nick is hovering next to him, also petrified.

McGonagall takes Harry to Dumbledore’s office, on top of the spiral staircase behind the gargoyle. This is the first time Harry sees Dumbledore’s office. It is also the first time he (and we) meet(s) Fawkes the Phoenix. I distinctly remember him being called Felix, but I guess that’s the Dutch version (I looked it up, it is indeed the Fawkes’ Dutch name). I was wondering if Fawkes was named after Guy Fawkes, so I looked it up. Rowling did indeed name him after Guy Fawkes, because he periodically explodes. Rowling’s creativity keeps amazing me.

After Fawkes bursts into flames and is reborn from the ashes, Hagrid barges in to defend Harry. He is so absolutely adorable, I don’t think there is anyone with a kinder heart in the entire Harry Potter-series. Dumbledore lets Harry off the hook and Harry walks straight towards the girl’s bathroom to see how his illegal Polyjuice Potion is doing. They had gotten the ingredients during class by throwing some fireworks into Crabbe’s cauldron for a diversion. I don’t know why, but this seems very out of character for them. Maybe that’s why they left it out of the movie. They got Crabbe’s and Goyle’s hair by feeding them a sleep draught inside a cupcake.

It’s time to take the Polyjuice Potion. What I did not understand about this, is that they know that they only have an hour before the potion wears off. Hermione tells them so before they take the potion. Also, they know that their clothes are going to be too small for them when they turn into Crabbe and Goyle. And STILL they wait to change into their Slytherin robes until they have already taken the potion. So they deliberately waste much-needed minutes on changing their clothes AND they unnecessarily rip their own clothes. And it gets worse: they haven’t figured out where the Slytherin common room is yet. That kind of seems like quite an important part of the plan.. Are these boys dumb, or what?

They find the common room and run into Malfoy, who knows the password. Malfoy shows them a newspaper clipping about Arthur Weasley receiving a fine for bewitching a Muggle car. He tells them where to find all of the illegal stuff the Malfoys have at home, which may come in handy. He also tells them that he has no idea who Slytherin’s heir is, so there goes their entire theory. When they get back to the girl’s bathroom, Hermione has partly turned into a cat.

And that concludes this week’s update. As always, thank you so much for reading! Subscribe if you want to be kept up to date on this series and/or other book-related content. I’ll see you next week for week 7 of rereading Harry Potter.

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Rereading Harry Potter week 5

Rereading Harry Potter week 5

Hello fellow bookworms and welcome back to another week of rereading Harry Potter as an adult! We have left off at Ron and Harry arriving at Hogwarts by flying car, instead of the Hogwarts of Express, all because of Dobby’s attempt to keep Harry safe (though Harry and Ron don’t know that yet, shh). I’ve decided to slightly reduce the number of pages I read every week, because I noticed the posts getting way too long to stay interesting and I don’t want it to become dull. There’s just too much exiting stuff to talk about and I don’t want to skip anything.

Chapter Six: Gilderoy Lockhart starts off on the first day back at Hogwarts, at the breakfast table in the Great Hall. It is time for today’s post! If you’ve read the Chamber of Secrets before, you might know what’s coming: the Howler. I’ve always loved the scene where Ron receives the Howler from Mrs. Weasley. Imagine getting a letter from your mother that yells at you in front of every single person at school.

Since the chapter is called “Gilderoy Lockhart”, let’s honour him with a complete list of every annoying thing Gilderoy Lockhart did so far:

  • Dragging Harry in front of the camera at Flourish and Blotts;
  • Telling professor Sprout how to do her job;
  • Assuming Harry flew to school for the publicity;
  • Assuming Harry is handing out signed photos;
  • Telling Harry he’s not quite famous enough to be handing out signed photos yet;
  • Starting his first class off with a pop quiz on… himself!;
  • Releasing a cage full of pixies and then fleeing the classroom;
  • Constantly referring to one of his books;
  • Telling professor Snape how to do his job;

I’m sure this list will get much, much longer throughout the rest of the book. I had been wondering why Dumbledore would go with dimwits like Lockhart and Quirrel when they’re so clearly not cut out for the job, until Hagrid tells Harry and Hermione that people are starting to think that the Defense Against the Dark Arts job is cursed, so people aren’t too keen on applying anymore.

What I love most about rereading the Harry Potter books, is getting reintroduced to characters you only vaguely remember, because they weren’t that important for the story and/or they were left out of the movie. Characters like Justin Finch-Fletchley, for instance. I only remember him from the Lego Harry Potter games (don’t judge me, they’re a lot of fun) as a collectible Lego figure, but he’s not really in the movies. For those who don’t really remember him either, he’s a Hufflepuff boy from Harry’s year who they take Herbology with. Harry, Ron and Hermione are paired with Justin to repot the mandragoras. Isn’t it convenient, though that they always seem to learn the exact things in class that they need to complete that year’s self-inflicted deadly task?

The next character introduced is Colin Creevey. He’s the first-year who’s constantly asking for Harry’s picture and autograph. He’s also the boy who is going to be petrified by the Basilisk further on in the book.

Harry spends most of his first few days at Hogwarts trying to dodge Lockhart and Colin Creevey. On his way to the Quidditch pitch for his first practice of the year, Harry runs into Colin and he follows him to the pitch. As they’re about to start practice, the Slytherin team comes onto the pitch with special permission from Snape to train their new seeker. This new seeker is of course the pale boy we have a love-hate relationship with, Draco Malfoy. Draco calls Hermione a Mudblood and Ron accidentally curses himself to vomit slugs for the rest of the day. Never a dull moment at Hogwarts.

Harry is sitting out his detention that evening with Gilderoy Lockhart. Is it just me or is answering some fanmail kind of a mild punishment for something that almost got Harry expelled? Considering only last year, he was sent into a forest full of bloodthirsty creatures because he wasn’t in his bed at midnight. (Also, Harry doesn’t finish answering the fanmail until midnight, so.. double standards?) Although to Harry the Forbidden Forest is probably less of a punishment than spending the evening with Lockhart. Harry hears “the voice” for the first time in Lockhart’s office.

When Harry is in Filch’s office because he is being written up for dragging mud into the castle and Nick sends Peeves to cause a racket and get Harry off the hook, Harry finds Filch’s Kwikspell brochure. I knew Filch was a Squib (non-magic person born into wizard family), but I kind of forgot about it and it never really occurred to me that most of the student apparently assumed he was a wizard. I can’t really understand why, because they’ve seen him scrubbing and polishing and sweeping. If he were a wizard, he’d just wave his wand around. Filch mentions a vanishing cabinet that Peeves ruined. I love how Rowling is already foreshadowing the cabinet that is going to play such an important role 4 books from now. I can’t help but wonder if she already had plans, or if this is simply part of world-building. Either way, she’s a genius. I also love that Filch’s first name is Argus. I’m a bit of a Greek Mythology geek and apparently, so is Rowling, because Argus is a giant from Greek Mythology who has a 100 eyes all over his body and sees everything. Considering that Filch always seems to be everywhere at once, especially when you’re doing something you’re not supposed to be doing, the name seems rather fitting.

Am I the only one who loves book-Nearly Headless Nick far more than movie-Nearly Headless Nick? The movie version just completely lacks personality while the book version is so incredibly adorable. I just love the sir Nick who persuades Peeves to trash an office to get Harry out of trouble and invites him to his Deathday Party. He is such an underrated character.

At Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday Party, Harry, Ron and Hermione run into Moaning Myrtle for the first time. On the way back from the party, Harry hears the voice again and decides to follow it. It leads them to the message written in blood: “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir, beware.” Hanging next to the words is a petrified Mrs. Norris.

Further on in the chapter, Ron is measuring his History of Magic homework. Yes, I said measuring. He was supposed to hand in a 3-foot long homework essay. I suppose they don’t do word-counts in the wizarding world.

Professor Binns tells the class the story of the Chamber of Secrets during the History of Magic class, which he believes to be a myth. Of course the story starts with the four founders of Hogwarts; Rowena Ravenclaw, Godric Gryffindor (remember Godric’s Hollow from book 7?), Helga Huffelpuff and Salazar Slytherin (Rule number one of founding schools: your name needs to be an alliteration). A while after the school was founded, there was an argument with Slytherin and he left the school, only he had built a secret chamber within the school that could be opened by his heir and used to purge the school of everything who didn’t belong.

Thank you so much for reading this week’s post about rereading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’ll be back next week with chapter 10, 11 and 12 of the Chamber of Secrets, when it’s time for some Quidditch, some duelling and casually making some Polyjuice Potion in the girl’s bathroom. Subscribe to be kept up to date on my posts. See you next week!

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Rereading Harry Potter as an Adult – Week 4

Rereading Harry Potter as an Adult – Week 4

Hello again! Buckle up, it’s time for week 4 of Rereading Harry Potter as an Adult and we’re starting on The Chamber of Secrets this week! Don’t you just love the promise in that title? It just screams, “Oh boy, are we in for a treat”. I’m looking forward to all things Dobby and Gilderoy Lockhart and of course Ginny is starting Hogwarts this year and we’re meeting Lucius Malfoy for the first time. We’re going to have some fun!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Just like last year, the story starts on Harry’s birthday, July 31st, which is also (fun fact) J.K. Rowling’s birthday, by the way. This year on his birthday, Mr and Mrs Mason come over to make a business deal with Uncle Vernon. I remember playing the Lego Harry Potter games a few years ago and unlocking the Mr and Mrs Mason characters and having NO idea who these muggles were. So apparently they’re the drill people.

I laughed out loud when Harry was trying to scare Dudley by pretending to do magic by yelling ‘Jiggery pokery! Hocus pocus.. squiggly wiggly..’. We muggles will believe anything.

Enter: Dobby the House Elf

Harry is sent upstairs during Mr and Mrs Mason’s visit and there, on the bed, is one of our (or my) absolute favourite characters of the entire series and one of the saddest deaths, Dobby! With his iconic “Bad Dobby, Bad Dobby!”. Dobby tries to get Harry to not go back to Hogwarts this year, for there is a plot “to make the most terrible things happen”. It only just now occurred to me that Dobby knows of this plot because he is Lucius Malfoy’s house elf and Lucius is of course plotting the whole opening the Chamber of Secrets by giving Ginny Tom Riddle’s diary thing. Yes, I know I’m dumb, but it only just clicked.

After Dobby drops Petunia’s cake on the floor (I’ve watched the movies too many times, because I was convinced he dropped it on Mrs Mason), Harry receives a letter from the Ministry to remind him that he’s not allowed to use magic outside of Hogwarts, signed by Mafalda Hopkirk. I thought I recognised the name and she is indeed mentioned in the Order of the Phoenix and she makes an appearance in the Deathly Hallows. I was a little confused, since I distinctly remember Harry practicing Lumos under the covers in one of the movies (I think the Prisoner of Azkaban), so that obviously doesn’t make sense. But I don’t think the whole not-being-allowed-to-do-magic-outside-of-school-thing is mentioned in the movies until Harry uses the Patronus charm to protect Dudley in the tunnel. Of course Uncle Vernon is having a field day finding out he’s not allowed to do magic.

Mr and Mrs Dursley lock Harry up in his room now that they know he can’t “magic” his way out and decide that he’s not going back to Hogwarts. Him being locked up finally makes sense now, I never really got that part. Locking him up because he dropped a cake on someone’s head didn’t really make sense to me. Lucky for Harry, Mr Weasley had overheard at the Ministry that Harry had used magic in front of muggles and Ron decides to rescue him by having his brothers fly the Ford Anglia to Harry’s house and break him free.

The Burrow

They gather Harry’s stuff and fly to the Burrow, where Mrs Weasley is waiting for them, furious. This is the first time Harry visits the Burrow and meets Arthur Weasley. Mr. Weasley is more interested in how flying the car went than in being angry with them. I love Mr. Weasley’s fascination with muggle stuff.

They travel by Floo Powder to Diagon Alley as soon as they receive their Hogwarts letters. This years’ book list consists for 90% of Gilderoy Lockhart’s books, which makes me wonder how they’re going to use those in all their other school subjects, but okay. Harry, of course, messes up the words and ends up at Borgin and Burkes, the first of many times this store plays a role in the story. Draco and Lucius Malfoy enter the shop and Harry hides in a closet that resembles the Vanishing Cabinet from the Room of Requirement a little too much (coincidence? I think not.). Draco is making all sorts of petty comments on Harry, Ron and Hermione and Lucius is telling him off, much to Harry’s (and my) delight.

When Draco and Lucius leave, Harry leaves his hiding place and exits the shop, ending up in Knockturn Alley. I’m guessing the name is probably derived from the word nocturnally, which fits the dodgy alley perfectly. Harry runs into Hagrid, who escorts him back to Diagon Alley, where Hermione and her parents and all of the Weasleys are waiting for him. Mr Weasley repairs Harry’s glasses (again). His glasses have been repaired two times now and I don’t remember anyone saying Oculus Reparo yet. Was the name of the spell made up just for the movie? Curious, very curious. They all continue to Flourish and Blotts to buy their school books and of course, there is Gilderoy Lockhart. Signing books and being all full of himself. Harry is forced to take pictures with him and receives all of his books for free. Because he has the kindest heart in the whole world, he gifts these books to Ginny and buys a himself a new set. It absolutely breaks my heart that the Weasleys are so poor. It never really occurred to me exactly how poor they were until I read about the nearly empty vault in Gringotts. And still they did so much for the Order, Dumbledore and Harry.

I never realised that Mr Weasley and Mr Malfoy ACTUALLY get into a fight at Flourish and Blotts. I always thought it was just an argument and some snarky comments on the Malfoys side and that was it, there Tom Riddles diary was in Ginny’s cauldron. But there was an actual, exciting fight. Blood was drawn. I love it.

The flight to Hogwarts

It’s time to go to King’s Cross to catch the Hogwarts Express. They have to drive back to the Burrow 3 times because one of the Weasleys has forgotten something, including Ginny’s diary. I can’t help but wonder if we could’ve avoided the whole Chamber of Secrets fiasco if Arthur had just said “I guess you’ll just have to do without”. I guess we’ll never know. I love the foreshadowing, though.

Of course, Ron and Harry can’t get onto the platform and they make the very wise and mature decision to just take Arthur Weasley’s car (which saves them the trouble of driving it home, I guess) and FLY to Hogwarts in it. Oh, the decision making skills of a 12-year-old. I guess Harry and Ron are now among the few people who know where Hogwarts is located exactly.

Harry and Ron crash into the Whomping Willow and Ron breaks his wand. I’ve always hated that he beaks his wand. It’s kind of hard to learn magic with a broken wand. The two of them sneak into Hogwarts and are caught by professor Snape, who is more than happy to expel them. Sadly that decision isn’t up to him and Dumbledore lets them off the hook. They do get detention, though. We’ll find out next week what that detention entails…

As always, thank you so much for reading! Feel free to subscribe if you want more bookish content. I’ll see you next week for week 5 of rereading Harry Potter.

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