Rereading Harry Potter – Week 14

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 14

Hi fellow bookworms! Thank you for clicking on the second to last Prisoner of Azkaban post. We are so close to the exciting finale that I pretty much know by heart (the movie version anyway). I decided to cut the final 130 pages into two posts, since it would otherwise become way too long. Let’s get started!

We left off at Gryffindor finally winning the Quidditch Cup. Wood and McGonagall are over the moon and so is pretty much everyone except Slytherin house. By now it’s June and everyone is getting ready to take their exams. The Astronomy exam is being held at midnight and how cool is that? I wish I had a class like Astronomy when I was in school, but no, it was all maths and geography for me. During History of Magic, Harry writes down pretty much everything that Florean Fortescue had ever told him about medieval witch hunts. That seems about right, I remember learning more French in one week of Duolingo than I did in 6 years at school. It seems like Hogwarts, sadly, has the same problem. Is this a dig at the school system? I don’t know about the school system in the UK, but the Dutch one could definitely use an upgrade.

The Divination exam with Professor Trelawney is next. She tests every student individually. When Harry is finished with his exam, Trelawney suddenly starts predicting the rise of the Dark Lord with the help of his servant’s aid, who will be freed TONIGHT. Boy, are we in for an eventful evening. The events from here on out have always been one of my favourites from the entire series. I’m so excited!

‘My boy, you may well be seeing the outcome of poor Hagrid’s trouble with the Ministry of Magic! Look closer… does the Hippogriff appear to… have its head?’

Professor Trelawney, Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban

Meanwhile, Buckbeak’s appeal has taken place and sadly, Hagrid has lost, which means that Buckbeak will be executed at sunset. Despite the fact that Hagrid told them not to come, they decide to retrieve the Invisibility Cloak from the secret passage (or rather, send Hermione, because Snape will be ready to give them detention the minute they come near that statue) and go see Hagrid anyway. They find Scabbers in one of the pots at Hagrid’s house and Ron apologises to Hermione. Fudge, Dumbledore and the executioner arrive at Hagrid’s hut, so the golden trio slip on their Invisibility Cloak and start making their way back to the castle. When they’re halfway to the castle, they hear the swish and thud of an axe from the direction of Hagrid’s hut, which means that Buckbeak must have been executed.. Even though I know that it was just a pumpkin that lost its head, because naturally they are going to rescue Buckbeak (or going to have rescued or whatever), this moment still gets me every time!

Then Scabbers makes a run for it in the direction of the Whomping Willow. Enter Crookshanks and the Grim, two seemingly unlikely bff’s and also a very cool name for a pet store. The big black dog drags Ron into a tunnel at the base of the Whomping Willow. Crookshanks touches a knot at the base of the trunk, which makes the Whomping Willow relax all of its branches, so that Harry and Hermione can cross safely. They enter the tunnel and follow it all the way to a dark landing with an open door. They enter the room and find Ron, with Scabbers in his lap. But where is the dog? Plot twist! There is no dog! The dog is in fact Sirius Black!

Harry wants to kill Sirius asap, but Sirius makes him listen to the whole story of the betrayal of his parents first. Lupin barges in and interrupts Sirius, though (rude). He was looking at the Marauder’s Map and suddenly saw Peter Pettigrew appear, which was naturally a little odd, since he’s supposed to be dead and everything. I can’t help but wonder, is Hagrid’s hut on the map? Do you think Pettigrew was hiding in there because it isn’t on the map? Could be.. Lupin reveals that Scabbers is indeed not a rat, but a wizard by the name of Peter Pettigrew. How scarred do you think Ron is after finding out he has been sharing a bed with a middle-aged wizard for 12 years?

Meanwhile, Hermione proves yet again that she’s the brightest witch of her age by deducing that they must be in the Shrieking Shack and also, Lupin is a Werewolf. Frankly, I’m a little disappointed that she is the only one who figured out that Lupin is a werewolf, with Lupin getting sick every full moon and his boggart changing into full moon and everything. Lupin’s friends became Animagi to be there for him during a full moon, when he went up to the Shrieking Shack to sit out his transformation. If they went with him as humans, they would’ve probably died, but as animals, Lupin would not harm them. The Whomping Willow and the tunnels that lead to the Shrieking Shack were all put there for Lupin’s use, so that he could safely go to Hogwarts and not, you know, kill anyone.

Snape joins the party too, hidden under the Invisibility Cloak that the golden trio had left lying around. Earlier in the book, Snape told Harry that his father did indeed save Snape’s life, but only because he had put his life at risk in the first place. Lupin tells them the whole story: Snape had always been curious about what the four of them were up to and one day Sirius tricked him into going up to the Whomping Willow during a full moon. James stopped him from meeting his maker by the hands (claws) of a fully grown werewolf.

Snape tries to hand Sirius over to the Dementors, but Harry takes him out in stead so that Sirius and Lupin can finally finish their explanation. It is revealed that Sirius was in fact not the Secret Keeper, but had made Peter the Secret Keeper, because they would never go after him. With a flash of blue light, they make Scabbers transform back into Peter Pettigrew.

That’s it for this week! Next week will be the grand finale to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I’m looking forward to it so much, the ending to this book is one of my favourites from the entire series. Subscribe if you want to be kept up to date on the rest of the series! I’ll see you all next week!

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Rereading Harry Potter – Week 13

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 13

Hello again my fellow bookworms! The week has flown by again and it is time for another edition of Rereading Harry Potter. There is so much going on in this week’s pages and I’m so excited to get started.

As you may remember, we left off last week with Hermione running to McGonagall to tell her that Harry had received a Firebolt for Christmas from an unknown sender that could possibly be Sirius Black. The broomstick was temporarily confiscated to be checked for jinxes and Harry and Ron were naturally very cross with Hermione. So cross, in fact, that they will hardly be speaking to each other for the rest of this week’s pages. In part 2 of Ron and Harry not speaking to Hermione and the other way around, a little further up the road, Crookshanks supposedly ate Scabbers. Call me silly, but I would probably be a little cross with you as well if your pet ate my pet.

After the rest of the school has returned from their Christmas break, classes start up again and so do Lupin’s dementor lessons. As you probably know, you have to think of a happy memory, wave your wand and yell “Expecto patronum!” and it will produce a Patronus. Sounds easy, but I’ve been trying and thinking of a happy memory that would be good enough to produce a Patronus is actually quite hard! Let alone when you’ve been orphaned as a baby and have been forced to live with your abusive aunt and uncle for 13 years. I guess that’s why it’s “very advanced magic”.

Harry finally manages to produce a weak excuse for a Patronus (everyone’s a critic these days) and they decide to call it a night. Harry asks Lupin that since he went to school with his father, he must have known Sirius Black as well, which causes Lupin to get all defensive and tell Harry to go on up to bed. Curious, very curious..

During their next Anti-Dementor class, Harry asks Lupin what a Dementor has under his hood and he answers that question a little too.. vividly, to my taste. The way he describes it makes me imagine a combination of the Kraken, a leech and the purple pentapus from the Avatar series. Enjoy that mental image. Lupin describes the Dementor’s Kiss and tells Harry that that’s the fate that awaits Black if they ever catch him.

To win the Quidditch Cup, Gryffindor would have to win from both Ravenclaw and Slytherin. They’re playing Ravenclaw first, who have Cho Chang as a Seeker. I’m guessing Rowling has a think for jocks, because apart from Hermione, pretty much everyone of importance plays Quidditch.. Harry, Cho, Cedric and Malfoy are all Seekers and so was Harry’s father. Fred and George play Quidditch and so will Ginny and Ron in a few years. Viktor Krum plays Quidditch and most of the other Weasleys as well. Did I miss anyone?

The Gryffindor’s next Quidditch match is played against Ravenclaw. Lee Jordan is providing the commentary during the match. I think this is the first time Lee Jordan is actually introduced in the books, even though he has already made several appearances in the movies at this point in the story. I guess they liked the character. During the match, Harry’s crush on Cho is foreshadowed by him “noticing that the Seeker is actually very pretty”. I’m looking forward to their relationship and seeing how different it is from what I remember from it. Just when Harry spots the Snitch, a couple of Dementors come onto the Quidditch field. Harry casts a Patronus their way and goes after the Snitch. When he dismounts his broomstick with the Snitch in his hand, he finds out that they hadn’t been Dementors at all. It had been Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle pretending they were a Dementor. McGonagall gives them all detention and takes 50 points from Slytherin (uhm, Minerva? When some of your own students stayed up past their bedtime, you deducted 50 points EACH, what’s up with that?)

After the game, there’s a party in the Gryffindor common room until well past midnight. That night, Ron wakes up to Sirius Black standing over his bed with a knife. Turns out, he got the password to Gryffindor Tower from the list of passwords that Neville had lost. I told you the whole password system was a bad idea security-wise!

The next day, Hagrid sends Harry an owl that he wants to have tea with him and Ron that evening. When they meet up with him, he tells them that he wants to discuss Hermione. Hermione has been to see him a lot lately and has helped him with Buckbeak’s defense (almost forgot about that). Apparently she’s been struggling with her enormous workload and not being able to talk to her friends. The movie never showed that she was struggling with her workload and I’ve always wondered how she could possibly keep that schedule up. It sets impossible standards, so I’m glad to see that it is actually portrayed as impossible.

It’s time for another Hogsmeade day that weekend and Hermione, the royal party pooper, threatens to tell McGonagall if Harry decides to go to Hogsmeade again. I actually agree with her this time, since there is like a billion security measures to keep Harry safe and Harry decides that there’s no way in hell that he’s going to give up on going to Hogsmeade. It’s kind of like when the whole country would be in quarantine to protect those who are in poor health while those in poor health are partying away. Don’t be like this, Harry! And on top of all that, this dumbass got himself caught by Malfoy! Malfoy of course runs to Snape, who points out how arrogant it was of Harry to run off to Hogsmeade while the whole Ministry of Magic is trying to protect him. I didn’t think I’d ever agree with Snape, yet here we are. He makes a whole point of insulting Harry’s father until he loses it and then Snape does this really cool thing where he calls Lupin through the fireplace. I’m guessing he uses Floo Powder or something, let’s hope they’ll explain it to him some day. Lupin, of course, saves Harry’s ass and then confiscates the Marauder’s Map. In the movie, that is the point where he points out that Peter Pettigrew is on that map, but I guess Rowling is saving that for a later time.

On their way back from Snape’s office, Ron and Harry run into Hermione, who informs them that Hagrid has lost Buckbeak’s case. Malfoy takes the fact that Hagrid is inconsolable as an opportunity to make fun of him even more, which earns him a good smack across the face from Hermione.

The night before the final match against Slytherin, Harry has trouble sleeping. When he looks out his window, he sees the Grim moving around the edge of the forest, next to Crookshanks. A while back, I read a fan theory of how Crookshanks was actually the Potter’s old cat, who ended up being forgotten and then finally sold to Hermione. I always thought it was a little farfetched and it had little truth to it, but now that I’ve read this, I can kind of see where they’re coming from. What if Crookshanks was indeed the Potter’s cat and Sirius and Crookshanks were working together to get rid of Peter Pettigrew. That would also explain why Crookshanks has been targeting Scabbers. Just let that sink in!

The next day, it is time for the final Quidditch match against Slytherin. Gryffindor needs to win by at least 200 points to win the Quidditch Cup. Of course Slytherin is determined NOT to let Gryffindor win, so they try all sorts of tricks to sabotage the Gryffindors. Rowling really tried her best to make us hate the Slytherins in this scene. Naturally, Gryffindor wins the Quidditch Cup and Hagrid, McGonagall and Wood are sobbing and the rest of the school is partying their asses off. And that’s it for this week!

So we’ve only got about 130 pages left in this book, so depending on how much there is to comment on in those pages, I’m either going to make on large post about it or divide it into two posts. I haven’t read the chapters yet, so I guess I’ll decide when I do. Stay tuned!

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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 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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