Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets discussion, chapters 1-9

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets discussion, chapters 1-9

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1foggidawn
Jun 1, 2010, 4:59pm

In June 2010, Hogwarts Express group members are rereading and discussing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This is the discussion thread for the first half of the book. Chapters to discuss in this thread:

1. The Worst Birthday
2. Dobby's Warning
3. The Burrow
4. At Flourish and Blotts
5. The Whomping Willow
6. Gilderoy Lockhart
7. Mudbloods and Murmurs
8. The Deathday Party
9. The Writing on the Wall

As always if you are new to the series, expect spoilers for this book and the other books in the series!

2pollysmith
Jun 1, 2010, 5:22pm

I have often wondered why harry didn'trun upstairs quickly after dobby dropped the pudding. I know he would still have been blamed but.....the Dursleys could have said the pudding fell because of vibration and no one would have known....at least until the owl came!

I love that Ron Fred and George came to find him and the hairpin trick! Molly's reaction to thier shinanigans and Arthurs interest in how the car ran

The burrow sounds like lots of fun, just the kind of house I like
I also wonder if Madam Pomfrey's pepper-up potion would work on muggles? We know of course that they are susceptible to spells and charms but what about potions?

3pollysmith
Jun 1, 2010, 6:35pm

I always have wondered too about how the basilisk could go through the pipes in the school. I don't know much about plumbing but it seems to me that the pipes running thru the school would have been too small for a beast whose body was as round as an oak tree.

oh and as regards potions working on muggles why didn't Mr Filch go to Mde Pomfrey to cure his illness? he may hate the students but not the magical community in general

4biblioholic29
Jun 4, 2010, 4:42pm

I'm 6 chapters in over at A Bit of Light Reading. Many thoughts over there.

5lefty33
Jun 14, 2010, 7:26pm

I'm not quite to chapter 9 yet but I wanted to post a couple things before I forgot.

The Burrow is exactly like my house growing up, except for the magical bits. I am one of 6 kids and we always had extra people in the house in addition to the 8 that lived there. The something-happening-somewhere-always, the noise, the commotion of people coming and going, always being able to find someone to do something with -- all of these Burrow things make me smile because it is how I grew up and I loved it. :)

Lockhart is such a pill. Great character, but man does he make a pain of himself. I love Harry for trying to stay out of the spotlight as often as he can. Having Lockhart around puts Harry's shyness in stark contrast -- I love it!

When leaving the Burrow, Ginny has to go back to the house to get her diary. I am sure this is actually Riddle's diary. What if Mrs Weasley had said too bad there isn't time to go back for it!

6lefty33
Jun 18, 2010, 8:43am

I had forgotten that we see the vanishing cabinet get smashed here. Nearly Headless Nick breaks it to get Filch away, saving Harry from punishment. And then Draco spends most of his sixth year repairing it! :)

7biblioholic29
Jun 18, 2010, 8:45am

But first Montague gets stuck in it because it's broken when Fred and George stuff him in it to keep him from taking points off Gryffindor.

8foggidawn
Jun 18, 2010, 8:52am

Yes, the vanishing cabinet is definitely one of those examples of amazing plotting on Rowling's part -- it's mentioned so often, but so casually, that readers have no idea it's going to be significant in later books!

9lefty33
Jun 18, 2010, 12:59pm

#7 Yes, yes! When does that happen ... book 5? Or am I way off?

#8 So great! This is such a special series. :)

10biblioholic29
Jun 18, 2010, 1:31pm

Yep, it's OotP.

11foggidawn
Jun 30, 2010, 11:14pm

I can't believe I've procrastinated on reading this for so long! I have finished these chapters, and will read a little more before bed. A few thoughts:

- I've never understood why Mr. Weasley goes through the barrier to Platform 9 3/4 just after Percy. I can understand Mrs. Weasley wanting to go with Ginny and get her settled, but it doesn't make sense to me that Mr. Weasley wouldn't wait and make sure all of the kids got through the barrier all right. I mean, not that he would have been expecting it to seal itself, but it is implied that if a person is too worried about crashing, they will crash. . . . Oh, well. I guess he had to go in and leave the boys to follow for the sake of the story.

- I love the scene where Harry and Ron are looking in the window of the Great Hall and speculating on what has happened to Snape, and then he proves to be standing right behind them! Possibly my favorite scene in this book.

- Percy takes 5 points from Gryffindor when he finds Harry and Ron "investigating" Moaning Myrtle's toilet. In a later book (OotP) we're told that prefects can't take points away (at least, not until Umbridge gives the Inquisitorial Squad the power to do so). Inconsistency? Or can prefects take points from their own houses, but not from other houses?

I must be feeling nitpicky tonight. I am enjoying this reread, now that I've gotten around to it!

12biblioholic29
Jul 1, 2010, 7:40am

#11: I've always wondered that about the Weasley's too, much like the floo powder incident. As for Percy taking points, I've decided that's one of those instances where JKR hadn't really figured out all the rules yet. I believe that if they ever actually put out revised editions (I'm really hoping they will) stuff like that will get fixed.

13pollysmith
Jul 1, 2010, 4:22pm

I am glad somebody brought that up! I have often wondered if you are a prefect for two years? Doesn't that knock out kids in every other year?

its true that it seems odd that the Weasleys would leave the two boys to follow especially in an area full of muggles. You'd think that Arthur would have stayed till last to clear up any problems, maybe Dobby used his magic to confund them?
It does seem that anyone using floo powder for the first time would need help, someone should have gone with him!

14foggidawn
Jul 1, 2010, 7:23pm

#13 -- I think they pick a certain number of kids (2 boys and 2 girls from each house?) to be prefects each year -- so any given year you would have twice that many. My understanding is that if you're a prefect, you're a prefect for years 5 and 6, and the Head Boy and Head Girl are chosen from among the prefects and Quidditch captains (James Potter, for example, was not a prefect, but he was Quidditch Captain, which made him eligible to be Head Boy in his seventh year). I'm not sure what happens to the prefects who are not Head Boy/Girl -- maybe they go back to being regular students for their seventh year? Or maybe they continue to be prefects. Not sure.