Harry Potter Anniversary Summer (Re-) Reading [II]: The second Harry

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry enters his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (I worship that name!) which’s start turns out rather bumpy. After the somewhat unfortunate encounter with house-elf Dobby, that had costed him his business deal, uncle Vernon has locked Harry up in his room with no contact to the outer world. This results in Ron and his brothers Fred and George rescueing him with the help of Mr Weasley’s enchanted Ford Anglia. In one very funny scene Mrs Weasley tells her sons off after their return with Harry at their home, The Burrow.

Mrs Weasley was marching across the yard, scattering chickens, and for a short, plump, kind-faced woman, it was reamarkable how much she looked like a sabre-toothed tiger.
Ah,‘ said Fred. ‚Oh dear,‘ said George.
Mrs Weasley came to a halt in front of them, her hands on her hips, staring from one guilty face to the next. She was wearing a flowered apron with a wand sticking out of the pocket.
So,‘ she said. […]
All three of Mrs Weasley’s sons were taller than she was, but they cowered as her rage broke over them.
‚Beds empty! No note! Car gone … could have crashed … out of mind with worry … did you care? … never, as long as I’ve lived … you wait until your father gets home, we never had trouble like this from Bill or Charlie or Percy …‘
[…] ‚I’m very pleased to see you, Harry, dear,‘ she said, ‚Come in and have some breakfast.‘ (p. 40f.)

Even funnier is when Mr Weasley, a great lover of human artefacts, comes back home and his wife tells him about their sons‘ trip with the car which Mr Weasley wasn’t supposed to have in the first place.

‚Your sons flew that car to Harry’s house and back last night!‘ shouted Mrs Weasley. ‚What have you got to say about that, eh?‘
‚Did you really?‘ said Mr Weasley eagerly. ‚Did it go all right? I-I mean,‘ he faltered, as sparks flew from Mrs Wealey’s eyes, ‚that-that was very wrong, boys – very wrong indeed…‘ (p. 47)

In The Chamber of Secrets we meet the young Tom Riddle (later Lord Voldemort) for the first time. He is acting through an enchanted diary and takes possession of Ron’s sister Ginny. In the end it is a very close safe, to speak in terms of Quidditch. Harry comes to Ginny’s help in the legendary last minute. He fights off a basilisk with the sword of Gryffindor that Dumbledore’s phoenix Fawkes brought him. Later Dumbledore thanks him, ‚You must have shown me real loyalty down in the Chamber. Nothing but that could have called Fawkes to you‘ (p. 356). When Harry talks about his nagging doubt about really belonging in Gryffindor, when on the other hand he shares so many characteristics with Voldemort, Dumbledore assures him, ‚It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities‘ (p. 358).

To keep up early with all applicants for the post of teaching Defence against the Dark Arts: After Quirrel in the Philosopher’s Stone, Gilderoy Lockhart shows up. The vain but utterly incompetent lady’s guy ends up with the only spell he is able to conjure turned against himself – a memory charm which backfired on him because of Ron’s broken wand. Remember some details about him like the „countless framed photographs of Lockhart“ in his office, some of them „even signed“ (p. 131) and the sentence for which he should be famous by now: ‚Fame’s a fickle friend, Harry‘ or ‚Celebrity is as celebrity does, remember that‘ (p. 131).

The second part of J. K. Rowling’s series about the Wizarding Community is a worthy sequel to the opener Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The tone of the sequel is still light and easy which turns The chamber of Secrets into suitable literature for a wide range of reading ages.
I was enjoying myself very much – Harry Potter rulez! 😎


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