Thursday, August 27, 2009

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling (1998)

In the second book of the Harry Potter series, it again starts off with a terrible disaster happening at the Dursleys, for which Harry of course gets the blame. This time, Dobby, the house-elf appears, and proceeds to ruin Uncle Vernon's important dinner party with a business client. Luckily Harry is saved by Ron in a flying car and whisked off to the Weasleys for the rest of the summer before school starts.

Harry and Ron somehow miss the Hogwarts Express train and decide to fly to Hogwarts in the car, where they end up crashing into the Whomping Willow and get in big trouble.

Trouble is brewing at Hogwarts as well: the new professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts, the vain and pompous Gilderoy Lockheart, and all the other staff, cannot prevent a series of attacks on students whereby they are petrified. Rumors abound, some blame Harry for the attacks, and word has it the mysterious Chamber of Secrets has been unlocked, unleashing the Heir of Slytherin upon the school. Of course, Harry, Ron and Hermione set out to unravel the mystery! Their plan includes Polyjuice Potion to turn into Malfoy's pals for a few hours and get information out of him, former student Tom Riddle's interactive diary, Hagrid's friend Aragog the giant spider and a clue from Moaning Myrtle in the girl's toilets.

In the end, Harry finds out much more about Voldemort, prevails in a wizarding battle, saves Ginny Weasley (and wins her heart!) and cleverly sets Dobby free from bondage to his master.

This and much much more takes place in the whirlwind second volume in the Harry Potter series - what a great read!

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