The Chamber of Secrets
"A girl has been snatched by the monster,
Lockhart. Taken into the
Chamber of Secrets
itself. Your moment has come at last."
Synopsis by William Silvester
Notes and links by Steve Vander Ark and Michele L. Worley
US hardcover edition: pages 283 - 305
UK paperback edition: pages 305 - 328
Monday 25 May - Friday 29 May,
In which the students
learn that exams will be held as usual,
Ginny acts strangely,
find she has the answer to the
secret (a basilisk),
eavesdrop on the teachers,
and learn Ginny has been taken by
the monster. Lockhart attempts
to flee, but Harry and
Ron force him to accompany them to
via Moaning Myrtle's
bathroom to rescue Ginny. They
unlock the secret of the entrance.
Lockhart attempts to escape by
using Ron's broken
wand, but it backfires and blocks the
tunnel. Harry goes on alone.
Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:
Ten minutes into the class, Professor
McGonagall told them that their exams would start on the first of June,
one week from today.
There was a loud bang behind Harry as Neville Longbottom's wand slipped, vanishing one of the legs on his desk...
Harry looked down at the pair of white rabbits he was supposed to be turning into slippers.
Three days before their first exam,
Professor McGonagall made
another announcement at breakfast.
...we will be able to revive those people who have been Petrified... Ron, however, was looking happier than he'd looked in days.
"I've got to tell you something," Ginny mumbled, carefully not looking at Harry.
"Well, er, if you must know, Ginny, er, walked in on me the other day when I was - well, never mind - the point is, she spotted me doing something and I, um, I asked her not to mention it to anybody. I must say, I did think she'd keep her word. It's nothing, really, I'd just rather -"
Harry had never seen Percy look so uncomfortable.
"What were you doing, Percy?" said Ron, grinning. "Go on, tell us, we won't laugh."
and to his delight it did, midmorning, when they were being led to History of Magic by Gilderoy Lockhart.
making Ron drop his books in surprise.
Professor McGonagall was
still staring at him, and for a moment,
Harry thought she was going to
explode, but when she spoke, it was in a strangely croaky voice.
Yes, Potter, of course you may visit Miss Granger.
It was a page torn from a very old library book.
Instead, echoing through the corridors came Professor McGonagall's voice, magically magnified.
There was an ugly sort of wardrobe to his left, full of the teachers' cloaks.
listening to the rumbling of hundreds of people moving overhead
Snape gripped the back of a chair very hard and said, "How can you be sure?"
Professor Flitwick burst into tears.
And the witch who banished the Bandon Banshee had a harelip.
Harry reached his wand just in time. Lockhart had barely raised his, when Harry bellowed, "Expelliarmus!"
Lockhart was blasted backward, falling over his trunk
"Shouldn't have let Professor
Snape teach us that one," said Harry
They marched Lockhart out of his office and down the nearest stairs, along the dark corridor where the messages shone on the wall, to the door of Moaning Myrtle's bathroom.
My whole body sort of seized up, and then I was floating away...And then I came back again. I was determined to haunt Olive Hornby, you see.
"Harry," said Ron. "Say something. Something in Parseltongue."
White-faced and wandless
Characters introduced in this chapter:
Characters returning in this chapter:
Characters mentioned in this chapter:
de Mimsy-Porpington, Sir Nicholas
Riddle, Tom Marvolo
the monster of Slytherin
Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:
Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:
Exceptional character moments:
Oliver Wood, whose first and
only notion of "good news" under these circumstances would be the
resumption of the Quidditch
All four Heads of House turning on
Lockhart, packing his bags at
the first threat of being forced to live up to his self-created reputation.
Myrtle's delight at someone asking
her how she died.
Spells and Potions:
Links and Resources:
"We're still getting exams?"
"That," said Ron fervently,
was the best story you've ever come up with."
No afternoon ever lasted as long as that one, nor had
Gryffindor Tower ever
been so crowded, yet so quiet.
"My dear boy," said Lockhart,
straightening up and frowning at Harry.
"Do use your common sense. My
books wouldn't have sold half as well if people didn't think I'd
done all those things."
"No, it's been a lot of work, Harry.
It's not all book-signings and publicity photos, you know. You want fame, you
have to be prepared for a long hard slog."
McGonagall's speech to her
students takes place one week to the day before the first of June, and is
therefore the 25th of May. That allows us to assign a date to the boys'
meeting with Aragog
in the previous chapter. Her second announcement
at breakfast "three days before their first exam" allows us to
work out the dating of subsequent events. If exams start on Monday as they do in other books, we see that the events of this chapter cover Monday through Friday, the last week of May.