"Bet it tastes disgusting."
-- Ron Weasley
Harry is hauled before Professor Dumbledore, witnesses the phoenix burning, and learns Dumbledore does not suspect him of wrongdoing. Christmas Day, presents are opened, the Polyjuice Potion is ready, Crabbe and Goyle are drugged and hair stolen and the potion drunk by Harry, Ron and Hermione. Disguised as Crabbe and Goyle, Ron and Harry quiz Draco Malfoy and find he has nothing to do with the Chamber of Secrets. Upon returning to the girls’ bathroom they find Hermione has taken on cat features.
Interesting facts and notes
This is the first time Harry has been to the Headmaster's office.
Harry puts on the Sorting Hat and asks whether he was put into the right house at Sorting. To his dismay, the hat says:
"....you were particularly difficult to place. But I stand by what I said before.... you would have done well in Slytherin."
Harry keeps worrying about this as the attacks coming from the Chamber of Secrets and general speculation about who could be the Heir of Slytherin continues.
When Dumbledore says to Harry:
"Fascinating creatures, phoenixes. They can carry immensely heavy loads, their tears have healing powers and they make highly faithful pets",
there is an emphasis on the word "faithful", which J K Rowling has put into italics in the text. Dumbledore is subtly telling Harry - so that he may remember later - that Fawkes the phoenix is a being that he, Dumbledore, trusts and depends on. The heavy load-carrying capacity and healing powers will also come in handy in the future.
Ginny Weasley is upset about Harry being called the "Heir of Slytherin" in fun by her brothers Fred and George, but both now and later on no one follows up on what might be wrong with their joking (or why).
Harry and Ron, after taking the Polyjuice Potion, realise that they don't know where the Slytherin Common Room is located. They have to guess from the direction from where the Slytherins usually appear when coming for breakfast. Luckily they find Draco Malfoy looking for Crabbe and Goyle and he leads the two disguised Gryffindors to its dungeon location.
Exceptional character moments
Draco's glee at Arthur Weasley's predicament and at the prospect of Hermione being a victim of the monster.
Myrtle's glee at Hermione's predicament.
Harry was just thinking that all he needed was for Dumbledore's pet bird to die while he was alone in the office with it, when the bird burst into flames.
"Professor," Harry gasped. "Your bird - I couldn't do anything - he just caught fire -"
To Harry's astonishment, Dumbledore smiled.
"About time, too," he said. "He's been looking dreadful for days. I've been telling him to get a move on."
"Honestly, if you were any slower, you'd be going backward."
Words and phrases
From the Web
Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld.com (Pottermore):
Harry Potter Wiki: Polyjuice Potion
WizardingWorld.com (Pottermore) features:
Tags: anger blame cats Christmas carols embarrassment fur holiday plans presents rebirth singing snow transformation waiting
J K Rowling later confirmed that:
Harry and Ron almost forget that they are in disguise under the influence of the Polyjuice Potion and fail to laugh when Draco shows them the article from the Daily Prophet about Arthur Weasley. Ron will be worried at the amount of the fine imposed as the family doesn't have a lot of money. --td