Harry's been hearing voices. And someone Petrified Mrs. Norris, leaving a big message on the wall saying "The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir beware." Harry and his friends decide to cook up some Polyjuice Potion to turn into some Slytherin students for an hour to prove that Malfoy is the heir to Slytherin and the one trying to kill half-blood students. A couple more people get Petrified: Colin Creevey, Justin Finch-Fletchley and Nearless Headless Nick, the ghost. Also, Harry finds out that he is a Parselmouth: someone who can speak snake language. Cool right? Except now everyone is convinced he is Slytherin's heir because Salazar Slytherin was a Parselmouth. Harry and Ron use the Polyjuice Potion and find out that Malfoy isn't the heir but doesn't know who it is either, while Hermione accidentally turns herself into a cat.
|Hermione, fur is so not your color...|
Harry happens upon a diary that someone threw in Moaning Myrtle's toilet while Hermione spends a few weeks de-furring in the hospital wing, and feels a strange connection to its' owner that went to Hogwarts 50 years before, T. M. Riddle. He ends up writing in the diary, and the diary writes back and Tom Riddle shows Harry his memories of when the Chamber of Secrets was opened and who the culprit was... Harry doesnt quite know what to do when he finds out that Hagrid was expelled 50 years before for opening the Chamber of Secrets...
Lets talk about how much of a rebel Hermione is in this book! She is the one who comes up with the idea for the Polyjuice Potion and kind of strong-arms the boys into using it, and breaking all sorts of rules to put it together. In book one, Hermione was the complete and total opposite. Do you think it is the company she is keeping that changes her attitude about breaking rules, or do you think there is another reason behind it? I tend to think it is the whole attack on "mudbloods" thing. Hermione is muggle born and given what we know about her from the first book and even in later books, she is a loyal and defends what she is passionate about and what matters to her, including muggle-borns being able to attend Hogwarts just like everyone else without fear of their imminent death by mystery creature. Agree?
Harry is a Parselmouth! This revelation kind of sets everyone into thinking Harry is the heir of Slytherin, setting his monster on half-bloods and muggle-borns. We all know why Harry is a Parselmouth, but I'm kind of shocked by something else: the fact that even though Ron and Hermione are pissed that they didnt know Harry was a Parselmouth because they think he kept it to himself, they never once suspect him as Slytherin's heir. True friendship and straight up trust? Or is the idea of Harry being the heir of Slytherin so ridiculous that no one in their right mind would believe it? I personally think that friendship goes a long way. Pretty much the entire school (except for the Slytherins) think it is Harry, so its not like its just a few people. But Ron and Hermione and Fred and George and a few other choice Gryffindors believe Harry because they know who he truly is and they trust him. Even a Hufflepuff girl has trouble believing it at first because Harry has always been "so nice".
Finally, Harry feels this strange connection to Tom Riddle, and I mean really, we all obviously know why - but Harry also notices some similarities between himself and Tom Riddle which raise some feelings of sympathy and understanding of why Tom turned Hagrid in as the opener of the Chamber of Secrets. Tom was raised by muggles, though his father was a muggle and his mother was a witch. He lived in a muggle orphanage that he absolutely hated and would rather have lived at Hogwarts, just like Harry feels about the Dursley's. Its hard to feel bad for Tom Riddle later on... well almost impossible, but we learn a lot about Riddle in this book and in others that evoke feelings of pity for a bad guy. For me, an author that can do this is a genius. Do any of you feel bad/sorry for Riddle at this point in the second book (or at any point throughout the books), or am I just delusional?
I am a few days late with this post, but I hope you'll understand: on Sunday I was in Hershey, PA for the Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z Concert, which might I add was the single best concert I've ever been to, ever! So I didnt have time to get this ready before hand, I was totally not missing out on my tailgating and jamming out experience to get it up, I'm sure you get it :) Justin and Jay-Z thank you for your understanding as well. :D
Do you all agree with my thoughts on these topics, or do you think I am way off? I'll be finishing the book this week and posting my final thoughts on Sunday then moving on to book three! We're making progress here :) Have any of you actually re-read the Harry Potter series this summer? Love hearing from you!