Monday, February 25, 2019

#YearOfHarryPotter: Chamber of Secrets, Chapters 10-13

This week's chapters are "The Rogue Bludger," "The Duelling Club," "The Polyjuice Potion," and "The Very Secret Diary." Spoilers ahead.

Most of my memories of this section of the book seem to be from the movie, so it was good to have a refresher of what actually happens in the book. Though I'd remembered that Harry hurt his arm and had to regrow his bones after an inept Lockhart tried to heal him, I'd totally forgotten about Dobby sending the rogue bludger after Harry in the first place. I'd also forgotten that Hermione was sent to the hospital wing because of her botched Polyjuice Potion experience prior to her becoming petrified. I also forgot that Nearly Headless Nick was petrified.

My memories of the duelling club were somewhat vague, too, but the scene where Harry begins speaking Parseltongue was exactly as I remembered it. I did wonder, though, for the first time, why Snape seems so intent on pitting Draco and Harry against each other. It makes him seem cruel, which I don't think his character is meant to be, and it also just seems like a dumb move for a teacher. Then again, he has also apparently allowed the password to the Slytherin common room to be "pureblood," so I guess this is just par for the course.

The other thing I realized as I was reading this is how funny Rowling can be sometimes. The scene that opens "The Rogue Bludger," where Lockhart reenacts his supposed adventures, with Harry as a partner, made me laugh out loud. I also enjoyed Ron's dialogue, and that of the Weasley twins.

Overall, the biggest thing that strikes me about this book is how quickly it seems to move. I feel like my first reading of this book took a while, and I remember feeling such suspense and needing to know how things would turn out. Knowing the answers to the questions of the plot on this re-read takes away that sense of urgency and almost makes it feel like I'm just checking off expected plot points on a list as I read. That's not to say I'm not enjoying it, but it's not the immersive experience it was the first time around. I'll be finishing the book this week, and jumping right into book three as March begins.

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