Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:14 pm

Official rules for a read along are:

We all read the same chapter.

Then we discuss whatever we like to talk about. Since this isn’t a first read, spoilers are allowed, but we should try to relate our comments to the actual chapter in some way.

Since not everybody can respond every day, there should be at least two or three days before we advance to the next chapter. We will spend more time on a chapter as long as there is an ongoing discussion.

Somebody should take the lead and decide when it is time to start the next chapter. It would be helpfull to start the new chapter with a summary that points out topics which may be discussed (alas I’m unable to do this).

The reality of the last "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s / Sorcerer’s Stone Read Along" was:

H.G. blogged Slytherin Observations and some miscellaneous stuff and didn’t get much response. But I’m not easily scared away (and I got some encouragement), so I’ll do it again.

You have been warned

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Chapter 1: The Worst Birthday

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:01 pm

In which life at the Dursley’s is as miserable as ever.

Nobody takes the lead? This is a bad start because I couldn’t think of anything to say for this chapter that has not already been said multiple times. So let me tell about my niece instead.

You know you’re a Harry Potter or Lexicon fan when ...
you simultaneously read "Harry Potter and the Philosphers Stone" in english and german because you plan to give your niece a special commented edition for her eleventh birthday.
This post is buried somewhere in the archieved threads. So, in spring 2010 I gave my niece a hardcover with forty additional pages (the craftsmanship was harder to do than I had expected) talking about:
  • Gryffindor’s chivalry (omitted in the translation)

  • Slytherin’s “guile” and “malice” (this is not what the Sorting Hat said)

  • The confusion caused by translating "cloak" and "robe" to the same german word (now why didn’t young Severus wear something decent under his cloak?)

  • The confusion caused by translating "hag" and "witch" to the same german word

  • British Schools and British Railways (based on the Lexicon’s helpfull essays)

  • Nicolas Flamel and other famous wizards ...

  • And the last comment said: "If you don’t tell me you didn’t like it, you’ll get the next book for the next birthday."


This didn’t seem to be a big success. She was excited when she unwrapped the present, but several weeks later my brother told me although she was very proud to have this singular edition, she did not actually read it and didn’t even want to take it for the summer holidays, because "it is so thick and heavy". LOL

Christmas came and we had this little conversation (refering to her list of wishes):
"I don’t understand how somebody can read that while there is Harry Potter to read."
"But I did read it!"
"So did you like it?"
Heavy nodding.
"You are aware you will get the next book for your next birthday?"
Heavy nodding.

Mission completed. (And I had to write another 36 pages about O.W.L.s, the number of students at Hogwarts, non-electronic cameras, wizarding geography, Salazar Slytherin, ...)

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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  Denise P. on Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:45 pm

I am reading along and if I may make a suggestion not related to the read along. I enjoy reading your comments but sometimes, it is a bit hard to read since you use HTML tags rather than the bb code that the board uses as a default.

<blockquote> = [ quote]
<strong> = [ b]
<em> = [ i]

You close them the same way you would an HTML tag.... [ /b], [ /i], [ /quote] (A space has been added to prevent them from actually formatting anything)

^
|| Right above each reply box, there is a tool bar that gives them as well.

Or am I the only one who sees the HTML tags and not the altered text?

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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  John Bumbledore on Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:14 pm

I don't see HTML tags in H.G.'s post. Looks fine to me.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  Verity Weasley on Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:45 pm

I see the tags too Denise, so maybe it depends on which browser you're using. I use Chrome.

HG, what a wonderful gift for your niece! I'm sure the additional information made it all the more special for her. But are you really expecting her to take 7 years to read the series? I know most of us had to wait that long, but I certainly wouldn't do it out of choice!

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Chapter 2: Dobby’s Warning

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:14 pm

In which we meet the most annoying and most adorable house-elf ever.

Let me try to put this together:

What happened down in the dungeons between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret, so, naturally, the whole school knows.

When Draco came home for the holidays, he told his family and their house-elf that Harry had ruined You-Know-Who’s plan to return to life by stealing the Philosopher’s Stone.

Lucius lost all hope (or all fear) that his Dark Lord would ever return. There was no longer any sense in keeping the diary Voldemort had given to him, especially since the Ministry had started to raid houses, and he had been told what might happen when this book was placed in the hands of the right person, preferably an impressionable young girl who badly needed a friend.

But Harry Potter should never come close to this diary, because you never know, he might just ruin another plan. Did Lucius order Dobby to stop Harry’s letters and to make him feel he shouldn’t return to Hogwarts at all, not aware that Dobby had his own reasons to keep Harry in a safe place? How could Dobby have done all this behind his masters back?

OT: I know my niece watched the eighht movie with her best friend, who is a big fan. So she is definitely not unspoiled and she may also have borrowed the books from her friend.

When my brother phoned me under the pretense to ask if the Parseltongue-Harrycrux-Connection she had made is correct, he also said he had read the two books now and were my next-book-for-next-birthday-comment to be taken seriously because she wants to have the complete collection and didn’t she get the first book for christmas? (Obviously the result of casting a confunding charm on himself.)

So there is hope they didn’t read ahaed and I keep telling them that having to wait and taking some time to think about what had happened is part of the experience and essential to growing up. Anyway, I can not do more than one book per year, especially when we come to the really "thick and heavy" books. So if they want to read the commented editions, they have to wait.

Denise and Verity: Does this look better to you?

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Chapter 3: The Burrow

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:21 pm

In which we visit a wizard’s home and Ginevra Weasley starts to act oddly.

During the coming school year, nobody will ever wonder what bothers Ginny. To her brothers and friends the reason seems so obvious, it’s her crush on Harry.

By now poor Ginny knows everything she could make her brothers tell about Harry, so she must be aware that fangirling like she did on platform nine-and-three-quarters is a perfect means to annoy Harry and scare him away. But she can not think of how to impress him in a positive way, so she panics whenever she gets Harry’s attention.

Dear Ginny, if you like to take an old man’s advice: Don’t think too hard. Never do something just to impress a boy. Whatever you do should feel good for yourself. If Harry could just see the adorable girl Ron knew for eleven years, he would surely fall in love.

On another note, there is a flaw in the Weasley's theorie: Dobby was sent by Draco to stop Harry going back to Hogwarts.

Having Harry expelled, and playing a big role in this, would be the ultimate triumph. But if Harry doesn't return to Hogwarts, people may just think "Draco is lucky, he would have a harder time if Harry were here", or if they know that Draco had a hand in it, this may be perceived as admitting he couldn't handle Harry last year, so he had to keep him distant.
Wouldnt Draco prefer to have Harry at Hogwarts, so he can continue to display his pure-blood superiority be trying to bully him?

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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  Denise P. on Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:51 pm

Ginny's behavior is spot on for an 11 year old girl though. She is new to all this, she doesn't know how to attract the attention of a boy or show him that she likes him. So it is not surprising that she is awkward and clumsy in her attempts to show her admiration. I am sure she thought she was being subtle and no one had a clue that she liked Harry, not even her family. What she would not realize is that is was clear as day to anyone watching Smile

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Chapter 4: At Flourish and Blotts

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:06 pm

In which Harry vivits Knockturn Alley, and Arthur Weasly and Lucius Malfoy have a fight.

Here we are back at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Malfoys hate Weasleys and Weasleys hate Malfoys. But we don’t know how this started and it doesn’t imply that all Gryffindors hate all Slytherins or vice versa.

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Chapter 5: The Whomping Willow

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:25 pm

In which Harry and Ron find a new way to travel to Hogwarts, but it isn’t as much fun as they had expected.

Compared to apparition, floo powder and port keys, flying is a slow means of transportation, and airborne intruders are easily spotted (on higher security levels there may be counter invisibility measures similar to the thief’s downfall at the borders of Hogwarts). Walking and climbing over the walls or gates (made impossible only when security was high in Harry’s sixth year?) may be a better way to sneak in. Flyers will probably only be stopped (also discontinuing the owl mail servcie) in an actual defence alert.

But why don't the students fly to Hogsmeade? Because it’s inconvenient to carry a broom into crowded Honeyduke’s?

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Chapter 6: Gilderoy Lockhart

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:24 pm

In which Ron Weasley receives a Howler, Justin Finch-Fletchley and Colin Creevey introduce themselves, and Hermione Granger immobilizes pesky pixies.

Slytherin observation Nr. 9:

This howler was so awesome, everybody listened. But who laughs loudly when Draco tries to make fun of it? "A knot of Slytherin fifth-years". Yeah, Slytherins again, but how does Harry know so specifically that they aren’t in fourth or sixth year?

Despite the shared lessons in Flying and Potions we didn’t see anything of Blaise Zabini or Millicent Bullstrode for over a year, we would still not know that Pansy Parkinson is a Slytherin if she had not once been mean to Parvati Patil, we don’t even know that Nott’s first name is Theodore and he is a Slytherin, and Harry generally didn’t strike us as observant, so he must have had special reasons to learn more about these people. These are probably only the usual suspects, (some of) the same persons who thanked Harry for loosing so much points [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Other Slytherins are not present in the courtyard? Where are they during this break?

Harry doesn’t know who else is a Slytherin and doesn’t mind if assumed non-Slytherins laugh about Ron, so they are not mentioned?

Nobody else laughs?

There is still no reason to assume that everybody who is sorted into Slytherin is automagically turned to evil.

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Chapter 7: Mudblood and Murmurs

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:28 pm

I which Ron Weasley spits slugs and we may notice a dead rooster. Also, Harry hears voices.

Slytherin observation Nr. 10:

When Ron’s wand backfired, "the Slytherin team were paralysed with laughter", and this isn’t adorable (but they may know that vomiting slugs is only embarassing, not dangerous).

All the fuzz about Nimbuses and Cleensweaps doesn’t bother me, you have to expect this with competitive team sports, and we don’t want to abolish quidditch, do we?

So, did the Slytherins enjoy Draco calling Hermione a "Mudblood"? Harry should have noticed if they cheered and laughed before Ron’s action, but since he was too occupied watching the Gryffindors’ (only Gryffindors?) uproar, we will never know if the Slytherins looked pleased or if there were some distraught faces (What is this new Seeker doing? You can’t say this! Does he try to start a war?).

Marcus Flint may not be as trollish as he looks like. At least he knows that "Mudblood" is not a generally accepted terminology. The Gryffindor beaters’ response is immediate, but Marcus is not caught by surprise, steps in and spares Draco a beating. He also spares Fred and George a harsh punishment for hurting Draco. I’m with Hagrid here, it was a good thing that the wand backfired and that the twins were stopped.

Since Quidditch captains get the same privileges as prefects (like the luxurious bathroom) they may have similar duties while no prefect is around, and before Ron's mishap makes him double up Flint does what we would expect from a prefect, while Oliver Wood seems to be paralyzed by shock. Quidditch may consistently [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] in Marcus Flint, but he can not be totally bad.

Anyway there is no real evidence that any Slytherin, except Draco, is a racist.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  Verity Weasley on Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:37 pm

HG, I enjoy reading your posts, but I think you are clutching at straws in your attempt to look for the good in Slytherins. These stories are told from Harry's perspective. We see what Harry sees. Harry is firmly of the opinion that Slytherins in general are bad news and everything we see involving Slytherin only serves to reinforce this belief. Especially in these earlier books, everything is presented fairly 'black and white', whereas in the later books we (and Harry) learn that 'the world is not made up of good guys and Death Eaters'.

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Black and White

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:54 pm

In a way you are right, Verity. Nearly everything we see is coloured (or discoloured?) by the way we see it through Harry's eyes. What I'm trying to say here is that even these early books are not simply 'black and white' if we consider that what Harry sees is not what we objectively can know. There are so many hints that Harry may be wrong. I admit that I'm doing a biased read, clutching for every hint I can get. but I'm sure that JKR did at least some of this intentionally.

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Chapter 8: The Deathday Party

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:11 am

In which Sir Nicholas is rebuffed, Mauling Myrtle is offended, and Mrs. Norris is petrified.

I whish we hadn’t been able to see the inscription on Nick’s deathday cake, so next generation readers could still pretend that Harry’s adventures happened last year and they have to wait because Harry experiences just now what they will read next year.

Alas, it may be impossible to have a timeless story if it isn’t totally set in a magical world. How many readers do still remember that you don’t actually need electricity to take photograps? To me Colin Creevey using his grandfathers fully manual camera seems much more plausible than some devices conveniently adjusting themselves to magical power while annoying devices like cell phones, handheld gaming consoles and MP3 players can never do this (or are magically banned from Hogwarts?). But a day may come when readers don’t even remember that once there was non-digital photograpy and that "developing" "films" in mysterious "potions" is not necessarily a magical process.

Sorry for the rant. When I was young, I used to simply guess the right combination of aperture and exposure time (for lack of an electronic light meter) and compensated any errors during the developing process, so I’m ticked out when somebody asks how Colin’s camera could work if there is no electricity at Hogwarts.

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Chapter 9: The Writing on the Wall

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:42 pm

In which we learn much about the History of Hogwarts and Hermione decides to break the rules again.

Hogwarts
A Play


ACT 1
Scene 14
ROWENA: My dear Helga, I would love to teach some gifted Muggle-borns, but what would we tell their parents?

SALAZAR: We can’t tell them anything. The secret must be kept.

GODRIC: I don’t understand why you are so concerned with security. Let the Muggles come. We can always defeat them.

ROWENA [impatiently]: We know how fearless you are, Godric. But your little army of wizarding knights can’t protect everybody out in the countryside. Don’t you remember what happened at Ipswich?

SALAZAR: Exactly! Whenever Muggles suspect that magic may exist, they wreak havoc. We have to keep the secret.

HELGA: Don’t you understand that this is impossible while the Muggles watch some uneducated wizards do unintended magic again and again? All magic folks must learn to control this power. We have to teach them all!

SALAZAR: But they will tell their parents, and then the news will spread. So do you suggest we should abduct Muggle-borns and force our education on them, never telling their parents where they have gone?

HELGA [drawing wand]: How dare you!

ROWENA [drawing wand]: This shall never happen!

GODRIC [drawing wand]: I’ll fight you until the end of time!

SALAZAR [leaving fast]: I should have known nobody would appreciate that this is not my suggestion.

Author’s note (Slytherin observation Nr. 11):

I would have liked to base this on some evidence given by eye witnesses, but unfortunately Helena Ravenclaw and the Bloody Baron both pretend to be too young to have known Salazar Slytherin, and the Sorting Hat doesn’t give any interviews due to some bad experiences with Rita Skeeter. So we can only refer to Professor Binns "reliable historical sources": Salazar Slytherin "disliked taking students of Muggle parentage, believing them to be untrustworthy". Expressions like "unworthy to study magic" were only used in a "sensational, even ludicrous tale", that is not more than a "fanciful legend".

If we take the "International Confederation of Warlocks’ Statute of Secrecy" seroiusly, Mr. and Mrs. Granger should never know what Hermione learns at Hogwarts (and Mrs. Finnigan should never have told her husband that she is a witch). Modern Muggles wouldn’t spread the news because nobody would believe them, but this wasn’t true when Hogwarts was founded 1000 years ago.

From "Quidditch Through the Ages" we know that playing Quidditch within fifty miles of towns was outlawed in 1362, because players and watchers were easily carried away and forgot to look out for Muggles. We may conclude that playing Quidditch or doing any kind of magic in full sight of Muggles had already been illegal for a long time and at least british wizards had been hiding centuries before this was formalized by an international treaty. Kennilworthy Whisp even suggests that wizards may have decided to ride on broomsticks rather than more comfortable objects because carrying a broom wouldn’t rise suspicion. As far as we know, Merlin (sixth century?) was the last person who openly practised magic.

I’m aware that in real life there is far less evidence for witch hunting in the tenth century than there is for later times. But although Professor Binns is not above holding back some information, he wouldn’t lie about historical facts, so "magic was feared by common people, and witches and wizards suffered much persecution" is true in the Potterverse (like a Play Station was thrown out of Dudley’s window when it still wasn’t available in real life). And if this didn’t happen too frequently, people would be less aware of the danger and more likely to boast about their children’s abilities. Eventually Helga Hufflepuff was right, but the Founder’s dilemma was real: How could they trust eleven years old kids not to tell their parents what they learned at school?

The Chamber of Secrets exists, but "Salazar Slytherin built it" is still only a legend. Could this ancient chamber miraculously attach to modern plumbing that was probably installed many centuries later? Isn’t it possible that the legend existed first and the Chamber of Secrets was build by one of Slytherins descendants who tried to make it real and erected this statue to worship his ancestor? This installation may even have been constructed by somebody who wasn’t related to Slytherin, but hoped he could claim this special heritage by showing his ability to open the legendary Chamber.

Also there is this theory that Ron hits the point or even tells the future when he intends to joke, but is wrong when he is talking seriously, and there is Ron saying "he started all this pure-blood stuff" (not joking, so obviously wrong). Clearly Joanne K. Rowling never intended us to believe that Salazar Slytherin was a pure-blood-fanatic.


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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  Verity Weasley on Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:43 pm

Great post HG, and great research. I enjoyed your little play! You really should come over and join us on the Five Words thread.

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Chapter 10: The Rogue Bludger

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:08 am

In wich Dobby returns and Slytherin’s(?) Monster finds its first human victim.

Slytherin observation Nr. 12:

"Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff were anxious to see Slytherin beaten", so does everybody hate Slytherin? Suppose Gryffindor had continuously won the Quidditch cup for seven years. Wouldn’t Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff long for a change and cheer for Slytherin? This isn’t about good versus evil, more probably it’s all-time loosers versus boring overperformers.

OT: Thank you, Verity. I followed the Five Words thread on the old forum for a while and posted some contributions. But my brain doesn't really work in five-word-bits, my spare time is limited and there is so much else to do.

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Chapter 11: The Duelling Club

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:10 pm

In which an attempt is made to teach the students combat spells, but things become only worse.

Slytherin observation Nr. 13:

Snape prowled through the fumes, making waspish remarks about the Gryffindor’s work while the Slytherins sniggered appreciatively. There are five more books to go and I’m already tired of asking: All Slytherins? Or just the Slytherins Harry is used to watch? He still didn’t notice Blaise, Theodore and most of the girls.

But now it’s time to fall in love with Millicent Bullstrode, although she isn’t a beauty.

Hermione gave her a weak smile which she didn’t return. Well, I wouldn’t smile if I were forced to duell the most brilliant witch of my year. I would snarl like every cornered animal, and if I were a Slytherin Harry would probably misread this as grinning threateningly. Millicent not baring her teeth may actually show us that she is a good girl, or she may just try to hide how nervous and fearful she is.

Harry obviously thinks of Hermione’s weak smile as "friendly", but I wonder how this is perceived by Millicent. I also wonder if Hermione’s smile isn't really nervous or fearful. She needs something of a Slytherin for the polyjuice potion, and she doesn’t know if there will ever be another possibility to come close to a Slytherin.

When Harry looks again, Millicent has Hermione in a headlock, but we don’t know who started physical combat. Was it Millicent, because she always wanted to beat up a "mudblood" (did we ever watch her doing or saying something pro-Voldemort or anti-Muggleborn)? Or did Hermione try to rip a hair off Millicent’s head and, when Millicent successfully defended herself, had to take what she still could get? What Hermione tells about this later is quite ambiguous.

Even if Millicent dropped her wand first and tried to use Muggle methods (how would a pure-blood fanatic ever do this?) it wouldn’t be a sign of evil, it’s just what Ron advised Harry to do at the midnight duel in case his spells wouldn’t work.

There will be more to be said about Millicent Bullstrode when we see her again in the Inquisitoral Squad. If there is a "good" Slytherin then it is most probably this ugly girl.

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Chapter 12: The Polyjuice Potion

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:02 pm

In which Harry and Ron discover who is not Slytherin’s heir and Hermione receives a harsh punishment for forging and theft

Slytherin observation Nr. 14:

How could Ron mistake Ravenclaw Prefect Penelope Clearwater to be a Slytherin? Didn’t she wear her Prefect’s badge?

Background story in case somebody doesn’t know/remember: In early editions of PS/SS, Percy was wearing a silver Prefect’s badge, so we could conclude that all Prefect’s badges are silver (and the Head Boy and Head Girl may wear golden badges?). Thus it didn’t matter that Prefect’s badges are never mentioned in CS. But in OotP we learned that Gryffindor Prefect’s badges are red and gold, hinting to house-coloured badges. In later editions the "mistake" in PS/SS was corrected, but CS was not changed, and now we have to wonder. (Since the ability to determine a Prefect’s house by looking at their badge never became a plot point, IMO it would have been better to correct the mistake in OotP.)

Anyway, Penelope Clearwater also doesn’t wear a house-coloured tie or scarf, or a coat-of-arms on her robe. All these movie accessories, invented for watchers convenience, were never mentioned in the books, so it is not easy to know a students house if you meet them at a random place.

Harry probably remembers everybody who was mean to him or his friends, and recognizes them all sitting at the Slytherin table in the Great Hall. But did he also memorize every face at the Slytherin table to be able to determine that everybody who is never mean to him or his friends isn’t a Slytherin or that every Slytherin in sight contributes to the Slytherin’s evil-doing?

Ron obviously doesn’t know all Slytherins, otherwise he would remeber that this curly-haired girl is none of them.

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Chapter 13 The Very Secret Diary:

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:56 pm

In which Harry finds out who was expelled for setting Slytherin’s(?) monster free.

Ooops, there is a silver Prefect’s badge in this book, but it was worn by Tom Marvolo Riddle fifty years ago. Should we try to come up with a plausible reason for changing Prefect's badges since then?

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Chapter 14: Cornelius Fudge

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:22 pm

I which Hermione is petrified and Hagrid is carted away to Askaban.

Time Turner observation Nr. 1

Neville asks people about Arithmancy and Ancient Runes (there are more optional subjects).

Percy talks about Divination, Muggle Studies and Care of Magical Creatures (Percy himself had chosen more topics).

Is there any reason to assume that we got a complete list of all elective courses, or may there be more subjects neither mentioned by Percy nor by Neville?

Why is this a Time Turner observation? Because we know it is possible to get twelve O.W.L.s and the plot of PoA makes much more sense if Hermione, signing up for everything, tries to do something truly impossible.

Now, on Pottermore we can read:
Spoiler:


At the end of their second year at Hogwarts, students are required to choose a minimum of two more subjects from the following list: Arithmancy, Muggle Studies, Divination, Study of Ancient Runes and Care of Magical Creatures.
Very specialised subjects such as Alchemy are sometimes offered in the final two years, if there is sufficient demand.

Translation:
We don’t intend to hand out time turners for extended studies (and we couldn’t do this anyway, because all time turners were destroyed in the battle of the DOM), so you won’t get a chance to sign up for more than five subjects, but there are more subjects avaiable in special circumstances.

Obviously they changed the curriculum since they had to learn that not even Hermione Granger can be trusted to use a time turner for educational purposes only.


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Chapter 15: Aragog

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:04 pm

In which Harry and Ron discover a colony of Acromantulas.

No Slytherin observations here, so I couldn’t think of anything to say for this chapter.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:23 pm

HG, I had the best of intentions to do this read-along, but, well, never got started.

On an unrelated note, have you tried dueling over on Pottermore? if you have, and would like some friendly non-Slytherin competition, I'm happy to accept your challenge. But as Full Body Bind is the spell that earns the most points, it is the only one I play when playing students from other houses. FBB's highest score is 145, which I've never achieved. While I've gotten 144 a few times, my usual range now is 140 to 143. I only use the other spells when I play against with my fellow Ravenclaws, since no points can be won or lost.

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Chapter 16: The Chamber of Secrets

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:35 am

In which Ginny Weasley is kidnapped and Gilderoy Lockhart is forced to go where he never wanted to go.

Potteraholic, fellow Slytherins keep saying we shouldn’t duel Ravenclaws, so you won’t get house points. But I will challenge you after some more practising, presently my scores vary from 50 to 120. Why are so many Slytherins (and Ravenclaws?) obsessed with winning the house cup?. I wanted to be known as The Good, not The Great. Why can’t I be in lovely Hufflepuff? (Speaking of Hufflepuff: Verity, would you like to be challenged or to challenge me?)

Anyway, Slytherin observation Nr. 15:

When I said: "Professor Binns ... wouldn’t lie about historical facts" nobody called me out on it, so you agree that from his POV "Mauling Myrtle was killed by Slytherin’s monster when the Chamber of Secrets had been opened" wasn’t a historical fact, it was just what people who believed in the legend made up when Myrtle died a sudden, unexplicable death? Also, a trusted prefect’s word may have been enough to expel Hagrid, but it wasn’t sufficient evidence to get into Professor Binns history books.

Now, you don’t have to trust Harry’s word. You can visit the chamber and see the basilisk (don’t forget to bring your parsel dictionary and a broom). But is it Slytherin’s monster?

"This snake ... may ... live many hundreds of years".
How do biologists count: more than hundred, some hundreds, several hundreds, many hundreds, more than thousand?

Newt Scamander mentions Herpo the Foul’s basilisk who lived for nearly nine hundred years.

This was the first basilisk, and if The Lexicon didn’t tell me that Herpo was an ancient greek wizard I would consider that up to 1927 (the publishing date of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them") no other basilisk may have had enough time to live for more than nine hundred years, but obviously the word "ancient" was simply left out in the german translation. (Hey, wait! The Lexicon also says Herpo created a Horcrux. How long did Herpo live and when did he create his basilisk?)

Still, Newt Scamander wouldn’t use Herpo’s basilisk as an example of the basilisks’ long life span if he had known of a basilisk who had lived even longer. It’s not absolutely impossible that the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets lived for more than thousand years, but it didn’t act like a dodderer, did it?

Also, there is the question of food supply. There were all these animal bones in the tunnel, but wasn’t the monster supposed to be locked behind the serpent doors? We didn’t see any bones in the Chamber itself, so we can not assume that suicidal rats could slip in there through small holes. There is no implication that the Chamber had been opened more often over the centuries, and although snakes can live a long time without food, Slytherin’s basislisk (if it ever existed) should have been starved centuries ago.

I stick to my oppinion: The Chamber of Secrets was build only some centuries ago to worship the legendary (not the historical) Salazar Slytherin ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]). The basislisk was fed by the builder until it reached a terrifying size, but then nearly starved to death when the builder was gone. When it was set free by Tom Riddle, the basilisk had a feast on the rats in the tunnel, growing fast and sheding again.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

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