Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  Verity Weasley on Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:15 am

HG, I'm happy to be challenged any time. I'm marginally better at spell-casting than I am at potion-making, which is certainly not saying much! Since I finished exploring the chapters I have not earned a single point for Hufflepuff. It's a good job us Puffs aren't bothered about the House Cup!

You make some good points about the origin of the basilisk. It is never really explained. I'll need to refresh my memory and re-read the entry in Fantastic Beasts. Is it possible it could have been incubating for many hundreds of years until Tom Riddle found the Chamber and allowed it to hatch? Or maybe it's just an exception and really has lived for more than a thousand years. After all, Newt Scamander wouldn't have known of its existence, so he couldn't have mentioned it, but it's perfectly plausible that it could have been sharing the Chamber with rats or other small creatures which could have kept it alive all that time.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  Potteraholic on Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:32 pm

Hieronymus Graubart wrote:...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?

HG, just like I brew all the potions, the low earning points ones, too (just not as often), I duel everybody. The rest of my response is in a spoiler box, to save space.
Spoiler:
I figure, every house has below average, average, and above average duelers, and I have a 1 in 3 chance of meeting someone better than me. I only take that chance, though, when my dueling goes better than usual, since that is the prudent thing to do. Also, Slytherins meet open House challenges far quicker than Hufflepuffs do... I think everyone challenges Hufflepuffs and there aren't as many challenges from Badgers to go around. Gryffindors are usually ready to duel, for the most part, but I always seems to get their most excellent duelers every time, who leave me stiff as a board on the floor and done and dusted every time! I scored a 144 out of 145 yesterday, and felt pretty good about it, thinking I had an easy win, only to get a draw(!) against an expert Lion by the name of StormChestnut, on the House leaderboard. *sigh*

As for winning the cup, I dunno... I go through periods where I care about it and others when I don't. It's just a virtual race after all, and there is nothing to gain from it, really, except a note on Pottermore's site stating that the first House Cup was won by whichever house wins it. I do have a bit of a competitive nature sometimes, so I do hope that the banners that hang in the Great Hall will be blue and bronze when the Cup is awarded. I guess for Ravenclaw, JKR never had them win a House Cup in the books... the race was always between Gryffindor and Slytherin. So, for the Eagles I know in the Ravenclaw Facbook group I belong to, it's just a question of, "It's about time Ravenclaw won something for a change." And, "If we win the Cup, it should be because we faced ALL challenges, and didn't run and hide from the strongest competitors." So I have no problem facing Slytherins in open challenges, and just hope for the best. I did quite well yesterday against one from Germany yesterday, in fact, named Schloss Königin. I friended "Castle Queen" after a few games and sent her some chocolate frog cards, and of course.

There was a lot of cheating going on before, in all houses, and now, during the early December week-long break, Pottermore seems to have dealt with it, so now it's just a question of which house has more people dueling than anyone else. In any case, challenge away when you're ready, and I can cast any other spell besides Full Body Bind, if you want. They're all pretty different, but Pimple Jinx seems to be the easiest, at least to me. The thing about spell casting is, you need to click the ring at its widest to get the highest score. While accuracy is important, it turns out that potency is worth a bit more than accuracy. Also, I can only effectively cast spells with a mouse. I am a hopeless touch typist, so using the keyboard is out of the question. And my fingers don't move as fast, or have as much reach, on my laptop's touchpad. So the mouse is my wand of choice. Felix felicis!

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Chapter 17: The Heir of Slytherin

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:40 pm

In which Tom Riddle’s secret is revealed.

Happy new year, everybody. (Nothing else to say.)

Potteraholic, practising spells is boring, so you will probably win.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:05 pm

Hieronymus Graubart wrote:Potteraholic, practising spells is boring, so you will probably win.
HG, you are absolutely right, about the practice being boring, I mean, which is why I am an inconsistent dueler. Thank goodness PM doesn't post our win/loss record in our profile, because if I could actually see the data, I might never duel again!

Thanks for the duel game. I'll leave it up to you if you would like to challenge me again.

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Chapter 18: Dobby’s Reward

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:12 pm

In which everybody is happy, except Lucius Malfoy.

Slytherin observation Nr. 16:

"The qualities Salazar Slytherin prized in his hand-picked students": "...resourcefulness ... determination ... a certain disregard of rules"

If modern Slytherin’s believe they have to be pure-blood racist bigots because Salazar Slytherin would expect this, they got a wrong image, probably because they slept through all their History of Magic lessons and didn’t listen to the Sorting Hat. So I can only repeat what I said at the end of the first book: JKR didn’t really paint Slytherin as black as I seemed to remember from previous reads.

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The Basilisk

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:00 am

Verity, I needed some time to think about [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

I don’t know how long a snake’s egg, or more specifically a basilisk’s egg, can hibernate. But I don’t think Salazar Slytherin or whoever built the Chamber just leaving an egg there to be found by his successor makes much sense. The legend sounds more like the finder would get some big help immediately. Also, since basilisks live so long, they probably grow slowly. If Tom Riddle wasn’t lying, he found the Chamber only in his fifth year (and he closed it again in the same year), but the "pair of great big yellow eyes" Myrtle remembers can not have been the eyes of a baby basilisk (or was Myrtle exaggerating?).

Harry had too much else on his mind to watch out for such details, and there may also be much more space behind the mouth of the statue, but if Harry had seen some bones in the Chamber of Secrets itself, it would be more believable that the basilisk shared its living place with smaller creatures.

You are rigth, there aren’t enough facts to be sure, and the monster may just have been the oldest basilisk ever, never known to Newt Scamander. But considering all the hints we get, I feel that JKR didn’t want us to really believe the legends about Salazar Slytherin.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  shepherdess on Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:42 pm

I know Ron didn't write and ask his parents for a new one because he was afraid of receiving another howler. But why in the world did none of his teachers, his head of house, or his headmaster ever let them know that Ron's malfunctioning wand was hindering his educational progress?
--------

And then Harry heard it.

'...rip ...tear ...kill ...'

He stumbled to a halt, clutching at the stone wall, listening with all his might, looking around, squinting up and down the dimly lit passageway.

'Harry, what're you -?

'It's that voice again -shut up a minute -'

'Listen!' said Harry urgently, and Ron and Hermione froze, watching him.


If the basalisk is "talking" loud enough for Harry to hear it clearly, why can't Ron or Hermione (or anyone else for that matter) hear it hissing? Even when they were listening and trying to hear what Harry was hearing? Even if they don't understand Parseltoungue, they never said "all we hear is hissing". And in spite of it traveling all over the castle, no one else ever asks "what is that hissing sound"?

Naturally, if this had happened, Harry would have known there was a snake in the walls, and it could have been killed very early on in the year, and that would have made for a very short book. But I'm looking for a better answer than "it had to be that way to advance the story".
----------

Next moment, Dumbledore was backing into the dormitory, .... He was carrying one end of what looked like a statue. Professor McGonagall appeared a second later, carrying it's feet. CoS

Of course, this was Colin Creevey.

Justin was carried up to the hospital wing by Professor Flitwick and Professor Sinistra..., but nobody seemed to know what to do for Nearly Headless Nick. In the end, Professor McGonagall conjured a large fan out of thin air, which she gave to Ernie with instructions to waft Nearly Headless Nick up the stairs. This Ernie did, fanning Nick along like a silent black hovercraft. CoS

He (Snape) was conjuring stretchers and lifting the limp forms of Harry, Hermione and Black onto them. A fourth stretcher, no doubt bearing Ron, was already floating at his side. Then, wand held out in front of him, he moved them away towards the castle. PoA

Why was it necessary for Colin or Justin to be carried to the hospital wing by professors with all the types of levitation charms there are? I'm assuming such a charm would not work on Nick because it would go right through him? And a stretcher placed underneath him would do the same thing.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  Julia H. on Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:25 pm

shepherdess wrote:
He (Snape) was conjuring stretchers and lifting the limp forms of Harry, Hermione and Black onto them. A fourth stretcher, no doubt bearing Ron, was already floating at his side. Then, wand held out in front of him, he moved them away towards the castle. PoA

Why was it necessary for Colin or Justin to be carried to the hospital wing by professors with all the types of levitation charms there are? I'm assuming such a charm would not work on Nick because it would go right through him? And a stretcher placed underneath him would do the same thing.

Perhaps Snape is better at conjuring a stretcher than the other professors? Maybe the stretcher spell is his invention? Very Happy

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Levitation, hissing sounds and broken wands.

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:20 pm

Potterverse magic doesn’t explicitly draw Mana points or whatever games use to quantify magic. But I cannot imagine that it is possible to cast spell after spell and never be exhausted. Levitating an immobilized person needs another kind of power than physically lifting the body, but it is certainly not effortless. When help is available, two people sharing the weight may simply be easier than using magic.

Snape was alone. He couldn’t carry four people and he didn’t want to waste time by getting help. Simple stretchers would only have added to the weight he had to levitate, so these "stretchers" where probably complex magical items, able to levitate on their own, not drawing much power from the wizard who only steered them into the right direction. Again, even a powerful wizard like Dumbledore may have found carrying Colin together with McGonagall more convenient than casting a complicated magical stretcher conjuring spell.

Concerning the basilisk, I can only imagine that a big, old building like Hogwarts is never silent. Ron and Hermione were so used to hearing boards creaking, the plumbing gurgling, armour suits clanking and the wind howling in the chimneys, they never (or only quite late in Hermione’s case) thought of the hissing sounds from the walls as something weird that actually might have been what Harry meant when he talked about a voice.

I don’t know whether the teachers realized that this was a malfunctioning wand and not "Ron’s incompetence". Since Ron had spellotaped the wand it wasn’t obviously broken. Also, why should the teachers do what they assumed Ron could easily do himself? Hogwarts isn’t kindergarten, and learning to stay out of trouble, get out of trouble the students got themselves into, or suffer the consequences, is part of the educational process.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Read Along

Post  Julia H. on Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:23 pm

HG, that makes a lot of sense.

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