Going Back to Hogwarts with a “Chamber of Secrets” Reread: Character Edition
It’s time for the second installment of my Harry Potter reread series. This month, I took on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Let’s see what secrets I’ve discovered on this read-through and talk about the two most intriguing characters introduced in this book.
I haven’t read Chamber of Secrets in a long time and I honestly feel like I’ve been missing out. There are so many things that I love about this book that I’d completely forgotten about. I used to skip over this one when I was younger because I thought that it was boring, but it turns out that the “boring” parts are the ones that I’m most interested in now that I’m an adult. I have several pages of notes that I took of things that popped out to me while reading.
Chamber of Secrets introduces two of my favorite characters in the series: Lucius Malfoy and Gilderoy Lockhart. Some of the best scenes in this book involve one of the two. Chapter 4, “At Flourish and Blotts,” is my favorite chapter of the reread so far. In this chapter, the Weasleys plus Harry go to Diagon Alley to meet up with Hermione and buy school supplies for the upcoming year at Hogwarts. Harry, through a crazy Floo mix-up, ends up in Knockturn Alley where we meet Lucius Malfoy for the first time. Draco is going on and on about Harry and Lucius says one of the most amusing lines in the book:
‘…everyone thinks he’s so smart, wonderful Potter with his scar and his broomstick -‘
‘You have told me this at least a dozen times already,’ said Mr. Malfoy with a quelling look at his son” (CoS 50).
This is Lucius basically saying that Draco never shuts up about Harry. I just find it so amusing to think about Lucius sitting at home, relaxing with a nice glass of Scotch, when Draco comes up and just starts whining to him about Harry Potter. It is a very funny picture when you think about it.
This is also the chapter where Gilderoy Lockhart is introduced. In the previous chapter, Molly Weasley pulls out the book Gilderoy Lockhart’s Guide to Household Pests for advice on how to de-gnome a garden. Now we finally get to see the man himself. I’m going to be very honest with you all for a moment – I love Gilderoy Lockhart. He is one of the most amusing characters in the series. This man surrounds himself with his own photos, lectures Harry on being famous, and prances around pretending to be the ultimate knight in shining armor. I could ramble on about him for hours, but for the purpose of this article, I’ll just talk about a few key moments. In Gilderoy’s first class with Harry’s year, he presents them with a pop quiz to see if they had read their assigned textbooks. Normal enough, sure, but every single question on that quiz was about Gilderoy Lockart. That is just amazing to me that he could question his students about his favorite color and birthday. I love that so much. The Dueling Club was the dumbest idea ever. Who thought this would be a good idea? I would have loved to be there to see his Valentine’s Day decorations. Then he goes and Obliviates himself! This man is truly amazing.
How did your reread go? Don’t forget to send in your photos, thoughts, and comments using the hashtag #MuggleNetGoesBacktoHogwarts. I’ll be starting the reread of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on April 1.