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On Harry Potter's twelfth birthday, the Dursley family—Harry's uncle Vernon, aunt Petunia, and cousin Dudley—hold a dinner party for a potential client of Vernon's drill-manufacturing company. Harry is not invited, but is content to spend the evening quietly in his bedroom, although he is confused why his school friends have not sent cards or presents. However, when he goes to his room, a house-elf named Dobby warns him not to return to Hogwarts and admits to intercepting Harry's post from his friends. Having failed to persuade Harry to voluntarily give up his place at Hogwarts, Dobby then attempts to get him expelled by using magic to smash Petunia's dessert on the kitchen floor and framing it on Harry, who is not allowed to use magic out of school. Uncle Vernon's business deal falls through, but Harry is given a second chance from the Ministry of Magic, and allowed to return at the start of the school year.
In the meantime, Uncle Vernon punishes Harry, fitting locks to his bedroom door and bars to the windows. However, Ron Weasley arrives with his twin brothers Fred and George, in their father Arthur’s enchanted Ford Anglia. They rescue Harry, who stays at the Weasley's family home, the Burrow, for the remainder of his holidays. Harry and the other Weasleys—mother Molly, third eldest son Percy, and daughter Ginny (who has a crush on Harry)—travel to Diagon Alley. They are then reunited with Hermione Granger and introduced to Lucius Malfoy, father of Harry’s school nemesis Draco, and Gilderoy Lockhart, a conceited autobiographer who has been appointed Defence Against the Dark Arts professor after the death of Professor Quirrell. When Harry and Ron approach Platform 9 3/4 in King's Cross station it refuses to allow them to pass. They decide to fly Arthur’s car to Hogwarts, where they crash into a sentient willow tree on the grounds.
In trouble for the crash, Ron is punished by having to clean the school trophies and Harry by helping the celebrity teacher Professor Lockhart, whose classes are chaotic, with addressing his fan mail. Harry learns of some wizards' prejudice about blood status in terms of “pure” blood (only wizarding heritage) and those with Muggle parentage. He is alone in hearing an unnerving voice seemingly coming from the walls of the school itself. During a deathday party for Gryffindor House's ghost Nearly Headless Nick, he, Ron, and Hermione run into the school caretaker Argus Filch’s petrified cat, Mrs. Norris, along with a warning scrawled across one of the walls: “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir, beware.”
Rumours fly around the school regarding the Chamber of Secrets' history. Harry and his friends discover from Cuthbert Binns, the ghostly professor of History of Magic, that it houses a terrible monster and was created by one of the school’s founders, Salazar Slytherin, after a fundamental disagreement with the other founders (Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, and Rowena Ravenclaw). Slytherin believed that students of non-magical parentage should be refused entry to the school. During a Quidditch game, a Bludger, one of the balls involved in Quidditch, chases after Harry instead of zigzagging toward any player it can hit, breaking his arm. In an attempt to mend it, Lockhart accidentally removes all of the bones from Harry's broken arm, which then requires Skele-Gro and an overnight stay in the hospital wing to heal. Dobby returns in the middle of the night to visit Harry in the hospital wing, revealing that it was he who charmed the Bludger and sealed the gateway at King’s Cross and that the Chamber of Secrets had been opened before. Another attack occurs, this time to a first-year Gryffindor named Colin Creevey who idolises Harry, and the school goes into a state of panic. A duelling class is then set up for the students (led by Lockhart and Potions master/Head of Slytherin House Severus Snape), during which it is revealed that Harry is a 'Parselmouth', meaning he has the rare gift to speak to snakes.
This sparks rumours yet again, as students around the school suspect Harry of being the Heir of Slytherin (as Slytherin was also a parselmouth). Circumstantial evidence to support this theory arrives in the form of another attack, this time on Hufflepuff second-year Justin Finch Fletchley and the Gryffindor ghost. Harry, Ron, and Hermione begin to suspect that Draco is behind the attacks, given his family history of remaining well within Slytherin ranks and open hostility toward Muggle-born students. After talking about their speculations, Hermione concocts Polyjuice potion, which allows them to become Draco’s boorish lackeys, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle, for an hour to interrogate him. This comes to nothing, as Draco’s father only told his son the general facts of the previous opening of the Chamber and that it occurred fifty years previously. Meanwhile, Myrtle Warren, an existentially mopey ghost that haunts a bathroom, unwittingly provides a new clue in the form of a book deposited in her stall—a diary. The trio discover the diary belonged to Tom Riddle, a student who knows all too well about the Chamber, having been witness to a fellow student’s death fifty years ago. The culprit, he[who?] reveals to Harry, was none other than Rubeus Hagrid, now gamekeeper for Hogwarts School. When Hermione is attacked next, alongside a Ravenclaw prefect, the school is put on lockdown, and Dumbledore and Hagrid are forced to leave the premises.
Fortunately for Harry and Ron, Hagrid left a set of instructions: to follow the spiders currently fleeing into the Forbidden Forest. They do this, only to find the monster that was blamed for the attacks fifty years before, a massive spider named Aragog, who explains to the duo that the real monster is one that spiders fear above all others. When Harry and Ron try to leave, Aragog says they cannot leave because his sons and daughters have not eaten for a long time and plan to eat the boys. Before the spiders can grab them, Arthur's Ford Anglia arrives and the boys use the car to escape the forest. Hermione provides the last set of clues that inform them of the monster’s identity: It is a basilisk, (hence Harry’s ability to understand it) that kills with a stare (although no one is dead because of various devices through which they indirectly saw the monster) and which spiders (such as Aragog and his offspring) fear above all others. Harry figures out from hints Aragog dropped that a student who died during the previous attacks is Myrtle, and when Ginny is taken by the monster into the Chamber, they discover that the entrance is in the bathroom they have been using to make Polyjuice Potion. Harry, Ron, and Lockhart enter the Chamber, but the dunderheaded professor (who reveals that he is a fraud) causes a rockfall while attempting to erase the boys’ memories with Ron’s damaged wand but permanently loses his memory.
Separated from Ron, Harry enters the Chamber of Secrets alone to find an unconscious Ginny and Tom Riddle who claims to be a memory preserved in his diary for the last fifty years. Tom Riddle shows Harry that his full name, Tom Marvolo Riddle, can be made into the anagram "I am Lord Voldemort." Tom Riddle is in fact Voldemort's true name and it was he who opened the Chamber fifty years before, and framed Hagrid as Riddle is the true Heir of Slytherin. By possessing Ginny through his diary, Riddle has been continuing what he started fifty years before. Harry's loyalty to Dumbledore in the face of Riddle summons Dumbledore's phoenix, Fawkes, who arrives with the Sorting Hat. Fawkes blinds the basilisk, allowing Harry to remove the Sword of Godric Gryffindor from the Sorting Hat and slay the creature. Though fatally poisoned by the basilisk, Fawkes' healing tears save Harry who uses a basilisk fang to stab Riddle's diary. Both the diary and Riddle are destroyed and Ginny is restored.
Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Lockhart return to the main castle and reunite with McGonagall, Dumbledore, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. Ginny, whose possession by Voldemort caused all of the petrification and troubles over the course of the year, is given a reprieve by Dumbledore. He reasons that greater wizards have been duped by Voldemort before, and takes great interest in the qualities of the diary, which Harry gives to him. Lucius Malfoy bursts in after this meeting, demanding to know why and how Dumbledore has returned to the school. He is accompanied by Dobby, revealing the family to whom he is enslaved. The house-elf also provides Harry with unspoken cues regarding the diary’s ownership: While it was Tom Riddle’s, it had been in the Malfoys’ possession. While in Diagon Alley over the summer, Lucius, a follower of Voldemort, had slipped the diary into Ginny's cauldron to ensure the reopening of the Chamber of Secrets. Harry returns the diary, devising a scenario involving his own sock that frees Dobby from the Malfoys’ employment, hence provoking an attack on Harry, only for Dobby to jump in and save him. The petrified students are cured, the end-of-year exams are cancelled (much to Hermione’s chagrin), Hagrid comes back in the middle of the final feast, Lockhart is discharged from his job as Defence Against the Dark Arts Teacher, and Harry returns to Privet Drive in higher spirits than he last left it.
- Paperback: 374 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1408855666
- ISBN-13: 978-1408855669
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.4 x 5.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces
What’s in the box
- SKU: JU704BO1LGOT7NAFAMZ
- Author: J.K. ROWLING
- Color: Green
- Main Material: Paper
- Product Line: BADE BOOKS
- Weight (kg): 1
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