Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter can’t wait for his holidays with the dire Dursleys to end. But a small, self-punishing house-elf warns Harry of mortal danger awaiting him at Hogwarts. Returning to the castle nevertheless, Harry hears a rumour about a Chamber of Secrets, holding unknown horrors for wizards of Muggle parentage. Now someone is casting spells that turn people to stone, and a terrible warning is found painted on the wall. The chief suspect – always in the wrong place – is Harry. But something much more terrifying has yet to be unleashed.
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And on with my Harry Potter re-read. I originally planned to alternate Harry Potter books with other books in my TBR pile, but once I finished Philosopher's Stone, and was looking at my shelves, trying to decide what to read next, Chamber of Secrets was calling to me. Once you give in to that compulsion to read Harry Potter, I'm not sure you can really stop until you've read them all.
Re-reading Chamber of Secrets, I found I really enjoyed the mystery of this story and picking on up all the clues, knowing where the story was leading. It was really interesting to see the way Ginny behaved and reacted to everything, knowing what was happening to her while everyone else was oblivious.
Though I had misremembered how often Harry heard the Basilisk's voice; I thought he heard it far more often than he did, and it being more sinister. "Let me kill! Let me rip!" is pretty terrifying, but I though I remembered it saying more. And for some reason, I also thought messages where painted on the wall with each person/animal/ghost that was petrified. I was also surprised by the climax - actual fight with the Basilisk - was much shorter than expected, and was over pretty quickly. Perhaps that's my memory of the film, though.
I loved all the tiny clues and elements that hint at Riddle's diary as a Horcrux - during Harry's conversation with Riddle in the chamber - and Harry himself being one, during his conversation with Dumbledore at the end about Voldemort transferring a piece of himself into Harry when he tried to kill him, that led to him being a Parselmouth. It reminded me of Dumbledore's speech from Order of the Phoenix (I think?), where he tells Harry about all the times he could have told him the truth about him having to face Voldemort eventually, and how this could have been one of several moments he told him about his future. Though I don't think Dumbledore knew about the Horcruxes at this point, let alone that Harry was one himself at this point, if I remember rightly.
What I loved most about re-reading Chamber of Secrets was seeing Dobby again. Dobby! The first time we get to see him! I found him so annoying when I first read this book, but knowing how we all grow to love him, and how devastated I always am over what happens in his future, I revelled in every moment he was on the page. I also completely forgot it was him controlling the rogue bludger, too. Aww, sweet, misguided Dobby!
I have thought about picking up another novel... but I can't. I need to read Prisoner of Azkaban now. It's my favourite of the first three, and just the though of reading it is so exciting! So, on to the next!