Harry Potter Reread 2014

[HP Reread 2014] Chamber of Secrets Check-in #2

hp-bannerI, along with some of my favourite bloggers, am rereading all seven books this year. Here on MVB, I will be livetweeting as I read, as well as writing up a bi-weekly recap of where I’m at in the book. When I was first discovering the series, I read so quickly that I never really let myself savour each word, so I am very much looking forward to taking my time and letting everything I love about Harry’s story sink in.

224912The Chapters: 

  1. The Rogue Bludger
  2. The Dueling Club
  3. The Polyjuice Potion
  4. The Very Secret Diary
  5. Cornelius Fudge
  6. Aragog
  7. The Chamber of Secrets
  8. The Heir of Slytherin
  9. Dobby’s Reward

The Highlights: SPOILERS ABOUND – Read at your own risk!

  • Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s decision to create the Polyjuice Potion is one of my favourite plot threads in the entire series. Not only does it illustrate how well the three of them work together, but it also sets up how subversive Hermione’s character is when compared to many female characters. She keeps her wits about her even when she’s turned into a half-cat, staying calm and forcing Ron and Harry out the door to perform the task at hand, and it’s Ron who is far more emotional, nearly losing his temper in front of Draco. I also really loved that Ron and Harry trusted Hermione enough to do everything she told them to, even when it involved setting off a firework in Snape’s class.
  • The Quidditch game and its resulting “injury” to Harry made me more squeamish than I remember feeling as a kid. I don’t think I really realized just how it would feel back then, and now? Now I would like to move on to the next page, please and thank you.
  • I found “The Duelling Club” interesting for many reasons, but at the top of the list is the reveal of just how spiteful of a character Snape can be. He is extremely intelligent, yes. He is creative, and he can adapt to situations as they come. But his hatred for Harry is inexcusable. He hasn’t grown up and beyond adolescent bitterness.
  • In case it wasn’t clear before, discrimination has a HUGE thematic presence in the Harry Potter series. Chamber of Secrets sets that stage very early on, with that first scene between the Malfoys and Weasleys, and most of the examples thus far have been quite obvious. But it’s the discrimination Harry faces after he accidentally reveals himself to be a Parseltongue that has always been fascinating to me. For once, Harry has more power than most of the people he’s surrounded with–even Hermione is stunned by his ability. For a kid who grew up being told he was worthless, that kind of discovery should buoy him. But instead, it’s met with disdain at best, and full-on vitriol at worst, because of the last person to display and use such ability to hurt people. We see how the wizarding world, just like Muggles, is quick to assume the worst of things that it doesn’t understand or that it has rarely encountered. It’s that same attitude that contributed to Tom Riddle’s future rejection of both worlds, and his attempt to create a new one, where he would be respected, warped as his actions actually were. I don’t mean to defend Voldemort, but to shine my own tiny little flashlight on the societal norms that promote the discrimination and hatred that contributed to his rise.
  • On a lighter note: I may or may not have had to pause while reading the scene where Lockhart loses his memories to clap and nod happily to myself.

Check back on March 12 for Prisoner of Azkaban Check-in #1!

Philosopher’s Stone Check-in #1 | Philosopher’s Stone Check-in #2 | Chamber of Secrets Check-in #1

Thinking of joining in? Sign up over @ Just A Lil’ Lost, and note down the schedule below!

  • January: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone
  • February: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • March: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • April: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • May: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • June: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • July: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
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