At the risk of beating a dead basilisk into the ground, I want to talk about why Chamber of Secrets is one of my least favorite books in the series. And, for the record, I agree with Jennie that saying that is like picking your least favorite kind of chocolate chip cookie. But in the cookie comparison, Chamber of Secrets is like a thin and crispy chocolate chip cookie that softens when you dunk it in a glass of milk. However, it’s definitely not the thick and chewy chocolate chip cookie that’s warm from the oven, where the middle is still a little gooey. Both are frickin’ amazing and both have their place in the cookie spectrum, but MOST of the time I’m going to pick the warm cookie.
This time around I tried to figure out why I feel that way. And I think it’s because I don’t get the same warm, gooey feelings about the new supporting characters (*cough* Dobby and Lockhart *cough*) in this book as I do in the others. I’ve softened towards the house elf and the egotist with time, but it’s not enough to endear me to this book forever. So there’s that. Okay, thanks for letting me sort that out in my head and take the cookie metaphor too far.
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: DOBBY’S REWARD
So Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Lockhart find themselves in Professor McGonagall’s office, much to the relief of the Weasleys. I mean, they thought that their daughter was DEAD. That is horrifying. You know what else is horrifying? This picture that I saw on tumblr of The Chamber of Seacrest.
Harry recaps his adventure for the adults and Dumbledore gives us some interesting backstory about Voldemort. Mrs. Weasley asks about what Ginny had to do with the story. Ginny sputters out that she’s been writing in his diary all year. Mr. Weasley, who knows a thing or two about dark magic from his job, responds with, “Haven’t I taught you anything? What have I always told you? Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain. Why didn’t you show the diary to me, or your mother? A suspicious object like that, it was clearly full of dark magic!”
Okay, there’s a lot of wisdom in this and probably even some real life application to glean from it, but I’m gonna side with Ginny. Yes, it was definitely suspicious and nearly got her killed, but she comes from a wizarding family. When you see weird stuff happen on a regular basis, I can understand that it would be hard to tell what’s good and what’s bad. She was a lonely, homesick first-year, figuring out how to be on her own for the first time in her life. I’m just glad that she’s okay.
Dumbledore sees a bit of this, too, I think, which is why he sends her off to the hospital for a steaming mug of hot chocolate. We all know that the wizarding world is cooler than our own, but one of the legit coolest things about it is that chocolate is a prescribed form of medication. Dumbledore also says that the occasion of raising the victims merits a feast. Man, I love Hogwarts.
The now memory-wiped Lockhart gets in a hilarious line about Harry’s sword and is dismissed. Until next time, Gilderoy…
Dumbledore and Harry have one of their now-traditional end of semester talks about feelings and stuff. Only a true Gryffindor could have pulled Godric Gryffindor’s sword out of the Sorting Hat, which really gets to me. Finally, Dumbledore lets Harry go get some food. If I were Harry, I’d be starving right about now. Wizards be feastin’, yo.
On the way out of the office, Harry runs into Lucius Malfoy and Dobby on their way into the office. Dumbledore is awfully jovial about the whole encounter, which is reason #7,233 to love Albus Dumbledore. Basically everything is Malfoy’s fault, but there’s not a lot that Dumbledore and Harry can do about it. That’s a hard truth to learn and it’s one that I’m still trying to accept.
Harry can, however, get a tiny bit of comeuppance. With a bit of quick thinking, he takes his sock and stuffs it into the diary. Lucius tosses the sock aside and unintentionally frees his house elf. Dobby is free! He can do whatever he wants now in the way of magic and sends his former owner tumbling down the stairs. I have a really hard time with Dobby, but that was a total BAMF move. Oh, and it turns out that Dobby is the world’s worst clue-giver. “Dobby was giving you a clue. The Dark Lord, before he changed his name, could be freely named, you see?” What the…? Seriously, Dobby?
We get a tiny glimpse of the Hogwarts Pajama Party, which sounds like SO MUCH FUN. I wish that we got a whole chapter about the food that they served (jam doughnuts!) and what everyone’s pajamas looked like.
Finally, Ginny wasn’t the only one with a chamber of secrets this year… She spills the beans that Percy’s been using an empty classroom to snog his Ravenclaw girlfriend. Harry gives Ron his phone number–I’ll let you write your own Carly Rae Jepsen joke. Our adored trio finds themselves back at King’s Cross Station and thus concludes another year at Hogwarts.
My Canadian paperback of the book has a few extra pages in the back with letters written to J.K. from her fans. This letter is my favorite.