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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

July 15, 2011

Truths come out, friends are petrified and lessons learned as our unsuspecting hero returns to Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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Harry Potter

Dobby, a house elf, attempts to foil Harry at every corner insisting it is for Harry’s own good. His good falls into question as his return is stained with negative happenings. First, he and Ron miss the train only to commandeer the Weasly’s flying car, smash it into the whomping willow and nearly face expulsion. Next, students become petrified as word spreads about the mysterious chamber and the monster which dwells therein. Rumor of the heir to Slytherin’s return leaves Harry falls highly suspect after he unknowingly reveals his parseltounge gift. Polyjuice potions allows for the team to further their investigation; Ron, Hermione and Harry infiltrate Malfoy’s circle, discover Hagrid’s involvement and after Hermione is taken out of the equation the two young men follow the spiders towards the gigantic Aragog.

Dumbledore is more than aware of Harry’s distress and has reminded him that help will come to those who ask for it. He asks the young man if there is anything he needs to share. Potter is found at the scene of nearly every attack due to his following voices which only he can hear. His friends warn that this is never a good sign. Reluctantly, he ventures on without telling the headmaster a word of troubles.

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

Click here to purchase Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

Troubles once again surround the position for Defense Against the Dark Arts as celebrity and pseudo-hero Gilderoy Lockheart takes his place among the staff. While most useless, he is the first to enter the chamber itself where (after a backfiring memory charm) our young protagonist continues alone. Finding Ginny victim to a mysterious power he himself has witnessed, a highly important item’s dark energy is revealed to be a diary. Surreptiticiously placed in Ginny’s possession by Malfoy’s Father, Lucious, during the traditional trip to the bookstore which so happens to be Gilderoy’s signing, it proves a journey of vital importance.

Sadly, not many bookstores are left in our muggle world, making it less of a magical place. I know of no better ice-breaker spell than seeing a familiar cover on the bus. “Didn’t you love that series?” I ask. “Oh, yes, I’m rereading them all. Year two is the best one.” And so I am comfortable talking with a complete stranger. As magical as they are I’ve never looked at someone reading their kindle and been moved to say, “Hey isn’t that a good book; sorry, I can’t see what you’re reading, but I thought it would be nice to just chat.” They would look at me like I was crazy, which I am.

Platform 9 and 3/4

Platform 9 and 3/4, memories of Davis-Kidd bookstore

Crazy for books. Opening this book for the first time in, I don’t know maybe seven years, lead to my discovering some secret hiding places of my own. Within the pages I found a ticket marked “Davis-Kidd to Hogwarts for ONE WAY travel Platform 9 and 3/4.” I also found the program to an old show I did with Mary Hollis Inboden (of The New Colony) called The Last Five Years. After we finished this performance in Memphis we both went our separate ways with the wind to only wind up reunited by a tornado filled deluge under an awning of protection here in the windy city. Funny how our perception defines such an event as fate, coincidence or in my case synchronicity.

While dwelling will never prove the best route, revisiting our past can lead to powerful realizations and reverberations through our own magical journeys. For Harry, his unraveling the mystery of Tom Riddle leads into his questioning similarities between himself and the dark lord, Voldemort. Dumbledore offering the ever priceless wisdom reminds Harry that he is in exactly the right place as only true valor and loyalty could have summoned Fawkes the Phoenix to aid during the battle with the Basilisk. Only a true Gryffindor could have pulled that sword out of the hat.

Now at rest, Harry leaves for the summer to return to his horrible relations, the Dursleys. And we are left to wonder or, in this instance, reminiscence as to what these next years will bring following Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling.

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