Welcome to my first post (although not for the first chapter) of my Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chapter-A-Long! I did this several years ago, first on this blog and then on its own separate blog – neither of which lasted long. In this series, as part of my #PotterheadReadAlong19 with The Perks of Being Noura, I will post each day about the chapter that I am reading for that day (or multiple chapters, in the bigger books).
And since I just decided this morning that I was going to do this, I will not be going back to do the first two chapters of Chamber of Secrets, nor will I go back and review Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone. I will probably post a regular review of that one, since I know I’ve never actually sat down and reviewed it.
So, here we go! And of course, spoilers will abound, so if you haven’t read this, proceed at your own risk.
In this chapter, Harry finally gets released from the Dursleys, after finding out that a house elf has been preventing him from getting letters from his friends over the summer.
To be fair, for anyone who hasn’t read these books, that is one odd sentence! The first two chapters really set up how miserable Harry has been over the summer, and just how absolutely awful the Dursleys are. Let’s be real: they treat him worse than a servant and, after the pudding incident, lock him up and basically starve him. Sure, he’s given “food,” but not much. So when the flying car shows up with the Weasleys, ready to break him out, it is such a relief, both to Harry and to the reader. Anything to get him out of that house!
I also love Fred and George in this chapter, especially how they have learned the “Muggle trick” of picking locks with a hair pin, just in case.
One thing I have always wondered is why the Dursleys, Vernon in particular, is so adamant to keep Harry there. He tries to drag Harry out of the car and back in the window (literally falls out the window trying to do so in the movie). Why? If they hate him so much, wouldn’t they be glad he’s leaving? Just a thought.
The car ride leads to the speculation of who might have sent the house elf. Re-reading this for the umpteenth time, it’s funny that they immediately think of Malfoy, since we do find out later that Dobby worked for the Malfoy family, although they did not send him there. Makes Dobby’s freedom towards the end of the book all the more sweet.
We also meet the rest of the Weasley family and see their house. I love the Weasleys so much! I love how they immediately take Harry in and treat him like one of their own, from the very beginning. There is a reason why Harry comes to think of them as his own family, and that’s because they treat him as such. I can’t imaging coming from a situation like Harry’s into the warmth of the Weasley’s house. Polar opposites. While Ron is a bit embarassed of the shabbiness of his home, Harry loves it. You can tell that this is a real family, who loves each other more than anything, and it radiates through the whole house.
Quote of the chapter:
“Your sons flew that car to Harry’s house and back last night!” shouted Mrs. Weasley. “What have you got to say about that, eh?”
“Did you really?” said Mr. Weasley eagerly. “Did it go all right? I – I mean,” he faltered as sparks flew from Mrs. Weasley’s eyes, “that – that was very wrong, boys – very wrong indeed . . .”