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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Chapter 7 (#PotterheadReadAlong19)

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Chapter 7 includes Quidditch practice, an unfortunate incident with Ron’s wand, an ugly incident of Muggle classism, and the upping of the stakes. Let’s go!

It’s finally the weekend (both in the book and in real life right now – yay!), and Harry has to go to Quidditch practice. Oliver Wood, their team captain, so obsessed with finally winning the Quidditch cup this year and forces everyone out of bed early. I would have smacked him at some point, but anyway. Other people who need a good smacking? Colin Creevy. Boy, you need to take a hint. Harry does not want you hanging around! He’s busy!

At practice, they also find out that Slytherin (who has gone over their heads to double-book the field) has a new Seeker – Draco Malfoy. Who had to buy his way on the team by his father donating brand new Nimbus 2001 brooms for all the players. I like how Draco thinks that he’s so amazing, but couldn’t get on the team based on his own merit. We see a much darker side of Draco here too, as he calls Hermione a “mudblood.” This is a terrible phrase in the wizarding world, basically like a racial slur would be to us. One of my favorite things is how quickly Ron jumps to Hermione’s defense – and how quickly it goes wrong.

Poor Ron.

They end up at Hagrid’s with Ron vomiting slugs into a bucket.

Poor slugs.

Also, Hagrid is the best. I will accept no arguments to the contrary.

Here’s where things finally start to get interesting, and the part of the book that really had me hooked the first time I read it. Harry has to go to detention (as punishment for driving the car into the Whomping Willow) and was requested by Lockhart to help him answer his fan mail. I’m sorry, but that does sound absolutely insufferable. I’d rather help polish trophies too, Harry. While in there, Harry hears a voice:

Come . . . come to me . . . Let me rip you . . . Let me tear you . . . Let me kill you . . .”

Okay, that’s just creepy. What’s creepier is that the other person in the room, Lockhart, doesn’t hear it at all. To me, this is what took this book to a whole new level. This isn’t just fun and games and petty school rivalries. Something truly dark and sinister is going on, something that has completely changed the game of EVERYTHING!

See you tomorrow for Chapter 8!

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