Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Chapter 15 (#PotterheadReadAlong19)

HPCS BannerIn Chapter 15, we get used to a Hogwarts without Hagrid and Dumbledore (which just feels wrong), find out what “follow the spiders” means (literally, it means follow the spiders, of course), and take an eventful trip to the Forbidden Forest. Let’s go!

Double Harry Potter today! Since it’s getting toward the end of the month, and I’m supposed to start Prisoner of Azkaban in March, I figured I’d better get cracking. And since these books get longer and longer, I should probably get used to it.

On to the review!

I don’t want there to be a Hogwarts without Hagrid! Or Dumbledore either, but especially not Hagrid! It’s not right!

Ahem.

Yeah, everything at Hogwarts is pretty terrible. Everyone is scared, no one is having fun, teachers have to escort the students to and from class. It’s awful. Besides that, Harry and Ron have no idea what to do with those last two clues that Dumbledore and Hagrid left them. Who are they supposed to ask for help? How do they follow the spiders when all the spiders seem to have vanished?

It’s very bleak, not gonna lie. The good news, if you can call it that, is that the other students have stopped suspecting Harry as the culprit ever since Hermione got attacked. They know he would never do anything to hurt one of his best friends. So that helps, a bit. I think.

Harry and Ron do get a lead about the spiders, finding some in their Herbology class, walking in a line headed towards the Forbidden Forest. They decide to head out under the Invisibility Cloak to see what they can find. See, I’m with Ron on this one. I don’t like spiders. They creep me out. Following a bunch of spiders into a spooky forest that we already know is filled with scary stuff . . . forget it. No way. Not gonna do it. They take Fang, Hagrid’s dog, with them to act as a guide and as some protection, but still. Nope. Nope nope nope.

Suddenly, they are suprised by . . . the car. Mr. Weasley’s Ford Anglia, which has taken up residence in the Forbidden Forest and has gone a bit wild. It has a mind of it’s own, apparently. It’s just enough to distract them from . . . the giant spiders that swarm over them and carry them to the big daddy giant spider. Aragog.

And from the middle of the misty, domed web, a spider the size of a small elephant emerged, very slowly. There was gray in the black of his body and legs, and each of the eyes on his ugly, pincered head was milky white. He was blind.

“What is it?” he said, clicking his pincers rapidly.

“Men,” clicked the spider who had caught Harry.

“Is it Hagrid?” said Aragog, moving closer, his eight milky eyes wandering vaguely.

“Strangers,” clicked the spider who had brought Ron.

“Kill them,” clicked Aragog fretfully. “I was sleeping . . .”

This is nightmare fuel, right there. Terrifying.

Harry yells out that they are friends of Hagrid’s in hopes that the spiders (who seem to be Hagrid’s friends??) won’t eat them or kill them or whatever spiders do. We proceed to learn that Aragog is NOT the monster from the Chamber of Secrets, although he was thought to be when Hagrid took the blame and got expelled. Aragog never attacked anyone. Aragog won’t tell them what the monster is though.

“The thing that lives in the castle,” said Aragog, “is an ancient creature we spiders fear above all others. Well do I remember how I pleaded with Hagrid to let me go, when I sensed the beast moving about the school.”

Let me just say this: anything that terrifies a spider the size of an elephant is not something I want to deal with, especially since it has children who are the size of horses. Again, nightmare fuel. Anyone with arachnophobia should really sit this chapter out.

Aragog decides that he is done talking and the rest of the spiders close in. Harry and Ron are lucky enough to be rescued by the car and escape the giant spiders. Wow, that’s a really weird sentence. They make it out of the Forest and think over what they have learned (after Ron throws up in Hagrid’s pumpkin patch). Hagrid was innocent. He never opened the Chamber, and never even knew what was inside it. Aragog had mentioned that the girl who died last time was found in a bathroom, which means that maybe . . .

“Ron – that girl who died. Aragog said she was found in a bathroom,” said Harry, ignoring Neville’s snuffling snores from the corner. “What if she never left the bathroom? What if she’s still there?”

Ron rubbed his eyes, frowning through the moonlight. And then he understood, too.

“You don’t think – not Moaning Myrtle?”

Yay! More Moaning Myrtle is always good!

See you next time for Chapter 16!

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