Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, condensed

by Molly Ringle, with apologies, disclaimers, and gratitude for J.K. Rowling.

June 26, 2010

 

CHAPTER ONE: THE DURSLEY'S DELIGHTFUL ABODE

 

HARRY: (yawn) Magic.

The DURSLEYS fling breakfast everywhere in panic.

UNCLE VERNON: Go to your room! How dare you mention your offensive, abnormal lifestyle?

HARRY: It's not a choice, you bigot! I was born this way.

 

CHAPTER TWO: HARRY'S ROOM

 

HARRY finds DOBBY sitting on his bed.

HARRY: And you would be...the love child of Yoda and Jar-Jar Binks?

DOBBY: Dobby is a house elf, and is Harry Potter's number one skinny, annoying little fan!

HARRY: That's great, but could you be a quieter fan? The Dursleys have company...

DOBBY: (beating himself with HARRY's furniture) Dobby is unworthy! Loud! Loud and unworthy!

HARRY: Gah. Stop. What the hell is wrong with you?

DOBBY: Dobby must punish himself all the time, sir. There is nothing on this green earth Dobby has not bludgeoned himself with.

HARRY: What do you want?

DOBBY: Harry Potter must not go back to school or horrible things will happen to him!
HARRY: As opposed to all the great things that happen to me here? Whoa--stop--ugh. Why? Why would you tear out the heating ducts and smash your face against them?

DOBBY: Dobby stopped Harry's mail, sir! All of Harry Potter's raunchy letters from Ronald Weasley and pretty-smelling letters from Hermione Granger! To keep Harry from wanting to go back to Hogwarts!

HARRY: You really *are* my most annoying fan. No no, don't strangle yourself with the coathangers--argh.

DOBBY: Promise not to return to Hogwarts!
HARRY: I won't promise that.

DOBBY: Dobby must then splatter violet pudding all over the Dursleys' dinner guests, sir, with deepest apologies.

He does so and vanishes. An owl promptly arrives warning HARRY not to do any more magic in Muggle-ville. UNCLE VERNON, cackling madly at this news, locks HARRY in his room and welds bars to the windows.

YOUNG READERS: That's so cruel!
READERS WITH TEENAGE KIDS: Hmm, we should put up bars like those.

HARRY: Wish Dobby would come back. I'd like to take over the job of bludgeoning him.

 

CHAPTER THREE: IN MID-AIR OUTSIDE HARRY'S WINDOW

 

RON, FRED, and GEORGE: Hiya, Harry!
HARRY: Guys. You, uh, appear to be in a flying car.

FRED: Yeah, our dad read about some Muggle thing called a mid-life crisis and wanted to try it.

HARRY: But...the flying...the getting in trouble...

GEORGE: Breaking magical law is much sexier when *we* do it. (winks at HARRY)

They proceed to break some Muggle laws as well: busting open the bars on Harry's window, picking Harry's lock with a hairpin, sneaking through the house, and inspecting Aunt Petunia's undergarments hanging out to dry in the bathroom. Okay, they don't really do that last one. Having loaded up Harry's luggage, the lads leap into the car and escape just as the DURSLEYS finally wake up and heave themselves out of bed.

RON: Close one. So, what's new?

HARRY: House elf stalking me. Probably Draco's doing. You?

RON: Percy spends a lot of time locked in his room polishing his prefect badge.

HARRY: Is that slang for... never mind.

They arrive at The Burrow.

RON: We apologize for how much it looks like a stack of milk crates about to fall over.

HARRY: Nah, I love it. Uh-oh. Your mum doesn't look happy.

MRS. WEASLEY: YOU ARE ALL GOING TO DIE SO HARD-CORE WHEN I GET YOU INSIDE--not you, Harry. Come in and eat, dear.

Inside, we catch the briefest glimpse of GINNY, who squeaks and runs off.

RON: (to HARRY) She's your number one skinny, annoying little fan, you know.

HARRY: Actually, she isn't.

MRS. WEASLEY: All right, you're done eating. Go outside and fling garden gnomes around for a while.

GARDEN GNOMES: Nobody tosses a gno--aaaah!

 

CHAPTER FOUR: THE WEASLEYS' FIREPLACE

 

MRS. WEASLEY: Time to go buy your schoolbooks at Diagon Alley, kids. Here's your Floo powder.
HARRY: How do I use this?

WEASLEYS: Oh, it's easy! Nothing bad will happen to you. Go for it!

HARRY scatters Floo powder in the fireplace, says "Diagon Alley," and hops in. After being subjected to an experience similar to the most nauseating of carnival rides, he falls face-first into a dusty shop full of human bones and spiky torture objects.

HARRY: Oops.

DRACO and LUCIUS MALFOY breeze in. HARRY hides in a wardrobe, which unfortunately does not open onto Narnia, nor Detroit, nor anywhere else more pleasant than this shop. BORGIN oozes out to greet them.

BORGIN: Welcome to The Darker Image. How can I help you? Care to buy a precious necklace of opals that has claimed several lives already?

PEOPLE WHO HAVE READ THE WHOLE SERIES: I hate admitting Rowling might actually have plotted things out four or more books in advance.

LUCIUS: I have some, er, embarrassing items in my dungeon that I'd like to sell before any goody-goody Ministry people find them. Not the racy French maid costume; I've already sent that to a relative.

BORGIN: I'd be happy to take a look. By the way, we're thinking of changing our name to Dark Side R Us. Think that would that bring in more customers?

Once MALFOYS and BORGIN have all slithered away, HARRY escapes and runs smack into HAGRID.

HAGRID: Harry! Whatcher doin' in such a dodgy place?

HARRY: Hagrid. Why are you *always* around when something dodgy occurs?

HAGRID: Ahem. Movin' on, let's get yeh to Diagon Alley.

HARRY gets reunited with the WEASLEY family and HERMIONE, who has brought along her MUGGLE PARENTS.

MR. WEASLEY: Harry, thank goodness we found--oh, how wonderful! Real live Muggles! Might I inspect your shoelaces and the contents of your wallet? What? Wait! Don't run away!

The group finds its way to Flourish & Blotts, which is hosting a book-signing by GILDEROY LOCKHART. Hundreds of women are queuing up to throw their knickers at him.

LOCKHART: Good Lord, Harry Potter! Come here, lad. Let's do a photo op. That's all right, I'll keep the knickers that land on you. Guess what? You are so, so lucky! I'm going to be your Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher!

GIRL STUDENTS, even HERMIONE, squeal in delight. BOY STUDENTS sigh and start preparing their best "He's so gay" insults.

LUCIUS MALFOY: Hey Weasleys. You're poor and gross.

MR. WEASLEY launches himself at LUCIUS. Books and fists fly. HAGRID pulls them apart.

LUCIUS: Hang on--let me just fuss with one of your daughter's books surreptitiously and hand it back to her--there. Fine. We're gone.

 

CHAPTER FIVE: KING'S CROSS STATION

 

Everyone except RON and HARRY slip easily through Platform 9 3/4. When RON and HARRY try it, they smack against a solid wall and fall on their butts, much as hundreds of kids have surely done when they've tried to find Platform 9 3/4 at the real King's Cross Station.

RON: Uh-oh. Something went wrong with the magic platform. We better fly the car to Hogwarts.

HARRY: Wouldn't it be better to wait? Or find help? Or...

RON: Dude. *Flying car.* You know you want to.

HARRY: Yes, I totally want to. Let's go.

They manage to get Air Anglia off the ground and start soaring along after the Hogwarts Express.

RON and HARRY: Whee! Best travel method ev-ar!

(Seven hours later)

RON and HARRY: Hot. Thirsty. Cramped. Tired.

CAR: I've had enough. I'm landing in this tree.

RON, HARRY, and CAR smash into the Whomping Willow, resulting in bruising and breakage of much stuff, notably RON's wand. WHOMPING WILLOW then begins beating upon them.

CAR: I hate you all so much.

CAR chucks RON, HARRY, and all their stuff onto the grass, and zooms away into the Forbidden Forest.

RON: Oh well, at least we didn't run into that rat-fink Snape.

SNAPE: Oh, didn't you?

SNAPE pulls them into the school and summons MCGONAGALL and DUMBLEDORE.

MCGONAGALL: I'm giving you detention and am disgusted with the pair of you.

DUMBLEDORE: Indeed. I'm looking very sternly at you. Okay, we're done. Let's get dessert!

 

CHAPTER SIX: GREAT HALL

 

MRS. WEASLEY: (via Howler) ONCE AGAIN MAY I REITERATE HOW YOU ARE GOING TO DIE SO HARD CORE WHEN I GET MY HANDS ON YOU--not you, Harry dear, just Ronald.

RON and YOUNGER READERS: God, how mortifying.

READERS WITH KIDS: That would be handy. Wonder if the post office has a service like that?

LOCKHART: Harry, Harry, Harry! My dear fellow! I know you want to be as spectacular and staggeringly famous as me, but you're going about it all wrong. *I* would never crash a flying car into a tree. See your mistake there? Just try harder next time.

The kids move along to Potions class.

SPROUT: These are Mandrakes. Despite being plants and making a deadly screaming noise, they look and act almost human. See? Babies with leaves. And as they grow up they'll throw parties, get acne, move in together--really almost like people. Anyhoo, that's when we chop them up and put them in potions.
HARRY: This school really skeeves me out sometimes.

RON: Argh. My broken wand is screwing up every spell I try.

HOGWARTS TEACHERS: (yawn) That's a real shame.

READERS: Why wouldn't the teachers repair a wand that's endangering everybody in its vicinity and preventing its owner from learning magic properly at, you know, a school of magic?

ROWLING: Be quiet. I need the broken wand for some great jokes later on.

COLIN CREEVEY: Hi Harry! It's nice to meet you. I'm your number one skinny, annoying little fan.

HARRY: No, seriously, you're not. But maybe you three could form a club and save time.

LOCKHART: A fan club, Potter? (hearty chuckle) Oh, you're so cute. As if you're ready for the job of being really, really, ridiculously good-looking. Come in to class, everyone!

LOCKHART then proceeds to be impossible to parody, since he gives the class a pop quiz about his personal likes and dislikes, and actually says things like how his favorite color is lilac and how he wants to market his own hair-care potions.

LOCKHART: And now for the actual Defense Against the Dark Arts portion of our program. Banish some pixies!

He releases CORNISH PIXIES into the room, which proceed to smash every last smashable thing and pull everyone's arm hairs.

LOCKHART: Okay, so...bye!

 

CHAPTER SEVEN: QUIDDITCH PITCH

 

COLIN: Harry! Use this space to explain the rules of Quidditch to me and any readers who've forgot.

HARRY does so.

SLYTHERIN PLAYERS: Hey ho, Gryffindors. Awfully sorry, but we get the practice space today, because we have fancy new broomsticks to play with and a new Seeker to train.

DRACO: That'd be me. Suck it, Potter.

HERMIONE: You're actually proud of Daddy buying your way onto the team?

DRACO: Shut up, *Mudblood*.

Everyone gasps dramatically. RON tries to hit DRACO with some sort of spell (without actually saying any magic words, interestingly, which we thought they didn't learn how to do until about the sixth year), but due to the broken wand, he takes the spell in the gut himself. And begins heaving up large slugs. Repeatedly. For a long time. Now let's take a moment to acknowledge this event as the grossest thing to happen in the entire series, possibly the grossest thing to ever happen in children's literature, and among the top twenty in the list of grossest things ever conceived of by any human.

READERS: (gagging) That's the joke you needed the broken wand for? I could have lived without this.

ROWLING: Just wait, there's more!

HARRY and HERMIONE take RON to HAGRID's hut, where we learn that "Mudblood" is totally un-PC and means someone who's not of pure-blood wizard family, but since RON is spitting up slugs the entire time, READERS are skimming ahead and trying to get to somewhere less disgusting in the plot. Fortunately RON and HARRY soon have to leave to serve their detentions.

LOCKHART: Harry, aren't you delighted? You get to help me spray my personal musk upon my fan mail replies!

CREEPY VOICE THAT ONLY HARRY CAN HEAR: Kill... maim...eat...nom nom nom...

HARRY: Well, that's disturbing.

RON: Meanwhile, I polished the trophies, including one that will matter later, kind of.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT: THE HALLWAYS OF HOGWARTS

 

NEARLY HEADLESS NICK: Hey, I know you kids have a cool Halloween party to go to, but maybe you can come to my deathday party instead. There'll be icy dungeons and rotting food and ever so many ghosts!

RON, HERMIONE, and HARRY: Okay. That sounds...Goth.

They go to the party in the dungeon, which is full of transparent ghosts waltzing to eerie music beneath chandeliers full of black candles.

NEARLY HEADLESS NICK: Yeah, Disneyland *wishes* their Haunted Mansion was this creepy.

MOANING MYRTLE: Hello. I'm excessively mopey and I haunt a toilet.

RON, HARRY, and HERMIONE: ...And back upstairs we go!

VOICE THAT ONLY HARRY CAN HEAR: Fee, fie, fo, fum...

HARRY: The voice in the walls is gonna kill someone! Let's follow it, because that seems smart!
They rush up to a corridor just in time to find FILCH'S CAT tacked to the wall, and a message painted nearby: "CHAMBER OF SECRETS NOW OPEN, 7 DAYS A WEEK! ALL PUREBLOODS WELCOME. ALL OTHERS WELCOME TO DIE." While our heroes stare at this scene, EVERYONE IN HOGWARTS spills into the corridor and catches them there.

DRACO: Chamber of Secrets, sweet! Yay for death of Mudbloods!

HARRY: Way to be subtle about fanboying the dark side.

 

CHAPTER NINE: LOCKHART'S OFFICE

 

LOCKHART: It's all right, everyone! I wrote this book, 101 Uses for a Petrified Cat.

RON, HERMIONE, and HARRY: We didn't do it, we swear!

DUMBLEDORE: Duh. You can leave; we'll take care of this.

HARRY: (after leaving the teachers) Should I have told them about the creepy voice that I can hear?

RON: Nah. We 12-year-olds always know best.

Later, they file into History of Magic class.

HERMIONE: Professor Binns? Instead of being excruciatingly boring, could you tell us about the Chamber of Secrets?

BINNS: Ugh, it's total nonsense. I mean, it's not like Salazar Slytherin was really so much of a pureblood Nazi that he'd build a secret chamber in Hogwarts and stick some monster in it that only his "true heir" could control. So, back to dull subjects...

Later still, HARRY and RON get to explore a girls' toilet with HERMIONE, but it isn't nearly as titillating as they'd expect, since it's all dim and moldy and the conversation basically goes:

HARRY: Say, Myrtle, did you see anything that night the cat got Petrified right outside your door?
MOANING MYRTLE: (bursting into tears) No one ever asks how I'm doing, oh no, it's never Flirt With Myrtle Day!
HARRY: Okay, forget it. What we need to do is trick Malfoy into admitting he's the heir of Slytherin.

HERMIONE: Worth a try. Here--I've prepared an incredibly complicated plan involving us taking a forbidden potion and turning into his goon buddies.

HARRY and RON: Wouldn't the Invisibility Cloak and a bit of stalking do the trick?

ROWLING: I'm getting tired of using the cloak for everything, all right?

 

CHAPTER TEN: LOCKHART'S CLASS

 

LOCKHART: Before you go, everyone, here's your assignment: write a two-foot-long piece of fanfiction about me! Any rating or pairing. Don't worry, I've seen it all.

HERMIONE: Oh, Professor? Sign something that will let me check out a restricted book?

LOCKHART: Potions for Those Up To No Good? Of course! Fortunately you weren't trying to get Playwitch from May of 1990. I can't let you see me like *that* until you're at least sixteen, little lady. (wink)

HERMIONE: (perusing the book, later) Okay, we can't do our complicated plan for another month because of potion fermentation issues, which really slows down the action.

RON: Awesome. Let's hurry up and wait.

HARRY: Meanwhile, I'll play Quidditch, and be idiotically stubborn enough not to stop the game for an investigation when a Bludger has obviously been tampered with and keeps trying to kill m--

BLUDGER knocks out HARRY.

LOCKHART: It's all right, son, I can fix that!
LOCKHART does a spell, which removes all the bones in HARRY's arm.

LOCKHART: Ah. Yes. Well. That's a cure I, er, saw in the Himalayas once. Oh look, a squirrel!

READERS: Rowling, I know it's hard to find a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, but just tell us now why Lockhart doesn't get fired, and why Dumbledore, the obvious choice, never teaches the class himself.

ROWLING: Oh look, a squirrel!

HARRY wakes up in the hospital wing and finds DOBBY peering at him.

HARRY: Uh. Hi. What's new, Dobby?

DOBBY: Dobby is in agonies! Dobby tried to stop Harry Potter from coming to this dangerous place by getting him in trouble at home, and then sealing the barrier at King's Cross, and then putting a spell on the Bludger...

HARRY: Holy hell. With friends like you, who needs Voldemort?

DOBBY: But sir, with the Chamber of Secrets open again...

HARRY: Again? What do you mean, again?

DOBBY: Argh! Must smash self in head! Bye.

HARRY: Wow, did Dobby actually tell me something useful? Something I wouldn't have heard from anyone else?

DUMBLEDORE: (entering with newly Petrified COLIN CREEVEY under his arm) Damn, guess the Chamber of Secrets really is open again.

HARRY: Nope, didn't need Dobby.

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN: GREAT HALL

 

LOCKHART: Welcome to Dueling Club! Amazing how the other teachers allowed me to start a club where we throw spells around at each other, given the incident with Harry's arm. But here we are, so, Snape, let's duel and show them how it's--oof.

SNAPE has knocked LOCKHART upside-down onto his delectably coiffed head.

LOCKHART: Ahem. Excellent, yes! All right, everyone pair up and try that.

The STUDENTS do so. Smoke, crashes, and screams immediately fill the hall. HARRY puts a tickly-giggly spell upon DRACO, which SHIPPERS must find infinitely cute. HERMIONE ends up in a girl-fight headlock. LOCKHART apologizes for his wand being "overexcited." Eventually DRACO shoots a snake from his wand, which goes after JUSTIN.

HARRY: Hey snake, stop.

SNAKE: Whatever you say, my brothah.

REST OF SCHOOL skitters backward away from HARRY.

RON: Dude. You're a Parselmouth?

HARRY: Parsleymouth? Seriously, the Muggle world has way better insults than you guys.

RON: No, someone who can talk Snake! Like Salazar Slytherin and pretty much nobody else in history.

HARRY: So...that looks bad for me.

RON: Only in a "You appear to be the Heir of Slytherin" kind of way.

Soon thereafter, JUSTIN and NEARLY HEADLESS NICK both get Petrified, and of course HARRY is the one who finds them.

HARRY: Uh...I'm innocent. Anyone? Anyone?

 

CHAPTER TWELVE: DUMBLEDORE'S EMPTY OFFICE

 

SORTING HAT: Hi there, boy who would've made an awesome Slytherin!

HARRY: Shut up. Aaaah! The bird just caught fire!!
DUMBLEDORE: (coming in) Ah yes. Just my phoenix, doing his vampire-in-the-sunlight impression. By the way, keep in mind their tears can heal, and they reward loyalty. So, what's up?

HARRY: I didn't Petrify those people.

DUMBLEDORE: Duh. Anything else?

HARRY: No.

DUMBLEDORE: Okay. Toodles!

Christmas rolls around. HARRY, RON, and HERMIONE celebrate in traditional ways: giving each other painfully lame gifts, eating treats, drugging CRABBE and GOYLE and stowing them in a broom closet, and taking Polyjuice potion. RON turns into CRABBE, HARRY becomes GOYLE, and HERMIONE refuses to come out of the stall.

HERMIONE: Oh crap, oh no, oh God...

RON: You okay?

HERMIONE: ...uh...you go on without me.

RON and HARRY: (displaying the usual sensitivity of 12-year-old boys) Okey doke. Bye!

DRACO: Mates o' mine! Come into the Slytherin common room and listen to me natter on about how lame the Weasleys are, and how Mudbloods ought to die like they did last time, and...

RON and HARRY: Say it. SAY IT!

DRACO: ...How I have *no* idea who Slytherin's heir is, which is *so* depressing.

RON and HARRY: Damn. Let's sprint out of here in a rather conspicuous fashion and check on Hermione.

HERMIONE: (sobbing) I drank a cat hair! Now I've got fur and whiskers and a tail.

MOANING MYRTLE: (smiling for first time in 10 or 15 years) Tee hee. It isn't so bad. Shave your face and put on a cute little skirt, and you've got one of those slutty Halloween costumes.

 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: THE VERY SECRET DIARY

 

READERS: Hee! The chapter's actually called that. Imagine Very Secret Diaries for this book...

HARRY: "Creepy voice update: nothing today. V. good. Still not Chosen One."

HERMIONE: "Finished all of homework for third year already. Go me! Had romantic dream that Prof Lockhart kissed me and we traveled world being Aurors together. Perhaps someday. In meantime, Ron will kill him if he tries anything."

PERCY: "Polished badge today until I was sore. Still not Minister of Magic."

LOCKHART: "Dank castle air bad for complexion. Nevertheless, still the prettiest."

RON: "Lockhart is huge douche. Hermione totally into him. Suspect he's pervy student fancier. I'll kill him if he tries anything."

DRACO: "Surrounded by idiots. Starting to find Mudblood Granger disturbingly attractive. Wonder if she'd be into me? But Dorkwad Weasley would kill me if I tried anything. In other news, still not Heir of Slytherin."

GINNY: "Am getting worried I might be personally responsible for near-death of all these people. Not a good way to win eternal love of beautiful Green Eyed Boy. Really, they're as green as...as...a pickled toad. Oh, that's good! Will send him Valentine saying as much. Glad I can confide such thoughts in you, dear diary."

TOM RIDDLE: "That's right, honey. Keep telling me about Potter. Any detail you can think of. Now look deep into my pages...you're getting verrrry sleeeeepy..."

But to return to our story...

HARRY and RON, under the pretext of looking for clues, sneak into the girls' toilet again.

MOANING MYRTLE: As it happens, I am in fact going to hand you a humongous clue.

HARRY: Hmm, diary of T.M. Riddle.

RON: He won an award for special services to the school fifty years ago. That's the one I noticed when doing the polishing detention.

HARRY: Which is, curiously, around the same time as the last Chamber of Secrets Open House party. I'll keep this, even though it's empty and there's no apparent reason for me not to chuck it.

One night, HARRY writes, "My name is Harry and I'm considered very smart, loyal, and brave. I like Quidditch and romantic walks in the Forbidden Forest..." But his words vanish! And new ones appear:

DIARY: Hi, Harry. You sound nice. My name's Volde--er, Tom. Should we go for a walk through...wait for it...TIME?

HARRY, either brave or super-gullible, dives readily into the diary and finds himself in a scene from Hogwarts fifty years ago.

TOM: Shame about all this danger from the bad old Chamber of Secrets. Let's stroll on down to the dungeon and see if we can catch anyone in the act. Why, my goodness, it's a young Hagrid! And--egads!--a gigantic, horrible monster!

HARRY tumbles out of the diary scene in a panic.

HARRY: Ron! It was Hagrid! Hagrid opened the Chamber!

TOM: My work here is done.

 

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: GRYFFINDOR TOWER

 

HERMIONE: Oh no! Should we tell anyone about Hagrid? Or ask him ourselves? I mean, people are in comas...

HARRY: Nah.

So they don't.

HARRY: (later) Hey! Someone stole the very friendly and helpful diary. And, uh oh, I just heard the voice in the walls again.

HERMIONE: Eureka! Hold everything--must go fling myself into the library. (dashes off)

RON: Whatever. Come on, let's go to the Quidditch match.

MCGONAGALL: Nope. Turn around; Quidditch is cancelled on account of students getting Petrified again. Terribly sorry, boys. One of them is your shared girlfriend.

HARRY: Hermione got Petrified? Oh no!

RON: I'll kill whoever did this. Even if it's Hagrid. Which may of course be the death of me.

HARRY and RON sneak down to HAGRID's house.

HARRY: Hagrid, we need to ask you if--

HAGRID: Erk, hang on, someone at the door. Hide over there.

While RON and HARRY lurk under the Invisibility Cloak, HAGRID lets in DUMBLEDORE, CORNELIUS FUDGE, and LUCIUS MALFOY.

RON: Gosh. We conveniently arrived at an interesting time.

FUDGE: So sorry, Hagrid, but given your bad monster-related track record, we've got to scooch you over to Azkaban for a teensy spell.

DUMBLEDORE: I really don't agree.

LUCIUS: Oh, but guess what, Dumbledore? Me and the other school governor dudes have decided to suspend you.

DUMBLEDORE: Ugh. Fine. Let me just say a word again about how loyalty is rewarded and phoenixes are hanging around if people need help.

HAGRID: And lemme just add that people ought ter follow spiders. And feed the dog. And if Ron or Harry try swipin' any of my pipe tobacco and smokin' it, they're liable to keel over, so they're better off leavin' it be. Just sayin'.

 

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: FORBIDDEN FOREST

 

HARRY: There, see? Follow the spiders. All we have to do is keep walking deeper into this nasty forest in the dead of night, following a line of spiders, and everything will be fine.

RON: Says the guy who magically survived Voldemort a couple of times, and does *not* have a debilitating phobia of spiders.

HARRY: Oh, I'm sure none of them will--aaaagh!

A GIGANTIC SPIDER has picked up HARRY. Another snags RON. They bring them to a clearing where ten thousand other GIGANTIC SPIDERS and one REALLY ESPECIALLY GIGANTIC SPIDER are clumped together.

HARRY: Yikes. Shelob took fertility drugs.

RON: (silent scream)

HARRY: Um, hi, spiders. Any chance you won't eat us? Or...will understand a word we're saying?

ESPECIALLY GIGANTIC SPIDER: It's okay, we speak English. Hi! I'm Aragog.

HARRY: Great! Listen, don't take this the wrong way, but were you recently in the Chamber of Secrets, and have you been attacking people?

ARAGOG: Hell, no. Hagrid raised me better than all that. But one girl dies mysteriously in a bathroom, and, of course, everyone blames the giant spider. No, I'm innocent. Hagrid too.

HARRY: Thank goodness. So, who *is* in the Chamber of Secrets attacking people?

ARAGOG: Can't talk about that. Too creeped out.

HARRY: Then...okay, we'll just go.

ARAGOG: See ya! Oh, and sorry, but you might get eaten on the way out. Not by me, of course, but by one of the ten thousand others.

HARRY: This does put a damper on our relationship.

FLYING CAR: Roar! Vroom!

In utmost relief, HARRY and RON jump into CAR. It takes off, knocking SPIDERS aside left and right.

HARRY: Whew, thanks, Christine. Hey Ron, that girl who died in the bathroom, think that was Moaning Myrtle? Uh...Ron? How you doing over there?

RON: Traumatized for life. Thanks for asking.

 

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: GREAT HALL

 

GINNY: Harry...um...gottotellyousomething.

HARRY: Yeah?
GINNY: Um...it...well...nevermindbye.

RON: Darn, I think she was about to tell us something important.
PERCY: No! Definitely not! You mustn't believe a word she--all right, look, she walked in on me when I was--uh...God. Forget it. Let's all shut up and eat.

HARRY: I can safely say I don't want to know.

PERVY READERS: *I* want to know.

Later, when HARRY and RON are sneaking toward MOANING MYRTLE's bathroom of eternal adolescent moping, MCGONAGALL intercepts them.

MCGONAGALL: And you two were headed where?

RON: To...uh...

HARRY: See Hermione. To give her our love. Even though she...(chokes up theatrically)...she can't hear us, and...and we don't know if she's in any pain...

MCGONAGALL: Astonishingly, I'm going to fall for this and send you up to her.

In the hospital wing, RON and HARRY sit staring at Petrified!HERMIONE.

RON: Well, this is dull.

HARRY: Totally. Hey, wait...is this a piece of paper trapped in her hand? Which Madam Pomfrey and everyone else has failed to notice in all these days?

They pry it free.

PAGE FROM LIBRARY BOOK: The monster you are looking for is a giant snake called a Basilisk, which spiders hate, and which can kill at a glance.

HERMIONE'S NOTE: Pipes!

HARRY: Ah ha! It's a snake, so that's why I'm the only one who can understand it! Because I'm a Parsley-lips, or whatever. And it can move through the water pipes. Heck, the way to the Chamber is probably through Myrtle's bathroom! Also--and this is pretty remarkable that I can work this out--the reason all these people were only Petrified and not killed is that they didn't look at it directly. They each saw a reflection or looked through a camera lens or something.

RON: Oh, yeah! Like Perseus using the shield to see Medusa's reflection.

HARRY: Wow. You know Greek mythology?

RON: No, I know "Clash of the Titans".

HARRY: Well, let's go tell Professor McGonagall--

MCGONAGALL: (via magical P.A. system) More bad news. Back to your houses.

Rather than go back to Gryffindor Tower, RON and HARRY hide in the staff room to hear for themselves. The TEACHERS assemble.

MCGONAGALL: Somehow or other, we have figured out that Ginny Weasley was kidnapped by the monster and taken into the Chamber itself. Granted, all we have to go on is the message "Gonna keep her skeleton, yo," and the fact that we can't find Ginny. We are indeed jumping to conclusions, but they'll turn out to be right, so ignore that.

LOCKHART: Oh dear, that's unfortunate. Hey, how's my hair today? I'm experimenting with backcombing.

SNAPE: I vote we chuck Gilderoy into the Chamber to take care of the monster.

ALL OTHER TEACHERS: Seconded.

After the TEACHERS file out, RON and HARRY go to see LOCKHART instead of sticking to the rather brighter plan of telling MCGONAGALL what they've learned.

LOCKHART: (frantically packing his trunks) Hi, guys. No time to chat. My train--uh, by which I mean the metaphorical train to my...um...epic battle with a monster--a different monster, that is; can't schedule in the one here, sorry--leaves in twenty minutes.

RON: But you have to fight our monster!
HARRY: Yeah, like you claim to have done in all those books of yours.

LOCKHART: Oh, come on. I totally faked those. Stole credit for stuff other people did, altered their memories, yada yada. Now it's time to wipe *your* memories of what I just said...

HARRY: Expelliarmus, twerp.

LOCKHART: (now a wandless wonder) What do you want me to do? Face this monster for you even though I would be no use? Why not go get some of the other teachers who actually have spines?

HARRY: Good question, but be quiet and come along anyway.

The three of them invade MOANING MYRTLE's bathroom.

HARRY: Hey Myrtle, was it by any chance a huge snake that killed you by a single glance?

MOANING MYRTLE: Could've been, sure! Came from that sink, there.

HARRY stares at the sink, notices a handy snake engraved on it, and tells it to open up in Parselmouth. This makes the wall swing open to reveal a long, slimy tunnel-slide thing. Naturally our heroes jump in and, after much tumbling and grime, end up deep in the bowels of the castle. When RON and HARRY get distracted examining a gigantic snakeskin and pondering whether it's any good for making boots, LOCKHART swipes RON's wand.

LOCKHART: Ha ha! Now I shall erase your memories as planned! Obliviate!

Only, RON's wand once again shoots out the wrong end, hits LOCKHART with the spell, and causes a cave-in. Naturally HARRY ends up alone on the side where the Basilisk presumably lives.

HARRY: Okay, so...guess I go through these doors with the snakes carved on them. Handy that Salazar Slytherin observed all these little decorative touches.

 

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: INSIDE THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS

 

HARRY: Wow, big pillars. Looks like Moria down here. Oops, tripped on...uh, Ginny. Uh-oh, do I have to attempt mouth-to-mouth? I'm still young enough to be grossed out by that.

TOM: Don't bother. Doesn't work on the magically-unconscious.

HARRY: Tom, buddy! So glad you're here. You haven't seen a basilisk lurking around, have you?

TOM: I'll tell you in a minute. Can I borrow your wand? Thanks.

HARRY: Why aren't you helping me save Ginny? Hey...what's with the evil glint in your eye?

TOM: Are you ready for my monologue? Okay, here goes. (deep breath) By brainwashing her via the diary, I made Ginny open the Chamber of Secrets. How awesome is that? Also, I framed Hagrid way back when--haha!--and then, man, best part of all, I got *you* down here! My favorite mortal enemy!

HARRY: Why am I your mortal enemy?

TOM: Oh my God, duh, Harry. I'm Voldemort; helloooo.

HARRY: Uh-oh. Well--uh--Dumbledore's cooler than you! So there.

In response to this show of loyalty, FAWKES THE PHOENIX swoops into the Chamber out of nowhere, and chucks the SORTING HAT at HARRY.

HARRY: Thanks...?

TOM: That was amusing. But now I'm going to summon that basilisk. Heeere, snakey snakey snakey...

Obediently, the gigantic BASILISK uncoils from a statue and starts looking for lunch.

HARRY: Hey, weren't you the mayor of Sunnydale? Just joking. Don't eat me. Um...help?

FAWKES helps by pecking out the BASILISK's eyes.

SORTING HAT: (plunking a sword onto HARRY's head) Also, here.

HARRY: Sweet!

HARRY and the BASILISK fatally wound each other at the same moment. BASILISK keels over. HARRY nobly resigns himself to death. TOM laughs some more. But FAWKES pulls out another trick: dripping tears onto HARRY's wound and healing him.

TOM: Whoops. Okay, fine, let's duel!

FAWKES pulls out one last trick and drops the diary into HARRY's lap.

HARRY: Thank God I didn't have to think for myself on this trip.

HARRY spears the diary with a basilisk fang, like a big evil hors d'oeuvres. TOM squeals, flails, and disappears. GINNY pops awake.

GINNY: Omigod I'm so embarrassed.

HARRY: Forget about it. Let's go. Hey, Ron! Your sister's okay!

RON: Excellent! And better yet, check it out: Lockhart lost his memory in that backfired spell.

ROWLING: See? Isn't the poetic justice perfect? I needed the broken wand for that.

READERS: That could have happened some other way. Lots of other ways, in fact.

ROWLING: Shut up and get into McGonagall's office, all of you.

 

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: MCGONAGALL'S OFFICE

 

WEASLEYS, MCGONAGALL, DUMBLEDORE, and HARRY compare notes and figure out what happened. All innocent parties are forgiven and rewarded. Gryffindor gets like ten thousand points. Then LUCIUS MALFOY and DOBBY rush in. DOBBY is busily licking LUCIUS's slippers.

LUCIUS: How dare you come back, Dumbledore?

DUMBLEDORE: We stopped the attacks. Guess what? It was Voldemort. Sure wouldn't want to be in a family who collects Dark Magic memorabilia right now, no sir.

LUCIUS: I...oh my, I'm late for a soiree. Cheers.

But DOBBY keeps pointing at the diary and then whacking himself on the head. No joke.

HARRY: Oh! Got it. Hey, Dumbledore, I feel bound to point out that Mr. Malfoy almost certainly slipped that diary into Ginny's school books during the immature tussle with Mr. Weasley back in the bookstore last autumn.

DUMBLEDORE: Yep, figures.

LUCIUS: You can't prove anything!
DUMBLEDORE: Nope. Goodnight.

HARRY: Also, Mr. Malfoy, please hold my gross sock.

LUCIUS chucks it aside, and DOBBY catches it.

DOBBY: In house elf parlance, this means Dobby is free! Dobby loves Harry Potter more than ever!
HARRY: In which case, please stay away from me from now on. By the way, Ginny, what did you catch Percy doing that one time?

GINNY: Oh. Making out with some girl.

PERVY READERS: How disappointing.

 

 

CREDITS

 

Thanks to...

jjschwabach for the question of why incompetent Lockhart would get to open a Dueling Club, and for Harry being "Still not Chosen One."

pokeystar for Dobby/Jar Jar Binks comparison, and Lockhart being "Still the prettiest."

Cassie Claire for the Very Secret Diaries, which you'll need to be familiar with in order to understand that bit.

© Molly Ringle 2012