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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chapter 11 Summary

How It All Goes Down

The Dueling Club

  • The next morning, Madam Pomfrey lets Harry leave the Hospital Wing.
  • Ron and Hermione have already gotten started on the Polyjuice Potion.
  • Ron resolves, "The sooner we get a confession out of Malfoy, the better" (11.15).
  • Ron thinks Lucius Malfoy was the one to open the Chamber of Secrets the first time.
  • The news that Colin Creevey has been Petrified terrifies the whole school.
  • Harry, Ron, and Hermione all plan to stay at Hogwarts during the winter break.
  • They know that Draco is going to be at Hogwarts, too, so it'll be a perfect chance to try the Polyjuice Potion.
  • They need to steal some ingredients from Professor Snape's private stores.
  • Hermione plans to do the actual stealing, while Harry and Ron are going to create a diversion.
  • During Potions class, Harry tosses a firecracker into Goyle's cauldron full of Swelling Solution.
  • The whole class starts to panic as their limbs start to swell up.
  • While Professor Snape tries to quiet the students down and administer a Deflating Draught, Hermione creeps into Snape's office and takes what she needs.
  • Professor Snape finds the burned firework in Goyle's cauldron and clearly thinks it's Harry's fault.
  • He can't prove it, though, so what can he do?
  • A week later, Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas tell Harry, Ron, and Hermione that the school has decided to start a Dueling Club.
  • They think it might be useful – until they see that the club is being run by Professor Lockhart.
  • Professor Lockhart's surprising assistant is Professor Snape.
  • The two face off against each other as a demonstration of wizard dueling technique.
  • Professor Snape knocks Professor Lockhart into a wall.
  • Professor Lockhart shakes it off and starts putting the students into pairs.
  • Professor Snape pairs Harry with Draco (a recipe for disaster, of course).
  • The two of them exchange vicious spells.
  • After a few brief minutes, Professors Lockhart and Snape stop the "dueling" – these haven't been formal duels so much as they have been a bunch of kids beating the tar out of each other.
  • To prevent the naked violence of the previous few minutes, Professor Lockhart decides to teach them all blocking spells.
  • Professor Snape suggests Draco and Harry as the perfect pair to demonstrate these charms.
  • Professor Lockhart demonstrates something he claims is a blocking spell to Harry, but it doesn't do anything.
  • Draco shouts, "Serpensortia!" (11.94).
  • A huge snake appears in front of Harry.
  • Professor Lockhart tries to get rid of it, but all he does is make it mad.
  • It goes for Justin Finch-Fletchley, who is standing nearby.
  • Harry tells the snake, "Leave him alone!" (11.99).
  • The snake backs off.
  • Harry looks around at his fellow students, and is surprised to see that everyone looks terrified. Of him.
  • Ron and Hermione pull Harry out of the hall.
  • Ron tells Harry he's a Parselmouth – a wizard who can talk to snakes.
  • That's not a great talent to have: generally, Parselmouths are dark wizards.
  • Hermione warns Harry: "It matters [...] because being able to talk to snakes was what Salazar Slytherin was famous for. That's why the symbol of Slytherin House is a serpent" (11.119).
  • After all, Slytherin lived so long ago that who knows? Maybe Harry is his descendant – the Heir of Slytherin.
  • Harry decides to go and see Justin Finch-Fletchley the next day to explain what really happened with the snake.
  • Herbology is canceled so that Professor Sprout can take care of the Mandrakes.
  • So, Harry goes to seek out Justin Finch-Fletchley in the library.
  • He finds a big group of Hufflepuffs gathered around.
  • One of them (Ernie Macmillan) is telling the others that Harry went after Justin because Justin is a Muggle-born.
  • Harry interrupts the conversation to say that he's looking for Justin.
  • Ernie refuses to tell Harry because he thinks Harry will hurt Justin.
  • Harry swears that he was telling that snake not to attack.
  • The Hufflepuffs don't believe him. They think he hates Muggles.
  • Harry is so angry that he walks right into Hagrid in the corridor.
  • Hagrid is carrying a dead rooster.
  • It's the second rooster killed this year, and Hagrid needs Professor Dumbledore's permission to charm the hen-coop against predators.
  • Harry doesn't want to talk about the Hufflepuffs' suspicions.
  • He walks up to Gryffindor Tower to get his supplies for Transfiguration.
  • On his way up, he finds "Justin Finch-Fletchley [...] lying on the floor, rigid and cold, a look of shock frozen on his face, his eyes staring blankly at the ceiling" (11.172).
  • Next to Petrified Justin is something even weirder: Nearly Headless Nick is floating "immobile and horizontal, six inches off the floor" (11.173).
  • Harry panics and can't figure out what to do next.
  • Peeves the Poltergeist finds him and the two Petrified figures and shouts, "ATTACK! ATTACK! ANOTHER ATTACK! NO MORTAL OR GHOST IS SAFE! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! ATTAAAACK!" (11.178).
  • Ernie appears and shouts, "Caught in the act!" (11.180), pointing at Harry.
  • Professor McGonagall shushes Ernie, but she still has to bring Harry to Professor Dumbledore's office.
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