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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