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 12 Summary

How It All Goes Down

The Polyjuice Potion

  • Harry has never been inside Professor Dumbledore's office before.
  • It's a beautiful, large circular room.
  • He spots the Sorting Hat.
  • Harry puts the Sorting Hat on, "just to make sure it had put him in the right House —" (12.4).
  • The Sorting Hat agrees that Harry "would have done well in Slytherin" (12.7).
  • Harry's stomach sinks.
  • He takes off the Hat.
  • He hears a gagging noise and looks over. There's an old-looking bird in the corner. It looks really sick.
  • Suddenly, it bursts into flames.
  • There's nothing but a pile of ash left where the bird used to be.
  • Professor Dumbledore comes in and Harry stammers, "Professor [...] Your bird – I couldn't do anything – he just caught fire —" (12.14).
  • Professor Dumbledore explains that Fawkes is a phoenix.
  • Phoenixes burn up when it is time for them to die, and then they are reborn from the ashes.
  • Their tears have healing powers and they are hugely loyal.
  • Just then, Hagrid bursts in.
  • Hagrid swears to Professor Dumbledore that it couldn't have been Harry who Petrified Justin and Nearly Headless Nick.
  • Professor Dumbledore agrees that it wasn't Harry.
  • Yet he still wants to know if there is anything Harry wants to tell him.
  • Harry thinks about the voice he's been hearing and his suspicions that he is connected to Salazar Slytherin.
  • He decides not to tell Professor Dumbledore.
  • The Weasleys' parents are in Egypt visiting Ron's oldest brother, Bill, so Percy, Fred, George, Ginny, and Ron are all spending the holiday break at Hogwarts.
  • On Christmas morning, Hermione sneaks into their dorm room to tell Harry and Ron that the potion is finally ready.
  • They decide to use the potion that night.
  • Hedwig arrives with Harry's Christmas present from the Dursleys: a toothpick.
  • Still, he gets plenty of real presents from Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, and Mrs. Weasley.
  • Hermione comes up with a plan to get the "bits of the people [they're] changing into."
  • She already has a hair from Millicent Bulstrode's robes for her own transformation.
  • Ron and Harry are going to need hairs from Crabbe and Goyle.
  • She fills two chocolate cakes with Sleeping Draught.
  • Harry places these cakes on the banisters near the Dining Hall where Crabbe and Goyle have been having Christmas tea.
  • When they come out, they spot the cakes and eat them up right away.
  • They promptly pass out, and Harry and Ron take the required hairs.
  • Ron and Harry meet Hermione in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom.
  • The Polyjuice Potion is ready and waiting for the last ingredient: the hairs of the three Slytherins they will be impersonating.
  • They will have exactly one hour before the potion starts to fade.
  • The potion is disgusting and makes all three of them want to hurl.
  • They all survive, though. Harry looks like Goyle and Ron looks like Crabbe.
  • Hermione won't come out of her toilet stall, though – she tells Harry and Ron to go on without her.
  • The two of them sneak down to the Slytherin dungeons.
  • Oddly enough, they find Percy Weasley down there.
  • Draco comes upon the three of them and asks, "And what're you doing down here, Weasley?" (12.147).
  • Percy retorts, "I don't like your attitude!" (12.148) and storms off.
  • Draco wants to show Crabbe and Goyle something funny: a clipping from the Daily Prophet announcing that Mr. Weasley has been fined fifty Galleons for enchanting his car.
  • Draco keeps running his mouth off about the Weasleys, Harry, and Hermione.
  • Harry and Ron are disappointed to hear that Draco doesn't know who the Heir of Slytherin is.
  • He does know that the Chamber of Secrets was opened before, fifty years ago.
  • Then, a Muggle-born student died.
  • Harry and Ron start to turn back to their old selves, so they rush back to Moaning Myrtle's bathroom.
  • They want to tell Hermione everything, but she still won't come out of her bathroom stall.
  • Unfortunately, poor Hermione has made a slight miscalculation.
  • That hair she grabbed from Millicent Bulstrode's robe is actually a cat hair.
  • Polyjuice Potion isn't intended for non-human transformation.
  • Hermione has cat fur all over her face, two ears sprouting from her hair, and a tail.
Next Page: Chapter 13
Previous Page: Chapter 11

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